Olbermann: Sen. Patrick Leahy on Gonzales Testimony + Gonzales repeatedly lied to the Senate + VA Heal Thyself (videos)

Dandelion Salad

July 25, 2007


Opening Statement for Gonzales’ Hearing (video + links to testimony; updated again) + Code Pink Protests Gonzales (video)

Olbermann: Bush’s executive order July 17, 2007 (video)

Zahir Shah: The last king of Afghanistan by Robert Fisk

Dandelion Salad

He was King of a nation that, in the the minds of many, does not really exist. He was a feudal master who believed in liberating women. He was a figurehead who lived a life of luxury in exile while his people suffered the agonies of war and occupation. The story of Zahir Shah is the story of Western arrogance and Eastern impotence

By Robert Fisk
Published: 24 July 2007
The Independent

When I arrived in Afghanistan to cover the 1979 Soviet invasion, I mischievously purchased a huge tin of talcum powder, produced by a German factory in Kabul and called – for local consumption – “Buzkashi”. The front of the tin was illustrated with a portrait of a massive Afghan warrior in long red robes, riding towards the purchaser upon a fiery steed and with an expression of utmost ferocity on his bearded face. What puzzled me was why a talcum manufacturer would name his product after one of the bloodiest of Asian sports: a mounted version of rugby football played with a decapitated goat – riders were supposed to tug the bloodied corpse of the wretched creature from each other, often ripping the beast apart in the process. Of course, someone German had concluded that this manly sport emphasised the romantic warrior of the desert, the spirit of Afghan individuality amid the rugged landscape – Afghan landscapes were always “rugged” or “forbidding” – although I noticed that the only buyers of Buzkashi were foreigners. Afghans had no interest in this exotic talcum powder.

Zahir Shah was much the same. We in the West loved him. He was a king. He was a unifying figure in a country that many people suspect does not really exist – it was the country’s first king, Ahmed Khan, who created Afghanistan in the 18th century – or so we thought. In reality, Zahir was never a really a king. Like the Buzkashi talcum powder, Afghans did not greet his accession in 1933 with roses and song – any more than they did when the Americans freighted the old man back from his Roman exile after the overthrow of the Taliban government. His supporters – those who could remember his calls for democracy, the “free” period as Afghans called it – approved of his written constitution, his enthusiasm for a free press and for the spread of legal political parties. But Zahir was essentially disinterested in this much-trumpeted democracy and the moment that his courtiers warned him that a party system would prove a threat to the monarchy, he refused to sign the new party legislation into law – even though it had been passed by the new parliament. Parties were closed down. So were the newspapers. He created democracy – and then he destroyed it.


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The Hidden Half: A Photo Essay on Women in Afghanistan by Lana Šlezić

The Hidden Half: A Photo Essay on Women in Afghanistan by Lana Šlezić

Dandelion Salad

Elizabeth Gettelman
July/August 2007 Issue
Mother Jones
Photo Essay by Lana Šlezić

The plight of women under the Taliban regime provided the United States with a tidy moral justification for its invasion of Afghanistan—a talking point that Laura Bush took the lead in driving home. “The fight against terrorism is also a fight for the rights and dignity of women,” Bush said after the 2001 invasion, adding that thanks to America, women were “no longer imprisoned in their homes.” Six years later, the burka is more common than before, an “overwhelming majority” of Afghan women suffer domestic violence, according to aid group Womankind, and honor killings are on the rise. Health care is so threadbare that every 28 minutes a mother dies in childbirth—the secondhighest maternal mortality rate in the world. Girls attend school at half the rate boys do, and in 2006 at least 40 teachers were killed by the Taliban. For two years, Canadian photojournalist Lana Šlezić crisscrossed Afghanistan—from Mazar-e-Sharif in the north to Kandahar in the south—to document these largely hidden realities.


FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.

Olbermann: Bush’s executive order on July 17, 2007 (video)

Dandelion Salad

July 25, 2007


Bush Executive Order: Criminalizing the Antiwar Movement by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky

The Impeachment Moment by David Swanson (action alert)

A Republic, If We Can Keep It. By Ernest Partridge

Parliament Passes Law to Privatize Refineries By Ben Lando

Thanks to

Dandelion Salad

Measures Designed to Boost Iraq’s Capacity, End Fuel Shortages



Iraq’s Parliament has approved a law privatizing the country’s oil-refining sector in order to lure investment and stem a fuel shortage.

The law, approved Tuesday, is a step toward relinquishing government involvement in the refining sector and, when poverty is alleviated, moving Iraqi consumers from state-subsidized to market prices for fuel.

Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani told United Press International Wednesday from his mobile phone in Baghdad that the government will provide incentives to both domestic and foreign private oil companies whose refinery plans the ministry approves.

“This is a law that will privatize the refining sector in Iraq and allow the private sector, whether it’s local or international investments, to be able to invest in refining activities in Iraq, including building refineries,” Shahristani said.

The refinery law is not the same as the highly contested oil law, stuck in Parliament, which would govern access to and development of Iraq’s vast oil reserves.

Despite its oil wealth, Iraq produces less than 2 million barrels per day — compared with 2.6 million bpd before the war — and exports more than three-quarters of it. That income covered more than 90 percent of the 2006 federal budget.

Demand for products such as gasoline, cooking and heating fuel is being met by the maxed-out domestic refineries — which also suffer from sabotage, fuel smuggling and electrical shortages — and regular fuel imports.

Earlier this month Iraq put out tenders for 1.3 million gallons of gasoline per day for the second half of this year, as well as tenders for kerosene, gas oil and other cooking and heating fuels. The security situation has caused import problems in the past.

In order to produce more fuel from Iraq’s own oil supply, Shahristani said the law allows the ministry to offer private refineries “long-term supply of required crude oil at discount price from the market price on the day of supply.” The price will be 1 percent below the price at which the State Oil Marketing Organization is selling the oil.

Shahristani said the deal gets sweeter because importers of Iraqi oil won’t have to ship it to refineries outside the country, but make fuels in an established market.


FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.

The Whitehouse Coup – The Dark Heart Of Fascism In The United States (must-listen audio link)

Dandelion Salad

BBC Audio Documentary
July 25, 2007

Document uncovers details of a planned coup in the USA in 1933 by right-wing American

The coup was aimed at toppling President Franklin D Roosevelt with the help of half-a-million war veterans. The plotters, who were alleged to involve some of the most famous families in America, (owners of Heinz, Birds Eye, Goodtea, Maxwell Hse & George Bush’s Grandfather, Prescott) believed that their country should adopt the policies of Hitler and Mussolini to beat the great depression.

Mike Thomson investigates why so little is known about this biggest ever peacetime threat to American democracy.


A Republic, If We Can Keep It. By Ernest Partridge

Dandelion Salad

By Ernest Partridge
07/25/07 “
The Crisis Papers

Why not impeach?

The Congressional Democrats offered several excuses for keeping impeachment “off the table.”

One familiar response (even by such estimable Senators as Russ Feingold and Bernie Sanders), is that following a successful impeachment in the House, the Senate would surely not convict.

Two replies come to mind: (1) Don’t be so sure of that. When the impeachment proceedings against Richard Nixon began in the House Judiciary Committee, the Republican Senators were solidly against conviction and removal. All that changed when the evidence was brought forth and the public responded. (2) So what if the Senate fails to convict? When the Republican Congress filed impeachment charges against Clinton, they knew full well that it would never get the necessary 67 votes for conviction in the Senate. It would suffice, they assumed, to drag Clinton’s name and behavior through the mud. Of course, they failed to correctly anticipate the public response. In the case of Bush and Cheney, it will be quite enough to expose their treason and their numerous “high crimes and misdemeanors.” The Senators who vote against conviction will then have to justify those votes in the next election.

Another dodge is that impeachment would distract the House and the Senate and, as Russ Feingold argues, “put important issues facing our country on the back burner.”

But what “issues” are more important than restoring the Constitution and the rule of law, and saving our republic from dictatorship? Moreover, as Feingold fails to tell us, in any case the Senate Republicans are succeeding in keeping these “important issues … on the back burner.” The devious GOP strategy is to see to it that, by means of filibuster and cloture, Congress “does nothing,” so that the GOP can run in 2008 on the charge that this was a “do nothing Democratic Congress.” If the Senate Republican continue at their current rate, by the end of this Congress they will have forced 153 cloture votes – almost three times the previous record.

The final excuse for keeping impeachment “off the table,” is “just be patient, the term of Bush/Cheney, Inc. will end in January, 2009. And there are strong indications that the GOP will be crushed in the 2008 election, and that a Democratic will occupy the White House. Then, our long national nightmare will be over.”

The almost universal and unexamined assumption that an “ordinary” Presidential election will take place in November, 2008, is extremely dangerous. We have always had our quadrennial Presidential elections, so why not assume that the next will take place in 2008? We must assume that it might not, because the consequences of a Democratic victory in 2008 would exact an extraordinary cost to the losers, and because they have put in place the means to cancel that election.

What “cost”? Put simply, the loss of ill-gained fortunes, and still worse the likely conviction and imprisonment of numerous neo-cons, Busheviks and corporate fellow-travelers. To prevent which, either the Busheviks must remain in power after 2009 (presumably by canceling the election), or the Bush/Cheney regime must be succeeded by a GOP Administration and Congress that can reliably shut down investigations and prosecutions. And to accomplish that, a mainstream media blitz and widespread election fraud will be necessary.

What fortunes and what crimes? The wealthiest one percent of the population has been given huge tax cuts, while the tax burden of the rest of the population has held steady. As a result, from 2001 to 2006, that fortunate one percent enjoyed, on average, a net gain of $30,352, while the remaining 99% suffered net losses. (“Net gain/losses” combines tax breaks with share of federal deficit acquired 2001-2006). With the Democrats in control, the era of “tax-cut and borrow” will end, and the wealthiest will once again be required to pay their fair share of federal tax revenue. The flow of cash from the poor and middle class to the hugely wealthy will be reversed. Billions of dollars of “Iraq reconstruction” funds have simply been “lost,” with no accounting of where they have gone. But surely, these have gone into the pockets of corrupt politicians, Iraqi and American, and to numerous “no bid” contractors. A Democratic Congress and Justice Department could be expected to relentlessly investigate these losses, resulting, no doubt, in numerous indictments and convictions. At last, we would know the identities of the individuals who disclosed the identity of covert CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson. In fact, we are quite obvious now that the culprits included: Karl Rove, “Scooter” Libby, and Dick Cheney. That disclosure was a federal crime, which stipulates prison time on conviction. A Democratic Congress and Justice Department would be able to track down, indict and convict many individuals who conspired to steal the 2000 and 2004 Presidential elections, and in addition numerous Congressional elections in 2002 and 2006. More convictions would follow, not only of corrupt politicians, but also their collaborators in the electronic voting industry. The American public, fed-up with one-party propaganda masquerading as “journalism,” spewed out by five mega-corporations, would at last demand the break-up of these conglomerates, and a return to local and diverse media. The public, which in fact owns the airwaves, would demand that the broadcast media obey the FCC requirement that they “serve the public interest and necessity.” With the abolition of the right-wing “Ministry of Truth,” informed public debate would return. Lying to Congress and to federal officials is a crime that Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rove and many other Bushistas have clearly committed on numerous occasions, and for which they would be vulnerable to indictment. Aggressive war and torture are not only federal crimes, they are also international crimes. An interesting feature of these crimes, is that they may be beyond the reach of Presidential pardons. The International Criminal Court in the Hague does not recognize Presidential pardons.

There is much more, but this list suffices to make the point: The Presidential election of 2008 portends a disaster for the GOP, the Bush Administration, and their corporate sponsors – a disaster of unprecedented proportions. The losers will not, as in previous elections, simply find opulent sinecures in “the private sector,” and comfortable retirement and status as “elder statesmen.” Instead they will be facing the loss of their ill-gained fortunes and even of their freedom, as they are brought before the bar of justice.

And well they know this. Worse still, they may be in a position to prevent it. And here is how they might:

Bush’s “National Continuity Policy, issued May 9, states, in effect, that in the event of a “catastrophic emergency,” which might mean a terrorist attack or natural disaster, within “the homeland” or abroad, the President could, as a “unitary executive,” seize near dictatorial powers. This means that another hurricane of Katrina size, or a Richter-7 earthquake, or even a massive civil disobedient protest, could trigger the onset of a Bush dictatorship.

Still worse, in the recently issued executive order, Bush has decreed 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… Accordingly, the federal government may seize All property and interests in property of any person 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… Is the organization of a mass demonstration an “act of violence”? And what is to be done with individuals who give “aid and comfort to the enemy.” Last week, Defense Under-Secretary of Defense Eric Edelman sent a letter to Hillary Clinton, warning that Premature and public discussion of the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq reinforces enemy propaganda that the United States will abandon its allies in Iraq, much as we are perceived to have done in Vietnam, Lebanon and Somalia. Is Senator Clinton in danger of losing all her property, and perchance her freedom? “Of course not, they wouldn’t dare.” Quite so. But “they wouldn’t dare” is not a sound guarantee against arbitrary abuse of power by the government. Once upon a time, we had a Constitution to protect our freedoms. But Bush has told us that it is “just a piece of paper.” And, in his administration, it appears that it is merely that.

And note too that phrase, “or to pose a significant risk.” Here we have nothing less than an excuse to prosecute “pre-crime” – the mere possibility of criminal conduct. This nightmare option, vividly portrayed in the 2002 movie “Minority Report,” is a fundamental feature of totalitarian regimes.

Add to this, the “Military Commissions Act” which effectively abolished habeas corpus for suspected terrorists and “terrorist sympathizers.” Protest the Iraq occupation, and you might be labeled a “terrorist sympathizer” and thus subject to arbitrary arrest and indefinite incarceration without access to counsel.

Bush’s “decrees” (“executive orders”) are noteworthy for their vagueness, and Bush is notorious for reaching far beyond the letter of the law and of treaties. He claimed that he had United Nations permission to attack Iraq. He did not. The infamous Congressional authorization for the Iraq war was contingent upon a written “determination” from the White House. As John Dean clearly points out, Bush’s “determination” was a pack of lies, and failed to meet the conditions of the authorization. It was, says Dean, an impeachable offence. (Worse than Watergate, 140-156).

Can Bush seize totalitarian power, triggered, perhaps, by another terrorist attack, real or connived, or by a natural disaster, or by an attack on Iran?

Who is to stop him? The federal judiciary? Bush owns it, as we have seen with the recent Supreme Court decisions, and the dismissal of the Plame/Wilson civil action against the Busheviks. The Congress? Bush has said, straight out, that he will ignore any and all Congressional subpoenas for documents or testimony. And acts of Congress, as we well know, are (as Bush said of the Constitution) mere “scraps of paper.” For with his “signing statements,” he has said, in effect, “I will obey or not obey this law as I see fit.” Thus, unless it forcefully reclaims its Constitutional powers and independence, the Congress will be reduced to the status of the Supreme Soviet under Josef Stalin.

Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under Ronald Reagan, has noted with alarm that Bush and Cheney, fully aware that electoral catastrophe faces the Republicans in 2008, seem utterly unconcerned with this prospect, or with the likelihood that, under ordinary (i.e. honest) electoral conditions, a Democratic President in 2009 is a near-certainty.

Do they know something that we don’t know? Roberts thinks they might. He strongly suspects that the Busheviks are expecting, counting on, and perhaps even preparing some interim catastrophe that will once again unite the country behind “the Commander in Chief,” and provide an excuse to cancel the 2008 election. In short, he suggests that the near-universal belief that in 2008 there will be another election just has there have been for the past 220 years, may lead us all to “the end of Constitutional Democracy.”

Perhaps not. Perhaps this will be an ordinary election, resulting in large Democratic majorities in Congress, and a Democratic Administration. Following that, a roundup, prosecution and imprisonment of numerous scoundrels who have defiled our government throughout the two full terms of Bush’s presidency. But do we dare believe this?

Don’t bet your freedom and our republic on this comfortable assumption. Be prepared for a desperate grab for permanent, dictatorial power aimed, among other things, at protecting the corporatocracy, the acquired wealth, and the freedom from prosecution of those now in power, and who have acquired the means to seize total power.

What, then, is to be done?

First of all, keep the pressure on Congress to begin impeachment proceedings against Bush and Cheney. John Conyers says that with three more Congressional sponsors, he will initiate impeachment proceedings. But yesterday, when confronted in his office by Cindy Sheehan, David Swanson, Ray McGovern among hundreds of protesters, Conyers apparently reneged on that promise. Contact Conyers at 202-225-5126, or your member of Congress at 202-224-3121.

Spread the word, far and wide, that we must expect another “Pearl Harbor” event, followed by a call for “unity behind the President” and the seizure of dictatorial powers. The more the public anticipates this beforehand, the more likely that the public will be able to resist it.

And let us all fervently hope that if a fake “remember the Maine!,” or “Gulf of Tonkin attack” is in preparation, that someone in the know will have the courage and patriotic motivation to expose it in time.

Surely there is much more that we the people can do to inoculate ourselves against the demise of our freedom and the onset of tyranny.

Share your ideas! Send them to crisispapers@hotmail.com, and we will publish them

Ben Franklin was right: we have a Republic if we can keep it. And we may be on the verge of losing it. Copyright 2007 by Ernest Partridge

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.

Bush Speechwriter Calls for Attack on Syria By Gary Leupp

Gerson’s Crusade Against “Low-Hanging Fruit”

Dandelion Salad

07/25/07 “Counterpunch

Neocon officials in the Defense Department call them “low-hanging fruit“— as though countries were produce ripe for picking and eating. The term refers to nations targeted for regime change that might be achieved with minimal strain, at least when compared with the effort needed to topple the regime in Iran. Some neocons are beginning to concede that the effort might not be feasible at this time (not that they would be climbing the tree and plucking the fruit; they’d stand below advising on how it should be done). They’re advocating instead that the Bush administration move soon against Syria.

Continue reading

The National Campaign to Impeach President George W. Bush by Prof. Francis A. Boyle

Dandelion Salad

Since the U.S. Supreme Court’s installation of George W. Bush as President in January of 2001, the peoples of the world have witnessed a government in the United States of America that demonstrates little if any respect for fundamental considerations of international law, international organizations, and human rights, let alone appreciation of the requirements for maintaining international peace and security.

What the world has watched instead is a comprehensive and malicious assault upon the integrity of the international legal order by a group of men and women who are thoroughly Machiavellian in their perception of international relations and in their conduct of both foreign policy and domestic affairs.

This is not simply a question of giving or withholding the benefit of the doubt when it comes to complicated matters of foreign affairs and defense policies to a U.S. government charged with the security of both its own citizens and those of its allies in Europe, the Western Hemisphere, and the Pacific. Rather, the Bush Jr. administration’s foreign policies represent a gross deviation from those basic rules of international deportment and civilized behavior that the United States government had traditionally played the pioneer role in promoting for the entire world community.

Even more seriously, in many instances specific components of the Bush Jr. administration’s foreign policies constitute ongoing criminal activity under well-recognized principles of both international law and U.S. domestic law, and in particular the Nuremberg Charter, the Nuremberg Judgment, and the Nuremberg Principles.

Depending upon the substantive issues involved, those international crimes typically include but are not limited to the Nuremberg offenses of crimes against peace, crimes against humanity and war crimes, as well as grave breaches of the Four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the 1907 Hague Regulations on land warfare, torture, disappearances, and assassinations.

In addition, various members of the Bush Jr. administration committed numerous inchoate crimes incidental to these substantive offenses that under the Nuremberg Charter, Judgment, and Principles were international crimes in their own right: viz., planning, preparation, solicitation, incitement, conspiracy, complicity, attempt, aiding and abetting, etc.

Of course the great irony of today’s situation is that six decades ago at Nuremberg, representatives of the U.S. government participated in the prosecution, punishment and execution of Nazi government officials for committing some of the same types of heinous international crimes that members of the Bush Jr. administration currently inflict upon people all around the world. To be sure, I personally oppose the imposition of capital punishment upon any person for any reason no matter how monstrous their crimes: Bush Jr., Tony Blair, Saddam Hussein, Slobodan Milosevic, Vladimir Putin, Ariel Sharon, my former client John Wayne Gacy, etc.

Furthermore, according to basic principles of international criminal law, all high-level civilian officials and military officers in the U.S. government who either knew or should have known that soldiers or civilians under their control committed or were about to commit international crimes, and failed to take the measures necessary to stop them, or to punish them, or both, are likewise personally responsible for the commission of international crimes.

This category of officialdom who actually knew or at least should have known of the commission of such substantive or inchoate international crimes under their jurisdiction and failed to do anything about it typically includes the Secretary of Defense, Secretary of State, Director of Central Intelligence, the National Security Adviser, the Attorney General, the Pentagon’s Joint Chiefs of Staff and regional CINCs, and presumably the President and Vice President. These U.S. government officials and their immediate subordinates, among others, were personally responsible for the commission or at least complicity in the commission of crimes against peace, crimes against humanity, and war crimes as specified by the Nuremberg Charter, Judgment, and Principles – at a minimum. In international legal terms, the Bush Jr. administration itself should be viewed as constituting an ongoing criminal conspiracy under international criminal law.

Consequently, on Tuesday 11 March 2003, with the Bush Jr. administration’s war of aggression against Iraq staring the American People, Congress and Republic in their face, Congressman John Conyers of Michigan, the Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee (which has jurisdiction over Bills of Impeachment), convened an emergency meeting of forty or more of his top advisors, most of whom were lawyers. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss and debate immediately putting into the U.S. House of Representatives Bills of Impeachment against President Bush Jr., Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and then Attorney General John Ashcroft in order to head off the impending war. Congressman Conyers kindly requested that Ramsey Clark and I come to the meeting in order to argue the case for impeachment.

This impeachment debate lasted for two hours. It was presided over by Congressman Conyers, who quite correctly did not tip his hand one way or the other on the merits of impeachment. He simply moderated the debate between Clark and I, on the one side, favoring immediately filing Bills of Impeachment against Bush Jr. et al. to stop the threatened war, and almost everyone else there who were against impeachment for partisan political reasons. Obviously no point would be served here by attempting to digest a two-hour-long vigorous debate among a group of well-trained lawyers on such a controversial matter at this critical moment in American history. But at the time I was struck by the fact that this momentous debate was conducted at a private office right down the street from the White House on the eve of war.

Suffice it to say that most of the “experts” there opposed impeachment not on the basis of enforcing the Constitution and the Rule of Law, whether international or domestic, but on the political grounds that it might hurt the Democratic Party effort to get their presidential candidate elected in the year 2004. As a political independent, I did not argue that point. Rather, I argued the merits of impeaching Bush Jr., Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Ashcroft under the United States Constitution, U.S. federal laws, U.S. treaties and other international agreements to which the United States is a party, etc. Article VI of the U.S. Constitution provides that treaties “shall be the supreme Law of the Land.” This so-called Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution also applies to international executive agreements concluded under the auspices of the U.S. President such as the 1945 Nuremberg Charter.

Congressman Conyers was so kind as to allow me the closing argument in the debate. Briefly put, the concluding point I chose to make was historical: The Athenians lost their democracy. The Romans lost their Republic. And if we Americans did not act now we could lose our Republic! The United States of America is not immune to the laws of history!

After two hours of most vigorous debate among those in attendance, the meeting adjourned with second revised draft Bills of Impeachment sitting on the table.

Certainly, if the U.S. House of Representatives can impeach President Clinton for sex and lying about sex, then a fortiori the House can, should, and must impeach President Bush Jr. for war, lying about war, and threatening more wars. All that is needed is for one Member of Congress with courage, integrity, principles and a safe seat to file these currently amended draft Bills of Impeachment against Bush Jr., Cheney, Rumsfeld, and now Attorney General Albert Gonzales, who bears personal criminal responsibility for the Bush Jr. administration torture scandal. Failing this, the alternative is likely to be an American Empire abroad, a U.S. police state at home, and continuing wars of aggression to sustain both-along the lines of George Orwell’s classic novel 1984. Despite all of the serious flaws demonstrated by successive

United States governments that this author has amply documented elsewhere during the past quarter century as a Professor of Law, the truth of the matter is that America is still the oldest Republic in the world today. “We the People of the United States” must fight to keep it that way!

Francis A. Boyle is a Professor of International Law and a human rights attorney. He is the author of Destroying World Order (2004, Clarity Press).

Francis A. Boyle is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Francis A. Boyle


I Announce My Candidacy Against Nancy Pelosi in California’s 8th. By Cindy Sheehan

“We know things are bad. Worse than bad. They’re crazy” By Mike Whitney

The Impeachment Moment by David Swanson (action alert)

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www.globalresearch.ca contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.

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Patriot Abuse By Janet Nocek

Dandelion Salad

By Janet Nocek


The Hartford Courant
Sunday 22 July 2007

Go to Original

I was gagged by the Patriot Act while the attorney general was free to tell falsehoods about it.

    When the USA Patriot Act was being reauthorized in 2005, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales claimed that not one single abuse of the “national security letters” provision had been reported.

    It must be his poor memory that caused Mr. Gonzales to tell Congress that no abuse had been reported. What else would explain why he did not mention the reports that described abuses and mismanagement of NSLs – which we now discover were in his possession before his testimony?

    I was one of four library colleagues who challenged an NSL in the courts around the time of its reauthorization. We were under a gag order because of the nondisclosure provision of the NSL section of the Patriot Act. This happened even though a judge with high-level security clearance had declared that there was no risk in identifying us as recipients of an NSL.

    We were therefore not allowed to testify to Congress about our experience with the letters – which seek information, without court review, on people like library users.

    It is more than irksome to now discover that the attorney general was giving Congress false information – at the same time that we recipients of NSLs were not allowed to express our concerns. My colleagues and I were lucky to have our gag order lifted eventually, with the help of lawyers from the American Civil Liberties Union, after the federal District Court found constitutional problems with that section of the Patriot Act. Unfortunately, we were prohibited from speaking to the public – or even to our U.S. senators and representatives – until after the Patriot Act was reauthorized.

    A gag order is very difficult to deal with. A person cannot tell her family or friends she has received a demand from the government to turn in information on another person. Whether you agree with the security-letter provision or not, receiving such a letter is an emotionally wrenching experience.

    And if the government requires you to compromise your professional and personal ethics, it can be an intensely disturbing experience. You feel like a character in an Orwellian book. You feel trapped in a world that others like you may inhabit, but you cannot reach outside of that world to find out.

    Reportedly hundreds of thousands of security letters have been sent out. The recipients remain gagged and can never speak about their experience, under threat of a five-year prison sentence. They can never describe the scope and nature of the information they give to the FBI.

    Therefore, it is laughable to assume that no abuse has been made of the security-letter provision. The secrecy under which the provision is administered guarantees a lack of oversight.

    The act was reauthorized without significant change to the nondisclosure provision, which prevents anyone who receives an national security letter from talking about the experience, to anyone, ever.

    I don’t believe the FBI is to blame for its reported mismanagement of NSLs. The Patriot Act does not effectively address court and congressional oversight. It follows that abuse and mismanagement are practically a given.


    Janet Nocek is director of the Portland library and a member of the Executive Board of Library Connection, a Greater Hartford library consortium that received a national security letter in June 2005.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.