Janet's Conner

This Blog tell the Truth and will never not tell the Truth. Impeach Bush

Monday, July 24, 2006

BUSH: WORSE THAN NIXON




*Note: The writer was on Richard Nixon's "enemies list," but Bush's power grab has him really worried.

By: Morton H. Halperin

MORTON H. HALPERIN served in the administrations of presidents Johnson, Nixon and Clinton. He is a senior fellow of the Center for American Progress and the director of U.S. Advocay for the Open Soci

July 16, 2006


THE BUSH administration's warrantless wiretapping program may have shocked and surprised many Americans when it was revealed, but to me, it provoked a case of deja vu.

The Nixon administration bugged my home phone---without a warrant---beginning in 1973, when I was on the staff of the National Security Council, and kept the wiretap on for 21 months. Why? My boss, national security advisor Henry Kissinger, and FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover believed that I might have leaked some information to the New York Times. When I left the government a few months later and went to work on Edmund Muskie's presidential campaign (and began actively working to end the war in Vietnam), the FBI continued to listen in and made periodic reports on everything it heard to President Nixon and his closest associates in the White House.

Recent reports that the Bush administration is monitoring political opponents who belong to antiwar groups also sounded familiar to me. I was, after all, No. 8 on Nixon's "enemies list"---a curious compilation of 20 people about whom the White House was unhappy because they had disagreed in some way with the administration.

The list, complied by presidential aide Charles Colson, included union leaders, journalists, Democratic fundraisers and me, among others, and was part of a plan to "use the available federal machinery to screw our political enemies," as presidential counsel John Dean explained it in a 1971 memo. I always suspected that I made the list becuse of my active opposition to the war, though no one ever said for sure (and I never understood what led Colson to write next to my name the provocative words, "a scandal would be helpful here").

As I watch the Bush administation these days, it's hard not to notice the clear similarities between then and now. Both the Nixon and Bush presidencies rely heavily on the use of national security as a pretext for the usurpation of unprecedented executive power. Now, just as in Nixon's day, a president mired in an increasingly unpopular war is taking extreme steps, including warrantless surveillance, that many people believe threaten American civil liberties and violate the Constitution. Both administration's shroud their actions in secrecy and attack the media for publishing what they learn about those activities.

But there also are important differences, and at first blush, it is hard to say which administration's policies are worse. Much of what the Nixon administration did was clearly illegal and in violation of the Constitution. Nixon and his colleagues seemed to understand that and worked hard to keep their activities secret. On the occasions when their actions became public, administration officials tried to blame others for them.

These actions were not limited to its warrantless wiretap program and the investigation of political opponents by the IRS and other agencies. They also included, among other things, the burglary of the office of David Ellsberg's psychiatrist (to find evidence discrediting Ellsberg, who had leaked the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times) and the effort to have the CIA persuade the FBI to call off the investigation of the Watergate burglary (by asserting that it threatened national security).

Although the Nixon administration did argue (like the Bush administration) that virtually anything the president did to promote national security was lawful, it never presented an argument to justify these particular transgressions.

By contrast, as far as we know, the Bush administration has not engaged in any such inherently illegal activities. Nor has it, to our knowledge, specifically targeted its political opposition (aside from the outing of Joseph Wilson's wife, CIA agent Valerie Plame).

***This guy isn't up with the times if he really thinks this!

But even though Nixon's specific actions might have been more obviously illegal and more "corrupt" (in the sense that they were designed to advance his own career over his rivals), President Bush's claim of nearly limitless power---including the ability to engage in a range of activities that pose a fundamental threat to the constitutional order and to our civil liberties---overshadows all comparisons.

Among the many such activities are the seizure of U.S. citizens and their indefinite detention without charge or access to lawyers; warrantless wiretaps of citizens in violation of procedures mandated by Congress; and the seizing of individuals in foreign countries and their movement to third countries, where they had been subjected to torture in violation of U.S. laws and treaty obligations.

When these activities have leaked out, the president has not sought to deny them but has publicly defended them (and attacked the press for printing the information). The administration has vigorously opposed all efforts to have the courts review its actions, and when the Supreme Court has overruled the president, as it has several times now, the administration has given the court holdings the narrowest possible interpretation.

Congress has been treated with equal disdain. When the Senate voted overwhelmingly to prohibit torture and cruel and degrading treatment by all agencies, including the CIA, Vice President Dick Cheney warned lawmakers that they were overstepping their bounds and threatening national security. When Congress persisted and attached the language to a defense appropriations bill, the president signed the law with an accompanying statement declaring his right to disobey the anti-torture provisions.

The administration has repeatedly failed to inform Congress or its committees of what it was doing, or has told only a few selected members in a truncated way, preventing real oversight. Even leading Republicans, such as Michigan Rep. Peter Hoekstra, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, and Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, have voiced strong concerns.

***Both of whom would do anything for the Bush Administration. They are phonies!

During the Nixon years, the laws governing what the president could do and under what circumstances he needed to inform Congress were murky. There were no intelligence committees in Congress, and there was no Intelligence Oversight Act. There was no legislated prohibition on national security surveillance.

In response to Watergate and the related scandals of the Nixon years, however, Congress constructed a careful set of prohibitions, guidelines and requirements for congressional reporting.

Bush's systematic and defiant violation of these rules, as well as the mandates of the Constitution and international law, pose a challenge to our constitutional order and civil liberties that, in the end, constitutes a far greater threat than the lawlessness of Richard Nixon.

WHEN THE GOP's RUN-OF-THE MILL SCARE TACTICS NO LONGER WORK-TIME FOR WWIII




What to do if you are George W. Bush and a Republican member of Congress and the American people have had it up to their ears with your failures, incompetence, bungling, illegal behavior, and extremist Christian views (not to be confused with Christians who actually follow Christ's teachings)? More specifically, what to do when terror-scares aren't scaring people the way they had in previous election cycles and, too, when Iraq has become just another disastrous failure in a long line of Katrina-like disastrous failures? Why, it is time to start World War III, of course!

Bush, Rove, and Republicans have spent the better part of a year trying to create hysteria over Iran's nuclear ambitions, but that didn't get them what they hoped. Then they paraded the dead carcass of Zarqawi across the television airwaves, but that didn't have a lasting impact either...things in Iraq only worsened. Then Bush, Rove, and Republicans hyped the hapless "Miami Terror-Scare Seven," but that didn't get any political mileage. Then they banged the warning bell over North Korea's fizzling missile launches, and the American people tuned them out. A supposed plot to flood New York City, because that didn't work either because it really wasn't plausible or realistic (seven tons of explosive being paraded through the city and then water, or course, doesn't flow uphill). Then Bush, Rove, and Republicans began linking Iran to North Korea---just to, you know, double the danger factor---but that seemed just a little too convenient.

Bush, Rove, and Republicans struck out on every attempt. The average, run-o-the-mill GOP fear campaign just wasn't what it once had been.

Still, Republicans aren't the sort of people that quit trying every possible act of desperation in order to maintain their hold on power. Rove had the GOP Congress trot out all the hate-filled tried-n-true wedge issues: Gay marriage, flag-burning, a resolution attacking the New York Times for daring to operate an on-again off-again free press, a resolution declaring undying support for Israel (as if the 51st State needed such a resolution), holding hate-mongering purposeless immigration hearings around the country (after they failed to pass legislation on the issue) and, too, for good measure, passing a bill in the House making it illegal for judges to review cases involving the pledge of allegiance. And yet, the polls haven't budged.

Despite all the usual Republican scare tactics and onslaught of wedge issues, the opinion of the American people regarding Bush and his Republican rubber-stamping hasn't changed. Actually, that isn't exactly true---the latest Harris poll shows Democrats widening their lead over Republicans. The American people, it seems, cannot be conned again.

With nowhere left to turn and nothing left to lose, Israel, in what some perseive as a mega-overreaction, began bombing the hapless Palestinian people and the country of Lebanon, and Republicans seized their chance to up the scare ante: According to the GOP merchants of mass hysteria, Newt Gingrich and Sean (Ins)Hannity among the usual suspects, America has suddenly found itself in the midst of World War III.

YES INDEED, WHAT TO DO WHEN TERROR-SCARES AREN'T SCARING PEOPLE THE WAY THEY HAD IN PREVIOUS ELECTION CYCLES AND, TOO, WHEN IRAQ HAS BECOME JUST ANOTHER DISASTROUS FAILURE IN A LONG LINE OF KATRINA-LIKE DISASTROUS FAILURES? FOR BUSH AND REPUBLICANS THE ANSWER IS OBVIOUS: DECLARE THE NATION ENGULFED IN WORLD WAR III. IF THAT WON'T SCARE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE INTO VOTING REPUBLICAN IN 2006, NOTHING WILL.


A. Alexander
July 24, 2006



SEEKING MEDICAL CARE, AND REFUSED




Desperate to have a baby, Guadalupe Benitez was hoping her next try would finally work. So Benitez was stunned when a crucial moment arrived in her cycle and her fertility clinic refused to do the insemination procedure.

"I was in tears," said Benitez, 34, of Oceanside, Calif. "I wanted to me a mom. I was in a panic."

The clinic told Benitez, who is gay, that staff members were uncomfortable about treating her because of their religious values.

***This is what the Bush administration is allowing to happen now! Eberyone isn't the same religion as he is and this goes against this women's rights!

"I couldn't believe what I was hearing. It was almosr surreal," Benitez said. "It was so upsetting."

Benitez eventually conceived a boy, then twin girls, with the help of another specialist. But she sued the clinic and two of its doctors in 2001, charging discrimination.

"The psychological scars are still with me," said Benitez, whose case is before the California Supreme Court. "I grew up in a very religious family. But I don't think that religion tells you you can judge other people."

***That's all that these religious right wing-nuts do. They judge people instead of looking at themselves!


SHOCK, ANGER AT PHARMACY

Patients around the country describe similar experiences---being shocked, judged, humiliated, frightened and angered when they have encountered health-care workers who are overt in some religious beliefs.

Sometimes providers proselytize gay or unmarried patients to provide care. Sometimes they refuse to fill prescriptions for birth control or morning-after pills but refer patients elsewhere. Other times they refuse to treat them at all.

Many patients decline to be identified because the refusals occur at deeply personal, often traumatic moments, such as the point of discontinuing care for a dying loved one.

***There isn't any religion out there that I know of that doesn't have the commandment of "Thou shall not kill!" These people are not God and shouldn't decide when someone dies. Did they ever think about that? What type of a religion is this that tells you to "kill?" It's surely not a christian religion!

But some patients agreed to be interviewed, including Deb, who was turned away by pharmacist Gene Herr at a drug store in Denton, Texas, in 2004, when she tried to get the morning-after pill after being raped on a date. She discussed her experience with a reporter for the first time on the condition that her last name not be used.

"It was almost like I was being raped again," said Deb, who had already tried 2 other pharmacies. "I couldn't believe someone could do something violent and then I couldn't have a choice about what to do about it. The horror of what I went through was almost as bad as the first assault. It was like twisting a knife in the wound."

***This is definitely unconstitutional! I hope like hell she sues the pants off of these pharmacists. Both civily and then criminally. They are domestic terrorists!

Deb, who describes herself as "more pro-life than pro-choice," finally got the prescription. She did not get pregnant, but she remains shaken.

"I didn't feel like I had to be burdened by being possibly pregnant after being violently attacked," she said. "I don't think it should be a pharmacist's choice to make the decision about who should receive the medication and when."


MISTAKEN ASSUMPTIONS

Cynthia Copeland also had a run-in with a pharmacist in 2004. He wrongly assumed she was planning an abortion because she had a prescription for a drug that can be used for that purpose. In fact, Copeland had already had undergone a procedure to remove a fetus that had no pulse, and she needed the drug to complete the process.

"I was sitting there in the drugstore waiting and heard the pharmacist say really loudly, "I refuse to participate in an abortion,' said Copeland, 39, who lives near Los Angeles. "I felt so violated. The miscarriage was about grief, and that was made public in a way that really compounded my grief."

***This pharmacist doesn't sound very competent does he? He should have known that that medication had multiple uses instead of assuming!

In April Medeiros's case, a doctor refused to send her records to a clinic where she sought an abortion last summer after discovering the fetus she was carrying had severe deformities. He also called her at home to try to persuade her to continue the pregnancy.

"I think he should leave his personal opinion out of it," said Medeiros, 31, of Fall River, Mass. "It was a hard enough situation as it was. He just made it so much more difficult."


'A HORRIBLE FEEL'

Cherly Bray, 42, a real estate broker in Encinitas, Calif., was flabbergasted that a family practitioner turned her away when she sought a routine physical needed to adopt a baby from Mexico. The doctor said he objected to a single woman's adopting a child.

"He said something about how, according to his religious beliefs, children should have two parents," said Bray, whose complaint against the doctor earlier this year was dismissed by the state medical board. "I was under a tight deadline. I started crying. I cried in his office, and then I went back to my car and cried for a long time before I could drive home."

Bray found another doctor to do the physical and adopted the baby girl. But she said the experience still reverberates.

"I didn't know what discrimination felt like before," Bray said. "But...now I know. It's a horrible feeling."

***These are the christian right fundamentalists that need to find a different line of work if their religious beliefs are so strong. These are some of the worst people on the face of this earth. (This does not include those Christians that actually believe in God's words). These are very weak minded people who have let the fundamentalists get into their heads. They must have had awful childhoods to have become this as adults. Now they are seeking revenge on everyone who doesn't think like them. These are some of the most un-christianlike people that exist today, but yet think they are following the path of Jesus! Their Jesus is not the same Jesus that I know! My Jesus would have told us to respect other people and help them, not make them feel like they are unwanted. I don't get mad at people like them though, I feel sorry for them. They are living in a world of their own and are in deep need of psychiatric help!

Source of Info: The Washington Post
Rob Stein
July 16, 2006




IRAQ: BOMBING AT SUNNI MOSQUE IN IRAQ KILLS 7




Baghdad, Iraq---A bomb struck a Sunni mosque in Baghdad after Friday prayers, killing 7 people and wounding five, while mortars barraged a Shiite mosque north of the capital, leaving 5 wounded.

The attack on the Sunni mosque occured as worshippers were leaving religious services in northern Baghdad, police Lt. Mohammed Khayoun said, giving the casualty toll. He said the bomb was planted near the door.

Earlier Friday, five mortar rounds fell near the Shiite Imam al-Hussein mosque in Balad Ruz, 45 miles northeast of Baghdad, wounding 5, provincial police said.

Elsewhere in the capital, gunmen killed a taxi driver in a drive-by shooting in the volatile Dora neighborhood of southern Baghdad, police said.

Gunmen also opened fire on a bus in western Baghdad, wounding 3 passengers, police Lt. Mutaz Salaheddin said.

Gunmen also opened fire on a bus in western Baghdad, wounding three passengers, police Lt. Mutaz Salaheddin said.

A policeman was shot to death in front of his home in the northern city of Mosul, Col. Abdul-Karim al-Jibouri said.

The violence in the capital came despite a weekly four-hour ban starting at 11 a.m. to prevent car bombs that have frequently targeted Friday prayers, the main Islamic weekly religious services.


Source of Info: MSNBC
The Associated Press
July 14, 2006



UK GOVT SOURCES CONFIRM WAR WITH IRAN IS ON




UK Govt Sources Confirm War With Iran Is On. In the last few days, I learned from a credible and informed source that a former senior Labour government Minister, who continues to be well-connected to British military and security officials, confirms that Britain and the United States

"...will go to war with Iran before the end of the year."

As we now know from similar reporting prior to the invasion of Iraq, it's quite possible that the war planning may indeed change repeatedly, and the war may again be postponed. In any case, it's worth noting that the information from a former Labour Minister corroborates expert analyses suggesting that Israel, with US and British support, is deliberately escalating the cycle of retaliation to legitimize the imminent targeting of Iran before year's end. Let us remind ourselves, of US Vice President Cheney's assertions recorded on MSNBC over a year ago. He described Iran as being "right at the top of the list" of "rogue states." He continued: "One of the concerns people have is that Israel might do it without being asked...Given the fact that Iran has a stated policy that their objective is the destruction of Israel, the Israelis might well decide to act first, and let the rest of the world worry about cleaning up the diplomatic mess afterwards."

But the emphasis is on Israel's pre-eminent role in a prospective assault on Iran is not accurate. Israel would rather play the role of a regional proxy force in a US-led campaign. "Despite the deteriorating security situation in Iraq, the Bush Administration has not reconsidered its basic long-range policy goal in the Middle East..." reports Seymour Hersh. He quotes a former high-level US intelligence official as follows:

"This is a war against terrorism, and Iraq is just one campaign. The Bush Administration is looking at this as a huge war zone. Next, we're going to have the Iranian campaign. We've declared war and the bad guys, wherever they are, are the enemy. This is the last hurrah-we've got four years, and want to come out of this saying we won the war on terrorism."

Are thes just the fanatical pipedreams of the neoconservative faction currently occupying (literally) the White House?

Unfortunately, no. The Iraq War was one such fanatical pipedream in the late 1990's, one that Bush administration officials were eagerly ruminating over when they were actively and directly involved in the Project for a New American Century. But that particular pipedream is now a terrible, greulling reality for the Iraqi people. Despite the glaring failures of US efforts in that country, there appears to be a serious inability to recognize the futility of attempting the same in Iran.

The Monterey Institute for International Studies already showed nearly 2 years ago in a detailed analysis that the likely consequences of a strike on Iran by the US, Israel, or both, would be a regional conflageration that could quickly turn nuclear, and spiral out of control. US and Israel planners are no doubt aware of what could happen. Such a catastrophe would have irreversible ramifications for the global political economy. Energy security would be in tatters, precipitating the activation of long-standing constiguency plans to invade and occupy all the major resource-rich areas of the Middle East and elsewhere. Such actions could itself trigger responses from other major powers with fundamental interests in maintaining their own access to regional energy supplies, such as Russia and particularly China, which has huge interests in Iran. Simultaneously, the dollar-economy would be seriously undermined, most likely facing imminent collapse in the context of such crises.

Which raises pertinent questions about what Britain, the US and Israel are contemplating such a scenario as a viable way of securing their interests.

A glimpse of an answer lies in the fact that the post-9/11 military geostrategy of the "War on Terror" does not spring from a position of power, but rather from entirely the opposite. The global system has been crumbling under the weight of its own unsustainability for many years now, and we are fast approaching the convergence of multiple crises that are already interacting fatally as I write. The peak of world oil production, of which the Bush administration is well aware, either has already just happened, or is very close to happening. It is a pivotal event that signals the end of the Oil Age, for all intents and purposes, with escalating demand placing increasing pressure on dwindling supplies.

Half the world's oil reserves are, more or less, which means that it will be technologically, geophysically, increasingly difficult to extract conventional oil. I had a chat last week with some scientists from the Omega Institute in Brighton, directed by my colleague and friend Graham Ennis, who told me eloquently and powerfully what I already knew, that while a number of climate "tipping-points" may or may not have yet been passed, we have about 10-15 years before the "tipping-point" is breached certainly and irreversibly. Breaching that point means plunging head-first into full-scale "climate catastrophe." Amidst this looming Armageddon of Nature, the dollar-denominated economy itself has been teetering on the edge of spiralling collapse for the last seven years or more. This is not idle speculation. A financial analyst as senior as Paul Volcker, Alan Greenspan's immediate predecessor as chairman of the Federal Reserve, recently confessed "that he thouight there was a 75% chance of a currency crises in the United States within five years."

There appears to have been a cold calculation made at senior levels within the Anglo-American policymaking establishment: that the system is dying, but the last remaining viable means of sustaining it remains a fundamentally military solution designed to reconfigure and rehabilitate the system to continue to meet the requirements of the interlocking circuits of military-corporate power and profit.

The highly respected US whistleblower, former RAND strategic analyst Daniel Ellsberg, who was Special Assistant to Assistant Secretary of Defense during the Vietnam conflict and became famous after leaking the Pentagon Papers, has already warned of his fears that in the event of "another 9/11 or a major war in the Middle-East involving a U.S. attack on Iran, I have no doubt that there will be, the day after or within days an equivalent of a Reichstag fire decree that will involve massive detentions in this country, detention camps for middle-easterners and their quote 'sympathizers,' critics of the President's policy and essentially the wiping-out of the Bill of Rights."

So is that what all the "emergency preparedness" legislation, here in the UK as well as in the USA and in Europea, is all about? The US plans are bad enough, as Ellsberg notes, but the plans UK scene is hardly better, prompting The Guardian to describe the Civil Contigencies Bill (passed as an Act in 2004) as "the greatest threat to civil liberty that any parliament is ever likely to consider."

AS GLOBAL CRISES CONVERGE OVER THE NEXT FEW YEARS, WE THE PEOPLE ARE FACED WITH AN UNPRECEDENTED OPPORTUNITY TO USE THE GROWING AWARENESS OF THE INHERENT INHUMANITY AND COMPREHENSIVE DESTRUCTIVENESS OF THE GLOBAL IMPERIAL SYSTEM TO ESTABLISH NEW, VIABLE, SUSTAINABLE AND HUMANE WAYS OF LIVING.

***THIS IS THE REPUBLICAN PARTY GONE MAD!!!! "WE, THE PEOPLE..." ARE THE ONLY ONES THAT CAN CHANGE THIS IN NOVEMBER. IS THIS THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION'S PLAN IF THEY LOSE IN NOVEMBER?


Source of Info: OpEdNews
By Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed
July 23, 2006