February 7, 2008 archive

War Crimes, and Rep. John Conyers

Upon the request of this site’s Master, I am posting a diary that was originally published on Daily Kos over one year ago, and read on the Mike Malloy show on January 30, 2007. Of course, the diary remains as strong today as it was a year ago. The Opposition Party has yet to act appropriately on putting a stop to the Bush Crime Family and their criminal activities, at home and abroad.

When the Democrats were the Minority Party, it was always somewhat encouraging to hear about this or that Democratic Senator or Congressperson sending letters to senior Bush Administration officials letters regarding the officials’ bad behavior. There was a sense one experienced of being along with others in a fight, that if only we had a majority, would be won.

So, everyone on this site worked hard this past year, handing out fliers, making phone calls, going to rallies, and looking forward to voting on Election Day. Well, we did our jobs quite nicely. Most of us can now say that our candidate won! Whether it be a congress, senate, state senate, or governor, most of were successful. Now, we look and several of us are happy with the progress being made, or are content knowing that there are many in Washington that are dedicated to completing a Democratic agenda. While others of us want to see some of those outstanding letters considered with more intensity and urgency.

This diary discusses a letter of John Conyers, now Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.  If you read nothing else below, please click on the link to the letter, read it, and note the signatures of fifty elected officials who, as far as I can tell, have remained silent on this issue for the past year…

Mukasey Admits Bush Administration Cannot Investigate Itself

Today, Attorney General Michael Mukasey is appearing before the House Judiciary Committee chaired by John Conyers. In his testimony today, the Washington Post reports Mukasey rejects a criminal probe into waterboarding.

“Waterboarding, because it was authorized to be part of a program … cannot possibly be the subject of a Justice Department investigation,” Mukasey said…

“That would mean that the same department that authorized the program would now prosecute someone for taking part” in it, he said.

Four at Four

  1. Mukasey Rejects Criminal Probe Into Waterboarding

    The Washington Post reports:

    Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey said this morning that waterboarding was deemed legal by the Justice Department at the time it was used by the CIA on three al-Qaeda captives, and as a result the Justice Department “cannot possibly” investigate whether a crime occurred.

    In testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, Mukasey said that because waterboarding was part of a program approved by Justice lawyers, there is no way the department can open a criminal investigation into the practice.

    “Waterboarding, because it was authorized to be part of a program … cannot possibly be the subject of a Justice Department investigation,” Mukasey said in response to questions from panel Chairman John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.). “That would mean that the same department that authorized the program would now prosecute someone for taking part” in it, he said.

    Mukasey’s remarks were a direct rebuff to demands from many leading Democrats this week that the Justice Department open a criminal probe into the CIA’s use of waterboarding, an interrogation technique that simulates drowning in an attempt to force information from a prisoner.

    The statements also appear to conflict with his testimony in the Senate last week, when Mukasey said on several occasions that a special U.S. attorney’s probe into the CIA’s destruction of videotapes could be expanded to include a probe of interrogation tactics shown on the tapes.

    So, Mukasey admits the Bush administration cannot investigate itself. I think there must now be called a special prosecutor.

  2. The Guardian reports Polar bears threatened by new drilling rights. “The sale of licences to drill for oil and gas rights in Alaska will threaten the future of the region’s polar bears, conservationists warned today. The oil and gas rights to drill in 29.4m acres in the Chukchi sea, which were made available by the US government’s Minerals Management Service (MMS) yesterday, have attracted record bids of $2.66bn from the likes of Shell and ConocoPhillips. The MMS believes that up to 15bn barrels of recoverable oil and 77 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves lie beneath the Chukchi Sea, which lies between Alaska and Siberia. But environmentalists say too little is known about the possible impact of drilling on populations of polar bears and walrus in the area.”

    The Washington Post adds “Companies made 667 bids for 448 tracts in the 29 million-acre area north of Point Barrow. The winning bids included a record-breaking $105.3 million offer by Shell Oil for one three-by-three-mile leasehold, almost twice as much as the previous high bid for a single offshore U.S. tract.” All for the right to kill polar bears to feed our oil habit.

  3. A story in The New York Times reports that In many communities, it’s not easy going green.

    Constraints on budgets, legal restrictions by states, and people’s unwillingness to change sometimes put brakes on ambitious plans to cut carbon dioxide emissions…

    When Providence officials pushed for new police cars with four cylinders instead of six, to save gasoline, there was pushback – unsuccessful – from police officers who preferred more powerful engines to pursue speeders or criminals. Cleveland’s plans to retrofit a local hot-water plant, produce new electricity and save tons of greenhouse gas emissions, molder in a file. It would cost $200 million, and there is no money – the tax base, left ragged by the loss of population and industry over the last two decades, has been hit hard again by the subprime mortgage crisis…

    County governments are also finding that homeowners’ associations can be troublesome. Carbondale, Colo., would welcome people like Adam and Rachel Connor, who bought a lot in a subdivision outside town and made plans for a house with solar panels. But the homeowners’ association vetoed the proposal on aesthetic grounds. Such associations have rejected solar projects from Southern California to the Chicago suburbs to Phoenix, prompting at least two states to pass laws prohibiting such vetoes.

  4. Whippany Railway Museum welcomes Old No. 385Another train story today from The Star-Ledger in New Jersey: “The 100-year-old locomotive known as ‘Old No. 385’ [has a] new home, the Whippany Railway Museum in Hanover Township, where it will serve as the symbol of a historic transportation age New Jersey helped shape a century ago… Old No. 385 is one of only four steam engines known to be located in New Jersey, and one of three considered historic. It was built at the Eddystone plant of Baldwin Locomotive Works in Philadelphia and first served as a fast freight engine traveling the South. During the 1960s and 1970s, it was an excursion locomotive on the Morris County Central line”. “Yesterday, a crane lifted the 75-ton engine off the truck, carried it 15 feet in the air, then lowered it onto a nearby train track.”

I have video of them eating dead babies

On the White House lawn, actually.

But, hey – don’t worry; I’m not gonna get all up in a lather about it.

I mean, I don’t want to hurt our chances in November. We don’t want to give the right wing any ammunition that they might use against us, like that we’re “vengeful,” or that our releasing a video of dead-baby eating is “politically motivated,” or that congressional investigations into dead-baby eating are just more “political theater.”

Sure – “Ooooh, dead-baby eating! Oooh, the boogeyman!” I know you’re all, “Oooh, that’s un-American! How can they do that?” Well, I’d love to tell you, but if I did, I’d be revealing sources and methods that could compromise our ability to fight the terrorists. But let’s just say it involves a casserole dish, a little basil, and a 375-degree oven, and leave it at that, m’kay?

And anyway, who says dead-baby eating is a crime?  I mean, I wouldn’t want to have it done to my baby, but the Attorney General tells me he has a written opinion from the White House counsel that says that, short of being slowly roasted on a spit with an apple in their mouth, dead-baby eating does not constitute criminal behavior, and violates no international treaties that we observe.  So I’m good with that.

And like I said, it’s not like they were eating my baby. In fact, I’ve been given assurances by those in the administration that only babies with links to known terrorists were consumed.    

Congressional races by state: VA, ND, GA

For previous diaries in this series, see here .

I am all for running everywhere, and the 50 state strategy.

But neither we nor the Republicans are running everywhere (at least not yet!) In this series, I will look at where we are not running (I am not going to look at where Republicans are not running, as I have no desire to help Republicans, however modestly)

This diary is partly inspired by the great work done by BENAWU.

crossposted to swingstateproject and dailyKos

United States of America: Rogue State

It has come to that.

With the admission of torture, and by claiming the right to torture again…America has undoubtedly crossed the line.

The two possible and agreed upon most heinous violations of International Law for nations, and indeed of basic moral decency….are waging aggressive war and torture. And America has done both.

Now normally what would happen, in a democracy that has committed undeniable, and indeed admitted War Crimes such as illegally invading another country or torture…would be someone in the opposition party calling for investigations and prosecution of the responsible parties. In this case George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. But that is where we run into a bit of a problem….that is where we cross the line from a State that has committed crimes to a Rogue State. Because that is NOT happening.

And it is NOT a mystery as to why it is not happening.

Congressional races by state: TN, AL, NJ

I am all for running everywhere, and the 50 state strategy.

But neither we nor the Republicans are running everywhere (at least not yet!) In this series, I will look at where we are not running (I am not going to look at where Republicans are not running, as I have no desire to help Republicans, however modestly)

This diary is partly inspired by the great work done by BENAWU.

crossposted to swingstateproject and dailyKos

A dose of fun and humor (minimum daily requirement)

Cross posted from Sancho Press. http://sanchopress.com/frontPa…

Trivia question of the day. (answer below the fold) — In what sport are you likely to see a flying mare?

Word of the day. (definition below the fold) — Squalid

Quote of the day. — “In order to attain the impossible, one must attempt the absurd.”

Miguel de Cervantes

Common misconception. — George Washington was the first President — John Hanson had the privilege. 8 years before the constitution was adopted, the United States existed under the Articles of Confederation. In 1781 John Hanson was elected by the Congress as the President of the United States. He didn’t have the same powers as later Presidents and only served for one year, but he was the firs official President.

Useless information. — In Tibet, some women have special metal instruments used for picking their noses.

Bad President/Bushisms. — 4/15/05 – “Part of the facts is understanding we have a problem, and part of the facts is what you’re going to do about it.”

Romney Drops Out! Time to Torpedo The Straight Talk Express.

Wow a real BREAKING!!!

Via Open Left

GOP sources: Romney to suspend campaign

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will suspend his Republican presidential campaign after a disappointing showing in this week’s “Super Tuesday” primaries and caucuses, GOP sources said today. Romney is expected to announce his decision this afternoon at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, three Republican sources told CNN.

Pony Party….. UNC Chapel Hill

So sorry this is running a bit late…

Thanks for stopping in, so glad You’re here …. (yes, YOU!)

this is an open thread… relax.. Hang out and chit chat awhile…

and when you’re done  check out some of the excellent offerings on our recent and rec’d list.

O &… Please don’t rec the pony party, another will trot up in a few hours.


Duties of an Election Judge

Cross posted at kos

What does an Election Judge do?

Welllllllll….. the Judge makes the Election process easier. The Judge is not supposed to hinder the Election process.

The Judge’s duties start well before the actual day of the Election. First, there is the training. My county used to give training at the County Offices or other large venue, like a Movie theater where a lot of people could be seated. Then the Judge would sit through a Powerpoint presentation of forms and machine assembly. Finally, a short quiz was given. Some places may still require this.

Now, the Judge takes the online course. It has about 5 parts and takes 4 to 6 hours to complete depending on the score one achieves at the end of each section.

Don’t Give To The Red Cross

If you want to donate to the tornado survivors in Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas, a better bet would be to make your donation to any charity other than the Red Cross. Other info can be found in this diary.

Because the Red Cross is actually an organization which, per a commenter under the above-mentioned diary,

is thoroughly politicized, the Bush hacks who aren’t competent enough for government work are corralled there.

There are too many worthy charities to waste money on that quasi-governmental mess.

by lgcap


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