February 12, 2009 archive


David Swanson has put together an extensive and thorough “To Do List” for the current and critical issues we’re dealing with, in terms of accountability and war crimes, specifically, torture.  

“Complete Recipe for Accountability: Just Add Sweat

By David Swanson  2-11-2009

Convict Bush/Cheney

The first step is Prosecutions:


Sign a petition asking Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint a Special Prosecutor to investigate and prosecute any and all government officials who have participated in war crimes. Sign now.

Collect signatures in the real world by printing out this PDF. Please enter the data you collect on the petition online and/or mail the completed (or partially completed) forms to JDS, 4407 Garrison Street NW, Washington DC 20016.

Phone and Email the Office of the Attorney General at 202-514-2001 [email protected] to request a Special Prosecutor to investigate and prosecute any and all government officials who have participated in war crimes.

In June 2008, 56 Democratic Congress members, led by Congressman John Conyers, wrote to Attorney General Mukasey asking for a Special Prosecutor. Conyers and Congressman Jerrold Nadler wrote to Mukasey again in December 2008. Please ask them to re-send these letters to the new Attorney General, Eric Holder. Conyers 202-225-5126, Nadler 202-225-5635.

Congressman John Conyers has proposed extending statutes of limitations on Bush-Cheney crimes. Help make this happen.


In case you folks hadn’t noticed there has been a bit of change in the world since Docudharma started a year and a half or so ago! Including here at DD itself of course.

The original model we tried to implement, the Contributing Editor plan under which we would have a schedule for contributors to post directly on the FP has not worked out. Instead what has evolved is a system of promotions by me, ek, and NL and NPK occasionally. Can we improve on that? Should we have, perhaps shifts of promoters? Do you want to volunteer for that, or suggest something different?

Like all of the blogs post election, our readership is down. Unlike many of the other small blogs though, we have a fairly large core group of excellent people who are deeply invested in the blog. Both as essayists and commenters. This time of transition is powerful and our voices here at DD are powerful. But DD itself, as it stands now, is not very powerful. Our view is powerful, our ideas are powerful, our voices are powerful, But our influence is not. Should we seek to increase that influence? Or remain a smaller, but VERY high quality oasis of thought and sanity and ideals in the midst of the chaos of change that is now occurring?

The election is over, the Bush era (except for the prosecutions) is over. A new era has literally begun so….now what? It is time to ask some questions. Should we try to build DD’s readership and power? If so……How?

Or should we concentrate our meta energy on continuing and raising the quality of DD and let the folks who ‘get it’ find us? Those are…sort of, and with many, many possible variations…the choices we have in the direction of DD.

What do we want DD to be? What changes should we make here? What can we do to make DD better?

This time of transition is YOUR chance to, if you wish, invest in DD and guide it into the future, and in concert with the other voices here, determine what it will become. So Yell Loud in the comments! Speak up, speak your mind, and let’s see what we come up with!

Hallucinate without drugs

Just for fun:

Judd Gregg is out as Commerce Secretary

The best, though still short, treatment so far is by David Sirota at OpenLeft who reminds us-

Gregg wants to slash Social Security and is an ardent free-market fundamentalist

He was under the shadow of the Abramoff investigation, and he and the far-right were demanding near-unilateral control over the Census, which will be crucial for the 2010 redistricting battle.

Not Revenge, Senator Leahy — Love

(cross-posted from the orange)

Well Saturday is Valentine’s Day, so maybe this is appropriate — a Valentine to those revolutionaries who gave no quarter to tyranny.

In a comment to his diary, Senator Patrick Leahy described his view of prosecution of those in power who have committed crimes:

Would not rule out prosecution… A failed attempt to prosecute for this conduct is the worst result of all as it could be seen as justifying and exonerating abhorrent actions.  Given the steps Congress and the executive have already taken to shield this conduct from accountability, that is a likely result of an attempt to prosecute.

Of course, I would not rule out prosecution in appropriate cases, particularly for perjury.

Four at Four

  1. The LA Times reports the FBI expects number of major financial bailout fraud cases to rise. FBI officials told Congress they do not have the resources to combat fraud with the $1 trillion plus bailout.”

    Top FBI and Justice Department officials said they believed mortgage fraud and other types of corporate criminal behavior has contributed to the economic tailspin. And they said they already have more than 2,300 open investigations into suspected illegal financial activity — including 38 probes specifically linked to the crisis…

    But the problems will worsen exponentially as the economy plunges, and as the Obama administration and Congress spend more than $1 trillion in various bailout and stimulus packages in an effort to forestall foreclosures, corporate bankruptcies and a prolonged economic depression, they said.

  2. The Miami Herald reports Judge OK’s use of Guantánamo forced-feeding chair. U.S. District Court Judge Gladys Kessler accepted “the Pentagon’s argument that its forced-feeding regime is humane.” 35 people at Guantánamo “were being force-fed through a regime that has guards strap a shackled captive into a chair and Velcro his head to a metal restraint. Camp staff then tether a tube through the man’s nose and down to his stomach to pump in a protein shake twice a day. Each feeding lasts about an hour.”

Four at Four continues with the 2002 Invasion of The Hague Act, Pakistan admits Mumbai attacks partially planned in Pakistan, and the Neanderthal genome.

Quote for Discussion: A.E. Houseman

THE time you won your town the race

We chaired you through the market-place;

Man and boy stood cheering by,

And home we brought you shoulder-high.

To-day, the road all runners come,        

Shoulder-high we bring you home,

And set you at your threshold down,

Townsman of a stiller town.

Smart lad, to slip betimes away

From fields where glory does not stay,  

And early though the laurel grows

It withers quicker than the rose.

Eyes the shady night has shut

Cannot see the record cut,

And silence sounds no worse than cheers  

After earth has stopped the ears:

Now you will not swell the rout

Of lads that wore their honours out,

Runners whom renown outran

And the name died before the man.  

So set, before its echoes fade,

The fleet foot on the sill of shade,

And hold to the low lintel up

The still-defended challenge-cup.

And round that early-laurelled head  

Will flock to gaze the strengthless dead,

And find unwithered on its curls

The garland briefer than a girl’s.

-A.E. Houseman, “To An Athlete Dying Young”

Whistleblower Protection provisions quietly removed from Stim Bill

(Cross posted at the GOS)

When, in the coming days, weeks and months, the right wingnut noise machine (predictably) starts cranking up the squeeze box and running around with their hair on fire, screaming that taxpayer’s money from the “stimulus” bill is being wasted on the Democrat’s long delayed pet projects,  it will behoove progressives to remind them that: the key measure in said bill designed to help expose that waste was quietly removed from the bill late last night — and, by one of their own, a senator who touts herself as a proponent of fiscal responsibility.

All Aboard for the Magical Mystery Tour

This diary is all about the Beatles.  It is not particularly political or topical, though some politics do sneak in.  I offer it here mainly as a diversion.

I work on diaries like this when I need something calming, something to stave off however briefly the unyielding onslaught of relentlessly bad news – something to ease my woe and soothe my worried mind.  Reminiscing can sometimes do that for me, and what more pleasant subject to reminisce about than music?  Sweeter still, to my taste, the Beatles.  Not to dismiss all the other greats, I love them all, but the Beatles were special in my life.  

Words are flowing out like endless rain into a paper cup

They slither wildly as they slip away across the universe

John Lennon – Across the Universe


Picture of the Day

Picture of the Day

Picture of the Day

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