For those of us who are really concerned (obsessed) with the rule of law the revelations of the Cheney sponsored CIA Death Squads are the kind of thing which makes you want to curl up and rock back and forth while thinking of our happy place. It might be going a little under-thought about by most of the nation right now as we are focused on the Health Care bills and the ever diverting “Great Republican Melt Down” with Americas three current favorite clowns, Governor’s Palin and Sanford, and Sen. Ensign (The Family, NV) taking up all the oxygen but this is serious stuff we should be really concerned about.
The president of Pakistan’s [Pervez Musharraf] attempts to publicise his memoirs throw light on the flawed and dishonest processes that the US uses in bringing “terrorists” to justice
by Clive Stafford Smith – NewStatesman – 09 October 2006
The payments help us see why so many innocent prisoners ended up in Guantanamo Bay. Musharraf writes that “millions” were paid for 369 prisoners – the minimum rate was apparently $5,000, enough to tempt a poor Pakistani to shop an unwanted Arab to the Americans, gift-wrapped with a story that he was up to no good in Afghanistan.
“We can only give you a couple of minutes with the President, so make your points quickly,” his aide said opening the door to the Oval Office, where I instantly felt the full force of the smile that has charmed the world.
“As you know, Mister President, my client Alphonse Capone is in the Federal prison in Joliet, Illinois-”
“For shipping cigarettes into Illinois without paying Federal and State taxes,” the president interjected. “See, I’ve read his case. A six million dollar swindle.”
“Right. But he was born into a Mafia family. He grew up in an organized crime culture. As a boy he was forced to sit through the entire ‘Godfather’ trilogy every year on St. Valentine’s Day.”
“Your point being-”
“He was programmed to do his job. He didn’t know it was wrong. He was only following orders.”
The President shook his head. “If you’re going to ask me to release him on that basis, forget it. No can do. If I were to release every Mafioso who said he was taking orders from higher-ups half the prison cells in America would be empty and their guards would be out of jobs, and this is a bad time for that.”
Asking the Left side of the Blogosphere what the greatest of President Bush’s crimes/sins against this nation was is kind of inviting a shouting match. There are so many to choose from, wars, torture, environmental law changes or lack of enforcement, the list goes on and on. Without an operational definition it is a argument which could consume thousands of words on line or tens of pints at a bar. The Dog is going to provide you with the definition and explain why he thinks there is one overarching act which out shines (if that is the right metaphor for such heinous acts) all others.
It appears we had a f..king religious nut as President who lied to obtain support for the invasion of Iraq in order to bring the end times closer. Cheney and Rumsfeld manupulated the “boy king” by playing to his religious delusions.
Former President George Bush explained to then-President of France Jacques Chirac that that the Biblical creatures Gog and Magog were at work in the Mid-East and must be defeated. It apears that Bush told Chirac that invasion of Iraq was willed by God in order to usher in the “end times.”
“This confrontation is willed by God, who wants to use this conflict to erase his people’s enemies before a New Age begins“.
The Presumption of Innocence, and other Quaint Ideals
Presumption of Innocence
(Innocent until proven guilty)
A principle that requires the government to prove the guilt of a criminal defendant and relieves the defendant of any burden to prove his or her innocence.
The presumption of innocence, an ancient tenet of Criminal Law, is actually a misnomer. According to the U.S. Supreme Court, the presumption of the innocence of a criminal defendant is best described as an assumption of innocence that is indulged in the absence of contrary evidence
the presumption of innocence is essential to the criminal process. The mere mention of the phrase presumed innocent keeps judges and juries focused on the ultimate issue at hand in a criminal case: whether the prosecution has proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the alleged acts. The people of the United States have rejected the alternative to a presumption of innocence-a presumption of guilt-as being inquisitorial and contrary to the principles of a free society.
There is always the need, when one is looking at something complex and sprawling, to have a skeleton key, a filter that brings the overall arch of the story into focus whenever you get lost in the myriad details. For the last 8 years we have not had enough information about the actions of the Bush administration to develop such a skeleton key, this, however, has now changed. It turns out there is a single unifying factor which runs from August 2001 to January 20th 2009; fear.
I watched your press conference last night. I was happy with the tone that you set about the N1H1 ’09 virus and thought you gave quite good advice. However that is not why I am writing you today. Mr. President I continue to be dismayed with your efforts to straddle the line on the issue of the Bush administrations apparent State Sponsored Torture program.
Welcome to the fifth of the Dog’s letter writing campaign series. The basic premise here is to, on a weekly basis; write a letter to the President, the Attorney General, the nine Justices of the Supreme Court, Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid, urging them to investigate the apparent State Sponsored Torture program of the Bush Administration. In order to get their attention, every week the Dog writes from a different perspective about the issue, so that on the off chance that they read more than one of these letters it is clear that it is not the same thing over and over. This series also offers the reader the chance to write their own letter or cut and paste the Dog’s letter and send it in. The more people that we have sending weekly letters the higher chance that we will be heard on this issue, so if you could take the time to send this along it would be greatly appreciated.
Why don’t we just forget about prosecution of Bush, Cheney, et al, let them ride off into the fading sunset off the hook having tortured and killed their way to a nice comfortable retirement as long as they just go away, and instead just change things so there is no more torture and war crimes being committed by the President in future?
That is fundamentally the “move forward” argument. Is it a legitimate argument, or is it an excusing of war crimes? It’s not a legal question, it’s a political one.
On Tuesday we saw the first of a multipart video discussion between Progressive Democrats of America board member David Swanson and Yellow Dog Democrat and Chair of The National Congress of Black Women Dr. Fay Williams, talking with Paul Jay of The Real News on the question of whether or not to prosecute Bush and Cheney, and heard Dr. Williams state that if we want prosecution to happen people are going to have to make Obama and Holder do it. People have to move the window of political possibility far enough to make them do it, in other words.
The question has moved far beyond our Petition For A Special Prosecutor since we began it though more signatures can only help it to become reality, is now in the media to a degree that impeachment never came close to, and is becoming a national if not worldwide debate, and Republicans are obviously terrified that it might happen, as we saw highlighted so clearly Wednesday with the Kit Bond Republican comedy of lies and fiasco.
In this second part of the discussion between Swanson, Williams and Paul Jay their conversation continues as they address and debate directly whether the “move forward” argument is legitimate, and about many of the ramifications and complexities involved in the question, with Swanson arguing the pros and Williams arguing some of the cons.