Saturday, May 2

Inside the Anti-Obama Nation

Max Blumenthal provides this peek inside the Gun Trade Shows and exposes it's hateful paranoid rhetoric of "FEMA Camps", "Gun Round-ups" and overt Nazi worship.

Limbaugh: Obama operatives in the Congress have introduced over ten bills that would end the 2nd Amendment as we know it.

Person1: If Obama tries to get rid of our guns it's just a step to try and get rid of everything else.

Person2: A lot of people are not happy with what's going on in our government at the moment, and they're preparing for the worst - just in case.

Max: We didn't manage to buy any guns, yet but we did manage to buy a few pictures that people were selling. Nazi pictures. Lots of these were being sold inside along with lots of Nazi memoribilia.

Person3: I was listening to this lady this morning saying we didn't understand the Tea Parties. What the boston tea party was all about. Therefor we are a bunch of anti-Democrat, Racist, Tea-baggers.

Person4: We as a nation, as normal citizens - we can be rounded up and put into these FEMA Camps. The fencing around them, the barbed wire, is designed to keep those in. They're just preparing for the future where they anticipate civil riots.

Person5: Well they have the FEMA Camps, and they have these things all set in place - when they start imprisoning people, and people start seeing the we are the "enemy", that will make it hot.

Person4: In fact, Obama's own campaign promise was that he would build up a 20,000 man civil army to patrol the streets of America that will be stronger than our own military.

Let me just state up front that I happen to be very strongly pro 2nd Amendment. I also happen to like the 1st, 4th, 5th and 8th Amendments quite a bit too. I believe that if we properly work to protect and strengthen all of these principles, the need to exercise the 2nd Amendment - the Amendment of last desperate resort against a truly tyrannical government - becomes essentially moot.

But these people don't seem to understand that. It's probably unfair to paint with a broadbrush and Garafalo everyone shown here, but it's also true that every bunch is likely to have more than a couple bad apples.

Bad Apples like Josh Cartwright.

On Sunday, lawmen still were investigating why Joshua Cartwright, a 28-year-old U.S. Army Reserve soldier with a history of violence, killed Okaloosa County sheriff's deputies Burt Lopez and Warren "Skip" York at a gun range in Crestview.

A few minutes after he killed the deputies, Cartwright was himself killed in a shootout with lawmen in DeFuniak Springs [...]

An offense report filed against Cartwright the day he died outlines an angry husband who threatened his wife, kept guns and knives on hand, was "severely disturbed" that Barack Obama had been elected president, and believed the U.S. government was conspiring against him.

Far from being a blanket "attack on conservatives" it seems that in the immediate wake of Cartwright and other Right-Wing Domestic Terrorists such as James Adkisson (Shot 5, killed 2 "Liberals" in Knoxville, TN), Richard Poplawski (Killed 2 Cops in Pittsburgh) and James Cummings (Attempted Maine "Dirty Bomber") - the Homeland Security Report on "Right-Wing Extremists" may have been right on the money.

There's nothing wrong with owning a gun and using it responsibly.

But when you subscribe to full-on nutbag conspiracy theories about the duly elected President, combined with extreme personal stress - the results can become a danger to us all.

Just remember that many of the people shown by Blumenthal are the same people interviewed here by Alexandra Pelosi in "Right America: Feeling Wronged".

We ignore them, at all of our peril.


Friday, May 1

Scheuer vs ACLU : Prosecute Clinton for Rendition

Approximately 8 mins into this discussion on the CIA use of Torture, former CIA Bin Laden Desk Chief Micheal Scheuer (Author of Imperial Hubris) argues that prosecuting Bush Officials for torture would "tear this country apart", and that if this is attempted - it should go even further into prosecutions against Bill Clinton for the Rendition Program that he setup which was run my Scheuer himself.

It's classic bait and switch, tar and feather the hated opposition for shoplifting a donut while hiding the stolen Queen Mary behind your back. "Look over there - A Bird!"

In the meantime he makes every possible wingnut argument, many of whom I thoroughly debunked last week when they were parroted by Liz Cheney. Scheuer's a smart guy, and clearly the world's leading expert on Bin Laden, but he's also a raging Clinton-Hater and budding Barack-No-Phobe, so his comments on either of them have to be taken with a Back-Hoe of Salt.


Thursday, April 30

Unraveling the Criminal Torture Conspiracy

With the release of the Yoo/Bybee memos and the Armed Services Committee report much has been made lately of the involvement of top U.S. Officials in the use of techniques which could be considered Torture.

John Yoo has blasted Obama for release of these memos. Jay Baybee has argued that his conclusions represent a "Good Faith" analysis of the law. But does it?

Is this simply a matter of a difference in policy, a difference in legal opinion and perspective or is it something far worse? Where these memos and conclusions specifically requested and provided to enable the execution of War Crimes and Torture?

18 USC 2340(c) Conspiracy.— A person who conspires to commit an offense under this section shall be subject to the same penalties (other than the penalty of death) as the penalties prescribed for the offense, the commission of which was the object of the conspiracy.

Besides the individual acts which have been well documented as occurring in various detention facilities world-wide the real question is whether or not a Criminal Conspiracy Case could potentially be brought against Bush Administration Officials, and if so, which ones?

To determine this we must look at the chain of evidence we have so far.

The first official action begins with this Jan 9, 2002 Memo (pdf) from John Yoo to William J. Haynes, General Counsel for the DoD which argues that Geneva does not apply to Taliban Fighters in Afghanistan.
You have asked for our Office's views concerning the effect of international treaties and federal laws on the treatment of individuals detained by the U.S. Armed Forces during the conflict in Afghanistan. In particular, you have asked whether the laws of armed conflict apply to the conditions of detention and the procedures for trial of member of al Qeada and the Taliban militia. We conclude that these treates do not protect members of the al Qeada organization, which as a non-State actor cannot be a party to the international agreements governing war. We further conclude that that [sic] these treaties do not apply to the Taliban militia. This memorandum expresses no view as to whether the President should decide, as a matter of policy, tha tht U.S. Armed Forces should adhere to the standards of conduct in those treaties with respect to the treatment of prisoners.
It may be important to note that this memo does not recommend deviating from the standing rules contained in the Army Field Manual (which comports with Geneva). George Bush applied this rationale and denied POW status to the Taliban on Jan 18th. It's interesting to note how this relatively neutral argument that Geneva doesn't apply to AQ & Taliban was amped up to a whole new level by this following memo from Alberto Gonzales on Jan 25th (pdf) which provided his recommendation on whether to reverse the Jan 18th decision and voluntarily abide by Geneva (accepting the assumption that it didn't apply) or not.

Positives (to denying Geneva protections)

Flexibility: In my judgment this new paradigm renders Geneva's strict limitations on questioning of enemy prisoners and renders quaint some of it's provisions requiring that captured enemy be afforded such things as commissary privileges, scrip (i.e., advances of monthly pay), athletic uniforms and scientific instruments.

Substantially reduces the threat of domestic criminal prosecution under the War Crimes Act (18 U.S.C. 2441)

o That statute, enacted in 1996; prohibits the commission of a "war crime" by or against a U.S. person, including U.S. officials. "War Crime" for these purposes is defined to include any grave breach of GPW (Geneva POW Conventions) or any violation of common Article 3 thereof (such as "outrages against personal dignity"). Some of these provisions apply (if the GPW applies) regardless of whether the individual being detained qualifies as a POW. Punishments for violations of Section 2441 Include the death penalty. A determination that the GPW is not applicable to the Taliban would mean that Section 2441 would not apply to actions taken with respect to the Taliban.

o Adhering to your determination that GPW does not apply would guard effectively against misconstruction or misapplication of Section 2441 for several reasons. First, some of the language of the GPW is undefined (it prohibits, for example, "outrages upon personal dignity" and "inhuman treatment") and it is difficult to predict with confidence what actions might be deemed to constitute violations of the relevant provisions of GPW. Second, it is difficult to predict the needs and circumstances that could arise in the course of the war on terrorism. Third, it is difficult to predict the motives of prosecutors and independent counsels who may in the future decide to pursue unwarranted charges based on Section 2441. Your determination would create a reasonable basis in law that Section 2441 does not apply, which would provide a solid defense against any future prosecution.

Reading this is like reading a note from a mob lawyer to his client describing how to commit murder and get away with it! First of all, it's clear from this memo that Gonzales isn't making an argument that various techniques are or aren't a potential breach, he's attempting to "maintain flexibility" to use options "outside the box" and NOT GET PROSECUTED FOR IT. This indicates a knowing awareness that he feels that the law, as strictly written may appear to be violated, and that his recommendation to deny Geneva Protections is as much driven by a desire to avoid the death penalty as to pursue the war. Secondly, what is or isn't a "War Crime" and permisable in treating detainees, isn't "difficult to predict" at all - it has long been outlined in the Army Field Manual and the Uniform Code of Military Justice which considers any "Maltreatment" of a detainee to be a Courts Martial Offense.

UCMJ Article 93.

"Any person subject to this chapter who is guilty of cruelty toward, or oppression or maltreatment of, any person subject to his orders shall be punished as a court-martial may direct."


(1) That a certain person was subject to the orders of the accused; and

(2) That the accused was cruel toward, or oppressed, or maltreated that person.


(1) Nature of victim. "Any person subject to his orders" means not only those persons under the direct or immediate command of the accused but extends to all persons, subject to the code or not, who by reason of some duty are required to obey the lawful orders of the accused, regardless whether the accused is in the direct chain of command over the person.

(2) Nature of act. The cruelty, oppression, or maltreatment, although not necessarily physical, must be measured by an objective standard. Assault, improper punishment, and sexual harassment may constitute this offense. Sexual harassment includes influencing, offering to influence, or threatening the career, pay, or job of another person in exchange for sexual favors, and deliberate or repeated offensive comments or gestures of a sexual nature. The imposition of necessary or proper duties and the exaction of their performance does not constitute this offense even though the duties are arduous or hazardous or both.

The Army Field Manual, which is designed to be consistent with Geneva, contains a LIST of prohibited interrogations techniques, which specifically includes Waterboarding!

5-75. If used in conjunction with intelligence interrogations,
prohibited actions include, but are not limited to—
• Forcing the detainee to be naked, perform sexual acts, or pose in a
sexual manner.
Placing hoods or sacks over the head of a detainee; using duct tape
over the eyes.
Applying beatings, electric shock, burns, or other forms of physical
• “Waterboarding.”

• Using military working dogs.
• Inducing hypothermia or heat injury.
• Conducting mock executions.
• Depriving the detainee of necessary food, water, or medical care.
5-76. While using legitimate interrogation techniques, certain applications of
approaches and techniques may approach the line between permissible
actions and prohibited actions.

Logic dictates that all of these techniques likely "Maltreatment" under the UCMJ, but are they War Crimes? The 4th Geneva Convention defines "Grave Breaches" as the following:

Grave breaches to which the preceding Article relates shall be those involving any of the following acts, if committed against persons or property protected by the present Convention: willful killing, torture or inhuman treatment, including biological experiments, willfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health, unlawful deportation or transfer or unlawful confinement of a protected person, compelling a protected person to serve in the forces of a hostile Power, or willfully depriving a protected person of the rights of fair and regular trial prescribed in the present Convention, taking of hostages and extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly.

So even if you ignore the torture and coercive actions prohibited under the AFM and UCMJ, actions such as creating the Secure "Black Sites", and Extraordinary Renditions which were implemented are themselves Grave Breaches of Geneva and War Crimes.

By the way, exactly when did the President gain the power to "Establish Law"? Constitutionally that is a power given exclusively to Congress, while the Judiciary has the power to interpret the law in regards to the Constitution. Certainly there may be grey areas where legal analysis needs to be made by the executive branch which is charged with enforcing the law - but this memo, and those that follow it - seem to deliberately ignore previous case law and previous judicial decisions in favor a predetermined outcome to violate Geneva and knowingly allow the commision of what would otherwise absolutely be considered War Crimes, up to and including torture.

This direction was followed despite the vocal objections of then Secretary of State Colin Powell and his Counsel William Howard Taft IV (pdf)

The President should know that a decision that the Conventions do apply is consistent with the plain language of the Conventions and the unvaried practice of the United States in introducing its forces into conflict over fifty years. It is consistent with the advice of DOS lawyers and, as far as is known, the position of every other party to the Conventions. It is consistent with UN Security Council Resolution 1193 affirming that "All parties to the conflict (in Afghanistan) are bound to comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law and in particular the Geneva Conventions.

Ignoring both Powell, Taft and relevant UN Security Council Resolutions, Bush signed a memo denying Article 3 protections to Al Qeada and the Taliban on Feb 7.

At this point in time the legal theory in effect as a result of Bush's decision is that since the Taliban and Al Qaeda are are not themselves recognized internationally as legitimate governments they are not included within Geneva, and even though America has the option of treating them in a manner that is consistent with Geneva - IT WILL NOT - therefore indicating that War Crimes CAN be committed against them.

The problem with this decision is that Geneva does cover them. First off, because the fact that they haven't signed the Treaty is irrelevant - since we have. Geneva Article II

The Convention shall also apply to all cases of partial or total occupation of the territory of a High Contracting Party, even if the said occupation meets with no armed resistance.

Although one of the Powers in conflict may not be a party to the present Convention, the Powers who are parties thereto shall remain bound by it in their mutual relations.

Under Article IV, Militia's such as the Taliban are included under coverage.

Section A. 1. Members of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict as well as members of militias or volunteer corps forming part of such armed forces.

You could also include them under Section A.6.

6. Inhabitants of a non-occupied territory, who on the approach of the enemy spontaneously take up arms to resist the invading forces, without having had time to form themselves into regular armed units, provided they carry arms openly and respect the laws and customs of war.

And even if the Taliban - which even Gonzales in his memo called a "Militia" - were not covered by this Section, all potential combatants are covered in the following section.
Should any doubt arise as to whether persons, having committed a belligerent act and having fallen into the hands of the enemy, belong to any of the categories enumerated in Article 4, such persons shall enjoy the protection of the present Convention until such time as their status has been determined by a competent tribunal.

Further the 4th Geneva Conventions also makes this point.
"Persons protected by the Convention are those who, at a given moment and in any manner whatsoever, find themselves, in case of a conflict or occupation, in the hands of a Party to the conflict or Occupying Power of which they are not nationals."
In other words, any non-American on a battle field is protected by the conventions once they become a captive or detainee. There is NO OTHER VALID INTERPRETATION of this document. This makes it crystal clear that the decision as to whether someone is a POW, Non-combatant or Criminal is not something that can be made with a blanket statement, it has to be determined in a case-by-case basis by a legal and competent tribunal. It's not something a President can decide with the stroke of a pen anymore than he can declare that bank-robbery will no longer be illegal with a signing statement, just because someone needs the money for their sick mother.

Why you committed the crime doesn't matter, particularly when under the UN Convention Against Torture, all arguments - such as those provided by Gonzales that these techniques may have provided "useful information" - are irrelevant.
Article 2.2 No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat or war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.
The advice given by both Yoo and Gonzales to ignore Geneva and the State Dept. at this point were completely irrevocably invalid, and Gonzales own further argument concerning 2441 shows that this wasn't just a "mistake" - it was a deliberate attempt to avoid likely prosecution for an impending premeditated crime.

In March of 2002, one month later, Abu Zubaydah was captured by U.S. forces in Pakistan. He became the test case for this new policy, but although 2441 had essentially been neutered another U.S. law still presented a problem. 18 U.S. 2340 - Torture
(a) Offense.— Whoever outside the United States commits or attempts to commit torture shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both, and if death results to any person from conduct prohibited by this subsection, shall be punished by death or imprisoned for any term of years or for life.

According to the FBI, Zubaydah cooperated and provided information which helped identify and capture both Khallid Sheik Mohammed and Jose Padilla during the following months, but as the Levin Reports shows, some members of the administration weren't hearing what they wanted to hear. They weren't hearing how Saddam Hussein was responsible for 9-11 and linked to Al Qeada. They decided Zubaydah was being uncooperative, and that Harsher Measures were needed. They looked to use techniques developed by the S.E.R.E. (the Torture Resistance Program developed by U.S. Special Forces after communist governments attempts to illicit false confessions from their citizens and our Troops) Not exactly a brilliant idea unless you want to gain false information.

Hardball w/Turley & Buchannan on Rice and the Legality of Torture

In May of 2002 Condoleeza Rice advised George Tenet that S.E.R.E developed techniques such as Waterboarding could be used on Zubaydah and other high-value Al Qeada detainees. At this point in time although Geneva was effectively disabled, 18 USC 2340 was still in effect.

In order to address this problem another OLC memo from Jay Baybee was issued which attempted to redefine torture literally out of existence. It claimed 10 techniques (attention grasp, wailing, facial hold, facial slap, cramped confinement, wall standing, stress positions, sleep deprivations, insects place in a confinement box and the waterboard) would not cause severe physical or mental pain.

In this memo Bybee argued:

The goal of the facial slap is not to inflict physical pain that is severe or lasting. Instead, the purpose of the facial slap is to induce shock, surprise, and/or humiliation. Wall standing is used to induce muscle fatigue. The individual stands about four to fie feet from a wall, with his feet spread approximately to shoulder width. His arms are stretched out in front of him, with his fingers resting on the wall. You have informed us that these positions are not design to produce the pain associated with contortions or twisting of the body, Rather somewhat like wailing, they are designed to produce the physical discomfort associated with muscle fatigue.

You have informed us that he (Zubaydah) appears to have a fear of insects. In particular, you would like to tell Zubaydah that you intend to place a stinging insect into the box with him. You would, however, place a harmless insect in the box) Finally, you would like to use a technique called the "waterboard". This causes an increase in carbon dioxide level in the individual's blood. This increase in the carbon dioxide level stimulates increased effort to breathe. This effort plus the cloth produced the perception of "suffocation and incipient panic," i.e., the perception of drowning.

Any pain associated with muscle fatigue is not of the intensity sufficient to amount to "sever physical pain or suffering" under the statute, nor, despite it's discomfort, can it be said to be difficult to endure. As we understand it, when the waterboard is used, the subject's body responds as if the subject were drowning--even though the subject is well aware that he is in fact not drowning. You have informed us that this procedure does not inflict actual physical harm. Thus, although the subject may experience the fear or panic associated with the feeling of drowning, the waterboard does not inflict physical pain.
Parsing through whether the pain is "severe" or not completely misses the point that pain is entirely subjective, and that with repetition and duration such techniques over time can indeed become torturous. "Increased Carbon Dioxide" and experiencing the "sensation of drowning" can spike a subjects blood pressure, induce a stroke or heart-attack. Prolonged stress position scan indeed cause muscle fatigue, but that fatigue can eventually induce renal failure and cause a subject kidneys' to shutdown - leading to death. Zubaydah was ultimately waterboarded 83 Times. Rather than seeking information from a broad array of medical information and opinion, Bybee clearly ignored a great deal of information on the effects of torture from sources such as Amnesty International and also completely ignored to objections of the experienced S.E.R.E. program operation themselves.
"The requirement to obtain information from an uncooperative source as quickly as possible -- in time to prevent, for example, an impending terrorist attack that could result in loss of life -- has been forwarded as a compelling argument for the use of torture," the document said. "In essence, physical and/or psychological duress are viewed as an alternative to the more time-consuming conventional interrogation process. The error inherent in this line of thinking is the assumption that, through torture, the interrogator can extract reliable and accurate information. History and a consideration of human behavior would appear to refute this assumption."

There was no consideration within the National Security Council that the planned techniques stemmed from Chinese communist practices and had been deemed torture when employed against American personnel, the former administration official said. The U.S. military prosecuted its own troops for using waterboarding in the Philippines and tried Japanese officers on war crimes charges for its use against Americans and other allied nationals during World War II.

The reasoning in the JPRA document contrasted sharply with arguments being pressed at the time by current and former military psychologists in the SERE program, including James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, who later formed a company that became a CIA contractor advising on interrogations. Both men declined to comment on their role in formulating interrogation policy. The JPRA attachment said the key deficiency of physical or psychological duress is the reliability and accuracy of the information gained. "A subject in pain may provide an answer, any answer, or many answers in order to get the pain to stop," it said.

As it turns out most of the information that was received from Zubaydah after his waterboarding has been considered dubious at best by the FBI. The techniques employed against him were repeated against Khallid Sheik Mohammad who was ultimately waterboarded 183 times. In December of 2002 Donald Rumsfeld authorized the use of 15 similar "aggressive techniques" against detainees in GTMO and at Bagram AFB. Eventually these techniques were exported to Abu Ghraib by General Geoffrey Miller on Rumsfeld's order in an effort to "Gitmo-ize" it. Although "Waterboarding" was prohibited, the use of nudity, stress position, humiliation and dogs was included.

Amnesty International on subsequent results in Iraq and Abu Ghraib

The world watched with horror, shock and outrage the graphic pictures of Iraqi prisoners being tortured in Abu Ghraib Prison. Prisoners were severely beaten and repeatedly sexually humiliated by US soldiers. They were forced to eat pork and drink alcohol. They were assaulted, threatened with rape, forced to masturbate in front of female soldiers, and forced to wear women's underwear. They were kept naked, sometimes for several days. They were also forced to walk like dogs on their hands and knees and bark like dogs. The US military investigation in Iraq headed by Major General Antonio Taguba found "systemic" and "illegal abuse of detainees" in Abu Ghraib Prison between August 2003 and February 2004, and concluded that soldiers had "committed egregious acts and grave breaches of international law at Abu Ghraib…". Amnesty International condemned the latest reports of torture and ill-treatment of prisoners in Abu Ghraib as war crimes. The organization called on the US Government to fully investigate them in order to ensure that there is no impunity for anyone found responsible, regardless of position or rank.

The final nail in the coffin for Bybee's defenses is the condition that Zubaydah is in now after all of this "not severe, not painful" treatment.

Partly as a result of injuries he suffered while he was fighting the communists in Afghanistan, partly as a result of how those injuries were exacerbated by the CIA and partly as a result of his extended isolation, Abu Zubaydah's mental grasp is slipping away.

Today, he suffers blinding headaches and has permanent brain damage. He has an excruciating sensitivity to sounds, hearing what others do not. The slightest noise drives him nearly insane. In the last two years alone, he has experienced about 200 seizures.

But physical pain is a passing thing. The enduring torment is the taunting reminder that darkness encroaches. Already, he cannot picture his mother's face or recall his father's name. Gradually, his past, like his future, eludes him.

Let me reiterate that Zubaydah was only 31 years old when he was captured by U.S. Forces - he's not even 40 yet. It seems obvious that this was a crimnial act, particularly when the tapes of Zubaydah's inerrogations were illegally destroyed in violationi of a court order. Similar reports are that Jose Padilla - who is an American Citizen - has been rendered essentially catatonic with severe PTSD and memory loss by his treatment in U.S. custody.

The link from Yoo, to Gonzales, Bush, Bybee, Rice, Tenet, Rumsfeld and Gen Miller to Abu Ghraib is an unbroken chain. Potentially what could be called a chain conspiracy.

Conspiracy is the term for a broad category of crimes involving multiple actors coming together to engage in criminal activity. Specific federal anti-conspiracy statutes are found throughout federal law. The two key elements in proving a conspiracy are an agreement and an act in furtherance of the conspiracy by one of the actors:

* A key element in prosecuting a defendant for conspiracy is proving the agreement. The agreement that forms the basis for conspiracy need not be written, oral, or even explicit, but is often inferred from the facts of the specific case. If the parties meet and reach an understanding to work for a common purpose, there is an agreement.
* Most criminal conspiracy statutes also require that at least one of the parties has committed an overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy.

A chain conspiracy involves several parties as links in one long criminal chain. Defendants in chain conspiracies are responsible for the actions of all participants in the chain, even if they never met some of the other participants in the chain.

As I noted at the beginning of this discussion, Conspiracy under 2340 (Torture) is punishable to the same degree as the underlying crime. In this case estimates are currently that approx 35 detainees have died as the result of Homicide, most likely while being interrogated - that would mean, excluding the death penalty, up to 20 years in prison for each and all members of the conspiracy.

Oh, and by the way, ignorance of the law is No Excuse.


An RNC Ad from Opposite World

Heres video from a now defunct RNC Ad campaign in response to Obama's First 100 Days.
"100 days ago, a man read a grand speech from a TelePrompter," the text at
the beginning of the RNC spot reads. "What if the Teleprompter had accidentally
switched to reality-mode?"

on HuffingtonPost

Beyond pushing a greatest hits list of attacks on
the president, the video also provides a window into the anti-Obama anger that
still consumes much of the GOP. Chairman Michael Steele has been the target of
criticism from some senior party members who believe he hasn't gone far enough
in attacking the White House's agenda.

Rice: If the Pres. Authorized it - It was Legal

In this clip from Young Turks, Condolezza Rice is asked by Standford students if she authorized Torture. Her answer was not one of finer oratorical moments.

Monday, April 27

Another Crazed Cop-Killer with Baracknophobia

Sad to see this happening no matter the circumstances, but you can't ignore the fact WE TOLD YOU SO!

Following the murderous gun-sprees of James Adkisson, and Richard Poplowski, plus that would-be Dirty-Bomber James Cummings - we now have murderer Josh Cartwright from Florida.

On Sunday, lawmen still were investigating why Joshua Cartwright, a 28-year-old U.S. Army Reserve soldier with a history of violence, killed Okaloosa County sheriff's deputies Burt Lopez and Warren "Skip" York at a gun range in Crestview.

A few minutes after he killed the deputies, Cartwright was himself killed in a shootout with lawmen in DeFuniak Springs [...]

An offense report filed against Cartwright the day he died outlines an angry husband who threatened his wife, kept guns and knives on hand, was "severely disturbed" that Barack Obama had been elected president, and believed the U.S. government was conspiring against him.

The only positive thing about this tragedy, as was predicted by the Homeland Security Report that Republicans still want Janet Napolitano to Resign over, is the fact that this guy was working alone and not part of any larger group that could have done far more damage than one lone, well-trained, well-armed and emotionally distraught and clearly disturbed Army Reservist could do.

Thank heaven for small favors, because fitting this description certainly aren't difficult to locate these days.


Young Turks explain why America Tortured

In this clip from the The Young Turks, Cenk Uygur, lays out a beautiful explaination of the findings of the Levin Report which explains exactly why - America perpetrated torture.

In this second section (available at he makes the connection between the use of techniques that the experts said - DID NOT - generate useful information and the desperate lust to pin 9-11 onto Saddam Hussein's back.



Wannabe? Music Video

Wannabe? Music Video.


Music by Darryl Zuber & Ron Meyer, Arrangement & Lyrics by Vyan, All Instruments, Vocals and Video Editing by Vyan © Copyright 2008-2009

Do you Waste (Waste)
All the time that you have
Do you Take (Take)
Everything you can get
Do you Fake (Fake)
Every feeling you show
Do you Hate (Hate)
Everyone that you know

(Chorus 1)
I can't change you
Unless you change yourself
I can't make you
Into someone you don't wannabe?
Who do you Wannabe?

Will you Fight (Fight)
For what you believe in?
Do you Share (Share)
Everything you don't need?
Do you Make (Make)
All the luck that you get?
Do you Love (Love)
Even those that don't love you?

(Chorus 2)
I can't change you
Unless you change yourself
I can't make you into
Something Your Not
I can't love you
Unless you love yourself
I can't make you into
Someone you don't Wannabe?
Who do you Wannabe?

Do ya wanna?


(Repeat Chorus 2)
Nothin' but a Wannabe?

Visit for Downloads, Ringtones, Widgets and more.

For those who are curious about all the photos in the video:
  • Artist Rendition of Statue of Liberty in the "Vietnam" Stress Position (Hooded with false electrial wires dangling to make subject believe that if they don't remain upright, they'll be electrically shocked)
  • Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Osama Bin Laden
  • Damage taken by the U.S.S. Cole in 2000 when Bombed by Al Qaeda
  • List of Casualties of the Cole Bombing
  • Richard Clarke former head of Counter Security with the National Security Council who warned desperately that Al Qeada would attack again.
  • Condoleeza Rice National Security Director/SecState who ignored and demoted Clarke
  • Tower 2 WTC Being Hit by the Second Hijacked Plane
  • NY Firefighter collapsing in exhaustion
  • NY Policeman in grief at memorial to victims
  • Pat Tillman former Carolina Panther who joined Special Forces to Fight Al Qeada. KIA in Afghanistan by "Friendly Fire"
  • More U.S. Troops ready for the fight.
  • John Yoo author of the "Torture Memos"
  • David Addington, Counsel and COS for VP Dick Cheney, alleged architect of the "Unitary Executive" Doctrine
  • Judge Jay Bybee, who signed off on various Yoo Torture Memos
  • Waterboarding Demonstration
  • Waterboarding Reality in Vietnam (U.S. Soldier on Left was Prosecuted)
  • Abu Zubaydah (Sources for info on Jose Padilla & Khallid Shiek Mohammad *before* undergoing torture, suffers from Multiple Personalities)
  • Khallid Sheik Mohammad ("Mastermind" of 9-11, Waterboarded 183 Times in one month)
  • Abu Ghraib (Dogs being used to terrorize naked detainee)
  • Abu Ghraib (Photo taken with deceased detainee)
  • Abu Ghraib (The Naked Pyramid)
  • "Real Torture" wounds of person held by Al Qeada
  • Former SecState Colin Powell
  • Former Vice President Richard Cheney
  • Former SecDef Donald Rumsfeld
  • "Baghdad Bob"
  • Saddam Hussein (During his Trial)
  • Shock and Awe 1
  • Shock and Awe 2
  • Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales
  • Maher Arar (Innocent Canadian citizen detained in NYC, then extraodinarily "rendered" to Syria where he was torture for two years)
  • Jack Bauer (Fictional Torture Hero!)
  • George W. Bush (Fictional Navy Fighter Pilot)
  • Donald Rumfeld greets Saddam Hussein
  • Saddam Hussein after his capture
  • Saddam Hussein at his Execution
  • George W. Bush (Mission Accomplished)
  • Mohamar Quaddafi (Former Vicious Dictator of Libya- Now Trusted Ally of Libya)
  • Mahatma Ghandi
  • Bishop Desmond Tutu
  • Lewis I. "Scooter" Libby, Former Chief of Staff for VP Cheney
  • Valerie Plame-Wilson, Former Covert CIA Operative (until Libby blabbed to Judith Miller) and husband Ambassador Joseph Wilson
  • Natalee Holloway (Blonde Victim)
  • Meghan McCain
  • Katrina Vanden Heuveal (Editor of The Nation Magazine)
  • Alexander Rodriguez (NY Yankees)
  • Barry Bonds (Ex-SF Giants)
  • Ron Artest and Others (Malice at the Palace 2004)
  • Michael Vick (Former Quaterback Atlanta Falcons - Convicted Dog Fighter)
  • Artists Rendition Vick : Vengence is for the Dogs
  • Pacers/Pistons Brawl 2004
  • Steve Nash (South Africa Ex-pat, Canadian, Pheonix Suns 2 Time MVP, Activist, Philanthropist)
  • Current TV Reporters Laura Ling and Euna Lee: Held by North Korea Gov for Espionage
  • Jeremy Scahill (Reporter for The Nation, Author of "Blackwater")
  • Bill O'Reilly (Blowup over the Teleprompter)
  • Former House Majority Leader Tom Delay (Mug Shot)
  • KFed
  • Britney Spears w/Baby Bump (Little did we all know....)
  • Paris Hilton (Mug Shot)
  • Carrie Prejean, Miss California 2009 (Bigot/Biblical Truth-Sayer)
  • Cesar Chavez (Activist)
  • Capt. Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenburger (Hero Pilot)
  • Roberto Clemente (Hall of Fame 3rd Baseman for the Pittsburg Pirates, Activist, Hero, Martyr)
  • Bernard Goldberg (Fox News Analyst, Hate-Monger)
  • Lisa Nowak (Diaper wearing Stalker/Astronaut)
  • Fred Barnes (Editor The Weekly Standard, Fox News Analyst, Asshat)
  • Sean Hannity (Fox News Fucktard)
  • Pvt. Jessica Lynch (After the "Rescue")
  • Jessica Lynch (Cover Shot)
  • Pvt. Shoshana Johnson (One of the *other* not blonde "Rescuees")
  • The Late Anna Nicole Smith (aka "Vickie Lynn Marshall")
  • Senator John McCain (And the "Little Woman")
  • Keith Olbermann (MSNBC)
  • Jon Stewart (Comedy Central)
  • Stephan Colbert (Comedy Central)
  • Kim Kardashian and her enormous Ass (E!)
  • Charles Krauthhammer (Fox News Fascist)
  • Michelle Malkin (!!!!!!!)
  • Teresa Schiavo (Alive)
  • Terasa Schiavo (Brain Dead)
  • Hurrican Katrina
  • And then the Levee Breaks
  • George Bush Parties w/Country Band
  • New Orleans Flooded ("Looters")
  • New Orleans Finest ("Flooded")
  • NOPD Meet a "Looter"
  • NOLA Residents "Liberate" some Food
  • Blackwater USA (On the Streets of NOLA)
  • George W. Bush at John McCain's Birthday Party in Arizona
  • U.S. Coast Guard Rescue
  • Coast Guard over NOLA
  • Sean Penn during Katrina
  • Superdome
  • Above the Superdome
  • In front of the Superdome
  • Michael "Heckavajob" Brownie w/Bush and Homeland Security Chief Michael Chertoff
  • FEMA Trailers (Formaldehyde Ready!)
  • Valerie Plame-Wilson Testimony
  • Monica Goodling Testimony
  • Miley Cyrus
  • Lindsey Lohan (Will Testify!)
  • Jennifer Willbanks (The Runaway Bride with X-Ray Eyes)
  • Gary Busey (Mug Shot)
  • Mel Gibson (Anti-Semetic Rant Mug Shot)
  • Bill and Hillary (College Lovers)
  • Ashley Todd (Backwards "B" Girl)
  • Bill O'Reilly (Older, not Wiser - Still Angry)
  • Governor Sarah Palin
  • John Lennon (Musician, Activist, Shit-Stirrer, Peace-Monger, Martyr)
  • Naomi Klein (Author of "The End of America")
  • The March on Selma
  • Barack Obama welcomed in Germany
  • Barack Obama accepts Presidency
  • Capital Mall at Inaguration
  • The Obama's and the Biden's.
  • Tiger Woods
  • Rush Limbaugh
  • Captain Richard Phillips of the Maersk Alabama (Pirate Hostage, Hero, Survivor)
  • Rachel Maddow (MSNBC/Air America)
  • Former Covert CIA Agent Bob Baer
  • Artist Rendition Black Site Sleep Deprivation
  • Steven Biko (South African, Hero, Martyr)
  • Nelson Mandela (Political Prisoner, President, Survivor)
  • Rev. Jeremiah Wright
  • Rev. Jerry Fallwel
  • Rev. Pat Roberts
  • Former U.S. Attorney David Iglesias (Now head Prosecutor at GTMO)
  • John Fitzgerald Kennedy, President
  • Sir Bob Geldof in Africa
  • Mother Teresa
  • Iraqi Citizens (The "other" Shock and Awe)
  • U.S. Troops Under Fire
  • U.S. Troops in Prayer
  • Sgt Grainer and the "Dog Pile"
  • Wounded Detainee at Abu Ghraib
  • Iraqi Child with Burns
  • NOLA Citizen with Flag


Sunday, April 26

Turley v Buchannan on Torture

This may be the beginning of a debate we're going to hear quite a bit of in the near future.

Jonathon Turley vs. Pat Buchanan on Hardball:Part 1

Part 2

Notable Comments:

Turley: It doesn't matter if a crime is popular.

Buchanan: Jonathan you may be right on the law, but if I had been Bush, I wouldn't have done the same thing. And Obama prosecuting this will tear this country apart.

Turley: I'm sorry to hear you say that Pat, but I think this country is made of sterner stuff.


CIA Agent Bob Baer: Torture Doesn't Work

Former CIA Operative Bob Baer, whose story formed the basis for George Clooney's Syriana appearing Real Time with Bill Maher to discuss the fact that Torture Doesn't Work - and he should know, he was tortured.

In this interview he points out yet again the FBI director Mueller has stated that Torture has Not Saved American Lives, and that even the Israelis have refrained from using it for years - even when they had Hamas Rocket's raining down on them - because it simply doesn't generate good information.

He even points out, as I have many times that real life isn't like "24" - and the decision to employ tactics such as these always have consequences.

From Baer's Time Magazine Article:

When the CIA was asked to resume hostile interrogations after Sept. 11, some agency leaders were dead set against it, arguing that the military was better equipped for the task. But Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld insisted the job belonged to the CIA. We now know that Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded 183 times in one month. His interrogator, a former CIA colleague of mine, admits he had almost no training in the technique and knew nothing about how the cumulative effect of waterboarding might affect the quality of the information he was trying to extract.


The use of torture has come at huge costs to American credibility and the morale and psychology of our intelligence agencies. If we're going to pay those costs, we ought to know what we're getting. A thorough clearing of the air will help discredit the idea that we either torture terrorists or become victims. This false choice is played out on shows like 24, leaving people with the notion that had the FBI somehow caught one of the hijackers in the hours leading up to Sept. 11, torture would have led to the arrests of the 18 others before those planes took off. The truth is less sensational and more unsettling--but ultimately one that Americans should learn to accept. There are ticking time bombs out there. But torture won't get us any closer to discovering when they're going to go off.