Torture, Treason, Corruption, Lies and Incompetence...
.   .   .   Known by their works :: • The Republicans 2000 - 2008
•   Home :: Refresh    •   N e o A l e r t z   •   Anti War Politics   •   World Of WingNuts

» Saturday, December 31, 2005

Real Reasons For War

A Picture is Worth...???
The Real reasons we went to war in Iraq...   - fc


Tags:     · · · · ·

» Thursday, December 29, 2005

British Torture Memos!
Our friends in England have "uncovered" some interesting documents concerning the complicity of the U.K. in relationship to rendition and torture using modern day Torture Chambers.   Very Interesting start for the New Year there as well as here.   - fc

The UK government has been quick to deny that we practice, or tolerate the practice of Torture. So it is perhaps not suprising that they are determined that you should not see the following documents:

Craig Murray was the UK ambassador to Uzbekistan, untill his complaints and protest at the use of intelligence gained by torture got too much for Jack Straw and the Foreign Office, who set about attempting to unsuccessfully smear him, and to successfully remove him from office.

The Foreign Office has had the draft of Craig's book for clearance for over 3 months now, and they are doing everything they can to try and prevent him from publishing his side of the story. Their latest attempt to cover their own backs was to inform him, the night before Christmas Eve, that these two documents cannot be published, and that he was to return or destroy all copies immediately.

What are these documents?
The first document is a series of Telegrams that Craig sent to the Foreign Office, outlining his growing concern and disgust at our use of intelligence passed to the UK by the Uzbek security services.

The second document is a copy of legal advice the Foreign Office sought, to see if they were operating within the Law in accepting torture intelligence, and according to Michael Wood the FCO legal adviser; it is fine, as long as it is not used as evidence.

Faced with this heavy handed censorship by the FCO, in an attempt to cover up our use of and complicity in torture, Craig has decided to fight back, and has asked us all to publish this information, so it cannot be suppressed.

Originally posted at Blair Watch ::
Summary of legal opinion from Michael Wood arguing that it is legal to use information extracted under torture:

From: Michael Wood, Legal Advisor

Date: 13 March 2003

CC: PS/PUS; Matthew Kidd, WLD

Linda Duffield


1. Your record of our meeting with HMA Tashkent recorded that Craig had said that his understanding was that it was also an offence under the UN Convention on Torture to receive or possess information under torture. I said that I did not believe that this was the case, but undertook to re-read the Convention.

2. I have done so. There is nothing in the Convention to this effect. The nearest thing is article 15 which provides:

"Each State Party shall ensure that any statement which is established to have been made as a result of torture shall not be invoked as evidence in any proceedings, except against a person accused of torture as evidence that the statement was made."

3. This does not create any offence. I would expect that under UK law any statement established to have been made as a result of torture would not be admissible as evidence.


M C Wood
Legal Adviser

Originally posted on
Blair Watch :: Confidential letters from Ambassador Craig Murray...

Letter #1
FM Tashkent
TO FCO, Cabinet Office, DFID, MODUK, OSCE Posts, Security Council Posts
16 September 02
SUBJECT: US/Uzbekistan: Promoting Terrorism

SUMMARY US plays down human rights situation in Uzbekistan. A dangerous policy: increasing repression combined with poverty will promote Islamic terrorism. Support to Karimov regime a bankrupt and cynical policy.

DETAIL The Economist of 7 September states: "Uzbekistan, in particular, has jailed many thousands of moderate Islamists, an excellent way of converting their families and friends to extremism." The Economist also spoke of "the growing despotism of Mr Karimov" and judged that "the past year has seen a further deterioration of an already grim human rights record". I agree.

Between 7,000 and 10,000 political and religious prisoners are currently detained, many after trials before kangaroo courts with no representation. Terrible torture is commonplace: the EU is currently considering a demarche over the terrible case of two Muslims tortured to death in jail apparently with boiling water. Two leading dissidents, Elena Urlaeva and Larissa Vdovna, were two weeks ago committed to a lunatic asylum, where they are being drugged, for demonstrating on human rights. Opposition political parties remain banned. There is no doubt that September 11 gave the pretext to crack down still harder on dissent under the guise of counter-terrorism.

Yet on 8 September the US State Department certified that Uzbekistan was improving in both human rights and democracy, thus fulfilling a constitutional requirement and allowing the continuing disbursement of $140 million of US aid to Uzbekistan this year. Human Rights Watch immediately published a commendably sober and balanced rebuttal of the State Department claim. Again we are back in the area of the US accepting sham reform [a reference to my previous telegram on the economy]. In August media censorship was abolished, and theoretically there are independent media outlets, but in practice there is absolutely no criticism of President Karimov or the central government in any Uzbek media. State Department call this self-censorship: I am not sure that is a fair way to describe an unwillingness to experience the brutal methods of the security services.

Similarly, following US pressure when Karimov visited Washington, a human rights NGO has been permitted to register. This is an advance, but they have little impact given that no media are prepared to cover any of their activities or carry any of their statements.

The final improvement State quote is that in one case of murder of a prisoner the police involved have been prosecuted. That is an improvement, but again related to the Karimov visit and does not appear to presage a general change of policy. On the latest cases of torture deaths the Uzbeks have given the OSCE an incredible explanation, given the nature of the injuries, that the victims died in a fight between prisoners.

But allowing a single NGO, a token prosecution of police officers and a fake press freedom cannot possibly outweigh the huge scale of detentions, the torture and the secret executions. President Karimov has admitted to 100 executions a year but human rights groups believe there are more. Added to this, all opposition parties remain banned (the President got a 98% vote) and the Internet is strictly controlled. All Internet providers must go through a single government server and access is barred to many sites including all dissident and opposition sites and much international media (including, ironically, This is in essence still a totalitarian state: there is far less freedom than still prevails, for example, in Mugabe's Zimbabwe. A Movement for Democratic Change or any judicial independence would be impossible here.

Karimov is a dictator who is committed to neither political nor economic reform. The purpose of his regime is not the development of his country but the diversion of economic rent to his oligarchic supporters through government controls. As a senior Uzbek academic told me privately, there is more repression here now than in Brezhnev's time. The US are trying to prop up Karimov economically and to justify this support they need to claim that a process of economic and political reform is underway. That they do so claim is either cynicism or self-delusion. This policy is doomed to failure. Karimov is driving this resource-rich country towards economic ruin like an Abacha. And the policy of increasing repression aimed indiscriminately at pious Muslims, combined with a deepening poverty, is the most certain way to ensure continuing support for the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. They have certainly been decimated and disorganised in Afghanistan, and Karimov's repression may keep the lid on for years – but pressure is building and could ultimately explode.

I quite understand the interest of the US in strategic airbases and why they back Karimov, but I believe US policy is misconceived. In the short term it may help fight terrorism but in the medium term it will promote it, as the Economist points out. And it can never be right to lower our standards on human rights. There is a complex situation in Central Asia and it is wrong to look at it only through a prism picked up on September 12. Worst of all is what appears to be the philosophy underlying the current US view of Uzbekistan: that September 11 divided the World into two camps in the "War against Terrorism" and that Karimov is on "our" side.

If Karimov is on "our" side, then this war cannot be simply between the forces of good and evil. It must be about more complex things, like securing the long-term US military presence in Uzbekistan. I silently wept at the 11 September commemoration here. The right words on New York have all been said. But last week was also another anniversary – the US-led overthrow of Salvador Allende in Chile. The subsequent dictatorship killed, dare I say it, rather more people than died on September 11. Should we not remember then also, and learn from that too? I fear that we are heading down the same path of US-sponsored dictatorship here. It is ironic that the beneficiary is perhaps the most unreformed of the World's old communist leaders.

We need to think much more deeply about Central Asia. It is easy to place Uzbekistan in the "too difficult" tray and let the US run with it, but I think they are running in the wrong direction. We should tell them of the dangers we see. Our policy is theoretically one of engagement, but in practice this has not meant much. Engagement makes sense, but it must mean grappling with the problems, not mute collaboration. We need to start actively to state a distinctive position on democracy and human rights, and press for a realistic view to be taken in the IMF. We should continue to resist pressures to start a bilateral DFID programme, unless channelled non-governmentally, and not restore ECGD cover despite the constant lobbying. We should not invite Karimov to the UK. We should step up our public diplomacy effort, stressing democratic values, including more resources from the British Council. We should increase support to human rights activists, and strive for contact with non-official Islamic groups. Above all we need to care about the 22 million Uzbek people, suffering from poverty and lack of freedom. They are not just pawns in the new Great Game. MURRAY
Letter #2
Fm Tashkent
18 March 2003

1. As seen from Tashkent, US policy is not much focussed on democracy or freedom. It is about oil, gas and hegemony. In Uzbekistan the US pursues those ends through supporting a ruthless dictatorship. We must not close our eyes to uncomfortable truth.

2. Last year the US gave half a billion dollars in aid to Uzbekistan, about a quarter of it military aid. Bush and Powell repeatedly hail Karimov as a friend and ally. Yet this regime has at least seven thousand prisoners of conscience; it is a one party state without freedom of speech, without freedom of media, without freedom of movement, without freedom of assembly, without freedom of religion. It practices, systematically, the most hideous tortures on thousands. Most of the population live in conditions precisely analogous with medieval serfdom.

3. Uzbekistan's geo-strategic position is crucial. It has half the population of the whole of Central Asia. It alone borders all the other states in a region which is important to future Western oil and gas supplies. It is the regional military power. That is why the US is here, and here to stay. Contractors at the US military bases are extending the design life of the buildings from ten to twenty five years.

4. Democracy and human rights are, despite their protestations to the contrary, in practice a long way down the US agenda here. Aid this year will be slightly less, but there is no intention to introduce any meaningful conditionality. Nobody can believe this level of aid – more than US aid to all of West Africa – is related to comparative developmental need as opposed to political support for Karimov. While the US makes token and low-level references to human rights to appease domestic opinion, they view Karimov's vicious regime as a bastion against fundamentalism. He – and they – are in fact creating fundamentalism. When the US gives this much support to a regime that tortures people to death for having a beard or praying five times a day, is it any surprise that Muslims come to hate the West?

5. I was stunned to hear that the US had pressured the EU to withdraw a motion on Human Rights in Uzbekistan which the EU was tabling at the UN Commission for Human Rights in Geneva. I was most unhappy to find that we are helping the US in what I can only call this cover-up. I am saddened when the US constantly quote fake improvements in human rights in Uzbekistan, such as the abolition of censorship and Internet freedom, which quite simply have not happened (I see these are quoted in the draft EBRD strategy for Uzbekistan, again I understand at American urging).

6. From Tashkent it is difficult to agree that we and the US are activated by shared values. Here we have a brutal US sponsored dictatorship reminiscent of Central and South American policy under previous US Republican administrations. I watched George Bush talk today of Iraq and "dismantling the apparatus of terror… removing the torture chambers and the rape rooms". Yet when it comes to the Karimov regime, systematic torture and rape appear to be treated as peccadilloes, not to affect the relationship and to be downplayed in international fora. Double standards? Yes.

7. I hope that once the present crisis is over we will make plain to the US, at senior level, our serious concern over their policy in Uzbekistan. MURRAY

Letter #3
OF 220939 JULY 04

1. We receive intelligence obtained under torture from the Uzbek intelligence services, via the US. We should stop. It is bad information anyway. Tortured dupes are forced to sign up to confessions showing what the Uzbek government wants the US and UK to believe, that they and we are fighting the same war against terror.

2. I gather a recent London interdepartmental meeting considered the question and decided to continue to receive the material. This is morally, legally and practically wrong. It exposes as hypocritical our post Abu Ghraib pronouncements and fatally undermines our moral standing. It obviates my efforts to get the Uzbek government to stop torture they are fully aware our intelligence community laps up the results.

3. We should cease all co-operation with the Uzbek Security Services they are beyond the pale. We indeed need to establish an SIS presence here, but not as in a friendly state.

4. In the period December 2002 to March 2003 I raised several times the issue of intelligence material from the Uzbek security services which was obtained under torture and passed to us via the CIA. I queried the legality, efficacy and morality of the practice.

5. I was summoned to the UK for a meeting on 8 March 2003. Michael Wood gave his legal opinion that it was not illegal to obtain and to use intelligence acquired by torture. He said the only legal limitation on its use was that it could not be used in legal proceedings, under Article 15 of the UN Convention on Torture.

6. On behalf of the intelligence services, Matthew Kydd said that they found some of the material very useful indeed with a direct bearing on the war on terror. Linda Duffield said that she had been asked to assure me that my qualms of conscience were respected and understood.

7. Sir Michael Jay's circular of 26 May stated that there was a reporting obligation on us to report torture by allies (and I have been instructed to refer to Uzbekistan as such in the context of the war on terror). You, Sir, have made a number of striking, and I believe heartfelt, condemnations of torture in the last few weeks. I had in the light of this decided to return to this question and to highlight an apparent contradiction in our policy. I had intimated as much to the Head of Eastern Department.

8. I was therefore somewhat surprised to hear that without informing me of the meeting, or since informing me of the result of the meeting, a meeting was convened in the FCO at the level of Heads of Department and above, precisely to consider the question of the receipt of Uzbek intelligence material obtained under torture. As the office knew, I was in London at the time and perfectly able to attend the meeting. I still have only gleaned that it happened.

9. I understand that the meeting decided to continue to obtain the Uzbek torture material. I understand that the principal argument deployed was that the intelligence material disguises the precise source, ie it does not ordinarily reveal the name of the individual who is tortured. Indeed this is true – the material is marked with a euphemism such as "From detainee debriefing." The argument runs that if the individual is not named, we cannot prove that he was tortured.

10. I will not attempt to hide my utter contempt for such casuistry, nor my shame that I work in and organisation where colleagues would resort to it to justify torture. I have dealt with hundreds of individual cases of political or religious prisoners in Uzbekistan, and I have met with very few where torture, as defined in the UN convention, was not employed. When my then DHM raised the question with the CIA head of station 15 months ago, he readily acknowledged torture was deployed in obtaining intelligence. I do not think there is any doubt as to the fact.

11. The torture record of the Uzbek security services could hardly be more widely known. Plainly there are, at the very least, reasonable grounds for believing the material is obtained under torture. There is helpful guidance at Article 3 of the UN Convention;
"The competent authorities shall take into account all relevant considerations including, where applicable, the existence in the state concerned of a consistent pattern of gross, flagrant or mass violations of human rights." While this article forbids extradition or deportation to Uzbekistan, it is the right test for the present question also.

12. On the usefulness of the material obtained, this is irrelevant. Article 2 of the Convention, to which we are a party, could not be plainer: "No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture."

13. Nonetheless, I repeat that this material is useless – we are selling our souls for dross. It is in fact positively harmful. It is designed to give the message the Uzbeks want the West to hear. It exaggerates the role, size, organisation and activity of the IMU and its links with Al Qaida. The aim is to convince the West that the Uzbeks are a vital cog against a common foe, that they should keep the assistance, especially military assistance, coming, and that they should mute the international criticism on human rights and economic reform.

14. I was taken aback when Matthew Kydd said this stuff was valuable. Sixteen months ago it was difficult to argue with SIS in the area of intelligence assessment. But post Butler we know, not only that they can get it wrong on even the most vital and high profile issues, but that they have a particular yen for highly coloured material which exaggerates the threat. That is precisely what the Uzbeks give them. Furthermore MI6 have no operative within a thousand miles of me and certainly no expertise that can come close to my own in making this assessment.

15. At the Khuderbegainov trial I met an old man from Andizhan. Two of his children had been tortured in front of him until he signed a confession on the family's links with Bin Laden. Tears were streaming down his face. I have no doubt they had as much connection with Bin Laden as I do. This is the standard of the Uzbek intelligence services.

16. I have been considering Michael Wood's legal view, which he kindly gave in writing. I cannot understand why Michael concentrated only on Article 15 of the Convention. This certainly bans the use of material obtained under torture as evidence in proceedings, but it does not state that this is the sole exclusion of the use of such material.

17. The relevant article seems to me Article 4, which talks of complicity in torture. Knowingly to receive its results appears to be at least arguable as complicity. It does not appear that being in a different country to the actual torture would preclude complicity. I talked this over in a hypothetical sense with my old friend Prof Francois Hampson, I believe an acknowledged World authority on the Convention, who said that the complicity argument and the spirit of the Convention would be likely to be winning points. I should be grateful to hear Michael's views on this.

18. It seems to me that there are degrees of complicity and guilt, but being at one or two removes does not make us blameless. There are other factors. Plainly it was a breach of Article 3 of the Convention for the coalition to deport detainees back here from Baghram, but it has been done. That seems plainly complicit.

19. This is a difficult and dangerous part of the World. Dire and increasing poverty and harsh repression are undoubtedly turning young people here towards radical Islam. The Uzbek government are thus creating this threat, and perceived US support for Karimov strengthens anti-Western feeling. SIS ought to establish a presence here, but not as partners of the Uzbek Security Services, whose sheer brutality puts them beyond the pale.

Compare and Contrast the government's public position on Torture, with the information they were recieving at the time from their own Ambassador, and the legal advice they were seeking. We have archived a selection of government spin and lies on the use of torture in these 4 pages:

and you can listen to Jack Straw and Tony Blair deny what you read in these hitherto 'secret' documents here.

See also ::
The Talent Show | Booman Tribune | AGITPROP | Talk Left | Politics in the Zeros

Tags:   · · · · · · ·

NeoCon :: Redux

The Definition!
  - fc
A pale surrealistic glow accents the detail of cold black lines, delineating the black hearted egotism and absolute power sought with no respect or remorse for those that stand in their way. The pervasive dynamic of attack mode divisiveness permeates the spirits of the NeoCon. Battles not fought head on but with character assassination of the opponent with little more than hypocritical lip service to issues. Hidden agenda's that are as cold, imperial and deceitful as their name projects. Lies and deception disbursed on the winds of politically loaded keywords are framed in ways to keep the naive and gullable, captured and enthralled in false pretense, ignorant of the true intentions and dire consequences of their surrender of power to the forces of the 21st Century's American Axis of Evil. The cold black elephant is symbolic of the republican sacrifice that was made to the rise of the NeoCon. Within a few short years we have found ourselves an ignorant, arrogant child of history, repeating mistakes made in the past, with subsequently as great or greater loss of integrity, and yet again the ultimate sacrifice of the blood of valiant American warriors fighting a faceless enemy in yet another contrived war based on lies. The prostitution of morals and ethics for nationalistic knee-jerk reactionaries has promulgated through the rank and file apologists and excusers. The vilified hate for those who see the damage being done will yet again be the undoing of their agenda. As the American public awakens to facts concerning this corrupt administration which has never before been equaled in our nations's history, the agenda has been derailed. As the blinders come off, their propaganda will carry less and less weight while their transparency will intensify. As the smoke and mirrors fade, the true path will once again be forged by those of us who are willing to stand up and let them know that we will not tolerate their excuses or the actions of those they have enabled. History will repeat itself, much to the chagrin of the NeoCons.
Originally posted on 7-28-05

Tags:     · · · · ·

» Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Legislation and Issues

Keeping Tabs on The Law!
  - fc

Constitutional Issues
liberty committee
center for constitutional rights
anneburg constitution center
first amendment center
1st amendment cyber tribune
constitutional rights
seperation of church & state
promote the progress
thomas jefferson center
federalist papers
Thomas Paine - Common Sense
Adam Smith - Wealth of Nations
findlaw     ·     tech law advisor
induce act blog
intellectual security
ip action

THOMAS LOC     •     Library of Congress     •     Gov-Track   
Our Congress     •     Congress Watch
us law code     ·     spam laws
help america vote act
national voter registration act
homeland security act
patriot act
freedom of info act
no child left behind
edu sciences reform act ·  overview
toxic substance control act
roe vs wade     ·     gi bill
contract with america
congressional accountability act
national intelligence reform act
intelligence reform and terrorism prevention act

Gov Links     •     Activism     •     Political Resources

Tags:     · · · · ·

» Friday, December 23, 2005

Stop Bush's Illegal Wiretaps

Stop Bush's illegal wiretaps -- act now!
  - fc
It's now been 5 days since President Bush admitted to authorizing the National Security Agency to spy on Americans without court order -- a system he reauthorized as many as 3 dozen times since 2001. Yet despite the outcry from millions of Americans -- both Democrats and Republicans alike -- President Bush has stubbornly promised to continue this illegal and unconstitutional activity.

How can the President of the United States -- the highest elected official in our land, a leader who swore an oath to "preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution" -- so egregiously and repeatedly violate our most basic civil liberties?

It's time for Congress to act -- to thoroughly investigate the President's actions now.

Urge Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter to hold hearings into the President's conduct, before beginning Supreme Court nomination hearings for Judge Alito - sign my petition today!
Barbara Boxer We, the undersigned Americans, urge you to hold thorough public hearings into the program of secret, warrant-less wiretaps authorized by President Bush since 2001. Congress must act to thoroughly investigate the President's actions now.

Clearly, protecting Americans from terrorism here at home must be the top priority of any Administration. But we certainly can do that without trampling on the Constitution in the process. Defending America means protecting our homeland as well as preserving our very rights and freedoms as citizens.

That's why Congress enacted the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) in 1978, to protect national security while still preserving civil liberties. Why did President Bush consciously choose to violate federal law, even though the Act clearly states that FISA "shall be the exclusive means by which electronic surveillance...and the interception of domestic wire and oral communications may be conducted"?

This egregious and repeated violation of American civil liberties by President Bush and his Administration requires a thorough Congressional investigation. That's why we urge you to hold hearings before you take up Judge Alito's nomination to the Supreme Court.

Signed by:
[Your name]
[Your address]

Who Links to This Article
Technorati tags:     · · · · · · · · ·

» Thursday, December 22, 2005

Conyers :: Censure & Impeach

No One Is Above The Law!
  - fc
Censure Campaign Launched in Response to New House Legislation

Ask Your Congressman To Support These Bills

The coalition, an alliance of over 100 grassroots organizations, has launched a new campaign called in order to support new legislation introduced by Congressman John Conyers that would censure President Bush and Vice President Cheney and create a select committee to investigate the Administration's possible crimes and make recommendations regarding grounds for impeachment.

H.Res.635 would create a select committee to investigate the Administration's intent to go to war before congressional authorization, manipulation of pre-war intelligence, encouraging and countenancing torture, and retaliating against critics, and to make recommendations regarding grounds for possible impeachment. Full text PDF

Status of H.Res. 635.

H.Res.636 and H.Res.637 would censure, respectively, Bush and Cheney for failing to respond to requests for information concerning allegations that they and others in the Administration misled Congress and the American people regarding the decision to go to war in Iraq, misstated and manipulated intelligence information regarding the justification for the war, countenanced torture and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment of persons in Iraq, and permitted inappropriate retaliation against critics of the Administration, for failing to adequately account for certain misstatements they made regarding the war, and - in the case of President Bush - for failing to comply with Executive Order 12958.
H Res 636 PDF
H Res 637 PDF

The Constitution In Crisis Status of H.Res. 636.
Status of H.Res. 637.

Ask your Congress Member to support these efforts!

The House Judiciary Committee Democratic staff has just released an extensive report titled "The Constitution in Crisis: The Downing Street Minutes and Deception, Manipulation, Torture, Retribution, and Cover-ups in the Iraq War." It is available here.

The After Downing Street / Censure Bush Coalition has organized over 60 town hall forums around the country on January 7th and plans to make these new developments in Congress a focus of many of those events:

Tim Carpenter, Director of Progressive Democrats of America (PDA), and Co-Founder of After Downing Street, said: "Progressive Democrats of America is proud to be working with Congressman Conyers for the passage of H.RES.635, H.RES.636, and H.RES.637. We thank Congressman Conyers for his leadership and are excited to be working with the grassroots to mobilize and organize a broad base coalition that will demand action from Congress to investigate the lies of the Bush administration and their conduct related to the war in Iraq."

John Conyers :: Blog
The Breaking Strain

By William Rivers Pitt
t r u t h o u t | Perspective

Wednesday 21 December 2005

"This is America," I wrote. "At bottom, America is a dream, an idea. You can take away all our roads, our crops, our people, our cities, our armies - you can take all of that away, and the idea will still be there as pure and great as anything conceived by the human mind. I do very much believe that the idea that is America stands as the last, best hope for this world. When used properly, it can work wonders. That idea, that dream, is in mortal peril. You can still have all our roads, our crops, our people, our cities, our armies - you can have all of that. But if you murder the idea that is America, you have murdered America itself in a way that ten thousand 9/11s could never do. No terrorist can destroy the ideals we hold dear. Only we can do that."

Rep. John Conyers and the Democratic staff of the House Judiciary Committee have compiled a massively detailed, impeccably-researched report on the activities of this administration titled "The Constitution in Crisis: The Downing Street Minutes and Deception, Manipulation, Torture, Retribution, and Coverups in the Iraq War."

Continue Reading ...
John Conyers :: BlogJohn Conyers ::



Dear Mr. President:

We are brave, proud, patriotic citizens of the United States. We love our country and are writing to express our profound disappointment with you and your administration for your conduct surrounding the Iraq War, the collection and use of intelligence, and your disrespect for the laws of this great nation.

We are calling upon Congress to form a Special Committee to investigate your administration's abuses of power and report any offenses which rise to the level of impeachment.

We are also calling upon Congress to immediately censure you and Vice-President Cheney.

We have great love for our country and faith in the government institutions provided for in our constitution. We believe that the integrity of our nation is at stake and have supported these steps only after your administration has refused to come clean with the American people at every opportunity.


John Conyers

Who Links to This Article
Technorati tags:   · · · · · · · · ·

» Wednesday, December 21, 2005

ClintonDidIt : The Echelon Myth

Law of the Land!
Heads up to PoliShifter at Pissed on Politics for the link to Think Progress about Clinton abiding by the law and using the FISA Court to obtain permission to use domestic wiretaps and searches.   Daily Kos has a good post up about Clinton and Carter also.   Those of us from Arkansas always knew Clinton was indeed a Wild Willey but not a stupid man.   Bush on the other hand as was pointed out somewhere yesterday is not spupid either, just ignorant, meaning he knows very well what his obligations under the law were but just choose to ignore them.

There are several other interesting developments today regarding .   One of the judges sitting on the secret FISA Court has resigned in protest of the Bush Administration's circumvention of it's authority.   This is the judge that ruled that Gitmo prisoners did have more rights than Bush was affording them.

In another development, Dianne Feinstein and four other lawmakers have joined forces to demand hearings into SnoopGate.   Two Republicans have joined her in this effort which mandates there be hearings held under current rules.

It seems this debacle for Bush is taking a turn into the public eye that cannot be ignored.   With Bushji sweating bullets, having news conferences one after the next for several days in a row, trying to deflect and spin his way out of this latest flub-up, it makes for interesting news cycles for the holidays.   ho ho ho   - fc

Think Progress
The Echelon Myth

Prominent right-wing bloggers - including Michelle Malkin, the Corner, Wizbang and Free Republic - are pushing the argument that President Bush’s warrantless domestic spying program isn't news because the Clinton administration did the same thing.

The right-wing outlet NewsMax sums up the basic argument:
During the 1990's under President Clinton, the National Security Agency monitored millions of private phone calls placed by U.S. citizens and citizens of other countries under a super secret program code-named Echelon... all of it done without a court order, let alone a catalyst like the 9/11 attacks.
That's flatly false. The Clinton administration program, code-named Echelon, complied with FISA. Before any conversations of U.S. persons were targeted, a FISA warrant was obtained. CIA director George Tenet testified to this before Congress on 4/12/00:
I'm here today to discuss specific issues about and allegations regarding Signals Intelligence activities and the so-called Echelon Program of the National Security Agency…

There is a rigorous regime of checks and balances which we, the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency and the FBI scrupulously adhere to whenever conversations of U.S. persons are involved, whether directly or indirectly. We do not collect against U.S. persons unless they are agents of a foreign power as that term is defined in the law. We do not target their conversations for collection in the United States unless a FISA warrant has been obtained from the FISA court by the Justice Department.
Meanwhile, the position of the Bush administration is that they can bypass the FISA court and every other court, even when they are monitoring the communications of U.S. persons. It is the difference between following the law and breaking it.
Who Links to This Article
Technorati tags:   · · · · · · ·

» Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Dems FOIA Request

Democrats Request Documents!
There are many unanswered questions about the legality of what Bush is doing with regard to domestic spying.   There was a case as reported in the NY Times in 1982 where the NSA spyed on a muslim-american doctor and the case was upheld by an appeals court.   Smitty in the comments to my Act For Change petition post graciously pointed this out to me.   Many things have changed and the FISA act has been ammended several times since then.   I would also note that lawmakers on both sides of the isle are wanting to know what is going on with this issue also.   In this light I support Howard Dean's effort to gain information under the FOIA.  Join me and Howard Dean in requesting documents that bring all this out in the open.   - fc

Make Your Freedom of Information Act Request

George Bush is using the National Security Agency to conduct surveillance on American citizens without the consent of any court. After initially refusing to confirm the story, the President has admitted to personally overseeing this domestic spying program for years.

These actions are explicitly against the law. But the administration says that other laws somehow allow for this unprecedented use of a foreign intelligence agency to spy on Americans right here in the United States. According to reports, political appointees in the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel wrote still-classified legal opinions laying out the supposed justification for this program.

Governor Howard Dean is filing a formal demand that they release these documents. You can add your name to a Freedom of Information Act request below.

Ms. Elizabeth Farris
Supervisory Paralegal
Office of Legal Counsel
Room 5515
950 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
U.S. Department of Justice
Washington, D.C. 20530-2038

Re: Freedom of Information Act Request

Dear Ms. Farris:

This letter constitutes a request under the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. §552 (“FOIA”), and is submitted by the undersigned individuals who are concerned about the Bush Administration’s reported decision to undertake a massive program of spying on American citizens in apparent violation of the law and the Constitution.

President Bush stated on December 19 that his legal authority to have the National Security Agency conduct such spying derives from his inherent constitutional powers and from the congressional authorization for the use of military force in Afghanistan. Of course, these assertions made no sense, in view of the express statutory provisions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, 50 U.S.C. §§1801 et seq. that flatly prohibit any such spying without a court order. It is the duty of your Office to advise the President on precisely such questions relating to his constitutional and statutory authority. The American people certainly have a right to know whether the President has knowingly acted in blatant violation of the law or believed he was acting within the law based on advice of your office.
•   We therefore request all documents in the possession, custody or control of the Office of Legal Counsel, prepared on or after January 20, 2001, referring, relating to or discussing the authority of the President of the United States to authorize any agency of the U.S. Government, including but not limited to the National Security Agency, to conduct electronic surveillance of a United States person, as defined in FISA, 50 U.S.C. §1801(i), or where there is a substantial likelihood that the surveillance will acquire the contents of a communication to which such a United States person is a party, without obtaining a court order as required by FISA.
We urge you, in considering this request, to forego invoking Exemption 5 to FOIA allowing the government to withhold documents based on deliberative process or attorney client privilege. In these exceptional circumstances, where the President of the United States may have acted in gross disregard of the law and the Constitution, the stakes for the American people are too high for the Bush Administration and the Department of Justice to hide behind legal privileges as an excuse for withholding these documents.

The undersigned requestors fall in the category of “other requestors” for purposes of FOIA and the Department’s FOIA fee regulations. On behalf of the undersigned requestors, the Democratic National Committee will pay any fees for searching or copying the requested records.

We look forward to your response within twenty (20) working days as the law requires. If you have any questions or need any further information concerning this request, please contact the first signatory below, Governor Howard Dean. Thank you for your prompt attention to this important matter.

Governor Howard Dean
430 South Capitol Street SE
Washington, DC 20003

FOIA Request : pdf

Who Links to This Article
Technorati tags:   · · · · · · ·

» Monday, December 19, 2005

Investigate Domestic Spying

Louise Slaughter Demands Answers!
Another opportunity to demand accountability from the Bush Administration.   Louise Slaughter stood with John Conyers and and the Big Brass Alliance in seeking an explanation for the DowningStreetMemo.   Now we can stand by her in forcing answers about Bush's Illegal Spying on Americans.   Please join me in signing this petition as well as the petition by Act For Change.   - fc

Update:   By the way of Action Alerts :: Barbara Mikulski is calling for an investigation also.   Please take the time to visit my friends at Action Alerts and see what Cedwyn and George Washington Hayduke and the crew have found on this issue.   - fc

Louise Slaughter
Demand Hearings for Domestic Spying

Last week, we learned from the New York Times that President George W. Bush signed a presidential order in 2002 allowing the National Security Agency to spy on US citizens without court-approved warrants.

Our law forbids warrant less surveillance of American citizens, and it provides the Government with a set of procedures to follow in emergency situations, when federal agents do not have enough time to get a warrant. (Foreign Intelligence Service Act, 50 U.S.C. Chapter 36, Subchapter I) If the Times report is correct, the Bush government may have acted illegally by not following these procedures.

Moreover, this report raised serious constitutional questions as to whether the President’s order violated the Fourth Amendment, and the requirement that the President "shall take Care that Laws be faithfully executed." (Article II, sec. 3)

Congress has the responsibility to call out the Administration, determine the facts of this story, and find out whether the Bush Administration did in fact take actions which violated the constitutional and legal parameters for the Executive Branch. The House of Representatives must do their part in holding this Administration accountable if in fact it acted with total disregard of our laws.

We the undersigned urge Congressman James Sensenbrenner Jr., Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, and Congressman Peter Hoekstra, Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, to hold hearings demanding answers on Bush's domestic spying.

Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act
FISA :: Wikipedia
FISA Info :: EFF
FISA :: ACLU :: Action
FISA :: ACLU :: Action
Who Links to This Article
Technorati tags:   · · · · ·

Investigate Illegal Spying

Congress: Investigate Bush's Illegal Domestic Spying!
Both Conservatives and Liberals alike should be up in arms at the latest news that Bush has taken it upon himself to circumvent the law, mandating spying on Americans.   This is not a partisan issue.   It is a constitutional issue that was addressed due to the same abuse by the Nixon Administration.   Please take the time to join with me in asking Congress to investigate this outright travesty.   See also my newest post concerning this issue where Louise Slaughter has created a petition to demand accountability.   - fc

Eye On AmericaCall To Action

Shockingly, it has come to light that President Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on conversations of Americans and others in the United States. This spying apparently occurred without any court order and was focused on telephone and e-mail communications of "hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people inside the United States."

Even under the insidious USA PATRIOT ACT, electronic surveillance law generally prohibits non-consensual eavesdropping in the U.S. without a court order based on probable cause. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) makes it a crime, punishable by up to five years in prison, to conduct electronic surveillance, except as "authorized by and conducted pursuant to a search warrant or court order." Kate Martin, director of the Center for National Security Studies at George Washington University, has said that Bush's secret order may amount to the president authorizing criminal activity.

Since this potentially illegal activity was clearly directed from within the Administration, there is simply no way that the Justice Department can investigate the matter without serious conflicts of interest. Therefore, we are calling on Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to appoint a special prosecutor to get to the bottom of this matter and bring criminal charges against anyone found to have violated the law
Investigate Domestic SpyingInvestigate Domestic Spying

I am writing you -- with a copy to my representative and senators in Congress -- to formally request the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate recent disclosures that the National Security Agency has been spying on Americans without a court order.

This appears to be a clear violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. I am outraged and disgusted at this clear violation of the civil liberties of all Americans.

Since high-level administration officials -- up to and including the President himself -- may be criminally involved in this matter, it will not be possible for the Justice Department to conduct a thorough and independent investigation. Therefore, I call upon you to appoint a special prosecutor to get to the bottom of this matter and hold accountable anyone found to have violated the law.

I look forward to your response on this very serious matter.


Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act
FISA :: Wikipedia
FISA Info :: EFF
FISA :: ACLU :: Action
FISA :: ACLU :: Action
Who Links to This Article
Technorati tags:   · · · · ·

» Saturday, December 17, 2005

Bushji's Amerika

The Terrorists Are Laughing At Us!
Dubya has managed in three short years what Iran couldn't do in thirty five.   The Islamic Republic of Iraq is becoming a reality thanks to the flawed and incompetent NeoCon war machine enabled by the Cheney Administration.   Not only have the terrorists won and will continue to win in Iraq, they have won an even more amazing victory here in the United States of Bushji's Amerika.   The hubris and power mad scheming of Bushji has cost us many valuable lives and much gold borrowed from the lives of our grandchildren.   Billions have lined the pockets of the favored sons in Bushji's megacorps of warmongers.   Civil Liberties have been usurped and compromised for the sake of power to Bushji's Big Brother databases and secret spy programs targeting Americans.   Treason has been sanctioned by the highest offices in Bushji's White House of Torture.   Secret prisons can house you and hold you without ever leaving a trace.   The dreams of all who hold liberty and freedom as the highest ideals can be crushed without a concern, for in Bushji's Amerika there is no Due Process.   There is only what Bushji wants and nothing will stand in his way.   Not the Constitution nor the Congress nor the Judiciery.   The terrorists are laughing at us because we have become one in the same with them.   Welcome to the Culture of Corruption and the 21st Century reality of Bushji's Amerika.   - fc
Technorati tags:   · · · · · ·

Think Tanks

I decided to create this spotlight post listing many of the think tanks, both liberal and conservative.   If you would like to add to this list, just leave a comment or a message in the CBox.   - fc

Think Tanks
usinfo directory
sourcewatch list *
vote smart :: list
nira world directory
world press :: directory
wikipedia :: list
google :: policy institutes
brookings institute
cato institute
carter center
claremont institute
american interprise institute
heritage foundation
carnegie council
carnegie foundation
federalist society
cooperative research
hague assembly for peace
budget & policy priorities
public policy center
inst counter terrorism
foreign policy
foreign policy assoc
foreign policy in focus
council on foreign relations
jaffee center (israel)
middle east forum
M.E. policy council
M.E. media research ins
washington institute near east
world affairs - dc
u of michigan :: list
u of virginia :: list
columbia university :: list
baylor university :: list
political index :: directory
hillwatch :: directory
world policy institute
progressive policy institute
global policy
international policy
international study
international answer
center for int policy
institue for policy studies
potomac institute
marshall institute
manhattan institute
la world affairs council
nuclear policy
atomic scientists
fed of am scientists
american nuclear society
defense information
cook political report
rand corporation
century foundation
political money line
economic policy
corporation watch
oil for food facts
Updated :: 12-16-05   1:45 pm     |   Sites Aded ::
To be added to this list please leave a message in the CBox Message Box in the sidebar.   Red link denotes Conservative Ladies.   Blue link denotes Directories.   - fc
Technorati tags:   · · · · ·

< · >

  top   of the   page
fc's  world of the internets   ::   featured blogs
YellowDog Granny
fc's   MySpace friend   ::
BlogScream From the Dark Wraith Forums - Add Progressive Blog Feeds to your blog - submit your feed for syndication - today...
- tell him fc sent ya...
Web Raisins Blog Award
Site Meter
BlogAdvance Top Blogs
bLoG   jUnKiE
Vote TopBlogging Political Blogs
Politics Blogs
World Top Blogs - Blog TopSites
Politics Blogs - Blog Top Sites
Blog Linker
Who links toMe
TTLB Status
+I Ping
Top Blog Lists
Fuel My Blog PRNN's Top 100 Bloggers
b Blogrolling
Blogroll Me! » br

Recipricol Links

You link to me - I link to you
±  Translate :: Search
±   About fc
±  Recent Posts
±  Archived Posts
±  Monthly Archives
±   First Stops of the Day
±  News Media
±  Discussion Forums
±  Bloggers Against Music
±  Election 2008
±   Ohio BlogRoll
±   Indy 500 Weblogs
±   Anti War Blog Coalition
±   Impeach Bush Coalition
±   Anti Torture Blogs
±   Federal Government of The United States of America
±   Anti War :: Peace Movement
±   Liberal Activism :: Reference Sources
±   Blogs Linked Here
±   The Blogosphere ( The Big Blogs )
±   fc's blogroll (the tubes) on (the internets)
±   Big Brass Alliance -
±  Progressive Webrings - Anti War   ( Click To Expand )
±  Free Software - Firefox - Opera   ( Click To Expand )
±  Disclaimers - Credits - Posting Policy   ( Click To Expand )

Anti War Politics - The 21st Century Peace Movement

30,000 weblogs. One Day. One Voice.
When the list reaches 30,000, a date and a word will be listed on the page. On that date, every weblog on the list agrees to make a single post with the word as the title. The content of the post should be about what you want for the world, whatever that may be. The purpose is not to make a particular political statement, but simply to make a noise. If 30,000 weblogs all post the same unusual word, it WILL be heard.
  • Send an email to with the subject: Yop!
  • In the body of the email list the name of your weblog, and the URL.
  • Your weblog will be added to the list below.   [ website ]
  • Tell your friends who blog about it, and urge them to send in their weblog as well.
Brave Humans   •   QuipSpot - Drive By Blogging   •   My View Of It