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Video: Exclusive: Fmr. Flight Attendant Tells Democracy Now! George H.W. Bush Grabbed Her, Delaying...

https://democracynow.org - In a Democracy Now! exclusive, a former flight attendant tells us former President George H.W. Bush grabbed her while she was ... Via...

George W. Bush – LewRockwell

President Bush’s or Bowe Bergdahl’s?

White House photo by Paul Morse | Public Domain I’m admitting I made a horrible mistake. —  Bowe Bergdahl’s testimony in his court martial Charging a man...

Bush presidents, Snr & Jr, lash out at ‘blowhard’ Trump — RT US News

Published time: 5 Nov, 2017 01:44 Established etiquette dictates that former US presidents keep their counsel...

Media Make Excuses for Bush Sr.’s ‘Cop-a-Feel’ Assaults

A New York Times headline (10/27/17) desexualizes the complaints made against George H.W. Bush. In the flurry of career-ending sexual assault claims coming out of...

George HW Bush ‘patted women’s rears’, his office says amid sexual assault allegations —...

Former President George H.W. Bush has apologized for an “attempt at humor” following accusations of sexual...

Bush, Obama to campaign in Virginia gubernatorial race – media

The last two presidents will campaign on behalf of their respective party nominees in Virginia’s gubernatorial...

Banksters versus My Babushka

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Video: Terror Ambush: Outnumbered Russian military police unit repels Al-Nusra gun trap

A small group of Russian military police stationed in Syria have been caught in a terror ambush. According to the Defence Ministry, the Russian...

Distorted Views of the Enemy and Bush’s “Axis of Evil”

Many years ago, while the war in Vietnam still raged, the psychologist Ralph K. White wrote a book entitled Nobody Wanted War that has...

Echoes of Bush’s WMD Fraud

2 officers shot in Kissimmee, Florida, in possible ‘ambush’ attack

Published time: 19 Aug, 2017 04:32 Edited time: 19 Aug, 2017 05:30 A massive manhunt is...

Black Lives Matter leaders sued by officer wounded in ambush that killed 3 cops...

A federal lawsuit filed in a US district court accuses the Black Lives Matter movement and...

USS George H.W. Bush docks off Israel’s shore in first such visit in 17yrs

Published time: 1 Jul, 2017 16:14 Edited time: 1 Jul, 2017 16:15 The USS George H.W....
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Video: Court: Bush Administration Officials Can’t Be Held Liable for Post-9/11 Mass Roundup of...

https://democracynow.org - On June 19, the Supreme Court reversed a federal appeals court ruling that former high-level Bush administration officials may be ... Via Youtube

Bush admin officials can’t be held liable for post-9/11 Muslim profiling & abuse, SCOTUS...

The US Supreme Court has ruled that high-level officials under former President George W Bush cannot...
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Video: Iran Talk Sounds Like Bush’s Pre-Iraq War

Watch full story http://therealnews.com/t2/story:18923:Wilkerson%3A-Trump-Admin%27s-Iran-Talk-Sounds-Like-Bush%27s-Pre-Iraq-War Visit ... Via Youtube

George W. Bush’s Horrific Legacy

As part of the drive to drive President Trump from the White House, some “never-Trumpers” are rehabilitating George W. Bush...
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Video: Breathtakingly Irresponsible: Former Bush Iraq Adviser on Trump Sharing Secret Intel with Russians

http://democracynow.org - President Trump has appeared to confirm parts of a bombshell Washington Post story that he had disclosed highly classified ... Via Youtube

What’s Wrong With This Picture? Fawning Praise of Bush’s Veteran Art Ignores Iraqi Victims

George W. Bush’s recent public relations tour, designed to rebuild his image as a tortured artist wrestling with the demons—a flawed but morally introspective...

Trump Succumbs to Bush/Obama Perpetual War

President Trump is becoming the third post-9/11 president to prosecute bloody conflicts in the Mideast and impose mass surveillance at home, with no end...

Outnumbered & outgunned: Miami detectives ambushed while stalking alleged gang members

Published time: 28 Mar, 2017 17:25 Two Miami-Dade police detectives who followed a “suspicious” car into a...

Gunmen ambush 2 cops in Miami

Crusader-in-Chief: the Strange Rehabilitation of George W. Bush

Photo by Bureau of Land Management | CC BY 2.0 Standing on the south lawn of the White House just days after 9/11, Bush told...

How to Forget, American-Style: George W. Bush and the Forever War

Former President George W. Bush on the set of an interview, February 27, 2017. (Photo: Nathan Congleton / Flickr) With Washington, DC, now transformed into...

Bush-Era Foreign Policy Delusions Are Alive and Well in 2017

In trying to unravel the debates over U.S. foreign policy currently being fought out in the editorial pages of the New York Times, The...
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Video: ‘I like George W. Bush now’: Liberals warm up to former president after...

Former US President George W. Bush is back in the spotlight – in the wake of his recent criticism of fellow Republican Donald Trump....

George W. Bush Now on Right Side of Press Corps’s Nostalgia Machine

The Guardian welcomes the return of George Bush at a time when Republicans are “trading principles for power.” “A welcome return.” That’s how the Guardian (2/27/17),...

Rehabilitating Bush: The Deadly Illusion Of Corporate Dissent

The title of the editorial said it all: The Guardian view on George W Bush: a welcome return. In a tongue-in-cheek, almost jovial, piece the Guardian...
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Video: Trump Seeks Record Pentagon Budget Eclipsing Spending by Ronald Reagan & George W....

http://democracynow.org - President Trump has proposed increasing the military budget to just over $600 billion—a 10 percent increase—while deeply slashing ... Via Youtube
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Video: The Whole Bushel: Stop It With These False Prophets

In the first episode of the Whole Bushel, Baltimore rapper Eze Jackson sits down with three local artists: singer, Ama Chandra, rapper Ashley Sierra,...

Ron Paul on Business As Usual – Is Trump’s Foreign Policy Just More Bush...

The last two weeks have been quite a disappointment for those who expected President Trump to make a clear break...

Trump Proves He does not Differ from the Bush-Obama War on Muslims

Former Ronald Reagan administration official Paul Craig Roberts continues to take aim at the Left. Why this time? Apparently Roberts supports Trump’s ban on...
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Video: Faiza Patel: Trump Is Taking U.S. Back to Era of George W. Bush—But...

http://democracynow.org - According to leaked documents, another executive order is in the works that would temporarily ban most refugees from entering the ... Via Youtube

The Bush-Obama Mafia

This week, Congress passed a budget calling for increasing federal spending and adding $1.7 trillion to the national debt over the next ten years....

NYT Ignored Reality at 2001 Bush Inauguration; Now Ignorance Is History

It was much harder for TV than for newspapers to downplay the reality that George W. Bush was greeted in 2001 by massive protests. Discussing...

Armed civilian saves ambushed Arizona trooper, kills attacker

An unknown motorist is being hailed as a hero after he shot and killed a suspect...

George W. Bush's Ethics Lawyer: Trump Will Be in Violation of Constitution on Day...

Could Donald Trump be in violation of the Constitution on his first day in office? That's the conclusion of some leading constitutional law experts....
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Video: George W. Bush’s Ethics Lawyer: Trump Will Be in Violation of Constitution on...

http://democracynow.org - Could Donald Trump be in violation of the Constitution on his first day in office? That's the conclusion of some leading constitutional...

Bush's Iraq Lies, Uncontested, Will Haunt Us Under Trump

The CODEPINK Tribunal taking place December 1 and 2, and live streamed by The Real News, is a historic collection of testimonies about the lies and costs of the...

Bush’s Iraq Lies, Uncontested, Will Haunt Us Under Trump

The CODEPINK Tribunal taking place December 1 and 2, and live streamed by The Real News, is a historic collection of testimonies about the...
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Video: Discredited Neocons From The Bush Era Floated as US Foreign Policy Advisors to...

Figures like John Bolton and Jeff Sessions could lead us towards a dangerous confrontation with Iran, says journalist Gareth Porter Visit http://therealnews.com ... Via Youtube

Officer shot ‘twice in face’ during St. Louis ambush, manhunt underway

An officer was ambushed and shot in the face while sitting in his police car in...

Trump predicted to tap mastermind of Bush torture program as CIA chief

Jose Rodriguez, one of the masterminds behind the infamous George W. Bush torture and retention program,...

2 cops shot, killed in 'ambush-style' attack in Des Moines, Iowa – police

Two police officers have been killed in Des Moines, Iowa, in what police are describing as...

How the 2004 Presidential Election Was Stolen by George W. Bush

Eric Zuesse (RINF) - In 2006, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. headlined at Rolling Stone “Was the 2004 Election Stolen?” and he presented an argument that...

Neocons and Bush Crime Family Back Hillary

MarcFaberNews.com October 1, 2016 Marc Faber : Under Hillary Clinton, 80%. Under Donald Trump, 20%. The neocons led by the Bush family are pro-Hillary, because they made...

A Bush Helped Kill a Kennedy

By Russ Baker Who.What.Why. September 30, 2016 Anyone who knows anything about the Kennedy family’s relationship with the Bushes will find the following odd: Robert F....
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Video: Bush and Cheney Created an Intel Culture of “Not Wanting to Know” about...

Senator Bob Graham, former Co-Chair of the Joint Congressional Committee investigating 9/11, says President Bush was like a "head coach" ordering ... Via Youtube
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Video: Sen. Bob Graham: Before 9/11 Attack, Bush and Cheney Made Sure Plot and...

Senator Bob Graham, former co-chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, tells Paul Jay that the Bush administration created a culture of "not wanting to...

'Get the bastards' : George W Bush’s reaction after 9/11 attacks revealed

George W Bush’s reaction to the 9/11 attacks has been revealed by his press secretary at...

Iraqi Woman Uses Chilcot Report in War Crimes Lawsuit Against George W. Bush

President George W. Bush discusses the Iraq war in Washington, May 24, 2007. (Photo: Stephen Crowley / The New York Times) Sundus Saleh,...
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Video: Too Little, Too Late: Obama/Bush In Louisiana

In this video, Rachel Blevins looks at the fact that while President Obama's initial response to the massive flooding in Louisiana looked a lot...

Massive fire engulfs tower block in London's Shepherd's Bush (VIDEO)

Twenty fire engines and 120 firefighters were called to battle a massive blaze that engulfed...
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Video: Donald Trump Claims Obama & Clinton Founded ISIS, But Bush Negotiated U.S. Withdrawal...

http://democracynow.org - As Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump claims Barack Obama and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton founded the ... Via Youtube

The Invisible Man: George W. Bush and a Hole in History

Former President George W. Bush speaks during a campaign rally for his brother Jeb Bush, a Republican presidential hopeful, at the Coliseum...

Pro-Bush necons backing Hillary Clinton: Analyst

Neo-conservatists, who once supported former Republican US President George W. Bush, are now supporting Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, says an analyst. “The Democratic Party…...

Lyin’Ted, the Bushes, Et Hoc Genus Omne

The self-righteousness and smugness of Ted Cruz in refusing to endorse Donald Trump, then walking off stage in Cleveland, smirking amidst the boos, takes...
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Video: Have You Seen George W. Bush? John Kasich? John McCain? Looking for the...

http://democracynow.org - On Wednesday, Senator Ted Cruz dominated the headlines when he refused to endorse Donald Trump during his prime-time speech ... Via Youtube

9/11: Bush’s Guilt, And the ’28 Pages’

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org On Friday July15th, as the national newsmedia were either on vacation or preparing for the opening of the Trump...

Is Bushism Dead?

Neither George W. Bush, the Republican Party nominee in 2000 and 2004, nor Jeb, the dethroned Prince of Wales, will be in Cleveland. Nor...

Blair to Bush on 9/12/01: ‘Co-Opt’ Sympathy for War

“It is now that the world is in a state of shock; now that it feels maximum sympathy for the US;...

Party time: George Bush shocks America with little dance at Dallas police memorial service...

Just when it seemed former President George W. Bush was at a safe enough distance from...
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Video: RAW: George Bush dancing during Dallas memorial service

George Bush seen dancing, so to say, during interfaith memorial service for the five Dallas, Texas police officers killed in an ambush at a...

The Chilcot Report Fails to Speak Plain Truth: Bush Lied, So Did Blair

US President George W. Bush and UK Prime Minister Tony Blair during a news conference from the Rose Garden at the White...
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Video: ‘I will be with you, whatever’: Londoners react to Blair’s letters to Bush...

The Chilcot report has shed light on many things - one of them being the almost tender relationship between Tony Blair and George W....
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Video: U.S. Policies Have Not Changed: Banned Under Bush, Tariq Ramadan Speaks Out Against...

http://democracynow.org - In 2004, Tariq Ramadan accepted a job at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, and Time magazine listed him among the...

Bush, Blair and the Lies That Justified the Illegal Iraq War

The Chilcot report, released today by the British government, concluded what most have known for a long time: that Tony Blair took Britain to...

Tony Blair’s letters to George W. Bush to be released… but not the president’s...

Secret correspondence between former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and ex-US President George W. Bush will finally be published in connection with Sir John...

Texas man ambushed & shot en-route to mosque

A doctor on his way to a Houston mosque for morning prayers was reportedly surrounded by...
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Video: Christopher Bollyn “War On Terror Created At 1979 Jerusalem Conference By Bibi Netanyahu...

Please Support The Show – http://richieallen.co.uk/ https://www.facebook.com/therichieallenshow http://www.youtube.com/RichieAllenShowMedia Tune in at ... Via Youtube

Democrats Wrap Up Occupation of House, Continue Embrace of Bush National Security Policies

House Democrats wave to supporters after ending their House sit-in at the Capitol Building in Washington, DC, on June 23, 2016. (Al...
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Video: ‘Dove’ Obama beats ‘hawk’ Bush in number of bombed states

While some criticize Barack Obama for his lack of military action in Syria, the war record of his presidency proves quite the opposite. RT's...

Whirling ‘fire devil’ spotted as California bush blaze rages (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)

Emergency services battling the “Sherpa” fire in California say they have contained 45 percent of the...
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Video: Latest CIA Torture Docs Show “Evidence of War Crimes” & Level of Brutality...

http://democracynow.org - Shocking new details have been made public about the CIA's torture program as the agency has declassified dozens of once-secret ... Via Youtube

Man who ambushed Labour MP Jo Cox identified as Tommy Mair – reports

The man arrested over the assassination of Labour MP Jo Cox has been named by...

‘I sent you a love letter’: British PM Major & Bush Sr shared affectionate...

“Love” letters between former UK Prime Minister John Major and US President George HW Bush...

Secret Bush-era blacklist delays Muslim citizenship applications – lawsuit

Thirteen Muslims living in the US have filed a lawsuit against the US government for delaying...

Bush Republicanism Is Dead and Gone

“The two living Republican past presidents, George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush, have no plans to endorse Trump, according to their spokesmen.”...
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Video: Bush, Rumsfeld, Cheney “The Evil Trio” Michael Meacher MP on 9/11

Bush, Rumsfeld and Cheney - The Evil Trio - Michael Meacher MP on 9/11 at Loughborough University Matt Campbell @mattcampbell911. Via Youtube
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Video: Rebecca Gordon “Cheney, Bush & Rumsfeld Must Answer For Evil Post 9/11 War...

Please Support The Show – http://richieallen.co.uk/ https://www.facebook.com/therichieallenshow http://www.youtube.com/RichieAllenShowMedia Tune in at ... Via Youtube

Bush-41’s October Surprise Denials

Exclusive: “Deny everything,” British traitor Kim Philby said, explaining how the powerful can bluff past their crimes, a truism known to...

‘Anti-Trump’ Jeb Bush backs Ted Cruz for president

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush endorsed Ted Cruz on Wednesday, saying the senator from Texas represents the GOP’s best chance to unite and...

Please Clap: The Bush Dynasty Has Been Broken

(Image: Jared Rodriguez / Truthout) Jeb Bush dropped out of the 2016 presidential race not long ago, and you could hear the earth...

Bush Implicated in Savings & Loan Crisis Joins Cruz National Finance Team

Neil Bush, the brother of Jeb and George W. Bush, has joined the Ted Cruz national finance team. The move opens the door for the...
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Video: John Hankey: ” I believe Father & Son George Bush Murdered JFK and...

Please Support The Show – http://richieallen.co.uk/ John Hankey Websites - http://www.TheDarkLegacy.Com/ www.BushKilledJFK. Via Youtube
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Video: Former Bush Treasury Official Agrees with Sanders on Breaking Up the Big Banks

Economist Gerald Epstein says President of Minneapolis Federal Reserve Neel KashKari's Support of Bernie's Banking Policy is Both Surprising and Welcome. Via Youtube

Clinton-Bush Hardliner Attacks Congress for Blocking Invasion of Syria

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org In a Huffington Post interview on February 23rd, the Clinton-Bush former head of the NSA and CIA, and defender of their...
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Video: What Is the Government Still Hiding? ACLU Continues Fight to Obtain Photos of...

http://democracynow.org - Earlier this month, the Pentagon released nearly 200 photographs relating to the abuse of prisoners by U.S. military personnel in Iraq ... Via...

Bush crime family members are pillars of US deep state: Scholar

The Bush crime family is the dirtiest bunch of corrupt politicians in the United States, and they are the pillars of the US deep...

GOP Frontrunner: ‘Bush Lied, People Died’

Pardon me while I sit back and enjoy the panic of the Republican – and media – elites as the GOP frontrunner takes up that...

Edward Snowden burns Jeb Bush, Kanye in one devastating tweet

Kanye West hasn’t had a great week. With his tweets getting more attention than the release of his new album, The Life of Pablo,...

Bush is back: George W hits the campaign trail to help brother Jeb

George W Bush is back in the political limelight after a long hiatus to support brother Jeb’s campaign to become president number 45. Number 43...
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Video: “The War in Iraq was a Big, Fat Mistake”: Trump & Bush Spar...

http://democracynow.org - At Saturday's Republican debate in Greenville, South Carolina, Donald Trump and Jeb Bush had a tense exchange over former ... Via Youtube
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Video: Another Bush, Another Preemptive War? Jeb Supports U.S. Military Strikes Against North Korea

http://democracynow.org - North Korea is facing international condemnation after launching a long-range rocket over the weekend carrying what it called a ... Via Youtube

Pentagon Releases 200 Photos of Bush-Era Prisoner Abuse, Thousands Kept Secret

'What the photos that the government has suppressed would show is that abuse was so widespread that it could only have resulted from policy...

Bush Administration Nuclear Policy Enabled India’s H-bomb Program

The scenic Karnataka state in India, site of a new nuclear complex. (Photo: Swaminathan / Flickr Commons) In December, the Center for Public Integrity published...
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Video: Baby kangaroos rescued from bushfire in Australia

Two baby kangaroos rescued from a bushfire and wrapped in bandages to heal their extensive burns played together at the Waroona Veterinary Clinic in...

Usurping the Bush and Clinton Dynasties

The post Usurping the Bush and Clinton Dynasties appeared first on OtherWords. This piece was reprinted from Other Words by RINF Alternative News with permission.
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Video: Executive Action: Bush Opened Guantánamo Without Congress, So Why Can’t Obama Close It?

As President Obama takes executive action on gun control without going through Congress, could closing Guantánamo be next? In January 2009, Obama ... Via Youtube
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Video: Fluffy survivor: Cute koala saved from bushfires enjoys life

An unconscious koala caught in raging bushfires in Australia was rescued by firefighters. After having some water and gum leaves, the cute animal is...

Court Rules Bush Administration Can Be Sued for Its "War on Terror" Conduct

Everyone who authorized and participated in the illegal roundup of hundreds of innocent men after 9/11, from high-up government officials on down, is now...
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Video: Lavrov: Downing Russian Su-24 looks like planned provocation, well-prepared ambush

The downing of a Russian warplane in Syria by Turkey appears to be a pre-planned provocation, the Russian Foreign Minister said. Ankara failed to...

Politico Reports Bush Knew 2001 Terror-Attack Was Imminent and Wanted It

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org A stunning news-report at Politico on November 12th, titled “The Attacks Will Be Spectacular,” reveals that the then CIA Director George...

Bush-41 Finally Speaks on Iraq War

Media reports on Jon Meacham’s biography of George H. W. Bush, the 41st President, have brought me a painful flashback to the deceptive, destructive —...

Bush-41 Finally Speaks on Iraq War

Exclusive: A dozen years too late, President George H.W. Bush has given voice to his doubts about the wisdom of rushing into the Iraq...

George Bush Snr slams ‘iron-ass’ Cheney & Rumsfeld in biography

Ex-US President George H.W. Bush has a bone to pick with Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld. In a new biography of the 41st president,...
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Video: Power Wars: How Obama Continued Bush’s National Security State After Campaigning Against It

Democracynow.org - With just over a year left in office, President Obama is running out of time to fulfill his longstanding promise to close...

Jeb Bush knows 9/11 was false flag operation: Researcher

Republican presidential hopeful and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush knows full well that the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks was a false flag operation,...

Bush administration didn’t just let 9/11 happen, they made it happen: Scholar

An American philosopher and researcher says former US President George W. Bush deserves full blame for the September 11, 2001 attacks, which were orchestrated...

War Criminals Bush-Blair Secret ‘Deal in Blood’

 A bombshell White House memo has revealed for the first time details of the ‘deal in blood’ forged by Tony Blair and George Bush...
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Video: Robert Reich: Donald Trump & Jeb Bush Plans Would Slash Taxes for the...

Democracynow.org - On the campaign trail, Republican candidates are proposing massive new tax cuts for the rich despite growing economic inequality across ... Via Youtube

SLEAZE: Monsanto shill PR firm Ketchum also ran Bush Administration propaganda for the Honduran...

A New York-based public relations firm that has been engaged in a number of controversies including conducting covert propaganda for the George W. Bush...

‘Put Thatcher’s face on $10 bills,’ says Jeb Bush

US presidential hopeful Jeb Bush was treated to a round of applause during a Republican nomination debate on Wednesday after he suggested the late...

Supporters worry Jeb Bush campaign might be over: Report

Jeb Bush’s poor performance in the first GOP debate has many fundraisers and supporters worry that his presidential campaign might be over if he...

How Jeb Bush’s Florida Plan for School ‘Choice’ Created an Industry of Corruption and...

"Reading the emails make(s) me want to throw up" tweeted the Food Babe after reading a lengthy series of them posted online by The...

Jeb Bush Deploys George W. Bush to Court Pro-Israel GOP Donors

George W. Bush has been conspicuously absent from his younger brother's presidential campaign, but Jeb Bush is putting him to use–at least in private....
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Video: George W. Bush dances at 10th Katrina anniversary

Former US President George W. Bush returned to New Orleans on the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina - to tout the region's recovery from...
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Video: “George Bush Doesn’t Care About Black People”: Reflections on Kanye West’s Criticism 10...

Democracynow.org - On Sept. 2, 2005, during a nationally televised telethon benefit for victims of Hurricane Katrina, hip-hop legend Kanye West went off script...
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Video: The Real Truth About Jeb Bush, CIA Sociopath

In this video Luke Rudkowski gives you the lowdown on John Ellis Bush or Jeb Bush. We go through his sketchy business career, early...

Jeb Bush won’t rule out torture tactics, says they’re effective

Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush told an audience in Iowa that he would not rule out resuming the use of torture by the US...

Jeb Bush wants to implement war-like policies: Analyst

Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush would follow his father and brother in implementing war-like policies around the world, says a former US Senate candidate. Jeb...

Jeb Bush Didn’t Misspeak: The GOP Wants to Dismantle Reproductive Health Programs

This week Jeb Bush made a slip of the tongue that let us know just where he stands on reproductive health. "I'm not sure...
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Video: Bristol mum Rita Lynch goes head-to-head with Mayor Ferguson over Bush disabled kids...

Stop the cuts to The Bush Residential Unit for disabled children Author: Rita Lynch ... Via Youtube

Bankster Prosecutions Plunged After Bush’s Presidency

Eric Zuesse U.S. President Barack Obama has followed through on the secret promise he made in the White House, on 27 March 2009, to Wall...
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Video: Babushka the Ripper: Serial killer granny arrested for slaughtering at least 10 in...

Police in St Petersburg have arrested an elderly pensioner suspected of killing at least a dozen people over the last two decades. RT's Ilya...

Jeb Bush: “People Need to Work Longer Hours.” Media Soften It.

Reuters & CNBC, Etc.: "Bush says Americans should have chance to work longer hours in improved economy.” Eric Zuesse Jeb Bush, on July 8th: “My aspiration for the...

Such a patriot – George W. Bush charged $100,000 for veterans charity speech

Former US president George W. Bush charged $100,000 to speak at a charity fundraising event in 2012 for US military veterans severely injured during...

Jeb Bush’s ‘Transparency’ Ploy

Exclusive: In an opening volley of a possible clash between two well-to-do political dynasties, Jeb Bush challenged Hillary Clinton by releasing more than three decades of...

Ex-Bush officials to teach course on decision-making in Iraq invasion

Two key players and advocates of the US war on Iraq will teach a course on decision-making during the invasion of the country under...

How the Bush Administration Created the Iran "Nuclear Confession" Scam

Secretary of State John Kerry gave further legitimacy to a long-running official scam over the demand for a confession from Iran last week, even...

It’s a (Bush) Family Affair

Back in 1991, shortly after the depleted uranium-flaked dust had settled some from the first Gulf War, there was a minor tempest in the...

How Obama Consolidated the Legacies of Bush and Clinton

As the presidency of Barack Obama has evolved, or devolved, as it were, it’s become clearer to everyone that he is little more than...

The Bush Family ‘Oiligarchy’

From the Archive: The past often is prologue – making it especially important to know how a politician built his career and who helped him. In...

Jeb Bush’s Tangled Past

Special Report: As Jeb Bush prepares to announce his presidential candidacy, he’s mostly viewed as the smarter and less dangerous Bush brother, but he...

Evil Is Real: George Bush Is Making Millions Off His Ungodly Crimes

The empire staggers on. Obama sends more senseless troops to Iraq, revisionist history proclaims the "courage" of the authors of its tragedy, and George...

Why We Shouldn’t Look the Other Way on Bush’s Iraq War Crimes

Donald Rumsfeld is this generation's Robert McNamara. Over 12 years after overseeing and helping to design the 2003 invasion of Iraq - the former secretary...

War Criminal Dynasty: The Last Jeb Killed for Slavery, The Last Bush Killed for...

Presidential elections should be limited to as short a time period as possible and are generally the biggest drain and distraction going. I have...

Moronic Jeb Bush contributes to anti-Russian propaganda

Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush has vowed to take a tougher stance to tamp down Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “aggression” should he become president...

Bush wrong on Iraq: Rumsfeld

Former US defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld says his commander-in-chief, George W. Bush, was wrong to push “democracy” on Iraq. "I'm not one who thinks that...

‘We Are Many’: The Story of Bush and Blair’s Great Lie

Tony Blair's not entirely unexpected resignation from his job as Middle East peace envoy last month - and the ensuing Twitter jokes about it...

Jeb Bush and Discrimination

For the third time in twenty-six years, there is the frightening possibility of a Bush being a viable presidential candidate. The United States voter...

Gulf War II a Bush Disaster? So was Gulf War I

In light of the shocking advances of the Islamic State, the sense that Iraq is coming apart at the seams despite the huge toll...

Bush’s brother blames crisis in Iraq on Obama

Presumed US Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush, brother of former US President George W. Bush, has criticized President Barack Obama’s Iraq policy. The former Florida...

Jeb Bush Bobs & Weaves the Iraq War

A little over a week ago, Fox News aired an exclusive interview with Jeb Bush. It has caused a stir. Jeb has yet to announce...

​Nevermind: Jeb Bush walks back comment about authorizing Iraq invasion

A few days after former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said he would have authorized the invasion of Iraq even if he knew there were...

Did Jeb Bush just commit a War Crime in Justifying the Iraq War?

Jeb Bush’s people are trying to walk back his disastrous interview with Megyn Kelly in which he said that even if he knew then...

Jeb Bush Admits He Would Have Invaded Iraq Based On Lies Just Like His...

In this clip from the Kelly File, Jeb Bush declares that he still would have invaded Iraq based on the “faulty intelligence” that was available...

Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and the Long Quest for Justice

San Francisco attorney Inder Comar didn’t initially strike me as a human rights crusader working to bring accountability to arguably the most powerful political...

The big lie: Obama, Hillary/Bill, Bush, “income inequality and violence”

by Jon Rappoport (NoMoreFakeNews) - “There are lots of ways to destroy communities. One of the most successful is: take jobs away. Cancel jobs. Then, cover this...
Former Florida governor Jeb Bush speaks at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Maryland, outside Washington, on February 27, 2015 (AFP Photo/Nicholas Kamm)

How Jeb Bush’s pension deals enriched his brother’s donors

Andrew Perez While Jeb Bush was governor of Florida, state pension officials committed at least $1.7 billion to financial firms whose executives were “Pioneer” fundraisers...

How Bush Won the War in Iraq – Really!

By Greg Palast for Vice Magazine If you thought it was "Blood for Oil"--you're wrong.  It was far, far worse. Because it was marked "confidential" on each page, the oil industry stooge couldn't believe the US State Department had given me a complete copy of their secret plans for the oil fields of Iraq. Actually, [...]

Governor Walker Endorses the Bush Doctrine

Michael S. Rozeff Gov. Scott Walker wants the American military to be everywhere on earth. “I think anywhere and everywhere, we have to go beyond just...

Bush v. Clinton In 2016? New World Order Dream Matchup Being Touted As ‘Inevitable’

The next presidential election is still nearly two years away, and yet the mainstream media is already telling Americans who they are supposed to...

More Evidence Bush Lied About Iraq

The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee has released new information claiming the Bush administration misled the American people in the run-up to...

Bush Admin. Spent Billions on an Iraqi Army with 50,000 “ghost” Soldiers

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Arrest Bush in Richmond, Va.

To: Richmond, Va., Mayor Dwight C. Jones, Police Chief Ray J. Tarasovic, Sheriff C.T. Woody Jr,

From: David Swanson, author; Phil Wilayto, editor, The Virginia Defender; Ana Edwards, chair, Defenders' Sacred Ground Historical Reclamation Project

We hope you will consider this request from deeply concerned Virginians on its legal merits rather than its acceptability in certain social circles or how it might be received by certain television talking heads.

Conspiracy to torture has long been a felony in the U.S. Code, in both Title 18, Section 2340, and Title 18, Section 2441.  The United States is also a party to the Convention Against Torture, which requires the criminal prosecution of complicity in torture, and which -- under Article VI of the U.S. Constitution -- is part of the supreme Law of the Land.

Were a local resident credibly accused of torture, we sincerely doubt you would hesitate to seek his or her immediate arrest and indictment.

Waterboarding was universally recognized as torture until its acceptance by the U.S. government between 2001 and 2009.  The United States hung Japanese soldiers for it following World War II, and U.S. citizens have been convicted for it in U.S. courts.

Former U.S. President George W. Bush has repeatedly admitted to personally authorizing waterboarding.  He has made this confession in writing and on television, repeatedly, also declaring "I would do it again."

The Virginia state legislature has banned Virginia law enforcement personnel from cooperating with federal efforts to detain any U.S. citizen in accordance with the National Defense Authorization Act in violation of the U.S. Constitution.  George W. Bush ordered such unlawful detentions, including in the well-known case of Jose Padilla, as well as numerous such unlawful imprisonments and kidnappings of non-U.S. citizens, including one case in Italy for which 23 U.S. subordinates of President Bush have been convicted in criminal court.

Then President George W. Bush's submission of his March 18, 2003, letter and report to the United States Congress justifying a war on Iraq on false pretenses violated federal criminal law, including: the federal anti-conspiracy statute, 18 U.S.C. - 371, which makes it a felony "to commit any offense against the United States, or to defraud the United States, or any agency thereof in any manner or for any purpose..."; and The False Statements Accountability Act of 1996, 18 U.S.C. - 1001, which makes it a felony to issue knowingly and willfully false statements to the United States Congress. Not only does overwhelming evidence show us that Bush knew his claims about WMDs to be false, but the former president has shown us that he considers the question of truth or falsehood to be laughably irrelevant. When Diane Sawyer asked Bush on television why he had claimed with such certainty that there were so many weapons in Iraq, he replied: "What’s the difference? The possibility that [Saddam] could acquire weapons, If he were to acquire weapons, he would be the danger." The difference was, of course, one of life and death, but also one of law.

The Law Enforcement Oath of Honor reads:

On my honor,
I will never betray my badge,
my integrity, my character,
or the public trust.
I will always have
the courage to hold myself
and others accountable for our actions.
I will always uphold the Constitution
my community and the agency I serve.

This admirable oath does not commit one who swears it to upholding the Constitution when convenient, or finding courage when Fox News approves, or betraying one's integrity as long as there's a good excuse handy.

There is no good excuse we are aware of not to arrest George W. Bush if he sets foot in Richmond as he plans to do to speak at the Richmond Forum.  Other towns in the United States have passed ordinances committing to seeking his arrest should he set foot there. Bush could be arrested and turned over to federal authorities.  What they do with him, if anything, is not our concern.

Or Bush could be arrested and indicted in Virginia.  Why Virginia?  A program of warrantless spying instituted by Bush has almost certainly violated Virginia law in Virginia.  Programs of lawless imprisonment and torture developed by Bush have almost certainly violated Virginia law in Virginia, including in the case of Chelsea Manning's torture at Quantico under Bush's successor, as well as the case of Yaser Esam Hamdi whose illegal treatment under Bush's presidency has been recognized as such by the U.S. Supreme Court.  The CIA's torture program has almost certainly violated Virginia law, U.S. law, and the Convention Against Torture at the CIA's headquarters in Langley and its training facility in Williamsburg. Virginia's obligations under the Convention Against Torture are not eliminated by the United States' open and shameful violation of that treaty. Members of the U.S. military from Virginia were sent to their deaths in Iraq on the basis of claims known by Bush and his subordinates to be false. That last fact led famed prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi to draft an indictment of Bush for murder.

Powers seized by Bush are being continued and expanded by his successor in the White House, whose attitude of law enforcement by "looking forward" is a grant of immunity that the state of Virginia is under no obligation to support.

We thank you for your serious consideration of the legal and moral action to be taken in this moment of national weakness.  We would be grateful for your response, and we promise to seriously consider any points on which you can enlighten us.

Sincerely,
David Swanson, author; Phil Wilayto, editor, The Virginia Defender; Ana Edwards, chair, Defenders' Sacred Ground Historical Reclamation Project

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WASHINGTON - October 17 - George W Bush’s former Under-Secretary for Homeland Security has dismissed claims advanced by lawyers for the UK Government that hearing cases brought by torture victims in the British courts may damage US-UK intelligence-sharing.
 
In the best known of these cases, Gaddafi opponent Abdulhakim Belhaj and his wife Fatima Boudchar are taking the Government, MI6 and former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw to court next week over their alleged role in their kidnap and ‘rendition’ to Libya in 2004, where Mr Belhaj was tortured.  Mr Straw was Foreign Secretary, with responsibility for MI6, at the time.
 
Lawyers for the UK Government have claimed that the case should not proceed as it would damage UK-US relations and the US’ willingness to share intelligence with the UK.   However, asked today by Reprieve’s Strategic Director, Cori Crider, whether he agreed with UK ministers’ claim that rendition and torture cases cannot be tried in Britain without endangering the intelligence-sharing relationship with the US, Asa Hutchinson, who also headed the Drugs Enforcement Administration under Bush, said “no.”
 
Mr Hutchinson was speaking at the UK launch of a report on ‘Detainee Treatment’ produced by a panel of former security officials, military figures, and senior US politicians.  He was joined by former US Ambassador to the UN, Thomas Pickering, also a member of the panel, who agreed with his view on the UK Government’s claims.  Ambassador Pickering stated that the information being shared and the partnership between the US and UK were “too important” and that, as a result, “of course” the information would be shared.
 
Ambassador Pickering also criticised the recently-passed Justice and Security Act, which rolls out secret courts known as Closed Material Procedures across the civil justice system in Britain, arguing that it seems it will lead to “more secrecy, not less.”
 
On Shaker Aamer, the British resident detained at Guantanamo Bay despite having been cleared for release, he said that “The US should immediately release Aamer or give reasons for his continued detention.”
 
Commenting, Cori Crider said: “When a Bush-era senior security official and a former US ambassador both dismiss the UK Government’s claims on why torture cases should not come before the court, it becomes clear that ministers do not have a leg to stand on.   Government lawyers are trotting out the same tired old line to try to avoid accountability: that it will harm national security, and the US will stop sharing intelligence with us.  Under-Secretary Hutchinson’s and Ambassador Pickering’s comments show that this claim is nonsense.”
 
ENDS
 
Notes to editors
 
1. For further information, please contact Donald Campbell in Reprieve’s press office: +44 (0) 207 553 8166 / [email protected] uk

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Dying Iraq War Veteran Tomas Young Reads “Last Letter” to President Bush and Dick...

Iraq War veteran Tomas Young was left paralyzed in a 2004 attack in Iraq. Released from medical care three months later, Young returned home to become an active member in Iraq Veterans Against the War. He recently announced that he will stop his medicine and nourishment, which comes in the form of liquid through a feeding tube — a decision which will hasten his death. Joining us from his home in Kansas City, Young reads from his letter, "A Message to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney From a Dying Veteran." Young says to Bush and Cheney: "You may evade justice but in our eyes you are each guilty of egregious war crimes, of plunder and, finally, of murder, including the murder of thousands of young Americans — my fellow veterans — whose future you stole."

TRANSCRIPT:

AMY GOODMAN: We turn to another clip from Body of War of more voices from the floor of the Senate, the Senate roll call of yes votes authorizing the war in Iraq in 2002.

SEN. BILL NELSON: The threat posed by Iraq grows with each passing day.

SENATE ROLL CALL: Mr. Bayh, aye.

REP. JOSEPH PITTS: It’s a danger that grows every day.

SENATE ROLL CALL: Mr. Bennett, aye.

SEN. JOHN McCAIN: Each day that goes by, he becomes more dangerous.

SEN. MIKE DeWINE: More diabolical.

REP. JOSEPH PITTS: Every day, Saddam Hussein grows stronger.

SEN. JOHN McCAIN: His capabilities become better.

SENATE ROLL CALL: Mr. Biden, aye.

REP. JOSEPH PITTS: Every day, Saddam Hussein builds more chemical and biological weapons.

SEN. JOHN McCAIN: The longer we wait, the more dangerous he becomes.

SENATE ROLL CALL: Mr. Bond, aye. Mr. Breaux, aye. Mr. Brownback, aye. Mr. Bunning, aye. Mr. Burns, aye. Mr. Campbell, aye. Ms. Cantwell, aye. Mrs. Carnahan, aye. Mr. Carper, aye. Aye, aye, aye, aye.

SEN. ROBERT BYRD: Wait! Slow down! Don’t rush this through.

AMY GOODMAN: That was the late senator, West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd, as you hear the roll call of yes votes, from the film Body of War.

We come 10 years later, 10th anniversary of the war in Iraq. Tomas Young, Iraq War veteran, wounded April 4th, 2004, his fifth day in Iraq, shot in Sadr City, is now writing a letter on this 10th anniversary called "The Last Letter: A Message to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney From a Dying Veteran." Tomas, can you read some of your letter to the former president and vice president?

TOMAS YOUNG: Absolutely.

“I write this letter on the 10th anniversary of the Iraq War on behalf of my fellow Iraq veterans. I write this letter on behalf of the 4,488 soldiers and Marines who died in Iraq. I write this letter on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of veterans who have been wounded and on behalf of [those who bear those wounds. I am one of those.] I [am] one of the gravely injured. I am paralyzed in an insurgent ambush in 2004 in Sadr City. My life is coming to an end. I am living under hospice care.

“I write this letter on behalf of husbands and wives who have lost spouses, on behalf of children who have lost parents, on behalf of the fathers and mothers who have lost sons and daughters and on behalf of those who care for the many thousands of my fellow veterans who have brain injuries. I write this letter on behalf of those veterans whose trauma and self-revulsion for what they have [done, witnessed, endured] in Iraq have led to suicide and on behalf of the active-duty soldiers and Marines who commit, on average, a suicide a day. I write this letter on behalf of the some 1 million Iraqi dead and on behalf of the countless Iraqi wounded. I write this letter on behalf of us all—the human detritus your war has left behind, those who will spend their lives in unending pain and grief.

“Your positions of authority, your millions of dollars of personal wealth, your public relations consultants, [and your privilege and power] cannot mask the hollowness of your character. You sent us to fight and die in Iraq after you, Mr. Cheney, dodged the draft in Vietnam, and you, Mr. Bush, went AWOL from your National Guard unit. Your cowardice and selfishness were established decades ago. You were not willing to risk yourselves for our nation but you sent hundreds of thousands of young men and women to be sacrificed in a senseless war with no more thought than it takes to put out the garbage.

"I write this letter, my last letter, to you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney. I write not because I think you grasp the terrible human and moral consequences of your lies, manipulation and thirst for wealth and power. I write this letter because, before my own death, I want to make it clear that I, and hundreds of thousands of my fellow veterans, along with millions of my fellow citizens, along with hundreds of millions more in Iraq and the Middle East, know fully who you are and what you are—who you are and what you have done. You may evade justice but in our eyes you are each guilty of egregious war crimes, of plunder and, finally, of murder" — I’m sorry, the type is very small, and my eyes are going. "... Iraq and the Middle East, know fully who you are and what you have done. You may evade justice but in our eyes you are each guilty of egregious war crimes, of plunder and, finally, of murder, including the murder of thousands of young Americans—my fellow veterans—whose future you stole.

"I joined the Army two days after the 9/11 attacks. I joined the Army because our country had been attacked. I wanted to strike back at those who had killed some 3,000 of my fellow citizens. I did not join the Army to go to Iraq, a country that had no part in the [9/11] attacks and did not pose a threat to its neighbors, much less to the [U.S.] I did not join the Army to 'liberate' Iraqis or to shut down mythical weapons-of-mass-destruction facilities or to implant what you cynically called 'democracy' in Baghdad and the Middle East. I did not join the Army to rebuild Iraq, which at the time you told us could be paid for by Iraq’s oil revenues."

AMY GOODMAN: Tomas, we—

TOMAS YOUNG: "Instead, this war" —

AMY GOODMAN: Tomas, we’re going to ask you to finish the letter after the broadcast, and we’re going to post it at democracynow.org. But in these last few seconds of the show, is there anything that would convince you not to end your life in the next few months?

TOMAS YOUNG: Not at this moment. There may come a time in the future when I say, "Hey, things are getting better; maybe I should reconsider this." But at this moment, nothing in this world has made me change my mind as to what I’m going to do.

AMY GOODMAN: I want people to go to democracynow.org to see the second part of this conversation that we will continue with Tomas Young and his wife, Claudia Cuellar, from their home in Kansas City, and with legendary talk show host Phil Donahue. Last seconds, Phil?

PHIL DONAHUE: Well, it’s just a study in what the Americans have not seen. If you’re going to send young men and women to war—

AMY GOODMAN: Four seconds.

PHIL DONAHUE: —show the pain. Otherwise, it’s going to be easy for us to have another one.

AMY GOODMAN: I’m Amy Goodman, with Juan González. Thanks for joining us.

The Last Letter: A Message to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney From...

bushcriminal

To: George W. Bush and Dick Cheney
From: Tomas Young

I write this letter on the 10th anniversary of the Iraq War on behalf of my fellow Iraq War veterans. I write this letter on behalf of the 4,488 soldiers and Marines who died in Iraq. I write this letter on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of veterans who have been wounded and on behalf of those whose wounds, physical and psychological, have destroyed their lives. I am one of those gravely wounded. I was paralyzed in an insurgent ambush in 2004 in Sadr City. My life is coming to an end. I am living under hospice care.

I write this letter on behalf of husbands and wives who have lost spouses, on behalf of children who have lost a parent, on behalf of the fathers and mothers who have lost sons and daughters and on behalf of those who care for the many thousands of my fellow veterans who have brain injuries. I write this letter on behalf of those veterans whose trauma and self-revulsion for what they have witnessed, endured and done in Iraq have led to suicide and on behalf of the active-duty soldiers and Marines who commit, on average, a suicide a day. I write this letter on behalf of the some 1 million Iraqi dead and on behalf of the countless Iraqi wounded. I write this letter on behalf of us all—the human detritus your war has left behind, those who will spend their lives in unending pain and grief.

You may evade justice but in our eyes you are each guilty of egregious war crimes, of plunder and, finally, of murder, including the murder of thousands of young Americans—my fellow veterans—whose future you stole.

I write this letter, my last letter, to you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney. I write not because I think you grasp the terrible human and moral consequences of your lies, manipulation and thirst for wealth and power. I write this letter because, before my own death, I want to make it clear that I, and hundreds of thousands of my fellow veterans, along with millions of my fellow citizens, along with hundreds of millions more in Iraq and the Middle East, know fully who you are and what you have done. You may evade justice but in our eyes you are each guilty of egregious war crimes, of plunder and, finally, of murder, including the murder of thousands of young Americans—my fellow veterans—whose future you stole.

Your positions of authority, your millions of dollars of personal wealth, your public relations consultants, your privilege and your power cannot mask the hollowness of your character. You sent us to fight and die in Iraq after you, Mr. Cheney, dodged the draft in Vietnam, and you, Mr. Bush, went AWOL from your National Guard unit. Your cowardice and selfishness were established decades ago. You were not willing to risk yourselves for our nation but you sent hundreds of thousands of young men and women to be sacrificed in a senseless war with no more thought than it takes to put out the garbage.

I joined the Army two days after the 9/11 attacks. I joined the Army because our country had been attacked. I wanted to strike back at those who had killed some 3,000 of my fellow citizens. I did not join the Army to go to Iraq, a country that had no part in the September 2001 attacks and did not pose a threat to its neighbors, much less to the United States. I did not join the Army to “liberate” Iraqis or to shut down mythical weapons-of-mass-destruction facilities or to implant what you cynically called “democracy” in Baghdad and the Middle East. I did not join the Army to rebuild Iraq, which at the time you told us could be paid for by Iraq’s oil revenues. Instead, this war has cost the United States over $3 trillion. I especially did not join the Army to carry out pre-emptive war. Pre-emptive war is illegal under international law. And as a soldier in Iraq I was, I now know, abetting your idiocy and your crimes. The Iraq War is the largest strategic blunder in U.S. history. It obliterated the balance of power in the Middle East. It installed a corrupt and brutal pro-Iranian government in Baghdad, one cemented in power through the use of torture, death squads and terror. And it has left Iran as the dominant force in the region. On every level—moral, strategic, military and economic—Iraq was a failure. And it was you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney, who started this war. It is you who should pay the consequences.

I would not be writing this letter if I had been wounded fighting in Afghanistan against those forces that carried out the attacks of 9/11. Had I been wounded there I would still be miserable because of my physical deterioration and imminent death, but I would at least have the comfort of knowing that my injuries were a consequence of my own decision to defend the country I love. I would not have to lie in my bed, my body filled with painkillers, my life ebbing away, and deal with the fact that hundreds of thousands of human beings, including children, including myself, were sacrificed by you for little more than the greed of oil companies, for your alliance with the oil sheiks in Saudi Arabia, and your insane visions of empire.

I have, like many other disabled veterans, suffered from the inadequate and often inept care provided by the Veterans Administration. I have, like many other disabled veterans, come to realize that our mental and physical wounds are of no interest to you, perhaps of no interest to any politician. We were used. We were betrayed. And we have been abandoned. You, Mr. Bush, make much pretense of being a Christian. But isn’t lying a sin? Isn’t murder a sin? Aren’t theft and selfish ambition sins? I am not a Christian. But I believe in the Christian ideal. I believe that what you do to the least of your brothers you finally do to yourself, to your own soul.

My day of reckoning is upon me. Yours will come.

I hope you will be put on trial. But mostly I hope, for your sakes, that you find the moral courage to face what you have done to me and to many, many others who deserved to live.

I hope that before your time on earth ends, as mine is now ending, you will find the strength of character to stand before the American public and the world, and in particular the Iraqi people, and beg for forgiveness.

Iraq War Vet Pens ‘Last Letter’ to Bush and Cheney Accusing Them of War...

An Iraq War veteran who joined the U.S. Army two days after 9/11 has written a powerful open letterto former President George W. Bush and ex-Vice President Dick Cheney accusing them of war crimes, “plunder” and “the murder of thousands of young Americans – my fellow veterans – whose future you stole.”Tomas Young, who was shot and paralyzed during an insurgent attack in Sadr City in 2004, five days into his first deployment, penned the letter from his Kansas City, Mo., home, where he’s under hospice care.

“I write this letter, my last letter, to you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney,” Young wrote in the letter published on Truthdig.com. “I write not because I think you grasp the terrible human and moral consequences of your lies, manipulation and thirst for wealth and power. I write this letter because, before my own death, I want to make it clear that I, and hundreds of thousands of my fellow veterans, along with millions of my fellow citizens, along with hundreds of millions more in Iraq and the Middle East, know fully who you are and what you have done. You may evade justice but in our eyes you are each guilty of egregious war crimes, of plunder and, finally, of murder, including the murder of thousands of young Americans – my fellow veterans – whose future you stole.”

© Truthdig.com Tomas Young

The 33-year-old, who was the subject of Phil Donahue’s 2007 documentary “Body of War,” continued:

I joined the Army two days after the 9/11 attacks. I joined the Army because our country had been attacked. I wanted to strike back at those who had killed some 3,000 of my fellow citizens. I did not join the Army to go to Iraq, a country that had no part in the September 2001 attacks and did not pose a threat to its neighbors, much less to the United States. I did not join the Army to “liberate” Iraqis or to shut down mythical weapons-of-mass-destruction facilities or to implant what you cynically called “democracy” in Baghdad and the Middle East. I did not join the Army to rebuild Iraq, which at the time you told us could be paid for by Iraq’s oil revenues.

Young believes he was injured fighting the wrong war:

I would not be writing this letter if I had been wounded fighting in Afghanistan against those forces that carried out the attacks of 9/11. Had I been wounded there I would still be miserable because of my physical deterioration and imminent death, but I would at least have the comfort of knowing that my injuries were a consequence of my own decision to defend the country I love. I would not have to lie in my bed, my body filled with painkillers, my life ebbing away, and deal with the fact that hundreds of thousands of human beings, including children, including myself, were sacrificed by you for little more than the greed of oil companies, for your alliance with the oil sheiks in Saudi Arabia, and your insane visions of empire.

“When Tomas Young saw President Bush on television speaking from the ruins of the Twin Towers, his life changed,” his bio on the “Body of War” website reads. “As his basic training began at Ft. Hood, he assumed that he would be shipped off to Afghanistan where the terrorist camps were based, routing out Al Qaeda and Taliban warriors. But soon, Bush ordered the invasion of Iraq.”

In an interview with Truthdig.com, Young – who suffered an anoxic brain injury in 2008 – said he had been contemplating “conventional” suicide, but decided to go on hospice care, “stop feeding and fade away.”

He said, “This way, instead of committing the conventional suicide and I am out of the picture, people have a way to stop by or call and say their goodbyes,” Young said. “I felt this was a fairer way to treat people than to just go out with a note.”

Bush’s Court: How the D.C. Circuit Threatens the Future of Progressive Reform

WASHINGTON - March 21 - Four years into President Obama’s presidency, he has yet to have a single judge confirmed to the hugely influential Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. This lapse, caused initially by a slow start from the administration but perpetuated by a blockade of obstruction in the Senate, threatens to hinder progressive advances for years to come, argues a new report from People For the American Way.

The report, AMERICA’S PROGRESS AT RISK: RESTORING BALANCE TO THE DC CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS, can be found here.

“The D.C. Circuit is the most important court most Americans have never heard of,” said Marge Baker, Executive Vice President of People For the American Way. “The D.C. Circuit’s judges have the final word on scores of federal laws each year, from air pollution controls to financial regulations to workers’ rights. Republicans have long understood this, and have packed the court with far-right ideologues who threaten to hold back American progress for decades to come. And they have so far blocked confirmation of judges who would bring any balance to this court."

President Obama is the first president since Woodrow Wilson to fail to have a single nominee confirmed to the D.C. Circuit during his first full term in office, despite the fact that four of the eleven seats on the court are now vacant. His first nominee to the court, the indisputably qualified Caitlin Halligan, was twice blocked by Senate Republicans for reasons widely recognized as spurious.

As a result, the D.C. Circuit continues to be dominated by judges pushing a right-wing ideology long rejected by the American people. The right-wing majority of the D.C. Circuit has continuously sought to dismantle progressive efforts to defend consumers, protect public health, and ensure the rights of workers. Recent D.C. Circuit decisions highlighted in the report include:

· Noel Canning v. NLRB: In January, the D.C. Circuit invalidated three presidential appointments to the National Labor Relations Board, undermining the Board’s ability to protect the rights of workers and giving the green light to Senate Republicans who wish to decimate any federal agency by blocking appointees.

· EME Homer City Generation v. EPA: In 2012, the D.C. Circuit sided with utility companies to strike down EPA air pollution regulations that would have prevented an estimated 34,000 premature deaths and saved $280 billion a year in healthcare costs.

· Business Roundtable v. SEC: In 2011, the D.C. Circuit overturned an SEC rule requiring greater accountability from corporations to their shareholders in selecting board members. One observer noted that in doing so the judges – none of them securities experts – had “waded into a political fight under the guise of dispassionate scientific oversight.”

· RJ Reynolds Tobacco v. FDA: Last year, the D.C. Circuit ruled that FDA regulations requiring cigarette manufacturers to place graphic, factually accurate warnings on their product violated tobacco companies’ First Amendment free speech rights.

· Hein Hettinga v. USA: George W. Bush nominee Janice Rogers Brown used a case about milk market regulation last year to issue a call to arms against eight decades of progressive reforms. Courts that have allowed the government to implement reasonable regulations of industry have, she said, put “property…at the mercy of pillagers.”

“President Obama has a chance in his second term to restore ideological balance to the D.C. Circuit,” added Marge Baker. “It is critically important that he do so. Otherwise, D.C. Circuit will continue to stand in the way of progressive reforms -- reforms chosen by American voters -- and threaten to roll back decades of hard-won protections for working people and consumers."

Statutes of Limitations Are Expiring on Some Bush Crimes

Americans have been facing a number of momentous deadlines, including the expiration of the Bush tax cuts and the “sequester” of $1 trillion from federal programs. But another critical deadline is fast approaching without attracting much notice. Statutes of limitations applicable to possible crimes committed by former President George W. Bush and his top aides, with respect to wiretapping of Americans without court approval and to fraud in launching and continuing the Iraq War, may expire in early 2014, less than a year from now.Vice President Dick Cheney, center, and senior administration officials, June 4, 2008. (Reuters/Larry Downing)

President Bush has publicly admitted to authorizing wiretaps of Americans on more than thirty separate occasions without a court order, an apparent violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). In justification, Bush claimed legal advice exempted him as commander-in-chief from obeying FISA. Normally, a lawyer’s advice is not a defense to prosecution, particularly when the client shapes the advice. Here, the White House worked closely with Justice Department lawyer John Yoo on the legal opinion and blocked standard Justice Department review, even though the opinion was seriously flawed according to Yoo’s successors. The opinion bears the hallmarks of a handy stay-out-of-jail card, instead of a serious independent analysis prepared and relied upon in good faith.

Because secrecy still surrounds the Bush wiretaps, we don’t know the dates on which they may have ended and therefore cannot calculate exactly when the five-year statute of limitations expires. Assuming that the warrantless wiretapping ended when Bush left office on January 20, 2009, the statute would run out on January 20, 2014.

President Bush and his team may have also violated the Conspiracy to Defraud the United States statute, which was used to prosecute top officials in the Watergate and Iran/Contra scandals. Together with others in his administration, he made many misstatements to Congress about the Iraq War. In one noteworthy example, just before the invasion, he notified Congress that the invasion met conditions it had set for an attack, including that it was aimed at persons or nations that “planned” or “aided” the 9/11 attacks. But neither Saddam Hussein nor Iraq planned or aided the attacks of 9/11.

The five-year statute of limitations for defrauding the US started running the day President Bush left office, because the Iraq War was undertaken not just to remove Saddam Hussein and install a new government but also, as the former president explained, to secure “victory” and create a “stable” Iraq, an effort that lasted through the end of Bush’s second term. That means the statue of limitations will expire on January 20, 2014.

Since no prosecutions can be brought after the statutes run out, unless investigations are started soon, any crimes that did occur will go unprosecuted and unpunished, deeply entrenching the principle of impunity for top officials. This would be shameful for our country and strike at the heart of the rule of law

After carefully reviewing the facts and law, a fair-minded prosecutor may decide that no prosecution of President Bush and his team is justified. As a former prosecutor, I know that there is a big difference between an apparent violation of a statute and a prosecutable case. I also know, however, that the failure to investigate apparent violations of law because of the high positions of those involved undermines our democracy. There cannot be two standards of justice in America, one for the powerful and another for the rest of us.

Nothing would corrode Americans’ respect for the rule of law more than enshrining a perception of impunity for top government officials. Nothing would encourage future criminality by presidents more than a belief that they are above the law. That is why it is incumbent upon the attorney general to appoint a well-regarded, independent prosecutor promptly, so that appropriate investigations can be completed in the time remaining.

President Bush and Vice President Cheney may also be criminally culpable for waterboarding and other forms of torture. This should also be investigated now, even though there is no statute of limitations for waterboarding and other life-threatening forms of torture—those responsible may be prosecuted as long as they live. Both President Bush and Vice President Cheney have publicly admitted their involvement in waterboarding detainees abroad. The federal anti-torture statute makes it an apparent crime to have done so. Attorney General Holder’s previous exoneration of CIA agents relying on the Justice Department memos regarding torture should not apply to President Bush and Vice President Cheney, because of their role in producing the memos.

The attorney general does not need Congressional approval to appoint a special prosecutor. Nor can political opponents prevent it. President Obama, however, has said that he wants to look forward and not back, and, given the enormous hostility of the congressional Republicans to his existing agenda, it is understandable his attorney general might want to avoid the partisan animosity appointing a special prosecutor would generate.

Despite the political consequences, it is hard to justify letting these statutes expire without conducting any investigation. The president’s oath of office requires him to take care that the laws are faithfully executed, arguably leaving him little political discretion on a subject of this weight and importance. Moreover, justice requires an impartial investigation, not a particular outcome, so the appointment of a special prosecutor is not a partisan endeavor. The investigation may not lead to prosecution, and in any case Obama has the power to pardon Bush as Ford pardoned Nixon if he feels prosecution is unjust.

But failing to act at all, not even to investigate the ample indications of possible crimes, sends a toxic message that a president is above the law. Letting the clock run out on investigating Bush administration misdeeds is an omission which could have disastrous consequences for the rule of law and an unpredictable effect on President Obama’s own place in history.

© 2013 The Nation

Former Congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman served on the House Judiciary Committee during Nixon's impeachment. She co-authored the 1973 special prosecutor statute, and co-wrote (with Cynthia L. Cooper) the 2006 book, The Impeachment of George W. Bush.

Dying vet to Bush: Day of Reckoning near

Tomas Young, an Army veteran took a bullet in Iraq that confined him to a wheelchair and inspired his vocal opposition to the war.

I write this letter on the 10th anniversary of the Iraq War on behalf of my fellow Iraq War veterans. I write this letter on behalf of the 4,488 soldiers and Marines who died in Iraq.

I write this letter on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of veterans who have been wounded and on behalf of those whose wounds, physical and psychological, have destroyed their lives.

I am one of those gravely wounded. I was paralyzed in an insurgent ambush in 2004 in Sadr City. My life is coming to an end. I am living under hospice care.

I write this letter on behalf of husbands and wives who have lost spouses, on behalf of children who have lost a parent, on behalf of the fathers and mothers who have lost sons and daughters and on behalf of those who care for the many thousands of my fellow veterans who have brain injuries.

I write this letter on behalf of those veterans whose trauma and self-revulsion for what they have witnessed, endured and done in Iraq have led to suicide and on behalf of the active-duty soldiers and Marines who commit, on average, a suicide a day.

I write this letter on behalf of the some 1 million Iraqi dead and on behalf of the countless Iraqi wounded. I write this letter on behalf of us all-the human detritus your war has left behind, those who will spend their lives in unending pain and grief.

You may evade justice but in our eyes you are each guilty of egregious war crimes, of plunder and, finally, of murder, including the murder of thousands of young Americans-my fellow veterans-whose future you stole.


I write this letter, my last letter, to you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney. I write not because I think you grasp the terrible human and moral consequences of your lies, manipulation and thirst for wealth and power.

I write this letter because, before my own death, I want to make it clear that I, and hundreds of thousands of my fellow veterans, along with millions of my fellow citizens, along with hundreds of millions more in Iraq and the Middle East, know fully who you are and what you have done.

You may evade justice but in our eyes you are each guilty of egregious war crimes, of plunder and, finally, of murder, including the murder of thousands of young Americans-my fellow veterans-whose future you stole.


Your positions of authority, your millions of dollars of personal wealth, your public relations consultants, your privilege and your power cannot mask the hollowness of your character.

You sent us to fight and die in Iraq after you, Mr. Cheney, dodged the draft in Vietnam, and you, Mr. Bush, went AWOL from your National Guard unit.

Your cowardice and selfishness were established decades ago. You were not willing to risk yourselves for our nation but you sent hundreds of thousands of young men and women to be sacrificed in a senseless war with no more thought than it takes to put out the garbage.

I joined the Army two days after the 9/11 attacks. I joined the Army because our country had been attacked. I wanted to strike back at those who had killed some 3,000 of my fellow citizens.

I did not join the Army to go to Iraq, a country that had no part in the September 2001 attacks and did not pose a threat to its neighbors, much less to the United States.

I did not join the Army to “liberate” Iraqis or to shut down mythical weapons-of-mass-destruction facilities or to implant what you cynically called “democracy” in Baghdad and the Middle East.

I did not join the Army to rebuild Iraq, which at the time you told us could be paid for by Iraq’s oil revenues. Instead, this war has cost the United States over $3 trillion.

I especially did not join the Army to carry out pre-emptive war. Pre-emptive war is illegal under international law. And as a soldier in Iraq I was, I now know, abetting your idiocy and your crimes.

The Iraq War is the largest strategic blunder in U.S. history. It obliterated the balance of power in the Middle East.


On every level-moral, strategic, military and economic-Iraq was a failure. And it was you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney, who started this war. It is you who should pay the consequences.

I would not be writing this letter if I had been wounded fighting in Afghanistan against those forces that carried out the attacks of 9/11. Had I been wounded there I would still be miserable because of my physical deterioration and imminent death, but I would at least have the comfort of knowing that my injuries were a consequence of my own decision to defend the country I love.

I would not have to lie in my bed, my body filled with painkillers, my life ebbing away, and deal with the fact that hundreds of thousands of human beings, including children, including myself, were sacrificed by you for little more than the greed of oil companies, for your alliance with the oil sheiks in Saudi Arabia, and your insane visions of empire.

I have, like many other disabled veterans, suffered from the inadequate and often inept care provided by the Veterans Administration.

I have, like many other disabled veterans, come to realize that our mental and physical wounds are of no interest to you, perhaps of no interest to any politician. We were used. We were betrayed. And we have been abandoned.

You, Mr. Bush, make much pretense of being a Christian. But isn’t lying a sin? Isn’t murder a sin? Aren’t theft and selfish ambition sins?

I am not a Christian. But I believe in the Christian ideal. I believe that what you do to the least of your brothers you finally do to yourself, to your own soul.

My day of reckoning is upon me. Yours will come. I hope you will be put on trial. But mostly I hope, for your sakes, that you find the moral courage to face what you have done to me and to many, many others who deserved to live.

I hope that before your time on earth ends, as mine is now ending, you will find the strength of character to stand before the American public and the world, and in particular the Iraqi people, and beg for forgiveness.

Originally posted at Veterans Today

TY/SL

Arundhati Roy on Iraq War’s 10th: Bush May Be Gone, But “Psychosis” of US...

Amy Goodman: March 19th marks the 10th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. According to a new report by Brown University, a decade of war led to the deaths of roughly 134,000 Iraqi civilians and potentially contributed to the deaths of many hundreds of thousands more. According to the report, the Iraq War has cost the U.S. more than $2 trillion, including half-a-trillion dollars in benefits owed to veterans. The report says the war has devastated rather than helped Iraq, spurring militant violence, setting back women’s rights and hurting the healthcare system. Most of the more than $200 billion supposedly set aside for reconstruction in Iraq was actually used for security or lost amid rampant fraud and waste. Many in Iraq continue to suffer the consequences of the invasion. This is Basma Najem, whose husband was shot dead by U.S. forces in Basra in 2011.

Basma Najem: [translated] We expected that we would live in a better situation when the occupation forces, the U.S. forces, came to Iraq. We expected that the situation would be improved. But contrary to our expectation, the situation deteriorated. And at the end, I lost my husband. I have no breadwinner in this world now, and I have six kids. I could not imagine my life would be changed like this. I do not know how it happened.

Amy Goodman: The consequences of the war are still visible here in the United States, as well. Military veterans continue to face extremely high levels of unemployment, traumatic brain injury, PTSDand homelessness. Almost a quarter of recent veterans come home injured either physically or emotionally, and an estimated 18 veterans commit suicide every day. This is Ed Colley, whose son, Army Private Stephen Colley, took his own life in 2007.

Edward Colley: We lost our son shortly after he returned from Iraq. He had asked for help, but he didn’t get the help that he needed. And clearly, he was trying to do what he could for himself and could think of no other cure, obviously, than to take his own life.

Amy Goodman: To talk more about this 10th anniversary, we’re joined by the award-winning writer and activist Arundhati Roy, one of the most vocal critics of the Iraq War. In a moment, she’ll join us from Chicago. But first let’s go back to 2003 to a speech she gave at Riverside Church here in New York.

Arundhati Roy: When the United States invaded Iraq, a New York Times/CBS News survey estimated that 42 percent of the American public believed that Saddam Hussein was directly responsible for the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. And an ABC News poll said that 55 percent of Americans believed that Saddam Hussein directly supported al-Qaeda. None of this opinion is based on evidence, because there isn’t any. All of it is based on insinuation or to suggestion and outright lies circulated by the U.S. corporate media, otherwise known as the "free press," that hollow pillar on which contemporary American democracy rests. Public support in the U.S. for the war against Iraq was founded on a multitiered edifice of falsehood and deceit, coordinated by the U.S. government and faithfully amplified by the corporate media.

Apart from the invented links between Iraq and al-Qaeda, we had the manufactured frenzy about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. George Bush the Lesser went to the extent—went to the extent of saying it would be suicidal for Iraq—for the U.S. not to attack Iraq. We once again witnessed the paranoia that a starved, bombed, besieged country was about to annihilate almighty America. Iraq was only the latest in a succession of countries. Earlier, there was Cuba, Nicaragua, Libya, Granada, Panama. But this time it wasn’t just your ordinary brand of friendly neighborhood frenzy. It was frenzy with a purpose. It ushered in an old doctrine in a new bottle: the doctrine of preemptive strike, also known as the United States can do whatever the hell it wants, and that’s official. The war against Iraq has been fought and won, and no weapons of mass destruction have been found, not even a little one.

Amy Goodman: Arundhati Roy, speaking in October of 2003 at Riverside Church here in New York, seven months after the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Arundhati has written many books, including The God of Small Things, which won the Booker Prize. Her other books include Walking with the Comrades and Field Notes on Democracy: Listening to Grasshoppers, among others. She now joins us from Chicago.

Arundhati Roy, welcome to Democracy Now! As you watch yourself 10 years ago and reflect back 10 years ago to this week when the U.S. invaded Iraq, your thoughts today?

Arundhati Roy: Well, Amy, before that, we remember how—I think it was 50 million people across the world who marched against the war in Iraq. It was perhaps the biggest display of public morality in the world—you know, I mean, before the war happened. Before the war happened, everybody knew that they were being fed lies. I remember saying, you know, it’s just the quality of the lies that is so insulting, because we are being—used to being lied to.

But, unfortunately, now, all these years later, we have to ask ourselves two questions. One is: Who benefited from this war? You know, we know who paid the price. I heard—I heard you talking about that, so I won’t get into that again. But who benefited from this war? Did the U.S. government? Did the U.S. people benefit? Did they get the oil contracts that they wanted, in the way that they wanted? The answer is no. And yet, today you hear Dick Cheney saying he would do it all over again in a second.

So, unfortunately, we are dealing with psychosis. We are dealing with a psychopathic situation. And all of us, including myself, we can’t do anything but keep being reasonable, keep saying what needs to be said. But that doesn’t seem to help the situation, because, of course, as we know, after Iraq, there’s been Libya, there’s Syria, and the rhetoric of, you know, democracy versus radical Islam. When you look at the countries that were attacked, none of them were Wahhabi Islamic fundamentalist countries. Those ones are supported, financed by the U.S., so there is a real collusion between radical Islam and capitalism. What is going on is really a different kind of battle.

And, you know, most people are led up a path which keeps them busy. And in a way, all of us are being kept busy, while the real business at the heart of it—I mean, apart from the people who suffered during the war. Let’s not forget the sanctions. Let’s not forget Madeleine Albright saying that a million children dying in Iraq because of the sanctions was a hard price but worth it. I mean, she was the victim, it seems, of the sanctions; you know, her softness was called upon, and she had to brazen herself to do it. And today, you have the Democrats bombing Pakistan, destroying that country, too. So, just in this last decade, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria—all these countries have been—have been shattered.

You know, we heard a lot about why—you know, the war in Afghanistan was fought for feminist reasons, and the Marines were really on this feminist mission. But today, all the women in all these countries have been driven back into medieval situations. Women who were liberated, women who were doctors and lawyers and poets and writers and—you know, pushed back into this Shia set against Sunnis. The U.S. is supporting al-Qaeda militias all over this region and pretending that it’s fighting Islam. So we are in a situation of—it is psychopathic.

And while anyone who resisted is being given moral lessons about armed struggle or violence or whatever it is, at the heart of this operation is an immorality and a violence and a—as I keep using this word—psychopathic violence, which even the people in the United States are now suffering for. You know, there is a connection, after all, between all these wars and people being thrown out of their homes in this country. And yet, of course we know who benefits from these wars. May not be the oil contracts, but certainly the weapons industry on which this economy depends for—you know, for a great part. So, all over, even between India and Pakistan now, people are advocating war. And the weapons industry is in with the corporations in India.

So, we are really being made fools of. You know, this is what is so insulting. We are being, you know, given lessons in morality while tens of thousands are being killed, while whole countries are shattered, while whole civilizations are driven back decades, if not centuries. And everything continues as normal. And you have—you have people, like criminals, really, like Cheney, saying, "I’ll do it again. I’ll do it again. I won’t think about it. I’ll do it again." And so that’s the situation we are in now.

Amy Goodman: Arundhati, a decade after the invasion of Iraq, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair stood by his decision to go to war, saying it saved Iraq from a fate worse than Syria’s at the moment.

Tony Blair: I think if we’d—if we’d backed off and we’d left him in power, you just imagine, with what is happening in Syria now, if you’d left Saddam in charge of Iraq, you would have had carnage on an even worse scale in Syria and with no end in sight. So, you know, this was the most difficult decision I ever took and the most balanced decision. But I still—personally, I still believe we were better to remove him than leave him.

Amy Goodman: That was British Prime Minister Tony Blair, former prime minister. Arundhati Roy, your response?

Arundhati Roy: Well, you know, I don’t know. Maybe they need to be put into a padded cell and given some real news to read, you know? I mean, how can you say this, after creating a situation in Iraq where no—I mean, every day people are being blown up? There are—you know, mosques are being attacked. Thousands are being killed. People have been made to hate each other. In Iraq, women were amongst the most liberated women in the world, and they have been driven back into having to wear burqas and be safe, because of the situation. And this man is saying, "Oh, we did such a wonderful thing. We saved these people." Now, isn’t that like—isn’t it insane? I mean, I don’t know how to respond to something like that, because it’s like somebody looking at somebody being slaughtered and saying, "Oh, he must be enjoying it. We are really helping him," you know? So, how do you argue rationally against these people?

Amy Goodman: Can you—

Arundhati Roy: We just have to think about what we need to do, you know? But we can’t have a conversation with them in this—at this point.

Amy Goodman: Do you see President Obama going in a different direction?

Arundhati Roy: Of course not. I don’t see him going in a different direction at all. I mean, the real question to ask is: When was the last time the United States won a war? You know, it lost in Vietnam. It’s lost in Afghanistan. It’s lost in Iraq. And it will not be able to contain the situation. It is hemorrhaging. It is now—you know, of course you can continue with drone attacks, and you can continue these targeted killings, but on the ground, a situation is being created which no army—not America, not anybody—can control. And it’s just, you know, a combination of such foolishness, such a lack of understanding of culture in the world.

And Obama just goes on, you know, coming out with these smooth, mercurial sentences that are completely meaningless. I was—I remember when he was sworn in for the second time, and he came on stage with his daughters and his wife, and it was all really nice, and he said, you know, "Should my daughters have another dog, or should they not?" And a man who had lost his entire family in the drone attacks just a couple of weeks ago said, "What am I supposed to think? What am I supposed to think of this exhibition of love and family values and good fatherhood and good husbandhood?" I mean, we’re not morons, you know? It’s about time that we stopped acting so reasonable. I just don’t feel reasonable about this anymore.

Amy Goodman: We’re going to break and then come back and talk about what’s happening in Kashmir, a place you’ve been focusing on recently, Arundhati. Arundhati Roy is the award-winning writer, renowned global justice activist. Among her books, The God of Small Things, her most recent book, Walking with the Comrades, and Field Notes on Democracy: Listening to Grasshoppers. This is Democracy Now! We’ll be back in a minute.

8 Ways Obama Is As Bad — Or Worse — Than Bush On Civil...

Despite a rare court victory on Friday, Obama's legacy is dismal.

Photo Credit: WhiteHouse.gov

March 18, 2013  |  

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Civil libertarians won a rare court victory against the Obama Administration’s ‘War on Terror’ on Friday when a U.S. District Court blocked the FBI from ordering telecom companies to turn over their customer’s data, such as e-mails and other records, and blocked FBI gag orders on this domestic spying program.

“In today's ruling, the court held that the gag order provisions of the statute violate the First Amendment and that the review procedures violate separation of powers,” Electronic Frontier Foundation lawyers, who brought the suit, said. “Because those provisions were not separable from the rest of the statute, the court declared the entire statute unconstitutional.”

This is the second time in recent months that civil libertarians have won a court victory over the Obama administration, although it is all but certain that it will appeal and seek to suspend the ruling. Last fall, a federal court suspended a section of a major defense bill that gave the government permission to arrest people who were suspected of speaking with alleged terrorists, which included several journalists who sued. However, another federal court reinstated that provision pending appeal.

“What is appears to illustrate is there are probably duel U.S. Pakistani nationals or maybe U.S. Afghan nationals who are being detained in military facilities and denied due process,” said Chris Hedges, an ex-foreign correspondent who sued.

What these developments underscore is that the Obama Administration barely differs from the George W. Bush Administration when it comes to the ‘War on Terrorism.’ While the Obama Administration has not continued specific tactics used by his predecessor, such as CIA black sites and specific torture techniques known as “enhanced interrogation,” it has gone further than Bush in other areas, such as with targeted assassinations using drones, and expanding the domestic national security state.

“There are the two War on Terror presidents,” wrote Glenn Greenwald recently. “ George Bush seized on the 9/11 attack to usher in radical new surveillance and detention powers in the PATRIOT ACT, spied for years on the communications of US citizens without the warrants required by law, and claimed the power to indefinitely imprison even US citizens without charges in military brigs.

“His successor, Barack Obama, went further by claiming the power not merely to detain citizens without judicial review but to assassinate them (about which the New York Times said: ‘It is extremely rare, if not unprecedented, for an American to be approved for targeted killing’). He has waged an unprecedented war on whistleblowers, dusting off [Woodrew] Wilson’s Espionage Act of 1917 to prosecute more then double the number of whistleblowers than all prior presidents combined. And he has draped his actions with at least as much secrecy, if not more so, than any president in US history.”

Let’s go through these and other areas that, as the National Journal said, should result in an “F” for Obama when historians assess his civil liberties record.

This February, BillMoyers.com published a list of eight contrasting the Obama and Bush Administrations on civil liberties. On six of the eight areas, Obama expanded or codified his predecessor’s policies:

1. Patriot Act is renewed on May 27, 2011: “Obama signs a renewal of several of the Patriot Act’s most controversial segments, including the use of ‘ roving wiretaps,’ the government’s expanded access to business records, and the ‘lone wolf’ provision, which allows surveillance of individuals not affiliated with any known terrorist organization. 

2. Wiretaps and Data Collections: “On December 30, 2012, Obama signs a five-year extension of the FISA Amendments Act. Provisions for more oversight and public disclosure failed to pass Congress.” (This is the law that the Electronic Frontier Foundation challenged and won a U.S. District Court injunction against last week. The administration has 90 days to appeal.)

New Calls For Bush War Criminals To Face Justice

A UN investigator has requested that the United States reveal its findings on the CIA’s Bush-era programme of the rendition and secret detention of terrorism suspects, which has the potential to lead to high level officials being prosecuted for crimes against humanity.

UN Demands Prosecution of Bush-era CIA Crimes

bushcriminal

 A United Nations investigator has demanded that the US publish classified documents regarding the CIA’s human rights violations under former President George W. Bush, with hopes that the documents will lead to the prosecution of public officials.

Documents about the CIA’s program of rendition and secret detention of suspected terrorists have remained classified, even though President Obama’s administration has publicly condemned the use of these “enhanced interrogation techniques”. The US has not prosecuted any of its agents for human rights violations.

UN investigator Ben Emmerson, the UN special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights while countering terrorism, said that the classified documents protect the names of individuals who are responsible for serious human rights violations.

“Despite this clear repudiation of the unlawful actions carried out by the Bush-era CIA, many of the facts remain classified, and no public official has so far been brought to justice in the United States,” Emmerson said in a report to the UN Human Rights Council, according to Reuters.

Kept in secret prisons around the world, the CIA’s detainees were subjected to torture including waterboarding, sleep deprivation and various other interrogation techniques that violate human rights. The detainees were often subjected to clandestine transfers to secret prisons known as CIA ‘black sites’.

“There is now credible evidence to show that CIA ‘black sites’ were located on the territory of Lithuania, Morocco, Poland, Romania and Thailand, and that the officials of at least 49 other states allowed their airspace or airports to be used for rendition flights,” Emmerson said, describing how suspected terrorists were often detained without being charged for any crimes, receiving extradition procedures or having access to lawyers.

Emmerson has urged the US to prosecute any public official who was involved in setting up the CIA “black sites” at which human rights or legal violations occurred. Even though the Obama administration has condemned those who promoted the use of such facilities for inhumane procedures, the administration has taken no steps to punish any of its public officials. Attorney General Eric Holder has said that the Justice Department would not take legal actions against those who “acted in good faith” and followed the guidelines provided by the Office of Legal Counsel during the Bush era.

But without names and details about the involvement of US officials at CIA black sites, the government is maintaining a level of secrecy and “perpetuating impunity for the public officials implicated in these crimes,” Emmerson said.  A Senate committee led by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) previously investigated the CIA’s interrogation program and may have had complete access to classified information about it.

Emmerson has called for this information to be published “without delay, and to the fullest extent possible.”

While the UN special rapporteur lacks the power to force the Obama administration to release this information, his report puts further pressure on the US government to expose a practice it publicly condemns, but continues to keep secret.

Jeb Bush Reverses Immigration Stance, Brian Williams ‘Disappointed’ With U.S., and More

Jeb Bush Reverses Immigration Stance, Brian Williams ‘Disappointed’ With U.S., and More

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Posted on Mar 4, 2013

White House Makes Call: Responding to a petition on the White House site We the People, the Obama administration Monday said it should be legal for users to unlock their cellphones without getting carrier permission first. The petition, titled “Make Unlocking Cell Phones Legal” was posted in late January, just two days before it became illegal for Americans to unlock their phones without first getting the consent of their phone service provider. In the response, R. David Edelman, a White house senior adviser on Internet issues, wrote that neither “criminal law nor technological locks should prevent consumers from switching carriers when they are no longer bound by a service agreement or other obligation.” (Read more)

Filling the Cabinet: On Monday, President Obama announced nominees to head two crucial departments in his administration, energy and the Environmental Protection Agency. Obama nominated nuclear physicist Ernest Monizair to become the next energy secretary, and air quality expert Gina McCarthy to lead the EPA. If confirmed, they will replace Steven Chu and Lisa Jackson—both of whom decided not to serve another term in the administration—respectively. Obama hopes his two nominees, along with interior secretary pick Sally Jewell, will enact his second term energy agenda. (Read more)

Yearn to Earn: A pair of Democratic congressional lawmakers, Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin and California Rep. George Miller, are planning to introduce legislation that would raise the federal minimum wage from $7.75 an hour to $10.10. That’s a bigger increase than the one President Obama called for in last month’s State of the Union speech. The federal minimum wage is definitely due for an increase; the last time it was boosted was in 2007.  (Read more)

Going Backward: Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has made a major flip on the hot button issue of immigration reform. Bush, who once said he supported a pathway to citizenship or legal residency, argues in his new book that creating such a route would only encourage more immigrants to come into this country illegally. “It is absolutely vital to the integrity of our immigration system that actions have consequences—in this case, that those who violated the law can remain but cannot obtain the cherished fruits of citizenship,” Bush and his co-author, conservative attorney Clint Bolick, write in “Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution.” “To do otherwise would signal once again that people who circumvent the system can still obtain the full benefits of American citizenship.” The book is due out Tuesday. (Read more)

Not Stepping Down: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a liberal stalwart on the Supreme Court, has no plans to step down in the near future, the longtime justice told The New Yorker’s Jeffrey Toobin. Ginsburg, who turns 80 this month, says she intends to stay on the high court for as long as she “can do the job full steam.” She added, “as long as I think I have the candlepower, I will do it. And I figure next year for certain. After that, who knows?” (Read more)

Audio of the Day: NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams isn’t always shy when expressing his viewpoint, even if they end up raising some eyebrows. Appearing on Alec Baldwin’s podcast, “Here’s the Thing,” the oft-candid newsman definitely made one such remark. When asked by the “30 Rock” star if he had political opinions. Williams responded: “I sometimes don’t know. I have the same disappointments. In my patriotism, as a great man once said, I yield to no one. I love this country. I love the American idea. I have profound disappointments in my country.”

—Posted by Tracy Bloom.

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Silvio Berlusconi Ambushed By Topless FEMEN Activists

Legendary ladies man Silvio Berlusconi was on the receiving end of a topless ambush as he arrived at a polling station in Milan on Sunday to vote in Italy's general elections. Three members of feminist protest group FEMEN, with the words "Basta Berlus...

Daniel Ellsberg: Obama, Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Senators Voting for Indefinite Detention Are “Enemies...

AMERICA

American Government Claims Power that Even King George Didn’t Claim
Daniel Ellsberg said this week:

[The indefinite detention provision of the defense bill] allows you to put an American citizen – a civilian – in military custody, treated like Bradley Manning in the marine barracks right now, indefinitely – without charges – that’s not a fight that we had to make in 1776

King George the Third didn’t have the power.  No King of England had that power since John the First.

Indeed, even Hitler and Stalin didn’t claim that power.

Ellsberg continues:

So here we have a president – a democratic president – who’s wiping out the Magna Carta, as well as the Constitution. [Indeed.]

***

The senators supporting the indefinite detention provisions are well-described as “enemies of the constitution of the United States“.

And I’m afraid that this is true of the [current] president of the United States, having gone along with it … and encouraged it earlier.  [And it's also true for] every senator who voted for it.

***

Bush, Cheney – in particular – Addington [Cheneys top aide and lawyer] and Rumsfeld … were – and I don’t mean this rhetorically – enemies of the Constitution.

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Hacker Uncovers The Artistic Endeavors Of George W. Bush

shower6.jpg
Obviously, George W. Bush has a lot of time on his hands these days. Apparently, he's using this time to explore his artistic sensibilities. Good for him. I find painting and creating art to be therapeutic and gratifying myself. While he was proud enough of his work to share it with his family, I'm not sure that he wanted to share it with the rest of the world.

But in the digital age, even the former President of the United States can't be guaranteed any privacy.

Personal information stolen from several email accounts belonging to people close to the Bush family reveals the nation’s 43rd president has developed an affinity for painting himself bathing, of all things.

Photos included in an information dump turned over to The Smoking Gun include President George H.W. Bush in the hospital, the elder Bush posing with President Bill Clinton, a family photo of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and even President George W. Bush posing with a cardboard cutout of himself wearing a mustache and beret.

Three of the images also show paintings Bush created, including one of himself in the shower, another of himself in a bath, and a third of him crouched over a canvas depicting a church.

A hacker going by the name “Guccifer” claimed the stolen messages include addresses, phone numbers and email addresses that go directly to both former presidents and their families, along with a security code for a gate outside the younger Bush’s home in Dallas.

In addition to the beefcake shots imagined by Shrubby, the hacker uncovered information that George HW Bush was far more ill when he was hospitalized late last year for bronchitis than was previously released. Contingency funeral arrangements were being made, and reportedly, W felt petulant about the thought that Bill Clinton might be asked to speak at his father's funeral instead of him.

At this time, the Bush family has issued no comment, but given the warrantless wire-tapping that occured under the Bush administration, I'd be curious if they would try to claim this an outrageous violation of their privacy.

Secret Service on the hunt after Bush presidents hacked

Former U.S. presidents George H.W. Bush (L) and George W. Bush (R) (Reuters/Mike Blake)

Former U.S. presidents George H.W. Bush (L) and George W. Bush (R) (Reuters/Mike Blake)

An elusive computer hacker claims to have compromised email accounts belonging to members of the Bush family, intercepting private images and correspondence sent from two former US presidents and others.

The Smoking Gun website has published a series of personal photographs that they say were obtained after a hacker who uses the online moniker “Guccifer” breached the AOL email account of Dorothy Bush Koch — the daughter of former US President George H. W. Bush — and at least five others.

On Friday morning, the Associated Press quoted a spokesperson for the forty-second president as saying a criminal investigation into the incident has been launched. Speaking to ABC News, Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan confirms that his agency is conducting a probe as well. Representatives for Mr. Bush’s son, fellow former-Pres. George W. Bush, have been hesitant to comment on the report, though, and Houston FBI spokeswoman Shauna Dunlap tells the AP, “We do not confirm or deny the existence of any investigation.” According to what has been released by the Smoking Gun so far, however, both former presidents are directly linked to the hack.

In an email conversation between Guccifer and the Smoking Gun, the hacker says he swiped “a lot of stuff,” including “interesting mails” relating to the senior president’s recent hospitalization and his family.

“[Y]our dad’s funeral team is having an emergency meeting at 10 a.m. just to go through all the details,” reads one email the Smoking Gun says a Bush aide sent to President 42’s children. That communiqué, Bush aide Jean Baker writes in the email, “fell under the broadening category of things NOT TO TELL YOUR MOTHER.”

In another exchange, George W. Bush writes about planning a eulogy for his ailing father, who was hospitalized in his native Houston, Texas late last year after a case of bronchitis intensified. In yet another, Bush Jr.’s brother Jeb reflect on “how kind” his father has been to former-Pres. Bill Clinton and how “he helped restore his sordid reputation.”

“A very tough thing to do but with kindness, dad probably helped Bill Clinton than anything he himself has done,” Jeb Bush writes.

The photographs, published on the website with a large “Guccifer” watermark on each image, offers a candid look at the presidential family. Included in their report is a picture of Bush. Sr. posing alongside Pres. Clinton and another of the ailing one-term leader laid out on a hospital bed.

The Smoking Gun says that the emails hacked by Guccifer were sent between 2009 and 2012 and include an undetermined amount of correspondence between the former presidents, their associates and others. Additionally, the website says family friend Willard Heminway, CBS sportscaster Jim Nantz and former first lady Barbara Bush’s brother all had their online accounts compromised in the incident.

Reached for comment by the Smoking Gun before they went live with their report Thursday evening, Dorothy Bush Koch told that she had no idea that she had been hacked. Although the website does not mention how they were able to easily contact the victim, they claim that one of the hacked emails included a list of home addresses, cell phone number and email addresses for dozens of members of the Bush family.

“Why would someone do this?” the 53-year-old brother of Pres. George W. Bush asked the outlet.

Other emails provided to the Smoking Gun by Guccifer that have been published in part on the website allegedly include messages from Pres. Barack Obama and the address for Bush 44 and the security code needed to bypass his home security system.

A preliminary search for Guccifer has returned little to no information on the hacker, but he tells the Smoking Gun that he has hacked “hundreds of accounts” and has been under federal investigation since a “long time ago.”

Ex-Gitmo Prosecutor: Obama’s Drone Surge as Damaging as Bush Torture Program

Retired Air Force Col. Morris "Moe" Davis, once the lead government prosecutor for terrorism suspects at the US detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, says that the US torture regime under Bush and now the drone assassination program run by the Obama administration have combined to make the world less safe and called both programs—whether they could be legally justified or not—"immoral."

US Air Force Col. Morris Davis (Ret.), who says: "If we're the country we claim to be, we've got to get back to the values we claim to represent." (Photo: US Air Force) "We are not the shining city on the hill," Davis told the small crowd gathered at Johnston Community College in North Carolina on Thursday night. "If we're the country we claim to be, we've got to get back to the values we claim to represent. Regardless of whether it's illegal, it's immoral."

"War is hell. But the rule of law makes it a little less hellish," Davis added.

The talk was part of a series given by Davis this week in which he lectured at several North Carolina colleges with the message that the United States' use of torture, secret detention and extraordinary rendition imperils the reputation of the country while also putting its own soldiers at increased risk of mistreatment in the future.

Not only have the practices harmed us abroad, Davis argues, but more than a decade of war has left a generation of Americans vulnerable to the idea that such policies are moral and correct.

As the local Fayetteville Observer reports:

Morris lamented that the majority of Americans accept torture. He attributes the statistics to young adults who have grown up in a post-9/11 world.

He argued that torture does not elicit information that can be used in the court of law and said the practice has damaged the nation's image.

The group that sponsored the evening's lecture, North Carolina Stop Torture Now, noted that Col. Davis' appearances come on the heels of reports by the Washington Post and European human rights advocates that the Obama administration continues to secretly detain suspected terrorists captured abroad.

Comparing Bush's torture regime to Obama's escalated use of drones to carry out attacks in Pakistan, Yemen, and elsewhere Davis said it was "six of one and half a dozen of another."

Davis retired from active duty in 2008 and subsequently took a job at the Library of Congress. He was fired from that position, however, after writing this op-ed in the Wall Street Journal which took a mild, but critical, stance against the Obama administration's approach to the ongoing Military Commission trials at Guantanamo Bay.

Podhoretz Blames Bush Failure in Iraq For Right’s Extremism Now

(h/t Heather for video and transcripts) At the National Review Conference (which was televised by C-Span), the overriding topic under discussion is how the right got things so very wrong. Reihan Salam interviewed the Jabba pundit emeritus John Podho...

The Ban List: AR-15, AK-47, AR-10, Saiga12, Bushmaster, Ruger, Beretta, HK, Smith & Wesson,...

Mac Slavo
January 24th, 2013
SHTFplan.com

Read by 23,177 people

When rumors emerged about coming assault ban legislation just one day after the re-election of Barack Obama, many scoffed at the notion that the reports were real. As we now know, they were very real, and today the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013, aimed at disarming Americans, has been introduced in Congress.

The list is a veritable who’s who of premier semi-automatic assault rifles that are owned by millions of Americans and include 2nd Amendment staples like the popular AR-15 and AK-47.

In addition to the some 150 semi-automatic rifles, handguns and shotguns on the list, the bill aims to reduce magazine capacities nationwide to 10 rounds or less.

While the new legislation would not force Americans to turn in guns they own that are on the ban list, it would require registration in a national database, which includes a background check even if you already own the gun.

Owners of banned firearms would also need to submit photo identification and a fingerprint for the national registry.

Here is the ban list as it stands now:

Weapons Ban List

(Click for larger image)

Dianne Feinstein explains why you only need 10 rounds to defend yourself (Jan 23, 2013):

The Feinstein show (Jan 24, 2013):

*Related: The Resistance Begins: New York Gun Owners Refuse to Register

Author: Mac Slavo
Views: Read by 23,177 people
Date: January 24th, 2013
Website: www.SHTFplan.com

Copyright Information: Copyright SHTFplan and Mac Slavo. This content may be freely reproduced in full or in part in digital form with full attribution to the author and a link to www.shtfplan.com. Please contact us for permission to reproduce this content in other media formats.

Greta Van Susteren Allows Former Bush Budget Director to Fearmonger Over Debt

You just gotta love Fox allowing the Budget Director for the administration that blew a mile wide hole in our debt and deficit to come on the air and fearmonger about how we're going to "become Greece" if we don't do something to get our spending un...

How Britain Enthusiastically Teamed Up with Bush’s Horrific Torture and Rendition Agenda

Britain and the US stood shoulder to shoulder in the war on terror -- even when working the dark side.

January 23, 2013  |  

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Editor's Note: The following is Part II of an excerpt from Ian Cobain's new book,  A Secret History of Torture (Counterpoint Press, 2012). Copyright 2012, Portobello Books. All Rights Reserved. Click here to read Part I.

Immediately after the 9/11 attacks, Tony Blair took a train from Brighton to London, where he issued a statement that pledged unswerving support for the US. He described terrorism as "the new evil in our world," perpetrated by people with no regard for the sanctity of human life. There was now to be a battle between the free world and terrorism, he said. "We therefore here in Britain stand shoulder to shoulder with our American friends in this hour of tragedy and we, like them, will not rest until this evil is driven from our world."

Quietly, Britain pledged logistics support for the rendition program, which resulted in the CIA’s Gulfstream V and other jets becoming frequent visitors to British airports en route to the agency’s secret prisons. Over the next four years, a 26-strong flight of rendition aircraft operated by the CIA used UK airports at least 210 times. Dozens of other private executive jets that the agency chartered were also regular visitors to the UK. Nineteen British airports and RAF bases were used, including Heathrow, Birmingham, Luton, Bournemouth and Belfast. The agency’s favorite destination was Prestwick in Scotland, which it used more than 75 times. One CIA pilot described Prestwick as an ideal refueling stop. "It’s an 'ask no questions' type of place, and you don’t need to give them any advance notice you’re coming."

The US authorities also asked the UK government for permission to build a large prison on Diego Garcia, the British territory in the Indian Ocean that operates as a US military base. A Royal Marines officer made some preliminary plans, before the project was dropped, for logistical rather than legal reasons. Diego Garcia continued to be used as a stopover for rendition flights, however, and senior United Nations officials believe that a number of prisoners were held and interrogated there between 2002 and 2003.

The UK would do more than offer mere logistics support to the rendition program, however. It would "perform," in Bush’s words, by becoming an enthusiastic participant in the rendition and torture program. As in the summer of 1940, its first victims would be British. But as then and since, Britain would enshroud its use of torture in the greatest possible secrecy.

In October 2001, when the United States and its allies went to war in Afghanistan to topple the Taliban regime that had harbored al-Qaida, it was inevitable that a small number of those captured on the battlefield would be British.

For more than a decade, MI5 had been aware that British Muslims had been traveling to Pakistan and Afghanistan to receive training at camps run by al-Qaida or associated groups. Pakistan’s main intelligence agency, the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, or ISI, operated some of the camps, and graduates were encouraged to take up arms against Indian forces in Kashmir. Before al-Qaida began targeting the West in the late 1990s, MI5 saw these trips as evidence of little more than exuberant adventurism among a small section of young British Muslim males: a form of jihadi tourism that posed no threat to the UK. All that changed after 9/11, when both MI5 and MI6 became anxious to extract as much information as possible from any British prisoners in order to assess the al-Qaida threat.

It was not long before prisoners were being taken during battles in the north and southeast of Afghanistan. Many more foreign fighters were captured while attempting to slip across the border into Pakistan. Hundreds were handed over to US forces by Afghan and Pakistani bounty hunters, who received large bundles of dollars for every non-Afghan they captured.

Bushfires rage in southeast Australia

A handout aerial picture taken on January 15, 2013 shows a bushfire near Tamworth in the New England region of New South Wales, Australia.

Raging bushfires continue to burn out of control across Australia, threatening several towns in the southwestern state of Victoria and New South Wales in the east.

Eighty-four fires were devouring through the state, with more than a dozen still raging as of Friday.

Australian police have confirmed the death of a man in Victoria's southeast as the two-week forest fire emergency claimed its first civlian fatality.

The victim’s body was reportedly found in a burnt-out vehicle near Seaton as blazes rage across the area.

Last week, a 61-year-old firefighter died of a suspected heart attack while trying to contain a fire in Tasmania.

The flames have also sparked fears of a new escalation as temperatures are soaring over 45 degrees Celsius.


A blaze burning around 200 kilometers east of Melbourne has affected a number of communities in the Gippsland region and is feared to spread to residential buildings there.

Reports say the small town of Licola has been surrounded by flames.

Fire officials in New South Wales also say a blaze there has destroyed 51 homes and broken the containment lines.

MRS/JR

Bushfires: Firefighters race to beat heatwave

Firefighters in Australia are racing against the clock to prevent a bushfire from spreading to a former weapons range littered with unexploded bombs before another heatwave hits parts of the country. The blaze is burning 2km from the Tianjara plateau ...

Failure of Current TV – Gore Wouldn’t Take on Bush

Robert Parry: Current TV could have played a critical role taking on the Bush presidency, instead it followed a confused "youth" strategy.

TRANSCRIPT:

PAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Paul Jay in Baltimore.

Current TV, as most people have probably heard by now, is being sold to Al Jazeera, which has been looking for a home on American cable TV for years. Current TV was founded primarily (although not on his own) by Al Gore, who was a major shareholder. And Al Gore's been mostly in the news explaining why Current TV was sold.

And to give us his take on what all of this means, the significance of these events, is Robert Parry. Robert joins us now from D.C. He's an investigative journalist that broke many of the Iran–Contra stories in the 1980s. His latest publication is America's Stolen Narrative. And he's the director and principal writer at ConsortiumNews.com.

Thanks for joining us, Bob.

ROBERT PARRY, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST AND AUTHOR: Thanks, Paul.

JAY: So what's your take on the significance of this sale?

PARRY: Well, it's kind of another sad case where an effort at a progressive media entity has not worked out the way some had hoped. When Current was being first talked about, back in the—maybe a decade ago, there was a lot of hope that it would be an effort to provide a progressive voice on news and to take on some of the challenges that were then very serious in the country—the invasion and occupation of Iraq, George W. Bush's assault on the Constitution, issues like torture. So there were a number of important issues that really needed to be confronted.

Instead, Current TV decided to go and be a sort of a voice for the 18 to 35 demographic group, providing sort of a MTV with a conscience approach. They base themseleves in San Francisco, as far as you can get from the Washington battle lines in the continental U.S., and ended up not having much impact at all. It went through a number of years of being fairly unwatched; then it went—and finally—and it wasn't until 2011 when it decided to do what it should have done back in 2004 and 2005 when it was getting off the ground, and that was to be more of a political news oriented news outlet. By then it was too late.

JAY: And that's when Keith Olbermann was asked to join, after Keith left MSNBC. But then Olbermann leaves The Current not too long after that.

PARRY: Right. It was sort of a mess all around. But at that point in 2004 and 2005, when Current was being set up, there was a tremendous need—and it would have been very hard to take on the Bush administration on these issues the way they needed to be taken on. And the decision by Al Gore, who, ironically, on an individual basis, had spoken up—he had spoken up against the Iraq War, he had spoken up against the violations of the Constitution. But when it came to putting together this business entity, he either chose to or went along with advisers who wanted to go with this sort of softer, less ideological, less political approach.

JAY: Yeah. I was out there during that time. I was—when we were getting Real News off the ground, we were doing some fundraising in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and we were talking to some of the same funders that Al Gore either knew or were involved with him, or some of the advisers, and essentially it had started with this vision of being this independent news organization, and then they decided it wasn't going to be profitable enough, they weren't going to get a big enough return on their money, and perhaps, too, what you suggest in your article, they didn't want to take on the Bush administration, although I think that also had an economic angle. You know, at the time, public opinion after 9/11 was mostly with Bush, and they didn't want to fight that and they didn't want to piss off the cable channels that were carrying them. And I was arguing at the time that, you know, this is the problem with a for-profit news model, that, you know, eventually this is what's going to happen to it. And, of course, as you said, it wasn't very long afterwards they gave up the whole news mandate completely and became just sort of youth-culture oriented.

PARRY: Right. And the ironic thing was that MSNBC, which in the period of that 2003—the Iraq War timeframe was trying to out-Fox Fox—if you remember, MSNBC got rid of Phil Donahue, who had a lot or a few antiwar voices on his show. They wanted to be even more super patriotic than Fox. They ran these propaganda videos showing American troops liberating Iraq. They avoided the ugly pictures of civilian casualties and children being harmed. They did all the same stuff, with the idea of playing to what they thought was what the American audience wanted.

But it turned out that MSNBC could not get into that market, that Fox had already cornered the conservative, super patriot market. So then with Keith Olbermann arriving and beginning to be more critical of the Bush war in Iraq and showing that it could be done—as much as Olbermann may be a difficult personality in many ways, he had the courage and the talent to devise a program which took on not just the Bush administration but Fox News and other parts of this what at that time was considered the emerging Republican majority, the permanent Republican majority, if you recall the thinking at the time.

So MSNBC saw that they could make some money in this approach, and over time they added more and more sort of liberal-oriented programming in the evening. And it worked out for them, and they developed a fairly strong following and marginalized CNN with its sort of phony-balance approach to the news and was more of a competitor to Fox. So that's what happened. So it turned out that the business model that might have worked was the one that MSNBC eventually followed.

But Current had sort of already forsaken that and gone with this youth-oriented thing, which never attracted much of an audience. And by the time they switched over, after Olbermann leaves MSNBC, they hire him at Current in 2011, by then it was too late to really—by then people were watching MSNBC if they wanted that kind of news [crosstalk]

JAY: You wrote a piece about this on Consortium—Consortium News—I should say the whole thing, ConsortiumNews.com, so you get a full plug. You wrote a piece, and it was kind of an assessment of Gore himself, that this isn't the first time Gore didn't stand up at a critical moment.

PARRY: Well, that's true. I mean, I must say Gore obviously has stood up at different times, and I've been to situations where he's given speeches. He did come out against the Iraq War fairly—before it started and was one of the few voices doing that in the sort of mainstream, if you will.

But at other key junctures he hasn't shown the kind of fight that was probably needed. The situation, obviously, during the disputed election in 2000, when he actually won the election in 2000 and did pursue through the courts an effort to get a reasonable recount in Florida, which we now know that if all the legally cast votes in Florida had been counted, he would have narrowly won that state and carried, therefore, the White House, too. However, he didn't. He chose to work within the system. And when that system turned out to be corrupt, when the Supreme Court of the United States, with five Republican partisans coming up with some made-up reasons decided to hand the election to George W. Bush, Gore had not rallied the public, and he therefore had no choice but to hand over the presidency to Bush, which then had its own horrendous consequences for the American people and the world.

So there are different times he has tried to sort of maintain his, quote, credibility within the mainstream, and that has led to him not being tough enough and aggressive enough in pursuing what really was the—what would have been in not only the democratic choice of the public, which did vote for Gore by a narrow margin, but also for what was ultimately the good of the country, which would have been not to have Bush as president.

JAY: Right. Now, you go back to the business model we were talking about at MSNBC, I mean, their model on the whole, really, is to be sort of the Fox version, but for the Democratic Party. They're almost uncritical of the Obama administration. I think there's moments midway through the administration where they were sort of critical of some of Obama's policies. You could see a bit on Rachel Maddow and maybe one of the couple of the other shows. But as soon as you get anywhere within smelling distance of an election, they go straight partisan.

PARRY: Well, I think their foreign policy has been their weak point. On domestic material they have done some good coverage. Ed Schultz, for instance, covered rather tightly the issues in Wisconsin around the labor fights. But when it comes to foreign policy, they really do—they don't challenge the conventional wisdom. And I think it's not just the Democratic position but often the Republican position. They don't really want to be seen, for instance, as being critical of the intervention in Libya. There was very much a rallying around that. Similarly, they pretty much follow not just the Democratic line, but the general mainstream position on Syria. There's not much critical reporting or critical thinking that goes on when it comes to those kinds of very tough, difficult foreign-policy issues.

JAY: I'm seeing now even on domestic issues, like, I found, like, sort of partway, midway through the term, Obama's first term, they get critical of certain Obama policies on economic stuff, bailing out the banks and not Main Street and such, but, you know, in the leadup to this last election, they became full, 100 percent Obama supporters. I personally don't watch it all the time, but whenever I did, I did not hear much of a critique. And it's continuing now. Like, if you look at their coverage of the fiscal cliff issue, they're buying into the whole thing about the fiscal cliff being this horrible thing that's going to happen, and we have to make a deal, these terrible Republicans for blocking the deal and then praising the deal that is reached, which any progressive economist I'm talking to is trashing.

PARRY: Well, I think that's a fair criticism. I do think they tend—they can be critical of Obama on certain narrow kinds of points, for instance, his performance in the first debate—they pretty much trashed that. But overall, overall I think they were—.

JAY: I think that was easy. Even he had to trash that eventually.

PARRY: But I do think that most of their focus was on the Republicans—and therefore implicitly, I guess, more supportive of Obama. But some of the work, I think, has been good. I think some of what Reverend Sharpton has done, for instance, on the issue of efforts to suppress the vote was quite important.

But that said, I think—you know, the point I was making in the article was that Current TV failed to even do that. They didn't want to engage in the kind of political battles that would have been incurred if they had sort of pointed out why Bush's war in Iraq was bad, why some of his approaches on the Constitution were threatening. Even if they had just covered what Al Gore was saying in his speeches would have been an improvement over what Current ended up doing, which was to have kind of a nice—the shows I did watch on Current were mostly things done by sort of youngish producers who looked at environmental issues. It had a conscience to it, but it had no edge to it.

JAY: Well, I think that's the problem, in the sense that it was a for-profit model from the beginning, and it helped drive most of their decisions, and in the end they cash out, they do get their venture capitalist payback in the end.

PARRY: Well, I think they probably got a sweetheart deal from Al Jazeera. I'm not sure that what Al Jazeera's paying for is entirely worth what they're getting. But Al Jazeera desperately wants to have some foothold in the American media world, which I think it deserves. It's a serious although also flawed and limited operation, but one that has a voice that Americans probably should hear. And so I guess they felt that was very important, and they were willing to pay money to get it. But it is ironic that after not having a very good business model at Current and ultimately failing and having very few viewers, that Current was able to find a way to make some money at the end of the day.

JAY: In the end, it was a real estate investment. Thanks very much for joining us, Bob.

PARRY: Thank you, Paul.

JAY: And as for our assessment of Al Jazeera America, of course, we'll wait till it's on. As for current English Al Jazeera, we have done some pieces fairly critical about some of their coverage, though I agree with Bob, other coverage has been very good. And we will post some of our Al Jazeera pieces below. Thanks very much for joining us, Bob.

PARRY: Thank you, Paul.

JAY: And thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.

Failure of Current TV – Gore Wouldn’t Take on Bush

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Iraqi protesters burn George Bush effigy

The crowd of tens of thousands, gathered in Baghdad where a Saddam Hussein statue once stood, protests a security pact that would keep American...

Congress Must Debate The Implications Of A Bush Self-Pardon

Many people have been asking us, "Could Bush actually pardon himself?". Would it be despicable? Sure it would. Would it be shameless and cowardly?...

US lawmaker accuses Bush of secrecy over Iraq deal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government is refusing to make public the security pact it has signed with Iraq, even though it has already...

Obama advisers: Bush era war criminals will walk

By Stephen C. Webster | Even as President-elect Obama vowed "to regain America's moral stature in the world" during Sunday's 60 Minutes appearance, two...

Bush Could Pardon Spies Involved in Torture

By Tim Shipman | Senior intelligence officers are lobbying the outgoing president to look after the men and women who could face charges for...

Bush lists some of his regrets from presidency

NEW YORK -- President Bush listed some of the regrets from his presidency Tuesday, particularly the display of the "Mission Accomplished" sign as backdrop...

The age of George Bush is over

By Stephen Lendman | On November 4, the world exhaled. The age of George Bush ended, and a new one under Barak Obama began....

Bush Spy Revelations Anticipated When Obama Is Sworn In

By Ryan Singel | When Barack Obama takes the oath of office on January 20, Americans won't just get a new president; they might finally...

George Bush Plans to Push Through Agenda in Last Days in Office

President George W Bush is planning to push through a series of potentially unpopular regulation changes in his final weeks in office | By...

With Bush on way out, Guantanamo quieting down

By David McFadden | Camp Justice, erected six months ago for the first U.S. war-crimes trials in a half-century, already feels like a ghost town. A...

Bush Missing Iraq WMD has Been Found in Iraq and One Million U.S. Soldiers...

No Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) that Bush told us were in Iraq were found. Today, to the tragedy of over one million U.S....

Bush Decides to Keep Guantánamo Open

By STEVEN LEE MYERS WASHINGTON – Despite his stated desire to close the American prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, President Bush has decided not to...

VIDEO: “Bush Guilty Of First Deg Murder”

Vincent Bugliosi is heard by Congressman John Conyers, Chairman House Judiciary Committee Vincent Bugliosi is heard by Congressman John Conyers, Chairman House Judiciary Committee Inquiry Hearing...

Bush To Provide $6.4 Billion In Arms To Taiwan

BigNewsNetwork | The U.S. government is to sell $6.4 billion of weapons to Taiwan, the State Department announced on Friday. State Department deputy spokesman Robert...

McCain-Palin Campaign Increasingly Staffed by Bush Administration Officials

ShortNews | Even as the McCain-Palin campaign seeks to distance itself from the Bush administration, at least half a dozen former Bush operatives are...

Will International Law Reach Bush?

By Peter Dyer | Q: What do Radovan Karadzic, former French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, and George W....

AG candidate backs prosecution of President Bush for murder

Rutland Herald | Charlotte Dennett, the Progressive Party candidate for Vermont attorney general, said Thursday that if elected she would prosecute President Bush for...

Bush’s War Widens Dangerously

By Tariq Ali | The decision to make public a presidential order of last July authorizing American strikes inside Pakistan without seeking the approval...

The Gang’s All Here – Bush, McCain and the Old Iran-Contra Team

By PAM MARTENS | The vetting of Sarah Palin for the McCain campaign by an Iran-Contra alumnus brought an epiphany. (See “The Man Who...

Bush Admin – The Most Secretive Govt Ever?

(IPS) | The administration of President George W. Bush continues to expand government secrecy across a broad array of agencies and actions -- and at...

What You Can Do to Put Bush and Cheney Behind Bars

By David Swanson | Remarks on September 14, 2008, at Justice Robert Jackson Conference on Planning for the Prosecution of High Level American War...

Bush Secretly Approved Orders Allowing Raids in Pakistan

By ERIC SCHMITT and MARK MAZZETTI | President Bush secretly approved orders in July that for the first time allow American Special Operations forces to...

Historians: Stop Bush/Cheney From Destroying Presidential Records

Thirty-two of the nation’s leading historians have sent letters to congressional leaders calling on them to stregthen the Presidential Records Act (PRA). The effort,...

Biden denies report: ‘No one’s talking about pursuing Bush criminally’

By David Edwards and Muriel Kane | The possibility that Barack Obama might seek to bring criminal charges against President Bush or members of...

The deconstruction of a Bush speech-writer

By Dr. Steve Best, Ph.D. | In 2002, arch-conservative Matthew Scully wrote a book called, Dominion: The Power of Man, The Suffering of Animals, and...

Obama might pursue criminal charges against Bush administration

By Elana Schor in Washington | Democratic vice-presidential nominee Joe Biden said earlier this week that he and running mate Barack Obama could pursue...

McCain Suggests Bush Has Endorsed Torture

By Zachary A. Goldfarb | Sen. John McCain today issued some of his strongest criticism of President Bush over an aggressive interrogation technique, clearly...

Bush Seeks to Affirm a Continuing War on Terror

By ERIC LICHTBLAU | WASHINGTON – Tucked deep into a recent proposal from the Bush administration is a provision that has received almost no public...

Bush Covered up Musharraf Ties with Qaeda, Khan

(IPS) - Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf's resignation Monday brings to an end an extraordinarily close relationship between Musharraf and the George W. Bush administration,...

Greg Palast: Chewing the Buddha Bush at the Olympics

Lhasa, Tibet - China's secret police are just terrible at keeping themselves secret. The detective, dressed in her business suit and pumps appropriate to urban...

Is Perpetual War Our Future? Learning the Wrong Lessons from the Bush Era

TomDispatch | To the problem of an overstretched, over-toured military, there is but one answer in Washington. Both presidential candidates (along with just...

Bush Is the Worst Commander in Chief Ever

By Matthew Rothschild | Here’s the news flash from Wednesday’s New York Times: “Al Qaeda is more capable of attacking inside the United States...

Bush administration proposes major cut to endangered species protections

By Naomi Spencer | With an eye to the approaching elections, the Bush administration has drafted proposed changes to the enforcement of the Endangered...

Georgia Tries out the Bush War Doctrine, Loses Badly

By Gary Brecher | There are two basic facts to keep in mind about the smokin' little war in Ossetia: 1. The Georgians started it. 2. They lost. If...

Hypocrite Bush: “Unacceptable in the 21st Century”

By Matthew Rothschild | Just back from mugging for the cameras with the bikini-clad U.S. Olympic volleyball team, Bush put his serious face on...

Bush escalates confrontation with Russia over Georgia

By Barry Grey | In a provocative statement delivered from the White House Rose Garden on Monday, President George W. Bush escalated the confrontation...

Coincidence? Guantanamo term ends as Bush’s does

GUANTANAMO BAY U.S. NAVAL BASE, Cuba (Reuters) - It was no coincidence the U.S. military jurors at Guantanamo timed the prison sentence they gave...

State and Local Prosecutors Can Take Down Bush

By David Swanson | Former prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi's new book "The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder" is not just a particularly good...

Who Is Bush to Lecture China?

By Matthew Rothschild Who is Bush to lecture the Chinese–or anyone, for that matter–on human rights? There he was in Thailand, pressing China to uphold human...

Bush scolds China over human rights… then flies in for Games

Just hours before flying to Beijing for the Olympics on Thursday, US president George Bush used some of his bluntest language yet in publicly...

How Much Do You Want to Bet Bush Issues Pardons of the Crimes You...

Dear Congress, Many of you, including both of your nominees for the throne and your Speaker and Minority Leader, claim to believe that George W....

South Korea arrests 167 after anti-Bush protests

SEOUL -- South Korean police used water cannon and arrested 167 people to break up protests in the evening and overnight against the visit...

S. Koreans fire water cannons at Bush protesters

SEOUL, South Korea - Police fired water cannons at thousands of protesters Tuesday as President Bush got a volatile reception in South Korea at...

Would Obama prosecute the Bush administration for torture?

By Mark Benjamin | On the campaign trail in April, Barack Obama was asked whether, if elected, he would prosecute Bush administration officials for...

Suskind: Bush ordered fake letter linking Iraq to 9/11

By David Edwards and Nick Juliano | A blockbuster new book from investigative journalist Ron Suskind adds another revelation to the growing canon demonstrating...

New Book Claims Bush White House Used Forged Documents In Case For Iraq War

Haaretz | The Bush administration used forged documents that it presented as evidence of Saddam Hussein's complicity in the September 11 terrorist attacks, and which...

Next president should order investigation of Bush-Cheney use of torture

By Rosa Brooks, Los Angeles Times | Even war criminals have fan clubs. On Tuesday, 15,000 people in Belgrade, Serbia, protested the transfer of indicted...

Bush must be stopped before starting war with Iran

By JOE PARKO | The Bush administration, in rhetoric that is eerily similar to that used to build the case for a war against...

Bush Orders Revamping Of Intelligence Gathering

By Joby Warrick  Washington Post Staff Writer   Thursday, July 31, 2008; Page A02    President Bush ordered a major restructuring of the nation's intelligence-gathering community yesterday, approving new...

Bush Reveals True Reason for War in Push for Iraqi Agreement

Huffington Post | For five years the Bush administration has played wack-a-mole with the American people as to why we are in Iraq, with a...

The Bush Admin’s Biowarfare Agenda

By Stephen Lendman - RINF | When it comes to observing US and international laws, treaties and norms, the Bush administration is a serial...

GUIDE TO SOME OF BUSH REGIME CRIMES

Coercive interrogation Can any Bush officials be prosecuted for the policies that paved the way for secret imprisonment, rendition to other countries that torture, or...

Exposing Bush’s historic abuse of power

The last several years have brought a parade of dark revelations about the George W. Bush administration, from the manipulation of intelligence to torture...

The US will not prosecute Bush

Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld will never be tried for war crimes in the US because the country lacks a consensus on torture The US will...

Bush can hold terrorist suspect indefinitely: US court

A federal appeals court on Tuesday ruled that President George W. Bush has the power to keep a terrorist suspect jailed indefinitely, but that...

Court Backs Bush on Military Detentions

By ADAM LIPTAK | President Bush has the legal power to order the indefinite military detentions of civilians captured in the United States, the federal...

Cotati CA Council Votes to Impeach Bush, Cheney

Press Democrat | The Cotati City Council is the third in Sonoma County to weigh in on impeachment for President George W. Bush and Vice...

Arizona JAG officer wants Bush tried for war crimes

By Mark Yannone | From the KPHX radio station in Phoenix, Arizona, Colonel Joe Abodeely told his worldwide radio audience on Saturday exactly how...

Chomsky: Bush & Cheney Always Saw Iraq as a Sweetheart Oil Deal

By Noam Chomsky | U.S. war planners want an obedient client state that will house major U.S. military bases, right at the heart of...

They’re not going to lock up Rove, Former Bush aide insists

By David Edwards and Muriel Kane | Rep. Sanchez: Rove should be "held accountable for his complete disregard of the law". Karl Rove refused this...

President George W Bush backs Israeli plan for strike on Iran

By Uzi Mahnaimi in Washington | President George W Bush has told the Israeli government that he may be prepared to approve a future...

Red Cross finds Bush administration guilty of war crimes

By Andrew McLemore | In a secret report last year, the Red Cross found evidence of the CIA using torture on prisoners that would...

Judge to Bush admin.: Guantanamo is top priority

AP News | A federal judge overseeing Guantanamo Bay lawsuits ordered the Justice Department to put other cases aside and make it clear throughout...

Bush signs G8 deal to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2050

guardian.co.uk | George Bush today paved the way for his successor in the White House to strike an historic deal on climate change when he...

U.S. exports to Iran shot up even as Bush talked tough on sanctions

Associated Press | U.S. exports to Iran grew more than tenfold during President George W. Bush's years in office even as he accused Iran...

There’s even more evidence that Bush was wrong on torture approach

Who would have thought that Chinese communists would become a model for U.S. interrogators? What a disgrace. The New York Times reported last week that...

Bush-Led ‘Disaster Capitalism’ Exploits Worldwide Misery to Make a Buck

By Naomi Klein The Nation | Once oil passed $140 a barrel, even the most rabidly right-wing media hosts had to prove their populist cred...