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November 04, 2006


"interrogation methods are now among the nation's most sensitive national security secrets..."

what a load of hooey... they were outlined in detail in a memorandum to Combined Joint Task Force Seven and the 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, Baghdad, Iraq, dated 14 September 2003, entitled "CTJF-7 Interrogation and Counter-Resistance Policy," written by Ricardo S. Sanchez, Lieutenant General, USA... they're spelled out and also indicate which ones deviate from the geneva conventions... see them here...


I hope this judge shows the same sort of common sense approach he's used in the Irv (that's Scooter) Libby case. If so, he'll gently mock the government lawyers for their laughable assertions and deny them this attempt to prevent effective right to counsel.

I just read this one in the paper -- any lawyer willing to make those arguments for the government should be disbarred. This is conduct undermining the very fundament of that individual's profession.

This is the "signing statement" for the MCA. Congress can "legislate" all the conditions it wants regarding interrogation techniques. But they'll never be permitted to know whether the "administration" is in compliance or not.

It's also the closure to the loophole through which Congressional Republicans squeezed when they claimed that U.S. citizens weren't included in the jurisdiction-stripping stunt that deprived alien "unlawful combatants" of their habeas rights. American citizens technically retain their rights, but will be disallowed from telling their attorneys about the conditions of the detentions they wish to challenge.

Ta da!

Fortunately, the packets of cases for several groups of detainees this week filed some interesting briefs; the government has a few weeks to reply. You can see an article describing the context there. Since this is a 'silent period' between the filing of the briefs, the Dept of Justice is using the time for politcking in the media, the detainees' lawyers' briefs now having been filed this week and readily available to the public. A companion brief authored by ten retired federal judges in support of the detainees also is available at that website. Caveat: scotusblog has taken to airing dollops of wingnut material, although much of the content is mainstream, simply a reference site for practitioners before the highest court in the land.

Since mb is addressing the loftier issue of the political face of the administration, I thought I would leave links to two studies which occurred over the past year, approximately, conducted by the Union of Concerned Scientists, who mailed forms with 42 questions to biologists in the US Fish and Wildlife Service, 32 questions to scientists in Food and Drug. The thrust was to find out how often scientists are instructed to hide facts, or how often field data is politicized and falsified when published. 84 biologists at USFWS and 200 at FDA sent samples of instances in which their own work was politically revised or suppressed. The surveys are available there: USFWS, FDA.

On the prisoner mess, I think the scale is all that is new; the size of the program necessary to address global clandestine networks is different in our times; I think the illicit methods the program uses were in existence for decades on a small scale; but modern travel and communications have served to spread the ideologies of civil disruption on a new scale. When this reached US courts finally the Supreme Court had to get involved because 14,000 and the Gitmo 700 subset and the 14 most prized capture subsubset were too large an illicit aggregate to process by ordinary cloak and dagger methods; so the Supreme Court in June wrote that congress had to advise the president how to remove some of the illicitude. Congress wrote a probably unconstitutional law which has yet to be tested in the courts; meanwhile both government and some detainees are applying the June Scotus opinion (and the series which led to it), and the newly revised detainee torture act (MCA) in a test of who is going to determine whether the detainees have any rights or are headed for summary execution with a short shrift kangaroo hearing.

While some devious folks in government might take these opportunities to elevate some far from mainstream ideological personal agendas, I tend to think a larger number of fairly surprised and only slightly conservative leaders are coasting through their terms in office hoping the illegalities and corrosive effects on constitutional order in our country are minimized during their watch, and that someone else later cleans up the mess, meanwhile protecting the nation, in that haphazard and undisciplined way.

What is scary about these "state secrets" assertions is that the Repubs with the connivance of many Dems over the past 6 years have packed the circuit courts and SCOTUS with right wing extremists quite willing to give up the balance of power that the courts have under our constitution to further this radical agenda.

We are clearly in unchartered waters and with the Military Commissions Act no longer a republic. I would not be surprised that US citizens are already "disappeared" in the gulag. The unfortunate part is that even with a Dem majority in Congress this situation will not change soon since there are so many Dems concerned with their own "electability" that they will not challenge or confront such draconian laws and assertions.

Unless progressives, libertarians, conservatives and constitutionalists rally together to overturn this radical agenda and support candidates that will uphold the constitution this radical agenda will beome so deeply enmeshed that it may require another revolution reminscent of our founding. Although we have made some progress in 2006, I hope the grassroots/netroots engage early in supporting principled candidates in the Dem primaries and make this a litmus test for all Presidential contenders. Any candidate not unequivocal about their stance on repeal of the Military Commissions Act and such constitutional issues as habeas corpus and due process must be summarily rejected. We cannot buy into the argument that it is better to get any Dem than a Repub. Lets not forget that Rahm and Schumer wanted to fight the mid-terms on the basis of ignoring Iraq even when the anarchy in Iraq was on TV every night and the majority of Americans wanted a change in policy. It took the Lamont primary win for recognition to seep in. In a similar vein unless the focus on reclaiming the republic is a central issue in the 2008 primaries the opportunity to stem the losses in constitutional rights and the founding principles of America may be lost for generations.

I've got to be honest. I'm scared of these guys already. I've had visions of a knock at my back door as I'm typing on TNH. These thugs (and Fascist Thugs is not too strong a description) have to be stopped. Tuesday is going to tell us alot about the eventuality of the means. Here's to democracy - and to my fervent hope that we still have one. Final comment- I voted yesterday. You get a straight DEM or straight REPUB option. Most of you know this, some may not -- BE SURE to go through the entire ballot rather than using the straight DEM ticket. There are many races in many states where there is no Democratic candidate, but there may be a LIB or GREEN. Vote for them, where you feel you can. A straight party vote can eliminate the opportunity to vote for a legitimate opponent to a Republican. Not that all Repubs are bad, I'm just not voting for any this election. Peace, out.

As usual, ideology trumps common sense in this administration. Unless they plan to execute all the prisoners in Guantanamo, the truth about their capture and imprisonment will come out. The administration insists that it isn't so; they can keep these men forever, with no meaningful contact with outsiders. All they have to do is strip them of their basic human rights and allow the Unitary Executive Chimp and his minions to stomp all over 'em.

The problem is, the world won't stand for it. Not just the Islamic world, but civilized people everywhere will continue to protest - more and more. Even US citizens will get it eventually. Talk about your "cause celebre"...

So. These so-called "terrorists" will stay locked up in order to protect the reputations of the criminals in this administration (and those in congress who enabled them)until international pressure forces a weakened and cheapened US government to try or release them. Another triumph in public diplomacy! Good work, Bushie ...

...the upsidedownism of some Republican't chickenhawk calling into question the patriotism of a Democratic candidate who served in uniform.

I continue to be amazed at the abject stupidity of leftists who choose to pull out the "chickenhawk"!

After all, I always read about how there are zero abortion providers in over 80% of all the counties in the US-

I figure there are over 1 million more Americans currently serving in our military than there are "pro-choicers" who will "walk the walk" and actually go out and kill a 'fetus'.

*BTW*-- fetuses never shoot back at you...

Supeona power. get use to it Georgie cause after Tuesday, this will not be a question anymore. You are going to go down.

ohhh, jodi got a new moniker

as you sow, shall you reap

anybody remember their Huck Finn ???

got any clue what happened on the third night of the con mens' "show"

the fun part is that presnit george and dead eye dick don't understand that the con men are supposed to be long gone by the time the third show opens

get your rotten fruit ready folks

and keep that tar on the boil, with the rail and feathers ready at a moment's notice

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