S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Bush Administration - Who gets to bend the rules?

George W. Bush has 133 more days at the White House; it is 57 days until the 2008 presidential election. This post is a reminder of the national garbage that will be left behind when he moves out. Just so you remember, because John McCain's election would retain 90% of it all over the floor (I think that is the figure used). I agree with this rather sweeping headline from Global Research (9/5/08): "The Bush Administration Is an Ongoing Criminal Conspiracy Under International Law and U.S. Domestic Law*."

The Forever War -- What rule covers that idea? From The Raw Story (8/31/08) comes the headline, "Bush quietly seeks to make war powers permanent, by declaring indefinite state of war.#" To quote:

As the nation focuses on Sen. John McCain's choice of running mate, President Bush has quietly moved to expand the reach of presidential power by ensuring that America remains in a state of permanent war.

Buried in a recent proposal by the Administration is a sentence that has received scant attention -- and was buried itself in the very newspaper that exposed it Saturday. It is an affirmation that the United States remains at war with al Qaeda, the Taliban and "associated organizations."

This Week in Scandal Watch -- Torture is just not about to leave the headlines. This is from ProPublica, 9/5/08:

#2. Detainee Treatment

The legal advisor to the Gitmo military tribunals has been barred from yet another trial for appearing to favor the prosecution. Three Gitmo detainees were released to their home countries this week as well.

A former Canadian police commissioner blamed U.S. political interference for bungling the rendition to Syria - and subsequent alleged torture - of Canadian terror suspect Maher Arar. Condoleezza Rice admitted last October that his case had not been "handled particularly well."

And finally, in response to an ACLU lawsuit, a federal judge ruled that the government must produce its memos on abusive CIA interrogation methods or explain why it cannot.

More of the leftover garbage -- No bigger rule-breaker than our current president (OCP)'s good friend Alberto Gonzales. The news comes from TPM Muckraker (9/3/08): "OIG Report May Indicate Gonzales Perjury," by Kate Klonick. But, of course the DOJ will not press charges. There's more in the full story. To quote:

We noted yesterday that the Justice Department Office of the Inspector General issued a report on the found that former Attorney Gen. Alberto Gonzales had mishandled classified documents during his time in office. . .

John McCain prefers to bend the rules just like(OCP). It is no coincidence that hundreds of protesters and journalists were arrested during the Republican nominating convention. These police state tactics were documented at Survival Acres "Minneapolis arrests photographed*" (9/3/08). Also
at Survival Acres (8/22/08)was this earlier post titled, "Dead Men Walking*." It is the author's fierce response to the news about the new more permissive rules for FBI investigations, about which I have recently written. To quote:

This is one of those terrible stories with insufficient details, but enough so to make your hair stand on end. . .

Of course this is terrifying and unnecessary and nothing will or can be done about any of it. This is really no different then what is being done by cops all over the country, who using their positions of paid terrorism in service of the State, can target anybody (and do) for personal gain or vendetta.

This homeland security section concludes with this entry from CQ Behind the Lines, by David C. Morrison (9/5/08) To quote (author's links):

Feds: “An influential New Jersey Muslim leader accused by DHS of having terrorist ties but praised by others as being an important ally won his fight to gain permanent U.S. residency,” The Associated Press’ Samantha Henry reports — while another AP item has a federal judge ruling that justice must either produce memos on water boarding or explain why they should be kept secret. “DHS showed some continuity and steady progress this year, and leaders took the initiative to ensure a smooth transition to a new administration,” David Silverberg weighs in a Homeland Security Today “2008 Report Card.”

On "Hamdan," the SCOTUS justices said this particular rule bending must stop -- The last section of today's post focuses of the various news or opinion items I have recently collected regarding the Salim Hamdan detainee case. The following is from an earlier CQ Behind the Lines newsletter (8/13/08):

. . . If the Pentagon plans on holding al Qaeda chauffeur Salim Hamdan indefinitely, “what, then, was the point of putting him on trial in the first place?” a FindLaw commentary questions — while NPR quotes a juror saying the man just didn’t seem like a terrorist. . .

Eric Umansky at ProPublica has been following the Hamdan case with some very good investigative work. This link will get you to all the latest. Tom Head, who writes regularly about civil liberties for, also has some very good material on this notorious case. And this from ConsortiumNews, (8/13/08) is titled, "The Hamdan Principle and You#" . It was written by Robert Parry on August 7, 2008. To quote from the piece:

The U.S. military commission’s split guilty verdict on Ahmed Hamdan, a former driver for Osama bin Laden, has drawn praise from the Bush administration and criticism from civil rights groups, but what has been overlooked is the chilling message that “the Hamdan principle” sends about future prosecutions in the “war on terror.”

George W. Bush is a lame duck president at this point, thank goodness. The next couple of months are particularly important ones for the well-being of our nation. Unless the citizenry is vigilant, the pile of national garbage left behind will smell up the next four years: John McCain and Sarah Palin's election would retain 90% of it. You cannot get a sheet of paper between Bush and McCain on national security./p>

Hat tip to regular contributor for the links: "*betmo" and #Jon.

View my current slide show about the Bush years -- "Millennium" -- at the bottom of this column.

(Cross-posted at The Reaction.)

My “creativity and dreaming” post today is at Making Good Mondays.

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