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pat_k Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-23-06 06:05 PM
Original message
The criminally insane fascist fantasies of John Yoo
Edited on Thu Feb-23-06 07:02 PM by pat_k
THE MEMO, by JANE MAYER
How an internal effort to ban the abuse and torture of detainees was thwarted.
New Yorker 27-Feb-06 Issue
http://www.newyorker.com/printables/fact/060227fa_fact

Jane Mayer reports on a twenty-two-page memo written by Alberto Mora, outgoing general counsel of the United States Navy. Her article is the best factual summary I've seen of the timeline and players in the Bush regime's War Crimes.

At the heart of it all, we find John Yoo's criminal insanity.
Note: In case you are not familiar with them, some info on key players is provided at the end of the post.
From the article:

The memo is a chronological account, submitted on July 7, 2004, to Vice Admiral Albert Church, who led a Pentagon investigation into abuses at the U.S. detention facility at Guantnamo Bay, Cuba. It reveals that Moras criticisms of Administration policy were unequivocal, wide-ranging, and persistent. . . Mora also challenged the legal framework that the Bush Administration has constructed to justify an expansion of executive power, in matters ranging from interrogations to wiretapping. He described as "unlawful," "dangerous," and "erroneous" novel legal theories granting the President the right to authorize abuse. . .

According to Mayer, in his discussion of a January 2003 opinion issued by the Justice Dept's Office of Legal Counsel, which was written by John Yoo, Mora wrote that, in Yoo's opinion, "cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment of detainees could be authorized" at Guantnamo. . .and further, that the opinion "espoused an extreme and virtually unlimited theory of the extent of the Presidents Commander-in-Chief authority."

Mora concluded that Yoos opinion was "profoundly in error." He wrote that it "was clearly at variance with applicable law." When we spoke, he added, "If everything is permissible, and almost nothing is prohibited, it makes a mockery of the law." . . .

On February 6th, Mora invited Yoo to his office, in the Pentagon, to discuss the opinion. Mora asked him, "Are you saying the President has the authority to order torture?"

"Yes," Yoo replied."

"I dont think so," Mora said.

"Im not talking policy," Yoo said. "Im just talking about the law."

. . . (Yoo said that he recalled discussing only how the policy issues should be debated, and where. Torture, he said, was not an option under consideration.)

Fascists always seem to have such conveniently selective memories, don't they?

. . . under the supervision of Mary Walker, a draft working-group report was being written to conform with Yoos arguments. Mora wrote in his memo that contributions from the working group "began to be rejected if they did not conform to the OLC"Office of Legal Counsel"guidance."

The draft working-group report noted that the Uniform Code of Military Justice barred "maltreatment" but said, "Legal doctrine could render specific conduct, otherwise criminal, not unlawful." . . .

So, Yoo, Addington, Haynes, and other promoters of the fascist fantasy of an American unitary authoritarian executive, have constructed a twisted interpretation of "legal doctrine" that makes crimes not crimes.

More from the article. . .

A few days after his meeting with Yoo, Mora confronted Haynes again. He told him that the draft working-group report was "deeply flawed." It should be locked in a drawer, he said, and "never let out to see the light of day again." He advised Haynes not to allow Rumsfeld to approve it.

I would add that John Yoo must be prosecuted, locked in a secure facility, and never let out to see the light of day again.

In December, 2003, in an extraordinary repudiation of the Administrations own legal work, the Office of Legal Counsel quietly withdrew the Yoo opinion. The new head of the O.L.C., Jack Goldsmith, a conservative legal scholar who now teaches at Harvard Law School, told the Pentagon that it could no longer rely on the legal analysis. Among other problems, Goldsmith had found Yoos interpretation of the Presidents powers overly broad. . . .

But the insanity continues. . .

Just a few months ago, Mora attended a meeting in Rumsfelds private conference room at the Pentagon, called by Gordon England, the Deputy Defense Secretary, to discuss a proposed new directive defining the militarys detention policy. The civilian Secretaries of the Army, the Air Force, and the Navy were present, along with the highest-ranking officers of each service, and some half-dozen military lawyers. Matthew Waxman, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee affairs, had proposed making it official Pentagon policy to treat detainees in accordance with Common Article Three of the Geneva conventions, which bars cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment, as well as outrages against human dignity. . .

. . One by one, the military officers argued for returning the U.S. to what they called the high ground. But two people opposed it. One was Stephen Cambone, the under-secretary of defense for intelligence; the other was Haynes. They argued that the articulated standard would limit Americas "flexibility." It also might expose Administration officials to charges of war crimes: if Common Article Three became the standard for treatment, then it might become a crime to violate it. Their opposition was enough to scuttle the proposal. . .

But, I thought that Yoo's fantastical interpretation made crimes not crimes?? Oh yeah, that insanity had already been rejected (only to be referenced and relied on in Alito's hearings. . . it goes on and on.)

In exasperation, according to another participant, Mora said that whether the Pentagon enshrined it as official policy or not, the Geneva conventions were already written into both U.S. and international law. Any grave breach of them, at home or abroad, was classified as a war crime. To emphasize his position, he took out a copy of the text of U.S. Code 18.2441, the War Crimes Act, which forbids the violation of Common Article Three, and read from it. The point, Mora told me, was that "its a statute. It existswere not free to disregard it. Were bound by it. Its been adopted by the Congress. And were not the only interpreters of it. Other nations could have U.S. officials arrested.". . .

We don't need to wait for other nations. The time is now. These people need to be locked up.

Not long afterward, Waxman was summoned to a meeting at the White House with David Addington. Waxman declined to comment on the exchange, but, according to the Times, Addington berated him for arguing that the Geneva conventions should set the standard for detainee treatment. The U.S. needed maximum flexibility, Addington said.


-------------------------------------------------
Summary of Key Players

Naval Criminal Investigative Services (NCIS.)

Criminal Investigative Task Force (C.I.T.S.)
Made up of NCIS, FBI, Army CID, Air Force OSI, tasked with lawfully eliciting incriminating information and evidence from detainees at Gitmo that could be used for prosecutions.

Army intelligence, Joint Task Force 170 (J.T.F-170)
Established 16-Feb-02 and tasked with handling interrogation operations at Gitmo for the Department of Defense. Responsible for getting intelligence on Al Qaedas next move and coordinating operations among government agencies involved in the interrogation of the suspected terrorists.

John Yoo. Author of the January 2003 opinion from the Justice Dept. Office of Legal Counsel that displayed "catastrophically poor legal reasoning."

David Addington. Cheney's Chief of Statf. One former government lawyer described him as "the Octopus"his hands seemed to reach into every legal issue.

Addington's ties go back to Reagan years when Cheney, as a Rep. from Wyoming was the ranking Republican on the House select committee investigating the Iran-Contra scandal. Addington assisted with a report for the committees Republican minority, arguing that the law banning covert aid to the Contrasthe heart of the scandalwas an unconstitutional infringement of Presidential prerogatives. In 1989, when Cheney was named Secretary of Defense by George H. W. Bush, he hired Addington as a special assistant, and eventually appointed him to be his general counsel. Addington, hired Haynes as his special assistant and soon promoted him to general counsel of the Army. With Libby's indictment, Addington took over as Cheney's Chief of Staff.

William Haynes, Pentagon general counsel protg of Cheneys influential chief of staff, David Addington. In 2003, President Bush nominated him to the federal appeals court in Virginia. His nomination is one of several that have been put on hold by Senate Democrats. As general counsel, he frequently warns subordinates to put nothing in writing.

Mary Walker, Air Force general counsel, To placate Mora, in Jan-03 a working group was formed to develop "new" interrogation guidelines. Rumsfeld appointed Walker to head the group. A minion for Haynes, Walker ensured that the working group report conformed to John Yoo's opinion.

David Brant, former head NICS. On 17-Dec-02 brought Guantnamo abuse to Alberto Mora's attention

Michael Gelles, a psychologist with NCIS. Had access to J.T.F.-170 "interrogation" (torture) logs and escalated to Brant.

General Michael Dunlavey. Commander J.T.F.-170. After receiving Lt. Col Diane Beaver's 11-Oct-02 legal analysis that soldiers who planned to violate the law might be able to obtain permission, or immunity from higher authorities "in advance", he requested that permission, and got it in the form of Rumsfeld's 2-Dec-02 memo.

Diane Beaver, Lt Col -- top legal adviser to J.T.F.-170 in 2002, issued October 11, 2002 legal analysis in which she reasoned that U.S. soldiers preparing to violate that law as set forth in the Uniform Code of Military Justice might be able to obtain permission, or immunity from higher authorities "in advance." Later promoted to staff of the Pentagons Office of General Counsel, where she specializes in detainee issues.

General Geoffrey Miller, Commander Gitmo from Nov. 2002. Also sought permission for "more flexibility" to violate the law in interrogation.

Steven Morello, general counsel of the Army. On 18-Dec-02 met with Mora and provided paper trail leading to "authorization" of abuses.

Gordon England, the Secretary of the Navy in Dec 2002, who is now the Deputy Secretary of Defense.

Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Secretary of Defense

Jane Dalton, Captain -- legal adviser to the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Donald Rumsfeld, Secty of Defense
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Senator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-23-06 06:12 PM
Response to Original message
1. Kicked and rec'd!
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pat_k Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-23-06 06:18 PM
Response to Original message
2. BTW, John Yoo was apparently raving on C-SPAN last night. . .
Although I didn't catch it, might be worth digging up.
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Turn CO Blue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-23-06 07:37 PM
Response to Reply #2
13. Was flipping channels, saw Yoo, had to move on before barfing!
(Note that I mean Yoo, not you...tee hee)

Anyway, he was raving about something with a Heritage Foundation wall behind him. What a self-important putz! I was also struck by how he kept having to read from his notes, barely looking up. The camera pan showed a bored audience.
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pat_k Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-23-06 07:44 PM
Response to Reply #13
16. Confused reaction when I exclaimed "Yoo must be locked up," taught me to .
. . . say "John Yoo" in conversation.
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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-23-06 10:47 PM
Response to Reply #16
22. *lol* I bet you got a lot of "You first, buddy"s
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lala_rawraw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-23-06 06:24 PM
Response to Original message
3. Does Yoo really have the educational background he claims?
Let's dig
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corbett Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-23-06 07:00 PM
Response to Reply #3
8. Caught Him On C-SPAN Last Night...
I had to wonder the same thing. He seemed to speak with authority but the tilt in his presentation was so profoundly to the right that I had to turn him off. He loved to quote SCOTUS opinions and rulings, which I felt would help his position, but in the end he fell short on all counts.
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pat_k Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-23-06 07:21 PM
Response to Reply #8
12. I am willing to bet Yoo relies on Scalia's psychotic ramblings . . .
Edited on Thu Feb-23-06 07:47 PM by pat_k
. . . when defending his positions.

Scalia's opinions are a classic example of "The Emperor's New Clothes."

Serpentine and lengthy, most find his writing impossible to follow at all. Instead of calling them what they are -- ramblings born of mental illness -- "professionals" declare his writings to be "sophisticated," "complex," and "brilliant."

Sometimes it takes naivet to see through deception or insanity.

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liveoaktx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-24-06 12:49 PM
Response to Reply #8
45. AUDIO/MP3 of his crazy Cspan talk- entitled Bush and War Time Powers
I'm with you, he basically was gutting Congressional powers in favor of the Executive

In fact, you remember at the very beginning he bragged about being conservative. I still think he is the one that wrote the NSA wiretap defense-it rattled off his tongue so easily and I don't think Alberto is smart enough to have written it.
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lala_rawraw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-25-06 12:26 AM
Response to Reply #45
63. Where does Yoo teach now?
Because if it is standard policy to hire war criminals to teach the perversion of law to law students, then we must really let them know how we feel, no?
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pat_k Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-25-06 10:41 PM
Response to Reply #63
67. UC Berkeley School of Law - Boalt Hall
http://www.law.berkeley.edu/faculty/profiles/facultyPro...

Clearly, it is worth poking around to see if there are organized efforts to remove him from that position of influence. If no effort is underway, perhaps members of the National Lawyers Guild would be interested in taking it on?
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philly_bob Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-23-06 06:25 PM
Response to Original message
4. When Yoo was just a talking head...
I don't have a date reference, nor do I remember the issue; but I distinctly remember Yoo on one of the discussion shows, presented as an academic (Yale, Berkeley) expert in constitutional law.

Pudgy, friendly, Yoo was personable, well-spoken, and outwardly reasonable.

Only when you dig do you find out he was clerk to Clarence Thomas, a member of the Federalist Society, and -- when you dig even deeper -- a proponent of torture.
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pat_k Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-23-06 06:27 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. I would guess his professorship at Berkeley was somehow bought by Scaife.
. . .or some other fascist maniac.

Let's dig indeed!
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fujiyama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-24-06 05:35 AM
Response to Reply #5
30. I believe
interestingly enough while Berkely is a very liberal campus, their law school is somewhat conservative. I think they have that law and economics thing goin on there, like University of Chicago...
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pat_k Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-24-06 12:43 PM
Response to Reply #30
44. "Conservative" (fascist) law schools are created by serious money. . .
Edited on Fri Feb-24-06 12:44 PM by pat_k
. . .The Federalist Soceity is successfully planting and legitimaizing nuts like John Yoo. Impeaching Bush and Cheney is Job One, but not far down the list we need to expose fantastical "legal theory" and banish it from our law schools. The comparison to intelligent design is apt. Intelligent design ID is not science. Unitary authoritarian executive an other so-called "theories" are not law.
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Usrename Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-24-06 05:38 PM
Response to Reply #44
55. Can't he be disbarred or something?
I saw him too, and he continually misquotes the law and history. What does it take to get disbarred? How bad of a liar does one have to be? The guy is a disgrace in every sense.
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pat_k Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-24-06 06:32 PM
Response to Reply #55
59. Yoo is licensed to practice law in PA (not CA). A fellow PA attorney . . .
. . .can start disbarment proceedings

The following was noted in a blog posting I cam across.

PA attorney calls for John C. Yoo's disbarment. Yoo was the mastermind behind various legal arguments the White House used to later justify alleged violations of the law: Prisoner mistreatment, rendition, and the NSA domestic surveillance.

Richard J. Schaedler, an attorney with a clean Pennsylvania attorney discipline record has called for Yoo to be disbarred. Yoo, like Schaedler, is licensed to appear before the Pennsylvania bar.

It remains unclear Schaedler made his comments on the After Downing Street Memo.org website, or whether he or anyone else has filed a formal complaint in Pennsylvania.

In my view, it would be more effective if an attorney were, if they have substantive allegations based on a review of the record, to file the complaint in formal channels.

Although Yoo is an educator in California, according to the CA State Bar Discipline system, he is not licensed to practice law in California.

I'll poke around later to see if I can find anyone pursuing a formal action. But, whether or not there are existing complaints, if anybody out there knows an attorney licensed in PA, perhaps we can enlist as many as we can find in a coordinated effort.

As long as the effort can be effectively tied to the Impeachment of Bush and Cheney, it would serve that immediate goal (rather than distract from it).

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Usrename Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-24-06 08:03 PM
Response to Reply #59
61. Wow!
That's fascinating. Then it might be possible after all. I would hope the PA bar would consider this. He should at least be disciplined for this, although the Hague is much more appropriate.
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HereSince1628 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-23-06 06:43 PM
Response to Original message
6. What criteria must be met for another nation to bring war crimes charges
to the Hague?

It seems obvious to me that we cannot solve this problem from inside the reich. It must be solved by a foreign power.

Is there any state that would be willing to do that?
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Trevelyan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-23-06 07:20 PM
Response to Reply #6
11. Here - write to some of the human rights organizations to ask them
http://www.ccr-ny.com Center for Constitutional Rights has been working on stopping the torture by appealing to Geman judge with universal war crimes authority but he turned it down.

http://www.HumanRights.org
Human Rights and Progressive Organizations and Periodicals

Amnesty International
Human Rights Watch Web Page
Human Rights Watch Gopher
Human Rights Related University Web Sites in North America
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 50
Human Rights Web Page
South Asia Human Rights Documentation Center
Progressive Organization (Institute for Global Communication)
Greenpeace
The Nation

Clickable links from Juan R.I. Cole Home Page http://www-personal.umich.edu/~jrcole/progress.htm

http://www.witnesstorture.org/node/182

=25 American protesters fasting outside Gitmo
by Reepicheep Wed Dec 14, 2005
Members of Witness Against Torture, a christian group, began a fast at the military checkpoint about 5 miles from Guantanimo prison.
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pat_k Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-23-06 07:38 PM
Response to Reply #6
14. Ample evidence of consciousness of guilt and malice aforethought
Edited on Thu Feb-23-06 07:48 PM by pat_k
Over and over, they acknowledge their actions are crimes. They look for cover in their fascist fantasies, but their words and actions make it crystal clear that they do not expect those fantasies to hold.

Like the felonious five did in Bush v. Gore (None Dare Call it Treason), these people, "left their incriminating fingerprints everywhere, showing an unmistakable consciousness of guilt on their part."

malice aforethought
n. 1) the conscious intent to cause death or great bodily harm to another person before a person commits the crime. 2) a general evil and depraved state of mind in which the person is unconcerned for the lives of others.


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understandinglife Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-23-06 06:52 PM
Response to Original message
7. Bookmarked and recommended. Thank you.
Peace.
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Senator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-23-06 07:07 PM
Response to Original message
9. More on John Yoo
Some excerpts from "Outsourcing Torture" by Mayer (2/14 isssue of The New Yorker)

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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Ksec Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-23-06 07:07 PM
Response to Original message
10. Excellent post
That whole bunch should be locked away and never allowed to see the light of day again. My compliments on your post.

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DemReadingDU Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-23-06 07:41 PM
Response to Original message
15. K&R
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pat_k Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-23-06 09:22 PM
Response to Original message
17. Thier lunatic notions must be banished from the "Marketplace of Ideas."
Edited on Thu Feb-23-06 09:27 PM by pat_k
Just as intelligent design has no place the realm of science, their fascist fantasies have no place in the realm of reality.

We must stop calling their fantasies "theories." No more debating "on the merits." The moment we engage and treat their fantasies as plausible theories, we legitimize those fantasies.

No matter how long and complex, or how "scholarly and sophisticated" in form, when an analysis or legal opinion yields results that violate the intent of our laws and the principles embodied in our Constitution, the opinion is a sham.

We must reject their "theories" out of hand. If raised in discussion, we need to focus EXCLUSIVELY on the results of their so-called "theories." No submitting to assertions of complexity. No arguments the meaning of a precedent or other building block of their case. When the result is shown to be nonsense, the "theory" that led to the nonsense must be tossed out.

Too many Americans have been trained to submit when some authority says "the law is the law" and "it's all very complex," no matter how obviously wrong the assertions. The propaganda only works when the truth is hidden in phony complexity. Because the complexity is a sham, there are always ways to cut through it.

We can hit them with concrete examples of what their lunatic conclusions actually mean. The truth may never dawn on them, but when the right questions are asked, it will get through to the public. Questions like:
  1. So, if Bush concludes that he must start putting babies on spikes on the WH lawn to protect us in the so-called "War on Terror," he has the plenary power to do it?

  2. If there is a ticking bomb and the coordinates have been hidden in a baby's skull, and there is no way to get the clue without killing the baby, can Bush have the baby killed? What if you don't know which baby of 100 babies is the right baby, can Bush have them all killed to get the clue? What if 1000 babies had to be killed? 10,000? 100,000?

If they claim their "theory" would not give Bush the power to put babies on spikes on the WH lawn, they must tell us why not. If he could only put babies on spikes if he declared them to be illegal enemy combatants, what would stop him from capturing babies and declaring them enemy combatants? . .

You get the picture. Their lunacy yields lunacy. We can expose it.





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upi402 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-23-06 09:50 PM
Response to Original message
18. crazy! We're being mislead by D- students
:kick:
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dzika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-23-06 09:52 PM
Response to Original message
19. VIDEO - Secret Memo Warned Bush Admin on Torture Policy
broadcast on February 21, 2006

VIDEO - Secret Memo Warned Bush Admin on Torture Policy

In an interview with CNN American Morning, Mayer said:

It's clear that were consistently resisting any criticism on this... instead of listening to , they basically found another lawyer, somebody in the Justice Department named John Yoo, who told them what they wanted to hear which was they could pretty much do anything they wanted.

It was a policy decision on their part. This wasn't an accident - what happened at Guantnamo and what later happened at Abu Ghraib in terms of mistreatment of prisoners. They did this with their eyes wide open.






Video in Flash Streaming format...
Video in Windows Media format...

http://veredictum.com/node/104


Also, you might want to check out this video from the CBC report "A Few Bad Apples." It has some interviews with Yoo.

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pat_k Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-23-06 10:03 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. Thank You.This is great!
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Nothing Without Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-24-06 12:55 AM
Response to Reply #19
27. Thank you for this, dzika! And good to "see" you here at DU! n/t
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bleever Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-23-06 10:44 PM
Response to Original message
21. People like John Yoo are instrumental to absolving the most heinous
crimes by being able and willing to use the ambiguities of language and reason to defend the indefensible.

Talk about yer moral relativism...

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pat_k Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-23-06 11:21 PM
Response to Reply #21
24. We need to learn to cut through their deceptive "complexity"
Edited on Thu Feb-23-06 11:21 PM by pat_k
It amazes me that anyone allows their lunacy to be discussed as if it were legitimate theory. Whatever they would like us to believe, this is not tough stuff.

The notion that the 1973 war powers act (which was passed by Congress and can be revoked or radically altered by them) empowers the President to ignore our laws must be rejected to on principle -- American principle v. Fascist principle. It is lunacy to think the Constitution for the United States of America gives (or even might give) the American Presidency the power to flagrantly violate the collective will of the people codified in the acts and resolutions passed by our Congress.

You don't need a law degree, or even a high school degree, to know that absolute power like that is NEVER freely given to a leader; it is only taken by deception or force.

But, this is not the first time that fascists have appealed to legalistic technicality and "complexity" to thwart the will of the people, and it will not be the last.

Too many Americans have been deceived into believing that they are helpless in the face of legal authority. Even when we are in complete agreement that the INTENT of our law is being overruled by legalisms and cynical misuse of the courts, we have submitted to authorities who tell us, "the law is the law." The spread of this fascist view of the law has had devastating consequences.

The law is intended to serve our will, not thwart it. No matter how long and complex, or how "scholarly and sophisticated" in form, when an opinion yields results that violate the intent of our laws and the principles embodied in our Constitution, the opinion is a sham.

Like the Emporer's New Clothes, sometimes the "authorities" and "sophisticated" are taken in far more easily than the naive. If we are to preserve our constitutional democracy, ordinary Americans must trust their own judgment and reject the sham.
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EVDebs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-24-06 05:57 PM
Response to Reply #21
56. DOJ Dept. of Justification eom
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Patsy Stone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-23-06 11:09 PM
Response to Original message
23. So evil. Also, add Viet Dinh
This was a Yoo thread of mine from November:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Here are two C-SPAN clips:
rtsp://cspanrm.fplive.net/cspan/project/ter/ter_wj11130...
rtsp://cspanrm.fplive.net/cspan/archive/ter/ter_wj04120...
featuring Yoo and Dinh. Each is 45 minutes.

Get your barf bags ready as they gleefully explain away the Constitution.

Rec'd.
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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-23-06 11:52 PM
Response to Original message
25. This man should be disbarred
His contemptible conduct and willful subversion of the law is casts shame on every California lawyer.
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pat_k Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-24-06 01:32 PM
Response to Reply #25
46. Impeachment is Job One, but disbarring those who promote devastatingly irr
Edited on Fri Feb-24-06 02:25 PM by pat_k
. . irrational notions as "legal theory" needs to be near the top of the list. Bringing the criminals to justice at the Hague for the consequences of their criminal insanity needs to be right up there too.

Part and parcel of Impeachment is rejecting the fascist view of the law that has infected the public mind. We can no longer allow Scalia and his fellow fascists to use tortured interpretations of "the letter of the law" to overrule our will.

The first place to tackle their fascist view of the law is in the 2006 elections. We must unequivocally reject the results of suspect elections and demand our right to have confidence that the results of our elections are an accurate measure of our will.

We must never again proceed from the erroneous premise that the burden is on us to prove "official" (o-fishy) results to be wrong. The Burden is NOT on us. The burden is on the state to prove it conducted a free and fair election that accurately measured our will. Burden of Proof in an Election.

In 2000 and again in 2004, too few questioned those who invoked "legal authority" to deceive us and violate our will. Had more of us rejected the results of their cynical misuse of the courts and legal technicality, they could not have stolen our last two presidential elections.

Within days of the 2000 election, it was well-known that more Floridians went to the polls to vote for Gore than Bush. Simple extrapolation of the mysteriously uncounted ballots conclusively demonstrated that Florida elected Gore by tens of thousands of voters (if not counted votes).

For anyone with any amount of morality or decency, that should have been the end of it. The fascists did not even bother to deny that more people in Florida went to the polls to vote for Gore. Instead, they invoked the erroneous premise that the burden was on us to prove their reported results were wrong. They invoked complexity and legal technicality as cudgels to bash through their rationalizations for throwing out valid votes and ignoring evidence of fraud.

An election is not a sporting event or contest of any kind. It is a survey of the will of the electorate. In 2000, the result of that survey had been demonstrated to a level of certitude that would be acceptable in any court that enforced the intent of our laws.

The consent of the governed is the sole moral principle on which this nation was founded. While there are certainly areas of law and cases in which our intent is not clear, our election laws are clearly intended to enforce the principles embodied in our Constitution, and that is to make sure we do not put candidates into office who have failed to obtain our consent in free and fair elections.

In 2006, we must challenge any citizen or so-called "authority" who asserts that we have no choice but to accept fraudent and suspect elections because our courts are failing to right the wrongs. We must accuse them and call them what they are: Immoral and Un-American. (It is surprising how effective name-calling can be, particularly when the labels are accurate.)




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Nothing Without Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-24-06 12:52 AM
Response to Original message
26. ***See also Kevin Drum's take on this and an earlier DU thread (LINKS):
Kevin Drum's piece on Jane Mayer's New Yorker article and the Mora memo:
http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/20...

An earlier DU thread on this (there are probably more - it's an important issue and I'm glad to see it posted on again):
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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Senator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-24-06 04:32 AM
Response to Original message
28. Impeachment and THEN "rendition" to The Hague
Sorry, but "violence" is all these thugs understand.

It matters not whether it is physical, rhetorical, intellectual, or legal violence. It must be "made visible" and/or met in kind (in self-defense).

We will continue our "moral descendency" in the world unless and until we bind over these criminals to international justice.

It is the ONLY way to redeem our National Soul.

--
www.january6th.org

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nicknameless Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-24-06 04:42 AM
Response to Original message
29. Being criminally insane is a prerequisite
for being a part of this administration.

K&R
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-24-06 11:49 AM
Response to Reply #29
39. Yep.
Yep.
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Hubert Flottz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-24-06 05:47 AM
Response to Original message
31. "As general counsel, he frequently warns subordinates to put ...
Edited on Fri Feb-24-06 05:48 AM by Hubert Flottz
nothing in writing."

Sounds just exactly like the same idea the Nazis had about their dirty deeds like "The Final Solution To The Jewish Question" and it's implementation...Hitler was VERY careful to never put Anything in writing.

They may not be Nazis, but they do their jobs like Nazis!
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-24-06 09:30 AM
Response to Reply #31
34. They do their jobs like they know they're going to be indicted, eventually
The single most important thing the Democratic leadership could be doing is calling for a Special Prosecutor on this, along with the rest of the multitude of crimes by the Administration. If they just called it criminal, and talked about it, it would be step forward.

We need to be pushing Dean to step up and start swinging the bat.
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pat_k Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-24-06 02:32 PM
Response to Reply #34
47.  "left their incriminating fingerprints everywhere, showing an unmistakabl
Edited on Fri Feb-24-06 03:12 PM by pat_k
The quote is from "None Dare Call It Treason" and applies to Bush v. Gore edict handed down by the feloneous five, but it is every bit as applicable to Addington, Cheney, Bush, Haynes, Walker, and the rest of the co-conspirators.

"And like typical criminals, the felonious five left their incriminating fingerprints everywhere, showing an unmistakable consciousness of guilt on their part."


We must call on our "leaders" to lead, and to "Dare Call It Treason."

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-24-06 12:35 PM
Response to Reply #31
43. Reminds me of the plans for the Gas Chambers
They found the blueprints and plans for the gas chambers in Auschwitz, but noticed something peculiar.
The plans say nothing the actual function of the chambers.

I see a parallel here in the works of Yoo and all the other co-conspirators.
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pat_k Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-24-06 02:43 PM
Response to Reply #43
48.  "Im not talking policy," Yoo said. "Im just talking about the law."
The parallel is horribly apt. They sought to hide the intended use of their fantastical "theories." They would have us believe that no one intended to actually ENGAGE in torture -- the opinions and reports were just academic analyses of the law.

To bad for them that they left so much evidence that proves malice aforethought.

From post #14

malice aforethought
n. 1) the conscious intent to cause death or great bodily harm to another person before a person commits the crime. 2) a general evil and depraved state of mind in which the person is unconcerned for the lives of others.

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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-24-06 06:25 PM
Response to Reply #48
57. Funny how these interpretations are used immediately
After the fact. And even before the interpretations themselves!
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myrna minx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-24-06 08:06 AM
Response to Original message
32. K&R.
:kick:
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-24-06 09:23 AM
Response to Original message
33. When the time comes to prosecute Rummy & Wolfie, this is the roadmap
This is an incredibly important article by Jane Mayer that needs to be read in its entirety by all who want to know the grounds on which Rumsfeld and his confederates will be prosecuted for violation of the antitorture statute and other crimes against humanity.

Also, this synopsis, particularly the Summary of Key Players, is extremely useful. Thank you and Great Work, pat_k!!!!
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Senator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-24-06 10:24 AM
Response to Reply #33
35. We have to make that map lead to The Hague
We'll prosecute them here for Terrorizing the Nation into War, and their other serial atrocities.

But these are war crimes/against humanity. We have no moral standing to even interact with the rest of the world unless and until we bind them all over for trial by the World Court.

The resistance here to "participating" in int'l law has come from the war criminals themselves.

This will not stand either.

--
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-24-06 10:43 AM
Response to Reply #35
36. Under the Torture and Genocide conventions, all signatory states
have a duty to arrest and try violators if the country they committed their crimes in is either unable or unwilling to prosecute. Pardons and amnesties have no effect under these treaties, so there is the prospect that Rumsfeld, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Gonzales, Yoo and all the rest could be taken to the Hague, even if Bush pardons them.

That is part of what is driving this regime to try to hold onto power by any means, no matter what. They're playing for keeps. These are very dangerous times, and I don't think many -- even here at DU -- understand just how high the stakes are.
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pat_k Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-24-06 02:58 PM
Response to Reply #36
49.  Yes. As they lose grip on power, the people they steamrolled to commit. .
Edited on Fri Feb-24-06 03:15 PM by pat_k
. . .their crimes are coming out of the woodwork.

There is great hope to be found in this reality, but as you say, there is also a warning -- the stakes are very, very high for them.

While we must understand that we cannot rely on any "politics as usual" pressures to force their hand, we must also recognize that more basic forces are working in our favor. Opposition to them can only grow. Once people learn the truth, they do not unlearn it. The Bush Syndicate may have no compunctions about doing whatever they deem necessary to hold onto power, but with every act they expose their true nature and more people see them for what they are.

And, with every violent attack on the things we value most, more people recognize that violence is all they understand.


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realFedUp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-24-06 11:40 AM
Response to Original message
37. How can Boalt Law School employ a teacher who doesn't believe in law
:shrug:
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pat_k Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-24-06 03:04 PM
Response to Reply #37
50. We need to ask them -- and make our objections to their rationalizations .
. . .loud and clear.
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Citrene Donating Member (231 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-24-06 11:44 AM
Response to Original message
38. This should be an ACTION ALERT for us all. Send this everywhere!
Every listserve you are on, every congress critter you can find and to every media number you have!

Flood the lines with this info!

CRIMINALS!
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Mayberry Machiavelli Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-24-06 11:52 AM
Response to Original message
40. It's shrub's fault, not Yoo. They can always find some toady to say,
"Whatever the president wants to do, torture, whatever, it's all legal. TERRA TERRA TERRA!!!!! BOOGA BOOGA!"
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pat_k Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-24-06 03:42 PM
Response to Reply #40
51. but, every ciminal -- including the toadies -- must be accused
Edited on Fri Feb-24-06 03:42 PM by pat_k
. . and punished. It is the only way to show the cowards that they face dire consequences -- to show them that there is no hiding behind being one of a crowd or following orders.

It is the same with elections. In 2006, we must go after specific officials who betray the public trust.

Lawsuits under contest statutes are all well and good, but such statutes view the candidates as the interested parties, when in fact, it is We the People who are the REAL stakeholders.

Elections are surveys of our will and reflections of the sole moral principle on which this nation was founded -- the consent of the governed.

Any individual who attempts to corrupt our elections is committing a far more egregious act against the public than cop killing. As we seek to pass laws that carry punishmentse commensurate with election crimes, we must find ways under our current law to go after every person who enables election theft. And we need to take action to ensure our election officials know in advance that we are watching and that we will hit them with everything we've got if they betray us.

These people are cowards. They are not deterred by threats that they will be investigated or that their attempts to corrupt our elections will not succeed. They are deterred by threats that they will be fired, ostracized, and punished.
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Mayberry Machiavelli Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-24-06 08:59 PM
Response to Reply #51
62. Don't get me wrong, Yoo should be vilified and prosecuted too. I just
don't like people inordinately focusing on this asshole, as if some other flunky couldn't come up with the simple minded reasoning of "Prez Boosh = Supreme Emperor".

The bosses of shrubco have primary responsibility.
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Usrename Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-25-06 05:24 AM
Response to Reply #62
65. We need to beat them all down as much as humanly possible.
Impeachment is designed to be a political exercise. The more of their supporters that are marginalized, the better. Besides, there are plenty of crimes to go around. I don't think we are in danger of running out of crimes any time soon.
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pat_k Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-25-06 02:34 PM
Response to Reply #62
66. And they will be impeached for it. I think I understand your frustration.
Edited on Sat Feb-25-06 02:50 PM by pat_k
. . .but focus on the lower level players is appropriate. They are the strings that unravel. As we focus on the lower level players we are building the larger narrative, which includes the criminal intent of those at the top.

John Yoo is a flunky, but he is the flunky who built the straw house that protects them. Exposing the criminality of John Yoo and his creation is part and parcel of the effort to expose the criminality of the actions at the top. They required his creation to rationalize the crimes they intended to commit. Their rejection of every warning or analysis that labeled the crimes they intended to commit -- and were already committing -- as crimes exposes their criminal intent.

If John Yoo had not come through with the criminally insane fascist fantasy they required, they would have continued to seek someone who would, but it is impossible to know whether they would have successfully found such a person in time. Each additional person they were forced steamroll along the way increased the probability that their schemes would unravel.

As they pursue specific objectives in thier criminal enterprise, the Bush Syndicate are one trick ponies and stonewalling is that trick. All too often they succeed (e.g., Libby's stonewalling to get past the 2004 elections and his continued stonewalling in the hope to get past 2006, or the countless instances of stonewalling to ensure conditions that allowed them to steal the 2004 election), but there are instances in which time has turned against them and thwarted their endeavors.

Cheney, Rumsfeld, Haynes, Addington, Ashcroft, Gonzales, Yoo, Walker, et al are terrified that enforcement of the law under genuine Constitutional principle will be restored and will expose their crimes as crimes. They are going to great lengths to protect as much of John Yoo's so-called "theory" as possible. They may have "officially" withdrawn his OFC analysis, but they continue to rely on the fantastical tenets of his so-called "theories" that have been promoted by other means.

They are so protective for a reason. John Yoo and his creation present a point of enormous vulnerability for them. As long as they can maintain the illusion that his "theories" could possibly have a place in the realm of legitimate legal theory, they can point to them as justification.

A visible effort to disbar John Yoo, whether or not that effort is successful, can be an effective focal point around which to rally the troops in an attack on the notion that his so-called theories have any rational basis in the law.

Taking concrete action to make such an effort becoems a reality is a VERY worthwhile endeavor.

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BrotherBuzz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-24-06 12:08 PM
Response to Original message
41. Jon Carroll piece on John Yoo that reads like satire if it wasn't true

A brief primer designed to help you understand the workings of our new, streamlined American system of government.




Jon Carroll
Monday, January 2, 2006



Perhaps you have been unable to follow the intricacies of the logic used by John Yoo, the UC Berkeley law professor who has emerged as the president's foremost apologist for all the stuff he has to apologize for. I have therefore prepared a brief, informal summary of the relevant arguments.

Why does the president have the power to unilaterally authorize wiretaps of American citizens?

Because he is the president.

Does the president always have that power?

No. Only when he is fighting the war on terror does he have that power.

When will the war on terror be over?

The fight against terror is eternal. Terror is not a nation; it is a tactic. As long as the president is fighting a tactic, he can use any means he deems appropriate.

Why does the president have that power?

It's in the Constitution.

Where in the Constitution?

It can be inferred from the Constitution. When the president is protecting America, he may by definition make any inference from the Constitution that he chooses. He is keeping America safe.

Who decides what measures are necessary to keep America safe?

The president.

Who has oversight over the actions of the president?

The president oversees his own actions. If at any time he determines that he is a danger to America, he has the right to wiretap himself, name himself an enemy combatant and spirit himself away to a secret prison in Egypt.

But isn't there a secret court, the FISA court, that has the power to authorize wiretapping warrants? Wasn't that court set up for just such situations when national security is at stake?

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court might disagree with the president. It might thwart his plans. It is a danger to the democracy that we hold so dear. We must never let the courts stand in the way of America's safety.

So there are no guarantees that the president will act in the best interests of the country?

The president was elected by the people. They chose him; therefore he represents the will of the people. The people would never act against their own interests; therefore, the president can never act against the best interests of the people. It's a doctrine I like to call "the triumph of the will."

But surely the Congress was also elected by the people, and therefore also represents the will of the people. Is that not true?

Congress? Please.

It's sounding more and more as if your version of the presidency resembles an absolute monarchy. Does it?

Of course not. We Americans hate kings. Kings must wear crowns and visit trade fairs and expositions. The president only wears a cowboy hat and visits military bases, and then only if he wants to.

Can the president authorize torture?

No. The president can only authorize appropriate means.

Could those appropriate means include torture?

It's not torture if the president says it's not torture. It's merely appropriate. Remember, America is under constant attack from terrorism. The president must use any means necessary to protect America.

Won't the American people object?

Not if they're scared enough.

What if the Supreme Court rules against the president?

The president has respect for the Supreme Court. We are a nation of laws, not of men. In the unlikely event that the court would rule against the president, he has the right to deny that he was ever doing what he was accused of doing, and to keep further actions secret. He also has the right to rename any practices the court finds repugnant. "Wiretapping" could be called "protective listening." There's nothing the matter with protective listening.

Recently, a White House spokesman defended the wiretaps this way: "This is not about monitoring phone calls designed to arrange Little League practice or what to bring to a potluck dinner. These are designed to monitor calls from very bad people to very bad people who have a history of blowing up commuter trains, weddings and churches." If these very bad people have blown up churches, why not just arrest them?

That information is classified.

Have many weddings been blown up by terrorists?

No, they haven't, which is proof that the system works. The president does reserve the right to blow up gay terrorist weddings -- but only if he determines that the safety of the nation is at stake. The president is also keeping his eye on churches, many of which have become fonts of sedition. I do not believe that the president has any problem with commuter trains, although that could always change.

So this policy will be in place right up until the next election?

Election? Let's just say that we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. It may not be wise to have an election in a time of national peril.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/200...
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/200...
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pat_k Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-24-06 03:47 PM
Response to Reply #41
53. He's got it -- shift focus to the consequences of their lunacy to expose
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-24-06 12:22 PM
Response to Original message
42. What's the deal with all these minority Fascists?
Alberto Gonzales - Latino

John Yoo -Korean
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Yoo

Viet Dinh - Vietnamese (Architect of the Patriot Act)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viet_D._Dinh

And on the media side:

Michelle Maglalang Malkin: Filipina
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michelle_Malkin

Is there something about this raw, unlimited power that they crave that is somehow a liberation from their humble backgrounds?
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pat_k Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-24-06 03:58 PM
Response to Reply #42
54. Seems to me, relative to representation in the general pop, the number . .
Edited on Fri Feb-24-06 04:02 PM by pat_k
. . . of minorities in the fascist camp is miniscule.

Women too, seem to be under-represented among the prominent fascists.

The racism and misogyny so characteristic of mainstream fascists is undoubtedly part of it. (Reaction to Harriet Meyers was motivated more by misogyny than anything else.) And in the Bush Syndicate, minorities are relegated to oversee functions they don't care two-cents about (housing, education, national security, diplomacy, justice) or functions in which they expect to need a fall guy (or gal).
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-24-06 06:26 PM
Response to Reply #54
58. But way out of proportion for their influence
IMHO.
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Swamp Rat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-24-06 03:44 PM
Response to Original message
52. kick and recommended n/t
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Monkey see Monkey Do Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-24-06 07:57 PM
Response to Original message
60. Brilliant post -- thanks. nt
Edited on Fri Feb-24-06 07:58 PM by Monkey see Monkey Do
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WorkersToPower Donating Member (5 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-25-06 12:55 AM
Response to Original message
64. Yes
This guy's definitely having fascistic ideas.. and he's not alone in his circle of friends.

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