Local Stories, Events
Ref. : Civic Events
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07.11 7,000+ Colleges and Universities Declare Climate Emergency and Unveil Three-Point Plan to Combat It [Fox News and Betsy DeVos never talk about this stuff so it must be Bull Shit, right?]
Ref. : Letters to the editor
Health Care & Environment
07.19 Trump administration won't ban pesticide tied to childhood brain damage [There is no truth to the persistent rumor that chlorpyrifos pesticide was heavily used at Trump's childhood home in Queens]
07.17 Planned Parenthood president Leana Wen forced out by board [Given that states have lost abortion rights on political grounds recently, Wen's philosophical approach to protect abortion rights based on ‘health care’ was smarter – therefore it was that smarter strategy that was killed at the secret meeting.]
07.17 What is happening in America's Cancertown is tragic, immoral and evil [Niggardly white government policies could change to produce better students, better jobs and net revenue instead of costs. But it seems they enjoy more cruelty—like Trump.]
07.15 Extinction Rebellion protests block traffic in five UK cities [Non-corporate human animals make their annoying bleating sounds...]
07.14 A Glacier the Size of Florida Is Becoming Unstable. It Has Dire Implications for Global Sea Levels [The willfully ignorant needn't read more, Trump]
07.13 'Climate Despair' Is Making People Give Up on Life [Willfully ignorant governments—having fired many of their best scientists—have made themselves too stupid to despair]
07.13 Trump administration to approve pesticide that may harm bees [The worst government money can buy!]
07.10 Plastic Has A Big Carbon Footprint — But That Isn't The Whole Story [Fixing our world begins by educating your consciousness with the best truth from trustworthy news sources—so you'll then insist truly bad things will get fixed. But if instead you are educated by untrustworthy news sources—then your consciousness could be warped to where you are hating and fighting with your best friends. Clue: untrustworthy news sources never seriously report news about the world's most critical emergency—Global warming.]
07.09 Judge reinstates Madrid's low emissions zone [Yeh!]
07.07 How Solar Panels Work (And Why They're Taking Over the World) [Hope they leave space between panels for wild flowers to grow so birds and butterflies can flourish!]
News Media Matters
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
07.18 Inside Trump's DC hotel, where allies and lobbyists flock to peddle their interests [Also, too much ignored by media, the $millions "donated" corrupting moderate Democrats and Republicans every election cycle must stop]
07.18 This Republican's Case for Medicare for All [A well-informed Republican is rare, so let's hold him in the light so others may learn]
07.18 Trump rally crowd chants 'send her back' after president attacks Ilhan Omar [1:03 video shows Trump pandering to his ignorant idolaters, and together they're making America a greater shit-hole country]
07.16 Contempt [Variations of frequent loss & theft of property title by organized legal efforts against black owners]
07.15 Australia 'deeply concerned' about China's treatment of Uighur people [What are the reasons, exactly, that justify harsh imprisonment of a million people?]
07.15 Zuma tells South Africa corruption inquiry he is victim of foreign plot [Unaccountable corrupt governments are so in fashion these days...]
High Crimes vs. Human Rights
07.19 Conscientious objectors of first world war – their untold tales [The record proves they were morally right by avoiding violent early deaths of their cousins and themselves]
Economics & Corrupt Capitalism
International & Futurism
07.19 Iran makes 'substantial' nuclear offer in return for US lifting sanctions [Was barbaric Saudi Arabia—whose citizens were more involved in the 9-11 attacks—the wrong ally all along?]
07.19 “The Task Ahead Is Enormous, and There Is Not Much Time” [Read this and learn. Or read Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) | Twitter and/or President Trump (@POTUS) | Twitter. Are you serious? Or are you in hideously criminal denial?]
07.18 ‘No rioters, only a tyrannical regime’: Thousands of Hong Kong seniors march in support of young extradition law protesters [Most people around the world have more in common with these Hong Kong Chinese protestors than with the ignorant people at Trump rallies]
07.18 Dozens Arrested as Over 1,000 Jewish Activists and Allies Shut Down Entrances to ICE Headquarters Demanding Closure of Trump Detention Camps [Obviously these are not the immoral and less educated right-wing jews who support Netanyahu, Trump and ICE, and who slowly exterminate Palestinians when no one is looking]
07.17 Trump Murdered the Iran Deal—And Europe Isn’t Too Happy About It [Only psychopathic Saudi Arabia and Russia are U.S. ’allies’ now...]
07.15 Australia now has the highest minimum wage in the world [From 1960 to 2018 – the U.S. has fallen from 1st place to below the tenth place and off the chart]
The Republic Needs Bush's Prosecution
27 January 2009
Bob Parry's editorial comment: Washington’s pundit class and many politicians are eager to turn the page on the Bush Years, and some – like the Washington Post’s Richard Cohen – are even excusing the Bush administration’s post-9/11 use of torture. However, in this guest essay, the Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland argues that only the prosecution of President George W. Bush and other senior officials responsible for torture and other serious crimes can protect the American Republic:
The Obama administration is reluctant to turn over too many rocks in the Bush administration’s conduct in the “war on terror.”
Obama has pledged to reach a post-partisan nirvana, and Republicans could condemn any investigation of Bush administration abuse of the Republic as a partisan witch-hunt.
Also, the Obama administration has a conflict of interest in pursuing investigations and prosecutions against Bush administration officials because now that Obama is President, he may not want to entirely discredit Bush's precedents, which significantly expanded executive powers.
Yet in the expanse of human history, the existence of republican government has been rare and short-lived by comparison. Even in recent years, when republicanism has spread the farthest, we forget how fragile the experiment is.
The stakes are high, and the Obama administration needs to beat down the autocratic prece___dents left by the previous administration. The only way it can do so is by bringing criminal cases against the high-level perpetrators.
This action will not be bipartisan, and the Republicans will rally and claim that Bush and his advisers had good intentions and were just attempting to protect the country in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks.
But the rule of law and constitutional protections are needed most to protect citizens when the government is wielding power to respond to a security crisis.
Furthermore, even if you rob a bank and give the proceeds to charity (and the Bush administration's intentions weren't even that charitable), you are still guilty of robbing the bank.
Dick Cheney still maintains that the Bush administration didn't torture anyone. But the Vice President's definition of that term is narrow and, well, tortured.
Now that even Susan J. Crawford, the senior Bush administration official in charge of that administration's kangaroo military commissions, used the “t” word to describe what the administration did to one prisoner, the administration admitted to committing a war crime under international law.
Therefore, a criminal investigation must be launched because the same techniques used on that prisoner-isolation, sleep deprivation, threats by attack dogs, exposure to prolonged cold, and sexual and other humiliations-were used on many other detainees in U.S. custody.
And the investigation must involve all relevant officials, including George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.
Astonishingly, Bush recently admitted that he had approved all “extraordinary” techniques used on detainees.
The United States has committed illegal acts of torture before-for example, during the Philippine counterinsurgency at the beginning of the last century and by the CIA during the Vietnam era-but this episode is unique and dangerous because the President has admitted that his approval was given.
So not only has an administration official admitted a war crime but so has the President.
Waterboarding-simulated drowning-was not mentioned by Crawford in the case of that specific prisoner, but the administration has used it on at least three high-profile detainees, and it has been considered a war crime for centuries. The interrogation techniques that President Bush admitted approving included waterboarding.
Bush made this admission to boldly defend his record on the subject and probably felt secure in doing so because he feels immune from prosecution.
After Gerald Ford's horrible and unconstitutional precedent of pardoning Richard Nixon even before he could be indicted for his Watergate crimes (the Constitution says that you must be convicted of a crime before getting a pardon), presidents and former presidents couldn't be blamed for feeling that they were immune from prosecution.
This demonstrates the pernicious effects of a bad prior precedent.
And what about investigating and possibly prosecuting Bush for intentionally violating another statute with criminal penalties-the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). The act said that all spying on people living in the United States will be done with a warrant obtained from the secret FISA court.
President Bush deliberately flouted the law and Constitution (the Fourth Amendment in the Bill of Rights implies that warrants are needed for all searches, with no exception mentioned for cases of national security) by not seeking warrants and continuing to ignore the need to do this even after being publicly exposed.
Bush perpetrated this crime and then defended it by reference to an expansive theory of presidential power called the unitary executive theory.
Bush believes that in wartime (the legality of this designation is also suspect because, after 9/11, no declaration of war on any party was ever approved by Congress), a President can ignore laws passed by Congress.
If the President is allowed to do so without prosecution, it implicitly throws constitutional checks and balances out the window and effectively puts the country on the road to dictatorship.
Of course, violating the Constitution is more serious than violating a law with criminal penalties, but curiously, in America, presidents can get into more severe trouble for violating the law.
Thus, although seemingly radical, the only way we can prevent future presidents, including Obama, from capitalizing on Bush's illegal and unconstitutional precedents to expand executive authority towards dictatorship is to investigate, prosecute and discredit these abuses of executive power.
The Obama administration, with the complicity of Congress, will probably try to establish a truth commission that will expose, but not prosecute, such crimes. But this is not enough to discredit these vile precedents.
Investigation and prosecution are needed, and are now harder for these parties to avoid with Ms. Crawford's and Bush's public admissions.
Ivan Eland is Director of the Center on Peace & Liberty at The Independent Institute. Dr. Eland has spent 15 years working for Congress on national security issues, including stints as an investigator for the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Principal Defense Analyst at the Congressional Budget Office. His books include The Empire Has No Clothes: U.S. Foreign Policy Exposed, and Putting “Defense” Back into U.S. Defense Policy.
This article is republished in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.
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This story was published on January 27, 2009.