Archive for the ‘Impeachment’ Category

It’s Time to Hold Democratic House Leaders in Contempt by Naomi Wolf

January 28, 2008

It’s Time to Hold Democratic House Leaders in Contempt by Naomi Wolf

Dandelion Salad

by Naomi Wolf
Commondreams.org
Huffington Post
Saturday, January 26, 2008

Enough is enough.

Like many of us, after having watched helplessly as the Bush administration trampled the Constitution and made a mockery of checks and balances over the course of five bitter years, I was hopeful when the American people elected a Democratic Congress in November of 2006. Finally, I imagined, we would have a whiff of legality and the hint of a restoration of the rule of law in the land. Perhaps we would even have congressional committees to oversee the administration’s subversions of the rule of law and investigate the wide range of abuses that it had perpetrated since 2001.

There has been a bit of movement — which is why the thousands of Americans I have met who are appalled at these abuses but feel powerless to raise their voices effectively should take heart, but not stop their fight. To some extent, these raised voices have yielded some action: Congress has in fact held numerous hearings on issues — ranging from torture to warrantless wiretapping — that had been taboo to contend with when the administration was heedlessly, and unopposed, using a hyped narrative of `the global war on terror’ to subdue American liberties. Most prominently, we got some of the bad guys out of town. Citizen-driven congressional investigations into the politicization of the Department of Justice, for example, spurred the resignations of many key Bush administration officials, including the mild-mannered gatekeeper of the first bolgia of Hell, former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

And yet, where it counts most, Democratic leaders in Congress have completely abdicated their constitutional oversight role. What they are doing now reprises the worst failures of other self-paralyzed Parliaments in societies that were facing crackdowns on civil liberties and the rule of law, and their voluntary self-emasculation may go down in history as one of those turning points at which leaders cave shamefully to transformative pressure that leaves a country far less than its founded ideal. Through their actions, they are potentially causing irreparable harm to the institution of Congress itself.

At issue is the failure of White House chief of staff Josh Bolten and former White House counsel Harriet Miers to comply with congressional subpoenas to testify about the 2006 firings of a handful of U.S. Attorneys. We now have an America in which Congress says, “We subpoena you.” And potential criminals say, “Yeah? F— off.”

As most people know, the Bush administration asserted executive privilege on behalf of Bolten and Miers and refused to allow them to comply with the subpoenas to testify before the House Judiciary Committee last July. It is widely understood that executive privilege only protects certain conversations and correspondences with the president and is not intended to be a blanket privilege — protecting possible wrongdoers against having to appear before Congress AT ALL.

By going far beyond specific exchanges between the president and other officials, the White House essentially asserted that Congress has no power over the executive branch and could not question executive branch officials about their activities. This is an affront to our Constitution. In the shootout of this executive power grab, it effectively leaves one branch of government fatally wounded on Main Street.

Guess what? In America, Congress is not supposed to be tied up and left for dead as potential criminals walk away with impunity. Within weeks, the few brave members of the House Judiciary Committee who were apparently still sentient and still aware of their role as Americans appropriately passed a criminal contempt resolution against both Bolten and Miers.

It was then in the hands of Democratic leaders in the House to bring the resolution to the floor for a vote.

Since then, the citizens of this High Noon scenario have been hiding under the bar stools as the black hats swagger through the nation’s abandoned thoroughfare, and chaparral rolls through the streets. Democratic leaders are hiding from the call of destiny and offering nothing but delays and excuses to avoid producing any semblance of cojones.

In July, they said there would be a vote in September. In September, they said there would be a vote in October. In October, they said a vote would be “more likely” in November. In December, it appeared as if there would be a vote in December – which was then changed to January. If this was my twelve-year-old justifying an unfinished school project, she would be grounded. If it is your congressional representatives justifying an advanced case of cowardice, they should be fired.

Then, less than two weeks ago, on January 14, the Washington Post reported, under a headline, “House Democrats Target Bolten, Miers,” that the House would likely take up the resolutions in the next “couple of weeks.” With this information coming from “Democratic leadership aides,” it appeared as if — Hallelujah! — the long wait for some semblance of justice and a faint breeze of courage might be over.

But two days ago, Politico reported that the votes on criminal contempt citations had been — Say it ain’t so! — “postponed” by House Democrats. Now they were not expected “for weeks.” Moreover, after “Democratic leadership aides” asserted in October that Congress “would be able to round up the 218 votes needed to push through the resolution from Democrats alone,” a Democratic “insider” was now saying, “When we have the votes, we’ll go ahead with this. Right now, the votes are just not there.”

So let me get this straight. The Democrats in Congress cannot even get their own members together to defend the Constitution against a supremely unpopular executive who has essentially spit in their faces, eaten their lunch and the nation’s, and publicly called them out as powerless. Not to mention the fact that they are setting a precedent for the future that any executive can emasculate any Congress and defy any subpoena after having committed possibly any crime. Still they are trembling under the barstools — summoning up, perhaps, the courage to crawl out fully prone and toss their untouched guns humbly at the feet of the posse.

Remember this: each and every member of Congress took an oath — and the oath was not to some abstract government, it was an oath TO YOU — to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States.” Unlike many good people across the political spectrum who are appalled at this dismantling of the three-part system the founders put in place and the besmirching of the rule of law, Congressional Republicans have clearly decided to place their allegiance to the president and their party over their allegiance to the Constitution. This is bad enough; this is, in fact, treason. But the Democrats do not even have that party allegiance as an excuse for their treachery. They would be standing up for their party, the institution of Congress, and the Constitution by passing the contempt resolutions. What more will it take to get them to act?

Those who think — as Pelosi apparently does — that they may rock the boat through a contempt citation in a way that endangers a possible Democratic victory in September are badly misreading the public mood — as well as severely misreading the historical record. If you don’t punish those who break the law at this stage of a crackdown on liberty — through contempt citations, through the use of Congress’s jail cell for those who are found guilty of contempt, and/or through the investigations of a truly independent prosecutor — you are not going to have a transparent, accountable election in November. You will have set a benchmark for impunity and you will get greater and greater crimes committed in the certainty of impunity.

If you doubt the dangers of this, think of the Gulf of Hormuz threat a few weeks ago — oops, hoax. Because the press is actually asking questions, the Pentagon’s narrative of a vicious Iranian provocation was sidelined. But it is purely naive to believe that a White House that would ignore subpoenas and impose yet another false threat scenario on the American people will conduct a transparent election in the fall, especially if it can get away with murder — the murder of the rule of law — today.

Tell your representative to move forward with contempt. And if your representatives fail to act, the punishment should not just be removal from office in the next election; they should also be subject to investigations themselves — for abetting crimes against the Constitution.

Contempt is at issue, indeed.

Naomi Wolf is the author of The New York Times bestseller “The End of America” (Chelsea Green) and is the co-founder of the American Freedom Campaign.

© 2008 Huffington Post

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Brattleboro to vote on arresting Bush, Cheney

January 28, 2008
Southern Vermont

Brattleboro to vote on arresting Bush, Cheney

January 26, 2008
BRATTLEBORO — Brattleboro residents will vote at town meeting on whether President George Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney should be indicted and arrested for war crimes, perjury or obstruction of justice if they ever step foot in Vermont.

The Brattleboro Select Board voted 3-2 Friday to put the controversial item on the Town Meeting Day warning.

According to Town Clerk Annette Cappy, organizers of the Bush-Cheney issue gathered enough signatures, and it was up to the Select Board whether Brattleboro voters would consider the issue in March.

Cappy said residents will get to vote on the matter by paper balloting March 4.

Kurt Daims, 54, of Brattleboro, the organizer of the petition drive, said Friday the debate to get the issue on the ballot was a good one. Opposition to the vote focused on whether the town had any power to endorse the matter.

“It is an advisory thing,” said Daims, a retired prototype machinist and stay-at-home dad of three daughters.

So far, Vermont is the only state Bush hasn’t visited since he became president in 2001.

Daims said the most grievous crime committed by Bush and Cheney was perjury — lying to Congress and U.S. citizens about the basis of a war in Iraq.

He said the latest count showed a total of 600,000 people have died in the war.

Daims also said he believed Bush and Cheney were also guilty of espionage for spying on American people and obstruction of justice, for the politically generated firings of U.S. attorneys.

Voting to put the matter on the town ballot were Chairwoman Audrey Garfield and board members Richard Garrant and Dora Boubalis.

Voting against the idea were board members Richard DeGray and Stephen Steidle.

Daims said the names submitted to the town clerk’s office were the second wave of signatures the petition drive had to collect, because he had to rewrite the wording of the petition.

He said he gathered nearly 500 signatures in about three weeks, and he said most people he encountered were eager to sign it. He started the petition drive about three months ago.

“Everybody I talked to wanted Bush to go,” he said, noting that even members of the local police department supported the drive.

“This is exactly what the charter envisioned as a citizen initiative,” Daims said. “People want to express themselves and they want to say how they feel.”

He said the idea is spreading: Activists in Louisville, Ky., are spearheading a similar drive, and he said activists were also working in Montague, Mass., a Berkshires town.

The article asked the town attorney to “draft indictments against President Bush and Vice President Cheney for crimes against our Constitution and publish said indictments for consideration by other authorities.”

The article goes on to say the indictments would be the “law of the town of Brattleboro that the Brattleboro police … arrest and detain George Bush and Richard Cheney in Brattleboro, if they are not duly impeached …”

Daims said people in Brattleboro were willing to “think outside the box” and consider the issue.

Daims had no compunction in comparing Bush and Cheney with one of the most notorious people in history.

“If Hitler were still alive and walked through Brattleboro, I think the local police would arrest him for war crimes,” Daims said.

Contact Susan Smallheer at susan.smallheer@rutlandherald.com.

Kucinich: I have 3-inch binder documenting Cheney’s crimes By David Edwards & Jason Rhyne (link)

November 8, 2007

Kucinich: I have 3-inch binder documenting Cheney’s crimes By David Edwards & Jason Rhyne (link)

Submitted by davidswanson on Wed, 2007-11-07 14:00.
After Downing Street

By David Edwards and Jason Rhyne
Raw Story

The following video is from CBS’s Early Show, broadcast on November 6, 2007.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), whose impeachment resolution against Vice President Dick Cheney was kept temporarily afloat on Tuesday — largely with the help of House Republicans — says the measure was no bluff.

During an appearance on CBS’s Early Show, host Harry Smith told Kucinich that Republicans had “basically called your bluff” in wanting to debate the impeachment of Cheney on the House floor.

“They didn’t call my bluff,” Kucinich shot back. “I was fully prepared for debate — with a three-inch thick binder annotating the violations of law and the violations of the Constitution committed by the vice president which would justify an impeachment.”

Smith responded that Kucinich had “certainly called the bluff of the Democratic leadership,” adding that the congressman did not have the support of Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), who had introduced a motion to kill debate on the subject, nor Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).

“There’s really, what, a handful of you who are really interested in this,” Smith added.

But Kucinich said his impeachment resolution had little to do with the lack of support he was receiving from fellow Democrats.

“Harry, you have to remember there are millions of Americans who are part of a national movement to defend the constitution,” said Kucinich. “And they understand that the vice president made a false claim for war and is trying to beat the drums for a war against Iran and they’re calling for action to be done.”

Impeachment, said Kucinich, was a move on his part safeguard the Constitution.

“It’s really abut the American people and their insistence that their government not be lost,” he continued. “People are worried that we’re losing democracy, and they’re demanding that the Constitution be protected. And that’s exactly what yesterday was about.”

Smith later asked the congressman if the impeachment resolution was all part of a publicity stunt in aid of his presidential campaign.

“The nay-sayers, though,” said Smith, “would say ‘Dennis Kucinich this is a way to get your name on — at least on page six of the newspaper and a failing bid to win the Democratic nomination for president.’”

Not so, said Kucinich:

“We have men and women with their lives on the line in Iraq, a war based on lies,” said the former Cleveland mayor. “Over 3,800 soldiers have died, over a million innocent Iraqis have died in this war. This is about our moral caliber here as to whether or not Washington can see the truth.”

“Let me tell you something,” concluded Kucinich. “In Washington, the truth is an unidentified flying object. And it’s time that someone stood for the truth. The American people demand nothing less.”

In a strict party-line vote, Democrats sent the Cheney impeachment resolution to the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, where it will be considered by Chairman John Conyers (D-MI).

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Backstory: An impeachment vote turnaround stuns Washington By Nick Juliano

November 8, 2007

Backstory: An impeachment vote turnaround stuns Washington By Nick Juliano

By Nick Juliano
After Downing Street
Raw Story

Nov. 7, 2007

Republican move was meant to embarass Democrats; Conyers’ Judiciary Committee seems tepid

Dennis Kucinich walked into his Capitol Hill office Tuesday evening clearly exhausted but full of hope. The Ohio Democrat had just returned from the House floor where crafty Republicans had joined with dozens of liberal lawmakers across the aisle to prevent Democratic leaders from scuttling Kucinich’s call to impeach Dick Cheney.

“The millions of Americans who have called on Congress to stand up for the Constitution are finally being heard,” Kucinich told reporters in his office after lawmakers had spent two hours on the House floor considering his impeachment move.

What was supposed to be a relatively simple — and largely symbolic — vote meant to allow a handful of lawmakers to formally level their displeasure with Vice President Dick Cheney turned into a full-blown fracas as Republicans used some last-minute maneuvers to help keep impeachment alive.

“I’m not going to deny there was some (political) gamesmanship,” Kucinich said of the Republicans who joined him to keep impeachment alive. Regardless of the GOP motives, though, Kucinich said Cheney deserved to be impeached for lying to Americans in the run-up to the Iraq war. The dark-horse Democratic candidate said the vice president’s ouster was the best chance America has to avoid another war with Iran.

Seven months after first introducing articles of impeachment of the vice president, Kucinich finally grew fed up with his party’s leaders who had steadfastly refused to even consider kicking the current administration out of the White House. Even before she had first rapped the Speaker’s gavel, Nancy Pelosi declared adamantly that impeachment was “off the table.”

Kucinich, the former mayor of Cleveland, found a way around his leaders’ objections, though. On Tuesday he introduced a privileged resolution on impeachment in the House. Because impeachment involves a question of Congress’s Constitutional role, Kucinich’s proposal was allowed to jump the legislative queue and receive an immediate floor vote.

The privileged resolution was hailed by pro-impeachment activists as a way to finally get lawmakers on the record about whether Cheney deserved to keep his job.

About 20 Code Pink activists gathered outside a Capitol Hill conference room where Kucinich was expected to speak to reporters. They were joined by a dozen Capitol Police officers, apparently wary of outbursts from the group that has made a name for itself disrupting events on the Hill, but Kucinich aides were unable to explain the heavy police presence.

As expected, the resolution was immediately met with a motion to table that would’ve effectively scuttled any further impeachment discussion. That move came from Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), who like most rank-and-file Democrats opposes attempts to impeach Cheney or President Bush.

What happened next came as a surprise to virtually everyone. Instead of taking the opportunity to kill impeachment, Republicans saw an opportunity to embarrass Democrats and force them to spend several hours on a resolution that most believe has essentially no chance of passage.

As the 15-minute vote was nearing its close, Republicans began requesting — one at a time — the opportunity to change their votes. This not only prolonged consideration of impeachment, keeping the vote open for an hour longer than scheduled, it shifted enough support to scuttle the Democrats’ attempt to kill the bill.

“We don’t wish to save the Democrats from themselves when their left wing exposes themselves,” Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) told Roll Call, noting that Democratic leaders were trying to draw as little attention as possible to the impeachment issue by voting to table the resolution. “When there’s an opportunity to show their strong left base, it’s important for it to be seen,” he added.

The motion to table failed on a 251-162 vote with 165 Republicans voting against tabling the impeachment resolution. Democratic leaders — and even Kucinich’s staff — expected the tabling motion to pass easily giving the quirky Democrats bill a quiet death. Even the 86 Democrats who voted against their party’s efforts to kill the bill came as a surprise; Kucinich’s resolution had 22 co-sponsors and an aide to the Congressman told RAW STORY before the vote that few Democrats who weren’t co-sponsors were expected to vote to keep the bill alive.

Ultimately, the fate of Kucinich’s bill is unlikely to change. Democrats were nearly unified on a vote to send the impeachment articles to the Judiciary Committee, where it has languished since Kucinich began his effort to oust Cheney in April.

Kucinich and other progressive lawmakers implied that Judiciary Chairman John Conyers assured them he would move forward on impeachment, despite his previous reticence to do so.

“I’ve spoken to Mr. Conyers, and I’m quite confident that the bill is in good hands,” Kucinich told reporters at a press conference in his office after the vote.

A statement from the Judiciary Committee was less optimistic, saying the committee has a “very busy agenda,” including upcoming action on a foreign surveillance bill and attempts to hold current and former Bush aides in contempt of Congress.

“We were surprised that the minority was so ready to move forward with consideration of a matter of such complexity as impeaching the Vice President,” read a committee statement e-mailed to reporters an hour after the vote. “The Chairman will discuss today’s vote with the committee members but it would seem evident that the committee staff should continue to consider, as a preliminary matter, the many abuses of this Administration, including the Vice President.”

Conyers was perhaps Bush’s most vocal critic after the 2004 elections. In 2005, he introduced a motion to censure Bush over Iraq and torture allegations, seeking to create an select committee to investigate the administration’s intent to go to war prior to congressional authorization.

The intent — at the time — was to subpoena the President and other members of the administration in hopes of ascertaining if impeachable offenses have been committed.

In fact, the thought that Conyers was planning to push for impeachment if the Democrats took control of the House in 2006 was so strong that he penned an article in the Washington Post titled “No Rush to Impeachment.”

“As Republicans have become increasingly nervous about whether they will be able to maintain control of the House in the midterm elections, they have resorted to the straw-man strategy of identifying a parade of horrors to come if Democrats gain the majority,” Conyers wrote in May 2006. “Among these is the assertion that I, as the new chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, would immediately begin impeachment proceedings against President Bush.”

“I will not do that,” he added. “I readily admit that I have been quite vigorous, if not relentless, in questioning the administration. The allegations I have raised are grave, serious, well known, and based on reliable media reports and the accounts of former administration officials.”

Since then, Conyers has not ruled out impeachment proceedings. House Speaker Pelosi has.

“I have said it before and I will say it again: Impeachment is off the table,” Pelosi said during a news conference in 2006.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

The Air Force Cover-Up of That Minot-Barksdale Nuke Missile Flight

November 2, 2007

The Air Force Cover-Up of That Minot-Barksdale Nuke Missile Flight

“It makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck.”
—Pentagon official

There is something deeply disturbing about the Air Force’s official report on the Aug-29-30 “bent spear” incident that saw six nuclear warheads get mounted on six Advanced Cruise Missiles and improperly removed from a nuclear weapons storage bunker at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota, then get improperly loaded on a B-52, and then get improperly flown to Barksdale AFB in Louisiana—a report that attributed the whole thing to a “mistake.”

According to the Air Force report, some Air Force personnel mounted the warheads on the missiles (which are obsolete and slated for destruction), and another ground crew, allegedly not aware that the missiles were armed with nukes, moved them out and mounted them on a launch pylon on the B-52’s wing for a flight to Barksdale and eventual dismantling. Only on the ground at Barksdale did ground crew personnel spot the nukes according to the report. (Six other missiles with dummy warheads were mounted on a pylon on the other wing of the plane.)

The problem with this explanation for the first reported case of nukes being removed from a weapons bunker without authorization in 50 years of nuclear weapons, is that those warheads, and all nuclear warheads in the US stockpile, are supposedly protected against unauthorized transport or removal from bunkers by electronic antitheft systems—automated alarms similar to those used by department stores to prevent theft, and even anti-motion sensors that go off if a weapon is touched or approached without authorization.

While the Air Force report doesn’t mention any of this, what it means is that if weapons in a storage bunker are protected against unauthorized removal, someone—and actually at least two people, since it’s long been a basic part of nuclear security that every action involving a nuclear weapon has to be done by two people working in tandem—had to deliberately and consciously disable those alarms.

Since the Air Force report does not explain how this hurdle to unauthorized removal of the six nukes could have been surmounted by “mistake,” the report has to be considered a whitewash, at best, or a cover-up.

That leaves us speculating about what actually happened, and about who might have authorized the removal of those nukes from storage, and why the Defense Department would be covering up the true story. We know that the loading of nuclear-armed missiles or bombs onto an American bomber has been barred since 1991, even for practice and training purposes. We know also that the carrying of nuclear weapons by bombers flying over US airspace has been banned for 40 years. So if the evidence suggests strongly that the removal of the nukes from the bunker was done intentionally and with some kind of authorization from higher authorities, then the loading of nukes onto the plane, and the flight of those nukes to Barksdale have to also be assumed to have been authorized.

This possibility has been dismissed out of hand by the Air Force and Defense Department. The very idea is, in fact, not even discussed in the Air force report released in mid-October.

Yet we are left with the unresolved question of how the weapons could have been moved out of the bunker accidentally.

The Air Force has not been forthcoming about the automated alarm protections on American nuclear weapons, refusing to confirm or deny that they even exist. But we can know that they are in place for several reasons. One is that since writing about this incident in the current edition of American Conservative Magazine (“The Mystery of Minot,” Oct. 24, 2007 ed.) and in several online venues, I have been contacted by several active-duty and retired military people who have assured me that such electronic protections are in place. A second is that an article in the Oct. 31 issue of the New York Times, reporting on the early completion of a project by the National Nuclear Security Administration, to secure Russian nuclear weapons, said that the measures implemented at 25 classified sites on 12 Russian nuclear bases included “measures that have long been part of American efforts” to secure nuclear weapons, and that these included “alarm and motion detection systems,” as well as “modern gates, guard houses and fighting positions, “ and also “detectors for explosives, radiation and metal.”

Ask yourselves, would American nuclear weapons be equipped with lesser security systems than those that the NNSA is providing for Russian weapons?

Of course not!

And yet we’re asked to believe that some low-ranking ground crew personnel at Minot AFB simply walked out of a nuclear weapons bunker with six nuclear armed Advanced Cruise Missiles, not knowing what they were carrying, and labored for eight hours to mount those missiles and their launch pylon on the wing of a B-52 strategic bomber without ever noticing that they were armed with nuclear weapons. We’re asked to believe that none of those electronic alarms and motion sensors built into the system went off during that whole process.

When I mentioned the automated alarm and motion sensors to Lt. Col. Jennifer Cassidy, a public affairs person at the Department of the Air Force, and asked her how the movement of the six nukes could have occurred without those alarms being disabled, she said, “It’s an intriguing question, and it makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck.”

As it should.

So why isn’t it making the hair stand up on the back of the necks of members of Congress?

Incredibly, to date, there has been no demand for public hearings into this frightening incident.

Congress appears ready and willing to accept the Air Force whitewash at face value: It was an accident. It won’t happen again.

That is not good enough!

We need honest answers to some hard questions. Among them:

* Who disabled the alarm systems on those weapons and on the bunker itself?

* Who mounted six nuclear weapons on the noses of six cruise missiles and put those missiles onto a B-52 launch platform?

* Who authorized them to perform this operation?

* Who moved the armed weapons out of the Bunker at Minot AFB and mounted them on the wing of a B-52 bound for Barksdale AFB? (Barksdale, it should be noted, bills itself as the main staging base for B-52s being flown to the Middle East Theater.)

* Were the six missiles flyable? Were they fueled up and ready to fire, or were they not fueled at the time of the Minot-Barksdale flight?

* Was there targeting information in the missile’s guidance computers and if so, what were those targets?

* What happened to the three military whistleblowers who blew the whistle on this incident and reported it to a journalist at the newspaper Military Times?

* Why hasn’t the Air Force or the FBI investigated the 6-8 untimely deaths including three alleged suicides, one of a Minot weapons guard, one of an assistant defense secretary, and one of a captain in the super-secret Air Force Special Commando Group, as well as alleged fatal vehicle “accidents” involving four ground crew and B-52 pilots and crewmembers at Minot and Barksdale? Could any of this strange cluster of deaths have been related to the incident? The Air Force “investigation” didn’t even mention these incidents, and as I disclosed in my article, none of the police investigators or medical examiners in those incidents had even been contacted by Air Force or other federal investigators.

The Secretary of Defense appears to have been upset about this incident. Secretary Robert Gates ordered an unprecedented stand-down of all air bases in mid-September to check out and account for the entire nuclear inventory, and a general was dispatched immediately to Minot after the discovery of the wayward nukes on August 30 to investigate what had happened. Following a subsequent Air Force investigation, 70 people at Minot and Barksdale AFBs were removed from their posts and decertified from handling nuclear weapons, including five officers, one of them the Minot base commander.

* But a base commander does not have the authority to order nuclear weapons to be loaded on a plane and flown. So who issued that order and why has no one at a senior level in Washington been sacked?

There is speculation that the order may have come via an alternate chain of command.

Vice President Dick Cheney is known to be pressing within the administration for a war with Iran, to be launched before the end President Bush’s second term of office. According to some reports, Cheney has even, on his own authority (or lack thereof), urged Israel to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities, in hopes that Iran might retaliate, thus drawing the US into a war.

Could the nation’s war-mongering VP have used his neo-con contacts in the Defense Department or some of the Armageddon-believers in the Air Force to bypass the official chain of command and spring those nukes from their bunker?

Was there a plan to use one or more of those nukes—W80-1 warheads that can be calibrated to detonate with an explosive power ranging anywhere from 150 kilotons down to just 5 kilotons—against Iran? The Advanced Cruise Missile, a stealth weapon almost impossible to spot on radar, is designed to be launched from a remote location by a B-52, and then to fly close to the ground to its target, using terrain maps and GPS guidance. It is also designed to penetrate hardened sites, such as Iran’s nuclear processing and research facilities.

Or was there a plan for a so-called “false-flag incident, “where a small nuke—made to resemble a primitive weapon of the type a fledgling nuclear power might construct—might be detonated at a US target abroad, or even within the US?

These are terrible and terrifying questions to have to ask, but when you have six nuclear weapons go missing, when the military investigation into the incident is so clearly a whitewash or cover-up, and when you have a vice president who is openly pressing for an illegal war of aggression against a nation that poses no threat to the US, and who, in fact, appears to be conducting his own treacherous foreign policy behind the back of the president and the State Department, they are questions that must be asked, and that demand answers.

In a couple of weeks, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, is planning on calling for a Privilege of the House vote in Congress on moving his Cheney impeachment bill (H Res. 333) to a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee, where it has been stalled by House Democratic leaders since being filed last April 24. Such a hearing should demand answers from the vice president and his staff about his treasonous efforts to push the country into yet another war in the Middle East. It should also grill Air Force personnel about the true nature of the Minot nuclear incident.

Every member of the House of Representatives should have to take a stand on this issue.

The Democratic House leadership, under Speaker Nancy Pelosi, can be expected to try to table Kucinich’s privilege motion, which would prevent such a vote.

Americans should demand that Pelosi and other Democratic leaders let Kucinich’s privilege motion go forward, and should insist that every member of Congress put their position on the line. Every American should demand that their representative to Congress support the start of impeachment hearings on Vice President Cheney.

We need to know if the Vice President’s office was behind the flight of those six warheads.

We need to know in what other treasonous, conspiratorial actions the Vice President has been engaged in his unremitting effort to expand the war from Iraq and Afghanistan into Iran.

Kucinich’s Challenge

November 2, 2007

Kucinich’s Challenge

 

By John Nichols November 2007 Issue

If Presidential politics actually worked like it does in the movies—or in the imaginings of patriots—the hot August night would have been one of those epic moments when everything starts to change.

Fifteen thousand trade unionists had packed into Chicago’s Soldier Field to hear contenders for the 2008 Democratic nomination make their cases. While the frontrunners drew their requisite rounds of applause, it was the scrappy working class Congressman from Cleveland who wowed the AFL-CIO activists. Dennis Kucinich delivered applause line after applause line—connecting with the crowd on ideological, political, and emotional levels that the other candidates could not begin to reach.

“I want to see America take a new direction in trade . . . and that means it’s time to get out of NAFTA and the WTO,” shouted the Congressman above the thunderous applause that greeted his promise of “trade that’s based on workers’ rights: the right to organize, the right to collective bargaining, the right to strike.”

So powerful was Kucinich’s presentation that even the moderator, MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann, shifted his line of questioning from the usual soft media inquiries about “reforming trade policies” toward a blunt demand that the candidates say whether they would “scrap NAFTA or fix it?” After Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Edwards, and the others struggled to answer the question without offending either the labor crowd or their corporate donors, Kucinich won the moment by declaring, “No one else on this stage could give a direct answer because they don’t intend to scrap NAFTA. We’re going to be stuck with it. And I’m your candidate if you want to get out of NAFTA. Let’s hear it. Do you want out of NAFTA? Do you want out of the WTO?”

The steel, auto, machine, and construction workers were on their feet, cheering wildly. Again and again, on industrial policy, on health care, on each issue that arose, Kucinich owned the argument. And when the Congressman turned to the signature issue of his insurgent Presidential bid, ending the war in Iraq, he distinguished himself from the cautious contenders to his right by speaking the truth that has been on the mind of everyone who has watched the sorry degeneration of this nation’s system of checks and balances. Instead of promising to end the war as President, Kucinich declared, “We shouldn’t have to wait for a Democratic President to do it. The Democratic Congress needs to act now.”

It was a virtuoso performance. Mark Lash, a steelworker from Crown Point, Indiana, summed it all up when he said that of the seven candidates who were trying so hard to woo the workers, it was Kucinich who gave “the answers everyone wants to hear.” In one of those old Jimmy Stewart movies or maybe in a new John Cusack movie, something big would happen. Unions would have started going against expectations to endorse the underdog. The media would have started taking him seriously. A long-overdue political awakening would have begun—for the Democratic Party and for the nation.

But contemporary politics does not follow a movie script. The process unfolds along lines defined by money, polling, punditry, and the extreme caution of institutions—and even voting blocs—that are more inclined to deny possibility than to embrace it. The discarded-civics-book character of the process by which Presidents are selected is evident at every turn on the campaign trail that Kucinich follows, and it raises a fundamental question about the candidate and his hearty supporters. Will the Congressman be the Harold Stassen of the left, a smart and honorable perennial Presidential candidate yielding diminishing returns on Election Day after miserable Election Day? Or will he grab hold of the system that denies him and force something meaningful from it? Will Kucinich end his 2008 quest as an asterisk or as an irrepressible force agitating effectively against a dismaying Democratic Party and a dysfunctional democracy?

One thing is certain: Kucinich cannot expect anything more than cheers from many of those whose causes he has long and loudly championed.

Within weeks of that August AFL-CIO forum, unions began to make their endorsements.

The Machinists went for Clinton, arguably the steadiest proponent in the field of the job-killing “free trade” schemes that have decimated the union’s membership.

The Carpenters and the Steelworkers broke for Edwards, a newly minted populist who sounds good but still struggles to get the specifics right.

The Firefighters backed Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd, an old-school liberal with a weaker record than Kucinich and no better prospects.

And what was the Congressman from Cleveland left with when the applause died down?

Nothing.

No endorsements from labor.

No backing from prominent Democrats.

No poll numbers of consequence nationally or in the essential early primary and caucus states.

There is something that is surely heartbreaking about the hand that is regularly dealt to Kucinich and his idealistic second bid for the Presidency. But the Congressman has chosen to play at the table of contemporary American politics, where not only the rules but the very premises of the process are stacked against him.

It is not merely the dominance of the monied elites and the party bosses, nor even the emphasis on image and style, that undermines a candidate who is actually referred to by supposedly serious reporters as “too short to be President.” It is the desperation of Democratic voters denied, voters who, after so many stolen elections and failed campaigns, have convinced themselves that the only thing that matters in 2008 is winning—and that the only way to win is by nominating not the candidate who is right on the issues but the candidate who seems, a la John Kerry in 2004, to have the right strategy or at least the right stature.

Yet, Kucinich keeps returning to the table and demanding to be part of the game. Almost alone, he argues that voters might yet embrace his “new vision for America” and that he can win not just the nomination but the Presidency. In Maine, or North Dakota, or Hawaii, he never fails to claim that local support is up from what he got when he bid for the nomination in 2004 and to suggest that: “If we can do well here, [the momentum] can spread to other states and parts of the country.”

Kucinich’s optimism is defined by nothing so much as the Congressman’s belief in magic—political magic. He clings to a faith that 2008 will provide an opening like the one that forty years earlier allowed an obscure Senator from Minnesota, Eugene McCarthy, to put questions of war and peace on the table and chase a sitting President from office, or like the one that actually made an unknown former governor of Georgia with a tendency to spout off about human rights the commander in chief.

To a degree, Kucinich’s limitless faith is understandable. He has achieved alchemy more than once. Elected on the basis of sheer hard work to the Cleveland City Council as a twenty-three-year-old “new politics” candidate in 1969, he was the city’s “boy mayor” by age thirty-one. But after tangling with the city’s bankers and utilities, he was a defeated political has-been at thirty-three. Ridiculed in Ohio and nationally, he lost comeback bid after comeback bid before finally disappearing into political Siberia and a quest for meaning that found him living, without income or prospects, in New Mexico.

Then, in 1994, a year when Democrats were losing everywhere, Kucinich returned to Cleveland, picked up the populist banner, and won a state senate seat from a Republican incumbent.

Two years later, he defeated a key lieutenant to House Speaker Newt Gingrich to claim a seat in Congress.

Redeemed finally after decades in the political wilderness, Kucinich could have settled into a comfortable tenure on the left flank of the House Democratic Caucus. Instead, he kept right on pushing the limits of politics, fighting Presidents Clinton and Bush on issues ranging from trade to militarism and finally emerging in 2002 as the most ardent Congressional critic of the rush to war with Iraq.

Kucinich’s “reward” for getting the war right was marginalization in the 2004 Presidential race, when the media portrayed a cautious war critic, former Vermont Governor Howard Dean, as the peace candidate while dismissing the campaign of the genuinely anti-war contender.

The 2004 race yielded Kucinich no primary or caucus wins and just 1 percent of the delegates at the Democratic National Convention. Yet, the Congressman is running once more, mounting essentially the same campaign that he did four years ago. Kucinich is again bouncing around the country, creating the facade of a national campaign but never sticking around long enough to convert the enthusiasm of the crowds he draws into votes. And, as in the later stages of the 2004 race, when he stubbornly refused to acknowledge that he could not win a fight that everyone knew was finished, he refuses to entertain the notion that he might not be swearing an oath of office on January 20, 2009.

There is much to be said for the power of positive thinking, but in Presidential politics the practice can be futile—especially when more prominent and monied candidates are stealing your themes: economic populist (Edwards), anti-war (New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson), and time-for-a-transformation (Obama). In Kucinich’s case, his optimism borders on off-putting and out of touch. Indeed, if he continues on his current course, he runs the risk of falling short of the 643,067 (3.9 percent of the total) votes he scraped together by the end of his never-say-die 2004 run.

If that happens, it will be a political tragedy, because Dennis Kucinich is more right on the issues than ever: with his demand that Congress defund the war in Iraq, with his warnings about the dangerous machinations of the Bush-Cheney machine regarding Iran, with his courageous stance on nuclear disarmament, and with his increasingly ardent advocacy of impeachment.

Kucinich may be more necessary to the process of choosing a 2008 Democratic President than even he may understand. The front-loaded race for the nomination will be a blur for most Democrats, who will likely be told who the party’s candidate is going to be long before they actually have a chance to weigh in. At that point, the trailing candidates will be told by the money men who define American politics that it is time to start suspending campaigns.

More than two dozen states will select delegates after February 5. Many of them—Wisconsin, Washington, Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Oregon—have Democratic voter bases that are ardently anti-war. If Kucinich were to commit now to mount a campaign that made no pretense of personal electability but rather promised to force the party to debate its direction—not just on the war but on the whole question of what a post-Bush America might look like—he could yet turn himself into the most effective protest candidate this country has seen in years.

What might the Congressman propose to the voters of later primary and caucus states, where the choice could well come down to Kucinich versus Clinton? By telling voters “this is your chance to vote for a peace plank,” Kucinich could—and should—promise to use whatever bloc of delegates he is given to fight for a clearly anti-war platform, to provoke floor fights over foreign policy and the domestic agenda, and to have his name placed in nomination in order to take his message to prime time.

In a one-on-one race, where the Kucinich campaign is about an idea rather than a man, he could turn the tables on the elites. By ditching talk about actually being nominated—which only strains his own credibility—and instead making himself the tribune of the peace and justice movement that is alive and powerful at the grassroots of the Democratic party, Dennis Kucinich could win hundreds of delegates to the 2008 convention. He could renew and redefine the debate in the later primaries and at the convention. He could force the eventual Democratic nominee to listen to the party’s neglected base—which polling suggests is now very close in its thinking to the self-identified independent voters who decide close contests in November—rather than to the Wall Street donors and Washington think tanks that invariably muddle the message once the pundits declare the nomination fight to have been settled. And, maybe, just maybe, Dennis Kucinich could make the Democratic nominee more appealing than a broken political process is supposed to allow.

The challenge for Kucinich is a real one. He can run according to the rules and be a Democratic Harold Stassen, or he can break the rules and make his campaign a redemptive force. To do the former, he need merely continue campaigning as he now is. To do the latter, he must level with himself and with the voters and offer himself up as a representative of the idealistic insurgency that both the party and the country so sorely need.

John Nichols is associate editor of The Capital Times in Madison, Wisconsin, and Washington correspondent for The Nation. His latest book is “The Genius of Impeachment.”

Dennis Kucinich:
“No Impunity”

“When you consider that this war was based on lies, when you consider that Iraq did not attack the United States, that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, and that Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction, it is an urgent matter of national morality to determine what the appropriate response is.

“It is time for us to start talking about the legal responsibility of President Bush, Vice President Cheney, and all the other war architects who built a case for the war based on lies.

“The very essence of America’s credibility in the world is at stake. Our highest elected officials should be held accountable for actions that resulted in the deaths of more than a million innocent people, particularly when those deaths were based on demonstrable lies.

“It is very important that we start to ask serious questions about accountability. Just as no individual has the right to take another individual’s life, no nation has the right to kill innocent people in another nation. No leader of the United States—in the name of the United States—should be permitted to wage aggressive war with impunity.

“I am preparing a resolution that requests the House meet in the Committee of the Whole to investigate the matter of civilian casualties as well as U.S. troop casualties that have occurred in Iraq. The resolution will recount that the war was based on lies. It will ask the House to consider action, including possibly preferring criminal charges against individuals who in the administrative conduct of office were directly responsible for the war and the consequent loss of life.

“A grave injustice has been done to the people of Iraq and the people of the United States. More than one million lives have been lost. Families have been destroyed. Social networks have been ripped apart. We have had many soldiers killed and injured. This must be acknowledged.

“On a deeper level, the inquiry I am proposing relates to who we are as Americans and what we stand for. I refuse to believe that the American people—people of intelligence and good heart—will not want to see justice done. There must be a measure of justice brought forward so that this deep stain on American history is removed. We must seek the truth, wherever it leads.” –September 19, 2007


Source URL:
http://www.progressive.org/mag_nichols1107

Where are the lawyers of America? by Ralph Nader

October 10, 2007

Where are the lawyers of America? by Ralph Nader

Dandelion Salad

by Ralph Nader
Friday, October 5. 2007

The rogue regime of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney—so widely condemned for its unconstitutional, criminal Iraq war, its spying on Americans illegally, its repeated illegal torture practices, its arrests and imprisonment of thousands in this country without charges and its pathological secrecy and corporate corruption—still has not felt the heat of the 800,000 practicing lawyers and their many bar organizations.

Lawyer jokes aside, the first defense outside of government against the rejection of due process, probable cause and habeas corpus should come from the officers of the courts—the attorneys of America. With few exceptions, they have flunked, asleep at the switch or loaded with excuses.

The exceptions are a number of law professors such as David Cole (Georgetown University) and Jonathan Turley (George Washington University) and the magnificent one-year presidency of Michael Greco at the conservative American Bar Association.

Mr. Greco, appalled at the outlaw nature of the Bush White House, now wallowing in the pits of the public opinion polls, organized former counsel to the CIA, the National Security Agency and the FBI, among others, to produce detailed reports and resolutions assailing the Bush government for repeatedly violating the constitution in numerous ways. (http://www.abanet.org/)

Reports were sent to Mr. Bush personally. He did not even bother to acknowledge receipt. The ABA has over 400,000 members and is the largest bar association in the world. Not even a courtesy reply from George Bush, the American Caesar.

Unfortunately, the courage of Greco and his colleagues has not been contagious with hundreds of thousands of lawyers throughout America or the 50 state bar associations who might have taken some action or position to stand after the ABA stood tall in 2005-2006.

Mind you, the climate for lawyers defending the rule of law is quite enabling. Seventy percent of the American people want out of Iraq and nearly as many would like to see this Presidency end. A poll of soldiers in Iraq back in January 2006 registered 72% of them wanting the U.S. out of Iraq within six to twelve months.

In addition, scores of former Generals and high military officers, retired intelligence officials and diplomats have openly criticized the intransigence, incompetence and harm to the U.S. national security. These leaders include the national security advisers to Bush’s father, Brent Snowcroft, the anti-terrorism advisor to George W. Bush, Richard Clark, and many others who served in high government office.

With all this in mind, I have been asking lawyers why they do not become directly active in challenging what they themselves believe is a reckless above-the-law Presidency and its enormous concentration of unlawful power. Here are some examples of their replies.

–real estate attorney with a sterling civil liberties background says “I am just too busy.”

–numerous retired lawyers of considerable accomplishment simply say they are retired.

–mid-career business attorneys say they have too many clients who might object (too much wheeling and dealing to uphold the rule of law in Washington, D.C.).

–public interest lawyers say it is not within their declared mission—eg. environmental, consumer, poverty or law reform work.

–“Too controversial,” and “I’m not up to it,” announced a prominent trial lawyer.

–“I wouldn’t know where to start and I just need my leisure time,” replied a highly specialized estate and trusts attorney.

And so it goes. Too preoccupied, too many deals in the works, too controversial, too retired…

The Democratic leadership in the Congress has given Bush/Cheney a giant nod by taking a pass on holding them accountable through impeachment, through conditions in budget bills, through making them answer subpoenas by playing hardball on Bush’s nominees, such as his new choice for Attorney General.

It is up to the lawyers to rally for the Republic. This is deep patriotism, for without upholding our constitution, and the laws of the land, what will become of our country?

What will our children and their grandchildren inherit—a bankrupt government that contracts out more and more of its core functions to staggeringly expensive giant corporations seeking limitless profits, while they finance and corrupt politicians to turn their back on the peoples’ needs?

Lawyers are supposed to know how to apply law to raw power. They know how to use the courts, lobby (there are hundreds or thousands of attorneys in each of most Congressional Districts). They can cut through the arcane camouflage of legalese. They know when the laws are being violated and what the remedies are for the violators. They know how to draft legislation. They have contacts and money and are not supposed to be frightened of conflict. The super-lawyers invariably get their calls returned.

Where are the lawyers of America?

Two major terrorist strikes, with a messianic, compulsively-obsessed President, can do to America what 9 months of nightly bombing by the Nazis could not do to England—move us much closer to a police state.

Where are the stand-up lawyers of America?

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Tough Talk on Impeachment

September 17, 2007

Tough Talk on Impeachment

Bill of impeachment

Watch Video
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Comment

July 13, 2007

A public opinion poll from the American Research Group recently reported that more than four in ten Americans — 45% — favor impeachment hearings for President Bush and more than half — 54% — favored impeachment for Vice President Cheney. Unhappiness about the war in Iraq isn’t the only cause of the unsettled feelings of the electorate. Recent events like President Bush’s pardoning of Scooter Libby, the refusal of Vice President Cheney’s office to surrender emails under subpoena to Congress and the President’s prohibition of testimony of former White House counsel Harriet E. Miers in front of the House Judiciary Committee have caused unease over claims of “executive privilege.” In addition, many of the White House anti-terror initiatives and procedures — from the status of “enemy combatants” in Guantanamo to warrantless wiretapping — have come under legal scrutiny in Congress and the courts.

Bill Moyers gets perspective on the role of impeachment in American political life from Constitutional scholar Bruce Fein, who wrote the first article of impeachment against President Bill Clinton, and THE NATION’s John Nichols, author of THE GENIUS OF IMPEACHMENT.

“The founding fathers expected an executive who tried to overreach and expected the executive would be hampered and curtailed by the legislative branch… They [Congress] have basically renounced — walked away from their responsibility to oversee and check.” — Bruce Fein

“On January 20th, 2009, if George Bush and Dick Cheney are not appropriately held to account this Administration will hand off a toolbox with more powers than any President has ever had, more powers than the founders could have imagined. And that box may be handed to Hillary Clinton or it may be handed to Mitt Romney or Barack Obama or someone else. But whoever gets it, one of the things we know about power is that people don’t give away the tools.” — John Nichols

Bruce Fein

Bruce Fein is a nationally and internationally recognized expert on Constitutional law. Bruce Fein, photo by Robin Holland Graduating from Harvard Law School in 1972, Fein became the assistant director of the Office of Legal Policy in the U.S. Department of Justice. Shortly after that, Fein became the associate deputy attorney general under former President Ronald Reagan. His political law career would take him to various outlets, including general counsel of the Federal Communications Commission, followed by an appointment as research director for the Joint Congressional Committee on Covert Arms Sales to Iran. Mr. Fein has been an adjunct scholar with the American Enterprise Institute, a resident scholar at the Heritage Foundation, a lecturer at the Bookings Institute, and an adjunct professor at George Washington University.

Fein has also penned a number of volumes on United States Constitution, Supreme Court, and international law, as well as assisted three dozen countries in constitutional revision, including Russia, Spain, South Africa, Iraq, Cyprus, and Mozambique.

Fein currently writes weekly columns for THE WASHINGTON TIMES and CAPITOL LEADER, and a bi-weekly column for the LEXINGTON HERALD-LEADER devoted to legal and international affairs.

Recently, Fein has been in the national spotlight after his editorial in the online newsmagazine SLATE called for the impeachment of Vice President Dick Cheney, in which he outlines the various cases against the Vice President. Fein also testified in front of the House Judiciary Committee on June 27, 2007 about President Bush’s use of “signing statement.”

    According to Fein, Cheney has:

  • Asserted Presidential power to create military commissions, which combine the functions of judge, jury, and prosecutor in the trial of war crimes.
  • Claimed authority to detain American citizens as enemy combatants indefinitely at Guantanamo Bay on the President’s say-so alone.
  • Initiated kidnappings, secret detentions, and torture in Eastern European prisons of suspected international terrorists.
  • Championed a Presidential power to torture in contravention of federal statutes and treaties.
  • Engineered the National Security Agency’s warrantless domestic surveillance program targeting American citizens on American soil in contravention of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978.
  • Orchestrated the invocation of executive privilege to conceal from Congress secret spying programs to gather foreign intelligence, and their legal justifications.
  • Summoned the privilege to refuse to disclose his consulting of business executives in conjunction with his Energy Task Force.
  • Retaliated against Ambassador Joseph Wilson and his wife Valerie Plame, through chief of staff Scooter Libby, for questioning the administration’s evidence of weapons of mass destruction as justification for invading Iraq. (Read Fein’s SLATE article)

John Nichols

John Nichols, author and political journalist has been writing the “Online Beat” for THE NATION magazine since 1999. John Nichols, Photo by Robin Holland Nichols also serves as Washington correspondent for THE NATION, as well as the associate editor of the CAPITAL TIMES, the daily newspaper in Madison, Wisconsin and a contributing writer for THE PROGRESSIVE and IN THESE TIMES.Along with fellow author Robert McChesney, Nichols co-founded the media-reform group Free Press. Nichols has also authored several books, including JEWS FOR BUCHANAN, which analyzed the recount vote of 2000, and DICK: THE MAN WHO IS PRESIDENT, his best-selling biography of Vice President Dick Cheney.

Nichols most recent book, THE GENIUS OF IMPEACHMENT, argues that impeachment is an essential instrument of America’s democratic system. Nichols’ argument also bases the power of impeachment in the hands of the people, rather than the congress. In his recent article, “In Praise of Impeachment,” Nichols argues “While the Constitution handed Congress the power to officially check such despotism, Jefferson and his colleagues fully expected the American people to be the champions of the application of the rule of law to an errant executive.”

Guest photos by Robin Holland

Freedom or Totalitarianism, the Choice is Yours

August 7, 2007

Freedom or Totalitarianism, the Choice is Yours

By Sgt. Kevin Benderman

08/06/07 “ICH” — — The apathetic American public needs to pull their heads out of the comfortable little hole in the sand where it has been for far too long and do something about the way our country is being stolen from us by an administration that has its well-being and only its well- being in mind.

Our congressional representatives have no spine when it comes to doing what needs to be done to stop the war that the Project for the New American Century has pushed down the throats of the American public. This group has hi-jacked the country out from under us and we are standing by and letting them get away with it.

I remember my father watching the Watergate trials of the Nixon White House and I remember the nation having the spine to go after them with a vengeance for something that is much less worse than what the current White House is doing. The Nixon White House wanted to know what the opposition party was doing to get elected to the presidency and they staged the break-in of the opposition headquarters to get that information.

President Nixon was impeached for this, yet now we sit back and let a so-called President violate the United States Constitution, The Geneva Convention, and the Nuremberg Tribunals by starting a war in Iraq. This is a country that has been proven time and time again to have nothing to do with the September, 11th 2001 attacks on our country. The “interrogation” methods used and authorized by this administration very specifically violate our constitution because our constitution states that any treaty we sign and ratify becomes the law of the land. We signed and ratified the Geneva Conventions of 1949 which made it a law of America.

“Article. VI. – Debts, Supremacy, Oaths”

“This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.”

Below is the date the United States congress signed and ratified the Geneva Convention into United States law.

Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949.

United States of America – Signed 12 August 1949 and 2 August 1955.

We have been bound by law and the United States Constitution to adhere to the Geneva Convention since August 2, 1955 but we have allowed this administration to waltz into office and break our laws as we do nothing about it. Yet we bitch and moan about our freedoms being taken from us, well, America, as long as you let them be taken from you they will be.

America, we are forgetting who we are and who we are supposed to be, which, is a people who do the right thing no matter what, and yet we set by and let this group of demagogues destroy our country and constitution.

More people in this country are worried about the latest gossip about Hollywood than things that really matter. I can’t believe I went to jail for trying to defend my constitution from this group of anti-constitutionalists while the country just sits back and watches while it takes place. I also cannot believe the people who put those magnets on their car and then think that absolves them of any responsibility to do anything more substantial than this. If this is the best you can do to support the “troops”, then don’t bother yourself.

Never mind that soldiers are dying every damn day in Iraq.

I was told by many groups that I would have their un-ending support for taking a principled stand against this, but as I sat in military prison waiting to see some justice from the people who should come up with a sound and reasoned argument that would put and end to this madness, I watched those same groups go their merry way.

For those who did support me as much as they could I am very grateful, but for those who went and bought pink shirts and paid for balloons to put on the mall in Washington, thanks for nothing. These actions have done nothing to hold this administration to account for starting this war, as a matter of fact; these actions have hindered those of us who are working on a serious plan to provide some real assistance to the service members that continue to die in this war of choice (of choice for a select few).

So to the ones who made the promises to me about continuing to support the stand I took and the promises to help me set up a program of grass roots solutions to help with the problems returning service members and our communities face, I am waiting to see if you meant what you said or if you are like the politicians you claim to want to set straight; all talk and no action.

Sgt. Kevin Benderman is a ten year Army veteran who served a combat tour in Iraq at the time of the initial invasion. He returned to file a conscientious objector application as his legal show of refusal to further participate in a military action he knew to be wrong. He served over a year in prison for his actions. Please visit www.BendermanDefense.org to learn more.

You may write to Kevin at info@BendermansBridge.org

Cheney Determined To Strike In US With WMD This Summer: Only Impeachment, Removal or General Strike Can Stop Him

July 27, 2007

Cheney Determined To Strike In US With WMD This Summer: Only Impeachment, Removal or General Strike Can Stop Him

Cheney Determined To Strike In US With WMD This Summer
Only Impeachment, Removal or General Strike Can Stop Him

By Webster G. Tarpley
7-21-7

“The greatest threat now is ‘a 9/11’ occurring with a group of terrorists armed not with airline tickets and box cutters, but with a nuclear weapon in the middle of one of our own cities.”
— Dick Cheney on Face the Nation, CBS, April 15, 2007

A few days ago, a group of lawyers from western Massachusetts met with the local congressman, Democrat John Olver. Their request was that Olver take part in the urgent effort to impeach Bush and Cheney. Olver responded by saying that he had no intention of doing anything to support impeachment. He went further, offering the information that the United States would soon attack Iran, and that these hostilities would be followed by the imposition of a martial law regime here.

According to reports in the British press, the Cheney war party has gained the upper hand in the secret councils of the Bush White House, pushing aside the purported hesitations of Miss Rice, Secretary Gates, and the NATO allies to chart a direct course towards war with Iran:

‘The balance in the internal White House debate over Iran has shifted back in favour of military action before President George Bush leaves office in 18 months, the Guardian has learned. The shift follows an internal review involving the White House, the Pentagon and the state department over the last month. Although the Bush administration is in deep trouble over Iraq, it remains focused on Iran. A well-placed source in Washington said: “Bush is not going to leave office with Iran still in limbo.” at a meeting of the White House, Pentagon and state department last month, Mr Cheney expressed frustration at the lack of progress and Mr Bush sided with him. “The balance has tilted. There is cause for concern,” the source said this week. “Cheney has limited capital left, but if he wanted to use all his capital on this one issue, he could still have an impact,” said Patrick Cronin, the director of studies at the International Institute for Strategic Studies.’ (“Cheney pushes Bush to act on Iran; Military solution back in favour as Rice loses out; President ‘not prepared to leave conflict unresolved'”, Guardian, July 16, 2007.)

Deluded supporters of the Democratic Party may soon have to throw away their pathetic countdown clocks, those self-consoling little devices that remind them of how much time remains until noon on January 20, 2009, the moment when it is thought that Bush will finally leave office. These countdown clocks make no provision for the Cheney doctrine, which calls for a new super 9/11 with weapons of mass destruction in the US, to be used as the pretext for a nuclear attack on Iran and for martial law at home. Those who think the Republicans cannot hold the White House in 2008 have forgotten that neocons always prefer a coup d’etat to an election. As Cheney told Bob Schieffer of CBS’s Face the Nation on April 15, 2007:

‘The greatest threat now is “a 9/11 occurring with a group of terrorists armed not with airline tickets and box cutters, but with a nuclear weapon in the middle of one of our own cities.”‘

Pelosi and Reid need to toss out their fatuous countdown clocks, and get out their impeachment stopwatches fast.

CHERTOFF’S GUT FEELING FOR TERRORISM

could cite, Chertoff called his “gut feeling the nation faces a heightened chance of an attack this summer.” “I believe we are entering a period this summer of increased risk,” said Chertoff. “Summertime seems to be appealing to them. … We worry that they are rebuilding their activities.” The desperate demagogues of the Republican Party are facing a hecatomb at the polls in November 2008. Their idea seems to be that of the fascist Prime Minister Aznar of Spain in March 2004: if you are sure to lose an election, stage a terror attack, declare martial law, and perpetuate your power that way. Aznar was stopped by a general strike of about one third of the entire Spanish people. If all else fails, would Americans be capable of a mass strike against war and dictatorship? We may soon find out.

Chertoff’s troubled gut has already given rise to a White House interagency group of top intelligence and law enforcement functionaries that meets every Friday afternoon at 1PM. Will this committee run the coup? Reports followed of dozens of FBI agents fanning out to pursue a “worry list” of some seven hundred alleged leads, including 100 in the New York area. Some of these derived from the recent British terror stunts in London and Glasgow used by MI-5 and MI-6 to smooth the transition from the Tony Blair quasi-police state to the Gordon Brown version of the same thing. MI-5 and MI-6 displayed the same mixture of comic ineptitude and phlegmatic homicide which was their hallmark during the long years when London was the prey of bombs by the “Irish Republican Army,” now revealed to have been top-heavy with government intelligence agents who called the shots. The Glasgow airport event consisted of a burning car crashed into a building, the films of which were shown all afternoon the by the US cable news networks. One was tempted to propose a caption: “Only one burning car a good day on the Cross-Bronx Expressway.” Yet for one burning car, the world was supposed to stop. These British events had been preceded by several weeks of hysteria about allegedly looming terror attacks against US installations in the Rhein-Main area of Germany, featuring the Wiesbaden spa, all based on CIA claims made to the government in Berlin and relentlessly trumpeted through the controlled media.

A NEW 9/11 THE KEY TO BOLSTERING WESTERN RESOLVE

Chertoff’s rationale was illuminated by an interview with Lt. Colonel Doug Delaney, the chair of the war studies program at the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, a NATO intelligence center. Delaney was addressing the problems raised by the rising Canadian losses in Afghanistan, but he provided a valuable window into the minds of military planners when he observed, in the words of the interviewer: “It may well be that the key to bolstering Western resolve is another terrorist attack like 9/11 or the London transit bombings of two years ago, he says. If nothing happens, it will be harder still to say this [Canadian meddling in Afghanistan] is necessary.” In other words, it may be time for a new false flag synthetic terror operation to gin up hysteria in North America to permit the present bankrupt elites to retain power and further grind down any spirit of popular resistance to such irrational rule. Chertoff’s fear-mongering was backed up by ousted Republican senator and notorious scoundrel Rick Santorum, who told a radio interviewer that “between now and November, a lot of things are going to happen, and I believe that by this time next year, the American public is going to have a very different view of this war.” Chertoff’s reckless and inflammatory ventriloquism was the harbinger of the new US National Intelligence Estimate issued on July 17.

THE BOOZ ALLEN NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE ESTIMATE: “AL QAEDA” THREAT TO USA LOOMS

This pitiful NIE ranks with the lying NIEs issued before the attack on Iraq in 2003 as a tissue of lies and prevarications. The main thesis is that al Qaeda branches around the world are striving to infiltrate more operatives into the US for terror attacks on the US “homeland:” “Although we have discovered only a handful of individuals in the United States with ties to al Qaeda senior leadership since 9/11, we judge that al Qaeda will intensify its efforts to put operatives here,” opines the declassified summary of the underlying secret screed. “As a result, we judge that the United States currently is in a heightened threat environment.” (cnn.com, July 17) The new faked NIE has been produced under the supervision of Admiral Michael McConnell, the current US intelligence czar, whose credentials include ten years at Booz Allen Hamilton, the premier private military firm. Some analysts have asked what was going on at Booz Allen on September 11, 2001, and in the days leading up to that event, and what McConnell personally might have been working on. Back on January 7, 2007, Raw Story had portrayed the newly-nominated McConnell as a Cheney asset, and quoted CIA old boy Vince Cannistraro calling the McConnell nomination “a disaster.” In the same article, CIA vet Larry Johnson predicted that McConnell, a weak manager, would cave in to Bush-Cheney on key issues. The fabrications of the new NIE have been assisted by Cheney’s office, by convicted Iran-contra felon Elliot Abrams (now a dominant personality inside the Bush White House), by Abrams’ military aide Gen. Kevin Bergner, and by other neocon assets.

Intelligence community veteran Philip Giraldi of the CIA has dismissed the new NIE with its talk of “high impact plots” against the US as “a tour de force of misinformation disguised as fact.” Giraldi also noted: “It is possibly no coincidence that there has been a significant increase in the anti-Iran rhetoric emanating from both the Bush administration and Congress over the past few weeks, mostly seeking to establish a casus belli by contending that Iran is masterminding lethal attacks against US troops in Iran and NATO forces in Afghanistan.” ( antiwar.com, July 17)

CHENEY’S PERSIAN ADVENTURE

A nuclear attack on Iran remains the central obsession of the George Shultz-Rupert Murdoch-Cheney faction. On July 10, the Pentagon announced that it would be sending another aircraft carrier battle group, this time that of the USS Enterprise, to the waters off Iran. This means that whenever that carrier joins the two already there, three US attack carriers will be within striking range of Iranian targets. The Pentagon followed up shortly thereafter with another statement, assuring the world that soon only one carrier would patrol off Iran. But that was only a dubious promise, and in the meantime the three carriers would shortly be ready to attack.

On July 10, the Washington Post and Reuters stoked international hysteria with reports that mysterious and sinister tunnels were being built by the Iranian authorities near one of the suspected nuclear facilities of Natanz. These reports were accompanied by aerial photographs and satellite imaging that has been gussied up with labels to make them look as much as possible like the famous U-2 photographs of Soviet medium-range missiles in Cuba back in October 1962. The claim was that the supposed tunnel “could be used to hide and protect key nuclear components.” The implication was that the Iranian atomic bomb could not be far off, a notion for which there is no proof.

In the late winter, Pelosi, House Majority Leader Stenny Hoyer and Reid had bowed to the demands of AIPAC, the subversive pro-Israeli lobbying organization whose employees have been implicated in espionage, and removed from the defense bill a provision warning Bush that he was required to consult Congress before attacking Iran. A similar provision pushed for a while by Senator Webb of Virginia has also disappeared from view. As for the Republican presidential candidates, on June 7 they with the solitary exception of maverick Ron Paul outbid one another in enthusiasm for a nuclear attack on Iran. These ultra-Hitlerian outbursts occurred in response to manipulation by Wolf Blitzer, an obvious asset of the war party. For the good of the American people, the warmonger GOP candidates, along with Blitzer, should have been hauled away at once in a net by burly orderlies in white coats.

CHENEY’S BREAKAWAY ALLY CHARADE

A key component of Cheney’s argument is that Israel may soon strike unilaterally against Iran with a sneak attack deploying nuclear weapons, breaking the post-1945 taboo on atomic bombs. This would represent the old “breakaway ally” scenario, by which Israel presents the US with such an attack as a fait accompli, and then expects Washington to enter the war on the side of the Israeli aggressors. Cheney’s talking point is that the US must be ready to strike because the Israelis are going to act on their own anyway. The lying nature of Cheney’s line is shown by Bush’s remark to Chirac at the St. Petersburg G-8 summit in July 2006, when Bush was adamant that the Israeli aggression against Lebanon then ongoing was not an Israeli-conceived war, but rather a US war which had been assigned to Israel as a proxy and surrogate for the US. According to Will Thomas, a dress rehearsal for the breakaway ally charade occurred on January 7, 2007 when Israeli warplanes flew over Iraq and manifested the intention to “go downtown” meaning an apparent nuclear strike into Iran. At some point the Israelis were allegedly told by the US to go back, and they desisted from the attempt. This reported incident came shortly before the US raided the Iranian consulate in Irbil in northern Iraq, illegally arresting Iranian diplomats. Around the same time, reports that an Iranian missile had hit a US ship caused a stir on Wall Street, while Iran reported shooting down another US drone over its territory. ( infowars.com, willthomas.net)

The Israeli war party is represented first of all by Avigdor Lieberman, the Minister of Strategic Threats who is himself a strategic threat. On Friday July 13, a day of ill omen, Lieberman boasted before a group of NATO and European Union officials that Israel had received a green light from the U.S. and Europe for an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. “If we start military operations against Iran alone, then Europe and the U.S. will support us,” said Lieberman. According to Israel Today magazine, Lieberman argued that ongoing hostilities in Iraq and Afghanistan are “going to prevent the leaders of countries in Europe and America from deciding on the use of force to destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities,” so they are telling Israel to “prevent the threat herself.”

Another Israeli incendiary is Brigadier General Yossi Kuperwasser, the former head of the Research Division of Israeli Military Intelligence. On July 10, Kuperwasser told the Jerusalem Post that economic sanctions alone will not stop Iran, and that the window of opportunity to launch a military strike against Iran’s nuclear installations was running out. Kuperwasser claimed that Iran is “very close” to the technological threshold for enriching uranium at an industrial level. The Iranians will then be able to manufacture a nuclear device within two to three years, according to Kuperwasser. “The program’s vulnerability to a military operation is diminishing as time passes,” Kuperwasser said, “and they are very close to the point that they will be able to enrich uranium at an industrial level.”

EL BARADEI WARNS AGAINST NEOCON “NEW CRAZIES”

This kind of thinking in the US, UK, and Israel was what Dr. Mohamed El Baradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, had in mind when he issued his famnous June 2, 2007 warning about a coming attack on Iran: “I wake every morning and see 100 Iraqis innocent civilians are dying …I have no brief other than to make sure we don’t go into another war or that we go crazy into killing each other. You do not want to give additional argument to new crazies who say ‘let’s go and bomb Iran.’ ” And who are the “new crazies”? “Those who have extreme views and say the only solution is to impose your will by force.” It is not possible to “bomb knowledge.”

A grave doubt casts its shadow over any scenario of US nuclear attack on Iran: as William Thomas reported last February, the fuses of cheap Chinese silicon chips now being used by the US military in ships, tanks, planes, and other applications may be too weak to resist the high levels of electromagnetic pulse (emp) which would be unleashed by a nuclear bombardment of the Iranian nuclear sites. The outsourced chips, coherent with the Rumsfeld “war on the cheap” strategy, could cripple a large proportion of the US Central Command’s military hardware, with disruptive effects that would reach back to the command’s Florida headquarters and possibly to the Pentagon. ( rense.com, February 21, 2007, and willthomas.net) If these report are correct, US nuclear bombers might crash, the the carriers that launched them might suddenly find themselves dead in the water, quite independent of what the Iranians might do.

CHENEY’S LEBANON-SYRIA GAMBIT

In addition to the hypothesis of an attack on Iran, there is also the immediate threat to Iran’s ally, Syria. According to a UPI dispatch dated July 9 under the byline of Claude Salhani, numerous signs currently point towards hostilities between Israel and the Damascus government, with a renewed Israeli attack on Lebanon a likely element in this strategy. According to former State Department official Dennis Ross, “there is a risk of war” between Syria and Israel in the summer. Ross told YnetNews, Yedioth Ahronoth’s Internet edition: “no one has made any decisions, but the Syrians are positioning themselves for war.” The neocon exoteric New York Sun claimed to cite a supposed Syrian official saying that added that, by allegedly pulling Syrian nationals out of Lebanon by mid-July, “Damascus is preparing for Israeli retaliation following Syrian guerilla attacks and for a larger war with the Jewish state in August or September.” “If Israel doesn’t vacate the strategic Golan Heights before September, Syrian guerillas will immediately launch ‘resistance operations’ against the Golan’s Jewish communities,” the alleged Syrian added. These remarks reflect scenarios being developed by the Israelis.

But the Masada party of national suicide is not the only game in town for Israelis. On July 11, an anonymous leaker from inside Israeli Military Intelligence warned his associates to remember their ignominious defeat at the hands of Hezbollah in last summer’s war. According to this source, “war with Syria would be ten times worse than with Hezbollah.”

THE ATTACK ON PAKISTAN: MIDSUMMER OF NEOCON MADNESS

Cheney also has the option of attacking into Pakistan. Cheney had visited Pakistan at the end of February with an obvious ultimatum to General Musharraf to get ready to mount a land war against Iran this summer. Equally and immediately obvious was the fact that Musharraf, who considers himself the heir to the great Mustafa Kemal Ataturk of Turkey, had told the Vice President to go Cheney himself. With Pakistan refusing to attack its neighbor, Cheney suddenly discovered that Osama bin Laden was being protected by Musharraf! The US-UK destabilization of Pakistan began in grand style, with the New York Times helpfully publishing lists of generals whom Washington would be delighted to see take power in a putsch in Islamabad. Pawns of the destabilization included the Chief Justice of Pakistan, reputed to be a British agent, and riots by lawyers in business suits. Then came the slaughter at the Red Mosque, staged by the usual CIA/MI-6 fundamentalists. Pakistan, under tremendous pressure from the US, has announced a military crackdown on so-called Taliban forces in the northern tribal areas of Waziristan, an enterprise sure to stir up a hornet’s nest of resistance even if none had been there before. The neocons demanded that the US invade Pakistan, under the pretext of looking for Osama bin Laden. On July 12, neocon fascist madman William Kristol told Fox News: “I think the president’s going to have to take military action there over the next few weeks or months…. Bush has to disrupt that sanctuary. I think, frankly, we won’t even tell Musharraf. We’ll do what we have to do in Western Pakistan and Musharraf can say, ‘Hey, they didn’t tell me.'” Ironically, bin Laden’s second in command, reputed MI-6 speaking tube Ayman al Zawahiri, at around the same time issued a fatwa declaring jihad against Musharraf’s Pakistani regime. If Musharraf was haboring Osama, why would al Qaeda declare war against Musharraf? The answer is what it has always been: “al Qaeda” is a troupe of agents provocateurs founded by the CIA and the British, and remains so until this day. As for the neocon plan to attack Pakistan, it is the very midsummer of madness: if Iran has three time the population of Iraq, Pakistan with 164 million is more than five times more numerous than Iraq. If the neocon plans succeed, the US would soon be at war with almost 300 million people far too many for the hollow US force of 10 divisions, whatever technology they might possess.

WARNINGS: RON PAUL, PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS, CINDY SHEEHAN, PAT BUCHANAN

Among other authoritative voices across the political spectrum warning of an imminent Bush-Cheney attack on Iran:

Republican Congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul commented to Alex Jones: “I think we’re in great danger of it. We’re in danger in many ways, the attack on our civil liberties here at home, the foreign policy that’s in shambles and our obligations overseas and commitment which endangers our troops and our national defense.”

Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under the Reagan Administration, wrote in his latest column: “Unless Congress immediately impeaches Bush and Cheney, a year from now the US could be a dictatorial police state at war with Iran. Bush has put in place all the necessary measures for dictatorship in the form of ‘executive orders’ that are triggered whenever Bush declares a national emergency. Recent statements by Homeland Security Chief Michael Chertoff, former Republican senator Rick Santorum and others suggest that Americans might expect a series of staged, or false flag, ‘terrorist’ events in the near future.” (Paul Craig Roberts, “Impeach Now or Face the End of Constitutional Democracy,” Counterpunch, July 16, 2007) In a July 19 interview with Thomm Hartmann of Air America, Roberts cited Bush’s July 17 executive order, which allows the US regime to seize the property of anyone found to be interfering with the reconstruction of Iraq. This radio warning was reported by the RIA-Novosti news agency of Moscow in numerous languages. The Moscow summary, dated July 20, begins: “A former Reagan official has issued a public warning that the Bush administration is preparing to orchestrate a staged terrorist attack in the United States, transform the country into a dictatorship, and launch a war with Iran within a year.”

Pat Buchanan is convinced that the danger of a new war provocation by Bush-Cheney will come in August, when the Democratic Congress will conveniently be out of Washington and on vacation. Buchanan asks important questions:

Is the United States provoking war with Iran, to begin while the Congress is conveniently on its August recess? One recalls that it was in August 1964, after the Republicans nominated Barry Goldwater, that the Tonkin Gulf incident occurred.

Has Bush secretly authorized covert attacks inside Iran? Are U.S. and Israeli agents in Kurdistan behind the attacks across the border to provoke Iran? On July 11, Iranian troops clashed with Kurd rebels inside Iran, and the Iranians fired artillery back into Iraq.

Is this yet another abdication by Congress of its moral and constitutional duty to decide when and whether America goes to war?

Why is Congress going on vacation? Why are a Democratic-controlled House and Senate not asking these questions in public hearings? Why is Congress letting Bush and Vice President Cheney decide whether we launch a third war in the Middle East? Or is Congress in on it?” (“Tonkin Gulf II and the Guns of August?,” World Net Daily, July 17, 2007)

Based on the John Olver remarks, the Democrats are in on it. As for Buchanan, he should say these things on MSNBC.
Also warning of new war provocations was Cindy Sheehan, who was traveling towards Washington DC to declare her challenge to failed House Speaker Pelosi. She commented that there was a “distinct possibility” that America will be hit with another staged terror attack that will allow Bush to enact the martial law provisions he recently imposed by executive order. These measures allow Bush to declare a domestic state of emergency in response to virtually any minor incident anywhere in the world. (Paul Joseph Watson, Prison Planet, July 12, 2007, “Sheehan: Distinct Chance Of Staged Attack, Martial Law; Peace Mom warns of false flag terror as she prepares to take on sell-out Pelosi.”)

BUSH ANTICS STUN REPUBLICANS FROM THE HILL

This past week, the tenant of the White House showed new signs of mental instability by barging in to a routine meeting between White House communication director Ed Gillespie, spokesman Tony Snow, and a group of Republican congressional leaders. Bush was there to insist that everybody stay the course of Iraq.
“It was stunning,” said one GOP aide who attended the meeting. “We couldn’t believe he came in.” “We kept looking at each other, amazed he came in,” said another Republican colleague. According to one press account, “Bush was described as folksy, adamant and mildly profane as he interrupted the meeting. His message: the policy on Iraq isn’t changing. He is not backing down and no one on Capitol Hill should be confused into thinking he is letting up.”

A new threat to US policy comes from the formidable Turkish military establishment, which is sick and tired of constant cross-border attacks by PKK Kurdish terrorists operating from the Kurdish enclave in northern Iraq. The US, UK, and Israelis are using the PKK for terror operations into Kurdish territories of Iran. These PKK terrorist are paid and armed directly by the US military, bringing any notion of a US “war on terror” to a new nadir of absurdity. For some time, the Turks have been lobbing shells and raiding into Kurdish Iraq. 140,000 Turkish troops are massed along the border in question, and if Turkish patience runs out, the Kurds will be crushed.

US IRAQ SUPPLY LINES IN GRAVE DANGER

Washington still cultivates delusions of grandeur: the moment of truth for Iraq will be in mid-September, or perhaps in November or December. But, as one British writer once put it, what if the bear blows first? What if US forces in Iraq experience catastrophic military defeat at some point in the future? What if it takes the form of pocketing or encirclement, the “Dunkirk if you’re lucky, Stalingrad if you’re not so lucky” outcome?

It is not clear whether or when Iraqi resistance forces will move decisively to attack the Achilles heel of the US occupation forces, the 400-mile truck convoys between Kuwait City and Baghdad, but the longer the US forces continue their present futile efforts, the more likely this tragic outcome will become. These are trucks driven by Pakistanis, Turks, Bangladeshis, and Filipinos, and protected by private military contractors by poorly armed mercenaries. A recent report by Jim Michaels in USA Today indicates that the strategy most dangerous to the US forces is indeed gaining ground among the resistance: Michaels writes that “attacks on supply convoys protected by private security companies in Iraq have more than tripled as the U.S. government depends more on armed civilian guards to secure reconstruction and other missions. There were 869 such attacks from the beginning of June 2006 to the end of May this year. For the preceding 12 months, there were 281 attacks.” Of all the news coming out of Iraq, this is perhaps the most ominous. Any military debacle by the US forces in Iraq would be immediately blamed on Iran, and would infallibly be seized upon by Cheney as a pretext for massive retaliation against Iran.

DOLLAR HYPERINFLATION A FACTOR

An important contributing factor in the Cheneyac war hysteria is the beginning of dollar hyperinflation. Two Bear Sterns hedge funds have blown up, wiping out $9 billion of capital in a few days, and Helicopter Ben Bernanke of the Federal Reserve says that the subprime mortgage bubble meltdown will lead to $100 billion in losses by US banks, and this is clearly a lowball figure. Two analysts quoted by the Toronto Globe and Mail on July 19 suggest that the entire US banking establishment may now be looking at a 15% to 20% devaluation because of mortgage-related losses. Only frenetic pumping in of new dollar liquidity by Helicopter Ben and his men is staving off big bankruptcies, but this sloshing liquidity spells hyperinflation . The Dow has passed 14,000, but the dollar has also reached an all-time low of almost $1.40 to a euro, with a 26-year low against the British pound. With oil well above $75 and gold above $680 per ounce, while raw materials and food prices skyrocket, the US may soon resemble Germany of 1923, when people took their money to the grocery store in a wheelbarrow, and brought home their purchases in their pocket. Small wonder that the worldwide dumping of the bankrupt US dollar continues apace, with Iran now asking Japan to pay for oil transactions in yen, cutting Wall Street out of another lucrative commodity flow.

US SITUATION TRAGIC

These points bring into sharp relief the dire predicament of our tragically drifting country in the summer of 2007, a summer which Cheney’s backers and controllers are determined to transform into the Summer of Fear. Skeptics may object that they have heard all this before in the spring and the autumn of 2004, in the late summer of 2005, and in March-April of 2007 and that so far the general war with Iran had not occurred. This is true, but it is no argument against the urgency of the warnings that the present writer and others have issued from time to time over the last three years. It only shows that the world has been lurching and careening along the edge of a much wider war in the Middle East since about May of 2004 at the latest. For much of this time we have lived in the shadow of the Cheney doctrine, which calls for a nuclear attack on Iran in the wake of a new super 9/11 terrorist provocation (coming from the bowels of the US intelligence community) as revealed by Philip Giraldi in The American Conservative in August of 2005. Each time some combination of internal US institutional resistance and inertia, objections by NATO allies, and foreign threats or pressure have somehow avoid the worst. So far we have muddled through. But Cheney’s backers and controllers the ones designated as the Cheneyacs in this analysis have unfailingly pulled themselves together after each rebuff, and have marshaled their forces for a new drive over the brink of the abyss. As long as Bush and Cheney are in power, as long as the 9/11 rogue networks in the US intelligence community continue their work unpurged and undisturbed, we will face one war emergency after another, until the likely moment when humanity’s luck runs out. Under any political system committed to its own survival, each of the Cheneyac war drives over the past three years should have lead to the impeachment, removal from office, and indictment of the dour and snarling old reprobate himself, and a general mop-up of his followers. It is the fact that the corrupt and cowardly parliamentary cretins of the Democratic Party have failed to impeach and oust Bush-Cheney over the last six months since they took power which represents the most immediate cause of the fix we are now in. Congressman Kucinich has introduced the needed articles against Cheney, but the Pelosi-Reid opportunists have been hostile to this needed measure. It is time for honest activists to join with the Philadelphia Platform to get on with the business at hand before martial law is imposed by these neocon fascist madmen, since by then it may be too late.

BRZEZINSKI: “A TERRORIST ACT IN THE US BLAMED ON IRAN”

The Democratic Party Congressional leadership has known all about Cheney’s plans for six months or more, as can be shown from the public record. On February 1, 2007, Zbigniew Brzezinski warned the Senate Foreign Relations Committee of ongoing machinations designed to procure war with Iran and beyond: “A plausible scenario for a military collision with Iran involves Iraqi failure to meet the benchmarks, followed by accusations of Iranian responsibility for the failure; then by some provocation in Iraq or a terrorist act in the US blamed on Iran; culminating in a ‘defensive’ US action against Iran that plunges a lonely America into a spreading and deepening quagmire eventually ranging across Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.” Over the past half year, events have followed Brzezinski’s scenario closely. Blaming Iran for the missed benchmarks in Iraq is now the daily stock in trade of the Bush administration and the US Central Command, who whine continuously about Iranian interference in Iraq. There have been several military provocations in Iraq which the US has tried to pin on Iran, most notably March 23, 2007 incident involving 15 British Royal Navy and Royal Marines personnel who were taken into custody by the Iranians. This incident was a part of Cheney’s winter-spring war drive, which peaked with two US B-1 bombers deliberately violating Iranian airspace over the city of Abadan in oil-rich Khuzestan province on March 31. This crisis was defused by a mobilization of persons of good will around the world, with Russian President Putin and the RIA-Novosti news agency playing a critical role. In particular, a pointed March 28 warning from Putin to Bush about attacking Iran created enough uncertainty in Washington about how Moscow might respond to nuclear aggression against Iran so that cooler heads than Cheney’s prevailed.

FIGHT BACK WITH THE PHILADELPHIA PLATFORM

That leaves us with Brzezinski’s third scenario point: a terrorist act in the US blamed on Iran. What Brzezinski is talking about here is high treason, insurrection , genocide, high crimes against humanity under US law and the Nuremberg Code. Why has he not been called upon to tell all he knows about this sinister plot, so obviously operating through the Cheney-Addington office, and through Eliot Abrams at the White House? Because the Democrats who heard that warning Senators Biden, Dodd, and Obama on the committee, plus Hillary Clinton have done nothing to raise a hue and cry, hold hearings, issue subpoenas, demand documents, or begin impeachment hearings against those involved. The Democratic Party must therefore be seen as fully complicit under the Nuremberg Code in any future crimes by Cheney regarding a wider war in the Middle East. The Democratic Party has failed, and the viable peace movement must now organize independently on a multi-issue basis including 9/11 truth, as called for in the July 4, 2007 Philadelphia Platform, which can be seen at actindependent.org.