Thursday, June 21, 2007

King Cheney

The following press release sent out today by Representative Henry Waxman is almost unbelievable.

The Oversight Committee has learned that over the objections of the National Archives, Vice President Cheney exempted his office from the presidential order that establishes government-wide procedures for safeguarding classified national security information. The Vice President asserts that his office is not an "entity within the executive branch."

As described in a letter from Chairman Waxman to the Vice President, the National Archives protested the Vice President's position in letters written in June 2006 and August 2006. When these letters were ignored, the National Archives wrote to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales in January 2007 to seek a resolution of the impasse. The Vice President's staff responded by seeking to abolish the agency within the Archives that is responsible for implementing the President's executive order.

In his letter to the Vice President, Chairman Waxman writes: "I question both the legality and wisdom of your actions....[I]t would appear particularly irresponsible to give an office with your history of security breaches an exemption from the safeguards that apply to all other executive branch officials."

Not an "entity within the executive branch"? What branch of government, then, does Cheney's office belong to? I'm no constitutional lawyer, but I believe there are only three possibilities. He's no judge, and he's not a member of Congress. That leaves only the executive branch. Unless, of course, the veep's office transcends the Constitution. Yes, perhaps it's supra-constitutional. Oh heck, why don't we just call him King? But that would create a problem: what to call the president?

Waxman's letter can be found at

Posted by David Corn at June 21, 2007 04:47 PM


Gerald said...

It is time to impeach Cheney or Bush! Take your pick!!!

Gerald said...

Most posters may not remember Julie London and her song, "Cry me a river." I remember her and it probably shows my age.

When I think of the direction we are on, I cry me a river every day.

Some people will say that a grown man should not cry. How can a grown man not cry as he looks around him and sees where the United States of Evil is going?

David B. Benson said...

Gerald --- I pick both!

capt said...

Um, both AND a side of Rice a some cooked (well done) Rover.


Carey said...

The excuses coming from the executive branch are increasingly transparent and flimsy. They're getting desperate I tell you!

Okay, here's some meat to my seeing some light at the end of that proverbial tunnel.

Greg Palast presented his juicy evidence on the emails, caging lists, everything to the House Judiciary Committee and John Conyers today.

Oh yeah, let's boogie! Oh yeah.

Randi Rhodes is covering it right now. She's been highlighing Palast. The chickens have come home to roost. I've been going on about how intertwined these "caging lists" are with Gonzogate and urging all to read Greg Palast's Armed Madhouse. The jewels of investigation will begin to slowly brighten and gleam now. Methinks the tide has turned. Not overwhelmingly, but the ball has changed sides.

capt said...

Abu Ghraib Cover-up About to Explode (Brent Budowsky)

Gen. Antonio Taguba is one of America’s most respected senior officers, was put in charge of the Abu Ghraib investigation, and has now leveled a series of powerful public
charges that will soon blow this case sky-high.

Gen. Taguba went public early this week in long on-the-record interviews with Sy Hersh reported in his New Yorker piece now on newsstands.

Among other things, Taguba says:

1. He was ordered not to investigate higher-ups in the chain of command, which means
there was (is) a cover-up protecting the highest-ranking Bush administration officials who might have criminal liability.

2. Early in his investigation he was threatened with career retribution if he dared to seek the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

3. After his investigation he was punished by being forced into early retirement.

4. He suggests that Don Rumsfeld might have lied when he testified before Congress, which would be a criminal offense.

5. He details meetings in which Rumsfeld spoke to him in terms that were sarcastic,
rude and unprofessional shortly before Rumsfeld would publicly say how much he
supported the investigation and wanted the truth to come out.

6. He reveals specific acts of torture that are beyond what was publicly known, and videos of Abu Ghraib torture have not been released that provide strong evidence that the crimes of Abu Ghraib were known earlier and far higher up than previously reported.

7. He expresses serious concern that the same forms of torture used at Abu
Ghraib were (are?) also used at Guantanamo Bay, which remains open and the subject of world-wide condemnation.

At some point Gen. Taguba will be called to testify publicly and will prove one of the most explosive witnesses in six years, while investigative reporters and almost certainly congressional committees are currently looking into Abu Ghraib.

The implications of this are enormous because they go to potential perjury and giving false testimony to Congress and investigators, and lead outward throughout the dark side of the Bush years.

There is a high probability that investigation of the Abu Ghraib crimes and cover-up will lead upward to Donald Rumsfeld and his coterie of neoconservative aides and their
shadow CIA run through the Department of Defense.

There is a substantial possibility this leads to the role of Alberto Gonzales on the range of torture issues at the Department of Justice and during his years as White House Counsel.

There is significant possibility this leads to Vice President Cheney, the most aggressive
advocate of what the world considers torture of any senior official anywhere in the free world.

Gen. Taguba should be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his honor, integrity and courage throughout this shameful episode and for having the honor to speak out publicly, visibly and unequivocally now.

The stakes are high and the storm clouds are gathering for those who committed, ordered or covered up crimes of torture.


*****end of clip*****

Just like the saying about an onion - layers and layers and it does (at times) bring a tear to my eye.


David B. Benson said...

Science Daily today has a story about a new piece of mathematical physics which will shake up the cosmologists as well as astronomers and astrophysicists regarding

black holes do not form!

David B. Benson said...

But inside the Beltway, information is not conserved, so

white houses

can turn into

black holes!

capt said...

Astronomers May Have Solved Information Loss Paradox To Find Black Holes Do Not Form

The physicists are quick to assure astronomers and astrophysicists that what is observed in gravity pulling masses together still holds true, but what is controversial about the new finding is that "from an external viewer's point it takes an infinite amount of time to form an event horizon and that the clock for the objects falling into the black hole appears to slow down to zero," said Krauss, director of Case's Center for Education and Research in Cosmology.

He continued "this is one of the factors that led us to rethink this problem, and we hope our proposal at the very least will stimulate a broader reconsideration of these issues."

If black holes exist in the universe, the astrophysicists speculate they were formed only at the beginning of time.


*****end of clip*****

It sure does put a new spin on things.


capt said...

Until lions have their historians, tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunter: African proverb

Recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world: Preamble, Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings: Patrick Henry, March 23, 1775.

"The test of every religious, political, or educational system is the man that it forms.": -- Henri-Frédéric Amiel - (1821-1881) Swiss philosopher, Poet


Thanks ICH Newsletter

Ivory Bill Woodpecker said...

I will say something about the last thread. I hope Michael Moore employs some security guards. Big Insurance and Big Pharma don't care if people die of neglect so they can make more blood money. I wouldn't put it past those "Oedipus imitators" to see to it that Moore encounters a "lone nut" or a "clumsy robber".

To me, one of the most annoying things about the [un]American "Conservative" Movement is that its behavior since the 2000 "elections" has caused me to start thinking in ways that, in the previous millennium, I would have cheerfully dismissed as paranoid. This tinfoil hat CHAFES, dammit! :)

Ivory Bill Woodpecker said...

I neglected to explain the quotation marks around "Conservative": I find nothing truly conservative in messianic foreign policies, budget deficits the size of Jupiter, or shredding the Constitution.

Many actual conservatives recognize this, which is why so many honest Republicans are becoming independents or even Democrats, such as Virginia's newest Democratic Senator--Jim Webb was RONALD REAGAN'S Secretary of the Navy, remember?

Talk-show hostess Stephanie Miller left the GOP years ago. Her father was Congressman William Miller of New York State, an old-fashioned moderate Republican who was Barry Goldwater's running mate in 1964. She says she doesn't think her father or Goldwater would recognize the modern GOP as their old party.

The modern "Republican" Party does not want a republic, they want an empire abroad and at home. They should just call themselves the "Imperial Party" and be done with it--or maybe "Royalist"; then they could keep the "R" abbreviation. I don't reckon they'd want to adopt the term I coined for them, "Elephascist". ;)

capt said...

Talk-show hostess Stephanie Miller is a DO NOT MISS!

I enjoy her show every morning.

Presently, R does not mean conservative it means retrograde, regressive, etc.


capt said...

Digby: Bloggers Are Part of a Revolutionary Participatory Democracy

The netroots have sparked a revolution and the rest of the nation should join the party, said the blogger known as Digby, accepting the Wellstone Citizenship Award at the Take Back America Conference.

Editor's Note:The folowing is the text of the speech given by the pseudonymous blogger known as Digby on June 19 at the Take Back America conference, when she accepted the Paul Wellstone Citizen Leadership Award on behalf of progressive bloggers.

Those of you who know my blog, know that it is nearly impossible draw me from my secure bunker in the People's Republic of Santa Monica. But when I was approached by my friend Rick Perlstein about accepting this award on behalf of the progressive blogosphere, I knew that it was an honor I could not refuse, not for myself, although I'm grateful, but for my fellow bloggers.

We are proud to be a part of the great progressive liberal tradition of Paul Wellstone and are grateful for your kind acknowledgment. Thank you. As there has been a lot said recently about the netroots and our influence on the Democratic party, this is especially rewarding.

And let's just say we seem to have ruffled some feathers.

We've been called everything from witless to "some guy named Vinnie in a bathrobe and an efficiency apartment" to "blogofascists." Some critics dismiss us as useless elites -- the Metropolitan Opera crowd -- or a "noisy Upper West Side cocktail party for the college-graduate class." Still others take us to task for our "vitriolic, unhinged tone."

The other day Tim Russert agreed "absolutely" with his gracious host, concerned centrist Sean Hannity, that the Democratic party was being unduly influenced by bloggers who were dragging the party kicking and screaming to the left.

Then there is the criticism that we are fascists or Stalinists demanding that everyone march in lockstep to the edicts of our leadership -- generally assumed to be Markos Moulitsas of Daily Kos -- who apparently directs us with secret signals deeply embedded in the code of the Daily Kos web site while we carry on an elaborate ruse of spirited political debate and disagreement in public.

We are, in short, something of an enigma.


*****end of clip*****

A very grand accolade and well deserved recognition. Digby should be very proud. Wellstone was the real deal, I am uplifted each time I hear his name - THAT is how good he was. (and continues to be)


capt said...

Fringe Science Yields 'Gay Bombs' and Psychic Teleportation

Pentagon Spends $78 Billion a Year on Weapons and Space Research, Some of it Whacky

Creating armor that renders a soldier invisible. Stimulating the brain to suppress sleep for days. Arming sharks with chemical implants and cameras to work as spies.

This year the Pentagon will spend $78 billion about half of all government research and development dollars on a variety of projects, according to the American Association for the Advancement for Science (AAAS).

The vast majority - about $68 billion - goes to traditional spending, like weapons development and space systems. But some fringe research mimics the best of science fiction.

There seems to be no failure of imagination in advancing warfare, but some experts fear these farfetched projects show a little too much imagination.

Just this month, the government confirmed that an Ohio Air Force laboratory had asked for $7.5 million to build a nonlethal "gay bomb," a weapon that would encourage enemies to make love, not war. The weapon would use strong aphrodisiacs to make enemy troops so sexually attracted to each other that they'd lose interest in fighting.

Last year, scientists at Boston University developed brain implants that could steer sharklike dog fish with a phantom odor.

Just three years ago, the military funded a specious study of psychic teleportation, according to the Federation of American Scientists. An 88-page report prepared by the Air Force Research Lab contended that moving through mind powers is "quite real and can be controlled."

"The military has a lot of crazy ideas," said Noah Shactman, editor of the Wired blog Danger Room. "But it's hard to turn these ideas into action."

In her book "Imaginary Weapons," military expert Sharon Weinberger writes that the federal government is spending taxpayer money on war technology at a pace of about $50,000 per second.


*****end of clip*****

How can these idiots spend that kind of money while our troops are in harms way on the cheap?


capt said...

The End of Dissent?

A recent congressional resolution on Iran underscores the War Party's lock on the foreign policy 'debate'

Congress recently passed a resolution calling on the UN to bring charges of "genocide" against Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Now, I hold no brief for the Iranian ranter – whose jeremiads against the West are in the category of Borat-like humor – but this seems like yet another example of political pandering and congressional grandstanding that bears little, if any, relationship to reality.

To begin with, the resolution is motivated by a mistanslation of a speech given by Senor Ahmadinejad, in which he cited the Ayatollah Khomeini and seemed to call for Israel to be "wiped off the map." Yet, as this piece by Jonathan Steele, and this comment by Farsi-speaker and Middle East expert Prof. Juan Cole make very clear, that is not what the Iranian President said, or intended to say. Ahmadinejad didn't say Israel must be "wiped off the map," he said the current regime in Tel Aviv will be "wiped off the page of time." It was a call for "regime change" not genocide – but, never mind.

Like most war propaganda, which is almost never related to reality except in the most tenuous sense, the point is not to tell the truth but to characterize the Enemy in a particular way. With Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in Washington to ramp up the Lobby's ferocious campaign to get the US to attack Iran – or at least credibly threaten to – the pro-Israel forces on Capitol Hill were out in full force, herding their congressional supporters into a massive display of obedience with a whopping 411-2 vote in the House.

The complete hypocrisy of our "antiwar" Democratic congresscritters, who warble that we need to "end the war" in Iraq, even as they whoop it up for war with Iran, is so brazen that it doesn't require much comment. I'll leave it to Mohammed ElBaradei, the IAEA chief, who bluntly told the BBC:

"I wake up every morning and see 100 Iraqi 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 [an] additional argument to the new crazies who say 'let's go and bomb Iran.' Asked who the 'new crazies' were, the IAEA chief refused to be drawn, simply saying: 'Those who have extreme views and say the only solution is to impose your will by force.'"


capt said...

New TV Channel Takes on Death and Dying

There are shows for cooking, relationships, weddings and property -- why not for dying? A new TV channel in Germany plans to rectify the omission with 24/7 digital death.

Cooking shows are a dime a dozen on television these days. Home improvement shows hit the big time in the 1990s. Property shows are huge in Britain. Relationships and weddings have likewise become popular prime-time fodder. But the one event that faces every human on Earth has never had its own television channel.

Until now.

Starting this autumn in Germany, EosTV -- a 24-hour-a-day, seven-days-a-week television channel devoted exclusively to aging, dying and mourning -- will hit the airwaves. Viewers will be served up documentaries about cemeteries, shows about changing funeral culture, and helpful tips about finding a retirement home or nursing care. Should you be looking to install a stair lift in your home, EosTV will be the place to find information about that too. Death and dying, in other words, right in your living room.

"Over 800,000 people died in Germany last year," Wolf Tilmann Schneider, the channel's founder, told SPIEGEL ONLINE. "Multiply that by four and you have the rough number of people directly affected by those deaths. There are also 2.1 million people in Germany needing care in their old age. There are millions of people confronting the issues of getting older and dying."


*****end of clip*****

This existence of ours is as transient as autumn clouds. To watch the birth and death of beings is like looking at the movements of a dance. A lifetime is a flash of lightning in the sky. Rushing by, like a torrent down a steep mountain. ~ - Buddha (c.563-c.483 B.C.)

We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us. ~ - Charles Bukowski


capt said...

Progressives Have The Mojo Now

The Take Back America Conference this year drew 3,000 leaders and activists from 40 states, 150 speakers, a bloggers’ boulevard and radio row larger than ever, and an energy that couldn’t be contained. This year was not only a larger gathering than any previous year; it had a very different spirit.

We witnessed the gathering of a movement that has come into a sense of its own power. Certain that the elections in 2006 mark the end of the conservative era that has dominated our politics for more than 25 years, progressives gathered confident that they were driving the political agenda and that they were on the verge, in fact, of taking back America.

There is both remarkable consensus and passion around a core agenda: ending the occupation of Iraq, affordable health care for all, a concerted drive for clean energy, and an aggressive change in economic policy to make the new global economy work for the many, and not simply the very few. In each of these areas, progressives have put forth detailed plans and are building major issue campaigns.

Progressives do so confident that the American people are moving our way. Three in four Americans want a new direction. Most have given up completely on the Bush administration. They are not neutral about what comes next. On issue after issue, from ending the war to affordable health care to government leadership on clean energy –- broad majorities embrace progressive views. That’s also true on a broad range of divisive social and economic issues. This is not a conservative country.

Those trends in opinion –- led by self-described independents and moderates -– have been moving since 1994. What is different now is that progressives have the mojo to drive the debate. At Take Back America, progressives displayed the increasing capacity, the increasing sophistication and the increasing power of their infrastructure and movement. Progressives, in the words of the famed Yankee philosopher Reggie Jackson, are "the stick that stirs the drink" in the Democratic Party. The money wing of the party will always have clout, but they are discredited by their support of the debacle in Iraq and their failed and compromised economic strategies.

All of the leading Democratic candidates for president came to the Take Back America Conference, knowing how important the support of the activists and bloggers gathered there can be. All didn’t simply show up, they competed in their embrace of the core agenda laid out above and much more.

There is no longer much profit in "pushing off" the progressive base. Embrace of progressive positions strengthens these candidates for the general election. And the candidates seem to understand that.

Progressives, however, are not satisfied simply with electing Democratic majorities, or even a Democratic president. They let Democratic leaders clearly know their dismay with the timidity of the current Congress. Progressives are building a movement with independent capacity. They seek an enduring progressive majority, not a transitory majority of cautious Democrats. The old days when New Dems and Blue Dogs could champion the corporate and, often, Republican agenda with impunity are over. Joe Lieberman’s unhinged shroud demonstrates that. There is now an activist movement prepared to hold politicians of both parties accountable.


*****end of clip*****

Once elected or re-elected we must hold their feet to the fire because to actually represent the people (all of us) they have to hear from us or they have to guess about what to do and timidity lives in the land of guesses.

The progressive movement (all factions) has to be very aggressive and expansive. We cannot relent or let up even a little.


capt said...

New Thread

taxman said...

Defund Cheney's 4th branch of government.