Monday, July 9, 2007

Now He Tells Us

From the London Times:

THE former American secretary of state Colin Powell has revealed that he spent 2 1/2 hours vainly trying to persuade President George W Bush not to invade Iraq and believes today's conflict cannot be resolved by US forces.

"I tried to avoid this war," Powell said at the Aspen Ideas Festival in Colorado. "I took him through the consequences of going into an Arab country and becoming the occupiers."

Powell has become increasingly outspoken about the level of violence in Iraq, which he believes is in a state of civil war. "The civil war will ultimately be resolved by a test of arms," he said. "It's not going to be pretty to watch, but I don't know any way to avoid it. It is happening now."

He added: "It is not a civil war that can be put down or solved by the armed forces of the United States." All the military could do, Powell suggested, was put "a heavier lid on this pot of boiling sectarian stew."

A simple question: why didn't Powell tell the American public this before the 2004 election. If Powell believed the war was wrong and that Bush had ignored important advice before invading Iraq, he had a duty--perhaps a patriotic duty--to let his fellow citizens know this. And another question: only two and a half hours? That's less time than a football game.

Posted by David Corn at July 9, 2007 11:27 AM


capt said...

Mr. David Corn,

"why didn't Powell tell the American public this before the 2004 election."

Simple answer: Powell put power and party before flag and country. Like all of the other GOPhers and warmongers Colin Powell is a traitor plain and simple.



Hajji said...

I has become obvious that all the men and women who are coming forth to speak out, at this late date, are trying to retrieve some shred of respect, credibility and/or political future.

For Powell, it is for naught.

The only thing he can hope for is to save his blackened soul.

I think that is a lost cause, too.


capt said...

One can only lose their reputation once - after that complete freedom from reality.


micki said...

Colin Powell cannot rehabilitate his reputation.

His reputation was tarnished as far back as My Lai, then he dirtied and sullied himself into moral ruin when he chose to stand with his evil patrons, no matter what.

When Caspar Weinberger took him as his boy, Colin Powell was on the path to ruination.

He's a fraud.

micki said...

Powell is good at pleasing his bosses. He is a consummate team player, ready to haul water for his patrons even if he has contrarian feelings to their goals.

I repeat. A fraud!

capt said...

"I took him through the consequences of going into an Arab country and becoming the occupiers."

becoming the occupiers

Quite the admission that.

They KNEW darn well we were to become occupiers. That was a given so they all KNEW they were lying.


capt said...

Meaning of "High Crimes and Misdemeanors"

The question of impeachment turns on the meaning of the phrase in the Constitution at Art. II Sec. 4, "Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors". I have carefully researched the origin of the phrase "high crimes and misdemeanors" and its meaning to the Framers, and found that the key to understanding it is the word "high". It does not mean "more serious". It refers to those punishable offenses that only apply to high persons, that is, to public officials, those who, because of their official status, are under special obligations that ordinary persons are not under, and which could not be meaningfully applied or justly punished if committed by ordinary persons.

Under the English common law tradition, crimes were defined through a legacy of court proceedings and decisions that punished offenses not because they were prohibited by statutes, but because they offended the sense of justice of the people and the court. Whether an offense could qualify as punishable depended largely on the obligations of the offender, and the obligations of a person holding a high position meant that some actions, or inactions, could be punishable if he did them, even though they would not be if done by an ordinary person.

Offenses of this kind survive today in the Uniform Code of Military Justice. It recognizes as punishable offenses such things as refusal to obey orders, abuse of authority, dereliction of duty, moral turpitude, and conduct unbecoming. These would not be offenses if committed by a civilian with no official position, but they are offenses which bear on the subject's fitness for the duties he holds, which he is bound by oath or affirmation to perform.

Perjury is usually defined as "lying under oath". That is not quite right. The original meaning was "violation of one's oath (or affirmation)".

The word "perjury" is usually defined today as "lying under oath about a material matter", but that is not its original or complete meaning, which is "violation of an oath". We can see this by consulting the original Latin from which the term comes. From An Elementary Latin Dictionary, by Charlton T. Lewis (1895), Note that the letter "j" is the letter "i" in Latin.

periurium, i, n,, a false oath, perjury.

periurus , adj., oath-breaking, false to vows, perjured. iuro, avi, atus, are, to swear, take an oath.

iurator, oris , m., a swearer.

iuratus , adj., sworn under oath, bound by an oath.

ius, iuris , that which is binding, right, justice, duty.

per , ... IV. Of means or manner, through, by, by means of, ... under pretense of, by the pretext of, ....

By Art. II Sec. 1 Cl. 8, the president must swear: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." He is bound by this oath in all matters until he leaves office. No additional oath is needed to bind him to tell the truth in anything he says, as telling the truth is pursuant to all matters except perhaps those relating to national security. Any public statement is perjury if it is a lie, and not necessary to deceive an enemy.

When a person takes an oath (or affirmation) before giving testimony, he is assuming the role of an official, that of "witness under oath", for the duration of his testimony. That official position entails a special obligation to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, and in that capacity, one is punishable in a way he would not be as an ordinary person not under oath. Therefore, perjury is a high crime.

An official such as the president does not need to take a special oath to become subject to the penalties of perjury. He took an oath, by Art. II Sec. 1 Cl. 8, to "faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States" and to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States" to the best of his ability. While he holds that office, he is always under oath, and lying at any time constitutes perjury if it is not justified for national security.

Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr erred in presenting in his referral only those offenses which could be "laid at the feet" of the president. He functioned like a prosecutor of an offense against criminal statutes that apply to ordinary persons and are provable by the standards of "proof beyond a reasonable doubt". That is not to say that such offenses are not also high crimes or misdemeanors when committed by an official bound by oath. Most such offenses are. But "high crimes and misdemeanors" also includes other offenses, applicable only to a public official, for which the standard is "preponderance of evidence". Holding a particular office of trust is not a right, but a privilege, and removal from such office is not a punishment. Disablement of the right to hold any office in the future would be a punishment, and therefore the standards of "proof beyond a reasonable doubt" would apply before that ruling could be imposed by the Senate.

It should be noted, however, that when an offense against a statute is also a "high crime or misdemeanor", it may be, and usually is, referred to by a different name, when considered as such. Thus, an offense like "obstruction of justice" or "subornation of perjury" may become "abuse of authority" when done by an official bound by oath. As such it would be grounds for impeachment and removal from office, but would be punishable by its statutory name once the official is out of office.

An executive official is ultimately responsible for any failures of his subordinates and for their violations of the oath he and they took, which means violations of the Constitution and the rights of persons. It is not necessary to be able to prove that such failures or violations occurred at his instigation or with his knowledge, to be able, in Starr's words, to "lay them at the feet" of the president. It is sufficient to show, on the preponderance of evidence, that the president was aware of misconduct on the part of his subordinates, or should have been, and failed to do all he could to remedy the misconduct, including termination and prosecution of the subordinates and compensation for the victims or their heirs. The president's subordinates include everyone in the executive branch, and their agents and contractors. It is not limited to those over whom he has direct supervision. He is not protected by "plausible deniability". He is legally responsible for everything that everyone in the executive branch is doing.

Therefore, the appropriate subject matter for an impeachment and removal proceeding is the full range of offenses against the Constitution and against the rights of persons committed by subordinate officials and their agents which have not been adequately investigated or remedied. The massacre at Waco, the assault at Ruby Ridge, and many, many other illegal or excessive assaults by federal agents, and the failure of the president to take action against the offenders, is more than enough to justify impeachment and removal from office on grounds of dereliction of duty. To these we could add the many suspicious incidents that indicate covered up crimes by federal agents, including the suspicious deaths of persons suspected of being knowledgeable of wrongdoing by the president or others in the executive branch, or its contractors.

The impeachment and removal process should be a debate on the entire field of proven and suspected misconduct by federal officials and agents under this president, and if judged to have been excessive by reasonable standards, to be grounds for removal, even if direct complicity cannot be shown.


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

It makes sense the “high crimes” should mean the bar is set higher for high offices - not lower. And the line: “An executive official is ultimately responsible for any failures of his subordinates and for their violations of the oath he and they took, which means violations of the Constitution and the rights of persons. ” is right on.


gerald said...

I have said it before and I will say it again. Colin Powell is a lapdog for the Bushites. He is a poor excuse for a general.


capt said...

Thousand-Year-Old Chilies Spiced Up Ancient Mexican Cuisine

Plethora of dried peppers rounds out the ancient roots of modern Mexican staples

Ancient cooks living in what is now the valley of Oaxaca in Mexico could have taught even Bobby Flay a thing or two, it seems. Dried out remains of chili peppers from two Oaxacan caves reveal that people of the region used at least 10 different varieties of fresh and dried chilies between 5,00 and 1,500 years ago.

"If you've got seven different kinds of peppers, if you're using them fresh and you're using them dried, you've got some interesting food," says archaeobotanist Linda Perry of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.

She says that together with other plant remains found in the area, including maize (corn), beans, squash, avocados and the cactus like agave, the result confirms that "all the components of what we call modern Mexican cuisine, we've got them all in the past."

Perry examined 122 chili fragments and stems excavated 30 years ago from the arid Guilé Naquitz Cave and Silvia's Cave near the Mitla River in southern Mexico. Uncovered by her colleague Kent Flannery of the University of Michigan Museum of Anthropology in Ann Arbor, the well-preserved remains dated from A.D. 600 to 1521 when area natives began settling in cities and growing crops, using the caves as overnight shelter during the harvest.

Perry distinguished seven cultivated varieties, or cultivars, from Guila Naquitz and three from Silvia's Cave based on the shapes and sizes of the stems, according to a paper published online today by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA.

She assigned them to two of the five species domesticated in the Americas, Capsicum frutescens and Capsicum annuum, members of which include the jalapeno, serrano, ancho and Tabasco. Some of the chilies resembled modern Tabasco and cayenne peppers, Perry says, but she adds it would take DNA testing to sort out the relationships between the ancient plants and modern ones.

Whole stems were probably pulled from fresh chilies, perhaps for ancient salsa or seasoning, whereas ripped pepper fragments may represent dried chilies used for stews and sauces, says Perry, who experimented at home by pulling off the stems of modern peppers.

Starch grains from the chilies were relatively large with a distinctive round, dimpled shape characteristic of domesticated chilies, she adds.

Domesticated Mexican chilies date to 6,000 years ago, but the new analysis marks the earliest evidence of diverse chilies, Perry says. "It's just a really nice indication," she says, "of an ancient and rich heritage of cuisine and agriculture in this region."


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

New Mexico is famous for our peppers/chilies.


gerald said...

Let's End the Big Lie Now

gerald said...

She personifies a typical American

David B. Benson said...

This is a shipwreck.

David B. Benson said...

Of the Ship of Fools.

gerald said...

The greatest stumbling blocs for Catholicism are Catholics

Hajji said...

Pentagon correspondent Jim Miklaszewski, on NBC nightly news tonight reports that the Army's ever-sinking recruiting numbers are due, in large part to the "Mommy Syndrome" when parents do "anything and everything to keep their children from joining".

While "Mommy Syndrome" was spoken with a sarcastic tone, it is good to know that the Mothers and families are waking up, at least when Bush's nightmare comes close to creeping into THEIR dreams.

Many speculate that the lack of "boots on the ground" is all that has kept BushCheney from invading Iran, so far.


Hajji said...

In a loosely related note, NBC Nightly News will air Tuesday or Wednesday a segment on The Nature Conservancy of the Florida Keys effort to preserve coral reefs.

Megan, Katie's co-worker will be featured. Katie said she tried hard to not get on camera (shyeah, right!) but might show up in a shot or two.

One of the programs that they've been involved in has been farming staghorn coral to transplant it in areas that have been subject to bleaching by pollution and water temperature increases.

I'll be down there at the end of July to check up on 'em! (and will serve my nation and the planet by keeping lots of frozen drinks with little umbrellas in them from falling into the hands of the "evildoers")


uncledad said...

"If Powell believed the war was wrong and that Bush had ignored important advice before invading Iraq, he had a duty--perhaps a patriotic duty--to let his fellow citizens know this."

Mr. Corn, you are making the false assumption that Powell or any of the C-student in Chief's underlings are patriotic? They couldn't be any farther from that state of mind.

A friend of mine sent me some awesome bumper stickers today, not sure how to order them but here's what they look like:

Assume the Position

I have proudly attached to my work truck, it should be interesting when I show up for a job at a BP refinery tomorrow!

uncledad said...

bad link?

David B. Benson said...

Speaking of bumper stickers, around here there is a car with a sticker which reads:

Fasten your seat belt!
It makes it harder for the aliens to suck you out of your car.

Hajji said...

Senator's Number on 'Madam' Phone List

By Shailagh Murray
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, July 10, 2007; Page A03

Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) apologized last night after his telephone number appeared in the phone records of the woman dubbed the "D.C. Madam," making him the first member of Congress to become ensnared in the high-profile case.

The statement containing Vitter's apology said his telephone number was included on phone records of Pamela Martin and Associates dating from before he ran for the Senate in 2004.

The service's proprietor, Deborah Jeane Palfrey, 51, faces federal charges of racketeering for allegedly running a prostitution ring out of homes and hotel rooms in the Washington area. Authorities say the business netted more than $2 million over 13 years beginning in 1993. Palfrey contends that her escort service was a legitimate business.

"This was a very serious sin in my past for which I am, of course, completely responsible," Vitter, 46, said in a statement, which his spokesman, Joel DiGrado, confirmed to the Associated Press.

"Several years ago, I asked for and received forgiveness from God and my wife in confession and marriage counseling," Vitter continued. "Out of respect for my family, I will keep my discussion of the matter there -- with God and them. But I certainly offer my deep and sincere apologies to all I have disappointed and let down in any way."


Will he resign? Who would likely replace him? Will his previous assertions that the allegation was "absolutely and completely untrue" and dismissed it as "just crass Louisiana politics" feel "Clintonian" to his constiuents or since he never said it "under oath" will he be not held accountable for his lies?

Tune in tomorrow for the next episode of "As the Worm Turns"....

Hajji said...

Gonna be about 96-degrees here today.

Up at sunrise...mucked the pens and got Pabla's hooves trimmed.

Now to grab a cooler full of high-gravity IPA's, (recently made legal in SC) some cheese, fruit and crackers and find a WATERFALL to sit under for the rest of the day.


capt said...

New Thread