Tag: Executive Branch

Aug 29

Torture: The Whole Truth and Nothng But the Truth

News that journalist James Foley was waterboarded before he was brutally beheaded by his ISIS captors should come as no surprise. It is past time that the United States come clean on its war crimes and release the entire 6300 page congressional report, unredacted and let the chips fall where they may.

What Charlie Pierce said:

Please, somebody, goddammit, just leak the damn report. All of it, CIA concerns be damned. Because now not only do we have a moral right and a moral duty to know everything that was done in our name, but we also have a national interest in determining to what extent the behavior of our government differed from the behavior of ISIS, besides the fact that (as far as we know) none of our captives were beheaded. That’s a pretty low bar for an evolved democracy, but there it is. I no longer care about phantom “national security” concerns. Fk the torturers and fk their enablers in Congress, and fk all redactors, and fk the pet lawyers and bureaucrats that made torture legal and acceptable. Let what’s going to happen to them happen. Let justice be done though the heavens fall and John Yoo loses his job. They opened the door to this, with their memos and their barely stifled giggles. They grafted sadism onto the Constitution. They taught ISIS its techniques. James Foley, a fellow Warrior, god rest his brave soul, was tortured before he was murdered using techniques that barbarians learned from the oh-so-civilized heroes of our National Security state. This is what we teach the world now. Are you guys proud? Does your heart swell in the faculty lounges and in the cozy think-tanks? Does it swell with pride at the impact you’ve had on the world?

How do you like your blue-eyed boy now, Mr. Death?

They had to be carefully taught.  

Apr 09

Part of Torture Report To Be Released, Someday

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

The Senate Intelligence Committee voted on Thursday. by 11 – 3, to declassify portions of a study into the Central Intelligence Agency’s use of torture on detainees suspected of being involved in terrorism.

CIA officers subjected some terrorism suspects the agency held after the Sept. 11 attacks to interrogation methods that were not approved by either the Justice Department or their own headquarters and illegally detained 26 of the 119 in CIA custody, the Senate Intelligence Committee has concluded in its still-secret report, McClatchy has learned.

The spy agency program’s reliance on brutal techniques _ much more abusive than previously known _ and its failure to gather valuable information from the detainees harmed the U.S.’s credibility, according to the committee’s findings in its scathing 6,300-page report on the CIA’s interrogation and detention program.

The agency also repeatedly misled the Justice Department while stymieing Congress’ and the White House’s efforts to oversee the secret and now-defunct program, McClatchy has learned.

In all, the committee came to 20 conclusions about the CIA’s harsh interrogation tactics after spending six years and $40 million evaluating the controversial program, which began during the Bush administration. [..]

The finding that 26 detainees were held without legal authorization and the confirmation that the CIA in some cases went beyond the techniques approved by the Justice Department might fuel legal challenges.

The committee may have approved the partial release but have deferred to the president to decide just what will be made public and when.

It’s unclear, however, precisely how the declassification process will unfold. The White House could directly oversee what should be released, given the tensions between the committee and the CIA over the report. Or the White House could cede even more control to the CIA, which could mean more details will be kept under wraps. [..]

Caitlin Hayden, a spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council, said the administration’s position “remains that the executive summary and the findings and conclusions of the final RDI (Rendition Detention and Interrogation) report should be declassified, with any appropriate redactions necessary to protect national security.”

She said she wouldn’t speculate on a timeframe for declassifying something the White House hasn’t yet received. Some expect the process to take months. [..]

Last week, Brennan indicated the agency’s direct involvement, saying that the “CIA will carry out the review expeditiously” once the committee sends it to the executive branch. [..]

The White House has been more involved than publicly acknowledged, however. For five years, the White House has been withholding more than 9,000 top-secret documents sought by the committee for its investigation, even though Obama hasn’t exercised a claim of executive privilege, McClatchy has reported.

Let’s be very clear what this is report reveals and some of the facts.

These are not state secrets. The report is an extensive investigation into the illegal activities of the CIA post 9/11. These are crimes against the state and humanity that the current Justice Department has refused to prosecute. Torture is a war crime.

The Senate does not need the President of the United States to make them public.

These are the facts about the CIA’s torture program and the executive branch cover up that has done more to disgrace this country and undermine the credibility, integrity, the laws and Constitution. Do no forget that as the Senate and the President continue this macabre dance to cover up these crimes.  

While I agree with Marcy Wheeler and others that those who voted to release that portion of the report deserves credit and is a step in the right direction,I will be greatly surprised if any part of the 6300 pages sees the light of day. Nor will any of those who authorized, justified, ordered or committed the crimes of torturing countless prisoners ever be brought to justice. The days of courageous acts like Senator Mike Gravel are long gone. The cover up will continue. That will be one of the blackest marks on the country, ever.

Jan 28

Sen. Murray: To Watch Repubs (T) “like a hawk”

So will I and many many Veterans Senator Murray, so will we!

The recent past is still fresh in the minds, the 108th and 109th Congresses and still ongoing two Wars of Choice, the ‘purple heart bandages’, the ‘magnetic ribbons’ {till they blew off} and lapel flag pins as well as the hate rhetoric which continues. The total lack of Demanding ‘Sacrifice’ from the Country especially in the just completed political campaign season as well as since the start of the 112th Congress. We will be watching, especially, the House, and your Senate colleagues “like a hawk” as well, we already started.  

Mar 02

Opinion Piece: Rahm and Obama

Photobucket

This is pure political punditry, iow, I’m bullshitting.

But what a perfect topic to bullshit over.  Not a completely unrewarded activity.

We’re somehow supposed to figure out how the folks in the Executive Branch are getting along, how many people working in the Executive Branch  other than President Obama are acting in such a way, politically, that their action affects our lives insofar as the politics of legislation and governance.

Now if we had some transparency in government, I suppose we could just find that out and move on.

Alas, we don’t.

So we are reduced to speculating about our Executive Branch.

Are we witnessing a power struggle?

Probably every day, given the culture of D.C.

So in my opinion (as after all this is an opinion piece), until we have some real, honest transparency in our government, we as citizen bloggers will have to publicly bumble around until we get the answers ourselves.  And we will, oh we will.

Ha!

Sep 15

DAV Virtual March on Washington

The March Has Begun

Welcome to the Virtual March on Washington for Veterans

“Million Claims March.”

Sep 02

American’s Unitary Executive, STILL a 4th Branch of Govt unto himself

Confirmed: Cheney’s Role in Approving Torture

Edward M. Gomez; SFGate, Dec 17 2008

“… Dick Cheney isn’t sorry about any of it.” In his ABC News interview he “betrayed no second thoughts – and certainly no remorse – about the policies pursued by the administration that he both served and, according to some, led.

Cheney’s dark side – and ours

Derrick Z. Jackson, Boston Globe Columnist, Sep 1, 2009

But Cheney’s role is an old, if still developing story. After all, he warned us five days after Sept. 11 that our government would work on the “dark side.” He told the late Tim Russert, “We’ve got to spend time in the shadows in the intelligence world. A lot of what needs to be done here will have to be done quietly, without any discussion, using sources and methods that are available to our intelligence agencies.” …

May 25

The Legacy of War — and Lessons Unlearned

In his farewell address to the nation after spending 8 years as president, in 1961 Eisenhower warns of a growing danger.

Eisenhower on the Military Industrial Complex



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…

Why would a respected President, set the sights so high, for his successors, and for America, as the dawn of the Television Age, blazed its path, towards an unknown Future?  

Aug 19

VA Hospitals Investigation

Disability Rights Advocates has been conducting an investigation into VA hospital access.

While their investigation is being targeted on the Veterans Care issue with the below recent report we can see that the Military Care issue, i.e. Walter Reed and More, is still having the same problems that finally came forward through great investigative reporting and shouldn’t have existed nor still exist as to care for the returning active duty Military Personal especially from these theaters of occupations.

Jun 06

Dem. ‘Keynote’ Convention Speaker

Who else would be better to be chosen as the ‘Keynote’ speaker at the Democratic Convention than one of those this country sent into a failed Foreign Policy Conflict and Occupation.

There are many to choose from, way too many, who have Sacrificed way too much for this country, but now that Senator Obama has made History and will Lead the Convention they need look no further than his own State.