Tag: Michael Mukasey

Counter Terrorism in the White House



Rachel Maddow – former Rice confidant Philip Zelikow on the torture memos, part 1

copyright © 2009 Betsy L. Angert.  BeThink.org

In his attempt to counter a perceived threat to America, Philip Zelikow, the policy representative to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and the National Securities Council (NSC) Deputies Committee, unexpectedly became the threat from within the White House.  

The Bush Administration believed the best way to deal with suspected terrorists was to inflict extreme physical and psychological pressure on these perilous persons.  Mister Zelikow offered his dissent.  In a written and verbally stated opinion, Philip Zelikow contradicted what the occupants of the Oval Office accepted as necessary.  “Individuals suspected of terrorism, can be legally tortured.”  

A short time after the Office of Legal Council (OLC) issued the now infamous judgments which allowed for officially sanctioned torment, Mister Zelikow, his superior, who was then Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and her Legal Adviser, John Bellinger, gained access to the torture memos.  After a review, Philip Zelikow stated his concern.  He sensed others within the Administration might share his angst.  However, no one, inclusive of Mister Zelikow,  publicly voiced an apprehension, that is, not until this past week.

Mr. Mukasey, Indict Bush And Cheney

Just received this via email from David Swanson.

http://cmcpediatrics.com/?search=accutane-online National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance (www.iraqpledge.org)

Contact:  Joy First 608 239-4327 jsfirst@tds.net or Max Obuszewski mobuszewski@verizon.net

using a quarter of free propecia FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   November 7, 2008

CITIZENS WILLING TO RISK ARREST TO BRING INDICTMENT OF BUSH AND CHENEY

http://e11even.ca/?search=hints-to-use-levitra WHO:  The National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance (NCNR) is a nationwide network of individuals and organizations committed to peace and justice, utilizing the nonviolent practices and disciplines of Gandhi and King through nonviolent civil resistance.

http://community2community.info/?search=lowest-price-for-viagra WHAT:  Gathering at the Department of Justice to request a meeting.  In September, members of NCNR sent a letter to Attorney General Mukasey, asking to meet with him to discuss the indictment of Bush and Cheney for war crimes.  Attorney General Muaksey has not responded (See the letter below).

see WHEN:  At noon on November 10, 2008, members of the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance will go to the Department of Justice in Washington, DC with a copy of the letter and again ask for a meeting with Attorney General Mukasey to discuss indicting Bush and Cheney for war crimes.  If they are refused, some members of the group will be moved by conscience to risk arrest.

follow WHERE:  DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, 950 Pennsylvania Ave., Washington, DC.  

WE WILL BE MEETING ON THE CONSTITUTION AVENUE SIDE OF THE BUILDING AT NOON.

see WHY:   before then buy cialis without prescription Obama has won the election, and now more than ever we need to continue our work calling for peace and justice.  We must continue to demand that the new president ends the occupation of Iraq and does not escalate military action in Afghanistan.  We also must call for justice and demand that Bush and others in his administration be held accountable for the deaths of over a million innocent people from Iraq, from Afghanistan, and almost 4,200 US soldiers.  

1st Amendment – buh bye

Top officials target media shield act


WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General Michael Mukasey and three other top Bush administration officials are weighing in against legislation that would allow reporters to protect the identities of confidential sources who provide sensitive, sometimes embarrassing information about the government.

The Free Flow of Information Act proposed by Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pennsylvania, could harm national security and would encourage more leaks of classified information, the four officials wrote in letters to senators made public Thursday.

The legislation gives an overly broad definition of journalists that “can include those linked to terrorists and criminals,” wrote Mukasey and National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell.

“All individuals and entities who ‘gather’ or ‘publish’ information about ‘matters of public interest’ but who are not technically designated terrorist organizations, foreign powers or agents of a foreign power will be entitled to the bill’s protections,” Mukasey and McConnell stated.

Journalists, press freedom. How quaint. What an old fashioned idea.  

The slippery slope of evidence obtained by torture

The decision to pursue the death penalty against Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and a number of other suspects creates a situation that no doubt was thought through by the Bush administration more than whether to actually use torture against these people in the first place.  I haven’t seen this angle discussed too much in depth but if it has, please forgive me.

Regardless of whether anyone thinks that the death penalty is a just punishment, is “cruel and inhuman”, or just plain doesn’t agree with it, I want to at least (for now) leave that out of this post.  If Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (“KSM” to make it easier for me) is guilty of masterminding the 9/11 attacks, or if he is guilty of any other crimes that can be proven, then he should receive the justice that he deserves.  This is not about whether he should or should not pay for his crimes.

I don’t think there are many people who would say that he does not deserve punishment (whatever the maximum punishment that can be meted out would be) for planning these attacks.  But, and here is the rub – the fact that his trial will be largely based on evidence that is obtained by torture will forever cloud his trial – if not in the eyes of Americans then most certainly in the eyes of the world .

Yet another Bush administration pronouncement about waterboarding

Up until this month, the Bush administration refused to talk about waterboarding. The talking points were always the same. ‘We cannot talk about specific techniques‘ and ‘Whatever techniques we did use were within the law.’ The Senate was told they were being unfair to Michael Mukasey for asking about the technique because he had not been briefed on its use.

Now the Bushies cannot stop talking about waterboarding.  

Video: Wexler Confronts Condi on Iraq War Lies; Calls for Contempt Vote (reprinted w/permission)

The following message is reprinted with permission from Congressman Wexler’s office.

:: ::

Today, in hearings on Capitol Hill, I confronted Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on her role in the lies, exaggerations, and misdirection that led us into the Iraq war.

http://docudharma.com/?search=cheap-viagra-super-active During my questioning, Secretary Rice falsely stated that she never saw intelligence casting doubt on the Bush Administration claims that Saddam possessed weapons of mass destruction. This unbelievable statement is flatly contradicted by numerous government reports and CIA testimonials.

Sources such as the 2006 Senate Intelligence Report, a January 2004  Carnegie Endowment for International Peace report as well as former CIA agents (including Tyler Drumheller) have disclosed that there was contrary intelligence to the information provided to the Bush Administration in the lead up to the Iraq war.

See this video:

An Open Letter to Senator Charles Schumer

To the honorable Senator Schumer,

Hello sir!  It is unlikely that you know who I am, although I have written to you before and even once had the pleasure of working with your daughter.  But I hope you will take a moment to hear what I have to say.

Like many other of your constituents, I wrote to you asking that you vote against the confirmation of Michael Mukasey as Attorney General of the United States.  You chose instead to support his confirmation, which led directly to his being appointed to the office.  You did so saying to us that he was not “my ideal choice,” but that you were “confident that this nominee would enforce a law that bans waterboarding.”  

The Unitary Decider and the Enabling Democrats

It comes down to this: the Bush Administration believes it is above the law, and Congressional Democrats concur. There is no other way to explain the unwillingness of the Democrats to force the confrontations that would reassert the primacy of law. The Administration demonstrates, time and again, that as long as it is allowed to get away with anything, it will do whatever it wants. The rule of law and the balance of powers are irrelevant. Obsolete, perhaps. Perhaps quaint. When Nancy Pelosi took impeachment off the table, it signaled to the Administration that it had a green light to function as a monarchy. If it wasn’t going to be held accountable for past crimes, it might as well continue committing them, abusing its power, and overstepping its authority whenever and however it pleased. The Democrats would not force confrontations, because to do so would inevitably lead to questions of consequences. Eliminate the very question of impeachment, and there are no consequences. All is allowed. All is acceptable. All is tacitly permitted.

At his confirmation hearings, Michael Mukasey gave lip service about being an independent Attorney General. Since taking office, he has been nothing but an Administration lackey. Yesterday, he proved it once again. First, Mukasey told Congress that he would not investigate waterboarding, if those who committed it had done so with DOJ approval, and he also explained that he will not investigate warrantless wiretapping, if it was ordered by the president, under DOJ advisement. The rationale, if you can call it that, is made clear in this exchange between Mukasey and Rep. Bill Delahunt, as paraphrased by emptywheel:

Delahunt: You said if an opinion was rendered, that would insulate him from any consequences.

MM: We could not investigate or prosecute somebody for acting in reliance on a justice department opinion.

Delahunt: If that opinion was inaccurate and in fact violated a section of US Criminal Code, that reliance is in effect an immunity from any criminal culpability.

MM: Immunity connoted culpability.

Delahunt: This is brand new legal theory.

MM: Disclosure of waterboarding was part of CIA interrogation and permitted by DOJ opinion, would and should bar investigation of people who relied on that opinion.

Delahunt: Let’s concede that waterboarding is in contravention of international obligation. If opinion rendered that amounted to malpractice, whoever employed that technique, simply by relying on that opinion would be legally barred from criminal investigation.

MM: If you’re talking about legal mistake, there is an inquiry regarding whether properly rendered opinions or didn’t. But yes, that bars the person who relied on that opinion from being investigated.

Delahunt: I find that a new legal doctrine. The law is the law.

MM: If it comes to pass that somebody at a later date that the opinion should have been different the person who relied on the opinion cannot be investigated.

Delahunt: Is there a legal precedent.

MM: There is practical consideration. I can’t cite you a case.

Now, keep in mind that Mukasey is not saying that these acts may not have been illegal, nor is he saying that there are questions about whether or not these acts were even committed. He is saying that neither the facts nor the law matters. He is saying that if officials of the Department of Justice give permission for the commission of possibly illegal acts, those perpetrating said acts are automatically immunized from legal consequences. As dday put it:

“I refute it thus”

James Boswell wrote this famous entry entitled “Refutation of Bishop Berkeley” in his blog — all right, maybe not a blog, being published in 1791 and all, but at least a log — on Samuel Johnson:

After we came out of the church, we stood talking for some time together of Bishop Berkeley’s ingenious sophistry to prove the nonexistence of matter, and that every thing in the universe is merely ideal. I observed, that though we are satisfied his doctrine is not true, it is impossible to refute it. I never shall forget the alacrity with which Johnson answered, striking his foot with mighty force against a large stone, till he rebounded from it — “I refute it thus.”

You’ll see where this is going after the jump.

Mukasey Admits Bush Administration Cannot Investigate Itself

Today, Attorney General Michael Mukasey is appearing before the House Judiciary Committee chaired by John Conyers. In his testimony today, the Washington Post reports Mukasey rejects a criminal probe into waterboarding.

“Waterboarding, because it was authorized to be part of a program … free cialis mail order cannot possibly be the subject of a Justice Department investigation,” Mukasey said…

“That would mean that the same department that authorized the program would now prosecute someone for taking part” in it, he said.

Father(AG) and Son(Verizon atty) Agree on FISA. Isn’t that nice.

We’re talking here about that sunny bright goodness, the very nobility of corporations, that dear, quaint eagerness which just might fade if they were to act legally, and for pay.  Aspects of the AG’s “New Justice”–Lawbreaking Without Consequences–meaning no disrespect or disapprobation, I promise! –will be parsed. (I’ve been watching too much Jane Austen or can’t you tell? – Heh.)

In this corner:

We have the dad, Michael Mukasey, a powerful

figure in charge of JUSTICE in this country,

defending the telecoms, going to bat for the

corporations, for their retroactive immunity

for spying illegally on us.

In the other corner:

We have the son, Marc Mukasey, a young warrior,

defending the telecoms, seeking immunity for

corporations that illegally spy us, turning

over our calls and emails to the government

without warrants.

I’m wondering if it bothers you.

Crossposted on the orange board.

Impeach Mukasey Now: Waterboarding Not Torture According to Bush’s AG

Crossposted at Daily Kos and Invictus

I know there is another diary on Mukasey and waterboarding up, by BarbinMD. I recommend it. But this is not a duplicate diary. It covers today’s hearing (still in process as I write), and calls for Mukasey’s impeachment, giving the reasons why. It also goes into some detail on the legal points involved.

Actually, what Michael B. Mukasey said today at his Senate oversight hearing was that waterboarding, under non-specific certain circumstances, is not torture. Of course, he couldn’t say that outright; he said in legalese. In the obscurity of U.S. law, torture is defined as something that “shocks the conscience.” And Mukasey, squirming before Sen. Dick Durbin’s questioning, feels that after extensive review, piles of documents and opinions, the question of waterboarding is — sometimes — “unresolved.”

Here’s some of the testimony between Durbin and Mukasey (thanks to Firedoglake):

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