Truly the most arrogant presidential adminstration since our founding, the Bush-Cheney war criminal regime and its cast of un-impeached, un-charged, un-convicted conspirators, co-conspirators, and a host of other enablers on both sides of the aisle who held the coats for them, our newly-elected democratic president, in "turning the page before reading the page" and "looking forward not backwards", by winking and nodding at their crimes, even aiding and abetting their escape from the long arm of justice, in effect made a deal with the Devil.
And when anyone deals with the Devil on his terms, there's always, always HELL to pay-with interest. He's worse than any loan shark that ever carried a little black book of debts, or whoever charged a point for his services. Because the price for accomodation and capitulation usually brings with it not just costs in treasure, but the Devil always gets his dues, his repayment in flesh and blood-and in the end he damns your mortal souls! A deal is a deal. And when he's deals for the House, he always collects! The other half of my opening follows. It was too long...
Wapo reported in a story that one of Bush's helpers paid the president a visit on Friday:
Former SoS Condi Rice, no doubt had other things on her mind than seeking a photo-op standing beside the president, trying to sell her new book. Like making sure the deal they struck stuck, giving them all--["I'm the Decider": GW Bush, "I am my own 4th Branch": Dick Cheney, "We don't condone torture" Condi Rice, "Here's the smoking gun" Colin Powell, "Our troops are fungible": Donald Rumsfeld, Gates, Wolfowitz, Armitage, Reagan's own "Salvadoran option" architect: John Negroponte, "Mr. Let's Bomb Iran and let God sort it out": John Bolton, "The torture memo" 3 stooges: JohnYoo, Jay Bybee & Steven Bradbury, David Addington, AG Gonzales, CIA Director George Tenet, et al]-- a lifetime get out of jail free card was still "unquaint and relevant", not unlike the Geneva Conventions General Article III, the Convention Against Torture(CAT) and the 1996 War Crimes Act, they so vehemently despised, they mollified them and nullified them with the stroke of a pen. Or so they thought.
But this isn't going away, not at least while I still breathe the air of a free man. Not on your life Mister Bush...
This what then SoS Rice said about Bush's use of torture. Look at her demeanor. Watch how her voice and lips tremble and quake in fear, like someone who is about to have the heavens fall upon their heads. Observe and learn:
Rachel Maddow interviews Newsweek reporter Michael Isikoff here in this video from her show on February 16, 2009, where Isikoff shows how very short our memories are.:
Even Obama's AG Eric Holder "agrees" that waterboarding is torture and stated here that 'nobody is above the law", that is unless you happen to be a war criminal named Bush. So why is Bush and his cohorts still getting a free pass? Don't tell me that the evidence proving war crimes is a state secret so vital to our national security, that to divulge its contents would so damage our "fragile" republic's life, that the very proof needed to convict must be hidden from our virgin eyes and ears at all costs.
The opinions from Yoo, Bybee and their boss Steven Bradbury may have been specifically crafted to reach the White Houses desired conclusions. If Isikoff is correct, the memos weren't legal guidance for the White House to follow - they were excuses and legal cover for the White House to get away with War Crimes.
If that's true - It could be prosecuted as "conspiracy" under the 1996 War Crimes Act, a US Statute that Bush tried with all of his power to de-claw in 2005(and he tried again in October, 2007), after the Abu Ghraib abuses of Jan. 13, 2004 became front page news and appearing front and center in everyone's living rooms across the globe:
Retroactive War Crime Protection Proposed
by Pete Yost
"The Bush administration drafted amendments to the War Crimes Act that would retroactively protect policymakers from possible criminal charges for authorizing any humiliating and degrading treatment of detainees, according to lawyers who have seen the proposal.
The move by the administration is the latest effort to deal with treatment of those taken into custody in the war on terror.
At issue are interrogations carried out by the CIA, and the degree to which harsh tactics such as water-boarding were authorized by administration officials. A separate law, the Uniform Code of Military Justice, applies to the military. The Washington Post first reported on the War Crimes Act amendments Wednesday.
One section of the draft would outlaw torture and inhuman or cruel treatment, but it does not contain prohibitions from Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions against "outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment." A copy of the section of the draft was obtained by The Associated Press.
The White House, without elaboration, said in a statement that the bill "will apply to any conduct by any U.S. personnel, whether committed before or after the law is enacted."
Ask your self these questions, Unless they knew that the torturous acts they performed were war crimes! If you didn't break any laws, why worry, right? Isn't that what they always tell us about secretly warrantlessly wiretapping us?
"The US War Crimes Act of 1996 makes it a felony to commit grave violations of the Geneva Conventions. The Washington Post recently reported that the Bush administration is quietly circulating draft legislation to eliminate crucial parts of the War Crimes Act. Observers on The Hill say the Administration plans to slip it through Congress this fall while there still is a guaranteed Republican majority--perhaps as part of the military appropriations bill, the proposals for Guantánamo tribunals or a new catch-all "anti-terrorism" package. Why are they doing it, and how can they be stopped?"
Here's the only thing that stood between Bush and his crew remaining free to torture and a life sitting behind bars in a 6X9 foot jail cell-or a date with the same judgment he gave Saddam for his crimes against humanity: the gallows!
From TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 118 > § 2441
§ 2441. War crimes
A) Torture.— The act of a person who commits, or conspires or attempts to commit, an act specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering (other than pain or suffering incidental to lawful sanctions) upon another person within his custody or physical control for the purpose of obtaining information or a confession, punishment, intimidation, coercion, or any reason based on discrimination of any kind.
(a) Offense.— Whoever, whether inside or outside the United States, commits a war crime, in any of the circumstances described in subsection (b), shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for life or any term of years, or both, and if death results to the victim, shall also be subject to the penalty of death.
Keith Olbermann skewers Bush here saying And if the fellow kossack is correct, then what does that make anyone who aids and abetts his escape from justice? An accessory after the fact-or a co-conspirator to obstruct justice? KO said:
"It is a fact startling in its cynical simplicity and it requires cynical and simple words to be properly expressed: The presidency of George W. Bush has now devolved into a criminal conspiracy to cover the ass of George W. Bush.
All the petulancy, all the childish threats, all the blank-stare stupidity; all the invocations of World War III, all the sophistic questions about which terrorist attacks we wanted him not to stop, all the phony secrets; all the claims of executive privilege, all the stumbling tap-dancing of his nominees, all the verbal flatulence of his apologists"...
I introduce Exhibit A and B:
Professor John C. Yoo, who is really a war criminal enabler passing himself off as an "attorney at law"--but is nothing short of a blood-sucking fraud and counterfeit legal scholar imo-- who is the co-author with one Viet Dinh, of the insidious Unitary Executive power-expanding, police-state enabling USA Patriot Act of 2001, submitted the two now infamous torture memos giving this president virtual carte blanche to over-step his authority and the Constitution; Yoo himself crossing forever the precipice of common decency by giving Bush legal cover, and turning the US into a war criminal rogue nation.
Here he outlines the permissible assaults in graphic detail, explaining how much torture, and the duration of the same is acceptable to which it seems they never found an "unacceptable" way to inflict injury or pain:
"Thirty pages into a memorandum discussing the legal boundaries of military interrogations in 2003, senior justice Department lawyer John C. Yoo tackled a question not often asked by American policymakers: Could the president, if he desired, have a prisoner's eyes poked out? Or, for that matter, could he have "scalding water, corrosive acid or caustic substance" thrown on a prisoner? How about slitting an ear, nose or lip, or disabling a tongue or limb? What about biting?
These assaults are all mentioned in a U.S. law prohibiting maiming, which Yoo parsed as he clarified the legal outer limits of what could be done to terrorism suspects as detained by U.S. authorities. The specific prohibitions, he said, depended on the circumstances or which "body part the statute specifies."
But none of that matters in a time of war, Yoo also said, because federal laws prohibiting assault, maiming and other crimes by military interrogators are trumped by the president's ultimate authority as commander in chief".
So according to Yoo, the president, who took an oath to "faithfully execute" the laws, can ignore those laws whenever he personally sees fit, in order to cover his own ass! What a crock!
"The dry discussion of U.S. maiming statutes is just one in a series of graphic, extraordinary passages in Yoo's 81-page memo, which was declassified this past week. No maiming is known to have occurred in U.S. interrogations, and the Justice Department disavowed the document without public notice nine months after it was written".
Justice "disavowed" it "nine months after it was written"? So they ignored it, trying to make it go away, like it never happened. "No maiming is known to have occurred"? No doubt he meant by anyone who mattered, who could do anything to stop them. Un-freakin-believable! They should've arrested him and hauled him away in cuffs right then and there!
"In the sober language of footnotes, case citations and judicial rulings, the memo explores a wide range of unsavory topics, from the use of mind-altering drugs on captives to the legality of forcing prisoners to squat on their toes in a "frog crouch."
It repeats an assertion in another controversial Yoo memo that an interrogation tactic cannot be considered torture unless it would result in "death, organ failure or serious impairment of bodily functions."
The last time I looked, waterboarding seems to "seriously impair" the "bodily function" of breathing by way of "organ failure", such as the lungs, which could potentially be fatal, meaning "resulting in death"! Apparently, nobody studies human anatomy or Biology 101 anymore.
"Yoo, who is now a law professor at the University of California at Berkeley, also uses footnotes to effectively dismiss the Fourth and Fifth amendments to the Constitution, arguing that protections against unreasonable search and seizure and guarantees of due process either do not apply or are irrelevant in a time of war. He frequently cites his previous legal opinions to bolster his case".
In short, Yoo is saying the president can unilaterally suspend the constitution by his own will! But isn't the stated purpose of war supposed to be to ensure that the constitution is supposedly preserved, and with it the blessings of our liberty?
Doesn't it seem just a little bit antithetical to the concept of "defending freedom" when, in order to defend it, you have to kill it first?
It's sort of like killing the host to save it from the parasite! If I didn't know better, I'd swear Yoo got his law degree out of a box of Cracker Jacks!
"Written opinions by the Office of Legal Counsel have the force of law within the government because its staff is assigned to interpret the meaning of statutory or constitutional language. Yoo's 2003 memo has evoked strong criticism from legal academics, human rights advocates and military-law experts, who say that he was wrong on basic matters of constitutional law and went too far in authorizing harsh and coercive interrogation tactics by the Defense Department.
"Having 81 pages of legal analysis with its footnotes and respectable-sounding language makes the reader lose sight of what this is all about," said Dawn Johnsen, an OLC chief during the Clinton administration who is now a law professor at Indiana University. "He is saying that poking people's eyes out and pouring acid on them is beyond Congress's ability to limit a president. It is an unconscionable document."
Yoo defends the memo as a "near boilerplate" argument in favor of presidential prerogatives, and says its fundamental assertions differ little from those made by previous presidents of both parties. In comments to The Washington Post and other news organizations, Yoo has also criticized the Justice Department for issuing new legal opinions that do not include detailed discussions of specific interrogation tactics, which he views as crucial to defining the boundaries of what is lawful.
"You have to draw the line," Yoo said in an Esquire Magazine interview posted online this past week. "What the government is doing is unpleasant. It's the use of violence. I don't disagree with that. But I also think part of the job unfortunately of being a lawyer sometimes is you have to draw those lines. I think I could have written it in a much more -- we could have written it in a much more palatable way, but it would have been vague."
So by "drawing the line", Yoo is saying in his official capacity as a principal advisor to the Bush/Cheney adminstration, that it is a "boiler plate argument"--meaning it's defensible in a court of law--maybe in a kangaroo court under the MCA, or a show trial in the Third Reich, but not in any other court of the law in the civilized world, but here--that it is perfectly legal for them to "poke people's eyes out and pour acid on them" and that it is "beyond Congress' ability to limit a president".
So in Yoo's own words, it's legal to torture and to suspend the constitutional rights of detainees held in our captivity as long as its in a time of war(which in Bush's case means ipso facto we're always in a perpetual "state of war"), and as long as the Commander-in-Chief gives the orders.
So if the potus is the only one who can legally authorize torture, doesn't it make it just a little difficult for Bush-or Obama, to claim plausible deniability-or for Obama to give-up so much unbridled executive power? i warned you all this was coming if we failed to impeach Bush-Cheney, but no. "Impeachment would interfere with our Dem agenda"!
Pelosi even stated that "the Constitution was worth it only if we succeed"!
"The 2003 memo includes long discussions of the relative illegality of a wide variety of coercive interrogation tactics, including a British technique in which prisoners are forced to stand in a spread-eagle position against a wall and an Israeli technique, called the Shabach, in which a suspect is hooded, strapped to a chair and subjected to powerfully loud music.
Various courts had declared both tactics to be inhumane, but not torture, Yoo noted. This meant that they were illegal under a provision of the Geneva Conventions that the administration said had no relevance to unlawful combatants in its custody."
So the Geneva Conventions aren't totally "quaint or irrelevent" as they first told us after all, just when it applies to "inhumane" treatment, or (in their own subjective opinions) torture to "unlawful combatants in its custody". I guess that means the acts of barbarism the Iraqis were dealt at Abu Ghraib aren't covered, just because Yoo & Bush says so?
"In another passage, discussing the bounds of Eighth Amendment protections involving confinement conditions, Yoo concluded that "the clothing of a detainee could also be taken away for a period of time without necessarily depriving him of a basic human need." Yoo cited the need to prove "malice or sadism" on the part of an interrogator before he or she could be prosecuted.
The interrogation memo was considered a binding opinion for nine months until December 2003, when OLC chief Jack Goldsmith told the Defense Department to ignore the document's analysis".
Gee whiz, I wonder why? You'd think they might be trying to cover their asses...again!
"In his 2007 book "The Terror Presidency," Goldsmith, who now teaches law at Harvard University, said that some of the memos written by Yoo and his colleagues from 2001 to 2003 were "deeply flawed: sloppily reasoned, overbroad, and incautious in asserting extraordinary constitutional authorities on behalf of the President."
ouglas W. Kmiec, a Pepperdine University law professor who served as constitutional legal counsel for Presidents Ronald Reagan and George HW Bush said Yoo can be faulted "for not writing more narrowly." It is often better to "brush in hazy gray" rather than "spray paint in black and white," Kmiec said".
Sounds like Yoo's contemporaries don't share a very high opinion of his legal acumen: "deeply flawed: sloppily reasoned, overbroad, and incautious in asserting extraordinary constitutional authorities on behalf of the President."
I don't know, but maybe he did get his law degree out of a Cracker Jacks box after all!
Georgetown law professor and former OLC, Marty Lederman writes about the lawyers who advised the principals of Hitler's Reich who faced the war crimes tribunals for doing the very same thing Yoo advised Bush to do here:
"And, surely, the most prominent and substantial historical precedent here is the Justice Case in the Nuremberg tribunals, in which the U.S. itself led the prosecution of several Nazi Ministry of Justice officials -- government lawyers -- for their involvement in the execution of the infamous "Nacht und Nebel," or "Night and Fog," decrees.
The Justice Case is often invoked as an historical analogy for the criminal culpability of Bush Administration lawyers. Like many others, therefore, I have been wondering whether that is in fact a fair analogy. What was it, exactly, that the U.S. prosecutors claimed the German lawyers did to deserve criminal punishment?
Was it, for instance (as some have suggested), that the lawyers advised German officials that the "Nacht und Nebel" decrees were lawful under German domestic law, while failing to also tell their government clients that the decrees would nevertheless violate the laws of war and constitute crimes against humanity?
If so, then perhaps the Justice Case might have a lot to say about our current situation, because...
John Yoo, et al., in effect advised the President that he could authorize torture and like conduct under domestic law, and further informed him that he could, at least as a matter of domestic law, simply ignore the laws of war".
So Yoo, condemned by the words out of his own lips, takes it upon himself to advise the president to march America down heretofore uncharted, because it was forbidden territory, that he can "authorize torture" and "ignore the rules of war"! Hitler had his "final solution". The Japs had their Bataan Death march. And Bush has his Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay.
This is but a small sample among the thousands of captured documents that were used as prima facie evidence to prosecute the surviving Nazis and their enabling lawyers at Nuremberg, I am using to help illustrate the mindset of the German Reich, as WWII drew to a conclusion:
TRIALS OF WAR CRIMINALS BEFORE THE NUERNBERG MILITARY TRIBUNALS UNDER CONTROL COUNCIL LAW NO. 10, Vol. III, Case No. 3, The "Justice Case", United States against Josef Altstoetter, et al. (1947); available at the Mazal Library.
TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT 1964-PS
1942 REICHSGESETZBLATT, PAGE 535
Decree of the Fuehrer regarding special jurisdiction of Reich Minister of Justice 20 Aug 1942.
Fuehrer Supreme Headquarters 20 August 1942
Reich Minister and Chief of Reich Chancellery
Sounds familiar, doesn't it?
Now let's start putting the pieces together, and begin to understand that this criminal conspiracy to commit war crimes goes directly to the top of this Bush/Cheney administration.
There's copious amounts of links proving that everyone in the Bush inner-circle knew then, what we in America were lied to about so many times, that torture was authorized by the president on down, with foreknowledge and premeditation, all the way up & down his chain of command. "Plausible deniability"? Nobody in either administration has clean hands now.
Not according to this article Condi Rice chaired the meetings where torture was planned down to the specific CIA agents who would do the dirty deeds:
Sources: Top Bush Advisors Approved 'Enhanced Interrogation'
Detailed Discussions Were Held About Techniques to Use on al Qaeda Suspects
By JAN CRAWFORD GREENBURG, HOWARD L. ROSENBERG and ARIANE de VOGUE
April 9, 2008
Highly placed sources said a handful of top advisers signed off on how the CIA would interrogate top al Qaeda suspects -- whether they would be slapped, pushed, deprived of sleep or subjected to simulated drowning, called waterboarding.
The high-level discussions about these "enhanced interrogation techniques" were so detailed, these sources said, some of the interrogation sessions were almost choreographed -- down to the number of times CIA agents could use a specific tactic. The advisers were members of the National Security Council's Principals Committee, a select group of senior officials who met frequently to advise President Bush on issues of national security policy.
At the time, the Principals Committee included Vice President Cheney, former National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Colin Powell, as well as CIA Director George Tenet and Attorney General John Ashcroft.
It is plain to see then, that Bush's top advisors participated in decision-making process. The late, great "Lion of the Senate" Sen. Ted Kennedy spoke out against waterboarding and Mukasey's nomination for AG here, saying "When we fail to reject waterboarding, this is the company that we keep'.
"...Like many of my colleagues and many American citizens, I am deeply troubled by Judge Mukasey’s evasive answers about the legality of certain techniques of torture.
While the nominee acknowledges that torture is unconstitutional, he has repeatedly refused to acknowledge that the controlled drowning of a prisoner, waterboarding, rises to the level of torture.
What is the big mystery here? Over and over again, civilian and military tribunals have found waterboarding to be an unacceptable act of torture.
My concerns began with Judge Mukasey's answers to our questions about waterboarding. Waterboarding is a barbaric practice in which water is poured down the mouth and nose of a detainee to simulate drowning.
In the fifteenth and sixteenth century, it was used by interrogators in the Spanish Inquisition. In the nineteenth century, it was used against slaves in this country. In World War II, it was used against us by Japan. In the 1970s, it was used against political opponents by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia and the military dictatorships of Chile and Argentina. Today, it’s being used against pro-democracy activists by the rulers of Burma.
Make no mistake about it: waterboarding is already illegal under United States law. It’s illegal under the Geneva Conventions, which prohibit outrages upon personal dignity, including cruel, humiliating and degrading treatment.
It’s illegal under the Torture Act, which prohibits acts specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering.
It’s illegal under the Detainee Treatment Act, which prohibits cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. And it violates the Constitution.
The nation's top military lawyers and legal experts across the political spectrum have condemned waterboarding as torture. And after World War II, the United States prosecuted -- prosecuted -- Japanese officers for engaging in waterboarding.
What more does this nominee need to enforce existing laws?
It is the job of the Attorney General to enforce our Constitution laws. The Attorney General must have the legal and moral judgment to know when an activity rises to the level of a violation of our Constitution, treaties or statutes. But this nominee wants to outsource his job to Congress. That passing of the buck is completely unacceptable by a nominee who wants to be the highest justice official in our country".
Is anyone listening?
President Obama? AG Holder? Congress? Senate?
Does anybody care?
No wonder Bush is asking everybody, "Miss me yet"? No wonder Cheney crows, "Yeah, we tortured. Whatcha gonna do 'bout it? No wonder Condi Rice walks into the Whitehouse smiling broadly with her new book in hand, and has nothing but kudos and accolades for the same man who promised to investigate and prosecute them if he found that they broke the law, that is until he got elected and assumed power. Now he's singing a different tune called "The Fix, the fix is in"! And I'm not buying the CD!