Friday, July 07, 2006

An Interesting Development


Thanks to Nemo for pointing this out via Truthout:

Rumsfeld Subpoenaed Over Abu Ghraib

Peter Urban
Conneticut Post

WASHINGTON A Congressional committee subpoenaed Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Friday at the request of U.S. Rep. Christopher Shays.

Shays, R-4, sought the subpoena after the Pentagon refused to answer questions regarding allegations that an Army whistleblower faced retaliation for discussing abuses at the Abu Ghraib prison.

Shays, chairman of the House Government Reform subcommittee on national security, is investigating allegations made by Army Spec. Samuel Provance that his attempts to provide information to investigators about prison abuses were rebuffed and that he then was retaliated against for providing unclassified information to the media.

Seems Rummy and crew are stonewalling this investigation. Gosh, I wonder if they have something to hide?

This is important for two reasons:

1. This is, once again, the "inner circle" of the all-powerful executive branch thumbing it's nose at the rule of law that all of us mere mortals have to live under.

2. This is how it will happen. If, and I mean big effing if, there is ever to be a return to at least a semblance of the checks and balances that are supposed to keeps us from a monarchy, this is the way it's going to have to happen. With congressional subpoena power to look into the myriad nooks and crannies where this administration has hidden it's tons of dirt. I am not in the least optimistic because Congress has shown itself to be filled (mostly) with craven weasels, and a simple shift of control in November isn't likely to be a cure for cowardice.

I desperately hope they prove me wrong.

Oh, and Representative Shays, watch your back. These boys play for keeps.


Anonymous ML said...

This sounds like an amazing development. Before I jump up and down, let me temper the mood by recalling the 8 month blogfest anticipating Merry Fitzmas. Not quite the holiday celebration it was blogged up to be. Suggest waiting to see how it pans out before celebrating prematurely. But we always have hope.

Fri Jul 07, 08:29:00 PM  
Blogger Again said...

But we always have hope.

and i guess, you can have hope - there are so many similarities with Nazi-Germany or (worse??) the French Absolutism, that it is breath-taking, but there are also quite hopeful differences

like you, robert and nemo, e.g - and IMHO - that's the most significant part

yes, the American Aristocracy worked for years now (and for billions of dollars) to reconfigure America - but until now HALF of the Americans are not convinced and more and more of them does feel attacked, there is the fact (in difference to Nazi-Germany and France) that the population (mostly) is quite wealthy, not starving - and that the Americans are USED to freedom, alas, sometimes so much, that they no longer care about - but used to. If you want to enslave them you have to work against their "native customs" - and last not least there is the internet...

where people can SEE that they are not alone - where people like you robert and nemo can find kindred spirits such KNOWING that the typical argumention of the slaveholders and their "horse" - "ALL do this and that except for you alone" (therefore using the inherent instinct of grouping) - is simply wrong

yes, cancer is mostly lethal - but i guess, there is so much strength in America, that you can nourish hope that she is the exceptional case...

Sat Jul 08, 01:28:00 AM  
Anonymous Nemo said...

Well, if you want to see a REAL "eye-opener": Bush Told Cheney to Discredit Diplomat Critical of Iraq Policy ==== President George Bush directed his vice-president, Dick Cheney, to take personal charge of a campaign to discredit a former ambassador who had accused the administration of twisting prewar intelligence on Iraq, it emerged yesterday. ==== The revelation by the National Journal, a respected weekly political magazine, that Mr Bush took a personal interest in countering damaging allegations by the former ambassador, Joe Wilson, reveals a White House that was extraordinarily sensitive to any criticism of its prewar planning. It also returns the focus of the criminal investigation into the outing of a CIA agent to the White House only weeks after the senior aide Karl Rove was told he would not face prosecution. ==== The Journal said Mr Bush made the admission in a July 24 2004 interview in the Oval Office with the special prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald, who is leading the investigation into the outing of the CIA agent, Valerie Plame. Ms Plame is married to Mr Wilson, who says her cover was broken in retaliation after he accused the administration of knowingly using false information on Saddam Hussein's weapons programme. ... ==== [So how is it this admission, initially voiced in July *2004*, has taken TWO YEARS (and an intervening "election") to reach the light of day, as Bush continued to feign complete ignorance of the smear campaign and Fitzgerald pursued mere underlings?? The Liar-in-Chief -- who initially claimed "we'd" probably never know who was behind this -- was HIMSELF directly behind it! He *personally* ordered the attacks against Joe Wilson, officially designating him a "target". So it matters not in the LEAST whether Bush *specifically* ordered Plame's exposure, though that could very well be the case, despite the "denial". Duhbya deliberately "unleashed the dogs of war" on Wilson! And as the saying goes, "All's fair in love and war" -- a wink is every bit as good as a nod to a political "hit man", as Bush would undoubtedly know.]

Sat Jul 08, 04:48:00 AM  
Anonymous Nemo said...

Regarding the Rumsfeld subpoena, I personally believe the significance here is as much in the act itself as in the eventual outcome. What we're witnessing -- for perhaps the very *first* time under the "iron fist" of the Bush Junta -- is members of that "co-equal", Legislative Branch of government genuinely *acting* as co-equals. Perhaps more importantly, the legislators directly responsible for activating the subpoena power are themselves Republicans, a fact which clearly reveals the serious fractures developed in the previously "impervious" GOP wall of partisan solidarity. For the past FIVE YEARS, under Republican domination, Congressional oversight of this Executive Branch has been virtually *non-existent", blocked at every turn by the heavies of the Bush junta's Congressional wing. That has clearly been overturned now, due ultimately to the cooperation of members of the "Fuehrer's" own party. Whatever the outcome, this move stands in its own right as a long-needed step forward. And it will likely not be the last such challenge to this would-be Imperial presidency. The writing is on the wall. ==== Regarding the "Merry Fitzmas" fiasco, I never bought into that frenzied enthusiasm myself. Fitzgerald, after all, was a hand-picked Ashcroft appointee, NOT a legitimate, *independent* Special Prosecutor empowered by the Congress. And, whatever his inner motivations, his hands were clearly tied from the very beginning by the terms of his "franchise". (At one point the Republicans even sought to abort his investigations outright, employing the ruse that he had "exceeded his mandate" -- a procedural challenge that could well have prevailed.) ==== But this action by Congress -- though merely a "squeak" thus far -- neverthelesss represents a significant step toward the autonomy needed to *have* any true "checks and balances".And as Robert said, this *is* how it begins, when it begins -- barring an outright revolution. It was the issuing of subpoenas for Nixon's tapes that ultimately led to his downfall. Without that demand, his inflated notions of "Executive Privilege" would have persisted to this day, and his criminal treachery would never have been revealed. ==== Perhaps I've been "down so long that it looks like up to me". But I'm going to resist the temptation to perceive a "dark lining" in this particular "silver cloud". It's certainly better than nothing -- and nothing is ALL we got for the past several years!

Sat Jul 08, 06:37:00 AM  
Anonymous ML said...

Regarding the Rumsfeld subpoena, I personally believe the significance here is as much in the act itself as in the eventual outcome.

Yes indeed.

Sat Jul 08, 10:12:00 AM  
Anonymous Nemo said...

Another development, similar in tenor to the Rumsfeld subpoena. Obviously, Pete Hoekstra is NO "Chris Shays"! He's been decidedly in Bush's "corner" throughout most of these damning revelations of presidential lawlessness Yet he too has now grown indignant about this administration's audacious secrecy and its perpetual stonewalling of the Congress. ==== When even traditionally staunch supporters of the Bush Regime become visibly agitated, it's clearly a portent of things to come: Ally Warned Bush on Keeping Spying From Congress [The New York Times; Sunday 09 July 2006] ==== In a sharply worded letter to President Bush in May, an important Congressional ally charged that the administration might have violated the law by failing to inform Congress of some secret intelligence programs and risked losing Republican support on national security matters. ==== The letter from Representative Peter Hoekstra of Michigan, the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, did not specify the intelligence activities that he believed had been hidden from Congress. ==== But Mr. Hoekstra, who was briefed on and supported the National Security Agency's domestic surveillance program and the Treasury Department's tracking of international banking transactions, clearly was referring to programs that have not been publicly revealed. ==== Recently, after the harsh criticism from Mr. Hoekstra, intelligence officials have appeared at two closed committee briefings to answer questions from the chairman and other members. The briefings appear to have eased but not erased the concerns of Mr. Hoekstra and other lawmakers about whether the administration is sharing information on all of its intelligence operations. ==== A copy of the four-page letter dated May 18, which has not been previously disclosed, was obtained by The New York Times. ==== "I have learned of some alleged intelligence community activities about which our committee has not been briefed," Mr. Hoesktra wrote. "If these allegations are true, they may represent a breach of responsibility by the administration, a violation of the law, and, just as importantly, a direct affront to me and the members of this committee who have so ardently supported efforts to collect information on our enemies." ==== He added: "The U.S. Congress simply should not have to play Twenty Questions to get the information that it deserves under our Constitution." ...

Tue Jul 11, 11:39:00 AM  
Anonymous Nemo said...

Of course, there are also a few "moonbat lunatic" undercurrents prominent in Hoekstra's written "outburst", typical of any loyal Republikan Bushevik: House Intel Chief Misses the Boat, by Larry C. Johnson ==== Today's news from Eric Lichtblau and Scott Shane that the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Peter Hoekstra, sent a nasty-gram to the White House complaining of being kept in the dark on intelligence matters is significant, but misleading. It is significant because Hoekstra is staunch defender of the Bush administration and yet is now willing to insist that his committee must be briefed on intel operations. So far, so good. What the reporters missed is the underlying message in Hoekstra's letter - that the Bush administration is being too soft on the intel community, particularly the CIA, and that the CIA is a rogue political actor. ...

Tue Jul 11, 12:14:00 PM  
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