Friday, November 10, 2006

I have not forgotten


Well, isn't everything just sunshine and roses these days.

The party of the Ultra Rich has been replaced in power by the party of the Rich.

Speaking for the working poor, I'm not overjoyed.

Hey Dems! Want to help Americans? How about a livable minimum wage and universal healthcare?

I'm not hopeful

And I have not forgotten.

I've not forgotten how most of the Democrats have bent over backwards to give Bush the tools he has needed to lay waste to the country of Iraq.

I haven't forgotten most of the Democrats voted yes on a resolution supporting Israel's illegal bombing and invasion of Lebanon.

I haven't forgotten how most Democrats have remained silent over the past six years as Bush and company passed one barbaric law after another and made torture and kidnapping part of our national legacy.

I'm listening with absolute disbelief as one Democratic activist and blogger after another sings the praises of Pelosi, Reid and the rest of the spineless wonders that didn't even have the decency to speak aloud as the world burned.

I'm disgusted.

I'm also listening in disbelief to the conservatives who blog and call talk radio acting as if Al-Qaeda is about to roll down mainstreet USA in a victory march.

Is this how stupid we sound to them? How alarmist?

No wonder they think we're crazy. Maybe we are.

Bottom line: Bush is hobbled. His power to get things done is reduced to zero and he must realize that Iraq is a lost cause. I don't know if this will translate itself into the real world but it looks like his war-mongering days may be over.

That being said he still has two years left and the Neo-Cons will still be banging the war drums over Iran. One more "terror attack" or "incident" could start that ball rolling again. Don't forget that little US task force with dozens of fighter/bombers and hundreds of cruise missiles that's just sitting in the Persian Gulf.


Israel, the chief beneficiary of the US invasion of Iraq, still wants war with Iran. Bush still wants it as well. The only thing standing between us and that armageddon in the Middle East is the Democratic Congress and Senate.

It's a scary thought but it at least shows the truth of what the Democrats have become: small speedbumps on the way to war.

Update: Go ahead. Sign your own fucking death warrant.


Blogger Again said...

wholeheartedly agree, Robert

I'm not hopeful...
The only thing standing between us and that armageddon in the Middle East is the Democratic Congress and Senate.

except for here: yes, there is not much done until now, but regarding the many reports about election manipulation the result of this election is a true sign for the overwhelming resistance of the "rank & file"-Americans (especially the youth, i've heard) - and regarding that date (a working day for election!! i wonder how many poor Americans with 2-3 jobs are simply not ABLE to vote)...

and regarding the "warming up" of the politics to accept global warming - here we have now nearly permanent information events about energy saving like geothermal heating (very interesting), proper insulation or regenerative firing, events with notable involvement of ordinary people like handicraftsmen and family house owners who just look for some way to save some money, not the rich and the powerful who have enough money to waste energy as much as they can get, no, just people like us, who realize that the next energy crisis will come and will come sooner as we will like it

and yes, maybe that's thanks to Mr. Bush's brute war - because his stupid violence didn't kill "only" people but infrastructure of oil, making oil expensive earlier than it would have been in case of an intelligent american president...

so maybe we got some time "donated" by the stupidity of Bush - because it makes the world aware of the limitedness of resources - when EVEN the super-power flips out to grab it. And because each and every other person than an American Neocon knows that they can't win against physics and reality - people start to rethink...

and i guess, that's also part of the "wave" against Bush...

the wave where you, Robert, and Nemo are a strong, admittedly small, but impregnable, steadfast part of - you and Nemo and all the free-thinking americans and/or working poor are still strong enough to at least rebuff big money...

and so, i have decided - against my inner naysaying nature - to be optimistic and to believe that we can make it. Yes, the task is tough - we actually have to disempower big money and we actually have to re-program the members of our culture (especially the Abrahamic religions) to be self-responsible again and not just willing sheeps of the first leader who comes along and shouts loud enough to make us shiver, as if chimp-behavior of swaggering bluster would be able to construct and preserve. We have to learn again to learn for ourselves, to think for ourselves and to decide for ourselves - and we have to accept, that decency is a survival tool programmed by Mother Nature to prepare us for the next level of evolution, that justice is not luxury, but nothing else than "load-balancing" of an intertwined global humankind to be efficient in the management of the rare resources

why we have to learn it "again"? If humankind wouldn't have been able to work socially together while being able to decide for themselves, how should they have been able to survive the previous millions of years, when each and every OTHER human species was wiped out?

Sat Nov 11, 08:17:00 AM  
Anonymous UT said...

How about a livable minimum wage and universal healthcare?

In NV State the minimum wage is $5.15 an hour, it is the same as the Federal system. But in other States, there are no law for the minimum wage: AZ, Bama, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Tennessee do not have minimum wage laws.

For the case of Las Vegas, making $5.15 an hour must be horrible, and it would not even allow you to live in the ghettos of North Las Vegas. Here is what I pay monthly to live in Vegas:

- Rent: $1100
- Water + sewer: $56
- Electricity: $300 a month during summertime, around $100 during wintertime
- Gaz: $60

Of course I could have moved into a cheaper appartment without gated community and security at nitetime. It is already around $1,500 a month, without counting other bills such as car, car insurance, and food, and health insurance. It already represents a wage of at least $12 an hour just to pay basic bills without luxury such as internet.

There are also States such as KANSAS where the minimum wage is $2.65 an hour. It is scary.

Here is a Minimum Wage Laws in the States

Sat Nov 11, 01:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Nemo said...

Slowly but surely, the evidence of bizarre E-lectoral "anomalies" continues to surface in the 2006 vote. The nominal GOP "winner" in this Florida Congressional race now seeks to quickly "move on", claiming a "368-vote victory", when 18,000 votes are mysteriously and quite significantly unaccounted for -- in Katherine Harris's notorious 2000 fiasco stomping grounds, no less!: 18,000 votes in U.S. House race may be lost ==== Thousands of votes were either not counted or not cast in Sarasota's nationally watched congressional race. ==== [As we've all wondered before, how devastating would the results have been for the Fascists in an *honest* election?]

Sat Nov 11, 08:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Nemo said...

From Voters Unite, the current database of problems logged on Election Day 2006 (sorted by state). It makes for rather interesting reading at points. For instance, though actual voters in various locales (most notably, Florida, Ohio, and Texas) *again* reported "electronic vote switching", wherein their *Democratic* choice was curiously modified by the E-voting machine into a Republican vote, this time a small number of Republican Party officials (especially in Pennsylvania) proferred claims of switches in the *opposite* direction. But curiously, virtually ALL such accusations of Republicans being defrauded by the machines came from GOP *officials* alone, NOT the voters supposedly affected. In my mind, that raises the spectre of a deliberate, "pre-emptive" smokescreen attempt, with state Republican honchos "attesting" to a problem they know Democratic voters will actually *experience* at the polls, in an effort to diffuse the impact of any fraud identified. And that pattern fairly leaps from the database pages (especially when re-sorted by type, appearing under "Machine Malfunction") -- VOTERS complain almost exclusively of *Democratic* choices being reversed, whereas Republican PARTY officials allege that the opposite scenario has *also* been observed, but offer only the thinnest of hearsay "evidence" to back those claims: Election Problem Log - 2006

Sun Nov 12, 11:15:00 PM  
Blogger politiques USA said...

How could we safeguard the illusion of GWB?

November 13, 2006 — One must hope, for the serious of americanist America and for the nervous balance of Washington, that the current tendencies will not continue. They are indeed psychological tendencies which affect the image of GW Bush in the public.
This president, who could have held a honourable role in certain circumstances, saw himself suddenly entitled of a historical dimension for which he was obviously not made. This is a traditional case of going beyond its own competences (made very quickly with GW) which leads the subject to go from a honourable or acceptable behavior to a catastrophic behavior. It is the case of GW since September 11, 2001, with the worsening case of a particularly pressing entourage (especially in regards with neocons) which based its influence on the outrageous encensement and complete absurdity of the President. (One will point out an article of a professor of the University of Virginia, in April 2002 in Weekly Standard, who considered GW higher than Nietzsche because the notion of “beyond the Good and the Evil” of the German philosopher, it had counteracted successfully by establishing their respective place these concepts of Good and Evil in policy in an imperative way.)

This coarse and abusive image, not to say stupidly caricatural, of GW-President was placed obviously within the framework of the triumphing virtualism. It is obviously this image which brutally volitilized on November 7 after having undergone increasingly strong tensions with measurement of the deterioration of the situation in Iraq, collapse of the image of power military of the USA, innumerable errors, awkwardnesses, wrong steps, lies, from this administration etc. This collapse of the perception of GW is primarily psychological but it is today a considerable force. Two surveys of these last days justify this evolution:

• Initially a survey of Newsweek carried out on 9-10 November and published on November 11. It gives the worst dimension of the President, single case during one time considered as one period of general war (the “war against terror”). The prospects which this survey discovers are even more catastrophic.

«President Bush’s job approval rating has fallen to just 31 percent, according to the new Newsweek Poll. Bill Clinton’s lowest rating during his presidency was 36 percent; Bush’s father’s was 29 percent, and Ronald Reagan’s was 35 percent. Jimmy Carter’s and Richard Nixon’s lows were 28 and 23 percent, respectively. (Just 24 approve of outgoing Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s job performance; and 31 percent approve of Vice President Dick Cheney’s.)

»Worst of all, most Americans are writing off the rest of Bush’s presidency; two-thirds (66 percent) believe he will be unable to get much done, up from 56 percent in a mid-October poll; only 32 percent believe he can be effective. That’s unfortunate since 63 percent of Americans say they’re dissatisfied with the way things are going in the country; just 29 percent are satisfied, reports the poll of 1,006 adults conducted Thursday and Friday nights.»

A survey of MSNBC which is described with grinds precautions like not having any scientific value, although described with one very strong psychological tendency of America relating to the assumption of impeachment of the president. (Concerning the survey, relating to 360.000 telephone contacts, “MSNBC notes that it is “not as scientific survey” and includes a link that explains in details how this was a randomly selected sample on 1,000 people ) That said the result is impressive for its psychological impact: 87% of the questioned people answered in a way or the other by the positive questions carrying about the possibility of impeachment.

False power of the unknitted wool clothe:
If these psychological tendencies continue and are translated with judgments also abrupt of the public, the situation will become extremely delicate and embarrassing, and even more for the system itself than for GW. To be likely to have a president whose regard and popularity in the public would be reduced to ridiculous figures, rather for incompetence and poor intellectual level (according to the judgment of the public), constitutes a case very embarrassing.

One could find oneself in a situation where the democratic Congress itself would be brought to support a company of restoration of the image of GW. In a certain way, one can consider that it already started to do it.

Acceptance without discussing of the democrats in a step known as “renovated bipartisanism”, in particular with a promise — in addition of pure form — of a co-operation Congress-administration, with the Pelosi-Bush meeting in the oval office also, can be already regarded as a starting point into this effort. Could there be in this step the approval of a common fear that the system is discredited too much, — and how can it be more than by undergoing perception of the public of a President brought to the level of a pathological idiot? In addition, on the question of impeachment, which re-appear in the foreground in the Democrat establishment, the democratic direction — Howard Dean, the president of party, and Nancy Pelosi, the president of the Room — were categorical: there is no question of returning there. Opposition is certainly determined but there is no operation of power destabilization.

We are not at the end of our surprises of the democratic victory of 7 November and the setting with parallels of the extreme weakness and the absence of substance of the republican capacity with GW Bush as president. It is the true teaching of the poll: the denial brought to those which saw in the Bush administration the installation of a strong capacity in the USA. Such an operation is very difficult, even impossible in-outside legal standards in the USA; in all the cases, it can be considered only around one president of a sizeable stature (Franklin Delano Roosevelt had been suspected of wanting to establish a personal capacity, in particular in 1936-37, and with him the assumption was acceptable). The extraordinary weakness, even the complete absence of personality of GW Bush, his inexistence out of the image manufactured after September 11, constitutes an element contributing to make the assumption ridiculous in its case. The administration itself constituted of the poles of power which made believe in a consequent organization but those had like effect to only reinforce or to create certain autonomous centers of capacity (the Pentagon, for example, but also the Home Security Department created after attack 9/11) without establishing a collective power of being able.

The other element is the psychological aspect. The appearance of arbitrary power of administration GW Bush was established primarily thanks to the power and to the psychological influence, by the means of americanist conformism (case of the press, but also the Congress in the years 2001-2005). It was in fact an acceptance of tender voluntary and anticipated with the so-called central capacity, a kind of postmodern demonstration, by a step going ahead of the request, the Speech of the voluntary constraint of Boétie.

This attitude completely collapsed with November 7. The opposite process takes place from now on. The appearance of power of administration GW demolishes like one knitted wool clothe. Psychology, in the form as much of conformism that influences, with feelings like revealed popular anger on November 7, exerts an increasingly frightening pressure to increase the discredit and the weakening of the administration.

This process must appear increasingly dangerous with all the recipients of the system, including the triumphing victorious democrats. The collapse of the appearance of power of this president affects the institution of the presidency, therefore the system. All these recipients will be brought to try to protect from a way or another what it remains of appearance of power in the GW Bush administration.

One measures the difficulty which awaits the democrats in the exploitation of their triumph: how to extract from it the fruits while safeguarding the balance of the system, i.e. by not attacking GW? In these problems, the protection of the so-called stature of the President, or what may remain of GW in this, holds an important place. The exercise will be all the more difficult for the democrats that, on the side of GW, it will undoubtedly be an increasinglyy accentuated irresponsibility, which means vulnerability growing with the disaffection and the popular contempts.

I translated this text from French into English. I read it twice only :)

Mon Nov 13, 06:56:00 PM  
Blogger Again said...

18,000 votes in U.S. House race may be lost, Election Problem Log - 2006

thanks for the links - sounds plausible

alas, as plausible as ut's text - it makes sense, that the Democrats betray democracy just for the sake of their own power, doesn't it?

reminds me (again) of the European Aristocrats, of the police officers who protect some "noble men" from being punished for their crimes. Wasn't it Alexandre Dumas, telling stories like that? Or Jack the Ripper, who someone thought to be a member of the Royal family?

so now, move on, Pelosi! Protect George W. Bush against impeachement, because the American President is more important than big lies, big torture, big wars, genocide-like killing and maiming, apocalyptic greed and grabbing for Space and the last resources on Earth

seems to be that the American President is above ANY law, above american law (at least the pre-Bush ones), above human law, above the laws of physics and decency - by the votes (or the no-votes - see nemos link above???) of the American people?

btw: interesting logic: if you are clever enough to betray the American People to become president, THIS act is enough to sanctify each and every action of yourself afterwards?

seems as if S. 3930 and H.R. 5122 - the laws giving the American President (no matter who and how he is as human being???) absolute power - are too attractive for the possible next presidents?

remember Rome? Where the Caesars also were voted? But nevertheless Caesar?

problem is simple, i fear: the American system is inherently not democratic and the real and true power of the democratic grassroots, offered by modern communication techniques like newspapers, radio, tv and internet just clouds that sad fact - the justicial system is totally outdated, the same as the counting system of voting. The american people have to realize that the "oldest" (existing) democracy doesn't mean that it is the best, but only, that it is old, older than any other - and therefore without each and every perfectioning of the younger democracies...

i hope - and beg you America - not to go that way which seems so inevitable - the victory of the democrats calms the rage of "we the people" and makes them content with the current system: "the system works" and good is...

but the absolute power of the American President is a sad truth (the laws still exist) and if America wants to be a democracy, she can't allow absolute power - even in case of the "Holy Presidency"...

democracies don't know holiness - neither in state nor in church - they only have to know and defend the will and the interests of the people: that's why they exist

Tue Nov 14, 12:03:00 AM  
Blogger Again said...

regarding ut's text:
Democrats, the Truth Still Matters! by Robert Parry

Tue Nov 14, 12:29:00 AM  
Anonymous UT said...

Here is a memo I translated from french into english:

The Center for Defense Information calculated with the projections of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) the cost perspectives of the US anti-missiles program. Actually this cost (containing some components that have not been taken into the specific program) is evaluated around $10 billion. Using the data of the CBO, the CDI estimates it will reach $15 to $18 billion a year in 2016, peak year of the budgetary program.

«In a new report by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) that looks at military spending between now and 2024, total investment costs for missile defense are expected to hit their highest point in 2016: $15 billion ($18 billion, if cost risk is included). This peak in spending is three years later than the CBO had anticipated when doing its projection in October 2005, largely due to delays in a few of the programs.»

These forecasts imply that the US anti-missiles program is about to enter into the most active phase of institutionalization in the Pentagon (the same way they had been with the SDI program against the USSR until 1990-1991). This program in its actual definition in the years 2001-2005 should at least last until 2025 and reach cumulated expenses between 200 and $250 billion. Of course it is higher than the SDI phase since expenses reached around 5 and $10 billion a year with $75 billion in total expenses (The SDI had never reached any military deployment but it was recycling important sums of money for weapons and military industry). The actual program though should see future deployments with naval unit AEGIS-type and ground stations. In the other hand despite the cost, this program is less ambitious than the utopian SDI. This program has been elaborated to confront Iranian and north-korean “threats” that remain to define beyond the americanist arsenal rhetoric.

The global era of demonization from the US is on stage again.

Here is a link

Tue Nov 14, 10:32:00 AM  
Blogger politiques USA said...

If you want to measure where this has taken Bush officialdom in five years, consider their latest legal defensive measure. According to the Washington Post, the administration has just gone to court to declare US "alternative interrogation techniques" - which simply means "torture" - as "among the nation's most sensitive national-security secrets". It is trying to get a federal judge to bar "terrorism suspects held in secret CIA prisons" from even revealing to their own lawyers details about what was done to them by American interrogators. In other words, torture is now to be put in the secrecy vault like a national treasure. Next thing you know, we'll be sending it to the Smithsonian.

Very interesting writing from Tom Engelhardt

Tue Nov 14, 11:03:00 AM  
Blogger Guest Blogger said...

At last! Another lib blogger who feels the same way about Pelosi and Reid as I do!

I've been all over her since the Dems' victory and even my regular readership has been all over me for it.

Tue Nov 14, 08:32:00 PM  
Blogger jurassicpork said...

That last comment was by me, btw.

Tue Nov 14, 08:33:00 PM  
Blogger politiques USA said...

Actually I'm more convinced that the Democrats are going to start sharing power with GWB than launching an "independent" (this adjective lost its whole substance after 911) investigation to find out how we ended up in Iraq. Like I said before I don't see at the horizon a perspective of pullout from Iraq until the next elections for 2 reasons:

- GWB is still the President of the US, he is the one that launched this war in Iraq and he still has the executive power although the Senate and the House have been weakened under "democrat" leadership.

- Executive power will only make the difference after the presidential elections once Iraq turns out to be a dead-end under Republican leadership through 2008. Then the Democrats may come out and say "we told you so!”

I would like to see a progressive or grassroots movement against the war in Iraq, but republican and democrat interests are exactly the same. It is first about financial interests for hegemony control throughout the world. Politically the consequences of the Iraqi invasion won't be reversed by the Democrats as long as they see an inch of hope. On the other hand, although the US is still the lone superpower for 50 years at least, the result of the Iraqi invasion may be the end of alliances with or without victory in Iraq because there is a universal issue that is shared by people on this globe: American ideals (democracy) are a fallacious enterprise for exclusive economic interests to sustain hegemony with wars and the role of the dollar. It is a vicious circle: without natural resources there is no power and without power there is no more conquest for natural resources. Basically the US never changed its foreign policy since WW2. It always worked with whoever wanted to work with; there is nothing spiritual, no candor outside these frontiers of pure greed.

Since the war in Iraq, I think we even went one stage higher with the "fight for democracies". I still remember that the Hamas parties, now singled out as a terrorist organization by our western governments, although they have been elected by Palestinians, do not have the same treatment retrospectively under the Bush administration. The right to exist, unalienable right in an elected democracy is taking a brand new curve on the real intentions of the Bush administration in the Middle-East. We’ll see what the democrats have to offer within the next few weeks. We need facts first.

Tue Nov 14, 10:30:00 PM  
Blogger politiques USA said...

Darn I was watching the news and they were talking about an airplane crash from Vegas to California.

Tue Nov 14, 10:39:00 PM  
Blogger politiques USA said...

Notwithstanding the current US troubles on the world stage, across the globe few observers truly see the US in grave jeopardy as respects its global position. And any who do claim to see it in such jeopardy are still not taken very seriously.

While China and Russia are certainly rising and their strategic cooperation is rapidly deepening, both powers are still widely seen as mini-sized as compared to the US, and both are also still widely seen as inordinately dependent on the US economy and US wealth.

Militarily, the two powers are seen as a long way off from being able to mount a serious challenge to the US. Even the Russia-China axis itself, and the wider rising East, still struggle with the compelling tendency to continue to see themselves in this very light - standing very small in the enormous global shadow of the US.

Preparing for a new cold war part I

IF you want to read the full text, it is a very long one but it is easy to read, and it explains the real geopolitical challenges, far from the freedom vision of our POTUS. Remember it is all about economics, nothing about ideals, it may have been the case after WW2, it is not the case anymore. Today like I said there are 2 choices: viewed from the USA, and with the Dems in the House of Representatives and the Senate, there won't be (most likely) any impeachement procedures, because we are debating about the real power of the US. On the other hand, in the rest of the world, many people do view this situation the other way around: people are starting to realize that a superpower is very dangerous for world stability, even with ideals. One can have ideals but ideals in my view have never been enough to invade and attack a nation.
Also Rumsfeld has been kicked out from the Pentagon, and it is a good thing because he was pursuing the strategy of Reagan by demonizing countries. Have you noticed that in a few years of power under Bush, we went from a minor problem in Afghanistan, then in Iraq, to a major problem in the Middle-East and Central Asia and North Korea and Latin America? Even in Europe they are still debating about the alliance, it seems like Europe is divided again 60 years later all of that because of a few kamikaze terrorists that crashed the airplanes in the twin towers.
If Americans really knew the intentions of the Bush administration, if we could make them understand geopolitics, I'm pretty sure they would say this war is immoral.

Tue Nov 14, 11:04:00 PM  
Blogger politiques USA said...

Hi JurrasicPork :) I hope you'll enjoy your stay:)

Tue Nov 14, 11:05:00 PM  
Blogger politiques USA said...

There may be a possibility that Rumsfeld resigned. Historically in the US, we all remember the "great depression", but pathologically people with high national responsibilities are exposed to stress and other syndromes.

In his monumental volume "America Enters the World" when he describes the period between the beginning of the century and 1919, the historian Page Smith approaches at the end the “Recurrent Themes” of his study. The first of these topics is the anxiety in the americanist public life, — the anxiety which this public life imposes on psychology:
«Anxiety, which has been a theme throughout this work, remained high in this period. Henry Adams wrote to Mabel La Farge : “people are in a conspiracy to hide their troubles, but beneath the surface they talk, only the anxieties are too close to be openly discussed…” Few of the figures we have encountered in this volume were immune to nervous — i.e. physical and mental — breakdown. So far as we know their personal lives in any great details, virtually all suffered period of incapaciting depression.»

Further, Page Smith still writes:
«John Jay Chapman had the firs of several breakdowns in law school. “The truth was,” he wrote, “that I was oppressed with the responsibilities of life, the dreaded hurdles, the fated race-course, imaginative pressures, perhaps the inheritance of a Puritan's conscience, or the drive of a submerged ambition.” [...] Chapman deplored the effects of the fierce competition…»

Is this a specific situation to the americanist world? It is supported certainly there than elsewhere, because of the specific conditions of this world. In 1879, Doctor Beard, identifying the neurosis as this “modern evil” from which is born the depression by the need for going constantly ahead while losing or while being unaware of the psychological references and histories which stabilize psychology, and he named it: “American evil”.

This affection touched a number of senior officials during the years of Cold war. The secretaries of defense paid their tribute with this pitiless psychological pressure. In 1949, the first among them, James Forrestal, committed suicide whereas he was in treatment for psychosis and after he showed signs of psychological distress (he was found one evening in pajamas in the streets of Miami, shouting: “The Russians are coming!”). McNamara, between the moment when he decided to leave the direction of DoD (May 1967) and his departure (january1968), had a very serious depression. The question which one can put today is to know if Rumsfeld is touched or not by this affection.

*yawn* I will write further tomorrow.

Bonne nuit:)

Tue Nov 14, 11:26:00 PM  
Blogger politiques USA said...

The US Department of Justice argued Monday that immigrants arrested while in the US and labeled as enemy combatants [JURIST news archive] under an expansive definition in the new Military Commissions Act of 2006 (MCA) [PDF text; JURIST news archive] can be indefinitely detained and are prohibited from challenging their detention in civilian courts. In a motion to dismiss [PDF text] filed Monday in the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in the case of Ali Saleh Kahlah Al-Marri, a Qatari citizen detained while studying in the US, the DOJ argued:

The Military Commissions Act of 2006 (MCA), Pub. L. No. 109-366 (see Attachment 1), which took effect on October 17, 2006, removes federal court jurisdiction over pending and future habeas corpus actions and any other actions filed by or on behalf of detained aliens determined by the United States to be enemy combatants, such as petitioner-appellant al-Marri, except as provided in Section 1005(e)(2) and (e)(3) of the Detainee Treatment Act (DTA). In plain terms, the MCA removes this Court's jurisdiction (as well as the district court's) over al-Marri's habeas action. Accordingly, the Court should dismiss this appeal for lack of jurisdiction and remand the case to the district court with instructions to dismiss the petition for lack of jurisdiction.

Al-Marri is accused of being a sleeper agent for al Qaeda, and his case represents the first time the Bush administration has argued that the MCA strips a detainee held in the United States of habeas rights. Al-Marri's lawyers have said that his detention in a South Carolina prison allows him to challenge his detention in a civilian court like any other alien held for alleged immigration [JURIST news archive] or other legal violations, but the Justice Department said the anti-terrorism law applies to all enemy combatants no matter where they are held. AP has more.

The DOJ motion comes in al-Marri's appeal challenging the president's authority to designate civilians arrested in the US as enemy combatants and what level of due process a detainee should be afforded to challenge the enemy combatant designation. Jonathan Hafetz, counsel for al-Marri, told JURIST Tuesday that:

The President has announced that he can sweep any of the millions of non-citizens off the streets of America and imprison them for life in a military jail without charge, court review, or due process. It is unprecedented, unlawful, and un-American.

Also Monday, the Bush administration filed a brief [PDF text] Monday with the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, petitioning the court to dismiss lawsuits brought by detainees [JURIST report] at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive]. In the most detailed argument filed since President Bush signed [JURIST report] the MCA into law last month, the Justice Department argued that the MCA "unambiguously eliminated district court jurisdiction over these cases" and asserted that the detainees' arguments that the MCA is unconstitutional are "without merit." The government wrote:

First, as we have explained at length in our previous filings, petitioners, who are all aliens outside the United States, have no constitutional habeas rights to assert, and thus the elimination of the statutory right to seek habeas review does not implicate the Suspension Clause. Second, even if petitioners possessed constitutional habeas rights, given the review afforded, there is no suspension in this context because Congress has provided an adequate substitute. As set out in our prior briefs, the review afforded by Congress of the enemy combatant determinations by the Combatant Status Review Tribunals ("CSRTs") is greater than that afforded in habeas for alien enemies facing military criminal proceedings. ... Even outside of the military context, under traditional habeas review, "other than the question whether there was some evidence to support the order, the courts generally did not review the factual determinations made by the Executive." ... Petitioners' insistence that enemies captured during armed conflict, and detained by the military as enemy combatants have a right to de novo review of the ruling of the governing military tribunal is wholly unfounded, contrary to Supreme Court precedent, and would severely impair the military's ability to defend this country.

DOJ asserts MCA bars enemy immigrants, Gitmo detainees from judicial review

Wed Nov 15, 10:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Nemo said...

Again: Cindy Sheehan has spelled it out magnificently, regarding the incoming House Democratic majority leadership's publicly stated (and politically motivated) "reluctance" to impeach as warranted: Open Letter to Reps Pelosi and Conyers: We the People are Setting the Table Now. [Note: The email address supplied for Pelosi is dysfunctional -- I got only a bounced email for my effort.] ==== Thanks also for the Parry link. His book, Secrecy and Privilege, from which parts of the article are excerpted directly, was *exactly* what I was remembering when referencing Clinton's *enormous* error in dropping the Iran-Contra investigations in order to "get along" with the racketeers of the GOP in a similarly "bipartisan" manner. The results of that wishful thinking are now tragic history: the "red meat" ReTHUGlicans took the gesture only as a sign of weakness -- which it basically was -- and proceeded to pounce mercilessly on that presidency for every conceivable "transgression", real or otherwise. It's time for the Democratic Party to LEARN from history that there is seldom any "easier, softer" alternative to legitimately pursuing justice. Fiat justitia, ruat caelum!. ==== On the plus side, the known "malleability" of the Democrats typically works in favor of the public, to whom *they*, at least, are commonly reponsive under pressure. So, start tightening the "thumbscrews" now, America. And spread the good word: IMPEACHMENT! (It's not for everybody, but it *is* entirely merited for the Bush Reich.)

Wed Nov 15, 02:38:00 PM  
Anonymous UT said...

What up Nemo? :)

One more hour to go and I will go back home from work.

Wed Nov 15, 04:32:00 PM  
Blogger politiques USA said...

Here is the rest of the text I was translating last nite before hitting the sack. Fasten your seatbelts please.

IS Donald Rumsfeld a scapegoat?

Donald Rumsfeld is known for its reputation of “hard as a rock”. Kissinger, which knows itself there in the field, describes it with a certain admiration and almost with jealousy: “He is the toughest and the smartest bureaucratic warrior I've ever seen in Washington D.C.” For two years, the “bureaucratic warrior” has known an unprecedented position: he takes blows. They are numerous, with the Congress, and the democrats and also with some republicans, to claim his head, his departure under humiliating conditions. He had already presented his resignation twice (refused by GW Bush).
There are speculations at this time on the fact of knowing whether it was needed, in the army maneuvers in the course of change of strategy in Iraq (what supposes there was change of strategy, happy surprise), to sacrifice Rumsfeld in a rather bright way (and humiliating for him), to obtain an interesting political effect. It is possible that Rumsfeld does not lend himself to this possible operation.

On October 19th, Sally Quinn detailed in the Washington Post the position of Donald Rumsfeld which describes it as the perfect scapegoat . Everyone, in the administration of GW Bush (and with the Congress, which supported this folly, and in the Establishment finally) is responsible for the Iraqi catastrophe. But Rumsfeld is often designated like a little more responsible than the others, until being described like the main thing, even the exclusive person in charge. Sally Quinn claims that this uncomfortable position ended up carrying the feeling of the Secretary of Defense and that Rumsfeld would prepare himself (which would prevent the operation announced above):

And it's improbable that Rumsfeld can last. He may not have an exit strategy for Iraq, but, old Washington hand that he is, he undoubtedly has one for himself. I suspect that he has already told the president and Cheney that he will leave after the midterm elections, saying that the country needs new leadership to wind down the war. And he will resign to take a job in some sort of humanitarian venture, thereby creating the perception that he is a caring person who left of his own accord to devote the rest of his life to good works.

The precisions on the humanitarian ambitions of Rumsfeld add an ironic succulence to the matter. Therefore that does not contradict him. There is a school of thought in Washington, which says to us that Rumsfeld is bitter and tired. This last point joined the general considerations described above. It is in particular endorsed by a source whose quality is recognized. The journalist Seymour Hersh explained, last August 14th, during an interview broadcast on “Democracy Now!” with Amy Goodman:

Well, what's interesting about Rumsfeld, because for the first time … and not everybody agreed, but people that … you know, I’m long of tooth, Amy, and I’ve been around this town a long time, and obviously, since 9/11, a lot of people talk to me. And for the first time, Rummy doesn't seem to be on board, is what I’m hearing. Actually, somebody even suggested he's getting a little bit like Robert McNamara. If you remember, McNamara, the Secretary of Defense who, under both Kennedy and Johnson, was a great advocate of the Vietnam War and its chief salesman, basically, one of its chief salesmen all during the ’60s, and by ’67, he decided it wasn't winnable and ended up being shoved out and put in the World Bank.

Hersh spoke about the media obliteration of the Secretary of Defense during the crisis in August 2006. A theory was (is) that Rumsfeld feared that an extension of the conflict led to an attack of Iran which would put, by the Iranian response, the US task force in Iraq in very serious danger. This fear remains always founded since the idea of an attack against Iran always remains “actual”. It joined indeed the obsession of McNamara on the end of his mandate, when he was judged responsible for the death of American soldiers in Vietnam. We intentionally employ the term “obsession”.

The Secretary of Defense against the machine (against the Pentagon)

In his book House of War, James Carroll reports the confidence made by William Cohen, when he was Secretary of Defense (under Clinton). Cohen compared himself to the Achab captain trying to overcome the enormous and monstrous white whale. Could the Pentagon be called Moby Dick — but Moby Dick who is no Achab, finally, would manage to be right? Rumsfeld shares, with his two predecessors whose name was quoted to illustrate the consequences of the psychological pressures that the direction of the Pentagon generates, the characteristic of an outstanding career and a very marked personality. Forrestal was the true creator of the Pentagon such as we know it but he was driven out by it under Truman because he did not manage to control this department like the President wanted. McNamara was the first marked radical reformer of the Pentagon. It failed and knew the Vietnamese martyrdom. Rumsfeld turned out himself, since the beginning of his functions in January 2001 (after a first experiment in 1975-76), by a will to force on the Pentagon a radical reform to prevent that the Defense Department is carried in a crisis without precedent. Today, it is Iraq which is his martyrdom. The three men are strong personalities, with the posted ambitions, overcome by Moby Dick. (At all events fate of Rumsfeld, his defeat is proven.)
The three men were not famous to have fragile psychologies. With Rumsfeld today, it is possible that one can conclude from their destinies that the most solid psychologies are confronted with hard pressures to bear in the bureaucratic world of Washington, and, in particular, an atmosphere of exhausting competition in this respect. But the question which also arises, according to the historical table which traces Page Smith of the Washington life where nobody seems to have to be saved by the depression, is to know if this feature is specific to the americanist system. One does not meet systematically similar situations in the history of the governments of the other large Western capitals. The depressions exist in the personnel of the capacity, but also of the worried existences, agitated, which however did not yield to this evil.
The americanist case is interesting. The capacity being necessarily a competition and an escape ahead, the men are subjected to the neurosis which is the favorite ground of the depressions. Doctor Beard explicitly established the link, to explain the neurosis, between the absence of traditional and historical links to America and the very americanist character of this evil.
The fragility, the vulnerability of the hierarchical positions in the political americanist life accounts for the characteristics of the system. Based on the refusal of the kingly hierarchies, the system exposes by need its members to unrestrained competition and gives to psychologies this brittleness which makes them vulnerable. The other characteristic of the americanist system is the omnipresence right from the start of the communication and the need for dressing up realities behind an appearance of assertion without relationship with these realities. One finds the characters of the system leading to the virtualism, which one discovers that the best specialists, those who would consider invincible in this respect, are also the victims (see the personal case of the depression of Alastair Campbell, in our Newspaper of October 25, 2006).
Next to that, there is the hardness of granite, the crushing weight of the system, joined together in the case which occupies us in the mythical dimension of Moby Dick, the House of War from Carroll — the Pentagon. It is against this structure which seems to defy the time and the power of the time, which is based on an imperceptible bureaucracy, described by the same Rumsfeld (speech of September 10, 2001) like the most serious danger to which have to face the United States, — it is against that, that break the strongest psychologies. It even seems that the most frightening Donald Rumsfeld could succumb to it.

Wed Nov 15, 07:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Nemo said...

If anyone else wants to give Representative Pelosi a piece of his mind, her *correct* email address (I've used it now successfully) is: . (And if anyone knows Conyers' direct email address, please let me know. He, of all people, clearly deserves the harshest criticism for even *considering* waffling on the prospect of Impeachment, and even more so for openly *agreeing* with Pelosi that "Impeachment is off the table." One might as well say that JUSTICE is completely off the table here in Amerika!!!)

Thu Nov 16, 05:09:00 PM  

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