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reporter subpoenaed for exposing bush CIA crimes, nyt, 2-1-08

Harmon's "Homegrown Terror" resolution is an extreme threat to our rights, 4-19-07

American Political Corruption affects the Whole World

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our corruption has changed how nature appears

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It's Me! Carson Range

and behind us

Behind Me, Carson Range

As an individual, an individual human, you are designed to reflect.

The reality you reflect defines the center and extent of your life.

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first posting: wednesday, April 23, 2008 10:37 pm, pst


first posted: April 23, 2008, Draft edition

posted: April 30, 2008, Draft edition

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1) The Articles linked below were Abstracted from the sources cited. After the abstract there's analysis and commentary, links to related articles, and a link to the database with suggested search terms.

Reports and Research

Interference at the EPA

Science and Politics at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

union of concerned scientists, 4-23-08

Click here to download a pdf of the report.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has the simple yet profound charge "to protect human health and the environment." EPA scientists apply their expertise to protect the public from air and water pollution, clean up hazardous waste, and study emerging threats such as global warming. Because each year brings new and potentially toxic chemicals into our homes and workplaces, because air pollution still threatens our public health, and because environmental challenges are becoming more complex and global, a strong and capable EPA is more important than ever.

Yet challenges from industry lobbyists and some political leaders to the agency's decisions have too often led to the suppression and distortion of the scientific findings underlying those decisions—to the detriment of both science and the health of our nation. While every regulatory agency must balance scientific findings with other considerations, policy makers need access to the highest-quality scientific information to make fully informed decisions.

Concern over this problem led the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) to investigate political interference in science at the EPA. The investigation combines dozens of interviews with current and former EPA staff, analysis of government documents, more than 1,600 responses to a survey sent to current EPA scientists, and written comments from EPA scientists.

The results of these investigations show an agency under siege from political pressures. On numerous issues—ranging from mercury pollution to groundwater contamination to climate change—political appointees have edited scientific documents, manipulated scientific assessments, and generally sought to undermine the science behind dozens of EPA regulations.

These findings highlight the need for strong reforms to protect EPA scientists, make agency decision making more transparent, and reduce politicization of the regulatory process. Congress, the next president, and the next EPA Administrator must restore independence and scientific integrity to the EPA by:

Protecting EPA Scientists: Scientists should be free to report the distortion, manipulation, and suppression of their work without fear of retribution. Congress should pass a whistleblower law that includes protection for scientists. The EPA should adopt a communications policy that lets scientists speak freely to the press about their findings.

Making the EPA More Transparent: Too many decisions are made behind closed doors with little accountability. The EPA’s scientific findings should be freely available to the public. The EPA should open up its decision-making process to congressional and public scrutiny to help reveal misuses of science

Reforming the Regulatory Process: The White House should not change scientific findings in order to weaken, delay, or prevent new public protections.

Ensuring Robust Scientific Input to EPA's Decision Making: The EPA should review and strengthen how it uses the scientific expertise of its staff and external advisory committees to create policies—especially when scientific input is critical or required by law.

Depoliticizing Funding, Monitoring, and Enforcement: Problems with funding, monitoring and enforcement also need to be addressed by Congress and the next President to ensure that the EPA is the robust environmental agency that our country needs.

Political interference is not unique to the EPA. Use the links on this page to explore surveys of scientists at other federal agencies and scores of examples of the abuse of science on issues ranging from prescription drugs to endangered species.

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What's Really Going on Here??

Our democracy has been drowned in a flood tide of bribery and greed

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., April 23, 2008

What is happening to science and scientists in the government is not "whether politics is infiltrating" the scientific process, but is a direct reflection of what our political process has become.

Our politicians, parties, and the laws and policy they craft are no more than the puppets of Corporate Bribery. Elections are no more than great auctions where the corporations bid against each other for the first use of our government and resources.

At this point in our history, bribery is more powerful than our democracy, let alone science, in determining policy and ascertaining fact.

The volume of corporate corruptions occurring in our executive branch departments are staggering. The suppression of climate science is complimented by the suppression of endangered species science, which is complimented by the general suppression of every law and regulation which protects public health, our money, or our natural environment.

And if you think the democrats are going to change the situation after the upcoming presidential election, you have not been paying attention to who pays the democrat's bills, and the bribery that is currently dominating the democrat-controlled congress.

The only way stop the bribery that runs our government is by directly prohibiting corporations from contributing to political campaigns, and prohibiting non-voters from directly contributing to candidates and officeholders.

To prevent outside contributions from overwhelming the contributions of the local voters in their own elections, all outside contributions must come through the parties, and the parties' contributions to their candidates must be limited to 30% of the total contributions of the local voters.

To sweep our corrupted politicians out of office, we must reduce the outside bribes they receive to an amount significantly less than the candidates and politicians receive from their local voters.

Until we cut off the corporation's ability to buy our elections and politicians, we will never get an honest democratic government that represents the will and welfare of our citizens.

Until we protect and restore our most fundamental democratic rights, all the rest of our rights will continue to be trampled under the feet of our corporate masters. Until we restore our democracy, our health, wealth, and rights will be sacrificed to enhance the power and wealth of our corporations and their political lapdogs.

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Merck Wrote Drug Studies for Doctors: don't trust your bribed govt? then don't trust drugs, nyt, 4-16-08

Plastic industry poison slowly pushed back, despite their bribes and political clout, lat, April 16, 2008

EPA waiver for California emissions influenced by political bribery: Big Surprise! lat, February 27, 2008

FDA: Eat your Nasty Corporate Spinach! bloomberg, March 12, 2008

China trade Kills, yet again: Don't trust any drugs in the US. Between chinese poison and FDA corruption, the public is screwed, NYT, February 16, 2008

Union of Concerned Scientists: campaign to free scientists from corporate government manipulation, feb 14, ‘08

Corporate Lobbyists killing safety regs as fast as possible under bush, hiring and bribing dems, LAT, December 2, 2007

also see: Interior department manipulation puts big oil before polar bears, McClatchy January 17, 2008

EPA ignored science to deny california auto smog rules, bloomberg, January 24, 2008

Bush climate program drags its feet, has climate research satellites stripped, nyt, September 14, 2007

Fed judge upholds ca auto emissions rules, NYT, December 13, 2007

And Bush bats them down: EPA rejects ca waiver. (Big Oil vs. democracy. We Lose, again.) Union of Concerned Scientists Clean Vehicles Program, December 19, 2007

Ca sues EPA for emissions waiver, lat, January 2, 2008

Political thieves busted trying to steal our last forests: New forest "rules" withdrawn, ap, January 9, 2008

Public health ripped off for corporate profits, nyt, January 8, 2008

Energy Bill: Dems Serve Big Oil, NYT, December 14, 2007

NASA hides air dangers to protect airline profits, bbc, Tuesday, 1 January 2008

White House Manipulation of Climate Science Proven, csm, 12-12-07

Bush program of extinction for nature thwarted: Bribery detected, AP, Nov 28, 2007

Senate Dems forming worthless Co2 Bill, McClatchy, Dec 3, 2007

Essay: Boxer's liar's Game: Maintain growth and Pollution while looking "Green"

Bribery and Special interests power kills public health and safety legislation, Bee, Sept 18, 2007


List of Links: agencies bribed by various corporate interests

Links: Bribing, Silencing, and politically Manipulating Science


The Corruption Database

censoring science

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2) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.

The Abramoff Situation

The abramoff scandal's latest admitted criminal, couglin, was a high ranking JUSTICE DEPARTMENT lawyer who betrayed his country for money.

The majority of the recipients of abramoff's bribery in congress and the white house have not been indicted or charged. The majority of the special interests who funded abramoff's bribery have not been charged.


Former official admits guilt

Last Updated 5:50 am PDT Wednesday,

bee, April 23, 2008

WASHINGTON – A former senior Justice Department official admitted Tuesday that he did favors for clients of lobbyist Jack Abramoff while accepting free meals at upscale Washington restaurants and luxury-suite tickets to sports games paid for by Abramoff's former firm.

In court papers, Robert E. Coughlin II acknowledged using his position as a department official to help Abramoff's former firm, Greenberg Traurig, including campaigning on the firm's behalf to secure a $16.3 million grant for a Indian tribe to build a jail.

Coughlin, 36, who pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court to a felony conflict of interest charge, made the admissions as part of an agreement to cooperate with federal prosecutors in exchange for a lighter sentence.

yesterday. A Fuller Account of the Crimes:

Ex-Official Is Accused of Conflict in Inquiry


nyt, April 22, 2008

WASHINGTON (AP) — A former high-ranking Justice Department official was accused of criminal conflict of interest on Monday in the latest case stemming from the investigation of the disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

The official, Robert Coughlin, was deputy chief of staff of the department’s criminal division, which handled the Abramoff inquiry, before resigning a year ago, citing personal reasons. Mr. Coughlin was due in federal court in Washington on Tuesday for a plea hearing.

Prosecutors accused Mr. Coughlin in court papers filed Monday of providing assistance from 2001 to 2003 to a lobbyist and the lobbyist’s firm while receiving gifts from the firm and discussing prospective employment there. The document filed Monday is known as an information and is normally filed as part of a plea deal.

The lobbyist is not named in the court document, but The Associated Press has previously reported that Mr. Coughlin was lobbied during the period in question by Kevin Ring, a member of Mr. Abramoff’s lobbying team who is also under investigation. At the time, Mr. Coughlin worked for the Justice Department’s office of legislative affairs and its office of intergovernmental and public liaison, and Mr. Ring worked for Mr. Abramoff’s Greenberg Traurig firm.

Both Mr. Ring and Mr. Coughlin worked together for John Ashcroft when he was a Republican senator from Missouri, before he became attorney general in 2001.

The investigation of Mr. Coughlin’s conduct was handled by federal prosecutors in Maryland because of his ties at Justice Department headquarters.

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What's Really Going on Here??

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., April 23, 2008

The abramoff scandal's latest admitted criminal, Robert E. Coughlin II, was a high ranking JUSTICE DEPARTMENT lawyer who betrayed his duty to his country and the rule of law for money.

Despite the downfall of abramoff's bribery enterprise, and the subsequent downfall of coughlin, the system of government by bribery has continued on unmolested.

One of the main problems is that the majority of the recipients of abramoff's bribery in congress and the white house have not been indicted or charged. Yet abramoff was deeply connected to the highest levels of the white house, and he or associates in his bribery business visited the white house at least 300 times. Although Abramoff is gone, the extensive network of contacts in both congress and the white house he distributed his bribes through still exists.

Not surprisingly, few charges have been filed against the sources of bribery money, the special interests who hoped to buy influence through abramoff's political bribery service.

This is not surprising considering the corrupted condition of the Justice Department. When compared with the facts that the Justice Department has engaged in political prosecutions, aided and abetted the crime of torture, participated in searches beyond the constitution and law, coughlin's sale of Justice Department favors to abramoff appears mundane in comparison.

But it is important that we prosecute every politician who takes a bribe to the fullest extent of the law. The truth is that the bribers keep the torturers in power. Each forgives and relies on the sins of the other to keep each other in power.

The bribes of the israeli lobby have entangled us in their middle eastern spree of war crimes. The bribes of big oil paved the road to the iraq war. The flood tide of earmarks gushing out of congress are our congressmen's repayments for the corporate and special interest bribes that put and keep them in power.

The machine that funds corporate control of our government is composed of vast flows of corporate bribery from every sector of the economy that is channeled into funding both the campaigns and careers of our politicians, while also financing the activities of the party machines. Middlemen like abramoff are a dime a dozen.

It appears that our prosecutors and politicians responded to the abramoff scandal by throwing a few sacrificial victims, such as ney, and a few other players so greedy that they actually ran afoul of our contribution laws that permit political bribery, to the press and public. In the meantime, the vast machine that maintains our system of government by bribery continues to roll on unmolested, despite the change of party in congress.

While abramoff and griles (another corrupted high ranking interior department official) have already gotten light sentences, coglin most likely will suffer the same easy slap on the wrist, and the whole system of bribery they participated in will continue to roll along unmolested.

Abramoff and the other fixers and bribers who fell in this scandal have been easily replaced with new players, much like a mighty sports franchise brings up farm players to the big leagues. A few players have fallen, but the game continues as before.

Join our effort to break the hold of bribery on our democracy, and return honesty and honor to our elections, our politicians, and our country.

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abramoff probe targets justice dept lawyer, wp, April 28, 2007

bush declares white house visitor logs a national secret, ap, 3-10-06


abramoff/dolittle links


The Corruption Database





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3) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.

Uribe's cousin refused asylum

world news australia, 23 April, 2008



Costa Rica refused to grant asylum to Colombian President Alvaro Uribe's cousin after prosecutors ordered him arrested for suspected ties to paramilitary squads in a deepening scandal for the US ally.

The investigation of Mario Uribe, a longtime senator and presidential confidant, is expected to fuel concerns among US Democrats who oppose a Colombian trade deal because of human rights abuses and the lingering influence of ex-paramilitary commanders.

The announcement edges the scandal closer to President Uribe as he fends off concerns about congressional stability with more than 60 lawmakers under investigation and half of those behind bars while prosecutors probe their suspected militia ties.

The former senator had earlier sought political asylum at the Costa Rican Embassy in Bogota, but the foreign ministry in San Jose rejected the application because he had an outstanding arrest warrant. It said police would force him to leave the embassy building if he refused to go.

A second cousin to the president and a former congressional leader, Mario Uribe was ordered detained after testimony from paramilitary warlords that he asked them to back his senate campaign and help him secure cheap farmland.

The former lawmaker, who has previously denied any wrongdoing, will be arrested if he does not surrender to the chief prosecutor's office in Bogota.

"This will have an impact," said Rafael Nieto, a former deputy justice minister who is now a political analyst. "For one he is the president's relative and secondly he was for years a partner in Uribe's political fight."

Carrying banners and a fake coffin, victims of paramilitary violence rallied outside the embassy to demand that Mario Uribe face justice for the charges he collaborated with warlords accused of atrocities in the darker days of the conflict.

"Truth, Justice and Reparation," read one banner.

Mario Uribe stepped down from the Senate last October to protect himself from questions from the Supreme Court, which investigates public officials. But the attorney general has kept up its probe into his ties with militia warlords.

Former paramilitary commanders have testified as part of their peace deal that Uribe worked out deals with militias to help him take control of farmland and also to seek their political backing.

Paramilitary organisations were originally formed by wealthy land owners to counter rebels in areas where state security presence was weak. But their influence soon mushroomed as they took control of large swaths of the Andean country.

Paramilitary commanders disbanded their armies under a deal with Uribe's government, which allowed them short jail terms for promising to confess their crimes and compensate victims. But rights groups and some US lawmakers worry the former commanders have kept their criminal networks alive.

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What's Really Going on Here??

Central and South America has been ruled with an iron fist by Spanish Colonial Elites since the conquest:

the era of colonialism has ended, if we like it or not

March 5, 2007 (edited 11-28-07, and 4-23-08)

These elites have maintained power for the last 100 years by trading their country's resources, both human and natural, for American military, political, and economic support for their regimes.

The American program to dominate Central and South America has been an ugly affair from the start. After Cuba gained independence, our continental dominance began to seriously fail during the '70s, leading Nixon and Kissinger to commit crimes against humanity in Chile, and spreading waves of death squads across Central and South America.

Despite our wealth and power, this was a losing battle, and by the early '80s Regan was facilitating the movement of large amounts of drugs into the United States from both Afghanistan and Colombia to fund death squads across Central and South America to prop up our tottering dictatorships, and ironically, fund Osama.

Regan's coke money turns out to be the seed money that allowed Osama's earlier Afghan war against the Russians to morph into "terrorism."

Our actions then are still driving events in Central and South America today, and we have lost south america from our sphere of domination. Our present military and economic support for Uribe are only pushing south america further out of our control. Ironically, our recent historical blunders in vietnam and south america are repeating themselves Iraq, assuring we will have as many bad tomorrows for american interests across the middle east as we have had in south america.

The perfect example of creating a bad tomorrow is our continued military and economic support of Uribe in Colombia. Uribe is directly linked to the Right wing private armies and death squads that are attempting to maintain their control of both Colombia and its cocaine trade.

We mask our military support for uribe's paramilitary government under the mask of the "war on drugs." This lie fools no one in south america.

If we want to prosper in our foreign relations we must understand this simple fact of empire: We can take political power with military and economic power, but we cannot maintain power with force alone. To maintain power, we must match our military and economic force with an equally powerful political or moral force that operates within the value system, and for the benefit of the people we have invaded, occupied, or installed a dictator over.

At this point in our history our situation has become so critical that we must withdraw our military and economic support for our global ring of dictators and authoritarian states to have a chance to maintain our own domestic democracy.

Despite our powerful propaganda and loud claims to be the bearer of the political and moral principals of freedom, justice, and democracy, our support of dictators and death squads in Central and South America has made our claims to hold a moral high ground hollow.

Our political hypocrisy has been the main driving force behind the adoption of radical indigenous maoist and marxist ideology in central and south america. In the the Middle-East our violent imposition of false democracy and hollow freedoms on conquered peoples has been displaced by radical islamic alternatives that offer more justice and legitimacy than our dictators are capable of offering.

As we have no moral force equal to our military and economic power, we are doomed to walk down a long, bloody trail to failure in every region of the world we rule through political proxies or by direct occupation.

We are coming to the end of our long, bloody trail of domination in South America.

The majority of South American nations have effectively taken the control of their political and economic institutions out of the hands of the dictators and colonial elites we sponsored. Central and south america have, for the first time in 500 years, almost complete control of their own continent.

The Agent of our Empire in Guatemala and Hondorus during the formation of the death squads was John Negroponte. Today's drug and death gangs that still haunt the region are the children of yesterday's foreign policy, the children of Negroponte, Poindexter, North, and the crew of criminals that was the Regan administration.

The authoritarian and military governments they supported then are still using extra-judicial violence to maintain political and economic control over their people in Mexico, Guatemala, and Colombia.

The recent "election" in Mexico, and the subsequent violent suppression of resistance to political corruption in Oxacha merely highlights the fraud and violence employed by the spanish elite mafia that once dominated all of central and south america, and still rules over mexico.

Until we stop our corporate criminals here in the United States from suppressing Our Constitution, perverting our democracy, and stealing our government, governments and people around the world will continue to have their political and economic rights violently stolen from them with our help.

Before we can bring the benefits of democracy and freedom to the world, we must first reestablish them here.

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No Charges for Chiquita Executives, NY Times, September 13, 2007


Uribe Says He Intervened in an Inquiry in Colombia, NYT, October 10, 2007


South America Links


The Corruption Database


south america

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4) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.

Pentagon Seeks Authority to Train and Equip Foreign Militaries


nyt, April 16, 2008


WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates urged Congress on Tuesday to grant the Pentagon permanent authority to train and equip foreign militaries, a task previously administered by the State Department, and to raise the annual budget for the effort to $750 million, a 250 percent increase.

Mr. Gates said that rapidly building up the armed forces of friendly nations to combat terrorism within their borders was “a vital and enduring military requirement” — and one that should be managed by the Defense Department.

Representative Ike Skelton, the Missouri Democrat who is the Armed Services Committee chairman, voiced apprehension over “what appears to be the migration of State Department activities to the Department of Defense.”

But Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who testified with Mr. Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, expressed full support for plans to make the Defense Department the lead agency for what is known as the Global Train and Equip Program, which emphasizes rapid assistance.

The State Department also would benefit under a parallel proposal that would double the budget, to $200 million, for a program aimed at assigning civilian experts to work overseas alongside — or instead of — the military. That joint Pentagon-State Department effort would be led by the State Department.

The new budget proposals would not do away with traditional State Department efforts, including Foreign Military Financing, which are intended to develop relationships and ensure access over a longer period of time.

The separate State Department program that is aimed at civilians has already developed local police forces in Haiti and improved health and education programs in Colombia. The increased budget was requested to expand efforts to assign civilians to conflict zones, or potential conflict zones, to carry out tasks that now sometimes fall to military personnel.

State Department officials also said Tuesday that a cable had gone out within the last two weeks to all Foreign Service officers alerting them to the need to fill about 300 positions in Iraq and Afghanistan in the coming year. If sufficient volunteers do not come forward for those hardship posts, the cable said, the State Department has the authority to compel diplomats to serve in those two countries.

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What's Really Going on Here??

america's authority to arm foreign nations must be held tightly by congress, and not granted to the president

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., April 23, 2008

As we can see from the previous article linking colombia's whole government with right-wing colonial elite paramilitaries, giving the pentagon the power to quickly arm our "allies" is a very bad idea.

As it stands today, there appears to be little or no oversight on the executive branch's use of extra-legal violence to fight the "war on terror." Given the long-term propensity of our corporate government to arm and fund dictatorships and then use these good friends and allies to kidnap and torture our enemies, suppress their own people, and attack enemy nations, it appears that giving the pentagon the power to rapidly arm anyone is a really bad idea.

This bill is a bad idea cubed. This bill triples the assets that the executive branch can use to arm foreign nations. As we have seen from the presidential wars we are embroiled in, our constitution was very wise in placing the power to declare war and define the methods and goals we pursue war in congress, while regaling the president to executing these congressional mandates.

Much of our current problems in iraq and afghanistan stem from our radical deviation from our own constitutional rules defining the use of war. Congress failed to do oversight on the war causes. Congress failed to formally declare war, set a standard for victory, or establish the means and rules to achieve victory.

Through the cupidity of our president and incompetence of our congress, we are now left with insufficient moral or military force to either win or depart, in neither iraq or afghanistan. Ominously, it is not clear if we have sufficient enough domestic integrity to confront the political corruption and incompetence that has put us in this position. It appears we lack either the honesty or the wisdom required to extricate ourselves from this extremely dangerous situation our greed and incompetence place us.

The remaining source of our political incompetence lays in having allowed our democratic process itself to be broken by bribery. The requirements for success in our corrupted elections now assures that only the dishonest, greedy and incompetent will rise into positions of power.

If the core engine of bribery that funds political corruption, and political success, is not stopped, no superficial changes in policy or politician will bring the wisdom and honesty into political leadership that the depth of our country's crisis demands.

Our constitutional democracy has broken down to the point where the president has the balls to publicly claim virtually unlimited power to make war, define the rules of war, illegally search our citizens, secretly kidnap and torture anyone he wants, ignore habius corpus, and create executive courts that contain no justice. And all of this is happening during a period in our history when our politicians, and political victory itself, has become more dependent on corporate bribery than the financial support of their local voters.

Besides creating a pentagon program for directly arming foreign nations, this bill doubles the State Department's existing rapid arming program, while maintaining their normal program for arming foreign nations. As our allies in the "war on terror" have used tactics that can only be described as state sponsored terror, it appears that making it easier to quickly arm these criminals is itself a crime. Congress would be wise to let these programs die, but congress has shown itself more corrupt than wise for decades.

The current operation of this legislation has been used to quickly arm american allies that has had the effect of allowing the president to put american military and police support behind governments that are arguably illegitimate, and violently resisted by large parts of their populations.

This bill should be completely defeated, and the arming of foreign nations must be publicly debated and approved by congress on a case by case basis.

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Reasserting congressional prerogatives in foreign policy and reaffirming the importance of following constitutional processes when the United States Government enters into agreements regarding the use or maintenance of the United States Armed Forces or the use of the financial resources of the United States to assist a foreign government or people and clarifying the nature and scope of status of forces agreements.
Sponsor: Rep Lee, Barbara [CA-9] (introduced 3/6/2008) Cosponsors (7)
Latest Major Action: 3/6/2008 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.


central/south america links

The Corruption Database



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5) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.

Letters Give C.I.A. Tactics a Legal Rationale


nyt, April 27, 2008



WASHINGTON — The Justice Department has told Congress that American intelligence operatives attempting to thwart terrorist attacks can legally use interrogation methods that might otherwise be prohibited under international law.

The legal interpretation, outlined in recent letters, sheds new light on the still-secret rules for interrogations by the Central Intelligence Agency. It shows that the administration is arguing that the boundaries for interrogations should be subject to some latitude, even under an executive order issued last summer that President Bush said meant that the C.I.A. would comply with international strictures against harsh treatment of detainees.

While the Geneva Conventions prohibit “outrages upon personal dignity,” a letter sent by the Justice Department to Congress on March 5 makes clear that the administration has not drawn a precise line in deciding which interrogation methods would violate that standard, and is reserving the right to make case-by-case judgments.

“The fact that an act is undertaken to prevent a threatened terrorist attack, rather than for the purpose of humiliation or abuse, would be relevant to a reasonable observer in measuring the outrageousness of the act,” said Brian A. Benczkowski, a deputy assistant attorney general, in the letter, which had not previously been made public.

Mr. Bush issued the executive order last summer to comply with restrictions imposed by the Supreme Court and Congress. The order spelled out new standards for interrogation techniques, requiring that they comply with international standards for humane treatment, but it did not identify any approved techniques.

It has been clear that the order preserved at least some of the latitude that Mr. Bush has permitted the C.I.A. in using harsher interrogation techniques than those permitted by the military or other agencies. But the new documents provide more details about how the administration intends to determine whether a specific technique would be legal, depending on the circumstances involved.


Some legal experts critical of the Justice Department interpretation said the department seemed to be arguing that the prospect of thwarting a terror attack could be used to justify interrogation methods that would otherwise be illegal.

“What they are saying is that if my intent is to defend the United States rather than to humiliate you, than I have not committed an offense,” said Scott L. Silliman, who teaches national security law at Duke University.

But a senior Justice Department official strongly challenged this interpretation on Friday, saying that the purpose of the interrogation would be just one among many factors weighed in determining whether a specific procedure could be used.


Determining the legal boundaries for interrogating terrorism suspects has been a struggle for the Bush administration. Some of those captured in the first two years after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks were subjected to particularly severe methods, including waterboarding, which induces a feeling of drowning.

But the rules for interrogations became more restrictive beginning in 2004, when the Justice Department rescinded a number of classified legal opinions, including a memorandum written in August 2002 that argued that nothing short of the pain associated with organ failure constituted illegal torture. The executive order that Mr. Bush issued in July 2007 was a further restriction, in response to a Supreme Court ruling in 2006 that holding that all prisoners in American captivity must be treated in accordance with Common Article 3.


Legislation that was approved this year by the House and the Senate would have imposed further on C.I.A. interrogations, by requiring that they conform to rules spelled out in the Army handbook for military interrogations that bans coercive procedures. But Mr. Bush vetoed that bill, saying that the use of harsh interrogation methods had been effective in preventing terrorist attacks.


In one letter written Sept. 27, 2007, Mr. Benczkowski argued that “to rise to the level of an outrage” and thus be prohibited under the Geneva Conventions, conduct “must be so deplorable that the reasonable observer would recognize it as something that should be universally condemned.”

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What's Really Going on Here??

US Rulings authorize War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., April, 2008

The Bush administration's use of torture, and their construction of sophisticated legal arguments to legalize torture has made a few facts about political power and legitimacy crystal clear to the whole world.

The first and foremost fact is that the American government condones, supports, and practices torture. To support the practice of torture our government has found it convenient to also claim the power to extra-judicially kidnap and secretly detain those they have deemed enemies of the state, and targeted for torture.

The message from the US to the whole world is crystal clear: extra-judicial kidnapping, secret detentions, and torture are legitimate tools of state.

Beyond our shores, this administration's open torture policy significantly expands on the approval of torture our foreign policy has granted to our allies for over a century. Before Bush, America's message to the world was that if we support your government, your government will be permitted and protected by the US while it secretly kidnaps, detains, and tortures any individuals or groups deemed a threat to the power of your state, or the United States.

Bush has brought American sponsored torture out of the shadows. Bush has broken a century long tradition that the United States maintain a moral and legal separation from the criminality of our torture and torturers by farming out our torture to proxies, or distancing ourselves from torture by hiding behind "renditions."

Today, after bush has asserted that torture is a legitimate tool of state, legal under domestic and international law, tyrants around the world can openly inflict arbitrary arrest, secret detentions, and torture with impunity. Just like Bush and the Americans do it.

The effects of our government's open use and justification of torture is having on governments around the world are profoundly damaging: Bush has effectively legalized torture. It is as if Bush has the power to magically suspend the rule of law, making enforceable legal sanctions against torture disappear around the world.

The implications of Bush's decision to openly seize and employ state use of torture are profound. Bush's open defiance of American and International torture laws are no less than a direct assault on the legitimacy of both. Bush's message is clear, and goes far beyond torture; Bush is asserting that the executive, any executive anywhere, can defy the legislative and judicial branches of their government, make their own laws, and ignore international law and treaty.

Bush's seizure of power exposes the deepest questions concerning the legitimacy of governments and the rule of law itself: on what basis is American law legitimate? Bush's actions contend that legitimacy can be established in one person alone, and that one person can individually exercise all of the powers of the state without constitutional or legal restraint.

Bush's position is exactly the principal that our Revolution violently rejected, and our Constitution outlawed. To create a pretext for their torture crimes, this administration has assaulted the core constitutional principals and process that legitimizes our laws.

As the president's actions have no Constitutional basis, this administration has resorted to inflaming the public with the ultimate emotional argument, fear, with the full cooperation of the corporate media, to justify their attack on our system of political checks and balances.

This marks the bush administration as a greater threat to our country than Osama or any terrorist group. Osama and our other physical enemies can only blow down buildings, but bush is blowing apart something far more valuable: the principals and values that tied us together as a free and democratic nation.

The second canard is that the wartime president is beyond the law, and that this war's battlefield is the whole world. This is not just clearly unconstitutional, but is a threat to the sovereignty of every country in the world, as well as our own.

The president is not just wrong, his justifications stand in complete contempt of the words of the Constitution. The plain words of the Constitution clearly gives Congress the sole authority not just to declare war, but to set the goals and rules for the operation of our military forces, and for captures. Bush has no power to make any rules of war.

The president's use of torture is just one act in a series of Presidential crimes against individual foreigners, foreign countries, our own domestic rights and law, and the terms of our Constitution. What we are seeing is no less than a sustained assault of high crime and misdemeanors against our Constitution. The President has committed an ongoing series of serious domestic felonies, defied the Constitution, and committed a series of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

There is one thing more dangerous and despicable that the President's illegal tortures and defiance of our Constitution: The corrupted politicians in both parties' abject failure to do a damn thing to stop bush, to protect or preserve the fundamental rules of our Constitutional Republic, our rights, or our security.

The Bush administration has put the President above our Constitutional principals, the laws of Congress, the checks and balances of Congress, and has swept away the rights and liberties guaranteed by our Bill of Rights. And Congress has sat quietly, dividing up our shrinking wealth in earmarks to their corporate bribers, as the President ravages our country and Constitution.

The President is a traitor, a criminal, and an emblem who well represents and reflects all of the political corruptions that have also neutered Congress and the Courts.

So far, this administration's open rejection of American and international laws against torture has not been rejected or punished either domestically or internationally. It appears that Bush's claims to criminal powers have been sustained by Congress, established by precedent, and will be available for use by the next President.

It appears that Bush has reestablished the ancient powers of an absolute monarch at the center of our global corporate fascist empire. This is not going to work out well for the average American.

I expect that when our people, and our servants and dictators around the world finally realize that Bush's torture policy is tantamount to a formal announcement of the birth of the American Corporate Fascist Empire, they will continue to serve it as long as it continues to pump out the profits, power and prestige required to maintain our brutal ascendancy.

By the looks of our economy, our ethics, and our environment, our ascendancy is failing quickly.

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US Code 2441. War crimes

Gonzales 2002 Memo Calling Geneva Conventions “Quaint” and “Obsolete,”, 11-10-04


Corruption Updates 83, 1st article on the page, "Cheney the Torture mastermind"


Corruption Updates 84, 1st article on the page,"Pelosi: Impeachment 'off the table"


Corruption Updates 85, 1st article on the page, "Cheney: Angler, A Catalog of Cheney Crimes"


Bush signs new CIA Torture authorization, LAT, July 21, 2007

Corruption Updates 99, 5th article on the page, "Bush Could Bypass new Torture Ban"

ABA Clear: Bush Policy allows Torture, AP, 8-10-07

Book: Torture Taxi reveals us system of kidnapping, secret prisons, and torture, Toward Freedom, 9-6-07


Mukasey is drawn into an old fight: Dems Ready to Confirm AG who will Protect Bush's Crimes, Los Angeles Times, September 18, 2007


Corruption Updates 119, 2nd article on the page, Secret U.S. Endorsement of Severe Interrogations: Bush's Signing Statements on McCain's Anti-Torture Law in 2005 have been know to All


Dems demand Justice Dept. memos that OKd use of harsh interrogations: Dems Pretend Surprize at Bush's Continued Regime of Kidnapping, Disappearances, Torture, and Kangaroo Courts, Washington Post, October 5, 2007

Bush Defends Interrogations (Torture), Washington Post, October 6, 2007


CIA orders investigation of IG who is investigating CIA kidnapping, disappearances, and torture, NY Times, October 13, 2007


Navy Seal testifies before Congress: Waterboarding is torture, Independent (UK), November 2007

Waterboarding Used to Be a Crime, wp, 11-4-04


Dems confirm unitary president, torture, and and all of Bush's crimes through Mukasey Confirmation, Washington Post, November 9, 2007

Mukasey Endorses Expansive Presidential Authority: Who Will Defend the President's Crimes Now? Mukasey and the Dems., Washington Post, October 18, 2007

Mukasey refuses to call Bush Torture Torture, Los Angeles Times, October 31, 2007


Liars in Congress to ban torture: They already did, and bush ignored them, NYT, December 7, 2007


Bush renominates bradbury, author of torture memos, for office of legal counsel, nyt, January 24, 2008

mukasey rules torture legal, reuters, 1-30-08

Mukasey's rulings predictable before confirmation, committee, 8-28-07


white house admits war crimes, ap 2-6-08

Mukasey refuses to prosecute War Crimes, ap, 2-7-08

UN condemns US Torture, ap, 2-6-08


Bush vetoes torture ban, again, Mar. 8, 2008 (Reuters)


ABC Promotes Torture, (reveals link between torture chambers and White House) ABC, 12-10-07

ABC reveals that torture discussed, approved, and guided from highest levels of white house, abc, 4-10-08

New Unlimited President Link Lists

The Unitary Executive: Torture

The Unitary Executive: Illegal Searches

Executive Trials

The Department of Injustice

Failure of Oversight: The Corporate Press


Torture: Links

essay: Bush Rules He Can Torture Anyone He Wants:
The world will follow his example,
committee, 7-23-07


The Corruption Database


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6) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.

Lengthy Pentagon review delays report on terrorism interrogations

Marisa Taylor | McClatchy Newspapers


last updated: April 11, 2008 11:40:35 AM

WASHINGTON — The release of a report on the FBI's role in the interrogations of prisoners in Afghanistan, Guantanamo Bay and Iraq has been delayed for months because the Pentagon is reviewing how much of it should remain classified, according to the Justice Department's watchdog.

Glenn Fine, the Justice Department's inspector general, told McClatchy that his office has pressed the Defense Department to finish its review, but officials there haven't completed the process "in a timely fashion."

"Why that happened, I don't know," Fine said in an interview this week.

"It's been slower than we would like, and it's taken a long time. We provided our report to them months ago, and we are pushing hard to conclude this process."

Fine is investigating whether FBI employees participated in detainee abuse, whether they witnessed or reported incidents of abuse, and how such reports were handled by the bureau.

Fine launched his investigation into the FBI's role in the interrogations in early 2005 amid disclosures that FBI agents had witnessed and complained about harsh interrogation practices of detainees, including seeing Guantanamo Bay detainees who had defecated and urinated on themselves and who had been chained on the floor for more than 24 hours without food or water in more than 100 degree temperatures.

The delay comes as the Bush administration is under fire for its legal justifications of harsh interrogation practices, which critics say equated to an endorsement of torture prohibited by U.S. and international laws.

The allegations that FBI agents witnessed the abuse of prisoners were outlined in internal government documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union as part of a Freedom of Information lawsuit. The documents raised questions about whether the bureau's top officials did enough to investigate allegations of detainee abuse by military interrogators and whether military interrogators were impersonating FBI agents to avoid liability against allegations of torture.

Meanwhile, a federal judge assigned to the ACLU's lawsuit hasn't ruled on whether federal agencies should be compelled to release other internal documents, including still-undisclosed memos that authorized harsh interrogation techniques.

Since the ACLU requested the documents in October 2003, the FBI has released a "limited" number of documents, but the Pentagon has continued to resist, citing potential national security damage, said Amrit Singh, an ACLU staff attorney.

"It's outrageous," she said. "At every stage, they have fought tooth and nail to withhold information from the public to protect themselves from embarrassment. The government continues to withhold documents critical for informing the public on government policies on prisoner treatment."

Last week, the Justice Department released a 2003 memo written by then-Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Yoo that gave the military interrogators wide latitude for interrogation tactics and concluded officials could not be prosecuted for techniques such as slapping. The Justice Department later retracted the memo.

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FBI working to bolster Al Qaeda cases, lat, 10-21-07

Nominee for Pentagon watchdog withdraws, ap, 12-6-06

Bribery Network to Bloat War Costs Is Alleged: Bush and Friends Robbing the US, nyt, 7-21-07

New Unlimited President Link Lists

The Unitary Executive: Torture

The Unitary Executive: Illegal Searches

Executive Trials

The Department of Injustice

Failure of Oversight: The Corporate Press


The Corruption Database


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7) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.

Tales of the Don:

One thing you can say about State Senate President Pro Tem Don "The Don" Perata - he ain't subtle.

Phillip Matier,Andrew Ross

sf chron, 4-23-08

A little while back, the Oakland Democrat - who once used the logo for "The Sopranos" for a fundraiser invite - changed the locks on three fellow Democrats' offices after they attended a fundraiser Perata had not approved.

Then there was the payback recall drive Perata launched against Republican state Sen. Jeff Denham of Merced for not backing the Democrats' budget plan last year.

The most recent episode of "Life With the Don" Perata revolves around the use of staffers for political campaigns.

It's an open secret in both the Assembly and the Senate that staffers are expected to "volunteer" their vacation time for political campaigns when needed.

Recently, Perata made such a call for staffers to work on the Denham recall. The response was less than overwhelming, prompting Perata to send out a personal note to senators whose staffers were no-shows expressing his disappointment.

As one might expect when the boss gets snippy, the note was immediately passed on to reporters.

If that weren't enough, someone from the Denham recall campaign asked the Senate's interpreter to translate into Spanish an anti-Denham political message: "He uses campaign funds for trips to Las Vegas and Sedona while the Senate is in session."

The interpreter's office, possibly thinking the request had actually come from Denham, e-mailed the targeted senator both a copy of the script and a note stating it would be against the rules to translate something so clearly political on the public dime.

You'd have needed a stopwatch to time how quickly Denham's camp passed that little nugget onto to the press.

Denham spokesman Kevin Spillane said Perata's moves took political abuse "to a whole new level."

Perata is being tight-lipped, saying only that the letter about the lack of volunteers was an "error."

And the translation debacle?

"That wasn't me," Perata said.


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What's Really Going on Here??

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., April 27, 2008

The way our political system is tailored to serve big bribes and the politicians who take them, we are assured that our system moves the biggest scumbags to the top of the crap-pile we call our state government. This explains how two of the most corrupt enemies of democracy in our state, Perata and Nunez, were able to purchase political leadership in California. They took and distributed the most bribes from the biggest bribers in the state.

Don Perata is a text book example of how and why the stinkiest political pond scum always float to the top of the scummy pond. The biggest crooks take the biggest bribes, and will commit the biggest betrayals of our democracy, which assures they will receive the vast corporate bribes necessary to not just win office, but bribe their fellow scumbags into electing them as leaders.

The good news is that the emperor of scum, Don Perata, and his scummy empire were voted out of office when their fake "term limits" measure, with which Perata and his fellow corrupt political piece of shit, Fabian Nunez, tried to fool the voters into prolonging their reign of corruption.

The bad news is that the same system of vile corruptions that put Nunez and Perata into positions of leadership is still intact. This assures us that independent of who takes the places of Nunez and Perata, they too will have crawled out of the very same cesspool of corruption that spawned Nunez and Perata, and will carrry the same reek of political corruption that sits like a cloud over the State Capitol.

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Bribery runs our Elections


Corruption Updates 2, 1st article on the page, "Perata Retracts Corrupt Act:...tries to regain credibility after serving his Political Masters"

Corruption Updates 2, 2nd article on the page, "Perata Takes a HALF-Mil to Sell Out:..half-mil to kill bills..."

Corruption Updates 2, 3rd article on the page, "Dems Claims BUILDERS CLOUT Arnie's Fault: Dems cite Arnie as cause of Perata's Corruption"

Corruption Updates 81, 2nd article on the page, "Perata: Living Large"

Corruption Updates 89, 6th article on the page, "Term-limit supporters seek probe of Perata"


Nunez licks the balls of wealth and power:

So much for Atzlan

Nunez Lives Like a King on Corporate Bribes

Nunez Pretends to be "Middle-Class" while living in luxury at public and private troughs

Nunez and Perata Living Large on the Massive Bribes of the Special Interests

Nunez Brags that his Bribes Pay his for Luxury rather than the State: but he still collects his per diem while whoring for the corporations

Great News Clip of Nunez running away from the truth, and his own "Blackwater" security detail

Nunez lives with Political Fundraiser: Is there and separation between Nunez and his Corporate Bribers?

Donors pour Millions into State Parties: And the Politicians Party around the world

Worthless Assembly does Nothing but Play Games and Rob the People Blind

Nunez links

Term Limits links


The Corruption Database





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8) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.

Baitullah orders militants to stop attacks in Fata, NWFP

By Alamgir Bhittani

Dawn, 4-24-08


TANK, April 23: The leader of Pakistani Taliban, Baitullah Mehsud, has ordered his fighters to “immediately cease their activities” in the tribal region as well as the NWFP.

“Baitullah Mehsud has issued directives to all his comrades that in order to restore peace in the region, they should cease their activities forthwith both in the tribal region as well as the settled districts of the NWFP,” said a pamphlet released on Wednesday. “He has warned that his directives should be complied with and those violating them will be publicly punished,” it said.

A spokesman for Baitullah confirmed the contents of the pamphlet circulated in South Waziristan Agency and the adjoining districts of Tank and Dera Ismail Khan. The development follows behind-the-scenes negotiations between the amir of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and the government, conducted through tribal interlocutors.

A 15-point draft agreement, to be signed between the Mehsud tribe of South Waziristan and the local political administration, calls for an end to militancy, exchange of prisoners, withdrawal of the military and resolution of issues in accordance with local customs and the Frontier Crimes Regulation.

Maulvi Omar, who speaks for Baitullah, told Dawn that the military had begun pulling out of the Mehsud area as a result of the talks.

The draft agreement envisages the Frontier Corps would replace the military in the area.

Sources said that military presence in the Mehsud territory was already very thin, except for a limited number in Razmak. A military spokesman, however, denied that any orders had been issued to pull out the army. “Not yet,” Maj-Gen Athar Abbas said. “So far we have not received any orders from the government.”

Maulvi Omar said talks between the two sides were “coming to fruition”. The agreement would incorporate demands from the two sides, he added.

He claimed that the TTP had in custody more than 100 military, paramilitary and government officials. They would be released after the signing of the peace accord through a grand tribal jirga.

Maulvi Omar said talks were under way on two tracks — at the provincial level to restore peace in the settled districts, including Swat and Darra Adamkhel, and for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

“There will be full compliance from our side,” he said, adding that he was more optimistic than ever before that peace would finally return to the region.

He said the government had released three of their people, including Maulana Sufi Mohammad.

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9) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.

Peace deal with militants must be enforced: US

daily times, april 24, 2008


WASHINGTON: The United States’ judgement on the new Pakistani government’s peace deal with militants will depend on whether the groups keep their pledge against using force, US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher said on Wednesday.

“You have to talk to people,” he said. “The Pakistani government is engaged in discussions designed to stop violence. It’s got to be done in a way that produces results, that reduces violence. It’s the outcome that matters.”

Boucher said there had been such efforts in the past, but unsuccessful ones because they were not enforced.

The White House, however, took a cautious stance. Press Secretary Dana Perino said, “We have been concerned about these types of approaches because we don’t think they work.”

“What we encourage them to do,” Perino said, “is to continue to fight against the terrorists and to not disrupt any security or military operations that are ongoing in order to help prevent a safe haven for terrorists there.” ap

(note: see this earlier article about the terms the paki tali insist on for peace with the central govt: 1. sever ties with the US. 2. Sharia law. 3. Continuation of Afghan war against the US.)

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10) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.

US predicts increase in Afghan violence


Associated Press Writer

10:11 AM EDT, April 24, 2008

KABUL, Afghanistan

Insurgent violence in Afghanistan could reach record levels this year as militants increasingly target police and development projects, a top U.S. general said Thursday.

Maj. Gen. Jeffrey J. Schloesser, who commands U.S. forces in the country, said violence is increasing as insurgents pour into Afghanistan from neighboring Pakistan.

Violence "may well reach a higher level than it did in 2007," the bloodiest since the ouster of the Taliban regime in 2001, Schloesser said.

Militants afraid to attack coalition forces are instead directing violence against civilians, police and security forces protecting development projects, he said.

"They are going for what is an easier target," said Schloesser, who heads the 101st Airborne Division. He took up his command in Afghanistan on April 10.

More than 900 policemen were killed last year. More vulnerable than the better-trained and equipped national army, police have made up the majority of at least 159 security forces killed this year -- with at least 72 police officers killed in April alone, according to an Associated Press tally.

The high death toll comes despite some $4 billion spent by the United States to train and equip police in the last three years.

Afghan officials said Thursday that 17 security personnel were arrested for drug offenses in the past year, including an army officer who tried to smuggle hundreds of pounds of hashish and opium in a military vehicle.

Schloesser also echoed warnings by U.S. officials that Pakistan's tribal areas are a breeding ground for Taliban, al-Qaida and other militant groups despite the presence of 100,000 Pakistani troops.

U.S. officials have sought permission to strike insurgent strongholds in the lawless and mountainous region.

A Pakistani official said the government is seeking a peace deal with the tribe of a Taliban commander suspected in the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, part of a strategy of attempting to counter surging Islamic militancy with dialogue and development.

Zahid Khan, a senior official in one of the parties of the ruling coalition, said government envoys were in talks with elders of the Mahsud tribe in South Waziristan. The tribe includes Baitullah Mehsud, Pakistan's top Taliban leader who is accused of ties to al-Qaida.

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What's Really Going on Here??

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., April, 2008

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New Paki govt partner ANP opens talks with taliban, Dawn, 3-30-08

late found news: legendary taliban leader reemerges, asia times 4-4-08

who is this legendary leader? cursor, 1-18-08

New ANP governor demands us stop firing missiles into pakistan, McClatchy Newspapers, 4-1-08

Failure of paki dictator draws US delegation to maintain US, domination of paki military-politics, dawn, 3-28-08

US delegation to pakistan seen as intrusive effort to support failing dictatorship of musharraf, nyt, March 26, 2008


The Corruption Database




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news on this page


1] Survey reveals widespread political interference at EPA

2] Abramoff crony admits guilt, system of corruption undisturbed

3] Colombian dictator's paramilitary cousin runs from justice

4] Pentagon Seeks Authority to Train and Equip Foreign Militaries


5] Department of injustice: fighting to make crime of torture a tool of state

6] Pentagon working to slow Justice Department torture investigation

7] Tales of the Don: a story of political corruption

8]Paki Taliban leader orders cease-fire, peace deal with new govt likely


9] American Self-Delusions Continue: Peace with paki taliban must be "enforced?"

10] US predicts increase in Afghan violence: Is losing the war is more "violent" than winning?