A Smorgasbord of Presidential Crimes

The list of offenses and crimes committed by President Bush and his administration — aided in part by a complacent Judicial system that willingly and knowingly allows President Bush to abuse rights of ‘suspected terrorists’ and a complicit Congress willing to roll over and give the president virtually everything requested regardless of the cost of human rights, liberties and laws — continues to grow at an alarming rate. The complicity of corrupted corporate media as well as numerous corrupted Congress persons has aided and abetted the Bush administration for years.

After being illicitly appointed by the Supreme Court to the Presidency in 2000 and fraudulently winning the 2004 elections, George Bush has done his best to keep corporate media quiet, illegally imprison political opponents, destroy the Constitution, had nothing but contempt for the law while delusionally believing he is above it, bankrupted America while terrorizing it and killed too many American soldiers — not to mention the death toll to the Iraqi’s and other Middle Easterners — while doing his best to destroy the military with an illegal occupation, Bush has attempted to keep everything his administration has done covered up.

House Republicans (and a couple Democrats) are willing to spend $12 Billion a month on an illegal war but calls $685 Million for funding paper ballots extravagent. Maybe they don’t want to have an honest election since they know they can’t win that way. I don’t know. Once again, several voters in the U.S. will pick a president using electronic voting machines that can be hacked. An article from AlterNet details how Republicans quietly hijacked the Justice Department to swing elections.

A recent report from ABC News details dozens of top-secret talks and meetings in the White House where the most senior Bush administration officials — Vice President Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, George Tenet and John Ashcroft — discussed and approved specific details of how high-value al Qaeda suspects could be interrogated, almost to the point of being choreographed, down to the number of times CIA agents could use a specific tactic.

According to the ABC News report, the advisers were members of the National Security Council’s (NSC) Principals Committee, a select group of senior officials who met frequently to advise President Bush on issues of national security policy. President Bush went so far as to say he knew what his top NSC advisers discussed and he approved.

President Bush Authorized Torture

As noted by Daily Kos, ABC failed to mention — and the Associated Press lied while trying to claim that Bush was ‘insulated’ from the torture decision process — the fact that Bush is the head of the NSC. A 2002 memo (PDF) signed by President Bush (acting as NSC head and “decider”) authorized the use of torture. A lot more information and documentation regarding Bush’s attempts to evade the possibility of being charged with war crimes is available in the article from Daily Kos and Consortium News. The Interrogation Documents Debating U.S. Policy and Methods are available from George Washington University.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) issued a press release calling for independent counsel to investigate the Bush administration’s approval of torture and abuse.

Noted by the ACLU:

“No one in the executive branch of government can be trusted to fairly investigate or prosecute any crimes since the head of every relevant department, along with the president and vice president, either knew or participated in the planning and approval of illegal acts,” said Caroline Fredrickson, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office. “Congress cannot look the other way; it must demand an independent investigation and independent prosecutor.”

Fredrickson added, “Congress is duty-bound by the Constitution not only to hold the president, vice president, and all civil officers to account, but it must also send a message to future presidents that it will use its constitutional powers to prevent illegal, and immoral conduct.”

A lot more information regarding Yoo’s delusional reasoning and graphic details of the torture memo can also be found from FireDogLake, TPMMuckraker, The Washington Post and Salon News.

More Misadventures in Federal Intelligence

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff (who says fingerprints aren’t ‘personal data,‘ despite the fact that the DHS says otherwise), reportedly said his department will activate his department’s new domestic satellite surveillance office in stages as soon as possible. Supposedly the program will not intercept communications — but the federal government’s track record with privacy and rights violations, corruption, inability to keep ungodly amounts of personal information safe and orderly as well as their lack of competent leadership — don’t count on it.

Like a bad dream straight out of the 2002 Tom Cruise movie “Minority Report,” the federal government has reportedly invested millions of dollars in emerging technology aimed at detecting and decoding brain activity. Cernium Corp.’s “Perceptrak” integrates video cameras with an intelligent computer video. It uses algorithms to analyze streaming video and detect suspicious activities. Various government agencies are funding the development of technology to detect brain activity remotely, hoping to eventually decode what someone is thinking.

Too many times gross violations of privacy rights have been committed by the FBI. FBI investigators can reportedly transfer key data in an instant along a computer circuit to an FBI technology office in Quantico, Virginia with the click of a mouse. A whistleblower recently came forward to report the ‘unfettered’ access to Verizon’s wireless network.

Verizon denied the report, but the denial was belied by documents obtained by the Electronic Frontier Foundation that describes the FBI’s digital collection system. A lot more information can be found in an article from The Intelligence Daily. As noted by the author, who’s watching the watchers, or in this case, the listeners? One has to wonder how much data the FBI has already accumulated illegally and what has been done with it.

Congress is reportedly pressing to place new controls on the FBI’s ability to demand troves of sensitive personal information from telephone providers and credit card companies, over the opposition of agency officials who claim they deserve more time to clean up past abuses — though the FBI and other federal intelligence agencies have proven time and time again that they can’t clean up after themselves, let alone follow appropriate legal procedures.

Documents obtained by an Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) Freedom of Information Act request reportedly show that a high profile misuse of the FBI’s National Security Letter authority directed by FBI headquarters and FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III was not formerly reported to Congress for almost two years. More information on FBI Director Mueller’s abuse and cover up can be found from The EFF, Daily Kos, Wired.com and The Intelligence Daily. Believing the FBI — or any other federal intelligence agency — will police themselves without any other form of oversight would be delusional.

More Bush Administration Style Justice

Blatant disregard for the law has been the standard operating procedure used by the most corrupt administration in the history of the United States. Recently the New York Times reported that in a major shift of policy, the Justice Department, once known for taking down giant corporations has put off prosecuting more than 50 companies suspected of wrongdoing over the last three years — instead, many companies have avoided the cost and stigma of defending themselves against criminal charges with a so-called deferred prosecution agreement that allows the government to collect fines and appoint an outside monitor to impose internal reforms without going through a trial.

True to the Bush administration modus operandi, in many cases the name of the monitor and the details of the agreement are kept secret. Deferred prosecutions have apparently become a favorite tool of the Bush administration — some legal experts now wonder if the policy shift has led companies, in particular financial institutions now under investigation for their roles in the subprime mortgage debacle, to test the limits of corporate anti-fraud laws.

Other misadventures of the Bush Justice system include the Martial Law Act of 2006 — which was quietly repealed earlier this year — making it easy for President Bush to impose martial law in response to a terrorist ‘incident.‘ It also empowers Bush to declare martial law in response to what he or other federal officials decide is a shortfall of ‘public order,’ whatever that means. Every year Bush has tried to justify his crimes by not suspending the State of Emergency declared on September 11, 2001.

In the administration’s growing desperation to justify illegally spying on every American citizen, Director of National Intelligence McConnell reportedly wants the National Security Administration to monitor America’s internet traffic and Google searches for signs of cyber attack — which would be a good idea if used properly, but given the complete stupidity and unethical actions of the Bush administration and their attempts to disembowel the Constitution and civil liberties, it’s a very bad idea.

The FBI has engaged in a massive cyber surveillance project targeting ‘terror suspects’ emails, telephone calls and instant messages and the Pentagon has used the FBI to spy on Americans to bypass legal restrictions on domestic surveillance to obtain private records of Americans’ internet service providers, financial institutions and telephone companies.

Falsified Charges and Neverending Imprisonment

In what Time magazine dubbed “one of the Justice Department’s most embarrassing legal setbacks since 9/11,” the Bush administration has constantly resorted to manipulating the judicial system to keep a falsely imprisoned Palestinian-American imprisoned indefinitely — Bush’s “global war on terror” is used repeatedly to cover up terroristic tactics used by Bush and his administration.

Dr. Sami Al-Arian was arrested in 2003 with much fanfare and charged in a bloated terrorism conspiracy case. In December 2005 he was acquitted of the most serious charges. Under a plea agreement reached in 2006, Dr. Al-Arian should have been released around April 11, 2008. The Bush administration is still mistreating him and refusing to release him. More information can be found from FreeSamiNow.com. Dr. Al-Arian was the first major case to test the legality of the USA PATRIOT Act.

Elsewhere, a young Canadian — he was 15 in 2002 when he was arrested by the U.S. military — was falsely accused and tortured. New information has come to light showing that the soldier he was accused of killing was actually killed by friendly fire, despite the attempts by the Bush administration to falsify evidence.

Falsified charges and evidence used to hold the so-called “Liberty City Seven” accused of plotting to blow up Chicago’s Sears Tower and bombing FBI offices has resulted in another (the 2nd) mistrial. An Associated Press photographer was held by the U.S. military for more than two years without any formal charges being filed before being released.

The Bush administration has done such a good job of illegally detaining and charging people that they’re reportedly sponsoring trials in Afghanistan in which “prisoners are being convicted and sentenced to as much as 20 years’ confinement in trials that typically run between half an hour and an hour — trials with no legal representation and no way to defend themselves — oftentimes not even knowing what they’re being charged with.

Politicized Presidential Military Injustice

The ACLU reportedly obtained documents from the Department of Defense from the military’s Criminal Investigation Division confirming the military’s use of unlawful interrogation methods on ‘suspected terrorists’ held in U.S. custody in Afghanistan. The documents clearly show that the military was using unlawful interrogations — sometimes resulting in death — while senior officials turned a blind eye to them.

An article from The American Constitution Society Blog written by a former Defense Intelligence Agency employee details the impossibility of providing adequate legal representation, the court’s inability to enforce a defendant’s rights, and the lack of adequate record to support an appeal. He also noted the appearance of illegitimacy which he believed would plague any results that come out of trials conducted under the Military Commissions Act as it is being implemented and he reminds us that the prisoners at Guantanamo have not been found guilty of anything yet.

Recent testimony before Congress by General David Petraeus — virtually repeating almost the exact verbage usually spewed forth by President Bush about how well the ‘surge’ is working regardless of the facts — undercutting the widespread support for getting out of Iraq, betraying the American public while siding with the President who wants to stay the course in Iraq for personal and political reasons that, as noted by TruthDig, run contrary to genuine national security interests.

As noted by AntiWar, President Bush doesn’t want this war to end. First it was the ‘dead enders,’ then it was al-Qaeda in Iraq, now it’s the ‘Special Groups.’ When will it end? Definitely not before the next President takes office, and then it depends on who takes office.

During his ‘testimony’ to Congress, Patraeus pushed toward identifying the current ‘real’ enemy of the Bush administration: Iran. By placing the blame for the recent violence at Tehran’s feet, almost assuredly for Bush’s benefit, Patraeus did his best to push justification for invading Iran.

Given the shoddy treatment of America’s wounded Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans, and the inability to deal with wounded casualties, both physically and mentally, one has to wonder why our non-commissioned military personnel are putting up with it, especially since they’re the ones taking the blame for following orders such as in the case of Abu Ghraib: NOT ONE OF THE MILITARY OFFICERS INVOLVED IN AUTHORIZING THE MISTREATMENT OF PRISONERS THERE HAS BEEN REPRIMANDED OR HELD ACCOUNTABLE IN ANY WAY. Non-commissioned military personnel have been imprisoned for doing what they were told. More vile and disturbing information about the slaughterhouse known as Abu Ghraib has come to light.

Corporate Media Complicity and Propaganda

Earlier I mentioned that the Associated Press lied and manipulated data, apparently as an attempt to insulate Bush from responsibility for authorizing torture. Why I don’t know, but OpEdNews has an article describing how American’s have been sold out and how American democracy has been threatened.

Noted by OpEdNews: “Today, a mere five major corporations control the majority of the news media in the United States: Time-Warner, Disney, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, Bertelsmann AG (Germany), and Viacom (formerly CBS). For the sake of argument, add General Electric’s NBC, which comes in a close sixth.”

For years the Bush administration has violated the ban on covert propaganda by not revealing the role of the federal government in creating video news releases — one of the few things the Bush administration has been able to do well — not to mention the fact that taxpayer dollars have been used by Bush to intentionally deceive the American public. In February of 2006, a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report identified over $1.6 billion in public relations and media spending by the Bush administration during 2003, 2004 and the first two quarters of 2005. The major media outlets willingly and knowingly distribute the government-created covert propaganda.

An article from Counter Punch notes the following:

“Last month:

“an Egyptian citizen was killed when a [US] Navy-contracted ship fired warning shots at approaching motorboats in the Suez Canal. The United States Embassy in Cairo and the Navy initially maintained that, according to the security team aboard the ship, there had been no casualties. But on Wednesday, an embassy statement said it “appears that an Egyptian in the boat was killed by one of the warning shots.” – Associated Press, March 27.

That report wasn’t carried by any major US newspaper or TV channel but demonstrates the arrogance of Bush Washington which encourages knee-jerk lying, reluctant retraction when it becomes obvious that a lie was told, and making a grudging admission later. These are not just indications of dishonesty and evil in the Bush-Cheney administration : they are evidence of the deep and horrible malaise that has penetrated Washington’s officialdom. Who killed the man? We don’t know. We will never know. Nobody will ever be prosecuted for the slaughter of this Egyptian citizen. He is a non-person : just another raghead who got in the way of the United States of America. The lies about his murder by a “warning shot” didn’t work, but who cares, anyway?”

The PA democratic presidentail debate — if you want to call it that — was so bad that ABC’s peers and alternative media have severely criticized it — with the exception of the New York Times who continues to serve as the Clinton propaganda machine. Amazingly enough the Times praised it.

Corporate media has been referred to as the new McCarthyism by Daily Kos for their attempts to destroy Barack Obama — they know Obama can beat McCain and that the move for change would destroy corrupted corporate media and other large organizations. As I’ve said before, if corporate media reported actual news and not bs propaganda that Americans are seeing right through, they would gain more readership, respect and they wouldn’t lose money. The large corporations that own these media outlets run a lot of the show in Washington, but they forget that their survival depends on their customers.

Need more proof that there are major problems with Corporate media? Bill O’Reilly, the lying, mentally twisted moron from FOX News is supposed to receive an Emmy Award from the Boston/New England Chapter next month. O’Reilly is DEFINITELY not a good example of exemplary journalism. FOX news has been ‘reporting’ unfactual news and slanderous lies regarding Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama for some time now. The New York Times has made no mention of Winter Soldier and no mention of President Bush admitting that he authorized torture.

Corporate media has no one to blame for their downfall but themselves. The American public has been lied to and fed selective information and propaganda for several years now and we’ve had enough.

Several of these crimes probably qualify as war crimes. Several of these crimes could also amount to treason. The ‘Global War On Terror’ has gotten entirely out of hand — it’s turning into a police state. It’s long past time to hold the entire Bush administration, corporate media and our lawmakers accountable for the damage and destruction done to this country. It’s time for Americans to take their country back.

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