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Archive for the ‘Gonzales’ Category

Gonzales To Oversee Death Penalty

Posted by nytexan on August 14, 2007

This is stunning, Alberto Gonzales the guy who can’t recall where he put his shoes will be in charge of overseeing the death penalty. Obviously there were several items that were missed by the 109th Congress when they reauthorized the Patriot Act. Interesting that the items missed have to do with the Department of Justice.

  • Attorney General Alberto Gonzales could see his influence over death penalty decisions increase under new regulations expected to be approved soon by the Justice Department, the Los Angeles Times reports.
  • Implementing a “little-notice provision in last year’s reauthorization of the Patriot Act,” the Justice Department rules give Gonzales authority that had previously been held by federal judges to decide whether states are providing adequate council for defendants in death penalty cases, according to the Times.
  • “The move to shorten the appeals process and effectively speed up executions comes at a time of growing national concern about the fairness of the death penalty, underscored by the use of DNA testing to establish the innocence of more than a dozen death row inmates in recent years,” reports Richard B. Schmitt in the Times Tuesday.
  • On the same day the Times story appeared, Gonzales addressed the Fraternal Order of Police National Conference in Louisville, Ky. Although the attorney general did not mention his soon-to-expand death penalty influence, he did invoke his nephew’s service in Iraq.
  • “Recently, some in the media have questioned how I deal with the recent challenges in the Department. It’s simple. You see I have a nephew stationed in Iraq. I visited with him on Saturday and we talked about his challenges,” Gonzales said. “Yes, I face criticism, but he faces bullets. I sleep comfortably in my own bed next to my wife. My nephew sleeps with his buddies in a converted meat packing building.”
  • Gonzales has faced withering criticism from Congress over his role in firing nine US Attorneys last year and a host of other scandals. In Louisville, Gonzales joked about his and other administration officials’ frequent appearances before congressional committees investigating his conduct.
  • “And as Defense Secretary Robert Gates has noted, ‘In Washington, most of my public remarks tend to begin with someone asking me to raise my right hand,'” Gonzales said.
  • Among the topics that have come up during Gonzales appearances in hearing rooms on Capitol Hill was his handling of a previous death penalty case. TPM Muckraker revisits an exchange between Gonzales and Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA), the Judiciary Committee’s ranking Republican.
  • Specter and Gonzales sparred over the Justice Department’s decision to overrule a federal prosecutor who decided not to seek the death penalty for Rios Rico, who had been convicted of murder in Arizona. The US Attorney overseeing the case previously, Paul Charlton, testified that deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty and Gonzales had deliberated on the case for “five to 10 minutes” before deciding to seek the death penalty.
  • Gonzales said he could not recall anything about the case of his discussions with McNulty about it.
  • “Well, Mr. Attorney General, I’m not totally unfamiliar with this sort of thing,” Specter chided Gonzales. “When I was district attorney of Philadelphia, I had 500 homicides a year. I didn’t allow any assistant to ask for the death penalty that I hadn’t personally approved. And when I asked for the death penalty, I remembered the case.”
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Posted in Congress, Department of Justice, Gonzales, National, Patriot Act, Politics | 1 Comment »

Demanding Congress To Reverse Their Capitulation

Posted by nytexan on August 8, 2007

I received the email below from MoveOn.org and thought you would like to sign the petition.

The Democratic-controlled Congress did the unthinkable on Saturday night: They gave President Bush and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales more unchecked power to wiretap Americans without a warrant.1 Yes, that’s the same Attorney General who is currently mired in scandal and probably committed perjury on this very issue.2

Why’d they do it? Because the president used fear to intimidate them and it worked.3

Enough is enough. We have to send a strong message to Congress that there is not rade-off between fundamental liberties and security. Preserving our Constitution is essential to our security—we can’t lead on freedom around the world when we’re actively undermining the rule of law at home.

A good place to start is by having hundreds of thousands of us sign on to this petition demanding that Congress reverse their capitulation to Bush and the politics of fear. If enough of us speak out we’ll send a clear message that Americans aren’t buying the administration’s scare tactics.

We’ll make sure to deliver your comments to your representative and senators within the week.

The President used fear of another terrorist attack to bully Congress into giving him more unchecked power and they gave in to his scare tactics. While most Democrats voted against these expanded powers, Democratic leaders in Congress didn’t put up much of a fight and they didn’t stand up and say ‘no’ to Bush. We’ve seen this play out before—most notably when almost every member of Congress voted for the Patriot Act—many without even reading it.4

They do this because they’re afraid of being seen as weak on security—and because they buy the conventional wisdom that voters don’t really care about constitutional freedoms. If enough of us sign, we can make it plain just how broad support for preserving the Constitution is.

The only good news here is that these new unchecked powers that Congress gave the Bush administration aren’t permanent. They’ll expire in six month sand we have to make sure that Congress doesn’t renew them then.

Here’s how the Washington Post’s editorial board described what happened:5

“The Democratic-led Congress, more concerned with protecting its political backside than with safeguarding the privacy of American citizens, left town early yesterday after caving in to administration demands that it allow warrantless surveillance of the phone calls and e-mails of American citizens, with scant judicial supervision and no reporting to Congress about how many communications are being intercepted. To call this legislation ill-considered is to give it too much credit: It was scarcely considered at all. Instead, it was strong-armed through both chambers by an administration that seized the opportunity to write its warrantless wiretapping program into law—or, more precisely, to write it out from under any real legal restrictions.”

To keep focus on this, we’re helping start a new long-term effort called the AmericanFreedom Campaign to keep the pressure on Congress and make sure they fix this mess instead of making these powers permanent. We hope you can help over the coming months.

It’s Congress’s job to act as a check on the president’s authority—not as a rubber-stamp. They have to know that we’re watching them and we’re demanding real accountability for this overreaching president.

Click here to add your name to the petition:

http://pol.moveon.org/capitulation/o.pl?&id=10919-6618849-kXLs_w&t=5

President Bush still hasn’t responded to Congress’ subpoenas demanding the legal rationale for his warrantless wiretapping. If they don’t rein him in now, it is unlikely that he—or any president that comes after him—will ever comply with this kind of necessary oversight.

Thanks for all you do,

–Nita, Wes, Justin, Carrie and the MoveOn.org Political Action Team
Tuesday, August 7th, 2007

Sources:

1.”House Approves Wiretap Measure,” Washington Post, August 5, 2007
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=2869&id=10919-6618849-kXLs_w&t=6

2. Senator May Seek Gonzales Perjury Probe, Washington Post, July 26, 2007
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=2870&id=10919-6618849-kXLs_w&t=7

3. The Fear of Fear Itself—NYTimes Editorial, New York Times, August 7,2007
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/07/opinion/07tue1.html

4. Rep. Jim McDermott, Congressional Record: July 8, 2004,
http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/2004_cr/h070804.html

5. Warrantless Surrender,Washington Post, August 7, 2007
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=2871&id=10919-6618849-kXLs_w&t=8

 

Posted in Bush, Congress, Democrat, Gonzales, Pelosi, petition, Politics, Reid | 6 Comments »

Bush Ability to “Strike Fear” Trumps The Bill Of Rights

Posted by bosskitty on August 5, 2007

House Approves Wiretap Measure

White House Bill Boosts Warrantless Surveillance

By Ellen Nakashima and Joby Warrick Washington Post

The Democratic-controlled House last night approved and sent to President Bush for his signature legislation written by his intelligence advisers to enhance their ability to intercept the electronic communications of foreigners without a court order.

The 227 to 183 House vote capped a high-pressure campaign by the White House to change the nation’s wiretap law, in which the administration capitalized on Democrats’ fears of being branded weak on terrorism and on a general congressional desire to act on the measure before an August recess.

If BushCo can strike fear into the hearts of our elected representatives, forcing them to enable illegal and unconstitutional acts, then we have elected nothing! This is now a ghost democracy fraught with Black Ops and Shadow Government. Civil war or revolution is no longer an option … because every move we make is scrutinized. Americans are all suspects now. Americans are the enemy. Americans will become the zombies from George Orwell’s ‘1984’ where hidden microphones and informers in order to catch potential “thoughtcriminals” who could endanger the security of the Dystopian GOP Party.

180px-1984_social_classes_altsvg.png

The original statute was enacted after the revelation of CIA abuses in the 1970s, and it required judicial oversight for most federal wiretapping conducted in the United States.

Privacy and civil liberties advocates, and many Democratic lawmakers, complained that the Bush administration’s revisions of the law could breach constitutional protections against government intrusion. But the administration, aided by Republican congressional leaders, suggested that a failure to approve what intelligence officials sought could expose the country to a greater risk of terrorist attacks.

Democrats facing reelection next year in conservative districts helped propel the bill to a quick approval. Adding to the pressures they felt were recent intelligence reports about threatening new al-Qaeda activity in Pakistan and the disclosure by House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) of a secret court ruling earlier this year that complicated the wiretapping of purely foreign communications that happen to pass through a communications node on U.S. soil.

 

Posted in 1984, 4th Amendment, Accountability, administration, appropriation, Bill of Rights, Black Ops, Bush, Cheney, civil liberties, civil rights, collaborators, Congress, conspiracy, Constitution, Contempt, Corruption, cover up, criminal, Democracy In Action, dictatorship, disinformation, domestic spying, Excuses, Executive Branch, Fear, FISA, Founding Fathers, Gonzales, GOP, Homeland Security, House of Representatives, Hypocracy, King George, Law, Legacy, Lord Cheney, Monarchy, national intelligence, Orwellian, Oversight, Patriot Act, President, profiteers, Reich, resonsibility, Senate, Shadow Government, Tax Dollars, terrorists, The Divider, The Liar, Theocracy, threat, War Crimes, War on Terror, wiretapping | Leave a Comment »

King George Wins Wiretapping For All Foreigners

Posted by bosskitty on August 4, 2007

Associated Press
House Approves Foreign Wiretap Bill

WASHINGTON –

The House handed President Bush a victory Saturday, voting to expand the government’s abilities to eavesdrop without warrants on foreign suspects whose communications pass through the United States.

The 227-183 vote, which followed the Senate’s approval Friday, sends the bill to Bush for his signature. He had urged Congress to approve it, saying Saturday, “Protecting America is our most solemn obligation.”

Oh well.  What did you really expect?  FISA  neutered,  the 4th Amendment a memory.

The administration said the measure is needed to speed the National Security Agency’s ability to intercept phone calls, e-mails and other communications involving foreign nationals “reasonably believed to be outside the United States.” Civil liberties groups and many Democrats said it goes too far, possibly enabling the government to wiretap U.S. residents communicating with overseas parties without adequate oversight from courts or Congress.

The 227-183 vote, which followed the Senate’s approval Friday, sends the bill to Bush for his signature.

10:38 P.M. –
On agreeing to the resolution Agreed to without objection.
10:37 P.M. –
Considered as privileged matter. On approving the Journal Agreed to by the Yeas and Nays: 205 – 187 (Roll no. 837).

S. 1927:

to amend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 to provide additional procedures for authorizing certain acquisitions of foreign intelligence information and for other purposes

(Click here to see how everyone voted

Many congressional Democrats wanted tighter restrictions on government surveillance, but yielded in the face of Bush’s veto threats and the impending August recess.

“This bill would grant the attorney general the ability to wiretap anybody, any place, any time without court review,  without any checks and balances,”  said Rep. Zoe Lofgren,  D-Calif.,  during the debate preceding the vote.   “I think this unwarranted, unprecedented measure would simply eviscerate the 4th Amendment,”  which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures.

The House of Faux Representatives must have a VERY good reason to appease the King.  I am sure the Sunday morning talk shows will be filled with excuses and explanations.  This bill is a great tool not bound by accountability.  Gonzales  will be the decider when and where to use his expanded powers.  Woe, I mean Wow,  I feel safer already.  Time to learn sign language.  I think I’ll wear moccasins, too.  They make no sound as you tiptoe across the border into Canada.

Posted in 4th Amendment, Accountability, administration, Armageddon, betrayal, Bill of Rights, Bush, Cheney, civil liberties, civil rights, Congress, conspiracy, Constitution, Contempt, Corruption, criminal, Deception, Democracy In Action, dictatorship, disinformation, domestic spying, Excuses, Executive Orders, Fear, FISA, Founding Fathers, Gonzales, Homeland Security, House of Representatives, Hypocracy, Impeach, intelligence, King George, Law, Lord Cheney, Mike McConnell, national intelligence, Oversight, Patriot Act, Pelosi, Politics, profiteers, Republican, resonsibility, Senate, Tax Dollars, taxpayers, The Divider, The Liar, Theocracy, War Cost, wiretapping | 5 Comments »

Bush Wants To Listen And Watch Our Every Word

Posted by bosskitty on August 4, 2007

Bush urges Congress to pass wiretap bill

Lawmakers hustle to act before recess

WASHINGTON — Congress is rushing to expand the military’s authority to wiretap phone calls and e-mails on US soil. The Bush administration, warning that terrorists may soon attack again, is pressuring lawmakers to approve the legislation before they leave town this weekend for their annual August vacations.

The proposal, the details of which remain murky, had received little public discussion before this week and has not undergone the normal committee review process. It would apparently give the National Security Agency legal approval to resume one type of the warrantless wiretapping that President Bush authorized after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Doesn’t history remind us that Stalin and Hitler built excuses to spy on their own people to control anyone who opposed their political agendas.  What will your congressman do?  Do you have representation?  Are our ‘inalienable rights’  a terrorist conspiracy?  Our Founding Fathers would be in Guantanamo for fighting for ‘inalienable rights’ as Americans!

Bush, the reincarnation of Hitler,  does this all because his imaginary God has spoken to him and given him the Armageddon Agenda. 

Posted in Armageddon, Bush, Cheney, civil liberties, civil rights, Congress, Corruption, cover up, covert, Declaration of Independence, dictatorship, Excuses, Executive Branch, Gonzales, Homeland Security, Human Rights, Impeach, King George, Law, national intelligence, Nazi, Outsource, Oversight, President, profiteers, Prophesy, Reich, Shadow Government, The Divider, The Liar, trolls, War Crimes, War on Terror, wiretapping | 6 Comments »

Tillman Murdered? From Threat To Hero In 3 Shots!

Posted by bosskitty on July 28, 2007

OpEdNews has a provocative article by by Rob Kall:

There is mounting evidence that Pat Tillman was assassinated to silence his opinions about the Iraq War. The 2300 page report is raising more suspicion that Tillman was murdered. If this atrocity is not investigated NOW, then Tillman will become a mystery just like Kennedy. Motives abound for Kennedy’s assassination, and motives for stopping Tillman are unfolding every day.

The Tillman report also states that “No evidence at all of enemy fire was found at the scene – no one was hit by enemy fire, nor was any government equipment struck.”

Tillman had become so vocal in his ‘Anti-War’ rant, that he was a serious threat to the ‘Bush Mafia’ disinformation machine. His return to the US would have been a media disaster for the administration. The White House puppeteers would have to do something to protect their enterprise. SO! What better way than to turn a threat into an asset. Lets make Tillman a dead hero. Someone in the White House is a marketing genius … who could THAT be?

The Bush Mafia Crime Machine is more transparent every day. Here is the dilemma we face with the mountains of proof:

  1. Is it more efficient to Impeach Cheney?
  2. Impeach Bush?
  3. Cut war funding?
  4. Indict one Bush / Cheney aide at a time?
  5. Keep tally of this administration’s crimes as they are revealed?
  6. Bitch and Moan?
  7. Update our passports so we can escape to a more rational country?

BossKitty is updating that passport, how about you?

Posted in Accountability, Afghanistan, assassination, betrayal, Black Ops, Bush, Casualties, Cheney, Collateral, conspiracy, cover up, crimes, dictatorship, disinformation, Gonzales, GOP, Hypocracy, Impeach, indictment, Law, Legacy, Lord Cheney, Mafia, Nazi, Oil, Op-Ed, Pentagon, Pentagon Corruption, Politics, President, profiteers, Rove, Rumsfeld, Scandal, Shadow Government, Soldiers, Tax Dollars, The Divider, The Liar, Theocracy, threat, Tillman, War Crimes | 4 Comments »

Democrats Seek Perjury Investigation Of Gonzales

Posted by nytexan on July 26, 2007

Some day’s life is exceptionally good.

I’m sure Bush will order the independent counsel not to do his or her job.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A special counsel should be named to investigate possible perjury by U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales in sworn testimony to Congress, four U.S. Senate Democrats wrote in a letter on Thursday.

The senators wrote U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement asking that he appoint an independent counsel to investigate Gonzales’ testimony to Congress regarding the firing of prosecutors and President George W. Bush’s warrantless domestic spying program.

lk_alberto_lies363.jpg

(Art: Mike Luckovich / The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Posted in Bush, Gonzales, independent counsel, National, Senate, wiretapping | 6 Comments »

Report Suggests Laws Broken in Attorney Firings

Posted by nytexan on July 25, 2007

I think there’s a good chance Miers is going to jail.

House Democrats, preparing for a vote today on contempt citations against President Bush’s chief of staff and former counsel, produced a report yesterday that for the first time alleges specific ways that several administration officials may have broken the law during the multiple firings of U.S. attorneys.

The report says that Congress’s seven-month investigation into the firings raises “serious concerns” that senior White House and Justice Department aides involved in the removal of nine U.S. attorneys last year may have obstructed justice and violated federal statutes that protect civil service employees, prohibit political retaliation against government officials and cover presidential records.

The investigation “has uncovered serious evidence of wrongdoing by the department and White House staff,” Conyers says.

The memorandum says the probe has turned up evidence that some of the U.S. attorneys were improperly selected for firing because of their handling of vote fraud allegations, public corruption cases or other cases that could affect close elections. It also says that Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and senior Justice aides “appear to have made false or misleading statements to Congress, many of which sought to minimize the role of White House personnel.”

In addition, the memorandum asserts repeatedly that the president’s top political adviser, Karl Rove, was the first administration official to broach the idea of firing U.S. attorneys shortly after the 2004 election — an assertion the White House has said is not true.

In one of more than 300 footnotes, the Democrats point to a Jan. 6, 2005, e-mail from an assistant White House counsel that says that Rove “stopped by to ask . . . how we planned to proceed regarding U.S. attorneys, whether we were going to allow them to stay, request resignations from all and accept only some of them, or selectively replace them, etc.”

Last week, White House officials vowed that if the full House holds the two officials in contempt, they would block lawmakers’ ability to bring the charges before a federal judge by preventing any U.S. attorney from pursuing such a case. The administration cited a 1984 Justice Department legal opinion, never adjudicated in the courts, that said that a federal prosecutor cannot be compelled to bring a case seeking to override a president’s executive privilege claim.

In the memorandum, the Democrats provide the first legal justification for countering the White House’s view, saying that the 1984 legal opinion “does not apply here.” For one thing, the Democrats contend, Bush has not invoked the privilege properly because he has not furnished a signed statement or “privilege logs” specifying the documents being withheld. In addition, the memo says, “there is not the slightest indication” the 1984 opinion would apply to a former executive branch official, such as Miers.

Posted in Bush, Congress, Contempt, Conyers, executive privilege, Gonzales, Harriet Miers, Inherent Contempt, Judiciary Committee, News, Politics, Rove | 1 Comment »

Bush; DoJ Will Not Pursue Contempt Charges

Posted by nytexan on July 20, 2007

I am sick and tires of this administrations constant stonewalling and lying. If you have nothing to hide and if you did nothing wrong, one would cooperate. Isn’t that what honest descent people believe. But then we are speaking of Bush.

  • Bush administration officials unveiled a bold new assertion of executive authority yesterday in the dispute over the firing of nine U.S. attorneys, saying that the Justice Department will never be allowed to pursue contempt charges initiated by Congress against White House officials once the president has invoked executive privilege.

What an intersting statement coming from an administration. That statement alone proves that the White House is running the DoJ, which has been the claim of Congress from the beginning.

  • The position presents serious legal and political obstacles for congressional Democrats, who have begun laying the groundwork for contempt proceedings against current and former White House officials in order to pry loose information about the dismissals.
  • Under federal law, a statutory contempt citation by the House or Senate must be submitted to the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, “whose duty it shall be to bring the matter before the grand jury for its action.”
  • But administration officials argued yesterday that Congress has no power to force a U.S. attorney to pursue contempt charges in cases, such as the prosecutor firings, in which the president has declared that testimony or documents are protected from release by executive privilege. Officials pointed to a Justice Department legal opinion during the Reagan administration, which made the same argument in a case that was never resolved by the courts.
  • “A U.S. attorney would not be permitted to bring contempt charges or convene a grand jury in an executive privilege case,” said a senior official, who said his remarks reflect a consensus within the administration. “And a U.S. attorney wouldn’t be permitted to argue against the reasoned legal opinion that the Justice Department provided. No one should expect that to happen.”

Not only is the administration telling the justice department how to do their job, they’re also saying that that DoJ can not argue the reasons the administration has put forth. We have now officially arrived at dictatorship level.

  • Mark J. Rozell, a professor of public policy at George Mason University who has written a book on executive-privilege issues, called the administration’s stance “astonishing.”
  • “That’s a breathtakingly broad view of the president’s role in this system of separation of powers,” Rozell said. “What this statement is saying is the president’s claim of executive privilege trumps all.”

King George giving himself more power. I think he’s planning a coupe against America.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Bush, Congress, Constitution, Contempt, Conyers, criminal, Democracy, Department of Justice, dictatorship, executive privilege, Gonzales, Harriet Miers, Impeach, Inherent Contempt, National, News, Pelosi, Politics, Reid, Senate, Waxman | 2 Comments »

Democrats Move Toward Holding Miers in Contempt

Posted by nytexan on July 18, 2007

Congressional Democrats inched closer to holding Harriet Miers in contempt yesterday after the former White House Counsel reiterated her decision not to comply with subpoenas seeking testimony and documents related to the recent firing of eight U.S. attorneys.

  • The House Judiciary Committee is weighing what to do next but has few options other than moving to vote Miers in criminal contempt. “They’re on the road, and whether they go fast or slow, it is the road to contempt,” says Charles Tiefer, a law professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law and former deputy counsel to the House.
  • The committee could reach a decision soon, but the bill would then need to come up for a vote on the House floor. But even if a vote of contempt passes, the choice to prosecute lies in the hands of the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia. That’s now Jeffrey Taylor, a former counselor to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. The D.C. U.S. attorney is not required to prosecute such cases—and in the past has refused to do so.
  • The House could also vote to put Miers in “inherent contempt,” which would mean holding her in the congressional jail, though that hasn’t happened since the 1930s.

Inherent contempt would be the way to go since the U.S. Attorney probably won’t do anything to piss of Alberto and George. He’ll get a directive from Bush telling him not to do his job.

  • Or Democrats could turn up the pressure on the executive branch by subpoenaing other White House officials connected to the firings. Congress has already authorized subpoenas for a number of officials, including J. Scott Jennings, deputy political affairs director; William Kelley, outgoing deputy White House counsel; and Karl Rove, Bush’s chief political adviser. However, the president is likely to assert executive privilege over their testimony, as he did with Sara Taylor, the former White House political director, who testified last week under a subpoena by the Senate.
  • Another wild card is the House’s subpoena to the Republican National Committee for documents related to the firings. Conyers gave the RNC extra time yesterday for the White House to determine whether documents contain privileged material.

I love all these options. Bush can’t stonewall forever.

  • But if the last most significant battle over executive privilege is any guide, resolution may not come through the legal system. In 1982, then Environmental Protection Agency Director Ann Gorsuch Burford asserted executive privilege over a congressional subpoena, leading the House to hold her in contempt. The U.S. attorney held off prosecution, but eventually the White House, under the direction of then (and now) White House Counsel Fred Fielding, negotiated a compromise that allowed Congress to view the documents.

Posted in Bush, Congress, Contempt, Conyers, Gonzales, GOP, Harriet Miers, Inherent Contempt, Judiciary Committee, News, Politics, President, Republican, RNC | 6 Comments »