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.”
Posted in Congress, Department of Justice, Gonzales, National, Patriot Act, Politics | 1 Comment »
Posted by bosskitty on August 8, 2007
By Spencer S. Hsu Washington Post Staff Wednesday, August 8, 2007
A decision by the Bush administration to rewrite in secret the nation’s emergency response blueprint has angered state and local emergency officials, who worry that Washington is repeating a series of mistakes that contributed to its bungled response to Hurricane Katrina nearly two years ago. State and local officials in charge of responding to disasters say that their input in shaping the National Response Plan was ignored in recent months by senior White House and Department of Homeland Security officials, despite calls by congressional investigators for a shared overhaul of disaster planning in the United States.
“In my 19 years in emergency management, I have never experienced a more polarized environment between state and federal government,” said Albert Ashwood, Oklahoma‘s emergency management chief and president of a national association of state emergency managers.
The national plan is supposed to guide how federal, state and local governments, along with private and nonprofit groups, work together during emergencies. Critics contend that a unilateral approach by Washington produced an ill-advised response plan at the end of 2004 — an unwieldy, 427-page document that emphasized stopping terrorism at the expense of safeguarding against natural disasters.
Bruce Baughman, Ashwood’s predecessor as president of the National Emergency Management Association and a 32-year veteran of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said that a draft of the revised plan released to state officials last week marks a step backward because its authors did not set requirements or consult with field operators nationwide who will use it to request federal aid, adjust state and county plans, and train workers.
The disagreement over the plan comes at a time of increasing mistrust between Washington and state homeland security officials. In recent months, they have sparred over dwindling federal grants, the adequacy of local intelligence-gathering efforts and what states regard as Washington’s reluctance to share information about potential threats.
“Coordination between state and local governments and the feds . . . seems to be getting worse rather than better,” said Timothy Manning, head of emergency management in New Mexico and a member of a DHS-appointed steering committee that initially worked on the emergency plan before being shut out of the deliberations in May.
Testifying before a House panel last week, Ashwood and colleagues openly questioned why the draft was revised behind closed doors. The final document was to be released June 1, at the start of this year’s hurricane season.
Federal officials, Ashwood said, appear to be trying to create a legalistic document to shield themselves from responsibility for future disasters and to shift blame to states. “It seems that the Katrina federal legacy is one of minimizing exposure for the next event and ensuring future focus is centered on state and local preparedness,” he said.
The blunt remarks spotlight a breakdown in joint efforts to fulfill a core recommendation by investigators who examined federal missteps after Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast in August 2005.
…. a special Republican-led House panel on the Katrina disaster reported. Conflicting command roles under the plan also contributed to a bitter public feud between Chertoff and Michael D. Brown, who resigned as FEMA director in September 2005 after Chertoff relieved him of his on-site relief duties on the Gulf Coast.
“The draft National Response Plan will be presented to the president after an extensive 30-day review period by federal, state and local officials, and we look forward to receiving the draft plan after that review period,” White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said.
…. John R. Harrald, a professor at George Washington University‘s Institute for Crisis, Disaster and Risk Management, cautioned that shutting out state and local voices during the plan’s preparation would be ill-advised. He said that the administration appears “to be guided by a desire to ensure centralized control of what is an inherently decentralized process. . . . Response to catastrophic events requires collaboration and trust in a broad network of organizations.”
What is so secret about a disaster plan? Why is it so complicated to include the disaster responders in coordinated planning? Didn’t the last disaster plan fail because the first responders and federal responders had no clue what each other were doing? This is another act of ‘weenie wagging’ that this administration is guilty of. They will take every opportunity to show you theirs is bigger than yours and they will remain in control, no matter how bad things turn out. Hiding stuff is what this administration is all about. I could make some really nasty comparisons, but for your sake, I will restrain myself. I have had enough of these guys. I would vote for Larry Flint before I vote for another Republican. Why isn’t Larry running? Past indiscretions are no longer stop signs for politicians. Honesty is too rare and should be embraced where ever it comes from. Kucinich might just fill that void.
Posted in Accountability, administration, America, Armageddon, Bush, Casualties, Cheney, Chertoff, Collateral, conspiracy, Corruption, Deception, Democracy In Action, destruction, DHS, dictatorship, Dillusion, Disaster, disinformation, DoubleSpeak, economics, Excuses, Executive Branch, FEMA, Homeland Security, Hypocracy, Katrina, King George, Kucinich, Legacy, national security, neglect, Outsource, Oversight, Patriot Act, Politics, President, Promises, resonsibility, States, Tax Dollars, taxpayers, The Divider, The Liar, threat, Waste | 2 Comments »
Posted by bosskitty on August 4, 2007
Maliki: timetable for US withdrawal not possible
Iraqi PM says neither Baghdad nor Washington can set timetable for withdrawal of US troops from Iraq.
Collapsing Bridges vs. War in Iraq
The Bush administration’s spending priorities – including an estimated $1 trillion for an unnecessary war – will cost the lives not only of US soldiers and Iraqi civilians but American citizens who will die from a decaying infrastructure and other government neglect, argues Stephen Crockett.
Daily demonstrations of corporate corruption, political corruption, missing cash, misused assets, and general bribery reminiscent of third world dictatorships. Corruption is an epidemic in the United States of America. Why? The ‘shock and awe’ of America’s decline is overwhelming. Republicans and Democrats share this disgusting tragedy. Republicans currently hold center stage and are too arrogant about being entitled to break every law this country has. Why? Aren’t tired of the word “FREEDOM” being used for everything from War to Viagra? What exactly are Americans FREE to do? Free to be lazy and complacent? Free to be led by the nose into total chaos by self-serving politicraps? America’s passion has been hi-jacked and is held hostage by political marketing!
“Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build a bridge even where there is no river.”
He was the instigator of Soviet missile forces in Cuba and the Cuban missile crisis, the builder of the Berlin Wall, launched Sputnik and started the Cold War and the space race. Nikita was a comic but worthy enemy. His uneducated wisdom does ring true today.
We are victims of our own success and will be hung by our own rope, so espoused Nikita Khrushchev.
Posted in Accountability, administration, Afghanistan, Al Qaeda, Anti-War, Armageddon, Army Corp of Engineers, “Corporate Corruption”, Bush, Casualties, civil liberties, civil rights, Cold War, Collateral, Congress, Contractors, Corporate corruption, Deception, Democracy In Action, destruction, disinformation, economics, Excuses, Fear, FEMA, History, King George, Nikita Khrushchev, Oil, Outsource, Patriot Act, Pentagon Corruption, Politics, President, profiteers, Promises, Prophesy, resonsibility, Scandal, Statistics, Tax Dollars, taxpayers, The Divider, The Liar, Theocracy, War Cost, Waste | 1 Comment »
Posted by bosskitty on July 12, 2007
Fears Exploited – Expect A Distraction
Watching the Main Scream Media news – I see the script unfolding. King George is building up to the inevitable crisis that will allow him to trump the remainder of America’s Constitution. Notice the headlines are focusing on AlQaeda’s new strength. All the ‘New Developments’ are designed to distract America’s dissatisfaction and anger – allowing Bush to ‘stay the course’ and suspend coming elections. Bush’s Armageddon Envy is taking us with him to destruction.
Just watch! Expect a major distraction coming soon! Bush will arrange for a ‘terrorist’ scare or attack to justify his final slide into dictatorship. Please prove my fears wrong …
Posted in Al Qaeda, Armageddon, Bill of Rights, Bush, Constitution, Corruption, criminal, Democracy In Action, dictatorship, Executive Orders, Fundamentalist, Homeland Security, Hypocracy, King George, Law, Legacy, Media, Op-Ed, Oversight, Patriot Act, President, Prophesy, Shadow Government, terrorists, Theocracy, threat, War, War Cost, War on Terror | 7 Comments »
Posted by bosskitty on July 4, 2007
Op-Ed: Our Founding Fathers were Freedom Fighters …
My ancestors are traced back to the 1600’s, immigrating to this continent on boats from England and Ireland. Several of them fought in the American Revolution – I have documents and letters from one who was injured, became ill and had to return home to recover before returning to his unit to finish the fight. I have the letters and documents his daughter wrote to the fledgling government about his ‘veteran’s’ benefits in the late 1790s. The United States Constitution was signed on September 17, 1787. The final branch of government was not installed until February 2, 1790.
In today’s America, my ancestors would be labeled as a ‘home grown terrorists’ and ‘enemy combatants’. They would end up in Guantanamo indefinitely!
My other ancestors, Presidents Polk and Monroe, are rolling in their graves to witness this country return to Monarchy. They would climb out of their graves in protest to see a Theocracy in bloom.
Where is spirit that drove these people? Where are the descendants of the Minutemen who risked everything for a grand idea? Where are the descendants of the signers of the Declaration, Bill of Rights and Constitution?
Hear ye, hear ye, calling all people who call themselves AMERICANS, duty calls you to step up to the responsibility to carry the banner of freedom handed to you by your Founding Fathers and Mothers. REVOLT! That’s what my ancestors did.
Rally! Speak out! Pressure the people you elected to represent you! This is supposed to be a Representative Government ruled by Law as directed by our Founding Fathers.
Posted in administration, American, ancestors, Bill of Rights, civil liberties, civil rights, Congress, Constitution, Declaration of Independence, Democracy In Action, dictatorship, Executive Branch, Founding Fathers, Freedom, Freedom Fighters, immigrants, King George, Law, Legacy, Monarchy, Op-Ed, Patriot Act, Politics, Revolution, Theocracy, United States, veterans | 2 Comments »
Posted by bosskitty on June 25, 2007
WASHINGTON (CNN) — A just-released report slams the federal government for failing to coordinate the work of U.S. law enforcement agencies overseas to fight terrorism.
The Government Accountability Office found that in one country a lack of clarity about the roles and responsibilities of the FBI and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency may have compromised several investigations intended to identify and disrupt potential terrorist activities.
The GAO did not name the country in its report.
The White House has long issued directives asking that U.S. law enforcement agencies assist foreign nations’ anti-terrorism efforts.
But the report finds that embassy and law enforcement officials told the GAO “they had received little or no guidance” on how to accomplish that.
The issue of roles and responsibilities “remains unresolved and is still subject to ongoing debates within the administration,” it said.
A lot of things in this administration remain unresolved!
In one country, described as an “extremely high terrorist threat to American interests globally,” the State Department provided six times more funding to stop illicit drugs and crime than it did for anti-terrorism assistance, the report said.
It would be SO much cheaper to legalize and regulate drugs than spend billions on the original loosing battle for a country addicted to everything from cigarettes & alcohol to Pot, Meth and Crack. Did I forget prescribed mood drugs and those cute over-the-counter ‘gotta have this stuff to live’ medications. As long as we take this ‘selective prohibition’ approach to addictive human nature, this country will continue feeding the drug cartels (who would dry up if we were more smart than greedy). Yes, greedy! How do you think drug cartels spend their money? They buy politicians who will oppose any trend to legalize their products and turn them back into an ordinary agricultural industry.
Afghan opium production ‘soars’
Also, the report revealed that information about terrorists is not always shared or acted on. Generally, embassies retain “pre-9/11 structures” for information-sharing and collaboration, the report said, and have not been reconfigured “in a collective effort to prevent another terrorist attack on the United States or its interests.”
An “extremely high terrorist threat,” nation had never been asked to try to identify or disrupt any of the terrorists on the most-wanted lists of the departments of State or Defense, or of the foreign nation itself, an FBI official told the GAO.
The agencies involved blamed these discrepancies on shortages in staffing and funding, according to the report.
There ya’ go! This administration is SO full of BLUSTER and DECEPTION that it has convinced itself that WORDS are TANGIBLE ASSETS. This administration cannot see that WORDS alone don’t make it true. They gave us ALL these nifty new agencies and configurations and reconfigurations but forgot to give them the staff or money to operate. Bush, Cheney and their imaginary world have cut the balls off our imaginary Founding Fathers.
My imaginary friends think their imaginary world stinks.
Posted in Accountability, administration, Afghanistan, Al Qaeda, “Corporate Corruption”, Bill of Rights, Bush, Cheney, civil liberties, civil rights, Collateral, Corporate corruption, Democracy In Action, dictatorship, drug war, drugs, economics, Executive Branch, Executive Orders, GAO, Homeland Security, Hypocracy, Impeach, Law, mental health, Oversight, Patriot Act, Politics, President, resonsibility, Shadow Government, Taliban, terrorists, United States, War on Terror | Leave a Comment »