August 31, 2008

Mohawks file lawsuit: MNN Newsflash


MNN. Aug. 30, 2008. Canada keeps trying to pretend it’s “open season” on the Kanionkehaka/Mohawk. It’s even okay to assault our elders and grandmothers. No steps have been taken to charge the Canada Border Services Agents CBSA who assaulted Katenies and Kahentinetha on June 14th 2008. Kahentinetha suffered a trauma induced heart attack. They tried to beat Katenies to a pulp. They act like this is “business as usual”. The prosecutors have not done their duty. Because of this there has been no public investigation and the crime has been swept under the carpet.

The two women have no money, but they have found a way that might make rogue crown agents accountable. They have filed an action in Canada ’s Federal Court.

This does not mean they are accepting Canadian jurisdiction over themselves or the Haudenosaunee. Canadian agents have no right to abuse human rights or commit crimes against anyone, including those foreign to Canada . Canada has signed many agreements promising to uphold international human right standards. You don’t have to be a Canadian citizen to sue Canada . Canada ’s courts have an obligation to uphold the law.

The following “Statement of Claim” shows that we can defend ourselves. They two grandmothers filed their complaint in the Federal Court of Canada, under Section 48 of Canada ’s Federal Court Act. [You can find the instructions for filing on the Federal Court website]. To get things going, you pay the filing fee and hand in 5 copies of your “Statement of Claim”. The court clerk puts on a gold stamped seal and signs it to prove it has been filed. They serve it on the government the next day, and the crown has 30 days to answer.

When you draft your claim, just put the facts down. Make sure you don’t include any allegations that you can’t prove. For example, you need a direct witness, documentary evidence or video tapes from CBSA cameras. If you miss a deadline, your case will be finished. The crown has to follow the law too, but it might try to ignore you. Don’t forget to include a demand that federal officials follow the court’s timelines.

September 19, 2008, is the crown’s deadline for answering the two grandmothers. If the crown doesn’t answer, Canada will lose by default. The court should then order Canada to meet the grandmothers’ demands.

MNN Staff

August 29, 2008

Biden, Obama and The Blood-Dimmed Tide

Be SURE to check out the Arthur Silber blog mentioned

below. It's very clear on the issues and he's great to read !!

Thursday, 28 August 2008
I've been away for seven days, without access to email or the internet, in a country where I couldn't speak the language, in a place with no newspapers in English anywhere to be found. It was a blissful detoxification from the media echo chamber -- and from the even more deadly poisons of politics and power that the chamber so confusingly and cacophonously presents.

Only once, briefly, did I find myself in a room where CNN was blaring on a tiny television set. As it happened, it was the exact moment when Joe Biden was being anointed as Barack Obama's running mate. It was a live feed: Biden was at the podium, giving a strangely stilted speech in a fake Southern accent. (Perhaps he was trying to channel Bill Clinton -- or maybe Sam Nunn.) Although wearing a tie, he was coatless, with shirtsleeves rolled up, in that classic pose of political hackery: a man ready to "go to work for the American people." (Obama, looking on rather distractedly from the side, was dressed in the same way).

I'll admit that I was somewhat surprised that Biden was the pick. Even before my exit from the echo chamber, I had been studiously ignoring the fevered speculations and fine-toothed combing that attended every burp and belch from the Obama camp leading up to the great announcement. It was obvious that Obama would continue his Dukakis-come-lately strategy and pick some safe, white pair of man-hands covered in Beltway hoar. And I had noted that he had dispatched Biden to Georgia during the late unpleasantness there. (To do what exactly was unclear, unless it was to assure Mikhail Saakashvili that the flow of arms from America's war-profiteers would keep flowing under an Obama administration, despite Misha's bone-headed brutality in launching a sneak attack on South Ossetia.) But still, in the few nano-seconds that I thought about it, I assumed that Obama was just using Biden to build up some foreign policy cred with the media-think tank crowd -- the only people stupid enough to believe that Joe Biden is some kind of foreign policy expert.

Yet there he was, Old Joe Biden, hawing and barking behind the rostrum, just one step away from being one heartbeat away from being the President of the United States. The only thing I could think to say was what my daddy always used to say when confronted with a confounding event: "If that don't beat a hen layin' in a wool basket." I had many other, better things to be getting on with at that moment, so I let Biden's outpouring of clichés -- clunkers so worn down with over-use that they hardly qualified as actual communication -- slide away without much notice...until he began to tell about his own background. Then my gorge began to rise.

Biden talked of a roughhewn upbringing among honest, hard-pressed working folk. Yes, this prince of the Senate -- 36 years of feeding at the public trough, of being wined and dined and coddled and bankrolled by some of the most powerful interests in the land -- dared hold himself out as a champion of the common people. This would be the same Joe Biden who spent year after year relentlessly pushing the creation of what I once called "the nuclear bomb of class warfare": the Bankruptcy Bill, which put a stranglehold on millions of Americans -- the weakest, the poorest, the sickest, the unlucky, the ripped-off, the young couples just starting out, the old people trying to hang on. Biden poured filth on them, he joined his campaign paymasters -- the hoggish credit-card conglomerates -- and his ideological soul-mates on the Republican side to drop this bomb on the hard-pressed working folk he was now claiming to roll up his shirt sleeves and go to work for. He was turned back many times (I first wrote about the bill back in 2002), but at last he locked arms with George W. Bush -- his partner in "financial services industry" grease -- got the bill passed in 2005.

Arianna Huffington described Biden's bomb succinctly at the time, in a post quoted this week by Jackson Williams:

So what does the bill do? It makes it harder for average people to file for bankruptcy protection; it makes it easier for landlords to evict a bankrupt tenant; it endangers child-support payments by giving a wider array of creditors a shot at post-bankruptcy income; it allows millionaires to shield an unlimited amount of equity in homes and asset-protection trusts; it makes it more difficult for small businesses to reorganize while opening new loopholes for the Enrons of the world; it allows creditors to provide misleading information; and it does nothing to rein in lending abuses....

Williams goes on to note:

It turns out the average annual income of Americans who file bankruptcy is less than $30K, not the loose affiliation of millionaires and billionaires gigging the system that we all heard about when this bill was debated. Also, the vast majority of people who file bankruptcy don't do so to strategically hang on to their mansion on the hill, but because of medical bills, a job layoff, or both. Real people, real lives.

And as I noted back in 2002, the pre-Biden/Bush bankruptcy laws were no bowl of cherries:

In most cases, the existing laws do wipe away some debts, particularly unsecured debt. But it leaves many others on the books, while destroying the debtor's credit rating for years to come, closing the door on dreams of buying a car or house, or engaging in any of the innumerable transactions that now require ID and surety in the form of -- what else? -- a credit card. It's no "easy out;" it's a hard step, a desperate measure, fraught with lingering doubts, agonizing decisions, and irrevocable consequences no matter what you choose--much like abortion, in fact.

And now it turns out that Biden's son was on the payroll of credit-card behemoth MBNA -- one of the prime movers of the nuclear attack on working people, the poor and the sick -- for years, first as an employee, then as a "consultant," until the bill oozed its way onto Bush's desk to be signed into law. (MBNA is not only one of Biden's biggest campaign supporters; it was also the largest single corporate giver to George W. Bush back in 2000, surpassing even the criminal syndicate known as Enron.)

Nothing demonstrates the reality of Barack Obama's candidacy than his pick of Joe Biden as his running mate:

Joe Biden voted to give George W. Bush a blank check to wage a war of aggression against Iraq -- a vast, brutal and brutalizing war crime that is inevitably breeding countless smaller war crimes of its own. (One of which is noted here by the New York Times.)

Joe Biden eagerly voted for the liberty-stripping Patriot Act; indeed, he claims to be its guiding inspiration.

Joe Biden is eager to prosecute the Terror War, which has already laid waste to three countries (yes, three; just because Obama, Biden, Bush and McCain never mention Somalia doesn't mean that ravaged, unlucky land is not part and parcel of their beloved WOT) and killed more than a million innocent people. Let that last fact sink in for a minute. Let that blood wash over your hands as you sit back with a cold brewski to watch the political conventions and debate fine points of presentation and handicap the "horse race." Mountains of the dead, vast pits of the dead, row upon row of the dead, just like the film clips you've seen of the Holocaust, all in the name of the berserker rage -- and the cooly calculated profits and power-games -- of the 'War on Terror' that both Biden and Obama want to wage in a "better" way than Bush has done.

(And now the UN informs us of 90 more innocents blasted to pieces in Afghanistan -- where Obama, like McCain, has promised to expand the Terror War, with 10,000 or more extra troops, and more bombs, more missiles, more attacks into the nuclear powder keg of Pakistan.)

And, as noted above, Joe Biden stood shoulder to shoulder with class warlords like Bush and Cheney to punish and ravage and drive down working people and the poor, on behalf of the rich and powerful.

No one forced Obama to choose such a running mate. No one forced Obama to make the statement of his own values that such a choice proclaims. It is glaringly, painfully apparent that he has no genuine values, beyond a keen ambition for power. Last week he was denouncing the Bankruptcy Bill. This week he's defending Biden's role in putting together a satisfactory "compromise" on the atrocity, while excusing the flagrant conflict-of-interest in the employment of Biden's son at MBNA. (It is also noteworthy to see how many liberal-progressive "dissident" types are suddenly finding outstanding qualities in Joe Biden, overcoming their various "quibbles" about his record and "evolving" toward a more mature and considered position on his virtues.)

Sometimes after I write critically of Obama and the Democrats, people ask me: "Well, what are we supposed to do? He's not perfect, they're not perfect, but don't you think McCain would be worse?"

As it happens, I do think McCain would be "worse" -- but only marginally so, for reasons I've laid out before. But what does that matter? These are the wrong questions for a nation swimming, sinking, drowning in the innocent blood shed by its bipartisan war machine. These are the wrong questions for a nation whose politics have become -- literally, with no metaphor or exaggeration -- insane, mired in violence, delusion and self-destruction. Whatever happens, whoever wins, there will be more war, more needless death, more mass murder in the name of America. Whoever wins, there will be more state-assisted assaults on working people and the poor. There will be more coddling of the rich, more servicing of the powerful, more injustice, more inequality.

The country is broke -- the bipartisan elite have looted it. The infrastructure is rotting; communities are dying; the quality of life is deteriorating for millions of people; the socioeconomic system, based on cheap gas and the consumption of a vastly disproportionate amount of the world's resources, is unsustainable -- but the bipartisan elite won't fix these problems. They won't even address them. They are too busy expanding the frontiers of empire, pushing for new adventures in Pakistan, in Georgia, in Iran, pushing for more war, more bases, more missile sites, more troops. Yes, McCain might push a little bit harder and a little bit faster, or in different directions -- but the self-destructive, mass-murdering push will go on. Listen to what Obama is actually saying, listen to what Biden is actually saying, look at their records, look at their coterie of advisors. There is nothing but blood and suffering as far as the eye can see.

And the choice of Joe Biden as a running mate only confirms this grim fate, which, it is now clear, we must bear out even to the edge of doom -- if not beyond.

*NOTE: For much more on the Biden pick, and in a deeper, richer vein, see Arthur Silber's remarkable series here.

Reminder!! Loose Change final cut info

Loose Change Final Cut

Loose Change Final Cut - 130 min - Nov 14, 2007

Loose Change Final Cut is the third installment of the documentary that asks the tough questions about the 9/11 attacks and related events. This movie hopes to be the catalyst for a new independent investigation, in which the family members receive answers to their questions, and the TRUE PERPETRATORS of this horrendous crime are PROSECUTED and PUNISHED.

More articles appearing on Vincent Bugliosi, Prosecution of George W. BuZh for Murder

The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder

The Legal Framework for the Prosecution

By Vincent Bugliosi

That the king can do no wrong is a necessary and fundamental principle of the English constitution.

-Sir William Blackstone,
Commentaries on the Laws of England, 1765

No living
Homo sapiens is above the law.
-(Notwithstanding our good friends and legal ancestors across the water, this is a fact that requires no citation.)


Hi, everyone.

I just registered for this conference (I cut and pasted the announcement
below). I hope all members and friends of Antiwar League throughout the country
and all opponents everywhere of perpetual war, empire, torture and the
police state will get involved somehow in this effort to pursue alleged US war
criminals "to the ends of the earth." This is just the beginning.

I am particularly excited that Vincent Bugliosi is appearing and that the
conference will consider how to seek indictments and prosecutions in state and
local courts. Also included is the topic of planning to "make the question of
prosecutions an issue in the fall political campaign." This means that
everyone can be involved in this effort in some way even if you cannot attend the

(Recommended article: _
( )

Please _visit the website_ ( and learn more about
it, and register if you can, and please circulate this message widely.

_ (

Doug Fuda
_ Antiwarleague.com_ (
14 Fletcher Street
Roslindale, MA 02131
617 331-1491 (cell)
dougfuda at

See also:


Impeachment? Truth and Reconciliation Commission?


As you may have heard by now, the mainstream media has been giving Vincent Bugliosi's latest book, The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder, the cold shoulder. Never mind that he authored what was, at the time, the bestselling crime book in history, Helter Skelter, about his successful prosecution of the Manson family. Nor that he's written numerous bestsellers since. His 2007 book, Reclaiming History, a 1,600-page attempt to dispel alternative histories of the Kennedy assassination, is being made into a mini-series by HBO and Tom Hanks.

In the only mainstream media article addressing The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder and its reception, New York Times reporter Tim Arango writes: "The editor of Newsweek, Jon Meacham, said he had not read the manuscript, but he offered a reason why the media might be silent: 'I think there's a kind of Bush-bashing fatigue out there.'"

Myth-busting aside, and however out of fashion Bush-bashing may be, Bugliosi summons up a depth and breadth of rage that shames those of us who have been reduced to ennui and cynicism by the Bush years. You'd never know that not only is he 73 years old but still on the rebound from the monumental task of researching and writing his Kennedy tome.

For instance, he has no compunctions about pulling the rug out from under soldiers' rationalization of last resort –- that they fight over there to keep from fighting here. To Bugliosi the question isn't why but who. He writes: "If you say our young men didn't die for Bush, Cheney, and Rove, then whom did they die for?"

Nor does he pull any punches on Bush's character. "What I strongly believe (without absolutely knowing) is that this man has no respect or love for this country." What makes him think that?

For starters, Bush put our young people in harm's way for no good reason, avoided the draft when young himself, and experiences no apparent concern for the carnage in Iraq. Furthermore, he spends much of his time in Crawford, neglects to read reports, and is guilty of blatant cronyism. What really sticks in Bugliosi's craw is the cheerfulness and insouciance that Bush exhibits in a time of war.

For instance, Bugliosi cites an August 2005 day Bush spent in Crawford in the midst of a two-week period during which 42 Americans were killed. With Bush's only work-related activity lunch with Condoleezza Rice, he called it a "perfect day." Bugliosi writes: "I don't know about you, but if I ever killed just one person, even accidentally, like in a car accident, I'd never have another perfect day as long as I lived."

At one point Bugliosi even declares: "Bush is a grotesque anomaly and aberration." If, even in the service of rallying us to prevail upon the Justice Department to bring charges, such exclamations seem over the top, look at this way. The least we could do is allow Bugliosi to vent since much of this book is essentially a turnkey project for a federal attorney to start the ignition on the prosecution of Bush and put it in gear.

A crime is an act that's not only prohibited, but accompanied by criminal intent. In the case of murder, this is known as malice aforethought, which comes in two varieties. The first is express malice -- the specific intent to kill. In the second, implied malice, the intent is not to kill but to commit a dangerous act with wanton disregard for the consequences as well as an indifference to human life.

Bush, Bugliosi writes, not only fulfilled the second requirement, implied malice, but he started the Iraq War "without any lawful excuse of justification."

Bush's defense would be self-defense –- that he needed to carry out a preemptive strike on Saddam. But lying that Saddam possessed WMD and conspired with al Qaeda to commit 9/11 shows that Bush wasn't acting in self-defense, but, instead, in a criminal state of mind. Hence, every American killed as a result of his actions are murders on Bush's part.

In most states implied malice is second-degree murder. But, Bugliosi writes, "Bush's alleged crime is. . . on such a grand scale that it would greatly dishonor those. . . who paid the ultimate price because of it if he were not to pay the ultimate penalty."

In the interest of prosecuting Bush for first-degree murder, Bugliosi writes that a "very credible argument could be made that in a real sense he did intend to have American soldiers killed in his war."

Say what?

Bugliosi explains. A typical example of implied malice is a high-speed chase though a school zone, in which "not only didn't the defendant intend to kill, but he had no way of knowing whether someone would die or not. [But] while Bush never specifically intended to kill any American soldier, he absolutely knew American soldiers would necessarily die in his war." (Italics are Bulgiosi's.)

He continues. "Therefore, a case could be made that unless Bush intended to have a war without any casualties, which is. . . an argument that would make Bush sound absurd. . . he did, in fact, specifically intend to have American soldiers killed."

In other words, as everyone knows, in war, casualties come with the territory. If the "natural tendency" of an act is to take another's life, the law can't help but conclude that was intentional.

As for his chances of success, ". . . as a former prosecutor with twenty-one murder convictions without a loss. . . I am probably in a better position than the average person to know what type of evidence is necessary to go to trial with." If he's rusty, he sure doesn't sound like it. In fact, he's begun to arouse the interest of current prosecutors.

Much of the rest of The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder is given over to cataloging Bush's crimes. Bugliosi brings some to our attention that have gone unnoticed by many of us. For example, who remembers Hans Blix, UN weapons inspector, stating before the invasion that Iraq's cooperation in the inspections, "can be seen as active, even proactive"?

The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder is a call to action. A man of 73, in the wake of years spent creating his masterwork, 2007's Reclaiming History about the Kennedy assassination, has constructed his case with the passion of an idealistic college student. Surely the rest of us are capable of catching one last wave of Bush & Co. outrage. We do want to see Bush brought to justice, don't we?

RW: On July 25 you appeared on a panel before the House Judiciary Committee with the likes of Dennis Kucinich and Elizabeth Holtzman to examine the "imperial presidency" of George Bush. When you appeared at the Great Mind Series in Los Angeles, it was reported that you said of Committee Chairman John Conyers, "He's completely behind what I'm doing here." Do you think summoning you to speak was Conyers's way of shifting attention from impeachment to a process with a better chance of success?

VB: Conyers called me up and said he read the book and liked it very much. This was before there was any mention of the hearing. Then I got the invitation. So I spoke to his assistant and I said I'm not an authority on impeachment. I'm only talking about prosecuting George Bush for first-degree murder. Everyone there was talking about one of two things: executive power and constitutional limitations or impeachment, and I was talking about murder. So they knew in advance.

Though they didn't say it, they may have expanded the hearings for me. I'm just saying that I told them that I was not coming back there [to Washington from L.A. -- Ed.] to talk about the subject matter of the hearings. Although, certainly, if you're talking about the basis for impeachment -- high crimes and misdemeanors -- murder obviously qualifies as one. They may have very well felt that what I was saying obviously did apply.

I tried to simplify for the hearing. I didn't have much time. The difficulty always is it takes more time to figure out how to convey your message when you only have a short period of time. [Here Bugliosi cites the famous saying attributed to either Pascal, Voltaire, or Mark Twain: "I didn't have time to write a short letter, so I've written a long one instead." –- Ed.]

They're telling me I've got five minutes -- tell me what's in your book in five minutes. It took me more time to figure out how I was going to do that then if they said I had a half hour. I tried to compress it into five minutes, which was not easy at all. But I got some good stuff in there.

I want to make it very clear. I definitely believe that Bush should be impeached. There's no question about that. It's just that I'm not satisfied with impeachment, him not spending one day in the county jail, continuing to enjoy himself. I don't see any real justice there.

But impeachment isn't too likely because of a couple of things: One, the time element. Two, Nancy Pelosi, doing what Democrats do so well, is not in favor of impeachment and she's the speaker. That makes it almost insurmountable when you have the speaker against it. Three, impeachment would be good even if it's not successful. Anything to stain the record of this terrible human being.

You can't get a conviction on impeachment because you need two-third vote of the Senate and, as you know, the Senate is evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats. Still, I'd like to see an impeachment at least. But the notion that would be enough for what he did is something that I don't agree with.

RW: You're not working in opposition to Congressman Kucinich, who introduced articles of impeachment against Bush, are you?

VB: No, absolutely not. I agree with everything Dennis says. But, again, impeachment alone is too good for George Bush.

RW: You also said to the Judiciary Committee: "It would greatly dishonor those in their graves who paid the ultimate price because of this war were you not to refer this case to the Department of Justice." Does the go-ahead for a prosecution start with Conyers and his committee?

VB: No, it doesn't start there. This is just one way to get this case going and it's the least likely. If they did it, then a criminal investigation would commence. The attorney general in Washington DC, that would be the best way. If anyone does anything –- I have to be candid with you –- it's unlikely that any one of the 93 federal attorneys would begin criminal proceedings without getting the consent of their boss in Washington, the attorney general. And that's why, realistically, on a federal level, there is only one person who would ever bring criminal charges against Bush and that's the attorney general.

I want to point out that the burden that has to be met when referring a case to the attorney general's office is very low. All that's required is that there be a quote reasonable unquote suspicion that a crime has been committed. Surely, there's a reasonable suspicion here that Bush took this nation to war under false pretenses. The attorney general's office can't prosecute him now but they can commence the investigation immediately. Then once he leaves office, at that point they can file charges. But there's only one attorney general and it's a highly politicized office.

RW: Will the next president have any say in the prosecution of George Bush?

VB: No, he doesn't have any say in it at all. The attorney general on his own can institute legal proceedings against Bush. But a pretty powerful way is for Congress to send what they call a criminal referral over to the attorney general.

RW: That was probably in your book. I just forgot.

VB: No, I didn't talk about criminal referral in my book because the most likely way is not by way of a criminal referral. But here's an example. You know about the Mitchell hearings and Roger Clements. They were talking about the possibility of a criminal referral from Congress to the attorney general. And that's still a possibility.

If they make a criminal referral that doesn't mean the attorney general has to investigate. But certainly it carries more weight coming from Congress than from a private citizen. Congress is spineless. They're not going to do that.

Anyway neither of these things is necessary and they're not the typical way. Usually when the attorney general brings a case, it's not because it has been referred to him by Congress. The typical way is just that he's the attorney general, a crime has been committed in the US, and he finds out about it. 99% of their cases happen that way.

The most likely way that Bush will end up in court after he leaves the presidency would be either a state attorney general or a district attorney. Of those two, the most likely is some D.A. in some county in this country.

But on a state level, I've established jurisdiction for the attorney general in each of the 50 states, plus the approximately 950 district attorneys in counties within those states. To prosecute Bush for the murder of a soldier or soldiers from their state or county who died fighting Bush's war.

That's 1,000 prosecutors. My position is that though there may not be a high probability, as a direct result of this book, there's a substantial possibility that Bush may end up in an American courtroom being prosecuted for murder. There's no statute of limitations for the crime of murder. Before Bush passes on, there will have been 15 to 20,000 prosecutors out there.

There may be some law student who heard me on the radio or read the book who's saying to himself, "When I get out of law school, I'm going to become a D.A. or state attorney general and I'm going to bring charges against Bush." Pinochet down in Chile? 33 years later they brought murder charges. His death aborted the process.

I'll give you something a little closer to home. There's a lawyer back east who said a couple of weeks ago, "Mr. Bugliosi, I read your book. We haven't lost any citizens from my county in the war in Iraq, but if we lose a soldier, I'm going to run for D.A. in the county. If I win, I'm going to prosecute Bush."

The reason I'm telling you this story is to show you there's a lot of people out there that someday can prosecute George Bush. I think I said in the book if I achieve nothing else -- and I certainly want to achieve much more because I won't be happy until I see him in a courtroom being prosecuted for murder.

If I achieve nothing else, I want him to know for the rest of his life that any give day, some aide on his ranch might tap him on the shoulder and say, "Mr. President, there's this prosecutor up in Fargo, North Dakota, sir, he's prosecuting you for murder. And we're due in Fargo at 10 a.m. Tuesday for your arraignment." I want to put that thought in his mind. This guy has gotten away with murder.

The thing that has angered me beyond all belief is that he's enjoyed himself throughout the entire period, had a lot of fun. How this guy can be enjoying himself when young kids are being blown to pieces by roadside bombing. . . what kind of human monster is this? It's just mind-boggling.

RW: You wrote, "I strongly believe without absolutely knowing that this man has no respect or love for this country." And, "I don't know about you, but if I ever killed just one person, even accidentally, like in a car accident, I'd never have another perfect day as long as I live." Now many of us think those thoughts. But we're either too afraid, or too politically correct, to put them into words. What makes you willing and able to say those things?

VB: I did the same thing with my book, The Betrayal of America. [about the 2000 Supreme Court decision to end the recounting of presidential votes in Florida]. All your legal scholars around the country were saying that the Supreme Court –- the five justices [who voted to end the recount] –- had done something just absolutely terrible. And that was that they caused people to lose respect for the court.

I said "What? You can steal a presidential election and all that happens is you lose respect?" That's like telling Timothy McVeigh, "Tim, don't worry, we're not going to hurt you. We're not goanna prosecute you. But, you know, Tim, we don't like you. You're a terrible person." So I wrote [an article in 2001 titled] "None Dare Call It Treason" for the Nation, in which I said these five were among the biggest criminals in American history.

But I'm a member of the bar and members of the bar don't do that. Gerry Spence said, "It's just not done." I was calling them criminals. But I sent a copy of the article by registered mail to each justice to make sure they got it. So I've done this before.

You're asking me where I get the courage to do this. People are always asking me, "How do you put this stuff in print?" Look, I'm not a courageous guy -- I'm motivated solely be anger. To me, the country is going down the tubes. I want to bring about justice. I don't think about courage.

I wouldn't do this, believe me, if I weren't so incredibly angry. I don't like to see anyone get away with murder, even one murder. O.J. Simpson got away with two murders and I was so angry I wrote Outrage: The Five Reasons Why O.J. Simpson Got Away with Murder. People then were saying, "He was just found not guilty. How can you accuse him of murder on the cover of a book?"

"Fine," I said. "Let him sue me for libel. I'd love to cross-examine him." He didn't do anything to me.

RW: Most who've spent years in the legal system grow jaded and cynical. Yet you've been able to maintain a sense of outrage and injustice.

VB: I think of these kids coming back in a box and their parents -- maybe it's the only child they have. They're advised by the Department of Defense not to look in the box because the contents are unviewable. Sometimes it's just limbs coming back, parts of the body.

And this rotten, no good S.O.B. is dancing and having fun and joking. How dare he? I didn't say "how dare he" before the House Judiciary Committee because they told me I couldn't accuse Bush of a crime or any type of dishonorable conduct. But I'm saying it to you: How dare he? Quote me on that.

Bush can't be permitted to get away with this. I use the figure 100,000 Iraqi dead in my book. But that's a very conservative estimate. The number could be in excess of a million. I don't want him to get away with a million murders.

I worked on it, but I couldn't establish jurisdiction against him for the Iraqi citizens. But I spent many hours establishing jurisdiction to prosecute him for American soldiers dying.

RW: You lay out the whole process for any lawyer contemplating this. First you do this, then you do that. It doesn't seem that hard.

VB: No question about it. This can happen. I think I made an important point when I talked in front of Congress. If we want to become the great nation we once were, because I don't see this as a great nation anymore –- you can quote me on that -- the first step we have to take is to bring those responsible for the war on Iraq to justice. [Emphasis added.] I think that would enhance our image around the world.

RW: If we fail to prosecute him, what adverse effects would it have on the country and our image abroad?

VB:Well, probably not that much because most people are not even thinking about this. They're not thinking Bush should be prosecuted and if he's not we're a weak country. The vast majority of Americans don't even know this book is out there because I've been blacked out.

I'll tell you where it would have an effect though -- with subsequent presidents. People argue: "Mr. Bugliosi, you can't do this because it would inhibit future presidents." Here's my response: "If there's another monstrous individual like Bush who's thinking about doing what did, we do want to inhibit him."

If you're a president who's not a criminal, you have nothing to worry about. Who'd even bring a murder charge against someone under normal circumstances? Where would the evidence be? It's extremely important we do this to help ensure that it never happens again.

RW: The public is a little queasy about this sort of thing. In a sense, we elect a president to make the big decisions about life and death. War-time killing is on his conscience to spare ours.

VB: I've been on the radio all over the country. I can tell you that the average American who hasn't read my book thinks that the whole idea of prosecuting a president is crazy. "That's just absurd," they say.

I ask them, "Have you read the book?" And a hundred percent of the time they say no. I've yet to hear from someone who's read this book who think it's crazy. They may not agree with me but they don't think there's anything crazy about this book.

But those who haven't read the book think it's preposterous. I had an attorney general call me on the phone. He said he heard I had a book out about impeachment.

"It's not about impeachment," I said. "It's about murder." And the first words out of his mouth were, "Under what law?"

Now you have to realize the attorney general is the chief legal officer in the state. He's also the chief law enforcement office in the state. Under what law? Under the law that's already on the book in all 50 states. There's no statue that says it excludes certain people, like a president.

But people are not thinking in those terms. They think that the president is somehow above the law. So, not prosecuting Bush would certainly have an effect on some people, just not the majority of Americans.

But it could have a tremendous effect on our image around the world and a deterrent effect on subsequent presidents. And I think it would make the nation feel good about itself actually. But if it doesn't happen, this is something that very few people pay attention to.

RW: If Bush were prosecuted and found guilty, would you recommend the death penalty?

VB: Absolutely. It would dishonor those in their graves who paid the ultimate price if Bush did not pay the ultimate penalty. If I were the prosecutor I would seek the death penalty. I mean, my God, prosecutors seek the death penalty when there's only one person in their grave. Here we have at a minimum 100,000 people in their graves.

By the way, Bush is a proponent of the death penalty and he would have no difficulty understanding why someone would recommend it. 152 death warrants came across his desk while he was governor. He signed all 152. He has an 100% batting average. If I were the prosecutor I would seek the death penalty, yes, of course.

RW: Sorry, I know this question's not new to you, but I have to ask. Who's more evil? Charles Manson or George Bush.

VB: (Laughs.) I've been asked that question a few times. Obviously Manson is a very evil person. When I was prosecuting him I thought the death penalty was appropriate for what he did. I sought the death penalty and the jury did come back with a verdict of death, but it was set aside along with everyone else on death row by the Supreme court.

I also knew that if he got out he would continue to kill. He would kill as many people as he could. Someone who knew Manson a lot better than I do -- he's dead now -- little Paul Watkins [who split ways with Manson before the murders] said, "Vince, death is Charlie's trip."

Manson I knew as being evil. Bush is not evil. I don't think he wants to kill people. But I do view him as a despicable human being who is extremely cold-hearted and couldn't care less about the deaths of American soldiers and Iraqi civilians. The evidence is overwhelming that he enjoyed himself to the fullest and had a lot fun throughout the entire war.

I don't think he wished those deaths on anyone. But I do think he couldn't care less. I think he is extremely arrogant, extremely self-centered, and without any redeeming human characteristics. But you asked a tough question and I have to do more thinking about that.

RW: You've been in the middle of all these great American stories. Beside the Manson case, the Simpson case, the 2000 election, and the Kennedy assassination.

VB: I worked on Reclaiming History for 20 years. That's my magnum opus. It's the equivalent of about 13 volumes of 400-page books, a million and a half words. It's got over 10,000 citations in it. It may be the most heavily sourced nonfiction book ever written. They used to say that the Warren Report had 6,500 citations and was the most heavily sourced.

I did write about the major crimes of the 20th century. People who've read my books believe I prove my case beyond a reasonable doubt. The reason why the right is so terrified of this new book is because they know I have a history of proving my case. So they have to be very concerned about this book because I'm not just some joker who's coming up with this idea of prosecuting Bush. I'm taking this very seriously.

As I said in front of Congress, at this time I don't have much time for fanciful reveries. Bush cannot be permitted to get away with over 100,00 murders. We can't have that in America. We just can't have it.

RW: The Prosecution of George Bush is being made into a film, right?

VB: It's in production here in LA. But the producers couldn't raise one penny for this documentary in America. The money came from Canada. By analogy, the audio tape for this book. . . I get a call from my agent: "Vince, I cannot find an audio company in America that will do the audio for the book." We had to get the BBC to do it.

The New York Times article opened things a very little bit. Before that, it was a total complete blackout in the national mainstream media. First time in my career I could not get on national TV.

It's never, ever happened before, for all my true crime books. I always fly to New York City and start traveling around the country. This time I didn't fly to New York. Couldn't get in anywhere. ABC Radio refused money from my publisher who wanted to take out a radio spot.

Bill Clinton, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, he's attacked and then impeached. They want to hang him in the town square at noon. And he's done nothing at all. Just silliness, sublime silliness.

Yet here we have Bush committing at least 100,000 murders and everyone is trying to protect him. Apparently, it's okay for him to do what he did but it's not okay to prosecute him or even to talk about prosecuting him.

All of my books have gotten major reviews all over the country. The Prosecution of George W. Bush hasn't been reviewed yet in the mainstream media. What does that say about America? Aren't we supposed to be the land of the free and the home of the brave?

RW: What can we do?

VB: The average American can contact your DA or get together as a group, 10 or 15 signatures, and send a letter to your D.A. or state attorney general. That's what people can do on a local level. Because that's where it's going to happen.

I don't think that the US attorney general, no matter who he is, is going to bring charges. If it happens at all, it will happen at the state local level. That's where this thing has a good chance. RW: Thank you, Mr. Bugliosi.

About the Author
Russ Wellen is an editor at Freezerbox who specializes in foreign affairs and nuclear deproliferation.

August 28, 2008

- A note and then, BACK TO THE NEWZ -

All I can say is this

- a town hall meeting

on impeachment

of George W. BuZh

will work out in Toronto

PROBABLY on the 6th of September

instead. This will allow more time to get orange armbands and other materials available. And all the petitions needed can be printed, as well as an online resource list for information on things like Code Pink, different antiwar groups and where to find the legal information.

Too many people want one !!

It will occur by popular demand.

Too many people have my telephone number and will wonder what is UP.

I am not the least bit worried, actually. It WILL happen, but for now, I've taken down the "ad".

If you want to give early, you can submit a cheque to:

Virginia Simson
War Crimes Conference Fund
133 Broadway, Apartment 2,
Toronto, ON M4P IV5.

You will be sent a receipt.

I am especially looking for cheques that say $325, the cost to subsidize a law student going to Andover, MA. We were looking for SCHOLARSHIP FUNDS, in particular, and that is the amount to subsidize the hotel rooms and the conference fees !! But smaller cheques are GREAT. Think how far spreading RULE OF LAW for our next generation can achieve when we have well trained legal students in Andover, MA, just briefly after this meeting. We shall find a way to get them there, eh ???

So now back to the newz!

++++++++++++ +++++++++ +++++++++ +++++++++ +++++++++ ++++

As the earthquake news is particularly important right now.

We must keep watching what's happening in BC.

The earthquakes are getting intense !! Keep watching the pacific northwest in both Canada and the US of A.

And there is plenty on international war crimes and the ICC, and what's going on in America.

BULLETIN ITEM: HEADS UP: Major Tectonic Movement Under Way

Another major quake strikes, this time a 6.2 Magnitude on the Atllantic Equator (North Ascension Island area). More Class 4+ quakes near the B.C. coast (Vancouver Island) accompanied by a 4.1 quake on the central Oregon Coast.

World average Class 6+ is now at least three times average if not more. World average 4+ is elevated, primarily as result of the seismic activity off B.C. The New Moon Syzygy approaches rapidly.

I did not expect this level of tectonic rifting and subduction during this time. I expected it to occur later - November-January.

Entire western coasts of the Americas from Anchorage to Tierra Del Fugo can expect elevated quake magitudes, perhaps throughout the next seven days.

The current activity off the west coast of Canada is likely the consequence of the elevated Great Rift shape-shifter quakes which occurred in the high Arctic zone during the previous 90 days.

++++++++++++ +++++++++ +++++++++ +++++++++ +++++++++ ++++

The Earth Changes Bulletin Updates are usually published in a brief form and distributed free on a weekly basis. Occasionally Earth Changes Special Reports are produced on timely topics. This is Shareware Information, if it is useful to you, please help support it by making a VOLUNTARY donation (you will not be denied access). A donation of $3.00 per month or $36.00 per year is requested to sustain this work and additional benefits may be available. To provide a mechanism for making a donation, a donation request will be emailed to new subscribers and periodically to all subscribers via Paypal, or click now on on this URL to make your donation.
http://www.michaelm andeville. com/catalog/ donations_ for_ec_bulletins .htm

Please read !! Saturday TOWN HALL PLanning Meeting !!

- a town hall meeting

on the impeachment

of George W. BuZh -

Impeachment town planning meeting


as planned.

Meet at the Canadian Native Cultural Center

1 pm

16 Spadina Road

If you like, bring potluck !!

If you can't attend this meeting, please send cheques to:

Virginia Simson War Crimes Conference Fund
133 Broadway, Apartment 2,
Toronto, ON M4P IV5.

You will be sent a receipt.

I am especially looking for cheques that say $325, the cost to subsidize a law student going to Andover, MA. We were looking for SCHOLARSHIP FUNDS, in particular, and that is the amount to subsidize the hotel rooms and the conference fees !! But smaller cheques are GREAT. Think how far spreading RULE OF LAW for our next generation can achieve when we have well trained legal students in Andover, MA, just briefly after this meeting.

August 23, 2008

This is too funny NOT to be posted Brasscheck TV

President Bush will seek to comfort victims of his presidency as they try to make sense of the destruction he has caused.

Was the Bush Administration a failure?

It was if you're an American citizen.

On the other hand, if you're a member of the ever-burgeoning white collar criminal class, the Bush Administration ushered in a kind of new Golden Age.

Michael Parenti is barely able to scratch the surface as he lists the human vermin that triumphed on the Age of Bush, but he hit a lot of the highlights.

Was the administration a failure?

Not at all. It accomplished just about everything it set out to do.

Worst of all, or best of all depending on what side of the devastation you're on, there's no indication that anything substantial is going to change with the next president.

August 19, 2008

Blackwater guards get target letters

Half a dozen Blackwater Worldwide security guards have gotten target letters from the Justice Department in a probe of shootings in Baghdad that killed 17 Iraqis, The Washington Post reported.

The Blackwater guards are caught up in the investigation of shootings that took place last September when a Blackwater team arrived in several vehicles at an intersection in Baghdad where shooting erupted, leaving numerous Iraqis dead and wounded.

The Post described the six guards as former U.S. military personnel, but did not identify them by name.

Attributing its information to three sources close to the case, The Post said that any charges would be brought against the guards under a federal law used to prosecute cases referred to the Justice Department by the Pentagon for crimes committed by military personnel and contractors overseas.

Target letters often are a prelude to indictment.

The Post story appeared on the newspaper's Website Saturday night.

The shootings began when a Blackwater convoy, which was responding to a Baghdad car bombing, entered the Nisoor Square traffic circle.

Blackwater says the convoy was ambushed by insurgents, touching off a firefight. Iraqi witnesses, however, described an unprovoked attack in which security guards fired indiscriminately, killing motorists, bystanders and children in the square.

** California Becomes First State to Condemn Use of Torture in 'War on Terror' **

Eisha Mason
California Progress Report
2008-08-18 01:06:00

On Thursday, the California Legislature adopted SJR 19, a resolution to prevent the state's licensed health professionals from engaging in torture.

As a result of SJR 19, state medical boards will inform health professionals of their obligations under both domestic and international law regarding treatment of prisoners and detainees. They will be warned that if they participate in interrogations that do not conform to these standards, they risk future prosecution. The state will also request the Department of Defense and Central Intelligence Agency to remove California doctors and psychologists from settings that fall short of international standards of treatment.

The myth that the U.S. does not torture is coming apart at the seams. Every week there are new revelations of misconduct. The abuses are not the result of "a few bad apples," but rather stem from a short-sighted and reckless policy that has damaged the lives of countless people held in U.S. custody, attacked the emotional and spiritual well-being of American soldiiers who have witnessed it and undermined the moral authority of America in the world community.

Canada judge warns judiciary on politicized public inquiries

Devin Montgomery at 12:05 PM ET

Photo source or description
[JURIST] Richard Scott, head of the Canadian Judicial Council [official website] conduct committee [materials], warned on Sunday that judges should exercise caution in agreeing to head up extra-judicial public inquiries designed to address politically controversial issues. Scott, who is also the chief justice of the Manitoba Court of Appeal [official website], said that by straying too far from their normal duties as judges, members of the judiciary risked the appearance of being seen as partisan. Scott's comments come after the Federal Court of Canada [official website] ruled [JURIST report] in June that media comments by Quebec Justice John Gomery [CBC profile], who led the public inquiry into the sponsorship scandal [CBC backgrounder] involving the Liberal Party [party website] government of former prime minister Jean Chrétien [official profile], had demonstrated bias against Chrétien [judgment, PDF] and his chief of staff Jean Pelletier [judgment, PDF]. In October, another Manitoba judge is scheduled to lead a similar committee established to investigate money that former Conservative Party prime minister Brian Mulroney received without paying taxes [Globe and Mail report]. Canwest has more.

Gomery's first and second reports [text and materials], released in November 2005 and February 2006 [JURIST reports], outlined the results of his judicial commission of inquiry [official website] into the Canadian scandal and included recommendations for controlling prime-ministerial power. The investigation began after Liberal Party Prime Minister Paul Martin, Chretien's successor, acknowledged allegations [JURIST report] of money laundering and kickbacks and took full responsibility for the misuse of public funds. After the reports has been issued, Gomery criticized [JURIST report] the now ruling Conservative Party [party website] for ignoring his recommendations on limiting government corruption and abuse of power. In June 2007, a former Canadian advertising executive was sentenced to 42 months in prison [JURIST report] for misappropriating nearly $1.6 million in government funds as part of the scandal.

NATO 'Surprised' By Russian Military, Reviewing European Defenses

By testing - August 18, 2008, 2:46PM

NATO has been having problems in Afghanistan. Now NATO has bad news from Georgia: Russia isn't as weak as once thought.

The Georgians hope to get modernized equipment NATO uses. Russia's goal is to undermine confidence in the NATO shield for Eastern Europe.

NATO appears to have been surprised not by the use of force, but the speed of the Georgian
military collapse. These are of concern to NATO because of problems in Afghanistan which might recur when defending Europe against Russia.

NATO will have to explain why, despite planning the Russians reported 24 months ago, why NATO is only now reviewing progress in Afghanistan, and reconsidering Russian power used in Georgia.

NATO appears to fear it has a credibility problem, not only because of poor progress in Afghanistan, but the tactical surprise of the Russians against the Georgian military. NATO will have to provide some credible reassurance to its member nations to demonstrate they have sufficient command and control of resources to defend against an increasingly likely Russian pre-textual attack against Eastern Europe.

The Russian defense ministry recently discussed additional funding for the tactical missile complex system. The Georgians claimed the Russians moved the systems to Georgia is a tactical missile system, which has supporting launch vehicles.

Russia denied it used the system and says it has no plans to use the system. They did not address the claim that the system was moved.

Russia has contradicted itself: Claiming it destroyed Georgia's military; but then refused to completely withdraw. If Russia's claims -- that they quickly, completely destroyed the Georgian military -- were true, then Russia cannot explain why it needs a military in Georgia.

The truth appears to be something different: The conflict in Georgia was a pretext for Russia to invade, destroy Georgia's military, and occupy the country.

The Russians view the American NSA and NATO as being in bed with Georgia. The Russians are gleeful that they've outmaneuvered the American satellites, and moved rockets without any meaningful American or Georgian response.

The Russians are vaguely referring to possible NATO-like aircraft over Georgia and Eastern Europe, mocking the figher pilots as they are tracked across the newly deployed Russian systems in Georgia. The Russians provided similar assistance in the former Yugoslavia when it assisted them in tracking specific fighter pilots flying from Italy.

The Russians have been providing commentary on their ability to use space-based platforms to integrate ground reconnaissance and support air operations. One commenter was happy Russian pilots wold be able to have active air combat experience in Georgia, and not act as show pilots during air shows.

The Russian news reports are discussing NSA satellite coverage of the Russian military movements within Georgia. The Russians are reporting that the Pentagon was surprised by the speed of the Russian troop movements, prompting concerns within NATO. NATO's problem has been the command and control issues in Afghanistan against simple insurgents living in caves. The NATO concerns appear to be much more than how to respond to Georgia, but how to effectively respond to a worried Russian invasion of NATO.

Russian news reports have not adequately discussed the different defense systems NATO uses in Europe, than those available for Georgia. However, NATO has not explained why the best military equipment -- presumably available to defend Europe -- cannot prevail in Afghanistan.

According to the Russian reports, NATO has been surprised by the speed and effectiveness of Russia's attacks on Georgia's command and controls systems, vital to defending Eastern Europe from Russia, and key to organizing an effective air-to-air response against expected Russian air forces over NATO allies.

From the Russian perspective, it appears they are not clear why Georgia did not take seriously the Russian threats. This suggests the Americans believed they could dissuade Russian action in Georgia. One report emphasized the speed at which Georgia's military has been effectively neutralized. Even with some NATO-American assistance, Georgia quickly collapsed.

Russia views Georgia as an indirect proxy for NATO, relying on NATO-like equipment. Russia views the Georgian-military-defeat as a fair warning for NATO: NATO combat forces are not sufficiently robust to challenge Russia, nor defend Eastern Europe. Russia views the remaining Georgian forces as meaningless: One of the units remaining exists only to finance the ministry; and the other organizing the (already) Georgian demobilization.

One of the key reminders is the Russian preparation for the Georgian invasion did not appear out of the blue. The preparations have been coordinated for many months. The American President has known something was possible, but did nothing to timely adjust in either Iraq or Afghanistan; nor did he secure a victory overseas to then make available US forces for Georgia. The President made the decision many months ago not to fully mitigate the Russian threat in Georgia.

It remains to be seen how the Georgian conflict spills into the Middle East. The Russians see an interesting dynamic. They view Israel as being limited in deploying forces, and would have us believe that Israel refused to return to Georgia specific equipment.

According to the Russian media, Russia is not moving its forces out of Georgia because it is planning for an increased American military presence and defense in Georgia. Russia does not expect the American President to use nuclear weapons, and are confident Russian conventional forces will not be adequately opposed by either NATO or America.


Which all goes to show how stupid it was of the Georgians to attack the outlying districts, wasn't it?

Military Judge Finds Political Manipulation in Gitmo, Again: Scott Horton

By Scott Horton

The proceedings in the Guantánamo military commissions continue, and the professional participants continue to grapple with the poorly disguised efforts of the Bush Administration to fix the outcome. JAG attorneys active in the commissions have frequently cited Thomas W. Hartmann as the source of their concerns. Hartmann, whose civilian job is general counsel to Mxenergy Holdings Inc., the Stamford, Connecticut gas producer and distributor, was handpicked and brought out of the JAG reserves to serve as the Bush Administration’s stage manager for the Guantánamo productions. His formal position is as “legal advisor” to Susan J. Crawford, the convening authority. Crawford, a retired military judge, previously worked for Dick Cheney and is known as a crony of David Addington.

In concept, Hartmann plays a supervisory role over the process in an administrative sense. He is also supposed to review decisions of the commissions and make a recommendation to Crawford before he passes them on to her for finalization and approval. However, according to testimony taken in the Gitmo proceedings, Hartmann played his hand crudely from the outset. He appeared before a Senate committee suggesting repeatedly his belief that torture-induced evidence could be used, and denying that waterboarding was torture. His highly evasive performance caused Republican Senator Lindsey Graham to express disgust.

When the first charges were announced, Hartmann appeared on national television brandishing harsh labels and prejudging cases on which he was slated to exercise an appellate review function—raising questions under professional ethics rules which later fueled challenges against him.

As the cases proceeded, accounts of Hartmann’s bullying and intimidation of other lawyers participating in the process circulated. In the Salim Hamdan case, his involvement drew a challenge, and after the court heard evidence of Hartmann’s improper conduct that included specific allegations that he was jockeying to have cases publicized and tried “before the elections,” he was banned from involvement in the case. Hartmann refused to resign, and protested that he was doing precisely what was called for by his job description.

In the last week, Hartmann faced a second challenge in another case. The former chief prosecutor, Colonel Moe Davis, testified that Hartmann had lobbied hard for the prosecution of an Afghan detainee named Mohammed Jawad, apparently because Hartmann felt the case would play well to an American television audience. Davis was followed by Gen. Gregory Zanetti, who testified that Hartmann routinely bullied other attorneys and was inappropriately aggressive in pushing for prosecution of certain cases that he felt had media value. Zanetti concluded that Hartmann’s behavior was “abusive, bullying and unprofessional. . . pretty much across the board.” Consistent with his public remarks, Hartmann’s actions reflected a particular bias in favor of aggressive prosecution of cases which he feels could be exploited politically to the advantage of the Bush Administration.

The current chief prosecutor, Col. Lawrence Morris, defended Hartmann, stating that the issues raised reflected nothing more than “a superficial personality conflict.” Morris is Hartmann’s direct subordinate. Interestingly, this is the same defense that Hartmann adopted when his conduct became the subject of an internal Defense Department probe.

Now a second military judge, Col. Steve Henley, has ordered Hartmann’s removal from the proceedings, sustaining the accusations raised against him. In an order handed down on Friday, Hartmann was banned from participation in the case, and the defense counsel were advised that they could make submissions in their quest for access to exculpatory evidence directly to Crawford, bypassing Hartmann.

For an attorney to be formally admonished and removed from legal proceedings twice for unprofessional conduct is an extraordinary matter. However, Hartmann is defiant, insisting that his actions are proper. One wonders if the disciplinary authorities of the Connecticut bar are following these developments.

Update: Readers advise me over the weekend that Hartmann is not a member of the bar in the state in which he most recently practiced, Connecticut, but he is admitted in Illinois and Missouri.

Cry, Lady Liberty !: Countercurrents, Maryam Sakeenah

By Maryam Sakeenah

18 August, 2008

Shortly after the disappearance of young Dr. Afia Siddiqui and her three minor children from Karachi in 2003, the American news channel NBC reported that she had been arrested in Pakistan 'on suspicion of facilitating money transfers for Al Qaeda.' Both Pakistani and US intelligence agencies, however, have since sworn an oath of silence over the issue. Senior Pakistani ministers have denied knowledge of her whereabouts. The Pakistani authorities have, however, insisted that Dr. Siddiqui 'was connected to Al Qaeda,' and that 'you will be astonished to know about her activities.' No evidence of these suspicious activities, however, has ever been shown the light of day.

Lord Nazir Ahmed, British MP, raised the issue in the House of Lords, highlighting the rampant human rights abuse the prisoner was subjected to. He held that this woman prisoner from Pakistan was 'physically tortured and continuously raped by the officers at the prison, to the extent that she had lost her mind.' Soon after, on July 6, British journalist and revert to Islam Yvonne Ridley who authored the book 'In the Hands of the Taliban', appealed to the Pakistanis to secure her release. She said: Today I am crying out for help – not for me, but for a Pakistan woman who you and I have never met, but she is our sister in Islam and she is in desperate need. She has been held in isolation by the Americans in neighbouring Afghanistan. As you know I was also held in Afghanistan, in prison for 10 days at the hands of the Taliban in September 2001. My story made international headlines, front page pictures and major stories on television. I was released on humanitarian grounds without charge even though I was guilty of entering the country without a passport or visa.But there has been not one word, not one paragraph about Prisoner 650 – the Grey Lady of Bagram … a murderous detention facility under the control of the US Military and intelligence services. I call her the Grey Lady because she is almost a ghost, a spectre whose cries and screams continue to haunt those who heard her."

Yvonne Ridley quoted from former Guantanamo detainee Moazzam Beg who authored 'Enemy Combatant', in which he recounts: "I began to hear the chilling screams of a woman next door. My mind battled with questions I was too afraid to ask. What if it was… my wife? Eventually I did agree to say whatever they wanted me to say, to do whatever they wanted me to do. I had to finish it. I agreed to be their witness to whatever. At the end of it all, I asked them, "Why have you got a woman next door?" They told me there was no woman next door. But I was unconvinced. Those screams echoed through my worst nightmares for a long time. And I later learned in Guantánamo, from other prisoners, that they had heard the screams, too, and believed it was my wife. They had been praying for her deliverance." Other detainees from Bagram have attested to the same. In an interview on TV, a former Bagram detainee confirmed he had heard a woman's screams, and also that he had seen her. He told that the other prisoners in Bagram had gone on hunger strike for six days to pressurize those in charge to stop torturing the woman. Yvonne Ridley continued: "Today I am making a demand that the US military hands over the Grey Lady immediately. We do not know her identity, we do not know the state of her mind, we do not know the extent of the abuse or torture. What I do know is that this would never happen to a western woman – what is wrong with the US military? Don't they value a Muslim woman, is her life worthless, does she not deserve to be treated with respect? In truth I don't think any of us with a conscience can rest until she is released. Sadly, she is not the only one."

Weeks later, due to the overwhelming media attention on the issue, a frail, battered, badly wounded and immobilized Dr. Afia Siddiqui was produced in a US court. Her Lawyer Elizabeth Fink stated: "She is complaining of abdominal pain. She understands she lost part of her intestine, and suffers from continual intestinal bleeding. She has been here, judge, for one week and she has not seen a doctor, even though they (U.S. authorities) know she has been shot." In view of the fact that Dr. Siddiqui had a serious wound in her abdomen and stitches all the way up her torso, the judge ordered that she must immediately be seen by a doctor. The explanation offered for the enormous and untreated bullet wound in her abdomen was that she had been 'allegedly trying to fire on a group of U.S. troops who had come to question her in an Afghanistan prison.' How a woman who could not even move, let alone walk, talk or even lift a gun shoot straight at an armed security officer defies any explanation. Ridiculously, the U.S. prosecutor told the court in an effort to explain, that this was 'a complicated situation,' and because of her 'alleged attack on an American officer', the decrepit woman was considered a 'high-security risk.' The US authorities pull a straight blank regarding the whereabouts and condition of Dr. Siddiqui's three minor children. There have been conflicting statements about whether they are alive and if so, where. While the unforgivable brutality inflicted on 'Prisoner 650' has been shamelessly justified on the grounds of her 'suspected involvement with Al Qaeda', no amount of 'logical discourse' or 'legal argument' can ever attempt to justify how and why her baby and two toddler sons have been 'punished.' So much for America's commitment to fundamental Human Rights and basic justice.

And yet, there are those who would jump in defence of this naked viciousness and barbarism, those sitting on high seats in prestigious offices of the great and mighty empire of the United States of America. Ms. Anne Patterson, US ambassador to Pakistan writes: "Ms. Siddiqui is accused of seizing a weapon and firing_ unprovoked_ on US personnel during questioning… At no time was Ms. Siddiqui mistreated or abused in any manner whatsoever… The United States has no definitive knowledge as to the whereabouts of Ms. Siddiqui's children… She is charged in a criminal complaint filed in New York with one count of attempting to kill US officers and employees, and one count of assaulting US officers and employees. If convicted, she faces a sentence of 20 years in prison on each charge."

After 9/11, the United States granted exclusive powers to the Executive to detain suspected terrorists for indefinite periods, denying judicial review of evidence on the basis of which a suspect is detained. The appalling truth, however, is that despite years of detention, the investigating authorities have utterly failed to produce any tangible evidence about involvement in terrorism, except for a minuscule percentage. The evidence found, however, in most cases, only proved that a number of detainees were being held without having any past record of links to terrorism, on the basis of mere suspicion.

With the issuance of John Yoo's famous 'torture memos', certain methods of torture for interrogation of suspected terrorists were also licensed. These "torture memos," advocate enhanced interrogation techniques. They attempted to make these war tactics acquire legality by refuting the Geneva Conventions altogether, so that violating them was no longer required. The government has authorized coercive interrogation methods publicly for non US citizens detained outside the US. For this purpose, the State has sent foreign terror suspects to locations outside the US where coercive interrogation (even involving torture in most cases) can be carried out. The US government holds an undisclosed number of detainees (presumably over 2000) at undisclosed locations. The CIA and FBI as a matter of course hand suspects over to foreign intelligence services for intensive interrogation. One US official was reported to have said, "If you don't violate someone's human rights some of the time, you probably aren't doing your job."

In 2004, horrifying images from Abu Ghraib prisons in Iraq were released into the media showing humiliation and abuse of prisoners. Shortly after, similar information about widespread prison abuse at Bagram prisons in Afghanistan was revealed. It afforded a glimpse into the inhuman barbarity unleashed on suspects and detainees that had been going on unabated behind the scenes.

The fact remains, however, that the Geneva Conventions signed and ratified by the US prohibit torture of prisoners of war even if obtaining information can save lives. The evidence that torture has in fact been used in US prisons has steadily built up revulsion in the public mind regarding the USA's counter terror strategy and its unscrupulous conduct. President Bush, however, remained on denial amidst allegations of the use of torture: "The United States of America does not torture. And that's important for people around the world to understand."

Military lawyer Alberto J. Mora reported that policies allowing torture methods were officially handed down from the highest levels of the administration. ABC News reported on April 9, 2008 that "the most senior Bush administration officials discussed and approved specific details of how high-value al Qaeda suspects would be interrogated by the Central Intelligence Agency."

According to the New York Times, "What happened at Abu Ghraib was no aberration, but part of a widespread pattern. It showed the tragic impact of the initial decision by Mr. Bush and his top advisers that they were not going to follow the Geneva Conventions, or indeed American law, for prisoners taken in antiterrorist operations. The investigative file on Bagram showed that the mistreatment of prisoners was routine: shackling them to the ceilings of their cells, depriving them of sleep, kicking and hitting them, sexually humiliating them and threatening them with guard dogs -- the very same behavior later repeated in Iraq."

Steven C Welsh writes: "Under the Geneva Convention it is the United States as a nation which must confront its responsibility for the actions of the men and women representing it in its prisons."

The horrendous exposition of unabated use of the vilest torture on detainees, the latest of which that has come to light is the nightmarish tale of Dr. Siddiqui has left ugly, deep scars reaffirming the image of the US as a state not befitting of its gigantic role in world politics. With leadership comes responsibility. Abu Ghraib, Bagram and the suffering of Afia Siddiqui has taught us that the 'saviours' are no better than the 'terrorists' they fight. The gaping black hole of moral depravity at the heart of the War on Terror stands exposed. Perhaps uglier still is the façade of a superior civilization that the US chooses to put up, and to which Ms. Anne Patterson chooses to play along: "The US justice system is based on the abiding principle that defendants are innocent until proven guilty… We would encourage you to remain open-minded but skeptical of sensational allegations that have no basis in fact." Ms. Patterson's 'blind spot' towards the utterly miserable physical, emotional and mental state of Dr. Siddiqui who is as of yet legally unconvicted is only too obvious.

Prominent writer Bob Herbert rejects attempts at 'making over' the ugly face of the U.S like Ann Paterson has chosen to do: "... There is also the grotesque and deeply shameful issue that will always be a part of America's legacy -- the manner in which American troops have treated prisoners under their control in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. There is no longer any doubt that large numbers of troops responsible for guarding and interrogating detainees somehow loosed their moorings to humanity, and began behaving as sadists, perverts and criminals."

Abdul Malik Mujahid, understanding the degeneracy of a civilization represented through the horrors at US 'anti-terrorist' detention camps in an Islamic context, laments the loss of what Islam calls 'haya' in the West. 'Haya' implies an inner sensibility creating a sense of aversion from what is evil, obscene and indecent. It is a retraining influence that keeps the distinction between right and wrong, not letting it blur into a mishmash of confused morality. The Prophet of Islam (SAW) called it the 'distinctive feature of Islam.' Mujahid comments: "The photos of American soldiers abusing prisoners have stunned and disgusted the world. While such images shocked America, most Americans may not be able to comprehend what type of cultural threshold has been crossed in terms of dealing with Islam and Muslims. In a culture that sometimes values life less than honor, we have done the ultimate act of dishonoring people. May God forgive us. There certainly is a big cultural gap in the way people in the West deal with modesty and privacy of the body, and the way individuals in the Muslim world do, regardless of their level of Islamic practice. This Islamic sensibility of considering the human body part of a very personal realm is connected to the concept of honor, dignity and privacy. This should explain the deep pain, shock and horror over the nightmare of physical abuse and perverted sadism that went on in Abu Ghraib, (and that has victimized Dr.Afia Siddiqui and others like her). Unlike what some in America lead us to believe, no one hates America in the Muslim world because of democracy and freedom. It is the immorality of America (championed by Hollywood), along with American foreign policy which defines the conflict between the Westernized elite and religious elements in Muslim societies. Graphic images of this criminal behavior by some members of the most organized and educated army of the only superpower in the world are bound to become the most dominant images of this new "Crusade" in the collective psyche of Muslims."