Sunday, July 09, 2006

Just What is Going on in Washington?

Just where is that "pre-war intel" report that was promised repeatedly, yet never delivered?

Why do they continue with a prison/criminal justice system which the Supreme Court has deemed incompatible with the American standard of justice?

Dearest Readers, Prissy is about to find out. All this and more, when Prissy bloggs live from Washington, D.C. this week. We will find out more about Military Families Speak Out Operation House Call.

Operation House Call

Operation House Call is a daily vigil of military families in Washington DC. Each day from June 22 - August 4th that Congress is in session, members of Military Families Speak Out will stand across from the Capitol with combat boots representing US troops and shoes representing Iraqis who have died since June 15, 2006 - the day Congress voted to "stay the course" in Iraq and the day the 2,500th troop death occurred. MFSO members will also visit the offices of Senators and Members of Congress. When Congress goes on recess on August 4th, military families will continue to pressure their Senators and Representatives in their home states and districts.

ADD YOUR VOICE While military families are standing vigil and meeting with Senators and Representatives, everyone can join the Operation House Call postcard campaign by downloading a pdf file of the postcard or ordering printed copies from us.

Be sure and also check out the news about Camp Democracy that Cindy Sheehan has set up. Prissy looks forward to seeing Cindy's camp and will tell you what is really happening there next week. Looks like a interesting place.

From Camp Democracy site:

A camp for peace, democracy, and the restoration of the rule of law. Camp Casey will move from Crawford, Texas, to Washington, D.C., to create a larger camp focused not only on ending the war but also on righting injustices here at home and on holding accountable the Bush Administration and Congress. Tents will provide activist activities, trainings, workshops, and entertainment on these themes: War/ Peace/ Nonviolence | The Constitution/ Accountability/ Censure/ Impeachment | Poverty/ Katrina/ Immigration/ Labor | Environment/ Health Care/ Education

And no, Prissy won't be doing the hunger strike. Did you know part of the Patriot Act (section 802) allows for the definition of citizens who engage in hunger strikes to be detained or arrested? But that isn't why.

(5) the term `domestic terrorism' means activities that-- (A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State; (B) appear to be intended-- (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and (C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States.
Very vague wording for a legal definition.

Prissy is of the opinion that the anti-war movement of today calls for new and creative, highly effective tactics. We aren't in Gitmo-not yet. So please take your vitamins, get enough rest, eat right and save your strength to fight the bad guys another day.

Fasting for long periods of time is not healthy. So take care of yourselves-besides- the bad guys are hoping you don't.

Hot Links

Tell this one to everybody you know....From the Project On Government Oversight The GAO's Nuke Smugglin'

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) testified today (pdf) on its undercover investigation where it smuggled radioactive materials, suitable for making dirty bombs, across the border. The good news: the radiation portals detected the material the investigators were trying to smuggle. The bad: Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents "never questioned the authenticity of the investigators’ counterfeit bill of lading or the counterfeit NRC document authorizing them to receive, acquire, possess, and transfer radioactive sources."

This made the news in March when the GAO published its original report on this investigation. Unlike the vast majority of GAO reports, this report is not available electronically at You have to order a hard copy. However, you can view today's written testimony online (pdf).

UK Times ID cards doomed, say officials

TONY BLAIR'S flagship identity cards scheme is set to fail and may not be introduced for a generation, according to leaked Whitehall e-mails from the senior officials responsible for the multi-billion-pound project.

The problems are so serious that ministers have been forced to draw up plans for a scaled-down "face-saving" version to meet their pledge of phasing in the cards from 2008.

Tony Blair, AKA "Bush's poodle"

However, civil servants say there is no evidence that even this compromise is "remotely feasible" and accuse ministers of "ignoring reality" by pressing ahead.

Score a victory for democracy in Britian!

Flashback August 3, 2004 In These Times They Knew

But as author Flannery O'Conner noted, "Truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it. That means no matter how much defensive spin spews from the White House, the Bush administration cannot escape the documented fact that it was clearly warned before the war that its rationale for invading Iraq was weak.

Top administration officials repeatedly ignored warnings that their assertions about Iraq's supposed Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and connections to al Qaeda were overstated. In some cases, they were told their claims were wholly without merit, yet they went ahead and made them anyway. Even the Senate report admits that the White House "misrepresented" classified intelligence by eliminating references to contradictory assertions.

In short, they knew they were misleading America.

And they did not care.

Another Prissy Patriot Flashback about the Iraq War December 6, 2004LAWYERS AGAINST THE WAR Canada blocks torture charges against Bush

The Canadian government used a claim of diplomatic immunity Monday to block torture charges laid under the Canadian Criminal Code against President George W. Bush. The charges had been laid by Gail Davidson of LAW [Lawyers against the War] on the occasion of Bush's visit to Canada on November 30. They concerned the well-known abuses at Abu Ghraib prison, photos of which shocked the world earlier this year, as well as similar abuses at Guantinamo Bay that have emerged more recently. On behalf of LAW, Davidson was seeking to fix a date for a hearing into the charges and came armed with evidence, but Judge William Kitchen acceded to the Attorney General's objections and declared the charges "a nullity".

Of course, they're not a nullity, said Professor Michael Mandel, co-chair of LAW, who criticized the decision as "irregular in procedure and wrong in substance.

"These charges were properly laid and backed up by powerful evidence. The government didn't deny that evidence because it couldn't deny it. Diplomatic immunity is purely procedural. It doesn't affect the validity of the charges, only whether they can be proceeded with, for the time being, in a foreign court, in this case a Canadian court. Even if Bush has immunity, it's only temporary and it won't shield him or anyone in his administration from Canadian law, or any other law, when they leave office. That the Canadian government would try to hush this up by hiding Bush behind diplomatic immunity was only to be expected. Paul Martin invited Bush here to ingratiate himself with the President, despite the President's crimes against our laws and against international law, despite even his inadmissibility as a war criminal under Canada's immigration laws - above all, despite the unending human disaster the President's illegal "war of choice" has brought to the people of Iraq.

Vancouver lawyer Gail Davidson, who laid the charges, said "We have a lot of objections to the way these charges were handled. We can't see the legal basis for sealing the courtroom and excluding the press and the public. We think the claim of immunity was premature and exaggerated, and the quashing of the charges not authorized by the law. We are considering our options, including an appeal of the decision. One thing we will do for sure is to pursue similar charges in Germany as part of the prosecution launched there by the American Center for Constitutional Rights. There is good reason to believe that the German authorities will show more backbone than the government of Canada in the face of the Bush administration's trashing of international human rights law."

Prissy warned you this rat would get caught if he left his PM post Berlusconi and Mills sent to trial

(ANSA) - Milan, July 7 - Former premier Silvio Berlusconi was ordered to stand trial on Friday for alleged fraud at his private TV network company Mediaset .Judge Fabio Paparella also sent 13 others to trial, including Mediaset Chairman

Fedele Confalonieri; British corporate lawyer David Mills, the estranged husband of Britain's Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell; and several top former officials at Berlusconi's Fininvest family holding company .

The trial, the outcome of a four-year investigation, will begin in Milan on November 21, judicial sources said.

The defendants face charges ranging from tax fraud, false accounting and embezzlement to money laundering .

Also of interest in this article...

They suspect Berlusconi of having bribed the lawyer to protect him in two previous corruption trials

CNET FBI plans new Net-tapping push

FBI Agent Barry Smith distributed the proposal at a private meeting last Friday with industry representatives and indicated it would be introduced by Sen. Mike DeWine, an Ohio Republican, according to two sources familiar with the meeting.

The draft bill would place the FBI's Net-surveillance push on solid legal footing. At the moment, it's ensnared in a legal challenge from universities and some technology companies that claim the Federal Communications Commission's broadband surveillance directives exceed what Congress has authorized.

The FBI claims that expanding the 1994 Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act is necessary to thwart criminals and terrorists who have turned to technologies like voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP.

One more reason to put DeWine on the curb in November, always looking for ways to sneak around privacy laws. What Prissy and others really want to know about this consistent pattern with DeWine is Why?

Sherrod Brown, his opponent is quieter than Paul Hackett- but has a good voting record and appears to be running a very clean campaign. He got rid of the guy who started the "whisper campaign" against veteran Paul Hackett-smart move. Prissy supports Sherrod in his bid for Senator. He is a steady reliable public servant who understands the neocon cabal for what they are. Sherrod, like Hackett appears to have been born with what escaped DeWine and Taft; that Midwestern common sense we were known for until Bush stole the 2004 vote-branding us a Red State. Not red at all, according to the exit polls...

In These Times Views Two Faces of GOP Hate

On the surface, Shawn Stuart and Ralph Reed have little in common, other than their quest for public office this year as Republicans. But, Stuart, a bona fide Nazi running for state representative in Montana, and Reed, who has repeatedly appealed to antigay and racist bias as Georgia GOP chair and hopes to become lieutenant governor, share an intimate bond. They both have bigotry at the core of their campaigns.

Playing on prejudice is a dance they perform with differing degrees of grace. Reed, a slick and polished consultant, looks to win his August primary, while Stuart, a clumsy first-time candidate, is a longshot for the legislature. Reed, more than Stuart, disguises gay-bashing and scapegoating of immigrants in rhetoric of faith, family, and America's security. But even fellow Republicans are having a hard time identifying what, in substance, distinguishes the wacko from the White House confidante.

Recently home from service in Iraq, Stuart is the lone GOP candidate in state House district 76, based in heavily Democratic Butte. He told the Missoula Independent that he conveyed to local Republicans his strong anti-immigrant and anti-gay views. Montana state party spokesperson Chuck Butler agreed that the 24-year-old Stuart seemed a normal, even an admirable, GOP standard-bearer. "He made a nice appearance and got himself on the ballot and then he happened to say, "Oh, I represent some other interest."

Like it was real hard for Stuart to be set-up nicely by the GOP...that's why they call them "sell-outs"

Maybe Stuart should aslo read this history, as they are still using the same play book and you already know how it turned out. GULF OF TONKIN INCIDENT DOCUMENTS - AUDIO RECORDINGS - PHOTOS

Interesting details like this one:

On the night of 4 August 1964, the warships reported making contact and then being attacked by several fast crafts far out to sea. Officers in the naval chain of command and U.S. leaders in Washington were persuaded by the interpretation of special intelligence and reports from the ships, that North Vietnamese naval forces had attacked the two destroyers. More recent analysis of that data and additional information gathered on the 4 August episode, now makes it clear that North Vietnamese naval forces did not attack Maddox and Turner Joy that night in the summer of 1964.

More lies from the Bushco factory Phone Jammer to Argue DC Officials Approved

On Monday, Hansen's attorney gave a preview of what may be to come. Hansen's attorney filed notice in U.S. District Court of the numerous "affirmative defenses" which may be included in the defense strategy.

The court filing includes a laundry list of potential defense strategies, including:

* Entrapment: If Hansen uses this defense, he will "assert that the government, or an agent thereof, actually induced the offenses". If Hansen chooses the entrapment defense, Hansen "may present evidence that he, Lee Leblanc, and others associated with his now-defunct firm of Mylo Enterprises were induced to commit the offenses through assurances by Allen Raymond, Chris Cupit, and an unknown "attorney," that certain acts that he and his business were contracted to perform in November 2002 were completely legal."

* Derivative Entrapment: A related option is a "derivative entrapment defense", where Hansen would assert that "the government uses a private party as its agent." In this case, Hansen would "assert that the private parties which the government used as its agents were Allen Raymond, Chris Cupit, GOP Marketplace LLC, and an unknown "attorney."

Dearest Readers this is in the China Daily-need we say more? It should make the neorepublicans and those continuing to support them just burn with shame. US rejects UN rights panel's probing of Guantanamo Bay

The United States maintains it has to respect a major human rights treaty only inside its borders, rejecting questions by a United Nations body on its record in places like Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

In a report filed to the UN Human Rights Committee and posted on the body's website, Washington said its treatment of detainees in Afghanistan, Guantanamo, Iraq and "other places of detention outside the United States of America" falls outside the scope of a 40-year-old treaty guaranteeing civil and political rights.

"The legal status and treatment of such persons is governed by the law of war," the US said in a 120-page report to the committee of 18 independent experts who review the practices of the 149 countries who have ratified the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights


The American Civil Liberties Union said the US assertion that the treaty applies only within the United States means Washington is "claiming immunity for treaty violations by the US military and the CIA in territories under US control such as Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay.

MSNBC May 26, 2006, still relavant Why does the Bush administration want to believe that Kaddafi has changed his ways? The short answer is NO-pp

When the not-altogether-unexpected announcement came this week that the Bush administration was taking Libya off the list of states supporting terrorism and the United States would renew full diplomatic ties for the first time in 34 years, I asked a Saudi friend what he thought.

I figured he'd be interested because, well, the Saudis accused Libyan agents of plotting to murder Crown Prince (now King) Abdullah bin Abdelaziz in Mecca with a rocket-propelled grenade in November 2003. That was just months after Libya swore to the United Nations it had given up terrorism. The Libyans have denied any part in the plot, of course.

Tripoli's motive appears to have been, in the twisted vision of "Brotherly Leader"Muammar Kaddafi, a matter of honor. At an Arab summit in March 2003, he had accused Crown Prince Abdullah of supporting the Americans who were about to lead the invasion of Iraq. Abdullah was "making a pact with the devil," Kaddafi said. To which Abdullah responded with courtly ferocity,"Your lies precede you and your grave is in front of you."

Flash Film/Music of the Day

A great flash film (about 2 minutes long) set to music that tells it like it is to them how we feel about being abused by Dubya and most of his friends...@sshole This is one to pass along to friends, given to Prissy from another justice blogger pal.California memorial

Bruce Springsteen the old Pete Seeger songBring 'Em Home

Dearest Readers, please send all your positive thoughts toward military families in Washington DC as they gather in front of the Cannon Building with their Operation House Call exhibit. Always feel free to stand with them; you will be most welcome.