Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Supreme Court Rules Supremely, DOD Obeys...Sort Of

Dearest Readers, Prissy has been sooo busy in DC-it would take all night to tell the story.

Best quote of the day from U.S. Senator Lincoln Chafee (R-RI) speaking to military families exhibit of empty boots, next to the Cannon Building: "President Bush said he prayed before he decided to go into this war and I am going to let him know he needs to pray about the war again."

Perhaps we should all pray he does the right thing-this time...you too, Lincoln.

Hot Links

U.S.: Pentagon Applies Geneva Rules to Detainee

The Bush administration's belated decision to recognize the applicability of the Geneva Conventions to terrorism suspects in military custody is a step forward, Human Rights Watch said today. But because the Pentagon memorandum that codifies the change does not extend to detainees held by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), it represents only partial compliance with the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld. "The Pentagon's decision to apply the Geneva rules to anyone captured on the battlefield is welcome news for soldiers around the world," said Joanne Mariner, terrorism and counterterrorism director at Human Rights Watch. "The Geneva rules protect everyone taken into custody in wartime, including American servicemen and women."

The administration's decision is an important reversal from past policy. In January 2002, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld announced that detainees captured in Afghanistan were "unlawful combatants" who were not entitled to protection under the 1949 Geneva Conventions governing the humane treatment of prisoners. Human Rights Watch emphasized at that time that the U.S. approach was tragically shortsighted. By ignoring its obligations under the Geneva Conventions, the United States was undercutting the viability of these crucial international protections.

The July 7 memo, signed by U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England, instructs recipients to ensure that all Department of Defense (DOD) policies, practices and directives comply with Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions. "You will ensure that all DOD personnel adhere to these standards," the memo says, citing the Supreme Court's decision in Hamdan.

It's a start until their trials begin...the administrations trials, that is! via RAW Story John Dean: 50 Yr. Study Shows Conservatives Are Followers

No kidding...in synchronized lockstep all the way over the cliff. Not an original thought in that group-unless they are exploring torture methods. Prissy thinks they cheated then, probably looking back to the dark ages for pointers.

Dean said neorepublican loyalty is blind when someone like Dubya incites their hate and fear.

Operation House Call Call Congressman Dennis Hastert and tell him to meet with Soldier's Mom

Dearest Readers, this part of the operation has been a success. Dennis Hastert got so many calls, they finally called Georgia and told her Hastert would see her!

Duluth Superior News, Wisconsin Bush says Green is ready to be Wisconsin's governor

As he arrived for the evening's event at a downtown hotel, about 300 protesters milled about outside during the unseasonably cool and wet day. Another 75 or so peeked through windows at the local convention center, straining to get a glimpse of the president's motorcade.

Many protesters were from The Sisters of Saint Joseph, which was holding a convention of some 1,100 Roman Catholic nuns. They chanted "No More War" and "We Want Peace" while holding signs shaped like doves.

"We want the president to be aware of some of the concerns of the people for peace and for poverty," said Mary Anne Rodgers of Albany, N.Y. "Truly, we're here in a stance of peace, praying for him and praying for absolute conversion of his heart."

And..."The people who got these big tax breaks... what are they going to do with it that's going to benefit anybody else?" Maurer said. "We see with Ronald Reagan how trickle-down economics never worked."

Foreign Policy in Focus Dropping Musharraf?There is a whiff of “regime change” in the air these days, but not where you might expect it. Not in Iraq, where the conservative U.S.-backed Shiites are already in power. Not in Iran, where White House threats have served to unite, rather than divide, that country. But in Pakistan, where President Pervez Musharraf has recently fallen out of U.S. favor.

Consider the following developments. The Bush administration's “man in Kabul,” Afghan President Hamid Karzai, recently fingered Pakistan as the source of the current fighting in the southern part of his country. “The world should go where terrorism is nourished, where it is provided money and ideology,” he told a Kabul press conference this past June. “The war in Afghanistan should not be limited to Afghanistan.”

Chris Patten, former European Union commissioner for external affairs, echoed this theme in a mid-May commentary in the Wall Street Journal. “The problem in Afghanistan,” wrote Patten, “is Islamabad.”

When President Bush visited Pakistan in March, he lectured President Musharraf about the need to be more aggressive in the “war on terrorism,” although Pakistan has lost more soldiers fighting the Taliban in its northwestern tribal areas than the entire NATO coalition has lost in Afghanistan. And Bush refused to discuss the issue of Kashmir, the major flashpoint in Pakistan-India relations that has brought the two nuclear-armed powers to the brink of war on several occasions.

Indeed, when Musharraf asked for the same nuclear agreement that Washington had just handed New Delhi, Bush openly insulted his Islamabad hosts. With the Pakistani president standing stiffly beside him, Bush told the press, “I explained that Pakistan and India are different countries with different needs and histories.”

Village Voice Blind to Torture

June 7 documented report by the Council of Europe on CIA renditions—that are approved by George W. Bush—of suspects sent to countries where they are tortured.

The United States is far from the only nation accused of repeated complicity in torture in the devastating report by the 46-nation Council of Europe, which enforces the European Convention on Human Rights. Chief investigator Dick Marty emphasizes:

"The United States actually created this reprehensible network [of kidnappings and torture]. . . . But . . . it is only through the intentional or grossly negligent collusion of the European partners [in these crimes] that this 'web' was able to spread all over Europe."

The countries actively permitting the kidnapping of suspects from their streets are, Dick Marty notes: Italy, Sweden, Bosnia, and Macedonia. Providing "staging posts"—including logistical support—for these CIA agents and planes are: Spain, Turkey, Germany, and Cyprus.

Also, allowing stopovers for CIA planes on the way to torture chambers in such countries as Morocco, Jordan, Egypt, and Syriaare Britain, Ireland, Portugal, and Greece.

Truthdig, Prissy digs 'em! Andy Borowitz—Kim Jong-Il: I Want to Be Villain in New Bond Film

Boston Glove via Tinsel Wing blog Signing statements: the top ten list

Examples of the president's signing statements

Since taking office in 2001, President Bush has issued signing statements on more than 750 new laws, declaring that he has the power to set aside the laws when they conflict with his legal interpretation. The federal government is instructed to follow the statements when it enforces the laws. Here are 10 examples and the dates Bush signed them:

March 9, 2006: Justice Department officials must give reports to Congress by certain daes on how the FBI is using the USA Patriot Act to search homes and secretly seize papers. Bush's signing statement: The president can order Justice Department officials to withhold any information from Congress if he decides it could impair national security or executive branch operations.

Dec. 30, 2005: US interrrogators cannot torture prisoners or otherwise subject them to cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment. Bush's signing statement: The president, as commander in chief, can waive the torture ban if he decides that harsh interrogation techniques will assist in preventing terrorist attacks.

Dec. 30: When requested, scientific information "prepared by government researchers and scientists shall be transmitted [to Congress] uncensored and without delay." Bush's signing statement: The president can tell researchers to withhold any information from Congress if he decides its disclosure could impair foreign relations, national security, or the workings of the executive branch.

That's our Dumbya...the decider is no lawyer. Not even close, even his Daddy's connections couldn't get him into a public law school. You see, there is some justice in the world, after all...

Prissy will post pictures of the exhibit in DC tomorrow evening.

Quotes of the Day

For Dubya, who says if we are not for him, we are against him. Good reasoning skills, Dubya...

A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies.--Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900), The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891

The shaft of the arrow had been feathered with one of the eagle's own plumes. We often give our enemies the means of our own destruction.--Aesop (620 BC - 560 BC), The Eagle and the Arrow

A wise man gets more use from his enemies than a fool from his friends.--Baltasar Gracian

You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you.--Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

The enemy is anybody who's going to get you killed, no matter which side he's on. --Joseph Heller (1923 - 1999), Catch 22

I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: 'O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous.' And God granted it.--Voltaire (1694 - 1778)

From the Freeway Blogger, Nice work!