Jul 25

Bush administration considered use of military against civilians

Every day these fuckers aren’t in front of a jury is a black mark on our nation’s reputation. No surprise, it was Cheney pushing for this.

Some of the advisers to President George W. Bush, including Vice President Dick Cheney, argued that a president had the power to use the military on domestic soil to sweep up the terrorism suspects, who came to be known as the Lackawanna Six, and declare them enemy combatants.

A decision to dispatch troops into the streets to make arrests has few precedents in American history, as both the Constitution and subsequent laws restrict the military from being used to conduct domestic raids and seize property.

The Fourth Amendment bans “unreasonable” searches and seizures without probable cause. And the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 generally prohibits the military from acting in a law enforcement capacity.

In the discussions, Mr. Cheney and others cited an Oct. 23, 2001, memorandum from the Justice Department that, using a broad interpretation of presidential authority, argued that the domestic use of the military against Al Qaeda would be legal because it served a national security, rather than a law enforcement, purpose.

“The president has ample constitutional and statutory authority to deploy the military against international or foreign terrorists operating within the United States,” the memorandum said.

The memorandum — written by the lawyers John C. Yoo and Robert J. Delahunty — was directed to Alberto R. Gonzales, then the White House counsel, who had asked the department about a president’s authority to use the military to combat terrorist activities in the United States.

For those that don’t know, the use of the military on American soil against American citizens is unconstitutional and illegal six ways from Sunday. It has not been done since the Civil War. And yet, Cheney is a free man and Yoo still a tenured professor at UC Berkeley (though he has to teach elsewhere now).

One guy can get impeached for a blowjob.

Fifty can’t even get a dirty look for shredding the constitution and considering turning our country into a literal police state.

Yeah, that makes sense.

Feb 09

This is what the GOP stopping from being addressed

People are losing urgent health care and states are withering on the vines.

Nevada resident Margaret Frye-Jackman, 71, was diagnosed in August with ovarian cancer. She had two rounds of chemotherapy at University Medical Center, the only public hospital in the Las Vegas area.

Soon after, she and her daughter heard the news on TV: The hospital’s outpatient oncology services were closing because of state Medicaid cuts. Treatment for Frye-Jackman and hundreds of other cancer patients was eliminated.

You got that? Public services for urgent medical care are being cut … and still the GOP fiddles and argues for tax cuts. If ever there were a group of more amoral, corrupt, soulless bunch of shitheads outside of collapse-of-Rome, I just can’t imagine.

Oct 28

Ever Notice

How all voter suppression activities stem from Republicans?

GOP suppression, again

A phony State Board of Elections flier advising Republicans to vote on Nov. 4 and Democrats on Nov. 5 is being circulated in several Hampton Roads localities, according to state elections officials.

This happens every cycle – some flier comes out in minority/black/poor neighborhoods either giving a wrong location, date, or threats of arrest/seizure/investigation should the darkies show up.

and remember, change means …. BLACK!!!!!

Sep 11

Life under Palin: charge sexual assault victims for their exams

Palin’s so awesome. If by awesome you mean troglodyte sociopath, that is.

Eight years ago, complaints about charging rape victims for medical exams in Wasilla prompted the Alaska Legislature to pass a bill — signed into law by Knowles — that banned the practice statewide.

“There was one town in Alaska that was charging victims for this, and that was Wasilla,” Knowles said

A May 23, 2000, article in Wasilla’s newspaper, The Frontiersman, noted that Alaska State Troopers and most municipal police agencies regularly pay for such exams, which cost between $300 and $1,200 apiece.

“(But) the Wasilla police department does charge the victims of sexual assault for the tests,” the newspaper reported.

It also quoted Wasilla Police Chief Charlie Fannon objecting to the law. Fannon was appointed to his position by Palin after her dismissal of the previous police chief. He said it would cost Wasilla $5,000 to $14,000 a year if the city had to foot the bill for rape exams.

“In the past we’ve charged the cost of exams to the victims’ insurance company when possible,” Fannon told the newspaper. “I just don’t want to see any more burden put on the taxpayer.”

Sep 10

Palin Authoritarian Censorship Past

Look! Actual investigation!

To recap:
1. Palin, a hard core theocratic extremist and member of hard-right church with no qualms about dictating societal norms, is elected mayor of Wasilla, AK (pop. 9,000).
2. Palin shortly thereafter “inquires” of the town librarian how she would react “if” Palin asked her to remove some books from the library (alternatively, Palin inquires about the “procedure” for book removal. No threat there!)
3. Librarian says that the books were acquired properly and she will not remove any of them.
4. Librarian is fired.
(postscript: community is outraged, Librarian is reinstated shortly thereafter)

Nope, definitely no authoritarian Queen of Hearts correlation there.

Elections have consequences, and if these dipshits somehow convince enough people to vote against their own interests to be elected then get ready for a whole lot of Säuberung. Oh frabjous day!

Sep 03

Cointelpro never went away

It just ducked its head for a while

So here we have a massive assault led by Federal Government law enforcement agencies on left-wing dissidents and protesters who have committed no acts of violence or illegality whatsoever, preceded by months-long espionage efforts to track what they do. And as extraordinary as that conduct is, more extraordinary is the fact that they have received virtually no attention from the national media and little outcry from anyone. And it’s not difficult to see why. As the recent “overhaul” of the 30-year-old FISA law illustrated — preceded by the endless expansion of surveillance state powers, justified first by the War on Drugs and then the War on Terror — we’ve essentially decided that we want our Government to spy on us without limits. There is literally no police power that the state can exercise that will cause much protest from the political and media class and, therefore, from the citizenry.

Aug 04

Correlation, meet causation

McSame edition, number 5012

Ten senior Hess Corporation executives and/or members of the Hess family each gave $28,500 to the joint RNC-McCain fundraising committee, just days after McCain reversed himself to favor offshore drilling, according to Federal Election Commission reports.

Nine of these contributions, seven from Hess executives and two from members of the Hess family, came on the same day, June 24th, the records show. The total collected in the wake of McCain’s reversal for the fund, called McCain Victory 2008, from Hess execs and family is $285,000.

Aug 01

Elections have consequences

And the last two have resulted in the complete destruction of your basic civil liberties.

Federal agents may take a traveler’s laptop computer or other electronic device to an off-site location for an unspecified period of time without any suspicion of wrongdoing, as part of border search policies the Department of Homeland Security recently disclosed.

Also, officials may share copies of the laptop’s contents with other agencies and private entities for language translation, data decryption or other reasons, according to the policies, dated July 16 and issued by two DHS agencies, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Your data will never, ever be disappeared. This is essentially the newest ultimate expression of the fascist panopticon. Welcome to your GOP overlords.

Suggestions: If you must travel across borders with your laptop, use a high-security system (Linux, or in a pinch, a Mac) and if stopped, refuse to hand over your password or log in. You’ll almost certainly lose your laptop (for a bit), but your data will still be yours and what passes for privacy these days still secured… until quantum computers come out, that is.

Alternatively, pack a blank hard drive and hide your second. So long as your second (real) hard drive is still encrypted and not in obvious plain sight where it will be seized, you’ll be fully up and running as soon as you get out of Der Homeland’s sites… and they’ll be stuck with useless, false information.

I’m sensing a new business opportunity in database-destroying false information hard drives to savvy consumers. a) profit; b) privacy; c) civil liberties; and d) if we poison the database with bad information, it will lose all value. Any interested angel investors out there, give me a call.

I should point out that the policy is not all that new, just the publishing of it. Schneier has some other suggestions on how you can hide your data (encryption within encryption, among others)

Apr 10

War Criminals

The Bush Admnistration was directly involved in the method, extent, and forms of torture used against captured persons of (possible) interest.

In dozens of top-secret talks and meetings in the White House, 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, sources tell ABC News.

The so-called Principals who participated in the meetings also approved the use of “combined” interrogation techniques — using different techniques during interrogations, instead of using one method at a time — on terrorist suspects who proved difficult to break, sources said.

Highly placed sources said a handful of top advisers signed off on how the CIA would interrogate top al Qaeda suspects — whether they would be slapped, pushed, deprived of sleep or subjected to simulated drowning, called waterboarding.

The high-level discussions about these “enhanced interrogation techniques” were so detailed, these sources said, some of the interrogation sessions were almost choreographed — down to the number of times CIA agents could use a specific tactic.

The advisers were members of the National Security Council’s Principals Committee, a select group of senior officials who met frequently to advise President Bush on issues of national security policy.

At the time, the Principals Committee included Vice President Cheney, former National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Colin Powell, as well as CIA Director George Tenet and Attorney General John Ashcroft.

The fact that these people are still (mostly) running our government instead of being behind bars is probably the most accurate snapshot, and indictment, of our country today. Ruled by a clutch of undemocratic totalitarians, the America I grew up with is gone and our moral authority with it.