Tag: George W. Bush

Four Detainees Sue George Bush in Canada

Three former detainees at Guantanamo and/or Afghan detention facilities, and one current Guantanamo detainee got a Canadian justice of the peace to file their lawsuit against George Bush alleging torture. A hearing date has been set for Jan. 12. The Complaint, called a Private Prosecution, and supporting sworn documents are here. The factual and legal basis for prosecuting Bush under the Canadian Criminal Code and Convention Against Torture begins on page 20.

The detainees are: Hassan bin Attash, Sami el-Hajj, Muhammed Khan Tumani and Murat Kurnaz:

[E]ach endured years of inhumane treatment including beatings, chaining to cell walls, being hung from walls or ceilings while handcuffed, lack of access to toilets, sleep, food and water-deprivation, exposure to extreme temperatures, sensory overload and deprivation, and other horrific and illegal treatment while in U.S. custody at military bases in Afghanistan and/or at the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay.


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Evil, and the Liberal Vocabulary

(This was the very first diary I ever posted on the internet, way back in June 2007, and some of it is dated, but since Dick Cheney has been all over TV recently urging President Obama to stop "dithering" and "do what it takes to win" in Afghanistan, I decided it was worth reposting.)

If you're a liberal, you can say that George Bush isn't very smart, and Dick Cheney isn't very nice, and that's about the end of it. A million liberal blogs and columns grind away at synonyms for "not nice" and "not smart" year after year, but the Republicans still control 49 seats in the Senate, and Fox News still has a license to broadcast.

Bush-Cheney chained up a 78 year-old Afghan man in a fetal position at Guantanamo for more than 24 hours, while he pissed and shat all over himself.  The New York Times and the Washington Post are still a little fuzzy about what to call this procedure, and the rest of the media is even more obtuse. When John McCain sponsored a very weak bill to restrict this method of "interrogation," Dick Cheney ran through every office in the Capitol trying to defeat it, and he succeeded. The same sort of thing is happening at this very moment in a secret CIA prison somewhere, and if you don't know what to call it, I can tell you.

It's torture, Stupid!  

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Sen. Obama: Yes, You Can Keep Your Word To Hold Bush Accountable - Stop The FISA Bush Immunity

In April 2008, Attytood asked Senator Obama if he as President would hold former Bush administration officials accountable by seeking prosecution for crimes committed.  Obama promised that he would review the information to determine whether an investigation was required; and, if officials knowingly violated existing laws, Obama indicated that he would pursue prosecution.  

Based upon Obama's standard, there should be an investigation and potential criminal prosecution of Bush and other officials for knowingly violating FISA. Bush has admitted publicly that he did not comply with FISA, which is a criminal offense.  

However, the FISA bill pending before the Senate may take this putative prosecution off the table by providing immunity to Bush while codifying his unitary executive theory.  In order for President Obama to keep his word that he would hold Bush officials accountable for clear, knowing criminal violations, Senator Obama needs to stop this FISA bill, or at least provide amendments which clearly eliminate any colorable argument of immunity for Bush.

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State of the Union Open Thread

The day has finally come for our Imperial President, George W. Bush, to deliver his final State of the Union Address. He's almost gone.

What were the worst moments of his speech? How glad are you he's on his way out?

Let's tally the most egregious policies of his Administration, ones that should forever tarnish his legacy. My list starts with the War in Iraq, Guantanamo Bay, his extremist judges and warrantless NSA electronic eavesdropping.

Attempts and failures count here too, like privatization of social security.

Neither Big Tent Democrat nor I will be live-blogging the speech, but we'll both check in later to read your comments.

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Why the Republican Presidential "Turn" is a Myth

[Cross-posted at ProgressiveHistorians, Daily Kos, MyDD, and My Left Wing.]

For some time, there has been a meme in political discourse indicating that Republicans choose their Presidential candidates based on some notion of whose "turn" it is to win the nomination.  I have found evidence of this meme from both the right (William F. Buckley) and the left (a MyDD commenter).  Given the pervasiveness of this meme, I decided to test the historical evidence behind it by examining Republican presidential nominations from 1960 -- a full twelve years before the first election in which primaries played a deciding role in the delegate count -- through 2004.

According to most versions of this theory, there are three ways that one establishes one's "turn" in line: 1) by being a sitting or former Vice President; 2) by running in a previous year, losing but doing better than expected; or 3) by attaining some sort of formal institutional leadership, i.e., serving as Senate Minority Leader or Speaker of the House.  I aim to show that criterion #1 is both natural and common to both parties, and that criteria #2 and #3 are simply not the hard-and-fast rules they have been made out to be.  In fact, in the past twelve election cycles, there has been only one instance where a Republican presidential primary was decided by anything close to the concept of "turn," and even in that instance the outcome was far from certain until well down the stretch.  Essentially, the Republican presidential "turn" is a myth with no predictive value for the 2008 GOP primary.

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Bush Quietly "Repeals" Major Privacy Law

Bush is fed up with hearing how his actions and policies violate our privacy rights. True to Bush's Orwellian worldview, his answer is to create a privacy board to ostensibly protect our rights. In reality, it is Mr. Decider who controls the privacy board so that his interpretation of laws will determine how and if our rights are actually protected by more than shallow words. It is the implementation of these interpretations which will chip away through the backdoor or repeal/amend our privacy rights under federal law. The chipping has already started.

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