GQ has an array of daily briefing booklet sent by Donald Rumsfeld to George W. Bush on the Iraq war and the war on terror that featured Biblical sayings. This is the reading prepared for a president who called the war on terror a “crusade.” Such Biblical inspirational sayings as “Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him…To deliver their soul from death” were coupled with triumphant pictures for the President’s daily briefings. The covers read like a Sunday school workbook for an adolescent student.
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Onward Christian Soldier: Donald Rumsfeld Reportedly Sent Briefing Booklets on Iraq War to Bush Containing Inspirational Biblical SayingsPublished 1, May 18, 2009 Bizarre , Congress , International , Military , Politics , Religion , Society 36 Comments
The New Mexico Supreme Court ruled yesterday that a photography studio violated the the New Mexico Human Rights Act (NMHRA) by refusing to photograph a same-sex wedding. Vanessa Willock was told that Elane Photography had a moral objection to her gay wedding and sued under the act, which “prohibits a public accommodation from refusing to offer its services to a person based on that person’s sexual orientation.” The case is the latest in a growing number of such conflicts between religious beliefs and anti-discrimination laws. Because this is an expressive activity, it raises some difficult questions under the first amendment rights of the owners of Elane Photography, Jonathan and Elaine Huguenin. As one justice noted in concurrence, this is “the price of citizenship.” However, there remains the question of the right of citizens not to be forced to express ideas or values with which they disagree. That concern rests on a distinction between an expressive activity like photography and a cab or a movie theater in public accommodation.
Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw)-Guest Blogger
With all of the discussion we have had on his blog about the abandonment of the rule of law in this country, I was very interested when I read about a class action lawsuit that was filed in March of this year. The case is Saleh v. Bush, and it was filed in an attempt to hold former President George W. Bush and five members of his administration responsible and liable for the damages incurred when Iraq was attacked by the United States and some of its allies in 2003.
“Saleh is the lead plaintiff in a class action lawsuit targeting six key members of the Bush Administration: George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, and Paul Wolfowitz. In Saleh v. Bush, she alleges that the Iraq War was not conducted in self-defense, did not have the appropriate authorization by the United Nations, and therefore constituted a “crime of aggression” under international law—a designation first set down in the Nuremberg Trials after World War II. The aim of the suit is simple: to achieve justice for Iraqis, and to show that no one, not even the president of the United States, is above the law.” Yes Magazine Continue reading ‘Single Mom Versus George W. Bush’
Submitted by: Mike Spindell, guest blogger
The issues discussed on this blog are wide-ranging even though at base we are all about upholding the Constitution and ensuring civil liberties. The disputed election of a President began this millennium in controversy, underlined by a horrific terrorist attack and the prosecution of two unnecessary wars. These wars have lasted longer than any other American war save for the Viet Nam debacle. They have resulted in the death of hundreds of thousands of civilians, more than eight thousand of our troops, tens of thousands of soldiers with crippling injuries and unprecedented suicide rates among both active and inactive members of our armed forces. Trillions of dollars have been wasted on these adventures in the imperialistic pursuit of empire and no end is in sight, although our complicit corporate media has ceased to find interest in coverage of the continuing devastation.
As we know the linchpin for these phony wars was the attack on 9/11 by a team of Saudi Arabians purportedly working for Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda. However, the blueprint for this endless quest for America Hegemony was made public in 1997 with the publishing of the manifesto for the Project for the New American Century (PNAC). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_for_the_New_American_Century . This conceptualization laid out plans for a putative American Empire and its’ signatories prominently included those who would become part of the administration of George W. Bush. A list of those signatories will continue after the page break, with the most prominent in bold links. Continue reading ‘Lest We Forget’
-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger
John Brennan, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, gave a speech at Harvard Law School entitled “Strengthening our Security by Adhering to our Values and Laws.” According to Marty Lederman, “it is the most comprehensive single statement of the Obama Administration’s policies and practices with respect to al Qaeda and other terrorist threats.”
A startling thought occurred to me recently and that is while I’m only approaching the age of sixty-seven, I have lived in eight decades on this planet. Every one of those eight decades has had an American involvement in a foreign war. To be sure there is a massive degree of difference in magnitude let’s say between World War II and Grenada, but both were wars nonetheless. There is a common thread in all of these involvements that goes beyond the immediate causes and that is the quest for Empire. A persistent undertone in American thought has been expansive since Jefferson made The Louisiana Purchase. While this need to expand hasn’t always been present in the public political debate as a motivation, those whose thoughts held sway over the political and intellectual backbone of our country openly discussed it. While America, which initially remained primarily an agrarian nation, was expanding into the vast frontier of this continent, our dreams of empire focused on taming the country and overwhelming its Native American population. By the mid Nineteenth Century, the industrial revolution influenced American thought and the need to expand to acquire natural resources, replaced agrarian needs, while making the taming of the frontier more urgent.
Given our constitutional underpinnings and the magnificent sentiments of the Declaration of Independence, many felt qualms about our displacement of Native Americans in our expansion westward. Darwin’s Origin of The Species, published in 1859 became an instant sensation for intellectuals worldwide and for those with the power to shape a nation’s thought processes. Social Darwinism, survival of the fittest, was the new model for developing rationales and mythologies, which absolved the country of residual guilt in our struggle with the native population and allowed opinion shapers and ideologues to frame the issue in terms of the struggle of civilization against savagery.
For years, the Bush Administration was denounced for the false statements and intelligence that led to the Iraq invasion. Even after it was shown that there were no weapons of mass destruction, many Americans continued to believe that Iraq was being invaded as a response to the 9-11 attacks. Now, in the latest morphing of the Bush and Obama Administration, our new Defense Secretary Leon Panetta wasted no time in re-casting Iraq in the same flawed image. In a public appearance, Panetta told troops that they were in Iraq because of the attack on 9-11.
Submitted by Lawrence Rafferty, (rafflaw), Guest Blogger
After a few recent discussions about Free Speech in earlier threads, I came across another example of how limited our Free Speech really is. At a recent speech by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a former CIA employee, Ray McGovern, attempted to protest her speech about Democracy and Freedom of Speech and how the freedom to disseminate information helped the Egyptians rid themselves of a brutal dictator. Continue reading ‘Is Free Speech Really Free?’
Submitted by Lawrence Rafferty, (rafflaw), Guest Blogger
You may have missed this story in the corporate media. It is an issue that is near and dear to my heart. It seems that a Federal Judge has dismissed a case brought by Jose Padilla and others against Donald Rumsfeld and other Bush administration officials, for a very interesting reason. Continue reading ‘Judge Disallows Padilla Torture Suit Because He Was Tortured?’
Submitted by Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger
First it was Hope and Crosby, then Rowan and Martin, and now the straight-laced conservative crowd at CPAC (The Conservative Political Action Conference) has its own custom-made comedic duo. Facing a chorus of boos and cheers former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld teamed up once again with straight man (and former VP) Dick Cheney for CPAC’s ”Defender of the Constitution Award” to entertain the assembled horde of Brooks Brothers clad “real men” — and a few women, too. Rumsfeld was not fazed by a few jeers at the mention of his name, and Dick Cheney was positively giddy when attendees yelled, “”Where Bin Laden at?” and “Show us the shackles Dick.” Cheney quipped in reply,” Alright, sit down and shut up.” What a card? Predictably those few dissidents (probably illegal immigrants) were drowned out by the ringing, obligatory chorus of “U.S.A,” U.S.A.”! Good enough for a hockey game; good enough for the CPAC patriots. (Oops, hockey’s Canadian– make that football, damnit) Boy, was Samuel Johnson ever right.
ABC has a truly bizarre and disturbing story. Brian Ross reports that a military contractor has encoded hidden New Testament Bible passages on high-powered rifle sites. The contractor is Trijicon, which apparently confirmed the practice.
Continue reading ‘Sighting The Bible: Military Contractor Found Adding Biblical Citations to Weapons’
Muggle Rebellion: Bush White House Blocked Award to J.K. Rowling Due To Her Connection to WitchcraftPublished 1, September 28, 2009 Academics , Bizarre , International , Media , Politics , Religion , Society 23 Comments
In this new book, Speechless: Tales of a White House Survivor, Matt Latimer has an interesting insight into the presidency of George W. Bush. When author J.K. Rowling was proposed as a recipient for the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Bush nixed the idea because Rowling’s Harry Potter series “encouraged witchcraft.” While many of us may be unaware of the outbreak of witchcraft, this was no doubt contained in one of those biblically laced briefing books of the President. What is strange is that the President already honored another author of pure fiction — CIA Director George Tenet — for producing false evidence to justify the invasion of Iraq. It must simply be the genre.
Report: Bush Told French President Jacques Chirac That Iraq War Was Biblically Ordained With Story of Gog and MagogPublished 1, May 25, 2009 Bizarre , International , Media , Military , Politics , Religion , Society 69 Comments
After the recent disclosure of how Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld used biblical passages as part of the war briefings for President George W. Bush, GQ magazine has an even more disturbing account: Bush lobbied French President Chirac that the war in Iraq was foretold in the bible and told that it was the final struggle with Gog and Magog.
Today, the New York Times ran a book review that I wrote on The Challenge: Hamdan v. Rumsfeld and the Fight Over Presidential Power by Jonathan Mahler. The book details the development of the Hamdan case, which ultimately ended in the Supreme Court with a defeat for the Bush Administration.
Administration Reportedly Planned for Torture Program Months Before Any Request from Field InterrogatorsPublished 1, June 17, 2008 Congress , Criminal law , Military , Politics 22 Comments
In yet another story alleging an intentional falsehood from the Bush Administration given to the public and Congress, the Washington Post is reporting that Bush Administration officials began laying the foundations for a torture program using waterboarding long before there was any request or inquiry from field interrogators — a direct contradiction of what the Administration has been saying for years.
The attorney general nominee’s evasive remarks on ‘water-boarding’ should disqualify him from the job. Continue reading ‘Mukasey’s Confirmation: A Vote about Torture’
With the end of the first term of the Roberts court, some liberals seemed to give a sigh of relief that the new conservative majority had not returned the nation to an antebellum legal system. But on closer inspection, the past term was no cause for hope, let alone celebration, for uneasy liberals, moderates or libertarians.
To the contrary, the only comfort these groups should take from the past term is that it will likely prove far better than the coming term when the court is poised to hear cases involving affirmative action, abortion, environmental law and other hot-button issues. Continue reading ‘The Roberts Court: Seeing is Believing’