MARIN COUNTY'S NEWS
MONTHLY - FREE PRESS
(415)868-1600 - (415)868-0502(fax) - P.O. Box 31, Bolinas, CA, 94924
Connecting The Dots
By Larry Kelley
"It is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they're being attacked and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same for any country."
--Hitler's Reischmarshall Herman Goering
After resigning to avoid impeachment, Former Worst President Richard M. Nixon, told interviewer David Frost in 1978, after the Watergate Fiasco, "The president can't break the law. The president is above the law."
George Bush basically echoed this sentiment recently when he declared that four years of secret spying without warrants, a federal offense, was "legal because I said so."
The 1978 federal law-the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act-- created a special court to deal with the speedy issuing of warrants and even allowed the government to obtain the warrant 72 hours after the surveillance. Bush has ignored the court for four years, and the only explanation came from Attorney General Alberto Gonzales who recently explained that the special court "was inadequate in some cases." V.P. Dick Cheney said the secret program was just a matter of "restoring power lost during Viet Nam and Watergate."
"The fact that we're discussing the program is helping the enemy," Bush said on ABC News.
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The president signed the executive order for the spy program in 2002. But in 2004 and 2005 he gave speeches claiming the government could not spy on its citizens without a court order. "Anytime you hear the U.S. government talk about wire taps, it requires a court order," he said in '04.
The administration claims the program is "very limited' but Fox News reports that Bush has used the spy program without warrants over 18,000 times. The New York Times says that many calls had no foreign component. The federal law requires at least one party be out of the country.
* * * *
The New York Times once again distinguished itself by folding to White House pressure (again) to sit on the spy story for a full year before rushing it into print when it became known a staff writer was going to publish a book about the sordid affair.
The Los Angeles Times reports that the New York Times discussed releasing the story before the November presidential elections, and the Philadelphia Daily News says that the White House pressured the Times to keep the story under wraps until after the election.
U.S. district Judge James Robertson resigned from the special court in protest of Bush's spying antics, said ABC.
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Predictably the lie of last resort-"Clinton did it" -has emerged from a group of conservatives on the Internet's Drudge Report, who also claimed Carter did it too. What was not mentioned was that in both cases warrants were obtained and there was no domestic spying. Sorry Carl.
Lawrence Wilkerson, former aid to Colin Powell, told ABC News that V.P. Cheney IGNORED President Bush's order to treat all but Al Qaeda prisoners according to the Geneva Convention. Wilkerson stopped short of accusing Cheney of war crimes, said ABC.
On CBS News, the White House claimed that the torture which doesn't exist is "not illegal" and is "necessary." The CIA claims its methods are "unique" but legal.
Court TV reports that the International Red Cross is complaining that the U.S. has not yet given them access to all political detainees.
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Cheney exhibited more of the spirit of Christmas-I mean the Holidays-when he broke a tie in the Senate to approve a budget which cuts $50 million from Medicaid/Medicare and student loans without touching a cent of Bush's tax cuts.
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The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Baghdad Press Club journalists are paid $200 and up for positive U.S. stories.
Chris Wallace of Fox Sunday, recently asked Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld what was the plan for Iraq. Rumy relied, "Anything's possible." Anything but peace.
NBC's Brian Wilson recently asked Bush about misjudging the Iraqi response to the U.S. takeover of their country and the president replied in typical fashion: "No, I wasn't wrong," he said. "We were welcomed. It just wasn't peaceful."
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Republican Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska, scolded his fellow senators when they failed to open up Alaska to oil drilling, railing, "I'm going to go to every one of your states and tell them what you've done." What, they can't read?
More scolding. Pat (the Mouth) Robertson went ballistic when a federal (Bush-appointed) judge ruled that it was unconstitutional for a Dover, Pa. high school to teach "intelligent design" in Biology because it is religion not science. He warned the citizens of Dover not to pray because God would punish them by never answering their prayers.
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Several House members toured the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base to check on those nasty allegations of torture but believe it or not they didn't see anything wrong.
In fact, things are improving at the military prison in Cuba. The Marin IJ said they came to this conclusion after they "witnessed interrogations, toured cell blocks and ate the same lunch given to detainees." Didn't they see what was going on down in Cell Block #9?
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