Tag Archives: Department of Justice

Hell Freezes Over: Speaker Boehner Admits More Amendments Than Just The 2nd

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image of a misty eyed John Boehner
Speaker John Boehner learning a law affects his friends

Just like when the Republicans were upset that the sequester they voted for would actually affect them and so they voted to fix that specific part, when it came out that the Department of Justice used the Patriot Act to secretly obtain phone records of the Associated Press, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) admitted that there is at least one more amendment to the Constitution besides the 2nd. What he complained about is what supporters of civil rights complained about before and after passage of the Patriot Act. Now that it is being used to investigate a friend of the Republican Party, the GOP is upset.
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Sick of the right wing racism – really!

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The right wing propaganda machine spit out another manufactured outrage about an incident involving the New Black Panther voter-intimidation case from 2008. Not only is it a continuation of the GOP “southern strategy” but it’s also based on false information and omissions. Shocking, right???

The “southern strategy” is basically race baiting to win elections – scare white people about blacks and other minorities.

What the conservative biased media fails to tell you is that there was action taken in the New Black Panthers case and the Bush Department of Justice failed to act on a similar case in 2006.

But Perez noted DOJ’s decision to proceed with default judgment against the man with a weapon [in the New Black Panthers case]

Perez: “[T]hey made the judgment on the merits that we should proceed with the default judgment against the gentleman who was — who had the stick.” Adams’ attack is completely undermined by comments Perez made that were edited out by Kelly. Perez specifically discussed the DOJ’s decision in the Black Panther case to “proceed with the default judgment against the gentleman who was — who had the stick and that the evidence didn’t sustain the case against the national party or the head of the national party for the reasons that we have discussed.”

Perez: “[T]he Department declined to bring any action for alleged voter intimidation” in 2006. In the very testimony Kelly cited, Perez highlighted a case that completely undermines the notion that the DOJ’s decisions in the Black Panthers case were unprecedented or racially motivated. Perez testified that in 2006, the Justice Department “declined to bring any action for alleged voter intimidation” “when three well-known anti-immigrant advocates affiliated with the Minutemen, one of whom was carrying a gun, allegedly intimidated Latino voters at a polling place by approaching several persons, filming them, and advocating and printing voting materials in Spanish.” [U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 5/14/10]

Fox’s Kelly deceptively cites DOJ testimony to further Adams’ attacks

Biased media like FOX News regularly trumps up any incident involving minorities but ignores any incident where the perpetrator is white. Here are racists they don’t show you on FOX.

Fox News runs incendiary video of New Black Panther’s racist rant. Here are some other racists they don’t show you.

Anyone who tries to gloss over or ignore the blatant racism on the right needs some serious mental help.

Yes, where WAS the media while the US used torture?

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The most ironic thing about this entire torture scandal isn’t that the Bushies and their neo-con lackies are trying to defend the indefensible – which is funny and sad at the same time, but that our mainstream press is now doing their job and asking tough questions and not letting the Bushies off as easy as before. I mean it looks really bad to know they ignored the topic since 2001 when it first came out.

I’m with blogger wmtriallawyer who wrote:

Oh yes, outside of the loons of Hannity, et. al., now many in the mainstream media are showing their absolute indignation (HARUMPH! HARUMPH!) after the Obama administration released the memos to show what we all already knew: the United States of America tortured prisoners, and tried to cook up legal justification for it by calling it enhanced interrogation techniques.

Well, welcome to the club Shep and Norah and whoever else. But you are seven years too late in your outrage.

Where were you this was actually going on? Where were you when the evidence was seeping out? Shoot, where were you when the Bush administration basically admitted they were doing it?

Silent as lambs, you were.

Media Starts Doing Job 7 Years Too Late

So, while I am happy this issue is being treated how it should be – as illegal and un-American – I want to know where the media was seven years ago?

Obama has no right to decide if torture memos should be investigated or prosecuted

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On Thursday, the White House and Department of Justice released four more memos written by President Bush’s Department of Justice rationalizing the use of torture toward detainees caught during our “war on terror”. President Obama said in his comments on the release said “nothing will be gained by spending our time and energy laying blame for the past.” However, due to current Federal and international law, the President and Department of Justice have no choice but to investigate and prosecute anyone who allowed the torture or performed it.

Nothing disgusted me more than learning about the torture condoned by the Bush administration and then reading the memos that have been released by the DOJ showing the bizarre lengths the neo-cons in the Bush DOJ went to justify the “legality” of the torture.

I was extremely disappointed to learn that President Obama doesn’t want to investigate and prosecute those who wrote the memos, ordered their writing, or the people who carried them out.

This isn’t like what happened to President Nixon after he left office. Nixon’s crimes were more of a political nature and the “little guys” who carried out his illegal plans did face justice.

The memos released Thursday dealt with torture – which is a war crime and crime against humanity. The penalty for crimes against humanity can be death or life in prison. The memos show that all levels of the Bush administration knew about the torture and allowed it to happen. One of the men who wrote one of the memos is now a Federal District Court Judge and there are calls now to impeach him.

The Huffington Post had a good article summarizing the issue:

Manfred Nowak, the UN rapporteur on torture, says that the US must try those who used harsh interrogation tactics in accordance with the UN Convention Against Torture.

Calling for an independent investigations and the compensation of victims, Nowak told the Austrian daily Der Standard:

“The United States, like all other states that are part of the UN convention against torture, is committed to conducting criminal investigations of torture and to bringing all persons against whom there is sound evidence to court… The fact that you carried out an order doesn’t relieve you of your responsibility.”

Opposition Grows To Obama’s Decision Not To Prosecute CIA Agents

Some former Bush administration have made the laughable argument that release of the memos reveals secrets to “our enemies” and has some how made us all “less safe”. The fact is we have known these methods have been used for some time – “our enemies” knew it too and used it for recruiting purposes.

The other point is torture isn’t just immoral, it’s also ineffective and counterproductive as written by a former interrogation officer Matthew Alexander in an op-ed in the Washington Post and his book on the subject:

I refused to participate in such practices, and a month later, I extended that prohibition to the team of interrogators I was assigned to lead. I taught the members of my unit a new methodology — one based on building rapport with suspects, showing cultural understanding and using good old-fashioned brainpower to tease out information. I personally conducted more than 300 interrogations, and I supervised more than 1,000. The methods my team used are not classified (they’re listed in the unclassified Field Manual), but the way we used them was, I like to think, unique. We got to know our enemies, we learned to negotiate with them, and we adapted criminal investigative techniques to our work (something that the Field Manual permits, under the concept of “ruses and trickery”). It worked. Our efforts started a chain of successes that ultimately led to Zarqawi.

I’m Still Tortured by What I Saw in Iraq

There is also an online petition that asks the President to appoint a special prosecutor:

No Amnesty for Torturers