Saturday, July 21, 2007

Sununu wants no part of Bush

For those of us who have forgotten or are too young to remember, Junior got old man Sununu fired from the Bush I adminsitration

Sen. Sununu: I Don’t Want President Bush To Campaign With Me

The New York Times writes this morning that conservatives are trying to walk a fine line between supporting and distancing themselves from President Bush:

There is little question that the winds of discontent are stirring among Republicans on Capitol Hill over the direction of the Iraq war. A majority, of course, continued to support President Bush with their votes this week during the latest Iraq debate. But several Republicans no longer whisper, or walk away, when asked about their skepticism.

One of those conservative trying to strike this delicate balance is Sen. John Sununu (R-NH). “Sununu has faced criticism for his stance on Iraq, with critics charging he is too close to President Bush on war policy.” This week, he voted to filibuster the Levin-Reed amendment.

In an interview with Bloomberg TV, Sununu said that, despite standing with Bush on the war, he would not want the President to campaign with him. Asked if Bush would be an effective campaigner, Sununu said, “No, I think the President’s popularity unfortunately is at a fairly low level.” Sununu added that he’d be better off campaigning alone than with President Bush.

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Rudy G is a Fraud and a Filthy Opportunist....

....just what rank and file Goopers love!

If this "character" is elected to the highly esteemed office of dog-catcher in bumfuck Arkansas it will be time to shut the nation down and start all over.

I generally like characters. Every town and village has at least one. Cities have many.

But they do not run for president and, if they do, they are no taken seriously.

NYC mayors have frequently been what I would call characters.

To elect one of these characters to be president would be the height of stupidity.

Nevertheless, I do hope he wins the Rethug nomination, simply because his candidacy will keep 9/11 in the headlines, right where it needs to be for our plan to work.

Giuliani's Mayoral Record Is Complicated

By LIBBY QUAID, Associated Press Writer

Saturday, July 21, 2007

(07-21) 18:36 PDT WASHINGTON, (AP) --

Rudy Giuliani boasts that he reined in crime, welfare and taxes in a city once considered ungovernable.

Those claims are intrinsic to the former New York mayor's pitch to Republican voters that he has the combination of competence and toughness they want in a president. Whether his record supports those claims, however, is a matter upon which admirers and critics differ markedly.

Most benchmarks during Giuliani's eight years as mayor, from the start of 1994 to Jan. 1, 2002, suggest dramatic success. The crime rate tumbled by 60 percent. Welfare rolls decreased by 52 percent. Taxes fell by at least 25 percent. While city spending grew, it lagged behind the booming economy of the 1990s.

His record, however, is more complicated than the numbers indicate.

Giuliani was a pugnacious leader. He picked fights with political foes as well as his own police chief and schools superintendent. Any critic — squeegee men, artists, callers to his weekly radio show — was fair game.

In his wake, Giuliani left a trail of detractors who insist he does not deserve all the credit for the good things that happened on his watch.

The city was primed for success as Giuliani took office in 1994.

Thousands of new police officers hired by his predecessor, Democrat David Dinkins, were coming on duty. Thousands of mentally ill homeless people were provided housing and treatment under a program begun by Dinkins and former Democratic Gov. Mario Cuomo.

The economy was growing, pumping billions of dollars into the city treasury. The Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 3,754.09 on the day Giuliani arrived at City Hall and opened at 10,136.99 the day he left.

"He did some things in the first couple of years in particular that he should get some credit for, particularly the continuing reduction in crime, but I don't think he was an unusually good mayor," said Steven Cohen, a public affairs professor at Columbia University.

"He was actually a capable guy and did a good job," Cohen said. "But I think he had a tendency to see himself as the only person who was smart in the room."

Giuliani's signature issue, crime, is especially important to law-and-order Republican voters. Before winning the mayor's office, Giuliani was a federal prosecutor who put away drug pushers, mob figures and white-collar crooks.

Giuliani was mayor during a period of declining crime rates nationwide. Crime in New York peaked in 1990 and had been dropping for three years before Giuliani took office, according to FBI data. Nationally, violent crime declined 38 percent and property crime declined 33 percent from a modern peak in 1991 through 2005.

The drop was more dramatic in New York. Crime overall decreased by 60 percent between 1993, the year before Giuliani took office, and 2002, when he left. The national crime rate dropped by 24 percent during the same period.

The steep reductions in New York, Giuliani contends, came from a system developed by his police department to map crime patterns and make local police commanders responsible for reducing crime.

"New York City was the only one (of big cities) that had a decline in crime every single year" during that period, Giuliani told Iowa voters recently.

Other big cities copied New York's program — Compstat, short for computerized, or compare, statistics. Giuliani wrote in his 2002 book, "Leadership," that he considered it his crown jewel.

But there was debate, even early on, over who deserved more credit for the drop in crime — Giuliani or William Bratton, the charismatic police chief from 1994 to 1996. Giuliani abruptly fired Bratton after he appeared on the cover of Time magazine as the man responsible for the crime reduction.

Eli Silverman, a professor emeritus at City University of New York's John Jay College of Criminal Justice, thinks Giuliani takes too much credit for the program. "He calls it the crown jewel of his leadership, the implication being it was his baby. There were other parents," Silverman said.

Today, Giuliani has defused the conflict by reconciling with Bratton, now the Los Angeles police chief, and making a point of mentioning Bratton and his aides in speeches.

Under Giuliani, police also cracked down on small-time "quality of life" offenders such as squeegee men and subway turnstile jumpers who often turned out to be responsible for more serious crimes.

Some experts say the new tactics — combined with 12,000 more police officers hired under Dinkins and a merger with transit and housing police — were instrumental in reducing crime.

"So more money was being put into policing, no question," said Silverman, who wrote a book on Compstat. "But money itself is not enough. You need not only more cops, but you need to allocate and deploy them more intelligently, and that's what Compstat was able to do."

Sociology professor Andrew Karmen, who also teaches at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, does not think Compstat deserves as much credit. He cites other factors, such as an improved economy, an influx of immigrants who were generally law-abiding, a shrinking population of young people and more criminals serving jail time. Karmen also cited open admissions at New York City's public colleges, which provided an education to more young people.

Detractors also question whether police abused their power to achieve crime reductions, noting that civilian complaints against police rose 41 percent under Giuliani.

In two high-profile abuse cases, police shot and killed unarmed West African immigrant Amadou Diallo, and Haitian immigrant Abner Louima was beaten and sodomized in a Brooklyn station house.

Officials from Giuliani's administration point out the city made it easier for people to file complaints. In "Leadership," Giuliani notes that police shootings declined — from 81 in 1992 to 26 in 2002.

Giuliani expanded the Compstat approach throughout city government. For example, his administration applied it to job programs, measuring how many people were moved off welfare and into private sector jobs and reporting the numbers to the public.

Welfare rolls under Giuliani shrank by more than half, from more than 1 million to 516,000, according to city and federal records. Unemployment fell from 10 percent to 6 percent.

Giuliani helped tie public assistance to work, requiring people to work in community service jobs in exchange for welfare benefits. Giuliani renamed the city's welfare offices, calling them job centers.

Some welfare recipients, though, compared the community service jobs to indentured servitude and said they did not lead to real jobs.

Advocates for the poor point out that even though poverty rates fell under Giuliani, nearly one in five New Yorkers remained below the poverty line, well above the national rate.

Yet the rest of city residents saw fatter paychecks as the economy continued to expand. Personal income rose by an average of 5.8 percent annually while Giuliani was mayor, according to city and federal data.

Personal income is a good way to measure economic growth, said Chuck Brescher, research director of the independent Citizens Budget Commission.

By that and several other measures, city spending grew more slowly than the economy, at about 4.1 percent, according to the nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that monitors New York City and New York state government.

At the same time, Giuliani cut taxes on commercial rent, personal and business income and general sales. The cuts grew steadily as the economy grew, from 0.2 percent in 1995 to 6.7 percent, or $1.6 billion, when he left office, CBC said.

For managing that in liberal New York, he gets good grades from the anti-tax group Club for Growth.

"He has his blemishes, but we thought his constructive policies in the face of such vigorous opposition was really noteworthy," said Pat Toomey, a former Republican congressman from Pennsylvania who heads that group.

One way Giuliani kept spending in check was to cut city employees by an estimated 8 percent, not counting teachers.

Giuliani hired thousands more teachers, although the four-year high school graduation rate remained stubbornly unchanged at 52 percent during his tenure. Officials from Giuliani's administration point out Giuliani attempted to take control of the city school system, calling it "dysfunctional" and saying it should be "blown up."

As one of the top GOP contenders for the White House, Giuliani is drawing increased scrutiny for his mayoral record.

"The question is, how much does New York help him and how much does New York hurt him?" said Scott Huffman, political science professor at South Carolina's Winthrop University. "Remember, he's running in a Republican primary, and a lot of so-called red-staters don't have a fondness for that great city."


Associated Press writer Stephen Ohlemacher contributed to this report.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. The Lantern has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is The Lantern endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

....And The Truth Shall Set Us Free

The Sin Of Silence

To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men: Abraham Lincoln: 16th U.S. president, 1809-1865

We are one incident away from a police state and its all been built on lies . Lies and abuses of power which started with 9/11, and have steadily gained momentum through Iraq, Katrina, plamegate and now the failed occupation of Iraq.

The Cheney/Bush administration has so much blood on their hands that they have no choice but to continue their mad dash towards armageddon ~ the final climactic battle between God, and Satan the Devil, written in the Book of Revelation in the Christian New Testament, or more generally, an apocalyptic catastrophe, which his far right base long for.

Watch this six minute video ~ which is introduced by Jon Stewart, with a moving end piece by Sean Penn, and then get rightfully angry for we have been blatantly lied to by Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condi Rice, Alberto Gonzales and then watch the most hypocritical liar of them all, George W Bush ~ who not only openly lied but made jokes about his lies while thousands of Americans and Iraqis died.

Then watch an angry national Newscaster rightfully tell Bush to go to Iraq and fight his war, himself ~ watch Keith Olbermann Go to Iraq and fight, Mr. President

We are the ones we have been waiting for and our continued silence and passivity will surely lead to the death of the Republic ~ unless we take action now !

Tell the House Judiciary Committee and Speaker Pelosi to hold Impeachment hearings on H.Res. 333:

Allen L Roland

Freelance columnist Allen L Roland is available for comments , interviews and speaking engagements ( )

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Allen L Roland is a practicing psychotherapist, author and lecturer who also shares a daily political and social commentary on his weblog and website He also guest hosts a monthly national radio show TRUTHTALK on Conscious talk radio

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. The Lantern has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is The Lantern endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

....And The Truth Shall Set Us Free

Let Fitz Go After All Of Them

The former top deputy to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales suggested that Special Prosecutor and US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald should be Attorney General of the United States, according to a report in Bloomberg News.

"I think he would make a spectacular attorney general," former Deputy U.S. Attorney General James Comey told the news service's Patricia Hurtado and David Voreacos in a Friday article. "He certainly is one of the very best federal prosecutors in America."

Comey, who served as Deputy Attorney General from 2003-2005 under both Gonzales and John Ashcroft now works in the private sector with the Lockheed Martin Corproation. He recently re-emerged into public view when the Senate and House Judiciary Committees subpoenaed him to receive testimony about a hospital bed confrontation between Gonzales, then White House Counsel, and Ashcroft over a domestic spying program that Comey refused to certify as legal.

Fitzgerald, US Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, gained national prominence when he was appointed Special Counsel in the investigation of the leaking of the identity of covert CIA Agent Valerie Plame Wilson. He successfully prosecuted Vice President Cheney's former top aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby for obstruction, perjury, and making false statements before Bush commuted Libby's 30 month jail sentence.

The profile piece on the Chicago-based prosecutor goes on to note that he does not consider his current position a springboard to higher political office.

In a taped appearance on a jointly-produced National Public Radio and Chicago Public Radio show, Fitzgerald reportedly will say, "I'm not doing that," when asked if he will run for public office.

Fitzgerald is slated to appear on the "Wait, wait...don't tell me" quiz show. The Bloomberg article described the humorous questions he was subjected to.

"'We are so not going to ask you any questions about Scooter Libby,' NPR news anchor Carl Kasell told Fitzgerald during the taping," Hurtado and Voreacos report. "Instead, he was peppered with questions about other scooters: the two-wheeled scooter made by Segway Inc., Scooter the stagehand from television's Muppet Show and former New York Yankee Phil Rizzuto, also nicknamed 'The Scooter.'"

An AP report of the show also detailed a gift that the show's hosts gave Fitzgerald.

"At the end of the show, Sagal gave Fitzgerald a child's scooter. It was engraved with: 'To Patrick Fitzgerald, USA, This one will stay where you put it,' according to the news wire article.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. The Lantern has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is The Lantern endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

....And The Truth Shall Set Us Free

The Witch Hunt....

....that started all the rest.

No wonder our country is going down the tubes.

The Worst Internal Scandal in NSA History Was Blamed on Cold War Defectors’ Homosexuality

But what if they weren’t gay?

Dung Huang

Extra Info

Click here for a look at the NSA study into the defection of Mitchell and Martin.

Click here for excerpts of NSA's investigation documents in the case.

Click here for State Department documents on Martin's death and U.S. burial.

To some of his detractors, William Hamilton Martin was something of an amusing figure on the streets of Washington, D.C., in the 1960s, a bookish mathematician with a crew cut who walked with a Groucho Marx–like waddle. But what others remembered most was that lean, blue-eyed "Ham" Martin, a University of Washington graduate and the son of an Ellensburg meatpacker, was a meticulous dresser, spoke "slightly effeminately," and may have had a thing for a Stanford grad named Bernon Mitchell. Furthermore, the belief among some officials, politicians, and the press was that because Martin and Mitchell might be homosexual, they did the unthinkable: In the midst of the Cold War, the two National Security Agency code breakers defected to Russia and went to work for the Soviet government.

On June 25, 1960, after four years as trusted employees of America's largest spy agency, Martin, then 29, and Mitchell, then 31, flew out of Washington, D.C., with one-way tickets to Mexico City. From there, they quietly slipped off to Havana and took a Russian freighter to the Soviet Union, following a plan that had evolved over a year. The case stunned politicians and intelligence officials alike. Looking back, some of the defectors' neighbors and co-workers told investigators that if they'd been more vigilant about the pair's sexual proclivities, maybe they'd have been more suspicious of their patriotism.

In the eyes of many Americans, sexual deviants—then the commonly used term for homosexual men—were potential traitors, a belief that's been perpetuated in more modern times. A 1991 Pentagon study of paraphilia (kinky or bizarre sexual behaviors) issued by the Defense Security Service and used today in military circles counts Martin and Mitchell among a group of "publicly known homosexuals" who betrayed their country. Political, counterintelligence, and religious Internet sites currently refer to Martin "and his gay friend," and a 1997 book, The Homosexual Revolution, informs readers that the two "were homosexuals who had been permitted access to classified information."

But according to the NSA's own investigative files, obtained exclusively by Seattle Weekly, there's one major problem with the flaming traitor theory: Martin and Mitchell weren't gay. The formerly classified Pentagon and NSA documents, which reveal previously unpublished details of the historic spy-agency saga, appear to clear Martin and Mitchell of the sexual charges that rocked the country 47 years ago this summer and led to landmark NSA policy changes.

"Beyond any doubt," the unnamed author of a then-secret NSA study on the defection wrote in 1963, according to the recently released documents, "no other event has had, or is likely to have in the future, a greater impact on the Agency's security program." Screening methods used today at NSA, with a work force estimated at 30,000, evolved from Internal Security Act legislation passed in the wake of the pair's defection.


After interviewing more than 450 individuals about the twosome's character, habits, and sex lives—right down to the skin rash on Martin's stomach—the NSA, in a 1961 report, could find no conclusive evidence the two men were gay. "Martin and Mitchell were known to be close friends and somewhat anti-social, but no one had any knowledge of a homosexual relationship between them," investigators reported. Both, in fact, had American girlfriends, and Martin married a Russian woman four months after his arrival there. Mitchell also wed later.

The recently declassified documents—about 85 pages of lightly redacted records that include information from the FBI, CIA, and State Department, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request that took four years to fulfill—reveal that both men, now reported dead, quickly soured on Soviet life, felt their defection was a mistake, and tried repeatedly to return to the U.S. Mitchell never made it, having been buried in St. Petersburg, Russia, in November 2001 at the age of 72. But Martin, the Ellensburg defector, returned to American soil in 1987—literally. A diplomatic cable from the U.S. Embassy in Mexico that year states: "William H. Martin died of cancer at Hospital Del Mar in Tijuana on January 17, 1987." He was three months short of his 56th birthday. "Burial," the cable noted, "took place in the United States." No location or details were provided.

Revelations of a witch-hunt gone astray don't surprise former Washington National Guard Col. Grethe Cammermeyer, a lesbian and the military's highest-ranking officer to be discharged because of sexual orientation. "[It is] my understanding that there had never been a homosexual blackmail [in which silence was] traded for state secrets," she says.

Author and historian David K. Johnson, an expert on the Cold War history of gays in the government, agrees with Cammermeyer, adding that desertion to Russia "was literally unthinkable for most American officials. So to make sense of the defection, they turned to the alleged sexual perversion. That was already associated in the popular imagination with subversion and communism." Among the gay bashers was then–FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, who, after his death, was rumored to have been an avid cross-dresser.

James Bamford, an expert on the NSA and author of the best-selling agency exposé The Puzzle Palace, was surprised to hear that old lefty defector Martin was interred in the country he betrayed. That's "new and very interesting," he observed. Bamford, who labeled the defection the worst internal scandal in NSA history, says lack of proof the two were gay confirms his belief the public was misled about Martin and Mitchell. "I think the NSA was looking for any straw to grasp when the defections occurred," he says, "and homosexuality was the perfect excuse."

Growing up among conservative Central Washington's fields of grain, Martin seemed an unlikely traitor. His father, John, was then president of the Ellensburg Chamber of Commerce, and young Martin was a gifted student at Ellensburg High, where he finished school in two years. He then studied at Central Washington College of Education (now Central Washington University) and, in 1947, earned a degree in mathematics at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Martin was raised among sunburned farm kids who believed in the flag and didn't question their government. World War II and the atomic bomb, made from plutonium produced at Hanford 100 miles southeast, were major influences on their 1940s environment. Like a lot of landlocked youth across the mountains from Seattle, Martin longed to join the Navy and serve his country, as he later did.

Assigned to a post in Japan with the Naval Security Group from 1951 to 1954, he met Mitchell, a budding weight lifter, pistol enthusiast, and pianist born in San Francisco, the NSA notes in its files. (The agency meticulously recorded that he hated lettuce but liked raw chicken.) After their Navy service, Martin and Mitchell kept in touch when both returned to college, and met again after they were recruited by the NSA. Both pursued further studies in science and mathematics.

Martin, a serious chess player who collected Japanese sword handles, was seen by some as introverted and troubled. His file includes details of sessions at the University of Washington Counseling Center in the late 1940s, where he sought assistance for "certain personality aberrations."

"[Tests] disclosed that Martin was a brilliant but emotionally immature individual who did not respect his father, who pitied his younger brother and who expressed his antipathy toward his mother," reads the file. "Martin's condition was diagnosed as a beginning character neurosis with schizoid tendencies. It was also believed that Martin was sadistic." Martin reportedly had two brothers, but no surviving family members could be reached for this story.

Their years at the National Security Agency, the Pentagon's now 55-year-old semiautonomous espionage branch, were seemingly uneventful, the files indicate. Using their exceptional calculation and pattern-recognition skills, Martin and Mitchell helped decipher and possibly encode secret communiqués at the then-young agency. Today, the NSA's top-secret network of supercomputers, headquartered at Fort Meade, Md., and its global listening posts—including an international intercept station hidden among the dunes at the Yakima Army Firing Range and a vast antenna farm on a mesa above Brewster in Okanogan County—scan the daily gusher of world communications. Experts pore over the missives of friendly and enemy nations alike, utilizing an intelligence-gathering discipline known as Signals Intelligence, or SIGINT, that allows them to electronically collect, process, and analyze content. Esoteric as it is, the system traps the everyday conversations of U.S. citizens as well. Congress recently subpoenaed the Bush White House to determine if the administration ordered the illegal use of SIGINT to eavesdrop on those private conversations after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

On Aug. 1, 1960, the Pentagon guardedly announced that Martin and Mitchell had failed to return from a summer vacation together, leading to anxious speculation they'd defected. Four days later, officials stated that there was "the likelihood" that Martin and Mitchell "have gone behind the Iron Curtain." Supposedly privy to some of America's most sensitive secrets, including knowledge of broken foreign military and diplomatic codes, the duo appeared to have handed Soviet Prime Minister Nikita Khrushchev an edge in the two superpowers' psychological Cold War and arms race.

A little more than a month later, Martin and Mitchell confirmed their betrayal at an elaborate Sept. 6 press conference in Moscow, where they had been granted asylum and became instant Soviet citizens. Nattily clad in shirt and tie before 200 reporters at the theater-style House of Journalists, Mitchell announced that he and Martin were disgusted with the deceptive nature of a supposed democracy. The pair also felt they were suited for Soviet life, where they would be "better accepted socially."

A banner New York Times headline the next day noted that President Dwight D. Eisenhower "Calls Pair Traitorous." Furthermore, said Ike, they were "self-confessed" traitors. The reliably blunt former President Harry Truman suggested they be shot.

John F. Kennedy, who would go on to defeat Vice President Richard Nixon for the White House that year, coincidentally was campaigning in Seattle that day. He didn't refer directly to local defector Martin, but said, "I cannot believe that there is any person in this state or nation who would not like to see the arms race ended....[Yet] we can prepare for peace only by preparing for war." Martin's bewildered father, John, told reporters that as far as he knew, his son had no interest in politics. Ham must be in Moscow "under duress," the elder Martin theorized. In California, Mitchell's father, Emery, a Eureka attorney and community leader, expressed similar sentiments.

Besides the intelligence breach, the defection would mark a historical turning point in employment protocol at Fort Meade. The NSA immediately began searching for other sexual deviants in its ranks, eventually purging 26 employees suspected of being security risks because of their alleged "perversions." The agency also revamped employment-screening and in-house security practices, among other things permanently allowing investigators to access confidential employee polygraph tests.

Department of Defense officials at first publicly denied having allowed the two men to slip through their trusty screening process and obtain high-level security clearances. Upon further review, officials discovered that while Mitchell had been granted clearance after originally refusing to answer intake queries about his sex life, he eventually admitted to sexually experimenting with chickens and dogs as a teenager.

A 1962 report on the defection, issued by the subversive-hunting House Un-American Activities Committee, went further: Besides being agnostic and having associated with Communists, Martin was "sexually abnormal; in fact, a masochist," while Mitchell, who had once posed for nude color slides perched on a velvet-covered stool, had supposedly been outed by his psychiatrist. The HUAC report claimed the doctor secretly testified "to the effect" that Mitchell had admitted he "has had homosexual problems."

In his book on the NSA, author Bamford concludes that the HUAC report "seemed to indicate the primary reason for the defection was homosexuality. Never once did the committee bother to look into what might have been the deeper reasons for the defection, the political or ideological motivations."

At the Moscow press conference, Martin and Mitchell tried to explain their motives, citing U.S. "policies dangerous to world peace," as Mitchell put it. He pointed to a 1960 speech by the U.S. Strategic Air Command chief, Gen. Thomas Power, who—on a topic that echoes today in America—spoke of the "tremendous advantages that accrue to the man who starts a war" and the necessity of having first-strike nuclear capabilities.

"Gen. Powers' statement involves the dangerous presumption," Mitchell told his Soviet audience, "that the United States owns the world." He called the first-strike policy suicidal and accused the U.S. of deliberately violating the airspace of other nations before "lying about such violations in a manner intended to mislead public opinion."

Only months earlier—May Day 1960—international tensions had escalated with the downing of an American U-2 spy plane over Russia. Pilot Francis Gary Powers, who invaded Soviet airspace on a surveillance flight, was captured, tried, and imprisoned (then swapped in a prisoner exchange for KGB colonel and spy Rudolf Abel 21 months later). Eisenhower refused to apologize, and, under Kennedy, the Cold War relentlessly grew into a potential nuclear war with the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis—an apocalypse ultimately aborted through back-channel talks between the Kennedy and Khrushchev administrations.

Still unknown are what sort of details Martin and Mitchell provided to the Russians. But their public statements—describing reconnaissance flights both countries likely knew about, and giving general details of how NSA intercepts airborne communications worldwide—weren't especially damaging, some press observers noted. The defectors evidently did not publicly disclose any high-level secrets and, by some accounts, had never worked inside the NSA's most sensitive intelligence loop anyway, with U.S. officials alternately describing them as "junior mathematicians" and "clerks." (Even today, so little is known about the mysterious NSA that it is referred to jokingly as No Such Agency.)

Either way, Martin and Mitchell seemed naive about the consequences of their choice and the harm they could bring to America. They could have made their statement in the U.S., albeit not quite as dramatically, without betraying their country. "What originally got the two angry at NSA and the U.S. government were the spy flights near and over Soviet territory," says author Bamford, whose latest book, A Pretext for War, is about the government's manipulation of intelligence to justify invading Iraq."They did try to go through the proper procedure originally, by telling a congressman about it. But when nothing was done, they made their decision to defect." (The Congressman, Rep. Wayne Hays of Ohio, later departed Congress after scandalously hiring his mistress, Elizabeth Ray, as a secretary, even though she couldn't type.)

Speaking out in the U.S. likely would have gotten Martin and Mitchell fired and left them facing charges for revealing secrets, which could have entailed federal prison time. In Moscow, laying out their reasons for defecting, Mitchell indicated that he and Martin weighed the alternatives of Russian freedom vs. American persecution. They preferred the former, said Mitchell: In the U.S., people with unpopular political convictions "are frequently hailed before investigating committees, harassed, fined, imprisoned, and denied jobs" (something likewise possible, of course, in the gulag-controlled U.S.S.R.).

Mitchell likely was referring in part to the Red Scare bred by Sen. Joe McCarthy, who recklessly questioned the loyalty of government workers and others he suspected were Communists or sympathizers during the 1950s. But there was a kind of civil service McCarthyism going on as well, in which real or suspected gay government workers were perceived as national security risks and often fired. Johnson, author of the 2004 book The Lavender Scare, says that once the Red Scare faded in the 1950s, the Martin and Mitchell defection "breathed new life into the Lavender Scare." The Los Angeles Times reported the two might be part of a ring of homosexuals who "recruit other sex deviates for federal jobs." Hearst papers (including the P-I) referred to "the two defecting blackmailed homosexual specialists" as a "love team." The lavender stage had already been set by Jack Lait and Lee Mortimer in their 1951 exposé, Washington Confidential. That best seller called D.C. "a garden of pansies" with 6,000 homosexuals on the government payroll, stating that "if you're wondering where your wandering semi-boy is tonight, he's probably in Washington."

The Pentagon and HUAC (which disbanded in 1975) effectively wrote off Martin and Mitchell as aberrant turncoats, too limp-wristed to wave a flag. "The Martin and Mitchell case," says Johnson, "demonstrates that when it comes to gay people and public policy, fantasy has historically played a stronger role than the facts. There was no rational basis for the argument that gay people posed a threat to national security in the 1950s, just as there is no rational basis for our exclusion from the military today.It's pure animus and unthinking stereotyping that drove the Martin case and continues to drive public policy today."

According to the newly obtained Pentagon and NSA documents, Martin and Mitchell defected for ideological reasons. Acquaintances said Martin and Mitchell often spoke of their disenchantment with government policies, and hinted at someday deserting. They also vacationed in Cuba and Mexico in 1959, something the NSA never knew about. They may have tried to flee then, but the Russians initially "did not show too much interest in them," sources told the NSA.

That they held such beliefs seems to have surprised the NSA, which wasn't keeping a close watch on the pair. Martin's and Mitchell's families, who spoke little to reporters, cooperated with the ensuing investigation. Martin's family said it was "absolutely impossible" that Ham went willingly to the Soviet Union and that their parting statement had to be a forgery. (Martin and Mitchell left a hard copy of the statement they read aloud in a safe deposit box in Maryland.) Similarly, the declassified files state, "The Mitchell family advised that their son had mentioned psychiatric treatment; that all through his life he has been influenced by others...[he always] tagged along."

In a way, the NSA agreed. "The most plausible explanations for the defection attributed it to personal abnormalities," the agency's documents state. The multiagency U.S. probe "revealed that the two were egotistical, arrogant and insecure young men whose place in society was much lower than they believed they deserved. Both had greatly inflated opinions concerning their intellectual attainments and talents, and both reportedly expressed bitter resentment that they had not yet received the recognition they were sure they deserved as up-and-coming young scientists."

As for their alleged homosexuality, the files make clear that the two men were enamored by both American and Russian women. "Personal associates also deny any knowledge of homosexuality on the part of Martin and Mitchell and state that both men engaged in social and sexual activity with women," the NSA reports. "One [U.S.] female associate of Mitchell acknowledges frequent and normal sexual activity with him during the entire period of their acquaintance." Some American friends and neighbors thought they were "odd young men who kept to themselves."

But then they apparently did have personal secrets to protect, NSA investigators found. One of Martin's regular companions was a Baltimore stripper known as Lady Zorro; she told investigators she had as many as 40 "dates" with the mathematician, who always paid in large amounts of cash.

A source described Martin as "totally devoted to his all-controlling sadomasochism," and an Ellensburg man said Martin had "perverted sexual relations with Japanese females [while in the Navy] and with women in the State of Washington." The acts apparently involved watching, or joining in with, two women having sex. After Martin's arrival in Russia, the NSA reported, he "denied emphatically that either he or Mitchell were homosexuals. He said he had some sex problems, but that he was certainly not a homosexual." His "sex problems," it appeared, always involved women.

As for their love of communism, once they got a whiff of Russian life in the hardscrabble Red society of the 1960s, the duo quickly longed for home. Martin asked about the possibility of returning as early as 1961, records show.

The NSA papers, which include intelligence reports on their life in Russia as late as 1975, indicate both men tried to arrange for their return to the States, on the condition that they wouldn't be imprisoned. They also attempted to meet with their families, possibly in Mexico or Canada, but reunions apparently were never held. In the following years, Martin, Mitchell, and their families asked U.S. officials if the two would face trial if they returned voluntarily. Officials would say only that no charges had been filed, and suggested they might be allowed back. The defectors suspected this was a trick to lure them to the States, where, if charged with treason, they'd face the death penalty.

In Russia, Martin and Mitchell worked and studied in Leningrad and, for at least the first year, were intensely debriefed by the Soviet government—with the KGB always nearby. Each man initially earned, in equivalent U.S. dollars, about $500 a month from the government. Martin, who was fluent in Russian, studied at Leningrad University, and used the name Vladimir Sokolodsky.

"Both married Soviet citizens," says one government report, "but Martin divorced his wife [Inessa] in about July 1963 after moving to Moscow." Meanwhile, Mitchell married a woman named Galina, dean of the piano faculty at Leningrad Conservatory. Reportedly, neither fathered any children.

The documents also reveal that Martin and Mitchell repeatedly introduced themselves to visiting Americans, seeking their help to return to their native soil. Among the visitors was Bernard Oliver, chief researcher at Hewlett-Packard. Mitchell reportedly told Oliver that he and Martin helped the Soviets make their code system less susceptible to U.S. cracking, but were "of no help to the U.S.S.R. in breaking U.S. codes." Martin, meanwhile, showed up at a restaurant where Donald Duffy, vice president of the Kaiser Foundation, was having dinner. Martin told Duffy that he wasn't "a homosexual or a spy" and was doing laser beam research.

Martin also sought out touring American bandleader Benny Goodman for a chat in Leningrad, saying he needed help getting a lawyer to leave Russia. Nothing apparently came of the encounters. (Mike Roetto, a Virginia-based blogger who works in the security field, recently obtained State Department documents reflecting efforts the two defectors undertook to regain their citizenship. Roetto says he wanted to study the "dark corner" of risk created in this case, assessing whether the re-entry process contained loopholes that could be exploited today. Based on the documents posted at, which include Martin's death notice from Mexico, there's no indication either defector was repatriated. But in at least one message, the State Department advised the U.S. Embassy in Moscow that it should "mail to Martin the forms to apply for registration as a U.S. citizen by mail.")

In a newspaper interview in Russia, Martin called his defection "foolhardy," but said he wasn't ashamed. He told another person the Russians actually didn't trust him, "for he is under constant surveillance by them and given work only of the lowest order of priority." His friend Mitchell, who spoke little Russian, had become morose and a heavy drinker, some sources said, willing to divorce his wife and do whatever it took to get out of the country. But by all accounts, he remained in Russia even after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, dying there 10 years later.

Meanwhile, by 1975, "Martin was described by one source as being 'totally on the skids,' an incurable alcoholic, and surrounded by degenerates and devoted to the practice of sexual perversions," according to reports. Once a fit 5 foot 11 and 175 pounds, Martin had become a "sweaty...seedy" man of over 200 pounds. Within two years, he'd get his wish to leave Russia (possibly via an Australian passport he'd applied for), apparently spending his final days just south of the U.S. border, and eternity deep within American soil.

In the 1963 NSA study, a summary of the "secret findings" reveals that government investigators found "some of the worst fears aroused by the case were groundless [and] established no clear motive for the defection." The Russians hadn't enticed the duo, and the two were not part of any foreign espionage effort. The study concludes that "the accumulated evidence indicated that the defection was an impulsive, self-generated act, conceived and initiated without outside prompting or assistance."

Ultimately, the queerest things about Martin and Mitchell were their political, not sexual, acts. "Were they living today," quips author Bamford, "[they] would probably defect all over again."

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. The Lantern has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is The Lantern endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

....And The Truth Shall Set Us Free

Tyranny Is Here!

Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death

Executive Order: Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq

Fact sheet Message to the Congress of the United States Regarding International Emergency Economic Powers Act

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, as amended (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.)(IEEPA), the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.)(NEA), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code,

I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, find that, due to the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States posed by acts of violence threatening the peace and stability of Iraq and undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq and to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people, it is in the interests of the United States to take additional steps with respect to the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13303 of May 22, 2003, and expanded in Executive Order 13315 of August 28, 2003, and relied upon for additional steps taken in Executive Order 13350 of July 29, 2004, and Executive Order 13364 of November 29, 2004. I hereby order:

Section 1. (a) Except to the extent provided in section 203(b)(1), (3), and (4) of IEEPA (50 U.S.C. 1702(b)(1), (3), and (4)), or in regulations, orders, directives, or licenses that may be issued pursuant to this order, and notwithstanding any contract entered into or any license or permit granted prior to the date of this order, all property and interests in property of the following persons, that are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United States, or that are or hereafter come within the possession or control of United States persons, are blocked and may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in: any person determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense,

(i) to have committed, or to pose a significant risk of committing, an act or acts of violence that have the purpose or effect of:

(A) threatening the peace or stability of Iraq or the Government of Iraq; or

(B) undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq or to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people;

(ii) to have materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, logistical, or technical support for, or goods or services in support of, such an act or acts of violence or any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order; or

(iii) to be owned or controlled by, or to have acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order.

(b) The prohibitions in subsection (a) of this section include, but are not limited to, (i) the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order, and (ii) the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person.

Sec. 2. (a) Any transaction by a United States person or within the United States that evades or avoids, has the purpose of evading or avoiding, or attempts to violate any of the prohibitions set forth in this order is prohibited.

(b) Any conspiracy formed to violate any of the prohibitions set forth in this order is prohibited.

Sec. 3. For purposes of this order:

(a) the term "person" means an individual or entity;

(b) the term "entity" means a partnership, association, trust, joint venture, corporation, group, subgroup, or other organization; and

(c) the term "United States person" means any United States citizen, permanent resident alien, entity organized under the laws of the United States or any jurisdiction within the United States (including foreign branches), or any person in the United States.

Sec. 4. I hereby determine that the making of donations of the type specified in section 203(b)(2) of IEEPA (50 U.S.C. 1702(b)(2)) by, to, or for the benefit of, any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order would seriously impair my ability to deal with the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13303 and expanded in Executive Order 13315, and I hereby prohibit such donations as provided by section 1 of this order.

Sec. 5. For those persons whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order who might have a constitutional presence in the United States, I find that, because of the ability to transfer funds or other assets instantaneously, prior notice to such persons of measures to be taken pursuant to this order would render these measures ineffectual. I therefore determine that for these measures to be effective in addressing the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13303 and expanded in Executive Order 13315, there need be no prior notice of a listing or determination made pursuant to section 1(a) of this order.

Sec. 6. The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense, is hereby authorized to take such actions, including the promulgation of rules and regulations, and to employ all powers granted to the President by IEEPA as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this order. The Secretary of the Treasury may redelegate any of these functions to other officers and agencies of the United States Government, consistent with applicable law. All agencies of the United States Government are hereby directed to take all appropriate measures within their authority to carry out the provisions of this order and, where appropriate, to advise the Secretary of the Treasury in a timely manner of the measures taken.

Sec. 7. Nothing in this order is intended to affect the continued effectiveness of any rules, regulations, orders, licenses, or other forms of administrative action issued, taken, or continued in effect heretofore or hereafter under 31 C.F.R. chapter V, except as expressly terminated, modified, or suspended by or pursuant to this order.

Sec. 8. This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right, benefit, or privilege, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, instrumentalities, or entities, its officers or employees, or any other person.



July 17, 2007.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. The Lantern has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is The Lantern endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

....And The Truth Shall Set Us Free

We really are living in the Theater of the Absurd

This has got to be one of the silliest things I have ever heard in my lifetime.

Bomb people 'til hell won't have it, occupy their country for over 4 years while committing one heinous crime after another against their citizenry, do little or nothing to repair the damage you've done and then tell them you are "there to help them."

"We will help you"

What kind of idiot would believe such a thing.

Iraqis aren't stupid.

But we are, apparently, because there will be a whole bunch of wing-nuts who will be pushing and believing this silly mantra.

What is it going to take to get it though the thick skulls of the D.C. Dumb-asses that the Iraqis don't want us there, period. They don't want our help. They have had quite enough of our "help" as it is.

How is it possible that anyone can be so stupid as to believe a word of this blather?

The Pentagon Gets a Lesson From Madison Avenue

U.S. Needs to Devise a Different 'Brand' to Win Over the Iraqi People, Study Advises

By Karen DeYoung
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, July 21, 2007; A01

In the advertising world, brand identity is everything. Volvo means safety. Colgate means clean. IPod means cool. But since the U.S. military invaded Iraq in 2003, its "show of force" brand has proved to have limited appeal to Iraqi consumers, according to a recent study commissioned by the U.S. military.

The key to boosting the image and effectiveness of U.S. military operations around the world involves "shaping" both the product and the marketplace, and then establishing a brand identity that places what you are selling in a positive light, said clinical psychologist Todd C. Helmus, the author of "Enlisting Madison Avenue: The Marketing Approach to Earning Popular Support in Theaters of Operation." The 211-page study, for which the U.S. Joint Forces Command paid the Rand Corp. $400,000, was released this week.

Helmus and his co-authors concluded that the "force" brand, which the United States peddled for the first few years of the occupation, was doomed from the start and lost ground to enemies' competing brands. While not abandoning the more aggressive elements of warfare, the report suggested, a more attractive brand for the Iraqi people might have been "We will help you." That is what President Bush's new Iraq strategy is striving for as it focuses on establishing a protective U.S. troop presence in Baghdad neighborhoods, training Iraq's security forces, and encouraging the central and local governments to take the lead in making things better.

Many of the study's conclusions may seem as obvious as they are hard to implement amid combat operations and terrorist attacks, and Helmus acknowledged that it could be too late for extensive rebranding of the U.S. effort in Iraq. But Duane Schattle, whose urban operations office at the Joint Forces Command ordered the study, said that "cities are the battlegrounds of the future" and what has happened in Baghdad provides lessons for the future. "This isn't just about going in and blowing things up," Schattle said. "This is about working in a very complex environment."

In an urban insurgency, for example, civilians can help identify enemy infiltrators and otherwise assist U.S. forces. They are less likely to help, the study says, when they become "collateral damage" in U.S. attacks, have their doors broken down or are shot at checkpoints because they do not speak English. Cultural connections -- seeking out the local head man when entering a neighborhood, looking someone in the eye when offering a friendly wave -- are key.

The most successful companies, the Rand study notes, are those that study their clientele and shape their workplace and product in ways that incorporate their brand into every interaction with consumers.

Wal-Mart's desired identity as a friendly shop where working-class customers can feel comfortable and find good value, for example, would be undercut if telephone operators and sales personnel had rude attitudes, or if the stores offered too much high-end merchandise. For the U.S. military and U.S. officials, understanding the target customer culture is equally critical.

Helmus recommends expanding military training to include shaping and branding concepts such as cultural awareness, and the study underscores the perils of failing to understand your consumer.

"Certain things do not translate well," the study warned. "Danger lies behind assumptions of similarity." A gesture Bush made during his 2005 inaugural parade -- the University of Texas "hook 'em horns" salute with raised index and pinkie fingers -- stands for the "sign of the devil" in some cultures and an indication of marital infidelity in others. A leaflet dropped to intimidate Iraqi insurgents, the study noted, "also reached noncombatants" and "gave everyone who picked it up the 'evil eye.' "

"Words cause similar cultural confusion," it said. The Arabic word "jihad," for example, has religious connotations for Muslims; its repeated use to connote terrorism is insulting and also perversely lends legitimacy to violent acts.

Schattle acknowledged that much of what works for consumer advertising in the United States might not translate well in Baghdad. But urban ops, he said, is all about experimenting and adapting to new realities.

"We want to look at new concepts, new business practices, to see if there are things that we can learn," he said. Since his office was established after the U.S. military issued a new doctrine for urban warfare in 2002, "we've been collecting lessons learned from all over the world," he said. "Not just Iraq and Afghanistan, but places like the Philippines and South America. Wherever there have been fights, we went out and looked at them."

The challenge for the advertising study, he said, was to find "something we can learn from Madison Avenue or from the marketers, the best in the world, that might help us when we're trying to deliver a message about what democracy is." In Iraq, Schattle said, the "urban population is the center of gravity" and the problem is "how we influence them to be on our side, or at least not be an enemy" when "what they see is armor." The goal of such studies, Schattle said, is to distill what works and incorporate it into future training.

Adversaries are doing their own shaping on Iraq's urban battlefields. While intimidation, coercion and assassination might not make them beloved, such techniques effectively limit public outreach to U.S. forces, the Rand study notes. Enemy forces have also learned that "doing good works is a classic approach to winning friends and influencing people" and frequently provide basic services that the U.S. military is unable to match.

At the same time, Helmus said, U.S. military and civilian authorities must stop thinking of themselves as a "good-idea factory" whose every thought has greater merit than those of their customers. "Procter & Gamble doesn't even do that," he said.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. The Lantern has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is The Lantern endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

....And The Truth Shall Set Us Free

More On Executive Order 51

It's a little like Area 51, from what I can tell.

Scary crap happenin'; nobody is sure just what.

Whatever it is, it cannot be good, as nothing good has ever come out of this administration for the vast majority of us.

Heads up, America!

by Virginia Simson

The ACLU is combing through Bush's most recent Executive Order and some of us are scratching our head and letting our imaginations run wild ...

As announced on Fox News ..

HUME: The Bush administration today announced a new tool in its effort to bring stability to Iraq. President Bush issued an Executive Order that will allow the administration to freeze bank accounts and other financial assets belonging to people or groups that undermine progress, such as reconstruction efforts and political reform in Iraq..

As we know, there are plenty of provisions covering money being sent via "terrrorist cells" dating WAY Back. And needless to say there are plenty of people (moi) who wonder at the scratchy legal pantsuits' put out by Bush, but certain of us are wondering . what does this MEAN? Are we to assume the worst . that we can now have all our ca$h seized by the US Treasury therefore breaking the 5th Amendment OR is this just another attempt to make us anxious and nervous ..?

... nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Quite rightly the flak is flying .. the comments section on tpmuckracker are riveting, and I invite the reader to visit them. Speculation is raised that this is a way at getting at Hilary Clinton, that it is a way to get to Dennis Kucinich, that this is a way to stop every single anti-Iraq protestor. Of course, the ever word twisting US Administration says it is "just filling in the financial cracks ..."

As reported by Sorcha Faal, a known unreliable news source, this is the death knell of liberty. One email I received says that this is creeping fascism. I just don't know, but my distrust is so high after seven years of Orwellian doubletalk; illegal, now legal wiretaps: White House Protocol on handling demonstrators; impeachment proceedings on tap . that I am certainly very CONcerned ...

How about YOU? Perhaps a call to the ACLU is in order, eh?

Virginia Simson is a spiritual journalista/activist who runs a visionary planetary tutorial blogspot.
She invites you to join with submission of your ISP email address and a statement explaining how it feels to to you to be an EARTHLING right NOW and what your personal and planetary goals are. We would like to know what our members can do to assist you.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. The Lantern has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is The Lantern endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

....And The Truth Shall Set Us Free

Step Right Up, Mr Bolton, You're next for comtempt charges

Has everyone forgotten that executive privilege doesn't amount to a hill of beans, if a crime is being investigated?

That idiot, Bush judge at District Court probably has forgotten, if he ever knew. Let's face it, Junior's appointees aren't known for their brains, just their loyalty

By Thomas Ferraro

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House chief of staff faced possible contempt charges after a congressional panel on Thursday ruled as invalid President George W. Bush's bid to limit the probe of the firing of federal prosecutors.

On a party-line vote of 7-3, a Democratic-led House of Representatives Judiciary subcommittee rejected Bush's contention that his claim of executive privilege shields the top aide, Joshua Bolten, from having to turn over subpoenaed documents.

"Those claims are not legally valid," said panel Chairwoman Linda Sanchez, a California Democrat.

Sanchez said she hoped the White House would yield and produce the documents, but the administration accused Congress of pushing for a courtroom showdown.

The administration says its firing of nine of the 93 U.S. attorneys last year were justified. But critics say the ousters were politically motivated, perhaps even to influence ongoing criminal probes of Democratic or Republican lawmakers.

"We are hopeful that the White House will come to the conclusion that it is better for them to cooperate than continue this confrontation," Sanchez said.

Last week the panel moved toward contempt proceedings against former White House counsel Harriet Miers after she declined to appear at a hearing. It rejected Bush's claim that Miers did not have to show up.

White House spokesman Tony Fratto said, "It's unfortunate that the committee continues down this path, rather than accepting our offer of accommodation."

"It's no wonder that the committee is less successful at getting facts than headlines," Fratto added. "That a president should be able to receive candid and confidential advice from his aides rests on solid legal ground." Continued...

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. The Lantern has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is The Lantern endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

....And The Truth Shall Set Us Free

Friday, July 20, 2007

We are Going To Be Hit; A Police State Will Ensue

Thom Hartmann began his program on Thursday by reading from a new Executive Order which allows the government to seize the assets of anyone who interferes with its Iraq policies.

He then introduced old-line conservative Paul Craig Roberts -- a former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under Reagan who has recently become known for his strong opposition to the Bush administration and the Iraq War -- by quoting the "strong words" which open Roberts' latest column: "Unless Congress immediately impeaches Bush and Cheney, a year from now the US could be a dictatorial police state at war with Iran."

"I don't actually think they're very strong," said Roberts of his words. "I get a lot of flak that they're understated and the situation is worse than I say. ... When Bush exercises this authority [under the new Executive Order] ... there's no check to it. It doesn't have to be ratified by Congress. The people who bear the brunt of these dictatorial police state actions have no recourse to the judiciary. So it really is a form of total, absolute, one-man rule. ... The American people don't really understand the danger that they face."

Roberts said that because of Bush's unpopularity, the Republicans face a total wipeout in 2008, and this may be why "the Democrats have not brought a halt to Bush's follies or the war, because they expect his unpopular policies to provide them with a landslide victory in next year's election."

However, Roberts emphasized, "the problem with this reasoning is that it assumes that Cheney and Rove and the Republicans are ignorant of these facts, or it assumes that they are content for the Republican Party to be destroyed after Bush has his fling." Roberts believes instead that Cheney and Rove intend to use a renewal of the War on Terror to rally the American people around the Republican Party. "Something's in the works," he said, adding that the Executive Orders need to create a police state are already in place.

"The administration figures themselves and prominent Republican propagandists ... are preparing us for another 9/11 event or series of events," Roberts continued. "Chertoff has predicted them. ... The National Intelligence Estimate is saying that al Qaeda has regrouped. ... You have to count on the fact that if al Qaeda's not going to do it, it's going to be orchestrated. ... The Republicans are praying for another 9/11."

Hartmann asked what we as the people can do if impeachment isn't about to happen. "If enough people were suspicious and alert, it would be harder for the administration to get away with it," Roberts replied. However, he added, "I don't think these wake-up calls are likely to be effective," pointing out the dominance of the mainstream media.

"Americans think their danger is terrorists," said Roberts. "They don't understand the terrorists cannot take away habeas corpus, the Bill of Rights, the Constitution. ... The terrorists are not anything like the threat that we face to the Bill of Rights and the Constitution from our own government in the name of fighting terrorism. Americans just aren't able to perceive that."

Roberts pointed out that it's old-line Republicans like himself, former Reagan associate deputy attorney general Bruce Fein, and Pat Buchanan who are the diehards in warning of the danger. "It's so obvious to people like us who have long been associated in the corridors of power," he said. "There's no belief in the people or anything like that. They have agendas. The people are in the way. The Constitution is in the way. ... Americans need to comprehend and look at how ruthless Cheney is. ... A person like that would do anything."

Roberts final suggestion was that, in the absence of a massive popular outcry, "the only constraints on what's going to happen will come from the federal bureaucracy and perhaps the military. They may have had enough. They may not go along with it."

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. The Lantern has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is The Lantern endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

....And The Truth Shall Set Us Free

NBC: GOP Candidates Can't Ride Our This War

NBC considered on Friday how the Iraq War and President Bush's 29% approval rating might "affect his party's prospects in the upcoming elections." White House correspondent David Gregory pointed out that, if historical trends hold true, a president as unpopular as Bush is unlikely to be succeeded by another Republican. However, the dilemma for potential candidates is that the president remains popular among Republican primary voters, making it difficult for them to distance themselves from him.

Tim Russert said there was nothing the president could do to improve Republican prospects in 2008 short of "a dramatic turnaround" in Iraq, politically as well as militarily, because the Democrats are not allowing the Republicans any middle ground. "You see what's happening in the Senate," Russert explained. "While those Republicans have broken publicly with the president, saying we need a change of policy, the Democrats aren't having anything of the sort. They're forcing them to vote simply 'withdraw' or 'not withdraw.'"

Russert concluded that although the president just wants to run out the clock, Congressional Republicans will have to face the voters in 2008. "They cannot wait and ride this war out," he said.

(Can't help but wonder, when Bush and Cheney set out to destroy The New Deal the Great Society and grab power like rabid bulldogs, did they know they would destroy the GOP as well? The entire country?)

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. The Lantern has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is The Lantern endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

....And The Truth Shall Set Us Free

Latest Claim of Executive Privilege is Astounding

Broader Privilege Claimed In Firings

White House Says Hill Can't Pursue Contempt Cases

By Dan Eggen and Amy Goldstein
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, July 20, 2007; A01

Bush administration officials unveiled a bold new assertion of executive authority yesterday in the dispute over the firing of nine U.S. attorneys, saying that the Justice Department will never be allowed to pursue contempt charges initiated by Congress against White House officials once the president has invoked executive privilege.

The position presents serious legal and political obstacles for congressional Democrats, who have begun laying the groundwork for contempt proceedings against current and former White House officials in order to pry loose information about the dismissals.

Under federal law, a statutory contempt citation by the House or Senate must be submitted to the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, "whose duty it shall be to bring the matter before the grand jury for its action."

But administration officials argued yesterday that Congress has no power to force a U.S. attorney to pursue contempt charges in cases, such as the prosecutor firings, in which the president has declared that testimony or documents are protected from release by executive privilege. Officials pointed to a Justice Department legal opinion during the Reagan administration, which made the same argument in a case that was never resolved by the courts.

"A U.S. attorney would not be permitted to bring contempt charges or convene a grand jury in an executive privilege case," said a senior official, who said his remarks reflect a consensus within the administration. "And a U.S. attorney wouldn't be permitted to argue against the reasoned legal opinion that the Justice Department provided. No one should expect that to happen."

The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the issue publicly, added: "It has long been understood that, in circumstances like these, the constitutional prerogatives of the president would make it a futile and purely political act for Congress to refer contempt citations to U.S. attorneys."

Mark J. Rozell, a professor of public policy at George Mason University who has written a book on executive-privilege issues, called the administration's stance "astonishing."

"That's a breathtakingly broad view of the president's role in this system of separation of powers," Rozell said. "What this statement is saying is the president's claim of executive privilege trumps all."

The administration's statement is a dramatic attempt to seize the upper hand in an escalating constitutional battle with Congress, which has been trying for months, without success, to compel White House officials to testify and to turn over documents about their roles in the prosecutor firings last year. The Justice Department and White House in recent weeks have been discussing when and how to disclose the stance, and the official said he decided yesterday that it was time to highlight it.

Yesterday, a House Judiciary subcommittee voted to lay the groundwork for contempt proceedings against White House chief of staff Joshua B. Bolten, following a similar decision last week against former White House counsel Harriet E. Miers.

The administration has not directly informed Congress of its view. A spokeswoman for Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.), the Judiciary Committee's chairman, declined to comment . But other leading Democrats attacked the argument.

Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) called it "an outrageous abuse of executive privilege" and said: "The White House must stop stonewalling and start being accountable to Congress and the American people. No one, including the president, is above the law."

Sen. Charles E. Schumer (N.Y.) said the administration is "hastening a constitutional crisis," and Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.) said the position "makes a mockery of the ideal that no one is above the law."

Waxman added: "I suppose the next step would be just disbanding the Justice Department."

Under long-established procedures and laws, the House and Senate can each pursue two kinds of criminal contempt proceedings, and the Senate also has a civil contempt option. The first, called statutory contempt, has been the avenue most frequently pursued in modern times, and is the one that requires a referral to the U.S. attorney in the District.

Both chambers also have an "inherent contempt" power, allowing either body to hold its own trials and even jail those found in defiance of Congress. Although widely used during the 19th century, the power has not been invoked since 1934 and Democratic lawmakers have not displayed an appetite for reviving the practice.

In defending its argument, administration officials point to a 1984 opinion by the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, headed at the time by Theodore B. Olson, a prominent conservative lawyer who was solicitor general from 2001 to 2004. The opinion centered on a contempt citation issued by the House for Anne Gorsuch Burford, then administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

It concluded: "The President, through a United States Attorney, need not, indeed may not, prosecute criminally a subordinate for asserting on his behalf a claim of executive privilege. Nor could the Legislative Branch or the courts require or implement the prosecution of such an individual."

In the Burford case, which involved spending on the Superfund program, the White House filed a federal lawsuit to block Congress's contempt action. The conflict subsided when Burford turned over documents to Congress.

The Bush administration has not previously signaled it would forbid a U.S. attorney from pursuing a contempt case in relation to the prosecutor firings. But officials at Justice and elsewhere say it has long held that Congress cannot force such action.

David B. Rifkin, who worked in the Justice Department and White House counsel's office under presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, praised the position and said it is consistent with the idea of a "unitary executive." In practical terms, he said, "U.S. attorneys are emanations of a president's will." And in constitutional terms, he said, "the president has decided, by virtue of invoking executive privilege, that is the correct policy for the entire executive branch."

But Stanley Brand, who was the Democratic House counsel during the Burford case, said the administration's legal view "turns the constitutional enforcement process on its head. They are saying they will always place a claim of presidential privilege without any judicial determination above a congressional demand for evidence -- without any basis in law." Brand said the position is essentially telling Congress: "Because we control the enforcement process, we are going to thumb our nose at you."

Rozell, the George Mason professor and authority on executive privilege, said the administration's stance "is almost Nixonian in its scope and breadth of interpreting its power. Congress has no recourse at all, in the president's view. . . . It's allowing the executive to define the scope and limits of its own powers."

Research editor Alice Crites contributed to this report.

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....And The Truth Shall Set Us Free