December 20, 2005
The BuzzFlash Mailbag
The opinions expressed in the Mailbag are not necessarily those of BuzzFlash. Read the BuzzFlash FAQ for info on submitting to the Mailbag.
Bush has publicly admitted secret surveillance of American citizens. He is not qualified to judge whether this constitutes a legal or illegal act. Nor are his legal advisors. They may give him advice as to their opinions but their opinions are not legally binding on the courts or the congress. Bush has broken the law. He must be impeached.
YOU must contact your Representative and Senators and tell them that Bush must be impeached. They won't do it unless you tell them to.
If you are sick and tired of the shenanigans of the bush administration, if you believe that spying on American citizens is illegal, and if you believe that Bush should be impeached. YOU MUST contact your Representative and Senators and tell them Bush must be impeached.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: W: Resign Now Please
I got a petition recently to get George Bush to make schools enforce Pledge of Allegiance recitation, and was inspired to create a little petition of my own. Sign if you like, forward if you please.
Here's the URL for my petition
Subject: Revealing U. S. Eavesdropping Capabilities and Operations
Shortly after 911 (just several days I think), Senator Orrin (the oracle) Hatch (R) Utah, announced on TV (CNN I think) that we knew that Al Qaeda was responsible because we had their satellite phones and cell phones under surveillance. A day or three later, Donald Rumsfeld (again on TV) lamented that people who should know better ought to keep their mouths shut about our capabilities in this area.
Orrin blew our cover four years ago.
This seems relevant with the president's recent statement that it is shameful for government officials to disclose our intelligence capabilities in time of war.
You guys have the capability to find and post these TV clips and I hope you do.
Love the site.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: The descent into the police state is in full swing
There is no doubt, contrary to his tantrumish and fevered assertions, that Mr. Bush is creating a neofascist police state. There is no other way to categorize it when he asserts that the the law does not apply to him and a college student gets a visit from the feds for simply requesting a book from the library. This is totalitarianism run amok without question. The police state is here. It must be dismantled now and its architects impeached, before we go the way of the Soviet Union.
Agents' visit chills UMass Dartmouth senior (South Coast Today)
Subject: To the BuzzFlash Reader in the 4th Grade
I just want to tell you how brave you are and how refreshing it was to read your entry in BuzzFlash. You told what you were feeling in your gut instincts, by what you learned in your knowledge of history. There are many adults right now who do not remember the lessons of history, and these are the people that are being duped into believing that intrusion of privacy, torture, and the other things going on today are morally acceptable under the circumstances of our situation now. Never believe them.
A few months ago my niece, who is in 6th grade, was studying about the Executive, Congressional, and Judicial branches of the government, and why there must be the balance of three so one branch does not have the complete power. Then we talked about what is happening right now. We have a president who thinks right now that he is the absolute ruler, and that he thinks he can do whatever he wants, whenever he wants, and he does not care what anyone else thinks. He thinks it is his divine right so to speak, like he is the King, or the Jefe.
No one gave him that right, except the people that let him get by with it, like our Congress and others. It is a sad chapter in our history right now. But with kids like you who read this column or share your thoughts with us older folks or kids your own age, it could be a big help in getting the Constitution to mean what it used to. Perhaps sharing what you feel with our president or Congress would let them know just how kids feel.
Bless you for contributing to this column. We need to hear from more kids like you!
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: The Envelope Please ...
Not a word about David Corn?
... and on another topic, if you don't watch NOW on PBS every week, please do. Every week I learn things that I wish that I didn't have to know, but still would rather know about than be in the dark.
I think that in the absence of Bill Moyers, the show has continued to produce hard hitting, gut wrenching journalism, and for that David Brancaccio should also get a shout out.
This week's show was great.
Recently, or presently, house and senate leaders are debating the so called "deficit reduction act," which many insiders are saying will make the deficit worse.
When John Whitehead says that there shouldn't be anymore tax cuts for the rich, because a) they don't really need more money and b) they themselves would make more money if the economy in the United States were stronger, well you really should believe him. The tax cuts for the rich are at this point, not even wanted by the rich! So who exactly are they for? I wish that the MSM could hammer away at this, and subjects like how China is financing the war in Iraq, a little more, and perhaps pay a little less attention to the "war on Christmas."
But don't mind me, I'm just a dreamer. But I'm not the only one. Merry Christmas, happy holidays to all, happy new year. God bless everyone.
Subject: Specter's correct
There are limits to what a president can do, even in time of war. He can't have oral sex in the oval office and lie about it. Other than that he can start a war after ignoring any intelligence or advice contrary to the plans of Cheney's secret energy task force. He can kill tens of thousands or people who are not his relatives and he can wire tape whoever he pleases. Speak up or they assume you agree!!! ABB
Subject: War? What War?
President Bush Keeps saying over and over that America is a nation at war, but we are in fact not a nation at war. America has never declared war on Iraq. Only Congress can declare war and the last time that happened was when America declared war on Japan in WWII. Iraq isn't a war, it's an illegal invasion based on lies. Bush can't use war as an excuse to break the law.
Spying on Americans without a warrant is illegal. Bush admitted he did it and says he's going to keep doing it. The president isn't above the law. Bush should be arrested. It's time for Bush to resign.
Imagine if Clinton decided to just up and break the law. Do you think the press would sit there and let him get a pass? I don't think so. But they are getting paid off by the Pentagon with our tax dollars to keep silent about Bush's criminal activities. That bastard Gonzales should be locked up, too, as well as members of congress who knew this was going on, that is, if there really were any who actually knew it!
I'm Marc Perkel - And I approved this message!
Subject: About That Freedom Thing …
The President says freedom so many times in his speeches you’d think he invented the word. Someone should explain to him that saying don’t make it so.
We should respect the Iraqi people who dared death and destruction to vote. Such courage and determination is laudable. It is also a fact, one our President neglects to mention, that many voted in the hope of getting American Occupiers out of their country. Mr. Bush has a very bad habit of cherry picking facts. In a lesser official you might even say it approaches dishonesty.
So explain this to me, Mr. Bush, why do we laud the courage of the Iraqis while seeking to trade our hard-won freedoms for safety? Doesn’t seem quite right now does it? The President will make us less free to make us safer while favoring Iraqi citizens being less safe to be freer. Kinda makes your head spin, doesn’t it?
Congressman Dana Rohrabacher from the 46th District of California & Congressman Pete King from the 3rd District of New York both jumped to defend the President wiretapping American citizens without going through a court as required by law. These are lawmakers applauding law breaking. Never underestimate the power of a Republican to put his/her party loyalty before their loyalty to their country. Cheney of course jumped right in. No surprise there. There is no disgrace or dishonesty beyond the scope of this truly evil man.
The 9/11 Commission says we are no safer than we were on 9/12. So much for wiretapping our phones and reading our emails. The government had information on the men who did that atrocity. They knew where some of them were and that they were up to no good. They did nothing. So it would appear that having information isn’t enough. Perhaps you need the competence to do something with the information you have.
We are no safer. We have lost a great deal of our freedom and the country is darn near broke. Does this seem like a plan to you?
Marjorie L. Swanson
Subject: Barbara (Mailbag of 12/19)
Thanks, Barb for the research ... I had heard that, but if you do not have proof, no one is gonna believe it ... and George Bush won't believe us with proof ... He will always have that lame excuse ... 'he has the right to snoop because he is the Commander in Chief of this Country' ... you know ... anymore when he says that ... it gives me cold chills! And, he repeats something else that is unsettling ... when he speaks of the war ... and NOT pulling out until the job is done (whatever the hell the job is) ... he always says ... "Not so long as I am your president!" and ... he never wavers! For all those democrats who crossed the line and voted for "MORALS" ... I sure hope you are happy. Did anyone catch the call-in show after his pseudo Press Conference this morning? Well, I think they took about ten calls ... and all but two were just ready to bake him in oil ... and one good point, to one of the guys who was just livid ... the moderator asked him, "Did you vote for Bush" ... and he said, "Yes, I am one of the ones who crossed over and I have that to live with for the rest of my life!"
And, Barbara ... Hijacking Catastrophe ... is not long ... it is about an hour ... but, I am so addicted to it, I go back and watch the thing over and over ... You will see what I mean. I have sort of a line to follow...I saw "Fahrenheit 911" first ... then I got "Uncovered, the war on Iraq"...it is about the lie about WMD ... and with each one you just get more and more mad ... then "Hijacking Catastrophe" scared the heck out of me, so I kept going back ... now, I must see the movie "Syriana" ... the one Clooney did. In Hijacking Catastrophe there is a CIA Analyst ... his name is Robert Baer ... and this movie ... is taken from a book he wrote, I think, titled, "See No Evil" ... and Clooney is playing him ... that is why he gained weight. I have not seen the movie yet ... but hope to ... I fear some people might pressure them to not make it much of a hit. And ... Happy, Merry ... whatever to you, too Barb ... and all of the BuzzFlash family.
Subject: Saddam Out, There's No WMDs, So Let's Walk
Dreamed up ENDS never justify (unconstitutional) MEANS. Let’s WALK away from the Bush Mission.
What is THE Mission ... this time??
2nd real mission goal was to remove Saddam.
3rd real mission goal was to have soldiers & Iraqi children over THERE with target signs on their backs while Bush firmly tells terrorists & insurgents "Bring it on."
4th real mission goal is to, at gun point, force a democratic election & tally. Bush proudly points to his accomplishment.
5th real mission goal is to stay until Iraq is stable enough for Bush.
Oh yeah, and the 1st real mission, given by Bush's intelligence, of the need to remove the highly threatening WMDs which had half the Americans quaking in fear. An intelligence that is either deranged or shrewdly misdirecting.
Saddam is outed .... so let's give them back their resources and let's WALK AWAY.
Definition of "insurgent" is a member acting contrary to their political party. Hmm, so insurgent is actually closer to rebel or patriot. It has nothing to do with "terrorist." Insurgent/patriot ... makes one wonder about the real purpose of the Patriot Act. What administration do we know of that can only tolerate YES men?
Subject: Bush's Spying on America. Just Like Tricky Dick!
Wonder why Bush did not go through the proper warrant procedure for spying on Americans?
BECAUSE THERE WOULD BE A DETAILED RECORD OF WHO HE WAS SPYING ON. HE COULD NOT STAND UP UNDER THE FACT THAT THIS LIST MIGHT BE MADE PUBLIC AND HE WOULD BE IMPEACHED IF NOT JAILED. HE WOULD HAVE TO LEAVE OFFICE IN TOTAL DISGRACE.
Shades of Nixon except Bush and Cheney did not leave a trail like "tricky Dick," tapes etc.
Also it's been said that the repugs seem to know every move the Democrats have made in their campaign strategies in the recent past. Even before they were made public. Lieberman, Nelson or illegal phone taps and computer hacking?
Fascism at its finest!
Subject: What Response Do You Propose to Fascism in the USA?
So what should we do?
The case has been made that the last two Presidential elections have been rigged and stolen by the Republicans. The case has also been conclusively made by Bev Harris (Blackboxvoting.org) that voting machines can be easily hacked to change the "results". The recent elections in Ohio clearly show the pattern of a hacked vote. So we know the Republicans cheat at elections.
Further, we know Bush is asserting that he has the powers of a monarch, not just a President. Moreover, that is how he is acting. Russ Feingold recently established this point.
We know Bush, through the NSA, is illegally spying on Americans, and that he asserts that he will continue to do so no matter what. If he does, and is not stopped by Congress, then what do you think we should do? Think about it.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: What in Holy Hell Have We Gotten Ourselves Into?
After watching cable news, listening to Bush and Rice all day and then reading BUZZ as I do every night I closed my eyes for two minutes and wondered just what in the hell have we as Americans allowed to happen to our nation? What in holy hell have we gotten ourselves into ?
It is absolutely surreal, like a B minus movie. I must be having a f**king nightmare.
Are we as American citizens not responsible for what our nation and government has become? Who or what are these people who have hijacked our beliefs and our nation? Why have we fostered them? I guess I have been living in la la land for most of my sixty years, because I did not believe that creatures like Bush-Cheney-Rice-Rumsfeld-Rove and Wolfowitz existed in America. The womb of America could never have spawned such repulsive, repugnant, and vile clones of human beings!
Subject: More outrageous spying by this administration
This should explode the myth once and for all that Bush is better at protecting America. He devoted valuable federal resources to spying on and monitoring the activities of lawful and peaceful domestic groups for no reason, thereby diverting resources away from tracking criminals and terrorists. I guess vegans are more of a threat than Al Qaeda or right-wing hate groups.
It is clear he is doing everything Nixon did and more. The only difference is Nixon was not dumb enough to admit to a felony on national television. Bush and Cheney must be impeached for the salvation of democracy and the rule of law.
Subject: Waving the White Flag
After the shock of 9/11 began to wear off ... and my fear subsided ... I began to listen closely to bush and the talking points coming from the Republicans in congress ... Divisive ... everyone of them ... this led me to the conclusion that ...
Terrorism's GOAL is to TAKE DOWN GOVT through INTERNAL DISCOURSE ... ERODE FREEDOMS through FEAR and CAUSE INTERNAL DISPUTE and FIGHTING ... IS TERRORISM winning in AMERICA???
Now with bush getting busted once again ... this time for spying on Americans without obtaining warrants ... I have decided ...
bushsheep have finally succumbed to their fear of the terrorists ... they are waving the White Flag they think will further protect them ... and if you look close ... you will see ...
the flag they are waving ...
is our Constitution.
It's almost palpable now, what with the disclosure that our president authorized the National Security Agency to spy on us "and the hell with getting a search-warrant from a judge." But if we the people are to change the world, impeachment won't be enough; we've also got to bring the Troops Home Now and end this God-d**n Iraq war. We accomplish this and impeachment is sure to follow and then, "Well, what do you know," we're on the way."
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: RE: Bush's Enemies List
A thousands amens! Keep on the pressure! This isn't politics anymore. This is fighting for the soul of America.
W. Christopher Epler
Subject: FISA and Wiretaps
The recent allegations by The New York Times concerning the use of wiretaps upon citizens of the United States concerns me. The admission of said wiretaps by the President of the United States appalls me. Let's carefully examine the facts in terms so every American can understand. There is a law in place that allows the government to seek legal authority to wiretap and eavesdrop on people inside the U.S. if they feel they are a threat to our national security. The law is FISA and it has been in place since 1978. There is no legal justification for the President to circumvent this law. To do so is a clear violation of the civil liberties of every American citizen as defined by the 4th amendment to the Constitution. His excuse of the need for speed fails the sniff test. The FISA court has rarely if ever refused to return a warrant. I remind you that the President swore on a bible in an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution. He has already acknowledged that he committed this act. The House is mandated to bring Articles of Impeachment. There is no amount of spinning and fudging that can change the story. Ignorance of the law is not a recognizable criminal defense in any state of the Union. This is an outright violation of law of the most serious nature. I call upon all of my fellow citizens to demand an investigation of the matter. Please write your elected Representatives and Senators.
Subject: Did the NYT break national spying story because it was about to break anyway?
If, as today's NYT article says, it received the ACLU spying documents last week, it must have figured out the gig was up.... and rushed to print the story....
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Web and E-mail Warning Stamps Re: Gov. Monitoring
Free download of Warning Stamps for Web Sites and E-mails.
Warning: This Web Site Might be Subject to Illegal Monitoring by the NSA
Warning:This E-mail May be Subject to Illegal Monitoring by the NSA
Both have an eye in the background. Color and B/W versions. As the artist, I give permission for personal use/downloads.
Stamps may be downloaded from
(Oh, hello George, forgot you were here, so how's the illegal data collecting going?)
Subject: No Man Is Above the Law
Dear Sir or Madam:
A line has been crossed: yesterday we witnessed a historic incidence of corrupted power. The president, who has indicated since soon after taking office in 2000 that he harbored deep and abiding fascist impulses, now sees fit to contravene the laws of this great nation and challenges us to call foul.
Call foul I do: Mr. Bush has fouled our land, our friends, our trust, our air, our national discourse, our courts, the law, our military, the institutions of government, and the Constitution of the United States. You must do everything within your power either as an official elected to serve the people and the Constitution of the United States of America or as a member of the media to call Mr. Bush to account for his actions, and to take any and all actions necessary to restore the United States to a country where no man is above the law.
Specifically, as a U.S. citizen I demand that you insist that Mr. Bush
* immediately reverse this directive on domestic spying
* promise to desist in the future from warrantless spying on Americans
* cooperate fully with a bipartisan investigation of the policy
* release the texts of the directives along with the legal opinions they were based on
* immediately petition the FISA court to grant warrants for all such surveillance conducted by this administration since 2001
* identify the number of residents of the US who were targets of unconstitutional surveillance between 2001 and 2005, and report to all appropriate Senate committees the name of any of those residents for whom the FISA court refuses now to grant a warrant
Let me make myself clear: this is the least that needs to be done. The day the president -- any president -- is above the law, is the day constitutional democracy dies. Its life is in your hands.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
Subject: Happy Holidays from George Bush
Are the religious right wingers upset over George's final remark at his press conference today? He wished everyone Happy Holidays, no mention of Christmas at all. Do you suppose he did that on purpose?
"Thank you all for coming. Happy holidays to you. Appreciate it." -- George Bush
Subject: Wow! Tuesday's Editorial Nailed It Again
Think about it. The public "press statement" that nullifies the constitution by claiming ... "the war on terrorism." As WE all know, there can't be any such thing; terrorism simply escalates when a country is invaded and exploited, as it did in Algeria (I've read Camus; I'm a former English major. But the Bushes really DO consider themselves beyond the laws that apply to the rest of us peons. (I'm sure they even, in private sessions, display contempt for their right-wing supporters, even as they figure out what further bulls**t they can feed them to keep the sheep in the fold.)
Sorry, but you missed the main reason Bush feared going through FISA. FISA would have been the route to take if Bush was simply "monitoring" targeted individuals and agencies, regardless of the individual or agency. But what Bush was doing is "detection," where you simply open the universal gate and tap into the big universe in hope of catching something of interest when it pops up.
So there was no specific "enemies list." However, the act of eavesdropping on a universal scale is even more tyrannical since he was listening to you, your mom, your aunt in hopes of sometime picking up a blip from a terrorist or terrorist funder. This is why Bush didn't go through the FISA court. If the court was to get wind of HOW the Bush program was operating, he would have been shut down fast, and FISA itself may have initiated impeachment proceedings.
Bush didn't monitor "targets." He just went trolling in the big wide electronic ocean. And this is way way above FISA, and above any law of the land.
So Bush had every reason NOT to go through the FISA court for approval.
The domestic spying scandal is not just a run of the mill political scandal. It is time for Congressional Democrats and Republicans who love their country to begin the impeachment process against President Bush and Vice President Cheney. No more business as usual, no more deference to the administration because of the war.
Let Congress also repeal the authorization it gave the president in 2001; he has proven he is not trustworthy. Make no mistake, the time for cheap partisanship is over; it's up to Congresspeople from BOTH parties (and independents, too) to come together for the good of the country.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Bush's Spying/Form Letter Responses
Recently, I signed an on-line petition demanding hearings in the House of Representatives regarding President Bush’s domestic spying on American citizens. The petition was sent to my elected representative, David Hobson.
On December 10, 2005, I spoke on behalf of Military Families Speak Out (A support group for people who have loved ones in the military and who are opposed to war in Iraq) at an event outside the Veterans Administration Center in Dayton, OH. Part of our message was: We don’t want form letters assuring us our concerns will be taken into account. We want elected representatives to listen to our concerns and address them.
Today, I received an automatic email response to the petition I signed. It was your garden variety form letter, familiar to those of us who attempt to communicate with our Congress people. It read: "Rest assured, I will take your views into account as I consider legislation during the 109th congress.” My elected representative has once again assured me he will take my concerns into account. Maybe these form letters are pretty nifty after all, but now I’m feeling a little miffed that my government obviously didn’t spy on me when I spoke at the VA. Am I that insignificant? A peon? Or, perhaps the spy has not communicated my wishes regarding form letters to my elected representative, David Hobson.
After all, faulty intelligence is a real problem these days.
Subject: Did President Bush Lie to the American People? (To email@example.com)
Did President Bush Lie to the American People? It would appear so.
This is what the President said in 2004:
Yesterday, the President contradicted this earlier statement when he said:
It isn't clear why the President feels that this is necessary when:
If we are, as the President has repeatedly alleged, fighting for freedom in Iraq, why are freedoms that our own founding fathers fought for being dismantled? The American Revolution was fought against the tyranny of King George, who held unchecked power to do as he pleased to the colonists to serve his own interests.
The United States was designed as a government for, by, and of the people. George Bush is turning the United States into a government for, by, and of George Bush and those who share his agenda.
K. Michael Babcock
Subject: America ... the Duped???
America ... the dupable???
Bush said, “Fool me once -- shame on -- shame on you. You fool me, you can't get fooled again.”
It looks like the “FOOL” President can still fool too many Americans -- again!
The media is blasting the news about Bush’s rise in approval ratings according to the recent polls. It really makes us wonder, and it makes many angry, how our nation can be lied to time and time again, one after another scandal readily dismissed by gullible Americans who have short memories! Corruption is the highest it has ever been involving a cast of characters like Bush, Cheney, Rove, Rice, DeLay, Frist, Cunningham, Powell, Safavian, and the inept Rumsfeld!
We’ve heard the kudos from the press about “Honest Abe George” as they applauded his “remarkable spirit of candor” Bullsh*t! What the media does is give us the repetitive words of George with very little opposition response. Responses we would NOT hear if it wasn’t for the Internet.
Have you heard your news program call Bush on his lies? They give him a pass even when he uses lies of omission, such as his “need for speed” on spying on Americans, but DOES NOT MENTION BUSH BROKE THE LAW, and had 72 hours after to get a warrant, and do it legally. His justifications have no root in any law! Bush lied once again as Feinstein divulged a Government Report telling the true story Congress does NOT get the same information as the President!
Americans, before granting approval for Bush’s Iraq policy, should know all the ballots counted in an election benchmark have not assured the fate of Iraq in the least! Prejudging the results could be a big mistake, and be a cost way too high in lives lost or money that could have been spent to help our citizens.
This article gives us the alternate and more realistic viewpoint:
Read the whole article for reality vs Bush Fantasy!
In only the past two days, there were about 20 incidents of attacks in Iraq resulting either in death or injury, EACH DAY, according to the daily incident reports from Iraq at:
HAVE YOU HEARD THE MEDIA REPORTING THEM????? Are they still AFRAID to risk Bush popularity and measure up to what should be demanded of them by telling the truth??? They may all need an email reminder!
Are you aware the Ukrainian troops in Iraq have started their final phase of withdrawal from Iraq, with more withdrawals from other countries taking place in the near future. The over-rated Coalition has been a Bush pipe-dream from the beginning.
All of this cocky leader’s assurances have never kept pace with his non-existent abilities and impaired judgment! Bush’s speeches have not given us new facts. Are Americans really that dumb to give any credence to them? Unlike the ill-informed and the gullible, it will take a lot more then his over-used excuses and rhetoric to make us believers. Bush has ALWAYS prejudged and OVER-ESTIMATED his capacities. Bush and his cronies, and the mainstream media should be held responsible not only for the falsehoods they speak, but for the truths they fail to speak!
Truth always angers those it can’t convince, and Mr. Bush and his cronies have never had the confidence of the well-informed, and despite a few over-rated speeches, he never will! Many of us refuse to be DUPED!
Subject: Fun with the Virgin Sacrifice Comment ...
I took a WaPo article, and replaced "domestic spying" with "virgin sacrifices" copy. Makes fun reading.
By Peter Baker and Charles Babington Washington Post Staff Writers Tuesday, December 20, 2005; A01
Bush Addresses Uproar Over Virgin Sacrifices 'This Is a Different Era, a Different War,' He Says as Some Lawmakers Seek Probe
The political uproar over President Bush's Virgin Sacrifice program escalated yesterday as the president denied overstepping his constitutional bounds while congressional critics from both parties stepped up their attack and vowed a full investigation.
Bush mounted a vigorous defense of his order authorizing the sacrifice of Virgins each morning, to ward off terrorist attacks. He contended that his "obligation to protect you" against attack justified a circumvention of the constitutional right to life, after a person is born.
"This is a different era, a different war," the president said at a year-end news conference in the East Room.
But Democrats and some key Republicans on Capitol Hill were unconvinced, and they questioned whether Bush has violated any laws by sacrificing virgins.
Voicing "grave doubts" over the legality of the National Security Agency program, Senate Judiciary Chairman Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) said he will conduct hearings next month on the issue. To rebut suggestions of congressional acquiescence, Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.) released a handwritten letter he secretly sent Vice President Cheney in July 2003 objecting to the program. ...
The meeting with reporters was the latest effort in a presidential communications barrage intended to calm public nerves about the war in Iraq and woo back disaffected supporters; it came the morning after a prime-time Oval Office address and followed four other speeches, congressional briefings and a surprise trip to Iraq by Cheney. Bush once again counseled patience, saying that "2 1/2 years seems like an eternity, but in the march of history it's not all that long." ...
But the 56-minute session became dominated by the four-year-old NSA Virgin Sacrifice program, which was revealed last week by the New York Times. While generally relaxed and sometimes joking, Bush grew testy when asked if he is presiding over the expansion of "unchecked power" by the executive branch. "To say 'unchecked power' basically is ascribing some kind of dictatorial position to the president, which I strongly reject," he responded sharply, waving his finger.
Asked what limits he sees on a president's power in a time of war, Bush said a few key congressional leaders were briefed on the Virgin Sacrifice program and his administration reviews its own actions periodically. "I just described limits on this particular program," he said. "That's what's important for the American people to understand. We only sacrifice virgins with possible connections to middle-eastern entities that may be supporting terrorism.” He added. I am doing what you expect me to do, and at the same time safeguarding the American virgins."
Bush's remarks left many critics unassuaged and many questions unanswered. The president offered no details about how many virgins are being sacrificed, what standard must be met to sacrifice a virgin or what terrorist plots have been disrupted as a result of the sacrifices. ...
In asserting the legality of the program, Bush cited his power under Article II of the Constitution as well as the resolution authorizing force passed by Congress after the Sept. 11 attacks. The resolution never mentions such sacrifices, but Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales said it is implicit and cited last year's Supreme Court decision in Madonna vs. Rumsfeld, which found that the force resolution effectively authorized Bush to sacrifice virgins by classifying them as enemy combatants. But the same ruling held that virgins are entitled to challenge their imprisonment in court. ...
Rockefeller, ranking Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee, released his 2003 letter to Cheney to make the point that he had "profound" concerns at the time but could not act on them. He said he kept a copy in a sealed envelope ever since to preserve a record of his views. Complaining about seeing Bush and his aides "repeatedly misrepresent the facts," he demanded "a full investigation" by his panel.
Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and his predecessor, Thomas A. Daschle (D-S.D.), said yesterday that they had been briefed on the program and were not asked for their advice or consent.
Reid added that "key details about the program apparently were not provided to me," and Daschle said he voiced concern at the time. "I am surprised and disappointed that the White House would now suggest that none of us informed of the virgin sacrifices objected," he said in a statement. ...
But Bush had a different investigation in mind. At his news conference, he said that although he had not issued an order, he presumed the Justice Department has opened an inquiry into who leaked the information about the NSA Virgin Sacrifice program. "It was a shameful act for someone to disclose this very important program in a time of war," he said. "The fact that we're discussing this program is helping the enemy."
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Political Enemies List?
What do we know about GW Bush? That everything and anything he does is politically motivated, first of all. Forget the lofty goals, it's all about him and his politics.
What else do we know? That he will and does lie and distort constantly, in fact it becomes a question of when does he ever tell the truth?
So why spy on Americans without going thru a judge? Well, DUH, Georgie, we know that if we saw the list of people you secretly spied on, we'd find names like Cindy Sheehan, Michael Moore, Tim Robbins, and the late Terry Schiavo's husband.
Disgusted and cynical,
Subject: The Bubble
I suspect the GOP's next lie will be to isolate The Bush Name from all the bad doings of a few bad apple Republicans.
They will claim that Bushie is innocent of all the wrong-doings of his underlings, and use that Newsweek Bubble Story as proof.
Problem with that is Bushie was isolated from reality in his bubble, not from his administration, and all their crimes.
Yes, we all agree he is in a bubble (still) but what he was blissfully unaware of was not the crimes being committed by his White House, but reality.
He is aware of what is going on in his bubble, but not what is going on in the real world.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: What Do You Do When the Government Breaks the Law?
I had heard it just like everyone else did. But, I found it hard to believe. Did Bush actually say he had authorized surveillance on Americans in violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) in that he didn’t even obtain a Warrant to perform this surveillance? Incredible! What did he think he was doing -- or was he thinking at all (Was Cheney doing the thinking for him, as usual?)?
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act provides for a secret court where the Government can obtain a warrant for this kind of surveillance quickly. These warrants have historically been obtained very easily by the Government. So it wasn’t even necessary to ignore the provisions of this law. I have been trying to be a good citizen and keep informed on the issues and vote in every election for a number of decades and this is the worst case of abuse of Presidential power I have ever witnessed. It is a principle of our legal system that nobody is above the law. Not even, or especially, those in positions of power.
I really do not think we have any option here. It is simple and obvious. He broke a law which he easily could have obeyed. His protestations that it would have been inconvenient to get a warrant are patently false and ludicrous. The Congress must draw up articles of impeachment. To do otherwise is to say we tolerate blatant disregard for the law and an abuse of power whereby the President violated one of the most basic protections provided citizens by the constitution – protection from unlawful search and seizure by the Government.
Mr. Bush must be impeached and then he must be prosecuted for violating the FISA statute. This is not a comfortable conclusion to arrive at but it is unavoidable. If we are to be a society governed by laws with a Government limited by the Bill of Rights, we cannot tolerate any President taking the law into his own hands or treating the Bill of Rights like it’s merely an artifact of history, rather than a fundamental principle of our form of Government. If we begin to lose confidence in the integrity of the leaders of the Government, if we begin to have doubts about our Government’s respect for the law and the Constitution – we are in much more trouble than anything some foreign fanatics could bring upon us. How secure are we when the Government breaks the law?
Subject: Press Coverage for 2006 Elections
Ever since this administration took office strange things have been happening to the media. Some examples (in no particular order):
During the 2000 pseudo-election the media group that did the polling (I forget what their name was...) accurately predicted the outcome. But was criticized and was immediately 'disbanded.'
After 9/11 Karl Rove took a trip to 'Hollywood' and then 2-3 years later, we get bombarded by GOP-friendly movies and TV programs.
Jeff Gannon got a White House press pass.
FOX is still allowed to operate as a network in America.
The FCC reacts to 'letter-writing' campaigns about non-issues.
CBS defangs '60 Minutes.'
PBS is investigated for alleged 'bias.'
Recently, the Tribune Company laid off a large number of employees.
Time follows suit and lays off several dozen people as well.
ABC News exploits Peter Jennings' death by replacing him with 2 hair-dos.
I know I have missed many, many, many examples, but here is my question: could any of this possibly affect the 2006 elections?
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Yes George Walker, There Is a Constitution
*Adapted from "Yes Virginia There Is A Santa Clause" the work of Francis Pharcellus Church in 1897
DEAR EDITOR: I am 59 years old. My Attorney General and Vice President say there is no Constitution. Papa HW says if you see it in the Washington Times it’s so. Please tell me the truth; is there a Constitution?
GEORGE WALKER BUSH 1600 PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE
George Walker, your little Attorney General and Vice President are wrong. They have been affected by fascism of a fascist age. They do not believe what the founding fathers of the United States believed. They think that nothing of which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All neocon minds George, whether they be men’s or women’s, are little. In this great country of ours, neocons are mere insects, mosquitoes, in their intellect as compared with the democrats and independents about them, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.
Yes, George Walker, there is a Constitution. It exists certainly as liberty and truth and democracy exist, and you know that they abound and give to the lives of American citizens its highest beauty and joy. How oppressive would be the United States if there were no Constitution? It would be as oppressive if there were no BARBARA BOXERS, JOHN CONYERS, ROBERT BYRDS OR DENNIS KUCINICHES. There would be no righteous belief in true democracy, no freedom of speech or religion, no separation of church and state to make tolerable our system of government. We would have no civil liberties, except in reading about them from books banned long ago. The eternal light with which democracy fills the world would be extinguished.
Not believe in the Constitution! You might as well not believe in the Bill of Rights! You might get your papa to hire men to wiretap phones of members of PETA, the ACLU, and Gold Star Moms For Peace to hear the Constitution in action, but even if they did not recognize the importance of the Constitution, what would that prove? No one sees the Constitution unless they read it for themselves, but that is no sign that ‘It’s just a damn piece of paper.’ The most real thing in the United States are what neither neocons nor corrupt politicians like Tom DeLay can see. Did you ever see the protest of thousands of anti-war marchers and Cindy Sheehan camping by your lawn? Of course not, because Karen Hughes wouldn’t let you, but that’s no proof they were not there. Neocons cannot conceive or imagine all the wonders the Constitution holds for mankind unseen or seeable in our nation.
Neocons tear apart the words of the Constitution in an effort to weaken its foundation, but there is a veil covering the eyes of neocons, neither the strongest fascist, nor even the united strength of all the strongest Fox News anchors that ever lived can tear apart the meaning of the Constitution. Only holding our elected officials accountable, speaking truth to power and insisting on fair clean elections can push aside the curtain. Is this all real? Ah, George Walker, in all this country there is nothing more real and abiding. No Constitution! Thank GOD or Yaweh or Allah or whomever you choose! It lives and lives forever as long as real American patriots fight for it. A thousand years from now, nay ten thousand years from now, when you are known in history as the WORST PRESIDENT EVER, it will continue to make glad the heart of democracy.
Subject: King George's Reign of Terror
Rich by birth and lazy by inclination, King George, via politics, easily and quite naturally took to terrorism - after he had bottomed-out from snorting a certain white powder. His official entry into terrorism was by way of giving the go-ahead for the execution of dozens of prisoners while he was governor of Texas. He appeared to enjoy said executions because he was caught joking about a woman on death-row after having refused to grant her clemency. As president he readily took to mass-murder and other crimes against humanity such as his illegal and immoral war upon Iraq. At home he specialized in terrorizing we the people for exercising our constitutional right to oppose and resist him and his policies. He even went so far as to subject us patriotic Americans to wire-tapping and other forms of surveillance without his obtaining approval from a judge. Fortunately, before he was able to seize total power (a la Stalin and Hitler) we the people rose up, impeached him and brought the Troops Home Now. Thus ended King George's reign of terror and what a glorious world it's been ever since.
A BuzzFlash Reader
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