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AUMF

60 Words And A War Without End: The Untold Story Of The Most Dangerous Sentence In U.S. History. "Written in the frenzied, emotional days after 9/11, the Authorization for the Use of Military Force was intended to give President Bush the ability to retaliate against whoever orchestrated the attacks. But more than 12 years later, this sentence remains the primary legal justification for nearly every covert operation around the world. Here’s how it came to be, and what it’s since come to mean." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Jan 17, 2014 - 23 comments

Guantanamo: An Oral History

Guantanamo: An Oral History
posted by reenum on Jan 12, 2012 - 8 comments

The GOP War on Voting

The GOP War on Voting [more inside]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Sep 3, 2011 - 263 comments

George W. Obama

In a 32 page report to Congress [pdf] President Obama concludes:
...the current U.S. military operations in Libya are consistent with the War Powers Resolution and do not under that law require further congressional authorization, because U.S. military operations are distinct from the kind of “hostilities” contemplated by the Resolution’s 60 day termination provision.
Now, the New York Times reports that this legal opinion was reached by rejecting the views of top lawyers at the Pentagon and the Justice Department. It is instructive to compare President Obama's actions with those of his predecessor, George W. Bush. [more inside]
posted by ennui.bz on Jun 20, 2011 - 240 comments

If hundreds of innocent individuals had to suffer in order to detain a handful of hardcore terrorists, so be it.

"George W. Bush Knew Guantanamo Prisoners Were Innocent." In a signed declaration filed as part of a pending lawsuit on behalf of former Guantanamo Bay detainees and obtained by The Times, Lawrence Wilkerson, a high ranking aide to former Republican Secretary of State Colin Powell, makes the stunning claim that: "George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld covered up that hundreds of innocent men were sent to the Guantánamo Bay prison camp because they feared that releasing them would harm the push for war in Iraq and the broader War on Terror." (via)
posted by saulgoodman on Apr 9, 2010 - 101 comments

It was worse than you thought.

The Obama Justice Department has released nine legal memos from the Bush administration that assert broad extra-Constitutional powers for the president. The memos assert that both the First and Fourth Amendments may be subordinated to the needs of wartime. [more inside]
posted by EarBucket on Mar 2, 2009 - 81 comments

Three Opinions On What to Do With the Bush Administration's Misdeeds

Bringing Justice to the War on Terrorism. 3 views on how the incoming administration should deal with the legal legacy of Bush Administration policies like torture, surveillance, and extraordinary rendition. Charles Fried makes the case against criminal prosecutions, Dahlia Lithwick makes the case for investigations followed by prosecutions, and Jack Balkin argues for truth commissions. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Jan 11, 2009 - 80 comments

Cats Defending Henhouses

Worried about social-network data mining? Facebook hires Ted Ullyot, former right-hand man to former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, as its general counsel. Tapping Ullyot, who worked on the infamous torture memo and other illustrious projects, is a sign that the burgeoning Scrabble platform "is a little more grown-up," says Facebook public-policy VP Elliot Schrage.
posted by digaman on Sep 30, 2008 - 40 comments

Presidential Crimes

Presidential Crimes: Moving on is not an option. "In deciding about legal redress, we need to be clear about the large stakes in our decision. The very multiplicity of the apparent crimes, the sheer array of arguably broken laws, is dizzying. But that multiplicity must be faced, for in it we will see that what got in President Bush’s way was not any one law but the rule of law itself. It is the rule of law that has been put in jeopardy by a project of executive domination; it is the rule of law that will continue to be in peril; and it is only, therefore, by addressing the crimes through legal instruments—through a formal, legal arena, and not simply through the electoral repudiation of bad policy—that the grave and widespread damage stands a chance of being repaired."
posted by homunculus on Sep 8, 2008 - 96 comments

Life and death of a black and white

Texas executes Mexican national who was denied consul visit. [more inside]
posted by mrducts on Aug 6, 2008 - 121 comments

The Audacity of Government

A very special 'This American Life' about an administration with the endemic belief that laws only apply to the little people, and a limitless refusal to concede on even petty issues, no matter the costs. The highlight is about immigrant widows of US citizens (30:50). The program also discusses the constitutional beliefs of the presidential candidates. [more inside]
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Apr 2, 2008 - 43 comments

Al Odah v. U.S. and Boumediene v. Bush

Al Odah v. U.S. and Boumediene v. Bush go before SCOTUS Streaming on C-Span today. The Center for Constitutional Rights (great podcast) will argue before the Supreme Court today:
Immediately after the Supreme Court’s decision in Rasul, The Center for Constitutional Rights and cooperating counsel filed 11 new habeas petitions in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia on behalf of over 70 detainees. These cases eventually became the consolidated cases of Al Odah v. United Statesand Boumediene v. Bush, the leading cases determining the significance of the Supreme Court’s decision in Rasul, the rights of non-citizens to challenge the legality of their detention in an offshore U.S. military base, and the constitutionality of the Military Commissions Act of 2006.

posted by ao4047 on Dec 5, 2007 - 29 comments

Court martial begins for Guantanamo JAG who leaked detainee list

It began with an innocent-looking Valentine's Day card in 2005. Inside the card were several slips of paper, a hastily cut-up printout of names of 550 secret detainees at Guantanamo Bay. The human rights lawyer who received "this weird valentine" handed it over to authorities, and this week the court martial begins for JAG LtCmdr Matthew Diaz, facing 36 years for divulging state secrets.
Whither goest thou, American Jurisprudence?
posted by planetkyoto on May 15, 2007 - 47 comments

Bikes Against Bush

NYPD Intelligence Op Targets Dot-Matrix Graffiti Bike. More details on the premeditated arrest of Joshua Kinberg by the NYPD just before the 2004 Republican National Convention. Kinberg, now the CEO of FireAnt, was targeted by the "R.N.C. Intelligence Squad" for his Bikes Against Bush project. The police lost his Xtracycle. [Via BB.]
posted by homunculus on Apr 10, 2007 - 66 comments

But PURGEgate? I'm sorry, that's a dumb name.

The Purgegate Primer is a helpful document from The Morning News to assist all us armchair pundits in making sense of the U.S. Attorney scandal. Brought to us by the letter Q and recently-mentioned defective yeti, who it seems is about more than just laughs. (Also see his Plamegate Cheatsheet.)
posted by JHarris on Apr 3, 2007 - 55 comments

Top Secret: We're Wiretapping You

Top Secret: We're Wiretapping You It could be a scene from Kafka or Brazil. Imagine a government agency, in a bureaucratic foul-up, accidentally gives you a copy of a document marked "top secret." And it contains a log of some of your private phone calls. You read it and ponder it and wonder what it all means. Then, two months later, the FBI shows up at your door, demands the document back and orders you to forget you ever saw it.
posted by Postroad on Mar 5, 2007 - 29 comments

Scooter throws Turd Blossom under the bus

Politics/PlameFilter: In opening arguments today in the Plame investigation perjury case against Vice President Cheney's former Chief of Staff I. Lewis Libby, the prosecutor portrayed Libby as an agent of a Cheney-driven media offensive. Perhaps the biggest surprise of the day came from Libby's attorney, who portrayed his client as a White House-chosen scapegoat for Karl Rove's misdeeds. A conservative reporter saw in Libby's emerging defense a "dramatic split inside the Bush White House." An MSNBC host asked whether this hullabaloo could lead to Cheney's resignation. Background on the case. Liveblogging of today's arguments from an anti-administration perspective.
posted by ibmcginty on Jan 23, 2007 - 16 comments

Guantanamo Bay: 5th Anniversay Today Triggers International Protests

Jan. 11, 2002, the first 20 detainees, shackled and blindfolded, arrived from Afghanistan .... and since then, nearly 800 prisoners have passed through the detention center in southeastern Cuba. To mark the anniversary, demonstrations are planned Thursday in New York, London, Sydney, Australia, and other cities as well as dozens of small towns in the United States and Britain. Gitmo Detainees Join Hunger Strike .... & .... WikiPeidia History Article
posted by Bodyguard on Jan 11, 2007 - 7 comments

Bringing Bush to Court

United States v. George W. Bush et al. Retired federal prosecutor Elizabeth de la Vega has written a hypothetical indictment for a hypothetical grand jury charging President George W. Bush, Vice President Richard Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and former Secretary of State Colin Powell of violating Title 18, United States Code, Section 371, thereby commiting a conspiracy to defraud the United States by tricking the nation into war. Though a work of fiction, the evidence presented is real. Part 1 is the introdutction, part 2 is the indictment, and part 3 is the beginning of grand jury testimony, with more to come over the next few days.
posted by homunculus on Dec 1, 2006 - 23 comments

"This agression will not stand."

Benjamin B. Ferencz, a chief prosecutor in the Nuremberg war crimes trials, believes that President Bush should be put on trial. Mr. Ferencz previously discussed the War On Terror shortly after 9/11.
posted by EarBucket on Aug 28, 2006 - 20 comments

Pig in the parlor

"If this program is unlawful, federal law expressly makes the ordering of surveillance under the program a federal felony. That would mean that the president could be guilty of no fewer than 30 felonies in office." George Washington University Law Professor Jonathan Turley on what's missing in the latest debate over the NSA program. [Bugmenot, Via Glenn Greenwald.]
posted by homunculus on Aug 21, 2006 - 33 comments

ABA Gives Wallace 'Not Qualified' Rating, Stiffs Spector

Looks like the battle over Bush's judicial nominations may be back on. In February, Bush nominated Michael B. Wallace to a seat on the Fifth Circuit. Not long after, the ABA Standing Committee on Federal Judiciary, which evaluates the professional qualifications of all nominees for the federal bench, gave Wallace a 'not qualified' rating. With that rating, Wallace joins company with other similarly unqualified judicial nominees such Richard Posner, Frank Easterbrook, and J. Harvie Wilkinson III. [more inside]
posted by monju_bosatsu on Jul 26, 2006 - 70 comments

ABA Rejects Presidential Signing Statements

In June, the American Bar Association created a task force to investigate President Bush's use of signing statements to qualify his approval of certain laws. Some of the members of the task force, among others, testified before Congress, and today the task force issued its final report and recommendations [pdf]. Its conclusion: "American Bar Association opposes, as contrary to the rule of law and our constitutional system of separation of powers, the issuance of presidential signing statements that claim the authority or state the intention to disregard or decline to enforce all or part of a law the President has signed, or to interpret such a law in a manner inconsistent with the clear intent of Congress."
posted by monju_bosatsu on Jul 24, 2006 - 43 comments

Luttig resigns Fourth Circuit post.

Luttig Resigns. Judge J. Michael Luttig, long considered a front-runner for a Supreme Court nomination, at least until he was passed over by President Bush, has resigned his position on the Fourth circuit. Luttig will take over as general counsel to Boeing. Read Boeing's press release and Luttig's resignation letter [pdf].
posted by monju_bosatsu on May 10, 2006 - 29 comments

Rule of Law?

...Bush has been aggressive about declaring his right to ignore vast swaths of laws -- many of which he says infringe on power he believes the Constitution assigns to him alone ... President Bush has quietly claimed the authority to disobey more than 750 laws enacted since he took office, asserting that he has the power to set aside any statute passed by Congress when it conflicts with his interpretation of the Constitution. ... Long, eyeopening article laying out what laws have been ignored and why. ...Bush has cast a cloud over 'the whole idea that there is a rule of law," because no one can be certain of which laws Bush thinks are valid and which he thinks he can ignore. 'Where you have a president who is willing to declare vast quantities of the legislation that is passed during his term unconstitutional, it implies that he also thinks a very significant amount of the other laws that were already on the books before he became president are also unconstitutional," ...
posted by amberglow on Apr 30, 2006 - 85 comments

Black-Bag Jobs

"Don't worry Mr. President, we have Kansas surrounded." Warrantless searches: they're not just for wiretaps anymore. U.S. News and World Report probes the Bush administration's covert drive to conduct physical searches of American homes without court approval.
posted by digaman on Mar 19, 2006 - 52 comments

Secret Justice

Newsfilter: Secret arrests, secret renditions, secret interrogations in secret jails, and now, secret rulings from US federal judges. More fallout from the Bush administration's NSA domestic-spying program [recently discussed here].
posted by digaman on Mar 11, 2006 - 70 comments

Zen and the art of Presidential usurpation

Back when President Bush declared a state of emergency, then did it again, and people were wondering Could Terrorism Result In A Constitutional Dictator? I was reminded of the UN invasion paranoia under Clinton and Senate Report 93-549, written in 1973, which said "Since March 9, 1933, the United States has been in a state of declared national emergency." and the question was have we been living in a state of National Emergency for over six decades? Back then it was easy to write off with the tinfoil hat crowd. But it seems throughout the nation's history, presidents have in fact been using executive orders on "emergencies" to circumvent the Constitution's division of power.
posted by Smedleyman on Feb 16, 2006 - 21 comments

Covert Propaganda

Ethicsgate continues: Today, the bipartisan Government Accountability Office declared that the Bush administration broke the law by paying Armstrong Williams to write favorable columns about the No Child Left Behind Act, funneling public funds to a PR firm to sift through news stories and gauge media perception of Bush policies, and financing phony TV news reports giving the President's education policies "an A-plus," creating what the GAO called "covert propaganda." [Williams et. al. previously discussed here.]
posted by digaman on Sep 30, 2005 - 59 comments

Howard Dean Again Ratchets up Anti-Bush Rhetoric.

Howard Dean Again Ratchets up Anti-Bush Rhetoric, this time blaming the President's right-wing supreme court for the recent Kelo ruling. These comments strike some as confusing, seeing as how none of the justices at the time were appointed by the President, and 3 of the dissenters are considered to be the most conservative members on the bench.
posted by dsquid on Jul 31, 2005 - 73 comments

at least it's not Luttig?

the Supreme Court Short List --read it and weep, or not. CNN is already reporting it's John Roberts, and not Edith Clements. Bush announces at 9pm est. Roberts worked for both Reagan and Bush 1, btw.
posted by amberglow on Jul 19, 2005 - 185 comments

Then again, he was great in Hawaii 5-0

"I don't see how you can be president at least from my perspective, how you can be president, without a relationship with the Lord," said George W. Bush yesterday. (Really? I do.) While giant crosses are banned from next Thursday's inauguration, Jesus likely won't be, despite Michael Newdow's protestations. By the way, the benediction is scheduled to be delivered by The Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell, who also got the honor in 2001. Back then, he said to millions of bowed heads gathered to mark the beginning of the Bush presidency: "We respectfully submit this humble prayer in the name that's above all other names, Jesus, the Christ. Let all who agree say, 'Amen.'" After gay rights, is discrimination against atheists the next great civil rights battle of our time? Or should we just shut up and move to France?
posted by Saucy Intruder on Jan 12, 2005 - 90 comments

What you do in Vegas stays in your file

The FBI has been given increased surveillance powers without court oversight under the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004, which was signed into law on the day Saddam was captured. The law was recently used to have hotels and airlines in Las Vegas turn over guest and passenger names and information for the holiday period.
posted by homunculus on Jan 7, 2004 - 35 comments

Check out the new $200 bill.

Check out the new $200 bill.
posted by sierray on Sep 15, 2003 - 19 comments

Anti-Religious Discrimination or Seperation of Church and State?

The Bush administration has today stepped into the Supreme Court’s next major church-state case, by siding with the ACLJ and asking the high court to allow a state merit scholarship to be applied towards a degree in theology at a Christian College. Is this a valid example of the separation of Church and State, or unreasonable anti-religious discrimination? More inside.
posted by gd779 on Sep 11, 2003 - 18 comments

Stop Prisoner Rape

Bush signs a bill into law that very few people will have anything bad to say about. Most of those who would oppose the new law can't vote, anyway, being members of predatory prison gangs, so I think we're pretty much good on this one.
posted by majcher on Sep 5, 2003 - 51 comments

We interrupt your war on terror to attack abortion rights...
The Bush administration has declared that a fetus is an unborn child. And why not? Everyone believes in prenatal care. And of course, if the government wanted to extend medical coverage to poor pregnant women under the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIPS), it could have done so directly. But then, what fun is that?
posted by jellybuzz on Jan 31, 2002 - 84 comments

The most sensible take I've seen on Enron and Bush. Once all the fuss has died down—Congress is currently planning ten separate inquiries—two good things will probably have come out of the Enron mess. Companies will no longer be allowed to use their pension programs to treat their employees as an especially loyal and malleable class of shareholder; instead, pension funds will have to be diversified. And accounting firms will no longer be allowed to act as paid consultants to the companies they audit, as Arthur Andersen did with Enron. New Yorker link, no registration required.
posted by jfuller on Jan 23, 2002 - 9 comments

Bush to Waive Helms-Burton Law

Bush to Waive Helms-Burton Law Under pressure from key European allies, President Bush is poised to reverse a campaign position, and in the process, screw over the Cubans in Florida.
posted by Rastafari on Jul 13, 2001 - 8 comments

This White House will Have a Long Memory.....

This White House will Have a Long Memory..... "To join the coalition, you must agree to support the Bush energy proposal in its entirety and not to lobby for changes to the bill... Should the bill change, you must support the changes in the legislation or drop out of the coalition. If you are caught attempting to lobby behind the back of the White House, you will be expelled from the coalition. I have been advised that this White House 'will have a long memory.'" -- Fundraising memo for the Alliance for Energy and Economic Growth, a month-old trade group consisting of representatives from the various energy industries. The letter puts the admission to the group at "a very low price" of $5,000.
posted by brucec on Jun 22, 2001 - 11 comments

Bush Wants to Settle Tobacco Case

Bush Wants to Settle Tobacco Case Two Bush administration sources said there has been concern about the government's case. These officials, discussing the matter only on grounds of anonymity, said the department would prefer to go for a settlement now rather than risk losing.
posted by Rastafari on Jun 19, 2001 - 6 comments

The Bush Pardons

The Bush Pardons More pardon fun!... An interesting flip side to the pardon coin.
posted by saralovering on Feb 27, 2001 - 9 comments

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