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The Torture Question tonight on PBS

The Torture Question tonight on PBS by far, television's most in-depth look at how the controversial interrogation policy evolved after a major power struggle within the Bush administration. (via Rocky Mountain News) The problem, of course, is that it's often the things we'd rather not think about that we most need to hear, especially when those things are actions taken in all of our names with an eye toward making us safer. Ellen Gray Watch a preview here.
posted by tvgurl on Oct 18, 2005 - 41 comments

IRAQ DRAFT BILL OF RIGHTS LEAKED IN ENGLISH

IRAQ DRAFT BILL OF RIGHTS LEAKED IN ENGLISH The al-Mada newspaper on June 30 published what is apparently a draft version of the equivalent to the Bill Of Rights that is being worked on by a subcommittee in the Iraqi legislature. Omar from Iraq The Model first reported this on that day and provided his commentary on the document, but ultimately it was too large to translate. Nathan J. Brown of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace provides a valuable public service by translating the entire document, so a big hat tip to him. Let’s take a quick look at some of the features of this bill, as it is very promising although there are some provisions that need much deeper looking into (and others not so much). Nathan also makes thorough observations. You can read it in full here.
posted by Postroad on Jul 22, 2005 - 14 comments

Filibustering The Frist Center

Princeton Students and Polticians Stage Filibuster -- Princeton students started a filibuster at the Frist Campus Center at Princeton University to protest the impending unloading of the "nuclear option" in the United States Senate. Bill Frist is a Princeton alum and his family donated the building the filibuster is in front of. It's been going on for a whopping 78 hours already and looks to at least go through the weekend. Congressman Rush Holt (D-NJ) spoke earlier today, and NJ Assemblyman Reed Gusciora was there yesterday. They've even got physicists (one and two) and a Nobel Prize winner.
posted by nathanrudy on Apr 29, 2005 - 20 comments

From The Never Ending Story - The Torture Papers

While the proverbial road to hell is paved with good intentions, the internal government memos collected in this publication demonstrate that the path to the purgatory that is Guantanamo Bay, or Abu Ghraib, has been paved with decidedly bad intentions. The policies that resulted in rampant abuse of detainees first in Afghanistan, then at Guantanamo Bay, and later in Iraq, were product of three pernicious purposes designed to facilitate the unilateral and unfettered detention, interrogation, abuse, judgment, and punishment of prisoners: (1) the desire to place the detainees beyond the reach of any court or law; (2) the desire to abrogate the Geneva Convention with respect to the treatment of persons seized in the context of armed hostilities; and (3) the desire to absolve those implementing the policies of any liability for war crimes under U.S. and international law.
Regarding the Torture Papers, which detail Torture's Paper Trail, and, then there's Hungry for Air: Learning The Language Of Torture, and, of course, there's ( more inside)
posted by y2karl on Mar 14, 2005 - 97 comments

Look at all the .gov sites infected by

Look at all the .gov sites infected by the "0wn3d by NoPh0BiA" hack. Sad.
posted by basilwhite on Feb 8, 2005 - 22 comments

Death and Taxes

Death and Taxes: A Visual Look at Where Your (U.S.) Tax Dollars Go
posted by Space Coyote on Jan 3, 2005 - 37 comments

Congressman Matsui (D-CA) Dies of Rare Disease

Congressman dies of rare disease Congressman Bob Matsui, who was recently elected to a 14th term in Congress, has died due to a rare stem cell disease. Matsui, who was one of the leading opponents of President Bush's plan to eliminate Social Security, was the ranking Democrat on the Congressional subcommittee on Social Security.
posted by expriest on Jan 2, 2005 - 26 comments

Yes Virginia, There are Christian ACLU Lawyers

A call for Christian lawyers who have worked for the ACLU. The ACLU tries to be balanced , but considering the amount of effort they have put forth to inhibit Christian influence from/to the government, should a Christian lawyer work for them?
posted by urlnotfound on Dec 27, 2004 - 65 comments

CaliFilter

AmendforArnold&Jen
Founded by a libertarian-turned RINO and a member of the Green Party
posted by magullo on Nov 18, 2004 - 63 comments

Canadian Tax Dollars at Work

Canadian Tax Dollars at Work I am sure there are some hard drinking working Metafilterites out there that could be Canada's official wine co-ordinator. You would have to give wine away to senior politicians and hard stuff like that.
posted by Coop on Jul 20, 2004 - 9 comments

intrerim P.M

IRC nominates one of their own to be interim P.M. U.S. supports this even though only one-tenth of one percent of Iraqis believe they should be making this choice, according to CPA poll.
posted by dreeed on May 28, 2004 - 13 comments

The Alexandria Declaration

The Alexandria Declaration. Between March 14 and 17, 2004, intellectuals, scholars, economists and activists from around the Arab world met at the new Alexandria Library in Egypt for the Arab Reform Conference. Among the recommendations of the conference was that all Arab governments should ratify "all international conventions on the rights of women providing for the abolition of all forms of discrimination against them."
posted by Ty Webb on Mar 29, 2004 - 5 comments

Return of COINTELPRO?

Lost Liberties? Salon has an interesting two part series on the tensions between antiwar protesters and law enforcement. Part 1: "Outlawing dissent: Spying on peace meetings, cracking down on protesters, keeping secret files on innocent people -- how Bush's war on terror has become a war on freedom." Part 2: "A thousand J. Edgar Hoovers: State and local police are taking it upon themselves to investigate antiwar activists -- and in the computer age, the threat to our civil liberties is even greater than it was in Hoover's day." Does Protester = Criminal?
posted by homunculus on Feb 20, 2004 - 2 comments

Job 9:12

World Trade Organisation's Agreement on Government Procurement. "International law? I better call my lawyer. I don't know what you're talking about, about international law," the president said.
posted by the fire you left me on Dec 11, 2003 - 16 comments

richard perle

richard perle has been discussed here before, finds himself caught in his own web again. should this man be allowed to remain on the defense policy board arguably one of the most influential bodies of unelected citizens in the world?
posted by specialk420 on Dec 5, 2003 - 7 comments

It's leaking all over my democracy

Bush orders officials to stop the leaks. News of Bush's order leaked almost immediately. And speaking of leaks, two U.S. officials are the primary sources of information about Israel's Harpoon cruise missiles which may or may not be used to attack Iran.
posted by dejah420 on Oct 16, 2003 - 25 comments

The war on pain relief

The war on drugs is unfairly targeting doctors who prescribe legal pain medication to their patients who suffer from chronic pain, according to a spokeswoman of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. She was speaking at a press conference of patient and physician advocacy groups, sponsored by the Pain Relief Network, in support of Dr. William Hurwitz. Dr. Hurwitz has been indicted and imprisoned for prescribing high doses of opioid pain relievers, as have other pain-management doctors. But these crackdowns may end up doing more harm than good to patients in chronic pain. [More inside.]
posted by homunculus on Oct 13, 2003 - 22 comments

Department of Justice... Ha!

Attorney General Is Closely Linked to Inquiry Figures Karl Rove, President Bush (news - web sites)'s top political adviser, whose possible role in the case has raised questions, was a paid consultant to three of Mr. Ashcroft's campaigns in Missouri, twice for governor and for United States senator, in the 1980's and 1990's, an associate of Mr. Rove said on Wednesday. Jack Oliver, the deputy finance chairman of Mr. Bush's 2004 re-election campaign, was the director of Mr. Ashcroft's 1994 Senate campaign, and later worked as Mr. Ashcroft's deputy chief of staff. No wonder 69% of Americans think that an independent counsel should conduct the investigation.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly on Oct 2, 2003 - 48 comments

Liars telling lies

Historical Revisionism
All text is verbatim from senior Bush Administration officials and advisers. In places, tenses have been changed for clarity.
posted by nofundy on Sep 24, 2003 - 5 comments

Big FCC rollback vote this Tuesday.

Big FCC rollback vote this Tuesday. I know a lot of mefites are passionate about this issue and it looks like Senators Byron Dorgan (D–ND) and Trent Lott (R-MS) are doing something about it. More info, free faxes, etc at the ACLU. Read S.J. res 17 here.
posted by skallas on Sep 15, 2003 - 13 comments

Bird-Dogging the Apocalypse

Bird-Dogging involves showing up at a presentation or speech by a public figure and asking well-informed, pointed questions. Now Bird-Doggers are getting organized. Live near New Hampshire? The American Friends Service Committee has a handy set of tips and a schedule of appearances by the Democratic contenders. What questions would you ask?
posted by alms on Sep 2, 2003 - 24 comments

Four 9/11 Widows Demand Truth

Four 9/11 Widows Demand Truth. "This is a stonewalling job of far greater importance than Watergate. This concerns the refusal of the country’s leadership to be held accountable for the failure to execute its most fundamental responsibility: to protect its citizens against foreign attack. 'If we have an executive branch that holds sole discretion over what information is released to the public and what is hidden, the public will never get the full story of why there was an utter failure to protect them that day, and who should be held accountable.'"
posted by fold_and_mutilate on Aug 25, 2003 - 33 comments

The Not SO Willing And The Not So Able Plus Postwar Window Closing in Iraq

Preparing for War, Stumbling to Peace The Bush administration planned well and won the war with minimal allied casualties. Now, according to interviews with dozens of administration officials, military leaders and independent analysts, missteps in the planning for the subsequent peace could threaten the lives of soldiers and drain U.S. resources indefinitely and cloud the victory itself. Lonely At The Top Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said last week that he hoped to enlist as many as 30,000 troops from 49 nations. The problem, however, is that many of the recruits the Pentagon has tried to line up so far appear to fall into two categories: the not so willing and the not that able. Report: U.S. May Call National Guard for Iraq Duty - The Pentagon could start a call-up of as many as 10,000 U.S. National Guard soldiers by this winter to bolster forces in Iraq and offset a lack of troops from allies, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday. Postwar Window Closing in Iraq, Study Says A team of outside experts dispatched by the Pentagon to assess security and reconstruction operations in Iraq reported yesterday that the window of opportunity for achieving postwar success is closing and requires immediate and dramatic action by U.S. military and civilian personnel. Turning and turning in the widening gyre...
posted by y2karl on Jul 18, 2003 - 52 comments

GIA

Watch the watchers. Government Information Awareness:A single, comprehensive, easy-to-use repository of information on individuals, organizations, and corporations related to the government of the United States of America.
posted by srboisvert on Jul 4, 2003 - 5 comments

The Economy of Policy

No Tax Relief for Married Poor. Because they, presumably, are not American.
posted by the fire you left me on Jun 23, 2003 - 27 comments

Unbelievable....

"When I'm president, we'll have executive orders to overcome any wrong thing the Supreme Court does tomorrow or any other day," said Rep. Dick Gephardt of Missouri. (ABC News link)

Shouldn't there be some sort of SAT test on the Constitution for Presidential candidates? Or...or something?
posted by alumshubby on Jun 23, 2003 - 39 comments

THE TRUTH WILL EMERGE

"And mark my words, the calculated intimidation which we see so often of late by the "powers that be" will only keep the loyal opposition quiet for just so long.  Because eventually, like it always does, the truth will emerge.  And when it does, this house of cards, built of deceit, will fall." This is Senator Byrd, just a light at the end of a very dark and probably very long tunnel.
posted by acrobat on Jun 10, 2003 - 91 comments

new mayor of baghdad

washington picks a new man to run iraq, is this guy really the most qualified man for the job? apparently some people think so.
posted by specialk420 on Apr 6, 2003 - 17 comments

Political Fratricide

Political Fratricide: The GOP is reportedly [+] proposing $15 billion of cuts — or is it $25? — in veterans' benefits between now and 2007, and groups like the Veterans Against the Iraq War are hopping mad. Hell, I imagine the pro-war wing is pretty peeved, too. It's part of a plan with delusions of grandeur to deliver massive tax cuts AND kill the deficit ... you know, the one that did not exist before W was elected, as I understand it ... in six years. The original tip is from Stand Down. The actual status of the cuts is nebulous at this point, however, with the SF Chron reporting that they will likely fail in the Senate as the tax cut is halved and others reporting that the die is not yet cast. The House budget resolution, for metafilter accountants who like these things, is here.
posted by hairyeyeball on Apr 1, 2003 - 12 comments

Civil Disobedience-Thoreau

Civil Disobedience-Henry David Thoreau Nothing in here about blocking traffic but a very important historical document for our time. "The government itself, which is only the mode which the people have chosen to execute their will, is equally liable to be abused and perverted before the people can act through it. Witness the present Mexican war, the work of comparatively a few individuals using the standing government as their tool; for in the outset, the people would not have consented to this measure.".................. ............ "A democracy, is a progress toward a true respect for the individual. Even the Chinese philosopher was wise enough to regard the individual as the basis of the empire. Is a democracy, such as we know it, the last improvement possible in government? Is it not possible to take a step further towards recognizing and organizing the rights of man? There will never be a really free and enlightened State until the State comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived, and treats him accordingly. "
posted by thedailygrowl on Mar 21, 2003 - 10 comments

who is this richard perle guy anyway?

who is this richard perle guy anyway?

is anyone else a little concerned with some of his views and associations being one of the top advisors to our current administration?
posted by specialk420 on Mar 10, 2003 - 33 comments

Zoe and the DMCA

Rep. Zoe Lofgren's BALANCE act attempts to protect "Fair Use" rights from harmful legislation like the DMCA. Some related links: [summary] [whats wrong with the DMCA?]
posted by skallas on Mar 7, 2003 - 4 comments

Coleen Rowley warns of more attacks

After her experience in the weeks before Sept. 11, she said, "I promised myself that in the future I always would try." Time magazine person of the year - Coleen Rowley warns of more attacks. Is she doing the right thing or out of line by going public with warning?
posted by specialk420 on Mar 6, 2003 - 45 comments

Futile gesture #5139

Virtual march on Washington. "On February 26th, in every Senate office and in the White House, the phones will be ringing off their hooks...Working together, we'll direct a steady stream of phone calls - about one per minute, all day...while at the same time delivering a constant stream of emails and faxes."
posted by gottabefunky on Feb 25, 2003 - 52 comments

hundo

"Feith and Luti see everybody not one hundred per cent with them as one hundred per cent against them—it's a very Manichaean world," a defense consultant said. the "Office of Special Plans"???? i thought the new homeland security bill was going to get people to start working together?
posted by specialk420 on Dec 26, 2002 - 1 comment

Election World

PoliSciFilter! Say you really wanted to know how the recent elections in the Seychelles went, or you needed to know the URL for the Turkish Communist Party. Check out Election World, rounding out the trio of recently posted political reference websites with a semi-comprehensive non-partisan database of every national election in every country on earth, including some countries where the results don't mean all that much, and some ominous blank spots where there are no election results worth reporting, plus a massive list of political parties (with weblinks) from virtually all over. Of course, if you want to find out whether these trappings of democracy are actually making a difference in people's lives, it's worth reading the Country Reports in the annual Freedom in the World survey, or just checking out what color country you're in on the PDF Map of Freedom.
posted by sexualchocolate on Dec 21, 2002 - 1 comment

Educate. Prevent. Practice Safer Sex. Demand Needle Exchange Programs. End HIV/AIDS Discrimination.

Educate. Prevent. Practice Safer Sex. Insist On Needle Exchange Programs. End HIV/AIDS Discrimination. Demand Adequate Treatment for Low Income HIV+ Persons. (And fight like hell against those who drag their feet on public health issues for the sake of ideology.)
posted by fold_and_mutilate on Dec 1, 2002 - 2 comments

Florida Machine Records Votes for Wrong Candidate.

Florida Machine Records Votes for Wrong Candidate. OK, I know Matt Drudge isn't exactly a venerated news outlet, but he is in South Florida. And he's reporting that a West Palm Beach voter called in to a South Florida radio talk show to report that when he voted for McBride this morning the machine counted his vote for Bush. After he'd tried three times, the voter said, an observing poll worker finally acknowledged that the machine would have to be reprogrammed, since earlier voters had experienced the same problem. There is no official confirmation of this problem, but calls to the same radio show two years ago evidently foreshadowed the 2000 election debacle. I'll be keeping an eye on sites like Josh Marshall's Talking Points Memo as the day wears on. In the end, what should the electorate do (in addition to initiating lawsuits) if outcome-determining irregularities surface in yet another Florida election?
posted by maud on Nov 5, 2002 - 68 comments

Government favors at Auction Prices.

Government favors at Auction Prices. The Bill Simon campaign gets it... they really get it.
posted by mikewas on Aug 30, 2002 - 7 comments

Lobsters, caviar and brandy for MPs at summit on starvation.

Lobsters, caviar and brandy for MPs at summit on starvation. Is this really a scandal? Or typical tabloid pabulum? Yes, it is hypocritical, but is it worse than rich people who don't claim to give a damn about the poor eating caviar and swilling champagne? Matt thinks it's "sick".
posted by goethean on Aug 26, 2002 - 27 comments

Administration Says It Can Attack Iraq without Congressional Approval

Administration Says It Can Attack Iraq without Congressional Approval Not a new story, per se, but this Post article lays out pretty well the arguments behind the administration's case, one being simply Bush's role as commander-in-chief. It's strange how closely this issue reflects earlier attempts by the administration to avoid Congressional and/or public scrutiny (Cheney's Enron meetings, for example). Why this aversion, and why fight so hard? And I have a sneaking fear that Bush will seek Congressional approval only after invading, and he will bully votes by claiming that reps have a patriotic duty to support a president in a time of war.
posted by risenc on Aug 26, 2002 - 65 comments

House likely to approve homeland security bill that erodes labor protections

House likely to approve homeland security bill that erodes labor protections "But the Senate, which likely takes up the matter next week, so far has pursued a much different course. On Thursday, the Democratic-led Senate Governmental Affairs Committee crafted legislation that would protect all current civil service protections and make it more difficult for the president to move workers out of unions. Bush and other Republicans said the measure would give the president less authority than he has now."

The House seems to be so much more conservative and extremist than the Senate. Heck they're still working on trying to ban selected types of abortion procedures even when there's a strong chance it won't pass constitutional muster and the Senate isn't likely to support them.

Is it your perception that the House is more conservative? If so, why do you think that's true?
posted by Red58 on Jul 26, 2002 - 19 comments

Non-citizens put on notice to file change in addresses

Non-citizens put on notice to file change in addresses
The Ashcroft Gestapo strikes again!

If a permanent resident doesn't file this change-in-address form, they are talking about penalties up to and including deportion! Note we aren't talking about student visa holders or anything like that .. we are talking about people who have lived in this country for 10 .. 20 .. 30 years or more in many cases.

This country is really turning into a police state the way things are going.
posted by ssheth on Jul 23, 2002 - 44 comments

Department of Homeland Security to be exempt from the Freedom of Information Act and the Whistleblower Protection Act?

Department of Homeland Security to be exempt from the Freedom of Information Act and the Whistleblower Protection Act? The last episode of NOW ran a piece on the FOIA which described how back in 1974 President Ford and his staff, which included Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney, opposed Congress' strengthening of the FOIA, and Ford tried unsuccessfully to veto it. Now this new exemption looks like the continuation of a 28 year-old feud. Ridge says it is in order to not "draw a road map of critical infrastructure vulnerabilities," but are complete exemptions really necessary for that? The potential for abuse seems quite dangerous. (Some previous discussions of FOIA revelations here and here).
posted by homunculus on Jul 1, 2002 - 17 comments

Jaw-drop-inducing link of the day

Jaw-drop-inducing link of the day The federal government spent $62 million on a building to store and treat low-level radioactive waste at a California nuclear weapons laboratory, then decided the structure wasn't secure enough. So where is the waste kept now?
... Right outside the new building, under tents.

posted by magullo on Jun 10, 2002 - 11 comments

Government Will Ease Limits on Domestic Spying by F.B.I.

Government Will Ease Limits on Domestic Spying by F.B.I. (NY Times link) As part of a sweeping effort to transform the F.B.I. into a domestic terrorism prevention agency, Attorney General John Ashcroft has decided to relax restrictions on the bureau's ability to conduct domestic spying in counterterrorism operations, senior government officials said today. Here's the Wash. Post's take on the story.
posted by Ty Webb on May 30, 2002 - 21 comments

Anthrax and the Agency

Anthrax and the Agency "Now that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has officially put the anthrax investigation on a back burner, it is time for Americans to think the unthinkable: that the FBI has never been keen to identify the perpetrator because that perpetrator may, in fact, be the U.S. Government itself. Evidence is mounting that the source of the anthrax was a top secret U.S. Army laboratory in Maryland and that the perpetrators involve high-level officials in the U.S. military and intelligence infrastructure." Granted, there's more than a few blips on the radar screen these days, but...whatever happened to this investigation? I'm no conspiracy theorist, but the case laid out in this piece gives me pause. Any other good theories out there?
posted by martk on Apr 10, 2002 - 21 comments

I'm curious,

I'm curious, isn't this exactly opposite of what we're being told? I'm always hearing the wealthy are benefitting somehow from GWB's new tax plan. I'm certainly no-where near the top 5%, and now I don't want to be.
posted by the_0ne on Apr 9, 2002 - 54 comments

Well

Well this is is odd
posted by delmoi on Apr 4, 2002 - 20 comments

The need for an economic stimulus bill

The need for an economic stimulus bill appears to have taken on new urgency, now that the recovery is already underway. I'm glad both parties found enough irrelevent stuff they wanted to pass anyway that they could get a bill through.
posted by electro on Mar 8, 2002 - 1 comment

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