Archive for the 'George W. Bush' Category

Dennis Kucinich: Articles of Impeachment

Dennis J. Kucinich of Ohio
In the United States House of Representatives
Monday, June 9th, 2008
A Resolution
INDEX
Article I
Creating a Secret Propaganda Campaign to Manufacture a False Case for War Against Iraq.
Article II
Falsely, Systematically, and with Criminal Intent Conflating the Attacks of September 11, 2001, With
Misrepresentation of Iraq as a Security Threat as Part of Fraudulent Justification for a War of
Aggression.
Article III
Misleading the American People and Members of Congress to Believe Iraq Possessed Weapons of
Mass Destruction, to Manufacture a False Case for War.
Article IV
Misleading the American People and Members of Congress to Believe Iraq Posed an Imminent Threat
to the United States.
Article V
Illegally Misspending Funds to Secretly Begin a War of Aggression.
Article VI
Invading Iraq in Violation of the Requirements of HJRes114.
Article VII
Invading Iraq Absent a Declaration of War.
Article VIII
Invading Iraq, A Sovereign Nation, in Violation of the UN Charter.
Article IX
Failing to Provide Troops With Body Armor and Vehicle Armor
Article X
Falsifying Accounts of US Troop Deaths and Injuries for Political Purposes
Article XI
Establishment of Permanent U.S. Military Bases in Iraq
Article XII
Initiating a War Against Iraq for Control of That Nation’s Natural Resources
Article XIIII
Creating a Secret Task Force to Develop Energy and Military Policies With Respect to Iraq and Other
Countries
Article XIV
Misprision of a Felony, Misuse and Exposure of Classified Information And Obstruction of Justice in
the Matter of Valerie Plame Wilson, Clandestine Agent of the Central Intelligence Agency
Article XV
Providing Immunity from Prosecution for Criminal Contractors in Iraq
Article XVI
Reckless Misspending and Waste of U.S. Tax Dollars in Connection With Iraq and US Contractors
Article XVII
Illegal Detention: Detaining Indefinitely And Without Charge Persons Both U.S. Citizens and Foreign
Captives
Article XVIII
Torture: Secretly Authorizing, and Encouraging the Use of Torture Against Captives in Afghanistan,
Iraq, and Other Places, as a Matter of Official Policy
Article XIX
Rendition: Kidnapping People and Taking Them Against Their Will to “Black Sites” Located in Other
Nations, Including Nations Known to Practice Torture
Article XX
Imprisoning Children
Article XXI
Misleading Congress and the American People About Threats from Iran, and Supporting Terrorist
Organizations Within Iran, With the Goal of Overthrowing the Iranian Government
Article XXII
Creating Secret Laws
Article XXIII
Violation of the Posse Comitatus Act
Article XXIV
Spying on American Citizens, Without a Court-Ordered Warrant, in Violation of the Law and the
Fourth Amendment
Article XXV
Directing Telecommunications Companies to Create an Illegal and Unconstitutional Database of the
Private Telephone Numbers and Emails of American Citizens
Article XXVI
Announcing the Intent to Violate Laws with Signing Statements
Article XXVII
Failing to Comply with Congressional Subpoenas and Instructing Former Employees Not to Comply
Article XXVIII
Tampering with Free and Fair Elections, Corruption of the Administration of Justice
Article XXIX
Conspiracy to Violate the Voting Rights Act of 1965
Article XXX
Misleading Congress and the American People in an Attempt to Destroy Medicare
Article XXXI
Katrina: Failure to Plan for the Predicted Disaster of Hurricane Katrina, Failure to Respond to a Civil
Emergency
Article XXXII
Misleading Congress and the American People, Systematically Undermining Efforts to Address Global
Climate Change
Article XXXIII
Repeatedly Ignored and Failed to Respond to High Level Intelligence Warnings of Planned Terrorist
Attacks in the US, Prior to 911.
Article XXXIV
Obstruction of the Investigation into the Attacks of September 11, 2001
Article XXXV
Endangering the Health of 911 First Responders
____________

Continue reading ‘Dennis Kucinich: Articles of Impeachment’

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Gore Vidal Storms the UK

A still-vital Vidal says he’s ready to kill!

Gore Vidal

One of my favorite political essayists and commentators, Gore Vidal , is on a brief visit to the UK.

I became aware of this on Friday evening, while listening to BBC Radio 4’s Front Row, on which Mark Lawson interviewed him.

The BBC website bills this interview thus:

The American novelist, essayist and playwright Gore Vidal is on a brief visit to the UK. In a rare interview the controversial veteran writer reflects on a life of letters, in particular the recently-published second part of his memoir, Point to Point Navigation, which covers the years 1964-2006.

It would appear that this interview is not as rare as the BBC would have us believe, for, while searching for it on Google, I found several other interviews with British journalists that Vidal has given within the last week.

The first was with the very high-brow presenter, Melvyn Bragg, and recorded in Gore Vidal’s home in El Lay for the equally high-brow TV show, South Bank, which was shown last Sunday on ITV1. In an article titled, The still-vital Vidal, which appeared in last Monday’s Daily Telegraph, James Walton says:

It’s ITV1 and the two men on the screen are discussing Aristotle and the essays of Montaigne. So yes, it can only be The South Bank Show (Sunday). Quite how Melvyn Bragg gets away with bucking television trends so heroically, I’m still not sure. Nonetheless, when the result is as good as it was here, your main reaction has to be one of simple gratitude.

Bragg’s guest was Gore Vidal, who, after four decades in Italy, has returned to America for what he calls, with characteristic lack of euphemism, “the hospital years”. Now 82 and the last survivor of that generation of great American writers who’d fought in the Second World War (the others included Joseph Heller, Norman Mailer and Kurt Vonnegut), Vidal did need the odd moment last night to gather his thoughts. Yet, once he had, his fondness and talent for a good scrap proved as stirring as ever. In the end, the effect was like seeing an old prize-fighter who may not be as fast as he used to be, but who can still land a punch with the best of them.

Vidal’s targets were wide-ranging – from John Updike to the entire history of Christianity. Naturally, George W Bush got it in the neck for being, among other things, “literally demented”. But the President’s policy of “perpetual war for perpetual peace” was also placed in its long-standing historical context, which meant an equally thorough pounding for Harry Truman and John F Kennedy.

A write-up of the interview also appeared in The Australian, which began:

Gore Vidal – author, political activist and, perhaps now, former Clinton family friend – has skewered Hillary Clinton in an interview with the BBC, describing her campaign strategy as “insane” and suggesting that her “search for the holy grail has driven her crazy”.

The 82-year-old told British broadcaster Melvyn Bragg that he believed Barack Obama was better educated and better prepared for the presidency than was former US president John F. Kennedy when he was elected.

But the famously irascible commentator, who recently returned to live in the US after spending more than 30 years in Italy, saves his most brutal appraisal for presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain, whom he describes as a “goddamned fool”.

On Thursday, Channel 4 News anchorman, Jon Snow, interviewed Vidal, questioning him on the American presidential campaign, during which Vidal dismissed John McCain as Mr Magoo and says he should have been court-martialled, and spoke of the bitter race to win the Democratic nomination. He was also highly critical of the Bush administration and said that Bush and Gonzalez (former Attorney General) had between them destroyed the Constitution. When asked if he considered it a great gift or a curse still to be angry in his 80s, he replied without hesitation: “A gift. I’m ready to kill!”

Returning from the interview, Snow wrote on the Channel 4 website:

I’ve just come back from Claridges. An ornate hotel in the west end whose most famous guest today is the grand old man of American letters, Gore Vidal. I have never met such an angry 82-year-old. He is absolutely on fire in our interview. And if I give you the final line, you’ll get a sense of how it is. “I’m ready to kill!”

Actually he talks very interestingly about the election and the outgoing Bush administration.

On the same day, he appeared on stage in the south-coast seaside resort, Brighton, where he was interviewed by journalist, Andrew Marr. Writing in the following day’s Guardian, Ben Marshall said:

It was a strange sensation to see Gore Vidal wheeled on stage in Brighton last night. As his recent appearance on the South Bank Show revealed, Vidal is, for the first time ever, looking, if not sounding, his age. He was born in 1925, the year F Scott Fitzgerald published The Great Gatsby, but he still has something of the enfant terrible about him, even sitting trembling and shrunken in a wheelchair. Furthermore he seems, in his archness and studied pomposity, to belong to a time I fancifully imagine, and he credibly claims, to have been altogether more thoughtful and civilised than our own.

On Friday, Vidal appeared on the Aljazeera programme, Frost Over the World, during which he told Sir David Frost why he believes Hillary Clinton has lost the battle to become the Democratic presidential candidate and why, if Barack Obama were elected president, it would be a sign of progress for the US.

Another interview with Vidal appeared in Friday’s Spectator, in which he told Mary Wakefield that America has forgotten its constitutional roots, and explains why Bobby Kennedy was ‘the biggest son of a bitch in politics’.

Yesterday, an interview, presumably given before Vidal’s departure to the UK, appeared in The Guardian, in which Vidal told James Campbell: “This country is finished. But, with a new republic like this, if you missed being here at the beginning, the next best thing is to be here at the end.”

Today, Ricard Lea in The Guardian reports:

Gore Vidal’s progress through the UK continues with an appearance at the Hay festival. He rolled on stage to warm applause yesterday, stick in hand, tie a little askew, collar escaping from the confines of his jacket, and carried on more or less where he’d left off in Brighton.

Vidal seems to want to answer every question with a quip, each one delivered with the timing of a born raconteur, each one greeted with a wave of comfortable laughter. For Hillary Clinton to be Barack Obama’s vice president “would be embarrassing for everybody”, John McCain is “intellectually in George W Bush’s league”, and his old age has brought not wisdom, but something else – “I think senility is the word you’re looking for.” He is less keen to answer at length, unless a question provides an opportunity for an anecdote, preferably one which gives a chance to throw in a brief imitation, whether of Jack Kennedy, Tennessee Williams or even Winston Churchill.

The wind, which flutters the flags pitched on the grass between the tents so picturesquely, buffets the canvas of the roof, rattling the metal supports so loudly that Vidal’s answers are sometimes lost. He’s not hearing so well, either – the audience’s questions have to be laboriously relayed. When asked if he considers Christopher Hitchens to be the “new Gore Vidal” he declares that the “old Gore Vidal is not holding the door open”, a response that gains a little poignancy when Hitchens rises from the audience to quiz him about his line on Bush and 9/11.

Yet another interview appeared in today’s Independent on Sunday, which presumably took place some days before his visit to the UK in his mansion in the Hollywood Hills, to which he moved in 2003, together with a related article about a possible love child.

It was Gore Vidal’s collection of Essays, The Last Empire, which drew my attention to Robert Stinett’s book, Day of Deceit, about FDR’s role in provoking the Japanese to attack the US at Pearl Harbor, and Gar Alperovitz’s book, The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb, and alerted me to the destruction of the Constitution.

His autobiography, Palimpsest, is perhaps one of the finest works of its genre I have ever read.

And I have read his book on Washington’s Second Administration and John Adams’s one term Presidency, Inventing a Nation, three times. While he compares Adams’s Alien and Sedition Acts to the post 9/11 Patriot Act, he does at least give Adams credit for keeping America out of war with, first, Britain and, then, France, despite their provocations during the first and Second French Revolutionary Wars. Bush, by contrast, has driven America to war.

Sometimes Vidal talks sheer guff.

For example, he states in several places in his writings that Jefferson was an atheist. He wasn’t; he was a Deist, which was bad enough for many Christians at the time, as his words in the Declaration of Independence bears out; a man who trembles for his country (over slavery), when he reflects that God is just is not an atheist.

He also says to Sir David Frost that we didn’t know what Hitler was going to be like in 1940. We did. Is such a statement to be attributed to age?

But I will always listen to what he has to say.

Thinking Politics in Bush Country

Jesse Ventura | Huffington Post | Posted April 2, 2008

This excerpt from Don’t Start the Revolution Without Me! reveals some of my feelings about the Bush administration, but readers should not think that my criticisms of today’s political world are aimed only at their spectacular failures. Democrats are no better than the Republicans. And corporate America, the religious right, and the media have all contributed to the quagmires we find ourselves in overseas and at home. That’s why we need a political revolution, to take power from the political parties and their big money supporters and return power to the people.

“I like to tell people, Laura and I are proud to be Texas — own a Texas ranch, and for us, every day is Earth Day.”

-President George W. Bush

Traveling across West Texas on Interstate 20, after you pass by Abilene and Big Spring, before long the big oil derricks loom on the horizon. Every direction you look, the landscape is all scrubby desert and completely flat — except for the endlessly rocking motion of the black pumps. And as you close in on Midland, the dusty air is permeated by a propane smell. There’s no escaping it, even inside the camper.

I turned to Terry and said, “I really don’t see how people can live in this. But I imagine, like anything else, you become accustomed to it.”

“They have my deepest sympathies,” Terry said.

“This is about the last place on the planet I’ve seen that I’d want to live,” I said.

I didn’t remember until later that this was Bush Country. The elder George had come to Midland for the first Permian Basin oil rush in the ’50s. George W. Bush grew up here, and later came back just in time for the second big oil boom in the 1970s. Midland was his wife Laura’s hometown, and this is where they met. It’s where the younger George declared himself a candidate for congress in 1977, when his dad was running the CIA. And Midland is where George W. has expressed a wish to someday be buried.

My first impression of him had been a positive one. After the Supreme Court awarded Bush the 2000 election, his people approached me to be part of his transition team. I sat in on three or four conference calls. I thought, this guy’s going to be all right. He was very personable, a man it seemed like you could go out and drink a few beers and go fishing with.

Continue reading ‘Thinking Politics in Bush Country’

The War on Terror has been Done Before!

From the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Making of the Atomic Bomb: the story of the entire postwar superpower arms race, climaxing during the Reagan-Gorbachev decade when the United States and the Soviet Union came within scant hours of nuclear war—and then nearly agreed to abolish nuclear weapons.

In a narrative that reads like a thriller, Rhodes reveals how the Reagan administration’s unprecedented arms buildup in the early 1980s led ailing Soviet leader Yuri Andropov to conclude that Reagan must be preparing for a nuclear war. In the fall of 1983, when NATO staged a larger than usual series of field exercises that included, uniquely, a practice run-up to a nuclear attack, the Soviet military came very close to launching a defensive first strike on Europe and North America. With Soviet aircraft loaded with nuclear bombs warming up on East German runways, U.S. intelligence organizations finally realized the danger. Then Reagan, out of deep conviction, launched the arms-reduction campaign of his second presidential term and set the stage for his famous 1986 summit meeting with Gorbachev in Reykjavik, Iceland, and the breakthroughs that followed.

Rhodes reveals the early influence of neoconservatives and right-wing figures such as , Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, and Paul Wolfowitz. We see how Perle in particular sabotaged the Reykjavik meeting by convincing Reagan that mutual nuclear disarmament meant giving up his cherished dream of strategic defense (the Star Wars system). Rhodes’s detailed exploration of these and other events constitutes a prehistory of the neoconservatives, demonstrating that the manipulation of government and public opinion with fake intelligence and threat inflation that the administration of George W. Bush has used to justify the current “war on terror” and the disastrous invasion of Iraq were developed and applied in the Reagan era and even before.

Drawing on personal interviews with both Soviet and U.S. participants, and on a wealth of new documentation, memoir literature, and oral history that has become available only in the past ten years, Rhodes recounts what actually happened in the final years of the Cold War that led to its dramatic end. The story is new, compelling, and continually surprising—a revelatory re-creation of a hugely important era of our recent history.

Continue reading ‘The War on Terror has been Done Before!’


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Adams in Patriotic Mode

“What do we mean by the American Revolution? Do we mean the American war? The Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments, of their duties and obligations…This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people was the real American Revolution.” John Adams

The Declaration of Independence

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Benjamin Franklin: A Documentary History – J. A. Leo Lemay

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