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Interest and Perspective

Our views depend on our priorities and the information we receive

Saturday, July 15, 2006


Monkey say, monkey do

While the Lebanese Prime Minister calls for peace, Hezbollah pokes at Israel, which the bait.
Unperturbed by international criticism, the Government of Israel continued to pound Lebanon’s civilian infrastructure, destroying roads, bridges, fuel dumps and mobile telephone installations as well as Hezbollah targets, including a Beirut radio station.
Artillery, rockets and tanks mass along the border - World - Times Online. Israeli Lieutenant-General Yossi Kuperwasser, who recently stood down as Israel’s head of military intelligence research, says
“We want to hit Hezbollah really hard and enable Lebanese reform groups that want to see Lebanon prosper and become a real democracy be courageous enough and understand the need to do something themselves.”
Sounds like the Shock & Awe theory: Israel is "determined not merely to punish Hezbollah, but to destroy it once and for all as a military threat." There's more:
Lebanese police say that 66 people, almost all civilians, have been killed and at least 200 wounded in the past three days. The Lebanese accuse the Israelis of needlessly killing scores of civilians and destroying the country’s infrastructure. But Israel says that its F16s and artillery are striking buildings holding rockets and other Hezbollah weapons.
Collateral damage, then. Israel has copied America's rhetoric for using disproportionate force:

....Four other civilians were killed when an Israeli missile missed its intended target, Hizbullah's Al-Nour radio station, striking instead a residential apartment building in Haret Hreik.

Ali Assi, director of MP Marwan Fares' office, was killed when Israel took out the bridge leading from the Dahiyeh to Rafik Hariri International Airport.

Also, Israeli rockets were made in Texas - hey, were exporting everything!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


Swift update

a navy lawyer who argued for hamdan called the current adjudicative system in gitmo rigged. ouch on bush - his guys say congress should just enact exceptions to geneva conventions . . . . and bush's guys say treatment is already humane (and, given recent scotus opinions regarding the required constitutional treatment of prisoners, they're probably right), so the rest of common article 3 is being complied with already. i guess it doesn't matter how much face they save now; let 'em have it - the important thing is that we shouldn't be torturing anyone anytime soon (at least, not in gitmo, not officially). Also, because of political pressures Congress will get rid of the kangaroo courts (they could just give them the thumbs-up, i think). the Court went out of its way, again for political reasons, or judicially defensive/pragmatice reasons (they do have a constitutional duty to defend their governmental territory a/g the other branches) to make it clear that they were ruling on more than just the narrow issue of what procedural rights a detainee has and that they were actually rebuffing the Executive. Bush's guys statements today reflect their aquiescence to the mighty scotus (whicnh is easy to do when you're running a sinking ship of an administration and you appointed two of the nine, so you let them carry the day). The Rule of Law: Recognizing the Power of the Courts, Finally - New York Times

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


USDOJ answers Schumer - Hamdan, Grubbs, & The Program

NSA.Hamdan.response.schumer.pdf (application/pdf Object)

Well, even though the AUMF doesn't grant him a blank check, prezbush says the Force Resolution grants him a get-out-of-FISA-free card. He can't torture, deny a trial-like proceeding, or us the fruits of the former in the latter, but he can spy on us. Another challenge in/to the SCOTUS next term then, then.

I still make a good point in saying that Grubbs is the decision that controls The Program. See my post on this blog, Reading Good News In The Tea Leaves. FYI The Program what the NSA (Nat'l Secuity Agency) and prezbush call spying on us.


Mushroom Drug Produces Mystical Experience

Mushroom Drug Produces Mystical Experience

No shit!

Monday, July 10, 2006


China, U.S.A., and U.K. disagree

only on how hard to slap n. korea

and...n korea and usa will be in beijing - they don't know if they're going to meet and want to see if the chinese can make something happen.


Judge licks

The Courthouse -- a Poem

Retired Florida trial judge Steve Wallace (now of Utah) is my new favorite blogger.



NPR is right in saying that, in the wake of the SCOTUS's decision in Hamdan (the best decision defense lawyers could hope for), Congress must either afford terrorism detainees a proceeding that accords with due process conerns (that is, a trial) or repeal the McCain anti-torture bill. Oh, and Bush doesn't have unitary authority. NPR : Congress Weighs Options on Tribunals. Damn, prezbush - you got slapped!

NPR also reports on Morning Edition that Repubs are saying this debate could tear their party apart like the Voting Rights Act tore the Dems apart in '64 (sourthern dems voting against, and remember LBJ pushed southerners to pass the act. Also, they (repubs) don't want to be seen as pro-discrimination here too (although I see it more as a hawkish stance than a discriminatory stance, although the logical step isn't too far).

To think Bush denied these placed existed and denied they had to provide due process. And now the JAG attorney who defended Hamdan (through detention including appeal) says he expects to lose his job.


Bush Doesn't Want the Best Law

...in that he doesn't want the most objective, correct (if you're one of those absolutist types) legal advice but rather whatever pushing-the-envelope justification he can get for his actions:

from Chalk on Spikes at Balkinazation:
From everything I know, this is the model of legal advice that President Bush has expected of his lawyers, including OLC lawyers, with respect to the war against Al Qaeda. In Dana Priest's remarkable story the other day about the aggressive legal interpretations in this Administration in support of CIA covert action, there's this wonderful quotation from Deputy Director of National Intelligence Michael Hayden about their approach to the law:

"We're going to live on the edge. . . . My spikes will have chalk on them. . . . We're pretty aggressive within the law. As a professional, I'm troubled if I'm not using the full authority allowed by law."

This confirms what I've read in several places and what I've heard from numerous lawyers in the Executive branch: What the White House has asked of them is not to provide the "best," or most objective, view of the law, but instead to read the law as aggressively as humanly possible so as to give the President the broadest possible discretion in preventing another domestic attack: Don't worry so much about exactly where the line is -- it's ok to get chalk on your spikes. Lives are at stake. [UPDATE: Confirmation from Newsweek: "The message to White House lawyers from their commander in chief, recalls one who was deeply involved at the time, was clear enough: find a way to exercise the full panoply of powers granted the president by Congress and the Constitution. If that meant pushing the boundaries of the law, so be it."]

This confirms what many of us have known for some time now (since, oh, about the time of the yellow cake lies) - Bush has no respect for the truth, or even the law, in his quest for power (cue epic fantasy-video game music, cue voice-over "Quest for Power!").

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