Berkeley CSUA MOTD:Entry 47259
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2018/10/15 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
10/15   

2007/7/11-14 [Politics/Domestic/President/Bush] UID:47259 Activity:moderate
7/11    Any hope of GWB's impeachment before 2008? In America the only
        case for impeachment is Watergate (and maybe Sex scandals).
        Why isn't GWB having sex with interns? Is his wife actually
        making him happy? Damnit.
        \_ I don'tthink it can happen.  It's a waste of time. concentrate
           on winning the next election cycle and saving lots of evidence
           to tar the legacy of gwbush when he's out of office.
           if the current fuckfest isntenough to impeach him immediately.
           not gonna happen
        \_ What's the high crime or misdemeanor?
           \_ The two that I am aware of are the violations of FISA
              and the violations of the War Crimes Act. Are there others?
              \_ The FISA thing is a clear struggle between the branches.  War
                 Crimes Act violations?  What the hell are you talking about?
                 \_ The Administration clearly violated the law with regard
                    to FISA and the courts called them on it. Most criminals
                    claim the "right" to break the law. Bush's torture
                    memos were known to be potentially illegal right from
                    the get-go. The whole Gitmo thing is illegal, which is
                    why the Administration wants to shut it down now.
                    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4999734
                    \_ Why do you say 'the whole Gitmo thing is illegal?'
                       The only thing I am aware of that was ruled illegal
                       in connection with Gitmo was the recent trials ruling.
                       It's true that this makes Gitmo a lot less useful for
                       the Administration, and perhaps it will cause Gitmo
                       to be shut down and for the inmates to move to US
                       soil somewhere -- but the illegality of the 'whole
                       thing'?  -- ilyas
                        \_ 'the whole gitmo thing' is an incredible thought
                            construct where the administration plants
                            detainees in this imaginary fun land that they
                            claim with a straight face is not on US soil,
                            since.... it's in CUBA.  How do these people
                            manage to function without falling over laughing?
                            \_ Right, the salient difference here is
                               between 'illegal' and 'immoral.' -- ilyas
                               between 'illegal' and 'immoral.'
                               The whole 'soil' thing does have the vibe of
                               a Solzhenitsyan farce. -- ilyas
                       \_ It is a violation of the Geneva Convention. Remember
                          the Bush Administration claimed the "right" to hold
                          people indefinitely, without charges and without a
                          trial. This is a violation of Geneva Convention
                          Article 3 (I can dig up the exact prt if you want),
                          which the United States is a signatory to. The whole
                          "enemy non-combatant" classifcation is utter bullshit
                          that no one but a few loons in the Bush White House
                          claim exists. And it will not and is not holding up
                          in a real court of law, even one (the USSC) that is
                          overwhelming packed with Republicans.

                          \_ Alright, but here's what will have to happen
                             before there's a realistic chance of impeachment.
                             First, the SC will have to strike down the 2006
                             law which was specifically passed to get around
                             the Geneva Convention restrictions (they may well
                             do this).  Then you would have to make an argument
                             that you can try people for crimes retroactively.
                             THEN, the Democrats will have to make the political
                             calculation that it is worth raising the muck on
                             a wildly unpopular President on his way out
                             anyways (remember, 'persecution' tends to raise
                             approval ratings).  Finally, all of this will have
                             to happen before Bush leaves office.  Bush is not
                             getting impeached.  -- ilyas
                             \_ Step 1 has already happened:
                                http://www.csua.org/u/j4i
                                They broke the law before 2006, since Gitmo
                                was opened in 2003. They passed the law to
                                retroactively try and give themselves legal
                                cover for a law they knew they were breaking.
                                But you are right, the Democrats in Congress
                                are unlikely to find their backbone any time
                                soon.
                                \_ I lack the legal background to evaluate
                                   how likely a conviction is in such a case.
                                   Is there a legal principle (or precedent)
                                   for the situation at hand:
                                   "Action X happens.  Then law Y is passed
                                   which makes X unquestionably legal.  Then Y
                                   is struck down."
                                   At issue here is at the time X happened
                                   the law for X was not settled (as witnessed
                                   by subsequent developments).  So it's
                                   unclear you can prosecute for X until Y
                                   was struck down. -- ilyas
                                   \_ Impeachment isn't a legal event.  It is a
                                      political one.  If the Ds had the balls
                                      and the votes for it they could impeach
                                      today.
                        \_ I have to agree with ilyas.  gwbush has fucked
                           up the US for 5000 years, but he's not going
                           anywhere until his term is up.
                           \_ 5000 years?  *laugh*  I'm just curious, have you
                              been around long enough to vote for a non-Bush,
                              non-Clinton administration?  Before Bush is even
                              out of office no one will care.  They'll be
                              deeply focused on the 08 election.  Life will
                              move on.
                              \_ I think invading Iraq, fucking it up,
                                 continuing to fuck it up, and committing
                                 us to occupy a giant piece of oil laden
                                 shit in the middle east for the next
                                 several decades is a HUGE FUCKUP.
                                 bush has shown the world that our military
                                 is not the unstoppable force everyone
                                 thought it was.  now every pissant guerilla
                                 force knows how to defeat us.  happy now?
        \_ Why would you want an impeachment?  You really want to distract the
           country from the current election cycle with political hatchet BS
           instead of spending that time and political effort on getting into
           office?  I'm sure all your friends in the Bay Area are in favor of
           impeachment and don't understand why it hasn't already happened.
           \_ It's important for the future of the country and for
              our worldwide credibility to hold accountable those who
              commit criminal behavior and war crimes while in office.
              What's wrong with simple justice?
              \_ Also, Bush, Cheney, Gonzales, and a number of others
                 have shown themselves worthy of disqualification (the
                 other bit after removal)
        \_ How do you know GWB isn't having sex with interns?
           \_ 1) why do you think we can keep only one thought in our heads at
              a time?
              2) for those who want impeachment, this is about accountability,
              and being on the record that bush's behavior has been
              unacceptable.  A president who admits to breaking laws, lies
              about war, undermines our national security for the sake of
              politics deserves impeachment and removal for those acts, and
              we have a duty to do so to prevent his actions from becoming
              precedent.
        \_ The correct way to do this is to impeach Cheney first, then Dubya.
2018/10/15 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
10/15   

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www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4999734
Michael Isikoff Newsweek May 17 - The White House's top lawyer warned more than two years ago that US officials could be prosecuted for "war crimes" as a result of new and unorthodox measures used by the Bush administration in the war on terrorism, according to an internal White House memo and interviews with participants in the debate over the issue. January 25, 2002, memo by White House counsel Alberto Gonzales obtained by NEWSWEEK. It urges President George Bush declare the war in Afghanistan, including the detention of Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters, exempt from the provisions of the Geneva Convention. In the memo, the White House lawyer focused on a little known 1996 law passed by Congress, known as the War Crimes Act, that banned any Americans from committing war crimes-defined in part as "grave breaches" of the Geneva Conventions. Noting that the law applies to "US officials" and that punishments for violators "include the death penalty," Gonzales told Bush that "it was difficult to predict with confidence" how Justice Department prosecutors might apply the law in the future. This was especially the case given that some of the language in the Geneva Conventions-such as that outlawing "outrages upon personal dignity" and "inhuman treatment" of prisoners-was "undefined." One key advantage of declaring that Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters did not have Geneva Convention protections is that it "substantially reduces the threat of domestic criminal prosecution under the War Crimes Act," Gonzales wrote. Click here to read Colin Powell's response The best way to guard against such "unwarranted charges," the White House lawyer concluded, would be for President Bush to stick to his decision-then being strongly challenged by Secretary of State Powell- to exempt the treatment of captured Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters from Geneva convention provisions. "Your determination would create a reasonable basis in law that (the War Crimes Act) does not apply which would provide a solid defense to any future prosecution," Gonzales wrote. The memo-and strong dissents by Secretary of State Colin Powell and his chief legal advisor, William Howard Taft IV-are among hundreds of pages of internal administration documents on the Geneva Convention and related issues that have been obtained by NEWSWEEK and are reported for the first time in this week's magazine. A Secret History: How Torture Took Root The memos provide fresh insights into a fierce internal administration debate over whether the United States should conform to international treaty obligations in pursuing the war on terror. Administration critics have charged that key legal decisions made in the months after September 11, 2001 including the White House's February 2002 declaration not to grant any Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters prisoners of war status under the Geneva Convention, laid the groundwork for the interrogation abuses that have recently been revealed in the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Isikoff on war crimes memo May 18: Newsweek's Michael Isikoff explains how White House counsel Alberto Gonzales' memo to President Bush on tough new measures of handling prisoners could leave US officials vulnerable to charges of war crimes. MSNBC As reported in this week's magazine edition, the Gonzales memo urged Bush to declare all aspects of the war in Afghanistan-including the detention of both Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters-exempt from the strictures of the Geneva Convention. In the memo, Gonzales described the war against terorrism as a "new kind of war" and then added: "The nature of the new war places a high premium on other factors, such as the ability to quickly obtain information from captured terrorists and their sponsors in order to avoid further atrocities against American civilians, and the need to try terrorists for war crimes such as wantonly killing civilians." But while top White House officials publicly talked about trying Al Qaeda leaders for war crimes, the internal memos show that administration lawyers were privately concerned that they could tried for war crimes themselves based on actions the administration were taking, and might have to take in the future, to combat the terrorist threat. The issue first arises in a January 9, 2002, draft memorandum written by the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) concluding that "neither the War Crimes Act nor the Geneva Conventions" would apply to the detention conditions of Al Qaeda or Taliban prisoners at Guantanamo Bay Cuba. The memo includes a lengthy discussion of the War Crimes Act, which it concludes has no binding effect on the president because it would interfere with his Commander in Chief powers to determine "how best to deploy troops in the field." ") But while the discussion in the Justice memo revolves around the possible application of the War Crimes Act to members of the US military, there is some reason to believe that administration lawyers were worried that the law could even be used in the future against senior administration officials. One lawyer involved in the interagency debates over the Geneva Conventions issue recalled a meeting in early 2002 in which participants challenged Yoo, a primary architect of the administration's legal strategy, when he raised the possibility of Justice Department war crimes prosecutions unless there was a clear presidential direction proclaiming the Geneva Conventions did not apply to the war in Afghanistan. The concern seemed misplaced, Yoo was told, given that loyal Bush appointees were in charge of the Justice Department. "Well, the political climate could change," Yoo replied, according to the lawyer who attended the meeting. "The implication was that a new president would come into office and start potential prosecutions of a bunch of ex-Bush officials," the lawyer said. He added that "it is difficult to predict with confidence what actions might be deemed to constitute violations" of the War Crimes Act just as it was "difficult to predict the needs and circumstances that could arise in the course of the war on terrorism." Such uncertainties, Gonzales wrote, argued for the President to uphold his exclusion of Geneva Convention provisions to the Taliban and Al Qaeda detainees who, he concluded, would still be treated "humanely and, to the extent appropriate and consistent with military necessarity, in a manner consistst with the principles" of the Geneva Convention on the treatment of prisoners of war. In the end, after strong protests from Powell, the White House retreated slightly. In February 2002, it proclaimed that, while the United States would adhere to the Geneva Conventions in the conduct of the war in Afghanistan, captured Taliban and Qaeda fighters would not be given prisoner of war status under the conventions. It is a rendering that Administration lawyers believed would protect US interrogators or their superiors in Washington from being subjected to prosecutions under the War Crimes Act based on their treatment of the prisoners.
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Charles Babington and Michael Abramowitz Washington Post Staff Writers Wednesday, July 12, 2006; Page A01 The Bush administration has agreed to apply the Geneva Conventions to all terrorism suspects in US custody, bowing to the Supreme Court's recent rejection of policies that have imprisoned hundreds for years without trials. The Pentagon announced yesterday that it has called on military officials to adhere to the conventions in dealing with al-Qaeda detainees. The administration also has decided that even prisoners held by the CIA in secret prisons abroad must be treated in accordance with international standards, an interpretation that would prohibit prisoners from being subjected to harsh treatment in interrogations, several US officials said. In this April 6, 2006, file photo reviewed by US military officials, a guard looks on within the fenced-in grounds of the maximum security prison at Camp Delta, at the Guantanamo Bay US Naval Base, Cuba. An investigation into three apparent suicides at the prison has found that other detainees may have helped the men hang themselves or were planning to kill themselves too, according to court papers filed late Friday, July 8, 2006, in Washington. An investigation into three apparent suicides at the prison has found that other detainees may have helped the men hang themselves or were planning to kill themselves too, according to court papers filed late Friday, July 8, 2006, in Washington. Detainee Database View the largest list of names made public thus far, comprising men whose identities have appeared in media reports, on Arabic Web sites and in legal documents. Babington on US Shift on Geneva Conventions The Washington Post's Charles Babington discusses the Bush Administration's agreement to apply the Geneva Conventions to all terrorism suspects in US custody. The developments underscored how the administration has been forced to retreat from its long-standing position that President Bush be given extensive leeway to determine how to interrogate and prosecute terrorism suspects captured in Iraq, in Afghanistan and elsewhere. Until recently, the White House and Defense Department have pursued such anti-terrorism policies with little interference from Congress and the courts, but that has begun to change. Since 2002, the administration has contended that the Geneva Conventions would be respected as a matter of policy but that they did not apply by law to terrorism suspects held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, or in US military custody elsewhere. Administration officials have voiced concern that the conventions are too vague and could expose the military to second-guessing about appropriate treatment. But the Supreme Court rejected that view in a 5 to 3 decision last month, ruling that a Yemeni detainee at Guantanamo Bay could not be tried by a special military commission established by the Bush administration. The court held that the commissions violate US law and the Geneva Conventions. More than 400 such detainees are being held at Guantanamo Bay. None has been brought to trial, and some say they are innocent civilians mistakenly swept up in US military raids. Administration officials indicated that they had little choice but to act in the aftermath of that Supreme Court ruling. They disputed the suggestion that the new Pentagon policy represents significant change, because the administration already said that it treats detainees humanely. "We strongly believe that terrorists picked up off the battlefield -- who don't represent a nation, revel in killing the innocent, and refuse to wear uniforms -- do not qualify for protections under Geneva," White House counselor Dan Bartlett said. The new Pentagon policy -- detailed in a July 7 memo from Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England -- called on defense officials to ensure that military personnel adhere to Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, which provides a base-line level of protections for all terrorism suspects picked up on the battlefield. Legislation approved last year over Bush's objections bars the use of cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment against detainees, approximating what is in the Geneva Conventions. Some military lawyers, however, said they think the memo will remove a certain ambiguity about what military interrogators may do in the name of extracting information. Many involved in the debate, especially those representing detainees and military lawyers who have fought the administration's policy, see symbolic significance in the new order, coming as it did after five years of intense battling within the administration over the applicability of the Geneva Conventions. Permission to Republish Post a Comment Comments: (Limit 5,000 characters) Post Comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site.