Monthly Archives: August 2009

H.R. 104 on presidential war powers and civil liberties

Text from LOC – Thomas:

To establish a national commission on presidential war powers and civil liberties. (Introduced in House)

111th CONGRESS
1st Session
H. R. 104

To establish a national commission on presidential war powers and civil liberties.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

January 6, 2009

Mr. CONYERS (for himself, Mr. NADLER of New York, Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas, Mr. COHEN, Mr. JOHNSON of Georgia, and Mr. DELAHUNT) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Armed Services, and in addition to the Select Committee on Intelligence (Permanent Select), the Judiciary, and Foreign Affairs, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

A BILL

To establish a national commission on presidential war powers and civil liberties.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. ESTABLISHMENT OF COMMISSION.

There is established the National Commission on Presidential War Powers and Civil Liberties (hereinafter in this Act referred to as the `Commission’) to investigate the broad range of policies of the Administration of President George W. Bush that were undertaken under claims of unreviewable war powers, including detention by the United States Armed Forces and the intelligence community, the use by the United States Armed Forces or the intelligence community of enhanced interrogation techniques or interrogation techniques not authorized by the Uniform Code of Military Justice, `ghosting’ or other policies intended to conceal the fact that an individual has been captured or detained, extraordinary rendition, domestic warrantless electronic surveillance, and other policies that the Commission may determine to be relevant to its investigation (hereinafter in this Act referred to as `the activities’). …

read the rest of the bill at LOC – Thomas

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Filed under Peace, Security, Terrorism, War, Rights, Justice, Law, US President

More and More Jewish Voices Opposing Israel-Promoted Pre-Emptive Attack on Iran

excerpt from the article by Allan c. Brownfeld, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, August 2009, pages 46-47:

…”Consider the views of Keith Weissman, one of two former AIPAC staff members against whom espionage charges were abandoned by U.S. prosecutors in May. A specialist on Iran, Weissman has lived in that country, speaks Persian and wrote his doctoral dissertation at the University of Chicago on Iranian history.

“Columnist Doug Bloomfield reported in the May 21 Washington Jewish Week that Weissman told him there is no viable military option for dealing with any Iranian nuclear threat and that efforts by the Israeli government and its supporters to link that threat to progress in peace with the Palestinians and Syria are “nonsense,” and an obstacle to the Arab-Israeli and international cooperation essential to changing Iranian behavior. Weissman said there is no assurance that an attack on any Iranian nuclear facilities—even if all of them could be located—would be anything more than a temporary setback. Instead, a military strike would unify Iranians behind an unpopular regime, ignite a wave of retaliation, block oil exports from the Persian Gulf and probably necessitate a ground war.

“‘The only viable solution is dialogue,’ said Weissman. “You don’t deal with Iran with threats or preaching regime change. That’s where the Bush administration went wrong. President Bush’s demand that Iran halt all nuclear enrichment before we would talk with the regime was an excuse not to talk at all. And the administration’s preaching of regime change only made the Iranians more paranoid and told them there was no real desire to engage them, only demonize them.'” …

read the full article at Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

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Interesting prediction but…

“It may be that if Obama becomes President, the political forces he has unleashed—particularly among young people and the African American community—will come to constitute a progressive political bloc that, by means of independent pressure from below, will make it difficult for him to accommodate to the conservative and corporate interests—with whom he has significant connections—who will undoubtedly lean on him.”

— Ted Glick, in Obama vs. Clinton: A Second Thought,” February 2, 2008

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Filed under Progressive movement, US President