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Am I the only person who finds it really alarming when a former Reaganite warns that the current administration is perhaps months away from instituting a full-on police state? Much of what this guy is saying is consistent with some of my posts on terror management theory from last month. Nice to know I’m not the only person venturing into Paranoid Conspiracy Theory Land.

Can we please, please impeach Bush and Cheney now?

jane doe

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…but you already knew that, didn’t you?

Frankly, the idea that the FBI has spyware is hardly surprising. I assume that anything I post, any website I visit, and any e-mail I send is being logged, read, or intercepted somewhere along the way. Sure, I blog under a rather obvious pseudonym, but a competent hacker could probably track me down in thirty minutes or less.* Which doesn’t seem to slow me down in posting to this blog, because frankly I’m kind of an idiot that way. No self-preservation gene, or something.

The point is, unfortunately, that you, my dear non-existent readers, should make similar assumptions. We’ve lost a lot of civil rights over the past few years, and so far the Supreme Court has not stepped in to stop it. Therefore it’s up to each of us, as individuals, to use our discretion and take whatever steps we feel are appropriate to protect our own privacy.

On the upside, only 545 days until Bush and Cheney are out of office — assuming they don’t declare some sort of national emergency, cancel the election, and impose martial law or something. Which, frankly, is an assumption I am very hesitant to make at this point.

I can’t remember ever being this scared of my own government at any point in my life before now.

Which brings me around once again to the point that I really, really think that Bush and Cheney ought to be impeached.

jane doe

* Note to any hackers: that comment is not intended as a challenge, please don’t post my real name here or elsewhere. Just because the NSA could track me down pretty quickly doesn’t mean we should make their job any easier for them. Thanks!


So it seems Alberto Gonzales has vowed to stay at the Justice Department to “repair its broken image.” Can someone please take the poor, deluded man aside and explain to him that the fastest and most effective way for him to repair the image of the Department of Justice would be to leave it? Pretty please?

And as you know, I really think that Bush and Cheney ought to be impeached.

jane doe


Well, if it were anyone else testifying before Congress, this would be the point were I would start jumping up and down saying, “See! See! I told you so!” Back in May, when Comey testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee, I noted that the way he was tap-dancing around exactly what secret spying program was at the heart of his race to beat Alberto Gonzalez to John Ashcroft’s hospital bedside made me suspect that maybe there was another program we didn’t know about yet. So you don’t have to go searching through my old posts, here’s what I said at the time:

Several sources I have read that commented on the Comey testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee seem to take it as a given that he is talking about the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping program. A careful listen to the actual testimony – at least the clip that Crooks and Liars has posted – makes it clear that Comey is going to great pains not to identify the specific nature of what he and Ashcroft were analyzing and objecting to. Now, it is possible, even probable, that the gentlemen in question were talking about the warrantless wiretapping program. The apparent timing of the conversation and the events Comey spoke of certainly makes that a possibility.

I want to raise another possibility for your consideration, my dear non-existent readers – one that I have not yet seen mentioned in the blogosphere: perhaps they were talking about some other program or activity then under consideration by the current administration – something we, as members of the general public, are not yet aware of. After all, if they were talking about the warrantless wiretapping program, why the careful dancing around the specifics of the discussion? The alleged president has already admitted that it is happening, so there would be no real need for so much reticence on Comey’s part.

Now today, in his most recent Congressional testimony, Gonzo is making just that suggestion — that the race to Ashcroft’s hospital bedside was about something else. Except, well, this is Gonzo, and I don’t believe anything that comes out of his mouth any more. Plus, as I noted in an addendum to my earlier post, other stuff at the time made it appear more likely than not that Comey was talking about the warrantless wiretapping program after all. So now I don’t know what to think.

I’ve been away for a few days, so I haven’t said it recently: I really think that Bush and Cheney (and Gonzales) ought to be impeached.

jane doe


Okay, so you know how Fred Thompson — the actor/politician who may or may not be running for the Republican presidential nomination in ’08 — earned his rep as part of the team that was investigating the Watergate scandal? Turns out, he was a mole for the Nixon White House while that was going on. (h/t Crooks and Liars)

According to the Boston Globe:

Thompson tipped off the White House that the committee knew about the taping system and would be making the information public. In his all-but-forgotten Watergate memoir, “At That Point in Time,” Thompson said he acted with “no authority” in divulging the committee’s knowledge of the tapes, which provided the evidence that led to Nixon’s resignation. It was one of many Thompson leaks to the Nixon team, according to a former investigator for Democrats on the committee, Scott Armstrong , who remains upset at Thompson’s actions.

The Boston Globe article goes into the spin Thompson is putting on this — how he just didn’t want to believe the President could be guilty of everything they were accusing him of — but that doesn’t change the fact that what he did was deeply unethical.

Fred Thompson was and apparently is an attorney – he doesn’t just play one on TV. Probably the number one rule of lawyering is that you don’t go telling your side’s secrets to the opposing party in the middle of a dispute without the okay of whoever is in charge on your side.

Ever.

The American Bar Association (and every single state bar in the country) has rules forbidding this sort of thing. Similarly, there are all sorts of rules governing the operations of grand juries, special prosecutors, and yes, congressional investigating committees, covering the disclosure of information to subjects under investigation.

You just don’t do it. Never. No matter how much you want to believe that the person under investigation is innocent. Not even if you know for a fact that he is innocent of whatever he’s being charged with. You just let the proceedings unfold, and assume that the evidence will reveal the truth of the matter.

You do not tip off the party you are investigating.

Yet Fred Thompson did.

Oopsie.

So we now know that Fred Thompson has engaged in deeply unethical behavior in the past, in connection with presidential politics. Where is the outcry over the fact that this man is apparently contemplating running for the highest office of the land?

If he were thinking of running as a Democrat, this would, of course, sink his chances. But since he will be running as a Republican (assuming he does run), well, not so much. Ain’t America great?

And by the way, I also think that Bush and Cheney ought to be impeached.

jane doe


I really ought to check my e-mail more frequently. Blogger Blue Gal has been hosting a blogswarm against theocracy for the past few days, and I almost missed it. If you are a blogger, you can find out how to participate here.

What to say? Recent years have seen a powerful effort by members of the Religious Right to erase the line between church and state at all levels of government. We have also seen certain politicians use religion as a tool to manipulate voters. Both of these movements are very troubling.

While I will defend until death the right of all Americans to hold those religious beliefs that they may choose, I would remind them that the right to hold those religious beliefs is rather related to the right to swing your fist — it ends at my nose. Believe whatever you want, believe in God, or Jesus, or Allah, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster if you prefer (I’m actually rather fond of the Pastafarians), but don’t try to force your beliefs down my throat.

And I know there are those who try to assert that science is a form of religion, and that if you are going to teach scientific theories like evolution in schools, you ought to teach other theories, like creationism — sorry, intelligent design — alongside it. I reject that argument. Scientists talk about theories and the scientific evidence supporting those theories as such because they recognize that further evidence may be discovered at a future date that forces a revision of those theories. What is taught as science is always our current understanding based on the best evidence currently available. Nothing more, and nothing less.

Thus calling evolution a theory is not an admission that there is no evidence to support it (there is, in fact, a wealth of such evidence, and we know for a fact that evolution and natural selection take place in modern times because we have documented evidence of the process occurring — that is what Darwin was writing about, after all, when he was in the Galapagos studying finches), but merely a recognition that at some point there may be a scientific discovery that forces us to reconsider and revise the theory of evolution in some respects. In other words, scientists (unlike many religious leaders) try to remain open to the possibility that they may be wrong about things.

Creationism or intelligent design, in contrast, is merely looking at everything and saying, gee, it’s all really detailed and complicated, therefore there must be some designer or intelligence behind it, which is god — and is thus a way of introducing religion into classrooms.

Now, there may very well be some intelligence at work in the universe, in the way that physics and genetics and evolution and other similar forces work. That intelligence could even be the god that various religions speak of. There is certainly plenty of room at the edges of what we know about science and astrophysics for such a god. Or it could be the Flying Spaghetti Monster. The point is, that whatever it is that is out there beyond the edge of scientific knowledge is, by definition, not science, and it should thus not be taught as science in our public schools. It is something more properly belonging in the realm of faith, until such time as proof becomes available, and thus best left for individuals to seek in houses of worship, not in public schools.

But enough of my intelligent design rant. On this, the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, I would call on all Americans to remember that many of our founding fathers came to this country to escape religious oppression in their countries of origin. In the years since our country’s founding, many others have come here for the same reason — my own family tree is riddled with such individuals. But the only way to ensure that America remains a land where people can escape the horrors of religious intolerance as our forefathers intended is by ensuring that we maintain some separation between church and state.

That is what the framers intended by the First Amendment to our Constitution: that America would remain a place where the government neither interfered with the free practice of religion (including the right to practice no religion), nor became the instrument of any religion or religious organization.

And although it has nothing to do with the rest of this post, and despite the fact that I have already said it twice today in this blog, I really think that Bush and Cheney ought to be impeached.

jane doe


As this is the 231st anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the document that started our removal of a tyrant from power over the United States, I thought I would go through that grand old document and catalog which of the crimes of England’s King George have been committed by our own current (in his own mind, anyway) King George. I was only going to include the applicable ones in this post, but since that turned out to be the majority of them, anyway, I just left in all of them. Happy reading!

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

The first Iraq financing bill this year, which would have set real benchmarks and started the process of bringing our troops home. Stem cell research. There probably would have been more, but since he had a rubberstamp congress for much of his administration, there have been relatively few vetoes.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

Not really. Though should we consider his “signing statements” a failure to pass laws, in that he is denying the laws should apply to him, the answer to this one could change.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

No, though prior to the current term of Congress, members of the Republican party forced their opposition to hold hearings that were unfavorable to his administration (to the extent they could hold them at all) in a cramped basement room rather than a regular hearing room.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

Not yet. Give him time. For now, he just ignores them.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

See above. Also, consider his use of “temporary” appointments of U.S. Attorneys in the wake of the firings last December, to avoid having to seek Senate confirmation of same. Not strictly on point, but more or less the functional equivalent.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

Well, not exactly, but heaven knows immigration is a mess at the moment.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

No, but he has of course endeavored to stack federal courts, and particularly the U.S. Supreme Court, with justices favorable to his point of view, and then whined that the Democratic Party was being obstructionist on those few occasions when they attempted to block his less qualified or more appalling nominations.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

No, but change judges to United States Attorneys and you would have something here. Clearly, he has tried to subvert the ability of courts to hear matters within their purview – e.g., by gutting habeas corpus.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

Department of Homeland Security, NSA (okay, that’s not really new), TSA, anyone? Also, let us not forget his (often successful) attempts to politicize the ways that various agencies carry out their duties and/or use those agencies to further the election of Republican Party candidates, in blatant violation of the Hatch Act.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

Well, he hasn’t done this here, since obviously we have consented to the maintenance of a standing military, but I imagine people in other parts of the world might have something to say about this one.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

Hello, Military Commissions Act, goodbye, habeas corpus.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

Some might point to the WTO, though that predates Bush. So, no, not really. However, he has repeatedly subverted provisions of our Constitution and our laws, so I think that counts as a practical equivalent.

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

Well, this is more a complaint among the various countries we are occupying…still, he hasn’t done this here.

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

Okay, this doesn’t involve troops, and there was a real trial by jury, but I would argue that his commutation of Scooter Libby’s sentence is the moral equivalent of this.

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

How about destroying our country’s reputation in all parts of the world – does that count?

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

Does running up a huge national debt that we will eventually have to pay off through our taxes in order to pay for the war he lied to get us into count? I’d call that one close enough.

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

Hello, we have a winner! See the Military Commissions Act, and Guantanamo.

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

What do you think happened in the case of most of those people locked up in Guantanamo – it now appears that the vast majority of them didn’t really do anything that would justify locking them up for five years without trial, then creating some sort of mockery of a judicial process to avoid having them tried in U.S. courts where there are procedural safeguards.

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

Um, well, okay, this one he hasn’t done yet. Though he has gone a country with a functioning if oppressive government – a country which we now know and should then have known was not a threat to us – and overthrown that government and introduced a system of chaos, death and destruction. I think that’s probably close enough on the whole scale of moral wrongs.

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

I think the gradual destruction of our civil rights under the U.S. Constitution, as well as his expansion of presidential authority outside the bounds of Constitutional authority, his hobbling of congressional oversight capabilities, and his institution of the infamous “signing statements” that purport to excuse him from violations of the laws passed by Congress all qualify under this grievance, don’t you?

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

Again, I would say the signing statements amount to a presidential grab of Congressional authority.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

Not quite, but I would argue that his repeated violations of the civil rights of American citizens qualifies as the substantive equivalent to waging a covert war against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

Hmm – plundered our seas? Check. Ravaged our coasts? Katrina is close enough – he ravaged New Orleans by inaction (and recent reports suggest he and his buddies are getting set to ravage its ruins for oil). Burnt our towns? No, he did that to the Iraqis. Destroyed the lives of our people? Hmm, how many U.S. Soldiers dead in Iraq as of today? Also, if destroying the livelihoods counts, then consider the whole Valerie Plame fiasco which has happened on his watch.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

Ding ding ding! We have another winner! Well, foreign to the Iraqis, anyway. Can you say, Blackwater?

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

Um, give me a few minutes, I’m sure I can think of something here…okay, maybe not.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

No, all the insurrections he has incited against him are foreign in nature…so far. Though of course the Iraq war has increased the terrorist threat against us beyond what it was at the time of 9/11, so we’ll call this one a “yes”, too, shall we? And let’s also not forget his party’s tactic of accusing anyone who disagrees with Bush of treason, whipping up hatred against Democrats and liberals.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Ding ding ding! We have another winner!

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred. to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence.

Replace “British” with “White House” and you have another winner, see the Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act, the parade of civil rights violations at the White House’s direction, and various other high crimes and misdemeanors.

For all these reasons, and for others perhaps not stated herein, I really think that Bush and Cheney ought to be impeached.

Happy Fourth of July, everyone! Do something really patriotic: go out and protest this administration’s actions!

jane doe


Last night’s Special Comment by Keith Olbermann, prompted by our alleged president’s commutation of an unrepentant Scooter Libby’s prison sentence before all the appeals had even run their course, but also recapping Bush’s (and Cheney’s) other many crimes against this country, our Constitution, and the laws of man, was in it’s own way as powerful and moving as the words of Thomas Jefferson in our Declaration of Independence, adopted 231 years ago today.

Crooks and Liars had the video clip posted within hours of the broadcast last night (and possibly within minutes of the west coast broadcast, which is where I think Nicole Belle is based), and Salon.com posted the full transcript (with permission from Olbermann and MSNBC) today — as always, if you’re not a subscriber, you have to watch a short ad, but it is worth it.

A little later today, I will be posting a piece where I will go through the original Declaration of Independence and pull out all of the original King George’s offenses that could be said to apply equally to our current self-styled King George, but in the meantime, go watch or read Olbermann’s speech at one of the links posted above. He has done a far better job cataloging this administration’s crimes and articulating his condemnation thereof than I ever could.

Happy Fourth of July, everybody! And lest there be any doubt about it, I want to emphasize that I really think that Bush and Cheney ought to be impeached.

jane doe


This guy is my new hero.

And you know what? He’s right. Bush and Cheney ought to be impeached.

jane doe


…yet somehow not at all surprising. Our alleged president has decided that Scooter Libby’s sentence — which was in accordance with federal sentencing guidelines for the crime he was convicted of — was “excessive”, and has therefore commuted his prison sentence. Libby will still have to pay a fine, but he got a Get Out of Jail Almost Free card today.

Was Bush within his rights as president to exercise his power in this manner? Absolutely. Was it an appropriate exercise of his power? Not on your life.

But I suppose at this point he feels he has nothing left to lose. He’s already lost the support of most of the electorate, as well as the respect of most of the people who are still backing him, I would imagine.

Is the commutation of Libby’s sentence grounds for impeachment? Sadly, no. However, that does not change my belief that Bush and Cheney should be impeached.

jane doe

P.S. Keith Olbermann announced that he will be doing one of his “Special Comments” on the commutation of Libby’s sentence tomorrow night on Countdown, so be sure to set your TiVo.

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