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Archive for January 27th, 2010

British Government Warned That Iraq War Would Be Illegal

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 27th, 2010 5:47 am by HL

British Government Warned That Iraq War Would Be Illegal
Before the invasion of Iraq, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw’s top legal adviser warned that the use of force was “contrary to international law” and “would amount to the crime of aggression.” According to testimony in the U.K.‘s Iraq inquiry, Straw allegedly rejected the advice as “dogmatic,” saying “international law was pretty vague.” The secretary would go on to seek and win a more favorable second opinion from the country’s attorney general just days before invasion.  —PZS BBC: Asked by the inquiry about Mr Straw’s analysis of the legal position regarding the invasion of Iraq, Sir Michael told the inquiry: “Obviously there are some areas of international law that can be quite uncertain. This, however, turned exclusively on the interpretation of a specific text and it is one on which I think that international law was pretty clear.” He told the inquiry his advice had never been rejected by a minister before or since. Read more

Before the invasion of Iraq, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw’s top legal adviser warned that the use of force was “contrary to international law” and “would amount to the crime of aggression.”

According to testimony in the U.K.‘s Iraq inquiry, Straw allegedly rejected the advice as “dogmatic,” saying “international law was pretty vague.”

The secretary would go on to seek and win a more favorable second opinion from the country’s attorney general just days before invasion.? —PZS

BBC:

Asked by the inquiry about Mr Straw’s analysis of the legal position regarding the invasion of Iraq, Sir Michael told the inquiry: “Obviously there are some areas of international law that can be quite uncertain. This, however, turned exclusively on the interpretation of a specific text and it is one on which I think that international law was pretty clear.”

He told the inquiry his advice had never been rejected by a minister before or since.

Read more

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Bill Lucey: Under the Gun, Obama Mounts Comeback

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 27th, 2010 5:46 am by HL

Bill Lucey: Under the Gun, Obama Mounts Comeback
Who would have thought that over a year since the three presidential debates took place, McCain would look like the sensible sage, while Obama appears the one out of touch to the needs of mainstream America?

‘The Politician’ Book Details: John Edwards’s Former Aide Says Edwards Discussed Leaving Elizabeth
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Well, it’s official now: John Kiriakou, the former CIA operative who affirmed claims that waterboarding quickly unloosed the tongues of hard-core terrorists, says he didn’t…


NY Post: “Whose side is the Justice Department on: America’s or the terrorists’?”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 27th, 2010 5:45 am by HL

NY Post: “Whose side is the Justice Department on: America’s or the terrorists’?”

From the January 27 New York Post:

Whose side is the Justice Department on: America’s — or the terrorists’?

It’s just insane that a lawyer who defended Osama bin Laden’s driver and bodyguard — and who sought constitutional rights for terrorists — could be one of the Obama administration’s top legal officials.

[…]

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are hopping mad about the situation — and rightly so. Months ago, Senate Judiciary Committee member Charles Grassley asked Attorney General Eric Holder to disclose who in the administration had previously represented or agitated for alleged terrorists.

The AG’s reply?

“I will consider that request.”

Holder must be thinking long and hard — because committee members have yet to receive a response.

Meanwhile, they’ve started asking other questions of Justice — like who came up with the brilliant idea to Mirandize undie-bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, limiting the amount of intelligence he might provide about al Qaeda and future attacks.

With high-profile terror cases coming up — like Abdulmutallab’s, and the outrageous Khalid Sheik Mohammed trial in New York — Americans need to know: Is our government putting in a good-faith effort when it comes to punishing the men who want to blow up our people?

The call to treat terrorists like civilians in court has been all Team Obama.

Which means the president and his administration also owe the American people an answer: Is the government’s prosecutorial deck stacked in favor of the terrorists?

A Justice Department spokesman, Dean Boyd, tells The Post that the department will be responding to Sen. Grassley’s request “very soon.”

Will it be soon enough?

It’s time for Holder and Justice to come clean.


Alleged Landrieu Phone Bug Crew Emerged From World Of Conservative Campus Journalism

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 27th, 2010 5:44 am by HL

Alleged Landrieu Phone Bug Crew Emerged From World Of Conservative Campus Journalism
Three of the four young men charged in the alleged bugging attempt at Sen. Mary Landrieu’s New Orleans office Monday were involved in the well-funded, opportunity-rich world of conservative campus journalism in recent years, a link that provides potential clues about how the men knew each other and why they came to hatch the alleged plot.

Lobbyist Claims He Brought Down Jack Abramoff
In a new story in The Hill, little-known Washington lobbyist Tom Rodgers is portrayed as the key whistleblower whose information ultimately brought down corrupt lobbyist Jack Abramoff. But it’s unclear how big a role Rodgers actually played, and how new his claims are.



The Tattlesnake — His Majesty O’Keefe: Karma Chameleon Edition

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 27th, 2010 5:40 am by HL

The Tattlesnake — His Majesty O’Keefe: Karma Chameleon Edition
There are just some stories that warm the cockles and whatever else is in the Tattler’s heart — this is one of them. Remember this phony Republican ‘Simp Pimp’ that I wrote about in December 2009 in “Why the GOP Hates ACORN and the Poor”? Well, now he’s in the pokey for committing a federal felony in […]


McCollum Expands Leads in Florida

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 27th, 2010 5:39 am by HL

McCollum Expands Leads in Florida
A new Quinnipiac poll in Florida finds Bill McCollum (R) extending his lead over Alex Sink (D) to 10 points in the gubernatorial race, 51% to 41%.

Said pollster Peter Brown: “But McCollum shouldn’t start picking out draperies for the governor’s office. Certainly part of his lead is due to being somewhat better known than Ms. Sink – although neither one is a household name in the state.”

McCollum led by just four points in late October.

Toomey Leads by Double-Digits in Pennsylvania
A new Franklin & Marshall poll being in Pennsylvania finds Pat Toomey (R) leading Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA) for the U.S. Senate by 14 points among likely voters, 45% to 31%.

Toomey leads Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA), 41 percent to 19 percent.

In a Democratic primary match up, Specter leads Sestak, 30% to 13%, with 50% undecided.


Bill Moyers: Haiti’s Problems Are Rooted in Its Colonial Legacy

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 27th, 2010 5:38 am by HL

Bill Moyers: Haiti’s Problems Are Rooted in Its Colonial Legacy
Despite what Pat Robertson and David Brooks tell you, Haiti’s devastation is the product of Western domination — not regressive social norms or Satanism.

Despite what Pat Robertson and David Brooks tell you, Haiti's devastation is the product of Western domination — not regressive social norms or Satanism.

Glenn Beck’s Gestapo Tactics — Assailing Obama and Progressives with Holocaust Imagery
Beck uses his Fox News perch to preach stunningly irresponsible history, and organize a movement dedicated to destroying progressives and Obama.

Beck uses his Fox News perch to preach stunningly irresponsible history, and organize a movement dedicated to destroying progressives and Obama.

What Should Be in Obama’s State of the Union
Obama has the next 10 months to demonstrate some progress or face a shellacking in the midterm elections this November. Here’s what his speech should outline.

Obama has the next 10 months to demonstrate some progress or face a shellacking in the midterm elections this November. Here's what his speech should outline.


Tell Retreating Obama and Dems: No Health Reform, No Contributions

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 27th, 2010 5:37 am by HL

Tell Retreating Obama and Dems: No Health Reform, No Contributions
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Saudi Arabia
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Obama’s Tiny Idea For Main Street, A Big Spending Freeze For Wall Street
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Halliburton/KBR Goes After Rape Survivor Jamie Leigh Jones? Personal Integrity In Its Supreme Court Petition

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 27th, 2010 5:36 am by HL

Halliburton/KBR Goes After Rape Survivor Jamie Leigh Jones? Personal Integrity In Its Supreme Court Petition
In 2005, Jamie Leigh Jones was gang-raped by her co-workers while she was working for Halliburton/KBR in Baghdad. The attack occurred while she was out with a “small group of Halliburton firefighters,” just four days after her arrival in Iraq. After taking a few sips of her drink, she later woke up in the […]

Jamie Leigh Jones In 2005, Jamie Leigh Jones was gang-raped by her co-workers while she was working for Halliburton/KBR in Baghdad. The attack occurred while she was out with a “small group of Halliburton firefighters,” just four days after her arrival in Iraq. After taking a few sips of her drink, she later woke up in the barracks, “naked” and “severely beaten.” Her “breasts were so badly mauled that she is permanently disfigured.”

In an apparent attempt to cover up the incident, the company then put her in a shipping container for at least 24 hours without food, water, or a bed, and “warned her that if she left Iraq for medical treatment, she’d be out of a job.” Even more insultingly, the DOJ resisted bringing any criminal charges in the matter.

Jones tried to sue the company for failing to protect her, but KBR argued that Jones’ employment contract — created for the company under the tenure of then-CEO Dick Cheney — warranted her claims being heard in private arbitration, without jury, judge, public record, or transcript of the proceedings. Basically, KBR argued that Jones’ brutal rape was a workplace injury — nothing more. But in September, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Jones. “Jones’ allegations do not ‘touch matters’ related to her employment, let alone have a ’significant relationship’ to her employment contract,” wrote the court.

KBR is now petitioning the Supreme Court to reverse the ruling. The contractor is personally going after Jones’ integrity to argue that she shouldn’t have a fair and open hearing. Stephanie Mencimer from Mother Jones reports:

On Jan. 19, it petitioned the Supreme Court to overturn the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals decision allowing Jones to press her case in a civil court rather than in arbitration. Among its many arguments in favor of a high court hearing: that Jones is a relentless self-promoter who has “sensationalize[d] her allegations against the KBR Defendants in the media, before the courts, and before Congress.” … KBR also suggests that much of Jones’ story is fabricated. The company says in a footnote, “Many, if not all, of her allegations against the KBR Defenandants are demonstrably false. The KBR Defendants intend to vigorously contest Jones’s allegations and show that her claims against the KBR Defendants are factually and legally untenable.”

The Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2010 signed into law by President Obama in December contained an amendment by Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) — inspired by Jones’ story — that prohibits defense contractors from restricting their employees’ abilities to take workplace discrimination, battery, and sexual assault cases to court. Mencimer notes that in its petition, KBR is “clearly miffed about the Franken Amendment, which it credits Jones with getting passed.”


Treasury Secretary Geithner faces harsh criticism from legislators over bailouts

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 27th, 2010 5:35 am by HL

Treasury Secretary Geithner faces harsh criticism from legislators over bailouts
When Timothy F. Geithner emerged as the leading candidate for Treasury secretary in late 2008, he privately urged Barack Obama to think twice about whether to hire him. Geithner had been a key architect of the government’s bailout of Wall Street and would carry that history into the new job, he…

James O’Keefe charged in alleged plot to bug Senator Mary Landrieu’s office
The conservative young filmmaker whose undercover sting damaged a liberal activist group last year faces federal criminal charges in an alleged plot to bug the New Orleans office of Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.).

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Senate rejects plan to create commission on federal deficit
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