Tuesday, May 19, 2009

So NOW it's okay to fire lawyers for disagreeing with you?

Advocacy Groups Seek Disbarment of Ex-Bush Administration Lawyers

WASHINGTON — A coalition of left-wing advocacy groups filed legal ethics complaints on Monday against 12 former Bush administration lawyers, including three United States attorneys general, whom the groups accuse of helping to justify

The coalition, called Velvet Revolution, asked the bar associations in four states and the District of Columbia to disbar the lawyers, saying their actions violated the rules of professional responsibility by approving interrogation methods, including waterboarding, that constituted illegal torture.

By writing or approving legal opinions justifying such methods, the advocates say, the Bush administration lawyers violated the Geneva Conventions, the Convention Against Torture and American law.

Kevin Zeese, a longtime activist and lawyer who signed the complaints on behalf of Velvet Revolution, said the groups were acting because the Obama administration had resisted calls for a criminal investigation of abuse of prisoners under the Bush administration.

The Obama administration has not ruled out the possibility of professional disciplinary action being taken against some of those involved.

“The torture issue needs to be taken out of the hands of politicians if it is going to be dealt with as the war crimes that it is,” Mr. Zeese said.

The complaints are available online at the group’s Web site, www.velvetrevolution.us/torture_lawyers/index.php.

The filings come as the Justice Department’s ethics office, the Office of Professional Responsibility, completes a report on the department lawyers who wrote opinions authorizing harsh interrogations.

The report, in the works for nearly five years and expected to be released in the next few weeks, is said to be highly critical of some authors of the opinions, including John C. Yoo, a senior official at the department’s Office of Legal Counsel in 2002, and his boss, Jay S. Bybee.

The Velvet Revolution complaint also names Steven G. Bradbury, who headed the legal counsel office from 2005 to 2009; the three attorneys general, John Ashcroft, Alberto R. Gonzalez, and Michael B. Mukasey; Michael Chertoff and Alice S. Fisher, who headed the Justice Department’s criminal division; two former Pentagon officials, Douglas J. Feith and William J. Haynes II; and two former White House lawyers, Timothy E. Flanigan and David S. Addington.

Legal experts are divided over the likely effect of such complaints. A complaint filed last year against Mr. Yoo, a Berkeley law professor who remains a member of the Pennsylvania bar, was rejected by that state’s bar association, in part because the Justice Department was already investigating Mr. Yoo’s role in the interrogation memorandums.

Mr. Yoo has often defended his role in writing the legal opinions, noting that they were written in the anxious months after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and were intended only to outline the limits of the law, not to advise policy makers
on what methods to use.

But one interrogation opinion written primarily by Mr. Yoo was later withdrawn by the Justice Department, which considered it overly broad and poorly reasoned.

Turn your minds back to a few short months ago. Liberals everywhere were in an uproar. US Attorneys had been fired, not for doing a bad job, but for being insufficiently loyal to the President. How could this happen in America, they wailed. Our great nation's legal system has been irreparably harmed by this fascistic action. They called for a grand jury investigation. This was it! They were finally going to get to impeach Chimpy McHitlerburton!

Turn your brains forward to today. Lawyers who hold political opinions that the ruling liberal elites find offensive are now under fire. They are threatened not just with their government jobs (most of them are already out of those), but with being robbed of the chance to practice law altogether! All because they disagree with the liberal talking points sent out by The DailyKos, The New York Times, and the Fred Rogers Estate.

I'm not defending lawyers. We know them to be slimy creatures who are slowly eroding America's moral fabric with their defense of criminals and their frivolous lawsuits. But can the liberals please destroy America in a consistent fashion, please? Is that too much to ask?

I'm sure now the liberal establishment will see the error of their ways. You're welcome, America.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Apparently Christianity is no longer allowed!

Biblical Quotes Said to Adorn Pentagon Reports

WASHINGTON — A series of cover sheets for intelligence reports written for Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld and other senior Pentagon officials during the early days of the war in Iraq in 2003 were adorned with biblical quotations, and appeared Sunday, six years later, on the Web site of GQ magazine.

The daily briefings were called the “Worldwide Intelligence Update,” one of several intelligence reports compiled overnight and presented in a folder for Mr. Rumsfeld and other officials as they came to work.

In the selection of the cover sheets that GQ placed on its website, photographs of soldiers praying or in action on the sands of Iraq were overlaid with quotations like this one from Isaiah: “Their arrows are sharp, all their bows are strung; their horses’ hoofs seem like flint, their chariot wheels are like a whirlwind.”

Another, showing a tank at sunset, had this quotation from Ephesians: “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”

The accompanying article, written by Robert Draper, the author of a book about George W. Bush that was published in the last year of his presidency, suggested that Mr. Rumsfeld often delivered the briefings “by hand, to the White House.”

But several former officials said Sunday that they doubted that Mr. Bush regularly saw the Pentagon briefing, which was considered both less complete and less sensitive than the president’s daily brief, the compilation of overnight and long-term intelligence assessments prepared for the president, and delivered every morning.

Lawrence Di Rita, the Pentagon spokesman during Mr. Rumsfeld’s time as secretary of defense, said that he had no recollection of the biblical briefs, but that he doubted the famously acerbic and sometimes cranky secretary would have tolerated them for long, much less shared them with Mr. Bush.

“The suggestion that Rumsfeld would have used these reports to somehow curry favor over at the White House is pretty laughable,” Mr. Di Rita said. “He bristled anytime people put quotes or something extraneous on the reports he wanted to read.”

Mr. Rumsfeld’s reputation at the Pentagon was as a strong ideologue, but not as someone motivated by religious convictions. The GQ article reports that the cover sheets were thought up by a general who worked on the Joint Staff, and that they replaced humorous covers that had been created in the prelude to the war.

The magazine reported that some Pentagon officials were concerned that, if the cover sheets — which were marked “Top Secret” — were ever leaked, they could be interpreted as a suggestion that the war was religiously driven, a battle against Islam. But those officials were not named in the article, and a number of former Pentagon officials interviewed Sunday said they had no memory of seeing the illustrations or quotations.

Still, the publication of the cover sheets may raise more questions about the proper role of religion in the military, and whether a Christian-influenced culture, rather than a neutral one, permeated some corners of the military.

The issue flared at the Air Force Academy four years ago, when the football coach posted a locker room banner for “Team Jesus,” and there have been lawsuits against the Pentagon concerning military retreats at off-base churches, or the displays of crucifixes at military chapels in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In 2005, the Pentagon’s inspector general recommended “corrective action” against Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin, the deputy under secretary of defense for intelligence, who, in appearances before evangelical groups, likened the war against Islamic militants to a battle against Satan.

Well wouldn't you know it? We elect a bunch of godless hippies into power and their first target is The Bible. That's right, the very same book given to us by God as a guide for how to live our lives is now off-limits to Americans, according to our liberal friends. "No reading the Bible, Ray-Ray-Niqua! The Islamic World, that true paragon of tolerance, wouldn't like it! Let's read 'What Heather's Mommies Did With Spot'!"

I'm shocked (shocked!) that the New York Times, the Old Gay Lady, didn't censor the Bible verses out of this article. Well, you liberals are going to have to try harder than this. Christianity is here to stay (John Lennon was wrong) and you can take our Bibles from us when you pry them from our cold, dead motel rooms.

I've Taken Down the Ads

I've removed all ads from my blog.

But Maynard, you chortle, isn't advertising the hallmark of any true free market system? You bet it is! But the only ads I was getting was for things like "Watch this video and then go kill your parents for voting for Bush" and "Should Bush be impeached? Vote now!" and "Throw shoes at Bush" and "Trim your bushes in half the time with BushWhacker9000!". I don't know how the thinly-veiled threat in that last one got by the Secret Service, frankly.

You don't need to see that. The very essence of our Republic, the very ideal that our Founders were aiming for, was that we wouldn't ever be confronted with a political viewpoint that opposed our own. I am proud to uphold this Jeffersonian tradition here on my little webs log.

Change We Can Believe In! Part 1

Obama retains Bush-era military tribunals

President Barack Obama has revived Bush-era military tribunals for top Guantanamo Bay terror suspects that he once branded a "failure," but proposed new rules on evidence and detainee rights.

Rights campaigners reacted angrily, warning the move would prolong the "injustice" of the war on terror camp, days after Obama dismayed some backers by deciding to oppose the release of photos of Iraq and Afghan prison abuses.

"This is the best way to protect our country, while upholding our deeply-held values," Obama said in a written statement Friday, outlining his reasoning and a set of reforms to the military commissions.

"These reforms will begin to restore the commissions as a legitimate forum for prosecution, while bringing them in line with the rule of law," Obama said.

Obama halted the Guantanamo tribunals pending a review after taking office in January, saying the system did not work, but did not rule out the use of a modified system in future.

Last year however, then-candidate Obama had called the military commissions "an enormous failure."

The president said the Department of Defense would ask for extension of the suspension of military commissions to permit time for reforms.

Commissions were "appropriate for trying enemies who violate the laws of war, provided that they are properly structured and administered," Obama said.

David Rivkin, a Washington lawyer who served in the Reagan administration, told The New York Times the decision suggested that the Obama White House was coming to accept the Bush administration's thesis that terror suspects should be viewed as enemy fighters.

"I give them great credit for coming to their senses after looking at the dossiers," Rivkin told the paper.

However, several key amendments will be made to the commissions system.

Statements using CIA interrogation methods that are "cruel, inhumane and degrading" -- since outlawed by Obama -- will no longer be admitted as evidence.

The party that offers hearsay evidence must now prove its reliability. In Bush-era trials the burden rested on the party that objected to it.

Furthermore, the accused will get greater latitude to choose his defense counsel and more protection if he refuses testify.

Military commission judges will now also be allowed to establish the jurisdiction of their own courts.

But the changes did not appease rights groups.

"The military commissions system is flawed beyond repair," said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch.

"By resurrecting this failed Bush administration idea, President Obama is backtracking dangerously on his reform agenda."

The American Civil Liberties Union bemoaned a "striking blow to due process and the rule of law."

"President Obama would do well to remember his own infamous words during his presidential campaign: 'you can't put lipstick on a pig,'" said Anthony Romero, ACLU Executive Director.

Despite the improvements, the commissions "do not address fundamental concerns about the flawed nature of such tribunals," Human Rights Watch said.

"The very purpose of the commissions was to permit trials that lacked the full due process protections available to defendants in federal courts," it said.

But Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs denied the president was retooling a discredited Bush-era system.

"It's like saying 'I am buying the car, but changing the engine and painting it a different color' -- the notion that this is the same vehicle is simply not true."

The move would affect, among others, five detainees charged with having played key roles in the September 11, 2001 attacks, including the plot's self-proclaimed mastermind, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

Republicans assailed Obama's order to close the Guantanamo prison within a year. Democrats have rejected a White House funding request to shutter the prison until the president comes up with a concrete plan.

The top Senate Republican Mitch McConnell said Guantanamo Bay was the best venue to try terror suspects -- as opposition mounts in Congress to taking suspects to the United States.

"Given the disruption and potential dangers caused by bringing terror suspects into American communities, the secure, modern courtroom at Guantanamo Bay is the appropriate place for commission proceedings," McConnell said.

The camp, synonymous around the world with Bush's "war on terror" excesses, still holds 241 inmates from 30 different countries, according to the Pentagon.

Algerian detainee Lakhdar Boumediene, held for seven years at Guantanamo, left the US jail Friday for France.

Boumediene, 42, was cleared of wrongdoing in November.

A long article. The gist is this: Barack HUSSEIN Obama is keeping the President's military tribunals to affirm the guilt of the terrorists we have captured. Obama making the ACLU get their frilly, Muhammad-embroidered panties in a wad? Be still my trembling heart!

By making this decision, HUSSEIN Obama is rejecting the substance of his own Presidential campaign - that President Bush was a failure who was making America into something worse than Nazi Germany - and directly embracing the freedom agenda of President Bush. I always said that HUSSEIN Obama would have to get some sense knocked into him once he became President. He isn't, after all, mentally disabled. He just believes in a lot of things the disabled do. Like global warming. A right to privacy. The Trail of Tears.

I view this as a major-league affirmation of the George W. Bush anti-terror policies. But Maynard, you cry. Isn't having a liberal agree with you bad? Yes, it most certainly is. But the ACLU is like the Grand Wizard of the Liberal Klan, so in this case we're good.

Even a broken clock is right twice a day. When will Obama be right next? Stay tuned!

President to "Let Freedom Ring"

Former President George W. Bush expected to visit Woodward for Independence Day

WOODWARD, Okla. (AP) — Former President George W. Bush is scheduled to visit Woodward during its "Let Freedom Ring" celebration over Fourth of July weekend.

The Woodward Tourism and Convention Bureau announced Wednesday that Bush would speak at the dedication of Crystal Beach Park, which has undergone major renovations for its 80th anniversary.

The tourism bureau's executive director, Jim Curtiss, says Bush will speak on Independence Day. More details are to be revealed at a news conference Monday.

The "Let Freedom Ring" celebration is also to include concerts from country artists including Asleep at the Wheel, Sawyer Brown, Marty Stuart and Tanya Tucker.

That's just about as American a scene as I can imagine. George W. Bush, dedicating a park, in Small-Town, USA. All it needs is a whistling President taking a small boy down to the fishin' hole. Maybe they'll sing "Let the Eagle Soar". Maybe they'll go for a ride on the waterboard when done.

Who's up for a road trip to Woodward, Oklahoma this July? Post in the comments so we can organize this thing.

I have more readers than I thought I did!

More Than $100 Million Raised for George W. Bush Presidential Library

The George W. Bush Presidential Library Foundation has raised more than $100 million for the forty-third president's library — and at a pace much faster than that of his recent predecessors, TIME magazine reports.

Much of the money for the library was raised in the roughly hundred days after Bush left the White House. By comparison, Bill Clinton's library planners had hoped to receive pledges of $100 million within a year of the end of his presidency, though a pardon scandal delayed that achievement for another year, according to Clinton library committee chair Skip Rutherford.

Bush Presidential Library Foundation president Mark Langdale said the names of contributors will not be released and would not disclose the exact total raised. However, other sources told TIME that the foundation has received commitments totaling more than a third of the estimated $300 million cost of the George W. Bush Presidential Center, which will include a museum and research institute to be built on twenty-five acres at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Construction of the library is scheduled to begin in November 2010.

Unburdened by campaign finance regulations, former presidents traditionally raise money for their libraries the old-fashioned way: by meeting or calling a few dozen wealthy benefactors and asking for multimillion-dollar gifts. Although the Bush presidential library effort includes that approach, in other ways it has been organized much like a modern political campaign, complete with a national finance committee comprised of two co-chairs per state. According to TIME, the historically fast pace of the fundraising for the library has been all the more noteworthy for taking place
during a recession.

"He's struck a very positive nerve among a lot of financial sources across the country," said J. French Hill, a Little Rock banker who is leading the fundraising effort in Arkansas.

One of my very first posts on this webs log was an appeal for my readers to donate liberally (ugh) to the President's library fund. And boy, you stepped up to the plate to the tune of over $100 million! That's much faster than any other President library has done, but hey, none of those Presidents had a webs log like this one!

This is fantastic! My readers are the best! If we can build a library in a few short months, just think how we could help the needy, the impovrished, the embattled! Like, say, AIG.

Your next task: Let's help out a worthy cause (the President no doubt supports it) by donating $200 million to the Daniel Maynard Fund for an Unemployed Patriot. I (they, actually) expect this to take no more than a couple of months. Get out your diamond-encrusted checkbooks, readers. Let's roll.

Supreme Court: Protecting America is no crime

Top US court: Bush officials not liable in Muslim arrests

Washington - The US Supreme Court ruled Monday that top justice officials in the former administration of US president George W Bush could not be held liable for alleged disrimination in the arrests of 700 Muslim men after the 2001 terrorist attacks. In a 5-4 decision, the court ruled that former attorney general John Ashcroft and FBI Director Robert Mueller, who has held on to his job in the Obama administration, cannot be sued for mistreatment because they singled out Muslim men using race and religion as their guidelines, the Los Angeles Times reported online.

"It should come as no surprise that a legitimate policy directing law enforcement to arrest and detain individuals because of their suspected link to the attacks would produce a disparate, incidental impact on Arab Muslims," said Justice Anthony M Kennedy.

"The (September 11, 2001) attacks were perpetrated by 19 Arab Muslim hijackers who counted themselves members in good standing of Al Qaeda, an Islamic fundamentalist group," Kennedy wrote.

Every once in a long while, the hyper-liberal Supreme Court reaches into its collective robe and pulls out a beautful pearl of wise jurisprudence. This is one such pearl. While all who have sense know that protecting America is no crime, liberals (the fiends) insisted that we must burn former Bush Administration officials, either because they racially profiled, or because they weighed the same as a duck. It's hard to figure out liberal reasoning sometimes.

By protecting former Administration officials from such vigilanteism, the Supreme Court has ensured that future protectors of America will not have to choose between making Nancy Pelosi happy and defending this nation. Well, they kind of will, because Pelosi would never be happy while America was safe, but you know what I meant.

So go forth, brave knights who defend us all. Go forth and slay the turbaned dragon without fear that you will be beheaded on your return. Once and for all, America has declared we support you.