This week, I released "Reining in the Imperial Presidency," a 486-page report detailing the abuses and excesses of the Bush administration and recommending steps to address them. Arthur Schlesinger Jr. popularized the term "imperial presidency" in the 1970s to describe an executive who had assumed more power than the Constitution allows and circumvented the checks and balances fundamental to our three-branch system of government.
According to data released to Salon by the Army's Combat Readiness/Safety Center, only 24 of the 3,059 U.S. Army soldiers killed in Iraq since the invasion in 2003 died by fratricide.
Some observers, however, called the new data fishy. "That is almost impossible," said Geoffrey Wawro, director of the University of North Texas' Military History Center.
Outgoing CIA Director Michael Hayden vigorously defended on Thursday the agency's use of secret prisons and coercive interrogation methods on suspected al Qaida terrorists, saying they helped avert new terrorist attacks and were done "out of duty, not out of enthusiasm."
Hayden argued that the CIA detainee program shouldn't be subjected to a public investigation because the administration had obtained Justice Department legal opinions to support it and had informed members of Congress.
TVNL Comment: If breaking laws can be called a 'duty,' then why should we have ANY laws at all? Just asking....
On Thursday it happened, conclusively - Operation Cast Lead turned insane. Attacking any densely populated city is a serious act at any time, but when Israel's international legitimacy is being ground to dust, such an attack is nothing but madness.
Shelling a United Nations facility is something not to be done at any time, but doing it on the day when the UN secretary general is visiting Jerusalem is beyond lunacy. The level of pressure the Israel Defense Forces has been exerting on Gaza may be squeezing Hamas, but it is destroying Israel. Destroying its soul and its image. Destroying it on world television screens, in the living rooms of the international community and most importantly, in Obama's America.
Seven states sued the federal government Thursday over a new rule that expands protections for doctors and other health care workers who refuse to participate in abortions and other medical procedures because of religious or moral objections.
They claim the federal rule, issued by the Bush administration last month and set to take effect Tuesday, would trump state laws protecting women's access to birth control, reproductive health services and emergency contraception.
US LAWYERS battling against torture and other abuses at Guantanamo Bay are braced for George Bush issuing last-minute pardons to protect those in his Administration most closely implicated.
The lawyers' warning came after a senior member of the Bush Administration, Susan Crawford, admitted for the first time that torture had been carried out.
The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit Thursday challenging the constitutionality of a law that requires whistleblowers with allegations of war profiteering or other contract fraud to file their lawsuits in secret.
The secrecy requirements of the federal False Claims Act violate freedom-of-speech protections and have kept war fraud complaints in Iraq and elsewhere hidden from public view, the ACLU says in its lawsuit.
The fighting in Gaza is "war deluxe." Compared with previous wars, it is child's play - pilots bombing unimpeded as if on practice runs, tank and artillery soldiers shelling houses and civilians from their armored vehicles, combat engineering troops destroying entire streets in their ominous protected vehicles without facing serious opposition. A large, broad army is fighting against a helpless population and a weak, ragged organization that has fled the conflict zones and is barely putting up a fight. All this must be said openly, before we begin exulting in our heroism and victory.
Attorney General-nominee Eric Holder Jr. forcefully broke from the Bush administration's counterterrorism policies Thursday, declaring that waterboarding is torture and pledging to prosecute some Guantanamo Bay detainees in U.S. courts.
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