Thursday, October 11, 2007

Pardoners In Crime

If the RESTORE Act arrives on Bush’s desk without an immunity clause for the telecom companies that enabled his impeachable, illegal (under FISA) and unconstitutional (4th Amendment) warrant-less “wiretapping” program, he will have to veto it not so much because of the telecom’s investment in him but more because if he doesn’t he will expose himself to the same kind of lawsuits and criminal charges that the telecom companies fear.

The telecoms are complaining that without immunity they risk bankruptcy from lawsuits. This argument is stupid. For a start they’d be subject to a class-action suit, (and possibly half a dozen individual suits at best) so they wouldn’t be sunk by lawyer’s fees and court costs. Secondly there’s no way a court would allow the total bankruptcy of any one of the telecom companies—it would be too disruptive.

If he hasn’t already done-so, Bush will likely write-up a pardon for the telecoms. It won’t matter to him that a pardon is supposed to apply only after a guilty verdict and time served. His father “pardoned” Caspar Weinberger for his indictment in Iran-Contra, thus averting a trial and exposure of G.W. Bush’s own important role in the affair, thus allowing Bush to effectively pardon himself--and he got away with it!
(The sub-headings of the NYT article—Bush Diary at Issue and 6 Year Inquiry into Deal of Arms for Hostages Swept Away)

The power to pardon falls under Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution:
"The President shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment."
That’s all there is to it. It can be applied to a corporation as to an individual, and no standard of justification is required.

"Should I decide to grant pardons, I will do so in a fair way. I will have the highest of high standards." (George W. Bush, Feb 22nd 2001)

Ri-iight, George!

If history is any guide, George Junior is going to get away with it, just like his old Dad, though just to be sure he’s going to have to pardon is entire administration, and with all those pardons there’ll be just enough room in his presidential Library for “The Pet Goat” and a torture memo.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Who Is Burying Ciara Durkin ?

On Thursday, September 27th Massachusetts National Guard Spc. Ciara Durkin, 30, was found with a single gunshot wound to her head behind a building--apparently a “church”--in a “secure area” at Bagram Airbase.

On Friday, September 28th, The Washington Post recorded in their simple Faces of the Fallen roster that Ciara Durkin: “Died of injuries suffered from a non-combat related incident at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan.”

By Monday October 1st, ‘everyone’ had received the AP “wire” report on Iraq/Afghanistan casualties, which included Ciara Durkin, listed as having died from a non-combat related incident”

On October 1st, RTE (Radio-Television Eire) reported:

"Ciara Durkin, 30, originally from Eanach Mheáin in Connemara, died as a result of a single gunshot wound to the head within the Bagram airbase, according to information the military has released to the Durkin Family. Speaking on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta this morning Pádraig Ó Conghaile, Ms Durkin's brother-in-law, appealed to the [Irish] Department of Foreign Affairs to participate in the investigation into her death."

On Tuesday, October 2nd the Boston Globe reported:

"The Department of Defense said in a statement yesterday that Ciara Durkin's injuries came from a "non-combat related incident" that is under investigation. The statement contradicts a Sunday statement from the Massachusetts Army National Guard that said Durkin, an Army specialist, was killed in action. A guard spokesman said the term was meant to imply that Durkin was deployed in Afghanistan at the time of her death".

On Wednesday, October 3rd The Boston Herald reported:

"The Quincy soldier mysteriously slain by a bullet to the head on a secure Afghanistan airbase feared something might happen to her after discovering “something she didn’t like,” her devastated family revealed."
At this point the story was being spread through the US liberal blogosphere. There was nothing on the right-wing blogs.

On Thursday, Oct 4th ABCNews/GMA reported the story, as did CBS News, and the Washington Post and the New York Times amongst others.

On Friday, October 5th FOX News reported that "Marion Jones admitted using steroids before the 2000 Olympics in a recent letter to close family and friends" ---which Greta Van Susteren (champion of dead blondes everywhere except Afghanistan) blogged about, and about which Bill O’Really opined too.

On Monday, October 8th on, underThe Big Story w/Gibson and Nauert” (which you have to carefully click-on, otherwise you just get the only obvious content—Gibson’s 'My Word') and then underHeather’s Big Headline” there is this:

"Unfortunately, on Friday night we had to cut Douglas Kennedy's story about a U.S. soldier who mysteriously died in Afghanistan short. News on Olympic medalist Marion Jones' use of steroids broke just as Douglas's story was airing and we needed to break away to cover it. We are posting the entire story here:
We sincerely hope that Spc. Ciara Durkin's family will soon learn what led to the death of the 30-year-old woman, daughter and sister who had eight siblings. Spc. Durkin and the many other brave men and women give up a great deal to serve our country in remote and often dangerous places. Her family deserves answers soon."

So, just as FOX News finally gets around to reporting on what looks like a murder of a US National Guard soldier on a US base, one of Fox’s worst-rated feature shows (Gibson) HAD to cut away to live coverage of an Olympic athlete admitting steroid use and lying about it. And then, they buried the video report on Durkin (which does actually cover most of the salient points in a minute and a half) beneath a generic link, THREE DAYS later, along with an unctuous note of “sympathy”.

The only reason I found this story was because I already knew about Durkin from the blogosphere and I searched FOX to see what coverage they’d given it. But just to make my outrage complete I decided to see how much coverage FOX’s closest competitor, CNN had provided.

NOTHING! Here’s the search result string:

There is much to be drawn from all this, but for whatever reason Ciara Durkin died, the likes of CNN and FOX and those they enabled buried her and thousands of others years ago, and they are burying her once again whilst avoiding the customary respect of soiling their hands to toss dirt into the grave they reserved for her.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

There's No Cancer Like Snow Cancer Like No Cancer I Know!

Tony Snow is planning to write a book on how to deal with cancer.

Finally! Why didn’t anyone think of that before?!

[Google Results 1 - 10 of about 2,140,000 for dealing with cancer]

One way to deal with cancer is to write a book about how to deal with cancer.

You know, a lot of people think cancer can happen to just anybody, but they’re wrong! It can happen to important media-personalities as well, and when it does, their cancer is important too!

So how do important well-paid people deal with their important cancer? They write a book about it! It makes them feel just a whole lot better.

If YOU have cancer you may have thought about writing a book about how to deal with cancer, but don’t bother because you probably aren’t dealing with cancer as well as Tony Snow does so you really should buy his book instead of writing your own, because if you don’t, well then you’re just a heartless bastard who doesn’t care about people who have cancer.