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Wednesday, Aug 05th

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John Dean: Bush almost became an ‘unconstitutional dictator’

Responding to the recent release of several legal justifications for President Bush’s most criticized policies, Dean summarized, “Reading these memos, you’ve gotta almost conclude we had an unconstitutional dictator. It’s pretty deadly and pretty serious, what’s in these materials.”

The memos, released by Obama’s Justice Department on Monday, outline possible methods for the president to ignore treaties and International laws, kidnap and torture American citizens and overrule the First Amendment to the Constitution which ensures freedom of speech and of the press.

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Bush emails not a priority: Congress budgets $650,000 to declassify Nazi war docs

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) -- which has yet to complete a program designed to properly store electronic records even in the shadow of millions of missing White House emails sent during the presidency of George W. Bush -- apparently feels a World War II probe is more important.

So does Congress, if their most recent budget is any guide. Congress has just budgeted $650,000 for the declassification of any documents relating to US intelligence agencies and their relationships with Nazi or Japanese war criminals.

TVNL Comment:The recent relentless campaign to garner sympathy for Israel by reminding everyone about the Holocaust continues. Hollywood, law enforcement agencies, and the US government seem to all suddenly feel that it is suddenly urgently important to find more evidence of Nazi crimes. Of course if you question the events in Germany...you go to jail.

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Secrecy and Executive Power

Glenn Greenwald’s description of the common liberal sentiment that “Bush’s secrecy theories and assertions of unchallengeable executive power were grave and tyrannical threats to liberty” is spot-on. But as Greenwald notes, these same assertions of power and privilege are no less grave in the Obama administration. The similarities between the Obama administration’s response to the 9th Circuit Court’s ruling in the Al-Haramain case, requiring the government to turn over classified information and the legal views espoused under the Bush-Cheney administration by the likes of John Yoo and David Addington are simply stunning.

We didn’t elect President Obama to preserve the Bush administration’s anti-contistutional executive power grab. We elected him to end it.

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Feds probably won't charge anyone for destroying CIA tapes

Even though he has yet to complete his investigation, a federal prosecutor has already signaled that he is unlikely to indict any CIA employees for incinerating 92 secret interrogation tapes that purportedly show suspects being waterboarded.

Lost in the flood of reports about the CIA admitting the destruction of 92 interrogation tapes in a government legal filing were new and potentially devastating details. Sources close to an ongoing probe told The Washington Post that they expect no one at the CIA will be charged.

TVNL Comment: What are the people of this nation supposed to do with a government that is so corrupt that there is nobody left to prosecute the criminals? Americans may not have to the legal right to start a revolution, but it is clear that at this point if they want to preserve what is left of their liberty, they have an obligation to do so.

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Unable to win, ex-GOP senator calls for election results to be 'set aside'

If at first you don't succeed, change the rules.

That's the approach of would-be incumbent Minnesota Republican senator Norm Coleman, who has now called for recent Senate election results to be "set aside."

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Blackwater founder quits CEO post

Erik Prince, the founder of the controversial US private security firm Blackwater, has said he will remain the company's chairman after announcing he was stepping down as chief executive officer.

His resignation as CEO on Monday comes as five former Blackwater guards await trial in the US in connection with the killings of 17 Iraqis in a shooting incident in Baghdad, the Iraqi capital, in 2007.

The guards are alleged to have opened fire on civilians in Nisoor Square in an unprovoked attack that provoked a wave of outrage in the country.

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Bush administration memos claimed vast war powers

The secret legal opinions issued by Bush administration lawyers after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks included assertions that the president could use the nation's military within the United States to combat people deemed as terrorists and to conduct raids without obtaining a search warrant.

That opinion was among nine that were disclosed publicly for the first time Monday by the Justice Department, in what the Obama administration portrayed as a step toward greater transparency. The opinions showed a broad interpretation of presidential authority, asserting as well that the president could unilaterally abrogate foreign treaties, deal with detainees suspected of terrorism while rejecting input from Congress and conduct a warrantless eavesdropping program.

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Israel to present Clinton with 'red lines' on talks with Iran

Israel plans to present U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with a series of "red lines" it wants Washington to incorporate into its planned dialogue with Tehran about Iran's nuclear program.

The red lines were jointly formulated by the Foreign Ministry and the defense establishment, and Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu has been briefed on them. The document recommends that Israel adopt a positive attitude toward the planned U.S.-Iranian dialogue, but proposes ways of minimizing what Israeli officials see as the risks inherent in such talks. Its main points are as follows:

TVNL Comment: Clinton is going to meet her real bosses and get her marching orders.

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Evidence of Bush-Rove Crimes Hidden Away in Southern Town?

Hidden away in the basement of a bank building on Broad Street here, there is a bank of computer servers containing all the evidence Congress and the courts need to investigate and prosecute all the crimes of the Bush years. That includes the mysteriously missing e-mail messages sent by Karl Rove from his White House office through the Republican National Committee e-mail addresses from his special Blackberry reserved for political activities.
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