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Monday, Sep 22nd

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The Torture Presidency

The report concluded that Donald Rumsfeld and other high-level officials of the administration consciously adopted a policy for the torture and abuse of prisoners held in the war on terror. It also found that they attempted to cover up their conduct by waging a P.R. campaign to put the blame on a group of young soldiers they called “rotten apples.” Lawyers figure prominently among the miscreants identified. Evidently the torture policy’s authors then enlisted ethics-challenged lawyers to craft memoranda designed to give torture “the appearance of legality” as part of a scheme to create the torture program despite internal opposition. A declassified summary of the report can be read here; the full report is filled with classified information and therefore has been submitted to the Department of Defense with a request that the materials be declassified for release. (Don’t expect that to happen before January 20, however).

This report sums up all you need to know about George W. Bush’s eight years of leadership.

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Cheney: Obama 'not likely to cede authority'

Vice President Dick Cheney said Monday that President-elect Barack Obama will “appreciate” the expansions of executive power achieved during the Bush administration and is unlikely to cede authority back to Congress.

“Once they get here and they’re faced with the same problems we deal with every day, then they will appreciate some of the things we've put in place,” Cheney said during an interview on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show.

TVNL Comment: Maybe Obama will use that power to delcare Cheney an enemy combatant and haul him off to some torture chamber! That would be justice.

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Bush-appointed official twisted species data, report says

A disgraced Bush administration appointee known for twisting science and altering key endangered species decisions interfered with far more findings than earlier revealed, according to a federal probe released Monday.

The investigation, requested by Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., showed that Julie MacDonald, former assistant secretary of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, manipulated decisions involving about a dozen additional species. In the Northwest, they included the northern spotted owl, marbled murrelet and bull trout.

"MacDonald's overreaching, and the actions of those who enabled and assisted her, have caused the unnecessary expenditure of hundreds of thousands of dollars to re-issue decisions and litigation costs to defend decisions" that turned out to be illegal, said the report from the Interior Department's inspector general.

TVNL Comment: Yet another example of the vile conduct of the Bush cabal. Lies, deception, and right direct harm to us and to our planet. These people are the most horrible lying bastards to ever control our government!

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Saudi offers $10m for Iraqi reporter’s ‘farewell gift’ to President Bush

The shoes thrown by an Iraqi journalist at United States President George W Bush in Iraq on Sunday has gained ‘immortal fame’, a private TV channel reported on Monday. According to an Arab TV channel, a Saudi citizen has offered $10 million to buy the shoes thrown at the US president by TV reporter Muntazeral Zaidi who was detained after being accused of a ‘barbaric act’ by the Iraqi government. Thousands of Iraqi citizens protested for Zaidi’s release, calling him a national hero.

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Change? Obama Inner Circle Filled With Bilderbergers

Below is an overview of Obama’s top 14 selections to date. When considering their collective histories, a trend becomes clear, proving that the more things change under Obama, the more they stay the same.

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Ruling hands big tobacco big setback on state suits

A divided Supreme Court ruled Monday that smokers can sue tobacco companies in state court for making fraudulent claims.

The surprising 5-4 ruling was a victory for the court's liberals, who in recent years have seen conservatives systematically curtail courtroom access. The ruling also drove down tobacco company stocks, on the prospect that multibillion-dollar lawsuits seeking class-action status may proliferate.

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Across Mideast, Arabs hail shoe-hurling journalist

Iraqis and other Arabs erupted in glee Monday at the shoe attack on George W. Bush. Far from a joke, many in the Mideast saw the act by an Iraqi journalist as heroic, expressing the deep, personal contempt many feel for the American leader they blame for years of bloodshed, chaos and the suffering of civilians.

Images of Bush ducking the fast-flying shoes at a Baghdad press conference, aired repeatedly on Arab satellite TV networks, were cathartic for many in the Middle East, who have for years felt their own leaders kowtow to the American president.

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Vatican to be sued over sex abuse claims

Three men who claim they were abused by Catholic clergy in America have succeeded in naming the Vatican as sole defendant in a lawsuit and are hoping to force Pope Benedict XVI to give evidence in the case.

The 6th US circuit court of appeal recently ruled that although the Holy See, as a sovereign state, was immune from most lawsuits, the plaintiffs could proceed with their argument that its officials were involved in a deliberate effort to cover up evidence of sexual abuse by American priests.

Their case centres on a 1962 directive from the Vatican telling church officials to hide sex abuse complaints against clergy.

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Iraq TV demands release of Bush shoe attacker

An Iraqi television station on Monday demanded the immediate release of one of its journalists who caused a furore when he hurled shoes at visiting US President George W. Bush.

Muntazer al-Zaidi jumped up as Bush was holding a press conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki on Sunday, shouted "It is the farewell kiss, you dog" and threw two shoes at the US leader.

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