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Forgive and Forget?

Last Sunday President-elect Barack Obama was asked whether he would seek an investigation of possible crimes by the Bush administration. “I don’t believe that anybody is above the law,” he responded, but “we need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards.”

I’m sorry, but if we don’t have an inquest into what happened during the Bush years — and nearly everyone has taken Mr. Obama’s remarks to mean that we won’t — this means that those who hold power are indeed above the law because they don’t face any consequences if they abuse their power.

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Why We Have to Look Back at the Bush Imperial Presidency

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.

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'Times-Pic' to Bush: 'No Question' That Federal Response to Katrina Was 'Slow, Shameful'

In his last official press conference as president George W. Bush vigorously defended the federal government's response to Hurricane Katrina, denying it had been slow.

Tuesday, The Times-Picayune -- whose staff was forced to abandon its New Orleans headquarters in the rising flood waters and whose reporters were the first to alert the nation that the city had not "dodged a bullet" on Katrina -- begged to differ. Strongly.

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Twelve Editorial Staff Rules for the Great International Media When the News is from the Middle East

1) In the Middle East it is always the Arabs who attack first and always Israel that is defending themselves. This defense is called a reprisal.

2) The Arabs, Palestinian or Lebanese have no right to kill civilians. That is called “terrorism.”

3) Israel has the right to kill civilians. That is called “legitimate defense.”

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Lucky my parents aren't alive to see this

Forget the bombardments, forget the electricity, food, even sleep. But no water? Because of the bombardments by sea, land and air, people cannot even go out to get drinking water from the city faucets. And when someone does have running water at home, it's undrinkable.

Because of my parents' history they knew what it meant to close people behind barbed-wire fences in a small area. A year, five years, 10 years. From 1991. How lucky it is that they are not alive to see how how these incarcerated people are bombarded with all the glorious military technology of Israel and the United States.

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Robert Fisk: Why do they hate the West so much, we will ask

So once again, Israel has opened the gates of hell to the Palestinians. Forty civilian refugees dead in a United Nations school, three more in another. Not bad for a night's work in Gaza by the army that believes in "purity of arms". But why should we be surprised?

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If Obama Is Serious He should get tough with Israel.

Don't get me wrong. Barack Obama—as every other U.S. president before him—will protect the special relationship with Israel. But the days of America's exclusive ties to Israel may be coming to an end. Despite efforts to sound reassuring during the campaign, the new administration will have to be tough, much tougher than either Bill Clinton or George W. Bush were, if it's serious about Arab-Israeli peacemaking.

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