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Tuesday, Oct 21st

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Book says White House ordered forgery

A new book by the author Ron Suskind claims that the White House ordered the CIA to forge a back-dated, handwritten letter from the head of Iraqi intelligence to Saddam Hussein.

Suskind writes in “The Way of the World,” to be published Tuesday, that the alleged forgery – adamantly denied by the White House – was designed to portray a false link between Hussein’s regime and al Qaeda as a justification for the Iraq war.

The author also claims that the Bush administration had information from a top Iraqi intelligence official “that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq – intelligence they received in plenty of time to stop an invasion.”

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Prosecuting Bush and Cheney

Last week two judges encouraged me to look to courts to help us recover from the damage done by an outlaw executive and a spineless corrupt legislature. The first was Bush-appointed federal Judge John Bates who ruled that people must comply with Congressional subpoenas even if they used to work for the president, and this because - you know - the law requires it. The second was Judge William Price in Iowa who was hearing the case of citizens arrested for trying to make a citizens' arrest of Karl Rove. When told what they had been trying to do, the judge said "Well, it's about time!"

Sort of makes you want to go out and arrest a war criminal or two, doesn't it? Here's how:

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Interactive guide: Who in the Bush administration broke the law, and who could be prosecuted?

One response to the amassing evidence is Nuremberg-style war-crime prosecutions. The opposite pole is blanket immunity for all lawbreakers in advance. Somewhere in the middle lies a truth-and-reconciliation commission that would try to ferret out the truth.

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Bush signs new rules, roles for spy agencies

President Bush approved an order Wednesday that rewrites the rules governing spying by U.S. intelligence agencies, both in the United States and abroad, and strengthens the authority of the national intelligence director, according to a U.S. official and government documents.

The order has been under revision for more than a year, an attempt to update a nearly 30-year-old presidential order to reflect organizational changes made in the intelligence agencies after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

It was carried on in secret in the midst of pitched national debate about the appropriate balance between civil liberties and security, spurred by the president's warrantless wiretapping program.

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For White House, Hiring Is Political

On May 17, 2005, the White House’s political affairs office sent an e-mail message to agencies throughout the executive branch directing them to find jobs for 108 people on a list of “priority candidates” who had “loyally served the president.”

“We simply want to place as many of our Bush loyalists as possible,” the White House emphasized in a follow-up message, according to a little-noticed passage of a Justice Department report released Monday about politicization in the department’s hiring of civil-service prosecutors and immigration officials.

The report, the subject of a Senate oversight hearing Wednesday, provided a window into how the administration sought to install politically like-minded officials in positions of government responsibility, and how the efforts at times crossed customary or legal limits.

TVNL Comment: Next time I commit a crime I want it called "crossing legal limits", not committing a crime!

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Justice Report Finds Aides Illegally Discriminated Against Career Hires Who Weren't Republican

Gonzales was largely unaware of the hiring decisions by two of his most trusted aides, according to the report by Justice's Office of Inspector General and Office of Professional Responsibility.

    But it singles out his former White House liaison, Monica Goodling, for violating federal law and Justice Department policy by discriminating against job applicants who weren't Republican or conservative loyalists.

    "Goodling improperly subjected candidates for certain career positions to the same politically based evaluation she used on candidates for political positions," the report concluded.

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Exposing Bush's historic abuse of power

But there are growing indications that these known abuses of power may only be the tip of the iceberg. Now, in the twilight of the Bush presidency, a movement is stirring in Washington for a sweeping new inquiry into White House malfeasance that would be modeled after the famous Church Committee congressional investigation of the 1970s.

Salon has also uncovered further indications of far-reaching and possibly illegal surveillance conducted by the National Security Agency inside the United States under President Bush. That includes the alleged use of a top-secret, sophisticated database system for monitoring people considered to be a threat to national security. It also includes signs of the NSA's working closely with other U.S. government agencies to track financial transactions domestically as well as globally. 

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