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interpreting the constitution
spread of the red
number 168    
Brown Tribute
In the waning days of his
administration, President Bush has
embarked on an effort to reaffirm key
elements of his unique foreign policy,
including the use of preemptive
military strikes and a reaffirmation of
the open-ended “war on terror”.
Legal analysts have written that
attempts to codify or formalize the
more controversial aspects of
administration policy may be
intended to shield the president and
his senior advisers from future legal
action. According to a report by the
New York Times, among the myriad
provisions of a routine White House
proposal recently submitted to
Congress was a declaration that the
nation remains in a formal state of
armed conflict with various
international terrorist organizations.

The passage, part of a procedural
proposal for detainee appeals at
Guantanamo Bay, calls on Congress
to “acknowledge again and explicitly
that this nation remains engaged in
an armed conflict with al Qaeda, the
Taliban, and associated
organizations, who have already
proclaimed themselves at war with us
and who are dedicated to the
slaughter of Americans.“ Noting the
similarity to the Authorization for the
Use of Military Force passed by
Congress in  2001, the
reports that the language could have
“significant legal and policy
implications for Mr. Bush, and
potentially his successor, to
claim the imprimatur of Congress
to use the tools of war, including
detention, interrogation, and

Political commentators have
pointed out the irony that the
failure of the administration to
apprehend Osama bin Laden has
in some ways sustained the “war
on terror”, as the presidential
candidates strive to surpass one
another with tough talk that
presupposes the continuity of the
policy. There is no evidence that
either Senator would dismantle
the apparatus of expanded
executive authority designed
under the aegis of the "war on
it's all true
Bush 'War on Terror' to Become Permanent Policy Error
The US Air Force is in the final
stages of developing an aircraft-
mounted, long-range tactical laser
weapon, which will initially be
deployed to shoot down missiles.
The Advanced Tactical Laser,
described in defense literature as
the “long-range blowtorch”, is a
highly concentrated laser that can
destroy its targets without leaving
any munitions fragments that
could be used to identify the
source of the attack, a “plausible
deniability” that makes the system
even more attractive, according to
Pentagon officials. The laser and
its delivery systems are being
developed jointly by Northrup
Grumman Corp., Lockheed Martin
Corp., and Boeing.

The first test firings of the laser
weapon were conducted this
summer in California, and a
spokesman for Boeing says the
program remains on track to
complete a demonstration
planned for next year. Speaking
before the New Mexico Optics
Industry Association in June,
senior Air Force research
engineer Cynthia Kaiser cited
“plausible deniability” as a benefit
of laser weapons.  
it's all true
Generals Scheme
With Laser Beam
When Treasury Secretary Henry
Paulson announced in early July that
he had developed contingency plans
for government intervention on
behalf of mortgage giants Fannie
Mae and Freddie Mac, he made the
rounds of the Sunday talk shows to
stress that he did not foresee any
circumstances under which such an
intervention would be necessary.
Paulson repeated those assurances
the following week in Congressional
testimony, telling the Senate Banking
Committee, “If you have a bazooka in
your pocket, and people know you
have a bazooka, you may never have
to take it out.”

It is possible that Paulson truly
believed at the time that he might be
able to hand the artillery off to his
hapless successor; as a political
appointee, the Treasury Secretary
was presumably under pressure from
the Bush administration to run out
the clock. But now the bazooka has
been fired, along with several top
Wall Street executives, and it is
doubtful that Paulson intended or
imagined the collateral damage from
the damaged collateral. In less than
two weeks since the seizure of the
GSEs effectively nationalized the
mortgage market, venerable
investment banks Lehman Brothers
and Merrill Lynch have
disappeared, fears of a collapse in
credit default swaps prompted the
unprecedented bailout of an
insurance company, AIG, by the
Federal Reserve, and the pressure
of imminent failure is forcing the
accelerated demise of other
prominent financial institutions,
including Morgan Stanley, Wachovia
Bank, and Washington Mutual.

This is the disorderly unwinding that
Paulson and Fed chief Ben Bernanke
were hoping to postpone or at least
drag out by taking every possible
action to placate the financial sector
since the securities market froze in
August 2007. They avoided the
central issue of widespread
insolvency by characterizing the
problem as a “credit squeeze” or a
“liquidity crisis”. The intricately
intertwined securities trading
conducted on Wall Street over the
last decade has created an
excessive level of so-called
counterparty risk that threatens what
economist Nouriel Roubini calls the
“shadow banking system”, and now
the government that protected and
served that system. Analysts expect
an initiative to bolster funding for the
FDIC, as well as the formation of a
federal entity to secure the bad debt
of the remaining banks, much of it
still unrealized and yet to be
it's all true
Paulson Desperate to Refinance his House of
Percentage of
people who claim
no religion
selected states
nd    ms      nc      wi      ut      
Political and military leaders in
Pakistan have condemned the
recent incursion by US Special
Operations troops into
Pakistan in strong terms
saying that unilateral action by
the US in Pakistan “does not
help the war on terror because
it only enrages public
opinion.”  Pakistan has
authorized its military to fire
upon American troops if
another raid is launched
across the Afghan border.

US gunship helicopters ferried
US military forces into Pakistan
territory in the first week of this
month attacking what US
spokespersons have
characterized as a hideout for
extremists and killing more
than 20 people.  The  attack
was carried out by two dozen
Navy Seals who spent several
hours on the ground in
Northern Waziristan battling
what US military
spokespersons said were
“militants”.  The attack marked
the first time that US soldiers
carried out a ground assault in
Pakistan since the beginning
of the war in Afghanistan.

The Pakistan government
condemned the raid as a
violation of its sovereignty and
reported that the US Special
Operations forces killed only
women and children during the

New York Times
reported that President Bush
approved military raids in
Pakistan territory in July.  The
Times said, “It is unclear
precisely what legal authorities
it has invoked to conduct even
limited ground raids in a
friendly country.”   
it's all true
Acting in concert with federal anti-
terrorism agents, police and sheriffs
departments in Colorado and
Minnesota arrested more than 1000
protesters during the major political
party national conventions that took
place in late August and early

Authorities in both locations have
said that the vast majority of the
citizens who gathered to exercise
their right to express their criticism of
the political parties’ positions on the
economy, the on-going military
invasions and other policy matters
were peaceful.  The crowd control
forces amassed to maintain order are
said by witnesses, however, to have
violated the rights of protesters and
in some instances escalated tensions
precipitating aggressive
confrontations that may
have otherwise been avoidable.
Critics of the enforcement tactics
used by the police and federal
agents point to the pre-emptive
arrests in Minneapolis of a group of
self-styled police monitors and
activists who had made plans to
video police aggression and organize
civil-disobedience activities as an
example of the aggressive stance
taken by authorities with respect to
policing the conventions.  

The RNC Welcoming Committee had
organized acts of protest and civil
disobedience over the course of
several months leading up to the
Republican meeting.  Days prior to
the convention in St. Paul, a team of
30 officers in riot gear conducted a
raid on several homes the activists
used as meeting places.  Five
“suspected leaders” were arrested
and computers, journals, art supplies
and political pamphlets were seized.  
attorney for the National Lawyer’s
Guild who represents some of the
arrestees said, “I was personally
present and saw officers with riot
gear and assault rifles (and)
pump-action shotguns.  There
were children in all of these
houses, and children were held at
Seizing boxes of political literature
shows the motive of these raids
was political.”  The protesters who
were arrested were charged with
planning a terrorist act, a charge
that carries a possible seven-year
prison sentence.

46 members of the news media
were also arrested including
reporters and photographers from
the Associated Press, an editor of
Variety Magazine, and several
student reporters and their
academic advisors from college
it's all true
An investigation by the Justice
Department’s Inspector General’s
Office has found that former Attorney
General Alberto Gonzalez illegally
mishandled top secret documents
during his tenure that relate to some
of the most controversial secret
programs instituted by the Bush
administration.  The investigation
found that Gonzalez spirited
classified documents from secure
locations and hid them in his home
and other insecure locations.  

The 18 documents that Gonzalez
removed from Justice Department
headquarters included documents
pertaining to the Bush administration’
s program of coercive interrogation
of terror suspects that some have
described as torture and the
administration’s secret surveillance
program that spied upon millions of
The Inspector General’s report found
that the 18 documents that Gonzalez
spirited out of the department are
classified as “sensitive compartment-
alized information”, documents that
are considered to be more sensitive
than top secret documents and which
are required by law to be stored in
specific secure locations accessible
only by employees with SCI

Gonzalez reportedly removed the
documents from their secure location
and kept them in his home in Vienna,

The Inspector General’s office
referred their findings back to the
Justice Department for prosecution.  
A spokesperson for the department
said later that Gonzalez will not be
it's all true
Terror Troopers Storm Primarily Peaceful Political
Secret Documents Not Safe With Gonzo
US Special Forces
Bordering on
verbatim                                                                       32.5
...we're all children of
God, and having the
power to save lives
comes with the obligation
to use it."                       
Washington DC    02.26.08
"America is on a mission of
mercy...This mission
serves our security
interests...This mission
serves our moral
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