Archive for December, 2008

Phyllis Bennis and Josh Ruebner on Israel’s Gaza Assault

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

Talk Nation Radio for December 31, 2008

Phyllis Bennis and Josh Ruebner on Israel’s Gaza Assault

Israel has been justifying the Gaza assault as provoked by Hamas violations of the ceasefire facilitated by Egypt. But Israel itself violated the ceasefire in November. Oversights in the US media and analysis of news on Gaza.

Listen to this week’s program here or download below.

Special Thanks to Middle East Report for putting us in contact with today’s guests.

Produced by Dori Smith, WHUS Radio FM 91.7, a Pacifica Affiliate at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, CT

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We move through several days of news coverage on Israel’s assault on Gaza featuring interviews with Phyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies and Josh Ruebner, National Advocacy Director at the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation. Their web page is End the Occupation dot org.

Our coverage on Gaza began with a December 26th interview with UN special rapporteur to the Palestinian territories, Richard Falk about dire conditions in Gaza due to Israel’s blockade preventing even humanitarian supplies from being delivered by the UN and other agencies. (See also our interview with Darryl Li on Gaza, legal and political rights remain important despite ongoing stories about hunger, shortages of medical care and fuel here.

-Falk had been detained by Israeli officials when tried to visit the occupied territories. Israeli security services then searched him, put him in a holding center, and finally deported him without regard for his UN status.

-Falk has appealed to the UN Security Council, asking them to pressure Israel to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza to save lives there.

-He also called on the ICC, International Criminal Court, asking them to investigate Israel’s violation of the ceasefire in November. Shortly after that interview aired Israeli troops began bombing Gaza and moved troops and heavy artillery in for a possible ground attack. Between 390 and 400 Palestinians have died in these air attacks with many wounded. On December 28th we turned to Phyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington D.C. to learn more about what was going on.

Phyllis Bennis goes over, ‘The Gaza Emergency,’ her piece published at and offers her analysis on political and military conditions in war torn Gaza.

US citizens heard little about the humanitarian crisis ongoing in Gaza when Israeli warplanes attacked. There was silence from the US press, even after UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon asked Israel to allow humanitarian aid in to save lives.

After the attacks began US news anchors mentioned only the Hamas violation of the ceasefire, calling Israel’s action a retaliation. NBC’s David Gregory interviewed Israel’s Foreign Minister Tsipi Livni, we hear a clip.

Tzipi Livni is running for the office of Prime Minister against the hard right former PM Benjamin Netanyahu. She was one of the first voices Americans heard from after Israel launched the attacks on Gaza, Livni telling NBC’s David Gregory that Israel wanted to change the realities on the ground, then Gregory ignoring Israeli violations to make it seem as if they never occurred. — We asked Phyllis Bennis to comment on Livni’s call for a new reality in Gaza.

As of early December 30th, the 4th day of Israel’s bombing of Gaza, web pages of network news outlets were featuring Gaza slide shows with portraits of dead or dying children. US based news networks like ABC were still reporting Israel’s attacks were retaliation for violations of the ceasefire by Hamas without mentioning Israel’s violations of the ceasefire which in this case did some first. World leaders like Germany’s Angela Merkel were blaming Hamas for Israel’s attacks.

(See update JP January 4, 2009) Germans protest here. Meanwhile, headlines repeating what Angela Merkel says here that terror of Hamas cannot be accepted. — Meanwhile, Israeli ground troops enter Gaza. “The terror of Hamas cannot be accepted,” said Merkel in her New Year’s address. According to her spokesman Thomas Steg on Monday, she said in a conversation with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that the responsibility for the conflict lies “clearly and exclusively” with Hamas.”) See Israeli Ground Troops Enter Gaza here.

Josh Ruebner of the Campaign to End the Occupation.

Josh Ruebner fills us in on what the group, End The Occupation, is doing in the organizing of a petition (also here) calling on President-elect Barack Obama to call for an immediate ceasefire.

Josh Ruebner also shares his thoughts on what else the President-elect can do to help solve the crisis. He points out that Israel’s Attack on the Gaza Strip could not take place without US weapons. And he urges the President elect to look into Israel’s illegal uses of US supplied weapons.

We discuss a possible strengthening of Hamas due to sympathy generated by Israel’s air strikes on Gaza. And the way the media has been covering Israel’s Gaza assault.

End the Occupation is planning over 100 protests within some 30 states and 65 cities across the US calling for an end to Israel’s attacks on Gaza. We discuss news and offer some analysis on Gaza, calls for investigations into Israel’s violations of the ceasefire in November, prior to Hamas violations, and review the humanitarian emergency in Gaza.

UPDATE: As of 2 PM eastern time December 31st, the death toll was nearing 400, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Israel’s cabinet decided to continue the attacks on Gaza, On the fifth day of Israeli air attacks on Gaza, Hamas official Mushir al-Masri told AFP quote: “Israel will embark on a veritable adventure if it decides to invade Gaza. We have prepared surprises for them,” he said. The exiled head of Hamas, Khaled Meshaal, speaking by telephone with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, voiced “readiness to cease armed confrontation but on condition of the lifting of the blockade of Gaza,” the Russian ministry said. Israel has warned that its “all-out war” on Hamas could last for weeks. It has massed tanks on the Gaza border, authorized the call-up of 9,000 reservists and warned of a ground invasion.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has called for a ceasefire, as have the so called quartet of Middle East peace brokers — the UN, US, Russia and the EU (pdf file on EU). Israel considered the idea but rejected it.

Recent NY Times piece mentions President elect Barack Obama’s comments on Gaza: “If somebody was sending rockets into my house where my two daughters sleep at night, I’m going to do everything in my power to stop that,” Mr. Obama said in July. “And I would expect Israelis to do the same thing.” Times story published, December 27, 2008

Palestine, Ground Forces enter Gaza, January 4, 2009 by Ayesha Saldanha, and moments in Gaza both here.

Inheriting Bush’s Blinkers, Obama and American liberals readily adopt positions on Israel that they would deem extremist and racist in any other context, by Ali Abunimah here.
“[But] as more than 2,400 Palestinians have been killed or injured – the majority civilians – since Israel began its savage bombardment of Gaza on 27 December, Obama has maintained his silence. “There is only one president at a time,” his spokesmen tell the media. This convenient excuse has not applied, say, to Obama’s detailed interventions on the economy, or his condemnation of the “coordinated attacks on innocent civilians” in Mumbai in November.”

Jen Marlowe: Abeer’s Baby here.
Abeer’s Baby, by Jen Marlowe. “Last time I saw Abeer, a year ago, she had shown me pictures of her fiancé, a teacher, and last time we spoke, months ago, she told me she was pregnant. But I had no idea how far along she was and that she was about to give birth now.”

Talk Nation interviews Richard Falk about Gaza, ‘Silence is Not an Option’

Wednesday, December 24th, 2008

Talk Nation Radio for December 24, 2008

Richard Falk UN Special Rapporteur on the Palestinian Territories
‘Silence is not an Option’ on Gaza

Richard Falk was detained in an Israeli holding cell with 20 other detainees, rudely searched and then deported after issuing a strong call for Israeli leaders to respect the human rights of Palestinians. He has also called for an investigation into Israel’s violations of a truce with Hamas by the ICC, International Criminal Court.

Listen to this week’s show here

Produced by Dori Smith, WHUS FM 91.7 at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, CT
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On December 9th 2008 Richard Falk wrote about the plight of Palestinians he was about to visit on behalf of the United Nations. He issued a strong call to the international community to help save civilians in the Occupied Territories from starvation and other types of death caused by Israel’s blockade. The siege prevents the UN and NGO organizations from delivering humanitarian aid in the form of food and medical supplies.

He wrote: “Protective action must be taken immediately to offset the persisting and wide-ranging violations of the fundamental human right to life, and in view of the emergency situation that is producing a humanitarian catastrophe that is unfolding day by day. However difficult politically, it is time to act. At the very least, an urgent effort should be made at the United Nations to implement the agreed norm of a ‘responsibility to protect’ a civilian population being collectively punished by policies that amount to a Crime Against Humanity.

In a similar vein, it would seem mandatory for the International Criminal Court to investigate the situation, and determine whether the Israeli civilian leaders and military commanders responsible for the Gaza siege should be indicted and prosecuted for violations of international criminal law. As AbuZayd has declared, “This is a humanitarian crisis deliberately imposed by political actors.”

We spend the half hour with Richard Falk, UN special rapporteur on the Palestinian territories. The problem is, he can’t enter Gaza or any other part of the Israeli occupied territories he was assigned to work on. He also can’t enter Israel because he believes the leadership does not like what he has said about the rights of Palestinians.

Commentary from Dori Smith: When Barack Obama takes the oath of office in January his hand will be on the same Bible Abraham Lincoln used back in 1861. This symbolic gesture is clearly designed to remind Americans of advances in human and civil rights under Lincoln.

The media has moved naturally from exhaustive coverage of Barack Obama’s progressive pastor, his racial background, support from Oprah Winfrey, to focus on Obama’s choice of Rev. Rick Warren for an inaugural presentation.

Warren has excited the networks because of his harsh comments about gays. CNN and other television networks have been taking advantage of another opportunity to extend their ‘he said, she said’ “news coverage”.

CNN interviewed right wing pastor Pat Robertson, for example. The Associated Press quoted singer-songwriter Melissa Etheridge who says she was impressed by Warren’s warmth during a recent encounter. That warmth is progress after Warren compared gays to child abusers.

Etheridge and her wife Tammy Lynn Michael have now agreed to attend the inauguration despite some misgivings.

It is newsworthy that gays feel worried, their rights are at issue when it comes to seeing spouses in hospital or receiving equal pay and benefits to be shared with partners. But compare this type of daily new coverage to the CNN, AP, FOX, or MSNBC coverage of the steady loss of life in Gaza due to Israel’s cutting off of power, water, medical supplies, food, and petrol.

The civil and human rights of dying civilians, many of them children, may never be the kind of topic that receives such exhaustive coverage. CNN and other networks don’t tend to include Palestinian voices, or even a variety of viewpoints on Israel’s 60 year long occupation of Palestinian land.

The blockade of Gazans is mirrored by a blockade in US news coverage about their plight.

In fact, the humanitarian emergency in Gaza has become so dire that normally staid UN officials and members of the non-governmental organization or NGO world are speaking out against what Israel is doing. That includes UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon.

Upon arrival at Ben Gurian Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel, Richard Falk expected delays, perhaps a security search, but Israeli security services instead detained him and put him in a holding room with about 20 others experiencing entry problems. At this point, he wrote in a special to the Guardian, “I was treated not as a UN representative, but as some sort of security threat, subjected to an inch-by-inch body search and the most meticulous luggage inspection I have ever witnessed.”

Israel then refused to allow Falk to do his job for the UN in the occupied territories, Palestine. He was promptly deported. Richard Falk is professor of international law at Princeton University and remains the UN’s special rapporteur on the Palestinian territories.

Music by Fritz Heede

Ian Williams and Dave Lindorff talk about what US reporters can learn from al Zaidi incident

Thursday, December 18th, 2008

Talk Nation Radio for December 18, 2008

Ian Williams and Dave Lindorff talk about what the WH Press Corp should learn from al-Zaidi’s shoe toss at Bush.

‘The shoe has been elevated to an emblem of resistance to US occupation.’ Dave Lindorff

‘He’d rather have shoes I think than the hardball questions!’ Ian Williams

Listen to this week’s show here

Produced by Dori Smith at FM 91.7, WHUS Radio, a Pacifica affiliate at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, CT
TRT:29:39 music fades 11 sec.
Music by Fritz Heede

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We discuss the global surge in venting anger at George W. Bush sparked by Iraqi journalist Muntazer al-Zaidi when he threw both of his shoes at Bush during a press conference in Bagdad.

We’re joined by two veteran journalists, Ian Williams and David Lindorff, for a discussion about the actions taken by Muntazer al-Zaidi during a press conference in Baghdad when he took off both shoes and threw them at George W. Bush. Each of them wrote about their gut reactions to al-Zaidi’s actions and they are in general agreement that the Al Baghdadiya reporter showed more willingness to stand up to President Bush than the entire White House press corps has over eight years of news coverage.

David Lindorff wrote a piece dated December 15, 2008 published in, titled, ‘Muntadar al-Zaidi Did What We Journalists Should Have Done Long Ago’.

Ian Williams wrote, ‘Ducking the issue on Iraq’ December 15, 2008, published in The Guardian, titled, ‘One Iraqi journalist shows more willingness to stand up to President Bush than the entire White House press corp’.

Al-Zaidi has sparked demonstrations all over Iraq and he remains in custody though Shiite lawmaker Bahaa al-Araji has said he expects him to be released on bail in the next few days as the investigative judge considers his case. (Update)

We listen to the audio of the now famous shoe incident: Muntazer al-Zaidi saying “This is a farewell kiss, you dog! and then This is from the widows, the orphans, and those who were killed in Iraq!” Then Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki’s guards tackling al-Zaidi, and in the scuffle White House press spokesperson Dana Perino getting hit in the face with a reporter’s microphone and winding up with a black eye.

Ian Williams is author of several books including, ‘Deserter: Bush’s War on Military Families, Veterans, and His Own Past’, published by Nation Books. He is currently writing a book on the Americans who blame the UN for all of America’s ills. His previous books are, ‘The Alms Trade, a study of the role of charities in Britain’, ‘The UN For Beginners’, and ‘Rum: A Social & Sociable History of the Real Spirit of 1776′.

Dave Lindorff is a columnist for Counterpunch magazine and author of several recent books including ‘This Can’t Be Happening! Resisting the Disintegration of American Democracy’ and ‘Killing Time: An Investigation into the Death Penalty Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal’. His latest book, coauthored with Barbara Olshanshky, is ‘The Case for Impeachment: The Legal Argument for Removing President George W. Bush from Office’ (St. Martin’s Press, May 2006).

For information on Al Baghdadiya try Link TV. The link takes you to a page on the Arab stations they broadcast for US viewers and others. They write of Al Baghdadiya:

‘The website identifies the channel by saying: “In the overcrowded landscape of trans-national broadcasting satellites, we are not trying to be just another channel to appear, though at the same time we do not claim to be distinguished as much as we aim for clarity. Though media today is supposed to play among others an educational role, a rather negative influence on the opinion and aesthetical taste of the viewers can be found. Iraq today is suffering from destruction, environmental pollution and a serious dilemma at the cultural, political and economic levels. We, Al-Baghdadiyah Channel, will do all we can to contribute to the improvement of our reality as Iraqis and to do our utmost to turn the people’s sorrow into confidence that the future will betheirs. In this sense Al-Baghdadiyah will build up its course in broadcasting. Our belief in the Iraqis’ ability to recover from their suffering is the motivation behind the establishment of this TV channel. We want Al-Baghdadiyahto act as an access for Iraqis to the world and vice versa.”

In addition the channel aims at: Educating tolerance, helping to re-establish a healthy Iraqi society and environment, emphasizing the Iraqi identity through the cultural and social heritage, helping to improve and modernize Iraqi society besides respecting spiritual and social values, staying up to date with scientific developments worldwide, and improving the aesthetical values of broadcasting’.

Also for updates on al-Zaidi’s case try Democracy Now.

Al Baghdadiyah TV Channel
قناة البغدادية الفضائية | الصفحة الرئيسية
قناة البغدادية الفضائية | عين العراق على العالم وعين العالم على العراق … تدور أحداث المسلسل في إطار سياسي إجتماعي ØŒ حيث يناقش مشاكل المهاجرين العرب في … (see translate to English for contact information in Baghdad and Cairo.)

Our Music selected for Talk Nation Radio was written and performed by Fritz Heede. His beautiful music was also featured in the film, The Oil Factor. Fritz Heede was also Associate Producer for the award winning documentary “Hidden Wars of Desert Storm”. See music from, ‘Ritual Path, a long-awaited follow-up to the DVD ‘Illuminated Manuscripts’.

Journalist Graham Usher with breaking news and analysis from Islamabad Pakistan

Wednesday, December 10th, 2008

Talk Nation Radio for December 11, 2008

Journalist Graham Usher with breaking news and analysis from Islamabad Pakistan

Listen to this week’s show here in Mp3 format

Produced by Dori Smith at FM 91.7 WHUS, a Pacifica affiliate station at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, CT

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Journalist Graham Usher joins us from Islamabad Pakistan to discuss the climate there in the wake of the deaths of 171 people, murdered at various locations in Mumbai, India’s financial and tourist district in late November. His article in Al-Ahram, titled ‘Cold War’ raises the question, ‘Will American mediation ease or deepen the crisis in Pakistan-India relations caused by the killings in Mumbai? Graham Usher is author of a report in Middle East Report, titled, Pakistan Amidst the Storms


1.) US involvement in mediation between Pakistani and Indian officials in the wake of the Mumbai killings.

2.) The Indian authorities had arrested one man at the scene of the Mumbai killings in late November. We talk about the intelligence gained from interrogations and other means such as wiretaps and so called, ‘chatter’.

3.) The Indian, US, and Pakistani governments all appear convinced that the killers did come from Pakistan and are convinced by intelligence tying them to Lashkar-e-Taiba. We discuss the history of this group with the Pakistani military and what it wants for Kashmir.

4.) In his mid December story in Al Ahram Graham Usher quotes retired Pakistani General, Asad Durrani, former head of Pakistan’s ISI. who denies that the Pakistan army sees India as the primary threat these days.

5.) We hear about the US Military and CIA, who are intent on bombing sites in Pakistan. This is a crucial part of the problem according to Graham Usher, who explains that anti-US sentiments are running high in Pakistan. US involvement in mediating the crisis between India and Pakistan could have mixed results due to this climate of anger about the drone and missile attacks by USA forces.

6.) President-Elect Barack Obama has said two things Graham Usher sites as positive. First, he wants to solve the dispute over Kashmir to promote peace between India and Pakistan. Second, he sees a regional solution as best. According to Usher that would ideally mean negotiations with the Taliban, and focusing on all of the countries with something at stake in the region including Iran, Russia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and India.

Excerpt from this week’s show:
“The last thing the Americans want is any tension on the eastern border between Pakistan and India, and for one very simple reason which the Pakistani army has already signaled. That is that if we do get to a level of hostilities between Pakistan and India, Pakistan will move its soldiers from the western border with Afghanistan to the eastern border with India. That would be catastrophic for US troops in Afghanistan and for NATO forces in Afghanistan. Whatever criticism the Americans have of the Pakistani counter insurgency policies on the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, they still remain absolutely indispensable to the fight against the Taliban in Afghanistan.

I’ll give you just one statistic, 75% of all NATO supplies, some 300 trucks every day in terms of ammunition, equipment, materiel enters Afghanistan through Pakistan. If the Pakistani army lifted protection on that those routes could not happen and the troops would be very quickly bereft of equipment and essential supplies. So the importance of the Pakistani army continuing it’s presence on the western border, and at the moment it has something like 100,000 troops there, is absolutely essential to America’s counter insurgency policy in Afghanistan. So the absolute priority of Condoleezza Rice and of any American president is to prevent hostilities between India and Pakistan in order to make sure that Pakistani soldiers are continuing fighting against the Taliban on the western border.

So I think there will be no attempt by America certainly for the eastern border to be hot up, for the Pakistan army it will very much depend on what India does. Now if India were to engage in a kind of an American like unilateral strike on say a Lashkar-e-Taiba camp on the eastern border or in Pakistan-Kashmir, then almost certainly the army would mobilize from the western border to the eastern border. That I think is one of the reasons why they have gone after Lashkar-e-Taiba camps in Pakistan-Kashmir now. It is almost like a preemptive move to prevent India engaging in any military strike.

I think in terms of American policy, they will do everything they possibly can to prevent any hostility between India and Pakistan but they will also pressurize Pakistan to act against Lashkar-e-Taiba on the basis of evidence that India presents that Lashkar-e-Taiba was involved in some way in the attacks in Mumbai.” Graham Usher, 2008-12-09

New Developments: (sources, AP, NPR Morning Edition, The Nation 12 11 08) The UN Security Council is considering designation for charity wing of Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jamaat-ud-Dawa, as ‘terrorist organization’.

Previous Talk Nation Radio interviews with Graham Usher reporting from Islamabad here

NYT story of interest on India reorganizing security force here.

Al-Ahram Weekly stories by Graham Usher

International Among the dead of Mumbai

Will American mediation ease or deepen the crisis in Pakistan-India relations caused by the killings in Mumbai, asks Graham Usher in Islamabad

The Big Chill There is a new cold war in South East Asia — between the US and Pakistan, writes Graham Usher in Peshawar

Bush Pardons must be Stopped says Bob Fertik of

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

Talk Nation Radio for December 4, 2008

Bush Pardons must be Stopped says Bob Fertik of
Congress could still impeach Bush to stop pardons

Listen live at 5 PM!! here Or listen to the broadcast after air time here in Mp3 format and download below.

As Bush issues some of 3,000 pardon requests many worry he will also pardon the Vice President, Dick Cheney, and others responsible for the policies of torture, the Iraq War, rendition, wiretapping, Plame scandal, and more. is collecting signatures on petitions to stop Bush’s pardons and in support of NY Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler’s bill to prevent Bush’s pardons of Vice President Cheney, Scooter Libby, and others involved in programs like rendition, torture, wiretapping of Americans, and other illegal activities.

Produced by Dori Smith of WHUS, FM 91.7 at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, CT

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Bob Fertik of joins us to talk about their ongoing effort to impeach George Bush and more recently, impeach to stop Bush from pardoning himself or others in his administration including Vice President Dick Cheney. is supporting Constitution subcommittee chair Jerrold Nadler of New York in his efforts to stop Bush’s pardons, and launch a thorough Congressional investigation of Bush’s crimes. Nadler has called on President Obama’s next Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint a Special Prosecutor.

“Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the President of the United States should not issue pardons to senior members of his administration during the final 90 days of his term of office,” Sponsor: Rep Nadler, Jerrold [NY-8] (introduced 11/20/2008). There will be a petition promoting this resolution, through which you can write to your representative and senators at cite Bush and Cheney for 39 grave and impeachable offenses including war crimes, torture, warrantless wiretapping, and outing a covert CIA operative. They say, ‘most of these offenses are felonies for which Bush and Cheney can be criminally prosecuted after they leave office. But prosecutions will be impossible if Bush issues blanket pre-emptive pardons for Dick Cheney, Scooter Libby, other senior officials, and even himself’

The group has gathered over 46,200 signatures (now 47932) on a petition to hold members of the Bush administration accountable. is a growing progressive movement working for change with legal experts weighing in on the question of Bush’s ability to issue what would amount to a self pardon.

George Bush has issued around 15 pardons recently and offered some convicted criminals clemency, for a working total of 171 pardons during his presidency.

Yet, Bush has received a record number of 3,000 requests for pardons from a wide variety of people including Lewis ‘Scooter’ Libby, Vice President Cheney’s former Chief of Staff, his sentence has already been commuted by Bush, Michael Milken, convicted of securities fraud in 1990, John Walker Lindh, convicted on charges relating to a link the government made with his visits to the Mideast, nicknaming him the American Taliban, and Randy “Duke” Cunningham, a former congressman convicted of tax evasion.

In a report by Tim Shipman in Washington the Telegraph of London reported November 15th that a former CIA officer familiar with the backstage lobbying effort on pardons confirms that, “an effort is under way to get pre-emptive pardons for US intelligence officers who took part in intensive interrogations against terrorist suspects, using techniques including water boarding, which many believe crossed the line into torture—the White House has indicated that the matter is under consideration.”

The Telegraph also notes that in addition to front line CIA and military officers, others at risk of prosecution by an Obama administration could include David Addington, Dick Cheney’s former counsel, and William Haynes, the former Pentagon general counsel who helped draw up the regulations governing enhanced interrogations.

See: George W Bush is considering issuing pardons for US spies embroiled in allegations of torture just before he leaves the White House.

Other pardon requests have come in from Edwin Edwards, former governor of Louisiana convicted in 2000 of racketeering, and supporters of former Alaska Senator Ted Stevens. Steven’s supporters asked Bush to pardon him for corruption in accepting illegal gifts for his Alaska home.

As the Bush administration’s record is reviewed by attorneys and others, it is clear that evidence of crimes committed may not be enough to get Bush, Cheney, or others, convicted for crimes like lying about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq or the setting up of a new policy that torture should be used. posted a 2006 video of CNN’s Jack Cafferty as he discussed a provision being inserted into a Republican bill offered Bush and all members of his administration a kind of blanket pardon for any crimes connected with torture and the treatment of detainees…dating back to 911. Listen to the comments online in a video posted by Bob Fertik on

Fertik also posted a video of John Dean, former Nixon administration legal counsel, telling MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann recently that it would be unlikely to see torturers prosecuted because of the Detainee Treatment Act and the Military Commission Act. Many disagree with Dean’s assessment that US military and civilian contractors who engaged in torture couldn’t be prosecuted because of the Detainee Treatment Act and the Military Commission Act. (Listen/watch online)

Bob Fertik of has also noted that GWU Law Professor Jonathan Turley (See Rachel Maddow show video on raised questions about whether Bush could pardon himself; Turley said Bush might but if he did it “would raise very serious questions and indeed I think it would trigger a Constitutional Amendment being offered to restrict this power from future Presidents.”

See: Corrupt Pardons Have Bad Consequences and Glenn Greenwald at for information. Glenn Greenwald’s blog at is here.

Also David Swanson here on H.RES.1531 a Res. from Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York, Chair of the Constitution Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee.