This very disturbing piece was sent to me today from my friend Ken. I am glad he noticed it because the national media seems to be fixated solely on the Middle East, except for Iraq, of course, where the country seems to be engaged in a full scale civil war.
Excerpts from Washington Post piece today: (An explosive article on this issue also follows on Vanity Fair below.)
Some staff members and commissioners of the Sept. 11 panel concluded that the Pentagon's initial story of how it reacted to the 2001 terrorist attacks may have been part of a deliberate effort to mislead the commission and the public rather than a reflection of the fog of events on that day, according to sources involved in the debate.
"We to this day don't know why NORAD [the North American Aerospace Command] told us what they told us," said Thomas H. Kean, the former New Jersey Republican governor who led the commission. "It was just so far from the truth. . . . It's one of those loose ends that never got tied."
In fact, the commission reported a year later, audiotapes from NORAD's Northeast headquarters and other evidence showed clearly that the military never had any of the hijacked airliners in its sights and at one point chased a phantom aircraft -- American Airlines Flight 11 -- long after it had crashed into the World Trade Center.
Maj. Gen. Larry Arnold and Col. Alan Scott told the commission that NORAD had begun tracking United 93 at 9:16 a.m., but the commission determined that the airliner was not hijacked until 12 minutes later. The military was not aware of the flight until after it had crashed in Pennsylvania.
9/11 COMMISSION SUSPECTS DECEPTION FROM PENTAGON
THERE IS ALSO AN EXPLOSIVE ARTICLE IN VANITY FAIR ON THE 9/11 COMMISSION'S SUSPICION
VANITY FAIR ON 9/11 COMMISSION
BUSH WANTS TO EXPAND AUTHORITY OF MILITARY COURTS
HI HO, HI HO, CLOSER TO FASCISM WE GO
Another stunning and highly disturbing piece sent by Ken from the Washington Post today.
A draft Bush administration plan for special military courts seeks to expand the reach and authority of such "commissions" to include trials, for the first time, of people who are not members of al-Qaeda or the Taliban and are not directly involved in acts of international terrorism, according to officials familiar with the proposal.
The plan, which would replace a military trial system ruled illegal by the Supreme Court in June, would also allow the secretary of defense to add crimes at will to those under the military court's jurisdiction. The two provisions would be likely to put more individuals than previously expected before military juries, officials and independent experts said.
The draft proposed legislation, set to be discussed at two Senate hearings today, is controversial inside and outside the administration because defendants would be denied many protections guaranteed by the civilian and traditional military criminal justice systems.
Under the proposed procedures, defendants would lack rights to confront accusers, exclude hearsay accusations, or bar evidence obtained through rough or coercive interrogations. They would not be guaranteed a public or speedy trial and would lack the right to choose their military counsel, who in turn would not be guaranteed equal access to evidence held by prosecutors.
Detainees would also not be guaranteed the right to be present at their own trials, if their absence is deemed necessary to protect national security or individuals.
BUSH WANTS TO EXPAND POWER OF MILITARY COURTS
EDITORIAL BOARDS AROUND THE NATION CRITICIZE BUSH FOR VIOLATING THE SEPARATION OF POWERS
Found on the Washington Post.com via Buzz Flash.com. This article provides links to the various newspaper editorials throughout the country that have a huge problem with Bush's abuse of power. Newspapers rail against Bush in both red and blue states: Lexington, KY., Melbourne, FL., Appleton, WI., Yakima, WA., Huntsville, AL and Loveland, CO. to name a few.
There's no doubt that President Bush's unprecedented use of signing statements to flout the will of Congress has fired up policy wonks, constitutional lawyers and other inside-the-Beltway types.
But is this one of those issues that the average voter couldn't care less about?
Well, judging from the recent outpouring of editorials at small- and medium-sized newspapers across the country, there may be something about violating the Constitution that riles up Americans no matter where they live or where they stand on the political spectrum.
Bush's use of signing statements finally -- and briefly -- made the headlines last week, when a bipartisan American Bar Association task force dramatically established how the president's assertion of his right to ignore certain statutes passed by Congress undermines the rule of law and the constitutional system of separation of powers.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) then proposed a bill that would give Congress the ability to challenge those statements in federal court.
"SIGNING STATEMENTS STRIKE A NERVE"