Top Bush administration officials in 2002 debated testing the Constitution by sending American troops into the suburbs of Buffalo to arrest a group of men suspected of plotting with Al Qaeda, according to former administration officials.
Some of the advisers to President George W. Bush, including Vice President Dick Cheney, argued that a president had the power to use the military on domestic soil to sweep up the terrorism suspects, who came to be known as the Lackawanna Six, and declare them enemy combatants.
Mr. Bush ultimately decided against the proposal to use military force.
A decision to dispatch troops into the streets to make arrests would be nearly unprecedented in American history, as both the Constitution and subsequent laws restrict the military from being used to conduct domestic raids and seize property.
The Fourth Amendment bans “unreasonable” searches and seizures without probable cause. And the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 generally prohibits the military from acting in a law enforcement capacity. (more… )
A friend of mine is somehow convinced that Bill O’Reilly is a moderate voice of reason. So, in order to convince this friend that O’Reilly is a name-calling “loon,” I am going to post some things over the next several days on Bill O’Reilly. With luck, my friend will see the light.
Last month, torture advocate Bill O’Reilly launched a “boycott” of Spain after Spanish prosecutors were considering a probe of Bush administration officials who gave legal cover for torture. “There will be a boycott and there will be ill will towards Spain. This is going to become a huge story and it’s not going to be good for Spain,” he claimed.
Spanish prosecutors have now recommended throwing out the criminal complaint. The news elicited a declaration of mission accomplished from O’Reilly last night. Discussing the investigations with Megyn Kelly, O’Reilly explained the economics behind how his boycott brought down the probe:
O’REILLY: Now, I don’t know whether “The Factor” was a Factor in this decision, but I am taking full credit for it.
O’REILLY: You bet. Because Spain, according to The Economist magazine, is pushing 19 percent unemployment. We were going to boycott Spain. That means millions of Americans would have at least been exposed to the idea. And they folded pretty darn fast. We started this last week. Today no mas. … Well, we’re taking full credit for that, ladies and gentlemen, whether deserved or not.
Kelly seemed skeptical but still played along. “There is some travel from American citizens. It would have hurt a little. Maybe that played a role in it. I don’t know,” she said. Watch it:
— O’Reilly brought down the Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Seattle’s “nutty-left newspaper” went under after O’Reilly’s staff ambushed publisher Roger Oglesby.
– O’Reilly lowered gas prices: After oil execs supposedly artificially raised oil prices after Katrina, O’Reilly said they “got scared. Because of my reporting and the reporting of some others.”
– O’Reilly brought down O.J.: Responding to the cancellation of Fox’s interview with O.J. Simpson, O’Reilly said, “It’s a culture-war victory. The folks did it; and I am the messenger.”
It is surprising that O’Reilly is so heavily promoting his “boycott” of Spain. When ThinkProgress launched campaign urging O’Reilly’s advertisers stop supporting his show, O’Reilly said on March 27 that our tactics were “Stalinist” and “certainly not Democratic.”
O’Reilly may be declaring victory too early. Reuters reports that Judge Garzon of Spain “is def[ying] pressure to drop the case.”
California has averted their version of Armageddon. They’ve finally passed a budget.
Southwest Airlinesissued a warning about instrument approaches to the Buffalo airport. This warning was issued before the fatal crash of the Continental Connections commuter plane that crashed last week. The Pilots Association re-issued the warning on Wednesday of this week.
Glenn Greenwald takes his time and goes through the details of Binyam Mohamed‘s case. Mohamed is an Ethiopian citizen and British resident who was arrested and rendered from Afghanistan in 2002. Although this case contains allegations of torture and abuse, it is also the case cited by the British judge last week… a case in which the American government, our government, seems to be “blackmailing” the British government. Says Glenn, “The United States will reevaluate its intelligence sharing relationship with the United Kingdom.” He does an excellent job explaining the ins and outs of this very complex case.
Nancy Pelosihints in an interview with Rolling Stone that several Bush administration officials may be prosecuted. This is a clear change from her earlier position. I’ll believe it when I see it.
Texas billionaire banker R. Allen Stanford has been found in Virginia. He is accused of swindling almost $8 billion from investors/customers. Many people are asking whether the Securities and Exchange Commission should have seen this one coming a long time ago. But then again, that would NEVER happen in a business-friendly Bush administration. Oversight… please.
With Hillary Clinton traveling to Indonesia (part of her Far East trip), and with the Obama administration sending more troops to Afghanistan, one part of the world that we haven’t been talking much about is East Africa. Somalia hasn’t gotten any better since we left back in 1993. As a matter of fact, in many aspects, it has just gotten worse. Anarchy seems to reign in that part of the world. Somalia is a great place for one of those “safe havens” to develop (if it hasn’t already). This is a part of the world that we cannot ignore.
Maybe it was just me, but there was a time when I really respected Lou Dobbs. That time has long since passed. He seems now to find time on almost every show to rail against our immigration policies. While we do need immigration reform, rounding everybody up and sending them home is not the way. Building a fence is not the way. Yet, I digress… Lou Dobbs went crazy over the Employee Free Choice Act, spreading falsehoods, again.
A French battleship, sunk back in 1917, has been found in the Mediterranean Sea. This is cool. It is also cool that we found a woolly mammoth (I say “we” as if I had anything to do with it 🙂 ) almost completely intact. The specimen was found in downtown Los Angeles.