spread of the red
number 76  10.29.06
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interpreting the constitution

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spread of the red

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spread of the red
one nation, under surveillance
US casualties in Iraq
October 05 - October 06
as of 10-28-06
10-05                04-06               






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Links of the Week

Audit on Management of the
Iraqi Interim Government Fund
by Special IG for Iraq

CRS Report: Latin America-
Terrorism issues

Sir Philip Sidney :  
A Defence of Poesie, 1581
Facsimile of the  Ponsonby  
Edition,  1595

Muskrat Hunter - Kotzebue, of  
Nunivak: Library of Congress
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interpreting the constitution
back to top of
source: Viroqua Institute
Brown Tribute
Remarks made by Vice President
Cheney on a talk radio program last
week appear to condone the torture
of terrorist suspects in US custody,
specifically endorsing an
internationally banned interrogation
technique known as
“waterboarding.”  The segment
touched off a storm of controversy in
which White House Press Secretary
Tony Snow insisted that Cheney had
not approved of or confirmed the
practice, without offering an
alternative explanation for the vice
president’s comments. In a public
appearance, President Bush
reiterated his assertion that his
administration did not torture
prisoners, without directly addressing
Cheney’s statements.
Appearing on Fargo, ND radio station
WDAY, the vice president was asked
by talk show host Scott Hennen,
“Would you agree a dunk in water is
a no-brainer if it can save lives?”

Cheney replied, “Well, it’s a no-
brainer for me. But for a while there I
was criticized as being the vice
president for torture. We don’t
torture. That’s not what we’re
involved in.”

Waterboarding is an interrogation
technique that involves strapping a
prisoner to a board, covering his face
with a towel, and then pouring water
onto his face to simulate drowning. In
some cases, the prisoner’s head is
submerged in water.
Waterboarding was used
extensively by the Cambodian
Khmer Rouge regime in the 1970’
s, but the practice dates back to
at least 1901, when a US court
martial sentenced an Army major  
to 10 years in prison for using the
technique in the Philippines. In the
late 1940’s, US military courts
prosecuted Japanese soldiers as
war criminals for subjecting their
prisoners to waterboarding during
World War II.

In the same interview, Cheney
also implied that the technique
was used on al-Quaida terrorist
suspect Khalid Sheikh
its all true
The United States has fallen to
53rd on an international index that
ranks nations according to
freedom of the press. The
Worldwide Press Freedom Index,
published annually by French
media advocacy group Reporters
Without Borders, rates conditions
for journalists in 168 countries.
The US slipped nine places since
last year, according to the group’s
report, which noted the general
chilling effect of the Bush
administration’s “war on terror,”
as well as the detention of

The index ranked four countries--
Iceland, Ireland, Finland, and the
Netherlands-- in first place.
North Korea was at the bottom of
the list, just ahead of
Turkmenistan, Eritrea, Cuba,
Burma, and China. Russia was
down nine places to 147th, after
the assassination of journalist
Anna Politkovskaya.

The report cited the cases of
cameraman Sami al-Haj,
held at Guantanamo Bay since
June 2002, and
AP photographer
Bilal Hussein, detained by the US
military in Iraq in April 2006.
Neither has been charged with
any offense.                
its all true
The FBI has instituted a civilian
training program to encourage
average citizens to monitor their
neighbors and others to assist the
agency in achieving its stated goal of
reducing homeland terrorism.

FBI Citizens Academies are operated
by station commanders in 54 bureau
field offices and are designed to
“foster relationships and
understanding” between the agency
and civilians and “help citizens make
their communities a better and safer

Civilian trainees are taught a
standard “curriculum” prepared by
the agency that emphasizes
information about the threat of
domestic and international terrorism.  
Once the students understand the
threat, FBI special agents and senior
agents who act as trainers provide
instruction on interview techniques,
gathering field intelligence and
counter-intelligence. Civilian students
are given firearms training with live
ammunition, are trained to use a
polygraph machine and are schooled
on how to interpret gang graffiti.  
Trainees are also informed of the FBI’
s witness protection program.  
Citizens who participate in the
program must be nominated by an
FBI agent or another civilian who has
undergone academy training to
qualify for acceptance at the

The agency has recently initiated a
FBI Teen Academy to train children
as young as 14 information gathering
techniques.   In addition to the Teen
Academy program the agency also
sponsors the “Adopt a School” and
“Junior Special Agent”
its all true
President Bush has signed a
law that authorizes the
construction of a fence on the
border between Mexico and
the US.  The fence required by
the new law would stretch for
700 miles along the 1952-mile
southern border in the states
of Texas, California and

The Secure Fence Act of 2006
requires the Department of
Homeland Security to construct
a barrier consisting of “two
layers of reinforced fencing.”  
The act also calls for the
installation of “additional
physical barriers, roads,
lighting, cameras, and
sensors.”  The new law was
passed on a vote of 283 to
138, with 64 Democrats voting
for the border barrier.  
Congress has also authorized
DHS to “put fencing and
physical barriers in areas of
high illegal entry" into the US
and appropriated $1.2 billion in
construction funds.

Supporters of more strict
enforcement of border control
laws, including farmers and
ranchers, have criticized the
new legislation because it may
encroach on private property.  
The president of Mexico,
Vicente Fox said that the
border fence is “an
embarrassment for the United
States.”  Bush said that
“modernizing” the southern
border will “assure the
American people that we’re
doing our job.”  

The new law also calls for a
study of security along the
4000-mile border between the
US and Canada.                
its all
A provision of the Defense Authoriza-
tion Act of 2007 confers upon the
president the power to use military
troops within United States in law
enforcement actions and to quell civil
disturbances.  The new law also
accords the president the power to
declare a state of “emergency” and
take command of the National Guard
within the states, a power that has
historically been invested in the
governors of the states and other
state officials.

The law makes revisions to the
Insurrection Act that allow the
president to “employ the armed
forces, including the National Guard”
to “restore public order” under a
broad set of vaguely defined
circumstances.  Although the act
cites conditions that would call for the
president to exert his new authority
that include a natural or “health
emergency” and a “terrorist attack or
incident”, the president can use the
military within US borders if he
determines that a “condition” exists
that “opposes or obstructs the
execution of the laws” and if “any
class of...people is deprived of a
right” that they are accorded under
the constitution.

Legislators included language in the
act that would require the president
to “notify Congress of the
determination to exercise the
authority…as soon as practicable
after the determination and every 14
days thereafter” during the state of
emergency.  The president, however,
attached a statement to the bill when
he signed it into law declaring that
such a provision would not be
“consistent with the President’s
constitutional authority to withhold
information” from the Congress.
Critics of the new legislation,
which was signed in a private
ceremony late in the evening of
October 17, believe that the new
presidential powers erode or
eviscerate the Posse Comitatus
Act of 1878 that prohibits military
personnel under federal authority
from acting as domestic law
enforcement except where
expressly authorized by Congress.

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
said that the new law “adopts
some incredible changes to the
Insurrection Act which would give
the President more authority to
declare martial law.”  Leahy went
on to say that the act allows the
president to “usurp the Governors
control” of the National Guard in
their states and “subverts solid,
longstanding posse comitatus
its all true
A recently published transcript of
testimony by Attorney General
Alberto Gonzalez before the House
Judiciary Committee earlier this year
contains many tense exchanges as
members of Congress attempt to
discover details about the Bush
administration’s warrantless domestic
surveillance programs. The full
transcript reveals the extraordinary
level of secrecy surrounding the
programs, which are overseen by the
National Security Agency, with the
Attorney General unwilling to confirm
minor procedural details for the
committee. As the hearing proceeds,
even senior Republican
representatives begin to express
their frustration with the
administration’s apparent disregard
for Congressional oversight of
executive branch activities.

The hearing was held April 6, two
months after Gonzalez had appeared
before the Senate Judiciary
Committee to face similar
questioning. In each instance, the
Attorney General delivered a
prepared statement providing a
general outline of the Justice
Department’s legal justification for
the secret implementation of the
unprecedented wiretapping and data-
gathering programs, which were
disclosed through leaks and
whistleblower testimony. In
subsequent questioning, Gonzalez is
careful not to
elaborate on his original statement,
but the dialogue gives some
indication of the administration’s
concept of expanded executive

In responding to questions about the
legal review process that preceded
the implementation of the NSA
programs, Gonzalez repeatedly
replies that the information the
committee is seeking is classified. He
also professes not to know the
answers to more than 20 specific
queries during his testimony. At one
point committee chairman James
Sensenbrenner (R, WI) becomes
annoyed with Gonzalez’
“stonewalling,” asking, “Mr. Attorney
General, how can we discharge our
oversight responsibilities if every time
we ask a pointed question we are
told that the answer is classified?”

Despite the perceived lack of
cooperation, the testimony does
provide occasional insights into the
White House rationale for excluding
Congress and the Foreign
Intelligence Surveillance Act Court
from its deliberations. Several of
Gonzalez' responses seem to imply  
a view that FISA itself may improperly
limit the authority of the President in
his role as Commander in Chief. The
transcript includes about 100 pages
of follow-up questions and answers
that were completed in
its all true
Snow Can't Water Down Cheney's Overboard Comments
State of Emergency Laws Reduce Congress to Comatose Posse
Border Wall Won't
Mend Any Fences
Academies Attend to Amateur Agents
Attorney General Makes Reluctant Witness
Freedom of Press in US
Under Increasing Duress
verbatim                                                                                                                                             number 15.1
"It kind of eased us off the moral high
D.C.  10.11.06