Fascism can be briefly defined as a politico-economic system in which there is: total executive branch control of both the legislative and administrative powers of government; no independent judiciary; no Constitution that embodies the Rule of Law standing above the people who run the government; no inherent personal rights or liberties; a single national ideology that first demonizes and then criminalizes all political, religious, and ideological opposition to it; and total corporate determination of economic, fiscal, and regulatory policy."
It hasn’t taken much courage to go out on a limb, as we did in our BuzzFlash editorial yesterday, to claim that the Bush Administration is almost certainly amassing its illegal and legal domestic spying powers for primarily partisan purposes.
No, it’s not courage. It’s just common sense.
We recently laid out the Bush Administration/Rovian three-pronged game book for firmly controlling election outcomes and unilaterally determining the law in the United States -- and don’t think Rove’s long-term strategy for one-party rule is going away, even if he has officially resigned from the White House (remember that this is the crew that openly and brazenly stole the 2000 election, and Rove hasn’t resigned from being a strategist for the Republican Party.)
BARBARA'S DAILY BUZZFLASH MINUTE
The "Fatal Flaws" and negative ratings belong to the devastating George Bush/Karl Rove combo! The Bush failures are directly related to his "brain" and a decided lack of vision and/or intelligence by both Bush and Rove. Americans are disgusted with the Bush/Rove smear and burn brand of politics, we are fed up with dictator wannabees, we are appalled by the corruption and dishonesty, the secrecy and treachery these two brought to Washington, D.C.! They have made the entire Repuglican Party nothing more than a "contemptuous, greedy, self-righteous" bunch of crooks!
WORLD MEDIA WATCH
Summaries are excerpted from the source articles; the featured article follows the summary section. A recommended "site of the day" will also appear occasionally following the summaries.
A BUZZFLASH GUEST CONTRIBUTION
by Harvey Wasserman
Gargantuan loan guarantees for a "new generation" of nuke reactors define the Senate's version of the Energy Bill that Congress will consider right after Labor Day.
New Info Reveals White House Made Demands On An Ailing, Feeble, Barely Articulate Ashcroft
I would like to attempt right now
To get this off the collective chest of us:
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL
In an under covered trial in a California courtroom, a Constitutional drama of major significance is unfolding.
BARBARA'S DAILY BUZZFLASH MINUTE
Something you won't hear from the Bushies, the Repuglicans, on television, or the radio -- The truth as dismal as it is -- "McClatchy: "No Pattern of Improvement Discernible for Violence During the 5 Months of The Surge." Things aren't always what the Repuglicans in general and George Bush in particular are saying! Innocent people are still dying, our soldiers are still dying, and George Bush is on vacation!
Maybe American citizen Jose Padilla really was anxious to become a fifth-columnist terrorist in America. But the U.S. government never made that case. Unprincipled federal prosecutors simply won a conviction by playing on jurors' fears.
As The New York Times reports, the "only evidence" presented at Padilla's trial was a faded application form allegedly filled out by Padilla in the year 2000 to attend an Al Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan.
Now recall that in 2000, Al Qaeda was primarily supplying fighters to help the Taliban government in Afghanistan to fight warlords who were seen as still beholden to or allied with the Russians.
This puts Padilla in company with another American, John Walker Lindh, who in August 2001, a month before the 9-11 attacks that suddenly made America a mortal enemy of the Taliban government, was actually in Afghanistan fighting with Al Qaeda troops against those same warlords.
Lindh, as I've written several times, was no enemy of America, as he was famously portrayed upon his highly publicized arrest in Afghanistan by American troops and by U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, who called him "the American Taliban." Rather, he was a kid who had been caught in a bad place when American suddenly went to war against Afghanistan. Part of an Al Qaeda/Taliban force, he suddenly found himself targeted by American forces, but stuck in the wilds of the Hindu Kush, he had no realistic opportunity to up and leave.
For that unfortunate bit of bad timing, Lindh, tortured by the U.S. military and the CIA for weeks before being brought to the U.S. to face trial, is now serving 15 years of hard time in federal prison, with the added burden of a 15-year gag order barring him from talking about his ordeal.
Padilla, of course, suffered much worse at the hands of his American captors than did Lindh, who was only left severely injured and untreated, and duct-taped to a gurney in a dark, sealed shipping container for two weeks, save for an hour of daily torture, interrogation, and feeding. Padilla was held incommunicado for 3½ years in a solitary cell of a U.S. naval base in South Carolina. When he was removed for interrogations or medical treatment, he was blinded with opaque goggles and had ear muffs to blot out all sound, and shackeled hand and foot.
Under those conditions, he reportedly lost his mind. It is unclear whether he will ever regain his sanity, according to experts who have examined him.
All this abuse and unconstitutional treatment, and he may not be guilty of anything, except perhaps wanting to go and fight for Islam (a religion to which he had recently converted) in 2000 in Afghanistan, at a time that the U.S. was actually cozying up to the Taliban regime. (One government intelligence report on the case even suggests that the idea of building and detonating a "dirty nuke" bomb in the U.S. was something Padilla concocted as a ruse to allow him to get out of the Al Qaeda camp he was stuck in.)
After Padilla's conviction, President Bush, who ordered Padilla held without charge, without access to a court, and without access to even a lawyer, in contravention of all Constitutional requirements, had the audacity to congratulate the jury for "upholding a core American principle of impartial justice for all." (If, by some happy circumstance, Bush is ever actually impeached, removed from office, and indicted for his many crimes, he should pray that he isn't offered the same "justice" which he and his criminal administration afforded to Padilla.)
If Padilla's trial was the model for the justice that is in store for Americans henceforth, we're all in serious danger. This trial was nothing short of an atrocity, from the day of Padilla's arrest to the day of his conviction. It will, I am sure, go down in history with the Dreyfus Case and other infamous miscarriages of justice as examples of unalloyed tyranny. Sadly, with the courts packed with Federalist clones, the likelihood of this being rectified on appeal is next to nil.
It is time for a new cry for justice: "Restore the Constitutional Right to a Fair Trial! Free John Lindh and Jose Padilla!"