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 PEERS and the Team 27072007

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Rang: Administrateur

Nombre de messages : 8069
Localisation : Washington D.C.
Date d'inscription : 28/05/2005

MessagePEERS and the Team 27072007

is available online at

Dear friends,

are one-paragraph excerpts of important news articles you may have
These news articles include revealing information on U.S. presidential
power grabs, an executive order permitting seizure of assets of critics
the Iraq War, growing government secrecy, and more. Each excerpt is taken
verbatim from the major media website listed at the link provided. If any
link fails to function, click
here. Key sentences are highlighted for those with
By choosing to educate ourselves and to spread
the word, we can and will build a brighter

best wishes,

Tod Fletcher and Fred
Burks for PEERS and the Team

Destabilizing Iraq, Broadly

July 23, 2007, Washington

careful what you say and whom you help -- especially when it comes to the
Iraq war and the Iraqi government. President Bush issued an executive
order last week titled "Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten
Stabilization Efforts in Iraq." It could be interpreted as targeting the
financial assets of any American who directly or indirectly aids someone
who has committed or "poses a significant risk of committing" violent
"threatening the peace or stability of Iraq" or who undermines "efforts
promote economic reconstruction and political reform" in the war-torn
country. The text of the order, if interpreted broadly, could cast a far
bigger net to include not just those who commit violent acts or pose the
risk of doing so in Iraq, but also third parties -- such as U.S. citizens
in this country -- who knowingly or unknowingly aid or encourage such
people. The targeting of not just those who support perpetrators
of violence but also those who support individuals who "pose a
risk" of committing violence goes far beyond normal legal language
to intent and could be applied in a highly arbitrary manner,
Bruce Fein, a senior Justice Department official in the Reagan
administration. Fein also questioned the executive order's inclusion of
third parties, such as U.S. citizens who assist, sponsor or make "any
contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services" to assist people
on the Treasury list. "What about a lawyer hired to get someone off the
list?" Fein asked. The Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets
Control keeps a "Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons" roll
that includes those covered by several such executive orders. It most
recently ran to 276 pages.

To read the full text of the Executive Order, "Blocking
Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in
click here.

Is this the real president of the United

July 23, 2007, Guardian (One of
U.K.'s leading newspapers),,2132603,00.html

has been Cheney's hallmark since he took office in January 2001, and
the way he likes it. "Am I the evil genius in the corner that nobody ever
sees come out of his hole?" he quipped in 2004. "It's a nice way to
operate, actually."
Cheney is ... the most powerful vice-
president in American history. "He has expanded the power of the
vice-president fiftyfold," says Bruce Fein, a lawyer who served in the
Reagan administration. So dominant has he been in a traditionally
submissive role that some commentators are now wondering whether it is
time to drop the "V" from his title. "Cheney is de facto president in all
areas of policy, bar just a few aspects of the domestic agenda," Fein
says. It was obvious the Cheney vice-presidency was never going to stick
to convention from the day in July 2000 George Bush announced his running
mate. After all, the man who recommended Cheney for the job was ...
Cheney. The Bush cabinet was formed in Cheney's image. Figures who were
become seminal -- Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, John Bolton, Scooter
Libby -- were all Cheney's people. September 11 2001 ... was the moment
for which Cheney had been preparing for many years. Since his days as
White House chief-of-staff to Gerald Ford, living with the fallout of
Nixon's destruction, Cheney had harboured ambitions to hit back at
Congress and reinstate the untrammelled authority of the president.
hours of the attacks on New York and Washington, while Bush was still
floundering around in Air Force One, Cheney had assembled a legal team
within his own office and was actively planning how to roll back the
restraints on the president's executive power that had been introduced in
the wake of Vietnam and Watergate.

Broader Privilege Claimed In

July 20, 2007, Washington

administration officials unveiled a bold new assertion of executive
authority yesterday in the dispute over the firing of nine U.S.
saying that the Justice Department will never be allowed to pursue
charges initiated by Congress against White House officials once the
president has invoked executive privilege. Under federal law, a statutory
contempt citation by the House or Senate must be submitted to the U.S.
attorney for the District of Columbia, "whose duty it shall be to bring
the matter before the grand jury for its action." But administration
officials argued yesterday that Congress has no power to force a U.S.
attorney to pursue contempt charges in cases, such as the prosecutor
firings, in which the president has declared that testimony or documents
are protected from release by executive privilege. Mark J. Rozell, a
professor of public policy at George Mason University who has written a
book on executive-privilege issues, called the administration's stance
"astonishing. That's a breathtakingly broad view of the president's role
in this system of separation of powers," Rozell said. "What this
is saying is the president's claim of executive privilege trumps all."
The administration's stance "is almost Nixonian in its scope and
breadth of interpreting its power. Congress has no recourse at all, in
president's view. . . . It's allowing the executive to define the scope
limits of its own powers,"
[Rozell said].

Power Without Limits

July 22, 2007, New York

The Bush
administration, which has been pushing presidential power to new
is reportedly developing an even more dangerous new theory of executive
privilege. It says that if Congress holds White House officials in
contempt for withholding important evidence in the United States attorney
scandal, the Justice Department simply will not pursue the charges. This
stance tears at the fabric of the Constitution and upends the rule of
Congress has a constitutional right to investigate the purge of nine
States attorneys last year. The next question is how Congress will
its right to obtain information, and it is on that point that the
administration is said to have made its latest disturbing claim. If
Congress holds White House officials in contempt, the next step should be
that the United States attorney for the District of Columbia brings the
matter to a grand jury. But according to a Washington Post report, the
administration is saying that its claim of executive privilege means that
the United States attorney would be ordered not to go forward with the
case. There is no legal basis for this obstructionism. The
Court has made clear that executive privilege is not simply what the
president claims it to be. It must be evaluated case by case by a court,
balancing the need for the information against the president’s interest
keeping his decision-making process private.
The White House’s
extreme position could lead to a constitutional crisis. If the executive
branch refused to follow the law, Congress could use its own inherent
contempt powers, in which it would level the charges itself and hold a
trial. Congress should use all of the tools at its disposal to pursue its
investigations. It is about preserving the checks and balances that are a
vital part of American democracy.

Bush Approves New CIA Methods

July 21, 2007, Washington

Bush set broad legal boundaries for the CIA's harsh interrogation of
terrorism suspects yesterday, allowing the intelligence agency to resume
program that was suspended last year after criticism that it violated
and international law. In an executive order lacking any details about
actual interrogation techniques, Bush said the CIA program will now
with a Geneva Conventions prohibition against "outrages upon personal
dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment." Two
administration officials said that suspects now in U.S. custody could be
moved immediately into the "enhanced interrogation" program and subjected
to techniques that go beyond those allowed by the U.S. military.
Rights activists criticized Bush's order for failing to spell out
which techniques are now approved or prohibited. "All the order really
does is to have the president say, 'Everything in that other document
I'm not showing you is legal -- trust me,' "
said Tom Malinowski
of Human Rights Watch. The CIA interrogation guidelines are contained in
classified document. A senior intelligence official, asked whether this
list includes such widely criticized methods as the simulated drowning
known as "waterboarding," declined to discuss specifics but said "it
be very wrong to assume that the program of the past would move into the
future unchanged." CIA detainees have also alleged they were left naked
cells for prolonged periods, subjected to sensory and sleep deprivation
extreme heat and cold, and sexually taunted. A senior administration
official briefing reporters yesterday said that any future use of
"extremes of heat and cold" would be subject to a "reasonable
interpretation . . . we're not talking about forcibly induced

DeFazio asks, but he's denied

July 20, 2007, The Oregonian
(Oregon's leading newspaper)

called Peter DeFazio's office, worried there was a conspiracy buried in
the classified portion of a White House plan for operating the government
after a terrorist attack. As a member of the U.S. House on the Homeland
Security Committee, DeFazio, D-Ore., is permitted to enter a secure
"bubbleroom" in the Capitol and examine classified material. So he asked
the White House to see the secret documents. On Wednesday, DeFazio got
answer: DENIED. "I just can't believe they're going to deny a
member of Congress the right of reviewing how they plan to conduct the
government of the United States after a significant terrorist attack,"
DeFazio says. Homeland Security Committee staffers told his
office that the White House initially approved his request, but it was
later quashed. DeFazio doesn't know who did it or why. "We're talking
about the continuity of the government of the United States of America,"
DeFazio says. "I would think that would be relevant to any member of
Congress, let alone a member of the Homeland Security Committee." Bush
administration spokesman Trey Bohn declined to say why DeFazio was denied
access: "We do not comment through the press on the process that this
access entails. It is important to keep in mind that much of the
information related to the continuity of government is highly sensitive."
Norm Ornstein, a legal scholar who studies government continuity at the
conservative American Enterprise Institute, said he "cannot think of one
good reason" to deny access to a member of Congress who serves on the
Homeland Security Committee. This is the first time DeFazio has been
denied access to documents. "Maybe the people who think there's a
conspiracy out there are right,"
DeFazio said.

Producer of 9/11 Conspiracy Film 'Loose Change'
Arrested for Deserting the Army

July 26, 2007, FOX News,2933,290942,00.html

One of
the young filmmakers behind a controversial 9/11 conspiracy documentary
was arrested this week on charges that he deserted the Army, even though
... he received an honorable discharge. Korey Rowe, 24, who served with
the 101st Airborne in Afghanistan and Iraq, told that he was
honorably discharged from the military 18 months ago — which he said he
explained to sheriffs when they pounded on his door late Monday night.
“When they came to my house, I showed them my paperwork,” Rowe said. “The
cops said, 'You’re still in the system.'” Rowe is one of the
producers of "Loose Change," a cult hit on the Internet espousing the
theory that the U.S. government and specifically the Bush administration
orchestrated the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The movie is set to be
released in about 40 British theaters in late August,
to Rowe and fellow filmmakers Jason Bermas and Dylan Avery. Police
arrested Rowe at his house in Oneonta, N.Y., about 10:45 p.m. on Monday
and took him to the Otsego County jail, where he spent a day-and-a-half
before he was released, he said. Rowe was turned over to officials at
Drum — the closest military base — who then booked him on a flight to
Campbell, Ky., where his unit is based, to try to straighten out why the
military issued a warrant for his arrest. “A warrant for my arrest came
down and showed up on the sheriff’s desk,” Rowe said. “Where it came from
and why it showed up all of a sudden is a mystery to me.” There were at
least five sheriffs on hand for his arrest, Rowe said. “They pulled a
whole operation. They cut my phone lines. They came from the woods. It
crazy — it was ridiculous,” he said.

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PEERS and the Team 27072007 :: Commentaires

The twins who are 'one in a

July 20, 2007, Daily Mail

42-year-old Cathleen Gardiner's twins were born 17 years ago, doctors
her they were a "pair in a million". One had Down's syndrome, while the
other did not. Here, Cathleen [tells] their touching and inspiring
: Since Sean was born 17 years ago, I have always taken
the view that he is just as wonderful and special as my other two
children. While he may have a disability, none of us have ever viewed him
as a burden, and ... I refuse to see him as anything but a
The doctors explained that as they were fraternal
twins, meaning they came from two eggs ... Lisa was not affected by the
condition. Lisa walked at 11 months, while Sean didn't take his first
steps till he was three. By two, Lisa was quite the conversationalist,
Sean wasn't able to form sentences until he was nearly four. For the
five years of his life, Sean needed a great deal of care. There was no
question of me going back to my job as a technical adviser in a computing
company. Looking after him was a fulltime job. Yet despite the
considerable difference between the twins, we never treated them
differently. We gave them the same toys and spoke to them the same way.
Our attitude was that by encouraging Sean to keep up with Lisa, even
though he would never manage it, we would be helping him to fulfil his
potential. We sent them to the same primary school after doctors advised
us that Sean could go to a mainstream school, but we had to explain to
Lisa that he wouldn't learn as quickly as she would. She told us ... that
she'd help him with his school work. Having a non-disabled twin has
helped Sean to develop - the love they share has given him a unique
in a tough world, and I'm not sure he would have done nearly as well if
didn't have Lisa fighting his corner every step of the way.

Papers Detail Industry's Role in Cheney's

July 18, 2007, Washington

At 10

a.m. on April 4, 2001, representatives of 13 environmental groups were

brought into the Old Executive Office Building for a long-anticipated

meeting. Since late January, a task force headed by Vice President Cheney

had been busy drawing up a new national energy policy, and the groups


getting their one chance to be heard. A confidential list prepared by the

Bush administration shows that Cheney and his aides had already held at

least 40 meetings with interest groups, most of them from


industries. By the time of the meeting with environmental groups,


to a former White House official who provided the list to The Washington

Post, the initial draft of the task force was substantially complete and

President Bush had been briefed on its progress. In all, about 300 groups

and individuals met with staff members of the energy task force,


a handful who saw Cheney himself, according to the list, which was


in the summer of 2001. For six years, those names have been a
closely guarded secret, thanks to a fierce legal battle waged by the
House. Some names have leaked out over the years, but most have remained
hidden because of a 2004 Supreme Court ruling
that agreed that

the administration's internal deliberations ought to be shielded from

outside scrutiny. The list of participants' names and when they met with

administration officials provides a clearer picture of the task force's

priorities and bolsters previous reports that the review leaned heavily


oil and gas companies and on trade groups -- many of them big


to the Bush campaign and the Republican Party. It clears up much of the

lingering uncertainty about who was granted access to present energy

policy views to Cheney's staff.

Surgeon General Sees 4-Year Term as

July 10, 2007, New York


Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona told a Congressional panel Tuesday


top Bush administration officials repeatedly tried to weaken or suppress

important public health reports because of political considerations. The

administration, Dr. Carmona said, would not allow him to speak or issue

reports about stem cells, emergency contraception, sex education, or

prison, mental and global health issues. Top officials delayed for years

and tried to “water down” a landmark report on secondhand smoke, he said.

Released last year, the report concluded that even brief exposure to

cigarette smoke could cause immediate harm. Dr. Carmona said he
was ordered to mention President Bush three times on every page of his
speeches. He also said he was asked to make speeches to support
political candidates and to attend political briefings.

Carmona is one of a growing list of present and former administration

officials to charge that politics often trumped science within what had

previously been largely nonpartisan government health and scientific

agencies. On issue after issue, Dr. Carmona said, the administration made

decisions about important public health issues based solely on political

considerations, not scientific ones. “I was told to stay away from those

because we’ve already decided which way we want to go,” Dr. Carmona said.

He described attending a meeting of top officials in which the subject of

global warming was discussed. The officials concluded that global warming

was a liberal cause and dismissed it, he said.

Meet the 'Elders': Nelson Mandela, Desmond
Jimmy Carter, Muhammad Yunus and Many More

July 18, 2007, ABC News


Elders, a new alliance made up of an elite group of senior statesmen

dedicated to solving thorny global problems, unveiled itself today in

Johannesburg. The members include [Nelson Mandela, the former South

African president,] Desmond Tutu, South African archbishop emeritus of

Capetown; former U.S. President Jimmy Carter; former U.N. Secretary

General Kofi Annan; Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland and Mohammed
Yunus, the Nobel laureate and founder of the Green Bank in


The group plans to get involved in some of the world's most pressing

problems -- climate change, pandemics like AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis,

[and] violent conflicts. Under a large white futuristic dome, British

billionaire Richard Branson and rock star Peter Gabriel, who conceived


idea for the Elders, gathered enough star power to change the world, or


least that's the hope. "The structures we have to deal with these


are often tied down by political, economic and geographic constraints,"

Mandela said. The Elders, he argued, will face no such constraints. Seven

years ago, Branson and Gabriel approached Mandela about the Elders idea,

and he agreed to help them recruit others. "This group of elders
will bring hope and wisdom back into the world," Branson said. "They'll
play a role in bringing us together. "Using their collective experience,
their moral courage and their ability to rise above the parochial
of nations, they can help make our planet a more peaceful, healthy and
equitable place to live,
" Branson said. "Let us call them


elders,' not because of their age but because of individual and



Final Note: believes it is

important to balance disturbing cover-up information with inspirational

writings which call us to be all that we can be and to work together


positive change. Please visit our Inspiration Center at

for an abundance of uplifting material.

See our archive of
revealing news articles at

Your tax-deductible donations, however large or small, help greatly to

support this important work.

To make a donation by credit card,

check, or money order:


these empowering websites coordinated by the nonprofit PEERS network:

- Every person in the world has a heart

- Reliable, verifiable information on major cover-ups

- Building a Global Community for All

- Strengthening the Web of Love that interconnects us all

Educational websites promoting transformation through information and


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