If You Liked Bush, Then You’ll Love Giuliani


Rachel Morris has a superb piece just out in the Washington Monthly titled “Rudy Awakening” that exposes that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney may be small time aggrandizers of executive power compared to the former New York mayor.
This piece, which you should read in full, underscores even further why the Dems need to run against Giuliani. In one clip, Morris writes:

Many Giuliani watchers already understand that Rudy is a hothead and a grandstander, even a bit of a dictator at times. These qualities have dominated the story of his mayoralty that most people know. As that drama was unfolding, however, so was a quieter story, driven by Giuliani’s instinct and capacity for manipulating the levers of government.
His methods, like those of the current White House, included appointments of yes-men, aggressive tests of legal limits, strategic lawbreaking, resistance to oversight, and obsessive secrecy.
As was also the case with the White House, the events of 9/11 solidified the mindset underlying his worst tendencies. Embedded in his operating style is a belief that rules don’t apply to him, and a ruthless gift for exploiting the intrinsic weaknesses in the system of checks and balances.
That’s why, of all the presidential candidates, Giuliani is most likely to take the expansions of the executive branch made by the Bush administration and push them further still. The blueprint can be found in the often-overlooked corners of his mayoralty.

Here’s a question for the Democratic contenders for the White House. . .

What executive powers and privileges have the Bush/Cheney administration taken on or expanded that you would forfeit if President?

Someone needs to pose that in the upcoming debates.
— Steve Clemons


31 comments on “If You Liked Bush, Then You’ll Love Giuliani

  1. pauline says:

    MSNBC: Leaked memos show Giuliani’s ignorance of terrorism before 9/11
    David Shuster, substituting for Keith Olbermann as host of Countdown, reported on Thursday that Rudy Giuliani’s description of himself as the only candidate who foresaw the danger posed by al Qaeda before 9/11 has now been refuted by a leaked document.
    Typical of Giuliani’s claims on the campaign trail is a speech he gave last summer in which he said of the pre-9/11 period, “Bin Laden declared war on us. We didn’t hear it. … I thought it was pretty clear at the time — but a lot of people didn’t see it, couldn’t see it.”
    Wayne Barrett, a reporter for New York’s Village Voice and author of Grand Illusion: The Untold Story of Rudy Giuliani and 9/11, has now obtained leaked memos describing Giuliani’s testimony before the 9/11 Commission which directly contradict that claim.
    Barrett told Shuster that taken as a whole, Giuliani’s testimony “was a confession of ignorance. He basically said, ‘I knew nothing about al Qaeda.'”
    For example, Giuliani acknowledged that even though he had received information on threats between 1998 and 2001, “At the time I had no idea it was al Qaeda.” He further told the commission that after 9/11, “we brought in people to brief us on al Qaeda. … We had nothing like this pre 9/11, which was a mistake.”
    Giuliani’s testimony, like that of other witnesses describing New York City’s response on 9/11, was supposed to remain secret until after the 2008 presidential election.
    Barrett also emphasized Giuliani’s continuing ignorance of technological systems involved in the fight against terrorism. As late as April 2004, when he testified before the commission, Giuliani admitted that he didn’t know much about a New York Police Department system called ComStat — which he’s now saying he’d like to see extended nationwide. He was also unable to answer questions about the malfunctioning radios which caused many deaths among firefighters or about a repeater installed in the World Trade Center after the 1993 bombing to amplify radio communications.
    “He still wasn’t studying the response issues,” Barrett said.
    more at —


  2. Kathleen says:

    I LUVVVVV this piece….,
    The Huffington Post
    Gravel Supporter Puts His Money Where His Mouth Is
    Posted October 25, 2007 | 10:21 AM (EST)
    Democratic debates, Mike Gravel, offthebus, Breaking Off The Bus News
    Jon Kraus contributed reporting to this article
    Snow Pond, NH –
    About two weeks ago, a supporter of Sen. Mike Gravel purchased a full page advertisement in the Concord Monitor. The ad likened Gravel to New England’s favorite, and currently dominant, sports teams:
    “The Red Sox and Patriots used to be underdogs, too.”
    It was a very simple ad, composed of little more than a metaphor and a plea for voters to “root for” Mike Gravel. The man behind that ad, Gregory Chase, just decided to up the ante a whole lot. Today he is putting more than $1,025,000 of his own money on the line for the cause of a low-polling, financially-floundering former Senator from the wilds of Alaska. That’s right, Million with an “M”.
    Mr. Chase is a Harvard-educated hedge fund manager and a New Hampshire resident. He is also a newcomer to political activism, but he is entering the game with a bang. Upon hearing the news that Gravel was being excluded from October 30th’s DNC/NBC debate, Chase decided that he needed to do something about it.
    He called NBC to find out why the decision was made. NBC pointed Chase to Drexel University, where the debate is to be held. So he called Drexel, who said to call the DNC. Then the DNC told him to ask NBC. No one could shed light on the actual criteria for why Gravel was not allowed in the debate. Ultimately Chase felt that it was “pretty clear” that it was NBC’s decision.
    So what does the young multimillionaire with a newfound political will and a heartfelt cause to celebrate do about it? He contacts NBC and tells them that if money is an issue, he would be willing to pony up the dough himself. Today Chase sent this letter to five executives at NBC, DNC chairman Howard Dean, the President of Drexel University, and also published it as an advertisement in four newspapers. In it, he said this:
    If it would help get Senator Gravel back into the debate, I offer to purchase $1 million of advertising from NBC, or simply pay NBC $1 million in exchange for the service of allowing Senator Gravel to participate in your debate.
    Chase wasn’t even done yet. Well aware that the NBC stunt might not pan out, or that it might smack of pay for play, he simultaneously posted a more populist video on youtube offering a $25,000 prize for the Mike Gravel-related video that receives the most views between now and December 31, 2007. In the youtube video, the entire wad of cash can be clearly seen sitting atop a couple of newspaper advertisements also supporting Sen. Gravel. Here in the upper Granite State, north of Concord, that is what you might call cash on the barrelhead.
    Those newspaper ads, by the way, are more than just a one-trick pony. Chase has purchased advertising space in the three major New Hampshire newspapers, the Monitor, the Manchester Union Leader and the Nashua Telegraph every single day between now and the end of the year. These ads are all entirely funded by Mr. Chase, they are not connected to the campaign, and touch on issues ranging from decreasing military spending to repealing the Federal Income Tax in favor of a national sales tax and imposing a carbon tax. There is even one advocating lowering the drinking age to 18, the same age at which one can join the military. All of them match Sen. Gravel’s positions and hint at Mr. Chase’s passion.
    Having worked as an oil trader for Morgan Stanley before recently moving to the hedge fund business, Chase is no stranger to the role of money and oil in the upper ranks of our economy. The idea that Gravel might be excluded from a debate because of a lack of money raised a major red flag.
    “It strikes me as so incorrect. Some of the things about earning money are great,” Chase remarked, “but sometimes money can play into people’s perception of themselves or others in ways I don’t like. To think that a prerequisite to being a politician or President is to know people who have money in the bank is very unfortunate. It is completely bogus to cite how much money he has, and it gets my blood boiling to think that’s how our political system is working.”
    Chase also lamented Gravel’s financial disadvantage as a non-incumbent. “Gravel needs a little push.
    I would imagine it is a whole lot easier for the others to make a few phone calls” to build up the campaign coffers. “But,” he said, “that’s not what his campaign is about.”
    Gravel’s name recognition problem, as well as his candor, are big part of the justification Chase gives for his monetary support of the Senator.
    “He used to have a pretty big name, but he doesn’t now even though he has been a multi-term senator. I think that should count for something. And he’s got the guts to criticize other candidates.”
    By that logic, it only seems fair that a millionaire like Chase should try to help make up the difference, whether by offering to buy his debate ticket or flying the flag every day in the newspapers. After all, it was a haphazard glimpse of Gravel at an earlier debate that got him interested in the first place.
    Chase calls himself an Independent and also likes some of the things that Ron Paul is saying. His first foray into politics was simply voting in 2004. A young man in his late 20s, he wonders whether this new enthusiasm is a matter of going through a normal process of political awakening, or something different, something bigger.
    “Maybe I just don’t like the way things are, or maybe this is a unique time. This country is headed in a direction that’s not so appropriate and not so great. It causes me a lot of anxiety.”
    As for Gravel, “I just saw him at the debate and realized that [with the other candidates] we are choosing between republic and empire. Senator Gravel understands that it and makes me have a great deal of respect for him.”
    For a million plus, that is some respect.
    Jose Rodriguez, a Gravel staffer, said of the NBC offer, “We are aware of it. We don’t know if it is legal or if it is legitimate. Somebody here is trying to get to the bottom of it.”
    But more to the point he said, “It shows a lot by the actions of our supporters who are willing to put up quite a bit of money and raise a lot of hell.”
    For sure.
    As for the legality of the issue, Chase said that he had spoken with an election lawyer who advised him to make dependent expenditures on behalf of Gravel, where his name would have to be attached to any advertisements he made, along with a notation that it was not involved with the campaign. Furthermore, Chase mentioned that he has never met Gravel, and for that matter has never been to a political rally in New Hampshire. At first Chase was reluctant to release his name, but then he realized, “Hey, this is what I believe. Why would I mind putting my name on it?”
    “I’ve stopped working on the day to day operations of my hedge fund right now because I’m focused pretty much full time on trying to get Sen. Gravel’s name out. He is polling low, he is a longshot, but it is critically important that he get his ideas out. A lot of people will support Gravel and his ideas once they learn about them.”
    As for Chase’s million dollars?
    “We could put it in a fireplace and burn it for all I care, as long as he gets in the debate.”


  3. Kathleen says:

    Speaking of another revolution….
    POA.. if you scroll down to the 3rd comment, you’ll see I’m not alone thinking Busholini’ll never leave office. It sounds like I could have written it, but didn’t… a soul mate out there..
    Cafferty File viewers: Let’s start another revolution
    By Mike Aivaz and Muriel Kane, Raw Story
    CNN commentator Jack Cafferty speculated on Wednesday about how George W. Bush’s unilateral grab for presidential power might be reversed.
    “The president of the United States didn’t have the power to spy on Americans … operate secret prisons … suspend due process … torture … hide the conduct of the government from the public,” Cafferty stated. “It’s not like anybody gave President Bush any of these powers — he took them, as a brain-dead Congress just stood there and watched.”
    Cafferty pointed out that Hillary Clinton has said she would relinquish some of those powers if elected — but without saying which ones. “What powers should the next president be willing to surrender?” Cafferty asked his audience.
    In the follow-up segment, Cafferty read a selection of emails from clearly outraged — and outspoken — viewers.
    “Remember the 60’s?” wrote one Baby Boomer. “Well, they’re back. Only this time it’s not a decade. It’s the age on our driver’s licenses. Let’s start another revolution. … It’s time to overthrow the government.”
    Another viewer stated more cynically, “King Bush. Queen Hillary. America is now a democratic dictatorship, nobody is going to change that. Power is everything; get used to it.”
    And a third suggested. “George Bush is the next president. He and Darth Cheney will be surrendering none of their bounty. Forty years of planning to hand it all to Hillary Clinton? Not a chance. If you think there’ll be a November 8 election, give my regards to the Easter Bunny.”


  4. Kathleen says:

    As an environmentalist, I think we should protect the fishes. Those guys are toxic.


  5. Carroll says:

    Remember the dirtbag, David Brooks who sold all that defective body armor to our troops, then made a big splash in the society pages by throwing his daughter a $10 million Bat-Mitzvah?
    Two former body armor company execs indicted for insider trading, fraud
    CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (AP) – Two former top executives of the leading supplier of body armor to the U.S. military were indicted today on charges of insider trading, fraud and tax evasion in a scheme that netted them nearly $200 million, federal prosecutors said.
    David H. Brooks, 53, the former CEO of DHB Industries Inc., and Sandra Hatfield, 54, the former chief operating officer, were charged in a superseding indictment with manipulating DHB’s financial records to increase earnings and profit margins, thereby inflating the price of DHB’s stock.
    “Corporate executives who line their own pockets at the expense of their shareholders flaunt the responsibilities they owe their companies and the investing public,” U.S. Attorney Benton J. Campbell said in a statement.
    The former DHB executives are accused of falsely inflating the value of the inventory of DHB’s top product, the Interceptor vest, to help meet profit margin projections. The vest, designed to withstand rifle fire and shrapnel, was made for the Marine Corps and other branches of the military.
    When an employee identified only as “John Doe” confronted Hatfield in late 2004 with evidence that the inventory of vests was overvalued by up to $8 million, prosecutors say she told him the company “could not ‘take a hit’ of reducing the valuation to the correct amount.”
    Authorities allege the scheme propelled the company’s stock from $2 a share in early 2003 to nearly $20 a share in late 2004. When the pair sold several million DHB shares at that time, Brooks made more than $185 million and Hatfield more than $5 million, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.
    Brooks and Hatfield also are accused of failing to report more than $10 million in bonus payments to themselves and other DHB employees to the IRS.
    Brooks was expected to be arraigned later Thursday in U.S. District Court in Central Islip. An arraignment for Hatfield has not yet been scheduled. The names of their defense attorneys could not immediately be determined.
    Brooks resigned from DHB in July 2006, about the same time the company relocated its headquarters from Westbury to Pompano Beach, Fla. Hatfield left the company in November 2005.
    Hatfield was previously accused in a 2006 indictment of insider trading in the inflated vests scheme. She was released on $1 million bond in that case.
    Brooks also is accused of using DHB funds to buy or lease luxury vehicles for himself and family members, and to pay for vacations, jewelry, cosmetic surgery, country club bills and family celebrations. He also used DHB funds for his private horse racing business, prosecutors said.
    He also was charged with lying to DHB’s independent auditors about the inventory inflation fraud and the submission of false reports to the SEC during its investigation of DHB’s executive compensation.
    If convicted, Brooks and Hatfield could face up to 70 years in prison.
    They better put Brooks in jail without bail or he will skip the country.


  6. Carroll says:

    “Government Terrorist Watch List Nears One Million People
    By Mimi Hall, USA TODAY
    WASHINGTON — The government’s terrorist watch list has swelled to more than 755,000 names, according to a new government report that has raised worries about the list’s effectiveness.”
    Can you believe this? Where are they finding all the terriers? 755,000 names means that they have been adding about 400 people “a day” to their terrier watch since 2002. How the hell do you even identify 400 people a day as terrier possibles? I bet they are putting all Arabs no matter where they from and everyone from any ME country on this list as well as any American citizens that have family or ties in the ME.
    Oh well…more potential members for our revoution.


  7. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “It’s getting to the point that many of us… and I mean MANY…wish that the Bushes, Rice, Rumsfeld, Cheney, the Rockefellas, the Rothschilds, the Clintons, Eric Prince and half the fucking perverted, warmongering GOP… were sleeping with the fishes.”
    Judging by the perversities we see unfolding in Washington, they probably are. They’ve tired of chickens, gerbils, and Senate Pages.


  8. Carroll says:

    Posted by Kathleen at October 25, 2007 04:30 PM
    “Think how much more effective it would have been if we had gotten a contract out on Bin Laden. At least “The” Mafia delivers on their contracts…. more than can be said for BushCo, Halliburton, Blackwater, DynCorp, et al.”
    “It’s getting to the point that many of us… and I mean MANY…wish that the Bushes, Rice, Rumsfeld, Cheney, the Rockefellas, the Rothschilds, the Clintons, Eric Prince and half the fucking perverted, warmongering GOP… were sleeping with the fishes.”


  9. Kathleen says:

    Speaking of the Twi-Lite-Zone….
    Carroll, this one’s pour vous… you might get a chuckle out of some of the comments… and to know that the San Francisco Chroncle reported a while back, that the Italic American Institute was getting on Rudy G’s case for opening every speech with a poor imitation of Tony Soprano. I’m with the IAI on that one.
    Mob wanted to off Giuliani: reportsNick Juliano
    Published: Thursday October 25, 2007
    If John Gotti had his way two decades ago, Rudy Giuliani wouldn’t be a front-running presidential candidate right now. He would never have become the mayor of New York nor risen to international prominence in the wake of 9/11.
    No, if the Gambino crime boss had his way, Rudy Giuliani would be dead.
    According to the FBI, Gotti wanted Giuliani shot, the victim of a mob-hit carried out in the midst of the then-US Attorney’s prosecution of a prominent organized crime case.
    Testimony Wednesday in the case of a disgraced FBI agent revealed that the bosses of New York’s five Mafia families considered whacking the rising-star prosecutor. Gotti and Colombo head Carmine Persico pushed for the hit, but they failed to convince the city’s three other Cosa Nostra bosses to go along with the plan.
    “The bosses of the Lucchese, Bonanno and Genovese families rejected the idea, despite strong efforts to convince them otherwise by Gotti and Persico,” wrote then-FBI Agent Lindley DeVecchio in September 1987, documenting a tip from his mole in the mob, according to the New York Daily News.
    DeVecchio is on trial facing charges that he turned on the FBI and began funneling information to the mob.
    The Giuliani assassination plot was hatched in the fall of 1986, when the then-Manhattan US Attorney was prosecuting the “Commission” case that helped make him famous. The case targeted bosses of the five families and is credited with crippling the mob in America.
    Giuliani’s campaign did not weigh in on the most recent revelations, but he has bragged in the past about mob threats on his life.
    “Toward the end of all of the work I did as U.S. attorney, prosecuting hundreds of Mafia members, all sorts of drug dealers, whatever, another organized criminal put out a contract on me,” the GOP presidential candidate told radio host Sean Hannity, according to the New York Post.
    The former mayor says the mafia put an $800,000 contract on his head when he first became a federal prosecutor, then says it was “an insult” to learn that a later contract was only for $400,000.
    “The reality is, I’ve dealt with this all of my life,” he said in a Fox News interview last week. “If you’ve got to live with threats, you live with threats.”


  10. Kathleen says:

    POA.. I know I sound like a broken record, but it’s working just fine for the masters the way it is now…. couldn’t ask for a better set of scenarios…
    Meanwhile while we’re in the process of virtually asking candidates questions, how about asking them if they would be willing to ask the Iraqis what they want? We did go there to bring democracy, didn’t we????
    Fron the New Yorker:
    Ask the Iraqis
    by Lawrence Wright
    October 22, 2007
    In the upcoming Presidential primaries, Americans will have the chance to choose among candidates who propose immediate withdrawal from Iraq (Richardson), rapid drawdowns (Edwards and Obama), open-ended commitment to the war (Giuliani, Romney, McCain), or a resigned middle ground, notably Hillary Clinton, who acknowledges that the occupation will likely endure well into the next Presidential term no matter which party occupies the White House.
    The Iraqi people have no such choice, even though it’s their future that is at stake—and even though the creation of a democratic republic, one in which the Iraqis command their own destiny, has been a stated goal of the war. According to President Bush, American troops will leave whenever the Iraqis ask us to. “It’s their government’s choice,” he has said. “If they were to say, leave, we would leave.” But while the Iraqi government is divided and uncertain about the presence of occupying forces, the will of the Iraqi people has been clear from the beginning: they want the troops withdrawn.
    As early as August of 2003, five months after the invasion, a Zogby poll found that two-thirds of Iraqis wanted the U.S. and British forces to leave the country within a year, and more than half said that the Iraqis should be left alone to set up their own government. Two years later, as Iraqis were about to vote in their first democratic election, two-thirds wanted the Coalition troops out either immediately or as soon as the new government was established. (The model that Iraqis most admired was that of the United Arab Emirates, a loose federation of seven tribal states, each overseen by a prince, and ruled by a president who is, essentially, a king.) In 2006, when the Iraqi government was in place, a poll by the University of Maryland found that seventy-one per cent of Iraqis wanted their government to ask the Americans to leave within a year; an even higher number doubted that the U.S. would comply with the request.
    A poll released last month (by ABC News, the BBC, and the Japanese broadcaster NHK), half a year after the surge in American forces, found that nearly half of Iraqis favored an immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces, while thirty-four per cent of Iraqis, most of them Kurds, said that the U.S. should remain “until security is restored.” Among Shiites, forty-four per cent favored immediate withdrawal, and among Sunnis the figure reached seventy-two per cent—substantial increases in both cases. More Iraqis than ever—fifty-seven per cent—say that violence against American forces is acceptable, diminishing the prospect of order being restored as long as the occupation continues.
    One might assume that if American forces could make the country more secure, Iraqis would feel better disposed toward the U.S. presence. Apparently not. American military leaders say that the surge has reduced sectarian attacks to their lowest level in more than a year, and yet the number of Iraqis wanting the U.S. to withdraw has risen by twelve per cent over the same period of time. Anbar Province, which President Bush recently visited because the surge had its greatest success there, has the highest concentration of those saying America should leave immediately.
    from the issuecartoon banke-mail thisThe Iraqi government has a far more ambivalent view of the occupation than its people do. Inside the Green Zone, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and a restive Council of Representatives have been struggling to respond to the sentiments of their constituents while not actually asking the Americans to leave. In June, the demagogic militia leader Moqtada al-Sadr, who heads one of the most powerful Shiite parties in the country, sponsored a resolution requiring the government to seek permission of the parliament before asking the U.N. to reauthorize the presence of foreign forces in Iraq. The resolution passed, gathering support even from Sunni lawmakers, including Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, then speaker of the parliament, who had previously called for the Americans to stay in the country for as long as a decade, or until “they have corrected what they have done.” Yet even Sadr was pressing not for an immediate pullout but, rather, for an unspecified “timeline” for withdrawal.
    The ambivalence among the Iraqi lawmakers doesn’t mean that they are out of step with the Iraqi people. Although the surveys suggest that they would overwhelmingly ask us to leave, countless anecdotal reports suggest that Iraqis are woefully aware of the dangers that could ensue. “If the Americans leave right now, there is going to be a massacre in Iraq,” a twenty-seven-year-old music student told the Washington Post last year, in a typical comment. “But if they don’t leave, there will be more problems.” “There will be lakes of blood,” another young man said. “Of course we want the Americans to leave, but if they do, it will be a great disaster for us.”
    Beyond the risks of sectarian slaughter, thereÂ’s the prospect that other countries in the region will be quick to assert their influence, further weakening Iraqi self-governance. Kurds and Shiites in the oil regions will strain to pull the country apart. Yet the presence of American troops is itself a goad to insurgency, and an impediment to the creation of legitimate civil authority. As long as we remain in Iraq, the Iraqi people will feel themselves to be subjugated by a foreign power. If the Iraqis were to go to the polls, dip their fingers in the purple ink, and actually choose whether or not to allow the Americans to remain, they would have to reconcile their loathing for the occupation with their dread of what might happen without it.
    As the Republican and Democratic Presidential contenders debate whether we should leave now, or soon, or years from now, they should remember that itÂ’s not just an American decision. We didnÂ’t ask the Iraqis if we could invade their country; we didnÂ’t ask them if we could occupy it; and now we are not asking them if we should leave. Whatever we end up doing, we need to remember that eventually the only people who are going to occupy Iraq are the Iraqis, and that the decision of when we leave, as inevitably we will, should be as much theirs as ours. ♦


  11. Carroll says:

    Listen…they are all crap.
    All of them.
    The only difference in any of them is some of them might throw a few domestic crumbs to the rabble to make us think we are getting something and quiet us down and distract us from this criminal enterprise that passes for democracy. But even in doing that they will make sure that the elite gets the lions share of what government has to offer.
    They will all continue to sell out the people of this country.
    They are all as Pelosi said..”the leaders”..while we are just the “advocates” …we are the “stupid liberals” as Obey said, that don’t understand “the system”….we just provide the “leaders” the taxpayer money that enables them to rule over us and play masters of the universe.
    In reality some of us understand the “leaders” and the “system” perfectly. That is why we want to BURN WASHINGTON TO THE GROUND AND START OVER.


  12. pauline says:

    Rudy Jokes About Torture: ‘On That Theory, I’m Getting Tortured Running For President’
    Asked last night in Iowa about Attorney General nominee Michael Mukasey’s refusal to call waterboarding torture, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) said “it depends on the circumstances, and, on who does it, because liberal newspapers have exaggerated it.”
    Giuliani then called liberals “silly” for describing “sleep deprivation” as torture, joking that “on that theory, I’m getting tortured running for president of the United States”:
    “And I see, when the Democrats are talking about torture, they’re not just talking about even this definition of waterboarding, which again, if you look at the liberal media and you look at the way they describe it, you could say it was torture and you shouldn’t do it. But they talk about sleep deprivation. I mean, on that theory, I’m getting tortured running for president of the United States. That’s plain silly. That’s silly.”
    Giuliani should familiarize himself with the US Army Field Manual on Interrogation, which describes “abnormal sleep deprivation” as a form of mental torture. Both the European Court of Human Rights and the Supreme Court of Israel have ruled sleep deprivation to be inhumane and unlawful.
    Even John Yoo, the prime author of the administrations infamous torture memo, has conceded that sustained sleep deprivation can “amount to a violation of the Geneva Convention.”
    Giuliani’s dismissive joke echoes a similarly tasteless joke made by former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in 2002. In the margins of an “action memo” declaring “stress positions,” such as standing for up to 4 hours, to be acceptable interrogation techniques, Rumsfeld scrawled “I stand for 8-10 hours a day. Why is standing limited to four hours?”
    more at —


  13. Chesire11 says:

    Lol! You might as well ask a drug addict which rock of crack he’ll give up! Presidents don’t surrender powers, they expand them.
    The problem is, as cvcobb01 pointed out, unless the power is taken away by Congressional and/or Judicial action we aren’t really talking about forfeiting a power, but abstaining from using it. Self-imposed maratoria leave all options on the table and are pretty meaningless.


  14. PissedOffAmerican says:

    During a Hanukkah dinner speech delivered on December 11, hosted by Yeshiva University, Clinton prattled, “I held a series of meetings with Israeli officials [last summer], including the prime minister and the foreign minister and the head of the [Israeli Defense Force] to discuss such challenges we confront. In each of these meetings, we talked at length about the dire threat posed by the potential of a nuclear-armed Iran, not only to Israel, but also to Europe and Russia. Just this week, the new president of Iran made further outrageous comments that attacked Israel’s right to exist that are simply beyond the pale of international discourse and acceptability. During my meeting with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, I was reminded vividly of the threats that Israel faces every hour of every day … It became even more clear how important it is for the United States to stand with Israel …”
    He (Ron Paul) told a reporter from Kuwait, who had suggested that part of the U.S. problem in the Middle East was its “blind support” of Israel, that he had a “good point.” Paul added that “I could talk about our blind support of Saudi Arabia.”
    He went on to say that members of Congress have been “intimidated by the influence of AIPAC.” He was referring to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, one of the top pro-Israel lobbying groups in the capital.


  15. PissedOffAmerican says:

    In reality, the fact that someone like Guilianni, or Hillary, can actually be media marketed to the American people as Presidential material is a depressing window into the state of our nation.


  16. PissedOffAmerican says:

    January 3, 2006
    Entrenched Hypocrisy
    Hillary Clinton, AIPAC and Iran
    President Bush’s position on Iran is “disturbing” and “dangerous”, reads a recent screed written by AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee). Not long ago the Bush administration accepted a Russian proposal to allow Iran to continue to develop nuclear energy under Russian supervision and AIPAC is downright pissed.
    In a letter to congressional allies, mostly Democrats, the pro-Israel organization admitted is was “concerned that the decision not to go to the Security Council, combined with the U.S. decision to support the ‘Russian proposal,’ indicates a disturbing shift in the Administration’s policy on Iran and poses a danger to the U.S. and our allies.”
    Israel, however, continues to develop a substantial nuclear arsenal, and in 2000 the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) reported that Israel has most likely produced enough plutonium to make up to 200 nuclear weapons. So, it is safe to say that Israel’s bomb building techniques are light years ahead of Iran’s dismal nuclear program. Yet the major U.S. ally in the Middle East still won’t admit they have capacity to produce such deadly weapons.
    And while AIPAC and Israel pressure the U.S. government to force the Iran issue to the U.N. Security Council, Israel itself stands in violation of numerous U.N. Resolutions dealing with the occupied territories of Palestine, including U.N. Resolution 1402, which demands that Israel withdraw its military from all Palestinian cities at once.
    AIPAC’s hypocrisy is stomach-turning, to say the least. The goliath lobbying organization wants Iran to be slapped across the knuckles while the crimes of Israel continue to be ignored. And who is propping up AIPAC’s hypocritical position? Senator Hillary Clinton of New York.
    As the top Democratic recipient of pro-Israel funds for the 2006 election cycle thus far, pocketing over $58,000 as of October 31 last year, Senator Clinton now has Iran in her cross-hairs.
    During a Hanukkah dinner speech delivered on December 11, hosted by Yeshiva University, Clinton prattled, “I held a series of meetings with Israeli officials [last summer], including the prime minister and the foreign minister and the head of the [Israeli Defense Force] to discuss such challenges we confront. In each of these meetings, we talked at length about the dire threat posed by the potential of a nuclear-armed Iran, not only to Israel, but also to Europe and Russia. Just this week, the new president of Iran made further outrageous comments that attacked Israel’s right to exist that are simply beyond the pale of international discourse and acceptability. During my meeting with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, I was reminded vividly of the threats that Israel faces every hour of every day … It became even more clear how important it is for the United States to stand with Israel …”
    As Sen. Clinton embraces Israel’s violence, as well as AIPAC’s duplicitous Iran position, she simultaneously ignores the hostilities inflicted upon Palestine, as numerous Palestinians have been killed during the recent shelling of the Gaza Strip. Over the past weeks Israel continues to mark the occupied territories (they call ‘buffer zones’) like a frothing-mouth K9 on the loose.
    Hillary Clinton’s silence toward Israel’s brutality implies the senator will continue to support AIPAC’s mission to occupy the whole of the occupied territories, as well as a war on Iran in the future. AIPAC’s right — even President Bush appears to be a little sheepish when up against Hillary “warmonger” Clinton.
    Joshua Frank is the author of Left Out!: How Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush, which has just been published by Common Courage Press. You can order a copy at a discounted rate at http://www.brickburner.org. Joshua can be reached at Joshua@brickburner.org.


  17. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Oh Kathleen, his masters will see to it he exits. After all, they hold Hillary’s leash as well….
    Clinton bucks the trend and rakes in cash from the US weapons …
    Clinton Emerging As A Favorite Of The Arms Industry …


  18. Kathleen says:

    Wishful thinking to ask Democraps what executive powers they would relinquish because Busholini isn’t going to give up power in the first place.
    Short of impeachment, he’ll never leave the Oval Office.


  19. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “And isn’t the better question “Do you believe that the Bush/Cheney administration has taken on powers that the Constitution forbids? If so, what would you do to permanently ensure the presidency is once again subject to the Constitution?””
    Steve doesn’t dare admit that Bush has violated constitutional law. Heck, if he admitted that, he’d have to admit he thinks our President should be able to violate the law at will, and not face impeachment. Because in not advocating for impeachment, that is, apparently, EXACTLY his belief.
    You see, accountability is just for us lowly peons.


  20. JohnH says:

    Exactly, Democrats will forfeit because they are weak, not because they respect the Constitution…
    They had ample opportunity to show their respect for the Constitution during the past 9 months and did nothing to reclaim their constitutional powers. Instead, they to wait for their turn in power. But as Chris says, they won’t get Bush’s powers. And they may not even win the White House. When was the last time that people voted for wimps to lead them?


  21. Chris says:

    The President, if a Democrat, will forfeit whatever executive powers and privileges Congressional Republicans, the Right-Wing Noise Machine, and the Broderite Bipartisanship Fetishists agree the President does not deserve. This will include all Bush-Cheney over-reaching; this will likely also include much legal, Constitutional, power (see, e.g., 1993-2001), because the Constitution is not self-enforcing, secret Democratic wishes and hopes, and fears aside.
    What any given Democratic contender says, does, or thinks will have little to do with it.
    With apologies to Atrios, this has been (Nearly) Simple Answers to Stupid Questions.


  22. cvcobb01 says:

    Steve asks:
    “What executive powers and privileges have the Bush/Cheney administration taken on or expanded that you would forfeit if President?”
    Doesn’t the question itself give the game away? In other words, if the president gets to decide what powers s/he has or doesn’t have, aren’t we just reinforcing the Bush/Cheney doctrine of the Unitary Executive?
    And isn’t the better question “Do you believe that the Bush/Cheney administration has taken on powers that the Constitution forbids? If so, what would you do to permanently ensure the presidency is once again subject to the Constitution?”


  23. EA says:

    Some ways Republicans and Democrats limit government (although its the former that wears it on their chest):
    1. Limit pork…to only campaign donors
    2. Limit waste…to “friends”
    3. Limit hindering oversight…to your opponents’ projects
    4. Limit budgets…except in “key” areas (see 1,2,3)
    5. Limit terms…but not before I’ve secured that sweet K street office, board position, or provost spot
    Spendocrats and Nepotisticans are leading our democratic republic into the sewer of forgotten hegemons. We are one flush away (attack Iran anyone?) from the inevitable decline.


  24. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Is this the Twilight Zone?
    Steve advocates “asking” these candidates what ill gained and illegal executive powers they would be willing to give up. Well, I, in turn, need to ask Steve just exactly what incentive these candidates have to tell the truth about their aims, intentions, or future policy directions? We are going into our eighth year of an unprecedented degree of lying and criminal malfeasance by this Administration, AND NOT ONE OF THESE FUCKING POSTURING COWARDLY CANDIDATES HAS STRONGLY ADVOCATED FOR ACCOUNTABILITY. And the only two candidates that HAVE advocated thusly, AND outlined EXACTLY what powers they would relinguish, and what checks and balances they would seek to restore, HAVE BEEN COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY IGNORED BY YOU.
    Steve, as every day marches toward another media created extravaganza election, fraudulently represented as “democracy”, I see you actually participating in this despicable fraud, not as an advocate for reform and the restoral of a representative government, but as an actual participant in the media con being perpetrated on the citizens of the United States of America.
    What is the payback Steve? Was it worth it?
    Perhaps you should read your reader’s comments, carefully, and out of earshot of the tinkling of ice cubes and power perverted egos. Many of us are no longer buying it, and you seem to be increasingly out of touch with mainstream America.
    Remember us? The carpenters, the house wives, the truck drivers, the taxpayers? Well, we’re angry. And we recognize the difference between a box of candies and a bag of shit.


  25. PissedOffAmerican says:

    I meant to address the above post to “section9”.


  26. PissedOffAmerican says:

    If you look this blog over carefully, you will note that many of us so called “liberals” are not buying into Hillary’s bullshit. Perhaps you should actually inform yourself before you spit a bunch of ignorant partisan presumptions at us.


  27. EA says:

    The New Republican mantra: Limited government* (i.e. limited congressional and judicial branches but with expanded executive branch)


  28. section9 says:

    Which is complete and utter bollocks. Money quote from Matt Yglesias on Hillary Clinton and Executive power after an interview of her that showed up in The Guardian (hat tip: Andrew Sullivan):
    “Basically, she’s telling liberals she’ll roll back executive power but she’s not committing herself to doing anything in particular. Basically, as Charlie Savage wrote for our October issue, I wouldn’t count on any future administration voluntarily relinquishing the powers Bush has seized. Maybe some future congress will take power back, but people don’t do that kind of thing voluntarily. That’s what Clinton’s telling us.”
    Andrew cuts to the chase for liberals, such as those on this blog, who are so frightened of Rudy they don’t want to look in the mirror:
    “Matt (Yglesias) reads the fine print. Yep: nothing specific there at all. With the Clintons, you always have to go back later and read the transcript very, very closely. They reflexively lie, the way other people breathe.”
    The notion that Hillary Clinton will hand back executive power because she is a liberal Democrat just like you people let’s me know that the culture of P.T. Barnum is alive and well in the Democratic Party.
    You guys will believe anything.


  29. JohnH says:

    The upcoming election: Strength vs. Weakness. Rudy is cultivating strength, Democrats are projecting a Culture of Weakness.
    Because they fear being perceived as weak on national security, they cave to Bush, which makes them appear to be weaklings who have neither courage nor convictions.
    When asked why they can’t pass legislation, they respond weakly, ‘we don’t have the votes.’ A stronger response would be ‘it’s Republican obstructionism.’ And they could let the Republicans filibuster for a few days just to prove the point. Or they could use the old Bush mantra, ‘the American people are owed an up or down vote.’ Instead, they just bring legislation for a cloture voted, duly note that they do not have the votes to end debate, and proceed to the next cloture vote.
    The leading presidential candidates are just as bad. They wring their hands about the Iraq war, but make no commitments about ending it.
    Were the Democrats to win the White House, they will certainly not use executive power to the same extent as Bush, but only because they are weak, inexperienced people who have no track record of getting anything done. And they will be bullied by a Republican minority, their Democratic collaborators, and a hostile media.
    Instead of asking the Democrats about forfeiting executive powers, someone needs to press Giuliani on his willingness to uphold the Constitution and respect the separation of powers.


  30. Sandy says:

    Someone needs to ask all of them — Democrat and Republican — their view of Israel’s role in America’s foreign policy.
    Then you’d know something.


  31. Sandy says:

    Friday September 21, 2007 05:14 EST
    In London this week, Rudy Giuliani proposed what is probably the single most extremist policy of any major presidential candidate, certainly this year and perhaps in many years:
    Rudy Giuliani talked tough on Iran yesterday, proposing to expand NATO to include Israel and warning that if Iran’s leaders go ahead with their goal to be a nuclear power “we will prevent it, or we will set them back five or 10 years.” . . . .
    While Giuliani did not explicitly address the implications for Iran of adding Israel to NATO in his speech, his aides later highlighted a 2006 Heritage Foundation paper by Nile Gardiner, a former Thatcher aide who was announced as a new Giuliani adviser yesterday.
    That step would “leave the mullahs with no illusions about the West’s determination to respond to Iran’s strategic threat to the region,” Gardiner wrote. “Any nuclear or conventional attack on Israel, be it direct or through proxies such as Hezbollah or other terrorist groups, would be met by a cataclysmic response from the West.”
    Adding Israel to NATO has been opposed by France and some other European nations in the past, largely because it would entangle the alliance in the Middle East.
    Like most countries, Israel deems all of its wars to be defensive wars in response to threats. So Rudy Giuliani, as President, would in essence deem any war in which Israel is involved to be, by definition, a war on the U.S., and would use American resources and lives to become involved in any such war and fight on behalf of Israel. Shouldn’t the fact that the leading GOP candidate for President believes such a thing be the source of a bit more discussion? Other than John Edwards’ views regarding haircuts, is there any major presidential candidate who has espoused a view anywhere near this radical or controversial?
    Israel has been involved, and will continue to be involved, in an endless series of wars with its neighbors over matters having nothing to do with U.S. interests. As Matt Yglesias noted, Guiliani’s policy would, among many other things, “commit[] the United States to the armed defense of the borders of a country that lacks internationally recognized borders.” A Giuliani presidency would mean that we would be almost immediately deemed to be at war with Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria and Iran. It is hard to imagine a more certain and rapid guarantee of endless American wars in the Middle East than this.
    In a rational world, Giuliani’s proposal would be a major controversy, and the other presidential candidates — Republican and Democrat alike — would be loudly pointing to this extremist view to harm the Giuliani campaign. After all, if Americans are asked: “Do you think the U.S. should fight in any wars that Israel fights?” or “do you believe the U.S. should consider any attack on Israel to be an attack on the U.S.?”, is there really any doubt what the views of most Americans would be? Giuliani’s desire to commit the U.S. military to fighting in any Israeli wars is obviously a fringe position — the type that normally harms presidential candidates greatly.
    During the Israel-Hezbollah war last summer — even with virtually no significant political figures criticizing the Bush administration for involving itself so blatantly in supporting Israel’s war effort — the vast majority of Americans wanted the U.S. to stay out of that war. A Washington Post poll found that a plurality (46%) blamed “both sides equally” (Israel and Hezbollah) for the war; a plurality (48%) believed that Israel’s claimed “bombing [of] rocket launchers and other Hezbollah targets located in civilian areas” was “not justified”; and a solid majority (54-38%) said Israel “should do more to try to avoid civilian casualties in Lebanon.”
    More importantly, while large majorities favored the deployment of U.N. peacekeeping forces to Lebanon, a large majority (59-38%) opposed having U.S. troops involved in that force. More significantly still was this finding from an August, 2006 CBS News/New York Times poll:
    “Do you think the U.S. has a responsibility to try to resolve the conflict between Israel and other countries in the Middle East, or is that not the U.S.’ business?”
    Has responsibility – 39%
    Not the U.S.’ business – 56%
    Not sure – 5%
    That large majority is opposed merely to America’s efforts to broker a resolution, let alone to an American commitment, as Giuliani proposes, to fight in every war that Israel fights with its neighbors. A USA Today/Gallup
    Poll taken at the same time found:
    In the current conflict, do you think the United States should take Israel’s side, take the side of Hezbollah, or not take either side?
    Israel’s – 31%
    Hezbollah’s – 0%
    Neither – 65%
    As always, it is worth underscoring how lopsided American public opinion is on these questions even though there is virtually no significant American politician who was or is willing to criticize Israel’s actions in Lebanon, and equally few who were willing to argue that U.S. support for Israel is excessive. With Americans now even more overwhelmingly against ongoing U.S. occupation in Iraq than they were back then, these numbers are almost certainly even more imbalanced against increased U.S. involvement in the Middle East.
    Plainly, the last thing most Americans want is for the U.S. to expand its involvement in Middle East wars, particularly when doing so is on behalf of the interests not of the U.S., but of another country. Yet here is Giuliani advocating that we do exactly that — embrace an obviously radical strategy opposed by the overwhelming majority of Americans, likely vehemently opposed — and the silence is deafening.
    Of course, none of Giuliani’s extremism on this issue should be surprising, given that his senior foreign policy advisor is Norman Podhoretz, whose life has been devoted to trying to induce the U.S. to wage war against any country hostile to Israel. Podhoretz was one of the signatories on the 2002 PNAC letter to President Bush which declared that “No one should doubt that the United States and Israel share a common enemy” and — listing Iraq, Iran and Syria, among others — argued that “Israel is fighting the same war.” Podhoretz currently “prays” that the U.S. bomb Iran.
    This idea of Israel joining NATO is even a fringe idea in Israel, where it has been pushed primarily by Israeli super-hawk, Minister of Strategic Affairs Avigdor Lieberman, consistent with his own self-described mission: “Our first task is to convince Western countries to adopt a tough approach to the Iranian problem.” And by “tough approach,” he does not mean diplomacy: “The dialogue with Iran will be a 100-percent failure, just like it was with North Korea.”
    In some sense, one can welcome Giuliani’s explicit advocacy that we view all of Israel’s enemies as, by definition, enemies of the U.S. Virtually all of the swirling war dances towards Iran are rooted in this belief, but advocates of war with Iran are too dishonest to acknowledge it openly. In his Washington Post column this morning, for instance, Charles Krauthammer — long an advocate of war with Iran — listed the four specific crimes that allegedly demonstrate that Iran is our Enemy (“our” meaning the United States):
    (1) Hamas launching rockets into Israeli towns and villages across the border from the Gaza Strip. Its intention is to invite an Israeli reaction, preferably a bloody and telegenic ground assault.
    (2) Hezbollah heavily rearmed with Iranian rockets transshipped through Syria and preparing for the next round of fighting with Israel. The third Lebanon war, now inevitable, awaits only Tehran’s order.
    (3) Syria, Iran’s only Arab client state, building up forces across the Golan Heights frontier with Israel. And on Wednesday, yet another anti-Syrian member of Lebanon’s parliament was killed in a massive car bombing.
    (4) The al-Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard training and equipping Shiite extremist militias in the use of the deadliest IEDs and rocketry against American and Iraqi troops. Iran is similarly helping the Taliban attack NATO forces in Afghanistan.
    Of the four crimes in the Bill of Particulars against Iran, only one has anything even ostensibly to do with the U.S., and that is composed of highly dubious claims (arming the Taliban) and ones which hardly demonstrate its Evil (they are interfering in a neighboring country of theirs which we invaded and are occupying with 160,000 soldiers). As Krauthammer’s column illuminates, for those salivating for an American war with Iran, the case is grounded overwhelmingly in the Giuliani View — that the U.S. should use its resources and lives to wage war against any country hostile to Israel.
    Why do Giuliani and Krauthammer and friends feel so free to advocate a plainly fringe position of Endless War on behalf of Israel? Usually, political advocates, and particularly presidential candidates, avoid such positions like the plague. Here, it is because no political figure can possibly oppose this view, at least not explicitly. Is it even possible to imagine a presidential candidate objecting to the view that the U.S. should consider Israel’s enemies to be enemies of the U.S., even though vast majorities of Americans share that objection?
    As is true for Iraq, it is so striking how little public opinion matters when it comes to formulating American policy. What accounts for the complete unwillingess of any presidential candidate to seize on Giuliani’s extremist and fringe position? The neoconservative New York Sun — not Mearsheimer and Walt in their important, richly documented and now NYT-Best-Selling new book, but The New York Sun — provided an answer recently:
    It [an AIPAC dinner] is also an important illustration of just how much stock all of the presidential candidates, Democrats and Republicans alike, will put in the pro-Israel community, particularly for campaign dollars. . . . .
    A Democratic political consultant who worked on President Clinton’s re-election campaign, Hank Sheinkopf, noted that the Aipac dinner always draws a parade of politicians.
    “New York is the ATM for American politicians. Large amounts of money come from the Jewish community,” he said. “If you’re running for president and you want dollars from that group, you need to show that you’re interested in the issue that matters most to them.”
    And, of course, mentioning any of this subjects one to a cascade of predictable and transparently exploitive though still nasty accusations of anti-semitism, and what presidential candidate would possibly want that? And thus Rudy Giuliani can propose a policy that is incomparably dangerous and intensely unpopular, yet know that his doing so will result in no political price being paid.
    Now that we are occupying two Middle Eastern countries, with a broken military, and are threatening imminent war with at least another one, isn’t it long past time to have the discussion about the extent to which the U.S. is willing to wage war on behalf of Israel’s interests? Do Americans really think that Iranian hostility towards Israel or its support for “terrorists groups” that are hostile to Israel are grounds for declaring Iran to be our Enemy or waging war against them? If so, then let proponents of war with Iran make that case expressly. And for the rest of the presidential campaign, shouldn’t Giuliani’s desire to involve the U.S. military in every war Israel fights be a rather central feature in discussions of his potential presidency?


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