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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Rove engaged in more than just ‘chit chat’ with McCain campaign

For several weeks, a variety of political observers, most notably ThinkProgress’ Amanda Terkel and Matt Corley, have highlighted Karl Rove’s connections to John McCain’s campaign. And for several weeks, Bush’s former chief strategist — the man the president affectionately calls “Turd Blossom” — has been arguing that there really isn’t a relationship.

Just a couple of weeks ago, George Stephanopoulos identified Rove as an “informal adviser” to McCain before an ABC News interview. Rove denied it, and when Stephanopoulos suggested that Rove offers the McCain camp advice and information, Rove would only concede to “chit chat” with the Republican presidential campaign.

Not surprisingly, there appears to be a little more to the relationship. Peter Stone writes in National Journal:

“Generally speaking, Rove’s advice [for McCain] is action-oriented and useful,” said another senior consultant to the McCain camp. “It’s always well received.” This McCain adviser noted that Rove talks periodically to [McCain’s chief political strategist, Charlie Black] and a few other top campaign aides on several key matters.

“It can be policy ideas, messaging ideas, fundraising prospects, or people who need calls from someone in the campaign.” Rove is “part of the information network that the campaign has,” this adviser said, adding that Rove talks fairly regularly to such key people as Wayne Berman, a major fundraiser for McCain; Nicolle Wallace, a communications adviser; and Steve Schmidt, a senior aide.

This isn’t necessarily a surprise, but it’s interesting for a few reasons.

One, of course, is that McCain keeps trying to position himself as different from Still-President Bush, but that’s awfully difficult under the circumstances. Not only is McCain offering Bush’s foreign and domestic policies as his own, but he’s taking advice from the guy who shaped Bush’s campaigns.

Two, there is the small matter of journalistic ethics. For reasons that defy logic, Rove has been hired to play the role of professional “journalist” for a variety of outlets, including Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, and Newsweek. No one seriously expects credible, independent, bias-free reporting from Rove, but no serious news outlet should be comfortable paying someone to offer commentary and analysis on a presidential campaign while simultaneously advising one of the candidates in the presidential campaign.

And three, the National Journal article also noted that Rove, when he’s not pretending to be a journalist and/or advising the McCain campaign, is also consulting with far-right campaign outfits.

[A]way from the spotlight, Rove has been … spending a considerable amount of time as an outside adviser to Freedom’s Watch, the conservative political group that is expected to spend tens of millions of dollars to help elect House GOP candidates. William Weidner, a Freedom’s Watch board member, recently told National Journal that Rove has offered strategic advice to both the group and its major financial backer, Las Vegas casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson. Weidner, president of the Las Vegas Sands Corp., which Adelson chairs, called Rove “an invaluable asset” to the group. […]

[William] Weidner [a Freedom’s Watch board member] stressed that Rove has been “very generous with his time and ideas. He gives up his time for those things he believes in.”

Two GOP strategists said they have heard that Rove has worked out a private consulting deal with Adelson; this arrangement, one strategist reported, pays Rove in the mid-six figures for giving speeches and providing assistance to Freedom’s Watch on labor union issues, a top priority of the group.

It’s noteworthy because National Journal also recently reported that Rove is “up to his eyeballs” in trying to “nurture new independent political groups” to help McCain and other Republicans on Election Day.

It’s illegal, of course, for independent groups to coordinate with campaigns. It’s interesting, then, that Freedom’s Watch and the McCain campaign just happen to be getting advice from the same person.

Original here

Jon Stewart Mocks Media For Peddling Insane Obama Rumors

On Monday night's "Daily Show," Jon Stewart mocked the media's willingness to peddle insane rumors about Barack Obama — and their tendency to blame the rumor-mongering on internet sites. Calling it "Baracknophobia," Stewart showed clips of anchor and pundits from all three cable networks repeating baseless rumors (Muslim, plagiarist, sexist, etc.) about Barack Obama (and his wife Michelle).

The highlight of the clip comes about 2:25 in, when Stewart says, "Oh, this is interesting. SomeguyI' is reporting presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama has lady parts. Obviously scurrilous and unfounded, we'll examine it tonight in our special, 'Barack Obama's Vagina: The October Surprise In His Pants.'"


Original here

Young Voters Broke Records In 2008 Primary Season, Nearly Doubling Turnout From 2000

This year, 6.5 million voters under 30 turned up at the polls.

The phenomenon was evident as early as the Iowa caucuses, and it proved to be a trend by Super Tuesday, but now that primary season is over, it's official: Young voters turned out in record numbers, casting a 6.5 million votes. This year's percentage of young voters was nearly double the turnout in 2000 (in the states that collected youth-voting data that year), according to figures compiled by the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning & Engagement (CIRCLE).

The combination of a hotly contested Democratic primary between Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and the from-the-depths surge to the top by Senator John McCain no doubt helped increase interest in the race among voters under age 30. The more than 6 million votes cast is a dramatic increase in youth-voter turnout compared to the 2000 election and marks the first time the youth vote has risen in three consecutive election cycles since the voting age was lowered to 18 in 1971, according to CIRCLE.

"This primary season, the Millennials have gone to the polls in record numbers, showing they are an influential voting bloc in American politics," CIRCLE director Peter Levine said. "They realize what's at stake and the impact this election will have on their future and the future of our country."

Compared to 2000, when 9 percent of youth voters cast ballots in the primaries, in 2008, national youth-voter turnout was 17 percent (CIRCLE could not compare the vote in all states because many states did not do exit polling on youth voting in 2000 and 2004). In a sign of how the youth vote was up across the board, of the 17 states in which exit polls were conducted in 2000, 16 had increases in youth vote, with some seeing a tripling or quadrupling of numbers.

Among young Democrats, Obama was the candidate of choice, raking in the support of 60 percent of young voters overall and a majority in 32 of the 40 states. On the Republican side, though, the picture was less clear, with McCain (34 percent) barely edging out former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee (31 percent) and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (25 percent).

The numbers fit with national focus-group figures CIRCLE collected last fall, in which college students said they were deeply concerned about issues and ready to consider voting, as long as political leaders kept it on a positive tip and addressed real problems.

What do these numbers mean for the general election, now that the excitement over primaries has cooled?

"All key indicators and trends point to a predicted record turnout of young people voting this coming November," Levine said. "Now it's up to the candidates to run campaigns that address the real issues and concerns that young Americans care about, rather than the negative mudslinging tactics that have turned off young voters in the past."

Original here

'Disposable Heroes': Veterans Used To Test Suicide-Linked Drugs

Mentally distressed veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan are being recruited for government tests on pharmaceutical drugs linked to suicide and other violent side effects, an investigation by ABC News and The Washington Times has found.

Mentally distressed veterans are recruited for questionable drug trial.

The report will air on Good Morning America and will also appear in The Washington Times on Tuesday. (click here to read the Washington Times coverage of "Disposable Heroes")

In one of the human experiments, involving the anti-smoking drug Chantix, Veterans Administration doctors waited more than three months before warning veterans about the possible serious side effects, including suicide and neuropsychiatric behavior.

"Lab rat, guinea pig, disposable hero," said former US Army sniper James Elliott in describing how he felt he was betrayed by the Veterans Administration.

Elliott, 38, of suburban Washington, D.C., was recruited, at $30 a month, for the Chantix anti-smoking study three years after being diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He served a 15-month tour of duty in Iraq from 2003-2004.

Months after he began taking the drug, Elliott suffered a mental breakdown, experiencing a relapse of Iraq combat nightmares he blames on Chantix.

"They never told me that I was going to be suicidal, that I would cease sleeping. They never told me anything except this will help me quit smoking," Elliott told ABC News and The Washington Times.

On the night of February 5th, after consuming a few beers, Elliott says he "snapped" and left his home with a loaded gun.

His fiancee, Tammy, called police and warned, "He's extremely unstable. He has PTSD."

"Do you think that he is going to shoot or attack the police?" the 911 dispatcher asked.

"I can't be certain. I don't know," she said. (click here to hear part of Tammy's 911 call)

"He was operating as if he was back in theater, in combat theater," she told ABC News. "And of course, a soldier goes nowhere without a gun."

When police arrived, they found Elliott in the street, with the gun in the front pocket of his hooded sweatshirt.

"Are you going to shoot me? Shoot me," Elliott said, according to the police report. (click here to see the police report)

Police used a Taser gun to stun Elliott and placed him under arrest.


It wasn't until three weeks later that the Veterans Administration advised the veterans in the Chantix study that the drug may cause serious side effects, including "anxiety, nervousness, tension, depression, thoughts of suicide, and attempted and completed suicide."

The VA's letter to the veterans, on February 29, 2008, followed three warnings from the FDA and Chantix' maker Pfizer, that were issued on November 20, 2007, January 18, 2008 and February 1, 2008. (click here to read the FDA warning and click here to read Pfizer's statement on Chantix)

"How this study continued in the face of these difficulties is almost impossible to understand," said Arthur Caplan, director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania.

Doctors at the Veterans Administration say they acted as quickly as they could.

"This didn't justify an emergency warning at that level," said Dr. Miles McFall, co-administrator of the VA study.

Dr. McFall said there is no proof that Elliott's breakdown was caused by Chantix and he sees no reason to discontinue the study. Some 140 veterans diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder continue to receive Chantix as part of a smoking cessation study.

Dr. McFall says the VA decided to continue the Chantix study because "it would be depriving our veterans of an effective method of treatment to help them stop smoking."

Caplan, one of the country's leading medical ethicists, said he was stunned by the VA's decision to continue the Chantix experiment.

"Why take the group most a risk and keep them going? That doesn't make any sense, once you know the risk is there," he said.

Chantix is one of the drugs being used in an estimated 25 clinical studies using veterans by the VA.

Pfizer maintains that "the benefits of Chantix outweigh the risks" and that it continues to do further studies on the drug.

The FAA has prohibited commercial airline pilots from using Chantix because of its possible side effects.

Original here

And Obama's veep is ... a Republican?

Some are buzzing about Chuck Hagel, a strong critic of Bush and the war, for the Democratic ticket. A bold idea or political fantasy?

By Mike Madden


AP Photo/Susan Walsh

Sen. Chuck Hagel, R- Neb., speaks during Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings on the war in Iraq in Washington on Sept. 11, 2007.

WASHINGTON -- Something strange happened to Chuck Hagel over the last couple of years: He started to turn into John McCain.

Not the John McCain who's running for president this year, though. The John McCain who ran in 2000 and who rampaged in the Senate for a few years after that -- leading the charge for campaign finance reform, flirting publicly with Democratic leaders, opposing George W. Bush apparently for the sheer fun of it. The John McCain, in other words, who was for a time the favorite Republican of many Democrats.

Now Hagel seems to have taken over that title -- and he's being discussed as a contender for Barack Obama's vice-presidential pick. While Hagel is a long shot for the job, what seems to be stirring some interest in him is less a question of electoral math than of political metaphysics. Running with a Republican would reinforce the message that Obama is serious about changing the way things are done in Washington, and that he really does aim to move the country past the partisan battles of the last couple of decades. At the same time, Hagel's very public split with Bush and the rest of the GOP on the war in Iraq bolsters Obama's case about foreign policy -- that the administration has America on the wrong track vis-à-vis the rest of the world.

But Hagel may be a more attractive candidate in theory than in reality. The buzz about him seems to overlook the fact that he is, despite how much he may like to criticize his own party, a conservative Republican, especially on issues that don't involve foreign affairs. Politics, the saying goes, stops at the water's edge. So might the Obama-Hagel ticket.

As the war in Iraq dragged on, Hagel, Nebraska's senior senator, started to see more and more parallels with Vietnam, a war he -- like McCain -- experienced firsthand. But where McCain looked at the Bush administration's initial Iraq strategy and saw mismanagement hurting a noble cause, Hagel saw an idea he never liked much to begin with (though he voted to authorize it). He saw it getting worse as it went along, and he said so publicly. Two months before the 2004 election, Hagel called the reconstruction effort "beyond pitiful." Last summer, he told Esquire President Bush was "not accountable anymore" and that "before this is over, you might see calls for his impeachment."

The lifelong conservative -- who nearly ran for the GOP nomination himself before deciding, instead, to retire from the Senate -- is getting some buzz among Democratic activists and Beltway pundits as a possible running mate for Barack Obama. (Once again, a reminder that this is shaping up to be an unusual election.) Hagel gets touted as a moderate Republican who's wise on foreign affairs and ready to reach across the aisle to help the country get back on track, as well as help win independent voters for the ticket.

Hagel's wife, Lilibet, gave Obama $500 in February, and Hagel himself has pointedly declined to endorse McCain. Last month on CNN, Hagel ducked a question about the vice-presidency, passing up the chance to give a robust, Shermanesque "no." (His office declined to comment for this story.)

Selecting a prominent Republican war critic -- and one given to pronouncements like, "I sometimes question whether I'm in the same party I started off in" -- might be the way for Obama to make good on his post-partisan rhetoric. But is the Democratic Party -- let alone the country -- ready for a so-called national unity ticket?

The latest chatter is actually the second iteration of "Hagel for V.P." for 2008. Last year, Hagel was widely rumored to be eying a campaign as New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg's running mate on an independent ticket. The two men spoke at a conference in Oklahoma in early January, stacked with the type of bipartisan "wise men" who wind up on nearly every select commission in Washington. It could have been the starting point for a new political force called the Blue Ribbon Panel Party. But Bloomberg decided not to run once McCain won the GOP nomination, and the moment passed.

Now, some Democrats want Obama to look outside the proverbial box for a running mate, courting the independent voters Bloomberg would have sought. "He was not the candidate of the Democratic establishment although he's courting the establishment now," Democratic strategist Donna Brazile told Salon. "This is an opportunity to go outside the traditional walls of looking for some kind of geographic or political balance [in a running mate]. The country's in such a mood now, it's in a pickle almost," she added, referring to the possible appeal of the national unity ticket.

Hagel would also bring some strong credentials, says former Sen. Bob Kerrey, a Democrat and fellow Nebraskan, who ran for president himself in 1992. "He's fun to hang out with, he's got terrific knowledge of foreign policy and national security, and he enjoys the work," Kerrey said.

On foreign policy, Hagel could help Obama disarm McCain's charge that Obama is inexperienced, and Hagel's Army service in Vietnam might counterbalance McCain's playing up his own Navy career. Domestically, Hagel has a record of aiming for the same kinds of fiscal restraint and limited-government conservatism that McCain touts -- he opposes earmarks, thought No Child Left Behind was a mistake, and opposed a recent farm bill, despite his home state's agricultural interests, because it cost too much. He joined with Democrats and other Republicans, including both Obama and McCain, to sponsor immigration reform legislation, and he mostly stays away from fights over wedge issues when they make their way to the Senate floor.

Still, most people who see Hagel as a good veep choice are only focusing on Hagel's record on Iraq (which, admittedly, is the reason for most of the press Hagel's gotten since he started speaking out). And many of them may not actually know much about what he stands for. As one Democratic strategist on Capitol Hill put it, "Republicans aren't bad because they're Republicans; Republicans are bad because they believe different things than us. And Chuck Hagel doesn't believe those things."

Where the whole fantasy breaks down is that, alas, Hagel does hew to traditional Republican causes.

"Chuck is, I would say, a movement conservative," Kerrey, who considers Hagel a friend, said. The American Conservative Union says Hagel has voted the way it wants on nearly 85 percent of what it considers key votes over his career. Getting him nominated at a convention that may already be somewhat fractious after the long primary battle would be tough. "It's hard to imagine that (delegates) are going to vote on someone at the Democratic Convention who's anti-choice, anti-civil rights for gays and anti-gun control," Kerrey said. "It's not impossible, but it's bumping right up on the edge."

Ever since Bill Clinton picked another moderate Southern baby boomer to run with him 16 years ago, the old conventional wisdom about vice presidents -- that you need a candidate to give you regional and political balance -- has been crumbling. That doesn't mean all the rules have gone out the window, though. "If they go the real unconventional route of choosing someone of the other party or someone who's independent, they better make damn sure that their base will see the need of selecting that person," Brazile said. "They better make sure that person is someone who can rise above the divisions."

In other words, unless a Republican running mate would virtually guarantee Obama a win in November, it's probably not worth the risk of angering Democrats to pick one. Chances are, this is one part of the old politics that Obama won't be willing to mess with.

Original here

Spying on Americans: Democrats Ready to Gut the Constitution

Proving the old axiom that Congress "is the best that money can buy," congressional Democrats are preparing to gut the Constitution by granting giant telecom companies retroactive immunity and liability protection on warrantless wiretapping by the Bush regime.

According to Congressional Quarterly, "Congressional leaders and the Bush administration have reached an agreement in principle on an overhaul of surveillance rules."

Tim Starks reports,

According to sources familiar with the negotiations, the compromise would be very similar to the last proposal by Sen. Christopher S. Bond , R-Mo., to House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md.

Sources said the major change is that a federal district court, not the secret FISA court itself, would make an assessment about whether to provide retroactive legal immunity to telecommunications companies being sued for their alleged role in the Bush administration's warrantless surveillance program. ("Agreement Could Pave Way for Surveillance Overhaul," Congressional Quarterly, June 13, 2008)

In other words, the telecommunication corporations and their "customers," the NSA, FBI and other members of the "intelligence community" will get everything they want--retroactive immunity and billions of dollars in continued taxpayer subsidies for intelligence "outsourcing."

Without clear standards for determining whether immunity for these privateers is even justified, the courts will be forced to issue virtual get-out-of-jail-free cards to corporate executives and their shareholders, thus freeing them from any and all liability, should companies claim they had "received assurances" from the state that its spying program was "legal."

Indeed, no warrants at all would be required when the administration and their outsourced private "partners" choose surveillance "targets" under "exigent," or urgent circumstances. Needless to say, such "exigent" circumstances are determined by executive branch "intelligence officials," of whom fully 70% are private mercenaries in the employ of corporatist state structures.

However, civil liberties' campaigners charge that language currently under consideration by House and Senate "leaders" is "judicial theatre" and a "mirage." According to the ACLU,

Allowing phone companies to avoid litigation by simply presenting a "permission slip" from the president is not court review. This is immunity pure and simple because the companies are NOT being judged on whether they followed the law. A document stating that the president asked them to conduct warrantless wiretapping is not enough justification for violating the basic privacy rights of Americans. ("Facts on Senator Kit Bond's (R-MO) FISA Proposal," American Civil Liberties Union, June 13, 2008)

Under rules being considered by Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Kit Bond (R-MO), House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), House Minority Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Bush administration officials, the deal would allow the federal district court "to look at a lower standard of evidence to determine if companies received such orders--a provision sought by the GOP, according to one person involved in the talks," The Hill reports.

Who then, are the privateers that "opposition" Democrats want to "protect" from litigious "radicals" such as the ACLU and the Electronic Frontier Foundation? Some of the wealthiest recipients of "outsourced" intelligence handouts, that's who! Major players in the administration's illegal spying programs include, according to Washington Technology's 2008 Top 100 Government IT Contractors : Verizon Communications Inc., $1,320,637,982 (No. 18); Sprint-Nextel Corporation, $839,946,000 (No. 25); AT&T Inc., $505,358,533 (No. 38); Qwest Communications International Inc., $306,617,000 (No. 51).

If this weren't bad enough, mendacious "leaders" such as Jay Rockefeller claim that spying telecoms "deserve" immunity because they were "ordered" by the NSA to cooperate with the administration. Indeed, back in January,

Rockefeller defended the actions of the telecom companies, arguing that the companies received explicit orders from the National Security Agency to cooperate with the supersecret surveillance effort. The West Virginia Democrat said the telecom companies were being "pushed by the government, compelled by the government, required by the government to do this. And I think in the end, we'll prevail."

Rockefeller added: "If people want to be mad, don't be mad at the telecommunications companies, who are restrained from saying anything at all under the State Secrets Act. And they really are. They can't say whether they were involved, they can't go to court, they can't do anything. They're just helpless. And the president was just having his way." (Daniel W. Reilly, "Rockefeller predicts win in FISA fight over telecom immunity," Politico, January 23, 2008)

Pity the poor "helpless" telecoms! But as investigative journalist Tim Shorrock documents,

The history of telecom cooperation with the NSA is a guide to how the NSA went about winning cooperation with the industry in 2001. During the 1940s, when telephone and telegraph companies began turning over their call and telegram records to the NSA, only one or two executives at each firm were in on the secret. Essentially, the government raised the issue of patriotism with them, and the companies went along. That kind of arrangement continued into the 1970s, and is likely how cooperation works today. "Once the CEO approved, all the contacts" with the intelligence agencies "would be worked at a lower level," Kenneth Bass, a former Justice Department official with the Carter administration, told me. "The telecos have been participating in surveillance activities for decades--pre-FISA, post-FISA--so its nothing new to them." Bass, who helped craft the FISA law and worked with the NSA to implement it, added that he "would not be surprised at all" if cooperating executives received from the Bush administration "the same sort of briefing, but much more detailed and specific, that the FISA court got when [the surveillance] was first approved." (Spies for Hire, New York: Simon and Schuster, 2008, p. 320)

Helpless indeed! Let's make a couple of things clear: the Democratic party is completely beholden to their "constituents"--the multinational corporations, including the telecoms, the giant defense contractors and the well-heeled lobbyists who fill their campaign coffers. Since 9/11, with few rare exceptions that can be counted on one hand, the Democrats have been complicit with the Bush administration's quasi-fascistic "war on terror" and everything that followed in its wake--illegal spying, torture, wars of aggression, not to mention the looting of public assets for private profit known as "outsourcing."

The facile "debate" over retroactive immunity for spooky telecommunication corporations will reach its inevitable denouement with the Democrats allowing either the FISA court or Federal District courts to essentially rubberstamp immunity orders issued by the Bush administration.

As the ACLU's Caroline Fredrickson told The Hill, "Whatever silk purse Hoyer tries to make of Bond's sow's ear and no matter how they try to sell it, the end result of all this negotiating will be exactly what the administration has wanted from the beginning--FISA rewritten to delete court oversight of surveillance and immunity for its pals at the telephone companies."

In the final analysis, these "negotiations" are taking place behind closed doors, subject to input by influence-peddlers and corporate lobbyists, without even a cursory--let alone, public--exploration of whether these mercenary outfits violated the law.

It's a rigged game without a referee...

Tom Burghardt is a researcher and activist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to publishing in Covert Action Quarterly, Love & Rage and Antifa Forum, he is the editor of Police State America: U.S. Military "Civil Disturbance" Planning, distributed by AK Press.

Tom Burghardt is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Tom Burghardt

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Bush: Critics Of Gitmo, Abu Ghraib And Rendition Are ‘Slandering America’»

During an interview with President Bush on Britain’s Sky News yesterday, Sky political editor Adam Boulton noted that while Bush talks “a lot about freedom,” there are many who say that some of the Bush administration’s torture and detention policies represent “the complete opposite of freedom.” But Bush quickly snapped back, saying those criticizing his policies are slandering America:

BOULTON: There are those who would say look, lets take Guantanamo Bay, and Abu Ghraib, and rendition and all those things and to them that is the complete opposite of freedom.

BUSH: Of course, if you want to slander America.

Watch it (beginning at 15:50):

So, according to Bush, below is a short — but by no means exhaustive — list of those who have suggested that Bush’s terrorism policies represent “the opposite of freedom” and thus have slandered America:

The United States Supreme Court: The Court ruled last week that “terrorism suspects held at Guantanamo Bay have a right to seek their release in federal court” saying that Bush’s policy compromised “the Constitution’s guarantee of liberty.”

The Federal Bureau of Investigation: An FBI report issued last month said that according to its agents, “[m]ilitary officials at Guantanamo Bay used some aggressive techniques before they were approved, possibly in violation of Defense Department policy and U.S. law.”

McClatchy Newspapers: An eight month McClatchy investigation found that after the Sept. 11, 2001, the U.S. has wrongfully imprisoned “perhaps hundreds” of men “in Afghanistan, Cuba and elsewhere on the basis of flimsy or fabricated evidence, old personal scores or bounty payments.”

Boulton told Bush that the Supreme Court “ruled against what you have been doing” at Guantanamo but Bush wouldn’t budge, arguing that the district court, appellate court and Congress agreed that Gitmo detainees do not have to right to challenge their detention.

Boulton, a Briton, then had to remind Bush of America’s checks and balances system: “But the Supreme Court is supreme isn’t it?”

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