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Transcript: Habeas Corpus, Military Commissions Act, Posse Comitatus, Feb 07 2007

One of the primary things; one of the core concepts that made America unique, frankly, from Great Britain in 1776 when we declared independence and in 1787 when the Constitution was first presented for ratification and finally ratified in 1789, is the concept that in the United States, the government does not stick its nose into your life unless there is a reasonable case to be made that there's a probable cause that you're actually committing a crime. We put this into the fourth amendment of the Constitution.

Thom Hartmann on Habeas Corpus, 07 February 2007

You know, that bumper music in the last hour ["Ballad of Three Georges", Donal Hinely - ed.], it's a little spooky here. Welcome back to the program, by the way, Thom Hartmann here with you. 41 plus 43 equals 84. President number 41, Bush, plus president number 43, Bush equals 84 as in 1984 as in... Ah, I'm not a big numerology fan, but, I'm not an anti-fan, whatever. To what extent is this 1984 and to what extent are we losing those things that made America unique?

One of the primary things; one of the core concepts that made America unique, frankly, from Great Britain in 1776 when we declared independence and in 1787 when the Constitution was first presented for ratification and finally ratified in 1789, is the concept that in the United States, the government does not stick its nose into your life unless there is a reasonable case to be made that there's a probable cause that you're actually committing a crime. We put this into the fourth amendment of the Constitution: the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated and no warrant shall issue but upon probable cause supported by oath or affirmation and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.

Then we added to that by reaffirming the notion that was first laid into modern English law and modern European law in 1215 in the field at Runnymede where King John back in 1215 you had, you know, the king following the Norman Invasion in 1099 [1066 - ed.] when the Normans took over. The Anglos took over from the Saxons, as it were. And the feudal lords had reached a point where they were saying, "Enough already" to King John, because he was just grabbing people and throwing their butts in jail and saying, "Hey, we don't need no stinking trials". And they said, "No, if you arrest us we have the right to be confronted by our accusers, we have the right to have due process, we have the right to have a trial. You must produce the body, right; you must bring forward the person and allow them to have their day in court. Produce the body in Latin is 'habeas corpus'.

Section nine, clause two of article one of the United States Constitution. Now I realize last week or a week and a half ago Alberto Gonzales testified before Congress; said there is no right to habeas corpus in the Constitution. He's wrong. First there's the Fifth Amendment which I'll get to in just a second and secondly article one of the U.S. Constitution which is the part that governs the legislative body says "The Privilege of the Writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it." There have only been two times in the United States when a president has petitioned to suspend habeas corpus.

Because this is part of Article One, that means that Congress is the only branch of government that has the right to suspend habeas corpus. Article Two is the president's powers; Article One is Congress's powers. So Congress has the right to suspend habeas corpus in the event of a rebellion or invasion. And during Abraham Lincoln's administration he suspended habeas corpus and then went back to Congress and asked for permission for it. This on March 3rd, 1863. And again, in 1871, there was a rebellion in South Carolina. The Ku Klux Klan controlled, essentially controlled the entire state of South Carolina; they controlled the entire political apparatus and they tried to secede from the union again, essentially This is hyper oversimplification, but nonetheless, it was a clear rebellion against the United States government, and so Congress, President Grant requested that Congress pass a piece of law called the "Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871" which would have temporarily suspended habeas corpus in North Carolina so he could put down a rebellion.

That's it! That's it! Because this goes back to, as I said, you know, King John. The feudal lords came to King John and said, "Enough, already; we're not putting up with this" and forced him, because he realized, you know, they said, "We control the wealth. You want to play king, that's fine but you're going to have to do it on our lands; our property. You're going to play by our rules now". And they forced him to sign the Magna Carta in 1215. And Article 38 of the Magna Carta said, this is from 1215, keep in mind. That's how long this has been law. "In future no official shall place a man on trial upon his own unsupported statement, without producing credible witnesses to the truth of it." That's Article 38 of the Magna Carta, 1215.

The year 1215. And Article 39: "No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any other way, nor will we proceed with force against him, or send others to do so, except by the lawful judgement of his equals or by the law of the land." This is the basis of habeas corpus; that you can't just, "This guy's an unlawful combatant; I'm going to throw him in jail". You can't do it.

England strengthened these laws in 1628 after, the year before King Charles the first had thrown five knights in jail on a tax thing and they said, their lord said, you know, "Let these guys out, or at least let's have a trial". And he says he can do it 'per speciale Mandatum Domini Regis', which is Latin for 'by the special mandate of the rule of the King'. And as a result of the British parliament the next year passed the "Right of Petition" law, which was an early version of our fourth and fifth amendments. They restated the 38th and 39th articles of the Magna Carta and added that, quote, "writs of habeas corpus, [are] there to undergo and receive [only] as the court should order." And then in 1640 they added the "Habeas Corpus Act of 1640" and then again in 1679. That's how long this has been law

Our Fifth Amendment: "No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury… nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice…" OK, we've got double jeopardy, "Nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived…" now this is the restatement of habeas corpus in the Fifth Amendment, "Nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." And by the way, it doesn't say 'no citizen'' it say 'no person'.

So now we have, and the reason I mention this now is because this is just happened in this last week; David B. Salmons, an attorney for the Justice Department, told the Federal appeals court in Richmond Virginia: "A citizen, no less than an alien, can be an enemy combatant". In other words, George Bush can declare that you are an enemy combatant. He did say, however, that the Executive Branch - this from Robert Parry over at ConsortiumNews.com - "Salmons did pledge that the Executive Branch will use care in deciding who is designated an "enemy combatant." He made a joke; he said, "the representative of PETA can sleep well at night." People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

Nonetheless, he said it's entirely up to the president. This was quoted in the New York Times, February 2nd 2007. The Military Commissions Act of 2006 essentially did away with habeas corpus. Bush signed the law into affect on October 17th 2006 and the New York Times falsely - well let's say inaccurately - told us, "Don't worry". There was an editorial in the New York Times on October 19 that said, "The law does not apply to American citizens, but it does apply to other legal United States residents. And it chips away at the foundations of the judicial system…" and this was an editorial attacking it, "in ways that all Americans should find threatening."

Here's the problem. The law reads, quote, "any person…" it doesn't say any non-citizen; it says, "Any person is punishable as a principle under this chapter who--
commits an offense punishable by this chapter, or aids, abets, counsels, commands, or procures its commission;…".

Another clause says, "Any person subject to this chapter who, in breach of an allegiance or duty to the United States, knowingly and intentionally aids an enemy of the United States… shall be punished as a military commission under this chapter may direct."

In other words, we no longer have access to the civilian court system in the United States. We are now officially under military law. The Military Commissions Act has put us under military law and done away with the writ of habeas corpus that was written into British in 1215.

...

I just, I want to wrap this thing up here. Not only have we lost our right of habeas corpus as a consequence of the Military Commissions Act; that law also provides for court-stripping. Court-stripping means you don't have access to the courts. You recall the Fifth Amendment said that, you know, "No person shall be … deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." Well, that's not what the Military Commissions Act says.

Instead it says, and I'm quoting from the law, "no court, justice, or judge shall have jurisdiction to hear or consider any claim or cause of action whatsoever … relating to the prosecution, trial, or judgment of a military commission under this chapter, including challenges to the lawfulness of procedures of military commissions." In other words, once they arrest you, once Bush decides that you are an enemy combatant, and it could be you; he's already done it with two U.S. citizens that we know of and there may be others, because the total number of people who have been arrested under this is classified. We don't know how many people have disappeared in this country.

But when he arrests you, and when he puts you in prison, and when he turns you into piece of furniture like he did Jose Padilla, 23 and a half hours a day of absolute solitary confinement, being chained, your ankles and hands together, on a concrete floor with absolutely no clothing, subject to the heat and cold, loud music, light 24 hours a day, not being allowed to sleep, given "truth serum" which could be anything.

Once he's done that and once he's held you like that for years and years and years and broken you completely. Jose Padilla's lawyers saying, this is it, this is the New York Times, Deborah Sontag writing; A Videotape Offers a Window Into a Terror Suspect's Isolation. I've shared this with you before. I won't go into the whole detail of it, but, "Now lawyers for Mr. Padilla, 36, suggest that he is unfit to stand trial. They argue that he has been so damaged by his interrogations and prolonged isolation that he suffers post-traumatic stress disorder and is unable to assist in his own defense. His interrogations, they say, included hooding, stress positions, assaults, threats of imminent execution and the administration of 'truth serums'… In an affidavit his lawyer, Mr Patel, said, 'I was told by members of the brig staff that Mr. Padilla's temperament was so docile and inactive that his behavior was like that of 'a piece of furniture.' "

The New York Times adds, without a touch of irony, "Federal prosecutors have asked the judge in the case to forbid Mr. Padilla's lawyers from mentioning the circumstances of his military detention during his trial, maintaining that their accusations could 'distract and inflame the jury'."

Gee! So once they've done that to you, then they can say, "Oh, by the way, you do not have the right to a trial by jury. You do not have the right to have your case considered. Sorry. The Sixth Amendment: "In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence." That Sixth Amendment that I just read you? Ah! It's just a piece of paper. That's gone.

The Seventh Amendment: "No fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law." Ah, "The right of trial by jury shall be preserved"

The Eighth Amendment: "Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted."

Forget it! The Fourth Amendment that insures your right of privacy, and now, in addition to this, Who Watches The Watchers In Surveillance Society? This from Reuters. "In some cities in Europe and the United States, a person can be videotaped by surveillance cameras hundreds of times a day, and it's safe to say that most of the time no one is actually watching." Well, it turns out that somebody is watching. They've got this new "intelligent video". ObjectView, a company down in Florida, they 're doing this; ObjectView Inc.

"ObjectView is one of two dozen companies seeking to perfect so-called intelligent video -- an industry whose sales will grow from $60 million to $400 million within five years, according to global consulting group Frost & Sullivan."

They can pull out voices; "Combining motion…" This is "'intelligent video' -- software that raises the alarm if something on camera appears amiss -- means Big Brother will soon be able to keep a more constant watch". "Combining motion detection technology with the learning capabilities of video game software, these new systems can detect people loitering, walking in circles or leaving a package.

"New microphone technology can isolate the sound of a gunshot and direct the attached camera to swivel and zoom in on the source'" or maybe a voice. "Sensitivity may reach the point where microphones could pick out the word "explosives" spoken in a crowd." They can pick out one word. What happened to the Fourth Amendment? In Britain, where they've been doing this actually for a few years, "4.2 million government security cameras, 2 million in London alone, a study showed that male surveillance workers sometimes ogled women on their screens, while others focused on minorities excessively." No evidence that it lowers crime.

...

Here's the dialogue. Alberto Gonzales talking to Arlen Specter, the Republican from Pennsylvania. Gonzales: "There is no express grant of habeas in the Constitution. There is a prohibition against taking it away." Now, do you get the subtlety of what he just said? The Constitution says you can't take something away from somebody. But that doesn't mean that you have it. That's what he said. "There is no express grant of habeas in the Constitution. There is a prohibition against taking it away."

"Wait a minute", Specter says. "The constitution says you can't take it away, except in the case of rebellion or invasion. Doesn't that mean you have the right of habeas corpus, unless there is an invasion or rebellion?"

Gonzales: "the Constitution doesn't…" I can't quite do a Gonzales imitation. It's something like, "the Constitution doesn't say". He gets so condescending with his voice.

"The Constitution doesn't say". This is Gonzales now speaking. "The Constitution doesn't say, 'Every individual in the United States or every citizen is hereby granted or assured the right to habeas.' It doesn't say that. It simply says the right of habeas corpus shall not be suspended except…" in cases of rebellion or invasion.

Specter: "You may be treading on your interdiction and violating common sense". Well, yeah.

See, the First Amendment says that, for example, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." Well, using Gonzales's logic, as Robert Parry points out over at Consortiumnews, you could argue that because the Constitution doesn't say that you do have the right to worship, that we're just going to start rounding up people in churches. We're not going to make an official state religion, because that's barred in the Constitution, but you know, if you go to church, you go to jail. And actually that might be next on the Gonzales list, only replace the word church with mosque and maybe someday synagogue.

OK, so let's get this straight. The Military Commissions Act says there's no writ of habeas corpus. You can throw out the Magna Carta. You can throw out the British laws of habeas corpus. You can throw out the United States constitution; it's done away with. In other words, you do not have the right to due process. You can be designated with a label by the president of the United States. And according to Gonzales he's the only person who can do it, or anybody working in his branch who can get him to sign a piece of paper that says that, but it has to be the Executive Branch. He can say you are an enemy combatant. And once that happens, you no longer have the right to challenge your detention. You don't have the right to a lawyer, you don't have the right to a trial, you don't have the right to a jury, you don't have the right to make bail. You don't have the right to talk to anybody; you have no rights whatsoever. That's what no habeas corpus means. They can put you in prison and torture you for the rest of your life, number one.

Number two, you no longer have privacy rights. They can monitor you all they want. With the Patriot Act they can sneak into your home, even without a warrant, as long as they don't disturb anything and it's not obvious to you that they were there. The sneak and peek provision of the Patriot Act.

And now we're putting up these video cameras and supersensitive microphones all over the United States that can pick out a single word from an entire conversation from an entire crowd talking. What words are they going to start looking for? Bush? [intake of breath] He said Bush. Monitor that guy. Follow that guy. Let's track him.

So what's left? See, we've always had this notion in America that we are innocent until proven guilty and that we don't go after people unless there is, to quote the Fourth Amendment, some "probable cause" that a reasonable person would assume that they had committed a crime worthy of investigation. And even then that person has to swear under oath as to that probable cause before a judge will issue a warrant so that you can be investigated. All that's gone away; all that's done away with now. And we're not talking about the America that might happen; we're talking about what we have right now. This has already been done to American citizens, and on an ongoing basis, it's being done to people were not American citizens but are being held by the American government.

And now John McCain wants to ramp it up one more. What do you have left, where you think you have some privacy? The Internet? Sorry. "A forthcoming bill in the U.S. Senate…" this from CNET News, "A forthcoming bill in the U.S. Senate lays the groundwork for a national database of illegal images that Internet service providers would use to automatically flag and report suspicious content to police." John McCain is going to introduce it today. It's going to require your Internet service provider - the company that provides you with your Internet information - to monitor all your e-mail and all your web browsing and every picture that you look at. And if any of those pictures are illegal - now specifically they're defining that as child pornography right now - but that's the nose, the camel's nose under the tent. In Germany, for example, an illegal image would be a swastika. It's against the law to have a swastika in Germany. In China an illegal image would be a Christian cross, or in Saudi Arabia a cross would be illegal. In China it would be whatever the logo was for Falun Gong.

Maybe they'll decide to pass a Bush desecration amendment, you can't, you know, so you can't take an image of President Bush and put buck teeth on him or something. This is called the Securing Adolescents from Exploitation-Online Act and it requires your Internet Service Provider to monitor everything you do and look at all your pictures. Now, if they're looking at your pictures, is it along stretch to think that they may be looking at your writing as well; the words you're saying? And people are worried about America becoming a police state.

Marty in Seattle, hey Marty, welcome to the program.

[Marty]: Yeah, hi Thom. I don't, I want to know where the outrage is in we the people. I mean…

[Thom]: Well, there's a lot of outrage being expressed. The ACLU is all this. You've got, you know, people like Bob Barr who led the, the Republican from Georgia, the Republican congressman from Georgia, former congressman from Georgia who led the impeachment charge against Bill Clinton while he was having an affair in his office with his secretary, but let's not talk about that. You've got, you know, a good conservative like Bon Barr out there working with the ACLU to try and stop this stuff. I mean, people all across, you've got Ron Paul, the hyper-conservative Republican congressman from Texas - he's been on this program - try to stop this stuff. This is a violation of the principles not of liberal or conservative, but of America.

[Marty]: Absolutely. These are the fundamental building blocks of what America is. I mean, we should all be in the street crying. I mean, Erin Watada is testifying today in a losing cause and I turned on C-SPAN and I see Mike McConnell, you know, talking about procedure, and it just breaks my heart to watch the country implode. I'm sitting here in the parking lot at the Veteran's Administration Hospital and, you know, what for, what for, Thom?

[Thom]: Yeah, you fought for your country, and what for? Yeah, well this is why, Marty, we need to take that anger or despair or whatever - I'm experiencing the whole spectrum of these emotions - and convert it into activism. We need to be contacting all of our elected representatives from the City Council to the United States Senators. Here in Washington Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell. I need to be calling Ron Wyden and Gordon Smith, you know, if he'll take the call, the Republican, and say, 'Roll back the Military Commissions Act. We want the right of habeas corpus in the United States. You know, it lasted 800 years; it's still got a little lifetime left in it. You know, it was a good thing. We want our country back." And, you know, we need to be laying this out. Marty, I've got to move along, but thank you for the call.

[Marty]: Absolutely, thank you Thom.

[Thom]: Thank you for your passion. Keep spreading the good word. This is what we can all do; we can all tell other people what we know. We can all wake other people up to this. Jude in Seattle. Hey, Jude.

[Jude]: Hey, good morning, Thom, and not, not to give in.

[Thom]: Yes.

[Jude]: There's such great hope in the American spirit. I want to just…

[Thom]: Yes. The minute that we roll over and say, "That's it, I'm going to Canada", or whatever, that's the moment they've won.

[Jude]: Exactly. This was from, you brought it up last week, about the fourteen characteristics.

[Thom]: Of fascism.

[Jude]: Of fascism, and this was from a physician by the name of Dr. Britt and I'll be very succinct.

  1. Powerful and continuing nationalism.
  2. The Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights
  3. Identification of Enemies and Scapegoats, and this is to create like a Unifying Cause
  4. The Supremacy of the Military, which is a disproportionate amount of government spending versus domestic agenda being neglected
  5. Rampant Sexism
  6. Control the Media
  7. Obsession with National Security
  8. Religion and Government entwined
  9. Corporate Power is Protected
  10. Labor Power is Suppressed
  11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts...

[Thom]: Yeah. Jude, I'm sorry, the machine starts the music, I don't. But I get your point. We've been through them before and you're right; we're getting there. We're absolutely getting there.

...

Let me just share the words of a couple of our founders as we wrap this hour up and this discussion of habeas corpus. In Federalist 84, the Federalist Papers were written by James Madison and Alexander Hamilton by and large. John Jay, George Mason contributed somewhat to them but mostly Hamilton and Madison. And Federalist 84 was written by Alexander Hamilton, one of the conservative founders of America. And they were written as newspaper articles back and 1787 and 1788 in order to promote the ratification of the constitution by the states. They were selling the constitution. And here's what Hamilton in Federalist 84.

"The establishment of the writ of habeas corpus ... are perhaps greater securities to liberty and republicanism than any it [the Constitution] contains. ...[T]he practice of arbitrary imprisonments have been, in all ages, the favorite and most formidable instruments of tyranny." The observations of the judicious [British eighteenth century legal scholar] Blackstone, in reference to the latter, are well worthy of recital:"

And then he quotes Blackstone as the most famous law scholar of the 1700s in England.

"'To bereave a man of life,' says he."

I'm quoting Hamilton quoting Blackstone.

"'To bereave a man of life,' says he." To take away his right to life. " 'or by violence to confiscate his estate, without accusation or trial, would be so gross and notorious an act of despotism, as must at once convey the alarm of tyranny throughout the whole nation; but confinement of the person, by secretly hurrying him to jail, where his sufferings are unknown or forgotten, is a less public, a less striking, and therefore..." And now here Hamilton put this on all capitals; all capital letters. "by secretly hurrying him to jail, where his sufferings are unknown or forgotten, is a less public, a less striking, and therefore A MORE DANGEROUS ENGINE of arbitrary government.'''

Thomas Jefferson in his first inaugural address, 'cause John Adams had talked about taking away the right of habeas corpus with the Alien and Sedition Act. Thomas Jefferson, March 4th, 1801.

"I know, indeed, that some honest men fear that a republican government can not be strong, that this Government is not strong enough." But this nation, he says, is "the world's best hope… The strongest Government on earth… It was found … in freedom of person under the protection of the habeas corpus, and trial by juries impartially selected." This was from Jefferson's inaugural address.

"These principles [of habeas corpus and trial by juries impartially selected] form the bright constellation which has gone before us and guided our steps through an age of revolution and reformation. The wisdom of our sages and blood of our heroes have been devoted to their attainment. They should be the creed…" He's talking about habeas corpus and trial by juries. "They should be the creed of our political faith, the text of civic instruction, the touchstone by which to try the services of those we trust; and should we wander from them in moments of error or of alarm, let us hasten to retrace our steps and to regain the road which alone leads to peace, liberty, and safety."

Yeah. Is it Janine in Phoenix?

[Janine ]: Yes.

[Thom]: Hey, Janine.

[Janine ]: Hey, Thom. Just quickly, the same day that Bush signed the Military Commissions Act, he also very quietly and secretly signed another bill, and maybe you can help me with it. I think the number was something like 1017, or something. And that bill was more specifically focused on the American people wherein it said that the U.S. government had total and absolute control of all and any, you know, local guards, state guards.

[Thom]: Yeah, militia. What you're talking about actually I believe, I could be wrong on this but I'm quite sure, was an amendment to the Defense Appropriation Bill that basically did away with the Posse Comitatus Act of 18 as I recall 71 [1878 - ed.] house, the Posse Comitatus Act which said that the military in the United States cannot be used against the people of the United States, that only civilian police forces can be used against the people of the United States, not the [inaudible].

[Janine ]: OK, this one had a specific wording to do with any insurrections…

[Thom]: Hmmm, OK

[Janine ]: … that might, that would, you know, come up within this country.

[Thom]: Yeah, and how do they define insurrections?

[Janine ]: Exactly.

[Thom]: I mean, was the Seattle WTO protest an insurrection? Probably they would say so.

[Janine ]: So that's the law, but nobody knows about that one either. If you check that out I'd appreciate it.

[Thom]: I will, and thank you for the call Mike in Seattle. Mike, just a few seconds before we've got to wrap this hour. Quick comment?

[Mike ]: Yes, long time listener, first time caller. You are a life preserver of reason in a sea of gibberish.

[Thom]: Thank you.

[Mike ]: We have got to, oh you're welcome, we have got to, as citizens, stand up and hold our officials accountable. We have got to do it.

[Thom]: Yes.

[Mike ]: The Bush Administration set me on my ear, motivated me to go to school, I want to go to law school.

[Thom]: Good on you, Mike.

[Mike ]: And we have to get off out complacent rear ends and…

[Thom]: And get out there and speak out and get active and get involved. You're absolutely right. Thank you so much and thank you for being part of the solution, because if you're not, you're part of the problem, as the old saying goes. It's real and we do need, you know, there's all this talk in the media about, "Who voted for the war in Iraq?" You know, John Edwards going out there. "I'm sorry I voted for the war in Iraq", and Hillary Clinton, did she vote for it? Hey, who voted for the Military Commissions Act? That's what I want to know.

...

So, who did vote for this thing? Welcome back. You know, I raised this question at the end of the last hour; I might as well answer it. And thanks to, oh who was it, one of the folks in the chat room here, Jewels1. Thanks to Jewels for finding the actual roll call vote here on the Military Commissions Act, one of the pieces of legislation along with the Patriot Act and its improvements, that has given away our freedoms. And the people voting in favor, here are the Democrats, Virtually all the Republicans voted in favor of it in the House of Representatives. The only Republicans that I can see who voted against it in the House of Representatives, let's see, Gilchrest. These are members of the House of Representatives. Gilchrest and Ron Paul of Texas and Jones of North Carolina, and Bartlett of Maryland. That's it. Four Republicans voted against it. [7 - also LaTourette, Leach, Moran (KS) - ed.]. Which meant that it was, well actually, all they needed was Republicans in order to carry it on the House, but look at all the Democrats who voted for this thing - Andrews, Barrow, Bean, Bishop, Boren, Boswell, Boyd, Herseth, Higgins. If you're hearing your congressman or woman you'll know. Holden, Paterson (the one from New Mexico) [Peterson (MN) - ed.], Pomeroy, Brown from Ohio. Sherrod Brown voted for this thing? Davis in Alabama, Davis in Tennessee, Edwards, Ford. This is in the House of Representatives. Marshall, Matheson, Melancon, Michaud, Moore of Kansas, Ross, Salazar, Scott of Georgia, Spratt, Tanner, Taylor. [ Also Chandler, Cramer, Cuellar, Etheridge, Gordon, McIntyre - ed.] Those are the Democrats who voted yes, plus all the Republicans. I mean, let's just blanket hold the Republicans to account for this.

And in the Senate, in the Senate it gets very interesting. If you look at the yeas, Carper of Delaware voted yes for the Military Commissions Act, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Frank Lautenburg of New Jersey, Joe Lieberman of Connecticut. Gee, why am I not surprised? Mr. Menendez of New Jersey voted yes, Nelson of Florida and Nelson of Nebraska both voted yes, Pryor of Arkansas voted yes, Salazar of Colorado voted yes. Stabenow of Michigan, there's a surprise.; Debbie Stabenow voted for the Military Commissions Act. I'm horrified. [Also Johnson (D-SD) - ed.]

And in the no's, it's all Democrats except for Lincoln Chafee; he's the only Republican who voted against it in the Senate, and he's gone now.

So, anyway, I think it's time for us to re-examine that. But anyway, we just ranted on that for an hour, let's move along.

No More Presidential Immunity!

Thom plus logo When Richard Nixon committed multiple Felonies, including accepting bribes in cash in the White House, Jerry Ford chose to pardon him.

When Ronald Reagan committed treason in 1980 to get elected, Attorney General Bill Barr shut down the investigation in 1992 with five pardons.

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Hillary Clinton believes both Republican candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz "missed the mark" with their approach to the Israel-Palestinian Arab conflict
From Screwed:
"If we are going to live in a Democracy, we need to have a healthy middle class. Thom Hartmann shows us how the ‘cons’ have wronged this country, and tells us what needs to be done to reclaim what it is to be American."
Eric Utne, Founder, Utne magazine
From Screwed:
"The powers that be are running roughshod over the powers that OUGHT to be. Hartmann tells us what went wrong — and what you and I can do to help set American right again."
Jim Hightower, National Radio Commentator, Writer, Public Speaker, and author of the bestselling Thieves in High Places
From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Through compelling personal stories, Hartmann presents a dramatic and deeply disturbing picture of humans as a profoundly troubled species. Hope lies in his inspiring vision of our enormous unrealized potential and his description of the path to its realization."
David Korten, author of Agenda for a New Economy, The Great Turning, and When Corporations Rule the World