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Institute for Public Accuracy

DECEMBER 21, 2005
2:14 PM

CONTACT: Institute for Public Accuracy
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

* Domestic Spying * Torture

WASHINGTON December 21

Editor of The Progressive, Rothschild writes the "McCarthyism Watch" web column. Conniff covers national politics for The Progressive; her most recent piece is "Bush as Nixon." Rothschild's latest article, "Bush Takes the Crown," quotes from one of the three articles of impeachment that came out of the House Judiciary Committee in 1974: "[The President] has repeatedly engaged in conduct violating the constitutional rights of citizens, impairing the due and proper administration of justice and the conduct of lawful inquiries, or contravening the laws governing agencies of the executive branch and the purpose of these agencies." Commented Rothschild: "If you replace Nixon's name with Bush's, the article still stands." [In contrast to his current position, Bush stated in 2004 that "a wiretap requires a court order..." See: Rep. John Conyers has proposed measures to censure Bush and released a report: "The Constitution in Crisis: The Downing Street Minutes and Deception, Manipulation, Torture, Retributions and Cover-ups in the Iraq War." See:]

Available for a limited number of interviews, Kutler is professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin and author of the book "The Wars of Watergate." He said today: "Bush is arguing that the only restraint on him is self-restraint; but that's illegitimate. We are supposed to have checks and balances." Kutler noted that in the past when overreaching constitutional powers, the executive branch had "seemed to stake its constitutional authority on a claim that the President had succeeded to the sovereign powers of George III."

President of the Center for Constitutional Rights, Ratner said today: "From its assertions that it could torture in the name of national security to its recent claim that it could engage in warrantless wiretapping of Americans, the Bush administration has moved us from a government responsible and accountable to the people to one that dictates to the people. Every American should be in a political rebellion against the criminals now running this country."

Smith and Brecher wrote the recent article "Ban Torture or Protect Torturers?" which includes an analysis of the McCain amendment on torture. Smith said today: "Congress is poised to pass legislation allowing evidence obtained by torture to be used against Guantanamo captives and denying them the right to habeas corpus -- the right to make the government justify their captivity before a court." Added Brecher: "This assault on the most venerable and universal of legal principles is attached to the same legislation as Sen. John McCain's anti-torture measure." Smith, a legal scholar, and Brecher, a historian, are co-editors, with Jill Cutler, of the new book "In the Name of Democracy: American War Crimes in Iraq and Beyond."


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