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Freedom

Via Josh at TPM (and H/T to reader LJ/Aquaria for the link.)

Can you volunteer for a campaign in your area this weekend?  Could you call to help get out the vote?  Need more incentive to do some work for Democratic candidates?  Boy do I have some for you this morning:

Bob Geiger has the Saturday cartoons, and they are doozies.  (My personal favorites are the Steve Sack and the Mike Lucovich.  Pure genius!)

— The US military — every branch — is asking that Donald Rumsfeld be fired. Now. And so are the pro-military newspapers that serve them. 

It is one thing for the majority of Americans to think Rumsfeld has failed. But when the nation's current military leaders start to break publicly with their defense secretary, then it is clear that he is losing control of the institution he ostensibly leads.

These officers have been loyal public promoters of a war policy many privately feared would fail. They have kept their counsel private, adhering to more than two centuries of American tradition of subordination of the military to civilian authority.

And although that tradition, and the officers' deep sense of honor, prevent them from saying this publicly, more and more of them believe it.

Rumsfeld has lost credibility with the uniformed leadership, with the troops, with Congress and with the public at large. His strategy has failed, and his ability to lead is compromised. And although the blame for our failures in Iraq rests with the secretary, it will be the troops who bear its brunt.

George Bush has said that Rummy has a job until the end of his Presidency, which means that you have a choice, voters of America:  vote for Republicans and thumb your nose at the troops — or vote for Democrats and get them some desperately needed oversight.  Because the rubber stamp Republican Congress has shown that they are incapable of holding any necessary oversight hearings on anything that would jeopardize their relationship with defense contractor money and their KStreet cronies.  Time for a change, for our soldiers' sake.  Taylor has more.

— The Bush Administration is trying to prevent any oversight of their actions with prisoners who have been kept in black ops sites, including restricting any and all access to lawyers who represent them:

Gitanjali Gutierrez, an attorney for Khan's family, responded in a court document yesterday that there is no evidence that Khan had top-secret information. "Rather," she said, "the executive is attempting to misuse its classification authority . . . to conceal illegal or embarrassing executive conduct."

Joseph Margulies, a Northwestern University law professor who has represented several detainees at Guantanamo, said the prisoners "can't even say what our government did to these guys to elicit the statements that are the basis for them being held. Kafka-esque doesn't do it justice. This is 'Alice in Wonderland.' "

Kathleen Blomquist, a Justice Department spokeswoman, said yesterday that details of the CIA program must be protected from disclosure. She said the lawyer's proposal for talking with Khan "is inadequate to protect unique and potentially highly classified information that is vital to our country's ability to fight terrorism."

Government lawyers also argue in court papers that detainees such as Khan previously held in CIA sites have no automatic right to speak to lawyers because the new Military Commissions Act, signed by President Bush last month, stripped them of access to U.S. courts. That law established separate military trials for terrorism suspects….

In Maryland, Khan's family was under constant FBI surveillance from the moment of his arrest, his brother said. The FBI raided their house the day after the arrest , removing computer equipment, papers and videos. Each family member was questioned extensively and shown photographs of terrorism suspects that Mahmood Khan said none of them recognized. For much of the next year, he said, they were followed everywhere.

"Pretty much we were scared," he said. "We live in this country. We have everything here."

Think that can't happen to you because you are an American citizen, protected by the legal requirements of our Constitution and our nation's laws and requirements for due process, access to legal representation and prevention of cruel and unusual treatment while in custody? Think again.  (Balkin has much more.)

Bob Ney finally resigns after his plea to federal felony charges, with his full pension intact thanks to the rubber stamp Republican Congress' inaction on preventing federal pensions from being paid to people who abuse their office by taking bribes and betraying the public trust.  Hey, what's a few million dollars over a lifetime for…how many Republican crooks have resigned this year?  (Ney, Cunningham, DeLay…ah yeah, good times.)

— More science, less idiocy.

Crooks and Liars has a great clip from a New Orleans singer talking about the importance of voting for her hometown and the nation.  And don't miss the Jon Stewart clip.  Mwahaha.

— With Democrats holding power in Congress, the media will have to rethink the constant GOP bootlicking.  And won't that be a nice change of pace…  (Found via Atrios.)

— No hypocrisy here.  Shorter Haggard:  "I bought meth that I didn't use from a prostitute who just gave me a massage at a hotel, but no happy ending."  Um…yeah.  Sure.  If there is a videotape anywhere of any of this, no one tell me…ever.  Because this has the ring of criminals I used to prosecute taking no responsibility whatsoever for anything they had ever done, even when they had been caught red-handed, climbing out of the smashed window with a stolen teevee in their hands.  Jeebus.  (TBogg has more.)

— This just in:  George Bush may have lost his mind.  Wow, that is news.  I didn't realize he had one.  (ba dum bum…sorry, a little punchy this morning…)

— Mr. Illogic, meet Mr. Steamroller.  (Some days, you just have to have some LGM.)

— Oh, and the next time someone brings up the "but…but…Republicans protect us from the big bad terrorists," I'm forcing them to read this.  (Yes, I know I've linked this one before, but it is well worth a read again today before you start convincing people to get up off their butts and vote.)

Now, let's get out there and get to work, people.  It's well past time to give Karl his Maalox moment.  Plus, think of how well the economy will be doing from all the additional cheetos sales…it's called emotional eating, that's okay, let it out.  Vote.  Vote for Democrats — and take your friends with you to vote and do the same.

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com

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