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Wartime Presidents and the Rule of Law

(Photo by Robin Holland)

This week on the JOURNAL, Bill Moyers spoke with political commentator Glenn Greenwald about the Bush administration’s assertion of expanded presidential powers and the prospect that Barack Obama may renounce them in favor of a traditional American vision of the rule of law.

Glenn Greenwald said:

“What we have in the last eight years is not merely a case of individual and isolated law breaking. It’s a declaration of war on the whole idea of law itself, on the idea that our political leaders are constrained in any way by the limitations of the American people imposed through our Congress... The last two years running for President, [Obama] renounced the core theories of the Bush administration that vested the President with the powers we’ve been describing and vowed that he would renounce them almost immediately upon taking office... I think he needs to say that he doesn’t intend to view himself as being above the rule of law, that he intends to be faithful to the vision and design of the founders that the President, like everybody else, is subject to the rule of law and to the laws that the American people enact through their representatives in Congress.”

Political science professor Jean Edward Smith of Marshall University suggested that the Bush administration’s actions are part of a historical continuum including numerous previous presidents in times of war:

“'The Constitution has never greatly bothered any wartime President,' wrote Francis Biddle, F.D.R.'s attorney general during World War II... National survival or, perhaps more accurately, the President's perception of national survival always takes precedence. George W. Bush has been no exception... Abraham Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus during the Civil War, and in several states he ordered the trial of civilians by military tribunals... [Woodrow] Wilson requested that Congress give the president absolute authority to censor the press in the event of war, to make it a federal crime to promote the success of America's enemies and to close the mail to any material deemed 'of a treasonable or anarchistic character'... The 1942 relocation of Japanese-Americans from their homes on the West Coast was, in [Franklin] Roosevelt's view, simply another act of wartime necessity dictated by the risk to America's defenses.”

What do you think?

  • Do you expect Barack Obama to renounce or dial back the executive powers that the Bush administration asserted? Why or why not?

  • Is it appropriate for Presidents during wartime to disregard the Constitution in the name of national security? Why or why not?

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    I don't expect much to be "dialed back"....The Democrats are also wanting of that expanded power. This way they get it, and the GOP takes the heat.

    People quit your Bitching and crying, if Bush really broke the law. Then for the past 2 years, the Democratic Party had ample time to impeach him, but they either they didnt have the balls to do it or Bush didnt break any laws. Which is it? Was the 06 elections a power grab for the DNC, YES it was. The interview on 60 minutes with Leslie Stahl and Nancy Pelosi says it all. "Impeachment is off the table"!
    So quit crying people, you had your chance.

    songweasel: That is a cute metaphor, that George Washington built a casket or ark from cherry wood. It's almost comical if you envision it animated. Huh-oh, a slave is actually doing the work as George applies an emolument (emollient?) to his own soft manicured hands.

    For two years in a row, and in most recent trials, George Washington has failed in his Christmas (re-enactment)crossing of the Delaware (Washinton's Crossing Park, Pa.). What I think is that the people are losing faith in the deification myth of the founding fathers, and in the sacredness of the property obsessed Constitution they wrote. (The Bill of Rights was an inadequate counterbalance.)

    The problem is not so much the powers presidents accrue and pass on. The problem is more the ruthless powers (and immunities) necessary to satisfy the beneficiaries whose needs must be met. The Lord Proprietor never actually went away, but is now hiding behind the Supreme Court, the corporate charter and international trade agreements. (like NAFTA and GATT)

    Drew Cary emcees "The Price Is Right" but he doesn't actually run the game or provide the prizes. His deviations are edited out, and if they became too blatant, Rosie O'Donnell or Chris Ragge would replace him. In this same way, Barack has replaced George. The same owners, producers and directors remain in place. Obama may get a new que card girl, but the show rolls on.

    i gotta go back to July 13, 2007 on this program to quote John Nichols of "The Nation"...

    JOHN NICHOLS: "Well, let's try a metaphor. Let's say that-- when George Washington chopped down the cherry tree, he used the wood to make a little box. And in that box the president puts his powers. We've taken things out. We've put things in over the years.

    On January 20th, 2009, if George Bush and Dick Cheney are not appropriately held to account this administration will hand off a toolbox with more powers than any president has ever had, more powers than the founders could have imagined. And that box may be handed to Hillary Clinton or it may be handed to Mitt Romney or Barack Obama or someone else. But whoever gets it, one of the things we know about power is that people don't give away the tools. They don't give them up. The only way we take tools out of that box is if we sanction George Bush and Dick Cheney now and say the next president cannot govern as these men have."

    it's really hard to type with my fingers crossed. we will just have to wait and see what the new administration does.

    1976 Letter FROM LHO'S #1 DallasCIA contact to H.W. Bush, CIA Boss
    The following is from Russ Baker's new book Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, The Powerful Forces That Put it in the White House, and What Their Influence Means for America
    In 1976, more than a decade after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, a ltrrer arrived at the CIA, addressed to its director, the Hon.
    George Bush. The letter was from a desperate-sounding man in Dallas, who spoke regretfully of having been discreet in talking about Lee Harvey
    Oswald and begged Poppi for help:

    Maybe you will be able to bring a solution into the hopeless situation I find myself in. My wife and I find ourselves surrounded
    by some vigilantes; our phone bugged; and we are being followed verywhere. Either FBI is involved in this or they do not want
    to accept my complaints. We are driven to insanity by this situation... I tried to write, stupidly and unsuccessfully, about Lee H.
    Oswald and must have angered a lot of people... Could you do something to remove this net around us? This will be the last
    request for help and I will not annoy you any more.

    The writer signed himself "G. de Mohrenschildt" (1) (p. 67, Family of Secrets)

    1. Letter from de Mohrenschildt to Bush, avialable through the Mary Ferrell foundation Web site ( It includes
    the official routing slip where Bush checks "yes" after "do you know this individual?" (104-10414-10013). Also available is a
    memorandum from Inspector General John Waller to Bush summarizing what is in the CIA files on de Mohrenschildt (104-10414-10372);
    and a letter from Bush to de Mohrenschildt (104-10414-10134).

    Soon Oswald's CIA handler de Mohrenschildt would be dead, (ruled sucide by self inflicted shotgun blast) in 1977.

    He died on the very day that he received his second subpoena from the House
    elect Committee on Assassinations requesting a follow up to his testimony regarding his relationship with Oswald in Dallas with other intelligence-connected members of far right-- often with clear connections to oil and defense industries-- in Dallas from 1962 until the late Spring of 1963.

    RUSS BAKER is an investigative journalist. He has written for the new Yorker, Vanity Fair, the New York Times, the nation, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, the Village Voice, and Esquire, and has served as contributing editor to the Columbia Journalism Review. His exclusive reporting on George W. Bush's military record received a 2005 Deadline Club award. He is the founder of WhoWhatWhy/ the Real News Project, a nonpartisan, nonprofit investigative news organization, operationg at
    Operation Mockingbird Spartacus:
    Operation Mockingbird Education Forum

    The Great NONO in the debate over the power of the presdecies is Does the President REALLY controll the permanent Intelligence andmilitary bureacracies. Even great writers like Chalmers Johnson are permitted to say what they do on condition that they toe the mantra-line: the prez is in control of these agencies amen.

    Well read THE MOST IMPORTANT BOOK ON AMERICAN POLITICS IN FORTY YEARS. Russ Bakers Family of Secrets. This is not just one more book on the Bush Dynasty. No Mantra here!

    See what Bill Moyers has to say about Russ Bakers abilities as a reporter. The Woodwards that Be are going to attack this like Dresdens Twin, but this guy's credentials have the ability to protect him from Major League Insult. MUST.




    “We are in a freaking war goddammit and I want my government to protect me!”
    To protect you from whom...! Do you want the government to protect you
    like it protected the people from hurican Katrina? There were 1500 lives lost
    due to $90 million dollars diverted – funds “that were approved for the levies!”
    Did you want to protect you from confiscation, eviction, lost of job, funds
    as they “approved bailout of $700B for Bonuses to bank executives!”
    Did you want to protect you like the “4500 lives lost in war, thousands wunded
    at a cost of triilion dollars!” Did you want to protect you investment, savings,
    securities, bonds etc. by continuing deregulation under the “Rule of laws”
    lawlessness, corruption, earmarks etc. “The truth as always it hurts!”

    I strongly recommend the book that is being censored by bookstores because it suggests that the CIA was not subject to Presidential authority and was thus beyond ANY RULE OF LAW.

    JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why it Matters by James W. Douglass clearly shows that the CIA was following its own policies in Vietnam and Cuba.

    Daniel Ellsberg said it fundementally changed his view of the Kennedy Assassination

    “Douglass presents, brilliantly, an unfamiliar yet thoroughly convincing account of a series of creditable decisions of John F. Kennedy—at odds with his initial Cold War stance—that earned him the secret distrust and hatred of hard-liners among the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the CIA. Did this suspicion and rage lead directly to his murder by agents of these institutions, as Douglass concludes? Many readers who are not yet convinced of this ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ by Douglass’s prosecutorial indictment will find themselves, perhaps—like myself—for the first time, compelled to call for an authoritative criminal investigation. Recent events give all the more urgency to learning what such an inquiry can teach us about how, by whom, and in whose interests this country is run.” --Daniel Ellsberg, author, Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers

    “Douglass writes with moral force, clarity, and the careful attention to detail that will make JFK and the Unspeakable a sourcebook for many years to come, for it provides us with the stubborn facts needed to rebuild a constitutional democracy within the United States.”--Marcus Raskin, co-founder, Institute for Policy Studies

    I don't think/expect to see presidential powers dialed back. The Demos want them too. The GOP administration has done the dirty work for them, and they ( the GOP ) can take the heat for it. The Democrats have been rubbing their hands together to 'get in there'.

    I think Number 43 wanted revenge and started a war in order to become a dictator and do as he pleased and he certainly has done so.

    I think Number 44 talked about change but never said what he would change and now has filled his cabinet with incumbents and the statist quo. I do not expect to see change but to see things go on as they have. All of his cabinet members are out of the past and I see no innovators. How can the old ideas bring change?

    Bill you have about 5 pages of questions and the answering of all those questions by thousands of people… what’s it all about? Are you searching for answers, opinions, ideas, debate, or maybe conflict and discontent?

    I never here you refer to any content in any web log and I am puzzled by your purpose to continue forever asking questions and never offering solutions.

    Yes, I do hear you ask your guess for solutions but I don’t see how that changes anything anymore then the solutions offered in your web logs.

    So, how do we get off this Merry-go-Round? Is population the most serious problem? Is arrogance and greed the most serious problem? Or, is our not caring about our lives a greater problem then all the other problems?

    In the end and all this does need to come to an end so a new beginning can be. None of what has been said amounts to much.

    People’s lives are continuing to go forth pretty much as they have.
    Governments continue to not solve problems as they have not.
    Corporations continue to cook the books and turn out shoddy products.
    Intellectuals continue to discuss problems add infinitum.
    Laws and taxes get passed mostly to suit the powerful.

    What part of all this will # 44 change? And, Bill, what part of it will you change? Or want to change? Frankly I have trouble changing my cloths and I find it impossible to change the minds of people or the ways they do thins.

    Somewhere in the last 107 pages I lost my way, it all seemed to make sense when I started but now it is just words. Trillions of words, billions of people, millions of questions and no real answers.

    Action is what is needed….

    Thank you so much Bill, for having Glenn Greenwald on. He's one of my heros, he's spot on about the rule of Law and he's been spot on for awhile now about the abuses of power of this current administration.

    I'm not as pessimistic about the Obama Presidency as he is though, because I think Obama will end torture, close Gitmo and restore the Constitution sooner rather than later.

    I think we are gonna have it tough for a few years but ultimately I think we will recover with a much more sustainable culture.

    A hefty price is being paid for ignoring the 9/11 conspiracy. (I recently improved my insight at bret hughes link.) The economic implosion is an epiphenomenon of that fateful day and follows a similar sequence. Where are we in this economic debacle? Well, the first tower is collapsing, and it will be a long day (era) of carnage.

    In the same way that Bush sat on his hands on 0/11/2001 he has sat idly by as the financial superstructure got out of control. As he and Cheney disabled air defense they have disabled financial regulation. As they proffered the Patriot Act and other extraordinary powers they proffered the TARP. In the same way they scapegoated Iraq, they scapegoated underqualified homebuyers and poor debtors. There are beneficiaries of this self-inflicted wound who remain to be defined. We saw how outlaw firms like Blackwater and Halliburton/KBR benefitted from an illegal occupation.

    It is the same players who have perpetrated both treacheries. These are interdependent betrayals. Look for the guilty by wealth and status, not by nationality or party. It is not only the Bushes and the bin Ladens, for they are only the hosts of the game show, a show that is rigged to make workers losers. It is much worse than Naomi Klein says. It is not shock therapy anymore but the electrocution chamber. Smell the flesh burning?

    Never forget that Labor fashions your world on an hourly basis, and that when you impair it you imperil and risk civilization.

    I agree that Presidents are generally unperturbed by the semantic of the Constitution during war time, when self-preservation becomes the standard on which all other decisions are based. I was just making sure that the professor noted the distinction between a national crisis and a "perception" of a national crisis.

    It appears that the primary motivation behind decisions of previous wartime presidents to override existing laws seemed mainly to be to ensure our nation's survival.
    The difference between them and Bush/Cheney is Bush/Cheney/Rove's unapologetic primary goal to inrease their own power/wealth and get reelected no matter what the cost; their "permanent campaign."
    Their actions reveal that they view issues such as terrorism, energy, finance, law and environment merely as vehicles for opportunities to enhance their primary goal to accumulate power and were only the means to that end; a systematic grab for more power, not the endpoint as in previous administrations.

    "What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy?" Gandhi

    I hope President Elect Obama will follow through with his pronouncement. I hope he will go further and launch an investigation into law breaking by the current administration. Then, as needed, appoint a prosecutorial team and free them to pursue any and all breachers of the Constitution and any Federal laws.
    We see this executive/elite trend of behavior in the private sector as well of an assumed status above or beyond the law(s). It must be "arrested".

    A thousand apologies for failing to mention our courageous Iraqi sisters and brother, and the occupying of factories by our sisters and brothers in Chicago.


    The lack or representation in the government is the cause single of the wild and ruthless abuses of the office of the executive run amock.

    Democrats are certainly not sinless, but history proves that a far larger much more diverse population of Americans benefit under democratic leadership, warts and all.

    Somehow there must be applied some mechanism to truly give voice to the voiceless.

    Most Americans do not and will countenance a president as king, with kings rights to operate above, beyond, outside, and in total disdain of the rule of law and our Constitution. The structure of our Constitution and form of government is designed to prevent and prohibit any concentration of wealth and power by any individual, cabal, church, klan, clique, coterie, or oligarchs. Yet, somehow this is exactly what we have allowed to transpire over the recent decades in our government.

    The heretofore unrecognized and unimagined powers and untoward authorities invidiously usurped by the fascists in the bushgov directly reflect the peoples lack of representation in the government.

    The future is ours if we only grasp the courage to take it. Democracy is by definition a government wherein the authority of the government is derived from the consent of the governed. The governed would be us, and we, the people need to somehow, by any means possible restore that basic right and that basic critical principle and demand that our leadership recognize and advance the will and best of the people.

    I believe this effort will require massive street movements. Shutting down airports like our sisters and brothers in Taiwan. Massive reactionary street protests like our sisters and brothers in Greece. Tossing of shoes and other objects and other acts of extreme disrespect and civil disobediance and protest at our failed leaders, political and corporate.

    Martin Luther King before he was murdered was planning a poor peoples protest. Millions of Americans occupying the great lawn and effectively shutting down the seats of power until our voices are heard, recognized, legitimized, and redressed.

    The people have the right to petition the government for redress of grievances.

    USE IT!

    I can't help but think the Democrats were rubbing their hands together prior to getting their mits on the expanded presidential powers...Bush & Co. has done some convenient dirty work for them. I find it all very dangerous.

    Great job Bill, as usual. Friday night is my one night to relax with the PBS line up and reflect on the issues of the week, try to make sense of what is happening in the world, or just take in a different view point. Emma Jordan was so articulate.

    The tactic of claiming that all violators in any instance are Jews, or Mexicans or Negroes, or homosexuals, or communists , or gypsies, and so on is primarily a means of exhonerating those in the same guilty role that are like oneself, or whom the accuser aspires to emulate. You see a drunk driving accident on the news and are led to believe:"Only, or mostly, illegal immigrants do this." Obviously, this is a structural lie. A writer below suggests that "Jews" are likely responsible for financial chichanery, and that is not to say all Jews, but that they all possess that propensity. How ludicrous and pitiful this sounds without the tradition of prejudicial gossip endorsed by the wealthy elite. No matter what they may do to the rest they are never wrong until or unless they have Jewish parents.

    The piss-ant below even claims to be Jewish. Can this be a perverse case of neurotic self blame? I suspect though that this is the rant of a simple-minded racist fascist. May they be delivered from evil.

    Unfortunitely Obama takes bribes from the "Goldman's Sach" the same as the Bush dynasty. The same men that own the Federal Reserve own the IMF World Bank. The ruling elite zionists, all for the so called good of Israel. Rothschild and Rockefeller family bloodlines.

    Moo-mia W.- I suspect if you could see Anonymous9 and Billy Don Moyers side by side in street clothes and hear a conversation between them you would not find too much difference in their abilities or usefulness to U. S. citizens' interests. Just as there is very little difference between a good sandlot baseball player and a major leaguer (except for maybe some steroids, speed and wild nights), you'll often find scant difference in ability in a variety of pursuits. I feel this way because I pick up down and out people to do work, and because I have assembled soon-skilled crews from the applicants available all over the world. I think you'd be shocked about the bush-league people employed (via nepotism, networking and favor-trading) in broadcasting at many levels, both public and private. Human beings have a capacity for miraculous learning and adaptation when motivated. What I mean to say is that when vital work is to be done, any available person regardless of sex, age, size, color, hair texture, sexual orientation, national citizenship or net worth is more than likely to be able to perform the necessary tasks. One person is about as good as another.

    Ellison Hunt, or you, or beecham or Linda or Mary, and so on, each have something unique and special to offer. Motivation counts for a lot. People come to points of insight and revelation in their lives that should not be wasted. The Journal is a little thing, but unfortunately a rare thing. I appreciate that Billy Don Moyers has struggled to make it available. The program and Bill are insulated from reality by their social universe and by funding considerations. The problem is to propagate this wonderful inquiry. Handing over money without policy input will not represent the people. The Journal cannot go any farther in its mission without both replication and diversification. It is strategically limited because it is all alone and somewhat stale in format. Are you no more than a small pledge contribution and some mercurial comments on a blog? We should all aspire to be more informed and to be heard in the media commons which is a common legacy. (I suspect this blog's readership consists mostly of us egotistical contributors and the WHET staff.) So do not admonish a brave voice from the underclass, celebrate it. Viva Ellison Hunt, Viva Mumia W., bless all our voices, whatever our impairments may be!

    No one can become informed without challenge and feedback. Passive absorption of information is not enough. Have you ever noticed how the appeal of pornography cannot hold up in a sophisticated mixed audience? The soul prefers interaction with corporeal peers.

    At war with what or with whom Daniel? Evildoers? terrorists? What? And if we are at war with whomever you are so eager to defeat, why are we wasting billions of dollars, oceans of blood and decades of lost credibility in an an unnecessary, illegal, and imoral war in Iraq who had nothing to do with 9/11, and no connection with al Quaida.

    This protecting America blandishment is a dead issue. 9/11 happened on bushes watch. If we ever had a real investigation into 9/11, - if Sibel Edmonds and Indira Singh were released from the gag orders imposed on them by the fascists in the bushgov, - the inside job facts of 9/11 would be unearthed and exposed, and the fascists in the bushgov would be forever damned. You hold to fictions myths, partisan parables, patriotic platitudes, and patent lies that have absolutely nothing to do with defending America, and no basis in fact or substantial evidence.

    In short, your are decieved. The single and exclusive objective of the bushgov's wayward misadventures and grotesque crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan, and in the socalled neverendingwaronterror - is wanton profiteering. Neverendingwar and wanton profiteering from the prosecution of neverendingwar is all the fascists in the bushgov seek, desire, promote, advance, and prosecute.

    I realize how hard it is to admit to and recognize the terrifying fact that you have been ruthlessly decieved, but "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free."

    The fascists in the bushgov are not protecting America economically, politically, militarily, or morally. In fact the fascist in the bushgov are singularly and exclusively bent on robbing from poor and middle class Americans to feed the superrich, the predator class, and ghoulishly exploiting the PearlHarborlikeevent of 9/11 to perpetuate and wantonly profiteer from neverendingwar.

    I do hope that Obama restores faithfulness to the constitution and Geneva. Renditions, indefinite detention, surveillance of citizens, torture of suspects and other dark practices need to be rolled back immediately. As for Bush, he's out of office basically. The key is to apply pressure on Obama-- a constitutional lawyer by training-- to honor his own campaign rhetoric going forward. I don't believe impeachment (of Bush)
    would benefit or unite the country at this fragile time. Moral and legal corrections can and should be made without impeachment proceedings, which I doubt will eventuate at any rate. What we need to do is to enact legislation that restores moral integrity and the force of constitutional and international law.

    Daniel, it is simply ignorant to believe the endless wars and the violations of our Constitution have anything whatsoever to do with protecting the country.

    Research 9/11. There's no evidence Bin Laden was involved.

    The Patriot Act was written years in advance.

    The powers that be will do whatever you will let them get away with. They don't care about you. At all.

    I would love to have the current occupant of the White House--Mr. Bush, hauled off to The Hague and stand trial for his crimes against humanity! That will not happen, I am sure. Just finished watching your program and I cannot agree more with Mr. Greenwald's assessment of the last eight years. He is absolutely correct about the tragic legacy the culpable lunatic who still runs the country leaves the nation with.

    Oh, Daniel ...! Oh, liebe "WildE" How refreshing to read your loyal statements inspired by Deine Fuhrer W and his Military Junta, that usurped the supreme power on this poor Planet! How righteous are you against this unanimous (and probably paid by IslamoDollars) chorus of disapproval ... Indeed, even at this Late Stage, IMPEACHMENT of ALL the criminals (including the "Financial" Thieves who deserve the Firing Squad, never mind lethal syringes!!!) make much sense = for the Future Usurpators.
    Cas said an extremely useful idea (quote):

    Do you expect Barack Obama to renounce or dial back the executive powers that the Bush administration asserted? Why or why not?

    Indeed, DO that. We will applaud. Fiat Lux (Let There Be Light! -Lat.)

    1) President-elect Obama probably won't try to expand presidential power. Congress is the only branch that can make laws that limit the power of future administrations. The only way this will happen is if progressives organize (state-by-state) around the issue of excessive executive power in the 2010 Democratic primaries. The leadership of Congress will only act if they feel that they may lose their congressional seats.


    I don't think that Moyers and Greenwald were arguing against protecting the country. They were talking about whether violating the "rule of law" that makes this country great was the right thing to do even in time of war.

    I guess there are still some people around who will discredit others because of color or creed. Please get over it, Daniel. It's not an attractive trait. And it seriously injures your credibility.

    I resent Glenn Greenwald's remarks without some countervailing narrative. The lack is emblematic of how biased Moyers program is. The people who send in comments sound like crackpots. "Everyone is bad and everyone should be in jail." We are in a freaking war goddammit and I want my government to protect me. Glennwald's remarks are the height of idiocy. Every nation has the right and the duty to protect itself. To assert that this is an abuse of excecutive power is a canard and frankly childish. In every crisis, one needs an executive with a strong authority. May I ask why so many spokespeople who do not want the government to protect us are Jewish and why isn't there a debate about that? Michael Ratner and Carl Levin and now this guy.


    Emma Coleman Jordan manages to be crystal clear, yet so refined. How does she pull that off?

    More of Emma, and Glen Greenwald, please.

    Bill...we missed you terribly while you were away.

    Glad to see GG on your show, he's very good.

    Our family will not rest until we see these people on trial, and eventually in jail. We would leave our jobs, and our homes, and stand at the Lincoln Memorial for as long as it takes......anyone else willing????

    @Anonymous9, December 13, 2008 2:50 PM;

    Bill Moyers is contributing significantly to Americans' ability to think by frequently discussing issues related to working people's ability to live in a corporate-dominated America. He does not owe us anything--certainly not appearances on his show. The Journal is enjoyable because Moyers has intelligent people on every week. "Regular" people are brought onto the program too.

    Any person who posts to this blog is getting his or her opinions out, and that is more than what you could say for Phil Donahue's program or the New York Times blog or the Newshour's feedback page.

    Moyers does not owe us anything; he's given us, individually, a thousand times more than what we are giving him--even for those of us who support PBS by donating to a PBS station (like I do). If Moyers owes anything to anyone, it would be a fair shake to third-party candidates such as Ralph Nader because when you're running against corporate power and against corporate candidates supported by corporate parties in a corporate state, public television is the only chance you have of getting your message out and winning the election.

    P.S. If it's your desire to appear on the Journal, shouldn't you get your thoughts together first? You say we need people to "lead us into a new error." Aren't we in enough error? Oh, and by the way, Moyers probably has no way to contact you.

    How did the entire excellent conversation with Greenwald manage to omit the Supreme Court's nearly total acquiescence in Bush's usurpation of the law, always willing to grant unwritten war powers, always so understanding of the abuses?

    It's important to emphasize that, unlike most other democratic constitutions, the American one makes no provision for its suspension (other than habeas corpus during rebellion/invasion). There is no such thing as emergency rule outside the law.

    The worst thing is that no matter what is done to correct the Bush abuses, the fact that it was so simple for him to trash the constitution is a bell that can't be unrung. Despite all the flag-waving, the republic showed itself feeble and vulnerable.

    Bravo Bill; what an outstanding show and guests. Mr. Greenwald's and Ms. Coleman's comments, insights and opinions were right on the money. Bill, you have the best show on cable; by far.

    Mr. Greenwald, consider me an avid reader of your column from now on. Such insightful and direct comments on the effects of the Bush Administration , and what should be done in the future. I concur with you; let the cards fall where they may.

    Ms. Coleman, you were a delight to listen to; so intelligent, so profound and deliberate in your thoughts and words. You were right on the money; another colliquism...:)

    Bill, I loved the way the show ended with Rep. Waxman castigating Lehmann's former, CEO. WHat would we do without you Bill. We need more people like you, and so happy to see others like Mr. Greenwald taking the charge.

    Great job; as usual!

    GC Assad

    The Vietnam conflict was not a declared war and the occupations of Iraq and Afganistan are no more real wars than the "War on Terror" of he "War on Drugs" or Carter's "Moral Equivalent of War." How can an illegality or "war crime" be the justification for special presidential powers that consist of constitutional crimes in themselves, and lead only to further mass human rights crimes. These specious arguments are better described as extortive threats. Tolerance of such bullying leads directly to suspension of human rights, torture as a deterrant of dissent, and violent acts of state terrorism. The emergency powers required now due to economic debauchery on the part of the privileged might be likened to Samaritans pulling injured passengers from a burning crash, or of restraining the criminal drunk driver attempting to flee the collision. When leadership begins to act in a criminal fashion to please powerful and wealthy associates and is not called to account, the force of law has broken down and the people must take matters in hand. Foreign policy (often the machinations of empire and corporate access) can be no excuse for a disorderly and corrupt homeland. Even Robert MacNamara admitted his, and others, culpability as war criminals and domestic human rights violators in the documentary "Fog of War." It took him 90 years to figure things out, so we should listen and reform.

    On the conversation between Moyers and Emma Coleman Jordan, they kept repeating the notion of "trickle down economics." I just sprang out of my bed, while listening to December 12, 2008 Bill Moyer's Journal, because I would not sleep satisfied unless I wrote about trickle down economics. I am now a sophomore in college and I am as furious as any other American towards those in the political sphere. If past is prologue, many of those men in charge on Wall Street, Main Street, and in D.C. haven't been reading their history books. Although I slept through most of American History three years ago when I was in eleventh grade, I do remember one lecture. In learning about Herbert Hoover before the onset of the Great Depression and Herbert Hoover's enactment of trickle down economics, we now know, or at least should know Hoover's trickle down economics did not work. And I remember my teacher blatantly saying this, "trickle down economics does not work." When I heard of these bailout plans I remembered my history class, and knew the bailout plans would not work since the plans are an embodiment of trickle down economics. I wanted to thank my history teacher for allowing me to be smarter than the thousands of men and women in charge of and running the United States of America. Maybe instead of politicians spending the many hours of bickering in their fine tailored suits, and discussing the meaning of "chump," absolutely blinded by money and disconnected from the real world, they should go back to high school and sit in on a history class to learn about the past, and maybe an English class, so we're not trying to define the word "chump." I would say, they don't know what they're doing, and I'm hardly sure if they know what they know.

    I believe it was Richard Nixon who first publically enunciated the proposition that "...if the President does it, it's legal," so to pretend that President Bush has crossed some new moral line is sophistry at its worst.

    One has to go back to the early years of the 19th century to find some example of Presidential accountability for their actions. Even then, the search is difficult.

    Like it or not, the United States has for an extended period of time been a functional autocracy supported by the twin myths of inherent benevolence and moral intent on the part of its ruling elites.

    As to whether Obama can be expected to suddenly reject a political tradition with such a long record, my magic 8 ball says, "the outcome is in serious doubt."

    As to whether Presidents should be "permitted" to ignore the Constitution in time of war, why should war have some special power to affect the already lawless practices of peace?

    I always enjoy Moyers, but I was to especially commend him for this show with Greenwald and Jordan. It shows what can be done with the right format and an informed, intelligent interviewer. These were three (including Moyers himself, who is an American treasure) sharp minds and fine people at their best. It was substantive and challenging to the status quo in journalism and politics, demonstrating what we sorely need more of in the media and in our public affairs.

    The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007 and the Defense Authorization Act of 2007 are two provisions that most Americans are not aware of. Both provisions give President Bush to declare martial law for whatever reason and basically remove the rule of law. Although I hope Barack Obama remove these provisions along with NSA and the Patriot Act, I honestly do not think he will.

    It's common though for Presidents to expand Presidental powers. Saying that, it doesn't justify what the Bush Administration has done though.
    For example, Woodrow Wilson enacted the Espionage Act & Sedition Act in 1917 and 1918 which limited free press, free speech, thus lead to jailing and killing of labor union activists and socialists. Paranoia overtook the country and not much was thought about this, kind of like after 9/11. As we move further away from 9/11, we're realizing the importance of Habeaus Corpus and the rule of law.

    Bill, I really enjoyed the interview with Emma Jordan. She is one of my favorites guests on your show.

    Her comments about cycles within our society/government/economy made me reflect on our relationship with China.

    China uses child and other forms of cheap labor to produce goods that are sold to America at a huge profit. Then the Chinese government uses these profits to buy an interest in America by purchasing our bonds of indebtedness.

    American consumers, by purchasing goods from China, are funding their own (or their childresn's) slavery, since it is only a matter of time until our principle creditor asks us to pay the bill. What will we do then -- start another war?

    The workers at Republic Windows and Doors should be commended, not only for their persistence in standing up for their rights, but also in shining the light on how their tax dollars were being used by our Treasury to fund Bank of America, who then refused a line of credit to their employer, causing them to lose their jobs, with no severance pay or health benefits. This is more than irony; this is injustice sponsored by the so-called entititled elite of our society, our elected officials and their appointees.

    Ms. Jordan pointed out other of these cycles that all illustrate how some in our society place themself above the law and refuse to be accountable. It is time for this to stop and I truly hope Barack watches your show.

    Make a building too stiff and it breaks, make the building moveable and it sways without breaking. I've listened to Prof's pontificate, yet, when you compare the various challenges our Constitution has under, it remains a viable concept. Today is not perfect, but I assure you when FDR consolidated power in the Executive Branch, many were disturbed by the centrality of that much power. Did Bush exert more pressure on the Constitution? Yep, but as long as the inherit ability to sway in the winds of change, we'll be fine. It's when change can no longer occur that deonotes the breaking point of our government.

    The President and indeed the entire federal government has been able to disregard the Constitution because the majority of the population has allowed them to. It is no more than wishful thinking to hope that some new leader will put a stop to it. Only the people can restore the Constitution.

    And to do that people must first actually care about the Constitution. They must know what it is, and they must know why it is important.

    Second they must actually understand the situation. Many tolerate the violation of our Constitution because they truly believe it is necessary to fight all those evil terrorists. In reality, there is no evidence Osama Bin Laden was involved in 9/11. All the evidence indicates something other than jet fuel and jet impact was responsible for the destruction of the 3 wtc towers. Iraq and Afghanistan were invaded for reasons other than freedom.

    Was it Ben Franklin that said if you give up freedom for security you will end up with neither?

    We have no leadership in this Country. This has brought about the realization, that with out people to enforce the law, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are worthless documents empty of meaning.

    In the end we are not a Government of Law but a Government of people. Our System of Law broke down into a Dictator Ship and a one party system years ago and now our System of Finance has fallen into a black hole and no one knows how to fix either.

    The way a government controls its citizens is to convince them to fight among themselves and further to get them to blame the poor not the rich for the problems of the economy.

    Once again the old adage is true… the truth is too simple for the intellectuals to understand. Not to mention the fact that the intellectuals only know how to talk and have no idea what an action is.

    A Free Market will not stand….

    A Government of people where the law is not enforced will not stand….

    When Banks, Insurance Companies, Corporations, and any other system that gets too big and is said it can not be let to fail. Then any of these should be forced to split into parts that can fail. Mergers should be stopped. We need small companies that can keep overhead low and Quality first.

    The Government that supports bigness for bigness sake, will find that Institution will fail of it on weight. AIG and Citibank will in the end fail. As will GM and Chrysler. Because… it is their time to fail. Their Management will drive them to failure by their own incompetence. The real world of economics is screaming for change.

    The second reason all these will fail is the Federal Government is now in charge and if you don’t see the truth in that, then just wait and watch.

    Change happens when the old dies and the new is born. The big three will fail and be replaced by new companies building non oil related transportation.

    Banks will fail because they fail their customers and Trillions (about 8) of dollars for banks and insurance companies and Wall Street, and so many more institutions and not one penny for the customer will not change that in the end money will not save an out of date system.

    The Federal Government may continue to try to fix a broken economy with the same management that broke it but it will fail in the end. Mostly the failure we now experience comes form a lack of vision and the worship of money.

    We desperately need ethical men and women who can lead us into a new error and they must put family before all else and they must form a government that supports the family and is kept on a short tether.

    Out Government is now a Giant EGO roaming the world trying to impose the worship of money on all the peoples of the world. I must say it has been very successful as they are also in Failure.

    There is no Global Economy and can not be, because when competition is the feast of the day, in the end each county will protect its own.

    Only by letting the old die and through cooperation working for solutions can we build stability.

    By the way Bill, you have been giving me the shaft for 40 years… not just me but all the common folk you claim to listen to. Where are thay? I have never seen you talk to one common person in your career. I have patiently waited to speak to you or at least see you talk to a common man or woman and nary a one have I heard.

    Neither have I herd you quote one entry of your web log. How much do you make claiming to be on our side? Is your life transparent? Do you even like us common folk?

    I commend the article "JUSTICE AFTER BUSH" by Scott Horton in the December Harper's, to all who are interested in how the MSM is attempting to frame this issue.

    Terrific interview. Admire Greenwald enormously.

    This notion that if we hold the Bush/Cheney administration accountable for its lawbreaking, we will somehow be throwing gasoline on a fire is preposterous. It's fearmongering.

    Reminds me of young children bullying others on the playground. "I just shoved you off the swing, but if you get together a group of your pals and come back to get your swing back, we're gonna throw sand and rocks at you and beat you with sticks. You're better off just moving to another play area."

    I suppose Americans have been exposed to so much fearmongering over the past eight years, a critical mass of us can no longer recognize this tactic for what it is.

    The only way to stop this lawbreaking for future generations is to bring these public officials to justice. All of them. As quickly as possible.

    What will they want next? To be able to use their private paramilitary forces that operate out of the State Dept. and so out of oversight by congress and the people to knock down our doors and arrest citizens who speak and act out against their policies? They've already got the drill down for this action through the practice they got by arresting hundreds of workers in meat processing plants and shipping them off to private, for-profit detention centers to handle outside our regular, more scrutinized prison system.

    I spent five months working for the Obama campaign, speaking directly with people in states with more voters who supported Bush's policies than who didn't. Many of these people have become very empowered by Bush/Cheney's lawbreaking, have become very mean and vicious, willing to say all kinds of things that our Secret Service agents find actionable enough to follow up on. Gov. Palin's campaign methods energized this attitude. They may be in a minority right now, but what if they weren't? What if they become the majority? Out of fear for what might happen to them if they don't adopt bully tactics?

    The Bush/Cheney administration must be held accountable through our judicial system. If we don't do this for future generations, my generation, the Baby boomers, may become known for even more than just allowing global climate change to progress, a President to fraudulently take our nation to war, and following the "greed is good for America" mantra that has resulted in the current financial meltdown.

    The 12/12/2008 airing of the Journal told us about the illegal conduct of the Bush Administration throughout the program. Violations of law in civil liberties, tax regulation, and communications were discussed. It is fundamentally important that the rule of law be re-established. Nonetheless, I am ambivalent about a policy of "seek and punish" via a special prosecutor because of the division it would cause, the ubiquitous nature of consent to the conduct and the need for public display of the truth to rally the public to move in a new direction. I would be interested in listening to Mr. Greenwald discuss a special prosecutor with a charter similar to South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission where telling the truth brings amnesty. Could it help display the truth faster with less division, accusations of partisanship and disruption of governance, and still bring us back to the rule of law?

    @Pamela Goss-Power, December 13, 2008 12:01 AM;

    If allowed, impeachment of Bush would have likely been one of the easiest things Congress has ever done; the Democrats would have had plenty of Republican support after 2006; Rove/Bush tactics were responsible for the defeat of the Republican party, and our country was near ruin in '06.

    No president in American history has been more impeachable than Bush; no president has had more Americans calling for his impeachment; no president has had a larger proportion of Americans calling for his impeachment; no president has ever done more harm to America (possibly excluding Jefferson Davis).

    It's not that Americans don't have the conviction to have an impeachment of Bush; a successful impeachment of George W. Bush would have resulted in the greatest, largest, most joyous world-wide party in history. This country, this planet would have exploded in joy. Millions would be seen holding hands and singing. Every drought in Africa would have been quenched by rivers of tears of joy. Israelis and Palestinians would have been hugging, and Sunni and Shia in Iraq would have been making love.

    On the streets of America, people would have been singing songs of joy for weeks afterward. The event would have resulted in a new holiday: Impeachment Day. That single action--the impeachment of Bush--would have had the largest redemptive effect in American history; half the damage done to America's international image would have been eliminated by a successful impeachment.

    But it was not to be; cowardice¹ and diabolical politics² caused to Democrats to participate in the destruction of this country--which is now 96% finalized. A tiny fraction of the damage could be undone if Obama would return our civil rights--something he has never suggested he would do. We would get some small benefit if Obama were to follow the rule of law, but American law has been so tortured by the Bush administration that such a "change" wouldn't mean much. This country has been destroyed.

    P.S. The transcript of Greenwald's interview is here: . His books are How would a patriot act, A tragic legacy and Great American hypocrites.


    ² Pelosi decided to use the War to increase Democratic seats for 2008--rather than to impeach Bush and defund the War.

    Greenwald was brilliant, his logic irrefutable. To extirpate the roots of our own freedom in order to "protect" it is a idea so ridiculously contradictory as to require no gloss.

    Is it appropriate for Presidents during wartime to disregard the Constitution in the name of national security? Why or why not?

    It is criminal to start a war, and the criminal who started it, is a criminal who disregards the law.


    Do you expect Barack Obama to renounce or dial back the executive powers that the Bush administration asserted? Why or why not?

    Status quo.

    Now is not the time for change, now is the time to start anew, whilst we still can.


    Treason? Damn right!

    Is the American way of life threatened more by:
    Our financial mess?

    Not adhearing to our laws is actionable by the JUSTICE DEPT. SO, it is important to address the political issues, but they CAN be addressed, BUT
    What are the chances that Greenspan, Paulson, etc. will stand for the assault on OUR EXSISTANCE?

    Paulson demanded $700 billion, in small unmarked bills, in 48 hrs, or else!
    SO, congress gives him over $800 billion!

    Auto big guys ask for $25 billion, but return with a plan for $34 billion, or our country will be depressed!

    See the pattern?

    If Democratics think 8 yrs. is in the cards, they better study the tea leaves closer.

    If leaders, govt. & private, are not held accountable for what has happened on their watch, with jail time for some, then there will be more than 2 political parties!

    Our 2 political party system rates a triple "F", unless you listen to their "raters".

    When Americans do not care that the DNC denied Mich. & Fla. nomination-election votes, then this "holier-than-thou" reaction to losing some money speaks poorly to the FREEDOM & DEMOCRACY sprit Americams are so noted for!

    If Ethics & Morality are important only when it hurts us as individuals, then this will repeat until there is no simblance of our Forefathers' Dreams!


    Billy Bob, Florida

    As a nation, "Under the Law", the rule of law, should be administered equally, to the least among us, as well as those in "High Places, including the President.

    This version of the torture issue is nothing but a BS, red herring distraction version. A distraction from the REAL VIOLATIONS that are taking place, that so many "TECHNOCRATS" won't step up to address.

    ( Taken from a public site: )

    1. Name: Fernando Arakaki Miranda
    Citizenship: Bolivia
    Year Torture/Abuse Began: 1992
    I am being studied by universities of this country as a guinea-pig of Indians by the newness of this (implants) technology outpost that much people ignore in countries of third world, are violating my human rights in all its magnitude

    2. Name: Rosario Householder
    Citizenship: USA
    Year Torture/Abuse Began: 1996

    I'm sending my case summary of my harassment with the symptoms, not specifying the actual events, since I've been harassed for almost 20 years, there's too much that have happened, there for, if you need more information about my testimony just send me an email, and let me know.

    I certainly hope some Nations from Europe or for that matter from anywhere in the world do or start an investigation, since it's already spread worldwide, it wouldn't matter where it begins as long as it comes in the News media of any country or media. United States has to be accountable for this atrocities, and it has to be done by an International Community.

    I have been a victim of directed energy weapons, remote harassment, and organized stalking since 1988. I was targeted by a nurse in Los Angeles California . I’m originally from Peru (South-America) Living in USA since 1985, I became an American. Started with the stalking of this Sociopath, and scale it to Organized stalking, to Direct energy weapons, to remote harassment, to 24/7 monitoring even in my sleep. The phenomenon is real. It includes psychological harassment to induce psychosis, isolation, depression, and suicide; physical and emotional manipulation; and devastation of financial and social resources.

    My family is been targeted too, the attacks are ongoing.

    The massive ignorance and secrecy is overwhelming, it seems like people enjoy themselves doing these acts of coward ness, the psychological warfare manipulating the masses to participate in this “lynching” is done with the deception that a “batch” of an “authority figure” giving the wrong message to the unaware average citizen, the Program of torture and perversion is very easy accepted by the bystander from the streets, become an instant “slave”, which is already explain in the websites (already in the hundreds,,) that victims are publishing in Internet.

    Below is a list of symptoms since my harassment started:

    Microwave hearing Transmission of specific commands into the subconscious Visual disturbances, visual hallucinations Inject words, numbers into brain via electromagnetic radiation waves
    Manipulation of emotions Reading thoughts remotely
    Causing pain to any nerve of the body. Remote manipulation of human behavior from space Harassment.. Suddenly awaken, and kept awake in a hypnosis state. Computer-brain interface, control and communication Complex control of the brain such as retrieving memories, implanting personalities

    3. Patricia A. Kinsella
    Name: Patricia A. Kinsella
    Citizenship: USA
    Year Torture/Abuse Began:

    I am a target of organized stalking and Directed Energy Weapons torture and manipulation and have been for decades.
    I live in the United States .
    I am an American citizen.
    These crimes demand an international investigation and the victims cry out for justice.

    Patricia A. Kinsella
    Posted by Mind control Victims at 1:25 AM 0 comments Links to this post

    Citizenship: USA
    Year Torture/Abuse Began:2003


    I would like to draw your attention to some extreme and horrendous criminality being conducted with the involvement of United States Government-related Agencies and the complicity, if not participation, of many other governments, security agencies and/or shadowy organisations - involving the use of DIRECTED ENERGY AND NEUROLOGICAL WEAPONS on defenseless people.
    I can confirm that the technical abilities and powers to:-
    1. place a human subject under continuous surveillance, no matter where he/she is, from remote locations.
    2. continuously monitor a human brain from remote locations, including thought, reaction, motor command, auditory event and visual image reading
    3. continuously input directly into a human brain from remote locations, including the ability to override, control and alter consciousness, and to introduce voices, noises, other disturbances, images and “dreams” into the brain
    4. directly interfere with, abuse, torture bodies –from remote locations

    5. Name: Suresh S Kumar
    Citizenship: INDIA
    Year Torture/Abuse Began: 1988


    I have been confronting Electronic Stalking / Harassment /Illegal Electronic Surveillance Stalking / Harassment for about 19 years that I aware of.

    I am a Victim of Organized Stalking and Directed Energy Weapons Torture From –--(state country) INDIAAttacked (year you realized to be attacked ) 1988
    I am victim from INDIA for very long . All this started happening to me suddenly from 1988 (My college days). Initially it started with Gangstalking and subsequently the electronic attack began.

    6. Angelina Schweyen
    Name: Angelina Schweyen
    Citizenship: Germany .
    Year Torture/Abuse Began:1986
    Pg 30 My Horrible Story. The whole thing started in 1986. In this year my parents and I moved from a suburb to the centre of the town of Constanta ( Rumania ).

    These VIRTUAL DREAMS and the manipulations of my emotions occurred as well in Burma , Laos , Thailand and in Germany . My greatest wish is to be left alone , without torture and manipulation, to live with my husband in Germany . And that this inhuman irradiation finally is stopped at night.

    6. Ruquan Guo(Miss)
    Citizenship: China
    Year Torture/Abuse Began: Feb 2002 (Age:19)
    I am a Victim of Electronic Harassment/ Mind Control/ Directed Energy Weapons/ Organized Stalking and Torture.
    I live in China . My nationality is Chinese. I realized I was attacked on Feb 2002 when I was a student at Senior High School, Grade 3 in Hunan , China .
    I think it is some scientists from China or other countries who have been doing human experiment through satellites to read mind and to study the human brain. It is a kind of very cruel human experiment.

    Glenn Greenwald speaks badly needed truth. His reasoned and documented re-telling of the nearly decade-long erosion of the rule of law is moving, but ultimately frustrating. Fear of prosecuting these crimes is not the sole province of our politicians - We the American people appear to lack the will and resolve to face the depth of the betrayal of our democracy that Bush, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Gonzales, Yu - and Cheney above all have perpetrated.

    President Obama can (and hopefully will) shut Guantanamo and cease government-directed torture - but Greenwald's well-presented argument itself reveals the futility of hoping that this (or any administration) will adequately investigate and prosecute all that has lead us to this point. The most important things that President Obama can do to redress these wrongs is to: 1- Immediately re-join the World Court at the Hague. 2- Petition that Court to investigate and prosecute all of the crimes of the Bush administration. 3 - Provide the Court with all relevant print & electronic documentation possible. 4 - Arm the court with full subpoena power and honor any and all extradition requests necessary. While the administrations assault on out constitution is a national affair - their abuse of the rule of international law (and the Geneva Conventions) falls appropriately under the jurisdiction of the World Court. This is our only hope for any reasonable level of accountability.

    Since we've learned from the fiasco of Nixon that the elite crooks get pardons, how about Pres elect Obama use their own rules against them?

    I think covert wire-tapping and an anonymous trip to one of those covert prisons we keep in other countries would be good justice for All of those in the White House (and their lackeys in Congress). They can just say they went on an extended world tour and are staying incognito. Let's see how quick Bush/Cheney and Co. are wanting a restoration of their Own Constitutional rights that they so easily denied others.

    Our country is a nation of laws and our constitution is supreme. Our polital leaders are sworn to subscribe to and defend it. The current Administation has not done this. Our country will not survive if we continue to have a two tier system in which political leaders in high positions,people in positions of high economic power can run amock using "WAR" or "Economic Survival" as an excuse ignore our constition .

    How is that in the two segments tonight, 12 December 08, no one made the obvious connection between the lawlessness at the top of the political elite and the lawlessness at the top of the economic elite? It would seem ethics is anathema in both and that self-aggrandizement is not only the order of the day, but the overwhelming principal pursued by both.

    How is that in the two segments tonight, 12 December 08, no one made the obvious connection between the lawlessness at the top of the political elite and the lawlessness at the top of the economic elite? It would seem ethics is anathema in both and that self-aggrandizement is not only the order of the day, but the overwhelming principal pursued by both.

    That the media was complicit in the Iraq debacle and the associated injustices produced by the Imperial Presidency including the subsequent all-out assault on the Constitution should come as no surprise; as a journalist I can verify that the pounding war drums create a mob mentality that even the media can't avoid. We all want to be good Americans. We all want to be on the same team fighting for what made the country great. Fundamentally, people wanted blood after 9/11 and if it meant wire-tapping, the Patriot Act, signing statements, and a perilous slide toward a Fascist state, given the lack of statesmanship under Bush and a fundamental anti-intellectualism in America, well, we get the government we deserve. We also get the media we deserve. Thanks to Bill Moyers for keeping us journalists on target.

    A lot of intelligent comments on a superb interview with Greenwald. Pardon a comment from outside the country (we are the mice sleeping next to the elephant). I was hoping that Greenwald was going to mention the part the Bush, Cheney, et al. played in the 9/11 inside job. Greenwald seems to accept "The 9/11 Report" as the unquestionable truth. Surely not. If anything, Bush, Cheney, et al. should be indicted for their actions or even lack of action taken on that day. If Obama does not take immediate action regarding the "omissions and distortions" (David Ray Griffin) we in Canada will be sorely disappointed.

    Although I was entirely against the invasions of Iraq from the beginning while the vast majority of Americans, including the darling Democrats, were foaming at the mouth to kill anyone who stood up to us, it seems necessary to say that it is very dishonest to speak of this President Bush's conduct of the war as though it were a great surprise and that he has done it for anything less than the ultimate good of the U.S.A. I, as did millions, watched President Bush firmly and clearly state that he would use everything necessary, including DECEIT, to root out and bring to justice America's enemies. He SAID that it was going to cost much in lives, treasure, and time (decades) to get the job done. So what in the world did everyone expect? A war cannot be fought with the world view of a second grade teacher. Oh, how short the memory of the masses!

    All the talk about the Constitution forces the comment that ever since the beginning of the republic the Constitution has been ignored by those who had political/personal/economic agendas to promote. So, please don't use that to justify Bush's crucifixion.

    Let's hope Obama was watching the show tonight. If Holder doesn't make it as Attorney General, Obama should nominate Glenn Greenwald instead. Heck, make Greenwald the special prosecutor to go after the Bush administration lawbreakers. I don't want a single lawbreaker to have a comfortable post-Bush retirement; I want them to always be looking over their shoulder.

    Dear Bill, Thank God for your commitment to taking risk on behalf of the wellbeing of the whole - you are a conduit of rising visionary voices, covering controversy and evoking the gut-wrenching emotion required to inspire the rest of us to stand up collectively and emphatically state, "We've had enough. ENOUGH." Where has the rest of the corporate media establishment been for the last 8 years - looking the other way? Have they become nothing more than soft-pedaling, complicit partners, rubbing elbows with the elites at coctail parties, inadvertently expanding the cadre of political and corporate elites who exhonerate themselves from the Rule of Law? Greenwald's insights struck a powerful chord - not individual law breakers, he noted, but rather something more insideous, one of radical warfare on the Rule of Law in its totality.... expanding the wall of secrecy surrounding our government with the elimination of transparency. Thank you, Glenn Greenwald, for your articulate, bold efforts to light a fire under this complacent American public.

    Bill, can you please post the titles of the 3 Greenwald books again?
    1.) Great American Hypocrites
    2.) ?
    3.) ?

    I am not convinced that the country has the unity, conviction, stamina, or stomach for Bush's Impeachment. I do believe President Elect Obama has the intelligence, insight, and support of the American people to make the Bush Administration accountable for their unconscienable, arrogant, illegal behavior. Let us unite to call for investigation and prosecution. Let us stand up for ourselves, our children, and the future generations who will inherit this great country one day. The two-tiered system of law needs to end as does the growing dichotomy between haves and have nots in the United States of America.

    Time to take our country back from the political and corporate elites. The time is now to come together and speak out. I for one have had it.

    So what else is new?

    When the President of the United States asserts him/her self above all laws including the Constitution of the United States of America, to wit each swears to uphold and defend against all enemies both foreign and domestic, then, is a flash, totally ignores this oath to further their own selfish political agendas.

    Yes, prison bars are required. Had Nixon been fully prosecuted for any multiple charges, to include perjury, his neglect of his constitutional oath, and jailed, to set an example to all who chair the Presidency of the United States of America, the Constitution of the United States is not just a bunch of simple words to be raped, degraded, deceived, but to be honored by the very existence of it's foundation...that of the birth of a new nation, to be held in trust, honor, God.

    These thieves attend church one day a week and sin the other six and desire all of us to trust them...?...NOT!!!

    Jail these outhouse basement loonies...15-30 years minimum.

    They, each and all, choose their paths, no gun was held to their heads, they choose corruption.

    Honest choices are rewarded.
    Deceitful choices have consequences.
    Truth requires accountability...

    Exactly Wayne Coady. Even a failed effort allowed us to teach our posterity that at least some of us stood up for the Constitution and the rule of law, and that at least in some of our minds, no one including a president or vp are above or beyond the law.

    Sadly, we won't have the opportunity, and now I must teach my young daughter that America is a country where justice is bought and sold by the highest bidder, and that while she and I can be spied on without just cause, or due process, the fascists in the bushgov will retire unaccountable and unpunished for crimes abuses, treasons, and grotesque betrayals and and pervesions of our Constitution and the rule of law.

    Do you expect Barack Obama to renounce or dial back the executive powers that the Bush administration asserted? Why or why not?


    The presidents power has been expanding exponentially for 40 years. Both by Executive usurpation and Congressional abdication.
    Democrats are all about 'feel good' and need to have a ring in their nose... the Executive Branch by its nature as predicted in the US Constitution lunges and plunges for power.
    For instance just name important powerful presidents, chances are you'll name those that didn't cow to Congress or the Judicial branches.
    The Nature of the Beast out of control, compels us, we the PEOPLE to employ Justice in the form of Impeachment when the Executive Branch com-mitts illegal actions or doesn't conform to Constitutional law. The Bush Crime Family has done both.
    We must stop this continual power lust no matter which 'party' one is in. Otherwise, all we have is an elected dictator... the current dictator has spoken... "if you don't agree with us you're a terrorist".

    The refusal to comply with Congressional Subpoenas and the illegal act of 'signing statements' are indicative of the power thrust and drive by the Executive Branch --- Not to impeach is to sanction the continual power absorption by the the Executive Branch... essentially the plutocracy.

    William Crain,
    Billings, MT

    While watching BMJ and the interview with Mr. Greenwald on Friday, December 12, and upon hearing the word "muslim" used several times, a persistent question came back to my mind: "What ever happened to MOSLEMS?" My best recollection of my East Texas schooling - Longview High School, class of 1954, and Kilgore College, class of 1956 - is that "moslem", was the term WE were taught to apply to followers of the Islamic faith, not "muslim." This question has puzzled me for a very long time, and it now occurs to me that someone from Marshall, TX, and from my own "era" might be able to answer it in a manner which I could fully comprehend. Sorry if it is only peripherally related to the subject matter in this particular program, but please consider my sincerity in asking, and help me to find the true and complete explanation.

    P.S. I also worked for Logan and Whaley Hardware (in Marshall) for about 6-7 months in the spring and summer of 1958. My Dad was a business associate and golf partner of Mr. Paul Whaley, and I knew him and his sons, who also worked at the store.

    There is ample evidence to initiate impeachment hearings - and with a single article of impeachment, a three-day hearing is all that would be needed for an up or down vote. History demands this. Watch for this ad playing around the country:

    the current laws created by state and federal government to hold the people accountable for their actions in daily life have been made invalid when metered out according to a hierarchy defined and sanctioned by the same people who made these laws to hold us all equally responsible.

    Wealth has also been metered out according to a hierarchy defined and sanctioned by state and federal government as well.

    These two statements have been made an obvious truth during the last eight years though they have been true for decades.

    When Mr. Moyers asks " does this create a feeling of despair in the people?"
    I answer "Yes", how could it not? We should feel despair in the face of these transgressions. But it is what we do with this despair that will decide in our lives and the history of this nation and world whether we become free human beings or the slaves of our own trust in the leaders and bosses we daily support with our voices and efforts.

    Greenwald was terrific! The issue he didn't deal with is the fake pardons BushCo is threatening to use. But the notion of preemptive, blanket, and/or self pardons is logically and legally absurd. We call on Obama to issue a Revelation Proclamation declaring these fake Bush pardons null and void. We are entranced with the image of our first black president emancipating the truth, a century and a half after Lincoln freed the slaves. To help, go to now!

    Great guests on the show tonight, Bill. The information I heard tonight gave me that same gut-blow sensation I remember feeling on the morning of 9/11/01. We've been chumps - it has to end. And, the accountable ones must pay with jail time. Their mansions should burn by spontaneous combustion because of the devils living inside 'em. Oh, were it that easy...

    Most interesting and sad is why Americans do not stand up to the corruption, theft and exploitation they receive from politicians, corporations and the judiciary and this system of oppression they jointly create? I admire people in other countries who actually have the courage to challenge injustice. Why do we continue to believe the deceptions we are fed? Why are we so helpless and hopeless? This state system exercises power primarily on behalf of the rich. The common man is just an inferior working ant.

    Six years ago, when I realized the United States was planning to invade Iraq, I voted to impeach Bush. Now, after listening to Glenn Greenwald's description of the crimes Bush has committed and the laws he has violated, I think he should be sent to the International Criminal Court in the Hague.

    There is no doubt in my mind that George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, etc. should be in prison. What I find incredible is that they will, in all probablility, get off scot free. Quite literally, a crime...

    wild e: What do you know that we and the Journal don't. Crap got your tongue, huh?

    What use would it be to impeach President Bush and Vice President Chaney , find them guilty and send them to prison?

    When the President has the power to pardon before leaving office , that is a free ticket for any politician who is in the loop to get get out of jail for what ever they have done.

    Just look at the list of Jail Birds Bush is setting free, proof there is two levels of justice... one for the white collars criminals and one for the little guy who steal food to feed his family.

    you don't know what your talking about !

    We as Americans can no longer afford to rush to judgement. It is clear that we rushed in judging our enemy. It is clear we rushed to torture the so called enemy. It is clear that presidental authority was rushed and never questioned.
    Recently I attened a lecture with Bob Woodward, famed washington post journalist, he said that the greatest threat of our time is secretive government. We must hope and believe that the OLC will not make decisions for the american people and Mr.Obama will be as opened as promied. However, much constitutional poer Mr.Obama uses we must understand that WE THE PEOPLE have our obligations to question and critize government. Moreover, this punch line administration has left the people feeling powerless and demoralized.
    We shall not let presidential power gain to strong because this administration and all following need us to be more active and ultimately American.
    I have followed Mr.Moyers on his crusade and as a young man I fear for a world without him. However, in this new America a dissent will be the fashion and we will never let an administration destroy our liberties and international image. We the people is an obligation not a convience.

    Forgive the double post: but for clarity I meant to say.

    {These private companies are loyal and beholden (to) whomever signs the contracts (and NOT) to the constitution, or the America, or Americans, or the rule of law.

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