Lame-Duck Attorney General Wants New Declaration of War — and Takes Aim at the Constitution

Maybe we should get Attorney General Michael Mukasey a couple of countdown calendars. If he had checked the calendar yesterday before heading out to give a speech at the American Enterprise Institute, he would have realized that there were only 182 days left of the Bush Administration and roughly five weeks left in the congressional calendar (which translates to about 20 days on Capitol Hill).

The problem for Mukasey is that no one is lining up behind someone who will be in forced retirement in a little more than six months. And certainly Congress isn't going to drop everything and follow Mukasey's crazily ambitious proposal for Congress to both declare a new war and gut habeas corpus protections.

Mukasey offered a multi-part plan to violate the Constitution. He demanded that Congress declare a new "armed conflict" (which is Bush-speak for a new declaration of war) that would give a president worldwide power to declare anyone a terrorist and hold the person forever - without ever charging anyone with a crime. Mukasey also asked Congress to enact the Bush Administration's scheme for undermining the recent Supreme Court decision restoring constitutional habeas corpus protections to the detainees at Guantanamo. The main goal of the proposed new Bush rules restricting habeas rights is to try to block federal judges from ever learning the truth about the deliberate and widespread use of torture and abuse inflicted on detainees. Judges would not be allowed to see evidence of torture and abuse and would instead simply have to trust that a president is holding the right people as terrorists.

That is far more power than any president should have. No president should be able to simply declare someone picked up anywhere in the world (including in the United States itself) to be a terrorist or associated with a terrorist, imprison the person forever without charge based on the determination of a president alone, and then hide from courts the evidence being used to hold the person - even if it was beaten out of a witness. The Supreme Court has already said no four times to past Bush Administration schemes to violate the law in holding detainees. Mukasey is looking for slap-down number five.

The only good news in all of this is that not only is there almost no time left in this Congress to pass this sweeping violation of the Constitution, but the House and Senate Judiciary Committees are hostile committees for this scheme. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy politely, but firmly, told the Bush Administration yesterday that he is not pulling his committee into another Bush plan to violate the Constitution (and the Ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Arlen Specter, has spent years working with Chairman Leahy to try to restore the very habeas protections that Mukasey wants to gut). Meanwhile, in the House of Representatives, House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers has been leading a year-long probe into whether high-level Bush Administration officials committed or authorized crimes of torture and abuse - and he has repeatedly demanded that Mukasey appoint an independent prosecutor to investigate any torture crimes ordered at the top levels of government. Conyers is certainly not going to have his committee be complicit in the latest Bush Administration plan to cover-up torture and abuse crimes.

As the clock ticks down, there certainly is a lot of work for Congress to do. But the work is in repairing the damage done to the Constitution over the past seven years, not in causing more harm.

UPDATE: Sign our petition to tell Congress to reject endless war and a torture cover-up.

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Marina Meadows

My name is Marina Meadows, I studied Economics in Cuba, I have been here for over 26 years and been active in the Catholic church, was married almost seventeen years, having three wonderful sons, and also live with my exceptional mother of eighty four years old, we had a Company and properties. I'm asking for HELP to investigate why our lives have been destroyed with so much suffering and pain inflicted since we went to the Civil Court in Downtown Miami (2004) to protest on the out coming of my divorce, because after two years (Since 2002) and about One hundred thousand dollars later, nothing was resolved. I wanted to let the Judge know of the wrong advice giving by lawyers, accountants and the significance of impact in my family. The Judge just recuse from the case. I was over there for about two months with signs standing at the entrance of the Court, but nothing was accomplished. Then since I was left without resources I continue everything in our lives the best I could, trying to move on doing my best, making a huge effort to find a job, studies or any training and manage other errands, but everything that I will do was fruitless, then more things began to happened been negative and crazy to us, and this is so insane, that you will have to see the facts that I have, including videos (which I have to take with me almost everywhere) to really find out how much abuse we are enduring.
From the insertion of my divorce, the father of my sons been in a hospital, suicidal, because of drinking, he got a paper signed by a Judge to Baker Act me (do not know how, must certainly with his lawyer help), of course I was release for lack of proof to support the lies written and signed by the Judge. I was not aware of such thing could be done to a person with not problems whatsoever o medical records to back it up, but later every one told me (including the police) that this was usual in divorce cases, I believe that is to take away the credibility of the person, I would like help on an investigation on how someone has the power to do that without facts or history of mental problems, my lawyers did not want to do anything about it, better said they told me they will go for it at the end. I have no words to describe how much I suffered because of that action towards me. After all that happened to me in 2002, and my struggle with the lawyers until I realize in late 2004 that it was all a waste of money and time, and following my decision to let the Court know of their bad conduct by going the protest at the Court, what followed after I ended the protest have been and still is a real nightmare, things got worse, everything began to go really wrong, our world turned to be filled with coincidences, misunderstandings, mistakes, provocations, nasty people, humiliations, very hard time, been bullied, uncooperative persons (like the problem with the Fair Housing Act, having to deal with uncooperative realtors) this was happening not one day or to one thing we did, but to everything and every minute of whatever we do or places we go on our every day life, for example: going to the supermarket (any) was a big issue, my receipt was always wrong, when at the post office (any) will sell me the wrong merchandise, if I try to have a new professional to fix something at home it brake again and again, or worse, when going to a hair salon (any) my scalp got burned not once, and the color will be unbearable, income-tax office, passport, insurance, car dealer, it is much more........then lots of problems with the house, may be because of Wilma or may be that was the excuse (everything on the outside, like a/c unit, water filter, lights, swing (that cost almost ten thousand dollars), screen enclosure, pool pump, roof and more started to break, and the persons that use to do the repairs would not come to do so, always with an excuse), not only the father of my kids stop paying the mtge., but with an insurance paid to up to date, and hurricane Wilma striking , the insurance did not want to pay damages, and the government (Fema) came to check to help with repairs and never did, imagine myself without a job (still not find), and no lawyer to take any of my cases, our lives came down to a total caos. I believe that who ever is behind all this have to do with some kind of retaliation for my protest at the Court and the words used in my signs, because I gone everywhere to ask for help, presenting documents, I have sent letters to Chief Judge and Florida BAR, Judicial Qualification Commission, DBPR, any government-law entity, including police, also because our lives have been threaten, I’m very much afraid they still are with my determination to continue fighting to get our lives back, but nobody do zip.
In May 2006 I re-applied to welfare, as an emergency, because Family and Children ended the $303.00 I was receiving in April 2006 (I applied for Child Support in April 18, 2005 and I did not get it until July 06, 2006, the father of my sons suspended all monies to us in May 2005, so I had to go to get welfare monies on June 2005) but they never help me, (If you do it chronologically: May 2006 no money from welfare, July 2006 stating to get $851.00 Child Support arrears and current, so what would I do in June 2006, go crazy enough to have to sell the house, right?, to me it sound very well calculate now, to selected to be a coincidence) then having no money to raise my children, no job and having someone showing up at the house and wanting to buy it (very suspicious do, offering money without seen the house) I did not see any other option at the time. It was agreed with the buyer and the realtor that I will stay in the house until I find other property to move to (I have tried to buy or rent without success, no matter how unbelievable it sound, and due to the current market crash, should not be like that, is this another coincidence) paying the rent amount of $1,500.00 monthly, (my mtge. was $600.00 a month) but at the time we went to the Bank lawyer office for the buyer to pay what I owed in my mtge. an aprox. $100,000.00 (the houses on my area could it very well have been above one million at the time), the lady realtor told me she was going to write that the rent was going to be $4,500.00, so it look good for the buyer when getting his mtge., and that later when doing with me the lease agreement, it will be what we agreed upon, I told her "no way" then she said if I did not sign like that they will not pay the money to the Bank and the house will be taken for foreclosure the next day (I hired a lawyer to stop foreclosure and he did not show up the court day, I begged the judge to help me, presenting alternatives, and she said yes, but later she signed everything in favor of the bank to foreclose, I owed only in back payments aprox. $6,000.00 only), well later on, was not lease agreement done or anything, just the same pre-lease with did at home when we first met and the amount she added at the lawyers office, they claimed I have to pay the $4,500.00 (I have been doing so, because the buyer never stop harassing us, we have suffered a lot). I tried to find a lawyer (many of them mocking me), but could not, then this year the father of my sons passed on in March 7 (Support stop as well and I have not heard yet from Child Support), and I decided it was time to take this matter to court, I have been waiting for a hearing since May 16, 2008, then all of the sudden someone came from the court posting an eviction notice to vacate in 24 hours on July 10, 2008 at 7:12pm on my door, you can imagine the commotion, my poor mother was in very bad shape the most, the whole family lost the sleep on that day, and then the next day when I called the court they told me they made a mistake, so if I think that with a Judge that having a case in her office and more than $13,000.00 in trust from my money will not be capable of checking everything before ordering an eviction like that, I do not believe I have a chance at a fair hearing, that will be very slim (as all my hearings have been, not an exception in the last 6 years).
Now things worsen like it could be more bad, well it happened with doctors to all of us, and my mother is in need of medical attention the most, we tried going to our MD as usual, (even do things that were happening with him were not to reassure, like sending my youngest son to emergency saying it was appendicitis, and it was nothing, things of that nature) we when to four different doctors, starting with the doctor recommended by our MD, that not only performed in my mother a pap-smear, that she did not need to do, but hurt my mother internally on the process, the MD office said it was a mistake sending her over there, later I find an specialist that did not do a thing, and finally the last one a surgeon that wanted to take some parts surgically that she does not have since she was 30 years old. We have been living in a real Hell and this is only the tip of the Iceberg.
I also want to help other victims like us, I know we are not alone in what is happening, this conducts have to stop, but I need help to do so.
Please Help !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Marina Meadows
13850 SW 30th street
Miami, Fla. 33175
305-788-7679 Cell

mark godfrey

I'm glad he is trying this. The American population is asleep at the wheel, but I feel that the Bush admin has pushed things so far that it is waking people up.
That is why Ron Paul is popular.

Marty Didier

I was in a family for more than 26 years who joined "The Combine" also known as "The Shadow Government" and "Political Mafia". Please read my post and accept that there is a lot more that I can talk about....


Marty Didier
Northbrook, IL


you still believe Bush/Cheney are leaving. They aren't. No one spends 30 years amassing dictatorial powers just to stand aside.

They'll invent a crisis, either criminal or economic, postpone the election, and that will be it for this Republic.

stick a fork in us, we're done.


Not to make light of this grievous attempted abuse of power, but maybe all of the current administration should be declared terrorists and get to experience first hand what they (this administration) avocates for others.

David Elkins

The constitution is a "thorn in there side" they still have to deal with. The Att. General will only be a side show when the Bush adm. implodes on it self.After all we still have Ashcroft, and "Pedro Ashcroft" (Gonzales) to put on the docket when the Bush "reign of terror" is over, and just another "junta" in the history books!

Reuben Wade

I am used to getting a citation of the source you are making reference to. Could you please share what document contains the MuKasey request to congress on behalf of the president.

howard getz

dear ucla,
these last 8 long years in america are not the america i grew up in. the leaders that were elected because they supposedly smart went to war with no reason and lost lives and billions of out tax dollars for nothing. pres. bush is a war criminal if there ever was one. he should be impeached then put in jail in cuba.

Thorfin Jungerson

In all of the history of humanity no government has ever stood against the power of an angry mob.


I can't for the life of me understand why the senate has not impeached bush and chaney. Have we completely lost every bit of our courage? where are our true statesmen, where is the spirit of america?


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