Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Six Ways the Bush Gang has defied the law: An OMNI forum tonight

CONTACT: Dick Bennett, 479-442-4600
A panel will discuss the new book by Marjorie Cohn, Cowboy Republic: Six Ways the Bush Gang Has Defied the Law.
On February 12, Tuesday, 7 p.m.
At the home of Jo Bennett, 2473 Jimmie Ave., Fayetteville (off Township above Days Inn Motel.).
Snacks and beverages provided.
Panelists: Adelaide Adamson (instructor of English as a foreign language), Grady Jim Johnson (from preacher to businessman and columnist), Rebekah Kennedy (lawyer and Green Party candidate for the U.S. Senate), Leonard Schulte (Philosophy Instructor, NWACC), Doug Krueger (Philosophy Instructor, NWACC) .
Moderator: Dick Bennett (UA Literature Prof. Emer.)
Video: Claire Detels (UA Professor of Music)
The striking feature of this panel is that only one is a specialist in law. This happened partly because of the reluctance of lawyers and law professors to engage in public forums like this one, and partly because of the alacrity with which these panelists accepted the invitation. And the panel resulted partly from the shared belief in We, the People as the foundation of the nation. Not gods, not kings, but the people continue to originate our nation, though we must work much harder. We, the People are the right persons to discuss a book about the usurpation of power by the President and the threat of totalitarianism.
Note on Congressman Boozman: Rep. Boozman is escaping unscathed from his total support of Bush administration high crimes. I hope this panel will better enable people to perceive him as one of the gang.
According to Cohn, Pres. Bush, Vice-President Cheney, their lawyers and advisors, are law-violators in these six major areas:
1) Wars of aggression. Unprovoked wars, forbidden by the UN Charter and the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg following WWII, are war crimes;
2) Torture of prisoners. Torture violates U.S. and international law and is a war crime;
3) Willful killing and indiscriminate slaughter of civilians are punishable as war crimes under the Geneva Conventions;
4) Imprisoning detainees (including children) indefinitely without charges at Guantanamo and other prisons violates U.S. and international laws as well as the Uniform Code of Military Justice;
5) Spying on US citizens. The Bush administration has set up a vast network of listening to the telephone calls and reading the e-mail of US citizens in violation of statutes;
6) Refusing to execute laws passed by Congress. President Bush has not only refused to carry out laws constitutionally passed by Congress, but he has usurped the power of the courts' exclusive jurisdiction to interpret the laws.
In all of these violations, according to Cohn, Bush administration lawyers (John Yoo, for example) redefined or denied the laws to justify the violations. In all, the Bush administration has displayed unparalleled usurpation of executive power, dangerously undermining our constitutionally prescribed balance of powers, and leading us steadily toward dictatorship. Cohn also explains what we can do to remedy the administration's breaches of statutory, constitutional, and international law.
Marjorie Cohn is president of the National Lawyers Guild and a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law. A previous book is Cameras in the Courtroom. She is a contributing editor to several legal magazines and a frequent columnist for many online journals. In 2005 she received San Diego County Bar Association's Service to Legal Education Award. She has participated in delegations to Iran, Cuba, China, Yugoslavia, and other countries.
Her articles can be found at http://www.marjoriecohn.com
Dick Bennett
(479) 442-4600

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