In anticipation of the release of that report [a 2004 CIA Inspector General's Report], there is an important effort underway -- as part of the ACLU Accountability Project -- to correct a critically important deficiency in the public debate over torture and accountability. So often, the premise of media discussions of torture is that "torture" is something that was confined to a single tactic (waterboarding) and used only on three "high-value" detainees accused of being high-level Al Qaeda operatives. The reality is completely different. The interrogation and detention regime implemented by the U.S. resulted in the deaths of over 100 detainees in U.S. custody -- at least. Scoop: Report: CIA Crucified Captive In Abu Ghraib Prison: “A forensic examiner found that he (the prisoner) had essentially been crucified; he died from asphyxiation after having been hung by his arms, in a hood, and suffering broken ribs,” the magazine’s Jane Mayer writes in the magazine’s June 22nd issue. “Military pathologists classified the case a homicide.” The date of the murder was not given. Mother Jones: Defining Torture Down: "Do they know this is torture? Of course they do. Glenn Greenwald is right when he says the excerpt below is probably all you need to read. What it says, in a nutshell, is that when other people do this stuff, we naturally call it torture. But when we do it, it's not. Sickening." OneWorldNet: Survivors of torture joined human rights activists in the streets of Washington DC to demand prosecution of those involved in planning and implementing U.S. torture policies.
Jonathan Cook looks into the role of the Israeli Medical Association in the torture of Palestinian prisoners, against the background of an international campaign by doctors to oust the Israeli head of the world’s governing body on medical ethics because of his alleged complicity in torture.
Washington’s criticisms of the June 28 military coup that ousted President Manuel Zelaya of Honduras lack any element of sincerity or historical truth. Washington is uneasy at the ouster of Zelaya, a conservative-turned-populist allied to Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, because it reveals all too clearly the character of US foreign policy. RT:Washington linked to Honduras coup (Video).
The police chief who oversaw the bungled operation which resulted in the fatal shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes was yesterday made the third most powerful officer at Scotland Yard.
The Obama administration is drafting an executive order that would give the US president the power to arrest without charge, and imprison indefinitely without trial, foreign nationals it accuses of being terrorists, according to several senior government officials who spoke with the Washington Post and a reporter for non-profit news source ProPublica on condition of anonymity. The order, should it be released, would likely reuse arguments made by the previous administration of George W. Bush that the laws of war allow the executive branch to disregard the established judicial system and domestic laws and rights, such as those guaranteed in the Bill of Rights.
The Central Intelligence Agency crucified a prisoner in Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad, according to a report published in The New Yorker magazine. “A forensic examiner found that he (the prisoner) had essentially been crucified; he died from asphyxiation after having been hung by his arms, in a hood, and suffering broken ribs,” the magazine’s Jane Mayer writes in the magazine’s June 22nd issue. “Military pathologists classified the case a homicide.” The date of the murder was not given. “No criminal charges have ever been brought against any C.I.A. officer involved in the torture program, despite the fact that at least three prisoners interrogated by agency personnel died as a result of mistreatment,” Mayer notes.
One basic truth can be used as a foundation for a mountain of lies, and if we dig down deep enough in the mountain of lies, and bring out that truth, to set it on top of the mountain of lies; the entire mountain of lies will crumble under the weight of that one truth. And there is nothing more devastating to a structure of lies than the revelation of the truth upon which the structure of lies was built...
By Tuesday, many US state governments must pass budgets for the coming fiscal year. The state capitals are now the scene of bitter feuding among governors and legislators over how the deficits will be met. But there is unanimity that the working class must foot the bill. Forty-six states confront significant deficits, and their collective shortfall for 2010 stands at more than $130 billion. This comes after a $104 billion deficit in 2009, for a two-year total of $234 billion in red ink—$91 billion more than President Barack Obama’s stimulus package allocated to all municipalities and the 50 states for the next two years.
The Obama administration, fearing a battle with Congress that could stall plans to close Guantanamo, is drafting an executive order that would reassert presidential authority to incarcerate suspected terrorists indefinitely, according to three senior government officials with knowledge of White House deliberations.
When Obama first unveiled his "preventive detention" policy, many defenders praised him (and claimed he was different than Bush) because of his vow that -- as he put it -- "my Administration will work with Congress to develop an appropriate legal regime." But now, relying exclusively on three Obama officials speaking behind a veil of anonymity, Peter Finn and Dafner Linza of The Washington Post and ProPublica report that the White House is "crafting language for an executive order that would reassert presidential authority to incarcerate terrorism suspects indefinitely."
The problem with the Hate Crimes Prevention Act is that it creates a thought crime and also categories of crime victims for disparate treatment. Goodbye to equality under the law. How will a prosecutor prove that a lesbian was murdered because of her sexual orientation rather than because she refused to give the mugger her purse?
An investigation by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has revealed that former detainees at the U.S. Bagram airbase in Afghanistan were beaten, deprived of sleep, and threatened with dogs. The BBC’s conclusions are based on interviews with 27 former detainees who were held at Bagram between 2002 and 2006. None of these men were ever charged with a crime. Hundreds of detainees are still being held in U.S. custody at the Afghan prison without charge or trial.
HR 1966 has cleared the House and now faces the Senate as S.909, the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act (officially, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act). The bill is expected to sail through the Senate as it did in the House. It will provide federal assistance to the states, local jurisdictions, and Indian tribes to prosecute hate crimes, and for “other purposes.” It creates special protective status based on race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability.
Reporting from Washington -- After two decades of giving school officials wide leeway to search students for drugs or weapons, the Supreme Court set a legal limit on Thursday, ruling out of bounds the strip-search of a 13-year-old girl who was suspected of hiding pain relief pills. In an 8-1 decision, the court called this search degrading, unreasonable and unconstitutional.
Human rights groups today asked two U.N. Special Rapporteurs to investigate the case of Abou Elkassim Britel, an Italian citizen and victim of the CIA's unlawful "extraordinary rendition" program who is currently held in a Moroccan prison based on a confession coerced from him through torture.
Another document designating Americans as terrorists has surfaced. The document, entitled “Crisis Controlled: Assessing Potential Threats of Violence,” authored by Trooper John R. Wright, is posted on the official website of the Commonwealth of Virginia, under the Department of Human Resources Management.
The Senate passed by unanimous consent Wednesday a bill that would prevent the release of controversial photos of alleged U.S. abuse of prisoners and detainees. Sen. Lindsey Graham says if necessary, the White House will classify the photos to keep them out of the public eye. The bill, sponsored by Sens. Joe Lieberman, a Connecticut Independent, and Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, had originally been part of the war funding supplemental bill passed Tuesday by the House.
Responding to the Obama administration’s new regulatory reform plan, which will officially hand the Federal Reserve complete dictatorial control over the U.S. economy, Congressman Ron Paul told MSNBC that the Fed was now more powerful than Congress.
It’s time to toss those Obama t-shirts in the trash. On Monday the Democrat controlled House voted 226-202 to approve a rushed $106 billion dollar war spending bill, guaranteeing more carnage in Iraq and Afghanistan (and lately Pakistan) until September 30, 2009, which marks the end of the budget year. The Senate voted overwhelmingly in favor of the bill’s first draft last month, with the final vote on a compromised version to occur in the Senate sometime in the next couple of weeks.
There was a significant new opinion released in the NDCA late Friday (h/t Lindy and Fatster) in the case of Jose Padilla v. John Yoo. The decision is devastating to Yoo and to the thought by the Obama Administration that the American legal system is going to blithely allow them to simply "move forward" and leave behind, and out of sight, the malevolence, malfeasance and depravity of senior Bush/Cheney legal officials in relation to their torture regime.
It is legally permissible for police to zap a suspect with a Taser to obtain a DNA sample. The rationalizations for ‘pain compliance’ - that is, torture to get you to go along with police orders - will likely only ramp up from here. Need DNA for a case? How about doing some investigative police work, do y0ur job, and lifting it from a clean surface the same as one would a fingerprint. Torturing someone to get it is unconscionable. With these rules of engagement there will be no professionalism required of our ‘peace officers‘ - any thug with a TASER will be sufficiently qualified as a state enforcer.
The man, Obama, is an infiltrated foreign agent of the banker-owned communist conspiracy and his Chief of Staff is a sociopathic Mossad agent, personally responsible for many political killings during the Clinton administration. He can't take the risk of a midshipman having found that out from someone and deciding -- for country and Constitution -- 'going von Brunn.' That's my theory. What's yours? No Naval Swords for USNA Graduation this year - Threat to the Dear Leader Inside the Beltway -Washington Times No Weapons For Anyone, From today's 'you couldn't make it up if you tried'
If you live long enough you will see just about all that there is to see, except maybe the Chicago Cubs win the World Series. I was reading news stories and that’s how I felt when I ran across this one: “June 12 (Bloomberg) — U.S. lawmakers are set to approve a $106 billion war-spending bill after President Barack Obama said he would use ’every legal and administrative remedy available’ to block the release of photos of troops abusing detainees.
The Justice Department today argued that the victims of the "extraordinary rendition" program should not have their day in court, asking a federal appeals court to block a landmark case the court had earlier ruled could go forward. In April, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit against Boeing subsidiary, Jeppesen DataPlan Inc., for its role in the Bush administration's unlawful "extraordinary rendition" program could proceed, but today the government asked the appeals court's full panel of judges to rehear that decision.
Andy Worthington, the renowned expert on Guantanamo, has just released a report he prepared for the British NGO CagedPrisoners on the shocking weight loss occurring among many Guantanamo detainees. Here is Andy’s announcement:
“Guantánamo’s Hidden History: Shocking Statistics of Starvation” is a report I’ve compiled for Cageprisoners analyzing the weight records for prisoners at Guantánamo (released by the Pentagon in March 2007), which demonstrate that, from January 2002, when the prison opened, until February 2007, when these particular records came to an end, one in ten of the total population — 80 prisoners in total — weighed, at some point, less than 112 pounds (eight stone, or 50 kg), and 20 of these prisoners weighed less than 98 pounds (seven stone, or 44 kg).
No commentary necessary, really. And you guys up there think that Chávez is the thug. Madness. As for jawdroppingly racist, fascist and arrogant quote of the day, that goes to Alan García: "They (Amazon indigenous) are not first class citizens." RESIGN YOU MOTHERFUCKER! The People's Voice: PETRAS: "START LEGAL PROCEEDINGS AGAINST ALAN GARCÍA, THE BUTCHER OF THE AMAZON » News of the Restless: This picture is what capitalism looks like when the gloves come off. Catapa: Pictures Peru killings.
The World Health Organization declared an influenza pandemic on Thursday and advised governments to prepare for a long-term battle against an unstoppable new flu virus. The United Nations agency raised its pandemic flu alert to phase 6 on a six-point scale, indicating the first influenza pandemic since 1968 is under way.
At least three US federal laws should concern all Americans and suggest what may be coming - mandatory vaccinations for hyped, non-existant threats, like H1N1 (Swine Flu). Vaccines and drugs like Tamiflu endanger human health but are hugely profitable to drug company manufacturers.
In the event of a pandemic, flights would be rerouted to Miami International Airport and 18 other major U.S. airports, according to plans by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As the swine flu scare fades, Miami International Airport and 18 other major American airports have been lined up to handle a future pandemic that could require them to quarantine international flights. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has set up stand-by quarantine/screening facilities at the 19 airports to which all flights from affected countries would be diverted.
Six Scotland Yard officers were accused last night of inflicting torture by 'waterboarding'. Four suspects are said to have been subjected to simulated drowning during searches of two properties for drugs. The technique became notorious for its use by U.S. agents on "terror suspects" at Guantanamo Bay. It has since been
banned by President Obama. AlterNet: Little Known Military Thug Squad Still Brutalizing Prisoners at Gitmo Under Obama. Times Online: London's Metropolitan Police accused of waterboarding suspects.
Well, that didn't take long, for a Director of Central Intelligence to totally lose his credibility in the servitude of the institution. What has it been? Three, four months? I'll have more to say about Panetta's declaration in the ACLU FOIA case tomorrow. But for now, a little unsolicited advice for the spook-in-chief.
The 'Black Shirts' of Guantanamo routinely terrorize prisoners, breaking bones, gouging eyes, squeezing testicles, and 'dousing' them with chemicals.
THE SUICIDE of Guantánamo Bay detainee Mohammad Ahmed Abdullah Saleh al Hanashi on June 1 offered a stark reminder that the Obama administration has yet to uphold its pledge to treat prisoners of the "war on terror" more humanely than its predecessors.
The Obama administration is considering a change in the law for the military commissions at the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, that would clear the way for detainees facing the death penalty to plead guilty without a full trial.
Dan Rather, the former CBS anchor who now hosts a news magazine on cable channel HDNet, has done a documentary on a former Guantanamo prisoner who says he was tortured for years before being released two weeks ago.
CANTON — A jury should hear a Ukrainian immigrant’s claim that a botched translation led to her wrongly being placed on suicide precautions at the Stark County Jail, a federal judge ruled this week. But an appeal of that decision by the county and Sheriff Timothy Swanson means Valentina Dyshko’s case won’t go to trial next week as scheduled. The State Torture of Hope Steffey
Twenty years after the Tiananmen Square massacre, protest leader Han Dongfang tells swissinfo.ch China is making positive changes but needs to address corruption. The bloody crackdown on protestors on June 3 1989 led, officially, to 241 deaths and 7,000 injured. Several sources have put the actual death toll in the thousands, although it is unlikely that the true figure will ever be known. The massacre is acknowledged all over the globe except in China, where censorship has completely obscured the events. Nevertheless Han, who now lives in Hong Kong, is optimistic that the tide has turned regarding Chinese human rights policy. A former electrician on the Chinese railways, in 1989 he founded the first independent trade union in China. In the spring of that year workers and students became mobilised in Beijing and Han went on to become their leader. After June 3, Han jumped on his motorbike intending to explore the country for a few years. But after just ten days, television and posters said there was a price on his head for involvement in revolutionary actions. He handed himself into the police and landed in prison, where he languished for 22 months, enduring torture and contracting tuberculosis. His jailors eventually released him, for fear of being held accountable for his death.
Findings revealed that being held captive in a hostile and life-threatening environment, deprivation of basic needs, sexual torture, psychological manipulations, humiliation, exposure to extreme temperatures, isolation, and forced stress positions appear to cause more psychological damage than physical torture.
The U.S. government cannot collectively seal its records in more than 100 cases involving the indefinite detention of suspects held at the Guantanamo Bay facility in Cuba, a federal judge ruled Monday.
The Sotomayor nomination has given radical conservatives new life. They have launched an attack that is nominally aimed at Judge Sotomayor. But it is really a coordinated stealth attack -- on President Obama's central vision, on progressive thought itself, and on Republicans who might stray from the conservative hard line.
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