Submitted by Tim Carpenter
By Bernard Weiner, The Crisis Papers
OK, let's try to puzzle out together some recent political events. The
unifying thread will appear; it always does because it's always there, even if
sometimes out of conscious reach.
By Geoff Meade, PA, The Independent (UK)
European governments probably knew that the CIA was flying prisoners across their territory for interrogation and torture in other countries, a report claimed today.
By Doreen Carvajal, International Herald Tribune
PARIS A Swiss investigator for the Council of Europe issued an interim report Tuesday, concluding that there is evidence of a system of "outsourcing of torture" by the United States, although the review did not produce irrefutable proof of clandestine CIA prisons in Europe.
Tuesday January 24, 2006
NEW* Washington, DC: The Senate Judiciary Committee will vote to send the Alito nomination to the full Senate floor at 9:30 AM. [First Read, www.msnbc.msn.com, 1/23/06]
Bush on Trial for Crimes against Humanity
By Marjorie Cohn, t r u t h o u t | www.truthout.org
The International Commission of Inquiry on Crimes against Humanity Committed by the Bush Administration convened last weekend in New York City's Riverside Church. Martin Luther King Jr.'s portrait hangs in the foyer. Dr. King delivered his historic 1967 speech, "Beyond Vietnam: A Place to Break the Silence," opposing the war and calling for the removal of all foreign troops from Vietnam, in that same church.
Protections are eroding for those who allege governmental wrongdoing - especially if going public risks state secrets.
By Alexandra Marks, Christian Science Monitor
NEW YORK - Former intelligence officer Russ Tice wants to tell Congress about what he believes were illegal actions undertaken by the National Security Agency in its highly sophisticated eavesdropping programs.
The U.S. Defence Department must reveal the identities of hundreds of Guantanamo Bay prisoners to the Associated Press, a federal judge ruled Monday.
A U.S. district judge ordered Washington to hand over the information in the form of unredacted copies of transcripts and documents related to military hearings in which detainees challenged their imprisonment.
By Steve Saint, Reuters
FORT CARSON, Colo., Jan 23 (Reuters) - A U.S. Army jury on Monday ordered a military interrogator be reprimanded but not sent to prison for the killing of an Iraqi general who was stuffed head first into a sleep bag.
Remember to Save the Date
March 20, 2006 marks the day, three years ago, when the United States invaded Iraq. More than 2,200 American soldiers have been killed. Thousands more have been wounded and will bear emotional scars for a lifetime. Tens of thousands of Iraqis have perished. And, under the Bush administration, there appears to be no end in sight. We have written letters and asked for meetings with Mr. Bush, we have demonstrated in large numbers, we have met with our representatives in Congress. Now, we confront the war machine—the Pentagon.
Times of Oman, AFP
BAGHDAD — A series of bombings rocked war-ravaged Iraq yesterday, a day before the trial of ousted dictator Saddam Hussein was set to resume before a new Kurdish judge.
At least six people were killed and dozens injured in a number of bomb attacks, including car bombs, while three US troops were killed on Sunday and Monday in separate roadside bombings. Less than 24 hours before Saddam’s trial resumed after a month-long recess, the court’s investigating judge Raed Al Juhi said a previously unknown magistrate, Rauf Rashid Abdul Rahman, would temporarily take over as presiding judge. This followed the resignation of Rizkar Mohammed Amin who quit because of strong criticism over allowing the defendants to grandstand.
By Mike Ferner
On New Year's Day, I decided to start 2006 out with a public protest against the war. Little did I know how public it would become.
My younger brother and I (he was only the wheelman, led astray) tagged three highway overpasses near Toledo with "TROOPS OUT NOW!" (see photo, below). Suburban cops with too much time on their hands and citizens with cell phones being what they were, we were soon pulled over by five (no kidding) patrol cars and arrested on no fewer than five felonies each. For those of you who haven't been paying attention to how state legislatures protect us from crime, in the late 90's in Ohio it became a felony to spraypaint a public building (called "getting tough on gangs") AND a felony to possess a can of spraypaint in the commission of that crime ("possession of criminal tools" says the Ohio Revised Code).
By Will Dunham, Reuters
WASHINGTON, Jan 23 (Reuters) - Insurgents in Iraq mounted more than 34,000 attacks last year on U.S. and other foreign troops, Iraqi security forces and Iraqi civilians, a nearly 30 percent jump from 2004, the U.S. military said on Monday.
By Brian Conley and Isam Rashid, Inter Press Service
Baghdad - While politicians deliberate over Iraq's future, Iraqis are dealing with the reality of the present. They are looking at the debris of a country where reconstruction has come to a standstill.
By Robert Dreyfuss, www.TomPaine.com
There's no one left to put Humpty Dumpty together again in Baghdad. Zalmay Khalilzad, America's feckless ambassador in Iraq, is trying. But, unwilling or unable to reach out to the Iraqi resistance, Khalilzad instead finds himself immersed instead in gooey egg mass. The Iraqi body politic is shattered, with little hope now of avoiding an all-out civil war. That's the only conclusion that can be reached by looking at the results of the Dec. 15 elections in Iraq, whose official returns were announced on Friday.
By Sebastian Alison, Reuters
Brussels - A record number of media workers died last year while doing their job, amid a growing trend toward the targeted killing of journalists, the International Federation of Journalists said on Monday.
By Associated Press
Lawyers for a former top aide to Vice President Dick Cheney on Monday made their first request to use classified evidence at his trial, launching a highly secretive court process that could bog down the case.
By Minneapolis Star Tribune, www.startribune.com
On wiretapping, "they did it too" won't cut it.
Former Vice President Al Gore gave a rip-roaring speech last week attacking the Bush administration for "repeatedly and insistently" breaking federal law and "disrespecting" the U.S. Constitution. One of his major examples was the Bush administration's massive, warrantless wiretapping of American citizens that has recently come to light. One may agree with his analysis or not, but Gore did not deserve the trashing he got from the White House, which spun a fluffy cloud of half-truths.
Tens of thousands of peace and justice advocates from throughout the Western Hemisphere are gearing up for the 2006 World Social Forum, an inspirational gathering that brings together peace activists, fair trade crusaders, environmentalists, and advocates of indigenous, workers’ and women’s rights from around the globe.
By RIAZ KHAN, Associated Press
Pakistani security forces stopped Islamist opposition leaders Monday from reaching a border village hit by a U.S. missile strike, curbing an anti-American protest as the prime minister visited Washington.
Several of "The Jersey Girls," who were widowed in the 9/11 attacks: "If we are attacked again, President Bush's shameless disregard of our constitutional rights and his poor judgment in defending our nation against terrorists should be borne out in his resignation from office or a Congressional demand for impeachment."
PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) - Lawmakers in northwestern Pakistan today demanded that the government expel the American ambassador to Pakistan in response to a U.S. airstrike that killed 13 people.
The unanimous resolution by the provincial assembly was unlikely to move the federal government to accept such a demand.
Complete Transcript of Last Week's House Judiciary Democratic Hearings on Warrantless NSA Wiretapping of American Citizens
The BRAD BLOG has obtained the official transcript of last week's congressional hearings on warrantless NSA wiretapping as authorized (on at least thirty occassions) by the Bush Administration. The event was officially titled, "CONSTITUTION IN CRISIS: DOMESTIC SURVEILLANCE AND EXECUTIVE POWER".
By John Nichols, www.thenation.com
The Nation -- While Judge Sam Alito's testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee has confirmed that he is not one of their number, a dwindling cadre of public servants still take seriously the dictates of the Constitution and the intents of it authors. And there is no more serious dictate of the document -- and no more solidly established intent -- than the one that requires the Congress to serve as a check and a balance against the excesses of the executive branch. Most particularly in a time of war, the founders intended for the Congress to question, challenge and constrain the president and his aides so that never again would Americans be subjected to the illegitimate, unwarranted and illegal dictates of a King George.
By Daytona Beach News-Journal (Florida)
At every turn in this latest of Bush administration scandals -- the National Security Agency's spying on Americans -- what the White House first claimed in the program's defense proved to be either untrue, implausible, exaggerated or unverifiable. At every turn, the White House retorted with self-serving interpretations of law that evade the obvious: Congress writes the laws that control intelligence gathering. With some exceptions for the most extreme circumstances that call for presidential discretion, the White House is compelled to follow those laws. Courts interpret the laws. The White House is compelled to follow those interpretations. Unless the Constitution has been suspended (something only Congress can do), making things up as it goes along is not a White House prerogative. But it's been policy.
By Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX), t r u t h o u t | www.truthout.org
The Abramoff scandal has been described as the biggest Washington scandal ever: bigger than Watergate; bigger than Abscam; bigger than Koreagate; bigger than the House banking scandal; bigger than Teapot Dome. Possibly so. It's certainly serious and significant.