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By Dan De Luce
WASHINGTON — US troops will still be in combat and taking on Islamist militants in Iraq even as the American military moves to an "advise and assist" role with a smaller force, officials said Thursday.
The withdrawal of the last US combat brigade on Thursday was hailed as a symbolic moment for the controversial American presence in Iraq, more than seven years since the invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.
But while the remaining 50,000 troops will no longer have a formal combat mission after September 1, they will be well-armed and possibly coming under fire as they join in manhunts for Al-Qaeda figures or other extremists.
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Stephanie Tang from World Can't Wait joined anti-war veterans Josh Stieber and Ethan McCord on the Lettieri & Poole show, KGO Newstalk Radio (San Francisco) Saturday August 21, for a talk about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and WikiLeaks.
Josh and Ethan were in Iraq with Bravo Company 2-16, the unit whose Apache helicopter attack on civilians is now known to the world thanks to the WikiLeaks "Collateral Murder" video. Ethan is seen in that video, carrying a wounded Iraqi child to find a medic. After returning from Iraq, Josh and Ethan wrote An Open Letter of Reconciliation and Responsibility to the Iraqi People: From Current and Former Members of the US Military.
By Shashank Bengali
WASHINGTON — In June, the Supreme Court refused to hear the case of a Canadian man who contends that U.S. authorities mistook him for an al Qaida operative in 2002 and shipped him to a secret prison in Syria, where he was beaten with electrical cables and held in a grave-like cell for 10 months.
Four years earlier, however, the Canadian government had concluded an exhaustive inquiry and found that the former prisoner, Maher Arar, was telling the truth. Canada cleared Arar of all ties to terrorism and paid him $10 million in damages, and his lawyers say he's cooperating with an investigation into the role of U.S. and Syrian officials in his imprisonment and reported torture.
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UC Berkeley Students on 1st Day of Classes Protested John Yoo's Continued Teaching at the Law School
By Sean Maher
BERKELEY -- Protesters gathered at the opening of classes Monday to protest the school's continued employment of John Yoo, a UC Berkeley professor who gave legal sanction to the Bush administration's views on torture.
Between 70 and 80 people gathered near the Boalt Hall School of Law around noon and, after a series of speakers discussed torture from a number of perspectives, dipped their hands in red paint and marched into a classroom where they believed Yoo to be teaching this semester, organizer Linda Jacobs said.
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HOW TRUTH CAN SAVE LIVES
By Ray McGovern
If independent-minded Web sites, like WikiLeaks or, say, Consortiumnews.com, existed 43 years ago, I might have risen to the occasion and helped save the lives of some 25,000 U.S. soldiers, and a million Vietnamese, by exposing the lies contained in just one SECRET/EYES ONLY cable from Saigon.
I need to speak out now because I have been sickened watching the herculean effort by Official Washington and our Fawning Corporate Media (FCM) to divert attention from the violence and deceit in Afghanistan, reflected in thousands of U.S. Army documents, by shooting the messenger(s) — WikiLeaks and Pvt. Bradley Manning.
After all the indiscriminate death and destruction from nearly nine years of war, the hypocrisy is all too transparent when WikiLeaks and suspected leaker Manning are accused of risking lives by exposing too much truth.
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Ethan McCord, Who is Seen in the WikiLeaks Video & Found A Rocket Launcher Said No Attack Was Planned
By Ralph Lopez
The soldier in a now-famous WikiLeaks video, who found a rocket launcher at the scene of a controversial 2007 Apache helicopter attack, in Baghdad, said in a radio interview this week that he did not believe an ambush was imminent. The video shows 12 men, including two Reuters newsmen, standing on a street corner before being fired upon by the Apache's 30mm cannon, resulting in what appears to be an unprovoked massacre.
The video caused an international outcry after it was leaked to the media by the government watchdog WikiLeaks. The presence of the rocket launcher was seized upon by defenders of the attack as proof that the attack was justified and that this was evidence of an impending ambush.
By Chisun Lee
This story was co-published with The National Law Journal.
The government's case for keeping the Guantánamo Bay prisoner locked away seemed airtight. He had confessed to overseeing the distribution of supplies to al-Qaida fighters battling U.S. forces in Afghanistan, even describing the routes where pack mules hauled the packages.
But a federal judge rejected Fouad Mahmoud Al Rabiah's confessions, concluding that he had concocted them under intense coercion. Even statements that the government insisted Al Rabiah had made under non-coercive, or "clean," questioning were tainted, U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ruled, and she ordered that Al Rabiah be released.
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A week of public forums, school teach-ins, art/culture actions,
religious communities’ events, protests, film showings, and more…. This
project will be voted on at City Council’s September 21 meeting. Please
contact City Council members to inform ...them of your support, and please
attend the meeting.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
This fall, be a part of “BERKELEY SAYS NO TO TORTURE” Week - October 10-16
A week of public forums, school teach-ins, art/culture actions, religious communities’ events, protests, film showings, and more….
Initiated by a proposal to the Berkeley City Council from World Can’t Wait (below), Progressive Democrats of America, Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Institute, Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists (Social Justice Comm.) and Rev. Kurt Kuhwald. [Also endorsed by the National Lawyers Guild SF Chapter.]
Passed 6/7/10 by the Berkeley Peace and Justice Commission, this project will be voted on at City Council’s September 21 meeting. Please contact City Council members to inform them of your support, and please attend the meeting.
WORLD CAN’T WAIT (SF BAY) at 415-864-5153, firstname.lastname@example.org
By Andy Worthington
On Friday, the Polish Border Guard Office released a number of documents to the Warsaw-based Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, which, for the first time, provide details of the number of prisoners transferred by the CIA to a secret prison in Poland between December 5, 2002 and September 22, 2003, and, in one case, the number of prisoners who were subsequently transferred to a secret CIA prison in Romania. The documents (available here and here) provide important information about the secret prison at Szymany, in north eastern Poland, and also add to what is known about the program in Romania, which has received far less scrutiny.
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At the Free Bradley Manning demo Ray McGovern said,
"We are living in a liminal time, that is to say we live on the threshold. So much that we
have taken for granted is passing.
In times like this we must be careful to keep our bearings, lest we come to love the chaos
that passes for for reality.
This is why we need to honor our brother Bradley Manning. He was not afraid to face the unknown;
not afraid to resist the seduction of conformity; not afraid to follow his conscience,
AND not afraid to give us the wherewithal to distinguish truth from lies so that we, too,
can follow our conscience.
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Check out step-by-step suggestions from San Franciso Bay Area Chapter of World Can't Wait step-by-step suggestions for organizing a showing of the Wikileaks' video "Collateral Murder" outside in public.
For More Information and a Video Go To:
NY Area Fans Come on out on Mon., 8/16 and Show Your solidarity with Accused Whistle Blower Pfc. Bradley Manning.
5:30 - 7pm, Times Square Recruiting Center, Manhattan.
For most people in Britain and the US, Iraq is already history. Afghanistan has long since taken the lion's share of media attention, as the death toll of Nato troops rises inexorably. Controversy about Iraq is now almost entirely focused on the original decision to invade: what's happening there in 2010 barely registers.
That will have been reinforced by Barack Obama's declaration this week that US combat troops are to be withdrawn from Iraq at the end of the month "as promised and on schedule". For much of the British and American press, this was the real thing: headlines hailed the "end" of the war and reported "US troops to leave Iraq".
Nothing could be further from the truth.
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By Matt Apuzzo and Adam Goldman
From San Francisco Gate
A white, unmarked Boeing 737 landed in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, before dawn on a CIA mission so secretive, many in the nation's war on terrorism were kept in the dark.
Four of the nation's most highly valued terrorist prisoners were aboard.
They arrived at Guantanamo on Sept. 24, 2003, years earlier than the U.S. has ever disclosed. Then, months later, they were just as quietly whisked away before the Supreme Court could give them access to lawyers.
The transfer allowed the U.S. to interrogate the detainees in CIA "black sites" for two more years without allowing them to speak with attorneys or human rights observers or challenge their detention in U.S. courts. Had they remained at the Guantanamo Bay prison for just three more months, they would have been afforded those rights.
For a great read on how it's not just possible but necessary to hold higher-ups responsible for their heinous acts, be sure to get yourself a copy of Charlotte Dennett's "The People v Bush: One Lawyer's Campaign to Bring the President to Justice and the Nationwide Grassroots Movement she's encountered along the way."
WATCH JFWILLIAM'S HIGHEST BIDDER VIDEO
Democrats and Republicans are two wings of the same party. meanwhile... GOING UP ! Top 1% share of total income Income gap between rich and poor Foreign debt as a percent of GDP Age at which one can receive Social Security...
Elaine Brower,mother of an Iraq vet and Ethan McCord,Iraq vet, on supporting accused military leaker Bradley Manning and the growing resistance in the military.
See and hear what they have to share:
Ethan McCord, who was a member of Bravo Company and rescued the two children seen in the WikiLeaks"Collateral Murder" video, tells what effect this experience had on him.
Hear his account on the following video:
Sunday, August 1st, was the 8th anniversary of the writing of the torture memos by John Yoo and Jay Bybee. Cheers to Coleen Rowley, the former FBI official, for protesting in Minneapolis, calling for prosecutions of those who have authorized and implemented torture. Read her call to action and see more photos here.
Along with this anniversary comes the expiration of the 8 year statute of limitations for prosecuting the torturers. Rowley called for immediate action in response, and wrote: "Obama's insane slogan and policy about 'looking only forward' makes no sense as it would entail overlooking all crimes committed in the past."
From Center for Constitutional Rights
August 3, 2010, Washington, DC and New York – The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and the American Civil Liberties Union today filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Treasury Department and the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to challenge their refusal to grant a license that would allow the groups to file a lawsuit challenging the government’s asserted authority to use lethal force against U.S. citizens located far from any battlefield without charge, trial, or judicial process of any kind.
Group Releases 18-Month Review Of President's National Security Policies And Civil Liberties
NEW YORK – The Obama administration has repudiated some of the Bush administration's most egregious national security policies but is in danger of institutionalizing others permanently into law, thereby creating a troubling "new normal," according to a new report released today by the American Civil Liberties Union.
By Michael Santo
From examiner.com | Original Article
If anyone has doubts that the U.S. government has begun taking Wikileaks seriously, this news will change all that. Sources told C|Net that security researcher Jacob Appelbaum was detained by U.S. agents at the border for three hours and questioned about Wikileaks as he entered the country on Thursday to attend the hacker conference Defcon.
For War Criminals Watch fans who are protesting Judge Jay Bybee, we have a new leaflet that you might use.
Large numbers of Iraqi children are being born with horrendous birth defects due to the use of chemical weapons.
By Chris Floyd
From Empire Burlesque
Years ago, I wrote about the use of chemical weapons in the American assault on the Iraqi city of Fallujah in 2004. I was attacked at the time for my "wild accusations" by many people, across the political spectrum, even by stalwart dissidents, who felt that such "exaggerations" undermined the "effectiveness" of the anti-war movement, preventing it from being taken "seriously" by the "serious" players in the power structure. Later, of course, American military officials -- and serving soldiers -- admitted using white phosphorus and other chemical weapons in the assault.
World Can't Wait Present a National Webcast of Anti-war Leaders & Veterans Responding to the WikiLeaks Revelations.
Sun. 8/1, 4:30-7pm EST. CALL: 866-973-4463
featuring Josh Stieber, veteran of Bravo Company 2-16 Collateral Murder via Skype: Cindy Sheehan, anti-war veteran Matthis Chiroux & journalist Dahr Jamail & others to be announced.
NYC supporters: Be part of the live audience discussion in cool comfort
Asian American Writers Workshop 112 West 27, near 6th Avenue, 6th floor, Manhattan
100 Days 100 Portraits Oil on Our Hands, Oil on Our minds, Oil Everywhere
Come to Union Square and take photos, be photographed covered in "oil", use the "oil" we have on hand to express your anger using your body (or paper ...and markers provided) as a canvas. Make your own poster there with your own words, speak out publicly. Join us in this happening! Express your outrage! Be creative! Be artistic!
We want 100 portraits or more so bring friends. See your photos up on our site later. There is no charge to be photographed (but donations are needed and welcomed).
Because the oil gusher may not be capped
Because 100-200 million gallons of oil & 2 million of dispersants still foul the Gulf
Because wetlands, shores, wild and marine life are still threatened
Because peoples' health still isn't protected
Because the truth is still not out
Because oil companies and government still want to "drill, baby, drill"
By Mark Mazzetti, Jane Perlez, Eric Schmitt and Andrew W. Lehren
From The New York Times
Americans fighting the war in Afghanistan have long harbored strong suspicions that Pakistan’s military spy service has guided the Afghan insurgency with a hidden hand, even as Pakistan receives more than $1 billion a year from Washington for its help combating the militants, according to a trove of secret military field reports made public Sunday.
The documents, made available by an organization called WikiLeaks, suggest that Pakistan, an ostensible ally of the United States, allows representatives of its spy service to meet directly with the Taliban in secret strategy sessions to organize networks of militant groups that fight against American soldiers in Afghanistan, and even hatch plots to assassinate Afghan leaders.
100 Days or Outrage - since the Gulf Oil Disaster Sarted. Let's Have Hundreds of Local Demos On July 30th!
The Emergency Committee to Stop the Gulf Oil Disaster is calling for July 30th as a day of actions worldwide actions to commemorate the 100th day of the Oil Volcano in the Gulf of Mexico. Demands 100 Actions! Cities, Towns, Communities, Globally because the environment has no borders!
Check out this youtube spot: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LB1jQenY74k
Also this website: http://StopGulfOilDisaster.org
A Member of the Unit that Carried Out the Mission Documented in Wilkleaks "Collateral Murder" Video Has Written an Account of it
By Ehan McCord
The smell was unlike anything I've smelled before, a mixture of feces, urine, blood, smoke, and something else indescribable.
That day started out much like many days in Iraq. We were woken up about 2:30 am to prepare for a mission, one of many that seemed pointless. Our Battalion commander called them “Ranger dominance”, but many of the soldiers such as myself dubbed them “Ranger dumbass”. These missions consisted of two companies walking through new Baghdad unprotected from snipers and IEDs. We dreaded them and despised our battalion commander because of them.