March & Speak Out Against US "War on Terror" - Jan 21. Washington DC
By Debra Sweet While we walked from the Supreme Court, past the US District Court, the FBI, and to the White House last Friday to protest eleven years of illegitimate imprisonment at Guantanamo, Hamid Karzai was meeting inside with Barack Obama. As my friend Anna, who lives in Kabul, said while walking beside me, "Karzai has his list of requirements to stay on the job."
Apparently on Karzai's list — or maybe he didn't know he needed this, but his U.S. backers know better — was a fleet of "indigenous" drones. So far, Afghans have been kept away from the U.S. drone program, and it is said these Afghan drones won't be weaponized. However, they will be part, of a long-term US covert counter-insurgency presence planned through 2024 at a minimum... not 2014, as the fiction from Obama administration goes.
Even if one would believe the hype that the "war on terror" is winding down, along comes France, bombing and now fighting on the ground in Mali, with US backing, "training," and "intelligence." Holler to Vietnam vets, where have we heard that before? Glenn Greenwald sums it up accurately:
“this west African nation of 15 million people is the eighth country in which western powers - over the last four years alone - have bombed and killed Muslims - after Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Libya, Somalia and the Philippines.”
Monday, World Can't Wait will be marching in the "Arc of Justice" parade before the Inaugural Parade begins. Can you begin to imagine the contrast between the Commander-in-Chief of the largest, strongest, military in world history, leading an ongoing "war on terror" against at least eight countries, and our message that "humanity and the planet come first?
Also see Ahead of Inauguration, Report Explores Militarized Approach to Protest Policing.
Thanks to everyone across the U.S. and the world — including prisoners in Guantanamo — who marked the anniversary of the illegal prison with protest. We are having essential debate in our ranks over how to go forward in the face of every legal door being closed to justice for the GTMO and Bagram prisoners, and for all those tortured and subject to indefinite detention in places we can't even locate. Should we campaign mainly for those already cleared for release, back to the Bush years? Or reject the arbitrary distinctions the government has made among prisoners, for whom in the greatest part there is no evidence of actions against the U.S.? Stay tuned for this debate, and check out the important action reports. Listen to my interview recorded live from the protest.
Spencer Ackerman wrote something to keep in mind on Inaugural Eve:
“It’s not like Obama has any interest in exposing the torture program. After an early and acrimonious decision to partially declassify key Justice Department memos authorizing the torture — for which Obama deserves praise — he’s done nothing. A special prosecutor empowered by Attorney General Eric Holder ended up not indicting any CIA official who abused detainees, and didn’t even consider investigating the top officials who authorized the torture in the first place. There has been even less official public reckoning with what the torture program entailed, something that would fray Obama’s relationship with a CIA that implements his lethal drone program, since a former Bush administration aide described that program as amounting to 'war crimes.'”