Raise Your Voice vs. Torture in Our Names
By Debra Sweet, Director World Can't Wait
Greetings to all of you on the new year.
In spite of the news I'm conveying today on continued crimes of the U.S. I am hopeful. I'm not hoping that, despite all the evidence to the contrary, those who run this government will somehow decide to do the right thing. My hope is based on knowing the tens of thousands of people like you on this list, on knowing the courageous, bright people who are acting to stop these crimes, and most of all, on knowing it does not have to be this way. And we are the ones to change it.
More from the "hope fades in change coming from the White House" department, and three fresh reasons for the protests this month in Washington:
Above, Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, killed by US drone strikes at the age of 16.
1. A federal judge decided the White House doesn't have to reveal its secret memorandum on killing US citizen Anwar al-Awlaki by drone (along with others in Yemen, including his 16 yr. old son, left) in 2010, in response to a suit by the ACLU and the NY Times. Judge Colleen McMahon wrote she is in a "catch-22" in being forced to "effectively allow the executive branch of our government to proclaim as perfectly lawful certain actions that seem on their face incompatible with our Constitution and laws while keeping the reasons for their conclusion a secret."
My compassion is not for the judge's conundrum, but for the victims of targeted assassination via secret "kill lists."
2. President Obama, who campaigned in 2008 on a definite promise to repeal the Bush-era FISA Act, which allows extensive surveillance, secret indictment and prosecution on secret evidence just opposed ANY change to the law, again, and it's been renewed by Congress. Glenn Greenwald writes:
In other words, Obama successfully relied on Senate Republicans (the ones his supporters depict as the Root of All Evil) along with a dozen of the most militaristic Democrats to ensure that he can continue to eavesdrop on Americans without any warrants, transparency or real oversight. That's the standard coalition that has spent the last four years extending Bush/Cheney theories, eroding core liberties and entrenching endless militarism: Obama + the GOP caucus + Feinstein-type Democrats. As Michelle Richardson, the ACLU's legislative counsel, put it to the Huffington Post: "I bet [Bush] is laughing his ass off."
Obama is now commander-in-chief of the biggest surveillance state ever.
3. He just signed the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act. After some Senators were defeated (with no help from Obama) in efforts to remove parts of the 2012 law that allowed Americans to be indefinitely detained, Obama signed this one will all the same outrageous provisions intact. In his signing statement, he mildly criticizes not being allowed to transfer prisoners from Guantanamo, but mainly objects to any restrictions on executive power.
And he signed the fascist law, again.
SO! For all these reasons, and more, get out and protest this month. If you can't make it to Washington to protest indefinite detention and drone wars, download this flyer and go out to this film and talk to people about why the "war on terror" is so wrong.
Curt Wechsler writes in a critical choice:
The public "controversy" whipped up by release of the new torture movie Zero Dark Thirty is actually a re-hash of an argument that had largely been put to bed, that torture works to extract reliable intelligence from suspected terrorists (and even if it did, would that make the practice morally acceptable?) But torture IS effective in getting subjects to say what you want them to say, to fabricate rationale for government venture, such as the ultimate war crime of aggression on sovereign nations that pose no imminent threat.
Zero Dark Thirty opens:
San Francisco, Chicago, Boston and 24 other cities Friday January 4
Nationwide Friday January 11
ZERO DARK THIRTY depicts the world through the CIA's eyes & falsely depicts torture as necessary to find Osama Bin Laden.
What happened on 9/11 was a horror. The forces that attacked the World Trade Center are totally reactionary.
BUT what has been done by the U.S. in the name of 9/11 has been far worse:
- More than a million people have been killed and millions more turned into refugees in the American war against Iraq (a country which was not even connected to 9/11). Tens of thousands have been killed in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and other countries.
- Drones used to kill suspected militants and thousands of innocents, including children, with the U.S. military now justifying targeting even children as young as 6 years old as "enemies" fit to be killed.
- A worldwide network of CIA torture sites run by the U.S., including Guantanamo was built, and a system of indefinite detention without trial put
- in place through law and executive orders by Bush and Obama.
- Stripping of fundamental rights within the U.S., giving the state unlimited power to spy on people¹s personal communications and lives, to hold people without trial based merely on an accusation or suspicion that they might do something bad, and kill people without trial in targeted assassinations directed by the President meeting in secret session.
We as a people are further brutalized and degraded by the celebration and justification of torture as in this film. Torture produced no useful intelligence in the pursuit of Bin Laden. Even the government has admitted this. Yet this film claims the opposite.
There were people in the wake of 9/11 including some who had lost loved ones at the WTC who declared "NOT IN OUR NAME." That captures our sentiment now. We do not share the CIA¹s view of the world. End these wars now, and stop torture.
If you agree, contact World Can't Wait
worldcantwait.net 866 973 4463