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Brit Iraq War Inquiry: Recalling Witnesses

Tony Blair To Appear Before Iraq War Inquiry Commission

12/8/2010 - The independent commission probing the reasons for Britain joining the Iraq war announced Wednesday that it has asked former British Prime Minister Tony Blair to appear before the panel for a second time to give additional evidence.

Blair, who was the Prime Minister when Britain joined the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, is one among several witnesses summoned to reappear before the Chilcot committee. Those recalled include former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw and former chief of defense staff Admiral Michael Boyce.

War dominated foreign policy is destroying the economy and national security

Join Peace Vet-Led Protest at White House on December 16th

By Kevin Zeese

The White House is in the midst of a strategic review of Afghanistan. This review is coming at a time when the reality is hard to ignore: Afghanistan cannot be won, the cost is escalating at a time when the U.S. economy is in collapse and the war is undermining U.S. national security and the rule of law. It is time to end the war-based foreign policy of the United States.

The Asymmetrical Info War

It's too bad all this didn't start during the previous administration, there are so many questions and just think of the added proof as to the War Crimes and much more we would have!! Though in this country we don't do Accountability and allow our extremely wealthy walk around free with the blood wealth they gained, and we don't even tax them nor their corporations!!

 

Why WikiLeaks Is Winning Its Info War

 

Friend or Foe?

In the muddy of my mind, the Minutemen are singing “Warfare” lyrics:

Falling down the road
Steeper as it goes
Friend or foe
Nobody knows

In the muddy of my mind the Minutemen are singing “The Big Stick” lyrics: “We learn and believe there is justice for us all and we lie to ourselves with a big stick up our ass.”

On Monday, six US troops, serving in Afghanistan, died after receiving friend-foe fire from an Afghan police officer during a training exercise. Friend or foe (?) must be among the many complexities servicemen, women, and their families ponder.

This wasn’t unique, isn’t an aberration. Similar incidents have occurred. Last December, five British soldiers were killed by an Afghan police officer.

‘Torture Is Forbidden’

And how is the now not secret use of by the U.S. and other countries, especially those during the past decade and the CIA rendition program, any different then the charges pointed at Iran or any country we and others condemn! And how are the so called leaders of Nations who ordered the policies and than walk around freely bragging about the use of any less guilty then those other so called leaders widely condemned for doing same though not bragging about!

Audio: George Kenney Talks With UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Manfred Nowak

A lot of Americans seem to have confused the presidency with an absolute monarch, or dictator, and believe, wrongly, that the president is above the law. Nowhere is this confusion more apparent than with regard to the issue of torture. Indeed, we've gone so far down that dark path that in his recently published memoir George W. Bush bragged about his authorization of waterboarding. But being a half-wit who relies on lawyers for rationalizations of criminal conduct is not an excuse. George W. Bush has now openly confessed to a crime -- according to the law he should be punished.

To talk about both the law and the politics of the situation I turned to Manfred Nowak, who from 2004 until October 2010 was the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture. It's the third time I've interviewed Professor Nowak. Although he measures his words very carefully, my sense is that his remarks go further than before; in particular he agrees with me that in and of itself Bush's confession is sufficient grounds for a criminal indictment.

He's talking to me at midnight his time, from Phnom Penh, so due to circumstances this is a shorter interview.

I hope you find Professor Nowak's judgment credible, as I do.

As always, if you like the show please feel free to redistribute the link.

Thanks for listening!

Best,

g.

http://www.electricpolitics.com/podcast/2010/12/the_criminal_indictment_...

Torture: Past Time to Clean House

Done "In Our Names!", against what we say we are and stand for and against our Laws and the International Law we helped write! We are already, and have been, paying the high price for this past decade, which will continue!

 

Time to clean house on torture

 

Get Over It! WikiLeaks is Good for America

By John Grant

“The problem here is to define ... a form of life that would not depend on an unsustainable relation of domination over the rest of the world.” 
Jean Bricmont

We live in a time of incredible change, and to have any say at all in the direction that change will take requires a respect for reality. Right now, the United States is losing this battle as it tries mightily – and wastefully -- to sustain its post-WWII legacy as the world’s undisputed Top Dog.

The key to this disaster here in the US is a greater and greater restriction of information in conjunction with what can only be called a top down enforced blindness among the population.
If you think this is only the view of a disgruntled leftist, read Thomas Friedman’s latest column in The New York Times, where he imagines WikiLeaks revealing a gleeful cable from the Chinese ambassador in Washington to his bosses in Beijing:

You Don’t Like the Truth: 4 Days Inside Guantánamo.

Khadr story gets documentary airing

 

Nov 25 2010 - DOXA Documentary Film Festival launches its 2010/2011 Film Series Motion Pictures by introducing Luc Côté and Patricio Henriquez’s documentary You Don’t Like the Truth: 4 Days Inside Guantánamo.

Based on seven hours of recently declassified security camera footage from the Guantanamo prison, the film captures a series of interrogations of Omar Khadr by CSIS agents. What is revealed is the personal story of a child caught up in the larger forces of political action and the global war on terrorism. {read rest}

 

WikiLeaks: 'Exposing Corruption Between Allies'

U.S. warns Britain over new WikiLeaks revelations that will 'expose corruption between allies'

 

* 3 million documents set to go online

* Bombshell leak thought to include U.S. assessments of Gordon Brown

* Secret talks on return of Lockerbie bomber to Libya may also be leaked

* Allegations 'include U.S. backing of Kurdish terrorists'

* U.S. diplomats face being kicked out of countries in backlash

* Corrupt politicians expected to be named and shamed

27th November 2010 - David Cameron was warned last night by America that damaging secrets of the ‘special relationship’ are about to be laid bare.

Tony Blair/Christopher Hitchens: Debate?

Debating Iraq War?? They're calling this a debate, a war criminal who went along with the lies and came up with some himself and a war hawk who didn't listen and has been proven wrong right along, from start to the continuation of! Reminds me of what the 'kombat keyboarders' define as 'Debating', as it all creates more hatred thus enemies thus no national security!!

Tony Blair/Christopher Hitchens debate in Toronto

bush: "Please touch my junk" Obama: "No Touch!!"

The TSA, the Right, and My Busted Watch

26 November 2010 - For the last several days, I have been trying to locate what would appear to be the appropriate and necessary level of angst and fury over the issue of heavy-handed TSA searches at American airports. I say "appropriate and necessary" because, well, all the noise surrounding the matter seems to suggest I have no alternative other than outrage, and if I fail to react that way, I am some sort of dupe, a fool who doesn't understand the Constitutional issues at hand or the dangers represented by what has been described as a glaring governmental over-reach.

Canberra on alert for WikiLeaks

AUSTRALIAN officials are bracing for a massive leak of classified US State Department cables.

November 26, 2010 - These cables could include embarrassing disclosures about Canberra's secret diplomacy on controversial issues, such as the war in Iraq.

The Gillard government was one of several foreign governments put on notice about the leaks, expected to be released within days by whistleblower group WikiLeaks.

So seriously is the issue being taken that several sources told The Australian it was raised during a phone call yesterday morning between Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to discuss the crisis on the Korean peninsula.

'Presente!'--The Demonstration to Close Down the School of the Americas

By John Grant

It was the fifteenth time I’d trekked to Columbus, Georgia, to the gate of Fort Benning, for the annual November demonstration to close the School of the Americas.

Since 1989, following the murder of six Jesuit priests in San Salvador by graduates of the SOA, the effort to close it down has been led by Mary Knoll priest Father Roy Bourgeois, a Vietnam veteran and a priest who served in Bolivia during a very violent period hostile to priests sympathetic to the plight of the poor. The school is used to train foreign soldiers.

Bourgeois is a legend for a famous and clever act of civil disobedience. Dressed as an Army colonel, he went on post, climbed a tree and chained himself and a large boom box to the tree outside the barracks where Salvadoran soldiers were sleeping.

Gonzales again implicates self

Gonzales once again implicates self in Bush torture program

November 22nd, 2010 - Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has implicated himself - yet again - in the Bush administration's torture program.

Gonzales told Talking Points Memo that he knew "enhanced interrogation techniques" were used against suspected terrorists.

So Many Messages

All week, I intended to write about Nancy Grace and her Veterans Day tribute to our “fallen,” that euphemism for the war-torn dead. I would begin and, suddenly, see her surname with fallen and be Galatians 5: 4’d to “ye are fallen from grace.” I blame it on childhood years of Baptist brainwashing.

It’s just that my mind has been a smorgasbord of images and messages, lately. There’s Bush’s self-masturbatory, ghostwritten diary, along with email pleas for efforts in futility, war and more war, income disparity, and all the people who lead lives of either quiet or screaming desperation.

Soon after W began pushing his memoir, a flurry of requests for petition signing, demanding an investigation of Bush Administration

SOA Watch: 26 People Arrested

26 People Arrested and Held in County Jail on Multiple Charges

21 November 2010 - Thousands Converge at the gates of Fort Benning for 20th Anniversary of November Vigil to Close the SOA

Nonviolent civil disobedience action followed by indiscriminate arrests and targeting of journalists. Among those arrested by Columbus police were three journalists, including a TV news crew from RT America and unrelated bystanders.

War Crimes: To Bad The Thoughts Were Telegraphed Outloud

And it's is too bad this came from a Brit, bush is so arrogant and lacking in intelligence he would have thought England was a safe bet, he still thinks he's a great leader of the free world, to visit and add to his wealth. But it was the thoughts of millions around this planet, especially the International Lawyers who have been building cases now for years. There's enough, even though not a criminal inquiry nor about the U.S., in the Chilcot Iraq War Inquiry alone and still ongoing to hang that whole administration and anyone around them! Not to mention the other inquiries, Dutch etc., as well as the tons of evidence that have come out these years! Perp walks alone would have started the cleansing of what they did to the World community and minimized the blowback!

 

Another reason why torture, etc. is counterproductive

Care for Prisoners Will Improve Public Health, Researchers Say

ScienceDaily (Nov. 18, 2010) — In a comprehensive global survey, researchers in Texas and England have concluded that improving the mental and physical health of inmates will improve public health.

In their article, "The health of prisoners," Seena Fazel of the University of Oxford and Jacques Baillargeon of the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, write that caring for the mental and physical health of prisoners has a direct and important impact on public health that should be recognized. Their findings, to be published Online First in the British medical journal The Lancet on Nov. 19, are based on a survey of available literature on prisoner health across the world (with most data from high-income countries*).

"Prisoners act as reservoirs of infection and chronic disease, increasing the public health burden of poor communities," they write. "Most prisoners return to their communities with their physical and psychiatric morbidity occasionally untreated and sometimes worsened."

Rule of Law!! - Real America

A victory for the rule of law

18 November 2010 - The verdict yesterday in the case of former Gitmo detainee Ahmed Ghailani, who stood accused of helping facilitate the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, was a victory for the rule of law. Conservatives arguing that the trial was a failure because Ghaliani was acquitted on most of the charges are missing the point -- the integrity of American justice is more important than any single conviction, and, as it stands, Ghailani will very likely spend the rest of his life in prison for his crimes.

Research: people support torture for retribution not utility

This won't shock all of you: STORY.

Bush boasts of approving torture, while Holder declines prosecution for destruction of evidence

This Veterans’ Day, executive impunity for human rights abuses was once again in the news. Former President George W. Bush openly admitted authorizing techniques long recognized as torture in his recent memoir, and last week, Attorney General Eric Holder resigned the opportunity to file criminal charges relating to the CIA’s destruction of videotapes documenting torture.

War Court vs. Civilian Trial

Well what do ya know, Justice {Civilian Courts} still works in the U.S.! Another of the Gitmo detainee's, only this one went to trial, was found that the U.S. Government didn't have much evidence of his guilt. Same for the hundreds let go after years being held and most likely tortured after the bush admin picked them off the streets or wherever and whisked them away to other countries prisons, so the U.S. could denie the torture, and to Guantanamo and held incommunicado from the outside world, human rights, defense of charges and any evidence of what they were charged with!

Center for Constitutional Rights Responds to Ghailani Verdict

November 17, 2010, New York – In reaction to the verdict in the trial of Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, convicted of one count of conspiracy for his role in the 1998 bombings of the United States Embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and acquitted of the remaining 284 counts, the Center for Constitutional Rights, which filed an amicus brief in the case, issued the following statement:

CCR questions the ability of anyone who is Muslim to receive a truly fair trial in any American judicial forum post-9/11. Both the military commission system and federal criminal trials have serious flaws. However, on balance the Ghailani verdict shows that federal criminal trials are far superior to military commissions for the simple yet fundamental reason that they prohibit evidence obtained by torture. If anyone is unsatisfied with Ghailani's acquittal on 284 counts, they should blame the CIA agents who tortured him.

Accountability! {Oh, not here in the states}

See we don't do that, certainly not for terror waged with death and destruction as well as now the World knowing we torture and hold others with no trials and miles from their Countries and Families!! Our society is geared to who's buying those we hire as we fear that word 'accountability', would mean the death of political opportunity for those hired reps to work for the wealthy and corporations while we whine about getting hand searched at airports {while our soldiers are getting killed and maimed, we also don't do 'sacrifice' even for the veterans}, seems many now are still seeking retaliation!

Accountability for Torture (in Britain)

November 16, 2010 - The contrast could not be more distressing.

Climax of Years of Denials

Guantánamo payout deal is climax of years of denials of UK role in rendition

Analysis: Settlement means no more damaging documents or information will be released by the courts

16 November 2010 - The disclosure that UK citizens and residents incarcerated in Guantánamo Bay are to receive millions of pounds in compensation is the climax of years of official denials of Britain's role in the secret transfer of terror suspects to prisons where they risked being tortured – the CIA practice of "extraordinary rendition".

Rendition&Torture: Europe {not? an } accountability-free zone

''These abuses occurred on European soil. We simply can't allow Europe to join the US in becoming an accountability-free zone.''

EU complicit in torture: report

November 17, 2010 - A LEADING human rights group has sharply criticised the European Union for failing to call to account member states, including Britain, for their complicity in the CIA's rendition and secret detention program.

The charge is made by Amnesty International ahead of an EU-US summit in Portugal on Saturday in a 53-page report, Open Secret, which, it says, contains evidence of European complicity in the program.

All the rendition victims interviewed by Amnesty say they were tortured or ill-treated in custody.
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More Torture, Please

Seventy percent of Americans believe we should commit crimes against humanity. Not that they would put it that way. They would say something like, in the words of a Pew poll from some months ago, that torturing suspected terrorists is “often justified” (19 percent), “sometimes justified” (35 percent), or “rarely justified” (16 percent). That such beliefs persist, in such numbers, after years of talk about torture, signifies a moral chasm almost too depressing to contemplate.

EU 'failing' over CIA renditions

Amnesty says EU 'failing' over CIA renditions

15 November 2010 - Amnesty International has accused the EU of failing to hold its members to account for their role in the detention of terrorism suspects by the CIA.

It calls for European governments to ensure justice for suspects who were interrogated under the programme known as extraordinary rendition.

Countries including Poland have been accused of hosting secret CIA prisons.

Many suspects are alleged to have been taken to other countries where they were tortured or disappeared.

Several European nations have been accused of co-operating by hosting secret CIA prisons or allowing CIA flights carrying the prisoners to use airports on their way to other countries.

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