You are hereTorture
By Dave Lindorff
A victory for the government in a federal court in New York City Monday marks another slide deeper into Dick Cheney’s “dark side” for the Obama Administration.
In a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, which has been seeking to force the Pentagon to provide information about all captives it is holding at its huge prison facility at Bagram Airbase outside Kabul in Afghanistan, Federal District Judge Barbara Jones of the Southern District of New York has issued a summary judgement saying that the government may keep that information secret.
The lingering question is: Why does the US government so adamantly want to hide information about where captives were first taken into military custody, their citizenship, the length of their captivity, and the circumstances under which they were captured?
27 October 2010 - Polish officials investigating a now-shuttered secret CIA prison in this country have given a Saudi terror suspect victim status, a legal advance in the detainee's effort to show he was mistreated by interrogators, officials said Wednesday.
Legal experts said Poland's move to grant the status of victim to Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri recognizes the validity of his claims even as U.S. courts have refused to allow cases involving rendition to move forward for national security reasons.
Most of what General McChrystal has done over a 33 year career remains classified, including service between 2003 and 2008 as commander of the JSOC, a special operations commando unit of the Navy Seals and Delta Force so clandestine that the Pentagon for years refused to acknowledge its existence.
READ ON WITH COMMENTARY BY PULITZER PRIZE WINNING JOURNALIST SEYMOUR HERSH:
By Jeff Kaye
From FireDogLake | Original Article
Last week, George Soros’s Open Society Foundations (OSF) published an important policy brief, "Confinement Conditions at a U.S. Screening Facility on Bagram Air Base." The report has been widely described in the press, as in this article by AFP:
The US military is mistreating detainees — and violating its own rules — at a secret prison in Afghanistan, a US think tank said Friday in a report.
The 16-page report by the Open Society Foundation said Afghans call the secret site "Tor Jail," or "Black Jail," and that consistent accounts from detainees refer to being kept without adequate shelter or food or other basic rights.
PLEASE CONTINUE AT:
John Jay students and faculty in NYC have put together a terrific month-long series of programs around torture. These are open to the public. So, NY fans, get over there, support the important work being done by these activists and learn a lot in the process. Check out the full schedule:
As part of "Berkeley Says No to Torture" Week, Oct. 10-16, 2010, Andy Worthington speaks regarding the ongoing illegal detention of those held in Guantanamo and the use of torture to extract dubious and false information.
Check out the video at:
John Jay students and faculty in NYC have put together a terrific month-long series of programs around torture. These are open to the public. So, NY fans, get over there, support the important work being done by these activists and learn a lot in the process.
Go here for the full schedule:
Joining the ranks of the 'enemies', we the 'civil' societies. those we condemn, and use as reason to invade, as we practice and enhance same, against the laws we wrote on the international stage as well as the domestic!!
Exclusive: Methods devised in secret in recent years may breach international law
25 October 2010 - The British military has been training interrogators in techniques that include threats, sensory deprivation and enforced nakedness in an apparent breach of the Geneva conventions, the Guardian has discovered.
Training materials drawn up secretly in recent years tell interrogators they should aim to provoke humiliation, insecurity, disorientation, exhaustion, anxiety and fear in the prisoners they are questioning, and suggest ways in which this can be achieved.
America and Obama Hit Bottom: Pressuring Child Soldier to Plead Guilty to Murder Violates International Law and Basic Decency
By Dave Lindorff
As the author of The Case for Impeachment (St. Martin’s Press, 2006), I never thought in my lifetime that I would see a president reach the depth of moral decay and depravity of President George W. Bush, but sad to say, our current president, Barack Obama, has managed to do it, and what makes it worse, as a former Constitutional law professor, he knows better.
This president’s moral nadir was hit yesterday, when he allowed a military tribunal based at Guantanamo to pressure Omar Khadr, a Canadian captured, gravely wounded, and arrested at the age of 15 in Afghanistan, and held at at Guantanamo now for nine years, to plead guilty to murder.
Julian Assange Honored at London Press Conference
By Ray McGovern
You are not likely to learn this from “mainstream media,’ but WikiLeaks and its leader Julian Assange have received the 2010 Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence award for their resourcefulness in making available secret U.S. military documents on the Iraq and Afghan wars.
If the WikiLeaks documents get the attention they deserve, and if lessons can be learned from the courageous work of former CIA analyst Sam Adams—and from Daniel Ellsberg’s timely leak of Adams’ work in early 1968—even the amateurs in the White House may be able to recognize the folly of widening the war from Afghanistan to adjacent countries. That leak played a key role in dissuading President Lyndon Johnson from approving Gen. William Westmoreland’s request to send 206,000 more troops—not only into the Big Muddy, but also into countries neighboring Vietnam (further detail below in the description of SAAII).
What that administration did was known by the leadership in the Congress as they rubber stamped all the administrations wants, the emptying of the treasury for their war of choice, they had to as they never sought Congressional Hearings and blocked those sought by the minority party!
21 October 2010 - Twelve weeks ago the Bureau of Investigative Journalism was given access to the biggest leak of military documents in history.
These documents formed a database of nearly 400,000 military logs recorded over six years of the Iraq war and covering the years 2004 to 2009.
• Demand follows massive leak of military documents
• UK lawyer warns crimes may have involved British forces
• Files show how US ignored torture
• Full coverage of the Iraq war logs
23 October 2010 - The UN has called on Barack Obama to order a full investigation of US forces' involvement in human rights abuses in Iraq after a massive leak of military documents that detail torture, summary executions and war crimes.
- NPR gets earful from listeners on Williams firing - AP
- Row over 'jobless bus' suggestion - PA
- NPR gets earful from listeners on Williams firing - AP
- Death of parents: 'Layabout' jailed - PA
- Shark kills body boarder in Central California - AP
Done In Our Names, and guess who "Really Won't Forget!", the now hollow words this Country uses as to 9/11, hollow in most of the World!
Al Jazeera's access to leaked documents reveals secret US military order not to investigate Iraqi torture.
22 October 2010 - It is the biggest leak of military secrets in history. Al Jazeera has details of nearly 400,000 classified US documents. They are the secret Iraq files, leaked to whistleblower website WikiLeaks.
Oct. 21, 2010 - Lawyers for Canadian terror suspect Omar Khadr are refusing to comment on media reports that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is personally arranging a deal to resolve the case.
Nate Whitling, a Canadian lawyer for the Toronto-born Khadr, steadfastly refused to speculate about Clinton's involvement in a possible deal that would see the 24-year-old plead guilty to murdering a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan in exchange for serving most of his sentence in Canada.
"I'm not commenting about the talks," Whitling told CTV.ca in a telephone interview from his Edmonton office. "If there's a deal it will become apparent in court on Monday."
October 19, 2010 - How is it possible for a country to be at war on two fronts for nearly a decade and not be plunged into constant fits of epic soul-searching? Whatever trick of light makes it possible to pretend "We, the People" have nothing to do with wars waged in our name overseas also blinds us to its tragic legacies at home.
In a little more than two weeks, a nation suffering from willful amnesia about Iraq and Afghanistan will either vote for new representatives who share their myopia -- or retain those incumbents most skilled at exploiting it.
If polls are to be believed, these wars are too low on the list of voter priorities to prompt much turnout on Election Day. Although more than a trillion dollars has been spent on the wars, that's an unthinkable abstraction to the vast majority of us.
18 October 2010 - Chris Ames did not agree with the use of military force in Iraq, but I am consistently impressed by his fairmindedness and the thoroughness with which he compiles information on the British decision to join the US-led invasion at his Iraq Inquiry Digest.
October 19, 2010 - The idea that individual human beings have rights, claims upon their society or government, and that these rights are universal, has been evolving since the time of Hammurabi's Code 4,000 years ago. In 1948 the Universal Declaration of Human Rights sought to clarify this idea for our own time.
The subject of human rights, however, is still a controversial one, and our nation's reputation as a "human rights defender" has come under threat. At the heart of this controversy is the CIA's "extraordinary rendition" program which under President Bush sent terrorism suspects abroad to be tortured. Recently this became the subject of a lawsuit.
By Missy Comley Beattie
I call one of my sons and say, “Listen, I have something to tell you."
He says, “As long as it isn’t about bedbugs.”
Expertly, with parental precision, I slickly shift from the bedbug scene in my head to one of the many issues among a plethora of plagues (POP). I talk about the “Emergency Call to Action” email I received about stopping hate, hatred of gays, hatred of Muslims, hatred of anything that is not sliced, white-bread, Bible-thumping, heterosexual America—this climate of shameful rhetoric, leading to violence, even in New York City, the location I love, and the place I see when I think of tolerance.
How much has our war mongering Really cost this Country? Have searched on and off these years looking for reports on the real costs of building the so called coalition, especially related to Iraq, but also the private citizens who reaped War Profiteering Blood Money in this Country and elsewhere, could this faucet of information finally start opening!!!
Paid by the CIA: Philip Morse, right, with ex-U.S. president George Bush Sr.
Oct 15 2010 - Negotiations in the Omar Khadr case involve senior members of the Obama administration, as the White House continues to push for a plea deal and avoid a trial of Guantanamo’s youngest detainee, U.S. and Canadian sources have told the Toronto Star.
While news of the deal leaked only Thursday, hours before the Pentagon official delayed Khadr’s trial, lawyers and government officials both in Washington and Ottawa have been working behind the scenes for weeks.
One source said diplomatic notes between the countries have dealt with the possibility of Khadr serving part of his sentence in Canada.
And still no accountability from this country as to the bush and cheney on down!!
October 15, 2010 - Omar Khadr has agreed to plead guilty to all war crimes charges he faces -- including murder -- and is ready to serve a total of eight years in prison, seven of them in Canada, Postmedia News has learned.
Khadr, 24, had previously said he would never stand up in court and admit to having thrown the grenade that fatally wounded Sgt. 1st Class Chris Speer, a U.S. special forces soldier, during a 2002 firefight in Afghanistan.
Among the four other charges to which Khadr is admitting are attempted murder and conspiracy, according to the deal between prosecutors and his defence.
U.S. Must Hold Government Officials Accountable for Bush-Era Torture, Says ACLU
October 14, 2010 - The European Court of Human Rights announced it will review Macedonia's role in the CIA's extraordinary rendition and torture of innocent German citizen Khaled El-Masri. As part of a case brought by the Open Society Justice Initiative, the Macedonian government will be called on to answer questions about its involvement in the abuse of El-Masri, who was kidnapped from Macedonia and transported to a secret prison in Afghanistan where he was held for several months and tortured before being dumped on a hillside in Albania.
Plaintiffs in the case say Boeing jets were used to transport prisoners for interrogation. As the case winds through the federal appeals process, can the company continue hiding behind the argument that it was merely carrying out a client's wishes?
October 14, 2010 - From William Boeing's 1916 B&W Bluebill to Rosie the Riveter and the B29 Superfortress. From Tex Johnston's 1955 barrel roll to the the Boeing Bust inspiring the infamous billboard, "Would the last person who leaves Seattle please turn out the lights?" From the 2001 move-to-Chicago sucker punch to the more recent Air Force tanker competition:
Boeing defines us.
(Illustration: Lance Page / t r u t h o u t)
In 2002, as the Bush administration was turning to torture and other brutal techniques for interrogating "war on terror" detainees, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz loosened rules against human experimentation, an apparent recognition of legal problems regarding the novel strategies for extracting and evaluating information from the prisoners.
Wolfowitz issued his directive on March 25, 2002, about a month after President George W. Bush stripped the detainees of traditional prisoner-of-war protections under the Geneva Conventions. Bush labeled them "unlawful enemy combatants" and authorized the CIA and the Department of Defense (DoD) to undertake brutal interrogations.
Despite its title - "Protection of Human Subjects and Adherence to Ethical Standards in DoD-Supported Research" - the Wolfowitz directive weakened protections that had been in place for decades by limiting the safeguards to "prisoners of war."
Oct. 13, 2010 - There are gaps remaining in a London inquiry into the Iraq war that need to be filled before findings are released in 2011, the head of the panel said.
London is examining its role in the Iraq war from the planning stages to the departure of British forces in 2009. Inquiry director John Chilcot said he would lead a team to Iraq to examine the war first hand.
Five members of the inquiry panel interviewed several Iraqi leaders during a September visit to Baghdad, including former interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi and Ammar al-Hakim, the leader of the Shiite movement Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council.
Canon Andrew White, the so-called vicar of Baghdad, described his talks with the inquiry panel as helpful.
"President Obama came to office promising to end torture, close down the secret prisons in which it occurred and send the Al Qaeda terrorists — including Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the self-proclaimed 9/11 mastermind and boastful murderer of journalist Daniel Pearl — into federal court, where they belong. This week, we saw just how difficult that process will be and, more disturbing, how ambivalent the Obama administration really is about the process."
AP Photo Afghan President Hamid Karzai prays with members of Afghanistan's new peace council during the inaugural session Thursday in Kabul.
Oct 13, 2010 - Releasing Taliban figures detained at Guantanamo Bay and scratching scores of others off the U.N. sanctions list would jump-start peace talks aimed at ending the 9-year-old war, members of Afghanistan's new peace council said Tuesday.
The council members, who hold their first business meeting on Wednesday, said goodwill gestures from the U.S. and international community could spur reconciliation talks - perhaps at a neutral location in Saudi Arabia, Turkmenistan, Egypt or Turkey.
Today: Protest Rally and March
EVENT: Giant John Yoo Debate
WHEN: Oct. 12, 7-8:30 PM
WHERE: UC Berkeley Law (Boalt Hall), Bancroft at College, Berkeley
The controversial legal issues posed by John Yoo’s professional work as an administration lawyer who wrote crucial legal memos enabling torture, will be examined in a debate format.
Yoo will appear 20 feet high in video recordings drawn from his speeches, Congressional testimony, public lectures, and self-promotional book appearances. His opponents will then respond. This debate over the controversial issues which have made John Yoo infamous, and which go to serious legal system issues of national and international law, will be presented tonight by.
“No Torture” debate team: Anne Weills, Shahid Buttar, Cindy Sheehan, Larry Everest, Boalt Hall law students, Dan Siegel, Sharon Adams.