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No New Penalty Trial Likely: US Supreme Court Confirms 3rd Circuit Ruling Lifting Mumia Abu-Jamal’s Death Penalty

 

By Dave Lindorff

 

 

Here’s a prediction: Seth Williams, the district attorney of Philadelphia, will decide not to seek to reimpose the death penalty on Mumia Abu-Jamal, the world-famous journalist, former Black Panther and condemned prisoner who has spent the last almost 30 years of his life on Pennsylvania’s overcrowded death row.

 

The choice belongs to Williams, now that the U.S. Supreme Court has decided, on its second time dealing with the issue, not to overturn the decision of a three-judge panel of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, which had, on orders of the Supreme Court, reheard, reconsidered and reaffirmed its earlier decision upholding the tossing out of Abu-Jamal’s death sentence by a lower federal district court.

 

The last hype for 9/11 industry is over

“George W Bush has blood on his hands, and Tony Blair too"

September 16, 2011 - The 9/11 industry harvested its biggest riches on September 11, 2011, the tenth anniversary of the yet-to-be fully documented coordinated attacks on the United States of America which produced the era of awe and shock, bull-dozed all international norms, and initiated two great wars of the twenty-first century.

 

The greatest casualty of 9/11: The America we knew

LibertyShahid Buttar is the executive director of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee.

Reflections on the 9/11 attacks are important and moving. But most overlook the enduring legacy of the attacks, in the form of the vastly greater damage done to American principles over the past decade. Whether in the context of surveillance, torture, or the congressional cowardice that has enabled them, our leaders have sullied the legacy of an America that once inspired the world.

Naming the torturer: protest against Alberto Gonzalez at Auraria

Alberto Gonzalez spoke at the Auraria Campus yesterday and was met with serious protest. As Attorney General, Gonzalez signed off on torture and murder, in violation of U.S. and international law. Some 100 people were victims of homicide, according to the Pentagon on their death certificates, in secret American custody (murdered while tortured). Gonzalez is the outlaw “Attorney General” of an outlaw regime. Many of the political scientists at the University of Colorado at Denver wrote an open letter, circulated as a leaflet at the door of the event, which commendably names the legal and moral issues involved (see below). Some 200 people showed up; 5 stood up in black hoods, emulating the prisoners at Abu Ghraib (one of Gonzalez’s “achievements as a public servant”) and were eventually escorted out by the campus police. It is good to see that the campus police and administrators take serious crimes seriously…

Insider Tells Why Obama Chose Not to Prosecute Torture

Two Years Ago Obama Decided Not to Prosecute Torturers
Now We Get An Account of Why
By David Swanson

If you can think back all the way to January 2009, back when wars were ending, Guantanamo was closing, the Pentagon was getting oversight, employees were going to have free choice, the rich would start paying taxes, the air would be getting cleaner, and so forth, you'll recall that the Obama transition team was acting super populist and high-tech.

They had questions from ordinary people for the President Elect submitted on their website and voted up or down. The top question at the end of the voting had come from Bob Fertik of Democrats.com and it was this:

"Will you appoint a Special Prosecutor - ideally Patrick Fitzgerald - to independently investigate the gravest crimes of the Bush Administration, including torture and warrantless wiretapping?"
-Bob Fertik, New York City

Bush on 9/11: 'I Didn't Have a Strategy'

Reason they were talking Saddam, before and Condi on the day of 9/11, in the weeks directly after and reason we left the mission in Afghanistan high and dry to fester and grow with recruitment from the devastation in Iraq an innocent country!!!

More on the Use of Torture Within US Prisons

by Debra Sweet, Director, The World Can't Wait      

Anti-Torture Protesters Greet John Yoo at Pro-Torture Conference

         EVENT:         Rally & Protest
         WHEN:         Friday, August 26, 6:30 PM
         WHERE:         Marines' Memorial Club Hotel,  609 Sutter St., San Francisco


Protesters will gather when the California Young Republican Federation hosts the University of California's premiere torture advocate JOHN YOO in San Francisco.

Torture can lead to self-incrimination

Right to Remain Silent Not Understood by Many Suspects; Confusion About Constitutional Rights Can Lead to Self-Incrimination, Psychologist Reports

ScienceDaily (Aug. 5, 2011) — Movies and TV shows often depict crime with a police officer handcuffing a suspect and warning him that he has the right to remain silent. While those warnings may appear clear-cut, almost 1 million criminal cases may be compromised each year in the United States because suspects don't understand their constitutional rights, according to research presented at the 119th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association.

Judge says American defense contractor can sue Rumsfeld personally over torture allegations

WASHINGTON — A federal judge has ruled that former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld can be sued personally for damages by a former U.S. military contractor who says he was tortured during a nine-month imprisonment in Iraq.

The lawsuit lays out a dramatic tale of the disappearance of the then-civilian contractor, an Army veteran in his 50s whose identity is being withheld from court filings for fear of retaliation. Attorneys for the man, who speaks five languages and worked as a translator for Marines collecting intelligence in Iraq, say he was preparing to come home to the United States on annual leave when he was abducted by the U.S. military and held without justification while his family knew nothing about his whereabouts or even whether he was still alive.

ICC: International Justice Day 17 July 2011

Celebrating the 13th Anniverasary of a New International Justice System

July 17, 2011 - This Sunday, July 17, 2011, marks the 13th International Justice Day, commemorating the adoption of the Rome Statute, the document that established the International Criminal Court.

 

Melissa Kaplan, Deputy Director of Government Relations at Citizens for Global Solutions and Coordinator of the Washington Working Group on the International Criminal Court (WICC) said,

 

Is it Emancipation Day for 'good faith' torturers?

By Nat Hentoff, Coshocton Tribune

Both the Bush-Cheney and Obama administrations have strongly opposed the very idea of a comprehensive independent investigation of CIA "enhanced interrogations" at the agency's secret prisons and during its "renditions" of terrorism suspects to countries known for torturing prisoners.

American and international critics of torture were told by President George W. Bush and now are told by President Barack Obama that these actions took place under legal justification provided by the Justice Department (recall the John Yoo "torture memos"). And our government assured practitioners of "enhanced interrogations" that they would be protected from punishment.

Calls Growing for bush and co. Criminal Investigations

HRW Urges Investigation on Bush

July 12, 2011 - Human Rights Watch (HRW) has urged the US government to order a criminal investigation into allegations of torture of detainees during the administration of former President George W. Bush.

The New York-based rights watchdog said that overwhelming evidence of torture by the Bush administration obliges President Barack Obama to take action.

Speaking with The Irrawaddy on Tuesday, Deputy Director of HRW's Asia Division Phil Robertson said, “We try to encourage the Obama administration to do what they are required to do under the Convention against Torture.”

Years Later: Human Rights Watch Announces That Bush and Cheney Tortured -- What Gives?

Statutes of limitations for torture not resulting in death have passed. The DOJ has refused to prosecute 99 of 101 cases of torture-to-death that it looked at. Obama has long since publicly told the DOJ not to prosecute the CIA for torture. Obama's torture of Bradley Manning has been widely ignored. Rendition has been established as normal. Torturers have published confessional/bragging memoirs. Habeas corpus has been formally ended. The Bagram-Gitmo archipelago is here to stay. Torture continues in Iraq, Afghanistan, elsewhere. Assassinations have been established as the truly big new fashion. Harold Koh has replaced John Yoo as the Guy Who Will "Legalize" Anything. We've got more illegal wars going at once than ever before. Congress has practically dropped the pretense of a rule of law. The President can't clear his throat without opposing "relitigating the past," as if on the planet he comes from it is common to litigate the future. And Human Rights Watch has chosen this moment to announce that Bush and Cheney might just have been responsible for torture?

(Washington, DC) - Overwhelming evidence of torture by the Bush administration obliges President Barack Obama to order a criminal investigation into allegations of detainee abuse authorized by former President George W. Bush and other senior officials, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The Obama administration has failed to meet US obligations under the Convention against Torture to investigate acts of torture and other ill-treatment of detainees, Human Rights Watch said.

Hey, thanks, Sherlock.  What was your first clue? 

I'm glad someone still cares.  But why not care a little faster?  This report ends by reviewing foreign efforts to step in where the U.S. justice system has failed, and U.S. efforts -- successful thus far -- to prevent that.

If Human Rights Watch turns against illegal wars someday, we can perhaps expect a review of the bombing of Libya several years after it ceases.  And we'll be better off, I guess.  But why not speak up at the time? If Bush and Cheney belong in prison, why would it have been so unacceptably impolite to impeach them and remove them from office?

Guantánamo - Torture - Crimes We Are All Concerned

by Marie
Marie is a French student in a political sciences school currently interning for the summer at World Can’t Wait's National Office in New York.

The purpose of this article is not to find an answer for each question I had or wondered. Neither is it to explain all the issues of Guantánamo, but rather to show what people really think and to speak up for what I believe is fair and that which represents my values.

A week ago, the director of World Can’t Wait, Debra Sweet, and I talked about my trip to Washington, DC for the Witness Against Torture protest demanding, “Close Guantánamo.” We decided I would be free to write anything I wanted.
I then reflected it would be interesting to interview activists and people involved in organizations against torture, crimes and Guantánamo Bay, as well as American citizens and foreign tourists to collect a maximum of varied opinions.

Historic Judgment on British Army in Iraq

Strasbourg judge: “Those who export war ought to see to the parallel export of guarantees against the atrocities of war”

European Court Issues Historic Judgment on British Army in Iraq

7 July 2011 - The highest court in Europe – the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights – has this morning handed down one of its most important judgments ever, involving the alleged ill-treatment and unlawful killing of Iraqi citizens by UK Armed Forces. See the European Court’s official press release (attached to this email).

Iran: Putting the 26 US Officials on Trial

Makes sense as we condemn them constantly for what is now very public the same practices against humanity we're ordering done as we joined them, and the others who do and some we used, in the toilet as to crimes against humanity while still condemning! We even use those issues as justified excuses to invade, destroy and occupy countries!

 

Iran to File Lawsuits Against 26 US Officials

07 July 2011 - Iran will certainly put the 26 US officials on trial in absentia and will pursue their cases at international circles: MP

Iran to file lawsuits against 26 US nationals who committed crimes against humanity, FNA quoted Iranian parliament’s National and Foreign Policy Commission Seyyed Ali Aqazqdeh as saying.

UK Torture Inquiry Farce on Last Legs, While Rendition to “Killing” Remains Uninvestigated

By: Jeff Kaye

Ian Cobain and Richard Norton-Taylor at the UK Guardian are reporting that the widely heralded 2010 announcement of a British government official inquiry into UK torture is facing a boycott by British human rights and attorney groups. The reason is undue secrecy.

READ THE REST AT FIREDOGLAKE

Thoughts on July 4th: Our Incredible Shrinking Constitution

By Dave Lindorff

Tomorrow is the anniversary of the day that the nation’s founders, gathered in Philadelphia a few miles from my house (which as it happens was already standing and about 28 years old already at the time), at great personal risk, signed the Declaration of Independence, with its ringing declaration that all men--Americans and everyone else, too--are born equal and are endowed with certain inalienable rights, among them life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Five years ago at this time, I was just starting my road trip promoting my book, The Case for Impeachment (St. Martin’s Press, 2006), which documents the wholesale assault, by then President George W. Bush, and his chief consigliere, Vice President Dick Cheney, on those bold concepts and on the subsequent Constitution and Bill of Rights which those same founders set up as the guiding principles of this nation.

Memoirs of Torturers

On September 18, 2009, seven former heads of the CIA publicly told President Barack Obama not to prosecute CIA torturers. On April 16, 2009, Obama had already publicly told Attorney General Eric Holder not to prosecute CIA torturers. On September 18th, Holder publicly reassured the CIA.

The coast was clear. The books started flowing. George W. Bush and John Yoo put their books out in 2010, Donald Rumsfeld in 2011, and Dick Cheney's also later this summer.

Just as the torture techniques drifted down the chain of command from these dealers in death to the rank and file, so too the book contracts. The cogs in the machine are now documenting their bit parts in the past decade's torture epidemic with pride and publishing deals.

US HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES DISRUPTED BY ANTI-TORTURE ACTIVISTS

Witness Against Torture Interrupts a Vote on the
House Floor with the call "Close Guantanamo!"

WASHINGTON, DC – While the US House of Representatives chamber filled for a vote today at 4:40pm, Representatives' eyes and ears turned toward the Chamber's gallery as a group of activists interrupted proceedings to call for the closure of Guantanamo Bay prison and denounce provisions in the Defense Appropriations Bill concerning detention policy.

Fifteen people from the group Witness Against Torture stood in the gallery to read the following statement:

Today the House of Representative is in the process of contemplating not the passage of a bill but
the commission of a crime. Provisions in the proposed Defense Appropriations Bill grant the United
States powers over the lives of detained men fitting of a totalitarian state that uses the law itself as
an instrument of tyranny. The law would make the prison at Guantanamo permanent by denying

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