You are hereTorture
By Linn Washington, Jr.
The federal Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia, in a stunning smack at the U.S. Supreme Court, has issued a ruling upholding its earlier decision backing a new sentencing hearing in the controversial case of Mumia Abu-Jamal, the convicted killer of Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner.
The latest ruling, issued on Tuesday April 26, 2011, upholds a ruling the Third Circuit issued over two years ago siding with a federal district court judge who, back in 2001, had set aside Abu-Jamal’s death penalty after determining that death penalty instructions provided to the jury, and a flawed jury ballot document used during Abu-Jamal’s 1982 trial, had been unclear.
The U.S. Supreme Court had ordered the Third Circuit to re-examine its 2009 ruling upholding the lifting of Abu-Jamal’s death sentence.
Brutal State Terror in Bahrain - by Stephen Lendman
A previous article discussed police state terror in Bahrain, accessed through the following link:
Saying sporadic protests began last summer, major ones began for regime change on February 14, the tenth anniversary of the public referendum on the Bahrain National Action Charter - a monarchy reform initiative to end years of 1990s political unrest.
Wanting constitutionally mandated elected government, greater parliamentary authority, political freedom, social justice, and ending discrimination against majority Shias, many thousands defied government demands for weeks, braving police attacks with tear gas, beatings, rubber bullets, live fire, arrests, torture, and disappearances until March 14 when over 1,500 Saudi Arabia-led Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) military and police security forces invaded Bahrain guns blazing.
The “Bradley Manning Exception to the Bill of Rights” Devastates the Credibility of the Military Justice System
By Kevin Zeese
The credibility of the military justice system is being undermined by the prosecution of Bradley Manning. His abusive punishment without trial violates his due process rights; his harsh treatment in solitary confinement-torture conditions violates the prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment; and now the commander-in-chief has announced his guilt before trial making a fair trial impossible. A Bradley Manning exception to the Bill of Rights is developing as the Obama administration seeks Manning’s punished no matter what constitutional protections they violate.
AFP - The United States held hundreds of inmates who were either totally innocent or low-risk for years and released dozens of high-risk Guantanamo inmates, according to leaked classified files.
The new leaks reveal that inmates were held without trial on the basis of often seriously flawed information, such as from mentally ill or otherwise unreliable co-detainees or statements from suspects who had been abused or tortured, The New York Times reported.
In another revelation, a top detainee reportedly claimed that a nuclear bomb has been hidden somewhere in Europe to be detonated if Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden is ever caught or killed.
The Times was among a group of US and European media outlets that also included The Daily Telegraph, NPR, El Pais, Le Monde, Der Spiegel and La Repubblica to receive 779 documents from the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks.
President Bashar Assad co-operated with the USA’s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in its anti-Al Qaeda operations. As a result of this co-operation, Syria allegedly became a favourite rendition centre of the CIA where Al Qaeda suspects were brought for interrogation by Syrian interrogators who had no qualms over the use of torture.
Johan Spanner for The New York Times: A view of Nisour Square, site of shooting in September 2007 involving former Blackwater contractors that killed 17 Iraqis
April 22, 2011 - A federal appeals court on Friday reopened the criminal case against four former American military contractors accused of manslaughter in connection with a shooting that killed at least 17 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad in 2007.
A panel discussion featuring the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, legal experts and special video testimonials from victims of the U.S. torture program
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 1, 2011, 6:30 p.m.
Lutheran Church of the Reformation
212 E Capitol St, Washington D.C. 20003
(located between 2nd and 3rd Streets, behind the U.S. Supreme Court;
closest metro stops: Capitol South and Union Station)
Continued Prosecution of Manning Will Embarrass U.S. Foreign Policy Establishment
By Kevin Zeese
After months of pressure, the Obama administration is finally transferring PFC Bradley Manning to a military prison appropriately designed for pre-trial detention in Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas. While the transfer of Manning away from the abusive Quantico Marine Corps Brig may be a positive step, the U.S. government remains trapped in a Manning Quagmire. If they proceed their embarrassment will continue to grow as the truth about U.S. foreign policy is reviewed under a microscope.
Can't say Nobody told them so!!!!
Reuters: A British Army soldier investigates a large fire near Basra's Shuiba refinery
19 April 2011 - Plans to exploit Iraq's oil reserves were discussed by government ministers and the world's largest oil companies the year before Britain took a leading role in invading Iraq, government documents show.
The papers, revealed here for the first time, raise new questions over Britain's involvement in the war, which had divided Tony Blair's cabinet and was voted through only after his claims that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.
Mistreatment of Manning Criticized by UN Torture Investigator, Hundreds of Legal Academics and Hundreds of Thousands
Retired Colonel: “Obama could end torture with one phone call."
Mistreatment of Manning Criticized by Leading Law Professors & UN Torture Investigator
Hundreds of Thousands Write Obama Urging End to Manning Abuse
Retired Colonel: “Obama Could End Torture of Manning
With One Phone Call”
Military Tribunal May Keep 9/11 Motives Hidden
By Ray McGovern
The Obama administration’s decision to use a military tribunal rather than a federal criminal court to try alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four others means the real motives behind the 9/11 attacks may remain obscure.
The Likud Lobby and their allied U.S. legislators can chalk up a significant victory for substantially shrinking any opportunity for the accused planners of 9/11 to tell their side of the story.
What? I sense some bristling. “Their side of the story?” Indeed! We’ve been told there is no “their side of the story.”
Bromides Vice Explanations
For years, President George W. Bush got away with offering up the risible explanation that they “hate our freedoms.” The stenographers of the White House press corps may have had to suppress smiles but silently swallowed the “they-hate-us-for-our-freedoms” rationale.
Right to Peaceably Assemble to Redress Grievances Undermined by Quantico Marine Command that Violates Soldier’s Oath
By Kevin Zeese
“I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same.”
On March 20th, Americans, in a vet led assembly, gathered to support PFC Bradley Manning who is accused of leaking documents to WikiLeaks and who has been held in solitary confinement at the Quantico Marine Base for 7 months. We worked successfully with the Prince William County Police for a safe and peaceful event, but one aspect of the event was in dispute – a veteran led flower laying ceremony.
April 1, 2011 - Dennis Edney, the Canadian lawyer for Omar Khadr, gave a powerful talk on Mar. 21 at the University of Ottawa, where he presented the case that Khadr has been pushed through a sham legal system devoid of any real justice.
The event was sponsored by Amnesty International UO and a number of other campus groups, including the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa.
Since its founding three years ago, High Road for Human Rights (www.highroadforhumanrights.org) has vigorously advocated for the restoration of the rule of law in the U.S. – for an end to torture, an end to felonious surveillance of U.S. citizens, accountability for illegal conduct by administration officials, and a commitment to a constitutional balance of power, where the courts once again provide a check on abuses of power by the other branches of government.
By Marjorie Cohn, editor
By Marjorie Cohn, a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, past president of the National Lawyers Guild, and deputy secretary general of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers. Cohn edited The United States and Torture: Interrogation, Incarceration and Abuse, a collection of essays.
Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, who is facing court-martial for leaking military reports and diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks, is being held in solitary confinement in Quantico brig in Virginia. Each night, he is forced to strip naked and sleep in a gown made of coarse material. He has been made to stand naked in the morning as other inmates walked by and looked. As journalist Lance Tapley documents in his chapter on torture in the supermax prisons in The United States and Torture, solitary confinement can lead to hallucinations and suicide; it is considered to be torture. Manning's forced nudity amounts to humiliating and degrading treatment, in violation of U.S. and international law.
Nevertheless, President Barack Obama defended Manning's treatment, saying, "I've actually asked the Pentagon whether or not the procedures . . . are appropriate. They assured me they are." Obama's deference is reminiscent of President George W. Bush, who asked "the most senior legal officers in the U.S. government" to review the interrogation techniques. "They assured me they did not constitute torture," Bush said.
The order for Manning's nudity apparently followed what he described as a sarcastic comment he made to guards after their repeated harassment of him regarding how he was to salute them. Manning said that if he were intent on strangling himself, he could use his underwear or flip-flops.
"In my 40 years of hospital psychiatric practice, I've never heard of something like this," said Dr. Steven Sharfstein, a former president of the American Psychiatric Association. "In some very unusual circumstances, when people are intensely suicidal, you might put them in a hospital gown. ... But it's very, very unusual to be in that kind of suicide watch for this long a period of time."
Sharfstein also was concerned that military officials appeared to defy the recommendations of mental health professionals. "He's been examined by psychiatrists who said he's not suicidal. ... They are making medical judgments in the face of medical evaluations to the contrary," Sharfstein noted.
After State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley criticized Manning's conditions of confinement, the White House forced him to resign. Crowley had said the restrictions were "ridiculous, counterproductive and stupid." It appears that Washington is more intent on sending a message to would-be whistleblowers than on upholding the laws that prohibit torture and abuse.
Torture is commonplace in countries strongly allied with the United States. Vice President Omar Suleiman, Egypt's intelligence chief, was the lynchpin for Egyptian torture when the CIA sent prisoners to Egypt in its extraordinary rendition program. A former CIA agent observed, "If you want a serious interrogation, you send a prisoner to Jordan. If you want them to be tortured, you send them to Syria. If you want someone to disappear - never to see them again - you send them to Egypt." In her chapter in The United States and Torture, New Yorker journalist Jane Mayer cites Egypt as the most common destination for suspects rendered by the United States.
She describes the rendering of Ibn al-Sheikh al-Libi to Egypt, where he was tortured and made a false confession that Colin Powell cited as he importuned the Security Council to approve the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Al-Libi later recanted his confession.
"lived in fear of being killed by them every day."
By their actions, not only in killing civilians but the mistreatment of the bodies of those killed, they raised the bar of more retaliation and blowback, you can't hide atrocities and war crimes in a conflict theater, not only towards them but all the soldiers serving in the occupation as well as a rise in international criminal terrorism, it only takes a few!
March 23, 2011 - Spc. Jeremy Morlock, one of five 5th Stryker Brigade soldiers out of Joint Base Lewis-McChord facing military charges of premeditated murder while deployed in Afghanistan, pleaded guilty in a general court-martial Wednesday and was sentenced to 24 years in prison.
Add your name to the Demand for the Restoration of the Rule of Law and Accountability for War Crimes today.
High Road for Human Rights is building a grassroots network that educates and mobilizes people in local communities nationwide to push for changes in human rights policies and practices.
Since its founding three years ago, High Road has vigorously advocated for the restoration of the rule of law in the U.S. – for an end to torture, an end to felonious surveillance of U.S. citizens, accountability for illegal conduct by administration officials, and a commitment to a constitutional balance of power, where the courts once again provide a check on abuses of power by the other branches of government.
By John Grant
A contingent of 20 right-wing veterans with flags and signs declaring their devotion to “our troops,” marched up to the blocked-off Pennsylvania Avenue area in front of the White House. One of the men wore a blue shirt with Army Security Agency printed on it.
“I was in the ASA,” I said to the man, attempting some kind of cordial dialogue. At nineteen, I had been an Army Security Agency radio direction finder in the mountains west of Pleiku.
The heavy-set man glowered at me and said: “I’m sorry to hear that.” It was as if he were somehow the arbiter of who was, and who wasn’t, a good American, as if he alone gave a damn about "our troops."
I shot back at him: “So, what the hell does that mean?” He turned away, and I moved on. So much for dialogue.
If the past decade plus didn't answer that question, after 9/11, as well as the one about our 'freedoms', because you didn't pay attention to what's done in your names over the decades, maybe these very recent news reports will jog that overwhelming arrogance and total apathy embedded in the minds of this country.
A friend of american christianity is back in the news.
Adding to the recruitment by more then just the actions within the occupations and wars of choice, the ongoing hateful actions and rhetoric. The fear from within under the guise of 'religious?' ideology followed by the hateful and intolerant. But this 'preacher?', and those like him, the rehadists (R), aren't 'fighting them over there' nor anywhere, those we send over and over are!!
U.S. and coalition forces launched missiles and bombs at targets in Iraq including a “decapitation attack” aimed at Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and other top members of the country’s leadership.
There were nearly 300,000 American, British and other troops at the border.
President George W. Bush warned Americans that the conflict "could be longer and more difficult than some predict." He assured the nation that “this will not be a campaign of half-measures, and we will accept no outcome except victory.”
Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition International
Founded by and for People who Have Experienced Torture
The Friends of TASSC
Cordially Invite You to a Fundraising and Recognition Awards Dinner
Featuring Frida Ngwa - “A Survivor’s Perspective”
Coleen Kivlahan, M.D., MSPH, J. Schmidt Free Clinic,
Physicians for Human Rights, and
Witness Against Torture
for Significant Contributions to the Struggle Against Torture and the Treatment and Healing of Torture Survivors
Stephen Xenakis, M.D.
Leading Military Critic of U.S. Torture Policy
Retired Brig. Gen., with a 28-year Army career as a medical corps officer, has written widely on medical ethics, military medicine, and the treatment of detainees.
“The Struggle Against U.S. Sponsored Torture”
Saturday, April 16, 2011, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
(6:00 Drinks; 6:45 Dinner; 7:45 Recognition Awards; 8:00 Keynote Address)
Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington
Torturing Bradley Manning - by Stephen Lendman
A previous article discussed him in detail, accessed through the following link:
Another discussed torture as official US policy, institutionalized under Bush II, continued under Obama, practiced despite official denials, accessed below:
Manning, of course, is the courageous Army intelligence analyst turned whistleblower, who admitted leaking thousands of diplomatic cables, many others from Iraq and Afghan war databases, as well as two or more explosive videos, showing US air strikes murdering civilians. As a result, he felt obligated to reveal them. They're criminal acts, demanding prosecution of everyone up the chain of command ordering them.
eighth anniversary of America's invasion of Iraq.
Yep, and it seems now that the U.S. media is trying to spin their own rovian revisionist history as to why they didn't do their jobs, eight years later!
And after all this time, questions still remain as to why the United States launched the war in the first place.
Really Simon, questions? Seems hundreds of thousands here with added millions, us 'focus groups', around this planet were questioning before, on the day the invasion started and all these years later, as well as paying attention to the better late then never Inquiries held as well as all the proof then and through these eight years. Where have all of you been?
This is how we treat a lower rank soldier suspect, as the leaders walk free with no worries, apparently, as to accountability of what they did In Our Names!!
by Debra Sweet
On March 2, the U.S. military announced 22 more charges against Bradley Manning, the accused Army Private imprisoned in solitary confinement since May 2010. One of the new charges, “aiding the enemy,” is potentially punishable with death. This a most outrageous development, echoing the months of right-wingers screaming for his death. View the charges. Word comes that Brad is now held naked overnight, and forced to stand at attention that way.
The system holding him is nakedly unjust!
The charges themselves expose the extent to which the U.S. military is spread across the world is involved in actions with names like “Operation Hammer,” detailed in tens of thousands of reports stored in the internet. I am not the first to point out the irony that the Obama administration offered praise — growing fainter by the day — to those protesting in streets in Egypt and Tunisia with outrage fueled by the very revelations Manning faces death for exposing.
Brilliant and humane playwright Karen Malpede has produced another play that grabs this country by the lapels, shakes it, caresses its cheek, and kicks its ass. The play is called "Another Life" and the life it leaves me thinking about is the life of our dreams.
The play is not so much a national nightmare or a national fantasy as a surreal reproduction of the mixture of horrors and hopes that most dreaming is: the most gruesome and graphic and taboo of our collective fears without exactly the fear itself, the deepest of longings and desires in immediate and mundane form but recognizable as revelations upon awakened reflection.