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Human Rights

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human rights

U.S. files 22 new charges against WikiLeaks soldier

(Reuters) - The U.S. military said it has brought 22 new charges against a soldier accused of leaking hundreds of thousands of sensitive U.S. government documents that were later published by the website WikiLeaks.

Bradley Manning, a former intelligence analyst suspected of obtaining the documents while serving in Iraq, is being held at a Marine base in Virginia as U.S. officials investigate last year's publication of State Department cables and military documents related to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The U.S. Army's new charges against Manning, the result of a seven-month probe, include 'aiding the enemy' and 'wrongfully causing intelligence to be published on the Internet,' the military said in a statement.

Manning, 23, had previously faced a host of charges including downloading and transmitting to an unauthorized person a classified video of a 2007 helicopter attack that killed a dozen people in Baghdad, including two Reuters employees.

Torture Investigation To Continue

Spanish Court Allows Guantanamo Torture Investigation To Continue

Mar 2nd, 2011 - On Friday, the Spanish National Court (Audiencia Nacional) gave hope to those seeking to hold accountable the Bush administration officials and lawyers who authorized torture by agreeing to continue investigating allegations made by a Moroccan-born Spanish resident, Lahcen Ikassrien, that he was tortured at Guantánamo, where he was held from 2002 to 2005.

War Crimes Investigation of Libya, with a Big Exemption

U.S. Support for War Crimes Investigation of Libya Hinged on Exemption for Americans

March 2, 2011 - In an effort to hold Libya accountable [1] for its violent crackdown on protesters, the U.S. and other members of the United Nations Security Council voted in favor of a resolution [2] asking the International Criminal Court to investigate whether the Libyan government has committed crimes against humanity. The ICC announced today [3]that an investigation was found to be warranted and would proceed.

As the Associated Press has noted, it’s the first time that the U.S. has voted in favor of the war crimes court but in keeping with its longtime fear of being prosecuted by the ICC, the U.S also included in the resolution a carve-out [4] for itself. The AP reports that the provision was a "deal breaker" for the U.S.:

EVERY CASUALTY.ORG:

NEW ORG WEBSITE LAUNCHED ON CASUALTY RECORDING

At a time when the issue of civilian casualties in Libya has been dominating the international agenda, our Recording Casualties of Armed Conflict programme has launched Every Casualty.org, a website aiming to raise the profile of casualty recording worldwide and the organisations that undertake it. The site is a one-stop shop for information on casualties of conflict worldwide. It engages 22 of the organisations that record them in the International Practitioner Network convened by ORG.

AmortiNation

Years ago, I was on my gynecologist’s examining table, feet in stirrups, in need of the morning-after pill. He handed me a brochure—info about the med—and said, “Read this, if you can think in this position.”

“If I could think in this position, I wouldn’t be in this position now,” I told him.

The above was to get your attention. The following is the main work:

I do my best and worst thinking when I exercise. Usually, I stay focused, repeating, “focus, focus,” but occasionally this becomes, “we’re eff’d.” Then, I’m not just detouring down side roads; I’m off-road with thoughts that require serious mind tread.

Of course, I’ve been consciousness streaming about revolution, protests, brutal dictators, and Wisconsin, lately. And while I applaud the occupation of the Madison statehouse, I wonder if people have to be PERSONALLY wallet affected to have their asses blown out of their recliners. What is it about the occupation of countries that is acceptable?

Rendition & Torture: His Quest to Sue the US

Hicks lawyer acts for Habib

February 27, 2011 - THE former lawyer for convicted terrorism supporter David Hicks is now acting for Sydney man Mamdouh Habib in his quest to sue the US over his CIA-engineered rendition and torture in Egypt.

Stephen Kenny told The Sun-Herald he had already held talks with American lawyers about the best way to proceed with the action in the US courts. ''We need to keep pursuing these matters, otherwise in the future others could be at risk of it happening to them,'' he said.

Anonymous to Target Koch Bros - Join In!!

Press Release: #OpWisconsin

 

Dear Citizens of the United States of America,

It has come to our attention that the brothers, David and Charles Koch--the billionaire owners of Koch Industries--have long attempted to usurp American Democracy. Their actions to undermine the legitimate political process in Wisconsin are the final straw. Starting today we fight back.

Largest crowds since Vietnam War march in Wisconsin

(Reuters) - A crowd estimated at more than 70,000 people on Saturday waved American flags, sang the national anthem and called for the defeat of a Wisconsin plan to curb public sector unions that has galvanized opposition from the American labor movement.

In one of the biggest rallies at the state Capitol since the Vietnam War, union members and their supporters braved frigid temperatures and a light snowfall to show their displeasure.

Civic planning for Civil protests

EXHIBIT: Urban Design & Civil Protest

ARTICLE: Designing a City for Safe Protests

ScienceDaily (Feb. 23, 2011) — Civil protests, from peaceful sit-ins at the Pentagon to violent riots in Cairo, nonetheless share some common characteristics. To study how protests evolve in public spaces, Dr. Tali Hatuka, an architect and head of Tel Aviv University's Laboratory of Contemporary Urban Design, has dissected some of the world's most publicized protests -- those in Washington, Istanbul, Tel Aviv, Beijing, and Leipzig.

Humanitarian War vs. Humanity

The idea that wars are waged out of humanitarian concern may not at first appear even worthy of response. Wars kill humans. What can be humanitarian about that? But look at the sort of rhetoric that successfully sells new wars:

"This conflict started Aug. 2, when the dictator of Iraq invaded a small and helpless neighbor. Kuwait, a member of the Arab League and a member of the United Nations, was crushed, its people brutalized. Five months ago, Saddam Hussein started this cruel war against Kuwait; tonight, the battle has been joined."

Thus spoke President Bush the Elder upon launching the Gulf War in 1991. He didn't say he wanted to kill people. He said he wanted to liberate helpless victims from their oppressors, an idea that would be considered leftist in domestic politics, but an idea that seems to create genuine support for wars. And here's President Clinton speaking about Yugoslavia eight years later:

Surprisingly, Some Bigots Back (sort of) Black History Month Obsevance

By Linn Washington, Jr.

Rep. Michele Bachmann and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, two right-wing Republicans eyeing presidential campaigns in 2012, provided a big boost for Black History Month recently with remarks challenging contentions that this recognition of ignored contributions is an irrelevant relic in this post-racial "Age of Obama."

Although conservative dogma considers this annual observance during the month of February an anathema, neither Bachmann nor Barbour face censure for heresy from their ideological confederates.

Far from being a ringing endorsement, the offensive utterances of Bachmann and Barbour highlight the importance of Black History Month founded in the early 20th Century to counter factual inaccuracies about blacks then rampant across America’s racially segregated society.

Frontline: Gigi's Revolution - Egypt

22 February 2011 - Her family is part of the Egyptian elite, but 24-year-old Gigi Ibrahim says she's fighting for her country's future. With thousands following her Twitter feed, Gigi has become something of a celebrity in Cairo's Tahrir Square. In this video, we see her attempts to convince her family of the righteousness of her cause. But will they come around?

 

Tea Party Stooges Join Wisconsin Protests

Tea Party Stooges Join Wisconsin Protests - by Stephen Lendman

It was reminiscent of November 22, 2000 Florida, outside the Miami-Dade County Canvassing Board offices when dozens of imported Bush-Cheney ruffians rampaged through Miami's County Hall, disrupting the recount of about 10,000 undervotes, ballots with no presidential choice registered.

They assaulted Democrat party representatives, near rioted, and succeeded in halting the process. As a result, hundreds of Gore-Lieberman votes weren't counted in largely Democrat Dade County.

Cuba's Upcoming Communist Party Congress: Moving Away from Socialism and Workers' Democracy

By Ron Ridenour

The Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) has set April 2011, the 50th anniversary of the revolution’s victory over the US-Cuban exile mercenary force at the Bay of Pigs, for its 6th Congress. I follow this process with special attention, in part, because I participated in the PCC’s 4th congress preparatory discussion, in 1991.

Like millions of others around the world, I feel the Cuban revolution was (and is) fought for me too. Cubans, including their leader Fidel Castro, help make us feel so. For instance, as recounted in the bookCastro's Cuba, Cuba's Fidel Fidel told Lee Lockwood: “Those who are exploited are our compatriots all over the world; and the exploiters all over the world are our enemies... Our country is really the whole world, and all the revolutionaries of the world are our brothers.”

Hillary Hypocrisy? Secretary Calls for Free Speech, while Vet Arrested, Abused Before Her Eyes for Exercising Free Speech

By Kevin Zeese

On Tuesday, February 15th Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave a speech on the importance of Freedom of Speech in the Internet age. She focused her attention on foreign countries and chided them for curtailing the speech of their citizens.

During that speech Ray McGovern, a veteran who also served for 27 years as a CIA analyst, exercised his freedom of speech by standing and silently turning his back on Secretary Clinton. He was protesting the ongoing wars, the treatment of Bradley Manning and the militarism of U.S. foreign policy. He did not shout at the Secretary of State or interrupt her speech. He merely stood in silence. See the video here of the incident: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-Vy8fFnz18

60min: Wael Ghonim and Egypt's New Age

"I wrote, 'Dear Western governments. You have been supporting the regime that was oppressing us for 30 years. Please don't get involved now. We don't need you.' " - Wael Ghonim 13 Feb. 2011

 

Wael Ghonim, speaking with Harry Smith in an interview for "60 Minutes." (CBS)

 

February 13, 2011 - Harry Smith reports on the latest events from Egypt, including an in-depth interview with Wael Ghonim.

 

Holding Former Officials Accountable for Torture

ACLU in Court Monday in South Carolina to Hold Former Officials Accountable for Torture of Jose Padilla

Group Takes on Case Against Rumsfeld and Others Seeking Accountability for Unlawful Detention and Abuse of U.S. Citizen

February 10 - The American Civil Liberties Union will be in federal court in Charleston Monday at 10:00 a.m. EST to argue that a lawsuit against former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other government officials for their role in the unlawful detention and torture of a U.S. citizen should not be thrown out. The ACLU was recently retained to represent Jose Padilla and his mother in the lawsuit.

Rubbled Raw

Abusers appear when we are most vulnerable. Mistaking their sweet nothings for REAL somethings, we slowly allow harmony to lose its last three letters.

Among the most calculating manipulators are the men and women we elect to represent our interests—but don’t. They have a vast menu from which to select their tactics.

They speak to our individualism and, then, tell us what all they’re doing on our behalf.

They demand our loyalty. Our servitude.

They juggle fear and hope, throwing sounds to our ears and images to our eyes, pushing beyond the bearable so gradually that the once unthinkable becomes commonplace.

They encourage us to shop and travel but to ALWAYS be alert, and report anything suspicious. “If you see something, say something,” Fascism Security Chief Janet Napolitano says, promoting the psychology of fear with a four-pronged campaign that includes locally run “fusion centers” for intelligence sharing. Fusion?

U.S. World and Regional Credibility

This aired yesterday, 11 February 2011, morning prior to the results later in the day, night there, of the total collapse of the Mubarak reign of rule, but is pretty much spot on about us and especially that whole region of the planet and it's free people under autocratic rule supported by us.

 

U.S. Could Use Egypt To Boost Credibility, Some Say

 

"The great danger to the administration right now is that they might end up losing influence on both sides. They might lose influence with the autocrats we've been supporting for so long, but they might also lose influence with the protesters and the forces for democracy in freedom."

- Amjad Atallah, New America Foundation

 

Tyrants Beware: The People of Egypt Have done It! They Have Driven Mubarak Out!

By Dave Lindorff

Breaking News! Egypt's dictator for 30 years, Hosni Mubarak, has been driven from power by the uprising of the Egyptian people, who refused to accept his attempt last night to hang on to power. See it all on Al Jazeera TV!

There is still much to know, but the 20-second announcement on state television at 6 pm Egyptian time informed th country that Hosni Mubarak had been driven from the Presidency of Egypt. It appears that his handpicked successor, the blood-drenched Interior Ministry head Omar Suleiman, who had been "vice president" for a few days, and who made the announcement, has also been pushed out--he said in flat tones on state television that the Army would henceforth be running the country's affairs.

It remains to be seen if that army tries to hold power or keep the ruling elite in power, or whether it will hand things over to civilians from the incredible people's movement that has accomplished this astonishing feat.

CCR: Bush Torture Indictment

Done In Our Names!!

 

Support Bush Torture Indictment & Help Ensure Accountability

 

Synopsis

On February 7, 2011, the ninth anniversary of the day former president George W. Bush decided the Geneva Conventions did not apply to so-called “unlawful combatants,” CCR released a Bush Torture Indictment. The Indictment provides a strong factual and legal basis to hold Bush accountable--in any of the 147 countries which have ratified the Convention Against Torture (CAT)--for having authorized torture . Learn about it, tell others, and help us build pressure to secure accountability for torture by top U.S. officials.

Description {continued}

 

Revolutions Know No Color

By Michael Collins

The legitimate demands of the people everywhere have no color, nor do their revolutions. These are not the revolutions arising from staged events by the White House, the National Endowment for Democracy, and other meddlers. We are witnessing what Mark Levine called human nationalism. The people of Tunisia, now Egypt, are, "taking control of their politics, economy and identity away from foreign interests and local elites alike in a manner that has not been seen in more than half a century." (Image)

"use of cameras in interrogation rooms is a good thing"

Good Cop Beats Bad Cop, Research Shows; Study Explores Why Dialogue Yields Better Results Than Coercion

ScienceDaily (Feb. 2, 2011) — Even the most horrible criminals feel guilt, and according to new research from the University of Montreal, playing on that sentiment might be a good way to extract a confession. In order to gain a better understanding of why and how criminals admit to their crimes, Michel St-Yves, a forensic psychologist and lecturer, and lead author Nadine Deslauriers-Varin, both of the university's School of Criminology, worked with 221 prisoners from a federal penitentiary, analyzing the conditions under which they did or didn't confess.

Iraq War Inquiry: Timeline

In the right sidebar I have a number of links to many of the articles and reports, many also with backlinks, as well as in the archives of posts. My main interest was direct testimony of what was happening here, civilian and military counterparts, in the U.S. and that administration, plenty came out, as well as reading between the lines. The U.S. admin. and pentagon were the lead and the Brits followed in what they did. Have and will do same with any other Inquiries and hopefully those to come!

It all brings up the need, which should already have happened, of much more then an Inquiry here in the U.S.. The World waits while we don't do Accountability for what was done in 'Our Names' and continues!

Timeline - Britain's inquiry into the Iraq War

U.S. Slowed Justice for Genocide Perpetrators

U.S. Opposition to International Criminal Court in 2004-2005 Held Up Peacekeeping, Slowed Justice for Genocide Perpetrators

New Book Analyzes Disconnects Between Save Darfur Movement, U.S. Policy, the United Nations, and Events on the Ground in Sudan

Rebecca Hamilton's "Fighting For Darfur" draws on 150 Interviews, First-hand reporting, and dozens of Freedom of Information releases

Documents provide blistering assessments of policy failure, humanitarian disaster

National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 335

The Last Zealots: Hack History on the Right

By John Grant

It was a dark and stormy night and Scat Horbath was glad to be out of the weather in the Washington DC metro, where he was to meet the sinister Ali Ben al-Masseur in the last car of the Blue Train.

Al-Masseur ran the Brothers Of Islam Charity Center in Arlington, and he held the clue to a two-thousand-year-old secret that had been scratched in code into the bottom of John Hancock’s pewter chamber pot. The fate of the free world hung in the balance.

The doors opened, and Scat entered the nearly empty car. As the car moved off he became aware of the subtle smell of falafal. Then he saw his man, seated at the end of the car chewing as he read from a copy of The Koran.

Al-Masseur looked up and flicked his tongue, projecting little pieces of yogurt sauce into the air.

“So, Scat, we meet again.”

Unfinished Business: The Wake of Agent Orange

The Cleveland Plain Dealer staff , has published a six part series of reports in the Cleveland Plain Dealer on the still lasting effects of the defoliants we used in our destruction of Vietnam. Reports from Vietnam as well as about the daughter of a brother Vietnam Veteran.

 

Unfinished Business: Suffering and sickness in the endless wake of Agent Orange

 

Granito: How to Nail a Dictator

Sundance Premiere Highlights Guatemala Human Rights Work

 

Archive Analyst Kate Doyle Featured in Granito: How to Nail a Dictator

New Film Showcases Spanish Genocide Case, Documents 20 Years of Struggle Against Impunity

January 28, 2011 - A new documentary film about human rights in Guatemala featuring National Security Archive senior analyst Kate Doyle will have its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. The film, Granito: How to Nail a Dictator, will be screened tonight at the Sundance Resort where Kate Doyle, Almudena Bernabeu of the Center for Justice and Accountability (CJA), and film makers Pamela Yates and Paco de Onís, will attend the screening and speak to the audience after the film.

 

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