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By Dave Lindorff
Probably the biggest accomplishment of the Occupy Wall Street movement to date has not been the light these courageous and indomitable young activists have shined on the gangsters of Wall Street, as important as that has been. Rather it has been how they have exposed the police of the nation’s financial capital as the centurions of the ruling class, and not the gauzy “people’s heroes” that they have been posing as since some of their number, along with many more firefighters, nobly gave their lives trying to rescue people in the World Trade Center towers on 9-11.
The controversial execution of Troy Davis last week in Georgia ignited outrage around the world while injecting renewed attention across America into the propriety of the death penalty, particularly in Davis-like cases where there is evidence of innocence or serious reason for doubt about guilt.
Despite the outrage over the execution of Davis though, an overarching reality is that most people don’t give a rusty-darn about debates over the death penalty.
Most folks don’t give a flick about conceptions of justice because they are just trying to make it, often barely, day-to-day.
by WALTER BRASCH
A former managing editor for the online newspaper, OpEdNews, has sued the city of Philadelphia and eight of its police officers for violating her Constitutional rights.
Cheryl Biren-Wright, Pennsauken, N.J., charges the defendants with violating her 1st, 4th, and 14th amendment rights. The civil action, filed in the U.S. District Court, Philadelphia, is based upon her arrest during a peaceful protest Sept. 12, 2009, at the Army Experience Center (AEC) in the Franklin Mills Mall.
By Linn Washington, Jr.
London -– Hearing hard-core Republicans applaud the use of the death penalty during a recent televised forum for GOP presidential candidates incensed Sara Callaway, an African-American living in London for the past 25-years.
“It was like a declaration of war against all of us committed to justice,” said Callaway, one of over two hundred people who gathered outside the U.S. Embassy in London’s upscale Mayfair section for a silent, candle-lit vigil protesting the execution of U.S. death row inmate Troy Davis.
By Dave Lindorff
There is a whole rogues’ gallery of charlatans, cowards, racists and liars involved in the 22-year lynching of Troy Davis, the black man who whose life was summarily terminated by the state of Georgia and by the United States of America last night, but one of them, Chatham County Superior Court Judge Penny Freesmann, will have a special place of honor in the growing pantheon of criminal jurists who have overseen the execution of innocent men in the course of America’s bloody legal history.
By Charles M. Young
By Dave Lindorff
The first thing that needs to be said to the heartless boneheads who, at the last Republican presidential debate, cheered at the idea of letting a hypothetical 30-year-old cancer victim who hadn’t bought health insurance die, is that this is no mere hypothetical situation. The second thing that needs to be said is that most such people in real life don’t “refuse to get” health insurance. They either cannot afford it (and their employer doesn’t provide it), or they are rejected by insurers because of pre-existing conditions.
Opening Closed Regimes: What Was the Role of Social Media During the Arab Spring?
Protecting Americans? President Obama's Shameful Silence in the Face of Israel's Murder of a Young American
By Dave Lindorff
Among the many shameful and cowardly things that President Barack Obama has and has not done, few can rival his complete unwillingness to express outrage at the Israeli military’s murder of a young American teen executed at close range during the Israeli Defense (sic) Force assault on the Turkish-flagged aid ship the Mavi Marmara in international waters in the Mediterranean Sea back on May 31, 2010.
Furkan Dogan, born in the US to Turkish parents, both legal residents of the U.S., and educated in the US, was a volunteer on the Mavi Marmara, the flag ship in a six boat aid flotilla that tried to sail with humanitarian aid from Turkey to the Israeli prison colony known as Gaza only to be stormed and captured and pirated to Israel.
Shahid 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.
Three Days Before Wall Went Up, CIA Expected East Germany Would Take "Harsher Measures" to Solve Refugee Crisis
Disturbed By Lack of Warning, JFK Asked Intelligence Advisers to Review CIA Performance
National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 354
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.
Just like they do with the McVeigh's and the Austin pilot types, they'll turn this criminal terrorist into a hero and he knows that!
Reason he didn't kill himself and surrendered with no fight as he used the destructive bombing, to divert police resources and forces knowing the country was on holiday and on friday workers leave early, as the diversion to his main goal the slaughter of innocent youngsters!
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,
By John Grant
What did it matter where you lay once you were dead? ... You just slept the big sleep, not caring about the nastiness of how you died or where you fell. Me, I was part of the nastiness now.
--Raymond Chandler, The Big Sleep
Lately, I find myself reading “noir” crime fiction and thinking about the genre as a way to explain the world. It may have something to do with the fact I’m an American critical of my government and losing hope that positive change is even possible. As hope evaporates, there seems less and less space between political reality and the criminal underworld. Or maybe it's the obverse of a militarist obsession with Tom Clancy and War On Terror thrillers.
The adherents of wealth, power and violence seem so entrenched and in control that those without power become doomed to ineffectual marginalization and, if they poke their heads up too far, in danger of having their intentions and actions criminalized.
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.”
My senses are soaked still with last weekend’s red, white, and blue after having attended a party at the home of a lovely couple intro’d to me recently by a friend. Their fireworks display, colors bursting in the night sky, was as impressive as any I’ve seen produced and directed by local government via taxpayer dollars. I’m sure the hosts’ guest list covered the political spectrum. I’m also sure that my politics are the most radical of anyone who watched the bombs bursting in air. I sat there, thinking about bombs bursting in air, exploding the lives of people in the growing number of countries where we’ve exported U.S. imperialism.
More sensory overload is the story that’s captured the attention of Americans: Casey Anthony’s murder trial. I didn’t follow, but when I opened Google News, it usually was the lead. After Anthony’s acquittal, I scanned the article titles and saw: “See all 6,083 sources.”
Strasbourg judge: “Those who export war ought to see to the parallel export of guarantees against the atrocities of war”
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).
By Dave Lindorff
In ways little and huge, it is clear that we live in a nation, a culture and a society that is terminally ill.
The latest outrage -- the likely execution of a Mexican convicted in Texas of the brutal slaying of a 16-year-old girl in blatant violation of a universally adopted international treaty that requires that as a foreigner he be able to notify his home country’s consulate of his case -- is evidence of this sickness, which appears to have both physical and mental aspects.
As a journalist I have traveled widely in the world, often in police states like China or Laos, and I have always trusted in the fact that if I ran afoul of those police, at least I could count on the fact that the authorities would be legally bound to notify my embassy, so that I could get international attention and, hopefully, legal assistance.
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!
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.
By Linn Washington, Jr.
Given the stark desperation stalking so many communities around an America oozing from miseries embedded in the stagnant economy, it’s almost an inane exercise to contemplate the state-of-democracy in this nation on July 4th -– Independence Day.
All of the flag waving, fireworks and fun of this national holiday can’t mask the disturbing fact that democracy in America is under unprecedented onslaught from forces intent on engaging in economic exploitation comparable to the colonial crown domination that compelled Americans to rebel against England over two hundred years ago.
Examples of this onslaught abound with one of the most pronounced being federal and state level elected officials – overwhelming Republican – bludgeoning and eliminating benefits that have aided the middle class and the poor, in the name of budget balancing austerity, while simultaneously battling to protect the profits and assets of the wealthy.
By Michael Collins
The citizens of the United States have excellent judgment. They have shown it consistently over time. When that judgment shifts briefly allowing a failed policy, it is a result of the vilest forms of propaganda by a small clique of liars. (Image: PS-OV-ART)
The people were right about the invasion of Iraq
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.
By John Grant
Israel and its international operatives are working overtime to stop the 10-ship Gaza flotilla from leaving Athens. The Audacity Of Hope, with 40 Americans on board, tried to leave the harbor Friday only to be chased down and threatened by an armed Greek Coast Guard boat and forced to return to a dock. Trumped-up charges may be brought against the captain of the boat. Greece is now prohibiting all boats from leaving. Another boat had a propeller shaft cut and a third was equally disabled by some kind of sabotage. Others have suddenly been plagued with questions about their insurance or their seaworthiness. Israel has openly threatened to bar news organizations with reporters onboard a flotilla boat from entering Israel for ten years. The US government has made vague threats that it might charge US citizens in the flotilla with something.
Urgent posting on behalf of Kathy Kelly, who is now on the US Boat to Gaza.
June 27, 2011
Last week, newly-arrived in Athens as part of the US Boat to Gaza project, our team of activists gathered for nonviolence training. We are here to sail to Gaza, in defiance of an Israeli naval blockade, in our ship, "The Audacity of Hope." Our team, and nine other ships' crews from countries around the world, want Israel to end its lethal blockade of Gaza by letting our crews through to shore to meet with Gazans. The US ship will bring over 3,000 letters of support to a population suffering its fifth continuous decade of de facto occupation, now in the form of a military blockade controlling Gaza's sea and sky, punctuated by frequent deadly military incursions, that has starved Gaza's economy and people to the exact level of cruelty considered acceptable to the domestic population of our own United States, Israel's staunchest ally.
By John Grant
Two veteran friends of mine will be on one of the ships planning to leave Athens next week to challenge the Israeli sea blockade of Gaza. The Israeli government, after attacking a previous flotilla in May 2010 and killing nine people, has said it will use violence if necessary to prevent the ships from entering what any reasonable person by now should agree are Palestinian waters.
This confrontation should not be necessary. The Israeli military occupation over Palestinian life should have been eased and sovereign rights established for Palestinians long ago. The crisis of Palestinian status has reached the level of a disaster, and like the creation of Israel itself it is more than a Jewish problem: It is a world problem.