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Criminal Prosecution and Accountability
13th May 2011 - The Chilcot Inquiry into the disastrous Iraq War has been a largely depressing affair.
It has cost millions of pounds, dragged on for two years and – when the key players appeared before the inquiry panel – the questioning was unfocused and inadequate.
Tony Blair and Alastair Campbell were slippery, unrepentant and able to complete their evidence unscathed –much to the anger and disgust of the families of the 179 soldiers who gave their lives in this most bloody of conflicts.
By Linn Washington, Jr.
In the wake of the Obama Administration’s ballyhooed elimination of Osama bin Laden, thousands of government workers across the United States wonder when their president will provide them the ‘comfort of closure’ through his attacking a terrorism they confront daily.
This terrorism ravishing government employees working in entities from mega-federal agencies to small municipalities fits the classic dictionary definition of terrorism: using force or threats to demoralize, intimidate and subjugate.
This terrorism is a tyranny predating the birth of al Qaeda: institutional racism and its related deprivations like vicious retaliation against anyone objecting to unlawful institutional inequities.
Interestingly, a raging battlefield in the institutional racism wars is the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Civil Rights, where numerous organizations have blasted that office’s director for his failures to enforce civil rights.
Eleven slides were sexist, three advocated domestic violence, one was racist and two promoted child degradation. One slide featured a comic strip in which a man kicks his girlfriend in the stomach after she tells him she is pregnant.
Other slides, the investigator wrote, were culturally insensitive.
May 10, 2011 - On Sept. 27, 2009, about a month into a deployment in Afghanistan, the commanders of an 82nd Airborne Division battalion met for a daily update briefing that always included PowerPoint slides.
We, the U.S., tour apart the pandora's box and opened the floodgates of destruction well beyond that which we did, in Iraq, expanded in Afghanistan and in and out of the region!
Al-Qaeda leader is not thought to have ever set foot in Iraq, but it became one of his main battlegrounds.
'There are new al-Qaeda leaders who belong to a generation after bin Laden and are even more blood thirsty and more extreme'
2011-05-09 - Iraq, a nation that has endured a steady barrage of al-Qaeda assaults that has claimed thousands of lives, reacted to the killing of Osama bin Laden this week with a mixture of relief and anger amid fears of further attacks.
By BEN HARTMAN, 07/05/2011
Mordechai Vanunu tells 'Post' no country has offered him asylum but that if he is allowed to leave "I will get on first flight anywhere out of here."
Nuclear whistle-blower Mordechai Vanunu on Saturday demanded that Israel rescind his citizenship in keeping with a new law that strips Israelis convicted of treason of their citizenship.
In a letter written to Interior Minister Eli Yishai and released to the media on Saturday Vanunu, a Beersheba native, says "I have no interest in Israeli citizenship, I don't want to go on living here." Rest of the article at the Jerusalem Post
May 5TH 2011
MK Mr. Eli Yishai
Minister of Interior
The State of Israel
Re: Revoking my Israeli Citizenship
I am Mordechai Vanunu that was kidnapped from Rome on September 30, 1986 by The Israeli Secret Services.
I was tried by The Jerusalem District Court and convicted of Aggravated Espionage, High Treason and Assisting the Enemy and I was sentenced to 18 years imprisonment. This followed an interview I gave to The London Sunday Times regarding the secret production of nuclear weapons materials in Israel.
I fulfilled the democratic principal of the right of the public to know.
I have served 18 years in Ashkelon Prison, mostly in solitary confinement.
I was released on 21 April 2004 with severe restrictions imposed by the Israeli Government.
Seven years past and the restrictions had been renewed again and again relying on The Emergency Laws from 1945.
Since my release I have lived 6 years in East Jerusalem and since September 2010 I live in Tel Aviv.
By James Ridgeway
Back in the 1980s, before the Cold War gave way to the War on Terror, American money and supplies helped Osama Bin Laden create Al Qaeda and build it into one of the world’s most successful terrorist organizations. And without the close alliances between Al Qaeda and our “allies” Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, the attack on the World Trade Towers could not have been carried out. What follows are the bare bones of what we know of this world as it existed in the days before September 11, 2001. (Some of the early material in this account first appeared in my book The Five Unanswered Questions About 9/11.)
The National Security Archive at George Washington University has been releasing numerous Government documents and reports the past couple of days on bin Laden, our Government as related to him and that region especially Pakistan. The criminal cronies, both in and out of the Government at the time they took over from the Clinton administration to 9/11 and beyond have been coming out of the closet, including their talking heads, trying to justify their policies, especially as to torture, illegal by our laws and the international laws we help establish, that they should share in the take down of bin Laden or should receive the glory from. Frankly they're raising more questions by their tactic, questions that have been there the whole past decade some being answered with hard evidence that has leaked out and coming from the Iraq War Inquiries.
Restoring 'America's Honor' means living by ours and those international Laws we helped write, that means Torture is Illegal and Inhumane, any torture not just water boarding, which by the way is Not a fun experience, just ask any of us who've gone through CI/SERE training, that's why they use it in the training.
May 3: Malcolm Nance, former master instructor and chief of training at the Navy`s Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape School (the SERE School), talks with Rachel Maddow about the infrastructure of al-Qaida and the importance of Islamic democracy and the role of human intelligence in finding Osama bin Laden.
By Gareth Porter, IPS
WASHINGTON, May 3, 2011 (IPS) - When George W. Bush rejected a Taliban offer to have Osama bin Laden tried by a moderate group of Islamic states in mid- October 2001, he gave up the only opportunity the United States would have to end bin Laden's terrorist career for the next nine years.
The al Qaeda leader was able to escape into Pakistan a few weeks later, because the Bush administration had no military plan to capture him.
The last Taliban foreign minister, Wakil Ahmed Muttawakil, offered at a secret meeting in Islamabad Oct. 15, 2001 to put bin Laden in the custody of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), to be tried for the 9/11 terror attacks on the United States, Muttawakil told IPS in an interview in Kabul last year.
By Mike Ferner
“Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.” -- MLK
“Justice has been done,” said President Obama.
“Justice has been done.”
“Justice has been done.”
Justice has been done!? Justice!? Justice?? For the last ten years, we’ve been engaged in an exercise of justice? That’s what you call what we’ve been doing?
Are we supposed to take out a large magnifying glass and a delicate pair of tweezers and from within a bottomless pool of blood, gore, death, suffering and devastated economies, isolate one raid that killed Osama bin Laden …and then celebrate that “Justice has been done?”
This is what should have happened directly after and as to 9/11! Terrorism is a criminal offense, international criminal terrorism is an international crime. We had the backing of most of the World then, meaning working with them and their resources added to ours. There should never have been Iraq and all that went with that as well as the added recruiting tools in Afghanistan. Once the Taliban were driven from there we should have worked to reign in the ghost al Qaeda while helping to rebuild Afghanistan after decades of war destruction, as we promised. But we walked away once again, like we did after the Afghan/Soviet debacle, rest is the present history as we created the next generations of bin Ladens!!
On May 1st, An Infuriating Anniversary, the day of the Mission Accomplished' Speech and Banner as to Iraq eight years prior, the War of Choice, that turned the Afghan Operation into same, nothing to do with 9/11 al Qaeda nor bin Laden, the Afghan 'Mission is Finally Accomplished', bin Laden dead, after creating possibly thousands of bin Ladens seeking blowback!
Tens of thousands dead, millions turned into refugee's, lives and countries destroyed, and still no 'Sacrifice' as to the results for the Veterans of nor Accountability for the lies of those who ordered the destructive decade plus, Still Ongoing!!
By John Grant
Some men rob you with a six gun.
Some do it with a fountain pen.
“Pretty Boy Floyd”
We hear a lot about what democracy is about in America. Some of it is true and some of it is the usual boilerplate crap. Whatever you hear about the Cheri Honkala Green Party campaign for Sheriff of Philadelphia – and of course there’s a lot of crap going around -- one thing is true, it’s real democracy in action.
They should take a poll as to our, the U.S., standing now in this world stage and it wouldn't have even needed Wikileaks to be mentioned, Especially as we've made no move to dig out the accountability!!
Apr 26, 2011 - A 24-country poll found that most people believe WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange is not a criminal and should not be charged by the U.S. government for releasing thousands of secret U.S. documents.
The poll by Ipsos found 79 percent of people were aware of WikiLeaks and two-thirds of those believed Assange should not be charged and three-quarters supported the group's bid to make public secret government or corporate documents.
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.
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)
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.
By Ivana Morebucks
We were simply tickled when we heard that such icons as former president George W. Bush, Fox-News contributor Karl Rove, and Stephen Friedman, retired chairman of the Goldman Sachs Group were coming into town for the "4% Project" on "promoting free markets and economic growth (http://www.georgewbushcenter.com/images/downloads/TheInstitute/Conferenc... ), so we couldn't let this wonderful seminar go by without welcoming our fellow billionaires, lauding the efforts of the Bush administration and the new Bush Center library and institute, and encouraging the attendees to promote more great make-us-wealthier policy. Some tacky "People's" group sent out this announcement, but - thank gaaawd - we kept it almost exclusively "billionaires only."
Billionaires for the Bush Institute to Greet Seminar Attendees
Rather than escalate involvement in unnecessary wars of choice and perpetuate violations of international law, President Obama should unite the U.S. with the global community in recognizing the authority of the International Criminal Court (ICC). The ICC was established under United Nations authority in 2002 in The Hague, Netherlands, for the prosecution of the most serious war crimes (i.e., crimes against humanity) in the world.
The following is from AFP
US pressure to change Spanish law on universal jurisdiction and US pretense of investigating crimes it is not investigating have won out.
A SPANISH judge overnight dismissed a complaint filed against former top US officials over alleged torture at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.
Judge Eloy Velasco decided to throw out the case as he said the US justice system is competent to handle any such complaint.
He also argued that the Association for the Dignity of Prisoners of Spain which filed the suit "is not based in Spain".
The association had alleged in 2009 that six officials in the administration of former president George W Bush, including ex-US attorney general Alberto Gonzales, sanctioned torture against prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.
In 2005 Spain declared itself competent to investigate any crime committed abroad under the principle of "universal jurisdiction".
Al-Ahram is reporting in Arabic that Gamal and Ala Mubarak, the sons of deposed dictator Hosni Mubarak, have been arrested and will be moved from Sharm El Sheikh to the maximum security Tura prison in the Muqattam hills above Cairo. They are said to have sat stunned and silent for some time on receiving the news. They will be held for 15 days while the office of Egypt’s chief Prosecutor interrogates them about their possible role in ordering secret police to attack nonviolent protesters during the rallies that began January 25. Nearly 900 persons are now thought to have been killed in the various attempts at crackdown by the Amniyyat al-Dawlah or security police.
Spain is pursuing a case against former top U.S. officials who authorized the use of torture, including David Addington, Jay Bybee, Douglas Feith, William Haynes, John Yoo, and Alberto Gonzales. U.S. activist groups have been encouraging Spain in this endeavor.
Evidence of Quid Pro Quo with Guerrilla, Paramilitary Groups Contradicts 2007 Plea Deal
Colombian Military Officials Encouraged, Facilitated Company's Payments to Death Squads
More than 5,500 Pages of Chiquita Records Published Online by National Security Archive
March 2000 notes of Chiquita Senior Counsel Robert Thomas indicate awareness that payments were for security services.