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Bill O’Reilly: “I Don’t Care About The Constitution”

Bill O’Reilly: “I Don’t Care About The Constitution”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5eBrfql3pnU

O’Reilly: “We Can’t Kill All the Muslims”

 



CIA sent people to be ‘raped with broken bottles’

Former UK ambassador: CIA sent people to be ‘raped with broken bottles’

Daniel Tencer
Raw Story
November 5, 2009

The CIA relied on intelligence based on torture in prisons in Uzbekistan, a place where widespread torture practices include raping suspects with broken bottles and boiling them alive, says a former British ambassador to the central Asian country.

Craig Murray, the rector of the University of Dundee in Scotland and until 2004 the UK’s ambassador to Uzbekistan, said the CIA not only relied on confessions gleaned through extreme torture, it sent terror war suspects to Uzbekistan as part of its extraordinary rendition program.

“I’m talking of people being raped with broken bottles,” he said at a lecture late last month that was re-broadcast by the Real News Network. “I’m talking of people having their children tortured in front of them until they sign a confession. I’m talking of people being boiled alive. And the intelligence from these torture sessions was being received by the CIA, and was being passed on.”

Human rights groups have long been raising the alarm about the legal system in Uzbekistan. In 2007, Human Rights Watch declared that torture is “endemic” to the country’s justice system.

Murray said he only realized after his stint as ambassador that the CIA was sending people to be tortured in Uzbekistan, country he describes as a “totalitarian” state that has never moved on from its communist era, when it was a part of the Soviet Union.

Suspects in Uzbekistan’s gulags “were being told to confess to membership in Al Qaeda. They were told to confess they’d been in training camps in Afghanistan. They were told to confess they had met Osama bin Laden in person. And the CIA intelligence constantly echoed these themes.”

“I was absolutely stunned — it changed my whole world view in an instant — to be told that London knew [the intelligence] coming from torture, that it was not illegal because our legal advisers had decided that under the United Nations convention against torture, it is not illegal to obtain or use intelligence gained from torture as long as we didn’t do the torture ourselves,” Murray said.

Read Full Article Here

 



Obama will bypass Congress to detain suspects indefinitely

Obama will bypass Congress to detain suspects indefinitely

John Byrne
Raw Story
September 24, 2009

President Barack Obama has quietly decided to bypass Congress and allow the indefinite detention of terrorist suspects without charges.

The move, which was controversial when the idea was first floated in The Washington Post in May, has sparked serious concern among civil liberties advocates. Such a decision allows the president to unilaterally hold “combatants” without habeas corpus — a legal term literally meaning “you shall have the body” — which forces prosecutors to charge a suspect with a crime to justify the suspect’s detention.

Obama’s decision was buried on page A 23 of The New York Times’ New York edition on Thursday. It didn’t appear on that page in the national edition. (Meanwhile, the front page was graced with the story, “Richest Russian’s Newest Toy: An N.B.A. Team.”)

Rather than seek approval from Congress to hold some 50 Guantanamo detainees indefinitely, the administration has decided that it has the authority to hold the prisoners under broad-ranging legislation passed in the wake of Sept. 11, 2001. Former President George W. Bush frequently invoked this legislation as the justification for controversial legal actions — including the NSA’s warrantless wiretapping program.

“The administration will continue to hold the detainees without bringing them to trial based on the power it says it has under the Congressional resolution passed after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, authorizing the president to use force against forces of Al Qaeda and the Taliban,” the Times‘ Peter Baker writes. “In concluding that it does not need specific permission from Congress to hold detainees without charges, the Obama administration is adopting one of the arguments advanced by the Bush administration in years of debates about detention policies.”

Constitutional scholar and Salon.com columnist Glenn Greenwald discussed the policy in a column in May. He warned that the ability for a president to “preventively” detain suspects could mushroom into broader, potentially abusive activity.

“It does not merely allow the U.S. Government to imprison people alleged to have committed Terrorist acts yet who are unable to be convicted in a civilian court proceeding,” Greenwald wrote. “That class is merely a subset, perhaps a small subset, of who the Government can detain. Far more significant, ‘preventive detention’ allows indefinite imprisonment not based on proven crimes or past violations of law, but of those deemed generally ‘dangerous’ by the Government for various reasons (such as, as Obama put it yesterday, they ‘expressed their allegiance to Osama bin Laden’ or ‘otherwise made it clear that they want to kill Americans’). That’s what ‘preventive’ means: imprisoning people because the Government claims they are likely to engage in violent acts in the future because they are alleged to be ‘combatants.’”

“Once known, the details of the proposal could — and likely will — make this even more extreme by extending the ‘preventive detention’ power beyond a handful of Guantanamo detainees to anyone, anywhere in the world, alleged to be a ‘combatant,’” Greenwald continues. “After all, once you accept the rationale on which this proposal is based — namely, that the U.S. Government must, in order to keep us safe, preventively detain “dangerous” people even when they can’t prove they violated any laws — there’s no coherent reason whatsoever to limit that power to people already at Guantanamo, as opposed to indefinitely imprisoning with no trials all allegedly ‘dangerous’ combatants, whether located in Pakistan, Thailand, Indonesia, Western countries and even the U.S.”

The Obama Administration appears to have embraced “preventive detention” in part because of problems with how Guantanamo prisoners’ cases — and incarceration — were handled under President Bush. Military prosecutors have said that numerous cases could not be brought successfully in civilian courts because evidence was obtained in ways that wouldn’t be admissible on US soil. The Bush Administration originally sought to try numerous detainees in military tribunals, but the Supreme Court ruled that at least some have the rights to challenge their detention in US courts.

Baker notes that Obama’s decision to hold suspects without charges doesn’t propose as broad an executive authority claimed by President Bush.

“Obama’s advisers are not embracing the more disputed Bush contention that the president has inherent power under the Constitution to detain terrorism suspects indefinitely regardless of Congress,” Baker writes.

In a statement to Baker, the Justice Department said, “The administration would rely on authority already provided by Congress [and] is not currently seeking additional authorization.”

“The position conveyed by the Justice Department in the meeting last week broke no new ground and was entirely consistent with information previously provided by the Justice Department to the Senate Armed Services Committee,” the statement added.

Roughly 50 detainees of the more than 200 still held at the US prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba are thought to be affected by the decision.

Marine who established prison camps: U.S. lost moral high ground

Obama Supports Renewing The PATRIOT ACT

Obama orders to leave torture, indefinite detention intact

 



France To Use Swine Flu ‘Threat’ To Gut Liberties

France To Use Swine Flu ‘Threat’ To Gut Liberties

Infowars / AFP
September 9, 2009

In case of a swine flu pandemic the French government has a plan to introduce emergency measures that would gut legal protections for citizens, the daily Liberation reported Tuesday.

According to documents provided to the daily by a judges’ union, the plan would extend the period police can keep a suspect in detention without charge or a hearing before a judge to up to six months.

Suspects would also not be able to contact a lawyer until after spending 24 hours in custody.

Under the plan children could be tried in adult courts and more trials held behind closed doors.

The Syndicat de la Magistrature called the measures “revolting” and said they would amount to “liberticide,” and called on Justice Minister Michele Alliot-Marie to abandon the plan.

This news comes on the back of last week’s revelations that the French government plans to impose a mass swine flu vaccination program on the entire population.

According to a leaked internal document singed by the French Health Minister and the Minister of the Interior, the program would be focused around regional vaccination centers and would be carried out by H1N1 injection teams, completely bypassing medical establishments and GP’s.

According to the document, schoolchildren will also be vaccinated by mobile injection squads who will travel from school to school, covering the entire country. Babies from 6 months old will also be given the shot.

To date just fifteen people have died of swine flu related complications in France.

 



Should we fear neuro-war more than normal war?

Should we fear neuro-war more than normal war?

FP
September 7, 2009

A new opinion piece in Nature (ungated version via a somewhat dubious Website) takes biologists to task for allowing the militarization of their work for the development of neuro-weapons — chemical agents that are weaponized in spray or gas form to induce altered mental states.

The Russian military’s use of fentanyl to incapacitate Chechen terrorists — and kill 120 hostages in the process — during the 2002 Nord-Ost seige was something of a wakeup call in this area. It’s no secret that the U.S. and other militaries are interested in these potential weapons (I wrote about a 2008 DoD-commisioned study on cognitive enhancement and mind control last November.) According to the Nature story, some companies are now marketing oxytocin based on studies showing that in spray form, it can increase feelings of trust in humans, an application discussed in the 2008 study.

Blogger Ryan Sager wonders what would have happened if the Iranian government had had such a weapon during this summer’s protests. He continues:

Now, some would argue that the use of non-lethal agents is potentially desirable. After all, the alternative is lethal measures. But the author of the opinion piece, Malcolm Dando, professor of International Security in the Department of Peace Studies at Bradford University in the UK, doesn’t see it that way:

At the Nord-Ost siege, for instance, terrorists exposed to the fentanyl mixture were shot dead rather than arrested. Likewise, in Vietnam, the US military used vast quantities of CS gas — a ‘non-lethal’ riot-control agent — to increase the effectiveness of conventional weapons by flushing the Viet Cong out of their hiding places.

While we might want to believe that we would use such weapons ethically going forward, the idea of a dictator in possession of such weapons is rather chilling — moving into science-fiction-dystopia territory.

I suppose. Though I think I’m going to continue to be most worried about them having nuclear weapons. The Iranian regimes rigged an election; killed tortured and hundreds of protesters; and coerced opposition leaders into giving false confessions. I don’t think it would have been that much worse if they had had weaponized oxytocin on their hands.

Sager is right that this is a topic worthy of debate, but I find it strange that research on weapons designed to incapacitate or disorient the enemy seems to disturb people a lot more than research on weapons designed to kill them. As for the idea that neurological agents could facilitate other abuses, Kelly Lowenberg writes on the blog of the Stanford Center for Law and the Neurosciences:

Or is our real concern that, by incapacitating, they facilitate brutality toward a defenseless prisoner? If so, then the conversation should be about illegal soldier/police abuse, not the chemical agents themselves.

I think this is right. New technology, as it always does, is going to provoke new debates on the right to privacy, the treatment of prisoners, and the laws of war, but the basic principles that underly that debate shouldn’t change because the weapons have.

 



Outsourcing Torture To Continue Under Obama

Outsourcing Torture To Continue Under Obama

Anthony Gregory
Campaign For Liberty
August 25, 2009

Flashback: Obama Orders Continuation Of Illegal CIA Renditions

About two years ago, candidate Obama, writing in Foreign Affairs, strongly criticized Bush’s practice of “extraordinary renditioning.” Under this policy, terror suspects were apprehended, transferred, sometimes through secret prisons and black cites, and handed over to foreign regimes like Egypt and Morocco. Sometimes this involved torture. Maher Arar, for example, was a Canadian citizen later determined to be innocent, captured in New York and sent to Syria where he was tortured in brutal ways. See this piece in the New Yorker chroniciling other such horror stories.

Obama’s criticism of renditioning, along with his general criticism of the Bush administration’s violations of habeas corpus, was one of his most serious indictments of the war on terrorism as managed by the Republicans.

Now the New York Times reports that “[t]he Obama administration will continue the Bush administration’s practice of sending terror suspects to third countries for detention and interrogation, but will monitor their treatment to insure they are not tortured.”

How will they monitor such treatment? The administration “would give the State Department a larger role in assuring that transferred detainees would not be abused.” This is the State Department headed by Hillary Clinton — the same politician whom Ann Coulter had said she’d vote for over John McCain because Clinton was more pro-torture!

The Times goes on to report:

“It is extremely disappointing that the Obama administration is continuing the Bush administration practice of relying on diplomatic assurances, which have been proven completely ineffective in preventing torture,” said Amrit Singh of the American Civil Liberties Union, who tracked rendition cases under President George W. Bush.

She cited the case of Maher Arar, a Syrian-born Canadian sent in 2002 by the United States to Syria, which offered assurances against torture but beat Mr. Arar with electrical cable anyway.a new administrative interrogation unit, to be housed within the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which will oversee the interrogations of top terror suspects using largely non-coercive techniques approved by the administration earlier this year.”

Read Full Article Here

 



Judge Napolitano on the Patriot Act

Judge Napolitano on the Patriot Act

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZJimWTA4qY