noworldsystem.com


Afghans in secret jail ‘made to dance’ to use bathroom

Report: Afghans in secret jail ‘made to dance’ to use bathroom

Raw Story
April 15, 2010

Bagram prisoners ‘moved around in wheelchairs with goggles and headphones on’

The US military is operating a “secret jail” at an Afghan airbase where prisoners are deprived of sleep and “made to dance” by US troops whenever they want to use the toilet, a BBC report states.

The BBC interviewed nine people who say they were held at the facility, known as the “black hole,” at the site of the Bagram air base. The prison appears to be separate from the main Bagram prison, which the US established after the 2001 invasion and which continues to be the target of human rights complaints.

A man identified only as “Mirwais” who says he spent 24 days at the facility told the BBC that prisoners are routinely subjected to sleep deprivation.

“I could not sleep, nobody could sleep because there was a machine that was making noise,” said Mirwais. “There was a small camera in my cell, and if you were sleeping they’d come in and disturb you.”

“Mirwais said he was made to dance to music by American soldiers every time he wanted to use the toilet,” the BBC reports.

Witnesses said the lights were kept on in their cells at all times; that the Red Cross had no access to the facility; and most had been beaten by US troops before they were brought there. The BBC report does not address under what circumstances the witnesses found themselves there, or whether any of them were insurgents.

This is not the first time that allegations have been made of a secret facility at Bagram. Last November, Raw Story reported on claims of a secret site at Bagram that was still in operation as of late last year, apparently in contravention of President Obama’s order, upon taking office, to shut down the CIA’s “black sites” around the world.

Three people claiming to be former inmates of the facility told the New York Times “of being held for months after the intensive interrogations were over without being told why. One detainee said he remained at the Bagram prison complex for two years and four months; another was held for 10 months total.”

The secret site appears to be separate from the main prison facility at Bagram, which itself has been the target of complaints from human rights activists. Unlike the Guantanamo Bay facility, prisoners at Bagram aren’t given access to lawyers.

“To this date, no prisoner has ever seen a lawyer in Bagram,” lawyer Tina Foster told the BBC.

The news organization was given a rare peek inside the main Bagram prison complex, a new facility that replaced an aging one earlier this year:

    In the new jail, prisoners were being moved around in wheelchairs with goggles and headphones on. The goggles were blacked out, and the purpose of the headphones was to block out all sound. Each prisoner was handcuffed and had their legs shackled.

    Prisoners are kept in 56 cells, which the prisoners refer to as “cages”. The front of the cells are made of mesh, the ceiling is clear, and the other three walls are solid. Guards can see down into the cells above.

    The BBC was told by the military to wear protective eye glasses whilst walking past the mesh cells as prisoners sometimes throw excrement or semen at the guards.

Faced with a lawsuit from the ACLU, the US military earlier this year released a long-secret list of prisoners at Bagram. The list showed some 645 prisoners being held at the facility, but the BBC now reports that number to be closer to 800, thanks to an increase in prisoner intake likely linked to the increased military effort in Afghanistan in recent months.

“The US military itself has admitted that about 80% of those at Bagram are probably not hardened terrorists,” the BBC reports.

In March, the Times of London reported that the Bagram facility could be expanded and used as a replacement for the Guantanamo Bay detention center. The idea is “being considered as US officials try to find an alternative to Guantánamo Bay,” the Times said.

Last year, former CBS anchorman Dan Rather said “there is a school of thought” that Bagram is already replacing Guantanamo as the site where terrorist suspects from around the world are to be held.

“Some of the contentions that were made about Guantanamo are starting to be made about Bagram,” Rather told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. “The critical thing is, there is no transparency.”

 

The Guantanamo Guidebook

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rh4mp_WiXGE

U.S. abuse of detainees was routine at Afghanistan bases

 



Americans Could Be Locked-Up For Life Under New Bill

Americans Could Be Locked-Up For Life Without Trial Under New Bill

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kEofy7fsIGk

Dissenters To Be Detained As “Enemy Belligerents”?

A Detention Bill You Ought to Read More Carefully

 



Obama Protecting Bush’s “Testicle Crusher” Attorney

Obama Protecting Bush’s “Testicle Crusher” Attorney

San Francisco Chronicle
December 8, 2009

The Obama administration has asked an appeals court to dismiss a lawsuit accusing former Bush administration attorney John Yoo of authorizing the torture of a terrorism suspect, saying federal law does not allow damage claims against lawyers who advise the president on national security issues.

Such lawsuits ask courts to second-guess presidential decisions and pose “the risk of deterring full and frank advice regarding the military’s detention and treatment of those determined to be enemies during an armed conflict,” Justice Department lawyers said Thursday in arguments to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

Other sanctions are available for government lawyers who commit misconduct, the department said. It noted that its Office of Professional Responsibility has been investigating Yoo’s advice to former President George W. Bush since 2004 and has the power to recommend professional discipline or even criminal prosecution.

The office has not made its conclusions public. However, The Chronicle and other media reported in May that the office will recommend that Yoo be referred to the bar association for possible discipline, but that he not be prosecuted.

Yoo, a UC Berkeley law professor, worked for the Justice Department from 2001 to 2003. He was the author of a 2002 memo that said rough treatment of captives amounts to torture only if it causes the same level of pain as “organ failure, impairment of bodily function or even death.” The memo also said the president may have the power to authorize torture of enemy combatants.

Read Full Article Here

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vt1-eWU2Ii0

 



CIA Secret Torture Facility Found at Horse Riding Academy

EXCLUSIVE: CIA Secret ‘Torture’ Prison Found at Fancy Horseback Riding Academy in Lithuania

ABC
November 19, 2009

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=doJ9rUQt5h8

The CIA built one of its secret European prisons inside an exclusive riding academy outside Vilnius, Lithuania, a current Lithuanian government official and a former U.S. intelligence official told ABC News this week.

Where affluent Lithuanians once rode show horses and sipped coffee at a café, the CIA installed a concrete structure where it could use harsh tactics to interrogate up to eight suspected al-Qaeda terrorists at a time.

“The activities in that prison were illegal,” said human rights researcher John Sifton. “They included various forms of torture, including sleep deprivation, forced standing, painful stress positions.”

Lithuanian officials provided ABC News with the documents of what they called a CIA front company, Elite, LLC, which purchased the property and built the “black site” in 2004.

 



KSM’s children tortured with insects

KSM’s children tortured with insects

Raw Story
April 17, 2009

Bush Administration memos released by the White House on Thursday provide new insight into claims that American agents used insects to torture the young children of alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

In the memos, released Thursday, the Bush Administration White House Office of Legal Counsel offered its endorsement of CIA torture methods that involved placing an insect in a cramped, confined box with detainees. Jay S. Bybee, then-director of the OLC, wrote that insects could be used to capitalize on detainees’ fears.

The memo was dated Aug. 1, 2002. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s children were captured and held in Pakistan the following month, according to a report by Human Rights Watch.

While an additional memo released Thursday claims that the torture with insects technique was never utilized by the CIA, the allegations regarding the children would have transpired when the method was authorized by the Bush Administration.

At a military tribunal in 2007, the father of a Guantanamo detainee alleged that Pakistani guards had confessed that American interrogators used ants to coerce the children of alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed into revealing their father’s whereabouts.

The statement was made by Ali Khan, the father of detainee Majid Khan, who gave a detailed account of his son’s interrogation at the hands of American guards in Pakistan. In his statement, Khan asserted that one of his sons was held at the same place as the young children of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

“The Pakistani guards told my son that the boys were kept in a separate area upstairs and were denied food and water by other guards,” the statement read. “They were also mentally tortured by having ants or other creatures put on their legs to scare them and get them to say where their father was hiding.” (A pdf transcript is available here)

Khan’s statement is second-hand. But the picture he paints of his son’s interrogation at the hands of American interrogators is strikingly similar to the accounts given by numerous other detainees to the International Red Cross. The timing of the capture of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s son — then aged seven and nine — also meshes with a report by Human Rights Watch, which says that the children were captured in September 2002 and held for four months at the hands of American guards.

“According to eyewitnesses, the two were held in an adult detention center for at least four months while U.S. agents questioned the children about their father’s whereabouts,” the report said.

The use of insects isn’t mentioned in a recently leaked International Red Cross report, in which Red Cross officials questioned detainees about their treatment at the hands of US forces and ultimately judged them to have been tortured. A second memo released Thursday, dated May 10, 2005, says the CIA told the White House insects were never actually used in interrogations.

“We understand that — for reasons unrelated to any concerns that it might violate the [criminal] statute — the CIA never used the technique and has removed it from the list of authorized interrogation techniques,” Steven Bradbury, a principal deputy assistant attorney general, wrote in a footnote.

It’s worth noting, however, that the Red Cross was denied access to individuals held at CIA black sites. Khan’s son, Majid, was among those President Bush moved from the CIA’s secret prison network to Guantanamo Bay.

The techniques Khan says were employed against his son also match those approved in the Bybee memo.

“What I can tell you is that Majid was kidnapped from my son Mohammed’s [not related Khalid Sheikh Mohammed] house in Karachi, along with Mohammed, his wife, and my infant granddaughter,” Khan said in his military tribunal statement. “They were captured by Pakistani police and soldiers and taken to a detention center fifteen minutes from Mohammed’s house. The center had walls that seemed to be eighty feet high. My sons were hooded, handcuffed, and interrogated. After eight days of interrogation by US and Pakistani agents, including FBI agents, Mohammed was allowed to see Majid.

“Majhid looked terrible and very, very tired,” Khan continued. “According to Mohammed, Majid said that the Americans tortured him for eight hours at a time, tying him tightly in stressful positions in a small chair until his hands, feet and mind went numb. They re-tied him in the chair every hour, tightening the bonds on his hands and feet each time so that it was more painful. He was often hooded and had difficulty breathing. They also beat him repeatedly, slapping him in the face, and deprived him of sleep. When he was not being interrogated, the Americans put Majid in a small cell that was totally dark and too small for him to lie down in or sit in with his legs stretched out. He had to crouch. The room was also infested with mosquitoes. The torture only stopped when Majid agreed to sign a statement that he was not even allowed to read.”

Later in his statement, Khan alleges that the Pakistani guards revealed other abuses by American agents.

“The Americans also once stripped and beat two Arab boys, ages fourteen and sixteen, who were turned over by the Pakistani guards at the detention center,” he said. “These guards told my son that they were very upset at this and said the boys were thrown like garbage onto a plane to Guantanamo. Women prisoners were also held there, apart from their husbands, and some were pregnant and forced to give birth in their cells. According to Mohammed, one woman also died in her cell because the guards could not get her to a hospital quickly enough. This was most upsetting to the Pakistani guards.”

One blogger notes, “The first indications the children may have been tortured were reported in Ron Suskind’s 2006 book The One Percent Doctrine.”

“When KSM was being held at a secret CIA facility in Thailand, apparently the revamped Vietnam War-era base at Udorn, according to Suskind, a message was passed to interrogators: ‘do whatever’s necessary,’” Kevin Fenton writes at History Commons. “The interrogators then told KSM ‘his children would be hurt if he didn’t cooperate. However, his response was, ’so, fine, they’ll join Allah in a better place.’”

Fenton has two questions: “Did the Khans invent the allegations or garble them in some way and then ‘get lucky’ two years later, when it was revealed the CIA was, at least, contemplating the techniques they alleged it used at the time in question?” and “Given that nobody heard of the CIA using insects for another two years, why would they invent these specific allegations, which sounded bizarre when they were made?”

Abu Ghraib Prisoners Submerged in Ice-Water

New Gitmo Video: Child Detainee Cries During Interrogation

Tortured Patsies To Take Fall For 9/11

Child Prisoners in Iraq Suffering Same Abuse as Adults

 



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 making Guantanamo off-limits to press

Obama making Guantanamo off-limits to press

Press TV
September 29, 2009

The Obama Administration is denying journalist access to the Guantanamo detention facility despite pledging ‘transparency’ about the infamous prison.

The reporters, who were previously allowed to peek into the prison while covering military trials of the detainees there, are no longer given such authorization, FOXNews reported on Monday.

Arguing in favor of the decision, Defense Department Spokesman Bryan Whitman said “Past experience has led me to believe it is best to keep these visits focused on the purpose of the trip, which in this case is military commission motions,” not the detention camps.

“…the decision, according to multiple sources, is coming out of Washington and the Defense Department,” said the network’s Catherine Herridge.

“…it is clearly not consistent with the administration’s stated goal of transparency,” she added.

Under the banner of the war on terror, former president George W. Bush set up the facility in a US naval base in Cuba shortly after the September 11, 2001 attacks. Ever since, the prison has earned notoriety for conducting torture-aided interrogations of alleged ‘terror’ suspects.

The White House has now even adjourned the military trials at the Guantanamo, taking away the only opportunity journalists had to access the prison.

Shortly after his inauguration in January, Obama signed an official order to shut down Guantanamo within a year, describing it as a “sad chapter in the American history.”

Recently, however, the White House reportedly decided against the closure, citing legal and logistical complexities surrounding the detention and prosecution of inmates held without any charges.

The recent news blackout came, according to Herridge, after a May incident in which two Chinese detainees at Guantanamo’s Camp Iguana compound “held up signs questioning whether the president was a communist or a Democrat and they questioned whether Mr. Obama was oppressing them because they had not been released five months after the president promised to close Guantanamo within a year.”

“…multiple sources have told us this incident was the straw that broke the camel’s back,” asserted Herridge. “It was highly embarrassing for the Defense Department and for the White House and this was, interestingly enough, the last trip for the journalists to the camps to cover the commission hearings.”

Over 220 inmates are currently held at Guantanamo, widely regarded as one of many American torture chambers reserved for Muslims with “suspected” ties to anti-US terrorism. Many inmates remain in prison unaware of any charges against them and with no right to a legal counsel.

 



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

 



Obama Supports Renewing The PATRIOT ACT

Obama Pushes For Renewal of Warrantless Spying

Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet.com
September 16, 2009

President Barack Obama has once again betrayed his promise to restore liberties eviscerated by the Bush regime by pushing Congress to renew Patriot Act provisions that allow for warrantless spying on American citizens, even in cases where there is no link to terrorism whatsoever.

According to a Wired News report, the “Obama administration has told Congress it supports renewing three provisions of the Patriot Act due to expire at year’s end, measures making it easier for the government to spy within the United States.”

Obama’s support for the provisions should come as little surprise because he first voted for warrantless wiretapping of Americans in 2008 when he was an Illinois Senator, while also lending support for immunizing the nation’s telecommunications companies from lawsuits charging them with being complicit in the Bush administration’s wiretapping program.

One of the provisions Obama is pushing to renew is the so-called “lone wolf” provision, enacted in 2004, which allows for the electronic monitoring of an individual without the government having to prove that the case has any relation whatsoever to terrorism or a foreign power. This is in effect a carte blanche for the government to use every method at their disposal to spy on any American citizen they choose.

The “lone wolf” provision is opposed by the ACLU, whose legislative counsel Michelle Richardson told Wired, “The justification for FISA and these lower standards and letting it operate in secret was all about terrorist groups and foreign governments, that they posed a unique threat other than the normal criminal element. This lone wolf provision undercuts that justification.”

Another Patriot Act provision Obama wants Congress to renew gives the government access to business, library and medical records, with the authorities generally having to prove that the investigation is terrorism related. However, since according to Homeland Security guidelines the new breed of terrorist is classified as someone who supports a third party, puts a political bumper sticker on their car, is part of the alternative media, or merely someone who disagrees with the authorities’ official version of events on any given issue, the scope for the government to use this power against their political adversaries is wide open.

The third provision Obama is pushing to renew allows a FISA court to grant “roving wiretaps” without the government having to even identify their target. This is another carte blanche power that gives the state the power to monitor telephone calls, e mails and any other form of electronic communication.

Barack Obama swept into office on a mandate of “change” and a commitment to restore liberties that were eviscerated under the Bush regime. Despite promising to do so, he has failed completely to overturn Bush signing statements and executive orders that, according to Obama, “trampled on liberties.” Indeed, despite promising to end the use of signing statements, he has continued to use them.

Obama has failed to close Guantanamo Bay or any other CIA torture “black site” as he promised to do.

Obama has failed in his promise to “reject the Military Commissions Act” and instead has supported the use of military commissions.

Obama has continued to allow the rendition and torture of detainees, while protecting Bush administration officials who ordered torture from prosecution and blocking the release of evidence related to torture.

Obama has gone even further than the Bush administration in introducing “preventative detention” of detainees, ensuring people will never get a trial.

In restating his support for warrantless wiretapping of American citizens, Obama has once again proven that his promise of “change” was nothing more than a hollow and deceptive political platitude to ensure his election. Since he took office, Obama has betrayed almost every promise he made and effectively become nothing more than the third term of the Bush administration.

 



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

 



Lawyer: Guantanamo Abuse Worse Since Obama

Lawyer: Guantanamo Abuse Worse Since Obama

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mv70aycScoI

 

Guantanamo Bay Guidebook – What Really Goes On

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1403370850111668271

 



U.S. Interrogator: “You have 3 minutes to live”

U.S. Interrogator: “You have 3 minutes to live”

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

 



RNC police brutality and torture victims speak out

RNC police brutality and torture victims speak out

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqsqQ7VLMM0

 

Queensland Police Brutality

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

 

Aiken County Sheriff stops group for saggy pants

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=orezyNziUQ0

Rio Cops ‘Kill Three People A Day’
http://uk.news.yahoo.com/skynews/20080916/twl-rio-cops-kill-three-people-a-day-3fd0ae9.html

Cop who arrested TV cameraman has been fired
http://kob.com/article/stories/S578979.shtml?cat=500

Delaware Bridge cops want toll cheats’ money, or their cars
http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/186/story/260008.html

 



RNC Protester Tortured in Ramsey County Jail

RNC Protester Tortured in Ramsey County Jail
Elliot Hughes recounts allegations of torture while being detained in Ramsey County Jail. Hughes was detained during an RNC08 protest after reportedly colliding with a police bicycle on accident. …

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_PWy-rCM_SQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNc9ImWpNT0

 



Bush quietly seeks to make war powers permanent

Bush quietly seeks to make war powers permanent, by declaring indefinite state of war

Raw Story

August 30, 2008

As the nation focuses on Sen. John McCain’s choice of running mate, President Bush has quietly moved to expand the reach of presidential power by ensuring that America remains in a state of permanent war.

Buried in a recent proposal by the Administration is a sentence that has received scant attention — and was buried itself in the very newspaper that exposed it Saturday. It is an affirmation that the United States remains at war with al Qaeda, the Taliban and “associated organizations.”

Part of a proposal for Guantanamo Bay legal detainees, the provision before Congress seeks to “acknowledge again and explicitly that this nation remains engaged in an armed conflict with Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and associated organizations, who have already proclaimed themselves at war with us and who are dedicated to the slaughter of Americans.”

The New York Times’ page 8 placement of the article in its Saturday edition seems to downplay its importance. Such a re-affirmation of war carries broad legal implications that could imperil Americans’ civil liberties and the rights of foreign nationals for decades to come.

It was under the guise of war that President Bush claimed a legal mandate for his warrantless wiretapping program, giving the National Security Agency power to intercept calls Americans made abroad. More of this program has emerged in recent years, and it includes the surveillance of Americans’ information and exchanges online.

“War powers” have also given President Bush cover to hold Americans without habeas corpus — detainment without explanation or charge. Jose Padilla, a Chicago resident arrested in 2002, was held without trial for five years before being convicted of conspiring to kill individuals abroad and provide support for terrorism.

But his arrest was made with proclamations that Padilla had plans to build a “dirty bomb.” He was never convicted of this charge. Padilla’s legal team also claimed that during his time in military custody — the four years he was held without charge — he was tortured with sensory deprivation, sleep deprivation, forced stress positions and injected with drugs.

Times reporter Eric Lichtblau notes that the measure is the latest step that the Administration has taken to “make permanent” key aspects of its “long war” against terrorism. Congress recently passed a much-maligned bill giving telecommunications companies retroactive immunity for their participation in what constitutional experts see as an illegal or borderline-illegal surveillance program, and is considering efforts to give the FBI more power in their investigative techniques.

“It is uncertain whether Congress will take the administration up on its request,” Lichtblau writes. “Some Republicans have already embraced the idea, with Representative Lamar Smith of Texas, the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee, introducing a measure almost identical to the administration’s proposal. ’Since 9/11,’ Mr. Smith said, ’we have been at war with an unconventional enemy whose primary goal is to kill innocent Americans.’”

If enough Republicans come aboard, Democrats may struggle to defeat the provision. Despite holding majorities in the House and Senate, they have failed to beat back some of President Bush’s purported “security” measures, such as the telecom immunity bill.

Bush’s open-ended permanent war language worries his critics. They say it could provide indefinite, if hazy, legal justification for any number of activities — including detention of terrorists suspects at bases like Guantanamo Bay (where for years the Administration would not even release the names of those being held), and the NSA’s warantless wiretapping program.

Lichtblau co-wrote the Times article revealing the Administration’s eavesdropping program along with fellow reporter James Risen.

He notes that Bush’s language “recalls a resolution, known as the Authorization for Use of Military Force, passed by Congress on Sept. 14, 2001… [which] authorized the president to ’use all necessary and appropriate force’ against those responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks to prevent future strikes. That authorization, still in effect, was initially viewed by many members of Congress who voted for it as the go-ahead for the administration to invade Afghanistan and overthrow the Taliban, which had given sanctuary to Mr. bin Laden.”

“But the military authorization became the secret legal basis for some of the administration’s most controversial legal tactics, including the wiretapping program, and that still gnaws at some members of Congress,” he adds.

Bush Steps Up Fight Over Congressional Authority
http://ap.google.com/..W04WS4kgD92QNC4G0

 



Beijing’s Concentration Camp Tour Will Be Fake Warns Victim

Beijing’s Concentration Camp Tour Will Be Fake Warns Victim

Epoch Times
August 17, 2008

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVFSBXw36sI

Rumours surfaced last week that Chinese authorities may be preparing to allow labour camp tours after reports that many Falun Gong practitioners, illegally arrested for their spiritual beliefs, were being moved out of Beijing forced labor camps and replaced by Chinese Communist Party loyalists or otherwise coerced inmates.

Jennifer Zeng, who gained refugee status in Australia after spending a year detained in the Beijing Municipal Women’s Re-Education-Through-Labour (RTL) Camp, said she was forced to participate in fabrications of prison life for high level officials on many occasions and that it is quite possible there are plans afoot to stage an event for Western media.

“Whenever there were visitors we were made to get up one hour earlier and make everything shine and neat like in a hospital,” she told The Epoch Times.

“We would work very hard but when there were visitors, we were forced to stop and we were taken to a kind of playground or recreation room and we were forced to play cards or play basketball to show to the visitors.

“As soon as the visitors were gone, we were taken back to our dormitories and back to our work again,” she said.

“It was all faked.”

Human rights watchdog, the Falun Dafa Information Center (FDI), said Chinese authorities began moving Falun Gong prisoners out of Beijing last week—immediately after their publication of a guide pinpointing detention centers close to Olympic sites.

FDI’s sources within China revealed that many practitioners have been moved to Shanxi Forced Labour Camp and Shanxi Women’s Forced Labour Camp, while others were reported to have been sent to Inner Mongolia.

So-called “reformed” practitioners, people who say they once practiced Falun Gong and now repeat the Communist Party’s denunciations of the practice, have also been moved into the Beijing RTL camps, furthering suggestions that there could be an inspection.

In April 2001, a month after the regime invited them, foreign and Chinese media visited Masanjia Labor Camp in Liaoning Province, where “interviews” with Falun Gong practitioners were allowed, an FDI report states.

The labor camp had freshly painted walls and prisoners wore brand-new jumpsuits with their names embroidered on them in Chinese and in English. They were apparently “enjoying” a clean and healthy environment. However, documentation of dozens of prisoners previously held there reveal tales of horrific torture and abuse.

Ms. Zeng said any hope of obtaining the truth of prisoners’ status from the fake inspections is wishful thinking. In her experience, not only was the physical environment dressed up but prisoners themselves would be too afraid to tell the truth.

“Everybody knows you are not supposed to talk to anyone visiting because after they have gone, you will bear all the consequences,” she explained, “that is the reason why they have taken all these Falun Gong practitioners away.

“Only Falun Gong practitioners have the courage to tell the truth so they have to make sure all the “unreformed” ones were taken away.”

She also said that moving reformed Falun Gong practitioners into detention camps to speak to the media would yield little understanding of prison life because people who have been “reformed” through torture have suffered severe handicaps.

“I actually saw many Falun Gong practitioners driven into insanity or madness so I was not surprised to see “reformed” practitioners talk nonsense about Falun Gong.” She continues, “The torture was too much and it has passed their limitations of endurance. I have observed that they have a kind of special mental problem after that.”

The extent of the torture inflicted on Ms. Zeng and a number of other detainees in Chinese labour camps close to Olympic sites is well-documented. The following excerpt is from The Sydney Morning Herald, December 28, 2001.

“In February 2001, nearly 1000 illegally detained Falun Gong practitioners were forced to make 100,000 toy rabbits for Beijing Mickey Toys Co., Ltd subcontracted by Nestle at the Xin’an Labor Camp. Falun Gong practitioner Ms. Jennifer Zeng was detained there for 12 months.

’I was forced to squat motionlessly and continuously under the scorching sun. The longest period lasted more than 15 hours. I was beaten, dragged along the floor and shocked with two electric batons until I lost consciousness. I was forced to stand motionless with my head bowed, looking at my feet for 16 hours every day, while repeatedly reciting out loud the insulting labor camp regulations. I was watched 24 hours a day by criminal inmates, who were given the power to do anything they liked to me. From February of 2001 I was forced to make 100,000 promotional toy rabbits for Nestle where 130 of us worked up to 22 hours a day to fill the order.’

 

Military Expert: Olympic Opening Ceremony Looked Fascist

NTDTV
August 18, 2008

An Israeli military expert has said the Olympic opening ceremony in Beijing sparked memories many would rather forget.

Colonel Yehuda Wegman is an expert on military doctrines and Israeli military history. He said he started watching the ceremony but immediately felt something was wrong.

“The phenomenon of thousands of people moving together in huge blocks, like a machine operated by one person to serve one purpose, is a phenomenon that history has proven to be associated with regimes we would rather forget ever existed,” he said.

Colonel Wegman found similarities between the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony and the ceremonies held by the Nazi regime. He quotes from the biography of Hitler’s Minister of Armaments, Albert Speer.

“Opposite the giant stages, Speer positioned huge blocks of people dressed in brown and black uniforms who, together, formed an impressive geometric shape…The spirit of the generation, which was disturbed by the anarchy and disorder, couldn’t but watch the scene in great awe.”

“The visitors in Nuremberg, including many foreigners, were so impressed they were ready to disregard the repulsive aspects of the regime.”

Colonel Wegman recently published an article on Ynet–a major Israeli newspaper’s website. The article calls the public’s attention to the dangers the Bejing ceremony represents to the Free World.

“If this was about a small country like Andorra, then that wouldn’t have been a reason for concern. But this is China – a country that accounts for a fifth of the world’s population and has enormous power and natural resources. It has the ability to bring into action the ideas that lie behind those ceremonies – ideas of imperialism, intervention and oppression.”

Colonel Wegman said history is repeating itself.

Colonel (Res.) Yehuda Wegmen served for over a decade as a senior instructor of fighting doctrine at the IDF Command and General Staff College. During the Yom Kippur War he served as an officer in the first reservist battalion to reach the Golan Heights. Today he develops military instructional methods and writes on military and security matters.

Read Full Article Here

Olympics: American Christians protest over confiscated Bibles
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/aug/18/olympics2008

Paranoia Keeps Stands Empty at Beijing Olympics
http://en.epochtimes.com/n2/china/par..s-empty-at-beijing-olympics-2924.html

Rounded up into torture camps: the ‘undesirables’ China doesn’t want you to see
http://www.dailymail.c..mps-undesirables-China-doesnt-want-see.html

 



Iraq prisoners sealed in pepper-spray cell

Iraq prisoners sealed in pepper-spray cell

Herald Sun
August 15, 2008

SIX American sailors working as prison camp guards in Iraq face courts martial for abusing detainees, some of whom were sealed in a cell with pepper spray.

The US Navy said seven other sailors were given non-judicial punishments over the incident, which took place on May 14 at Camp Bucca, the vast desert camp in southern Iraq where the US military houses 18,000 of its 21,000 prisoners.

“Two detainees suffered minor abrasions as a result of the alleged assaults, eight others were confined overnight in a detainee housing unit which was sprayed with riot control agent and then the ventilation secured,” the Navy said in a statement.

Navy Fifth Fleet spokeswoman Commander Jane Campbell said the riot control agent was pepper spray. None of the victims required medical attention apart from the two who were beaten, she said.

“The day that this all took place there had actually been some unrest at the camp. There had been some detainee-on-guard issues, which ranged from spitting to throwing bodily functions at some guards,” she said.

The six facing courts martial have remained with their unit at the prison camp but were removed from duty.

“They are no longer doing the mission of guards,” Commander Campbell said.

The courts martial will begin at Camp Bucca within the next 30 days.

The seven guards already subjected to the less-severe system of non-judicial punishment had mainly faced accusations that they failed to report the incident, rather than being accused of taking part themselves, she said.

Two had their charges dismissed and the rest were given reductions in rank, with some also docked pay or confined to base for 45 days.

Use of pepper spray in warfare is banned by international treaties on chemical weapons, but many governments say members of their armed forces are permitted to use it in war zones for law-enforcement duties.

 



Video: 9 year old in U.S. prison camp

Video: 9 year old in U.S. prison camp

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

 



Glenn Beck: Does Batman Movie Have a Pro-Bush Message?

Glenn Beck: Does Batman Movie Have a Pro-Bush Message?

Think Progress
August 6, 2008

Last month, author Andrew Klavan wrote that the new Batman film is a “paean of praise to the fortitude and moral courage that has been shown by George W. Bush in this time of terror and war.” CNN’s Glenn Beck agreed today, listing off controversial Bush policies he claims were vindicated by the film’s showcase of “conservative values on the war on terror”:

But Batman goes into another country and with a C-130 snatches a guy out, and then throws him back here into Gotham. So there’s rendition. At one point the Morgan Freeman character says to Batman, wait a minute, hang on, you’re eavesdropping on everyone in Gotham? And Batman says, yes, to stop this terrorist. Morgan Freeman says, I can’t be a part of it. And yet Morgan Freeman does become a part of it, and they find the Joker. One of the ways they find the Joker is through eavesdropping. I mean the parallels here of what’s going on is to me stunning.

Watch it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtuuG7UPP-w

Beck also said that Bush’s willingness to “die as the worst president ever because of the war on terror” is “exactly the message that Batman carries.”

Leahy’s office hits back against Beck’s Batman analogy
http://thinkprogress.org/2008/08/07/leahys-..gainst-becks-batman-analogy/

 



China Police Jail Dissenters & Intimidate Journalists

Chinese Pleading For Human Rights Are Harrassed & Jailed Before Olympics, Journalist Are Intimidated

Washington Post
August 2, 2008

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nbf5CYiVdMk

Behind the gray walls and barbed wire of the prison here, eight Chinese farmers with a grievance against the government have been consigned to Olympic limbo.

Their indefinite detainment, relatives and neighbors said, is the price they are paying for stirring up trouble as China prepares to host the Beijing Games. Trouble, the Communist Party has made clear, will not be permitted.

“My bet is the authorities won’t let them out until after the Olympics,” said Wang Xiahua, a veteran anti-government agitator from this farm town 180 miles southwest of Beijing and a supporter of the imprisoned farmers.

The Olympic Games have become the occasion for a broad crackdown against dissidents, gadflies and malcontents this summer. Although human rights activists say they have no accurate estimate of how many people have been imprisoned, they believe the figure to be in the thousands.

The crackdown comes seven years after the secretary general of the Beijing Olympic Bid Committee declared that staging the Games in the Chinese capital would “not only promote our economy but also enhance all social conditions, including education, health and human rights.”

Now, human rights have been set back rather than enhanced, activists say.

“The Olympics have reversed the clock,” said Nicholas Bequelin, a Hong Kong-based specialist for Human Rights in China.

Another foreign human rights advocacy group, Amnesty International, came to a similar conclusion in a report issued Monday titled “The Olympics Countdown — Broken Promises.”

“By continuing to persecute and punish those who speak out for human rights, the Chinese authorities have lost sight of the promises they made when they were granted the Games seven years ago,” said Roseann Rife, Amnesty’s Asia-Pacific deputy director. “The Chinese authorities are tarnishing the legacy of the Games.”

The repressive atmosphere has intensified in part because senior Communist Party officials seem to be just as determined to prevent embarrassing protests — which could be televised — as they are to avert terrorist attacks during the Olympics. In exhortations to security forces, Public Security Ministry commanders and Xi Jinping, the senior Communist Party leader in charge of Olympic preparations, repeatedly have said that police must block any attempt to damage China’s image.

Despite these concerns, President Bush and many other world leaders have accepted China’s invitation to attend the Olympic opening ceremony on Friday. After saying for months that the Games should be viewed only as a sporting event, Bush met with Chinese rights activists Tuesday and said he would use the opportunity to remind President Hu Jintao of U.S. support for human rights. The Foreign Ministry criticized his gesture, calling it interference in China’s internal affairs. But his decision to attend was still being interpreted as endorsement of China’s contention that the Olympic Games are not an appropriate stage for human rights appeals.

Read Full Article Here

 

Chinese police beat, detain 2 Japanese reporters

AP
August 5, 2008

Two Japanese journalists were briefly detained and beaten by police in western China, their companies and one of the men said Tuesday, triggering a protest by the Japanese government. Chinese officials later apologized.

They were working in Xinjiang at the scene of a deadly attack Monday on Chinese policemen when they were forcibly taken to a border police facility, said Shinji Katsuta, a reporter for Japanese broadcaster Nippon Television Network Corp.

“My face was pushed into the ground, my arm was twisted and I was hit two or three times in the face,” he said in a phone interview broadcast on his station.

A photographer from the Tokyo Shimbun newspaper, Shinzou Kawakita, was also apprehended and roughed up, said a company spokesman who declined to give his name, citing company policy.

Read Full Article Here

 

Chinese Rights Advocate Tortured in Captivity

Yu Hang
Sound of Hope Radio
August 5, 2008

In the shadow of a Beijing Olympics touted as a harbinger of change and human rights improvements, a well-placed informant from China disclosed to Sound of Hope Radio (SOH) the painful plight of renowned Chinese human rights attorney Gao Zhisheng since his disappearance a year ago.

The anonymous insider told SOH in a telephone interview that Gao, after his mysterious disappearance on September 22, 2007, was taken by the PRC police to a secret location where he suffered physical and psychological torture for nearly 60 days. The source said the level of torture was “beyond anyone’s imagination” and even the police executing the torture admired Gao’s uncompromising spirit.

While recounting the tortures inflicting on Gao, the insider souce said [transcribed from the telephone recording], “For example, they stripped attorney Gao Zhisheng naked, threw him to the ground and attacked him with electric batons. They deprived him of sleep. This is very common. It goes without saying that they beat him up as well. They have resorted to lowly, despicable means.”

The insider added that they tortured Gao Zhisheng to make him do three things. First, to make him write an article condemning Falun Gong. Second, to make him write articles condemning the founder of Falun Gong. Third, to make him write articles praising the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

“But Gao Zhisheng did not compromise,” the source said. “The police were shattered to watch the horrible tortures. The outside world cannot imagine [the severity of the torture.]”

The insider added that Gao was tortured in the same way Falun Gong practitioners are tortured and that the level of torture will make one feel like an animal instead of a human being. The tortures were so cruel that Gao Zhisheng thought of committing suicide and hurting himself, according to the source. While recounting Gao’s plight, the insider repeatedly said, “the tortures are beyond anyone’s imagination.”

The insider told SOH that, with the Beijing Olympic Games impending, the CCP has secretly removed Gao’s family away from Beijing for fear of any unwanted incident, and the Chinese authorities do not plan to release Gao before the Olympic Games are over.

Gao Zhisheng is an attorney once highly praised by China for his successes. In 2005, after sending a series of open letters to authorities questioning the torture and abuse of Falun Gong practitioners, a campaign of harassment, arrest and torture was directed at Gao and his family.

Beijing sends Mugabe packing
http://www.watoday.com.au/news/la../08/05/1217701960735.html

China Orders Highest Alert for Olympics
http://www.nytimes.com/20..l?_r=2&ref=world&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

China apologises for roughing up journalists on eve of Games
http://www.breitbart.com/article…1.vz49fe9h&show_article=1

Beijing Olympics security: theater of the absurd
http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/08/05/sports/OLY-Inside-the-Rings.php

 



Iraqi detainees put in wooden crates

Iraqi detainees put in wooden crates

The Memory Hole
July 23, 2008

In Iraq, some prisoners/detainees are kept in wooden crates known as “prisoner boxes,” so I filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the US Central Command asking for the following:

“Vanity Fair (Feb 2005 issue) has reported the existence of wood “prisoner boxes” being used by the US military in facilities in and around Baghdad. They are used to hold individual prisoners and detainees.

“I hereby request all photographs of these boxes, including empty boxes as well as boxes holding prisoners and detainees.”

Around nine and a half months later, CentCom responded by sending the three photographs on this page.

See Full Resolution Images

 

Another Secret Terror War Prison Found

Huffington Post
August 1, 2008

The existence of a secret, CIA-run prison on the island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean has long been a leaky secret in the “War on Terror,” and recent revelations in TIME — based on disclosures by a “senior American official,” who was “a frequent participant in White House Situation Room meetings” after the 9/11 attacks, and who reported that “a CIA counter-terrorism official twice said that a high-value prisoner or prisoners were being interrogated on the island” — will come as no surprise to those who have been studying the story closely.

The news will, however, be an embarrassment to the US government, which has persistently denied claims that it operated a secret “War on Terror” prison on Diego Garcia, and will be a source of even more consternation to the British government, which is more closely bound than its law-shredding Transatlantic neighbor to international laws and treaties preventing any kind of involvement whatsoever in kidnapping, “extraordinary rendition” and the practice of torture.

Read Full Article Here

2002 DOJ Memos OKed Torture
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/..6my6QSyHcMGDyb_qe2WwvIE

ACLU: Memos authorized CIA torture
http://rawstory.com//news/2008/A..horized_CIA_torture_0724.html

Former Gitmo Prosecutor Says Trials Rigged
http://blogs.cqpolitics.com/spytalk/2008/07/former-gitmo-prosecutor-says-t.html

MI5 Outsourced Torture
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/jul/15/humanrights.civilliberties

`Terrorist’ Loses 60 Pounds on Cheney Torture Diet
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/new..8&sid=as7YVr4Wamak&refer=home

Why Pelosi won’t impeach: She knew about the torture
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w88NXHsgi08

Ashcroft: Waterboarding ‘Consistently’ Seen As Legal, Refuses To Say Use On U.S. Troops Is ‘Unacceptable’
http://thinkprogress.org/2008/07/17/ashcroft-torture/

 



McCain Flip-Flops on the Waterboarding Torture Issue

Forgetting His Vote To Allow Waterboarding, McCain Says ‘We Could Never Torture Anyone’

Think Progress
July 28, 2008

In February, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) voted against a bill banning the CIA from waterboarding and using other torture tactics in their interrogations. When the bill passed, McCain urged Bush to veto it, which he did.

In an interview with Newsweek published today, McCain defended his position, insisting that the CIA plays “a special role” in defending the U.S. and thus should be allowed to use harsh interrogation tactics such as waterboarding:

NEWSWEEK: On torture, why should the CIA be treated differently from the armed services regarding the use of harsh interrogation tactics?

MCCAIN: Because they play a special role in the United States of America and our ability to combat terrorists. But we have made it very clear that there is nothing they can do that would violate the Geneva Conventions, the Detainee Treatment Act, which prohibits torture. We could never torture anyone, but some people misconstrue that who don’t understand what the Detainee Treatment Act and the Geneva Conventions are all about.

McCain’s vote against the waterboarding ban did make one thing clear: that he condones torture. With Bush’s veto, waterboarding remains a distinct option for the CIA:

Still, waterboarding remains in the CIA’s tool kit. The technique can be used, but it requires the consent of the attorney general and president on a case-by-case basis. Bush wants to keep that option open.

“I cannot sign into law a bill that would prevent me, and future presidents, from authorizing the CIA to conduct a separate, lawful intelligence program, and from taking all lawful actions necessary to protect Americans from attack,” Bush said in a statement.

McCain is either clueless or ignorant about the fact that his vote allows the CIA to waterboard detainees. And as Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), one of McCain’s chief surrogates, has said about waterboarding, “I don’t think you have to have a lot of knowledge about the law to understand this technique violates Geneva Convention common article three, the War Crimes statutes, and many other statutes that are in place.”

 



DOJ lawyer says lunatics running the country

DOJ lawyer says lunatics running the country

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

 



China petitioners killed, beaten and seized by police

China petitioners killed, beaten and seized by police

Epoch Times
July 23, 2008

At least two petitioners are thought to have died as Beijing authorities intensify their campaign to “clean up” the capital for the Olympics, with busloads of people taken away each evening.

Petitioners contacted by telephone told The Epoch Times that on the evening of July 13, five busloads of people were seized and taken away, with another busload taken the following evening.

“Every evening they are seizing people,” Mr Zhao Jianping, told The Epoch Times by phone. “The people living under bridges are becoming fewer and fewer.” Mr Zhao has been appealing in Beijing for more than four years.

Beijing appellant Tang Xuiyun told of a similar situation. “These past two days have been very dangerous for us,” he said. “If you hand in a letter of appeal you’re immediately seized.

“Jilin Province petitioner Xingrong [sic] was yesterday beaten lifeless, then dragged away, right now we have no idea whether [he or she] is dead or alive. Right now everyone is very vulnerable, and we don’t dare to step outside.”

Airing Grievances

Thousands of people, mostly from rural districts, travel to Beijing each year to air their grievances at government “appeals offices”, mostly over land grabs by corrupt local officials.

They are routinely arrested and sent back to their home provinces, but Beijing authorities are now ramping up a campaign that started in September last year, with the central government doing all it can to present a “harmonious” China to the world during next month’s Olympic games.

The mass arrests are coupled with measures to prevent petitioners from reaching the capital. Those wanting to enter Beijing now must apply for a permit, a process that rules out the many who have been blacklisted. All vehicles entering and leaving the capital undergo a “safety check”, with passengers asked to show their identification. Leaflets have been distributed telling residents to report any foreigners or suspicious people to the police.

Daily commuters on buses and trains are randomly asked to show their ID, with government officials stressing both “strictness” and “convenience” for security forces while inspecting people, state media reported.

Additionally, landlords renting out their basements were ordered in June to clear out existing tenants by July 1, according to Hong Kong’s Mingpao newspaper, with estimates that this forced more than 100,000 non-Beijing residents to return to their home provinces. Small hotels and guesthouses have been closed, surveillance cameras have been installed throughout the city, and large numbers of police wearing red armbands have started patrolling the streets.

“They are arresting people everywhere, and hotels don’t allow us to stay there for the night, our identities are all blacklisted,” Mr Zhao said. “The public safety authorities are more restrained in the daytime, but come evening, every appellant they discover is thrown into a vehicle and taken away.”

Read Full Article Here

Beijing To Have Olympic Protest Zones
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20..GloHB0bIZVAnSeHTpv9xg8F

Exodus on main street: China’s clean-up begins
http://www.theage.com.au/w..p-begins-20080721-3irj.html

Bush: Olympians Ambassadors For Liberty
http://rawstory.com/news/afp/Bush.._be_ambassado_07212008.html

How Many Chinese Have Been ‘Suicided’?
http://en.epochtimes.com/n2/china/by-lin-zhanxiang-1480.html

China says no Olympic terror link found in bus blasts
http://uk.news.yahoo.com/afp/20080..-blast-oly2008-ef7dd21.html

 



Leaked Photo Shows Detainee’s Lips Sewn Shut

Leaked photo shows detainee’s lips sewn shut, wires coming out of the face

Wikileaks
July 22, 2008

Photo leaked from a military computer

Photo of a detainee held by the United States, with his face wired, lips sewn, red eyes and torso sacked. According to digital camera metadata the image was taken on Feb 9, 2003 03:49:25. The 6 Aug 2004 is also mentioned in relation to this photo. The facial wiring is clearly non-medical. The location of the detainee is unknown, possibly the US Bagram Theater Internment Facility in Afghanistan. Although there is a resemblance to the US Taliban supporter John Walker Lindh, the connection is superficial. The negative image to the right was created by Wikileaks to draw attention to certain regions of the photo on the left. Wikileaks staff have verified that the photograph came from a US military computer network.

Read Full Article Here

 

ACLU: AG Wants Congress To Subvert Constitution

Raw Story
July 21, 2008

Attorney General Michael Mukasey prompted Congress Monday morning, during a speech to the conservative American Enterprise Institute, to create new rules governing the rights of detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The American Civil Liberties Union immediately responded to Mukasey’s request, calling his proposals nothing short of asking Congress to subvert the Constitution.

Mukasey “proposed that Congress subvert the right of habeas corpus with a new scheme of procedures that will hide the Bush administration’s past wrongdoing – an action that would undermine the constitutional guarantee of due process and conceal systematic torture and abuse of detainees,” the group charged.

“Mukasey is asking Congress to expand and extend the war on terror forever,” said Caroline Fredrickson, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office, in a media advisory. “Anyone that this president or the next one declares to be a terrorist could then be held indefinitely without a trial. This is clearly the last gasp of an administration desperate to rationalize what is a failed legal scheme that was correctly rejected four times by the Supreme Court.”

The Associated Press, acknowledging a Congress eager to transition into a busy election season, notes the rules are not likely to be approved. Mukasey’s requests come on the heels of a Supreme Court decision granting detainees the right to challenge their captivity in US federal court. Under Mukasey’s proposals, a detainee would be able to challenge their detention, but would receive no extradition to the United States for the proceedings.

According to the Washington Post: “Under the Justice plan that Mukasey talked about today, the U.S. government could hold prisoners indefinitely so long as the armed conflict with al-Qaeda persisted.”

Read Full Article Here

Author: Officials against torture memo feared wiretaps, physical danger
http://rawstory.com//news/2..ps_over_opposing_0721.html

Lawyer: U.S. Military Jails Are Legal Black Holes
http://rawstory.com/news/afp/US..black_holes_say_U_07202008.html

US tells lies about torture, say MPs
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/jul/20/humanrights.uksecurity

Conservative Lawyers Urge Bush To Issue ‘Pre-Emptive Pardons’ To Officials Involved In Illegal Programs
http://thinkprogress.org/2008/07/21/bush-preemptive-pardons/

Guantánamo children
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/20..gusrc=rss&feed=worldnews

 



New Gitmo Video: Child Detainee Cries During Interrogation

New Gitmo Video: Child Detainee Cries During Interrogation

Current
July 15, 2008

http://youtube.com/watch?v=dQ1gwXIX05g

For the first time ever, a videotaped interrogation of a Guantanamo Bay terror suspect has been released to the public.

Omar Khadr was captured as a 15-year-old after being accused of throwing a grenade that killed a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan in 2002. Now his lawyers have released excerpts of a video showing their client being questioned by Canadian officials at Guantanamo Bay prison. The video is said to provide insight into the effects prolonged interrogation and detention had on Khadr.

The video was shot in 2003 over four days of interviews and is seven hours long in total. It was originally marked “Secret/No Foreign”.

 

Keeping America Safe: Prosecuting Children as Terrorists

Common Dreams
June 21, 2008

President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, and the rest of the warmongers and terror-pimps in the White House would have us believe that Omar Khadr is a monster. Khadr is the 21-year-old Canadian who is facing one of the first show-trials at Guantanamo.

But let’s just step back a minute and consider Mr. Khadr’s case.

The son of an alleged Islamic fundamentalist, Khadr was sent to one of those fundamentalist madrassa schools in Pakistan back when he was 14. From there, he went to Afghanistan, to join with the Taliban in fighting against the remnant warlord backers of the Soviet Union, which had attempted to run Afghanistan as a vassal state.

Then came 9-11 and the October 2001 US invasion of Afghanistan. Young Khadr suddenly found himself fighting against the world’s most powerful military.

In 2002, after the Taliban government had fallen, Khadr was still out in the hills with the forces of resistance. The Taliban government was gone, but the war was not over. In fact it’s still not over, with the Taliban resurgent in much of Afghanistan.

In this situation, with some 20,000 US and European troops battling across Afghanistan, Khadr, by then at the ripe age of 15, found himself with a group of five older fighters in a compound up in the hills. Some US Special Forces came on the location, and, peeking through cracks in the door, saw the group, armed with AK rifles. They called on the men to surrender, but the men allegedly refused.

At that point the brave Americans called in an air strike, and clobbered the building. After that softening up, they went inside to pick up the pieces.

Someone at that point, and US military prosecutors claim it was the wounded Khadr, tossed a grenade while lying injured on the ground. The grenade killed Special Forces Sergeant Christopher Speer. Speer’s comrades opened fire, with three of them hitting Khadr.

When they went to check on him, the critically injured, yet miraculously still living Khadr reportedly pleaded, “Shoot me!” Reportedly, some of Sgt. Speer’s buddies were ready to do just that. Apparently the “clicking” of injured captives by American forces (a war crime) is not uncommon, and even has its own slang word. But a medic with the group interceded and stopped the battlefield execution, and took action to save Khadr’s life.

Khadr was eventually shipped off to Guantanamo, at the age of 15, in violation of a 2002 protocol signed by the US which extended the protection of the Geneva Conventions against imprisoning child soldiers from the prior “under 15″ standard to “under 18.” No matter, “bad guy” Khadr would be one of at least 2500 children that the US has admitted to incarcerating in Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantanamo and elsewhere as “enemy combatants.”

Today, Khadr is 21. He has spent the second half of his teenage years confined in a prison camp on the naval base at Guantanamo.

This is what Bush and Cheney are really referring to when they assure us that they are holding “the worst of the worst” on the island of Cuba.

They are keeping us safe from 15-year-old boys.

And what, exactly, is Omar Khadr’s “crime”?

As far as I can tell, if he did toss that grenade (and there is testimony from American witnesses that the thrower may have been another man, who was killed in the resulting US barrage of fire), Khadr was simply demonstrating extraordinary bravery of the kind that would earn a silver star, at least, had it been a US soldier or marine doing the same thing under the same circumstances. Consider: he and his comrades-in-arms, battling in defense of their religion and, in some cases, their nation, were bombarded from the air. They were then approached by armed US troops-the very ones who had called in the air strike. This was a battle, and it was not over yet. For all Khadr knew, those US soldiers were going to kill them all. And in any event, Khadr and his fellow fighters had a right to defend themselves to the death to prevent capture. Sure it’s unfortunate that Sgt. Speer was killed, but that’s what happens in wars.

Still, a fighter killing another fighter during warfare is not the act of a “terrorist.” It may be brutal and it may be tragic, but it is the act of a soldier. That soldier, if captured, is not a criminal, but a POW. Moreover, if he is a child, the Geneva Conventions and the subsequent protocol mentioned above, require that he be treated not as a POW but as a victim of war.

Bush and Cheney don’t want to admit that the people fighting US forces in Afghanistan are legitimate soldiers, entitled to protection under the rules of war. They want us to believe that anyone who takes up a gun in defense of their homeland or of the homeland of their allies, and fights against the US military forces that are spread all over the globe like Roman Legions of old, are “terrorists,” deserving of whatever fate we hand them, by whatever rules we want to gin up.

But it’s worth remembering that this particular “terrorist,” at the time of his “crime,” was simply a scared and badly-wounded 15-year-old kid who had the balls to toss a grenade at well-armed soldiers on a search-and-destroy mission.

In an interesting twist that further highlights the absurdity of calling a 15-year-old a hardened terrorist, Speer’s widow, Tabitha, and another soldier who lost an eye in the grenade blast, sued not Khadr, but his father’s estate, claiming that his “failure to control his son” had been the proximate cause of their losses. A federal district judge, in February 2006, awarded the two $102.6 million in damages. In other words, the court concluded Khadr wasn’t responsible for his actions; his father was. And yet the US is prosecuting Omar Khadr for being a hardened terrorist at an age when he was too young to drive!

The Bush/Cheney administration’s incarceration and prosecution of this boy was a war crime. His continued incarceration and the attempt to prosecute him as a terrorist today makes a mockery of America’s motto: Home of the Brave.

We should all be ashamed.

Canadian PM brushes off evidence of Guantanamo abuse
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/..c;_ylt=ApU100eyhTE7E6X04pjztsIWIr0F

ACLU: U.S. blocking payments to Guantanamo attorneys
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/homepage/story/43453.html

Gitmo Suspect Wants Classified Docs
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/200..ydW6ZuxuSioZmJznfRg.3QA

Iraqis Tortured By UK Military Settle For $6M
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080..7dWGmjBETqpCRueqUl5bbBAF