Tagging the Torture Team

Reviewing: Torture Team – Deception, Cruelty and the Compromise of Law by Philippe Sands
by Jim Miles
Only a few pieces of paper can change the course of history. On Tuesday, 2 December 2002 Donald Rumsfield signed one that did.”  From such a singular beginning Philippe Sands writes the history of U.S. attempts to abrogate international laws and conventions on the use of torture and the inhumane treatment of prisoners of war. 
 
This is the memo Rumsfield approved with the sarcastic comment about standing:  “However, I stand for 8-10 hours a day. Why is standing limited to 4 hours?” Perhaps Rumsfield should have been subjected to the other seventeen “techniques” that accompanied the memo to see if his limits for them were any better. 

Torture Team begins carefully, reviewing and structuring the trail of evidence and the chain of command. Most of the participants in the chain of command were interviewed, some more willingly than others, and good portraits of their characters come through.
 
Read more ...

By the Way Obama: Our Troops are Still Dying

OUR TROOPS AND IRAQIS ARE STILL DYING: An Open Letter to the Peace/Anti-War Movement
from Iraq Veterans Against the War, Military Families Speak Out, and Veterans For Peace
After six years of war and the historic election of a new President, we as veterans, military and Gold Star families felt an urgent need to reach out to the larger peace/anti-war movements to make our position on Iraq clear during this time of political and economic uncertainty.  Iraq Veterans Against the War, Military Families Speak Out and Veterans For Peace continue to stand together in our demand to Bring the Troops Home Now! 
 
We ask all those who have stood with us in the past to stay faithful to the cause.

President Obama has announced a plan to gradually reduce troop levels in Iraq.  Many in the peace/anti-war movements are breathing a sigh of relief, and suggesting that it is time for us to scale back our efforts to bring an end to the occupation of Iraq.  But for our troops on the ground, their families and the Iraqi people, the nightmare continues.  They need all of us to stay in the struggle.  IVAW, MFSO and VFP have been long united in our call for an immediate and complete end to the occupation of Iraq and will not shift our stance under any circumstances. 
 
 
Read more ...

America's Mid-East Moment of Truth

U.S. Moment of Truth on Palestinian – Israeli Conflict
by Nicola Nasser
In view of a world consensus on a two – state solution for the Arab – Israeli conflict, most political analysts and commentators have concluded that the Israeli Prime Minister – designate Benjamin Netanyahu, who still refuses to affirm his commitment thereto, was to come face to face with his “moment of truth” during his recent meetings earlier this month with visiting U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, and her “presidential” envoy for peace in the Middle East, George Mitchell, but the outcome of Clinton’s first regional tour as secretary of state and Mitchell’s second tour in the region has proved vice versa: The new democratic administration of Barak Obama seems to fail its own moment of truth on its failure to pass the only test which could make or break the two – state “vision” as a viable solution that would render Obama’s “aggressive” approach credible enough to make a difference between U.S. words and deeds, namely to remove the major obstacle of the Israeli colonial settlement enterprise that has brought U.S. – sponsored peace – making to its current impasse since the internationally – recognized “legitimate and sole representative of the Palestinian people,” i.e. the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), adopted the two – state approach in 1988.

Ironically, but also instructively, the Israeli settlement watchdog, “Peace Now,” welcomed Clinton and Mitchell one day ahead of their visit with a startling report on March 2. The Israeli ministry of housing has finalized plans to “double” the number of the illegal Jewish colonial settlers in the Israeli –occupied West Bank, where the two –state solution envisions the creation of a Palestinian state, to more than (600) thousands by expanding more than (120) settlers’ colonies with the construction of more than (73, 302) housing units, of which (15, 156) units have already been approved and (58, 000) units are pending approval.
 
Read more ...

Untold Bailout Scams

Was the Bailout Itself a Scam?
by Paul Craig Roberts
Professor Michael Hudson (CounterPunch, March 18) is correct that the orchestrated outrage over the $165 million AIG bonuses is a diversion from the thousand times greater theft from taxpayers of the approximately $200 billion “bailout” of AIG. Nevertheless, it is a diversion that serves an important purpose. It has taught an inattentive American public that the elites run the government in their own private interests.

Americans are angry that AIG executives are paying themselves millions of dollars in bonuses after having cost the taxpayers an exorbitant sum. Senator Charles Grassley put a proper face on the anger when he suggested that the AIG executives “follow the Japanese example and resign or go commit suicide.”

Yet, Obama’s White House economist, Larry Summers, on whose watch as Treasury Secretary in the Clinton administration financial deregulation got out of control, invoked the “sanctity of contracts” in defense of the AIG bonuses. But the Obama administration does not regard other contracts as sacred.
 
Read more ...

The Secret War Against American Workers

The Secret War Against American Workers: The Unemployment Story No One Notices
by Robert S. Eshelman
Juanita Borden, 39 and jobless, patiently waits as her résumé methodically works its way, line by line, through a fax machine at a state-run job center in downtown Philadelphia. Lying open before her on a round conference table is a neatly organized folder. "This is my résumé and everywhere I've been faxing to. This is how I keep track of what day I've sent them on, so I can call and check back," she says, leafing through pages of fax cover sheets. "I usually give five business days before I inquire whether or not they've received it and whether or not they're interested."
 
Juanita was fired last October, when her employer found out that her driver's license -- a job requirement -- had expired. "It was only a matter of twenty-six dollars. I was under the impression that it expired in November of '08, but it was actually November of '07, and because I hadn't been driving I wasn't aware of it." The one occasion on which she was required to drive, though, she couldn't, and that was all her employer needed to fire her for failing to fulfill her employment responsibilities. She has since renewed her license and says with an air of futility, "I'd like to have my job back if they would give it to me."
 
She hasn't been asked back and, despite her persistent efforts, she hasn't received a single call from a prospective employer either. "The good thing," she says, remaining remarkably buoyant despite her misfortune, "is that usually when I interview I get the job. So... I'm hoping for an interview soon." Until then, her carefully managed folder serves as a small measure of control over an otherwise steady drift into poverty and homelessness.
Read more ...

War Criminal Bush Waltzes Through Canada

March 17th, 2009 - A day that will live in infamy in Canadian History
by Wayne Prante
While the alleged "law and order" loving Conservative government of Stephen Harper, and alleged "Leaders" of all other sitting parties in the House of Commons ignored Canadian law and polices and flouted international law, ignored Lawyers Against the War (who had prepared a dossier on Bush concerning war crimes), and ignored thousands of caring Canadian citizens who had  petitioned the government, made phone calls and sent FAX messages, George W. Bush was illegally allowed to enter Canada by Immigration Canada.
 
He was then allowed to roam freely on Canadian soil by the RCMP and other police agencies, whose duty it was to arrest him. They chose instead to fall in line, follow orders, and to protect him. They all had a choice and failed to make the correct and moral one.

Average Canadians of conscience are disgusted and ashamed at this travesty of justice, and the cowardice of our federal and provincial servants, as well as by the City of Calgary who welcomed the butcher from Texas and, on their behalf, we offer our apologies to the rest of the world, particularly those affected by the illegal wars and occupations, DU contamination, theft of resources, and of course torture, for this further indignation.
Read more ...

Loonie Protest Undeterred by Mint Threat

Mint Backs Down
by Dogwood Initiative
After initial threats of fines and imprisonment, the Royal Canadian Mint is now allowing BC based citizens watchdog group Dogwood Initiative to continue its current campaign against tar sands related tankers on BC's coast.
 
Tanker protesters escalate blackened loonie campaign 

"We're taking the Mint's silence as consent" stated Charles Campbell, Dogwood Initiative's Communications Director. "We just got our second batch of 250,000 decals in and will be flooding Canadian cities with them on March 24th, the 20th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill."

Dogwood Initiative began distributing removable decals which simulated an oil spill when applied to Canadian one dollar coins in February and soon clashed with the Mint over its right to use Canadian currency to get its message across.

"We gave them an unequivocal response - we're continuing this campaign. We haven't heard from them since," says Campbell.
Read more ...

Exposed: Treatment of America's Imprisoned Muslims

Treatment of Imprisoned Muslims at Terre Haute's Communications Management Unit (CMU)
by Stephen Lendman
In February 2007, it was learned that Washington had a secret new facility for so-called "high-security risk" Muslim and Middle Eastern prisoners in violation of federal law that prohibits severely limiting or cutting them off entirely from other inmates as well as outside contacts and communications.
 
Segregating prisoners by race, national origin, or language violates the Supreme Court's February 2005 decision in Johnson v. California that affirmed 14th Amendment protection against racial discrimination. Specifically, the Court: "rejected the notion that separate can ever be equal-or 'neutral' - 50 years ago in Brown v. Board of Education (this Court repudiated it and) refuses to resurrect it today."

US Prison Bureau regulations also stipulate that "staff shall not discriminate against inmates on the basis of race, religion, national origin, sex, disability, or political belief (including) administrative decisions (involving) access to work, housing and programs." Nonetheless, the Bush administration instituted these practices, and they continue under Barack Obama at the Terre Haute federal prison's Communications Management Unit (CMU). Perhaps at other federal and state facilities as well at a time Muslims are vilified and persecuted.
Read more ...

Meaningful Change Is Deliberate

The Only Constant Is Change But Meaningful Change Is Deliberate
by William A. Cook
The will to change requires fortitude, a firmness of mind to endure pain, conviction in belief that stands against self-interest, and commitment to act regardless of consequences. To stand against the will of those with power and resources, those determined to force their ideology on a government appointed by the people, necessitates confrontation of intellect and will. It is ultimately a battle of individual rights against forces committed to destruction of those rights.

In a Democracy, the people give their consent to their representatives to act on their behalf believing in the integrity of their elected officials to act in their best interest. When those officials become the lackeys of a foreign government, subservient to its will, they become by consent traitors to their own. This is the conundrum that confronts the citizens of the United States of America as their Congress, in both the Senate and the House of Representatives, acts, not on behalf of their constituents, but on behalf of the Zionist government of Israel and their representatives in AIPAC.
 
Read more ...

Langford Land Developers Beg Ottawa for Funds

Vancouver Island Community
by Forest Action Network
Re: City of Langford Application for Building Canada Fund grant Langford North Connector Road March 18, 2009

We write to draw your attention to what we perceive to be serious deficiencies with the City of Langford’s application for public funding to complete the Langford North Connector road and to urge you to deny this application for funding.
 
Should the City of Langford’s application be approved, the end result will be a ‘gift’ of taxpayers’ money to the  developers of the controversial Bear Mountain Resort. We set out below the history of the Local Service Area and borrowing by the municipality.

A summary of the grant application reads as follows:

"Local Roads: completion of the Langford North Connector road that extends north from the current Spencer Interchange to established communities on Bear Mountain. This project will include completion of ramps located in the southwest quadrant of that intersection [sic]."
Read more ...

A Palestinian Evening with Ramzy Baroud

A PALESTINIAN EVENING 
by CAIA (Victoria)
In Support of Palestinian Land Day (March 30) and the Global Day of Action for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA) is organizing a Palestinian Dinner to be served at:
 
St. Dunstan’s Anglican Church, 1806 San Juan Road, Saanich
(at the corner of San Juan and Tyndall),
 
Sunday, March 29, 5p.m. – 8p.m.

Speaker: Ramzy Baroud, will inform us about the situation in Gaza.  
 
In addition to dinner there will be a speaker and entertainment. 
 
A Palestinian-American journalist, living in Seattle, Ramzy has taught Mass Communication at Australia’s Curtin University of Technology and he is Editor-in-Chief of the website, www.PalestineChronicle.com. He is sought after as a speaker and his articles are published world-wide.
 
 
Read more ...

Busting the Scarcity Myth: The City that Ended Hunger

The City That Ended Hunger
by Francis Moore Lappé
In writing Diet for a Small Planet, I learned one simple truth: Hunger is not caused by a scarcity of food but a scarcity of democracy. But that realization was only the beginning, for then I had to ask: What does a democracy look like that enables citizens to have a real voice in securing life's essentials? Does it exist anywhere? Is it possible or a pipe dream? With hunger on the rise here in the United States-one in 10 of us is now turning to food stamps-these questions take on new urgency.

To begin to conceive of the possibility of a culture of empowered citizens making democracy work for them, real-life stories help-not models to adopt wholesale, but examples that capture key lessons. For me, the story of Brazil's fourth largest city, Belo Horizonte, is a rich trove of such lessons. Belo, a city of 2.5 million people, once had 11 percent of its population living in absolute poverty, and almost 20 percent of its children going hungry. Then in 1993, a newly elected administration declared food a right of citizenship. The officials said, in effect: If you are too poor to buy food in the market-you are no less a citizen. I am still accountable to you.
 
Read more ...

Page 904 of 1208