I am presently traveling and visiting family out West and was intending to take a December moratorium from blogging. But the issue of the US torture program and the continuing "official" obscene rationalizations and minimizations of it pulled me back to at least post some excerpts from a blog I originally posted on correntewire 7/5/10 and re-posted on correntewire and open salon on 9/2/11 entitled “War Criminal Named Obama Smells Sweeter than One Named Bush?”
-------------------- Read more about Snipping Myself from 2010 on Torture
First, two important considerations:
From the Oxford Dictionary:
rendition (also extraordinary rendition): The practice of sending a foreign criminal or terrorist suspect covertly to be interrogated in a country with less rigorous regulations for the humane treatment of prisoners.
David Swanson in “Juvenile Prison: $5 Billion for Child Abuse” writes:
Solitary confinement greatly increases suicide rates, and yet is used as a punishment for the offense of being suicidal. ... it is part of a process that fundamentally destroys our young people, a process which we pretend improves them.
"People just hate us now because of this" - Reprieve's Clive Stafford Smith on Shaker Aamer's imprisonment at Gitmo
Clive Stafford Smith: Speaking as an American for a moment, one of the things that upsets me about this is around the world we’re destroying our own reputation no end bad. You know, we have a reputation, or we had a reputation around the world for standing up for human rights and being a leading beacon and all of that. And I’m afraid Guantanamo Bay in particular has just caused so many problems. I travel all over. I go to Pakistan, the Middle East and so forth, and I’m afraid people just hate us now because of this. Because they think we’re just hypocritical. And that’s not good for us. It’s not good for anyone.
Podcast here, transcript below the fold. Read more about "People just hate us now because of this" - Reprieve's Clive Stafford Smith on Shaker Aamer's imprisonment at Gitmo
It comes as no surprise to at least some citizens that the CIA is an intelligence agency that operates outside US law and defies congressional oversight. Interestingly this week, one of its strongest and most consistent apologists, Senator Dianne Feinstein, has outrightly charged the CIA with perpetrating criminal behaviors.
Joseph Kishore and Barry Grey in “high crimes and misdemeanors” write: Read more about CIA Criminality Grounds for Impeachment
As I followed some stone steps leading through a pretty courtyard to the side entrance of the Unitarian Church of All Souls on the upper East side of New York last Thursday, I drew in a serious lungful of cold, crisp night air to help gird myself for what I was about to hear and see. Read more about Close Guantanamo Now/Doctors of the Dark Side
I read an exciting article by David Sirota recently entitled “How the 1 Percent Always Gets Its Way”.
Sirota’s answer for that is simple. BOTH legacy parties are “up for sale.”
I figure MSNBC and others of Team Dem are doing a more than adequate job inventorying and calling out the lack of empathy and the greed of the rabid leadership of the Republican party. Read more about Sirota: ‘Liberal Washing’ -- the Enabling of Plutocratic Exploitation
Richard Phillips in “David Hicks seeks to overturn Guantánamo “terrorism” conviction” reveals that former Guantanamo Bay prisoner Australian citizen David Hicks has lodged an appeal with the US Court of Military Commission Review to overturn his 2007 conviction of “providing support for terrorism.” It is expected that the commission will NOT quash Hicks’ conviction. His American lawyer from the Center for Constitutional Rights will then appeal the case to the US federal district court. Read more about Australian David Hicks: Survivor of Gitmo’s Sadistic Abuse
From the moment Obama became a presidential candidate in 2007, he campaigned vigorously against Guantánamo as a pillar of the flawed and failed Bush-Cheney war policy. He won the election and signed that executive order in his third day on the job, and then – once it became clear that House Republicans would be delighted to use the issue to depict him as a crypto-Muslim, terrorist-coddling pantywaist – let the whole thing drop.
Ludwig Watzal in “U.S. Military Casualty Statistics Not the Senators’ Main Concern” calls out the Senate Armed Services' Committee hearing vetting former Republican Chuck Hagel for U.S. Secretary of Defense: Read more about Libby’s Political Stew: War-Torture-Drone Truthers & Liars
Why is this question even being honored in America?
Apparently it will be posed seductively soon in a theater near you.
Torture is wrong. It is evil.
“Two wrongs don’t make a right.”
The Golden Rule.
The Geneva Conventions.
Basic human decency.
A while back when I read Jacob Weisberg’s book, The Bush Tragedy, I learned that the main ego-armature for George W. Bush during his Yale University years was his participation in the fraternity culture.
QUOTE #1 -- US POLICE SHOOT TO KILL
Anne Sewell “Houston Cop Shoots and Kills Double-amputee in Wheelchair”
In an incident outside of a group home in Houston, a police officer shot and killed a wheelchair bound, double-amputee after the man threatened his partner. Unfortunately the object with which the man was threatening the officer's partner turned out to be a pen.
John Garcia is the owner of the home at 4309 Polk where Brian Claunch, a schizophrenic man in his 40's, has been living for the past 18 months with two other men. Garcia has reportedly operated the personal care home for the past eight years.
The following are excerpts from an interview of constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley by John Cusack. Turley brings up some profound considerations we as voting citizens should be reckoning with. Read more about What a Vote for Obama Actually Endorses (Jonathan Turley)