Is Obama Serious About Ending Failed War on Drugs?

drug-wars

Efforts by President Obama to put an end to the nation’s failed “War on Drugs” can’t come an hour too soon—if that’s his intent. From his actions, it’s hard to know. Drug offenses account for about half the 200,000 Federal prison inmates behind bars, compared to just 15% of prisoners convicted of violent crimes involving [...]

Sonia Sotomayor – A “Safe” or Visionary Pick

sotomayor_warren

President Barack Obama has made his imprint on the history of the federal judiciary with the nomination of the first Latina to the United States Supreme Court. Federal Appeals Court Justice, Sonia Sotomayor, was at the top of the President’s “short list” from the time Associate Justice David Souter announced his retirement. There had been [...]

Stop Wasting Money on Executions

ramona-ripston

Capital Punishment is Too Expensive California remains on track to spend over $1 billion on the death penalty in the next five years, in the midst of the worst financial crisis in nearly a century. Incredibly, even as state officials announce that they must fill a deficit of $21.3 billion this year, and contemplate drastic [...]

Obama Betrays Liberals

Lt. General Stanley McChrystal

America’s liberals stand betrayed. Their new president, the one they sweated to elect — a brilliant, charismatic leader with a professional background in constitutional law — has transmogrified himself from the champion who denounced in his campaign the illegalities of the Bush White House into a president bent on their perpetuation. Liberals are stunned by [...]

Wingnuts Take Aim at Supremes’ Nominee Sotomayor

Justice Sonia Sotomayor

The right wing was gearing up for this fight even before Justice David Souter thought about retiring. This week, as President Obama was naming – as expected – Appeals Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor to fill Souter’s chair on the Supreme Court, conservatives were lining up to throw brickbats before the words were out of his [...]

“Of Course (The CIA) Misled Congress. We Were Trained How.”

gitmo_cheney

The voice of the former CIA briefer on the phone is strong and direct, unapologetic in either tone or words. “Of course we misled Congress on torture. The White House and (George) Tenet demanded it, and we were trained how to do it without lying,” he says to me. “People (former Vice President Dick) Cheney [...]

Was Abu Ghraib Worse Than We Could Have Imagined

The president has stated that he will continue to block the release of additional Abu Ghraib photos depicting torture or “troop abuse” as it is now being referred to in some mainstream media outlets. What could be driving the 180 degree turn in the president’s decision to release the Abu Ghraib photos?

Suppressed Abu Ghraib Photos Published Down Under; Pentagon Has Videos of Children Screaming While Being Sodomized

Photo: SBS/Dateline

Somehow, the Sydney Morning Herald obtained some of the additional Abu Ghraib photos that the Obama administration is in US court trying to keep hidden as it fights an ACLU Freedom of Information lawsuit. Fifteen of the 60 are published on-line Saturday (Sydney time) by the newspaper. Is it because we’ve become inured to photos [...]

Will A Nation That Housed 425,000 Nazis in WWII Find Accomodations for 241 Gitmo Captives?

German POWs working at a farm near Moorhead, Minnesota.

The mean-spirited attitude of Republican politicians over repatriating Guantanamo’s remaining 241 inmates in the U.S. reflects both their irrational fears and loss of moral compass. House GOP leaders have introduced a “Keep Terrorists Out of America Act” that would give governors’ veto power to stop the transfer or release of detainees in their state. The [...]

Department of Justice Torture Report Goes Soft On Crime

huberthumphrey

Both the Washington Post and The New York Times have that the much-anticipated report of the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) on how the torture memos came to be national policy will recommend not prosecuting Federal Appeals Court Judge Jay Bybee, Steven Bradbury, and John Yoo for enabling the Bush Administration to torture [...]

Troy Anthony Davis – Executing the Innocent

Troy Anthony Davis – Executing the Innocent I’ve posted several pieces on the tragic case of Troy Anthony Davis. I can’t let this story go. The more I study the law, the more I’m convinced there are times when the administration of the law can be far removed from questions of guilt or innocence. A [...]

We Don’t Torture But Here Are the Things We Do Do

Jon Stewart really hits the ball out of the park with this one. He asks, “does our country torture people?” Looks like we don’t torture but Jon Stewart provides us with a list of the things we do do thanks to the memos released by the Obama administration. This is a humorous look at a [...]

Please Investigate War Crimes Now: Please

General Michael Hayden

The Obama Administration is beginning to remind me of a woman I dated some years ago who developed a drinking problem. Not only did she refuse to admit having trouble, discussing her addiction was taboo, off-the-table, “it’s not up for discussion” and, once, even pleading with me, “Let’s just think about the future.” But her [...]

A Message From Amnesty International – Troy Anthony Davis

Troy Anthony Davis

Troy Anthony Davis faces execution for the murder of Police Officer Mark MacPhail in Georgia, despite a strong claim of innocence. 7 out of 9 witnesses have recanted or contradicted their testimony, no murder weapon was found and no physical evidence links Davis to the crime. This week the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected [...]

A Simple Truth: The NRA Are Terrorists, Awash in The Blood of Innocents

american-idol

short, disturbing yet funny, anecdote to illustrate the point I’m about to make. About a year ago, a friend who teaches at the University of Toronto and I met for an after-work drink at the rooftop bar at the Park Hyatt Regency Hotel. A Toronto landmark, the bar’s mahogany panels frame large windows looking south [...]

An Open E-Mail To President Obama on State Secrets and Illegal Wiretaps

wiretapping

After thinking about Attorney General Eric Holder’s unfathomable court filing defending the Bush-wacked “states secret” defence and a claim of “sovereign immunity” in lawsuits involving illegal wiretapping, I sent this e-mail to The White House. TO: President Barack Obama FROM: Charley James DATE: April 8, 2009 SUBJECT: Where Did Change To Believe In Go? Dear [...]

Why No Pitchforks?

mob

Shut your blinds! Close your doors! Look what Google is up to now. It is taking photos of everybody’s home! Apparently, not everyone is happy about it. According to Agence Presse France, angry residents of a Buckinghamshire UK village blocked the driver of a Google Street View car today who was filming the neighborhood, saying [...]

Department of Justice to Recommend Bar Association Action Against Five or More

gonzo

The Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility will recommend state bar associations take disciplinary measures against at least five former Bush officials: John Yoo, Jay Bybee, John Ashcroft, Alberto Gonzales, and Monica Goodling, according to a Senate staff member who saw a summary of the report’s most-recent version this week. If the DoJ’s recommendations are [...]

The Spanish Fly In Obama’s Ointment

Baltasar Garzón

When Barack Obama meets Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero in London this week at the G20 summit, it will be perversely interesting to see if Zapatero is greeted with the famous Obama smile or a less-often-seen, steely-eyed glare. Spanish investigating magistrate Baltazar Garzon – the man who arrested former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet [...]

Solitary Confinement in U.S. Prisons Making Thousands Psychotic

handcuffs

The United States today is housing tens of thousands of inmates in long-term solitary confinement, a form of numbing mental torture that drives about one-third of them psychotic, induces irrational anger in 90%, and ups the likelihood they will commit violent crimes upon release. “It’s an awful thing, solitary,” U.S. Senator John McCain once wrote [...]

Close Down Guantanamo? What About Our Own Hellholes?

Senator Jim Web (D-Virgina) with wife Hong Le Webb

As Tom Paine once opined on this subject: “When it shall be said in any country in the world, ‘My poor are happy; neither ignorance nor distress is to be found among them; my jails are empty of prisoners, my streets of beggars; the aged are not in want, the taxes are not oppressive’— when these things can be said then may that country boast of its constitution and its government.” Folks, we gotta ways to go.

Color of Law: Please Don’t Feed the Prison Monster

justice-maze

At its worst, America’s criminal justice system represents the place where racism, greed and corruption intersect. At its best, it is inherently flawed, unjust, and unreliable, and little better than its worst. The engine that drives this injustice system is known as the prison industrial complex. It is the theater in which the nation’s foremost [...]

“Where’s My Million Dollars?” Swindled Senior Asks

senior

When I entered my friend Jason’s house he was shouting into his telephone, “Where’s my million dollars?” There was a pause, after which Jason insisted, “I want you to pay me the million dollars you promised me!” His face was red and he was angry. To my shock, my senior friend, a former U.S. military [...]

Between the Lines: The Los Angeles Police Department Deputy Chief Who Made the Hard Sell of Trust

badge

The passing of Los Angeles Deputy Chief of Police, Kenny Garner, has left a stunned community pondering the question, “Who do we call now, when we want answers from LAPD?” Kenny Garner was a friend to me, the community, and most he met, and he had the hardest job of anyone in the community; convincing [...]

Obama to Ignore CIA’s War Crimes

injustice

If President-elect Barack Obama is reassuring the intelligence community “that his complaints are with the Bush administration, not them,” as AP’s Pamela Hess reported January 10th, his campaign slogan “change we can believe in” is headed for an early grave. Obama’s remarks are a literal signal to CIA officials and other unindicted war criminals that [...]

Prison Expansion Pushed Forward While Massive Cuts to Education Proposed

Prison Budget Expands, Education Budget Cut While the Governor and legislature propose massive cuts to education and 2,000 public works projects are on hold, a bill to propel a $12 billion prison construction project was sent to Governor Schwarzeneggar. This bill is designed to fix problems with AB900, the largest prison construction plan in history. [...]

Ruth Marcus Should Know Better

George Bush and Dick Cheney

by Charley James – Last Saturday, Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus came up with an unusually convoluted bit of punditspeak about forgiving Dick Cheney his self-admitted war crimes and crimes against humanity including lying the country into war, illegal wiretapping, outing Valerie Plame-Wilson, torturing prisoners of war and – oh, right – telling Fox News’ [...]

Prop 8, Jim Crow, Nuremberg, and Other Unjust Laws

Richard and Mildred Loving

Forty years ago, in many states, my marriage to my wife would have been illegal. In fact, we would have been regarded as criminals and locked up for miscegenation, or “race-mixing” as they called it. In 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1, which found that [...]

UPDATE: Wanted: Richard Bruce Cheney – Self-Confessed War Criminal: Sen. Carl Levin Calla For Torture Investigation, Possible Indictment Based On Cheney’s TV Admission

carl_levin

by Charley James – Appearing last night on Rachel Maddow’s show, Senate Armed Services Committee chair Carl Levin called for an investigation and possible indictment of Vice President Dick Cheney for admitting he authorized waterboarding – a form of torture since the Spanish Inquisition and illegal under numerous US laws and international treaties.

WANTED: Richard Bruce Cheney, Self-Confessed War Criminal

Dick Cheney

by Charley James – Overlooked in the frothing about Dick Cheney’s interview with ABC’s Jonathan Karl is a simple truth. Shotgun Dick, Darth Vadar, The Man Who Never Was, Richard Bruce Cheney confessed freely and openly to committing war crimes and crimes against humanity. The Vice President who spent eight years avoiding interviews used what [...]

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