War on Drugs: End in Sight?

big joint

Selena Toji: Drug law enforcement should not be predicated on where a person resides. If the U.S. is beginning a process of divestment from the War on Drugs, we must do so consistently and with a critical eye to how policies are implemented locally.

Joint Etiquette Beyond “Don’t You Bogart That Joint My Friend . . .”

medical marijuana

Scott Prosterman: Why not legal marijuana California? Because this state is rife with reactionary forces, and the focus of the Justice Department’s get tough policy.

The Foreclosure Crisis: Urgent as Ever and Could Get Worse

foreclosure sale

Carl Bloice: There are an estimated 3.5 million seriously delinquent mortgages out there. There were nearly 2.7 million foreclosure filings on about 1.9 million homes last year. That’s down from 2007, but it’s still about one out of every 69 homes in the country.

A Billionaire Comes A’Whinin’

obama cafe

Joseph Palermo: Apparently for the captains of industry and high finance it’s not enough for Obama to be a faithful servant of their narrow class interests, they also want him to bend down and kiss their rings.

Chamber of Commerce Attacks Anti-Corruption Law

Marian Wang: Even as anger over governmental corruption has exploded into protests across the Middle East, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been working to weaken the law that bans companies from bribing foreign officials.

HSPD12 Employees Wait to See How NASA Responds

Supreme Court Seal

In the wake of an 8-0 setback by the United States Supreme Court last week, the JPL plaintiffs in the HSPD12 case said they would now wait to see what NASA does in response to the decision. In a communication released to the JPL staff today the employees said “The ball is now in NASA’s court.

Access to the Space Shuttle: JPL Scientists Cite NASA Policies to Refute Solicitor General

space shuttle

Scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory today released NASA documents that support their demand that acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal retract remarks made before the United States Supreme Court on October 5 in the case of Nelson et al. v. NASA et al (09-530)

The Possible Prosecution of WikiLeaks

wikileaks

Ivan Eland: The U.S. Justice Department is apparently considering prosecuting Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, which is a Web site that publishes classified documents from governments, under the rarely used Espionage Act of 1917. Such a prosecution would have adverse effects on the American people’s right to know what their government is doing in a republic that is supposed to be run by them.

SB-1070 Proponents Accuse DOJ for Not Going After ‘Sanctuary Cities’

Andrea Nill: Proponents of Arizona’s new immigration law, SB-1070, have a new talking point: they are now arguing that if the Department of Justice (DOJ) is going to legally challenge SB-1070, it should also go after “sanctuary city” policies as well. “Sanctuary city” is a right-wing derisive term used to describe cities that have adopted community policing policies that prevent police from asking about the immigration status of or detaining and arresting immigrants solely for being undocumented.

Conservatives Repeat False Claim That Phoenix Is ‘Kidnapping Capital of the World’

headless brewer

Andrea Nill: Mike Huckabee defended SB-1070, telling Greta Van Susteren that Arizona was perfectly justified in passing the draconian immigration law partly because the state is the “number one kidnapping capital in the world.”

Arizona Senators Decry DOJ Lawsuit Yet Won’t Support Immigration Reform

mccain kyl

Seth Hoy: The point is that the “federal government’s responsibility”—a government which Sens. McCain and Kyl are certainly a part of—to reform our broken immigration system is being thwarted by the same senators who complain that the government isn’t doing enough.

Physician Warns That Arizona Immigration Law Could Turn Doctors Into Criminals

emergency care

Andrea Nill: Lucas Restrepo, M.D., published a piece in the New England Journal of Medicine that provided a whole new angle on the effect SB-1070 will have on the medical profession. Restrepo points out that, under the law, health care providers who treat undocumented immigrants could be considered criminals.

When Does Border-First Become Border-Only?

border fence

Seth Hoy: While President Obama and Gov. Brewer agreed that “federal inaction on a comprehensive immigration overhaul is unacceptable,” she has done nothing to substantiate that notion. Meanwhile, Gov. Brewer admits that crime is down in Arizona (as well as other border towns), even though she has repeatedly claimed that her state is “under siege” from border crime

Downsizing the Prison-Industrial Complex

Barry Krisberg (Peg Skorpinksi photo)

Cathy Cockrell: California’s obsession with incarceration — at $50K a year per adult, $250K per juvenile — is unsustainable, says criminologist Barry Krisberg

ICE Slip Up Casts Serious Doubt on Immigration Enforcement Strategy

Immigration

Michele Waslin: Until we have comprehensive immigration reform, ICE is going to be saddled with an enormous list of targets, and many people watching to see how they’re going to tackle it. If they want big numbers, they can achieve big numbers. But that won’t make us any safer or make the system any better. In any case the Administration and ICE have to figure out what their enforcement strategy is, articulate it clearly and consistently, and resist the urge to change it on a dime to please “enforcement-only” types who will never support comprehensive reform.

Racism and the Myth of a “Victim Mentality”

Stereotype

Tim Wise: It’s a common argument, made by those who would rather ignore or finesse the problem of racism in America. If you can’t argue the facts, never fear, just suggest that certain facts are too dangerous to be spoken. The possibility that persons of color might adopt a victim mentality once they learn the extent of racism, means we simply have to move on, and tell those who are, as a matter of fact, often the victims of injustice not to dwell on their experiences too much, lest their commitment to self-help be vitiated.

Discrimination: Now You See It, Now You Don’t

Leopold Allen and Alessandra Ferri

I don’t know if you have to experience discrimination first hand in order to be able to see it, but I do know that I learned a lot standing on that corner with my uncle in a wheelchair 20 years ago. For that reason, I have hope that maybe the Civil Rights Division under the Obama administration will do what it has often failed to do in the past – provide a line of defense for this country’s most vulnerable people.

FBI Attempts to Block Edmonds Testimony in Ohio Election Case; Attorneys Say Effort Insufficient to Stop Her

Sibel Edmonds

Whistleblower org says FBI/DoJ attempting ‘censorship’, trying to ‘silence whistleblower’ answering ‘lawful subpoena’

CIA Crucified Captive in Abu Ghraib Prison

abu graib

The Central Intelligence Agency crucified a prisoner in Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad, according to a report published in The New Yorker magazine. “A forensic examiner found that he (the prisoner) had essentially been crucified; he died from asphyxiation after having been hung by his arms, in a hood, and suffering broken ribs,” the magazine’s [...]

U.S. Government Threatens to Prosecute Waterboarding

guantanamo2

We’ve been lobbying the Department of Justice all these months without realizing that the key to justice lay in the Department of the Interior, and specifically in the National Park Service, which has told activist Steve Lane he will be prosecuted if he attempts to demonstrate waterboarding at Thursday’s anti-torture rally in Washington, D.C. The [...]

Tortured Reasoning and Tortured Results

cheney

Each day the evidence piles up – highlighted by the unconvincing rants of Dick Cheney. Lawrence Wilkerson, former Chief of Staff to Colin Powell, said, “the administration authorized harsh interrogation in April and May of 2002 — well before the Justice Department had rendered any legal opinion — its principal priority for intelligence was not [...]

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 [...]

A Worse Bybee Memo

declaration of independence

Jay Bybee wrote another memo that nobody has noticed, one purporting to authorize crimes far worse than torture, the same crimes the torture was itself intended to create false justifications for. On October 23, 2002, Assistant Attorney General Bybee signed a 48-page memo to the “counsel to the president” (Alberto Gonzales) titled “Authority of the [...]

Torture: It’s Perfectly Legal — But We Don’t Do It

cheney bush

Liz and Dick Cheney, Bill Bennett, Ari Fleischer, and countless other commentators have saturated the public airwaves of late ever since the Obama Administration decided to make public the Bush torture memos. These apologists for war crimes have been jawboning the issue from every conceivable angle. Why are these barbarians who defend torturing other human [...]

AB 1017 Would Strengthen Laws Regarding Rape Kit Testing

burglar

In September of 2008 it was disclosed that the City of Los Angeles had not opened or tested over 7,000 rape kits that were collected as evidence. Of these kits, 217 had been held beyond the 10-year statute of limitations that applies to the crime of rape. A report published by the independent group, Human [...]

Tortured Posturing on Harsh Interrogation Techniques

torture1

Although Barack Obama should be applauded for stopping torture by the U.S. government and pledging to close the infamous Guantanamo and worldwide CIA secret prisons, he is nevertheless playing politics with the issue to get the best of both worlds. To poke his predecessor, Obama released graphic memos from the Bush Justice Department that appallingly [...]

Torture Memos: Don’t Prosecute, But Change Law

what-me-worry

The recent release of memoranda used by the Bush administration to justify various aggressive interrogation techniques for use on suspected terrorists has led to widespread calls for prosecution, either against those who wrote the memos, those who approved them, or those who carried them out. The grounds for such prosecutions would be that the techniques [...]

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 [...]

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