After bin Laden, a Reflection

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Lydia Howell: Now is the time for Americans to re-set our moral compass and demand an end to and accountability for torture of prisoners in the “war on terrorism” — at Guantanamo or at the remaining “black sites” in allied countries.

Pentagon Torture of Manning Recalls Soviets Under Stalin

stalin

Sherwood Ross: Whatever Manning has done, if anything, the Pentagon has no right to reduce him to a vegetative state. Yet that is what it is doing, using methods similar to those for punishing dissidents under Stalin.

Bradley Manning’s Torture Commonplace in U.S. Prisons

Sherwood Ross: Those supporting Manning need to recognize he is an icon for the bizarre, systemic destruction of tens of thousands of other human beings locked away in perpetual silence by their tormentors, often for mere infractions of prison rules, without the review of any judge or jury.

More Torture, Please

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Steve Hendricks: I derive immense comfort, for example, from the similarity between the pro-torture 70 percent and the 68 percent of Americans who believe “angels and demons are active in the world.” Surely many of my pro-torture countrymen just need a little more education about torture. Well, a lot more.

Surviving Poverty, Torture, and Civil War

hector aristizabal

An event you shouldn’t miss. The book, “The Blessing Next to the Wound”, was selected by the Amnesty International group in Pasadena as their November reading selection. No wonder. It is the story of Hector Aristizábal surviving poverty, torture by the US-trained military, cocaine cartels, and civil war in Colombia, as well as facing the challenges of exile. Co-written by Diane Lefer. Hector and Diane will be at Vroman’s Books in Pasadena TONIGHT, Friday Nov 12th at 7:00pm

Peace Crimes

aristizabal

Diane Lefer: “Nightwind”–the play we created in 2004 about his experience and his brother’s abduction, torture, and murder by a death squad–has toured the US and the world, including Afghanistan, to raise global opposition to the practice of torture. Performing it for the first time in Medellín, the city where the atrocities took place, Hector was nervous.

Friday Feedback: How Is This Peace?

We HOPE Obama will promote world peace, yet the reality is he has yet to close Guantanamo, he has expanded executive privileges that allow for the torture and illegal detainment of political prisoners, and he’s expanding war in Afghanistan.

CIA Crucified Captive in Abu Ghraib Prison

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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 [...]

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 [...]

Community Organizer Obama Asks Activists: “Where’s Your Base”?

organizer_obama

Some activists excited about Barack Obama’s community organizing background forget what this fully means – namely, that he expects groups seeking progressive measures to mobilize their base. Community organizers do not expect politicians to challenge entrenched interests absent grassroots pressure, and President Obama is not about to spend political capital on issues like Afghanistan, the [...]

Tortured Reasoning and Tortured Results

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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 [...]

Nancy Pelosi, Torture, and Bush’s Warmongering

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Rightwingers splayed across the corporate media, including Condi Rice and Dick Cheney, constantly remind us that in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 members of the Bush administration were doing their darnedest to keep the nation safe. Bending the law a little to coerce information out of known terrorists must be seen in its context. They [...]

American Torture: No Knowledge of History, No Sense of Tragedy

"Judgement at Nuremberg" Spencer Tracy, Marlene Dietrich 1961 U/A Photo by Al St. Hilaire - Image courtesy mptvimages.com

Recently in the New York Times, Scott Shane and Mark Mazzetti showed that the Bush Administration, the CIA, and the Senate and House Intelligence Committees failed to ask for any historical context before approving so-called “harsh interrogation techniques,” including waterboarding, in 2002. No one apparently knew, or wanted to know, that the U.S. had defined [...]

Geneva Convention Requirements About Prisoners

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Muddled thinking characterizes a May 6 Wall Street Journal column by Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain about those confined in American-run prisons abroad. They reject Geneva Convention trial requirements and even military courts-martial, preferring to have Congress write new guidelines for their imprisonment and trials beyond those in the untested and possibly unconstitutional Military [...]

A Worse Bybee Memo

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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 [...]

Is Oil Worth More Than Blood In Nigeria?

Photo credit: Ed Kashi

On May 26, 2009, a potentially historic human rights trial will take place in a federal court in New York. At issue: What did Royal Dutch/Shell, the multinational oil giant, do in Nigeria? The case is over a decade in the making. The suit, filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and EarthRights International, [...]

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 [...]

Tortured Posturing on Harsh Interrogation Techniques

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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 [...]

The Legacy of Torture: Story of the San Francisco Eight

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ACLU Pasadena Public Forum “Will we face the torture chambers in our cities as well as on Guantanamo?” Tuesday, May 12, 7 p.m. Neigbhorhood Church 301 North Orange Grove Boulevard Pasadena, California Hear two of the SF8 tell their story of torture and persecution over 37 years. The San Francisco 8, former members and associates [...]

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 [...]

Reader Feedback: Moral Crossroads

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Weekly the LA Progressive features a comment that was particularly noteworthy. This week we are featuring a comment submitted by Michael, commenting on Please Investigate War Crimes Now: Please by Charley James. Michael writes: I think you are exactly right. Without acknowledging the problem and making sure that the people who caused the problem are [...]

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 [...]

Neocon Dick Armitage: “I Should Have Resigned.”

armitage

Guess who’s contritely telling al-Jazeera he should have resigned from his senior State Department post when he and Colin Powell lost their battle with Dick Cheney, Condi Rice, John Ashcroft and Don Rumsfeld over observing the Geneva Conventions in America’s two wars, one illegal and the other totally botched? Yup, it is that ol’ neo-con [...]

Color of Law: U.S. Drug Policy Has Gone to Pot

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In a recent online town hall meeting at the White House, President Obama was asked by the online audience whether he thought legalizing marijuana would create jobs and help the economy. It was the most popular question asked at the meeting.

President Obama Repudiates Bush Cheney Policy

In an uncharacteristically confrontational manner President Barack Obama stated that he fundamentally disagrees with Dick Cheney’s notion that we can’t reconcile our core values with our national security interests.  The President went on to say that he was surprised at Cheney’s defense of torture policies.  But constitutional law scholar, Jonathan Turley says the President doesn’t [...]

This Week in The LA Progressive: March 15 to 21, 2009

Averting the Greater Depression The Rich Countries’ Faltering “United Front.” During the 1930s, Europe and the U.S. were also unable to agree on a common strategy, which led to a worldwide trade war and the plunge into depression. –Carl Bloice Economic Recovery Will Be More than Trusting President Obama’s Stimulus Plan. But then, this economic [...]

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