Human Rights

Submitted by tnjp on November 10, 2010 - 4:36pm.

No charges for CIA tape destruction: Justice Dept
By Jeremy Pelofsky
Tue Nov 9, 2010 5:16pm EST

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - No CIA personnel will face criminal charges for destroying videotapes of harsh interrogations of terrorism suspects, the U.S. Justice Department said on Tuesday.

While the decision will spare the CIA and the Obama administration the potential backlash and embarrassment that a trial could have generated, another federal probe continues into possible abuse of detainees by CIA personnel.

The videotapes probe was launched in January 2008 by then-U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey after revelations that the CIA in 2005 had destroyed hundreds of hours of videotapes of the interrogations of terrorism suspects Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri.

Zubaydah was one of three terrorism suspects who was subjected to waterboarding, a procedure in which the person experiences simulated drowning. It was believed that the tapes included footage of the waterboarding...

Submitted by tnjp on November 2, 2010 - 2:09pm.


War Crimes of General Stanley McChrystal - #24 of the top 25 Censored news stories of 2011

Sources:

Seymour Hersh, "Secret US Forces Carried Out Assassinations in a Dozen Countries, Including in Latin America," Democracy Now!, March 31, 2009

Seymour Hersh, "You Can't Authorise Murder," interview with Abbas Al Lawati, Gulf News, May 12, 2009

PressTV, "McChrystal Was Cheney's Chief Assassin," May 16, 2009

A little more than a year before he was fired on June 23, 2010, for making potentially insubordinate remarks in a Rolling Stone profile, General Stanley McChrystal was appointed by President Barack Obama as commander in charge of the war in Afghanistan. He had been formerly in charge of the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) headed by former Vice President Dick Cheney. Most of what General McChrystal has done over a thirty-three-year career remains classified, including service between 2003 and 2008 as commander of the JSOC, a special black operations commando unit of the Navy Seals and Delta Force so clandestine that the Pentagon for years refused to acknowledge its existence.

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh claims that the Bush administration ran an executive assassination ring that reported directly to former Vice President Dick Cheney, and that Congress had no oversight of it whatsoever. The JSOC team would go into countries, without talking to the ambassador or to the CIA station chief, find people on a to-be-killed list, execute them, and leave. There was an ongoing list of targeted people, cleared by Vice President Cheney's office, who had committed acts of war or were suspected of planning operations of war against the United States. Hersh asserts that there have been assassinations in a dozen countries in the Middle East and Latin America. "There's an executive order, signed by President Ford, in the '70s, forbidding such action. It's not only contrary-it's illegal, it's immoral, it's counterproductive," he added...

Submitted by tnjp on October 26, 2010 - 12:03am.

WikiLeaks Iraq War Logs Expose US-Backed Iraqi Torture, 15,000 More Civilian Deaths, and Contractors Run Amok

Iraq War-logs
The online whistleblower WikiLeaks has released some 390,000 classified US documents on the Iraq war—the largest intelligence leak in US history and the greatest internal account of any war on public record. The disclosure provides a trove of new evidence on the violence, torture and suffering that has befallen Iraq since the 2003 US invasion. Despite US government claims to the contrary, the war logs show the Pentagon kept tallies of civilian deaths in Iraq. The group Iraq Body Count says the files contain evidence of an additional 15,000 previously unknown Iraqi civilian casualties. The number is likely far higher as the war logs omit many instances where US forces killed Iraqi civilians, including the US assault on Fallujah in 2004. The war logs also show the US imposed a formal policy to ignore human rights abuses committed by the Iraqi military. Under an order known as "Frago 242" issued in June 2004, coalition troops were barred from investigating any violations committed by Iraqi troops against other Iraqis...

Submitted by tnjp on October 24, 2010 - 11:00pm.



US turned blind eye to torture
Leaked documents on Iraq war contain thousands of allegations of abuse, but a Pentagon order told troops to ignore them.
Gregg Carlstrom Last Modified: 24 Oct 2010 15:31 GMT
An alleged militant identified only as "DAT 326" was detained by the Iraqi army on July 7, 2006 at a checkpoint in the town of Tarmiya, north of Baghdad. When US forces interrogated him later that night, he described hours of brutal abuse at the hands of the Iraqi soldiers, an allegation apparently backed by the findings of a medical exam.

DAT 326 states he was told to lay down on his stomach with his hands behind his back, which is when the Iraqi soldiers allegedly stepped, jumped, urinated and spit on him.

[…] DAT 326 was evaluated and treated for his injuries at Cobra Clinic. Injuries include blurred vision, diminished hearing in left ear, bleeding in ears, bruising on forehead, neck, chest, back, shoulders, arms, hands, and thighs, cuts over the left eye and on the upper and lower lips, hemorrhaging eyes, blood in nasal cavities, and swollen hands/wrists.


Since the alleged torture was committed by Iraqi forces, the US quickly dropped the case: "Due to no allegation or evidence of US involvement, a US investigation is not being initiated," the report said.

A review of the leaked documents reveals more than 1,000 allegations of abuse committed by Iraqi security forces. Not all of them are credible, as some detainees showed no physical evidence of abuse, while others changed their stories during multiple interrogations.

But hundreds of them – like "DAT 326" – are supported by medical evidence and other corroboration. Those reports demonstrate a clear pattern of abuse and torture in Iraqi jails, one that a high-level Pentagon directive barred US forces from investigating.

"Only an initial report will be made"

The instruction not to investigate was handed down in fragmentary order (FRAGO) 242, first mentioned in a report filed on May 16, 2005...

Submitted by tnjp on September 24, 2010 - 1:50pm.


Campaign for GI and Veteran Rights - First sector: Right to Heal
Operation Recovery: A Campaign to Stop the Deployment of Traumatized Troops

On October 7, the 9th anniversary of the Afghanistan invasion, Iraq Veterans Against the War will announce our first-ever strategic campaign, *Operation Recovery: Stop the Deployment of Traumatized Troops. We recognize that we must stop the deployment of all soldiers in order to end the occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, we see the deployment of soldiers with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injuries, and Military Sexual Trauma as particularly cruel, inhumane, and dangerous. *Further more, we know that without the repeated use of traumatized soldiers on the battlefield, the occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan could not continue. This is how we will end these wars, by winning our right to heal.*

Do you want to help IVAW end the occupations? Sign the pledge of support for Operation Recovery.

Join our campaign now by making a Pledge of Support

We are reaching out to you, our loyal supporters, before we make the campaign announcement public. In building up to the announcement we need you to help us inform others about this issue and get them to pledge their support for the campaign.

Thousands of troops are being sent to war despite suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), and Military Sexual Trauma (MST). Many of us within IVAW have faced or are currently facing deployment as we try to recover from the severe trauma we have already experienced.

While we recognize that we must stop the deployment of all soldiers in order to end the occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan, we see the deployment of soldiers with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injuries, and Military Sexual Trauma as particularly cruel, inhumane, and dangerous. Military commanders across all branches are pushing service members far past human limits for the sake of 'combat readiness.' We cannot allow those commanders to continue to ignore the welfare of their troops who are, after all, human beings.

There is a problem, a basic right is being denied, and we will organize to get it back.

This issue affects all of us. Everyone needs to recognize that the improper standards of care in the military and VA are harming our brothers and sisters, our nation, and only furthers the cycle of dehumanization and destruction of these wars.

Spread the word about the campaign here: https://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5966/tell_a_friend/operationrecover... ...

Submitted by Carol on January 6, 2008 - 11:20pm.

"For the past six years, our rights have been on the chopping block. If 2007 was the year we didn’t get our freedom back, 2008 will be the year we demand it. Our holiday wish list is simple: We want our Constitution back. It doesn’t even need a ribbon. This New Year, we resolve to hold our leaders accountable. We hope they will resolve to follow the law."

2007: The Year We Didn’t Get Our Freedoms Back

Top 10 ways our government failed us:

Submitted by Lydia Vickers on December 19, 2007 - 1:18pm.

C. Rosenberg's latest story about Adel Hamad #940 with a picture & paragraph about Lydia participating in last year's protest at SouthCom:

YouTube-aided detainee released, sent home to Sudan
Posted on Thu, Dec. 13, 2007 BY CAROL ROSENBERG
The military has sent home from Guantánamo Bay a Sudanese hospital worker whose lawyers campaigned in cyberspace for his freedom, in part by enlisting television's West Wing president to make a YouTube video.

Adel Hamad, 49, was among 15 long-held detainees whose release was announced by the Defense Department Wednesday night. Thirteen captives went to lockups in Afghanistan and two were set free in Sudan.

The transfer lowered the prison camp population at the U.S. Navy base in southeast Cuba to ''approximately 290,'' or below 300 for the first time since an airlift filled the crude open-air compound called Camp X-Ray on Feb. 15, 2002.

Hamad, a charity worker in Peshawar, Pakistan, claims he was wrongly captured by Pakistani security forces and handed over to U.S. troops in Afghanistan in 2002. Thursday, he took part in a government-sponsored news conference in Khartoum, Sudan, to protest his five-year confinement....

Submitted by tnjp on December 11, 2007 - 9:30pm.

CodePINK Protest Torture at the White House on International Human Rights Day.


bonus video below the fold, Col. Ann Wright interview...

Submitted by tnjp on November 16, 2007 - 5:27pm.

Does anyone else think it's time to take away their tasers?


Taser video shows RCMP shocked immigrant within 25 seconds of their arrival
Last Updated: Thursday, November 15, 2007 | 12:52 PM ET CBC News

An eyewitness's video recording of a man dying after being stunned with a Taser by police on Oct. 14 at Vancouver International Airport has been released to the public.

The 10-minute video recording clearly shows four RCMP officers talking to Robert Dziekanski while he is standing with his back to a counter and with his arms lowered by his sides, but his hands are not visible.

About 25 seconds after police enter the secure area where he is, there is a loud crack that sounds like a Taser shot, followed by Dziekanski screaming and convulsing as he stumbles and falls to the floor.

Another loud crack can be heard as an officer appears to fire one more Taser shot into Dziekanski.

As the officers kneel on top of Dziekanski and handcuff him, he continues to scream and convulse on the floor....

Submitted by tnjp on November 11, 2007 - 2:55pm.

http://www.soaw.org/index.php

November Vigil: 16-18,2007
Take a Stand for Human Rights!

On the weekend of November 16-18, thousands will gather at the gates of Fort Benning, Georgia for the Vigil and the Nonviolent Direct Action to Close the School of the Americas and to end the racist system of violence and domination that the SOA represents. Take a Stand for Justice!

After a close vote in the house of representatives on an amendment that would have cut funding for the SOA/WHINSEC, a series of very successful delegations to Latin America, and the Bolivian and Costa Rican governments’ announcements that they would cease all training at the school; this years vigil is shaping up to be one of the most exciting in recent years!

Come celebrate with us and join torture survivors, students, social movement leaders, religious workers, peacemakers, the Indigo girls, Congressman Jim McGovern, presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich, the 1000 Grandmothers, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, Carrie Newcomer, Students for a Democratic Society, Rabbi Michael Lerner, Veterans for Peace, Aimee Allison, Josefina Lazo from El Salvador, Jim Schmitz of AFSCME, Miguel Ángel Vásquez de la Rosa from Oaxaca and thousands more in denouncing SOA/WHINSEC-sponsored violence in Latin America and demand a radical change in U.S. foreign policy!

Submitted by tnjp on November 9, 2007 - 4:46pm.

Senate confirms Mukasey as attorney general
Bush nominee wins backing for post despite waterboarding flap
updated 12:56 a.m. ET, Fri., Nov. 9, 2007
WASHINGTON - The Senate confirmed retired judge Michael Mukasey as attorney general Thursday night to replace Alberto Gonzales, who was forced from office in a scandal over his handling of the Justice Department.

Mukasey was confirmed as the nation’s 81st attorney general after a sharp debate over his refusal to say whether the waterboarding interrogation technique is torture.

President Bush thanked the Senate, even though the margin had been whittled down from nearly unanimous by a sharp debate over Mukasey’s refusal to say whether the waterboarding interrogation technique is torture.....

Roll Call Vote...

I guess this means no water-boarding simulations in front of Bill Nelson's offices!

Submitted by tnjp on November 7, 2007 - 6:00am.

Mukasey Must Denounce Torture, Publicly and On the Record
Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to advance Mukasey’s nomination without getting real answers on the issue of torture and the broader issue of executive authority. In doing so, they missed a real opportunity to make progress on ending torture and reining in a president that believes he is above the law. Now, every senator has a responsibility to act.

Take Action: Tell Your senators Mukasey must commit to enforcing torture and spying laws.

Full Senate Should Seek What the Judiciary Committee Failed To Obtain (11/6/2007)

Senate Should Not Move Forward with an Attorney General Nominee Who Refuses to Classify Waterboarding as Torture

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: media@dcaclu.org

WASHINGTON-- – As the Senate Judiciary Committee voted today to approve the nomination of Judge Michael Mukasey for attorney general, the American Civil Liberties Union now calls upon the full Senate to obtain what the committee could not – an admission from the nominee that waterboarding and other extreme interrogation tactics are torture. During the confirmation hearings and in his responses to further questions, Judge Mukasey carefully avoided stating whether waterboarding is torture when authorized by the federal government, as well as refusing to say that it is also illegal for foreign countries to waterboard, beat and shock American citizens...

Submitted by tnjp on September 5, 2007 - 12:44pm.



Petition: http://WhenTheSaints.org It's been two years since Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast region, and still there are tens of thousands of families without homes. 30,000 families are scattered across the country in FEMA apartments, 13,000 are in trailers, and hardly any of
the 77,000 rental units destroyed in New Orleans have been rebuilt. Support
the Gulf Coast Recovery Bill of 2007 by signing the petition at
www.WhenTheSaints.org

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