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kpete

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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 51,324

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“Which country do you think is the greatest threat to peace in the world today?”

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http://imgur.com/gallery/vEF7zLv

Have you heard the screams of a prisoner who is being tortured in America’s war on terror?

Have you heard the screams of a prisoner who is being tortured in America’s war on terror? I can’t forget them.

They pierced the walls of a detention center I visited in Samarra during an offensive by American and Iraqi forces in 2005. In a small room, I was interviewing a frightened detainee whose head was bandaged from an injury he unconvincingly attributed to a car accident during his capture. Bloodstains dripped down the side of a desk, and there was an American military adviser with us, as well as a portly officer of Iraq’s special police commandos.

Suddenly there was a chilling scream.

“Allah,” someone wailed. “Allah! Allah!”

As I wrote at the time, this wasn’t a cry of religious ecstasy. It was the sound of deep pain, coming from elsewhere in the town library, which had been turned into a detention center by Iraqi security forces who were advised by American soldiers and contractors. I was embedded with the Americans for a week, and I had already heard two of them, from the Wisconsin National Guard, talk about seeing their Iraqi partners trussing up prisoners like animals at a slaughter. During raids, I had seen these Iraqis beat their detainees — muggings as a form of questioning — while their American advisers watched.

...........

Repression is the gut instinct of institutions that have something to hide, and I came across that in Samarra, too. Shortly after I witnessed the threatened execution of a detainee (an Iraqi soldier pointed his AK-47 at a prisoner who was against a wall with his hands up), an order came down from the American command to get me out of Samarra. I was told to pack my backpack for the next convoy out of town. After I made a flurry of calls on my satellite phone, the order was rescinded. Someone wanted the truth to come out.

........

more tears here:
https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/12/16/american-torture-things-still-dont-know/

The many faces of capitalism...

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St. Ronnie: "Prosecute torturers or extradite them to other countries for prosecution"


Message to the Senate Transmitting the Convention Against Torture and Inhuman Treatment or Punishment

May 20, 1988

With a view to receiving the advice and consent of the Senate to ratification, subject to certain reservations, understandings, and declarations, I transmit herewith the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. The Convention was adopted by unanimous agreement of the United Nations General Assembly on December 10, 1984, and entered into force on June 26, 1987. The United States signed it on April 18, 1988. I also transmit, for the information of the Senate, the report of the Department of State on the Convention.

The United States participated actively and effectively in the negotiation of the Convention. It marks a significant step in the development during this century of international measures against torture and other inhuman treatment or punishment. Ratification of the Convention by the United States will clearly express United States opposition to torture, an abhorrent practice unfortunately still prevalent in the world today.

The core provisions of the Convention establish a regime for international cooperation in the criminal prosecution of torturers relying on so-called "universal jurisdiction." Each State Party is required either to prosecute torturers who are found in its territory or to extradite them to other countries for prosecution...

By giving its advice and consent to ratification of this Convention, the Senate of the United States will demonstrate unequivocally our desire to bring an end to the abhorrent practice of torture.

RONALD REAGAN
The White House,
May 20, 1988.



http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=35858

Pretty Cute

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http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/12/18/1352585/-Abbreviated-Pundit-Round-up-More-rubles-to-rubble-commentary-undoing-ineffective-Cuba-policy

THE POPE STRIKES AGAIN!---White House Credits Pope Francis For Facilitating Cuba Deal

WASHINGTON — Pope Francis was instrumental in facilitating the normalization of relations between the United States and Cuba, a senior White House official said Wednesday.

President Obama is expected to announce a deal with the Caribbean nation Wednesday afternoon that will pave the way for the first U.S. embassy on Cuban soil since the Kennedy administration and a relaxing of many of the American economic and travel restrictions on Cuba that have defined the relationship between the two nations for decades.

Francis played a big role in bringing the longtime rivals to the negotiating table, the official said. Francis sent what was characterized as an extraordinary personal letter to Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro over the summer, urging both parties to end their frosty relationship. Following the letter, and the negotiations, Obama and Castro had a phone conversation that helped lead to Wednesday’s announcement.

The letter “gave us greater impetus and momentum for us to move forward,” the administration official said. The Vatican was the only government that participated in the negotiations between the U.S. and Cuba. Vatican officials were “in those meetings,” the official said.



http://www.buzzfeed.com/evanmcsan/white-house-credits-pope-francis-for-facilitating-cuba-deal#.guZXxjR8y

"What Are YOU In For?"

?1418833647

About Time-Congress Is Finally Going to Make Local Law Enforcement Report How Many People They Kill

Over the weekend, tens of thousands of marchers rallied against police brutality, standing in solidarity with families who have lost loved ones to police violence. With public scrutiny zeroed in on deaths at the hands of law enforcement, one thing is noticeably missing: A federal record of just how many people die in police custody each year.

This, however, could be changing. Last week, Congress passed the Death in Custody Reporting Act of 2013. Currently awaiting Obama's signature, it mandates that states receiving federal criminal justice assistance grants report, by gender and race, all deaths that occur in law enforcement custody, including any while a person is being detained or arrested. This would include events like the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, says Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), a sponsor of the bill, in an interview with Mother Jones.

The bill also mandates that federal law enforcement agencies annually gather and report these deaths to the US attorney general, who in turn has two years to analyze the data, determine if and how it can be used to reduce the number of such deaths, and file a report to Congress.

The bill is backed by groups like the NAACP, which argue that it will increase accountability and transparency. The process it envisions would collect more data than the FBI's existing Uniform Crime Reporting Program, which only tallies what are considered "justifiable" homicides by police, a designation that can criminalize victims of police killings. As DIY databases have cropped up—the Killed By Police Facebook page, for instance, gets its stats by aggregating news stories—the bill could establish a more accurate and official repository.


http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/12/death-custody-reporting-act-police-shootings-ferguson-garner

Jeb Bush may be 'the smart brother' – but he's as much of a climate denier as any conservative

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Jeb doesn’t just want to keep burning fossil fuels while the planet burns. He’s an out-and-out flat-earther – just like the other Republicans seen as leading contenders in the 2016 presidential race – and he’s been on the record denying climate science for years.

“I think global warming may be real,” Jeb Bush said in 2011, in what seemed like a promising start to the subject in a Fox interview. But he followed it up with the false statement that there is some kind of dispute among scientists about the causes of climate change – which there is not:

It is not unanimous among scientists that it is disproportionately manmade. What I get a little tired of on the left is this idea that somehow science has decided all this so you can’t have a view.


Those comments put Jeb Bush in lock-step with the other climate deniers in the Republican party – and now that he has become the party’s first (almost) declared candidate, they should help set early battle lines for climate change as a major campaign issue.


http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/dec/16/jeb-bush-climate-denier-republican-presidential-candidate-2016

Rodriguez & CIA Lawyer REMOVED Sentence about Torture Illegality from Pelosi, Goss Briefing Record

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The sentence Jose Rodriguez and his lawyer eliminated — the day after folks at CIA discussed destroying the torture tapes showing they had already used this torture — recorded that one or both of Pelosi and Goss noted that these techniques would be illegal in another country

In early September 2002, the CIA briefed the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) leadership about the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques. Two days after, the CIA’s (redacted)CTC Legal , excised from a draft memorandum memorializing the briefing indications that the HPSCI leadership questioned the legality of the program by deleting the sentence: “HPSCI attendees also questioned the legality of these techniques if other countries would use them.”2454 After (redacted) blind-copied Jose Rodriguez on the email in which he transmitted the changes to the memorandum, Rodriguez responded to email with: “short and sweet.”


At least one of these members of Congress (or their staffers) got briefed on torture and said the torture would be illegal if other countries used it, according to CIA’s own records. So CTC’s lawyer eliminated that comment from the CIA’s record, with Jose Rodriguez’ gleeful approval.

And yet he says Congress approved of these techniques from the start.





Much More:
https://www.emptywheel.net/2014/12/15/jose-rodriguez-cia-lawyer-removed-sentence-about-illegality-from-pelosi-goss-briefing-record/#comments
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