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Gender: Male
Current location: Potlandia
Member since: Fri Sep 28, 2007, 04:39 PM
Number of posts: 11,263

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Truthout: US Faulted for Undermining Torture Convention

An excellent read, IMHO..

US Faulted for Undermining Torture Convention
Sunday, 14 December 2014 11:41
By Thalif Deen, Inter Press Service | Report

The release of the two reports – by a U.S. Senate committee on the CIA’s interrogation tactics, and also the systematic human rights violations in Brazil as revealed in a report by the country’s National Truth Commission – also coincided with Human Rights Day, which the United Nations commemorates annually on Dec. 10.

“Strange coincidence indeed,” Vijay Prashad, professor of international studies at Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut, told IPS. He said the report by the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee shows they were well aware the revelations “stink”.

“There is a very telling section where they say that then U.S. Secretary of State] Colin Powell must not be informed, because if he is, he would blow his stack,” said Prashad, who has written extensively on international politics and is the author of 15 books. They knew they were outside the lines, they concealed it from their own people, and yet no one will be held accountable,” he added.

Responding to the two reports, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Raad Al Hussein, urged the U.N.’s 193 member states to act unequivocally in their effort to stamp out torture. He said the U.S. report shows torture is still taking place in quite a few of the 156 countries that have ratified the Convention and have domestic legislation making torture illegal.

To have it so clearly confirmed that it was recently practised as a matter of policy by a country such as the United States is a very stark reminder that we need to do far, far more to stamp it out everywhere,” he continued.


Is Your Belligerent RW Neighbor a "Swatting Prankster"? You'd better hope not.

Homeowner Killed In No-Knock Drug Raid. No Drugs Found. Shot in the head and back.

DailyKos * by Sam FishFollow * THU DEC 11, 2014

David Hooks was shot in the back and head as he was lying face down on the floor during a drug raid by Laurens County deputies. That's according to the lawyer representing his family. It's been nearly four months since David Hooks was shot to death during a drug raid at his East Dublin home.

As it turns out, David Hooks was apparently face-down on the ground when he was murdered by the police, who were conducting what is known as a "no-knock raid". This is when the police are allowed to enter a person's home without the homeowner or primary occupant's permission.


All it takes is a combination of an over-eager police unit + a bogus tip. This is doubly so when you have the ever increasingly popular Swatting pranks occurring with ever increasing frequency.

MORE: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/12/11/1351113/-Homeowner-Killed-In-No-Knock-Drug-Raid-No-Drugs-Found-Shot-in-the-head-and-back#

The GOP's Torture Problem

I say 'bring it on' to the GOP and their despicable defense of the CIA's torturing people.
Let them dig as deep of a hole as they like, to absolutely bury themselves in '16.

The American electorate is NOT clamoring for torture to be openly embraced as common
practice by US Intel agencies. In fact, I think most are horrified and repulsed by recent revelations.

The GOP actively branding itself as "The Torture Party", and I say "have at it guys ... hey, here's
another shovel ... and take all that rope while you're at it".

UK Sex Workers Pioneering New Modes of Public Protest

Face-sitting protest outside parliament against new porn rules
Sex workers and campaigners gather to demonstrate opposition to changes to UK pornography regulations

Sex workers and campaigners have gathered in front of parliament to protest against changes to UK pornography regulations.

Organiser Charlotte Rose called the restrictions “ludicrous” and said they were a threat to freedom of expression.

Protesters say the list of banned activities includes “face-sitting”, and campaigners planned to carry out a mass demonstration of this while singing the Monty Python song Sit On My Face.

“These activities were added to this list without the public being made aware,” Charlotte Rose said. “They’ve done this without public knowledge and without public consent.

Appreciation String: Thank you Senator Feinstein, et. al. for releasing the Torture Report

Moments like these unfortunately don't come too often, not for me. Moments
where I actually feel proud of my government, where my elected leaders
double-down on truth-telling and doing the right thing.

The development and release of the US Senate's 90% redacted Torture Report
is the most significant single step towards transparency and accountability that
I've seen in quite awhile.

Also, I'm cautiously confident that the other 90% will eventually find it's way
into the light of day. Too many eyes have seen it already for it to go otherwise,

Whether or not Bush & Cheney actually end up facing a war crime trial remains to
be seen, but at least we now know for sure, what we already suspected: we not
only "tortured some folks" but we did it with a vengeance, we did it to totally
innocent people who we KNEW were innocent, "in order to prove their innocence",
just like witch Trials by Ordeal in the Dark Ages.

I for one am grateful to know the gory details, because I feel we need to know
how bad is was, in order to put a permanent stop to war crimes by our government.

Thank you Diane Feinstein. Thank you Mark Udall. And thank you to the other
Senators on the Intel Committee who supported the Torture Report's release.

Cheney Calls for International Ban on Torture Reports

Cheney Calls for International Ban on Torture Reports
BY ANDY BOROWITZ * The New Yorker * Dec. 9, 2014

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Former Vice-President Dick Cheney on Tuesday called upon the nations of the world to “once and for all ban the despicable and heinous practice of publishing torture reports.”

“Like many Americans, I was shocked and disgusted by the Senate Intelligence Committee’s publication of a torture report today,” Cheney said in a prepared statement. “The transparency and honesty found in this report represent a gross violation of our nation’s values.”

“The publication of torture reports is a crime against all of us,” he added. “Not just those of us who have tortured in the past, but every one of us who might want to torture in the future.”

Saying that the Senate’s “horrifying publication” had inspired him to act, he vowed, “As long as I have air to breathe, I will do everything in my power to wipe out the scourge of torture reports from the face of the Earth.”


Who is this NYC Police Dept. spokesperson on Anderson Cooper 360 on CNN ?? Arrggghh

He's basically saying "don't criticize us, because it's us who are keeping you safe right now."

Implying that if you don't agree with him, he just maybe won't be so into keeping you safe, or worse.

Classic protection racket line.. unfucking believable. Right on CNN to the nation.

New York AG Eric Schneiderman seeks power to investigate police killings of unarmed civilians

All I can say is HUZZAH!! and SHAZAM!! Get these cases AWAY from their local 'good ol' boy' networks,
and into the hands of State AGs and/or Special Prosecutors appointed by the governor.

~~~~~ * ~~~~~ * ~~~~~ * ~~~~~ * ~~~~~ * ~~~~~ * ~~~~~ * ~~~~~ *

New York attorney general seeks power to investigate police killings of unarmed civilians
REUTERS via Raw Story * 08 DEC 2014 * by Karen Freifeld and Scott Malone

New York’s attorney general on Monday asked the governor to empower him to investigate all deaths of unarmed civilians at the hands of police in the state, following waves of protests nationwide over police killings.

Saying the public had little confidence in local prosecutors’ ability to investigate police officers with whom they work closely, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman called on Governor Andrew Cuomo to authorize state-led investigations and prosecutions of police.

The move is necessary to address a “crisis of confidence” in the state’s criminal justice system, Schneiderman said in a letter to the governor.

The country has seen weeks of racially charged protests, spreading from Missouri to New York to California following a pair of cases in which grand juries declined to charge white police officers in the deaths of unarmed black male suspects.


ON EDIT: Adding link to cross-post that is Totally Related. NYPD spokesperson sounding like a classic protection racket thug.

Being a cop showed me just how racist and violent the police are. There’s only one fix.

Here's one of the good ones, a good cop, who tried to 'change things from within' a police department. He couldn't stomach what he saw on the St. Lewis police force, and ended up quitting and going to work for the ACLU. If this is what happens when a 'good cop' tries to 'make a difference' from within, then it powerfully suggests to me that solving our 'police problem' is going to be an uphill battle.

This is a good read, not long. Highly recommended.

Being a cop showed me just how racist and violent the police are. There’s only one fix.
By Redditt Hudson * Washington Post * December 6, 2014

As a kid, I got used to being stopped by the police. I grew up in an inner-ring suburb of St. Louis. It was the kind of place where officers routinely roughed up my friends and family for no good reason. I hated the way cops treated me.

But I knew police weren’t all bad. One of my father’s closest friends was a cop. He became a mentor to me and encouraged me to join the force. He told me that I could use the police’s power and resources to help my community. So in 1994, I joined the St. Louis Police Department. I quickly realized how naive I’d been. I was floored by the dysfunctional culture I encountered. I won’t say all, but many of my peers were deeply racist.

One example: A couple of officers ran a Web site called St. Louis Coptalk, where officers could post about their experience and opinions. At some point during my career, it became so full of racist rants that the site administrator temporarily shut it down. Cops routinely called anyone of color a “thug,” whether they were the victim or just a bystander. This attitude corrodes the way policing is done.

As a cop, it shouldn’t surprise you that people will curse at you, or be disappointed by your arrival. That’s part of the job. But too many times, officers saw young black and brown men as targets. They would respond with force to even minor offenses. And because cops are rarely held accountable for their actions, they didn’t think too hard about the consequences.


We could start to change that by mandating that a special prosecutor be appointed to try excessive force cases. And we need more independent oversight, with teeth


Police Killing Data Filled With Many Unknowns

This IS something Obama and Loretta Lynch (newly appointed AG) CAN (and should) do. Require accurate reporting to the Dept. of Justice of all officer-involved killings, brutality and abuse of citizens.

~~~~~ * ~~~~~ * ~~~~~ * ~~~~~ * ~~~~~ * ~~~~~ * ~~~~~ * ~~~~~ *

Police Killing Data Filled With Many Unknowns
AP* By ALLEN G. BREED * 12/07/2014

Ferguson, Missouri. Cleveland, Ohio. Staten Island, New York. Eutawville, South Carolina.

In each place, individuals — all unarmed except for a child carrying a pellet gun — died at the hands of police officers. All of the dead were black. The officers involved, white.

To many Americans, it feels like a national tidal wave. And yet, no firm statistics can say whether this spate of officer-involved deaths is a growing trend or simply a series of coincidences generating a deafening buzz in news reports and social media.

"We have a huge scandal in that we don't have an accurate count of the number of people who die in police custody," says Samuel Walker, emeritus professor of criminal justice at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and a leading scholar on policing and civil liberties. "That's outrageous."

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