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Member since: Fri Nov 12, 2004, 08:39 AM
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Documentary on U.S. Torture Seeks to Begin Process of Truth-Telling (Many "Fought & Fought" Policy)


Documentary on U.S. torture seeks to begin process of truth-telling

By Muriel Kane
Friday, May 25, 2012 21:59 EDT
Since the close of the Bush administration, there has been little official attention paid to the policy during those years of using torture on accused terrorists in order to extract administration. As a result, the American Civil Liberties Union and the writers’ and human rights group PEN have conducted their own study of 150,000 declassified documents and other materials and have now published The Torture Report: What the Documents Say About America’s Post-9/11 Torture Program.

Larry Siems of PEN, a lead writer of the report, appeared Friday on the PBS program Moyers & Company along with Doug Liman, director of The Bourne Identity and Fair Game. Liman is currently putting together a documentary, Reckoning with Torture, based on readings of excerpts from those documents that have been staged by the ACLU and PEN.

- snip -

“You can’t believe some of these documents that they’ve uncovered,” Liman added. “And, you know, in a way it’s a tribute to this country that the Freedom of Information Act actually works, that you don’t actually need WikiLeaks. … You begin to recover just glimpses of humanity, because you hear the voices of detainees. We’ve never heard them. The whole system has been structured so you never hear them tell their stories.”

Siems emphasized that the documents also demonstrate that not everybody responded to the fear that followed 9/11 by endorsing torture. “I think one of the clearest stories that the documents tell,” he stated, “is that many, many people who are in positions of high responsibility had felt exactly the same pressure and had exactly the opposite reaction that John Yoo, and Dick Cheney, and George Bush had. There were a stream of legal memos that were written by the lawyers of every single service that challenged John Yoo’s memo. They fought, and fought, and fought.”

U.S. Asks Judge to Undo Ruling Against Military Detention Law

Source: Reuters

U.S. asks judge to undo ruling against military detention law

NEW YORK | Fri May 25, 2012 8:54pm EDT

By Basil Katz

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Federal prosecutors on Friday urged a judge to lift her order barring enforcement of part of a new law that permits indefinite military detention, a measure critics including a prize-winning journalist say is too vague and threatens free speech.

Manhattan federal court Judge Katherine Forrest this month ruled in favor of activists and reporters who said they feared being detained under a section of the law, signed by President Barack Obama in December.

The government says indefinite military detention without trial is justified in some cases involving militants and their supporters.

But critics worry that the law is unclear and gives the Executive Branch sole discretion to decide who and what type of activities can be considered as supporting militants.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSBRE84P01H20120526?irpc=932

Prosecutors: Trayvon's Killer Said to Make Self-Incriminating Statements

Source: Reuters

Trayvon's killer said to make self-incriminating statements

ORLANDO, FLORIDA | Thu May 24, 2012 8:01pm EDT

By Barbara Liston

ORLANDO, Florida (Reuters) - Neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman made statements to police that help establish his guilt in the second-degree murder case against him for killing unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin, prosecutors said in a court filing on Thursday.

The claim came in a motion by prosecutors to keep some of Zimmerman's statements under seal pending his trial in a case that triggered civil rights protests across the United States, while sparking widespread debate over guns, self-defense laws and U.S. race relations.

"Defendant (Zimmerman) has provided law enforcement with numerous statements, some of which are contradictory, and are inconsistent with the physical evidence and statements of witnesses," the prosecutors said in their court filing.

- snip -

The court filing offered no details about the statements Zimmerman made to police or other law enforcement officials. It said Florida's public records law had no provision requiring "the disclosure of a confession" of a defendant.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSBRE84O00020120525?irpc=932

Occupy Wall Street Sues NYC Over Confiscated Books, Computers

Source: Reuters

Occupy Wall Street sues NYC over confiscated books

NEW YORK | Thu May 24, 2012 3:02pm EDT

By Joseph Ax

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Occupy Wall Street filed a federal lawsuit Thursday against New York City, claiming authorities destroyed $47,000 worth of books, computers and other equipment confiscated from the protesters' encampment in lower Manhattan last fall.

Police conducted a surprise overnight raid at Zuccotti Park in November, clearing scores of protesters who had set up tents at the plaza near Wall Street and dealing a significant blow to the movement's potency.

As part of the sweep, Occupy claims, police officers seized approximately 3,600 books from the "People's Library" that had been donated to the movement. The protesters claim only 1,000 were returned, 200 of them in unusable condition - including a copy of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's autobiography.

"To this day, OWS has not been told by the City of New York what happened to the missing books and the Library furnishings and equipment," according to the lawsuit, which was filed in Manhattan federal court.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSBRE84N1FI20120524?irpc=932

Google Moogle Doodle: In Honor of Robert Moog's 78th Birthday, Play Your Very Own Synthesizer...!

Go check out the Google Doodle. http://www.google.com All the controls work, not just the keyboard. Drag your cursor along the keyboard. You can record it, too.

Playin it reminds me of the synthesizer solo in Ohio Player's "Funky Worm."


Awesome Google Doodle Celebrates Birthday of Robert Moog with Playable Synthesizer
By Ed Oswald, PCWorld May 22, 2012 6:29 PM

Credit: Creative CommonsGoogle honors the legacy of Robert Moog Wednesday, the father of the modern electronic synthesizer, with what quite possibly is its most elaborate doodle yet -- a working Moog synthesizer. Wednesday marks the late music pioneer’s 78th birthday. You can play Google's virtual Moog synthesizer now in countries where it is already May 23.


Google Doodles for Robert Moog and his synthesizer

23 May, 2012, 10:36 am IST | by Padmini Harchandrai |

Remember last year's Les Paul Google Doodle? The one with the logo transformed into a solid body electric guitar resulting in people shirking work everywhere to make some music? This time the music comes in the form of a synthesizer and the Doodle is dedicated to the inventor of the Moog synthesizer, Robert Moog. The Doodle functions only in Google Chrome (as we've noticed so far, if it's worked in any other browser for you, let us know) and features a synthsizer which you can either play by clicking on the keys or by typing on your computer keyboard. The sharps and flats (black notes) are played with the numbers on your keyboard and the regular notes with the letters. The sound that emanates is electronic and you can adjust the pitch by using the pitch wheel on the left. You can record your composition by hitting the record button on the right and play back your composition. You can also share your work on Google+.

Bennett Backs Off Birther Threat, Apologizes to Arizona

Source: TPM

Bennett Backs Off Birther Threat, Apologizes To Arizona

Nick R. Martin May 22, 2012, 6:43 PM

Updated: May 22, 2012, 7:01 PM

After days of ridicule for launching a conspiracy theory-fueled investigation into Barack Obama’s birth certificate, Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett on Tuesday backed off his threat to keep the president off the ballot in November and apologized to his state.

“If I embarrassed the state, I apologize, but that certainly wasn’t my intent,” Bennett said in an interview with Phoenix radio station KTAR. “He’ll be on the ballot as long as he fills out the same paperwork and does the same things that everybody else has.”

Bennett said he still intends to keep asking Hawaii for verification that Obama’s birth certificate is authentic. But he said he only plans to use Hawaii’s answer as a way to satisfy demands from constituents who remain unconvinced Obama is a natural born citizen of the United States and so therefore eligible to be president.

He also said he talked to Hawaii’s attorney general on Monday night and clarified what he is looking to have verified. He said he “reworded” his request and expects to receive a response from Hawaii officials “in the next 24 to 48 hours.”

Read more: http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/05/ken_bennett_apologizes_obama_birther_hawaii_arizona.php?m=1

Bush and Blair’s Pre-Iraq Conversation Must Be Disclosed, U.K. Tribunal Rules

Source: The Guardian / Raw Story

Bush and Blair’s pre-Iraq conversation must be disclosed, U.K. tribunal rules

By Richard Norton-Taylor, The Guardian
Tuesday, May 22, 2012 0:01 EDT

Extracts of a phone conversation between Tony Blair and George Bush a few days before the invasion of Iraq must be disclosed, a tribunal has ruled.

The Foreign Office lost an appeal against an order by the information commissioner, Christopher Graham, to disclose records of the conversation between the two leaders on 12 March 2003. Graham’s order was made in response to a freedom of information request by Stephen Plowden, a private individual who demanded disclosure of the entire record of the conversation.

- snip -

Upholding that ruling on Monday, Judge John Angel, president of the information tribunal, said Foreign Office witnesses had downplayed the importance of a decision to go to war, a view the tribunal found “difficult to accept”.

The tribunal added: “Also in our view, particularly from the evidence in this case, the circumstances surrounding a decision by a UK government to go to war with another country is always likely to be of very significant public interest, even more so with the consequences of this war.”

Read more: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/05/22/bush-and-blairs-pre-iraq-conversation-must-be-disclosed-u-k-tribunal-rules/

Assange Stands 'Real Chance' of Election in Australia

Source: AFP


AFP May 19, 2012, 4:04 pm

SYDNEY (AFP) - Controversial WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange stands a real chance of winning an upper house seat in his native Australia if he presses ahead with plans to stand for election, according to a poll.

A survey conducted by the ruling Labor party's internal pollsters UMR Research and published in the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper showed 25 percent of those polled would vote for the whistleblowing website chief.

Supporters of the left-wing Greens party were most likely to be pro-Assange, with 39 percent saying they would vote for him, meaning he had a good chance of wresting a Greens Senate spot, UMR's John Utting told the newspaper.

"There is clearly a significant level of support for Julian Assange which crosses party lines and is more concentrated amongst Greens voters," he said.

Read more: http://au.news.yahoo.com/world/a/-/world/13727635/assange-stands-real-chance-of-election-in-australia

10,000 March at Frankfurt Occupy Protest Rally

Source: Associated Press

May 19, 7:38 AM EDT

10,000 march at Frankfurt Occupy protest rally

BERLIN (AP) -- German police say some 10,000 activists are participating in a major rally of the local Occupy movement in Frankfurt.

Police spokesman Ruediger Regis said Saturday more protesters are still flowing into the city center of continental Europe's biggest financial hub.

Organizers have said they expect some 20,000 protesters.

The protest group calling itself Blockupy denounces the power of the banks and what they perceive to be untamed capitalism. It has called for barring access to the European Central Bank, which is located in Frankfurt's downtown business district.

Read more: http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/E/EU_GERMANY_OCCUPY?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

Video Released of Trayvon Martin Buying Iced Tea and Skittles

Source: Raw Story / Guardian

Video released of Trayvon Martin buying iced tea and Skittles

By Richard Luscombe, The Guardian
Friday, May 18, 2012 17:53 EDT

Prosecutors have released video footage of Trayvon Martin buying sweets and a drink in a Florida convenience store minutes before he was shot and killed in a confrontation with a neighbourhood watch leader.

The scenes recorded at the 7-Eleven close to the Retreat at Twin Lakes development in Sanford show Martin, 17, wearing a black hooded top and beige trousers, walking up to the counter and paying.

Soon after leaving the shop Martin got into a fight with George Zimmerman, who had already called police to report a “suspicious” black male in the neighbourhood. Martin was shot dead by a single shot to the chest at point-blank range, the gunshot heard on recordings of several 911 calls made by neighbours.

The video is among the latest in a batch of evidence released on Friday by prosecutors who have charged Zimmerman, 28, with second-degree murder.

It represents the first public glimpse of the unarmed teenager on 26 February, the night he was killed in an incident that led to race protests and the resignation of the local police chief. The Sanford police department originally released Zimmerman without charge after he claimed he acted in self-defence, and he was arrested in April only after the appointment of a special prosecutor to re-examine the evidence.

Read more: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/05/18/video-released-of-trayvon-martin-buying-iced-tea-and-skittles/
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