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RaulVB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 03:00 AM
Original message
A possibly HUGE DEVELOPMENT on Alberto Gonzales
Edited on Sat Jan-29-05 03:19 AM by RaulVB
And an activism alert based on an email that "feelthebreeze" posted earlier.

ALBERTO GONZALES WAS IN THE AIR FORCE ACADEMY ON 1976. Tonight, I listened to a caller on the "Randi Rhodes Show" (AAR) who claimed this:

He was on the Air Force academy with Gonzales and he (Gonzales) was a a training sergeant. Nothin weird but, then the caller said that "GONZALES WAS PART OF A SPECIAL PROGRAM DESIGNED TO PREPARE AIR FORCE CADETS IF THEY WERE TO BE CAPTURED BY THE ENEMY AND TORTURED."

Sergeant Gonzales, apparently was trained in the use of very particular torture methods, ALMOST EXACTLY the same methods described by him as "OK" and AUTHORIZED BY HIM TO BE USED WITH THE PRISONERS CURRENTLY IN AMERICAN MILITARY CAMPS AROUND THE WORLD!.

Please, write, contact your Senators and tell them to vote NO in the Gonzales nomination of AG.

"Feelthebreeze" posted email says:


URGENT ALERT: Torture Issue: Our calls might turn Senate around

================================================== ...

Dear Friends,

I met yesterday with a couple of people in Washington who have been
working with religious and
human rights organizations on the issue of torture, and its bearing
on whether the Senate should
confirm Alberto Gonzales as Attorney General.

As things stand, there will be a day of floor debate next week and
the vote of the Senate as a whole
will come on Thursday NEXT WEEK. So action is URGENTLY needed.

The Washington folks (and I) were greatly encouraged by the 10-8 vote
of the Senate Judiciary
Committee in favor of confirming Mr. Gonzales. We were encouraged
because when the President
first nominated Mr. Gonzales, it looked as if there might be no No
votes at all. Just a few weeks
ago, when the hearings began, it looked as if there would just three
Noes. Getting a floor debate is
itself a big victory; originally the Administration's hope was a
speedy, costless OK.

Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, chair of the Judiciary Committee,
voted for the nomination
despite the visit by and earnest discussion he had with eight
Philadelphia rabbis, and a letter from
21 Philadelphia rabbis. Had he voted No, the committee would have
been tied and no
recommendation would have come from it to the Senate.

Senator Specter's Yes was an unfortunate and saddening abdication of
his own role as guardian of
the law and the Constitution, in favor of partisan considerations of
backing the President.

Yet there is still a chance, I was told, to give Senator Specter an
out for moving in a new direction -
and not only him, but a number of other Republican Senators (not just
the so-called "moderates")
who are very uneasy about Mr. Gonzales' views.

That out is insisting that Mr. Gonzales' nomination not be voted on
by the Senate but returned to
Committee until crucial documents are supplied to the Senate about
how he decided to recommend
to the President that he has the authority to abandon the rule of
law, annul the Geneva Conventions,
shield lawbreakers from prosecution, and authorize the use of torture
by US forces and even worse,
the "rendition" of US prisoners to other countries known to use the
most brutal conceivable forms
of torture.

Those documents are necessary to make an objective, not partisan,
decision, about Mr. Gonzales.

So I urge that we all do ONE of the following:

1) Call Senator Specter's office in Washington at 202/224-4254
and urge him to vote to return
the Gonzales nomination to the Judiciary Committee until those
documents behind the pro-torture,
pro-unconstitutional expansion of Presidential power are supplied to
the Committee;


2) FAX or Email Senator Specter at 202/228-1229 or your
own letter expressing your sadness that he voted to confirm Mr.
Gonzales and urging that he vote to
return the nomination to Committee until these crucial documents can
be secured from the
Click here: ...


3) Call or write your own Senator to urge him or her to oppose
confirming Mr. Gonzales and
insist that this crucial information be made available to the Senate.
You can call 202/ 224-3121 and
ask for your own Senator, or click here: ...

If your Senator is a Democrat, urge an outright vote to reject Mr.
Gonzales' nomination. If your
Senator is a Republican, tangled in party politics, urge s/he demand
the documents and hold up the
nomination till they are produced.

We are offering brief model letters you can modify to make your own.
We also suggest drawing on
a powerful letter that Rabbis for Human Rights/ North America has
sent every Senator, drawing on
Jewish teachings. It is now the lead story on our Website Click here:

Two questions that people have raised: --

First: Shouldn't we avoid focusing on a person and focus on the issue
of torture instead? Isn't
focusing on a person partisan? Wasn't the vote by eight Democrats
against the nomination a
partisan act?

Two answers:

a) The specific people who make up a government matter. Remember
the furor in 1999 over
whether the far-right Austrian politician Joerg Haider should be
invited to join the Austrian
cabinet? The government of Israel threatened to cut diplomatic ties
with Austria if Mr Haider
joined the cabinet, and the European Union threatened sanctions
against Austria. Abstract
opposition to anti-Semitism and neo-Nazism was of course not enough.
The person mattered. Here

b) If the Democrats had been responding out of partisanship, they
would have voted to confirm
Mr. Gonzales because they have been anxiously courting the Hispanic
vote. It is those Senators
who suppressed their own qualms to vote FOR the nomination in order
to support their party's
President who were voting for partisan reasons.

Second question: Why take on what is sure to be a losing battle?

Also two answers:

a) It's no longer so certain (though still probable) that it will
be a losing battle. Already we have
won much more than seemed possible a few weeks ago: eight No votes in
Committee, and a
reluctant agreement by the Senate leadership to a real debate about
Mr. Gonzales that will be the
first Congressional debate about torture.

b) Even if we cannot totally derail the nomination, we can build
support for the future, just as the
religious right spent years campaigning around their issues, only to
be defeated time after time --
building their defeats into a long-range mass movement.

Religious and spiritual communities ought to be especially able to
stand firm for what is right, even
when defeated. Think of the histories of Judaism, Christianity,
Islam. Think of the history of
abolitionism, Black struggles in the South, the struggles of women
for equality.

The Roman general Pyrrhus said after a bloody victory in battle, "One
more such victory, and I am
undone!" Such "triumphs" became known as "Pyrrhic victories." I am
suggesting we should with
care and courage be taking on issues that are profoundly in touch
with the Spirit - like the abolition
of torture. We should accept momentary "Pyrrhic defeats"; and we
should say, "One more, two
more, ten more such defeats, and we will transform our country to the good!"

Aside from the original memo, has Gonzales done anything wrong? His
responses to Judiciary
Committee questions about the actuality of torture were evasive, full
of "I don't remember" in
regard to a very important and unprecedented memo he gave the
President (a surprising thing to
forget) and in regard to memos he received about torture from lawyers
in the Justice Department.

And in the hearings he explicitly repeated the Bush Administration's
assertion that the Geneva
Conventions do not apply to people the Administration unilaterally
labels "enemy combatants"
rather than POW's

Even worse, he has not been willing to repudiate the definition of
torture that was so extreme that
most forms of torture would be permitted.

The torture carried out by US soldiers was not only at Abu Ghraib but
also at Guantanamo, in
Afghanistan, and in many Iraqi locations - plus foreign prisons to
which the US has "rendered"
prisoners for the worst forms of torture. And the methods used were
not "only" the humiliations we
saw at Abu Ghraib, but beatings to death, near drownings (repeated on
the same prisoners again
and again), inserting burning matches into prisoners' ears, and the
use of electric shock.

FBI agents who witnessed what was happening at Guantanamo were
horrified, and called it illegal.
So did the International Red Cross.

Enough. No one who was willing to permit all this is worthy to become Attorney

Shalom, Arthur

We draw on the spiritual wisdom of Jewish and other traditions
to challenge the pharaohs of our generation -
unaccountable corporate and governmental power,
and our own blind habits, overwork, arrogance, and envy --
and to seek peace, justice, compassion, and healing of the earth.

Our postal address is
6711 Lincoln Drive
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19119
United States

* I hope I'm not violating any of the forum's rules concerning the length of a post.


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alittlelark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 03:06 AM
Response to Original message
1. I heard him on the show as well.
I will utilize your links, but once she checks out the story (assume accurate), we're gonna have a GREAT RR show on Monday, and a DOA atty gen. by the end of the week.
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RaulVB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 03:14 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. Fingers crossed (n/t)
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Hapameli Donating Member (449 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 03:11 AM
Response to Original message
2. Here's the link to the clip from that caller.
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RaulVB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 03:16 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. Thanks!, Great!
I appreciate it.
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NYC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 04:11 AM
Response to Reply #2
6. Thanks.
I hope someone verifies that.
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NVMojo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 04:08 AM
Response to Original message
5. Gonzales reminds me of a little kid who loved to play "doctor" on his
block and give his playmates popsicle stick enemas ...this man is a sick feck....
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undergroundpanther Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 04:23 AM
Response to Original message
7. somehing I heard
About the training for being tortured thing.

I have talked with a person who's out of the marines now,about what he went through,apparently he said to prepare for torture if they were caught by enemies.

He told me sick stuff he suffered through like being forced to watch a hungry calf fondle another person's dick,
having to watch other guys at random while restrained being given mystery injections in an IV with violent side effects and never knowing if you were going to be given something too.
Being beaten up.
Having guns pointed at put in the mouth or in the butt of you or other soldiers.
Put on tables that spin.
Kept awake for days.
In a isolation tank deprived of sensations..
He said he was made suicidal by it.
When they put the gun in his face,he asked them to kill him.

Why? Would you want your kid,freind,spouse,brother/sister to maybe go through this kind of abuse?

I saw threads even on DU awhile ago about fellow soldiers hazing each other and tales about the superiors not caring about it.Some even posted pictures.I was sickened by the abuses.It reminded me of the Stanford experiment.What kind of society profits off of trauma? An authoritarian one.A war economy does.Is this what America has become? Rape is rampant on military bases.Why? You hear about it in the news. Why do soldiers not care?Why are they hostile to women? Who taught them this,who excuses that kind of dehumanizing?
How much trauma can a person endure before they become a bully to defend against it? Ask the military trainers apparently they must know something about trauma.

An old military saying claims to make a citizen into a good soldier the military has to "break them down and remake them into a soldier." How much of the breaking down process includes brainwashing,humiliation,torture,abuses,dehumanizing degrading bullying sadism and the tolerance of it by higher ups??
Some ex military people I have spoken to or been around as they talked,related stories of some sick bullying as if it is normal.
Some related sometimes bizarre abuses and gruesome"exercises"the military did to them. My father told me some sick stuff too..

There is something insane going on when sadism is seen as normal or being tortured and pretending to be'tough'is seen as'character building'.It builds characters alright,bad characters like Lynne England.
No wonder Gonzales has no integrity or conscience in him .The military apparently deliberately destroyed his morality,shut down his own inner locus of control that says by empathy and by experience of what suffering is,what is right and wrong as a human being to do to a human being. Gonzales is a good soldier he will follow orders torture,rationalize torture and kill on command apparently.
No wonder so many vets come back crazy their very souls have been broken so they will kill on command.So sad! When this happened to Patty Hearst it was so horrible,when it happens en mass to our teens it's called an service in honor.
If military culture OK's abusing a person until they lose their moral compass and having them "bond" with a "commander" I fear they may be creating Stockholm syndrome in soldier/citizens.So no wonder some soldiers can abuse prisoners at abu Gharib and see no wrong in doing that ,as most of the others look the other way,they follow orders,just like the SS said they did.

This apparently warped sociopath morality is in the military,itself Sometimes soldiers who come back from'service' kill people.The DC sniper and his teenage follower.The guy manipulating the teen was EX military.Sometimes military and ex military abuse their kids/spouses.Military bases have couselors for this.
Ex military sometimes abuse prisoners and seek work in prisons because they get off on abuse,sadism and authority.

I think it effects all of society when soldiers come back that have been taught to silence their inner conscience to follow orders are expected to not have sickness and inability to integrate fter serving time in an abuse situation..If a person is in an abusive relationship and gets out of it, psychologists say it takes years to recover from it's damaging effects.Apparently a stay in the military gives you PS TD like any abuse situation can for the same abuseive reason,yet people deny the effects of abuse harm soldiers because it is military.Why?.Abuse hurts people... I don't care who you are,pain is pain and it damages you.

There is something sick about this kind of abusive "culture" being sanctioned by our society .If drafts force young people to be abused,it's a tragedy of epic proportions. It seems like the sickness is invented tio serve those at the top of our society and it is passed down..They who command and require human beings to be conditioned to deaden their conscience to kill for these so called 'national interests' are sickest of all.and they never have to face battle nor trhier children.There is something cowardly about that.
This dynamic is very scary to me... and I wish more people would tell the truth,and hear it.
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RaulVB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 03:10 PM
Response to Reply #7
16. I'm witnessing the effects of this first hand...
And is very sad, I tell you...
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enough Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 08:27 AM
Response to Original message
8. It is beyond me why anyone would think Arlen Specter would make a vote
on the basis of moral or ethical truth. Somehow he has convinced the world that he is "independent" or thoughtful. He is utterly devoid of principles. No, he does have one basic underlying value -- his own career.

However, I applaud the valiant effort to make him see the light. As his constituent, I will join it.

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Al-CIAda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 09:11 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. Arlen Spector is responsible for the 'magic bullet' theory.
You know, the one where a single bullet changed directions and performs feats of physics heretofore only replicated by the way those towers came down so quickly.
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jmcgowanjm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 10:07 AM
Response to Reply #8
11. the fact that we're having to go to the mat for this
It is a war crime, and we have sentenced people to death for doing it

If that aint evil, I don't know what is

by Scott Horton LA Times:

Alberto Gonzales wrote that the Geneva Convention
was "obsolete" when it came to the war on terror.
Gonzales reasoned that our adversaries were not parties to
the convention and that the Geneva concept was ill suited
to anti-terrorist warfare. In 1941, General-Field Marshal
Wilhelm Keitel, the head of Hitler's Wehrmacht,
mustered identical arguments against recognizing the
Geneva rights of Soviet soldiers fighting on the Eastern
Front. Keitel even called Geneva "obsolete," a remark noted
by U.S. prosecutors at Nuremberg, who cited it as
an aggravating circumstance in seeking, and obtaining,
the death penalty. Keitel was executed in 1946.

Making Alberto Gonzales the Attorney General of the
United States would be a travesty: it would mean taking one
of the legal architects of an illegal and immoral policy
and installing him as the official who is charged with
protecting our constitutional rights. The Gonzales memo
paved the way to Abu Ghraib, said CCR President
Michael Ratner

-The Senators know what they're doing. They represent the richest 1% and they'll
be called on it-one way or another.

Watch how our "leaders" get uglier and older before
their time. Like magic, the internal hypocrisy and ignorance
will transform them before our very eyes.-

Keitel's remarks were made in response to a
valiant memorandum prepared by German military lawyers
who argued that the interests of Germany's soldiers, and
the interests of morale and good order, would be served
by adhering to the Geneva treaty.

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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 09:12 AM
Response to Original message
10. RaulVB, thank you for this information! I will use it!
GO HERE for all Senate tel, fax, email and snail mail. The Dem list at the bottom of the thread is the most complete (includes state offices). The Repub list is mid-thread.

I am making the point in letters to Dem Senators that the Rice and Gonzales nominations are way out of the maintstream of American public opinion (nearly 60% of Americans oppose the Iraq war, for instance--and I imagine Americans feel the same about torture, probably moreso), that these are arrogant, insulting, in-your-face nominations, indicating a complete lack of accountability to the public, and that the answer is paper ballots and hand counts. (Ha!)

Why is Bush foisting congenital liars, architects of mass slaughter and pro-torture lawyers upon us? Because his pals have our election system sewn up. What do they care about retribution at the polls? It will never happen with BushCons owning the secret proprietary source code by which all our votes are counted.

And them I'm tacking on a list of election fraud expert reports, as follows:

On the exit poll discrepancy and the impossible odds against Bush winning:

Dr. Steven Freeman 1st study:
(also at: )
Dr. Steven Freeman 2nd study:
Dr. Ron Baiman:
Dr. Webb Mealy:
Jonathan Simon:

130,000 to 230,000 phantom votes for Bush in FLA (paper vs. electronic voting)
Dr. Michael Haut & UC Berkeley stats team:

Johns Hopkins report on electronic voting:

Ohio vote suppression:

TruthIsAll: "To believe Bush won, you have to believe"

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3
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Al-CIAda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 10:26 AM
Response to Original message
12. Link no longer working-
Raul, The link to the petition and info has this now-

This page is no longer available.
Powered by 2005

So, what might that mean? Has the link been 'suicided'?
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RaulVB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 02:11 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. I think so, sorry (n/t)
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troubleinwinter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 12:33 PM
Response to Original message
13. Kick... and writing more letters
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bush_is_wacko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 02:17 PM
Response to Original message
15. FAX them! Letters won't reach them in time and they never read their
freaking emails anymore!
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