Who ended the Iraq war? The President is receiving credit for pulling American troops out of that quagmire, but writer Chris Floyd argues that Manning forced Obama's hand. The argument draws from a point made by William Blum:
It was after seeing American war crimes such as those depicted in the video "Collateral Murder" and documented in the "Iraq War Logs," made public by Manning and Wikileaks, that the Iraqis refused to exempt US forces from prosecution for future crimes. The video depicts an American helicopter indiscriminately murdering several non-combatants in addition to two Reuters journalists, and the wounding of two little children, while the helicopter pilots cheer the attacks in a Baghdad suburb like it was the Army-Navy game in Philadelphia.
The insistence of the Iraqi government on legal jurisdiction over American soldiers for violations of Iraqi law — something the United States rarely, if ever, accepts in any of the many countries where its military is stationed — forced the Obama administration to pull the remaining American troops from the country.
Submitted by libbyliberal on Tue, 12/27/2011 - 3:52am
Re-post of 3-8-2011:
The placement of human beings in solitary confinement is not a measure of their depravity. It is a measure of our own. Lynn Parramore
Bradley Manning is being tortured for our sins.
For the sins of us American citizens, many of us of limited courage, conscience and/or consciousness.
He is also being tortured -- the torturous “killing of the messenger” -- for the appalling and vast sins of the amoral rulers of this country, who are responsible for gratuitous (although they don’t consider them gratuitous if there are corporate profits involved) massive deaths and massive suffering of human beings around the globe.
The powers that be who abandoned honor and morality long ago. The ones who think that might not only makes “right” but also should protect them from any millisecond of “embarrassment” or “unease” on being called on their corrupt cronyism, narcissism, violence, venality, and so often grotesque incompetence.
They are making an example of Manning for all potential whistleblowers. To make any people of conscience think twice before calling out war criminal behaviors perpetrated by the United States. Obama, still skating on image, was our chance to turn around the fascism of the Bush regime. Instead Obama, or “Obagman” as he was bitterly referred to by some commenter the other day and I find no argument, has done all he can to lock in fascism and oligarchical oppression in the United States forever.
Great Speeches and Interviews is committed to showing the dark side of civilization. In pursue of that goal we present the radio play of George Orwell's "1984" from the NBC University Theater starring David Niven. He cautions that any government can become totalitarian.
"The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only power, pure power....The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power." -George Orwell, 1984
The Declaration of Independence is best remembered as a declaration of war, a war declared on the grounds that we wanted our own flag. The sheer stupidity and anachronism of the idea serves to discourage any thoughts about why Canada didn't need a bloody war, whether the U.S. war benefitted people outside the new aristocracy to whom power was transferred, what bothered Frederick Douglas so much about a day celebrating "independence," or what the Declaration of Independence actually said.
When you read the Declaration of Independence, it turns out to be an indictment of King George III for various abuses of power. And those abuses of power look fairly similar to abuses of power we happily permit U.S. presidents to engage in today, either as regards the people of this nation or the people of territories and nations that our military occupies today in a manner uncomfortably resembling Britain's rule over the 13 colonies.
Or perhaps I should say, a large portion of us take turns being happy or outraged depending on the political party with which the current president is identified.
To follow-up on yesterday's observations about the prolonged forced nudity to which Bradley Manning has been subjected the last two days: brig officials now confirm to The New York Times that Manning will be forced to be nude every night from now on for the indefinite future -- not only when he sleeps, but also when he stands outside his cell for morning inspection along with the other brig detainees. They claim that it is being done "as a 'precautionary measure' to prevent him from injuring himself."
Has anyone before successfully committed suicide using a pair of briefs -- especially when under constant video and in-person monitoring? There's no underwear that can be issued that is useless for killing oneself? And if this is truly such a threat, why isn't he on "suicide watch" (the NYT article confirms he's not)? And why is this restriction confined to the night; can't he also off himself using his briefs during the day?
Submitted by libbyliberal on Wed, 02/02/2011 - 1:43pm
Marjorie Cohn in her article "U.S. Chickens Come Home to Roost in Egypt" points out that the US has supported Egyptian Prez Mubarak with $1.3 billion annually, most of it in military aid. Egypt in return collaborates with Israel to blockade Gaza and offers “logistical support” to America for its wars.
2 million Egyptians are now revolting against Mubarak and the US is being called out internationally for its own corruption and war criminality and war criminality enabling. We all know the US is eager to have a pro-US replacement for Mubarak, the best replacement US money (that US citizens desperately need) and weaponry (that humanity in general does not need) can buy.
The welfare of the Egyptian people themselves was no big priority clearly to the Mubarak regime nor to an America supporting it with this vast sum of money. Marjorie Cohn on the standard of living of the Egyptian citizenry:
Submitted by libbyliberal on Wed, 07/14/2010 - 6:07pm
Christopher Pyle in his 2009 book, Getting Away with Torture, points out that at the end of April, 2004, during oral arguments over the detention of alleged terrorists, Deputy Solicitor General Paul Clement assured Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the Supreme Court that when it came to even mild torture "our executive doesn't!"
Eight hours later, the first photographs of prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq were shown on CBS television. Though Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld had been "sitting on the story" for four months, his immediate response was that the atrocities had happened in only "a few, isolated cases." President Bush dismissed it publicly as the "disgraceful conduct by a few." In actuality, the Justice Department, CIA and White House not only knew of the torture, but high ranking members of each had designed the torture policy, authorized it, and encouraged it.
By 2004, George Bush and his cabal had been hiding a lot from the public. Pyle:
In November 2001, President Bush had authorized the use of military commissions to try alleged terrorists on the basis of information obtained by torture, but that signal had passed beneath most people's radar.
Also new was the illegal hiding of "ghost prisoners" from the International Committee of the Red Cross's inspections and the CIA's creation of secret prisons in Thailand, Afghanistan, Poland, Romania and elsewhere. With snatch teams dressed like ninjas and employing a fleet of chartered aircraft, the CIA made suspected terrorists "disappear," as if the United States were little more than a Latin American dictatorship.
Pyle remarks that in spite of the entire world knowing of and condemning the Bush administration for its lies and hypocrisy about the torture policy, in 2004 Bush managed to become elected for another four years. As in the 1980s, when Ronald Reagan got away with running a secret war against Nicaragua despite congressional opposition (secretly funded by selling arms to a terrorist nation), Republican President George W. Bush illegally managed to institute a torture policy disregarding Congress, the Constitution and the Geneva Convention. The policy of torturing prisoners and degrading their religious faith, in particular, would go on to inspire hatred for the United States globally as well as generate hundreds of future terrorists.
Submitted by libbyliberal on Wed, 07/14/2010 - 6:03pm
I am going to share some quotes from a book I just began reading entitled Getting Away with Torture by Christopher Pyle. It was published in 2009. Pyle teaches constitutional law and civil liberties at Mount Holyoke College. In 1970 as a former captain in army intelligence he helped Senators Sam Ervin and Frank Church with evidence to support constitutional protections of citizens and rein in Intelligence breaches of law.
I will do a series of these blogs as I make my way through this enlightening and horrifying book. The U.S. has participated in war criminality and human rights atrocities at certain periods during its life. The torture issue looms for us as citizens today. If it is not dealt with, if our citizenry and leadership do not restore the rule of humane law and prosecute those who engineered the torture atrocities committed during the Bush regime and those still being carried out by the Obama regime, which regime continues to use state secrecy and executive privilege to avoid its own future accountability, then our democracy is truly dead. We are a rogue nation without respect for law, honor, and the sanctity of human life.
This is not to be swept under the rug no matter how much President Obama wants it to be. The “looking forward” whitewash makes me question if this president has a “moral will” at all. If he does not, like obviously so many in our Congress, we are as a society at the mercy of more and more human and civil violations against ourselves, our fellow citizens and citizens of other nations at the hands of these unworthy and untrustworthy sociopathic leaders. We are being led by a violence-generating, power and control-addicted patriarchy. We as citizens must rally to call forth a paradigm shift to partnership and cooperation, globally, to save ourselves and our planet.
Here are some quotes from Mr. Pyle as he focuses on the origins of Bush's torture policy.
George W. Bush secretly authorized the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to kidnap suspected terrorists (some of who turned out to be innocent) from European countries (often with the complicity of their secret agencies) and turn them over to the intelligence agencies of Egypt, Syria, Jordan, and Morocco, where they were interrogated under torture. That unprecedented development was strong evidence that the rule of law no longer mattered to American officials in power.
The Torture Report, an initiative of the ACLU’s National Security Project, aims to give the full account of the Bush administration’s torture program. It will bring together everything we know from government documents, investigations, press reports, witness statements and other publications into a single narrative – one that is updated regularly and subject to critical review and improvement as it unfolds.
Submitted by Tjadendevries on Sat, 01/23/2010 - 5:26pm
Edit: On second thought, the song I embedded, No Woman No Cry is too upbeat for the tone of the post. It's a great song with a positive message, but that kind of gives an excuse to the immoral and gluttonous elites who've ravaged these people for centuries. At the same time, I think this section of the song is a subtle political statement against the colonialist economic overlords. I think at the time, Bob Marley knew he couldn't be overt in this message, but the people who knew -- knew what he was saying
Said, said, said, I remember when we used to sit In a government yard in Trenchtown, Oba - obaserving the hypocrites as they would Mingle with the good people we meet, Good friends we have, oh, good friends we've lost Along the way, In this bright future called life, you can't forget your past
Below, is a devastating indictment by Chris Floyd on the economic elite's colonialist policies on the People of Haiti
Holder Warned that Limited Investigation and Selective Prosecution Would Violate the Law and Further Undermine Credibility of DOJ
Washington, DC: Yesterday, the Disbar Torture Lawyer coalition, consisting of more than 150 NGOs representing over a million members, sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder calling on him to appoint a special prosecutor, independent of the Justice Department, to fully investigate the use of torture, and to prosecute all officials and employees who advocated, ordered and committed acts of torture against people held by the United States.