President Kerry - Deceptions
Sunday, February 05, 2006
Monday, January 02, 2006
Calling All Bloggers: These Documents need publishing
Calling All Bloggers: These Documents need publishing
Calling All Bloggers: These Documents need publishing
Submitted by davidswanson on Thu, 2005-12-29 19:21. Activism
Background:The UK government has been quick to deny that we practice, or tolerate the practice of Torture.
So it is perhaps not suprising that they are determined that you should not see the following
Craig Murray was the UK ambassador to Uzbekistan, untill his complaints and protest at the use of
intelligence gained by torture got too much for Jack Straw and the Foreign Office, who set about
attempting to unsuccessfully smear him, and to successfully remove him from office.
The Foreign Office has had the draft of Craig's book for clearance for over 3 months now, and
they are doing everything they can to try and prevent him from publishing his side of the story.
Their latest attempt to cover their own backs was to inform him, the night before Christmas Eve,
that these two documents cannot be published, and that he was to return or destroy all copies
What are these documents?
The first document is a series of Telegrams that Craig sent to the Foreign Office, outlining his
growing concern and disgust at our use of intelligence passed to the UK by the Uzbek security
The second document is a copy of legal advice the Foreign Office sought, to see if they were
operating within the Law in accepting torture intelligence, and according to Michael Wood the FCO
legal adviser; it is fine, as long as it is not used as evidence.
Faced with this heavy handed censorship by the FCO, in an attempt to cover up our use of and
complicity in torture, Craig has decided to fight back, and has asked us all to publish this
information, so it cannot be suppressed.
I am in discussion with the FCO over what I am and am not allowed to publish in my book. The
FCO is seeking to gut the book of all evidence of complicity with the Uzbek regime.
With Bliar cornered on extraordinary rendition, they are particularly anxious to suppress all
evidence of our complicity in obtaining intelligence from Uzbek torture.
In particular, they have demanded I do not publish the attached documents, and that I hand over
all copies of them.
The obvious answer to this is to post these documents as widely on the web as possible. This is
also potentially very valuable in establishing that I am not attempting to make money from these
documents - you don't have to buy my book to see them, they are freely available. If you buy the
book, you are only paying for the added value of my thoughts.
This will only work if we can get the very widely posted, including on sites in the US and
elsewhere outside the UK … there is a chance that those who … post this stuff will get threatened
under the Official Secrets Act.
In March 2003 I was summoned back to London from Tashkent specifically for a meeting at
which I was told to stop protesting. I was told specifically that it was perfectly legal for us to obtain
and to use intelligence from the Uzbek torture chambers.
After this meeting Sir Michael Wood, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's legal adviser, wrote
to confirm this position. This minute from Michael Wood is perhaps the most important document
that has become public about extraordinary rendition. It is irrefutable evidence of the government's
use of torture material, and that I was attempting to stop it. It is no wonder that the government is
trying to suppress this.
Compare and Contrast the government's public position on Torture, with the information they
were recieving at the time from their own Ambassador, and the legal advice they were seeking.We have archived a selection of government spin and lies on the use of torture in these 4 pages:
http://www.blairwatch.co.uk/node/708 http://www.blairwatch.co.uk/node/709 http://www.blairwatch.co.uk/node/710 http://www.blairwatch.co.uk/node/711
and you can listen to Jack Straw and Tony Blair deny what you read in these hitherto 'secret'
What you can do:We have published the documents in full here, and ask that anyone who can will do the same.
If you could publish, host and link to these documents on your own webspace, then it will be
harder for anybody to be prosecuted here in the UK, and ensure that they get maximum coverage.
Craig Murray stood up for what many of us believe, and it cost him his Job, his health, and his
professional reputation. The least we can do his stand by him as he defies the UK government's
attempts at censorship, and possible prosecution.
Craig's own post on the subject can be found here:
Thanks for your help.
Trackback URL for this post:http://www.blairwatch.co.uk/trackback/716
www.AfterDowningStreet.org / www.johnbonifaz.com / www.nvri.org
http://groups.myspace.com/johnbonifaz www.ConyersBlog.us / http://www.davidswanson.org /
www.progressiveindependent.com / www.left.org / www.VeteransForPeace.org /
www.whateveralready.blogspot.com / www.gsfp.org / www.scoop.co.nz / www.rawstory.com /
"As a nation, does the United States have a conscience?
====http://www.conyersblog.us/archives/00000338.htm#commentsThe report should
be made available in an online format that would allow bloggers to permalink to individual
The .pdf file format is all fine and dandy for printing out and for looking all professional and stuff,
but an online format where bloggers could pull out individual paragraphs and comment on specific
individual paragraphs would be a much more powerful format to present to the blogosphere.
See Dave Winer's blog for example. Notice how at the end of every paragraph there is a # sign
where bloggers can click on the # sign and make a permalink to that paragraph.
That way if a blogger saw any particular sentence of the report that caught his eye or sounded
especially important, that blogger could link to that specific individual paragraph and explain why
he thinks it deserves special attention.
That would be a much more powerful format for presenting this report to the blogosphere than the
.pdf file format in my opinion.
That way one little paragraph could catch fire and spread accross the blogosphere in an instant.
your blog is great. Blogs are becoming more powerful it seems every day. Good work! http://www.scripting.com/
Yes I think they are. Ask your representative to follow the good lead of John Conyers and start blogging for you today.
You should link your blog with this one and vice-versa, along with other blogs such as Huffington
Post, Daily Kos, and Brad Blog, to name a few, that way you have a network of blogs to look at
and link up to for information for those who read yoru blogs everyday.
Rusty - if you were able to print a PDF copy, could you find a way to have it distributed?
DailyKos has a text copy of the contents, but since the link went down fast (bandwidth overuse
maybe, if not gov't?), other distribution points of a PDF would be helpful.
(But only if you can do it without committing any kind of felony. Otherwise, just keep any copy
you made safe.)
Hey, how about this one:
DailyKos, joining the efforts of UK Bloggers, has published a copy of the UK Torture Memo that
Downing Street is trying to keep suppressed.
Here's the link:UK Torture Memos
Anyone not at risk for prosecution - print a copy to PDF, and spread it widely. Perhaps the folks
we help in the UK will help us get the rest of the records we're seeking published in a similar way.
As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there is a twilight
when everything remains seemingly unchanged. And it is in such twilight that we all must be most
aware of change in the air -- however slight -- lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness." -- Justice William O. Douglas "Dropping bombs from a safe height on an already hard-pressed people, whose infrastructure is in chaos from years of sanctions and who live under an oppressive regime, isn't a 'war'. It's a turkey shoot. " -- Terry Jones
==Gulf War syndrome persists in US troops after 10 years CHICAGO (AFP) - Gulf War syndrome', a debilitating multi-symptom affliction identified in many soldiers after the
1991 conflict in Kuwait, is likely to strike US troops fighting in Iraq, a new study shows.
The syndrome, which proved hard to diagnose because it manifested itself in many different
afflictions, remained widespread among US troops 10 years after the Gulf War ended, according to
the study, lead-authored by Melvin Blanchard, assistant professor of medicine at Washington
University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri.
Blanchard's study will be published in January in the American Journal of Epidemiology.
A comprehensive medical evaluation of some 2,189 Gulf War veterans between 1999 and 2001
found that 28.9 percent of those deployed suffered from the affliction a decade after the war.
read more here:
12/29/2005 Gulf War syndrome persists in US troops after 10 years: study-AFP - yahoo.com
Our Presidents New Best Friend Boils People Alive
See Also: Just Who Is Our New Best Friend This 29 minute video explores the reality of life in
06/26/03: Let me introduce you to our presidents new best friend, President Karimov of
President Karimov government was awarded $500m in aid from the Bush administration in 2002.
The SNB (Uzbekistan's security service) received $79m of this sum.
The U.S. State Department web site states "Uzbekistan is not a democracy and does not have a
free press. Many opponents of the government have fled, and others have been arrested." and
"The police force and the intelligence service use torture as a routine investigation technique."
Now I would like to introduce you to Muzafar Avazov, a 35-year old father of four. Mr Avazov
had a visit from our presidents friends security force (SNB), the photographs below detail the
brutality and inhuman treatment our tax dollars subsidize, with the full knowledge of our president
and his administration.
Muzafar Avazov, body showed signs of burns on the legs, buttocks, lower back and arms. Sixty to
seventy percent of the body was burnt, according to official sources. Doctors who saw the body
reported that such burns could only have been caused by immersing Avazov in boiling water.
Those who saw the body also reported that there was a large, bloody wound on the back of the
head, heavy bruising on the forehead and side of the neck, and that his hands had no fingernails. WARNING
The pictures of Mr. Avazov's body are horrific and should only be viewed by a mature audience
=Leaked documents the UK Government are trying to block under Secrets Act - published
hereLeaked documents the UK Government are trying to block under Secrets Act - published here by caribmon12/29/05 It's not the al-Jazeera Memo, but these are some more documents that the UK Government are trying to suppress with the threat of prosecution under the Official Secrets Act. They detail our use of intelligence extracted by torture, and legal advice the Foreign Office received on the subject, and we need to get them out there as soon as possible before the government act.
See also Our Presidents New Best Friend Boils People Alive
===Leaked documents the UK Government are trying to block under Secrets Act Leaked documents the UK Government are trying to block under Secrets Act - published here:
A Sample:2. Last year the US gave half a billion dollars in aid to Uzbekistan, about a quarter of it military aid.
Bush and Powell repeatedly hail Karimov as a friend and ally. Yet this regime has at least
seven thousand prisoners of conscience; it is a one party state without freedom of speech, without
freedom of media, without freedom of movement, without freedom of assembly, without freedom
of religion. It practices, systematically, the most hideous tortures on thousands. Most of the
population live in conditions precisely analogous with medieval serfdom.
3. Uzbekistan's geo-strategic position is crucial. It has half the population of the whole of Central
Asia. It alone borders all the other states in a region which is important to future Western oil and
gas supplies. It is the regional military power. That is why the US is here, and here to stay.
Contractors at the US military bases are extending the design life of the buildings from ten to
twenty five years.
4. Democracy and human rights are, despite their protestations to the contrary, in practice a long
way down the US agenda here. Aid this year will be slightly less, but there is no intention to
introduce any meaningful conditionality. Nobody can believe this level of aid – more than US aid
to all of West Africa – is related to comparative developmental need as opposed to political support
for Karimov. While the US makes token and low-level references to human rights to appease
domestic opinion, they view Karimov's vicious regime as a bastion against fundamentalism. He –
and they – are in fact creating fundamentalism. When the US gives this much support to a regime
that tortures people to death for having a beard or praying five times a day, is it any surprise that
Muslims come to hate the West?
5. I was stunned to hear that the US had pressured the EU to withdraw a motion on Human Rights in Uzbekistan which the EU was tabling at the UN Commission for Human Rights in Geneva. I
was most unhappy to find that we are helping the US in what I can only call this cover-up. I am
saddened when the US constantly quote fake improvements in human rights in Uzbekistan, such as the abolition of censorship and Internet freedom, which quite simply have not happened (I see
these are quoted in the draft EBRD strategy for Uzbekistan, again I understand at American
Saturday, December 31, 2005
RAW STORY PRINTS UK TORTURE MEMOS
Papers pick up UK torture memos as site goes dead
UK and US bloggers continue to aid in defying the Official Secrets Act by publishing former Ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray's memos alleging human rights abuses were known to--and tolerated, if not sanctioned by--the US and UK governments, which were using information gleaned from torture for intelligence purposes.
Uzbekistan has long been an ally of the United States, in spite of its well-known record of abuse. Aid to the nation was cut in 2004 over human rights concerns.
The first document released by Murray consists of three telegrams that he sent to London from Uzbekistan, warning that the information gained there was derived from torture, and perhaps not as "useful" as MI6 believed. The second document is a legal analysis which argues that the use of information extracted through torture is not itself technically a violation of the UN Convention Against Torture.
RAW STORY featured links to coverage of the documents by Murray and Blair Watch earlier this week. Since that time, even more bloggers have joined in re-printing the text of the documents. RAW STORY does not have original copies, and therefore cannot confirm the documents' authenticity beyond the fact that the source is a former UK ambassador.
A mainstream breakthrough comes today, as the December 30 edition of The Independent featured a story on the documents. The Register has since followed. Murray's site was offline briefly due to what was initially thought to be an overwhelmingly high volume of traffic. Some supporters have since implied that it was actually hacked. Detractors, in response, have charged that Murray hacked his own site for publicity. Conservative blogger Michelle Malkin wrote, "He's trying to sell a new book by whipping moonbat bloggers into a frenzy with claims of British-outsourced torture in Uzbekistan."
Murray was a vocal critic of what he and others have termed "torture by proxy," the practice of using foreign governments to extract information from detainees through methods that would be deemed illegal or unethical in one's own. He was disciplined in August of 2003 for, among other charges, "hiring dolly birds for above the usual rate." Murray contends that his staff was actually entirely male. He was then removed from his post entirely after quotes attributed to him, critical of MI6 on the subject of Uzbekistan torture, appeared in the press. His run for Parliament resulted in an embarrassing 5% showing.
The documents, as circulated, follow:
#Letter #1 Confidential FM Tashkent TO FCO, Cabinet Office, DFID, MODUK, OSCE Posts, Security Council Posts 16 September 02
SUBJECT: US/Uzbekistan: Promoting Terrorism
US plays down human rights situation in Uzbekistan. A dangerous policy: increasing repression combined with poverty will promote Islamic terrorism. Support to Karimov regime a bankrupt and
The Economist of 7 September states: "Uzbekistan, in particular, has jailed many thousands of moderate Islamists, an excellent way of converting their families and friends to extremism." The Economist also spoke of "the growing despotism of Mr Karimov" and judged that "the past year has seen a further deterioration of an already grim human rights record". I agree.
Most Important Impeachment Petition/Letter by Rep. Conyers EVER!!
Please sign Rep. Conyers' Impeachment bill letter/petition.
Shameful that he still only has about 26,000 signatures when the Downing Street Memo Petition
garnered 500,000 signatures. Where is everyone who has been demanding impeachment when it
comes time to sign a letter/petition by a Congressperson who has stuck his neck way out to legally
begin the Impeachment Inquiry process.
Please sign and post info on other sites.
Congressman Conyers has used the Impeach-Word several times in his proposed Impeachment
Inquiry and has several other members of the House of Representatives as co-sponsors but needs
more and has asked for our help in signing his letter to Bush and in writing to our Congresscritters
to request they support him in investigating the Bush Regime's massive illegal activities harming the American people. Please add your signature here:
http://www.johnconyers.com/ - Conyer's Action Items
"Join me, below, in sending the:
Letter Advising the President of Censure
Steps to Begin Special Committee Investigation
Dear Mr. President:
We are brave, proud, patriotic citizens of the United States. We love our country and are writing to
express our profound disappointment with you and your administration for your conduct
surrounding the Iraq War, the collection and use of intelligence, and your disrespect for the laws of
this great nation..."
Friday, December 30, 2005
Bombing Al Jazeera
Bombing Al Jazeera
There can be few of us who haven't heard about the Mirror exclusive back in November, when they exposed Bush's intention to bomb the Al Jazeera offices. Aside from raising questions about Bush's sanity...
This served to prove that Al Jazeera can be relied upon to bring us the news. Why else would Bush want to bomb them? It seems to me that from now on, any thinking person should sit up and pay very close attention to what Al Jazeera has to say.
Al Jazeera never expected to be a favorite with world leaders. As you can see here: Don't Bomb Us: They're no strangers to controversy and accusations from every corner.
News is something someone somewhere doesn't want published: All the rest is advertising!
Credit for this as soon as I can found out who originally said it!
Craig Murray - Hero, Whistleblower of Torture Atrocities
Craig Murray (born 17 October 1958) is a commentator on government foreign policy and was a British diplomat. He was the United Kingdom's Ambassador to Uzbekistan, until removed from his post on October 14, 2004.
While in this office he publicly criticised the human rights situation in Uzbekistan, against the wishes of the British government, an action that he alleges was the reason for his removal. He also privately criticised the UK government for committing torture by proxy, that is, sending terrorist suspects to Uzbekistan for their security services to extract intelligence of dubious value; in the phrase he is best known for, he accused his government of "selling our souls for dross".=UzbekistanIn October 2002, on becoming concerned that torture and extra-judicial killings were taking place in Uzbekistan, he made a controversial speech at a human rights conference in Tashkent, in which he claimed that "Uzbekistan is not a functioning democracy" and saying of the boiling to death of two men, "all of us know that this is not an isolated incident." The speech was cleared by the Foreign Office, but not before a dispute over its content. Later, Kofi Annan confronted Uzbekistan president Islam Karimov with Murray's claims.
He was summoned to London and, on 8 March 2003, he was reprimanded for writing, in a letter to his employers, in response to a speech by George W. Bush, "when it comes to the Karimov regime, systematic torture and rape appear to be treated as peccadilloes, not to affect the relationship and to be downplayed in the international fora ... I hope that once the present crisis is over we will make plain to the US, at senior level, our serious concern over their policy in Uzbekistan."
=He stood for parliament in Blackburn, as an independent candidate, against his former boss Foreign Secretary Jack Straw in the May 2005 general election. He came fifth with 5% of votes.
He is reported to have undergone emergency live-saving heart surgery at the end of May 2005. He was unable to fulfil an engagement with PEN UK, the organisation for international writers' freedom, and this was the reason given. This follows previous cardiac crises while under the strain of trying to get the UK government to oppose torture in Uzbekistan.
In December 2005, frustrated at the Foreign Office's failure to clear for publication some content of his memoirs, he published a number of confidential memos on his website outlining his condemnation of intelligence procured under torture, and the UK government's ambivalence to this.
In case of "Spycatcher"-type problems, these are reproduced below from his website http://www.craigmurray.org.uk
The Smoking Gun Archives
=December 30, 2005
More old newsFrom the chatter on the web, it's clear that there are still a few diehard Bush/Blair supporters out there who believe this is about democracy and security.
I hate to disillusion such people, but everyone should be aware of this document: http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/bushlay12.html
(This was released with other Enron court documents. To anyone covering the Enron story, it meant very little. Now, however....)
Enron letter photocopies from Ken Lay taking advange of the atrocities in Uzbekistan to make money for Enron and THE TEXANS.....
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Young Soldiers Talk About War Atrocities of Use of White Phosphorus at Falluja Massacre on Italian TV
The Alleged Use of White Phosphorus in Falluja
by spoon or no spoon Mon Nov 07, 2005 at 09:03:54 PM PDT
It has been alleged that white phosphorus munitions (WP) were used as anti-personnel weapons against the population of Falluja.
The Alleged Use of White Phosphorus in Falluja
Nov 07, 2005 at 09:03:54 PM PDT
It has been alleged that white phosphorus munitions (WP) were used as anti-personnel weapons against the population of Falluja. If true, this is a war crime. I have a few things to say.
There are no, repeat, NO circumstances where the use of WP as an antipersonnel weapon is legitimate in warfare. It sickens me to think that U.S. troops may have systematically applied WP as an areal casualty weapon in Falluja. I assure you, as a former chemical defense advisor in the Pentagon under President Clinton, NO OFFICER IN THE MILITARY IS CONFUSED ON THIS POINT.
Chemical defense training has been in the forefront since the Gulf War. I imagine a new circle of Hell is being readied for military attorneys, battle planners, and Administration policy apparatchiks that signed off on the use of WP as a mass casualty weapon. That sort of action has a lot of logistical planning involved...a lot of paperwork, purchase orders, and a requisitions trail.
Yes, killing people is killing people. Bullets, bombs, rockets..dead is dead. But at least those weapons have the potential for targeting against militants...whereas areal weapons like WP do not allow discrimination between militants and noncombatants. WP as a mass casualty weapon is a weapon of terror. If the NATO allies have any backbone, they will withdraw from NATO if the allegations of WP use in Falluja are true. Economic sanctions against the U.S. would be in order.
Kicking the U.S. out of the Olympics is not out of the question. I desperately hope the allegations are not true. If they are, we have become worse than what we fear in the spectre of Al Qaeda, because we have the means and the latitude to exercise conventional and licit forms of warfare. If the stories are true, we became barbarians out of frustration at the recalcitrance of the Falluja stronghold. We should be held to account by our allies. We will be held to account by future generations of Iraqis.
Graphic photos of US chemical weapon use in Iraq
Warning: Graphic photos of US chemical weapon use in Falluja
For an extensive survey of thse US war crimes follow the links at:
...We must get the word out, NOW
Thanks for your informed comment. I'm sure you've considered sharing your concern about this story with your colleagues! We've got to press for an investigation into this ASAP. Now? (3.37 / 8)
Jesus wept. It has been going on for so long and the rest of the world had known about it for so long, you actually dare to use the word NOW ?
A substantial fraction of US soldiers in Iraq should be facing a fring squad. All of them deserve censure for participating in an illegal war of agression by illegal means.
Even our "blessed" fighting Dems are criminals.
You break the law you pay the price You don't get a free ride because you carry an American passport.I agree... ..that the death penalty is immoral (but so is allowing the situation to continue, why aren't you lying down in front of a tank?).
I would think that 10 to 20 years in the peace corps would be an appropriate sentence. But I live in a civilised country that does not have the death penalty (except for treason).It will be US civilians whose lives are on the line.
The Bushes,the Cheneys,the Rumsfelds et al will all be in their undisclosed underground fortified bunkers when it comes time to pay the piper.
As has been discussed many times before,the rest of the world has seen the interviews with surviving relatives of those murdered civilians and there must be tens of thousands whose only purpose in life is to get into the USA and take revenge.
They don't care if it takes them 40 years,either.
It reminds me of that interview Vidal gave the LA Times in November 2003:
"MARC COOPER: How do you think the current war in Iraq is going to play out?
GORE VIDAL: :I think we will go down the tubes right with it. With each action Bush ever more enrages the Muslims. And there are a billion of them. And sooner or later they will have a Saladin who will pull them together, and they will come after us.
GORE VIDAL: And it won't be pretty. "http://www.lermanet.com/...
Brains aren't done developing until well into the early 20's. We should look to our own society's practice of sending kids that don't have the neurological faculties to use real judgement to kill. Who shoulders more blame, soldiers or politicians?
While it is clear that atrocities are being carried out by soldiers, I do have some sympathy for the average grunt in Iraq. The soldiers are just the pawns; the real war criminals are the thugs in Washington.
Yes: civilians in Fallujah. There were checkpoints outside Fallujah were men suspected of being insurgents would be arrested, and other men were not allowed to leave the city.
Tell them 'Stay in your houses, stay away from windows and stay off the roof and you'll live through Fallujah,'" Formica, of the 1st Cavalry Division's 2nd Brigade, told his battalion commanders in a radio conference call Wednesday night.
ABC story from a year ago.
The tactics used in Fallujah are worthy of the Einsatzkommandos during WWII. The Marines corp should be ashamed. The famed troops have turned into cowards and mass killers.
Graphic photos of US chemical weapon use in Iraq
Warning: Graphic photos of US chemical weapon use in Falluja
The Guardian: The media are minimising US and British war crimes in Iraq November 08,2005
The Independent: US forces 'used chemical weapons' during assault on city of Fallujah08 November 2005
Ever since the assault, which went unreported by any Western journalists, rumours have swirled that the Americans used chemical weapons on the city.
Close the SOA, School of America's School for Torture and Dachau/Guantanamo Bay
The Sorrow and The Pity. How have we sunk so low? What are we doing to our very young soldiers just out of high school forced to become the Bush Regime and Bilderberg's Gestapo. Support our troops and Impeach the entire Nazi Bush Regime!
Sister Lil Mattingly, a Louisville native and Roman Catholic nun, says she has no regrets about taking part in a protest at a military school last year, even though it landed her in federal prison for six months.
Sister Lil Mattingly plans to return to the annual protest next month at the military school, though she doesn't plan to trespass again....
Why do you want to close the SOA?
SOA/ WHINSEC graduates have included some of the worst and most notorious human rights abusers in Latin American history, and for much of the world, the school, under any name, is synonymous with torture and impunity. SOA graduates have led military coups and are responsible for massacres of hundreds of people. Among the SOA's more than 60,000 alumni are notorious dictators Manuel Noriega and Omar Torrijos of Panama, Leopoldo Galtieri and Roberto Viola of Argentina, Juan Velasco Alvarado of Peru, Guillermo Rodriguez of Ecuador and Hugo Banzar Suarez of Bolivia. SOA graduates were responsible for the Uraba massacre in Colombia, the El Mozote massacre of 900 civilians in El Salvador, the assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero and the massacre of 14-year-old Celina Ramos, her mother Elba Ramos and six Jesuit priests in El Salvador and hundreds of other human rights abuses. Closing the school would send a strong human rights message to Latin America and the world.
http://www.blogger.com/ Isn't it unfair to blame the SOA for the actions of a few" badapples??
You can find criminals of every ilk who graduated from Harvard, Yale, or Princeton, but no one advocates closing those institutions because of the crimes of some of their graduates.
If Harvard, Yale, or Princeton taught their students combat skills that to be used against non-combatant civilians, we would justifiably call for their closure. The few "bad apples" argument is not very convincing, given the weight of the evidence about the involvement of SOA graduates in human rights abuses -- two of three officers cited in the assassination of Archbishop Romero; three of five officers cited in the rape and murder of four U.S. churchwomen; ten of twelve cited for the El Mozote massacre of 900 civilians; over 100 of 246 cited for atrocities in Colombia.
Furthermore, the full scope of atrocities committed by SOA graduates will likely never be known because members of Latin American militaries are generally above the law. It is rare that crimes by members of these militaries are investigated and rarer still when the names of those suspected are released.
But hasn't the SOA has made an important contribution to democratization of the region?
No. The SOA was founded as a combat school focused on counterinsurgency techniques. Rather than contributing to the development of democracy in the region, the SOA actually taught methods that undermined and destroyed democratic values.
http://www.soaw.org/new/article.php?id=266 Media Outreach
Important Media Work that You can do
Media coverage significantly magnifies our voice. And it’s up to all of us to generate media coverage of the SOA and efforts to close it down. Taking a little time to carry out a handful of media-related tasks can profoundly impact the number of people in your area who know about the SOA and the number of people who get involved in the work to CLOSE IT DOWN.
[Intro sentence connecting your letter to a recent article, if applicable]. This weekend (or next weekend or next month, whatever is applicable), November 18-20, I will join thousands in Columbus, Georgia to call for the closure of the controversial School of the Americas, renamed the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (SOA/ WHINSEC). Graduates of this U.S.-taxpayer-financed institution, a combat training school for Latin American security personnel, continue to be implicated in civilian-targeted killings throughout Latin America.
The SOA/ WHINSEC, known popularly as the “School of Assassins,” has trained more than 60,000 Latin American security personnel. In 1996 the Pentagon was forced to release training manuals used at the school that advocate torture, false imprisonment, extortion and execution.
SOA graduates are cited for some of the most horrific atrocities in Latin America, including the El Mozote massacre of 900 civilians in El Salvador, the assassination of six Jesuits and their co-workers in San Salvador, terror campaigns against civilians and indigenous people in Guatemala, and recent massacres in Colombia.
This school is out of line with the values of everyday Americans, and closing it for good would send a strong human rights record to Latin America and the world.
A growing movement of human rights groups, religious clergy and laypeople, students, veterans, unionists and many others will converge in Georgia this weekend, including a contingent from [your town]. We will demand that this training camp be shut down. The path to lasting peace and security can only be found if we implement foreign policy that reflects our ideals of justice and democracy.
To learn more about the SOA/WHINSEC and efforts to close it, visit http://www.soaw.org/ or call 202-234-3440.
Why Torture is Wrong for Fox Dummies
Remember when Fox showed footage of “shock and awe”, added classical music, and ran it over and over again as if it had mythical proportions. Recently they reported that widespread looting and violence was being commited by the victims of a terrible natural catastrophe. The list of egregiously slanted “news” items coming from these mental degenerates is long. This is just one more. What the hell will they tell their grandchildren???
~~Fox News: “Why All The Fuss About Torturing People?” Just now on Fox News:Marc Jacobson, who served on the Defense Department Prisoner Policy Team from 2002-2003, explains what all the fuss is about:
[The problem is] the perception that we tossed off [the Geneva Convention] and said, “We’re going to have nothing to do with this; we’re going to create our own set of rules,” that not only created a perception to the world that we are not going to adhere to the rule of law, but from a functional standpoint, I think it may have put our own troops in danger. You have a situation now where other nations can say: “Because of the different nature of this war, we are not going to treat U.S. troops as prisoners of war. They are enemy combatants. I’m sorry — military necessity. We’re following the precedent you’re setting.”
~~ do not have cable, so I was a little skeptical about Fox. But I watched it yesterday and this morning while house sitting for someone, and I couldn’t believe how obvious their spin had become.
Was it always this bad, or is it because 1) I haven’t seen it for awhile and had been used to it before; or 2) are they getting desperate?; or 3) both?
I’ve told you kids before. Fox News may be number one in cable, but compared to broadcast network news it’s a puny dribble and the left blogosphere has dwarfed cable and the right blogosphere combined for months now.
~~If someone had told me 6 years ago we would be debating torture and secret gulags in America in the near future, I would have laughed and said they were crazy.
~~Finally, a quote (Marc Jacobson’s) that shows that at least someone is thinking about things from other people’s perspective.
Also ask, “why do people we torture want us dead?”
They ALL want to kill us AFTER we torture them; not all of them wanted to kill us BEFORE they were tortured.
~Why all this fuss about whipping, mocking, and crucifying Jesus?
We Satanists are really enjoying ourselves these days.
~~Anyone who ordered this torture should be court-marshalled for conduct unbecoming an officer.
~That’s pretty straightforward — maybe even the people at Fox could understand it.What is WRONG with people that they can’t see what happens when we lose the high ground. Not only have we lost credibility in the world because of the lies about the war, we have lost integrity and respect around the world for our use of illegal means and methods of interrogation.~~BECAUSE torture doesn’t work. A prisoner, military, insurgent or otherwise, under torture will confess to anything, and, if he doesn’t in fact possess any information that would be of value to his torturers, will simply make up stuff he thinks you will want to hear, anything to make the pain stop.Who wouldn’t? This is a thoroughly well-documented phenemenon.
From a Machiavellian perspective, the real problem with torture is that it’s likely to get you saddled with a hell of a lot of worthless information that wastes valuable time and manpower. It turns possible allies into definite enemies.Torture is morally, categorically wrong, sure; but it’s also, from a realpolitik/military standpoint, stupid and wasteful and inefficient.
I mean, what are we gonna do, kill every Arab in the Middle East? Do the same thing Attorney General Gonzalez’s ancestors did here in the Southwest? It’s 600 years after the Spanish Conquest, and as a New Mexican I can tell you, it still isn’t safe for a guy named Gonzalez to walk around alone on an Indian reservation after dark. Wars get forgotten in a generation or two. Genocide does not. The losers of this war, their descendants will hate our guts for what we’re doing, six and seven generations from now, just as the descendants of France’s long-lost colonial subjects are, as I type this, burning Paris and her suburbs.
The very likely unintended consequence of V.P. Cheney’s and Att’y Gen’l Alberto Gonzalez’s “Conquistador” policy toward the Middle Eastern theater of war, will be a vicious blowback on American soil, and these damned fools in Washington will have yet more American blood on their greedy, soft, fat little hands. Plus they will have done incalculable damage to American business interests all over the world. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.
People who can rationalize torture should run, not walk, to the nearest psychologist or psychiatrist. It’s not okay to hurt other living beings. I’ll say that again: It’s not okay to hurt other living beings. If an animal has rabies, or some other dysfunction which permits it to harm others, then it should be dealt with mercifully and compassionately, and if death be the sentence then that sentence should be carried out with the greatest remorse. But torture! God have mercy on us that we have seen these times. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” How conveniently that maxim is forgotten by those who so loudly trumpet their so-called Christianity.
Terrible Force Feedings of Guantanamo Bay Victims
http://www.CagePrisoners.com for things you can do to help.
This will make you sick. Damn Cheney and Bush and the whole anti-civil rights administration.
I was watching the DOD press conference a couple of weeks ago and hear Rumsfeld compare the hunger strike at Gitmo Bay to people going on DIETS. Is there any "Moral Highground" left for Bush Supporters to claim?
Lied the country into war.
Outing CIA agents then lying about it.
Killing 100,000 Iraqi civilians, many of them women and children. And statistically, some of those woment MUST have been pregnant at the time.
Using Torture just like Saddam.
and now, Using Chemical Weapons.
(I'm sure there is more).
What "Moral Highground" is left for Bush supporters to claim?
I'd say this was a parting present from the Bu$h administration to the incoming Dem administration, in a way like Waco was to Clinton and Reno. Only problem for Bu$h is that the election fraud worked keeping him in the role of responsibility for this war crime.
Though it technically isn't napalm as it's not gasoline jelly, the W77 does use kerosene jelly and polystyrene so it's effects are just as dramatic as napalm.
White Phosphorus isn't supposed to be used as a weapon either, it's legitimate legal use is to illuminate the battlefield. Using it against a civilian population is beyond the pale. These people in the leadership positions have made our soldiers accomplices in war crimes. As Americans, we also are responsible for what they have done in our name. This infuriates me. I never wanted to be part of this, but I am. Just when you think you cannot get any more angry. Bastards. will this ever break through to general consciousness?
London Bombings and NY Subway Bomb Questions
Fitzgerald has his work cut out for him, esp. if he handles the House Impeachment probe which I hope he will.
The Drudge Report has linked to a new story by WNBC which seeks to shed some light on information provided to the NYPD in a recent briefing. The briefing surrounded the recent London attacks on 7/7 and 7/21. Among highlights of the briefing is the revelation that both attacks employed similar explosives but differing detonation methods. original news source:www.wnbc.com
The suicide bombers cooked up their explosives using mundane items like hydrogen peroxide. They stored them in a fancy commercial refrigerator that was out of place in their grimy flat. And cell phones likely were used to set them off. "Initially it was thought that perhaps the materials were high-end military explosives that were smuggled, but it turns out not to be the case," Kelly said. "It's more like these terrorists went to a hardware store or some beauty supply store."
The NYPD officials said investigators believe the bombers used a peroxide-based explosive called HMDT, or hexamethylene triperoxide diamine. HMDT can be made using ordinary ingredients like hydrogen peroxide (hair bleach), citric acid (a common food preservative) and heat tablets (sometimes used by the military for cooking).
~~What I'm wondering is why are New York Officials a source of information about what happend in London? Any and all information on what explosives were used, trigger mechanisms and such should be comming out of London imho.
And quotes like:
It's more like these terrorists went to a hardware store or some beauty supply store."
Are speculation, we don't care what's most likely, we care about whats actually used. London is still saying military explosives. Who are these NY officials to say otherwise? Where do they get their information? How come London or UK Officials aren't the ones to give out this information?use their mobile phones after the bombings to report their witness accounts and even to send pictures to them. In addition, so many people were calling loved ones and friends that the lines were jammed up. I just find it weird that now they are saying mobiles were used to detonate the bombs.
Tue August, 16 2005 find the whole story a bit strange..like why after the attacks police authoritys didn't shut down networks for phones.They knew that Madrid bombings were triggered by phones. If triggered by phones why the need to sacrifice themselves? Doesn't make sense. Also what the story of Visor consultancy running security exercise at the same time,media hasn't mentioned much about that. And where is all the cctv footage? smells like a 6 week old haddock.
If the tube bombs were detonated using cell phone timers, what roles did the four suspects caught on CCTV play? If they were suicide bombers, why use timers? If they were only delivery men, were they killed in the explosions? If not, where are they? If so, what kind of story do you tell four unwitting blokes to get them to assemble in one location loaded with rucksacks and take off on different tube lines? How does the behavior of the final bus bomber fit into the equation...was his last minute fiddling with the device an effort to trigger it? If so, why use timers if the bombs are triggered by the bombers? If not, did he expose his ignorance of the whole plan by panicking and searching his bag when he put two and two together and figured out that the explosions he had heard about were detonated on the tube lines his buddies just took?
Tony Blair Impeachment Beginnings
CBS News correspondent Elizabeth Palmer filed this report from London.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s normally smooth officials have been left gaping and groveling after one of the biggest PR fiascos of his Labour Party tenure. Two burly security officials bundled an 82-year-old man out of Labour’s annual conference this week after he heckled Britain’s Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, during a speech on Iraq. Straw was telling conference delegates that Britain was in Iraq for one reason only — to help bring democracy to the country — when Walter Wolfgang shouted, “Nonsense. You know that’s a lie.”
Even though — or perhaps because — millions of Britons probably agree with Wolfgang, he was
immediately manhandled out of his seat. Unfortunately for Tony Blair and his party, the television cameras were right there, broadcasting it all live to an incredulous Britain.
Then it got worse.
It turned out that Wolfgang — since dubbed the Hero Heckler — was a Jewish refugee to Britain, and a party loyalist who had faithfully attended Labour conferences since 1955. When Wolfgang, along with another party member who had come to his rescue, tried to get back in to the
conference, they were detained under anti-terrorism laws. “Freedom of Speech in Blair’s Britain,” blazed the headline in the Daily Mail over pictures of a bouncer with muscles like watermelons lifting a frail Wolfgang by the scruff of the neck.
“Our PM is nothing but a bully — just ask old Walter,” said the Telegraph.
And borrowing an iconic line from the TV series “Fawlty Towers” (spoken by John Cleese as he
goose-stepped around some German visitors), The Independent's headline read simply “Don’t Mention the War.” In fact, until Wolfgang’s heckle, nobody was mentioning the war in Iraq much at the party conference, at least not publicly. Delegates complained the silence on the subject was deafening as party organizers and spin doctors worked to steer debate away from what many Labour supporters see as an immoral debacle.
It all underlines what a slick political machine Tony Blair has fashioned from the argumentative and rambunctious Labour Party of old, preoccupied with class warfare and workers’ rights. In those days, every party conference proudly boasted at least one rowdy dustup. But when does a slick political machine become a politically correct dictatorship?
“You cannot stifle debate by hiring heavies. A party has got to be open to the world,” said Wolfgang after he had finally been let back into the conference. “The Labour party must get back to its culture of being open to argument.” Prime Minister Tony Blair quickly apologized to Wolfgang for his treatment. “I am very sorry but I wasn’t there,” he repeated on practically every radio and television channel in Britain. But it has not deflected public outrage.
One old man’s outburst has focused the country’s attention right where Mr. Blair didn't want it: on the war in Iraq, on new draconian anti-terrorism laws and his own administration’s reputation for bullying dissenters.
Elizabeth Palmer ©MMV, CBS Broadcasting Inc
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Keep Checking Fitzgerald's Website
Patrick J. Fitzgerald Special Counsel Official DOJ (Dept. of Justice) website.
http://www.tomflocco.com/fs/CourtthrowsOutBushSuit.htm~Go to Rep.
Jerrold Nadler's site, he wants Fitz to handle the Impeachment.
Also go to Rep. Hinchey's site - he sent a letter to Fitz to go where the evidence led him, giving support to Comey's mandate and 40 members of the House also signed.
There are some very brave Congresspersons and we should thank them!
Prosecutor's Progress Is Rare for Leak Inquiries
By DOUGLAS JEHL
Published: October 26, 2005
Unlike any of his predecessors, Patrick Fitzgerald, has delved deeply into conversations that government
officials and reporters had every reason to believe would remain confidential.
~~~http://firedoglake.blogspot.com/~~Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Today on the Tom-Toms
Just got off the phone with a source who has appeared before Fitzgerald's grand jury who thinks that the Special Counsel is going to "go wide" with indictments -- i.e., a lot of people are going to get nailed. And from what I'm hearing, I agree. Which is why I put so little stock in anyone who's running around saying
"oooh, this just in -- Rove and Libby are going to be indicted! Announcement tomorrow!" That just lights my bullshit meter up like a pinball machine. Man, you are really out on a limb with that prediction, aren't ya?
Also, a grand juror was overheard waving to a reporter and saying "see you Friday" when they left today.
So we may not be quite there yet.
The bottom line in all this is that at this point, I think nobody knows what's going to happen, so take all predictions with a grain of salt, even this one. I hate to throw cold water on everyone's expectations for tomorrow, but even amidst the hearty speculation we like to engage in around here we also like to ground things in reality. And the reality is if Fitzgerald is still pursuing an investigation, he's probably going to want
some time to use that info in his "come to Jesus" talks with the perps.
Update: Lawrence O'Donnell agrees: "Experienced federal prosecutors are saying today that they expect Fitzgerald to extend the term of the grand jury even if he obtains indictments this week."
~~Civil rights violations?
I was intrigued to read one of Fitzgerald's briefs, which makes reference to the leak being "apparent retribution" or "apparent retaliation" for Joe Wilson's public criticism of the Bush administration.
I wonder whether Fitzgerald could include a count of civil rights violations, alleging that the government attempted to silence free speech by punishing Wilson?
Dems Standing Up for US Citizens
I read on AOL news, usual feed from AP that Rove had turned down a deal by Fitzgerald this morning.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler has a very strong condemnation on his official government site of Bushco corruption and he and others in Congress want Fitz to handle the Impeachment probe.
Rep. Hinchey wrote a letter signed by 40 other members of the House of Representatives confirming Comey's mandate for Fitz to go wherever the evidence takes him.
McCain is fighting against weakening the torture bill he introduced by exempting CIA from Human Rights rules.
Please go to the sites of these gentlemen to thank them for standing up for what is right.
Enjoyed your article. Would like to see Rove do jail time but more important to get bush and cheney out ASAP!!
Please mention your disapproval of the US military being ordered to shot and bomb on the borders of Syria and Iran in the past few weeks (months?) to the above Congresspersons.
~~~~Meanwhile, a former high level Bush administration official told Political Wire that "people are turning on each other" at the White House. Lawrence Wilkerson is likely just the first of many to come out publicly against the administration.
~Bush will not pardon anyone. If he does, there will be further revolt by Republicans because of the impact on the 2006
elections of headline charges of cronyism and corruption. I think this is the most dangerous course that a moron like Bush may take due to his personal stubborness and loyalty. If he does pardon, I think it would bring on a constitutional crisis that could lead to his resignation.
Some Important Live Links that didn't show in earlier posts
Re: Tim Russert's treatment (Rovian smear) of Jeffereson Parrish President Aaron Broussard on the second interview. "You should watch every week. Then e-mail the network about his failures. They will respond very slowly but they will respond eventually. Maybe they will fire him if they get too many complaints."
~Do you have a question, concern or comment for Meet the Press or Tim Russert? Fill in the form below and send us your feedback. We look forward to hearing from you
~Body Armor - Really Support the Troops
Go to 911Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds Just a Citizen site to sign petition against gag order so we can learn the truth about 911
Activism items and history at BillyJack.com :
Petition for Getting Our Troops Armor They Need
Let's REALLY Thank Our Brave Soldiers...
Restore Bush's Cuts to Veterans Benefits!
Please Sign Rep. Conyers Letter "NO PARDONS FOR TREASONGATE"
Conyer's Action Items
Monday, October 24, 2005
Action Alert from Rep. John Conyers, Jr.
I wanted to share with you my recent blog post on the Plame leak investigations. Our action item is writing the president. Any help you can provide to encourage your readers to join on this letter would be really helpful.
Thank you for your help and your continued stand for a better democracy.
John Conyers, Jr.
Tell the President: No Pardons for Treasongate!
In July, I wrote to the White House to ask the President to pledge that he will not pardon any Administration official indicted during the course of the Fitzgerald investigation. As some of you may recall, his father, President George H.W. Bush, pardoned officials under indictment in the Iran-Contra scandal. Many of my Republican colleagues, and some of my Democratic colleagues, raised questions about the pardons issued by President Clinton during his last days in office. It would seem to me that this Administration, which promised a higher standard of ethics could, at least, make this pledge.
Sign the Letter to the President to Demand No Pardons for Treasongate
The White House had promised its full cooperation with the investigation, but has clearly done as much as possible to cover-up their role. In fact, thus far, their strategy has been attack, attack, attack -- most significantly on Mr. and Mrs. Wilson, and as I note below, we will soon see attacks by the President's
surrogates on every part of this investigation: the prosecutor, the Central Intelligence Agency and the press. I am afraid, if push comes to shove, a pardon will be a last ditch tactic to evade accountability.
The President has not answered my letter from July (as he has ignored a letter signed by more than 120 of my colleagues about the Downing Street Minutes), but the press has the power to ask this question of the administration directly, and I hope they will.
As the day nears for Fitzgerald to issue indictments, the time is now to put pressure on the President and make him answer the question, will you pardon those indicted in Treasongate?
Saturday, October 15, 2005
Activism items and history at BillyJack.com
The Real Reason President Bush lied about the real cost of the war and continues to lie about the cost of occupation and reconstruction
· How 1 day of the true cost of this war and the elimination of Bush’ s $500 billion tax cut would provide Headstart Programs for every eligible child in America.
· How 3 days would provide healthcare for all uninsured US children
· How 4.5 days would create energy independence with clean technology
· How 1 week’s cost of the war would provide basic health and nutrition for all of the world’s poor
Why multi-billion dollar, behind-closed-doors, secret no bid contracts are given to Bush and Cheney’s corporate friends to rebuild Iraq and nothing is being spent on America’s collapsing infrastructure and economy
Look at the devastation and the brutal suffering of tens of millions of Americans because of Bush’s Imperialist obsession with the war. (Remember Bush’s campaign promise he would never get into nation building? I guess he meant America.)
If you think you’re hurting now – Wait until you see how the real cost of the War and Reconstruction will continue to devastate our Economy far beyond anything you’re experiencing now
While television focuses on the unbelievable skill of the troops and high tech weapons of the United States as the greatest power has ever seen, unnoticed by anyone are the negative implications for our future US living standards and influence that are certain to occur.
Not only is the United States the world’s greatest superpower, it is also the world’ s greatest debtor, living way beyond its means, and heavily dependent upon foreign lenders, and all of this at a time the economy is collapsing despite what the spin doctors tell us, and tens of millions of Americans are severely hurting financially.
To the 2.5 million who have lost their job since Bush took office, and are now among the 8 million already unemployed, to those who have seen their 401(K)s and retirement funds wiped out like the couple who had to sell their once $450,000 retirement for $7,000 in order to save their house, to those who are watching their communities close schools and slash desperately needed emergency services (New York City alone had to fire 3,100 cops, and lay off over 10,000 more city workers, close over a dozen fire houses, schools, medical services and sanitation workers at this time of heightened terrorist possibility), to almost all the airlines on the verge of bankruptcy, to the Veterans who are watching the Administration already cut back $24 billion of funding for Veterans (in affluent Santa Barbara alone, over 3,000 veterans were cut off from care) – when you see the real costs of the War, the Occupation and Reconstruction, you will be even further appalled. Cost estimates made by non-partisan, objective, highly reputable economists are that the costs will be $200 billion/year for the War and Occupation, and over a ten-year period will range from $755 billion to over $3 trillion.
Why did the White House adamantly refuse to give any estimate of what the war and occupation would cost to either the American people or the US Senate until March 17 when they “guesstimated” it would cost $90-110 billion, finally asking for $75 billion for six months? Because they knew that if the American people knew the true cost of the war they would be furious, and because they knew that the $75 billion for six months was a joke – it was just for starters, and they’d manipulate the American people to the true cost of the war just ask slickly as they did in manipulating Americans to want to go to war.