Dec 21

Russians in Syria are ‘legitimate targets’ – key opposition group member (RT, Dec 20, 2012):

Russians are legitimate targets for military attacks in Syria, a member of the Syria’s National Opposition Coalition said. The Coalition is recognized by the US and a number of its allies as the only legitimate representative of the Syrian people.

­“Russia, like Iran, supports the Assad regime with weapons and ammunition, as well as in the political arena, so the citizens of these countries are legitimate targets for militants in Syria,” Haitham al-Maleh, a member of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces told RT.

He claimed that the Geneva Convention allows attacks on civilians cooperating with enemy armed forces. However, he called on militants not to kidnap citizens of countries that “do not support the Assad regime.”

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Dec 20

Obama, Biden are war criminals under UN Charter: Analyst (PressTV, Dec 18, 2012):

An award-winning American investigative journalist says US President Barack Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden should face charges of war crimes for the continuation of war in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Dave Lindorff, a contributor to Press TV website, quoted international law expert Francis Boyle as saying that President Obama and his administration are engaged in an “ongoing criminal conspiracy under international law” both to cover up and protect criminals like his predecessor George W. Bush.

He said Bush and many of his appointees were convicted at a tribunal in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, earlier this month of war crimes in connection with the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Under the Geneva Convention, failing to take action to prosecute those guilty of war crimes such as the “crime against peace” (invading a country that does not pose an imminent threat to the attacker), and torture, are war crimes in and of themselves,” wrote Lindorff, who has authored The Case for Impeachment about the Bush administration.

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Nov 02

Don’t miss:

Former Presidential Candidate Cynthia McKinney Exposes THE LIE Used To Attack And Destroy Libya: ‘Truth is the First Casualty of War. No Justice, No Peace, No Truth..’



YouTube Added: 01.11.2011

The Assassination of Gaddafi – GRTV Backgrounder (31 October, 2011):

The killing of Muammar Gaddafi at the hands of NATO-backed, Al Qaeda-linked forces marks the end of a campaign expressly aimed at the assassination of a head of state and overthrow of a sovereign country in direct violation of international standards that have held sway since the Nuremberg trials at the end of World War II and the establishment of the Geneva Conventions.

The NATO campaign, known as “Operation Unified Protector,” was a continuation of the US-led Operation Odyssey Dawn. It formally began on March 23rd, 2011 and was ostensibly an operation to enforce United Nations Security Council resolution 1973. From the outset, the NATO coalition partners insisted that the aim of the mission was not to assist a rebel insurgency in overthrowing the Gaddafi government, but to “protect civilians” in accordance with UN resolutions.

The real intention of the operation was revealed shortly thereafter, however, in a joint op-ed in the pages of the International Herald Tribune penned by Obama, Cameron and Sarkozy:

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Oct 12


YouTube Added: 08.10.2011

Mass genocide of Mohawk children by UK Queen and Vatican uncovered in Canada (Examiner, Oct. 8, 2011):

By Alfred Lambremont Webre, JD, MEd

BRANTFORD, ON, CANADA – Mass graves of Mohawk children have been uncovered by ground-penetrating radar at the Mohawk Institute, a residential school for Mohawk operated by the Church of England and the Vatican before its closure in 1970.

According to Rev. Kevin Annett, Secretary of the International Tribunal for Crimes of Church and States (www.itccs.org), the Mohawk Institute was “set up by the Anglican Church of England in 1832 to imprison and destroy generations of Mohawk children. This very first Indian [First Nations] residential school in Canada lasted until 1970, and, like in most residential schools, more than half of the children imprisoned there never returned. Many of them are buried all around the school.”

Preliminary scanning by ground penetrating radar adjacent to the now closed main building Mohawk Institute has revealed that “between 15-20 feet of soil” was brought in and put over the mass graves just before the Mohawk Institute closed in 1970 in order to camouflage the mass graves of Mohawk Children and avoid prosecution for genocide and crimes against humanity under the Geneva Conventions, the International Criminal Court, and cooperating national courts.

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Jul 24


YouTube

It’s been 30 years since Colombian soldiers kidnapped, beat, tortured, starved and electro-shocked Hector Aristizabal — but it’s a memory he lives with everyday. Aristizabal said the Colombian military held and tortured him for ten days, all for having a “subversive book.” “Few people have survived torture in Colombia, so I am very lucky to tell this story. Most people get tortured for ten days, that’s the standard, and then they get shot and killed,” said Aristizabal. “Many have been disappeared — more than 80,000.” Aristizabal says that the Colombian soldiers who tortured him and later killed his brother were trained right here on American soil, at the School of the Americas in Fort Benning, Georgia. Retired Army Major Joseph Blair was an instructor at the School of the Americas, which has since been renamed the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation. “I was very much in favor of the School of the Americas during the Cold War era,” Major Blair said. But Major Blair said he was horrified to learn of what his former students did with their anti-communist training in their own countries. “The classified manuals that the Army School of the Americas used had the words interrogate, extortion, assassinate, neutralize — in common layman’s terms, it all equates to torture,” Blair said. Graduates from the School of the Americas have been implicated in massacres and torture throughout the hemisphere — including the murder of six Jesuit priests and four American churchwomen in El Salvador.

Flashback:

Former Governor Jesse Ventura: You Give Me a Water Board, Dick Cheney and One Hour


Now Jesse Ventura knows that Obama is even worse than elite puppet President Bush.

More info on torture:

Dick Cheney And Donald Rumsfeld Praise Torture, Want Credit For Osama Kill – Darth Cheney on Waterboarding: ‘It was a good programme. It was legal programme. It was not torture. I would strongly recommend we continue it.’

Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld ‘Knew Guantánamo Prisoners Were Innocent’:

George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld covered up that hundreds of innocent men were sent to the Guantánamo Bay prison camp because they feared that releasing them would harm the push for war in Iraq and the broader War on Terror, according to a new document obtained by The Times.

CIA Report: Interrogators Threatened to Kill And Rape Family Members of Detainees

Former UK ambassador: CIA sent people to Uzbekistan for extreme torture, to be ‘raped with broken bottles,’ ‘boiled alive’ and ‘having their children tortured in front of them’

I guess those torture victims hate America for its FREEDOM, right?

US Torture Hearings: Sergeant Chuck Luther Tells Congress How Army Tortured Him (Video)

US Soldiers Tell The Truth: Confess to Institutionally-Sanctioned War Crimes!

American Soldiers Are WAKING UP!!!

US Soldier: The Enemy Is At Home

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Feb 07


Former President George W. Bush laughs while answering questions about his presidency at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, November 18, 2010.
Credit: Reuters/Lucy Nicholson

GENEVA (Reuters) – Former President George W. Bush has canceled a visit to Switzerland, where he was to address a Jewish charity gala, due to the risk of legal action against him for alleged torture, rights groups said on Saturday.

Bush was to be the keynote speaker at Keren Hayesod’s annual dinner on February 12 in Geneva. But pressure has been building on the Swiss government to arrest him and open a criminal investigation if he enters the Alpine country.

Criminal complaints against Bush alleging torture have been lodged in Geneva, court officials say.

Human rights groups said they had intended to submit a 2,500-page case against Bush in the Swiss city on Monday for alleged mistreatment of suspected militants at Guantanamo Bay, the U.S. naval base in Cuba where captives from Afghanistan, Iraq and other fronts in the so-called War on Terror were interned.

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Oct 27

Exclusive: Methods devised in secret in recent years may breach international law


Manuals tell British interrogators the use of plastic handcuffs is essential to intimidate and disorientate prisoners. Photograph: Getty Images

The British military has been training interrogators in techniques that include threats, sensory deprivation and enforced nakedness in an apparent breach of the Geneva conventions, the Guardian has discovered.

Training materials drawn up secretly in recent years tell interrogators they should aim to provoke humiliation, insecurity, disorientation, exhaustion, anxiety and fear in the prisoners they are questioning, and suggest ways in which this can be achieved.

One PowerPoint training aid created in September 2005 tells trainee military interrogators that prisoners should be stripped before they are questioned. “Get them naked,” it says. “Keep them naked if they do not follow commands.” Another manual prepared around the same time advises the use of blindfolds to put prisoners under pressure.

A manual prepared in April 2008 suggests that “Cpers” – captured personnel – be kept in conditions of physical discomfort and intimidated. Sensory deprivation is lawful, it adds, if there are “valid operational reasons”. It also urges enforced nakedness.

More recent training material says blindfolds, earmuffs and plastic handcuffs are essential equipment for military interrogators, and says that while prisoners should be allowed to sleep or rest for eight hours in each 24, they need be permitted only four hours unbroken sleep. It also suggests that interrogators tell prisoners they will be held incommunicado unless they answer questions.

The 1949 Geneva conventions prohibit any “physical or moral coercion”, in particular any coercion employed to obtain information.

The revelations come after the Guardian published US military documents leaked to the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks revealing details of torture, summary executions and war crimes in Iraq.

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Sep 03

Related article: CIA refuses order to release torture documents


Medical ethics group says physicians monitored ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ and studied their effectiveness

camp-delta-in-guantanamo-bay
A US flag at Camp Delta in Guantánamo Bay. Photograph: Paul J Richards/AFP/Getty Images

Doctors and psychologists the CIA employed to monitor its “enhanced interrogation” of terror suspects came close to, and may even have committed, unlawful human experimentation, a medical ethics watchdog has alleged.

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), a not-for-profit group that has investigated the role of medical personnel in alleged incidents of torture at Guantánamo, Abu Ghraib, Bagram and other US detention sites, accuses doctors of being far more involved than hitherto understood.

PHR says health professionals participated at every stage in the development, implementation and legal justification of what it calls the CIA’s secret “torture programme”.

The American Medical Association, the largest body of physicians in the US, said it was in open dialogue with the Obama administration and other government agencies over the role of doctors. “The participation of physicians in torture and interrogation is a violation of core ethical values,” it said.

The most incendiary accusation of PHR’s latest report, Aiding Torture, is that doctors actively monitored the CIA’s interrogation techniques with a view to determining their effectiveness, using detainees as human subjects without their consent. The report concludes that such data gathering was “a practice that approaches unlawful experimentation”.

Human experimentation without consent has been prohibited in any setting since 1947, when the Nuremberg Code, which resulted from the prosecution of Nazi doctors, set down 10 sacrosanct principles. The code states that voluntary consent of subjects is essential and that all unnecessary physical and mental suffering should be avoided.

The Geneva conventions also ban medical experiments on prisoners and prisoners of war, which they describe as “grave breaches”. Under CIA guidelines, doctors and psychologists were required to be present during the use of so-called enhanced interrogation techniques on detainees.

In April, a leaked report from the International Committee of the Red Cross found that medical staff employed by the CIA had been present during waterboarding, and had even used what appeared to be a pulse oxymeter, placed on the prisoner’s finger to monitor his oxygen saturation during the procedure. The Red Cross condemned such activities as a “gross breach of medical ethics”. PHR has based its accusation of possible experimentation on the 2004 report of the CIA’s own inspector general into the agency’s interrogation methods, which was finally published two weeks ago after pressure from the courts.

An appendix to the report, marked “top secret”, provides guidelines to employees of the CIA’s internal Office of Medical Services “supporting the detention of terrorists turned over to the CIA for interrogation”.

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May 04


Added: 2. Mai 2009
Source: YouTube

Five Things You Should Know About the Torture Memos

By Judge Andrew Napolitano

No. 1. I have read the 175 pages of legal memoranda (the memos) that the Department of Justice (DoJ) released last week. They consist of letters written by Bush DoJ officials to the Deputy General Counsel of the CIA concerning the techniques that may be used by American intelligence agents when interrogating high value detainees at facilities outside the U.S. The memos describe in vivid, gut-wrenching detail the procedures that the CIA apparently inquired about. The memos then proceed to authorize every procedure asked about, and to commend the CIA for taking the time to ask.

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Mar 28


Baltasar Garzón, front, in Madrid. He has built an international reputation by bringing cases against human rights violators.

LONDON – A Spanish court has taken the first steps toward opening a criminal investigation into allegations that six former high-level Bush administration officials violated international law by providing the legal framework to justify the torture of prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, an official close to the case said.

The case, against former Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and others, was sent to the prosecutor’s office for review by Baltasar Garzón, the crusading investigative judge who ordered the arrest of the former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet. The official said that it was “highly probable” that the case would go forward and that it could lead to arrest warrants.

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Mar 20

GENEVA (Reuters) – A United Nations human rights investigator said on Thursday that Israel’s military assault on densely populated Gaza appeared to constitute a grave war crime.

Richard Falk, U.N. special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories, said the Geneva Conventions required warring forces to distinguish between military targets and surrounding civilians.

“If it is not possible to do so, then launching the attacks is inherently unlawful and would seem to constitute a war crime of the greatest magnitude under international law,” Falk said.

“On the basis of the preliminary evidence available, there is reason to reach this conclusion,” he wrote in an annual 26-page report submitted to the U.N. Human Rights Council.

Falk gave the same death toll from Israel’s offensive in December and January — 1,434 Palestinians, including 960 civilians — as the Palestinian human rights center.

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Mar 16

Secret Report Implies That U.S. Violated International Law

The International Committee of the Red Cross concluded in a secret report that the Bush administration’s treatment of al-Qaeda captives “constituted torture,” a finding that strongly implied that CIA interrogation methods violated international law, according to newly published excerpts from the long-concealed 2007 document.

The report, an account alleging physical and psychological brutality inside CIA “black site” prisons, also states that some U.S. practices amounted to “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.” Such maltreatment of detainees is expressly prohibited by the Geneva Conventions.

The findings were based on an investigation by ICRC officials, who were granted exclusive access to the CIA’s “high-value” detainees after they were transferred in 2006 to the U.S. detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The 14 detainees, who had been kept in isolation in CIA prisons overseas, gave remarkably uniform accounts of abuse that included beatings, sleep deprivation, extreme temperatures and, in some cases, waterboarding, or simulating drowning.

At least five copies of the report were shared with the CIA and top White House officials in 2007 but barred from public release by ICRC guidelines intended to preserve the humanitarian group’s strict policy of neutrality in conflicts. A copy of the report was obtained by Mark Danner, a journalism professor and author who published extensive excerpts in the April 9 edition of the New York Review of Books, released yesterday. He did not say how he obtained the report.

“The ill-treatment to which they were subjected while held in the CIA program, either singly or in combination, constituted torture,” Danner quoted the report as saying.

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Jan 22

Amnesty warns Israel could be guilty of war crimes

White phosphorus shells
Israeli soldiers prepare white phosphorus 155mm artillery shells (light green) as troops keep position on the Israel-Gaza border. Photograph: Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images

Israel has admitted – after mounting pressure – that its troops may have used white phosphorus shells in contravention of international law, during its three-week offensive in the Gaza Strip.

One of the places most seriously affected by the use of white phosphorus was the main UN compound in Gaza City, which was hit by three shells on 15 January. The same munition was used in a strike on the al-Quds hospital in Gaza City the same day.

Related articles:
Outcry over Israel’s reported use of phosphorus in Gaza (IHT)
Israel accused of executing parents in front of children in Gaza (Telegraph)
Gaza: ‘I watched an Israeli soldier shoot dead my two little girls’ (Independent)

Israel ‘admits’ using white phosphorus munitions (Times)
Gaza building apparently hit by phosphorus: UN (Vancouver Sun)

Israeli use of white phosphorus ‘undeniable’: Amnesty International (The Age)
Israel used phosphorus in heavily populated areas, doctors charge (Kansas City Star)
Israeli army investigates use of white phosphorous in Gaza (Guardian)
Israel shelled UK war graves in Gaza (Telegraph)
Israel ‘will resume bombing’ of Gaza if Hamas reopens tunnels (Telegraph)
Gideon Levy / Gaza war ended in utter failure for Israel (Ha’aretz)

Under review by Colonel Shai Alkalai is the use of white phosphorus by a reserve paratroop brigade in northern Israel.

According to army sources the brigade fired up to 20 phosphorus shells in a heavily built-up area around the Gaza township of Beit Lahiya, one of the worst hit areas of Gaza.

The internal inquiry – which the army says does not have the status of the full investigation demanded by human rights groups including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch – follows weeks of fighting in which Israel either denied outright that it was using phosphorus-based weapons, or insisted that what weapons it was using “were in line with international law”.


Dr Ahmed Almi from the al-Nasser hospital in Khan Yunis describes serious injuries and chemical burns, with victims covered in a white powder that continues to burn long after initial exposure

Phosphorus is a toxic chemical agent that burns on contact with air and creates thick white smokes in order to hide troop movements. However phosphorus shells are largely indiscriminate scattering large numbers of fragments over a large area, which can cause severe damage to both human tissue and property.

As the Guardian reported yesterday, Palestinian doctors have reported treating dozens of cases of suspected phosphorus burns.

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Jan 20

AMNESTY International has said that Israel’s use during the Gaza offensive of white phosphorus – banned under international law for use near civilians – was “clear and undeniable”.

Tension eased in Gaza early yesterday as a fragile ceasefire entered its third day. There were no reports of shooting or rockets for the first time since Israel launched its massive assault on the besieged territory on December 27.

“Amnesty International delegates visiting the Gaza Strip found indisputable evidence of widespread use of white phosphorus in densely-populated residential areas in Gaza City and in the north,” the rights group said.

“We saw streets and alleyways littered with evidence of the use of white phosphorus, including still burning wedges and the remnants of the shells and canisters fired by the Israeli army,” said Christopher Cobb-Smith, a weapons expert touring Gaza as part of a four-person fact-finding team. Human rights groups and medics in Gaza reported treating dozens of people suffering burns caused by white phosphorus during Israel’s 22-day offensive in Gaza that killed more than 1300 people.

Related articles:
Arabs: Israel ammo in Gaza had depleted uranium (AP)
Gaza doctors struggle to treat deadly burns consistent with white phosphorus (Guardian)

UN Says More than 50000 Left Homeless in Gaza Following Israeli Attacks (TransWorldNews)
Israel: Report of Gaza mortar fire incorrect (AP)
Robert Fisk: So, I asked the UN secretary general, isn’t it time for a war crimes tribunal? (Independent)

Gaza ‘looks like earthquake zone’ (BBC News)
Ban ‘appalled’ by Gaza’s damage (BBC News)
Amid dust and death, a family’s story speaks for the terror of war (Guardian):

48 members of the Samouni family were killed in one day when Israel’s battle with Hamas suddenly centred on their homes
Israel destroys, Saudi rebuilds (Middle East Online):
Saudi King donates one billion dollars to rebuild Gaza, calls for putting end to Arab rifts.
Israel to keep tight grip on Gaza reconstruction (Reuters)
Israel accused of war crimes over 12-hour assault on Gaza village (The Observer)

Under international law, white phosphorus is banned for use near civilians, but is permitted for creating a smokescreen.

Israel has insisted that all weapons used in its Gaza war were within the bounds of international law.

Donatella Rovera, Amnesty’s researcher on Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, said the use of white phosphorus could amount to a war crime.

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Jan 18

Photo of Israel’s use of White Phosphorous chemical weapons


Photo of Israel’s use of White Phosphorous in Gaza in the January 2009 attack. Note that there is little smoke cover generated, and LOTS of fires. This is White Phosphorous, a chemical weapon, being used in a clearly residential area, to wound, main, kill and set fire to the place, in other words, to ethnically cleanse it and, and in the process commit genocide. All war crimes. Source: World Press Network


Source: The Observer

White flags ignored and houses bulldozed with families inside, claim residents

Israel stands accused of perpetrating a series of war crimes during a sustained 12-hour assault on a village in southern Gaza last week in which 14 people died.

In testimony collected from residents of the village of Khuza’a by the Observer, it is claimed that Israeli soldiers entering the village:

  • attempted to bulldoze houses with civilians inside;
  • killed civilians trying to escape under the protection of white flags;
  • opened fire on an ambulance attempting to reach the wounded;
  • used indiscriminate force in a civilian area and fired white phosphorus shells.

If the allegations are upheld, all the incidents would constitute breaches of the Geneva conventions.

Related articles:
‘Tungsten bombs’ leave Israel’s victims with mystery wounds (Independent)
Military components factory ransacked in Gaza protest (Guardian)

Brown Says Israel Killed Too Many Civilians in Gaza Attacks (Bloomberg)
Victorious, but vilified: Israel has ‘destroyed its image and its soul’ (Independent)
British Jews attacked for pro-Gaza solidarity (Independent)
Broken town shows Gaza destruction (BBC News)
Israeli flags burnt in Gaza demonstration in Paris
(Reuters)
Britain to send warships to Gaza as Israel prepares for ceasefire (Telegraph)
Patrick J. Buchanon: Is Ehud’s Poodle Acting Up?
Why Arab states are unmoved by plight of Hamas (Telegraph)

The denunciations over what happened in Khuza’a follow repeated claims of possible human rights violations from the Red Cross, the UN and human rights organisations.

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Dec 01

“It sends a cold shiver down my spine. I have worked in artificial intelligence for decades, and the idea of a robot making decisions about human termination is terrifying.”
___________________________________________________________________________

The American military is planning to build robot soldiers that will not be able to commit war crimes like their human comrades in arms.


The Pentagon aims to develop ‘ethical’ robot soldiers, unlike the indiscriminate T-800 killers from the Terminator films

The US Army and Navy have both hired experts in the ethics of building machines to prevent the creation of an amoral Terminator-style killing machine that murders indiscriminately.

By 2010 the US will have invested $4 billion in a research programme into “autonomous systems”, the military jargon for robots, on the basis that they would not succumb to fear or the desire for vengeance that afflicts frontline soldiers.

A British robotics expert has been recruited by the US Navy to advise them on building robots that do not violate the Geneva Conventions.

Colin Allen, a scientific philosopher at Indiana University’s has just published a book summarising his views entitled Moral Machines: Teaching Robots Right From Wrong.

He told The Daily Telegraph: “The question they want answered is whether we can build automated weapons that would conform to the laws of war. Can we use ethical theory to help design these machines?”

Pentagon chiefs are concerned by studies of combat stress in Iraq that show high proportions of frontline troops supporting torture and retribution against enemy combatants.

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Oct 29

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions. He can be reached at: PaulCraigRoberts@yahoo.com
_________________________________________________________________________

The Defanging of America:  Reality-Based Community Overthrows History’s Actors

“We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality – judiciously, as you will – we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.” Bush White House aide explaining the New Reality

The New American Century lasted a decade. Financial crisis and defeated objectives in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Georgia brought the neoconservative project for American world hegemony crashing to a close in the autumn of 2008.

The American neoconservatives are the heirs of Leon Trotsky. Their dream of American “Full Spectrum Dominance”–US military and economic superiority over any possible combination of states–is matched in ambition only by the early 20th century Trotskyite dream of world Communist revolution.

The neocons used September 11, 2001, as a “new Pearl Harbor” to give power precedence over law domestically and internationally. The executive branch no longer had to obey federal statutes, such as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act or honor international treaties, such as the Geneva Conventions. An asserted “terrorist threat” to national security became the cloak which hid US imperial interests as the Bush Regime set about dismantling US civil liberties and the existing order of international law constructed by previous governments during the post-war era.

Perhaps the neoconservative project for world hegemony would have lasted a bit longer had the neocons possessed intellectual competence.

On the war front, the incompetent neocons predicted that the Iraq war would be a six-week cakewalk, whose $70 billion cost would be paid out of Iraqi oil revenues. President Bush fired White House economist Larry Lindsey for estimating that the war would cost $200 billion. The current estimate by experts is that the Iraq war has cost American taxpayers between two and three trillion dollars. And the six-week war is now the six-year war.

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Jun 25

Q1x00021_9

The U.S. general who led the Army’s investigation of the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal says the Bush administration “has committed war crimes” as a result of what happened to detainees in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay “when the Commander-in-Chief and those under him authorized a systematic regime of torture.”

Those declarations, by retired Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba, are contained in the preface he wrote for a new report by Physicians for Human Rights, “Broken Laws, Broken Lives: Medical Evidence of Torture by US Personnel and Its Impact.” The group said its findings – “based on  internationally accepted standards for clinical assessment of torture claims” – are the first to use medical evidence to document first-hand accounts of torture. Eleven former detainees were examined.

Taguba testified before Congress in 2004 about the abuses at Abu Ghraib after the U.S. invasion of Iraq in March 2003. His damning report ultimately led to his being pushed out of the Army.

ABC News correspondent Jake Tapper noted Taguba’s statements and the report on his blog.

Some other excerpts:

Our national honor is stained by the indignity and inhumane treatment these men received from their captors.The profiles of these eleven former detainees, none of whom were ever charged with a crime or told why they were detained, are tragic and brutal rebuttals to those who claim that torture is ever justified. Through the experiences of these men in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantanamo Bay, we can see the full scope of the damage this illegal and unsound policy has inflicted-both on America’s institutions and our nation’s founding values, which the military, intelligence services, and our justice system are duty-bound to defend. …

After years of disclosures by government investigations, media accounts, and reports from human rights organizations, there is no longer any doubt as to whether the current administration has committed war crimes. The only question that remains to be answered is whether those who ordered the use of torture will be held to account.

The former detainees in this report, each of whom is fighting a lonely and difficult battle to rebuild his life, require reparations for what they endured, comprehensive psycho-social and medical assistance, and even an official apology from our government. …

Source: USA Today

Here’s the entire preface:

Preface to Broken Laws, Broken Lives

By Major General Antonio Taguba, USA (Ret.)

Major General Antonio Taguba (Ret)
Maj. General Taguba led the US Army’s official investigation into the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal and testified before Congress on his findings in May, 2004.

This report tells the largely untold human story of what happened to detainees in our custody when the Commander-in-Chief and those under him authorized a systematic regime of torture. This story is not only written in words: It is scrawled for the rest of these individuals’ lives on their bodies and minds. Our national honor is stained by the indignity and inhumane treatment these men received from their captors.

The profiles of these eleven former detainees, none of whom were ever charged with a crime or told why they were detained, are tragic and brutal rebuttals to those who claim that torture is ever justified. Through the experiences of these men in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantanamo Bay, we can see the full scope of the damage this illegal and unsound policy has inflicted-both on America’s institutions and our nation’s founding values, which the military, intelligence services, and our justice system are duty-bound to defend.

In order for these individuals to suffer the wanton cruelty to which they were subjected, a government policy was promulgated to the field whereby the Geneva Conventions and the Uniform Code of Military Justice were disregarded. The UN Convention Against Torture was indiscriminately ignored. And the healing professions, including physicians and psychologists, became complicit in the willful infliction of harm against those the Hippocratic Oath demands they protect.

After years of disclosures by government investigations, media accounts, and reports from human rights organizations, there is no longer any doubt as to whether the current administration has committed war crimes. The only question that remains to be answered is whether those who ordered the use of torture will be held to account.

The former detainees in this report, each of whom is fighting a lonely and difficult battle to rebuild his life, require reparations for what they endured, comprehensive psycho-social and medical assistance, and even an official apology from our government.

But most of all, these men deserve justice as required under the tenets of international law and the United States Constitution.

And so do the American people.

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Jun 15

DOJ Official: Rumsfeld Personally Approved of Brutal Interrogations

By Jason Leopold, The Public Record

Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld personally authorized the use of brutal interrogation techniques against suspected terrorists imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay despite warnings from the FBI that the methods amounted to inhumane treatment, was possibly illegal, and would not produce reliable intelligence, a Department of Justice inspector general testified Tuesday.

“The FBI believed that these techniques were not getting actionable information, that they were unsophisticated and unproductive,” said Glenn Fine, the DOJ’s inspector general, in testimony Tuesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee. “They raised their concerns with the Department of Defense, but the Department of Defense, from what we were told, dismissed those concerns and that no changes were made in the Department of Defense’s strategy.”

Rumsfeld, who resigned immediately after the 2006-midterm elections, has vehemently denied that he approved of torture. The Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel provided the Defense Department with legal guidelines that authorized techniques such as waterboarding, the use of military dogs, and “slaps” and concluded that as long as “organ failure” did not occur the methods could not be construed as torture.

Fine issued a 437-page report last month on the Bush administration’s interrogation policies, which found that White House officials ignored FBI concerns about the treatment of detainees.

His testimony comes on the heels of a letter signed by 56 House Democrats that was sent to Attorney General Michael Mukasey last week Friday requesting that he appoint a special prosecutor to investigate whether White House officials, including President Bush, violated the War Crimes Act when they allowed interrogators to use brutal interrogation methods against detainees suspected of ties to terrorist organizations.

“The Bush administration may have systematically implemented, from the top down, detainee interrogation policies that constitute torture or otherwise violate the law,” the letter to Mukasey says. “We believe that these serious and significant revelations warrant an immediate investigation to determine whether actions taken by the President, his Cabinet, and other Administration officials are in violation of the War Crimes Act, the Anti-Torture Act, and other U.S. and international laws.”

In October 2002, Fine said, FBI agents raised concerns with Marion Bowman, the Justice Department’s deputy general counsel in charge of national security, about the methods used during interrogations at Guantanamo Bay. An FBI agent stationed at Guantanamo then sent the agency an analysis on November 27, 2002 calling into question the legality of the interrogation techniques, stating that the methods used appeared to violate the U.S. Torture statute. Bowman then alerted Jim Haynes, the DOD’s general counsel. Continue reading »

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May 29

MASSACHUSETTS SCHOOL OF LAW AT ANDOVER

Bush Claims More Powers Than King George III,
Constitutional Scholar David Adler Contends

The Bush administration has arrogated powers to itself that the British people even refused to grant King George III at the time of the Revolutionary War, an eminent political scientist says.

“No executive in the history of the Anglo-American world since the Civil War in England in the 17th century has laid claim to such broad power,” said David Adler, a prolific author of articles on the U.S. Constitution. “George Bush has exceeded the claims of Oliver Cromwell who anointed himself Lord Protector of England.”

Adler, a professor of political science at Idaho State University at Pocatello, is the author of “The Constitution and the Termination of Treaties”(Taylor & Francis), among other books, and some 100 scholarly articles in his field. Adler made his comments comparing the powers of President Bush and King George III at a conference on “Presidential Power in America” at the Massachusetts School of Law, Andover, April 26th.

Adler said, Bush has “claimed the authority to suspend the Geneva Convention, to terminate treaties, to seize American citizens from the streets to detain them indefinitely without benefit of legal counseling, without benefit of judicial review. He has ordered a domestic surveillance program which violates the statutory law of the United States as well as the Fourth Amendment.”

Adler said the authors of the U.S. Constitution wrote that the president “shall take care to faithfully execute the laws of the land” because “the king of England possessed a suspending power” to set aside laws with which he disagreed, “the very same kind of power that the Bush Administration has claimed.”

Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez, Adler said, repeatedly referred to the President’s “override” authority, “which effectively meant that the Bush Administration was claiming on behalf of President Bush a power that the English people themselves had rejected by the time of the framing of the Constitution.”

Adler said the Framers sought an “Administrator in Chief” that would execute the will of Congress and the Framers understood that the President, as Commander-in-Chief “was subordinate to Congress.” The very C-in-C concept, the historian said, derived from the British, who conferred it on one of their battlefield commanders in a war on Scotland in 1639 and it “did not carry with it the power over war and peace” or “authority to conduct foreign policy or to formulate foreign policy.”

That the C-in-C was subordinate to the will of Congress was demonstrated in the Revolutionary War when George Washington, granted that title by Congress, “was ordered punctually to respond to instructions and directions by Congress and the dutiful Washington did that,” Adler said.

Adler said that John Yoo, formerly of the Office of Legal Counsel, wrote in 2003 that the President as C-in-C could authorize the CIA or other intelligence agencies to resort to torture to extract information from suspects based on his authority. However, Adler said, the U.S. Supreme Court in 1804 in Little vs. Barreme affirmed the President is duty-bound to obey statutory instructions and reaffirmed opinion two years later in United States vs. Smith.

“In these last eight years,” Adler said, “we have seen presidential powers soar beyond the confines of the Constitution. We have understood that his presidency bears no resemblance to the Office created by the Framers… This is the time for us to demand a return to the constitutional presidency. If we don’t, we will have only ourselves to blame as we go marching into the next war as we witness even greater claims of presidential power.”

The Massachusetts School of Law is a non-profit educational institution purposefully dedicated to providing an affordable, quality legal education to minorities, immigrants, and students from economic backgrounds that would not otherwise be able to afford to attend law school and enter the legal profession. Continue reading »

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May 11

WASHINGTON (CNN)The United States tortures prisoners in violation of international law, former President Carter said Wednesday.

“I don’t think it. I know it,” Carter told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.

“Our country for the first time in my life time has abandoned the basic principle of human rights,” Carter said. “We’ve said that the Geneva Conventions do not apply to those people in Abu Ghraib prison and Guantanamo, and we’ve said we can torture prisoners and deprive them of an accusation of a crime to which they are accused.”

Carter also said President Bush creates his own definition of human rights.

Carter’s comments come on the heels of an October 4 article in The New York Times disclosing the existence of secret Justice Department memorandums supporting the use of “harsh interrogation techniques.” These include “head-slapping, simulated drowning and frigid temperatures,” according to the Times. Continue reading »

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Apr 27

WASHINGTON: The Justice Department has told Congress that American intelligence operatives attempting to thwart terrorist attacks can legally use interrogation methods that might otherwise be prohibited under international law.

(Tomorrow you could be considered a “terrorist” – for no reason – and maybe a “Jack Bauer” interrogates you. Good luck then.
All of this is undermining and violating the constitution & international law [Geneva Conventions] and are preparations for Martial Law. Prepare yourself NOW! – The Infinite Unknown)
Continue reading »

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Apr 10

The “horror of the shrieking boys” gets a rubber stamp from the boot-licking U.S. Congress & Senate as America officially becomes a dictatorship

Paul Joseph Watson/Prison Planet.com | September 29 2006

Slamming the final nail in the coffin of everything America used to stand for, the boot-licking U.S. Senate last night gave President Bush the legal authority to abduct and sexually mutilate American citizens and American children in the name of the war on terror.

There is nothing in the “detainee” legislation that protects American citizens from being kidnapped by their own government and tortured.

Yale Law Professor Bruce Ackerman states in the L.A. Times, “The compromise legislation….authorizes the president to seize American citizens as enemy combatants, even if they have never left the United States. And once thrown into military prison, they cannot expect a trial by their peers or any other of the normal protections of the Bill of Rights.”

Similarly, law Professor Marty Lederman explains: “this [subsection (ii) of the definition of ‘unlawful enemy combatant’] means that if the Pentagon says you’re an unlawful enemy combatant — using whatever criteria they wish — then as far as Congress, and U.S. law, is concerned, you are one, whether or not you have had any connection to ‘hostilities’ at all.”

We have established that the bill allows the President to define American citizens as enemy combatants. Now let’s take it one step further.

Before this article is dismissed as another extremist hyperbolic rant, please take a few minutes out of your day to check for yourself the claim that Bush now has not only the legal authority but the active blessings of his own advisors to torture American children.

The backdrop of the Bush administration’s push to obliterate the Geneva Conventions was encapsulated by John “torture” Yoo, professor of law at Berkeley, co-author of the PATRIOT Act, author of torture memos and White House advisor.

During a December 1st debate in Chicago with Notre Dame professor and international human rights scholar Doug Cassel, John Yoo gave the green light for the scope of torture to legally include sexual torture of infants.

Cassel: If the president deems that he’s got to torture somebody, including by crushing the testicles of the person’s child, there is no law that can stop him?

Yoo: No treaty.

Cassel: Also no law by Congress — that is what you wrote in the August 2002 memo…

Yoo: I think it depends on why the President thinks he needs to do that. Continue reading »

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