Keith reviews the law and the history of waterboarding being torture. The USA has considered waterboarding torture since the 1800’s. We have prosecuted everyone who used waterboarding in any situation. It is against USA Laws and International Law. It Is Torture. I beg Eric Holder to uphold the torture law’s in this Country. Prosecute anyone and everyone who tortured and condoned torture to the fullest extent of the Law.
Independent Prosecutor Should Be Promptly Appointed, Says ACLU
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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NEW YORK – Attorney General Eric Holder said today that the Justice Department will “follow the law wherever it takes us” in investigating the U.S. officials behind the CIA torture policies under the Bush administration.
The American Civil Liberties Union renews its call for Attorney General Holder to appoint an independent prosecutor who will be impartial and free from political influence.
The following can be attributed to Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU:
“It is encouraging to hear the attorney general state that the Justice Department will fulfill its most basic mandate of enforcing the law. Torture is a crime, and the Justice Department is the right place to initiate an independent top-to-bottom investigation of it.
“To fulfill the Department’s essential role as enforcer of the nation’s laws, Attorney General Holder is compelled by his oath of office to initiate investigations of those who authorized, legally sanctioned and carried out unlawful acts of torture that have been a stain on our nation’s name and its commitment to human rights and the rule of law.”
Information on the torture memos recently released through the ACLU’s Freedom of Information Act lawsuit and on the ACLU’s work to fight torture can be found online at: www.aclu.org/olcmemos
There is a food revolution happening in America today. People are seeking out farmers’ markets, organic produce and good restaurants. At the same time, our food supply is increasingly controlled by multi-national corporations. Over the past 10 years, with the advent of genetic engineering and the massive expansion of pesticide companies, like Monsanto, into the seed business, the very nature of our food system has radically changed with potentially disastrous effects on our food security. Continue reading →
Andy Worthington, author of The Guantánamo Files, analyzes ten particularly disturbing facts to emerge from the four memos, purporting to justify the use of torture by the CIA, which were issued by the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) in August 2002 and May 2005, and released by the Obama administration last week. The first part of this two-part article, available here, looked at the background to the August 2002 memo and its disturbing contents, provided an overview of the three memos issued in May 2005, examined the use of the ticking time-bomb scenario as a justification for torture, and highlighted the excessive use of waterboarding on Abu Zubaydah and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and the crucial differences between the torture technique as practised by the CIA and in the military schools where it was used to train soldiers to resist interrogation when captured by a hostile enemy.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs on Wednesday and outlined the Obama administration’s policy goals on Iran, arguing that engaging in talks would serve the purpose of getting more members of the international community on board with implementing tougher sanctions against Iran.
Clinton said the administration was “deploying new approaches”, characterizing Iran as a “threat” and saying they had “no illusions” about “the imperative of preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.”
The current administration is operating under the same set of assumptions as the Bush administration in formulating its policy towards Iran. Foremost among these is that Iran’s nuclear program is intended to allow the country to produce nuclear weapons.
US Foreign Minister Hillary Clinton: “Our engagement [with Iran] puts us on much stronger international footing”
New Beginnings: Foreign Policy Priorities in the Obama Administration
by Hillary Rodham Clinton, US Foreign Minister
Opening Remarks Before the House Foreign Affairs Committee
Washington, DC, 22 April 2009
We’re deploying new approaches to the threat posed by Iran. And we’re doing so with our eyes wide open and with no illusions. We know the imperative of preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. After years during which the United States basically sat on the sidelines, we are now a full partner in the P-5 plus one talks.
We have concluded that it is going to be a more successful engagement, if our partners around the world understand that they must work with us and support our efforts, including tougher sanctions.
And I’ve had a number of conversations over the course of the last 90- plus days with allies, partners and other nations concerned about Iran’s continuing ambitions for nuclear weapons. I think there are three points I would make, Mr. Chairman.
One, the fact that we are engaging, that we have fully participated in the P-5-plus-one process, actually gives us more leverage with other nations.
Number two, I think the fact that we have been wiling to go even beyond the P-5 plus one and to reach out to Iran, to invite them, as I did, to the conference in The Hague on Afghanistan, increases even further our ability to ask more from other nations.
And finally, I think our engagement — which we have no illusions about, as I mentioned to you — puts us on much stronger international footing.
So I want to assure you that we will be operating on dual tracks. Yes, we are more than willing to reach out to the Iranians to discuss a range of issues, assuming they’re willing to reach back. […]
But we are also laying the groundwork for the kind of very tough — I think you said crippling — sanctions that might be necessary in the event that our offers are either rejected or the process is inconclusive or unsuccessful.
We actually believe that by following the diplomatic path we are on, we gain credibility and influence with a number of nations who would have to participate in order to make the sanctions regime as tight and crippling as we would want it to be.
Note: A fraction of this transcript is available at the U.S. Department of State website:
The most interesting news involves First Merchant Bank (FMB) in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). The TRNC is only recognized by one country, Turkey.
In August 2004, US Treasury blacklisted First Merchant Bank because:
Pursuant to Section 311 of the USA PATRIOT Act, FinCEN (Treasury) found First Merchant Bank to be of primary money laundering concern based on a number of factors, including:
(1) it is licensed as an offshore bank in the TRNC, a jurisdiction with inadequate anti-money laundering controls, particularly those applicable to its offshore sector; (2) it is involved in the marketing and sale of fraudulent financial products and services;
(3) it has been used as a conduit for the laundering of fraudulently obtained funds; and
(4) the individuals who own, control, and operate to launder criminal proceeds.
Sibel gave a 75-min interview to Electric Politics on April 10. You can listen to it here. Mizgin has an overview of the interview here. A partial transcript follows:
Heroin, money-laundering and terrorism
Sibel Edmonds: First of all, it has been documented in the past several decades, the importance of narcotics in the Turkish economy, but also the role of Turkish MIT – that is Turkish Intelligence – and the military having an active role. But you’re also looking at the increased role of certain Central Asian countries and the Caucuses, and if you look at some of these regimes, these are the regimes that we have been supporting. Their economies also have become dependent on narcotics, because they have become a major transit – and in some places, for certain countries such as Azerbaijan, they have become major production centers.
“Barack Obama invites Middle East leaders to White House,” Al Arabiya TV, UAE
“Lieberman: I oppose Arab initiative’s right of return,” IBA TV, Israel
“Zionism and Racism,” Syria TV, Syria
“Norway to study accusation of Israeli war crimes,” Al-Alam TV, Iran
“Racism in Europe,” Al Jazeera TV, Qatar
“Lebanon’s Wild East,” New TV, Lebanon
“Kurdish region riled by Iraq oil dispute,” Al Jazeera English, Qatar
“Syrian PM Visits Iraq,” Dubai TV, UAE
“Pakistani Taliban advance beyond Swat,” Press TV, Iran
Produced for Link TV by Jamal Dajani.
This is a good wrap-up of what’s been going on in our country the last several years. It’s time for the Left-Right division to end. We must come together to take back our country, we can argue later. ~DS