The Republicans and Democrats play for the same Corporate American team. It is all window dressing to keep us divided cheering for our ‘Red’ team wedge issue or our ‘Blue’ team wedge issue while they rob us blind. Sorry, there is no change. It is the same basic course of action only it is now delivered with a more eloquence. The players of each team will never enact any accountability on each other. It is the people of this country that must demand that. ~Billy Vega$ 2009
What is happening in Sri Lanka’s war zone is practically impossible to verify because independent observers and journalists have little or no access to the area.
In an attempt to gain some clarity, Al Jazeera’s Imran Garda spoke to Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara, a spokesman for the Sri Lankan military, and Thileepan Parthipan, a representative from the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.
Torture has received the most attention among the many war crimes of the Bush administration. But those who support Bush’s pursuit of the “war on terror” have not been impressed by recriminations over torture. Worse than torture are the murders of at least 50 prisoners in Abu Ghraib, Afghanistan, and Guantánamo, but again the hard-hearted are unimpressed when those whom they perceive as terrorists receive illegal extrajudicial capital punishment.
The case for abusing children, however, is more difficult to support. The best kept secret of the Bush’s war crimes is that thousands of children have been imprisoned, tortured, and otherwise denied rights under the Geneva Conventions and related international agreements. Yet both Congress and the media have strangely failed to identify the very existence of child prisoners as a war crime. In the Islamic world, however, there is no such silence. Indeed, the prophet Mohammed was the first to counsel warriors not to harm innocent children.
The scandal at Abu Ghraib prison shocked the world, but there is growing evidence of broad and systematic torture and abuse in Iraqi prisons today. Inside Iraq asks why there is a global outcry when the US is involved in torture in Iraq but widespread apathy when Iraqis torture fellow Iraqis.
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NEW YORK – Defense Secretary Robert Gates suggested in congressional testimony Thursday that as many as 100 Guantánamo detainees could be transferred to U.S. soil and held without trial.
The following can be attributed to Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union:
“President Obama’s initial decision to close Guantánamo will be betrayed if we simply replace it with another detention center on U.S. soil that disregards the law. In George Bush’s America, we held individuals without charge or trial, and if President Obama follows suit it will be a fatal flaw that would surely mar his presidency. The only way to uphold the Constitution and due process is to either criminally charge Guantánamo detainees and prosecute them in federal courts or, where no legitimate evidence exists against them, let them go. America’s federal courts are well-equipped to accommodate the government’s national security interests without compromising the fundamental rights of criminal defendants.
“The Obama administration must reject the myth that there exists a class of people who cannot be prosecuted but are too dangerous to release. The federal government has an imposing arsenal of prosecutorial weapons at its disposal including broad material support and conspiracy laws. If prosecutors cannot meet the minimal burdens of proof under such statutes, there is no justification for holding a suspect indefinitely. One would hope that if the government is convinced of a prisoner’s guilt or potential danger, the government would have gathered sufficient admissible evidence by now to prove its case from untainted sources.
“The fact that the American justice system prohibits imprisonment on the basis of evidence coerced through torture is one of its strengths, not a weakness. The U.S. should not be in the business of locking people up without due process or jerry-rigging a new detention system to accommodate the torture policies of the Bush administration. Any effort to develop a new legal regime for holding individuals without charge or trials would doom the Obama administration to the same failure that George Bush encountered in his eight years as president.”
Ralph Nader: Obama “Indecisiveness” in Chrysler Bankruptcy Leaves “Everything up in the Air”
Chrysler has filed for federal bankruptcy protection, becoming the first major American automaker to do so since 1933. The arrangement came after an intensive round of White House-sponsored negotiations among the Treasury Department, the union and Chrysler’s executives and creditors. We get reaction from consumer advocate Ralph Nader, who says President Obama has failed to assert adequate control over Chrysler’s woes. [includes rush transcript]
JUAN GONZALEZ: President Obama forced Chrysler into federal bankruptcy protection on Thursday so it could form an alliance with Italian carmaker Fiat. Chrysler hopes to sell its core assets, including the Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge brands, into a new company that would be owned by the US government, Fiat and the company’s workers. With Thursday’s filing, Chrysler became the first major American automaker to seek bankruptcy protection since Studebaker did so in 1933.
The JOURNAL profiles Steve Meacham, a Boston-based organizer who’s trying to halt the tidal wave of evictions and foreclosures plaguing his community. Meacham works for an award-winning organization known as City Life/Vida Urbana, a group that’s pioneered new strategies to help working people hold on to their homes in the face of intense pressure from banks.