Ashcroft Can Be Held Accountable For Post-9/11 Wrongful Detention, Court Rules

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American Civil Liberties Union
9/4/2009

Government Cannot Use Material Witness Statute To Unlawfully Detain People

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: 212 549-2666; media@aclu.org

SEATTLE – In an unprecedented ruling that places responsibility squarely on government officials who after 9/11 championed polices clearly outside the boundaries of the law, a federal appellate court ruled today that former Attorney General John Ashcroft can be held personally responsible for the wrongful detention of an innocent American, Abdullah al-Kidd. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit also ruled that the federal material witness law cannot be used to “preventively” detain or investigate suspects. The American Civil Liberties Union represents al-Kidd in the case, al-Kidd v. Ashcroft.

“The court made it very clear today that former Attorney General Ashcroft’s use of the federal material witness law circumvented the Constitution,” said ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project Deputy Director Lee Gelernt, who argued the appeal. “Regardless of your rank or title, you can’t escape liability if you personally created and oversaw a policy that deliberately violates the law.”

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Ever wonder what’s happening to words once they fall into the hands of corporate and government propagandists? by Ralph Nader

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by Ralph Nader
The Nader Page
Sept. 4, 2009

Ralph Nader after the speech - Green Lecture

Image by Dandelion Salad via Flickr

Words Matter

Ever wonder what’s happening to words once they fall into the hands of corporate and government propagandists? Too often reporters and editors don’t wonder enough. They ditto the words even when the result is deception or doubletalk.

Here are some examples. Day in and day out we read about “detainees” imprisoned for months or years by the federal government in the U.S., Guantanamo Bay, Iraq and Afghanistan. Doesn’t the media know that the correct word is “prisoners,” regardless of what Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld disseminated?

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We Have met The Nazis, And They Are Us By Ted Rall

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By Ted Rall
September 04, 2009 “Information Clearing House

CIA Atrocities Revealed to a National Shrug

NEW YORK–Nazis. Americans are Nazis. We are Nazis.

Godwin’s Law be damned–it’s impossible to read the newly-released CIA report on the torture of Muslim prisoners without thinking of the Third Reich.

Sadism exists in every culture. A century ago, for example, Western adventurers who visited Tibet reported that the authorities in Lhasa, that supposed capital of pacifism, publicly gouged out criminals’ eyes and yanked out their tongues. But Nazi atrocities were stylistically distinct from, say, the Turkish genocide of the Armenians or the Rwandan massacres of the early 1990s. German war crimes were characterized by methodical precision, the application of “rational” technology to increase efficiency, the veneer of legality and the perversion of medical science.

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Lockerbie: Megrahi Was Framed By John Pilger

By John Pilger
September 04, 2009 “Information Clearing House
www.johnpilger.com

The hysteria over the release of the so-called Lockerbie bomber reveals much about the political and media class on both sides of the Atlantic, especially Britain. From Gordon Brown’s “repulsion” to Barack Obama’s “outrage,” the theater of lies and hypocrisy is dutifully attended by those who call themselves journalists. “But what if Megrahi lives longer than three months?” whined a BBC reporter to the Scottish First Minister, Alex Salmond. “What will you say to your constituents, then?”

Horror of horrors that a dying man should live longer than prescribed before he “pays” for his “heinous crime”: the description of the Scottish justice minister, Kenny MacAskill, whose “compassion” allowed Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi to go home to Libya to “face justice from a higher power.” Amen.

The American satirist Larry David once addressed a voluble crony as “a babbling brook of bullsh*t.” Such eloquence summarizes the circus of Megrahi’s release.

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Reflections On Mohamed Jawad’s Release From Guantánamo by Andy Worthington

by Andy Worthington
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
www.andyworthington.co.uk
4 Sept. 2009

Long-time readers of my work will know that I championed the cause of Mohamed Jawad, the Afghan prisoner released from Guantánamo on August 24, for nearly two years, from the moment that he was, ludicrously, put forward for a trial by Military Commission in October 2007. Jawad was charged with throwing a grenade that wounded two US soldiers and an Afghan translator in a marketplace in Kabul in December 2002, even though it was clear from his testimony alone that he was a teenager at the time of the attack, that he had been duped into joining an insurgent group, that he was drugged at the time of the attack, and that a confession had been coerced out of him while in Afghan custody. His case was also, at the time, the most obvious example of how the Bush administration, in its “War on Terror,” had warped existing war crimes legislation, and was attempting to claim that anyone who opposed US forces in a wartime situation was engaged not in legitimate warfare, but in a criminal enterprise.

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Countdown: Alberto Gonzales Supports Torture Investigation! + Officials: Cheney Criminal Probe Mandated by Law

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MoxNewsDotCom
September 02, 2009

http://MOXNews.com/ September 02, 2009 MSNBC Keith Olbermann

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Nadler Blasts Cheney’s Outrageous Defense of Illegal Torture

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NATO air raid kills ‘100 civilians’ in Afghanistan

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PressTV
Fri, 04 Sep 2009 07:01:15 GMT

More than one hundred people, mostly civilian, have reportedly been killed and scores others injured after US-led warplanes targeted fuel tankers in an area of northern Afghanistan.

The NATO alliance on Friday confirmed the lethal incident in Kunduz province, hinting that the air raid had targeted two fuel tankers allegedly hijacked by the Taliban linked militants.

Some unconfirmed reports suggested that more than one hundred people had been killed in the explosions caused by the unprecedented strikes.

[…]

via NATO air riad kills ‘100 civilians’ in Afghanistan

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Warning

This video may contain images depicting the reality and horror of war/violence and should only be viewed by a mature audience.

Scores dead after Nato attack in Afghanistan – 04 Sep 09

AlJazeeraEnglish
September 04, 2009

Scores of people have been killed in an Nato air raid in northern Afghanistan that hit two fuel tankers hijacked by the Taliban.

Sources in the Kunduz provincial government told Al Jazeera that more than 60 people were killed, many of them civilians. The Taliban claims the death toll is even higher.

Al Jazeera’s Clayton Swisher has this report.

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Afghanistan on Dandelion Salad

Israeli soldiers fire tear gas on Al Jazeera correspondent + Protests continue in the West Bank over land seizure

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AlJazeeraEnglish
September 04, 2009

Israeli soldiers have fired tear gas on Palestinians protesting against the Israeli separation barrier which cuts through their West Bank village.

The soldiers also fired tear gas at Jacky Rowland, Al Jazeera’s correspondent who was covering the event live from near the village of Bilin.

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Latvia closes hospitals and schools under spending cuts

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AlJazeeraEnglish
September 04, 2009

Very few countries in Europe are feeling the recession as acutely as Latvia.

The public purse is running so low that many hospitals and schools are being shut down because the government simply can’t afford to keep them open.

Jonah Hull reports from Riga.

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Michael Hudson: Dress Rehearsal For Debt Peonage

Recovering from Neoliberal Disaster: Why Iceland and Latvia Won’t (and Can’t) Pay the EU for the Kleptocrats’ Ripoffs by Prof. Michael Hudson

Taking Down a Nation: Money, Murder and National Sovereignty by Nikki Alexander

By Nikki Alexander
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
September 4, 2009

If you wanted to destroy the infrastructure that holds our constitutional republic in place, how would you go about that? As with a controlled demolition you would need to dislodge the foundation from the bedrock where it is anchored and weaken the framework that holds the structure together. In practice, you would demolish the laws that support the legal and financial structure. Our constitutional republic would then collapse into its own footprint, meeting no resistance.

Billionaire George Soros claimed the world financial system has disintegrated, adding that there is yet no prospect of a near-term resolution to the crisis. 1 If this were true it would be a blessing. It is more likely a pretext for consolidating world financial control through an illegitimate global oligarchy that supersedes national sovereignty. Media propagandists are spinning the “new” idea of one world currency issued by a global monetary authority. Herding the fearful into a blind alley with soothing promises of international cooperation, the same criminals who engineered global financial destruction are promoting the International Monetary Fund as the savior of choice to issue one world currency. The IMF’s synthetic currency, Special Drawing Rights, is determined by the fluctuating value of fiat currencies generated by four privately-owned central banks. SDRs are fabricated debt owed to a private banking cartel.

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Michel Chossudovsky: America’s Fiscal Collapse – Obama’s Budget Will Impoverish America

Capitalism Kills

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Interview with Michel Chossudovsky
Bonnie Faulkner
Guns and Butter
http://www.kpfa.org
September 2, 2009

America’s Fiscal Collapse: Obama’s Budget Will Impoverish America Continue reading