A further step toward a police state – Obama seeks to institutionalize indefinite detention by Tom Eley

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by Tom Eley
http://www.wsws.org
5 August 2009

Press reports have revealed that the Obama administration is considering the creation of a prison and court complex on US soil to process and hold current and future terrorist suspects. It would include a facility to indefinitely detain people held without trial or any other constitutionally mandated due process rights.

The reports underscore the profoundly antidemocratic agenda of the Obama administration, which is not only carrying on the Bush administration’s sweeping and quasi-dictatorial assertions of executive authority, but is seeking to institutionalize them.

[…]

If anything, Obama has intensified his predecessor’s attack on democratic rights. This is because, in the most fundamental sense, basic democratic principles are incompatible with the central policies of the American ruling class—the expansion of militarism and war abroad, and a further redistribution of wealth from the working class to the financial elite at home.

[…]

via Obama seeks to institutionalize indefinite detention

Spanish judge keeps Guantanamo probe alive + Waterboarded 183 Times + More revelations from Bush torture memos

Dandelion Salad

Reuters
Fri Apr 17, 2009 9:30pm EDT

MADRID (Reuters) – A Spanish judge considering possible criminal action against six former Bush administration officials for torture at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay defied pressure to drop the case Friday.

[…]

via Spanish judge keeps Guantanamo probe alive | International | Reuters

h/t: CLG

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Torture memos reveal brutality of US imperialism

By Tom Eley
http://www.wsws.org
18 April 2009

On Thursday, the US Justice Department released four legal memos crafted during the Bush administration that authorized agents of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to commit specific acts of torture against prisoners swept up in the “war on terror.” The Obama administration faced a Thursday deadline to release the memos after a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

The release of the legal opinions, written by lawyers in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel in 2002 and 2005, adds to an overwhelming body of evidence that proves the Bush administration carried out a large-scale and systematic torture operation in flagrant violation of domestic and international law. The public record already included accounts from victims, a recently leaked International Committee of the Red Cross report documenting various instance of torture, and numerous media accounts that include quotes from interrogators and Bush administration officials endorsing torture.

[…]

via Torture memos reveal brutality of US imperialism.

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Khalid Sheikh Mohammed Was Waterboarded 183 Times in One Month

By: emptywheel Saturday April 18, 2009 11:57 am

I’ve put this detail in a series of posts, but it really deserves a full post. According to the May 30, 2005 Bradbury memo, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded 183 times in March 2003 and Abu Zubaydah was waterboarded 83 times in August 2002.

On page 37 of the OLC memo, in a passage discussing the differences between SERE techniques and the torture used with detainees, the memo explains:

The CIA used the waterboard “at least 83 times during August 2002” in the interrogation of Zubaydah. IG Report at 90, and 183 times during March 2003 in the interrogation of KSM, see id. at 91.

Note, the information comes from the CIA IG report which, in the case of Abu Zubaydah, is based on having viewed the torture tapes as well as other materials. So this is presumably a number that was once backed up by video evidence.

[…]

via Emptywheel » Khalid Sheikh Mohammed Was Waterboarded 183 Times in One Month.

h/t: CLG

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From insects to waterboarding: 10 ‘torture’ techniques blessed by Bush

Times Online
April 17, 2009

In this August 1, 2002 memo, Jay S Bybee of the US Department of Justice approves ten methods of “enhanced interrogation” on the suspected terrorist Abu Zubaydah. He was writing to John Rizzo, CIA acting general counsel

These ten techniques are: (l) attention grasp, (2) walling, (3) facial hold, (4) facial slap (insult slap), (5) cramped confinement, (6) wall standing, (7) stress positions, (8) sleep deprivation, (9) insects placed in a confinement box, and (10) the waterboard.

You have informed us that the use of these techniques would be on an as-needed basis and that not all of these techniques will necessarily be used.

[…]

via From insects to waterboarding: 10 ‘torture’ techniques blessed by Bush – Times Online.

h/t: CLG

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More revelations from Bush torture memos

By Tom Eley
http://www.wsws.org
20 April 2009

The Bush administration memos released last Thursday by the US Justice Department demonstrate that Washington carried out a studied and systematic torture operation for years.

The documents, written by lawyers in the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) to a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) counsel, make clear that the CIA was carrying out torture prior to, and during the time the memos were written in 2002 and 2005.

They also show that Bush administration officials were well aware that the methods discussed could be construed as torture. They therefore sought to develop an ex post facto and pseudo-legal rationale for specific acts of torture, in defiance of US and international laws.

via More revelations from Bush torture memos.

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White House bars prosecution of Bush officials who authorized torture

By Patrick Martin
http://www.wsws.org
20 April 2009

In the wake of last week’s release of the top-secret Bush administration documents setting out a pseudo-legal justification for torture, the Obama administration is caught in a devastating political contradiction.

The documents, legal memos drafted by the US Department of Justice in 2002 and 2005, clearly establish that acts of torture which are criminal under both US and international law were authorized and justified by the highest levels of the Bush administration. But while making the documents public, Obama has asserted that both those responsible for devising the torture policy and those who carried it out will not be prosecuted.

via White House bars prosecution of Bush officials who authorized torture.

see

Fault Lines: Richard Armitage on torture

Torture on Dandelion Salad

Gitmo

Rendition

Red Cross report details CIA war crimes By Tom Eley

Dandelion Salad

By Tom Eley
http://www.wsws.org
9 April 2009

This week, the New York Review of Books released the full version of an International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) report detailing US Central Intelligence Agency torture of 14 “high value” terroristse suspects at prison “black sites” from 2001 until 2006. Earlier, it had produced excerpts of the report and an analysis by author Mark Danner.

The report makes explicit that the CIA violated the laws of war and basic human rights in its treatment of the prisoners, which included beatings, humiliations, sleep deprivation, and suffocation by water (“waterboarding”), among dozens of specifically named acts of brutality.

At several points, the 40-page report refers to CIA actions as illegal according to international law. The ICRC, based in Geneva, Switzerland, is the body tasked with overseeing observance of the laws of war. That it has declared acts carried out by US intelligence personnel as torture carries enormous legal weight.

[…]

via Red Cross report details CIA war crimes.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

see

Fake Faith and Epic Crimes By John Pilger

Farce at Guantánamo, as cleared prisoner’s habeas petition is denied by Andy Worthington

Rachel Maddow: Why Gitmo Accountability Matters

Countdown: Obama adm. actively shielding Bush, Cheney + Maddow: Why do we need to outsource justice?

Ray McGovern: Holding Our Leaders Accountable (must-see)

Torture

The American ruling class by Tom Eley

Dandelion Salad

by Tom Eley
Global Research, February 8, 2009
World Socialist Web Site – 2009-02-06

On Wednesday, President Barack Obama announced measures that purport to restrict executive compensation to $500,000 at financial institutions receiving billions in government assistance. The figure does not include stock options, which could be redeemed after financial firms pay back loans from the federal government. Nor does it apply to the original recipients of tens of billions in TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) money.

The measures are essentially a public relations exercise. Their aim is to provide political cover for a new and even larger Wall Street bailout, which Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will unveil next week.

Yet the discussion that has emerged in the wake of Obama’s announcement sheds light on the domination of government by a tiny financial elite and the increasingly threadbare pretense of democracy in the US. This financial aristocracy, the episode reveals, is a power to be approached on bended knee.

The media have responded to Obama’s proposal of a $500,000 limit on executive compensation, which would affect only a handful of firms, as though this were a severe and astonishing punishment. Yet the figure represents approximately 12 times the annual salary of the typical worker. To the majority of the population, a salary of a half million dollars is a staggering amount of money.

Continue reading

Official: UN May Prosecute Bush Administration, Regardless Of US action + Michael Ratner: Prosecute Bush & Cheney

Dandelion Salad

By David Edwards
ICH
January 23, 2009 “Rawstory” Jan 22, 2009

The UN’s special torture rapporteur called on the US Tuesday to pursue former president George W. Bush and defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld for torture and bad treatment of Guantanamo prisoners.

“Judicially speaking, the United States has a clear obligation” to bring proceedings against Bush and Rumsfeld, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture Manfred Nowak said, in remarks to be broadcast on Germany’s ZDF television Tuesday evening.

He noted Washington had ratified the UN convention on torture which required “all means, particularly penal law” to be used to bring proceedings against those violating it.

[…]

via Official: UN May Prosecute Bush Administration, Regardless Of US action- ICH

Continue reading

Obama to close terrorist ‘black sites’ + Countdown: Gitmo & Dept of Justice + Executive Orders

Dandelion Salad

Updated: 1.24.09 added another story, scroll down

Updated: added executive orders; added a video of the signing

Sara A. Carter and Eli Lake
Washington Times
Thursday, January 22, 2009

President Obama on Thursday will order the closure of so-called black sites, where CIA and European security services have interrogated terrorist suspects, under executive orders dismantling much of the Bush administration’s architecture for the war on terror, according to four individuals familiar with a draft executive order.

[…]

Mr. Obama, in one of his first acts as president, on Wednesday suspended all the military commissions for 120 days. During his campaign and after his election, he promised that his administration would not practice torture. In his Inaugural address Tuesday, he said, “we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals … Those ideals still light the world and we will not give them up for expedience’s sake.”

[…]

via Washington Times – Obama to close terrorist ‘black sites’.

h/t: CLG

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Countdown: Jonathan Turley visits, discusses blown Oath, Guantanamo detainees, Department of Justice

Continue reading

Press reports document criminality of US financial elite

Dandelion Salad

by Tom Eley and Barry Grey
http://www.wsws.org
24 December 2008

Fallout from the Madoff scandal continues to batter investors, banks and private charities in the US, Europe and Japan. The massive fraud carried out by a prominent Wall Street insider, Bernard Madoff, the former head of the Nasdaq stock exchange, has exposed clients to as much as $50 billion in losses.

Recent press reports make clear that the Madoff affair is not an aberration. It is indicative of pervasive fraud and criminality in the highest echelons of the financial establishment, aided and abetted by government regulatory agencies.

On Monday, Truthout, an independent internet news service, published an interview with former Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigative attorney Gary Aguirre. The SEC is the federal regulatory agency tasked with enforcing securities law and regulating stock exchanges and the securities industry.

[…]

via Press reports document criminality of US financial elite.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

see

SEC Whistleblower Speaks on Madoff Fraud

The Madoff Scandal

Wealth Creation, or a Ponzi Scheme? by Michael Hudson

The Economy Sucks and or Collapse 2