One of the most powerful moments on any trip I have taken in my life was at the Pinkas Synagogue in Prague. It was built at least 500 years ago, and now holds a museum.
Executive Branch leaders have killed, wounded and made homeless well over 20 million human beings in the last 50 years, mostly civilians.
America has a secret. It is not discussed in polite company or at the dinner tables of the powerful, rich and famous.
Parents do not teach it to their children. Best-selling authors do not write about it. Politicians and government officials ignore it. Intellectuals avoid it. High school and college textbooks do not refer to it. TV pundits do not comment on it. Teachers do not teach it. Journalists from the nation’s most highly regarded TV news shows, newspapers and magazines, do not report it. Continue reading
By Lt. Eric N. Shine USNR – USMMRR/USMMA KP/ and Gary Corseri
June 7, 2011
“What’s in a name?”
Most people are unaware of the larger picture developing over the past seven or eight decades, or have been willing to ignore it. This still-developing image portrays matters requiring knowledge of world history, a degree of self-education and a global perspective to recognize and decipher.
American Civil Liberties Union
Fatally Flawed System Is Beyond Repair, Says ACLU
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: (212) 549-2666; firstname.lastname@example.org
WASHINGTON – President Obama today signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which includes significant changes to the Guantánamo military commissions. The American Civil Liberties Union is calling on the Obama administration to abandon the fatally flawed military commissions system and, where evidence of terrorism crimes exists, try the Guantánamo detainees in federal courts.
The NDAA makes improvements to the military commissions but fails to bring those tribunals in line with the U.S. Constitution and international law under the Geneva Conventions. It continues to apply the military commissions to a much broader group of individuals than should be tried before them under the Constitution and the Geneva Conventions and does not prohibit military commission trials of children. The new law does, however, for the first time require experienced capital defense attorneys in death penalty cases, authorize more resources for defense counsel, impose new limitations on the use of hearsay and coerced testimony and afford greater access to witnesses and evidence for defendants.
I like to believe that, despite studying Guantánamo for four years, I still have a sense of humor, but last Thursday I lost it, after 258 members of the House of Representatives (including 88 members of President Obama’s own party) voted for an idiotic, paranoid and unjust motion proposed by Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ken.), which was designed to “Prohibit the transfer of GITMO prisoners, period” (those were his exact words). Just 163 Representatives voted against the motion, which, as JURIST described it, also supports “adding Guantánamo detainees to the federal ‘no fly’ list, and adopting Senate language forbidding the release of photos showing detainee abuse.”
Since 2005, the Bush administration has produced at least three secret orders and memoranda justifying extreme interrogation methods banned under international law as forms of torture, according to a newspaper report published on Thursday.
I remember that my first response to the reports of abuse and torture at Guantanamo Bay was to accuse the accusers of exaggeration or deliberate deception. I didn’t believe America would ever do those things. I’d also supported George W Bush in 2000, believed it necessary to give the president the benefit of the doubt in wartime, and knew Donald Rumsfeld as a friend.