Washington — The Constitution Project’s Task Force on Detainee Treatment is an independent, bipartisan, blue-ribbon panel charged with examining the federal government’s policies and actions related to the capture, detention and treatment of suspected terrorists during the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations. [Read more…]
Esquire – Political Blog
February 21, 2012
Ed Kilgore is a good man. He’s been very kind to the blog since its toddlerhood. Which makes it something of a surprise that he’s trying so very hard to kill me. He calls attention to this horror in the New York Times and then steps back, as if to distance himself from the explosion and subsequent cranial shrapnel. [Read more…]
Amy Goodman, Democracy Now! interviews former Gitmo Prosecutor Air Force Colonel Morris Davis on this the tenth anniversary of the Bush policy of “indefinite detention” and the gulag known as Guantanamo Bay. [Read more…]
A new documentary is being released that exposes Coca Cola and working conditions in their Colombia, Guatemala and Turkey plants. The short description of the film starts with ‘You’ll never look at a can of Coke the same way after seeing this documentary film.” [Read more…]
If the Chairman of the 911 inquiry is bringing this information out 10 years friggin later what does this man and others know that we don’t? Answer, a helluvalot! This episode just really ticks me off!
Not only has our military been stretched beyond madness, but America’s President’s should be arrested post haste for war crimes. This business of “empire” building is not what America was founded upon so why the hell are we Americans letting these thugs get away with these most heinous and despicable crimes against humanity?
From Democracy Now! “The whistleblowing website WikiLeaks has begun releasing thousands of secret documents from the U.S. military prison at Guantánamo Bay that reveal the Bush and Obama administrations knowingly imprisoned more than 150 innocent men for years without charge. In dozens of cases, senior U.S. commanders were said to have concluded that there was no reason for the men to have been transferred to Guantánamo. Among the innocent prisoners were an 89-year-old Afghan villager and a 14-year-old boy who had been kidnapped. Some men were imprisoned at Guantánamo simply because they wore a popular model of Casio watches, which had been used as timers by al-Qaeda. The documents also reveal that the journalist Sami al-Hajj was held at Guantánamo for six years partly in order to be interrogated about his employer, the Al Jazeera network. Al-Hajj’s file said he was sent to Guantánamo in order to “provide information on … the Al-Jazeera news network’s training programme, telecommunications equipment, and newsgathering operations in Chechnya, Kosovo and Afghanistan.” For more, we speak with journalist Andy Worthington, author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison. [includes rush transcript]”
UPDATE X1 – “If George W. Bush Were Torturing Bradley Manning Would the Left Rollover the Way They Do for Obama – see the video below – questions reach the President
By David E. Coombs
The Brig has stripped PFC Manning of all of his clothing for the past three nights, and they intend to continue this practice indefinitely. Each night, Brig guards force PFC Manning to relinquish all of his clothing. He then lies in a cold jail cell naked until the following morning, when he is required to endure the humiliation of standing naked at attention for the morning roll call. According to Marine spokesperson, First Lieutenant Brian Villiard, the decision to strip him naked every night is for PFC Manning’s own protection. Villiard stated that it would be “inappropriate” to explain what prompted these actions “because to discuss the details would be a violation of PFC Manning’s privacy.”
The defense communicated with both PFC Manning and the Brig forensic psychiatrist and learned more about the decision to strip PFC Manning of his clothing every night. On Wednesday March 2, 2011, PFC Manning was told that his Article 138 complaint requesting that he be removed from Maximum custody and Prevention of Injury (POI) Watch had been denied by the Quantico commander, Colonel Daniel J. Choike. Understandably frustrated by this decision after enduring over seven months of unduly harsh confinement conditions, PFC Manning inquired of the Brig operations officer what he needed to do in order to be downgraded from Maximum custody and POI. As even Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell has stated, PFC Manning has been nothing short of “exemplary” as a detainee. Additionally, Brig forensic psychiatrists have consistently maintained that there is no mental health justification for the POI Watch imposed on PFC Manning. In response to PFC Manning’s question, he was told that there was nothing he could do to downgrade his detainee status and that the Brig simply considered him a risk of self-harm. PFC Manning then remarked that the POI restrictions were “absurd” and sarcastically stated that if he wanted to harm himself, he could conceivably do so with the elastic waistband of his underwear or with his flip-flops.
Without consulting any Brig mental health provider, Chief Warrant Officer Denise Barnes used PFC’s Manning’s sarcastic quip as justification to increase the restrictions imposed upon him under the guise of being concerned that PFC Manning was a suicide risk. PFC Manning was not, however, placed under the designation of Suicide Risk Watch. This is because Suicide Risk Watch would have required a Brig mental health provider’s recommendation, which the Brig commander did not have. In response to this specific incident, the Brig psychiatrist assessed PFC Manning as “low risk and requiring only routine outpatient followup [with] no need for … closer clinical observation.” In particular, he indicated that PFC Manning’s statement about the waist band of his underwear was in no way prompted by “a psychiatric condition.”
While the commander needed the Brig psychiatrist’s recommendation to place PFC Manning on Suicide Risk Watch, no such recommendation was needed in order to increase his restrictions under POI Watch. The conditions of POI Watch require only psychiatric input, but ultimately remain the decision of the commander.
Given these circumstances, the decision to strip PFC Manning of his clothing every night for an indefinite period of time is clearly punitive in nature. There is no mental health justification for the decision. There is no basis in logic for this decision. PFC Manning is under 24 hour surveillance, with guards never being more than a few feet away from his cell. PFC Manning is permitted to have his underwear and clothing during the day, with no apparent concern that he will harm himself during this time period. Moreover, if Brig officials were genuinely concerned about PFC Manning using either his underwear or flip-flops to harm himself (despite the recommendation of the Brig’s psychiatrist) they could undoubtedly provide him with clothing that would not, in their view, present a risk of self-harm. Indeed, Brig officials have provided him other items such as tear-resistant blankets and a mattress with a built-in pillow due to their purported concerns.
The Brig’s treatment of PFC Manning is shameful. It is made even more so by the Brig hiding behind concerns for “[PFC] Manning’s privacy.” There is no justification, and there can be no justification, for treating a detainee in this degrading and humiliating manner.
Learn more about PFC Manning’s court martial HERE
Anonymous Hackers Target Alleged WikiLeaker Bradley Manning’s Jailers
As army private Bradley Manning suffers for his alleged megaleak of secret documents to WikiLeaks, one group of hackers seems determined to make sure that others feel his pain.
Over the weekend, the loose hacker collective Anonymous declared that it will go on the offensive against those who are currently detaining Manning in a Quantico military brig, keeping him in solitary confinement and forcing him to strip nightly and stand at attention naked each morning.
In a crowdsourced document used to coordinate the group’s actions, Anonymous hackers name Department of Defense Press Secretary Geoff Morell and chief warrant officer Denise Barnes as targets and call on members to dig up personal information on both, including phone numbers, personal histories and home addresses. The goal of the operation, for now, is to “dox” the two officials, the typical Anonymous method of publishing personal information of victims and using it for mass harassment.
“Targets established,” reads the document, before naming Morell and Barnes. “We’re in the ruining business. And business is good.”
The group, which is calling its attack “Operation Bradical,” also lists demands as follows:
“Manning must be given sheets, blankets, any religious texts he desires, adequate reading material, clothes, and a ball. One week. Otherwise, we continue to dox and ruin those responsible for keeeping him naked, without bedding, without any of the basic amenities that were provided even to captured Nazis in WWII.”
Read the rest of the story HERE
UPDATE X1 – Dylan Ratigan points out the hypocrisy of the left “power base” regarding PFC Bradley Manning –
CR Hails Major Victory for Accountability
This is a monumental decision that will enable a Spanish judge to continue a case on the “authorized and systematic plan of torture and ill treatment” by U.S. officials at Guantanamo. Geoffrey Miller, the former commanding officer at Guantánamo, has already been implicated, and the case will surely move up the chain of command. Since the U.S. government has not only failed to investigate the illegal actions of its own officials and, according to diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks, also sought to interfere in the Spanish judicial process and stop the case from proceeding, this will be the first real investigation of the U.S. torture program. This is a victory for accountability and a blow against impunity. The Center for Constitutional Rights applauds the Spanish courts for not bowing to political pressure and for undertaking what may be the most important investigation in decades. [Read more…]
To learn more, read – “The message is clear – If you’re a torturer, be careful with your travel plans.”
Editor’s Note: For eleven days now, citizens of Egypt have taken to the streets demanding the removal of their repressive dictator Hosni Mubarak. Today, they are protesting in front of the Presidential Palace. The people of Egypt want this man gone and who can blame them after living under such oppressive tyranny for nearly 30 years. By all accounts from reputable journalists, not the propaganda talking heads, the United States appartchik has played a rather significant role in training, mobilizing and funding the youth of Egypt to rise up and demand Mubarak’s immediate departure (see Archives of Daily Specials to read the numerous articles detailing the US involvement). Yet, when the protests heated up the US started playing footsie with these citizens lives, 300 dead and counting, rather than taking a principled position and practicing what they preach ad nauseum – “We are committed to building democracies around the globe thereby giving the people their rights and freedom.”
So why the footsie game? Could the US appatchik be stalling the removal of their puppet Mubarak for other nefarious reasons? Many “real” journalists are avid students of the history of US relations with Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen to name a few, and are offering thoughtful insights. However, few appear to be connecting the US apparatchiks torture and rendition policies, beginning in the nineties, to the current US double talk. Following are two reports: first is a recent report produced by Global Reports detailing “Obama’s block on the US Torture Probe” and, the second, a “Special Report-Obama’s gambit: Holding Egypt for Holder” by investigative journalist Wayne Madsen of Wayne Madsen Reports. Maybe these two well founded and documented reports will shed some light on the very real reasons for the US Appartchik’s current double talk.
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1l36N0Hspk&feature=player_embeddedFebruary 3, 2011 Wayne Madsen Reports
by Wayne Madsen
WMR has learned from a well-informed political insider that President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have waffled on support for Egypt’s pro-democracy revolution in order to safeguard a covert U.S.-Egyptian rendition and torture program that dates back to the Clinton administration. In fact, Clinton’s Deputy Attorney General, Eric Holder, now Obama’s Attorney General, was the first Department of Justice official to write a legal brief authorizing the rendition of alleged terrorists from third countries by the CIA to Egypt for purposes of interrogation and torture. [Read more…]