January 2011 Archives
Andy Worthington on Press TV's "The Autograph"
On the last day ofÂ my recent US tourÂ to raise awareness of the plight ofÂ the remaining 173 prisoners in GuantÃ¡namoÂ on the 9th anniversary of the opening of the prison, I was invited to be the subject of a Press TV show entitled "The Autograph," described as "a 25-minute weekly interview with academics, authors, politicians and dignitaries encompassing a whole range of different topics from cultural to highly political issues." The host, Susan Modaress, was engaged and very well informed, and it was excellent to have the opportunity to explain the story of GuantÃ¡namo past, present and future in more detail than is usually available to me on TV...
A new "Professional Misconduct Review Unit"Â will handle disciplinary action stemming from Office of Professional Responsibility findings, in which intentional or reckless professional misconduct is alleged. The unit will decide whether evidence and the law back those OPR discoveries. It will also take over from OPR the responsibility for deciding whether the misconduct merits referral to the prosecutor's state bar association for discipline...
Federal judges have long grumbled that the department's internal ethics process seemed rigged to sweep embarrassments under the rug. The new review unit doesn't appear to address those concerns, because it won't review cases where prosecutors weren't found by OPR to haveÂ committedÂ misconductÂ (i.e. the David Margolis review).Â
"Many of us knew years ago that waterboarding (along with other inhumane practises) was being used on (mostly) illegally detained individuals in prisons that remain open and active under the Obama regime. Is the Obama regime prosecuting or even investigating these crimes that have been openly admitted to by the instigators likeÂ BerkeleyÂ Law professor John Yoo and the torturers? Heck no! Obama has famously said that we need to "look forward, not backward."
Next time I get pulled over for speeding, I hope the police officer has the moral vision of our president and accepts my pleas of 'I won't do that again, I promise'. I mean if it works for mass torture, surely... humour aside, the entire corruption of the interpretation of Constitutional Law in regards to Gitmo/'terror' detainees has not only led to a substantial reduction in the civil rights of most Americans; but also made it legally impossible to lawfully prosecute those who were genuinely out to cause harm. The case is building against teachers of Constitutional Law, it seems such a career is the best preparation for a life of subverting the Constitution...
On the ninth anniversary of Guantanamo, a circle of "detainees" in jumpsuits and hoods stood silently in witness - as the names of the 173 detainees* still being held at Guantanamo (including Abdelrazak Ali Abdelrahman, represented by our friend Candace Gorman) were read aloud.
video of DC action here
An attorney representing two Swedish women who brought sexual assault charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was investigated following revelations that during his time in the Swedish government, his administration helped facilitate extraordinary renditions that allegedly resulted in two terrorism suspects being tortured in Egypt.
The US policy of extraordinary rendition, or kidnapping terrorism suspects from foreign countries and transporting them to locations where torture is permitted, was a hotly contested issue during the administration of President George W. Bush -- and it wasn't just Americans who were outraged by the practice.
A Swedish investigation in 2009 ended up referring former justice minister Thomas BodstrÃ¶m, who now resides in the US, and former prime minister GÃ¶ran Persson, to a constitutional committee looking into the expulsion of two terrorism suspects at the outset of America's terror war in 2001...
"It isn't my eye, not my broken fingers or broken ribs, not the sexual abuse or the humiliation that is the worst.Â It is missing those seven early years of my child's life." -Â OmarÂ Deghayes,Â Outside the Law
exceptional.Â Most of the public would probably oppose tenure, sabbatical leaves, supportÂ
for basic research, admitting out-of-state or foreign students, and below-market tuition forÂ
students heading for elite careers in business or law.Â And, as I've discovered and BerkeleyÂ
has experienced, much of the public doesn't care about academic freedom.Â UC leadersÂ
must be prepared to defend these policies despite their unpopularity and have almostÂ
Instructor: John Choon Yoo
Course Title: Veterans' Law Practicum
Course Number: 222.9
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Enroll Limit: 15Â
As of: 01/09 07:59 AM
Information on seats available per course not displayed due to varying constraints on course structures that result in variations on a course by course basis.
Just what goes on behind these closed doors?
In a rare U.S. appearance, author and filmmaker Andy Worthington will speak with renowned investigative journalist Jason Leopold (Truthout) at two events in the Bay Area.
TEN YEARS OF GUANTANAMO: A DISCUSSION WITH ANDY WORTHINGTON AND JASON LEOPOLD
12 noon - 2 pm
Louis B. Mayer Lounge
UC Hastings College of the Law
Andy Worthington will speak on GuantÃ¡namo, Indefinite Military Detention, and the Fight for Justice. His path-breaking work continues to bare the truth about GuantÃ¡namo and the hundreds of prisoners held there illegally without charge or trial, and tortured. His book, "The GuantÃ¡namo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America's Illegal Prison" and film "Outside the Law: Stories from GuantÃ¡namo" have been highly acclaimed by legal and civil liberties experts. In 2011, after working with WikiLeaks on the release of classified military documents relating to the Guantanamo prisoners, he began a new project, "The Complete Guantanamo Files," a million-word series that will continue throughout 2012.
Event hosted by National Lawyers Guild, Hastings Chapter
6:00 - 8:30 pm
81 Shattuck Square, Berkeley
A chance to break bread (actually, a delicious catered Mediterranean buffet supper) with our two guests at this popular restaurant, just steps from downtown Berkeley BART.
This dedicated fundraiser is hosted by World Can't Wait, with all funds going to the 2012 campaign to Close GuantÃ¡namo, including this national speaking tour by Andy Worthington. We suggest $40 general donation (students $20) -- sliding scale upward if you're able will be deeply appreciated.
RSVP (for catering and due to limited seating space, thanks) to 415-424-7358 Stephanie or 818-480-1860 Curt, or email us at email@example.com .
Both events wheelchair accessible.
Bradley Manning, the alleged leaker of classified materials is being held in jail. Julian Assange was held in jail without being charged and for several days with bail withheld. Networks related to the distribution of the linked materials have been shut off from Wikileaks and avenues of fiscal support for Wikileaks have been cut off. Despite efforts and assurances that material that might endanger individuals was redacted, "perception management" specialists are peddling the view widely that the leaks put people and the nation in danger. Soldiers have been told not to read the leaked documents. University students in journalism and international relations have been told not to view the documents. Attorney General Eric Holder tells us that legal challenges to Wikileaks founder are in preparation and calls for his assassination have been made public in media in among politically visible people. Why the storm? Just what is it that they do not want us to know? And who are "they"?
On one level there are embarrassing details on the role of government officials in condoning and covering up the use of torture (Professor Pilisuk examines "The Matter of Torture" in his book, WHO BENEFITS FROM GLOBAL VIOLENCE AND WAR), deceptions about the failures and costs of military efforts, secret communications with officials of other governments to bribe or to coerce deals favoring free trade agreements, military assurances to governments that violate human rights, communications regarding new military initiatives toward Iran. These are not activities with which public officials would care to be identified and are not parts of their public persona. They are just the unfortunate realities of ordinary affairs, what they consider to be the only way that coercion may supplement persuasion when consensus cannot be reached. But for whom? ...
"By turning Bush-era indefinite detentions into institutionalized policy, President Barack Obama is laying the foundation for future presidents to use preventive detention (imprisonment) as a tool.Â
- St. Petersburg Times columnist Robyn BlumnerÂ
Two weeks from now on January 11, the TENTH YEAR of the horrors atÂ GuantÃ¡namo will begin -- refreshed and underscored by the Obama administration and Congress's NEW moves to insure it all remains permanent.
On January 11, World Can't Wait will be in Washington D.C. with Witness Against Torture, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and other activists who won't let this issue go, no matter who the president is, or what the promises are.Â Join us there to make visible resistance and protest with a rally outside the White House, a "prisoner procession" to the Justice Department, and then non-violent direct action.
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Events & Calendars
Important ReadingPhysicians for Human Rights
Broken Laws, Broken Lives
NLG White Paper
ON THE LAW OF TORTURE...
The President's Executioner
Detention and torture in Guantanamo