September 2011 Archives

Protecting individual rights and liberties-- apart from the right to be tax-free --seems barely relevant to candidates or voters. One man is primarily responsible for the disappearance of civil liberties from the national debate, and he is Barack Obama. While many are reluctant to admit it, Obama has proved a disaster not just for specific civil liberties but the civil liberties cause in the United States...

Torture: the power of symbols

| | TrackBacks (0)

The two Americans released this month by Iran have reported that when they complained about conditions in their Tehran prison, the jailers would "immediately remind us of comparable conditions at Guantanamo Bay." Photographed: Camp Delta, Guantanamo Bay. (John Riley / EPA)

The two Americans released this month by Iran have reported that when they complained about conditions in their Tehran prison, the jailers would "immediately remind us of comparable conditions at Guantanamo Bay." Photographed: Camp Delta, Guantanamo Bay. (John Riley / EPA)

The prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is again in the news. The two Americans released this month by Iran have reported that when they complained about conditions in their Tehran prison, the jailers would "immediately remind us of comparable conditions at Guantanamo Bay." Such is the power of symbols...

In a futile attempt to disguise the true nature of the current President's resurrection of the Bush administration's misappropriation of the use of military commissions, and in defiance of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling (Hamdan v. Rumsfeld) against military tribunals at Guantanamo, the Defense Department went live with a new site in anticipation of the first death penalty war crimes prosecution of the Obama administration. Hailed as "a new era of transparency" the move actually represents preemptive cover for criminal extension of executive power.

"Guantanamo of the Rockies"

| | TrackBacks (0)
"I am serving 21 years in federal prison -- in solitary confinement -- because I protested the Iraq War. I was a congressional aide and my speaking out against a fraudulent war and senseless killing of Arabs earned me my spot here. I will not be intimidated and silenced. -- Jeremy Pinson

Florence Ad-Max SWAT officers are depicted in this painting by Tommy Silverstein, c/o San Francisco Bay View newspaper, who is reported to have been held in solitary confinement longer than any other federal prisoner.
repeated trips to death chamber 'amount to torture'


The execution came 20 years after Davis was convicted of the murder of Mark Macphail, a 27-year-old police officer who was shot and wounded after intervening in a fight outside the store. The case has been in and out of court ever since, as increasing doubts were cast on his conviction.

There was no physical evidence, blood samples, or DNA linking Davis to the crime. The murder weapon was never found. His conviction instead relied on witness statements from nine people, seven of whom have since recanted their evidence, saying they were coerced into delivering it by police officers.

Several members of the jury have since come forward to say that they reached the wrong verdict. Meanwhile, a further witness has claimed that another man, Sylvester Coles, privately confessed to the murder. 

-- Guy Adams, The Independent

c/o Citizens for Legitimate Government:

US to pay up to 100 million dollars to build new Bagram prison 

As the Obama administration announced plans for hundreds of billions of dollars more in domestic budget cuts, it late last week solicited bids for the construction of a massive new prison in Bagram, Afghanistan. Posted on FedBizOpps.Gov website which it uses to announce new privatized spending projects, the administration unveiled plans for "the construction of Detention Facility in Parwan (DFIP), Bagram, Afghanistan" which includes "detainee housing capability for approximately 2000 detainees." It will also feature "guard towers, administrative facility and Vehicle/Personnel Access Control Gates, security surveillance and restricted access systems." The announcement provided: "the estimated cost of the project is between $25,000,000 to $100,000,000."

Protesters gathered to make a statement in front of the Union League Club, where the former vice president was appearing with his daughter today, September 19. 

video c/o Chicago Tribune

Shame on DePaul University "law" professor Alberto Coll's respect for the cruel and unusual actions of this government's prime advocate for torture.

And shame on NY Times columnist James Warren for attempting to lend legitimacy to academic complicity in the practice. Torture is always wrong, no exceptions.

c/o Deborah Dupre, Human Rights Examiner 

After New York Times columnist Paul Krugman honored 9/11 victims in the paper's Op-Ed section, writing truth about killing and torture in their names, and CODEPINK cofounder Medea Benjamin defended his statement on Fox News, both of them are being targeted, prompting human rights groups and CODEPINK to call for the public to petition The New York Times' Arthur S. Brisbane, being pressured to fire Krugman....

Human rights groups urge public to defend targeted individuals, 911 whistleblowers 


photo above, plus VIDEO by Bill Carpenter

Activists March Across the Golden Gate Bridge


SAN FRANCISCO, CA (9/11)- Several hundred activists marched across San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge today in a protest against the war in Afghanistan, continued U.S. presence in Iraq, and NATO's attacks on Libya. While there were no recorded U.S. deaths in Iraq in August, 66 soldiers died that month in Afghanistan, the highest for a single month since the war began in 2001. An additional nine troops have died in Afghanistan this month.

After gathering this morning at both the north and south ends of the Golden Gate Bridge, peace advocates simultaneously marched on the bridge tomeet in the middle of the span to honor those who died on 9/11 and the soldiers and civilians who have since died in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Manymarchers carried homemade signs or banners proclaiming, "Love Not War," "Bring the Troops Home," and "No More Wars." Activists from the World Can't Wait made an impressive statement dressed as prisoners in orange jumpsuits and carrying signs that read "9/11 was not a license for war or torture."

"We've been told to think about American lives lost since 9/11, but not to care about the loss of any other life in the ten years that the government used 9/11 as an excuse to go to war against the rest of the world," Stephanie Tang of World Can't Wait told the crowd at the after-march rally at Vista Point on the Marin side of the bridge. "The horrible loss of 3,000 lives on 9/11 is now being used to push America's war agenda. Today we remember every person killed by our government in the last ten years...American lives are not more important than other people on this planet."

September 11, 2011

| | TrackBacks (0)
The 10th anniversary of 9/11 draws major U.S. war criminals to New York City for symposia, memorials and fancy dinners, including Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and John Yoo. Ray McGovern reports on two of those events:

Dean says torture probe could have prompted CIA 'revolt'

Obama transition team member Christopher Edley confirms the political calculation behind protection of war criminal John Yoo, belying his oft-quoted "academic freedom" defense. 

For a really thorough discussion on what's at stake here, read


The prohibition against torture is universal. Meaning it is always wrong. There is no "torture lite".


Americans with no experience deceive themselves when they think that U.S. torture is somehow more "humane" than the practice in other countries. "Ranking" of severity is arbitrary and irrelevant. Physical scars aside, "the mark of torture is more inside than out," says one survivor

Torture, whatever its guise, is always immoral. Whether if happens "at home" or abroad. But it should really give us pause that it is happening right under our noses, in prisons all around us, in this country.

The choice of whether or not to torture serves as s a litmus test of the moral character of a people. And acquiescence to torture is a measure of degradation of that character and culture. 

Our determination to stop torture, and cruel and unusual punishment, is not prescribed by whether Pelican Bay, California is worse than Guantanamo, but should be applied everywhere we find the practice. Our own backyard is one place to begin.

Support the hunger strikers across California, and beyond, as they continue to fight for basic human rights. 

Yoo's yammering that the law is whatever the president wants it to be from moment to moment gets an executive-privilege shrug from Obama. And Obama's successors, if they wish, can cite his non-response as legal precedent...

A Harvard law professor doesn't get to plead ignorance of that. 

Nor do his functionaries at Berkeley Law.

Dahlia Lithwick challenges Zev Chafets' contention that because "Obama has largely adopted the Cheney playbook on combating terrorism, from keeping Gitmo open to trying suspected enemies of the state in military tribunals" that Cheney's policies have been thoroughly vindicated and we all live in Cheney's America: 

[While] The Obama administration is responsible for Cheney's continued legitimacy in the debate about torture, as well as the legitimacy of the debate itself... By deciding to repudiate torture while doing everything in its power to protect the torturers, the Obama administration has succeeded in elevating not only Cheney but the idea that, in America, some torturers are too important to be punished...

Most of [us] agree that we should not be a nation of torturers, and that torture has tarnished the reputation of the United States as a beacon of justice. Most of us do not want warrantless surveillance, secret prisons, or war against every dictator who looks at us funny. We may be bloodthirsty, but we aren't morons. On his most combative and truly lawless positions, Cheney still stands largely alone.

Getting Away With Torture

"Today, years later, darkness still enshrouds those who authorized and ran the 'black sites' on European territories...

-- Commissioner Thomas Hammarberg urges probe of CIA detention centers

Yoo's Views, interrupted

| | TrackBacks (0)

c/o George Mason University's History News Network: 

The annual meeting of the American Political Science Association was briefly interrupted this afternoon when a woman protesting the appearance of Bush administration official John Yoo loudly denounced him from the floor when he began to speak...


Earlier in the day, minus Yoo, Berkeley Law dean Christopher Edley (photographed below at 2008 Boalt Hall graduation) moderated a panel on the aftermath of 9/11. Speakers acknowledged the righteousness of protesters stationed outside, but denied academic responsibility for challenging the crimes committed by their colleague.

World Can't Wait urges students to confront the crimes of their government -- the wars OF terror unleashed on the world, and the attacks on our own civil liberties in an attempt to silence resistance to the national security state -- and to stand in solidarity with the victims of these policies.

No matter how far an institution will go to legitimize the crimes of Torture and Illegal Surveillance, we will find ways to act in opposition to the University of California's complicity in war crime.

Together we say NO! to the continued employment of Torture Professor John Yoo and the safe harbor that the university provides for this war criminal.  

UC Berkeley Billboard

press conference, protest, photos, video, reports

Donations via PayPal
are not tax deductible.

Events & Calendars

War Criminals Watch Events

Important Reading

Physicians for Human Rights
Broken Laws, Broken Lives

NLG White Paper

The President's Executioner

Detention and torture in Guantanamo

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from September 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

August 2011 is the previous archive.

October 2011 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.