October 2011 Archives


"We're not going to stop, we just don't want that to happen again to anyone" 

Estela Lebron, mother of Jose Padilla, speaks to the media after a court hearing before the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., Wednesday, October 26, 2011.

On June 12, 2009, in the first court ruling, U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White denied a motion to dismiss an earlier suit. Quoting Alexander Hamilton, the judge wrote "[War] will compel nations the most attached to liberty to resort for repose and security to institutions which have a tendency to destroy their civil and political rights. To be more safe, they at length become willing to run the risk of being less free." 

Photo: Steve Helber / AP

ZubaydahRodriguez.jpgThe Lithuanian government is facing legal action over secret prisons that the CIA established in the country as part of its worldwide "extraordinary rendition" programme...

"While this was clearly led by the CIA, it would not have been possible without the co-operation of the European authorities. We need to find out what happened to make sure it doesn't happen again. -- Helen Duffy, special counsel at the International Centre for the Legal Protection of Human Rights

Canada: Arrest George Bush

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private lawsuit blocked same day it is filed; human rights groups condemn move

Court had set hearing date for January 9, 2012. Note that our friend Gerald Gray sits on the Board of Directors for the Canadian Centre for International Justice, the organization which submitted the filing.

One of former prisoners speaks out, c/o Democracy Now!, here


Amnesty International, the Nobel Prize-winning human rights group, wants former U.S. president George W. Bush arrested and charged with torture when he visits British Columbia next week.

Amnesty officials -- armed with reams of documents they say support the incarceration of the former most-powerful man in the world -- brushed aside suggestions Wednesday's news conference was a publicity stunt. They did acknowledge, however, that Justice Minister Rob Nicholson would likely ignore their demands.

"A failure by Canada to take action during his visit would violate the United Nations convention against torture and demonstrate contemt for fundamental human rights," the group's Susan Lee said.

see No Amnesty

photo c/o Andy Worthington's blog

Defenders of "Torture Judge" Jay Bybee represent yet another example of academic complicity with the U.S. government's torture program.

From 2007 to 2010, Bybee accepted legal and consulting help totaling $3.4 million... experts on judicial ethics said they could not recall another federal judge receiving so large a benefit... as he fought off allegations that he authorized torture, according to financial disclosure reports. Nearly all the assistance, $3,251,893, came from Los Angeles-based Latham & Watkins... 
video from his speech to Occupy SF here

"We came, we saw, he died"

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"It is difficult to articulate exactly why, but there is something very significant about a nation that so continuously finds purpose and joy in the corpses its government produces, while finding it in so little else.
-- Glenn Greenwald

Gitmo USA

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Guantanamo has, for more than a century, "provided the laboratory and staging area where U.S. imperial ambition could be implemented beyond the scrutiny of the American public and the constraint of U.S. law." 
Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity is reporting that the strike has been suspended at Pelican Bay, but continuing elsewhere. 

For the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) talk is cheap, but as Carol Strickman, a lawyer with Legal Services for Prisoners with Children says, "the proof is in the pudding."

"When it comes to America's domestic prison system, no one in a position of authority wants to use the word "torture", but I defy anyone whose heart is not made of stone to argue that total solitary confinement - for years and even decades - with no contact allowed with other human beings, and in cells with no natural light, is not torture. -- Andy Worthington
Friday September 30, 2011 UC Berkeley's Boalt Hall summoned a congress of students, faculty and alumni to the Palace Hotel in San Francisco to celebrate... what? Accommodation of the American Torture State? 


more Facebook photos here

Following an unconfirmed sighting of Torture Professor John Yoo in the lobby of the hotel, a couple of World Can't Wait organizers went inside to distribute an appeal to attendees to confront the reality of their alma mater's role in providing safe harbor to the premier representative of unlimited executive power. The dearth of moral leadership by the Berkeley Law community is reflected in the institutional lethargy or passivity in the face of criminality by the U.S. Congress and the Obama administration, where law dean Christopher Edley plays an advisory role.

The bill would codify methods such as indefinite detention without charge and mandatory military detention, and make them applicable to virtually anyone picked up in anti-terrorism efforts -- including U.S. citizens -- anywhere in the world, including on U.S. soil...

Critics say it amounts to torture

October 1, 2011 at the gates of Pelican Bay Prison Credit: prisoner supporter

Voices from Solitary

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U.N. finds torture rife in Afghan detention facilities

"The report does not assess whether American officials knew of the abuses. But such widespread use of torture in a detention system supported by American mentors and money raises serious questions about potential complicity of American officials and whether they benefited from information obtained from suspects who had been tortured. -- Alissa J. Rubin, NY Times

pinochet Cheney

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video of Vancouver protest here
A protester wearing a Dick Cheney mask stands in front of a police line during a demonstration against the former U.S. vice-president's speaking engagement at the Vancouver Club on Sept. 26, 2011. - A protester wearing a Dick Cheney mask stands in front of a police line during a demonstration against the former U.S. vice-president's speaking engagement at the Vancouver Club on Sept. 26, 2011. | Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press

A protester wearing a Dick Cheney mask stands in front of a police line during a demonstration against the former U.S. vice-president's speaking engagement at the Vancouver Club on Sept. 26, 2011.

Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press

photo c/o The Globe and Mail

...ever since Pinochet was arrested in London in 1998 and spent the next year and a half fighting extradition to Spain to face charges of having ordered and condoned torture during his regime, ever since the British House of Lords (equivalent to the U.S. Supreme Court) judged that it was valid to indict a head of state for human rights abuses in a country other than the one where those abuses had been committed, the specter of that decision and that fate has haunted rulers and former rulers everywhere....

UC Berkeley Billboard

press conference, protest, photos, video, reports

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Events & Calendars

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Important Reading

Physicians for Human Rights
Broken Laws, Broken Lives

NLG White Paper

The President's Executioner

Detention and torture in Guantanamo

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

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