December 2011 Archives

fueling growing talk of war

John Yoo has now turned his legal acumen and moral judgment to assessing the optimal American posture toward the Islamic Republic of Iran. On this subject, National Review's year-end issue features a piece by him, arguing that--as its title proclaims--"Now is the time to make the case for military action against Iran".

see America's Drive for Middle East Dominance

"the big problem with the Islamic Republic is not that it is irrevocably and aggressively anti-American (it is not). The problem is that the Islamic Republic refuses, as a matter of both principle and strategic interest, to accept and endorse American dominance in the region...

with Obama....about to sign a law which overnight turns the U.S. into a Third World country, where anyone can be swept off the streets by the military to rot forever, or even be killed.

Why a Constitutional Law Professor Should Not Sign an Unconstitutional Bill

UPDATE: Obama has signed the "Consolidated Appropriations Act 2012", promises to amend National Defense Authorization Act language in a "signing statement"

Bradley Manning hearings

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Accounts of last week's hearings in the case against Army private Bradley Manning contain eerie reminders of the unconstitutional military commissions at Guantanamo Bay. Only a few days into the proceedings, we have a defendant subjected to treatment tinged with torture and vilified by the Executive branch, biased officials, unavailable witnesses, and exaggerated secrecy claims...

Glenn Greenwald finds no possible way to defend the assassination powers claimed by Obama without embracing the 'We-Are-At-War!' mentality, adding that

"...if anything, [these] powers are more extremist than the Guantanamo detention system; that's true for two reasons:

1) Bush/Cheney imprisoned foreign nationals, whereas Obama has targeted U.S. citizens with death; and 

2) death-by-CIA drone is obviously a more draconian deprivation than imprisonment.

an American gulag?

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The Patriot Act's material support provisions allow our government to criminalize speech and repress political dissent, a frontal assault on the First Amendment... 

The National Defense Authorization Act would expand those assaults by eliminating the need to prosecute. In the hands of a president, attorney general, US attorney, or even, potentially, state or local prosecutors willing to use their powers for political purposes, it offers the legal authority for severe repression... creating the authority to detain individual participants indefinitely.

First, he became the Torture Dean for his impassioned defense of the right, under the rubric of academic freedom, for Torture Lawyer John Yoo to provide the landscape for undeniably evil conduct. Now, UC President Mark Yudof has appointed him to the fig leaf commission to review the violence against peaceful protesters at Cal, UC Davis, and other schools. Wonder what the report is going to say?

Jay Youngdahl's Reflections on 2011

New VIDEO: activists out Senator Maria Cantwell for voting in favor of the 2011 National Defense Authorization Act

"These decisions, under our Constitution, are for the President alone to make -- John Yoo, setting the stage for martial law and a police state


Former Secretary of Department of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff employs former senior government officials and top level business executives including the former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency (Michael Hayden), senior research and acquisition officials with experience at Department of Defense and NSA, investment professionals who earned their experience at top global financial institutions, the former UK Home Secretary and the CEO of a multi-billion dollar UK defense company to market, among other things, those invasive and dangerous body scanner devices we suffer at airports.

local activists. Video here

how the Army Field Manual codified abuse

"As chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence, I can say that we are nearing the completion [of] a comprehensive review of the CIA's former interrogation and detention program, and I can assure the Senate and the Nation that coercive and abusive treatment of detainees in U.S. custody was far more systematic and widespread than we thought. -- Senator Dianne Feinstein

Today, a grassroots campaign is underway calling on the American Psychological Association to annul their Psychological Ethics and National Security (PENS) Report, the defining document endorsing psychologists' engagement in detainee interrogations. This call is ultimately inseparable from important issues of accountability and transparency. Audre Lorde's reminder that "the master's tools will never dismantle the master's house" is helpful in describing the challenge...

5347361342_08fa9e8b30_z.jpgWHEREAS, the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (Convention) defines torture as: "Any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity."; and...

It's open season on people of conscience. Our government is hoping the "good" people who do nothing in America will continue to do nothing. Will let the Swiss-cheesing of democracy continue. Will let these vanguard citizens defending their AND our constitutional rights twist in the wind without protest. They are hoping the entitlement of each citizen to enjoy freedom of political protest will morph into fear-motivated reluctance of being labeled a "domestic terrorist"...

We must drop the ostrich stance and cover the backs of activists who are on the line 

Close Guantánamo

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"Obama has carried on where Bush left off. Realizing that captured American-born terror suspects must be given a hearing, Obama decided it would be more convenient to kill them. And he asked the lawyers at the Office of Legal Consel to write memos stating that killing Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born Muslim cleric living in Yemen, would not violate the Constitution or federal statutes banning murder and assassinations. Once again, the lawyers set aside the most fundamental rules of legal ethics to serve their master... 

Assassinating the Rule of Law by Leonard C. Goodman
Len is a Chicago lawyer who represents Guantanamo detainees. He has spoken at several World Can't Wait events, including a recent screening of The Response at Sulzer Library.

Amnesty International urges African nations to arrest George Bush

"They've been trying to get any country where President Bush and Vice President Cheney visit to harass them wherever they go.... Why? Because they're upset about the treatment of three al Qaeda leaders in the war on terrorism.

 -- former Justice Department attorney John Yoo feels the heat

UC Berkeley Billboard

press conference, protest, photos, video, reports

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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

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