December 2015 Archives

"I Didn't Know You"

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In a police-shooting case, the only perspective that matters is that of the officer who pulls the trigger...

A Year of Unreasonable Fears

"If you believe the American values of liberty and justice for all trump all--if you believe in the very things that make our experiment in democracy transcendent and unprecedented--then it might be time to consider the true American values that carry a value beyond all measurement," writes Michael Conniff, The Isaacson School for New Media.

Sounds great! Where do I sign up? 

Conniff would direct you to the Killer Drones Party, home of Indefensible Detention and sponsor to Warrantless Surveillance In Service To National Insecurity. Aspirants to the Democratic Party throne balance the price of American well-being against the "threshold for collateral damage" (number of dead civilians). Subscription to "lesser of two evils" policy enables selective, unchallenged assassination by executive decree. Political calculation stalls closure of the U.S. torture camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. 

U.S. hegemony holds humanity hostage.

"Nowadays, anyone who wishes to combat lies and ignorance and to write the truth must overcome at least five difficulties. He must have the courage to write the truth when truth is everywhere opposed; the keenness to recognize it, although it is everywhere concealed; the skill to manipulate it as a weapon; the judgment to select those in whose hands it will be effective; and the cunning to spread the truth among such persons." -- Bertolt Brecht

"War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength," sloganed George Orwell. The disconnect between myth of an empire of "Great Goodness" and the reality of endless war beggars a challenge to the "New White Man's Burden." "Is the reason we don't care arrogance? Ignorance? Or just simple Racism? I don't know, but it sure isn't because of intelligence and knowledge," opines gjohnsit at Daily Kos. 

One Step Closer to Justice

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Friday, in a case brought by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), the Second Circuit Court of Appeals refused to reconsider a historic ruling by a three-judge panel that high-level former Bush administration officials may be sued for their roles in the post-9/11 immigration detentions, abuse, and religious profiling of Muslim, Arab, and South Asian men. The former officials named in the case, Turkmen v. Ashcroft, are Attorney General John Ashcroft, FBI director Robert Mueller, and INS Commissioner James Ziglar. Six judges voted to rehear the case, and six voted to let the decision stand; a majority is required to rehear a case...

Appeals Court Stands By Decision to Allow Lawsuit Against Bush Officials

The United States has a long and torrid history of backing terrorist groups... In order to understand why the Islamic State has grown and flourished so quickly, one has to take a look at the organization's American-backed roots...


The $607 billion defense policy bill Barack Obama signed (despite "serious reservations") on November 25, 2015 authorizes indefinite isolation, torture, and show trials; provisions characteristic of a fascist state.


"A hallmark of totalitarianism is the creation of a prison system outside the rule of law that is largely designed to imprison and torture one minority group. The Guantanamo Bay gulag is unquestionably a crime against humanity. There is unlimited cruelty in a system that seems to be unable to free the innocent and unable to punish the guilty." 

-- Garikai Chengu, The Rise of the American-Muslim Totalitarian State

The one-year anniversary of the Senate Intelligence Committee Report on Torture coincides with an increasingly dark national mood; fears of terrorism are once again on the rise. Attacks at home and abroad by the militant Islamic State group, and widespread anger and fear sparked by those attacks, have led presidential candidates to call for a renewal of extreme measures to fight terrorists...

Shunning of the torture report appears to be ongoing and very much by design


"I cited my treaties and precedents--there are a lot of them--to argue cold rooms and stress positions fit the Torture Convention's standard for severe pain or suffering," writes author and lawyer Theodore McCombs, "and Professor Yoo countered with the question at the heart of the Bybee memo: where is the line? What is severe enough cold? 49 degrees? What about 53, or 55 degrees? Is four hours in a cold room torture? Three? Two? 

"Guantánamo's non-sense draws comparisons to Kafka and Orwell, but to me the touchstone is Lewis Carroll. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, which had its 150th anniversary on November 26, and Through the Looking Glass capture the ambitious inversions of Gitmo, where the iguanas that skitter out of the jungled camps enjoy more legal protection than the men inside. 

"What is it to read Alice, a century and a half after its creation, in the era of Guantánamo? For me, it is to understand 'nonsense' not as children's fantasy but as a riptide in the human mind, which drags us further off course the more violent or conceited or certain we are. It is to articulate what is so wrongheaded in Gitmo--to acknowledge men serving thirteen years of sentence before any verdict, and to insist on simple principle in the face of sophisticated explications."

see Alice in Guantánamo: Reading Carroll in the Gitmo Age

The U.S. and its allies have conducted over 120,000 air strikes against seven countries, killed about 1.6 million people, and driven 59.5 million people from their homes...

there are and always have been specific policy changes that our government could make if it was serious about ending this horrific cycle of violence.

Restore command accountability for war crimes ordered or sanctioned by senior U.S. military and civilian officials says Nicholas Davies, author of Blood On Our Hands.

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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This page is an archive of entries from December 2015 listed from newest to oldest.

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