Curt Wechsler, The World Can't Wait: July 2012 Archives

"As the months pass in this 10th anniversary year, a handful of astute journalists will remember some of the other events and their 10th anniversaries -- the notorious "torture memos" of August 1, 2002, for example, also known as the Bybee memos, which were written by John Yoo, an attorney in the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel (and another member of Dick Cheney's inner circle), and signed by Yoo's boss, Jay S. Bybee. Those two memos sought to redefine torture so that torture techniques like waterboarding could be used by the CIA. -- Andy Worthington

Women Against Military Madness will join Tackling Torture at the Top and others at the Federal Building in Minneapolis to protest the lack of accountability for those who authorized torture in our name.

truth in the balance

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Baltasar Garzon has stepped up to a new challenge.

Best known for issuing an international arrest warrant against former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, the judge recently met with Julian Assange at the Ecuadoran embassy in London to discuss a new legal strategy. According to a press release, Garzon aims to defend both Wikileaks and Julian Assange and to show how secret US actions have "compromised and contaminated" the extradition process directed at the website founder.                                                                                     download stickers here

Celebrated Spanish human rights investigator to head Julian Assange's legal team


The Obama administration's latest overuse of executive authority at Guantánamo Bay is a decision not to let lawyers visit clients in detention under terms that have been in place since 2004. Because these meetings pose little risk and would send a message about America's adherence to the rule of law, the administration looks as if it is imperiously punishing detainees for their temerity in bringing legal challenges to their detention and losing...

see A Spiteful New Policy at Guantánamo Bay

CodePink's message to Obama, Monday July 23rd, outside campaign fundraiser event in Oakland

photo by Darin Bauer 

A Message to the Movement

Last week I walked out of federal prison, flew home, and was greeted by my smiling parents at the airport
gate. Unlike most other prisoners, I didn't have to take a 14 hour Greyhound bus; or use my bright red 
inmate ID card; nor wear my prison clothes en route. My privilege returned to me the moment of my
release. Friends picked me up and drove me to the Westin hotel for a cup of hot chocolate with whipped
cream. Although it was July 11th and there was a heat wave burning through the country, I was still cold from my incarceration.

 I entered prison because, like all of you, I believe
 torture is wrong and should not be a global export or
 a domestic product.
The violence I survived during my
 six month stay in the five federal "holding" facilities
 confirmed my conviction. The United States'
 Department of Justice likes to aggressively flex its
 muscles like a violent, bully when it comes to poor,
 sick and people of color. We spend our privileged
 fortunes on building expensive cages for them to fail
 in, without even providing clean drinking water...
obama backbround drone(2).jpg

...each time lawsuits have been brought against the Obama administration seeking either a judicial adjudication of the legality and constitutionality of assassinations, or even seeking basic transparency, the Obama administration has invoked secrecy, immunity and other procedural claims to bar courts from having any role to play. They have insisted repeatedly that they have no obligation to show evidence that the people they're targeting for death are guilty of anything. In other words, Obama officials have insisted -- following John Yoo's vision of executive omnipotence -- that these are decisions for the President, and him alone, to make. 

Obama's Killings Challenged Again

agents of deception

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"As we watch the atrocities unfold in Syria, I am reminded that there are still monsters walking free among us here in the good, old U.S.A... George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, John Yoo, Donald Rumsfeld, Alberto Gonzales, John Bolton, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle and a host of other, less-powerful individuals. These people led us into one of the most destructive and expensive misadventures imaginable... Given their complicity in the blood bath called 'Desert Storm', why should anyone listen to these fools?

see Monsters among us

Torture is inhumane and immoral...period. Why is one of the central perpetrators of a systematic torture program (still) teaching at UC Berkeley Law School? And why does his colleague Jesse Choper defend him? 

see John Yoo's war crimes

John Yoo was one of several up and comers in the Bush DOJ who traded in their credibility and integrity by attempting, unpersuasively, to defend torture. He has since found a home with the Berkeley Law School, where he primarily teaches Constitutional and International Public Law. He's a piece of work. And he still makes awful legal arguments to advance his venal political views and aspirations...

John Yoo, Impervious to Irony, Makes Bad Legal Argument

"The fact that this guy has a job at a law school reflects poorly on Berkeley Law. The fact that he hasn't been disbarred reflects poorly on the legal profession. And the fact that he's not in prison reflects poorly on all of us. -- dp

Truthout has obtained a copy of a Department of Defense document substantiating previous accounts by reporters Jeffrey Kaye and Jason Leopold that the military has been using "mind altering drugs" on detainees.


Torture, Human Experimentation and the Department of Defense video 

"This practice adds another layer of cruelty to the operations at Guantanamo," says medical ethicist Leonard Rubenstein. "The inspector general's report confirms that detainees whose mental deterioration and suffering was so great as to lead to psychosis and attempts at self-harm were given anti-psychotic medication and subjected to further interrogation... The problem is not simply what the report implies, that good information is unlikely to be obtained when someone shows psychotic symptoms, but the continued use of highly abusive interrogation methods against men who are suffering from grave mental deterioration that may have been caused by those very same methods."

During his stint at the Justice Department of Legal Counsel, John Yoo authorized use of such drugs in interrogations as long as they did not "disrupt profoundly the senses or personality."

(Image: Jared Rodriguez / t r u t h o u t; Adapted: mike.benedetti, Dirty Bunny)

Bagram redefined a "detention facility"; non-Afghan inmates subject to Obama's whim 

U.S. to keep control of Afghan 'Guantanamo'

an imaginary dialogue with John Yoo

Kristin Mueller-Heaslip is a singer with the Parkdale Revolutionary Orchestra.


A new exposé by human rights investigator Clara Gutteridge for The Nation magazine looks at secret U.S. operations in Africa and how the United States rendered, tortured and discarded one innocent man from Tanzania. Suleiman Abdallah was captured in Mogadishu in 2003 by a Somali warlord and handed over to U.S. officials, who had him rendered to Afghanistan for five years of detention and torture. Imprisoned in three different U.S. facilities, Abdallah said he was subjected to severe beatings, prolonged solitary confinement, forced nakedness and humiliation. He said he was also sexually assaulted, locked naked in a coffin, and forced to lie on a wet mat, naked and handcuffed. Abdallah was finally released in July 2008 from Bagram Air Force Base -- with a piece of paper confirming his innocence. However, he has received neither reparations nor apologies for his ordeal. "The worst of the torture, we're not authorized to talk about, because it's too painful for him," Gutteridge says. "What I can say is that he was subject to some of the worst torture that I have ever encountered in interviewing over a hundred U.S. torture victims"...

A Shocking Story of an Innocent Man's Ordeal in U.S. Prisons Abroad

calling out torturers

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Yoo isn't just a "former Bush administration lawyer" who "teaches law" at Berkeley. He's the lawyer who campaigned for an exceptionally expansive reading of the president's commander-in-chief duties under the Constitution-- opening the legal gate to torture, yes, but also eavesdropping on Americans, suspending the First Amendment and crushing the testicles of innocent children...

Joel Mathis asks: "What's more likely to threaten your liberty: A president who can detain, torture, and silence you? Or one who, with the cooperation of Congress, tries to expand access to health care?"

We find ourselves saddled with an administration that does both, in an election cycle that polemicizes Republican against Democrat, when we should be choosing right from wrong.

Crimes are Crimes, no matter Who does them. 


"I find myself living in an EXCEPTIONAL time. A time when the myth of American moral superiority is being used to excuse, even PROMOTE, cruel and intolerable crimes against humanity...

Speech given by World Can't Wait representative MaryAnn Thomas at the Rally Against Torture, Guantanamo & NDAA on June 26th in San Francisco.

"June 26 is the day on which the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment came into force in 1987...

City of Berkeley Proclamation here

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

About this Archive

This page is a archive of recent entries in July 2012.

Curt Wechsler, The World Can't Wait: June 2012 is the previous archive.

Curt Wechsler, The World Can't Wait: August 2012 is the next archive.

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