Thursday, September 22, 2011

Government shutdown threat again from suicide-bent democrats and insane GOP


Boner, Cantor, Obama and Reid somehow think this will get them re-elected; Americans more determined than ever now to get rid of them

Reuters
09/23/2011

The House of Representatives unexpectedly defeated a bill that would fund the federal government past September 30 on Wednesday as dozens of Republicans broke with their party to push for deeper spending cuts.
 
    The unexpected outcome was an embarrassment for House Republican leaders who have at times struggled to rein in a conservative wing that remains closely allied with the anti-spending Tea Party movement.

Boner will get the big sausage from U.S. electorate
"This is a democracy. This is the sausage factory," said Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, who sponsored the bill.

The vote could further rattle consumers and investors who have been unnerved by the high-stakes budget battle that has played out in Washington this year. Congress pushed the government to the brink of a shutdown in April and the edge of default in August.

Republican leaders said they would figure out a way to pass the spending bill and avoid disrupting programs from national parks to scientific research.

  "There is not going to be a shutdown. Everybody needs to relax," said Representative Eric Cantor, the No. 2 House Republican, as he emerged from a meeting with other top Republicans after the vote.

    Later in the evening, a panel approved a measure that would allow the House to quickly reschedule another vote. But it was not clear how the substance of the bill might be changed.

    The bill would have funded the government at an annual rate of $1.043 trillion, in line with a bipartisan agreement reached in August. Many conservatives want to stick with the lower figure of $1.019 trillion that the House approved in April.

   The measure failed by a vote of 195 to 230, with 48 of the chamber's most conservative Republicans joining Democrats in opposition.

Cantor:  HA HA!  No Social Security check for you!
The vote demonstrated the continued reluctance of Tea Party conservatives to compromise on spending issues, even as the public grows weary of repeated confrontation on Capitol Hill.

NO HELP FROM DEMOCRATS

Republican leaders have suffered a similar number of defections on other high-profile budget bills this year. Democrats had helped them reach a majority on those occasions, but only six backed this bill.

    Democrats objected to a $1.5 billion cut to an electric vehicle loan program, which Republicans included to offset the cost of increased disaster aid.

    Republicans might remove that cut to pick up Democratic support, an aide said -- an action that could further alienate conservatives.

    That would be a big victory for Democrats, who want to double the amount of disaster aid in the bill and ensure that it is not paired with further spending cuts.

    "At the bottom line, the disaster victims have to be treated far more fairly than they did today," said Democratic Senator Charles Schumer.

Obama, Reid bent on political suicide:  "Head shots!  Head shots!"
Facing rock-bottom approval ratings, lawmakers from both parties are eager to show voters that they can act quickly to approve aid for victims of floods, tornadoes and other disasters in one of the most extreme years for weather in U.S. history.

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency has requested $5.1 billion to replenish its disaster fund, which could dry up entirely next week. FEMA has has already suspended rebuilding efforts across the country.

   (Additional reporting by Richard Cowan, Donna Smith and Thomas Ferraro; Editing by Eric Walsh).

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UPDATE: TROY DAVIS EXECUTED 11:08 PM Georgia time


State of Georgia murders Troy Davis at 11:08 PM Georgia time after Supreme Court refuses stay to review recanted witness testimony; calls for boycott of all Georgia goods and services being made by protesters


The 5th Estate
By Robert S. Finnegan
09/22/2011

In his last statement Troy Davis proclaimed his innocence and called for renewed efforts to clear his name.

    One of Davis' lawyers, who was a witness called his execution "...a legalized lynching" and "a macabre experience, worse than anything you see in the movies."

   Davis told the family of the victim that he did not kill their family member and "had nothing to do with the violence that took place that night."  Davis also told the staff that murdered him "may God have mercy on your souls, may God bless your souls."

   Davis was said by attending journalists to have died within 15 minutes of being injected with lethal chemicals.

    Outside the "Georgia Diagnostic Prison," the police violated the constitutional rights of the media by corralling and then roping them into a small area that they were not allowed to leave even to relieve themselves.  Reporter Amy Goodman of Democracy Now was accosted and roughed up by the police when she stepped outside the roped area to speak to a Davis family member. Following the execution prison officials and police pulled the plug on Goodman's broadcast, cutting her off in mid-sentence at 1052 Jakarta Time. 

    *The United States Supreme Court "justices," the State of Georgia, the Georgia board of pardons, prison warden, prison staff and police all bear responsibility for his ritualized political murder.

    The ludicrous name "Georgia Diagnostic Prison" is nothing more than a despicable, Rovian name created to disguise and make more palatable what really happens there:  legalized murder,  plain and simple.

    The storm troopers that violated the constitutional rights of the media and other protesters will be held accountable, along with the Supreme Court "justices" and all Georgia state officials involved.  Amy Goodman is about as dangerous as my grandmother, and the Nazis that roughed her up are nothing but cowards and their illegal, fascist actions will hopefully be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the (HA HA!) "law."  The ACLU had better get a piece of this action... - Ed.







UPDATE: Troy Davis Makes 11th Hour Appeal to Supreme Court to Stop Execution


Davis files 11th hour appeal with Supreme Court; coward Obama says he will not get involved

Associated Press
By Greg Bluestein
09/22/2011

JACKSON, Ga. (AP) — 

Troy Davis, the condemned inmate who convinced hundreds of thousands of people but not the justice system of his innocence, filed an eleventh-hour plea Wednesday asking the U.S. Supreme Court to stop Georgia authorities from executing him for the murder of an off-duty police officer.

    Though Davis' attorneys say seven of nine key witnesses against him have disputed all or parts of their testimony, state and federal judges have repeatedly ruled against granting him a new trial. As the court losses piled up Wednesday, his offer to take a polygraph test was rejected and the pardons board refused to give him one more hearing.

Protesters on steps of Georgia state capitol
Davis' supporters staged vigils in the U.S. and Europe, declaring "I am Troy Davis" on signs, T-shirts and the Internet. Some tried increasingly frenzied measures, urging prison workers to stay home and even posting a judge's phone number online, hoping people will press him to put a stop to the 7 p.m. lethal injection. 

    President Barack Obama deflected calls for him to get involved.

   "They say death row; we say hell no!" hundreds of protesters chanted outside the Jackson prison where Davis was to be executed. A few dozen riot police stood watch.

    About 10 counterdemonstrators also were there, showing support for the death penalty and the family of Mark MacPhail, the man Davis was convicted of killing in 1989.

   At a Paris rally, many of the roughly 150 demonstrators carried signs emblazoned with Davis' face. "Everyone who looks a little bit at the case knows that there is too much doubt to execute him," Nicolas Krameyer of Amnesty International said at the protest.

    Davis' execution has been stopped three times since 2007, but on Wednesday the 42-year-old appeared to be out of legal options.

Georgia board of pardons is a joke, and so are the members
As his last hours ticked away, an upbeat and prayerful Davis turned down an offer for a special last meal as he met with friends, family and supporters.

"Troy Davis has impacted the world," his sister Martina Correia said at a news conference. "They say, 'I am Troy Davis,' in languages he can't speak."

    Correia, who is battling breast cancer and using a wheelchair as she helps coordinate rallies and other events, called on people to push for change in the justice system. Then she said, "I'm going to stand here for my brother," and got up with help from people around her.

    His attorney Stephen Marsh said Davis would have spent part of Wednesday taking a polygraph test if pardons officials had taken his offer seriously.

    "He doesn't want to spend three hours away from his family on what could be the last day of his life if it won't make any difference," Marsh said.

    Amnesty International says nearly 1 million people have signed a petition on Davis' behalf. His supporters include former President Jimmy Carter, Pope Benedict XVI, a former FBI director, the NAACP, several conservative figures and many celebrities.

Activists hold Amnesty International placards
The U.S. Supreme Court gave Davis an unusual opportunity to prove his innocence in a lower court last year, though the high court itself did not hear the merits of the case.

He was convicted in 1991 of killing MacPhail, who was working as a security guard at the time. MacPhail rushed to the aid of a homeless man who prosecutors said Davis was bashing with a handgun after asking him for a beer. Prosecutors said Davis had a smirk on his face as he shot the officer to death in a Burger King parking lot in Savannah.

    No gun was ever found, but prosecutors say shell casings were linked to an earlier shooting for which Davis was convicted.

    Witnesses placed Davis at the crime scene and identified him as the shooter, but several of them have recanted their accounts and some jurors have said they've changed their minds about his guilt. Others have claimed a man who was with Davis that night has told people he actually shot the officer.

    "Such incredibly flawed eyewitness testimony should never be the basis for an execution," Marsh said. "To execute someone under these circumstances would be unconscionable."

Tabitha Broomfield protests Davis' scheduled execution
State and federal courts, however, have repeatedly upheld Davis' conviction. One federal judge dismissed the evidence advanced by Davis' lawyers as "largely smoke and mirrors."

"He has had ample time to prove his innocence," said MacPhail's widow, Joan MacPhail-Harris. "And he is not innocent."

    The latest motion filed by Davis' attorneys in Butts County Court disputes testimony from the expert who linked the shell casings to the earlier shooting involving Davis, and challenged testimony from two witnesses. Superior Court Judge Thomas Wilson and the Georgia Supreme Court rejected the appeal, and prosecutors said the filing was just a delay tactic.

    The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, which has helped lead the charge to stop the execution, said it was considering asking President Barack Obama to intervene.

    Obama cannot grant Davis clemency for a state conviction. Richard Dieter, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, said he could halt the execution by asking for an investigation into a federal issue if one exists.

Amnesty International was a large presence at the protests
Press secretary Jay Carney issued a statement saying that although Obama "has worked to ensure accuracy and fairness in the criminal justice system," it was not appropriate for him "to weigh in on specific cases like this one, which is a state prosecution."

    Dozens of protesters outside the White House called on the president to step in, and about 12 were arrested for disobeying police orders.

  "The fact that the White House hasn't addressed this issue is completely disrespectful," college student Talibah Arnett said.

    Davis was not the only U.S. inmate scheduled to die Wednesday evening. In Texas, white supremacist gang member Lawrence Russell Brewer was headed to the death chamber for the 1998 dragging death of a black man, James Byrd Jr., one of the most notorious hate crime murders in recent U.S. history.

    Davis' best chance may have come last year, in a hearing ordered by the U.S. Supreme Court. It was the first time in 50 years that justices had considered a request to grant a new trial for a death row inmate.

    The high court set a tough standard for Davis to exonerate himself, ruling that his attorneys must "clearly establish" Davis' innocence — a higher bar to meet than prosecutors having to prove guilt. After the hearing judge ruled in prosecutors' favor, the justices didn't take up the case.

Amnesty International says still time to stop Davis' execution
The planned execution has drawn widespread criticism in Europe, where politicians and activists made last-minute pleas for a stay. A vigil was planned outside the U.S. Embassy in London.

Spencer Lawton, the district attorney who secured Davis' conviction in 1991, said he was embarrassed for the judicial system — not because of the execution, but because it has taken so long to carry out.

    "What we have had is a manufactured appearance of doubt which has taken on the quality of legitimate doubt itself. And all of it is exquisitely unfair," said Lawton, who retired as Chatham County's head prosecutor in 2008. "The good news is we live in a civilized society where questions like this are decided based on fact in open and transparent courts of law, and not on street corners."
___

Associated Press reporters Russ Bynum in Savannah, Kate Brumback and Marina Hutchinson in Jackson, Eric Tucker and Erica Werner in Washington and Sohrab Monemi in Paris contributed to this report.

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. The 5th Estate is making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.




Welcome to Boston, Mr. Rumsfeld - You Are Under Arrest


Taking cue from Bush and Cheney, Rumsfeld brazenly prepares for book tour when he should really be finding a huge rock to hide under; he is now subject to arrest for War Crimes in the U.S. as well as abroad

Global Research
 By Ralph Lopez
09/21/2011

Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has been stripped of legal immunity for acts of torture against US citizens authorized while he was in office.

   The 7th Circuit made the ruling in the case of two American contractors who were tortured by the US military in Iraq after uncovering a smuggling ring within an Iraqi security company.  The company was under contract to the Department of Defense.  The company was assisting Iraqi insurgent groups in the “mass acquisition” of American weapons.  The ruling comes as Rumsfeld begins his book tour with a visit to Boston on Monday, September 26, and as new, uncensored photos of Abu Ghraib spark fresh outrage across Internet.  Awareness is growing that Bush-era crimes went far beyond mere waterboarding.

    Republican Senator Lindsey Graham told reporters in 2004 of photos withheld by the Defense Department from Abu Ghraib, “The American public needs to understand, we’re talking about rape and murder here… We’re not just talking about giving people a humiliating experience. We’re talking about rape and murder and some very serious charges.”  And journalist Seymour Hersh says: “boys were sodomized with the cameras rolling. And the worst above all of that is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking that your government has.”

Cheney, Bush, Rumsfeld:  War Criminals (Minus Obama)
Rumsfeld resigned days before a criminal complaint was filed in Germany in which the American general who commanded the military police battalion at Abu Ghraib had promised to testify.  General Janis Karpinski in an interview with Salon.com was asked: “Do you feel like Rumsfeld is at the heart of all of this and should be held completely accountable for what happened [at Abu Ghraib]?”

    Karpinski answered: “Yes, absolutely.”  In the criminal complaint filed in Germany against Rumsfeld, Karpinski submitted 17 pages of testimony and offered to appear before the German prosecutor as a witness.  Congressman Kendrick Meek of Florida, who participated in the hearings on Abu Ghraib, said of Rumsfeld: “There was no way Rumsfeld didn’t know what was going on. He’s a guy who wants to know everything.”

    And Major General Antonio Taguba, who led the official Army investigation into Abu Ghraib, said in his report:

“there is no longer any doubt as to whether the [Bush] administration has committed war crimes. The only question is whether those who ordered the use of torture will be held to account.”

    Amazingly, the two American contractors in the 7th Circuit decision were known by the military to be working undercover for the FBI, to whom they had reported witnessing the sale of U.S government munitions to Iraqi rebel groups.  The FBI in Iraq had vouched for Donald Vance and Nathan Ertel numerous times before they nevertheless disappeared into military custody.  They were held at Camp Cropper in Iraq where the two were tortured, one for 97 days, and the other for six weeks.

    In a puzzling and incriminating move, Camp Cropper base commander General John Gardner ordered Ertel released on May 17, 2006, while keeping Vance in detention for another two months of torture.  By ordering the release of one man but not the other, Gardner revealed awareness of the situation but prolonged it at the same time.

Major General Antonio Taguba
It is unlikely that Gardner could act alone in a situation as sensitive as the illegal detention and torture of two Americans confirmed by the FBI to be working undercover in the national interest, to prevent American weapons and munitions from reaching the hands of insurgents, for the sole purpose of using them to kill American troops.  Vance and Ertel suggest he was acting on orders from the highest political level.

    The forms of torture employed against the Americans included “techniques” which crop up frequently in descriptions of Iraqi and Afghan prisoner abuse at Bagram, Guantanamo, and Abu Ghraib.  They included “walling,” where the head is slammed repeatedly into a concrete wall, sleep deprivation to the point of psychosis by use of round-the-clock bright lights and harsh music at ear-splitting volume, in total isolation, for days, weeks or months at a time, and intolerable cold.

    The 7th Circuit ruling is the latest in a growing number of legal actions involving hundreds of former prisoners and torture victims filed in courts around the world.  Criminal complaints have been filed against Rumsfeld and other Bush administration officials in Germany, France, and Spain.  Former President Bush recently curbed travel to Switzerland due to fear of arrest following criminal complaints lodged in Geneva.  “He’s avoiding the handcuffs,” Reed Brody, counsel for Human Rights Watch, told Reuters.

Infamous photo:  Army puke Lyndie England (standing)
And the Mayor of London threatened Bush with arrest for war crimes earlier this year should he ever set foot in his city, saying that were he to land in London to “flog his memoirs,” that “the real trouble — from the Bush point of view — is that he might never see Texas again.”

    Former Secretary of State Colin Powell’s Chief-of-Staff Col. Lawrence Wilkerson surmised on MSNBC earlier this year that soon, Saudi Arabia and Israel will be “the only two countries Cheney, Rumsfeld and the rest will travel to.”

    What would seem to make Rumsfeld’s situation more precarious is the number of credible former officials and military officers who seem to be eager to testify against him, such as Col. Wilkerson and General Janis Karpinsky.

General Janice Karpinsky
In a signed declaration in support of torture plaintiffs in a civil suit naming Rumsfeld in the US District Court for the District of Columbia, Col. Wilkerson, one of Rumsfeld’s most vociferous critics,  stated: “I am willing to testify in person regarding the  content of this declaration, should that be necessary.”  That declaration, among other things, affirmed that a documentary on the chilling murder of a 22-year-old Afghan farmer and taxi driver in Afghanistan was “accurate.”  Wilkerson said earlier this year that in that case, and in the case of another murder at Bagram at about the same time, “authorization for the abuse went to the very top of the United States government.”

Dilawar

    The young farmer’s name was Dilawar.  The New York Times reported on May 20, 2005:

“Four days before [his death,] on the eve of the Muslim holiday of Id al-Fitr, Mr. Dilawar set out from his tiny village of Yakubi in a prized new possession, a used Toyota sedan that his family bought for him a few weeks earlier to drive as a taxi.  On the day that he disappeared, Mr. Dilawar’s mother had asked him to gather his three sisters from their nearby villages and bring them home for the holiday. However, he needed gas money and decided instead to drive to the provincial capital, Khost, about 45 minutes away, to look for fares.”

    Dilawar’s misfortune was to drive past the gate of an American base which had been hit by a rocket attack that morning.  Dilawar and his fares were arrested at a checkpoint by a warlord, who was later suspected of mounting the rocket attack himself, and then turning over random captures like Dilawar in order to win trust.

    The UK Guardian reports:

“Guards at Bagram routinely kneed prisoners in their thighs — a blow called a ‘peroneal strike’… Whenever a guard did this to Dilawar, he would cry out, ‘Allah! Allah!’ Some guards apparently found this amusing, and would strike him repeatedly to show off the behavior to buddies. One military policeman told investigators, ‘Everybody heard him cry out and thought it was funny. … It went on over a 24-hour period, and I would think that it was over 100 strikes.’”

Dilwar, Abu Ghraib
Dilawar was shackled from the ceiling much of the time, with his feet barely able to touch the ground.  On the last day of his life, after 4 days at Bagram, an interpreter who was present said his legs were bouncing uncontrollably as he sat in a plastic chair. He had been chained by the wrists to the top of his cell for much of the previous four days.

    The New York Times reported that on the last day of his life, four days after he was arrested:

“Mr. Dilawar asked for a drink of water, and one of the two interrogators, Specialist Joshua R. Claus, 21, picked up a large plastic bottle. But first he punched a hole in the bottom, the interpreter said, so as the prisoner fumbled weakly with the cap, the water poured out over his orange prison scrubs. The soldier then grabbed the bottle back and began squirting the water forcefully into Mr. Dilawar’s face. “Come on, drink!” the interpreter said Specialist Claus had shouted, as the prisoner gagged on the spray. “Drink!”

    At the interrogators’ behest, a guard tried to force the young man to his knees. But his legs, which had been pummeled by guards for several days, could no longer bend. An interrogator told Mr. Dilawar that he could see a doctor after they finished with him. When he was finally sent back to his cell, though, the guards were instructed only to chain the prisoner back to the ceiling.

    “‘Leave him up,’ one of the guards quoted Specialist Claus as saying.”

Exhibit: A sketch by Sgt. Thomas V. Curtis
The next time the prison medic saw Dilawar a few hours later, he was dead, his head lolled to one side and his body beginning to stiffen.  A coroner would testify that his legs “had basically been pulpified.” The Army coroner, Maj. Elizabeth Rouse, said: “I’ve seen similar injuries in an individual run over by a bus.” She testified that had he lived, Dilawar’s legs would have had to be amputated.

Despite the military’s false statement that Dilawar’s death was the result of “natural causes,” Maj. Rouse marked the death certificate as a “homicide” and arranged for the certificate to be delivered to the family.  The military was forced to retract the statement when a reporter for the New York Times, Carlotta Gall, tracked down Dilawar’s family in Afghanistan and was given a folded piece of paper by Dilawar’s brother.  It was the death certificate, which he couldn’t read, because it was in English.

    The practice of forcing prisoners to stand for long periods of time, links Dilawar’s treatment to a memo which bears Rumsfeld’s own handwriting on that particular subject.  Obtained through a Freedom of Information Act Request, the memo may show how fairly benign-sounding authorizations for clear circumventions of the Geneva Conventions may have translated into gruesome practice on the battlefield.

Dilwar's death certificate
The memo, which addresses keeping prisoners “standing” for up to four hours, is annotated with a note initialed by Rumfeld reading: “I stand for 8–10 hours a day. Why is standing limited to 4 hours?”  Not mentioned in writing anywhere is anything about accomplishing this by chaining prisoners to the ceiling.  There is evidence that, unable to support his weight on tiptoe for the days on end he was chained to the ceiling, Dilawars arms dislocated, and they flapped around uselessly when he was taken down for interrogation.  The National Catholic Reporter writes, “They flapped like a bird’s broken wings.”

    Contradicting, on the record, a February 2003 statement by Rumfeld’s top commander in Afghnanistan at the time, General Daniel McNeill, that “we are not chaining people to the ceilings,” is Spc. Willie Brand, the only soldier disciplined in the death of Dilawar, with a reduction in rank.  Told of McNeill’s statement, Brand told Scott Pelley on 60 Minutes: “Well, he’s lying.”  Brand said of his punishment: “I didn’t understand how they could do this after they had trained you to do this stuff and they turn around and say you’ve been bad.”

Binyam, Genital-Slicing

Abu Ghraib torture:  Anything goes
Binyam Mohamed was seized by the Pakistani Forces in April 2002 and turned over to the Americans for a $5,000 bounty.  He was held for more than five years without charge or trial in Bagram Air Force Base, Guantánamo Bay, and third country “black” sites.

In his diary he describes being flown by a US government plane to a prison in Morocco. He writes:

“They cut off my clothes with some kind of doctor’s scalpel. I was naked. I tried to put on a brave face. But maybe I was going to be raped. Maybe they’d electrocute me. Maybe castrate me…One of them took my penis in his hand and began to make cuts. He did it once, and they stood still for maybe a minute, watching my reaction. I was in agony. They must have done this 20 to 30 times, in maybe two hours. There was blood all over. ‘I told you I was going to teach you who’s the man,’ [one] eventually said.
 
“They cut all over my private parts. One of them said it would be better just to cut it off, as I would only breed terrorists. I asked for a doctor.

“I was in Morocco for 18 months. Once they began this, they would do it to me about once a month. One time I asked a guard: ‘What’s the point of this? I’ve got nothing I can say to them. I’ve told them everything I possibly could.’

"As far as I know, it’s just to degrade you. So when you leave here, you’ll have these scars and you’ll never forget. So you’ll always fear doing anything but what the US wants.’

“Later, when a US airplane picked me up the following January, a female MP took pictures. She was one of the few Americans who ever showed me any sympathy. When she saw the injuries I had she gasped. They treated me and took more photos when I was in Kabul. Someone told me this was ‘to show Washington it’s healing.’”

    The obvious question for any prosecutor in Binyam’s case is: Who does “Washington” refer to?  Rumfeld?  Cheney?  Is it not in the national interest to uncover these most depraved of sadists at the highest level?  US Judge Gladys Kessler, in her findings on Binyam made in relation to a Guantanamo prisoner’s petition, found Binyam exceedingly credible.  She wrote:

“His genitals were mutilated. He was deprived of sleep and food. He was summarily transported from one foreign prison to another. Captors held him in stress positions for days at a time. He was forced to listen to piercingly loud music and the screams of other prisoners while locked in a pitch-black cell. All the while, he was forced to inculpate himself and others in plots to imperil Americans. The government does not dispute this evidence.”

Obama: Torturers’ Last Defense

    The prospect of Rumsfeld in a courtroom cannot possibly be relished by the Obama administration, which has now cast itself as the last and staunchest defender of the embattled former officials, including John Yoo, Alberto Gonzalez, Judge Jay Bybee, Dick Cheney, George W. Bush, and others.  The administration employed an unprecedented twisting of arms in order to keep evidence in a lawsuit which Binyam had filed in the UK suppressed, threatening an end of cooperation between the British MI5 and the CIA.  This even though the British judges whose hand was forced puzzled that the evidence contained “no disclosure of sensitive intelligence matters.”  The judges suggested another reason for the secrecy requested by the Obama administration, that it might be “politically embarrassing.”

Both Obama and McCain have defended the torturers
The Obama Justice Department’s active involvement in seeking the dismissal of the cases is by choice, as the statutory obligation of the US Attorney General to defend cases against public officials ends the day they leave office.  Indeed, the real significance of recent court decisions, the one by the 7th Circuit and yet another against Rumsfeld in a DC federal court, may be the clarification the common misconception that high officials are forever immune for crimes committed while in office, in the name of the state.  The misconception persists despite just a moment of thought telling one that if this were true, Hermann Goering, Augusto Pinochet, and Charles Taylor would never have been arrested, for they were all in office at the time they ordered atrocities, and they all invoked national security.

    Judge Kessler’s findings point to yet another even more alarming aspect of the Bush-era crimes for which Rumsfeld is now being pursued for his part.  And that is the emerging evidence that the tortures perpetrated were not designed to protect national security at all, but to obtain false confessions in order to score propaganda points for the War on terror.

    Andy Worthington writes that:

 “As it happens, one of the confessions that was tortured out of Binyam is so ludicrous that it was soon dropped…The US authorities insisted that Padilla and Binyam had dinner with various high-up members of al-Qaeda the night before Padilla was to fly off to America. According to their theory the dinner party had to have been on the evening of 3 April in Karachi … Binyam was  meant to have dined with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Abu Zubaydah, Sheikh al-Libi, Ramzi bin al-Shibh and Jose Padilla. What made the scenario ‘absurd,’ as [Binyam's lawyer] pointed out, was that ‘two of the conspirators were already in U.S. custody at the time — Abu Zubaydah was seized six days before, on 28 March 2002, and al-Libi had been held since November 2001.’”

    The charges against Binyam were dropped, after the prosecutor, Lieutenant Colonel Darrel Vandeveld, resigned. He told the BBC later that he had concerns at the repeated suppression of evidence that could prove prisoners’ innocence.

    The litany of tortures alleged against Rumsfeld in the military prisons he ran could go on for some time.  The new photographic images from Abu Ghraib make it hard to conceive of how the methods of torture and dehumanization could have possibly served a national purpose.

Abu Ghraib victim
The approved use of attack dogs, sexual humiliation, forced masturbation, and treatments which plumb the depths of human depravity are either documented in Rumsfeld’s own memos, or credibly reported on.

The UK Guardian writes:


“The sexual humiliation of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison was not an invention of maverick guards, but part of a system of ill-treatment and degradation used by special forces soldiers that is now being disseminated among ordinary troops and contractors who do not know what they are doing, according to British military sources. The techniques devised in the system, called R2I – resistance to interrogation – match the crude exploitation and abuse of prisoners at the Abu Ghraib jail in Baghdad.

 “One former British special forces officer who returned last week from Iraq, said: ‘It was clear from discussions with US private contractors in Iraq that the prison guards were using R2I techniques, but they didn’t know what they were doing.’”

    Torture Now Aimed at Americans, Programs Designed to Obtain False Confessions, Not Intelligence

SERE waterboarding
The worst of the worst is that Rumsfeld’s logic strikes directly at the foundations of our democracy and the legitimacy of the War on Terror.  The torture methods studied and adopted by the Bush administration were not new, but adopted from the Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape program (SERE) which is taught to elite military units.  The program was developed during the Cold War, in response to North Korean, Chinese, and Soviet Bloc torture methods.  But the aim of those methods was never to obtain intelligence, but to elicit false confessions.  The Bush administration asked the military to “reverse engineer” the methods, i.e. figure out how to break down resistance to false confessions.

    In the 2008 Senate Armed Services Committee report which indicted high-level Bush administration officials, including Rumsfeld, as bearing major responsibility for the torture at Abu Gharib, Guantanamo, and Bagram, the Committee said:

“SERE instructors explained “Biderman’s Principles” – which were based on coercive methods used by the Chinese Communist dictatorship to elicit false confessions from U.S. POWs during the Korean War – and left with GTMO personnel a chart of those coercive techniques.”

   The Biderman Principles were based on the work of Air Force Psychiatrist Albert Biderman, who wrote the landmark “Communist Attempts to Elecit False Confessions from Air Force Prisoners of War,” on which SERE resistance was based.  Biderman wrote:

“The experiences of American Air Force prisoners of war in Korea who were pressured for false confessions, enabled us to compile an outline of methods of eliciting compliance, not much different, it turned out, from those reported by persons held by Communists of other nations.  I have prepared a chart showing a condensed version of this outline.”

    The chart is a how-to for communist torturers interested only in false confessions for propaganda purposes, not intelligence.  It was the manual for, in Biderman’s words, “brainwashing.”  In the reference for Principle Number 7, “Degradation,” the chart explains:

“Makes Costs of Resistance Appear More Damaging to Self-Esteem than Capitulation; Reduces Prisoner to “Animal Level…Personal Hygiene Prevented; Filthy, Infested Surroundings; Demeaning Punishments; Insults and Taunts; Denial of Privacy”

    Appallingly, this could explain that even photos such as those of feces-smeared prisoners at Abu Ghraib might not, as we would hope, be only the individual work of particularly demented guards, but part of systematic degradation authorized at the highest levels.

Feces smeared prisoner Abu Ghraib
This could go far toward explaining why the Bush administration seemed so tone-deaf to intelligence professionals, including legendary CIA Director William Colby, who essentially told them they were doing it all wrong.  A startling level of consensus existed within the intelligence community that the way to produce good intelligence was to gain the trust of prisoners and to prove everything they had been told by their recruiters, about the cruelty and degeneracy of America, to be wrong.

    But why would the administration care about what worked to produce intelligence, if the goal was never intelligence in the first place?  What the Ponzi scheme of either innocent men or low-level operatives incriminating each other  DID accomplish, was produce a framework of rapid successes and trophies in the new War on Terror.

    And now, American contractors Vance and Ertel show, unless there are prosecutions, the law has effectively changed and they can do it to Americans. Jane Mayer in the New Yorker describes a new regime for prisoners which has become coldly methodical, quoting a report issued by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, titled “Secret Detentions and Illegal Transfers of Detainees.”  In the report on the CIA paramilitary Special Activities Division detainees were “taken to their cells by strong people who wore black outfits, masks that covered their whole faces, and dark visors over their eyes.”

     Mayer writes that a former member of a C.I.A. transport team has described the “takeout” of prisoners as: 

“a carefully choreographed twenty-minute routine, during which a suspect was hog-tied, stripped naked, photographed, hooded, sedated with anal suppositories, placed in diapers, and transported by plane to a secret location.”

    A person involved in the Council of Europe inquiry, referring to cavity searches and the frequent use of suppositories, likened the treatment to “sodomy.” He said, “It was used to absolutely strip the detainee of any dignity. It breaks down someone’s sense of impenetrability.”

Padilla
Of course we have seen these images before, in the trial balloon treatment of Jose Padilla, the first American citizen arrested and declared “enemy combatant” in the first undeclared war without end.  The designation placed Padilla outside of his Bill of Rights as an American citizen even though he was arrested on American soil.  Padilla was kept in isolation and tortured for nearly 4 years before being released to a civilian trial, at which point according to his lawyer he was useless in his own defense, and exhibited fear and mistrust of everyone, complete docility, and a range of nervous facial tics.

     He was convicted by a Miami jury and sentenced to 17 more years.  As of this writing, and meriting it’s own outrage, on Sept. 19, an appeals court threw out Padilla’s sentence as “too lenient” and has sent it back for review.

   Rumsfeld’s avuncular “golly-gee, gee-whiz” performances in public are legendary.  Randall M. Schmidt, the Air Force Lieutenant General appointed by the Army to investigate abuses at Guantanamo, and who recommended holding Rumsfeld protege and close associate General Geoffrey Miller “accountable” as the commander of Guantanamo, watched Rumfeld’s performance before a House Committee with some interest. “He was going, ‘My God! Did I authorize putting a bra and underwear on this guy’s head and telling him all his buddies knew he was a homosexual?’”

Rumsfeld:  "Gee whiz"
But General Taguba said of Rumsfeld: “Rummy did what we called ‘case law’ policy — verbal and not in writing. What he’s really saying is that if this decision comes back to haunt me I’ll deny it.”

Taguba went on: “Rumsfeld is very perceptive and has a mind like a steel trap. There’s no way he’s suffering from C.R.S.—Can’t Remember Shit.”
     Miller was the general deployed by Rumfeld to “Gitmo-ize” Abu Ghraib in 2003 after Rumfeld had determined they were being too “soft” on prisoners.  He said famously in one memo “you have to treat them like dogs.”  General Karpinski questioned the fall of Charles Graner and Lyndie England as the main focus of low-level “bad apple” abuse in the Abu Ghraib investigations.  “Did Lyndie England deploy with a dog leash?” she asks.

     Rumfeld’s worry now is the doctrine of Universal Jurisdiction, as well as ordinary common law.  The veil of immunity stripped in civil cases would seem to free the hand of any prosecutor who determines there is sufficient evidence that a crime has been committed based on available evidence.  A grand jury’s bar for opening a prosecution is minimal.  It has been said “a grand jury would indict a ham sandwich.”  Rumsfeld, and the evidence against him, would certainly seem to pass this test.
Exhibit: Abu Ghraib, Female POW
The name Dilawar translates to English roughly as “Braveheart.”  Let us pray he had one to endure the manner of his death.  But the more spiritual may believe that somehow it had a purpose, to shock the world and begin the toppling of unimaginable evil among us.  Dilawar represented the poorest of the poor and most powerless, wanting only to pick up his three sisters, as his mother had told him to, for the holiday.  The question now is whether Americans will finally draw a line, as the case against Rumsfeld falls into place and becomes legally bulletproof.  Andy Worthington noted that the case for prosecutors became rock solid when Susan Crawford, senior Pentagon official overseeing the Military Commissions at Guantánamo — told Bob Woodward that the Bush administration had “met the legal definition of torture.”

    As Rumsfeld continues his book tour and people like Dilawar are remembered, it is not beyond the pale that an ambitious prosecutor, whether local, state, or federal, might sense the advantage.  It is perhaps unlikely, but not inconceivable, that upon landing at Logan International Airport on Wed., Sept. 21st, or similarly anywhere he travels thereafter, Rumsfeld could be greeted with the words such as:


“Welcome to Boston, Mr. Secretary.  You are under arrest.”

Massachusetts District Attorneys Who Can Indict Rumsfeld, interested
parties may e-meil them this post and call them.SAMPLE INDICTMENT TEXT, BASED ON GERMAN CRIMINAL COMPLAINT

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley:
email:  ago@state.ma.us
One Ashburton Place
Boston, MA 02108 -1518
Phone: (617) 727-2200
Here is the contact info for members of the Boston City Council, which could pass a resolution directing the Police Commissioner to arrest Rumsfeld on sight (google Brattleboro Resolution, George W. Bush):
http://www.cityofboston.gov/…

And Gov. Duval Patrick has an obligation to order the state police to do the same: CONTACT FORM
Local District Attorneys
Berkshire County: District Attorney David F. Capeless
Elected November 2006
OFFICE ADDRESS:     P.O. Box 973
888 Purchase Street
New Bedford, MA 02741
PHONE:     (508) 997-0711
FAX:     (508) 997-0396
INTERNET ADDRESS:     http://www.bristolda.com

Bristol County     District Attorney C. Samuel Sutter
Appointed March 2004
Elected November 2004
OFFICE ADDRESS:     7 North Street
P.O. Box 1969
Pittsfield, MA 01202-1969
PHONE:     (413) 443-5951
FAX:     (413) 499-6349
Internet Address:     http://www.mass.gov/…

Cape & Islands     District Attorney Michael O’Keefe
Elected November 2002
OFFICE ADDRESS:     P.O.Box 455
3231 Main Street
Barnstable, MA 02630
PHONE:     (508) 362-8113
FAX:     (508) 362-8221
INTERNET ADDRESS:     http://www.mass.gov/…

Essex County: District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett
Elected November 2002
OFFICE ADDRESS:     Ten Federal Street
Salem, MA 01970
PHONE:     (978) 745-6610
FAX:     (978) 741-4971
INTERNET ADDRESS:     http://www.mass.gov/…

Hampden     District Attorney Mark Mastroianni
Elected 2010
OFFICE ADDRESS:     Hall of Justice
50 State Street
Springfield, MA 01103
PHONE:     (413) 747-1000
FAX:     (413) 781-4745

Middlesex County: District Attorney Gerard T. Leone, Jr.
Elected November 2006
OFFICE ADDRESS:     15 Commonwealth Avenue
Woburn, MA 01801
PHONE:     (781) 897-8300
FAX:     ((781) 897-8301
INTERNET ADDRESS:     http://www.middlesexda.com

Norfolk     District Attorney Michael Morrissey
Elected 2010
OFFICE ADDRESS:     45 Shawmut Ave.
Canton, MA 02021
PHONE:     (781) 830-4800
FAX:     (781) 830-4801
INTERNET ADDRESS:     http://www.mass.gov/…

Northwestern     District Attorney David Sullivan
Elected 2010
HAMPSHIRE OFFICE ADDRESS:     One Gleason Plaza
Northampton, MA 01060
PHONE:     (413) 586-9225
FAX:     (413) 584-3635
FRANKLIN OFFICE ADDRESS:     13 Conway Street
Greenfield, MA 01301
PHONE:     (413) 774-3186
FAX:     (413) 773-3278
WEBSITE:
Northwestern     http://www.mass.gov/…

Plymouth     District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz
Appointed November 2001
Elected November 2002
OFFICE ADDRESS:     32 Belmont Street
Brockton, MA 02303
PHONE:     (508) 584-8120
FAX:     (508) 586-3578
INTERNET ADDRESS:     http://www.mass.gov/…

Suffolk County:     District Attorney Daniel F. Conley
Appointed January 2002
Elected November 2002
OFFICE ADDRESS:     One Bulfinch Place
Boston, MA 02114
PHONE:     (617) 619-4000
FAX:     (617) 619-4009
INTERNET ADDRESS:     http://www.mass.gov/…

Worcester     District Attorney Joseph D. Early, Jr.
Elected November 2006
OFFICE ADDRESS:     Courthouse – Room 220
2 Main Street
Worcester, MA 01608
PHONE:     (508) 755-8601
FAX:     (508) 831-9899
INTERNET ADDRESS:     http://www.worcesterda.com

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STRATFOR Intelligence Guidance: U.S.-Taliban Talks, Iran's Power Struggle, Greek "Austerity"


Editor’s Note: The following is an internal STRATFOR document produced to provide high-level guidance to our analysts. This document is not a forecast, but rather a series of guidelines for understanding and evaluating events, as well as suggestions on areas for focus.

STRATFOR
September 21, 2011 | 1158 GMT 

New Guidance

U.S.-Taliban Negotiations

U.S..-Taliban backchannel negotiations mediated by Pakistan are under way. We should expect this process to be marked by a number of spoiling attempts by various subfactions within the Pakistani government, the Taliban and the Haqqani network. Every suspected spoiling attempt needs to be traced back to the perpetrator and analyzed rigorously for intent and level of impact on the overall negotiating process.
    The killing of Burhanuddin Rabbani, an influential Tajik leader and head of the Afghan High Peace Council, may represent one such spoiling attempt. While keeping in mind that Rabbani had many enemies, we need to evaluate the Taliban claim of responsibility more closely.
 First, drill into the story being spread in the media about how Rabbani was killed. What were the ranks of the two Taliban members allegedly meeting with Rabbani under the pretense of negotiations? Did Rabbani and his security team verify their identities before meeting with them? Were they actually Taliban negotiators, as has been claimed, and would they have been in a position to negotiate with a senior leader such as Rabbani? A Taliban suicide bomber would not typically rise above the rank of a foot soldier, far short of a political negotiator on par with Rabbani.

    Describe Rabbani’s usual security detail. Where and how did Rabbani’s security detail fall through? Where exactly within his compound did the attack take place and following what security checks? Might anything about the modus operandi of the attack reveal more about the perpetrator?

   What is the status of the relationship between Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid (who claimed the Rabbani killing) and Mullah Mohammad Omar? Are we seeing any signs of the Taliban fracturing under Mullah Omar? If so, will the United States continue to view Mullah Omar as a credible negotiator? It not, and the Taliban did indeed carry out the attack, what is Mullah Omar’s intent in his negotiations with the United States? Did the Taliban feel the need to settle a score with Rabbani independently, or is there a deeper purpose as the Taliban try to clear out rival political factions?

How is the Pakistani government reacting to the attack? Examine the possibility that Pakistan eliminated Rabbani to send the message that all negotiations must go through Islamabad and cannot be conducted independently. Watch to see how the United States responds to this development and whether this puts a freeze on the current negotiating effort.

    Monitor how the Haqqanis try to shape their negotiating position in league with the Taliban. Do not buy into the myth that the Haqqani network is an outlaw group operating independently from the Afghan Taliban. This is a group working closely with Mullah Omar. Watching the Haqqanis will also be revealing of the Afghan Taliban leadership’s intentions.

The Palestinian Vote and Egyptian-Israeli Tensions

   The upcoming U.N. vote on Palestinian statehood may not carry much substance, but we need to stay focused on events in the Palestinian territories and Israel. Keep close watch on Hamas and its militant affiliates for signs that attacks are being planned against Israel designed to lure Israel Defense Forces into Gaza and create a political crisis for Egypt. Also watch Syria and Iran, which may have an interest in creating such a crisis to constrain Israel and distract from the ongoing violence in Syria.

Tehran’s Internal Power Struggle and U.S.-Iranian Relations

    We need to gauge the extent to which Iran’s internal power struggle will impede its efforts to reach an accommodation with the United States at a time when Iran finds itself in a favorable negotiating position. A useful indicator that needs to be watched is whether the U.S. hikers detained in Iran are released, as twice-promised by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. It appears the president’s rivals are trying to deny him an opportunity to claim credit for a diplomatic opening with Washington. Depending on how serious this power struggle gets, Iran may be more politically constrained than we think in pursuing its broader strategic aims.

Iranian Destabilization Efforts?

    We are getting indications that Iran is instructing its allies and militant proxies to keep the situation calm in Iraq as it waits out the U.S. withdrawal, but we need to watch for other parts of the region where Iran may attempt to escalate tensions. Pay especially close attention to the upcoming Shiite-led protests in Bahrain. Who is taking the lead in organizing the demonstrations and what relationships can we trace back to Iran? Watch the scale of these demonstrations to determine whether we are seeing any shift in Iran’s covert capabilities in Bahrain. Yemen, the Palestinian territories and Lebanon are also key places to watch for Iranian provocations in the coming weeks.

Escalation in Yemen

    After a period of relative stability, the security situation in Yemen is deteriorating again. It is time to re-examine our current assessment of Yemen to see whether we are approaching a turning point. To what extent will Yemeni President Ali Abdullalh Saleh’s clan be able to regain lost territory? What is the status and strength of Saleh’s forces versus rebel leader Brig. Gen Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar’s? Watch for shifts in tribal, militant and political alliances on both sides, as well as any shifts in Saudi Arabia’s management of these alliances.

The Future of the Russian Leadership, continued

    The next in line for the Russian presidency could be revealed at the Sept. 23-24 United Russia conference. Keep close watch for any last-minute foreign policy maneuvers that Russian President Dmitri Medvedev might attempt in order to shore up his credibility in the lead-up to the conference, but stay focused on the impersonal analysis in determining the extent to which personality matters in this decision and whether the identity of Russia’s president will have any real strategic implications.

Measuring Greek Political Tolerance for Austerity


In our continued monitoring of the eurozone crisis and parallel to our investigation of informal markets in Greece, we need a comprehensive study on Greek politics. Examine the nuances of the political landscape and see how the current government has dealt with pressures thus far. Identify breaking points, understand the different facets of the opposition and play out how far protesters are likely to go as the crisis worsens. We need to forecast whether Greece can possibly accept the austerity measures in the first place, or whether there is little option left but to default. The key to this forecast is distilling the impossible from the possible when putting yourself in the shoes of the current Greek leadership.

STRATFOR Intelligence Guidance Report reprinted with permission and thanks from The 5th Estate.



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ANDREW KREIG: EXPERTS REJECT FIRE AS CAUSE FOR 9/11 WTC COLLAPSES

The real truth on 9/11 slowly continues to bleed out

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Technical experts are mounting major challenges to official U.S. government accounts of how three World Trade Center skyscrapers collapsed in near-freefall after the 9/11 attacks 15 years ago.

Many researchers are focusing especially on the little-known collapse of

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The Geopolitics Of The United States, Part 1: The Inevitable Empire

The Empire and the inevitable fall of the Obama criminal regime

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STRATFOR Editor’s Note: This installment on the United States, presented in two parts, is the 16th in a series of STRATFOR monographs on the geopolitics of countries influential in world affairs.

Like nearly all of the peoples of North and South America, most Americans are not originally from the territory that became the United States.

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Geopolitics Of The United States Part 2: American Identity And The Threats of Tomorrow

A look back at 2011 predictions for the future in order to put events of today into perspective

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We have already discussed in the first part of this analysis how the American geography dooms whoever controls the territory to being a global power, but there are a number of other outcomes that shape what that power will be like. The first and most critical is the impact of that geography on the American mindset.

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By Robert S. Finnegan

This e-mail outlines and confirms the acts of espionage against Indonesia and Indonesians by Akiko Makino and the others involved both in Kobe University and in AI Lab at University of Airlangga, Surabaya; Bahasa Indonesia original follows English translation...

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UPDATED 01/07/2015 : New Analysis Challenges Tamiflu Efficacy; Hong Kong Corona Virus Outbreak

UPDATED 01/07/2015 : FOX NEWS CORPORATE PHARMA SHILL MEGAN KELLY AND FOX NEWS QUACK DOCTOR NOW PUSHING TAMIFLU FOR PREGNANT WOMEN AND CHILDREN;

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THE 5TH ESTATE UNEQUIVOCALLY WARNS THE PUBLIC NOT TO TAKE OR GIVE THIS PROVEN DANGEROUS, INEFFECTIVE DRUG TO ANYONE

Obama criminals now resulting to biowarfare in quest to destroy Chinese and ASEAN economy; "novel virus substrain" points directly to a Kawaoka / Fouchier / Ernala-Ginting Kobe lab virus weaponized and genetically altered to specifically target and infect the Asian population: Ribavirin...

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The 5th Estate has just purchased a library on H5N1 "Novel" virus pandemics, there are dozens of PDF and Exel documents we feel will assist you in saving lives following intentional releases of the H5N1 and now MERS viruses; we will begin by printing those that appear to be extremely relevant here: H5N1 Kobe-Kawaoka-Ernala series continues soon with more "Smoking Gun" e-mails from Teridah Ernala to The 5th Estate . . .

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By Robert S. Finnegan

On October 12, 2002 the Indonesian island of Bali experienced a terrorist attack that rocked the world. It was unquestionably well-coordinated and executed, the largest in the country's history.

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