Tuesday, December 13, 2005


"The U.S. is committed to the worldwide elimination of torture and we are leading this fight by example. I call on all governments to join with the U.S. and the community of law abiding nations in prohibiting, investigating and prosecuting all acts of torture."

- George W. Bush, U.N. Torture Victims Recognition Day, June 26, 2003

This statement of George W. Bush would be funny if the truth were not so disturbing but there you go - whoops... he lied again. Since he was well aware at that time that U.S. personnel were engaged in torturing "detainees " after 9/11.

But as he & other members of his administration argue that " it's okay to torture terrorist suspects since The Geneva Convention doesn't apply to terrorist. But of course they miss the point of why most nations have agreed that torture is wrong because it is not how a civilized society should treat people no matter what they are accused of doing or what they have actually done. The moral standards by which a society has agreed to abide by are to apply to everyone & not just certain groups.

Of course President Bush & his circle of friends have at times denied committing torture or have said that the " special techniques " they have used on " detainees " were or are not torture as they have redefined " torture " to fit their needs.

But as was reported in a Washington Post editorial last March which raised concerns over the use of torture on " detainees ":
" Abuse in Secret "
Saturday, March 5, 2005;

“ the most serious and systematic violations of human rights standards by the Bush administration...have occurred -- and are still occurring -- in the secret global detention network maintained by the Central Intelligence Agency. In clandestine prisons in Afghanistan and elsewhere, and in detention facilities maintained by authoritarian allies such as Egypt, the CIA is holding dozens of detainees without any legal process, outside review, family notification or monitoring by the Red Cross and other human rights groups. In effect, these prisoners have "disappeared," like the domestic opponents of dictatorships that the State Department annually critiques in its human rights report. Many may have been tortured. As Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales confirmed in January, the administration has authorized CIA interrogators to subject these detainees to "cruel, inhumane and degrading" treatment banned by an international treaty that has been ratified by the United States.

The Post's Dana Priest reported the previously unpublicized case of an Afghan detainee held in a secret facility known as the Salt Pit. The detainee died in 2002 after a CIA officer allegedly ordered Afghan guards to strip him naked, chain him to a concrete floor and leave him overnight without protection from severe cold. The prisoner was buried in an unmarked grave, without notice to his family; the CIA officer was promoted. Not a single regular CIA employee has been charged in an abuse case, nor has the agency offered Congress or the public any accounting of its behavior. "

Since that editorial was written more proof of torture & " renditions " have come to light as commented upon in a number of Blogs & news editorials.
For instance the writer of the website/ Blog TOMSDISPATCH.COM discusses the issue in reference to the U.S.'s Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice's recent trip to Europe:

" Our Secretary of State, on the eve of her departure, finally offered an administration response to the recent revelation that the CIA had sent 437 flights (assumedly on various rendition tasks) through German airspace since 2001 -- some certainly carrying captured or kidnapped "ghost detainees" to secret prisons elsewhere on Earth. She essentially said: "Trust us…"; offered implicit threats to release information on what European officials may have known about our illegal activities to their angry publics ("It is up to those governments and their citizens to decide if they wish to work with us to prevent terrorist attacks against their own country or other countries, and decide how much sensitive information they can make public. They have a sovereign right to make that choice."); and emphasized that this administration always acts within the law and, as our President insists, simply does not torture -- even while our Vice President and other top officials lobby vigorously against Senator John McCain's anti-torture amendment to the Defense Appropriations Bill reiterating that it is the law of the land not to offer those in our custody "cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment."

And she admitted that the administration had approved the use of " renditions " but qualifies or , at least , obscures what it means & then goes on to say :

"Torture," she added, "is a term that is defined by law. We rely on our law to govern our operations. The United States does not permit, tolerate, or condone torture under any circumstances… The United States does not transport, and has not transported, detainees from one country to another for the purpose of interrogation using torture. The United States does not use the airspace or the airports of any country for the purpose of transporting a detainee to a country where he or she will be tortured."

a regular antidote to the mainstream media
Tomgram: Brecher and Smith on the Imperial Presidency

DECEMBER 6, 2005

And as Dana Priest reports in a recent Washinton Post article concerning torture & "renditions" & the ongoing problem of having the various agencies investigating themselves as if they were actually going to do something about it besides offering up a few " scape-goats " to appease the public :

" The CIA, working with other intelligence agencies, has captured an estimated 3,000 people, including several key leaders of al Qaeda, in its campaign to dismantle terrorist networks. It is impossible to know, however, how many mistakes the CIA and its foreign partners have made.
. The same bureaucracy that decides to capture and transfer a suspect for interrogation-- a process called "rendition" -- is also responsible for policing itself for errors.

The CIA inspector general is investigating a growing number of what it calls "erroneous renditions," according to several former and current intelligence officials.

Members of the Rendition Group follow a simple but standard procedure: Dressed head to toe in black, including masks, they blindfold and cut the clothes off their new captives, then administer an enema and sleeping drugs. They outfit detainees in a diaper and jumpsuit for what can be a day-long trip. Their destinations: either a detention facility operated by cooperative countries in the Middle East and Central Asia, including Afghanistan, or one of the CIA's own covert prisons -- referred to in classified documents as "black sites," which at various times have been operated in eight countries, including several in Eastern Europe.

In the months after the Sept. 11 attacks, the CTC was the place to be for CIA officers wanting in on the fight. The staff ballooned from 300 to 1,200 nearly overnight.

"It was the Camelot of counterterrorism," a former counterterrorism official said. "We didn't have to mess with others -- and it was fun."

Thousands of tips and allegations about potential threats poured in after the attacks. Stung by the failure to detect the plot, CIA officers passed along every tidbit. The process of vetting and evaluating information suffered greatly, former and current intelligence officials said. "Whatever quality control mechanisms were in play on September 10th were eliminated on September 11th," a former senior intelligence official said. "

By Dana Priest
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, December 4, 2005

And for more on the Bush Administration's attitudes & how he & his inner circle are changing the role & power of the Presidency which they believe has been allowed ,in their view, to have been diminished & so they have used events since 9/11 to create a more powerful Presidency which can act unilaterally ignoring the Judicial & other branches of government.

And here are some excerpts from an article by Jeremy Brecher & Brendan Smith " War Crimes Made Easy
How the Bush Administration Legalized Intelligence Deceptions, Assassinations, and Aggressive War " . As they & others have argued it is this concentration of power in the Executive branch which is most disturbing as it leads to a more authoritarian & dictatorial form of government. It is ,in fact, at odds with the U.S. Constitution & with the basic concept of the Separation of Powers & checks & balances of the different branches of government. What President Bush wants is to have " Supreme Power " to do whatever he & his cronies wish to do without having to justify it to anyone .

As Brecher & Smith put it ...

" The Bush administration, . Condoleezza Rice, then National Security Advisor in 2002, put it this way: "As a matter of common sense, the United States must be prepared to take action, when necessary, before threats have fully materialized." As Senator Robert Byrd pointed out in a speech to Congress on January 25, 2005, this doctrine of preventive war "takes the checks and balances established in the Constitution that limit the President's ability to use our military at his pleasure, and throws them out the window… This doctrine of preemptive strikes places the sole decision of war and peace in the hand of the President and undermines the Constitutional power of Congress to declare war."
On one issue after another, it is clear that vast new powers have been swept into the presidency on the heels of this "permanent crisis," where that institution claims for itself alone this line-drawing authority, resulting in the diminution of the ability of the other two branches to hold the executive accountable.

This expanded executive authority, born out of crisis, has dovetailed seamlessly with an administration that has made no secret of its preference for unilateralism as an operative governing principle: executive branch primacy in the domestic sphere and the eschewing of traditional allies and international organizations and rules in the foreign policy arena. Driving this desire for enhanced executive power, at least in the domestic field, is the belief offered by Vice President Cheney that recent past presidents were too quick to relinquish some presidential prerogatives (e.g., executive privilege), and he considers it the responsibility of the current administration to reclaim those lost powers for the institution of the presidency (Bettelheim 2002). This administration has been candid in its frustration and criticism of congressional "micromanagement," and foreign policy making is an area in which presidents have always been protective, if not possessive, of their powers, even when there was no specific concern for congressional meddling. A wartime environment is the ideal setting (and timing) for such a strategy of fostering executive dominance, where there is already a natural tendency for power to concentrate in that branch. "

( Brendan Smith and Jeremy Brecher are the editors, with Jill Cutler, of In the Name of Democracy, American War Crimes in Iraq and Beyond (Metropolitan, 2005).

on American use of torture see :
Michael Rivero’s What Really Happened

and see the site
Documenting the Failures of the Bush Administration

The site describes itself as;

( One Thousand Reasons is dedicated to documenting the many failures of the Bush administration. His policies represent the far-right wing of his party, which if left unchecked will send America into a new Dark Age of intolerance and mistrust of science. This radical faction, which consists of an unlikely coalition of war hawks, born again Christians, and corporations has been responsible for degrading the environment, sending us into a thoroughly unnecessary war, plunging us into debt, and reducing our individual liberties.

Bush's second term promises to be even worse. He wants to make his tax cuts permanent, pass an amendment against gay marriage, drill for oil in the Alaska wilderness, and continue to spread "democracy" about the globe at the point of a gun.)

Also check out:
and its mission statement reads as follows :

Global News Matrix was founded in 2005 as an independent media outlet. GNM has a large number of news sources which its members browse every day for articles they feel are important to our global readership, and that are being brushed aside by current mainstream outlets. Our mission is to bring you accurate and up-to-date information on politics and current events, along with 'alternative' topics such as Big Brother and the New World Order.

Global News Matrix is exactly that, a matrix for the news that matters. Our sources include personal research and reader submissions, along with reputable media outlets (both mainstream and non) spanning across the globe.

Anyway that ‘s all for now,

Monday, November 28, 2005




January 28, 2005
Dick Cheney, Dressing Down
Parka, Ski Cap at Odds With Solemnity of Auschwitz Ceremony

By Robin Givhan
Washington Post Staff Writer
Once again demonstrating the Bush Administration's "Ugly American Policy" is part of its mandate, Vice President Dick Cheney represented the United States at the 60th anniversary of the Auschwitz liberation as a buffoon. From The Washington Post today in an article titled Dick Cheney, Dressing Down:

At yesterday's gathering of world leaders in southern Poland to mark the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the United States was represented by Vice President Cheney. The ceremony at the Nazi death camp was outdoors, so those in attendance, such as French President Jacques Chirac and Russian President Vladimir Putin, were wearing dark, formal overcoats and dress shoes or boots. Because it was cold and snowing, they were also wearing gentlemen's hats. In short, they were dressed for the inclement weather as well as the sobriety and dignity of the event.

The vice president, however, was dressed in the kind of attire one typically wears to operate a snow blower.






strippers exoctic dancers part of Haliburton's reverence for traditional American Values ???
Published on Tuesday, March 15, 2005 by the Scripps Howard News Service
Show's Not So 'Purrfect' for Female Forces In Iraq
by Pamela Martineau and Steve Wiegand


Back to the issue of torture of “ detainees “ .
It does seem odd that it is necessary that former members of the CIA & groups like Amnesty International & HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH & various experts on International Law & the Geneva Convention have to explain to the Bush administration & its most fervent supporters what Interrogation Techniques are considered to be illegal forms of torture. Its like trying to explain to some out-of-control dictator in a third world country but there you go.
The Bush Administration has come up with various defenses for its use of torture on suspected Terrorists & Insurgents believing that the only problem with using torture is devising as many excuses or a rationale for its use.

First off the Bush administration denies the detainees are legitimate Prisoners of War since the detainees are suspected terrorists who do not wear a recognizable uniform & secondly they do not belong to a recognized National Army & thirdly these individuals do not operate within the acceptable international rules of warfare , i.e. their targets are often non-combatants or innocent civilians.
This may seem odd since American forces & its agencies like the CIA have often targeted non-combatants & innocent civilians & have taken part in summary executions & assassinations
This also raises the question about how US spies or undercover agents working in foreign lands should be treated in the same way if they are captured., that is, is it acceptable for a foreign country to torture & incarcerate American spies or undercover agents if they are found out without laying charges or denying them legal counsel or denying them any contact with the US government or with their families etc.. If such individuals are not wearing a recognized American forces uniform or, at least, carry ID to prove they are working for US government. One can’t have it both ways as it were.
The Bush Administration has referred to the Geneva Convention's regulations as “ quaint “ & “outdated” & so does not recognize the Geneva Convention as having any authority over US military actions.
In the same way the US Administration has not signed onto other International Agreements banning the use of Napalm or White Phosphorous as Chemical Warfare when used to maim & kill combatants & non-combatants alike.
But such arguments carry little weight with the present US Administration or a large section of the American People as they believe they are the ones who should decide what are appropriate measures to take in fighting Terrorists & no Evil Secular Humanist World Government ( The United Nations )is going to tell them otherwise.

Anyway here is the relevant section of the Geneva Convention as it applies to the acceptable & appropriate treatment of POWs:


Article 1 of the convention states:
Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat [unable to fight] by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria.

To this end the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons:

(a) violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;
(b) taking of hostages;
© outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment;
(d) the passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court, affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples. }

see: cbc online
The Geneva Conventions
CBC News Online | May 13, 2004
and on


ABC News: CIA's Harsh Interrogation Techniques Described

{Nov. 18, 2005 — Harsh interrogation techniques authorized by top officials of the CIA have led to questionable confessions and the death of a detainee since the techniques were first authorized in mid-March 2002, ABC News has been told by former and current intelligence officers and supervisors.

They say they are revealing specific details of the techniques, and their impact on confessions, because the public needs to know the direction their agency has chosen. All gave their accounts on the condition that their names and identities not be revealed. Portions of their accounts are corroborated by public statements of former CIA officers and by reports recently published that cite a classified CIA Inspector General's report.

The CIA sources described a list of six "Enhanced Interrogation Techniques" instituted in mid-March 2002 and used, they said, on a dozen top al Qaeda targets incarcerated in isolation at secret locations on military bases in regions from Asia to Eastern Europe. According to the sources, only a handful of CIA interrogators are trained and authorized to use the techniques:

1. The Attention Grab: The interrogator forcefully grabs the shirt front of the prisoner and shakes him.

2. Attention Slap: An open-handed slap aimed at causing pain and triggering fear.

3. The Belly Slap: A hard open-handed slap to the stomach. The aim is to cause pain, but not internal injury. Doctors consulted advised against using a punch, which could cause lasting internal damage.

4. Long Time Standing: This technique is described as among the most effective. Prisoners are forced to stand, handcuffed and with their feet shackled to an eye bolt in the floor for more than 40 hours. Exhaustion and sleep deprivation are effective in yielding confessions.

5. The Cold Cell: The prisoner is left to stand naked in a cell kept near 50 degrees. Throughout the time in the cell the prisoner is doused with cold water.

6. Water Boarding: The prisoner is bound to an inclined board, feet raised and head slightly below the feet. Cellophane is wrapped over the prisoner's face and water is poured over him. Unavoidably, the gag reflex kicks in and a terrifying fear of drowning leads to almost instant pleas to bring the treatment to a halt.

"The person believes they are being killed, and as such, it really amounts to a mock execution, which is illegal under international law," said John Sifton of Human Rights Watch.

The techniques are controversial among experienced intelligence agency and military interrogators. Many feel that a confession obtained this way is an unreliable tool. Two experienced officers have told ABC that there is little to be gained by these techniques that could not be more effectively gained by a methodical, careful, psychologically based interrogation. }

Note this ABC report several times quotes those in favor of these brutal forms of torture as characterizing these methods as “ harsh” “ progressively aggressive” and are “ controversial “ that they are “properly supervised” and therefore do not constitute torture. The controversy is not whether certain techniques constitute torture but rather is torture a trust worthy method for obtaining information.
It is interesting how a Network News agency in the US does not want to come clean ,as it were, & just state in straight forward language that these “techniques “ violate International Law & therefore constitute Torture. It is not up to individual nations to decide what “techniques “ constitute “ torture “ and which ones do not.
One can only assume that the ABC News Network is trying to present supposedly fair & balanced reporting of the issue of “ torture” but this I believe is misguided. It seems obvious that these “ techniques “are in fact forms of torture according to international standards . The only question then is if these “ techniques “ can be justified. One can’t expect an American News Network to actually take a stand on this or any other issue if it means questioning the actions of President Bush or his vice-president or other top officials in the present administration.
Dick Cheney reminds one of Spiro T. Agnew or even Senator Joseph McCarthy who like them has put the fear of God as it were in the Press. Cheney & others have warned that charges may be brought against individual journalists or news agencies if they reporting about these highly sensitive issues by gathering information from “ Whistle Blowers “ who are administration employees or from former employees of Government Agencies . Those who leak such information & those who choose to pass on such information in the media to the general public are according to the administration involved in acts of sedition & could be prosecuted as traitors.

and here is part of the response from HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH to the use of such “ techniques”:

CIA Whitewashing Torture
Statements by Goss Contradict U.S. Law and Practice

(New York, November 21, 2005) -- Porter Goss, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, has made misleading statements about the CIA’s use of torture and mistreatment of detainees, Human Rights Watch said today. Goss was quoted today in USA Today stating that the CIA does not use torture and that the CIA’s interrogation techniques are legal.
" “Many interrogation techniques authorized for use by the CIA amount to torture. Their authorization by higher-ranking officials is illegal and potentially criminal.” "
Kenneth Roth, Executive Director

Waterboarding is intended to cause a victim to believe he is about to die, and is similar to a mock execution. Earlier this year, in March 2005, Goss justified waterboarding as a “professional interrogation technique” during a Senate hearing. Other Bush administration officials, when questioned about waterboarding, have refused to rule it out.

There is no doubt that waterboarding is torture, despite the administration’s reluctance to say so,” said Roth.

Waterboarding is prohibited under international law and domestic U.S. law. Known as the “submarino” in Latin America, where it was used extensively in the 1970s and 1980s, waterboarding has been condemned as torture for decades.

Other techniques...prolonged forced standing, sleep deprivation, and exposure to cold—are illegal and may possibly amount to torture. These techniques were used by Soviet and North Korean interrogators, and have been reported more recently in Egypt, Burma, Iran and Turkey.
The administration has argued that the CIA has and should continue to have latitude to use techniques that are “cruel, inhumane, or degrading” so long as the victim is a non-American held abroad. This claim is wholly at odds with international law.

Human Rights Watch renewed its call for Congress to appoint an independent, bipartisan commission to examine interrogation practices. In light of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ conflict of interest as an architect of U.S. interrogation policy, Human Rights Watch also called on the Bush administration to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate criminal activity in the military and CIA, including the conduct of military and civilian officials.

also see:
J'accuse: War Crimes and Iraq
Conn Hallinan

Exposing Republican hypocrisy and big lies; proud citizen of the Reality-Based Community.

Also see:
UK aid funds Iraqi torture units
Peter Beaumont in Baghdad and Martin Bright
Sunday July 3, 2005
The Observer

" British and American aid intended for Iraq's hard-pressed police service is being diverted to paramilitary commando units accused of widespread human rights abuses, including torture and extra-judicial killings, The Observer can reveal. "

Anyway see you later,

Saturday, November 26, 2005





HERE's a quote to mark American THANKSGIVING DAY which reflects the American Mind-Set:

About a week prior to the slaughter at Wounded Knee (1890), L.Frank Baum, editor of South Dakota's Aberdeen Saturday Pioneer in an editorial wrote:
" The nobility of the Redskin is extinquished and what few are left are a pack of whining curs who lick the hand that smites them. The whites by law of conquest, by justice of civilization, are masters of the American continent, and the best safety of the frontier settlements will be secured by the total annihilation of the few remaining Indians.(WHY NOT ANNIHILATION?)Their glory has fled, their spirit broken, their manhood effaced, better they should die than live the miserable wretches that they are." .L. FRANK BAUM (author of THE WIZARD OF OZ )
borrowed from the following website:

AND on the Genocide of Native or Aboriginal Americans:

"In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue" . . . and made the first contact with the "Indians." For Native Americans, the world after 1492 would never be the same. This date marked the beginning of the long road of persecution and genocide of Native Americans, our indigenous people. Genocide was an important cause of the decline for many tribes.

"By conservative estimates, the population of the United states prior to European contact was greater than 12 million. Four centuries later, the count was reduced by 95% to 237 thousand.

In 1493, when Columbus returned to the Hispaniola, he quickly implemented policies of slavery and mass extermination of the Taino population of the Caribbean. Within three years, five million were dead. Las Casas, the primary historian of the Columbian era, writes of many accounts of the horrors that the Spanish colonists inflicted upon the indigenous population: hanging them en mass, hacking their children into pieces to be used as dog feed, and other horrid cruelties. The works of Las Casas are often omitted from popular American history books and courses because Columbus is considered a hero by many, even today.

Anyway that's all ancient history so back to the news of the Day that is the present time.
Anyway the torture of detainees by American personnel of the U.S. forces & the CIA & so called subcontractors continues .

According to the Geneva Convention torture of prisoners is not permissible under any circumstances.
Torture is not just ill-legal but is also just plain wrong. It is immoral . It goes against the value system which the Americans & British claim they are fighting for. But they claim when they torture detainees it is for a higher or greater good especially since they are doing God’s Will or whatever. Though , of course , the ISLAMIC TERRORISTS also see themselves as doing God’s Will.
Besides the Ethical or morality or immorality of torture overwhich American officials are unconcerned with there is also that matter of its efficacy. Torture does not reveal reliable information. So from a pragmatic view torture is not a useful tool. But if one's motive is really to extract vengeance & to spread fear then it might be worthwhile pursuing .Is this the real reason the British & Americans have embraced torture as a legitimate tool in their fight against " TERRORISM ".

On American DOUBLESPEAK as a method of Propaganda.
( see George Orwell’s novel 1984 for in-depth analysis or check out the film EQUILIBRIUM )
We should also note the language used by US spokespersons . For instance they do not refer to prisoners as “prisoners “ or “ POWS “ but as “ detainees “ as if they were captured by civilian authorities & that they do not have the same rights which Prisoners of War have under International Law i.e The Geneva Convention or that they have the same rights of any American civilian arrested within the USA. This strips the " DETAINEES " of any civilian or military rights of an accused person which seems somehow odd , since this was one of the grievances they had against the British at the time of the American War of Independence. or Revolutionary War. And further were those involved in the 13 Colonies so-called “ War of Independence “ fighting a “just war” or were they really just a bunch of trouble making self-interested Insurgents rebelling against the Lawful Authority of The British Empire. It all depends on how you look at it.

The Americans & their allies refer to Civilian casualties as “ COLLATERAL DAMAGE “ in order to rob these deaths on innocent men, women & children of its powerful emotional response. When a U.S. soldier is killed in Iraq it is “ a grave tragedy “ but the death of an Iraqi civilian is not worth bothering one’s head about .
In fact the Americans did not keep a tally on Civilians killed, wounded or maimed in Iraq & when they have they tend to down-play the numbers. We now know over 100,000 Iraqi civilians have died since the American invasion of Iraq. Few pictures of Iraqi civilians killed during U.S. attacks on insurgents are shown in the American media either on TV or in newspapers. They only show civilian dead when they have been killed by Terrorist Suicide Bombers . Otherwise they are a mere abstraction to the U.S. Administration & the American people.
If Americans believe in the war then they shouldn’t shy away from the total horror of this war or any other.
If they believe in the war in Iraq then why are the bodies of dead U.S. soldiers returned to America under a cloak of secrecy; shouldn’t the dead be hailed as fallen heroes & not just an embarrassment to the administration & their Hawkish True Believers.
But it is “ Perception” & not “ The Reality of War “ that really matters to the Bush administration & The America Media fall in line like sheep & free speech in America dies slowly day by day by degrees.

But as the English poet John Donne said : “ No man is an island, entire of itself...any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee."

We are repeatedly reminded that one of the reasons the Nazis in Germany & the Japanese during the Second World War were seen as being such a grave threat was because they tortured large numbers of civilians & Prisoners of War. They had no regard for International Law & no regard for the rights of those who they believed to be their enemy & those they saw as being inferior to their own race.
The US administration risks undermining its case that it's values are superiour to the Terrorist & Insurgents.

Throughout human history torture has been used by various groups .
For instance those in charge of the Spanish Inquisition believed they were fighting such a Great Evil that the use of torture was justified. During the Witch Hunts in Europe & America centuries ago there were those in authority who believed that there really were Evil Witches who had signed pacts with the Devil & were out to destroy Christianity & therefore these authorities especially those of the Church claimed that they needed wide-ranging powers of arrest , the use of torture & execution of all who were suspected & then found out to be witches. Individuals arrested & then tortured more often than not signed statements purported that they were in league with the Devil that they attended ceremonies where they drank the blood of sacrificed babies & that they flew around on broomsticks & had the ability to change into various animal forms & a multitude of other unfounded impossible claims . Those accused of Witchcraft under torture would tell their torturer whatever might stop the torture .

Another excuse for torture was to silence Heretics & what constituted Heresy changed from place to place & from one age to another. But the torturers interest was in getting the Heretic to recant & to name names of other Heretics . To recant might stop the torture but didn't necessarily save the victim from execution ,imprisonment or exile .Again the confessions obtained through torture were far from being trust worthy.
But it has long been believed that the main reason for torture is to terrorize not just those who have been arrested but also to terrorize all those who might in some way dare to question those in authority whether it be the Church or the State .

Given all of this then what purpose is served when Terrorists suspects, Insurgents & even common criminals are tortured by CIA personnel or by U.S. soldiers or by police & army personnel of the New Improved Iraqi Administration except to spread fear among the populace & to take vengeance .
Besides torture the American supported Iraqi Police & Military has also been accused of targeting Iraqi Civilians who criticize the Iraqi Administration & the way in which American forces continue to occupy Iraq & that the occupying forces do not take reasonable precautions to prevent as much as possible the death of Innocent Civilians during their military operations .

The Bush administration at the beginning of this year claimed that they would use death-squads & other means to get rid of those whom they see as a threat. This would include those individuals belonging to terrorists groups & any individual with information on the activities of these groups . The problem with this as we have seen in the former Soviet Union & in the Republic Of China & in countries like Chile under Pinochet & in El Salvador in the 1980s & in South Africa under the Apartheid system the net gets thrown rather widely to include Journalists , doctors , lawyers , social workers, teachers & anyone who in anyway questions the policies of those in power.
" Absolute power corrupts absolutely" as they say.
or to Quote Edward R. Murrow (1908-1965) the American Journalist "We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home.":
Murrow was speaking about the McCarthyism era in the 1950s when Senator Joseph McCarthy had abused his position of power to destroy the careers & lives of individuals through innuendo & suspicion .But he is also referring to the need to ensure that all American citizens including Black Americans & Native Americans & others are given the same rights as White Americans
Of course SENATOR JOSEPH MCCARTHY is considered a hero by the NeoCons & the religious Right who think any who question the American Way of life, its myths & values should be silenced. Since these legends, stories & anecdotes have taken on a life of their own or are seen as miracles & signs almost of a Religious nature so that they are part of an unquestionable dogma which point to the specialness of America as a unique Nation chosen by GOD to bring His Truth by whatever means to the rest of the World. So to question any of these beliefs or the Authority of the United States in World Affairs is to question the Divine Will.
But to these people to even question certain stories told about the Puritans or the Founding Fathers is an act of sedition. For instance the Puritans were not such a religiously tolerant group & had no tolerance for those who did not strictly adhere to their religious traditions & values.
There are also examples like the question about whether or not Washington cut down a cherry tree with an axe & then admitted to it or is this just a cute little legend an invention as it were.
Or to go a little further is to question whether or not the grievances of the 13 colonies were serious enough to justify a bloody war against the British Empire. The American poet & philosopher Henry David Thoreau was one of those Americans who said if he had been around at the time he probably wouldn't have supported the colonies against the British since he believed most of their grievances were in fact trivial or were the grievances of the wealthiest members of society.

Besides the founding Fathers had little interest in broadening their definitions of citizenship & the rights which come with Citizenship . This has always struck me as odd since they begin by saying “That all Men are Equal & endowed by their creator of certain inalienable rights” as in Thomas Paine’s “The Rights Of Man”. To the Founding Fathers these words excluded all women & anyone who were not White & therefore Women were still Chattel & Slavery had been sanctioned by God & Native American also did not count as “MEN “ or as “persons” since they were mere savages whom Americans had a right & a duty to exterminate as according to GOD’s Will which they proceeded to do no matter what the pretext.
Anyway it is hardly surprising that the CIA & the US Military & the Federal Administration would support the use of torture on their suspected enemies. They saw nothing wrong with the use of Torture & Death Squads & Disappearing people in El Salvador, Guatemala, Chile, Argentina , the Philippines or under the Shaw of Iran whom they supported for decades as they also supported Apartheid in South Africa for some forty years . & the Americans seem to forget they supported Saddam Hussein for decades till he started following his own agenda & stop being an American puppet.
Americans also forget that part of the reason they lost the War in Vietnam was that while arguing how they detested Communists since Communist usually ended up creating just another form of oppressive brutal Police State yet the Americans supported a brutal undemocratic regime in South Vietnam.

It was also during the Vietnam War that the U.S. forces used Napalm extensively as a form of Chemical Warfare as they without hesitation bombed Combatants & non-Combatants alike. They also used what was known as Carpet Bombing in which they dropped tens of thousand of bombs more than were dropped in Korea & the Second World War combined but according to NeoCons & the Religious Right who cares the enemy were so EVIL that any & all means would be justified in trying to defeat the enemy.
The American leaders & generals never could understand that by supporting corrupt officials in The South Vietnamese Government & that every time they destroyed another village or killed an innocent civilian or tortured another suspected VC the Vietcong would recruit another hundred Vietnamese to their cause.

On McCarthyism see:



Native American Genocide Still Haunts US
This World Wide Web site is the on-line version of the international student-produced
magazine, AN END TO INTOLERANCE, for June 1997.

And further from the website:
Native American Genocide
Genocide of the Powhatan Indians, Means and methods of legalized murder.

And for more on Genocide & as it is defined by the United Nations see:
Lilliths Realm - The Genocide of Native Americans: A Sociological View

California Genocide Against Native Americans- HOLOCAUST defined


My Lai ( MAI LAI ) Massacre - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

American Experience | Vietnam Online | The My Lai Massacre | PBS



Thursday, November 24, 2005







Yes here we go again Torture & MORE TORTURE !!!

Anyway The CBC on Wednesday November 16 broadcast a disturbing report about the detainees being abused at Abu Ghraib .
The report is based largely on eye-witness accounts of what took place . It documents that the abuse which took place was not an isolated event & that the abuses were sanctioned & were part of a deliberate policy of torture by those closest to Pres. Bush.

In typical fashion the Bush Administration labels all who criticize US policies as being un-American & as traitors who give aid & comfort as it were to the enemy by questioning the Bush administration's policies regarding its way of dealing with detainees in Iraq or elsewhere.
Similarly all who dare raise questions about how the US is conducting the war in Iraq are labeled un-American & supporters of the terrorists. This therefore includes those who raise questions about US forces using Napalm , WHITE PHOSPOROUS, as a form of Chemical Warfare in Iraq.
The US &her allies are now Threatening to shut down any News Agency which persists on publishing any material which questions American policies in the way it conducts its War on Terrorism.

What bothers the US administration is not that torture is taking place within its detention Centres but that some individuals have leaked these facts to the press.
The belief of the present US administration is that whatever actions it takes are justified because of the attack on 9/11.
The administration is out for revenge & its pound of flesh as it were . But one wonders when will they be satisfied & what other atrocities & War Crimes will they commit before they are satisfied.
One of the more recent examples of this is the leak of the talks between Pres. Bush & Prime Minister Tony Blair which lends some credence to allegations by Al Jazeera that its facilities are personnel were being targeted by US & her allied forces. To Tony Blair's credit it seems even he saw such actions as going too far as being unjustified or more to the point as counter-productive.

For more details go to CBC website:
see website: CBC-TV News: the fifth estate - A Few Bad Apples
CBC-TV, the fifth estate, Abu Ghraib
David Studer is the Executive Producer of the fifth estate. Sally Reardon is Senior Producer

According to the report, the abuses of Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib prison was not the work of rogue elements, but was behaviour condoned, even encouraged, by the American military command in Iraq and members of the US government.

Gillian Findlay investigates and interviews some of the soldiers who served at Abu Ghraib’s infamous Tier 1A where detainees were routinely stripped, beaten, shackled, attacked by dogs and degraded by being forced to simulate sexual acts. The powerful first-person testimony of the soldiers takes the viewer inside Abu Ghraib on one night in October, 2003 when one of the iconic photographic images of American soldiers tormenting Iraqi detainees was taken.

Aggressive interrogation policies that contravened the Geneva Conventions were condoned and, in many instances, encouraged by the highest levels of the American government. High-level commanders insisted detainees be "broken". Soldiers in the field now understood that the "gloves [were] coming off."

Young, inexperienced reserve soldiers like Israel Rivera were ordered to help break the detainees. Rivera told the fifth estate's Gillian Findlay: "I mean, prior to being an [intelligence] analyst I worked at Kentucky Fried Chicken, so it was quite a big jump from being a 19-year-old wage worker to, you know, people coming toward you and saying well, what do you think."Aggressive interrogation policies that contravened the Geneva Conventions were condoned and, in many instances, encouraged by the highest levels of the American government. High-level commanders insisted detainees be "broken". Soldiers in the field now understood that the "gloves [were] coming off."

Israel Rivera witnessed the abuse against Iraqi prisoners that night and walked away. The next day he reported the incident to his commander.

The report also uncovers never-before-seen photographs: images that were swapped among the soldiers like trading cards.

Findlay also describes a White House desperate for military intelligence in its war on terror and its decision to reject the Geneva Convention by writing a legal framework to justify the abusive interrogation techniques used at Guantanamo Bay, Afghanistan and Abu Ghraib. Findlay interviews John Yoo, the senior member of the US legal team, whose job was to define the word “torture” and ensure that Geneva Conventions on prisoner detainment and treatment no longer applied in the US context.

(The interview with John Yoo illustrates how legal training has little to do with ethical or moral concerns. The law as such is just to be re-interpreted & manipulated to support a particular group’s agenda . According to this view on the law International agreements like the Geneva Convention & The Declaration of Human Rights are just silly notions of naive quixotic liberals & leftists. Though not all lawyers hopefully are as cynical as he & his bosses like Dick Cheney & Donald Rumsfeld etc. are. Amnesty International, for instance, is a group which includes a number of lawyers who are not of Mr. Yoo’s mind-set also decent human beings.)

AND about the photos:

The images that the world came to know as the Abu Ghraib photos come from, not one, but many cameras. Soldiers who worked in the prison burned pictures on cd’s and traded them amongst themselves. They were even used as screen savers on office computers.

In late April 2004, the CBS News program 60 Minutes II broke a story involving abuse and humiliation of Iraqi inmates by U.S. soldiers in Iraq.
CBS News, at first, delayed its report on the story for two weeks on a request from Gen. Richard B. Myers, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Myers told CBS the story could hurt the American war effort and jeopardize lives.

See the following related news items on the NET:

And what was even more damaging to the Bush administration were the candid revelations provided by retired U.S. Army Col. Larry Wilkerson on CNN on Sunday November 20, 2005.
( In this instance even CNN had to sit up & take notice though in their attempt at “ balanced journalism “ they allowed Cheney & Rumsfeld to give their little fear-mongering statements or lectures as it were on the matter.
In their usual style when some official or former member of the Bush administration criticizes its policies CNN brings out a dozen or so Neo-Cons & spokespersons for the Religious Right to try to undermine what that particular critic has said- the other U.S. networks are just as bad most of the time.)

Powell aide: Torture 'guidance' from VP
Former staff chief says Cheney's 'flexibility' helped lead to abuse
Sunday, November 20, 2005; Posted: 5:18 p.m. EST (22:18 GMT)

-- A former top State Department official said Sunday that Vice President Dick Cheney provided the "philosophical guidance" and "flexibility" that led to the torture of detainees in U.S. facilities.

Retired U.S. Army Col. Larry Wilkerson, who served as former Secretary of State Colin Powell's chief of staff ( from 2002-2005), told CNN that the practice of torture may be continuing in U.S.-run facilities.

"There's no question in my mind that we did. There's no question in my mind that we may be still doing it," Wilkerson said on CNN's "Late Edition."

"There's no question in my mind where the philosophical guidance and the flexibility in order to do so originated -- in the vice president of the United States' office," he said. "His implementer in this case was [Defense Secretary] Donald Rumsfeld and the Defense Department."

Also check out these articles:


A 30-page report by Human Rights Watch describes an Army captain's 17-month effort to gain clear understanding of how U.S. soldiers were supposed to treat detainees, and depicts his frustration with what he saw as widespread abuse that the military's leadership failed to address. The Army officer made clear that he believes low-ranking soldiers have been held responsible for abuse to cover for officers who condoned it.

White House declines to totally rule out torture
Sun Nov 13, 6:23 PM ET

CIA Whitewashing Torture
Statements by Goss Contradict U.S. Law and Practice
(New York, November 21, 2005)

'They couldn't take away my dignity'
Four former Guantánamo detainees talk about their experiences
Mark Oliver
Friday November 18, 2005


New Reports Surface About Detainee Abuse
Mistreatment Was Routine, Soldiers Say
By Josh White
Washington Post Staff Writer

also see DAILY TIMES
NOVEMBER 22, 2005
How the CIA tortures some prisoners

And for the Neo-Cons perspective :

Tony Blankley
September 12, 2005 'An Islamist threat like the Nazis'
& on September 13, 14 2005

Tony Blankley, editorial-page editor of The Washington Times, describes the present danger posed by militant Islam and what must be done to counter it in his new book, "The West's Last Chance: Will We Win the Clash of Civilizations?" (Regnery Publishing 2005 )

Sunday, November 06, 2005


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Mississippi, 1962.

1962 Local LAWMEN show what they plan to do to U.S. Marshals, sent to assure the admission of James Meredith as the first black student at the University of Mississippi ("Ole Miss").
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The photos above are by the American photographer Charles Moore who helped to publicize the Civil Rights Movement ‘s struggles.

“Charles Moore didn't plan to photograph the civil rights movement. In September, 1958, he was a 27-year-old photographer for the Montgomery (Alabama) Advertiser. When an argument broke out between the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. and two policemen, Moore was the only photographer on the scene. His striking pictures of Dr. King's arrest were distributed nationwide by the Associated Press, and one was published in Life magazine. A new career had begun.

Over the next seven years, Moore made some of the most significant pictures of the civil rights movement. As a contract photographer for Life magazine, Moore traveled the South to cover the evolving struggle. His photographs helped bring the reality of the situation to the magazine's huge audience, which at the time comprised over half the adults in the United States. According to former U.S. Senator Jacob Javits, Moore's pictures "helped to spur passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964." “

see website: KODAK: “POWERFUL DAYS IN BLACK & WHITE” of the Civil Rights Movement

Above are a few more images of the struggle of " THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT" in the United States. One of the reasons I want to share these images with you dear reader is that many Americans like to pretend or propagandize the view that the United States has had a long history of being a democratic & just society which is not in fact the case. Black Americans were treated like second class citizens in their own country til just a couple of decades ago. That is if we accept the belief that African-Americans & other visible minorities are now treated better in America today than they were. Unfortunately racism is still alive & doing well in America. Unemployment & poverty are still disproportionately higher within the Black population than in the white population. Every week we see on TV images of another Black/ African- American man being beaten viciously by police officers. Or another African-American young boy shot to death by police because he was riding his bike or running down a sidewalk.

Anyway here’s some bits about Bull Connor & the Civil Rights Movement gleaned from the net:
One of the most enduring images of the Civil Rights Movement is that of Birmingham firemen and policemen using water hoses and police dogs against African-American demonstrators in 1963 Birmingham. The episode came during the first week of May, following a month of peaceful demonstrations by Birmingham's African-American community against their city's segregation ordinances. Civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., who described Birmingham as "the most segregated city in America," organized the demonstrations with the help of local civil rights leader Fred L. Shuttlesworth and others. "Bull" Connor tried to stop the growing demonstrations, and gained lasting infamy when he resorted to using the water hoses and dogs. Televised reports of police dogs lunging at African-American citizens and people being washed down the streets by water from powerful fire hoses dramatized the plight of African-Americans in segregated areas. The events in Birmingham helped mobilize the administration of President John Kennedy to begin efforts leading to the most far-reaching civil rights legislation in history, the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The name "Bull" Connor thus came to symbolize hard-line Southern racism. Ironically, Connor's heavy-handed defense of segregation in 1963 Birmingham actually hastened the passage of America's Civil Rights Act.

ADAH: Alabama Moments (Bull Connor)

Powerful Days: Civil Rights/Birmingham Police Commissioner Bull Connor
Cocky as ever and unaware of how much his actions have aided the civil rights
cause, police commissioner Bull Connor struts through Kelly Ingram Park, ...

Segregation was still the law of the land as far as the citizens of Birmingham, Alabama, were concerned despite Supreme Court decisions to the contrary. In his inaugural remarks in 1957, upon winning the post of Commissioner of Public Safety after a four-year hiatus from politics, Connor said: "These laws [segregation] are still constitutional and I promise you that until they are removed from the ordinance books of Birmingham and the statute books of Alabama, they will be enforced in Birmingham to the utmost of my ability and by all lawful means." (p. 61)

Connor's popularity, as demonstrated by his six victories in city commission races, came from white voters -- workers and corporate leaders alike. His reputation among the rank-and-file was that of an honest, albeit colorful man who maintained "his willingness to keep blacks `in their place'" (p. 181)
Connor had the backing of the local corporate elite in spite of his declarations of being free of outside influence. Connor helped the industrial elite by "controlling strikes...silencing radicals.... Connor was exactly what companies that controlled Birmingham were looking for...." He was counted on to keep the status quo. Connor "stayed on the good side of the business leaders... [and was] always receptive to corporate suggestions." His preaching about economy in government and no new taxes reflected the influence of Birmingham's industrial and financial interests, who "always insisted in cheap government with only bare essential services." (p. 182)

the Law & Politics Book Review
BULL CONNOR by William A. Nunnelly. Tuscaloosa: The University of Alabama Press, 1991. 225pp.
Reviewed by Jolanta Juszkiewicz, Pretrial Services Resource Center, Washington, D.C.

Historic Places of the Civil Rights Movement

Anyway that’s all for now,

Thursday, November 03, 2005


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(photo by Charles Moore http://www.viscom.ohiou.edu/moore.site)
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The death & state funeral of Rosa Parks should give us all pause to think that Segregation in America was a fact in America not that long ago & the position of Black Americans has still not progressed to a point where racism could be said to have been rooted out of American Institutions & Corporate America once & for all. What is also disturbing is that what strides forward have been made in America are now threatened by the Bush Administration & the Christian Religious Right & the Neo-Conservatives.

Anyway on May 17, 1954 the Supreme Court of the United States led by Chief Justice Warren ruled on the landmark case Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kans., unanimously agreeing that segregation in public schools is unconstitutional. The ruling paves the way for large-scale desegregation. The decision overturns the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson ruling that sanctioned "separate but equal" segregation of the races, ruling that "separate educational facilities are inherently unequal." It is a victory for NAACP attorney Thurgood Marshall, who will later return to the Supreme Court as the nation's first black justice.
From Wikpedia.com

also see:
Civil Rights: Brown v. Board of Education I (1954)
Brown v. Board of Education I (1954), made available by The National Center for
Public Policy Research's Constitution and the Courts Archive.

Early Civil Rights Struggles: Brown v. Board of Education
The Supreme Court's Brown v. Board of Education decision did not abolish segregation
in other public areas, such as restaurants and restrooms, ...

In 1955 in segregated Montgomery Alabama Rosa Parks aged 42 refused to give up her seat to a white man on a city bus & so was arrested . This simple acthelped to ignite the civil rights movement in the United States where an Apartheid system had been enforced for almost a century since the end of the American Civil-War.
The white population used their power over local state & federal agencies & police forces & National Guard & the KKK to intimidate & terrorize the Black population to keep them in their place. Like the White Segregationist of South Africa & Rhodesia they believed that their views on Race were sanctioned by the Bible & their God.( Hitler also believed Christ & the Bible were on his side to justify his killing of Homosexuals, Communists, Intellectuals & artists & Jews & Gypsies etc.& he also like to burn books & encouraged the German People to spy on their friends family & neighbours etc)
It can be argued that American democracy was to a great extent a sham til the Civil Rights acts were enacted in 1965 by the US Federal Government under President Johnson.

The religious Right & Neo-conservatives & Bush’s staunch supporters are even now arguing that the Supreme Court over the past fifty years has been going beyond its jurisdiction by widening their interpretation of the Bill of Rights & the Separation of Church & state & the Separation of Powers . So it makes one wonder if some of the anxiety felt by the Religious Right & the Neo-conservatives is in part due to the Federal Government’s interference in what they see as purely matters which are or should be controlled by the legislatures of individual states. If so then segregation & desegregation should have been left up to the individual states to legislate form or against.
If segregation had been left up to the states to decide then Segregation might still be the law of the land in states such as Alabama & Mississippi & Arkansas & North Carolina etc.
I also wonder if Neo-Conservatives & Religious Right would see the Civil Rights movement as anything other than a battle which they lost because of a Federal Government which went beyond its legitimate role.
Given the siege mentality of the Bush Administration since 9/11 & the enactment of The Patriot Act & ever widening powers of the President Bush what would be the response of the federal government to large groups protesting & using the tactics of Non-violence & non-cooperation & confrontation to bring attention to legitimate concerns over various forms of injustice & intolerance & unfair restrictions on the freedom of large numbers of Americans. I fear when push comes to shove Bush would send in the troops & tanks like the Chinese Government did in Beijing & Tiananmen Square.
Now it would be something if Americans once again rose up to challenge their government .
Unfortunately Americans especially the White Middle-Class are content to hide their heads in the sand & do not want to have to think about issues which might upset them.
These issues which should be a matter of public debate include for instance concerns over the growing gap between the rich & poor or between white & black Americans and that there are at least thirty seven million people in America living in poverty & hundreds of thousands who are homeless in America or numerous other issues from the failing educational system to the killing or legal lynching of Black men in the form of Capital Punishment by Hanging ,the Gas Chamber, Lethal Injection & Electric Chair.

(see: American Civil Liberties Union
Read the Capital Punishment Project's most recent publications : The Forgotten Population: A Look ... Dead End: A No-Nonsense Resource on Capital Punishment ...

It is also disturbing to see pictures of American soldiers & members of the CIA actively engaged in the torture of prisoners suspected of terrorist activities.( Yet America claims to be a “ just society “ & the “Bastion of Western Democracy & WESTERN VALUES & Christian values )
See Tony Blankley series of articles in The Washington Times September 12, 2005 'An Islamist threat like the Nazis' http://www.washingtontimes.com

Or to put it another way if the Civil Rights Movement had not occurred in the 1950's & 1960's it would these days receive only negative news coverage from Fox News & CNN & would get very little sympathy from the present ruling elite whether or not they are black or white . The thing of it is; is that Black people who are wealthy for the most part are not much different than wealthy white people. They both see the poor as unworthy as lazy stupid or not Godly that is they don’t pray enough or attend church as often as they should or don’t show enough respect for those in authority or to those who are in power.

It was unnerving to see President Bush praising Rosa Parks it was like hearing if you can imagine it Bull Connor of Birmingham praising a black woman who refused to obey the laws of Alabama.
I don’t see how Bush could ever have been in favor of enacting a Civil Right’s Bill by the Federal Government as President Johnson did or that Bush could approve of the strides made in creating a more just society through the various Judgements of The US Supreme Court since Brown V.the Board of Education 1954 to Roe V. Wade 1973. Bush & his followers believe that the Supreme Court has gone far beyond its appropriate role of ensuring that the laws of the land reflect the original intentions of the Founding Fathers & the Bill of Rights & the Declaration of Independence etc.
The Us Supreme Court judges over the years have developed a view that the laws of the land must reflect on-going changes in attitudes in American society & that basic principles of American Justice need to be interpreted in the light of these on-going changes in American society. What once was acceptable IE. Racial segregation is no longer acceptable where intolerance towards minority groups blacks, jews, Catholics , Muslims etc. was considered acceptable it no longer is.( Of course under the Bush regime the government can’t enforce laws against discrimination since the administration & its staunch radical supporters & the Religious Right believe for instance that corporations should no be coerced into obeying such intrusive regulations that they should really be free of any government regulations since they believe in Laissez faire Capitalism .)
Homosexuals once were imprisoned for their sexual orientation or were (or are) discriminated against or were insulted abused & beaten with impunity in the good old days now such discrimination is considered unjustified .
Or for instance Women once did not have the right to vote & were not considered under the law to be persons in their own right with some say over their destiny but were the chattel or personal possessions of their fathers & their husbands .
( it is odd how the Christian Religious Right & Neo-Conservatives & Islamic Extremist both are Anti-Gay & Anti-Feminist & Anti-Abortion & are Anti-Secular & believe that there should not be a separation of Religion & State & therefore both want to create a Theocracy. )

The rulings over the past fifty years of the US supreme Court represent for many Americans & to Western Nations in general positive steps forward for creating a more just society.
Yet Bush & the Religious Right & Neo-Cons see each of these rulings as an attack on the American Way of life & its institutions.

Anyway the America that Tony Blankley Pat Robertson, Pat Buchanan, Jerry Falwell, Tim LaHaye & Phyllis Schlafly George Bush & Karl Rove & David Frommet al would like to create would be basically a Theocracy run by an elite of the Rich & Powerful & Fundamentalist Christians & the National Rifleman’s Association & the DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution ) & the Corporate Elite of America who see themselves as chosen by GOD/ Jesus to bring morality back to what they believe to be a back-sliding America which condemns slavery which the Bible defends as it also defends the “stoning “ of sinners & the Mass murder of Non-believers , at least in their version of Christianity. As for non Christians the most we could hope for is not to be Gassed.

More on Tony Blankly's articles next time,
see you later,

Sunday, October 30, 2005


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While searching for websites & images of the Spanish artist Francisco Goya’s art work I stumbled upon these images from the online magazine THE REVEALER. The pictures above are from an article entitled GOYA IN IRAQ: PICTURES AT AN INQUISITION. I have taken the liberty of republishing the text which follows:

But first Here is the editors’ mission statement as such:

" The Revealer is a daily review of religion in the news and the news about religion. We're not so much nonpartisan as polypartisan -- interested in all sides, disdainful of dualistic arguments, and enamored of free speech as a first principle. We publish and link to work by people of all persuasions, religious, political, sexual, and critical. The Revealer was conceived by Jay Rosen, chair of New York University's Department of Journalism, and is executed by journalist Jeff Sharlet and staff. We begin with three basic premises: 1. Belief matters, whether or not you believe. Politics, pop culture, high art, NASCAR -- everything in this world is infused with concerns about the next. As journalists, as scholars, and as ordinary folks, we cannot afford to ignore the role of religious belief in shaping our lives. 2. The press all too frequently fails to acknowledge religion, categorizing it as either innocuous spirituality or dangerous fanaticism, when more often it's both and inbetween and just plain other. 3. We deserve and need better coverage of religion. Sharper thinking. Deeper history. Thicker description. Basic theology. Real storytelling. "

The Revealer is a publication of the New York University Department of Journalism and New York University's Center for Religion and Media.


" The picture on the left is by the Spanish painter Francisco Goya (1746-1828). It's from a series of notebook sketches he drew in an attempt to depict the Spanish Inquisition's (1478-1834) prosecution of "heretics." Not its most graphic horrors, such as strangulations and public burnings, but the Inquisitor's use of humiliation and fear as a form of torture. The picture on the right is a work by Army Specialist Sabrina Harman, who has testified "that it was her job to keep detainees awake, including one hooded prisoner who was placed on a box with wires attached to his fingers, toes, and penis." Other sources report that the subject, an Iraqi prisoner, was being prepared for a mock execution. It is unclear, given the beatings administered to his fellows, whether he knew that it was "mock." Nor could he have been aware, given his dunce cap, that the visual he presented was of a crucifixion, the beams of the "cross" made not of wood but of the wires attached to his hands.

A crucial element of torture is humiliation. The fact of the victim's powerlessness must be impressed upon his psyche. Laughter is an effective tool, as demonstrated by this Inquisitor, 21-year-old Private Lynndie England, of Ft. Ashby, W. Virginia. And genitals are often the focus of attention. Private England, since transferred back to the U.S., where she is expecting the child of Specialist Charles W. Graner (who also appears in the pictures), is here forcing the prisoners to masturbate -- a tactic proposed by her superiors in Military Intelligence to insult the prisoner's Islamic sensibilities and thus break his will through sexual shame.

Sexual shame is always double-edged, as illustrated in the picture on the left. It shows the 1935 lynching of Rubin Stacy, in Ft. Lauderdale. Young girls from the area, including the one seen here on the left, were brought out to witness Stacy's emasculation and murder. They are orderly, they are high-minded and also high-spirited. They are smiling. They are a congregation, not a mob, gathered to view the Inquisitor's work, undertaken on their behalf, for the sanctity of their community, for the sacred order of "civilization." " ( END OF ARTICLE )

UPDATE: The New Yorker's Seymour M. Hersh has obtained a copy of a secret report on American abuses of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. Major General Antonio M. Taguba, commissioned by Lt. General Ricardo S. Sanchez, the senior commander in Iraq. Hersh excerpts Gen. Taguba's list of offenses, committed, charges Gen. Taguba, with the approval of top ranking officers as part of procedure: "Breaking chemical lights and pouring the phosphoric liquid on detainees; pouring cold water on naked detainees; beating detainees with a broom handle and a chair; threatening male detainees with rape; allowing a military police guard to stitch the wound of a detainee who was injured after being slammed against the wall in his cell; sodomizing a detainee with a chA crucial element of torture is humiliation. The fact of the victim's powerlessness must be impressed upon his psyche. Laughter is an effective tool, as demonstrated by this Inquisitor, 21-year-old Private Lynndie England, of Ft. Ashby, W. Virginia. And genitals are often the focus of attention. Private England, since transferred back to the U.S., where she is expecting the child of Specialist Charles W. Graner (who also appears in the pictures), is here forcing the prisoners to masturbate -- a tactic proposed by her superiors in Military Intelligence to insult the prisoner's Islamic sensibilities and thus break his will through sexual shame.

Anyway see you later,