Monday, April 13, 2009

Obama Approves and Defends the Use of Warrantless Wiretaps & Gives A Virtual Pardon To Bush Regime

In case you missed it :

Obama say it isn't so
Obama defends the use of warrantless wiretaps
Obama goes even further than Bush Regime in defending appeals to secrecy and National Security
So much for transparency in the Obama administration

Obama Justice Department refuses to release information on Warrantless Wiretapping insists on State Secrets & immunity for the government - Why is Obama protecting the Bush Regime- Is this part of his bipartisanship madness. Is he not interested in justice.

Is Obama Breaking The Same Laws Bush Did?-April 7, 2009

Obama Moves To Legalize Warrantless Wiretapping! Olbermann April 7, 2009

Update on Sri Lankan conflict :

Sri Lankan government is allowing for a two day cease fire. This is a good sign but the international Community including the Canadian government and the US government should put more pressure on both sides to extend the ceasefire and to allow humanitarian organizations & the media into the areas of conflict and that they not be harmed by either side. It is reasonable to expect the Sri Lankan government to abide by International Law and the Geneva Conventions regardless of how the LTTE or Tamil Tigers act. The major point is that the civilians caught in the cross fire should be protected by both sides and not used as pawns in their military strategy. If the UN had any real power it would insist on negotiations and allowing a UN military force into the area while negotiations continue. But this is next to impossible as the LTTE is unwilling to negotiate its terms on the one hand and the Sri Lankan government is somewhat paranoid claiming that the UN, humanitarian organizations and human rights organizations and the Media are all antagonistic towards the Sri Lankan government.

"Lanka declares 2-day truce" , The Times of India,April 13, 2009

CHENNAI: Armageddon may not be as near at hand in Sri Lanka as feared. A day after reports from the battlefield suggested that Sri Lankan troops may enter the last strip of land the LTTE is holding on to, President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Sunday announced a pause in offensive operations to coincide with two days of Sinhala and Tamil New Year celebrations on Monday and Tuesday.

Rajapaksa “directed the armed forces to restrict their operations during the New Year to those of a defensive nature”, Sri Lanka’s ministry of foreign affairs said in a statement here. It was also time for the LTTE “to acknowledge its military defeat and lay down weapons and surrender”.

The two-day pause was apparently in response to mounting international pressure, especially an appeal from the United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon.

Sri Lankan media ban 'a disgrace': rights group" (Reporters Without Borders ) Colombo AFP, April 11, 2009

COLOMBO (AFP) — An international rights group Saturday urged Sri Lanka to allow journalists access to the war zone in the northeast where a "humanitarian crisis is unfolding" without a media presence.

"It is a disgrace that this war is being waged without independent journalists present," Paris-based Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said.

"With a major humanitarian crisis and war crimes clearly taking place, the government must heed the international community?s calls for a ceasefire and for better access for humanitarian workers and journalists."

The United Nations estimates around 100,000 people trapped along Sri Lanka's northeastern shoreline are at risk from intense fighting between troops and Tamil Tiger rebels.

Security forces have now hemmed the Tigers into a narrow strip of coastal jungle where they have retreated together with the civilians.

The authorities have severely restricted access into the war zone for journalists and humanitarian agencies.

"By limiting media coverage to guided tours with the purpose of confirming military victories, the armed forces are preventing the press from doing its job," RSF said in a statement.

"They are disregarding the public?s right to be informed in an independent manner," it said.

Rights groups regard Sri Lanka as one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists.

In January, the government said nine journalists had been killed and another 27 assaulted over the past three years, while independent activists say more than a dozen journalists have been killed.

A newspaper editor critical of the government's military campaign was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in January. Several others have been arrested using draconian anti-terrorism laws.

RSF also accused the Tigers, who have been fighting for a homeland since 1972, of preventing civilians from leaving the shrinking areas they control and seeking refuge in government-controlled areas.

"The Tamil Tiger rebels bear a large share of the responsibility for these crimes," RSF said.

and so it goes,

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