Tuesday, January 25, 2011

" War Is A Crime.Org " Petition To Oppose Obama's Re-Election If He Continues Support For Wars

Calls by War Is A Crime.org and other anti-war activists to stop Obama's 2012 nomination if he continues with these wars.There is of course little hope for this having any effect on the Obama administration which is acting at the behest of the Pentagon and CIA and the intelligence community. As has been pointed out Obama talks about the need for compassion , understanding and empathy yet does not apply this to the peoples of Iraq, Afghanistan , Pakistan, Palestine the occupied territories etc.
Though he claims that he wants to change America's course in its military interventions, invasions, occupations, extrajudicial killings, renditions , torture etc. the facts on the ground show that he is carrying on the same policies as those of the Bush/Cheney administration.

Over 150 prominent activists, authors, and academics have launched a petition with a statement that begins:
"We the undersigned share with nearly two-thirds of our fellow Americans the conviction that our wars in Afghanistan and Iraq should be ended and that overall military spending should be dramatically reduced. This has been our position for years and will continue to be, and we take it seriously. We vow not to support President Barack Obama for renomination for another term in office, and to actively seek to impede his war policies unless and until he reverses them."
Among the signers are:
Elliott Adams, president, Veterans For Peace
Medea Benjamin, cofounder, Code Pink*
Daniel Ellsberg, former State and Defense Dept. official, whistleblower of Pentagon Papers
Lisa Fithian, convenor, United for Peace and Justice
Chris Hedges, author, De ath of the Liberal Class
Ethan McCord, IVAW, VFP, former army specialist from "collateral murder" video
Marcy Winograd, former Democratic congressional candidate
Please join us in taking this stand!
You can read the full statement, see the list of signers, and add your name here: http://warisacrime.org/primary

and here is the article at War Is A Crime outlining the ongoing criminal actions of the Obama Regime in its on going War on Terror which is really just an excuse to maintain and enlarge the American Empire .

We will oppose Obama as long as he supports war at War is A Crime

We the undersigned share with nearly two-thirds of our fellow Americans the conviction that our wars in Afghanistan and Iraq should be ended and that overall military spending should be dramatically reducedenomination for another term in office, and to actively seek to impede his war policies unless and until he reverses them.

Since he became president, Obama has had three opportunities to work with Congress to reduce military spending, but instead has championed increases in that spending each time, despite the fact that this spending represents a clear threat to the economic future of our country. He has continued as well to try to hide the true costs of the wars by funding them with off-the-books supplemental spending bills, despite the fact that he campaigned against this very practice.
The President has escalated a war on Afghanistan in which rising civilian deaths and atrocities have become routine.

He has given the CIA even greater freedom of action to launch lethal drone strikes against civilian houses in Pakistan on mere assumption of some connection with Taliban or other organizations, despite the warning from the U.S. Ambassador in late 2009 -- revealed in a Wikileaks cable -- that such attacks could "destabilize" the Pakistani government, despite many reports that civilians, including children, are disproportionately victims, and despite the contention of the United Nations and many U.S. allies that this practice is illegal.

Obama has approved an increase in covert operations by CIA-controlled Afghan troops into Pakistan, and his administration has remained silent while the U.S. command in Afghanistan leaked to the New York Times plans for new Special Operations Forces raids into Pakistan aimed at Afghan Taliban targets.

The President has expanded the use of Special Operations Forces (SOF), operating in virtually total secrecy and without any accountability to Congress, in one country after another. SOF troops are presently in some 75 nations -- 15 more than when Obama took office.

President Obama has, on a later schedule than he campaigned on, finally reduced U.S. troop presence in Iraq. But he has not fully withdrawn U.S. combat forces from Iraq or ended U.S. combat there, his claims to have done so notwithstanding. His vice president has suggested, without correction by the President, the possibility of a U.S. military presence in the country even after the deadline for withdrawal under the U.S.-Iraq withdrawal agreement, if only through the use of military contractors.

The Obama administration has announced plans to form an army of mercenary troops from private military contractors in Iraq which is to have its own air force and its own fleet of mine-resistant military vehicles. The plan includes continued contracts with the company formerly called Blackwater, despite the knowledge that it was guilty of atrocities against civilians in that country, and despite the openly declared opposition of the Iraqi government to such a continued role

Obama has overseen increased weapons sales to foreign nations, and assisting in those sales has been a major function of his State Department. He has approved increased funding for work on nuclear weapons, even while supporting an arms control treaty. He has established a policy of potential nuclear first strike against Iran or North Korea.

President Obama has argued for the justness of war-making in widely watched speeches from the Oval Office and in Oslo, Norway, where he was accepting a Nobel Peace Prize. He has, in his Oval Office speech last August, defended false statements that took our nation into the current wars and false statements that have prolonged them.

The President has supported sanctions against Iran and Syria that punish the people, especially children, and not the leadership, of those countries. He has sent ships and missiles to Iran's border. He has risked hostilities with North Korea through the ongoing construction of new military bases in South Korea and provocative war games exercises. His administration has helped a military coup succeed in Honduras.

President Obama has sought to allow more Israeli settlements in Palestinian territories. He has protected Israel's killing of activists on a humanitarian aid ship, not even protesting at the murder of an unarmed American youth. He issued a presidential memorandum on October 25, 2010, giving U.S. approval for the use of child soldiers by Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, and Yemen. He has backed Indonesian armed forces that assassinated civilian activists in late 2009. He has expanded the U.S. military presence in Colombia, Costa Rica, Haiti, Guam, Italy, and Diego Garcia, as well as overseeing an enormous military base construction project in Afghanistan.

President Obama has not closed the prison at Guantanamo Bay and continues to maintain a network of detention facilities in Afghanistan through which prisoners, according to the most recent information available, are still being subjected to harsh treatment. He has claimed the right to imprison people, including American citizens, indefinitely without charge or trial, thus further cementing in place the elimination of the rights of prisoners of war and the elimination of the right of habeas corpus for anyone, as well as the rights found in the Fourth through Eighth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. The President has claimed the power of rendition. His CIA Director Leon Panetta and his senior advisor David Axelrod have asserted, without correction by the President, that the President maintains the power to torture. In the recent case of Gulet Mohamed, the Obama administration, for a time, claimed the power to forbid an American to reenter the country, absent any conviction or even any charge of a crime, and apparently collaborated with Kuwait to torture that American. The President has also openly claimed the power to order the assassination of Americans abroad. In Iraq, the U.S. military has continued to work with and protect from accountability an Iraqi military that is known to regularly use torture.

The President has expanded the use of warrantless spying. Under his leadership, the FBI has infiltrated peace groups and raided the homes of peace activists. It has set up and entrapped in terrorism charges people whose training and motivation came largely or even entirely from the FBI. He has supported the re-authorization of the PATRIOT Act, which strips away Americans' civil liberties.

President Obama, in direct violation of the Nuremberg Charter, a U.S. treaty commitment, has publicly instructed his Attorney General not to prosecute individuals responsible for crimes, including torture. His administration has worked hard to provide retroactive immunity to corporations engaged in warrantless spying and individuals engaged in sanctioning torture. He has kept secret a vast trove of documents, photos, and videos pertaining to prisoner abuse. He has advanced unprecedented claims of secrecy powers in defending the crimes of his predecessor. President Obama's White House has put great pressure on European states not to investigate or prosecute U.S. war crimes.

This president has restricted the release of the names of White House visitors and has pursued the prosecution and punishment of government whistleblowers more aggressively than any previous president.

His administration is responsible for the cruel and unusual lengthy confinement in a 6' by 12' cell, prior to any trial, of alleged whistleblower Bradley Manning. His vice president, Joe Biden, has publicly labeled an Australian journalist, Julian Assange, a "terrorist."

President Obama has used a private propaganda firm that had been exposed planting lies in Iraqi media, to screen potential embedded reporters for coverage of the U.S. military. He has used the military to restrict reporting by American journalists on an oil spill in American waters.

Perhaps most perilously, President Obama has claimed the right to engage in many of these activities without the authorization of Congress. He has even claimed the power first developed by his predecessor to rewrite new laws through the extra-Constitutional use of presidential signing statements. Expanded powers that are not opposed now will be far more difficult to oppose later with another president able to claim past precedent.

The President's own deficit commission recommended cuts of $100 billion to the military budget.

The United States spends about $1 trillion each year on the military, through a variety of departments, and has spent over $1 trillion already on the wars on Iraq and Afghanistan. Over half of every U.S. dollar of income tax is going to war making. The Department of Defense budget alone is larger than the military expenditures of the next largest 16 militaries in the world combined. That budget could be cut by 85% and still be the largest in the world.

In addition to the lessening of hostility toward our country that would result from a significant decrease in U.S. military presence around the world, by shifting our financial resources we could create jobs, green energy, top quality free education, public transportation and infrastructure. We could also end all talk of reducing our Social Security or health coverage. We intend to support public servants who put our money where it serves the public.

We are not concerned with whether President Obama is acting enthusiastically or reluctantly in pursuing a militaristic policy abroad and more repression of dissent at home. It matters little whether he is submitting to powerful forces or freely following his preferred course. We do not elect his soldiers or spies, his advisors, his campaign funders, or the owners of our major media outlets. We elect the president. We will not support his nomination for another term, and we believe that a large proportion of Americans who voted for him in 2008 will not do so again unless he reverses the most egregious policies to which we have referred -- especially by taking decisive steps to end the war on Afghanistan and to make deep cuts in the military and war budgets.

"Pakistan: thousands march against US drone strikes" by WW4 Report.com on Sun, 01/23/2011

More than 10,000 marched in the northwest Pakistan city of Peshawar Jan. 23 to protest US drone attacks, a day after at least 13 were killed in three drone strikes in North Waziristan region. Activists from the country's largest Islamist party, Jamaat-i-Islami, blocked a main road and staged a six-hour vigil outside the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provincial parliament.

On Jan. 21, a similar protest was held in Miranshah and surrounding villages in the North Waziristan region of the Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (FATA), which has borne the brunt of the drone strikes. In Mir Ali village, hundreds of protesters chanted, "Anyone who is a friend of the US is a traitor!" Protest leaders called for US Defense Secretary Robert Gates and the former CIA station chief in Islamabad to be brought to justice. "They should be arrested and punished by the courts in America," said student leader Abdul Khan.

In 2010, US drone attacks doubled over the previous year, with 124 strikes claiming nearly 1,200 lives, by Pakistani estimates. Washington claims the raids target militants, who cross the Pakistani border into Afghanistan. But locals say civilians are the main victims of the attacks, which have no UN sanction. According to Pakistani sources, the strikes kill nearly 50 civilians for every militant they target—giving them a hit rate of two percent. The strikes, initiated by President George W. Bush, have escalated under President Barack Obama. (Press TV, Iran, CNN, AFP, Jan. 23)

Meanwhile the US War machine carries on leaving civilians dead in its wake.

11 militants killed in 3 US Drone Attacks via India times.com, jan. 23, 2011

PESHAWAR: US drones carried out three strikes in the restive North Waziristan tribal region of northwest Pakistan today, killing 11 suspected militants even as tribesmen joined a protest in the area against the attacks.

Drones have carried out over 10 strikes in the tribal belt since the start of the year.

On January 1, four attacks in North Waziristan killed 19 people.

The United States has stepped up drone strikes in North Waziristan, describing it as a launching pad for attacks on foreign troops across the border in Afghanistan.
It has also stepped up pressure on Pakistan to move troops into the volatile region to flush out Taliban and Al Qaeda elements.

This was the second major protest by tribesmen in the region since Fridayanwhile, hundreds of tribesmen joined a protest today in Mir Ali town of North Waziristan against the drone strikes.
and once again the Afghanistan government like the Iraq government is criticizing the United States' use of private security companies working in Afghanistan without any real oversight -they basically do as they please and disregard the normal rules of engagement . As in Iraq there are death squads created by the US military or CIA who engage in extrajudicial killings renditions torture etc. targeting not just insurgents Al Qaeda or Taliban but also target those who are openly critical of the American and Nato forces occupation of Afghanistan .

Afghan Report Revives Concerns About Scrutiny of Private Security Firms
Ray Rivera and Sharifullah Sahak, The New York Times News Service: "The Afghan government is putting new scrutiny on private security companies, raising concerns among Western officials that President Hamid Karzai may be accelerating efforts to push them out of the country. A special committee appointed by Mr. Karzai to investigate the companies has found that 18 have committed 'major offenses,' although that number may have later been lowered, according to an Afghan official who has read the committee's report."

American war crimes crimes against humanity and the abuse and torture of detainees is all part of its anti-UN stance and its anti-international law which American politicians and its quisling media believe does not have any jurisdiction over American citizens, the US government or the US military or any American living outside the USA.

Bradley Manning still being kept in solitary confinement to the point of amounting to abuse and torture. The thing is he has not been found guilty of anything as yet. But as mentioned numerous times since 9/11 the US government and justice system stands now on the principle of Guilty til proven innocent. As for abusing and torturing anyone incarcerated by US authorities this is supposedly now the US' right and the UN and International agreements and laws have no jurisdiction within the United States or wherever its military, CIA etc. operate.
The prevalent belief among Americans is that America being God's Chosen nation answers only to God not to other nations or peoples or to put it another way America is a law unto itself.

" America's treatment of detainees" by Glenn Greenwald via Salon.com,Jan. 23, 2011

Amnesty International has written a letter to Defense Secretary Robert Gates objecting to the conditions of Bradley Manning's detention, which was first reported here. The group denounces the oppressive conditions under which Manning is being held as "unnecessarily harsh and punitive," and further states they "appear to breach the USA’s obligations under international standards and treaties, including Article 10 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights." The letter describes Manning's treatment as particularly egregious "in view of the fact that he has no history of violence or disciplinary infractions and that he is a pre-trial detainee not yet convicted of any offence." Moreover:

The harsh conditions imposed on PFC Manning also undermine the principle of the presumption of innocence, which should be taken into account in the treatment of any person under arrest or awaiting trial. We are concerned that the effects of isolation and prolonged cellular confinement . . . may, further, undermine his ability to assist in his defence and thus his right to a fair trial.

The letter follows a report from Manning's lawyer, former Lt. Col. David Coombs, that the conditions of his detention temporarily worsened in the past week, prompting a formal complaint under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Amnesty's letter also follows a report that the U.N.'s leading official on torture is formally investigating the conditions of Manning's detention, a fact confirmed two weeks ago by The New York Times ("the United Nations’ special rapporteur on torture, Juan E. Mendez, [] said he had submitted a formal inquiry about the soldier’s treatment to the State Department").

Of course, caring what Amnesty International or the U.N. have to say about the conditions of America's detainees is so very 2004. Now, such a concern is -- to borrow a phrase from Alberto Gonazles -- a quaint and obsolete relic of the past.

Relatedly, the ACLU has obtained new documents which shed more harsh light on the 190 War on Terror detainees who died in American custody. Specifically, many of these documents -- autopsy reports and military investigations - - show that at least 25 to 30 of those cases were "unjustified homicides," i.e., murder. It's long been known that many detainees were killed by their treatment during interrogation. I wrote about many of these cases here over a year ago, and Gen. Barry McCaffrey has said: "We tortured people unmercifully. We probably murdered dozens of them during the course of that, both the armed forces and the C.I.A." But these new documents show that these deaths at the hands of U.S. captors were even more deliberate, brutal and widespread than previously known:

In one such case, a detainee was killed by an unnamed sergeant who walked into a room where the detainee was lying wounded "and assaulted him ... then shot him twice thus killing him," one of the investigating documents says.

The sergeant then instructed the other soldiers present to lie about the incident. Later, the document says an unnamed corporal then shot the deceased detainee in the head after finding his corpse.

Appropriately, The Weekly Standard today has an interview with former Bush Attorney General Michael Mukasey in which he slams Eric Holder for the mere possibility that some of these detainee deaths will be criminally investigated, calling it a "witch hunt." That view is not an aberration, of course. The Brookings Institutions' Benjamin Wittes last week criticized the Obama DOJ for merely leaving open the possibility of prosecution for some of these CIA interrogators who were so sadistic and lawless that they even exceeded the boundaries of the torture permission slips given to them by the Bush DOJ. Both Mukasey and Wittes are speaking for the consensus of America's political class. They -- and it -- literally believe that anyone acting as part of the American government should be able to get away with murder -- which they'll argue in between sermons on the evils of other nations' human rights abuses and the need for the U.S. to "do more" to stop such abuses.

and so it goes,

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