Thursday, January 26, 2012

#OWS Arrests Cost US Dearly in Press Freedom - #47

Free pres under attack in the USA
Other Western countries have greater freedom of the Press than the USA.
USA is not #1 in defending freedom of the press
but is rather #47 of those countries which refuse to defend the freedom of the press.

Amnesty International Doctors without borders, Reporters Without Borders , International Committee of the Red Cross and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights accuse those now in control of Libya of widespread use of torture and other human rights abuses.

Human Rights groups are also critical of America's human rights violations of Occupy protesters and of journalist covering the Occupy protests.

Libyan detainees died after torture, human rights group says CNN, january 26, 2012

"In that just-released Reporters Without Borders ranking, the United States — the Land of the Free — ranked 47th: tied with Romania and Argentina, just ahead of Latvia, and behind El Salvador, Tanzania, and Slovenia, among others. That 47th ranking is 11 spots below where the U.S. finished in 2008. The organization cited the many arrests of journalist covering Occupy Wall Street protests” as most responsible for this decline, and in prior years has cited U.S. treatment of journalists in war zones as well as the imprisonment of journalists at Guantanamo.

It is rather disingenuous for President Obama to claim he is suddenly on the side of the people and against The Wall Street tycoons and gamblers and thugs since he has done nothing to stop Wall Street's armed robbery of the American people .
If Obama was so concerned why did he agree to these insane bail outs to the Wall Street coven of greed.

The problem is that Obama is himself part of the 1% and the rest of the 1% know he is not going to pass legislation to stem Wall Street greed.

Wall Street execs are major Obama fundraisers
Bundlers from the securities industry have raised at least $9 million for the Obama campaign so far by justin Elliott at, January 26, 2012

and as Robert Scheer chimes in about Obama's stance on Wall Street as "Faux Populism" that Obama is trying to place himself somehow on the side of the Occupy movement.
President Obama has indeed betrayed those who helped him get elected and just keeps adding to that betrayal. If he believed in the basic rights of Americans why was he silent about the police brutality and the arrests of journalists at the Occupy protests.

Now he appears to be concerned that if he doesn't throw a bone or two to the Occupy movement his re-election might be in doubt.
If anything the Occupy movement should keep criticizing Obama and should not give any sign of supporting his re-election.
The main reason he will probably get re-elected is because the alternatives of the GOP candidates are or appear to be much worse. But I think that's debatable given Obama's poor record on a variety of issues but especially foreign policy as there seems no real difference between Obama and the GOP views on foreign policy. All are in favor of perpetual war and the curbing of the freedoms of average Americans.

Obama’s Faux Populism Sounds Like Bill Clinton By Robert Scheer at, january 26, 2012

I’ll admit it: Listening to Barack Obama, I am ready to enlist in his campaign against the feed-the-rich Republicans ... until I recall that I once responded in the same way to Bill Clinton’s faux populism. And then I get angry because betrayal by the “good guys” for whom I have ended up voting has become the norm.

Yes, betrayal, because if Obama meant what he said in Tuesday’s State of the Union address about holding the financial industry responsible for its scams, why did he appoint the old Clinton crowd that had legalized those scams to the top economic posts in his administration? Why did he hire Timothy Geithner, who has turned the Treasury Department into a concierge service for Wall Street tycoons?

Why hasn’t he pushed for a restoration of the Glass-Steagall Act, which Clinton’s deregulation reversed? Does the president really believe that the Dodd-Frank slap-on-the-wrist sellout represents “new rules to hold Wall Street accountable, so a crisis like this never happens again”? Can he name one single too-big-to-fail banking monstrosity that has been reduced in size on his watch instead of encouraged to grow ever larger by Treasury and Fed bailouts and interest-free money?

When Obama declared Tuesday evening “no American company should be able to avoid paying its fair share of taxes by moving jobs and profits overseas,” wasn’t he aware that Jeffrey Immelt, the man he appointed to head his jobs council, is the most egregious offender? Immelt, the CEO of GE, heads a company with most of its workers employed in foreign countries, a corporation that makes 82 percent of its profit abroad and has paid no U.S. taxes in the past three years.

as for Obama's record in foreign affairs he is as Hawkish as George W. Bush ever was .
Obama even had the gall to claim victory in Iraq when in fact the Iraqi government kicked the US military out of Iraq . And Pakistan one of America's great allies kicked the US military out of their country.
Meanwhile Obama to prove himself as a worthy Commander in Chief used his power to bomb and invade Libya on the pretext of humanitarian concerns. This is odd coming from a president who has ordered assassinations of alleged enemies of America and who revved up the drone wars killing thousands of innocent civilians. Obama like Bush and Cheney appears to have little regard for the lives of non-Americans.
Obama has also shown his disregard for international law with permitting the intentional murders of Gaddafi and Osama Bin Laden because he didn't want some sort of messy trial which might uncover America's intelligence agencies darker side.
Even G. W. Bush insisted on taking Saddam alive and then allowed for a trial albeit a farce of a trial followed by the lynching of Saddam-another proud moment in American history.

Now those in power in Libya (& in Iraq by the way) are involved in human rights abuses including detaining people without charges or torturing detainees going after those who supported Gaddafi
whether or not they committed criminal acts or committed human rights violations.

As Glenn Greenwlad points out that removing a tyrant might be laudable but it is questionable if those replacing that tyrant are no better and may turn out to be worse. In both Iraq and Libya the new regimes look a lot like the old regimes except that are more in tune with America's agenda.

The human rights “success” in Libya by Glenn Greenwald at, January 26, 2012

It quickly became ossified conventional wisdom that NATO’s war in Libya to aid rebel factions in overthrowing Moammar Gaddafi was a clear human rights victory. But the reality in post-Gaddafi Libya has long been in tension with that claim, and that’s true today more so than ever:

"Doctors Without Borders is halting work in detention centers in the Libyan city of Misrata because detainees are “tortured and denied urgent medical care,” the international aid agency said Thursday.

The agency known by its French acronym MSF said it has treated 115 people with torture-related wounds from interrogation sessions.

Some of the patients treated were tortured again after they were returned to detention centers, according to the agency.

“Some officials have sought to exploit and obstruct MSF’s medical work,” said Christopher Stokes, the agency general director.

“Patients were brought to us for medical care between interrogation sessions, so that they would be fit for further interrogation. This is unacceptable. Our role is to provide medical care to war casualties and sick detainees, not to repeatedly treat the same patients between torture sessions”. . . ."

...Obviously, the Gadaffi and Saddam regimes were horrible human rights abusers. But the point is that one cannot celebrate a human rights success based merely on the invasion and overthrow of a bad regime; it is necessary to know what one has replaced them with. Ironically, those who are the loudest advocates for these wars and then prematurely celebrate the outcome (and themselves) bear significant responsibility for these subsequent abuses: by telling the world that the invasion was a success, it causes the aftermath — the most important part — to be neglected.

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