Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Syria Obama's Next Target and Chris Hedges : Abu-Jamal Political Prisoner and Jimmy Carter Criticizes Obama's Use of Drones and Targeted Assassinations

Above image : Poster for film about political activist Mumia Abu Jumal

Above image : Former President Jimmy Carter slams Obama for violating the Universal Declaration For Human Rights.

* President Obama 's Propaganda to justify war with Syria
* Chris Hedges: Political Prisoner Abu-Jamal
* Jimmy Carter : Drones & Targeted Assassinations
* USA & UK Trashing Human Rights

From targeted Assassinations to renditions to secret courts and torture Western Nations undermining citizens Human Rights wiping out 3 centuries of hard fought for rights for all citizens.

"When I first got out in the yard and I heard groups of men talking about how Sarah was going to marry Jim or how Frank had betrayed Susan, I thought, 'Damn, these cats all know each other and their families. That's odd,'" he says...

"But after a few minutes I realized they were talking about soap operas. Television in prison is the great pacifier. They love 'Basketball Wives' because it is 'T and A' with women of color. They know how many cars Jay-Z has. But they don't know their own history. They don't understand how they got here. They don't know what is being done to them. I tell them they have to read and they say, 'Man, I don't do books.' And that is just how the empire wants it. You can't fight power if you don't understand it. And you can't understand it if you don't experience it and then dissect it."

The Unsilenced Voice of a "Long-Distance Revolutionary" by Chris Hedges, Dec. 10. 2012

The last several years have found us in the midst of more catastrophes than we could ever, in our worst nightmares, have dreamed of. We could never have envisaged that the history of the new century would encompass the destruction and distortion of fundamental Anglo-American legal and political constitutional principles in place since the 17th century.

from Why We Torture What do we do once we know? by Gareth Peirce via ,Dec. 12,2012

" Report: Syrian regime is firing scud missiles at rebels The U.S. warning comes amid growing concern that Bashar al-Assad could resort to chemical warfare" By Kristin Deasy, GlobalPost via, Dec. 12, 2012

The United States says Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is using scud missiles against rebel forces in a bid to stamp out 20 months of unrest in the war-ravaged country, according to The New York Times.

Scuds are ballistic missiles first used by the Soviets during the Cold War. They are extremely deadly and can carry warheads.

The US warning comes amid growing concern Assad will resort to extreme measures — such as chemical weapons — in the face of a stubborn armed rebellion.

...The news comes on the heels of an international “Friends of Syria” meeting in Morocco that formally recognized the newly-formed Syrian opposition group.

Chris hedges in a recent article writes about incarcerated activist political prisoner Abu-Jamal who may be in jail ostensibly for homicide but in fact is a political prisoner. From his arrest onward he has been denied his basic rights .
His trial was a farce . His family or anyone else were not permitted to visit him over the past 30 years. The prison authorities and state and federal US government have tried various ways to silence him .

The Unsilenced Voice of a "Long-Distance Revolutionary" by Chris Hedges, Dec. 10. 2012

Abu-Jamal was transferred in January to the general prison population after nearly 30 years in solitary confinement on death row and was permitted physical contact with his wife, children and other visitors for the first time in three decades. He had been sentenced to death in 1982 for the Dec. 9, 1981, killing of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner. His sentence was recently amended to life without parole. The misconduct of the judge, flagrant irregularities in his trial and tainted evidence have been criticized by numerous human rights organizations, including Amnesty International.

Abu-Jamal, who was a young activist in the Black Panthers and later one of the most important radical journalists in Philadelphia, a city that a few decades earlier produced I.F. Stone, has long been the bete noire of the state. The FBI opened a file on him when he was 15, when he started working with the local chapter of the Black Panthers. He was suspended from his Philadelphia high school when he campaigned to rename the school for Malcolm X and distributed "black revolutionary student power" literature.

Stephen Vittoria's new film documentary about Abu-Jamal, "Long Distance Revolutionary," rather than revisit the case, chronicles his importance and life as an American journalist, radical and intellectual under the harsh realities of Pennsylvania's death row. Abu-Jamal has published seven books in prison, including his searing and best-selling "Live From Death Row." The film features the voices of Cornel West, James Cone, Dick Gregory, Angela Davis, Alice Walker and others. It opens in theaters Feb. 1, starting in New York City. In the film Gregory says that Abu-Jamal has single-handedly brought "dignity to the whole death row."

The late historian Manning Marable says in the film: "The voice of black journalism in the struggle for the liberation of African-American people has always proved to be decisive throughout black history. When you listen to Mumia Abu-Jamal you hear the echoes of David Walker, Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. Du Bois, Paul Robeson, and the sisters and brothers who kept the faith with struggle, who kept the faith with resistance."

The authorities, as they did before he was convicted, have attempted to silence him in prison. Pennsylvania banned all recorded interviews with Abu-Jamal after 1996. In response to protests over the singling out of one inmate in the Pennsylvania correction system, the state simply banned recorded access to all its inmates. The ban is nicknamed "the Mumia rule."

Cornel West says in the film: "The state is very clever in terms of keeping track, especially [of] the courageous and visionary ones, the ones that are long-distance runners. You can keep track of them, absorb 'em, dilute 'em, or outright kill 'em -- you don't have to worry about opposition to 'em."

"If you tell them the truth about the operation of our power this is what happens to you," he goes on. "Like Jesus on the cross. This is what happens to you."

During my four-and-a-half-hour conversation with Abu-Jamal I was not permitted a pencil or paper. I wrote down his quotes after I left the prison. My time with him mirrors the wider pattern of a society where the poor and the destitute are rendered invisible and voiceless.

Former US president slams drone attacks RT interview via ,Dec. 9,2012

WASHINGTON: Former US President Jimmy Carter has slammed American assassination drone strikes in other countries, saying that killing civilians in such attacks would in fact nurture terrorism.

"I personally think we do more harm than good by having our drones attack some potential terrorists who have not been tried or proven that they are guilty," Carter said in an interview with Russia Today.

"But in the meantime, the drone attacks also kill women and children, sometimes in weddings... so this is the kind of thing we should correct," he added.

Carter, who served as US president from 1976 to 1980, also criticized incumbent American policy makers for violating the country's "long-standing policy" of "preserving the privacy of US citizens."

"We now pass laws that permit eavesdropping on private phone calls and private communication," he noted, explaining that in the past, in order to do that, the government had to obtain a court ruling that proved the nation's national security was at risk, "which was very rare, but now it's done all over America."

"We need to back off [and] restore basic human rights as spelled out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)," the former US president underlined.

He concluded by saying that there are 30 paragraphs in the UDHR, "and at present time, my country, the US, is violating 10 out of the 30." (Monitoring Desk)

Gareth Peirce argues that the USA and UK over the last ten years have undermined the basic human rights which the people have gained since the 17th century.
Now it is considered legal and morally or ethically acceptable to target someone for assassination even though they have not been put on trial or were tried in abstentia proving their guilt.
The government can arrest someone and place them in indefinite detention for ever if they so desire. The so-called detainee we are told has no rights and can be abused or tortured .

Gareth Peirce is a British lawyer who represents individuals who have been the subject of rendition and torture, or held in captivity on the basis of secret evidence. This excerpt is from her new book, Dispatches from the Dark Side: On Torture and the Death of Justice (Verso).

Why We Torture What do we do once we know? by Gareth Peirce via ,Dec. 12,2012

The last several years have found us in the midst of more catastrophes than we could ever, in our worst nightmares, have dreamed of. We could never have envisaged that the history of the new century would encompass the destruction and distortion of fundamental Anglo-American legal and political constitutional principles in place since the 17th century.

Habeas corpus has been abandoned for the outcasts of the new order in both the US and the UK, secret courts have been created to hear secret evidence, guilt has been inferred by association, torture and rendition nakedly justified (in the UK our government's lawyers continue to argue positively for the right to use the product of both) and vital international conventions consolidated in the aftermath of the Second World War - the Geneva Convention, the Refugee Convention, the Torture Convention - have been deliberately avoided or ignored

It is the bitterest of ironies that John Lilburne, the most important organizer of the rights we in this country and the United States claim and on which our respective constitutions, written and unwritten, were built, achieved this in large part as a consequence of his having been himself subjected to torture, to accusations based on secret evidence and heard by a secret court, to being shackled and held in extremes of isolation which exposed him nevertheless to public humiliation and condemnation.

...Lilburne’s principled and public stance and the extraordinary political movement of which he was part, the Levellers, produced far more than a brief reaction of abhorrence to the use of torture and arbitrary imprisonment. By the end of the 17th century, there had crystallized the foundation of the concepts upon which we draw now (and which we constantly choose to forget or ignore) – most importantly the concept of inalienable rights that pertain to the individual and not to the state. The Levellers insisted that the inalienable rights were possessed by the people and were conferred on them not by Parliament, but by God; no justification by the state could therefore ever justify their violation. For the preservation of these and the limitation of parliamentary power, the Levellers formulated a written constitution; never adopted in England, in the new world it became a political reality. In both countries, due process – the legal concept that gives effect to the idea of fairness – was born from these ideas.

Once evidence of any country’s willingness to resort to torture is exposed, reactions of decency and humanity can be invoked without the necessity of legal explanation. Less likely is any instinctive reaction to evidence in the destruction of concepts of procedural fairness. Yet, in the imprecision and breadth of accusations, leading in turn to the banning of books and the criminalization of ideas and religious thought, and in the wrong committed by secret courts hearing secret evidence, the lessons of John Lilburne and Star Chamber have been in the last ten years deliberately abandoned and sustained battles have still to be fought to reclaim the majority.

and so it goes,

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