Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Global Protest Support Bahrain's Pro-Reform Movement & Political Prisoner Whistleblower Bradley Manning's 1000 Days Indefinite Detention & America "A Beacon Of Injustice"


Just a friendly reminder to Amnesiac Americans that torture includes other techniques besides "waterboarding"

...The UN Convention Against Torture defines torture as "…the intentional infliction of severe physical or mental pain or suffering for purposes such as obtaining information or a confession, or punishing, intimidating or coercing someone." Torture is always illegal. "No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture."

Abuse of prisoners doesn’t have to be torture to be illegal. Cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment (CID) is also illegal under international and U.S. law. CID includes any harsh or neglectful treatment that could damage a detainee’s physical or mental health or any punishment intended to cause physical or mental pain or suffering, or to humiliate or degrade the person being punished.

Torture and Other Ill-Treatment Amnesty International

President Obama and the American government and its quisling media allegedly support reform and pro-democracy popular uprisings in any country but this is only true in those countries in which the US dislike the current regime Syria, Iran . In other countries such as Saudi Arabia and Bahrain Obama and his followers ignore all together or downplay the the abuse by these governments or erroneously blame the reform movements on foreign provocateurs or as being sectarian in nature .
Bahrain's Shia population don't want some form of Sharia law as practiced by Saudi Arabia, or the Taliban but instead are agitating for parliamentary democracy where each person gets to vote and that there be a an accountable and a fair judicial system and freedom of the press, freedom of speech and freedom of assembly.


But it should be noted no matter how fuzzy inside some people felt during Obama's SOTU speech they should judge Obama on his abysmal human rights record .
Even Americans as we saw during the Occupy crack down no longer have the freedom of assembly.
If Obama had meant what he said in his State of the Union address he would first apologize to those who took part in the Occupy protests who were unnecessarily roughed up, pepper sprayed, maced and incarcerated , intimidated, threatened, bullied, their cameras and other personal belongings destroyed or confiscated .
Secondly Obama would instruct the FBI or whomever it should be investigate the unconstitutional widespread draconian brutal crack down by local police forces and to take substantive action against those who abused their authority.

Press TV Bahrain 2nd Anniversary of the popular protests of The Reform Movements


video

Americans want to believe that they are a force for positive change but the US has often been on the wrong side of history at least since it began engineering coups to topple leaders they did not like . It didn't matter if the people of the targeted nation approved of the leader what mattered was America's approval. So the US toppled leaders in the Middle East in Asia, Africa and Latin America to put in place their own puppet regimes that would ignore the needs of the citizens of that nation and do the bidding of America . This is the very definition of imperialism.

When the American public is able to defend the indefensible such as torture, renditions , crack downs on peaceful protesters and jailing and or harrassing dissidents or alleged terrorists and insurgents they open the flood gates to more abuses and eventually once the abuses are acceptable in other countries supported by America then eventually the US government may start committing the same human rights violations in America itself. And all they have to do is claim their actions are due to National Security and most of the Media and the American public accept the government at its word.


While President Obama and the American media decry poitical prisoners arrested and held in Iranian prison they ignore the plight of political prisoner Bradley Manning who has been abused and tortured under the direction of President Obama during his 1,000 days of his incarceration. Bradley Manning was alleged to have leaked government documents to Wikileaks. Obama also has little or nothing to say about the suicide of hactivists Aaron Swartz who's crime was to download academic papers from the internet and was harrased and threatened with a a one million dollar fine and up to 32 years in jail. The consensus of his family , friends and collegues is that the pressure put on him by the US government led to his suicide.

Meanwhile the USA put out a warrant for the arrest of Julian Assange of Wikileaks for allegedly exposing government secret documents . Julian Assange for a number of months now is living in the Ecudorian Embassy in London after the Ecudorian government granted him asylum.

And while Obama and American media decry harsh crackdown on protesters in Iran they ignore and make excuses for a similar cracdown in Bahrain and in Saudi Arabia and other American friendly nations.
And it appears in the Nation of Amnesiacs Americans forget about the brutal crack down of the Occupy Movement protests by the heavily armed militarized police across America .


40 Cities Around Globe Set to Protest 1,000th Day of Bradley Manning's Imprisonment
The source behind WikiLeaks' massive expose of U.S. foreign policy has been in jail for close to three years. Alternet.org, Feb. 19, 2013


40 cities around the world are set to mark the 1,000th day of WikiLeaks source Bradley Manning’s imprisonment. Manning’s whistleblowing acts will be honored and his imprisonment without a speedy trial denounced this weekend in places ranging from Denver to Rome to Sydney.

Manning is alleged to have been the source behind massive amounts of information WikiLeaks exposed, including the State Department cables that exposed nefarious dealings in U.S. foreign policy as well as the “Collateral Murder” video that showed U.S. Army helicopters firing and killing Iraqi civilians.

The rallies around the world are being organized by the Bradley Manning Support Network. “Supporters are gathering in cities across the U.S., Europe and Australia for marches, rallies, art installations, concerts, live theater, and other events to criticize the unjust prosecution and raise awareness about Manning's case,” the network states.

Manning’s court martial trial is set for June of this year--three years after his initial arrest. His imprisonment by the military was marked by punitive abuse that included isolation and his clothes being removed from him. A UN rapporteur called Manning’s conditions “cruel, inhuman and degrading,” and earlier this year a judge confirmed that Manning’s conditions were excessively harsh and constituted pretrial punishment, which is prohibited under military law.

While US troops in Iraq were told that whatever they did the military would defend their actions so they could abuse, rape and kill civilians since all Iraqis whom they refer to as Hajis were all potential suicide bombers,terrorists,insurgents or spies and that the only good Haji is a dead Haji . These soldiers were told from boot camp on that all Muslims and Arabs are America's enemies and are the enemies of Christianity and therefore on the side of evil or even the devil .
So with impunity with a few exceptions US troops committed various Crimes and atrocities, rape, mass murders and went hunting humans just for pleasure and to fulfill their weekly body count during the occupation and conquest of Iraq

So it is no surprise given this mind set of paranoia and fear that many US soldiers were a bit trigger happy and many of them justified whatever atrocities they committed as part of their patriotic duty and to defend Christianity and Western Civilization.

Checkpoint Killings Al Jazeera

Uploaded on 22 Oct 2010

The Iraq war documents from WikiLeaks contain details of hundreds of civilian deaths at US military checkpoints.




US turned blind eye to torture Leaked documents on Iraq war contain thousands of allegations of abuse, but a Pentagon order told troops to ignore them. by Gregg Carlston at AlJazeera, Oct. 24, 2010.


An alleged militant identified only as "DAT 326" was detained by the Iraqi army on July 7, 2006 at a checkpoint in the town of Tarmiya, north of Baghdad. When US forces interrogated him later that night, he described hours of brutal abuse at the hands of the Iraqi soldiers, an allegation apparently backed by the findings of a medical exam.

DAT 326 states he was told to lay down on his stomach with his hands behind his back, which is when the Iraqi soldiers allegedly stepped, jumped, urinated and spit on him.

[…] DAT 326 was evaluated and treated for his injuries at Cobra Clinic. Injuries include blurred vision, diminished hearing in left ear, bleeding in ears, bruising on forehead, neck, chest, back, shoulders, arms, hands, and thighs, cuts over the left eye and on the upper and lower lips, hemorrhaging eyes, blood in nasal cavities, and swollen hands/wrists.

Since the alleged torture was committed by Iraqi forces, the US quickly dropped the case: "Due to no allegation or evidence of US involvement, a US investigation is not being initiated," the report said.

A review of the leaked documents reveals more than 1,000 allegations of abuse committed by Iraqi security forces. Not all of them are credible, as some detainees showed no physical evidence of abuse, while others changed their stories during multiple interrogations.

But hundreds of them – like "DAT 326" – are supported by medical evidence and other corroboration. Those reports demonstrate a clear pattern of abuse and torture in Iraqi jails, one that a high-level Pentagon directive barred US forces from investigating.

...One could argue, of course, that the decision to look the other way represents a clear moral failing – and a conscious decision to undermine US’ own stated goal of nation-building. The US has spent tens of millions of dollars to develop prisons, courts, and the “rule of law” in Iraq. But the leaked documents show that Iraq's security forces routinely violated the most basic rights of detainees in their custody, assaulting them, threatening their families, occasionally even raping or murdering them.

More importantly, many of the detainee abuse reports suggest that the US knowingly violated the United Nations Convention Against Torture.

The convention – which the United States ratified in 1994 – forbids signatories from transferring a detainee to other countries "where there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger of being subjected to torture".

The thousand-plus allegations of torture in Iraqi jails, many of them substantiated by medical evidence, clearly seem to constitute "substantial grounds" to believe that prisoners transferred to Iraqi custody could be tortured. Yet the US has transferred thousands of prisoners to Iraqi custody in recent years, including nearly 2,000 who were handed over to the Iraqis in July, 2010.

...In October 2006, for example, members of a Stryker battalion talked about detainee abuses committed by their unit, a report that was forwarded to a higher-level commander.

They said when persons were detained, the driver of the Stryker would call back to warn the soldiers that he was about to stop abruptly. The soldiers would hold on and watch as the detainee was propelled forward. PFC Palmer and unidentified SPC also explained how soldiers in the bank [sic] of the Stryker would take turns punching the detainees... on one occasion a Sunni detainee was extremely upset after the Stryker knowingly dropped the detainee off outside of a Shia mosque.

There are numerous other claims, of US troops allegedly beating detainees or threatening to kill their families
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America a beacon of injustice and abandonment of International Law to justify abusing prisoners and murdering civilians in order to terrorize the indigenous population in Iraq, Afghanistan etc.


Torture and Other Ill-Treatment Amnesty International


...The UN Convention Against Torture defines torture as "…the intentional infliction of severe physical or mental pain or suffering for purposes such as obtaining information or a confession, or punishing, intimidating or coercing someone." Torture is always illegal. "No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture."

Abuse of prisoners doesn’t have to be torture to be illegal. Cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment (CID) is also illegal under international and U.S. law. CID includes any harsh or neglectful treatment that could damage a detainee’s physical or mental health or any punishment intended to cause physical or mental pain or suffering, or to humiliate or degrade the person being punished.

...In the years since 9/11, the U.S. government has repeatedly violated both international and domestic prohibitions on torture and CID in the name of fighting terrorism.

* The Bush Administration decided the Geneva Conventions would not apply to detainees held in Guantánamo Bay (a decision later overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court) Article III of the Geneva Convention
* The Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel produced a series of “torture memos,” which mutilated the law so as to restrict the definition of CID and to make certain torture practices seem legal under U.S. law;
* U.S. interrogations of suspects in the “war on terror” have included such cruel and inhuman techniques as prolonged isolation and sleep deprivation, intimidation by the use of a dog, sexual and other humiliation, stripping, hooding, the use of loud music, white noise, and exposure to extreme temperatures;
* The CIA used waterboarding – illegal as torture under international and U.S. law – to interrogate three “high-value” detainees;
* The U.S. began to send detainees for interrogation to countries known to use torture;
* President Bush admitted that several high-level officials in his Administration met secretly to authorize specific interrogation methods otherwise prohibited.

Numerous instances of torture and CID by U.S. personnel – confirmed by U.S. officials who took part in or witnessed these events – have been fed by a climate of impunity and the failure of either the executive branch or Congress to conduct a comprehensive, impartial, and independent investigation into detention policies and practices.

This has had a corrosive effect on respect for human rights around the world. The U.S. has lost influence over the behavior of other governments. U.S. misconduct has encouraged others to feel they have license to violate international law. And these practices make U.S. citizens vulnerable to abusive treatment when they are abroad.

Amnesty International is calling on the United States to adhere to its own professed values and help strengthen, instead of weaken, international compliance with universal standards of human rights.

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