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GENEVA (9 December 2014) – Statement by United Nations Special Rapporteur on counter terrorism and human rights, Ben Emmerson, concerning the publication of the summary of the Feinstein report on crimes committed by the Bush-era CIA:
“I welcome the belated publication of the summary report by the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence into the crimes of torture and enforced disappearance of terrorist suspects by the Bush-era CIA. It has taken four years since the report was finalised to reach this point. The Administration is to be commended for resisting domestic pressure to suppress these important findings.
In my 2013 report* to the Human Rights Council as SpeciaI Rapporteur, I called on the US Government to release the report without further delay, and to ensure that it was published in full, without excessive and unnecessary redactions.
The summary of the Feinstein report which was released this afternoon confirms what the international community has long believed – that there was a clear policy orchestrated at a high level within the Bush administration, which allowed to commit systematic crimes and gross violations of international human rights law.
Tag Archives | War On Terror
via Canada Free Press:
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“The truth is that the State is a conspiracy designed not only to exploit, but above all to corrupt its citizens.”—Leo Tolstoy
My 7-year-old granddaughter has suddenly developed a keen interest in card games: Go Fish, Crazy Eights, Old Maid, Blackjack, and War. We’ve fallen into a set pattern now: every time we play, she deals the cards, and I pretend not to see her stacking the deck in her favor. And of course, I always lose.
I don’t mind losing to my granddaughter at Old Maid, knowing full well the game is rigged. For now, it’s fun and games, and she’s winning. Where the rub comes in is in knowing that someday she’ll be old enough to realize that being a citizen in the American police state is much like playing against a stacked deck: you’re always going to lose.
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Current and past U.S. officials, including former President George W. Bush, have mounted a campaign to try to block the release tomorrow of a Senate report detailing harsh interrogation tactics previously used by the CIA on suspected terrorists.
The opposition comes as Democrats on the Senate intelligence committee plan to release an executive summary of the 6,200-page report, which found the CIA used extreme interrogation methods at secret prisons more often than legally authorized and failed to disclose all the activities to lawmakers and other officials.
Despite warnings of retaliation abroad against Americans from those opposed to making the report public, the Obama administration supports its release, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said today.
“The president believes that, on principle, it’s important to release that report, so that people around the world and people here at home understand exactly what transpired,” he said. Earnest said the administration has taken steps to improve security at U.S.
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The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) is asking for ideas from the private sector on breakthrough technologies to guide military investment for the next decade and beyond, according to an article by futurist Patrick Tucker Wednesday in Defense One newsletter.
“On Wednesday, Defense Department officials issued a request for information calling on interested parties ‘to identify current and emerging technologies … that could provide significant military advantage to the United States and its partners and allies in the 2030 time frame,’” Tucker said.
It’s part of the Pentagon’s “ambitious plan to develop technology to put the United States decades ahead of rival nations like China and Russia in short period of time.”
The problem: predicting the tech future isn’t as simple as it used to be. “New breakthroughs are copied, innovated against and rendered obsolete as quickly as the Internet spreads to new portions of the globe.
via Tech Dirt:
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No sooner had I chastised the executive branch for its half-assery in all things 1033-related than it delivers its findings on the much-criticized program [pdf link]. A little over a week ago, I wrote this.
Others — including President Obama — promised to look into the program. Obama ordered the first top-level review of the Pentagon’s 1033 program in over 20 years, but weeks later, there’s been nothing reported.
The administration is now forcing me to eat my words, having responded fairly quickly to my caustic single-sentence editorial. The pithily-titled “Review: Federal Support for Law Enforcement Equipment Acquisition” has been released, detailing the review’s findings and concerns about the Pentagon’s “An MRAP in every PD” program.
The opening “Background” plays up a few talking points:
Particularly in the years since September 11, 2001, Congress and the Executive Branch have steadily increased spending and support for these programs, in light of legitimate concerns about the growing threat of terrorism, shrinking local budgets, and the relative ease with which some criminals are able to obtain high-powered weapons.
via The Atlantic:
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As the geopolitical satire turns 10, it reminds of how much the world has and hasn’t changed.
To remember what the world felt like to a lot of people in the fall of 2004, look no further than the opening scene of Team America: World Police, the South Park-driven marionette action spoof/international affairs crash course/musical that was released during one of the most divisive election seasons ever.
Islamic terrorists are just about to detonate a weapon of mass destruction in Paris before an elite squad of swaggering American puppet commandos confront them. The Americans foil the terrorists’ designs, but not without also laying to fiery waste the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, and the Louvre.
After all the terrorists are dead (one is blasted through the window of a baguette shop) and the Parisians look around mouth-agape at their half-demolished city, one member of Team America gives his Patton speech: “Bonjour, everyone!
Surprise! Wonkblog shows the stats on what we all knew anyway: American military intervention only causes more terrorism:
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Last year saw the highest number of terrorist incidents since 2000, according to the latest Global Terrorism Index released by the Institute for Economics and Peace. Worldwide, the number of terrorist incidents increased from less than 1,500 in 2000 to nearly 10,000 in 2013. Sixty percent of attacks last year occurred in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria and Syria.
The report suggests that U.S. foreign policy has played a big role in making the problem worse: “The rise in terrorist activity coincided with the US invasion of Iraq,” it concludes. “This created large power vacuums in the country allowing different factions to surface and become violent.” Indeed, among the five countries accounting for the bulk of attacks, the U.S. has prosecuted lengthy ground wars in two (Iraq and Afghanistan), a drone campaign in one (Pakistan), and airstrikes in a fourth (Syria).
Aaron Dames writes for Divided Core:
On the eve of Veterans Day, President Obama announced that he will send another 1,500 Americans troops to Iraq to advise the Iraqi military on how to fight militants in a civil war.
While not seeking Congressional approval for the troop surge, the White House intends to request $5.6 billion for this latest military campaign, the end of which is nowhere in sight. This at a time when cost of the decade-long war in Iraq has exceeded $2 trillion ($6,250 for each American citizen), which makes it one of the most expensive clusterfucks in modern history. Yet war spells profit for numerous weapons manufacturers (roughly half of all the weapons in the world are sold by the United States), military contractors, and oil companies, all of which have joined hands with the mainstream media to churn out war propaganda and lies while funding the election campaigns of unscrupulous politicians who later vote to re-direct taxpayer dollars to their corporate sponsors.… Read the rest
[Editor’s note: For future reference, Willis Gordon will be running a column on Disinfo.com: “Photobombing Salman Rushdie.”]
I initially wrote this to be presented to a crowd of highbrow poets and writers in the aftermath of the Brooklyn Book Festival. Considering my audience, I started reading up on classic poets and philosophers and found myself revisiting some of my favorite English Philosophers to get a handle on America’s current events. One of these sages, the Philosopher Jagger once said in 1968 that “in sleepy London town there’s just no place for a street fighting man.”
That was 44 years ago. That sleepy London Town is now the entire American landscape, and the street fighting man has not been displaced by some massively oppressive police force, totalitarian government, private death squad or even overfunded espionage tactics. It was us. We are so afraid of true revolution, or even change, that we have conditioned ourselves to shrink back from any indication of it.… Read the rest
Abby Martin goes over some of the phrases and terms that are used by politicians in order to dehumanize victims of war and absolve top policy makers from responsibility.