Saturday, April 19, 2008

saturday reads

In shocking testimonies that reveal abductions, beatings and torture, Israeli soldiers confess the horror they have visited on Hebron.

Senior officials bypassed army chief to introduce interrogation methods.

Three weeks after U.S. troops were ordered into the sprawling Shiite Muslim slum of Sadr City to stop rockets from raining down on the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad's Green Zone, they're caught in crossfire between Shiite militiamen and the mostly Shiite Iraqi army.

South African dockworkers refuse to unload cargo of weapons bound for Zimbabwe.

The Lincoln-Douglas Debates of 1858 (Slight Return)

The 3 Trillion Dollar Shopping Spree

Shout Out Louds at the Paradiso 13-04-2008

Friday, April 18, 2008

friday reads

Nato forces mistakenly supplied food, water and arms to Taliban forces in southern Afghanistan, officials today admitted.

Grits for Breakfast: After all the hoopla about child brides...

The new payola?

Emptywheel: Some Perspective on the Bush Administration Fight Against Terrorism

Even Richard Nixon never reached 67% disapproval.

Digby: Death By A Thousand Trivial Smears

Jenna Bush prepares for the Big Day

friday random ten

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

wednesday reads

Bombs, Violence Kill 60 in Northern Iraq

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has found that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which claims that National Security Letters (NSLs) take too long and that it needs the authority to conduct surveillance without judicial oversight, delayed its own investigation of a student suspected of links to terrorism by employing an improper NSL to seek information on the suspect, at the direction of FBI Headquarters. The FBI failed to report the misuse for almost two years.

Itty Bitty Torture Committee

In northern Afghanistan it appears some parents are being driven by poverty and hunger to marry off their daughters at an early age.

The Dallas VA Medical Center has effectively closed its psychiatric wing after a fourth mentally ill patient this year committed suicide.

Vancouver transit riders tasered for not paying fares.

McSame's gas tax plan to help poor oil companies.

A confederacy of dunces

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

torture nation...

The invaluble Dan Froomkin

President Bush says he was aware that his top aides met in the White House basement to micromanage the application of waterboarding and other widely-condemned interrogation techniques. And he says it was no big deal.


It's true that it has been widely assumed and occasionally reported that the CIA's use of brutal interrogation techniques could be traced back to the White House on a general level. But it was most definitely new last week when ABC News reported that a group of Bush's top aides, including Vice President Cheney, took part in meetings where they explicitly discussed and approved -- literally blow by blow -- tactics such as waterboarding. And while Bush has previously defended these tactics -- vaguely, and insisting against all evidence that they did not amount to torture -- he had not, until now, acknowledged that he personally OK'd them beforehand.

If you consider what the government did to be torture, which is a crime according to U.S. and international law, Bush's statement shifts his role from being an accessory after the fact to being part of a conspiracy to commit.

Will Bunch asks Barack Obama whether his administration would seek to prosecute Bush administration officials on the revelations that they greenlighted torture and other potential crimes that took plasce in the White House.
The bottom line is that: Obama sent a clear signal that -- unlike impeachment, which he's ruled out and which now seems a practical impossibility -- he is at the least open to the possibility of investigating potential high crimes in the Bush White House. To many, the information that waterboarding -- which the United States has considered torture and a violation of law in the past -- was openly planned out in the seat of American government is evidence enough to at least start asking some tough questions in January 2009.

Michael Collins: Zubaydah, Bush and the Bureaucracy of Torture

Joel Pett
Lexington Herald-Leader
Apr 15, 2008

Please join the ACLU and Crooks and Liars in demanding an Independent Council to investigate this Adminitration's approval of torture and abuse.

Monday, April 14, 2008

torture nation

Chris Floyd

The President of the United States has openly, proudly admitted that he approved the use of interrogation methods that are by every measure -- including the measure of United States law -- criminal acts of torture. It is one of the most brazen and scandalous confessions of wrongdoing ever uttered by an American leader -- and it has had no impact whatsoever. No scandal, no outcry, no protest, no prosecution.

This pattern has recurred over and over throughout the Bush Administration. Bush and his minions commit crimes and atrocities in secret; they move heaven and earth to conceal their filthy deeds; they squirm and squeal like panicked rats when their some small portion of their evil comes to light; they belch forth a relentless series of self-contradictory lies to cover up, obfuscate or explain away the crimes; and when at last their malefactions can no longer be denied, they trot out the president himself to say: "Yeah, we did it; so what?" And then....nothing happens.

And now nothing is happening again. It is an astounding phenomenon. Bush is the most widely despised president in modern times. The war he launched on false pretenses against Iraq is deeply unpopular, and is plainly bankrupting the country. His economic policies have plunged millions into ruin, want and insecurity. The opposition political party controls the Congress -- a bastion they could have used as a bully pulpit to rally the public and as a battering ram to bring down an openly criminal, shamelessly unconstitutional, dangerous, illegitimate regime. And yet....nothing happens.

Emptywheel patiently awaits for the press to notice that bu$h has admitted to instituting a torture regime.

Digby: Torture Nation

clammyc: This Is Not Torture

Cheney, Torture and the Chance to Restore the Rule of Law

I'm Not Bitter - I'm Outraged

Your Legacy Mr. President - Chapter One: War Crimes

D-Day: "A War Of Sexual Humiliation"

Please join the ACLU and Crooks and Liars in demanding an Independent Council to investigate this Adminitration's approval of torture and abuse.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Bush Admits To Knowledge of Torture Authorization by Top Advisers

ACLU Calls for Independent Counsel to Investigate Administration’s Approval of Torture and Abuse


ACLU Washington Legislative Office, (202) 675-2312 or
National ACLU, (917) 251-8654 or

WASHINGTON – In a stunning admission to ABC news Friday night, President Bush declared that he knew his top national security advisers discussed and approved specific details of the CIA’s use of torture. Bush reportedly told ABC, “I’m aware our national security team met on this issue. And I approved.” Bush also defended the use of waterboarding.

Recent reports indicate that high-level advisers including Dick Cheney, Condoleeza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell and George Tenet were part of the National Security Council’s “Principals Committee” that met regularly and approved the CIA’s use of “combined” “enhanced” interrogation techniques, even pushing the limits of the now infamous 2002 Justice Department “torture memo.” These top advisers reportedly signed off on how the CIA would interrogate suspects – whether they would be slapped, deprived of sleep or subjected to simulated drowning.

“We have always known that the CIA’s use of torture was approved from the very top levels of the U.S. government, yet the latest revelations about knowledge from the president himself and authorization from his top advisers only confirms our worst fears,” said Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU. “It is a very sad day when the president of the United States subverts the Constitution, the rule of law, and American values of justice.”

Romero added, “It is more important than ever that the U.S. government, when seeking justice against those it suspects of harming us, adhere to our commitment to due process and the rule of law. That’s why the ACLU has taken the extraordinary step to offer our assistance to those being prosecuted under the unconstitutional military commissions process. We unfortunately can’t erase or make up for what has already happened, but at least we can attempt to restore some of the values and some semblance of due process that the Bush administration has squandered in the name of national security.”

The American Civil Liberties Union is calling on Congress to demand an independent prosecutor to investigate possible violations by the Bush administration of laws including the War Crimes Act, the federal Anti-Torture Act, and federal assault laws.

“No one in the executive branch of government can be trusted to fairly investigate or prosecute any crimes since the head of every relevant department, along with the president and vice president, either knew or participated in the planning and approval of illegal acts,” said Caroline Fredrickson, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office. “Congress cannot look the other way; it must demand an independent investigation and independent prosecutor.”

Fredrickson added, "Congress is duty-bound by the Constitution not only to hold the president, vice president, and all civil officers to account, but it must also send a message to future presidents that it will use its constitutional powers to prevent illegal, and immoral conduct."

The ACLU’s letter calling for an independent prosecutor for torture crimes and any criminal cover up is available at:

ABC’s recent news story is available online at:

Information on the ACLU’s Freedom of Information Act lawsuit revealing information on the U.S.’s treatment of detainees is available online at:

How You Can Fight, Help Expose US Gov. Torture Programs