“Surely in a democracy it's time for us to quit being sentimental and say the question we settle in an election is not whether elites shall rule, but which elite shall rule”.Conservative pundit George Will said on ABC’s This Week,(via Real News Network)
At the moment I'm following two stories involving the USA and Iraq and more torture and a third about the immigration bill in Arizona.
Actually another permutation is that whether Americans are in Iraq or in Arizona they get to play out their racist fantasies and their urge to Kill Em All.
Bulletin This just off the wire: Rachel Maddow
Tucson Sheriff calls AZ Law Racist & Unconstitutional - Rachel Maddow
April 28, 2010 — Rachel Maddow talks to Arizona's Pima County Sheriff, Clarence Dupnik about new immigration law. From MSNBC & msnbc.com
UPDATED: 4:00 AM April 30, 2010 -I will add more later today or in tomorrow's edition
First up today bulletin from Hate Watch at Southern Poverty law Center about the racist hate mongers responsible for the new draconian immigration law in Arizona.
The law could be construed as being a big step towards Apartheid South African style or an incremental or a giant leap towards Apartheid . It brings to mind Gandhi in South Africa burning his " Pass Book" which all non-whites had to present to any authority who asked otherwise they went to jail.
Hate Group Lawyer Drafted Arizona’s Anti-Immigrant Law by Heidi Beirich April 28, 2010
...It’s not surprising to find a group like FAIR behind this repugnant law. FAIR has an extensive track record of racism and bigotry. The group, for example, has accepted $1.2 million from the racist Pioneer Fund, a foundation established to promote the genes of white colonials and fund studies of race, intelligence and genetics.
FAIR has employed key staffers who have also joined white supremacist groups; it has board members who write regularly for hate publications; it promotes racist conspiracy theories about Latino immigrants; and it has produced television programming featuring white nationalists.
FAIR has been dominated for much of its life by its racist founder and current board member, John Tanton, who has written that “for European-American society and culture to persist requires a European-American majority, and a clear one at that.” Tanton’s role model for FAIR is John Trevor Sr., founder of the racist American Coalition of Patriotic Societies and a key architect of the racially restrictive Immigration Act of 1924. Trevor also distributed pro-Nazi propaganda and warned shrilly of “diabolical Jewish control” of America. Tanton once said Trevor should serve as FAIR’s “guidepost to what we must follow again this time.”
FAIR’s president, Dan Stein, has warned that immigrants are engaged in “competitive breeding” aimed at diminishing white power. He led efforts to win funding from the Pioneer Fund, saying in 1993 that his “job [was] to get every dime of Pioneer’s money.” Stein also served as editorial adviser to Tanton’s hate journal, The Social Contract, at a time when it ran its ugliest edition ever, “Europhobia: The Hostility Toward European-Descended Americans.” The issue’s lead article argued that multiculturalism was replacing “successful Euro-American culture” with “dysfunctional Third World cultures.” Stein has declined to offer any criticism of FAIR’s founder, instead characterizing Tanton last September as a “Renaissance man.”
The principal sponsor of the Arizona law, state Sen. Russell Pearce, has his own history of hate. In 2006, Pearce forwarded an email to his supporters from the neo-Nazi National Alliance titled “Who Rules America?” The article criticized the media for promoting multiculturalism and racial equality, and for presenting the Holocaust as fact. More recently, Pearce has been photographed hugging J.T. Ready, a Phoenix-area resident who is a member of the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement.
Anyway Obama wants to go at least one step further than the Evil Neoconned President Bush in using illegal, unethical, immoral and in the long run probably self-defeating.
Drone Wars coming to a country or a city near you. Maybe they'll mistakenly attack your neighborhood with a drone or two blowing up your street to catch a suspected terrorist or just some run of the mill murderer-so they kill a dozen innocent people wel you by your silence support such lethal methods.
Or maybe it'll just be a couple of Ninja CIA Specialists or the local police- the point is the same as it was during Bush' Reign that you can't toss out the rule of law , common decency and what's left of your humanity or your soul just to catch a few bad apples thesis, theory or cover-up or rationalization.
The other day a White House spokes person or maybe it was Pres' Obama stateing that there only a few Al Qaeda left at most a thous but he said that and then turns around and says he needs the power to unleash death upon suspects no matter where they happen to be and so kidnap or murder on the spot on the street or while the suspect is in his or her bed sleeping. That seems a bit cold to say the least.
Obama continuing to deny POWs or"detainees" their rights as enemy combatants or as human beings. Not everyone rounded up by American soldiers is guilty of the acts they are accused. Even under Obama most American citizens don't care about Iraqis or Afghans who are arrested with little or no substantial body of evidence . So we could expect that these targeted assassinations will be no more effective and so innocent civilians will get murdered by the US gov't.
Having watched American foreign policies over the last forty years this new policy of targeted assassinations is really nothing new. The US has used their own personnel or trained soldiers and police of foreign countries how to carry out these assassinations ie Death Squads Honduras even today is Honduran civilians are being hunted down and kidnapped tortured just for fun and then shot. The US has never taken responsibility for these deaths in Central and South America which they condoned to ensure no populist government could be formed or that its days were numbered as Chile's Allende found out as Pres. Zelaya of Honduras now knows his country's sovereignty was and is dependent on having a pro-American anti-unions anti-dissident antiDemocratic government which protects the elite while allowing the poor to starve in the streets. That after all is the American dream in which those with the talent, the energy and not bound by any morality get to be wealthy while everyone else scrambles for the scraps from the rich man's table.
ACLU to Obama: ‘Entire World is Not a War Zone’ by Daniel Tencer at Raw Story April 28, 2010
"Such a program of long-premeditated and bureaucratized killing is plainly not limited to targeting genuinely imminent threats," Romero wrote in his letter. "Any such program is far more sweeping than the law allows and raises grave constitutional and human rights concerns."
Romero argued that the alleged program could set a dangerous precedent for other nations, which could result in foreign governments killing US citizens on home soil.
The program you have reportedly endorsed is not simply illegal but also unwise, because how our country responds to the threat of terrorism will in large measure determine the rules that govern every nation's conduct in similar contexts. If the United States claims the authority to use lethal force against suspected enemies of the U.S. anywhere in the world - using unmanned drones or other means - then other countries will regard that conduct as justified. The prospect of foreign governments hunting and killing their enemies within our borders or those of our allies is abhorrent.
But the US government under President Bush declared that certain methods of abusing prisoners of intimidation, phony executions, slapping prisoners denying them proper food and shelter or confiscating a prisoner's Holy Text whatever that might be Qur'an or Bible or TaoTe Ching or even a copy of The Heart Sutra refusing to allow them to pray, (How would a Christian prisoner feel if his captors did this to him robbing him of his faith and his dignity or even not allowing prisoners to speak to one another or even to themselves -Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Condoleeza Rice , Alberto Gonzales , Karl Rove et al refered to international laws regarding abuse of prisoners as Quaint and laughable. So if the USA even under Obama's presidency has rejected any international agreement they wish to then the US is operating as a Rogue Nation which will do whatever it wants to because no country or groups of countries has any say over what America does or doesn't do.
As many people have written or spoken about this issue the facts on the ground as it were is that the US has lost any moral or legal right to complain about how other nations treat POWs, Enemy Combatants or so called "Detainees" even if those incarcerated are American citizens.
So the International Community sans USA can criticize Iraq's puppet regime for abusing thousand of prisoners and could send in various human rights organizations such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty international, Doctors Without borders, the International Committee of the Red Cross and its partner Red Crescent but if the US lets them in they will still not be given complete freedom to do their job not just in Baghdad but to find out if there are or have been other facilities run by Iraqis or the Occupying forces under the command of the Americans. Of course not .
What is incredible to those of us outside the US is that many Americans have bought the Bush/Cheney/Fox News/CNN etc. propaganda that there were only a few American personnel involved in prisoner abuse yet military personnel who were in Iraq tell a very different story-Iraq became shortly after the invasion a Free Fire Zone and all Iraqis were considered legitimate targets and according to the Bush Regime those Iraqis captured were firstly assumed to be guilty of something and secondly all Iraqis it was assumed knew something about the Terrorists and the Insurrectionists and thirdly those incarcerated had no legal status visa vie human rights & the Geneva Conventions.
The issue concerning Obama is that he too wants the world to believe that torture and abuse of prisoners were isolated incidents and not sanctioned from higher up but we know the orders to get results came from the Oval office.Dick Cheney & Bush etc. were kept informed and up to date to the point that they were in contact by phone or video with interrogators who were at that moment engaged in illegal activities such as torture and abuse. And more and more stories are coming out about prisoner abuse in American federal, state and municipal prisons. Without following up on investigations and indictments it means that anyone in authority can get away with just about anything.
And now all these idiots who should have been investigated charged if warranted with various crimes and tried not in a US court but by those Kangaroo courts known as "Military Tribunals" in which the person is considered guilty and must prove their innocence. Odd how so many Americans see nothing amiss in these phony trials and even if they start using civil courts there is no guarantee that these persons would get a fair trial as Glenn Beck and others have suggested the government should just issue orders that these prisoners be executed without trials. To Beck & others this makes since they conclude without seeing any concrete evidence that all those incarcerated are guilty of something.
One can imagine quite easily one of these outspoken persons at a Tea Party Rally or a pro-gun rally being kidnapped and black bagged in the middle of the night and kept in a secret prison where they would be abused, humiliated and tortured because they must after all know something. If such incidents occur the rest of the world should give a tinker's damn about the US government mistreating its own citizens since even the Obama administration has no problems with renditioning suspects (kidnapping) and keeping prisoners for an indeterminate time a few days weeks, months years - all those quaint laws do not apply we are told to the US military, Special Forces , the CIA, the FBI, your local Sheriff, or county jail guards or State and Federal Prison guards.
Detainees Tortured in Secret Iraq Jail Officials Involved at All Levels Should Face Trial at Scoop Human Rights Watch Press Release
Iraqi authorities systematically and routinely tortured detainees at a secret prison in Baghdad. Detainees were hung upside down, nearly suffocated with dirty bags, beaten with belts and other implements until they passed out, and then revived with electrical shocks. Security officials pulled out fingernails and broke teeth.
The 42 prisoners, interviewed Monday by Human Rights Watch, also gave accounts of sodomy and rape. The physical evidence -- the welts and scars on their bodies -- appeared fresh.
The detainees, accused of aiding and abetting terrorism but not charged with any crimes, were Sunni Arabs from the Mosul area. The prison, in the old Muthanna airport in West Baghdad, was under the control of the Shi'ite-led Iraqi government. The responsibility doesn't just lie with the torturers, but up the chain of command.
and from AP April 29 Iraqi men tortured at prison near Baghdad, Human Rights Watch says
... Some of the detainees, mostly Sunni Muslims from the northern city of Mosul, were beaten by Iraqi guards so badly they lost teeth and urinated blood for days afterward, said the report by New York-based Human Rights Watch. Others were raped, received electric shocks to their genitals and were deprived of air, the report said.
The Iraqi government quickly shut down the prison after the abuse was revealed last week, and either released or transferred its 431 detainees to another facility. The government also vowed to investigate the abuses, and three army officers have been arrested in connection with the case.
The reports of abuse at the secret facility at the old Muthanna airport in west Baghdad has angered the country's Sunni population, which sees it as another example of persecution at the hands of Iraq's Shiite-led government.
Dalshad Zebari, a Sunni lawmaker from Nineveh province, where most of the detainees were from, called on the U.N. and the International Red Cross for an investigation "of these human rights violations and to force the Iraqi government to make public the names of those involved in these cruel crimes."
and so it goes,