“This is not change,” ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero correctly told the Associated Press. “Candidate Obama ran on a platform that would reform the abuse of state secrets, but President Obama’s Justice Department has disappointingly reneged on that important civil liberties issue.”
A Gallup Poll released February 12 revealed that 62 percent of Americans want to investigate or criminally prosecute Bush administration officials who authorized torture in the so-called “war on terror.” But even hough President Obama has said numerous times that “nobody’s above the law,” on February 10 he used the Bush administration’s “state secrets” gambit to quash a lawsuit attempting to penalize some of those involved in renditioning torture subjects.
Vice-Admiral Albert Church: US abused/tortured prisoners to death in Afghanistan
The ACLU has managed to acquire incompletely redacted Federal documents that substantiate charges that US interrogators indeed did abuse/torture prisoners to death in Afghanistan as early as 2002.
Find the documents here.
A chilling passage from the report by Vice-Admiral Albert Church:
The behavior alleged in the Deember 2002 Bagram death cases was clearly abusive, and clearly not in keeping with any approved interrogation policies or guidelines. In both instances the deaths followed interrogation sessions in which unauthorized techniques were allegedly employed, but in both cases these sessions were followed by further alleged abusive behavior outside of the interrogation booth.
The second page of the report details prisoners
being handcuffed to objects above their heads in order to keep them awake. Additionally, interrogations in both incidents involved physical violence, including kicking, beating, and the use of “compliance blows” which involved striking the PUC’s legs with the MP’s knees. In both cases, blunt force trauma to the legs was implicated in the deaths. In one case a pulmonary embolism developed as a consequence of blunt force trauma…
from Greens for Greens
CounterPunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names
On the Rocks
By ALEXANDER COCKBURN
I write these words at the end of a week in which:
A new Democratic president, Barack Obama, via his Attorney General, has explicitly endorsed Bush’s policy on renditions and Bush’s refusal to recognize the jurisdiction of US courts in any legal proceedings in this regard; also a week in which Obama’s solicitor general has explicitly endorsed Bush’s policy on enemy combatants.
I write not long after the New York Times reported that state welfare rolls are actually shrinking in months when unemployment has risen to real totals of 17 and 18 per cent – 1.7 million in Dec and Jan, hence when more and more people are in desperate straits.
I told ya….
- William Grigg predicts that Obama will be worse than Bush.
- Steve Funk writes
- Less foreign military interventionism? NOPE
- Ending the insane war on drugs? NOPE
- Defunding G.W. Bush’s “faith-based initiatives”? NOPE
- Halting illegal government wiretaps and repealing FISA? NOPE
- No more taxpayer bailouts of Wall Street and big business? NOPE
- Cutting reckless government spending and reducing the $10+ trillion federal debt? NOPE
- Reforming our doomed Social Security program? NOPE
- Reducing the influence of PACs and lobbyists? NOPE
- Lifting the Cuban trade and travel embargo? NOPE
- Becky points out that Obama was partially responsible for the passage of gay-bashing Prop. 8 in California. He did nothing to stop pro-Prop 8 forces from calling millions of people with a recording of him saying “I believe marriage is a union between a man and a woman. Now, for me as a Christian, it is also a sacred union. God is in the mix.” He did not campaign against the measure.
Ironically, it was the huge black turnout, triggered by their enthusiasm to put [Obama] in the the White House, that ensured passage of Proposition 8. Exit polls show it was opposed by whites, Latinos were evenly split, and favored overwhelmingly by African-Americans.
(Much) more to come…..
Knappster’s post on Liberaltarians, and my comments…
“Liberaltarianism” in its 2008 regeneration simply meant that libertarians placed dismantling the Bush Administration’s catastrophic civil liberties and foreign affairs policies so much higher on the agenda than fiscal restraint (which neither conservatives nor liberals embrace today anyway) that they were willing to hold their noses, close their eyes and pull the lever for Obama — despite knowing full well what the budgetary ramifications would be.
Think of the Republicans and Democrats like the meth and heroin a junkie shoots.
Junkie gets too spun out on meth, and shoots some H to come down. Junkie gets too low with H and shoots some more meth to spin back up. It’s a toxic mix.
“placed dismantling the Bush Administration’s catastrophic civil liberties and foreign affairs policies so much higher on the agenda than fiscal restraint”
What about the Bush gang’s lack of fiscal restraint, worst since either LBJ or FDR in growth level terms, and worst ever in absolute terms? What about the Clinton gang continuing the Iraq embargo for eight years, putting more people in prison for drugs than any administration before him, proposing everything which eventually came to be in the use-a-patriot act, etc? What about Obama voting for all these kinds of policies in the Senate, and promising more of the same on the campaign trail (IE more war in Afghanistan and Pakistan, no timetable or complete withdrawal in Iraq, no marijuana legalization, etc.)
Whether you vote for a Democrat or Republican, either will make foreign policy, civil liberties, *and* government spending much worse.
Democrats as a cure for Republicans and Republicans as a cure for Democrats are both very bad ideas.
… which puts them in the position of having to deal with a whole new set of problems, this time coming from the direction that, in desperation, they endorsed.
Yes, kind of like a pit and pendulum situation.
I’ll be interested to see which ways today’s “liberaltarians” go over the next couple of years.
I suppose that would depend on which ones.
More Liberaltarianism discussion at NFV posted yesterday by Deaconstruck…
An outgoing president has escalated a long conflict into full-blown war, ultimately to popular displeasure. He is not seeking re-election. His party rejects its anti-war wing and nominates a “stay the course” candidate.
The opposing party nominates, and elects, a candidate running on nebulous “new leadership will end the war and win the peace” rhetoric.
The new president introduces “bold” economic policies, including wage controls.
1968 or 2008?
LBJ or GWB?
Eugene McCarthy or Ron Paul?
Richard Nixon or Barack Obama?
The more things change …
Same guy? Think about it … ever seen’em together?
What does that leave? The Pope? Well, hear ya go.
Bdee, bdee, bdee….