Thursday, March 3, 2011

Groups urge Spain to prosecute ‘Bush Six’ for torture


Movement to Indict Bush gains momentum

Dear supporter of IndictBushNow,

Just days after Bush retreated rather than face arrest and mass protests in Switzerland; the momentum for indictment continues to grow. This is a global movement and we, the American people, must do our part.

Supporters and members of the movement to Indict Bush are on the move. Congratulations to everyone who is making this movement expand its breadth and reach. Together, all of us are building the pressure.

On Valentine's Day, a broad coalition of U.S. human rights groups presented Spanish consulates and officials with an open letter to the Spanish public. People delivered letters in New York, Boston, Chicago, Houston, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Miami.

The letter was delivered in advance of the March 1 deadline for the possible prosecution of the “Bush Six” set by Spanish Judge Eloy Velasco. The Bush Six are the Bush-era government lawyers who created the “legal” justification for torture in clear violation of international law. The Six include former White House Counsel and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, along with John Yoo, Jay Bybee, David Addington and others.

It was a court in Spain that indicted Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet. With pressure, it could be a court in Spain to deal a major blow to the Bush administration torturers.

The open letter to the Spanish public states:

“We are writing to thank you and to ask for your support as your courts consider cases to bring American officials to justice for the crime of torture. A Spanish judge, acting under international law, will soon decide whether to investigate U.S. officials' roles in authorizing torture. … The organizations signing this letter represent hundreds of thousands in the American public who believe the U.S. government must be held to the same rule of law as other countries.”

Our movement is helping to shine a bright light on the many crimes of Bush and his cronies. Not only are former Bush administration officials under investigation in Spain, investigations also have been launched in Italy, Australia, Canada, Lithuania, Poland and the United Kingdom.

The American people have a special responsibility to expose Bush. Next month Iraq war veterans, who are working with IndictBushNow, are travelling to the White House to demand that Bush be indicted for war crimes.

On March 19, the 8th anniversary of the illegal invasion of Iraq, thousands of people will be hitting the streets in Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and elsewhere. The American people are standing up to say that no one is above the law – that Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and other high officials must be prosecuted for their crimes.

—From all of us at IndictBushNow

Star Eyewitness who named Queen of England in Abduction of Aboriginal Children Dies suddenly in Vancouver Hospital

The aboriginal man who claimed to witness the abduction of ten fellow residential school children by the Queen of England and her husband in October, 1964 at the Catholic school in Kamloops, B.C. has died suddenly at the Catholic-run St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver.

William Combes, age 59 and in good health, was scheduled to be a primary witness at the opening session of the International Tribunal into Crimes of Church and State (ITCCS) on September 12 in London, England.

I last saw William ten days ago, on the eve of my departure for a European speaking tour, and he looked better than I had seen him in years.

According to his partner Mae, William was in stable health and was assigned a new doctor at St. Paul's Hospital this past week. William was then committed to the hospital for "tests", and his health began to immediately deteriorate. He died suddenly yesterday of a still-undisclosed cause.

The Vancouver Coroner's Office refuses to comment on William's death.

William was the sole survivor of a group of three aboriginal boys who claim to have witnessed the abduction of ten children during a royal visit to the Kamloops residential school in mid October, 1964, when both the Queen and Prince Philip were in Canada.

~ more... ~

U.S. Silent on Deadly Iraqi Gov't Crackdown on Protests; 300 Arrested in Sweeps Targeting Dissidents


While the United States has sharply criticized the Libyan government for brutally cracking down on opposition protesters, it has remained noticeably silent on the recent attacks against Iraqi dissidents. On Friday, tens of thousands of people participated in Iraq’s largest protest in years. Although the protests were largely peaceful, authorities fired water cannons, sound bombs and live bullets to disperse crowds as Iraqi army helicopters buzzed overhead, killing an estimated 29 people. Then, on Sunday, U.S.-backed Iraqi security forces detained about 300 people, including prominent journalists, artists and lawyers, who had taken part in the rallies.

~ Source Democracy Now! ~

Ry Cooder - Three Chords and the Truth

Call For Tiananmen Probe


Activists demand a revision of the official verdict on the failed Chinese democracy movement.
Wikipedia

Tiananmen Mothers founding member Ding Zilin in an undated photo.


The relatives of victims of the 1989 military crackdown on student-led pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square have called on China's parliament to overturn the official verdict on the movement, amid growing calls for protests similar to those that have swept through the Middle East.

"The massacre of June 4, 1989 happened nearly 22 years ago," the victims' group Tiananmen Mothers wrote in a open letter to China's National People's Congress (NPC).

"In those long years, the National People's Congress, as the highest political power in the land, has never discussed or debated the killings that happened on the Square in 1989, nor has the verdict delivered by Deng Xiaoping at the time ever been changed," it said.

The letter was published online and signed by 128 people, including Tiananmen Mothers founder member Ding Zilin, a retired Beijing university professor whose 17-year-old son was killed in the crackdown.

"Every year, we have sent a joint open letter to the annual parliamentary meetings so as to make clear what we are calling for to the delegates," Ding said on Tuesday. "Of course, we have never once received any kind of response."

Ding said the relatives of the victims had decided nonetheless to keep writing the letters.

"Even though the authorities take no notice of us, and the delegates to the parliamentary meetings are indifferent to us, at the very least we can say that we are not indifferent," she said.

"We continue to uphold the principles of rational and peaceful measures to continue to support our ... demands."


How the rich soaked the rest of us

Richard Wolff comments at the Guardian:

...In simplest terms, the richest Americans have done by far the best over the last 30 years, they are more able to pay taxes today than they have been in many decades, and they are more able to pay than other Americans by a far wider margin. At a time of national economic crisis, especially, they can and should contribute far more in taxes.

Instead, a rather vicious cycle has been at work for years. Reduced taxes on the rich leave them with more money to influence politicians and politics. Their influence wins them further tax reductions, which gives them still more money to put to political use. When the loss of tax revenue from the rich worsens already strained government budgets, the rich press politicians to cut public services and government jobs and not even debate a return to the higher taxes the rich used to pay. So it goes – from Washington, to Wisconsin, to New York City.

How do the rich justify and excuse this record? They claim that they can invest the money they save from taxes and thereby create jobs, etc. But do they? In fact, cutting rich people's taxes is often very bad for the rest of us (beyond the worsening inequality and hobbled government it produces).

Several examples show this. First, a good part of the money the rich save from taxes is then lent by them to the government (in the form of buying US Treasury securities for their personal investment portfolios). It would obviously be better for the government to tax the rich to maintain its expenditures, and thereby avoid deficits and debts. Then the government would not need to tax the rest of us to pay interest on those debts to the rich...

~ more... ~

Anonymous releases 71,800 HBGary e-mails through new site

From Digital Trends:



Try to take on Anonymous or WikiLeaks, and they'll get you back: The hacktivist site is single-handedly destroying HBGary's reputation for threatening its members and planning to sabotage WikiLeaks.

Any companies out there considering taking down Anonymous in return for the various DDoS attacks the group staged earlier this year might want to think twice. The hacktivist group recently infiltrated security firm HBGary Federal’s network and accumulated various confidential material and internal e-mails. The firm’s CEO Aaron Barr allegedly had plans to rat out Anonymous members to the FBI, and as revenge he can now find his and various other HBGary employees’ e-mails publicly posted (HBGary is HBGary Federal’s sister company). In addition to outing Anonymous members, HBGary was one of the handful of firms orchestrating an image attack to destroy WikiLeaks’ reputation. WikiLeaks is reportedly preparing to release confidential documents belonging to Bank of America, and according to Forbes, HBGary would work for the company by “spreading misinformation, launching cyberattacks against [WikiLeaks], and pressuring journalists.”

Anonymous is now hosting a site (and there are a variety of mirrors as well) giving anyone access to 71,800 e-mails from the inboxes of HBGary executives Greg Hogland, Aaron Barr, Ted Vera, and Phil Wallisch. Subject matter ranges from a PowerPoint presentation detailing intentions to plant false stories about WikiLeaks to embarrassing love letters between company execs.

This is more than humiliating for HBGary – it’s financially ruining the company. Security firms Berico Technologiesand Palantir Technologies have cut ties with HBGary. The released documents tied both firms to the operations defending Bank of America by sabotaging WikiLeaks, and now they’re wiping their hands of the situation. Aside from any business relationships Anonymous’ latest hack and release damaged for HBGary, the fact that a securityfirm was infiltrated by the group in the first place speaks volumes.

WikiLeaks holds powerful information, and it seems like security firms will stop at nothing to retain it – or at least threaten the group and its supporters to the point of keeping their mouths shut. But it appears that Anonymous has more in its arsenal than unsophisticated DDoS attacks, and the group is ready to use them.

The Grapes of Wrath (1940) - I'll Be There


Henry Fonda's famous 'i'll be there' speech from John Ford's The Grapes of Wrath (1940) also starring Jane Darwell.

Real Estate by Jonathan Weston


This animation sardonically shows what happens when real life infects the imagery of a glossy property advert. Exploiting the familiar style of architectural visualisation, the film tracks the advert’s increasingly reactionary responses to escalating urban events.

USA State Sponsored Terror - Scott X and The Constitution Commandos


Scott X and The Constitution Commandos continue with their mission to expose U.S. government crime and oppression targeting U.S. citizens and Scott X himself. A preview of the book detailing the story behind the music is at, www.howarddeanvermont.com. The book traces government attacks upon X and follows government oppression all the way up to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

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image from http://www.spitting-image.net

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