Friday, April 6, 2012

CIA Committed ‘War Crimes,’ Bush Official Says

From Wired's Danger Room:

A top adviser to former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice warned the Bush administration that its use of “cruel, inhuman or degrading” interrogation techniques like waterboarding were “a felony war crime.”

What’s more, newly obtained documents reveal that State Department counselor Philip Zelikow told the Bush team in 2006 that using the controversial interrogation techniques were “prohibited” under U.S. law — “even if there is a compelling state interest asserted to justify them.”

Zelikow argued that the Geneva conventions applied to al-Qaida — a position neither the Justice Department nor the White House shared at the time. That made waterboarding and the like a violation of the War Crimes statute and a “felony,” Zelikow tells Danger Room. Asked explicitly if he believed the use of those interrogation techniques were a war crime, Zelikow replied, “Yes.”

Zelikow first revealed the existence of his secret memo, dated Feb. 15, 2006, in an April 2009 blog post, shortly after the Obama administration disclosed many of its predecessor’s legal opinions blessing torture. He briefly described it (.pdf) in a contentious Senate hearing shortly thereafter, revealing then that “I later heard the memo was not considered appropriate for further discussion and that copies of my memo should be collected and destroyed.”

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Bra wars raise temperature in French election campaign

From The Guardian:

First came the tent-sized, giant lace bra and bloomers brandished by desperate women urging Nicolas Sarkozy to save their smalls. Then there was a threatened hunger strike by workers who stitched patriotic under-wiring in tricolour red, white and blue while singing protest songs about bras to the tune of Status Quo's In the Army Now.

After weeks of bra wars led by a tiny group of determined factory workers in a rural town in central France, women's underwear has been catapulted to the heart of the French election campaign. Lingerie has become the symbol of all that is wrong with the economy.

The lowly paid "fairy fingers" of the Lejaby underwear factory in Yssingeaux waged war against plans to shut their factory and outsource to Tunisia their intricate job of stitching straps, cups and hooks for famous French lace bras.

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FKN Newz: We Know They Know We Know...


http://www.fknnewz.com

Putin targets foes with 'zombie' gun which attack victims' central nervous system

According to the Daily Mail:

Mind-bending ‘psychotronic’ guns that can effectively turn people into zombies have been given the go-ahead by Russian president Vladimir Putin.

The futuristic weapons – which will attack the central nervous system of their victims – are being developed by the country’s scientists.

They could be used against Russia’s enemies and, perhaps, its own dissidents by the end of the decade.

Sources in Moscow say Mr Putin has described the guns, which use electromagnetic radiation like that found in microwave ovens, as ‘entirely new instruments for achieving political and strategic goals’.

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Let Your Life Be a Friction to Stop the Machine


A brief and crucial history of the United States.

450+ major bank resignations; arrests of economic & War Criminals next?

From Washington's Blog:

A little over three weeks ago, 116 major bank resignations was startling news. Now with over 450 resignations and David Wilcock’s compelling documentation, the question is whether the 1% criminal oligarchy face imminent arrest. ...

Occupy Prague: We must ask ourselves if we want this kind of capitalism

Czech activist Jan Cemper wants democracy — “real democracy” — and he wants it now. That is why the former electrotechnician, who now works for a small Prague travel agency, established the Real Democracy Now(STD) group together with a few sympathizers. The main objective of the group, which draw its inspiration from foreign protest movements such as the Indignados and Occupy Wall Street, is to organize tent protests in Prague and other cities starting from April 28.

By the end of the month under the name Occupy Prague they intend to build a tent village on Klárov square that should serve as a venue for debates with other citizens on alternatives to the present political-economic system.

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Rome, Warsaw squats withstand attacks

Rome: Accusations against housing movements in Rome demolished by Tribunal

In September 2009, hundreds of Carabinieri stormed a school in the Magliana area of Rome and arrested dozens of people who were occupying it. The charges made against them were super harsh: organised crime, extortion, possession of weapons, theft, assaulting police officers, and more. The arrests took place during a relentless propaganda campaign orchestrated against the occupations by the local media.

Several politicians, including Rome’s Mayor Alemanno, released statements in solidarity with the police operation, against those “dangerous criminals” that were hiding behind the occupations. A few people spent months in prison, some lost their jobs as a result of it.

Now the judges confirm that the accusations made by the Carabinieri and the right were a joke. No evidence at all has been found for any of the charges made, and therefore the case is closed. Finally, even the justice system confirms what we already knew: that the housing movements are nothing more than groups of people who decide to refuse the exploitation of higher and higher rents and mortgages; who organise in order to find concrete answers to the housing crisis; who fight for dignified housing for everyone.

“We know nobody will apologise for the mud that’s been thrown at all of us” the umbrella housing organisation declared, “but we hope that at least now the police forces, together with some journalists and politicians, will find something better to fill their time with, instead of always criminalising people who fight for their rights.”

~ ~ ~

Warsaw: Elba squat stays!



Elba squat was raided on March 16th, 2012, by henchmen of a private security company who received assistance from the Polish police. The project was established in 2004. The Finnish company Stora Enso (the owner of the premises) has been well aware of Elba’s existence and activity and, after protests two years ago, the presence of the squatters in the area was accepted. No user of the building was notified of a scheduled date of eviction, so the incursion came as a total surprise for the people living in the squat, which is the biggest and oldest active social and cultural centre in Warsaw.

Shortly after 11am, guards hired by the ‘Skrzecz’ security agency broke into the building. They didn’t present an eviction warrant and used violence against squatters in order to force them to leave the property. The squatters resisted, and one person barricaded himself in his room and at least six others occupied the roof of the building. They issued an urgent call for help and support. Soon, police units arrived at the place. The fact that the attempted eviction was illegal was ignored by the police, who instead started to block the solidarity demo.

After a few hours, there were around 100 protesters trying to stop the eviction, facing nearly 30 riot cops who were assisting the security agents. The protesters clashed with the police, who attacked them using tear gas and truncheons; however, no large-scale clashes occurred. As the time passed, more police units showed up surrounding the squatters and supporters. Shortly after 6pm, the police received orders to disperse and started to remove reporters from the place. That seemed to be the start of a brutal eviction. Yet, police and security guards finally left the area, at 8pm. This allowed people to enter the squat and take it back.

More...

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A footage of last week’s demonstration of Elba Squat followers has been made available.

Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights has issued the eviction observation report.

Visit Elba’s official website to find out more [Polish].

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

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