Obama professor among 250 experts who have signed letter condemning humiliation of alleged WikiLeaks source
by Ed Pilkington in New York
More than 250 of America’s most eminent legal scholars have signed a letter protesting against the treatment in military prison of the alleged WikiLeaks source Bradley Manning, contesting that his “degrading and inhumane conditions” are illegal, unconstitutional and could even amount to torture.
The list of signatories includes Laurence Tribe, a Harvard professor who is considered to be America’s foremost liberal authority on constitutional law. He taught constitutional law to Barack Obama and was a key backer of his 2008 presidential campaign.
Tribe joined the Obama administration last year as a legal adviser in the justice department, a post he held until three months ago.
He told the Guardian he signed the letter because Manning appeared to have been treated in a way that “is not only shameful but unconstitutional” as he awaits court martial in Quantico marine base in Virginia.
The US soldier has been held in the military brig since last July, charged with multiple counts relating to the leaking of thousands of embassy cables and other secret documents to the WikiLeaks website.
Under the terms of his detention, he is kept in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day, checked every five minutes under a so-called “prevention of injury order” and stripped naked at night apart from a smock.
Tribe said the treatment was objectionable “in the way it violates his person and his liberty… Continue reading
March 24th, 2011
By Eric W. Dolan
An Indiana prosecutor and Republican activist has resigned after emails show he suggested Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker stage a fake attack on himself to discredit unions protesting his budget repair bill.
The Republican governor signed a bill on March 11 that eliminates most union rights for public employees.
In an email from February 19, Indiana deputy prosecutor Carlos F. Lam told Walker the situation presented “a good opportunity for what’s called a ‘false flag’ operation.”
The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism discovered the email among tens of thousands released to the public last week following a lawsuit by the Isthmus and the Associated Press.
“If you could employ an associate who pretends to be sympathetic to the unions’ cause to physically attack you (or even use a firearm against you), you could discredit the unions,” Lam said in his email.
“Currently, the media is painting the union protest as a democratic uprising and failing to mention the role of the DNC and umbrella union organizations in the protest,” he continued. “Employing a false flag operation would assist in undercutting any support that the media may be creating in favor of the unions.”
Lam resigned from his position after the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism published an article about his email.
On February 22, an alternative paper in Buffalo, New York managed to trick Walker into taking a call from their editor posing as tea party tycoon David Koch.
When the editor posing as Koch suggested planting some troublemakers in the protests, Walker responded that “we thought about that,” but said it was not necessary “because sooner or later the media stops finding ’em interesting.”
“My only fear would be is if there was a ruckus caused is that that would scare the public into thinking maybe the governor has gotta settle to avoid all these problems,” he said.…Continue reading
Was David Williams IV a terrorist? Or was he just out to make an easy score by scamming the government’s informant?
By Graham RaymanMarch 2 2011 VillageVoice.com
On March 24, David Williams IV and three other Newburgh, New York, men face possible life prison sentences for plotting to blow up two synagogues in the Riverdale section of the Bronx and to shoot down military airplanes at Stewart Airport.
The Newburgh 4–ringleader James Cromitie, David Williams, Onta Williams, and Laguerre Payen–were found guilty in a six-week trial based largely on the work of an FBI informant, Shahed Hussain, who posed as a wealthy Pakistani businessman with ties to an overseas terror group as part of an elaborate government sting operation.
The trial showed that Cromitie had made anti-Semitic and anti-American statements, that he concocted attack plans with Hussain, that the four defendants met to view an anti-aircraft missile, and that they planted what they had been told were bombs at two Riverdale synagogues on May 20, 2009.
The evidence, which included secretly taped conversations, painted a picture of four men who wanted to strike a blow for radical Islam. After the verdict, one juror told reporters, “We considered what they did a serious crime.”
Defense lawyers tried unsuccessfully to convince the jury that the government had actually entrapped the four, but none of the defendants testified on their own or gave interviews.
Photographs by J.B. Nicholas, Christopher Sadowski Splash news/News.com From left: James Cromitie, David Williams, Laguerre Payen, and Onta Williams.… Continue reading
March 7, 2011
by Ralph Lopez
War Is A Crime.org
As Obama’s crime of the destruction of Bradley Manning continues to unfold before our very eyes, Manning friend David House now tells us that over 8 months in isolation with movement and sleep restrictions placed on him have been having their intended effect. House has told MSNBC that by the end of January Manning appeared “catatonic” and that he had “severe problems communicating,” with it having taken House nearly 45 minutes on a recent visit to engage in any meaningful way (video below.) House said Manning’s demeanor was as “if he had just woken up and didn’t know what was going on around him.” Manning was “utterly exhausted physically and mentally…it was difficult to have any kind of social engagement.”
Also, a full month after Congressman Dennis Kucinich formally requested a visit, the Army has stalled on the request.
All for the crime of reporting war crimes and criminal behavior even among the highest-ranking military officials in Iraq.
In 2005, General Peter Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said: “It is absolutely the responsibility of every U.S. service member [in Iraq], if they see inhumane treatment being conducted, to try to stop it.”
Chase Mader writes in HuffPo that soon after deployment to Iraq, Manning:
… Continue reading
“soon found himself helping the Iraqi authorities detain civilians for distributing “anti-Iraqi literature” — which turned out to be an investigative report into financial corruption in their own government entitled “Where does the money go?” The penalty for this “crime” in Iraq was not a slap on the wrist.
In this discussion, Professor Falk gives his assessment of the political context of the criticisms he is facing for identifying Israeli crimes in the treatment of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, and for referring positively to the scholarly contributions of Professor David Ray Griffin and other academics who have identified serious shortcomings in government and mainstream media interpretations concerning the contested events of 9/11.
Dr. Falk’s article that originally kicked off this matter:
by Richard Falk
January 13, 2011
Foreign Policy Journal
…The arguments swirling around the 9/11 attacks are emblematic of these issues. What fuels suspicions of conspiracy is the reluctance to address the sort of awkward gaps and contradictions in the official explanations that David Ray Griffin (and other devoted scholars of high integrity) have been documenting in book after book ever since 2001. What may be more distressing than the apparent cover up is the eerie silence of the mainstream media, unwilling to acknowledge the well-evidenced doubts about the official version of the events: an al Qaeda operation with no foreknowledge by government officials. Is this silence a manifestation of fear or cooption, or part of an equally disturbing filter of self-censorship? Whatever it is, the result is the withering away of a participatory citizenry and the erosion of legitimate constitutional government. The forms persist, but the content is missing. …
TSA and America’s Zero Risk Culture
November 16, 2010
By Richard Forno
The lede on the DRUDGEREPORT most of Monday showed a Catholic nun being patted down at an airport security checkpoint, with the caption starkly declaring that
“THE TERRORISTS HAVE WON.”
Ten years after 9/11, Americans who fly are facing a Faustian choice between subjecting themselves to a virtual (and potentially medically damaging) strip search conducted in questionable machines run by federal employees or a psychologically damaging pat-down of their bodies. Osama bin Ladin must be giggling himself silly this week.
But what should we expect in a society that requires adults to wear bicycle helmets while pedaling in the park, provides disclaimers of liability on TV advertisements, or prints warnings on fast-food coffee cups? The name of the game is zero risk. Not risk mitigation, or accepting responsibility for one’s actions, but risk aversion. It’s a failure to acknowledge that we can’t protect against everything bad that can happen to us, so we must protect against everything we think might — might — be harmful at some point.
It’s living in fear.
TSA has established itself as the lead federal agency charged with perpetuating this risk-averse culture at airports around the country. The proof is evident over the past ten years: Because of the Shoebomber, we have to remove our shoes. Thanks to the Christmas Crotchbomber, we are subjected to invasive scanning or government-mandated molestation. Because there’s a potential for explosives in liquid or gel… Continue reading
A 30 second television spot featuring 9/11 family members and promoting awareness of the destruction of World Trade Center Building 7 has begun airing in New York City. The ad is sponsored by buildingwhat.org and highlights the fact that over 1200 architects and engineers have called for an independent investigation into the events of 9/11.
World Trade Center 7 was the third skyscraper to be completely destroyed on September 11, 2001 — despite not having been hit by an airplane.
The ad began airing on election day and will run through November 10 on 13 channels, including CNN, MSNBC and VH1. NYCCAN, the group who created the ad, estimate that it will be seen by nearly 900,000 viewers. The group plans to commission an opinion poll after the run of the ad and send the results to every City Council member.
“We’ve been educating the City Council about Building 7 and the need for a new investigation for the past six months,” said Bob McIlvaine, father of Bobby McIlvaine and one of the 9/11 family members who appear in the ad. “We are asking them now to do something about it.”
Manny Badillo, another family member who appears in the spot, said “For the next two weeks, we the people will see, many for the first time, the demise of the Salomon Brothers building on the day of my uncle’s murder. What you witness allows critical thought about details of the crime that we have… Continue reading
From Voters for Peace
July 22, 2010
We’ll be offering live and recorded video coverage of the National Conference to Bring the Troops Home Now! taking place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in downtown Albany this weekend (7/23-7/25).
The conference will bring together antiwar and social justice activists from across the country to consider what can be done to end the U.S. wars, occupations, bombing attacks, threats and interventions that are taking place in the Middle East and beyond. See where the antiwar movement is today and where it is headed!
Our audio and video coverage starts Friday evening at 7 PM with the opening panel called “Strategies and Tactics in the Struggle to End the Empire’s Wars and Occupations,” featuring Medea Benjamin (CODE PINK), Glen Ford (Black Agenda Report), Teresa Gutierrez (International Action Center), Kathy Kelly (Creative Voices for Nonviolence), Kevin Martin (Peace Action), David Swanson (WarIsACrime.org), Deborah Sweet (World Can’t Wait) and more.
Check our webcast schedule for a full listing. We’re excited to expand into the realm of live remote coverage of local events, and hope you can join us. Feel free to contact us with any questions! info [at] mediasanctuary.org
To register for the conference, please go to www.nationalpeaceconference.org
More on the conference:
In these troubled times, Washington’s wars and occupations rage, resulting in an ever increasing number of dead and wounded and the destruction of countries posing no threat to the U.S. Trillions are spent on seemingly endless conflicts in pursuit of profits and global… Continue reading
from Shoestring’s blog at 911blogger.com
Check out this excellent recent documentary, which has just been posted on the Internet, about Nato’s secret armies that were set up across Western Europe after the Second World War. While these “stay-behind” armies were supposedly intended to help put together a resistance if the Soviet Union invaded their countries, they went on to commit terrorist attacks against their own populations, so as to influence domestic politics.
The documentary describes how, from the late 1960s to the early 1980s, Western intelligence agencies collaborated with right-wing extremist groups to commit false flag terrorist attacks, which would often be falsely blamed on left-wing groups. It features interviews with, among others, Daniele Ganser, author of NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation GLADIO and Terrorism in Western Europe.
(Source of documentary: http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2010/07/09/18653266.php)
For more information about Nato’s secret armies and Operation Gladio, you can read some excellent articles written by Daniele Ganser that he has included on his website, http://www.danieleganser.ch/Fachzeitschriften.html
A particularly good article is the one called “Fear as a Weapon: The effects of psychological warfare on domestic and international politics.”
June 10, 2010
By Michael Doyle
WASHINGTON — A federal judge has forcefully put Yemeni citizen Mohammed Mohammed Hassan Odaini on the path to freedom after eight years of incarceration at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.
In a 36-page opinion formally released Thursday, U.S. District Judge Henry H. Kennedy Jr. called Odaini’s continued detention “unlawful” and said he’d “emphatically” grant Odaini’s petition for a writ of habeas corpus.
The ruling issued secretly last month but published Thursday sets the 26-year-old Odaini up for potential release, though when and where he’ll go remains unclear. The ruling also represents the latest defeat for U.S. officials in their efforts to keep Guantánamo detainees behind bars.
“(U.S.) officials kept a young man from Yemen in detention in Cuba from age eighteen to age twenty-six,” Kennedy wrote. “They have prevented him from seeing his family and denied him the opportunity to complete his studies and embark on a career.”
Pointedly, Kennedy added that “the evidence before the court shows that holding Odaini in custody at such great cost to him has done nothing to make the United States more secure.”
Kennedy’s ruling brings to 36 the number of Guantánamo Bay detainees who have successfully challenged their detentions through U.S. court proceedings. Over the Bush administration’s objections, a divided Supreme Court two years granted the Guantánamo detainees the right to file habeas corpus challenges.
In a decision striking both for its extensive redactions and its occasionally passionate language, Kennedy noted that Odaini’s story has remained consistent… Continue reading
(AFP) — May 21, 2010
LONDON — Inquests into the deaths of 56 people in London’s July 2005 suicide bombings will probe alleged failings by police and MI5 intelligence before the attacks, the coroner conducting the hearings said Friday.
Judge Heather Hallett also ruled that inquests into four suicide bombers will be held separately from those of the 52 victims, a relief to families who had protested plans to hold the inquests together.
The suicide bombers set off near-simultaneous explosions on three London Underground trains and a double-decker bus on the morning of July 7, 2005, in what has become known as 7/7, nearly four years after the 9/11 attacks in the United States.
Hallett, giving details of arrangements for the inquests due to start in October, said they would probe what police and MI5 officers knew ahead of the shock attacks.
“The scope of the inquest into the 52 deaths will include the alleged intelligence failings and the immediate aftermath of the bombings,” she said.
“To my mind it is not too remote to investigate what was known in the year or two before the alleged bombings. Plots of this kind are not developed overnight,” she added.
Janine Mitchell, whose husband Paul survived the King’s Cross explosion, welcomed the decision to probe MI5’s role.
“We have been very concerned that there were serious failings and it seems that this is the case… We are relieved that someone independent of Government is going to examine what happened.
“We put… Continue reading
By Scott Shane
April 6, 2010
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration has taken the extraordinary step of authorizing the targeted killing of an American citizen, the radical Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who is believed to have shifted from encouraging attacks on the United States to directly participating in them, intelligence and counterterrorism officials said Tuesday.
Mr. Awlaki, who was born in New Mexico and spent years in the United States as an imam, is in hiding in Yemen. He has been the focus of intense scrutiny since he was linked to Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the Army psychiatrist accused of killing 13 people at Fort Hood, Tex., in November, and then to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian man charged with trying to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner on Dec. 25.
American counterterrorism officials say Mr. Awlaki is an operative of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the affiliate of the terror network in Yemen and Saudi Arabia. They say they believe that he has become a recruiter for the terrorist network, feeding prospects into plots aimed at the United States and at Americans abroad, the officials said.
It is extremely rare, if not unprecedented, for an American to be approved for targeted killing, officials said. A former senior legal official in the administration of George W. Bush said he did not know of any American who was approved for targeted killing under the former president.
But the director of national intelligence, Dennis C. Blair, told a House hearing in… Continue reading
April 5, 2010
The death of a whistleblower who said the UK government had “sexed up” a dossier on Saddam Hussein’s military capabilities in order to sell the Iraq war has been one of the most intriguing and confusing elements of the war’s history.
Now the UK’s Conservative Party is signaling that it plans to reopen the inquiry into the death of Dr. David Kelly if it wins the next election. The move could potentially harm the ruling Labour Party, which championed the Iraq war effort and is now trailing in the polls for this spring’s election.
On Sunday, Dominic Grieve, the Conservative Party’s “shadow” justice minister, said members of the public “have not been reassured” that Kelly’s death was a suicide, and if his government wins the election, he would want to reopen the case, reports the UK’s Daily Mail.
Kelly, a weapons expert with Britain’s Ministry of Defence, was found dead in a forest near his home in Oxfordshire in 2003, shortly after he gave an interview to the BBC in which he said that the British government was lying about its claim that Saddam Hussein could launch biological and chemical weapons within 45 minutes of giving the order.
Kelly’s death sparked suspicions that he may have been killed for undermining the government of then-Prime Minister Tony Blair as the British leader stood with US President George W. Bush in pushing for an invasion of Iraq.
A former British ambassador quoted Kelly as having… Continue reading
A 50-year mystery over the ‘cursed bread’ of Pont-Saint-Esprit, which left residents suffering hallucinations, has been solved after a writer discovered the US had spiked the bread with LSD as part of an experiment.
Henry Samuel in Paris
11 March 2010
French bread spiked with LSD in CIA experiment: An American investigative journalist has uncovered evidence suggesting the CIA peppered local food with the hallucinogenic drug LSD
In 1951, a quiet, picturesque village in southern France was suddenly and mysteriously struck down with mass insanity and hallucinations. At least five people died, dozens were interned in asylums and hundreds afflicted.
For decades it was assumed that the local bread had been unwittingly poisoned with a psychedelic mould. Now, however, an American investigative journalist has uncovered evidence suggesting the CIA peppered local food with the hallucinogenic drug LSD as part of a mind control experiment at the height of the Cold War.
The mystery of Le Pain Maudit (Cursed Bread) still haunts the inhabitants of Pont-Saint-Esprit, in the Gard, southeast France.
On August 16, 1951, the inhabitants were suddenly racked with frightful hallucinations of terrifying beasts and fire.
One man tried to drown himself, screaming that his belly was being eaten by snakes. An 11-year-old tried to strangle his grandmother. Another man shouted: “I am a plane”, before jumping out of a second-floor window, breaking his legs. He then got up and carried on for 50 yards. Another saw his heart escaping through his feet and begged a doctor to… Continue reading
Originally published by Brad Friedman on February 6, 2010 at Bradblog.com
You’re welcome. My 2000+ word article on former FBI translator-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds is now featured in the March 2010 edition of Hustler. Sorry, she’s wearing all her clothes. Go buy it anyway.
The article brings the story of Edmonds, who was twice-gagged by the Bush Administration‘s outrageous use/abuse of the “States Secrets Privilege,” fully up to date following her naming of names, finally, under oath, in remarkable testimony last summer. (Some of those names: Hastert, Burton, Blunt, Lantos, Schakowsky, Wolfowitz, Perle, Grossman, etc.)
The Hustler piece, “Sibel Edmonds: The Traitors Among Us,” also explores reasons for the perhaps-even-more-remarkable complete avoidance of her 4-hour, detailed, video-taped testimony by the corporate media (Pat Buchanan’s American Conservative magazine excepted, if you consider them to be “corporate media”) concerning allegations of blackmail of sitting U.S. Congressmembers, the theft and sale of nuclear secrets to the foreign blackmarket, and other allegations of treasonous activities by top State and Defense Department officials over the last decade or more, as we have covered in great detail here at The BRAD BLOG over the years, as the story has unfolded.
So there’s your latest excuse to go buy Hustler. While you’re at the newsstand, please pick up a copy of the February issue of Maxim as well, featuring Simon Worrall’s feature article on the formerly-‘censored’ story of the mysterious death of GOP IT guru Mike Connell, as detailed in our… Continue reading
Originally published by Alex Lantier on February 3, 2010 at wsws.org
A January 27 hearing of the House Committee on Homeland Security established that US intelligence agencies stopped the State Department from revoking the US visa of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. The Nigerian student, whom US officials suspected of being affiliated with the Yemeni terrorist group Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, attempted to set off a bomb on Northwest Flight 253 into Detroit on Christmas Day. Revocation of Abdulmutallab’s visa would have prevented him from boarding the airplane.
The hearing was reported in a brief article posted January 27 on the web site of the Detroit News, headlined, “Terror Suspect Kept Visa to Avoid Tipping Off Larger Investigation.”
The revelation that US intelligence agencies made a deliberate decision to allow Abdulmutallab to board the commercial flight, without any special airport screening, has been buried in the media. As of this writing, nearly a week after the hearing, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times have published no articles on the subject. Nor have the broadcast or cable media reported on it.
This is despite–or perhaps more accurately, because of–the fact that this information exposes the official government story of the near-disaster to be a lie. President Obama, who has joined with top US intelligence, FBI and Homeland Security officials to insist that Abdulmutallab was inadvertently allowed to board the plane carrying explosives because of a failure to “connect the dots,” has… Continue reading
A talk delivered to the New England Antiwar Conference, MIT, January 30, 2010.
by Peter Dale Scott
Hello everyone! I’m honored to be invited to this important anti-war conference. As I am in the final stages of editing my next book, The Road to Afghanistan , I have been turning down invitations to speak. But I was eager to accept this one, and to join my friends and others in debunking the war on terror, the false justification for the Afghan-Pakistan war.
Let me make my own position clear at the outset. There are indeed people out there, including some Muslim extremists, who want to inflict terror on America. But it is crystal clear, as many people inside and outside government have agreed, that it makes this problem worse, not better, when Washington sends large numbers of U.S. troops to yet another country where they don’t belong. 1
A war on terror is as inappropriate a cure as a U.S. war on drugs, which as we have seen in Colombia makes the drug problem worse, not better. The war on terror and the war on drugs have this in common: both are ideological attempts to justify the needless killings of thousands — including both American troops and foreign civilians — in another needless war.
Why does America find itself, time after time, invading countries in distant oil-bearing regions, countries which have not invaded us? This is a vital issue on which we should seek a clear message for the American… Continue reading
January 24, 2010
By EDWARD JAY EPSTEIN
Wall Street Journal Opinion
The investigation of the 2001 anthrax attacks ended as far as the public knew on July 29, 2008, with the death of Bruce Ivins, a senior biodefense researcher at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) in Fort Detrick, Md. The cause of death was an overdose of the painkiller Tylenol. No autopsy was performed, and there was no suicide note.
Less than a week after his apparent suicide, the FBI declared Ivins to have been the sole perpetrator of the 2001 Anthrax attacks, and the person who mailed deadly anthrax spores to NBC, the New York Post, and Sens. Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy. These attacks killed five people, closed down a Senate office building, caused a national panic, and nearly paralyzed the postal system.
The FBI’s six-year investigation was the largest inquest in its history, involving 9,000 interviews, 6,000 subpoenas, and the examination of tens of thousands of photocopiers, typewriters, computers and mailboxes. Yet it failed to find a shred of evidence that identified the anthrax killer–or even a witness to the mailings. With the help of a task force of scientists, it found a flask of anthrax that closely matched–through its genetic markers–the anthrax used in the attack.
This flask had been in the custody of Ivins, who had published no fewer than 44 scientific papers over three decades as… Continue reading