Thursday, July 1

American Torturer Convicted : Faces 46 Years

From Democracy Now

Decades after torture allegations were first leveled against former Chicago police commander Jon Burge, a federal jury has found him guilty of lying about torturing prisoners into making confessions. Burge has long been accused of overseeing the systematic torture of more than 100 African American men. Two years ago federal prosecutors finally brought charges against Burge—not for torture, but for lying about it. On Monday afternoon, after a five-week trial, Jon Burge was found guilty on all counts of perjury and obstruction of justice for lying about the abuse. He could face up to forty-five years in prison.

Never mind what has happened in Abu Ghraib and Gitmo, as of Tuesday a Torture is headed for Jail in America and a 20 Year Campaign vicious of violence against innocent men.

This quote from one of the torture victims, where he nearly broke down with emotion was frankly hard to watch...

MARK CLEMENTS: These people stole my [bleep] life! I hate to tell you the truth. I sat in a prison cell, and I prayed for this day! Today is a victory for every poor person. I was sixteen years old! This is America! Sixteen years old! What are we going to do about other people who are sitting in those prisons? And I’m sorry if I’m offending anyone, but it’s out!

AMY GOODMAN: This was Mark Clements’s response when reporters asked him how he felt.

MARK CLEMENTS: Relieved that finally at least one of these people are now going to finally feel the pain. My daughter is twenty-nine years old. I missed all those years with my daughter, sitting in them prison cells for a crime I did not commit. I do not feel sorry for Jon Burge. That’s all I have to say.

Yes, what are we going to do about all the other people sitting in our prisons based on falsified evidence and falsified coerced confessions?

According to the Innocence Project at least 25% of the people who've been exonerated from U.S. Prisons as a result of DNA evidence had provided false confessions.

Regardless of the age, capacity or state of the confessor, what they often have in common is a decision – at some point during the interrogation process – that confessing will be more beneficial to them than continuing to maintain their innocence.

From threats to torture
Sometimes law enforcement use harsh interrogation tactics with uncooperative suspects. But some police officers, convinced of a suspect’s guilt, occasionally use tactics so persuasive that an innocent person feels compelled to confess. Some suspects have confessed to avoid physical harm or discomfort. Others are told they will be convicted with or without a confession, and that their sentence will be more lenient if they confess. Some are told a confession is the only way to avoid the death penalty.

Oh, and by the way, most of the people - as many as 72% - who we've been holding in Abu Ghraib, Gitmo and Bagram AFB are largely innocent too.

Salon - The Miami Herald’s Carol Rosenberg reports that, this week, yet another federal judge has ordered the Obama administration to release yet another Guantanamo detainee on the ground that there is no persuasive evidence to justify his detention. The latest detainee to win his habeas hearing, Mohammed Hassen, is a 27-year old Yemeni imprisoned by the U.S. without charges for 8 years, since he was 19 years old. He has “long claimed he was captured in Pakistan studying the Quran and had no ties to al Qaida,” and that “he had been unjustly rounded up in a March 2002 dragnet by Pakistani security forces in the city of Faisalabad that targeted Arabs.” Hassen is now the third consecutive detainee ordered freed who was rounded up in that same raid. The Obama DOJ opposed his petition even though the Bush administration had cleared him for release in 2007. He has now spent roughly 30% of his life in a cage at Guantanamo.

Will it take another 20 years for people such as Mohammed Hassen to finally have the justice that Mark Clements just received?


Tuesday, June 29

Mainstream Media's Crocodile Tears over Hastings doing Real Reporting

Everything Lara Logan says here is about protecting her and other reporters access, it's not about telling the truth.  She says "Michael Hasting's have never protected the Country the way that Stan McChrystal has..." - actually, if what he did help end the war more successfully you're DAMN RIGHT he protected the country by reporting the truth of what was going on - and YES, what McChrystal and his staff were doing was insubordination and directly against the Military Rules.  Getting off with being replaced and retired was a gift, he could very easily have been Court Martialed for what he and his staff were doing.

This quote from Geraldo is priceless:

Geraldo: This Hastings was a Rat in an Eagles Nest...
This is coming from Geraldo.... GERALDO!. The guy who was giving away troop positions on the Air during Iraq War and got his ass sent HOME?

A primary obligation of the hundreds of reporters traveling with coalition forces in Iraq is to refrain from disclosing sensitive information about military operations. The veteran correspondent, who was temporarily accompanying the Army's 101st Airborne Division, violated the rule during a live broadcast on Fox television.

"He was with a (U.S.) military unit in the field and the commander felt that he had compromised operational information by reporting the position and movements of troops," Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman told Reuters. After the disclosure, members of the 101st Airborne were in the process of escorting Rivera out of the combat zone, a Pentagon official told CNN.

"He will be dropped at the Kuwaiti border," the official said.

Latino Please.

Do none of these people understand what Rolling Stone does? Haven't they ever seen the John Travolta Movie "Perfect" where he plays an RS reporter, let alone "Almost Famous" about the career of Cameron Crowe with Creem and RS?

Russel: to RS Reporter William I'm opening up to the one guy, I shouldn't be talking to... the Enemy.

This is why we can't get real news about practically anything from these Lapdogs.

Jeff Sessions Doesn't Know Squat about Elena Kagan

Wherein Sen Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III claims "We know what happened at Harvard and Military Recruitment" and proves yet again, that he doesn't know squat!

And Beauregard doesn't know squat probably because he's been listening to Faux News.

Here are the facts:

CLAIM: Kagan supported a "controversial wartime ban on campus military recruitment." During a recap of the first day of Kagan's confirmation hearings, Fox News chief political correspondent Carl Cameron claimed that "as dean of the Harvard Law School, she made headlines" for "supporting a controversial wartime ban on campus military recruitment."

FACT: Harvard students had access to military recruiters during Kagan's entire tenure as dean.
Throughout Kagan's tenure as dean, Harvard law students had access to military recruiters -- either through Harvard's Office of Career Services or through the Harvard Law School Veterans Association. Kagan became dean of Harvard Law in June 2003. In accordance with Harvard's pre-existing nondiscrimination policy, she barred the school's Office of Career Services (OCS) from working with military recruiters for the spring 2005 semester after the U.S Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit ruled that law schools could legally do so. During that one semester, students still had access to military recruiters via the Harvard Law School Veterans Association. During the fall 2005 semester, after the Bush administration threatened to revoke Harvard's federal funding, Kagan once again granted military recruiters access to OCS.

FACT: Military recruitment continued throughout Kagan's tenure at Harvard.
The notion that military recruitment was banned during Kagan's tenure is contradicted by data Media Matters obtained from Harvard Law School's public information officer, which indicated that graduates entered the military during each year Kagan served as dean. Moreover, the prohibition on Harvard Law's OCS working with military recruiters existed only during the spring 2005 semester, meaning that it could only have affected the classes of 2005, 2006, and 2007. However, the number of graduates from each of those classes who entered the military was equal to or greater than the number who entered the military from any of Harvard's previous five classes.

So Elena Kagan didn't "ban Military Recruiting at Harvard" - just reinstated a ban from their access to one office affecting the law school because the military doesn't comply with their non-discrimination policy. They only did then - WHEN THE COURT OF APPEALS SAID THEY COULD - not just one a whim. Harvard Students never lost access to Military Recruiters, they just had to go through a different office -- just like gays in the military who have to pretend they're Eunichs. Seems fitting to me, but it was only because the Bush Administration threatened to pull ALL FEDERAL FUNDING, not just from the Law School which actualy didnt receive any Federal funding, but from the Medical School which had nothing to do with the issue, did Harvard reinstate Military Recruitment in the OCS offices.   In fact, there were more Harvard graduates who joined the Military during Kagan's tenure than in previous years.