Al-Nakba

April 30, 2009

Wonder why there is so much resentment from Palestinians over the State of Israel?

A little history for those who do not know anything about it…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Nakba

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http://www.juancole.com/2009/04/revised-transcript-liz-cheney-defends.html

REVISED TRANSCRIPT: LIZ CHENEY DEFENDS HER FATHER ON MSNBC

NEW YORK – April 23, 2009 – Liz Cheney, former deputy assistant secretary of state during the Bush administration and the daughter of the former vice president, Dick Cheney spoke to MSNBC’s Norah O’Donnell earlier today about new information that suggests her father signed off on harsh interrogation practices.

NORAH O’DONNELL, MSNBC ANCHOR: Also, there may be some new information today on who signed off on tough tactics to question terrorists. The Senate Intelligence Committee now says Vice President Dick Cheney and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice helped direct a small group of Justice Department lawyers who wrote memos authorizing these harsh interrogation practices. Also, Rice gave the first verbal OK for the use of waterboarding in July 2002.

Liz Cheney is a former deputy assistant secretary of state during the Bush administration and the daughter of the former vice president, Dick Cheney.

Liz, good to see you. Thanks so much for joining us.

LIZ CHENEY, FORMER U.S. DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE: Thanks, Norah. Good to be here.

O’DONNELL: Did the former vice president, Dick Cheney, was he the prime mover behind directing this small group of Justice Department lawyers to come up with an authorization for these harsh tactics?

L. CHENEY: That’s actually not what the document says that you’re referring to. There’s absolutely no question that this was a program that was widely approved and supported within the administration. I think there’s no secret here that the National Security Council reviewed the program. The National Security Council ensured that it had legal approval before going forward with these techniques.

But I want to go back to one thing we heard the attorney general say, Norah, which I found troubling. He said that he had not seen the memos or any memos talking about the effectiveness of this program. And I think it’s very important for people to ask the question, had the president, before President Obama made the decision to release the tactics and the techniques, had nobody reviewed the effectiveness of the program? Had his attorney general and the president himself looked at whether in fact these programs had gained intelligence that was critical for saving — for the security of the nation?

O’DONNELL: Well Liz, we’ll get to that argument in a minute, about do the means justify the ends. Whether torture justifies…

L. CHENEY: Well, it wasn’t torture, Norah, so that’s not the right way to lay out the argument.

O’DONNELL: OK.

L. CHENEY: Everything done in this program, as has been laid out and described before, are tactics that our own people go through in SEER training and that our own people have gone through for many years. So it’s really – does a fundamental disservice to those professionals who are conducting this very effective program and to those people who approved the program in order to keep this nation safe and prevent attacks through the program to call it torture.

O’DONNELL: Liz, the CIA, on its own after 2005, stopped waterboarding on its own. The U.S. prosecuted people for waterboarding after World War II.
So to suggest there’s a consensus out there that waterboarding is not torture is not in fact accurate.
Cont’d (click below or on “comments”)

L. CHENEY: No, I think it is accurate. There were three people who were waterboarded. And two of those people are people who gave us incredibly important and useful information, information that saved American lives after they were waterboarded. Both Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Abu Zubaydah.

And I would just refer your viewers to the really important op-ed piece that Mike Hayden and Attorney General Mukasey wrote laying out why this program worked, why it was effective and what damage has now been done to our national security by releasing the tactics of this program (ph).

O’DONNELL: Well, the current director of the national intelligence, Admiral Dennis Blair, has said this about those particular memos, he says this, quote, “the information gained from these techniques was valuable in some instances. But there is no way of knowing whether the same information could have been obtained through other means.”

We have a full screen of this – no, let me, I want to put this full screen up, because this is very important. Could we please get this up on the screen?

L. CHENEY: It is important, Norah, but let me comment to that.

O’DONNELL: The bottom line – the bottom line is that these techniques have hurt our image around the world.

L. CHENEY: Norah, I’m sure you know…

(CROSSTALK)

O’DONNELL: … director says that the damage that has done has far outweighed any information that was gleaned. And in fact, there is a disagreement about whether other tactics other than waterboarding could have gotten valuable information.

L. CHENEY: Norah, I’m sure you know that actually the first statement that DNI Blair put out internally acknowledged the incredible effectiveness of these programs and acknowledged that very important intelligence had been gained. And that it was only after the White House got a hold of the statement, edited the statement, censored it I would say, and put it out publicly that his language changed.

So I think this is another instance where people need to take a very close look at the fact you’ve had four former CIA directors talk about how effective this program is and why memos should not have been released, and the fact that DNI Blair changed his assessment of the program should raise some questions in people’s minds.

O’DONNELL: I want to get back again – we can debate this, but I want to get back to specifically, what role the vice president had in directing lawyers to authorize these memos. Was it from the vice president’s office, Dick Cheney, who said to those men — John Hugh (ph), Jay Bibby (ph)– we need to come up with a way to interrogate these al Qaeda suspects after 9/11? Why doesn’t he own up to the fact that he was the prime mover behind that?

L. CHENEY: Norah, there was no direction of lawyers from the vice president. That’s not how this process worked. And I think that you can look at exactly how the process worked, which is, the CIA said we have Abu Zubaydah and we think he’s got important information that further attacks are imminent and therefore, we need to know what we can do.

And the National Security Council met and discussed this. This is actually all laid out in Senator Rockefeller’s timeline, which doesn’t say what you’re alleging that it says, which makes clear that the questions laid out to OlC were, what’s possible and when. And if you’ve read the memos, in fact, that were released, you’ll see that they were very, very careful in laying out exactly what could be done and for exactly how long.

So the notion…

O’DONNELL: Well, let me put that up on the screen, because we do have that and that’s the first full screen that I was going to get to, which is the Cheney and Rice signed off on these interrogations. Very first graphic…

(CROSSTALK)

L. CHENEY: But Norah, what you’re doing is reading a headline – but Norah, you’re reading a headline from an A.P. story or McClatchy story. That’s not what the document itself says.

Now, I think it’s very important, however, to be clear…

O’DONNELL: The Senate Intelligence lays out that in those initial meetings were the vice president..

L. CHENEY: Absolutely.

O’DONNELL: … the national security adviser…

L. CHENEY: That’s absolutely right.

O’DONNELL: … Powell, and Defense Secretary Rumsfeld were not in those initial meetings. So if those were that small group of people, why won’t you say that the vice president was one of the prime movers in..

(CROSSTALK)

L. CHENEY: There’s no question that the vice president of the United States supported the program, as did the national security adviser, as did the secretary of state, as did the attorney general, as did the entire National Security Council. There is nobody who has been clearer about being out there saying this is a good program, this saved American lives than the vice president. So there’s nothing about owning up here, because this was a good program and people are very proud of what we’ve accomplished.

Now setting aside that, what you’re doing is reading headlines and talking about direction of lawyers, which is a very different thing. And there’s no assertion that that’s what went on. The lawyers’ opinions were sought in order to make sure that the program that the CIA ran stayed within the law. And the lawyers did a very responsible and professional job of laying out exactly what were the limits of how far we could go. And that is precisely what makes it so damaging that these memos have now been released.

O’DONNELL: Listen to yourself – listen to yourself, Liz, “how far we could go.”

L. CHENEY: That’s right.

O’DONNELL: How far could we go with detainees? I mean, how far could we… Torture them in order to get information?

L. CHENEY: How far – no. For how many minutes you could ask them certain kind of questions. How many…

(CROSSTALK)

L. CHENEY: I’m sorry, it’s very, very important point.

O’DONNELL: It’s a very important point.

L. CHENEY: It is a very important point.

O’DONNELL: The Geneva Convention were established…

L. CHENEY: Norah, there is nothing…

O’DONNELL: … to protect our men and women in the military. So that America would be a beacon in the world so when our men and women are captured overseas that they would not be tortured. We would never want our people to…

L. CHENEY: Norah, are you going to give me a chance to answer your question?

O’DONNELL: Let me finish my point.

L. CHENEY: I get your point, Norah, but the point is – no, Norah, wait a second…

(CROSSTALK)

O’DONNELL: … America no longer cares about torture?

L. CHENEY: That’s not what the world is hearing, Norah. First of all…

(CROSSTALK)

O’DONNELL: .. and if gets valuable information, then OK, we’re for it. Is that the message they send?

L. CHENEY: Norah, that may be what you’re saying, but that’s not what I’m saying.

O’DONNELL: OK.

L. CHENEY: What I’m saying that is there were a series of tactics, a series of techniques that had all been done to our own people. We did not torture our own people, these techniques are not torture. The memos laid out…

O’DONNELL: Did we torture other people?

L. CHENEY: No.

O’DONNELL: You just said, we did not torture our own people.

L. CHENEY: Therefore, the tactics are not torture. We did not torture. The memos laid out the extent of exactly how far we could go before it would become torture, because it was important we not cross that line into torture.

As General Hayden and Attorney General Mukasey laid out, the problem is that now we’ve said to our enemies, look, this is exactly how far we’re g going to go. So our enemies, who we know read this stuff online, will now train to be able to withstand that.

Now, setting that aside, this argument about the Geneva Conventions, in terms of the – you know, this idea that somehow al Qaeda abides by the Geneva Conventions. If al Qaeda captures an American, they cut his head off. So I think it’s very important for us to sort of take a step back from the emotion of this and say we needed to be able to get evidence about imminent attacks.
We knew these guys had information, the information that was provided saved American lives, and the techniques were not torture. And I think it’s important for the American people to be able to see the entire argument laid out.

O’DONNELL: OK. Liz Cheney, stay with us, because we’re going to have much more not only about these particular harsh interrogation memos that some people are calling torture memos, whether the vice president will participate, will testify before a truth commission, and the future of the Republican Party. We’ve got a lot more coming up right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DICK CHENEY, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The world outside there, both our friends and our foes, will be quick to take advantage of a situation if they think they’re dealing with a weak president or one who’s not going to stand up and aggressively defend America’s interests.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O’DONNELL: Back with us is Liz Cheney, she, of course, the former deputy assistant secretary of state during the Bush administration and the daughter of the former vice president, Dick Cheney.

All right, Liz, did the vice president just call the president a weak president?

L. CHENEY: I think that he is concerned that some of the things that we’ve seen President Obama do, particularly on his overseas trip, in terms of not taking the opportunity to stand up and defend America when Daniel Ortega delivers a 50-minute screed against the United States…

O’DONNELL: Is that really appropriate, though, to call the current sitting president weak?

L. CHENEY: I think what he said is you begin to look weak and there’s a danger if our enemies think we are weak. I think it’s important to be very precise about what he said.

But I there’s a real concern. I mean the message that we saw coming out of the last few foreign trips, you know, set aside republican and democrat, as an American, it concerns me when I’ve got a president who doesn’t stand up and say, wait a minute. You know, I’m going to defend the United States of America because we are the beacon of hope for people all around the world.

O’DONNELL: He didn’t said he wasn’t going to defend America.

L. CHENEY: He didn’t do it though, Norah. He didn’t do it. He stood up after Ortega attacked the nation, attacked our policies for the last 40 years, and President Obama said, well, look I was only three months old.

Now, you know, that’s not the kind of strong defense of the nation that I’d like to see.

O’DONNELL: Let me read to you what the former president, George W.
Bush, said on March 17th in Calgary. He said, quote, “I’m not going to spend my time criticizing him,” talking about President Obama. “There are plenty of critics in the arena. He deserves my silence.”

So Liz, what are you doing here? What’s the vice president doing?

L. CHENEY: Well, the vice president thinks it’s very important when you see the country begin to go down paths that are concerning and dangerous, and when you see the current administration making decisions that really do have the potential to make us less safe, in those circumstances, I would say the vice president doesn’t’ think that there’s an obligation to be silent. In fact, I think he believes the opposite, which is that there’s an obligation to stand up and say, wait a second. You know, there are important reasons why we put policies in place. They clearly kept us safe for seven years.

And it’s very important as this administration now begins to dismantle some of those things, that the public, you know, understand and have the ability to have a debate about what direction we’re going to go in.

O’DONNELL: The latest former vice president’s approval ratings, Cheney, favorable, 21 percent, unfavorable 58 percent.

Is it possible that the American people have already made a judgment about whose right on this issue? They voted for change, they don’t agree with your point of view, with your father’s point of view?

L. CHENEY: You know, I think – obviously, they voted for change. I think there are lot of reasons why the republicans lost this election. I do think that the Republican Party needs to do some rebuilding.

But I think that all of that is domestic politics and poll numbers.
And I think that we are at a crossroads as a nation. We’re at a moment where we can either remember that we’re at war and remember that there are people out there who really would like to do us great damage and great harm and keep those policies in place that have kept us safe, or we go back to treating this like a law enforcement matter.

And I think when you’re dealing with issues that are of that grave importance, spending a lot of time looking at poll numbers is irresponsible.

O’DONNELL: Well, the former vice president is now calling the sitting vice president essentially a weak president. That he’s concerned he’s going — he said essentially said he’s worried that he’s no longer going to ask terrorists tough questions, which I’m sure our men and women are going to ask terrorists tough questions.

L. CHENEY: The question is, Norah….

(CROSSTALK)

O’DONNELL: … answer the questions, I think that’s the question.

(CROSSTALK)

O’DONNELL: … did Vice President Cheney get permission from President Bush to speak out like this?

L. CHENEY: He doesn’t need permission. But we were just watching…

O’DONNELL: Do they talk regularly?

L. CHENEY: They do.

But let me say one thing. We were just watching Attorney General Holder, and he made a very important point. He talked about the task forces that have been set up to review interrogation techniques. And this is one of the things that’s so concerning about the release of these legal memos and it’s another thing General Hayden points out.

President Obama said to his National Security Council, you tell me whether or not the tactics in the Army Field Manual are sufficient and you report back to me about whether those are sufficient to protection the nation.
And they haven’t reported back yet. That is underway. That review is underway. And in the meantime, we have released the information about what other tactics are.

So it’s really a situation where there’s, you know, the president has not only tied his own hands, but he’s tied potentially the hands of all future presidents by putting this material out before he himself even knew whether his task force was going to tell him, yes, you need those tactics.

O’DONNELL: Well, the Senate Armed Services Committee came out with a report yesterday. And the chairman of that committee, Carl Levin, said essentially, there’s a direct link between what happened in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib. That these types of interrogation practices led to what we saw at Abu Ghraib. And I think there’s been a pretty general agreement across the world that what happened at Abu Ghraib was despicable.

L. CHENEY: Absolutely what happened at Abu Ghraib is despicable. What Senator Levin is saying and the report that you’ve mentioned, clearly you’ve heard republican members of Congress and republican senators on TV all day today pointing out that that was a partisan report.

So, Abu Ghraib was despicable, the people that did those things are being prosecuted and have been prosecuted and punished. That is not the CIA interrogation program. That was a situation in which people were doing things that were clearly against the law and they shouldn’t have been doing. And it’s a very convenient thing for, you know, democrats in Congress and people who are trying to sort of make partisan attacks here to point Abu Ghraib. I think we all should be able to say we agree that was a crime and that was despicable.
And that’s not part of this current debate.

O’DONNELL: Well, the question is whether that led – some of those — opening the door to those harsh interrogation tactics led to a misunderstanding that happened at Abu Ghraib.

We’re going to have much more with Liz Cheney…

L. CHENEY: But I don’t think there’s any evidence that it did, by the way.

O’DONNELL: All right, when we come back, more with Liz Cheney, including what Megan McCain had to say to day about the former vice president.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O’DONNELL: And we are back with Liz Cheney.

And Liz, I want to play for you something that Megan McCain, who of course is the daughter of John McCain, was co-hosting on “The View” this morning and she had some tough words for your father, the former vice president.

Let’s listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MEGAN MCCAIN, THE VIEW: The DNC just did an ad. And it has Karl Rove and Newt Gingrich and Dick Cheney as the new faces of the Republican Party…

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh my God, how scary.

MCCAIN: Well, I mean, it’s hard people like me that really want new energy and new blood when they – it’s very unprecedented for someone like Karl Rove or Dick Cheney to be criticizing the president. It’s very unprecedented a former vice president, you know, obviously Karl Rove – and I just – you know, my big criticism is just, you had your eight years, go away.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O’DONNELL: You have a reaction to that?

L. CHENEY: Look I disagree with her. But I think it’s great to have young people actively engaged in politics. And I think that one of the things that we’re seeing that’s, I think, is fascinating, in the early months of this administration, something that I thought would take longer, frankly. And I think you’re seeing people around the country, young people in particular, look at those tea parties we had a couple of weeks ago, people coming out just saying, wait a second here. There are a lot of things that we love about this nation and we don’t want to see those things take away.

So I think that, you know, it’s terrific to have people engaged in the process. I would encourage more people to get engaged and I think it’s a good thing for the party.

O’DONNELL: Do you think Sarah Palin is the future of the Republican Party?

L. CHENEY: I think that Sarah Palin’s terrific. I think that there are a lot of young, you know, leaders out there that we see, people in Congress. I’m a big fan of Adam Putnam, who I hope will one day run for governor of Florida. People like Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan. You know, we’ve got a lot of very smart, very talented, young members of Congress, some governors out there as well, who I really do think represent, you know, where the party will go in the future.

O’DONNELL: And given that 90 percent of John McCain’s voters were white in this past election, do you acknowledge your party has a long way to go when it comes to minorities and reaching out to younger people, too?

L. CHENEY: I do think we have a lot to do. And I think that the Obama campaign was a masterful campaign. And I think the new techniques that they set out and that they implemented are ones that we need to be studying closely and learning from and stealing the next time around.

O’DONNELL: All right, Liz Cheney, thank you so much for joining us
here on MNSBC.

L. CHENEY: Thanks, Norah. Great to be here.

Makes an interesting read.

Indeed, as (waterboarding) for example is clearly not “torture”, then it should most certainly be tried out on Cheney, Bush and Rice (amongst others) – after all, if it works, and they tell the truth in response to some very hard questions which are currently being asked of them, then everyone will be happy, no?

You know, freezing Jews in cold water in concentration camps wasn’t very pleasant, but we did learn lots of valuable things about human physiology, so . . . it was OK?

Domain ID:D8908349-LRMS Domain Name:BINSEARCH.INFO Created On:23-Dec-2004 00:36:33 UTC Last Updated On:04-Feb-2009 00:16:06 UTC Expiration Date:23-Dec-2011 00:36:33 UTC Sponsoring Registrar:Key-Systems GmbH (R124-LRMS) Status:CLIENT DELETE PROHIBITED Status:CLIENT TRANSFER PROHIBITED Registrant ID:C10934177-LRMS Registrant Name:Legal departement Registrant Organization:Binsearch Ltd Registrant Street1:2ND FLOOR, 145-157 ST.JOHN STREET Registrant Street2: Registrant Street3: Registrant City:London Registrant State/Province: Registrant Postal Code:EC1V 4PY Registrant Country:GB Registrant Phone:+44.7931756488 Registrant Phone Ext.: Registrant FAX: Registrant FAX Ext.: Registrant Email:legal@binsearch.net

Interesting?

The Pirate Bay's Peter Sunde and an IOU

One year in Swedish prison and a pie in the sky, paper fine, which will NEVER EVER be paid. Not a penny.  BRAVO MPAA & The Swedish and American “Justice” system.

Peter Sunde, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, Fredrik Neij and Carl Lundstrom were all sentenced to one year in prison and collectively ordered to pay 30 million Swedish crowns, or about $3.58 million, in a closely-watched trial that involved one of the Internet’s most notorious sites for linking to illegally-copied works.

The site runs its own “trackers” of pirated materials, including music, movies and software, that provide a master list of individuals trying to download them using the popular BitTorrent software. The four defendants had been charged with violations of Swedish copyright law and other offenses.

But in a “press conference” conducted via Twitter soon after the verdict was read, Sunde vowed to burn everything he owned before paying anything to the Swedish authorities.

In a statement, the site called the verdict the work of “the dice court,” a reference to what Sunde called an essentially random verdict. “So, the dice courts judgement is here. It was lol to read and hear, crazy verdict,” the site said alongside a character from the movie “The Karate Kid”. “But as in all good movies, the heroes lose in the beginning but have an epic victory in the end anyhow. That’s the only thing hollywood ever taught us.”

The MPAA took a different view. “We welcome the court’s decision today because The Pirate Bay is a source of immense damage to the creative industries in Sweden and internationally,”it said. “This is an important decision for rights-holders, underlining their right to have their creative works protected against illegal exploitation and to be fairly rewarded for their endeavors. This decision will help to support the continued investment in talent and in new online services, and the creation of new film and television shows for enjoyment by audiences around the world.”

According to Sunde, the verdict will be followed by demonstrations in Sweden, organized by representatives of “Piratpartiet,” or Sweden’s “The Pirate Party,” both in Stockholm and Lund. Piratpartiet also plans to stand in the June elections in the EU.

Sunde said that the prosecutor’s case had been built on hearsay, rather than direct evidence.

“To boil down what I think is the problem: it’s a small elite, they all sit in a room and just talk to each other,” Sunde said. “There is this guy and he’s telling the next guy and it separates a bit and it separates some more and all of a sudden we’re killing small innocent kids and eating the remainders. It’s so far out and they actually start believing it, because they say I can heard it from my friend and he s a credible guy, and he can say I heard it from my friend, he’s a credible guy.”

Sunde said that he had spoken to Warg and Neij, but that “Carl [Lundstorm] I barely know”. The Pirate Bay operations are as decentralized as its user base is, he said: “If we’re going to be convicted or organized crime, that s stupid. At least convict us of disorganized crime,” he said.

Sunde also claimed that he and his cohorts had been working on an online payment scheme, apparently to compensate copyright owners. “The prosecutor tried to make every thing we do into something mystical, something very scary, super criminal, when its like oh, they’re actually working on payment methods for online content, that type of stuff.”

In one of the two “press conference” videos, Sunde held up a mock IOU for his share of the assessed fine, which is as close as prosecutors are ever going to get to his share, he said. “Even if I had money I would rather burn everything I own and not even give them the final dust from the burning…the ashes, not even the ashes,” he said.

The Web site with the press conference concludes that the verdict was actually an “epic win” for the site. As the site did, Sunde compared the verdict to “The Karate Kid”: “In the beginning there are these bullies who are bullying Daniel-san,” he said. “He gets beaten up, and that’s wher we’re at right now. And at the end we’re going to have this epic end where we have this crane [kick]…we’re going to stand there with a leg – a wooden leg, probably – a bit hurt, but we’re going to kick their ass.”

HTTP://THEPIRATEBAY.ORG

HTTP://MININOVA.ORG

HTTP://ISOHUNT.COM

Torture and the Banality of Evil

From www.craigmurray.org.uk

I feel sick. I have that sunk, painful feeling as though my stomach had emptied, and that shakiness though the central nervous system. I feel dirty, like I want to shower for ages.

I have just read all 124 pages of the Top Secret torture memos from Bush’s lawyers in the CIA and Department of Justice, which were obtained and released yesterday by the American Civil Liberties Union.
http://luxmedia.vo.llnwd.net/o10/clients/aclu/olc_08012002_bybee.pdf
http://luxmedia.vo.llnwd.net/o10/clients/aclu/olc_05102005_bradbury46pg.pdf
http://luxmedia.vo.llnwd.net/o10/clients/aclu/olc_05102005_bradbury_20pg.pdf
http://luxmedia.vo.llnwd.net/o10/clients/aclu/olc_05302005_bradbury.pdf

These are just a small sample of the acres of casuistry devoted to justifying the return to medieval barbarity under the Bush regime. The ACLU is pressing for more. Please do read them, but do not be sucked into their crazy internal logic. Remember they are deliberately underdescribing and downplaying the pain and terror this torture causes.

As you look at their careful discussion of how to characterise different levels of pain inflicted on shackled and helpless captives, you are in the crazed world of Dr Mengele. It is obvious even to the most unqualified person that what they are discussing is, to any reasonable person in any normal definition, torture. And that their legal arguments are continually strained to breaking point. The acknowledgement that waterboarding induces “Fear of imminent death by drowning” but argument that this can be “contextualized”, would be laughably bad if it were not so appalling.

Compare the tortured logic of the Bush lawyers with the simple clarity of the UN Convention Against Torture, to which the US is a party and which is the applicable international law.

“For the purposes of this Convention, the term “torture” means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity.”

http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu3/b/h_cat39.htm

The UK is guilty. Every intelligence report released by the CIA as a result of these torture sessions was copied to MI6 under the UK/US intelligence sharing agreement. Jack Straw took a deliberate and informed decision that in the “War on Terror” the UK would obtain intelligence from torture, by the CIA, by Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Saudi Arabia and the various thug security services involved in the CIA’s extraordinary rendition programme.

To the best of my knowledge and belief, I was the only official in the entire British civil sevice who tried internally to oppose this use of torture intelligence. In consequence I was not only sacked but subjected to a sustained campaign of slurs and smears, orchestrated by 10 Downing St and the FCO, with the deliberate aim of destroying my reputation.
http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2009/03/trying_again_my.html

That is the evidence which I shall be giving to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights on 28 April. I will also be arguing that, as in the US, the Top Secret documents on the UK’s attitude to torture must now be released, including the telegrams and minutes of meetings to which I allude in my evidence.

Obama’s decision that none of the CIA operatives, bosses or lawyers who instituted this barbarity should be prosecuted, is a dreadful harbouring and encouragement of criminality. If Obama really is genuine about improving the image of the US in the world, that is a retrograde step.

The most important single step he could take now would be to sign the United States up to the International Criminal Court, as evidence of a genuine desire to be part of the community of nations.

Killing From a Desk

April 17, 2009

“I see a man of around 50, coming back from his work in the City of London. It’s a soft summer’s evening, so there’s no need to put the car in the garage. He can hear the sound of his children’s voices coming from the garden, and he feels an acute sense of wellbeing as he walks around the side of the house, only pausing to smell the exquisite scent of the white roses he planted last year. Earlier that day, the man, a senior accountant at one of Britain’s leading oil corporations, had presented the final spreadsheets in the report which determined that a coastal area the size of Scotland in southern Nigeria would soon be developed. He cannot connect this fragrant evening in leafy north London with his work earlier that day. He cannot, or perhaps will not allow himself to, connect his life in London with the lives of those in Nigeria about to be devastated by his tapping at a keyboard.

Who was the senior accountant who looked at the spreadsheets for this project?

Who at the merchant bank dealt with the finance capital?

Who authorised the project to go ahead? Who decided that they wouldn’t negotiate with the Ogoni villagers?

Who telephoned the Nigerian Government to ask for the mobile police force to be sent?

How are we to show the violence of a spreadsheet?

How are we to show the violence of a set of minutes?

How are we to show the violence of an idea?”

From the performance ‘killing us softly’

The Independent Police Complaints Commission has admitted there could be CCTV footage of the moments before Ian Tomlinson was struck by police officers shortly before he suffered a fatal heart attack.

Last week Nick Hardwick, head of the IPCC, said there was no CCTV footage of the incident during the G20 protests and there were no cameras in the relevant area. Footage taken by a US fund manager seemed to show an unprovoked attack on Tomlinson by a police officer. Tomlinson later died of a heart attack.

But City of London police sent round an email this morning warning businesses not to delete CCTV footage.

The mail said: “The City of London Police are investigating the G20 Protests on 1st April 2009, under Operation Princess. Officers from the Major Investigation Team will shortly be attending various business premises throughout the City with a view to seizing CCTV evidence.

“It is anticipated that most premises will retain their CCTV for 31 days, but if for some reason your premises keeps it for less than that time please make contact immediately in order that your seizure can be prioritised.”

The IPCC, which is investigating the death of Ian Tomlinson, reversed its position today. It said: “There are cameras in the surrounding area.

“From the outset it has been a main line of our enquiry to recover all CCTV from the Corporation of London and from all private premises in the area. This work is ongoing and involves many hours of viewing and detailed analysis.”

The IPCC said Hardwick believed he was right when he told reporters there were no CCTV cameras where the incident happened.

Police have long used video and still cameras to intimidate protestors and have also called for a national CCTV database so they could search footage more easily