Over 100 tortured to death in U.S. custody; A Nobel laureate and former U.S. Congresswoman kidnapped by Israel; Glenn Greenwald on the Washington Establishment recognizing Obama mimicking Bush on civil liberties; The history of Honduras leading to the military coup; and more…
“The Suppressed Fact: Deaths by U.S. Torture” by Glenn Greenwald (Salon): “The interrogation and detention regime implemented by the U.S. resulted in the deaths of over 100 detainees in U.S. custody — at least…. [M]any were caused by the methods authorized at the highest levels of the Bush White House, including extreme stress positions, hypothermia, sleep deprivation and others. Aside from the fact that they cause immense pain, that’s one reason we’ve always considered those tactics to be “torture” when used by others — because they inflict serious harm, and can even kill people. Those arguing against investigations and prosecutions — that we Look to the Future, not the Past — are thus literally advocating that numerous people get away with murder.”
Bob Herbert wrote about Mohammed Jawad, the young man detained by the U.S. at 12 (or 14) years old in 2002, still being detained — having been tortured into a confession deemed useless by a military judge: “[S]ince his capture he has been tortured and otherwise put through hell. The evidence against him has been discredited.” Mr. Herbert writes. “Jawad tried to kill himself by repeatedly banging his head against a wall of his cell…. But the Obama administration does not feel that he has suffered enough.” (NYT)
A federal judge ruled that Haji Wazir, an Afghan businessman, being held without charges at Bagram Air Base has no legal right to challenge his detention in a U.S. court. (AntiWar.com)
After the Obama Administration has created two million refugees in Pakistan, extremist groups are exploiting the crisis to create anti-American sentiments. Haven’t we heard this story before? (NYT)
Former U.S. Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney and Nobel laureate Mairead Maguire were among the 21 unarmed activists kidnapped by the Israeli Navy while bringing aid to Gaza. (IPS) Israel has completely blockaded Gaza from bringing in any materials to reconstruct the damage caused by Israel in their massacre of the Strip earlier this year and people continue to die as basic medical supplies are not allowed to pass the border by Israel’s decree and forces. Egypt has collaborated with Israel as puppet of the U.S. and are reward like Israel with billions more in U.S. welfare this year by the Obama Administration. The 22-day war started with Israel breaking a six-month ceasefire and ended with Hamas ceasing fire and Israel continuing to slaughter Gazans to this day. The U.S. has not commented. What if Hamas had kidnapped Larry Craig, another former member of U.S. Congress? Eight of the nine U.K. embassy staffers kidnapped by Iran last weekend have been released and the E.U. has given Iran a deadline to release the last.
“Report Cites Indiscriminate Drone Use by Israel” by Jerrold Kessel and Pierre Klochendler (AntiWar.com): “Titled ‘Precisely Wrong,’ the Human Rights Watch (HRW) report focuses on six cases of Israeli drone-launched missile attacks in which 29 Palestinian civilians, eight of them children, were killed…. ‘These attacks violated international humanitarian law,’ the report states in unequivocal terms, following a 10-day investigation.”
Amnesty International has blasted Israel’s attack on Gaza in a 117-page report set to release July 2 — concluding Israel “killed hundreds of unarmed Palestinian civilians and destroyed thousands of homes in Gaza in attacks which breached the laws of war”. Read the full press release here.
Israel Defence Minister Ehud Barak said it’s a “little bit too early to predict” whether or not Israel will comply with the public demand of the international community for over 40 years to institute a settlement freeze after his meeting in New York with U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell. The U.S. State Dept. spokesperson called the meeting “constructive”… Huh? (AJE)
Israel doesn’t deny running a spy ring in Lebanon. (Ha’aretz) If it’s constantly caught spying on the U.S. — using U.S. Congresspeople as agents — and getting away with it, why wouldn’t it have a spy ring in Lebanon?
The Washington Establishment is literally comparing Pres. Obama’s actions toward civil liberties to the Bush Administration, as Glenn Greenwald points out: “President Obama has said that the state secrets doctrine should be reformed…. Yet when confronted with actual cases the Obama Justice Department has adopted the same legal arguments as the Bush administration…. [Obama] seems poised for a nearly wholesale adoption of the Bush administration’s unilateral approach to detention.” Mr. Greenwald also notes the eerie pattern of the president mimicking Pres. Bush immediately after Neo-Con’s press for more tyranny — in extremely vocal manners — like they’re handed the script in advance and the president is compared the latest loudmouth with no executive power, instead of Mr. Bush, let alone Mr. Obama’s campaign rhetoric. (Salon)
British Petroleum and China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) allied to secure the first oil contract of the six fields being auctioned off in Iraq. CNPC’s rival, Sinopec, has begun drilling in southeastern Iraq and has a pending deal to buy the Swiss giant, Addax Petroleum. Chinese economists have publicly stated the China needs to move investments away from the U.S. dollar toward more natural resources — commodities instead of paper money. (NYT) 32 international oil conglomerates are bidding for the remaining five 20-year contracts. (AJE)
Iraq PM Nouri al-Maliki declared June 30 as “National Sovereignty Day” to mark the U.S. pullout from Iraqi cities, through U.S. Iraq commander, Gen. Raymond Odierno said “a small number” of troops remained in the cities. He refused to specify how many because he said he “didn’t want to do it” only saying it was “a significantly smaller number” than were there before, whatever that means. Jeremy Scahill described the day as a “very contrived sort of Hallmark holiday”. See the video of Mr. Scahill on DN! here. Read his post on “National Sovereignty Day” here.
The longest member of the White House press corps, Helen Thomas, slammed the Obama Administration in today’s press briefing for basically trying to script a town hall meeting the president held today. See the video and report here.
The U.N. General Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution (not legally binding) calling for the “immediate and unconditional restoration of the legitimate and constitutional government” in Honduras to be led by the forcefully ousted President Manuel Zelaya. The interim president installed by the military coup, Roberto Micheletti, said if Mr. Zelaya were to return (as he vows to within the 72 hour deadline for the Micheletti gov’t to step down, “He would be sent to jail. For sure, he would go to prison.” The interim gov’t is shutting down news agencies sympathetic to the democratically elected Mr. Zelaya. More are adding that such a coup could not happen without a nod from the U.S. A conspiracy theory could be a simulation of the current events in Iran, but the coup was by no means so spontaneous. Mr Zelaya was about to hold a non-binding referendum to the public asking if they’d like to have an assembly to re-write the country’s constitution, arbitrarily deemed illegal by the Honduran high court.
“History Haunts Honduras” by Justin Raimondo is a great break down of Honduras’ political history over the last couple of decades — with a similar take on the parallel realities plus the contrary American reaction toward Iran — as a battle between the U.S.-backed military and ‘democratic socialist’ movements. Great article to understand the climate. (AntiWar.com)
“Dictatorships and Double Standards Revisited” by Daniel Luban and Jim Lobe (IPS): “[T]he coup makers found supporters among neo-conservatives and other right-wing U.S. hawks… [O]nly days before many of the same commentators were fiercely decrying similar scenes coming out of Tehran, and calling for U.S. President Barack Obama to stand up for democracy in Iran against what was frequently described as a coup by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.”
“Why President Zelaya’s Actions in Honduras Were Legal and Constitutional” by Jeremy Scahill and Alberto Valiente Thoresen: “Zelaya attempted to give Hondurans the gift of participatory democracy. It was the coup leaders who violated the constitution. Those who say otherwise are wrong.” (RebelReports)
Goldman Sachs has played major roles in inflation every bubble that’s led to a major recession in America since the 1920’s, writes Matt Taibbi in the most recent Rolling Stone. The article isn’t posted online, yet — only in print –but Mr. Taibbi has posted a response to the early critics on his blog at True/Slant. (h/t: LRC)
Rep. Ron Paul’s (R-TX) bill to audit the Federal [sic] Reserve is now at 245 co-sponsors — 27 more than needed to pass the House. No word on when or if the bill will be brought to a vote. House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) is a co-sponsor, but despite 245 co-sponsors and a financial meltdown as a result of nearly 100 years of the Fed’s malice, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) conveniently has no knowledge of the bill.
“We want to cooperate with the world using an approach of change and we must use all our capabilities to break the monopoly of global powers,” said Iran President Ahmadinejad. The Israel Air Force is upgrading their F-15 arsenal with warplanes developed by U.S. manufacturers, paid for with U.S. tax dollars. I wonder why the Iranian president would say such a thing…
Abdolhamid Rigi, the brother of Jundullah leader Abdolmalek Rigi, said in court that the terrorist group is trained and financed by “the U.S. and Zionists”. This isn’t really news. See the more than year-old reports of this in the post, “U.S. Funding ‘Regime Change’ in Iran“
Of course, Pres. Ahmadinejad being a mystical Keynesian loony, he’s usually wrong and out in the clouds as shown by a blogger exposing photos of his rallies doctored to appear as if the crowds were larger — by copy/pasting people from one part of the rally to another part fo the same rally. (Ha’aretz)
India opened its National Security Guard (NSG) headquarters. The NSG, a wing of India’s intelligence apparatus, will now have its own “anti-terror” ground forces for use when state police forces call them in. (BBC) The so-called “dovish” party won the first election since the 26/11 terrorist attacks in late November. This apparatus boost was probably a political action to beat out the fear induced by the local hawks.
“India will not accept any emissions targets – period. It is the bottom line; a non-negotiable stand,” said Indian Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh, in reaction to new U.S. legislation imposing egregious tariffs on foreign trade. Mr. Ramesh announced that India would “categorically reject any attempt to introduce climate change as an issue”. (FT)
India’s first and only gay magazine, Bombay Dost, has relaunched after seven years of being defunct. India is on the verge of ending its 150+ year thought-criminalization on homosexuality. (RT)
The U.K. economy contracted by 2.4% in the first quarter of 2009, its sharpest quarterly decline in 51 years. (BBC)