U.S. Citizens for Peace & Justice - Rome Italy anti-war demonstration in Rome

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Latest News

Week of February 20 2006

UN Calls for Guantánamo Closing
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights released a report last Wednesday on the situation of detainees at Guantánamo Bay. Among the recommendations of the report: "The United States Government should close the Guantánamo Bay detention facilities without further delay." Read the full report.

Another recently released report by Professor Mark Denbeaux of Seton Hall Law School and attorney Joshua Denbeaux gives details on just who the detainees are. The 28 page report titled Report on Guantánamo Detainees: A Profile of 517 Detainees through Analysis of Department of Defense Data, reveals that "55% of the detainees are not determined to have committed any hostile acts against the United States or its coalition allies" and "only 8% of the detainees were characterized as al Qaeda fighters."

Take Action: Send a letter to President Bush demanding that the Guantánamo Bay detention center be closed.

More Photos of Torture at Abu Ghraib
Though the Bush administration has fought to keep them secret, additional material documenting widespread torture at Abu Ghraib was leaked from the US army's internal investigation. The material includes "a total of 1,325 images of suspected detainee abuse, 93 video files of suspected detainee abuse, 660 images of adult pornography, 546 images of suspected dead Iraqi detainees, 29 images of soldiers in simulated sexual acts, 20 images of a soldier with a Swastika drawn between his eyes, 37 images of Military Working dogs being used in abuse of detainees and 125 images of questionable acts".

A number of photos were published on Salon along with an explanation by Salon's Editor Joan Walsh on their decision to make them public. Australia's SBS Dateline television program also aired a report on the new material that also included video shot at Abu Ghraib and an interview with an ACLU lawyer on their Freedom of Information Act requests.

Democracy Now! coverage of the story includes an interview with Professor Alfred McCoy on the history of CIA interrogation as well as testimony from former Guantánamo Chaplain James Yee detailing the abuses and his own imprisonment upon reentering the U.S.

Take Action: The Center for Constitutional Rights is calling for a special prosecutor to investigate torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantánamo.

The Case for War (Against Iran)
Read articles on the build up for a possible attack on Iran, including "Iran: the next war" by John Pilger, "WWIII or Bust: Implications of a US Attack on Iran" by Heather Wokusch, "Storm Clouds Over Iran" by Richard Falk and "The Mad is Not Out of the Question: Stopping the War on Iran, Before It Starts" by Gary Leupp.

Last week, in a vote of 404 to 4, the House passed H. Con. Res. 341, "Condemning the Government of Iran for violating its international nuclear nonproliferation obligations and expressing support for efforts to report Iran to the United Nations Security Council." Congressmember Dennis Kucinich was one of the four who voted against the bill. Read a statement issued on H. Con. Res. 341 as well as his comments made from the House Floor.

Take Action: Contact your representatives to let them know what you think of their vote and sign the petition of the StopWarOnIran campaign.

U.S. Military Plan to Invade Canada, circa 1930
It's not new. The so-called Plan Crimson was discovered in 1935 and was among documents declassified in 1974, along with plans for war against Japan, Mexico and even suppressing internal insurrection by U.S. citizens. But an interesting article by Floyd Rudmin on Counterpunch draws parallels with the invasion and occupation of Iraq, especially in the case of Mexico and gives historical context to American militarism.

"The U.S.A. is now the only nation with two defense departments; one to defend the homeland and one to....to do what? To project 'defense' of America outside of our borders into other nations? That is normally called 'aggression'."

Take Action: Write a letter to the editor of your favorite newspaper with your thoughts on this article.

ABC and WMDs: The Scoop That Wasn't
The ABC television network aired a report on World News Tonight and Nightline last week that included taped conversations from 1995 on Iraq's WMD program. According to the reporter responsible for the "scoop", it would "only serve to fuel the continuing debate about Saddam's true intentions and whether he, in fact, did hide weapons of mass destruction."

The problem with this report is that these conversations between Saddam and his son-in-law/weapons chief Hussein Kamel have been known for some time and even used by the Bush administration in the case for war. But more importantly, the story also leaves out the fact that Kamel told U.N. and U.S. officials as well as CNN that the weapons program had been destroyed in 1991.

Take Action: Read a full history of the reporting of these conversations on the FAIR web site and contact ABC to let them know what you think of their coverage.

Justice Dept Ordered to Release NSA Documents
A federal judge ordered the Justice Department to hand over documents related to the Bush administration's warrantless domestic spying program within 20 days. This was in response to a Freedom of Information Act request made by EPIC (Electronic Privacy Information Center). U.S. District Judge Henry Kennedy stated "Given the great public and media attention that the government's warrantless surveillance program has garnered and the recent hearings before the Senate Judiciary committee, the public interest is particularly well-served by the timely release of the requested documents."

See the court order on the EPIC web site as well background information on their FOIA request.

Take Action: Join both People for the American Way and the ACLU in their call for a special prosecutor to investigate abuses of power by the White House, including illegal wiretapping.

Upcoming Actions in the U.S. and Italy
A number of groups, including Democrats.com, Progressive Democrats of America, After Downing Street, Gold Star Families for Peace, Hip Hop Caucus, Democracy Rising, Velvet Revolution and Iraq Veterans Against the War, are organizing a grassroots campaign in all 435 Congressional Districts to urge representatives to support impeachment and getting out of Iraq. See the Democrats.com web site for information on the Congressional District Organizing Plan.

AfterDowningStreet has published a list of ways that "You -- Yes You -- Can End the War" which includes a number of ways to protest the war as well as a list of local events taking place today, Presidents' Day, through next June.

And United for Peace and Justice suggests "9 Ways to Take Action on the 3rd Anniversary of the War."

And in Rome USC4P&J will be demonstrating in front of the U.S. Embassy on March 8, International Women's Day and at the national protest march on the 3rd anniversary of the invasion, March 18.

Take Action: Participate with us in Rome and tell your friends and family about actions in the US!

More Talk of Impeachment
See the AfterDowningStreet web site for a number of recent articles on impeachment, including actor Richard Dreyfuss statement "there are causes worth fighting for," and one of those is the impeachment of President George W. Bush, a San Francisco City Council resolution for impeachment and a Harper's Magazine cover story on impeachment. David Swanson also explains "Why Peace Organizations Should Work for the Impeachment of Bush and Cheney."

If you know of additional news items that should be listed, send them via email.


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Ongoing/Future Events

Our Eyes Wide Open Film Series is suspended; for further information click here.

Upshot of our Nov. 9th group discussion on current politics:

It wasn't the Russians that got us Trump. Or Comey. Or even the massive GOP election fraud. It was the DNC.*
*Dem National Committee

To learn how to stop the DNC from delivering us another Trump, read Autopsy: the Democratic Party in Crisis.

Photo of a school in Yemen bombed by Saudi Arabian jets supplied by the U.S. and fueled in the air by the U.S. Air Force. Tell Trump to STOP THIS CARNAGE, not fuel it! Click here.

Also participate in the CodePink email and/or phone initiative:

Click here to sign a petition, to put an end to the sanctions against Syria - their only effect is to take a terrible toll on the population, causing them to migrate! And click here to see the video by the Italian Committee to lift sanctions against Syria.

Iraq Deaths Estimator
Did someone tell you that U.S. military intervention in Iraq was over? Not true: we're at it again. This time the pretext to drop bombs is "curbing ISIS" (which was created by the U.S. in the first place, to overturn al-Malaki in Iraq and then Assad in Syria, and is now out of hand. Like what happened to "our" creature al Qaeda in Afghanistan). And the death toll continues to rise...
Write your senators and tell them: "Enough! U.S. out!! Iraq has shown it can curb ISIS by itself!"

Copyright © 2006 U.S. Citizens for Peace & Justice - Rome, Italy