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Week of May 29 2006
by Becky Tavani
Amnesty Rebukes Secret CIA Prisons
Its focus, however, is on CIA secret detention centers in countries such as Afghanistan, Poland and Romania as well as the use of “renditions”, transporting persons forcibly without due process from one country to another where they risk being interrogated under torture or ill-treatment. Amnesty estimates that hundreds of persons may have been subject to renditions around the world.White House and demand Guantanamo’s closure.
Iraqi Civilians Slain Execution-Style
In a related NYTimes article on the fallout of the marine scandal, retired Air Force Col. Mike Turner states that 'What we're seeing more of now, and these incidents will increase monthly, is the end result of fuzzy, imprecise national direction combined with situational ethics at the highest levels of this government.''
Reuters reports that Republican Senator John Warner vowed to hold hearings on the Marines' role in the killings.
Maureen Dowd has an excellent editorial in Times this week covering the incident and relating the psychological stress of marines to the lack of a known enemy and true objective of the war.Take Action: Call or write Congress and demand that this incident be brought to light through an independent investigation team other than the Marines.
Immigration Bill Weakens Due Process for Immigrants
But a coalition of civil rights, religious and legal groups contend that the bill would make it easier for the government to detain or deport immigrants -- whether in the country legally or not -- while making it more difficult for them to prove they deserve asylum or naturalization.
One provision would give federal courts less latitude to review the cases of immigrants who have applied for asylum or citizenship and been turned down by immigration boards. Currently, U.S. circuit courts consider such appeals from scratch. Another provision would give Border Patrol officers new powers to jail and deport, without a judge's review, immigrants suspected of having recently crossed into the country illegally. The provision would essentially cement in law a controversial policy that the Department of Homeland Security has phased in during the past few years. Read the full Washington Post article here.Ironically, the NYTimes reports that the US Forest Service is benefiting from immigrant labour given that as many as half of the roughly 5,000 private fire-fighters based in the Pacific Northwest and contracted by state and federal governments to fight forest fires are immigrants, mostly from Mexico. And an untold number of them are working illegally.
Prosecution of Journalists Is Possible in NSA Leaks
“I can't imagine a bigger chill on free speech and the public's right to know what its government is up to — both hallmarks of a democracy — than prosecuting reporters," said Lucy Dalglish, executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.Aside from this threat of covering the NSA surveillance, journalists have recently discovered that they are also the targets of federal surveillance operations. One in particular, ABC’s chief investigative correspondent Brian Ross, recently talked with CNN about the effect of unchecked spying on journalists. Full transcript found at ThinkProgress.
Class Action Suits Raised in Phone Record Scandal
As the ACLU filed its state complaints, it also launched a nationwide campaign to encourage citizens to make their utility commissions aware of their privacy concerns. This campaign is being conducted through an online complaint form available at the ACLU website. The group is also running ads in eight large-city newspapers asking the public to join the complaints. The ads claim that "AT&T, Verizon and Other Phone Companies May Have Illegally Sent Your Phone Records to the National Security Agency."
The civil rights group has also asked the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to reconsider its recent decision not to investigate the alleged provision of tens of millions of telephone records to the National Security Agency (NSA).
Take Action : Sign the ACLU’s “Don’t Spy on Me” petition it is sending to AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth demanding that they STOP helping the government to invade private lives in the name of security.
GOP Pressuring Bush to Talk Directly with Iran
Diplomats from Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China met with their U.S. counterparts in London this week in an effort to design new agreements that they hope will persuade Iran to halt its enrichment activities as a first step toward an agreement that would ensure that Tehran could not build a nuclear weapon. The agreements are likely to include providing Iran with light-water nuclear reactors, trade and other economic incentives, and discussion of a "framework" to address Iran's security concerns.
However, U.S. diplomats opposed inclusion of the last item on the agenda, apparently due to a continuing impasse within the administration between Cheney and his allies, who favor "regime change", and other officials, notably in the State Department, who believe that goal to be both unrealistic and possibly counter-productive.
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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.* Also participate in the CodePink email and/or phone initiative:
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.*
Also participate in the CodePink email and/or phone initiative:
Copyright © 2006 U.S. Citizens for Peace & Justice - Rome, Italy