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

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Latest News

Week of January 30 2006

Last Chance to Stop Alito, Push for Filibuster
Senator John Kerry has called for a filibuster of the Alito nomination. He has been joined by a number of Democrats. Many groups have been working non stop over the weekend to convince enough senators to support the filibuster.

Take Action: Make as many phone calls or faxes as possible before Monday at 4:30pm (EST). AfterDowningStreet and Bob Fertik have detailed lists of who needs to be called and in what order. If you are a constituent, make sure you say so. The Save The Court web site also has a way for you to send faxes to those who are still wavering.

Outsourcing Torture and Europe's Complicity
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe released a report on rendition flights and secret prisons in Europe. The report notes mounting evidence and the need to continue the investigation. It also states that it is "highly unlikely that European governments, or at least their intelligence services, were unaware" of the practice.

The report's conclusions include the following:

"In fact, we must go beyond ascertaining the existence or non-existence of secret detention centres in Europe. The issue at stake is even more important than that. The current US Administration obviously considers that the traditional instruments of the democratic State governed by the rule of law – justice, constitutional guarantees of a fair trial, respect for human dignity – are inappropriate for facing up to the terrorist threat. ... Is Europe prepared to accept such an approach? Can we really say that human rights are an obstacle to national security? Can there be any real security without respect for human dignity?"

Take Action: Be the media! Make sure this report is publicized throughout the U.S. and Europe. Write a letter to the editor of your favorite newspaper. Get it published on web sites and blogs.

Most Censored Stories from 2005
Project Censored has released its Top 25 Censored Stories from 2005. The list features the 25 most important news stories not covered by the corporate media in 2004-05. Topics range from distorted election coverage, to the real Oil for Food scam, to a new military base in Ecuador and the complete washout that is the Department of Homeland Security.

Murderer Fined $6000, Activists Face 6 Months in Jail
An Army interrogator convicted of killing an Iraqi general by putting a sleeping bag over his head, tying him with an electrical cord, sitting on him and covering his mouth was fined $6000 and will serve no jail time. He will be restricted to his home, his base and his place of worship for 2 months. Human Rights First has full details of the trial.

Meanwhile, 34 activists ranging in age from 19 to 81 face up to 6 months in prison for entering the Fort Benning, Georgia military base housing the School of the Americas (renamed the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation) during a protest last November. In over 10 years of protests at the school, 183 people have served a total of over 81 years in prison for engaging in nonviolent resistance. Read a report and a press release on the SOA Watch web site.

Take Action: The SOA Watch web site has details on ways to spread the word regarding the upcoming trials and to show solidarity with the defendants.

Bush Crimes Commission
The International Commission of Inquiry On Crimes Against Humanity Committed by the Bush Administration held another session in New York on January 20-22. Participants included Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski, former commander of Abu Ghraib Prison, Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, Dahr Jamail, independent journalist who has reported extensively from Iraq, Jeremy Scahill of The Nation and Craig Murray, former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan. The verdict will be announced on February 2, 2006. Read the text of the indictments and listen to audio of the sessions.

State of the Union Protests
On Tuesday, January 31, Bush will address the nation with the State of the Union. A number of protests have been organized. Peter Rothberg of The Nation has put together a list with links and details. Code Pink is also sponsoring a People's State of the Union with events organized throughout the U.S.

Take Action: Let your friends and family in the U.S. know about these protests and encourage them to participate.

Defense Spending and Iraq Reconstruction
The Center for Defense Information continues with its tutorials on the defense budget and military spending. Part II, Smoke and Mirrors in Congress’ Defense Appropriations Bills covers the "techniques" Congress uses to distribute the money which amounts to "a well-cloaked set of dodges allowing Congress to add spending, mostly for pork, while advertising its bill as saving money."

For a better idea of military contracts handed out on a daily basis, the Department of Defense web site includes a list published weekdays at 5pm, but only those contracts valued at 5,000,000 USD or more.

More reckless spending was reported by the Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction in an audit which accuses the U.S. led occupation of squandering tens of millions of dollars destined for reconstruction efforts. Read an AP article published on CorpWatch and a news roundup on the Christian Science Monitor.

But not all the news is bad. Halliburton reported record profits for 2005, making it the best in their 86 year history.

Hamas Wins Palestinian Elections
Read analysis of the Hamas victory:

The Palestinian Elections
Rise of Hamas shows Bush foreign policy still failing
By Geov Parrish

How do you like your democracy now, Mr. Bush?
By Juan Cole

End of the Road Map
By Robert Dreyfuss

Hamas Wins the Palestinian Elections
By Phyllis Bennis

And on Democracy Now!, watch video (or read the transcript) of MOSAIC, a daily show on Link TV compiling news reports from Middle Eastern TV outlets, dubbed in English: How Middle East Media Cover Hamas Victory: Mosaic Compiles Arab T.V. News for U.S. Audience.

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


Mailing List

Stay informed
Join the USC4P&J mailing list to stay informed on events and initiatives.

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