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Archive for the ‘American Civil Liberties Union’ Category

Ex-CIA directors urge Obama to drop abuse probe

AFP

WASHINGTON — Seven former CIA directors have called on US President Barack Obama to end a probe into claims the agency abused terror suspects, warning it will cause “serious damage” to intelligence operations.

The former intelligence chiefs, appointed by both Democrat and Republican presidents, in a letter to Obama called on him to end the Justice Department inquiry, warning it would make agents more reticent to act for fear of prosecution.

“This approach will seriously damage the willingness of many other intelligence officers to take risks to protect the country,” the group stated.

Warning of “endless criminal investigations,” the seven said allegations of detainee abuse had already been probed, with the supervision of federal prosecutors.

“Attorney General (Eric) Holder’s decision to re-open the criminal investigation creates an atmosphere of continuous jeopardy for those whose cases the Department of Justice had previously declined to prosecute,” the letter read.

The signatories warned that the investigation could jeopardize relations with other nations that had co-operated with investigations, on the proviso of secrecy.


Though not a signatory to the letter, current CIA Director Leon Panetta also opposed Holder’s investigation.

“I think the reason I felt the way I did is because I don’t believe there’s a basis there for any kind of additional action,” Panetta said.

“My concern is … that we don’t get trapped by the past. My feeling is ultimately, we’re going to be able to move on,” he told reporters this week after a speech in Michigan.

Is Leon Panetta up to the job?

I think not!

…………zzzzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

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Middle East Online, Sep 3, 2009



Documents show ‘assistance provided by certain foreign governments’

US spy agency says further documents too sensitive to release amid public shock in America.

WASHINGTON – The CIA has refused to release further documents related to its controversial suspect rendition, detention and interrogation programs.

In a 33-page court statement made public on Tuesday, the Central Intelligence Agency said the documents contained sensitive information “that implicates intelligence activities, sources and methods, and information relating to the foreign relations and activities of the United States.”

Last month the Department of Justice revealed details of a report by a CIA inspector general that outlined methods used during interrogations of suspects during the presidency of George W. Bush, including threats of rape of family members of detainees and murdering their children.

Continues >>

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By Danielle Kurtzleben, Inter Press Service News

WASHINGTON, Aug 14 (IPS) – The U.S. government continues to withhold even the most basic information about prisoners in the Bagram detention facility in Afghanistan, according to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), a New York-based legal rights organisation.

An April 2009 ACLU Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for documents and information about the detainment of prisoners at Bagram has yielded dead ends with both the Department of Defence (DOD) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

The ACLU wants the Obama Administration to make these records public, including information about “the number of people currently detained at Bagram, their names, citizenship, place of capture and length of detention, as well as records pertaining to the process afforded those prisoners to challenge their detention and designation as ‘enemy combatants.’”

Continued >>

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By Mark LeVine, Al Jazeera, Aug 8, 2009

Some human rights groups want Obama to investigate top Bush administration officials [GETTY]

Somewhere in the borderlands between Afghanistan and Pakistan, Bowe Bergdahl, a US soldier, is being held captive by the Taliban.

The threat of execution hangs over him if the US does not agree to the still unspecified demands of his captors.

Bergdahl is the first US soldier captured in Afghanistan since the 2001 invasion and the circumstances of his capture, which occurred around July 1 outside a US military base in Helmand Province, remain unclear.

But in the wake of years of revelations of abuses by US personnel of Iraqis in Abu Ghraib, and of alleged Taliban or al-Qaeda detainees elsewhere, the spectre of US troops in enemy hands is disturbing because of the possibility that they could face copy-cat treatment.

Continues >>

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TPM July 18, 2009

A bipartisan group of six “moderate” US senators, dubbed the “Gang of Six” by news agencies, issued a demand July 17 for a slowdown on Democratic health care reform. These senators – including three conservative Democrats, one conservative Independent who caucuses with Democrats, and two moderate Republicans – asked for a slowdown on health care reform not because their constituents wished it so: recent polls show that a clear majority of Americans want health care reform now including a public health care option such as that proposed by President Obama and progressives in Congress. No, these senators asked for a slowdown on health care reform because the for-profit health, insurance, and pharmaceutical industries have bid them to do so in the hope that reform can be stopped, and because these same industries have generously provided them with career campaign contributions totalling more than $11 million.

Read more about these sicko’s

Gang of Sickos (part 2)

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FBI planning a bigger role in terrorism fight

Bureau agents will gather evidence to ensure that criminal prosecutions of alleged terrorists are an option. The move is a reversal of the Bush administration’s emphasis on covert CIA actions.

Los Angeles Times

By Josh Meyer
May 28, 2009

Reporting from Washington — The FBI and Justice Department plan to significantly expand their role in global counter-terrorism operations, part of a U.S. policy shift that will replace a CIA-dominated system of clandestine detentions and interrogations with one built around transparent investigations and prosecutions.

Under the “global justice” initiative, which has been in the works for several months, FBI agents will have a central role in overseas counter-terrorism cases. They will expand their questioning of suspects and evidence-gathering to try to ensure that criminal prosecutions are an option, officials familiar with the effort said.

Though the initiative is a work in progress, some senior counter-terrorism officials and administration policy-makers envision it as key to the national security strategy President Obama laid out last week — one that presumes most accused terrorists have the right to contest the charges against them in a “legitimate” setting.

The approach effectively reverses a mainstay of the Bush administration’s war on terrorism, in which global counter-terrorism was treated primarily as an intelligence and military problem, not a law enforcement one. That policy led to the establishment of the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; harsh interrogations; and detentions without trials.

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Armey’s Axiom: Don’t Take Me Seriously


The corporate lobbyist behind freedomworks.org/ is non other than the architect for Bu$co’s Homeland Security program, Richard K. Armey. He is now Senior Policy Advisor Co-Chair, Homeland Security for DLA Piper.

This article appeared in Israel Venture Capital Journal in June 2003 and is produced by permission of the publisher. If you want much information from this publication, you’ll have to subscribe. The more thousands of shekles you pay the more info you get.

Former congressman Dick Armey served as chairman of the select committee on Homeland security and was the principle architect of the homeland Security Act of 2002.

Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency,
HSARPA modeled after DARPA is shown by the Googleplex to be hsarpa.com.

Israel Venture Capital: Views on 911

The enduring Israeli-American relationship has been based on shared values and common interests. The tragedy of 911 joined our nations in another way that neither of us wanted-as democracies challenged by the menace of terrorism.

The enduring Israeli-American relationship has been based on shared values and common interests. The tragedy of 911 joined our nations in another way that neither of us wanted-as democracies challenged by the menace of terrorism.

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Well, as you probably already know, Fox News makes me feel like losing my groceries, but I had to show this video attack on Congressman Alan Grayson. This repulsive dude, Neil Cavuto, is attempting to take on the appearance of authority to trick him into giving him an absolute number on an argument that doesn’t really call for anything but a relative example.

What Alan is dealing with here is known as The “Cavuto mark”. Following a satirical segment proposing it on The Daily Show on September 13, 2006, the word “Cavuto” is sometimes used to refer to a question mark “used to turn any statement, no matter how outrageous, into a simple, seemingly fair, question.”

Barney Frank: “This is presumably a psychological disorder”

Huffington Post

April fools day, 2009

House Republicans did their best Wednesday to battle Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) on the House floor and wound up on the receiving end of some classic Frank jabs.

The bill at issue, authored by Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.), would cap executive compensation at bailed-out financial institutions and it puts the GOP in a tough spot: after expressing outrage over the AIG bonuses, it’s tough to vote against the bill.

In announcing their opposition, Republicans such as Rep. John Culberson (R-Texas) took to the floor to decry the fact that the stimulus allowed the bonus payments to be made. They excoriated Democrats for not reading the full stimulus bill but said they objected to the bill on the floor that would fix the loophole that had been in the stimulus.

Frank had a field day with it.

“This is really extraordinary,” he said. “What you have just heard is a denunciation of something the Congress did a few weeks ago and a refusal to undo it. I’ve never seen people, Mr. Chairman, so attached to something they hate. This is presumably a psychological disorder which I am not equipped to diagnose. The objection of the gentleman from Texas was that when the recovery bill was passed, it was passed too quickly [and it] included a provision that shouldn’t have been in there. This bill takes it out.”

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by Geezer Power

So, you know about the Treasury’s $700 billion bailout plan. But you probably don’t know that the Federal Reserve has lent out about $2 trillion since September. Few do. And that is what’s irritating bulldog Congressman Alan Grayson. Will he be able to shed a light on the Fed’s secret spending?

Grayson raises voice, hackles in D.C.

Mark K. Matthews | Washington Bureau
February 9, 2009

“WASHINGTON – In just a few short weeks, freshman U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Orlando, has delivered more memorable quotes than some members of Congress do in an entire career.”

“In interviews, the 6-foot-5-inch Grayson downplays his combative approach, bridling at a reporter’s use of the “abrasive” label and saying that he would not have been assigned to the House Science Committee — the “most bipartisan committee in Congress,” he said — if he wasn’t collegial.”

“Meanwhile, his Dylan-quoting, freewheeling stance has earned him liberal fans nationwide, including Darcy Burner, a failed Washington state congressional candidate who has already asked supporters to back Grayson’s re-election campaign.”

“He’s going to have a vicious re-election battle in two years, and he’s getting pressure to sell out to the lobbyists and corporations so that he’ll have enough money to fund his re-election. That, my friends, would be a real pity,” Burner wrote in a letter.

“Fundraising, however, is unlikely to be a problem. He is the 10th-wealthiest House member, with assets of more than $29 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.”

The rest of the story

Here’s Grayson’s alter ego Steven Seagal as an abstract, reality TV, illustration of what should really happen to the major players in the shadow government that still hangs over the White House.

Youtube video

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Geezer Power

Rep. Alan Grayson asked Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit about the terms of the government assistance his firm received, and read comments from several angry constituents. He is one of the more Progressive Democrats on the Obama team and should prove to be a real asset, especially on issues of accountability.

Grayson also has a record of combatting war protiteering and waste concerning the Defence Industries, as he points out, “the money we have thrown away on war profiteers could go a long way on the domestic front”.

Because of his track record suing defense contractors, Grayson is completely uninterested and unintimidated by ridiculous arguments about secrecy and national security. He thinks that war crimes have been committed, that people need to be put in prison, and that we absolutely cannot let bygones be bygones with the 2000-2008 era.


I really like this guy. Here he is defending Obama from the attacks of right wing media spin, as Rush Limpballs gets a perspective from the other side of the mirror.

“Rush Limbaugh is a has-been hypocrite loser, who craves attention,His right-wing lunacy sounds like Mikhail Gorbachev, extolling the virtues of communism. Limbaugh actually was more lucid when he was a drug addict. If America ever did 1 percent of what he wanted us to do, then we’d all need pain killers.”

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