Monday, December 22, 2014 

New York Times Editorial Board Calls For Prosecution Of Bush, Cheney And Torturers !

"Since the day President Obama took office, he has failed to bring to justice anyone responsible for the torture of terrorism suspects — an official government program conceived and carried out in the years after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

He did allow his Justice Department to investigate the C.I.A.'s destruction of videotapes of torture sessions and those who may have gone beyond the torture techniques authorized by President George W. Bush. But the investigation did not lead to any charges being filed, or even any accounting of why they were not filed.

Mr. Obama has said multiple times that "we need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards," as though the two were incompatible. They are not. The nation cannot move forward in any meaningful way without coming to terms, legally and morally, with the abhorrent acts that were authorized, given a false patina of legality, and committed by American men and women from the highest levels of government on down.

Americans have known about many of these acts for years, but the 524-page executive summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report erases any lingering doubt about their depravity and illegality: In addition to new revelations of sadistic tactics like "rectal feeding," scores of detainees were waterboarded, hung by their wrists, confined in coffins, sleep-deprived, threatened with death or brutally beaten. In November 2002, one detainee who was chained to a concrete floor died of "suspected hypothermia."

These are, simply, crimes. They are prohibited by federal law, which defines torture as the intentional infliction of "severe physical or mental pain or suffering." They are also banned by the Convention Against Torture, the international treaty that the United States ratified in 1994 and that requires prosecution of any acts of torture.

So it is no wonder that today’s blinkered apologists are desperate to call these acts anything but torture, which they clearly were. As the report reveals, these claims fail for a simple reason: C.I.A. officials admitted at the time that what they intended to do was illegal.

In July 2002, C.I.A. lawyers told the Justice Department that the agency needed to use "more aggressive methods" of interrogation that would "otherwise be prohibited by the torture statute." They asked the department to promise not to prosecute those who used these methods. When the department refused, they shopped around for the answer they wanted. They got it from the ideologically driven lawyers in the Office of Legal Counsel, who wrote memos fabricating a legal foundation for the methods. Government officials now rely on the memos as proof that they sought and received legal clearance for their actions. But the report changes the game: We now know that this reliance was not made in good faith.

No amount of legal pretzel logic can justify the behavior detailed in the report. Indeed, it is impossible to read it and conclude that no one can be held accountable. At the very least, Mr. Obama needs to authorize a full and independent criminal investigation.

The American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights Watch are to give Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. a letter Monday calling for appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate what appears increasingly to be "a vast criminal conspiracy, under color of law, to commit torture and other serious crimes."

The question everyone will want answered, of course, is: Who should be held accountable? That will depend on what an investigation finds, and as hard as it is to imagine Mr. Obama having the political courage to order a new investigation, it is harder to imagine a criminal probe of the actions of a former president.

But any credible investigation should include former Vice President Dick Cheney; Mr. Cheney’s chief of staff, David Addington; the former C.I.A. director George Tenet; and John Yoo and Jay Bybee, the Office of Legal Counsel lawyers who drafted what became known as the torture memos. There are many more names that could be considered, including Jose Rodriguez Jr., the C.I.A. official who ordered the destruction of the videotapes; the psychologists who devised the torture regimen; and the C.I.A. employees who carried out that regimen.

One would expect Republicans who have gone hoarse braying about Mr. Obama’s executive overreach to be the first to demand accountability, but with one notable exception, Senator John McCain, they have either fallen silent or actively defended the indefensible. They cannot even point to any results: Contrary to repeated claims by the C.I.A., the report concluded that "at no time" did any of these techniques yield intelligence that averted a terror attack. And at least 26 detainees were later determined to have been "wrongfully held."

Starting a criminal investigation is not about payback; it is about ensuring that this never happens again and regaining the moral credibility to rebuke torture by other governments. Because of the Senate’s report, we now know the distance officials in the executive branch went to rationalize, and conceal, the crimes they wanted to commit. The question is whether the nation will stand by and allow the perpetrators of torture to have perpetual immunity for their actions
The New York Times

Thursday, December 11, 2014 

Like A Rat Fleeing A Sinking Ship, Dick Cheney Throws George Bush Jr. Under The Bus On Torture Responsiblity


This is freaking hilarious! Dick Cheney, the former Vice President of the United States, has dismissed a key point in the report on CIA torture and has, as a result, thrown his former boss under the bus!

"Dick Cheney discussed the newly released Senate torture report Wednesday on Fox News, and in particular challenged a finding that former President George W. Bush hadn't been briefed on the CIA's harsh interrogation methods until years after they'd already been in use.

Fox News anchor Bret Baier asked the former vice president whether the agency deliberately kept Bush in the dark about its so-called enhanced interrogation techniques.
"Not true. Didn't happen," Cheney responded. "Read his book, he talks about it extensively in his memoirs. He was in fact an integral part of the program, he had to approve it before we went forward with it."
Asked if there was ever a point where he knew more about the CIA's activity than the President, Cheney said "I think he knew everything he needed to know and wanted to know about the program."
Baier then asked if the former President knew about the "details" of the program. The report -- which Cheney called "full of crap" -- described brutal interrogation methods including waterboarding, extensive sleep deprivation, threats to harm detainees' families and "rectal feeding."
"I think he knew certainly the techniques, we did discuss the techniques," Cheney said. "There was no effort on our part to keep him from that."
"The notion that the committee's trying to peddle, that somehow the agency was operating on a rogue basis, and we weren't being told or the President wasn't being told, is just a flat out lie," he later added."

TPM

Tuesday, November 25, 2014 

St. Louis Prosecutor Bob McCulloch is the son of a police officer who was shot in the line of duty. In his 24 years as prosecutor, he has never recommended charges against any police officer


(Michael Brown's body was left uncovered on a Ferguson, Missouri street for hours by police. )

So why should we be surprised that NO charges will be laid in the shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown?

"McCulloch gave the jury no instruction on what charges they should consider. [...] Giving the grand jury no instruction is equivalent to throwing them into the deep end of the pool with no swimming lessons. They had to work it out for themselves. It's not unusual for the prosecutor to not suggest a specific charge, but it's almost unprecedented for the prosecutor to dump all the evidence on the jury and leave them to figure it out for themselves."
Daily KOS

Monday, November 24, 2014 

Death By Police Shooting In Utah Outnumbers Total Homicides From Gang Violence, Drugs And Child Abuse .... racing towards the police state


The Salt Lake Tribune is out with some stunning facts about police shootings in Utah. In the last five years, more people have been killed by police than homicides from gang violence, drug deals and child abuse:


A Salt Lake Tribune review of nearly 300 homicides, using media reports, state crime statistics, medical-examiner records and court records, shows that use of force by police is the second-most common circumstance under which Utahns kill each other, surpassed only by intimate partner violence.
Wow. And all but one have been deemed "justified."
"Police are trained and expected to react to deadly threats. As many deadly threats emerge is the exact amount of times police will respond," wrote Ian Adams, a West Jordan police officer and spokesman for the Utah Fraternal Order of Police. "The onus is on the person being arrested to stop trying to assault and kill police officers and the innocent public. … Why do some in society continue to insist the problem lies with police officers?"
And least one former Utah police officer says it is time to re-evaluate what's happening:
"The numbers reflect that there could be an issue, and it’s going to take a deeper understanding of these shootings," said Chris Gebhardt, a former police lieutenant and sergeant who served in Washington, D.C., and in Utah, including six years on SWAT teams and several training duties. "It definitely can’t be written off as citizen groups being upset with law enforcement."
What can be done? One state is revising how these shootings are investigated:
Wisconsin recently passed a law requiring all shootings by police to be investigated by an agency other than the one whose officer fired the shots, a policy some police watchdog groups in Utah are exploring in reaction to a spate of shootings by Utah officers — eight since the August shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., brought the national conversation on police use of force to a fever pitch.
That is one idea that all states should be actively considering. Read more from the thought-provoking piece in The Salt Lake Tribune here.
Daily KOS

Thursday, November 20, 2014 

Why Does Stephen Harper, His Government And Every Single Member of The Conservative Party Of Canada INSIST ON STEALING Billions From Canada's Veterans??



Every single member of the Conservative Party of Canada should hang their heads in SHAME for stealing from Canada's military Veterans!!!

Monday, November 10, 2014 

(Former Lord) Conrad Black Continues To Be A Disgusting Example Of The Self Serving Right Wing ..... just sayin'


"Former media baron Conrad Black says that when he renounced his Canadian citizenship to sit in the British House of Lords he was only doing so “temporarily,” and meant to re-apply until he was sidetracked by his legal troubles south of the border.
Black said Monday he was not turning his back on Canada itself when he gave up his citizenship in 2001 to become Lord Black of Crossharbour. Then-prime minister Jean Chretien had enforced an old law that said a Canadian citizen cannot become a British lord while retaining Canadian citizenship.
“I made it clear when I renounced it I was only doing it temporarily,” Black told CTV’s Canada AM while promoting his new book, “Rise to Greatness: The History of Canada from the Vikings to the Present.”

CTV News

Thursday, November 06, 2014 

SNC-Lavalin Got Harpers Corporate Tax Cut - Made Huge Profits - Will Now Axe 4000 Jobs!


Another huge corporate welfare bum is going to cut thousands of jobs after lining their bank rolls with Stephen Harper's huge corporate tax cut. Profits of $195.6 million were earned by SNC-Lavalin for the first nine months of 2014,

"Montreal engineering conglomerate SNC-Lavalin says it will cut 4,000 jobs over the next 18 months in an attempt to streamline operations and save $100 million.
"SNC-Lavalin plans to scale back certain underperforming activities and adjust, consolidate and streamline some of its operations and corporate structure to improve efficiency, effectiveness and competitive positioning," the company said in a statement.
Part of that will be the loss of about 4,000 jobs, which represents about nine per cent of the company's total workforce."

CBC News



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