Saturday, January 24, 2009

Real News: Michael Ratner (CCR) On Obama's Executive Orders

On Thursday January 22, 2009 President Barack Obama issued one of the first Executive Orders of his presidency, ordering the establishment of a Special Interagency Task Force to be composed of the Attorney General and the Secretary of Defense as co-chairs, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Director of National Intelligence, the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and other federal employees as determined by the co-chairs.

The Task Force will...

...develop policies for the detention, trial, transfer, release, or other disposition of individuals captured or apprehended in connection with armed conflicts and counterterrorism operations that are consistent with the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States and the interests of justice, I hereby order as follows:

Section 1. Special Interagency Task Force on Detainee Disposition.

(a) Establishment of Special Interagency Task Force. There shall be established a Special Task Force on Detainee Disposition (Special Task Force) to identify lawful options for the disposition of individuals captured or apprehended in connection with armed conflicts and counterterrorism operations.


(e) Mission. The mission of the Special Task Force shall be to conduct a comprehensive review of the lawful options available to the Federal Government with respect to the apprehension, detention, trial, transfer, release, or other disposition of individuals captured or apprehended in connection with armed conflicts and counterterrorism operations, and to identify such options as are consistent with the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States and the interests of justice.

Both Attorney General Eric Holder, and Obama in another Executive Order on January 22, 2009, have indicated that the Army Field Manual, which as Valtin explains and Patriot Daily has also written so well about, codifies coercive psychological torture under the name of "Restricted Interrogation Technique – Separation" in Appendix M. will be the Obama administrations baseline guide for detainee interrogation policies, taking us back to pre-Bush days on the question of torture but in no way ending the practice.

This morning Michael Ratner, President of the Center for Constitutional Rights, talks with The Real News, comments on Obama's executive orders, loopholes, and says Obama must still take up the prosecution of Bush/Cheney for war crimes, specifically torture of detainees...

Real News: January 24, 2009 - 10 minutes 23 seconds
Obama's orders on Guantanamo and torture
We need a Special Prosecutor to conduct a formal investigation without political considerations and prosecute any and all government officials who have participated in War Crimes.

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Torture is torture. No matter who orders it or how it is "justified".

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Art: Shoot an Iraqi

Last night I enjoyed an event sponsored by Red Emma's, a Baltimore radical book store and cafe. The event is described below:

Iraqi-born artist Wafaa Bilal has been behind some of the most amazing critical artistic practice addressing the US invasion and occupation of Iraq. When his brother was killed at a U.S. checkpoint in 2005, he responded with "Domestic Tension," an unsettling interactive performance piece: for one month, Bilal lived alone in a prison cell-sized room in the line of fire of a remote-controlled paintball gun and a camera that connected him to internet viewers around the world. Visitors to the gallery and a virtual audience that grew by the thousands could shoot at him 24 hours a day. Bilal's experiences with this exhibit and the theory behind it are chronicled in his new book on City Lights, Shoot an Iraqi: Art, Life and Resistance Under the Gun.

Two interesting tidbits. First, on day-10 the paintball gun stopped; popularity of the website had crashed the webpage server. Wafaa, who for ten days had been completely preoccupied with staying out of the line of fire, was finally able to let down his guard. When he did, the grief of loosing his father and brother to Bush's Iraq war washed over him and his suppressed emotions were released.

Second, after Wafaa had been assaulted non-stop one day, because his site was #1 on, a group of 39 people organized to take turns clicking on their key board to make the gun aim to the left. This gave Wafaa some relief and generated interesting dialoge via the chat feature of this performance art piece with those who wanted to shoot him.

Cross-posted at GDAEman Blog

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

KBR’s negligence caused soldier’s electrocution death

I have been waiting to post this forever!!! In short the Army Criminal Investigations Unit has changed SSG Ryan Maseth's manner of death from "accidental" to "negligent homicide".

Let's get the word out there!

Army: Negligence caused soldier's electrocution

By Kimberly Hefling, Associated Press Writer 23 mins ago

WASHINGTON – An Army investigation calls the electrocution death of a U.S. soldier in Iraq "negligent homicide" caused by military contractor KBR Inc. and two of its supervisors.

In a document obtained by The Associated Press, an Army criminal investigator says the manner of death for Staff Sgt. Ryan Maseth, 24, has been changed from accidental to negligent homicide because the contractor failed to ensure that "qualified electricians and plumbers" worked on the barracks where Maseth died.

The Green Beret from Pittsburgh died of cardiac arrest on Jan. 2, 2008. He was electrocuted while taking a shower in his barracks in Baghdad.

A spokesman for Houston-based KBR was not immediately available for comment.

I have more on the Soldier electrocutions HERE

Ms Sparky

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009




Raw Video: Bush Leaves for Texas
Now to clean out the fuhrerbunker.

Democracy Reactivates, Spits Out Fascists

In weather news, winds up to 125mph were recorded around the globe as over 6 billion people simultaneously heaved a sigh of relief. Astronauts aboard the International Space Station reported a gigantic "WHEW!!!" that rattled solar panels and caused zero-gravity toilets to overflow. When asked for his comment on the phenomenon, ex-President George Walker Bush (43) said, "Ah'm ahblibious," and emptied the service bar on Marine One. He will be missed. Because it's very hard to hit that aircraft.

(Posted by cosanostradamus of blog me no blogs.)

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Monday, January 19, 2009

Obama Supporters In DC Want Bush Arrested

Obama Supporters In DC Want Bush Arrested
If you wish to repost this essay you can download a .txt file of the html here (right click and save). Permission granted.
Docudharma Tag: petition for a special prosecutor for background

Hat tip to David Swanson this morning...

Obama Supporters in DC Want Bush Arrested
By David Swanson, January 19, 2009 at 07:33:58

Sunday evening I spoke on a panel in Washington, D.C., about war crimes, and in walked a group of spirited activists led by Laurie Arbeiter wearing "Arrest Bush" sweatshirts and carrying "Arrest Bush" signs and they were absolutely dumfounded by what they had just experienced. They'd spent the day at the train station in D.C. and on the streets of D.C. as excited Obama celebrators poured in by the tens of thousands, and they'd been unable to walk a dozen steps without people stopping them to have their photo taken with an "Arrest Bush" sign.

It's worth remembering that Bush is approved by 22 percent of Americans and a smaller percentage of non-Americans. It's hard to get under 20 percent in any poll in this country. More people believe in UFOs than approve of Bush. The media meme that prosecuting Bush would cost Obama political capital has not been proven false, but it is absolutely baseless until someone produces something to base it on.

So we had a little strategy meeting Sunday night and produced hard copies of an already running petition asking Eric Holder to appoint a Special Prosecutor. We got clipboards and pens and identified teams. As I write this Monday morning we are preparing to gather at Dupont Circle for a rally at 11 a.m. followed by a march to the White House where we will throw shoes at the outgoing war criminal. On Tuesday we have a permit for the whole sidewalk in front of the FBI Building along the parade, and we'll let you in if you have a sign that says "Arrest Bush." No other ticket required. At these and many other events and all over the city in the next two days, we hope to add many thousands of new people to the petition and collect their contact information to integrate them into the movement to get tough on (the biggest) crime.

If you're not in DC, you can sign the petition yourself or print out a PDF to collect signatures in the real world at [] [reproduced below]

This is not a fantasy, boys and girls. The New York Times' Scott Shane and Attorney General Mukasey agree with me that prosecution is now going to be hard to avoid. When even Nancy Pelosi has figured out where we're going, you know the winds of change are blowing strong. That's the dangerous thing about telling people that anything is possible: they'll end up insisting on what they really want. And they want lots of new laws, but they very dearly want us to start enforcing the old ones too.

By David Swanson, Mon, 2009-01-19 05:04.

Click to sign the petition to Attorney General designate Eric Holder:

Dear Attorney General-Designate Eric Holder,

We the undersigned citizens of the United States hereby formally petition you to appoint a Special Prosecutor to investigate and prosecute any and all government officials who have participated in War Crimes. CLICK TO SIGN:

Petition Badge

Collect signatures in the real world by printing out this PDF.

Please also phone the Office of the Attorney General at 202-353-1555.

Join our Facebook group.

There are a lot more steps you can take.

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Sunday, January 18, 2009


There's more: "Wartapes" >>