Posted 1 year ago on Sept. 4, 2012, 8:58 p.m. EST by LeoYo
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Hacked Intel Email: NYPD Involved in "Damn Right Felonious Activity"
Tuesday, 04 September 2012 15:06 By Jason Leopold, Truthout | Report
The New York City Police Department (NYPD) really has gone rogue; at least that's what a high-level FBI official believes.
Among the 5 million emails the group Anonymous hacked from the servers of private intelligence firm Stratfor in February, one seems to not only confirm the controversial NYPD surveillance activities uncovered by the Associated Press, but hints at even worse civil liberties violations not yet disclosed. Anonymous later turned the emails over to WikiLeaks, with which Truthout has entered into an investigative partnership.
I keep telling you, you and I are going to laugh and raise a beer one day, when everything Intel (NYPD's Intelligence Division) has been involved in during the last 10 years comes out - it always eventually comes out. They are going to make Hoover, COINTEL, Red Squads, etc look like rank amatures [sic] compared to some of the damn right felonious activity, and violations of US citizen's rights they have been engaged in.
No Accountability for Torturers
Tuesday, 04 September 2012 13:02 By Marjorie Cohn, MarjorieCohn.com | News Analysis
The Obama administration has closed the books on prosecutions of those who violated our laws by authorizing and conducting the torture and abuse of prisoners in U.S. custody.Last year, Attorney General Eric Holder decided that his office would investigate only two incidents, in which CIA interrogations ended in deaths. He said the Justice Department “has determined that an expanded criminal investigation of the remaining matters is not warranted.” With that decision, Holder conferred amnesty on countless Bush officials, lawyers and interrogators who set and carried out a policy of cruel treatment.
Now the attorney general has given a free pass to those responsible for the deaths of Gul Rahman and Manadel al-Jamadi. Rahman froze to death in 2002 after being stripped and shackled to a cold cement floor in the secret Afghan prison known as the Salt Pit. Al-Jamadi died after he was suspended from the ceiling by his wrists which were bound behind his back. MP Tony Diaz, who witnessed al-Jamadi’s torture, said that blood gushed from his mouth like “a faucet had turned on” when he was lowered to the ground. A military autopsy concluded that al-Jamadi’s death was a homicide. Nevertheless, Holder announced that “based on the fully developed factual record concerning the two deaths, the department has declined prosecution because the admissible evidence would not be sufficient to obtain and sustain a conviction beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Amnesty for torturers is unacceptable. General Barry McCaffrey declared, “We tortured people unmercifully. We probably murdered dozens of them during the course of that, both the armed forces and the CIA.” Major General Anthony Taguba, who directed the Abu Ghraib investigation, wrote that “there is no longer any doubt as to whether the [Bush] administration has committed war crimes. The only question that remains to be answered is whether those who ordered the use of torture will be held to account.”
Holder has answered Taguba’s question with a resounding “no.” Some have suggested that Holder’s decisions have been motivated by political considerations. For example, Kenneth Roth, director of Human Rights Watch, wrote that “dredging up the crimes of the previous administration was seen as too distracting and too antagonistic an enterprise when Republican votes were needed.” And closing the books on legal accountability for Bush officials may remove one more Republican attack on Obama in the next two months before the presidential election.
But the Obama administration’s decision to allow the lawbreakers to go free is itself a violation of the law. The Constitution says that the president “shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” When the United States ratified the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, we promised to extradite or prosecute those who commit, or are complicit in the commission, of torture. The Geneva Conventions also mandate that we prosecute or extradite those who commit, or are complicit in the commission of, torture.
There are two federal criminal statutes for torture prosecutions—the U.S. Torture Statute and the War Crimes Act; the latter punishes torture as a war crime. The Torture Convention is unequivocal: nothing, including a state of war, can be invoked as a justification for torture. By letting American officials, lawyers and interrogators get away with torture – and indeed, murder – the United States sacrifices any right to scold or punish other countries for their human rights violations.
This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license.
War Drums Beat Ever More Loudly Over Iran
Tuesday, 04 September 2012 10:33 By Noam Chomsky, Truthout | News Analysis
It is not easy to escape from one's skin, to see the world differently from the way it is presented to us day after day. But it is useful to try. Let's take a few examples.
The war drums are beating ever more loudly over Iran. Imagine the situation to be reversed.
Iran is carrying out a murderous and destructive low-level war against Israel with great-power participation. Its leaders announce that negotiations are going nowhere. Israel refuses to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty and allow inspections, as Iran has done. Israel continues to defy the overwhelming international call for a nuclear-weapons-free zone in the region. Throughout, Iran enjoys the support of its superpower patron.
Iranian leaders are therefore announcing their intention to bomb Israel, and prominent Iranian military analysts report that the attack may happen before the U.S. elections.
Iran can use its powerful air force and new submarines sent by Germany, armed with nuclear missiles and stationed off the coast of Israel. Whatever the timetable, Iran is counting on its superpower backer to join if not lead the assault. U.S. defense secretary Leon Panetta says that while we do not favor such an attack, as a sovereign country Iran will act in its best interests.
All unimaginable, of course, though it is actually happening, with the cast of characters reversed. True, analogies are never exact, and this one is unfair - to Iran.
Like its patron, Israel resorts to violence at will. It persists in illegal settlement in occupied territory, some annexed, all in brazen defiance of international law and the U.N. Security Council. It has repeatedly carried out brutal attacks against Lebanon and the imprisoned people of Gaza, killing tens of thousands without credible pretext.
Former CIA Head: Iran Attack Only Delays Nuke Program, Will Push Iranians Toward a Bomb
Tuesday, 04 September 2012 13:41 By Ben Armbruster, ThinkProgress | Report
Afghanistan’s Base Bonanza: Total Tops Iraq at That War’s Height
Tuesday, 04 September 2012 09:43 By Nick Turse, TomDispatch | News Analysis