• Obama’s justice department grants final immunity to Bush’s CIA torturers

    Blogs, Op-Eds August 31, 2012 at 1 comment

    Source: The Guardian. The Obama administration’s aggressive, full-scale whitewashing of the “war on terror” crimes committed by Bush officials is now complete. Thursday, Attorney General Eric Holder announced the closing without charges of the only two cases under investigation relating to the US torture program: one that resulted in the 2002 death of an Afghan detainee at a secret CIA prison near Kabul, and the other the 2003 death of an Iraqi citizen while in CIA custody at Abu Ghraib. This decision, says the New York Times Friday, “eliminat[es] the last possibility that any criminal charges will be brought as a result of the brutal interrogations carried out by the CIA”.

  • Excuses for assassination secrecy

    Blogs, Op-Eds July 12, 2012 at 0 comments

    Source: Salon. Of course, the right way to provide “accountability” when the President wants to execute a citizen is for him to have to show evidence to a court that the execution is warranted — at the very least, to obtain an indictment — and have a court provide oversight (exactly the way progressives spent the entire Bush years vehemently demanding be done for mere eavesdropping and detention, let alone assassinations). But the Obama administration vehemently resists any such due process, so at the very least, some sort of post-assassination accountability.

  • Surveillance State democracy

    Blogs May 6, 2012 at 0 comments

    Source: Salon. [W]hen Saudi Arabia and the UAE both announced a ban on BlackBerries on the ground that they were physically unable to monitor the communications conducted on those devices … the Obama administration actually condemned the Saudi and UAE ban, calling it “a dangerous precedent” and a threat to “democracy, human rights and freedom of information.” Yet six weeks later, the very same Obama administration embraced exactly the same rationale — that it is intolerable for any human interaction to take place beyond the prying eyes and ears of the government — when it proposed its mandatory “backdoor access” for all forms of Internet communication.

  • More federal judge abdication

    Blogs May 4, 2012 at 0 comments

    Source: Salon. [J]ust consider these two facts: (1) not a single War on Terror victim — not one — has been permitted to sue for damages in an American court over what was done to them, even when everyone admits they were completely innocent, even when they were subjected to the most brutal torture, and even when the judiciary of other countries permitted their lawsuits to proceed; and, (2) not a single government official — not one — has been held legally accountable, either criminally or even civilly, for any War on Terror crimes or abuses; perversely, the only government officials to pay any price were the ones who blew the whistle on those crimes.

  • Personalizing civil liberties abuses – The Case of Dr. Al-Arian and NCPCF

    Blogs, Op-Eds April 16, 2012 at 0 comments

    Al-Arian is in a frozen zone: denied his most basic liberties but without any ability to contest the charges against him. He’s now been imprisoned in one form or another since 2003, all stemming from extremely dubious charges that the Source: . Personalizing civil liberties abuses by Glenn Greenwald.
    U.S. Government, less than two years after the 9/11 attack, could not even get a Central Florida jury — with a very hostile judge — to convict him on. In reality, al-Arian has been persecuted for one reason only: because he’s a Palestinian activist highly critical of the four-decade brutal Israeli occupation.

  • The real criminals in the Tarek Mehanna case

    Blogs April 13, 2012 at 0 comments

    Source: In one of the most egregious violations of the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech seen in quite some time, Tarek Mehanna, an American Muslim, was convicted this week in a federal court in Boston and then sentenced yesterday to 17 years in prison. He was found guilty of supporting Al Qaeda (by virtue of translating Terrorists’ documents into English and expressing “sympathetic views” to the group) as well as conspiring to “murder” U.S. soldiers in Iraq (i.e., to wage war against an invading army perpetrating an aggressive attack on a Muslim nation).

  • The Most Transparent Administration Ever(tm)

    Blogs, Op-Eds March 30, 2012 at 1 comment

    Source: Salon. It’s hard to overstate how difficult (and commendable) it is for the ACLU to endorse propositions such as “in some ways, [Obama’s] administration is even worse than the Bush team when it comes to abusing the privilege of secrecy.”

  • Obama takes Bush’s secrecy games one step further

    Blogs, Op-Eds March 26, 2012 at 0 comments

    Source: Salon. There is only one place in the entire world where these policies of warrantless eavesdropping, rendition, torture, and CIA drones cannot be discussed: in American courts, when it’s time to review their legality and/or allow its victims to vindicate their legal rights.

  • Obama’s personal role in a journalist’s imprisonment

    Blogs, Op-Eds March 14, 2012 at 0 comments

    Source: Salon. President Obama’s personal, direct role in ensuring the ongoing imprisonment of a Yemeni journalist – is nothing short of infuriating. The Yemeni journalist, Abdulelah Haider Shaye, traveled there and “photographed the missile parts, some of them bearing the label ‘Made in the USA,’ and distributed the photos to international media outlets.” He also documented the remnants of the Tomahawks and cluster bombs, neither of which is in Yemen’s arsenal. And he provided detailed accounts proving that scores of civilians, including those 21 children, had been killed in the attacks.

  • Washington’s high-powered terrorist supporters

    Blogs, Op-Eds March 12, 2012 at 0 comments

    Source: Salon. The Supreme Court has ruled that the First Amendment permits the criminalization of pure speech advocating lawful, nonviolent activity.” Thus, “the court rule[d] that speech advocating only lawful, nonviolent activity can be made a crime, and that any coordination with a blacklisted group can land a citizen in prison for 15 years.