- Obama Plays Hamlet; Shredders Hum"Retired U.S. Army Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, who was Secretary of State Colin Powell's chief of staff, told Frontline on December 13, 2005 that "up to 100 detainees had died while in detention. Of that 100, some 27 have been declared officially homicides." Those running Bush administration interrogations are no doubt aware by now that the War Crimes Act (18 U.S. Code 2441) passed by a Republican-controlled Congress in 1996 provides that the death penalty can be given to those responsible for the deaths of detainees.... And yet, the President Obama struck not an angry, but rather a defensive tone on the recent release of the four torture documents issued by the Mafia-style lawyers of the Justice Department. "
- Israeli Forces 'Can't Clear Themselves'"data collected by Israeli human rights organisations shows that many civilians were killed in Gaza not due to 'mishaps' but as a direct result of the military's chosen policy implemented throughout the fighting."
- Impeach Jay Bybee"Torture memo author Jay Bybee, who outlined procedures for inflicting cruel and unusual punishments on prisoners in U.S. custody, should of course be impeached and removed from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals bench."
- Dozens of Prisoners Held by CIA Still Missing, Fates Unknown"Last week, we pointed out that one of the newly released Bush-era memos inadvertently confirmed that the CIA held an al-Qaeda suspect  named Hassan Ghul in a secret prison and subjected him to what Bush administration lawyers called "enhanced interrogation techniques." The CIA has never acknowledged holding Ghul, and his whereabouts today are secret. But Ghul is not the only such prisoner who remains missing. At least three dozen others who were held in the CIA's secret prisons overseas appear to be missing as well. Efforts by human rights organizations to track their whereabouts have been unsuccessful, and no foreign governments have acknowledged holding them."
- Obama Caves to Right-wing in Boycotting UN Anti-Racism Conference"In boycotting the United Nations conference on racism, the Obama administration demonstrated that just because an African American can be elected president doesn't mean the United States will be any more committed than the Bush administration in fighting global racism. Rejecting calls by liberal Democratic members of Congress, leading human rights groups, Pope Benedict XVI, and most of the international community to participate, the Obama administration instead gave into pressure by Congressional hawks and other anti-UN forces by joining a handful of other nations refusing to participate in the historic gathering....By contrast, the right wing applauded Obama's decision."
Free the Torturers - and the Rapists Too! If Dick Cheney can trumpet the 'success' of his torture policies without fear of retribution, why can't us ordinary criminals? by A Killer, aka Terry Jones (yes, THAT Terry Jones from Monthy Python!) Published on Thursday, April 23, 2009 by The Guardian/UK
I am over the moon about President Obama's recent publication of the Bush administration's torture memos. They come as a breath of fresh air for those of us banged up in Cook County Jail.
Obama's announcement that "nothing will be gained by spending our time and energy laying blame for the past" is the most reassuring news most of us here have heard in a long time.
Speaking as a multiple rapist and serial killer, I welcome the president's clear view that "this is a time for reflection, not retribution". Absolutely. We have indeed been "through a dark and painful chapter in our history" (in my case 17 years in the super-secure lockdown facility).
Now people may say that it is not safe to let me out, especially as I have never expressed any remorse for my actions and indeed have every intention of reoffending as soon as I possibly can.
But then has ex-vice president Dick Cheney ever expressed any remorse for killing a million or more Iraqis? Has he ever said that he wouldn't torture more people all over again if he had half the chance?
Quite the reverse. He has gone on record trumpeting how successful his torture policies have been. "I find it a little bit disturbing," Cheney said on Fox News, that "they didn't put out the memos that showed the success of the effort ... There are reports that show specifically what we gained as a result of this activity."
Speaking for myself and my fellow sadists here in Cook County, I cannot tell you how cheered we all were by Cheney's defence of his torture techniques.
And hasn't the White House chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, announced on no less a programme than ABC's This Week that "It's not a time to use our energy and our time in looking back" out of "any sense of anger and retribution"?
Bang on the money, Emanuel. How heartily we concur with your sentiments, and look forward to the day when you will unlock our cell doors and let the light of day shine on all us poor, unrepentant sinners.
And didn't the president himself tell employees at the CIA not to be discouraged by what's happened in the last few weeks? "Don't be discouraged that we have to acknowledge potentially we've made some mistakes," he told them. "That's how we learn. But the fact that we are willing to acknowledge them and then move forward, that is precisely why I am proud to be president of the United States and that's why you should be proud to be members of the CIA."
Yes! All of us here in Cook County Jail have made mistakes. That's why we're here. I made the mistake of brutally attacking somebody or other in broad daylight in a busy street. But I've learnt from that. That's what makes me proud to be American. Now I want to move forward - particularly forward out of Cook County Jail.
And I have every confidence that if Obama and Emanuel are prepared to let the likes of Cheney be free to wander the streets of our capital unmolested by petty laws and restrictions, they will apply the same standards to us rapists and killers.
For surely he intends to apply this spirit of forgiveness and non-retaliation to all criminals - not just those in politics.
London After Midnight / Sean Brennan