Category Archives: Torture

Nefarious

This video on sex trafficking has won 24 or more awards including best director and best music. It came out a couple of years ago. This is a trailer.

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Slavery is still alive and well in our contemporary society.

  • Governments estimate there are 27 million slaves being held worldwide—more than at any point in human history. (U.S. State Department, March 2012)
  • Sexual exploitation makes up 79% of identified forms of human trafficking, including prostitution, forced stripping, massage services, and pornography. (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking, 2009)
  • 88% of these victims are women and children. (UN Office on Drugs and Crime, 2009)
  • After drug trafficking, trafficking in humans ties with the illegal arms industry as the second largest criminal industry in the world today. It is the fastest growing. (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2011)
  • Most sex trafficking is regional or national and is perpetrated by traffickers who are the same nationality as their victims. (United Nations, Global Report on Trafficking in Persons, 2009)
  • As many as 2 million children are subjected to prostitution in the global commercial sex trade. (U.S. State Department, Trafficking in Persons Report, 2011)
  • At least 15,000 people are trafficking into the United States annually. (U.S. State Department, Trafficking in Persons Report, 2010)
  • Approximately 600,000 to 800,000 victims annually are trafficked across international borders worldwide. (U.S. State Department, Trafficking in Persons Report, 2011)
  • Estimates suggest as many as 300,000 children annually are at risk of commercial sexual exploitation. (Richard Estes and Neil Weiner for University of Pennsylvania, 2001)
  • The average age of entry into prostitution in the United States is 13- to 14-years-old. (Sara Ann Friedman for ECPATUSA, “Who Is There to Help Us?,” 2005)
  • Nationwide there are fewer than thirty safe homes for victims of sex trafficking to receive treatment and services. This severe shortage regularly causes their inappropriate placement in juvenile detention facilities. (Streetlight Tuscon, 2012)

According to Amnesty International, “the single most reliable predictor of whether someone will be sentenced to death is the race of the victim.

What more is there to say?


Torturing and Jailing Palestinian Children

One of the reasons I can no longer give my unreserved support for the nation of Israel. (E)

Moorbey'z Blog

http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/10/22/torturing-and-jailing-palestinian-children/

Nightmare in the Occupied Territories

Torturing and Jailing Palestinian Children

by ZIAD ABBAS

Although I have been living far from Palestine for a few years and I am now in my forties, I still have nightmares about the Israeli army invading my house when I was a child and about the first time I was tortured. This is the reality most Palestinian former prisoners live with for the rest of our lives.

When I was a child, friends my age who were arrested before me said they “saw the stars at noon.” This was a saying we had. You can’t see the stars at noon when the sun is shining. But when children are under torture, especially when they are beaten in the head, they see a flash, even when they are blindfolded. This is what we called seeing the stars at noon.

I was arrested the first time, with…

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Disturbing record of American-trained forces – The Hill’s Congress Blog

Speaking in South Korea on Tuesday the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey noted that the United States might begin training a “moderate opposition” in the Syrian Civil War. General Dempsey further noted the United States’s “incredible experience” when it comes to training foreign fighters and hinted at possible past successes. Herein lies the problem. While the United States’s record on training foreign forces in times of conflict is certainly “incredible” it is anything but positive. A simple review of recent history can demonstrate this.

Read more:

Disturbing record of American-trained forces – The Hill’s Congress Blog.


DoD’s Active Denial System

The US military as well as other departments within the federal government are developing systems that can do this and more.

They have developed systems that can place thoughts and images in a person’s mind and even speak so the person hears voices inside their head.

These devices were patented in the 70’s and 80’s and are now being deployed against a select few experimentally but will soon be used more extensively. Google ELF (Extremely Low Frequency) weapons for more info.


San Quentin hunger striker’s kidneys shut down, as warden meets one demand

Moorbey'z Blog

by an unnamed pen pal at San Quentin

I hope this letter finds you doing well. This is just a small note to let you know I’m still alive. But on Friday morning at around 12:30 a.m., they found me on the floor unresponsive and a little blue-ish purple.

List of Death Row hunger strikers San Quentin Adjustment Center 0313 by LifeoftheLaw.org
Guards kept a list of Death Row hunger strikers in March 2013, when several prisoners protested their indefinite solitary confinement. – Photo: LifeoftheLaw.org

From what the guys here say, the guards opened the door, I fell out and they jumped on me with a shield, cuffed me and took me out. Then dropped me at the first tier cause their hands slipped, from what they told me. What happened? Well, I remember waking up with a start, shivering, my heart racing and like someone was squeezing my back and that’s it.

 

The nurses said kidney failure – that I…

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WORLDWIDE ARREST WARRANTS FOR OBAMA & BUSH

This has been around for a while but for those who haven’t seen it…(E)

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Shoulder to Shoulder With Edward Snowden

For your consideration. (E)

Bill Bonner

I’d thank my lucky stars to be livin’ here today, 
‘Cause the flag still stands for freedom and they can’t take that away, 
And I’m proud to be an American where at least I know I’m free.

Lee Greenwood

We’re here on a bend in the Rhine river. Enjoying the 4th of July.

From our hotel, we see the Rhine water flowing swiftly, from right to left. (Let’s see, the Rhine flows from South to North… to discharge into the North Sea. Or somewhere near there. So, if the water is flowing to the left, we must be on the west bank of the river.)

We just arrived yesterday and spent the day in business meetings. Switzerland is a good place to do business, especially for French people. But, except for a brief walk through the old part of the city, we haven’t had much time to get our bearings.

One thing we notice, however: Like Zurich, Basel is a calm, civilized place. We see no poor people. Nor are there any slums. Nor are there people who look like they shouldn’t be allowed out in public.

In short: This ain’t Baltimore. But then, what is?

Back to the news:

Poor Edward Snowden. The man performed a valuable public service. He should get a medal on this Independence Day. Instead, he will have to face the music.

“As Snowden looks for asylum, doors slam around the world, ” says the International Herald Tribune.

Tuesday, the Russians seemed to close their doors to him. Ecuador seems to be withdrawing its invitation. Venezuela and Bolivia are still possibilities.

But like Julian Assange, he may be forced to hole up in some gloomy embassy. Or worse, he may be handed over to the US for a full program of torture. Yes, they could force him to watch TV! Or a Senate hearing! Or listen to Lee Greenwood whine on the radio!

He will surely want to slit his wrists after a few hours… saving the feds the cost of killing him.

Shoulder to Shoulder With Edward Snowden

Yes, the music Snowden will face, if he is delivered to the Americans, will be grim. He will be charged with treason… which comes with a funeral dirge.

Here at the Diary, we are shoulder to shoulder with Snowden. “He broke the law, ” say the news reports. That’s what we admire about him. Sometimes the law needs be broken.

America circa 2013: History will record that laws grew up like kudzu.

One law told people they had to have health insurance, whether they wanted it or not. Another told them what they could do with their money… another gave them the right to ingest certain things, but not others.

The proliferation of laws made more and more things unlawful. You cannot smoke a cigarette where you please. You cannot have a private conversation. You cannot do this… but you must do that.

This trend gave lawmakers – including mid-level bureaucrats and unnamed officials – more and more power. And took power away from ordinary citizens, who were convinced that it made sense to limit their rights more and more to preserve their freedom.

And every day, during the summer of 2013, the sun shone, the kudzu grew, and wrapped itself around their necks. Did they fail to report a $5 tip? Did they forget to separate their garbage? Or dare to fix a clogged toilet without a permit? Americans were so proud of their freedom, they didn’t notice how fast they were losing it.

They didn’t notice (how could they?) the huge growth in secret organizations around Washington. They could scarcely remember going through an airport without standing in ‘security’ lines with their belts and shoes in their hands. They had to assume (what else could they do?) that public officials really were working to make their lives safer and more prosperous.

But, as more and more things could get you into trouble (more than anyone could possibly keep track of), it became more and more important to keep one’s affairs private.

Likewise, the controllers found it evermore convenient to tap phones and record private email conversations. Who knows when you might say something they could use against you!

Lies Are More Valuable Than Truth

Is the kind of “big data” the feds are gathering useful? Our friend Nassim Taleb tells us that it is probably less accurate… or more prone to misconstruction… than the feds believe:

We’re more fooled by noise than ever before, and it’s because of a nasty phenomenon called “big data.” With big data, researchers have brought cherry-picking to an industrial level.

Modernity provides too many variables, but too little data per variable. So the spurious relationships grow much, much faster than real information. In other words: Big data may mean more information, but it also means morefalse information.

But this is just great for the feds. They know perfectly well that the fight against terror is a pretext. They are zombies. The real goal of zombies is to increase their power and wealth at someone else’s expense. And for that, false information is better than the real thing.

False information can show anything you want it to show – even that a 93-year-old great grandmother is a threat to the nation.

Lies are more valuable, to them, than the truth.

Edward Snowden came out and revealed the extent to which the feds – under the guise of protecting us from terrorism – are keeping track of everyone and everyone’s business.

This was deeply disturbing to thoughtful people… if there still were any who feared the rise of an all-knowing, all-powerful Big Brother state from which no secrets are kept and from which no desires are hidden.

And it was disturbing too to the Big Brothers. They insist on knowing everything about everybody else’s business. But they made it a crime to reveal what they were up to!

In short, nobody likes a snitch… and a snoop especially dislikes a snitch.

Snowden was paid to snoop, not to snitch. He was paid to break the law and lie about it. And now he may have to face the law and pay the price for telling the truth.

Regards,

Bill Bonner

Bill

© Bill Bonner’s Diary of a Rogue Economist | 819 N Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21201

Original Article: http://www.billbonnersdiary.com/articles/bonner-independence-day.html


New Virginia Warden Represses, Revolutionaries Fight Smart

Moorbey’z Blog

This is a Reblog from the above blog site. Here is the link to the original article there (E): http://moorbey.wordpress.com/2013/06/03/new-virginia-warden-represses-revolutionaries-fight-smart/

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by a Virginia prisoner     June 2013     permalink
This missive is about the prison conditions at Sussex I in Virginia. John David is now the warden of Sussex I state prison. His first day on the job he made his grand opening by placing the whole institution on lockdown for 30 days with no justification. Those 30 days revealed his intentions about what to expect form his gestapo-style treatment. For instance, when we are walking in lines to and fro, if anyone does not walk in a straight line, even if it’s one individual out of 40, his rule is that we get no outside recreation and instead get just 1 hour of in-pod rec. During the 30-day lockdown we got no outside recreation whatsoever and no one was able to use the phones on the whole compound. David put us on modified lockdown, just because individuals throughout the compound started complaining to their families and writing grievances, so he had to save face.David has also put peremptory restrictions on some of the political literature that comes through the mailroom. I was hit with censorship of your mailing sent April 26, 2013 [study group discussion]. I did receive all mail prior to that letter. I’m currently appealing the decision: they deemed it “unauthorized.” It’s just repayment, censoring my ability to think outside this cell, trying to control our thoughts and preventing a lot of comrades from learning anything besides the state perspective. The oppressor will never stop oppressing.

These are the basic examples that were studied in the study group assignment 3 “On Contradiction.” “What is the principal aspect of a contradiction?” How does the interdependence (identity) of these contradictory aspects in prison life and the struggle between these aspects determine things in prison life and push their development forward? This only reveals the true political agenda behind super-maxes as being to repress revolutionary thought, not only in the prisons but even in society at large. The resulting division of staff versus prisoners along racial and cultural lines creates an obvious recipe for conflict and abuse, duplicating the conditions of chattel slavery in pre-civil war Amerikkka where poor whites were armed and empowered to have free reign over unarmed and disenfranchised Black slaves on the plantations.

These control unit prisons were designed to effectively isolate, control, and punish prisoners reacting against abuse. In turn they provoke responses, so prison officials can effectively use these events to demonize us as “violent animals” thus playing up self-fulfilling prophecies and stereotypes to justify the construction of more of these super max prisons. This was the main motivation that brought the Attica rebellion in 1971.

Just two weeks ago a guard was severely stabbed over a confrontation that started over a prisoner who did not have enough time to finish his food tray when the guard took his tray. It’s only a fruitless back and forth cycle played out between poor people who’ve been divided along color and cultural lines. In the past I felt myself and my peers to be powerless, therefore fighting with the pigs and treating them with open contempt was in a sense therapeutic. Even now when I witness abuse by the pigs my inner rage boils over, but I have learned to check myself and stand as a witness to testify against these outrages.

This is not to say that we ought to be pacifists. Even a mouse will fight you when cornered. Individual pigs are of no more value to the system then the cost of training their replacements and they can be replaced from the unemployment lines tomorrow. The system will gladly sacrifice any number of them for the opportunity to throw the book at us and paint us as “animals” and “terrorists.” Simply filing paperwork and relying on the courts is also a dead end. But it is useful to create a paper trail and document patterns of abuse. From my time and experience in these control unit conditions it allows one to see the bigger picture.

The prison system institutionalizes isolation and secrecy. The prison walls are designed not only to keep the prisoners in, but to keep the public out preventing observation or knowledge of what is going on inside. Confronting this crazy system, we need to be the voice of reason that raises consciousness and empowers awareness inside and out. In challenging a system built on cruelty and the exercise of absolute and hidden power against the disempowered there will be attempts to provoke us and bait us to incite reactionary violence from us or against us but we must stick to our strategy and not get pulled into theirs.

Indeed as I write this, the warden of this control unit where I am confined is waging a struggle to use metaphysical tactics to demonize us. But their efforts to distort the external contradictions will only lead to greater exposure of the internal contradiction, the truth, which will build our struggle. We must stop acting foolish like bulls. The bullfighter waves his cape and the bull charges and eventually runs into the bullfighter’s sword. But a smart bull wouldn’t do that. He’d wait for the bullfighter to charge him and face his horns. Over the years I have witnessed too many good comrades and potential ones being wasted. We must organize to win! The end game will never change, we must emancipate ourselves, remove the blinds and foment our minds.


An Open Letter From Assata

By Assata Shakur
Source: Frontlines of Revolutionary Struggle
Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Assata Shakur’s ZSpace Page

My name is Assata Shakur, and I am a 20th century escaped slave. Because of government persecution, I was left with no other choice than to flee from the political repression, racism and violence that dominate the US government’s policy towards people of color. I am an ex-political prisoner, and I have been living in exile in Cuba since 1984.

I have been a political activist most of my life, and although the U.S. government has done everything in its power to criminalize me, I am not a criminal, nor have I ever been one. In the 1960s, I participated in various struggles: the black liberation movement, the student rights movement, and the movement to end the war in Vietnam. I joined the Black Panther Party. By 1969 the Black Panther Party had become the number one organization targeted by the FBI’s COINTELPRO program. Because the Black Panther Party demanded the total liberation of black people, J. Edgar Hoover called it “greatest threat to the internal security of the country” and vowed to destroy it and its leaders and activists.

In 1978, my case was one of many cases bought before the United Nations Organization in a petition filed by the National Conference of Black Lawyers, the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, and the United Church of Christ Commission for Racial Justice, exposing the existence of political prisoners in the United States, their political persecution, and the cruel and inhuman treatment they receive in US prisons. According to the report:

‘The FBI and the New York Police Department in particular, charged and accused Assata Shakur of participating in attacks on law enforcement personnel and widely circulated such charges and accusations among police agencies and units. The FBI and the NYPD further charged her as being a leader of the Black Liberation Army which the government and its respective agencies described as an organization engaged in the shooting of police officers. This description of the Black Liberation Army and the accusation of Assata Shakur’s relationship to it was widely circulated by government agents among police agencies and units. As a result of these activities by the government, Ms. Shakur became a hunted person; posters in police precincts and banks described her as being involved in serious criminal activities; she was highlighted on the FBI’s most wanted list; and to police at all levels she became a ‘shoot-to-kill’ target.”

I was falsely accused in six different “criminal cases” and in all six of these cases I was eventually acquitted or the charges were dismissed. The fact that I was acquitted or that the charges were dismissed, did not mean that I received justice in the courts, that was certainly not the case. It only meant that the “evidence” presented against me was so flimsy and false that my innocence became evident. This political persecution was part and parcel of the government’s policy of eliminating political opponents by charging them with crimes and arresting them with no regard to the factual basis of such charges.

On May 2, 1973 I, along with Zayd Malik Shakur and Sundiata Acoli were stopped on the New Jersey Turnpike, supposedly for a “faulty tail light.” Sundiata Acoli got out of the car to determine why we were stopped. Zayd and I remained in the car. State trooper Harper then came to the car, opened the door and began to question us. Because we were black, and riding in a car with Vermont license plates, he claimed he became “suspicious.” He then drew his gun, pointed it at us, and told us to put our hands up in the air, in front of us, where he could see them. I complied and in a split second, there was a sound that came from outside the car, there was a sudden movement, and I was shot once with my arms held up in the air, and then once again from the back. Zayd Malik Shakur was later killed, trooper Werner Foerster was killed, and even though trooper Harper admitted that he shot and killed Zayd Malik Shakur, under the New Jersey felony murder law, I was charged with killing both Zayd Malik Shakur, who was my closest friend and comrade, and charged in the death of trooper Forester. Never in my life have I felt such grief. Zayd had vowed to protect me, and to help me to get to a safe place, and it was clear that he had lost his life, trying to protect both me and Sundiata. Although he was also unarmed, and the gun that killed trooper Foerster was found under Zayd’s leg, Sundiata Acoli, who was captured later, was also charged with both deaths. Neither Sundiata Acoli nor I ever received a fair trial We were both convicted in the news media way before our trials. No news media was ever permitted to interview us, although the New Jersey police and the FBI fed stories to the press on a daily basis. In 1977, I was convicted by an all-white jury and sentenced to life plus 33 years in prison. In 1979, fearing that I would be murdered in prison, and knowing that I would never receive any justice, I was liberated from prison, aided by committed comrades who understood the depths of the injustices in my case, and who were also extremely fearful for my life.

The U.S. Senate’s 1976 Church Commission report on intelligence operations inside the USA, revealed that “The FBI has attempted covertly to influence the public’s perception of persons and organizations by disseminating derogatory information to the press, either anonymously or through “friendly” news contacts.” This same policy is evidently still very much in effect today.

On December 24, 1997, The New Jersey State called a press conference to announce that New Jersey State Police had written a letter to Pope John Paul II asking him to intervene on their behalf and to aid in having me extradited back to New Jersey prisons. The New Jersey State Police refused to make their letter public. Knowing that they had probably totally distort the facts, and attempted to get the Pope to do the devils work in the name of religion, I decided to write the Pope to inform him about the reality of “justice” for black people in the State of New Jersey and in the United States. (See attached Letter to the Pope).

In January of 1998, during the pope’s visit to Cuba, I agreed to do an interview with NBC journalist Ralph Penza around my letter to the Pope, about my experiences in New Jersey court system, and about the changes I saw in the United States and it’s treatment of Black people in the last 25 years. I agreed to do this interview because I saw this secret letter to the Pope as a vicious, vulgar, publicity maneuver on the part of the New Jersey State Police, and as a cynical attempt to manipulate Pope John Paul II. I have lived in Cuba for many years, and was completely out of touch with the sensationalist, dishonest, nature of the establishment media today. It is worse today than it was 30 years ago. After years of being victimized by the “establishment” media it was naive of me to hope that I might finally get the opportunity to tell “my side of the story.” Instead of an interview with me, what took place was a “staged media event” in three parts, full of distortions, inaccuracies and outright lies. NBC purposely misrepresented the facts. Not only did NBC spend thousands of dollars promoting this “exclusive interview series” on NBC, they also spent a great deal of money advertising this “exclusive interview” on black radio stations and also placed notices in local newspapers.

. . .

Like most poor and oppressed people in the United States, I do not have a voice. Black people, poor people in the U.S. have no real freedom of speech, no real freedom of expression and very little freedom of the press. The black press and the progressive media has historically played an essential role in the struggle for social justice. We need to continue and to expand that tradition. We need to create media outlets that help to educate our people and our children, and not annihilate their minds. I am only one woman. I own no TV stations, or Radio Stations or Newspapers. But I feel that people need to be educated as to what is going on, and to understand the connection between the news media and the instruments of repression in Amerika. All I have is my voice, my spirit and the will to tell the truth. But I sincerely ask, those of you in the Black media, those of you in the progressive media, those of you who believe in truth freedom, To publish this statement and to let people know what is happening. We have no voice, so you must be the voice of the voiceless.

Free all Political Prisoners, I send you Love and Revolutionary Greetings From Cuba, One of the Largest, Most Resistant and Most Courageous Palenques (Maroon Camps) That has ever existed on the Face of this Planet.

Assata Shakur Havana, Cuba

Below is a clip of Assata Sakur’s Documentary “Eyes of the Rainbow: Assata Shakur Documentary”

“I am a Black revolutionary woman, and because of this i have been charged with and accused of every alleged crime in which a woman was believed to have participated. The alleged crimes in which only men were supposedly involved, i have been accused of planning. They have plastered pictures alleged to be me in post offices, airports, hotels, police cars, subways, banks, television, and newspapers. They have offered … rewards for my capture and they have issued orders to shoot on sight and shoot to kill.” — Assata Shakur

“People get used to anything. The less you think about your oppression, the more your tolerance for it grows. After a while, people just think oppression is the normal state of things. But to become free, you have to be acutely aware of being a slave.”
                                                           ? Assata Shakur, Assata: An Autobiography


Assata is Not a Terrorist: She is a Freedom Fighter like Harriet Tubman, Malcolm X & Martin L. King [#Feminist Friday]

While I don’t agree with all of the sentiments here I do agree that the way the American government has treated Blacks and other minorities is unwarranted and oppressive. Things need to change for all Americans who are not among the racists or elitists. (E)

Moorbey'z Blog

 

The attack on Sister Assata Shakur is an attack on the right of the Black masses and the Black liberation movement to resist oppression.  The U.S. government and all of its branches have always persecuted, jailed, exiled and murdered Black activists and revolutionaries no matter their philosophies or tactics-communism, Pan Africanism, separation, revolutionary nationalism, integration; nonviolence, armed self-defense, running for political office.

Assata, who was unarmed and shot 5 times with the intent to kill by the New Jersey state police, was a victim of the U.S. government COINTEL program, similar to the now so-called war on terrorism. It is designed pass new laws to justify murderous attacks of Black activists and revolutionaries, that saw the assassinations of Malcolm X, Martin L. King, Black Panthers and the frame-ups, jailing and forced exile of many named and unnamed activists that occurred under COINTELPRO.

The labeling of Sister Assata as a…

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Hunger Strike at Gitmo: ‘We Are Dying a Slow Death Here’

End Guantanamo

End Guantanamo (Photo credit: jezobeljones)

Though Moorbey and I do not agree on solutions we do both agree that this government is evil and oppressive. It is time the people find something else other than the system we currently have. Here is another example of that idiocy. The prisoners in Guantanamo need to be sent home. They are not terrorists for the most part. those who are should be charged and tried. Except the US govt. is afraid of the publicity should the people get any further information about the horrors of that place. 

Moorbey’z Blog

Article posted here: http://moorbey.wordpress.com/2013/04/14/hunger-strike-at-gitmo-we-are-dying-a-slow-death-here/

2013/04/14 · by 

By Pardiss Kebriaei April 13, 2013 MSNBC” –  I’ve just returned from Guantanamo, where my clients  and a majority of the other 166 men there have been on hunger strike for over  two months. Most of them have been cleared for release or will never be charged.  But the Obama administration has refused to send them home.

I met with men who are weak  and have lost between 30 and 40 pounds. They told me of other men who are  skeletal and barely moving, who have coughed up blood, passed out, and one who  tried to hang himself.
One of the men I met with,  Sabry Mohammed, a Yemeni who remains detained years after he was approved for  release by the Obama administration, said, “We are dying a slow death here.” Yet  the authorities say they will not let men die–they will force-feed them when  their body weight drops dangerously low, strapping them into chairs and forcing  a tube up their noses that pumps formula into their stomachs. The military  reports that so far, 11 men are being “saved” this way. Yet as one of the men  put it, the irony is that “the government will keep us alive by force-feeding us  but they will let us die by detaining us forever.”
Today, 166 men remain at  Guantanamo, more than eleven years after they arrived in hoods and shackles.  Most are being held without charge and will never be charged. The Obama  administration has approved more than half of the men–86–for transfer, but  hasn’t mustered the political will to overcome congressional hurdles, despite  saying it can and will. As their indefinite detention stretches into a second  decade, men are aging, declining and dying. Last September,Adnan Latif, a  husband and a father, a man twice cleared for transfer under the Bush and Obama  administrations, was the ninth prisoner to die. The current crisis at the base  had specific triggers, but there has been an emergency at Guantanamo for  years.
The strike was sparked in  early February, when prison authorities ordered searches of the men’s Qurans.  One man told me, “I won’t even touch the Quran without washing my hands, how  could I use it to hide something dirty?” The men viewed the searches as  desecration, which should hardly have been news to those in charge. A former  Muslim chaplain at Guantanamo once described the handling of the holy books as  “the most contentious issue” at the prison. Given the sensitivity of the  practice and the history of religious abuse at Guantanamo–acts like throwing  Qurans on the ground and shaving detainees’ beards as punishment–the authorities  should have known better. Indeed, former commanders did know better. In a 2009  review of conditions at Guantanamo, ordered by the Obama administration, a  commander at the base recognized that standard operating procedures “do not  permit searching of the Koran.” The rule reflected an “elevated respect” for  detainees’ religious concerns–a lesson learned from the early years. It is  unclear why that changed. Another of my clients said, “They are taking the camp  back to 2006.”
So far, prison authorities  have defended their actions and downplayed the scale of the strike. Inside the  prison, my clients have described various tactics used to make life even more  difficult and break the strike. Some have been life-threatening, like delaying  the delivery of filtered drinking water, forcing detainees to drink from the tap  of sink faucets attached to toilets in their cells. Before, there used to be  signs above the sinks saying it was not safe to drink the water. One man said he  would rather go without water than drink from the sink.
As the strike enters its third  month and the crisis deepens, the authorities must reach for a resolution before  someone dies. My clients are asking for assurances that their Qurans will not be  searched, or to hand them in altogether rather than see them  desecrated.
But the solution to the  broader calamity is closing Guantanamo, beginning with the release of men like  Sabry. He told me he does not want to die, he wants to return to his family, but  he and others are continuing the strike because they have been pushed too far  and this is the only means they have to protest peacefully. The only thing they  can control is their own bodies. It is an act of strength even as they are  growing weaker. They are desperately wanting to believe there is still a life  for them beyond the prison walls.
At the end of our meeting last  week, Sabry showed me a painting he made recently, of the prison surrounded by  mountains.  But outside the high, tight-mesh fence that encloses Camp 6, where  Sabry is held, there is ocean. “I don’t know what is outside. It is just what I  imagine.”  After more than eleven years, it is long past time for the United  States to send Sabry home.
Pardiss Kebriaei is a  senior attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights who represents men  detained at Guantanamo. She is lead counsel for CCR on the targeted killing  case, Al-Aulaqi v. Panetta.

“Systemic Failures Persist” in California Prison Mental Health Care, Judge Rules

The way we treat individuals in prison is atrocious as it is. This is inexcusable and supposedly even with a very minor amount of improvement over the past 20 years or so. And even that tiny amount had to be FORCED upon the state by the federal courts! Things need to change folks or one day when you are the one sitting in prison you’ll wish they had.
If you don’t think that is possible you’d better remember that the feds add an extra 1000 or more new laws to the Federal Register each and every year. That doesn’t even include your state and local yocals. So…You and I are all guilty of some crime. They just haven’t chosen to enforce the one we are guilty of yet. They will. (E)

Oh and one more thing-ya better learn to get along with ALL kinds of people no matter how much you disagree with them. Find some common ground. I’ve recently learned I have a lot more in common with former Black Panthers than some christians.

Moorbey'z Blog

April 8, 2013  By Sal Rodriguez
California Security Housing Unit Cell
California Security Housing Unit Cell
California Governor Jerry Brown’s bid to end federal control over the state prison system’s mental health system was denied in federal court on Friday, April 5, in a sharply worded ruling by U.S. District JudgeLawrence K. Karlton. In the 68-page ruling, Judge Karlton determined that  “systemic failures persist in the form of inadequate suicide prevention measures, excessive administrative segregation of the mentally ill, lack of timely access to adequate care, insufficient treatment space and access to beds, and unmet staffing needs.”
The ruling comes following months of campaigning and litigating by Governor Brown and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) to end federal oversight of the California prison system. Friday’s ruling is the latest enforcement of the 1995 case Coleman v. Wilson, a federal class action suit filed against then-California Governor Pete…

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Are Prisons Obsolete?

Many of my readers will dismiss this out of hand because the author is Angela Davis. That, I believe, would be a mistake. The fact that one may not agree with many of Davis’ views is in no way a judgement on everything she may express. The view that prisons need to be dealt with and, hopefully, eventually, completely destroyed is an idea well worth consideration. There might be some extremely rare, and I do mean EXTREMELY rare, circumstances where individuals need to be isolated from the majority of society.

Even then those individuals must be treated with respect and decency. They need to have living facilities where they can receive fresh air, good food and comfortable housing. We must switch to a view of attempting to help and restore them rather than penalize them while at the same time seeing to it that their victims are properly remunerated for any losses both emotional as well as actual. (E)


Hey Iraqis: How’s that “Liberation” Stuff Workin’ Out For Ya?

Center for a Stateless Society

building public awareness of left-wing market anarchism

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  on Mar 21, 2013

On March 19 Donald Rumsfeld, former US “Defense” Secretary and ongoing sociopath and moral leper, celebrated the tenth anniversary of the Iraq War with this tweet: “10 yrs ago began the long, difficult work of liberating 25 mil Iraqis. All who played a role in history deserve our respect & appreciation.”

Just what “liberation” meant to Rummy, Dummy and Scummy can be seen from the agenda Paul Bremer implemented as head of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in Iraq. Imagine the kind of “What I Would Do If I Were Absolute Dictator For A Year” list an entire army of ALEC staffers and Heritage Foundation interns would come up with, with the RIAA, MPAA, Monsanto, Halliburton and Blackwater egging them on, and that’s basically what Bremer did to Iraq.

Bremer’s CPA was a classic “night watchman state.” Remember all those priceless historical treasures the looters “liberated” from the National Museum while the U.S. looked the other way? With Night Watchman Bremer’s go-ahead, global corporate looters gave the Iraqi economy just as thorough a ransacking.

Bremer’s infamous “100 Orders” repealed virtually all of the Saddam-era legal structure — except for the 1987 Labor Code, which prohibited collective bargaining in the state sector. The state sector encompassed two hundred state-owned firms (a major chunk of the industrial economy), and Bremer wanted to “privatize” them in insider sweetheart deals with crony capitalists. Legalizing unions might gum up the works.

The CPA refused to unfreeze the assets of the Iraqi Federation of Trade Unions (IFTU). Bremer ordered US troops to storm the IFTU headquarters and kept it closed down for months. A local American commander helpfully told an imprisoned union organizer that Iraq was not a sovereign country, and that so long as it was under the administration of the CPA Bremer didn’t want unions.

Bremer’s 100 Orders also included Order 81 on “Patent, Industrial Design, Undisclosed Information, Integrated Circuits and Plant Variety,” which updated “intellectual property” law to “meet current internationally-recognized standards of protection” like the WIPO Copyright Treaty and Uruguay Round TRIPS Accord (which the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act was also passed to implement). Among other things, the new law criminalized saving seeds for the next year.

The entire legal regime Bremer implemented by decree was to remain the law of the land even after the restoration of sovereignty, until — and unless — it was supervened by a new constitution. The so-called “transfer of sovereignty” was to a government appointed by the CPA, enabling Bremer to evade the restriction in international law against a conqueror directly selling off state assets — while also leaving in place an “interim constitution” based on Bremer’s 100 Orders.

Article 26 of Bremer’s Constitution, stated that “[t]he laws, regulations, orders and directives issued by the Coalition Provisional Authority … shall remain in force” under the interim government, until the “sovereign” puppet regime was replaced by general elections. As Naomi Klein observed in “Baghdad Year Zero” (Harper’s, September 2004):

“Bremer had found his legal loophole: There would be a window — seven months — when the occupation was officially over but before general elections were scheduled to take place. Within this window, the Hague and Geneva Conventions’ bans on privatization would no longer apply, but Bremer’s own laws, thanks to Article 26, would stand. During these seven months, foreign investors could come to Iraq and sign forty-year contracts to buy up Iraqi assets. If a future elected Iraqi government decided to change the rules, investors could sue for compensation.”

The “interim constitution” was designed to make its own replacement by referendum extremely difficult — among other things, requiring any new constitution actually approved by the people of Iraq (as opposed to decreed by Bremer’s fiat) to receive  at least thirty percent of the vote in sixteen of Iraq’s eighteen provinces.

On top of everything else, Bremer appointed a whole slew of ministerial officials to five-year terms that would override any later decisions by an independent government.

Meanwhile, a “debt forgiveness” plan negotiated with creditor nations under IMF auspices used debt contracted by Saddam — debt that should have been treated as odious, and hence null and void — as a whip to coerce adherence to the Washington Consensus economic agenda.

This is the “liberation” agenda for which Rumsfeld and his fellow war criminals murdered hundreds of thousands, and physically crippled or psychologically scarred untold hundreds of thousands more. If that’s the kind of “liberation” you like, may you soon join Rumsfeld in hell.

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Kevin Carson is a senior fellow of the Center for a Stateless Society (c4ss.org) and holds the Center’s Karl Hess Chair in Social Theory. He is a mutualist and individualist anarchist whose written work includes Studies in Mutualist Political EconomyOrganization Theory: A Libertarian Perspective, and The Homebrew Industrial Revolution: A Low-Overhead Manifesto, all of which are freely available online. Carson has also written for such print publications as The Freeman: Ideas on Liberty and a variety of internet-based journals and blogs, including Just Things, The Art of the Possible, the P2P Foundation, and his own Mutualist Blog.


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