Archive for the ‘abuse’ Category

And I stand with the protesters in Oakland, California.  And in New York City.  And in Atlanta, where they were evicted from their rightful place on the streets.  And everywhere they choose to exercise their Constitutional rights to peacefully assemble and seek redress of their grievances from their government.

This is a disgrace.  The police are deliberately using violent force to disperse peaceful protesters.  Whom are they protecting?  They have more in common with the protesters than they do with the brigands, pirates and kleptomaniacs on Wall Street; they should be marching in the streets as well.

So should teachers, firefighters, postal workers, and anyone else who collects a paycheck.  Anyone who isn’t a millionaire should be demonstrating and demanding accountability from Wall Street and justice leveled against them.  Not one more protester should go to jail for exercising his or her rights until the robber barons and ripoff artists in the so-called “financial industry” have been brought to justice.

This is a global struggle.  It will not go away, and the more they crack down on the protests, the louder they’ll get.

And don’t give me any shit about “class war.”  The Republicans have been waging class war on the middle and lower classes for over 30 years now, eroding our rights to unionize, crafting tax policies that ensure the rich get richer and the rest of us stay in our place, giving power to the bosses and ignoring the needs of the workers.  The fact is, they only complain about class warfare when their victims fight back.

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That’s how many times the illegal, unethical, immoral and unjustified “harsh interrogation method” known as waterboarding was used “sparingly” by agents of the CIA under the authorization of the Bush administration.

That’s how many times it was used on two men, both al-Qaeda operatives, AFTER they’d already given up any useful information they had.

This was not interrogation.  It was revenge.  It was punishment.  It was torture.

And it was wrong.  The men who wrote the memos authorizing it should be condemned, prosecuted and put in prison for a very long time.  The men who did the torture must be brought to justice.  And the so-called “leaders” who still, against all available evidence, insist it was necessary we do this to protect our national security should be held accountable to their crimes.

And maybe they should be waterboarded, but that’s not for me to say.  I doubt Cheney or Bush would survive even the first five waterboardings, much less 266.  Perhaps 266 years in prison for each of them, one year for each time this act of vicious revenge was committed, would suffice.

266.  Six times a day for a month for Khalid Shayk Mohammed.

266.  That’s what Bush & Cheney thought was “justified.”

266.  The new Number of the Beast.  Further proof, if we needed it, that neither of them have any morals whatsoever.  This was not about protecting America.  This was nothing more than abuse.  This was torture.

266.

Here’s to all you nuts out there at your teabagging parties!  Hope they don’t peter out too soon.  I know the energy for these protests tends to come in spurts, but if you take the situation in hand and milk it for all it’s worth, I’m sure you can all score big!  Go for the money shot, and you’ll have this thing licked!

Meanwhile, here’s some entertainment for your viewing pleasure…

Keep it up!  We’re all pulling for you.

They’re mad as hell, and they’re not going to take it any more!

Teabaggers on parade

Teabaggers on parade

The right wing is tired of getting the shaft from Uncle Sam and is finally rising up.  They’re gonna stick it to the man!  On April 15, hard-core right wingers across the country will take the situation in hand and spread their (ahem) message far and wide.  It’ll be an orgy of revolt!  Or at least, a revolting orgy.

At gatherings across the nation they’re letting it all hang out…

As nutty as this idea is, I have to admit it’s going to take some real balls to pull it off.  They’re really taking this situation in hand.  I didn’t think the far right still had the stones to circle their wagons like this.  They could be just jerking our chains, but I think any ejaculations about their failure to perform may be premature.  You see, men like Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Neil Cavuto, and Greta Van Susteren are all planning on attending these group gropes, and are scheduled to broadcast live from tea parties from cities across the country on Tax Day.

So as long as there aren’t any cock-ups, this thing could really be in the bag.

What a difference six months makes.

During the run-up to the election, then-Senator Obama argued repeatedly against the Bush Administration’s illegal and unethical warrantless wiretapping program and lamented the same administration’s repeated use of the so-called “state’s secrets” privelege.  From barackobama.com:

Secrecy Dominates Government Actions: The Bush administration has ignored public disclosure rules and has invoked a legal tool known as the “state secrets” privilege more than any other previous administration to get cases thrown out of civil court.

But that was then, and this, as they say, is now.  President Obama apparently now thinks the same “state’s secrets” privelege invoked by the Bush crowd actually is kind of useful after all.  President Obama’s own Department of Justice recently issued a motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed against the NSA by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, claiming that allowing the case to continue would “cause exceptionally grave harm to national security”.

This is exactly the position that the Bush crowd took regarding wiretapping.  Unfortunately, the Obama administration takes it a step further, alleging that the government can be held immune from lawsuits relating to warrantless wiretapping.  It’s something called “sovereign immunity”; in other words, you can’t sue the king for violations of his own laws.

This is shocking and saddening to see.  I expected better from President Obama than this mindless continuation of Bush’s worst mistakes.

or, If you polish a turd, it’s still a lump of shit

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/02/11/bailout-recipients-giving_n_165624.html

The Plunderers of Prosperity still don’t get it. Word on the (Wall) street is the executives of the bailed-out banks are still plotting to use public money to give themselves massive bonuses, in spite of their abysmal performance last year. Remember, these are still the same morons, knuckleheads, jackasses, and puffed-up egomaniacs who fiddled while the country burned. Imagine the arrogance of paying yourself millions of dollars while 3.6 million of your countrymen are losing their homes, jobs and livelihoods.

Now imagine using public funds to do it. That’s right – they’re using YOUR MONEY to pay themselves undeserved bonuses. And telling you it’s appropriate and right that they do it.

Only don’t call them “bonuses”, says Mr. James Gorman, co-president of Morgan-Stanley:

“There will be a retention award. Please do not call it a bonus,” said James Gorman, co-president of Morgan Stanley. “It is not a bonus. It is an award. And it recognizes the importance of keeping our team in place as we go through this integration.”

Whatever.  Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.  They claim these bonuses-that-aren’t-bonuses will be paid out of a different “pool” of money than the bailout funds are going in to. But that isn’t the point. The point is that after everything that’s happened, after all the jobs lost, the homes foreclosed on, the businesses forced to close their doors, the self-proclaimed masters of of the universe on Wall Street still think they deserve bonuses. They’re like addicts who swear that “this time they’ll quit.”  They don’t mean it, they’ll never get serious about this, and the only way to cure the disease is to remove the problem.  In other words, remove the people responsible for this debacle.  Honestly, Wall Street must have the lowest standards for professional performance in the world. It’s the only place you can work where you’ll be rewarded for fucking up.

Have they no shame? At long last, have they no shame?

A European human rights lawyer has demanded that our former dictator president and other high-ranking members of his administration be brought to the Hague and forced to stand trial for human rights violations and abuses.

European Activists Call for Bush to be Tried for Torture

In an interview with the German public television network ZDF, Austrian human rights lawyer Manfred Nowak, UN special rapporteur on torture, said that numerous cases of torture ordered by U.S. officials and perpetrated by U.S. authorities are well documented.

“We possess all the evidence which proves that the torture methods used in interrogation by the U.S. government were explicitly ordered by former U.S. defence minister Donald Rumsfeld,” Nowak told ZDF. “Obviously, these orders were given with the highest U.S. authorities’ knowledge.”

“George W. Bush is without doubt responsible for crimes such as torture,” says Dietmar Herz, professor of political science at the university of Erfurt, 235 km southwest of Berlin.

“According to the U.S. constitution, the U.S. president is responsible for all actions carried out by the executive,” Herz told IPS. “Therefore, George W. Bush is responsible for the torture methods used by U.S. authorities, such as waterboarding.”

Their crimes are well known.  It is well documented by now that specific acts of torture, such as waterboarding, sleep deprivation, “stress positions”, sexual degredation, and myriad other barbaric acts were authorized by Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, and authorized by George W. Bush.  And since ultimate responsibility for acts committed in the name of the executive lies with the chief executive (in other words, the Captain is responsible for the conduct of his crew), Bush is the man who must answer for these crimes.

Not that that should stop anyone from bringing the rest up on charges.  They knew what they were doing, and they knew it was wrong.  Cheney and Rumsfeld are just as culpable in this as Bush is.  They should stand trial right alongside him and, if possible, share a prison cell with him, where they can spend the rest of their days repeating their ridiculous defense that torture isn’t torture because they said it isn’t.

So, will it happen?  Will these cretins finally have to account for their crimes?  Will there truly be justice for these moral midgets?  Doubtful.  While the U.N. talks a good game vis-a-vis human rights and war crimes, its record on actually prosecuting them is spotty.  So far, only heads of state from failed states, weakened southeastern European states, or the southern hemisphere have been brought to trial.  No leader of a truly powerful country has ever had to stand before the court and defend himself.

International justice against crimes against humanity began in 1945, with the Nuremberg trials against Nazi criminals, says Kaleck. Leading prosecutor Robert Jackson said at the opening of the trials in October 1945 that “we are able to do away with…tyranny and violence and aggression by those in power against the rights of (the) people…only when we make all men answerable to the law.”

But since then this promise has been fulfilled only in exceptional cases, Kaleck said.

“Crimes against humanity have been repeatedly committed ever since, but very few people have been brought before international courts for these crimes,” he said, adding that this impunity is particularly obvious for leaders of the Allied countries (such as the U.S., France and Britain), who had organised the Nuremberg trials.

Nobody was ever judged for crimes against humanity committed in Algeria by France, in Vietnam and Latin America by the U.S., in Afghanistan by the Soviet Union and in Chechnya by Russia.

Only in the 1990s, after the Yugoslav wars of secession, the Rwanda genocide, and civil wars in countries such as Liberia and Sierra Leone were state criminals captured, judged and convicted.

“The creation of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in 2002 in The Hague in the Netherlands marks a turning point in the prosecution of state officials accused of crimes such as genocide, crimes against humanity or of war,” Kaleck added.

But prosecution for crimes of war or for crimes against humanity continues to be highly selective. So far, only perpetrators from weak or failed states from south-eastern Europe, or from the south, especially Africa, have been brought to court. In a case such as that of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, Britain acted as an accomplice to protect him.

I don’t expect this to change any time soon.  Bush still has legions of sycophants willing to defend him and his actions, right or wrong.  And given his nearly legendary narrow-minded lack of interest in foreign travel, I doubt he’ll be leaving the country anytime soon.  So unless President Obama shows the courage to extradite him to the War Crimes court, there will be no justice.  And Bush will continue to be a colossal embarrassment for the United States for years to come.