Obama’s First Coup D’etat

As of 11:15am, Caracas time, President Zelaya is speaking live on Telesur from San Jose, Costa Rica. He has verified the soldiers entered his residence in the early morning hours, firing guns and threatening to kill him and his family if he resisted the coup. He was forced to go with the soldiers who took him to the air base and flew him to Costa Rica. He has requested the U.S. Government make a public statement condemning the coup, otherwise, it will indicate their compliance. Full article.

White House Drafts Executive Order to Allow Indefinite Detention of Terror Suspects


“Obama administration officials, fearing a battle with Congress that could stall plans to close the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, are crafting language for an executive order that would reassert presidential authority to incarcerate terrorism suspects indefinitely, according to three senior government officials with knowledge of White House deliberations.” Full article.

Animal Rights Activist Jailed at Secretive Prison Gives First Account of Life Inside a “CMU”

every american should watch this interview: the attack on dissent (animal rights activism, environmentalism, just being a muslim) under the guise of fighting terrorism. scary.

In a Democracy Now! exclusive interview, we speak with Andrew Stepanian, an animal rights activist who was jailed at a secretive prison known as a Communication Management Unit, or CMU. Stepanian is believed to be the first prisoner released from a CMU and will talk about his experience there for the first time. He was sentenced to three years along with six other activists for violating a controversial law known as the Animal Enterprise Protection Act. The ACLU has filed a lawsuit challenging the legality of CMUs. We also speak with Stepanian’s lawyer and a reporter covering the story. Watch the interview on Democracy Now!

Why America is a bank-owned state

Some of the banks should be allowed to die because they are so insolvent and holding so much in toxic assets that they will forever need to be on taxpayer-funded life support. The problem is, this life support is sucking the life out of the taxpayer in the process, as it weighs them down with ever-increasing debt. On top of that, the money could be used to restructure the economy in a way that is less reliant on the financial sector. Full article.

About 40,000 leave before new Pakistan battle

ISLAMABAD, June 22 (Reuters) – About 40,000 Pakistanis are on the move even before a military offensive begins in the Taliban stronghold of South Waziristan, U.N. officials said on Monday, and are headed for communities already stretched to the limit.

Nearly 2 million people have fled fighting in northwest Pakistan, most since early May when the military began an offensive against Taliban insurgents, prompting the United Nations to launch an appeal for $543 million in aid to avert a long-term humanitarian crisis. Full article.

Obama Administration Seeks To Keep Torture Victims From Having Day In Court

Obama Administration Seeks To Keep Torture Victims From Having Day In Court (6/12/2009)

Justice Department Asks Court For Rehearing In Extraordinary Rendition Lawsuit Against Boeing Subsidiary

CONTACT: (212) 549-2666; media@aclu.org

NEW YORK – The Justice Department today argued that the victims of the “extraordinary rendition” program should not have their day in court, asking a federal appeals court to block a landmark case the court had earlier ruled could go forward. In April, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit against Boeing subsidiary, Jeppesen DataPlan Inc., for its role in the Bush administration’s unlawful “extraordinary rendition” program could proceed, but today the government asked the appeals court’s full panel of judges to rehear that decision.

“The Obama administration has now fully embraced the Bush administration’s shameful effort to immunize torturers and their enablers from any legal consequences for their actions,” said Ben Wizner, staff attorney with the ACLU National Security Project, who argued the case for the plaintiffs. “The CIA’s rendition and torture program is not a ‘state secret;’ it’s an international scandal. If the Obama administration has its way, no torture victim will ever have his day in court, and future administrations will be free to pursue torture policies without any fear of liability.”

In April, the appeals court reversed a lower court dismissal of the lawsuit, brought on behalf of five men who were kidnapped, forcibly disappeared and secretly transferred to U.S.-run prisons or foreign intelligence agencies overseas where they were interrogated under torture. The Bush administration had intervened, improperly asserting the “state secrets” privilege to have the case thrown out. The appeals court ruled, as the ACLU has argued, that the government must invoke the “state secrets” privilege with respect to specific evidence, not to dismiss the entire suit.

“The extraordinary rendition program is well known throughout the world. The only place it hasn’t been discussed is where it most cries out for examination – in a U.S. court of law,” said Steven Watt, a staff attorney with the ACLU Human Rights Program. “Attempts to keep this case from moving forward fly in the face of Obama’s promise to reaffirm our commitment to domestic and international human rights law and restore an America we can be proud of. Victims of extraordinary rendition deserve their day in court.”

In recent years, the government has asserted the “state secrets” claim with increasing regularity in an attempt to throw out lawsuits and justify withholding information from the public not only about the rendition program, but also about illegal wiretapping, torture and other breaches of U.S. and international law.

Mohamed et al. v. Jeppesen was brought on behalf of Al-Rawi, Binyam Mohamed, Abou Elkassim Britel, Ahmed Agiza and Mohamed Farag Ahmad Bashmilah.

In addition to Wizner and Watt, attorneys in the lawsuit are Steven R. Shapiro and Jameel Jaffer of the national ACLU, Ann Brick of the ACLU of Northern California, Paul Hoffman of the law firm Schonbrun DeSimone Seplow Harris & Hoffman LLP and Hope Metcalf of the Yale Law School Lowenstein Clinic. In addition, Margaret L. Satterthwaite and Amna Akbar of the International Human Rights Clinic of New York University School of Law and Clive Stafford-Smith and Zachary Katznelson represent plaintiffs in this case.

More information about the case is available online at: www.aclu.org/jeppesen

Ex-detainees allege abuse at US Afghan base

torture was never just confined to abu ghraib or guantanamo. there has to be some accounting before we can move on.

KABUL (AFP) – Former detainees of the Bagram air base in Afghanistan have alleged a catalogue of abuse at the US military facility, the BBC reported Wednesday, after a two-month investigation.

Human Rights Watch meanwhile called on the United States to investigate the death, apparently at a US air base, and alleged torture of a member of an Afghan armed faction last year. Full article.

Pakistani Taliban chief dodged missile

the taliban chief we were trying to kill “dodged” us. 80 mourners at a funeral, however, got blown to pieces.

The head of Pakistan’s Taliban had joined a funeral procession targeted in a suspected U.S. missile strike, but left before the attack that killed 80 people mourning an earlier barrage on a militant training camp, intelligence officials said Wednesday. Full article.