In face of the backlash from the media, the public and even Republicans, Donald Trump backed away from forcibly separating children from their families. His solution is to lock them up together, indefinitely. There is one big problem with this plan, as there was with his original policy, it is violation of a court decree …
Tag: human rights
Jun 18 2018
Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye …
Jun 14 2018
America was once a welcome refuge from the terror of wars, famine and poverty but no more. The changes started subtly under Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton. Under George W. Bush, the US was less welcoming to Muslims after 9/11 but less blatant under Barack Obama. With the election of Donald …
Jun 06 2018
While much of the media was focused on the primary elections and the Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles snubbing the White House, cable news was also reporting on the Trump administrations policy on separating children, even infants and toddlers, from their families as they seek asylum at the US southern border. US Attorney General Jefferson …
Apr 07 2015
On Wednesday, the Republican governor of Arkansas, Asa Hutchinson, refused to sign the religious freedom act, mainly citing his own son’s objection to the bill but, also, wishing to avoid the chaos that a similar bill in Illinois caused.
“I ask that changes be made in the legislation, and I’ve asked that the leaders in the General Assembly recall the bill so that it can be amended,” the Republican governor said, so it more precisely mirrors the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1993.
“In the alternative,” he said, “it can simply have some language changes so that those accommodations and changes can be made.”
Hutchinson had previously said he would sign the bill into law. [..]
In a sign of what he called the generational gap, the Republican governor said his son told him he could tell the press that he signed a petition asking him to veto the bill.
While the media, companies, like Walmart, and politicians, like Hillary Clinton praised Gov. Hutchinson for his courage, they have all overlooked one very important fact, that was pointed out by Karoli at Crooks and Liars:
Gov. Hutchinson didn’t veto the bill. He sent it back unsigned to the legislature. As per the Arkansas Constitution, the bill will become law in five days.
So they can dither for five days, the bill becomes law and Asa walks away with his hands clean blaming the state legislators for failing to “fix” the bill.
Cowardice of the first order.
Dec 12 2014
If upholding the law is too hard for Barack Obama and Eric Holder, then they are among the ranks of the accused torturers and should just resign.
All senior U.S. officials and CIA agents who authorized or carried out torture like waterboarding as part of former President George W. Bush’s national security policy must be prosecuted, top U.N. officials said Wednesday.
It’s not clear, however, how human rights officials think these prosecutions will take place, since the Justice Department has declined to prosecute and the U.S. is not a member of the International Criminal Court.
Zeid Raad al-Hussein, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights, said it’s “crystal clear” under international law that the United States, which ratified the U.N. Convention Against Torture in 1994, now has an obligation to ensure accountability. [..]
However, a Justice Department official said Wednesday the department did not intend to revisit its decision to not prosecute anyone for the interrogation methods. The official said the department had reviewed the committee’s report and did not find any new information that would cause the investigation to be reopened.
Ben Emmerson is the UN’s Special Rapporteur on counterterrorism and human rights. His statement released yesterday in response to the SSCI torture report points out the clear responsibilities that the US has under the Convention Against Torture and other international human rights laws to prosecute not only those who carried out torture, but those who designed the torture program and gave orders for its implementation. [..]
Emmerson doesn’t say that those responsible for the crimes should be brought to justice. He says outright that they MUST be brought to justice. Emmerson further points out that being authorized at a high level in the government gives no protection. Further, he notes a “conspiracy” to carry out the crimes.
Emmerson then goes on to destroy Barack Obama’s “look forward” bullshit and John Durham’s coverup disguised as an investigation:
International law prohibits the granting of immunities to public officials who have engaged in acts of torture. This applies not only to the actual perpetrators but also to those senior officials within the US Government who devised, planned and authorised these crimes.
As a matter of international law, the US is legally obliged to bring those responsible to justice. The UN Convention Against Torture and the UN Convention on Enforced Disappearances require States to prosecute acts of torture and enforced disappearance where there is sufficient evidence to provide a reasonable prospect of conviction. States are not free to maintain or permit impunity for these grave crimes.
Obama, Holder and Durham simply cannot grant immunity for these crimes. International law forbids it. More specifically, the Convention Against Torture, to which the US is a signatory, prohibits it. Similarly, the Convention on Enforced Disappearances also comes into play in the crimes committed by the US and also prevents the granting of immunity that Obama has tried to orchestrate.
Mark Udall Says The CIA Is Still Lying
By Matt Sledge, Huffington Post
The CIA is still lying about its post-9/11 torture program, even in the face of a devastating Senate report, Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) said Wednesday.
In a dramatic floor speech during his final month in the Senate, Udall said the CIA’s lies have been aided and abetted by President Barack Obama’s White House and called on the president to “purge” his administration of CIA officials who were involved in the interrogation program detailed in the report.
“It’s bad enough to not prosecute these officials, but to reward and promote them is incomprehensible,” Udall said. “The president needs to purge his administration.”
Udall said the lies are “not a problem of the past,” citing the CIA’s response to the 6,000-page torture report. He said the agency took seven months to write a formal comment after the Senate Intelligence Committee approved the report in December 2012 — and when it did, it was full of lies and half-truths meant to justify the agency’s actions.
MSNBC’s “All In” host Chris Hayes questions Pres. Obama’s premise that we are a “nation of laws”
Jun 25 2014
Most Americans take water for granted. We get up in the morning shower, brush teeth, flush the toilet, run water to drink, clean and on and on. What would you do if you couldn’t do those things? How would it effect you daily life? You ability to work? Support yourself and your family? How would it effect you health?
Those questions are all being faces right now by hundreds of thousands men, women and children, not in some third world country, but Detroit, Michigan.
In March, the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department is resuming efforts to shut off water service to thousands of delinquent customers.
Crews will be targeting those who have received a shutoff notice and whose bills are more than two months late. Customers with late bills can avoid a shutoff by entering into a payment plan. Typically, it takes a payment of 30% to 50% of the amount owed to start such a plan. [..]
There are 323,900 DWSD accounts in Detroit. Of those, 150,806 are delinquent. Some of those delinquencies are low-income customers who are struggling to keep their utilities on, said some who work in providing assistance to those in need.
But agencies aiding the mostly low income families currently without water are short on cash
“The need is huge,” said Mia Cupp, director of development and communications for the Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency. “There are families that have gone months and months without water.”
The group is among a handful of local agencies that provide assistance to those who need help with their water bills. The Water Access Volunteer Effort, a Detroit-based nonprofit, is another. [..]
The organization has very limited resources. Cupp said the group raised about $148,000 during a charity walk; that money could go to helping people pay water bills. [..]
Mayor Mike Duggan’s spokesman John Roach referred to the Water and Sewerage Department questions about how the city handles community outreach to inform residents about programs to help with water bills. Detroit’s Human Services Department used to perform outreach but no longer does, Latimer said. So the water department is finalizing an agreement with The Heat And Warmth Fund, or THAW, to do so, he said. THAW provides low-income Michigan residents with emergency energy assistance.
Jill Brunett, vice president for marketing and communication for THAW, confirmed that the group is in talks with the water department. She said the extreme weather this winter increased heating bills, putting a strain on finances.
Al Jazeera reported that the average Detroit water bill is nearly double the national average of $40 per month (pdf). Tho add insult to injury, DWSD said it would again raise rates, this time by 8.7 percent.
A coalition of groups including the Detroit People’s Water Board, Food and Water Watch, Blue Planet Project and Michigan Welfare Rights Organization have appealed to the United Nations for assistance (pdf)
“We are asking the UN special rapporteur to make clear to the U.S. government that it has violated the human right to water,” said Maude Barlow, the National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians and a key member of the coalition that put the report together. In addition to creating international pressure to stop the Detroit shutoffs, Barlow said, the UN’s intervention could lead to formal consequences for the United States. “If the US government does not respond appropriately this will also impact their Universal Periodic Review,” she said, “when they stand before the Human Rights Council to have their [human rights] record evaluated.”
Two of those activists, Maureen Taylor, state chair of the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization and Meera Karunananthan, international water campaigner for the Blue Planet Project, spoke with Democracy Now!‘s Amy Goodman about Detroit’s water crisis.
Trancript can be read here
The US may be the wealthiest country in the world but it is rapidly turning it’s cities into third world slums, endangering thousands of lives.
Jun 13 2014
Monday June 13, 1904
From The Indianapolis News: More Union Miners Deported from Cripple Creek District
BELL SAYS SOCIALISTS ARE CAUSE OF TROUBLES
SAYS HE WILL DRIVE FEDERATION FROM GOLD CAMP.
THE ONLY HOPE FOR PEACE
CRIPPLE CREEK, June 13.-Gen. Sherman Bell has given out a statement concerning his action in deporting strikers and the causes leading up to the same. He attributes the recent troubles growing out of the miners’ strike, and the strike itself to the Socialist element in the Western Federation of Miners, which, he says, captured the organization two years ago. He declares that the federation has made unionism a secondary consideration, and the organization, root and branch, is being made a vehicle for the promotion of socialism. The leaders, he asserts, have not hesitated to cause “weak and willing members to commit any crime to strike terror to property owners or working men who refuse to abide their dictates.” The murder of non-union men by blowing up the Independence station, he charges, was “perpetrated with the aid and advice of federation leaders and by men in their employ.” The only hope for peace and security of life and property was “to exterminate the federation from the camp.”
General Bell and staff attended church yesterday and transacted no business, except what was absolutely necessary. Another party of 100 deported miners left Victor to-day, their destination being either New Mexico or Utah. The saloons of the district were opened to-day for the first time in a week.
Practically all the large mines in this district which closed down last Monday, after the explosion at Independence, were working to-day. The Portland mine has not yet been reopened and the company has not announced its plans.
———- An Appeal to Gompers.
KANSAS CITY. June 13.-The Industrial Council of this city, which claims to represent 25,000 union members, adopted resolutions [yesterday] asking President Gompers, of the American Federation of Labor, to call a meeting of the executive board of that organization for the purpose of devising means to settle the Colorado labor troubles. Telegrams were sent to President Roosevelt asking him to investigate and to Governor Peabody, condemning his actions by the orders of the Industrial Council. Mother Jones addressed the meeting.
———- Miners Remain at Holly.
HOLLY, Colo., June 13.-Ten of the deported miners from Cripple Creek left here at midnight Saturday for La Junta, Pueblo and Denver. The remainder are staying in town. They have paid cash for their meals and lodging and made purchases at stores. It is probable that a considerable number of the exiles will go into the country to seek work on the ranches.
Today’s edition of the St. Louis Republic reports that Mother Jones addressed the Kansas City, Missouri, Industrial Council yesterday, and that the following telegram was sent to Governor Peabody of Colorado:
The Industrial Council of Kansas City, Mo., in regular session assembled, condemns your action as unamerican, uncivilized and barbarous in the extreme, in your treatment toward workingmen and women of Colorado. For such acts Russia, in her darkest ages, would blush with shame.
Jun 12 2014
Sunday June 12, 1904
Cripple Creek District, Colorado – Deported Miners Dumped Near Kansas Border
The miners who were herded down the street on Friday by militiamen and Citizens’ Alliance “deputies” and then loaded into railroad cars and deported from the Cripple Creek strike zone, were found near the Kansas border yesterday. The following report comes to us from today’s San Francisco Call:
EXILED MINERS, HUNGRY AND WEARY,
CAMP ON THE COLORADO BORDER
Deported Men Are Taken to the Kansas Line by Troops.
Left on a Bleak Prairie Without Food or Water Supply.
SYRACUSE, Kansas, June 11.-The deported Colorado miners camped at Holly to-night, just across the Colorado line. They were notified to-night that a special train would be sent to take them all to Denver.
HOLLY, Colo., June 11. – With a parting volley of rifle bullets, fired over their heads by the militia and deputies to, warn them to “hike” eastward as fast as their legs could carry them and never again set foot on Colorado soil, ninety-one union miners from the Cripple Creek district were unloaded from a special Santa Fe train on the prairie this morning, one half mile from the Colorado-Kansas State line, and left to shift for themselves. The exiles were disembarked in haste and without ceremony. The guards and deputies were tired out and in ill humor from their long, tedious trip from the Teller County gold camp and were in no mood to extend any special courtesies or kindness to their unfortunate charges.
“Hurry up there, you fellows,” cried Lieutenant Cole, when the train stopped in the midst of the alkali sand dunes that dot the prairie in the vicinity of the eastern part of Powers County near the Kansas line. “We haven’t got any time to waste out here.”
WITHOUT FOOD OR WATER.
And no time was wasted. The special, which consisted of an engine, a combination baggage car and smoker and two day coaches, had no sooner come to a standstill than the car doors were unlocked and thrown open and the order given by Lieutenant Cole for the exiles to leave the train.
“Step lively, you fellows, step lively,” admonished Deputy Benton, who was in command of the civil forces of the expedition, and in less time than it takes to tell it the three cars were emptied of their passengers and the train was started on its way back to La Junta.
The men were dumped out on the cheerless prairie without food or water, for the soldiers and deputies, in their haste to get home, had forgotten to unload the small stock of commissary supplies the train carried when it left Victor yesterday afternoon.
SPIRIT OF MEN BREAKS
The exiles were a cheerless lot, indeed. Without even a light and miles from the nearest habitation, they huddled together in groups on either side of’ the Santa Fe track and discussed their plight. Warned to move eastward, on pain of being rearrested and severely handled, and notified by the Kansas authorities that they would not be allowed to seek refuge in that State, the spirit of the men broke. Many of them walked back westward on the railroad to Holly, the Salvation Army colony in Colorado, where the charitable inhabitants provided breakfast for them. Some of them later started to walk to Lamar, Colo.
Sheriff Jack Brady and forty deputies of Hamilton County were at the State line to prevent the deported men entering Kansas.
———- CLAIMS TO HAVE MURDERERS.
Bell Declares Independence Dynamiters Are In Bullpen.
CRIPPLE CREEK, Colo., June 11.-General Sherman M. Bell to-day made the following statement for publication:
“I have indisputable evidence in my possession which will lead to the conviction of union men for the murder of non-union miners who were killed in the Independence explosion. We have between thirty-five and forty men in the bullpen who will swing for this crime. We are only waiting to capture three or four men before we tell what our evidence Is.”
The San Francisco Call.
(San Francisco California)
-of June 12, 1904
Miners Being Deported from Cripple Creek District
Jun 11 2014
Saturday June 11, 1904
From The Topeka Daily Capital: Mother Jones Continues Heading East
“MOTHER” JONES WAS HERE
Is One of the Staff of President John Mitchell
“Mother” Jones, who has been prominently identified with the Colorado miners’ strike and is on the immediate staff of John Mitchell of the United Mine workers, was in Topeka for a short time yesterday afternoon. She called upon the local machinists and made a short talk at their meting. She left for the East last night.
More from the Cripple Creek Strike zone, a report from the Daily News-Democrat of Huntington, Indiana:
UNION MINERS ARE BANISHED
WORK OF DEPORTATION FROM CRIPPLE CREEK BEGINS.
TRAIN LOAD IS TAKEN AWAY
Men will Probably be Taken to Kansas State Line-
Will Not Be Permitted to Land In Colorado Cities.
Colorado Springs, Col., June 11-Acting under the orders of Adjt. Gen. Sherman Bell, of the state national guard, a special train was made up shortly after noon Friday in the Short Line yards at Victor for the deportation of 76 union miners. The train was composed of a combination baggage car and two day coaches. Almost immediately the work of loading the men began. They were marched to the train between heavy lines of military and deputies. A crowd of fully 1,000 people had collected to see the men placed on board. Among the spectators were wives and sisters, fathers and mothers of the deported men, and the scenes were very affecting.
Mayor Harris of this city, had been apprised of the decision to deport the men, and immediately took steps to see that none of them landed in Colorado Springs. Under his instructions a large force of officers and deputy sheriffs met the special train at 6:10 p. m. for that purpose. No attempt was made, however, to unload the men here, arrangements having previously been made to send them to Kansas state line, over the Santa Fe, because of protests made against taking them to Pueblo or Denver and leaving them there.
Syracuse, Kan., June 11.-Sheriff Brady of this county received a telegram from Sheriff Barr, of La Junta, Col., stating that a special train, carrying 140 deported miners from Colorado, would reach Coolidge and unload the miners in Kansas. Citizens of this county are indignant at this proceeding of the Colorado authorities, and an appeal has been made to Gov. Bailey to prevent Colorado from dumping her alleged undesirable citizens into Kansas.
Will Soon Be Rid of Agitators.
Cripple Creek, Col., June 11.-The woman’s auxiliary of the miners’ union has been forbidden by the military authorities to hold meetings.
“Within 48 hours this district will be rid of all agitators and other objectionable men.” said Gen. Bell, Friday. “One deportation after another will be made until none of the men who have terrorized the district so long will be left here”
Apparently by “men who have terrorized the district so long” Gen. Bell means striking union miners, and not the members of the Citizens’ Alliance who have been rampaging through the Cripple Creek Strike zone these past several days, destroying union property, trashing the union relief stores, and rounding up, beating, and threatening union miners and local officials who are deemed too sympathetic to the union cause. Without any proof whatsoever, the Western Federation of Miners is blamed for the explosion at the Independence Station on June 6th, and this has provided Gen. Bell, the militia, and the Citizens’ Alliance with the excuse they needed for this final assault on union organization in the Cripple Creek District.
The wives and children of the deported miners are now left behind to manage the best they can. The union relief stores on which they depend for food and other necessities of life have all been destroyed.
The Topeka Daily Capital
-of June 11, 1904
The Cripple Creek Strike
-by Emma F Langdon
(Part I, 1st pub 1904)
Hellraisers+Cripple creek independence explosion
Cripple Creek Deportations of June 1914
Jun 10 2014
Friday June 10, 1904
From the Kansas City Star: Mother Jones Heads East to Speak in Kansas City on Sunday
“Mother” Jones to Speak at a Picnic
Mary G. [sic] Jones, known as “Mother” Jones, will speak at Budd park Sunday afternoon at 4 o’clock. “Mother” Jones once lived in Kansas City and had a dressmaking shop, but in recent years has devoted her attention to Socialism and has been active in big strikes as a crusader. She will talk on the miners’ strike in the Cripple Creek district. There will be a picnic in connection with the meeting Sunday afternoon.
Kansas City Star
(Kansas City, Missouri)
-of June 10, 1904
Apr 23 2014
After seven years of silence, the psychologist, who is considered the chief architect of the CIA’s torture program, has spoken out in defense of the program. The reason for his sudden appearance is the possibility of the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture.
In an uncompromising and wide-ranging interview with the Guardian, his first public remarks since he was linked to the program in 2007, James Mitchell was dismissive of a Senate intelligence committee report on CIA torture in which he features, and which is currently at the heart of an intense row between legislators and the agency.
The committee’s report found that the interrogation techniques devised by Mitchell, a retired air force psychologist, were far more brutal than disclosed at the time, and did not yield useful intelligence. These included waterboarding, stress positions, sleep deprivation for days at a time, confinement in a box and being slammed into walls.
But Mitchell, who was reported to have personally waterboarded accused 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, remains unrepentant. “The people on the ground did the best they could with the way they understood the law at the time,” he said. “You can’t ask someone to put their life on the line and think and make a decision without the benefit of hindsight and then eviscerate them in the press 10 years later.”
He was just following orders. Where have we heard that before?
James Mitchell: ‘I’m just a guy who got asked to do something for his country’
by Jason Leopold, The Guardian
Psychologist who designed CIA’s post-9/11 torture program insists he has nothing to apologise for – and attacks ‘people with a Jack Bauer mentality who don’t understand how intel works’
Dr James Elmer Mitchell has been called a war criminal and a torturer. He has been the subject of an ethics complaint, and his methods have been criticized in reports by two congressional committees and by the CIA’s internal watchdog.
But the retired air force psychologist insists he is not the monster many have portrayed him to be. [..]
Mitchell is featured prominently in a new report prepared by the Senate select committee on intelligence, which spent five years and more than $40m studying the CIA’s detention and interrogation program.
The findings, according to a summary leaked to McClatchy, are damning: that the agency misled the White House, Congress and the American people; that unauthorised interrogation methods were used; that the legal opinions stating the techniques did not break US torture laws were flawed; and perhaps most significant, that the torture yielded no useful intelligence.
This country executed people for torture and war crimes after World War 2. There is no statute of limitations on war crimes.