Tuesday, April 28, 2009

In the Guardian: The 5th anniversary of the Abu Ghraib scandal



Connie L. Nash said...

http://donswaim.com/nytimes.sontag.html May 23, 2004

From a Comment on a really active site:

Regarding the Torture of Others

By SUSAN SONTAGI.For a long time -- at least six decades -- photographs have laid down the tracks of how important conflicts are judged and remembered. The Western memory museum is now mostly a visual one. Photographs have an insuperable power to determine what we recall of events, and it now seems probable that the defining association of people everywhere with the war that the United States launched pre-emptively in Iraq last year will be photographs of the torture of Iraqi prisoners by Americans in the most infamous of Saddam Hussein's prisons, Abu Ghraib.

http://donswaim.com/nytimes.sontag.html May 23, 2004

Connie L. Nash said...


Contact: Dan Kenney Co-coordinator of noprivatearmies.org/Clearwater Project
After the 27th, 815.793.0950

A Citizens' Foreclosure At Northwest Illinois Blackwater Site

Over 20 individuals face possible arrest as part of a demonstration of over 50
at the gates of Blackwater(Xe) midwest site in Jo Daviess's County in the northwest corner of Illinois. The citizens will be going onto Blackwater's property to serve a notice of foreclosure on the property of a company that is
morally bankrupt.

The demonstration is the final action of the weekend Midwest Regional Catholic Worker Retreat and Clearwater Conference. Clearwater is a citizen's group formed to stop Blackwater, one of hundreds of private military companies making billions of tax dollars for actions that were once only the purview of the US military. And even though they are making billions of tax dollars Blackwater, who recently changed their name to Xe to hopefully escape public attention, is also being investigated for tax evasion, they are being investigated by the AFT
for illegal possession of firearms at their North Carolina site, they are under
investigation for illegal smuggling of weapons into Iraq, and are fighting in the courts nine wrongful death lawsuits. Five of their contractors are also facing voluntary manslaughter charges for the shooting in September of 2007 that led to the death of 17 unarmed, innocent Iraqi citizens.

When so many citizens are facing joblessness, homelessness, and inadequate wages, and when many hard working citizens are trying desperately to escape the foreclosure of their homes the citizens participating in the protest tomorrow believe it is wrong for these private military companies like Blackwater to be
making millions of dollars in profits with taxpayer money. They believe that the
privatization of the military that is taking place at an alarming rate presents
a threat to our democracy. A private shadow army operating outside of national
and international law with public oversight should not be allowed to continue.
And to have these same companies involved with the training of our police officers is also a danger to American civil liberties.

If we continue to outsource our security to private companies soon security will not be a right for all, but a privilege for those who can afford the price.

See statement of the Blackwater (Xe) protestors below:

April 27, 2009

As Catholic Workers and other concerned citizens of the United States we come today to this northwest Illinois Blackwater training site in an act of nonviolent protest. We are here to make a citizens? foreclosure on this property of a company that is morally bankrupt. We are here to reclaim it for the people of this nation who promote democracy and security by humanitarian efforts.

We stand here today as citizens who live in solidarity with and in service to fellow citizens who struggle with joblessness,
homelessness, and inadequate wages. We are here to stop the flow of billions of tax dollars to the privatization of our military and the
miniaturization of our police by companies like Blackwater; a company that is responsible for:
? Killing innocent Iraqi civilians
? Smuggling weapons illegally into Iraq
? Tax evasion
? Illegal possession of firearms

We are here to hold them accountable for all their illegal and immoral actions.

No matter how many times this company changes its name, it can run but it cannot hide from its bloody history or its lawlessness.

For More Information Contact: Dan Kenney 815.793.0950 dan@noprivatearmies.org

No matter how many times this company changes its name, it can run but it cannot
hide from its bloody history or its lawlessness.

By Jeremy Scahill

Article printed from http://www.CommonDreams.org
URL to article: http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2009/04/27-3
22 protesters arrested for trespassing at Blackwater site

John David Reporter

April 27, 2009
MT. CARROLL, Illinois - A protest outside the Blackwater training site near Mt. Carroll landed 22 people a trip to the Jo Daviess County Jail on Monday. The military contractor, also called Xe, is under fire from protesters for its roles during wartime and with homeland security.

Nearly 75 protesters sounded off at the Blackwater gate Monday morning. But Dubuque's Rick Moody, an organic farmer, can only stand and watch as his wife is arresting on a trespassing charge along with 21 others.

"She's never done anything like this before," he said. "She's very scared about
it and what might happen. It took a lot of courage to cross under the fence."

Yet what's courageous to some sounds just crazy to others. While Illinois state
troopers make the arrests, nearby resident Owen Reeves captures the moment with
his camera.

"I don't think (the protest) will accomplish much of anything," he said. "Most
of the rabble-rousers aren't even from around here."

Among those taken away, some were from Minnesota and Missouri. Others came from
Iowa and Illinois. None were from the Quad Cities.

The 22 protesters were processed at the scene and taken to the Jo Daviess County
Jail. That's where they were each expected to post about $100 bond. If
convicted, they face fines and possible jail time.

No training exercises were taking place at the site on Monday although Xe
employees had reported for work.

And it's not the first time for this kind of protest. Nearly two years ago, some
of these participants went to Blackwater headquarters in North Carolina and
splattered red paint on themselves.

"We are here to make a foreclosure on the property of a company that's morally
bankrupt," one protester announced.

Serving mock eviction papers at the gate and calling for a day to stand with peace.

Some of the 75 were really stepping out of the '60's. Others were much too young
to remember those turbulent times. But all, on both sides, were delivering a

"Why are we paying for these things?" Moody questioned. "Why are we as a people
paying for this?"

"This just brings unnecessary notoriety to our region," Reeves countered. "Who
knows what might become of it later."

Both sides of the gate, so to speak, as this exercise in civil disobedience
becomes an arresting experience.


Connie L. Nash said...

How ’07 ABC Interview Tilted a Torture Debate