Tuesday, April 28, 2009

William J. Haynes II: ACTION: Ongoing - Tell Chevron CEO David O'Reilly to Fire him

Subject: Tell Chevron: Fire the lawyer behind Bush torture.

Dear Friend,

President Obama says it's up to Attorney General Holder whether to prosecute the individuals responsible for the Bush administration's torture policies. One of the top names on Holder's list should be William J. Haynes II.

As General Counsel for the Pentagon under Donald Rumsfeld, Haynes authored the legal strategy for some of the most heinous torture techniques authorized by Bush - techniques that were, according to the New York Times, "interrogation practices based on illegal tortures devised by Chinese agents during the Korean War."

Haynes left the Pentagon when Rumsfeld did, but instead of going into exile - or better yet, prison - Haynes instead went to a cushy gig as chief corporate counsel for Chevron.

I just took action to tell Chevron CEO David O'Reilly to fire Haynes - I hope you will, too.

here

1 comment:

Connie L. Nash said...

Somehow, I felt like posting this today, April 29th, on this post because we need to look at many other folk who serve on such high-profile and money-making groups to see who needs to be exposed for - not being bad people - but being bad for American leadership in the roles they take or are given...That includes law in torturing charged and uncharged, innocent or not detainees as well as in business! That includes unemployment repurcussions and eventual lost jobs because of corruption and more...

April 28, 2009
Op-Ed Columnist
Workers Walk the Plank
By BOB HERBERT

I’m sure everyone is thrilled to know that the high rollers on Wall Street are bouncing back. With profits on the rebound, the big shots at the biggest institutions are on track, as The Times reported Sunday, to make as much money this year as they were hauling in before the mega-recession began.

The growing legions of the unemployed can be forgiven for not shouting hallelujah. It’s a little like watching the drunken driver who plowed into your family car and caused untold havoc and heartache, suddenly pulling up one morning, no worse for the wear, in a sparkling new vehicle.

The folks who led the nation to this financial abyss are the ones being made whole on the taxpayers’ dime. We can look after them, all right. But we can’t seem to get credit flowing in any normal way again; we can’t stanch the terrible flow of home foreclosures; and we’re not doing nearly enough to address the most critical need of all: putting people back to work.

While Wall Street is breaking out the Champagne yet again, the rest of the economy is beyond terrible, and will be for the foreseeable future.

Heidi Shierholz, an economist with the Economic Policy Institute, offered a rundown of the unemployment crisis in remarks she prepared for a House subcommittee last week. Ms. Shierholz began by noting that next month the current economic downturn will become the longest since the Great Depression.

“The 10 postwar recessions prior to this one have averaged 10.4 months in length, with the longest being 16 months,” said Ms. Shierholz. “The current recession is now in its 16th month and the labor market is still shedding over 600,000 jobs a month.”

Wall Street can swallow all the Champagne it wants, and the market fanatics can obsess until their brains lock over the daily gyrations of the Dow. The simple fact is that working men and women are being squeezed in the ever-tightening jaws of a catastrophe.

The American auto industry is fading before our eyes. Chrysler is looking to Fiat — Fiat! — as a savior. The once-impregnable General Motors is now a giant junkyard sinking in quicksand. It disclosed Monday that it will cut another 21,000 factory jobs in the United States over the next year. If G.M. were to go under it would take an enormous chain of satellite industries down with it.

More than 13 million people are officially counted as unemployed, with some 5.6 million jobs lost since the recession started. Ms. Shierholz tells us that since the first of the year about 23,000 men and women were being added to the jobless rolls every day.

Job losses on such a scale are knockout blows to ordinary American families.

The importance of employment to the everyday life and long-term health of the nation is too often given short shrift. A recent report, “The 2009 MetLife Study of the American Dream,” found, not surprisingly, that “work is the linchpin holding the dream together” for most Americans.

In fact, the mythic American dream is becoming more and more elusive. The big concern facing millions of families at the moment is economic survival. More than half of all Americans — 56 percent — are concerned that they might lose their jobs in the next year. Few are prepared for such a setback.

As the authors of the MetLife study reported:

“With the erosion of social and corporate safety nets, tightening credit and declining home equity, most Americans have little financial cushioning to survive a job loss. Without a steady paycheck, 50 percent of Americans say they could not meet their financial obligations for more than a month — and, of that, a disturbing 28 percent couldn’t support themselves for more than two weeks of unemployment.”

That’s the case in an environment in which more than three million Americans already have been out of work for more than six months.

The employment issue is not being addressed with the level of urgency that is warranted. For all the talk of green jobs, there is no large-scale creative effort to turn this employment debacle around. There is no crash program on anything like the scale needed, for example, to rebuild the rotting infrastructure — a big-time potential source of jobs.

The financial industry is seen as essential, but millions of American workers are not. They’re expendable.

If as much attention, energy and resources were given to the effort to put Americans back to work as has been given to putting the banking industry back on its feet, you’d have fewer Champagne toasts on Wall Street but a lot more high-fiving in family homes across the country.

Copyright 2009 The New York Times Company