Saturday, July 11, 2009

A Special Prosecutor for US? Peace/Justice updates & actions



What actions toward justice lead as well to peace?

Breakthroughs, actions, updates from July 11th continuing through the week beginning July 12-13th.

ASK HOLDER to Appoint a Special Prosecutor

Here's a new item added as Update: here

According to news reports over the weekend, Attorney General Eric Holder is considering whether to appoint a special prosecutor for torture. Now is the moment for everyone to phone and Email him asking him to do so. (Not only from US citizens but why not some emails from the international community for peace at large?)

US DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
AskDOJ@usdoj.gov

Phone 202-514-2001
************
The peace movement is determined and united. It's time to put October 5, October 17, and March 19 on our calendars. Here's why: here

From July 11-13th and ONGOING - WHAT's "hot" now on the US justice scene:
See all the activity the last few days on FRONT PAGE news at NYTimes, LA Times, Newsweek, Al Jazeera and other international news sources, The Nation Magazine, Bill of Rights Defense Committee News, Democracy Now!, Glenn Greenwald at Salon.com, digby's blog (Hullabaloo), After Downing Street, Senator Dennis Kucinich, Sen. Russ Feingold, Dianne Feinstein (at last?) See more congress-folk listed here soon with URLS)

VARIOUS OTHERS (if you have time - these will take more than a quick skim.)
Visit Andy Worthington (comments at his site are unusually interesting), Cage Prisoners, Common Dreams, Truth Out and of course see Center for Constitutional Rights, ACLU, Amnesty, The Guardian (especially this story: Binyam Mohamed launches legal fight to stop US destroying torture - guardian dot co dot uk, Reprieve and I'm expecting a great OP Ed from Prof. Marjorie Cohn - President of the National Lawyers' Guild any day now here and from lawyer Candace Gorman with her Gitmo blog. And don't forget Noam Chomsky - including his Op Ed last May on The Torture Memos. Don't fail to scroll through COMMENTS on many of these sites for some startling leads and perspectives.

A FEW MORE COMMENTS
There are so many Peace Actions available now. RIGHT NOW, US leaders and citizens can do much toward ending all US wars of occupation and other destructive aggressions. We can be more constitutionally faithful. We can participate in vigils, protests and other peace-gatherings whenever we have the opportunity to do so peacefully and without violence to ourselves or others.


FROM JUST FOREIGN POLICY: US Should Stay Out of Iran Dispute - Appearing to meddle in Iran's internal affairs would be counterproductive to the interests of Iranian protesters and to the future of U.S.-Iran relations. Thank President Obama for his smart response and urge him to continue his efforts to engage Iran diplomatically


DRONE activity - submitting this for sake of the debate (I don't agree with some articles points that the use of drones could legally be outside war crimes. At the same time - some media suggestions are for more accountability - for public discussions regarding their use and presidential justification - rather than nearly complete secrecy may be better than the current practices. See article: "Fresh drone attacks in Pakistan reignite debate‎" - 5 days ago See both Boston Globe and Christian Science Monitor. Also see Comments at Dawn newspaper, Pakistan.
I am among those who believe we must voice STRONG ongoing objection to use of drones in Pakistan, Afghanistan and elsewhere and to encourage more support for the displaced. See the work of Kathy Kelly with Center for Creative Nonviolence with their theme: "Down the Drones or Reap the Whirlwind"...

Ajmal of Swat Valley with other displaced experiencing kindness of strangers.


[08-Jul-2009] Ajmal's family was forced to flee from their village when fighting between government forces and militants engulfed the upper reaches of Pakistan's Swat Valley in mid-June. The young boy traveled to safety with 24 women and children from his extended family, including a severely disabled uncle and a little girl who had to be carried.

Please don't forget Gaza and Palestine/Israel in their hour of need. See Electronic Intifada and BitterLemons. (and be sure also to see Iraq news via Iraqis)

2 comments:

Connie L. Nash said...

A SPECIAL PROSECUTOR is a prosecutorial lawyer from the private sector chosen to investigate, indict and prosecute government officials. While prosecuting a government official suspected of illegal activity would normally fall to a US attorney, a district attorney or an attorney general, the close political relationship of one branch of government to another would suggest that a prosecution conducted by someone employed by the same government, or same branch of government may not be impartial. In these cases, the government may ask a private sector lawyer to serve as special prosecutor, so that no partiality exists in pursuing the case.

Many countries employ a special prosecutor when it comes to cases where a government official stands accused. Partiality may exist with lawyers working for the government already because they may have a direct relationship with the accused, they may have gained political power through the defendant’s political position, or they may be employed by the accused. On the other hand, if the government-employed prosecutor is openly opposed to the defendant’s political party, he or she may prosecute injudiciously. Thus in most cases, a special prosecutor must be employed. (this excerpt is from a public law site)

My Note: Whereas in many if not most cases of great crime - forgiveness may be the highest solution. In the case of Cheney/Bush crimes of war and to the citizens and (children, grand-childen and great-grands) of US citizens -even the KING of Forgiveness: Bishop Desond Tutu has expressed concern that the rule of law be manifested in the US toward these former leaders.

Connie L. Nash said...

Perhaps even more of a priority is ending torture. Many who know: lawyers, justice groups, reports from detainees finally released all show that torture is ONGOING despite the declaration by Obama in January that torture was not allowed any longer under US auspices.

Several of us in my area are working on letters to key legislators on these matters. Please let us know if you'd like to connect on this action.