Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Saving the Constitution - Ending Torture - Mending Bridges

This blogpost here at oneheartforpeace is an UPDATE about efforts toward a renewal of the rule of law, an end to torture and a plea that we care about our bridges with rest of the world.

The Great Barbara Jordan

“My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total. I am not going to sit here and be an idle spectator to the diminution, the subversion, the destruction of the Constitution.” The Late Barbara Jordan

Excerpt from article below:
"It is essential that those responsible for torture be held to account. This is not about “policy differences.” It is about crimes. More important still, it’s about holding fast to our Constitution and enforcing accountability in the executive branch." Ray McGovern (NOTICE that he is INVITING BUSH to be present when he talks in Dallas,Texas Thursday! here

EVENT NOTICE: Ray McGovern will speak and answer questions concerning key constitutional issues on Thursday evening, July 9 at the Dallas Peace Center. He served as an Army officer and CIA analyst for almost thirty years and is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). He now works with Tell the Word, the publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. For Information on McGovern's Talk in Texas - July 9th Go here

Scroll down for McGovern's new Op Ed
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DR Aafia Siddiqui: NOTE the Ongoing Concerns - Women and Children in Detention - Rule of Law - Relationship with Pakistan and rest of the world:

There are recent urgent concerns which need to be addressed as far as the treatment of detainees in Bagram and elsewhere. Merely closing down Guantanamo is not eliminating these concerns which raise years of abuse under US jurisdiction.


Not least among these is the concern that Dr. Aafia Siddiqui - regardless of any alleged crimes - has not been considered by law innocent until proof of guilt. Nor has she received any reasonably humane treatment over time until now where she's currently held in a New York Detention Center.

I have been following the posts and archives on this case and am continually startled by this quote on the upper right hand side of this blogsite

"US was the only foreign country whose representative attended the birth of Pakistan on August 15, 1947. The Case of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui appears as an epitome of entangled issues which seem to threaten this proverbial alliance, and hence also prospects of peace in the region. This blog is about saving a bridge."

Recently this Pakistan Scholar who cares deeply about the rule of law in his nation as well as the US and elsewhere stated the following: "As a nation founded by one of the finest barristers, it shall always be our special mandate to remind the world about the importance of law:

"Last year on July 6, a British journalist broke the news that Dr. Aafia Siddiqui and her three minor children had been in the illegal secret custody of US authorities in Afghanistan for five years, and that Aafia had been subjected to rape and torture all this while. Exactly on the same date a year later, Judge Berman has now conducted a hearing in a New York court where instead of being heard as a victim, Aafia is being tried as an accused." Read more here Be sure to see Khurram Shafique's Archives and other links as well at this same site - look especially for his startling analytical article: "Don't Blame the Victim".

Blogpost on July 6th events from young observant of recent hearing: here

You can find other posts related to Dr. Siddiqui by going to cageprisoners dot com and putting Aafia in the site's search.

For those who would merely take the time to read Pakistan news and Arabic human rights concerns - especially since the US is seeking cooperation in the "war on terror" particularly with Pakistan - we would be wise to see how denial on the lack of rule of law and humane treatment in Dr. Siddiqui's case is not in anyone's best interest.
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Ray McGovern Co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) digs out the real "smoking gun" of torture, USA


From Consortium News here You may need to go to consortiumnews dot com archives if you found this item after July 8, 2009

Is Texas Harboring Torture Decider?
By Ray McGovern
July 7, 2009

Editor’s Note: Prior to giving some talks in Texas, former CIA analyst Ray McGovern offered the following op-ed to the Dallas Morning News and the Fort-Worth Star Telegram. Both newspapers in George W. Bush’s home state turned it down:

Seldom does a crime scene have so clear a smoking gun. A two-page presidential memorandum of Feb. 7, 2002, leaves no room for uncertainty regarding the “decider” on torture. His broad-stroke signature made torture official policy.

This should come as no surprise. You see, the Feb. 7, 2002, memorandum has been posted on the Web since June 22, 2004, when then-White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales mistakenly released it, along with other White House memoranda.

The title seemed innocent enough – “Humane Treatment of al Qaeda and Taliban Detainees” – but in the body of the memo President George W. Bush authorized his senior aides to withhold Geneva Convention protections from suspected al-Qaeda and Taliban detainees.

Like Shakespeare, the media seem harshest on the lawyers, including Texans Gonzales and William J. Haynes II (Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s lawyer), who later outdid themselves trying to make torture legal.

What gets lost in the woodwork is this: Banal as their ex-post-facto “justification” for torture was, the lawyers were not the deciders.

After the decider-in-chief, the key decision makers were the eight addressees of the Feb. 7 memorandum: Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Colin Powell, Rumsfeld, Attorney General John Ashcroft, White House chief of staff Andrew Card, CIA Director George Tenet, National Security aide Condoleezza Rice, and Joint Chiefs Chairman Richard Myers.

During the Q & A after a recent Myers talk in Washington, I asked him what he did after he had read the President’s memo on ignoring Geneva. The tone of his non-answer was this: If the President wanted to dismiss Geneva, what was a mere Chairman of the Joint Chiefs to do?

In his memoir, Eyes on the Horizon, he tries to blame the lawyers: “By relying so heavily on just the lawyers, the President did not get the broader advice on these matters that he needed.”

Myers and the other seven addressees might these days be called derivative deciders — or, more simply, accomplices. There is not a shred of evidence that any of the Gang of Eight gave the slightest consideration to resigning, rather than carry out the President’s decision.

They elected to “just follow orders,” a defense dismissed out of hand at the post-WWII Nuremberg Tribunal on war crimes. Together with the lawyer-advisers, the derivative deciders provide abundant proof that the “banality of evil” did not die with Adolf Eichmann and other functionaries of the Third Reich.

But the buck stops — actually, in this case, it began — with President Bush. Senate Armed Services Committee leaders Carl Levin and John McCain on Dec. 11, 2008, released the executive summary of a report, approved by the full committee without dissent, concluding that Bush’s Feb. 7, 2002, memorandum “opened the door to considering aggressive techniques.”

Here is Conclusion Number One of the Senate committee report: “Following the President’s determination, techniques such as waterboarding, nudity, and stress positions…were authorized for use in interrogations of detainees in U.S. custody.”

It is essential that those responsible for torture be held to account...
READ the rest here

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For an UPDATED review of NC leadership against torture go to earlier post near end of JUNE archives here

4 comments:

Connie L. Nash said...

Guantanamo Open after January 2010?

http://washingtonindependent.com/49958/guantanamo-open-after-january-2010

Connie L. Nash said...

Also note Binyam Mohamed's recent efforts:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jul/05/binyam-mohamed-guantanamo-evidence-photographs

Connie L. Nash said...

Today see Glenn Greenwald at Salon.com with various updates on Obama Justice System July 8, 2009

Connie L. Nash said...

READ ONLY IF YOU WILL ACT to prevent this from happening again - otherwise this may not be for you to read and only WEEP! (a letter, making, sending out and signing a petition, an act of artistic plea, a call - a vigil or nonviolent protest?)
http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/

Heads Up