Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Rumi's "Ocean"


In play
waves mount
and bits of spray break away

We sparkle and dance above the waters
assuming we are free
We espouse self grandeur and independence
with memory lost of a distant sea
Yet we claim nothing but our moment in the sun

Held aloft by an invisible wind ignored
We dance in splendor and self amazement
while we argue if there even is a sea
and fight one another over its name
until we return to from which we came
And where before we asked how can this be
we now remember, we are the sea

All sorrows and sadness a simple ploy
the wind was Love, the dance was Joy


This Rumi poem was mentioned by the blogger at this interesting site here during a rich, expansive discussion of Allama Iqbal's work which is more needed than ever for our time.

* photo above found on a site for meditation without reserve of rights. I don't know enough about the site to endorse so will not add to this post but the photo is quite evocative.

Adel al-Gazzar's Treatment is Without Conscience

His inhumane treatment spans the globe and nations and continues even now on 14 June, 2011...

NOTE: I am trying harder these days to mostly post the most inspiring items because there's so much negativity today...however, I can't close my eyes and heart to this one which needs GLOBAL attention - especially from the USA yet also now in Egypt and elsewhere. Please forgive me for posting this extremely serious item. YET, if you read the Interview linked below this article, you will be amazed to find first hand reports of a person who became even stronger in the midst of trial...

SUMMARY: Having been hit by a US air strike while helping refugees displaced by the onset of war, Abdel al-Gazzar was in the midst of his recovery in a Pakistani hospital when he was handed over to US authorities who transferred him to a US prison in Kandahar, Afghanistan. There he was subject to severe beatings, exposure to freezing temperatures, sleep deprivation for days on end, and suspension by the wrists. Reportedly, he received NO medical attention during his time in Kandahar and more neglect and mistreatment of this leg as well as other bodily harm in Gitmo. As a result, his leg was infected with gangrene so severe that it eventually was amputated.

Here is a description in his own words: "The wound was open and big — without any kind of treatment besides basic dressings. They forced us to take showers so the wound got wet many times. The pain became almost unbearable. One day I remember I was crying terribly from the pain. A doctor turned up with painkillers but he said, “I will give you the medication, and your pain will be gone within 10 minutes, but first you need to sign a confession that you’re a member of al-Qaeda.” I told him I’m not a member of al-Qaeda and cannot confess to a lie. He put the medication in his pocket and walked off. However, most of the other prisoners advised me correctly that I had no option but to accept the amputation as it had passed the stage of being saved and had become gangrenous and could spread higher up the leg the longer it was left. I finally gave in. Ten days later a doctor came with consent papers for me to sign. The next day I was taken to the hospital."

(Note that Abdel al-Gazzer when injured had been doing humanitarian work for hurting people with the highly acclaimed International Committee of the Red Crescent.)

He spent nine years at Gitmo without charge or trial.

The torture and inhumane treatment of this highly intelligent, gifted and good-humored man (even with one leg missing) needs our global attention. Absent from his family and homeland for a decade - his story and CURRENT dilemma cries out for all humanitarians world-wide to demand justice and healing.

Ex-Guantánamo Prisoner Adel Al-Gazzar Returns Home to Egypt and Is Arrested


Yesterday, former Guantánamo prisoner Adel al-Gazzar (aka Adel El-Gazzar), who had been living in Slovakia since being freed last January from America’s notorious prison on Cuban soil, returned, for the first time in ten years, to his home county, Egypt, where he was promptly arrested.

This was not because of anything he had done, but because, as a critic of the regime, he had left the country in 2001, and had been in Pakistan, undertaking humanitarian work in a refugee camp when he was caught in a US bombing raid (which, with subsequent medical neglect on the part of the US authorities, led to him losing a leg). As a result, following his departure from Egypt, he had been given a three-year sentence in absentia by the Egyptian State Security Court for his alleged part in a supposed plot that was known as al-Wa’ad.

This, as the Egyptian newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm explained, was “the first major terrorism case in Egypt” after the 9/11 attacks, in which the defendants — 94 in total — were charged with “attempting to overthrow former President Hosni Mubarak’s regime and infiltrate Palestinian territory.”

However, the case “was widely condemned as an attempt by Mubarak to suppress his Islamist opponents,” and this was an interpretation that carried considerable weight, as “[m]ore than half of the suspects were subsequently released.”

From America, Adel al-Gazzar’s attorney, Ahmed Ghappour, “call[ed] for the charges to be dropped.” By phone from New York, he told Al-Masry Al-Youm, “I think primarily they should be dismissed on humanitarian grounds because of what he suffered.” That was an assessment of al-Gazzar’s time in US custody, but reflecting on the Egyptian side of his story, and the trumped-up charges that led to his in absentia sentence, he added, “Such cases were often used as a tool by the Mubarak regime to silence dissent.”

Al-Gazzar’s story, in his own words, can be found in an extraordinary interview conducted in Slovakia last year by former Guantánamo prisoner Moazzam Begg, but to recap briefly, as Ahmed Ghappour explained in a press release yesterday:

Mr. al-Gazzar was handed over to the US while recovering in a Pakistani hospital from injuries sustained while volunteering with the International Committee of the Red Crescent on Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan. He was hit by a US air strike while helping refugees displaced by the onset of war.

In the midst of his recovery, he was transferred to a US prison in Kandahar, Afghanistan, where he was subject to severe beatings, exposure to freezing temperatures, sleep deprivation for days on end, and suspension by the wrists. He received no medical attention during his time in Kandahar, and as a result, his leg was infected with gangrene so severe that it had to be amputated.

Ahmed Ghappour stated, “Mr. al-Gazzar has literally lost life and limb as a result of his unlawful detention by the United States. The last thing he deserves is to return to prison for a sham prosecution that was initiated by the abusive Mubarak regime.”

Nevertheless, he told Al-Masry Al-Youm of his concerns that al-Gazzar would be convicted and imprisoned after another sham trial, even after the fall of Hosni Mubarak’s hated regime. “The Egyptians have a track record of abuse and one that we’ve seen continued in the post-Mubarak era,” Ghappour said, reflecting on the mixed record of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which took over the government after Mubarak’s resignation in February — on the one hand, the announcement of the trial, in August, of former President Mubarak, his two sons Gamal and Alaa and businessman Hussein Salem, who will face charges of “intentional murder, attempted murder of demonstrators, abuse of power to intentionally waste public funds and unlawfully profiting from public funds for them and for others,” but, on the other, the sentencing of at least 7,000 civilians in military courts since Hosni Mubarak was ousted, a much higher number than before the dictator’s fall.

“I think there is a bigger picture here, to be honest,” Ghappour added. “The question is: how will the transitional regime receive him, considering that the prosecution was based on a political crime of dissent? Does Mubarak’s departure mark a game change for the post-9/11 cases? Will he be treated differently because he was in Guantánamo Bay?”

That question has not yet been answered. As Al-Masry Al-Youm reported, “Following his arrest, the officers allowed [al-Gazzar's] wife and four children to meet with him and check up on him at the airport after his lengthy absence from the country. The authorities then proceeded to begin the legal paperwork needed to send Gazzar to the prosecution so they could determine their position regarding his case.”

Abdul Ghappour also explained that he had spoken with al-Gazzar on Sunday, as he was preparing for his flight. “He seemed really hopeful to come back home,” he said, adding, “Mr. al-Gazzar, you’d call him a true patriot. He loves Egypt and he has been dying to go back home for 10 years to be reunited with his countrymen and his family.” As his London-based lawyers at Reprieve also explained:

He had not seen his family, including his wife and four children, for a decade. Efforts by his family to visit him in Slovakia were thwarted. And, recently, his mother suffered a cerebral hemorrhage which has left her paralysed and requiring full time care.

It is to be hoped that Adel al-Gazzar will be released soon, as he has already suffered more than enough. Held at Guantánamo for nine years despite being cleared for release back in 2004, he then found himself imprisoned again — in a detention center in Slovakia, described by local media as “a police detention facility for illegal migrants.” He and two other men released in Slovakia were held there while the government failed to sort out their status in the country, obliging al-Gazzar to embark on a hunger strike to raise awareness of their plight and secure them proper housing and residential status, but as another of his lawyers, Clive Stafford Smith of Reprieve, explained:

This is the third time Adel has been punished for completely unsubstantiated allegations. [His] persecution … makes a mockery of everything the revolution stands for. Where is the new dawn? Justice and the rule of law must return to Egypt. We hope the Egyptian military will put an end to Adel’s decade-long ordeal.

This is my hope too, as it would be deeply disturbing if, after all he has gone through, and everything that was done to avoid him being tortured in Egypt, he were to end up abused by the successors to Mubarak’s reign of terror.

Dark ironies nevertheless pepper this case. At the time of his release from Guantánamo, for example, when the US government complied with his request not to be repatriated to Egypt, as he feared torture at the hands of the Mubarak regime, everyone who supported his release — relieved that he had been freed after a six-year wait — politely refused to point out how grimly ironic it was that al-Gazzar — and another cleared Egyptian, Sharif al-Mishad, who was released in Albania in February 2010 — couldn’t be repatriated because of fears that they would be tortured by the same torturers who had been some of the Bush administration’s closest friends when it came to torturing other prisoners seized in the “War on Terror.”

Two of those unfortunate prisoners were Mamdouh Habib, the Australian citizen rendered by the CIA from Pakistan, whose torture was personally directed by Mubarak’s spy chief Omar Suleiman, and Mohammed Saad Iqbal Madni, a Pakistani religious scholar rendered to torture from Indonesia, where he had been sorting out his late father’s affairs, on nothing more than the vaguest of hunches that he was involved in some way with terrorism (which he wasn’t).

There were others, detailed in an account I compiled for the United Nations in 2010, and undoubtedly others whose stories have not yet surfaced, but the most celebrated prisoner sent by the US to be tortured in Egypt was Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, the emir of a training camp in Afghanistan, who, after being picked up crossing into Pakistan form Afghanistan in December 2001, was sent to Egypt, where, under torture, he falsely confessed that two al-Qaeda operatives had been meeting with Saddam Hussein to discuss the use of chemical and biological weapons. Although he recanted his false confession, it was used to justify the illegal invasion of Iraq in March 2003. As for al-Libi, after his usefulness was finally exhausted, he was rendered back to Libya, where Colonel Gaddafi disposed of him in May 2009, telling the world that he had committed suicide in a prison cell.

On Tuesday, the next step took place in Adel al-Gazzar’s case, as reported in the Egyptian media. Via Mohamed Za’er, the director of the Egypt-based Human Rights Association for the Assistance of Prisoners, Daily News Egypt explained that, on Tuesday, military prosecutors had referred him to “an appeals prison not usually used for political prisoners.”

Daily News Egypt also reported that the verdict against al-Gazzar was “contested … before the military court” on Tuesday, noting also that the court “is expected to look into the case within 60 days.” Mohamed Za’er explained, “If approved, al-Gazzar will be granted a re-trial, though it is no longer a crime to be a member in an Islamist group following the January 25 Revolution. For example, the Muslim Brotherhood now has an official political party after being banned for years.”

That ought to be a good sign, but in Egypt, still caught between the end of Mubarak’s rule and a hoped-for transition to free and fair elections, nothing is certain.

Andy Worthington is the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by Macmillan in the US, and available from Amazon — click on the following for the US and the UK)
Read Adel aL-Gazzar’s EXTRAORDINARY INTERVIEW with Moazzam Begg, which was published last October which Worthington and others thoroughly recommend. In Guantanamo, Adel’s words, reported in the transcript of his tribunal, revealed a fascinating and intelligent man with an inquiring mind, compassion and a sharp sense of humor:

GO here

Find the original story above published this week here

Find an appeal posted at Cage Prisoners here

Author of above article, Andy Worthington, adds in a comment: I’m really hoping that there are enough communication channels between New York/London and Cairo to keep Adel’s story very public in the West — and in Egypt too. The good thing I’ve noticed is that there’s now a media able to report stories freely...

A reader's comment:...This is one of the stories that upset me the MOST years back. No one should lose a limb to TORTURE for any reason.


If people want to ask the Egyptian Ministry of Justice for Adel’s release, following contact details, here are the details:

Ministry of Justice (Egypt)

Mohamed Abdel Aziz Ibrahim El gendy

Magles El Shaeb St. Wezaret Al Adl-Cairo

+20 2 792 2263
+20 2 792 2265
+20 2 792 2267
+20 2 792 2269

+20 2 795 8103

Monday, June 13, 2011


“Work of the eyes is done, now go and do heart-work on all the images imprisoned within you.” Rilke, the poet

Sometimes there's a knowing or touching of hearts - even across the wide world.

So today, I wanted something quite simple to top my sometimes overly serious probes of peace...

First I found the quote I needed yet thought of the following named novel to find just the right lush photo. Then here - after my making of simple post, I see on today's page at this novel these amazing words in sync with my own heart & also with the the teachings of the poet Allama Iqbal.

Find here one of the deepest most original authors you'll find anywhere in the world. I've just now begin to read this work online in earnest and hope you will do the same. GO here

How about these evocative lines from the above named site : "Ghameagahi"?

“Restless, agitated, uneasy, exploring, desiring.” He looked Ilaaf smiling, “You do search something every moment.” Ilaaf shook his head unwillingly, perhaps hiding something in front of Alchemist or lying was not possible.

“Don’t worry, whatever you search, you will find, in this world and even in your world because one can find everything by searching even God, conditionally if he has the true passion.” He kept looking him with a puzzled look.

“Passion….what this passion is? Why it doesn’t let one to sit peacefully? Why it sends our feet towards an endless journey? Why does it throw our heart to sink in the ocean of pain? And either this passion is true or not who will decide it? When there is no scale to measure the magnitude of this passion then how one could know that this passion is either true or not?” He kept saying with an anxiety.

“So many questions are being asked simultaneously. I can not answer all of them together.” Alchemist looked him smiling.

Ilaaf remained silent.

“The journey has just begun; you will get the answers of all questions slowly and gradually. Why to be hurried?”

The restless soul of Ilaaf got agitated on his satisfaction.

“I have to be hurried, why should not I be hurried? This burning, this emptiness, this agitation and restlessness don’t let me to live.”

“Be patient, on the way of Love, on the journey of Love, the finding of the destiny is difficult as well as patience testing. This hurry can harm you.”

“Love….” He looked Alchemist with a stunning look.

“So, is this the road of Love?” Ilaaf asked by indicating towards that long road.

“What do you think?” He asked by looking directly in Ilaaf’s eyes.

Ilaaf had no answer. He changed the direction of his eyes.

“The world that exists inside the heart has every road, the road of love, Ilaaf. And this one road can take the man to visit the new worlds. How vast and wide is the world of heart, and whatever it has is more than the entire knowledge of the world. One who becomes aware of the world of his heart, he would be able to be aware from each and every secret of this universe. You too are in exploration of a secret? You want to know the secret of your existence, so you will have to be patient for that.”

See NY Bill Bans Health Professionals from Participating in Torture

FIND here

Old Hymn: Still Relevant

"Dear Lord and Father of Mankind" is a hymn with words taken from a prayer contained in the long poem The Brewing of Soma by American Quaker poet John Greenleaf Whittier. In the United Kingdom, the hymn is usually sung to the tune REPTON by C. Hubert H. Parry, a composer best known for his setting of the poem "Jerusalem" by William Blake. In the US, the prevalent tune is Rest by Frederick Charles Maker.

If sung to Parry's tune, REPTON, the last line of each stanza is repeated.

Dear Lord and Father of mankind,
Forgive our foolish ways!
Reclothe us in our rightful mind,
In purer lives Thy service find,
In deeper reverence, praise.

In simple trust like theirs who heard
Beside the Syrian sea
The gracious calling of the Lord,
Let us, like them, without a word
Rise up and follow Thee.

O Sabbath rest by Galilee!
O calm of hills above,
Where Jesus knelt to share with Thee
The silence of eternity
Interpreted by love!

With that deep hush subduing all
Our words and works that drown
The tender whisper of Thy call,
As noiseless let Thy blessing fall
As fell Thy manna down.

Drop Thy still dews of quietness,
Till all our strivings cease;
Take from our souls the strain and stress,
And let our ordered lives confess
The beauty of Thy peace.

Breathe through the heats of our desire
Thy coolness and Thy balm;
Let sense be dumb, let flesh retire;
Speak through the earthquake, wind, and fire,
O still, small voice of calm!

The Brewing of Soma (from which the above hymn was taken) is the Whittier poem (1872). Soma was a sacred ritual drink in Vedic religion, going back to Proto-Indo-Iranian times (ca. 2000 BC), possibly with hallucinogenic properties.

The storyline is of Vedic priests brewing and drinking Soma in an attempt to experience divinity. It describes the whole population getting drunk on Soma. It compares this to Christians' use of "music, incense, vigils drear, And trance, to bring the skies more near, Or lift men up to heaven!" But all in vain—it is mere intoxication.

Whittier ends by describing the true method for contact with the divine, as practised by Quakers: Sober lives dedicated to doing God's will, seeking silence and selflessness in order to hear the "still, small voice" described in I Kings 19:11-13 as the authentic voice of God, rather than earthquake, wind or fire.

The Pentagon Papers June 13, 1971

The Pentagon Papers June 13, 1971

June 13, 1971

The New York Times began publishing the “Pentagon Papers,” a series of excerpts from the Defense Department’s classified history of the Vietnam War, giving details of U.S. involvement in Vietnam from the end of World War II to 1968. Publication was interrupted after the Nixon administration went to court to block it, asserting its power to exercise prior restraint over its public release. The Washington Post then began publishing the papers. On June 30 the Supreme Court, 6-3, allowed publication to resume.

What started that day and how Nixon’s people dealt with it - GO here

Check out No More Crusades...

Just tho't you might like to take a glance at No More Crusades?

Find these posts:

No Justice in Kafka’s America by Chris Hedges (just posted today, Monday)

Supreme Court: Is this the going trend? Immunity for people like Ashcroft?...

Supreme Court: The Ashcroft Community

"If the law does not protect Jose Padilla - it protects noone

Bitter Lemons Intl. Middle East Roundtable

Yemen and Syria

Camp Sol: Spain's "Indignant" Give Lessons in True nonviolent revolution...

Ireland -US- Other Nations? Time for Government (accountability)

KEY Debate Video on Torture & It's Role (or not) in Hunt (for OBL)

How Torture Hindered Hunt for OBL & more RIGHTS

The Storyteller's Daughter: One Woman's Return to (Afghanistan)

The Children of Gitmo (22 counted)

God Is Not a Christian - By Archbishop Desmond Tutu

New Memorial - Gaza City Port - 2nd Flotilla Set to sail...

And more at No More Crusades dot blogspot dot com...

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Dr. Aafia Siddiqui: Where are the REAL questions?

Surely the real point about Aafia Siddiqui is being missed?
Written by Asim Qureshi Tuesday, 07 June 2011

During Aafia’s years of disappearance, a number of allegations were made against her by the US, allegations that were circled within the mainstream on a consistent basis.

Since the release of The Guantanamo Files in April 2011 by Wikileaks, there have been a number of stories written in relation to those detained at the infamous base. One of the stories that received some mainstream coverage though, was that of Aafia Siddiqui. However, the coverage that was received, completely missed the point.

During Aafia’s years of disappearance, a number of allegations were made against her by the US, allegations that were circled within the mainstream on a consistent basis. Among the more ridiculous statements that were made included references to her purportedly having run conflict diamonds out of Liberia in the summer of 2001 in order to fund Al Qaeda operations. The sad fact remains, that very few have considered the ludicrous allegations that have been levelled against her.

The most important point to note, however, is that the US refused to prosecute Aafia on any terrorism related offences as part of their case. They started the case making that point, and references to terrorism did not enter until the judge chose to enhance her sentence claiming that he felt she had links.

But who wrote the narrative regarding these links, it was the US government. All the Wikileaks cables do, is to show a distorted view of Aafia’s case. If one is to look at her timeline of activity according to her lawyers and supporters, there was no time for her to be involved with any kind of Al Qaeda related activity.

Like many foreign Muslims living in the US after 9/11, Aafia Siddiqui and her family became suspects, and thus any kind of activity they may have been involved in, became suspicious.


Within days of the 9/11 attacks, the FBI launched the PENTTBOM investigation – thousands of foreign Muslims were detained and placed through vigorous checks and, in many cases, detained for long periods without charge. The wide net of suspicion was cast and it soon became difficult for many Muslims to live in the US due to harassment they faced by the FBI and other authorities. As a result, Siddiqui and her husband returned to Pakistan.

In 2002 Aafia and her husband returned to the US where they separated and were eventually divorced on 21 October 2002. An argument between Aafia and her husband at her parent’s home resulted in a heart attack and the eventual death of her father. Within a few weeks of this incident she gave birth to her youngest child.

On 25 December 2002 Aafia Siddiqui returned to the US in order to look for work in the Baltimore area where her sister Fowzia now lived – she had job offers lined up at John Hopkins and SUNY. She remained in the US until 2 January 2003 – having used the time in order to search for work.

In March 2003, Aafia Siddiqui disappeared and there was very little evidence as to where she and her children may be.

Disappearance between March 2003 – July 2008

During much of this period of disappearance, there was very little in the way of evidence as to where Aafia Siddiqui and her children were, or indeed where they were being kept.

According to Pakistani officials who commented on the case of Siddiqui’s disappearance for the government, they had no knowledge of her whereabouts and were officially still looking for her. A senior Pakistani security official explained to the Association Press that they were attempting to locate her but that she had gone underground.

On 8 August 2008, the Daily Times newspaper in Pakistan made reference to documents that existed which confirmed that they Military Intelligence of Pakistan had detained Aafia Siddiqui and her three children on 30 March 2003 and, that they had been handed over to the FBI.

In March 2010 – a senior security official from Pakistan confirmed to Cageprisoners that an internal investigation into the Pakistani government had revealed that Pakistan was involved with her detention in 2003.

During the period of her disappearance, the FBI released a seeking information poster relating to her questioning in 2004. She appeared on the poster with six men.

Attorney General John Ashcroft and FBI Director Robert Mueller III on 26 May 2004 made a public appeal to the American people in helping the law enforcement agencies to find six men and one women with ties to terrorism. The one women that was shown in the pictures was Aafia Siddiqui. Ashcroft specifically commented that, “credible intelligence from multiple sources indicate that al Qaeda plans to attempt an attack on the United States in the next few months.” He further added that the seven, including Siddiqui, “...should all be considered armed and dangerous.”

In an article written by Robert Fisk for the Independent on 19/03/2010, Aafia Siddiqui’s uncle, Dr Shams Hassan Faruqi allegedly made the claim that he saw Aafia free in 2008 before the incident in Ghazni and further in an article in the New York Times that he had submitted an affidavit to the Pakistani authorities about her to that effect.

Dr Faruqi has now released an officially signed declaration to negate such speculation within the media:

“With reference to the news item published in the Urdu daily ‘Jang’ Rawalpindi of 8 March 2010 on some news published in New York Times, regarding my submission of an affidavit to Pakistani authorities about my niece Dr Aafia Siddiqui. I hereby declare that I have not given any statement to anybody including the concerned or unconcerned government authorities about Dr Aafia. The news published in the New York Times to this effect is totally false and baseless.

I further declare that Dr has never requested me to get established contact with the Pakistani or Afghani Taliban.”

US transfer of jurisdiction

According to the US indictment, Aafia Siddiqui was extradited (although no extradition process was used) to the US from Afghanistan for allegedly, “unlawfully, willingly, and knowingly...[prepared to]use a deadly and dangerous weapon and...forcibly assault, resist, oppose, impede, intimidate, and interfere.” Also she is alleged to have attempted to kill officers and employees of the United States.

The above two counts of criminality serve to act as one of the most confounding conundrums of the eight years of the War on Terror. Siddiqui was allegedly found in Afghanistan, attempting to attack an Afghani compound (at least according to the Afghanis) – thus, she should be tried for committing a war crime in the arena of conflict, or she should be tried for attempting to commit an act of terrorism, or even for having a child soldier with her. The internationally serious crimes of terrorism and war crimes were completely ignored by the US in their indictment of Siddiqui. They have indicted her for two far lesser offences and, in a jurisdiction which is outside of the country where the incident took place. Aafia Siddiqui was not extradited to the US, no such formal process was used rather she was placed on a rendition flight without being given the opportunity to challenge her transfer.

Further, this is one of the first times that a non-US citizen has not been designated an ‘enemy combatant’ and detained at one of the many bases around the world. Why was Aafia Siddiqui sent to the US mainland when no foreign detainee before her was treated in such a way? Why was Siddiqui not sent to Guantanamo Bay?

Considering the list of allegations that have been levied against Siddiqui over the last five years, there was not a single reference to her involvement in international terrorism during her indictment.

Questions must be raised as to why such seemingly important points have been completely ignored for the sake of indicting on lesser offences? It is indeed these last points that are so troublesome for those who have studied this case in detail. They do not correspond at all with the history of the case.

The real questions relating to Aafia Siddiqui’s case are not being asked. When an entire background story was established to portray her as a terrorist, why was she never tried or indeed even accused of being one before a court of law?

Find original posted here

Re-posting of article on Aafia Siddiqui trial by Ibrahim Sajid Malick

Because of the new piece posted above from Cage Prisoners, June 2011, I decided to repost the following just under that one to part of Dr. Aafia's kangaroo trial:

Sunday, January 24, 2010 on this blogsite One Heart For Peace:

No Exculpatory Evidence Against Aafia Siddiqui//No Links to al-Qaeda Originally Posted on 23 January 2010 by Ibrahim Sajid Malick (independent reporter)

Two FBI experts who testified last week in high profile trial of Dr.Aafia Siddqui in New York conceded that there were no finger prints on the M4 rifle, and it is not certain that the rifle was even fired.

Aafia Siddiqui is accused of snatching the Chief Warrant Officer’s M4 Assault Rifle and firing it at him and other United States officers and employees in Ghazni, Afghanistan on July 18, 2008.

These alleged actions are the key of the government’s case against Dr. Siddiqui
for attempted murder and assault.

If Dr. Siddiqui did not pick up the M4 assault rifle and did not point and shoot it at the Americans in the room at the headquarters of the Afghan National Police (ANP) on July 18, 2009, then she is actually innocent of the charges or, at the very least, there is reasonable doubt that Dr. Siddiqui committed any of the crimes with which she is charged.

We learned last week that Dr. Siddiqui’s fingerprints were not on the M4 rifle that she is alleged to have grabbed and fired at the warrant officer and others.

To counter the absence of fingerprint, which is mostly used as “the powerful forensic, exculpatory fact” the Government presented FBI expert D.J. Fife to explain that it is not uncommon to find no finger prints.

During his testimony Mr. Fife testified that no latent fingerprints were recovered from the M-4 rifle that Dr. Siddiqui allegedly grabbed from the Chief Warrant Officer and explained the general difficulties inherent in obtaining fingerprints from firearms. He also testified that fingerprints are recovered from firearms approximately less than ten percent of the time.

FBI expert Fife testified about various factors that affect the ability to obtain fingerprints from firearms, including atmospheric conditions, environmental conditions, perspiration, and the surfaces of firearms.

He also testified about various physical features of individuals that can affect the ability of a fingerprint examiner to obtain fingerprints of value.

It was his position that Dr. Siddiqui has very small hands and fingers, which negatively affect the ability to obtain fingerprints of value from items with which she has been in contact.

During cross examination when defense attorney Ms. Sharp asked Mr. Fife if he has ever tested Dr. Siddiqui’s palm, he replied in negative which led to next logical question as to how he know if he she has small hands. FBI agent Fife was agreed that many his assertions were not ‘scientific’.

Defense attorney Sharp also established that evidence arrived for analysis approximately twenty days after she was shot in Afghanistan.
Citing a study (Barnum Study) which was conducted nearly fifteen years FBI’s expert had earlier testified that there is only a 10% chance of obtaining fingerprints from a firearm due to its “non-porous” surface.

Ms. Sharp questioned the testimony of D.J. Fife based on his experience and generally accepted principles in his forensic field – that latent fingerprints are recovered from firearms only about ten percent of the time. She also suggested that Fife’s opinion is not scientifically reliable, and, in the alternative, that his opinion is more unfairly prejudicial than probative “in that it is offered in an attempt to sway the jurors in favor of the Government’s case.”

When asked how many guns he has analyzed, FBI expert conceded that his experience was limited around 10 to 20 weapons that he has analyzed. When asked why did he not take pictures of areas where finger prints could have been visible, FBI expert said it was of ‘no value.’

Fife testified that he conducted a series of tests on the M-4 rifle, and that after each step he inspected the rifle for identifiable latent fingerprints. Based on that examination, Fife concluded that no latent prints of value – belonging to Dr. Siddiqui or anyone else — could be identified on the M-4 rifle.

Second key FBI expert Carlo Rosati Carlo Rosati, who testified on the fourth day of the high trial of Dr. Aafia Siddqui conceded that he cannot say with certainty that any shots were fired from the M4 rifle.

Rosati’s testimony included descriptions of his observations and his knowledge of firearms, bullet trajectories, and crime scene analyses.

The Prosecution tried to establish Rosati as an expert based on his vast personal experience in his fields, particularly the behavior of bullets when fired in various circumstances and the need to preserve crime scenes for proper analysis and testing.

Rosati testified that the firearms he examined in this case — the 9-mm pistol that the Chief Warrant Officer used to shoot the defendant and the M-4 rifle that the defendant allegedly used to attempt to kill U.S. officers — were operable and functioning at the time of testing.

He said that based on his examination, one 9-mm bullet and two 9-mm cartridge cases recovered at the crime scene were fired from the Chief Warrant Officer’s 9-mm pistol. He also testified that he examined a curtain obtained from the crime scene for the presence of gunshot residue, but none was found.

He then testified regarding various scenarios that can occur when a bullet fired from an M-4 rifle strikes a solid surface. He said that bullets from an M-4 rifle travels at a very high rate of speed, and can explode or fragment upon impacting hard surfaces, or can penetrate other surfaces.

Based on the texture and content of the debris that he examined in this case, he testified that a bullet fired from an M-4 rifle into a wall comprised of this material might shatter or fragment.

However, upon cross examination he conceded key element of the bullet – a steel tip that penetrates the target never fragments and should have remained intact.

During cross examination Defense Attorney Charles Swift asked the FBI expert if he was certain that the one 9-mm bullet and two 9-mm cartridge cases recovered at the crime scene were fired from the Chief Warrant Officer’s 9-mm pistol. FBI expert Rosati categorically said, “Yes”.

When asked if he is certain an M-4 was ever shot at the crime scene, the FBI expert responded in negative.

The FBI expert also agreed that there was no evidence that Dr. Aafia Siddiqui fired an M4 rifle. He agreed that if a bullet fired from M4 rifle penetrated the wall, as alleged by the government, it would have been found. He said he had examined the debris of the wall and did not find any evidence that would lead him to believe that a bullet penetrated the wall.

Rosati also agreed with the defense attorney that no gun shot residue was found on the curtain, which was allegedly within six inches of the M4 when it was fired.

But there is a whole slew of exculpatory evidence in this case: Dr. Siddiqui’s DNA was not found on the M4 rifle; no bullets, casing or shrapnel of any kind from the M4 rifle were found in the quite small enclosed space where Dr. Siddiqui was alleged to have fired this firearm; in fact, there is no indication that investigators even attempted to test the M4 rifle at issue to see if it has been fired at the time of the incident at or around July 18, 2008.

The trial will resume Monday.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher La Vigne categorically told District Judge Richard Berman in New York Monday that a Pakistani woman accused of assaulting FBI agents is not being accused of terrorism, or having any ties with terrorist organizations including al-Qaeda or Taliban.

Government’s lawyer argued that the material allegedly found on Dr. Aafia Siddiqui’s possession should be allowed as evidence to "provide context to these events."

Defense attorney Linda Moreno argued that testimony and evidence from Siddiqui's capture in Afghanistan the day before the shooting should not be included in the trial.

Prosecutors allege she was carrying a list naming the Stature of Liberty and other New York landmarks, and notes about chemical and biological weapons.

Defense attorney argued that there were no fingerprints or other forensic evidence that can prove that her client even picked up the weapon. "We're saying she simply didn't do it," the lawyer said. Defense said the jury should only consider whether Siddiqui's client fired a weapon - not her motive.

As she entered the court, Dr. Aafia Siddiqui looked at her brother present in the court and said, "They are not my attorneys. I have fired them many times."

When leaving the court she said, “this is an international case. It should be tried in the International court.”

The U.S. government has accused Dr. Aafia Siddiqi of grabbing a U.S. Army officer's rifle during an interrogation in Afghanistan in July 2008 and exchanging gunfire with U.S. soldiers and FBI agents.

In Pakistan, her sister Fauzia Siddiqui told High Court last week her sister was not arrested from Afghanistan but by the previous Pakistani regime of General Pervez Musharaf on March 30, 2003, along with her three children from Karachi and handed her over to the United States. Only one of her kids have been returned so far.



Trial Begins But Where are the Children? By Ibrahim Sajid Malick

The intelligence factory: How America makes its enemies disappear
By Petra Bartosiewicz

Posted by Connie L. Nash at 7:45 PM 3 comments:

Kelly said...
I suggest that you read this blogpost:

As the ex-Muslim blogger wrote, "I wouldn't want Siddqui living next door."

Monday, January 25, 2010
Connie L. Nash said...

Miss Kelly,

I've been too occupied to notice this comment until now - yet if your are going to make such implications as you do based on so little...

I'd simply like to know:

a) What do you and your readers offer as PROOF within the articles reporting the Trial itself to convict Dr. Aafia Siddiqui?

b) Would you like to yourself or have your loved ones be tried with the kind of circumstantial evidence you present on your blog?

c) Do you have any concern about the OTHER background issues surrounding this

Why haven't the US who have taken it upon themselves to try Dr. Siddiqui provided explanations and return of the know there are still two missing? IF this is not a war crime what is?

d) Unless of course it's torture and how can kidnapping of one's children NOT be torture?

How can threatening to rape or kill one's daughter not be torture? (and this was never denied in the trial.)

How possibly can allowing a CIA man to be alone in the room with a vulnerable 90 pound woman - even to hang near or over her bed or near her bathroom be decent if not torturous and other threats? (and this was never denied - not even by he man in question)

And photos were produced to the courtroom while not allowed publically by the judge...which indicated GRAVE abuse...

Cont' next comment

Saturday, February 13, 2010
Connie L. Nash said...
Now concerning your point about anti-semitism...I am concerned about ANY disenfranchised group and as one of the lawyers pointed out, Dr. Siddiqui is not anti-semitic yet pro-palestinian...

And if that's so hard for us to understand given the situation, then why do we Americans so often become known as PRO-Israel right or wrong despite the stats demonstrating by far that there are way more poor Palestinians who've been mistreated, bombed, forced from their homes and tortured than Israelis and, Jews and Israelis are way up their in torture techniques worldwide and for this we all need to relearn the Golden Rule and the traits of being people with hearts of flesh really is, no?

Now the people I've most relied upon for most my early stats have been Israeli and Jewish peacemakers and "refuseniks", x gov officials in Israel, Rabbis for Human Rights and those who've visited the Occupied Territories over the years who have surveyed the land and worked with movements to protect Palestinians from their homes being bulldozed and who speak strongly against violence from either "side"...

(Go take a look at the photos on this site from way back when Gaza was bombed to smitherings with cluster bombs burning the skin so that there was no healing available and babies dropping dead like flies... Wouldn't you be a bit angry if this was done to your or your loved ones?

Now it's possible that Pakistanis and Muslims know a bit more about this terrible occupation of Gaza than we in America generally do...which would of course include

Nevertheless whatever your contacts have alleged about Aafia are rather singular and circumstantial and like other alleged "fact" about Dr. Siddiqui is certainly not enough to hold up in a decent courtroom of law...would you want such to be allowed were it you or yours?

I found it rather generous when Aafia spoke that she said she was only angry at "fake Americans" not the real ones....

At any rate...once you answer my lettered questions ...

I'll be glad to dialogue with you a bit longer...

Or maybe we should just end with each of us finding something which will help us be more pleasant people in each others' site..

I for one might find the blog following this one in yours' the one on learning "Chopsticks" to be more beneficial because we are unlikely to see Dr. Siddiqui's predicament anywhere near close to the same....

All the best,


Last comments posted Saturday, February 13, 2010 (My birthday during which my greatest wish is more understanding and less hate.)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Afif Safieh (Ambassador/Diplomat/Scholar) : New York & DC Events This Week (Updated)

"These brilliant essays are essential reading for all who would seek to bridge the divide between Palestinians and Israelis." — Eugene Rogan, Oxford University's Oriental Institute

NOTE: Two more events in Washington DC:

Washington, DC
Thursday June 9, 2011 at 6:30pm
World Affairs Council of Washington, DC
CSIS Conference Center
1800 K Street NW
Washington DC 20006

Washington, DC
Sunday June 12, 2011
American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC)
ADC Annual National Convention
Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel
2660 Woodley Road, NW
Washington, DC 20008

For More information Go to ADC dot org Media: here to find more about the Discussions & Book Signing with Afif Safieh Afif Safieh.


Afif Safieh (internet cache)

Palestine's most senior diplomat

Sponsored by the Graduate Program in International Affairs at The New School.

The Peace Process from Breakthrough to Breakdown
Wednesday, June 08, 2011 6:30 p.m.

Milano The New School for Management and Urban Policy, 72 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY10011 Location: Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Auditorium, Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, 66 Fifth Avenue

Free; seating is limited; reservations required by emailing


Free; seating is limited; reservations required by emailing

Afif Safieh’s -The Peace Process from Breakthrough to Breakdown- provides a first-hand record of the evolution of Palestinian diplomacy spanning three decades, written by Palestine's most senior diplomat. The book brings together the articles, letters, and interviews Safieh produced during his years as Palestinian general delegate from 1990 to 2009 (London, Washington, Moscow). His writings give an account of the Palestinian struggle for independence from one of the movement’s most central figures.

Safieh will present his book, followed by a discussion of the future of Palestine and the peace process.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Quick Notices: Rights Reports & the children of Gitmo/how torture hindered OBL hunt

Find new rights reports at No More Crusades dot blogspot dot com for 8 June 2011 has just posted ongoing concerns for their airport which may relate to airports the US uses elsewhere. Are we sure, for example, that kidnapping and torture flights at the pressure if not bullying of US military do not still occur in "cooperation" with Pakistan - Morocco - Jordan and elsehwere for example? Hopefully Poland and Syria have ended such cooperation by now? SEE this one just posted at nomorecrusades dot or GO here and see the Key Video on US and Torture just below that post with the one on children of gitmo to follow here

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Music of a Nation as a Weapon of Peace


IN June 6, 1949...

George Orwell's hellish novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, is published.

This oft quoted work describes a world in which a totalitarian government controls the behavior of all, including the way one thinks:

War as Peace, Freedom as Slavery, Ignorance as Strength.

Interesting that since America's Bush administrations, several mirror images of some of Orwell's pages have been tried. One example was the "Office of Total Information"...and there have been several such tries since then...

Of course, there have been - still are - many and various ideologies, national governments and economies which have practiced - still seek to practice occupation and bullying if not gestures toward near-total control.

Human kind and kingdoms of all sorts still divide and try to conquer others considered lesser, weaker and desirable for certain resources such as oil, regional positions. (How often lately - all over the globe - this is happening and more often than ever with unexpected results.)

In some of these places the "powerful" still exaggerate, instigate and/or provoke chaos and fear in order to gain support from their own nations and from hoped for allies. (All the while, blind is the eye of those seeking to remove the motes from other eyes.)

Is there any non-violent antidote in our time?

Perhaps, if so, the form will be as unexpected and as near-miraculous as what happened barely over two decades ago in Estonia - a tiny country occupied by what seemed to Estonians and other Baltic nations the grip of endless death by a monster.

There seemed no way out...until the miracle of music, faith in a common and beautiful humanity took over...

Let me recommend an exceptional film which documents many simple yet profound acts of such selfless, limitless love.

If this is what patriotism could become, then I could grow to see such flag-waving in new light. If this is what can happen to ACTUAL Peace/Freedom/Knowledge - then bring it on full force. Gandhi and Martin Luther King, as noble as their methods, did not and do not have a market on non-violence and peaceful means.

Take a look at Estonia's utterly successful ousting of the Soviet totalitarian occupation of Estonia. If this were merely a utopian film, it would still stir up the soul with longing...

I can't find the words and emotions to express the exhilaration I had watching "The Singing Revolution" a few nights ago. If what is shown really happened - then perhaps this will happen again and again. Imagine that an entire nation could come together in one unprecedented wave of Unity minus hatred, Courage without bloody battles and (of all crazy happenings) BY POETRY in SONG - with noone as celebrity if not everyone a participant. Beauty, Freedom, Innocence and Traditions are all restored - a legacy of joy to young and old and land.

Here is the brief history: In 1989, during the "Singing Revolution", in a landmark demonstration for more independence, called The Baltic Way, a human chain of more than two million people was formed, stretching through Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. All three nations had similar experiences of occupation and similar aspirations for regaining independence. The Estonian Sovereignty Declaration was issued on 16 November 1988[69] and formal independence declared on 20 August 1991, reconstituting the pre-1940 state, during the Soviet military coup attempt in Moscow. The Soviet Union recognised the independence of Estonia on 6 September 1991. The first country to diplomatically recognize Estonia's reclaimed independence was Iceland. The last Russian troops left on 31 August 1994.

Here are several ways to see a trailer and purchase the film:

Amazon with reviews - CLICK here

Intros on Singing Revolution website See News here and GO here

A must see - or let me know if you can't find access.

Let me know if you see this - how you feel, what happens to your vision of possibilities...

Disclaimer: I don't pretend to know if this film's documentation is fair and accurate or if Estonia will remain as noble as the film portrays...yet if even a few moments of the film's record is true - ie - that such beauty and unity can actually happen for an entire nation - this film has indeed begun a revolution of love for the planet entire not unlike other poets have begun in other times and places.

DO let the readers of this blogsite know what you feel/know/experience if you watch/watched this film or trailer and have heard the ecstacy of such unity and courage in this music.

Looks like older versions may be cheaply available indeed while newer makes aren't badly-priced.

Latvian Song Festival:


* I found the map on a site I understand as internet cache. If not, do let me know.

The Peace March from Gujranwala to Lahore, Pakistan

Irshad with Azhar meet press - Pakistan

If anyone who has found an article during or after this event, plz place such a comment below and/or notify me, Connie,

Peace March from Gujranwala to Lahore in Pakistan

Pressenza Pressenza International Press Agency Lahore, 5/8/11 From the outset it was made clear that there was no restriction on participation, anybody can participate, and it is a self-reliant event. The distance of the march is 80Km.

“The purpose of this event is to highlight the issues of Peace and Non Violence in our region,” says humanist Irshad Ahmad Mughal. "We are marching against terrorist attacks, suicide attacks, foreign invasion, and against domestic issues that are forcing people to adopt violent reactions.”

(from first communique)

Peace-Marchers are excited to continue non-violence activities until the USA stops drone attacks and the killing of innocent people in the name of anti-Al-Qaida operations and providing ever more reasons, attempted justifications, and excuses to militants to retaliate with suicide attacks.

The Peace Marchers consist of 6 legal advocates, 14 activists from Khaksare, 4 individuals, 14 Humanists, all doing the March together. Various TV channels and newspapers have covered the March and covered proceedings with interviews.

READ rest here

There is another peace event planned world-wide for 11th June: GO here


GOOD News: Rising forest density offsets climate change: study

Wonderful to hear some good news from the US here today.

For related content, including videos GO here
Rising forest density offsets climate change: study

By Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent – Mon Jun 6, 1:32 pm ET
OSLO (Reuters) – Rising forest density in many countries is helping to offset climate change caused by deforestation from the Amazon basin to Indonesia, a study showed on Sunday.

The report indicated that the size of trees in a forest -- rather than just the area covered -- needed to be taken into account more in U.N.-led efforts to put a price on forests as part of a nascent market to slow global warming.

"Higher density means world forests are capturing more carbon," experts in Finland and the United States said of the study in the online journal PLoS One, issued on June 5 which is World Environment Day in the U.N. calendar.

Trees soak up carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, as they grow and release it when they burn or rot. Deforestation in places from the Congo basin to Papua New Guinea is blamed for perhaps 12 to 20 percent of all emissions by human activities.

The report, based on a survey of 68 nations, found that the amount of carbon stored in forests increased in Europe and North America from 2000-10 despite little change in forest area.

And in Africa and South America, the total amount of carbon stored in forests fell at a slower rate than the loss of area, indicating that they had grown denser.

And some countries still had big losses of carbon, including Indonesia and Argentina. The study did not try to estimate the overall trend, saying there was not yet enough data.

Greater density in some countries, including China, was probably linked to past forest plantings, lead author Aapo Rautiainen of the University of Helsinki told Reuters.

"Forests that were established in China a few decades ago are now starting to reach their fast-growing phase. That is a reason for rising density now," he said.


Global warming, blamed by the U.N. panel of climate experts mainly on human use of fossil fuels, might itself be improving growth conditions for trees in some regions. Warming is projected to cause heatwaves, droughts and rising sea levels.

The United States has had among the most striking shifts -- timberland area expanded by just one percent between 1953 and 2007 but the volume of growing stock surged by 51 percent.

A shift toward farming in the Midwestern United States meant that forests in the east had been left to grow, and get denser.

The report also suggested that forest managers might rotate fellings less frequently since trees kept thickening.

But it could complicate efforts to design market mechanisms to encourage developing nations to safeguard tropical forests. Under the U.N.-led effort, people would get tradable credits for slowing the rate of deforestation.

Measuring the density of a forest requires more complex monitoring than just measuring the extent of a forest by photographing it from a plane or by satellite.

"There does need to be a greater sampling to be able to come to a legitimate and credible number for the carbon," said Iddo Wernick, a co-author at the Rockefeller University in New York.

Negotiators from about 180 nations will meet in Bonn, Germany, from June 6-17 to discuss measures to slow global warming, including the protection of tropical forests.

(Editing by David Cowell)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

UPDATED: Nonviolent Change in Milan

La festa per la vittoria in Piazza Duomo Politics -
Image by: Photo Pressenza

I just posted a new article on nomorecrusades by former Democracy Now! writer on the nonviolent changes in Spain - GO here

Pressenza Pressenza International Press Agency Milano

The gentle force that changed Milan
Anna Polo

...Giuliano Pisapia has won the municipal elections in Milan, ending 18 years of right-wing government...the elections have shown a clear rejection by the Italians of a policy based on insults, threats and lies.

The gentle force that changed Milan

Pisapia's victory in Milan is the result of a compact alliance of all the leftist forces, but also of an awakening of the city and the involvement of thousands of volunteers of all ages, including many young people. For months they have taken action from the base, in all districts, to listen to the people and explain the proposals of the candidate to Mayor.

A gentle and open style opposed to the violent hysteria of the right, that did not hesitate, especially in the two weeks before the second round, to use every baseness: lies, insults and dirt blows, threatening images of a city that in the case of victory of the left would become an "Islamic gipsyland" dominated by gay and social centers.

In Milan there is an air of hope and openness that was not felt for a long time. It is as if people were finally freed from a heavy pall of pessimism, helplessness and resignation, rediscovering the pleasure of participation. The first request of the new Mayor to his supporters was, "Do not leave me alone. Only together we can change Milan ", followed by a commitment to give more powers and funds to the local councils and to consult the citizens before making decisions on key issues that affect them.

A good premise for the next five years of intensive work aimed at changing the city.

New York Leads Way in Suspending Misleading "Secure Communities" Deportations

The following is left in format for cut/pasting/disseminating

New York-Based Rights Groups Celebrate Suspension of Controversial "Secure Communities" Deportation Program


June 1, 2011, New York – A wide coalition of immigrant advocacy groups today applauded Governor Cuomo decision today to suspend the mass deportation program known as “Secure Communities.” New York is now the second state in the country to withdraw from the controversial program.

Since Secure Communities, which is run by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), was signed into effect a year ago in New York, advocates have called upon both Governors Paterson and Cuomo to end the state’s participation, calling it an unjust dragnet that tears New York families apart and destroys the trust between police and the communities they serve.

Nationally, ICE has come under fire for lack of transparency and accountability in its administration of the program. Two weeks ago, a letter released by a former ICE contractor confirmed that ICE intentionally misled New York to obtain the state’s participation in Secure Communities.

“Governor Cuomo has taken a momentous step towards keeping families together and protecting the rights of our immigrant communities,” said Michelle Fei of the Immigrant Defense Project. “Withdrawing from Secure Communities is the only sensible solution.”

“Especially given ICE’s own admissions about the way in which it has deceived states, including New York, about Secure Communities, there is simply no reason why any jurisdiction should participate,” said Center for Constitutional Rights staff attorney Sunita Patel. “No state should trust an agency that has acted so duplicitously in its dealings.”

“We are grateful that Cuomo has heard our communities’ concerns and has responded by making New York safer for all New Yorkers,” said Javier H. Valdés of Make the Road New York. “Secure Communities represents a dragnet approach to deportation that diminishes trust between immigrants and local law enforcement.”

“We are greatly encouraged that Governor Cuomo has recognized that Secure Communities erodes trust with the police, encourages racial profiling, and funnels immigrants into an unjust deportation system,” said Mizue Aizeki of the Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights. “This program never did and never will belong in New York.”

“This moratorium will halt the spread of a program that was sold as a safety measure but instead made New York less safe by making vulnerable New Yorkers afraid to call the police for help or to report a crime,” said New York Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Donna Lieberman. “Instead of protecting us, Secure Communities has been used as a shortcut to deportation.”

“Governor Cuomo has shown real moral authority by ending New York’s participation in Secure Communities,” said Ravi Ragbir of the New Sanctuary Coalition. “We pray that other governors across the country will follow the example set by Illinois and New York.”

Cuomo’s decision joins a groundswell of opposition against the program. In recent weeks, Illinois Governor Quinn rescinded its agreement to participate in Secure Communities, U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren Sen. Menendez called for an investigation of ICE and the Department of Homeland Security, and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus urged Pres. Obama to stop Secure Communities immediately. In New York, 38 state legislators – joined by US Congress Members Serrano and Velasquez – called upon Governor Cuomo to terminate the State’s Secure Communities agreement while religious leaders and advocates held vigils and rallies demanding an end to the program.

Scroll below to read Former New York City District Attorney Robert Morgenthau's statement in support of Governer Cuomo's suspension of the program.

The Center for Constitutional Rights, the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON) and the Cardozo Law School Immigration Justice Clinic filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit last year regarding President Obama’s flagship “Secure Communities” biometrics program, currently operating in over 1,200 jurisdictions in 42 states as of May 2011. Rights groups say the program makes state and local policing central to the enforcement of federal immigration law. The program automatically runs fingerprints through immigration databases for all people arrested and targets them for detention and deportation even if their criminal charges are minor, eventually dismissed or the result of an unlawful arrest. The documents released as a result of the litigation have shown widespread internal agency confusion about the program’s voluntary nature as well as the government’s heavy-handed implementation strategy. Mayer Brown serves as co-counsel in the case. The case is NDLON v. ICE.

For more information on NDLON v. ICE or to view documents produced by the government, visit CCR's legal case page or

Statement of Robert Morgenthau on Secure Communities.pdf

The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.

Disproportionate Sentencing in the US: Cage Prisoners Press Release // Project

Here's more to add to the already full work of Albany Attorney Stephen Downs. After I went to a conference on these issues - incl. Mr. Downs (half the 85 or so folk were family members of victims and their advocates) -- I was stunned how little most of us Rights folk know about these dynamics.

See similar work - some of which has predated and reinforces this Cage Prisoners' release. Here's the main website for Mr. Downs' work: or go here

Connie L. Nash

SEE: or CLICK here

PRESS RELEASE: Cageprisoners releases report on severely
disproportionate sentencing in the US



2 June 2011

PRESS RELEASE: Cageprisoners releases report on severely
disproportionate sentencing -
Too Blunt for Just Outcomes, today in order to highlight the disproportionate way in
which the US judiciary is carrying out sentencing in federal cases.

Although there are real areas of concern in relation to due process
and procedural impropriety, the focus of this report is on the
sentencing guidelines that are used in cases involving Muslims. Even
where the convictions against a Muslim suspect bear only a very
peripheral relation to terrorism, a terrorism enhancement is being
applied which dramatically increases the number of years to be served
by the defendant.

The report shows a number of examples of the widespread way in which
the sentencing guidelines are being used in order to criminalise
Muslims and indeed increase the fear and stigma surrounding terrorism
within the Muslim community. Guantanamo may well be the symbol of
arbitrary detention and removal of due process, however, the US
mainland requires much work before it can lay claim to a fair, open
and justice system for all.

Cageprisoners Executive Director, Asim Qureshi, said of these releases,
“With so much attention on the abuses of detainees in Guantanamo Bay,
it is sometimes easy to be sidetracked from the serious violations of
human rights taking place on the US mainland. This report provides a
glimpse into the way in which the US government has sought to
manipulate its own legal system, in order to detain Muslims as
suspected terrorists.”

Cageprisoners is a human rights NGO that exists to raise awareness of
the plight of the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and other detainees held
as part of the War on Terror. We aim to give a voice to the voiceless.

Give a voice to the voiceless.

Cageprisoners Ltd.
27 Old Gloucester Street

Telephone: (44) 203 167 4416

Selected Catch-Up on Peace & International Rights

"Out of Iraq Caucus" with Rep. Barbara Lee and Rep. Maxine Waters and others. (folk who are continuing to push my "Status of Forces Agreement" in the House, H.R. 651, which now has 68 cosponsors.) and Rep. Barbara Lee's H.R. 780, "The Responsible End to the War in Afghanistan Act." The Defense Authorization act is poised to move to the Senate and the budget debate soon to follow it - plz support withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan. (Let us know in Comments if you propose an even better legislation to support.)

Ratko Mladic: the end of impunity? Find this one on the blogsite: "No More Crusades" or GO here for 2 June 2011

The Six-Day War And A Possible Resolution
By Ron Forthofer

GO here

President Obama's recent statements about using the 1967 borders as the basis for a settlement of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict sparked strong reactions. These reactions also show that many people are terribly misinformed about who started the Six-Day War

May 31 marked the anniversary of Israel's barbaric slaughter of nine Freedom Flotilla activists in international waters, injuring dozens more trying to deliver thousands of tons of vital aid to besieged Gazans, suffocating illegally since June 2007

News Digest for June 2, 2011 for No More Gitmos find at

Live Links here

06/02 / John Rossomando / The Daily Caller / Inhofe bill seeks to reverse Obama, send suspected terrorists to Guantanamo Bay

06/01 / Paul Mutter / Foreign Policy In Focus / The War Against Al Jazeera and Sami al-Hajj

06/01 / Andy Worthington / Guantánamo: The Definitive Prisoner List — Updated for 2011, With New Information and Photos from WikiLeaks

06/01 / Jeff Kaye / TruthOut / Deconstructing the Campaign to Malign Award-Winning Article on Guantanamo "Suicides"

More news at or Live Links here