Monday, January 30, 2012

UPDATED Thurs from FCNL: Peace Actions for Diplomacy with Iran

PLZ SEE the Updates at end of post!

The new motto of Saturday's Peace Actions toward Diplomacy with Iran is:

HUMANITY and the PLANET come FIRST: We are seeking to de-emphasize the differences between our nations, governments and cultures and to emphasize the similar needs, joys, concerns and connections between the humanity of the world.

Watch for another post here/and or nomorecrusades which will aim to simplify the material/actions in this post.

The list of groups who are supporting these actions keep growing:

The U.S. Day of Mass Action to Stop a US War on Iran: SATURDAY -- FEBRUARY 4, 2012 NO war! NO sanctions! NO intervention! NO assassinations!

Endorsers include:
World Can’t Wait * United National Anti-War Coalition (UNAC) * International Action Center (IAC) * SI! Solidarity with Iran * Refugee Apostolic Catholic Church * Workers World Party * CODEPINK Women for Peace * American Iranian Friendship Committee * ANSWER Coalition * * Peace of the Action * * St. Pete for Peace * WAMM, Women Against Military Madness * Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality-Virginia * WESPAC Foundation * Minnesota Peace Action Coalition * Twin Cities Peace Campaign * Bail Out The People Movement (BOPM) * We Won’t Fly * Movement for a Democratic Society (MDS) * Granny Peace Brigade * Veterans for Peace – NYC Chapter 034 * Waco Friends of Peace * Malcolm X Center for Self Determination * David Swanson, Author of When the World Outlawed War * Phil Wilayto, Author of In Defense of Iran: Notes from a U.S. Peace Delegation’s Journey through the Islamic Republic * Ramsey Clark, Former US Attorney General, awarded UN Human Rights Award * Cindy Sheehan, National Co-ordinator of Peace of the Action * Ray McGovern, Veterans for Peace * Karla Hansen, Producer/Director “Silent Screams” * George Phillies, Editor for Liberty for America * Larry Everest, correspondent for Revolution Newspaper, author of Oil, Power & Empire: Iraq and the US Global Agenda

Visible street protests and other events and outreach will happen in many places, including around the world: in Ireland at Shannon Air Base (forward base for NATO); in Dacca, Bangaldesh; in Calcutta and other cities in India.

Stay tuned for more announcements, write here to endorse the Call for Mass Action, and/or to get more info. You can also use this page to find or organize a protest in your area -- GO here

Notice which country is surrounding Iran with military. So WHO is the aggressor in the Middle East? We must end our US/Western complicity and silence.

Become a Citizen Diplomat and help get the word out -- Call your legislators, writer letters to the editor, send letters to world leaders, create a petition and gather signatures.

By the way, news and groups in Iran are paying attention to our efforts for peace.
These are nurturing peace and goodwill unlike our western threats and military gesturing. Let's stop being the US bully in the world...

READ more on peace efforts with Iran, diplomacy and similar conversations at or CLICK here

UPDATE from Friends Committee on National Legislation:
Iran: What is Congress Trying to Do?
Thursday, February 2, 2012 5:01 PM

Right now, most of Congress seems to think that Iran needs to be punished and
isolated. New Iran sanctions just went into effect last week, and more sanctions are coming out of the Senate Banking Committee today. These are headed for a vote on the Senate floor in the next few weeks. Please urge your senators to oppose these new sanctions as ineffective foreign policy and to speak out in favor of this one:


GO here

Three decades of sanctions have not persuaded Iran to agree to full transparency
of its nuclear program. Continued pressure could have the effect of pushing
Iranian leaders to demonstrate their power. As Princeton Professor Anne-Marie
Slaughter argues, the current course of sanctions piled on sanctions "leaves Iran's government no alternative between publicly backing down, which it will not do, and escalating its provocations." 1 [ #1 ] This kind of escalation is a "dangerous game of…chicken" that could lead to violent conflict.

Instead, the U.S. should be finding ways to keep Iran within the international
community; open lines of diplomatic communication, as former head of Joint Chiefs
of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen has recommended; 2 [ #2 ] and reduce the incentives
for Iranian leaders to take Iran's nuclear program to the next level.

Business leaders 3 [ #3 ] and many former U.S. officials and foreign policy experts 4 [ #4 ] are endorsing this view. Yet as our lead foreign policy lobbyist Bridget Moix noted this week, 5 [ #5 ] the people making decisions aren't weighing the diplomatic options that could steer the U.S. and Iran away from violent conflict - and the policy of threats that Congress is undertaking is closing down the space for diplomatic options to be seriously considered and pursued.

As the Senate takes up new sanctions legislation, your senators are hearing from
people in your community who support tougher sanctions on Iran. Your senators need to know that some of their constituents want a different approach. Please urge your senators to oppose the new sanctions legislation introduced this week by Senators Tim Johnson (SD) and Richard Shelby (AL):

GO here


Diane Randall
Executive Secretary


1. here ] Anne-Marie Slaughter, " Saving Face and Peace in the Middle East GO here ] ,"
Project Syndicate

2. [ GOhere ] FCNL's Letter to Congress: Time for Diplomacy, Not War, With Iran [ GO here ]

3. [ GO here ] Richard Sawaya, " Will Common Sense Prevail in U.S.-Iran Relations? [ GO here ] "
USA Engage

4. [ GOhere ] Jim Lobe, " Growing Elite Opposition to Military Option Against Iran [ GOhere ] ,"

5. [ GOhere ] Bridget
Moix, " Can War With Iran Be Prevented? [ GOhere ] "

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012


oh to belong to the
infinite - to variety - to the show of light in the wild-thrown sky.


The East belongs to God
The West belongs to God
North and Southern lands
rest in the peace of His hands,

He, the sole just ruler,
intends the right things for every one, this One glorified and praised
Allama Iqbal

“Why doesn't the Earth fall? How can you walk upon it? It's the music. It's the music of the Earth, and the Sun, and the Stars. It's the music of yourself, vibrating. Yes, you are music too! You're all instruments. Everyone is supposed to be playing their part in this vast Arkestra of the Cosmos.”
- Sun Ra

“Many native cultures believe that the heart is the bridge between Father Sky and Mother Earth. For these traditions, the four-chambered heart, the source for sustaining emotional and spiritual health, is described as being full, open, clear, and strong. These traditions feel that it is important to check the condition of the four-chambered heart daily, asking: "Am I full-hearted, open-hearted, clear-hearted, and strong-hearted?"”
- Angeles Arrien, "The Four-Fold Way"

“Sometimes the heart sees what is invisible to the eye.”
- H. Jackson Browne, Jr.

“Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God hath prepared..." St. Paul
- I Corinthians 2:9

“Where you used to be, there is a hole in the world, which I find myself constantly walking around in the daytime, and falling into at night.”
- Edna St. Vincent Millay

“I believe that life is given us so we may grow in love, and I believe that God is in me as the sun is in the color and fragrance of a flower - the Light in my darkness, the Voice in my silence.”
- Helen Adams Keller

“With love one can live even without happiness.”
- Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Russian novelist

“The world is a theatre of love.”
- Kashmiri Proverb (historical region of northwest India and northeast Pakistan)

“Absence diminishes small loves and increases great ones, as the wind blows out the candle and blows up the bonfire.”
- François de la Rochefoucauld

“Our love is like a well in the wilderness where time watches over the wandering lightning. Our sleep is a secret tunnel that leads to the scent of apples carried on the wind. When I hold you, I hold everything that is - swans, volcanoes, river rocks, maple trees drinking the fragrance of the moon, bread that the fire adores. In your life I see everything that lives.”
- Pablo Neruda

“Before, I always lived in anticipation . . . that it was all a preparation for something else, something "greater," more "genuine." But that feeling has dropped away from me completely. I live here and now, this minute, this day, to the full, and the life is worth living.”
- Etty Hillesum

“The Place you are right now God circled on a map for you.”
- Hafiz, "Marrow of Flame" by Dorothy Walters

“The present is holy ground.”
- Alfred North Whitehead

**Photo of recent northern lights as seen from Australia above found here

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Bit About The Friends (Quakers) Work for Peace

The Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) fields the largest team of registered peace lobbyists in Washington, DC. Founded in 1943 by members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), FCNL's multi-issue advocacy connects historic Quaker testimonies on peace, equality, simplicity, and truth with peace and social justice issues which the United States government is or should be addressing. FCNL is nonpartisan.

The Friends (Quakers) also began Friends World College which has (or have had) centers in North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, South Asia and East Asia -- a "university without walls". Much of the work is/has been in the form of independent study projects. The major fuculty activity is one-to one advising. Everyone keeps a journal recording their experience, reading, study summaries, and personal activity in the arts. (Since arts and crafts of various sorts are highly valued at this school, the journal may also have poetry, drawings, photography and samples/records of weaving, performances including theatre, dance, mime and so on.)

The Friends World College was inspired by the poet, visionary and educationist Rabindranath Tagore -- who's theories and practices of education which began when he was a child -- and was eventually embodied in schools where people of many cultures and faiths live, work and learn together. Sometimes Friends say that their World College is the "spiritual descendant of Santiniketan and Visva-Bharati -- Tagore's world learning communities.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Lavender Grace

Patricia Goedicke's Poem


At first my mother would be shy
Leaving my lame father behind

But then she would tuck up her bathing cap
And fly into the water like a dolphin,

Slippery as bamboo she would bend
Everywhere, everywhere I remember

For though he would often be criticizing her,
Blaming her, finding fault

Behind her back he would talk about her
All through our childhood, to me and my sister,

She rarely spoke against him

Except to take us by the hand
In the ocean we would laugh together

As we never did, on dry land

Because he was an invalid
Usually she was silent

But this once, on her deathbed

Hearing me tell it she remembered
Almost before I did, and she smiled

One more time to think of it,
How, with the waves crashing at our feet

Slithering all over her wet skin

We would rub against her like minnows
We would flow between her legs, in the surf

Smooth as spaghetti she would hold us
Close against her like small polliwogs climing

All over her as if she were a hill,
A hill that moved, our element

But hers also, safe
In the oval of each other's arms

This once she would be weightless
As guiltless, utterly free

Of all but what she loved
Smoothly, with no hard edges,

My long beautiful mother
In her white bathing cap, crowned

Like an enormous lily

Over the brown arrow of her body,
The limber poles of her legs,
The strong cheekbones and the shadows
Like fluid lavender, everywhere

In a rainbow of breaking foam

Looping and sliding through the waves
We would swim together as one

Mother and sea calves gliding,
Floating as if all three of us were flying.


I found the haunting image above here

Sunday, January 15, 2012

"Martin Luther King Saved My Life" By Ernie Mills

Middle East Peace Quilt**

(quote in heading and those below are from a sermon entitled: "Dreams and Possibilities" given Sunday am 15 January 2012)

"A life of fear is no life at all."

"A man dies when he refuses to stand up for that which is right...for justice..."

"Without a vision there's no future...only repitition of the past."

"We can evolve only if we know what we're evolving to..."

"It takes no effort to despair."

MLK...had a great imagination.

Quotes from this sermon included Goethe, Kant, and an expert on Aphasia -- people who are limited in communicating and imagination.

I highly recommend the following link to Ernie Mills' sermon/reflection as one of the most powerful and uplifting on Martin Luther King (or anyone else) ever spoken in my home town. Not only does this personal talk include MLK's vision for a world minus racism, hate and hopelessness - other poignant quotes from other visionaries are offered as well.

Each of the points made by Mills can be so easily applied TODAY to our nation and world and related to racism of ALL kinds whether to a person's skin, citizenship, religion, nation of origin, gender, struggle, age and so much more. (For example, Mills brings up-to-date a text King used to condemn the careless bombing in Vietnam -- by simply adding the name of our various current wars).

After a needed yet sobering couple of weeks many of us spent exposing our nation's treatment of people detained in Guantanamo -- this visionary speech offers possibilities of change and the needed energy to carry out a better future.

Ernie Mills heard a famous MLK speech in 1973 -- five years after it was first delivered...

To hear how MLK's speech "I Have a Dream" helped transform the life of one young American -- formerly a self-admitted racist -- GO here

Ernie is a longtime friend of mine and as I told him - he's spent years doing the homework which led to this superlative talk.

The opposite of a doomsday talk, at the end Ernie said with conviction, "The possibilities" for change "are infinite."

Civil Rights Memorial Museum Montgomery, Alabama

**quilt above chosen because it's a serene symbol for finding peace among groups of all kinds. I found the photo here

Let us bend our work toward peace...

Report #4 on Gitmo: (VIDEO) Boumediene tells Chris Hayes of Gitmo captivity

Lakhdar Boumediene was arrested and detained by the US when he was working for the Red Crescent (equivalent of the International Red Cross). According to commentary included with the video below, he asked a question like this: What would YOUR understanding be if YOU were in my shoes or that of another prisoner detained in like manner?

“I’m asking, he was quoted, "if one of you is imprisoned in America for seven and a half years, he was deprived of his wife, his children, and his life was destroyed, is he compensated?”

He asked. “I leave the American people to answer this question.”“The American government is an arrogant government and ’til this very moment, they don’t want to admit that they made a mistake to Boumediene, Lakhdar."

This is the least they could have done, to admit they’ve made a mistake.”WATCH: Video from MSNBC, which was broadcast on January 14, 2012. GO here

For a fairly recent piece Boumediene wrote before the recent National Day (of protest) SEE My Guantanamo Nightmare GO here

Find more Background and References:

Saving Habeas - Supreme Court Briefing here

Fact Sheet here

al Odah v. US here

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Report #3 ( Inmates speak -- Reprieve Reports)

Binyam Mohamed

Guantanamo detainees speak in rare interviews for 10-year anniversary (Also find information in the following item from Amnesty I/USA) GO here

Now for one of the most startling reports here

Last, be sure to follow items on Andy Worthington's site which is likely to be among the most thorough on this topic. GO here and here

Report #2 on the National Day of Action (to close Guantanamo)

This report is from North Carolina Stop Torture Now:

We had 50 people, ranging widely in age, on the bio-diesel bus from North Carolina to the Close Gitmo protest in DC yesterday. A handful of other North Carolinians drove up.

While rainy, the protest was spirited, colorful, and very moving. A lot of local, national and international media attended.

FIND more here

The “NC Stop Torture Now” banner and the “Who Would Jesus Torture?” banner were widely filmed & photographed.

Here's a youtube video: Just under three minutes, and North Carolina folks are in it: CLICK here

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Report on the "National Day of Action..."

This report comes from the Center for Constitutional Rights, USA. You can find the original and much more simply at

On the Tenth Anniversary of Guantánamo, the Center for Constitutional Rights Demands that President Obama Close Guantánamo

CCR Holds Press Briefing; Large Coalition Stages Rally in Front of White House Leading to Supreme Court; Men at Guantánamo Plan Peaceful Protests

January 11, 2012, Washington, DC – Today, on the tenth anniversary of the arrival of the first detained men at the U.S. prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) issued the following statement:

Today marks the tenth anniversary of indefinite detention without charge or fair trials at the prison at Guantánamo, and it is an anniversary that should not have come.

The men indefinitely detained at Guantánamo have been abandoned by all three branches of government, but the primary responsibility for the prison remaining open lies with President Obama.

On his second day in office, President Obama signed an Executive Order mandating the closure of Guantánamo within a year. Since then, his administration has in fact perpetuated and sanctioned the system at Guantánamo by continuing indefinite detentions without charge or trial, resuming illegitimate military commissions, and most recently, signing into law the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which substantially hinders the closure of Guantánamo by restricting the transfer of the remaining 171 detained men, over half of whom have been approved for transfer by every branch of government with a stake in the matter.

Despite its promise of a new era of accountability and respect for the rule of law, the Obama administration has also repeatedly acted to block virtually any accountability for those who have planned, authorized, and committed torture at Guantánamo and beyond.

On this day marking ten years of injustice at Guantánamo, we call on people of conscience everywhere to demand that the prison finally be closed and to intensify opposition to all unjust U.S. detentions and prosecutions conducted in the name of national security. We must also build opposition to the government’s covert and overt wars in a re-branded “War on Terror” which is being used to justify both military detentions and military strikes to the detriment of the safety and dignity of peoples in the United States and abroad.

In the morning, CCR hosted a briefing at the National Press Club entitled “Obama’s Prison: Guantánamo Turns 10.” The briefing featured CCR’s Executive Director Vincent Warren; CCR’s Legal Director Baher Azmy; Stephen Oleskey, co-counsel in the landmark Boumediene v. Bush Supreme Court case, who argued that the men’s right to challenge the legality of their detentions has since been effectively eviscerated; Rear Admiral John Hutson, a former military officer who supported President Obama’s 2009 Executive Order promising to close Guantánamo within one year and stood behing him as he signed it; and Colonel Morris Davis, a former chief prosecutor for the Guantánamo military commissions who ultimately resigned because of the injustices he witnessed. (Short statements by participants in the press briefing can be seen on CCR’s website...)

The press briefing was followed by a large rally in front of the White House demanding the closure of Guantánamo led by a broad coalition of human rights organizations and activists including the Center for Constitutional Rights, Witness Against Torture, Amnesty International-USA, the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, and September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows. At this rally, Martha Rayner, an attorney who represents men detained at Guantánamo, read a statement signed by over a hundred habeas counsel denouncing the unjust detention of their clients and President Obama’s failure to close the prison. Ramzi Kassem, an attorney who represents men detained at Guantánamo and Bagram and a professor who directs the Creating Law Enforcement Accountability & Responsibility (CLEAR) project at CUNY School of law, spoke of the injustices within terrorism detentions and prosecutions that occur domestically in the U.S. and abroad.

Talat Hamdani, mother of Salman Hamdani, an emergency medical technician who died in the September 11, 2001 attacks while helping people at the Twin Towers in New York City, also called for the closure of Guantánamo.

According to habeas counsel who had spoken with their clients, the men at Guantánamo were heartened by the planned protests marking the anniversary in cities across the U.S. and planned their own peaceful protests to coincide with the rally in DC and to demand the end to their continued indefinite detention without charge or a fair trial. They planned to protest by staging sit-ins and participating in a three-day hunger strike.

Following the rally, the demonstrators marched down Pennsylvania Avenue, led by 171 people dressed in orange jumpsuits and black hoods representing the number of men still detained at Guantánamo. They continued all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, holding brief rallies at four locations to demonstrate the chain of responsibility that connects the White House, the Department of Justice, the U.S. Capitol, and the Supreme Court.

Speakers at these locations included Naeem Baig of the Islamic Circle of North America, Rabbi Rachel Kahn-Troster of Rabbis for Human Rights, Bishop Michael Seneco of North America Old Catholic Church, Shahid Buttar of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, Andy Worthington, a journalist and filmmaker covering Guantanamo, Terry Rockefeller of September 11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, and Tamer Mehanna, whose brother Tarek Mehanna was held under prolonged pre-trial solitary confinement in the U.S. and was convicted last month under charges that included broad material support allegations based on protected First Amendment activity. Stephen Oleskey, co-counsel in the landmark Supreme Court case Boumediene v. Bush), Daniel Lakemacher, a marine who became a conscientious objector after serving at Guantánamo, along with Vincent Warren and Leili Kashani from CCR, spoke on the steps of the Supreme Court.

The Center for Constitutional Rights has led the legal battle over Guantanamo for the last 10 years – representing clients in two Supreme Court cases and organizing and coordinating hundreds of pro bono lawyers across the country to represent the men at Guantanamo, ensuring that nearly all have the option of legal representation. Among other Guantánamo cases, the Center represents the families of men who died at Guantánamo, and men who have been released and are seeking justice in international courts. In addition, CCR has been working through diplomatic channels to resettle men who remain at Guantánamo because they cannot return to their country of origin for fear of persecution and torture.

SEE for GITMO 10 National Press Club Speaker Quotes.pdf
January 11 Habeas Counsel Statement and Signatures.pdf and more.

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.

Related report from VOA News here

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

10 Years Too Many: National Day of Action Against Guantanamo:

(This notice is from Amnesty I - USA -- I got the phone call this morning from the leaders and want to be sure to get this out. I'm with several groups at once at heart and in spirit.)

Join us in Washington, DC on January 11, 2012 to close Guantanamo! To mark the 10th anniversary of unlawful counter-terrorism detentions* at Guantanamo and to call for an end to indefinite detention and unfair trials, we will be creating a human chain between the White House and the Capitol. We need 2,700 people – the number of detainees still unlawfully held by the US government at Guantanamo and Bagram. Meet us January 11, 2012 at Lafayette Square (across from the White House) at Noon. Sign up below to pledge to join us!


Here's a basic schedule for ALL groups involved in this action:

After meet-ups with various groups --
1PM: Public Witness and Human Chain connection the White House to the Capital.

3PM: Interfaith Service and Reception, sponsored by NRCAT, at the New York Ave Presbyterian Church. Here's more info and a place to lay your cot --

GO here

IF YOU QUESTION the reasons for such a Day of Action, you may want to read the post just below this one on oneheartforpeace (for Sunday, January 8th).

Besides unlawful detentions, be aware of the despair-induced suicides, illnesses untreated, force-feedings, deaths listed as unknown causes. Some of these deaths under US detention have been considered "extra-judicial executions". Deaths and extreme physical and mental injury due to rights abuses can't be ruled out at Guantanamo and the same goes for US prisons or US "oversight" at various cells hidden and open world-wide.

HOWEVER, this Amnesty Action is one of many others by dozens of national and international human rights groups along with well-known speakers, and writers. What a positive unified action this is for peace, justice and the rights by which we as Americans once were said to have lived. Actions such as this one will help to restore us to the sanity of a true humanity.

Thanx for tuning in.


Sunday, January 8, 2012

Ongoing Military Detention USA

found at Andy Worthington's state of the art site

"Due process of law, all the things that we stand for as a country, and being a country of laws, it doesn’t sit well with me that we are going to continue to keep people in Guantánamo,” So said recently the first warden at Gitmo (See article below the first)

A Tired Obsession with Military Detention Plagues American Politics

Before the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, there were only two ways of holding prisoners — either they were prisoners of war, protected by the Geneva Conventions, or they were criminal suspects, to be charged and subjected to federal court trials.

That all changed when the Bush administration threw out the Geneva Conventions, equated the Taliban with al-Qaeda, and decided to hold both soldiers and terror suspects as “illegal enemy combatants,” who could be imprisoned indefinitely without charge or trial, and with no rights whatsoever.

The Bush administration’s legal black hole lasted for two and a half years at Guantánamo, until, in Rasul v. Bush in June 2004, the Supreme Court took the unprecedented step of granting habeas corpus rights to prisoners seized in wartime, recognizing — and being appalled by — the fact that the administration had created a system of arbitrary, indefinite detention, and that there was no way out for anyone who, like many of the prisoners, said that they had been seized by mistake.

This was not the end of the story, as the Bush administration fought back, Congress attempted to strip the prisoners of their habeas rights in the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 and the Military Commissions Act of 2006 (PDF), and the Supreme Court had to revisit the prisoners’ cases in June 2008, in Boumediene v. Bush, reiterating that they had habeas corpus rights, and that those rights were constitutionally guaranteed.


READ rest at andyworthington dot co dot uk -- Andy Worthington's Website (author and probably the sole expert of nearly all the Gitmo detainee cases for years) or CLICK here

SEE also this article published 6 January 2011:

Terry Carrico, Ex-Guantánamo Prison Commander, Says Facility Should Close
A decade after the prison camp opened, its first warden speaks out against U.S. detention policies in the war on terror and tells Aram Roston the facility should be closed.

by Aram Roston of The Daily Beast and Newsweek | January 6, 2012 4:45 AM EST

Ten years ago, Army Colonel Terry Carrico watched a C-141 land at Guantánamo Bay Naval Station in Cuba. He had planned for the moment carefully, and he knew very well what the cargo was: 20 detainees sent from Afghanistan. Carrico was the first camp commander of what would become the world’s most famous terrorism prison, and this was its opening day.

...he had choreographed, with machinelike precision, how his soldiers would take custody of the shackled, blindfolded detainees as they were led onto the tarmac from the cavernous plane. With 23 years of service as a military police officer, he didn’t let any emotion register in his face that day as he watched, but he was surprised at the appearance of the prisoners.

They were scrawny and malnourished to an alarming degree, hardly appearing like the crazed fanatics that Gen. Richard Myers, then the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, described that day back at a Pentagon press conference. “These are people,” the general said, invoking an alarming image, “that would gnaw through hydraulic lines in the back of a C-17 to bring it down, I mean.”

Carrico recalls that the detainees were actually compliant and docile that first day.
He now considers the debate that is still raging over U.S. detention policy from a unique perspective, and he has reached conclusions that run counter to the prevailing political trends in Washington. The retired colonel says Guantánamo “should be closed," though he believes it never will be. He says “very few” of the men held there had valuable intelligence, at least while he ran the camp.

Carrico also says plainly that he believes it is wrong to keep people indefinitely without trial based on secret evidence. He argues that people captured in the war on terror should be arrested and tried in courts of law, not locked up at places like Guantánamo... Find REST of original article for 6 January at The Daily Beast

Find COMMENTS and other related items at Common Dreams here

Carrico article and comments is also posted at Reader-Supported News.

blogger at One Heart for Peace comment:

Consider damage control or republican interests possibly involved since Carrico is currently a corporate executive in Georgia.

Note that The Daily Beast author also writes for the corporate Newsweek (long allied with GE - therefore US military interests).

Most of all we have to ask: Did Carrico wait this long to speak out this loudly and if so, why?

However, it's hard to imagine anyone knowledgeable about the legal facts arguing with the article's major concerns and statements.

Let's hope Carrico will join the to surround the White House soon when thousands will ask clearly for US torture to end and GITMO to be finally closed.

I'm sure the speakers and protestors will also ask for the closure of all such US prisons and cells including in Afghanistan, Morrocco, Jordan, Iraq? Poland? Pakistan? Yemin? US hidden ships?

How archaic that God Forbid there should continue to be this creating and transferring of prisoners hidden from public and legal view to ANY other similar sites, ships or black holes -- oft under CIA or now Academi (former Blackwater/Xe) torture/intimidation trainings -- around the world.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Heart Food for 2012

Praising what is lost makes the remembrance dear. (Shakespeare's All's Well That Ends Well) (this image and this following quote is from World Without Hate fb) Your car is German. Your pizza is Italian. Your falafel is Lebanese. Your democracy is Greek. Your coffee is Brazilian. Your movies are American. Your tea is Tamil. Your shirt is Indian. Your oil is Saudi Arabian. Your electronics are Chinese. Your number's Arabic, your letters Latin. And you complain that your neighbour is an immigrant?

Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful speech and the inability to listen to others, I am committed to cultivating loving speech and deep listening in order to bring joy and happiness to others and relieve others of their suffering...I am determined to speak truthfully, with words that inspire self-confidence, joy, and hope. I will not spread news that I do not know to be certain and will not criticize or condemn things of which I am not sure...I am determined to make all efforts to reconcile and resolve all conflicts, however small. (From Fourth Mindfulness Training - a huge resolve yet perhaps this will help me and readers to guide our choice of words.)

If we want what we haven't got -- we've got to do what we haven't done. (words of common wisdom from a young friend.)

Be helpless and dumbfounded, unable to say yes or no.
Then a stretcher will come from grace to gather us up.
We ae too dull-eyed to see the beauty.
If we say Yes we can, we will be lying..
So let us be not sure of anything a zero circle, mute, we will be saying finally,
with tremendous eloquence, LEAD US...
(and) become a mighty kindness. (Rumi's Zero Circle)

Everything is arbitrary except metaphor, which detects the essential kindship of all things. (Charles Simic)

We know all too well the cruelties, hurts, and hatreds that poison life on our planet. But my daughter and I have come together to write this book because we know that the catalogue of injuries that we can and do inflict on one another is not the whole story of humanity, not by a long measure — as I hope you will see and as you no doubt know in your heart. We are indeed made for something more. We are made for goodness.

We are fundamentally good. When you come to think of it, that's who we are at our core. Why else do we get so outraged by wrong? When we hear of any egregious act, we are appalled. Isn't that an incredible assertion about us? Evil and wrong are aberrations. If wrong was the norm, it wouldn't be news. Our newscasts wouldn't lead with the latest acts of murder or mayhem, because they would be ordinary. But murder and mayhem are not the norm. The norm is goodness.

From the book Made For Goodness By Archbishop Desmond Tutu written with his daughter Mpho Tutu. Copyright 2010

Higher Ground and Stand By Me



UPDATE: Contrast Indigenous Youth with US "elders" -- Ten Years of Shame

(see article from Common Dreams below)

Ten Years of Guantánamo: Andy Worthington Visits the US to Campaign for the Closure of the Prison, January 5-15, 2012

READ article on Andy Worthington's site here

What about US learning from Youth who seek peace around the world?

Published on Saturday, December 31, 2011 by Living Peacefully With One's Neighbors by Phil Tajitsu Nash

Imagine that your community and a neighboring community had been at war a half century ago. Many men had been killed, and women and children had been kidnapped.

Then, imagine what it would take for those two communities to sit down together to look at archival films of life in their region, share memories of common ancestors, and allow their children to interact peacefully with one another...See link below for rest of this article...

For more on this historic meeting of the Wauja and Ikpeng peoples, see or GO here

The author, Phil Tajitsu Nash ( teaches at the University of Maryland.

For a full read GO here: or click here

(Since a New Year resolution of mine is to seek out the true positive despite all that we must face that is not...I wanted to include the above article as an antidote to current concerns about US abuses of Rights and Peace. Connie)

Obama Signs NDAA (Homeland Battlefield Bill) Into Law

Obama Crowned Himself on New Year's Eve


By David Swanson - Posted on 31 December 2011 (with others following on 1 January 2011 -- Swanson's blogsite War is a Crime )

These were among the complaints registered the last time this nation had a king:

"He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
"He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
"He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
"He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.
"He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
"He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
"He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
"For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
"For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
"For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
"For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
"He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation."

By Sara Sorcher, National Journal

31 December 11

President Obama today signed the highly controversial Defense Spending Bill. The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), with its so-called Homeland Battlefield provisions, allows, according to many legal scholars, the indefinite detention of US citizens by the US military. What is most striking is a lengthy signing statement by Obama, in which he maintains his reservations about the Homeland Battlefield provisions, saying, 'I have signed this bill despite having serious reservations with certain provisions that regulate the detention, interrogation, and prosecution of suspected terrorists.' His defense of civil liberties in the signing statement was passionate. Nonetheless, at the same moment, he signed the bill into law. -- ma/RSN (Readers Supported News)

READ full article here