Monday, July 30, 2012

ACTION LINK added: Call on GE/US to suspend strikes -- especially for 'Olympic Truce'



Drone part manufacturer and 2012 sponsor GE must respect ‘Olympic truce’

Major Olympic sponsor GE is facing calls to honour the ‘Olympic Truce’ by acting to stop the use of its drone components in strikes carried out by the US in Pakistan and Yemen.

GE Intelligent Platforms, which operates in Towcester, UK, describes itself as “The UAV [Unmanned Aerial Vehicle] Company,” and highlights in promotional material how its products are used in military drones, including control systems for the Predator – which is commonly used by the CIA to carry out strikes on alleged ‘militants.’ The strikes have killed hundreds of civilians, including at least 175 children in Pakistan alone.

Reprieve is calling on GE, as a Worldwide Partner to the Olympics, to honour the ‘Olympic truce’ – an ancient tradition that hostilities should be suspended during the Games, which was recently revived and received the backing of a UN resolution.

GE could fulfil its obligations by bringing pressure to bear on the US Government to suspend its programme of illegal drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen, at the very least for the duration of the truce period.

Reprieve’s Director, Clive Stafford Smith, has written to GE asking them to act. In the letter, he states:

“As proud sponsor of the London 2012 Olympics, I urge your company to respect and uphold the Olympic Truce. You could achieve this goal by publicly urging the US government to require that the CIA halt the deadly and illegal drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen at least throughout the duration of the Olympics. The people of Pakistan and Yemen would be grateful to you and so would their athletes present at the Olympics knowing that they can come and go to this extraordinary sports event without fear for their own lives or the lives of their families.”


Notes to editors

1. For further information, please contact Donald Campbell in Reprieve’s press office: +44 (0) 207 427 1082.

2. A GEIP brochure confirms that their components are used in the control systems for Predator drones – the drones which the CIA uses to carry out strikes in Pakistan: “GE products helped to launch early UAV platforms, and we continue to develop products that will help advance UAS future operations […] Subsequent deployments have included our PPCM2 6U VME Dual PowerPC SBC in the Watchkeeper ground station [and] PPC4A 6U VME SBC in the Predator ground station.” – GEIP Unmanned Aerial Systems, p3.

GEIP refers to itself as “The UAV Company” on its website:

3. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism puts reported civilian deaths due to CIA drone strikes in Pakistan at 482-849, including 175 children. The numbers may well be higher, given the difficulty in identifying the victims in the inaccessible FATA region of NW Pakistan, and the lack of openness from the US Government concerning the programme.

4. According to the United Nations, “The Olympic Truce, or ekecheria, is based on an ancient Greek tradition, dating back to the ninth century B.C. All conflicts ceased during the period of the Truce, which began seven days prior to the opening of the Olympic Games and ended on the seventh day following the closing of the Games, so that athletes, artists, their relatives and pilgrims could travel safely to the Olympic Games and afterwards return to their countries […] Since 1993, support for the Olympic Truce has grown steadily within the General Assembly, reaching the unprecedented unanimous co-sponsorship of the latest resolution. During these turbulent times, Member States are demonstrating their confidence in the Olympic Truce Ideal.”

The Olympic village’s ‘Truce Wall’ was opened this week:

5. Clive Stafford Smith’s letter to GE is available on Reprieve’s website.

6. Reprieve, a legal action charity, uses the law to enforce the human rights of prisoners, from death row to Guantánamo Bay. Reprieve investigates, litigates and educates, working on the frontline, to provide legal support to prisoners unable to pay for it themselves. Reprieve promotes the rule of law around the world, securing each person’s right to a fair trial and saving lives. Clive Stafford Smith is the founder of Reprieve and has spent 25 years working on behalf of people facing the death penalty in the USA.

Reprieve’s current casework involves representing 15 prisoners in the US prison at Guantánamo Bay, assisting over 70 prisoners facing the death penalty around the world, and conducting ongoing investigations into the rendition and the secret detention of ‘ghost prisoners’ in the so-called ‘war on terror.’

Follow Reprieve on twitter: @ReprieveUK; if you were forwarded this release, sign up to join our press mailing list.

PO Box 52742
London EC4P 4WS
Tel: 020 7353 4640
Fax: 020 7353 4641
Twitter: @ReprieveUK

Reprieve is a charitable company limited by guarantee; Registered Charity No. 1114900 Registered Company No. 5777831 (England) Registered Office 2-6 Cannon Street London EC4M 6YH; Chair: Ken Macdonald QC; Patrons: Alan Bennett, Julie Christie, Martha Lane Fox, Gordon Roddick, Richard Rogers, Ruth Rogers, Jon Snow, Marina Warner, Vivienne Westwood

Friday, July 27, 2012

Angel to a Lobster

Conn. Man Rescues 80-Year-Old Lobster From Restaurant Menu
By Katie Kindelan | ABC News Blogs

(Blogger's Note: I'd just been wondering about how we heal as a people, how we find new, little, gentle, loving ways to create community...and then I found this!)

Lucky Larry! Blessed Community!

A 17-pound lobster on a restaurant menu would be a delicious dinner option for most people but not for one Connecticut man who saw it as a humanitarian mission.

Don MacKenzie of Niantic, Conn., purchased the lobster from a local restaurant but never took a bite. Instead, he released it back into the Long Island Sound Tuesday because he thought the lobster, nicknamed "Lucky Larry" by the locals, deserved to live.

"It takes seven years for him to even become a lobster big enough to keep," MacKenzie told The Day of New London. "For a lobster to live this long and avoid lobster traps, nets, lobster pots … he doesn't deserve a bib and butter."
Being dipped in butter by hungry lobster lovers was exactly where "Lucky Larry" was headed after being caught off the shores of New England and purchased by The Dock Restaurant in Waterford, Conn. The lobster became something of a celebrity among local children who bestowed him the nickname and came by the restaurant to visit, The Day reported.

Based on its size and the numbers of times it has shed its shell, MacKenzie estimated the lobster to be between 80 and 100 years old. He knew then that he had to act and reserved the lobster for dinner.

"This lobster has seen World War I, World War II, seen the landing on the moon and the Red Sox win the World Series. He's made it this far in life," MacKenzie said. "He deserves to live."

MacKenzie, the vice president of a boat business, purchased "Lucky Larry" for a sum he declined to disclose, saying only "it's the most expensive lobster I never ate," and proceeded with his plan to release rather than eat it.

MacKenzie took Larry out on a boat Tuesday and released the crustacean in a secret location in the waters of the Long Island Sound where. If all goes according to plan, it will be almost impossible for fishermen to catch him again.

The town had its own plan in mind to give the local celebrity a proper sendoff. Local children chanted, "Let Larry live, let Larry live," as the boat departed and the Niantic River Bridge operator sounded the bridge's siren as an official goodbye, according to The Day.

With no lobster meat, no mess and no sticky butter fingers left to show for his 17-pound lobster purchase, MacKenzie took only a simple memento away from his efforts, the two rubber bands that had been wrapped around Larry's claws to keep him from pinching his local fans.


To a Beautiful Child
by Gerard Manley Hopkins

... thy book

Is cliff, and wood, and foaming waterfall;

Thy playmates--the wild sheep and birds that call

Hoarse to the storm;--thy sport is with the storm

To wrestle;--and thy piety to stand

Musing on things create, and their Creator's hand!

(Photo Credit: Alex Nunes/The Day/AP Photo)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

GITMO Ramadan 2012 (Two Free Ways to Care)

TWO ways you can make a difference NOW:

FIRST:  JOIN the world in saying CLOSE GITMO!

SECOND: WRITE to one or more of the prisoners.  (Just let someone know they are not
forgotten. Political conversation discouraged.  Know Urdu or one of the other languages
represented?  That would be especially helpful in some cases.  Following is a post as to
WHY such a letter is meaningful ( more info on how to follow...)

Here’s Makola’s post. Very powerful!
There are 168 people who have been away from their homes for 11 Ramadhans.
There is a young man who was taken away from his home when he was 15. Just 15.
I know how I was when I was 15. I had fallen in love with life at 15, I had snapped myself out of it at 15, I found peace, truth and love at 15.
As I write this my hands are shaking. I do not know how I can manage writing 168 letters to the 168 prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, but I will try. That is promise.
Do you know how heartbeats get lost in the sound of these screams? Do you wonder what it is like to not be allowed to see your mother’s face?
You don’t. You haven’t been where they are. You haven’t been in captivity for as long as they have. You have a bed you can plop onto and fall asleep in within minutes. You have a table where you can sit and turn around with the comfort of knowing that you will find your father reading a newspaper. You have a school which as much as you miss you know you will return to. And soon. You have friends you can visit by hopping onto the next rickshaw. They don’t. Not now, not there.
I know you wonder why I think of these things. You are scared for me. You think I could get harmed by involving myself in projects such as For Ramadan, Write to the Forgotten Prisoners in Guantánamo. You are scared, I know. I understand.
If there was some way to rip my heart from my sleeve and hand it to you so that you may hold it up to the light and see the truth in these words, I would have done it by now. I am years from where I was at 15. Finding a home in a ruin has been embedded since a long time ago, but the knowledge that there are those who die and live in cold, unfriendly and toxic atmospheres is what stings. The old wounds which I had tied up so gently are all reawakening. The need to write has returned. That you had been avoiding it is nothing short of pointless.
They call it “paroxysms of moral outrage, a Canadian specialty” – but we’d rather have that than this sickening level of double standards.
I want to sometimes scream across a rooftop that I am done here, that I have had enough. That this world can hurt so bad, and that there is nothing left for me to express hope over.
But that would be wrong.
As long as there is a new dawn, you can hope. Yes it may seem ridiculous and stupid and outrageously naive but you can hope.

HERE'S HOW TO SEND YOUR LETTER (find suggestions here as well - be sure to read the comments):

(When you get a chance be sure to revisit Andy Worthington's site above as his book, files and website
archives are likely the most complete info on Gitmo available anywhere.  Note his recent article
"Another Bleak Ramadan for 87 Cleared Prisoners.")

Here's more of the "real scoop" -- the facts underneath all the excuses

(Three More of the Top Experts on Gitmo)

From Glenn Greenwald:

Why are 'cleared' Gitmo prisoners not allowed to leave? REPRIEVE's answer:
"In summary, the hostility of Congress, the weakness of President Obama's executive and the
indifference of the courts now ensure that 'cleared' Guantanamo prisoners are detained

A moving piece by a former Gitmo prisoner:
The Best of Times: Ramadhan in Gitmo by Moazzam Begg Ramadhan in Gitmo

photos above: and the last one from Cage Prisoners

Saturday, July 21, 2012

NOAM CHOMSKY on the dismantling of The Magna Carta

The Shredding of Our Fundamental Rights
By Noam Chomsky, AlterNet
19 July 2012

The Magna Carta - the charter of every self-respecting man - is being dismantled in front of our eyes.

This column is adapted from an address by Noam Chomsky on June 19 at the University of St. Andrews in Fife, Scotland, as part of its 600th anniversary celebration.

ecent events trace a threatening trajectory, sufficiently so that it may be worthwhile to look ahead a few generations to the millennium anniversary of one of the great events in the establishment of civil and human rights: the issuance of Magna Carta, the charter of English liberties imposed on King John in 1215.

What we do right now, or fail to do, will determine what kind of world will greet that anniversary. It is not an attractive prospect - not least because the Great Charter is being shredded before our eyes.
The first scholarly edition of the Magna Carta was published in 1759 by the English jurist William Blackstone, whose work was a source for U.S. constitutional law. It was entitled "The Great Charter and the Charter of the Forest," following earlier practice. Both charters are highly significant today.
The first, the Charter of Liberties, is widely recognized to be the cornerstone of the fundamental rights of the English-speaking peoples - or as Winston Churchill put it more expansively, "the charter of every self-respecting man at any time in any land." 

In 1679 the Charter was enriched by the Habeas Corpus Act, formally titled "an Act for the better securing the liberty of the subject, and for prevention of imprisonment beyond the seas." The modern harsher version is called "rendition" - imprisonment for the purpose of torture. 

Along with much of English law, the Act was incorporated into the U.S. Constitution, which affirms that "the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended" except in case of rebellion or invasion. In 1961, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the rights guaranteed by this Act were "(c)onsidered by the Founders as the highest safeguard of liberty." 

More specifically, the Constitution provides that no "person (shall) be deprived of life, liberty or property, without due process of law (and) a speedy and public trial" by peers
The Department of Justice has recently explained that these guarantees are satisfied by internal deliberations in the executive branch, as Jo Becker and Scott Shane reported in The New York Times on May 29. Barack Obama, the constitutional lawyer in the White House, agreed. King John would have nodded with satisfaction. 

The underlying principle of "presumption of innocence" has also been given an original interpretation. In the calculus of the president’s "kill list" of terrorists, "all military-age males in a strike zone" are in effect counted as combatants "unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving them innocent," Becker and Shane summarized. Thus post-assassination determination of innocence now suffices to maintain the sacred principle. 

This is the merest sample of the dismantling of "the charter of every self-respecting man."
The companion Charter of the Forest is perhaps even more pertinent today. It demanded protection of the commons from external power. The commons were the source of sustenance for the general population - their fuel, their food, their construction materials. The Forest was no wilderness. It was carefully nurtured, maintained in common, its riches available to all, and preserved for future generations. 

By the 17th century, the Charter of the Forest had fallen victim to the commodity economy and capitalist practice and morality. No longer protected for cooperative care and use, the commons were restricted to what could not be privatized - a category that continues to shrink before our eyes.
Last month the World Bank ruled that the mining multinational Pacific Rim can proceed with its case against El Salvador for trying to preserve lands and communities from highly destructive gold mining. Environmental protection would deprive the company of future profits, a crime under the rules of the investor rights regime mislabeled as "free trade." 

This is only one example of struggles under way over much of the world, some with extreme violence, as in resource-rich eastern Congo, where millions have been killed in recent years to ensure an ample supply of minerals for cellphones and other uses, and of course ample profits. 

The dismantling of the Charter of the Forest brought with it a radical revision of how the commons are conceived, captured by Garrett Hardin’s influential thesis in 1968 that "Freedom in a commons brings ruin to us all," the famous "tragedy of the commons": What is not privately owned will be destroyed by individual avarice. 

The doctrine is not without challenge. Elinor Olstrom won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 2009 for her work showing the superiority of user- managed commons.

But the doctrine has force if we accept its unstated premise: that humans are blindly driven by what American workers, at the dawn of the industrial revolution, called "the New Spirit of the Age, Gain Wealth forgetting all but Self" - a doctrine they bitterly condemned as demeaning and destructive, an assault on the very nature of free people.

Huge efforts have been devoted since to inculcating the New Spirit of the Age. Major industries are dedicated to what political economist Thorstein Veblen called "fabricating wants" - directing people to "the superficial things" of life, like "fashionable consumption," in the words of Columbia University marketing professor Paul Nystrom.

That way people can be atomized, seeking personal gain alone and diverted from dangerous efforts to think for themselves, act in concert and challenge authority.

It’s unnecessary to dwell on the extreme dangers posed by one central element of the destruction of the commons: the reliance on fossil fuels, which courts global disaster. Details may be debated, but there is little serious doubt that the problems are all too real and that the longer we delay in addressing them, the more awful will be the legacy left to generations to come. The recent Rio+20 Conference is the latest effort. Its aspirations were meager, its outcome derisory.

In the lead in confronting the crisis, throughout the world, are indigenous communities. The strongest stand has been taken by the one country they govern, Bolivia, the poorest country in South America and for centuries a victim of Western destruction of its rich resources.

After the ignominious collapse of the Copenhagen global climate change summit in 2009, Bolivia organized a People’s Summit with 35,000 participants from 140 countries. The summit called for very sharp reduction in emissions, and a Universal Declaration on the Rights of Mother Earth. That is a key demand of indigenous communities all over the world.

The demand is ridiculed by sophisticated Westerners, but unless we can acquire some of the sensibility of the indigenous communities, they are likely to have the last laugh - a laugh of grim despair.
( Chomsky is emeritus professor of linguistics and philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass.)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Between the Lines: The New Weapon of Choice

Blogger's Note:
While the story and news surrounding the death of 16-year-old Tariq Aziz has been out since last fall -- I wonder how many US citizens have heard of this hero? The following reminder and updates are more crucial than ever to our US military policies today.

Between the Lines: The New Weapon of Choice
Peace activists confront the open secret of drone attacks.
Photo Credit: Tariq Aziz Reprieve Files (see more info on photos below)

Thursday, July 19, 2012
By Rebecca Burns

At an October, 2011 meeting between Pakistani elders and human rights lawyers, 16-year-old Tariq Aziz stood up to volunteer for a dangerous assignment. The meeting, held in Islamabad by U.K. legal charity Reprieve, sought to expose the impact of drone strikes in the North Waziristan region, and Aziz hoped that by learning to photograph the strikes he could help protect his community.

Three days later, Aziz, along with his 12-year-old cousin, were themselves killed in a drone strike while on their way to pick up their aunt.

Aziz's determination to document the devastation caused by drones highlights one of the most disturbing aspects of their use: U.S. drone strikes are carried out in secret in at least six countries, with no judicial or Congressional oversight of the targets chosen by administration officials. Though a 2011 report from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism found that up to 3,000 people—as many as 781 of them civilians—have been killed in drone attacks since 2004, noncombatant deaths in drone attacks were denied outright by U.S. officials until April of this year, when White House counterterrorism advisor John Brennan said that they were "exceedingly rare."

U.S. and Pakistani activists have pushed for more information about why Aziz was selected as a target. But while victims' names are often unknown by the public, the occurence of drone strikes has for years been an open secret, raising another question: Why, as the Obama administration has granted authority to the CIA and Pentagon to carry out strikes based only on the patterns of their victims' behavior, has there been so little organized resistance to drone warfare?

The peace movement, floundering in the wake of Obama's election (a 2011 study by Michael Heaney and Fabio Rojas notes that while his win was heralded as an anti-war victory, it demobilized large numbers of Democratic activists) was unprepared to respond to a shift in the way the U.S. wages wars. While many organizers praised Obama for completing the withdrawal from Iraq, military force with a "lighter footprint" was part of the new defense strategy announced soon afterward. Under the Obama administration, a drone strike has occurred on an average of once every four days in Pakistan.

As drones have fast become the weapon of choice—7,000 are already in use by the U.S. military, and 45 other countries are developing their own drone programs—the technology of warfare has vastly outpaced the laws governing its use. Groups like the International Committee for Robotic Arms Control (ICRAC) are advocating a new international regime to limit the use of drones. Such a framework would also place an outright ban on one of the most unsettling possibilities of robotic warfare: nuclear weapons being mounted on unmanned systems.

But this solution alone may be insufficient to reverse the underlying trend behind drone attacks: an increasingly privatized mode of combat that involves hundreds of contractors in intelligence analysis and other activities influencing the ultimate decision of whom to kill.

"The policy of contracting out war began before drone technology emerged, but the availability of drones has accelerated that trend," says David Cortright, director of policy studies at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. "By lowering the threshold of engagement, drones are contributing to the evolution of a state of permanent war."

The flipside of an expanding drone war abroad is a deepening surveillance regime at home. Combat drones make up only a fraction of the $6 billion industry, which is already marketing aerial drones to law enforcement agencies. Peace activists hope that the merging of counterterrorism and domestic law enforcement will raise alarms among privacy advocates and help build a broader coalition. "The fact that there's a threat of drones coming back to the United States gives us an opportunity to talk about drones overseas," says Medea Benjamin of Code Pink, who helped organize a "drone summit" in April that brought human rights and civil liberties groups together with robotics experts. She is also planning a delegation to Pakistan to meet with drone survivors this fall.

But even as public support for the war in Afghanistan has fallen to an all-time low, 83 percent of Americans still support the Obama administration's drone program, according to a recent poll. With little information available to the public about where drones strikes are being deployed, peace activists are stepping up efforts to oppose them where they originate. In April 2009, 14 activists were arrested at Creech Air Force Base, headquarters of the U.S. Air Force's 432nd Air Wing of Predator and Reaper drones. The trial of the "Creech 14," charged with trespassing, resulted in extensive testimony on the illegality of drones and has inspired regular protests at the air base.

"If the peace community doesn't even realize the extent of this, then the general public certainly doesn't," says Brian Terrell, one of the arrested activists. "Taking this issue out of the darkness and putting it into the light is absolutely crucial."

Photo Credit: Reprieve

FIND original posting here

Following is my response to the above article:

Thank you for your exposure of this blatant war crime. We must challenge the American public to do their own research and not so easily accept studies and media reports (often choreagraphed in the White House) designed to sanction US drones and targeted killings.Tariq Azzis is a true hero and I hope many more news sources will highlight his desire to help protect his community and brutal, untimely death.Reprieve, as usual, is in the helm on international law and human rights. A little diligent research easily exposes how misleading official drone statements and stats are. What could be more dangerous to the US than for our military and leaders to continue to fire-up more and more righteous revenge abroad? How could any one strategy be more effective at recruiting for extremists than these strange and heartless war tactics? What more does America have to say about justice?

Find this comment also here and add your own comment.

Photo Credit:

More References to this story:

Tariq Aziz - Reprieve
here Nov 6, 2011
here Jun 21, 2012

The vagaries of 'precision' in targeted killing | ICRAC
here Jun 29, 2012

Shahzad Akbar describes the drone strike that killed 16-year-old Tariq Aziz, who the UK-based Reprieve group was going to help take pictures of drone victims.
US ambassador to Pakistan threatened with lawsuit over drone
here or go here May 11, 2012 - 5 min - Uploaded by kgosztola.

Find plenty more corroborated stories of the deep moral and strategic problems with drones in the two posts below on this site as well as with a little research of your own.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Human Experience (I just saw a beautiful film)

  1. The Human Experience
    The Human Experience - The Official Movie Site. © 2007 Grassroots Films. ... This text will be replaced by the flash music player. ABOUT · TRAILER · PICTURES ...

    I just saw this incredibly passionate movie about HEALING and FORGIVENESS and a whole lot more almost TWICE.  My heart is so full with new openings for creativity and Oneness because these YOUNG folk put together one of the most amazing journeys you'll ever want to experience...SEE IT SOON! It's a KEEPER --
    I'm sure I"ll see it many more times throughout rest of my life.

    TELL me what you feel after you see it?
    We are all searching for answers to the most basic questions: Who are we? Why are we here? Do we really matter? In a world fraught with hostility and violence, ...

    You may also want to see the Azize brothers' Twitter and blog sites -- here's the Twitter one...and I will have to RE-find the blogsite.  (let me know if you find it sooner :)

    And this appearance at a Montana USA campus ministry program

    I think I'll leave these links as they are to perhaps make this post easier for you to send to your friends and sites...



Say NO to DRONES: One Simple Action

Plz Sign On here and/or READ the following items as well as the post below if you need any more information to sign...

How our named allies and others look at US Drones:

Photo of large crowd: Over 100,000 Pakistanis rallied in Karachi Friday afternoon end of January to protest US drone strikes on their country...also see the Common Dreams headline: here There have been many other such protests in Pakistan before and since.

US Drones Make Peace With Pakistan Less Likely here

JI Holds Protest March Against NATO Supply here

Pakistan Spymaster to Talk Drones in US here

A US Predator drone firing a Hellfire missile below (file photo--PressTV)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

UPDATES - CCR on NPR at 4pm Wed EST/Drone Strikes: Pakistan/US to Resume Talks (Just In)

Top photo credit:
Photo: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI / 2012 Brendan Smialowski This drone was placed in front of the US White House for a protest.

Tune in to NPR's All Things Considered today at 4-6PM EST/NYC Time
(Wed) to listen to an interview with CCR's Senior Staff Attorney Pardiss Kebriaei about the case.

LATEST items

Families of Americans killed by drones file suit‎ Washington Post - 3 hours ago as of 1:40 EST Wed: The families of three Americans killed in drone strikes in Yemen last year file a lawsuit against the CIA and U.S. military. by Greg Miller READ article

Today, the Center for Constitutional Rights and the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit in federal court, Al-Aulaqi v. Panetta. The suit sues senior CIA and military officials, and argues that the killings of three American citizens by their own government in drone strikes in Yemen last year violate the U.S. Constitution and international law. On September 30, 2011, U.S. drone strikes killed Anwar Al-Aulaqi, who had been placed on government “kill lists” over a year before, along with Samir Khan. Two weeks later, on October 14, U.S. drone strikes killed Anwar Al-Aulaqi’s son, 16-year-old Abdulrahman Al-Aulaqi, as he was eating dinner with his teenage cousin at an open-air restaurant.

Our suit seeks accountability for those killed. It seeks some modicum of justice for Abdulrahman, the boy whose family could not give a proper burial because he was blown to pieces by a U.S. missile, and who the United States never alleged committed any harm. Our suit seeks to ensure that there are no more Abdulrahmans in the future, that no more individuals are needlessly killed in dangerously expanding covert U.S. wars that must end.

Our suit also challenges the government’s claimed power to target and kill individuals, including U.S. citizens, without due process and far from any field of armed conflict. It challenges the Executive Branch’s unconstitutional and dangerous assumption of the role of judge, jury and executioner.

Under the Obama administration, U.S. targeted killings have escalated and expanded. Strikes have been carried out in Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, Pakistan and the Philippines. Thousands of people have been killed, including many hundreds of civilians. A single strike in Yemen on December 17, 2009, killed 41 civilians, including 21 children, and led to popular protest. In Pakistan alone, the Obama administration has already reportedly launched six times as many strikes as the Bush administration, in fewer years in office.

Please support our work by writing the White House and demanding that President Obama end unlawful targeted killings.

For more information, visit CCR’s Al-Aulaqi v. Panetta case page, along with the page for our earlier, related case, Al-Aulaqi v. Obama. Watch our video about 16-year-old Abdulrahman. Tune in to NPR's All Things Considered today at 4-6PM EST to listen to an interview with CCR's Senior Staff Attorney Pardiss Kebriaei about the case...

Thank you for your continued support.

Annette Warren Dickerson
Director of Education and Outreach



Be sure to look up Code Pink, World Can't Wait, Center for Nonviolent Communication and Glenn Greenwald at for more information on the work of US peace activists in respect to the use of drones.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

We Call Each Others' Names in Splendor

Your calling my name is My reply.
Your longing for Me is My message to you.
All your attempts to reach Me
Are in reality My attempts to reach you.
Your fear and love are a noose to catch Me.
In the silences surrounding all your calls of “Allah”
Echoed my replies of "I Am Here."

(Mawlana Jalaluddin Rumi)

A fellow-poet sent this and seemed kind of quiet about it, so I will respect this by not posting his name for now.

I found another poem several days later which although a differing topic seems in such harmony with the simple profundity of the Rumi poem above.

I don't know the title (Twigs, maybe?) but here it is...

And so

it has taken me

all of sixty years

to understand

that water is the finest drink,

and bread the most delicious food,

and that art is worthless

unless it plants

a measure of splendor in people's hearts.

~ Taha Muhammad Ali ~

I found this second poem at:
under 24.6.12 Twigs

Shukria to BOTH of you gentle loving souls for these two poems and for your practiced gifts of listening to the Spirit and giving these to others at just the right time.

I'm wondering, as I post these two pieces of
splendor, how it is that I call the Other's name in Splendor? How do you?


**The image was found at and under a collection of Georgia O'Keefe art and photographs resembling her style.
It is a photo by Tom Brewster.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Remember Dr. Aafia Siddiqui

Remember Aafia This Ramadhan

Following on from the success of our Independence Day appeal, where the efforts of campaigners far exceeded our expectations, we are launching our Ramadhan appeal for Aafia.
As we will soon enter the blessed month of Ramadhan, busying ourselves with its days and nights in worship until we reach the joyous occasion of Eid, we ask you to remember our sister Aafia, whose health continues to deteriorate in prison. The least we can do in light of that is to send her a reminder for the cost of a mere postage stamp that we have not forgotten her; a reminder that, throughout this blessed month, she'll remain at the forefront of our prayers and thoughts.
Utilise the numerous opportunities in Ramadhan, night prayers (tarawih), Friday prayers, iftar gatherings, and Eid congregational prayers to distribute our Ramadhan and Eid Greeting cards and obtain signed messages of support.

To download and print
 our Ramadhan and Eid Greeting card for Aafia, click here.

If you are in the UK,
 simply email us at with your name, full address including postcode, and the quantity of postcards desired and we will post them out to you in the coming days.

 For the time being Aafia is only accepting postcards. Please do not send long messages or letters. Please avoid political discussion, anything that could be considered inflammatory, controversial or which could be misconstrued in a way that is detrimental to Aafia and her case.

FMC Carswell
Federal Medical Center
P. O. Box 27137
Fort Worth, TX. 76127

Monday, July 2, 2012

Your Breath

O Love, O pure deep Love --
Be here, be here, be now.

Be all.

Worlds dissolve
into Your stainless radiance.

Frail living leaves
burn with You --
brighter than cold stars.

Make me Your servant,
Your breath, Your core.



The first photo is also by Tabassum Khalid -- an illustration of Allama Iqbal's
visionary journey as published in The Illustrated Javidnama.