In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America

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News Flash: the Obama Administration Announces Nuremberg Verdicts Were Wrong

Hermann Goering’s descendants file wrongful conviction and wrongful death claims.
 
By Dennis Loo
 
At least, that is the way the headline should read, based on Thursday's news.
 
From April 9, 2009’s McClatchy’s newspaper, “CIA to Close Secret Overseas Prisons, End Security Contracts:”
 
“The CIA is decommissioning the secret overseas prisons where top al Qaida suspects were subjected to interrogation methods, including simulated drowning, that Attorney General Eric Holder, allied governments, the Red Cross and numerous other experts consider torture, the agency said Thursday.
 
“In an e-mail to the agency's work force outlining current interrogation and detention policies, CIA Director Leon Panetta also announced that agreements with the private security firms guarding the so-called black sites will be ‘promptly terminated,’ and contractors no longer will be used to conduct interrogations.
 
“Panetta, however, said that CIA officers who were involved in interrogations using ‘enhanced’ methods authorized by the Justice Department during the Bush administration ‘should not be investigated, let alone punished.’”
 
The Obama Team, you have to give it to them, are very skilled at PR.

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Millions Seek Work: Financial Industry Seeks and Gets Trillions

 

By Kenneth J. Theisen
 
You do not have to look far to see that something is drastically wrong in this country and the world. Over the last year or so, the financial industry has sought and received trillions of dollars in government loans, guarantees, and outright cash payments. At the same time, millions of Americans and tens of millions outside the country have been thrown out of work by the everyday workings of capitalism. Over a billion workers outside the U.S. live on under a dollar-a-day.
 
On Thursday, April 9th we saw a manifestation of what this means for real people. Over 10,000 people came looking for work at a New Hampshire college gymnasium. There were traffic jams for miles around the college and the job fair organizers had to stop admission to the fair after just two hours. Among the jobs these thousands were competing for were openings at local hamburger joints that paid minimum wages. 

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Obama’s HHS Nominee Signs Law Limiting, Attacking Abortion

By Larry Jones

Kathleen Sibelius, Governor of Kansas, on March 27 signed into law a bill which attacks, undermines, and narrows abortion rights for women.  The new Kansas law “requires abortion providers who use ultrasound or fetal heartbeats monitors to give their patients access to the images or sound at least 30 minutes before an abortion.” It also requires the state to distribute pamphlets about the growth of a fetus and what happens during the medical procedure of abortion, and further requires clinics to post signs telling patients that coerced abortions are illegal.

Sibelius, who is now President Obama’s nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services, has long been under bitter attack by anti-abortion zealots because, among other things, she refused to endorse previous versions of this law.

The law as signed by Sibelius was promoted by anti-abortion groups and right wing religious groups. In her signing of the law, Sibelius, a Catholic who has a history as a pro- choice advocate, skirted past another head-on collision with her opponents on the right.  She may have done that to make her Senate approval as HHS Secretary smoother; instead her middle-of-the-road position has unleashed another round of vicious attacks on her from the right, and muted criticism from some women’s groups.

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Amnesty International Report on Iraqi Kurdistan Reveals U.S. Crimes Against Humanity

By Kenneth J. Theisen  

 The invasion of Iraq by the U.S. has resulted in massive deaths, violations of human rights, and various other war crimes and crimes against humanity. Apologists for the U.S. government often state that while there continue to be problems in much of Iraq, that at least things are relatively better in Iraqi Kurdistan, where Kurdish forces allied with the U.S. have brought a better life to people living there. But a new report issued by Amnesty International on April 14th indicates that, “Security forces in Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan Region operate outside the rule of law and regularly abuse their authority.” It also reveals that life for women is often hell on earth.
 
Amnesty International researchers conducted a fact-finding mission to the Kurdistan Region in 2008. According to the report they discovered many cases of people arrested and arbitrarily detained by Asayish (security) officials. These included victims of torture, as well as those who were forcibly disappeared and “whose fate and whereabouts remain unknown.” Amnesty says that torture methods included “electric shocks to different parts of the body; beatings with fists, cables and metal or wooden batons; suspension by the wrists or ankles; beating on the soles of the feet (falaqa); sleep deprivation and kicking.” 

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The Unexpected

By Dennis Loo

I did not expect that Obama upon becoming president would actually usher in the state of change that he so famously promised.
 
His actions as a Senator and Nancy Pelosi’s endorsement of him, the same woman who shielded – and continues to shield - the Bush White House from any prosecutions for its manifest and multitudinous crimes, as well as the powerful backing given him by major political and economic players, demonstrated that Obama would not and did not represent any major departure from the Bush years.
 
If you examined closely his arguments and speeches – as I did in a number of articles, such as this one – what stood out was Obama’s strategic agreement and tactical disagreement with the Bush Doctrine.
 
He endorsed and accepted, in other words, the underlying logic, but advocated shifts in the manner by which that logic was to be realized.
 
What I did not expect, however, was that once in office, Obama would not merely uphold the Bush Doctrine’s main tenets, but that he would go even further in carrying forward the fundamental trajectory of Bush and Cheney (a trajectory, by the way, that began under Ronald Reagan.)

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NSA Illegally Spies on Countless U.S. Residents

By Kenneth J. Theisen
 
On Thursday, April 16th, Senator Diane Feinstein, the Senate Intelligence Committee Chair announced that the panel would investigate reports that the National Security Agency (NSA) improperly tapped into the domestic communications of Americans. The NSA has been intercepting Americans’ emails and phone calls in recent months to an extent that exceeded even the overbroad limits permitted under the spying legislation passed last summer.  Feinstein stated, “We will make sure we get the facts.” She went on to say that the hearing will be held within a month. But don’t expect the Senate which passed the law to legalize the massive NSA spy programs to actually protect your rights.
 
The reason the Senate committee is going to hold the hearing is that the Department of Justice (DOJ) stated on April 15th that the NSA had improperly accessed American phone calls and e-mails while eavesdropping on foreign communications. DOJ told the New York Times, that it had "detected issues that raised concerns."   The DOJ statement went on to say that DOJ officials then "took comprehensive steps to correct the situation and bring the program into compliance" with the law.  This discovery was allegedly made during a review of the NSA spying program.

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The Unexpected

 By Dennis Loo

 I did expect that Obama upon becoming president would not actually usher in the state of change that he so famously promised.
 
His actions as a Senator and Nancy Pelosi’s endorsement of him, the same woman who shielded – and continues to shield - the Bush White House from any prosecutions for its manifest and multitudinous crimes, as well as the powerful backing given him by major political and economic players, demonstrated that Obama would not and did not represent any major departure from the Bush years.
 
If you examined closely his arguments and speeches – as I did in a number of articles, such as this one – what stood out was Obama’s strategic agreement and tactical disagreement with the Bush Doctrine.
 
He endorsed and accepted, in other words, the underlying logic, but advocated shifts in the manner by which that logic was to be realized.
 
What I did not expect, however, was that once in office, Obama would not merely uphold the Bush Doctrine’s main tenets, but that he would go even further in carrying forward the fundamental trajectory of Bush and Cheney (a trajectory, by the way, that began under Ronald Reagan.)

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“Lack a Certain Polish:” Torture and the American Conscience

 By Dennis Loo

"Someone must have traduced Joseph K. for without having done anything wrong he was arrested one fine morning." (Franz Kafka’s The Trial)
“These memos I wrote were not for public consumption. They lack a certain polish, I think.” (John Yoo, 3/4/09)
“With respect to the small confinement box [in which he cannot stand or sit], you have informed us that he would spend at most two hours in this box. You have informed us that your purpose in using these boxes is not to interfere with his senses or his personality, but to cause him physical discomfort that will encourage him to disclose critical information. Moreover, your imposition of time limitations on the use of either of the boxes also indicates that the use of these boxes is not designed or calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or personality.
For the larger box, in which he can both stand and sit, he may be placed in this box for up to eighteen hours at a time, while you have informed us that be will never spend more than an hour at [a] time in the smaller box. These time limits further ensure that no profound disruption of senses or personality, were it even possible, would result. As such, the use of the confinement boxes does not constitute a procedure calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or personality.” (Memorandum for John Rizzo, Acting General Counsel of the Central Intelligence Agency, from Jay S. Bybee, Assistant Attorney General, August 1, 2002.)

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Obama at CIA Headquarters: Covering up, Continuing Bush Regime War Crimes

 By Kenneth J. Theisen

Last week the Obama administration released more of the “torture memos” written by Department of Justice lawyers during the Bush regime. These and previous memos were written to provide legal cover for the torture of prisoners taken in the war of terror conducted by the Bush regime. After being given this legal cover, President Bush and other top officials of his criminal regime ordered torture and other illegal acts. We now know that there were regular meetings held at the White House where the specifics of torture were discussed by top administration officials. 

Almost all of the top criminals of the regime were present at these meetings, at one time or another. Bush has acknowledged that he was aware of the meetings and that he approved of them. A key question now is whether Obama administration will hold these various criminals of the Bush regime criminally responsible for their actions which resulted in torture, and even death. Based on his actions and words it is clear that the top criminals of the regime will escape responsibility if Obama has his way.

Obama has been conducting a public relations gambit to try to convince people that his election has resulted in real change as far as the issue of torture is concerned. The reality is that this is nothing more than a political charade and that the essential fascist trajectory of war, occupation, torture, and spying begun under the Bush regime is continuing under the Obama administration. 

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The “War on Terror” is Like Antibacterial Soap

By Dennis Loo

Now comes Dick Cheney, the guy everyone thinks is the Prince of Principles and Teller of Truths, reacting to the storm around the torture memos and saying that torture worked.
Dennis Blair, the Obama Director of National Intelligence, echoes this sentiment before revising it and acknowledging that there’s no way of knowing if the “intelligence” could have been obtained by methods that didn’t include suffocating people with water 266 times.
Let’s suppose that torture did on occasion produce something useful to the US military/intelligence.
It goes against everything that interrogators and torture victims tell us, but, for the sake of honoring the Teller of Truths, let's suppose he's right.
They have yet to provide any evidence of said actionable information, by the way.
But let’s give the Prince of Principles the benefit of the doubt since he has such a peerless record of consistently telling the truth about everything.

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Tugging on the Torture Thread

By Dennis Loo
 
Chris Floyd writes at Empire Burlesque “
The Fatal Thread: Torture, War and the Imperial Project:”
 
“You cannot disentangle the torture program from the war of aggression in Iraq – nor from the illegal wiretapping program, the corrupt war profiteering, and all the other degradations of liberty and law that have been so accelerated in the past eight years. They are all of a piece, part and parcel of a plan to expand and entrench America's ‘unipolar domination’ of world affairs with a thoroughly militarized state led by an unaccountable, authoritarian ‘Unitary Executive.’

“This is one reason why Barack Obama is so obviously reluctant to tug on the torture thread too hard. If you tear it out, with full-scale prosecutions and top officials locked up behind bars, the whole rotten skein would fall apart. Once you start genuinely subjecting government officials – including security apparatchiks and military brass – to the full extent of the law, there would be no end to the unraveling: senators, contractors, representatives, bureaucrats, generals, lobbyists, judges, corporate chiefs – the whole edifice of Establishment power would be shaken to the core as its leading lights went down, one after the other.”

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  • Debra Sweet

     Debra SweetDebra Sweet is the Director of World Can’t Wait, initiated in 2005 to “drive out the Bush regime” by repudiating its program, forcing it from office through a mass, independent movement and reversing the direction it had launched.  Based in New York City, she leads World Can’t Wait in its continuing efforts to stop the crimes of our government, including the unjust occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan and the torture and detention codes, as well as reversing the fascist direction of U.S. society, from the surveillance state to the criminalization of abortion and immigrants.  She has worked with abortion providers for twenty-five years, organizing community support and helping them withstand anti-abortion violence.  Since the age of 19, when she confronted Richard Nixon during a face-to-face meeting and told him to stop the war in Vietnam, she has been a leader in the opposition to U.S. wars and invasions.  Debra says, “Stop thinking like an American, and start thinking about humanity!”

    She can be reached at debrasweet (at) worldcantwait.org. You can read her writings at debra.worldcantwait.net.

    Debra's Regular E-Newsletter

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    89
  • Dennis Loo
     Dennis Loo is an award-winning sociologist, co-editor of Impeach the President: the Case Against Bush and Cheney, Associate Professor of Sociology at Cal Poly Pomona and an honors graduate in Government from Harvard. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California at Santa Cruz. He is a former journalist and his research specialties include polling, public policy-making, social movements, and criminology.He can be reached via his blog: http://dennisloo.blogspot.com
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  • Elaine Brower

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    9
  • Emma Kaplan

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  • Jamilah Hoffman
    Jamilah Hoffman is a young World Can't Wait organizer in Houston, who is "determined to leave this world a better place than she found it".
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  • Jill McLaughlin

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    18
  • Malcolm Shore

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  • Cheryl Abraham

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  • Kenneth Theisen

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  • Kevin Gosztola

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  • DNC

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  • Larry Jones

    Article Count:
    33

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About

World Can't Wait mobilizes people living in the United States to stand up and stop war on the world, repression and torture carried out by the US government. We take action, regardless of which political party holds power, to expose the crimes of our government, from war crimes to systematic mass incarceration, and to put humanity and the planet first.