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

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The Faces of Tortured Innocents and Facing the Crimes of Our Government


By Jill McLaughlin
There is much frenzy and acrimony in the media not seen in the last several years over the torture issue. This was unleashed when the memos authored by the Bush Regime lawyers were recently released to the public. The lengths that these authors went to make “legal” and justify the unthinkable has the media in a whirl. And it doesn’t look like the whirling is going to stop soon. The Pentagon is reportedly going to release more photos of torture. Torture has entered into the national debate. Was it torture that these lawyers were selling? Should these lawyers, Yoo, Bybee, Haynes, Addington be held accountable? And what about prosecutions for Bush, Cheney, Rice, and Rumsfeld? These are the questions swirling about. Of course some of us have known all along that those at the top were responsible for the war crime of torture and have we have been demanding accountability.
In all the talk of the talking heads there is one thing missing. And that is the victims of this torture. The media has thus far failed to give name, face, or voice to those who suffered unjustly under detention and torture. People who did nothing wrong, but found themselves ensnared in the so called “war on terror”. There are many. And when Obama talks about no prosecutions and the need to be “looking forward” there is no mention of these people and the indescribable pain that they and their families have endured.


Obama: Gitmo Prisoners Aren’t ‘Persons’

By Dennis Loo
If you ask most people what Obama has done about Guantanamo, most would say, "He shut it down."
Most don't know that Obama has said he might take as much as a year to shut it down.
If you ask most people what Obama has done about torture and rendition, most would say, "He's ended them."
Most don't know that Obama has declared that he will continue rendition, that he reserves the right to go beyond the Army Field Manual for interrogations, and that by not acting affirmatively to ensure otherwise, he has allowed conditions to worsen at Gitmo.
If you ask most people what Obama's done about restoring habeas corpus, most people would first say, "What's habeas corpus?"
Then, after you explain to them that habeas corpus is your right to challenge your detention, most people would say, "He's restored habeas corpus, hasn't he?"
Most people don't know that Obama has said that Bagram prisoners have no right to habeas corpus and that Gitmo detainees don't have a right to it prior to June 2008. 
The latest news about what Obama is up to on these fronts follows.


Spanish Judge on Bush Regime: Systematic Program of Torture – Indictments Possible

By Kenneth J. Theisen
On April 29th Spanish Judge Baltasar Garzon officially opened an investigation into the torture program at Guantanamo. This is an important step in holding the Bush regime accountable for some of its criminal actions. The court in its ruling stated it will investigate the “perpetrators, the instigators, the necessary collaborators and accomplices" to crimes of torture at the prison located at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. This case could result in charges being brought against the highest officials in the Bush regime, including the Bush himself.
In his ruling the judge stated that torture and other memos released by the U.S. government "have revealed what was previously a suspicion: the existence of an authorised and systematic programme of torture and mistreatment of persons deprived of their freedom." He further stated that these documents indicated "the possible existence of concerted actions by the US administration for the execution of a multitude of crimes of torture against persons deprived of their freedom in Guantanamo and other prisons including that of Bagram" in Afghanistan. [Obama recently sought additional funding from Congress to expand Bagram.]


Out of the Woodwork: Today’s Torquemadas

By Dennis Loo

“Our aim is to put you in hell so you will tell the truth. These are the orders we have from our superiors, to turn your lives into hell.”
— US soldier to Abu Ghraib detainee[i]
Coming out of the woodwork … as if from the woodcut of waterboarding in the Spanish Inquisition, stepping out, into our lives, assuming three dimensional features, taking on flesh tones, inhaling and exhaling… figures who declare with serious faces that … torture …. works.
They tell us:
We will extract confessions from you.
We know that you know what we want.
We will tell you what we know about you and your co-conspirators and what we know that you know.
We will tell you again and again and again and again until you tell us what we have told you so that we may know the truth.[ii]
We will pour jugs of water onto your face till you choke and struggle against your binds, to purify you.
We will tell you that if you don’t talk that you will surely die.
We will put you in coffin-sized boxes for hours.
We will throw you against the walls. Repeatedly.
We will strip you naked and sic dogs upon you.
We will deny you sleep for days upon days.
We will tell you that we will not ever stop until you have made your peace with us and confess freely and fully.
We will slap you and beat you until you tell us what we want.
We are, you must know, a merciful people, a kind people, a just, and a moral people.
There are no more merciful, more kind, more just, more moral people than us.
We are so just and moral that we can do these things to you and not be sullied by it.
We remain moral and righteous as we beat you because our intentions are so pure.[iii]
We are protecting Americans’ lives and if we have to suffocate you or beat you to death, we do so in the name of the American people, whose lives are more precious than your pitiful lying life.
Our morality and justice is so great – Lord Be Praised - that you envy us this righteous life that we live, which is why you hate us so.
But we are stronger and mightier than you.
For we have God on our side.
And you, you have nothing but superstition.


Obama’s First 100 Days: Rebranding, Continuing Bush Regime’s War, Occupation, Torture

By Kenneth J. Theisen

The media this past week or so has created a big hoopla around Obama’s first hundred days in office. While this is largely an exercise in public relations hype, the first hundred days of this new administration does tell us what to expect in the next three and three-quarter years if Obama is allowed to continue on the course he has begun. While many people believe that the Obama administration has reversed course from the eight years of the Bush regime, I contend that Obama has done much to continue – in fact, accelerate and deepen -  the fascist political trajectory of the Bush administration.
Let’s look at some to the things Obama has done, or not done, to determine what he may do during the rest of his reign.
Continued war and U.S. occupation in Iraq
Despite many people’s expectation that Obama would end the war in Iraq, he has actually guaranteed its continuance, while at the same time disarming much of the opposition to the war. His policies, if left unchallenged, will allow tens of thousands of U.S. troops to remain in Iraq for years. They will not be lonely, as tens of thousands of U.S. contractors will also remain there. The Iraqi puppet government will also have the guidance of the largest U.S. embassy in the world in the green zone. The embassy will literally employ thousands to “assist” the Iraqis in implementing the U.S. agenda there.


Shut Down Guantanamo! D.C. Action, April 30

 By Debra Sweet

 Thursday April 30, I was part of an action by Witness Against Torture dramatizing the demand to close Guantanamo.  61 of us had the names of detainees in detention in Guantanamo who have been cleared to be released, but are still waiting, or of the 5 men who have died in custody.  We stood in front of the White House, and were arrested, charged with violating a police order.
(Click on Read More to see videos)
Witness Against Torture has been outside the White House for much of the first 100 days of the Obama administration, talking to thousands of people, including many tourists, about the fact that 50 detainees are on hunger strike in Guantanamo because they aren't being released.  They are being force-fed.
This action was unusual in that the men we were focusing on actually knew, having been told by their lawyers, that we were protesting yesterday. 
The action started with 150 of us walking silently from the Capitol to Lafayette Park, across from the White House.  It was difficult to see with the black hood covering one's face, but I saw lots of tourists, and heard parents explaining to the their children why we were marching.
We have been asking you what you think about the torture memos released on April 16.  If you haven't taken the survey yet, please do so now.


Into the Uncharted: Conscience and Consciousness in a Time of Illegitimate Occupations and Torture - A Call to Resistance

 By Jill McLaughlin

 As a child I would always wonder what it be would be like to see a monster rising out of the waters of Lake Geneva in Wisconsin. My head was filled with stories about the Loch Ness Monster and sea monsters that ships encountered on the open waters of the worlds seas.
I could see myself wide eyed, heart pounding, sucking in my breath in a gigantic gasp and frozen. I remember also seeing ancient maps in books which would show the land masses discovered and mapped by explorers. In the areas of open waters there would be an image of a sea dragon with the words “here there be monsters”. There was no evidence that there were actually monsters in those parts, but it was more a matter that those waters had not yet been explored.
Both memories serve to remind me of where America is at right now. On the one hand with the release of the torture memos, you have people who are almost frozen and gasping with outrage and shock. They don’t know what to do about the fact there is going to be no prosecutions for those responsible. Then on other hand you have people (and some of the same people) who are unaware that the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan are no where near over and that Afghanistan is not the “good war” where we catch the bad guys and liberate those poor women.


Swine Flu, H1N1 Influenza, and Fevered Anti-Immigrant Demagogues

 By Larry Jones

 The spread of the swine flu, or H1N1 influenza, is real and it has spread to 16 countries with 658 confirmed cases as of this writing. The World Health Organization has raised the pandemic level to stage 5 on a scale of 6. One death in the U.S. has been reported, a Mexico City toddler who traveled to Texas with family and died on April 29 at a Houston hospital.
Nut-job talk show hosts and television hate mongers have jumped on this to spew onto the airwaves a diatribe of invective against immigrants in general and Mexicans in particular. Among the worst was Michelle Malkin, a syndicated columnist and Fox News contributor.  
"I've blogged for years about the spread of contagious diseases from around the world into the U.S. as a result of uncontrolled immigration. We've heard for years from reckless open-borders ideologues who continue to insist there's nothing to worry about. And we've heard for years that calling any attention to the dangers of allowing untold numbers of people to pass across our borders and through our other ports of entry without proper medical screening -- as required of every legal visitor/immigrant to this country -- is RAAAACIST."


Four Times in Eight Sentences

 By Dennis Loo

 Asked recently by a fourth grader about she thought about what President Obama's administration was saying about the Bush administration’s methods to get information from detainees, Condi Rice, having prepared better this time and scaling down the age of questioners from Stanford undergraduates to elementary school students, said:
"Let me just say that President Bush was very clear that he wanted to do everything he could TO PROTECT THE COUNTRY. After September 11, we wanted TO PROTECT THE COUNTRY," she said. "But he was also very clear that we would do nothing, nothing, that was against the law or against our obligations internationally. So the president was only willing to authorize policies that were legal in order TO PROTECT THE COUNTRY."


Fundamentalist Religion and Super-Patriotism = National Day of Prayer

 By Larry Jones

The White House has just announced that President Barack Obama will sign a proclamation regarding the May 7 National Day of Prayer, but that there will be no White House ceremony as was held under George W. Bush.

A statement to the media from the office of the president said that "President Obama is a committed Christian and believes that we should be engaging Americans of faith in efforts to renew our country. He is following the tradition of Presidents Reagan, George H.W. Bush and
others by signing a proclamation honoring the National Day of Prayer, while continuing to work with communities of faith to improve our country.” 

 Notice that he left out George W, probably the most enthusiastic president in his support for the day. Americans United for Separation of Church and State has stated that it “does not believe the American people need to be called to prayer or worship by the government. Decisions like this are personal and should be left to the individual's conscience.” 


Atrocities and “Apologies”: the U.S. in Afghanistan

 Kenneth J. Theisen

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton met with the leaders of Afghanistan and Pakistan on Wednesday, May 6th. At the beginning of the meeting, she publicly apologized for the latest U.S. massacre of civilians in the U.S. war of terror being fought in Afghanistan. Since launching its war of terror in Afghanistan in 2001, the U.S. has repeatedly unleashed massacres of civilians in that war-torn nation. But Clinton was not meeting with Afghanistan President Harmid Karzai and Pakistan's Asif Ali Zardari to apologize for this latest war crime. The intention of the meeting was to encourage these two presidents to get more deeply involved in collaborating with the U.S. in the war on terror in this region that is so vital to U.S. imperialist interests. The two allies in the U.S. war of terror are to meet later with President Obama, and Clinton is laying the groundwork for that meeting.

In this latest atrocity it is not yet known how many were killed. On Monday evening Mohammad Nieem Qadderdan, a former district official of Bala Buluk, said between 100 and 120 people were killed in the attacks. On Wednesday the International Red Cross stated that there were "dozens of bodies in each of the two locations." According to the Red Cross, "There were bodies, there were graves, and there were people burying bodies when we were there. We do confirm women and children. There were women and children." Two Afghan villages were bombed in U.S. air attacks. While Clinton said the U.S. “deeply, deeply" regretted the loss of life, she did not apologize for the U.S. war of terror which makes these massacres a regular occurrence. The U.S. has issued similar apologies in the past and then continued the war to kill even more Afghans. But then civilians are merely necessary “collateral damage” to the U.S. war machine.



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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) You can read her writings at

    Debra's Regular E-Newsletter

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  • 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:
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    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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Stop FBI Repression


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.