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

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Obama Won’t, But We Can Prosecute War Criminals

By Jill McLaughlin

 Some nameless, faceless source has said that there will be no prosecutions for the authors of torture. This source, who I imagine lurking in the dark, has said that the report out of the Department of  Justice will not call for prosecutions.
 
I am not surprised. As an aside, I'm always surprised how angry I feel when I hear news like this. You see as an activist with World Can't Wait, I can say that over the last 3 years WCW has brought the truth about U.S. torture and those responsible. We have not only spoken the truth about these crimes against humanity, but we have told the people what we ought to do to bring justice. And we never told people “turn to the system”.
 
We knew that turning to this system for justice was not going to work. The system operates for and serves the empire and the ruling class of the empire. It does not operate for and serve you or me. And anyone outside the empire, like the people of Iraq and Afghanistan and so many around the world, well the ruling class of the empire sees them as less than human.  And the leaders of this empire, not unlike the Nazi leadership in Germany, have pounded into the minds of the American people, that these others are the source of all our troubles. They pounded it in so much that now they believe it is O.K. to excuse and look past the crimes of the previous administration.

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The Impossibly Bad Policies of the Politics of the Possible

 By Dennis Loo

The Democratic and Republican Parties are able to govern mainly because most of the population take their cues from the two parties about what is going on and what to do about it. The parties (and each parties’ leaders especially) define the boundaries of what is “possible.”
The prestige press (New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The New Republic, The National Review, etc.) also stake out their positions within the parameters set by the major parties - though at times the prestige press leads one or both of the parties on an issue, producing a shift in their position.
I leave out of this discussion, for the time being, those in the population who are politically active and aware, but who do not take their orientation from the Democrats or Republicans.

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Murder from the Sky: the U.S. and White Phosphorus

 By Kenneth J. Theisen

 Did the U.S. use white phosphorus in the recent massacres caused by U.S. air strikes on two Afghan villages? White phosphorus is a chemical used in shells and bombs. It is generally used for screening, marking, and illumination on the battlefield. According to Marc Garlasco, a senior military analyst at Human Rights Watch, "White phosphorus causes horrendous burns and should not be used in civilian areas." [White phosphorus, supplied by the U.S., was illegally used on civilians by Israeli forces in its attacks in Gaza earlier this year. In 2004, the U.S. military also used white phosphorus in the battle of Fallujah, Iraq.]
 
Nader Nadery, speaking for the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, stated that his group is concerned that the chemical may have been used in the massacre in the western Afghnaistan province of Farah.  He said, "Our teams have met with patients. They are investigating the cause of the injuries and the use of white phosphorus.'' Afghan officials say up to 147 people may have died in Farah.

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War Criminals, Torturers on Parade: Protest May 28th, and Wherever they Appear

 

By Debra Sweet
 
There’s a moment here, this month, when more and more is coming out about the systematic, sanctioned use of torture by the US, approved at all levels, including the responsible Democrats in Congress. In two weeks, more photos come out for the world to see.
 
And the war criminals are on parade.  Dick Cheney is leading the argument for the open, justified use of torture.
 
On Face the Nation Sunday, he said that what the Bush regime had done is not torture.  CBS reported, "Cheney still bristled at the suggestion that what President Bush authorized constituted torture, saying they weren't in the "torture business...I think it's very, very important that we have a clear understanding that what happened here was an honorable approach to defending the nation, that there was nothing devious or deceitful or dishonest or illegal about what was done."
 
And, the clincher: Cheney, when asked if Bush knew about the interrogation program: "I certainly, yes, have every reason to believe he knew -- he knew a great deal about the program. He basically authorized it. I mean, this was a presidential-level decision. And the decision went to the president. He signed off on it." 
 

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Obama, Bush, and the Politics of Torture

By Ken Theisen

On May 13th the Obama administration announced a reversal of its pledge to make public photos depicting “detainee abuse” by U.S. personnel overseas. In plain English, Obama is continuing the Bush Regime coverup of U.S. torture. And it will continue the Bush Regime policy of torture.

The Department of Defense (DOD) had previously told a federal judge that it would release a "substantial number" of photos in response to a court ruling in an American Civil Liberties Union Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit.  With this latest decision the Obama administration is continuing its minimization of the crimes of torture committed by the U.S. government and it agents.

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Obama Employs Bush Administration Tactic to Halt Release of Detainee Photos

 

By Kevin Gosztola
 
On Wednesday, Obama said he “would try to block the court-ordered release of photos showing U.S. troops abusing prisoners.” The release, which was to be the result of a Freedom of Information Act request made by the ACLU, had been reasonable in the final weeks of April, but today, Obama chose to come out against the release.
 
According to the Associated Press, “out of concern [that] the pictures would "further inflame anti-American opinion" and endanger U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan” Obama planned to block them.
 
Obama intends to block the release of the photos because they may negatively impact American empire and American military adventures in Afghanistan and Iraq. Gen. Ray Odierno, a prime architect of “the surge” in Iraq, and Gen. David Petraeus influenced Obama’s decision after informing the administration that they were afraid the photos will “cost American lives.”

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Release the Torture Photos! Prosecute the War Criminals!

 By Debra Sweet

 Wednesday, while flying across the country, I was able to watch CNN all day as the news rolled out from the White House that the Obama administration was making an about face, and deciding to fight the court order to release the torture photos.  It's an extraordinary story, and people are right to be outraged.
 
Kevin Gostzola, a student at Columbia College, pulled together the tortured logic of the Obama argument in Obama Employs Bush Administration Tactic to Halt Release of Detainee Photos
 
The moment my plane landed in San Francisco, the voice mails, texts, emails began...people thinking about what to do in response.  A quick conference call Thursday united World Can't Wait chapters to go Friday to media outlets (FOX in New York; CNN in Atlanta) with the demand:
 
Release the Torture Photos!  Prosecute the War Criminals!  Soon, warcriminalswatch.org will have downloads of posters with both the existing torture photos, and the mug shots of the Bush regime deciders, and the torture legal team. 
 
This is a time for a lot of orange in protest, a lot of intiative. 
 

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The Ticking Time Bomb

By Dennis Loo

Pictured with this article are two of the sixty photographs given to the Australian press previously that the Sydney Morning Herald is publishing now. They may be among the photographs that Obama is now refusing to release. 

Notice that the man in the first photo is packed in ice because, presumably, he is dead. Behind his head appears to be part of the body bag.  
These photos are part of the real ticking time bomb that Obama wants to avoid setting off in the realm of American and world public opinion.

As Mike Malloy put it at Huffington Post:

“If we are to believe reports that began circulating four years ago, reports from investigative journalists such as Seymour Hersh, their release would unleash a wave of anti-American hatred that would endanger the lives of not just U.S. soldiers, but the lives of all Americans, civilians as well as military personnel. Hersh, who helped uncover the scandal, said in a speech before an ACLU convention: ‘Some of the worse that happened that you don’t know about, ok? Videos, there are women there. Some of you may have read they were passing letters, communications out to their men … . The women were passing messages saying “Please come and kill me, because of what’s happened. Basically what happened is that those women who were arrested with young boys/children in cases that have been recorded. The boys were sodomized with the cameras rolling. The worst about all of them is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking that your government has. They [the Bush Crime Family] are in total terror it’s going to come out.’

“At today’s White House press briefing, press secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters that the president was concerned that the photos’ release would pose a national security threat. In other words, these unreleased photos and videos show acts of degeneracy so vile there is no way they can be explained or rationalized. They contain images of children - some of them the children of detainees - being raped and sodomized as a means of forcing confessions from the adult detainees that would provide the links between Saddam Hussein and al-Quaeda that Dick Cheney and George W. Bush insisted were the basis of their orders to invade and occupy Iraq. Children of detainees being raped and sodomized as a means of obtaining confessions. In testimony before Congress five years ago no less a war criminal than the murderous former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said the unrevealed photos and videos contain acts ‘that can only be described as blatantly sadistic, cruel and inhuman.’”

 

Fundamentalist Christians such as Gary Bauer, President of American Values (sic) and Chairman of the Working Campaign, former president of the Family Research Council and presidential candidate in 2000, who, in posing the question: "What is a follower of Jesus permitted to do?" answered with this, "[I]t depends... I think if we believe the person we have can give us information to stop thousands of Americans from being killed, it would be morally suspect to not use harsh tactics to get that information." 

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Christianity, Torture, and the Need For Resistance

By Larry Jones

On the day of his death, Dilawar had been chained by the wrists to the top of his cell for much of the previous four days. A guard tried to force the young man to his knees. But his legs, which had been pummeled by guards for several days, could no longer bend. An interrogator told Mr. Dilawar that he could see a doctor after they finished with him. When he was finally sent back to his cell, though, the guards were instructed only to chain the prisoner back to the ceiling. … Several hours passed before an emergency room doctor finally saw Mr. Dilawar. By then he was dead, his body beginning to stiffen. 

It would be many months before Army investigators learned that most of the interrogators had in fact believed Mr. Dilawar to be an innocent man who simply drove his taxi past the American base at the wrong time.  

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The Pelosi Defense: “The Lawyers Told me it was OK”

 By Kenneth J. Theisen

 One of the many controversies now currently in the news regards the role of current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The question being asked by the mainstream media is what did she know and when. Republicans and others are trying to implicate Pelosi, and by extension other Democrats, in order to hide or deflect their own complicity in the torture conducted to further the goals of the U.S. in it war of terror against the world. But the fact is that both the Republicans and the Democrats in Congress and in the executive branch are responsible for all the crimes of the U.S. government in this war.
 
The Democrats in the House have repeatedly voted to fund this war by appropriating money for the Department of Defense and the various intelligence agencies, including the CIA, which has admitted to using waterboarding and other tortures. They have done so even after the extensive torture crimes of the various U.S. government agencies and departments have become public.

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GOP Senator Praises the Spanish Inquisition

By Dennis Loo

Robert Parry of Consortium News wrote on 5/17/09:

“'One of the reasons these techniques have been used for about 500 years is that they work,' [Senator Lindsay] Graham said on May 13 in the latest Republican justification of Bush’s authorization of tactics such as forced nudity, sleep deprivation, painful stress positions and the near-drowning of waterboarding."

Sen. Graham (S. Carolina - R) is touting the virtues of the Spanish Inquisition!

So it comes to this: a leading Republican is now openly saying approvingly that they are doing what Torquemada, the infamous Spanish inquisitor, did to the unbelievers - using torture.

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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

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Stop FBI Repression

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.