17 Years Since the Notorious Yoo-Bybee “Torture Memos,” the US Still Finds Itself Unable to Successfully Prosecute the Men It Tortured

Andy Worthington | August 5, 2019

yoo-bybee-torture-planeAugust 1 was the 17th anniversary of a particularly grotesque and dispiriting event in modern US history, one that has ramifications that are still being felt today, even though it was completely unnoticed — or ignored — by the US media. 

On August 1, 2002, Jay S. Bybee, then the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), the branch of the Justice Department responsible for advising the executive branch on what is, and what is not legal, signed off on two blatantly unlawful memos written by OLC lawyer John Yoo, which attempted to re-define torture, and approved its use on Abu Zubaydah, a prisoner of the “war on terror” that the US declared after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, who was being held in a secret prison — a “black site” — run by the CIA.


September 13: Blowing the Whistle Coast to Coast...

blowthewhistleunionsquareFrom Revolution Newspaper

On Stop-and-Frisk... Racial Profiling, Police Brutality and Murder and the Pipeline to Mass Incarceration

On September 13, in cities coast to coast, people blew the whistle on stop-and-frisk, racial profiling, police brutality and murder, and the pipeline to mass incarceration.

As the Stop Mass Incarceration Network put it: “These whistles were a declaration of refusing to suffer abuse any longer from the criminal ‘injustice’ system in silence. They were a way for those who bear the brunt of this injustice to join in the resistance to this abuse. A way for people to go from blaming themselves for this abuse to having each other’s back and looking out for each other in the face of this abuse. And they represent another nail in the coffin of stop-and-frisk.”


Italy: Convictions of Former CIA Agents for Kidnapping, Rendition Upheld

by Kevin Gosztola

The highest appeals court in Italy upheld verdicts against twenty-three Americans, all of whom are CIA agents except one. They were found guilty of kidnapping an Egyptian cleric known as Abu Omar in 2003. Omar was flown to Egypt and tortured.

Though they each were given sentences of seven years or more, none of the American intelligence agents, including former Milan station chief Robert Seldon Lady, will ever serve a day in jail in Italy. However, they will be (and have been) limited in their abilities to travel to Europe since their convictions.


Statement from Lawyers for Adnan Latif, Most Recent Prisoner to Die at Guantánamo

Adnan Farhan Abdul Latifby Andy Worthington

Over the weekend, Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif, a Yemeni, became the ninth prisoner to die in Guantánamo. Adnan had been repeatedly cleared for release — under President Bush and President Obama, and by a US court — but had never been freed, like so many others in that disgraceful prison, which remains an insult to the rule of law ten years and eight months since it first opened.


National Office Volunteer Spotlight on: Bennett (Ben) Weiss

World Can’t Wait has volunteer-run national office in New York City. We will be spotlighting some of our wonderful volunteers and our sustainers over the next several weeks. We are thankful to have them. You can sustain our work by making a monthly recurring donation at

In his 1963, I have a dream speech, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment…the whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.”

It is that fierce urgency of the “now,” that drives Ben Weiss, a nearly 45-year anti-war (starting with the Vietnam War) and justice activist. As part of that activism, Ben has donated his time and talents to WCW since its founding in 2005.  Currently, Ben creates political buttons and badges—a skill that springs from his work in the jewelry and gift business. His buttons and badges promote World Can't Wait causes, including the “We Are Not Your Soldiers” and "STOP Stop and Frisk" campaigns. Ben has also donated a button-making machine and how-to training, so World Can't Wait can, in his words, “make buttons when needed and not have to wait for me to crank them out.”

Why World Can’t Wait?
Ben first met Debra Sweet, World Can't Wait’s director, prior to the organization’s launch in 2005, at an anti-war rally in front of West point. The rally’s location was motivated by the graduation day’s commencement speaker, George W. Bush, who was trying to stir up support for the war in Iraq. 



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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

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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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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.