Entries Tagged as 'Uncategorized'

Rights Groups Denounce Dropping of CIA Torture Cases

By Jim Lobe, Inter Press Service
September 2, 2012

U.S. human rights groups have roundly condemned Thursday’s announcement by Attorney General Eric Holder that the Justice Department will not pursue prosecutions of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officers who may have been responsible for the deaths of two prisoners in their custody.

The announcement appeared to mark the end of all efforts by the U.S. government to hold CIA interrogators accountable for torture and mistreating prisoners detained during the so-called “Global War on Terror” launched shortly after the Al Qaeda attacks on Sep. 11, 2001.

For rights activists and for supporters of President Barack Obama, it was the latest in a series of disappointing decisions, including the failure to close the detention facility at the U.S. base in Guantanamo, Cuba. They had hoped Obama would not only end the excesses of President George W. Bush’s prosecution of the war, but also conduct a full investigation of those excesses, if not prosecute those responsible.

“This is truly a disastrous development,” said Laura Pitter, counter-terrorism advisor at Human Rights Watch (HRW). “To now have no accountability whatsoever for any of the CIA abuses for which there are now mountains of evidence is just appalling.”

“It completely undermines the U.S.’s ability to have any credibility on any of these issues in other countries, even as it calls for other countries to account for abuses and prosecute cases of torture and mistreatment,” …

Read on: http://truth-out.org/news/item/11284-rights-groups-denounce-dropping-of-cia

Guam not ready for Okinawa’s Marines, officials say

Stars and Stripes
By Travis J. Tritten
February 28, 2012

The U.S. and Japan might be moving forward with plans to relocate thousands of Marines off of Okinawa, but it will be years before those troops could be stationed on Guam, according to the Navy and the territorial government there.

At a minimum, the U.S. military will take about two years to decide where on Guam to build needed training ranges for the Marines, and construction work would take longer, the Navy’s Joint Guam Program Office said.

Meanwhile, big questions remain on how and when the territory’s sewage treatment facilities will be upgraded to support about 4,700 more servicemembers and a possible increase in military families.

The U.S. and Japan began hashing out a new agreement on the military realignment earlier this month in an attempt to jump start the redeployment of Okinawa Marines to Guam. The effort was held up for years because of Okinawan opposition to building a new Marine Corps air station on the island as a replacement for the Futenma air station.

Now, both countries say they will not wait for a solution before relocating Marine forces to the U.S. territory, which sits about 1,400 miles to the southeast Okinawa. …

Read on: www.stripes.com/news/pacific/okinawa/guam-not-ready-for-okinawa-s-marines-officials-say-1.170092

Indefinite detention bill passes in Senate

Russia Today
December 16, 2011

US Senate today voted 86 to 13 in favor of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012

Exactly 220 years to the date after the Bill of Rights was ratified, the US Senate today voted 86 to 13 in favor of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, allowing the indefinite detention and torture of Americans.

After a back-and-forth in recent days between both the Senate and House yielded intense criticism from Americans attempting to hold onto their Constitutional rights, NDAA FY2012 is now on its way to the White House, where yesterday the Obama administration revealed that the president would not veto the legislation, cancelling out a warning he offered less than a month earlier.

Obama has finally brought about change to America, but it’s nothing to be hopeful about.

Speaking before the Senate this afternoon, Sen. Lindsey Graham (Rep-SC) told his colleagues, “I hope you believe America is part of the battlefield.” The United States is at war, he insisted, and anyone alleged to be in opposition to the US government’s game will now be subjected to military-style detention indefinitely.

As RT reported earlier, one provision in NDAA FY2012 will allow for the reinstatement of “enhanced interrogation techniques,” essentially making waterboarding and forms of psychological torture a very possible reality for anyone America deems to be a threat, including its own citizens who, prior to the ruling, had the US Constitution on their side.

Among the corporations which have lobbied in support of NDAA FY2012 are several military contractors, including Honeywell and Bluewater Defense, who together have received millions of dollars in Pentagon guarantees this year alone. …

Read on: http://rt.com/usa/news/indefinite-detention-bill-senate-905/

“Missile Defense” Remains Major Issue at G-8 Summit in France

May 27, 2011

Medvedev warns of arms race by 2020 without agreement on missile defense

In a press conference following the conclusion of the G-8 Summit in Deauville, France, President Dmitry Medvedev discussed Russia’s response to missile defense talks with the US.

On the critical subject of missile defense, which threatens to create a return to Cold-War conditions for the European continent, not to mention US-Russian relations, Medvedev expressed his dissatisfaction with the result of the talks.

“I am not satisfied with the American side’s reaction to my proposals and with NATO’s reaction in general,” the Russian leader told reporters on Friday at the resort town of Deauville. “Why? Because we are wasting time. Even though I spoke about the year 2020 yesterday as a deadline.which is the year when the construction of a four-stage system of the so-called adaptive approach ends.”

“After 2020, if we do not come to terms, a real arms race will begin,” Medvedev warned.

The Russian leader stressed that he has received no satisfactory guarantees that the missile defense shield is not being targeted at Russia. …