Category Archives: Human Rights

Will the new Bagram detention facility be humane?

The old detention facility was a nightmare that many referred to as Gitmo II and most enlightened individuals considered worse than Gitmo. From Jurist:

International human rights officials toured the new US detention facility in Parwan, Afghanistan, at the edge of Bagram Air Base on Sunday. The new facility [NYT report], which has room for 1,400 detainees, is part of the Obama administration’s wider efforts to improve its Afghan detainee system and will eventually be controlled by the Afghan government. Officials have promised greater transparency based on a case management system, which will allow detainees to be informed of the charges against them and provide them with the right to challenge government witnesses. Amnesty International, Human Rights First, and Human Rights Watch called on the Obama administration Monday to make sure its detention policy conforms to international law.

Last week, HRF urged the US to reform its detention policy at Bagram in order to combat counterinsurgency. In September, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit [seeking information related to the treatment of prisoners at Bagram, citing fears that is becoming the “new Guantanamo.” Earlier that month, the Obama administration issued new guidelines allowing Bagram detainees to challenge their indefinite incarceration. Detainees will have access to members of the US military who would be able to gather classified evidence and question witnesses on behalf of any detainee challenging his detention. The military officials would not be lawyers, but they are expected to provide detainees, some of whom have been held for more than five years without charges, better representation before military-appointed review boards. The changes come amidst ongoing protests by prisoners. Hundreds of Bagram detainees have been refusing shower and exercise time and have ceased participation in a family visits and teleconferences program set up by the International Committee of the Red Cross.

As for transparency..The Big O hasn’t been doing much to further the cause either, in my humble yet vocal opinion. Only time will tell us how different Obama’s prison is to BushCo’s prison.

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9 Israeli human rights groups think Israel has committed war crimes


I shit you not people. From IHT:

Nine Israeli human rights groups called on Wednesday for an investigation into whether Israeli officials had committed war crimes in Gaza since tens of thousands of civilians there have nowhere to flee, the health system has collapsed, many are without electricity and running water, and some are beyond the reach of rescue teams.

“This kind of fighting constitutes a blatant violation of the laws of warfare and raises the suspicion, which we ask be investigated, of the commission of war crimes,” the groups said in their first news conference on the 19-day-old war.

If that doesn’t tell you something, your fucking daft. Keep in mind that both Hamas and Israel are asshats of the highest order. Both are war-mongering fucks.

But Israel admits it has not slowed down Hamas. From another IHT article:

Despite heavy air and ground assaults, Israel has yet to cripple the military wing of Hamas or destroy the group’s ability to launch rockets, Israeli intelligence officials said on Tuesday, suggesting that Israel’s main goals in the conflict remain unfulfilled even after more than two weeks of war.

The comments reflected a view among some Israeli officials that any lasting solution to the conflict would require either a breakthrough diplomatic accord that heavily restricts Hamas’s military abilities or a deeper ground assault into urban areas of Gaza, known here as a possible “Phase Three” of the war.

Over a thousand Palestinians have been killed so far. From the Guardian article:

So far 1,010 Palestinians have died, including 315 children and 95 women, Dr Moawiya Hassanein, head of Gaza’s medical emergency services, told the Guardian. The number of injured after 19 days of fighting stood at 4,700, he said. On the Israeli side, 13 people have died, among them three civilians, and four soldiers accidentally killed by their own troops.

If two weeks of constant shelling has not stopped Hamas…perhaps it is time to talk ya’all? Or do the numbers of dead and wounded in this pissing contest mean nothing to either side?

Dick Cheney has no remorse for the thousands of dead and wounded in Iraq…it’s not impossible to believe the same about Hamas and the government of Israel..but it does sicken and anger me.

Speaking of moi…..now the doc thinks I have Mono..an old bat with mono…wtf? All I know is I ain’t getting any better and I am a tad bitchy..ok…real bitchy. The ball and chain is real glad I am sleeping a LOT. 😉

Gitmo doubling up on lawyers.

From Jurist:

The Pentagon has said that an additional 108 military lawyers and paralegals will be assigned to work on the cases of prisoners detained at Guantanamo Bay, twice the current number. Air Force Brig. Gen. Thomas Hartmann, legal advisor to the Office of Military Commissions, made the announcement last Thursday, the same day as five men charged with plotting the Sept. 11 attacks were arraigned. Before a military commission at Guantanamo bay, a critical move in the legal proceedings against some of the 19 detainees awaiting trial.

Hartmann said that the additional lawyers will ensure fair trials, but critics argue that the allocation of additional resources is political, designed to finish the commissions before the November elections and to avoid the possible result of a Supreme Court ruling expected later this month on whether federal courts may consider the legality of Guantanamo detentions. Hartmann himself was recently disqualified by a US military judge from participating in the trial of Guantanamo detainee Salim Hamdan because he was deemed too closely associated with the prosecution. Reuters has more. American Forces Press Service has additional coverage. (emphasis mine)

Gee, ya think it’s remotely possible that this is political? I say that with the snark button on full tilt…

Crossposted at Sirens Chronicles, which btw has a marvelous new look. 😉

There is no greater disaster than greed

There is no calamity greater than lavish desires.

There is no greater guilt than discontentment.

And there is no greater disaster than greed.

Lao-tzu

Chinese philosopher (604 BC – 531 BC)

President Bush signed a bill this past Monday that will allow federal, state and local governments to divest themselves of investments that do business with the smarmy bastards running the country of Sudan. As recently as 2004 Secretary of State Colin Powell signaled Washington’s intention to relax sanctions and allow U.S. companies to take advantage of Sudan’s oil wealth. Of course the signing of ‘the bill’ doesn’t stop any of these municipalities and government entities from keeping their investments either. Only public pressure and lots of negative publicity will further the cause of shunning corporations that do business with murderers.

The other thing it doesn’t do is make any of the Big Oil Companies stop assisting in the pumping of that black gold out of the ground in Sudan. With oil being what it is, does anyone think for a minute that the piece of paper The Shrub signed actually does anything to change the horrific situation in Darfur? Please, these companies will always find a way around laws and rules, take that to the bank my dear reader. How many companies lined Saddam’s pockets during the infamous embargo of the last two decades?

And what about our BFF China? They don’t give a tinkers damn about human rights abuses, hell those chumps lead the charge. Two of the biggest business partners with the pigs in Sudan are PetroChina and Tafneft (a Russian enterprise). British Petroleum (BP) and Shell are also stock holders in the Chinese enterprise.

Those two countries I just named also hold veto power in the UN. Now, isn’t that special?

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