As the curtain falls on the Bush Administration, one set piece of the Administration's policy on torture has finally been ushered offstage. The Bybee Memo, a 2002 opinion authored by the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, was brushed aside last week by a federal judge overseeing the nation's first-ever criminal trial of an American accused of torture abroad.
"After years of disclosures by government investigations, media accounts, and reports from human rights organizations, there is no longer any doubt as to whether the current administration has committed war crimes," wrote retired Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba in the preface to the report. "The only question that remains to be answered is whether those who ordered the use of torture will be held to account.
A U.S. military tribunal found Osama bin Laden's media secretary guilty of conspiring with al Qaeda, soliciting murder and providing material support for terrorism in a verdict announced on Monday at Guantanamo.
Yemeni prisoner Ali Hamza al Bahlul is the second man to be convicted by a jury in the war crimes court at the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He faces life in prison.
The U.N.'s Mideast envoy said Saturday he was "alarmed" by Israel's decision to resume house demolitions in the West Bank.
Earlier this week, Israel knocked down dozens of shacks in two West Bank villages, leaving dozens of Palestinians homeless. U.N. envoy Robert Serry said Israel agreed in April to halt the demolitions and he urged it to reinstate the moratorium.
TVNL Comment: But the US will support any action by Israel, without regard to breaches of international law.
Senior CIA officers could be put on trial in Britain after it emerged last night that the Attorney General is to investigate allegations that a British resident held in Guantanamo Bay was brutally tortured, after being arrested and questioned by American forces following the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington in 2001.
Over 30,000 people a day (85% children under 5) die of malnutrition, curable diseases, and starvation. The numbers of unnecessary deaths has exceeded three hundred million people over the past forty years.
These are the people who David Rothkopf in his book Superclass calls the unlucky. “If you happen to be born in the wrong place, like sub-Saharan Africa, …that is bad luck,” Rothkopf writes. Rothkopf goes on to describe how the top 10% of the adults worldwide own 84% of the wealth and the bottom half owns barely 1%. Included in the top 10% of wealth holders are the one thousand global billionaires. But is such a contrast of wealth inequality really the result of luck, or are there policies, supported by political elites, that protect the few at the expense of the many?
The American Civil Liberties Union has condemned a Wednesday decision by a federal judge that prevents its access to unredacted records from the Bush administration related to the detention of 14 suspected "enemy combatants" at Guantánamo Bay.
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