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Posted by Solly Mack in General Discussion
Thu Oct 06th 2011, 05:48 PM
This is Manadel al-Jamadi.

You may remember him better from this photo...

Or this one...

Maybe this one...

He was called the "Iceman" because his dead body was packed in ice & then stored in a shower. Manadel al-Jamadi was later carried out on a gurney with an IV in his arm - to give the impression he was only ill...and not dead. I guess the ice served to keep the body from decomposing too much before its Broadway exit out of Abu Ghraib.

He was detained because he was labeled a "terrorist" by the U.S. government. One story said he attacked the Red Cross. Another story says he worked for Saddam Hussein (as an officer) and was a leader of a terrorist cell.

During his detention, while being "interrogated", he was beaten to death by the CIA and a Navy SEAL team. I hope we can all agree that torture and murder are a bad thing to do.

I don't know if Manadel al-Jamadi was a "terrorist" or not. If he was, I wouldn't have any sympathy for his choice of actions to further his cause.

However, even if he was guilty, I would and (still) do feel a great deal of horror and outrage that someone was tortured to death simply because he was considered a 'bad' person. Just because someone labeled him a "terrorist". Even if he had not died from his torture and abuse I would still be outraged that he was tortured and abused.

See the difference? No sympathy for his alleged "actions" - a but a great deal of horror and outrage over his torture and murder. There is a difference. A clear one. An important one.

Members of the Bush administration said that critics of the government's actions in the WOT "only serve to help terrorists."

Being outraged over torture and murder only served to help terrorists was their claim. They pretended they didn't know the difference because it suited their purposes.

I feel safe in saying that the majority of the former Bush administration are very bad people.

But that doesn't mean I want them tortured and/or murdered. Now, that doesn't mean I have sympathy for Bush, Cheney, etc. or that I supported their actions.....but it does mean that I support basic human decency.

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Posted by Solly Mack in General Discussion
Fri Aug 19th 2011, 08:45 PM
In case you haven't read it yet.

Getting Away with Torture: The Bush Administration and Mistreatment of Detainees

George Tenet asked if he had permission to use enhanced interrogation
techniques, including waterboarding, on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.…
“Damn right,” I said.

—Former President George W. Bush, 2010

There is no longer any doubt as to whether the current administration has
committed war crimes. The only question that remains to be answered is
whether those who ordered the use of torture will be held to account.

—Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba, June 2008

Should former US President George W. Bush be investigated for authorizing “waterboarding”
and other abuses against detainees that the United States and scores of other countries
have long recognized as torture? Should high-ranking US officials who authorized enforced
disappearances of detainees and the transfer of others to countries where they were likely to
be tortured be held accountable for their actions?

In 2005, Human Rights Watch’s Getting Away with Torture? presented substantial evidence
warranting criminal investigations of then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Central
Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director George Tenet, as well as Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, formerly
the top US commander in Iraq, and Gen. Geoffrey Miller, former commander of the US
military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

This report builds on our prior work by summarizing information that has since been made
public about the role played by US government officials most responsible for setting
interrogation and detention policies following the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United
States, and analyzes them under US and international law. Based on this evidence, Human
Rights Watch believes there is sufficient basis for the US government to order a broad
criminal investigation into alleged crimes committed in connection with the torture and illtreatment
of detainees, the CIA secret detention program, and the rendition of detainees to
torture. Such an investigation would necessarily focus on alleged criminal conduct by the
following four senior officials — former President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney,
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and CIA Director George Tenet.

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Posted by Solly Mack in General Discussion
Tue Aug 16th 2011, 02:20 PM
Rove is there even when you don't see him.

If his object is too position a viable republican, then he wants to weed the scary faces out.

But people are funny..and a whole lot of religious fundamentalists that vote republican honestly don't see Mormons as "real" Christians.

Maybe the goal isn't to win in 2012 but rather to position the GOP for 2016? (and to gain seats in Congress on the way to 2016)
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Posted by Solly Mack in General Discussion
Tue Aug 02nd 2011, 11:19 PM
This is the August 1st follow-up regarding the ACLU v. CIA that was mentioned in an earlier post about the detainee abuse/torture photos. Earlier post is at the bottom of this page.

After a lively round of arguments, the judge sanctioned the CIA for its attempt to evade the law and will require the agency to pay our legal fees for costs incurred in bringing the misconduct to light. The judge also asked the CIA to publish its forthcoming document-destruction policies, which are being considered in response to our litigation to prevent this type of destruction from occurring again. Finally, the judge commented that the ACLU had played an “extraordinary” role in revealing to the public information about the abuse of detainees in U.S. custody. However, in his ruling from the bench, the judge failed to hold the CIA in contempt of court, leaving unaddressed our larger concerns about accountability.

Though the Court’s sanctioning of the CIA is a positive step for accountability, it falls short of the full accounting necessary before we can turn the page on the last decade. Far more disturbing than the CIA’s destruction of the tapes is the CIA’s authorization of the brutal mistreatment captured by the tapes. By destroying that evidence of criminal activity in direct violation of the judge's clear instructions, the agency's top officials aimed to deny the public and the courts the chance to hold them accountable

CIA not in contempt over interrogation tapes, judge says

U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein told a Manhattan federal court hearing that efforts by the CIA to improve how it preserves documents was enough restitution, and that it should pay legal fees to the plaintiffs, the American Civil Liberties Union.

"I don't think a citation of contempt will add to anything," Hellerstein said.

In December 2007, the CIA acknowledged destroying dozens of videotapes made under a detention program begun after the September 11 attacks. The interrogations (tortured), in 2002, were of alleged al Qaeda members Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri.

Until 2007, the CIA had publicly denied the tapes ever existed. They were destroyed in 2005.

Detainee Abuse Photos: Fighting for Transparency and Accountability
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Posted by Solly Mack in General Discussion
Tue Jul 26th 2011, 11:50 AM
Yesterday in federal district court in Manhattan, we appeared for the latest round in our long fight for the release of information about the abuse of detainees in U.S. custody in facilities throughout Iraq and Afghanistan. This time, we were arguing against the government's suppression of over 2,000 photographs depicting the abuse of detainees. In the face of the government's claim that it could withhold the photographs from the public without any judicial review, we argued that the core principles of transparency and accountability embodied in the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) required the court to review the government’s decision. Unfortunately, the judge ruled against us.

Earlier in the case, we prevailed on the argument that the photos, as direct evidence of government misconduct, had to be released under FOIA. But then in 2009, Congress passed an exception to the FOIA law exempting certain photographs of detainees taken during President Bush's term in office if the Secretary of Defense certified that their release would endanger Americans. The Defense Secretary did so, keeping secret over 2,000 photographs of detainee abuse. But he did not provide any descriptions of the photographs or explain how releasing them would endanger U.S. individuals. Yesterday, the court decided that the Defense Secretary's certification of harm — without any explanation — was enough.

Our democracy is not made stronger by the suppression of evidence of gross governmental misconduct. If released, the photographs would provide undeniable evidence of widespread abuse of detainees — abuse that occurred in any number of detention facilities throughout Iraq and Afghanistan. In other words, the photographs would directly contradict the narrative advanced by both the Bush and Obama administrations that the abuse of detainees was isolated and aberrational*. And the photographs would raise questions about the responsibility of senior officials for the mistreatment of detainees, questions that have yet to be seriously examined by any prosecutor.

Coming up on August 1 in the same courtroom is the next round in this long-running FOIA fight — oral arguments on our motion to hold the CIA in contempt of court for destroying videotapes depicting the torture of two detainees. Throughout all of these proceedings, the same idea holds true: transparency and accountability are the best deterrents to future abuse and the only way to repair the damage done to America's standing in the world by these abhorrent acts.

Added: *(the are speaking of the "few bad apples" lie).

Some background:

In case anyone has forgotten.

2 sets of photos

President Signs Law Giving DOD Authority To Exempt Photos From Torture FOIA

Secretary Of Defense Says Americans Should Not See Torture Photos

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Posted by Solly Mack in Latest Breaking News
Tue Mar 29th 2011, 02:34 AM
The various components of the statement don't have to agree with each other and Newt knows that. The type of people who would support Newt aren't interested in why the statement is ludicrous because they won't see it as ludicrous. To them, it'll make sense.

It's an appeal to that certain kind of Christian (right wing fundamentalists) that thinks anything and everything not their brand of Christianity is evil. Newt is saying atheists will destroy that - not religion per se (since Islam is a religion) - but more pointedly - 'our kind of' - (his audience, with him relating to them as being one of them) religion.

Atheism = void = allows evil (Islam/"radical Islamists")

Now, he did add the radical as a means of denial that he meant Islam as a whole....but that denial is negated by the simple fact that you couldn't have a "radical" group of followers of Islam if Islam didn't exist. Because of this, we know Newt intends to call the whole of Islam the enemy to 'Christian America'....and that atheists are equally as bad as 'terrorists' (you know, those "radical Islamists")

It's the same old, same old. Rile up the haters with fear, prejudice and religion.
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Posted by Solly Mack in General Discussion
Fri Mar 11th 2011, 04:49 PM



The United States holds tens of thousands of inmates in long-term solitary confinement. Is this torture?

by Atul Gawande

"A U.S. military study of almost a hundred and fifty naval aviators returned from imprisonment in Vietnam, many of whom were treated even worse than McCain, reported that they found social isolation to be as torturous and agonizing as any physical abuse they suffered.

And what happened to them was physical. EEG studies going back to the nineteen-sixties have shown diffuse slowing of brain waves in prisoners after a week or more of solitary confinement. In 1992, fifty-seven prisoners of war, released after an average of six months in detention camps in the former Yugoslavia, were examined using EEG-like tests. The recordings revealed brain abnormalities months afterward; the most severe were found in prisoners who had endured either head trauma sufficient to render them unconscious or, yes, solitary confinement. Without sustained social interaction, the human brain may become as impaired as one that has incurred a traumatic injury."


International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims.

Long-term solitary confinement: a method of torture

Medical evidence has shown that long-term solitary confinement is a form of torture. Dr Joost J den Otter, Medical Director at the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT), adds that while there is no doubt about the damage caused by long periods of isolation, solitary confinement for a short period may also cause psychological harm.

A recent commentary published by the Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law about solitary confinement and mental illness in U.S. Prisons, the authors, Jeffrey L. Metzner and Jamie Fellner, support Dr den Otter’s judgment.

“Isolation can be psychologically harmful to any prisoner, with the nature and severity of the impact depending on the individual, the duration of confinement, and particular conditions (e.g., access to natural light, books, or radio). Psychological effects can include anxiety, depression, anger, cognitive disturbances, perceptual distortions, obsessive thoughts, paranoia, and psychosis”.

In August 2010, Physicians for Human Rights published a report (Experiments in Torture) which added to the growing body of evidence that solitary confinement causes psychological harm consistent with torture. In an interview with ‘Life’s Little Mysteries’, Dr Scott Allen, one of the authors of the paper, said that solitary confinement “can lead to anxiety, depression, certainly disorientation, it can even lead to thought disorders including psychotic thoughts.” He added "The consequences can be significant."


Red Cross:Guantanamo Tactics 'Tantamount to Torture'

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has accused the U.S. military of using tactics "tantamount to torture" on prisoners at the U.S. Navy base in Guantanamo Bay, The New York Times reported on Tuesday.

The Times said the Red Cross investigators had found a system devised to break the will of prisoners through "humiliating acts, solitary confinement, temperature extremes, use of forced positions."

"The construction of such a system, whose stated purpose is the production of intelligence, cannot be considered other than an intentional system of cruel, unusual and degrading treatment and a form of torture," the Times quoted the report as saying.



Current Conditions at Guantanamo Bay

Solitary Confinement

The majority of men held in Guantanamo Bay are held in maximum security facilities, Camp 5 and Camp 6 as well as Camp Echo. The small cells are made from steel and concrete. Food is delivered through a metal slot in the door. If the men yell loud enough, they can speak with each other, but to do so risks punishment. Weeks can go by without the men seeing sunlight. The everyday reality for these men is sensory deprivation, environmental manipulation and sleep deprivation, not to mention the daily psychological and physical torment. Toothbrushes, blankets, soap and deodorant are considered privileges, so can be taken away as a form of punishment. ‘Recreation’ for ‘compliant detainees’ consists of two to four hours outside the cell, sometimes in the middle of the night so the men do not see sunlight or have any contact with any living thing. In Camp 6, ‘recreation’ time is spent in a pen surrounded by two storey high concrete walls with wire across the top.

“I am in my tomb.”

Abdelli Feghoul, camp 6 who was cleared for release in 2006

The psychological effects of solitary confinement can include hallucinations, extreme anxiety, hostility, confusion and concentration problems. The physical effects include muscular atrophy, weight loss and impaired eyesight.


Open Letter: The Solitary Confinement of PFC Bradley Manning

As an organization of psychologists and other mental health professionals, PsySR is aware that solitary confinement can have severely deleterious effects on the psychological well-being of those subjected to it.

As expressed by Dr. Craig Haney, a psychologist and expert in the assessment of institutional environments, "Empirical research on solitary and supermax-like confinement has consistently and unequivocally documented the harmful consequences of living in these kinds of environments . . . Evidence of these negative psychological effects comes from personal accounts, descriptive studies, and systematic research on solitary and supermax-type confinement, conducted over a period of four decades, by researchers from several different continents who had diverse backgrounds and a wide range of professional expertise... irect studies of prison isolation have documented an extremely broad range of harmful psychological reactions. These effects include increases in the following potentially damaging symptoms and problematic behaviors: negative attitudes and affect, insomnia, anxiety, panic, withdrawal, hypersensitivity, ruminations, cognitive dysfunction, hallucinations, loss of control, irritability, aggression, and rage, paranoia, hopelessness, lethargy, depression, a sense of impending emotional breakdown, self-mutilation, * and suicidal ideation and behavior" (pp. 130-131, references removed).

Dr. Haney concludes, "To summarize, there is not a single published study of solitary or supermax-like confinement in which non-voluntary confinement lasting for longer than 10 days where participants were unable to terminate their isolation at will that failed to result in negative psychological effects" (p. 132).

( * So is the United States government setting up the circumstances to induce "suicidal ideation" and then claiming Manning is being subjected (stripped naked) to degrading and humiliating treatment for his own protection?)

CIA's Combined Use of Interrogation Techniques

20th hijacker was tortured, judge says

The top Bush administration official in charge of deciding whether to bring Guantanamo Bay prisoners to trial has concluded that the U.S. military tortured a Saudi citizen who allegedly planned to participate in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, interrogating him with techniques that included sustained isolation, sleep deprivation, nudity and prolonged exposure to cold, leaving him in a life-threatening condition.

"We tortured (Mohammed al-) Qahtani," said Susan Crawford, in her first interview since being named convening authority of military commissions by Defense Secretary Robert Gates in February 2007. "His treatment met the legal definition of torture. And that's why I did not refer the case" for prosecution.

U.N. to investigate treatment of Bradley Manning



Prohibitions against cruel and unusual punishment; torture and other degrading and humiliating treatment.

Common Article 3

Convention Against Torture

8th Amendment

Article 55, UCMJ

U.S. State Department: Country Reports on Human Rights Practices list "lengthy pretrial and sometimes incommunicado detention" as a human rights abuse. (It also list "Security services detained individuals without formal charges and held them indefinitely without court convictions.)

The Reports also list, under "Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment" -

"Reported techniques included beatings with fists, sticks, and rifle butts; kicking; scalding with hot water; excessively tight handcuffs; prolonged blindfolding and suspension by the wrists or ankles; denial of water or access to toilets; burning with cigarettes; stripping naked; denial of food and prompt access to medical help; threats of sexual abuse; and death threats. Sleep deprivation and solitary confinement were other forms of abuse reported in PSO prisons."

The report for 2010 is due out any minute now.

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Posted by Solly Mack in General Discussion
Thu Mar 10th 2011, 10:40 AM
Of course, James Bond, er... Rep. Sean Cross Peter T. King - "U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. "is not saying he's staying awake at night because of what's coming from anti-abortion demonstrators..." - doesn't think anti-abortion violence is a big deal.

“The Extent of Radicalization in the (Racist) Right Wing American Christian Anti-Abortion (Anti-Woman & Anti-America) Community and That Community’s Response”

Murder, attempted murder, and other violence resulting from the radicalization of the American Christian Anti-Abortion Community.

On March 10, 1993 Dr.David Gunn “was shot to death outside his abortion clinic here today when a man who prayed for the physician's soul stepped forward from a group of antiabortion protesters and opened fire, according to police and witnesses.

Last summer in Montgomery, Ala., an old-fashioned "wanted" poster of Gunn was distributed at a rally for Operation Rescue leader Randall Terry, AP said. The poster included a picture of Gunn, his home phone number and other identifying information. The posters were designed to encourage abortion opponents to harass doctors working at clinics operated by Gunn in Alabama.

This morning, police initially were called to simply squelch an antiabortion protest at the clinic. When they arrived, police said, Michael Frederick Griffin, 31, of Pensacola told them he had just shot Gunn”

Michael Frederick Griffin and the “spiritual adviser”

“Officially it is Michael F. Griffin who is on trial for the killing of a doctor outside an abortion clinic here a year ago this month. But looming over the case is the brooding figure of John Burt, a charismatic local anti-abortion leader who, Mr. Griffin's lawyers say, brainwashed their client and drove him to commit murder.

No one disputes that Dr. David Gunn was shot to death last March 10 outside the Pensacola Women's Medical Services clinic during an anti-abortion demonstration organized and led by Mr. Burt, the Northwest Florida regional director of the national anti-abortion group Rescue America.

Mr. Griffin's chief lawyer, Robert Kerrigan, contends that Mr. Burt, a 55-year-old minister and former member of the Ku Klux Klan who operates a home for pregnant, drug-addicted and battered women near Pensacola, drove his client to a "nervous breakdown" by bombarding him with anti-abortion propaganda. That brainwashing campaign, Mr. Kerrigan says, included videos, books, prayer sessions, use of an effigy of Dr. Gunn and even a funeral for a pair of aborted fetuses.

In 1986, Mr. Burt broke into an abortion clinic here, overturning furniture, damaging medical equipment and slamming the clinic's director into a wall. He was later convicted of burglary and assault. Today he remains unrepentant about that incident or his role as "spiritual adviser" to four young people who bombed three abortion clinics here on Christmas 1984.

On July 29, 1994, Dr. John Britton and James Barrett were murdered by Paul Hill, a former minister.

A handful of activists who knew Hill today sought to justify his alleged deed. C. Roy McMillan, executive director of the Christian Action Group in Jackson, Miss., said in a telephone interview, "It seems apparent that Paul has terminated a terminator... . I don't find it a sin to kill some one who is fixing to exterminate children."

On December 30, 1994, Shannon Lowney and Lee Ann Nichols were murdered by John Salvi in two separate clinic attacks in Brookline, Massachusetts. Five other people were wounded. Salvi was arrested the next day in Norfolk, Virginia…Salvi was firing shots at yet another clinic - he confessed to the murders.

“Witnesses testified during the trial that he had shouted, ‘This is what you get! You should pray the rosary!’

January 29, 1998, Bomb Kills Guard at an Alabama Abortion Clinic

“In what is believed to be the first fatal bombing of an abortion clinic in the United States, an off-duty police officer was killed and a nurse critically wounded in a blast early today at a clinic on Birmingham's south side.

The explosion at the New Woman, All Women Health Care Clinic, long a target of protesters, went off at about 7:30 A.M., just as the clinic was opening, said the city's police chief, W.M. Coppage.

The bomb, believed to have been a small homemade device planted somewhere just outside the front of the clinic, killed Robert D. Sanderson, 35, an eight-year police veteran who was working part time as a guard at the clinic. The blast also badly injured Emily Lyons, a 41-year-old nurse who was opening the clinic. Ms. Lyons, in surgery all day today, was wounded in one eye and her face, and both legs were seriously injured.

Although five people have been killed by gunfire at abortion clincs since 1993, Officer Sanderson was apparently the first person to die in the bombing of a clinic, said Federal agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and Vicki Saporta, executive director of the National Abortion Federation, based in Washington.”

Eric Rudolph

“Rudolph did epitomize the modern militiaman. After his father died in 1981, his mother moved the family from Florida to rural Nantahala, N.C. When she enrolled Eric and his siblings in school, she refused to give their Social Security numbers, fearing the government could track them. She introduced them to several churches that followed "Christian Identity," a rabidly anti-Semitic philosophy; in ninth grade, Eric wrote an essay denying that the Holocaust took place.”

From 1994

Anti-abortionists and white supremacists make common cause

"Bigots and terrorists have long hung around the fringes of the anti-abortion movement, but connections that have recently come to light among the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazi skinheads, and anti-abortionists now threaten to discredit anti-abortion groups. These connections are more than a fluke. Religious zealotry, nostalgia for a more culturally "pure" America, and a frightening rhetoric that encourages violence in the name of deeply held ideals fuels white supremacists and many anti-abortionists alike. It is not surprising, then, that the membership and leadership of these groups tend to overlap.

Even as some leaders of the anti-abortion movement hurried to distance themselves from the recent vicious attacks on doctors and clinics, the Florida-based Templar Knights of the Ku Klux Klan sponsored a rally on August 21 in support of Paul Hill, the man accused of shooting Dr. Britton and his escort, James Barrett.

White supremacist leaders have seized on abortion as a new rallying point for the White Revolution. Tim Bishop, a representative of the Aryan Nations, bragged about joining the anti-abortion movement in an interview for Reform Judaism magazine: "Lots of our people join in.... It's part of our Holy War for the pure Aryan race."

October 23, 1998, “A sniper wielding a high-powered rifle from the cover of darkness shot and killed a well-known abortion doctor Friday night just days after U.S. and Canadian police warned of such an attack, citing four previous shootings against abortion doctors at this time of year in Canada and upstate New York.

Barnett Slepian, 52, was killed by a single shot fired through a window as he stood in the kitchen of his home about 10 p.m. in this Buffalo suburb, police said today. Slepian, for years a defiant target of antiabortion protesters here, had just returned from a synagogue with his wife and four sons, aged seven to 15, Amherst police said.”

James Kopp was convicted of Dr. Slepian's murder after finally being apprehended in France in 2001.

“The arrest of Mr. Kopp, 46, was made possible in large part by the communication he kept with those from his past: two anti-abortion activists in Brooklyn who were charged on Thursday with plotting to help Mr. Kopp slip back into the United States.

There were other shared arrests. For example, in November 1991, Mr. Kopp and Ms. Marra shackled themselves to a heavy metal object outside the door of an abortion clinic in Levittown, N.Y. The object was so difficult to crack, Sgt. Gregory Friedrich recalled yesterday, that the police placed the two protesters on a cart, wheeled them into a van and took them to the Emergency Service Bureau office in Garden City, where they finally cut it open with an abrasive saw.
Both protesters were later convicted on misdemeanor charges. And for years afterward, the Nassau County police kept the metallic object as a training tool in case the protesters returned.”

May 31, 2009 Dr. George Tiller was shot and killed by Scott Roeder as Tiller served as an usher at church in Wichita, Kansas.

George Tiller, one of only a few doctors in the nation who performed abortions late in pregnancy, was shot to death here Sunday in the foyer of his longtime church as he handed out the church bulletin.

Dr. Tiller had long been at the center of the abortion debate here, one that rarely seemed to quiet much in this southern Kansas city of about 358,000.

In 1993, Rachelle Shannon, from rural Oregon, shot Dr. Tiller in both arms. Two years earlier, during Operation Rescue’s “Summer of Mercy” protests, thousands of anti-abortion protesters tried to block off the clinic, the site of a bombing in 1986.

Friends of Dr. Tiller also described regular incidents of vandalism at the clinic, and a barrage of threats to him and his family — threats they say had concerned him deeply for years.”

When Wichita abortion doctor George Tiller stood trial in March on charges he violated state law in providing late-term abortions, the man now accused of killing him made a point of attending the hearings.

At the time of Roeder’s arrest Sunday afternoon along Interstate 35 in Johnson County, a television station captured the vehicle on video. There on the dashboard was a note that read “Cheryl” and “Op Rescue” with a phone number.

Cheryl Sullenger, senior policy adviser for Operation Rescue out of Wichita, said Tuesday that she has spoken to Roeder in the past, but she said he would initiate the contact. She said she hasn’t had any recent contact with him.

Sullenger served about two years in prison after pleading guilty to conspiring to bomb an abortion clinic in California in 1988. She has since renounced violent action.”

Not A Lone Wolf

"Over the past six months, I have interviewed Scott Roeder more than a dozen times, met several times with his supporters at the Sedgwick County Courthouse in Wichita where he was tried and convicted, and permissibly recorded numerous three-way telephone conversations Roeder had me place to his friends. Using information gleaned from these sources, along with public records, it is possible to piece together the close, long-term and ongoing relationship between Roeder and other anti-abortion extremists who advocate murder and violent attacks on abortion providers.

While under financial stress in 1992, Roeder happened upon right-wing televangelist Pat Robertson’s 700 Club on television. He claims he fell to his knees and became a born-again Christian. According to his own recollections and those of his ex-wife, he immediately fixated on what he considered two earthly evils: taxes and abortion.

In very short order, he affiliated himself with Christian anti-government groups such as the Freemen militia and eventually became involved with antiabortion groups such as Operation Rescue and the Army of God, the latter of which openly sanctions the use of violence to stop abortion.

Roeder told me that his first act as an anti-abortion activist was to protest outside a Kansas City women’s clinic. Among the protestors he came to know were Anthony Leake, a proponent of the “justifiable homicide”of abortion doctors, and Eugene Frye, the owner of a Kansas City construction company who, together with another antiabortion activist, had been arrested in 1990 for attempting to reinsert the feeding tube of a Missouri woman in a persistent vegetative state. Frye had also been arrested for blockading abortion clinics during the 1991 Summer of Mercy in Wichita, which was organized by Operation Rescue."

History of Violence of the (Racist) Right Wing American Christian Anti-Abortion (& Anti-America) Community. (spread sheets listing the murders, attempted murders, assaults, bombings and assorted other acts of violence by the anti-abortion community)

" Since the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal, there has been an organized campaign by anti-abortion extremists which has resulted in escalating levels of violence against women's health care providers. In an attempt to stop abortion, anti-abortion extremists have chosen to take the law into their own hands.

What began as peaceful protests with picketing moved to harassing clinic staff and patients as they entered clinics and eventually escalated to blockading clinic entrances.

This foundation of harassment led to violence with the first reported clinic arson in 1976 and a series of bombings in 1978. Arsons and bombings have continued until this day. Anti-abortion extremists have also used chemicals to block women's access to abortion employing butyric acid to vandalize clinics and sending anthrax threat letters to frighten clinic staff.

In the early 1990s, anti-abortion extremists concluded that murdering providers was the only way to stop abortion. The first provider was murdered in 1993. Since then, there have been seven subsequent murders and numerous attempted murders of clinic staff and physicians, several of which occurred in their own homes. In 2009, NAF member Dr. George Tiller was shot and killed in his church in Wichita, Kansas."

Community Response

Rally To Support Murder Suspect

Abortion foes plan to mark the 30th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide with a rally for James Kopp, left, who is awaiting trial on murder charges in the slaying of a doctor who performed abortions.

The Jan. 22 rally, coming a few weeks before the trial's expected start, is meant to convince potential jurors that the 1998 shooting of the doctor, Barnett A. Slepian, in his suburban Buffalo home was justifiable, said Jonathan O'Toole, a rally organizer, in an interview published yesterday in The Buffalo News.

Neal Horsley, who runs a Web site called, said his organization would be taking photos of women visiting a city abortion clinic. Marilynn Buckham, the executive director of Buffalo's Womenservices clinic, where Dr. Slepian worked, called the plans to photograph patients ''the height of trying to intimidate and terrorize women.''

Neal Horsley

"The death of Dr. Slepian would soon make a celebrity of Neal Horsley.

Horsley claims now that the morning after Slepian's murder, he found a list on the Internet of abortion providers who had been wounded or murdered.

After adding the names to his Nuremberg Files site, he grayed out the names of those who had been wounded. And then he put a line through the names of the dead.

It was Horsley who Clayton Waagner, a self-described anti-abortion "terrorist" on the Ten Most Wanted List, chose to drop in on shortly before being arrested last November. It was Horsley who propelled his notorious website — featuring home addresses and other detailed information about hundreds of abortion providers — into the national limelight after a physician was murdered by a sniper in 1998."

"Even as some leaders of the anti-abortion movement hurried to distance themselves from the recent vicious attacks on doctors and clinics, the Florida-based Templar Knights of the Ku Klux Klan sponsored a rally on August 21 in support of Paul Hill, the man accused of shooting Dr. Britton and his escort, James Barrett."

Army of God fan site (among other things) for those who murder Doctors and others exercising their legal rights. (I don't recommend clicking on this link - lot of hate.)

History of the Army of God

"The Army of God is an underground network of domestic terrorists who believe that the use of violence is appropriate and acceptable as a means to end abortion.

The first public mention of the Army of God (AOG) is believed to have been when Don Benny Anderson used the AOG name in 1982 when he and Matthew and Wayne Moore kidnapped an Illinois abortion provider and his wife. The couple was later released unharmed and the trio were apprehended and convicted. Benny Anderson and the Moore brothers were also responsible for abortion clinic arsons.

Many other threatening and violent incidents are attributed to the Army of God. A few examples are as follows:

In 1984, Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun received a death threat through the mail from the Army of God. Also in 1984, several abortion clinics as well as the offices of the National Abortion Federation and the American Civil Liberties Union were bombed. The name Army of God was found at one of the crime scenes. Michael Bray, Thomas Spinks, and Kenneth Shields were responsible for the crimes and spent time in prison."

And the most telling response of all...

Republicans Push to Legalize Anti-Abortion Terrorism

"During his 2004 campaign, Oklahoma Republican Senator Tom Coburn declared, "I favor the death penalty for abortionists." Four years later, vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin famously refused to condemn an abortion clinic bomber as a "terrorist." Last week, a GOP mayoral candidate in Jacksonville joked that bombing an abortion clinic "may cross my mind." Now, deadly serious Republican lawmakers in Nebraska and Iowa are pushing legislation that would in essence legalize the murder of abortion providers.

Less than two years after the assassination of Dr. George Tiller and less than two weeks after South Dakota Republicans shelved a similar bill, Nebraska state Senator Mark Christensen has introduced an even more onerous version...

Meanwhile in Iowa, two new measures backed by House Republicans could together enable "the justifiable use of force against abortion or family planning providers." In violation of the Supreme Court's Roe v Wade ruling, House File 153 would ban abortion by mandating the state must protect "life" from the moment of conception. House File 7 would provide civil and criminal immunity for citizens using "reasonable force, including deadly force, to protect themselves or a third party from serious injury or death or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.

Nevertheless, the Republican crusade against the reproductive rights of American women continues to gain momentum. While Republicans in Congress debate the redefinition of rape, defund Planned Parenthood and try to ban life-saving emergency room abortion procedures, emboldened GOP majorities in the states are putting draconian new abortion restrictions onto the books. Exceeding the harsh regulations in Mississippi, which now has one abortion clinic for the entire state, Virginia is set to pass a new law that would close at least 17 of its 21 clinics by forcing first-trimester abortion providers to offer the same medical facilities as hospitals. While Kentucky Republicans like their Texas counterparts are pushing a bill making it mandatory for patients to view an ultrasound image before undergoing an abortion procedure, several other states are planning to follow Nebraska's lead in passing so-called "fetal pain" laws. And while the Ohio GOP is pushing a "Heartbeat bill" would prohibiting women from ending their pregnancies after the "first discernible heartbeat," Georgia legislator Bobby Franklin seeks to prosecute - and execute - any woman who can't prove her miscarriage occurred naturally."

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Posted by Solly Mack in General Discussion
Tue Mar 08th 2011, 06:59 PM
"In a major setback for the legal and moral standing of the USA, President Obama has lifted the suspension of Bush-era military trials for prisoners held at Guantánamo Bay.

Breaking his promise to curb the damaging lawlessness of US counter-terrorism policy, President Obama has now ensured that the US justice system will once more be beamed around the world in the form of 'kangaroo courts' conducted by military officers with a military officer presiding.

In a yet sadder climbdown, President Obama has signed an executive order proposing to legalise Guantánamo's widely-decried practice of indefinite detention without charge. The policy realigns the US with rights-abusing countries and sets it once more at odds with the values of its European allies.

The Obama Administration's military review system allows cases to be reconsidered after the first year and then every three years thereafter. The system mimics the Combatant Status Review Tribunals set up by the Bush administration in 2004, which were struck down by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional in 2008. Yet at least under the old version the inadequate review of the prisoner’s status was annual."

Amnesty International responds

Human Rights Watch responds

Bluebear: The ACLU responds
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Posted by Solly Mack in General Discussion
Tue Mar 08th 2011, 06:40 PM
"With a stroke of his pen, President Obama today extinguished any last lingering hopes that his administration would eventually do the right thing on Guantanamo and restore due process rights to all the detainees held there.

In an Executive Order and accompanying fact sheet and press release, the White House formally announced the resumption of Military Commission hearings – memorably denounced as “an enormous failure” by candidate Obama – and outlined the new review process that will accompany the indefinite detention of individuals deemed to dangerous to release and to hard to prosecute.

For detainees slated for indefinite detention the administration has to all intents and purposes resurrected the widely discredited Combatant Status Review Tribunals (CSRTs) used at Guantanamo by the Bush administration.

The new body has been rebranded as the Periodic Review Board (PRB), presumably for cosmetic purposes, and is patterned after the review mechanism currently operating in the main US detention facility in Kabul, Afghanistan."
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Posted by Solly Mack in General Discussion
Tue Mar 08th 2011, 11:16 AM
A mixed bag. There are improvements, per se - but they are improvements within a system that is tainted by torture and other assorted abuses - within the framework and narrative set up by the Bush administration (that committed war crimes) - that had a Congress that rolled over at every turn. Within that context, there are improvements. Still...

A new Obama administration executive order pertaining to Guantanamo detainees held under purported "law-of-war" detention provides an additional layer of review not previously available. However, the order also continues the practice of indefinite detention without trial, a practice that violates international law, Human Rights Watch said today.

Along with the executive order, the administration also announced that it would resume use of military commission proceedings at Guantanamo.

Although at the end of 2010 Congress placed restrictions on the ability of the administration to transfer detainees to the US, even for prosecution, and to release them to third or home countries, those restrictions only apply to the use of Department of Defense funds and they expire at the end of this year. The administration still has the ability to use Department of Justice or Homeland Security funds for the same purpose.

"President Obama should promptly use available funds to move forward with prosecuting the long-delayed 9/11 and other terrorism cases in federal court," Prasow said. "He needs to bring those accused to justice appropriately rather than keeping them detained without charge under his new order."

Read the entire response.

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Posted by Solly Mack in General Discussion
Wed Mar 02nd 2011, 11:28 AM
So it was no mistake or accident or slip of the tongue. Nor was it that Huckabee 'simply misspoke'

From September 2010

Gingrich's Comments:

Gingrich’s comments came in reference to a Forbes article by conservative Dinesh D’Souza, which suggests that the president shares an anticolonial ideology with his father, a Luo tribesman from Kenya who Obama barely knew.

“What if is so outside our comprehension, that only if you understand Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior, can you begin to piece together ?” Gingrich told the Review, adding that “this is a person who is fundamentally out of touch with how the world works, who happened to have played a wonderful con, as a result of which he is now president.”

Gingrich’s comments – and Mr. D’Souza’s article – are fueling the storyline that some conservatives are banking on for the November elections: Obama as someone who isn’t American, by birth or beliefs, and who doesn’t belong in the Oval Office. But it’s an argument that leaves some Republicans uncomfortable.

From February 2011

Huckabee's Comments

MALZBERG: Don't you think it's fair also to ask him, I know your stance on this. How come we don't have a health record, we don't have a college record, we don't have a birth cer - why Mr. Obama did you spend millions of dollars in courts all over this country to defend against having to present a birth certificate. It's one thing to say, I've -- you've seen it, goodbye. But why go to court and send lawyers to defend against having to show it? Don't you think we deserve to know more about this man?

HUCKABEE: I would love to know more. What I know is troubling enough. And one thing that I do know is his having grown up in Kenya, his view of the Brits, for example, very different than the average American. When he gave the bust back to the Brits --

MALZBERG: Of Winston Churchill.

HUCKABEE: The bust of Winston Churchill, a great insult to the British. But then if you think about it, his perspective as growing up in Kenya with a Kenyan father and grandfather, their view of the Mau Mau Revolution in Kenya is very different than ours because he probably grew up hearing that the British were a bunch of imperialists who persecuted his grandfather.

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Posted by Solly Mack in Photography Group
Wed Mar 02nd 2011, 08:57 AM
I tried to allow enough time for everyone to discuss the upcoming theme. This is a group and I think we function better when the group is involved and active.

I went with those ideas that got the most positive responses (minus negative responses in some cases) - from both the list I suggested and what others suggested. The exception being “Contrasts” - I picked it from the group that all had the same number of positive responses. The theme idea “Faces” got some support and some (very) strong negative reaction , so I left it off. As much as I liked “Mirrored Images”, “Reflections” got more of a response - so “Reflections” did make it to the final poll.

I’ve tried to be receptive and I truly appreciated all the feedback. I hope everyone finds something they like below and that you all have a lot of fun with whatever theme gets the most votes.

Thank you for your patience! Now VOTE! (Pretty please)


March Theme Poll

Please Vote! The idea with the most votes will be the theme for March. I’ll post the theme announcement on March 5th.

What I like about watching how the vote goes is I get an idea of what is most likely to win - allows me the chance to begin my quest for a theme entry before the theme is even announced. Extra time for finding my entry is always a good thing. That’s what I do anyway… I also check to see if I have a photo for all the selections or I go ahead and start shooting to get a photo for each selection.

Only for clarification purposes…

1. Reflections: Fairly wide open theme. Mirrors/glass, water/other liquids…see a reflection…shoot it!

2. Circles: They’re everywhere! Wheels, tires, pools, beds, lids, openings, balls, foods, the Moon, the Sun, clocks….all over the place! Go forth and think round!

3. Contrasts: Light/Dark. Rough/Smooth. Big/Little. COLOR!!! Tall/Short. A cave man with a laptop…and so on and so forth. This is not about opposites, though opposites can offer contrast. Both B&W and color photos allowed in this theme.

4. Metal: Anything and everything metal. Rusty and brand spanking new. Shiny and dull. Ornate and plain.
Decorative and simple beauty. The world is full of metal. Both B&W and color photos allowed in this theme.

5. Negative Space: Utilizing negative space to best show off your subject - to make it ‘pop’ off the page for the viewer. This theme allows for a lot of wiggle room in your subject selection because your subject can be practically anything. Negative space can emphasis your subject - bring it out more. It’s the space surrounding your subject.

6. Landscapes: Cityscapes and Seascapes included.
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Posted by Solly Mack in Photography Group
Sun Feb 27th 2011, 08:02 AM
February 27, 2011

Good morning! (it’s afternoon here)

Big THANKS!! to Mira for stepping up to host last month’s contest and for doing so even after being injured.

2 contests in one short month and it’s already time to think about the March contest. Whew!

Good thing it’s fun!

March Theme Suggestions

1. Faces (human faces, animal faces, or perceived faces in everyday objects and nature)
2. Macro
3. Black and White
4. Negative space
5. Reflections
6. Motion
7. Food
8. In 3’s (grouping of 3 - of the subject matter)
9. Tilt (was originally Doors but that's been covered as a theme)

Please give your opinions, as well as any other suggestions for a theme. We’ll narrow the theme suggestions down to 5 or 6 for the poll. I will start a poll on March 2nd based on your feedback in this thread.

A theme will be announced sometime on March 4th. The theme will be determined by the poll, so PLEASE vote.

I tried to base some of the ideas on comments made over the last several weeks. I didn’t include flowers as a primary theme because of the ‘scenes of spring’ contest. Some of the ideas come up monthly - and some are because I thought they sounded interesting.

The submission thread will open on the 17th and will remain open until 30 entries are reached or until March 19th. (whichever comes first) There will be an additional day (the 20th) for any final changes - after which time I will close submissions and prepare the preliminaries to begin on the 21st.

I know it all feels rushed and crowded with 3 contests running back to back (It does to me anyway) but I want everyone to have enough time to get their entry ready. Hopefully, 12 + days will give everyone the time they need.

This is my first time hosting and I am bound to make mistakes - apologies in advance.

Thank you!

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Posted by Solly Mack in General Discussion
Tue Feb 15th 2011, 09:07 AM
The Guardian

"The defector who convinced the White House that Iraq had a secret biological weapons programme has admitted for the first time that he lied about his story then watched in shock as it was used to justify the war.

Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi, codenamed Curveball by German and American intelligence officials who dealt with his claims, told the Guardian he fabricated tales of mobile bio-weapons trucks and clandestine factories in an attempt to bring down the Saddam Hussein regime, from which he had fled in 1995.

"Maybe I was right, maybe I was not right," he said. "They gave me this chance. I had the chance to fabricate something to topple the regime. I and my sons are proud of that and we are proud that we were the reason to give Iraq the margin of democracy."

The admission comes just after the eighth anniversary of Colin Powell's speech to the United Nations in which the former US secretary of state relied heavily on lies that Curveball had told the German secret service, the BND. It also follows the release of former defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld's memoirs, in which he admitted Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction programme."

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