Archive for the Category » human rights «

April 07th, 2010 | Author:

If your car displays a “Support Our Troops” decal, you need to watch this video.

If your church displays an American flag, you need to watch this video.

If you call yourself a human being, you need to watch this video.

It’s graphic.  It’s appalling.  And it’s been approved by the US military.  From the special Wikileaks website:

5th April 2010 10:44 EST WikiLeaks has released a classified US military video depicting the indiscriminate slaying of over a dozen people in the Iraqi suburb of New Baghdad — including two Reuters news staff.

Reuters has been trying to obtain the video through the Freedom of Information Act, without success since the time of the attack. The video, shot from an Apache helicopter gun-site, clearly shows the unprovoked slaying of a wounded Reuters employee and his rescuers. Two young children involved in the rescue were also seriously wounded.

The military did not reveal how the Reuters staff were killed, and stated that they did not know how the children were injured.

After demands by Reuters, the incident was investigated and the U.S. military concluded that the actions of the soldiers were in accordance with the law of armed conflict and its own “Rules of Engagement”.

[Note: The video is best viewed full screen, and be sure your audio is turned on. The conversation of "our troops" is quite enlightening.]

Behold, the LORD’S hand is not so short That it cannot save;
Nor is His ear so dull That it cannot hear.
But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God,
And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.
For your hands are defiled with blood And your fingers with iniquity;
Your lips have spoken falsehood, Your tongue mutters wickedness.
No one sues righteously and no one pleads honestly.
They trust in confusion and speak lies;
They conceive mischief and bring forth iniquity.
They hatch adders’ eggs and weave the spider’s web;
He who eats of their eggs dies, And from that which is crushed a snake breaks forth.
Their webs will not become clothing, Nor will they cover themselves with their works;
Their works are works of iniquity, And an act of violence is in their hands.
Their feet run to evil, And they hasten to shed innocent blood;
Their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity,
Devastation and destruction are in their highways.
They do not know the way of peace, And there is no justice in their tracks;
They have made their paths crooked, Whoever treads on them does not know peace.
Therefore justice is far from us, And righteousness does not overtake us;
We hope for light, but behold, darkness, For brightness, but we walk in gloom.

(Isaiah 59:1-9)

Update: Huffington Post has more details on this story.  NY Times has information on another cover-up in Afghanistan, “including a new report that Special Operations forces dug bullets out of the bodies of the women to hide the true nature of their deaths.”

March 12th, 2010 | Author:

Jim Wetzel at The Chestnut Tree Cafe has a new post up documenting the chilling details about how to waterboard someone.  In case you think that’s ancient history, here’s a little tidbit about McCain’s new bill S3081 that makes certain most anyone can be waterboarded. (The full text of the bill is here.)

The “Enemy Belligerent, Interrogation, Detention, and Prosecution Act of 2010,” introduced by Senators John McCain and Joseph Lieberman on Thursday with little fanfare, “sets out a comprehensive policy for the detention, interrogation and trial of suspected enemy belligerents who are believed to have engaged in hostilities against the United States by requiring these individuals to be held in military custody, interrogated for their intelligence value and not provided with a Miranda warning,”

The bill does not distinguish between U.S. citizens and non-citizens, and states that “suspected belligerents” who are “considered a “high-value detainee” shall not be provided with a Miranda warning.”

A person is considered a “high value detainee” if they fulfill one of the following criteria.

(1) poses a threat of an attack on civilians or civilian facilities within the U.S. or U.S. facilities abroad; (2) poses a threat to U.S. military personnel or U.S. military facilities; (3) potential intelligence value; (4) is a member of al Qaeda or a terrorist group affiliated with al Qaeda or (5) such other matters as the President considers appropriate.

Now that the Southern Poverty Law Center and the federal government, via the MIAC report and innumerable other leaked documents, now consider virtually anyone with a dissenting opinion against the state as “posing a threat,” millions of peaceful American citizens could be swept up by this frightening dragnet of tyranny.

However, according to the bill, an individual doesn’t even have to pose a threat to be snatched, detained and interrogated – they can merely be deemed to be of “potential intelligence value” or come under the vague and sweeping mandate of “such other matters as the President considers appropriate”.

This last designation hands Obama dictator powers to have any American citizen kidnapped, detained, and interrogated on a whim.

I found all this on the same day I learned that Hillary and the US State Department released their 2009 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices.  As she slams virtually every other country in the world, Clinton had the audacity to say in her introduction that the US has recommitted “to continue the hard work of making human rights a human reality.”

Excuse me, I need to go vomit.

January 01st, 2010 | Author:

It should be no surprise to my regulars that I have no respect for media outlets who identify themselves as purveyors of “news”, while spending  the bulk of their time either regurgitating White House press releases or bombarding us with all the intimate details of the latest Hollywood scandal.   “Investigative Reporter” is an obsolete term.

So here are my top two stories that should have made headlines last year, but didn’t.

Based on sheer volume of hits, this is the top story for 2009:

Mainstream Media Ignores “Accidental” Bird Flu Contamination of Baxter Vaccine Shipments

  • Despite reports that Illinois-based pharmaceutical company Baxter International Inc. somehow managed to distribute flu vaccine contaminated with live bird flu virus to Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Germany
    • Despite the report that this only came to light when a subcontractor in the Czech Republic inoculated ferrets with the product and they died
    • Despite the report that Baxter confirmed the contamination, and the World Health Organization is “closely monitoring” the situation
    • Despite reports that mixing the two viruses would make them extremely potent and contagious
    • Despite reports from the medical community that the contamination could not possibly have been an accident
    • Despite speculation in Czech newspapers that the contamination was a deliberate attempt to create a pandemic, for which Baxter would stand ready to profit through their vaccines
    • Despite all these reports that have been circulating since March 3rd or before … I cannot find even one major news outlet that’s covering this story.

    I normally avoid the “conspiracy” word, but …
    can you spell c-o-n-s-p-i-r-a-c-y???

    Here is my follow-up post.

    Based on the story that most tore at my heart, here’s the other top story that MSM refused to report.  As of this date, the army still refuses to re-open the investigation.  In addition, Midtown Films is producing a documentary titled:  Lavena Johnson:  The Silent Truth.

    Remember Pfc. LaVena Johnson? She’s Just Another Military Cover-Up

    Back in August, I posted briefly about LaVena Johnson, quoting from a commentary by Elizabeth Higgs:

    “According to the U.S. Department of Defense, Private LaVena Lynn Johnson killed herself on July 19, 2005, eight days before her twentieth birthday. Exactly how did she end her life? She punched herself in the face hard enough to blacken her eyes, break her nose, and knock her front teeth loose. She douched with an acid solution after mutilating her genital area. She poured a combustible liquid on herself and set it afire. She then shot herself in the head. Despite this massive self-inflicted trauma, she somehow managed to drag her then fully clothed body into the tent of a KBR contractor, leaving a trail of blood along the way and set the tent ablaze in a failed attempt to cover up her crimes against herself.

    If this story sounds plausible to you, you may have missed your calling as an officer in the U.S. Army, because Army officers, speaking with a straight face, would have you believe that such a thing is not only possible, but actually happened.

    In reality, LaVena Johnson was raped, beaten, and murdered by someone on a military base in Balad, Iraq, and the Army doesn’t want you to know about it.”

    The Army doesn’t want her parents to know about it, either. Since LaVena died, they have had doubts about the suicide story. They had talked with her every day, and she had said nothing to lead them to believe she was emotionally unstable or even a little upset. And then her body was shipped home.

    “In viewing his daughter’s body at the funeral home, Dr. Johnson was concerned about the bruising on her face. He was puzzled by the discrepancy in the autopsy report on the location of the gunshot wound. As a US Army veteran and a 25-year US Army civilian employee who had counseled veterans, he was mystified how the exit wound of an M-16 shot could be so small. The hole in Lavena’s head appeared to be more the size of a pistol shot rather than an M-16 round. He questioned why the exit hole was on the left side of her head, when she was right handed. But the gluing of military uniform white gloves onto Lavena’s hands hiding burns on one of her hands is what deepened Dr. Johnson’s concerns that the Army’s investigation into the death of his daughter was flawed.”

    For more than three years, her father, Dr. John Johnson, and her mother Linda have done everything within their power to seek justice for their daughter – and the Army has fought them every step of the way. They have had to resort to FOIL requests to get copies of Army documents related to their daughter. They have had to call on their local congressman to pressure the Army to release these documents.

    They have been interviewed by the media countless times. A website has been created in LaVena’s name. There have been multiple petitions signed, demanding a congressional investigation. (The latest is here, if you’d like to sign it.)

    And there are many other women in the military who have died under suspicious circumstances. The Department of Defense’s own statistics state that one in three women who join the military will be sexually assaulted or raped.

    Despite all this – despite the statistics, despite the efforts of the Johnson’s, despite the obvious attempts to cover up a horrendous crime – nothing has changed. The Army still calls her death a suicide. They have not re-opened the investigation. The Army is still protecting their own.

    From the least to the greatest – from the murderer all the way through the chain of command to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and President George W. Bush – they are all guilty. And if we continue to blindly support our military, we are guilty, too.

    So the next time you’re waving the red, white and blue for a country that condones and covers-up the rape and murder of one of its own; the next time you’re singing about this land where some are more equal than others; the next time you pledge allegiance to support the United States of America, no matter what they do – you might spare a thought for LaVena Johnson and her parents. You might ask God to move His hand and provide justice for this family – because the military sure as hell won’t.

    Justice, and only justice,
    you shall pursue,
    that you may live and possess the land
    which the LORD your God is giving you.
    (Deuteronomy 16:20)
    February 25th, 2009 | Author:

    The Washington Times reports [emphasis added]:

    As she began her trip at the beginning of the week, Mrs. Clinton said that human rights are “part of our agenda with the Chinese, as is climate change and clean energy and nuclear nonproliferation and dealing with the North Korean denuclearization challenge.”

    But on Friday she told reporters traveling with her that issues of human rights and religious freedom “can’t interfere with the global economic crisis, the global climate change crisis and security crises. We have to have a dialogue that leads to an understanding and cooperation on each of those.”

    So there you have it. Money, climate change, and the “war on terror” are the issues.

    Maybe this is just an acknowledgment that human rights and religious freedom aren’t that important to the US anymore.

    Category: Hillary, human rights, Obama  | Comments off
    February 19th, 2009 | Author:

    This post is part of the Favorite Founders’ Quote Friday meme. Go to Meet the Founding Fathers to see who else has participated today.

    My quote this week doesn’t specifically address the Bill of Rights, as it had not yet been adopted when these words were spoken, but it does address the spirit behind our first ten amendments. Here, then, is George Washington in his First Inaugural Address. (1789) [emphasis added]

    By the article establishing the executive department it is made the duty of the President “to recommend to your consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.” The circumstances under which I now meet you will acquit me from entering into that subject further than to refer to the great constitutional charter under which you are assembled, and which, in defining your powers, designates the objects to which your attention is to be given. It will be more consistent with those circumstances, and far more congenial with the feelings which actuate me, to substitute, in place of a recommendation of particular measures, the tribute that is due to the talents, the rectitude, and the patriotism which adorn the characters selected to devise and adopt them. In these honorable qualifications I behold the surest pledges that as on one side no local prejudices or attachments, no separate views nor party animosities, will misdirect the comprehensive and equal eye which ought to watch over this great assemblage of communities and interests, so, on another, that the foundation of our national policy will be laid in the pure and immutable principles of private morality, and the preeminence of free government be exemplified by all the attributes which can win the affections of its citizens and command the respect of the world. I dwell on this prospect with every satisfaction which an ardent love for my country can inspire, since there is no truth more thoroughly established than that there exists in the economy and course of nature an indissoluble union between virtue and happiness; between duty and advantage; between the genuine maxims of an honest and magnanimous policy and the solid rewards of public prosperity and felicity; since we ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained; and since the preservation of the sacred fire of liberty and the destiny of the republican model of government are justly considered, perhaps, as deeply, as finally, staked on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.

    Because he has a troubled conscience, Brandon Neely has publicly testified about his time as a guard at Gitmo. Speaking to the Guantanamo Testimonials Project, his 15,000 word account provides details on the following:

    the arrival of the detainees in full sensory-deprivation garb, sexual abuse by medical personnel, torture by other medical personnel, brutal beatings out of frustration, fear, and retribution, the first hunger strike and its causes, torturous shackling, positional torture, interference with religious practices and beliefs, verbal abuse, restriction of recreation, the behavior of mentally ill detainees, possible isolation regime of the first six children in GTMO

    In his report on Neely for Harper’s Magazine, Scott Horton added this:

    He describes body searches undertaken for no legitimate security purpose, simply to sexually invade and humiliate the prisoners. This was a standardized Bush Administration tactic-the importance of which became apparent to me when I participated in some Capitol Hill negotiations with White House representatives relating to legislation creating criminal law accountability for contractors. The Bush White House vehemently objected to provisions of the law dealing with rape by instrumentality. When House negotiators pressed to know why, they were met first with silence and then an embarrassed acknowledgement that a key part of the Bush program included invasion of the bodies of prisoners in a way that might be deemed rape by instrumentality under existing federal and state criminal statutes. While these techniques have long been known, the role of health care professionals in implementing them is shocking.

    It’s hard to reconcile Washington’s words of morality, honesty, and virtue with these accounts of brutality, abuse, and sexual torture. It’s harder still to believe that the God who calls us to love our brother has not obliterated our nation. I believe the only thing that accounts for this is God’s incredible patience and His desire that all men be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. But God will not strive with man forever.

    Our Bill of Rights recognizes the God-given rights of the individual. If we the people do not demand justice for our White-House-directed violation of these rights, because Obama has already indicated that he won’t; if we the people do not confess our sins against humanity to Almighty God and plead for the forgiveness found in Jesus Christ, but arrogantly continue to declare that we are the champions of right; then God will judge our nation. He will bring us to our knees until every tongue confesses that Jesus Christ is Lord.