Attorney General Strengthens Commitment to Equal Opportunity in Recovery Spending

Equal opportunity is one of our nation’s most valuable national assets.

On September 27, 2010, the Office of the Attorney General reinvigorated our nation’s commitment to opportunity for all people by releasing a memorandum adopting The Opportunity Agenda’s ongoing policy recommendations for the economic recovery.

To comply with civil rights requirements prohibiting discrimination based on race, color, national origin, disability, and gender in federally funded programs, the Attorney General stated that federal agencies should consider:

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Cheney Running Scared, But Where's Rahm Emmanuel?

Trying with all his might to make Attorney General Holder's torture investigation all about "destroying morale at the CIA" and disarming America of "techniques" that worked (read: threatening to rape prisoners' mothers), How-Far-Have-the-Mighty-Fallen Dick Cheney had to put on his tie again yesterday to work the talk shows, rather than relaxing like a proper ex-VP at fishing and accidentally shooting his friends in the face.  

Cheney::

"My sort of overwhelming view is that the enhanced interrogation techniques were absolutely essential in saving thousands of American lives and preventing further attacks," he said. "It was good policy. It was properly carried out. It worked very, very well."

The real question is why Rahm Emmanuel, who supposedly revels in the political battle, is allowing Cheney to savage his boss without a come-back, as if just because he didn't want investigations, he's going to stand back and let Obama take a beating which will stick in the minds of the misguided torture-equals-safety crowd.  

It's not Obama's job to fire back. It's an investigation and it is ongoing.  As the purely political pitbull Emmanuel is under no such constraints.

He has plenty to work with.  Like FBI Director Robert Mueller's unequivocal statement that


asked whether any attacks had been disrupted because of intelligence obtained through the coercive methods. "I don't believe that has been the case," Mr. Mueller said. (A spokesman for Mr. Mueller, John Miller, said on Tuesday, "The quote is accurate.")

The New York Times noted:

That assessment stands in sharp contrast to many assertions by Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney, who on Fox News on Sunday said of the methods: "They did work. They kept us safe for seven years."

Or the strenuous on-air assertion by who could be called the father of the modern CIA, former Director Bill Colby, who said torture is "ineffective."

Emmanuel could be using any of these credible sources to defend Obama against Cheney's all-but-announcing that Obama is a traitor putting American lives at risk.  But so far, no Rahm.

Willie Stark in Penn Warren's classic "All the King's Men" said in politics you are surrounded by the sons-of-bitches: yours and theirs.  Letting Obama take these punches without hitting back weakens everything he stands for, healthcare, clean energy.  I move someone nominate me to take Rahm's place.  Let me in there.  I'll respond to Cheney.

The corrupt old coot who stops not even at defending (through John Yoo)"crushing the testicles of children" to make their parents talk, or threatening to rape a terror suspect's mother, sees right where this is going if he doesn't manage to spin this as an attack on the brave men and women at the CIA: him.  (That terror suspect whose mother was threatened, al-Nashiri, denies masterminding the bombing of the USS Cole.  Now says his confession was obtained, you guessed it, under torture.)

Cheney's got a problem, because someone who actually did put on a uniform and serve his country while Cheney chickened out of the Vietnam War, General Anthony Taguba, puts Cheney and that other draft-dodger right in his crosshairs in his definitive report on torture, "Broken Lives":


"the permissive environment created by implicit and explicit authorizations by senior US officials to "take the gloves off" encouraged forms of torture even beyond the draconian methods approved at various times between 2002 and 2004. In an environment of moral disengagement that countenances authorized techniques designed to humiliate and dehumanize detainees, it is not surprising that other forms of human cruelty such as physical and sexual assault were practiced. The fact that these unauthorized torture practices happened over extended periods of time at multiple US detention facilities suggests that a permissive command environment existed across theatres and at several levels in the chain-of-command."

Taguba asks whether a smoking gun can be traced straight to none other than William Haynes, General Counsel of the Department of Defense, who Taguba notes told the "admiral in charge of detainees in Afghanistan "to `take the gloves off' and ask whatever he wanted" in the questioning of John Walker Lindh." 

Cheney's got a problem because former CIA interrogators are coming out to call him a liar, if those hired by the president to answer political attacks would only use it.  From Truthout.org, "US Interrogators Back Torture Probe":
 

Cloonan and Kleinman, who conducted interrogations of terror suspects after 9/11, disputed claims by former CIA Director Michael Hayden and Republican lawmakers that a criminal investigation would damage intelligence gathering and could lead to another 9/11-type attack on the United States.

   In an interview, Cloonan and Kleinman said Hayden and the lawmakers were sounding "false alarms" in an effort to keep serious crimes from being exposed. "What this is really about is cover your ass," Cloonan said. "To suggest [intelligence gathering] will come to a screeching halt if there were an investigation is not accurate."

Jack Cloonan and Kleinman, insiders, tell us why present CIA personnel are strangely silent:


"Kleinman and Cloonan believe many of their colleagues in the intelligence community share their views. But many are unable to speak out publicly, Kleinman said, "because to do so is almost a career ender.""

When will Americans see it's not about safety but about getting the confessions they needed for public consumption?  If Bush-Cheney cared about our safety, they would have nabbed bin Laden at Tora Bora when they had him cornered.    That's all you need to know to understand the heart of the Bush-Cheney administration.

ACTION: CALL THE WHITE HOUSE, SAY "FIRE BACK AT CHENEY ON TORTURE, DAMMIT!" 202-456-1111 FAX: 202-456-2461

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Hey NY Times, How About the "Palestinian Hanging" Torture?

It's pretty clear the media strategy in this torture thing is to limit the coverage to the more milquetoast-ee tortures like pouring cold water on guys and making it look like they were trying to be careful about it.  This is why newspapers are losing circulation and going under: there's no news.  The Internet has emerged the supreme source of information.  Why pay for a paper when I can find out a lot more at work surfing DKos every now and then (Ha!  Caught you guys!  Get back to work!)

Hey New York Times, what about the Palestinian Hanging?  You need look no further than Major General Anthony Taguba's definitive report to find out about it.  You are hung with your arms behind you often causing dislocation of the arms from the sockets.  A tweaked version was to put your feet on an electrified drum through which to deliver shocks.  Since Obama will not release the torture photos, this is what it looks like:

This is the position in which al-Jamadi died, the prisoner in the famous Abu Ghraib photo of his body packed in ice.  The torture causes pulmonary damage.  As the guards released the shackles and lowered al-Jamadi, a witness said, blood gushed from his mouth "as if a faucet had been turned on."

Then you've got the plain bloody murder, but we won't talk about that, will we?  The media has ignored the large number of interrogation subjects who were "interrogated" until lights out.  At least 51 of these have died since Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld was informed of the abuses at Abu Ghraib on January 16, 2004.

Oh yes, then you have the child rape.  Sy Hersh said:

   

" Some of the worst things that happened you don't know about, okay? Videos, um, there are women there. Some of you may have read that they were passing letters out, communications out to their men. This is at Abu Ghraib ... The women were passing messages out saying 'Please come and kill me, because of what's happened' and basically what happened is that those women who were arrested with young boys, children in cases that have been recorded. The boys were sodomized with the cameras rolling. And the worst above all of that is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking that your government has. They are in total terror. It's going to come out."

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said at the time:
"The American public needs to understand, we're talking about rape and murder here. We're not just talking about giving people a humiliating experience. We're talking about rape and murder and some very serious charges."

A compilation in November2008 of other evidence of alleged incidents involving children at the time recounts:

-- Iraqi lawyer Sahar Yasiri, representing the Federation of Prisoners and Political Prisoners, said in a published interview there are more than 400,000 detainees in Iraq being held in 36 prisons and camps and that 95 percent of the 10,000 women among them have been raped. Children, he said, "suffer from torture, rape, (and) starvation" and do not know why they have been arrested. He added the children have been victims of "random" arrests "not based on any legal text."

-- Iraqi TV reporter, Suhaib Badr-Addin al-Baz, arrested while making a documentary and thrown into Abu Ghraib for 74 days, told Mackay he saw "hundreds" of children there. Al-Baz said he heard one 12-year-old girl crying, "They have undressed me. They have poured water over me." He said he heard her whimpering daily.

-- German TV reporter Thomas Reutter of "Report Mainz" quoted U.S. Army Sgt. Samuel Provance that interrogation specialists "poured water" over one 16-year-old Iraqi boy, drove him throughout a cold night, "smeared him with mud" and then showed him to his father, who was also in custody. Apparently, one tactic employed by the Bush regime is to elicit confessions from adults by dragging their abused children in front of them.

-- Jonathan Steele, wrote in the British "The Guardian" that "Hundreds of children, some as young as nine, are being held in appalling conditions in Baghdad's prisons...Sixteen-year-old Omar Ali told the "Guardian" he spent more than three years at Karkh juvenile prison sleeping with 75 boys to a cell that is just five by 10 meters, some of them on the floor. Omar told the paper guards often take boys to a separate room in the prison and rape them.

-- Raad Jamal, age 17, was taken from his Doura home by U.S. troops and turned over to the Iraqi Army's Second regiment where Jamal said he was hung from the ceiling by ropes and beaten with electric cables.

Keep it up, NY Times! Bloggers want the advertising rev you are losing every time your circulation goes down!


Call the Office of the Attorney General, "NO WHITE WASH!" at (202) 353-1555. Then email the Justice Department.

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Does Being Dead Count as "Organ Failure" from Torture?

Yesterday a powerful American, so rare for these days, did the right thing and took us a step toward being an object of awe in the world once again.  Only in America can a poor man or woman from the humblest of origins rise to the highest office in the land.  Only in America were racist barriers torn down as a result of a national soul-searching.  And only in America, maybe, just maybe, can men like Dick Cheney get their comeuppance, after playing on fear and ignorance like a virtuoso for 9 years, and hitting the talk shows with it as recently as this very morning, a full 7 months after he became just a private citizen.

With Attorney General Holder (even the title suddenly has a more noble ring to it) now appointing Assistant United States Attorney John Durham to determine "whether there is sufficient predication for a full investigation into whether the law was violated in connection with the interrogation of certain detainees," my question is, does being dead count as organ failure?

Since the Bush administration in the person of now-Chapman College professor John Yoo said anything short of "organ failure" is not torture,  perhaps the anywhere from 70 to over a hundred detainees who have died in U.S. custody can be investigated.  While we've been talking about torture, the media has ignored the large number of interrogation subjects who were "interrogated" until lights out.  At least 51 of these have died since Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld was informed of the abuses at Abu Ghraib on January 16, 2004.

Dick Cheney is going around town saying torture is okay, because it was giving us information on Al Qaeda.  If we got a few who didn't know anything, well, that's how it goes.  In witch trials of old, they threw you in the water, and if you drowned and sank rather than floated, at least you died knowing that you had been proven innocent.

We're talking about murder.

This is not how you convict and execute an alleged terrorist in any modern democracy or in a prison run by one.  And yet it has received the silent treatment of century in this torture debate.  The AP article trying hard to spin the debate under some sort of control talks of interrogators blowing cigar smoke into prisoners faces to make them vomit.  Woo woo.  The right wingers are going to love that.  The libtards think you shouldn't blow smoke in a terrorist's face boo hoo!

It's not blowing cigar smoke, it's Palestinian Hanging, baby.  Documented in the General Taguba report, you are hung with your arms behind you often causing dislocation of the arms from the sockets.  A tweaked version was to put your feet on an electrified drum through which to deliver shocks.  Since Obama will not release the torture photos, because pictures are what make people "get it," here is an stock photo from World War II of the practice:

This is the position in which al-Jamadi died, the prisoner in the famous Abu Ghraib photo of his body packed in ice.

The torture causes pulmonary damage. As the guards released the shackles and lowered al-Jamadi, blood gushed from his mouth "as if a faucet had been turned on," said a witness.

General Taguba makes no bones about where this must go.  Not the low-levels, but those who gave the orders.  Next up for Holder:

-- William Haynes, General Counsel of the Department of Defense, who Taguba notes told the "admiral in charge of detainees in Afghanistan "to `take the gloves off' and ask whatever he wanted" in the questioning of John Walker Lindh." Did this give the clear signal from the administration that no manner of atrocity would not be overlooked?  As Taguba notes in his seminal report:


the permissive environment created by implicit and explicit authorizations by senior US officials to "take the gloves off" encouraged forms of torture even beyond the draconian methods approved at various times between 2002 and 2004. In an environment of moral disengagement that countenances authorized techniques designed to humiliate and dehumanize detainees, it is not surprising that other forms of human cruelty such as physical and sexual assault were practiced. The fact that these unauthorized torture practices happened over extended periods of time at multiple US detention facilities suggests that a permissive command environment existed across theatres and at several levels in the chain-of-command.

-- Who does "Washington" refer to in the case of Binyam Muhamed, whose genitals were sliced to shreds.  Binyam was to be a "dot connector," chosen to implicate in terror plots whomever the administration wanted implicated, and terrorized into doing so.  He tells the Guardian:


Later, when a US airplane picked me up the following January, a female MP took pictures. She was one of the few Americans who ever showed me any sympathy. When she saw the injuries I had she gasped. They treated me and took more photos when I was in Kabul. Someone told me this was "to show Washington it's healing".

Could "Washington refer to someone whose last name starts with a "C (h)"?  

More to come.


Thank Attorney General Holder for appointing Counsel Durham to investigate torture, ask him to investigate torture deaths and to plea bargain with low-levels to obtain testimony, at (202) 353-1555 and 202-514-2001
 Then email the Justice Department.  Holder's fax:  202-307-6777

There's more...

Does Being Dead Count for "Organ Failure" in Torture?

Yesterday a powerful American, so rare for these days, did the right thing and took us a step toward being an object of awe in the world once again.  Only in America can a poor man or woman from the humblest of origins rise to the highest office in the land.  Only in America were racist barriers torn down as a result of a national soul-searching.  And only in America, maybe, just maybe, can men like Dick Cheney get their comeuppance, after playing on fear and ignorance like a virtuoso for 9 years, and hitting the talk shows with it as recently as this very morning, a full 7 months after he became just a private citizen.

With Attorney General Holder (even the title suddenly has a more noble ring to it) now appointing Assistant United States Attorney John Durham to determine "whether there is sufficient predication for a full investigation into whether the law was violated in connection with the interrogation of certain detainees," my question is, does being dead count as organ failure?

Since the Bush administration in the person of now-Chapman College professor John Yoo said anything short of "organ failure" is not torture,  perhaps the anywhere from 70 to over a hundred detainees who have died in U.S. custody can be investigated.  While we've been talking about torture, the media has ignored the large number of interrogation subjects who were "interrogated" until lights out.  At least 51 of these have died since Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld was informed of the abuses at Abu Ghraib on January 16, 2004.

Dick Cheney is going around town saying torture is okay, because it was giving us information on Al Qaeda.  If we got a few who didn't know anything, well, that's how it goes.  In witch trials of old, they threw you in the water, and if you drowned and sank rather than floated, at least you died knowing that you had been proven innocent.

We're talking about murder.

This is not how you convict and execute an alleged terrorist in any modern democracy or in a prison run by one.  And yet it has received the silent treatment of century in this torture debate.  The AP article trying hard to spin the debate under some sort of control talks of interrogators blowing cigar smoke into prisoners faces to make them vomit.  Woo woo.  The right wingers are going to love that.  The libtards think you shouldn't blow smoke in a terrorist's face boo hoo!

It's not blowing cigar smoke, it's Palestinian Hanging, baby.  Documented in the General Taguba report, you are hung with your arms behind you often causing dislocation of the arms from the sockets.  A tweaked version was to put your feet on an electrified drum through which to deliver shocks.  Since Obama will not release the torture photos, because pictures are what make people "get it," here is an historic stock photo from World War II:

This is the position in which al-Jamadi died, the prisoner in the famous Abu Ghraib photo of his body packed in ice.

General Taguba makes no bones about where this must go.  Not the low-levels, but those who gave the orders.  Next up for Holder:

-- William Haynes, General Counsel of the Department of Defense, who Taguba notes told the "admiral in charge of detainees in Afghanistan "to `take the gloves off' and ask whatever he wanted" in the questioning of John Walker Lindh." Did this give the clear signal from the administration that no manner of atrocity would not be overlooked?  As Taguba notes in his seminal report:


the permissive environment created by implicit and explicit authorizations by senior US officials to "take the gloves off" encouraged forms of torture even beyond the draconian methods approved at various times between 2002 and 2004. In an environment of moral disengagement that countenances authorized techniques designed to humiliate and dehumanize detainees, it is not surprising that other forms of human cruelty such as physical and sexual assault were practiced. The fact that these unauthorized torture practices happened over extended periods of time at multiple US detention facilities suggests that a permissive command environment existed across theatres and at several levels in the chain-of-command.

-- Who does "Washington" refer to in the case of Binyam Muhamed, whose genitals were sliced to shreds.  Binyam was to be a "dot connector," chosen to implicate in terror plots whomever the administration wanted implicated, and terrorized into doing so.  He tells the Guardian:


Later, when a US airplane picked me up the following January, a female MP took pictures. She was one of the few Americans who ever showed me any sympathy. When she saw the injuries I had she gasped. They treated me and took more photos when I was in Kabul. Someone told me this was "to show Washington it's healing".

Could "Washington refer to someone whose last name starts with a "C (h)"?  

More to come.


Thank Attorney General Holder for appointing Counsel Durham to investigate torture, ask him to investigate torture deaths and to plea bargain with low-levels to obtain testimony, at (202) 353-1555 and 202-514-2001
 Then email the Justice Department.  Holder's fax:  202-307-6777

There's more...

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