the holistic radical

January 18, 2008

Incredible must-read article by Nat Hentoff–what the CIA had to destroy

Hentoff is a national treasure. We are running out of time to impeach Bush, and Hentoff presents more persuasive reasons why such action is not only warranted, but necessary. Average citizens will not be protected from CIA-allowed torture in the future, and the destruction of evidence going on here is not only unjust and morally shady, but it’s outright criminal–here are the actions of power out of control, here are the frantic moves of an empire crumbling.
The whole “is waterboarding torture” debate should not be taking place, and speaks volumes about our moral degradation. Of course waterboarding is torture: it is more than “simulated drowning”–it is all but real drowning–it is oxygen deprivation and it is being used to coerce information out of people–people who do not even have to be formally charged with any crime, who can be you or me called an “enemy combatant” (see the debate on internet freedoms and why S. 1959 must be defeated–Ron Paul is the only candidate taking a stand on this). Average citizens must go on the record and display their abhorrence to it, if governments are being reprehensible about it.
http://www.villagevoice.com/generic/show_print.php?id=78870&page=&issue=0803&printcde=MzYwMTc2NzQwMg==&refpage=L2FkbWluL2VkaXQvZWRpdC5waHA/aWQ9Nzg4NzAmc2VjdGlvbj1uZXdz
Nat Hentoff
What the CIA Had to Destroy
The many reasons this torture evidence was too hot to handle
by Nat Hentoff
January 15th, 2008 6:14 PM
So what was on those videotapes destroyed by the CIA? Let’s put a face to it. Abu Zubaydah was captured in Pakistan in 2002 and, after being shot in the groin while trying to escape, was sent to recover in a CIA secret prison. He would be the first of the CIA’s many “ghost prisoners”—and also the first to test the value of what the president has often described as an “alternative set of [interrogation] procedures . . . that are safe and necessary.”As described by Ron Suskind in The One Percent Doctrine: Deep Inside America’s Pursuit of Its Enemies Since 9/11 , Zubaydah—held in an ice-cold cell—was denied medication for his wounds, threatened with death, prevented from sleeping, incessantly blasted with pounding rock music (by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, among others), and, at last, waterboarded. After 30 seconds of feeling that he was on the verge of drowning, he was more than eager to answer any questions.

In a September 6, 2006, speech, George W. Bush triumphantly called Zubaydah “one of the top operatives plotting and planning death and destruction on the United States.” After the application of those “alternative” interrogation procedures, which the president described as “designed to . . . comply with our laws, our Constitution, and our treaty obligations, [and which] the Department of Justice reviewed extensively and determined to be lawful,” the detainee “disclosed Khalid Sheikh Mohammed [to be] the mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks” and “also provided information that helped stop a terrorist attack being planned for inside the United States.”

But, Suskind added, two weeks before Bush’s words of praise for these “coercive” interrogations, Dan Coleman—the FBI’s leading expert on Al Qaeda—asserted that Zubaydah was “insane, certifiable, split personality,” and that he wasn’t the top operative he was made out to be. The CIA was informed of Coleman’s assessment, and it was, “of course, briefed to the President and Vice President.” Undaunted, Bush made his congratulatory speech and then surreptitiously said to CIA director George Tenet: “I said he was important. You’re not going to let me lose face on this, are you?”

After his involuntary contribution to the advanced arts of interrogation, Zubaydah became a resident of our penal colony at Guantánamo Bay, which the president has made an entirely law-free zone, much like the CIA’s secret prisons. But after two Supreme Court decisions contradicted the commander in chief in his assertion of unfettered war powers, the Bush administration reluctantly set up a transparently prosecutorial kangaroo court there.

In April of last year, appearing before a status-review tribunal to determine whether he had been accurately designated as an enemy combatant, Zubaydah testified, as reported in the New York Times, that as a Palestinian, and because of American support for Israel, “I have been an enemy of yours since I was a child.”

However, he insisted that as a longtime adherent of “defensive jihad”—and despite what he’d said after being waterboarded—”I disagreed with the Al Qaeda philosophy of targeting innocent civilians like those at the World Trade Center. . . . I never conducted nor financially supported, nor helped in any operation against America.”

He explained that he’d made false statements while being tortured by the CIA. Asked by the president of the tribunal, an Air Force colonel, “Can you describe a little bit more about what those treatments were?”, Zubaydah obliged.

Not surprisingly, his answers are not part of the transcript. I expect that Attorney General Michael Mukasey would consider those waterboarding details to be “state secrets” involving highly classified “sources and methods.”

Paul Gimigliano, a professional Pinocchio (i.e., spokesman) for the CIA, said that however Zubaydah described his treatment, “The United States does not conduct or condone torture. The agency’s terrorist interrogation program has been implemented lawfully, with great care and close review.”

If you have any doubts, just ask Attorney General Mukasey, whose department is conducting a close review (but close for whose sake?) of the destroyed CIA interrogation tapes starring Abu Zubaydah. But the Justice Department says that it cannot tell us how long this inquiry—which is being conducted in conjunction with the CIA—will take.

That’s not surprising in view of the intricate tapestry of cover-ups woven by both agencies and by the White House. With so little time remaining before the next administration takes over, a special independent prosecutor must be appointed before more criminal evidence disappears.

According to a December 30 investigation by The New York Times, as “interrogations of Abu Zubaydah had gotten rougher” in the CIA secret prison, “each new tactic [had to be] approved by cable from headquarters.”

CIA headquarters? Justice Department headquarters? White House lawyers? Names, please!

There’s another crucial dimension to uncovering the effects of what Zubaydah— terrified that he was about to drown— allegedly revealed during those “rougher” interrogations: There are several cases of purported terrorists before our courts who are being prosecuted on the basis of Zubaydah’s desperate testimony in that CIA black site.

For example, American citizen José Padilla was arrested at O’Hare Airport in 2002, after allegedly conspiring with Zubaydah and Al Qaeda to set off a “dirty bomb” in the United States. Padilla—himself relentlessly tortured while being held for years as an “unlawful enemy combatant”—first appeared in court on those charges before none other than Michael Mukasey, at the time a federal judge in New York. Mukasey ordered him imprisoned on a material-witness warrant, based in part on the information that had been proffered by Zubaydah under waterboarding. Then, suddenly, Padilla was taken out of the federal-court system by order of George W. Bush and vanished for years without even a hearing or charges or access to a lawyer.

Marjorie Cohn, a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, says: “It is not clear whether Mukasey knew Zubaydah’s statements were obtained by torture. But since he issued the warrant, Mukasey has a real or apparent conflict of interest” as one of the heads of the current investigation into the CIA- destroyed torture videos. Mukasey has appointed a career federal prosecutor to head the investigation and report back to him.

Cohn adds: “[Mukasey] has said it is premature to appoint an outside special counsel. But like the Nixon administration, the Department of Justice cannot be trusted to investigate itself. Congress should be pressured to pass a new independent-counsel stature.”

There are bipartisan constitutional lawyers beginning to apply that pressure, but there will be passionate resistance from Congressional Republicans. Do you think that Democratic Congressional leaders Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi will give a damn?

December 16, 2007

Letter to My Countryfellows

US & world politics we may not be able to change, but we can take charge of our health–and the issues are connected, deeply. I’ll try to compactly explain how & why it is so important (& possible) for you to take steps now to inform yourself and preserve your health, so that you can preserve your life, take care of yourself and the community you live in.

These aren’t things you will hear on The Nightly News or even PBS. That’s because those are corporations (Even the Corporation for Public Broadcasting) & all corporations uphold & worship only one thing– the Almighty Dollar. They want you to consume, and if you can’t or won’t, they’ll try to shred your self-esteem to bits. We must recognize that “better stuff” does not equal a “better life.” Although we are in an inflationary society that penalizes savings, we must learn how to provide for ourselves–and one of the most important ways to do this is through establishing our good health. Health is the wealth the elite do not want the masses to have.

So…if we accept the premise that the media is highly controlled, as are the schools, as is everything we learn…we know how providing alternate information or dissenting information can be a threat, even in this supposed “democracy.”

There is a bill–S. 1959– before the Senate now (please write or call your Senators) that supposedly quite innocently wises to establish a Committee-something-to-other to study the rise of “homegrown terrorism” and “violent radicalization.” However, this proposed law (we citizens still have the power to stop it) is really vague and can be used to shred the free speech rights of casically anyone who might be a little “fringe.” This “Committee” will try to get support from Academia to legitimate its claims–prove its hypothesis for them–that “homegrown terrorism” is a really big problem, far bigger than the 45 million Americans, say, without health insurance.

Things are getting dark in America, and yes, I want to be alarmist. Here I am passing on what I am reading from multiple sources about how bad things are now and how bad they are likely to get in “the future”–and let’s just say that it’s not a future that will be for everyone to participate in. And I don’t just mean the exclusion of some people from buying a house or retiring early. I mean the killing off the people, though:

–aspartame, splenda, splenda, etc., any and all artificial sweeteners

–vaccinations (forced)

–manufactured diseases and/or the release of biological agents

–Big Pharma medications (Avandia, Vioxx)

–tainted and genetically modified foods (GMOs–most commonly in corn and soy and products containing corn and soy)

–fluoridated water (and fluoridated salt in some countries)

–cell phone radiation/ computer radiation

As well as the “standard” killers:

polluted air

secondhand smoke

hazardous building materials

warfare

hunger/malnutrition

etc…

And how will people be controlled? This will be the icing on the cake. Already we have show trials in Guantanamo (no Geneva convention rights–no charges against “enemy combatants”–a test for here).

Plus show trials here:

–“plea bargains”

–the mass imprisonment of the poor, unemployed, and (mostly) nonwhite

–the 4th Amendment is dead–courtesy of the “Patriot” Act–Americans need to understand what this act means–this act was swept through Congress before they could read it, conveniently in the hysteria that set in during the few months after the events of 9/11/2001. The FBI can enter your home and search it when you are not around and they do not have to warn you, notify you, or have a warrant. This is insanity. Everyone is a potential criminal, and when that begins to be carried out, by searching us all, it will not be pretty.

The fact of the matter is that more prisons than schools are being built today in America–they can’t build them fast enough, at huge profits for (sub) contractors. And–hold on to your chair–concentration camps–“civilian labor camps”–are being built in America. By the way, in case of emergency, natural or man made, FEMA can take hold and declare martial law. No Constitution involved or required.

A few more points:

>>In 2005, to take effect in May 2008, something called the “REAL ID” was passed, because apparently terrorism is such a huge problem (more than, say, the 40,000 homeless in New York City alone). States will be pressured to force this National ID card onto its citizens because otherwise they will not get Federal Funding. If you, John Q. Citizen, do not submit to this card, you will not be allowed to: enter a Federal/Public Building, take a train, or take a plane. Can anyone say, “Police state”? “Papers, please!”

>>When this fascism does not prove to be enough to control the populace (“cards are not secure”), efforts will be made to put chips in people. Then such chips will be tied to all financial accounts you have, all buying and selling, and all cash will be eliminated. These chips have been invented already–they are called the Verichip–and are being marketed for “medical purposes” like Alzheimer’s patients, despite the facts that the chips are invasive, can have side effects, are extremely vulnerable to identity theft (the fastest growing crime in the US as all our information becomes interlinked with computers), and have not been proven more effective at person identification/medical identification than the good-old-reliable medicalert bracelets.

>>There will be bank runs in America again sometime soon, and 1929 will look like a picnic. This is because our money is worthless, printed by the Federal Reserve cartel of big bankers rather than our own government, and because any gold in fort knox ostensibly used to back up our ‘currency’ (such as it is) has been given away in foreign debt payments a long time ago–no audits of fort knox holdings since the 1950s…gold is over $800 an ounce now, it will move past $1000 in our lifetime, if not soon–people are waking up to the need for hard currency–after this point silver will also become more appealing as an investment…I wish I could be proud of my country, but it’s an oligarchy, not a democracy, and we are massively exploiting other countries and ourselves being screwed.

>> In 2010, or around then, depending on how fast the elite can work–and history shows they’re pretty efficient–there will be something called the North American Union, with one currency, the Amero (and presumably all our dollars will be even more worthless than they are now). If you’re wondering why you haven’t heard about this in “the media” (besides the fact that they are corporations, the CIA has a thing called Operation Mockingbird designed to plant their agents & disinformation into the media–to perpetrate their Psy Ops/ Psychological Operations aka Mind Control–I don’t know a lot about this, but I have no reason to disbelieve this–it’s because it’s an outrageous assault on national sovereignty and has nothing to do with trade. (NAFTA was just the beginning for this.) Supposedly the NAU (North American Union) will be “patterned after the EU,” but that would make it sound harmless, which it is most certainly not. It’s a step toward One-World Government, which the elites like the Rockefellers have wanted since WWII. An Asian Union (“for trade,” of course) is also in the works for 2015, and apparently there is already an African Union (which, again, I don’t know a lot about and would love to be sent information about, but I have no reason to disbelieve that the American media would censor this as well, as it censors other controversies like the idea that AIDS was probably created in the lab, and that certainly more AIDS deaths happen due to liver failure from toxic effects of antiviral cocktails than to the disease itself, etc.)

So…more to say but not now. I am not saying for anyone to liquidate their savings or do anything rash. I certainly don’t have any special information or all the answers. I just do a lot of browsing, which I present in the links here, and I keep an open mind.
See clip on YouTube or Google Video (alas, same difference: “Television is a Goddamned Amusement Park” from Network).

Please donate to and support Ron Paul–Tea Party Today!

https://www.ronpaul2008.com/donate/

December 11, 2007

Ron Paul speaks out against S. 1959–calling it for what it is–an attack on free speech on and off the Internet

from Rense.com

People, please read this and read the proposed law and think about how vague it is and how unlikely “violent radicalization” is, and how precious our rights are, and what is being threatened. Email your senators.

http://www.rense.com/general79/attck.htm

Ron Paul – HR 1955 (Now S. 1959)


An Attack On Internet Freedom

12-6-7

Note also – Ron Paul was one of only TWO Congressmen who voted against this second enormous attack on internet freedom and your rights in general.   
 
House OKs Draconian ‘Illegal Images’ Sweeps In WiFi Bill
http://www.news.com/8301-13578_3-9829759-38.html?tag=nefd.top
 
The House Vote was 409 to 2.  Not one Democrat opposed the ludicrously-named ‘SAFE Act.’ Two Republicans did: Rep.
Ron Paul, the libertarian-leaning presidential candidate from Texas, and Rep. Paul Broun from Georgia. The ‘Congress’ still refuses to read, honor and obey the Constitution. -ed
 
 
‘Homegrown Terror’ Act An Attack On Internet Freedom? 
By Rep. Ron Paul
 
Before the US House of Representatives, December 5, 2007
 
I regret that I was unavoidably out of town on October 23, 2007, when a vote was taken on HR 1955, the Violent Radicalization & Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act. Had I been able to vote, I would have voted against this misguided and dangerous piece of legislation. This legislation focuses the weight of the US government inward toward its own citizens under the guise of protecting us against “violent radicalization.”
 
I would like to note that this legislation was brought to the floor for a vote under suspension of regular order. These so-called “suspension” bills are meant to be non-controversial, thereby negating the need for the more complete and open debate allowed under regular order. It is difficult for me to believe that none of my colleagues in Congress view HR 1955, with its troubling civil liberties implications, as “non-controversial.”
 
There are many causes for concern in HR 1955. The legislation specifically singles out the Internet for “facilitating violent radicalization, ideologically based violence, and the homegrown terrorism process” in the United States. Such language may well be the first step toward US government regulation of what we are allowed to access on the Internet. Are we, for our own good, to be subjected to the kind of governmental control of the Internet that we see in unfree societies? This bill certainly sets us on that course.
 
This seems to be an unwise and dangerous solution in search of a real problem. Previous acts of ideologically-motivated violence, though rare, have been resolved successfully using law enforcement techniques, existing laws against violence, and our court system. Even if there were a surge of “violent radicalization” ­ a claim for which there is no evidence ­ there is no reason to believe that our criminal justice system is so flawed and weak as to be incapable of trying and punishing those who perpetrate violent acts.
 
This legislation will set up a new government bureaucracy to monitor and further study the as-yet undemonstrated pressing problem of homegrown terrorism and radicalization. It will no doubt prove to be another bureaucracy that artificially inflates problems so as to guarantee its future existence and funding. But it may do so at great further expense to our civil liberties. What disturbs me most about this legislation is that it leaves the door wide open for the broadest definition of what constitutes “radicalization.” Could otherwise nonviolent anti-tax, antiwar, or anti-abortion groups fall under the watchful eye of this new government commission? Assurances otherwise in this legislation are unconvincing.
 
In addition, this legislation will create a Department of Homeland Security-established university-based body to further study radicalization and to “contribute to the establishment of training, written materials, information, analytical assistance and professional resources to aid in combating violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism.” I wonder whether this is really a legitimate role for institutes of higher learning in a free society.
 
Legislation such as this demands heavy-handed governmental action against American citizens where no crime has been committed. It is yet another attack on our Constitutionally- protected civil liberties. It is my sincere hope that we will reject such approaches to security, which will fail at their stated goal at a great cost to our way of life.

November 26, 2007

Need things to say to your representatives/ senators when you call or email?

How about the following?


Do not pass S. 1959!
I am not a criminal because I keep a blog and use the internet to post my political beliefs.

I am very concerned about how vague this law defines ideological crimes or incitement to crimes. I am concerned about my civil liberties, and how this law can easily make almost anyone into a “terrorist” should they try to communicate unconventional ideas about our government, or about “social change.”

This law is a step in the wrong direction, a step toward controlling people. This law does not promote security and prosperity. I would like my elected officials to promote security through means of ensuring economic equality and justice, not through increasing militarization and increasingly punitive laws.

Please do not attempt to censor me, or anyone in the general public; do not censor the Internet or the Press. I will have no part in your military-industrial-corporate complex. I will not take a microchip in the future. I will not be catalogued. I am not a worker bee. I am not a product. I am an intrinsically valuable human being and I will not be sold out for the power-interests of others. I pay taxes, and am saddened that they are used for fueling never-ending wars. Will you take a real stand to fully investigate the events of 9/11/2001? Or will you be part of the elite group who labels questioners “radicals” and “terrorists”? I am an artist and would love to be doing my art, not writing to you. In a free country, I could live in peace. If this law is passed, my art and my vocation could make me into a criminal.

I’d rather have checks and balances and separation of powers than "interagency coordination"




They always need more power, don’t they? They never have enough power to do their job, so they always need more power.

One can vaguely remember a time when the legislative didn’t do the absolute bidding of the executive.

Now you could speak for any kind of “social change” and be considered a terrorist.

I would love big government if it actually fed the hungry, gave shelter to the homeless, gave places for drug users to kick their habits, stopped making teens all out to have mood disorders and in need of toxic, psychotropic, flouridated medication, and gave everyone meaningful education, access to information, decent housing, clean water and food, and employment. Since our current big government isn’t doing any of those things, and since our taxes are actually going to pay off the national debt and the cartel of banks known as the Federal Reserve, perhaps we should have a small government, or dismantle this government and make a new one. Preferably one without an electoral college. We still have the right to revolution, you know. It’s what was done in 1776.

***Disclaimer to overzealous law enforcement: I am not advocating the use of force or violence, physical, intellectual, or otherwise. What I am advocating is a serious reflection on the system and its change or transformation into a new and just system, or the adoption of such a system. I am not advocating the physical or other kind of harm to anyone under any circumstances. It is very important, above all, that we use democratic means of voting and press/reporting to improve our lives and the lives of others and educate people about what they can do to make positive personal and community changes, without the use of violence, force, or domination whatsoever. It is essential that we do not use the ploys or tactics of punitive and authoritarian systems. It is important to build our strength through common awareness and collective actions such as economic boycotts, letter-writing, community groups, town hall meetings, and so on.

I am not representing any group or organization. I am a private concerned citizen. I am maintaining this personal web-page or web-blog as a way of exercising my right to free speech. This personal web page is for the information of others, to communicate and start dialogue with others. Again, I am in no way whatsoever calling for any kind of violent action or any kind of action that could be perceived as violent or aggressive. I am not condoning the breaking of any laws.

How does Big Brother intend to protect your fast-disappearing right to dissent?


I’d really like to see how they intend to do this.
It’s lip service. There is no other mention of how civil liberties intend to be protected, other than a statement in the next section about how provisions of this law are to be “racially neutral.” That means equal-opportunity accusations of terrorism. We can’t have race-blind and need blind college admissions, but law and military enforcement and urban warfare agents will seize you and your assets no matter what ethnicity you are.

What’s wrong with this proposed law?

“Ideologically based violence”= not defined in the law. Essentially “thought crime.”
And is no one else disturbed that Google (a search engine) owns/controls YouTube and Blogger?
What happens when the Internet becomes censored? The mainstream media already is.
Anyone who doesn’t live to buy or sell–if you’re poor, say–well, you become a prisoner, all ready for one of FEMA’s concentration camps (search YouTube for “conentration camps being built for US citizens”).
Also, it’s amazing what’s a “Federal” crime nowadays. Because internet postings can be seen across state lines, be aware that Internet postings can be seen as a Federal Felony. Again, the security problem is you.

now, a single person exercising their right to free speech is an easily traced potential criminal.

how is “violent radicalization” defined? how is a “threat” construed? not defined in this law, unless you consider these vague terms not authoritarian.


what happened to “clear and present” danger?
what happened to “innocent until proven guilty,” not the other way around.
americans are so doped up on high fructose corn syrup, aspartame/nutrasweet/neotame/splenda, ritalin, prozac, synthetic birth control, xenoestrogens, plastics leaching, genetically modified organisms (in most processed foods, especially those with corn or soy) and flouride in the drinking water lowering their IQ.

welcome to the control grid. if you question the grid, you are a threat. by the way, we don’t disclose what we do with threats, because we’re not a democracy anymore.

Welcome to the Police State

See below. You are the terrorist. You are the criminal. Defeat this now or live in regret.

THIS IS AN URGENT ACTION ALERT:


S 1959 “Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007” must be stopped at all costs.


Pick up your phone today and contact your US Senator’s office to instruct them to vote “NO” on S.1959.


Click here for your Senators contact info:
http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm Full PDF text if the bill:
http://tinyurl.com/3a3y2z


If this bill is passed, and becomes law, your words and actions could be considered terrorism. S 1959 EVISCERATES FREE SPEECH, and empowers the govt. to declare ANYTHING they deem an “extremist belief system”, instantly make you a terrorist, resulting in stripping of US citizenship, torture, and/or execution, with no habeas corpus rights, no ability to challenge even in the US Supreme Court.

Contact your Senator and let them know they will be looking for another job if they vote yes on this bill, which is now introduced into the Senate as S.1959 THIS BILL **MUST NOT** BECOME LAW, PERIOD.

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h110-1955
http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s110-1959

If this becomes law, your words could be considered “promoting an extremist belief system”, and all they have to say is that you are using PLANNED OR THREATENED *FORCE* (DOES NOT HAVE TO BE VIOLENCE) –FORCE by exposing CORRUPTION, CRIMINALITY against “THE CIVILIAN POPULATION OF THE UNITED STATES, *****OR ANY SEGMENT THEREOF” READ THE BILL MANY TIMES AND VERY CAREFULLY–YOU ARE THE TERRORIST (WHICH MEANS THEY CAN STRIP YOUR CITIZENSHIP, AND HAVE YOU TORTURED AND EXECUTED).

Senate is back in session today, do not hesitate, call, fax, email your Senator ASAP.

Click here for your Senators contact info:
http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

Yours in Freedom and Liberty,


Gary Franchi


RTR National Director, www.RestoreTheRepublic.com

Managing Editor, www.RepublicMagazines.com

Founder, Lone Lantern Society of America, www.LoneLantern.org

Host, Lone Lantern Radio, www.WTPRN.com

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