Wednesday, June 29, 2005

These are the NY Times that try men's souls...


they have character flaws...


lying is their default strategy...


they are capable of anything...


anything is possible...


The Mike Malloy Show

With host Mike Malloy, 10PM-1AM

As you are making plans for your Fourth of July celebration, consider this: The US has locked up hundreds of children in Iraq and Afghanistan - without charge and without access to their parents or legal representation - as "terror suspects." They are treated in much the same way, as adult prisoners, including the use of animals to terrorize them. They also are raped by their guards or other detainees. Does this official US policy against children qualify as sick? Degenerate? Vile? How much of this must we continue to support before we say "enough?" Further, a decision apparently has been made in the Bush Crime Family to use naval vessels as floating torture facilities. The use of prison ships allows interrogators the luxury of torturing people in international waters out of the reach of US law. This is who we have become. Mike will discuss the topic tonight.



The New York Times
Op-Ed Contributor

Arrested Development

Published: June 29, 2005
Berkeley, Calif.

LAST month John Miller, director of the State Department's Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, said that half the victims of human trafficking may be children under 18. Children are "at the center" of the problem of trafficking, which, Mr. Miller noted, is one of the great human rights issues of the 21st century. Yes, children should be at the heart of our concern for human rights. But that concern should start with the children detained in American prisons in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantánamo Bay.

Under international law, the line between childhood and maturity is 18. In communications with Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, the Pentagon has lowered the cutoff to 16. For this reason among others, we don't know exactly how many Iraqi children are in American custody. But before the transfer of sovereignty from the Coalition Provisional Authority to an Iraqi interim government a year ago, the International Committee of the Red Cross reported registering 107 detainees under 18 during visits to six prisons controlled by coalition troops. Some detainees were as young as 8.

Since that time, Human Rights Watch reports that the number has risen. The figures from Afghanistan are still more alarming: the journalist Seymour Hersh wrote last month in the British newspaper The Guardian that a memo addressed to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld shortly after the 2001 invasion reported "800-900 Pakistani boys 13-15 years of age in custody."

Juvenile detainees in American facilities like Abu Ghraib and Bagram Air Base have been subject to the same mistreatment as adults. The International Red Cross, Amnesty International and the Pentagon itself have gathered substantial testimony of torture of children, bolstered by accounts from soldiers who witnessed or participated in the abuse.

According to Amnesty International, 13-year-old Mohammed Ismail Agha was arrested in Afghanistan in late 2002 and detained without charge or trial for over a year, first at Bagram and then at Guantánamo Bay. He was held in solitary confinement and subjected to sleep deprivation. "Whenever I started to fall asleep, they would kick at my door and yell at me to wake up," he told an Amnesty researcher. "They made me stand partway, with my knees bent, for one or two hours."

A Canadian, Omar Khadr, was 15 in 2002 when he was captured in Afghanistan and interned at Guantánamo. For 2½ years, he was allowed no contact with a lawyer or with his family. Seventeen-year-old Akhtar Mohammed told Amnesty that he was kept in solitary confinement in a shipping container for eight days in Afghanistan in January 2002.

A Pentagon investigation last year by Maj. Gen. George Fay reported that in January 2004, a leashed but unmuzzled military guard dog was allowed into a cell holding two children. The intention was for the dog to " 'go nuts on the kids,' barking and scaring them." The children were screaming and the smaller one tried to hide behind the larger, the report said, as a soldier allowed the dog to get within about one foot of them. A girl named Juda Hafez Ahmad told Amnesty International that when she was held in Abu Ghraib she "saw one of the guards allow his dog to bite a 14-year-old boy on the leg."

Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski, formerly in charge of Abu Ghraib, told Maj. General Fay about visiting a weeping 11-year-old detainee in the prison's notorious Cellblock 1B, which housed prisoners designated high risk. "He told me he was almost 12," General Karpinski recalled, and that "he really wanted to see his mother, could he please call his mother."

Children like this 11 year old held at Abu Ghraib have been denied the right to see their parents, a lawyer, or anyone else. They were not told why they were detained, let alone for how long. A Pentagon spokesman told Mr. Hersh that juveniles received some special care, but added, "Age is not a determining factor in detention." The United States has found, the spokesman said, that "age does not necessarily diminish threat potential."

It's true that some of these children may have picked up a stone or a gun. But coalition intelligence officers told the Red Cross that 70 percent to 90 percent of detainees in Iraq are eventually found innocent and released. Many innocent children are swept up with their parents in chaotic nighttime dragnets based on tips from unreliable informants. "We know of children under 15," Clarisa Bencomo of Human Rights Watch told me, "held for over a year at Guantánamo Bay, whom the government later said were not security risks." Even if a child is found guilty, he or she should be treated humanely, rather than tortured or "rendered," as the C.I.A. puts it, to third parties that torture.

AMBASSADOR MILLER is right. Children matter. To really place them "at the center" of our human rights concerns, the United States should hasten to ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child, from which only we and Somalia abstain. And if the Pentagon must detain children, it should do so in separate facilities, with access to family, and under humane conditions that include the offer of rehabilitation and education.

Finally, the Pentagon should open all prisons to human rights inspectors. By taking these steps, the United States could begin to reverse some of the terrible harm that continues to be done to children in our name.

Arlie Hochschild is a professor of sociology at the University of California, Berkeley, and the co-editor of "Global Woman: Nannies, Maids and Sex Workers in the New Economy."



Yahoo! News

US suspected of keeping secret prisoners on warships: UN official

Tue Jun 28, 3:42 PM ET

VIENNA (AFP) - The UN has learned of "very, very serious" allegations that the United States is secretly detaining terrorism suspects in various locations around the world, notably aboard prison ships, the UN's special rapporteur on terrorism said.

While the accusations were rumours, rapporteur Manfred Nowak said the situation was sufficiently serious to merit an official inquiry.

"There are very, very serious accusations that the United States is maintaining secret camps, notably on ships," the Austrian UN official told AFP, adding that the vessels were believed to be in the Indian Ocean region.

"They are only rumours, but they appear sufficiently well-based to merit an official inquiry," he added.


The use of prison ships would allow investigators to interrogate people secretly and in international waters out of the reach of US law, British security expert Francis Tusa said.

"This opens the door to very tough interrogations on key prisoners before it even has been revealed that they have been captured," said Tusa, an editor for the British magazine Jane's Intelligence Review.

Nowak said the prison ships would not be "floating Guantanamos" since "they are much smaller, holding less than a dozen detainees."

Tusa said the Americans may also be using their island base of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean as a site for prisoners.

Some 520 people suspected of terrorism are currently being held without trial at Guantanamo and others are in camps the United States has refused to acknowledge, the human rights organization Amnesty International has said.

The United States has said that prisoners considered foreign combattants in its "war on terrorism" are not covered by the Geneva Conventions.



more fun stuff is coming...

intelligence is key...

after all...

they don't seem very smart now...


Yahoo! News

Bush OKs Shake-Up of Spy Agencies

Associated Press Writer
20 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - President Bush granted the new national intelligence chief expanded power over the FBI on Wednesday and ordered dozens of other spy agency changes as the White House heeded a presidential commission that condemned the intelligence community for failures in Iraq and elsewhere.

But almost as soon as the details were unveiled, the White House was defending itself against suggestions that the moves were simply adding more bureaucracy without making changes that could have prevented misjudgments like those made on Iraq.

"It's an unfair characterization to say it's simply a restructuring," said Bush's homeland security adviser, Frances Fragos Townsend, who led the 90-day review of the recommendations from the president's commission on weapons of mass destruction. "It's a fundamental strengthening of our intelligence capabilities."


In its scathing 600-page report released in March, the commission called the spy community "dead wrong on almost all of its prewar judgments" about Iraq's weapons.


Among the most significant changes the White House offered Wednesday, the Justice Department will be directed — with congressional approval — to consolidate its counterterrorism, espionage and intelligence units under one new assistant attorney general for national security.

The White House ordered the creation of a National Security Service inside the FBI. And Bush sought to strengthen the hand of the new national intelligence director over the FBI, giving him expanded budget and management powers over the bureau.


A number of Bush administration critics welcomed the reforms. President Clinton's national security adviser, Sandy Berger, called the changes to Negroponte's authority over the Justice Department and the counterproliferation center "very positive."

"All of this is moving boxes to some degree," said Berger. "I do think that in this case organization is important. ... The real test is how it is implemented."


"I think we now know what the shape of the animal is going to be," Berger said, "and we have to make sure that the animal is ready to hunt."

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