Jimmy Carter : A Cruel and Unusual Record   : Information Clearing House


English: Human Rights logo: "FREE AS A MA...
English: Human Rights logo: „FREE AS A MAN“ esp ->svg Français : Logo pour les droits de l’homme : « Free as a man ». Русский: Свободен как человек, победитель в международном конкурсе логотипа, символзириюущего Прав человека, http://humanrightslogo.net/ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  Jimmy Carter : A Cruel and Unusual Record   : Information Clearing House.


By Jimmy Carter

June 25, 2012 „New York Times“ – -THE United States is abandoning its role as the global champion of human rights.

Revelations that top officials are targeting people to be assassinated abroad, including American citizens, are only the most recent, disturbing proof of how far our nation’s violation of human rights has extended. This development began after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and has been sanctioned and escalated by bipartisan executive and legislative actions, without dissent from the general public. As a result, our country can no longer speak with moral authority on these critical issues.

While the country has made mistakes in the past, the widespread abuse of human rights over the last decade has been a dramatic change from the past. With leadership from the United States, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted in 1948 as “the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.” This was a bold and clear commitment that power would no longer serve as a cover to oppress or injure people, and it established equal rights of all people to life, liberty, security of person, equal protection of the law and freedom from torture, arbitrary detention or forced exile.

The declaration has been invoked by human rights activists and the international community to replace most of the world’s dictatorships with democracies and to promote the rule of law in domestic and global affairs. It is disturbing that, instead of strengthening these principles, our government’s counterterrorism policies are now clearly violating at least 10 of the declaration’s 30 articles, including the prohibition against “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”

Recent legislation has made legal the president’s right to detain a person indefinitely on suspicion of affiliation with terrorist organizations or “associated forces,” a broad, vague power that can be abused without meaningful oversight from the courts or Congress (the law is currently being blocked by a federal judge). This law violates the right to freedom of expression and to be presumed innocent until proved guilty, two other rights enshrined in the declaration.

In addition to American citizens’ being targeted for assassination or indefinite detention, recent laws have canceled the restraints in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 to allow unprecedented violations of our rights to privacy through warrantless wiretapping and government mining of our electronic communications. Popular state laws permit detaining individuals because of their appearance, where they worship or with whom they associate.

Despite an arbitrary rule that any man killed by drones is declared an enemy terrorist, the death of nearby innocent women and children is accepted as inevitable. After more than 30 airstrikes on civilian homes this year in Afghanistan, President Hamid Karzai has demanded that such attacks end, but the practice continues in areas of Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen that are not in any war zone. We don’t know how many hundreds of innocent civilians have been killed in these attacks, each one approved by the highest authorities in Washington. This would have been unthinkable in previous times.

These policies clearly affect American foreign policy. Top intelligence and military officials, as well as rights defenders in targeted areas, affirm that the great escalation in drone attacks has turned aggrieved families toward terrorist organizations, aroused civilian populations against us and permitted repressive governments to cite such actions to justify their own despotic behavior.

Meanwhile, the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, now houses 169 prisoners. About half have been cleared for release, yet have little prospect of ever obtaining their freedom. American authorities have revealed that, in order to obtain confessions, some of the few being tried (only in military courts) have been tortured by waterboarding more than 100 times or intimidated with semiautomatic weapons, power drills or threats to sexually assault their mothers. Astoundingly, these facts cannot be used as a defense by the accused, because the government claims they occurred under the cover of “national security.” Most of the other prisoners have no prospect of ever being charged or tried either.

At a time when popular revolutions are sweeping the globe, the United States should be strengthening, not weakening, basic rules of law and principles of justice enumerated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But instead of making the world safer, America’s violation of international human rights abets our enemies and alienates our friends.

As concerned citizens, we must persuade Washington to reverse course and regain moral leadership according to international human rights norms that we had officially adopted as our own and cherished throughout the years.

Jimmy Carter, the 39th president, is the founder of the Carter Center and the recipient of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize.

© 2012 The New York Times Company

VOICES from SOLITARY


 

Voices from Solitary: Behind Enemy Lines

by Voices from Solitary

http://solitarywatch.com/2012/06/09/voices-from-solitary-behind-enemy-lines/

The artist Ojore Lutalo was released from Trenton State Penitentiary in August 2009 by way of a court order. He maxed out after 28 year. 22 of which were spent in the Management Control Unit (solitary confinement). Lutalo was imprisoned after an armed robbery conviction, but he was held in the MCU because his political beliefs–his association with the with the Anarchist Black Cross Federation and Black Liberation Army–were deemed a threat to the security of the prison. In order to keep his sanity during his internment, Lutalo says he abided by a strict regiment of physical exercise, mediation and study. He also began creating political art. Ojore Lutalo provided the following description of his artwork:

„Over the years Ojore was asked repeatedly to describe the conditions that he faced on a daily basis. These requests ranged from simple curiosity as to the physical particulars of his cell and surroundings to the profound emotional pressures and struggles associated with long-term solitary confinement. Ojore began creating his political propaganda both as a way to maintain his sanity and to more adequately convey to his friends the physical and emotional reality he experienced within solitary confinement. For the last 22 years of his confinement Ojore created a wide range of art pieces offering his unique perspective.

„Since his release is 2008, Ojore dedicates himself to assisting the American Friends Service Committee in its attempt to expose the true nature and extent of long-term isolation, its effect both on the prisoner individually as well as society at large. This outreach often involves speaking engagements in which he uses artwork to re-enforce his text, finding visuals often communicate more effectively than a purely oral presentation. Often after speaking, Ojore receives requests from individuals to purchase his artwork. The limited proceeds from the sale of these pieces allow Ojore to continue to volunteer his time to the American Friends Service Committee.“

What follows is a small sample of Ojore Lutalo’s work. His collages are for sale on the website www.ojorebehindenemylines.com, and he is available for art showings: e-mail kerness.b@verizon.net.    –Jean Casella and James Ridgeway

SSRI Horrors Grow: Women Who Take Popular Antidepressants Risk Babies With Severe High Blood Pressur


Blood pressure and glucose screening form
Image via Wikipedia
Friday, January 13, 2012 by: S. L. Baker, features writer

 

 

 

 
Although Big Pharma and mainstream medicine continue to push antidepressants, especially the type known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as Paxil and Prozac, the documented risks and side effects of these drugs remain often ignored. While it’s true the FDA finally acknowledged SSRIs are linked to suicide and violence in adolescents, other
are rarely mentioned. Neither is the mounting evidence that SSRIs pose a serious threat to unborn babies.Take the Mayo Clinic’s official web site, for example, which claims: „depression is such a horrible disease that depression treatment during pregnancy is essential. If you have untreated depression, you might not have the energy to take good care of yourself. You might not seek optimal prenatal care or eat the healthy foods your baby needs to thrive. You might turn to smoking or drinking alcohol.“Notice all the „mights“ in that plug for antidepressant use during pregnancy. The web site states the risk of pregnant womentaking SSRIs causing drug-related harm to their babies is „low.“ What’s shocking is that this information is currently up on the Mayo website when evidence has accumulated over the past year that antidepressants can, in fact, cause very serious and potentially deadly birth defects.For example, a Finnish study published last July provided evidence that exposure to SSRIs in the first trimester of pregnancyincreases the risk for major congenital anomalies, particularly heart problems. In fact, the use of fluoxetine (the generic name for Prozac) in the first three months of a pregnancy was linked to a two-fold risk for isolated ventricular sepal defects; another SSRI, paroxetine (Paxil), was associated with more than a four-fold increased risk for right ventricular outflow tract defects in newborn hearts.If that’s not shocking and worrisome enough, especially when you consider the CDC reports at least one in ten Americans are now taking SSRIs, including countless numbers of pregnant women. News about birth defects linked to these antidepressants just got worse. A new study just published online by the British Medical Journalreveals that women who take SSRIs during pregnancy are more likely to give birth to children with a very dangerous and serious condition — persistent pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure in the lungs).

SSRIs can be a serious threat to the health of babies

Persistent pulmonary hypertension is caused by an increase in blood pressure in the lungs. That, in turn, leads to shortness of breath and other breathing difficulties. This is no minor problem, either, but a severe disease with strong links to heart failure.

The new study, conducted by scientists at the Center for Pharmacoepidemiology at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, investigated 1.6 million births between 1996 and 2007 in five Nordic countries: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. In all, a total of 1,618,255 single births were included in the study.

The researchers discovered that 11,000 of the mothers had filled prescriptions for anti-depressants in late pregnancy and approximately 17,000 more had taken the drugs in early pregnancy. An additional 54,184 mothers in the study were found to have previously been given a psychiatric diagnosis but these women did not take any antidepressant medication during their pregnancies.

Babies born to the women in the study were assessed after 231 days (33 weeks). The results? Taking SSRIs appeared to clearly raise the risk of pulmonary
persistent hypertension. In all, the new study found three babies with pulmonary persistent hypertension per 1000 women taking SSRIs in early pregnancy. That number doubled if the anti-depressants were taken in late pregnancy.

The risk was not enormous. Butpulmonary persistent hypertension in a baby is a very serious disease and any increase in cases at all is extremely worrisome, especially when it could be prevented. After all, aking SSRIs is not something a woman absolutely has to do. Exercise, sound nutrition, stress relief, yoga and a host of other natural approaches have been documented to help relieve depression.

In an accompanying editorial, researchers from the Motherisk Program Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto and the School of Pharmacy at the University of Oslo concluded that mothers who take SSRIs in late pregnancy are more likely to give birth to children with persistent pulmonary hypertension.

In a media release about the new study, Christina Chambers, PhD, MPH, from the University of California, San Diego, who has also studied potential risks of SSRI use in pregnancy, said the paper confirms results of „several other papers showing small increased risks for selected specific birth defects, although not all previous studies have shown a risk.“

For more information:

http://www.bma.org.uk/

http://www.naturalnews.com/SSRIs.html

http://journals.lww.com/greenjournal/Abstract/2011/07000/Selective_Serotonin_Reuptake_Inhibitors_and_Risk.16.aspx

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/antidepressants/DN00007

http://www.naturalnews.com/034638_SSRI_drugs_antidepressants_high_blood_pressure.html#ixzz1jKJDs5Xo

The state of Florida is trying to make it illegal to film or


The face of citizen journalism is changing rapidly with new
technology.

That’s a really good thing if you’re a citizen trying to expose
corruption and abuse, or if you’re just trying to become more
informed. It’s not so good for people trying to keep their dirty
secrets.

Legislators to the rescue!

The state of Florida is trying to make it illegal to film or
photograph farms in order to stem the tide of exposure of animal
cruelty in Big Agra factory farms.

Apparently, they’re not concerned the conditions and abuses these
animals suffer, they’re concerned about us and our cameras exposing
it…

Video:

http://www.brasschecktv.com/page/6524.html

 My Guantánamo Nightmare : Information Clearing House


 My Guantánamo Nightmare : Information Clearing House.

 
 
 
My Guantánamo Nightmare

By LAKHDAR BOUMEDIENE

January 10, 2012 „NY Times“ – January 07, 2012 — On Wednesday, America’s detention camp at Guantánamo Bay will have been open for 10 years. For seven of them, I was held there without explanation or charge. During that time my daughters grew up without me. They were toddlers when I was imprisoned, and were never allowed to visit or speak to me by phone. Most of their letters were returned as “undeliverable,” and the few that I received were so thoroughly and thoughtlessly censored that their messages of love and support were lost. Some American politicians say that people at Guantánamo are terrorists, but I have never been a terrorist. Had I been brought before a court when I was seized, my children’s lives would not have been torn apart, and my family would not have been thrown into poverty. It was only after the United States Supreme Court ordered the government to defend its actions before a federal judge that I was finally able to clear my name and be with them again.

I left Algeria in 1990 to work abroad. In 1997 my family and I moved to Bosnia and Herzegovina at the request of my employer, the Red Crescent Society of the United Arab Emirates. I served in the Sarajevo office as director of humanitarian aid for children who had lost relatives to violence during the Balkan conflicts. In 1998, I became a Bosnian citizen. We had a good life, but all of that changed after 9/11.

…. please, read more: ICH or NYTimes

 

Lakhdar Boumediene was the lead plaintiff in Boumediene v. Bush. He was in military custody at Guantánamo Bay from 2002 to 2009. This essay was translated by Felice Bezri from the Arabic.

 

Law enforcement officials can now secretly install GPS tracking on your vehicle and spy on you without a warrant, says judge


Law enforcement officials can now secretly install GPS tracking on your vehicle and spy on you without a warrant, says judge

viaLaw enforcement officials can now secretly install GPS tracking on your vehicle and spy on you without a warrant, says judge.

As long as law enforcement officials claim to have reasonable suspicion that you might be involved with committing a crime, they are free to affix a GPS tracking device to your car without your knowledge and monitor your every movement. At least this is the opinion of US Magistrate Judge David Noce from the Eastern District of Missouri, who recently decided that no warrant is needed to secretly track individuals suspected of criminal behavior.

The ruling came after 69-year-old Fred Robinson was accused of receiving $175,000 from the City of St. Louis Treasurer’s Office for work that he did not actually perform. Robinson allegedly never went in for work and was suspected of holding his position with the city in name only. This led law enforcement officials and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to secretly affix a GPS tracking device to Robinson’s vehicle while it was parked in a public place, and proceed to monitor his activities.

But rather than conduct a proper investigation, officials allegedly went straight to the GPS option to determine whether or not their suspicion of Robinson’s malfeasance was warranted. They apparently had no solid evidence, and obviously no warrant, and yet proceeded to pursue Robinson as if they had a warrant.

Robinson’s attorneys and civil liberties advocates say these actions are a violation of the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution, which prohibits unwarranted searches and seizures. But in Judge Noce’s opinion, installing secret GPS devices does not constitute a „search,“ and is thus not a constitutional violation.

The US Supreme Court is currently facing a similar case involving a night club owner suspected of dealing drugs. Just like in Robinson’s case, officials installed a GPS tracking device on the man’s car without a warrant, which had already expired. The Supreme Court has not yet made a ruling in that case, but Justice Stephen Breyer recently gave testimony before the court that if it does permit this type of warrantless GPS tracking, it will lead to 24-hour monitoring of US citizens by the government (http://www.naturalnews.com/034167_Orwellian_government.html).

„There is nothing to prevent the police or the government from monitoring 24 hours a day the public movement of every citizen of the United States,“ said Justice Breyer. „You suddenly produce what sounds like 1984,“ he added, referring to the iconic novel written by George Orwell about the rise of totalitarian government.

Sources for this article include:

http://rt.com/usa/news/gps-device-court-judge-209/
http://www.naturalnews.com/034595_GPS_tracking_devices_illegal_search.html#ixzz1ixTduJDd

Noam Chomsky: The Manipulation of Fear  : Information Clearing House


Noam Chomsky: The Manipulation of Fear  : Information Clearing House.

January 08, 2011 „Thelka“ July 16, 2005 — The resort to fear by systems of power to discipline the domestic population has left a long and terrible trail of bloodshed and suffering which we ignore at our peril. Recent history provides many shocking illustrations.

The mid-twentieth century witnessed perhaps the most awful crimes since the Mongol invasions. The most savage were carried out where western civilisation had achieved its greatest splendours. Germany was a leading centre of the sciences, the arts and literature, humanistic scholarship, and other memorable achievements. Prior to World War I, before anti-German hysteria was fanned in the West, Germany had been regarded by American political scientists as a model democracy as well, to be emulated by the West. In the mid-1930s, Germany was driven within a few years to a level of barbarism that has few historical counterparts. That was true, most notably, among the most educated and civilised sectors of the population.

In his remarkable diaries of his life as a Jew under Nazism — escaping the gas chambers by a near miracle — Victor Klemperer writes these words about a German professor friend whom he had much admired, but who had finally joined the pack: “If one day the situation were reversed and the fate of the vanquished lay in my hands, then I would let all the ordinary folk go and even some of the leaders, who might perhaps after all have had honourable intentions and not known what they were doing. But I would have all the intellectuals strung up, and the professors three feet higher than the rest; they would be left hanging from the lamp posts for as long as was compatible with hygiene.”

Klemperer’s reactions were merited, and generalised to a large part of recorded history…

Please, read more there!