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8/26/04 NY Times Article:More Evidence of the Pentagon's Role in Perpetrating Torture

weblink: New York Times (free registration required)

"A senior Defense Department official" disclosed to the NY Times classified parts of an internal Army review of inhumane interrogation practices at Abu Ghraib that violate the Geneva Conventions. The disclosures concern how "senior Pentagon officials," by dispatching Guantánamo Commander Gen. Geoffrey Miller to Iraq in August 2003, prevailed upon Iraqi commander General Ricardo Sanchez to order the effective use of torture in interrogation. Sanchez, we are told, accepted Miller's "recommendation" of interrogation procedures that a Joint Task Force of the CIA and Special Operations Forces had used in Afghanistan and Iraq, and had formalized in a July 2003 policy, Joint Task Force 21's "Battlefield Interrogation Team and Facility Policy." The policy "endorsed the use of stress positions during harsh interrogation procedures, the use of dogs, yelling, loud music, light control, isolation and other procedures used previously in Afghanistan and Iraq." It's hardly unreasonable to conclude that Miller was sent to Iraq by the unnamed "senior Pentagon officials" to set Sanchez up as the foil for implementing, in Iraq, Rumsfeld's 2002 instructions to Special Operations Forces - as reported in the New Yorker by Seymour Hersh - to effectively use torture in interrogation as a means of extracting so-called "actionable intelligence." A March 2003 DOD memorandum, legally sanctioning illegal interrogation techniques in Iraq - together with the NYT's latest disclosures and other DOJ and White House memoranda - provide plausible circumstantial evidence that President Bush, or Rice and Rumsfeld, approved the use of torture in interrogating detainees, even as the White House creates a smokescreen of "plausible deniability" by first blaming a few soldiers and now implicating "derelict" or "negligent" military commanders.

Torture

LThe American Library Association's resolution against torture.
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ADOPTED: RESOLUTION AGAINST THE USE OF TORTURE
AS A VIOLATION OF THE ALA'S BASIC VALUES

The ALA Council adopts the RESOLUTION AGAINST THE USE OF TORTURE AS A VIOLATION OF THE AMERICAN

Unofficial Media Guide

MediaChannel.org and Media for Democracy today presents The Unofficial Media Guide to the Republican National Convention to help journalists to cover real stories.

Policy Paybacks for Health Care Contributors

Survey of Public Opinion on a Draft

http://www.allianceforsecurity.org/survey/pressrelease

"In a sharp reversal from historical support for military service, the first comprehensive national survey on the draft reveals that our country could face a crisis in military capacity with an unprecedented number of draft eligible adults stating they will actively seek deferment or refuse to serve if a draft is reinstated.

Camp Pepper spray

Ok, so I like comics as political commentary. Here are a couple of my favorites:

Troubletown by Lloyd Dangle

Ward Sutton

Radical Reference on MediaGeek

On Friday August 20, 2004 I was interviewed about Radical Reference on WEFT 90.1 FM (Champaign, IL) during MediaGeek, a show about grassroots and independent media, as well as things you should know about that are affecting your media environment.

Time Sq Billboard on the cost of Iraq war

It's called Project Billboard, built by the Center for American Progress (CAP) which is headed by John Podesta, Clinton's chief of staff. Interestingly, the billboard got put in Time Square because of a legal battle between the Center and Clear Channel. CAP sued Clear Channel for "breaking a contract over the posting of an antiwar billboard in Times Square during this month's convention." ("Clock in New York's Times Square Counts War Cost." By Mark McSherry, Reuters, Weds august 25th.) Check out how they came up with their facts and figures.

Text Messages for Critical Masses

A new tool for activists? According to an article in Wired News, Text messages are being used for political organizing.

Text Mes

IFLA 'deplores' OFAC information regulations

This was just posted on the anarchist librarian list. Thoughts? Comments?

According to a Statement on the IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations) web site, 'librarians and publishers around the world deplore the regulations of the US government that seek to limit the ability of US persons to process and publish informational materials from selected countries'. The press release reports that 'such actions are contradictory to the recognition by democratic societies everywhere that the free flow of information and ideas is vital to citizens of all nations to educate themselves about the world by communicating with peoples of other countries'.

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