torture evidence ‘hidden from obama’
from guardian: US defence officials are preventing Barack Obama from seeing evidence that a former British resident held in Guantánamo Bay has been tortured, the prisoner’s lawyer said last night, as campaigners and the Foreign Office prepared for the man’s release in as little as a week. Clive Stafford Smith, the director of the legal charity Reprieve, which represents Ethiopian-born Binyam Mohamed, sent Obama evidence of what he called “truly mediaeval” abuse but substantial parts were blanked out so the president could not read it. In the letter to the president [292kb PDF], Stafford Smith urges him to order the disclosure of the evidence.
progressives surprised by obama non-surprises
from chris floyd: There is certainly a great deal of slack-jawed shock going around these days, especially in progressive circles, where pundits, commentators, analysts and kibitzers continually find themselves reeling from yet another “inexplicable” move by the Obama Administration to uphold the core principles of their predecessors: enriching the rich, extending the empire, and enhancing the authoritarian power of a thoroughly militarized state. For example, Glenn Greenwald and Scott Horton at Harper’s (among many others) are deeply shocked by Team Obama’s draconian maneuvers to quash a court case based on clear, abundant and credible evidence that American security forces – and their corporate accomplices – colluded to inflict horrendous tortures on a gulag captive (whose only “crime,” it turns out, was reading a satirical magazine article). While Horton struggles to find some small justification for what he sees as an unwise decision, Greenwald is scathing and detailed in denouncing Obama’s action, in which the new president seeks to uphold – and to seize for himself – some of the most egregious claims of arbitrary, tyrannical power once advanced by George “Unitary Executive” Bush. It is good to see these worthy gentlemen – lawyers both — give us chapter and verse on this act of evil, yet one still must ask: why all the surprise?
video: leahy says truth commission may be only way to get truth
from raw replay: Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-VT, wants to put together a commission to investigate possible Bush-era abuses. Leahy joined MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow to talk about his proposal. After speaking with Leahy, Maddow concludes that most Democratic leaders in Congress support conditional prosecution of officials for crimes committed during the Bush administration. This video is from MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show, broadcast Feb 10, 2009.
video: turley pleads for prosecution of bush crimes
from raw replay: Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., has suggested a bipartisan panel to seek the truth about accusations of criminal wrongdoing by the Bush administration. Constitutional Law Professor Jonathan Turley discusses why Leahy wants this panel to have the power to grant immunity and serve subpoenas. This video is from MSNBC’s Countdown, broadcast Feb 10, 2009.
time for a civilian afghanisurge?
from danger room: Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has a message for the State Department and other civilian agencies: It’s time to step up to the plate in Afghanistan. Yesterday, the Obama administration kicked off a 60-day policy review of Afghanistan and Pakistan strategy; options may include reinforcing the Afghanistan mission by sending as many as 20,000 to 30,000 more troops. Speaking Monday to soldiers at Fort Drum, N.Y., Mullen said it was time for a “commensurate surge” of diplomats and U.S. government civilians to reinforce stability operations and reconstruction. “It is not possible to win this or succeed in Afghanistan militarily alone,” Mullen said, according to a Pentagon news item.
obama’s change: expanding the power of the nsc & shadow govt
from kurt nimmo: On February 8, Karen DeYoung, writing for the CIA’s favorite newspaper, the Washington Post, reported that “President Obama plans to order a sweeping overhaul of the National Security Council, expanding its membership and increasing its authority to set strategy across a wide spectrum of international and domestic issues.” According to national security adviser and former Marine commandant James L. Jones, the “world that we live in has changed so dramatically in this decade that organizations that were created to meet a certain set of criteria no longer are terribly useful.” Obama will issue a presidential directive that will “expand the NSC’s reach far beyond the range of traditional foreign policy issues and turn it into a much more elastic body.” So dangerous is the world now, according to the argument offered by Jones, the NSC will apparently encompass “the Energy Department, Commerce Department and Treasury, all the law enforcement agencies, the Drug Enforcement Administration, all of those things.” After Obama issues his directive, the NSC will strive to “embrace a broader membership” and roll these government agencies into the National Security State, initially created in 1947 when Congress passed the National Security Act. In addition to the NSC, this legislation created the CIA and institutionalized under the rubric of “national security” the justification for new weapons systems, huge military expenditures, and military interventions in the third world.
obama revisits photo ban on soldiers’ coffins*
gates orders review of coffin photo ban*
obama orders review of cyber security*
obama & the huffpo question spark more questions*
man held at US capitol had rifle in truck*
man with gun looking for obama arrested in dc*
police arrest armed man with ‘delivery’ for obama*
obama cannot resolve US financial crisis*
the con artists have taken over the asylum*