Jun 25 2010

An Interview with Captain James Yee

Captain James Yee

Captain James Yee

James Yee is a former US. Army chaplain who was subjected to arrest, confinement and charges of sedition, aiding the enemy, spying, espionage, and failure to obey a general order. The charges were later reduced then dropped. But it raised the question about the U.S. attitude towards its own loyal service members who were also Muslim and whether the U.S. was capable of understanding a conflict it was in. Since his honorable discharge from the military, Yee has been a critic of the U.S. treatment of detainees, the treatment of the Koran by the U.S. military, and the treatment of service members who are Muslim. I spoke with Captain Yee about his experiences and his role in a panel discussion on torture for Torture Awareness Month.

Interview

The June 27th Panel will culminate a number of events for “June is Torture Awareness Month”
Sunday, June 27, 2010
3:00pm – 5:00pm
Plymouth Congregational Church
1900 Nicollet Ave. S (at Franklin)
Minneapolis, MN

Article info


Jun 12 2010

Saturday, June 12 Radio Show-Malcolm Nance and Scott Horton

   
Malcolm Nance (SERE Instructor) Segment 1
Segment 2
Segment 3
Scott Horton Listen Here
Democracy Now segment with PHR from this show Listen Here
ABCNews and Liz Cheney-Made ya look Listen Here
Op-Ed on British Reaction to U.S. reaction to BP destruction Listen Here
CSPAN audio of U.S. Helsinki Commission on torture from Dec 2007 Listen Here

TO listen in: CLICK HERE
Continue reading


Jun 8 2010

Lawrence Wilkerson on Dick Cheney’s rise to power

This video was uploaded by RealNews. Make sure to support their independent journalism work.

Video of Lawrence Wilkerson on Dick Cheney’s rise to power and the master he really serves.

And Part Two

Thanks to Real News for their work.


Jun 7 2010

Human Experimentation at the Heart of Bush Administration’s Torture Program

Reprinted with permission (and creative commons) from TruthOut.org
Don’t forget, it is very important to support independent journalist sites like TruthOut.org

by Jason Leopold – Sunday, June 6, 2010

PHR Reports Experiments in Torture

PHR Reports Experiments in Torture

High-value detainees captured during the Bush administration’s “war on terror,” who were subjected to brutal torture techniques, were used as “guinea pigs” to gauge the effectiveness of various torture techniques, a practice that has raised troubling comparisons to Nazi-era human experimentation. according to a disturbing new report released by Physicians for Human Rights, an international doctors’ organization.

PHR, based in Massachusetts, called on President Barack Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder and the US Congress to launch investigations into the role of physicians and psychiatric experts in the monitoring and assessments of the brutal interrogations.
Continue reading


Jun 6 2010

Amos Guiora-The Bagram Decision: Bad Law Bad Policy

Amos Guiora - Constitutional Limits of Coercive Interrogation

Prof. Amos Guiora - Author of Constitutional Limits of Coercive Interrogation

Reprinted with permission from The Jurist – First JURIST publication link

Listen to interview with Prof. Amos Guiora from this week’s show
Listen to reading of Op-Ed and an interview on the Bagram Decision
Listen Here

Author of
Freedom from Religion –
Link
Constitutional Limits on Coercive Interrogation –
Link

The DC Circuit Court’s recent decision overturning a holding extending habeas corpusrights to Bagram detainees is a dark hour for the American judiciary. Simply put, the Court’s unanimous decision violates human rights.

The Court argued that detainees held in an “active theater of war in a territory under neither the de facto nor de jure sovereignty of the United States and within the territory of another de jure sovereign” are not entitled to habeas corpus. The decision results in a judicially sanctioned indefinite detention regime.

In its decision the Circuit Court sanctions the indefinite detention regime implemented by President Bush, largely maintained by President Obama. Indefinite detention flies in the face both of the rule of law and morality in armed conflict. In other words, the Court guarantees continued denial of basic due process rights to thousands of detained individuals.

Those individuals–some justifiably detained, others not—are innocent until proven guilty. Because of the Circuit Court, adjudication of guilt or innocence, much less habeas protection is but a pipe dream.

My 20 years experience in operational counterterrorism decision making unequivocally convinced me that detainees must have their ‘day in court’. Otherwise, adjudication of individual responsibility is placed in abeyance, more permanent than temporary.

While former Chief Justice of the Israeli Supreme Court, Aharon Barak, wrote “the logistical considerations of the state must not be a barrier to individual rights,” late Chief Justice Rehnquist argued that in times of armed conflict the Court must be reticent with respect to the executive branch.

Regrettably, the DC Circuit Court adopted Rehnquist’s approach; its decision flies in the face of Barak’s thesis that detainee rights outweigh other considerations. Operational counterterrorism demands respect for and application of human rights.

To that end, even under extraordinarily complicated operational circumstances, both initial detention and subsequent remand of Palestinians suspected of involvement in terrorism were subject to independent judicial review. In accordance with prosecutorial discretion, indictments were filed when supported by evidence.

At trial, either before Israeli civilian courts or Military Courts in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, defendants confronted their accusers in accordance with rules of criminal procedure and evidentiary requirements befitting a Western democracy. In other words, adjudication of criminal responsibility was guaranteed in a trial before a court of law.

Critics have pointed out that the overwhelming majority of Palestinians are convicted based on plea bargains, thereby suggesting a fundamental flaw in the system. However, similar statistics can be found in criminal cases in most major American cities. In both systems defendants have the right to a full trial. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the approximately 25,000 individuals held–directly and indirectly–by the US in Afghanistan.

Israel has, over the years, administratively detained tens of thousands of Palestinians. The primary justification is the requirement to protect intelligence sources that provide vital information regarding future terrorist attacks. During my military service I served both as military prosecutor and judge in administrative detention hearings. In addition, I was tasked with providing senior military commanders legal advice regarding individual detention decisions.

The process is highly problematic and controversial because the detainee is denied the right to confront his accuser; it has been widely criticized by the human rights community. However, the decision to detain is subject to independent judicial review by the Israel Supreme Court and is term-limited. The measure represents an unsatisfactory resolution to an improbable dilemma confronting decision makers seeking to prevent future terrorist attacks.

Flawed as it may be, this process seeks balancing legitimate national security considerations with equally legitimate civil liberties. There is, obviously, no perfect process with respect to counterterrorism. I have made innumerable decisions with inherently flawed and problematic dilemmas. However, the guiding light must be granting the detained individual rights.

Decision makers hiding behind the cloak of convoluted judicial decisions significantly hamper legitimate counterterrorism. The test is facilitating justice under fire. It is an extraordinarily complicated mission. Precedent suggests it can be achieved provided the executive branch is committed and the judiciary does not provide unwarranted protection of government.

The decision by the DC Circuit Court provides the executive branch deeply troubling cover. Comparative counterterrorism analysis demonstrates granting detainees’ rights are essential to lawful operational counterterrorism. It is easy to create legal constructions that justify denial of basic rights.

Our legal system is the beacon on the hill, when it protects otherwise deniable rights. The paradigm must be ‘why’, not ‘why not’.

Hopefully the DC Circuit’s decision is not the last word and the Supreme Court will render justice where justice is due. That is the essence of operational counterterrorism subject to the rule of law.

Amos Guiora is Professor of Law at SJ Quinney College of Law, University of Utah; his latest book is Freedom from Religion: Rights and National Security (OUP).


Jun 5 2010

Tonight’s Show, Saturday, June 5, 2010

Prof. Amos Guiora,
Dahr Jamail,
Brig. Gen David Irvine,
Larry Siems (ACLU),
Coleen Rowley,
Jess Levin (MediaMatters),
and a audio from a reading of Rachel Corrie’s letters and Cindy Corrie.
Segment One – Amos Guiora – The Bagram Habeas Decision: Bad Law, Bad Policy
Listen Here
Segment Two – Dahr Jamail / Brig Gen David Irvine
Listen Here
Segment Three – Larry Siems (ACLU) – Fmr. FBI Agent Coleen Rowley-Jess Levin from Media Matters
Listen Here
Segment Four – Rachel Corrie Letters and Cindy Corrie
Listen Here
Segment Five – Tony Hayward, Who’s your daddy?
Listen Here

Click here to listen to this week’s show

Good evening,

Welcome to VeracityRadio. It has been a busy news week and we’ll cover some of those important items in tonights show. This week we saw BP continue to flounder in the Gulf with our disaster. Animals are dying in the gulf and BP’s CEO wants his life back. Currently BP claims its “top cap” is working a little to bring oil to the surface for containment but considering their credibility right now, little they say is worth much.

In international news, Israel raided a flotilla of ships destined for Gaza. The flotilla has been in planning for some time now and we’ll get reports on what happened and have some discussion on the results of this action.

George Bush was quoted this week as admitting to authorizing the waterboarding of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and stated that he would do it again. Though no audio or video of the event was published, local papers and attendees have shared this “news” with us. This comes a year and half after his Vice President admitted to ABC and PBS that he was instrumental to the passage of this program.

Tonight we have a jam packed show for you and I hope that you will appreciate the words of our various guests and I’m very humbled to have the opportunity to speak with them. As always we welcome your feedback at veracityradio@gmail.com or visit the blog at veracityradio.

First up we’ll hear a reading of the op-ed by University of Utah College of Law professor Amos Guiora called The Bagram Habeas Decision: Bad Law, Bad Policy. Then I’ll play an interview I did with Mr. Guiora on Monday with comments on the flotilla and the global war on terror.

Then we’ll talk to Dahr Jamail about the flotilla, a revisit to the attack on the USS Liberty, oil in Canada, theft of Iraqi culture, and the need for independent Journalism.

We’ll have a discussion about George Bush’s comments with retired Brigadeer General David Irvine. I especially want to thank him for joining us on short notice to clarify the comments in this week’s Huffington Post and the consequences of Bush’s admission.

Then as we enter June it is important to recognize that this is Torture Awareness Month. Joining us to discuss the details and events will be Larry Siems of the ACLU and then an interview with former FBI special agent Coleen Rowley. Rowley and I also discussed the Free Gaza Flotilla, the war on terror and the media coverage of such important events.

We’ll have a visit with Jess Levin from Media Matters about BP’s contributions, individual contributions, and Obama. What is the truth behind the $71,000 in contributions?

And last, I’ll feature some archived audio from an event held in Houston a few years ago with the family of Rachel Corrie. This features letters written by Rachel as read by local activists and finishes with a few words from Cindy Corrie.


Jun 4 2010

Torture Awareness Panel Discussion-Minneapolis, MN

Description

The June 27th Panel will culminate a number of events for “June is Torture Awareness Month”
Sunday, June 27, 2010
3:00pm – 5:00pm
Plymouth Congregational Church
1900 Nicollet Ave. S (at Franklin)
Minneapolis, MN

This calendar is produced by Tackling Torture At The Top (T3), a committee of W.A.M.M. We are formed to call for investigations and prosecutions of those who have authorized torture in the name of the USA. We also work to educate the public on this crucial issue and keep it in the public consciousness.

June is TORTURE AWARENESS MONTH Calendar of Events

All month long, every weekday, 12noon-1:00pm: VIGIL for investigations of torture enablers by Federal Attorneys. Led by Tackling Torture At The Top, On the plaza of the Federal Courthouse in Minneapolis, 300 4th St S, Minneapolis. JOIN US!

Tuesday, June 1, 6:30-8:30pm: “Torturing Democracy,” a film by Sherry Jones.
The Salon, at Mad Hatter’s Tea House, 943 West 7th, St. Paul 55102

Tuesday, June 15, 6:30-8:30pm: Tackling Torture At The Top, a committee
of W.A.M.M. (Women Against Military Madness). The Salon, at Mad Hatter’s Tea House, 943 West 7th, St. Paul 55102.Wednesday, June 16, 5:00-6:00pm: ANTI TORTURE VIGIL, on the Peace Bridge (Lake St bridge between Minneapolis and St. Paul).

Tuesday, June 22, 6:30-8:30pm: readings from Poems from Guantanamo
and other writings related to torture. The Salon, at Mad Hatter’s Tea
House, 943 West 7th, St. Paul 55102

Saturday, June 26, 11am-1pm:The Center for Victims of Torture honors torture survivors on UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.
717 E. River Parkway, Minneapolis (outdoors)

Saturday, June 26, 7:00-10:00pm: screening and discussion of the film “Torturing Democracy” by Sherry Jones, Walker Community Church, 16th
Ave S and 31st St E, Minneapolis 55407

Sunday June 27, 3:00-5:00pm EDUCATIONAL FORUM ON TORTURE
Plymouth Congregational Church, 1900 Nicollet Ave S (at Franklin), Minneapolis. Speakers will be:
• Marjorie Cohn, immediate past president of the National Lawyers Guild
• Captain James Yee, former Army Muslim chaplain at Guantanamo
• Ellen Kennedy, PhD, Interim Director, Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Univ. of Minnesota
• Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer, Assistant Professor of Peace and Justice Studies, Univ. of St. Thomas, and MN

CO-SPONSORED or ENDORSED BY : the Minneapolis and St. Paul chapters of AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL; Veterans for Peace; Minnesota Lawyers Guild; ACLU; Center for Victims of Torture

More info at: www.worldwidewamm.org • wamm@mtn.org

Torture is not a partisan issue. It…
• Endangers our soldiers
• Breaks the law
• Destroys the torturer”
• Creates more enemies
• Diminishes our credibility on
human rights
• Decreases cooperation from
our allies
• Sets a dangerous precedent
• Creates false leads
• Emboldens the enemy
• Promotes disrespect for law
• Weakens our treaties
• Results in blowback
• Dries up intelligence sources
• Corrupts the torturing country


May 28 2010

Guantanamo Review Task Force Report is out.

Guantanamo Review Task Force – Download Report

Guantanamo detainee report is out. It states that 126 detainees should be sent back home or handed over to a third party country. The report states that 36 should be prosecuted and that 48 be detained further under “laws of war”. The 30 Yemenis are left in limbo until the U.S. Government decides further.

This basically means that 156 people have been cleared for release. Will the U.S. government release these detainees or come up with more ways than Dick Cheney to hold innocent people?

Peter Finn of Washington Post has an article on the creation of the report at WaPo.


May 22 2010

Saturday, May 22, 2010 show

Listen Now

Listen Now

Segment One – Jason Leopold discusses BP catastrophe – Atlantis rig safety – Bush DOJ ignored whistleblower
Segment 1 –
Segment Two-Rep. Luis Gutierrez sends letter to Ken Salazar as part of Ban Permanently campaign
Segment 2 –
Segment Three-A look at the story of Abu Zubaydah, John Kiriakou and the War on Terror with Jason Leopold of Truthout.org
Segment 3 –
Segment Four-Our weekly logical fallacy segment and a listen to Ali Soufan testimony regarding Abu Zubaydah
Segment 4 –

This week we talk about BP’s Disaster in the Gulf. Is this to become Obama’s Katrina? We’ll listen to a few of the stories from this week’s events. Then Jason Leopold and I talk about BP’s dodge of criminal indictments under the Bush DOJ and the story of Scott West. Then we’ll hear from the Press Secretary for Rep. Luis Gutierrez (Illinois 4th) on the “Banned Permanently” campaign and other congressional options to handle the BP/Halliburton Disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

Then tonight’s featured segment is a further examination of the John Kiriakou – Abu Zubaydah stories. We’ll speak with Jason Leopold about his interview with Kiriakou and reevaluate the past comments and the account given by Ali Soufan, the FBI interrogator who was pulled by Mueller after reports were coming in that Zubaydah was being tortured.

And, we will try to have an open phone segment later if possible, tune in to see.

Documents mentioned in show
BP Texas City Report –
Chemical Safety Board Investigation Final Report
Report of the BP Independent Refineries Safety Review Panel (Baker Panel Report) -�Baker Report

Abu Zubaydah
Abu Zubaydah testimony

Testimony of Ali Soufan – Judiciary Link

Tonight we take a look at BP�s disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, with Jason Leopold from TruthOut.org. We talked the 60 minutes segment, the Alantis Rig, and the Bush Administration�s willful failure to take action on BP�s criminal violations.

I also spoke with Doug Rivlin press secretary for Representative Luis Gutierrez�s office regarding the Campaign to Ban Permanently the drilling leases for BP.

Rep. Luis Gutierrez and the letter he sent to Ken Salazar.

Tonight�s feature is with Jason Leopold regarding the comments and claims made by John Kiriakou in his recent interview for TruthOut. Kiriakou was famously known as the agent who was involved in the capture of Zayn al-Abidin Muhammad Husayn, the man commonly known as Abu Zubaydah.

On September 6, 2006, George Bush proclaimed that Zubaydah was a key figure in al qaida and the subsequent years he, Dick Cheney, Marc Theissen, and others have used Zubaydah�s alleged role as an excuse to torture suspected combatants against the United States. As you will hear, Zubaydah�s role is not as portrayed and the veracity of Kiriakou�s claims haven�t stood the test of time. In fact, much of Kiriakou�s account in December 2007 was second hand, presented almost as first hand, and certainly relied upon as an authority on whether it was appropriate to torture a man for intelligence. We�ll hear audio from Kiriakou, Leopold�s interview, and the testimony of Ali Soufan.

Thanks for tuning in, we�d love your feedback.

First up, BP�s catastrophe in the Gulf.


May 16 2010

60 Minutes profiles Deepwater Horizon catastrophe-while lifting some of the work from Jason Leopold

This weekend, 60 minutes ran a powerful segment on the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe. At the heart of the segment was the testimony of Mike Williams, one of the survivors of the rig. What you might not have noticed is the second segment had already been reported by Jason Leopold in April, even relinked here at VeracityRadio.com in early May. 60 minutes should note where it sourced its research on the second segment and the Atlantis rig. None the less, here’s a must see segment. Thanks 60 minutes and Thanks Jason.

Thank you Mike for coming forward.