Saturday, December 29, 2007

Andrew Williams

It was with sadness that I signed my name this grey morning to a letter resigning my commission in the U.S. Navy.

There was a time when I served with pride, knowing that by serving with the finest men and women in the country, we were part of an organization whose core values required us to “do the right thing,” and that we were far different from the Soviet Union and its gulags, the Vietcong with their torture camps and a society of surveillance and informers like Nazi Germany.

We were part of the shining light on the hill who didn’t do those things. Sadly, no more.

The final straw for me was listening to General Hartmann, the highest-ranking military lawyer in charge of the military commissions, testify that he refused to say that waterboarding captured U.S. soldiers by Iranian operatives would be torture.

His testimony had just sold all the soldiers and sailors at risk of capture and subsequent torture down the river. Indeed, he would not rule out waterboarding as torture when done by the United States and indeed felt evidence obtained by such methods could be used in future trials.

Thank you, General Hartmann, for finally admitting the United States is now part of a long tradition of torturers going back to the Inquisition.

In the middle ages, the Inquisition called waterboarding “toca” and used it with great success. In colonial times, it was used by the Dutch East India Company during the Amboyna Massacre of 1623.

Waterboarding was used by the Nazi Gestapo and the feared Japanese Kempeitai. In World War II, our grandfathers had the wisdom to convict Japanese Officer Yukio Asano of waterboarding and other torture practices in 1947, giving him 15 years hard labor.

Waterboarding was practiced by the Khmer Rouge at the infamous Tuol Sleng prison. Most recently, the U.S. Army court martialed a soldier for the practice in 1968 during the Vietnam conflict.

General Hartmann, following orders was not an excuse for anyone put on trial in Nuremberg, and it will not be an excuse for you or your superiors, either.

Despite the CIA and the administration attempting to cover up the practice by destroying interrogation tapes, in direct violation of a court order, and congressional requests, the truth about torture, illegal spying on Americans and secret renditions is coming out.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

How America lost the Drug War

Very long, but very interesting, article at rollingstone.com. Definitely a must read.

linky

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Monday, December 17, 2007

SWAT team raids wrong house, gets fired upon




THIS just in from the It's About Fucking Time department.

Police blamed bad information for sending a SWAT team into a north Minneapolis house early Sunday morning in a raid that ended with shots exchanged between police -- who were struck by bullets -- and the resident, who said he was just defending his family.


2nd Amendment FTW.

linky

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

God Hates Children: Incident #4,234

TODAY'S episode of God Hates Children is brought to you by Muhammad Parvez, who was having a hard time dealing with his 16 year old daughter. As many do in times of trouble, he turned to his religion to try to figure out what to do.

Allah gave him the answer.

On Monday morning, Peel Regional Police responded to a 911 call from a man who said he had just killed his daughter. When officers arrived at a single-family detached home on Longhorn Trail, they found Ms. Parvez suffering from life-threatening injuries. She was taken immediately to Credit Valley Hospital and later transferred in critical condition to the Hospital for Sick Children, where she died.


linky

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Friday, December 07, 2007

Utah update

Surprise, surprise.

First of all, thank you for your patience as we continue to let the investigative process take its course. As you may have seen the Utah Highway Patrol held a press conference, to explain the recent happenings with the Trooper John Gardner case. The purpose of this press conference was to restore public confidence, be open with the media and most of all the public. We have received many phone calls and e-mails expressing your support and concerns, we thank you for that. Our main priority in the future will continue to be, “To provide a safe and secure environment for all people in Utah.”

We have taken this matter very seriously and have spent many man-hours looking into the allegations. In regards to the case, we have found Trooper Gardner’s actions were lawful and reasonable under the circumstances that he found himself in. However, the Utah Highway Patrol expects its Troopers to be professional and communicate as much as possible with those they come in contact. With this being said, the Utah Attorney Generals office is going to look into the matter further at the Utah Highway Patrol’s request. We will continue to always look at and review our polices as we have done in the past. We appreciate your concern and input as it pertains to the Trooper John Gardner case.


Lawful and reasonable my ass.

linky

Thugs: Incident #7592



Today's installment of Cowards With Tasers is brought to you by state of Kansas.

Background: The police are responding to a shooting call. Naturally, they break down the door of the wrong house, where they find a guy getting out of the bathtub, wearing only a towel.

Donnell Williams had just gotten out of the bath tub, wearing only a towel around his waist, when he turned the corner to see guns pointing right at him.


And this is where it gets interesting. The guy, whose only crime was taking a bath, apparently didn't respond to commands to show his hands.

Because he was deaf.

Officers were worried about their own safety because at the time it appeared Williams was refusing to obey their commands to show his hands. That's when they shot him with a Taser.


They shot him because they were worried about their own safety. I can totally understand. If me and ten of friends, warning armor and carrying a bazillion weapons, were to bash in a bathroom door and find a guy getting out of a bathtub, wearing only a towel, pointing to his ears screaming "I can't hear! I can't hear!" I'd be worried about my safety too.

Pathetic.

linky

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I <3 recorders




This just in from the Its About Fucking Time department.

A teenage suspect who secretly recorded his interrogation on an MP3 player has landed a veteran detective in the middle of perjury charges, authorities said Thursday.


Apparently the cop questioned the kid for over an hour, trying to get him to confess to a crime. And then denied it, under oath. And he would have gotten away with it, except for the recording.

Once the transcript was revealed in court, prosecutors asked for a recess, defense attorney Mark DeMarco said. The detective was pulled from the witness stand and advised to get a lawyer. Perino, 42, was arraigned Thursday on 12 counts of first-degree perjury and faces as many as seven years on each count, prosecutors said. He was released on $15,000 bail.


The District Attorney's reaction was laughable

The allegations "put the safety of all law-abiding citizens at risk because they undermine the integrity and foundation of the entire criminal justice system,"


I have news for you buddy. The entire criminal justice system has no integrity, and has no foundation. That mine has been undered for a long time now, and it is only thanks to technology like video camers and recorders that this crap is coming to the surface.

This is just the beginning.

linky

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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

There is no boogeyman?