Insects, sleep deprivation and waterboarding are among the techniques approved by the Bush administration to interrogate “terrorists”. And the memos contain worse!
Today, the American President, Barack Obama, released four top secret memos that allowed the CIA under the Bush administration to torture al-Qaida and other terror suspects held at Guantánamo and secret detention centers round the world.
Yet, in his accompanying statement, Obama ruled out prosecutions against the CIA agents who were involved in these interrogations. It is a “time for reflection, not retribution,” he said.
The Obama administration’s decision to release the “Top Secret” legal memos discussing specific interrogation techniques used against suspected terrorists was made against the objections of the intelligence community – and it expresses Obama’s determination to stay true to his campaign principles. The accompanying statements from the new American president and attorney general ruling out the prosecution of intelligence agents who relied on the legal advice contained in these memos is also not a surprise.
However, it’s not the CIA agents who should be prosecuted, because they were just following orders. It those behind the decision of allowing torture (namingly Bush and his mob) who should in fact be prosecuted for torture, War crimes, and dragging the world into a cycle of violence.
REACTIONS TO OBAMA DECISION
“The memos’ matter-of-fact clinical descriptions belie the harsh tactics to which they gave a green light. But… it is not enough to say that when we have a president who does not believe in cruel and inhuman treatment and torture, the United States will not engage in such practices. We must formally acknowledge that what was done was wrong, indeed criminal.”
Georgetown University Professor David Cole, debating the issue at The New York Times
“By repudiating the memos, the Obama administration has again seized the high ground and restored some of the honor lost over the past few years. Yet the decision to forgo prosecutions should not prevent — and perhaps should even encourage – further investigation about the circumstances that gave rise to torture.”
Editorial, The Washington Post
“On the surface, the statement today looks like a big ol’ grant of immunity – or a concession – or a deliberate attempt to boost morale at the CIA… There are plenty of CIA officers who followed the rules and shouldn’t be prosecuted. They’re the ones who are a little relieved today… although they might have to explain some things to their priests and their families.”
Marc Ambinder, The Atlantic
Download the pdfs:
First Published on Obama’s inauguration day:
First of all, I would like to Congratulate the American People and the world with departure of the abomination, otherwise known as George W. Bush. Finally! This demon for a president should have left 8 years ago (not 4! He shouldn’t have been president in the first place), yet the Americans re-elected him, and probably, if the constitution allowed it, he would have found enough rednecks to re-re-elect him… with another fear and hate campaign of his.
Secondly, which concurrently occurs, I would like to Congratulate them (this time the Americans only, bar the world), with the inauguration of Barak Hussein Obama (the “Change” they wanted) as America’s 44th President.
Now Obama’s presidency and rise to power are phenomenal and inspirational on so many levels, to the Americans and the world, this we’ve to admit.
A lot of people will be tuning in to his Inauguration Ceremony, to which he cinematically followed Lincoln’s route and which comes a day after Martin Luther’s day, just like a huge Hollywood finale to an epic story. (even Israel ended it’s criminal assault on Gaza, so as not to steal Obama’s thunder, after all, you can’t celebrate a proper presidential inauguration to the drums of war, and the wailing of the women and children, these comes well after he is settled in the embracing warmth of the oval office).
And although, I don’t want to spoil a good party, or ruin the euphoria of optimism that is surging all over the globe.
Still I couldn’t help but notice that as Mr. Obama is preparing to take the oath of office, there is evidence that, he doesn’t have all the answers he promised and there are no expectations for quick fixes.
The calculatedly sober tone Mr. Obama has adopted — most recently in his no-applause-line speeches — has provided something of a reverse from for the 2 years long Messiah image, that Mr. Obama so successively maintained.
He now knows that his promise to withdraw from Iraq within 16 months is “unrealistic”. Already he declared he is reconsidering the time frame for closing down Guantanamo Bay detention facility (Gitmo), he was quoted as saying it might not be as “easy” as he thought it was and calling it “a challenge” at sometimes.
The economy “hot fix” might turn into the economy “cold fix” as projections predict that the American economy might stay in recession for another two years.
As for foreign policy Mr. Obama, surprised the world with his utter silence towards the Gaza War, he gave no comment at all (neither for nor against Israel), while giving the feeble explanation that “There is one president at a time.” 
Two weeks into the assault, he gave another flimsy statement saying that the “Gaza Violence” is “Heartbreaking”.
All these stances coupled with his choice administration, reveal that, now that he is down to business, Obama knows well that not all his promises are attainable, at least not in the time frames his campaign had promised. Some might even say that he has cast down the mantle of the Messiah and wore the suit of the politician… and we know that no one likes the Politician suit!
You might discard these remarks as mere skepticism, coming from a cynical person, and they might as well be.
I sure hope I’m wrong and he is the “change” he promised to be (for Americans sake if for anything), I hope that he fixes everything that is wrong with America (if anyone can ever do that!). And that their economy would spring back to life, the American army would leave Iraq entirely, health care coverage would be for all and, to quote Hillary Clinton (now Secretary of State) back when she was still an Obama enemy, “celestial choirs will be singing and everyone will know we should do the right thing and the world will be perfect.”!!!
But I know for sure, that even if all of this really happens, this doesn’t mean a shift in the American foreign policy or it’s strategy in the middle east.
The echoes of Mr. Obama’s “Change” will not ring down here…
So Americans, Congratulations, enjoy it while it lasts…
The rest of the world: Don’t expect change to come from outside, it usually comes from within!
However, in the spirit of celebration and festivity, Zedmag have prepared a little something for Obama and his supporters, you can download Obama’s “New Hope” poster from Zedmag’s website
(Download Hi-Res Wallpaper no. 5)
Enjoy using it in the ceremonies and may you have a rather “Hopeful” 4 years
Footnote 1: When Mr Obama arrived in Washington, his first appointment was with the House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, because as he said “the business of the people cannot wait”. He has made statements on the economy, the carmakers’ bail-out, and the attacks in Mumbai – so why so little on Gaza?
Footnote 2: In reference to the appointment of the new foreign policy team, the Mr. Obama’s campaign promise of change looks less than exciting considering his choices.
One there is the appointment of the Israeli-American congressman “Rahm Israel Emanuel” as White House Chief of Staff, Rahm is a well known Zionist as his name suggests, who served in the Israeli Defense Force, as recent as the 90s.
Then there is Hillary Clinton who was appointed as Secretary of State, Hillary is not a Zionist, but with Zionist ties, and surly not friendly to Palestinians or Arabs in general.
If anything this means that the case is closed and we shouldn’t expect any fresh thinking or new approaches to Middle East peace.
Once again, in less than 2 months, and as if starvation was not sufficiently a hideous crime…
Israeli Genocide, Holocaust & Massacres: reaps 109 Victims and leaves 500 injured in less than 12 hours!!!
109 dead since the latest bout of fighting erupted on Wednesday, 54 Palestinians were killed on Saturday, the single deadliest day in more than seven years of fighting.
Eleven Palestinians, including a 21-month-old girl, were killed Sunday, and 10 others died of earlier wounds or were found dead, Palestinian medical officials said.
In the West Bank town of Hebron, a 14-year-old Palestinian boy was fatally shot in the chest during a protest against Israel, Palestinian medical officials said. It was the first death in the West Bank connected to the Gaza offensive.
Saeb Erekat said peace talks had been halted:
“For the time being, the negotiations are suspended because we have so many funerals!!!”
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, commenting on the suspension of talks, said “attacking Hamas strengthens the chance for peace.”
“No one has the moral right to preach to Israel for taking the elementary step of self-defense.”
Tawfek Shaban, a 44-year-old father of five, commented “Shame on the Arabs, shame on the Muslims, shame on humanity … When will they act to stop Israel?”
Meanwhile, the EU and U.N. chief Ban Ki-Moon accused Israel of using excessive force. The U.N. Security Council urged Israelis and Palestinians “to immediately cease all acts of violence.”
The ever vigilant USA demanded a halt to the fighting while encouraging Israel to exercise caution to avoid the loss of innocent life.
Egypt sent 27 ambulances to the Rafah crossing to transfer between 150 to 200 wounded, said Imad Kharboush, a medical official at a hospital in el-Arish, near the Israeli border.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert rejected the criticism.
Hope & Change:
Presidential hopeful Obama, called on Israel to try to minimize civilian casualties while HilaryClinton regretted the decision by Abbas to suspend talks and said the Bush administration should be doing more to bring international pressure on Hamas to stop its rocket attacks on Israel.
“The violence in Gaza is the result of Hamas’ decision to launch rocket attacks on Israeli civilians and Israel has a right to defend itself,” Obama said, and Clinton’s statement was similar but she added “The Bush Administration should have been taking a more active role in bringing international pressure on Hamas to stop its attacks,” Clinton said.
Around 30 air raids and 50 bombs and artillery shells fired towards the Palestinian civilians in the first 12 hours of the onslaught only!
Some of the victims of the latest Massacres:
1- Eyad Al Ashram, Male, 26
2- Musleh Abu Ali, Male, 17
3- Jakline Abu shbak, Female, 17
4- Eyad abu Shabk, Male,14
5- Basam Muhammad Ubaid, Male, 45
6- Basam Ubaid, Male, 15
7- Hamza Al jamal, Male,40
8- Abdallah Abd Rabu, male, 4
9- Ibrahim Alzain, Male, 25
10- Mustafa Zaghloul, Male, 32
11- Hamada Abd Al hameed, male, 29
12- Saeed Al hasheem, Male, 23
13- Husain Al batsh, Male, 27
14- Samah Zaydan Asalya, Female, 17
15- Salwa Zaydan Asalya, Female, 23
16- Tala’t Dardona, Male, 29
17- Mustafa Abu Jalala, Male, 28
18- Hasan Safi, Male, 25
19- Abdallah Abu Shaira, Male, 18
20- Mutasim Abd Rabu, Male, 24
21- Hamada Saleh Al abad, Male, 16
22- Mustafa Manon, Male, 22
23- Muhammad Sleem, Male, 24
24- Muhammad Abdalrahman Shhab, male, 23
25- Ali Al kitnani, Male, 15
26- Tal’at Dardona, Male, 17
27- Sana Ghad Al abed Saleh, Female, 16
28- Ahmed Albatsh, Male, 16
29- Muslih Muhamad Muslih,Male, 17
30- Thabet Junied, Male
31- Sultan Al zain, Male
32- Mustafa Abu Jalala, Male
33- Muhammad Al atar, Male
34- Nael Abu Alon, Male, 20
35- Muhammad Abd Al mouti Sleem, Male,
36- Saed Dabour, Male, 28
37- Hamada Saed, Male
38- Mahmoud Rayan, Male
39- Jedjad Hatem Abu Hlayal, Male
40- Thari Abu Aubaid, Male
41- Tamer Weshah, Male
42- Ahmed Saleh Abd Al rahman
43- Muhammad Abd Al qader Oqylan
44- Hasan Abu Harb
45- Abd Al rahman Atallah, Male, 6046- Ibrahim Attalah, Male,30
47- Sua’d Atallah
48- Unidentified, Gaza Strip
49- Unidentified, Gaza Strip
50- Unidentified, Gaza Strip
51- Unidentified, Gaza Strip
52- Unidentified, Gaza Strip
53- Unidentified, Khanyonis City
54- Unidentified, KhanYonis City
These are not statistic figures… these are not just tomorrow’s headlines…
They were real people with real lives, real families and friends… people who yesterday were looking up to today with the same hopefulness and expectation, that you are looking with to tomorrow…
Sometimes, a generation is faced with times of trail, at the turn of tides, where they have to react, so that they can either take there appointed place between Nations, or fail as generations past have indeed failed. Our generation have been faced by a lot, and until now we’ve very successfully failed!
A red day dawn upon us, stained by the blood of women and children. During the last week, the World along side our very own leaders have proved to us all over again, that the life of an Arab person, be it Muslim or Christian, Man, Woman, elder or child is of no value what so ever in this dwindling time… and that the value of one Israeli SOLDIER or even two, is in the “international law of the lawless” is equaled by hundreds (if not thousands) of Arab civilian lives.
The west once again, redeems it’s 500 years of anti-Semitism, by letting Israel commit unto us what ever crimes that it’s whims imply. This only proves the obvious: Dignity, Honor, Human Rights and Freedom are not given, they are only acquired, and our governments have acquired us none! Should we follow the path of our fathers and stand in silence while once more our very own blood flows to stain our generation as it stained the ones before?
Gaza is being bombarded even as I write this, casualties are numberless, the members of Palestinian Government are imprisoned, electricity have been cut off for over a week now, the water is contaminated and the whole Gaza strip is being starved to death. And yet the world turns a blind eye on what could possibly be the worst humanitarian crisis and genocide of our time!
On the other hand Lebanon, a peaceful country that never assaulted any neighbor, have been plagued by a monstrous, atrocious and evil cancer at it‘s very border… The Lebanese people, awoke to the kind of news they thought they had put behind them. Their brand-new airport, had been bombarded by Israeli war planes along with a host of other infrastructure projects, bringing death and devastation on a more than Gazan scale. More than 200 civilians killed until now, the numbers are expected to double during the next couple of days.
This is only a re-play of a bleak winter day in 1968 when, out of the blue, helicopter-borne Israeli commandos landed on the old airport and blew up 13 passenger jets, almost the entire fleet of the national carrier. The pretext: of two Palestinians who killed an Israeli at Athens airport, one came from a refugee camp in Lebanon , then an entirely peaceable country. The significance of this most spectacularly disproportionate reprisal was something the Lebanese could hardly even have guessed at then. But it was a very early portent of the long nightmare to come: Israel ’s military occupation and decades of conflict, eventually compounded with an atrocious civil war that it did much to engender.
There is something ominously similar, in possible consequences, about yesterday’s repeat Israeli performance. Ever since the Israelis ended their occupation of southern Lebanon in 2000, this weak and diminutive country has enjoyed an almost unmarred respite from the turbulence of the region to which it so easily and habitually falls victim. But overnight it has been plunged back into the role it endured for a quarter century and more – that of hapless arena for Israeli crimes.
Meantime the ever vigilant USA, have stood by Israel’s right to defend itself, in a mockery that is equaled only by their use of Veto in the UN to prevent Ceasefire & Peace in Gaza or Lebanon! To prove to us that the only countries they care about are the ones with oil reserve! And that the only model of Democracy that the US Government cares for is the one they very efficiently applied in Iraq , The Democracy of the Puppets!
Infact the whole so called civilized world, have failed to help Lebanon (maybe the only true democratic nation in the region) and stand for the sovereignty of that nation. Infact what takes place now, only a year and a couple of month Rafiq al-Hariri murder (14 February 2005), Shed’s more suspicion on an already questioned death.
A year back after the assassination of Rafiq al-Hariri the Righteous Savior of Democracy along side it’s minions (and surprisingly Israel itself) jumped on the (Lucky) opportunity and started harassing Syria to pull it’s army out of south Lebanon under the umbrella “Protecting the sovereignty of Lebanon” a statement that sounds more like a joke now, even more than when it was initially said!
With the Syrian army out of the south, what remains is Hezb-allah to fight for Lebanon, and this group have been sanctioned and singled out as terrorist, although they are infact the ones behind ending the Israeli occupation and the civil war, and acquiring Lebanon’s freedom and democracy, which afterwards (and unlike any other militant uprisal, including our very own so called revolution) they gave back to the people and joined the election to end up winning a number of parliament chairs.
If you have doubts as to why is such a group called terrorists? Instead of being celebrated as rebels? Well the answer is they are an Islamic group, hence they are evil, plus they have vowed to free Palestine … what a hideous thing to think!
Therefore they are part of the “Axis of Evil” described by the Retard Monkey A.K.A G.W. Bush… and they are the ones to blame for what is happening now in both Gaza and Lebanon !
Once again we are the victim and ones to be blamed!
If we are the victims and the murders, well then let us be the murders they say we are, before being the victims they want us to be….
Let us not fail Lebanon and Palestine as the ones before us did, because if we do, our children (if infact we’ll ever live to have any with the rate this is going) will look down on us as we do! What are we waiting for? Our turn? Because if we fail to re-act, make no mistake, our turn will come!!!