Sunday, February 19, 2006

Blog Spotlight: Mike bringing you up to speed

We asked Wally to explain why he picked this entry (that we all felt deserved to be highlighted).  His answer?  "Mike always starts the week off with enthusiasm.  Monday's are rough and Mike's always diving right in."

Wally on Sportsman Cheney's fishing mishap, Guantanamo prisoners

Good evening. Hope everyone had a great weekend. Let's kick things off with Democracy Now!

Christian Peace Group Charged Over Gitmo Vigil
Meanwhile, the US government has served legal papers to seven members of a US Christian group that held a vigil outside the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The group, Witness Against Torture, held a five-day march to the prison in December. Around 500 prisoners are being held at Guantanamo, most without charge. The seven members each face up to 10 years in prison or a $250,000 dollar fine. Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights said: "I find it extremely hypocritical that Washington is investigating this group for the 'crime' of traveling to Cuba. The U.S. government is flagrantly violating even the most basic norms of human rights -- such as indefinite detention without charges, denial of fair trials and, most importantly, torture."

Seven brave Americans willing to put their bodies where there mouths were stand up for the rights of us all. They don't know the prisoners. They went down to protest on humanitarian grounds. And the payback? Having charges lodged against them. Do you care? You should. You do know that Guantanamo Bay is just a holding tank and that imprisonment there doesn't mean the people are guilty?

From "CCR Applauds Confirmation of Guantanamo Detainees' Innocence in First Statistical Analysis of Military Documents:"

On February 9, 2006, in New York, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) applauded the release of the Report on Guantanamo Detainees: A Profile of 517 Detainees Through Analysis of Department of Defense Data by Professor Mark Denbeaux of Seton Hall Law School and attorney Joshua Denbeaux.
Since February 2002, CCR has argued in the United States federal courts that the vast majority of prisoners at Guantánamo are innocent men who were kidnapped and turned over to the United States military for a bounty. The report found that "55 percent of the 517 detainees had no hostile act listed as the basis for detention" and a mere 5 percent were captured by U.S. forces, with the rest not picked up on the battlefield in Afghanistan but in Pakistan and handed to the U.S. by warlords and others for large bounties. According the report's careful analysis of the Defense Department records, 92% of the prisoners in Guantánamo were not characterized as Al Qaeda fighters. The men have been denied any fair hearing and detained in inhumane conditions for over four years, despite the Supreme Court ruling in CCR's case, Rasul v. Bush that they have the right to challenge the basis for their detention in U.S. court.
Said CCR attorney Gita Gutierrez, "Now, for the first time, the military's lies and misrepresentations about the prisoners in Guantánamo have been debunked through the military's own documents. Yet, these men remain in prison while at every turn the Executive seeks to avoid judicial scrutiny of its unlawful conduct."

That's from The Center for Constitutional Rights and if you go to that page, you can read a PDF format report. Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava and C.I. wrote "A Note to Our Readers" and I read that and thought, "Man, let me in on that!" Seriously, while we working on the F.U. edition of The Third Estate Sunday Review, we were talking about how serious stuff isn't being discussed. We don't mean people telling jokes. Like Wally, okay, The Daily Jot is supposed to make you laugh and hopefully think but it's humor. That's great. I love The Daily Jot. But there are a lot of "I'm so serious" types who aren't trying to make you laugh and they're being really lazy writing these jerk off columns and editorials about stuff like "Oprah had an author who lied!" and strutting around like they did something brave. If you're so serious, can you write about something that matters? Or is that asking too much? Too damn much is the way it looks. Flip through CJR magazine and see how serious they are or how pertinent to the world we're living in. They're a "journalism review" but they're not tackling any of the big issues. They're jerking off. (Read "Cowardly Journalism Review (Parody).") What's the point of that?

Report: US Aiding Construction of Morocoo Prison
In other news, the London Times is reporting the US is helping Morocco build a new prison for terror suspects near the capital of Rabat. The prison would be run by the Moroccan secret police, the Direction for Security of the Territory -- known as DST. Several human rights groups have accused the DST of torture. Morocco is thought to be one of the key partners in the CIA’s rendition of detainees.

What's the point of building more prisons for "terror suspects"? They've gotten away with it once, why not try again.

I'm swiping from C.I.:

James in Brighton notes Con Coughlin's "UN inquiry demands immediate closure of Guantanamo" (The Telegraph of London):
A United Nations inquiry has called for the immediate closure of America's Guantanamo Bay detention centre and the prosecution of officers and politicians "up to the highest level" who are accused of torturing detainees.The UN Human Rights Commission report, due to be published this week, concludes that Washington should put the 520 detainees on trial or release them.It calls for the United States to halt all "practices amounting to torture", including the force-feeding of inmates who go on hunger strike.The report wants the Bush administration to ensure that all allegations of torture are investigated by US criminal courts, and that "all perpetrators up to the highest level of military and political command are brought to justice".

That's from "And the war drags on" which is an entry focusing on reporting coming out of the United States mainstream media. C.I. does one of those (at least one) each Sunday. You read those entries and you get a different sense of the world then what our comfy, lazy press tells you (or doesn't tell you).

By the way, check out this from C.I. to read about outrage. We should all be feeling outraged by what's going on in what is supposed to be the land of the free.

And Ma's got a new recipe, this one requires no cooking and I can vouch for it, it's tasty. I hope everyone checks out Trina's Kitchen. And for some good belly laughs (nothing wrong with having a good laugh), check out Wally's "THIS JUST IN! DICK CHENEY HAS A FISHING MISHAP!" Here's the opening of that:


I tagged Elaine's site before I published, I just forgot to mention. Be sure to check out Like Maria Said Paz because Elaine's had a lot to say on the Guantanamo prisoners when we were on the phone earlier.

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