Freitag, 15. Februar 2008

US official admits waterboarding presently illegal

A senior official in the Bush justice department said for the first time today that the controversial interrogation tactic is currently illegal.

London bombs justify 'torture', says Bush

President George Bush cited the London July 7 bombings in an interview broadcast last night to justify his support for waterboarding, an interrogation technique widely regarded as torture.

Bush plans to veto waterboarding ban

US President George W. Bush plans to veto legislation passed by the Senate to bar the CIA from using harsh interrogation methods including waterboarding.,21985,23217392-5005961,00.html

Lieberman backs waterboarding

'It's not like we're burning people with hot coals'

More than 24 thousand of Guantanamo interrogations were taped: report

More than 24,000 interrogations of suspected terrorists at the Guantanamo prison camp were videotaped, though the US military has not confirmed the videos exist, a report said Thursday.

Bush Wants Limits on Access to Evidence

The Bush administration asked the Supreme Court on Thursday to limit judges' authority to scrutinize evidence against detainees at Guantanamo Bay.

From Information Clearing House

UK branded 'a disgrace' in Iraq

The Government has been branded a "disgrace" for continuing to be involved in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan on the fifth anniversary of the huge anti-war demonstration.

From Information Clearing House

The illegitimacy of striking Iran

There is no justification in international law for pre-emptive strikes of any nature.

From Information Clearing House

Iraq death rate belies US claims of success

The death rate in Iraq in the past 12 months has been the second highest in any year since the invasion, according to figures that appear to contradict American claims that the troop "surge" has dramatically reduced the level of violence across the country.

From Information Clearing House

Borough’s T-Mobile phone mast appeals

09:46, Feb 15 2008

by Michael Green, Ellesmere Port Pioneer

A DECISION by the borough council to refuse permission for a 12- metre mobile phone mast has led to an appeal.

The application was put forward by T-Mobile on land at the rear of Town Lane Autos at 9A Town Lane, Little Neston.


Brit robots to put phone mast on moon

And to do some geology, possibly

By Mark Ballard: Friday, 15 February 2008, 3:33 PM

NASA HAS backed a proposal for an unmanned UK space mission to test mobile phone masts on the moon.


Progressives Demand Classified Access to Domestic Spying Program

National Lawyers Guild Calls on Justice Antonin Scalia to Recuse Himself From Interrogation-Related Cases

Injustice at Guantanamo: Torture Evidence and the Military Commissions Act

Is the US Really Bringing Stability to Baghdad?

Dead Zones Off Oregon and Washington Likely Tied to Global Warming, Study Says

Top Scientists Want Research Free From Politics

"Unkalkulierbares Risiko": Bauernverband rät von Anbau gentechnisch veränderter Pflanzen ab

Trotz der am 15. Februar vom Bundesrat bestätigten Novelle des Gentechnikgesetzes rät der Bauernverband vom Anbau gentechnisch veränderter Pflanzen ab. Mit der weiterhin verschuldensunabhängigen Haftung seien Landwirte selbst bei gesetzeskonformen Verhalten "einem unkalkulierbaren Risiko ausgesetzt", teilte der Verband am 15. Febraur in Berlin mit. In der Novelle sei es versäumt worden, auch die Saatgutindustrie in die Verantwortung zu nehmen.ändert

Über die Schockstrategie des Neoliberalismus

Menschen verhalten sich wie Schafherden

Nach Experimenten folgt die Mehrzahl automatisch einigen wenigen Anführern, die den Weg angeben.

Rachel's News #946

Gesamtbild der Schamlosigkeit


Großteil der deutschen Führungselite könnte von Ermittlungen betroffen sein

Post-Chef Klaus Zumwinkel ist am 15. Februar zurückgetreten. Der vermögende Spitzenmanager hat inzwischen den Vorwurf der Steuerhinterziehung offenbar zugegeben. Zumwinkel soll mittels Geldanlagen in liechtensteinische Stiftungen Steuern in einer Größenordnung von rund einer Million Euro am Fiskus vorbeigeschleust zu haben. Laut "Financial Times Deutschland" sind möglicherweise Tausende Verdächtige ins Visier der Steuerfahnder geraten, weil sie Steuerhinterziehungen über Liechtenstein abgewickelt haben sollen. Damit könnte ein Großteil der deutschen Führungselite betroffen sein. Es handle sich um eine vierstellige Zahl, hieß es am 15. Februar aus Regierungskreisen in Berlin. Allein die Staatsanwaltschaft Bochum bestätigte, dass bei der Behörde mehrere hundert Steuerverfahren anhängig sind. Die "Süddeutsche Zeitung" will aus Justizkreisen erfahren haben, dass gegen 120 bis 150 Verdächtige wegen Steuerhinterziehung ermittelt werde. Etwa 900 Durchsuchungsbeschlüsse soll es geben . Nach Angaben von "Spiegel Online" sollen konservativen Schätzungen zufolge insgesamt mindestens 300 Mio. Euro an den Finanzämtern vorbei nach Liechtenstein geschleust worden sein, nach anderen Angaben allerdings bis zu 4 Mrd. Euro. Die Internet-Ausgabe der "Frankfurter Allgemeinen Zeitung" (FAZ) hält bereits zahlreiche Verhaltens-Tipps für vermögende Steuerhinterzieher bereit.

Human ID chips get under my skin

Business Week
by David H. Holtzman


While it’s easy to reject the notion of placing little ID chips inside humans as an ominous Orwellian invasion of individual rights, I suspect it’s inevitable that in my lifetime we will all have some kind of computerized implants. My problem is not with the technology … My concern stems from my lack of trust in institutions and lack of belief that the technology will be forever restricted to beneficial, socially acceptable uses. … I can think of countless initiatives that could be launched to make use of a sufficiently large group of chipped people … outfitting firearms with a radio-frequency identification (RFID) reader and requiring gun owners to be chipped to fire their weapon (like existing thumbprint locks)...

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Jose Padilla brings torture to trial

In These Times
by Doug Cassel


When on Jan. 22 a federal court judge sentenced Jose Padilla to 17 years in prison for conspiracy to commit terrorism, it was a one-day story. But, in fact, the Padilla case goes on. Padilla, a U.S. citizen and former Chicago gang member, alleges that he was tortured during the more than three and a half years he spent behind bars at a Navy brig in South Carolina. He is now suing John Yoo, the former Justice Department lawyer who reportedly devised the legal theories to justify the interrogation techniques used against him. While Padilla’s suit raises a number of constitutional claims — including that the military violated his rights to counsel and to exercise his Muslim religion — the heart of his argument is that Yoo gave legal advice to justify his torture, in violation of due process of law as guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution...

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Surveillance bill left in limbo as House takes recess

USA Today

Democratic leaders allowed House members to leave town for a week-long recess Thursday without ending a dispute over a temporary electronic surveillance law that expires Saturday. President Bush warned that inaction ‘could reopen dangerous gaps in our intelligence,’ while House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused Bush of ‘fear-mongering’...

Bush criticizes Congress on terror bill

Waco Tribune-Herald


In a day of political brinkmanship, President Bush pressured the House on Thursday to finish a bill giving the government more leeway to eavesdrop on phone calls and e-mails of suspected terrorists. House Democrats didn’t budge and angry Republicans staged a walkout down the Capitol steps. From the White House, Bush argued that the House has plenty of time to pass a bill before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act expires at midnight Saturday....

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

The Growing Battle for the Right to Water

Tara Lohan, reporting for AlterNet, interviews Maude Barlow on her new book about the water crisis, which is a call to arms to protect a fundamental human right.

Predatory Lenders' Partner in Crime

New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, writing in The Washington Post, says: "Even though predatory lending was becoming a national problem, the Bush administration looked the other way and did nothing to protect American homeowners. In fact, the government chose instead to align itself with the banks that were victimizing consumers."

ASTHMA: link to electric meter and appliance exposures

Were the Super Tuesday Presidential Primary Vote Counts Accurate?

FDA Chief in Very Hot Water with Congress

by Byron Richards, CCN

It now appears that the FDA Chief Andrew von Eschenbach, M.D. has committed perjury before Congress. Unlike Roger Clemens, who also seems to be putting his foot in his mouth before Congress, von Eschenbach’s actions appeared to have allowed unnecessary deaths to Americans – hardly the mission of the FDA. By contrast, Roger Clemens is simply causing death to his own reputation. Hopefully Congress can quit wasting taxpayer money on baseball and get to the bottom of what is really going on at the FDA........

Next-up news n°478

The death of the mobile phone tower?


T-Mobile invests in 'home phone mast' technology

From Mast Sanity/Mast Network

House Democrats Hold Bush Officials in Criminal Contempt

A Two-Party Death Grip

by Pastor Chuck Baldwin

In his Farewell Address, our first and greatest President, George Washington, eloquently lobbied the American people to guard against over-infatuation with political parties. Anyone reading his warnings today will be impressed with his insight and wisdom. Virtually everything he predicted has come to pass. Blind loyalty to political parties has corrupted our public institutions, blinded the hearts and minds of the American people, and opened wide the door to undue foreign influence........

Conservationists, NYT Challenge Grand Canyon Uranium Mining

Youth too lost, scared to rebel say '68 veterans;_ylt=AmyJ6l6IlyPhIwXU72G7rfAE1vAI

Informant: Richard

The Lost Kristol Tapes


The Lost Kristol Tapes

"This Is going To Be A Two Months War"

By Jonathan Schwarz

It's a masterpiece, a double album of smarm, horrifying ignorance, and bald-faced deceit. While you've heard him play those instruments before, he never again reached such heights. It's a performance for the history books - particularly that chapter about how the American Empire collapsed.

Let's Legalize Competing Currencies

The Frightful Face of Stimulus

Ron Paul Statement on Washington, Louisiana and Kansas Results

Informant: Gomez

Don't believe the propaganda: 'The war has destroyed Iraq'

Informant: jensenmk

From ufpj-news

The Birth of Trash Television

Despite toxic risks, FEMA will give empty Katrina mobile homes to tornadoes' homeless

Town bans "radioactive bodily trespass"

Here's something encouraging and thought-provoking. Some towns in the USA are starting to do something very practical and useful.

The story quoted below was brought to my attention by the environmental newsletter Rachel's News (see details at end). It refers to radioactive uranium, which means of course ionising radiation. This is different from (non-ionising) electro-magnetic radiation.

But the town ordinance described indicates two possible aims for EMF activism.

1. "Bodily trespass" could be a way to define what is wanted in anti-EMF ordinances or legislation.

2. The limitation of corporate rights where they infringe on ordinary people's rights, especially in health.

Lyn Milnes in New Zealand

Extract From: The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, Feb. 11, 2008


On February 7, 2008, the Town Council of Halifax, Virginia, voted unanimously to adopt an ordinance banning corporate chemical and radioactive bodily trespass. Enacted to confront concerns about the proposed uranium mine in adjacent Pittsylvania County, the ordinance establishes strict liability and burden-of-proof standards for culpable corporations and government entities that permit and facilitate corporate bodily trespass.

The ordinance also strips corporations of constitutional protections within the town. The Town of Halifax thus becomes the 10th municipality in the nation to refuse to recognize corporate constitutional "rights," and to prohibit corporate rights from being used to override the rights of human and natural communities.

The ordinance adopted by the Halifax Town Council also recognizes the rights of natural communities and ecosystems to exist and flourish within the town and provides for the enforcement and defense of those rights, and prohibits corporations from interfering with the civil rights of residents, including residents' right to self-government. The ordinance was drafted for the Halifax Town Council by the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund{1}, a Pennsylvania-based nonprofit law firm.

Ben Price, Projects Director for the Legal Defense Fund commented that "The people of the Town of Halifax have determined that they do not consent to be irradiated, nor to be trespassed upon, by toxic substances that would be released by Virginia Uranium, Inc., or any other state-chartered corporation. The people have asserted their right and their duty to protect their families, environment, and future generations. In enacting this law, the community has gone on record as rejecting the legal theory behind Dillon's Rule, which erroneously asserts that there is no inherent right to local self- government. The American Revolution was about nothing less than the fundamental right of the people to be the decision-makers on issues directly affecting the communities in which they live. They understood that a central government, at some distance removed from those affected, acts beyond its authority in empowering a few powerful men -privileged with chartered immunities and rights superior to the people in the community -- to deny citizens' rights, impose harm, and refuse local self-determination. The people of the Town of Halifax have acted in the best tradition of liberty and freedom, and confronted injustice in the form of a state-permitted corporate assault against the consent of the sovereign people."

Shireen Parsons, the Legal Defense Fund's Virginia Organizer, commended the action of the Halifax Town Council, stating that, "The council members demonstrated courage and solidarity in their commitment to justice and their duty to govern in the interest of protecting and preserving the health, safety and wellbeing of the people from whom they derive their power. This is the beginning of something wonderful in Virginia."

Halifax Town Council member Jack Dunavant said of the decision, "This is an historic vote. We, the people, intend to protect our health and environment from corporate assault. It's time to invoke the Constitution and acknowledge the power of the people to protect our own destiny and end this era of corporate greed and pollution."

The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, located in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, has worked with communities resisting corporate assaults upon democratic self-governance since 1995. Among other programs, it has brought its unique Daniel Pennock Democracy Schools to communities in 26 states in which people seek to end destructive and rights-denying corporate acts routinely permitted by state and federal agencies. In Pennsylvania alone, more than 100 municipalities have enacted ordinances authored by the Legal Defense Fund.



(Quoted by RACHEL'S DEMOCRACY & HEALTH NEWS #946 "Environment, health, jobs and justice--Who gets to decide?" Thursday, February 14, 2008)

Letter in Support of Poland’s GMO Free Status


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