Reinventing demons

In These Times
by Jeremy Bigwood

At an April 7 press conference, President Barack Obama’s special advisor for the Summit of Americas Jeffrey Davidow announced the administration’s new plan to provide U.S.-funded ‘public safety’ programs to other governments throughout the Western Hemisphere. U.S. public safety programs are necessary now, Davidow said, because ‘Latin America [and] the Caribbean are witnessing an increase in criminality and are having difficulty confronting this because of judicial and police systems that need assistance, need more training, need more equipment.’ The United States has pursued similar policies in the past—with disastrous results. The first such projects were organized in the wake of the Spanish-American War, when the United States was keen on policing its newly won satrapies in the Caribbean and Pacific...

//www.inthesetimes.com/article/4417/reinventing_demons



Britain’s strange, silent strangulation of liberty

Spiked
by Josie Appleton

05/13/09

Every era has its own brand of state regulation; at different times, the repressive powers of the state are focused on different areas of social life. Today’s state is getting itself into some very strange corners indeed. Twenty years ago, who would have thought that the state would seek to regulate mums helping out at their children’s nursery. … Who would have thought that police officers would force tourists to delete their photos of the architecturally interesting but otherwise unimportant Vauxhall bus station in London, in the name of preventing terrorism?

//www.spiked-online.com/index.php?/site/article/6658/



The semantics of torture

Guardian [UK]
by John McQuaid

The US media’s most esteemed institutions — the New York Times, Washington Post, Associated Press and TV network news divisions among them — have a small but significant problem with the English language. They are unable to call torture by its true name...

//tinyurl.com/qm6n5u



Lt. Erin Watada and a standing army

Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G. Hornberger

05/13/09

The case of Lt. Erin Watada provides a good example of why our American ancestors opposed a standing army. You’ll recall that Watada is the U.S. military officer who refused orders to deploy to Iraq on the ground that to do so would constitute the war crime of waging a war of aggression. The U.S. Army prosecuted him for refusing to obey such orders but then screwed up by agreeing to the granting of a mistrial after Watada’s trial had already begun. Since another trial would have violated the constitutional provision on double jeopardy, U.S. military officials have recently decided to drop the charges. Still pending are charges relating to Watada’s criticism of President Bush...

//www.fff.org/blog/jghblog2009-05-13.asp



How to make the neocons crazy: Tell them the truth

AlterNet
by Ira Chernus

05/13/09

Old Charlie Krauthammer, the neocon who won’t go away, is at it again. Now he’s hammering at an old favorite target — the Hamas party and its political leader, Khaled Meshal — and its new accomplice, that scurrilously liberal newspaper, the New York Times. The Times‘ latest moral fault (according to Krauthammer) was to send two of its top Middle East reporters to interview Meshal and then actually report some of what he said …”

//tinyurl.com/q4plzz



The torture dissidents’ tale

Mother Jones
by Nick Baumann

05/13/09

Not everyone in the Bush administration supported the use of torture. A trio of high ranking officials in the State Department and the Pentagon waged bureaucratic war against use of so-called enhanced interrogation techniques, including waterboarding, on detainees. They lost this battle, but one of the three is now telling their story...

//tinyurl.com/oxfu74


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp



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