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It Has Happened Here: The Police State is Real

by PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS

The Bush regime’s response to 9/11 and the Obama regime’s validation of this response have destroyed accountable democratic government in the United States. So much unaccountable power has been concentrated in the executive branch that the US Constitution is no longer an operable document.

Whether a person believes the official story of 9/11 which rests on unproven government assertions or believes the documented evidence provided by a large number of scientists, first responders, and structural engineers and architects, the result is the same. 9/11 was used to create an open-ended “war on terror” and a police state. It is extraordinary that so many Americans believe that “it can’t happen here” when it already has.

We have had a decade of highly visible evidence of the construction of a police state: the PATRIOT Act, illegal spying on Americans in violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the initiation of wars of aggression--war crimes under the Nuremberg Standard--based on intentional lies, the Justice Department’s concocted legal memos justifying the executive branch’s violation of domestic and international laws against torture, the indefinite detention of US citizens in violation of the constitutionally protected rights of habeas corpus and due process, the use of secret evidence and secret “expert witnesses” who cannot be cross-examined against defendants in trials, the creation of military tribunals in order to evade federal courts, secret legal memos giving the president authority to launch preemptive cyber attacks on any country without providing evidence that the country constitutes a threat, and the Obama regime’s murder of US citizens without evidence or due process.

As if this were not enough, the Obama regime now creates new presidential powers by crafting secret laws, refusing to disclose the legal reasoning on which the asserted power rests. In other words, laws now originate in secret executive branch memos and not in acts of Congress. Congress? We don’t need no stinking Congress.

Despite laws protecting whistleblowers and the media and the US Military Code which requires soldiers to report war crimes, whistleblowers such as CIA agent John Kiriakou, media such as Julian Assange, and soldiers such as Bradley Manning are persecuted and prosecuted for revealing US government crimes. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article33804.htm The criminals go free, and those who report the crimes are punished.

The justification for the American police state is the “war on terror,” a hoax kept alive by the FBI’s “sting operations.” Normally speaking, a sting operation is when a policewoman poses as a prostitute in order to ensnare a “John,” or a police officer poses as a drug dealer or user in order to ensnare drug users or dealers. The FBI’s “sting operation” goes beyond these victimless crimes that fill up US prisons.

The FBI’s sting operations are different. They are just as victimless as no plot ever happens, but the FBI doesn’t pose as bomb makers for terrorists who have a plot but lack the weapon. Instead, the FBI has the plot and looks for a hapless or demented person or group, or for a Muslim enraged over the latest Washington insult to him and/or his religion. When the FBI locates its victim, its agents approach the selected perpetrator pretending to be Al-Qaeda or some such and ply the selected perpetrator with money, the promise of fame, or threats until the victim signs on to the FBI’s plot and is arrested.

Trevor Aaronson in his book, The Terror Factory: Inside the FBI’s War on Terrorism, documents that the FBI has so far concocted 150 “terrorist plots” and that almost all of the other “terrorist cases” are cases unrelated to terrorism, such as immigration, with a terror charge tacked on. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=LpTOrNQ3G9Q#! The presstitute American media doesn’t ask why, if there is so much real terrorism requiring an American war against it, the FBI has to invent and solicit terrorist plots.

Neither does the media inquire how the Taliban, which resists the US invasion and attempted occupation of Afghanistan, fighting the US superpower to a standstill after 11 years, came to be designated as terrorists. Nor does the US presstitute media want to know how tribesmen in remote regions of Pakistan came to be designated as “terrorists” deserving of US drone attacks on the citizens, schools and medical clinics of a country with which the US is not at war.

Instead the media protects and perpetrates the hoax that has given America the police state. The American media has become Leni Riefenstahl, as has Hollywood with the anti-Muslim propaganda film, Zero Dark Thirty. This propaganda film is a hate crime that spreads Islamophobia. Nevertheless, the film is likely to win awards and to sink Americans into both tyranny and a hundred-year war in the name of fighting the Muslim threat.

What I learned many years ago as a professor is that movies are important molders of Americans‘ attitudes. Once, after giving a thorough explanation of the Russian Revolution that led to communist rule, a student raised his hand and said: “That’s not the way it happened in the movie.”

At first I thought he was making a witty joke, but then I realized that he thought that the truth resided in the movie, not in the professor who was well versed in the subject. Ever since I have been puzzled how the US has survived for so long, considering the ignorance of its population. Americans have lived in the power of the US economy. Now that this power is waning, sooner or later Americans will have to come to terms with reality.

It is a reality that will be unfamiliar to them.

Some Americans claim that we have had police states during other wartimes and that once the war on terror is won, the police state will be dismantled. Others claim that government will be judicious in its use of the power and that if you are doing nothing wrong you have nothing to fear.

These are reassurances from the deluded. The Bush/Obama police state is far more comprehensive than Lincoln’s, Wilson’s, or Roosevelt’s, and the war on terror is open-ended and is already three times longer than World War II. The Police State is acquiring “squatter’s rights.”

Moreover, the government needs the police state in order to protect itself from accountability for its crimes, lies, and squandering of taxpayers‘ money. New precedents for executive power have been created in conjunction with the Federalist Society which, independent of the war on terror, advocates the “unitary executive” theory, which claims the president has powers not subject to check by Congress and the Judiciary. In other words, the president is a dictator if he prefers to be.

The Obama regime is taking advantage of this Republican theory. The regime has used the Republican desire for a strong executive outside the traditional checks and balances together with the fear factor to complete the creation of the Bush/Cheney police state.

As Lawrence M. Stratton and I documented in our book, The Tyranny Of Good Intentions, prior to 9/11 law as a shield of the people was already losing ground to law as a weapon in the hands of the government. If the government wanted to get you, there were few if any barriers to a defendant being framed and convicted, least of all a brainwashed jury fearful of crime.

I cannot say whether the US justice system has ever served justice better than it has served the ambition of prosecutors. Already in the 1930s and 1940s US Supreme Court Justice George Sutherland and US Attorney General Robert Jackson were warning against prosecutors who sacrifice “fair dealing to build up statistics of success.” Certainly it is difficult to find in the ranks of federal prosecutors today Jackson’s “prosecutor who tempers zeal with human kindness, who seeks truth and not victims, who serves the law and not factional purposes, and who approaches his task with humility.”

Just consider the wrongful conviction of Alabama’s Democratic governor, Don Siegelman by what apparently was a Karl Rove plot to rid the South of Democratic governors. The “Democratic” Obama regime has not investigated this false prosecution or given clemency to its innocent own. Remember how quickly Bush removed the prison sentence of Cheney’s operative who revealed the name of a CIA undercover agent? The Democrats are a cowed and cowardly political party, fearful of justice, and as much a part of the corrupt police state as the Republicans.

Today the purpose of a prosecution is to serve the prosecutor’s career and that of the party that appoints him or her. A prosecutor’s career is served by high conviction rates, which require plea bargains in which the evidence against a defendant is never tested in court or before a jury, and by high profile cases, which can launch a prosecutor into a political career, as Rudy Giuliana achieved with his frame-up of Michael Milken.

Glenn Greenwald explained how Internet freedom advocate Aaron Swartz was driven to his death by the ambition of two federal prosecutors, US Attorney Carmen Ortiz and Assistant US Attorney Stephen Heymann, who had no aversion to destroying an innocent person with ridiculous and trumped-up charges in order to advance their careers. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jan/16/ortiz-heymann-swartz-accountability-abuse

It is rare for a prosecutor to suffer any consequence for bringing false charges, for consciously using and even paying for false evidence, and for lying to judge and jury. As prosecutors are rarely held accountable, they employ illegal and unethical methods and routinely abuse their power. As judges are mainly concerned with clearing their court dockets, justice is rarely served in America, which explains why the US has not only a larger percentage of its citizens in prison than any other country on earth, but also the largest absolute number of prisoners. The US actually has more of its citizens in prison than “authoritarian” China which has a population four times larger than the US. The US, possibly the greatest human rights abuser in history, is constantly bringing human rights charges against China. Where are the human rights charges against Washington?

In America the collapse of law has gone beyond corrupt prosecutors and their concocted false prosecutions. Unless it needs or desires a show trial, a police state does not need prosecutors and courts. By producing legal memos that the president can both throw people into prison without a trial and execute them without a trial simply by stating that some official in the executive branch thinks the person has a possible or potential connection to terrorism, tyranny’s friends in the Justice (sic) Department have dispensed with the need for courts, prosecutors and trials.The Bush/Obama regime has made the executive branch judge, juror, and executioner. All that is needed is an unproven assertion by some executive branch official. Here we have the epitome of evil.

Evidence is no longer required for the president of the US to imprison people for life or to deprive them of their life. A secret Justice Department memo has been leaked to NBC News that reveals the tyrannical reasoning that authorizes the executive branch to execute American citizens on the basis of belief alone without the requirement of evidence that they are terrorists or associated with terrorists. http://openchannel.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/02/04/16843014-exclusive-justice-department-memo-reveals-legal-case-for-drone-strikes-on-americans?lite

In “freedom and democracy” America, innocent until proven guilty is no longer the operative legal principle. If the government says you are guilty, you are. Period. No evidence required for your termination. Even Stalin pretended to have evidence.

The United States government is working its way step by step toward the determination that any and every critic of the government is guilty of providing “aid and comfort” to Washington’s “terrorist enemies,” which includes the elected Hamas government in Gaza. The only critics exempted from this rule-in-the-making are the neoconservatives who criticize the US government for being too slow to throttle both its critics and “anti-semites,” such as former US President Jimmy Carter, who criticize the Israeli government’s illegal appropriation of Palestinian lands. Most of Palestine has been stolen by Israel with Washington acquiesce and aid. Therefore, nothing is left for a “two-state solution.”

There is no doubt whatsoever that the Israeli government’s theft of Palestine is illegal; yet, Washington, on which Israel is totally dependent, does nothing about law. Law, we don’t need no stinking law.” Washington has might. Might is right. Get used to it.

Not only for Palestinians has law ceased to exist, but also for Americans, and for Washington’s NATO puppets in the UK and Europe, pitiful remnants of once great nations now complicit in Washington’s crimes against humanity. The Open Society Justice Initiative, a NGO based in New York, has issued a report that documents that 54 governments are involved in Washington’s rendition and torture program. Twenty-five of the governments that help Washington to kidnap, disappear, and torture people are European. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/feb/05/cia-rendition-report-uk-court

The opening decade of the 21st century has seen the destruction of all the law that was devised to protect the innocent and the vulnerable since the rise of the now defunct moral conscience of the West. The West’s moral conscience never applied outside of itself. What happened to people in Europe’s colonies and to native inhabitants of the US and Australia is a very different story.

Nevertheless, despite its lack of coverage to the powerless, the principle of the rule of law was a promising principle. Now America under Bush and Obama, two peas of the same pod, has abandoned the principle itself.

The Obama police state will be worse than the Bush/Cheney police state. Unlike conservatives who in times past were suspicious of government power, Obamabots believe that government power is a force for good if it is in the right hands. As Obama’s supporters see him as a member of an oppressed minority, they are confident that Obama will not misuse his power. This belief is akin to the belief that, as Jews suffered so much at the hands of Hitler, Israel would be fair to the Palestinians.

Glenn Greenwald writes that “the most extremist power any political leader can assert is the power to target his own citizens for execution without any charges or due process, far from any battlefield. The Obama administration has not only asserted exactly that power in theory, but has exercised it in practice.” http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article33847.htm

This is the power of a dictator. That Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi were said to have this power was part of their demonization as “brutal dictators,” a justification for overthrowing their governments and murdering the dictators and their supporters.

Ironic, isn’t it, that the president of the United States now murders his political opponents just as Saddam Hussein murdered his. How long before critics move from the no-fly list to the extermination list?

Additional reading: The legal analysis in the URL below written by seasoned attorneys shows that Obama is a tyrant. The point made by the attorneys is too clear to be debatable. http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/02/assassin_in_chief.html

Paul Craig Roberts is a former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury and Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal.

Also a shortened version covered on CounterPunch: http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/02/08/the-police-state-is-real/

Along the same lines...

The White House is “Judge, Jury and Executioner” of Both Drone and Cyber-Attacks
http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/02/the-white-house-is-judge-jury-and-executioner-of-both-drone-and-cyber-attacks.html

"Indeed, Bush and Obama have literally set the clock back 800 years … to before the signing of the Magna Carta."

9/11 Changed Everything... Never Forget.

"The [United States] Department of Homeland Security's civil rights watchdog has concluded that travelers along the nation's borders may have their electronics seized and the contents of those devices examined for any reason whatsoever -- all in the name of national security."
http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2013/02/electronics-border-seizures/

Your computers, cell phones and other electronics can be seized within 100 Miles of US Border for any reason (This covers 2/3 of US Population) - DHS

The Courage to Say it Like it Is

We all better start seeing it like it is, rather than how they ( corporate mainstream media and corporate controlled Washington) tell us it is! In my opinion, Paul tells it like it is. Hard to stomach; the truth often hurts! We better deal with it while we can. Thank you Paul, I respect your patriotism. And, thank you, Orangutan, for the excellent link to Washington's Blog.

Seeing it like it is

It seems to me that there is an ever-growing percentage of the populous that does see it like it is. You see this in the rash of mainstream articles talking about the growth of what they attempt to dismiss as "the lunatic fringe"--those who give credence to conspiracy theories of all shapes and sizes. While the coincidence theorists and obedient MSM does its best to stem the tide, the doubts linger and persist because there are so many gaping holes in so many of the "news" stories we are fed. And once a thinking person finally convinces him- or herself that a particular story is false, then all bets are off and every story suddenly falls under suspicion. So the MSM pushes back lamenting the rise if the lunatic fringe while the "lunatic" fringe (in fact the awakened fringe) sits back and mutters "directed history" to its growing self. Alternative news sites (without the quotation marks) like the highly recommended The Daily Bell push and push and push. Thanks to the 'net we're winning the information war. (Look for "cyber security" to be dripping off the tongues of all the powers that be this year. We've got them worried; we must guard net freedom of speech with vigilance.). The big question is where does it all lead us? Fascinating but scary times we live in.

Show "Sentimental " by marzi

Ethnic Cleansing-A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

The New Historians

Since 1988 Ilan Pappé and other Israeli historians have been reversing many of the myths of the founding of Israel. Basic information about this important scholastic movement know as The New Historians can be found on Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Historians

The most sophisticated people constantly at war

Do you really take nationalism and borders seriously? Do you think Europeans are the most educated and refined people in the world? Why then is the map of Europe and the Middle East in constant flux? Do the Ottomans matter and the plunder of countless nations? Borders keep changing. Check out this map-video and enlarge to full screen. Still no comment from you on the many studies on violence toward women in Palestine and elsewhere in these countries AND on the black market Gaza multi-millionaires who it seems do not give very much to their community.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/greek-election-aftermath-1000-years-context?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campai...

What Can I Say About the Plight of Palestinian Women?

I didn't say anything about civilizing these people just quit stealing their land. I can only offer a single factor reductionist answer and while that is not always the best answer sometimes it is the most pertinent: in simplistic terms you have your Indians and you have your reservation; then you start subsuming the reservation and what happens to the Indians? So, because among the Palestinians there are those who are absconders of charity and black marketeers; they, then, do not deserve the rights to self determination? In the U.S. Red Cross officials have been caught riding high on charitable funds with expensive condo rendezvous, fleet cars, and exorbitant salaries. Because women suffer in Palestine because of some unfortunate clinging to Hammurabian justice codes that gives you and me quit claim to just how many hectares of land? Your map shows a thousand year time frame and looking at the map above shows just what kind of immediate pressures are brought to bare in that kind of flux. If you want to talk about nationalism look no further than Zionism which was hatched in the same milieu of rabid nationalistic fervor that gave rise to the Third Reich. As for putting this on nationalistic terms that is not a problem. We are not really talking about a Palestinian nation at this point, the Israelis have made sure of that.

Denial

What you say is valid about self-determination, but it doesn't work for the women who live on that land, who don't and will not have it - half the population There seems to be an impasse as to this point with none of the "guys" who read this site understanding that. Also, under Faisal I Jews were already coming to Palestine. He thought too rapidly, so it was earlier than the rise of Nazism. As befits the fanaticism of this area, Faisal was probably poisoned, one reason being he was too "modern" and too pro-west and among other things let Gertrude Bell order education for women in Iraq when he ruled there. Just an example of why you cant idealize a people in the Islamic nations unless you think assassination and ignorance are fine. Have you read Reading Lolita in Tehran? A simple place to begin.

No One is "Idealizing" Anything

Hamstrung, but good for a few things, Noam Chomsky says that the Israelis are making a prison of Palestine, or what's left of it. Palestine belongs to the Palestinians, ipso facto, and what they do there is an internal affair. You, or I, can't and shouldn't attempt to solve the problems of Palestine as that is their business; unless of course they have oil and then by all means! Although you are not coming out and saying it; what I am hearing is Israel good Palestinian/Arabs bad, all while claiming to eschew nationalism.

Perhaps I didn't state my facts clearly but Zionism is a late 19th Century construct and it evolved concomitantly with the cohesion of the last great nation-states in Europe: Germany and Italy; both of which became rabidly nationalistic and fascistic even to the point of inventing the latter term and both Hitler and Herzl were products of the Austria-Hungarian Empire and to a meaningful extent they were contemporaries both in witnessing the decline of one empire and the emergence of what would one day become terror states before these two men in turn and au fur et à mesure would go on to create their own.

You mentioned Gertrude Bell and her contribution to women's education in Iraq without mentioning that this "change agent" was a spy for the British and as much responsible for creating the internecine strife caused by the formation of Iraq by the British Empire as anyone else. Remember, the British only play for keeps. Great Britain was the nation that bled India white in the "Good War" to make the world "safe for democracy."

As I already mentioned, much of the structure of the umwelt in Islamic culture predates Islam itself. These laws date to the code of Hammurabi and perhaps even predate it going back to the Bronze Age and are the origin of many of the strict dictates of that culture. That is a lot of tradition to buck. With the collapse of communism these ancient laws have seen a resurgence as far away as Albania demonstrating the persistence of their influence. The Kanun as,it is called in Albania is thought to have Mesopotamian origins and shows stark similarities with Persian and Arabic honor codes and Albania's centrality in the Bronze Range suggests that is probably true.

I am reticent to quote rock stars, not that they are incapable of thinking but it is hard to structure a weltanschauung in a three minute pop song. Do you think that John Lennon was speaking only of the Islamic nations when he said, quite insightfully and significantly that: Women is the Nigger of the World ? It is disingenuous to point at another culture with glibness and cultural smugness in a condemnatory fashion. Look at the Western culture for example. Many cultural historians feel that the Judeo-Christian culture itself which is a cohesive element and ostensibly a cultural and moral imperative is actually a facultative agent for imperialism, war and aggrandizement: "Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy everything that belongs to them." It has been stated by some that Biblical texts promoting peace have been excerpted. I don't know about that but I do know, along with "smiting," at the very core of Christianity lies the central concept that someone has to die before things get better. What could be a better justification for war?

As far as assassination and ignorance being fine, as you state: "Just an example of why you cant idealize a people in the Islamic nations unless you think assassination and ignorance are fine", those things, assassination and ignorance, are two of our chief products and exports of the U.S. of A. Only around 23 per cent of U.S. citizens have a college degree and while high school drop out rates have improved they still run around eight per cent of the population; this is sadly a low education success rate for "the greatest nation in the world," as it is often touted. As far as assassinations go who needs to be reminded of JFK, MLK, RFK, and Malcolm X and that is to say nothing about the death squads that we engendered. So polished are we at this game that Henry Kissinger was able to oversee political disappearances in Argentina in Operación Cóndor and, perhaps, even rig the outcome of the 1978 World Cup between Argentina and Peru at the same time,now that is efficiency! It was through American intervention that Jacobo Timerman, editor of La Prensa a moderate Argentine daily, was arrested and tortured leading him to ask: "¿Qué es más justo un escuadrón de la muerte de la extrema derecha o un escuadrón de la muerte de ala izquierda:" we caused that. The CIA put a hit out on Charles Horman, a Harvard educated writer, because of what his saw in Viña del Mar, Chile vis a vis the American involvement in the coup d'état there. In El Salvador in 1980 four Maryknoll nuns were killed and raped by a U.S. trained escuadrón de la muerte but that is OK, right? Because everyone knows that right wing death squads are more just than left wing death squads! Or don't they? And, speaking of ignorance, have you taken a hard look at what passes for culture in Western countries? We have gladiatorial combative sports that are, probably, rigged though no one will admit it but the fact that they are in bed with organized crime through the last bastion of "sanctioned" illegal gambling it would take a stretch of the imagination to think that they were not; and it has been done before. And do I really need to bring up Lindsey Lohan, Kim Khardashian, Brittney Spears, US and People magazines and the whole gamut of veritable celebrity worship that goes on: do I really need to state that?

I have had Reading Lolita in Tehran in my library for quite some time now but I haven't gotten around to it. I have, currently, three or four thousand books in my library and it is, as you might imagine, a daunting challenge to read all of them but I am trying. I must say that I find your admonition to "begin" my education to be quite impertinent: " Have you read Reading Lolita in Tehran? A simple place to begin." Struck down by penury, I began my education as an autodidact. I have read and studied assiduously my whole life. When I was fortunate enough to matriculate and begin my formal education, I took full advantage of it. I often took two overloaded, red lined, full time loads and studied diligently and on graduating I have continued my studies vigorously. So to suggest to me that I "start" somewhere is really beyond the pale.

Enough with the more-feminist-than-thou sanctimony

This started with your objecting to Roberts' characterization of Israeli policy towards the Palestinians. Then you try to change the subject (from what would be called ethnic cleansing were it taking placed anywhere else), by implying that opposition to and abhorrence of US-Israeli policy towards those societies amounts to ignoring the situation of Muslim women. That's the kind of stuff I expect to hear from Washington think-tanks! If your neightbor is abusing his wife, does that give you the right to go in, seize property, drive people out, and leave mayhem and grief in your wake? Would you have us believe that western imperialism in that region has had the slightest thing to do with concern for the women there?!!

Opposition to imperialism does not entail idealizing anybody.

Enemies of the Constitution

Daniel Ellsberg: Obama, Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Senators Voting for Indefinite Detention Are “Enemies of the Constitution”
http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/02/daniel-ellsberg-obama-bush-cheney-rumsfeld-and-senators-voting-for-indefinite-deten...

But Obama is a "Constitutional Scholar"

Now how would I know that unless someone told me? That is the biggest lie since the Cherry Tree lie and like that "sapling" was planted by the state.

Traitors!

Enemies of the Constitution? By extension this infers that they are enemies of the State, and by definition traitors. What is the usual penalty for someone found guilty in a court of law, of the crime of treason? hmm....

Furthermore, elected officials, before taking office, take an oath which includes "protecting the Constitution of the United States". For example, the presidential oath of office reads: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” In 2005, when Bush/Cheney were inaugurated for a 2nd term, they both were aware that they had supported and signed legislation in the 2001-2005 time frame that violated sections of the Bill of Rights (which as of this minute is still a part of the US Constitution). Were they aware that more anti-Constitutional legislation was coming down the pipe that they would too support and sign? You bet. Did they swear to protect the US Constitution knowing full well they were going to vandalize it, and had already done so? You bet. A similar scenario is more than likely with ObamaCorp®.

To the crime of treason, a case of perjury could be added as well. Of course, are there any lawyers out there who are prepared to research and perhaps pursue such cases? Probably not, but a court case along these lines makes for a very satisfactory thought experiment, especially being aware that the potential penalties for treason are most severe, and perjury is no laughing matter either.

bloggulator's question 'any lawyers?': PHILIPPE SANDS,

i would suggest, though he's british. after
uplifting exchange with a local town librarian, below, please read my guardian letter which follows. .:

" do you want this book mentioned below, ‘torture team,’ for library? i’ll bring tomorrow just in case." l.
reply: "Absolutely. Thanks!"
no, d; thank YOU for your open mindedness re important issues." sincerely, l
"You’re very welcome. Happy to be so…"

my Guardian LETTER:
"Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald chides our government for its hypocrisy after a state department official ‘expressed concern’ about what he called a ‘climate of impunity’ over abuses by police and security forces in Egypt.
(‘Italy’s Ex-Intelligence Chief Given 10 year Sentence for Role in CIA Kidnapping.’ http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/feb/13/italy-cia-rendition-abu-omar)

Yes, the U.S. (des?)pot calls the kettle black! Further proof is in International lawyer/University College London Prof Philippe Sands’ ’08 book ‘Torture Team: Rumsfelds’ Memo and the Betrayal of American Values.’ It builds a detailed legal case scenario for a potential International Criminal Court prosecution of former Sec. of Defense Rumsfeld and top Bush administration lawyers who tried to ‘justify’ the ‘18 interrogation techniques’ used at Guantanamo and by extension, or, ’mission creep,’ Abu Graib. Prof Sands discovered that top Joint Chiefs of Staff attorneys were purposely bypassed in this planning because they knew the latter would not approve due to its illegality, threat to our own future-captured service people and, simply, because, torture does not work.

Although the ‘news’ we got at the time implicated rogue underling types, the book finds those at the top most responsible and describes how inexperienced recruits at Guantanamo followed the ‘creative’ lead beamed into the island prison by Fox TV’s popular program ’24.‘ My shocked impression years ago when chancing upon this fear mongering show was that it was propaganda ‘manufacturing consent’ in American minds for torture.
Prof. Sands draws similarities with the Nuremberg trials, and conducted numerous interviews culminating with NATO country judge and prosecutor who indicated the ‘techniques’ did, in their estimation, comprise torture, and warranted prosecution by the ICC (International Criminal Court) if within a reasonable time the U.S./relevant countries do not themselves prosecute. The administration lawyers’ behaviour, in their view, went beyond complicity.

It appears in this country the powerful are above the law, including the Constitution, which requires abiding by U.S. signed treaties/ international agreements such as the Geneva Accords, & Torture Conventions, (in which formation the U.S. played the moral, guiding force.)

Extremely relevant, and even worse in description of more recent torture committed by this country is the following article by most diligent researcher/former Underwriters Lab chemist/whistleblower Kevin Ryan: http://911blogger.com/news/2013-02-10/forgetting-torture-lee-hamilton-john-brennan-and-abu-zubaydah#comments
“The pervasive news surrounding the confirmation hearing of John Brennan, Obama’s nominee for CIA director, is paralleled by another, related story that has been largely ignored by the U.S. media. That is the story of the man called Abu Zubaydah, whose alleged torture testimony, obtained by the CIA while Brennan was the head of the agency’s Terrorist Threat Center, built the foundation for the official account of 9/11. Zubaydah is at the center of an unraveling of the official account of the 9/11 attacks.[1] His extensive torture at the hands of the CIA during Brennan’s tenure, which included at least 83 water-boarding sessions, hanging the man naked from the ceiling, slamming him against a concrete wall, and other atrocious experimental techniques, was said to produce valuable evidence about al Qaeda. However, the government now claims that Zubaydah was never a member or associate of al Qaeda and therefore he could not have known any of the information that the 9/11 Commission attributed to him….. In 2009, it was revealed that when Brennan was the director of the National Counterterrorism Center, in 2005, the CIA had destroyed the torture tapes, most of which featured Zubaydah.”

A climate of impunity, indeed.