Local Stories, Events
Ref. : Civic Events
Ref. : Arts & Education Events
Ref. : Public Service Notices
Books, Films, Arts & Education
Ref. : Letters to the editor
Health Care & Environment
07.20 Until Emissions Drop, Nothing Has Been Accomplished: The Climate Resistance Handbook Is Here. [Trump can't be bothered as the world turns into a large cinder. His laser focus is on personal greed.]
07.20 With Petition to Congress, 100,000+ People Demand Green New Deal 'That Fixes Our Food System' [Realtime proactive response to reality—now and threatening—doesn't get attention in this greed focused administration]
07.19 Trump administration won't ban pesticide tied to childhood brain damage [There is no truth to the persistent rumor that chlorpyrifos pesticide was heavily used at Trump's childhood home in Queens]
07.17 Planned Parenthood president Leana Wen forced out by board [Given that states have lost abortion rights on political grounds recently, Wen's philosophical approach to protect abortion rights based on ‘health care’ was smarter – therefore it was that smarter strategy that was killed at the secret meeting.]
07.17 What is happening in America's Cancertown is tragic, immoral and evil [Niggardly white government policies could change to produce better students, better jobs and net revenue instead of costs. But it seems they enjoy more cruelty—like Trump.]
07.15 Extinction Rebellion protests block traffic in five UK cities [Non-corporate human animals make their annoying bleating sounds...]
07.14 A Glacier the Size of Florida Is Becoming Unstable. It Has Dire Implications for Global Sea Levels [The willfully ignorant needn't read more, Trump]
07.13 'Climate Despair' Is Making People Give Up on Life [Willfully ignorant governments—having fired many of their best scientists—have made themselves too stupid to despair]
07.13 Trump administration to approve pesticide that may harm bees [The worst government money can buy!]
07.11 7,000+ Colleges and Universities Declare Climate Emergency and Unveil Three-Point Plan to Combat It [Fox News and Betsy DeVos never talk about this stuff so it must be Bull Shit, right?]
07.10 Plastic Has A Big Carbon Footprint — But That Isn't The Whole Story [Fixing our world begins by educating your consciousness with the best truth from trustworthy news sources—so you'll then insist truly bad things will get fixed. But if instead you are educated by untrustworthy news sources—then your consciousness could be warped to where you are hating and fighting with your best friends. Clue: untrustworthy news sources never seriously report news about the world's most critical emergency—Global warming.]
07.09 Judge reinstates Madrid's low emissions zone [Yeh!]
07.07 How Solar Panels Work (And Why They're Taking Over the World) [Hope they leave space between panels for wild flowers to grow so birds and butterflies can flourish!]
News Media Matters
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
07.20 Fact check: Trump says Puerto Rico got $92 billion. They've seen only a fraction [If he opens his mouth, Trump's lying.]
07.20 Trump Denies Being at North Carolina Rally [Not sure if Trump supporters 'get' satire, but here goes....]
07.18 Inside Trump's DC hotel, where allies and lobbyists flock to peddle their interests [Also, too much ignored by media, the $millions "donated" corrupting moderate Democrats and Republicans every election cycle must stop]
07.18 This Republican's Case for Medicare for All [A well-informed Republican is rare, so let's hold him in the light so others may learn]
07.18 Trump rally crowd chants 'send her back' after president attacks Ilhan Omar [1:03 video shows Trump pandering to his ignorant idolaters, and together they're making America a greater shit-hole country]
High Crimes vs. Human Rights
07.19 Conscientious objectors of first world war – their untold tales [The record proves they were morally right by avoiding violent early deaths of their cousins and themselves]
Economics & Corrupt Capitalism
International & Futurism
07.20 US to deploy troops to Saudi Arabia in face of 'credible' regional threats [Working with Osama bin Laden's godfathers, Trump wants to profit like Erik Prince (for-profit education secretary Betsy DeVos' brother) of Blackwater infamy (hurriedly renamed ‘Academi’), the U.S. taxpayer to pay inflated costs while Trump siphons off long-term emolument largesse]
07.20 Iran on 'dangerous path' with seizure of Stena Impero, says UK [Which is this, a tit or a tat?]
07.20 'Dark satanic mills': Tony Abbott continues his crusade against wind turbines [Too much CO2 air pollution makes you stupid, and turns your country into an “Idiocracy” (1:36 video clip)]
07.20 Bolsonaro declares 'the Amazon is ours' and calls deforestation data 'lies' [Lazy and willfully stupid whenever it serves his purpose, just like Trump. “And the rest of you can all go to hell.” Again, just like Trump. Has your country turned into an “Idiocracy”? (1:36 video clip)]
07.19 Iran makes 'substantial' nuclear offer in return for US lifting sanctions [Was barbaric Saudi Arabia—whose citizens were more involved in the 9-11 attacks—the wrong ally all along?]
07.19 “The Task Ahead Is Enormous, and There Is Not Much Time” [Read this and learn. Or read Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) | Twitter and/or President Trump (@POTUS) | Twitter. Are you serious? Or are you in hideously criminal denial?]
07.18 ‘No rioters, only a tyrannical regime’: Thousands of Hong Kong seniors march in support of young extradition law protesters [Most people around the world have more in common with these Hong Kong Chinese protestors than with the ignorant people at Trump rallies]
07.18 Dozens Arrested as Over 1,000 Jewish Activists and Allies Shut Down Entrances to ICE Headquarters Demanding Closure of Trump Detention Camps [Obviously these are not the immoral and less educated right-wing jews who support Netanyahu, Trump and ICE, and who slowly exterminate Palestinians when no one is looking]
Why the Blasé Attitude about Torture
Published in ConsortiumNews.com earlier, 11 November 2009
Bob Parry’s Note: Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern was invited to give a series of talks about torture in the Seattle/Tacoma/Olympia area from Nov. 12 to 16 – and his inviters, the Washington State Religious Campaign Against Torture, suggested that he write an op-ed on the topic for The Seattle Times, the city’s sole surviving daily newspaper.
“We’re going to talk about the policy of torture,” the radio producer said when she called me five years ago. “And you’ll have ten minutes to defend your side.”
“There’s another side?” I asked.
“Of course,” she answered, and the other person will also have ten minutes.”
My protest that torture is not a “policy,” but rather a crime, made no impact.
It was then that I began to understand in a more tangible way what the post-World War II Nuremberg Tribunal meant in referring to “the accumulated evil” that flows inevitably from what it termed the “supreme international crime” — a war of aggression.
History, including recent history, has shown torture to be one of those accumulated evils.
“But it works,” many say, reducing what is first and foremost a moral problem to a utilitarian one.
Just for the record, no experienced intelligence professional I know will tell you it works. Just the opposite.
For example, on Sept. 6, 2006, just before President George W. Bush held a press conference to extol the advantages of what he called “an alternative set of procedures” for interrogation, Army Intelligence chief Gen. John Kimmons told reporters:
That message was among the first things drummed into me when I came on active duty as an Army infantry/intelligence officer 47 years ago this week. My 27-year subsequent service at the CIA reinforced that learning.
In the fall of 2005, then-CIA Director Porter Goss heeded Vice President Dick Cheney’s call to join him in descending on Sen. John McCain to demand that the CIA be exempted from his amendment on torture.
In the fall of 2005, then-CIA Director Porter Goss heeded Vice President Dick Cheney’s call to join him in descending on Sen. John McCain to demand that the CIA be exempted from his amendment on torture. For me, that was the last straw.
I decided to hand back the Intelligence Commendation Medallion given me at retirement for “exceptionally commendable service,” saying I did not wish to be associated, however remotely, with an agency openly engaged in torture.
This Veterans Day I am reminded that I am twice a veteran — proud to have served in uniform, but filled with a sense of shame that the agency in which so many have served honorably has been stained by the willingness of its leaders and operatives to carry out Bush/Cheney instructions for torture.
Euphemisms cannot wash torture clean. Not “an alternate set of procedures;” not “enhanced interrogation techniques;” not “extraordinary rendition” masking kidnapping for the purpose of torture.
Sabrina de Sousa, one of the 23 CIA operatives convicted in absentia and sentenced by an Italian court last week for kidnapping Egyptian cleric Abu Omar off the streets of Milan complained on TV:
De Sousa recognizes that she has become one of the proverbial “rotten apples at the bottom of the barrel” — like the equally guilty but hapless Lynndie England of Abu Ghraib.
It is clear that those who “authorized and approved” the kidnapping expect to get off scot-free. And they will, if we do not insist that our justice system hold them accountable.
It is a telling irony that the orderly procedures of the independent judiciary in Italy owe so much to the power of (earlier) American advocacy.
As international law attorney Scott Horton noted in Harpers on Nov. 6, it was U.S. jurists who advanced for the first time (in 1946-48) the view that seizing people, holding them without recourse to law, and subjecting them to torture is “a particularly serious crime.”
Horton adds that “disappearings” are now widely recognized — and not only in Italy — as a “crime against humanity and thus not subject to statutes of limitation or capable of being ignored.”
Why, then, the blasé public attitude toward torture; why the lack of moral leadership in our religious institutions? I will be in the Seattle/Olympia area this week to discuss such questions.
At the University of Washington-Seattle on Thursday evening, Nov. 12, I shall address “Why Accountability for Torture is Crucial for Human Rights, Our Security and Our Souls.”
At UW-Tacoma Sunday evening, Nov. 15, my talk will center on: “Does Torture Work? ‘Let’s Have Both Sides of the Story.’”
Both events are sponsored by the Washington State Religious Campaign Against Torture. (Details at http://www.wsrcat.org .)
Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, the publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in Washington, DC. He is a 27-year veteran analyst of the CIA and co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).
This article is republished in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.
Copyright © 2009 The Baltimore News Network. All rights reserved.
Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.
Baltimore News Network, Inc., sponsor of this web site, is a nonprofit organization and does not make political endorsements. The opinions expressed in stories posted on this web site are the authors' own.
This story was published on November 13, 2009.