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Will Bush's Torture Memo Team Face Justice in Spain?

There may yet be justice for the victims of the post-9/11 US torture program. Just not in the United States.
Secret government informer "Karen Sullivan" infiltrated Minnesota activist groups

Nancy Goldstein, The Nation

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Bob Heberle

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Here, our previous president is enjoying terrific sales for a memoir where he boasts about having authorized waterboarding. The current administration's commitment to "moving past" the illegalities incurred on its predecessor's watch is so hardcore that the Department of Justice decided late last year against prosecuting anyone from the CIA for destroying ninety-two videotapes that showed the torture of prisoners detained as suspected terrorists. Which leaves Attorney General Eric Holder more time to subpoena Twitter records and figure out how to criminalize Julian Assange and WikiLeaks for promoting government transparency.

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But perhaps there will be justice in Spain. This past Friday (Jan 7), the Center for Constitutional Rights filed papers urging Judge Eloy Velasco to do what the United States will not: prosecute the "Bush Six," the group of senior Bush-era government lawyers led by then–Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez, for violating international law by creating a legal framework that aided and abetted the torture of suspected terrorists. (Full disclosure: I've done consulting work for CCR.)

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Secret government informer "Karen Sullivan" infiltrated Minnesota activist groups, Nick Pinto, City Pages | MN
Going by the name "Karen Sullivan," the agent blended in with the many new faces the Committee was seeing at meetings in the lead-up to the RNC. But she stayed active afterward, attending virtually every meeting.

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The Phantom Menace: Fantasies, Falsehoods, and Fear-Mongering about Iran's Nuclear Program

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"To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies — all this is indispensably necessary." - George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four

Wide Asleep in America

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Coleen Rowley

Facts rarely get in the way of American and Israeli fear-mongering and jingoism, especially when it comes to anti-Iran propaganda. For nearly thirty years now, U.S. and Zionist politicians and analysts, along with some of their European allies, have warned that Iranian nuclear weapons capability is just around the corner and that such a possibility would not only be catastrophic for Israel with its 400 nuclear warheads and state-of-the-art killing power supplied by U.S. taxpayers, but that it would also endanger regional dictatorships, Europe, and even the United States.

If these warnings are to be believed, Iran is only a few years away from unveiling a nuclear bomb...and has been for the past three decades. Fittingly, let's begin in 1984.

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Demand the U.S. Change its Course in Haiti

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Join CCR, the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti and other partners by signing a petition to State Department Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills to demand that the U.S. listen to the Haitian people and support new elections instead of further financing an illegitimate election process in Haiti.

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Bill Quigley, Center for Constitutional Rights

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If you liked reading this article, consider contributing a cuppa jove to Evergreene Digest--using the donation button above—so we can bring you more just like it.

Today (Wednesday, January 12)  marks the one year anniversary of the catastrophic earthquake in Haiti. Despite record pledges for humanitarian relief and the rebuilding effort, the situation in Haiti today has not improved. And, with the cholera epidemic that has already claimed well over 3,000 lives, it may even be worse.

The United States plays an essential, game-changing role in Haitian politics and in the direction of the recovery efforts. For this reason, we in the U.S. have a particular obligation to push our government to protect human rights, respect democracy and put an end to the historically destructive role the U.S. has played in Haiti. Please take action today to urge the U.S. to change its course in Haiti. Join CCR, the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti and other partners by signing a petition to State Department Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills to demand that the U.S. listen to the Haitian people and support new elections instead of further financing an illegitimate election process in Haiti.

The U.S. provided about half of the total budget for the November 28, 2010 elections in Haiti, which were boycotted by over 75 percent of Haitian voters and many political parties. In advance of the actual voting, human rights groups in Haiti and internationally and a group of U.S. Congress members protested that the stacking of the electoral council and the exclusion of political parties—such as Fanmi Lavalas, Haiti’s most popular party—would spoil the election. Now Haitians are protesting almost daily and demanding new elections for a legitimate, representative government to lead the rebuilding process. Without new elections, the recovery process will be seriously undermined.

In related news, CCR and our partners requested that the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) instruct the U.S. to halt deportations to Haiti after the U.S. informed advocates it would resume deporting people to Haiti during this time of post-earthquake crisis and worsening cholera epidemic. CCR also sent a letter to President Obama. Yesterday (January 10), over 80 organizations and nearly 200 legal experts, advocates and others sent a letter to the IACHR stating their support for our IACHR legal filing, demonstrating widespread opposition to the resumption of deportations.

Please keep Haiti in your thoughts and, more importantly, in your actions this year. You can start by signing our petition today. Thank you.

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Summary | The Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq: Week of January 9

3 New Items including:

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  • 63 Percent of Americans Oppose War In Afghanistan
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  • How the US let al-Qaida get its hands on an Iraqi weapons factory
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David Culver, ed., Evergreene Digest

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Milt Priggee

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63 Percent of Americans Oppose War In Afghanistan, Amanda Terkel, Huffington Post
There are, however, at least two groups where there is still a slim majority of support for the war -- the Republican Party establishment, and Tea Party activists.

Mike Ferner: People's Media at Work in Afghanistan, Grant Lawrence, Before It's News
Most Afghans were glad at first when coalition forces toppled the Taliban, but, after 9 years of war and occupation, it's time for the U.S. and NATO to leave.

How the US let al-Qaida get its hands on an Iraqi weapons factory, Dominic Streatfeild, The Guardian | UK
In an exclusive extract from his new book, A History of the World since 9/11, Dominic Streatfeild explains how despite expert warnings, the US let al-Qaida buy an arsenal of deadly weapons – then tried to cover it up.

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Breaking the Israel-Palestine Deadlock

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  • "While intensively engaged in illegal settlement expansion, the government of Israel is also seeking to deal with two problems: a global campaign of what it perceives as 'delegitimation' - that is, objections to its crimes and withdrawal of participation in them - and a parallel campaign of legitimation of Palestine."
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  • The Charade of Israeli-Palestinian Talks
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Noam Chomsky, truthout

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Palestinian Abu Ayaesh picks his grape harvest downhill from the homes of the Karmi Zur settlement. (Photo: michaelramallah)

While intensively engaged in illegal settlement expansion, the government of Israel is also seeking to deal with two problems: a global campaign of what it perceives as “delegitimation” – that is, objections to its crimes and withdrawal of participation in them – and a parallel campaign of legitimation of Palestine.
The “delegitimation,” which is progressing rapidly, was carried forward in December by a Human Rights Watch call on the U.S. “to suspend financing to Israel in an amount equivalent to the costs of Israel’s spending in support of settlements,” and to monitor contributions to Israel from tax-exempt U.S. organizations that violate international law, “including prohibitions against discrimination” – which would cast a wide net.

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Amnesty International had already called for an arms embargo on Israel. The legitimation process also took a long step forward in December, when Argentina, Bolivia and Brazil recognized the State of Palestine (Gaza and the West Bank), bringing the number of supporting nations to more than 100.

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The Charade of Israeli-Palestinian Talks, Noam Chomsky, truthout
Washington’s pathetic capitulation to Israel while pleading for a meaningless three-month freeze on settlement expansion – excluding Arab East Jerusalem – should go down as one of the most humiliating moments in U.S. diplomatic history.

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