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Human Rights & Civil Liberties

Human Rights & Civil Liberties

ACLU Report: Obama Continuing Bush-Era Torture Policies

  • Fear of an unchecked, unaccountable government permeates the report, particularly in the section about targeted killings.
  • On torture, U.S. must clean house

Deborah Weinstein,  TruthOut.org, in AlterNet

For disillusioned Obama supporters, the ACLU's July report "Establishing the New Normal" is not a heartening read.

After being voted into office on promises that included undoing abuses carried out under the Bush administration - promises to protect privacy, to end government-sanctioned torture and rendition programs and to end the use of military commissions for non-enemy combatants - President Obama's administration is proving it is far easier to toe the line than buck a trend.
According to a report by the ACLU, the current White House has not just failed to meaningfully follow through on its promises, but has also taken abusive policies, and, as shown in the case of targeted and interminable detentions, eroded civil rights to unprecedented levels.

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Related:

Nick Coleman: On torture, U.S. must clean house, Nick Coleman, Star Tribune | MN

  • Nation won't regain moral leadership without fully renouncing the practice.
  • Obama's No Human Rights Crusader -- Just Look at How He Aids Israel's Atrocities
  • Crimes Are Crimes – No Matter Who Does Them


Center for Torture Accountability lists St. Thomas Professor Delahunty as deserving probe

Delahunty helps John Yoo write memos making legal case for suspending constitutional rights and protections

The Center for Torture Accountability

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Bob Heberle

Robert Delahunty, whose Justice Department career spanned the presidency of Clinton as well as the early Bush years, found in his new colleague John Yoo a legal philosophy rooted in the same way of thinking as his own. They collaborated on a spate of memos for the White House and Justice Department, most of which have not yet been declassified.

Delahunty is not known to have coauthored Yoo's notorious "torture memo," which attempted to define torture so narrowly that the United States's interrogation techniques could not be classified as torturous. But he and Yoo did produce memos arguing that neither the Geneva Conventions nor other treaties and law would control U.S. treatment of prisoners during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

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How Facebook Betrayed Users and Undermined Online Privacy

  • Viable alternatives (to Facebook) are already springing up. A new network has been touted in the media that allows users to fully control the information they share by setting up their own personal servers, called “seeds.” Raphael Sofaer, co-founder of Diaspora, says that centralized networks like Facebook are not necessary. “In our real lives, we talk to each other,” he said. “We don’t need to hand our messages to a hub.”
  • Facebook Further Reduces Your Control Over Personal Information

Allan Badiner, AlterNet

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Ken Mitchell

In just six years Facebook has crossed the threshold of 500 million users. In the past nine months it has doubled in size and is now the number one most visited Web site in the world, surpassing Google. Facebook’s motto is “Making the world open and connected,” where a lone voice can have a powerful impact, as evidenced this year by one activist’s post on Facebook that sparked a demonstration of 12 million people against the Revolutionary Forces of Columbia (FARC), which had been terrorizing Colombian citizens for years.

But along with its policy of openness and potential for social change, Facebook has repeatedly come under fire for its lax policies toward the privacy of its members.

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Related:

Facebook Further Reduces Your Control Over Personal Information, Kurt Opsahl, Electronic Frontier Foundation
The new connections features benefit Facebook and its business partners, with little benefit to you.

The Appalling Cowardice of the NY Times and the Rest of America's Big Newspapers -- Too Scared to Say 'Torture'

Before 2004, the newspapers called waterboarding torture. After the revelations of Gitmo and black sites of the Bush years, they've gone silent.

Will Bunch, Media Matters for America

On the one hand, waterboarding is torture.

On the other hand....

I'm sorry -- there is no other hand. Waterboarding is torture, period. It's been that way for decades -- it was torture when we went after Japanese war criminals who used the ancient and inhumane interrogation tactic, it was torture when Pol Pot and some of the worst dictators known to mankind used it against their own people, and it was torture to the U.S. military which once punished soldiers who adopted the grim practice.

And waterboarding was described as "torture," almost without fail, in America's newspapers.

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