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Human Rights & Civil Liberties

Human Rights & Civil Liberties

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

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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

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  • 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.”
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  • Facebook Further Reduces Your Control Over Personal Information
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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'

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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.

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On the other hand....

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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.

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

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Change? Obama's "Crimmigration" Policies Mimic Bush's

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  • The Obama administration has chosen to follow its predecessor in pursuing the criminal prosecution of unauthorized immigrants for minor, nonviolent offenses.
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  • DHS under the Obama administration is needlessly clogging the federal courts with people who have not committed any serious crime.
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Walter Ewing, Immigration Impact

It would seem that the Obama administration has chosen to mimic its predecessor in its zeal to pursue the criminal prosecution of unauthorized immigrants for minor, nonviolent offenses such as crossing the border. As the Associated Press reported recently, “federal prosecutions of immigrants soared to new levels this spring, as the Obama administration continued an aggressive enforcement strategy championed under President George W. Bush.”

However, the IPC has noted that this “dramatic increase in criminal prosecutions can be traced in large part to Operation Streamline, a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) program which mandates federal criminal prosecution and subsequent imprisonment of all persons caught crossing the border unlawfully.” Yet large numbers of these federal immigration prosecutions “have focused on non-violent border crossers.” In other words, DHS under the Obama administration is needlessly clogging the federal courts with people who have not committed any serious crime.

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Related:

Federal prosecutions of immigrants soar, Garance Burke, Associated Press, on MSNBC
Obama continues enforcement tactic championed under Bush

Mayor Bloomberg Delivers Teary-Eyed Defense Of Ground Zero Islamic Center

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  • "We may not always agree with every one of our neighbors. That's life and it's part of living in such a diverse and dense city. But we also recognize that part of being a New Yorker is living with your neighbors in mutual respect and tolerance. It was exactly that spirit of openness and acceptance that was attacked on 9/11," he said.
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  • Zero Tolerance
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  • Ground Zero Mosque Appeal: Conservative Law Firm Will Fight Go-Ahead Vote
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Sara Yin, Huffington Post

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Speaking on Governor's Island, misty-eyed New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg praised a decision to allow an Islamic center to be built near Ground Zero.

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Bloomberg choked up during his delivery, which highlighted the spirit of religious tolerance and freedoms once sought by New York's earliest settlers.

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"We may not always agree with every one of our neighbors. That's life and it's part of living in such a diverse and dense city. But we also recognize that part of being a New Yorker is living with your neighbors in mutual respect and tolerance. It was exactly that spirit of openness and acceptance that was attacked on 9/11," he said.

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Related:

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Zero Tolerance, Progress Report, in Newsvine.com

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  • Debate Over Ground Zero Mosque Is About American Values
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  • Right-wing Freak Out
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  • Mainstreaming Bigotry
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Religion News Service

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Ground Zero Mosque Appeal: Conservative Religious Law Firm Will Fight Go-Ahead Vote, Alfredo Garcia, Religion News Service, in Huffington Post

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A conservative religious law firm plans to appeal a decision that grants a green light for the construction of an Islamic community center two blocks from Ground Zero.

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