The Joe Blow Report 2

Everything Is About Something Different

Archive for the ‘Torture’ Category

Real Meaning of “Ahimsa” – Punishment

leave a comment »

The Real Meaning of “Ahimsa” – James MacLeod and Mike Flugennock Cartoons

In view of the letter published in the Times-Standard newspaper by Tom Nash, a so-called “OWS supporter” and the picture of the police punishing peaceful protesters published in this article by Kevin Gosztola: UC Davis Chancellor Called to Resign After Police Pepper Spray Students, this is a really appropriate demonstration or representation of reality from James MacLeod and Mike Flugennock. Then there is this from the Daily Kos: America’s Tacit Approval of Police Brutality – that draws the connection or parallel issue with the Humboldt County Sheriff’s history of brutalizing and torturing peaceful people.

What I’d like to know is how any REAL MAN or woman for that matter can stand on the sidelines and watch peaceful people, women in particular, be brutalized by ONE lone thug? No man with even an ounce of dignity, manhood, and honor would not defend his women to the death. That’s the secret Occupy People. Once the Masters of this brutality realize those are the terms or rules of engagement, they will stop. There is no greater force on this Earth than a man committed to defending his family no matter who or what the threat.

Nonviolence…?


Mike Flugennock: “After a decade of observing police thuggery against protests in Los Angeles, Seattle, and New York City along with the recent police attacks on unarmed protesters at Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Oakland, and comparing it against similar scenes I witnessed in video from Athens, Bahrain and Cairo, I can’t help but conclude that Nonviolence™ is an ideological luxury affordable only to the cushy-living white middle-class activists of the United States.” [Emphasis added]

YET, the reality of the Occupy Movement is caught here by James MacLeod:

James MacLeod adds:

“Super piece by the great Chris Hedges here and a typically spot-on take by Glenn Greenwald is here.”
.

.

The physical or defacto reality of the so-called doctrine “Ahisma,” as practiced is actually granting permission for the police to criminally brutalize and punish non-compliant, disobedient, peaceful people. Tom Nash’s letter misrepresents Gandhi’s teachings and practice as somehow being subservient, slavish, abjectly obedient and call that: “Non-Violence.” The very kind of passive stance as defined by Tom Nash, in his misbegotten belief that the “movement” needs “large segments of the 99% to be “sympathetic” clearly demonstrates his lack of cognitive understanding of this worldwide movement. Perhaps he should read this very good explanation by Glenn Greenwald: Here’s what attempted co-option of OWS looks likeHere you can get a hint of what’s really going on with the Occupy Movement. To quote: “[B]ut the U.S. desperately needs a citizen movement devoted to working outside of political and legal institutions and that is designed to be a place of dissent against it.”

Continuing to operate according to “rote learning” based upon contaminated “self-serving distortions and preconceived ideas” IS the sure way to fail. Martin Luther King’s interpretation of Gandhi stems from an abundantly American way of thinking rooted solidly in a feminine belief system. This, of course, is exactly how the dominant female way of thinking wants their masculine counterpart to perform. Since the end of World War II this form of Non-Violence is what’s been practice all over the world by all peoples that bowed down and willingly subjugated themselves and their families to a whole generation of authoritarian, dictatorial, top-down rule. What Gandhi taught and actually practiced was NON-COOPERATION.

If there is one thing that the United States of America has established in stone – it’s total legitimate right to exist as an independent nation rest totally upon this established legal right – is the inherent legitimate, legal rights of people, most particularly American citizens, the individual’s right to SELF-DEFENSE. Which is consistent with Gandhi’s teachings. For reference, Wikipedia makes note: “Avoidance of verbal and physical violence is also a part of this principle, although ahimsa recognizes self-defense when necessary, as a sign of a strong spirit.” The belief that husbands had the right to physically beat their spouses anytime and in anyway for whatever they judged them guilty, ended in America a long time ago.

Everyone should keep in mind the words of Swellsman. What he says is extremely important and probably should be printed out and posted on all would-be Occupy Movement people’s walls so everyone can see. And Tom Nash and all those that support his way of thinking or believing, they should take a lesson:

And, yeah . . . the rest of us might want to think about trying to undo some of the power and public relations imbalance that we have allowed to creep into law enforcement’s favor by our past apathy in the face of public abuses.

Despite what they’ll tell you, and what we’ve been conditioned to believe, the cops are not the law. The law resides in a system, not in a person, not even in a group of people. Cops are merely citizens – just like you and me – who have been given special dispensation to arrest people under certain circumstances and then turn them over to that system . . . and nothing more.

And it seems to me that America would be a lot better off trying to keep that basic fact in mind.

Real Meaning of “Ahimsa” – NON-COOPERATION


[Picture Source] – [Update :: From the Swellsman’s Blog about how the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Deputies were on the cutting edge of torturing peaceful people with impunity. (Always a link to Digby on the Joe Blow Report on Blogspot)

Update: Like me, Digby also was reminded of the Humboldt County pepper-spray incident from the late 90s. She has a post up at her joint that fleshes out what happened there, including the fact that one sheriff deputy apparently was recorded telling the young woman whose eyeballs he had coated with pepper spray: “We’re done torturing you now.” Additional fun fact: it took 12 years and 3 separate trials (the first two, apparently, ended in deadlock) but the protesters did eventually win their suit against the county and its deputies for use of excessive force. Each plaintiff was awarded $1 in nominal damages.

Tom Nash’s letter to the Times-Standard is offered in “Read the rest…


Read the rest of this entry »

American Disgrace – MacLeod Cartoon

leave a comment »

Regards to the Opinionator Assassinator

leave a comment »

This is a post by Digby posted here in it’s entirety. In view of the latest “As It Stands” Times-Standard opinionated article on this subject we wanted to add Digby’s thoughts to the discussion.

The Suggestibility Of Bradley Manning

by digby

I haven’t written much about Bradley Manning’s treatment in his military brig, since Greenwald has done a great job along with many others who are following the story carefully. There seems to be a lot of controversy over whether or not he is being tortured. In my opinion, locking up someone who has not presented any kind of threat to other prisoners and who has not been convicted of a crime for months on end in solitary confinement under tight restrictions is torture. It’s horrible enough to do it someone who has been convicted, but using these techniques on someone you are trying to get to testify against someone else cannot be seen in any other light.

As we well know by now, the line between interrogation and torture has become indistinguishable among far too many people and many of these more suspect interrogation techniques are likely to produce the same kind of false information you get from torture. So one aspect of the Manning story stuck out at me as being pretty damning evidence and that’s the fact that he’s being awakened every five minutes during the day and if the guards “need” to assure themselves that he’s ok, they wake him up at night. Keep in mind that this is a guy who’s completely isolated and has no access to anything unauthorized, not even a real blanket and pillow. (Apparently, he’s got some strange device that makes him miserable.)

Sleep deprivation is well known to enhance “suggestibility” and is commonly used in interrogations:

A person’s suggestibility is how willing they are to accept and act on suggestions by others. Interrogators seek to increase a subject’s suggestibility. Methods used to increase suggestibility may include moderate sleep deprivation, exposure to constant white noise, and using GABAergic drugs such as sodium amytal or sodium thiopental.

There’s no evidence that they are using white noise or the drugs mentioned, but it sure sounds as if they employing moderate sleep deprivation to increase “suggestibility.” And we know what they are suggesting, don’t we?

Months and months of sleep deprivation and isolation cannot be justified for security reasons. This fellow isn’t a commando. He isn’t a professional spy. He’s just some grunt who uploaded some electronic files. The only reasonable explanation for his treatment is that they are trying to get him to implicate someone else in his alleged a crime. And that’s the oldest reason for torture in the books. In the old days, they wanted their subjects to implicate Satan. Today it’s Julian Assange.

What is going on here is truly an assault on this nations’ manhood and womanhood.

–Joe

Better Than A Bomb

leave a comment »

[UPDATE Below – “Pig in a Poke”]

From the moment the first plane hit the twin towers this country has self-destructed. Just look at what the latest blue-ribbon fiasco has produced. Let start with Charles Krauthammer’s slide into a black hole: How to modernize Miranda for the Age of Terror – Op-Ed column for the Washington Post newspaper.

Then you have the latest fiasco attempt to bomb New York Times Square and Joe Lieberman’s end around Constitutional Law with his Citizenship stripping bill reported in the Washington Post. Here’s some more on this: Lieberman’s Citizenship-Revoking Law Slammed As ‘Draconian’ in the Huffington Post.

Another similar situation after the Fort Hood shooting: Army: Fort Hood Gunman in Custody After 12 Killed, 31 Injured in Rampage by Fox News. He’s linked to an  Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born Yemeni scholar, another “radical” and President Obama issues an order for his shoot on sight summary execution. Reuters reports:  U.S. targets Americanborn cleric in Yemen: officials as some sort of “America’s top terrorist threat.” 

This commentary is typical and growing: “Staggering Hypocrisy.”

Then you Arizona’s new laws assaulting and criminalizing ethnic minorities, non-whites and indigenous peoples. And the internal isolation that goes along with the growing boycott.  Now a new law: In Arizona, just say no to Latino heritage     -“It’s really about fear and denial.”

The world is fast learning that America, a country ruled by Law is a joke. The literal physical lives of American civilians killed by terrorist bombs, bad as that was, is totally insignificant to what these paranoid Dark Age government officials have done, continue to do and promise to do to America’s legitimate right to exist as a constitutional country. The bleeding of America’s Essence has already won them the War.

America’s enemies are not some “rag heads” holed up in a cave or some mud out in some barren desert hut with an AK47 or an equivalent stone-age club. America’s enemies our their corrupt elected leaders. The betrayers, the complicit, the enablers, the corrupt, the gutless, the arrogant, the morons and that list goes on.

If you want real proof from an outside source substantiating the above observations and conclusions, read (below) “The President of Cant.”

[UPDATE :: Thursday, May 20, 2010 — Even better when it’s a “Pig in a Poke.”]

Politicizing Miranda

Modifying who has the right to a Miranda warning is a political solution to a national security problem that doesn’t exist. | Adam Serwer | May 20, 2010 |
 

–Joe

HOPE – An Immoral Dead-End

with one comment

In my lifetime I was often told: “Talk is cheap.” It’s what you do that tells the truth. For whatever reasons, American’s bought into that cheap suit, “Hope.” Tariq Ali lays out a rather stark assessment of President Obama’s agenda.

If there was ever something to put on this blog worth reading, it is this:

PRESIDENT OF CANT by tariq ali

A year since the White House changed hands, how has the American empire altered? Under the Bush Administration it was widely believed, in both mainstream opinion and much of the amnesiac section of the left, that the United States had fallen under an aberrant regime, the product of a virtual coup d’état by a coterie of right-wing fanatics—alternatively, ultra-reactionary corporations—who had hijacked American democracy for policies of unprecedented aggression in the Middle East. In reaction, the election to the Presidency of a mixed-race Democrat, vowing to heal America’s wounds at home and restore its reputation abroad, was greeted with a wave of ideological euphoria not seen since the days of Kennedy. Once again, America could show its true face—purposeful but peaceful, firm but generous; humane, respectful, multi-cultural—to the world. Naturally, with the makings of a Lincoln or a Roosevelt for our time in him, the country’s new young ruler would have to make compromises, as any statesman must. But at least the shameful interlude of Republican swagger and criminality was over. Bush and Cheney had broken the continuity of a multilateral American leadership that had served the country well throughout the Cold War and after. Obama would now restore it.

Rarely has self-interested mythology—or well-meaning gullibility—been more quickly exposed. There was no fundamental break in foreign policy, as opposed to diplomatic mood music, between the Bush 1, Clinton and Bush 2 Administrations; there has been none between the Bush and Obama regimes. The strategic goals and imperatives of the us imperium remain the same, as do its principal theatres and means of operation. Since the collapse of the ussr, the Carter Doctrine—the construction of another democratic pillar of human rights—has defined the greater Middle East as the central battlefield for the imposition of American power around the world. It is enough to look at each of its sectors to see that Obama is the offspring of Bush, as Bush was of Clinton and Clinton of Bush the father, as so many appropriately biblical begettings. Read the rest of this entry »

“War Exception”-Assassination by Accusation

leave a comment »

[ADDENDUM below]

Below is a post titled : “Death by Accusation.” The title probably should have been: Assassination by Accusation. The following is an addendum to that article by the same author. I’ve attached an excerpt, but the whole article is worth reading and considering.

Anyone with a clear understanding of conflict and war knows that military might with the inherent threat to annihilate the earth is no guarantee of victory. Yet America is going broke morally, ethically, legally, and financially by continuing to fight a war based upon lies and no legal, might I say legitimate constitutional

basis. War is about will. Illegitimate corruption degrades or disempowers the will. The so-called terrorists at 9/11 attacked an illegitimate government with the intent to attack this country at its weakest point — WILL.

The fact is, America’s response was and is “by the numbers.” This issue defines our destruction – the sickness from within. Here’s what Mr. Greenwald says:

On the claimed “war exception” to the Constitution

BY GLENN GREENWALD

Far beyond the specific injustices of assassinating Americans without trials, the real significance, the real danger, is that we continue to be frightened into radically altering our system of government.  In Slateyesterday, Dahlia Lithwick encapsulated this problem perfectly; her whole article should be read, but this excerpt is superb:

America has slid back again into its own special brand of terrorism-derangement syndrome. Each time this condition recurs, it presents with more acute and puzzling symptoms. . . .

Moreover, each time Republicans go to their terrorism crazy-place, they go just a little bit farther than they did the last time, so that things that made us feel safe last year make us feel vulnerable today. . . . In short, what was once tough on terror is now soft on terror. And each time the Republicans move their own crazy-place goal posts, the Obama administration moves right along with them. . . .

We’re terrified when a terror attack happens, and we’re also terrified when it’s thwarted. We’re terrified when we give terrorists trials, and we’re terrified when we warehouse them at Guantanamo without trials. If a terrorist cooperates without being tortured we complain about how much more he would have cooperated if he hadn’t been read his rights. No matter how tough we’ve been on terror, we will never feel safe enough to ask for fewer safeguards. . . .

But here’s the paradox: It’s not a terrorist’s time bomb that’s ticking. It’s us. Since 9/11, we have become ever more willing to suspend basic protections and more contemptuous of American traditions and institutions. The failed Christmas bombing and its political aftermath have revealed that the terrorists have changed very little in the eight-plus years since the World Trade Center fell. What’s changing — what’s slowly ticking its way down to zero — is our own certainty that we can never be safe enough and our own confidence in the rule of law.

This descent has certainly not reversed itself — it has not really even slowed — with the election of a President who repeatedly vowed to reject this mentality.  Just consider what Al Gore said in his truly excellent 2006 speech decrying the “Constitutional crisis” under the Bush presidency:

Can it be true that any president really has such powers under our Constitution?

If the answer is yes, then under the theory by which these acts are committed, are there any acts that can on their face be prohibited?

If the president has the inherent authority to eavesdrop on American citizens without a warrant, imprison American citizens on his own declaration, kidnap and torture, then what can’t he do?

Here we are, almost four years later with a new party in power, and the President’s top intelligence official announces — without any real controversy — that the President claims the power to assassinate American citizens with no charges, no trials, no judicial oversight of any kind.  The claimed power isn’t “inherent” — it’s based on alleged Congressional approval — but it’s safeguard-free and due-process-free just the same.  As Gore asked of less severe policies in 2006, if the President can do that, “then what can’t he do?”  As long as we stay petrified of the Terrorists and wholly submissive whenever the word “war” is uttered, the answer will continue to be:  “nothing.”  We’ll have Presidents now and then who are marginally more restrained than others — as the current President is marginally more restrained than the prior one — but what Lithwick calls our “willingness to suspend basic protections and become more contemptuous of American traditions and institutions” will continue unabated.

In the real world, America has already lost the “war” by becoming what it is fighting.

ADDENDUM :: Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Democracy Now interviewed Rep. Dennis Kucinich and blogger and attorney Glenn Greenwald. Dennis Kucinich affirms the legal protections granted all American citizens and wants to know by what authority The President of the United States can murder an American citizen on his say-so alone. Dennis Kucinich’s most distressing comment regarding legal justification had to do with presidential declarations “declaring three states of national emergency,” “one relating to 9/11, another one relating to the war on terror, and a third one relating to Iran.”

REP. DENNIS KUCINICH: Well, Congress has the authority, under a joint resolution, to challenge any presidential directive. It’s not widely known, Amy, but there are at least three states of national emergency that we’re operating under right now by presidential declaration: one relating to 9/11, another one relating to the war on terror, and a third one relating to Iran. You know, this idea of being governed by an edict, of being locked into this war on terror, poses all kinds of challenges to our Constitution. I take an oath to defend the Constitution. And when I see in the Fifth Amendment where it says that no one should be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law, I want to know what’s the constitutional basis for suspending this provision for anyone, even for a moment, because if this is—if this, in any sense, can be set aside, then we are on a slippery slope to anti-democracy.

Kucinich points out why this should be important to all American citizens no matter where they live:

*****  And what’s happened is that the Constitution is being vitiated here. The idea that people are—have—if their life is in jeopardy, legally have due process of law, is thrown out the window.
And, Amy, when you consider that there are people who are claiming there are many terrorist cells in the United States, it doesn’t take too much of a stretch to imagine that this policy could easily be transferred to citizens in this country. That doesn’t—that only compounds what I think is a slow and steady detachment from core constitutional principles. And once that happens, we have a country then that loses its memory and its soul, with respect to being disconnected from those core constitutional principles which are the basis of freedom in our society.

If you consider the possibility that this, the destruction of America’s soul, was the real target on 9/11, then you would have admit they’ve rather successful.

–Joe

The End

leave a comment »

This will bring down the Obama Government:


DOJ official reportedly clears torture architects John Yoo and Jay Bybee.

Justice Department officials John Yoo and Jay Bybee were two of the main architects of the Bush administration’s torture program. As Bybee’s deputy, Yoo “was the author of much of the legal rationale for using waterboarding and other severe interrogation techniques.” He argued that interrogators who harm a prisoner would be protected “national and international version of the right to self-defense,” and illegal conduct must “shock the conscience.” Bybee headed the DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel and signed off on the infamous 2002 torture memo. Newsweek now reports that a senior DOJ official has essentially cleared the two men of misconduct in an upcoming office of Professional Responsibility report:

While the probe is sharply critical of the legal reasoning used to justify waterboarding and other “enhanced” interrogation techniques, NEWSWEEK has learned that a senior Justice official who did the final review of the report softened an earlier OPR finding. Previously, the report concluded that two key authors — Jay Bybee, now a federal appellate court judge, and John Yoo, now a law professor — violated their professional obligations as lawyers when they crafted a crucial 2002 memo approving the use of harsh tactics, say two Justice sources who asked for anonymity discussing an internal matter. But the reviewer, career veteran David Margolis, downgraded that assessment to say they showed “poor judgment,” say the sources. (Under department rules, poor judgment does not constitute professional misconduct.) The shift is significant: the original finding would have triggered a referral to state bar associations for potential disciplinary action — which, in Bybee’s case, could have led to an impeachment inquiry.

A DOJ official said that Margolis “acted without input” from Attorney General Eric Holder. Emptywheel has more.

%d bloggers like this: