Sri Lankan Army Follow The Israeli Trend & Shell a Hospital

At least 20 people were killed and nearly 300 injured yesterday when a hospital in the last area of Sri Lanka held by the Tamil Tigers was shelled in what one doctor described as the worst day of bloodshed since the start of the military campaign.

The doctor, Thangamutha Sathiyamorthy, blamed the Sri Lankan army for firing shells that landed next to two health facilities in Putumattalan, on the northern end of the tiny strip of the Sri Lankan coastline where tens of thousands of civilians are trapped by the fighting. The military strenuously denied the allegation.

Sathiyamorthy said 22 people, including an 18-month-old child and a medical worker, were killed and 283 injured in the attack, which started soon after dawn yesterday. He described how he found dead and wounded civilians on the site of the first blasts, which occurred as about 500 people queued beside a mother and baby clinic to receive milk powder and food rations.

Since stepping up the military campaign since the start of the year the Sri Lankan armed forces have driven the last remnants of the once-powerful Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) into a narrow strip of land estimated to be no larger than 20 sq km. Estimates of the number of civilians trapped alongside them vary, with the UN putting the figure at about 100,000 and Sri Lankan authorities claiming it is no more than 40,000.

Yesterday Sathiyamorthy said conditions inside the no-fire zone were now desperate, with 13 people dead from starvation and 69% of children below the age of five showing signs of malnutrition.

“Of course the food supply is inadequate. Many children are at risk. Yesterday we distributed milk powder and I saw very thin children coming to the clinic,” he said. He estimated that more than 5,000 people had died since the start of the latest offensive. “Every day they expect some solution because everybody was asked to go to the no-fire zone, but actually the people reached this area and unfortunately the government is shelling this area,” he said. “It is a real disaster. We didn’t expect this amount of disaster.”

Torture From The Top

Edited excerpts from the Vanity Fair piece The Green Light by Phillippe Sands, go read the whole piece here, it’s quite a polite article to say the least. Here are some of the main perpetrators, people who should be tried for war crimes, over torture, also many are responsible for the supreme crime- the invasion of Iraq:

  • George W. Bush, Dick Cheney & Donald Rumsfeld.
  • David Addington
  • Lieutenant Colonel Diane Beaver
  • Jay Bybee
  • Lieutenant General Bantz Craddock
  • Daniel Dell’Orto
  • Major General Michael E. Dunlavey
  • Douglas Feith
  • Alberto Gonzales
  • Jim Haynes
  • General Tom Hill
  • Major General Geoffrey Miller
  • General Richard Myers
  • Lieutenant Colonel Jerald Phifer
  • Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez
  • George Tenet
  • Paul Wolfowitz
  • John Yoo

John Yoo is a law professor at  Berkley in California, Larisa Alexandrovna has all the details to contact his employer and make them aware of your feelings that they are tolerating a war criminal in their midst. Here is his shit eating defence of some of his actions in a Wall Street Journal opinion column providing an illuminating insight into the self serving delusional worldview him and maybe many of the people listed above maintain.

In my efforts to get to the heart of this story, and its possible consequences, I visited a judge and a prosecutor in a major European city, and guided them through all the materials pertaining to the Guantánamo case. The judge and prosecutor were particularly struck by the immunity from prosecution provided by the Military Commissions Act. “That is very stupid,” said the prosecutor, explaining that it would make it much easier for investigators outside the United States to argue that possible war crimes would never be addressed by the justice system in the home country—one of the trip wires enabling foreign courts to intervene. For some of those involved in the Guantánamo decisions, prudence may well dictate a more cautious approach to international travel. And for some the future may hold a tap on the shoulder. 

The real story, pieced together from many hours of interviews with most of the people involved in the decisions about interrogation, goes something like this: The Geneva decision was not a case of following the logic of the law but rather was designed to give effect to a prior decision to take the gloves off and allow coercive interrogation; it deliberately created a legal black hole into which the detainees were meant to fall. The new interrogation techniques did not arise spontaneously from the field but came about as a direct result of intense pressure and input from Rumsfeld’s office. The Yoo-Bybee Memo was not simply some theoretical document, an academic exercise in blue-sky hypothesizing, but rather played a crucial role in giving those at the top the confidence to put pressure on those at the bottom.

The fingerprints of the most senior lawyers in the administration were all over the design and implementation of the abusive interrogation policies. Addington, Bybee, Gonzales, Haynes, and Yoo became, in effect, a torture team of lawyers, freeing the administration from the constraints of all international rules prohibiting abuse. Read the rest of this entry »

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28 Daze Later

While we fight an extension to detention (oh yeah!) without charge to 42 days/six weeks (maybe they think 42 days will give them the answer to life, the universe & everything- or in other words 41 days of torture and one day to sign the piece of paper they put in front of you), let’s not forget it already is 28 days/4 weeks which puts us in line with…Burma and Ming the Merciless probably. At the end of all this the best we have achieved is not to have a 42 day/6 week limit. We are still busily building ourselves a real world theme park based on the hit film Brazil.

So Dear Establishment-

I am not afraid of terrorism, and I want you to stop being afraid on my behalf. Please start scaling back the official government war on terror. Please replace it with a smaller, more focused anti-terrorist police effort in keeping with the rule of law. Please stop overreacting. I understand that it will not be possible to stop all terrorist acts. I accept that. I am not afraid.

Let ‘em know- They Work For You.

Paddington Gitmo

They want 42 days detention without charge, what that means is six weeks of interrogation, here is what they did in just 12 days to one woman, it might seem familiar-

When Farrah arrived at Paddington Green, her clothes were taken from her. Suffering from diarrhoea, she was in constant pain. She described the basic washing and hygiene facilities in detention. “There was no toilet roll and only paper towels for body drying. I wasn’t even allowed to comb my hair.”

Exercise consisted of walking around in a circle in a small yard behind the station for five minutes while officers held guard dogs in each corner. Farrah said: “I was frightened of the dogs so rather than getting any exercise, I just found these exercise periods really frightening.”

She became unwell, suffering from diabetes, and a doctor was called on numerous occasions. He confirmed that an existing condition had been exacerbated by the stress of her arrest and detention.

She was not allowed to speak with her family for four days. Eight days had passed before the police disclosed the reason she was being held.

Farrah claimed the guards were constantly rude and aggressive when dealing with her. She was effectively held in solitary confinement and not allowed to communicate with or pass another prisoner when being taken to and from her cell between questioning. After four days, she was permitted to make a telephone call to her parents. They speak English but she was told to make sure she spoke in English and not in “your language”.

After 12 days of 24-hour detention in a cell and repeated questioning in a room with no natural light, Farrah was released without charge. No explanation was given and no apology made. She had no way of travelling home and was not offered assistance; her solicitor organised a taxi. She said she felt “tired, shocked and exhausted”, and had thought she was never going to get out. Her clothes were never returned.

After release, Farrah said she became increasingly paranoid, not wanting to leave the house alone. Her employers were understanding but the pressure of colleagues knowing what had happened to her, the increasing paranoia and her poor health forced her to quit her job. Friends and family stopped visiting, terrified they would become suspects by association.

War Pimp Of The Week- Michael Hayden

Yes come on down you Nazi scientist/Dick Cheney’s uglier little brother looking motherfucker, the Air Force General who heads the CIA Michael Hayden is this weeks War Pimp Supreme™.

capt8e9a688068d245ff81573a2f0cf0a5ebcia_director_wx106.jpg

Yes this loyal and bloodthirsty Imperial General is taking no ‘enemy combatants’ with his ‘fear up’ appearance on teevee. First he sets those nationalist militarist hearts a pumping with his sexy uniform (the CIA symbolically now the fourth armed service, yet hey, no accountability, kerching!). Then he pours fourth his cloak & dagger ‘I don’t have to source any claim I make cos it’s like all secret ‘n’ shit, thou shalt not question me, why do you hate the troops/America/freedom so much. Believe my words of fearwar!’. And he hits all the main pimps du jour, take it away Mikey you bald pig eyed war criminal you-

The situation in the border region between Afghanistan and Pakistan where al-Qaida has established a safe haven presents a “clear and present danger” to the West.

Michael Hayden cited the belief by intelligence agencies that Osama bin Laden is hiding there in arguing that the U.S. has an interest in targeting the border region. If there were another terrorist attack against Americans, Hayden said, it would most certainly originate from that region

Hayden added that that those operatives “wouldn’t attract your attention if they were going through the customs line at Dulles (airport, outside Washington) with you when you’re coming back from overseas — who look Western.”

ZOMG!!!! They are amongst us, Pod People Turrists!!!!AAARRRGGGHHHHH!!!!!!!!! Good job this vital intelligence hasn’t been blabbedy blabbed on nationwide TV thus alerting the turrists to change their plans! You don’t think he’s making this shit up to gain authority through fear do you? Pinko scum!

Scaredy ‘turrist’ paranoia and fear incitement while subtly justifying a police state- ✓Check. 

On Iraq, Hayden said it could be “years” before the central government might be able to function on its own without the aid of U.S. combat forces. Hayden said he would defer to the specific assessments of Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, and Ryan Crocker, top U.S. diplomat in Baghdad, who return to Washington next month to report to Congress.

Permanent occupation based on criteria from other hand picked Bush appointees, lucky no one in the media ever says ‘Imperialism’ ain’t it?- ✓Check! 

CIA chief Michael Hayden expressed his personal belief Sunday that Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapons program, but also stood by the agency’s assessment that the program was suspended in 2003. “Personal belief, yes. It’s hard for me to explain. This is not court of law stuff,” the Central Intelligence Agency director said on NBC television.

Faith based approach to intelligence (or fraud as some filthy pinkos call it) to promote the next attack, its Q-2-N time! -✓Check!

Well in the fading months of the Bush regime he’s certainly set a high bar of achievement in pimping bloody imperialist aggression. I’ll warrant(less wiretapping!) he’ll be a tough one to beat although thankfully given the depth of hate, stupidity, arrogance and avarice among the imperial ruling class there’s never any shortage of contenders!

War is Peace! Goodnight!

The Border and Immigration Agency In Denial

Today-

The most comprehensive examination of the UK’s asylum system ever conducted has found it “marred by inhumanity” and “not yet fit for purpose”.

The report, published by the Independent Asylum Commission, is a damning indictment of the Home Office’s failure to deal fairly with those applying for sanctuary in this country.

The commission found that Britain’s treatment of asylum-seekers “falls seriously below the standards to be expected of a humane and civilised society“. Its interim report will be delivered to the Home Office today by a delegation of asylum-seekers.

The report details how the “adversarial” system is failing applicants from the very first point of interview, with officials accused of stacking the odds against genuine claimants. “A ‘culture of disbelief’ persists among decision-makers,” it said. “Along with lack of access to legal advice for applicants this is leading to perverse and unjust decisions.

The findings are the result of the most thorough look at the system in history, with testimonies from every sphere of society, including three former home secretaries, more than 100 NGOs, 90 asylum-seekers, the police, local authorities, and hundreds of citizens.

All-day hearings were held in seven major cities, where hundreds of people gave evidence, from those who brand the system too lenient to those who think it is a blot on the country’s human rights record.

As well as this current information, an independent academic body was tasked to gather all documents already published on the issue in the past five years, from both sides of the political spectrum.

But the Border and Immigration Agency has rejected the report, claiming it operates a “firm but humane” system.

Cognitive dissonance much BIA? To say the least the BIA’s response is totally unacceptable (I’m being awfully fucking polite here). It’s nice of the Independent Asylum Commission to catch up though, below are two previous posts that detail that the Border and Immigration Agency is a big stinking pile of arrogant, cruel, racist shit (in that way one might reflect it is the perfect institutional embodiment of the ignorant spiteful racism of the gutter press and their imbecilic fucking readers)-

Buried Alive, The Migrant Gulag

Chief Exec Lin Homer (more of whom in those links) says-

“I totally refute any suggestion that we treat asylum applicants without care and compassion. We have a proud tradition in Britain of offering sanctuary to those who truly need our protection. We operate a firm but humane system, supporting those who are vulnerable with accommodation and assistance. But we expect those that a court says have no genuine need for asylum to return home voluntarily, saving taxpayers the expense of enforcing their return. We will enforce the removal of those who refuse to comply, always ensuring first that it is safe to do so.”

Well here are your choices Lin, you are either-
a/. a big fat liar…or
b/. mentally ill.
I’m sorry but those are your only choices here in reality. Either way you should not be holding your current position (something Birmingham people can appreciate after her NuLabour vote rigging exploits there, ahem. Oh look, we just found the reason she keeps failing upwards). This would be the agency that recently deported a cancer patient who then died, I would call that corporate manslaughter and is now trying to deport people to…Iraq (you honestly can’t make this shit up). So Lin, you should be fired and prosecuted. But in the post Blair -hey what’s so wrong with being a war criminal- Britain we have no such standards of ethical behaviour, that is another consequence of this war, an epidemic corruption at the heart of the state with no end in sight.

Fight the scum in the BIA- National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns

Goons Meet Lawyer, Goons Lose

This is excellent, via Citizen Orange some immigration goons throwing their weight around think they can just arrogantly threaten and storm into this man’s apartment, except…he’s a veteran immigration lawyer and he knows his rights and the law, from Immigration Prof Blog, enjoy-

Please accept this letter as a complaint against Officers “John Doe” and Caroline Hum of USICE-San Francisco, who came to my private residence on the morning of February 4, 2008 at 8:15 a.m. My home address is ——————–, Apt 2, San Francisco, California.
I am a citizen of the United States and an attorney at law. I practice immigration law exclusively, with a particular focus on removal defense. I consequently have frequent interactions with employees of USICE and USCIS in San Francisco.
So, it was an interesting coincidence that two ICE officers rang my doorbell this morning–having bypassed the street security gate and buzzer that most people understand to be an indication that the 12-unit apartment building is not open to the general public. At 8:15 a.m., as I happened to be discussing case strategy on the phone with co-counsel regarding a bond hearing the same day, my apartment doorbell rang.
I opened the door and was greeted by Officer Hum. She identified herself as an ICE officer. She was accompanied by a male officer, who did not identify himself. Officer Hum stated that she was looking for an individual, but she had difficulty articulating the individual’s name.
I inquired whether the officers possessed a judicial warrant to enter the premises. The officers did not respond. I then stated to the officers that I declined to answer any questions, and I stated to them that they needed to leave. Officer Hum then stated “that’s fine, we’re just going to wait here until you come out.”
After I closed the door, the unidentified male officer stated, “I’m going to kick your door down.” He also threatened me with prosecution for alien harboring.
I continued to speak to the officers through my closed door. I again inquired whether the officers had a judicial warrant to enter my premises, as the male officer had stated he would forcibly enter my residence. They did not respond. I stated to the officers that they were not entitled to forcibly enter my home without a judicial warrant.
I next instructed the officers to leave the common space of my apartment building, unless they had other business at the building. The officers refused to promptly leave. I informed them that they must leave private property when requested if they did not possess a judicial warrant. I stated that I would call the San Francisco Police Department.
The male officer inquired whether I was the manager of the apartment building. I informed him that I was not the manager, but that I had a right to possession of the common area, and that I chose to exclude the officers from the common areas of the building. I further stated to the officers that they had no claim to possession of the property. The male officer stated that “your claim is not valid.” He stated that he would contact the apartment building manager, which I invited him to do. There is no on-site building manager. Control of the premises is exercised by the residents.
The officers then continued to loiter directly in front of my apartment door for approximately 15 minutes. This made it difficult to continue my phone conversation with co-counsel regarding the bond hearing. Due to the lay-out of my apartment, it is easy to overhear conversations through my front door. The doors are also made of shaded glass. Out of courtesy, the residents do not loiter in front of each others doors because of the invasion of privacy this causes.
Towards the end of the exchange, I asked the officers why they were at my residence, to which they did not respond. At this point, I disclosed to the officers that I am an immigration defense attorney and that I would therefore decline to answer any questions related to their enforcement efforts. Officer Hum then gave me her contact information and I believe the officers left, although they may have been lurking about the building.
As an American citizen, I feel that it is very important that the representatives of my own government respect the law rather than break it. The conduct of the unidentified officer in threatening to kick down my door, though he obviously lacked the legal authority to do so, is indefensible. Such behavior is unbecoming a federal law enforcement agent. The officer’s threat placed me in fear of my physical safety.
But for my training as a lawyer, I have little doubt that my rights would have been completely brushed aside. By making criminal threats against my home and physical safety, threatening prosecution without probable cause or even reasonable suspicion, and refusing to respect my property rights, the officers clearly sought to dissuade the exercise of my constitutional right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.
I also object to the officers trespassing on private property. Federal officers may violate state law only where federal law preempts that law. No federal law authorizes officers to enter and remain in the common access areas of an apartment building pursuant to an investigation without warrant, after having been requested to leave by the person in possession thereof. Because no federal law authorizes the officers’ conduct, they are subject to state laws regulating that conduct.
California Penal Code Section 602(o) defines as trespass the “[r]efusing or failing to leave land, real property, or structures belonging to or lawfully occupied by another and not open to the general public, upon being requested to leave by … the owner’s agent, or the person in lawful possession … however, this subdivision shall not apply to persons on the premises who are engaging in activities protected by the California or United States Constitution, or to persons who are on the premises at the request of a resident or management and who are not loitering or otherwise suspected of violating or actually violating any law or ordinance.”
Cal. P.C. § 602(o).
Whether as the person in possession of the common area, or the agent of the owner for the purpose of excluding unauthorized persons from the premises, I was authorized to exclude the officers from the building.
ICE officers undergo extensive training on immigration and constitutional law. I have no doubt that the conduct of the above officers was knowing and willful. This incident also appears to be just one example of a pattern of constitutional violations in recent times by ICE officers, suggesting the agency has adopted a policy of aggressive violations of constitutional rights in its enforcement efforts.
I request acknowledgment of this complaint, and disclosure of the identity of the male officer (or at a minimum confirmation that you have identified him and are able to investigate this complaint). I appreciate your attention to this matter. If I can provide any additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me in writing at the address above.
Sincerely,
Kevin M. Crabtree
Attorney at Law

This bit is key “ICE officers undergo extensive training on immigration and constitutional law. I have no doubt that the conduct of the above officers was knowing and willful.” They are banking on people being intimidated and not knowing their rights and they are widely abusing their power-

New York City residents, take note: I’ve now heard reports in NYC of Long Island-style random ICE raids on apartment buildings where ICE agents kick down the door ostensibly looking for a particular individual but then sweep up everyone in sight who “looks illegal” and can’t produce immigration papers. As far as I know, this is a recent development—before, ICE raids within the five boroughs were more limited, with agents going to homes and businesses looking for particular individuals.

But at least in this one incident they got more than they bargained for. Is that bacon I can smell frying?

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