Lewis Amselem, Friend of Rapists, Scum

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Pampered children enjoy making and viewing horror movies, because it is a safe way of approaching the dark reality of what humans can and will do, I enjoy indulging in them sometimes too. The extreme end of thrill horror, torture porn, Tarantino etc are actually immaturely banal, the real thing will scar you, just reading about it, hearing it will stay with you forever, it should. One such testimony for me is that of Dianna Ortiz, a US nun who was tortured in Guatemala, you can search about, read her writings, or buy her book (click the image) it will not be an easy thing to bear, how she lives with it is true bravery. 200,000 people were killed in Guatemala under torture regimes supported by the US, a Holocaust of its own, US officials were hands on involved with raping and torturing people, US taxpayer’s money paid their wages and met their expense accounts (yet some protest at funding healthcare).

Al Giordano caught this (and Machetera), I did not remember the name, Lewis Amselem,

Lewis Amselem

Lewis Amselem

Earlier I posted about Amselem, the second highest ranking US official to the OAS who blamed Zelaya for causing trouble even as the Committee for the Defense of Human Rights in Honduras (CODEH) found 101 killings by the coup regime. This man Lewis Amselem is working for Hillary Clinton, he was a Bush appointee, a fundamentalist right winger. He was political-military officer at the US embassy in Guatemala City (1988-92) Ortiz’s remembers this of him-

Two months later, after a U.S. doctor had counted 111 cigarette burns on my back alone, the story changed. In January 1990, the Guatemalan defense minister publicly announced that I was a lesbian and had staged my abduction to cover up a tryst. The minister of the interior echoed this statement and then said he had heard it first from the U.S. embassy. According to a congressional aide, the political affairs officer at the U.S. embassy, Lew Anselem, was indeed spreading the same rumor.

In the presence of Ambassador Thomas Stroock, this same human rights officer told a delegation of religious men and women concerned about my case that he was “tired of these lesbian nuns coming down to Guatemala.” The story would undergo other permutations. According to the Guatemalan press, the ambassador came up with another version: he told the Guatemalan defense minister that I was not abducted and tortured but simply “had problems with [my] nerves.”

Dianna Ortiz was treated appallingly by the US government in the aftermath-

In 1996, I held a five-week vigil before the White House, asking for the declassification of all U.S. government documents related to human rights abuses in Guatemala since 1954, including documents on my own case. A few days into my vigil, I was granted a meeting with First Lady Hillary Clinton. Mrs. Clinton admitted what no other U.S. government official had dared to concede during my seven-year search for the truth behind my abduction and torture in Guatemala: she said it was possible that the American in charge of my Guatemalan torturers was a “past or present employee of a U.S. agency.”

She eventually won a judgement against General Gramajo Morales who had been Defence Minister at the time and covered up the crimes, he was by then studying at Harvard (by invitation) and lecturing at the School of the Americas.

Architect of genocidal policies which essentially legalized military atrocity in Guatemala throughout the eighties. (HAH)Found guilty by default of numerous war crimes in a U.S. Court six weeks before speaking at a prestigious SOA graduation. (The Bayonet, 1/3/92) Former SOA Commandant José Feliciano claimed Gramajo inspired many SOA policies. (The Benning Patriot 2/21/92)

The General used it as campaign…plus-

The Guatemalan general ordered last month by a Boston judge to pay $47.5 million in damages for terror against a U.S. nun and eight Guatemalan Indians said the ruling will help his chances to win his bid for president of Guatemala in November elections. Gen. Hector Gramajo claimed publicity generated by the court ruling is proving useful in his presidential campaign as candidate of the right-wing National Unity Front Party, or FUN.

You will be pleased to know he is now dead, killed by bees, I hope that was, FUN.

So back to Clinton, as her personal meeting with Dianna Ortiz testifies she is not ignorant of the torture regimes the US ran nor can she be ignorant of Amselem, certainly not after his statements against Zelaya. For Clinton to send him to the OAS is a big fuck you, to keep him on now it is worse. It is perhaps a lesson in imperialism, that even as consummate a politician as Clinton is, she once still had some human feelings, she did not absolutely ignore Dianna Ortiz, but over time she has been corrupted completely by the needs of power and dominance. She employs one of the men who were behind Ortiz’s gang rape & torture. Amselem is just one of the many thousands of government operatives who have done things that would normally mean they ended their days in prison, yet do it in the name of Empire- rape, murder, torture and you get a raise and a promotion and you are a respectable senior official. I wonder what his wife and four children think of him, spreading lies about a rape & torture victim to protect his fellow gang members, one of many crimes he assisted in, I guess the money and prestige helps with that. If I were a US citizen I would contact my Reps and insist the Obama administration fire this Bush hangover and rights abuser. I’ll leave you with this Bruce Cockburn song.

Unworthy

The lesser of two evils is still evil, New Labour might not be as horrific as the Tories, but really, how passionate or excited can you get about a desultory pragmatism that favours one style of management of neoliberalism over another. Judging from media/blogs apparently still quite a lot, I guess it helps people justify their pundit existence. The underclass will continue to be subjected to a sort of civic genocide, labour will be kept malleable and cheap through economic terrorism, foreigners will continue to provide a bloody canvas for our failings whether abroad or in migrant jails. And when the angry violent reaction comes the same punditocracy can talk incessantly about that to keep them in work.
Rinse and repeat.

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New Labour Host Accused War Criminal

A United Kingdom court on Tuesday deferred until further notice an appeal by local pro-Palestinian groups to issue an arrest warrant against visiting Defense Minister Ehud Barak. It is not yet clear whether the issue will be raised for deliberation while Israel’s top defense official is still in Britain. According to sources close to Barak, the British Foreign Ministry recommended to the London court that it treat the current appeal in the same manner it did when a similar appeal was issued in 2004 against Israel’s then defense minister, Shaul Mofaz.

A group of Palestinians in Britain sought earlier Tuesday to obtain the warrant for Barak as he visited the United Kingdom for talks with senior officials. The Palestinian group made the request at the Westminster Magistrates Court, the British paper The Daily Telegraph reported, regarding alleged war crimes perpetrated by Israel during its winter offensive against Hamas in Gaza. Barak’s bureau relayed in response to the move that the defense minister did not intend to change his plans.

“No arrest warrant has been issued, and in any event, he has immunity due to his being a minister in the government,” the bureau said in a statement. “Therefore, his program will continue without disturbance.” Barak was due to speak at Britain’s Labour party’s annual conference on Tuesday, at a fringe event for the Labour Friends of Israel lobby. He was also set to meet with Britain’s Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, and foreign secretary, David Miliband, during the trip.

The appeal to arrest the defense minister comes as Richard Goldstone, the author of a United Nations report on Israel’s Gaza offensive, told the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Tuesday that the lack of accountability for war crimes committed in the Middle East is undermining any hope for peace in the region.

The Only Thing That’s Definitely True In This NYT Piece

War Pimps ahoy! Q2N is back in fashion, the NYT is up to speed with- A Nuclear Debate Brews: Is Iran Designing Warheads? Happily it does include this one true sentence-

The debate, in essence, is a mirror image of the intelligence dispute on the eve of the Iraq war.

Funny stuff. (Hmmm, so ‘intelligence dispute‘ is what the kids are calling it now, I remember when we just called them ‘lies’. Y’know, before we killed over a million people.)

Posted in War Pimps. Tags: , . 5 Comments »

North Wales Police Taser Use

COPS in North Wales used taser guns 58 times last year, new figures show. However statistics released under the Freedom of Information Act reveal they were only actually fired 16 times. The 50,000 volt guns were drawn, aimed or pressed up against people on 42 other occasions. The youngest person threatened with one was aged 14 and the oldest was 63. But of the 16 who did have the electric barbs fired at them, the youngest person was 19 and the oldest was 58. In a Freedom of Information response a North Wales Police spokesman said they aimed tasers without removing the safety catch twice. But the safety catch was removed to allow officers to shine a red light at people 28 times. On three other occasions, the taser was pressed against people and cycled which gives a shock without firing the probes.

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Washington Getting Worse At Hiding Its Allegiances As 101 Killings Attributed To Coup Regime

A senior US official on Monday branded last week’s return to Honduras by President Manuel Zelaya following a coup in June as “irresponsible” and said it would not help restore democracy.

“The return of President Zelaya to Honduras, absent an agreement, is irresponsible and serves neither the interests of the Honduran people nor those seeking a peaceful reestablishment of a democratic order in Honduras,” said Lewis Amselem.

“Those who facilitated President Zelaya’s return… have special responsibility for the prevention of violence and for the well-being of Honduran people,” said Amselem, the second-highest ranking US representative to the Organization of American States.

But what words for the coup regime

At an emergency meeting of the Organization of American States to discuss the Honduran face-off, Lewis Anselem, the U.S. ambassador to the OAS, also criticized Honduras’ de facto government for its “deplorable” action in barring entry of an OAS mission and declaring a state of siege on Sunday.

Oh how nice, how about the killings and the siege on Brazil’s embassy Lew baby? Of course strikes me what Washington likes is the deposed party in a coup to slink away, be polite dear chap, (especially when they are involved in the coup) so the coup leader can take power …with his Vice President Dick Cheney. So what would help restore democracy, this?-

With Executive Decree PCM-M-016-2009, the dictatorial government has taken off its mask and really outdone itself by keeping Honduras and the Honduras people kidnapped through its use and abuse of the State’s weapons and its desire to manipulate the Constitution and the laws of the Republic.  

This executive decree, signed by the de facto head of state Micheletti in a meeting with his equally de facto cabinet, establishes a curfew for 45 consecutive days, during which practically all rights and individual freedoms are annulled, leaving the Honduran people completely defenseless before the usurpers.

From the moment this dictatorial edict went into effect, inalienable rights such as personal freedom, the right to free thought, the right to organize and meet, the right to free movement, rights to privacy in one’s own home, and protections against arbitrary detentions ceased to exist in Honduras.

But hey Micheletti asked for forgiveness and said he’d lift it ‘soon’, apparently. Now a different US official has stressed attacking soveriegn Brazilian territory, their embassy, might be a Bad Thing as Zelaya speaks at the UN…by cellphone-

Honduras’ ousted president addressed the United Nations General Assembly by cellular telephone from the Brazilian embassy in his country’s capital, where he is holed up.

Manuel Zelaya said Monday that a June military coup that toppled him has subjected Honduras to a dictatorship.

He called on world leaders to guarantee his safety and those of Hondurans who have taken to the streets to demand his return to power.

Zelaya spoke via a phone brought to the podium by his foreign minister, Patricia Rodas. His brief words drew sustained applause from assembled diplomats, some of whom stood.

Rodas also spoke for half an hour claiming the coup-installed government has clamped down on civil liberties so much that “Honduras is becoming an enormous prison.”

But it seems to me Washington is reacting, it keeps hoping the coup regime will get away with it and not outrage the international community but then the fascist chump Golpistas perpetrate another atrocity of authoritarian arrogance, so some US spokesperson has to trot out how such a thing is bad, for the record. It’s a bit like Obama saying the attack on Gaza is a tad naughty once it is over, talk for the record but the walk tells another story. The reality-

Last Friday the Committee for the Defense of Human Rights in Honduras (CODEH) issued a report blaming the de facto president of that country and putschist leader, Roberto Micheletti, for the more than 101 extrajudicial murders and summary executions perpetrated from June 28th to the current date.

Yeah and Zelaya returning to his country is the ‘irresponsible’ act that won’t help democracy.