October 2, 2009 archive

US Judge confirms torture used to obtain false confessions ( to justify war in Iraq )

Crossposted at Daily Kos

    In a startling article at huffingtonpost.com by Andy Worthington, author of “The Guantanamo Files”, puts together an absolute must read in my opinion.

False confessions obtained through torture

   The judge also noted the significance of the evidence in the record indicating that al-Rabiah “subsequently confided in interrogators [redacted] that he was being pressured to falsely confess to the allegations discussed above,” and also the significance of the fact that, although “al-Rabiah’s interrogators ultimately extracted confessions from him,” they “never believed his confessions based on the comments they included in their interrogation reports.”

    After noting — again with a palpable sense of incredulity — that “These are the confessions that the Government now asks the Court to accept as evidence in this case,” Judge Kollar-Kotelly proceeded to demolish them all . . .

From Huffingtonpost.com

Bold added by diarist

     More below the fold

Docudharma Times Friday October 2

Friday’s Headlines:

Before the Station fire, a cost-cutting memo

Revealed: millions spent by lobby firms fighting Obama health reforms

The EU’s awkward mission in Kosovo

Writer flees after backing ‘anti-Soviet’ kebab shop

Iran ducks out of nuclear confrontation with West

Ultra-Orthodox Jews accused of fight to keep ‘Jews for Jesus’ out

Sumatra death toll rises to 1,100

‘Jurassic treasure trove’ of eggs could reveal why dinosaurs died out

Honduras: censored Radio Globo quadruples listeners by going online

White House Eyeing Narrower War Effort

Top Officials Challenge General’s Assessment

By Scott Wilson and Anne E. Kornblut

Washington Post Staff Writers

Friday, October 2, 2009

Senior White House officials have begun to make the case for a policy shift in Afghanistan that would send few, if any, new combat troops to the country and instead focus on faster military training of Afghan forces, continued assassinations of al-Qaeda leaders and support for the government of neighboring Pakistan in its fight against the Taliban.

In a three-hour meeting Wednesday at the White House, senior advisers challenged some of the key assumptions in Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal’s blunt assessment of the nearly eight-year-old war, which President Obama has said is being fought to destroy al-Qaeda and its allies in Afghanistan and the ungoverned border areas of Pakistan.

Herschel scans hidden Milky Way

A remarkable view of our Galaxy has been obtained by Europe’s billion-euro Herschel Space Observatory.

By Jonathan Amos

Science reporter, BBC News

The telescope was put in a special scanning mode to map a patch of sky.

The images reveal in exquisite detail the dense, contorted clouds of cold gas that are collapsing in on themselves to form new stars.

Herschel, which has the largest mirror ever put on an orbiting telescope, was launched in May as a flagship mission of the European Space Agency.

It is tuned to see far-infrared wavelengths of light and is expected to give astronomers significant insights into some of the fundamental processes that shape the cosmos.

Herschel’s great advantage is that its sensitivity allows it to see things that are beyond the vision of other space telescopes, such as Hubble.

A prime goal is to understand the mechanisms that control the earliest phases of stellar evolution.

Muse in the Morning

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Muse in the Morning

A Transition through Poetry XXVIII

Art Link


Bleeding the Colors

I have bled blood red

Three decades later than

I would have liked,

aided by a surgeon’s knife,

but I have bled blood red.

I’ve bled before,

just not that color.

It’s the shade

I was missing

in my world.

I’ve bled the sickly yellow of fear

and the desolate blue of sadness,

the empty grey of loneliness

and the worn out brown of long years

of waiting.

I’ve bled the bluish purple of pain

and the emerald green of envy,

the dark scarlet of anger

and the all-consuming black

of depression.

I’ve bled the purplegreengold

sparkles in my vision

as I fell asleep

to dream of a life that

I couldn’t live.

I’ve bled the tarnished silverpink

of a love that I thought

was real but was

an illusion/delusion

and abusive and wrong.

I’ve bled the dusky rainbows

of confusion and turmoil

and the toxic hues

of insanity and dis-ease

and death.

I’ve bled the colors

until they ceased existing

and I would have joined them,

but I finally bled

the blood red of life.

I’ve bled red twice now

and the colors are back,

sharp and crisp

and bright and airy

and joyful.

I’ve bled red twice now

and the colors are real,

and they don’t need me

to bleed them,

for I have bled blood red.

–Robyn Elaine Serven

–March, 1995

here you all are, the people

I keep seeing you coming here, over and over again.

I cannot tell you what that means. The names I know, over and over.

I cannot know how to talk about this, other than to say; “I notice, I notice!”

I sit in my half-assed chair, and I write and I watch and I listen to the best songs.

And I watch your names as they appear and I say “Hey!”

There are the people, we are not invisible.

And of course we do not need to be overriding here. But it’s so hard to be invisible so thank you!

for helping us not be invisible here!

Thank you for your coming over

and getting your shoes on and being the friends

of the peoples

who are kind of vague and weary at times

and at other times sort of confused

but always really, really wanting

to be the peoples

all together now

all together now.



Overnight Caption Contest

Prison News Highlights

Prisoners’ Rights

NYT editorial

September 23, 2009

In 1996, Congress passed a law that made it much harder for inmates to challenge abusive treatment. It has contributed significantly to the bad conditions – including the desperate overcrowding – that prevail today. The law must be fixed.

In the name of clamping down on frivolous lawsuits, the Prison Reform Litigation Act barred prisoners from suing prisons and jails unless they could show that they had suffered a physical injury. Prison officials have used this requirement to block lawsuits challenging all sorts of horrific conditions, including sexual abuse.

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