SpeakOut is Truthout's treasure chest for bloggy, quirky, personally reflective, or especially activism-focused pieces. SpeakOut articles represent the perspectives of their authors, and not those of Truthout.
As a general rule, it'd be better if media accounts of war did not stress thesurgical precision of the weapons being used. It's a fixture of U.S. reporting on U.S. wars, but the same rhetoric is used when U.S. allies are dropping bombs.
Last Week, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), CODEPINK, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, and the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation delivered to the U.S. Department of State more than 17,000 signatures and an open letter signed by over 50 U.S. organizations asking the State Department to investigate the death of Rachel Corrie and each case involving the death or serious injury of an American citizen by the Israeli military since 2001. The groups also met with State Department officials to discuss the need for accountability in the deaths of human rights defenders like Corrie, a need made more urgent by this week's deadly attacks by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip.
There are so-called "radicals" on all sides of the ideological Merry-Go-Round. When we think of these boundary breakers, we conjure images of black hoodies concealing wire cutters and alcohol soaked bottle-rags; armed with paint cans ready to splatter messages of twisted corporate hate-speak. Some might call this the "radical left." Others wear ties snaked around meticulously starched necklines with plastic smiles and a Bible in hand . . . eyes popping out as they sermonize the fire-wielding importance of moral sanctity and unregulated free markets. This would be the "radical right." But there is a different radical quickly moving into town.
Yesterday at Bradley Manning's Article 13 hearing, professional military psychiatrist Captain Kevin Moore testified that Bradley Manning's pretrial confinement conditions at Quantico military brig were worse than that of any other long-term pretrial prisoner he'd observed. He added that Bradley's restrictive conditions, including being held in a 6x8 foot cell, having access to only 20 minutes of sunshine and exercise per day, and being deprived of basic items such as clothing and toilet paper for periods of time, were most comparable to yet still more severe than conditions of prisoners he'd observed on death row.
Bradley Manning's case garnered considerable media buzz early in 2010 when it came to light that the UN and Amnesty International had initiated investigations into possibly illegal conditions of pretrial confinement at Quantico. Wednesday in court, two high-ranking military psychiatrists, Captain William Hoctor and Captain Moore, testified that the extent to which their recommendations were ignored by the Quantico Marine staff was unlike anything they had experienced elsewhere over a combined 30+ years of experience at various bases.
The latest international incident involving the United States and Iran occurred on November 1st when fighter planes belonging to Iran shot at a US drone and missed. The Obama administration was forced to acknowledge the incident after stories in the media surfaced about the attack. On November 8th, Pentagon press secretary George Little said the attack was unprecedented and that the drone was flying in international air space while on a surveillance operation.
History is not on his side. There actually was a previous incident when a drone came down in eastern Iran in December 2011. Either it malfunctioned as the US claimed or, according to Iran, was brought down by their aircraft. US did acknowledge then that the drone was monitoring Iran's military and nuclear facilities.
In his reflections on the destruction of European Jewry, the late Holocaust historian Raul Hilberg described a number of ways in which Jews "tried to avert the full force of the German destructive measures." Among these was "by judicious compliance with orders, and sometimes by anticipatory compliance with order not yet issued." A telling instance of the latter – though not cited by Hilberg – took place in the camp where I was born: Westerbork, the transit camp in Holland from which the bulk of Dutch Jewry was dispatched to the killing centers of the East. There, the occupier threatened to bring on the SS to administer the camp – at which point the Jews made a counter offer to run the camp themselves – under the watchful eye, it goes without saying, of the German overseer. It was Jews, for example, who prepared the transport lists, based on a number submitted to them by the German Commandant. The upshot of judicious and anticipatory compliance, in Hilberg's words, was that by "[p]laying into German hands, they speeded the process of destruction." This was certainly true in Holland.
Our perception of the sacred determines the community we seek. The sacred isn't only a matter of belief; it is also an expression of where we live and whom we seek to live with in community.
What is the sacred? A simple definition of the sacred is that to which we assign ultimate value. Using this definition, community is a unified body of persons based on a shared understanding of ultimate value. Working backwards from the concrete to the abstract, it is possible to discern someone's understanding of the sacred by examining the nature of his or her community.
As a part of delegations over the past four years that have made their way to Gaza, we have stopped in Cairo to pick up needed authorizations. This week as a part of an "emergency" delegation to Gaza after the 8 day Israeli attack that killed 165 and wounded several thousands, we arrived in Cairo as Egyptians opposed to President Morsi's massive assumption of powers took to the streets.
We've been in and out of Tahrir Square all day. It's almost midnight and tens of thousands of Egyptians have been to the square in the middle of Cairo that was the center of the revolution against dictator Hosni Mubarak, to protest the new President's decrees on the judiciary and legislative branches of government.
In 1992, Stevie Wonder, long a civil rights activist and defender of the rights of all humans, released a song called "It's Wrong" about the Apartheid regime of South Africa.
The lyrics were explicit in their condemnation of the "atrocities" of Apartheid as "people abusing" and "oppression".
Stevie was even arrested on Valentine's Day 1985 for protesting against Apartheid outside the Washington DC embassy of South Africa.
His activism against Apartheid -- the South African regime's policy of segregation of native Africans and their colonial rulers originating from Holland -- makes his current position on Palestine curious, to say the least.
Activists Hold Press Conference & Rally to Demand Federal Judge Recuse Herself from Presiding Over Trial of Jailed Hacktivist Jeremy Hammond, Thursday, 11/29 at 1pmBy Staff, Jeremy Hammond Support | Press Release
On November 20th, 2012, U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska denied bail to Jeremy Hammond, a 27-year-old Chicago activist accused of hacking into the private intelligence firm Stratfor and releasing information to Wikileaks. On November 22nd, 2012 a communique from hackers highlighted Judge Preska's failure to disclose that her husband, Thomas J Kaveler is an employee of Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP, a current Stratfor client and associate, and moreover was himself a victim of the alleged hack (SOURCE). After independent confirmation of these facts, activists and attorneys have issued a call for Judge Preska to immediately recuse herself for failure to disclose this conflict of interest. At 1pm on Thursday, November 29th in New York's Foley Square (MAP) activists, attorneys, and friends of Jeremy Hammond, including NLG President, Gideon Oliver,Andy Bichlbaum co-creator of the Yes Men, John Knefel cohost of Radio Dispatch, and Chicago activist Natalie Wahlberg will rally and hold a press conference to brief the media on their efforts to see Judge Preska recuse herself and assure Hammond access to a fair trial and due process.