April 12, 2008

And when will they be tried and executed for war crimes? Link: Top Bush aides directed torture from the White House. Senior Bush administration officials, including Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, participated in White House meetings to discuss and approve specific methods of torture of detainees in the custody of US security forces, according to media reports. These reports are a further confirmation that those at the highest levels of the US government bear direct responsibility for war crimes committed over the past several years under the cover of Washington’s “global war on terror.” Citing unnamed sources, ABC News reported on Wednesday that the National Security Council’s Principals Committee met in 2002 and 2003 to review the interrogation of several alleged Al Qaeda members held by the CIA. ABC reported, “The high-level discussions about these ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ were so detailed, these sources said, some of these interrogation sessions were almost choreographed—down to the number of times CIA agents could use a specific tactic.” Among the “enhanced interrogation techniques”—a euphemism for torture—was waterboarding, a notorious method that involves the near drowning of the prisoner. The Principals Committee at that time was chaired by then-National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice. It included Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Colin Powell, CIA Director George Tenet, and Attorney General John Ashcroft. According to ABC, the discussions began after the capture of Abu Zubaydah in the spring of 2002. Earlier this year, the Bush administration officially acknowledged that the CIA had used waterboarding on Zubaydah, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and...
Revolution of the hungry And why do Clinton, Obama, and the moronic media focus on comments (reasonable ones) on guns and religion? So that no one will think about the repercussions of inequality and desperation? (And in related news absence--why didn't the NYT mention White House torture planning in the Sunday paper?) Link: Amid mounting food crisis, governments fear revolution of the hungry. The closer integration of the economies of the oppressed countries into the world market has been accompanied by their increasing concentration on specialized export crops, while tariff barriers have been demolished, opening the way to subsidized agricultural staples from the more advanced countries capturing local markets. Now, attempts by individual national governments to remedy the problem within their own borders—often taking the form of commodity producers erecting barriers on exports—have served to exacerbate the crisis internationally, driving food prices even higher, while triggering protests by farmers in countries stretching from India to Argentina. According to a recent World Bank survey, at least 58 countries have implemented at least some form of food-trade protectionism. What is emerging in the crisis over food prices is a tumultuous manifestation of a breakdown of the global capitalist order. The catastrophe facing billions of people around the globe cannot be resolved within the confines of a system based on private profit and the nation state. The revolutionary implications of this crisis are beginning to dawn on elements within the ruling establishment itself. In an article published Monday, the influential US magazine Time noted: “The idea of...

Jodi Dean

Jodi Dean is a political theorist.

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