Saturday, October 3, 2009

Innocent Tortured To Cover Up What?

A humanitarian went to Afghanistan near 9/11/01 to help those in need.

After the U.S. invasion there, he met soldiers there who were "fighting to preserve freedom" for Dick Cheney.

Either those soldiers or some lying bounty hunters accused the humanitarian of being a bad guy and took him to and fro to torture him, and he eventually ended up at GITMO.

A federal court has found that there is no evidence to support the military theory, but that his testimony of being a humanitarian is the true story:
The unclassified version issued Friday of U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly's opinion directing the U.S. government to release Kuwaiti detainee and Pillsbury client Fouad Al Rabiah from Guantanamo Bay recounts the grueling eight-year-long ordeal the 50-year old aviation engineer and father of four has experienced, including being subjected to abusive and coercive interrogation methods to extract a false confession.

In the opinion, the Court denounces the government's case from the very opening lines. "The evidentiary record on which the Government seeks to justify [Fouad's] indefinite detention is surprisingly bare," Judge Kollar-Kotelly wrote on page one. "If there exists a basis for Al Rabiah's indefinite detention, it most certainly has not been presented to this Court."

Moreover, Judge Kollar-Kotelly notes on page 44 that Al Rabiah was subjected, among other abuses, to the "frequent flier program" which "violated the Army Field Manual and the 1949 Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War" by deliberately disrupting and withholding sleep from detainees by perpetually moving them from cell to cell every few hours.
(Pillsbury Law). This is not the first person to use habeus corpus to show innocent people are being tortured for years in the name of the people of the United States against our will.

In the final analysis the torturing of America is being done by criminal elements within our own government.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Global Bad Air Day & Parochial Fantasy

Have you seen the CAT scan which shows your lungs on global air?

Regular readers know that parochial opinions about a global subject matter get short shrift on this blog because global realities require a global mentality.

The very air we breathe is starting to cross our borders presenting an immigration problem for our lungs:
"Air pollution does not recognize national borders; the atmosphere connects distant regions of our planet," said Charles Kolb, chair of the committee that wrote the report and president and chief executive officer of Aerodyne Research Inc. "Emissions within any one country can affect human and ecosystem health in countries far downwind. While it is difficult to quantify these influences, in some cases the impacts are significant from regulatory and public health perspectives."
(Science Daily). Becoming robust citizens of the earth will require a robust United Nations which will require dropping parochial fears and fantasies.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A More Unkind & More Brutal Nation

Thomas Friedman is looking for signs of intelligent life here in the United States and in the world around us, while others look out into space for it, as the other post today indicates.

Friedman opines in the New York Times:
I hate to write about this, but I have actually been to this play before and it is really disturbing.

I was in Israel interviewing Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin just before he was assassinated in 1995. We had a beer in his office. He needed one. I remember the ugly mood in Israel then — a mood in which extreme right-wing settlers and politicians were doing all they could to delegitimize Rabin, who was committed to trading land for peace as part of the Oslo accords. They questioned his authority. They accused him of treason. They created pictures depicting him as a Nazi SS officer, and they shouted death threats at rallies. His political opponents winked at it all.

Others have already remarked on this analogy, but I want to add my voice because the parallels to Israel then and America today turn my stomach: I have no problem with any of the substantive criticism of President Obama from the right or left. But something very dangerous is happening. Criticism from the far right has begun tipping over into delegitimation and creating the same kind of climate here that existed in Israel on the eve of the Rabin assassination.

What kind of madness is it that someone would create a poll on Facebook asking respondents, “Should Obama be killed?” The choices were: “No, Maybe, Yes, and Yes if he cuts my health care.” The Secret Service is now investigating. I hope they put the jerk in jail and throw away the key because this is exactly what was being done to Rabin.
(Where Did ‘We’ Go?). The right is pulling us toward unkindness, brutality, insensitivity, dumbing down, and everything we have worked to overcome in this nation.

This trend is showing up in other nations where neoCons are raising the stench of hatred. Terrorists are the worst, but why the neoCons get more hateful instead of more humane, to fight the spread of terrorism, is the perplexing part of this equation.

Rebel Science: What Band Does ET Use?

Good scientists look for planets with intelligent life on them by listening for signals from space.

The Search For Extra Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) has real and serious scientists on the job, but they "don't get any respect" sometimes:
Despite the accusations of my correspondents, I try to keep an open mind about our search for ET.

That's not entirely trivial. Scientists, whose job description is to learn something wonderfully new, are just as human as the next haberdashed hominid. After pursuing an exploratory experiment for years or decades, they inevitably build up both a psychological and monetary investment in their strategy. They can easily become thoroughly marinated in their current approach, and dismiss other ideas with a sneer and a wave.

I try not to do that, and I credit my colleagues with the same.
(Space dot com). We imagine what intelligent life on a planet far away might do to contact us. We don't know, so we hypothesize and listen ... to silence so far.

A post on the Ecocosmology blog hypothesizes that the best time to listen might be before a star is going nova.

The theoretical intelligent life there, if they had passed The Test of Ecocosmology would be able to communicate and do space travel or they would cease to exist anyway.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Parochial Climate & Parochial Mentality

This post has been moved to the Ecocosmology blog.

What Is Good For Goose & Gander

The U.N. has found that some in Israel's military followed the example of rogue elements of the U.S. military and U.S. contractors and committed war crimes in Gaza in the recent past:
The 400-page report was written without the cooperation of Israel, which insisted that the body should have considered “the thousands of Hamas missiles attacks on civilians in southern Israel that made the Gaza Operation necessary.” There is no question that those acts are crimes themselves and are relevant to any reviewing of the cause or justification for the invasion. However, this investigation focused on how the invasion was carried out — a separate issue.

Goldstone, who is Jewish, has previously indicated that the group found clear evidence of violations of international law in the invasion.

The UN found that Israel failed to minimize casualties, used white phosphorous in civilian areas, intentionally fired upon hospitals using high-explosive artillery shells, and did not effectively warn civilians of attacks. It also accused some Israeli soldiers of using civilians as human shields and attacking food supplies for civilians.
(CNN). Unless those who commit and officially promote these crimes in the U.S. and Israel are dealt with, the spectre of wholesale war crimes could escalate in every future conflict.

Monday, September 28, 2009

New Climate Catastrophe Policy: Triage

The new approach to alarming climate change and the growing spectre of many increasing national and international catastrophes is beginning to look more and more like triage.

The definition of triage is:
tri⋅age –noun

1. the process of sorting victims, as of a battle or disaster, to determine medical priority in order to increase the number of survivors.

2. the determination of priorities for action in an emergency.
(Dictionary). It may be that governments are now convinced by scientists that it is too late to stop the catastrophe.

So they will develop massive triage and massive burial procedures? How enlightened is that? Notes from the Bangkok conference going on this week have indicated:
Though world leaders have trumpeted helpful tips in dealing with climate change, doubt remains on whether delegates will be able to translate them into formal text on a new climate pact during talks in Bangkok starting Monday.
(Jakarta Post). There is a dazed and confused element to the way governments are handling the spectre of catastrophe. This does not bode well for long term prospects of the human species, therefore a change in government ideology is critical.

The next post in this series is here.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Damage Has Been Done

What remains to be seen now is how the planet is going to react to the damage:
Robert Corell, who chairs the Climate Action Initiative and reviewed the UNEP report's scientific findings, said the significant global temperature rise is likely to occur even if industrialized and developed countries enact every climate policy they have proposed at this point. The increase is nearly double what scientists and world policymakers have identified as the upper limit of warming the world can afford in order to avert catastrophic climate change.
(Washington Post, emphasis added). The question is "how catastrophic" and when. Some scientists already see some damage.

Some islands are already being evacuated as the oceans rise, some villages in the Arctic are having to move because the permafrost is melting under them, reefs are dying as the oceans warm, and the melting of ice sheets is accelerating.

Remember that this prediction of double what was expected to cause some catastrophe is new, and is worse than expected by almost twice. Will it increase even more in the near future?

Legislators, military, and other government officials seem so oblivious to the realities, even as they give lip service to the dangers.

What will they say when millions die in this century and we move closer to failing as a fit species?

The next post in this series is here.