Memos suggest Gitmo trials are rigged
SYDNEY – Leaked e-mails from two former U.S. prosecutors, obtained by the Australian Broadcast System, claim that the military commissions set up to try detainees at Guantanamo Bay have been rigged, fraudulent and thin on evidence against the accused. In March 2004, the e-mails were sent to supervisors in the Pentagon’s Office of Military Commissions, echoing previous charges made by international lawyers,
In a message to his supervisor, Major Robert Preston said he considered “the insistence on pressing ahead with cases that would be marginal even if properly prepared to be a severe threat to the reputation of the military justice system and even a fraud on the American people." Adding that he couldn’t continue to work on a process he considers morally, ethically and professionally intolerable, he said, "I lie awake worrying about this every night."
Another prosecutor, Capt. John Carr, who also ended up leaving the department, said the commissions appear to be rigged. "When I volunteered to assist with this process and was assigned to this office, I expected there would be at least a minimal effort to establish a fair process and diligently prepare cases against significant accused," he wrote. "Instead, I find a half-hearted and disorganized effort by a skeleton group of relatively inexperienced attorneys to prosecute fairly low-level accused in a process that appears to be rigged."
Carr claimed that the prosecutors were told by their superior that the panel sitting in judgment on the cases would be handpicked to ensure convictions. His boss, Col. Frederick Borch, called the claims “monstrous lies.”
The 25-member group’s final declaration said, "We are deeply concerned with measures that strengthen and broaden the scope of such legislation," and "once more urge the government of the
The group wasn’t unanimous on all topics. According to the Washington Post and other press reports, Venezuelan Foreign Secretary Ali Rodriguez argued, “We have a constitutional mandate to develop an economy based on solidarity, not mercantilism. In fact, we oppose the slimy, mercantilist view of things." However, Mexican Pres. Vicente Fox called for a "strategic alliance" of open markets and free trade, while Populist Panamanian Pres. Martin Torrijos took a middle path, calling for "democracy with social sensitivity."
Despite some criticism of
The summit was attended by seven presidents and three prime ministers, as well as vice presidents and other high-ranking officials. The ACS includes the island nations of the
In its 30-point declaration, the leaders also addressed poverty and drugs, terrorism, cooperation, trade, tourism, energy integration, corruption and natural-disaster warning systems. The declaration stressed sovereignty, territorial integrity, non-intervention, and "the right of every country to build its own political system in peace, stability and justice."
The leaders also pledged to promote “democracy, economic development and social progress" in
World Bank economist points to global inequality
"While in the year 1960," Milanovic writes, "there were 41 rich countries – 19 of them non-Western – in 2000, there were only 31 rich countries, and only nine of them were non-Western. None of the African countries (except for
According to an analysis of the book in
Not all economists paint such a grim picture, noting that income growth in
Using World Bank information, he concludes that inequality between individuals stayed roughly constant, and extremely high, in the last two decades of the 20th century. At the same time, the gap between rural and urban incomes widened.
The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that 852 million people faced chronic hunger in 2004, up 15 million from the previous year. In the same year, according to UNICEF, one billion children — nearly half the world’s children – were severely deprived. At the other end of the spectrum, the world has about 587 billionaires with a combined wealth of $1.9-trillion, equivalent to nearly 20 percent of the annual economic output of the
Atlantic whale on the critical list
ITHACA, NY – "We are not just at a precipice to extinction, in many ways we are actually over that precipice," says whale expert Christopher Clark, co-author of a new study published in the latest issue of the journal Science. The paper concludes that the Atlantic right whale is on a path toward extinction due to collisions with ships and entanglements in fishing gear.
Estimates indicate only 350
"There is really no place along the east coast of the
The Department of Commerce and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are promoting emergency measures that include reducing ship speeds and rerouting commercial and military traffic. In June, however, the Coast Guard refused to even ask shippers to voluntarily reduce their speed when they enter the whales’ waters. The article also urges the modifying of fishing techniques and gear.
Roberts’ role in Bush-Gore case revealed
Gov. Jeb Bush and others involved in the election dispute have said they can’t recall much about Roberts’ role. But one thing was certain, Cruz told the Herald: “There was no one better for the job.” Even before Roberts’ role in the 2000 elections was known, Democrats wanted the issue brought up in his confirmation hearings.
Roberts, a constitutional law expert in a top
Cruz’s account places Roberts firmly within the Bush vs. Gore battle, filling in blanks in the memories of everyone from Bush’s campaign lawyer, Ben Ginsberg, to the governor.
Ted Olson, the lawyer who successfully argued George W. Bush’s case before the Supreme Court, said Roberts helped, but couldn’t recall what legal briefs, if any, he reviewed. However, he was certain that Roberts participated in a “moot court” hearing to prep him for arguments before the high court.
Ginsberg, who met with Cruz just after the election to hire the dream team of lawyers, said he didn’t clearly remember Roberts, noting that the number of attorneys made it tough to keep track of everyone.
The Republicans assigned lawyers to one of five teams: the U.S. Supreme Court, the Florida Supreme Court, local county litigation, trial attorneys and military affairs. Though apparently on the federal team, Roberts’ name appears on no legal briefs, a fact that Cruz attributes to Roberts’ modesty. ”He already had a name. He didn’t need the recognition,” Cruz said.
Parenting mag defends pesticides
"There’s no evidence that these chemicals, used at the low levels found in our food supply, are harmful to children," the article claims. The author based his research on the opinion of a single "expert," neglecting to mention decades of contrary scientific evidence from academic, government and industry sources. The magazine serves as a "parenting guide" for more than 14 million subscribers.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control recently reported that one of the main sources of pesticide exposure for
According to EPA’s "Guidelines for Carcinogen Risk Assessment," children receive 50 percent of their lifetime cancer risks in the first two years of life. In blood samples of children ages 2 to 4, concentrations of pesticide residues are six times higher in children eating conventionally farmed fruits and vegetables compared with those eating organic food.
Old is in the eye of the beholder
According to a new Zogby poll developed for the Met Life Mature Market Institute, 60 percent of
There’s even a gender difference. Men are more likely than women to say an age under 60 is old: 22 percent of men vs. 8 percent of women.
Not unexpectedly, many people wish they were younger. About 65 percent of those who responded said wish they were under 40. Among 30- to 49-year-olds, 40 percent said they would prefer to be in their 20s. For 50- to 64-year-olds, however, it’s a toss up: 24 percent said they would prefer to be in their 20s, while 21 percent would be happy to shave off just a few years.
It’s no shock that those 18 to 29 are the most satisfied with their current age. But 31 percent of those over 70 also say they are content.
Free trade vote stretches the rules
The final count was 217-215 in the House; anything closer would have blocked approval. But according to coverage by Democracy Now!, last-minute maneuvering by GOP leaders raises questions about the process used to secure passage. When the official 15-minute voting period expired at 11:17 p.m., legislators had actually voted to defeat the measure 180-175. But the final vote was held open for an extra 47 minutes, giving Republican leaders time to round up enough holdouts in their party.
According to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, "The Republicans turned the floor of the House of the Representatives into a Let’s Make a Deal set that was reminiscent of what happened at the time of the Medicare prescription drug legislation that evening, and again this time they kept the vote open a long time.”
Rep. Charles Taylor,
To pass the agreement, the White House and GOP leaders had to overcome resistance from dozens of Republican members who opposed CAFTA because of issues ranging from the threat to the
In part, the administration sold CAFTA as a national security issue. As White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan put it, “This goes right to our own national security. This is an agreement that will help extend peace and prosperity throughout the Western hemisphere. While we’re working to advance freedom abroad we also need to be looking at our own hemisphere and make sure that we’re supporting the democratic efforts that continue to advance in our own hemisphere."
The British Medical Journal noted last week that
Facing the prospect that the Canadian government will ban the export of prescription drugs to the
Since only 40 of the 205 drugs included in the program wouldn’t be available from
Citing concerns by
Are we paranoid yet?
So, if you want to play a role in Homeland Security, keep an eye out for the following warning signs:
patting one’s clothes
wearing too much perfume
too much sweat
refusal to make eye contact with others
any other suspicious behavior