The Hits Keep Coming from Obama

(As originally posted on Daily Kos)

And the hits just keep coming. Despite its pledge to reintroduce greater transparency to government the Obama administration reversed itself again this week, announcing that it would now seek to block the release of detainee abuse photographs sought by the ACLU.

Then yesterday the CIA announced, in a fine example of Orwellian double-speak, that it would not release memos cited by former Vice-President Dick Cheney because they are subject to a Freedom of Information Act suit being pursued by Amnesty International USA, the Center for Constitutional Rights and the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice at NYU.

Amnesty does not often find itself on the same side of an argument as the former Vice President but on this occasion we welcome his late conversion to the merits of transparency in government.

And finally, the President confirmed today that his administration will reintroduce Military Commissions to try terrorism cases that cannot be successfully pursued in a federal court. Of course, he put it slightly differently but that is what the decision amounts to. Reverse engineering courts to work around mistakes and abuses that have been committed in the past is not a sound basis for any system of justice.

A comment to a previous posting accused me of being “a one note Johnny” on this subject and I am afraid the charge is quite true. I truly wish it wasn’t. I wish I could report that things were improving on the human rights front and that in confronting terrorism the President was living up to the pledges he had made on the campaign trail.

Instead, sadly political pragmatism seems to be the order of the day. This might be sound political sense but it is not moral leadership. So it is particularly ironic to note today that Lakhdar Boumediene, the Algerian national arrested in Bosnia and falsely accused of plotting to blow up the US Embassy in Sarajevo, is finally today en route to France where he will be resettled.

This innocent man spent eight years detained in Guantanamo. He has been cleared of all charges since November 2008. He is only being released now because France has generously agreed – despite the “freedom fries” and “axis of weasel” jibes – to take him in. One might think a few apologies might be in order. One might also think that Boumediene’s case might give pause for reflection before we head back down the path of backwoods justice once again.

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25 thoughts on “The Hits Keep Coming from Obama

  1. And don't forget to add to the above list impeachable and worthy of extradition to the Hauge war crimes.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/arti

    “Reuters reported last week that U.S. military doctors had confirmed that they had treated an 8-year-old girl with white phosphorus burns in hospital. Her case was not on the list the military released on Monday.

    The girl’s father told Reuters their house was hit by a volley of artillery fired by Western troops.

    Human Rights Watch has urged the military to release more details of the incident.

    Since Reuters published its account last week, Afghanistan’s human rights commission has said it is investigating whether white phosphorus played a role in an incident last week in which Afghan officials say over 140 civilians were killed.

    That incident, in western Farah province, has caused a crisis between Afghanistan and the United States. President Hamid Karzai has demanded a halt to all U.S. air strikes, something Washington says it cannot do.

    Many of the victims in the Farah incident had severe burns. The U.S. military acknowledges bombing two villages after participating in ground fighting nearby, but says it did not fire any white phosphorus ammunition in the battle.”

  2. May 7, 2009 http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/

    “Up to 100 civilians, including women and children, are reported to have been killed in Afghanistan in potentially the single deadliest US airstrike since 2001. The news overshadowed a crucial first summit between the Afghan President and Barack Obama in Washington yesterday.

    US military officials in Kandahar said that the number of fatalities was nearer 30, but the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said that the death toll was far higher.

    Jessica Barry, an ICRC representative, said that an international Red Cross team in Bala Baluk saw “dozens of bodies in each of the two locations” on Tuesday. “There were bodies, there were graves, and there were people burying bodies when we were there,” she said. “We do confirm women and children.”

    Many of those killed and injured had taken refuge in the villages to escape the fighting between the Taleban and the Afghan National Army, which had US “trainers” embedded within it. They had the ability to call in the US jets, part of a new command operating outside the auspices of Nato but under a new command known as US for Afghanistan. “

  3. And don't forget to add to the above list impeachable and worthy of extradition to the Hauge war crimes.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/arti

    “Reuters reported last week that U.S. military doctors had confirmed that they had treated an 8-year-old girl with white phosphorus burns in hospital. Her case was not on the list the military released on Monday.

    The girl’s father told Reuters their house was hit by a volley of artillery fired by Western troops.

    Human Rights Watch has urged the military to release more details of the incident.

    Since Reuters published its account last week, Afghanistan’s human rights commission has said it is investigating whether white phosphorus played a role in an incident last week in which Afghan officials say over 140 civilians were killed.

    That incident, in western Farah province, has caused a crisis between Afghanistan and the United States. President Hamid Karzai has demanded a halt to all U.S. air strikes, something Washington says it cannot do.

    Many of the victims in the Farah incident had severe burns. The U.S. military acknowledges bombing two villages after participating in ground fighting nearby, but says it did not fire any white phosphorus ammunition in the battle.”

  4. And don't forget to add to the above list impeachable and worthy of extradition to the Hauge war crimes.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/arti

    “Reuters reported last week that U.S. military doctors had confirmed that they had treated an 8-year-old girl with white phosphorus burns in hospital. Her case was not on the list the military released on Monday.

    The girl’s father told Reuters their house was hit by a volley of artillery fired by Western troops.

    Human Rights Watch has urged the military to release more details of the incident.

    Since Reuters published its account last week, Afghanistan’s human rights commission has said it is investigating whether white phosphorus played a role in an incident last week in which Afghan officials say over 140 civilians were killed.

    That incident, in western Farah province, has caused a crisis between Afghanistan and the United States. President Hamid Karzai has demanded a halt to all U.S. air strikes, something Washington says it cannot do.

    Many of the victims in the Farah incident had severe burns. The U.S. military acknowledges bombing two villages after participating in ground fighting nearby, but says it did not fire any white phosphorus ammunition in the battle.”

  5. May 7, 2009 http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/

    “Up to 100 civilians, including women and children, are reported to have been killed in Afghanistan in potentially the single deadliest US airstrike since 2001. The news overshadowed a crucial first summit between the Afghan President and Barack Obama in Washington yesterday.

    US military officials in Kandahar said that the number of fatalities was nearer 30, but the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said that the death toll was far higher.

    Jessica Barry, an ICRC representative, said that an international Red Cross team in Bala Baluk saw “dozens of bodies in each of the two locations” on Tuesday. “There were bodies, there were graves, and there were people burying bodies when we were there,” she said. “We do confirm women and children.”

    Many of those killed and injured had taken refuge in the villages to escape the fighting between the Taleban and the Afghan National Army, which had US “trainers” embedded within it. They had the ability to call in the US jets, part of a new command operating outside the auspices of Nato but under a new command known as US for Afghanistan. “

  6. May 7, 2009 http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/

    “Up to 100 civilians, including women and children, are reported to have been killed in Afghanistan in potentially the single deadliest US airstrike since 2001. The news overshadowed a crucial first summit between the Afghan President and Barack Obama in Washington yesterday.

    US military officials in Kandahar said that the number of fatalities was nearer 30, but the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said that the death toll was far higher.

    Jessica Barry, an ICRC representative, said that an international Red Cross team in Bala Baluk saw “dozens of bodies in each of the two locations” on Tuesday. “There were bodies, there were graves, and there were people burying bodies when we were there,” she said. “We do confirm women and children.”

    Many of those killed and injured had taken refuge in the villages to escape the fighting between the Taleban and the Afghan National Army, which had US “trainers” embedded within it. They had the ability to call in the US jets, part of a new command operating outside the auspices of Nato but under a new command known as US for Afghanistan. “

  7. Re: Obama

    Snicker. We told you he was a two-timing fraud back in November, but would you listen to reason? No, you wouldn't, and now the rest of us have to suffer the consequences of your pointless irrational hatred of Bush.

  8. And don’t forget to add to the above list impeachable and worthy of extradition to the Hauge war crimes.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/05/11/AR2009051101937.html

    “Reuters reported last week that U.S. military doctors had confirmed that they had treated an 8-year-old girl with white phosphorus burns in hospital. Her case was not on the list the military released on Monday.

    The girl’s father told Reuters their house was hit by a volley of artillery fired by Western troops.

    Human Rights Watch has urged the military to release more details of the incident.

    Since Reuters published its account last week, Afghanistan’s human rights commission has said it is investigating whether white phosphorus played a role in an incident last week in which Afghan officials say over 140 civilians were killed.

    That incident, in western Farah province, has caused a crisis between Afghanistan and the United States. President Hamid Karzai has demanded a halt to all U.S. air strikes, something Washington says it cannot do.

    Many of the victims in the Farah incident had severe burns. The U.S. military acknowledges bombing two villages after participating in ground fighting nearby, but says it did not fire any white phosphorus ammunition in the battle.”

  9. May 7, 2009
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article6237189.ece

    “Up to 100 civilians, including women and children, are reported to have been killed in Afghanistan in potentially the single deadliest US airstrike since 2001. The news overshadowed a crucial first summit between the Afghan President and Barack Obama in Washington yesterday.

    US military officials in Kandahar said that the number of fatalities was nearer 30, but the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said that the death toll was far higher.

    Jessica Barry, an ICRC representative, said that an international Red Cross team in Bala Baluk saw “dozens of bodies in each of the two locations” on Tuesday. “There were bodies, there were graves, and there were people burying bodies when we were there,” she said. “We do confirm women and children.”

    Many of those killed and injured had taken refuge in the villages to escape the fighting between the Taleban and the Afghan National Army, which had US “trainers” embedded within it. They had the ability to call in the US jets, part of a new command operating outside the auspices of Nato but under a new command known as US for Afghanistan. “

  10. Re: Obama

    Snicker. We told you he was a two-timing fraud back in November, but would you listen to reason? No, you wouldn’t, and now the rest of us have to suffer the consequences of your pointless irrational hatred of Bush.

  11. Do you people really think your democrat leaders are any different than the Bushies? Lets see.. No time line for Iraq, Pelosi knew all about waterboarding and enhanced interogation, and Gitmo is back. Wow. Sounds like more of the same to me. Either Bush wasn't wrong, or you just got served. Have a great day.

  12. Do you people really think your democrat leaders are any different than the Bushies? Lets see.. No time line for Iraq, Pelosi knew all about waterboarding and enhanced interogation, and Gitmo is back. Wow. Sounds like more of the same to me. Either Bush wasn’t wrong, or you just got served. Have a great day.

  13. http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators

    Saturday, 16 May 2009

    Patrick Cockburn:
    These killings will only strengthen the Taliban

    It is astonishing to discover that the same small American unit, the US Marine Corps' Special Operations or MarSOC, has been responsible for all three of the worst incidents in Afghanistan in which civilians have been killed. Its members refer to themselves as "Taskforce Violence" and the Marines' own command scathingly refers to the unit as "cowboys".

    The US military commanders in Afghanistan must have known about MarSOC's reputation for disregarding the loss of life among Afghan civilians, yet for 10 days, they have flatly denied claims by villagers in the western Afghan province of Farah that more than 100 of their neighbours had been slaughtered by US air strikes.

    Everything the US military has said about the air strikes on the three villages in Bala Boluk district on the evening of 4 May should be treated with suspicion – most probably hastily-concocted lies aimed at providing a cover story to conceal what really happened. Official mendacity of these proportions is comparable to anything that happened in Vietnam.

    The US military now seem to have dropped their previous suggestion that Taliban gunmen had run through the village streets lobbing grenades into houses because villagers had failed to give them a cut of the profits from the opium crop. No evidence was produced for this unlikely tale. Witnesses saw no signs of grenade blasts or machine gun fire. A US official source in Washington eventually admitted that the claim was "thinly sourced".

    Survivors from Gerani, Gangabad and Khoujaha villages say that there had been fighting nearby but the Taliban had long withdrawn when US aircraft attacked. This was not a few errant sticks of bombs but a prolonged bombardment. It had a devastating effect on the mud-brick houses and photographs of the dead show that their bodies were quite literally torn apart by the blasts. This makes it difficult to be precise about the exact number killed, but the Afghan Rights Monitor, after extensive interviewing, says that at least 117 civilians were killed, including 26 women and 61 children.

    The US military has now fallen back on the tired old justification that the enemy was using civilians as human shields. This certainly is not satisfying infuriated Afghans from demonstrating students at Kabul university all the way to President Hamid Karzai. Whatever MarSOC troops thought they were doing in Bala Boluk, the killing of so many civilians will do nothing but strengthen the Taliban."

  14. May 16th, 2009

    KABUL (AFP) — The latest "outrage" of massive civilian casualties in US air strikes needs to be the last if the United States wants to have credibility in Afghanistan, campaign group Human Rights Watch said Friday.

    An investigation ordered by President Hamid Karzai into the strikes in the western province of Farah in early May found 140 civilians were killed, 95 of them aged under 18, and 15 houses destroyed, Afghan officials say.

    "Afghans have heard promises from the US before that they would take all possible steps to avoid civilian casualties," Human Rights Watch's Asia director, Brad Adams, said in a statement.

    "But if the US is to have any credibility, this latest outrage needs to be the last of its kind," he said.

    New York-based Human Rights Watch said accounts from villagers and officials contradicted US statements that the Taliban were responsible for many of the deaths because they had used civilians as "human shields".

    Locals had told HRW investigators that the insurgents had left their area before the most of the bombs hit.

    Dozens of those killed were said to be among villagers who had taken shelter from fighting in the compounds of religious and tribal leaders that were hit by the bombs, it said.

    Villagers have given similar accounts to AFP, saying this is why a high number of women and children were among the dead.

    The Afghan investigation that found 140 people had died was based on local accounts as bodies had already been buried by the time the team arrived.

    HRW said the US military should have known there were many civilians in the village at the time.

    Nine Afghan non-governmental organisations also condemned the "humanitarian tragedy" in a separate statement.

    "Incidents like this one create fear among Afghans, erode support for the government of Afghanistan and the presence of the International Security Assistance Forces, have a negative impact on efforts to build peace," they said.

    The US military meanwhile reiterated that it believed the Farah incident was a deliberate attempt by insurgents to create civilian casualties.

    "They forced them into these buildings and they created this fight," spokesman Colonel Greg Julian told reporters late Thursday.

    "We had no idea that they had forced these people into these buildings, and they were holding them at gunpoint," he said.

    "We own up to it when we're responsible, and I feel that there is a responsibility in this," he said.

    Copyright © 2009 AFP. All rights reserved. More »

  15. http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators

    Saturday, 16 May 2009

    Patrick Cockburn:
    These killings will only strengthen the Taliban

    It is astonishing to discover that the same small American unit, the US Marine Corps' Special Operations or MarSOC, has been responsible for all three of the worst incidents in Afghanistan in which civilians have been killed. Its members refer to themselves as "Taskforce Violence" and the Marines' own command scathingly refers to the unit as "cowboys".

    The US military commanders in Afghanistan must have known about MarSOC's reputation for disregarding the loss of life among Afghan civilians, yet for 10 days, they have flatly denied claims by villagers in the western Afghan province of Farah that more than 100 of their neighbours had been slaughtered by US air strikes.

    Everything the US military has said about the air strikes on the three villages in Bala Boluk district on the evening of 4 May should be treated with suspicion – most probably hastily-concocted lies aimed at providing a cover story to conceal what really happened. Official mendacity of these proportions is comparable to anything that happened in Vietnam.

    The US military now seem to have dropped their previous suggestion that Taliban gunmen had run through the village streets lobbing grenades into houses because villagers had failed to give them a cut of the profits from the opium crop. No evidence was produced for this unlikely tale. Witnesses saw no signs of grenade blasts or machine gun fire. A US official source in Washington eventually admitted that the claim was "thinly sourced".

    Survivors from Gerani, Gangabad and Khoujaha villages say that there had been fighting nearby but the Taliban had long withdrawn when US aircraft attacked. This was not a few errant sticks of bombs but a prolonged bombardment. It had a devastating effect on the mud-brick houses and photographs of the dead show that their bodies were quite literally torn apart by the blasts. This makes it difficult to be precise about the exact number killed, but the Afghan Rights Monitor, after extensive interviewing, says that at least 117 civilians were killed, including 26 women and 61 children.

    The US military has now fallen back on the tired old justification that the enemy was using civilians as human shields. This certainly is not satisfying infuriated Afghans from demonstrating students at Kabul university all the way to President Hamid Karzai. Whatever MarSOC troops thought they were doing in Bala Boluk, the killing of so many civilians will do nothing but strengthen the Taliban."

  16. http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators

    Saturday, 16 May 2009

    Patrick Cockburn:
    These killings will only strengthen the Taliban

    It is astonishing to discover that the same small American unit, the US Marine Corps' Special Operations or MarSOC, has been responsible for all three of the worst incidents in Afghanistan in which civilians have been killed. Its members refer to themselves as "Taskforce Violence" and the Marines' own command scathingly refers to the unit as "cowboys".

    The US military commanders in Afghanistan must have known about MarSOC's reputation for disregarding the loss of life among Afghan civilians, yet for 10 days, they have flatly denied claims by villagers in the western Afghan province of Farah that more than 100 of their neighbours had been slaughtered by US air strikes.

    Everything the US military has said about the air strikes on the three villages in Bala Boluk district on the evening of 4 May should be treated with suspicion – most probably hastily-concocted lies aimed at providing a cover story to conceal what really happened. Official mendacity of these proportions is comparable to anything that happened in Vietnam.

    The US military now seem to have dropped their previous suggestion that Taliban gunmen had run through the village streets lobbing grenades into houses because villagers had failed to give them a cut of the profits from the opium crop. No evidence was produced for this unlikely tale. Witnesses saw no signs of grenade blasts or machine gun fire. A US official source in Washington eventually admitted that the claim was "thinly sourced".

    Survivors from Gerani, Gangabad and Khoujaha villages say that there had been fighting nearby but the Taliban had long withdrawn when US aircraft attacked. This was not a few errant sticks of bombs but a prolonged bombardment. It had a devastating effect on the mud-brick houses and photographs of the dead show that their bodies were quite literally torn apart by the blasts. This makes it difficult to be precise about the exact number killed, but the Afghan Rights Monitor, after extensive interviewing, says that at least 117 civilians were killed, including 26 women and 61 children.

    The US military has now fallen back on the tired old justification that the enemy was using civilians as human shields. This certainly is not satisfying infuriated Afghans from demonstrating students at Kabul university all the way to President Hamid Karzai. Whatever MarSOC troops thought they were doing in Bala Boluk, the killing of so many civilians will do nothing but strengthen the Taliban."

  17. May 16th, 2009

    KABUL (AFP) — The latest “outrage” of massive civilian casualties in US air strikes needs to be the last if the United States wants to have credibility in Afghanistan, campaign group Human Rights Watch said Friday.

    An investigation ordered by President Hamid Karzai into the strikes in the western province of Farah in early May found 140 civilians were killed, 95 of them aged under 18, and 15 houses destroyed, Afghan officials say.

    “Afghans have heard promises from the US before that they would take all possible steps to avoid civilian casualties,” Human Rights Watch’s Asia director, Brad Adams, said in a statement.

    “But if the US is to have any credibility, this latest outrage needs to be the last of its kind,” he said.

    New York-based Human Rights Watch said accounts from villagers and officials contradicted US statements that the Taliban were responsible for many of the deaths because they had used civilians as “human shields”.

    Locals had told HRW investigators that the insurgents had left their area before the most of the bombs hit.

    Dozens of those killed were said to be among villagers who had taken shelter from fighting in the compounds of religious and tribal leaders that were hit by the bombs, it said.

    Villagers have given similar accounts to AFP, saying this is why a high number of women and children were among the dead.

    The Afghan investigation that found 140 people had died was based on local accounts as bodies had already been buried by the time the team arrived.

    HRW said the US military should have known there were many civilians in the village at the time.

    Nine Afghan non-governmental organisations also condemned the “humanitarian tragedy” in a separate statement.

    “Incidents like this one create fear among Afghans, erode support for the government of Afghanistan and the presence of the International Security Assistance Forces, have a negative impact on efforts to build peace,” they said.

    The US military meanwhile reiterated that it believed the Farah incident was a deliberate attempt by insurgents to create civilian casualties.

    “They forced them into these buildings and they created this fight,” spokesman Colonel Greg Julian told reporters late Thursday.

    “We had no idea that they had forced these people into these buildings, and they were holding them at gunpoint,” he said.

    “We own up to it when we’re responsible, and I feel that there is a responsibility in this,” he said.

    Copyright © 2009 AFP. All rights reserved. More »

  18. http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/patrick-cockburn-these-killings-will-only-strengthen-the-taliban-1685705.html

    Saturday, 16 May 2009

    Patrick Cockburn:
    These killings will only strengthen the Taliban

    It is astonishing to discover that the same small American unit, the US Marine Corps’ Special Operations or MarSOC, has been responsible for all three of the worst incidents in Afghanistan in which civilians have been killed. Its members refer to themselves as “Taskforce Violence” and the Marines’ own command scathingly refers to the unit as “cowboys”.

    The US military commanders in Afghanistan must have known about MarSOC’s reputation for disregarding the loss of life among Afghan civilians, yet for 10 days, they have flatly denied claims by villagers in the western Afghan province of Farah that more than 100 of their neighbours had been slaughtered by US air strikes.

    Everything the US military has said about the air strikes on the three villages in Bala Boluk district on the evening of 4 May should be treated with suspicion – most probably hastily-concocted lies aimed at providing a cover story to conceal what really happened. Official mendacity of these proportions is comparable to anything that happened in Vietnam.

    The US military now seem to have dropped their previous suggestion that Taliban gunmen had run through the village streets lobbing grenades into houses because villagers had failed to give them a cut of the profits from the opium crop. No evidence was produced for this unlikely tale. Witnesses saw no signs of grenade blasts or machine gun fire. A US official source in Washington eventually admitted that the claim was “thinly sourced”.

    Survivors from Gerani, Gangabad and Khoujaha villages say that there had been fighting nearby but the Taliban had long withdrawn when US aircraft attacked. This was not a few errant sticks of bombs but a prolonged bombardment. It had a devastating effect on the mud-brick houses and photographs of the dead show that their bodies were quite literally torn apart by the blasts. This makes it difficult to be precise about the exact number killed, but the Afghan Rights Monitor, after extensive interviewing, says that at least 117 civilians were killed, including 26 women and 61 children.

    The US military has now fallen back on the tired old justification that the enemy was using civilians as human shields. This certainly is not satisfying infuriated Afghans from demonstrating students at Kabul university all the way to President Hamid Karzai. Whatever MarSOC troops thought they were doing in Bala Boluk, the killing of so many civilians will do nothing but strengthen the Taliban.”

  19. I guess you guys aren't protesting enough, writing enough letters, organizing enough campaigns or raising enough money. Sucks when the law and sensibility isn't on your side.

    "Victories for LEGAL Detention".

    Here's a couple more for your "the hits keep coming" file:

    **** Judge Bates shows there are still some Judges with enough brains to know the U.S. President is authorized to detain enemy combatants without federal charges.

    WASHINGTON – A federal judge says the United States can continue to hold some prisoners at Guantanamo Bay indefinitely without any charges.

    U.S. District Judge John Bates' opinion issued Tuesday night limited the Obama administration's definition of who can be held. But he said Congress in the days after Sept. 11, 2001 gave the president the authority to hold anyone involved in planning, aiding or carrying out the terrorist attacks.

    Bates' opinion comes amid increasing debate over whether President Barack Obama is going to release anyone from Guantanamo. Obama has promised to close the prison by January, but Senate Democrats say they will block the move until he comes up with a plan for the detainees.

    **** Obama to Restore Bush-era Military Tribunals

    **** Senate Blocks Funds to Close Gitmo (Vote 90-6)

    By a vote of 90-6, the Senate approved an amendment to a war funding bill Wednesday that not only blocks supplemental funds from being used to close Guantanamo and move detainees to U.S. soil, but also orders that no funds already in U.S. coffers be redirected toward that purpose.

    The tide is turning back.

    There are some worthy causes out there, many that A.I. is involved in. You should focus your attention and efforts on those.

    U.S.A. Terror-Free Since 9-11-2001

  20. I guess you guys aren’t protesting enough, writing enough letters, organizing enough campaigns or raising enough money. Sucks when the law and sensibility isn’t on your side.

    “Victories for LEGAL Detention”.

    Here’s a couple more for your “the hits keep coming” file:

    **** Judge Bates shows there are still some Judges with enough brains to know the U.S. President is authorized to detain enemy combatants without federal charges.

    WASHINGTON – A federal judge says the United States can continue to hold some prisoners at Guantanamo Bay indefinitely without any charges.

    U.S. District Judge John Bates’ opinion issued Tuesday night limited the Obama administration’s definition of who can be held. But he said Congress in the days after Sept. 11, 2001 gave the president the authority to hold anyone involved in planning, aiding or carrying out the terrorist attacks.

    Bates’ opinion comes amid increasing debate over whether President Barack Obama is going to release anyone from Guantanamo. Obama has promised to close the prison by January, but Senate Democrats say they will block the move until he comes up with a plan for the detainees.

    **** Obama to Restore Bush-era Military Tribunals

    **** Senate Blocks Funds to Close Gitmo (Vote 90-6)

    By a vote of 90-6, the Senate approved an amendment to a war funding bill Wednesday that not only blocks supplemental funds from being used to close Guantanamo and move detainees to U.S. soil, but also orders that no funds already in U.S. coffers be redirected toward that purpose.

    The tide is turning back.

    There are some worthy causes out there, many that A.I. is involved in. You should focus your attention and efforts on those.

    U.S.A. Terror-Free Since 9-11-2001

  21. http://www.upi.com/Top_News/2009/05/20/Report-Afg

    Published: May 20, 2009 at 10:03 AM

    KABUL, Afghanistan, May 20 (UPI) — Results of a military investigation into a recent U.S. airstrike in Afghanistan indicate the bombings killed up to 30 civilians.

    The U.S. military Wednesday acknowledged "at least 20-30 civilians may have been killed" during fighting, The New York Times reported.

    A review of combat camera footage and cockpit audio recordings indicates three F/A-18s and a B-1 bomber were called to Farah province.

    Col. Greg Julian, a U.S. military spokesman, said, "We regret the loss of any civilian life and express our condolences to the families who lost loved ones."

  22. http://www.upi.com/Top_News/2009/05/20/Report-Afg

    Published: May 20, 2009 at 10:03 AM

    KABUL, Afghanistan, May 20 (UPI) — Results of a military investigation into a recent U.S. airstrike in Afghanistan indicate the bombings killed up to 30 civilians.

    The U.S. military Wednesday acknowledged "at least 20-30 civilians may have been killed" during fighting, The New York Times reported.

    A review of combat camera footage and cockpit audio recordings indicates three F/A-18s and a B-1 bomber were called to Farah province.

    Col. Greg Julian, a U.S. military spokesman, said, "We regret the loss of any civilian life and express our condolences to the families who lost loved ones."

  23. http://www.upi.com/Top_News/2009/05/20/Report-Afg

    Published: May 20, 2009 at 10:03 AM

    KABUL, Afghanistan, May 20 (UPI) — Results of a military investigation into a recent U.S. airstrike in Afghanistan indicate the bombings killed up to 30 civilians.

    The U.S. military Wednesday acknowledged "at least 20-30 civilians may have been killed" during fighting, The New York Times reported.

    A review of combat camera footage and cockpit audio recordings indicates three F/A-18s and a B-1 bomber were called to Farah province.

    Col. Greg Julian, a U.S. military spokesman, said, "We regret the loss of any civilian life and express our condolences to the families who lost loved ones."

  24. http://www.upi.com/Top_News/2009/05/20/Report-Afghan-civilian-deaths-accidental/UPI-25191242828218/

    Published: May 20, 2009 at 10:03 AM

    KABUL, Afghanistan, May 20 (UPI) — Results of a military investigation into a recent U.S. airstrike in Afghanistan indicate the bombings killed up to 30 civilians.

    The U.S. military Wednesday acknowledged “at least 20-30 civilians may have been killed” during fighting, The New York Times reported.

    A review of combat camera footage and cockpit audio recordings indicates three F/A-18s and a B-1 bomber were called to Farah province.

    Col. Greg Julian, a U.S. military spokesman, said, “We regret the loss of any civilian life and express our condolences to the families who lost loved ones.”

  25. Pingback: President Obama Needs to Turn Words Into Action | Human Rights Now - Amnesty International USA Blog