Monday, March 21, 2011

Victories, Resistance, War Crimes, Murders And Disasters: A99, ACLU, Libya, Quantico, USA, Wiki Leaks, Yemen and More…

Victories, Resistance, War Crimes, Murders And Disasters:  A99, ACLU, Libya, Quantico, USA, WikiLeaks, Yemen and More…

Daniel Ellsberg of Pentagon Papers fame and retired US colonel Ann Wright were among 30 activists detained amid the peaceful demonstration at Quantico. Dozens of activists, including the man who leaked the Pentagon Papers on the Vietnam War, were arrested Sunday at a military base holding the US soldier suspected of leaking secret US cables, supporters said. READ MORE

VICTORY! Court Says Plaintiffs Can Challenge Bush Wiretapping Law

In a huge victory for privacy and the rule of law, a federal appeals court today reinstated our landmark lawsuit challenging the FISA Amendments Act (FAA), a statute that gives the executive branch virtually unchecked power to collect Americans' international e-mails and telephone calls.
The ACLU filed the lawsuit on behalf of a broad coalition of attorneys and human rights, labor, legal and media organizations whose work requires them to engage in sensitive and sometimes privileged telephone and e-mail communications with colleagues, clients, journalistic sources, witnesses, experts, foreign government officials and victims of human rights abuses located outside the United States.
A federal district court dismissed the case in August 2009, ruling that the plaintiffs did not have the right to challenge the new surveillance law because they could not prove that their own communications had been monitored under it.
But with the support of law professors, the NYC Bar Association, the Reporters' Committee for Freedom of the Press and many others, we appealed that decision to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.
Today, the appeals court reversed the lower court decision, finding that the plaintiffs have standing to challenge the law even though they cannot show to a certainty that the government is acquiring their communications. According to today's ruling, "the FAA has put the plaintiffs in a lose-lose situation: either they can continue to communicate sensitive information electronically and bear a substantial risk of being monitored under a statute they allege to be unconstitutional, or they can incur financial and professional costs to avoid being monitored. Either way, the FAA directly affects them."
In a statement today, ACLU Deputy Legal Director Jameel Jaffer said:
The government's surveillance practices should not be immune from judicial review, and this decision ensures that they won't be. The law we've challenged permits the government to conduct dragnet surveillance of Americans' international communications, and it has none of the safeguards that the Constitution requires. Now that the appeals court has recognized that our clients have the right to challenge the law, we look forward to pressing that challenge in the trial court.
Learn more about the surveillance: Subscribe to our newsletterfollow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook.  -03/21/2011 –

Der Spiegel Publishes Photos of U.S. Soldiers Posing with Afghan Civilians They Killed


Soldiers have always taken gruesome war trophies. The fact is, killing people for a living (or defending yourself from people who are trying to kill you) makes people, even normal people, a lot more sick and twisted than they were before they started doing it. That's why we shouldn't send people off to war without a very, very good reason: because they have deep psychic wounds that often make them unsuited for life after war. I'm very angry when troops do things like this, but I'm even angrier at the people who sent them there:


Commanders in Afghanistan are bracing themselves for possible riots and public fury triggered by the publication of "trophy" photographs of US soldiers posing with the dead bodies of defenceless Afghan civilians they killed.



This image shows the body of Gul Mudin, the son of a farmer, who was killed on Jan. 15, 2010. A member of the "kill team" is posing behind him. SPIEGEL published just three photos out of the some 4,000 images and videos it has seen. Court martial proceedings against the soldiers involved in the killings are to begin soon.


Quantico Sunday when 400+ people blocked Route 1 outside the base, protesting the solitary confinement and abuse of accused Army whistle-blower Bradley Manning.  Dan Ellsberg, Ann Wright, Elaine Brower, Elliott Adams, and 28 others sat down in the road, and were later roughly arrested by police in riot gear, backed up by horses.  We are so proud of their action, which draws more attention to how the government is abusing Manning.

See video, photos, and news coverage.

Washington Post: About 35 arrested outside Va. base at rally for Army private suspected of helping Wikileaks

CNN: Hundreds protest treatment of alleged WikiLeaks whistleblower

Watch Daniel Ellsberg, Ann Wright, Elaine Brower, David House and others speaking out at the Quantico rally (Firedoglake video) Photos and Reports

World Can't Wait Photos

More photos and reports from this weekend on World Can't Wait's Facebook page (which just hit 5,000 fans - are you one of them?)

Andy Borowitz on Fox Non-News
"Afraid to Watch the News, Millions Turn to Fox" -- With unprecedented crises engulfing the world, millions of television viewers are finding the news too stressful to watch—and are turning to the Fox News Channel instead.

Call off the coronation—the media’s caught on to the slow motion implosion of Sarah Palin’s popularity, and with it her prospective presidential campaign.

A new Washington Post/ABC News poll found that Palin’s approval ratings among Republicans had declined by double digits since October, while her “strongly unfavorable” rating reached 17 percent among the GOP and 28 percent among Republican-leaning independents. This shift in the conservative populist tide provoked a series of memorable (and frankly enviable) headlines like “The Incredible Shrinking Sarah Palin” from Politico and other outlets…

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