You are hereCivil Rights
U.S. newspapers sometimes print what they call the total death count from one or more of our wars, and all the dead who are listed are Americans. They aren't all the Americans. They don't include contractors or suicides or various other categories of dead Americans. They certainly don't include those who died for lack of basic needs while we dumped half of our public treasury into wars.
From David Swanson:
I'm looking forward to speaking at the Athens Human Rights Festival in Athens, Ga., on May 14 and 15, 2011.
I'm also looking forward to hearing the great line-up of speakers, poets, singers, and musicians.
Here's the schedule.
This festival began in 1979 to commemorate the ninth anniversary of the Kent State murders. That first year, Gene Guerrero (Director - Georgia American Civil Liberties Union) urged students to oppose the reinstatement of the draft. Attorney Hue Henry criticized UGA President Fred Davison's "pattern of arrogance" and supported the Free Speech Task Force's lawsuit against the Board of Regents' policy of preventing students from addressing Board meetings. Gary Appelson (Athenians for Clean Energy) appealed for unity to fight nuclear power. Promoting solar energy, Appelson said, "We think we are free to go to war and to interfere in the Middle East. Americans are oil junkies." Tommy Jordan played acoustic guitar and has performed at every festival since.
At the 1981 festival, Dave Dellinger warned, "If the world is going to survive, the resurgence of the peace movement must continue," and Elton Manzione (Vietnam Veterans Against the War and Grass Roots Organizing Workshop - GROW) spoke from his experience as a Navy SEAL.
The history of the Athens Human Rights Festival is one of relentless support for human rights, including the rights of humans targeted by the United States military.
This is an example to most U.S. human rights groups.
And the music makes this event an example for most activist productions. This is the revolution with the music.
I hope to see you there:
SATURDAY May 14th 10 a.m. to midnight
SUNDAY 2 pm to 10 pm
College Square, Athens, Ga.
Rain or Shine.
Upcoming public events:
Saturday, April 30, 2011
3:15 - 5:15 pm Book signing at Los Angeles Times Festival of Books ( http://events.latimes.com/festivalofbooks ), at the Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace ( http://www.icujp.org ) booth, Booth 921.
University of Southern California
7:30 - 9:30 pm "The Costs of War" with David Swanson, Chris Hedges, Paul Chappell, and Lewis Logan, moderated by Ameena Mirza Qazi.
United University Church at the University of Southern California
817 W 34th St, Los Angeles, CA
1. More Americans learned much more of the information that Ellsberg made public.
2. It was always assumed that Ellsberg would have a trial (as of course he did), whereas I see no reason to assume Manning ever will. (I'm almost alone in this, but - hey - it's my list.)
3. They tried to kill Ellsberg but did not torture him.
4. Ellsberg was out on personal recognizance, while Manning has been held in an isolated 6x12 cell for the better part of a year.
5. We had a relatively good commmunications system back then.
6. We had a Congress.
7. We had relatively good courts, and courts outside the military were in play.
8. The info Ellsberg leaked was more top secret than Manning's and known to a handful of people, not the crowds of loyal drones with access to Manning's who did nothing.
9. Nixon didn't have Democratic Party Immunity.
10. Ellsberg, now in his 80s, is known to be saner and sharper than most living humans, while Bradley Manning's mental health is now, as a result of his torture at the hands of Obama's Marine Corps, very much in doubt.
Spain is pursuing a case against former top U.S. officials who authorized the use of torture, including David Addington, Jay Bybee, Douglas Feith, William Haynes, John Yoo, and Alberto Gonzales. U.S. activist groups have been encouraging Spain in this endeavor.
Sweden banned censorship and guaranteed free speech in 1766, 10 years before the Declaration of Independence in the American British colonies, and -- apart from shameful episodes of caving in to dictatorships and Nazis -- has pretty well kept it in place.
Sweden banned the death penalty and has not used it since 1910.
Now, Sweden has an opportunity to punish the speech of a Nobel Peace Prize nominee with the death penalty by extraditing Julian Assange to the United States to be put on trial.
Dear Sweden, what will you do? You've led the way toward civility. You've banned not only the death penalty but violence up to and including spanking. You gave refuge to Denmark's Jews. You gave birth to my grandfather. Usually I look to you for leadership.
As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday about the failures of foreign leaders to respect people's freedoms, a 71-year-old U.S. veteran Army officer, a man who spent 27 years in the CIA and delivered presidential daily briefs, a peace activist and proponent of nonviolence, the man who famously confronted Donald Rumsfeld for his war lies, the man who drafted our letter to Spain and delivered it to the Spanish Embassy on Monday, our friend Ray McGovern turned his back in silence. As Clinton continued to speak about respecting the rights of protesters, her guards -- including a uniformed policeman and an unidentified plain-clothed official -- grabbed Ray, dragged him off violently, brutalized him, double-cuffed him with metal handcuffs, and left him bleeding in jail. As he was hauled away (see video), Ray shouted "So this is America?" Clinton went right on mouthing her hypocrisies without a pause.
Tell Hillary Clinton what you think of this behavior at 202-647-4000.
Ray told Rob Kall at OpEdNews what he had been protesting by standing silently with his back turned:
"Hillary is the driving force, together with a few others, behind the wars in Afghanistan. She's one of the big hawks in Iran. When I look at her and her husband that they don't know the first thing about war. I do and so do my fellow Veterans for Peace. I have to make clear that we Veterans for Peace think that her policies are an abomination to the nation, that they are at cross purposes to the country and not everybody should applaud and give her the idea that she's doing the right thing."
"I knew that Hillary knew, at the beginning of the war, that Hillary knew how things would go. There was a young lady who was working as Hillary Clinton's personal staff chief, when she was a senator in 2002 and 2003, was in a class I taught in DC and I'd ask her to give her boss articles I wrote. And she did give them to her. So I know that. She made a political calculation that she needed to be strong because she was a woman even though she knew from us that the unintended consequences would be catastrophic. She knew all that and made that calculation."
"The height of irony, of course, is that was her tragic flaw that let Obama beat her. She supported the war and Obama didn't. She is the height of hypocrisy. When people die because we have hypocrites at the top of our government, that compels me to make a statement in whatever way I can. It was not the theme of her speech that I was protesting. It was her war policies and support of Mubarak."
"They grabbed me and the shock wore off. There was a real struggle. I shouted, 'This is America.' Then I said, 'Who are you?' This is a mystery to me. Who were they? The guy in the suit was the one who did the damage. He was brutal."
"They took me outside, put two sets of iron handcuffs that pierced my wrists. The bleeding went all over my pants. One guy said, "I pricked my finger" like it was his blood."
"I was bleeding in the car so I said 'I think you need to put some gauze on me.' They handed me to the DC police and they told I was being charged with disorderly conduct. I was booked, fingerprinted, mug shot taken. They put me in a little cell -- must be the same size as Bradley Manning's-- about six by four feet."
"It was about three hours that they held me until they let me out. I had to take a cab to the hospital where they x-ray'd me, treated me and dressed my wounds. Then the doctors told me that since this was an assault on me, I had to inform the police about who had assaulted me. A little humor helped then."
Ray compared this incident to his earlier questioning of Donald Rumsfeld, an incident in which Ray did not stand in silent protest but rather waited for his turn at the microphone and did something U.S. journalists tend not to: asked uncomfortable questions:
"When Clinton started talking about how people beat up and arrested people in Iran, it gave some poetic justice, a great irony, to my standing there and what happened to me then, when she's talking about what happened in other countries and there I am being handled in a vicious way...God knows what would happen next. Maybe some senior would ask her questions [she doesn't take questions]. As bad as Donald Rumsfeld was, he let me speak. He let me speak and engaged me in dialog."
"At the same [Rumsfeld] speech, there was a courageous guy who stood with his back to Rumsfeld the entire speech. They left him completely alone and he walked out at the end, unbothered. Four years later, things have changed.
Tell Hillary Clinton what you think of this behavior at 202-647-4000.
If you've wanted to be part of a powerful effort to bring Bush-era officials to justice for their crimes, now is your chance. We've joined a national effort to reach out to the people of Spain, whose courts are considering prosecuting six of Bush's lawyers under international law. Our campaign includes an open letter and ads in prominent Spanish newspapers and billboards.
Even though the Obama administration has been working hard behind the scenes to stop this, our friends at the Center for Constitutional Rights have already submitted proof to the Spanish courts that our government is not taking action under international law and treaties. Now is our chance - we can keep the wheels of justice turning by doing people-to-people diplomacy now.
Here's what you do: Read and sign the letter to the Spanish people at http://rootsaction.org
WarIsACrime.org's name is behind it. The letter will go to the Spanish embassy and consulates across the country on Monday - Valentine's Day. We'll also bring Spanish officials flowers and invite the media. You can join us in these events. Get details at http://rootsaction.org
But we can't stop there. We've designed a billboard and newspaper advertisement that says in Spanish, "Please do what the U.S. won't. Prosecute torturers." We are raising money to place ads and billboards around Madrid where the country's leaders will see that there are Americans who want the case to continue.
We need to raise $30k to make this happen, so please consider a generous donation toward bringing the message directly to the Spanish people. Read and sign the letter at http://rootsaction.org