Veteran Industrial band Skinny Puppy have objected to their disturbingly dark music being played to discombobulate inmates at Guantanamo, and plan to “charge” the government for doing so. They are not the first band to express such objections.
Robbie Martin, Abby Martin and Laurie Kirchner host this edition of Media Roots Radio. We talk about Charlie Sheen’s squelched opportunity to bring up his politics while the world watched him “win”, new updates on Bradley Manning’s detention, the campaign to de-fund Planned Parenthood, women’s rights, and sex: the over-sexualized nature of advertising and sex censorship in the US compared to other countries.
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9:12am UK, Friday April 23, 2010
Peter Sharp, China correspondent
Health authorities are planning to sterilise nearly 10,000 people in southern China over the next four days as part of a population control programme.
Some of the people in Puning City will be forced to have the procedure carried out against their will.
Amnesty International says forced sterilisation “amounts to torture”.
Reports in the Chinese media say that Puning Health authorities in Guangdong Province have launched a special campaign to sterilise people who already have at least one child in order to ensure local birth control quotas are met.
Chinese newspaper reports say that those who refuse to be sterilised have seen their elderly mothers or fathers taken away and detained.
Hundreds of people in Puning are said to have been locked up.
Kate Allen, Director of Amnesty International UK, said: “It is appalling that the authorities are subjecting people to such an invasive procedure against their will.
“Reports that relatives are imprisoned as a means of pressurising couples into submitting to surgery are incredibly concerning.
“The Puning City authorities must condemn this practice immediately and ensure that others are not forcibly sterilised.”
More than 1,300 people in the city have been held in local government buildings where they were given “lectures” on China’s family planning regulations.
Huang Ruifeng is the father of three girls.
“Several days ago, a village official called me and asked me or my wife to return for the surgery,” Huang told the local paper. “Otherwise they would take away my father.”
His father was later rounded up and detained by the authorities.
According to Puning rules, farmers are allowed to have a second child if the first child was a girl.
“DO NOT CROSS THE LINE”
According to a document obtained by the ACLU under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) on Tuesday March 16, the 9/11 commission was warned on Jan. 6th, 2004 by high-level administration officials to “not cross the line” in the investigation of the events that occurred on Sept. 11, 2001.
The document is available at http://www.aclu.org/files/assets/CIA.pdf
Here’s a copy of the letter in question (page 26 of the PDF document).
Department of Defense
Department of Justice
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States
Thomas H. Kean, Chairman
Lee H. Hamilton, Vice Chairman
Your staff has advised us that the Commission seeks to participate in the questioning of certain enemy combatants detained in the war against terrorists of global reach. Such action by the Commission would substantially interfere with the ability of the United States to perform its law enforcement, defense and intelligence functions in the protection of the American people.
Your legislative commission has had extraordinary — indeed, unprecedented in the annals of American history — access to many of the Nation’s most sensitive secrets in the conduct of its work, including detainee information. In response to the Commission’s expansive requests for access to secrets, the executive branch has provided such access in full cooperation. There is, however, a line that the Commission should not cross — the line separating the Commission’s proper inquiry into the September 11, 2001 attacks from interference with the Government’s ability to safeguard the national security, including protection of Americans from future terrorist attacks. The Commission staffs proposed participation in questioning of detainees would cross that line.
As the officers of the United States responsible for the law enforcement, defense and intelligence functions of the Government, we urge your Commission to not further pursue the proposed request to participate in the questioning of detainees.
John Ashcroft, Attorney General
Donald H. Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
George J. Tenet, Director of Central Intelligence
9/11 Commission findings based on torture
In December of 2009, we have published an important article titled “Much of 9/11 Commission findings cite intelligence garnered by torture” in which we describe that much of the material cited in the 9/11 Commission’s findings was derived from war detainees during brutal CIA interrogations authorized by the Bush administration. In fact, information derived from the interrogations was central to the 9/11 Report’s most critical chapters, those on the planning and execution of the attacks.
The CIA has since revealed that in 2005 it destroyed videotapes of prisoners being tortured.
When asked by MSNBC News anchor if “under duress, will people tell the truth if tortured?” former CIA officer Robert Baer answered “under duress, under the threat of duress, people will tell what they think you want to hear. It is an unreliable tool. And the reason I say this is I have spent 21 years in the CIA, in and out of prisons watching these techniques, one way or another, reading reports, and the countries that torture, uniformly produce inaccurate intelligence. Torture does not work.”
They also talk about Khalid Shaikh Mohammed who has been waterboarded over 183 times.
The below text is a excerpt of the Examiner.com article on this newly released memo
The warning in the memo released by the government to the ACLU is just one example of how the Bush administration fiercely struggled to prevent the 9/11 Commission from conducting a deeper probe into the attacks. It is common knowledge that Bush and Cheney refused to cooperate with the investigation and when forced to do so, only testified together, not under oath.
9/11 Commissioners criticism
What may not be known to many Americans is that members of the 9/11 Commission have publicly stated that the investigation was a whitewash, and stymied from the beginning.
John Farmer, the senior counsel to the 9/11 Commission, said that the government agreed not to tell the truth about 9/11, echoing the assertions of fellow 9/11 Commission members who concluded that the Pentagon was engaged in deliberate deception about their response to the attack.
Senator Max Cleland, who resigned from the 9/11 Commission after calling it a “national scandal”, stated in a 2003 PBS interview:
“I’m saying that’s deliberate. I am saying that the delay in relating this information to the American public out of a hearing… series of hearings, that several members of Congress knew eight or ten months ago, including Bob Graham and others, that was deliberately slow walked… the 9/11 Commission was deliberately slow walked, because the Administration’s policy was, and its priority was, we’re gonna take Saddam Hussein out.”
— Senator Max Cleland, former 9/11 Commissioner who resigned after calling it a “national scandal”
On Democracy Now, Cleland also said, “One of these days we will have to get the full story because the 9-11 issue is so important to America. But this White House wants to cover it up”.
In 2006 the Washington Post reported that several members of the 9/11 Commission suspected deception on part of the Pentagon:
Some staff members and commissioners of the Sept. 11 panel concluded that the Pentagon’s initial story of how it reacted to the 2001 terrorist attacks may have been part of a deliberate effort to mislead the commission and the public rather than a reflection of the fog of events on that day, according to sources involved in the debate.
9/11 Commissioner Bob Kerry also has unanswered questions. According to an article in Salon.com, he believes that there are legitimate reasons to believe an alternative version to the official story.”There are ample reasons to suspect that there may be some alternative to what we outlined in our version,” Kerry said. The commission had limited time and limited resources to pursue its investigation, and its access to key documents and witnesses was obstructed by government agencies and key administration officials.
Commissioner Tim Roemer suggested that Commission members were considering a criminal probe of false statements. “We were extremely frustrated with the false statements we were getting,”Roemer told CNN. “We were not sure of the intent, whether it was to deceive the commission or merely part of the fumbling bureaucracy.”
The document that the ACLU has obtained corroborates what officials involved in the 9/11 Commission have been saying for years. The entire “investigation” was nothing more than a whitewash designed to hide the facts about 9/11 from the American people.