- Co-hosts Michael Ratner and Heidi Boghosian discuss the lawsuit brought against the secret society Skull and Bones to return Geronimo’s skull.
- Geronimo’s Kin Sue Skull and Bones
The conditions at Guantanamo Bay Prison still violate the law, according to an independent report released by the Center for Constitutional Rights. The report, partially compiled from attorney eyewitness accounts and detainees, has found that the conditions of confinement violate Geneva Conventions and international human rights law. Among the violations are the severe isolation of solitary confinement, psychological abuse, abusive force-feeding of hunger strikers, religious abuse, and physical abuse or threats of violence from guards and from the Immediate Reaction Force (IRF) team.
- The executive order that President Obama issued on Jan 22 tasked the Sec. Of Defense with conducting a review of Guantanamo.
- Basically, asking the person who was in charge of Guantanamo for years to investigate operations there.
- It’s more on of an internal review than an outside independent one and its not surprising that they think all is fine and well in GTMO
- We have the impression that they’ve only spoken with about a dozen detainees out of the 240 plus.
- Detainees in Camp 6 are held in cells that are 6×8 feet. There are no windows. They are in them for 20-22 hours a day.
- There are no openings except a metal food slot, and a window into the interior of the prison that allows guards to look in.
- Their compliant behavior within Camp 6 determines whether they can go to an open air cell for two hours and pace.
- In Camp 5, it is similar, no natural air or light, the lights are on 24 hours a day,
- One detainee who is 17 is smearing feces around the cell and banging his head on concrete.
- As a consequence he is subject to physical abuse by the Immediate Reaction Force IRF team, (riot squad style guards) who beat him up, and spray tear gas in the cell.
- This is the response to someone who needs competent, caring psychological help.
- In January, there were about 70 detainees on hunger strikes. They use force feeding chairs. The chairs are made by a company in Iowa who calls them “padded cells on wheels.”
- The person is fully strapped to this chair while a 12 inch tube is forcibly inserted up their nose and down into their stomachs to allow about a 1.5 liter of formula to be pumped into their stomachs.
- Often during this force feeding process, there are guards around them humiliating them, making jokes.
Guest – Pardiss Kebriaei, Staff Attorney with the Guantanamo Global Justice Initiative at the Center For Constitutional Rights
Amnesty International – Fueling Conflict: Foreign Arms Supplies to Israel/Gaza
Last month Amnesty International released an in depth report detailing fresh evidence that the weapons used during the Israel-Gaza conflict earlier this year were supplied abroad. The report tracked countries supplied arms to both Israel and Hamas–weapons such as white phosphorus, anti-tank mines, air delivered munitions and flechettes, which are 4 centimeter darts packed by the thousands into artillery shells.
The report also unearthed multiple violations of humanitarian law and in some cases, war crimes. Flechettes, for example, are not specifically banned under international humanitarian law, but they contributed to unlawful killings of and injuries to civilians.
- There were fragments from the US-made Hellfire missile where 3 paramedics were killed.
- International military law is clear about attacks on medical personnel.
- White phosphorus burns at a temperature of 1500 degrees.
- Using white phosphorus indiscriminately as a smoke screen creates a situation where it injures and kills civilians.
- Israel had not used white phosphorus in Gaza before. Watch video
- White phosphorus burns right through the skin to the bone, very difficult to stop.
- Palestinians doctors did not know how to treat white phosphorus burns, so civilians were dying from minor burns. Some WP munitions are US made and some are not.
- Potential violations of the Arms Control Act
Guest – Colby Goodman, Policy Director for Military, Security, and Police Transfers at Amnesty International USA (AIUSA). Colby he leads AIUSA’s research and analysis on issues related to conventional arms control and child soldiers in support of AIUSA’s major campaigns and issue or country advocacy.
EPIC RECESSION AND GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS
There are other economic solutions and proposals that are critical of the $787 billion Economic Stimulus Plan. Dr. Jack Rasmus’s recent article in Z Magazine titled “Obama’s Economic Plan vs. an Alternative” lays out a different recovery program in 20 measures that could stimulate job growth, run an alternative tax plan and a push through single payer health plan. His Z Magazine article is a snapshot from his newly published book titled Epic Recession and Global Financial Crisis.
Dr. Jack Rasmus: – “We are in an Epic Recession phase now, not a normal recession.”
- Banks come first, trickle down. Maybe they’ll give something to the rest of us which they don’t.
- We’ve see a virtual bankers strike for the last six months, we’ve thrown somewhere between $2 and $3 trillion at the banks with the hope they’ll loan a bit out with a lower interest rate. Of course, we know they’re not doing that, they’re paying each other big bonuses, dividends and acquiring each other.
- The commercial money center banks are broke. Zombie banks, banks by name only.
- It’s a solvency crisis, the banks are in default and are not going to loan.
I) Stimulus Bill – 789 Billion of Tax Cuts and Spending
- Designed to slow the accelerating collapse of consumption.
- Not designed to reverse massive unemployment which is gaining momentum. Since 2007 – 13 million unemployed. 20 million unemployed by 2009.
- We’re losing 400 billion dollars just from the now 10 million unemployed. Add in 401k collapse, stocks collapsing, credit cards cut off, long term rates rising, reduction in hours worked occurring, state and local tax and fee increases, state and local funds decreasing.
- Obama is changing rhetoric from creating 3 million new jobs to saving and creating 3 million jobs.
II) Big Bank Bailout
- What to do about the bad assets of commercial banks.
- Securitize Markets – Auto/Credit Cards/Student Loans
- Insurance Scheme Proposal – Instead of giving banks money they’ll insure them. Taking the Citigroup Bailout Plan Model – $300 billion back up.
III) Housing Industry – Mortgage modification
- Give the mortgage lenders money – $600 billion – and hopefully they’ll stop going on strike and they’ll lower the interest rates.
- No way out of housing crisis without nationalizing housing market.
- Create a new government agency and properly fund it, – $900 billion – it would create a small residential and business loan agency.
- Go in there and reduce long term principle and interest to long term averages that existed before 2002’s run up of huge speculation.
- That would be for all loans, not just the ones in foreclosure, which would stimulate consumption not just shore up housing industry.
- Similar to the Homeowners Loan Corporation of the 1930s
- Auto Companies – You can’t just have 3 US auto companies surviving. They have to be nationalized if they’re going to put that much government money into them.
- We don’t give them a penny unless they stop their investment and expansions overseas.
- Ford is building big plants in St. Petersburg, Russia. GM is building big plants in Shanghai, China. Immediately they should be required to build cars with proper mileage.
- Bring back $2 trillion of the $6 trillion that’s been stuff away in offshore tax havens in the last 20 years.
Guest – Author and Professor Jack Rasmus, teaches in the Department of Economics and Politics at St. Mary’s College, Moraga, California.