We’ve come a long way from the Magna Carta to legalizing torture and “kill lists”!Friday June 15, 2012, happened to be the 797th anniversary of the day certain feudal barons in England confronted King John and asked him to guarantee a “charter of liberties” which eventually became the Magna Carta. So it was an appropriate day in June 2012: Torture Awareness Month, to think about the legal issues that have emerged with Eric Holder’s and other Obama lawyers’ equating of “due process” with the latest CIA and Pentagon “baseball cards kill list”. Passers-by marked the Magna Carta anniversary from 11 am to 1 pm outside the Federal Courthouse in Minneapolis by taking a look at our well-footnoted display of visual panels tracing this once-proud history and contemplating some of the hard legal questions that naturally arise. The ACLU has brought an active FOIA lawsuit seeking release of the recent Office of Legal Counsel memo that, according to Attorney General Holder, somehow gamely opines that “due process” can be any process that we do. It does not have to be “judicial process” but can instead be a CIA or Pentagon Power-Point as long as it’s carefully and secretly compiled and put on glossy baseball cards. But some of us who didn’t go to Harvard or Yale might question the soundness of this new-fangled targeted killing doctrine that seems to turn the Magna Carta on its head! http://dl.dropbox.com/u/49024523/120611%20TORTURE-TIMELINE-COMPLETE-LARGE-FILE.pdf Friday June 15, 2012, happened to be the 797th anniversary of the day certain feudal barons in England confronted King John and asked him to guarantee a “charter of liberties” which eventually became the Magna Carta. So it was an appropriate day in June 2012: Torture Awareness Month, to think about the legal issues that have emerged with Eric Holder’s and other Obama lawyers’ equating of “due process” with the latest CIA and Pentagon “baseball cards kill list”. Passers-by marked the Magna Carta anniversary from 11 am to 1 pm outside the Federal Courthouse in Minneapolis by taking a look at our well-footnoted display of visual panels tracing this once-proud history and contemplating some of the hard legal questions that naturally arise. The ACLU has brought an active FOIA lawsuit seeking release of the recent Office of Legal Counsel memo that, according to Attorney General Holder, somehow gamely opines that “due process” can be any process that we do. It does not have to be “judicial process” but can instead be a CIA or Pentagon Power-Point as long as it’s carefully and secretly compiled and put on glossy baseball cards. But some of us who didn’t go to Harvard or Yale might question the soundness of this new-fangled targeted killing doctrine that seems to turn the Magna Carta on its head! http://dl.dropbox.com/u/49024523/120611%20TORTURE-TIMELINE-COMPLETE-LARGE-FILE.pdf

Friday June 15, 2012, happened to be the 797th anniversary of the day certain feudal barons in England confronted King John and asked him to guarantee a “charter of liberties” which eventually became the Magna Carta. So it was an appropriate day in June 2012: Torture Awareness Month, to think about the legal issues that have emerged with Eric Holder’s and other Obama lawyers’ equating of “due process” with the latest CIA and Pentagon “baseball cards kill list”. Passers-by marked the Magna Carta anniversary from 11 am to 1 pm outside the Federal Courthouse in Minneapolis by taking a look at our well-footnoted display of visual panels tracing this once-proud history and contemplating some of the hard legal questions that naturally arise.   

The ACLU has brought an active FOIA lawsuit seeking release of the recent Office of Legal Counsel memo that, according to Attorney General Holder, somehow gamely opines that “due process” can be any process that we do.  It does not have to be “judicial process” but can instead be a CIA or Pentagon Power-Point as long as it’s carefully and secretly compiled and put on glossy baseball cards.  But some of us who didn’t go to Harvard or Yale might question the soundness of this new-fangled targeted killing doctrine that seems to turn the Magna Carta on its head!

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/49024523/120611%20TORTURE-TIMELINE-COMPLETE-LARGE-FILE.pdf
 

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Sign and Share this Petition: Investigate Betrayal of Nobel Peace Prize!

The Nobel Prize Foundation and other Nobel Prize Awarding Institutions should be thanked for their century-long efforts to educate and hopefully bring about more peace in the world.  At the same time, however, these institutions must be made aware that their efforts are increasingly undermined, and deeply perverted by their growing departure from the original criteria set forth in Alfred Nobel’s will for selecting the recipient of the Peace Prize.  Such continual disregard of the original intent of the “Peace” Prize actually serves to enable the waging of war, fulfilling Orwell’s prediction about how propaganda works in making people believe that “war is peace”.  Obviously the majority of officials and people involved with the various Nobel Organizations and Nobel Peace Forum sponsors are not intending to do this, to help the cause of war and militarism.  They  simply have not conducted the self examination necessary to realize how seriously off-track the Peace Prize has gone.  Similarly it took a lot for Alfred Nobel himself to see the light, that his invention of dynamite would be used for violent wars and murder.  So it’s understandable how so many organizers and sponsors could simply be oblivious to the underlying problem. 

The purpose of our on-line petition is to get more Nobel Peace Prize officials to critically think!  Please consider signing and then sharing the petition with everyone you know in order to get more signatories to support the ongoing investigation launched by Norwegian peace author and researcher Fredrik. S. Heffermehl.

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Sign and Share this Petition: Investigate Betrayal of the Nobel Peace Prize

 

Nobel Prize Foundation and other Nobel Prize Awarding Institutions should be thanked for their century-long efforts to educate and hopefully bring about more peace in the world.  At the same time, however, these institutions must be made aware that their efforts are increasingly undermined, and deeply perverted by their growing departure from the original criteria set forth in Alfred Nobel’s will for selecting the recipient of the Peace Prize.  Such continual disregard of the original intent of the “Peace” Prize actually serves to enable the waging of war, fulfilling Orwell’s prediction about how propaganda works in making people believe that “war is peace”.  Obviously the majority of officials and people involved with the various Nobel Organizations and Nobel Peace Forum sponsors are not intending to do this, to help the cause of war and militarism.  They  simply have not conducted the self examination necessary to realize how seriously off-track the Peace Prize has gone.  Similarly it took a lot for Alfred Nobel himself to see the light, that his invention of dynamite would be used for violent wars and murder.  So it’s understandable how so many organizers and sponsors could simply be oblivious to the underlying problem. 

The purpose of our on-line petition is to get more Nobel Peace Prize officials to critically think!  Please consider signing and the sharing with everyone you know to support the ongoing investigation launched by Norwegian peace author and researcher Fredrik S. Heffermehl.  

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Republican Golfing, Political Kabuki Theater and W.A.R. (Wasted American Resources)

As you can see, the John Boehner-Minnesota Golfing Fundraiser in Minnesota enjoyed beautiful weather on Wednesday August 17, 2011.  So did our Come Home America group as we traveled to Wayzata, Minnesota to banner outside the event.  We had read that House Speaker John Boehner, Rep. Michele Bachmann, Rep. Erik Paulsen, Rep. John Kline and Rep. Chip Cravaack would be hosting the $10,000 a person golf tournament and dinner fundraiser at the Spring Hill Golf Club.  Shortly after we arrived, however, outside the gated (and apparently exclusive) Spring Hill club, we were met by golf course employees who told us there was no such event on their greens.  Eventually (and probably to get us away from their club), the Spring Hill Golf crew advised us that the Republican fundraiser had been relocated a couples miles away to the Wayzata Country Club.

 Numerous police officials lined the driveway to the Wayzata Golf Club and directed us to a narrow strip of “free speech area” marked with orange cones on the side of the road. As soon as we put up our banners, we started to get honks of approval from passing traffic. 

 

 About a half hour later, a much larger group of activists was bused to the location by “Minnesotans for a Fair Economy” (identified in news reports as affiliated with “Move-On”) and the SEIU union.  These activists walked back and forth as in a picket line, carrying signs and yelling chants demanding jobs.  A plane flew overhead dragging a sky message saying, “Where’s our piece of the pie? Jobs Now!”  Puppet heads drove by in a limousine mocking the politicians believed to be golfing. We graciously moved to the side of the free speech area to give the Move-On people more room for their political theatre. 

 We got the chance, it turned out, to convey our points about the destructiveness of US wars as much to the “liberal protesters” as to the Republican golfers. We didn’t get much of a response, however, when we asked Move-On chanters to recall that there ARE plenty of jobs still available—although they may not be exactly what they’re looking for—with war contractors and in the U.S. military.  Nor did the organizers of the politically partisan Move-On group seem to want to pick up on our questions: “Guns or butter? War or Social Security?” or “Endless War = Endless Debt”. 


 Of course the bigger question is why is it that some of the “liberal protesters” who led the charge against Bush’s wars in the 2006 and 2008 elections find it difficult to criticize Obama’s wars?  Unfortunately the Move-On group relegated itself to a script that falsely separates the many domestic economic problems of the United States from its foreign policy, its decade of costly pre-emptive wars and mounting national debt.  

 

Although the two party kabuki theatre often ignores it, there is a growing consensus that our nation’s economic problems are linked to its costly wars.    

 (co-written with Robert Palmer, member of Minnesota Branch of non-partisan Come Home America.  Originally posted on “Minnesota Progressive Project“.)

 

 

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