Daily archives: January 23, 2006

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Who’s the Biggest Terrorist Of All?

By Jeremy Pikser in Yahoo News

On Friday night I had the pleasure of seeing a truly great and courageous American, Harry Belafonte, make opening remarks at The Commission on Crimes Against Humanity Committed by the Bush Administration held at Riverside Church in New York.

Belafonte, who several years ago got mainstream punditry all upset by calling Colin Powell a house slave, has shaken things up again by calling George W. Bush “the world’s greatest terrorist.”

It didn’t take long for the right wing “patriotic” yahoos to call for his scalp. How dare he?! It’s outrageous! It’s treasonous! But has anyone stopped to ask… is it true?

The reasonably conservative estimate of civilian deaths caused by Bush’s unprovoked attack on the sovereign state of Iraq (defined by the Nuremburg War Crimes Tribunal to be the highest of all war crimes) is 100,000. On a straight mathematical basis, that would be equal to one Twin Tower attack every month for close to three years. Think about that. Think about how we would feel if such a thing were to come to pass on American soil. Then try to think how Iraqis in particular, and Arabs in general must feel about what has been unleashed by George Bush.

If the other leading contender for the title is Osama Bin Laden, I would say Bush wins the title of “the greatest” hands down.

But don’t take my word for it, and don’t go the crude measure of simple body count mathematics. Don’t take Harry’s word for it, either. Instead, check the testimony given to the Commission by former Marine and UN arms inspector Scott Ritter, Former US diplomat to Afghanistan Ann White, former UK Ambassador to Kazakhstan, Craig Murray, and Brig. Gen Janis Karpinskiy former commander at Abu Graib as well as other highly qualified and knowledgeable experts which make a compelling legal case that the Bush regime is not only wrong, but criminal, in it’s policies in regard to Iraq, torture, the environment, and world health policy.

The Bush Commission

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MPs accuse Straw over misleading them over ‘rendition’

The lies are catching up with him…

From The Observer

The Foreign Secretary has been formally challenged by a parliamentary committee to explain why he twice gave them misleading answers during inquiries over the secret transport of terrorism suspects around Europe.

The Labour chair of the powerful Commons Foreign Affairs Committee has written privately to Jack Straw, amid deep irritation from members over his testimony on extraordinary rendition – the spiriting away of foreign citizens without the normal extradition process, which critics argue may lead to torture.

Last October, Straw denied to the committee that Britain had received any requests for rendition. In fact, as he conceded in a parliamentary statement less than six weeks later, it had received three in 1998 and approved one. Appearing before the committee in December, Straw ridiculed claims of British involvement in the interrogation of Pakistani terror suspects arrested in Greece as ‘nonsense’, only to confirm three weeks later that British intelligence officers were present, although abuse is denied.

The row comes ahead of an interim report from the Council of Europe into claims that the US has ‘rendered’ suspects in Europe.

Paul Keetch, a Liberal Democrat member of the committee, said it was ‘unacceptable’ that Straw had had to correct himself twice, while Labour member Eric Illsley said he was ‘cheesed off’ with the Foreign Secretary describing allegations as nonsense, only to find out from newspapers that they were true.

Straw also admitted that while foreign flights to military airbases normally require clearance from the Ministry of Defence, American planes have a ‘block agreement’ to come and go freely. This might help explain a leaked memo from Straw’s office, disclosed last week in New Statesman magazine, advising Downing Street to ‘avoid getting drawn on detail’.

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Foreign Office Minister Misled Parliament Over UN Meeting on Extraordinary Rendition

By Marie Woolf in The Independent

Pressure over the use of British airports for secret CIA torture flights increased dramatically yesterday after it emerged that a Foreign Office minister misled Parliament over a meeting between the UN and UK civil servants about the issue.

The Independent on Sunday has learnt that Lord Triesman, the Foreign Office minister, misled peers when he told the House of Lords that no such meeting had ever occurred.

But Martin Scheinin, the UN Human Rights Commission’s special rapporteur, travelled to London to hold meetings with Home Office and Foreign Office officials between 21 and 22 November last year. He raised concerns about the issue of “extraordinary rendition” – the policy of moving terror suspects to countries that use torture – and is so concerned following the lack of disclosure that he is writing to ministers.


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