-México: Alerta sanitaria por influenza porcina
-México: Ciudad desierta y alterada
-Salud: Países andinos activan plan contra influenza
-Cuba: Arsenal completo contra influenza
Uruguay: Idea Vilariño: una foto en blanco y negro
Bolivia: Mujeres "objeto" en la política municipal
Guatemala: Mujeres que integran pandillas son seducidas por el poder
Perú. En peligro participación política de las peruanas
Falta enjuiciar a Gobernadores de Chihuahua por feminicidio - De la redacción - México DF, 6 mayo 09 (CIMAC).- Mujeres integrantes del Movimiento al socialismoafirmaron que el juicio que se lleva a cabo en la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CoIDH) contra el Estado mexicano por tres casos de feminicidio en Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, es un avance contra la impunidad, pero no suficiente y exigen juicio en contra de los gobernadores de Chihuahua que han hecho todo pero para proteger a los asesinos.
Exigimos, señalan en el blog El Grito del Pueblo, de la organización Movimiento al socialismo, juicio para todos los funcionarios que por complicidad o negligencia han dejado que los casos de las mujeres asesinadas y desaparecidas (más de 400 tan solo en Juárez) se pierdan en el mar de la burocracia mexicana.
También piden castigo para los dueños de las maquiladoras que exponen a las mujeres al hacerlas trabajar largas jornadas sin proporcionarles ningún tipo de seguridad básica, como iluminación en las calles colindantes a las empresas o transporte para que no tengan que transitar por las calles en penumbras.
Población hispana y negra: más desempleo y discriminación - Por Leticia Puente Beresford/corresponsal - Nueva York, EU, 6 mayo 09 (CIMAC).- Con todo y el avance académico de las y los integrantes de las razas negra e hispana, mujeres y hombres de la raza blanca tienen los mejores salarios, son las y los últimos en ser despedidos. Las y los primeros en ser contratados. Esto, de acuerdo con la información difundida por el Censo de los últimos diez años.
Prueba de esta situación de discriminación laboral y desempleo en esta recesión económica son cuatro profesionales hispanas entrevistadas por Cimacnoticias. Dos colombianas y dos mexicanas, que aún con títulos profesionales no encuentran trabajo desde principios del 2008.
Para aliviar su desesperación se han convertido en voluntarias, pero al mismo, explican que, sin variar en cada entrevista de trabajo, el llenado del formulario les hace la pregunta obligada:
¿De qué raza son?
Alexis explica que cuando llena la solicitud y ve esa pregunta. De inmediato, pasa por su mente. “No ya estuvo que no me lo dieron”, porque soy hispana.
Elvira Arellano, de la deportación a la candidatura Inició su campaña para diputada federal por el PRD - Por Gladis Torres Ruiz , México DF, 6 mayo 09 (CIMAC).- Con el firme compromiso de trabajar a favor de las mujeres, en particular de aquellas que durante su trayecto a Estados Unidos sufren violaciones y abusos, este fin de semana en Tijuana, Baja California, Elvira Arellano arrancó su campaña como candidata a diputada Federal en el Distrito Sexto por el Partido de la Revolución Democrática (PRD).
El principal compromiso de la activista, madre y columnista del diario neoyorquino La Prensa, en caso de llegar a San Lázaro, será trabajar a favor de las y los mexicanos migrantes, el respeto a sus derechos humanos, a través del fomento de nuevas oportunidades de trabajo y salarios dignos, para que no tengan que salir del país, señaló a la prensa mexicana la candidata.
Ella sabe de eso: en 1997, ante los problemas económicos de su familia y la distrofia muscular que padecía su padre, Elvira viajó a Mexicali, Baja California, con la esperanza de cruzar a Estados Unidos, en busca de un empleo que le permitiera apoyar a su familia.
Deportar significa mucho más que ejercer el derecho de controlar fronteras. Deportar es la licencia que se otorga el poder mayoritario de una sociedad para discriminar, rechazar y denigrar a quienes son minorías. Estados Unidos tiene una larga historia que demuestra su inveterada vocación de excluir. Tiene impresentables antecedentes en su trayectoria como nación. ¿Será transformada algún día la voluntad de excluir en voluntad de acoger y compartir?
Por José Luis Rocha para Revista Envío - Cuando llegaron los primeros colonos europeos a lo que ahora es Estados Unidos, Ellis Island no era más que un pequeño islote de apenas 3.3 acres (13,355 metros cuadrados) en la boca del río Hudson. A base de relleno de tierra -al principio procedente de las excavaciones de los túneles para el metro de Nueva York- la isla creció hasta alcanzar los 27.5 acres que hoy tiene, aproximadamente 111,289 metros cuadrados.
Ni siquiera después de su expansión, la isla supera el tamaño de las pequeñas finquitas de Carazo en Nicaragua, de San Vicente en El Salvador o de Copán en Honduras. Pero sus dimensiones históricas -y sobre todo sus dimensiones míticas- han hecho de Ellis Island un mojón en la trayectoria nacional y el símbolo más visible -y rentable- de una autoproclamada nación de inmigrantes.
Los indios mohegan que vivieron en Ellis Island la bautizaron Kioshk (Isla Gaviota). Para los holandeses fue la Isla de las Ostras y para los británicos volvió a ser la Gull Island, la Isla Gaviota, hasta que en 1770 la compró Samuel Ellis, quien le dio su nombre actual. Más pletórico de significado fue el nombre que le dieron, en decenas de lenguas, los migrantes que por ella pasaron cuando en 1892 fue convertida en el principal puerto de entrada a Estados Unidos: la isla de las lágrimas.
En Barcelona, del 24 al 27 de octubre - De la redacción - México DF, 6 mayo 09 (CIMAC).- El III Congreso Internacional de Feminismo Islámico se llevará a cabo en Barcelona, España, del 24 al 27 de octubre, organizado por la Junta Islámica Catalana, con la participación de aproximadamente 20 ponentes de Marruecos, Siria, Omán, Arabia Saudita, Inglaterra, India, Senegal, Malasia, Irán y Pakistán, entre otros.
El tema principal que se abordará es la problemática que enfrentan las mujeres islámicas en un mundo globalizado. Señala la página oficial del Congreso
(www.feminismeislamic.org/cast/), que ellas se encuentran enfrentadas a una doble opresión: la económica, producto del neoliberalismo, y la política, debido al fundamentalismo religioso.
También se hablará sobre la campaña contra la lapidación en Irán, de lucha por la participación política de las mujeres en la península arábiga y las estrategias para que sean respetados los derechos de las mujeres musulmanas en Marruecos, Senegal, Pakistán o Malasia, entre otros.
Asistirán la ministra Siria para los Refugiados y candidata al Premio Nobel de la Paz, Bouthaina Shaaban, y la Baronesa Uddin, primera mujer musulmana en entrar en la Cámara de los Lores en Gran Bretaña.
El Congreso se llevará a cabo en el Hotel Alimara, bajo el auspicio de la Generalitat de Catalunya, la Agencia Española de Cooperación al Desarrollo (AECID) y el British Council.
Pornografía con niñas: ¿para quiénes? - Por Brigitte Hauschild (Sobreviviente) - Ayer escuché en la radio una buena noticia. En Austria, la policía desarticuló una red que había puesto en Internet fotos de niñas de 5 a 12 años en posiciones pornográficas. Las niñas son de diferentes países, también de América Latina. El servidor de Internet que usaron estos delincuentes está en Croacia, un país que no tiene todavía leyes penales contra este tipo de delitos.
¿Cómo lograron desarticular esta red? Observaron la página y sus visitantes durante 72 horas sin interrupción. En total, 12 millones de personas de 170 países visitaron esta web, lo que significaba que cada segundo estaban conectados con esta página 47 visitantes. Entre los visitantes había médicos, maestros, políticos, jueces, sacerdotes… No faltaba casi ninguna profesión. La policía austriaca puso una denuncia contra 189 personas de ese país.
Día de las Madres - Por María Esther Espinosa Calderón* - Abnegada, sufrida, querida, odiada, víctima, victimaria, maltratada, maltratadora, así es la madre mexicana; hay unas que son cariñosas, amorosas, sacrificadas, pero para algunos no es aquel estereotipo que se ha hecho creer. “Ni perfecta, ni abnegada, ni sufrida; sino una mujer confundida, sin preparación para la maternidad y que arrastra a su vez, errores y horrores generacionales que ella trasmitirá a su descendencia”. 
La madre ha sido inspiración de poetas, escritores y cineastas. Manuel Bernal, hacia llorar con su “Brindis del bohemio”, la imagen de Sara García enternecía con su sufrimiento inacabable, para Máximo Gorki la madre de Pavel era la metáfora de un pueblo oprimido.
Periodista, ha colaborado en diversos medios, entre ellos el Uno más Uno, Mira, El Universal, Etcétera, 'Triple Jornada' del periódico La Jornada, y en la revista Fem.
Iran Executes Woman for Alleged Murder Committed as a Juvenile - Published on May 3, 2009 by The Telegraph/UK, by Philip Sherwell - Delara Darabi knew the end was close when she made a panic-filled call to her mother from prison to say that she could see the hangman's noose from her window.
The Iranian artist was executed on Friday for a murder allegedly committed when she was a juvenile and for which she retracted her brief confession, claiming she was covering up for her boyfriend.
The prison authorities hanged Miss Darabi, 23, even though the head of Iran's judiciary granted her a two-month stay of execution on April 19 amid international outrage over her case. They also did not give her lawyer the required 48 hours notice.
Horrific new details have emerged of her last desperate plea for help from Rasht prison as jail guards came to lead her away.
Defying Threats, Fighting Oppression: The Woman Leading Protests in Afghanistan - by Tom Coghlan in Kabul , Published on April 30, 2009 by the the Times Online/UK- They were stoned, spat on and assaulted, but when 200 women staged Afghanistan's first public women's rights protest  since the 1970s their voices were heard around the world.
And if centuries-old traditions are to change, it may well be a petite but pugnacious 28-year-old called Diana Saqeb who is responsible.
One of the organisers of the march, which took place a fortnight ago in the capital, Kabul, Ms Saqeb was present this week when President Karzai promised activists that there would be changes to the Shia Family Law that prompted their protest.
Mr Karzai said that the legislation would be amended and he did not know that the law he was signing legalised marital rape, child marriage and a host of Taleban-era restrictions on women, because his advisers had failed to inform him of its contents.
Pakistani pop singer killed - by Abigail Kramer for Salon.com, May 4, 2009 - A female Pakistani singer was shot to death last week, apparently by her own brothers, for the sin of appearing on TV.
Ayman Udas was a local celebrity in the city of Peshawar, the capital of Pakistan's North-West Frontier Province (NWFP). The area is at the center of the struggle between the country's secular government, tribal factions and the increasingly powerful Pakistani Taliban. And as is so often the case on the frontiers of culture wars, women's freedoms have been among the first casualties. The NWFP is where a group of men were caught on video last month, whipping a screaming teenaged girl. Talibani groups have bombed and burned hundreds of girls' schools in the region, and religious militants terrorized thousands of women away from participating in last year's national elections.
Pregnant British woman faces execution by Kate Harding for Salon .com, May 4, 2009 - Today, the Laotian government told the media that the upcoming trial of 20-year-old British woman Samantha Orobator, accused of smuggling heroin, will be fair. That's hardly reassuring, given the circumstances surrounding Orobator's case so far. Last August, she was arrested at Wattay Airport for allegedly carrying 680 grams of heroin in her luggage, an offense punishable by execution. Since then, she's been held in "notoriously abusive Phonthong prison" and allowed to see British and Australian consular officials -- no attorney -- for only 20 minutes a month.
Girls on Our Streets - By Nicholas D. Kristof, for The New York Times, May 7t- Atlanta- Jasmine Caldwell was 14 and selling sex on the streets when an opportunity arose to escape her pimp: an undercover policeman picked her up.
The cop could have rescued her from the pimp, who ran a string of 13 girls and took every cent they earned. If the cop had taken Jasmine to a shelter, she could have resumed her education and tried to put her life back in order.
Instead, the policeman showed her his handcuffs and threatened to send her to prison. Terrified, she cried and pleaded not to be jailed. Then, she said, he offered to release her in exchange for sex.
Afterward, the policeman returned her to the street. Then her pimp beat her up for failing to collect any money.
Culture of Unpunished Sexual Assault in Military - by Dahr Jamail, Published on Thursday, April 30, 2009 by Inter Press Service, from Common Dreams - Marfa, Texas - Sexual assault of women serving in the U.S. military, while brought to light in recent reports, has a long tradition in that institution.
Women in America were first allowed into the military during the Revolutionary War in 1775, and their travails are as old.
Maricela Guzman served in the Navy from 1998 to 2002 as a computer technician on the island of Diego Garcia, and later in Naples, Italy. She was raped while in boot camp, but was too scared to talk about the assault for the rest of her time in the military.
In her own words she, "survived by becoming a workaholic. Fortunately or unfortunately the military took advantage of this, and I was much awarded as a soldier for my work ethic."
From Democracy Now: Nobel Peace Laureate Shirin Ebadi Joins Defense Team of Jailed Iranian American Journalist Roxana Saberi - We speak to Nobel Peace Prize-winning Iranian human rights lawyer Shirin Ebadi about the jailed Iranian American reporter Roxana Saberi, whom she represents. Ebadi also shares her thoughts on Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran's upcoming elections, US-Iran relations, and more.
Obama Asked About Notre Dame Invitation and Abortion - By Kevin Gosztola for Open Salon.com, April 30, 2009, - When given the chance to ask a question at last night’s 100th Day press conference, Ed Henry chose to ask Obama a question about the Freedom of Choice Act and his stance on abortion. The question was put into the context of Notre Dame University’s invitation to have him speak at the commencement on May 17th.
Question: Thank you, Mr. President. In a couple of weeks, you’re going to be giving the commencement at Notre Dame. And, as you know, this has caused a lot of controversy among Catholics who are opposed to your position on abortion.
A Latina Supreme Court Judge Could Soothe Hispanics - New America Media, Commentary, Gebe Martinez, Posted: May 04, 2009
Editor's Note: Appointing Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court might soothe frayed Hispanic nerves, writes New America Media contributor Gebe Martinez, but legal conservatives do not believe that President Obama should give importance to a diverse life experience in making his choice.
It is supremely ironic that on the same day House Republicans released a web video equating Hispanic lawmakers to terrorists, conservatives faced the great possibility of a first-ever Hispanic appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The divided Republican Party, confusingly slow to grasp the reality of the ever growing Latino population and vote, now must decide how to attack President Obama’s first pick for the high court amid high expectations it could be a Hispanic.
Editor's Note: Odette Keeley, news anchor for "Stories From The Ethnic Media" in NAM's radio program, "New America Now" on 91.7 FM KALW, talks to ethnic media professionals on stories in their news outlets and their take on the news of the day.
This week: Mexico’s drug war continues to be a major battleground for both local authorities and the journalists covering it.
Recently, bureau chiefs of leading news outlets in the US-Mexican border; editors and journalism advocates gathered at Stanford University to discuss the implications of Mexico’s narco-violence on journalism and U.S. national security. BELO TV’s Border Bureau Chief Angela Kocherga discusses a story they aired last week about women in Mexico recruited by drug cartels as weapons purchasers and smugglers. Also at the Stanford forum was Alfredo Corchado, currently a Nieman fellow at Harvard University and long-time Mexico Bureau Chief of the Dallas Morning News, and he talks about the dangers he faces as a Mexican-American journalist covering narcoviolence.
Make love, not war, or you get none! By Tracy Clark-Flory for Salon.com, April 29, 2009 - In Kenya, thousands of women are soundingthe familiarbattle cry "all is fair in love and war," only they're playing that infamousodd coupleagainst itself. In desperate hopes of pacifyingthe government's furious infighting, they've resorted to a nuclear threat: No peace? No sex. ("Dick and cover" joke redacted upon sober review.)
On Wednesday, local women's groups announced a week-long sex strike inprotest of the bitterrivalrybetween President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odingawhich, which is once again at a boiling point.
Is "rape" the new "gay"? By Amy Benfer for Salon.com April 30, 2009 - We at Broadsheet have written extensively about the many ways in which the word "gay" has been misused to describe everything from a crappy-looking shirt to kids who don't seem to fit in with cultural norms, with sometimes tragic results. But this week, Alternet's Mikki Halpin asks if the same thing is happening to the word "rape."
After 341 Years, First Female Poet Laureate in Britain - By Sarah Lyall, for The New York Times, May 2, 2009 - London — Carol Ann Duffy was named poet laureate of Britain on Friday, the first time in its 341-year history that the post — held by such poets as Dryden, Tennyson, Wordsworth and Ted Hughes — has gone to a woman.
Ms. Duffy, 53, is known for writing accessible, often witty poems on a wide range of topics, many of them to do with the minutiae of everyday life. She succeeds Andrew Motion, who has just completed his 10-year term.
The culture secretary, Andy Burnham, called Ms. Duffy “a towering figure in English literature today and a superb poet.” Prime Minister Gordon Brown said: “She is a truly brilliant modern poet who has stretched our imaginations by putting the whole range of human experiences into lines that capture the emotions perfectly.”
Freeze your eggs for feminism! - By Amy Benfer for Salon. com , May 5, 2009 - Few things have caused as much grief for women as the alleged disparity between the male and female biological clock. Women have been lectured on all the reasons we should stop worrying about our careers and have babies in our 20s; we've been told to get to work already, so we can go ahead and have babies in our 30s; and, once we make it to our 30s, we're caricatured as hysterical husband hunters, just waiting to bag a baby daddy. In this week's Newsweek, writer Rachel Lehmann-Haupt proposes a solution: Why not just use technology to stop the infernal tick-tick-ticking? "Egg freezing," she writes, "could be as revolutionary as the birth control pill."
Bristol Palin: "Teens should just not have sex" – By Judy Berman for Salon.com, May 6, 2009 -New York--BristolPalin spent her Wednesday afternoon mugging for cameras(and, oh yeah, talking about teen pregnancy, kinda) at an event for theCandie's Foundation."Entertainment Tonight," "Extra" and "Access Hollywood" swarmed the young mother, recently named Teen Ambassador to the foundation, whose mission is "to educate America’s youth about the devastating consequences of teen pregnancy through celebrity PSA campaigns and initiatives."
Bristol Palin’s New Gig - By Gail Collins, May 7th for The New York Times, May 7, 2009 - “Just because you’re wearing high-heeled sexy shoes doesn’t mean you should have a baby,” said Neil Cole.
I believe we can all rally around this sentiment.
Cole is the head of Iconix, a company that makes the Candie’s line of teen fashions. A couple of years ago, under fire from critics who accused him of dressing high schoolers like tarts, he established the Candie’s Foundation, which fights teen pregnancy. And there he was on Wednesday introducing the foundation’s new teen ambassador, Bristol Palin.
Palin is not in any way to be confused with the new Candie’s brand spokesperson, Britney Spears. Bristol is the one endorsing abstinence; Britney is the one promoting “hot bottoms.”
GAY AND LESBIAN RIGHTS
From The Progress Report: : House Passes Hate Crimes Bill Protecting Gay Men And Women: Yesterday, the House passed the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, also known as the Matthew Shepard Act. The bill, which was opposed by most Republicans, would "permit greater federal involvement in investigating hate crimes and expand the federal definition of such crimes to include those motivated by gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and disability." Speaking out against the bill Tuesday, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) called it the "very definition of tyranny," while Rep. Greshman Barret (R-SC) said "it would inhibit religious freedom in our society." Their distress, however, is misplaced. A federal hate crimes law has been in place since 1968, and the Matthew Shepard Act simply adds sexual orientation and gender identity to the enumerated protected groups. Moreover, this exact measure passed both chambers in 2007, but was stripped from a larger bill after President Bush promised to veto it. As the bill will moves on to the Senate, President Obama is urging lawmakers "to work with my administration to finalize this bill and to take swift action."
Uproar in D.C. as Same-Sex Marriage Gains - By Tim Craig, for The Washington Post, May 6th -
The D.C. Council overwhelmingly approved a bill yesterday to recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere, in a vote that followed a sharp exchange between an openly gay member and a civil rights champion and set off shouts of reproach from local ministers.
Maine Becomes 5th State to Allow Same-Sex Marriage - By Glenn Adams for The Associated Press , May 6, 2009 - Augusta, Maine -- Maine's governor signed a freshly passed bill Wednesday approving gay marriage, making it the fifth state to approve the practice and moving New England closer to allowing it throughout the region.
EqualityMaine Applauds House Passage of Marriage Equality Bill - Augusta, Maine - May 5, 2009 - The momentum continues to build in favor of legislation granting marriage equality to same-sex couples in Maine. In the halls of the State House on Tuesday, leaders of the coalition backing the bill hailed the impressive vote in the House of Representatives sending the bill one big step closer to enactment.
“Since we began our campaign, thousands of Mainers have raised their voices in support of fairness for gay and lesbian families,” said Betsy Smith, Executive Director of EqualityMaine. “Today an overwhelming number of legislators agreed that marriage should be open to all Maine families.”
Contact: Equality Maine (EQME)
Phone: 207-761-3732, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
As Gay Issues Arise, Obama Is Pressed to Engage - By Sheryl Gay Stolberg for The New York Times, May 7th 2009 - Washington — President Obama was noticeably silent last month when the Iowa Supreme Court overturned the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.
But now Mr. Obama — who has said he opposes same-sex marriage as a Christian but describes himself as a “fierce advocate of equality” for gay men and lesbians — is under pressure to engage on a variety of gay issues that are coming to the fore amid a dizzying pace of social, political, legal and legislative change.
Two of Mr. Obama’s potential Supreme Court nominees are openly gay; some advocates, irked that there are no gay men or lesbians in his cabinet, are mounting a campaign to influence his choice to replace Justice David H. Souter, who is retiring. Same-sex marriage is advancing in states — the latest to allow it is Maine — and a new flare-up in the District of Columbia could ultimately put the controversy in the lap of the president.
Experts Say Authors Of Memos May Avoid Professional Sanctions - By Carrie Johnson for Washington Post , May 7, 2009 - Efforts to impose professional sanctions on Bush administration lawyers who drafted memos supporting harsh interrogations of terrorism suspects face steep hurdles, experts on legal ethics said yesterday.
Law professors and legal practitioners who have handled such cases said the difficulty of gathering witnesses and evidence could present "nearly insurmountable challenges" for state investigators who may wish to pursue a case against the lawyers, John C. Yoo and Jay S. Bybee.
Government sources indicated this week that a forthcoming Justice Department investigative report would refer both men to state bar associations for possible disciplinary action as early as this summer. The report, which summarizes the findings of a nearly five-year review, cites sloppy legal analysis, misjudgments and possible political interference in the process, the sources said.
The Torture Debate: The Missing Voices – The New York Times Editorial, May 7, 2009 - Last month’s release of memos prepared by the Bush Justice Department and the disclosure of a report by the International Committee of the Red Cross on the brutal treatment of detainees expanded public knowledge of an ignominious chapter in the nation’s history.
But these and other related disclosures do not provide a complete record of the government’s abuse of detainees. One missing element is the words of those prisoners subjected to waterboarding and other brutality.
Those voices remain muffled by a combination of Bush-era resistance to a reasonable Freedom of Information Act request by the American Civil Liberties Union, and the gag order imposed on lawyers representing Guantánamo detainees. Attorney General Eric Holder needs to promptly repudiate both.
From Abu Ghraib to Abu Zubaydah, everything you need to know about torture during the Bush administration's war on terror.
By Mark Benjamin for Salon.com, May. 07, 2009 | Recent events have pushed torture back onto the front page. In mid-April, the Obama administration released a stunning set of Justice Department memoranda, chock-full of euphemisms and circular logic, drafted by the Bush administration to provide a legal basis for brutal interrogations. A week later, the Senate Armed Services Committee put out the results of a years-long investigation of torture: a crisp, comprehensive narrative that torpedoes the whole "bad apples" excuse and plops the events at Abu Ghraib square in the laps of top Bush officials. Then, on May 4, the conclusions of a still-unreleased internal Justice Department probe were leaked -- apparently, a recommendation of professional sanctions for the lawyers who authored those torture memos, but no prosecution. The full report will be completed and released this summer.
The details in the new documents shed fresh light on the origins of American torture during the Bush administration. They show that psychologists acted as a fulcrum in the torture program, seizing on Cold War-era communist tactics soon after 9/11, training interrogators, and providing the gauze of medical precision and safety over the whole process, even though those tactics were known to create a great risk of false confessions.
But as snapshots from America's torture saga appear above the fold on a daily basis, it is sometimes hard to tell what is old and what is really new. Much of what we are reading lately marries new tidbits with old revelations. Sometimes those revelations are years old.
For years Salon has doggedly tracked some of the main torture themes laid bare by the new Justice Department memos and the Senate investigation. We have assembled a cache of those stories, arranged by theme, to provide context to the flurry of information on torture.
From The Progress Report: Abu Ghraib Soldiers Say Torture Memos Prove Bush Administration Made Them Scapegoats: When photossurfaced in 2004 from the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq showing the disturbing abuse of detainees, officials in the Bush administration scrambled to portray "Army Pvt. Charles A. Graner Jr. as the ringleader of a few low-ranking 'bad apples.'" The recent release of Justice Department memos detailing interrogation techniques, however, has caused Graner, who remains jailed at Fort Leavenworth, KS, and the other convicted soldiers to believe that the Bush administration sought to make them "scapegoats for policies approved at high levels." Policies such as the use of dogs, nudity, stress positions, sleep deprivation, and "walling"-- a technique that resembles the evidence from Abu Ghraib of slamming hooded detainees against a wall -- were all outlined in the Justice Department memos. Indeed, last week the Senate Armed Services Committee declassified a version of its November 2008 report, "Inquiry into the Treatment of Detainees in U.S. Custody," which concluded,"The abuses of detainees at Abu Ghraib in late 2003 was not simply the result of a few soldiers acting on their own." "Rumsfeld's December 2, 2002 authorization of aggressive interrogation techniques and subsequent interrogation policies and plans approved by senior military and civilian officials conveyed the message that physical pressures and degradation were appropriate treatment for detainees in U.S. custody,"the report said. As former Army Reserve general Janis L. Karpinski said, "Here, in living color, you have a photographic rendition of your memos. Is that what they wanted it to look like? Guess what, that is what it looks like." Currently, Graner is appealing his ten year sentence to the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.
Historian Alfred McCoy: Obama Reluctance on Bush Prosecutions Affirms Culture of Impunity
This week, President Obama said waterboarding is torture but gave no indication he is planning to hold anyone accountable for authorizing it. We speak with University of Wisconsin professor, Alfred McCoy, author of A Question of Torture: CIA Interrogation, from the Cold War to the War on Terror.
New UN Report Shows the US Combo of Torture and Impunity Thrives in Iraqi Prisons
by Jeremy Scahill, Published on May 1, 2009 by Rebel Reports - Part of the deadly serious problem with the Obama administration's position on (not) holding accountable CIA torturers, their lawyers and the Bush administration officials who authorized and ordered all of these crimes is this: It sends a message to other governments that if Washington does it, we can too. Especially governments completely created by the US government.
No governments on the planet are more controlled by the US right now than the ones in Iraq and Afghanistan.
A new UN human rights report examining Iraq shows that torture of prisoners by Iraqi authorities is widespread and accountability is nonexistent.
UAE "torture" scandal and cover-up sparks outrage in the U.S. - by Gleen Greenwald for Salon.com May 3, 2009 - As more videotapes emerge documenting the torture inflicted on numerous victims by Sheikh Issa bin Zayed al-Nahyan, a prince of the United Arab Emirates, the controversy is beginning to jeopardize the UAE's relationship with the United States, a country that absolutely loathes torture and demands real accountability for those who do it:
"I have more than two hours of video footage showing Sheikh Issa's involvement in the torture of more than 25 people," wrote Texas-based lawyer Anthony Buzbee in a letter obtained by the Observer.
Who in the George W. Bush White House tried to shred a memo challenging the use of torture?
On April 21, Philip Zelikow, who was counselor to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during the Bush administration, revealed on Foreign Policy's "Shadow Government" blog that he wrote a memo in 2005 disputing the conclusions of Bush Justice Department lawyers that torture was legal. The existence of such a memo was a surprise. But Zelikow also disclosed that the "White House attempted to collect and destroy all copies of my memo."
This story is not over. Zelikow tells Mother Jones that he doesn't know for sure who in the White House ordered the suppression of his memo, but he says that his "supposition at the time" was that the office of Vice President Dick Cheney was behind the cover-up. In an email exchange with Mother Jones, Zelikow notes that Cheney's office did not have the authority to request that his memo be deep-sixed: "They didn't run the interagency process. Such a request would more likely have come from the White House Counsel's office or from NSC staff." But that request did not reach him in written form. "It was conveyed to me, and I ignored it," Zelikow recalls. But he suspected that Team Cheney was probably behind it.
Zelikow, who is scheduled to testify before a Senate judiciary subcommittee on
Tuesday Wednesday, also notes that his memo was not the only one raising questions about the administration's legal rationale supporting so-called "enhanced interrogation techniques": "There were a number of papers, mainly arguing for alternative legal frameworks." But his memo, he adds, was "a more direct assault on [the Bush Justice Department's] own interpretation of American law."
(UPDATE: The Senate judiciary subcommittee just formally announced the testimony, which will be on Wednesday, not Tuesday, as earlier reports had indicated.)
FROM REPORTERS WITHOUT BORDERS:
A Panel discussion To Commemorate World Press Freedom Day
Reporters Without Borders and the Overseas Press Club present : Mexico’s Pitfalls for Journalists – April 27th , 2009 - Mexico has become the Americas’ most dangerous country for journalists. And the media are under severe threat in several parts of the country. Forty-six journalists have been killed since 2000 and another eight have disappeared since 2003, either because of their work or most often for an unknown motive. Drug cartels that target reporters deemed too curious, corruption on the part of many elected officials, and human rights and press freedom violations by police or the army are high-risk threats to both local and international journalists. Impunity prevails for journalists’ murderers, despite some improvements on the legal front with federalized jurisdiction over murders and offenses committed against journalists.
The panelists will discuss the risks associated with covering the news in Mexico and on the US-Mexican border.
Payments and Apologies for Victims of Guatemala's Civil War - By Anne-Marie O'Connor, for The Washington Post, May 6th - Guatemala City -- When army helicopters landed in his village in August 1982, Francisco Velasco was away in the cornfields with the men. Then they heard the screams. Velasco rushed back home and found his wife and two baby daughters dead.
CIVIL RIGHTS AND IMMIGRATION
Feds Wrongly Deport Citizen Living in N.C. - by Kristin Collins, Published on Thursday, April 30, 2009 by the News & Observer (North Carolina) - Believing Mark Lyttle was Mexican, they launched him from a Wayne County prison on an odyssey across Latin America.
Mark Lyttle expected to return home after serving a few months in prison for inappropriately touching a woman's backside.
Instead, he says, the U.S. government deported him to Mexico, Mexican officials deported him to Honduras, and Honduras deported him to Guatemala - even though he is a North Carolina-born U.S. citizen who speaks no Spanish.
U.S. immigration officials confirmed this week that they wrongly deported Lyttle, 31, who his family says is mentally ill and suffers from mild retardation, in December after finding him in a North Carolina prison. He and his lawyer say he spent four months bouncing among Latin American prisons and homeless shelters before ending up this month at a U.S. embassy in Guatemala, where officials confirmed his citizenship.
12-Year-Old US Citizen to President Obama: "I Want My Mom Back" From Democracy Now! - Last November, Maria Guadalupe Zamudio, a Mexican national with temporary immigration status, was deported after trying to apply for permanent residency. She was banned from the US for ten to twenty years. Maria's three children, aged nine to twelve, are all US citizens. Last Thursday, they joined their aunt and uncle to make a twenty-hour drive from Worthington, Minnesota to Washington, DC. They've each written letters to President Obama asking him to let their mother return. We speak to twelve-year-old Gerardo Zamudio.
Immigration Reform: Rights, Not Raids - Tuesday, May 5, 2009 for The Nation by Bill Ong Hing & David Bacon - When the Obama administration reiterated recently that it will make an immigration reform proposal this year, hopes rose among millions of immigrant families for the "change we can believe in." That was followed by a new immigration position embraced by both the AFL-CIO and the Change to Win unions, rejecting the expansion of guest worker programs, which some unions had supported.
As it prepares a reform package, the administration should look seriously at why the deals created over the past several years failed, and consider alternatives. Beltway groups are again proposing employment visas for future (post-recession, presumably) labor shortages and continued imprisonment of the undocumented in detention centers, which they deem "necessary in some cases." Most disturbing, after years of the Bush raids, is the continued emphasis on enforcement against workers.
We need a reality check.
ON THE FLU
We can let the mere idea of a possible swine flu plague create chaos, or we can settle down and fight it with vigilance and reason.
By Mary Beth Crain for Salon.com, May. 02, 2009 | "Revelation," notes the historian Barbara Tuchman in her epic book "A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century," "was the favorite guide to human affairs in the Middle Ages."
And the terrible predictions of Revelation seemed to have come to pass when, in 1347, a sinister, horrific malady began sweeping through Europe, cutting down nearly everyone in its ruthless path. In fact, the image of the Grim Reaper, a skeletal Death with a scythe, entered our iconography as a result of the most dreaded disease the world had ever known: the Black Plague. By the time it had done its dastardly work, the population of Europe had been so severely decimated that human life on every level, from personal and social to religious, political and economic, was forever altered.
Some on the right are blaming immigrants for swine flu in the U.S. Actually, the outbreak had nothing to do with immigrants and everything to do with ordinary travel and commerce _ By Joe Conason, for Truthdig.com, April 29, 2009 - In the turbulent imagination of the hard-core conservative, American foreign policy should be about telling off the rest of the planet. According to the right-wing mind-set, a manly foreign policy would curtail any effort at seeking influence abroad, cut off assistance to developing countries, forget about improving our global image and, above all, withdraw from the existing international organizations, especially the United Nations, which is nothing more than a gargantuan waste of money and a hive of parasitic bureaucrats. Only if we brusquely and even violently dismiss the obnoxious foreigners who annoy us can we vindicate our political and moral superiority.
Then there is the real world, where we regularly encounter threats like swine flu—and where we must depend on the other people who live in this world to help protect our nation and our families. Certainly that is the outlook of America’s new presidency, confirmed with profound urgency after 100 days by the sudden prospect of pandemic disease.