Saturday, January 29, 2005

"Keitel ... got a death sentence in Germany ... said 'Genevea Convetions? Obsolete rubbish.'" Gonzales also used "obsolete" to describe Geneva

From Friday's Democracy Now!, I want to highlight this on Alberto Gonzales and torture.
Michael Ratner: Gonzales "Has His Hand Deep in the Blood of the Conspiracy Of Torture"
is LWR (listen, watch or read):

MICHAEL RATNER: You know, I don't get it. It's not only systemic, you had Gonzales essentially admitting it, essentially saying this is the way we do it. This is what we're willing to do and these guys are going to confirm this guy. I think almost anybody who votes for him could conceivably be, if this were Germany, part of a conspiracy to commit and cover-up war crimes that are being committed at the highest level of officials. We’re having that vote next week, we have a Senate that’s 55-45 in favor of the Republicans. I don't know what the vote will be like. That eight Democrats finally voted against him -- I think had there been a screaming outcry in the beginning against Gonzales by all these -- all human rights organizations, all the Democrats, it's possible the guy could have been beaten. But I agree with you. The media has been a disaster here. I'm saying to you right now no one is complaining in any of the major media about the fact that we are saying we can inhumanly treat people right now as we speak who are non-citizens all over this globe.
AMY GOODMAN: Speaking of Germany, Michael Ratner, you went to Berlin. We spoke to you when you filed suit against Donald Rumsfeld, the war secretary, the Defense Secretary. He is now not going to a conference in Germany in February because the German government did not quash this suit. Can you explain?
MICHAEL RATNER: There is actually a lot going on here in Germany right now. There was an article in the Washington Post today that said that the Pentagon denies that he isn't going because of the lawsuit. What I think is really happened here is floated a – it’s not a rumor, it may be true he’s not going – but floated it as a way of putting pressure on the German government to say: “Get rid of this lawsuit.” This is serious business, we're considering not sending Rumsfeld there. But on the high -- on the level of calling them, “No, no, no, this isn't what this is about.” And I think what the conferences February 11 and 12, it is the major security conference for Europe, the Secretary of Defense has been going for 40-some years. My view is we're reaching a point in this lawsuit in Germany where something is going to give. We're filing major new papers, actually, today and Monday. One of them, of course, names Alberto Gonzales now as an additional defendant in the case. His testimony is one that really they could have put into a war crimes trial in Germany and said, “You're convicted.” Someone told me this incredible story about Germany and what happened with torture. One of the key people, Keitel, who got a death sentence in Germany was the man who scrawled on a memo to the high command about Russian soldiers that said, “Geneva Conventions? Obsolete rubbish.” Remember the word that Gonzales used to describe Geneva, “obsolete”. And when they sentenced Keitel to death, what they said was one of the reasons we're giving you the death penalty is for basically saying the Geneva Conventions are obsolete. So this is a very serious issue in Germany. We hope to have some really big news about this case in terms of our filing next week. But one of the things we've done is add Alberto Gonzales. Again, this is crunch time. I mean, if there's listeners out there who want to support this case or oppose Gonzales, go to the center website, it’s Send a letter to the German prosecutor, send a letter to your Senator about Gonzales. It’s just critical. I mean, we should not be implicated, as Americans, in what our government is doing right now.

And I'll also note Amy Goodman's speaking schedule this weekend (one Common Ills member lives in Ireland and says he will be going to hear her speak, two from London are attempting to spread the word):

Amy Goodman Comes to Ireland and London
Saturday, January 29th, 14:30
Feile Bride 2005
Afri Conference
Celebrating Solidarity
St Joseph's Academy
Kildare townIreland
For more information, contact Joe Murray on 01-8827563 or 086 3946893

Saturday, January 29th, 20:00
Independent Media in the Time of War
Chaired by Vincente Browne
ATGWU Building
55 Middle Abbey St.
Dublin City Centre
Free admission
For more information, contact Damien Moran, 087 963 8398

Sunday, Janurary 30th, 14:00
THE EXCEPTION TO THE RULERS: Independent Media in a Time of War
Room D202, Clement House
London School of Economics
Aldwych, London WC2
Free admission
Organized with Red Pepper magazine and the Radical Activist Network. For more information, contact Omar Waraich:

I wouldn't be surprised to learn that at least one of the Ireland events has already taken place (remember the time change) when this posts but please get the word out to anyone you know in Ireland or England.