Monday, May 30, 2005

Democracy Now: Preventative Warriors; Katrina vanden Heuvel, Sharon Smith, CounterRecruiter

Democracy Now! (Marcia: "always worth watching")

Memorial Day Special: Preventive Warriors
Today on Memorial Day, the traditional day to honor all US military veterans, we bring you the full documentary about the Bush administration’s national security strategy: "Preventive Warriors," produced by Michael Burns and Greg Ansin.
The film features many of the leading thinkers and intellectuals of our time including Noam Chomsky, Chalmers Johnson, Tariq Ali and more.

We'll note Katrina vanden Heuvel's Editor's Cut today:

Did you know that on the eve of the Iranian presidential election, that country--with 70 percent of its population under 30--has 75,000 bloggers? I find that pretty stunning--and I'm usually skeptical of blog-hype.
Blogging has gone international in a big way. And in Iran, blogging means that news, ideas and rumors are bypassing traditional censors. As one of Iran's leading bloggers recently pointed out at, Iran's blogs are generating "an unprecedented amount of information [and] pre-election news has...been much more transparent." In fact, Hossein Derakhshan argued, " it will probably be one of the most open and transparent elections Iran has ever seen."
The internet is playing a major role. This is the first time, for example, that most of the major candidates (except the oldest ones) have their own websites. And with an estimated three or four million internet users in Iran, blogs are opening up Iranian society and culture--despite the enduring threat of government censorship and imprisonment of journalists and activists.

From CounterPunch, we'll note Sharon Smith's "The Road to Abu Ghraib:"

Even before the Bush administration invaded Iraq in March 2003, human rights organizations were raising allegations of torture at U.S. prisons in Afghanistan.
At the time, the State Department dismissed their allegations as "ridiculous" (just as the White House recently feigned outrage when Newsweek claimed that Guantanamo interrogators flushed the Koran down the toilet--even as evidence surfaced that they urinated on it). As recently as December, military spokesperson Lt. Col. Pamela Keeton claimed an Army investigation "found no evidence of abuse taking place" in Afghanistan, according to the BBC.
All that changed last week, when the New York Times exposed the sadistic killing of two Afghan detainees in December 2002--both kicked to death, while chained to the ceiling by their wrists at the Bagram air base--based on the Army's own leaked investigation. The Army investigation is just the tip of the iceberg, however, as mounting evidence exposes an expansive and overlapping system of torture and killing at U.S. detention facilities in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantánamo Bay.
Afghan prisons, along with Guantánamo, provided the hands-on training for the interrogation techniques made famous at Abu Ghraib. Many of the same interrogators who honed their skills at Bagram ended up at Abu Ghraib in 2003--both times under the direction of Capt. Carolyn A. Wood.

From CounterRecruiter, we'll note "Texan Says Military Recruiters Threatened to Kill Him:"

From KHOU in Texas: "More people are coming forward with Army recruiting horror stories after the 11 News Defenders investigation that exposed a recruiting scandal. They're sharing similiar stories about military recruiters using hardball tactics to persuade young people to enlist.
Will Ammons, 20, signed up for delayed entry at the Lake Jackson Army recruiting station last year. But soon afterwards, he fell in love and changed his mind before he ever shipped out. That's when, he says, Army recruiters crossed the line and started harrassing him.

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