Thursday, February 7, 2013. Chaos and violence continue, Nouri's son is implicated in corruption, protesters gear up for tomorrow, John Brennan and Dianne Feinstein embarrass themselves in the Senate today, and more.
Starting with War Criminal Colin Powell who, ten years ago, appeared before the
United Nations (February 5, 2003) to 'make the case' for war on Iraq by
lying. Lawrence Wilkerson worked under Colin Powell and has spent the last 8 or so years attempting to rewrite history. Yesterday, Norman Solomon appeared on Democracy Now! to debate Wilkerson. Kim Petersen (Dissident Voice) evaluates the claims put forward in the debate:
Wilkerson was evasive: “I don’t want to get into an on-screen
argument with someone who makes comments as if he’d never been in
government a day in his life or never been in—associated with power at
He looked for exculpation: “… when you look at the American people,
who in polls showed 70 percent-plus agreed that Saddam Hussein had WMD,
it’s not enough to say that Dick Cheney and Colin Powell and others
failed in their responsibility to the American people or to their own
government. There were a lot of people…”
Wilkerson, perhaps realizing the inference of his words, continued:
“I’m not trying … to rationalize or excuse. I’m just saying that there
were a lot of people who had the same view that Colin Powell basically
presented at the United Nations.”
Many people were wrong. However, what was the point of Wilkerson
stating that 70% of the American people believed the propaganda
emanating from their government and the reporting of the corporate
media? One obvious conclusion is that government administrations are not
to be trusted and neither is the corporate media. A second conclusion
is that 30% of the people outside the Bush administration loop were
better clued in than the administration officials themselves, so it
would be prudent to consider objectively all views, especially on
life-and-death decisions as waging war.
Attending the Senate
Intelligence Committee today was an odyssey into the absurd. Senator
Dianne Feinstein, you may remember, condemned the classic film Zero Dark Thirty.
While some idiots rushed to echo her, we pointed out that of course the
Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee would condemn it -- Zero Dark Thirty
is an indictment against Feinstein who has served on the Intelligence
Committee and looked the other way on torture over and over. Feinstein
was having a hissy fit as a man shouted something to the effect of, "You
are betraying democracy when you assassinate justice!" She also whined
about how, she did not feel, there were enough capitol police. She
actually had it cleared twice. Medea Benjamin (of CODEPINK) yelled, "Why, Dianne, why?" as the room was being cleared.
shouters were CODEPINKers -- not all CODEPINKers were shouting,
however. Not shouting but in that section was Ann Wright. Some of the
people around her had painted their hands pink, some held up signs --
and I would say they wree the size of construction paper, not big signs,
8 1/2 by 11 inches. There was one large sign calling Brennan a
national security risk. DiFi had a fit about those as well insisting
there would be no signs allowed in the hearing either. After wasting
clearing the room twice -- and scowling (sadly, her face has frozen like
that), DiFi wanted to then lecture everyone present.
wanted those present to know what good citizens didn't do. "They don't
show signs." What a bully in a bad wig. And as she lost it repeatedly,
it was hard not to think how lucky she is that so many of the
Committee's hearings are closed to the public. Feinstein is the public
servant who loathes the public.
Why were people upset? Because President Barack Obama nominated John Brennan to be the CIA Director.
probably because they knew Feinstein was going to rubber stamp him.
What else was she going to do? She served on the "Intelligence
Committee" when torture took place. She was briefed on it and she
looked the other way. She buried it and she mitigated it and she's part
of the refusal to hold people accountable for torture. In a
functioning government, she would have been forced to resign from the
Committee. Instead, she tries to pretend she has the ethics to
criticize a film that exposes the widespread use of torture.
her ridiculous opening remarks, she pushed the lie that civilian deaths
from drone strikes were minimal ("typically been in the single digits")
and claimed that she and the Committee had provided strong oversight
("significant oversight") of The Drone War. She was lying again. When
Feinstein lies, her voice goes flat and in the roof of the mouth. It's a
weird sound but that's her tell. And she was lying in her opening
statements. Those that don't know her tell had only to listen to
Senator Ron Wyden's first exchange to grasp that there has been no
oversight and DiFi was lying.
If you're new to The Drone War, The World (PRI) has created this folder of audio reports on the topic.
Drones are robot planes. The operator isn't in the plane, they're
elsewhere. The drones capture video. That's generally a live feed.
When we speak of the drones involved in The Drone War, we're speaking of
drones with more than video capability. These drones are weaponized.
John Brennan is usually referred to by the press as the "architect."
and others would claim that they wanted to focus on CIA issues. But no
one asked the obvious: Can you keep it in your pants or will you also
sleep around making yourself a security risk? That is why the hearing
was held in the first place. CIA Director David Petraeus had to step
down because he couldn't keep it in his pants. When that happens, maybe
the first question to the next nominee should be about the topic that
forced a resignation?
Brennan noted he joined the CIA in 1980.
That was about all the facts he could muster in his opening remarks but
that was probably one more factual truth than Chair Dianne Feinstein
managed in her long, long opening remarks. Brennan was yammering away
about his family -- no, that really didn't belong in the opening
remarks, when a man began shouting about a teenager (I believe he was
referring to 16-year-old Abdulrahman al-Awlaki who was an American and
who was killed by a drone) when DiFi felt the need to pause the
hearing. As the man was led away, he urged the Committe, "Stand up
against torture, stand up against drones to not confirm this man."
then wanted to go on about his own three children. A woman stood, held
a baby doll over her head and shouted, "Speaking of children, I speak
for the mothers of children who are killed in the drone strikes in
Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia and anywhere else. And the Obama administration
refuses to tell Congress. They won't even tell Congress what countries
we are killing children in. Senator Feinstein, are your children more
important than the children of Pakistan and Yemen? Are they more
important? Do your job! World peace depends on it. We're making more
enemies -- "
DiFi's not really good with children, never has
been. And she only has one child, for the record. That's probably
confusing because she's on husband number three, but she only has one
child. (And that's obvious by her inability to handle anything that
strays from a schedule.)
"The next time," Feinstein informed Brennan, "we're going to clear the chamber and bring people in one by one."
a petty little tyrant. I've been at hearings at the height of the Iraq
War. I've seen real outbursts, prolonged ones. No one had to call a
recess, no one had to pout. (In fairness, DiFi's unhappy life has made
the corners of her mouth sag so she forever appears to be pouting.) A
woman then stood up with a list of the names of children killed in The
It was too much for Dianne Feinstein. She insisted
that the room be cleared and "that the CODEPINK associates not be
permitted to come back in."
After a recess, the hearing
started again and it wasn't good for Brennan. Without CODEPINK
interrupting, it became obvious how like Arvin Sloane he was. He sounds
like him, he looks like him. Arvin Sloane was the maniac and CIA
baddie on Jennifer Garner's Alias. Ron Rifkin played him.
yammering away forever, neither Feinstein nor Breenan noted the reality
that Alice K. Ross, Chris Woods and Sarah Leo did in December with "The Reaper Presidency: Obama's 300th drone strike in Pakistan" (The Bureau of Investigative Journalism).
None wanted to note that, in Pakistan alone, The Drone War has resulted
in about 3,468 deaths -- with as many as 893 of those being civilians.
176 of those were children. So, no, DiFi's lie about each year's
civilian killed are not in the single digit. Well they may be, the
'report' the Senate Intelligence Community gets may say that. But it's a
lie if it does. DiFi also 'forgot' to mention that the United Nations
Vice Chair Saxby Chambliss: As Deputy Executive Director, you received the daily updates from the time of Abu Zubaydah's
capture throughout his interrogation including the analysis of the
lawfulness of the techniques putting you in the position to express any
concerns you had about the program before any of the most controversial
techniques -- including water boarding -- were ever used. Now we found a
minimum of 50 memos in the documents within the 6,000 pages that -- on
which you were copied. What steps did you take to stop CIA from moving
to these techniques you now say you found objectionable at the time?
Brennan: I did not take steps to stop the CIA's use of those
techniques. I was not in the chain of command of that program. I
served as Deputy Executive Director at the time. I had responsibility
for overseeing the management of the Agency and all of its various
functions and, uh, I was aware of the program. Uhm, I was uh-uh cc-ed
on some of those documents but I had no oversight of it. I wasn't
involved in its creation. I had expressed my personal objections and
views to some Agency colleagues about certain of those EITs such as
water boarding, nudity and others where I professed my personal
objections to it. Uh, but I did not try to stop it because it was -- uh
-- you know, something that was being done in a different part of the
agency under the authority of others. Uh, and it was, uh, something
that, uh, was directed by the, uh, the administration at the time.
Brennan gave his silent approval. And he never took it to "the ones
directly above you," as Chambliss pointed out by listing all those
higher at the time than Brennan in the CIA. Confronted by Chambliss
with AB Krongard's remarks that Brennan was more involved in the torture
than he's letting on, Brennan fell back on "I don't recall." Buzzy
Krongard was Executive Director of the CIA. Asked by Chambliss about
the e-mails describing various torture techniques being sent to him,
Brennan insisted he got ton of e-mails but he wasn't in the loop on
Senator Ron Wyden started his first round of questioning by noting the meeting he and other senators had with Brennan last week.
Ron Wyden: As we discussed then, I believe the issues before us have
nothing to do with political party and have everything to do with checks
and balances that make our system of government so special. Taking the
fight to al Qaeda is something every member of this Committee feels
strongly about. It's the idea of giving any president unfettered power
to kill an American without checks and balances that is so troubling.
Every American has the right to know when their government believes it's
allowed to kill them. And ensuring that the Congress has the documents
and information it needs to conduct robust oversight is central to our
democracy. In fact, the Committee was actually created in response to
lax oversight of programs that involved targeted killings. So it was
encouraging last night when the President called and indicated that
effective immediately, he would release the documents necessary for
senators to understand the full legal analysis of the president's
authority to conduct the targeted killing of an American. What the
president said is a good first step towards ensuring the openess and
accountability that's important and you heard that reaffirmed in the
Chair's strong words right now. Since last night, however, I have
become concerned that the Department of Justice is not following through
with the president's commitment just yet. 11 United States Senators
asked to see any and all legal opinions, but when I went to read the
opinions this morning, it is not clear that that was what was provided.
And moreover on this point, with respect to lawyers, I think what the
concern is, is there's a double standard. As the National Security
Advisor and you volunteered to your credit, you are not a lawyer, you
asked your lawyers and your experts to help you and we're trying to wade
through all of these documents and the reason I'm concerned is that
it's not yet clear that what the president committed to has actually
been provided. And finally on this point, the Committee has been just
stonewalled on several other requests -- particularly with regards to
secret law. And I'm going to leave this point simply by saying, I hope
you'll go back to the White House and convey to them the message is not
yet following through on the president's commitment. Will you convey
John Brennan: Yes, I will, Senator.
Ron Wyden: Very good. Let me now move to the public side of
oversight, making sure that the public's right to know is respected.
One part oversight is Congressional oversight and our doing our work
here. The other is making sure that the American people are brought
into these debate. Just like James Madison said, this is what you need
to preserve a republic. And I want to start with the drone issue. In a
speech last year, the President instructed you to be more open with the
public about the use of drones to conduct targeted killings of al Qaeda
members. So my question is: What should be done next to ensure that
public conversation about drones so that the American people are brought
in to this debate and have a full understanding of what rules the
government's going to observe when it conducts targeted killings?
Brennan: Well I think this hearing is one way because I think this
kind of discourse between the legislative and the executive branch is
critically important. I believe that there needs to be continued
speeches that are going to be given by, uh, given by the executive
branch to explain our counter-terrorism programs. I think there's a
misimpression on the part of some American people who believe that we
take strikes to punish terrorist for past transgressions. Nothing could
be further from the truth. We only take such actions as a last resort
to save lives when there's no other alternative to taking an action
that's going to mitigate that threat. So we need to make sure that
there's an understanding. And the people that were standing up here
today, I think they really have a misunderstanding of what we do as a
government and the care that we take and the agony that we go through to
make sure that we do not have any collateral injuries or deaths. And
as the Chairman said earlier, the need to be able to go out and say that
publicly and openly, I think, is critically important because people
are reacting to a lot of falsehoods that are out there and I do see it
as part of my obligation and I think it's the obligation of this
Committee to make sure the truth is known to the American people and to
It's a damn shame idiots like Glenn-Glenn
Greenwald were allowed and encouraged to hijack Zero Dark Thirty because
Kathryn Bigelow's film demonstrates what a liar Brennan is. There is
no mistaken impression (the real term, not "misimpression") on the part
of the American people. What's really going on, and this is in
Kathryn's film, is that "last resort" is not a last resort. These
people making these decisions are declaring everything a "last resort."
That's what the interrogation in the first act of the film is about.
The prisoner has no knowledge of a bombing that will take place in 24
hours. He is tortured. Over and over. "Last resort" and "threat"?
No, not in the 'ticking time bomb' sense that has taken up the bulk of
the discussion of terrorism.
Should people torture?
It cheapens and deadens you, it destroys any real sense of a legal
system. But proponents use the ticking time bomb argument. This argues
that if you could stop Miami from being bombed in 24 hours if you were
allowed to torture a suspect, you should do it. This ticking time bomb
argument allowed for a lot of hiding. The torture was never about
something in 24 hours. It was about getting information -- something
interrogation has long done. Sometimes well, sometimes poorly. And as
the film makes clear, torture was allowed because an attack today or an
attack two years from now were all treated as an "immediate threat" and
torture was the first choice while being presented as a "last resort."
grasps what idiots like Glenn-Glenn didn't. And Brennan is playing
word games with a Committee that's either too stupid to grasp that or
honestly doesn't care. And that's very important because if you're
going to infer that Americans can't be targeted on US soil and Brennan's
playing word games then we're being denied the reality that, as with
torture, the never-ending supposed threat (labled "immediate threat"
always by the government) will mean US citizens can be targeted with
government killings while on US soil. Anything else is lie and Brennan
told a lot of lies in the hearing. We're going to again note Jameel
Jaffer's "The Justice Department White Paper Details Rationale for Targeted Killing of Americans" (ACLU):
Michael Isikoff at NBC News has obtained a
Justice Department white paper that purports to explain when it would
be lawful for the government to carry out the extrajudicial killing of
an American citizen believed to be affiliated with a terrorist
organization. Many of the white paper's arguments are familiar because
Attorney General Eric Holder set them out in a speech at Northwestern University in
March of last year. But the white paper offers more detail, and in
doing so it manages to underscore both the recklessness of the
government's central claim and the deficiencies in the government's
defense of it.
The 16-page white paper (read it here)
is said to summarize a 50-odd page legal memo written in 2010 by the
Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel to justify the addition of
U.S. citizen Anwar Al-Aulaqi to the government's "kill lists." That
legal memo is one of the documents the ACLU is seeking in an ongoing
Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. Needless to say, the white paper is not a substitute for the legal memo. But it's a pretty remarkable document.
The paper's basic contention is that the government has the authority
to carry out the extrajudicial killing of an American citizen if "an
informed, high-level official" deems him to present a "continuing"
threat to the country. This sweeping authority is said to exist even if
the threat presented isn't imminent in any ordinary sense of that word,
even if the target has never been charged with a crime or informed of
the allegations against him, and even if the target is not located
anywhere near an actual battlefield. The white paper purports to
recognize some limits on the authority it sets out, but the limits are
so vague and elastic that they will be easily manipulated.
Moving from the hearing, Salah Nasrawi (Ahram) explores the current trends in Iraq:
The protests raised speculation about the future of the violence-torn
nation amid the worst political deadlock and sectarian divisions seen
since the US troops departed.
The seven-week demonstrations seem to be a sign of regained Sunni
confidence in the face of Shia domination since the US-led invasion that
toppled the Sunni regime of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein in
Iraq has remained gripped in its worst political crisis as the leaders
of its divided sectarian and ethnic communities have failed to reach
agreement on how to share power and government revenues.
The country’s Sunni and Kurdish leaders have accused Al-Maliki of
violating the terms of a power-sharing deal he signed with rival
political parties following inconclusive parliamentary elections in
As the political crisis in Iraq deepens, Baghdad has been embroiled in a
long-running dispute over political participation, oil and land and
revenue-sharing with the Kurds in the north.
Tensions between the central Iraqi government in Baghdad and the
Kurdish region intensified following reports of a military stand-off
between Kurdish Peshmerga soldiers and the Iraqi army.
Iraq Body Count notes 80 violent deaths so far this month through yesterday which was only the sixth day of the month. Violence continues today. All Iraq News reports a Mosul roadside bombing has claimed the lives of 2 Iraqi soldiers, three homes in nothern Diyala Province were bombed leaving eighteen people injured, a Baghdad car bombing has injured an employee of Irbahim al-Jaafari's -- al-Jaafari is the head of the National Alliance and 1 government employee was shot dead in Baghdad. Al Rafidayn identifies the government employee as the Director General of the Ministry of Housing and Construction and Al Rafidayn identifies the location on the home bombings as Wajihiya ("north of Baquba").
On the topic of violence, Nouri's flunky Muqdad al-Sharifi was insisting to AFP yesterday that the protests were a security threat. Today the gabby al-Sharifi is telling AP
and anyone else who will listen (or anyone who'll practice
stenography) that the electoral commission are receiving death threats
from Sunni areas. Code for "Sunnis be crazy." It's good to see that
al-Sharifi's not interested in even pretending to be objective. Better
the reality of Nouri and his flunkies be exposed early on.
Interestingly enough, he's now just "a member of the election
commission" -- that's how AP bills him today. (He is actually, as AFP noted,
"the chief electoral officer of Iraq's Independent High Electoral
Commission.") While Nouri and his cronies try to dismiss and attack the
protesters, All Iraq News notes
Ammar al-Hakim, head of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, has issued
a call for the legitimate demands of the protesters to be heeded. The
outlet notes that al-Hakim has been in contact with some of the southern
tribal leaders and they are calling for the protesters to be listened
to. Al Rafidayn notes
that al-Hakim declared that the protests are a Constitutional right and
that the government must listen to the legimate demands. Meanwhile Kitabat reports that protesters are being targeted for assassination and that in Baghdad alone 13 protests have been assassinate.
Al Mada notes
the sit-in in Mousl continues and that belongings of the protesters
were stolen from their tents. Sheikh Saeed Lafi states that Friday's
demonstration will rally the people and see tribal leaders and elders
taking part in the demonstration and calling for the Federal Court to
honor the mandates passed by Parliament (limiting the Speaker of
Parliament and Prime Minister to two terms only -- as the president is
already limited). The Sheikh notes that the Federal Court is biased
towards Nouri and under the control of Nouri's Dawa political party. He
also states that it is clear that Iran is influecing events in Iraq. Kitabat adds
that Friday's slogan is "NO to the Tyrannical Ruler." The protesters
state that Iraq is headed towards the abyss and they will not assist in
the making of a new dictator or in helping the dicator exploit the
Like the protests, questions surrounding a billion dollar deal just won't go away. From the December 26th snapshot:
Nouri was strutting across the world stage as he inked a $4.2 billion
weapons deal with Russia. The deal is now iffy if not off (an Iraqi
delegation went to Russia at the start of the month to see if the deal
could be salvaged) and it went down in charges of corruption. Among
those said to be implicated in the corruption is Nouri's own son. All Iraq News reports
that State of Law is attempting to remove Nouri's name from the list of
those Parliament is investigating for the corruption in that deal. In
addition, Al Mada reports that Nouri is refusing to answer questions from the Parliament relating to that arms deal.
You may remember that when the rumors started to really swirl, Nouri and
his cronies turned on Ali al-Dabbagh, Nouri's spokesperson. Thing is,
they turned to late. Ali al-Dabbagh had already seen the writing on the
wall and left Iraq. Not before making it clear that he knew a great
deal about the Russian arms deal -- and repeatedly maintaining that he
hadn't made a cent off it. He's currently in the UAE. All Iraq News reports
today that Ali's gotten chatty with the Russian press. Who made money
off the corrupt deal? Ali says it was Nouri's advisors and Nouri's son.
Cindy Sheehan is calling on people to write political prisoner Lynne Stewart.
Lynne Stewart early on in her career became the people's attorney.
That means her clients were often not the ones who could afford to pay
for legal representation. It means also that she represented all of the
people. Not just the cuddly types. This became a problem during the
so-called War on Terror -- a never-ending war. You can't have a Lynne
Stewart out there. Not someone who stands up. You need cowards. And
they're always in wide supply. In 2005, Lynne Stewart was found
guilty. Elaine Cassel (Find Law) explained what was taking place:
Prior to September 11, 2001, many attorneys
might have sided with Stewart. They would certainly have seen a blatant
Sixth Amendment violation in both the SAMs and the eavesdropping
regulations - and possibly seen First Amendment violations when it came
to the SAMs. And they might also have agreed that to honor the right to
counsel, an attorney ought to try to resurrect the traditional
attorney-client relationship despite these unconstitutional constraints.
Now, however, the First and Sixth Amendments have been
gutted--at least in terms of the attorney-client relationship. Indeed,
as I argued in the first article I wrote about Stewart, the government seems to be conducting an all-out assault on the right to counsel.
attorneys who represent alleged terrorists - or even detainees who are
merely suspected of some connection to terrorism -- now know that the
government may listen in on their attorney-client communications. They
also know that this eavesdropping may give rise to evidence that may be
used in their own prosecution for terrorism if they cross the imaginary line drawn by the government.
How can these attorneys be zealous advocates with this government-inspired fear overshadowing their every word?
the attorneys are prosecuted, they can expect, at trial, to be
conflated with their clients - just as Stewart was. The prosecution
showed an old tape of Osama bin Laden promising revenge if Rahman were
not released. In a courtroom only a short distance from Ground Zero, the
tape must have meant a great deal. But it related to Rahman, not
Stewart. Though Rahman may be a Bin Laden confederate, that does not
mean his attorney is.
Lynne is guilty of
nothing. She broke no law. She broke a Special Administrative Measure.
That's not a law. She broke it by giving Reuters a press release from
her client. That happened when Bill Clinton was president. Janet Reno
was Attorney General. The Justice Dept looked into the matter. They
didn't file charges against Lynne because Janet Reno knew the law and
knew breaking a SAM is not breaking a law. Life went on. Then the
Supreme Court gave the presidency to Bully Boy Bush and he picked John
Ashcroft to be his Attorney General. Ashcroft went gunning for Lynne
and he should have been reigned in by judges. Instead, he was allowed
to let his crazy run free.
Falsely linking Lynne
to 9-11 and holding the trial at Ground Zero allowed Ashcroft to get a
conviction -- he linked her to 9-11 the same way the administration
linked Iraq to 9-11 when trying to sell the Iraq War. In October of
2006, US District Court Judge John Koetl sentenced Lynne to 28 months.
He noted, in his remarks, her years of work, her public service. Lynne
began serving her sentence on November 18, 2009. The delay had to do
with medical care for breast cancer. Bully Boy Bush was gone from the
White House. Barack Obama was President of the United States. A
Constitutional professor, he claimed. Surely, this would be good for
Lynne. Maybe, as our Elaine's noted,
Lynne reminded Barack too much of his own mother? Whatever the reason,
Barack becoming president wasn't good for Lynne. Under Barack, Lynne's
28 month sentence was replaced with a 10 year prison sentence.
As Lynne's husband Ralph Poynter noted on Black Agenda Radio, week of January 21st, Lynne's cancer has returned.
For months, we have been worried about a spot that's shown on Lynne's
lung -- one of her lungs. And we did not want to go public with it
until we were sure what was happening. What is happening is her breast
cancer is spreading. It has spread to the other lung and to parts of
her back. We feel that it is a death sentence in the prison. We fought
in the beginning to keep Lynne out of jail, to make them take her from a
local hospital with the doctor's objection because we could see the
hand writing on the wall. This was not taken up as a legal issue and
Lynne went to prison and now the other shoe has fallen. Her cancer is
spreading. She is in Fort Worth, Texas subjected to the regulations of a
prison between her and health care. From the greatest center of health
care probably in the world from New York to Fort Worth, Texas and we
know cancer is spreading. And as our daughter the doctor says, cancer
has to be nipped in the bud. But first it has to go through regulations
of Fort Worth Texas -- not knowing when you go to the hospital, not
knowing who's going to be there. So we're working on that.
Lynne's now served over 38 months in prison. Her original sentence was 28 months. Stephen Lendman (San Franciso Bay View) explains, "She requested transfer to a New York hospital. She's been successfully treated there before. She was denied." Brenda Ryan (Workers World) reports,
"The re-emergence of Stewart's cancer was first detected in a PET
scan. [Lynn and Ralph's daughter Dr. Zenobia] Brown noted that it took
two months from the time of the scan until Stewart was able to see a
doctor. Stewart's hands and feet are shackled every time she goes to
the hospital. While there she is cruelly shackled to a bedpost by her
ankle and wrist." This is ridiculous. She's served the original
sentence. She's now dealing with cancer again. She needs to focus on
her treatment. She cannot do that behind bars. She is a 73-year-old
woman who has never been a threat to herself or others, she needs a
medical release right now. The US Justice Dept allows what is known as a
and it includes criteria such as "extraordinary or compelling
circumstances which could not reasonably have been foreseen by the court
at the time of sentencing." That would include the return of Lynne's
cancer. There is no risk to the public in Lynne being released under a
"compassionate release." It is in Lynne's best interest for her to be
released, it is in the government's best interest to release her. On
the latter, as University of California San Francisco's Dr. Brie Williams pointed out,
"Current compassionate release guidelines are failing to identify
seriously ill prisoners who no longer pose a threat to society, placing
huge financial burdens on state budgets and contributing to the national
crisis of prison overcrowding."
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