Debra Sweet / The World Can’t Wait – 2011-10-11 22:06:12
San Francisco: Protesting Ten Years of US War in Afghanistan
Video: October 11, 2011
WALL STREET, NY (October 11, 2011) — Tens of thousands of people in the US, taking the lead from millions in the Middle East, are “occupying” public spaces, seeking change in the the world as it is, standing up to authority, power, and blowing the ceiling off expectations that the vast disparity in global income “has to” be as it is. We’ve got to spread these occupations!
Hundreds of thousands of US military, support staff and private contractors are “occupying” two countries in the Middle East, in a mission to enforce, with a vengeance, US domination over the region, employing night raids, torture, and terror towards the civilian population. We’ve got to end those occupations!
We marked the 10th anniversary of the Bush regime’s bombing and invasion of Afghanistan last week, with protests across the US, which were in many cases intermingled with the Occupy Wall Street protests, and in all cases influenced by the outpouring of public anger at the system.
Significantly, a protest in Kabul by Afghans demanded the occupiers leave.
Yesterday, the United Nations released a report on the detention system in Afghanistan, bought, run and paid for by those who occupy the Pentagon. The New York Times reports that it
paints a devastating picture of abuse, citing evidence of “systematic torture” during interrogations by Afghan intelligence and police officials even as American and other Western backers provide training and pay for nearly the entire budget of the Afghan ministries running the detention centers.
Detainees — and we’ve known this since November 2001, when the US first set up operations at an old Afghan prison in Bagram — are hung by their hands and beaten with cables, their genitals twisted until they lose consciousness. Because of the Obama administration’s successful argument that the prisoners are not entitled to habeas corpus rights, they have no way out.
This is in no way a departure from all the rest of the Bush war crimes begun 10 years ago. The NY Times, which editorially opposes torture, while supporting the wars in which the US uses it, said today
such widespread use of torture in a detention system supported by American mentors and money raises serious questions about potential complicity of American officials and whether they benefited from information obtained from suspects who had been torturedâ€¦. There have been a number of instances that raise similar questions in other places, including Uzbekistan, Pakistan and El Salvador, according to a RAND Corporation report in 2006.
This systematic abuse must be working for the United States government. According to Glenn Greenwald, the Obama administration
unveiled plans for “the construction of Detention Facility in Parwan (DFIP), Bagram, Afghanistan” which includes “detainee housing capability for approximately 2,000 detainees.” It will also feature “guard towers, administrative facility and Vehicle/Personnel Access Control Gates, security surveillance and restricted access systems.” The announcement provided: “the estimated cost of the project is between $25,000,000 to $100,000,000.”
This occupation won’t be ended by Obama, or any presidents to follow him, unless people in this country demand it.
ACTION: Raise your voice!
On January 11, 2012, we’ll be back in Washington on the 10th anniversary of the US prison in Guantanamo, marking it with a protest/human chain of 2,200 people. We’ll stand for the 171 prisoners in Guantanamo, with no way out, and the 2,000 some at Bagram, with no legal standing. Join in! by connecting with CrowdVoice.org
October 7: March against drone warfare in DC: Protesters disrupt business at General Atomics (video)
Video by Kevin Gosztola (October 11, 2011)
WikiLeaks Founder Condemns Supporters of War Crimes
In the UK, Wikileaks’ Julian Assange addressed the antiwar assembly, sharply calling out those who enable war crimes: “When we understand that wars come about as a result of lies, peddled to the British public and the American public and public all over Europe and other countries, then who are the war criminals? It is not just leaders, it is not just soldiers, it is journalists, journalists are war criminals,” said Assange.
In the United States itself, we bear the most responsibility to speak out and stop the crimes of the government that has launched this worldwide war, with all its associated horrors of torture, indefinite detention, assassinations.