[R-G] Shooting at Fort Hood, CIA Convicted of Kidnapping, Tea Party Anti Health Rally
garyrumor2 at yahoo.com
Thu Nov 5 21:55:44 MST 2009
Shootings At Fort Hood, CIA Convicted In ItalyNovember 5th, 2009
Major Malik Hasan, a seemingly mild mannered Muslim Psychiatrist and Major in the US Army turned on his fellow military men shooting and killing 12, wounding 31.
He was wounded but not killed by the base security officers. Military personnel do not normally carry weapons when on base. Fort Hood is the largest military base in the USA with over 40,000 troops assigned there.
It seems that Major Hasan was about to be assigned to Iraq and he was unhappy about it. His specialty is dealing with the traumas related to war operations of soldiers. He apparently was not looking foward to being assigned to active duty in a war zone. It is reported that he had made moves to hire a lawyer to see if he could retire from the military.
Why this man acted as he did is not known. But it seems that he did not want to participate in the American war machine in action against his own co-religionists. But that is simply a supposition my part. It is sad to hear of senseless killing, about as senseless as a car bomb or an air strike by a long distance drone. Most victims from war are civilians, innocents caught in the crossfire.
Yesterday the Italian prosecutors office won a victory. This is also a victory for the rule of law and an indication that the Italian judiciary is truly independent. A judge convicted 23 CIA agents in absentia for kidnapping a Muslim Cleric off the Italian streets. This morning on Democracy Now one of the prosecutors was interviewed. He says that if any of these CIA agents come to EU they can be arrested on Italian warrants. Only the Italian Minister in Charge can ask Interpol for an international arrest warrant or ask the USA government to extradite through reciprocal extradition treaties but the current government in Italy has not done so.
This is from the NY Times
“Italy Convicts 23 Americans for C.I.A. Renditions
By RACHEL DONADIO
Published: November 4, 2009
MILAN — In a landmark ruling, an Italian judge on Wednesday convicted a base chief for the Central Intelligence Agency and 22 other Americans, almost all C.I.A. operatives, of kidnapping a Muslim cleric from the streets of Milan in 2003.
The case was a huge symbolic victory for Italian prosecutors, who drew the first convictions involving the American practice of rendition, in which terrorism suspects are captured in one country and taken for questioning in another, often one more open to coercive interrogation techniques.
Critics of the Bush administration have long hailed the case as a repudiation of the tactics it used to fight terrorism. And the fact that Italy would actually convict intelligence agents of an allied country was seen as a bold move that could set a precedent in other cases.
Still, the convictions may have little practical effect. They do not seem to change the close relations between the United States and Italy. Nor did they reveal whether the government of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi had approved the kidnapping. And it seemed highly unlikely that anyone, Italian or American, would spend any time in prison.
Judge Oscar Magi handed an eight-year sentence to Robert Seldon Lady, a former C.I.A. base chief in Milan, and five-year sentences to the 22 other Americans, including an Air Force colonel and 21 C.I.A. operatives. Three of the other high-ranking Americans were given diplomatic immunity, including Jeffrey Castelli, a former C.I.A. station chief in Rome.
Citing state secrecy, the judge did not convict five high-ranking Italians charged in the abduction, including a former head of Italian military intelligence, Nicolò Pollari.
All the Americans were tried in absentia and are considered fugitives. Through their court-appointed lawyers, they pleaded not guilty.
Italian prosecutors had charged the Americans and seven members of the Italian military intelligence agency in the abduction of Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr, known as Abu Omar, on Feb. 17, 2003. Prosecutors said he was snatched in broad daylight, flown from an American air base in Italy to a base in Germany and then on to Egypt, where he asserts that he was tortured.
Armando Spataro, the counter terrorism prosecutor who brought the case, said he was considering asking the Italian government for an international arrest warrant for the fugitive Americans.
In May, Mr. Magi ruled that there was enough evidence to proceed with the case even after Italy’s Constitutional Court ruled in March that any evidence of coordination between the Italian secret services and the C.I.A. violated state secrecy rules and was therefore inadmissible.
Mr. Magi also asked for $1.45 million in damages for Mr. Nasr and $750,000 for his wife, Ghali Nabila. In separate lawsuits, Mr. Nasr, who is now living in Alexandria, Egypt, is seeking $14 million in damages from the defendants, and his wife is seeking $7.4 million against the Italian authorities. In August the couple also filed a suit with the European Court of Human Rights.
Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International applauded Wednesday’s ruling. In a statement, Tom Parker, Amnesty International’s United States point man for terrorism issues, called on the Obama administration to “repudiate the unlawful practice of extraordinary rendition.”
The administration has closed secret overseas prisons but is keeping the practice of rendition in place.
Prosecutors were able to reconstruct his disappearance using cellphone records traced to the American agents. The operatives used false names but left a paper trail of unencrypted cellphone records and credit card bills at luxury hotels in Milan.
“The C.I.A. has not commented on any of the allegations surrounding Abu Omar,” said Paul Gimigliano, a C.I.A. spokesman.
The former C.I.A. official said that if Italian prosecutors were successful in getting an international arrest warrant, the convicted spies would probably face the threat of arrest anywhere outside the United States for the rest of their lives.
Most of the top C.I.A. officers said to have planned the Abu Omar rendition have left the agency, with the exception of Stephen R. Kappes, who at the time was the assistant director of the C.I.A.’s clandestine branch.”
Today there was a rally of anti health care activists in Washington, DC It was organized by Freedom works the same group that organized many of the protests last August at local town hall meetings. According to CBS news they offered free bus rides for the mostly elderly protestors. There were several thousand persons who came to the events that Congresswoman Michele Bachmann was advertising on Fox TV last week.
This is from the CBS news article.
“Bring out Pelosi!” the crowd outside the Capitol Building chanted during today’s hour-long rally, spearheaded by Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), who is quickly becoming the face of the conservative branch of the Republican party. They furiously booed the mention of “Pelosi-care” and, prompted by the crisp notes of a bugle, yelled “Charge!”
“It is not Michele Bachmann’s fault” the activists are angry, Bachmann reportedly said on a conference call Wednesday night. “It is [House] Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi’s.”
The protesters were fueled — literally and figuratively — by lobbying organizations like Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks, the groups behind the August town hall protests and “tea party” events. Freedom works promoted this week’s event on their Web site DontKillGrandma.com with recommendations for protest tactics. Americans for Prosperity brought protesters from areas like New Jersey and North Carolina to the rally on buses, free of charge. Once there, they were happily passing out donuts to the crowd.”
Today President Obama met with leaders of America’s native peoples as he had promised in his campaign. This is the first time a president has met Native American leaders since President Clinton was in office back in the 1990’s. President Obama noted that reservations have up to an 80% unemployment rate according to an article from Fox-LA.
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