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The Wednesday Wall January 15, 2003

Posted by worldspectacle in Uncategorized.
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Watergate classic, from Gary Trudeau

Today’s brick: GOP senators on the warpath

“Republican senators gathering last Wednesday for their session-opening ‘retreat’ should have been happy, blessed with a regained majority and a popular president. They were not. Instead, they complained bitterly of arrogance by the Bush administration, especially the Pentagon, in treatment of Congress along the road to war.

“Two years of growing discontent boiled over during the closed-door meeting at the Library of Congress. White House chief of staff Andrew Card was there to hear grievances from President Bush’s Senate base that it is ignored and insulted by the administration, particularly by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, in preparing for war against Iraq…

“…[The Republican] unease about a divided administration on the brink of attacking Iraq is deepened because they are neither consulted nor informed about war plans…

“Sen. Kit Bond of Missouri next got up to tell Card that the administration had better put out more information justifying military action against Iraq as part of the war against terrorism. ”What is the connection between Iraq and al-Qaida?” Bond asked. ”Don’t worry,” replied Card, indicating the information would come along….”

Bonus brick: US government must end Guant�namo legal black hole

“The US government must end the legal black hole into which it has thrown hundreds of detainees in Guant�namo Bay in Cuba, Amnesty International said today, the first anniversary of the first prisoner transfers from Afghanistan to the US Naval Base. There are currently more than 600 detainees of around 40 nationalities held in Guant�namo.

“This legal limbo is a continuing violation of human rights standards which the international community must not ignore”, Amnesty International said.

“No access to the courts, lawyers or relatives; the prospect of indefinite detention in small cells for up to 24 hours a day; the possibility of trials by executive military commissions with the power to hand down death sentences and no right of appeal: is this how the USA defends human rights and the rule of law?”, Amnesty International asked, recalling the Secretary of State’s promise last year that the USA would ‘not relax our commitment to advancing the cause of human rights’.

“Amnesty International has repeatedly written to the US authorities calling for the detainees to be treated in accordance with international law and standards, and has also requested access to the Guant�namo facility. It has received no response.

“Amnesty International has called for the voluntary repatriation of all those detained as combatants during the international armed conflict in Afghanistan, as required under the Geneva Conventions, unless they are to be charged with criminal offences or would face serious human rights abuses if returned to their country. Any other of the Guant�namo detainees should be charged with recognizably criminal offences and tried within a reasonable time, or released, but not returned to any country where they would be at risk of torture, execution or other serious human rights abuses.

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