Puppet MastersS

Alarm Clock

Mau Mau veterans launch second round of legal action

Kenyans' lawyers say discovery of files on torture and murder of detainees by colonial officials means courts can hear case.

Three elderly veterans of the Mau Mau insurgency in Kenya have launched the second round of their attempt to sue the British government following the discovery of a secret cache of Foreign Office files that document the torture and even murder of detainees by colonial officials.

Round one was won by the trio last year when the high court ruled there was "ample evidence ... that there may have been systematic torture of detainees during the [Mau Mau] emergency", and suggested it would be "dishonourable" for the courts to accept the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's argument that the veterans should be suing the current Kenyan government.

Alarm Clock

Sins of colonialists lay concealed for decades in secret archive

Hanslope Park, where the Foreign Office kept a secret archive of colonial papers.
What better place to bury thousands of documents from former colonies than one of the government's most secure facilities?

In June 1957, Eric Griffiths-Jones, the attorney general of the British administration in Kenya, wrote to the governor, Sir Evelyn Baring, detailing the way the regime of abuse at the colony's detention camps was being subtly altered.

From now on, Griffiths-Jones wrote, for the abuse to remain legal, Mau Mau suspects must be beaten mainly on their upper body, "vulnerable parts of the body should not be struck, particularly the spleen, liver or kidneys", and it was important that "those who administer violence ... should remain collected, balanced and dispassionate".

Almost as an after-thought, the attorney general reminded the governor of the need for complete secrecy. "If we are going to sin," he wrote, "we must sin quietly."

Alarm Clock

Mau Mau trial: Imperial amnesia

Abuse was sanctioned by a particular institutional attitude that has never been adequately challenged

In a celebrated speech at Westminster in 1959, then-Tory backbencher Enoch Powell suggested it would be a betrayal of everything England believed its colonial mission was about if the authorities tried to evade responsibility for the massacre of Mau Mau suspects at the Hola detention camp. More than 50 years later, a British government is still trying to evade responsibility for the torture of Kenyans in similar camps throughout the 1950s.

Eye 2

Best of the Web: Chilling legal memo from Obama DOJ justifies assassination of U.S. citizens

© Reuters
The most extremist power any political leader can assert is the power to target his own citizens for execution without any charges or due process, far from any battlefield. The Obama administration has not only asserted exactly that power in theory, but has exercised it in practice. In September 2011, it killed US citizen Anwar Awlaki in a drone strike in Yemen, along with US citizen Samir Khan, and then, in circumstances that are still unexplained, two weeks later killed Awlaki's 16-year-old American son Abdulrahman with a separate drone strike in Yemen.

Since then, senior Obama officials including Attorney General Eric Holder and John Brennan, Obama's top terrorism adviser and his current nominee to lead the CIA, have explicitly argued that the president is and should be vested with this power. Meanwhile, a Washington Post article from October reported that the administration is formally institutionalizing this president's power to decide who dies under the Orwellian title "disposition matrix".

When the New York Times back in April, 2010 first confirmed the existence of Obama's hit list, it made clear just what an extremist power this is, noting: "It is extremely rare, if not unprecedented, for an American to be approved for targeted killing." The NYT quoted a Bush intelligence official as saying "he did not know of any American who was approved for targeted killing under the former president". When the existence of Obama's hit list was first reported several months earlier by the Washington Post's Dana Priest, she wrote that the "list includes three Americans".


Best of the Web: 'Death of a Prisoner': Obama's hypocrisy continues

When President Obama pledged to close the Guantánamo Bay prison on his first day in office as president in 2009, I believed the country had shifted direction. I was wrong. Four years later, President Obama has not only institutionalized Guantánamo and all the horrors it symbolizes, but he has initiated new extrajudicial programs, like the president's secret kill list.

In September 2012 I read the news that another prisoner at Guantánamo had died, and I knew I had probably met his family. I traveled to Yemen in 2007 with the idea of making a film about a Guantánamo prisoner. I went there with the Guantánamo lawyer David Remes. He met with families and delivered the news of their sons, brothers, fathers and husbands. I had hoped to film the journey of someone being released from Guantánamo and returning home. Five years later, I find myself making that film, but under tragic circumstances.


Entire Miami police squad fired after footage shows cops shopping, dining and kissing while ignoring 911 calls

© AFP Photo / Joe Raedle
An investigation into Miami police officers' on-duty conduct found six officers were ignoring 911 calls while instead kissing their girlfriends, shopping, and drinking coffee.

One 911 call involved an unconscious five-month-old baby. Video footage shows Miami police officer Dario Socarras ignoring dispatch orders to save the child, while drinking coffee for nine minutes and lying to the dispatcher about being "en route". Paramedics eventually reached the unconscious child, while Socarras never went - but still, the officer wrote in his daily report that he attended the scene.

And Socarras is only one of six officers caught neglecting their duties: after being followed and caught on surveillance video by Internal Affairs, two officers and a sergeant were fired and three were suspended without pay for dereliction of duty from the Miami Dade Police Department.

The footage of the incidents documents the department's worst case of delinquency in its history.


Do Wall Street insiders expect something really big to happen very soon?

Wall Street
© The Economic Collapse Blog
Why are corporate insiders dumping huge numbers of shares in their own companies right now? Why are some very large investors suddenly making gigantic bets that the stock market will crash at some point in the next 60 days?

Do Wall Street insiders expect something really BIG to happen very soon? Do they know something that we do not know? What you are about to read below is startling. Every time that the market has fallen in recent years, insiders have been able to get out ahead of time.

David Coleman of the Vickers Weekly Insider report recently noted that Wall Street insiders have shown "a remarkable ability of late to identify both market peaks and troughs". That is why it is so alarming that corporate insiders are selling nine times as many shares as they are buying right now.

In addition, some extraordinarily large bets have just been made that will only pay off if the financial markets in the U.S. crash by the end of April. So what does all of this mean? Well, it could mean absolutely nothing or it could mean that there are people out there that actually have insider knowledge that a market crash is coming. Evaluate the evidence below and decide for yourself...

Bizarro Earth

Rule-making panel: Coloradans can still lose jobs over pot smoking

© Shutterstock
Marijuana users in Colorado may no longer fear arrest but they very well could still lose their jobs after a drug test, a task force set up to recommend rules for legalization decided Tuesday.

In other words: Just because Colorado voters approved regulation of marijuana last November doesn't mean your boss did, too.


Obama says he can assassinate or indefinitely detain Americans on American soil without any due process of law

I've previously noted that Obama says that he can assassinate American citizens living on U.S. soil.

This admittedly sounds over-the-top. But one of the nation's top constitutional and military law experts - Jonathan Turley - agrees.

Is the second most cited law professor in the country
Has worked as both the CBS and NBC legal analyst during national controversies
Ranks 38th in the top 100 most cited 'public intellectuals' in a recent study by a well-known judge
Is one of the top 10 lawyers handling military cases
Has served as a consultant on homeland security and constitutional issues
Is a frequent witness before the House and Senate on constitutional and statutory issues

Bizarro Earth

Best of the Web: White House calls drone strikes against Americans on U.S. soil 'legal,' 'ethical' and 'wise' - even without evidence of a pending attack

The White House is declining to explain its criteria for directing drone attacks against American citizens working abroad with terrorists
The White House today defended the use of targeted drone strikes against U.S. citizens abroad suspected of high-level terrorist activity, but declined to detail the criteria for ordering such an attack.

"Sometimes we use remotely piloted aircraft to conduct targeted strikes against specific al Qaeda terrorists in order to prevent attacks on the United States and to save American lives," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters.

"We conduct those strikes because they are necessary to mitigate ongoing actual threats, to stop plots, to prevent future attacks and, again, save American lives. These strikes are legal, they are ethical, and they are wise," he said.

Administration lawyers found it is lawful to kill an American citizen if a "high-level" government official believes the target is an operational leader of al Qaeda who poses "an imminent threat of violent attack against the United States" and if capture is infeasible, according to a newly disclosed Justice Department document.