Foreign Policy: A World Enslaved
I honestly can't believe this is real. Appalling, but true.
With all the recent talk about the decline of big media (eg. Seth Godin's article at http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2009/01/when-newspapers.html), I thought it relevant to point to this piece about the shocking state of world slavery: "For four years, I saw dozens of people enslaved, several of whom traffickers actually offered to sell to me. I did not pay for a human life anywhere. And, with one exception, I always withheld action to save any one person, in the hope that my research would later help to save many more. At times, that still feels like an excuse for cowardice. But the hard work of real emancipation can’t be the burden of a select few." What place does four years worth of investigative journalism have in an internet driven meritocracy? Philanthropic endeavours? Streamlined news journals?Reportage is going to change and it is important we don't lose the power to expose issues like this.
Standing in New York City, you are five hours away from being able to negotiate the sale, in broad daylight, of a healthy boy or girl. He or she can be used for anything, though sex and domestic labor are most common. Before you go, let’s be clear on what you are buying. A slave is a human being forced to work through fraud or threat of violence for no pay beyond subsistence. Agreed? Good. Most people imagine that slavery died in the 19th century. Since 1817, more than a dozen international conventions have been signed banning the slave trade. Yet, today there are more slaves than at any time in human history.
"Standing in New York City, you are five hours away from being able to negotiate the sale, in broad daylight, of a healthy boy or girl. He or she can be used for anything, though sex and domestic labor are most common. ... The total number of Haitian children in bondage in their own country stands at 300,000."
Standing in New York City, you are five hours away from being able to negotiate the sale, in broad daylight, of a healthy boy or girl. He or she can be used for anything, though sex and domestic labor are most common.
There are now more slaves on the planet than at any time in human historyThe dark side of Dubai - Middle East, World - The Independent
Once the manic burst of building has stopped and the whirlwind has slowed, the secrets of Dubai are slowly seeping out. This is a city built from nothing in just a few wild decades on credit and ecocide, suppression and slavery. Dubai is a living metal metaphor for the neo-liberal globalised world that may be crashing – at last – into history.The Red Cross Torture Report: What It Means - The New York Review of Books
Manliness, heroes, & national character - a harrowing account of our own failures: http://tr.im/jII7 (Read 2 the end!) (via @jayrosen_nyu) [from http://twitter.com/CircleReader/statuses/1617944525]
New York Review of Books
2 of 2 essays by Mark Danner
NY Review of Books review referring to Feb 2007 Red Cross study on torture, referred to by Rahm Emanuel
Mark Danner NY Review of Books April 3009Official Google Blog: A new approach to China
It appears China can't play nice with the other kids.
Very big news you should read this!
Congrats to Google for raging against censorship, but WTF? A blog post accusing a foreign government of attacking them? Maybe they're getting a little too big? Ya think?
Whoa. China attacks Google (to steal business information and human rights activist email). Google withdraws from China.The Guantánamo “Suicides”: A Camp Delta sergeant blows the whistle—By Scott Horton (Harper's Magazine)
Scott Horton (Harper's Magazine)
1. “Asymmetrical Warfare”-- When President Barack Obama took office last year, he promised to “restore the standards of due process and the core constitutional values that have made this country great.” Toward that end, the president issued an executive order declaring that the extra-constitutional prison camp at Guantánamo Naval Base “shall be closed as soon as practicable, and no later than one year from the date of this order.” Obama has failed to fulfill his promise.
On June 9th, 2006, [Aamer] was beaten for two and a half hours straight. Seven naval military police participated in his beating. Mr. Aamer stated he had refused to provide a retina scan and fingerprints. He reported to me that he was strapped to a chair, fully restrained at the head, arms and legs. The MPs inflicted so much pain, Mr. Aamer said he thought he was going to die. The MPs pressed on pressure points all over his body: his temples, just under his jawline, in the hollow beneath his ears. They choked him. They bent his nose repeatedly so hard to the side he thought it would break. They pinched his thighs and feet constantly. They gouged his eyes. They held his eyes open and shined a mag-lite in them for minutes on end, generating intense heat. They bent his fingers until he screamed. When he screamed, they cut off his airway, then put a mask on him so he could not cry out.Testimony of Spc. Brandon Neely — The Center for the Study of Human Rights in the Americas (CSHRA)
A couple days later I found out from a detainee who was on that block that the older detainee was just scared and that when we placed him on his knees he thought he was going to be executed. He then went on to tell me that this man had seen some of his friends and family members executed on their knees. I can remember guys coming up to me after it was over that night and said "Man, that was a good job; you got you some". .......... Former President George Bush and Former Vice President Dick Cheney will never be held accountable for the decisions they made. It's the detainees and the guards like myself that will have to live every day with what they went through, saw, and did while there.
On December 4, 2008, Specialist Brandon Neely approached CSHRA with testimony he wished to contribute to the Guantánamo Testimonials Project. He believed that insufficient attention had been paid to "the hell that went on at Camp X-Ray." He would be in a position to know, as he arrived in Guantánamo while the cages of Camp X-Ray were still being welded, and escorted the second detainee to hit the prison grounds. In this interview, Specialist Neely provides testimony of the arrival of the detainees in full sensory-deprivation garb, sexual abuse by medical personnel, torture by other medical personnel, brutal beatings out of frustration, fear, and retribution, the first hunger strike and its causes, torturous shackling, positional torture, interference with religious practices and beliefs, verbal abuse, restriction of recreation, the behavior of mentally ill detainees, possible isolation regime of the first six children in GTMO, utter lack of preparation for guarding individuals detained
testimony of guard at GTMO
The bus doors opened, the escort teams were lined up right next to the bus to take the detainees off the bus and put them in the holding area. You could hear the Marines screaming at them "Shut the fuck up! You're property of the United States of America now."
And what about minimal force? SOPs say IRFings have to use the minimal amount of force necessary. And guards' reports that have been released say they were conducted in this way as well. On the other hand, you say that the Number 1 Man of the IRF team had to "hit the detainee as hard as he could with the shield". That does not seem consistent with minimal force… All I can say to this question is I am sure a lot really has changed in the way the day-to-day activities take place. Especially with regards to IRFing. But at Camp X-Ray, especially before ICRC (or International Committee of the Red Cross%2