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Solly Mack

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Gender: Do not display
Current location: Back of Beyond
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 79,730

About Me

Busy observing the group dynamics of dust bunnies.

Journal Archives

How Postwar Germany Let War Criminals Go Free

How Postwar Germany Let War Criminals Go Free

The German occupiers wanted to avenge an attack that communist partisans had carried out a day earlier on a German police unit in Rome's Via Rasella. The victims of this retaliatory act were chosen at random. Most of them had been imprisoned in a Gestapo jail in the Italian capital or were being detained by the Wehrmacht, Germany's Nazi-era military. None of them had been involved in the attack.

Damning Documents Discovered in Berlin

The documents entail an exchange of letters begun in 1959 between officials at the German Embassy in Rome and their counterparts at the Foreign Ministry in Bonn, Germany's capital at the time. With unprecedented clarity, the documents testify to how German diplomats and Italian officials cooperated in shielding the soldiers in Kappler's charge from criminal prosecution. As embassy adviser Kurt von Tannstein put it, the goal was a "putting (the affair) to rest, as desired by both the German and Italian side."

Agreeing to Sweep the Matter under the Rug

In the case of the Ardeatine Caves, the initiative came from the Italian government. Their initial attempts to see that the German crimes wouldn't go unpunished were abandoned early. Many of the perpetrators were living in postwar Germany, and the Christian Democrats ruling in Rome were hoping to avoid having to make any extradition requests. As one leading diplomat in Rome warned: "On the day that the first German criminal is extradited, there will be a wave of protests in countries that are demanding the extradition of Italian criminals." After all, Italy had sided with Nazi Germany until 1943 and occupied parts of the Balkans, where hundreds of thousands of people fell victim to the Italians' reign of violence.

Willful Blindness, Feigned Ignorance

Klaiber's sympathy for the perpetrators was typical of the early days of new, postwar Germany. Only later, as SPIEGEL reported in 1968, did it emerge that Gawlik took advantage of his position in the Foreign Ministry to warn former Nazis against traveling abroad should they have been convicted in absentia in their destination countries and were thus at risk of arrest.

Newt's 'Your Nose for Your Vote' Campaign

Newt Gingrich "pinches" the nose of Bonnnie Ellison, 78, of Easley, South Carolina. While campaigning at Mutt's Barbeque in Easley, SC.


Frontline:Vanity Fair:Newt Gingrich from 1995

I think you can write a psychological profile of me that says I found a way to immerse my insecurities in a cause large enough to justify whatever I wanted it to." Newt Gingrich"

"Newt's friends have told me that his primary references are movies. They have informed his heroic ideal. "When he watches John Wayne or Jimmy Stewart on TV, he lives out these movies," says Melvin Steely, a former colleague at West Georgia College."

"I'm a mythical person," says Newt, no stranger to revolutions. "I had a period of thinking that I would have been called 'Newt the McPherson,' as in Robert the Bruce."

"Robert the Bruce," Newt continues, "is the guy who would not, could not, avoid fighting...He carried the burden of being Scotland." Like the Bruce, Newt feels he must carry the burden of being his nation."


Also, read the part where Marianne Gingrich talks about her not wanting Newt to be President.

Winter (in my neck of the woods...pic heavy)

Southwest Louisiana.

Auschwitz Museum Publishes Prisoner Sketchbook

The sketches are chilling -- prisoners arriving at a concentration camp, children being torn from their parents' arms, a guard casually smoking outside a gas chamber as bodies are loaded into a truck. The images, recently published in a book by the Auschwitz Memorial Museum, were taken from a unique sketchbook drawn around 1943 at the Birkenau camp. A former prisoner working as a watchman discovered the 32 sketches in a bottle near the death camp's crematorium in 1947.

"The Sketchbook from Auschwitz" includes the 22 pages of drawings from an unknown prisoner whose initials were apparently MM. They represent a rare first-hand historical account of the Holocaust. "These sketches are the only work of art made in Birkenau that depict exterminations," museum spokesman Pawel Sawicki told SPIEGEL ONLINE.

While the circumstances make it hard to identify or trace the author, details in the images themselves provide several clues as to when they were created. The main gate at Birkenau, for example, is depicted before an extension was added.

"The second wing of the main gate was built between 1943 and 1944, but is absent from the sketches. Thus we concluded that the sketches were drawn in 1943 or before. From our records we believe that the author would have worked in the hospital sector or gathering luggage from the ramp," Sawicki explained.


"The Sketchbook from Auschwitz" includes 32 sketches by an unknown prisoner at Birkenau. They depict detailed scenes from the extermination camp in 1943. Here prisoners are seen arriving by train."


Spanish Court Resumes Gitmo Prosecution By Scott Horton

It remains unclear who might be prosecuted in the case; the opinion mentions a number of senior Bush Administration figures. Judge Ruz requested that prosecutors take a position on this issue before the case proceeds. While the Audiencia Nacional adopted a decision in January 2010 viewing the “intellectual authors” of the policy that permitted torture as the persons principally culpable, former Spanish attorney general Cándido Conde-Pumpido sharply disputed this perspective, arguing that only the persons who physically committed the acts of torture or abuse could be charged. WikiLeaks cables published in El País subsequently revealed that Conde-Pumpido had been the target of aggressive lobbying by American politicians and diplomats seeking his intervention to spike the Guantánamo prosecutions. Conde-Pumpido resigned as attorney general last month, and Spain’s new government is currently in the process of designating his successor.

Submissions by lawyers for the victims strongly suggest that they are pursuing a strategy focusing on claims against Major General Geoffrey Miller, a former Guantánamo camp commander whose practices were heavily scrutinized and criticized by Congress. The lawyers have repeatedly asked for Miller to be subpoenaed and compelled to give testimony, and one of the victims has testified that Miller was the person in charge at the time he was abused.

In separate developments, a French judge has also issued letters rogatory to the Justice Department, seeking permission to travel to Guantánamo and conduct inquiries there. Le nouvel Observateur reports that Judge Sophie Clément is investigating the claims of three Frenchmen formerly held at Guantánamo, who say they were tortured and subjected to other acts of barbarity during their detentions.

As Carol Rosenberg noted in a report this past Saturday, these cases reflect European courts’ increasing tendency to conclude that the Obama Administration’s “look forward, not back” policy means that U.S. prosecutors will not meaningfully investigate or act in cases involving the torture or mistreatment of prisoners during the Bush era. Since the crimes involved are subject to universal jurisdiction—as the United States has itself long argued—this means that other nations may now conduct their own investigations and open prosecutions. This means that, far from being over, the torture investigations will now enter a new phase—one that parallels the developments following Augusto Pinochet’s rule in Chile and after Argentina’s “dirty war,” when criminal investigations were pursued largely in European courts because amnesty arrangements prevented the pursuit of justice in domestic courts.


Wikipedia's 'Go Dark' page.


Google has a blackout over the word 'Google' but the search engine still works. If you click on the black strip you get their 'Go dark' page.

Any other sites?

"Estimates place the number of torture survivors living in the U.S. at 500,000".

beneath the blindfold

Co-directed by Chicago-based filmmakers Kathy Berger and Ines Sommer, Beneath the Blindfold interweaves the personal stories of four torture survivors who now reside in the U.S., but originally hail from different parts of the globe: South and Central America, Africa, and the U.S.

While Beneath the Blindfold addresses torture as a global human rights issue, the film does not shy away from touching on both the historical and the more recent U.S. involvement in torture and the question that this raises: why were we so willing to accept the use of torture in our name?

Despite the media coverage of abuse at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay, the voices of torture survivors have rarely been fully heard in the ensuing public discussion about the use of torture. Without their stories, torture remains abstract, a practice that happens to people we neither know nor care about. They become statistics, their human suffering easily ignored.

Film explores victims’ view of torture

Q: What is you ultimate goal for this film? What do you hope it will accomplish?

A: My greatest hope for this film is that it will raise awareness. Four years ago there was a Pew research poll that said 43 percent of Americans condone torture. I just hope we can reach people and help them understand that torture is actually not an effective way to get information, that it has been discredited by interrogators, and that it is a terrible violation of human rights. If we can make any sort of a dent in that percentage, that would be wonderful.

Accused War Criminals Make Home in U.S.

Like citizens of other countries ravaged by brutal regimes, many refugees who survived Barre's rule came to America to start over and live quietly among the population.

But shockingly, along with refugees and victims of war crimes, some alleged war criminals themselves have emigrated to the United States, escaping retribution for the monstrous acts they may have committed at home.

Men accused of human rights abuses from Somalia to Venezuela have laid their own claims to the American dream and now enjoy the same freedoms they're accused of trying to take away from their own people. It may seem impossible, but one of these men -- some allegedly responsible for mass murder, torture and the destruction of entire populations -- might literally be living next door.

In case anyone wants to see the film.

Hundreds protest on 10th anniversary of Guantanamo prison

Hundreds protest on 10th anniversary of Guantanamo prison

Chants of "Guantanamo has got to go" echoed down Pennsylvania Avenue on Wednesday as a crowd of rain-dampened protesters marked the 10th anniversary of the arrival of the first 20 detainees at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

More than 800 people demonstrated in what they said was solidarity with the 171 inmates who remain in the prison, as well as the unknown numbers detained at the U.S. military prison at Bagram, Afghanistan.

Smaller protests were held elsewhere, including Los Angeles.

Video - Gitmo anniversary draws White House protests (also other locations in the US)

Another Video

Protesters mark Guantanamo prison's 10th anniversary


A spokeswoman for Amnesty International said protests by human rights groups were planned for Miami, Boston, San Francisco and Chicago.

Events also have been scheduled for Paris, Toronto, Madrid, Berlin, London, Brussels and other cities, she said.

French protesters mark 10 years of Guantanamo

Small group in Miami area protests Guantanamo

DORAL, Fla. -- A small handful of members of the Miami chapter of Amnesty International are calling for the closure of Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba.

About five people held signs Wednesday along a busy intersection in the Miami suburb of Doral. It was also the tenth anniversary of the U.S. Navy base. Prisoners there plan to mark the day with sit-ins, banners and a refusal of meals.

Steven Wetstein wore an orange jumpsuit at the protest in Miami. He says the prison is "a stain on America's image and our image abroad."

Some of the Miami protesters also wore black hoods, similar to those prisoners wore when they were first taken to Guantanamo. The protesters held signs that read: "10 Years Of Shame Close Gitmo Now" and "10 Years Is Long Enough."

Human rights activists protest 10 years of Guantanamo (Around Europe)

10 Years

In pictures: Ten years of Guantanamo Bay

Ten years of 'Gitmo' -- and more to come

The lingering stain of Guantanamo

'Tortured' Guantanamo Bay prisoner seeks release of secret videos

Faces of Guantanamo: Detainees Who Were Unjustly Imprisoned

Guantanamo: 10th anniversary of a symbol of shame

Happy 10th Birthday, Guantanamo Bay

Ten years later, Guantanamo still harms us all

Guantánamo Bay 10-year anniversary: timeline

10 years. 120 months. 3,652 days. 87,658 hours.
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