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Week of June 12 2006
by Stephanie Westbrook
Permanent Bases in Iraq and Debate in House
Last week, in the conference committee to reconcile the two versions of the bill, these provisions were stripped. Read an article from Reuters, "War Bill Deletes US Military Base Prohibition" as well as a press release by Rep. Lee and some history by David Swanson.
Meanwhile, Dennis Hastert, speaker of the House announced last week that the House would debate a resolution on Iraq and the "war on terror." The debate is expected to be later this week. Democratic leaders say they are still waiting for the final version of the resolution and there is still no word whether amendments will be allowed.
Take Action: Contact your favorite newspaper and ask them to report on this story. See also the Swanson article for contact info on the republicans in charge of the conference committee. Contact your representatives and urge them to support legislation to bring the troops home. See the AfterDowningStreet web site for more information. And pledge to vote only for anti-war candidates.
Council of Europe on Rendition and Secret Prisons
Italy is one of the best documented cases with the abduction of Abu Omar in Milan, his transfers through the US bases at Aviano and Ramstein and finally to Egypt where he was tortured before being released and re-arrested. Read an article from Knight Ridder, "Report Implicates 20 Nations in 'Spider's Web' of CIA Abductions". See the Council of Europe web site for the Explanatory Memorandum, a graphic of the global spider web showing Rome as a "stopover point" and Aviano as a "pickup point", and draft resolution and recommendation.
The report will be debated during the plenary session of the Parliamentary Assembly in Strasbourg on June 27, 2006.
Take Action: Urge your Representative to cosponsor and pass H.R. 952, the “Torture Outsourcing Prevention Act” and your Senator to cosponsor and pass S. 654, the “Convention Against Torture Implementation Act," which address these concerns.
Zarqawi Killed in Iraq
US-Made Man an "Enemy to America's Liking" by Patrick Cockburn
Unreported: The Zarqawi Invitation by Greg Palast
Zarqawi's End is Not a Famous Victory by Robert Fisk
Why Did They Kill Zarqawi Instead of Capture Him? by Dave Lindorff
Democracy Now! has an interview with Michael Berg, father of Nicholas Berg, was captured and killed in Iraq two years ago. It is believed he was beheaded al-Zarqawi as well as an interview with Arun Gupta on the impact Zarqawi's death will have on the Iraqi resistance and the ongoing war in Iraq.
Three Commit Suicide in Guantánamo
The three suicide cases come right before the upcoming Supreme Court decision - Hamdan vs Rumsfeld -- in which the Supreme Court must decide on the legality of the Detainee Treatment Act passed in December 2005 in order to block Guantánamo prisoners from using the fundamental right of habeas corpus to question their imprisonment before a court in the U.S.
Read also an editorial on the Baltimore Sun, The Dark Stain of Guantanamo about the news slowly coming out of the prison as detainees are released, and live to tell their tale.
Take Action: Call on Congress to shut down Guantánamo.
First US Officer Publicly Resists War
Democracy Now! also has an interview with Lt Watada.
Take Action: Watada needs your support. See the Thank You Lt Watada web site
Creative Recruiting Tactics
In Wisconsin, the Army National Guard brought a climbing wall to a high school to be used during physical education classes, supervised on the day it was installed by camouflage-clad National Guard members
In NASCAR country, the Army budgets about $17,000,000 to advertise on Joe Nemechek's race care and other initiatives involved in supporting a Nextel Cup sponsorship and the Navy is spending about $5,000,000 million a year to partner with Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s JR Motorsports.
In the UK, soldiers are being paid a "bounty" of £1,300 to persuade friends to join the Army.
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