Aug 28 2009

Weekly Digest – 08/28/09

Weekly Digest | Published 28 Aug 2009, 1:29 pm | Comments Off on Weekly Digest – 08/28/09 -

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Our weekly edition is a nationally syndicated one-hour digest of the best of our daily coverage.

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This week on Uprising:

* Afghanistan Elections Marred by Fraud, Disillusionment
* Prosecuting the CIA for Torture
* Black Agenda Report on the Prison State Budget Crisis
* Repression and Resistance in Honduras

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Afghanistan Elections Marred by Fraud, Disillusionment

Results from last week’s Presidential election in Afghanistan continue to trickle in with 17% of polling stations reporting from across the nation. Incumbent President Hamid Karzai leads his main opponent Abdullah Abdullah with 43 to 34%. Karzai needs 51% of the vote to avoid a runoff. President Obama has lauded the election as a success calling it “an important step forward in the Afghan people’s efforts to take control of their future.” But on the ground in Afghanistan sentiment is not as optimistic. Reports indicate that Karzai forged alliances with influential regional warlords who pressured large blocks of their followers to vote for him in exchange for promises of newly carved-out provinces. Other reports of voter fraud include the distribution of multiple voting cards to single individuals, including to children ineligible to vote, the registration of women without their consent, and the sale of falsified registration cards. Voter turnout, especially among Afghan women, has been reported to be much lower this election than in the 2004 and 2005 elections due to Taliban threats of violence. With limited rights in many parts of the country, many women were unable to vote last week as at least 650 polling stations for women did not open. Large numbers of Afghanistan’s working poor also remained marginalized at the polls. Reports reveal that journalists who defied the government ban on reporting election-day violence were beaten and arrested by Afghan law enforcement. The Taliban also threatened journalists with death for covering the election.

GUEST: Tony Cross, reporter for Radio France Internationale’s English language website, www.rfienglish.com.

Prosecuting the CIA for Torture

tortureThe Justice Department has called for an investigation of the alleged torture of terrorism suspects by the CIA during the years of President Bush’s rule. The recommendation came from the department’s Office of Professional Responsibility, and includes appointing a special prosecutor to pursue the CIA in court for allegations that include reliable cases of torture and even death in US custody. This puts the Justice Department seemingly at odds with the President. In April, after the release of secret Justice Department memos on interrogation techniques, President Obama firmly assured the CIA that its officers would not be prosecuted in any cases involving detainee abuses. The Inspector General had released a classified report in May of accounts of detainee abuse, excerpts of which were finally revealed yesterday in response to lawsuits by the American Civil Liberties Union. Some of the details revealed include CIA interrogators carrying out mock executions, threats against the detainees family, threats with guns, and even a power-drill held to one prisoner’s head. There are rumors circulating of CIA Director Leon Panetta’s possible resignation in light of the controversy. Meanwhile, in a move that seems to undercut the CIA’s role even further, the White House recently announced the formation of a new interrogation unit that would place the Federal Bureau of Investigation at the center of pursuing terrorism-related interrogations. But the Obama Administration also pledged recently to continue the Bush-era practice of rendition, that is, sending terrorism suspects to third countries for interrogation.

GUEST: Ray McGovern, retired CIA officer who served under 7 US presidents over 27 years – often presenting the morning intelligence briefings at the White House – he is now a antiwar activist

Black Agenda Report on the Prison State Budget Crisis

Glen FordGlen Ford is a writer and radio commentator and the Executive Editor of The Black Agenda Report. This week’s commentary is about the Prison State Budget Crisis.

Visit www.blackagendareport.com for more information.

Repression and Resistance in Honduras

hondurasThe Obama Administration’s stand on the recent coup in Honduras has many scratching their heads. While the President has denounced the anti-democratic move by a conservative regime to snatch power, tens of millions of US dollars are still going to the post-coup government under the umbrella of the Millenium Challenge Corporation (MCC). Within days of coups in Mauritania and Madagascar, the US cut off MCC aid money. Democratic members of Congress have asked the President to freeze the assets of coup leaders and deny them entry into the US. On Tuesday Washington announced it has temporarily frozen the issuing of US visas in Honduras. Meanwhile, Republicans leaders have threatened to delay a key Senate vote in opposition to what they see as Obama’s efforts to reinstate the democratically elected left-leaning government of Manuel Zelaya. A delegation from the Organization of American States this week announced that it had failed to break the on-going deadlock. Meanwhile, in light of a recent Amnesty International report of violence against coup resisters new reports of attacks on independent media in Honduras have been trickling out. The Committee to Protect Journalists reported that masked men stormed into the offices of two media outlets supportive of Manuel Zelaya last weekend. Radio Globo and Channel 36 had their equipment and transmitted damaged during the attack.

GUEST: Dr. Juan Almandares, medical doctor, human rights activist, environmental leader, and a prominent member of the anti-coup resistance in Honduras, founder of Movimiento Madre Tierra Honduras, and former president of the Autonomous National University of Honduras, Gerardo Torres with Los Necios

Sonali’s Subversive Thought for the Day

“The strength and power of despotism consists wholly in the fear of resistance.” — Thomas Paine

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