Apr 29 2011

Weekly Digest – 04/29/11

Weekly Digest | Published 29 Apr 2011, 12:48 pm | Comments Off on Weekly Digest – 04/29/11 -

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

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This week on Uprising:

* The Guantanamo Papers and What They Do Not Say About Torture
* Twenty Five Years After Chernobyl, Nuclear Power Still Unsafe
* Black Agenda Report on Michigan’s Financial “Emergency”
* JUSTICE Act Undoes Worst Aspects of PATRIOT Act

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The Guantanamo Papers and What They Do Not Say About Torture

The whistleblowing website Wikileaks, in tandem with the New York Times, last Sunday published another treasure trove of classified government documents. The documents are part of the large cache obtained last year by Wikileaks. This latest release focused on Defense Department documents about nearly 800 men detained at the U.S. prison in Guantanamo, Cuba. The documents include detailed information about the prisoners including personal information, photos, health information, how and where they were captured, intelligence that was gleaned from them, reasons for their continued detention, and more. Wikileaks has published complete information on more than 150 prisoners so far, promising to publish more documents daily in the coming month. The Guantanamo prison was established under the Bush administration ostensibly to house prisoners captured in the so-called “war on terror,” who would be exempted from constitutional protections. President Barack Obama pledged to shut down Guantanamo during his campaign but has so far failed to do so. Currently there are still more than a 100 prisoners remaining at the facility. Despite the incredible light that has finally been shone on this modern-day Gulag, what the Wikileaks documents do not cover is the extent of torture that the detainees suffered, euphemistically referred to “enhanced interrogation techniques.” Just this week, the online journal PLoS Medicine published a paper by two experts independently reviewing for the first time the detailed medical records of nine Guantanamo prisoners. The authors concluded that “the specific allegations of torture and ill treatment were highly consistent with and supported by physical and psychological evidence observed in all cases.”

GUESTS: Vincent Iacopino, Senior Medical Advisor to Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), Adjunct Professor of Medicine with the University of Minnesota Medical School, first author of the paper “Neglect of Medical Evidence of Torture in Guantanamo Bay: A Case Series, Jeremy Varon, Organizer with Witness Against Torture, Associate Professor of History at the New School for Social Research in New York

Find out more at www.phrusa.org and www.witnesstorture.org.

Read the Guantanamo papers on Wikileaks at www.wikileaks.ch/gitmo.

Read the paper here: http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/

Twenty Five Years After Chernobyl, Nuclear Power Still Unsafe

ChernobylExactly twenty five years ago on April 26th, an explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the small Ukrainian town of Pripyat, triggered the worst nuclear power plant accident in history. Plumes of highly radioactive smoke poured out of the plant, much of it landing on Russia, the Ukraine, and Belarus, but spreading as far as Western Europe. More than 300,000 people had to be evacuated, and about 6 million people overall were affected. Greenpeace estimates that 5-8 million people still live in areas that are highly contaminated and that at least 200,000 people ultimately died from resulting cancers and other related health problems. Chernobyl changed forever the perception of nuclear power safety. The 25th anniversary comes mere months after the Japanese Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident that resulted from the devastating earthquake and tsunami on March 11th. This week, former Soviet Col-Gen Nikolai Antoshkin criticized Japanese efforts in Fukushima. Antoshkin was in charge of pilots who flew thousands of flights over the Chernobyl plant, dropping lead, sand, and clay to contain radiation (The Telegraph). According to him, the Japanese authorities wasted crucial time in the early days of the disaster. United Nations Secretary General Ban-Ki-Moon visited Chernobyl last week, and, in an op-ed for the New York Times, said “nuclear accidents respect no borders. They pose a direct threat to human health and the environment. They cause economic disruptions affecting everything from agricultural production to trade and global services.”

GUEST: Linda Pentz Gunter is the international specialist at Beyond Nuclear

Find out more at www.beyondnuclear.org.

Black Agenda Report on Michigan’s Financial “Emergency”

Glen FordGlen Ford is a writer and radio commentator and the Executive Editor of The Black Agenda Report. This week’s commentary is on the takeover of Michigan cities.

Visit www.blackagendareport.com for more information.

JUSTICE Act Undoes Worst Aspects of PATRIOT Act

PATRIOT ActHaving put off a discussion about extending the USA PATRIOT Act, members of Congress will return from their two week recess next week faced with a series of bills about the post-9-11 law. A short-term 90-day extension of three provisions of the PATRIOT Act was overwhelmingly passed by Congress in February. Now that the extension is expiring, three bills in the House and six in the Senate attempt to tackle the thorny issues surrounding the far-reaching law. The three aspects up for extension include warrantless government surveillance of individuals, access to personal library records, and the so-called “roving wiretap” provision. One bill that has received scant media attention is the Judicious Use of Surveillance Tools or JUSTICE Act which seeks to reform those aspects of the USA PATRIOT Act up for extension, as well as the FISA Amendments Act. The bill, numbered S.B. 1686, was introduced last year by Senator Russ Feingold and 9 other Senators and is being supported by groups like the ACLU and the Bill of Rights Defense Committee.

GUEST: Shahid Buttar, Executive Director Bill of Rights Defense Committee

Find out more about the JUSTICE Act at www.bordc.org.

Sonali’s Subversive Thought for the Day

“Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.” — Benjamin Franklin

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