Insider trading, dirty politics, torturers — Friends of BHO
Reward high-placed criminals or end masterminds’ impunity? What's it going to be?
Re-reporting, editing, comment by Carolyn Bennett
Will the U.S. president hand out another “Medal of Freedom” to the Bush family?
Among the people the U.S. president handed out the 2010 Medal of Freedom award, an award apparently as meaningless as a Nobel Peace Prize to war mongers, were Middle East invading 41th U.S. president businessman George H.W. Bush; and Goldman Sachs/Bank of America co-conspirator, profiteer in financial crisis Warren Edward Berkshire Hathaway Buffett.
The nature of “Medal of Freedom” recipient George HW’s character emerges in his insistence, during his presidency, on going to war against Iraq under the guise of protecting Kuwait and invading Somalia until the guise of feeding the hungry.
Campaigning and in office, George H. W. Bush made a name for himself as a dirty-ad political campaigner and a mendacious “flip flopper.” In his first presidential campaign, he declared that his opponent, Ronald W. Reagan , was spouting raise-revenue/reduce-taxes “voodoo economics”; then threw in with Reagan to win the vice presidency.
Asked in later years about his knowledge of Reagan’s lawless Iran-Contra deal (using funds from the illegal sale of arms to Iran to fund Contra rebels fighting the Marxist government of Nicaragua), Bush claimed he had been “‘out of the loop’ [but he knew] about the arms sale to Iran.”
Still later, closing in on the brass ring, HW accepted the presidential nomination of his party calling his opponent, Michael Dukakis, a “‘card-carrying member of the American Civil Liberties Union’” — echoing McCarthyism, words used during the 1950s Red Scare by Sen. Joseph McCarthy.
Also during that 1988 campaign, H.W.’s dirty tricks ad masters made famous felon Willie Horton and hung Horton’s crimes on Governor Dukakis. The Massachusetts legislature had enacted a prisoner furlough program during Dukakis’s tenure as governor and the Bush people claimed, “Dukakis had let Horton loose to ‘terrorize innocent people.’” Father foreshadows son’s “war on terror” yet to come.
Among his presidential promises to garner votes, George H. W. Bush pledged continuance of Reagan’s [trickle-down-union-busting] economic program from which he later attempted to backtrack but the precedent continues in the administration now handing him a “Medal of Freedom.”
Market manipulating billionaire Warren E. Buffett, likely conspiring with the Obama administration’s Golden Sachs friends, appears to have profited from the global financial crash instigated by those friends.
Private investor and editor of The Rational Walk, Ravi Nagarajan notes, “Within a span of several days [in 2008], Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were placed into conservatorship, Lehman Brothers was left with no choice but to file for bankruptcy, and Merrill Lynch was forced into the arms of Bank of America.”
In the summer of 2007, Warren Buffett bought Bank of America Corp. and Dow Jones & Co. Inc. and according to his investment company, Berkshire Hathaway, this hiked Buffett’s ownership to “40 stocks” whose value totaled “$61.1 billion.”
Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, on October 1, 2008, “purchased $5 billion of perpetual preferred shares in Goldman Sachs, Ravi Nagarajan continues, “paying a 10 percent annual dividend and received warrants to buy $5 billion in common stock at a strike price of $115 per share. … Warren Buffett insisted that Goldman’s top executives agree to limit their personal sales of Goldman common stock until the preferred shares are redeemed or three years had passed from the date of Berkshire’s investment.…
“Berkshire’s investment in Goldman Sachs was executed at favorable terms precisely because Warren Buffett’s “seal of approval” helped to establish confidence that convinced the financial markets that Goldman would be among the survivors of the financial crisis.…
“While future CEOs of Berkshire Hathaway are very likely to have the cash required to pursue large deals during periods of financial turmoil, it is clear that the terms of Berkshire’s transactions during the 2008-2009 financial crisis were substantially enriched by the intangible benefit of obtaining Warren Buffett’s stamp of approval.”
Fathers and sons, insiders, dark precedents and lawlessness
If society or officials in public office allow anyone to breach laws and human rights principles with impunity, then everyone everywhere exists in a global society of lawlessness. Therefore, whoever and wherever the lawbreakers, they must be brought before the bar of justice.
TORTURE INDICTMENTS proposed
Human rights groups in United States of America and around the world are working to hold former U.S. president George W. Bush “accountable for what many international law scholars believe to be human rights abuses and war crimes.”
This George Bush has said in his memoir released this past November that when the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency asked if he would authorize them to proceed with waterboarding a detainee, the former president writes in his book that he replied, “‘Damn right, I do.’” The detainee was then waterboarded 183 times in a single month. Other detainees were then subjected to waterboarding. The way was paved for even more abuses.
Former U.S. President George W. Bush signed a memorandum February 7, 2002, decreeing that theGeneva Conventions did not apply to the Taliban or al Qaeda detainees. This included inapplicability of the clause prohibiting “inhumane treatment, an act of torture.”
A bipartisan U.S. Senate committee report has found that this memorandum “[paved] the way for the abuses of detainees in the war on terror.”
Following its presidential inauguration, the Barack Obama administration — packed with Reaganites and corporate types, lawyers and lawbreakers, and financiers — has circumvented U.S. and international laws and in a real sense has been complicit in lawlessness. Regarding prosecution of these crimes perpetrated by U.S. officials, this president has decreed, “‘we want to look forward; we do not want to look backwards.’ They have decided not to initiate any serious investigation into the criminal responsibility of higher-ups.”
This decree in cowardice, acquiescence, protracted criminality cannot stand.
Waterboarding is torture. Waterboarding is a crime. Torture is a crime. The masterminds, the deciders, the authorizers of these crimes must be prosecuted.
The jurist and legal researcher with the Center for Constitutional Rights, Claire Tixeire, concludes an interview about human rights organizations’ proposed indictment of former president George W. Bush and Co.
“The Indictment for Torture for Bush,’” the document released by the CCR, “is a living document that we are going to be updating and strengthening. We are going to be looking at where [George W.] Bush is traveling next.
“He is scheduled to go to Canada [in] October so we are going to be working with Canadian groups and seeing what can be done over there.
“We are also looking at other Bush administration officials like former Vice President Richard (Dick) Cheney, former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, or former Director of Central Intelligence in Clinton and Bush administrations George Tenet as well as the administration’s lawyers John Yoo, David Addington or JayBybee. We have those cases ready for them and we will pursue accountability wherever and whenever we can.”
The Center for Constitutional Rights, in addition to filing the first cases representing men detained at Guantánamo, has filed universal jurisdiction cases seeking accountability for torture by Bush administration officials in Germany, France and submitted expert opinions and other documentation to ongoing cases in Spain in collaboration with the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR).
The Center for Constitutional Rights, European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights and the International Federation of Human Rights were joined by more than 60 human rights organizations and prominent individuals who are signatories calling for theprosecution of George W. Bush. In the “Bush Torture Indictment” are 2,500 pages of supporting materials.
Individual signers include former UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Theo van Boven, former UN Special Rapporteur on Independence of Judges and Lawyers, Leandro Despouy, and Nobel Peace Prize recipients Shirin Ebadi and Pérez Esquivel. A number of the human rights organizations that signed on are facing the on-going harms of the ‘counterterrorism’ policies advanced under the Bush administration then adopted or employed in their own countries.
Sources and notes
Bush, George H.W. (2011). Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Deluxe Edition. Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica; and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willie_Horton
Warren Buffett Seizes Opportunities During Financial Crisis, February 23, 2011, article excerpt from The Rational Walk’s upcoming report: Berkshire Hathaway: In Search of the ‘Buffett Premium’ http://www.gurufocus.com/news.php/contenido/external/frontend/contenido/... Disclosure: Long Berkshire Hathaway; Ravi Nagarajan is a private investor and Editor of The Rational Walk website.
“Warren Buffett Buys Bank Of America Corp., Dow Jones & Co. Inc., Addsto US Bancorp, Sells H&R Block Inc., Pier 1 Imports Inc.”, August 2007, http://www.gurufocus.com/news.php?id=11471
Attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South founded in 1966 the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change. The Center for Constitutional Rights dedicates itself to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, www.ccrjustice.org. Follow @theCCR.
The European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights is an independent, non-profit legal organization that enforces human rights by holding state and non-state actors to account for egregious abuses through innovative strategic litigation, www.ecchr.eu
The International Federation of Human Rights is a non-governmental federation for 164 human rights organizations. FIDH’s core mandate is to promote respect for all the rights set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Its priority areas include protecting human rights defenders and fighting impunity.
“The Bush Torture Indictment, the official ‘letter of denunciation’ summarizing the case and other materials,” http://ccrjustice.org/ourcases/current-cases/bush-torture-indictment.
Interview with Claire Tixeire, jurist and legal researcher with the Center for Constitutional Rights, conducted by Scott Harris
“Bush to face torture case whenever abroad: activist” (GENEVA—Reuters, Stephanie Nebehay), February 7, 2011, http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/07/us-bush-torture-idUSTRE7164IJ2...
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