Sunday, August 25, 2013

Police State cracks down in US, Egypt, Syria

Pyramid and Sphinx, remnants of once great super-culture (
Burning down one of the cradles of civilization to save it from military tyranny
Egyptian security forces killed dozens of people when they moved in to clear a camp of Cairo protesters demanding the reinstatement of the successful Muslim Brotherhood candidate, now the deposed democratically-elected president. The military coup, armed and funded by the US/MIC, silenced and arrested Morsi for threatening to benefit Egyptians over the comfortable military ruling class.

Torturing US prisoners in the US, Aug. 23. 2013
Prisoners suffer torture, inhumane conditions
Days after a federal judge approved the force-feeding of hunger-striking California prisoners protesting unjustified long-term solitary confinement, an exclusive audio recording of a prisoner who has not eaten since the protest began on July 8 is made public. Todd Ashker, one of the authors of the call to hunger strike, has been held for years in supermax solitary in the "Secure" Housing Unit (SHU) at Pelican Bay Prison after he received a life sentence for killing an inmate in 1987. California Correctional Health Care Services spokesperson Joyce Hayhoe is questioned by Democracy Now!'s RenĂ©e Feltz. Azadeh Zohrabi, a member of both the Prisoners Mediation Team, the Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition, and a Soros Justice Fellow at Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, joins the discussion. 

War crimes: dead bodies everywhere
The Syrian government is facing growing pressure to allow an international probe of a chemical weapons (WMD) poison gas attack on the outskirts of Damascus. The Syrian opposition says government forces fired it into rebel-held neighborhoods of Ghouta, killing hundreds of people. Video posted on YouTube this week shows frantic scenes of overwhelmed hospitals, dead children, and countless bodies. If confirmed, it would stand to be the most violent incident in Syria since the police state began cracking down on a citizen's uprising two years ago and one of the worst toxic attacks in decades. It occurred days after U.N. inspectors arrived in the country to investigate previous attacks. From Syria Razan Zaitouneh, a lawyer and human rights activist who works with the Human Rights Violation Documentation Center, joins in. "We couldn’t believe our eyes," Zaitouneh says of witnessing the attack’s aftermath. "I haven’t seen such death in my whole life." Patrick Cockburn, a longtime Middle East correspondent for the London Independent who recently returned from reporting in Syria, also joins. His latest article is "The evidence of chemical attack seems compelling — but remember — there’s a propaganda war on." 

The former Pfc. Bradley Manning
One day after a military judge handed down a 35-year sentence to make an example of Bradley (now Chelsea) Manning for leaking classified U.S. files to Julian Assange's WikiLeaks, she announced a gender transition to female under the name Chelsea. "As I transition into this next phase of my life, I want everyone to know the real me," Manning said. "I am Chelsea Manning. I am a female. Given the way that I feel, and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible. I hope that you will support me in this transition." The announcement has raised many issues about how Manning will be treated in military prison, whether she will have access to hormone therapy and broader issues about transgender rights. Guests: Lauren McNamara, a transgender activist in Florida who became an online confidant of Manning in 2009 and later testified at the military trial; Chase Strangio, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union or ACLU’s Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Project.

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