From daily The Morning Star in Britain:
US judge gives go-ahead for case against Rumsfeld
Sunday 07 March 2010
A US judge has approved a civil lawsuit accusing former defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld of responsibility for the alleged torture by US forces of two citizens who worked for an Iraqi contracting firm.
US District Judge Wayne Andersen’s ruling on Friday did not say that former contractors Donald Vance and Nathan Ertel had proven their claims, including that they were tortured under procedures personally approved by Mr Rumsfeld after reporting alleged illegal activities by their company.
But it did say that they had alleged enough specific mistreatment to warrant hearing evidence of exactly what happened.
While in custody, Mr Vance and Mr Ertel were subjected to sleep deprivation, long hours of interrogation, blasting music, threats, hunger and a practice known as “walling” in which subjects are blindfolded and walked into walls, according to the suit.
Mr Andersen said that his decision “represented a recognition that federal officials may not strip citizens of well-settled constitutional protections against mistreatment simply because they are located in a tumultuous foreign setting.”
Mr Vance and Mr Ertel were seeking unspecified damages. The next hearing is set for March 25.
The long-awaited public inquiry into the alleged torture and murder of up to 20 Iraqis by British troops in Iraq gets under way on Tuesday: here.
Britain: Cases involving allegations of torture should be opened to the public, the Court of Appeal has heard: here.
Intelligence agencies in the US deliberately concealed torture of terror suspects, the former head of MI5 has claimed: here.
Spring is coming at last! So let’s harness our newly-rediscovered energy to win two key battles.
1. Save our Democracy
In January, five rightwing Supreme Court Justices gave the biggest corporations – even foreign corporations – a new Constitutional “right” to buy our elections, even our President.
Let’s Fight for our FreedomThose five activist Justices were dead wrong. And according to the Washington Post, 80% of Americans disagree.
Congress must pass strict new laws immediately to limit the catastrophic damage that could result from unlimited corporate election spending this November.
Democrats.com is leading a coalition with two immediate goals: (1) ban all campaign spending by foreign-owned corporations, and (2) require advance shareholder approval for all campaign spending by U.S.-owned corporations.
Please watch our first TV ad, sign our petition, and tell all your friends:
I will personally deliver your petitions to key Senators and Representatives this week, and will report back with inside news about this urgent battle.
2. End the Wars
Two weeks ago, 64 groups across the country assembled at their Representatives’ offices for Brown Bag Lunch Vigils. The message? “Stop spending on wars and take care of our needs at home.”
Help us take another message to the streets on March 17: “Tell Congress to use its power: Stop the war in Afghanistan.”
On March 24, Rep. Dennis Kucinich plans to introduce a privileged resolution to end the Afghan War. His resolution invokes the 1973 War Powers Act, which says Presidents alone cannot start wars and keep them going forever. Call now and tell your Representative to support Rep. Kucinich’s anti-war resolution.
Then find a Brown Bag Lunch Vigil in your CD, or help start one. Let’s hit the streets on March 17 to tell our representative the American people want us out of these wars.
St. Paddy drove the snakes from Ireland. Let’s follow his example and drive the hawks out of Washington. Wear the green and put a shamrock on your Brown Bag near your Healthcare NOT Warfare sticker and make a stand for peace and social justice.
Thanks for all you do!
Forward this message to everyone you know!
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