Multi- Issue Posts From Our Friends
This is all I could get to for now.
The Jennifer Harbury Scandal
Jennifer Harbury, US Civil Rights/
Human Rights Attorney, seeking
JUSTICE for her murdered husband
Nora Slatkin - CIA
When John Deutch was appointed to head the CIA by President Clinton in 1995, he brought with him a female colleague from the Defense Department to serve as the agency’s new executive director. It was the first time a woman had ever held the post. She wouldn't stay long. Both she and Deutch became personas non grata almost the first moment they set foot in the building.
Nora Slatkin began her career in Washington in 1980’s working as an analyst for the Congressional Budget Office. With a degree from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, she became the protege of House Armed Services Committee chair Les Aspin. Aspin was tapped by President Clinton during his first term to serve as secretary of defense. At the Pentagon, Slatkin worked under Deutch, overseeing a $26 billion budget for the Navy. According to an article about her appearing inBusinessWeek, her probing nature and an Alpha personality would eventually earn her the nickname “Tora Nora” when she took the helm at the CIA.
But it was a human rights p.r. nightmare that would distinguish her tenure at the agency, whose record on that score had never been an exemplary one. Back in 1992, a mild-mannered, Harvard-educated lawyer named Jennifer Harbury began a hunger strike in Guatemala City after the State Department refused to help her find her husband, Efrain Bamaca Velasquez, a top leader in Guatemala’s Mayan resistance movement. Harbury knew her husband was being held incommunicado and tortured by one Colonel Alpirez, a senior official in the Guatemalan Army. Alpirez also happened to be a well-paid CIA asset. Evidently, his duties included torturing Velasquez and an American innkeeper, Michael DeVine.
Both men died in custody, leading Harbury to take her case to Washington. She didn't receive something less that a warm welcome from the Department of State, so began a daily ritual of picketing the U.S. Capitol. Officials in the Clinton Administration at first dismissed her as simply a distraught widow.
She persisted, however, and by 1995, thousands of supporters had joined her vigil, attracting coverage from media and a slough of in-depth reporting by the New York Times and other press outlets. At last, President Clinton instructed CIA director Deutch to clean house at the agency and punish all those responsible.
According to BusinessWeek, the agency’s inspector general furnished Slatkin with a report that charged some two dozen employees with lying to investigators about the CIA’s relationship with Colonel Alpirez, who was a graduate of the U.S. Army's School of the Americas at Ft. Benning, in Georgia. Described in the New York Times as a “murdering spy”, Alpirez collected checks from the CIA for about five years while participating in the persecution and genocide of thousands of Mayan Indians whom the United States claimed were waging a "Marxist" insurrection in the country.
Acting on Deutch’s orders, Slatkin reprimanded seven station officers and dismissed two senior officials at CIA headquarters in Langley. In Denial and Deception, Mahle writes that on the day the two officials were escorted from the building, the CIA’s Directorate of Operations “literally rose in defiance. Officers lined the halls, waiting to shake the hands of the departing officers, praising their commitment to the mission of the CIA… Deutch’s orders for dispersal were ignored.”
Despised and at times heckled by his own subordinates after the firings, Deutch resigned in 1996 and was almost immediately charged by his detractors with keeping unauthorized classified data on his home laptop. The agency later charged Slatkin with obstructing the investigation into Deutch’s wrongdoing. Slatkin joined Deutch in making a speedy getaway - as far as they could get from Langley, Virginia. Both found new, higher-paying jobs with Citibank, a development that stimulated chatter on many right-wing blogs. Some observers suggested that since the bank has contracts with the CIA to launder money and facilitate transactions for friendly drug cartels, that somehow the two former officials were betraying agency secrets in order to help the bank get a leg up on future contract bids.
When George Bush was elected in 2000, one of the two fired operations officers returned to work at Langley as an independent contractor Both officers were honored as heroes at a dinner.
For her part, Harbury continued to organize protests against CIA involvement in torture and the school in Fort Benning. In the wake of the Abu Ghraib prison, she wrote in a commentary published in Newsday in 2005. It read in part:
“Throughout Latin America, secretly held prisoners were subjected to raging dogs, excruciating positions, simulated drownings, long-term sleep and food deprivation, blasting noises and terrifying threats.
“U.S. responsibility was hardly limited to funding and training military death squads. In many cases, U.S. intelligence agents visited cells, observed battered prisoners and gave advice or asked questions. Instead of insisting on humane treatment, these agents simply left the detainees to their fates… These practices have been developed through the decades. The iconic photograph of the Abu Ghraib detainee, hooded and wired and standing on a small box, depicts a position known to intelligence officials as ‘The Vietnam.’”)
For further information:
Valerie Plame's Sixty Minutes report
Julia Child: The OSS Years
National Women’s History Museum - Spies
Lindsay Moran's speech at the Univ. of Virginia
Jennifer Harbury's case before the U.S. Supreme Courtwww.commondreams.org/ headlines02/0319-05.htm
Native Americans rage over MTV's 'The Dudesons' (Thank you New York Post for the Article!)
Aim Santa Barbara
Posted: 12:55 AM, July 10, 2010
A skit on MTV's "The Dudesons in America" has a Native American advocacy group crying foul.
The American Indian Movement of Santa Barbara has started a boycott against MTV and its advertisers over an episode of the "Jackass"-style series in which four Finnish friends perform stunts as they assimilate to American culture.
In the episode, which aired in May, the Dudesons performed tasks to qualify as honorary Indians under the direction of Native American actor Saginaw Grant. The stunts included one Finn mounting a horse while wearing a feathered headdress and little else and one involving a totem pole falling painfully on a man's crotch.
Saginaw Grant "There's no other racial group that has to put up with this harassment. People may think it's funny to do the fingers in front of the mouth and yell, 'Whoo! Whoo! Whoo! Whoo!' but that's deliberate discrimination," said AIM director Michael Fairbanks.
The group wrote to MTV in May asking it to scrub the episode from the network and online. Then AIM called for a boycott of MTV and "Dudesons" sponsors, including Frito-Lay, Burger King and Pepsi. The petition site has already gotten 1,000 signatures. Fairbanks is also threatening to file a federal suit alleging the show violates Native Americans' civil rights.
MTV rep Jeannie Kedas responded to Fairbanks via e-mail on July 2, writing, "I am sorry that members of the American Indian Movement were offended by that one particular episode where the Dudesons were trying to master challenges to gain acceptance into the Native American culture."
She continued, "While I understand your concern with the dress that the Dudesons wore, in no way did they or MTV intend to offend Native Americans."
New and previous episodes of the series will continue to run on MTV2.
Native American farmers hopeful about suit involving USDA loans
Posted by: "Shirl4116@aol.com" Shirl4116@aol.com shirl4116
Sat Jul 10, 2010 3:27 pm (PDT)
_Native American farmers hopeful about suit involving USDA loans_
He believes he was turned down because he's Native American, a member of
the Choctaw tribe. "The day I walked out of there, I knew why he denied me,"
Robert Bracamontes: 'Preserve Our Land, Parks And Sacred Sites'Http://Beforeitsnews.Com/Story/98/625/Robert_Bracamontes:_Preserve_Our_land,_Parks_And_Sacred_Sites.Html
Congress Preparing to Take Major New Action Proposed by NAR
Congress Preparing to Take Major New Action Proposed by NARF
Date: Wednesday, July 7, 2010, 4:04 PM
Congress Preparing to Take Major New Action Proposed by NARF for Native American Students
The U.S. Congress is preparing to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which is the most important federal law that applies to American Indian and Alaska Native tribal students. There are over 650,000 elementary and secondary tribal students nationwide. Over 90% of these students attend state public schools; the others are served primarily by schools funded through the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE). Read More>
NARF's 2009 Annual Report is Available Online
The 2009 Annual Report covers activities, major accomplishments and financials for fiscal year ending September 30, 2009. This report chronicles the impact our donors have made on our cases. NARF 2009 Annual Report is available online at http://www.narf.org/pubs/ar/NARF2009.pdf.
Former NARF Board Member Receives National Honor for Conservation Work
Billy Frank, Jr., (Nisqually), was awarded the Robert Marshall Award from the Wilderness Society. The award was established to honor a person who has devoted long-term service to conservation, and who has had a notable influence in fostering an American land ethic. Billy Frank, Jr., served on the NARF Board from 2003-2009. To read more the full article: http://wilderness.org/content/pr-award-20100519
David Getches shares his thoughts at the spring 2010 Board Dinner
David Getches, founding Executive Director of the Native American Rights Fund and Dean of the University of Colorado's Law School, shares his thoughts at the Spring 2010 Board Dinner. Read More>
Honoring 40 Years of Standing Firm for Justice
Throughout 2010, we will provide a timeline of the growth and impact of the Native American Rights Fund. We will chronicle NARF events, important cases that set precedence and the cases that challenged sovereignty. Each E-Action Newsletter we will continue this story from our initial work through the cases and issues we are working on today. Read More >
Congress Preparing to Take Major New Action Proposed by NARF for Native American Students
NARF's 2009 Annual Report is
Former NARF Board Member Receives National Honor for Conservation Work
David Getches shares his thoughts
at the spring 2010 Board Dinner
Honoring 40 Years of Standing
Firm for Justice
EPA, Coast Guard, and BP PR Tied to Airborne Corexit Denials
Oceans' Demise Near Irreversible
By Les Blumenthal
07 July, 2010
WASHINGTON -- A sobering new report warns that oceans face a "fundamental and irreversible ecological transformation" not seen in millions of years as greenhouse gases and climate change already have affected temperature, acidity, sea and oxygen levels, the food chain and possibly major currents that could alter global weather.
The report, in Science magazine, doesn't break a lot of new ground, but it brings together dozens of studies that collectively paint a dismal picture of deteriorating ocean health.
"This is further evidence we are well on our way to the next great extinction event," said Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, the director of the Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland in Australia and a co-author of the report.
John Bruno, an associate professor of marine sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the report's other co-author, isn't quite as alarmist, but he's equally concerned.
"We are becoming increasingly certain that the world's marine ecosystems are reaching tipping points," Bruno said, adding, "We really have no power or model to foresee" the effect.
The oceans, which cover 71 percent of the Earth's surface, have played a dominant role in regulating the planet's climate. However, even as the understanding of what's happening to terrestrial ecosystems as a result of climate change has grown, studies of marine ecosystems have lagged, the report says. The oceans are acting as a heat sink for rising temperatures and have absorbed about one-third of the carbon dioxide produced by human activities.
Among other things, the report notes:
* The average temperature of the upper level of the oceans has increased more than 1 degree Fahrenheit over the past 100 years, and global ocean surface temperatures in January were the second-warmest ever recorded for that month.
* Though the increase in acidity is slight, it represents a "major departure" from the geochemical conditions that have existed in the oceans for hundreds of thousands if not millions of years.
* Nutrient-poor "ocean deserts" in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans grew by 15 percent, or roughly 2.5 million square miles, from 1998 to 2006.
* Oxygen concentrations have been dropping off the Northwest U.S. coast and the coast of southern Africa, where dead zones are appearing regularly. There is paleontological evidence that declining oxygen levels in the oceans played a major role in at least four or five mass extinctions.
* Since the early 1980s, the production of phytoplankton, a crucial creature at the lower end of the food chain, has declined 6 percent, with 70 percent of the decline found in the northern parts of the oceans. Scientists also have found that phytoplankton are becoming smaller.
Volcanic activity and large meteorite strikes in the past have "resulted in hostile conditions that have increased extinction rates and driven ecosystem collapse," the report says. "There is now overwhelming evidence human activities are driving rapid changes on a scale similar to these past events.
"Many of these changes are already occurring within the world's oceans with serious consequences likely over the coming years."
One of the consequences could be a disruption of major ocean currents, particularly those flowing north and south, circulating warm water from the equator to polar regions and cold water from the poles back to the equator. Higher temperatures in polar regions and a decrease in the salinity of surface water because of melting ice sheets could interrupt such circulation, the report says.
The change in currents could further affect such climate phenomena as the El Niño-Southern Oscillation, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and the North Atlantic Oscillation. Scientists just now are starting to understand how these phenomena affect global weather patterns.
"Although our comprehension of how this variability will change over the coming decades remains uncertain, the steady increase in heat content in the ocean and atmosphere are likely to have profound influences on the strength, direction and behavior of the world's major current systems," the report says.
Kelp forests such as those off the Northwest U.S. coast, along with corals, sea grasses, mangroves and salt marsh grasses, are threatened by the changes the oceans are undergoing, the report says. All of them provide habitat for thousands of species.
The polar bear isn't the only polar mammal that faces an escalating risk of extinction, the report says; penguin and seal populations also are declining.
"It's a lot worse than the public thinks," said Nate Mantua, an associate research professor at the University of Washington's Climate Impacts Group.
Mantua, who's read the report, said it was clear what was causing the oceans' problems: greenhouse gases. "It is not a mystery," he said.
There's growing concern about low-oxygen or no-oxygen zones appearing more and more regularly off the Northwest coast, Mantua said. Scientists are studying the California Current along the West Coast to determine whether it could be affected, he added.
Firefly (Lilia Adecer Cajilog)
Tawo Seed Carrier
South Pasadena, CA 91031
Bio-Mass Threat Meeting July 8th - Learn How to Protect Our Forests
We are meeting in the Lion's Room at the Peter White library to discuss the impending biomass burning power plants in the UP at 7pm tomorrow (July 8th), Thursday! Please join us and/or pass this along.
Hi everyone. I lived i the UP for over a decade and come up here as often as possible because I love the forests, water, and people just like all of you. As many of you are aware several forest biomass and biofuel plants are proposed for the UP and perhaps over a dozen NEW such projects all around Michigan. These biomass/biofuel projects represent the greatest threat to our forests of our lifetime and citizens are rising up to stop them around the nation. I organized a group who put a stop to up to FIVE of these plants being built in Traverse City.
Won't you please join me and a few others for brief presentation and informal discussion about why biomass is the opposite of green energy, and how it's being driven forward by billions in government subsidies, and how we can stop these plants before they get started. Yesterday I met with a fantastic group of folks in the Sault who are facing a plant that will consume a million or more tons of trees to make ethanol, with a microbe engineered to dissolve trees into alcohol part of the bargain, all to in theory replace less than 1 percent of our gasoline addiction.
We need your help to stop this threat to our forests and economy and quality of life. If we're wrong we can still burn the trees later. What's the rush?
Thanks to everyone for their support in this crucial struggle to protect Michigan's Fresh Water.
Your Friends at Save The Wild UP
413 N Third St.
Marquette MI, 49855
Peter White Public Library
217 North Front St.
Subscribe to SAVE THE WILD UP:http://www.savethewildup.org/