Progressive Minds

Blogging live, from somewhere in the reality-based community. Speaking truth to power. You've entered the real "no spin zone." Republicans beware!


Abramoff Told Business Associates He Was ThisClose To Bush White House

@ 11:40 PM (108 months, 28 days ago)

Three former business associates of disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff came forward today.  And they said that Abramoff told them he had close ties to the Bush Crime Team, particularly through Bush's Brain (Karl Rove).

The former associates of Abramoff said he frequently mentioned Karl Rove, when talking about his influence in the Bush White House.

This really shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone.  Idiot Son denied any relationship with Kenneth Lay when the Enron scandal broke, and we subsequently learned they were so close, that Bush had a nickname for him, "Kenny Boy."

Abramoff Said to Claim Close Ties to Rove

U.N. Verdict: Close Guantanamo

@ 11:25 PM (108 months, 28 days ago)

An investigation by the United Nations has concluded that the United States conducted "acts amounting to torture" at Guantanamo Bay, and says the site should be closed.

Among the allegations from five U.N. human rights experts:

- The United States committed acts tantamount to torture, including force-feeding detainees, and exposing them to prolonged solitary confinement.

- The U.S. government violated detainees' rights to a fair trial, as well as their right to freedom of religion and to health.

- The U.S. violated the 30-day maximum rule.  Detainees at Guantanamo can only be held in islolation for 30 days, but the U.S. held some detainees in solitary confinement or "quasi-isolation" for as long as 18 months.

- Some detaineees were kicked, hooded, and stripped.

Moreover, the report concludes that the United States is trying to act as prosecutor, defense, judge and jury in the case of the detainees at Guantanamo.

The report states: “In the case of the Guantanamo Bay detainees the U.S. executive operates as judge, as prosecutor, and as defense counsel. This constitutes serious violations of various guarantees of the right to a fair trial before an independent trial.”

The United Nations' report says that Guantanamo Bay should be closed, and that the U.S. "should revoke all special interrogation techniques authorized by the Department of Defense."

U.N.: U.S. tortures Guantanamo detainees


The Saddest Headline Of The Day

@ 11:08 PM (108 months, 28 days ago)

If this headline from the Associated Press doesn't make you want to cry, then I don't know what will!

Storm Victims Leave Hotels for Sofas, Cars

A federal judge has ruled that FEMA can now stop paying directly for the hotel stays of those who were left homeless by Hurricane Katrina last August.

FEMA says the evacuees will still get rent assistance that they can put towards hotels or other housing, but the organization will no longer pay for hotel bills directly.

Some evacuees said they were running out of money fast, and would be forced to sleep in their cars, sleep on a relative's couch, or go to a shelter.

One mother with a one year old child says "I got nowhere to go."   Another evacuee proclaimed "I only got my rent check last week. It's not enough time to find a place."

It's a sad commentary that in the richest country in the world, the government will not step up to the plate and provide long-term assistance to its own citizens who were tremendously impacted by the worst natural disaster on U.S. soil.

What do we pay federal taxes for, if our own government cannot do faithfully "unto the least of this" in a true time of need?

Note: Editing to include link to article regarding a Congressional report released this week on the federal government's response to Hurricane Katrina.  The report calls the Government's response to Katrina "a failure of leadership" and says "America is still not ready for prime time."

Report: Katrina response a 'failure of leadership'