Yesterday on CNN Live, Lt. Col. Yvonne Bradley outlined how waterboarding is only the “tip of the iceberg” when it comes to torture by U.S. military and paramilitary contractors.
Call the White House comment line at 202-456-1111 and tell President Obama to not back down on closing Guantanamo.
Last February, before Binyam’s release, Bradley wrote a piece for The Guardian outlining in greater detail her experience representing Binyam. Here’s an excerpt:
I am a lawyer and a soldier, and I act for [UK citizen] Binyam Mohamed, who is currently on hunger strike in Guantánamo Bay. …
The Joint Task Force, which runs Guantánamo Bay, gives me no information about Binyam. When I called to enquire about his condition, they said first, that they would look into it and then that they would tell me nothing and that I should make a Freedom of Information request, which would have taken months to process. Therefore, whenever I want information about Binyam, I have to make the 5-hour trip to Guantánamo. Each time, he asks why he is still there.
It is worth bearing in mind that all charges against Binyam have been dropped and that Binyam’s chief prosecutor resigned, citing the unfairness of the system.
I profoundly hope that he is not being kept in Guantánamo to avoid information surrounding his rendition and torture coming out.
Read Lt. Col. Yvonne Bradley’s full commentary in The Guardian.
Read the transcript of Clive Stafford Smith and Lt. Col. Yvonne Bradley’s address to a UK Parliament subcommittee on “extraordinary rendition” about the Guantanamo prisoners the two are representing.
Well, it’s happened. The famous line from the musical Hello, Dolly! has come true. “Money is like manure. It’s not worth a thing unless it’s spread about, encouraging young things to grow.”
Not only is President Obama spreading ‘Bama Bucks like night soil on the languorous fields of the American economy, but Mrs. Obama is getting her hands dirty with a little Victory gardening of her own.
The kids from Bancroft elementary school — located in the Mt. Pleasant neighborhood, one over from Columbia Heights — digging and turning up the White House “back 40” (aka the South Lawn). The planting list includes: spinach, broccoli, various lettuces, kale, collard greens, assorted herbs, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries.
For some reason, they are not planting corn. No doubt White House insiders will uncover the reason soon. My guess is that Big Corn exerted some influence here and didn’t want average citizens getting the idea that they could crowd in on AgriBusinesses profit share.
Another interesting tidbit is that the White House garden is also planning to host some bee hives and, as Mrs. Obama said, “grow their own honey.” This is great news! But someone needs to let them know that currently it is illegal to keep bees inside the District. They are considered “livestock” by the District agriculture code. While I’m sure that the White House falls under a federal law, not District law, I’m hoping the hives on the South Lawn will bring a big boost to the renegade bee-keeping revolution that’s been quietly raging in the District over the past few years. Maybe the apiarists can finally come out of the shadows.
For some “pure D” fun (as they say in the south), watch Ellen DeGeneres’ chat with 88-year-old Gladys Hardy from Austin, Texas. They discuss everything from the houseplants on Ellen’s set to Jesus to QVC to Austin’s cold snap. Let yourself laugh!
I loved reading Joseph Ross’s blog post Dr. King in 2009. It’s an excellent reminder for us all. Here’s an excerpt:
Dr. King saw America’s economic system creating a nearly permanent under-class. This, he saw, as a gross injustice, this willingness to allow whole segments of our population to remain poorly educated, badly treated in the social realm, and unfairly treated as consumers, all resulting in a horribly unequal economic state. Many of us forget that the reason he was in Memphis in April of 1968, when he was killed, was not to rally for racial equality, but to support the sanitation workers’ strike and their “I Am A Man” campaign.
If non-violence and poverty reduction were the twin centers of his social strategy, what would Dr. King say to America in 2009?
And I’d add to Joe’s reflections the quote in The Washington Post from King colleague Rev. Joseph Lowery:
They have made Martin a glorified social worker, and they have almost made our young folks believe that all Martin did was go around dreaming. He was a nonviolent militant. He was a Christian radical.
And for a great video to lift your spirits, watch Lowery’s address at Coretta Scott King’s funeral. Prophetic, funny, brave, and eloquent. (I love when he “critiques” President Bush, who is sitting right behind him.)
One of the great things about working at Sojourners is always getting to do something new. Here’s a video made by our assistant editor Jeannie Choi and our interactive media producer Matt Hildreth interviewing me about contemplative prayer.