The 13th and 14th Amendments never abolished slavery.
In 2010, the Human Rights Council of the United Nations called upon the United States to finally abolish slavery...
Add to the news below the intent by IRS to hold passports of those, who owe taxes...
Locking Down an American Workforce: Prison Labor as the Past and Future of American "Free-Market" Capitalism
Joshua B. Freeman and Steve Fraser, TomDispatch: "'Now,' means our second Gilded Age and its aftermath. In these years, the system of leasing out convicts to private enterprise was reborn. This was a perverse triumph for the law of supply and demand in an era infatuated with the charms of the free market. On the supply side, the U.S. holds captive 25% of all the prisoners on the planet: 2.3 million people. It has the highest incarceration rate in the world as well, a figure that began skyrocketing in 1980 as Ronald Reagan became president. As for the demand for labor, since the 1970s American industrial corporations have found it increasingly unprofitable to invest in domestic production."
READ MORE: http://truth-out.org/news/item/8637-locking-down-an-american-workforce-prison-labor-as-the-past-and-future-of-american-capitalism
Friday, April 20, 2012
Assange lawyer grounded by authorities?
Jennifer Robinson (Reuters / Joshua Roberts)
Human rights activist and WikiLeaks lawyer Jennifer Robinson was stopped at a London airport on the basis that she is on an “inhibited fly list.” Her Australian colleagues reacted with uproar, demanding an explanation.
Upon arriving at Heathrow airport to catch a flight back to Australia, Jennifer Robinson tweeted "just delayed from checking in because I'm apparently "inhibited" – requiring approval from Australia House @dfat to travel.” She was referring to the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
She had to gain clearance from the Australian High Commissioner before boarding the plane.
Security personnel at the Heathrow Terminal told her that she must have done something “controversial” because they were required to call the Australian high commission in the UK.
The Australian foreign office responded to the claims, saying that they were unaware of any restrictions preventing Jennifer Robinson from traveling.
"As an Australian with a valid passport, she would be free to return to Australia at any stage," a spokesman told the Australian Associated Press.
He added that UK border authorities may be able to elaborate on why she was barred from checking in. British immigration authorities denied that any Australian agency maintained “an inhibited list” at the airport.
The news provoked the ire of Ms Robinson’s compatriots in the legal community. President of the Australian Lawyers Alliance Greg Barns called the existence of such a list “extraordinary” and stressed that the Australian government be held accountable for its actions.
Now Blair could be sued over Libya torture claims by man who alleges MI6 sent him into the hands of Gaddafi's regime
- Abdel Hakim Belhadj is already suing Jack Straw
- Mail learns lawyers are drawing up case against Blair
PUBLISHED: 00:51 GMT, 19 April 2012 | UPDATED: 04:18 GMT, 19 April 2012
Tony Blair could be next to face a legal claim for damages from the Libyan man who alleges MI6 sent him to be tortured by Gaddafi’s regime, after he announced he was suing Jack Straw.
In a move without precedent against an ex-minister, Abdel Hakim Belhadj served legal papers against the former foreign secretary over claims that he authorised the Secret Intelligence Service to hand him over to Gaddafi’s government.
The Mail has learned that Mr Belhadj’s lawyers are now preparing a case against Mr Blair as well.
Lawsuit: Tony Blair is facing a legal claim from Abdel Hakim Belhadj
In another dramatic development, coalition ministers have apparently undermined Mr Straw’s claims of ignorance about the affair, revealing that papers showing he was implicated in the rendition of Mr Belhadj do exist.
Sapna Malik, a partner at Leigh Day & Co, the firm representing Mr Belhadj, said: ‘It would be surprising to us if something of this magnitude was not done with Mr Blair’s knowledge.
‘Our clients would like us to follow this case up the chain of command. He was at the top of the chain of command. Mr Belhadj certainly wants an apology from Mr Blair. Watch this space.’
Mr Belhadj, 45, was the leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, which in 2004 was linked to Al Qaeda – links he fiercely denied.
He was picked up that year following a tip-off by MI6 and flown by the CIA, via the British Indian Ocean territory of Diego Garcia, to Libya where he claims he was tortured for six years.
The incident took place just days before Mr Blair signed his notorious ‘Deal in the Desert’ with Colonel Gaddafi.
Sued: Mr Belhadj has already launched legal action against former foreign secretary Jack Straw
Documents found in Tripoli following the fall of the dictator show that MI6 counter-terrorism chief Sir Mark Allen boasted to Gaddafi’s spy chief Musa Kusa that ‘the intelligence was British’ which led to Mr Belhadj’s capture. He added that the tip-off was ‘the least we could do for you and for Libya’.
Last year Mr Straw appeared to deny any knowledge of the operation. But it emerged at the weekend that after he made those claims, he was approached by MI6 officers who showed him a document he had signed authorising the rendition.Senior figures in the Coalition claim some documents implicating Mr Straw do exist. One source said: ‘There are papers that point the finger at Jack Straw.’
But Downing Street officials yesterday said they have ‘no plans’ to hand over the documents.
Lawyers for Mr Belhadj and Sami Al Saadi, who also claims he was returned to Libya and tortured, yesterday served Mr Straw with notice that they will launch formal legal proceedings against him unless he comes clean, apologises and produces key documents.
Soldier: Abdel Hakim Belhadj speaks to Libyans at a rally in Tripoli in September 2011
Mr Belhadj, now a senior official in the Libyan transitional government, is already suing the Foreign Office and Sir Mark Allen.
They all have four weeks to come clean and publish the papers or the civil case will begin.
Miss Malik said: ‘If the former foreign secretary does not now own up to his role in this extraordinary affair, he will need to face the prospect of trying to defend his position in court.’
She added: ‘The real issue here is not about the amount of compensation, it is to get public acknowledgement and an admission from Jack Straw and others involved in his rendition. We have evidence that implicates very senior people.’
But she admitted they could seek damages that would force Mr Straw to sell his house.
Mr Straw and Mr Blair are also expected to be questioned by Scotland Yard detectives, who have launched a criminal inquiry into the behaviour of ministers and intelligence officials.
Mr Blair has previously claimed he has no recollection of the case.
Yesterday Mr Straw refused to comment, saying: ‘I am sorry that I can’t say more about this case, but with a police investigation pending and this intended civil legal action I am sorry that it is not appropriate for me to say any more about it.
‘They are entitled to bring the action and it will be dealt with in due course.’
6 Things You Need to Know About the Government's New Spy Law (CISPA)
April 18, 2012 |
Congress is seriously considering a bill called the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA). Intended to allow information-sharing both between corporations and between corporations and the government, it presents serious dangers to individual privacy. The most important parts of the proposed act permit corporations to share information about their customers with each other and with the government if they assert that this information-sharing is necessary for national security.
While the need for better sharing of information might be necessary in some cases, in its current form CISPA represents a particular danger – a mutually reinforcing combination of public and private threats to privacy. Here are seven things you should know about this pending legislation:
1. CISPA would allow companies to share potentially sensitive customer data with each other in ways that would otherwise be inconsistent with current laws that protect consumer privacy, such as the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA). As the ACLU notes, “[h]ealth records, gun records, tax records, census data, educational records – essentially all information now protected under privacy laws carefully considered and passed by Congress over the past decades --would no longer have that protection as cybersecurity information if these bills are to become law." CISPA would also allow the government to require companies to share customer data without the warrant or subpoena that would be required under current law. The privacy rights of customers may be violated, in other words, without substantial evidence that they pose any kind of security threat.
2. CISPA would also pre-empt state laws that provide more privacy protection than the federal standard. Citizens in some states would face diminished privacy rights both now and in the future.
3. Companies would be broadly immunized from both criminal and civil liability for sharing personal data under CISPA. This is important, because the threat of lawsuits is crucial to ensuring that companies respect the privacy of their customers. Under CIPSA, conversely, corporations would have little incentive to err on the side of protecting privacy and would not face legal sanctions for even wholly unjustified invasions of privacy.
4. Private companies would not be required to remove indentifying information from data they share with the government. Private information could be shared not only with civilian but with military authorities. Given the deference that courts generally show to invocations of national security interests by entities associated with the military, this makes the risks of privacy invasions even more severe. Any information shared under a new legislative framework should go to a civilian rather than a military agency.
5. The only restriction on the sharing of data is that it be related to “cybersecurity.” The bill makes no serious attempt to specifically define what would qualify, and hence this limitation will do very little to limit privacy violations in practice. As the Electronic Freedom Foundation correctly points out, the bill would apply to “far more than what security experts would reasonably consider to be cybersecurity threat indicators—things like port scans, DDoS traffic, and the like.” Without a more careful definition, the potential for abuse is simply too great.
6. Not only does the language of the bill not provide enough protection before the fact, it also does too little to protect individual privacy after information if first shared with the government. As Sharon Bradford Franklin explains, “CISPA lacks any meaningful limitations on the ways in which the federal government may use personal information and the content of private communications that it receives from private companies.”
Until more meaningful protections are added to protect individuals against this public-private privacy threat, Congress should reject CISPA, and if it unwisely chooses to pass the legislation President Obama should veto it. The concerns the White House expressed yesterday are a good sign, but they need to be steadfast and not rush to sign a bad bill.