< /head > Colorado Coalition for Human Rights: November 2005

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Virginia Governor Grants Clemency to Death Row Inmate

An article in the Washington Post reports about Governor Mark Warner granting clemency to an inmate on death row. This article is interesting for two reasons, one is that Warner is expected to run for President in 2008. The other reason is former independent counsel Kenneth Starr was one of the lawyers representing the inmate. Click here to read the full article.

--Tom Hayes

World AIDS Day

From the Economist magazine an article about the state of the AIDS pandemic on World AIDS Day, which will be December 1st. Click here to read the full article. The online article also has links to other resources from organizations like the UN. Below is a portion of the article:

THE death toll of this disaster is now ten times larger than that of last year’s Indian Ocean tsunami. Some 3m people have died of AIDS-related diseases in the past year alone, a sixth of them children. These miserable statistics make a mockery of much-touted promises to be treating many more people for AIDS by now. Where the World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNAIDS hoped to see 3m people taking anti-retroviral drugs by the end of 2005—the widely trumpeted “3x5” initiative launched in 2003—barely a third of that number are now doing so. As a result, the silent tsunami is killing faster with each passing day...Some 40m people are probably infected with HIV—a population the size of Spain’s—and the greatest number are spread across parts of Africa where getting so much as an aspirin is tricky. Anti-AIDS drugs need to be taken daily and should be provided by trained nurses, kept within moderate temperatures and guarded from thieves. Ideally the patient should be monitored by doctors, blood samples regularly tested in laboratories, and treatment adjusted over time. In poor and hot countries, all that is proving hard to do. Even when they are available, the drugs should be taken on a full stomach, something the poorest in China, India and Africa too rarely enjoy. Even in middle-income countries with functioning health services, such as South Africa, rolling out treatment is proving slower and more painful than many hoped.

Here are some other op-eds and articles about World AIDS Day:

AIDS: The Strategy is Wrong by Richard Holbrooke
Evangelicals Venture Into AIDS Activism from the Washington Post
China Vows to Keep HIV Cases Under 1.5M from the Washington Post
On World AIDS Day, Bush Touts His Relief Program from the Washington Post

--Tom Hayes

U.S. to address E.U. Concerns on CIA prisons

From the Washington Post:

The Bush administration pledged yesterday to respond to a formal inquiry from the European Union over reports of covert CIA prisons for al Qaeda captives in Eastern Europe, acknowledging for the first time that the controversy over the secret prison system has upset European allies.

Click here to read the full article.

--Tom Hayes

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Ideas for Improving the Situation in Darfur

Nicholas Kristof, op-ed writer for the New York Times, wrote a piece today that offered several ideas for stopping what the U.S. government calls genocide in Sudan. Anyone with any other ideas should feel free to post them in the comments section. The full text of the article is below.

-- JB

November 29, 2005
Op-Ed Columnist

New York Times
What's to Be Done About Darfur? Plenty
In 1915, Woodrow Wilson turned a blind eye to the Armenian genocide. In the 1940's, Franklin Roosevelt refused to bomb the rail lines leading to Auschwitz. In 1994, Bill Clinton turned away from the slaughter in Rwanda. And in 2005, President Bush is acquiescing in the first genocide of the 21st century, in Darfur.

Mr. Bush is paralyzed for the same reasons as his predecessors. There is no great public outcry, there are no neat solutions, we already have our hands full, and it all seems rather distant and hopeless.

But Darfur is not hopeless. Here's what we should do.

First, we must pony up for the African Union security force. The single most disgraceful action the U.S. has taken was Congress's decision, with the complicity of the Bush administration, to cut out all $50 million in the current budget to help pay for the African peacekeepers in Darfur. Shame on Representative Jim Kolbe of Arizona - and the White House - for facilitating genocide.
Mr. Bush needs to find $50 million fast and get it to the peacekeepers.

Second, the U.S. needs to push for an expanded security force in Darfur. The African Union force is a good start, but it lacks sufficient troops and weaponry. The most practical solution is to "blue hat" the force, making it a U.N. peacekeeping force built around the African Union core. It needs more resources and a more robust mandate, plus contributions from NATO or at least from major countries like Canada, Germany and Japan.

Third, we should impose a no-fly zone. The U.S. should warn Sudan that if it bombs civilians, then afterward we will destroy the airplanes involved.

Fourth, the House should pass the Darfur Peace and Accountability Act. This legislation, which would apply targeted sanctions and pressure Sudan to stop the killing, passed the Senate unanimously but now faces an uphill struggle in the House.

Fifth, Mr. Bush should use the bully pulpit. He should talk about Darfur in his speeches and invite survivors to the Oval Office. He should wear a green "Save Darfur" bracelet - or how about getting a Darfur lawn sign for the White House? (Both are available, along with ideas for action, from www.savedarfur.org.) He can call Hosni Mubarak and other Arab and African leaders and ask them to visit Darfur. He can call on China to stop underwriting this genocide.

Sixth, President Bush and Kofi Annan should jointly appoint a special envoy to negotiate with tribal sheiks. Colin Powell or James Baker III would be ideal in working with the sheiks and other parties to hammer out a peace deal. The envoy would choose a Sudanese chief of staff like Dr. Mudawi Ibrahim Adam, a leading Sudanese human rights activist who has been pushing just such a plan with the help of Human Rights First.

So far, peace negotiations have failed because they center on two groups that are partly composed of recalcitrant thugs: the government and the increasingly splintered rebels. But Darfur has a traditional system of conflict resolution based on tribal sheiks, and it's crucial to bring those sheiks into the process.

Ordinary readers can push for all these moves. Before he died, Senator Paul Simon said that if only 100 people in each Congressional district had demanded a stop to the Rwandan genocide, that effort would have generated a determination to stop it. But Americans didn't write such letters to their members of Congress then, and they're not writing them now.

Finding the right policy tools to confront genocide is an excruciating challenge, but it's not the biggest problem. The hardest thing to find is the political will.

For all my criticisms of Mr. Bush, he has sent tons of humanitarian aid, and his deputy secretary of state, Robert Zoellick, has traveled to Darfur four times this year. But far more needs to be done.

As Simon Deng, a Sudanese activist living in the U.S., puts it: "Tell me why we have Milosevic and Saddam Hussein on trial for their crimes, but we do nothing in Sudan. Why not just let all the war criminals go. ... When it comes to black people being slaughtered, do we look the other way?"

Put aside for a moment the question of whether Mr. Bush misled the nation on W.M.D. in Iraq. It's just as important to ask whether he was truthful when he declared in his second inaugural address, "All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know: the United States will not ignore your oppression, or excuse your oppressors."
Mr. Bush, so far that has been a ringing falsehood - but, please, make it true.
Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.)

Monday, November 28, 2005

Prison Wages in the U.S.

A good column by Denver Post writer Reggie Rivers on prison wages in the United States.

Click here to read the entire column.

--Tom Hayes

Jose Padilla Case Still Open?

According to a recent article in Newsweek, Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball argue that the case of Jose Padilla and the constitutional questions surrounding his detention remain relevant, despite the Bush administration's recent decision to charge Padilla. The case is still relevant because the article reports, "The Bush administration, determined not to yield any ground on the constitutional issues in the case of Jose Padilla , has indicated it may still hold the accused "enemy combatant" indefinitely, even if he is acquitted of the terrorist conspiracy charges he was indicted on this week."

We'll see as this moves through the court system, but hopefully the question of whether the President has the power to detain anyone he wants for as long as he wants is decided soon, because this seems to be a significant overreach by the executive branch.

Click here to read the full article.

--Tom Hayes

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Dateline Report on Child Predators

Some of you may have recently seen a piece on Dateline about child predators in online chat rooms. The website that Dateline used for help in confronting the child predators was called Perverted Justice.com (more information can be found here). The goal of the website, which can be found in their FAQ section reads as follows:

Our goal is rather simple and specific, actually. A lot of people will say "hey, you guys aren't ending pedophilia." Well no, we don't "end pedophilia as we know it." That's not our goal. The goal of this website and our endeavors is to create a "chilling effect" in regional chat rooms and other easy targets of opportunity online. Simply stated, we want to poison the well of these rooms and places by covering enough of them that even if you're looking for underage females, an extra bit of paranoia will cross your mind.We believe that regional chat rooms are the most ready and easy way for an individual to try to "hook up with" underage females. Many parents don't understand the harms and dangers their child faces by going into those rooms. Basically, you're letting complete strangers into your child's bedroom or frontroom. And since it's "regional," these people don't live that far away. A kid goes into this cesspool, they're basically at the mercy of chance. Our goal is to help reduce that chance by covering these rooms to a point where we have an impact and create an atmosphere where such happenings become rarer and rarer. Additionally, we have the goal of turning the website into a conviction machine with as many information first agreements with police as possible. As of this writing, our Information First agreements cover over 90 million people across the United States. These agreements have been invaluable in our endeavors to toss as many people in jail as possible.

An article about the show on Dateline can be found here.

If anyone knows any sites or resources devoted to treatment for people who do this please post in the comments section. Clearly pedophiles and child predators should be punished, but since most of the people who enter prison will one day be free, it seems to be in society's best interest to stop them from acting in a way that prison time will probably not cure. Please post any comments.

--Tom Hayes

House Bill Raises Welfare Work Requirement

From the Washington Post:

The House has included a major restructuring of the nation's welfare system in its massive budget cutting bill, which would substantially increase the hours of work, training and community service the poor would have to perform to qualify for assistance.

Click here to read the article.

--Tom Hayes

Friday, November 25, 2005

Toxic Slick Contaminates Water Supply Of Chinese City

From the Washington Post:

A 50-mile-long slick of toxic river water moved slowly through this industrial city in China's frigid northeast on Friday, as government officials fended off questions about their slow and secretive response to a chemical spill and millions struggled with the third day of an emergency shutoff of the municipal water supply.

Click here to read the article.

--Tom Hayes

More on the Torture Debate

In the Los Angeles Times, Rosa Brooks writes about how the practice of torture hurts the U.S. in the end. Brooks writes a response to critics of her past arguments against torture ss she writes:

Here's my answer: You're right, torture can make even hardened terrorists talk. But before you decide that it's a worthy interrogation tool, study the case of Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi. Libi was an alleged high-ranking Al Qaeda official who was captured in late 2001 in Pakistan. Initially, the FBI was in charge of interrogating him, and it did so by the book, reportedly even reading Libi his rights before questioning him. FBI interrogators soon felt they were establishing a good rapport with him, but he wasn't giving up the information that administration hawks wanted, so CIA officials proposed that interrogators up the ante by threatening to kill Libi and his family. When the FBI refused, CIA Director George Tenet got White House permission for the CIA to take over Libi's interrogation. Libi subsequently disappeared, becoming one of the "ghost detainees" whose whereabouts and status U.S. officials refuse to discuss. Most likely, he was "rendered" to Egypt: A former FBI official told Newsweek that CIA agents cuffed Libi's wrists and ankles, covered his mouth with duct tape and hustled him toward a waiting plane. "At the airport, the CIA case officer goes up to [Libi] and says, 'You're going to Cairo, you know. Before you get there, I'm going to find your mother and I'm going to [rape] her.' " We don't know exactly where Libi was sent, or exactly who interrogated him when he got there. According to ABC News, CIA sources said Libi was subjected to progressively harsher interrogation techniques, but still refused to give his interrogators the information they wanted. Finally, he was "waterboarded" (a technique designed to make a detainee think he's being suffocated or drowned) then forced to remain standing overnight in a cold cell, where he was repeatedly soaked with icy water. After that, well, there's good news and there's bad news. The good news? Under torture, Libi finally broke and started to talk. The bad news? What he told his interrogators wasn't true.

Click here to read the article.

--Tom Hayes

Bush's Pardons

An article by Debra Saunders in the San Francisco Chronicle about President Bush and his use of pardons. From the article:

For years now, I've been writing about Clarence Aaron, a first-time nonviolent offender who, because he facilitated two large cocaine deals between two drug dealers, was sentenced to life without parole. At age 19, Chrissy Taylor was sentenced to 19 years in prison for buying legal drugs for her boyfriend's illegal drug operation.
Bush should commute the sentences of Aaron and Taylor so that they can become productive members of society.

It's an interesting article because Saunders talks about how Bush has used his pardons and how there are plenty of people serving extremely long prison sentences, which she argues should be shortened.

Click here to read the article.

--Tom Hayes

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Charitable Giving to the Poor at a Record Low in the United States

On November 14th, 2005, the New York Times ran a piece that described how charitable giving to human service groups (i.e. organizations that most directly help the poor) was at a record low in the United States. Here are a few interesting excerpts from the article:

Last year, the share of giving going to organizations most directly related to helping the poor hit a record low, accounting for less than 10 percent of the $248 billion donated by Americans and their philanthropic institutions.

So what is charity today if it is not aimed primarily at the have-nots? Has its definition been stretched so broadly that it no longer has meaning? If so, are the tax breaks that propel our philanthropy justified? Representative Bill Thomas, Republican of California, the chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, has raised those questions in a series of hearings examining whether tax exemption is justified for certain types of nonprofits.
The question, in his words, is, "What is the taxpayer getting in return for the tens of billions of dollars per year in tax subsidy" offered to donors through tax write-offs or to nonprofits through their tax exemptions? According to the Treasury Department, the charitable deduction will amount this year to a $40 billion tax subsidy, mostly to upper-income households - overshadowing the roughly $20 billion the human services sector is likely to raise. No official estimates exist for the cost of the tax exemption covering money that nonprofits spend and for the property they own.

The article also dealt with a misconception that many have about social services provided by Churches in the United States (i.e. that most Churches spend considerable resources in helping the downtrodden), as it stated:

Research by Mark Chaves, a sociology professor at the University of Arizona who was principal investigator of the 1998 National Congregations Study, the first comprehensive study of churches and their spending, showed that less than 3 percent of the average congregation's total budget was spent on social services.

Click here to access the full article.

-- JB

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Former New Mexico State football player Alleges Discrimination

From the Progressive Magazine's McCarthyism Watch, an article about a muslim New Mexico State football player released from the team after he prayed differently than the coach wanted. From the article:

Ali’s father, Mustafa Ali, says the trouble started at a practice over the summer when the coach told the players to pray.
“My son and two other players who were Muslim, they were praying in a different manner, and the coach asked them, ‘What are you doing?’ They said, ‘We’re Muslims. This is how we pray.’ That had a lot to do with how things went south.”
Mustafa Ali says things escalated after his son had a personal meeting with Coach Mumme where the coach “questioned him about Al-Islam and Al-Qaeda.” His son talked to him about the conversation.

The student has filed suit along with the ACLU against the school. The coach may not remain at the university as head coach for very long anyway, as New Mexico State is one of the worst teams in college football, with a current record of 0-11, in the WAC conference nonetheless.

Click here to read the article.

--Tom Hayes


An inquiry commissioned by New Mexico State University has found that no discrimination within the football program took place. The ACLU has questioned the impartiality of the inquiry, which was undertaken by an Albuquerque law firm. Click here to read more on this matter.

-- JB

Mexico's Highest Court Rules that Marital Rape is a Crime

In good news on the human rights front, the Supreme Court of Mexico, on November 16th, overturned a 1994 decision that held that forced sexual relations within a marriage was not a crime.

The article from the New York Times notes:

"Only a few countries in the world do not recognize rape within marriage as a crime; India and Malaysia are the two most prominent examples. But the change in laws is relatively recent. In the United States, it was not a crime in all states until 1993. "

Click here to read an article on this news story from the New York Times.


Number of People with HIV doubled in Past Decade

From the Washington Post:

The number of people infected with the virus that causes AIDS has doubled in the past decade to 40 million, and there is no end in sight as the pandemic continues to outpace efforts to prevent new infections and treat those already sick, according to a new U.N. report released Monday.
The annual report from UNAIDS noted some hopeful signs, including modest decreases in infection rates in Zimbabwe, Kenya and Burkina Faso and the growing availability of lifesaving antiretroviral drugs, even in some of the world's poorest countries. There are some indications that efforts to curb risky behavior such as multiple sexual partners has succeeded in some countries, U.N. officials said. But the overall picture that emerges from the 98-page report is of a disease that shows little sign of coming under control despite a massive, global effort that includes research into vaccines, public education campaigns and the large-scale distribution of sophisticated antiretroviral drugs.

Click here to read the full article.

--Tom Hayes

Chavez to Help U.S. Poor

A pretty amazing article from the Washington Post about the President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, and how he plans to use his government owned oil company to subsidize heating costs to low income people in the U.S. From the article:

The chief executive of Citgo wrote to the senators that the company is "studying potential plans for ongoing, sustained assistance programs in the United States with the goal of lifting our neighbors in need to an improved quality of life." Citgo is planning to announce today that it will provide discounted heating oil this winter to many low-income residents of Massachusetts, Venezuelan officials said, adding that the plan was in the works before the senators sought help. The company also plans to offer similar aid in New York.

Chavez is no fan of the Bush administration and the article alludes partly to the fact that he may be doing this as another way to "ruffle feathers" inside the White House. As the article reads, "This is the second time in recent months that Chavez has used oil to tweak the United States, analysts said. In September, Venezuela made a very public announcement about diverting shipments of gasoline to the United States to help prevent shortages after hurricanes Katrina and Rita knocked out refineries along the Gulf Coast."

Click here to read the full article.

--Tom Hayes

North Country

Last night I saw the movie North Country, which a fictionalized account of the first major successful sexual harassment case in the United States -- Jenson vs. Eveleth Mines, where a woman who endured a range of abuse while working as a miner filed and won the landmark 1984 lawsuit. Definitely an excellent movie and worth going to the theater to see. I went to the movie's website and found Stand Up and campaign to end sexual harassment and domestic violence, which was inspired by the movie. Check it out if you get a chance.

--Tom Hayes

Padilla Indicted

From the Washington Post:

Jose Padilla, a U.S. citizen held by the Bush administration for three years without charges as an enemy combatant plotting a "dirty bomb" attack in the United States, has been indicted on charges unrelated to any potential terrorist attack in this country.
Padilla, a former Chicago gang member who converted to Islam, was indicted by a Miami federal grand jury Thursday on charges he and four others were part of a U.S.-based terrorism conspiracy to "murder, maim, and kidnap" people overseas, Justice Department officials announced at a press conference in Washington today...The indictments avoid a Supreme Court showdown over how long the government can hold a U. S. citizen without charging them. Lawyers for Padilla had asked the nation's highest court to review his case last month, and the Bush administration was facing a deadline next Monday for filing its legal arguments. The Supreme Court had been asked to rule on how long a U.S. citizen can be held in military custody pending charges.

Click here to read the full article.

For more information on the case visit FindLaw and check out past posts here.

--Tom Hayes

Monday, November 21, 2005

Exiting Iraq and Human Rights

With the House and Senate debating exit strategies from Iraq, it is important to consider the human rights costs of immediatly pulling out of Iraq versus staying until the country is stable. Therefore, I have put together a list of articles debating future U.S. involvment. For more commentary visist Real Clear Politics, which has a ton of articles on the subject, but for just a few look at:

Staying is Not the Answer by Pennsylvania Rep. John Murtha, the top Democrat on the House Defense Appropriations subcommittee.

What Murtha Meant by Fred Kaplan

Looking at Iraq (and how to get out) in the rearview mirror by Nicholas Kristof

Think Twice About a Pullout by Joe Klien

Vietnam Flashbacks by Fred Barnes

The Malady Recurs by Pat Buchanan

Click here for an article in Newsweek that talks about Iranian influence in Iraq.

--Tom Hayes

Senate Passes Legislation on Darfur, Action Needed from the House

From the Save Darfur Coalition:

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE: The Darfur Peace and Accountability Act has passed the Senate, still awaits action in the House The Darfur Peace and Accountability Act (S. 1462) passed the Senate Friday evening, November 18, and now awaits action in the House of Representatives.

To contact your Representative in the House click here.

To view the text of the bill click here.

--Tom Hayes

Healthcare in Different States

An article from the Los Angeles Times about the different approach many states are taking to the nation's healthcare crisis. Click here to read the article.

Click here for a ranking of the Healthiest States, based on, "21 factors selected from the 2005 edition of Morgan Quitno's annual reference book, Health Care State Rankings. These factors reflect access to health care providers, affordability of health care, and the general health of a state's population."

Also check out Health Care For All Colorado, the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative, and the Colorado Children's Campaign.

--Tom Hayes

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Revolutionary Change in Bolivia?

An interesting article in the New York Times magazine about Evo Morales, a presidential candidate in Bolivia's upcoming election. As the article reads, "Morales is the first full-blooded Aymara, Bolivia's dominant ethnic group, to make a serious run for the presidency, which is in itself testimony to the extraordinary marginalization that Bolivian citizens of pure Indian descent, who make up more than half of the population, have endured since 1825, when an independent Bolivia was established."

Here is a portion of the article, which is about the growing backlash in the country (and throughout Latin America) to neoliberalism:

For most Bolivians, globalization, or what they commonly refer to as neoliberalism, has failed so utterly to deliver the promised prosperity that some Bolivian commentators I met insisted that what is astonishing is not the radicalization of the population but rather the fact that this radicalization took as long as it did. Bolivia often seems now like a country on the brink of a nervous breakdown. Every day, peasants or housewives or the unemployed erect hundreds of makeshift roadblocks to protest shortages of fuel (a particularly galling affront in a country with vast hydrocarbon resources) or to demand increased subsidies for education or to air any of the dozens of issues that have aroused popular anger. The language of these protests is insistently, defiantly leftist, with ritual denunciations of multinational corporations, of the United States and of the old Bolivian elite, who are white, mostly descendants of Spanish and German settlers. Two presidents were chased out of office in the last two years by popular protests made up largely of MAS supporters: first Gonazalo Sánchez de Losada, then Carlos Mesa. (Since Mesa's government fell in June, the country has been run by a caretaker government overseen by a former chief justice of the supreme court.)
What distinguishes the situation in Bolivia from that of some of its neighbors is the way that ethnic politics and leftist politics have fused. It is this hybrid movement that Morales has led with such popular success. The hopes of many indigenous Bolivians are now incarnated in Morales's candidacy, and even many members of the old elite, including former President Sánchez de Losada, seem to believe that if he wins, Morales must be given the opportunity to rule....For Jeffrey Sachs, Joseph Stiglitz's colleague at Columbia and a former economic adviser to the Bolivian government, the problem was less the international lending institutions' recommendations than the lack of follow-up on the part of Washington. Gonzalo Sánchez de Losada, the first of the two presidents ousted in Bolivia's recent wave of protests, has said that when he went to see President Bush at the White House in 2002, the president talked of little except Afghanistan. As Sachs put it later in an op-ed piece in The Financial Times, the Bush administration "proved to be incapable of even the simplest responses to a profound crisis engulfing the region." In an e-mail message to me, he said he had "never seen such incompetence" as the Bush administration's approach to Latin America, which he characterized as comprising "neglect, insensitivity, disregard, tone-deafness." Sachs cited one damning example in Bolivia: as his government teetered on the verge of collapse in 2003, Sánchez de Losada asked the U.S. government for $50 million in emergency aid. Washington made $10 million available. As Sachs put it bitterly, the decision in effect invited MAS and the social activist movements - peasants, coca growers, laborers and the unemployed - "to finish off the job of bringing down the government."

A link to the article can be found here.

--Tom Hayes

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Panhandling in Denver

An interesting article from the Denver Post about the City Council's attempts to limit panhandling in the downtown area. From the article:

Denver took the first step Wednesday toward clamping down on panhandlers with initial approval of three new ordinances that limit beggars' activities but also restrict how and when police can arrest them.
The City Council's safety committee endorsed measures to prohibit beggars from sitting or lying down in downtown Denver, stepping out into traffic or approaching diners at outside restaurant tables. But police would not be able to arrest violators without first giving them a warning or attempting to connect them with mental-health or substance-abuse counselors.
The proposals are the city's first attempt at restricting the homeless with enforceable laws since Mayor John Hickenlooper's 10-year plan to end homelessness was endorsed by the council in October.

While the proposed ordinance does make arrest a "last resort" it is hard for me to see how the city can put a limit on panhandling and put a limit on free speech. I guess a simliar ordinance in Seattle was challenged on such grounds, but was upheld by the 9th Circuit Court. If anyone has any thoughts on this please leave a comment.

Click here to read the article.

Also check out Poor, Poorer, Poorest:The Politics of Poverty by CU-Denver Professor Tony Robinson

--Tom Hayes

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Origins of Post 9/11 American Interrogation Tactics

In the November 14, 2005 edition of the New York Times, an interesting op-ed was written by M. Gregg Bloche, a law professor at Georgetown University and a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution, and Jonathan H. Marks, a barrister in London and a bioethics fellow at Georgetown and Johns Hopkins. The op-ed describes how the Pentagon approved interrogation techniques that mimicked those utilized by North Korean and Vietnamese interrogators to break American prisoners. This op-ed is a must read for anyone interested in knowing why many believe that abuses of prisoners in American custody was the result of a national policy, and not just the work of a few outlaws within the DOD’s ranks.

Click here to read the editorial.


Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The Democracy Gap in former Soviet Nations

An interesting article in the New York Times about former Soviet nations and the state's efforts at "managed democracy" or the appearance of democracy, while the society largely remains autocratic. Click here to read the article.

--Tom Hayes

Iraq Begins Inquiry into Alleged Torture

The New York Times is reporting that Iraqi investigators have begun an investigation into the secret underground prison where torture has occurred. The article reports, "The discovery of the prison by the American military in a raid on Sunday has galvanized Sunni Arab anger and widened the country's sectarian divide just a month before elections for a full, four-year government." For more information about the alleged torture prison click here.

--Tom Hayes

Patriot Act Deal Reached?

Click here to read the article from the Washington Post.

Update: Deal Reached, the Washington Post reports:

The deal would make permanent 14 Patriot Act provisions that were set to expire at the end of the year. Three other measures -- including one allowing law enforcement agents access to bookstore and public library records -- would be extended for seven years, or three years longer than the Senate had agreed to. The House initially extended the provisions for 10 years but later voted to accept the Senate's four-year extension.Also extended for seven years is a provision allowing roving wiretaps that follow an individual who may use multiple means of communication, rather than targeting a single phone line. The agreement also extends for seven years a provision of a separate intelligence law passed last year that allows federal investigators to track an individual not connected to a foreign government but suspected of operating as a "lone wolf" terrorist.

--Tom Hayes

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Senate Votes for Greater Oversight of Iraq War

The Washington Post reports that the Senate voted unaminously challenge the way in which the Bush adminstration has handled the Iraq War. From the article:

The Senate delivered President Bush its strongest rebuke yet on the conduct of the Iraq war, voting 98-0 to pass a defense policy bill that codifies the treatment of military detainees, establishes new legal rights for terrorism suspects and demands far more information from the White House on the progress of the conflict.

The measure must still pass the House, but the fact that it passed the senate without any dissenting votes may show that it won't have much of a problem.

Click here to read the full article.

--Tom Hayes

Engineers Without Borders

An interesting article from the Denver Post about a Colorado based group called Engineers Without Borders, which is in Africa building small scale power and water projects to help villages ravaged by conflict.

Click here to read the full article.

--Tom Hayes

Deal Reached on Gaza Borders

From the Washington Post, after all-night negotiations, Secretary of States Condaleeza Rice helped broker a deal between the Israeli and Palestinian governments. From the article:

After marathon all-night negotiations, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced a comprehensive agreement between the Israeli and the Palestinian governments Tuesday designed to ease the Gaza Strip's isolation by allowing more reliable access for its goods and people to Israel and the outside world.
The deal sets out the terms of operation for Gaza border crossings used to move cargo and people, resolving a deadlock that has frustrated a team of international negotiators for weeks. It also establishes a system of bus convoys to shuttle Palestinians between Gaza and the West Bank, the two territorial components of what is envisioned as a future Palestinian state.

Apparently the Palestinians are somewhat happy with the deal as the article reports the chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat saying, "This is the first time in history we will run an international passage by ourselves and it's the first time Israel does not have a veto over our ability to do so. The most important thing now is to move forward to the airport, the harbor and the convoys to the West Bank. We cannot say Rafah and that's all."

The article also reports it will help the economy of the Palestinians signifigantly as,"The agreement on the Karni crossing is potentially far more economically significant. Hundreds of Palestinians lost jobs on Israeli farms in Gaza, which brought in $100 million a year in revenue. Those former Israeli greenhouses have since been turned over to the Palestinian Authority, but their value relies entirely on the government's ability to export the tomatoes, strawberries, sweet peppers and other produce grown in them."

We'll see how long this works, as Israel is basically allowed to close the border and stop the deal whenever it wants.

Click here to read the full article.

--Tom Hayes

Why Detainee's Deserve Court Trials

A good op-ed in the Washington Post from a lawyer representing a detainee in Guatanamo Bay. The lawyer, P. Sabin Willett, argues why detainees deserve court trials and habeas corpus.

Click here to read the full opinion piece.

--Tom Hayes

Ex-Detainee's Allege Abuse

From the Washington Post:

Sherzad Khalid, 35, and Thahe Sabber, 37, say they were brutally beaten over several months at U.S. facilities such as Camp Bucca, Abu Ghraib prison and another detention facility at the Baghdad airport. They said the abuse occurred when they were unable to tell U.S. troops where Saddam Hussein was hiding and did not know about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Both are businessmen who were arrested in a July 17, 2003, raid in Baghdad while Khalid, of Kurdistan, was visiting friends. Both said they were supporters of the U.S. invasion. The two men are plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights First against Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and top military commanders in Iraq. The suit contends that U.S. policies during the war allowed abuse and torture. Both men say that they were tortured and degraded for months before they were released.

Click here to read the full article.

--Tom Hayes

Compromise Reached on Detainee Rights and Torture?

The Washington Post is reporting that a compromise will be voted on in the Senate over the issue of whether suspected terrorists can challenge their legal status in federal courts. The compromise will also apparently push McCain's amendment to restrict interrogation methods such as torture. This is also an effort to get the Bush administration to support McCain's amendment banning torture, which the administration has already threatened to veto. Vice President Cheney remains opposed to any compromise on McCain's amendment and there are divisions in the White House on the issue. We'll see Congress and the Bush administration do once the Senate votes on the compromise. Here is a portion of the article:

A bipartisan group of senators reached a compromise yesterday that would dramatically alter U.S. policy for treating captured terrorist suspects by granting them a final recourse to the federal courts but stripping them of some key legal rights.
The compromise links legislation written by Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), which would deny detainees broad access to federal courts, with a new measure authored by Sen. Carl M. Levin (D-Mich.) that would grant detainees the right to appeal the verdict of a military tribunal to a federal appeals court. The deal will come to a vote today, and the authors say they are confident it will pass...Such broad legislation would be Congress's first attempt to assert some control over the detention of suspected terrorists, which the Bush administration has closely guarded as its sole prerogative. By linking a provision to deny prisoners the right to challenge their detention in federal court with language restricting interrogation methods, senators hope to soften the administration's ardent opposition to McCain's anti-torture provision -- or possibly win its support.

Click here to read the full article.

--Tom Hayes

Monday, November 14, 2005

Inequality in the U.S.

A good column by Sebastian Mallaby in the Washington Post about the growing income inequality in the United States. Mallaby writes:

Inequality in the United States is now more pronounced than in any other advanced country. Comparing the top 10 percent of households with the bottom 10 percent, the United States during the 1990s was nearly twice as unequal as Sweden and about a third more unequal than France.
Why does this matter? Inequality is socially acceptable and even economically desirable to the extent that it reflects differences in talent, risk-taking and hard work. But if it reflects the circumstances of birth, it is immoral and wasteful. The problem with the 50 percent jump in the inequality ratio is that it gives the offspring of the rich such fundamentally different education, health care and social horizons that it's hard for the rest to catch up. Sharper class differences mean more rigid class differences as well. Talent is squandered.

Click here to read the full article.

Also check out these statistics and graphs from the Economic Policy Institute.

--Tom Hayes

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Corporal Punishment in Africa and the United States

From the Washington Post, an article about extreme cases of corporal punishment in African schools. Click here to read the article.

It is also important to talk about corporal punishment in the United States as many countries have instituted laws against corporal punishment, yet 94% of Americans spank their children by the age of 3 or 4.

A recent study by Elizabeth Girshoff find many disturbing consequences of coporal punishment and spanking. The article, "Corporal Punishment by Parents and Associated Child Behaviors and Experiences: A Meta-Analytic and Theoretical Review" can be found in the Psychological Bulletin, American Psychological Association Inc, Vol. 128, No. 4, 539-579.

Girshoff's research finds that parents are more likely to use corporal punishment between 5 p.m. and bedtime, a period in which parents are most likely becoming as tired as their children. Parents are also more likely to emotionally angry, and the practice is more likely to occur with parents who have conflictual relationships. In addition, if children display an escalated level of disobedience after they have already been punished, parents are more likely to use corporal punishment. Girshoff’s findings are startling as she writes that, “94% of the individual effect sizes represented undesirable behaviors or experiences” (Girshoff, 2002a, 549). The results of her study lend evidence to the fact that corporal punishment leads to undesirable qualities as Girshoff writes, "Ten of the 11 meta-analyses indicate parental corporal punishment is associated with the following undesirable behaviors and experiences: decreased moral internalization, increased child aggression, increased child delinquent and antisocial behavior, decreased quality of relationship between parent and child, decreased child mental health, increased risk of being a victim of physical abuse, increased adult aggression, increased adult criminal and antisocial behavior, decreased adult mental health, and increased risk of abusing own child or spouse. Corporal punishment was associated with only one desirable behavior, namely, increased immediate compliance".

I think that Girshoff best sums up her argument when responding to critics when she writes, "I would like to call attention to the reflection of this argument, namely that unless and until researchers, clinicians, and parents can definitively demonstrate the presence of positive effects of corporal punishment (including effectiveness in halting future misbehavior), not just the absence of negative effects, we as psychologists cannot responsibly recommend its use".

--Tom Hayes

A Change to the Patriot Act?

In the Boston Globe, Russ Feingold, a Democratic US senator from Wisconsin and John Sununu, a Republican US senator from New Hampshire argue that changes should be made to the Patiot Act. Fiengold was the only U.S. Senator to vote against the Patriot Act when it was first passed.

Click here to read the article.

--Tom Hayes

The Debate Over Torture

Newsweek has a good article about the debate over the torture of terrorists, which can be found by clicking here.

Also, Sen. John McCain writes why he is against torture and why he argues America should not participate in the practice. Click here to read McCain's article.

For the pro-torture side of the debate, read this Wall Street Journal editorial by clicking here.

--Tom Hayes

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Riots Continue in France

Click here to read the article from the Washington Post.

--Tom Hayes

China and the Bush Administration

From the Washington Post:

Perhaps no country presents a greater challenge to the vision Bush outlined in his second inaugural address than China. As he took the oath in January, Bush made it the mission of his presidency to promote freedom and democracy around the world, vowing to confront "every ruler and every nation" and predicate U.S. relations with other governments on how they treat their own people.Yet when it comes to China, home of 1.3 billion people living under communist rule, Bush and his administration seem more animated by economic and security issues. In public at least, the Bush team's discussion of democracy and human rights in China often is muted in soft tones and quickly dispensed with to move on to other matters.
"It's definitely become one of the pillars of what the president is willing to do when it comes to China," said John Ackerly, president of the International Campaign for Tibet, who credits Bush for pushing human rights. "But the question is always: How much is the administration really invested in it? How hard do they really push? Raising it with the Chinese leadership is one thing. Really pushing it is another. And the Chinese leadership has been getting some mixed messages."

Click here to read the full article.

Update 11/16/05, Bush Pushes China on Freedoms

--Tom Hayes

A Change of Focus for the Justice Department?

The Washington Post reports that many lawyers are leaving the Justice Department because they feel their is no longer a focus on anti-discrimination cases and rather on immigration issues. As the Post reports:

The Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, which has enforced the nation's anti-discrimination laws for nearly half a century, is in the midst of an upheaval that has driven away dozens of veteran lawyers and has damaged morale for many of those who remain, according to former and current career employees.
Nearly 20 percent of the division's lawyers left in fiscal 2005, in part because of a buyout program that some lawyers believe was aimed at pushing out those who did not share the administration's conservative views on civil rights laws. Longtime litigators complain that political appointees have cut them out of hiring and major policy decisions, including approvals of controversial GOP redistricting plans in Mississippi and Texas.

At the same time, prosecutions for the kinds of racial and gender discrimination crimes traditionally handled by the division have declined 40 percent over the past five years, according to department statistics. Dozens of lawyers find themselves handling appeals of deportation orders and other immigration matters instead of civil rights cases.

Click here to read the full article.

--Tom Hayes

Senate Bars Detains From Filing Lawsuits

From the Washington Post:

The Senate voted Thursday to bar foreign terror suspects at the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, from filing lawsuits in American courts to challenge their detentions, despite a Supreme Court ruling last year that granted such access.
In a 49-42 vote, senators added the provision by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., to a sweeping defense policy bill.

Under the provision, Guantanamo Bay detainees would be allowed to appeal their status as an "enemy combatant" one time, to the Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. But they would not be able to file petitions known as writs of habeas corpus, which are used to fight unlawful detentions, in that or any other U.S. court.

Click here to read the full article.

--Tom Hayes

Friday, November 11, 2005

Zoellick tours Sudan, official tries to prevent briefing

An interesting story from the Washington Post about an incident with Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick and a Sudanese official. Here is a part of the article:

With the debris of a burned village crunching underfoot and African Union soldiers on guard, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Robert B. Zoellick toured a hauntingly empty stretch of Sudan's war-torn Darfur region Thursday, seeing firsthand the violent devastation that continues here nearly three years after conflict broke out.
But the visit degenerated into an angry confrontation when a Sudanese official tried to prevent Zoellick from speaking with African Union monitors, shouting in his face repeatedly. Zoellick held his ground, while startled monitors moved closer, momentarily concerned that a fight might break out.

The incident was reminiscent of a July meeting in Khartoum, the capital, between Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Sudan's president, Lt. Gen. Omar Hassan Bashir. Sudanese secret police roughed up several aides to Rice, including her translator, as well as foreign journalists trying to cover the meeting.

Click here to read the full article.

--Tom Hayes

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Glamour Magazine's Woman of the Year

Nicholas Kristof wrote a good column in today's New York Times, here's a portion of the article about Mukhtaran Bibi:

Mukhtaran is the Pakistani peasant woman who was gang-raped on the order of a local council, and then forced to walk home nearly naked before a jeering crowd. Instead of killing herself, as rape victims routinely do in such places, she prosecuted her attackers and became a women's rights leader in Pakistan. But last week, she was confronted by something she found pretty scary: Midtown Manhattan.
Glamour magazine is honoring Mukhtaran as a "woman of the year." It flew her from Pakistan - first-class - to the U.S., where she met senior officials in the White House, the State Department and Congress.
At the Glamour banquet at Lincoln Center, Brooke Shields introduced Mukhtaran as a woman who "showed the world the real meaning of the word honor." Mukhtaran (who also goes by the name Mukhtar Mai) seemed a little stunned to receive two standing ovations from a huge crowd of whooping Americans.
Mukhtaran is, of course, an unlikely star of Glamour. She's a peasant living in a remote village who doesn't know her age (her mom says she was born in the winter, but no one knows what year). She is a devout Muslim who wears a head scarf, and while her photos adorn Glamour's December issue, her clothing-to-skin ratio may set an all-time high for the magazine.
While Mukhtaran is being feted here, it's easy to think that her problems are over. But they aren't. President Pervez Musharraf allowed her to make this visit, after blocking a trip by her in June and then kidnapping her when she protested, but Pakistani intelligence agents still follow her everywhere. Agents open or confiscate her mail and spread lies about her in the Pakistani press, and she is reported to be on a death list. At some point, her luck may run out - and her fame won't stop a knife or a bullet.

The link to the full article can be found here (you must be a NYtimes subscriber to view it though)

--Tom Hayes

Anti-Terrorism Measure in Britain fails

From the Washington Post:

The House of Commons on Wednesday soundly defeated an anti-terrorism measure championed by Prime Minister Tony Blair, dealing him one of the most significant political setbacks of his eight years in office.
The lower house of Parliament voted 322 to 291 against a proposal to allow suspects in terrorism cases to be held for as many as 90 days without charge, up from the current 14. It was Blair's first loss in a major vote in that house since he took office in 1997.

Click here to read the full article.

--Tom Hayes

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The Genocide Intervention Network

I received an email from a member of an excellent organization. Check out the Genocide Intervention Network an organization that envisions a world in which the global community is willing and able to protect civilians from genocidal violence. Their current mission is to empower global citizens with the tools to advance initiatives that help protect civilians from genocidal violence. They do a lot of good work, especially for those in Darfur.

--Tom Hayes

Virginia Day Laborers Being Photographed, Followed

From the Washington Post an article about Herndon day laborers being followed and photographed by local groups against illegal immigration. Click here to read the full article. Here's a portion of the article:

George Taplin of Herndon, leader of the local chapter of the Arizona-based organization, said the group plans to turn over its data to the Internal Revenue Service, perhaps as early as this week, so the IRS can check whether the employers are complying with tax regulations and reporting the wages paid to the day laborers.
"We are targeting the employers to stop hiring day laborers so we don't have them gathering in Herndon," he said. "If the employers stop coming and there is no work, they will have to go away. . . . What we want, bottom line in Herndon, is for the illegal aliens to leave. And if there is no work, they will."

I could understand if the day laborers were dealing drugs or something, but all they want to do is work. While the leader of this group is arguing that they aren't getting taxed on their wages, I would bet that he is also against a guest worker program that would allow workers in this situation to get their wages taxed. So it seems that this group is simply against people from other countries living in the U.S. Its one thing to want tighter security at the border and to have wages taxed, but its another thing to just oppose foreigners working in the U.S. just because you don't like them gathering for work.

For some good information on this subject read the transcript of the Vice President and Director of Studies at the Migration Policy Institute from the Washington Post by clicking here.

--Tom Hayes

Monday, November 07, 2005

Anti-Terror Efforts in Britain

From the Rocky Mountain News:

The government of Prime Minister Tony Blair refused Monday to back down on plans to detain terror suspects for up to 90 days without charge.
After talks with lawmakers, Home Secretary Charles Clarke said Monday night that the government stands by the 90-day limit in the proposed Terrorism Bill, despite the bill's near defeat at an early reading in Parliament last week.
But Clarke said the government will amend the bill to include a clause allowing for review in a year to see if it is appropriate.

Click here to read the article.

--Tom Hayes

Bush Defends U.S. Interrogation Techniques

Click here to read the article from the Washington Post.

--Tom Hayes

Chinese Hospitals Profit from AIDS

An interesting article from the Washington Post about hospitals in China taking advantage of patients. Click here to read the full article.

--Tom Hayes

Elections in Azerbaijan

From the Washington Post:

The main foreign group monitoring the weekend's parliamentary elections said Monday that the voting failed to meet international standards, a finding that could bolster Azerbaijan's trounced opposition as it tries to organize mass demonstrations to upend the results.

Click here to read the full article.

--Tom Hayes

Supreme Court to Hear Tribunal Challenge

click here to read the full article.

--Tom Hayes

Friday, November 04, 2005

Geneva Conventions and Security

A good op-ed in the New York Times today entitled, When the CIA Played by the Rules. The opinion piece is by Milt Bearden who worked in the C.I.A.'s Directorate of Operations for three decades until 1994. Bearden argues that applying the Geneva Convention's to prisoners of war helped American foreign policy/security, especially in Afghanistan in the 80's. Imagine that.

--Tom Hayes

Health Care in the U.S.

According to a recent survey as reported in the Washington Post, Americans pay more and get less with their current health care system as the article states, "The survey of nearly 7,000 sick adults in the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Britain and Germany found Americans were the most likely to pay at least $1,000 in out-of-pocket expenses. More than half went without needed care because of cost and more than one-third endured mistakes and disorganized care when they did get treated". Click here to read the full article.
I just got done reading, Birth in Four Cultures: A Crosscultural Investigation of Childbirth in Yucatan, Holland, Sweden, and the United States by Brigitte Jordan. In the book, Jordan offers interesting research of the way childbirth is conducted in each of these four cultures and when one looks at the differences (especially of those in Western European countries like Sweden) its worth questioning the U.S. system of health care and childbirth. Click here for statistics on
Infant Mortality Rate Rankings by Country.

--Tom Hayes

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Violence in Darfur and the Bush adminstration

From the Washington Post, an article about the Bush adminstration and its efforts to quell the violence in Sudan. The full article can be found here, but below is a portion of the article:

Sudan is pressing for Washington to lift sanctions imposed years ago for Sudan's ties to terrorist groups. The Bush administration, which last year accused Sudan of permitting genocide in Darfur, is not yet prepared to take that step, officials say. But the State Department recently removed Sudan from the list of the worst offenders of human trafficking, and it has waived rules that prevented Sudan from hiring a Washington lobbyist. Earlier this year, the CIA flew Sudan's intelligence chief, who has been implicated in the Darfur attacks, to Washington for talks.
Those steps have alarmed some members of Congress, who accuse the administration of sending mixed signals and not being tough enough with Khartoum. "The administration is on the wrong track and sending exactly the wrong message," said Rep. Michael E. Capuano (D-Mass.), a co-chairman of the House Sudan Caucus.
At the same time, Congress has sent its own mixed signals. The House Appropriations Committee voted this week to kill $50 million sought by the administration to expand the African Union peacekeeping mission in Darfur.

--Tom Hayes

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

CIA and Secret Terror Prisons

A long but interesting article from the Washington Post about the CIA and secret prisons. The full article can be found by clicking here, but here are a few excerpts from the article:

While the Defense Department has produced volumes of public reports and testimony about its detention practices and rules after the abuse scandals at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison and at Guantanamo Bay, the CIA has not even acknowledged the existence of its black sites. To do so, say officials familiar with the program, could open the U.S. government to legal challenges, particularly in foreign courts, and increase the risk of political condemnation at home and abroad....Although the CIA will not acknowledge details of its system, intelligence officials defend the agency's approach, arguing that the successful defense of the country requires that the agency be empowered to hold and interrogate suspected terrorists for as long as necessary and without restrictions imposed by the U.S. legal system or even by the military tribunals established for prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay....It is illegal for the government to hold prisoners in such isolation in secret prisons in the United States, which is why the CIA placed them overseas, according to several former and current intelligence officials and other U.S. government officials. Legal experts and intelligence officials said that the CIA's internment practices also would be considered illegal under the laws of several host countries, where detainees have rights to have a lawyer or to mount a defense against allegations of wrongdoing.
Host countries have signed the U.N. Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, as has the United States. Yet CIA interrogators in the overseas sites are permitted to use the CIA's approved "Enhanced Interrogation Techniques," some of which are prohibited by the U.N. convention and by U.S. military law. They include tactics such as "waterboarding," in which a prisoner is made to believe he or she is drowning. Some detainees apprehended by the CIA and transferred to foreign intelligence agencies have alleged after their release that they were tortured, although it is unclear whether CIA personnel played a role in the alleged abuse. Given the secrecy surrounding CIA detentions, such accusations have heightened concerns among foreign governments and human rights groups about CIA detention and interrogation practices.
The contours of the CIA's detention program have emerged in bits and pieces over the past two years. Parliaments in Canada, Italy, France, Sweden and the Netherlands have opened inquiries into alleged CIA operations that secretly captured their citizens or legal residents and transferred them to the agency's prisons.
More than 100 suspected terrorists have been sent by the CIA into the covert system, according to current and former U.S. intelligence officials and foreign sources. This figure, a rough estimate based on information from sources who said their knowledge of the numbers was incomplete, does not include prisoners picked up in Iraq.

This is an important piece of news, especially after the Senate recently voted to define and limit interrogation techniques, with President Bush threatening to veto the bill and Vice President Cheney attempting to exempt the CIA from the legislation. How this nation carries itself abroad and the image it projects reflects on the actions and involvment of its citizens. To think that the world's leading democracy would put up with torture and the same techniques used by its "enemies" is disheartening, lets hope Congress and the American people stand up to the administration and end this practice.

Update 11/04/05: EU, rights group to probe reports of secret CIA jails

---Tom Hayes

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

A Non-Profit for Assisted Suicide

I found a very interesting article about a Swiss non-profit devoted to assisted suicide, the article can be found by clicking here and was reported by the Washington Post. Here's a little bit from the article for those interested:

Inside a quiet courtyard off Eden Street, next to an auto-repair shop, a Swiss organization opened an office last month to help Germans kill themselves. Dignitas, a Swiss nonprofit that promotes assisted suicide, has since 1998 been advising people who want to end their lives. Headquartered in Zurich, the group makes it easy for people who want to die -- the terminally or incurably ill, the old -- to take advantage of Switzerland's assisted-suicide laws, the most liberal in the world. The group has courted foreigners since its founding, spreading information on the Internet and by word of mouth. But now Dignitas has gone a step further by expanding its physical operations outside Switzerland to recruit what it calls "members," or people contemplating suicide.

--Tom Hayes


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