US: The Torture of Democracy

The disappeared: Chicago police detain Americans at abuse-laden ‘black site’

  • Exclusive: Secret interrogation facility reveals aspects of war on terror in US
While US military and intelligence interrogation impacted people overseas, Homan Square – said to house military-style vehicles and even a cage – focuses on American citizens, most often poor, black and brown. ‘When you go in,’ Brian Jacob Church told the Guardian, ‘nobody knows what happened to you.
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The Chicago police department operates an off-the-books interrogation compound, rendering Americans unable to be found by family or attorneys while locked inside what lawyers say is the domestic equivalent of a CIA black site.

Alleged police practices at Homan Square, according to those familiar with the facility who spoke out to the Guardian after its investigation into Chicago police abuse, include:

  • Keeping arrestees out of official booking databases.
  • Beating by police, resulting in head wounds.
  • Shackling for prolonged periods.
  • Denying attorneys access to the “secure” facility.
  • Holding people without legal counsel for between 12 and 24 hours, including people as young as 15.

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Michael Brown jury: putting a value on a black life in the United States

Protestors hold signs in Ferguson

Protestors in Ferguson, Missouri. ‘When black kids fill the jails and the morgues so disproportionately we are in a state of extreme dysfunction.’ Photograph: Michael B. Thomas/AFP/Getty Images

Is there a price to pay for summarily killing a man, or is it just what happens in Ferguson when one man has a badge and the other too much melanin?

 

 

In September 1955, an all-white jury took just 67 minutes to acquit Emmett Till’s killers. Till, 14, said either “Bye, baby” or wolf-whistled at a white woman in a grocery store in Mississippi. Three days later his body was fished out of the Tallahatchie river with a bullet in his skull, an eye gouged out and his forehead crushed on one side. “If we hadn’t stopped to drink pop,” said one juror, “it wouldn’t have taken that long.”

In 2014, racism is more sophisticated but no less deadly. The grand jury investigating the killing of Michael Brown is taking its time. Brown, 18, was unarmed when he was fatally shot by police officer Darren Wilson in the St Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri, in August. Wilson has been suspended on full pay and has not been charged. The four-month period that a panel usually convenes for expired last month. The judge gave the grand jury 60 more days to make a decision, so it has until January 7 to decide whether to indict Wilson. That’s a lot of pop.
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Wikileaks Beyond Wikileaks?

[Many have noted that the US government’s attacks and threats against WikiLeaks and Julian Assange are turning attention away from government misdeeds, deceptions, and war crimes by “attacking the messenger.”  This essay pursues a different point–that the messenger may be a significant and useful historic actor, but those who believe Wikileaks has the method and the script for effective solution to government misdeeds, deceptions, and war crimes are mistaken, as shown by the collaborative “embedding”  of WikiLeaks (and their joint redacting of information) with the New York Times and The Guardian. –Frontlines ed.]

by Saroj Giri

Corporate media most likely tries to buy you off only if you pose a real danger – radical and subversive to ‘power’. While attacking Wikileaks for corporate collusion, therefore, its original radical potential cannot be overlooked.

Wikileaks’ close collaboration with big corporate media (including The New York Times and Guardian) and the ‘redactions’ raise serious doubts over whether information is actually flowing freely (Michel Chossudovsky, ‘Who is Behind Wikileaks?’ Dec 13, 2010, Global Research). And yet the Wikileaks’ intervention cannot be cast away in a cynical manner – the only way to welcome it however is by saving it from Wikileaks itself, in particular from its liberal slide. Let us problematise the kind of politics or the ‘attacks on power’ which Wikileaks represents, even as stories circulate about corporate-funding and CIA-backing. Indeed one gets deeply suspicious when for example The Guardian reports that, for the hackers, ‘the first global cyber-war has begun’, ‘the first sustained clash between the established order and the organic, grassroots culture of the net’. On the other hand, for someone like Jemima Khan typical of a whole swathe of liberal supporters, Wikileaks stands for something far less dramatic. In her already apologetic piece, ‘Why did I back Assange?’, she states that it is only about ‘a new type of investigative journalism’, about freedom of information and so on. What is it really? Continue reading