• Monthly
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $other
  • use PayPal

SPRING FUNDRAISER

Is it time for our Spring fundraiser already? If you enjoy what we offer, and have the means, please consider donating. The sooner we reach our modest goal, the faster we can get back to business as (un)usual. Please, stay safe and we’ll see you down the road.
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Fact-Checking the American Police State

Amnesty International’s 2014/15 report on the United States brings the socially conscious little to cheer for, and it details many things that should give any American great pause.

In 2014, the Human Rights Committee (a treaty body of the United Nations) criticized the US for many issues. Criticism included: no accountability for abuses in context to counter-terrorism solitary confinement in prisons; racial disparities in America’s criminal justice system; targeted killings by drones; law enforcement officials’ excessive uses of force; mistreatment of migrants; and, the capital punishment.

President Obama acknowledged America’s CIA-backed torture and secret detention program after September 11, 2001. Detainees were subject to “indefinite military detention” at America’s naval base in Guantánamo Bay in Cuba. Thirty-five people were executed in the course of the year, two of which were women. And ultimately, America failed to comply with international obligations on torture.

By the end of 2014, 127 men were detained at Guantánamo without so much as a trial or charges. There was also Congress’ opposition to closing America’s detention facility in Cuba. Prisoners engaged in hunger strikes, but transparency about their protest lacked. There were “forcible cell extractions” and forced feeding.

One lawyer alleged in court that the abduction of suspect Abu al-Libi involved the use of extreme physical and brutal force,” and that after dragging al-Libi from his car (and “using tazer-like weapons” on him), American forces blindfolded him, “bound, gagged and trussed” him.

Across eighteen states, at least thirty-five people died after Tasers struck them. Tasers have either caused or contributed to more than sixty deaths. Most victims were not armed or seem to pose “a serious threat” at the time of Taser deployment. Of course, there were the various police killings of unarmed people throughout the year: Michael Brown, Kajieme Powell, Ezell Ford, Eric Garner, and the list goes on.

American police also equipped themselves with riot gear and military-grade weapons during demonstrations in which Americans exercised their peaceful right to assemble. With some frequency, they were also on the receiving end of rubber bullets, tear gas, and other aggressive technologies and tactics. Protestors as well as journalists were harmed.

American prisons violated standards for the human treatment of its prisoners. Thirty-three men and two women were also killed via the death penalty in this time frame. For some children, life imprisonment without parole was a legal possibility.

Finally, more than fifty thousand migrant children were “apprehended” crossing the Mexican-American border in 2014. Some were a mere five-years-old. US Border Patrol detained unaccompanied minors in unsanitary facilities “without access to legal counsel, translators or proper medical attention.” Detainment ranged anywhere from days to weeks on end.

For related articles and information, Amnesty International also published the following list at the end of its 2014/15 US report:

1. Loud and clear – UN Human Rights Committee makes wide-ranging recommendations to USA

2. USA should “put its money where its mouth is” and implement UN Committee against Torture findings

3. USA: “We tortured some folks” – The wait for truth, remedy and accountability continues as redaction issue delays release of senate report on CIA detentions

4. USA: “We have the ability to do things” – President and Congress should apply human rights principles and close Guantánamo

5. USA: “I have no reason to believe that I will ever leave this prison alive” – Indefinite detention at Guantánamo continues; 100 detainees on hunger strike

6. USA: Man seized in Libya faces death penalty in USA

7. Entombed: Isolation in the US federal prison system

8. USA: “He could have been a good kid” – Texas set to execute third young offender in two months

9. USA: “The nation we aspire to be”

10. USA: Call for race inquiry as execution nears

Mateo Pimentel lives on the Mexican-US border. You can follow him on Twitter @mateo_pimentel.  

More articles by:

Mateo Pimentel lives on the Mexican-US border. You can follow him on Twitter @mateo_pimentel.

May 27, 2020
Ipek S. Burnett
The Irony of American Freedom 
Paul Street
Life in Hell: Online Teaching
Vijay Prashad
Why Iran’s Fuel Tankers for Venezuela Are Sending Shudders Through Washington
Lawrence Davidson
National Values: Reality or Propaganda?
Ramzy Baroud
Why Does Israel Celebrate Its Terrorists: Ben Uliel and the Murder of the Dawabsheh Family
Sam Pizzigati
The Inefficient and Incredibly Lucrative Coronavirus Vaccine Race
Mark Ashwill
Vietnam Criticized for Its First-Round Victory Over COVID-19
David Rovics
A Note from the Ministry of Staple Guns
Binoy Kampmark
One Rule for Me and Another for Everyone Else: The Cummings Coronavirus Factor
Nino Pagliccia
Canada’s Seat at the UN Security Council May be Coveted But is Far From a Sure Bet
Erik Molvar
Should Federal Public Lands be Prioritized for Renewable Energy Development?
R. G. Davis
Fascism: Is it Too Extreme a Label?
Gene Glickman
A Comradely Letter: What’s a Progressive to Do?
Jonathan Power
The Attacks on China Must Stop
John Kendall Hawkins
The Asian Pivot
May 26, 2020
Melvin Goodman
Trump Administration and the Washington Post: Picking Fights Together
John Kendall Hawkins
The Gods of Small Things
Patrick Cockburn
Governments are Using COVID-19 Crisis to Crush Free Speech
George Wuerthner
Greatest Good is to Preserve Forest Carbon
Thomas Klikauer – Nadine Campbell
The Covid-19 Conspiracies of German Neo-Nazis
Henry Giroux
Criminogenic Politics as a Form of Psychosis in the Age of Trump
John G. Russell
TRUMP-20: The Other Pandemic
John Feffer
Trump’s “Uncreative Destruction” of the US/China Relationship
John Laforge
First US Citizen Convicted for Protests at Nuclear Weapons Base in Germany
Ralph Nader
Donald Trump, Resign Now for America’s Sake: This is No Time for a Dangerous, Law-breaking, Bungling, Ignorant Ship Captain
James Fortin – Jeff Mackler
Killer Capitalism’s COVID-19 Back-to-Work Imperative
Binoy Kampmark
Patterns of Compromise: The EasyJet Data Breach
Howard Lisnoff
If a Covid-19 Vaccine is Discovered, It Will be a Boon to Military Recruiters
David Mattson
Grizzly Bears are Dying and That’s a Fact
Thomas Knapp
The Banality of Evil, COVID-19 Edition
May 25, 2020
Marshall Auerback
If the Federal Government Won’t Fund the States’ Emergency Needs, There is Another Solution
Michael Uhl
A Memory Fragment of the Vietnam War
Anthony Pahnke – Jim Goodman
Make a Resilient, Localized Food System Part of the Next Stimulus
Barrie Gilbert
The Mismanagement of Wildlife in Utah Continues to be Irrational and a National Embarrassment.
Dean Baker
The Sure Way to End Concerns About China’s “Theft” of a Vaccine: Make it Open
Thom Hartmann
The Next Death Wave from Coronavirus Will Be the Poor, Rural and White
Phil Knight
Killer Impact
Paul Cantor
Memorial Day 2020 and the Coronavirus
Laura Flanders
A Memorial Day For Lies?
Gary Macfarlane – Mike Garrity
Grizzlies, Lynx, Bull Trout and Elk on the Chopping Block for Trump’s Idaho Clearcuts
Cesar Chelala
Challenges of the Evolving Coronavirus Pandemic
Luciana Tellez-Chavez
This Year’s Forest Fire Season Could Be Even Deadlier
Thomas Hon Wing Polin
Beijing Acts on Hong Kong
George Wuerthner
Saving the Lionhead Wilderness
Elliot Sperber
Holy Beaver
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail