In Torture Cases, Obama Toes Bush Line

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Monday, March 16, 2009 at 3:02 pm
Donald Rumsfeld (WDCpix) and John Yoo (Wikimedia)

Donald Rumsfeld (WDCpix) and John Yoo (Wikimedia)

While Congress debates whether senior Bush administration officials should be called to account for the torture, humiliation and indefinite detention of prisoners taken during the “war on terror,” some of those prisoners aren’t waiting around for lawmakers to make up their minds. A growing number of private lawsuits brought by former detainees against former Bush officials are slowly making their way through the courts. And to the dismay of some of its strongest supporters, the Obama administration has, in every case so far, taken the side of the Bush administration, arguing that these cases should all be dismissed.

Illustration by: Matt Mahurin

Illustration by: Matt Mahurin

What’s more, Obama administration lawyers are not arguing for dismissal purely on procedural grounds. In most cases, they’re arguing that the courts should not second-guess the president’s authority in national security matters. They are also insisting that the right to not be tortured, to be treated humanely and to not be detained indefinitely without charge or trial were not clearly established back when government officials violated them. Therefore, under the legal doctrine of “qualified immunity,” those officials should not be held responsible now, the Justice Department claims.

That stance outrages many of the lawyers handling these cases. “Torture has always been illegal,” said Eric Lewis, a partner in the law firm Baach Robinson & Lewis, which is representing four British former Guantanamo detainees against former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. “Affirming qualified immunity for torture seems contrary to the traditions of the military which abjure torture and contrary to the doctrine of qualified immunity which says you are protected within a large discretionary area,” but not for acts that were clearly illegal. “It can’t be right that prior to Boumediene” — the landmark Supreme Court case affirming Guantanamo prisoners’ rights to challenge their detention in U.S. courts — “anyone could have thought that torture was legal,” said Lewis.

Lewis is among a group of formidable opponents the administration faces in these cases, including some of the nation’s top lawyers and law schools making powerful legal arguments that former government officials are legally responsible for the torture, abuse and wrongful imprisonment that their policies directed.

In a federal court in San Francisco this month, for example, lawyers from Yale Law School’s Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic argued that John Yoo, the deputy assistant attorney general at the Office of Legal Counsel during the Bush administration and author of several memos that effectively gave legal cover for U.S. authorities to torture prisoners, is now liable for the consequences of his legal advice.

The lawyers represent Jose Padilla, the U.S. citizen who was declared an enemy combatant and held for three years without charge or trial at a Navy brig in South Carolina. Padilla’s lawyers claim he was subjected to “vicious interrogations, chilling sensory deprivation and total isolation.” And they claim that John Yoo is responsible because he not only provided the legal justification for that treatment but, as a member of the Bush “War Council,” helped develop the administration’s interrogation policy.

“Yoo knew exactly what the natural consequences of his actions would be – because he intended them, because they were obvious, and because he was warned by others,” the lawyers write in their brief opposing the government’s motion to dismiss the case.

The Obama administration, stepping into the shoes of its predecessors, has now assumed the awkward position of arguing that the case against Yoo — whose opinions Obama administration officials have harshly criticized — should be dismissed. The Obama Justice Department is arguing that Yoo, as a government lawyer, was not directly responsible for decisions regarding Padilla’s treatment; that allowing such legal claims against a government official would “constitute an unprecedented intrusion into the President’s authority in the areas of war-making, national security and foreign policy”; and that Yoo did not violate “any clearly established constitutional rights.”

The Obama administration is making a very similar argument in another case, Rasul v. Rumsfeld, now pending at the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. In that case, four British citizens who were abducted in Afghanistan and sent to Guantanamo Bay claim they were imprisoned in cages, brutally beaten, shackled in painful stress positions, forced to shave their beards and watch their Korans desecrated. They were finally released in 2004 without charge. They have sued former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other senior Pentagon officials for their treatment.

The case was dismissed at the urging of the Bush administration, but appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. In December, the court sent it back to the court of appeals in Washington for reconsideration in light of the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling last summer in Boumediene v. Bush that Guantanamo detainees have the right to challenge their detentions.

Rumsfeld, former Attorney General John Ashcroft and other former senior Bush officials also face a similar case brought by the Yale law clinic in South Carolina, where Padilla was being held. Because Yoo lives in California, he was sued separately in his home state to avoid potential jurisdictional problems.

Meanwhile, another torture damages case, Arar v. Ashcroft, involving a Canadian citizen abducted in New York and sent abroad to be tortured, is pending before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Still other lawsuits, such as one filed by Khaled al-Masri, a former detainee allegedly held and tortured by the CIA for five months in Afghanistan, has been dismissed based on government arguments that all information about the case and the CIA program al-Masri was subjected to is a “state secret” that the government may not be forced to disclose. (Other victims of so-called “extraordinary rendition” — or transfer to torture — are now suing the private flight data company that assisted the CIA in the hopes of getting around that problem, though as TWI has written, the Obama administration is maintaining — as the Bush administration did before it — that the “state secrets doctrine” should ban those suits as well.)

Many more such cases could still be filed:  the Detainee Abuse and Accountability Project has documented more than 330 cases in which U.S. military and civilian personnel are credibly alleged to have abused or killed detainees. Other detainees released from Guantanamo have told reporters that they are considering bringing lawsuits.

Victims Want an Accounting

The lawyers representing former prisoners say money is usually not the motive in these cases; rather, their clients want the government to acknowledge that the harsh and humiliating treatment they endured was wrong, and to clear their names from the stigma of years in a military prison. Jose Padilla and his mother, for example, are only asking for $1 from John Yoo. “Plaintiffs seek to vindicate their constitutional rights,” their legal complaint says, “and ensure that neither Mr. Padilla nor any other person is treated this way in the future.”

The stigma and continued suffering of former Guantanamo prisoners is highlighted in a thorough report published in November from the University of California at Berkeley. Researchers studied 62 former Guantanamo detainees and found that, having been labeled “the worst of the worst” by the U.S. government, they “left Guantánamo shrouded in ‘guilt by association,’ particularly as their innocence or guilt had never been determined by a court of law.” This “Guantánamo stigma” made it difficult to find jobs and reintegrate into their communities. Many had severe physical and mental health problems, but could not afford treatment. And as the report emphasizes: “To date, there has been no official acknowledgment of any mistake or wrongdoing by the United States as a result of its detention or treatment of any Guantánamo detainee. No former detainees have been compensated for their losses or harm suffered as a result of their confinement.”

President Obama has carefully avoided saying whether he would support either prosecutions of Bush officials or a non-prosecutorial truth commission, as proposed by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). And as TWI has reported, proposals for broad investigatory commissions have so far not won a majority of supporters in Congress. These private lawsuits therefore may provide the only means of finding out how the government developed and carried out its detention and interrogtion policies, and their impact on individual prisoners.

Still, they face significant hurdles. Even if former prisoners can prove that the officials they’ve sued developed and authorized the policies that led to their treatment, federal officials can usually win lawsuits involving work they did in government by claiming “qualified immunity.”

Under the doctrine of “qualified immunity,” federal government officials cannot be sued for actions taken in office unless they were intentionally violating clearly established rights. Lawyers for the former detainees claim that the right not to be tortured, brutalized, humiliated, held indefinitely without charge and denied religious freedoms is well-established in American and international law. The Bush administration, however, consistently denied that.

Now, much to the chagrin of many Obama supporters, the Obama administration is claiming the same thing. The administration “should not be arguing that there was not a clearly established right to be free from detention without trial, court access or abuse under the Fifth and Eighth amendments,” said Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights and a professor at Columbia Law School, and co-counsel on the Rasul case. That’s “a grave disappointment” and would “justify many of the nasty Bush administration practices.”

The position also seems to contradict earlier statements from President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder. On the campaign trail, for example, Obama said about torture: “When I am president America will once again be the country that stands up to these deplorable tactics. When I am president we won’t work in secret to avoid honoring our laws and Constitution, we will be straight with the American people and true to our values.”  At his confirmation hearing, Holder said unequivocally that “waterboarding is torture” and that “the president does not have the power” to authorize torture.

Now, to make the case that former Bush officials have “qualified immunity,” the attorney general is arguing that the law was actually not so clear just a few years ago.

While this may be the best legal defense these officials have, the contradictions could be putting the Obama administration in an ethical bind. While it’s not unusual for a subsequent administration to defend lawsuits filed against the previous one, lawyers usually try to refrain from arguing positions in one case that contradict their stance in another.

Then again, the Obama administration’s position in these cases is consistent with at least some positions it has taken in other recent matters regarding detainees and “enemy combatants.” For example, in moving recently to dismiss the habeas corpus petition of Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri, a U.S. resident held for six years in the same South Carolina Navy brig as Padilla before recently being transferred to federal prison, the Obama administration notably did not relinquish his “military combatant status” or the right to hold lawful U.S. residents indefinitely without charge or trial on U.S. soil.

And on Friday, although the Obama administration announced that it would stop using the term “enemy combatant,” it insisted that it maintains the right to hold indefinitely without charge or trial anyone that the president declares assisted al Qaeda or the Taliban. It’s not clear what the administration plans to call such prisoners now.

Legal Outcome is Uncertain

So do the prisoners suing the former government officials have a chance?

“So long as Yoo acted solely as a lawyer giving advice to his own client in good faith, even wrong advice, he will not be liable to those denied their constitutional rights, even if the denial is a direct result of the bad advice,” said Stephen Gillers, professor of legal ethics at New York University Law School. But many critics believe — based on the memos from the Office of Legal Counsel that have been released so far, on statements from former Bush administration officials such as Jack Goldsmith, who took over OLC and later denounced many of Yoo’s memos, and on Yoo’s role in Bush’s “war council”  — that Yoo was not providing objective, good-faith legal advice. Rather, they claim he distorted the law to justify the actions the White House wanted to take. If true, that could cause Yoo legal problems. “If Yoo stepped out of his role as a lawyer and distorted his advice in order to facilitate the harsh interrogation and other conduct,” said Gillers, “then he loses this professional immunity and is liable along with others for their violation of constitutional rights.”

A still-classified internal report drafted by the Office of Professional Responsibility in the Department of Justice reportedly analyzes the memos regarding interrogation and detention produced by the Office of Legal Counsel during the Bush administration, and examines whether the authors of the memos, including Yoo, purposely slanted their legal advice to provide President Bush and other high-level policymakers with the the conclusions they wanted.

As for the government’s argument that the court should not second-guess the judgments of policymakers making decisions about national security, Lewis, co-counsel on the Rasul case, insists that some decisions should be subject to review. “They argue that you don’t want government officials doing their job with the threat of liability hanging over them,” said Lewis, whose firm is handling the case pro bono. “But one would think that the threat of liability for torturing people is something you’d want to put in there as a disincentive.”

To be sure, some legal experts believe the court should stay away from judging policymaking, whether the ultimate policies applied turned out to be legal or not. “If we’re talking about holding a particular individual liable, we’re talking about drawing a straight line between opinions given and acts done,” said Daniel Richman, a professor at Columbia University law school. “At the end of the day people who really were hurt by the government in ways that are legally offensive ought to have some sort of forum to get compensation or vindication. But to go from there to say that part of that process should involve singling out one or two subpresidential actors in an area where the president really does dominate policymaking is a stretch for me.”

As I’ve written before, a broad investigatory commission, of the sort proposed by Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) or Sen. Leahy could provide a means for torture victims to receive government reparations, as truth commissions frequently do in other countries, creating a more efficient alternative to these individual lawsuits.

Although it’s impossible to predict what will happen in any of these cases, District Court Judge Jeffrey White, hearing arguments in Padilla’s case against Yoo earlier this month, seemed to at least take the claims against Yoo very seriously. Yoo’s recently released opinion concluding that the president can override the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable searches and seizures, he reportedly said, is “a pretty scary position.”

Jonathan Freiman, a lawyer with the Yale law school clinic representing Padilla, noted that dismissing the case would be disturbing for another reason. “We’ve seen the policymakers trying to get out of things saying we were just relying on legal advice,” said Freiman. “Now the lawyers are trying to get out of things saying we were just giving legal advice, not making policy decisions. So in this view of things no one is ever responsible for anything.”

Indeed, former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, former Vice President Dick Cheney and others in the Bush administration insisted that there was no need for criminal investigations of policymakers because all of them had been relying on the advice of legal counsel. If it turns out the advice of legal counsel was merely dictated by the policymakers, though, then maybe none of them will get off so easy.

Comments

27 Comments

In torture lawsuits, Obama toes the Bush line « Later On
Pingback posted March 16, 2009 @ 3:51 pm

[...] in Bush Administration, Government, Law, Obama administration, Torture at 11:50 am by LeisureGuy Daphne Eviatar in the Washington Independent: While Congress debates whether senior Bush administration officials should be called to account [...]


Hawaiian style
Comment posted March 17, 2009 @ 11:44 am

God made me do it. Cross out God and insert I wanted to, so I asked a lawyer and he said OK.

If the precedent becomes established that relying on your lawyers advice is a valid defense there will be unbelievable consequences.

For instance, I filed a tax return that saved me tax on my million dollar wage based on my tax attorney's advice, and when the IRS disallowed my deductions …

Or, driving down the road with my attorney after hitting another car my attorney said run…

Or being CEO and President of a huge corporation I gave out bonuses to myself and other friends even though the company lost billions of dollars, and when the shareholders said no way, I told them OK in the future, but having given them out relying on the lawyer's advice they are legal this time.

And finally, attorneys will suddenly change their fees. If you ask for advice on a traffic ticket and they say its OK to ignore it, the fee will be low. However, if you ask for advice on is it OK to torture someone, or hold them indefinitely in your basement, the fee is going to be huge.

The obvious conclusion is we can't use lawyers advice as a defense, because we can't afford it.

Oh, and one last thought, what if a second lawyer says something totally opposite? Will we have to go to court and get a judge to rule on which lawyer is correct? That would cost more yet, but at least we would have not only a lawyers advice but a judges ruling on the fact that it is legal. That would be a BETTER defense yet.


The Occasional Dissident
Comment posted March 17, 2009 @ 2:34 pm

Thank you, Ms. Eviatar, for another important report. My battle cry remains “Let the Constitution have its revenge!” Broad and deep investigations, prosecutions, and incarcerations are the only remedy for the assault against the Constitution committed by the Bush administration.

Barack Obama is taking too long on this. As I argued in “The Next President” after the Office of Legal Counsel memoranda were released and in “We Are Blindfolded” after reading Mark Danner's shorter account of the ICRC report on our torturing of prisoners, we must act and act now. Perhaps Mr. Obama will not abuse his office like Bush did, but what of the next President if nothing is done to correct the hazard? Criminals from the last administration sitting in jail cells are the vital deterrent against further erosion in our protections against a predatory and unrestrained government.

The mentioned essays can be found on my Occasional Dissident page (blog.iraq-itag.org).


The Mixed messages of the Obama White House « Miscellany101’s Weblog
Pingback posted March 18, 2009 @ 9:05 pm

[...] that all cases being brought against the Bush administration for torture related offenses should be dismissed! What Cheney’s remarks were meant to do were to get Obama to continue to toe the line by [...]


Pertti Lindroos
Comment posted March 19, 2009 @ 12:17 pm

IF THE US DOES NOT JAIL THE CRIMINALS, THE REST OF THE WORLD WILL CHEER WHEN OBAMA IS SHOWN UP AS A LIER, COME ON OBAMA, GET SOME BACKBONE. We Canadians hoped for you mr. president. Our shame has already begun when Bush was allowed to enter Canada. Do not make it worse.


March 19, 2009 « Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes?
Pingback posted March 19, 2009 @ 7:30 pm

[...] 5.  “In Torture Cases, Obama Toes Bush Line [...]


Pertti Lindroos
Comment posted March 19, 2009 @ 7:17 pm

IF THE US DOES NOT JAIL THE CRIMINALS, THE REST OF THE WORLD WILL CHEER WHEN OBAMA IS SHOWN UP AS A LIER, COME ON OBAMA, GET SOME BACKBONE. We Canadians hoped for you mr. president. Our shame has already begun when Bush was allowed to enter Canada. Do not make it worse.


Daphne Eviatar on open-government promises « Later On
Pingback posted March 25, 2009 @ 2:22 pm

[...] Civil Liberties Union, the men have pressed their claims against the company in part to avoid the broad range of immunities government officials usually claim — only to be thwarted by the Bush administration’s assertion [...]


lindacarol
Comment posted August 8, 2009 @ 1:06 pm

Human Rights Violations From Medical Negligence Fraud Cover-up

I have been and still am the victim of severe and widespread deprivations of liberty the direct result of an unresolved, still ongoing medical negligence fraud cover-up. The violations are a direct affront to the U.S. constitution. Severe economic deprivation has occurred due to ongoing criminal actions to prevent me from leaving Baton Rouge, LA and contacting persons elsewhere to obtain justice.
The criminal actions were and are premeditated. Measures of prior restraint (illegal surveillance, phone taps, cameras in residences and work places, verbal harassment, interference of correspondence-mail, e-mail, fax, etc.-, illegal detainments, and theft of evidence) have been used to block all efforts to obtain justice.
Interference of correspondence, mail fraud, and illegal depletion of my financial assets have resulted in denial of adequate medical care since the original medical negligence with depraved indifference and malice which could have resulted in my premature death. The original medical negligence involves the premature loss of a Sibling kidney transplant. The doctor, staff, and others involved in harassment (Catherine, Heidi, and others) knew for 3 years that I had abnormal blood tests indicating possible organ rejection. They never told me nor ever intended to with the full knowledge that fluid was filling my lungs and I could die of suffocation or heart failure. If immediate medical intervention had occurred, the kidney graft could have been saved. Instead those involved used fear tactics and illegal surveillance on my family, me, and others to prevent me from contacting honest law enforcement and attorneys to file a medical malpractice claim and stop ongoing criminal actions. I have almost died several times due to ongoing criminal actions that involve acts of cruelty. I have been illegally detained 4x, been subjected to criminal professional negligence, medical malpractice to discredit me and money/evidence were stolen as well so justice would be more difficult.
Every attempt to obtain patient files, records from credit card companies, banks, stock from Bob Evans Restaurants, mutual fund and retirement records, etc. have been blocked. The records are either never sent or incomplete, fraudulent records are sent constituting extensive discovery abuse violations. There is no statute of limitations because the point of discovery has yet to occur.
When actions of prior restraint are reported in a timely manner within the statute of limitations for each violation, there is NO statute of limitations. This is also reinforced by the fact that ongoing criminal actions continue. The actions of prior restraint in itself negate any statute of limitations as well as ongoing criminal actions.
With regard to obtaining an effective attorney, one example of many include: I sent an e-mail to an attorney in Baton Rouge, LA on May 31, 2008. I received a letter from said attorney with a different address in Gonzales, LA. The postal stamp said Baton Rouge, LA. The postal stamp should have been Gonzales, LA. The contents had misleading legal information. The letter was signed with an incomplete, illegible, misspelled signature. Some letters are unsigned. I sent another letter to D.C. It was returned with a postal stamp Houston, TX. Such actions are obstruction of justice and constitute denial of an attorney.
The attempt to file a pro se lawsuit, Mary A. Price v. Mag Mutual Insurance, et al. , 05-1302-JVPr-SCR, on 11/3/05 in U.S. federal court Middle District of LA 777 Florida St. Baton Rouge, LA 70801 should be confirmed and a copy obtained. Court papers I received post filing had information so far removed from the U.S. constitution that the documents were probably fraudulent. The signature of judges was illegible, misspelled or incomplete.
I took copies of evidence and details of all constitutional violations to the office of Governor Blanco in person on 2/20/04. She was unavailable. A 20 year old white male said that he was her secretary. He signed for the documents, Grant Guillot. No such person exists in her employ or exists at all. Governor Blanco never received the documents.
Immediate action is required. It should be noted that I was offered asylum at the Canadian Embassy in D.C. in 2005 when I dropped off copies of evidence and details of all human rights violations. I did not ask for asylum, it was offered.
“Injustice anywhere is a danger to justice everywhere.” Martin Luther King Jr. “In a world of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act. Call me a revolutionary. “ George Orwell. Silence, inaction, indifference deny justice. Margaret Thatcher: A crime is a crime. You cannot deny justice stating that it is due to politics. Contact info: Mary Price 1096 Aberdeen Ave. Baton Rouge, LA 70808. e-mail: pricemary48@yahoo.com. Phone: 225-383-4217. For more details, go to yahoo mail. Type in at username pricemary48 and password carollinda. Go to drafts and send the most recent Parts 1-10 to your e-mail address. Print and read all of it. It is all related.

Sincerely,

Mary A. Price, Ph.D.
In America, I have been electronically harassed using telepathy since 2001 on a 24 hour basis by Bob Goldman of Equinox now Vitasalus and Zambia with the full consent of a few FBI agents in Lakeland, FL, Indianapolis, IN, Baton Rouge, LA, and Carbondale,IL. All attempts to get free from a telepathic concentration camp have been illegally blocked. Everyone who reads this should make every effort to help me as it could be you next.


Industrial Something » Going after Ashcroft
Pingback posted September 5, 2009 @ 1:32 pm

[...] to be held accountable? Yes. But at the same time, I wish some of our energies were going towards ceasing torture that continues under [...]


professional negligence claims
Comment posted September 23, 2009 @ 11:55 am

Have you been the victim of a professional advisors mistake, mishandling or mismanagement? Do you feel your case should have been handled better? Are you now paying the cost for this poor service? If your answer to any of these questions is yes, then you may well have a professional negligence claim!


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Comment posted July 2, 2010 @ 6:32 am

In America, I have been electronically harassed using telepathy since 2001 on a 24 hour basis by Bob Goldman of Equinox now Vitasalus and Zambia with the full consent of a few FBI agents in Lakeland, FL, Indianapolis, IN, Baton Rouge, LA, and Carbondale,IL. All attempts to get free from a telepathic concentration camp have been illegally blocked. Everyone who reads this should make every effort to help me as it could be you next.


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Comment posted July 20, 2010 @ 3:55 pm

So do the prisoners suing the former government officials have a chance?


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Comment posted July 25, 2010 @ 6:10 am

Have you been the victim of a professional advisors mistake, mishandling or mismanagement? Do you feel your case should have been handled better? Are you now paying the cost for this poor service? If your answer to any of these questions is yes, then you may well have a professional negligence claim


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Comment posted August 3, 2010 @ 9:01 am

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louis vuitton
Comment posted August 6, 2010 @ 7:42 am

n America, I have been electronically harassed using telepathy since 2001 on a 24 hour basis by Bob Goldman of Equinox now Vitasalus and Zambia with the full consent of a few FBI agents in Lakeland, FL, Indianapolis, IN, Baton Rouge, LA, and Carbondale,IL. All attempts to get free from a telepathic concentration camp have been illegally blocked. Everyone who reads this should make every effort to help me as it could be you next.


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Comment posted August 17, 2010 @ 5:35 am

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Jord Boost
Comment posted August 31, 2010 @ 1:51 pm

Interesting topic here. I really havent had a chance to really think about this, but I do kind of side with Obama on the whole thing. He seems to have good ambitions and everything, just he doesn't seem to always follow through, but that is what you should expect with a politician http://www.realpagessites.com/ezimlaw


Obama’s Assassins and Those who Justify Them « Kasama
Pingback posted September 19, 2010 @ 12:13 pm

[...] over the torture and abuse of detainees that in some cases may have resulted in their deaths, the Obama administration has surprisingly endorsed the same legal positions as its predecessor, insisting that there is no constitutional right to humane treatment by U.S. [...]


netflicks
Comment posted September 22, 2010 @ 8:37 pm

I have been electronically harassed using telepathy since 2001 on a 24 hour basis by Bob Goldman of Equinox now Vitasalus and Zambia with the full consent of a few FBI agents in Lakeland, FL, Indianapolis, IN, Baton Rouge, LA, and Carbondale,IL. All attempts to get free from a telepathic concentration camp have been illegally blocked


Jan381
Comment posted February 14, 2011 @ 5:01 pm

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The Failures of Barack Obama | almerindo.net
Pingback posted March 20, 2011 @ 12:40 pm

[...] including American citizens – no matter where they are in the world. He has repeatedly upheld and extended Bush legal arguments to deny torture victims their day in court and continues to allow the torture of prisoners in [...]


Neat website about Obama's campaign promises fulfilled or not fulfilled.
Pingback posted April 12, 2011 @ 3:57 pm

[...] down harder on government whistle blowers than Bush, arguably curtailing the freedom of the press. Acted as an accessory to Bush administration era torture by shielding them from prosecution. Has authorized, either explicitly or implicitly through inaction, the torture of Bradley Manning, [...]


Why Obama is a sellout. | redditbest
Pingback posted May 16, 2011 @ 3:14 pm

[...] Guantanamo is still open.. He’s blocked UN Human Rights investigations into Guantanamo. He dropped charges against the CIA for destroying videotapes documenting torture of detainees. Obama has protected the Bush administration from prosecution for torture. [...]


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