From 24 To Homeland to Zero Dark Thirty, Hollywood has been profiting off the depiction of torture as sometimes necessary in the ongoing War on Terrorism. The marketing of Zero Dark Thirty was based almost entirely on extensive mainstream media arguments over whether director/producer Kathleen Bigelow and screenwriter/producer Mark Boal were accurate, with no less than three US senators – John McCain (R-AZ), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Carl Levin (D-MI) – writing a letter blasting Sony for falsely crediting torture in the Osama bin Laden capture and killing.
- Guantanamo's Death Row
- The Threat of an Imperial Presidency
- Earth Night
- Charges Dropped Against Alex Sanchez
The Peace Exchange Bulletin
Published by Tom Hayden, The Peace Exchange Bulletin is a reader-supported journal, critically following the Pentagon's Long War in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq, as well as the failed U.S. wars on drugs and gangs, and U.S. military responses to nationalism and poverty around the world.
In a development few imagined, US Attorney Andre Birotte, on December 17, recommended the dismissal of all charges against Salvadoran gang peace leader Alex Sanchez, admitting that the prosecution’s case was “flawed.” Sanchez, his wife and two young children were rousted by police and federal agents at dawn on June 24, 2009, when Sanchez was handcuffed and accused of gang conspiracy to murder and sell drugs.
Ethan Nadelman, leader of the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), is cautiously supportive of President Barack Obama’s recent suggestion that federal authorities will not go after marijuana users in Colorado and Washington, where voters supported referendums legalizing the practice. On December 11, Attorney General Eric Holder said in Boston that the administration’s new policy will be issued “relatively soon.”
A federal judge is expected to approve the prosecution's recommendation to drop charges against Alex Sanchez, the gang peacemaker accused of conspiracy since June 2009. The outcome brought tears of joy and relief to Sanchez, his family and hundreds of supporters in the human rights and immigrant Salvadoran communities.
President Barack Obama reportedly plans to remove all but 6,000 to 9,000 US troops from Afghanistan by 2014, ending the American combat role, saving tens of billions of dollars, and leaving an unpopular, incompetent and corrupt Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s regime needing a diplomatic fix to avert collapse into civil war.
Between the Pentagon’s demand for over 15,000 residual troops and the peace movement’s preference of zero, President Barack Obama reportedly wants between 6,000 to 9,000 US soldiers, including a counterterrorism unit, to be stationed in fortified garrisons near Kabul. One US official is quoted, “I could see [Obama and Karzai] both wanting zero, but at the end of the day I don’t see that happening.” The Pentagon is upset at the low number, and continues to lobby for delaying most withdrawals until after another “fighting season.”
Rumors are rife that Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez’s cancer will force his resignation before his January inauguration, throwing Venezuelan and regional politics into tumult and, in the prediction of the managing director of the global investment firm Jefferies, a Wall Street investment house, “Regime change has probably entered into a countdown phase.”
If progress is made toward normalizing relations with Cuba in President Barack Obama’s second term, one starting point will be a fight to remove Cuba from the United States’ Neanderthal listing of Cuba as a “state sponsor of terrorism.” Cuba was first designated as such by the US on March 1, 1982. The State Department, which issues their listing annually, notes Cuba along with Iran, Sudan and Syria. Even North Korea was removed from the list in 2008.
In litigation likely to shed embarrassing light on US covert operations in Cuba, the wife of imprisoned former AID contractor Alan Gross is suing the Obama administration and the Maryland-based subcontractor, Development Alternatives Inc (DAI), which sent him on five illegal missions.