While George Bush remains free after violating the Geneva Conventions with torture, murder and kidnapping, the United States continues to prosecute torture protesters
By Jack & Felice Cohen-Joppa
Photos by Brenda Norrell/Photo 1: Joshua Harris carried away by soliders; Photo 2: US torture protesters at Fort Huachuca
Ft. Huachuca protester Joshua Harris, from Santa Barbara, California, will appear on Friday, April 23 at 9:30 a.m. in U.S. District Court, Tucson, Arizona. He intends to enter a change of plea and expects to be sentenced that day.
Josh was one of five protesters who entered Fort Huachuca (home of the U.S. Army Intelligence Center where interrogators are trained) on November 15, 2009 with a message for military personnel and civilian employees. They carried a statement (see below) opposing the cruel treatment and abuse of detainees from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and calling for the civilian oversight of all military interrogation practices. The statement also condemned the used of armed drones in warfare.
All five protesters were given a formal letter barring them from entering the base for a year. Because Josh initially refused to identify himself, instead saying he was there representing a victim of torture, he was also charged with trespass and refusing to provide a truthful name.
Please join us:
Thursday evening, April 22 at 7 p.m.
Southside Presbyterian Church, Fellowship Hall
317 W. 23rd Street, Tucson, Arizona
Let's gather in community with Josh the night before his court appearance
Friday morning, April 23 at 8:30 a.m.
DeConcini U.S. Federal Courthouse, plaza in front of courthouse
405 W. Congress, Tucson, Arizona
Join Josh for a circle of support before his 9:30 a.m. court appearance
Please note that you need a photo I.D. to get into the courthouse. Cameras, pocketknives, etc. are not allowed in the courthouse.
For more information about past and future protests at Ft. Huachuca, please visit http://tortureontrial.org and http://southwestwitness.org/
The annual Ft. Huachuca demonstration will take place on Sunday, November 14, 2010.
STATEMENT CARRIED INTO FORT HUACHUCA, November 15, 2009
We return to Fort Huachuca to call for an end to torture.
We are here because we desire dialogue with soldiers and commanders engaged in interrogation training. We are here because we still question whether soldiers are provided with adequate training about international human rights law so they would know to refuse illegal orders and other pressure to torture captives (including a guarantee that speaking out would not lead to retaliation or punishment). We are here in the hope that healing can take place--healing for the victims of torture, as well as the men and women who have been involved in carrying out torture.
Because the Obama administration has failed to close Guantanamo and the U.S. continues to imprison and interrogate thousands of captives at military prisons in Afghanistan, Iraq and places unknown, we renew our call for civilian, human-rights centered oversight of all interrogation training and practice.
Ft. Huachuca is also implicated in the rapidly expanding, legally questionable and morally reprehensible use of remotely-piloted aircraft, or drones, as a weapon of war. We're told that currently the Army only trains for the operation and maintenance of reconnaissance and surveillance drones at Ft. Huachuca. But we also know that the Army plans to weaponize some of these same drones.
Drone attacks have killed many more innocent civilians in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere, than alleged terrorists. The U.N. Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Executions has asked whether the use of drones in targeting terrorists to be killed constitutes "arbitrary extrajudicial executions," or rogue assassinations in violation of international law. We are here today to call for an end to the use of armed drones in warfare. We believe this terrorizing and killing generates deep resentment in the region that incites hatred for the U.S., boosts recruitment for Taliban, Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups, and may spawn decades of retaliation.
We act in solidarity with the campaign to close the School of the Americas/Western Hemispheric Institute for Security Cooperation at Ft. Benning, Georgia, where the testimony of torture survivors has informed our outrage and moved us to action. We also act in solidarity with people in New York protesting the presence of Reaper drones at a NY Air National Guard base outside of Syracuse today.
Rogue assassinations and torture have damaged the soul of our nation and tarnished our image around the world. We know that a world without torture, without violence and without war is possible. We invite you to help us create that world.
Also see: Ramsey Clark selected to head commission to investigate Bush crimes
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Censored News is published by censored journalist Brenda Norrell. A journalist for 27 years, Brenda lived on the Navajo Nation for 18 years, writing for Navajo Times, AP, USA Today, Lakota Times and other American Indian publications. After being censored and then terminated by Indian Country Today in 2006, she began the Censored Blog to document the most censored issues. She currently serves as human rights editor for the U.N. OBSERVER & International Report at the Hague and contributor to Sri Lanka Guardian, Narco News and CounterPunch. She was cohost of the 5-month Longest Walk Talk Radio across America, with Earthcycles Producer Govinda Dalton in 2008: www.earthcycles.net/
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