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By ESPN Staff

Republished from ESPN.com

Mary Tillman not satisfied with military's report

Pat Tillman’s mother said Tuesday that the Tillman family is pursuing congressional hearings on her son’s death.

Summary:

Three years and five investigations later, no one has been charged in the friendly fire death of Pat Tillman. Now, Tillman’s family is demanding a congressional inquiry, saying the Pentagon has misled them and the public again.

“I want a congressional hearing because I want to find out what actually happened,” Mary Tillman said in a telephone interview on The Dan Patrick Show on ESPN Radio. “I would like to have it all aired out in a congressional hearing.”

Elected officials also are calling for congressional hearings in the 2004 friendly fire death of Army Ranger Pat Tillman in Afghanistan. Rep. Mike Honda (D-San Jose, Calif.), who represents the Tillmans’ district, formally requested hearings from the House Armed Services Committee on Tuesday.

Mary Tillman said that “it was pretty obvious they were lying to us” when the military found no criminal wrongdoing in her son’s death.

“They only presented the point of view of the soldiers in the vehicle … they never brought into play what the other witnesses said,” she said.

The military concluded Monday that nine high-ranking Army officers, including four generals, made critical errors in reporting Tillman’s death, but there was no criminal wrongdoing in the shooting of the former NFL player.

In releasing a pair of reports on Tillman’s killing, however, defense officials did not rule out that criminal violations may have…

[end excerpt]

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/news/story?id=2814767 Pat Tillman's mother said Tuesday that the Tillman family is pursuing congressional hearings on her son's death.

"I want a congressional hearing because I want to find out what actually happened," Mary Tillman said in a telephone interview on The Dan Patrick Show on ESPN Radio. "I would like to have it all aired out in a congressional hearing."

Elected officials also are calling for congressional hearings in the 2004 friendly fire death of Army Ranger Pat Tillman in Afghanistan. Rep. Mike Honda (D-San Jose, Calif.), who represents the Tillmans' district, formally requested hearings from the House Armed Services Committee on Tuesday.

Mary Tillman said that "it was pretty obvious they were lying to us" when the military found no criminal wrongdoing in her son's death.

"They only presented the point of view of the soldiers in the vehicle … they never brought into play what the other witnesses said," she said.

The military concluded Monday that nine high-ranking Army officers, including four generals, made critical errors in reporting Tillman's death, but there was no criminal wrongdoing in the shooting of the former NFL player.

In releasing a pair of reports on Tillman's killing, however, defense officials did not rule out that criminal violations may have been committed by officers who provided misleading information as the military conducted its investigation. While saying they believed there was no orchestrated cover-up, they left the decision on whether crimes occurred to the Army.

Army and Defense Department investigators said officers looking into Tillman's death passed along misleading and inaccurate information and delayed reporting their belief that Tillman was killed by fellow Rangers.

The investigators recommended that the Army take action against the officers, but suggested no specific punishments and left it to the Army to decide what to do. Possible steps could include demotions, dishonorable discharges, jail or letters of reprimand.

Mary Tillman said she was most shocked when the military said that no rules of engagement were broken.

"The first investigative officer said there was evidence of homicidal negligence and criminal intent. He stands by that. Yet his report has been devalued because they don't want that out in the public eye," she said.

Mary Tillman said the facts of the incident support the argument that rules of engagement were broken.

"They fired in at soldiers who weren't firing at them. They fired in an area where hands waving and they fired at a building. All of those things are breaking rules of engagement," she said.

Mary Tillman said she became very upset when it was portrayed at her son's memorial service that Pat Tillman was killed by enemy fire, when the military knew that Tillman was killed by friendly fire. "This was an attempt to dupe the public and promote this war and get recruitments up," she said, "and that is immoral and it's a travesty."

Tillman also questioned the fact that former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld wasn't aware that Tillman was killed by friendly fire.

"It seems to me that Rumsfeld would have to be aware of it," she said.

Mary Tillman said she thinks her son would have been outraged at how he was used by the military after his death and that the military used her son's death as a public relations vehicle to deflect attention from the Abu Ghraib prison scandal in Irag.

"I definitely think Pat was used," she said. "When he was killed I think they saw this as an opportunity."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Brit “Hostage” Drama Pales in Comparison to MI6 and CIA Crimes Against Iran

Kurt Nimmo

Thursday, March 29, 2007

“Perhaps we should get some perspective by imagining how we might react if the Iranians had occupied France and were patrolling the English channel,” runs a post on the UK Telegraph, responding to the capture of 15 British sailors by Iran.

Indeed. But I can think of one better.

Perhaps we’d get some perspective if we realized MI6 and the CIA plotted against the democratically elected government of Mohammad Mossadegh in 1953. “If there had not been a military coup, there would not have been 25 years of the Shah’s brutal regime, there would not have been a revolution in 1979 and a government of clerics,” Ibrahim Yazdi, a former foreign minister and leading member of a political party that traces its origins to Mossadegh’s National Front, told the Christian Science Monitor on the 50th anniversary of the coup and installation of the Shah. “Now it seems that the Americans are pushing towards the same direction again. That shows they have not learned anything from history.”

“When Iranians rose up against the Shah with cries of ‘Death to the American Shah!,’ when their new regime emerged as bitterly anti-American, and when a group of them took American diplomats hostage in 1979, many Americans wondered how this could have happened in a country they had always considered friendly,” Stephen Kinzer, author of All the Shah’s Men, told the History News Network. “Once they understand what the United States did to Iran in 1953, they will understand why so many Iranians became angry at the United States.”

“For many Iranians, the coup was a tragedy from which their country has never recovered. Perhaps because Mossadegh represents a future denied, his memory has approached myth,” Dan De Luce writes for the Guardian. “Beyond Iran, America remains deeply resented for siding with authoritarian rule in the region.”

Of course, the average American, who likely would have a difficult time finding Iran on a map, is almost completely ignorant of these historical facts. He does not know that the Shah’s secret police, SAVAK, trained by the CIA and Israel’s Mossad, “became a law unto itself, having legal authority to arrest and detain suspected persons indefinitely” and “operated its own prisons in Tehran (the Komiteh and Evin facilities) and, many suspected, throughout the country as well. SAVAK’s torture methods included electric shock, whipping, beating, inserting broken glass and pouring boiling water into the rectum, tying weights to the testicles, and the extraction of teeth and nails,” according to the Federation of American Scientists.

Finally, Britain’s largest newspaper, in fact the highest circulation newspaper in the world, neocon Rupert Murdoch’s Sun, amidst banner ads of naked women showing off curvy derrieres, declares Leading Seaman Faye Turney “was forced on the orders of ranting president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to write a letter of apology to the Iranian people.”

Even if true, this is a shade better than being kidnapped in Afghanistan, Iraq, or on the streets of Milan, Italy, and “extraordinarily” rendered by the CIA and sent to Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Morocco, or Uzbekistan to be tortured.

No doubt Ahmadinejad’s alleged rant is mild when compared to water boarding or the sort of severe trauma inflicted on prisoners at the Bagram torture facility (said to be comparable to being run over by a bus) or for that matter rape by way of chemical light at Abu Ghraib.

Philippines: Bush and Arroyo Guilty as Charged

Monday, March 26 2007 @ 01:47 PM PDT

Contributed by: Oread Daily

After months of preparation the much-awaited Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal’s (PPT) second session on the Philippines has declared the Bush and Arroyo regimes guilty of crimes against humanity.

The verdict came after three days of hearing testimony on political killings, abductions and other alleged violations of human, economic, civil and political rights in The Hague, The Netherlands.

BUSH AND ARROYO GUILTY AS CHARGED

After months of preparation the much-awaited Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal’s (PPT) second session on the Philippines has declared the Bush and Arroyo regimes guilty of crimes against humanity.

The verdict came after three days of hearing testimony on political killings, abductions and other alleged violations of human, economic, civil and political rights in The Hague, The Netherlands.

Read by tribunal president François Houtart of Belgium , the verdict linked the extrajudicial killings and other human rights violations to the US-led "war on terror" and said these were "committed with the support and full awareness of the [US] government" and thus qualified as "crimes against humanity, with all the consequences for the persons who are responsible for them."

Among the verdict's findings was the existence of what it called "the politics of impunity" and the government's "attitude of denial," noting that "Even the most brutal atrocities hardly elicit any decisive action or even oral condemnation" from the administration.

It noted the administration's hedging on releasing the report of the Palace-created Melo Commission and that the findings of UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings Philip Alston, which said most of the murders were linked to the military, were "totally denied and even derided by the government."

The Permanent Peoples' Tribunal is an international opinion tribunal, independent from any State authority. It examines and judges complaints regarding violations of human rights and rights of peoples that are submitted by the victims themselves or groups representing them. The Tribunal was founded in June 1979 in Italy by law experts, writers and other intellectuals. It succeeded the Russell Tribunals I and II or the International War Crimes Tribunal, which held two sessions in 1967 to expose the war crimes committed against the Vietnamese people.

In 1980, the Permanent Peoples' Tribunal convened a Session on the Philippines to hear the case against the dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos, at the suit of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF). It was the first international juridical body to condemn the US sponsored Marcos dictatorship. Marcos was later deposed through a popular uprising in February 1986.

Arroyo and Bush, Jr. were found guilty of charges ranging from systematic violations of civil, political, social, economic, and cultural rights to violations of national self-determination and liberation committed against the Filipino people. Bush in particular was indicted for his role in renewed military intervention and for supporting Arroyo’s brutal counter-insurgency program in the guise of counter-terrorism.

Initiators of the charges said the political killings, forced disappearances, torture and other violations of human rights escalated in the context of the U.S.-backed counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism programs of Arroyo.

Asia Journal reports the verdict issued by the international forum of lawyers and human rights experts against the Arroyo government will be sent to the United Nations (UN), International Court of Justice (ICJ) and other world bodies to focus "world attention on the human rights crisis in the Philippines."

A statement from the tribunal secretariat quoted its general secretary, Gianni Tognoni, as saying that, aside from the UN and ICJ, the verdict would also be sent to the European Parliament and "various foreign governments" with the aim of getting world opinion to "add more pressure [on] the US-supported Arroyo government to stop the killings."

Although the verdict "may be legally non-binding, it is nevertheless morally binding," tribunal president François Houtart of Belgium said.

The tribunal called the Philippines' membership in the UN Human Rights Council "unacceptable" because it "undermines the credibility of the UN in this field, is an intolerable offense to the victims;" and "a denial of the many well documented denunciations of the dramatic violations of human rights in the Philippines."

It also called "sharp attention to the safety of the witnesses who courageously have contributed to the fact-finding task of the tribunal. If anything would happen to any of them, we will hold the government of the Philippines responsible for that."

Among the witnesses who appeared before the tribunal was Senator Maria Ana Consuelo "Jamby" Madrigal, who, according to the statement, described the country as "ruled by a military junta with…Arroyo acting only as a figurehead."

It also quoted Madrigal as saying that the verdict "will dispel the claims of the Arroyo government that there is democracy in the Philippines."

Others who testified, either in person or through a video hookup from the Philippines were Marie Hilao-Enriquez, secretary general of human rights alliance Karapatan; Dr. Constancio "Chandu" Claver; Dr. June P. Lopez, an expert in handling torture and trauma victims; retired Navy captain Danilo Vizmanos; UP Faculty Regent Roland Simbulan; Bishop Elmer Bolocon of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines and Ecumenical Bishops Forum; Elmer Labog, chair of the Kilusang Mayo Uno (May First Movement); and Danilo Ramos of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (Peasant Movement of the Philippines).

Other tribunal jurors were Japanese novelist and social activist Oda Makoto; Dutch criminal law professor Ties Prakken; Norwegian lawyer and former foreign ministry officer Oystein Tveter, Malaysian social development expert Irene Fernandez, and Colombian Lilia Solano.

The following article comes from Bulatlat (Philippines).

Victims’ Kin Welcome Guilty Verdict on Arroyo, Bush by Int’l Tribunal

BY EMILY VITAL

Families of victims of extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and other human rights violations welcomed the verdict of an international tribunal declaring both the Arroyo and Bush governments guilty of crimes against humanity.

In a press conference in Quezon City, Monday, Dee Ayroso, coordinator of Desaparecidos, said in Filipino, “The verdict of the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal is a big victory for all of us. Let the whole world know that Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and George W. Bush are criminals.”

The Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal (PPT) released its 13-page verdict Sunday, around 2pm at the Pax Christikerk in The Hague, the Netherlands. Francois Houtart, president of the PPT’s Second Session on the Philippines, read out the verdict after three continuous days of hearing testimonies from at least 13 witnesses.

Houtart described the extrajudicial killings, forced disappearances, massacres, torture and other atrocities allegedly committed by the Arroyo government as “crimes against humanity”. Such violations which the PPT said were in no way justified as “necessary measures against terrorism,” said Houtart.

Evangeline Hernandez, spokesperson of Hustisya (Victims United for Justice) and mother of slain human rights advocate Benjaline Hernandez, said, “Now, we stand on a high moral ground. We have come a long way to seek justice. The international community has seen the true face of Arroyo.”

Hernandez added, “We, the relatives of numerous victims of extrajudicial killings, are no longer fearful or ashamed.”

Houtart warned that the Arroyo government will be held accountable if something happens to the witnesses who testified before the PPT.

Ayroso said, “We hope that the PPT’s findings will pave the way for the ouster of Arroyo.”

In 1980, the PPT’s First Session on the Philippines declared Marcos guilty of human rights abuses. The dictator was ousted in 1986 through a popular uprising.

Aside from Houtart, who is from Belgium and Director of the Centre Tricontinental (Cetri), the PPT jurors included Oda Makoto (Japan), well-known novelist and social activist; Ties Prakken (The Netherlands), professor in criminal law Maastricht University; Oystein Tveter (Norway), lawyer and former Director of the Karibu Foundation and former foreign ministry official in South Africa and Zambia; Irene Fernandez (Malaysia), lawyer, social development expert and head of Tenaganita; and Lilia Solano (Colombia), 2005 Right Livelihood Awardee (alternative Nobel) and Director of Project for Life and Peace.

The PPT jurors also found ‘unacceptable’ the membership of the Philippines in the United Nations Human Rights Council, saying it is an ‘intolerable offense’ to the victims.

Meanwhile, Renato Reyes Jr., secretary general of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) disputed Malacañang’s claim that the PPT is a mere black propaganda. Reyes pointed out that the respondents were invited to attend the hearings through their embassies in Rome and in The Hague. “They (Arroyo and Bush) waived their right to defend themselves and to air their side.”

Bayan is also one of the complainants in the case against Arroyo.

By Oread Daily Republished from Infoshop News

Victims’ Kin Welcome Guilty Verdict on Arroyo, Bush by Int’l Tribunal

Summary:

Arroyo and Bush, Jr. were found guilty of charges ranging from systematic violations of civil, political, social, economic, and cultural rights to violations of national self-determination and liberation committed against the Filipino people. Bush in particular was indicted for his role in renewed military intervention and for supporting Arroyo’s brutal counter-insurgency program in the guise of counter-terrorism.

After months of preparation the much-awaited Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal’s (PPT) second session on the Philippines has declared the Bush and Arroyo regimes guilty of crimes against humanity.

The verdict came after three days of hearing testimony on political killings, abductions and other alleged violations of human, economic, civil and political rights in The Hague, The Netherlands.

Read by tribunal president François Houtart of Belgium , the verdict linked the extrajudicial killings and other human rights violations to the US-led “war on terror” and said these were “committed with the support and full awareness of the [US] government” and thus qualified as “crimes against humanity, with all the consequences for the persons who are responsible for them.”

Among the verdict’s findings was the existence of what it called “the politics of impunity” and the government’s “attitude of denial,” noting that “Even the most brutal atrocities hardly elicit any decisive action or even oral condemnation” from the administration.

It noted the administration’s hedging on releasing the report of the Palace-created Melo Commission and that the findings of UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings Philip Alston, which said most of the murders were linked to the military, were “totally denied and even derided by the government.”

The Permanent…

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USDA TO APPROVE RICE ENGINEERED WITH HUMAN GENES

The USDA public comment deadline of March 30th regarding rice engineered with human genes is quickly approaching. The rice, developed by Ventria Bioscience has been given pre-approval by the USDA for planting and harvesting in California. The plants have been engineered to synthesize a human protein that would be used as a drug to treat diarrhea. When planted in an open environment, these biotech rice fields have the potential to contaminate conventional rice fields where the crops are being grown for consumer food products. According to Jane Rissler of the Union of Concerned Scientists, "This is not a product that everyone would want to consume. It is unwise to produce drugs in plants outdoors."

Learn more: http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_4472.cfm

USDA Approves Mass Planting of GM Rice Made with Human Genes

By David Gutierrez

NewsTarget/Truth Publishing, Mar 9, 2007

Straight to the Source

(NewsTarget) For the first time, the USDA has given preliminary approval for large-scale planting of a genetically engineered food crop containing human genes. The rice grains, produced by California-based Ventria Bioscience, synthesize a human immune protein. The public comment period for this decision lasts until March 30, after which the decision will be finalized.

What you need to know - Conventional View € The USDA has tentatively approved a petition by Ventria to plant up to 3,200 acres of the modified rice in Geary County, Kan. If the approval stands, Ventria will begin by planting 450 acres this spring.

€ Previously, Ventria had sought to grow the rice in Missouri, but the plan was abandoned when Anheuser-Busch Companies Inc. threatened to boycott all rice from the state. Anheuser-Busch, a beer maker, is the country's foremost buyer of rice.

€ Anheuser-Busch had the same concern as many critics of genetically engineered plants, which is that genes from engineered varieties may spread to and "genetically pollute" non-engineered or even wild relatives of the plants.

€ Critics of the USDA's decision have expressed concern that genetic pollution in this case could cause potentially dangerous pharmacological proteins to contaminate the food supply. The same day that the USDA gave the new rice the green light, it announced that rice seed in Arkansas had become contaminated by a different genetically engineered strain not approved for consumption. This was discovered while investigating the widespread contamination of rice in the U.S. with yet another genetically modified strain.

€ According to Ventria, the genetically engineered rice could allow the cheap production of immune proteins that have been shown to help children recover faster from severe diarrhea. It is seeking FDA approval to add the protein to foods such as yogurt and granola.

€ Quote: "This is not a product that everyone would want to consume. It is unwise to produce drugs in plants outdoors." - Jane Rissler, Union of Concerned Scientists

What you need to know - Alternative View Statements and opinions by Mike Adams, author for Truth Publishing

€ These experiments with genetically modified crops are, in my view, extremely dangerous and may ultimately lead to a genetic Chernobyl that could devastate the U.S. food supply. Such crops should never be allowed to be planted in the open.

€ In giving this preliminary approval, the USDA seems to be once again leaning towards protecting corporate profits rather than public health. The motives of a regulatory agency that would allow such crops to be planted in open fields are highly questionable.

Resources you need to know € Union of Concerned Scientists ( www.ucsusa.org)

€ Ventria Bioscience ( www.ventria.com)

€ USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service public comment notice: http://www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/component/main

€ More about genetically modified foods ( en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetically_modified_foods)

Bottom line € The USDA has given preliminary approval for the planting of rice engineered to produce human immune proteins, and the agency will accept public comments on the decision until March 30.

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