Edward Snowden

Open Letter To Obama

July 26, 2013 President Barack Obama The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20500 Re: Civil Disobedience, Edward J. Snowden, and the Constitution Dear Mr. President: You are acutely aware More »

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U.S. Companies Pay Just One-Third Of The Legal Tax Rate: GAO Study

Huffington Post July 1, 2013 By Mark Gongloff Big, profitable U.S. companies paid an average federal tax rate of less than 13 percent in 2010, according to a new study — or More »

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Man Tried for Chalk Drawings Found Not Guilty

NBC San Diego July 1, 2013 By Christina London The man accused of vandalism for drawing with chalk outside banks has been found not guilty on all charges. A jury returned its More »

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The Bigger Story Behind the AP Spying Scandal

Washington’s Blog/Global Research May 20, 2012 By George Washington Attack on the Press You know that the Department of Justice tapped scores of phone lines at the Associated Press. You might have More »

anon

‘Anonymous’ Hacker Explains Why He Fled The US

Business Insider Mar. 2, 2012 By Michael Kelley Anonymous is front and center these days: the amorphous hacktivist group has been publishing internal data of U.S. banks while prominent members are prosecuted More »

Monthly Archives: March 2012

Police face racism scandal after black man records abuse

Guardian
Mar. 30, 2012
By

Scotland Yard is facing a racism scandal after a black man used his mobile phone to record police officers subjecting him to a tirade of abuse in which he was told: “The problem with you is you will always be a nigger”.

The recording, obtained by the Guardian, was made by the 21-year-old after he was stopped in his car, arrested and placed in a police van the day after last summer’s riots.

The man, from Beckton, east London, said he was made to feel “like an animal” by police. He has also accused one officer of kneeling on his chest and strangling him.

In the recording, a police officer can be heard admitting he strangled the man because he was “a cunt”. Moments later, another officer – identified by investigators as PC Alex MacFarlane – subjects the man to a succession of racist insults and adds: “You’ll always have black skin. Don’t hide behind your
colour.”

The Independent Police Complaints Commission referred the case to the Crown Prosecution Service on the basis that three officers, including MacFarlane, may have committed criminal offences.

The CPS initially decided no charges should be brought against any of the police officers. However on Thursday, the service said it would review the file after lawyers for the man threatened to challenge the decision in a high court judicial review. MacFarlane has been suspended.

The inquiry began after the victim handed his mobile phone to a custody desk in Forest Gate police station and told officers he had been abused.

Earlier, he had been driving through Beckton with a friend when he was stopped by a van containing eight police officers from Newham borough. London’s streets were flooded with police who had been drafted in to contain the rioting.

The officers arrested the man on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs and told him he was being taken to a police station to be searched. After being taken into the van, the man was also arrested for missing a previous magistrates court appearance. No further action is to be taken in relation to the suspected driving offence.

It was once inside the van and handcuffed that the man said he was assaulted by police. He described having his head pushed against the van window and said one officer placed his knees on his chest and began strangling him. “I couldn’t breathe and I felt that I was going to die,” he said.

The man said he decided to turn on the recording facility of his phone after MacFarlane allegedly made sexually explicit references about his mother and telling him he would be “dead in five years”.

In the recording, the man sounds agitated; he raises his voice to complain about his treatment and in places insults the arresting officers. The verbal exchange lasts several minutes.

When the man tells an officer: “you tried to strangle me”, the officer replies: “No, I did strangle you.”
The officer adds that he strangled him “‘cos you’re a cunt” and that the man had been “kicking out”. In relation to the strangling, the officer says: “Stopped you though, didn’t it?”

Full Article Here – http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/mar/30/police-racism-black-man-abuse 

Six strikes and you’re screwed: What the upcoming piracy crackdown means for you

Digital Trends
Mar. 30, 2012
By Andrew Couts

Starting July 1, the nation’s largest Internet service providers (ISPs) have agreed to adopt a “Graduated Response” program intended to cut down on illegal file sharing. The program, colloquially known as the “six-strikes” system, is the brainchild of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) — the same industry groups that conjured up SOPA and PIPA. The system will affect millions of Internet users across the country. Whether you download your music and movies from the Internet or not, it is important for everyone to understand what the plan is, and how it could affect your life. Here is everything you need to know about “six-strikes.”

How does it work, in a nutshell?

Anytime copyright holders find that their content is being illegally downloaded, they will contact the participating ISPs. The ISPs will then send out an initial “copyright alert” to accounts linked to the alleged infringement. If a subscriber’s account continues to be linked to infringement, his or her ISP will send out up to four written notices, the natures of which are sometimes vague and varying. If the alleged infringement continues still, the ISP will then take “mitigation measures,” which include bandwidth throttling (i.e. slowing down the accused subscriber’s connection), or even temporarily cutting off full Web browsing abilities. In cases where alleged infringement persists after the initial mitigation measure, the subscriber may face lawsuits from the copyright holder, and/or have their Internet access cut entirely, in accordance with section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DCMA).

Who is in charge of this system?

Administering “six strikes” is a new entity called the Center for Copyright Information (CCI), which was established by the entertainment industry and the ISP industry. (Internet users were not part of the negotiations.) The CCI will be governed by a six-person executive committee, made up of three representatives of the copyright industry, and three representatives of participating Internet service providers. There will also be a three-person advisory board, made up of people “from relevant subject matter and consumer interest communities,” who represent us, the Internet users, in all this. Though, from the looks of it, the advisory committee appears to be mostly ornamental.
The CCI develops the “educational material” part of the alerts, and develops a set of “best practices” for the copyright alerts system to abide by. According to the CCI’s FAQs, the CCI will also “benefit from guidance by consumer advocates and technical experts serving on its advisory committee or providing other expert services,” whatever that means.

Which ISPs are part of this plan?

The big ones. Those currently on board include AT&T, Cablevison, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon. Smaller, local ISPs are not yet included in the plan. But more may climb aboard by the time the plan sets sail this summer.

What are these alerts?

Officially, the plan contains six levels of “copyright alerts,” and the consequences at each depth intensify. They are as follows:

First alert: An ISP will send a written alert (probably via email), which informs the subscriber that his/her account has been linked to infringing activities. This alert will also direct the subscriber to “educational resources” which will “(i) help him/her to check the security of his/her computer and any Wifi network, (ii) provide explanatory steps which will help to avoid content theft in the future and (iii) provide information about the abundant sources of lawful music, film and TV content,” according to the CCI. Of course, all of these “educational resources” are provided by the entertainment industry and their ISP cohorts, so you can guess what kind of advice these one-sided resources provide.Second alert: This alert nearly mimics the first, but will “underscore the educational messages.” Also, ISPs may choose to simply skip this alert, and jump to option number three.Third alert: At this level, things get creepy. Once an account is linked to infringing behavior a third time, the ISP will issue the alert through a “conspicuous mechanism,” like a pop-up window or landing screen, when the user goes online. The user must then explicitly acknowledge that he/she has seen the alert, which reminds that “content theft” is taking place through his/her account, and re-informs him/her the consequences of illegally downloading copyrighted content.Fourth alert: The fourth alert is essentially identical to the third alert.Fifth alert: Now the “mitigation measures” begin. In addition to sending an alert (probably the same alert as the third and fourth alerts), the ISP can choose to a) reduce Internet connection speeds (i.e. throttling); b) impose a landing page, which the accused subscriber cannot bypass until he/she contacts the ISP “to discuss the matter” — or reviews and responds to more of that enlightening “educational material.” According to the agreement, the ISPs have some freedom to choose which mitigation measures to take at this point in the alert process. And these measures may include some that are not listed here.Sixth alert: At this point, the ISP may issue another mitigation measure. But the company could, legally, suspend the customer’s account altogether — though that is not an official part of the plan. Also, the subscriber could be sued by the copyright holders under DCMA. That said, the specific consequences at this stage remain dangerously unclear. (We’re putting our money on lawsuits.) The CCI does not expect many subscribers to reach this level of alert.Is this the same as the “three strikes” laws overseas?

No. First, this plan is not a law at all. It is a voluntary agreement between copyright holders and ISPs. Second, this plan does not mandate that ISPs completely cut subscribers’ Internet access, as is the case with so-called “three strikes” laws. Moreover, the plan does not even include a temporary suspension of Internet access — unless, of course, you consider an impassable landing page a suspension of Internet access.

Who decides to send out these alerts?

Full Article Here – http://news.yahoo.com/six-strikes-youre-screwed-upcoming-piracy-crackdown-means-144559247.html

Successful Fare Strike This Morning – Tens of Thousands Ride NYC Subways for Free

Occupy Wall Street
Mar. 28, 2012

This morning before rush hour, teams of activists, many from Occupy Wall Street, in conjunction with rank and file workers from the Transport Workers Union Local 100 and the Amalgamated Transit Union, opened up more than 20 stations across the city for free entry. As of 10:30 AM, the majority remain open. No property was damaged. Teams have chained open service gates and taped up turnstiles in a coordinated response to escalating service cuts, fare hikes, racist policing, assaults on transit workers’ working conditions and livelihoods — and the profiteering of the super-rich by way of a system they’ve rigged in their favor.

For the last several years, riders of public transit have been under attack. The cost of our Metrocards has been increasing, while train and bus service has been steadily reduced. Budget cuts have precipitated station closings and staff/safety reductions. Police routinely single out young black and Latino men for searches at the turnstile. Layoffs and attrition means cutting staff levels to the bare minimum, reducing services for seniors and disabled riders. At the same time, MTA workers have been laid off and have had their benefits drastically reduced. Contract negotiations are completely stalled.


Working people of all occupations, colors and backgrounds are expected to sacrifice to cover the budget cut by paying more for less service. But here’s the real cause of the problem: the rich are massively profiting from our transit system. Despite the fact that buses and subways are supposed to be a public service, the government and the MTA have turned the system backwards—into a virtual ATM for the super-rich. Instead of using our tax money to properly fund transit, Albany and City Hall have intentionally starved transit of public funds for over twenty years; the MTA must resort to bonds (loans from Wall Street) to pay for projects and costs. The MTA is legally required to funnel tax dollars and fares away from transportation costs and towards interest on these bonds, called “debt service.” This means Wall Street bondholders receive a huge share of what we put into the system through the Metrocards we buy and the taxes we pay: more than $2 billion a year goes to debt service, and this number is expected to rise every year. If trends continue, by 2018 more than one out of every five dollars of MTA revenue will head to a banker’s pockets.

This much is clear: the MTA’s priorities are all out of whack. This fare strike is a means for workers and riders to fight for shared interests together — but this is just a first step. All of us — the 99% — have an interest in full-service public transportation system that treats its ridership and employees with dignity.

The MTA is a shared, public service — fund it with tax revenues.
Eliminate free money for bondholders at the expense of taxpayers.
End the assault on worker’s livelihoods.

Full Article Here – http://occupywallst.org/

ACLU: FBI kept details of Muslims’ religious practices in violation of privacy rules

Associated Press
Mar. 27, 2012

WASHINGTON — The American Civil Liberties Union on Tuesday released records it obtained from the FBI that it said showed the bureau’s San Francisco division used its Muslim outreach efforts to collect intelligence on religious activities protected by the Constitution.

Under the U.S. Privacy Act, the FBI is generally prohibited from maintaining records on how people practice their religion unless there is a clear law enforcement purpose. ACLU lawyers said the documents, which the organization obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, showed violations of that law.

After reviewing the ACLU documents, the FBI said the reports that contained notes about religious activity were appropriate because the agents were meeting with members of the Muslim community for law enforcement purposes.


The documents are from 2004 through 2008, before the FBI established a formal community outreach program and before it put in place sweeping new rules governing the collection of intelligence.

“Everyone understands that the FBI has a job to do, but it is wrong and counterproductive for the bureau to target American Muslim religious groups for secret intelligence gathering and place innocents at risk of investigation as national security threats,” ACLU attorney Hina Shamsi said in a news release.

Since the 2001 terrorist attacks, the FBI has stepped up its outreach to Muslim neighborhoods and efforts to recruit sources and gather intelligence in those areas. Though the federal government says those two efforts are completely separate, civil rights lawyers and some Muslims have complained that the FBI uses one to accomplish the other. The ACLU released a similar batch of documents last year.

The gathering of intelligence inside mosques has been the subject of public debate recently, following an Associated Press investigation into the New York Police Department’s use of undercover officers and informants to report on the contents of sermons and the conversations inside mosques. Police secretly jotted down license plate numbers and snapped pictures as worshippers arriving at services, documents show.

Full Article Here – http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/aclu-fbi-kept-details-of-muslims-religious-practices-in-violation-of-privacy-rules/2012/03/27/gIQAehUFeS_story.html

Recording of Boston police nets man $170,000 settlement

Raw Story
Mar. 27, 2012
By Stephen C. Webster

The City of Boston settled a lawsuit recently filed by Simon Glik, an attorney who was arrested in 2007 as he recorded police using force to subdue another man.

The settlement total came to $170,000, according to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Massachusetts, which represented Glik in the case. He was initially charged with a felony, under laws meant to ban illegal wiretapping, but the charge was dismissed.

“The law had been clear for years that openly recording a video is not a crime. It’s sad that it takes so much for police to learn the laws they were supposed to know in the first place,” Glik said in an ACLU media advisory. “I hope Boston police officers will never again arrest someone for openly recording their public actions.”


The city has since initiated a training program for officers that teaches them to ignore individuals who film their activities in public. The two arresting officers in Glik’s case were also disciplined.

“The court’s opinion made clear that people cannot be arrested simply for documenting the actions of police officers in public,” Glik’s attorney, David Milton, added in the advisory. “With this issue squarely resolved against it, it made sense for the City to settle the case rather than continuing to waste taxpayer money defending it.”

Full Article Here – http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/03/27/recording-of-boston-police-nets-man-170000-settlement/ 

Everybody’s a Target in the American Surveillance State

Antiwar.com
Mar. 27, 2012
By

“Everybody’s a target; everybody with communication is a target.”

– A senior intelligence official previously involved with the Utah Data Center

In the small town of Bluffdale, Utah, not far from bustling Salt Lake City, the federal government is quietly erecting what will be the crown jewel of its surveillance empire. Rising up out of the desert landscape, the Utah Data Center (UDC) — a $2 billion behemoth designed to house a network of computers, satellites, and phone lines that stretches across the world — is intended to serve as the central hub of the National Security Agency’s vast spying infrastructure. Once complete (the UDC is expected to be fully operational by September 2013), the last link in the chain of the electronic concentration camp that surrounds us will be complete, and privacy, as we have known it, will be extinct.


At five times the size of the U.S. Capitol, the UDC will be a clearinghouse and a depository for every imaginable kind of information — whether innocent or not, private or public — including communications, transactions, and the like. Anything and everything you’ve ever said or done, from the trivial to the damning — phone calls, Facebook posts, Twitter tweets, Google searches, emails, bookstore and grocery purchases, bank statements, commuter toll records, etc. — will be tracked, collected, catalogued, and analyzed by the UDC’s supercomputers and teams of government agents. In this way, by sifting through the detritus of your once-private life, the government will come to its own conclusions about who you are, where you fit in, and how best to deal with you should the need arise.

What little we know about this highly classified spy center — which will be operated by the National Security Agency (NSA) — comes from James Bamford, a former intelligence analyst and an expert on the highly secretive government agency. Bamford’s exposé in Wired, a must-read for anyone concerned about the loss of our freedoms in a technological age, provides a chilling glimpse into the government’s plans for total control, aka total information awareness. As Bamford notes, the NSA “has transformed itself into the largest, most covert, and potentially most intrusive intelligence agency ever created. In the process — and for the first time since Watergate and the other scandals of the Nixon administration — the NSA has turned its surveillance apparatus on the U.S. and its citizens.”

Supposedly created by the NSA in order to track foreign threats to America, as well as to shore up cybersecurity and battle hackers, the UDC’s technological capabilities are astounding. As the central depository for all of the information gathered by the NSA’s vast spy centers, the UDC’s supercomputers will be capable of downloading data amounting to the entire contents of the Library of Congress every six hours. However, the data being targeted goes far beyond the scope of terrorist threats. In fact, as Bamford points out, the NSA is interested in nothing less than the “so-called invisible web, also known as the deep Web or deepnet — data beyond the reach of the public. This includes password-protected data, U.S. and foreign government communications, and noncommercial file-sharing between trusted peers.”

The loss of privacy resulting from such aggressive surveillance systems highlights very dramatically the growing problem of large public and private institutions in relation to the individual citizen. What we are witnessing, in the name of so-called security and efficiency, is the creation of a new class system comprising the watched (average Americans such as you and me) and the watchers (government bureaucrats, technicians, and private corporations). The growing need for technicians necessitates the bureaucracy. The massive bureaucracies — now computerized — that administer governmental policy are a permanent form of government. Presidents come and go, but the nonelected bureaucrats remain.

The question looms before us. Can freedom in the United States continue to flourish and grow in an age when the physical movements, individual purchases, conversations, and meetings of every citizen are constantly under surveillance by private companies and government agencies?

Whether or not the surveillance is undertaken for “innocent” reasons, does not surveillance of all citizens, even the innocent sort, gradually poison the soul of a nation? Does not surveillance limit personal options — deny freedom of choice — for many individuals? Does not surveillance increase the powers of those who are in a position to enjoy the fruits of this activity? Is not control the name of the game?

Full Article Here – http://original.antiwar.com/jwhitehead/2012/03/27/everybodys-a-target-in-the-american-surveillance-state/

Amnesty: US ranks 5th on global execution scale

Associated Press
Mar. 27, 2012
By PETER JAMES SPIELMANN

NEW YORK (AP) — The United States was the only Western democracy that executed prisoners last year, even as an increasing number of U.S. states are moving to abolish the death penalty, Amnesty International announced Monday.
America’s 43 executions in 2011 ranked it fifth in the world in capital punishment, the rights group said in its annual review of worldwide death penalty trends. U.S. executions were down from 46 a year earlier.
“If you look at the company we’re in globally, it’s not the company we want to be in: China, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq,” Suzanne Nossel, executive director of Amnesty International USA, told The Associated Press.


The United States seems deeply divided on the issue.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry was cheered at a Republican presidential candidates’ debate last September when he defended his signature on 234 execution warrants over more than 10 years as being the “ultimate justice.”

Just weeks later, young people rallied in person and online to protest the execution of Troy Davis in Georgia for the 1991 murder of a police officer. In the intervening years, key witnesses for the prosecution had recanted or changed their stories.

“I think the debate on the issue may be nearing a tipping point in this country,” Nossel said. “I think we’re seeing momentum at the state level, in the direction of waning support for the death penalty.”
Illinois banned the death penalty last year, and Oregon adopted a moratorium on executions.
Maryland and Connecticut are close to banning executions, Amnesty said. And more than 800,000 Californians signed petitions to put a referendum on the state ballot in November that would abolish the death penalty.

However, 34 U.S. states have the death penalty.

Richard Dieter, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, which tracks U.S. trends, told the AP that last year 78 prisoners received death sentences, down from an average of more than 300 annually a few years ago. “Executions peaked in 1999 at 98,” he added. “By all measures, the death penalty is on the defensive.”

Dieter attributed much of the decline to the introduction of DNA testing, which has exposed some mistaken convictions. With stronger defense tactics and appeals processes getting longer, U.S. states also found it more and more expensive to pursue death penalty cases, he said.

The United States was the only member of the G-8 group of developed nations to use the death penalty last year. Japan, which also retains capital punishment, recorded no executions for the first time in 19 years, Amnesty reported.
“Our government has made a very strong point of trying to reassert its position as a standard-bearer on human rights globally,” Nossel said. “When other countries look at the United States, the use of the death penalty really stands out a lot in the mind of Europeans and others around the world. We’re in such incongruous company.”

Full Article Here – http://news.yahoo.com/amnesty-us-ranks-5th-global-execution-scale-230313817.html 

The Occupy Files: DHS Investigated Anonymous and Kept Tabs on Political Hackers

Truthout
Mar. 27, 2012
By Mike Ludwig

Protesters wearing a Guy Fawkes mask and maybe a black hat or cape have been a common sight at Occupy protests across the country. On the street, they were just another group of protesters, but on the Internet, the Anonymous hacker movement they represent was seen as a serious security threat during the first few months of Occupy, according to internal Department of Homeland Security (DHS) documents and emails released to Truthout last week. 

The Occupy Files reveal that DHS monitored Occupy Wall Street (OWS) and affiliated protests in the fall of 2011, but refrained from wholesale surveillance of the Occupy movement because of civil liberties concerns. The federal agency’s cyber wing did, however, investigate Anonymous, a highly visible faction of the Occupy movement, after several successful hacks made headlines.


When Anonymous first announced its support for the OWS protests forming in September 2011, DHS sent out three memos with intelligence gathered from media reports and web postings on the “partnership” between Anonymous and OWS organizers and warned that “malicious cyber activity” may accompany the peaceful protests. A few months prior, the DHS cyber security communications arm had issued an unclassified bulletin informing law enforcement agencies about how Anonymous operates, what its future targets could be and how to deal with a hacktivist attack.

For federal law enforcement, it’s clear that public protests are much different than online hacktivism – that’s something the First Amendment does not protect. In an internal communication obtained by Truthout, one DHS spokesman drew a line in the sand for activists using social media, writing, “I’m thinking we just make it clear that using social media [to] organize protests is well within constitutional rights; when it becomes our business [is] if social media used to plan cyber attacks.”

Unlike prolonged public camping and sign holding, hacking is almost always illegal. The DHS has reason to be concerned: Anonymous affiliates and other hacktivists stole 100 million online records in 2011, according to a Verizon report based on investigations conducted by the United States and other governments. Hacktivists were responsible for only 3 percent of reported hacks in 2011, but they took 58 percent of the records that were stolen during the entire year. The report declared 2011 “the year of the hacktivist.”

Included in that long list of stolen records are thousands of names, addresses, personnel information, and other data taken from several law enforcement databases and sites on October 22, 2011. The Boston Patrolmen’s Association, The International Association of Chiefs of Police and local Alabama law enforcement agencies were all targeted in solidarity with the Occupy movement and a national day of protest against police brutality. The hacker group AntiSec, an Anonymous affiliate comprised of experienced hackers, claimed responsibility for defacing the web sites and publicly releasing the stolen information in an online communiqué bearing the rhetoric of serious Occupy class warriors:

We are attacking the police because they are the vicious boot boys of the 1 percent whose role in society is to protect the interests and assets of the rich ruling class. They are not part of the 99 percent – they are working class traitors who are paid to intimidate, harass, and repress political movements that would possibly stand a threat to the power structure of the 1 percent. We have no problem targeting police and releasing their information even if it puts them at risk because we want them to experience just a taste of the brutality and misery they serve us on an everyday basis.

The DHS cyber security division investigated the hacks, according to an internal document obtained by Truthout. The DHS sent out a similar internal communication a week later after Anonymous shut down the Oakland police department’s web site in a revenge attack after the Oakland cops evicted the Occupy camp there. This time, the DHS cyber agents contacted the FBI.

Full Article Here – http://truth-out.org/news/item/8126-the-occupy-files-dhs-investigated-anonymous-and-kept-tabs-on-political-hackers 

Polish Ex-Official Charged With Aiding C.I.A.

New York Times
Mar. 27, 2012
By JOANNA BERENDT and

WARSAW — The former head of Poland’s intelligence service has been charged with aiding the Central Intelligence Agency in setting up a secret prison to detain suspected members of Al Qaeda, a leading newspaper here reported on Tuesday, the first high-profile case in which a former senior official of any government has been prosecuted in connection with the agency’s program. 

The daily newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza reported that the former intelligence chief, Zbigniew Siemiatkowski, told the paper that he faced charges of violating international law by “unlawfully depriving prisoners of their liberty,” in connection with the secret C.I.A. prison where Qaeda suspects were subjected to brutal interrogation methods.

When President Obama took office in 2009, he said he wanted to “look forward, as opposed to looking backward” and rejected calls for a broad investigation of C.I.A. interrogations and other Bush administration counterterrorism programs. In sharp contrast, the Poles see the case as a crucial test for rule of law and the investigation by prosecutors here has reached the highest levels of Polish politics.
One of Poland’s prime ministers during the period when terrorism suspects were alleged to have been subjected to torture in Poland, Leszek Miller, could be charged before Poland’s State Tribunal, the newspaper said.
“We try to treat our Constitution seriously and try not to forget the fact that there was a manifest violation of the Polish Constitution within the country’s borders,” said Adam Bodnar, vice president of the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, based in Warsaw.
The effect, Mr. Bodnar said, is not simply a matter of looking back, as Mr. Obama said, but also of warning future leaders and officials that they can not operate with impunity. “This case is a huge threat to any Polish official that he will know in the future that such things cannot happen,” Mr. Bodnar said.
C.I.A. officers have been distressed by the public controversies that have broken out over the interrogation program in Poland and other countries, where foreign officials were assured that their assistance would always remain secret. But human rights advocates have applauded the inquiries overseas into what they believe was torture and illegal detention.
While successive American governments have chosen to avoid accusations of abuses, in Poland, where memories of the Communist era and its repressions remain sharp, prosecutors have moved aggressively to tackle the issue. Although pro-American sentiments run high in Poland, there is also great unease after decades of Soviet domination that the country is giving too much influence to a powerful ally.

Full Article Here – http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/28/world/europe/polish-ex-official-charged-with-aiding-cia.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

Poll: Sharp drop in support for Afghan war