Tag: USA

US Couple Threatened With $500-Per-Meeting Fines For Home Bible Study

San Juan Capistrano A San Juan Capistrano, California, has been ordered to stop holding a Bible study in their home on the grounds that the meeting violates a city ordinance as a “church” and not as a private gathering.

The Pacific Justice Institute says it is “committed to defending this family’s home Bible study all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, if necessary.”

Wikileaks

The US government says “At the same time, we are concerned about the determination of some governments to censor and silence individuals, and to restrict the free flow of information.”

Reporters Without Borders condemns the blocking, cyber-attacks and political pressure being directed at cablegate.wikileaks.org, the website dedicated to the US diplomatic cables. The organization is also concerned by some of the extreme comments made by American authorities concerning WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange.

Nazis Were Given ‘Safe Haven’ in U.S., Report Says

A secret history of the United States government’s Nazi-hunting operation concludes that American intelligence officials created a “safe haven” in the United States for Nazis and their collaborators after World War II, and it details decades of clashes, often hidden, with other nations over war criminals here and abroad.

The 600-page report, which the Justice Department has tried to keep secret for four years, provides new evidence about more than two dozen of the most notorious Nazi cases of the last three decades.

It describes the government’s posthumous pursuit of Dr. Josef Mengele, the so-called Angel of Death at Auschwitz, part of whose scalp was kept in a Justice Department official’s drawer; the vigilante killing of a former Waffen SS soldier in New Jersey; and the government’s mistaken identification of the Treblinka concentration camp guard known as Ivan the Terrible.

The report catalogs both the successes and failures of the band of lawyers, historians and investigators at the Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations, which was created in 1979 to deport Nazis.

Perhaps the report’s most damning disclosures come in assessing the Central Intelligence Agency’s involvement with Nazi émigrés. Scholars and previous government reports had acknowledged the C.I.A.’s use of Nazis for postwar intelligence purposes. But this report goes further in documenting the level of American complicity and deception in such operations.

George Bush’s human rights violations

Human rights experts have long pressed the administration of former president George W. Bush for details of who bore ultimate responsibility for approving the simulated drownings of CIA detainees, a practice that many international legal experts say was illicit torture.

In a memoir due out Tuesday, Bush makes clear that he personally approved the use of that coercive technique against alleged Sept. 11 plotter Khalid Sheik Mohammed, an admission the human rights experts say could one day have legal consequences for him.

In his book, titled “Decision Points,” Bush recounts being asked by the CIA whether it could proceed with waterboarding Mohammed, who Bush said was suspected of knowing about still-pending terrorist plots against the United States. Bush writes that his reply was “Damn right” and states that he would make the same decision again to save lives, according to someone close to Bush who has read the book.

George W. Bush: Torturer in Chief.

Red Cross: America practiced tortureRoutine and systematic torture is at the heart of America’s war on terrorThe horrors really are your America, Mr BushPoll: On torture, evangelicals not looking to Bible, doctrine • George Bush has claimed to be a Christian — a follower of Jesus Christ, and many people who also consider themselves to be ‘Christians’ believe him. Yet he lied about the fact that America — under his leadership and with his approval — tortured people. He tried to redefine torture, but torture by any other name is just as vile. Christians who support that kind of behavior — and those kind of leaders – are not followers of Jesus Christ, since their very behaviour shows they do not even know Him. • National Religious Campaign Against Torture

And then there’s this… • US defends human rights record before UN body

God in America

God in America,” a three-night joint production from “Frontline” and “American Experience” that begins Monday night, blends two subjects that most folks avoid in polite company — religion and politics. It compellingly presents an American history that has been alternately ruined and elevated by faith, the Washington Post writes.
“God in America” takes the long view and visits familiar territory: Our nation’s history is one of emphatic and often cruel Christian principle, rescued repeatedly from theocracy and other fundamentalist blunders by the intellectual heroics of the founding fathers, Abraham Lincoln and other non-divine interventions of common sense.

Or, because this is PBS, “God in America” can be seen a whole other way: Without its spiritual firmament, the nation would have merely been a collection of immigrants and ideas, but lacking a . . . soul.

(No word on how a nation that claims to be so spiritual manages to keep committing human rights violations ranging from torture to the death penalty, and from secret renditions to waging illegal wars).

Detroit Churches Pray for ‘God’s Bailout’

car industry bailout The Sunday service at Greater Grace Temple began with the Clark Sisters song “I’m Looking for a Miracle” and included a reading of this verse from the Book of Romans: “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”

Pentecostal Bishop Charles H. Ellis III, who shared the sanctuary’s wide altar with three gleaming sport utility vehicles, closed his sermon by leading the choir and congregants in a boisterous rendition of the gospel singer Myrna Summers’s “We’re Gonna Make It” as hundreds of worshipers who work in the automotive industry — union assemblers, executives, car salesmen — gathered six deep around the altar to have their foreheads anointed with consecrated oil.

Laptop seizures at airports anger Denver area Muslims

laptop Elahi was confronted with what many local Muslims and residents of Arab descent say are increased searches and seizures of laptops at airports and border crossings without warrant or warning.

Civil rights groups are challenging the tactic, as the Bush administration and citizens continue to grapple with the conflict between civil liberties and national security seven years after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Poll: On torture, evangelicals not looking to Bible, doctrine

Poll A new survey suggests the very Americans who claim to follow the Bible most assiduously don’t consult it when forming their views about torture and government policy.

It shows not only are white evangelical Southerners more likely than the general populace to believe torture is sometimes or often justified, but also that they are far more likely—to tweak a phrase from Proverbs—to “lean on their own understanding” regarding the subject.