CIA admits rendition and secret prisons

According to Deutsche Welle:

According to a European Union investigator, the CIA has admitted to sending at least 50 terror suspects since 2001 to countries where they could be tortured. Claudia Fava, an Italian member of the European Parliament, said those figures were given to his team during last week’s visit to the United States. The CIA is accused of flying suspects to third countries via European states. However Flava said he could not say whether suspects had been flown through European airpace or even picked up in Europe. According to Flava US intelligence officials had also said that the CIA ran secret prisons in Europe, Asia and Africa.

U.S. in league with the Taliban?

The Christian Science Monitor reports that the United States and its allies have persistently failed to list the Taliban as a terrorist organization, even as it continues to fight in southern Afghanistan. Supposedly this is to allow the Afghan government to appeal to Taliban fighters for reconciliation. But the Taliban has largely recovered its military strength, and the United States military has focused on al Qaeda. Meanwhile, according to former National Public Radio reporter Sarah Chayes:

The steadily worsening situation in southern Afghanistan is not the work of some ineffable Al Qaeda nebula. It is the result of the real depredations of the corrupt and predatory government officials whom the United States ushered into power in 2001, supposedly to help fight Al Qaeda, and has assiduously maintained in power since, along with an “insurgency” manufactured whole cloth across the border in Pakistan – a US ally. … [People in] much of [Kandahar], the Taliban’s former stronghold, [are] disgusted with the Americans not because of their Western culture, but because of their apparent complicity with Islamist extremists.

A new civil rights movement?

On my way to school yesterday, it was heartwarming to see so many converging, including many children, on Weekes Park in Hayward to stand up for immigration rights. I gather similar demonstrations happened elsewhere. They risk a backlash in Congress — every one I talked to, including my fellow graduate students, focused on “illegal” immigrants who despite facing increasing danger in coming here, hadn’t gone through “the process,” as if they hadn’t sacrificed.

John B. Judis, in The New Republic, addresses these allegations. But what really seems to be going on is that illegal immigrants, Latinos in particular, are the new “niggers,” to be abused and exploited; their humanity is not to be acknowledged. Someone, after all, must do the stoop labor in the agricultural fields for less than minimum wage. And someone should pay into Social Security with no hope of ever collecting.

Some object that “illegal” immigrants take jobs from those whose presence here has been authorized. Employers, it seems, often prefer workers they can intimidate more easily; the real problem here is that as a society, we encourage the exploitation of our fellow humans.