Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Libya and Human Rights

by Robert L. Gisel

It will be interesting to see how Ghadafi's regime explains away this latest Human Rights violation to break out in the news. A woman is taken from her car at a checkpoint by Ghadafi Loyalists then apparently held captive, raped repeatedly and beaten. When she finally gets free she rushed to reporters and foreign correspondents in the state arranged hotel to get the message to someone fearing there would be more of the same with no protections from the meyhem. The cat is out of the bag.

So much was revealed in this one incident. First off, she felt she had to rush to the reporters and reach the international press or she would simply disappear for weeks or years. Such fears are not an exclusive of Ghadafi's Libya as our own Homeland Security has been known to do that.

The first response is to kidnap her again, after the Ghadafi undercover police pretending to be hotel staff bludgeon press corps members, smashing their cameras and recorders, who were trying to protect her. You can only call it kidnapping as she is taken by force in obvious violation of rights -- hers and her would be protectors.

Then they attempt a smear campaign of the girl to claim she is insane, a drunk, and a prostitute. Get this: she is actually post graduate law student studying in Tripoli. This is the wrong person to try to exploit.

There was even an attempt to bribe her family to persuade her to recant the charges. The official stance now seems to be that the rapists are being investigated, that this is a criminal matter rather than political, and that some of the suspected rapists are filing counter suit for slander. That's rich. Then again, the state sponsored smear campaign is not slander, evidently, while the covey of undercover "hotel staff" who rushed to get this gal away from the press wasn't political, evidently.

What makes this possible is a major weakness of Human Rights bills needing to be bolstered, that and unchecked criminal behavior bolstered by a lawless totalitarian regime. Anything declared to be a matter of state security, including the labeling of acts and persons as terrorist, in the opinion of the declarer, is considered outside the realm of Human Rights. As soon as one is deemed terrorist by state police organisms, rights are suspended with unreasonable seizure, no Miranda rights, no legal representation nor swift and juried justice. Whether the organization is like the NSA, Homeland Security, the Libyan spy agency Jamahiriya Security Organization, MI-5, the Mossad, SBU, China's MSS, or the Congo's DGSE this above-the-law think is justified as protection of state security. Don't buy it.

Look at the kidnappings that landed up in Quantico. Several hundred of those detainees for years were there as innocents or with so little or no probable cause they were let go. For instance, an innocent farmer whose only crime was to be a mistaken identity was held captive for two years. This the problem with omnipotent powers given to state security -- they can be opinionated, and opinions are not fact. Then there are no checks and balances to correct the injustice when they are wrong.

The 007 mentality has been long glorified by James bond movies and the like where innocents are not locked up or killed. It is simple Hollywood; all those who work for the bad guys and those who work for the good guys. The truth is most secret intelligence agencies mean business, each from it's own viewpoint is well intended and charged with high purpose, meaning it can do no wrong.

Ghadafi's intelligence people are muffing it badly. The hilariuous part is it appears like a B-List movie, a poor one at that, of what they think they should be doing as "that is the way US intelligence does it".

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Drawing the Line On Human Rights

by Robert L. Gisel

Contemporary advancements of technology requires the drawing of the lines re Human Rights, newly, to keep abreast of the technological advancements and calls for a broader view of the undeniability of Human Rights.The recent discussions re Internet rights violations was brought to my attention by the public access snippet re Gmail and another on Google Images by Gary North, who links to advice on what to do to increase your protections. Check it out and take the steps to enhance your protections.

The hub-hub is that the Internet communications you store in ISPs are subject to unfettered government perusal of your emails. You can see this in news articles by the web site Threat Levels here, re Gmail and re Google images here. Personally, I hope they enjoyed my letters to President Obama.

In July 2009 I asked Obama's Campaign Manager if the President was on drugs. There was also that sage advice of what to do about the Gulf oil spill, not offensive just no minced words. Still, I don't think he got the memo. Then there was that post with the wry references to Obama and his government pursuing the same old agenda as Bush. The earliest was when Senator Obama was still on the campaign trail and I jumped down his throat for his pro-psychiatric voting record that makes him leader of the pack. These posts notwithstanding in the realm of authors and columnists, a broader view of the meaning of this is warranted.

The 4th Amendment concerning unlawful search and seizure guarantees your rights to your property and effects. That is, except for those government actions that are "above the law", which is why we needed the 4th Amendment in the first place.

Should you ever be so unfortunate as to be deemed a terrorist or somehow a threat to state security, which could be created by any franchised redneck fomenting Homeland Security, you are subject to a suspension of your rights immediately. Being seized and carted of to an unknown location without Miranda protections or a call to your attorney, to be secretly held incommunicado indefinitely, blatantly violates a whole parcel of Rights.

You do not even have to be the person deemed suspect but may only be a relative, friend or acquaintance of someone who has been so unfortunate. You can be completely innocent of any charges and under no reasonable suspicion and could find your emails stored in ISP files under perusal with no court ordered authorization. Of course there is the keyword listen in of electronic phone communications as well. I believe the word for it is police state.

This is a matter of the Right to Life, abrogation of, which is worded as such in the founding papers of the United States but did not get singled out in the Bill of Rights.

Literary directness in the last decade well could have prompted a placement on the scale of dissension by any bureaucrat with more self importance than concern for We The People, where standing up for Human Rights, the Constitution or opposition to oppressive government makes you out be "one them we must keep a watch on".

Proclaiming Free Speech seditious has a long history. In the US it goes back to John Adam's controversial Alien and Sedition Act. So this is an area not without previous concerns.Outspoken instances of freedoms of speech have probably gotten more than a few individuals placed on "the list" in the paranoid wake of the 9/11 fiasco. It also opened precedents for new violations of Human Rights. The advent of new technologies as in the Internet as well as electronic phone communications means a need for defining new legal parameters.

The redefining of Human Rights in these respects is an ongoing battle, which we must win on the side of adequate protections.