Did Beyonce really lose that much weight? What diet did Kate Hudson go on? How does Kim Kardashian's weight alter so much? These are the daily questions that are plastered across tabloids and the answers are of such high interest to today's society.
American news outlets are abuzz with the ongoing manhunt for Christopher Jordan Dorner. As the search for him continues, one thing has become strikingly evident: just how deeply the logic, discourse and tactics of the War on Terror have penetrated the American police state. The media and the LAPD have demonized Dorner as a crazed killer, rather than seriously engaging with the political rationale of his actions. With the threat of additional violence presumed to be high, and his capture hindered by the weather and mountainous terrain, the task force has even admitted that they’re employing drones. Now that the white paper on targeted assassinations in circulation, we have to wonder: how soon until ‘targeted strikes’ come home? In a few years, will ‘enemies of the state’ on home soil simply be killed from above?
He’s been on the run ever since. Speaking about the case, Police Chief Charlie Beck recently commented, "This is an act of domestic terrorism”.
Perhaps that’s fitting, given that “terrorism” has come to encompass essentially any illegal act purportedly committed with political (read: anti-imperialist, anti-capitalist, anti-American, anti-racist) aims. Dorner has been clear about the rationale behind his violence – just after the attacks he posted a 6,000 word message explaining his actions. As he opens his message Dorner writes:
“I know most of you who personally know me are in disbelief to hear from media reports that I am suspected of committing such horrendous murders and have taken drastic and shocking actions in the last couple of days. You are saying to yourself that this is completely out of character of the man you knew who always wore a smile wherever he was seen. I know I will be vilified by the LAPD and the media. Unfortunately, this is a necessary evil that I do not enjoy but must partake and complete for substantial change to occur within the LAPD and reclaim my name. The department has not changed since the Rampart and Rodney King days. It has gotten worse.”
Later he adds:
“...Sometimes humans feel a need to prove they are the dominant race of a species and they inadvertently take kindness for weakness from another individual. You chose wrong....
...I am here to change and make policy. The culture of LAPD versus the community and honest/good officers needs to and will change. I am here to correct and calibrate your morale compasses to true north...”
Dorner is presumed to hiding out in California’s San Bernadino Mountains. Officers fear that additional causalities may be inevitable if he is not captured, and are also worried he could escape across the border into Mexico – so the joint forces responsible for his arrest have begun to rely on warfare technologies. As one senior police officer commented, “The thermal imaging cameras the drones use may be our only hope of finding him. On the ground, it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack.”
Some news sources have suggested that the police are out to assassinate Dorner. The Express asserted, “Dorner has become the first human target for remotely-controlled airborne drones on US soil”. Despite these claims, there is no evidence to suggest that Dorner is being tracked by armed drones, and it seems most likely that that they’re employing surveillance drones to locate him more easily.
Then again, police forces have been killing Black men without charge or trial since before the birth of the nation. [As KRS-One taught us, ”The overseer rode around the plantation, The officer is off patroling all the nation... The overseer had the right to get ill, And if you fought back, the overseer had the right to kill, The officer has the right to arrest, And if you fight back they put a hole in your chest!...] With a $1 million reward on Dorner’s head, let’s not underestimate the lengths the joint task force will go to ensure that he’s neutralized, whether or not they use a drone [and let’s not forget the other Black men assassinated by the cops in recent years]. As one blogger wondered, “In light of current concerns about domestic “terrorists”, one wonders if the Panthers would be considered drone assassination targets under the current Justice Department guidelines if they were around today?”
The Obama administration continues to redefine the concepts of “imminence” and “proportionality” in international law to suit their needs, all to justify a secret program that assassinates US citizens abroad. That’s a reality that few of us could have imagined prior to 9/11.
I doubt Dorner will become the next al-Awlaki. But in ten years... who knows what will be legal on home soil?
Every now and again a movie is released which creates a major change in society and the way it thinks, such is the power and influence of Hollywood at its best.
In a 35 minutes phone call he was permitted to give to his lawyer, Mahdi Hashi was able to give a glimpse of the mistreatment he suffered during his disappearance in East Africa. These revelations prove that Barack Obama, despite his words, is indeed a proud inheritor of the legacy of rendition and torture left by his predecessors.
Obama’s set to be inaugurated for his second term on 20 January. I am already dreading the many, many Facebook posts that I’ll inevitably encounter on that day. I know I’ll sit there, staring at my newsfeed, wondering whether it’s worthwhile to argue with people who claim that “Obama might not be perfect but he’s the lesser of two evils” or how he’s just really “a nice guy but constrained by political circumstance” or how “we shouldn’t expect everything from him and he has made really important contributions to healthcare and I shouldn’t dismiss that”.
In the spirit of being proactive in 2013, I am going to pre-empt these inevitable Facebook posts, by announcing:
I will be mourning Obama’s inauguration on 20 January. And you are welcome to mourn with me.
Why am I mourning? Here’s three of my most recent reasons:
Eh... who needs that ol’ Fourth Amendment?
Gitmo will remain open, and busy (just like the rest of our prisons!). And yes American citizens, you can still be detained by the military.
So he’s endorsed Bush’s torture tactics, falsely claimed that Osama bin Laden used his wife as a human shield, and spearheaded the “signature strike” drone killings. Things could be worse... right?
To sum up: Just in the last week, Obama has extended the unconstitutional surveillance of Americans; signed legislation that makes it impossible to close Gitmo; and put a torture-apologist and war criminal in charge of the CIA. How can I possibly celebrate his second term?
The Military Commission is founded on these three core values – fairness, transparency and justice. The Commission was set up in 2001 to try foreign terrorism suspects when it was decided their cases could not be tried in federal courts in the interest of national security.
Last year, after guiltily consuming the entirety of Season One of Homeland, I blogged about the dangers behind this show and shows like it – 24, for example, was actually used by policy makers, judges and military officials to justify the torture of detainees.
Four years ago, when Barack Obama was elected, many of us gained a renewed sense of hope. After all, he promised to protect our civil liberties, close Guantanamo Bay (and end torture), bring renewed transparency to government and approach the Muslim world with compassion and an intimate cultural understanding. Muslims at home and abroad were sure things would get better.
But have they?
The film Innoncence of Muslims exposes US attitudes and abuses against Islam and Muslims carried out over the past decade
Warsame is said to have been arrested on April 19th 2011 in international waters between Yemen and Somalia.
أظهر استطلاع للرأي نُشرت نتائجه امس، ارتفاع التأييد الشعبي للرئيس الأميركي باراك أوباما في التعامل مع الإرهاب والوضع في أفغانستان وسياسته الخارجية، في مقابل تراجعه في قضايا الاقتصاد والعجز في الموازنة
Manningham-Buller’s hope for the future of dealing with terrorism was for dialogue by western governments with Al Qaeda and the Taliban.
واشنطن- أعلن أحد محامي معتقلين في غوانتانامو أن سجناء في المعتقل الأمريكي يتظاهرون سلميا كل يوم للاحتجاج على بقاء السجن مفتوحا على الرغم من الوعد الذي قطعه الرئيس الأمريكي باراك أوباما قبل عامين بإغلاق السجن.
وردا على سؤال لوكالة فرانس برس، قالت الناطق باسم المعتقل الأمريكي تامسين ريز ان "التظاهرات السلمية لمعتقلين ليست نادرة
Another anniversary of America's illegal detention camp comes round and the president's closure order remains unfulfilled
Teaching Poetry to Prisoners – with Talha Ahsan’s Poetry Tutor Pat Winslow & Mike Marqusee
Response to the government report: "Tackling extremism in the UK"
Extradition and Guantanamos at home : Injustice & Talha Ahsan
Forgotten Women of the "war on terror"
More Syria-related police raids but no evidence of threat to UK
The prevent strategy: a cradle to grave police-state
Julian Assange: 'it's not just the Muslims'
CAGE releases new report on government counter-terorrism excesses
CAGE letter published in Evening Standard newspaper
Citizenship: a right or a privilege?
One after the other: Niqab, segregation and now the cartoon controversy