The confirmation vote for Michael Mukasey, nominee for United States Attorney General, is scheduled for Tuesday, November 6. In his confirmation hearing Judge Mukasey was asked for his opinion on waterboarding as a constitutionally valid technique for interrogation. Mukasey replied, "I don't know what's involved in the technique. ... I think it would be irresponsible of me to discuss particular techniques with which I am not familiar."Link
Waterboarding.org would like to offer to help the nominee become more familiar with water-based coercive interrogation techniques. Using unclassified sources, news reports, and historical records we are attempting to put together as clear a picture as possible of this technique, its history, its legality, and the scope of its use. We are also attempting to organize a group of doctors, paramedics, lawyers, and volunteers to allow anyone who remains confused or unclear on the details of waterboarding to safely subject themselves to as much of the technique as they are willing to endure.
We look forward to advising, educating, and assisting Michael Mukasey, future candidates, public figures, and anyone else who professes ignorance of our nation's most controversial coercive interrogation technique.
Here in the United States, Attorney General hopeful Michael Mukasey appears headed for confirmation after three key Senators announced they’ll support his nomination. This weekend, Senate Judiciary Committee members Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, Charles Schumer of New York and Dianne Feinstein of California said they’ll back Mukasey despite his refusal to condemn waterboarding as a form of torture. Schumer and Feinstein said they’re backing Mukasey in part to stabilize the leaderless Justice Department and to avoid recess appointments
Report: Admin Forced Out Waterboarding Critic
Meanwhile, new evidence suggests the Bush administration forced out a Senior Justice Department official who declared waterboarding a form of torture after experiencing it first-hand.
Rinko Kawauchi... Untitled (2007, c-print). From Works by Rinko Kawauchi at Cohan and Leslie Gallery in New York. "...15 new photographs by Rinko Kawauchi, which are a preview of her upcoming publication Utatane II. The first volume of Utatane was Kawauchi’s first publication (2001), and was something of an art publishing phenomenon, it has since sold 30,000 copies worldwide. The images in Utatane II continue to capture ephemeral and fleeting moments, whether found or staged by the artist. She has a particular interest in fragility and impermanence, communicated through images of short lived insects, transitory bubbles or an x-ray of her own broken ribs."
Drugs: The 'root cause' of homelessness?
Drugs: The 'root cause' of homelessness?
November 5, 2007
Policing skid row remains one of the most controversial topics in Los Angeles, with the White House's homeless czar joining with the American Civil Liberties Union in arguing that L.A. can't arrest its way out of the homelessness problem, while beleaguered law enforcement looks for ever-more creative measures to bar former criminals from even showing up in the area.
To argue the enforcement side of the coin, several members of the City Attorney's office, Chief Deputy City Attorney Rich Llewellyn and Deputy City Attorney Jose Egurbide, came by the editorial board last week to discuss the lawlessness that had been going hand-in-hand with homelessness until they started cracking down last year. Some highlights:
Rich Llewellyn: We just wanted to sort of give you a sense of what we've been doing on skid row, and kind of where we see that going, and hopefully to keep y'all engaged because we think this is an opportunity for our local institutions to kind of stay engaged, because we think there are certain opportunities the next few years there. [...]
Just [to] let you know what the City Attorney's office is doing on skid row, because, um, I think what has gotten most of the coverage, almost exclusive coverage in the press, has been the plight of the homeless in the skid row area in central City. And we just want to let you know that the Safer Cities Initiative is a much broader and more comprehensive initiative that addressed -- that really was intended to, and continues to look at -- the entire community, and the situation of the skid row community, and all the different elements of the population there and all the different problems. [...]
We just think it's important to understand the full extent of the problems that existed there, because I think a lot of that has been sort of under the radar by everybody, and we being down there on the streets, have really gotten a feel for it. [...] We put together a team of I think terrific prosecutors working very closely with LAPD and a whole variety of partners that really span the spectrum, from LAPD and the sheriff's and district attorney's office, to public counsel, ACLU, even LACAN -- I think we're about the only ones on the city side that work with them in connection with the so-called 28-day shuffle.
So let me give you a few items that we brought down that you might find interesting. First is, I don't know if you guys have seen this -- I actually spotted it just the night before last -- looks like 18 th Street, which you guys are well aware of, major gang, tagged St. Vibiana's, so here's some photos that we took. I think that's just indicative of the fact that there are some serious criminal problems that remain in that area. [...]
And the last thing is, because there's one issue that's sort of come up quite a bit, with Professor Blasi's report and some of the editorials, is the buy-bust efforts of LAPD, their narcotics unit. This is a nuisance abatement action that we filed -- we call it a narco abatement action -- against two locations on skid row, filed probably about a year ago or so. But the only good thing -- the thing I think is most useful about it is, it sort of goes through and shows how these buy-bust operations work, and so there's just no misunderstanding that the way they target location--
Tim Cavanaugh: Sorry, let me just get the phrasing: buy-bust?
Llewellyn: Buy-bust, which is essentially a undercover officer negotiating a purchase of a controlled substance down on skid row. It's usually going to be crack, or crack cocaine, or heroin. And just how it works: