Mercury Rising 鳯女

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Archive for May 28th, 2009

His hands were gentle, his hands were strong

Posted by Charles II on May 28, 2009

The man himself:

Arlo’s commemorative:

Joao da Silva, Common Dreams:

Among the thousands of political dissidents detained and executed in Chile during the days following the Military coup of 1973 which overthrew the democratically elected socialist government of Salvador Allende (also known as the Unidad Popular), Victor Jara’s brutal death is probably one of the most emblematic. …

Victor Jara was a popular Chilean folk singer/songwriter, educator, theatre director, poet, and political activist. He was involved in the development of the “Nueva Canción Chilena” (New Chilean Song Movement) which gained considerable popularity during the Unidad Popular government which he actively supported. On the morning of September 12 1973, Jara was detained, along with thousands of Chileans, and then held prisoner at the Estadio Chile (renamed “Estadio Víctor Jara” in September 2003) where he was repeatedly beaten and tortured, resulting in the breaking of bones in his hands and upper torso. Fellow political prisoners have testified that his captors, as he lay on the ground after the beating, mockingly suggested that he play guitar for them. Defiantly, he sang part of a hymn supporting the Unidad Popular.

He was murdered on September 15 after further beatings were followed by being machine-gunned (34 bullet wounds were found on his body) and left dead on a road on the outskirts of Santiago.

This is the world that the right wing has to offer us, one in which singing is a crime punishable by death.

Will there be justice?

Posted in colonial wars, Latin America, torture, totalitarianism | 2 Comments »

Hersh is right again

Posted by Charles II on May 28, 2009

The Torygraph is reporting that General Taguba, who did the definitive study of Abu Ghraib, has stated that the photos of detainees that Obama is not releasing include rapes and other forms of horrific abuse. The existence of such photographs, of course, was reported by Seymour Hersh not long after the scandal broke. And we (including General Taguba) are not positive that the specific photos sought by the ACLU actually are of rape and sexual abuse. There are, you see, a lot of photos. So, in some regard, the Torygraph’s story is wrong.

But this goes to show how far behind the curve the US press is, how excellent Seymour Hersh’s reporting has been, and exactly what is at stake when General Taguba says “I am not sure what purpose their release would serve other than a legal one…The sequence would be to imperil our troops, the only protectors of our foreign policy, when we most need them, and British troops who are trying to build security in Afghanistan.”

The “legal purpose” Taguba describes is, of course, giving those who were tortured a venue to seek justice. They deserve the chance, even though it is probably true that the cost of their obtaining justice is a risk that the outrage will strengthen our enemies. On the other hand, there is a chance that if we commit our path to doing justice, as I urged so very long ago, we might yet find our way as a nation again.

Posted in abuse of power, torture | 2 Comments »

Jane Hamsher Called It

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 28, 2009

Tuesday, Jane said this:

GOP to Soak Wingnuts over Sotomayor

Meaning that the Republicans were going to squawk and raise a ruckus for fundraising purposes, but not actually do anything to keep Sotomayor from becoming the next Supreme Court justice.

Yesterday, we saw this:

Republicans see little chance of blocking Sonia Sotomayor’s Supreme Court nomination, a key GOP senator conceded Wednesday. But senators and advocacy groups are still girding for this summer’s battle — partly with an eye toward raising money and perhaps preparing for Barack Obama’s next nominee.

Is that a cash register I hear?

Posted in Republicans, Republicans acting badly, sucker bet, Supreme Court | 4 Comments »

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