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Posts made in December, 2014

House Intelligence Chairman Rogers: Report will spur attacks

By on Dec 8, 2014 in Press Release |

FILE: Sept. 18, 2014: House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., on Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C. (AP) Tensions grew Sunday over the impending release of a Senate report examining the use of torture by the CIA, with a top House lawmaker saying that the release will cause “violence and deaths” abroad. The comments by Rep. Mike Rogers, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, came after Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday urged Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the senator in charge of the report, to consider the timing of the release. Obama administration officials said they still support making it public. ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT Rogers, a Michigan Republican, is regularly briefed on intelligence assessments. He told CNN’s “State of the Union” that U.S. intelligence agencies and foreign governments have said privately that the release of the report on CIA interrogations a decade ago will be used by extremists to incite violence that is likely to cost lives. “I think this is a terrible idea,” Rogers said. “Our foreign partners are telling us this will cause violence and deaths…Foreign leaders have approached the government and said, ‘You do this, this will cause violence and deaths.’ Our own intelligence community has assessed that this will cause violence and deaths.” Rogers questioned why the report needed to become public, given that the Justice Department investigated and filed no criminal charges. In addition, a U.S. intelligence official, who was not authorized to be quoted discussing classified intelligence assessments, told the Associated Press that Congress had been warned “of the heightened potential that the release could stimulate a violent response.” The 480-page report, a summary of a still-classified 6,000 page study, is expected to be made public next week. It amounts to the first public accounting of the CIA’s use of torture on Al Qaeda detainees held in secret facilities in Europe and Asia in the years after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. CBS News reported Sunday that the report contains evidence that the CIA went beyond what was “legally allowable,” and that the agency lied to the White House, the Department of Justice and Congress about the effectiveness of the program. The CIA told Fox News it would not...

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Garner’s mother to protesters: ‘Keep on doing it but do it in peace’

By on Dec 6, 2014 in Press Release |

Witnessing protests in your city? Share your photos with CNN iReport. New York (CNN) — Eric Garner’s mother Saturday urged the thousands of demonstrators who have taken to streets throughout nation in protest of her son’s death to “keep on doing it but do it in peace.” Gwen Carr, who appeared at a Harlem rally with the family lawyer of slain Florida teenager Trayvon Martin, said a demonstration the other day left her she stuck in traffic on the West Side Highway in Manhattan. A protesters recognized her and hugged her and “everybody else followed,” she said. “My heart is overflowing with joy,” she said. Esaw Garner Snipes, Garner’s widow, told the crowd that watching thousands of demonstrators from the window of her Staten Island, New York, home brought tears to her eyes. She said she told her son, “Look at all the love your father is getting.” Protestors shut down all eastbound and westbound lanes on Interstate 195, linking Miami Beach to the mainland, on Friday, December 5. A grand jury on Wednesday, December 3, declined to indict New York police Officer Daniel Pantaleo in Eric Garner’s death in July. Demonstrators took to the streets to express outrage in New York and across the country. Demonstrators march through the Loop on December 5 in Chicago. Protesters block an intersection in downtown Washington on December 5. Demonstrators march through Macy’s before staging a “die-in” at the iconic department store in Midtown Manhattan on December 5, in New York City. Police make an arrest as protesters march through Midtown Manhattan early December 5. Police officers form a line with demonstrations under way in Oakland, California on Thursday, December 4. A demonstrator gets arrested during a protest in New York on December 4. Police detain a protester in New York on December 4. Demonstrators gather in New York’s Foley Square on December 4. Police officers staff a barricade at an exit ramp on the Brooklyn Bridge on December 4 in New York. Demonstrators march across the Brooklyn Bridge on December 4. “Black Lives Matter” is written across the cheek of Samaria Muhammad as she chants with fellow protesters in Atlanta on December 4. Demonstrators block the entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel...

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American hostage ‘murdered’ during failed rescue attempt in Yemen

By on Dec 6, 2014 in Press Release |

The American freelance photographer kidnapped by Al Qaeda militants in Yemen in 2013 was ‘murdered’ Friday during a U.S. special operations rescue mission inside the country after it was learned that his life was in imminent danger, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said in a statement. Luke Somers was still alive, but badly injured when the team reached him, a Yemeni national security official told Fox News. The official said Somers was shot by militants. None of the special forces members were injured. ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT Hagel said in the statement that the rescue bid was conducted in partnership with the Yemen’s government and its security forces.Ten militants were killed between the rescue attempt and the drone strike prior to the mission, the Yemeni official confirmed. South African hostage Pierre Korkie was the other hostage killed in the operation, the Gift of the Givers, a South African aid group confirmed. President Obama, who ordered the mission, released a statement early Saturday morning condemning the “barbaric murder” of Somers. Lucy Somers, the photojournalist’s sister, told The Associated Press that she and her father learned of her 33-year-old brother’s death from FBI agents at 12 a.m. ET Saturday. “We ask that all of Luke’s family members be allowed to mourn in peace,” Lucy Somers said from London. Yemen’s national security chief, Maj. Gen. Ali al-Ahmadi, said the militants planned to kill Luke Somers on Saturday. “Al Qaeda promised to conduct the execution (of Somers) today so there was an attempt to save them but unfortunately they shot the hostage before or during the attack,” al-Ahmadi said at a conference in Manama, Bahrain. “He was freed but unfortunately he was dead.” Yemen’s local Al Qaeda branch, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, posted a video Thursday that showed Somers, threatening to kill him in three days if the United States didn’t meet the group’s demands, which weren’t specified. He was kidnapped in September 2013 from Sanaa. The news of the failed rescue comes after a suspected U.S. drone strike in Yemen killed nine alleged Al Qaeda militants early Saturday, a Yemeni security official said before news of Somers’ death. The drone struck at dawn in Yemen’s southern Shabwa province, hitting a suspected militant hideout,...

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Sit-ins, die-ins, blockades in American cities not just about Eric Garner

By on Dec 5, 2014 in Press Release |

(CNN) — They’re preparing the signs. Lining up the locations. Getting ready to shut down traffic once again. Protests in the growing movement against police brutality are on tap in at least dozens communities across the nation on Friday, with more planned over the weekend. On Thursday, marchers in Dallas, Boston, Chicago and Manhattan screamed for justice for Eric Garner and others killed, protesters say, without cause by police. The protests erupted in response to the decision Wednesday by a New York grand jury not to charge police Officer Daniel Pantaleo in Garner’s death after his arrest captured on cell-phone video. They came a week after another decision not to indict by a grand jury in St. Louis County, Missouri, examining the death of African-American teenager Michael Brown by a white police officer. In New York, protesters angry over the Garner decision blocked the Holland Tunnel connecting Manhattan with New Jersey, stopped traffic on the Broadway and clogged West Side Highway in Manhattan near 10th Street, CNN affiliate WABC reported. “I’m out here because the system has failed us too many times,” Courtney Wicker, a New York protester, told CNN affiliate NY1. “It makes me feel like there’s no justice.” Dozens sat down in an intersection, blocking traffic. Others patiently waited as police almost gently put them in plastic handcuffs and walked them off the streets. More than 200 people were arrested, police said. Among the motorists stuck in protest traffic was Garner’s mother, Gwen Carr. “I was so thrilled, so thrilled, even to be held up in traffic,” she said on CNN’s “New Day.” “They were standing for my son. I thank them so very much,” she said. Growing movement The demand for change in how law enforcement deals with minorities has been broad, with hundreds of protests involving untold thousands of demonstrators from coast to coast, in towns both large and small. “It’s happening in every city, every town. It’s happening here in Pittsburgh,” Julia Johnson told CNN affiliate WPXI. In New York, protest signs reading “Racism kills” and “The whole damn system is guilty as hell,” told of the crowd’s frustrations. A young white marcher said “the criminalization of black youth in America needs to end.”...

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