The Global Citizen
On Wednesday a group of students from the University of California Santa Barbara sabotaged a CIA recruiting presentation to protest covert U.S. torture and rendition policies and waterboarding in particular. Dressed as clowns, one of the group was placed on a table in front of the recruiter, who subsequently made a quick exit, their hands bound and water poured over their head to simulate waterboarding, the controversial mock-drowning strategy practiced by the CIA.
Furthermore, an anti-torture rally at UC Berkley went even further , seeing a man pulled from the crowd and used as the subject in a real life waterboarding demonstration. The event was clearly effective and shocked the audience significantly. In the words of one student:
While Frank Gaffney wrote his first column without any reference to the Law of the Sea in nearly half a year, he probably helped pen the lead editorial on the page opposite his column in the Washington Times.
The Times makes two main claims against the treaty, neither of which has any legs. First, the Times says we should reject the Law of the Sea because Reagan did and argues that Reagan would still reject it. As I've written here, there's little doubt that President Reagan would enthusiastically embrace the Law of the Sea in its current form. After all -- he said so himself.
Then, the Times says the treaty would interfere with John Bolton's Proliferation Security Initiative. None other than John Bolton has put that myth to rest.
More than 70 years ago, Congress created the Farm Bill. It was designed to give American farmers a safety net when the market bottomed out. Fast forward seven decades and this legislation hurts farmers in rural America and around the globe.
Last Friday, World Public Opinion.org released a poll exploring American and Russian opinion on nuclear weapons policy. Results reveal that the public strongly favors steps towards the elimination of nuclear weapons; 73 percent of Americans and 63 percent of Russians support the elimination of nuclear weapons under the auspices of an effective international system.
I have no interest in paying $27 for John Bolton's Surrender is Not an Option, even if he were willing to sign it from me. But I have been enjoying recent reviews of the book.
Mark Goldberg's take, written for the American Prospect, is especially sharp. As a reporter for the Prospect and my fellow co-contributor to the now fortunately defunct Bolton Watch blog, Mark was at the UN following Bolton's diplomatic mishaps from recess appointment to resignation. His review provides important context for the events described in the book.
Yesterday I took my annual pilgrimage from the global to the local and spent the day as poll watcher in Virginia. One of my duties was to hand out sample Democratic ballots to voters before they went inside to vote. The polling station had two parking lots on either side of the entrance. By law we needed to be at least 40 feet from the door. On a busy year there would have been at least two workers per party there, but this was an off year election so there was only one from each party.
This is the second "Weekly Gaff," a feature inspired by Frank Gaffney, who has engineered a campaign of misinformation in the pages of the Washington Times. In last week's edition, we touched on treaty arch-enemy Senator Jim Inhofe's attempt to "retrofit unilateralism" and his concession that the arguments against the treaty aren't actually true.
This week, Gaffney only mentions the Law of the Sea as one of many instances of President Bush's selling out conservatives. He says the Law of the Sea would subject the U.S. to international tribunals, which is demonstrably false. I've explained that briefly here. It is explained further in this Duke University policy brief. Senator Inhofe even conceded as much here.
Just in case our recent array of posts and our organization's stand against Attorney General nominee Judge Mukasey are not convincing enough, here is a letter sent to the Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee from four retired Judge Advocates General on the issue.
November 2, 2007
The Honorable Patrick J. Leahy, Chairman United States Senate Washington, DC 20510
Dear Chairman Leahy,
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