By Irshad Salim, Pakistan Ledger
Saddam's defense team was “coached” to seek delays by no other person than a former U.S. attorney general and Human rightsactivist, Ramsey Clark. The Times of London had reported that Clark allegedly discussed stalling the proceedings for Saddam's war crimes and genocide charges by inviting a new international lawyer to take part, and suggested challenging the legitimacy of prosecution witnesses.
Clark, 77, is an outspoken critic of American foreign policy specially with respect to its covert actions all over the world and has found himself many a times on the other side of the fence. He has been called “Attorney Outlaw”, sometime accused of being “not merely their attorney but their advocate”.
[ ... ]
Clark's stint also includes attempting to rescue Pakistan's most charismatic leader Zulfikar Ali Bhutto from the gallows – – but a Pakistani law prohibited him from practicing or representing Bhutto in the criminal proceedings. It ultimately put the noose around Bhutto's neck.
Clark ominously predicted Bhutto's fate and predicament, having attended some of the “sham proceedings in a “kangaroo court” as he called them, and flew back hurriedly to the West dejected. He then went around holding press conferences and attending talk shows to reach out to the American public and stoke the sentiments of a civilization that nurtured a higher standard of moral grounds.
Clark addressed Stanford University in California and announced that the CIA may have been behind Bhutto's ouster in a military coup even though he was a democratically elected President of Pakistan. It set off detonations of rumors, gossips, innuendos, drawing room politics, coffee house cigarette smoke-filled animated discussions.
But the croupier was already paid off and the dice was fixed! Even Bhutto predicted he would be assassinated.
“I don't believe in conspiracy theories in general, but the similarities in the staging of riots in Chile (where the CIA allegedly helped overthrow President Salvadore Allande) and in Pakistan are just too close.” Clark had said.
Clark also highlighted the inadequacies of Pakistan's legal system then and the bias he found among those who ran and controlled it, and who according to him was sure to send Bhutto to the gallows if the world did not act fast enough.
Bhutto may be executed soon in order to head off a probable political comeback when elections are held this October (1977), Clark had announced.
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Monday, April 12, 2010
By Irshad Salim, Pakistan Ledger
On April 3, at a meeting of over 150 lawyers, legal scholars and human rights campaigners, Ramsey Clark, founder of Indict Bush Now, was chosen to be the chairperson of an international campaign to investigate war crimes committed by officials from the Bush administration.
Representatives at the meeting held in Beirut, Lebanon, came from all over the world. The campaign will investigate the lies, deceit and manipulation leading up to the Iraq war; the conduct of the war itself against an essentially defenseless country; and the horrors of the continued occupation.
Lawyers and judges in several countries are exploring prosecution.
Ramsey Clark emphasized that it is the imperative responsibility of the American people to relentlessly pursue this investigation, and to seek prosecution and indictment inside of the United States.
The culture of criminal conduct started at the top in the White House itself and seeped far down the chain of command. The White House is responsible for these crimes—from the hideous torture scenes at Abu Ghraib prison to the shockingly grotesque, cold-blooded murder of innocent civilians by U.S. helicopter pilots in Baghdad in 2007, as shown in a video released this week.
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...Scientists are taking a new look at hallucinogens, which became taboo among regulators after enthusiasts like Timothy Leary promoted them in the 1960s with the slogan “Turn on, tune in, drop out.” Now, using rigorous protocols and safeguards, scientists have won permission to study once again the drugs' potential for treating mental problems and illuminating the nature of consciousness.
After taking the hallucinogen, Dr. Martin put on an eye mask and headphones, and lay on a couch listening to classical music as he contemplated the universe.
“All of a sudden, everything familiar started evaporating,” he recalled. “Imagine you fall off a boat out in the open ocean, and you turn around, and the boat is gone. And then the water's gone. And then you're gone.”
Today, more than a year later, Dr. Martin credits that six-hour experience with helping him overcome his depression and profoundly transforming his relationships with his daughter and friends. He ranks it among the most meaningful events of his life, which makes him a fairly typical member of a growing club of experimental subjects.
Researchers from around the world are gathering this week in San Jose, Calif., for the largest conference on psychedelic science held in the United States in four decades. They plan to discuss studies of psilocybin and other psychedelics for treating depression in cancer patients, obsessive-compulsive disorder, end-of-life anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and addiction to drugs or alcohol..
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Activists behind a website dedicated to revealing secret documents have complained of harassment by police and intelligence services as they prepare to release a video showing an American attack in which 97 civilians were killed in Afghanistan.
Julian Assange, one of the founders of Wikileaks, has claimed that a restaurant where the group met in Reykjavic, the capital of Iceland, came under surveillance in March and one of the group's volunteers was detained for 21 hours by police.
Assange, an Australian, says he was followed on a flight from Reykjavik to Copenhagen by two American agents. The group has riled governments by publishing documents leaked by whistleblowers.
Last week it released the cockpit recording from an American Apache helicopter as it killed Iraqi civilians, including a Reuters photographer, in Baghdad in 2007.
Assange claims surveillance has intensified as he and his colleagues prepare to put out their Afghan film. It is said to concern the so-called “Granai massacre”, when American aircraft dropped 500lb and 1,000lb bombs on a suspected militant compound in Farah province on May 4 last year. Several children were among those killed.
In messages on Twitter, the internet social networking site, Assange complained of “covert following and hidden photography” by police and foreign intelligence services. There have been thinly veiled threats, he says, from “an apparent British intelligence agent” in a car park in Luxembourg.
“Computers were also seized,” another member of Wikileaks said on Twitter, raising alarm among supporters with a subsequent post: “If anything happens to us, you know why ... and you know who is responsible.”
Their apprehension is perhaps understandable. America's defence establishment has made clear that it would like to silence the site. In 2008, the Pentagon produced a report on how to undermine and neutralise Wikileaks. This, too, emerged on the website.
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According to media, authorities are handling the deaths of top Polish political, military and economic leaders in a plane crash in the western Russian city of Smolensk on Saturday as an accident.
But a day after the crash, many unanswered questions surround the event.
Polskaweb has said that an assassination cannot be ruled out.
There are many reasons to dismiss the official story of how Poland's president, all of Poland's top army chiefs, the central bank governor and secret service chief died as a cover-up of massive proportions.
According to the mainstream media, the Polish delegation was flying from Warsaw to Smolensk to mark the 70th anniversary of the Katyn massacre of thousands of Poles by Soviet secret service during the second world war.
But the official ceremony marking the Katyn anniversary was held earlier in the week on Wednesday and attended by Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk and Russian head of state Vladimir Putin.
The Polish President Lech Kaczynski was not invited.
How come Presidnt Kaczynski and half of Poland's government flew to Katyn three days after the official anniversary?
Why did100 figures who are vital for the day-to-day functioning of the Polish government go to a relatively insignificant ceremony, and not to the main one?
What reason could there be for the Polish central bank governor to fly to Katyn to attend the ceremony?
Why did the 100 top Polish leaders all fly on the same plane?
How could security protocols that require that even a president and his deputy fly separately be so relaxed that so many key people needed to run the Polish government from day to day are allowed to fly on the same plane?
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