Sunday, November 05, 2006

Afghanistan, Inc. - Contractors in Afghanistan making big money for bad work

CorpWatch has released a new 31 page investigative report, Afghanistan, Inc., where you’ll get an inside look at a system gone out of control, with little accountability and plenty of opportunity for graft and abuse. It isn’t a story you want to read; it’s a story you must read.

The author of Afghanistan, Inc. is Fariba Nawa, an Afghan-American who returned to her native country to examine the progress of reconstruction, uncovers some examples of where the money has (and hasn’t) gone, how the system of international aid works (and doesn’t), and what it is really like in the villages and cities where outsiders are rebuilding the war-torn countryside.

CorpWatch investigates and exposes corporate violations of human rights, environmental crimes, fraud and corruption around the world. Through its independent media work, CorpWatch fosters global justice, accountability and democratic control of corporations.

Click here to download the complete report. An HTML text version of the report is also available.

Bush Admin. wants to silence the tortured regarding secret CIA prisons and methods

Another step for Big Brother Bush who is trying to block lawyers' access to the 14 detainees.

Bush argues that those tortured in U.S. prison camps cannot disclose such information to their courts or even to their attorneys based on the contrary theory that such disclosure would constitute trading on insider information and compromise U S security interests:

From the Washington Post:

"The Bush administration has told a federal judge that terrorism suspects held in secret CIA prisons should not be allowed to reveal details of the "alternative interrogation methods" that their captors used to get them to talk."

"The government says in new court filings that those interrogation methods are now among the nation's most sensitive national security secrets and that their release -- even to the detainees' own attorneys -- "could reasonably be expected to cause extremely grave damage." Terrorists could use the information to train in counter-interrogation techniques and foil government efforts to elicit information about their methods and plots, according to government documents submitted to U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton on Oct. 26."

Gov't lawyers say detainees held in CIA prison camps have no automatic right to speak to lawyers because the new Military Commissions Act, signed by President Bush last month, stripped them of access to U.S. courts.

Via True Blue Liberal

Video the Vote: Sending videographers to monitor voter polling sites

In 2000 and 2004, we saw many problems at the polls: long lines, eligible voters turned away, voter intimidation, misallocation and malfunctioning of voting equipment. These stories were largely ignored as they took a back seat to the calling of races on Election Day.

Ian Inaba's new documentary film "American Blackout" received a Special Jury Award at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. The film takes a look at the disenfranchisement of the Black voters in America and corruption in the 2000 and 2004 national elections. Inaba, 35, is a journalist for the Guerrilla News Network and directed the music videos for "Mosh" by Eminem and "Time and Time Again" by Chronic Future.

Now, Inaba wants to bypass the mainstream media and provide real-time media coverage of any problems that arise at voting sites. The "Video the Vote" campaign will send volunteer videographers to the upcoming mid-term elections and in greater numbers during the 2008 presidential election. Brilliant.

As Inaba tells WireTap, "We want to provide same-day footage and provide an alternative narrative in real time, so that we can all have a more complete picture of what occurs in our elections. We're dispatching videographers all over the country working closely with the Election Protection lawyers and volunteers. We found there is a big desire out there to do this. We'll do it in November and again in 2008. We already have hundreds of video volunteers nationwide."

This is the sort of thing people need to be doing: grassroots, cut throat, get-it-done-yourself and stop relying on the major media outlets.