POLITICAL ISSUES BASIC TO IMPROVING OUR LIVES
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A Set of Human Rights Goals
Subjugated Slaves Eventually Rebel
Not a List to be Proud Of
Military Arms Export and Military Foreign Aid
American Police Abuse
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In Germany, the Nazis first came for the communists, and I did not speak up, because I was not a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak up, because I was not a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak up, because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I did not speak up, because I was not a Catholic. Then they came for me... and by that time, there was no one to speak up for anyone.
-- Martin Niemoeller, Pastor,German Evangelical (Lutheran) Church
Traditionally, in America, human Rights are anchored in the concepts and specific rights granted in the ten original amendments to the US Constitution, the "Bill of Rights".
In practical everyday terms many citizens associate, freedom of speech, freedom to associate (assemble) with whomever they wish, and the freedom of privacy in their own home from unreasonable search and seizure as basic rights most Americans enjoy.
In real-world terms these three freedoms have been limited. These freedoms are so basic and so important that if they were fully and fairly implemented, a number of ills in modern American society would greatly improve.
For instance, in a large modern information driven society, freedom of the press (meaning all information sources) is essential to allowing citizens to have information which shapes most actions they take, including for whom they vote.
If the main press outlets are controlled by a few corporations and/or the press is censored or self-censored, then it is hard to make improvements in a large republic based form of government (America). see Media Reform this site
In addition to the actual limits placed on information by our own media, the average citizen may not realize how many of their tax dollars go to countries who routinely violate these freedoms in the most blatant way. Our tax dollars regularly support censorship, torture and false imprisonment.
In the following pages we will show you how some of your tax dollars are used to limit basic human rights and how it hurts America including loss of American jobs and lives. There are also negative consequences to our economic stability and the environment.
Additionally, we will show how abuses by authorities with enforcement and powers
of prosecution have become a large problem in a number of regions in America,
due to lack of the normal check and balances most citizens are subject to.
A Set of Human Rights Goals:
We will start with a set of goals that came out of a human rights conference
that might be thought of as set of rights more explicit and more applicable
to our modern, dense society. We have modified and added some information to
the document for the purpose of clarity. The conference proceedings can be found
Law and Order:
1. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention;
2. Anyone who has been victim of unlawful arrest or detention shall have an enforceable right to compensation;
3. Sentence of death shall not be imposed for crimes committed by persons below eighteen years of age and shall not be carried out on pregnant women;
4. No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. No one shall be subjected without their free consent to medical or scientific experimentation;
5. No one shall be imprisoned merely on the ground of inability to fulfill a contractual obligation.
1. Recognize the right to work;
2. Take appropriate steps to safeguard this right; include technical and vocational guidance and training programs;
3. Full and productive employment;
4. Fair wages and equal remuneration for work of equal value without distinction of any kind;
5. A decent living for individuals and their families;
6. Safe and healthy working conditions;
7. Equal opportunity for everyone to be promoted in their employment to an appropriate higher level;
8. Rest, leisure and reasonable limitations of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.
9. States should also set age limits below which, the paid employment of child labor should be prohibited and punishable by law.
Family, Individuals and their Environment
1. Special protection should be accorded to mothers during a reasonable period
before and after childbirth. During such period
working mothers should be accorded paid leave or leave with adequate social security benefits;
2. Children and young persons should be protected from economic and social exploitation;
3. Adequate standard of living for individuals and their family, including adequate food, clothing and housing, and to the continuous improvement of living conditions;
4. To improve methods of production, conservation and distribution of food;
5. Disseminating knowledge of the principles of nutrition;
6. Sustainable utilization of natural resources;
7. Ensure an equitable distribution of world food supplies in relation to need.
8. Ensure reasonably toxic free, food, air, and water supply to all economic classes of people.
1. Recognize the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health;
2. Improvement of all aspects of environmental and industrial hygiene;
3. The prevention, treatment and control of epidemic, endemic, occupational and other diseases;
4. Medical service and medical attention in the event of sickness;
1. Recognize the right of everyone to education;
2. Education shall be directed to full development of the human personality and the sense of its dignity;
3. Shall strengthen the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms;
4. Primary education shall be compulsory and available to all;
5. Secondary education in its different forms, including technical and vocational secondary education, shall be made generally available and accessible to all by every appropriate means, and in particular by the progressive introduction of free education;
6. Higher education shall be made equally accessible to all, on the basis of capacity;
7. Fundamental education shall be encouraged or intensified as far as possible for those persons who have not received or completed the whole period of their primary education;
8.The material conditions of teaching staff shall be continuously improved.
1. Recognize the right of everyone to take part in cultural life;
2. The development and diffusion of science and culture;
3. Respect the freedom indispensable for scientific research and creative activity;
4. Encouragement and development of international contacts and cooperation in the scientific and cultural fields.
Power and influence
Every Citizen shall have the right and the opportunity, without any of the distinctions and without unreasonable restrictions:
1. To take part in the conduct of public affairs, directly or through freely chosen representatives;
2. To vote and to be elected at genuine periodic elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret ballot, guaranteeing the free expression of the will of the electors;
3. To have access, on general terms of equality, to public service in their country.
Subjugated Slaves Eventually Rebel:
Our government has a long, sordid, well documented history of destabilizing or sometimes overthrowing governments. Most of the time the official rational is "that it is in America's best interest" or sometimes "security interests" becomes the official line. In the cases we will briefly outline it is obvious that the interests being served where not the American tax payers interests, but large multinational corporate interests or in some cases it appears it only served American arms dealer's interests.
In the great majority of cases the human rights of the country's population is diminished and the overall effect on most Americans was economically negative and/or Americans lost their lives. In many of these countries the people became so brutalized by the governments we installed or kept in power that they rebelled and then we spend more tax dollars trying to hang on to the dictatorship we favored. Eventually many of the people overthrow their oppressors but in the turmoil of war sometimes a government is installed that is considerably more hostile to America and destabilizing than the one we originally overthrew.
Not a List to be Proud Of:
Below is a list of countries that the American CIA has in some pronounced way interfered with. In most cases it is obvious both America and the country would be better off today if we had not interfered; hundreds of thousands of lives were lost and billions of American tax payer dollars spent with negative results.
The list is drawn from the site: http.://pw1.netcom.com/~ncoic/cia_info.htm.. It was in chronological order but has been rearranged by this site into alphabetical order to facilitate this site's comments that follow certain countries in the list. Only a small percentage of the countries have been commented on due to time limitations.
1979: AFGHANISTAN. Military aid to rebel forces of Zia Nezri, Zia Khan Nassry,
Hekmatyar, Sayed Ahmed Gailani and conservative mullahs to overthrow government of Hafizullah
1980-1984: AFGHANISTAN. Continuing military aid to same rebel groups to harass Soviet
occupation forces and challenge legitimacy of government of Babrak Karmal.
Many millions of tax payer dollars spent. Thousands of people killed (partially blame the old USSR on this). The very fundamentalist Taliban is in power because of America, the human rights violations are beyond belief, especially to women; the country is unstable and humanitarian aid costs to refugees escalates.
1960: ANGOLA. Financial and military assistance to rebel forces of Holden Roberto.
1975: ANGOLA. Military assistance to forces of Holden Roberto and Jonas Savimbi to defeat forces
of Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) during Angolan civil war, and prevent
MPLA from forming new government.
1976-1984: ANGOLA. Financial and military assistance to forces of Jonas Savimbi to harass and
destabilize Neto and succeeding governments.
1975: AUSTRALIA. Propaganda and political pressure to force dissolution of
labor government of
Whitlam was one of the more benevolent Prime Ministers in Australia's modern history but he made the mistake of suggesting that the government might not renew the lease on the American super-secret satellite station in Australia; England also played a big part in this interference in Australian affairs.
1982: BOLIVIA. Military coup to overthrow government of Celso Torrelio.
1962-1964: BRAZIL. Organized campaign of labor strike and propaganda to overthrow
1964: BRAZIL, GUATEMALA, URUGUAY, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC. Provided training in
assassination and interrogation techniques for police and intelligence personnel.
In Brazil thousands of people were "disappeared", a long-term economically inept military dictatorship ensued, and the country is only in recent years digging itself out of the mess.
1949-1961: BURMA. Supported 12,000 Nationalist China troops in Burma under
General Li Mi as an incursion force into People's Republic of China.
We have been the main arms supplier to the military dictatorship. "General Ne Win has ruled Burma with an iron grip since 1962. In the late 1980s grassroots opposition to military rule mounted steadily. In 1988, thousands of citizens filled the streets of the capital Rangoon and other cities calling for democratic reforms. Popular protests became so widespread the military could only put them down by killing thousands of unarmed civilians. Then, hoping to quiet dissent, the government committed a strategic blunder by agreeing to permit national elections.
In the 1990 elections, the National League for Democracy (NLD), led by Nobel
Peace Prize winner Aung San
Suu Kyi, won more than 80 percent of the vote. But the military-sporting the unlikely name of SLORC (State
Law and Order Restoration Council)-annulled the election results and placed Ms. Suu Kyi under 5 years of
Among its many crimes the SLORC is also a major source of the heroin that
is destroying lives in communities
across the United States. The US State Department reported in 1996 that, 'Burma continues to provide the
bulk of the world's opium supply and is the source of over 60 percent of the heroin seized on US streets'".
"Ten years after the 1988 pro-democracy uprising was crushed by the army, Burma continued to be one of the worlds pariah states. A standoff between the government and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, general secretary of the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD), and other expressions of nonviolent dissent resulted in more than 1,000 detentions during the year. Many were relatively brief, others led eventually to prison sentences. Human rights abuses, including extrajudicial executions, rape, forced labor, and forced relocations, sent thousands of Burmese refugees, many of them from ethnic minority groups, into Thailand and Bangladesh."
1959: CAMBODIA. Attempted Assassination of Prince Norodum Shianouk.
1967-1971: CAMBODIA. Under Projects Daniel Boone and Salem House, sabotage and ambush missions by United States Special Forces personnel and Meo tribesmen.
1969-1970: CAMBODIA. Bombing campaign to crush Viet Cong sanctuaries in Cambodia.
1970: CAMBODIA. Overthrew government of Prince Norodom Sihanouk.
From testimony that occurred during the congressional hearings, it was divulged
by external sources that the CIA and military played a role in aiding the Khmer
Rouge, because it was rationalized that they served as some balance of power
to North Vietman, even though both were communists, we did not want the North
Vietnamese to expand into Cambodian.
The Khmer Rouge were the architects of the "Killing Fields", the tortured death of 2 million Cambodians. Considered to be the worst genocide since the genocide of Jews during World War II. When North Vietnam expelled a large segment of the Khmer Rouge, they were looked on as saviors by the Cambodians, even though the Cambodians and Vietnamese were not historically friendly.
Our most recent mistake. "The Colombian government has not complied with the human rights conditions contained in the recently-passed $1.3 billion aid package signed by President Clinton". Human Rights Watch said, "One of the key conditions is the enforcement of the 1997 Constitutional Court ruling that armed forces personnel alleged to have committed human rights violations be prosecuted in civilian courts. The military court system, notorious for shielding military perpetrators of abuse from justice, poses a crucial obstacle to the effective prosecution of human rights crimes. As Human Rights Watch pointed out in its meetings with the State Department, military officers who have committed serious abuses are routinely acquitted and dozens of prominent human rights cases remain in impunity. Meanwhile, high-ranking officers who maintain close ties to paramilitary killers remain in command of troops."
1982: CHAD. Military assistance to Hissen Habre to overthrow government of Goukouni Oueddei.
1961: CONGO. Precipitated conditions leading to assassination of Patrice Lumumba.
1964: CONGO. Financial and military assistance, including B-26 and T-28 aircraft, and American and exiled Cuban pilots, for Joseph Mobutu and Cyril Adoula, and later for Moise Tshombe in Katanga, to defeat rebel forces loyal to Lumumba.
1964: CHILE. $20 million in assistance for Eduardo Frei to defeat Salvador
Allende in Chilean elections.
1970-1973: CHILE. Campaign of assassinations, propaganda, labor strikes and demonstrations to overthrow government of Salvador Allende.
"...in 1970, the CIA began covert political operations against the government of Allende under express orders from President Richard Nixon and his National Security Assistant, Dr. Henry Kissinger..." from :http://pw1.netcom.com/~ncoic/cia_info.htm
General Pinochet, who we helped install as the military dictator, during his
long rein of terror, tortured and kill thousands of Chileans. He even violated
American sovereignty by ordering the assassination of Chilean critics living
in the United States. The Chilean people are finally rid of Pinochet and he
may even stand trial for the crimes against his own people.
1956: CUBA. Established anti-Communist police force, Buro de Represion Actividades
(BRAC) under Batista regime.
1961-1963: CUBA. Attempted assassination of Fidel Castro. Six attempts in this period.
1961: CUBA. Trained personnel and supported invasion force of Cuban exiles to overthrow Castro government, and
assisted in their invasion at the Bay of Pigs.
1961-1966: CUBA. Broad sabotage program, including terrorist attacks on coastal targets and
bacteriological warfare, in effort to weaken Castro government.
All of these efforts have only raised Castro's status in Central and South America, and caused hardship for the Cuban people.
1953: COSTA RICA. Attempted overthrow government of Jose Figueres.
1961: DOMINICAN REPUBLIC. Precipitated conditions leading to assassination
of Rafael Trujillo.
1980: DOMINICA. Financial support to Freedom Party of Eugenia Charles to defeat Oliver Seraphim
in Dominican elections.
EAST TIMOR (see Indonesia)
1961: ECUADOR. Overthrew government of Hose Velasco Ibarra
1963: ECUADOR. Overthrew government of Carlos Julio Arosemena.
1956: EGYPT. Overthrow Nasser government.
One of the many destablizing actions we have undertaken in the Middle East, and the tax payers are still paying heavily.
1963-1984: EL SALVADOR. Organized ORDEN and ANSESAL domestic intelligence networks
direction of General Jose Alberto Medrano and Colonel Nicolas Carranza, and provide intelligence
support and training in surveillance, interrogation and assassination techniques.
1984: EL SALVADOR. $1.4 million in financial support for the Presidential election campaign of Jose Napoleon Duarte.
Miillions of tax payer dollars, thousands of civilians tortured and dead, including American nuns (raped, tortured and killed) and still no justice because we are on the side of the thugs.
1980: GRENADA. Mercenary coup to overthrow government of Maurice Bishop.
1946: GREECE. Restored monarch after overthrow of Metaxas government.
1949: GREECE. Military assistance to military forces, in Greek civil war.
Greece suffered with a military dictorship for years due to our efforts.
1954: GUATEMALA. Overthrow government of Jacobo Arbenz Guzman and replace with
1982: GUATEMALA. Military coup to overthrow government of Angel Anibal Guevara.
In Guatemala, the Historical Clarification Commission charged with investigating human rights violations during more than 35 years of civil war, presented its findings. According to the Commission, the army was responsible for 93 percent of all massacres, tortures, disappearances and killings. Left-wing guerillas of the Guatemalan National Revolutionary Union were blamed for 3 percent of all abuses. The Commission also accused the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of directly and indirectly sponsoring illegal state operations during the armed conflict. More than 200,000 people died or disappeared during the civil war which lasted from 1960 until 1996 when the government and the guerillas signed a peace accord. The relatives and human rights groups don't expect much from the report because the commission received almost no co-operation from the government and the military.
1980: GUYANA. Assassinated opposition leader Walter Rodney to consolidate power
of Forbes Burnham.
1958: INDONESIA. Financial and military assistance, including B-26 bombers,
for rebel forces
attempting to overthrow Sukarno government.
1965: INDONESIA. Organized campaign of propaganda to overthrow Sukarno government, and
precipitate conditions leading to massacre of more than 500,000 members of Indonesian Communist
Party, in order to eliminate opposition to new Suharto government.
And EAST TIMOR.
T he Indonesian occupation has been extraordinarily bloody, resulting in the deaths of more than 200,000 Timorese, out of a pre-invasion population of approximately 600,000. A recent AP story noted that an "estimated 2,000 Indonesian troops have died fighting separatist guerrillas since Indonesia invaded East Timor in 1975," but failed to note the massive numbers of Timorese who have perished. Others seemed to confuse the deaths caused by the occupation with those caused by the resistance movement. ABC News' Charles Gibson said that "It's been an extraordinary violent independence movement there with hundreds of thousands of people killed" (Good Morning America, 8/31/99). Secondly, news consumers are not informed that the U.S. backed Indonesia's invasion of East Timor. President Gerald Ford and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger visited the Indonesian capital of Jakarta in December 1975, just before the invasion was launched, where they were told of Suharto's plans to attack the island (Washington Post, 11/9/79). The following month, a State Department official told a major Australian newspaper (The Australian, 1/22/76) that "in terms of the bilateral relations between the U.S. and Indonesia, we are more or less condoning the incursion into East Timor… The United States wants to keep its relations with Indonesia close and friendly. We regard Indonesia as a friendly, non-aligned nation--a nation we do a lot of business with." Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who was then the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations wrote in his memoirs (A Dangerous Place) that "the Department of State desired that the United Nations prove utterly ineffective in whatever measures it undertook" to reverse the invasion. "This task was given to me and I carried it forward with no inconsiderable success," Moynihan reported. Finally, according to the State Department, 90 percent of the weapons used in the invasion came from the United States. Two years later, as the atrocities in East Timor were reaching a peak, President Jimmy Carter authorized an addition $112 million in weapons sales to Indonesia.
1953: IRAN. Overthrew Mossadegh government and installed Shah Zahedi.
1979: IRAN. Attempted to install military government to replace Shah and resist growth of Moslem fundamentalism.
The Mossadegh government which we overthrew, which than led to the Shah, then led to the Fundamentalist Government which now rules Iran. If one knows the details of this period of history, it is obvious that both the United States economic interests, security interests and the Iranian people's human rights interests would have been better served if the US had never overthrown Mossadegh.
The report on the overthrow of Mossadegh by the CIA, was recently declassified and printed in the New York Times.
1976: JAMAICA. Attempted military coup to overthrow government of Michael Manley.
1979-1980: JAMAICA. Financial pressure to destabilize government of Michael Manley, and
campaign propaganda and demonstrations to defeat it in elections.
1982: JORDAN. Military assistance to equip and train two Jordanian brigades
as an Arab strike
force to implement United States policy objectives without Israeli assistance.
1960: LAOS. Military assistance, including 400 United States Special Forces
troops, to deny the Plain
of Jars bad Mekong Basin to Pathet Lao.
1961-1965: LAOS. Average of $300 million annually to recruit and maintain L'Armee Clandestine of
35,000 Hmong and Meo tribesmen and 17,000 Thai mercenaries in support of government of Phoumi
Nosavan to resist Pathet Lao.
1965-1971: LAOS. Under Operations Shining Brass and Prairie Fire, sabotage and ambush missions
by United States Special Forces personnel and Nung and Meo tribesmen under General Bang Pao.
1981-1984: LIBYA. Broad campaign of economic pressure, propaganda, military
Egypt, Sudan and Gulf of Sidra, and organization if Libyan Liberation Front exiles to destabilize
government of Muammar Qaddafi.
1995: MEXICO The United States role in helping to bring the PRI to power is well known; but the modern CIA can not be easily indicted for the Mexican human rights abuses. The US Military and at least one American bank have played a significant role in human rights abuses.
"This is the memo that you weren't supposed to read. This was written by an analyst for Chase Manhattan Bank. You'll read in it that the author is recommending eliminating the Zapatistas (!) and fixing elections - anything to protect investments. Even killing people. It's a truly disturbing document. It should have brought indictments down upon the author and the bank. But instead, the media let this past almost unacknowledged.
A copy of the Infamous Chase Bank memo is at the end of this section.
1980-1984: NICARAGUA. Military assistance to Adolfo Colero Portocarrero, Alfonso
Alfonso Callejas, Fernando Chamorro Rappacioli, Eden Pastora Gomez, Adrianna Guillen,
Steadman Fagoth and former Somoza National Guard officers, to recruit, train and equip anti-
Sandinista forces for sabotage and terrorist incursions into Nicaragua from sanctuaries in Honduras
and Costa Rica, in effort to destabilize government of Daniel Ortega Saavedra.
Thousands of innocent people dead, an economy in worse shape then before the secret war began and millions of tax payer dollars wasted.
1964-1971: NORTH VIETNAM. Sabotage and ambush missions under Operations Plan
United States Special Forces and Nung tribesmen.
1953: PHILLIPINES. Assassination and propaganda campaign to overcome Huk resistance
install government of Ramon Magsaysay.
This led to corrupt Marcos dictatorship which looted the Phillipine treasury and created long term instability.
1965: PERU. Provided training in assassination and interrogation techniques
for Peruvian police and
intelligence personnel, similar to training given in Uruguay, Brazil and Dominican Republic, in effort
to defeat resistance movement.
1975: PORTUGAL. Overthrew government of General Vasco dos Santos Goncalves.
1954: SOUTH VIETNAM. Installed government of Ngo Dinh Diem.
1963: SOUTH VIETNAM. Precipitated conditions leading to assassination of Ngo Dinh Diem.
1964-1967: SOUTH VIETNAM. Phoenix Program to eliminate Viet Cong political infrastructure through more than 20,000 assassinations.
One of our most costly mistakes. Currently we have reasonable relations with the same government that we spent billions of dollars trying to defeat, lost tens of thousands of American's lives and devasted a country, to what productive end? We could have been where we are today with Vietnam decades ago without all the suffering.
1962: THAILAND. Brigade of 5,000 United States Marines to resist threat to
Thai government from
1965: THAILAND. Recruited 17,000 mercenaries to support Laotian government of Phoumi Nosavan
resisting Pathet Lao.
As might be deduced from the information above, a significant reason for many interferences in foreign lands is to support our arms export businesses.
Military Arms Export and Military Foreign Aid:
The United States accounted for roughly half of all arms exports worldwide from 1993 through 1995, the last year for which reliable estimates are available. Most US weapons exports went to U.S. allies in the eastern Mediterranean, the Middle East, and East Asia. ''We sell weapons; we give weapons away; we provide financing to buy weapons,'' says Joan Whelan, the report's author. ''And then once the weapons are used, we spend billions of dollar to try to clean up the aftermath.''
Of the total amount of aid provided in 1997, roughly 27 percent, or about 3.7 billion dollars, was devoted to straight military assistance and training, and another 22 percent, or just over three billion dollars, went to a more ambiguous category called ''security aid.''
In the late 1980s, US military and security aid accounted for roughly two-thirds of all aid.
American Police Abuse:
According to a 1999 report on police misconduct by Human Rights Watch, an international
public watchdog group,
in 1998 federal prosecutors brought excessive force charges against police officers in less than one
percent of the cases investigated by the FBI involving allegations of police abuse. The group also found
that there was almost no difference in the skimpy number of police misconduct cases prosecuted by the
Justice Department under moderate Democrat Clinton than under conservative Republican President
The virtual see-no-evil policy of the Feds toward police violence comes at
a time when the number of
police abuse complaints has soared nationally. The nearly 12,000 complaints in 1996 almost matched
the total number for the entire period from 1984 to 1990. To better aid law enforcement agencies and
federal prosecutors track patterns of abuse, the Violent Crime and Control Act of 1994 authorized the
Justice Department to collect data on the frequency and types of police abuse complaints. At the end of
1998 it still had not issued any report on the level of police misconduct in America.
Worse, the Justice Department has long had on the books a strong arsenal of
civil rights statutes to
prosecute abusive police officers. Yet more often than not it has taken major press attention, large scale
protests, and even a major riot, such as the L.A. riots in 1992 following the Rodney King verdict,
before it used its legal weapons. It was only because of the intense media focus on the police killing of
Tyisha Miller in Riverside, California, Diallo in New York City, and blacks in other cities, as well as
mass street demonstrations in those cities and the threat by civil rights leaders to lead a major protest
against police violence in Washington D.C. that Clinton and Attorney General Janet Reno finally spoke
out against police violence.
Meanwhile federal prosecutors say they can't nail more rogue cops because
they are hamstrung by the
lack of funds and staff, victims who aren't perceived as criminals, credible witnesses, and the public's
inclination to believe police testimony. They also claim they are pinned in by the almost impossible
requirement that they prove an officer had the specific intent to kill or injure a victim in order to get a
conviction. These are tough obstacles to overcome and since the Justice Department is in the business
of winning cases, many prosecutors are more than happy to take a hands-off attitude toward police
Still, this is no excuse for federal prosecutors not to at least make the
effort to prosecute more officers
when there is substantial evidence that they used excessive force. This is the legally and morally right
thing to do. And it sends a powerful message to law enforcement agencies that the federal government
will go after lawbreakers no matter whether they wear a mask, or a badge.
Former Attorney General Ramsey Clark understood the importance of prosecuting
cops even though there was virtually no chance of getting a conviction against them. He felt this acted
as a "stabilizing force" to spur police and city officials to take stronger action to halt the use of excessive
force in their departments. Clark is right. Yet in the few scattered remarks Clinton has made about
police violence he has been stone silent about the need for more aggressive federal prosecutions to
crack down on their violence.
The refusal by federal prosecutors to go after cops who overuse deadly force
almost certainly will
continue the dangerous cycle of more shootings and more racial turmoil, and deepen the distrust and
cynicism of blacks and Latinos toward the criminal justice system. This is a steep price to pay to get
simple justice. And this is exactly what Diallo did not get in Albany.Above From: http://www.monitor.net/monitor/0003a/copyright/diallo3.html
The Infamous Chase Memo
This is the memo that you weren't supposed to read. This was written by an analyst for Chase Manhattan Bank. You'll read in it that the author is recommending eliminating the Zapatistas and fixing elections - anything to protect investments. When this memo was made public, the Mexican government troops seemed poised to do just that. It was possibly due to the release of this document that a full scale elimination of the Zapitista rebellion was thwarted. It's a truly disturbing document. It should have brought indictments down upon the author and the bank. But instead, the media let this past almost unacknowledged.
To confirm the authenticity of this story, you can contact
Counterpunch Institute for Policy Studies
1601 Conneticut Avenue Northwest Washington DC 20009
(202) 986-3665 FAX: (202) 387-7915
The following three phone numbers can get you confirmation and more info.
Paul Houle email@example.com (607)255-6455
Ken Silversee (202)986-3665 (Counterpunch)
Steve Routenberg (212)552-4505 (PR/Chase bank)
Paul Houle 119 Prospect St Ithaca NY 14850 firstname.lastname@example.org
MEXICO-POLITICAL UPDATE January 13, 1995
CHASE MANHATTAN'S EMERGING MARKETS GROUP MEMO
[By] Riordan Roett
The greatest threat to political stability in Mexico today, we believe, is the current monetary crisis. Until the administration of President Ernesto Zedillo identifies the appropriate policies to stabilize the peso and avoid uncontrolled inflation, it will be almost impossible to address issues such as Chiapas and judicial and electoral reform. Moreover, a prolongation of the crisis, with its negative impact on living standards, raises the issue of labor unrest, specifically, and societal discontent, in general.
THE ZEDILLO GOVERNMENT
The inauguration of Ernesto Zedillo on December 1, 1994 as president of Mexico appeared to open a new chapter in the effort to modernize national politics. In his inaugural address, Zedillo stressed the Importance of resolving outstanding political scandals such as the assassinations of 1994; as a guarantee of transparency and he appointed as Attorney General a member of the opposition National Action Party (PAN). The new president called for judicial and electoral reform and for a peaceful resolution of the year-old insurgency in the southern state of Chiapas. He stressed the need for transparency in government and the need to educate and train the Mexican people. Zedillo's cabinet, drawn from the same pool as that of his, predecessor, Carlos Salinas de Gortari, gave the impression of competence and commitment.
On December 20, Finance Minister Jaime Serra Puehe, the successful negotiator of the NAFTA during the Salinas years, suddenly announced the devaluation of the peso. In the fall out from that decision, not shared with the international financial community or foreign investors, Serra Puche resigned and was replaced by Guillermo Ortiz. Ortiz had been number two in the Finance Ministry in the Salinas government and had been appointed as the Secretary of Communications and Transport by Zedillo.
Ortiz is now in charge of the government's recovery strategy. In our opinion, until the government is successful in stabilizing the peso, avoiding a sharp increase in inflation, and regaining investor confidence, it will be difficult for Zedillo to address the agenda of reforms identified on December 1. There are three areas in which the current monetary crisis can undermine political stability in Mexico. The first is Chiapas; the second in the upcoming state elections; and the third is the role of the labor unions, their relationship to the government and the governing PRI.
The uprising in the southern state of Chiapas is now one-year old and, apparently, no nearer to resolution. The leader, or spokesman, of the movement, sub-commandante Marcos, remains adamant in his demand that the incumbent PRI governor resign and be replaced by the PRD candidate who, Marcos argues, was deprived of victory by government fraud in the recent election. Marcos continues to lobby for widespread social and economic reform in the state. Incidents continue between the local police and military authorities and those sympathetic to the Zapatista movement, as the insurgency is called, and local peasant groups who are sympathetic to Marcos and his cronies.
While Zedillo is committed to a diplomatic and political solution th the stand-off in Chiapas, it is difficult to imagine that the current environment will yield a peaceful solution. Moreover, to the degree that the monetary crisis limits the resources available to the government for social and economic reforms, it may prove difficult to win popular support for the Zedillo administration's plans for Chiapas. More relevant, Marcos and his supporters may decide to embarrass the government with an increase in local violence and force the administration to cede to Zapatista demands and accept an embarrassing political defeat. The alternative is a military offensive to defeat the insurgency which would create an international outcry over the use of violence and the suppression of indigenous rights.
While Chiapas, in our opinion, does not pose a fundamental threat to Mexican political stability, it is perceived to be so by many in the investment community. The government will need to eliminate the Zapatistas to demonstrate their effective control of the national territory and of security policy.
President Zedillo, in his inaugural address, restated his commitment to opening the electoral system to opposition parties. This has been a principal issue between the PRI-dominated government and the PAN and the PRD in recent years. The more conservative wing of the PRI has opposed political liberalization while the Zedillo group has argued that an opening is both inevitable and justified. The current monetary crisis opens the question of whether or not Zedillo and the reformers will have the capacity to honor the outcome of local elections in 1995. The conservatives will argue that the crisis justifies the continued one-party rule even if it must be maintained by fraud. The opposition, which generally contests PRI electoral victories regardless of the validity of PRD claims, will be emboldened to continue to do so. Zedillo will be faced with a difficult situation in which he will need to neutralize the conservative members of his own party while maintaining his commitment to allow the opposition to win when they do so legitimately.
Elections will be held this year in the states of Jalisco, Guanajuato, Yucatan, Michoacan, and Baja California. three will hold both state congressional and gubernatorial elections. Michoacan will vote only for a state congress and Guanajuato only for a governor. In all of the states, the opposition is historically strong and has a history of reacting strongly to electoral fraud, real or perceived.
The government's electoral strategy in 1994 was based on holding together core PRI supporters with the prospects of employment, an increase in real wages, and more spending on public works. The monetary crisis makes it highly unlikely that the PRI can adapt that strategy to the 1995 electoral cycle. Moreover, while the PRI probably won over some opposition votes with its perceived economic success story in 1994, it is unlikely that they will gain any opposition ballots in 1995. The Zedillo administration will need to consider carefully whether or not to allow opposition victories if fairly won at the ballot box. To deny legitimate electoral victories by the opposition will be a serious setback in the President's electoral strategy. But a failure to retain PRI control runs the risk of splitting the governing party. We believe that the ability of the Zedillo administration to resolve the inherent conflicts in the 1995 electoral agenda will be instrumental in determining whether or not the government will be able to fulfill its pledge to liberalize Mexican politics.
THE LABOR MOVEMENT
The labor movement has been the backbone of the PRI for decades. The willingness of labor leadership to take its cues from the PRI has been a fundamental part of the stability in Mexico since the 1930s. The current monetary crisis threatens to undermine that support because of the negative impact on living standards and wages. The fall in value of the peso severely under cuts the capacity of the average Mexican worker to purchase the bare necessities of life each day.
In preparing the emergency economic program announced by President Zedillo on January 3, 1995, the most difficult negotiations were apparently with the labor unions who feared the impact on their membership of the hardships required if the program is to be successful. In September 1994, the unions had signed an agreement with the government and business that allowed a seven percent wage increase for 1995. That agreement also included income-tax credits for the lowest-paid workers and some productivity bonuses in contracts.
The seven percent wage package was considered a fair deal then because the government estimated that inflation would be only four percent in 1995. With the loss of purchasing power and rises in prices resulting from the peso's devaluation, government economists now think inflation might reach fifteen percent in 1995, and some economists say it will exceed twenty percent.
Mexican workers still have not recovered the standard of living they had in 1980, now three devaluations ago. The new agreement signed January 3, 1995 retains the seven percent wage increase. In exchange, the government pledged to minimize price increases and keep inflation from spiraling. Under the agreement, the lowest-paid workers will get a tax credit equal to as much as three percent of income. The government has promised to expand to 700,000 people government-funded scholarships for worker training.
In our opinion prolonged continuation of the current crisis will result in pressures to reopen the agreement and compensate Mexican workers for their loss of purchasing power prolonged continuation of the current crisis will result in pressures to reopen the agreement and compensate Mexican workers for their loss of purchasing power. The first indication of this occured on January 11, when the Mexican Confederation of Labor called on its affiliates to demand an immediate 15.3 percent salary increase for January and a 56 percent increase for the rest of 1995. The strong corporatist links between government and unions have weakened in recent years. While the administration still retains influence, it does not have total control. If the crisis continues, the Zedillo administration may be faced with the options of either rejecting worker demands for higher wages and facing the possibility of demonstrations or yielding to worker demands which will further aggravate the economic situation.
The Mexican monetary crisis has overshadowed the commitment of the Zedillo administration to a new wave of political reforms that include political negotiations to resolve the Chiapas crisis and to guarantee fair elections at the state and municipal levels. It also raises the issue of whether or not the Mexican working class will accept a prolonged period of wage losses and diminished living standards. These social and political questions, which are of high priority to the President, will inevitably be postponed until the economic situation is clarified. To the degree that the Zedillo government is unable to stabilize the peso and avoid inflation, in our opinion, it runs the risk of social and political uncertainty.
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