Breaking Brown


25/04/13 Black Politics , ybw #

President Obama’s Secret Wars and Torture Camps

President Obama’s Secret Wars and Torture Camps

In 2011 The Nation’s Jeremy Scahill presented a damning indictment of the CIA’s use of secret prisons in Somalia. The prisoners housed at the CIA facility, located underneath Somalia’s National Security Agency (NSA) headquarters, are suspected of being members of Shabab – a militant group that has pledged allegiance to al Qaeda. Many of the prisoners were snatched from the streets of Kenya and rendered to Somalia without trial or due process. In a Wednesday interview with Democracy Now, Scahill provides even more in depth information about the use of death squads and mercenary forces by the Obama administration.

Scahill compares what the Obama administration is doing, aiding dictators and right wing governments, to what the Reagan administration did in the 1980’s. According to Scahill the CIA had ratcheted down covert operations due the assassination scandals of previous years,  but 9/11 changed all that. The world is now viewed as a battlefield and both the Bush and Obama administrations have given their military and intelligence apparatus the authority to deploy resources to areas all over the world in anticipation of future battles.

The Obama administration has also doubled down on the view of the executive branch as a dictatorship, allowing only minimal oversight by Congress. For example, there are three sets of kill lists, and a group of people who add names to that list, but there is no real Congressional oversight for the process or implementation of the drone assassination program.

Most stunning though is Scahill’s thorough outlining of how the CIA employs torture techniques on detainees around the world. High value targets are held incommunicado for months at a time while they’re being interrogated and the interrogators who have opposed these practices have been blackballed and even threatened. Journalists have not escaped imprisonment in these bed bug infested U.S. torture camps.

Watch the full interview:


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24/04/13 Race & Racism , ybw #

91% of D.C. Marijuana Charges Are Filed Against Blacks, Only 6% Against Whites

91% of D.C. Marijuana Charges Are Filed Against Blacks, Only 6% Against Whites

One of the bright spots of  the 2012 election cycle for  liberals, especially black liberals, was the success of marijuana legalization efforts in Washington and Colorado. Black legalization advocates weren’t lifted because blacks smoke more weed than whites, but because blacks are disciplined much harsher than their white couterparts.

To drive that point home, consider this statistic from the Washington City Paper:

D.C.’s dope divide is just as striking when you zoom out. According to arrest numbers obtained from the Metropolitan Police Department and crunched by a statistician, between 2005 and 2011, D.C. cops filed 30,126 marijuana offense charges. A staggering number of those—27,560, or 91 percent—were filed against African-Americans. Only 2,097 were filed against whites.

Lady justice has removed her blindfold, or so it seems. On close inspection it appears that D.C.  police look the other way when D.C.’s elite light up a joint, but pile on when D.C’s. poorer and darker residents puff, puff, and pass.

As the article notes, the trend is continuing.  Marijuana charges filed against blacks rose 6 percent  between 2005 and 2011, but declined 10 percent for whites during that same period, despite evidence which indicates that drug use among whites and blacks in the city is relatively equal.

Another interesting anomaly in all this is that gentrification in the city has driven blacks out, reducing the city’s black population,  to make room for white D.C. dwellers. So how can D.C. police account for the arrest disparity?If they have a defense, they should certainly be willing to share it with the rest of us.


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