Friday, June 27, 2008

House Judiciary Committee Denies Access To Public Hearing / Report: US Wars Have Helped al-Qaeda


CONTACT: CODEPINK Gael Murphy 202-412-6700 or Desiree Fairooz 817-521-7856

House Judiciary Committee Denies Access To Public Hearing

WASHINGTON - June 26, 2008

What: 1st Amendment Rights Infringement by House Judiciary Committee Protest

Where: Rayburn Building Room 2141

When: As House Judiciary hearing recesses

Members of CODEPINK, Amnesty International, ACLU, Veterans for Peace, and Iraq Veterans against the War were denied entry with logos or imprints stating No Torture, Close Guantanamo, You are Not Alone, Democracy Now, And Justice for All and Restore Habeas Corpus.

Committee staffer, Teresa Vest instructed Capitol Police Officers to obstruct members of the public from entering Judiciary Committee Hearing Room 2141 who were wearing orange t-shirts. A Capitol Police officer stated, "I'm sorry you can't go in. You have 'Democracy' on your t-shirt."

Although tourists routinely attend public hearings with logos and other promotional messaging, the Judiciary Committee has chosen to deny access to this hearing based solely on the type of clothing and messaging worn by members of the public.

"As citizen activists we have the constitutional right to exercise our freedom of assembly and freedom of speech: t-shirts, the color orange or pink and the words Habeas Corpus or Democracy are not violations of congressional decorum.", Desiree Fairooz reminded the public waiting outside the hearing room.

We condemn the discriminatory practices of the House Judiciary Committee and the specific profiling tactics of the Capitol Police. We remind the members of the House of Representatives that they were voted into office by the citizens of the United States to whom they serve and have sworn to uphold and defend the U.S. Constitution.


t r u t h o u t | 06.27

Report: US Wars Have Helped al-Qaeda

Thursday 26 June 2008

by: Damien McElroy, The Telegraph UK

American military intervention in Muslim countries has bred a generation of "angry young men" vulnerable to al-Qaeda recruitment, a report from a leading security analysis group has said.

The Senlis Council, which has an extensive network of researchers in Afghanistan , Iraq and Somalia , said frustration with war and unemployment was underpinning the insurgency against western forces.

A survey conducted in Iraq last month found that 46% of young men said they were "angry all the time".

Similar levels of discontent have been detected in Afghanistan , where America has led the Nato coalition for six years and Somalia , which has not recovered from the chaos that led to a brief US intervention in 1991.

Unemployment levels in all three countries were as high as 70 per cent of the young work force.

Norine MacDonald, the lead Senlis reseacher, said the resentment of the Muslim young had exposed a "structural weakness" in the American-led campaign to quash Islamic-based terrorism.

"The unstable and increasingly angry populations of these countries need to hear why they can live in a stable and prosperous future," she said. "Otherwise they are very vulnerable to violent recruitment by violent groups."

The report called for a jobs and democracy "surge" to match the US troop reinforcement that tamped down violence in Iraq throughout 2007.

The perils of a ready pool of recruits available to Islamic militants has been most obvious in Afghanistan . Miss MacDonald, who lives much of the year in Afghanistan, warned that Taliban insurgents had taken control of half of Wardak province, an area just 45 minutes from Kabul . The growing ranks of the Taliban were able to mount increasingly sophisticated raids on Afghanistan 's urban centres, including Kabul and Kandahar .

Condoleezza Rice's special adviser for Iraq, David Satterfield, echoed the Senlis call on Baghdad to start spending the tens of billions of dollars it receives in oil revenue to improve the conditions of its people.

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