children tortured under bush administration

In a positive step the Obama administration has released four Bush administration memos sanctioning torture. Attorney General Eric Holder has stated that low-level CIA personnel will not be charged for the crimes. There was no mention of pressing charges on those that sanctioned the torture. "This is a time for reflection, not retribution," President Obama said in a statement released by the White House. "I respect the strong views and emotions that these issues evoke. We have been through a dark and painful chapter in our history. But at a time of great challenges and disturbing disunity, nothing will be gained by spending our time and energy laying blame for the past."

In a "Special Comment" on his show Countdown, Keith Olbermann says the president is wrong. "Mr. Obama deserves our praise and our thanks for that," Olbermann stated. "And yet he has gone but half-way. And, in this case, in far too many respects, half the distance is worse than standing still." Olbermann responds to Obama's comments, "Mr. President, you are wrong. What you describe would be not "spent energy" but catharsis."

The memos released included the tactic of placing insects in a closed box as a form of torture. A following CIA memo released claimed the method was never used, but it supports claims that insect torture was used on the children of the alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. It is not known if insect torture was used on the children, but according to Human Rights Watch, the children, then aged seven and nine, were captured and held in Pakistan while being questioned about their father's whereabouts for four months. Let me reiterate that; a seven and nine year old child were held by U.S. authorities for four months while being questions. Reports indicate they were placed in cramped cells where they did not have room to stand up or stretch their feet. I hope this is investigated and those responsible for this are heavily prosecuted because this goes beyond anything that has come out of the war on terror so far.

Here are a few more bits from the past days' news. The New York Times' James Risen stated independent oversight of the NSA's wiretapping program "doesn't really exist." Additionally there were efforts to monitor a U.S. congressman without a court approval while on an overseas trip. Congress has said they will launch an investigation under claims by the Department of Justice that the NSA broke the law.

A post-mortem examination on Ian Tomlinson, who was thought to have died of a heart attack after being shoved by London Police during the G20 protests has found that he really died from abdominal bleeding. This shows that the man, who was not a protester, but simply walking home was killed by police.

Pirate Bay operators were sentenced a year in prison by Swedish courts. They will appeal and as of last night Pirate Bay was still operational. With the ruling the Swedish Pirate Party is exploding with new membership.

A study has linked child obesity to chemicals found in plastics.

On a lighter note, snakes on a plane!