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Crimes Are Crimes - No Matter Who Does Them

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Lina Thorne       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   1 comment

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What's our plan to stop these immoral wars and the continuing torture being carried out in our names? And why go into The New York Times next week with an expensive advertisement?

Well, as you can see from all the articles and reports on our website, World Can't Wait is out on the streets and in the classrooms - showing the Collateral Murder video, talking to students, protesting military recruiters, marching and rallying. We're passing out fliers and distributing information about the crimes that are being kept from public view on our websites and Facebook. We're organizing resistance via word of mouth, social networks, and through the grassroots.

The plan next week to publish the statement "Crimes Are Crimes - No Matter Who Does Them" in The New York Times is about outreach with a capital O, reaching far beyond those we could ever reach by passing out thousands flyers. But it is also a political act of defiance in and of itself. When Bush was in power, thousands of people, including many prominent and influential voices in society: writers, artists, performers, and politicians placed a huge ad in the most important newspaper in this country saying "Drive Out the Bush Regime" - clearly repudiating everything Bush represented and inspiring and emboldening all who saw it. This message strengthened the resolve of people from all over to carry forward with mass protests and sent a message to those in power as well as people all over the world that we would not be a country at peace with being at war.

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Now, the number of people willing to step out and call out crimes for what they are may have shrank - but this makes it more important than ever that we go to this platform and say to the world: "Crimes under Bush are crimes under Obama and must be resisted by anyone who claims a shred of conscience." The media may not cover our protests or broadcast our message without us buying space ourselves - but when we do buy this space we give heart and moral sustenance to all those looking for some signs of conscience out there, all those asking themselves how to act during this era of war crimes.

In the past week, the Justice department invoked "state secrets" to prevent any further legal challenges to Obama's extra-judicial assassination order against Anwar al-Aulaki, the US citizen accused of terrorism. Then, days later, a federal court dismissed the lawsuit brought by family members of the men who died at Guanta'namo with rags stuffed down their throats (the three "suicides" discussed in Harpers earlier this year as likely murders), invoking national security and saying that "the highly disturbing nature of allegations in a complaint cannot be a sufficient basis in law" for a case to proceed.

These are still crimes - even though they are being perpetrated by the most powerful government on the planet. Shattering the silence and revoking our implied consent must be done if we are to retain our humanity.

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The New York Times is the "paper of record" - the most important and influential paper in this country, reaching people in New York City but also around the country who are looking for news about the world and grappling with what exactly is happening in society. 4 million people who think about these things will see this ad when we go to press next week - and most of them don't even know that there is a movement that is standing on principle and organizing resistance to these crimes no matter who is in charge. Signed by public figures like Dr. Cornel West, Cindy Sheehan, Tom Morello, Mark Ruffalo, Noam Chomsky and Kathy Kelly, known for their integrity, loved by many for their art and activism, inspiring us all with their courage - this statement will become part of the public debate that will swirl next week over the escalating war in Afghanistan.

Join us to make this happen.

 

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Lina Thorne is an activist with World Can't Wait, and often writes about abortion rights.

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Crimes Are Crimes - No Matter Who Does Them