Earthquake Relief, American Style
Looks like the occupiers are preparing for a little opposition to their takeover.
"While the deployment of 10000 US troops in Haiti has been qualified by a number of Latin American political leaders as an invasion and occupation under the guise of a humanitarian relief operation, the arrival of the USS Bataan in Haiti raises even more questions.
Over recent years, this amphibious assault ship has been converted into a floating secret prison, forming part of the CIA network of "black sites" used for so-called "enhanced interrogation techniques". The ship’s flat hold bottom, designed to accommodate troops for disembarkment, has been equipped with cages. Prisoners are subjected to the same experiments as in Guantánamo.
Having denied it for a long time, the Pentagon eventually acknowledged that the USS Bataan had in fact been used as a prison in December 2001, but that it recovered its normal functions as of January 2002, an allegation which is contested by numerous specialists who claim that it continued to operate as a prison off shore. It appears highly unlikely that the prisoners were taken to another location after the earthquake and that the ship was overhauled to allow for the transportation of troops."
Here's the pablum that's being peddled:
"The U.S. Navy is rushing relief supplies to Haiti and providing medical assistance for quake victims on board its ships. They are also also transporting vital help from Operation Blessing.
As the men of the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit went ashore in Haiti to assist with relief and recovery, the sailors on the USS Bataan have stayed busy keeping the pipeline of aid flowing into the country."
A little bit closer to the truth:
US accused of holding terror suspects on prison ships - Report says 17 boats used
"The United States is operating "floating prisons" to house those arrested in its war on terror, according to human rights lawyers, who claim there has been an attempt to conceal the numbers and whereabouts of detainees.
Details of ships where detainees have been held and sites allegedly being used in countries across the world have been compiled as the debate over detention without trial intensifies on both sides of the Atlantic. The US government was yesterday urged to list the names and whereabouts of all those detained.
Information about the operation of prison ships has emerged through a number of sources, including statements from the US military, the Council of Europe and related parliamentary bodies, and the testimonies of prisoners.
The analysis, due to be published this year by the human rights organisation Reprieve, also claims there have been more than 200 new cases of rendition since 2006, when President George Bush declared that the practice had stopped.
It is the use of ships to detain prisoners, however, that is raising fresh concern and demands for inquiries in Britain and the US.
According to research carried out by Reprieve, the US may have used as many as 17 ships as "floating prisons" since 2001. Detainees are interrogated aboard the vessels and then rendered to other, often undisclosed, locations, it is claimed.
Ships that are understood to have held prisoners include the USS Bataan and USS Peleliu. A further 15 ships are suspected of having operated around the British territory of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean, which has been used as a military base by the UK and the Americans."
"The Reprieve study includes the account of a prisoner released from Guantánamo Bay, who described a fellow inmate's story of detention on an amphibious assault ship. "One of my fellow prisoners in Guantánamo was at sea on an American ship with about 50 others before coming to Guantánamo ... he was in the cage next to me. He told me that there were about 50 other people on the ship. They were all closed off in the bottom of the ship. The prisoner commented to me that it was like something you see on TV. The people held on the ship were beaten even more severely than in Guantánamo."
Clive Stafford Smith, Reprieve's legal director, said: "They choose ships to try to keep their misconduct as far as possible from the prying eyes of the media and lawyers. We will eventually reunite these ghost prisoners with their legal rights.
"By its own admission, the US government is currently detaining at least 26,000 people without trial in secret prisons, and information suggests up to 80,000 have been 'through the system' since 2001. The US government must show a commitment to rights and basic humanity by immediately revealing who these people are, where they are, and what has been done to them."