(Ilene is one of my sources for on air guests. During my years in radio Ilene has had several guests that she has been passionate about getting on the air, but this time she was very annimated about everyone knowing about this issue)
How the Bush Administration's financial interests are
trumping truth about Privatizating and Outsourcing the Military . Currently,
97% of our ships are flying foreign flags - thereby not accountable to American
Environmental, Safety, and International laws.
For Immediate Release:
Press Contact - Ilene Proctor
How The Son of a Bush - Issued a War of Words and Orders
Against Lt. Eric Shine, a Federal Officer who Exposed this Administration’s War
Profiteering and Privatizing in the Military
America has deliberately driven
hundreds, perhaps thousands, of political prisoners insane. It is the
current doctrine of US
psychological torture. If the panorama could be viewed all at once, the American
people would see an administration that, by the summer of 2003, felt it could
do whatever it wanted to anyone.
Bush's inner circle validated every cliché about the arrogance of power, and
Americans are noticing at long last the Bush White House's habitual contempt for the
nation's legal and constitutional traditions. In
modern media context, the Bush administration's defense of their omnipotence
means destructive counter-tactics against any critics who dare speak out.
Dirtying up one’s opponents is
the name of the game. “Controversialize” your enemies so the public won’t take
them seriously. Turn them into laughingstocks. Declare them to be crazy or
incompetent. Humiliate, defame, and demoralize them. Assassinate
character and career. Cut off the proverbial head and the body soon
The whole sorry saga can be encapsulated in one man’s
story: Lt. Eric Shine’s background reads like a packet of pedigrees:
His father and brother attended West Point, uncle, Annapolis; another was Speaker of the
House. Lt. Shine graduated from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings
Point in 1991.
www.usmma.org for the academy
Pointer Now in Charge of Navy's
Middle East Forces ), sister academy to West Point and Annapolis requiring
Congressional competitive appointments, said to be one of the ten toughest
schools to get into in the U.S. and at the time of Lt. Shine's graduation, ranked higher than M.I.T. and
Harvard. A Standard and Poor's
report on the education of America's
senior business managers, for example, places the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy
18th in the nation among the top 550 colleges and universities producing
Presidents, Vice Presidents and Directors of U.S. companies, in proportion to
numbers of graduates.
Upon Lt. Shine's
graduation from the academy he received dual congressional and presidential
lifetime appointments. Earning his U.S. Naval Commission with Top Secret
security clearance and more; he sailed as a Federal Maritime Engineering
Officer for the United
States embedded within numerous shipping
lines (now flying foreign flags). Lt. Shine has been afforded broad
access to the inner workings of our government, its corporations and industries
from many vantage points. Yet today, despite his multiple accomplishments, Lt.
Shine is hunted and hounded as victim of unlawful retaliatory
counter-prosecution by the United
States and Department of Homeland Security.
Lt. Shine is a “whistle
blower." His problems started when he filed a series of grievances
regarding ship maintenance; procedural; safety and regulatory issues -
including illegal dumping from Government vessels, and civil rights violations
committed by numerous federal contractors, including pay and due process; basic
food inequities (serving 2 meals instead of 3 per day as contracted for by
Federal shipping articles),etc. Because of Lt. Shine’s intrepid actions, he was
punished even denied rights to compassionate leave when his father lay dying,
then terminated upon his father's
Determined to change the corrupt practices he has
witnessed, he contacts the 23 Members of the Senate Commerce Committee,
offering testimony on what he considered serious and dangerous practices now
routinely allowed despite the law and what he was taught at Kings Point. He is
then contacted by the Department of Homeland Security, subjected to a endless
nightmare of legal harassment that denies him both his right of free speech,
effectively silencing him with charges of 'depression.' No one will listen, he finds himself entirely
continuing harassment, personal, and professional injuries from his Federal
Officers Association and the Shipping companies, Lt. Shine uncovered that the
statutory Board setup by Congress was unlawfully dissolved so as to facilitate
theft of tens of billions of dollars of Federal Defense and Federal
Transportation funds. Since there is no proper neutral system to redress
grievances, its now impossible for shipboard Federal Officer's to file or
pursue any complaints from simple pay issues to smuggled nukes. Instead a
complaint system is used to identify, attack, even euthanize complainants like
Lt. Shine. Tip of the iceberg in what Lt. Shine has uncovered.
Adding insults to his
injuries, Federal Officers went as far as to suggest that Lt. Shine put a gun
to his head and blow himself away. Assaulted verbally and physically
battered, Homeland Security increased the pressure and retaliations by
putting out a BOLO or "Be On the Look Out" poster on Lt. Shine
declaring him to be dangerous. .
recourse, Lt. Shine finally took complaints into Civil Court against two major shipping
companies, General Agencies of the United States, and the Federal
Officer's Association, which all colluded to protect each other. Many
retaliatory counter-prosecutions were pursued only to protect overarching
war profiteering and privateering by maintaining a climate of fear.
Beginning with the HW Bush administration and finalized in the wake of the
events surrounding 9-11 and unbeknownst to Lt. Shine, the Federal Officers
Association and Shipping Companies opportunistically banded together with this
Bush Administration to finish dismantling all statutory grievance and
arbitration processes to turn them into systems of administrative
The co-defendants, all
undeclared Agencies of the United
States, filed motions to move Lt. Shine’s
civil suits out of State into Federal Court where he was intentionally detained
for years. After Lt. Shine was sufficiently roughed up and beaten down by the
General Agencies, Homeland Security stepped up to the pressure. They
initiated a bizarre rendition program and internment process used to not only
detain “foreign enemy combatents” but U.S. Citizens as well, including
Federal, Military and Constitutional Officers who once had enormous legal
rights and protections. One only need look at related court records to
see there is much more going on here then the alleged "incompetence"
of Lt. Shine or his feeling "depressed" after being tortured.
Constitutional Officers are now prosecuted for speaking their conscience and
trying to enforce Constitutional rights, as in the case against Lt. Erin
On March 06 of 2003,
"Homeland Security" swung for a grand slam by stepping in and filing
an Executive-Administrative cross-complaint against Lt. Shine, actually
charging him with, "being depressed.” This
essentially, effectively quashed Lt. Shine’s pre-existing Article III judicial
civil complaints in violation of the separation of powers using falsified
medical records as "evidence" against him. To cover up the involved
corrupt federal contracting schemes, from 2003 to present, Homeland Security
aggressively attempted to prove, at enormous expense to U.S. taxpayer and great injury and
expense to Lt. Shine, that he is medically and mentally incompetent.
Dating falsified investigations all the way back to 1984, Lt.
Shine’s homes were seized, property and rights liquidated.
Since 2003 or before,
Homeland Security has been monitoring Lt. Shine. Keeping him in a
"virtual prison" of sorts, the government has seized his federal
maritime professional engineering license, associated degree, officer’s papers,
personal and medical records to detain him in legal limbo, bugged his phone and
other communications and more. They have effectively denied him access to the
courts and proper redress. Now you know why the administration wishes to
do away with Habeus Corpus and other ancient rights.
In what can only be
reminiscent of a Franz Kafka novel, Lt. Shine as charged and prosecuted for
"being depressed", is somehow expected to defend himself and shoulder
costs for his defense against a "shock and awe" program of the
This utter and complete
travesty of injustice - failure and refusal of right to a fair trial and
judicious due process, no access to charges or redress for underlying
grievances, inability to face his accusers and see and or hear evidence or
charges being held against him – all this must be stopped before this same
program is turned upon us all where complainants can be turned into defendants
with a wave of administrative hand by Homeland Security.
According to Lt. Shine,
his plight is but a symptom of our country’s pervasive top to bottom feudal
corporate culture of corruption as this government careens recklessly and
intentionally toward authoritarianism, fascism and overt criminality to
legalize "torture", "overlook federal contracting
violations", even "war profiteering", "privateering"
and more. Disturbing implications of this must be clear to all: citizens
are defined as haves and the have nots; or haves and have more; the masters
-- and their slaves.
who believes in justice must step forward and demand immediate relief and
redress for Lt. Shine. Without such rights and protections, our
Constitution is in jeopardy where due process is nothing but a series of
kangaroo courts, jumping from witch trials to star chamber, where all are used
to violate every tenet the Constitution stands for and our government is
required and commanded to respect and uphold.
Will America, its people and those who
serve her become functionaries, economic units for a State that is nothing more
than an arm of global corporations? A flag flutters, blurred in the distance.
As we approach it what looked like the America
stars and stripes morphs into the flags of corporations, flying, larger than
life over America.
You must, we all must step
forward now and do what is necessary to support and protect Lt. Shine.
After all, if this can happen to Federal and Military Officers with strongest
constitutional and statutory protections provided, akin to those of a U.S.
Ambassador, it can and will happen to any one of us in Bush’s Oedipal
"Brave New World."
Want New Definition of Torture
Prisoners who endure poor or degrading
treatment suffer much of the same long-term psychological distress as do
captives who are tortured, suggests a study published Monday.
Experts point to human rights abuses by
the U.S. military in Guantanamo Bay, Iraq
and say the findings underscore the need for a broader definition of torture.
"What is the basis for the
distinction between torture and other cruel and degrading treatment? Science
should inform this debate," the study's lead author, Metin Basoglu of the
Institute of Psychiatry at King's College in London, told The Associated Press in a
telephone interview. The study was published in the Archives of General
Steve H. Miles of the University of Minnesota's
Center for Bioethics said the findings "show that the severity of
long-lasting adverse mental effects is unrelated to whether the torture or
degrading treatment is physical or psychological."
"The wrongness of these inflicted
harms is compounded by the fact that most abused prisoners, including those in
the present war on terror, are innocent or ignorant of terrorist
activities," said Miles, who was not involved in the study.
The Bush administration has said the U.S.
uses legal interrogation techniques -- not torture -- to gain information that
could head off terror attacks. It insists the U.S. complies with the U.N.
Convention Against Torture.
definition of torture, as interpreted by the Justice Department after reports
surfaced of American abuses in Guantanamo Bay, Iraq and Afghanistan, is fairly narrow.
It excludes mental pain and suffering
created by acts that do not cause severe physical pain, such as blindfolding,
hooding, forced nudity, isolation and deprivation of sleep or light, the
researchers said, citing a Dec. 30, 2004, Justice Department memo. The document
also contends that for an act to be considered torture, there must be proof
that it inflicts "prolonged mental harm."
"The implications of such a narrow
definition of torture have raised serious concerns in the human rights
community," said the study. "These findings suggest that physical
pain per se is not the most important determinant of traumatic stress in
survivors of torture."
The study involved interviews with 279
victims who suffered ill treatment and torture while imprisoned in the 1990s in
the former Yugoslavia.
The researchers said they found that
aggressive interrogation techniques, humiliating treatment, verbal abuse,
threats against a captive's family and being forced to watch an acquaintance
being tortured produced much of the same long-term mental trauma as physical
"Sham executions, witnessing torture
of close ones, threats of rape, fondling of genitals and isolation were
associated with at least as much if not more distress than some of the physical
torture stressors," they wrote.
Such experiences were just as likely as
physical torture to lead to depression or post-traumatic stress disorder, said
"Ill treatment during captivity ...
does not seem to be substantially different from physical torture in terms of
the severity of mental suffering they cause," it concluded. "These
procedures do amount to torture, thereby lending support to their prohibition
by international law."
Shukrije Gashi, a
pro-independence activist in Kosovo, was jailed by Yugoslav authorities in 1983
and spent nearly two years as a political prisoner. Strictly speaking, she
wasn't tortured, but 2 1/2 decades later it still feels that way, she says.
Gashi was confined to a
cramped, unventilated cell and fed small rations of often-rotten food. Allowed
to shower just once a month, she endured frequent beatings and verbal abuse.
Today, she still trembles
whenever she sees the police. Her ordeal, she says, is "a spiritual burden
that stays with you forever."
Gashi copes by writing
poetry and running a center for conflict management.
But 24 years later, she
still can't erase the indelible memories of what she endured.
"The treatment in
prison was horrific," she said. "I remain psychologically burdened.
Memories of the violence follow me like a shadow."
History of the United States
Academy represents Federal involvement in maritime training that is more than a
century old. Since the administration of President Ulysses S. Grant, the U.S.
Government has initiated various programs to train its citizens for service in
the merchant marine. The United States Merchant Marine Academy, dedicated in
1943, represents the realization of these efforts.
Between 1874 and 1936, diverse Federal legislation supported
maritime training through scholarships, internships at sea and other methods. A
disastrous fire in 1934 aboard the passenger ship MORRO
CASTLE, in which 134 lives were lost, convinced the U.S. Congress
that direct Federal involvement in efficient and standardized training was
passed the landmark Merchant Marine Act in 1936, and two years later, the U.S.
Merchant Marine Cadet Corps was established. The first training was given at
temporary facilities until the Academy's
permanent site in Kings Point, N. Y. was acquired in early 1942. Construction
of the Academy began immediately, and 15 months later the task was virtually
completed. The Academy was dedicated on September 30, 1943, by President
Franklin D. Roosevelt, who noted that "the Academy serves the Merchant
Marine as West Point serves the Army and Annapolis
War II required the Academy to forego normal operation and devote all of its
resources toward meeting the emergency need for merchant marine officers.
Enrollment rose to 2,700, and the planned course of instruction was reduced in
length form four years to 24 months. Not-withstanding the war, shipboard
training continued to be an integral part of the Academy curriculum, and
midshipmen served at sea in combat zones the world over. One hundred and
forty-two midshipmen gave their lives in service to their country, and many others
survived torpedoes and aerial attacks. By war's
end, the Academy had graduated 6,634 officers.
War II proved that the Academy could successfully meet the needs of a nation in
conflict. As the war drew to a close, plans were made to convert the Academy's wartime curriculum to a four-year, college level
program to meet the peacetime requirements of the merchant marine. In August
1945, such a course was instituted.
The Academy has since grown in stature and has become one of
the world's foremost institutions in
the field of maritime education. Authorization for awarding the degree of
bachelor of science to graduates was granted by Congress in 1949; the Academy
was fully accredited as a degree-granting institution that same year; it was
made a permanent institution by an Act of Congress in 1956.
national value was again recognized as it accelerated graduating classes during
the Korean and Vietnam
conflicts, and for its involvement in such programs as training officers of the
first U.S. nuclear powered
merchant ship, the SAVANNAH.
requirements were amended in 1974 and the Academy became the first federal
service academy to enroll women students, two years ahead of Army, Navy, Air
Force or Coast Guard.
During the Persian Gulf conflict in early 1991, and for many
months prior to the war, both Academy graduates and midshipmen played key roles
in the massive sealift of military supplies to the Middle
East. Midshipmen training at sea also participated in the
humanitarian sealift to Somalia
in Operation Restore Hope.
While the Academy's curriculum has changed dramatically since 1943 to
reflect the technological advances of America's
merchant marine, the institution has maintained its unswerving commitment to
quality education and excellence among its midshipmen.