Incredibly, the President has said that the CIA will get to redact a Senate summary report on CIA torture. In other news, all accused criminals will now get to decide what evidence can be presented against them in court! If, in fact, the Senate torture report contains sensitive information that we wouldn't want the terrorists to know -- which is a big "if," frankly -- then maybe someone other than the agency accused of the torture can do the redacting. But giving it to the CIA? There's a little fox-henhouse problem there -- and we're in the henhouse, since our government could just decide to torture any one of us someday. Media reports tell us that this Senate report discloses that the CIA told a full American crapload of lies -- to Congress, to the Department of Justice, to the Bush White House -- and not just about how exactly it tortured people, but also about how useful that torture even was in preventing terrorist attacks. Hence the ACLU helps you tell Mr. Obama not to let the CIA redact the Senate report on CIA torture. Really, I'm not sure how I can put this any more plainly.
Meanwhile, New York state activist Judy Allen has begun a petition on CREDO which helps you tell certain well-placed Congressfolk to prevent the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (or NRC) from relicensing the Indian Point nuclear power plant. Why? Not just because Indian Point happens to stand about a mile away from where two earthquake faults meet, because a lot of nuclear power plants just so happen to stand very close to faultlines (which doesn't make it alright!); Indian Point has also leaked radioactive water from spent fuel pools (which should be stored in dry casks, but obviously aren't) into the Hudson River for several decades now. The NRC apparently seems awfully willing to extend Indian Point's licenses, possibly because New York state is awfully dependent on nuclear power, and even if the "safety culture" there has improved over the last decade or so, some 20 million people (including, well, everyone in New York City) happen to live within 50 miles of Indian Point, and if things happen, as they often do, all of them could be at risk of illness and death. Saying we were able to save New York's power grid from too much upheaval ain't gonna mean very much in that case.
Finally, word out of China -- where President Obama is trying to kick-start negotiations on the Trans-Pacific "Partnership," a "free" trade deal often described as "NAFTA on steroids" -- is that the TPP's long-threatened internet censorship plank may be about to be finalized as we speak. From leaks we know that a TPP internet plank would be bad: it would essentially force ISPs to censor and remove websites accused -- not convicted! -- of copyright infringement. Making ISPs do law enforcement is a terrible idea -- I'm a law-and-order guy myself, but I think law enforcement should do law enforcement, so that everyone doesn't become a damn tyrant. In the meantime, say so long to your blog (or your Facebook newsfeed!) if you've ever linked to someone else's site! And much worse would also happen if the TPP passed, of course -- corporations could dump all kinds of Frankencrap in our air and water and petition to "investor-state tribunals" to overturn our nation's environmental laws! Hence a slew of organizations -- including Roots Action, Avaaz, Public Citizen, and Sum of Us -- help you oppose the Trans-Pacific "Partnership" and its freedom-strangling ways.