How Alberto Gonzales failed in history
This just posted on CBC.ca/news
Alberto Gonzales and the Geneva Convention.
Did the president's lawyer misread the Geneva Convention?
Did Alberto Gonzales, the embattled attorney general of the United States, turn a blind eye to legal history when he wrote a memo to President George W. Bush back in 2002 suggesting ways to avoid the Geneva Convention?
Although my book, A River Kwai Story The Sonkrai Tribunal is largely about the Second World War, it is also about the Geneva Convention and the inhuman treatment of prisoners of war.
So when I was doing my research for the book and I read a key phrase in a memo written January 25, 2002, from Gonzales to President George Bush (and leaked when the Abu Ghraib scandal broke) that said.
. . . some of the language of the GPW [Geneva Convention on Prisoners of War] is undefined (it prohibits, for example, ‘outrages against personal dignity’ and ‘inhuman treatment’) . . .
I was, to say the least, surprised, since almost all the Far East war crimes trials for the abuse of prisoner of war, charged or contained the phrase "inhuman treatment."
How could the counsel to the president of the United States ignore the suffering of several hundred thousand Allied prisoners of war, including thousands of American POWs?"
It may take many years of history to answer that question.
The CBC news story outlines what Gonzales should have known when he wrote that memo.
The book, of course, will tell the reader, the exact details of the "inhuman treatment" carried out by the Japanese against the men of F Force.
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Labels: A River Kwai Story, Alberto Gonzales, Burma Thailand Railway, CBC, Geneva Convention, Guantanamo, human rights, Singapore, United States, war crime, World War II
Shooting on the Leslie Street Spit
I took my annual spring fun photo shoot out along the Leslie St. Spit (also known as Tommy Thompson Park ) in Toronto Sunday.
The spit is 5 kilometres long from entrance to lighthouse. So the trek out can be between 10 kilometres (if you take the main road) and 11 to 12 kilometres (if you use side trails and alternate routes)
All photos are copyright © Robin Rowland 2007 All rights reserved.
Here is my favourite shot (so far) from the shoot.
(Click for larger image)
This year we were lucky, lots of wildlife, as well as the usual seagulls and Canada Geese, there were garter snakes, rabbits and lots of songbirds.
Marc Ferreira's shots from the Spit Shoot
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Labels: hiking, Leslie St. Spit, photography, Toronto
Facebook group for A River Kwai Story
I have created a Facebook group for A River Kwai Story.
Facebook members can click on the link. If not, join Facebook and then join the group.
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Labels: A River Kwai Story, Burma Thailand Railway, writing
The Alan Johnston rally at Simcoe Park
Photographs by Robin Rowland © 2007Hundreds of journalists and other supporters rallied at Toronto's Simcoe Park on Thursday May 10, 2007, to support kidnapped BBC journalist Alan Johnston, who by that time had been held in Gaza for 60 days.
CBC Chief Correspondent Peter Mansbridge expresses his support for Alan Johnston and his family at the rally.
Host of CBC's The Current, Anna Maria Tremonti, a former Middle East correspondent, spoke about Alan Johnston's reporting from Gaza. Former BBC correspondent Daniel Lak who helped organize the rally is on the left.
CBC News story on the rally at Simcoe Park
CBC Editor-in-chief Tony Burman's letter calling for freedom for Alan Johnston
Sign the BBC Online petition
BBC "How You Can Help"
Toronto Star Canadian media protest kidnapping
Canadian Press story on Canoe
Daniel Lak's blog, Lakwords
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Labels: Alan Johnston, BBC, Canada, CBC, Gaza, photography, Toronto
Toronto rally May 10 for BBC's Alan Johnston
Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) and the Canadian Media Guild (CMG) have called on their members and all journalists to mark May 10, 2007, by attending a rally in Toronto in support of British journalist Alan Johnston. BBC Gaza correspondent Alan Johnston was kidnapped by gunmen near his office in Gaza City on March 12, 2007. Thursday, May 10 marks his 60th day in captivity.
In Toronto at
200 Front Street West
(beside the CBC building)
Thursday, May 10, 2007
12:00 p.m. - 12:40p.m.
Peter Mansbridge, CBC Television
Brian Stewart, CBC Television
Anna Maria Tremonti, CBC Radio
Rick MacInnes Rae, CBC Radio
Patrick Martin, The Globe and Mail
Sandro Contenta, Toronto Star
Click in the image link above or go to the BBC Editor's page on Alan Johnston.
Johnston, 44, is a veteran foreign correspondent. Before moving to Gaza in 2004, he ran BBC bureaus in Kabul and Tashkent. He is widely respected and liked by his peers. His reporting on events in Gaza has been widely acclaimed as balanced, insightful and courageous.
The BBC and media workers rights organizations around the world have been calling for Johnston's immediate and safe release from the day of his abduction. These appeals have taken on a new urgency as time goes on. His parents in Scotland, both in their 70s, have appeared on international television and radio to appeal to his kidnappers for their son's freedom.
Johnston is believed to be alive and in good health but there is no sign of his captors releasing him anytime soon. Why he's being held remains a matter for speculation.
A single media worker harmed or kidnapped is one too many. The International Freedom of Expression eXchange (IFEX) reports dozens of instances of journalists taken hostage each year, many of them in Iraq and the Gaza strip. Fourteen journalists have been kidnapped in the Gaza Strip since 2005. Reporters, camera crew and producers need to know they can work safely in troubled areas like Gaza. If journalists are unable to report freely, the world will have lost vital access to information.
CBC News Editor in Chief, Tony Burman's Letter: Why BBC's kidnapped Alan Johnston needs to be freed.
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Labels: Alan Johnston, BBC, Canada, CBC, Gaza, Globe and Mail, news, Toronto, Toronto Star, writing