BBC documentary reveals American colonel who trained Iraqi torturers

A new documentary from the BBC (in cooperation with The Guardian newspaper) has revealed direct ties between the torture practices and death squads of the Shia militia in Iraq and an American trainer, who also is alleged to have trained Salvadoran death squads. Retired Col. James Steele was dispatched to Iraq by former Defense Secretary…

Romney to export Illinois jobs on Election Day

Mitt Romney’s campaign has come under fire for a number of gaffes recently, but one action by the company he cofounded, Bain Capital, is following a long-standing Romney tactic. Mitt Romney has a long history of exporting jobs overseas, according to Forbes magazine (hardly a liberal bastion). Vanity Fair has revealed that, while with Bain…

Hyatt hurts

Earlier this year, National Catholic Reporter called Hyatt Hotels “the worst hotel employer in the industry.” Allegations about working conditions at Hyatt sound as if the profit  now takes priority even over the health of workers. Maids are required to clean up to 30 rooms in a single day, with many reporting detrimental health effects. …

Romney /Ryan and America’s veterans: Does support go both ways?

A Gallup poll indicates that America’s male veterans lean towards the Romney/Ryan ticket at a 58% to 34% margin. The reasons are uncertain, but previous Gallup polls suggest that a disproportionate number of males entering the service are conservative to begin with, and while in the military, men are socialized toward a conservative viewpoint. This…

IL Governor denies press access to prisons

Past reporting by this writer on prison conditions may have been shocking, but so is the Illinois Governor’s efforts to keep the media from reporting on it. Other sources have noted the lack of transparency evident in the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC).  This appears to not just apply to the maximum-security facilities such as…

Supermax prison maximizes mental health problems for inmates

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has been suggesting the closure of Tamms supermax prison facility due to budget concerns. The response from downstate Illinois has focused on the cost in lost jobs to local communities and the region. Neither side in the debate over the future of Tamms seems overly concerned with the welfare of mentally…

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