Pakistani authorities on October 10 reopened the Torkham border crossing into Afghanistan for NATO forces, ending an 11-day blockade. The Pakistani government imposed the blockade in response to a September 30 NATO airstrike at the border post, which resulted in the killing of three Pakistani troops. On October 5, the United States took responsibility for the helicopter attack and issued an apology, explaining that the pilots mistook the soldiers for insurgents. “We deeply regret this tragic loss of life and will continue to work with the Pakistan military and government to ensure this doesn’t happen again,” said General David H. Petraeus.
The U.S. CIA engaged in torture in its secret prison in Poland with a “criminal standard of proof,” the British Broadcasting Corporation reported October 6. The remarks represent the view of former jurist and Swiss Senator Dick Marty, a the former Council of Europe Rapporteur on Torture who has investigated the case.
Few other human beings were eye witnesses to, and participants in, events of the 20th Century as was Vilius Brazenas. A survivor of wars, revolution, plague, famine, foreign military occupations and forced deportations, he became a tireless champion of freedom and unyielding foe of totalitarianism in all its forms. Mr. Brazenas passed away at the age of 97, in a hospital in Vilnius, Lithuania, on October 3 following complications from a recent fall.
This article, originally published on September 6, 2004, was written by noted Lithuanina-American journalist and author Vilius Brazenas for The New American. A recipient of Lithuania's highest civilian honor, The Order of the Vytis Cross, Mr. Brazenas was well known as a political analyst, writer, and speaker not only in Lithuania, but also in the United States, Europe, and many other parts of the world. Mr. Brazenas passed away in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, on October 3rd. He was 97 years old. This article, which is as relevant today as when it was published, is being republished here in his honor.