Guy Parent finds badly wounded soldiers not getting disability cheques

Aug 19, 2014

A new report by Canada’s veterans watchdog says nearly half of the country’s most severely disabled ex-soldiers are not receiving a government allowance intended to compensate them for their physical and mental wounds.

Veterans ombudsman Guy Parent also concluded that those who are receiving the permanent impairment allowance, along with a recently introduced supplement, are only awarded the lowest grade of the benefit.

The criteria used by federal bureaucrats to evaluate disability do not match the intent of the allowance, and the guidelines are too restrictive, the report said.

It doesn’t make sense to set aside cash to deal with a problem and then not spend it, Parent said. “You can flood programs with money, but of you don’t broaden the access, then you haven’t accomplished anything.”

It’s a pattern with the current government, he said, noting how the Conservatives poured funding into the burial program for impoverished ex-soldiers in 2013, but took a year to ease the eligibility criteria so people could actually qualify.

“The evidence presented in the report clearly demonstrates that many severely impaired veterans are either not receiving these benefits or may be receiving them at a grade level that is too low,” the ombudsman said.

“This is unfair and needs to be corrected.”

Investigators could find no evidence that Veterans Affairs adjudicators consider the effect of an enduring injury on an individual’s long-term employment and career prospects, he added.

Findings under review

In a statement, Veteran Affairs Minister Julian Fantino said the findings of the ombudsman’s latest report will be considered as the government prepares its response to a Commons committee review, which has recommended a series of improvements to the legislation governing veterans benefits.

“I have asked officials at Veterans Affairs to ensure that they consider the recommendations found in the veterans ombudsman’s PIA report as well as consult his office in the development of solutions to improve the New Veterans Charter,” Fantino said.

In defending itself against criticism that veterans are being short-changed, the Harper government has been quick to point to the allowance and the supplement as a sign of its generosity.

Fantino told a House of Commons committee last spring that some permanently disabled soldiers receive more than $10,000 per month, but figures from his own department show that only four individuals in the entire country receive that much.

The department went a step further and released a chart at the end of July that shows the maximum benefits soldiers of different ranks could qualify for under existing legislation — a “misleading” display that could raise “false expectations” among veterans, Parent said.

The latest report also noted that when a veteran dies, the spouse automatically loses the allowance, creating financial hardship for the family. Under the old Pension Act system, the widow or widower continued to receive support.

The permanent impairment allowance is a taxable benefit awarded to disabled soldiers in three grade levels as compensation for lost future earnings. The Harper government introduced a supplement to the allowance in 2011.

In some respects, that supplement contributed to a dramatic increase in the number of applications.

According to figures released by Veterans Affairs in June, some 521 ex-soldiers are deemed to be the most critically injured, but the vast majority of them — 92 per cent — receive the lowest grade of allowance support.

The ombudsman’s report estimates Canada has a total of 1,911 severely wounded soldiers, 924 of whom receive no allowance at all.

Ron Cundell, of the web site VeteranVoice.info, said the latest review doesn’t tell ex-soldiers anything they don’t know already.

“It’s a shame,” Cundell said. “The (office of the veterans ombudsman) reports are proving what the veteran community has known for a long time. Veterans Affairs is not treating veterans fairly.”

One of the best comments.

This also applies to most countries not just Canada.

 

Strange world this western world, give a man a helmet and a rifle, send him to a strange country, feed him some army rations, pay him as little as possible, send him home and try to forget about him, healthy or wounded.
Give a man a helmet and a football, fly him all over your own country, put him up in luxury hotels, feed him steaks and champagne, pay him more then his agent asks for, put his name and picture on the front pages of everything from magazines to breakfast cereal box, if he gets hurt provide him with his own private doctor and full staff, retire him in a mansion with full compensation and staff and talk about him for years at every sports program.

Seems Harper has followed what the US does to it’s Veterans. As little as possible or nothing.

More times then not these young men and women are sent to wars that are fabricated so weapons manufactures, banks, oil companies etc make profit.

ISIS in Syria are freedom fighters, but in Iraq they are the bad guys.

John McCain happens to be friends of those ISIS terrorists.

ISIS brags about links to US Senator John McCain

The US and the Harper Regime also support the Ukrainian Government,

which is killing people in Eastern Ukraine,

Both also support Israel who is killing people in Gaza.

Both supported the killing of people in Libya.

Both support the killing of Syrians.

All of the above are fabricated, wars based on Lies.

Those so called freedom fighters in Libya, Syria are Terrorist funded by the US.

The US started the war in the Ukraine. That is typical of the US however, they have been starting wars for years.

The main stream media is a disgrace. They push the propaganda and lies produced by the Governments.

Like the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. All lies.

Those so called freedom fighter remind me of Death Squads.

Well we all know, who trains them, now don’t we?

Recent

Acknowledge the Gaza Genocide

‘Secret serum’: Experimental Ebola drug used to treat 2 US aid workers

Man from Newfoundland wants Prime Minister Charged for Advocating Genocide against The Palestinians!

The Truth about Gaza 2014

4-Year-Old Aisha Lost Her Face in a U.S. Drone Strike

Canada: Inuit go hungry more than any other indigenous group

What Happened to the US and no one noticed

Ukraine: Truth and Fiction

Crimeans in referendum voted to join Russia

Easter Ukrainians also held a Referendum, as they also did not want to part of the so called new US/EU controlled Ukraine and now they are being slaughtered.  NATO countries are supporting this slaughter. This is beyond imagination, but true.

 

 

 

 

Amber Alert called off for sisters near New York-Ontario border

The Girls are safe.

Aug 14, 2014

Two missing Amish sisters turned up safe Thursday evening, about 24 hours after they were apparently abducted from their family’s roadside farm stand in northern New York, authorities said.

St. Lawrence County District Attorney Mary Rain said the girls turned up cold and wet but unharmed at a home in Richville, about 20 kilometres from where they disappeared in the rural town of Oswegatchie.

The girls were dropped off and knocked on the door, asking for help getting home. A neighbour who visited the Miller family after hearing word of the girls’ return said she spoke with one of their brothers, who said they were well and being checked out.

There were no details immediately available on what happened to the girls or if there are suspects in their disappearance.

Source

Thank you to all who passed on the post about the Amber Alert.

We all together, can make a difference.

This time the children are safe. Unfortunately that is not always the case.

The links below have photo’s of children who are still missing.

Again if you see any of these children call the Police immediately.

 

https://missingkids.ca/app/en/

 

. http://www.childfindofamerica.org/missing.htm

 

Do pass this on a well. The more people looking for the children, the better, the chances are of finding them.

Again thank you to everyone who took the time to forward the previous post.

This is one time things turned out well for the children.

 

 

 

 

Amber Alert issued for missing girls Delila Miller and Fannie Miller

Police say girls disappeared from roadside stand in Oswegatchie, NY., 190 km south of Ottawa

Aug 14, 2014

Searchers scoured a patch of far northern New York on Thursday for two Amish girls who were apparently abducted from their family’s roadside farm stand, a hunt hampered by the lack of photos of the girls for authorities to circulate among a frightened community.

The sisters, 7-year-old Delila Miller and 12-year-old Fannie Miller, vanished around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday after a white car pulled up to the farm stand near Oswegatchie, a community of about 4,000 people that’s 190 kilometres south of Ottawa and 240 kilometres northwest of the capital, Albany.

Both were wearing dark blue dresses with blue aprons and black bonnets.

The poster for the missing girls indicates Fannie Miller is cross-eyed, while Delila Miller has a round scar on her forehead and she is missing her front teeth. Both girls have brown hair and brown eyes.

Because the Amish tend to shun modern technology, police have no photographs of the girls.

He also noted that English isn’t the girls’ first language and that anyone who talks with them may notice a Pennsylvania Dutch dialect.

The vehicle has been described as a small, white, four-door sedan.

Girls could be in Canada

Divers plumbed the nearby St. Lawrence River to rule out the possibility the girls were in the water, Wells said at an afternoon news briefing.

Helicopters and search teams on foot tried to make sure they weren’t near the family home, and investigators were talking with nearby registered sex offenders.

“We will aggressively pursue this case as a worst-case scenario,” Wells said. Authorities are pursuing “numerous leads,” he said.

Ottawa police and Ontario Provincial Police said they have received the Amber Alert. An OPP spokesman said the girls could have been kidnapped and taken into Canada.

The girls are among the youngest of Mose and Barb Miller’s 13 children, who range in age from one to 21 years, neighbour Dot Simmons said.

The girls routinely took on the chore of selling the fruits, vegetables, jams and other products of the farm, Simmons said. On Wednesday, the entire family had gone to the barn as usual for evening milking.

But, Simmons said, “The girls were always on watch if someone stopped to buy vegetables.”

When the family noticed the girls hadn’t returned, they quickly checked the cornfield, she said, knowing it was unlikely they would have wandered off. That’s when police were notified, and an Amber Alert was sent out.

photo-of-clothing-worn-by-missing-amish-girls

This is not a photo of either Fannie Miller or Delila Miller, but rather what they were wearing when the sisters disappeared on Aug. 13, 2014. (Photo courtesy of National Center for Missing & Exploited Children)

There is also a map of where the girls were from.

For more on this story go to the Source

Please pss this on.

If you see these two girls call the Police immediately.

Acknowledge the Gaza Genocide

We must recognize the atrocities being committed in Gaza as Genocide.  Article 2 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide is clear:

“In the present Convention, genocide means any [emphasis added]of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part [emphasis added], a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

(a) Killing members of the group;

(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;

(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;

(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”

There is little argument and ample evidence that Israel’s actions against the people of Gaza in particular, and Palestine as whole, constitute the term genocide.  Israel’s onslaught on Gaza over the years and the indiscriminate killings (Article 2a) and the terrorization of children, the young and the old (mental harm) with the constant bombardment, bulldozers, and drones (Article 2b), the media has been apt at hiding the horrific effects of the blockade – the deliberate infliction of condition of life calculated to bring about physical destruction in whole or in part (Article 2c).

According to Article 3 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, persons committing genocide or complicity in genocide shall be punished “whether they are constitutionally responsible rulers, public officials or private individuals.”

Sir, at every turn, genocide has been ignored only to be acknowledged after the fact.   As Secretary General of the United Nations, you are obliged to put a stop to the ongoing genocide and punish the perpetrators.  If the call to duty, the voice of conscience, and the voices of the signatories to this petition is not heeded, then it is incumbent upon you to resign from your post.

“When spider webs unite, they can tie up a lion.”

Go HERE to sign the Petition to Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations.

 

Then we also have this one directed at the US

With the toll in Gaza surpassing 1,500 deaths, 8,200 wounded, and 180,300 civilians displaced, we are devastated– but more determined than ever to keep pressure on the US to end its unconditional support for Israel. 

If you’re sick of your tax dollars funding the ongoing violence between Israel and Palestine, call on the US government to immediately end all arms shipments to Israel.

How can the US purport to be a fair mediator when we are sending billions of dollars worth of weapons to one side of the conflict? A report by Amnesty International shows that just between January and May of this year, the US has sent $62 million worth of munitions to Israel, including nearly $27 million for “rocket launchers”, $9.3 million in “parts of guided missiles” and nearly $762,000 for “bombs, grenades and munitions of war”. 

This is atrocious. We should be using that money for diplomacy and rebuilding the lives of Palestinians that have been shattered from decades of violence. The people of Gaza are in desperate need of clean water, healthcare, food, building materials for their homes, and other basic necessities. But unless the blockade of Gaza is lifted, access to these crucial items will continue to be restricted by Israel.  You can help by making a direct donation to Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA) today.

“There isn’t a single family in Gaza which hasn’t been touched by direct loss,” said Pernille Ironside, the head of the Unicef office in Gaza. “The impact that has on the ability of children to cope cannot be overstated.”

It’s up to us to push our government to stop the cycle of bloodshed. Join us to call for an immediate arms embargo on Israel now.

 

And of course for Canadians

Man from Newfoundland wants Prime Minister Charged for Advocating Genocide against The Palestinians!

This is the Harper petition.

http://www.change.org/en-CA/petitions/intlcrimcourt-arrestharper-for-advocating-genocide

Anyone who supports Genocide/War Crimes  should never be a leader or any part of any government of any country. They are criminals. The worse kind. Mass Murder is a crime.

Related

The Truth about Gaza 2014

‘An Israel-free zone': UK MP says Bradford doesn’t want Israeli goods, services or visitors

Pass this on to all your friends.

Let them know we will not tolerate Genocide any longer.

Never Ask Me About Peace Again

 

By Asmaa al-Ghoul
A first-hand account of the aftermath of an Israeli strike that killed nine members of the author’s family.
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article39350.htm
What if the Children Dying in Gaza were Jews?
By Robert Bonomo
Let’s do a thought experiment and imagine that the Arabs had gotten the better of the Israelis in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and after years of conflict, all that was left of Israel was the Gaza strip.
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article39348.htm
What Led Israel to Stop the Assault?
Norman Finkelstein
Hamas Needs to Be Recognised
By Jimmy Carter, Mary Robinson

 

Unity between Fatah and Hamas is currently stronger than it has been for many years. As Elders, we believe this is one of the most encouraging developments in recent years and welcome it warmly.
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article39352.htm

 

Israel Flagged as Top Spy Threat to U.S. – Snowden/NSA Document
By Jeff Stein
Israel was identified by the NSA as a security threat in several areas, including “the threat of development of weapons of mass destruction” and “delivery methods”
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article39342.htm

 Israeli court and state rule that children’s deaths too controversial to publicise

In other words, hide the truth from the citizens of Israel.

Recent

‘Secret serum’: Experimental Ebola drug used to treat 2 US aid workers

Published in: on August 8, 2014 at 2:46 am  Comments (2)  
Tags: , , , , , , ,

‘Secret serum’: Experimental Ebola drug used to treat 2 US aid workers

Two US aid workers have been getting an experimental anti-Ebola drug and their condition has dramatically improved. However, it’s not clear yet if the recovery is due to the treatment that’s never been tested on humans and appeared only earlier this year.

Nancy Writebol and Dr. Kent Brantly are currently at Atlanta’s Emory University Hospital. They asked for the treatment while still being treated in Liberia: despite the drug not being approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, the current restriction is only valid on the US territory, Reuters reported.

The pair contracted the disease while working in Liberia. An FDA spokeswoman said she could neither confirm nor deny that the drug had been used on the two aid workers after their arrival in the US.

Writebol, 59, has been in isolation in Liberia since her diagnosis was confirmed last month. After taking the drug, she is able to walk with assistance and has regained her appetite, according to Bruce Johnson, president of the aid group Writebol is working for, SIM USA.

Johnson, however, was in no hurry to attribute her recovery to the pharmaceutical treatment.

‘Terrifying’: Ebola panic after passenger on Sierra Leone flight to London dies

“Ebola is a tricky virus and one day you can be up and the next day down. One day is not indicative of the outcome. But we’re grateful this medicine was available,” he stated.

Brantly, 33, who is an employee of the international group Samaritan’s Purse, is also recovering. Apart from the drug, he got a blood transfusion from a 14-year-old Ebola survivor, who had been under Brantly’s care before.

A source close to the Atlanta hospital, where Brantly is being treated, told CNN, “Within an hour of receiving the medication, Brantly’s condition was nearly reversed. His breathing improved; the rash over his trunk faded away.”

It was the group Samaritan’s Purse who asked for the experimental drug, the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases stated on Monday. The organization reached the officials of the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Liberia, and was sent to a NIH specialist in Liberia who knew about the drug.

The scientist sent them to the companies producing the treatment, but had no “official role in procuring, transporting, approving, or administering the experimental products,” the statement added.

‘Moral bankruptcy of capitalism': UK’s top public doctor shames western society over Ebola

The drug used to treat the two is called ZMapp and boosts the immune system to battle against Ebola. The treatment consists of antibodies from lab animals exposed to the virus.

Initially, the drug was reported as the possible treatment in January, according to the production company, Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc. of San Diego, which has been developing the drug.

They are working with LeafBio of San Diego, Defyrus Inc. of Toronto, the US government, and the Public Health Agency of Canada, the statement also read.

Among other cases of the deadly virus that were registered is a doctor who had been among the medics treating Patrick Sawyer, the Liberian-American man who died on July 25, days after arriving in Nigeria. Results of tests for the disease are set to be announced for three other people who also treated Sawyer and begin to demonstrate symptoms.

In New York City on Monday, Mount Sinai Hospital officials said they were testing a man for Ebola who recently returned from West Africa with a high fever and gastrointestinal distress.

African troops deployed to contain potentially ‘catastrophic’ Ebola outbreak

Currently, the virus is killing about 60 per cent of those infected.

On Monday, the WHO put the death toll at 887 in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria, with more 1,600 infected.

Last week, the organization started a $100 million plan to deal with the deadly virus. On Monday, during the US-Africa Leaders’ Summit, international development banks pledged to provide $260 million in emergency loans for Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

Hundreds of troops were deployed in Sierra Leone and Liberia on Monday to quarantine communities affected by the deadly Ebola virus due to panic in local population, with threats aimed at health workers, Reuters reported. Source

 

Add that to this and one has to wonder

A must watch video

Many Nazi Scientist were imported by the US through Operation Paper Clip.

It is just miraculous that all of a sudden, there may be a vaccine to cure Ebola.

Well I am guessing, if you think you have a cure you need victims to test it on.

Who in their right mind, would bring an Ebola victim into their country??

That would be insanity.

Recent

Man from Newfoundland wants Prime Minister Charged for Advocating Genocide against The Palestinians!

The Truth about Gaza 2014

 

 

Published in: on August 5, 2014 at 3:09 pm  Comments Off  
Tags: , , , , ,

Man from Newfoundland wants Prime Minister Charged for Advocating Genocide against The Palestinians!

Man from Newfoundland wants Prime Minister Charged for Advocating Genocide against The Palestinians! Makes one proud to be a Canadian!! ‘Lose our reputation’ City man wants prime minister charged with advocating for genocide Andrew Abbass didn’t quite know what to expect when he walked in the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary’s Corner Brook headquarters on Monday morning. Abbass was there to file a complaint. Nothing unusual there for the police force, but the focus of his complaint was a little out of the ordinary. Abbass is seeking to have Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird charged with advocating for genocide. “They accepted it and filed the case,” he said shortly after leaving the RNC. His complaint, which also alleges creation and dissemination of propaganda, breach of public trust and uttering threats, stem from comments Harper and Baird have made about the ongoing Israeli conflict. “In painting Hamas and the people of Gaza as a terrorist organization they’re basically sanctioning the killing of civilians,” said Abbass. He’s put together a document that outlines the reasons for the requested charges that can be found via a link in an online petition athttp://www.change.org/en-CA/petitions/rcmp-arrestharperandbaird4hatespeech-under-criminalcodesections318and319? – See more at: http://www.thetorontopost.net/2014/07/man-from-newfoundland-wants-prime.html#sthash.DxPMyc5I.dpuf

 

Newfoundland Man Wants Prime Minister Charged For Advocating Genocide Against Palestinians! Makes One Proud To Be A Canadian!

Yes, the cruel and inhuman attacks by the psychotic Israelis continues against the innocent people of Gaza.  As of this point, the reported number of innocent people that have been murdered by these monsters now exceeds the number that were killed in Operation Cast Lead some 4 years ago.  Now with the psychotic and insane Israeli leadership saying they will “escalate” the brutal assault on Gaza, the number of dead will increase significantly…. We are indeed watching the possible extermination of some 1.8 million people in what is properly called the largest open air concentration camp that has ever existed!What has truly disgusted me over the last few weeks has been how the insane Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, and his equally psychotic Foreign Minister, John Baird, were some of the first suck ups around the world to show their allegiance to the criminal state of Israel by supporting this onslaught against Gaza right from its launch….It has been shocking to watch as these two criminals and in fact the entire Federal Government here in Canada has given its undying support for genocide against a very innocent people… It has made me disgusted to call myself a Canadian…

But luckily there are other Canadians out there that are not blinded by the lies of our government or our own Jew spew media…. For according to this article, from the Toronto Post online news service, at http://www.torontopost.net, it appears that a brave and honest man from Newfoundland has launched a petition, and filed charges against the criminal Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, for his advocating genocide against the Palestinian people.    I want to present the link to that article and the online petition that EVERYONE can sign, especially those living here in Canada, right here, and I do have my usual thoughts and comments to follow:

NTS Notes:  This act of courage by Andrew Abbass does truly warm my own heart and shows that not all Canadians are fooled by the lies that we are indeed subjected to about the Gaza Strip.

It is so shocking that these two criminals, Baird and Harper, continue to parrot their full support for Israel, considering that the lame excuse for Israel’s slaughter of innocent people, namely the “3 Israeli youths” that the Israelis have falsely claimed to have been murdered by Hamas has fallen apart.  All the evidence now shows that Hamas had NOTHING to do with these deaths, and I am again smelling a rat and again am stating that these “murders” were conducted by the Israeli Mossad itself to anger the Israelis to the point that they would support their government’s genocidal attack on innocent people.  I know for a fact that Harper and his homosexual Foreign Minister, Baird, are well aware of the new evidence, and yet these two monsters are still supporting cold blooded murder?

I do want everyone from around the world, and especially ALL Canadians that see this article to sign this important petition..  I again will  present the link to that petition right HERE   The peoples’ voices must be heard and the people of Gaza do indeed need our support…

Compliments of
http://northerntruthseeker.blogspot.ca/2014/07/newfoundland-man-wants-prime-minister.html
I just had to repost this. Kudos to  Andrew.
Pass this on to all your Canadian friends.
If you do nothing else today sign the petition. Again here is the link.
http://www.change.org/en-CA/petitions/intlcrimcourt-s-rt-arrestharperandbaird4advocatinggenocide
Thee are also a few other things Canadians can do. All that information is at the petition site.
I think it is time for the Harper Government learns what it means, when Canadians say NOT IN MT NAME
I also suggest contacting  MP’s to say Not to war in Gaza, Say no to Genocide. Say no to any tax dollars going to Israel.
Israel should be Sanctioned.
Speak for those who cannot.
The Truth about Gaza 2014
The same truth as Cast Lead only much worse this time.
Check the Archives. Same Genocide just a different name is all.
History should never repeat.
Israel Targeting Children
http://mondoweiss.net/2014/07/israeli-palestinian-children.html
I guess Israel really wants The Naturel Gas that belongs to Gaza.
They also want all the land even the land in the West Bank.
The continuation of illegal settlements says it all.
Israel does not, nor ever has wanted Peace.
They want war and death.
They have proved that time and time again.

Gaza conflict: Palestinian death toll tops 1,360 as school, mall hit
Dozens killed across Palestinian territory Wednesday, dimming hopes of a truce
delimited: Jul 30, 2014

Bolivia declares Israel ‘terrorist state’, scraps visa exemption agreement                             

US subsidizing Israel genocide of Gazans: Analyst

People residing in the besieged Gaza Strip are facing a crippling humanitarian crisis due to Israel’s merciless strikes on the blockaded enclave, Press TV reports.

According to the report, the blockaded area is now facing a life-threatening situation due to lack of crucial supplies including food, fuel, medicine and medical equipment.

“We are standing here for hours now for bread. We lost our homes and are staying with our relatives. This queue is endless,” a Gazan woman told Press TV.

Life is getting harder for Palestinians not only because of the recent offensive but also due to the ongoing crippling siege there.

“We have been here for more than six hours now just searching for food. It’s just not available. Neither is fuel, electricity or water,” a Gazan man said.

Despite having a fertile soil, Gazan farmers cannot access their farms, resulting in the shortage of fruits and vegetables. Moreover, there are concerns over the availability of other goods like flour due to the Israeli siege.

“There is no availability of goods in the market. Farmers can’t go to their farms and harvest fruits and vegetables because they fear they may get attacked,” another Gazan man said.

Israeli warplanes have been pounding numerous sites in the Gaza Strip since July 8, demolishing houses and burying families under the rubble. Israeli forces also began a ground offensive against the impoverished Palestinian land on July 17.

So far, more than 1,364 people have been killed and thousands others injured by the Israeli regime’s offensive against the coastal sliver despite pressure from the international community.

Gaza has been blockaded by the Israeli regime since June 2007, a situation that has caused a decline in the standards of living, unprecedented levels of unemployment, and unrelenting poverty.

The apartheid regime of Israel denies about 1.8 million people in Gaza their basic rights. Source

Published in: on July 31, 2014 at 6:55 am  Comments Off  
Tags: , , , , , , ,

The Truth about Gaza 2014

Blockading the Truth: Obama’s Big Lie About Gaza
By Chris Floyd
July 27, 2014 “ICH” –  (1) It is simply a lie that Israel’s slaughter in Gaza is a response to an “unprovoked attack” by Hamas. Not only is it a lie, it is a transparent, brazen lie, whose falsehood is glaringly apparent to anyone who had given even a cursory look at coverage of the Israeli government’s response to the murder of three Israeli teenagers in June.
At that time, we were told in many news reports about an Israeli “crackdown” in Gaza, including mass arrests, military operations and, finally, the killing of six Hamas members. It was after these operations and these killings — which were clear breaches of a ceasefire which Hamas had been honoring for 19 months — that Hamas began its retaliation against Israel’s unprovoked attacks.
(And no, the murder of the teenagers was not a “provocation” by Hamas, which disclaimed all connection to the crime. It was almost certainly carried out a rogue clan which has often — conveniently — staged provocations whenever it seems that some small movement toward peace might be made, and has been a thorn in Hamas’ side for a long time. What’s more, as Max Blumenthal reported, the Israeli government knew the teenagers had been murdered almost immediately, and who the likely culprits were; but the Netanyahu regime chose to wage a worldwide campaign of mendacity — and torment the boys’ parents — by claiming they might still be alive, and launching “search” missions for them.)
These are all undisputed facts. The narrative that dominates the Washington media and political discourse — “plucky Israel attacked without motive by demonic foes” — is, again, an obvious lie. But that has not stopped it from being repeated endlessly, all across the political spectrum and in every form of media, day after day after day.
It is impossible that Barack Obama does not know these undisputed facts. Standing at the apex of history’s most all-pervasive intelligence system — and receiving daily digests of news reports on volatile areas like the Middle East — he of all people knows that the Hamas rocket fire was a response to an Israeli military action, an Israeli violation of a long ceasefire.
It is also impossible that a majority, if not all, of the 100 U.S. Senators who voted to endorse the Israeli slaughter in Gaza — including stalwart “progressives” like Al Franken and “socialist” Bernie Sanders — did not know the truth when they cast their ballots. It is impossible that the editors and reporters of the nation’s leading media organizations do not know these facts — which they themselves reported only a few weeks ago.
Yet day after day after day, from the commanding heights of our “culture” (if the debased goon show of our public discourse deserves such a word), the Big Lie thunders forth. What’s more, Obama is putting his money (or rather, our money) where his mendacious mouth is, tacking $225 million for Israel’s “Iron Dome” missile defense system into a bill ostensibly meant to deal with the influx of child immigrants. Obama and the Senate Democrats are making political pawns out of these children — most of whom are fleeing Central American hellholes created in no small part by decades of bipartisan military and political backing for repressive oligarchs. (Including, of course, Obama’s support for an oligarch-militarist “regime change” coup in Honduras early in his presidency.) With the new money for Israel’s military, the Democrats hope to sucker the Republicans into voting for the emergency immigration bill (from which they cut $1 billion — hey, you don’t want to coddle those kids!), or else put them in a political bind if the immigrant-hating GOP votes against the bill: “You aren’t supporting plucky little Israel!”
A very cynical ploy, yes, but no matter: even if it fails and the children are left to languish, some other way will be found to get the money to Israel and, most importantly, show the world that America fully supports the massacre — more than 800 Palestinians killed so far, including whole families, refugees at a UN shelter, patients in hospitals and other prime military targets.
Eight hundred dead — and Obama gives the IDF a $225 million bounty. Maybe when the death count reaches a thousand, he’ll buy Netanyahu a pony or something.
2. James Marc Leas lays out the timeline leading up to the operation in this succinct marshaling of the facts in CounterPunch. You should read the whole thing, but here are a few excerpts:

The July 8 ITIC report also divulged why Hamas launched its first rocket fire at Israel in more than 19 months on July 7: On that night Israeli forces had bombed and killed 6 Hamas members in Gaza. The ITIC report includes a picture of the six Hamas members. Thus, a report from an authoritative Israeli source described the provocation for the resumption of rocket fire: Hamas rocket fire began only after Israeli forces had engaged in nearly a month of military operations in violation of the ceasefire agreement and had killed 6 Hamas members in Gaza. …
The facts show that Israeli forces had to work quite hard to get Hamas to end its cease-fire. The killing of the six Hamas members was not an isolated event. Israeli forces and settlers had gone wild on the West Bank starting on June 12 after the kidnaping of three Israeli teens. Israeli forces had also attacked 60 targets in Gaza during those three weeks of June. Then, on the night of July 7, 2014, the Israeli Air Force had attacked approximately 50 more “terrorist targets” in the Gaza Strip, as described in the ITIC report.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported on July 3:

Israel’s military operations in the West Bank following the abduction and killing of three Israeli teenagers have amounted to collective punishment. The military operations included unlawful use of force, arbitrary arrests, and illegal home demolitions. … Giving more details, several of the weekly reports from the Palestine Center for Human Rights (PCHR) indicate that Israeli forces and settlers killed 11 Palestinians and wounded 51 during 369 incursions into the West Bank between June 12 and July 2 and that Israeli forces raided hundreds of houses on the West Bank each week.

110 bombing raids, a military incursion, 17 killings, mass arrests — all before Hamas fired a single rocket. This is what Obama — and every single member of the United States Senate — call an “unprovoked attack.” They say it with a straight face — nay, with long, somber, pious faces — but they know it’s a lie.
3. But let us imagine, just for a moment, that their deceitful narrative was true. What if Hamas just woke up one fine, clear peaceful morning and said, “Hey, let’s start firing missiles at Israel, fellas! Won’t that be a hoot?” The fact is that even in that scenario, it would not be an “unprovoked attack,” but a legitimate act of self-defense.
How do we know this? Because one of Israel’s most honored statesmen told us so. As Jonathan Schwarz notes, Abba Eban, one of the founding fathers of Israel, used his renowned eloquence to defend Israel in the UN from charges of aggression for striking first in the 1967 Six-Day War. Rising to address the global body — where he had once served as vice-president of the General Assembly — Eban put forth his case. The surprise attack was justified, he said, because Egypt had blockaded an Israeli port:

The blockade is by definition an act of war, imposed and enforced through armed violence. Never in history have blockade and peace existed side by side. From May 24 onward, the question who started the war or who fired the first shot became momentously irrelevant. There is no difference in civil law between murdering a man by slow strangulation or killing him by a shot in the bead. From the moment at which the blockade was imposed, active hostilities had commenced and Israel owed Egypt nothing of her Charter rights. If a foreign power sought to close Odessa or Copenhagen or Marseilles or New York harbour by the use of force, what would happen? Would there be any discussion about who had fired the first shot? Would anyone ask whether aggression had begun?

As Schwarz points out — and which the entirety of the American political-media establishment perpetually fails to point out — Gaza has been subject to a stringent and ruinous blockade by Israel since 2007. As noted here the other day:

Israel has imprisoned the people of Gaza in a stateless limbo while carefully controlling almost every aspect of their lives, including what medicines they can have, what manufacturing and building materials they are allowed and even, at times, how much food they are allowed to eat to keep the population weakened but just above malnutrition levels. This brutal regimen in daily life is of course punctuated with regular night raids, bombings,  kidnappings, “disappearings” and almost weekly civilians deaths at the hands of Israeli overseers. This has gone on year after year.

Eban said Israel was justified in retaliating with military force when Egypt had blockaded a port for a few weeks. How much more justified would the Palestinians be in retaliating against a total blockade — by land, sea and air — that has lasted almost eight years?
I don’t agree with lobbing missiles into cities. I believe it’s wrong. But I also realize that I have the great luxury of pondering these moral and legal and philosophical questions at my leisure, in comfort and safety. I haven’t seen my family half-starved, my children’s growth stunted, my friends and relatives blown to bits. I haven’t been trapped in stateless limbo, with no passport, no freedom, no opportunity, under threat of violent death or arbitrary arrest every moment of my life. I don’t know what I would do if that was my reality. I don’t know what I’d do if I saw my loved ones suffer that way, year after year. I might somehow hold on to the ideal of non-violent resistance — or I very well might not.
But I do know that by the terms of the world’s great and good — who speak portentously of the “laws of war” and analyze in great detail the “justifications” for violent conflict — the Palestinians have a right to resist the “slow strangulation” of the blockade … and the “shot in the head” (and the missile in the crib) that they are now being subjected to. By Abba Eban’s own reasoning, from the very first day of the Israeli blockade of Gaza, “the question who started the war or who fired the first shot became momentously irrelevant.”

http://chris-floyd.com

See also

Hamas not complicit in teens’ kidnap: Israeli police: The Israeli Police Foreign Press Spokesman, Micky Rosenfeld, appears to have falsified the Israeli government’s claim that Hamas was responsible for the killing of three Israeli settler teens in June

Five Israeli Talking Points on Gaza—Debunked: Israel claims that it is merely exercising its right to self-defense and that Gaza is no longer occupied. Here’s what you need to know about these talking points and more. Source

 

As par usual Israel started war again.

They are responsible for the entire problem.

Then they and the US lie about it all.

Just like the lies in the Ukraine.

Killing people into submission is not the way to go.

It is called Extermination, Genocide etc.

And who supports them both???????

About the Ukraine and some truth there as well.

http://scgnews.com/flight-mh17-what-youre-not-being-told

Published in: on July 28, 2014 at 4:02 pm  Comments (1)  
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4-Year-Old Aisha Lost Her Face in a U.S. Drone Strike

4-Year-Old Aisha Lost Her Face in a U.S. Drone Strike

By Matt Lemas

4-Year-Old Aisha

June 11, 2014 “ICH” – “RYOT” – On September 7th 2013, an American drone in Afghanistan struck a car carrying 15 passengers. Everyone was killed in the attack except for one — a four-year-old girl named Aisha.

The girl was traveling with her parents, a sibling, and other relatives to their home in Gamber, a village in the Kunar province of Aghanistan.

Referred to by the locals as “American birds,” U.S. drone strikes are a common fixture in Kunar, where the Taliban reportedly has a strong presence.

The wreckage was discovered by Aisha’s uncle, Meya Kan, and other villagers on the road after they received a phone call from a neighboring village.

Kan saw body parts strewn all around the wreckage, and assumed everyone was dead — until he he heard a voice calling out for water.

It was Aisha.

Upon being pulled from the ruined vehicle, the four-year-old girl was unrecognizable. She’d lost both eyes and her nose.

The Investigation

Journalist Terese Cristiansson came across Aisha’s story while Swedish newspaper Expressen was interviewing Afghan hospital personnel about children who were injured after being forced to plant roadside bombs.

The doctor she met with, Humayoon Zaheer, couldn’t refer her to any roadside bomb injuries within the hospital. Instead, he related one particularly gruesome tale — the story of Aisha.

“We had another case here,” Zaheer told Expressen. “She came in a couple of weeks ago, in September. A little girl who had lost her face in a drone strike. It was a very unusual case. I’ll never forget it.”

Expressen reports that Aisha was brought into the hospital with her nose, both eyes, and one hand missing.

The girl was shuffled to two different hospitals in Afghanistan before being transferred to a medical facility in the capital of Kabul, the only place in the country capable of treating her severe injuries.

A few days after being in Kabul, Aisha was visited by Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who was at the hospital for a goodwill mission. In an interview with the Washington Post five months after the attack, Karzai recalled that seeing Aisha at the hospital was his “worst day in office.”
“The worst of it was when I went to visit a little girl in the French hospital who had no face, who was 4 1/2 years old, who had no face, completely blown off from the chin up to the eyes. She was blinded — her eyes were there but were blinded. Her arm was also not there. And she had lost the whole family, the entire family, 14 of them, in the bombing in Kunar. And that day . . . [note: there is a 39-second pause as Karzai struggles with his emotions] . . . that day, I wished she were dead and not alive, so she could be buried with her parents and brothers and sisters.”

Following the president’s visit, Aisha was moved across the globe to a hospital in the United States — without the consent of her remaining family. The girl’s two uncles were not allowed to accompany her.

It was at this point — five weeks after the initial strike — that Cristiansson sought to find Aisha. The girl’s uncles granted the journalist power of attorney, which made her the family’s official representative.

Through her research, she discovered that Aisha had been flown to the Walter Reed Military Hospital in Washington. From there, Aisha was put in the care of Solace for Children, a relief organization that treats Afghan children with war injuries, then finds them foster families until they can be flown back to their homes.

As the representative of Aisha’s family, Cristiansson reached out to Solace, but the organization said they’d been told that the girl didn’t have any relatives. After the journalist confirmed to the organization that Aisha did in fact have living family in Afghanistan, Solace declined to participate in any further questioning.

For weeks, Cristiansson was blackballed by the organization and heard nothing about Aisha’s condition. To both the journalist and the girl’s family, it seemed like a cover-up. Aisha’s two uncles believed that the U.S. military was withholding their niece to limit negative coverage of drone strikes.

“They probably don’t want her to become a poster girl for drone repercussions,” they told Expressen.

During this time, the International Security Assistance Force told Cristiansson that the September strike was performed because there were eight Taliban affiliates in the vehicle, and that they regret the civilian casualties.

The family of Aisha, however, said otherwise.

“How could they [commission an air strike?] They are not Taliban and there were several women and children in the car,” said Hasrat Gul, one of Aisha’s uncles.

It was not until March of this year that the family was finally updated on Aisha’s condition. When Cristiansson visted them, they told her that Aisha had been placed with a Muslim foster family in the United States. They added that her wounds had healed, but she’s still without her hand, eyes and nose.

In the end, the two uncles stressed that they just want Aisha to come home, rather than being stuck “in a country that killed her mother, father and little brother.”

“She belongs at home with us,” Meya Jan said.

The Toll of The Drone Program

2014 marks the fifth year of the U.S. drone program under President Obama, and it’s estimated that over this period at least 2,400 people have been killed. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism reports that between 416 and 951 civilians, including 168 to 200 children, were among those who’ve died in Pakistan alone.

Additionally, both Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International condemn the drone program, citing civilian casualties in Yemen and Pakistan that violate laws of war.

Just this March, the United Nations criticized American drone procedure for “the lack of transparency regarding the criteria for drone strikes, including the legal justification for specific attacks, and the lack of accountability for the loss of life resulting from such attacks.”

Nevertheless, the White House has held firm on their stance when it comes to drones.

In September of 2013, the same month Aisha was so badly injured in the devastating attack, the Obama administration denied claims from the aforementioned human rights organizations that laws were being broken.

Obama’s Chief Spokesman Jay Carney said current counterterrorism methods are “lawful” and “effective,” and that other methods would only increase civilian casualties.

In an interview with The New Yorker, President Obama asserted that the use of drones is only necessary when terrorists can’t be captured, and stated that his goal isn’t to “go around blowing things up.” He mentioned that he “wrestles” with the idea of civilians being caught in the crossfire.

“What I’ve tried to do is to tighten the process so much and limit the risks of civilian casualties so much that we have the least fallout from those actions,” Obama told the New Yorker. “But it’s not perfect.”

But accepting those types of imperfections is what led to Aisha’s horrific injuries. Isn’t it time we open our eyes and start to make a change?

Tired of hearing about drones killing innocent civilians? You can tell President Obama’s administration how you feel by signing Code Pink’s petition asking the US to take away the CIA’s lethal drone program. Click the action box to sign the petition and share this story to Become the News!
CLICK HERE TO TAKE ACTION

Source

Why is the mainstream media not talking about this child?

If the Taliban had done this it would be everywhere.

Ne sure to share this with your friends.

This is the true face of the US drones.

If we don’t tell people who will? Certainly not the main stream media.

They also fail to tell the truth about the Ukraine as well.

They all tell the public Russia is to blame for all the deaths, when in fact that is a blatant lie.

1 trillion of our tax dollars are wasted on NATO.

About 75 percent of it is used by the US.

No accountability No audits as to how the money is spent.

How many children are like little  4-Year-Old Aisha?

1 trillion dollars, can buy a lot of death and maiming.

Add to that all the money US tax dollars that go to war.

About Half of the US budget is earmarked for war.

So how many children have the US taken?

What a shame we have so few real reporters left in the world.

 

 

 

 

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Canada: Inuit go hungry more than any other indigenous group

Inuit go hungry more than any other indigenous group: report

A Nunavut family’s annual groceries cost $19,760, but half of Inuit adults earn less than $20,000

March  27, 2014

A new study released Thursday says people in Nunavut have the highest food insecurity rate for any indigenous population in a developed country at 68 per cent.

A new study released Thursday highlights the fact that people in Nunavut have the highest food insecurity rate for any indigenous population in a developed country at 68 per cent.

The report by the Council of Canadian Academies says 35 per cent of Inuit households in Nunavut do not have enough to eat. It also says 76 per cent of Inuit preschoolers skip meals, while 60 per cent have gone a day without eating.

The report does not present any new data or make any recommendations. Its authors say they hope their document will help develop priorities for the North and “direct northern food security research to priority areas.”

None of this comes as a surprise to Northerners. The alarming data on Inuit child hunger in Nunavut was first published in 2010 following the 2007-2008 Inuit Child Health Survey.

‘Folks in the South, I hope they’re shocked and I hope they’re embarrassed.’- David Natcher.

“That’s the same as it’s always been here,” said Rus Blanchet, who works at the Iqaluit soup kitchen. “Food is more expensive here. There’s nothing anyone can do about that. They have to ship it in by plane and boat.”

The report says the average cost of groceries for a family of four in Nunavut is $19,760 per year while almost half of Inuit adults earn less than $20,000 annually.

David Natcher, a professor at the University of Saskatchewan, contributed to the report.
“For the folks up north, I think they’re going to say ‘Yeah, I’m glad you recognize this,'” he said. “For the folks in the South, I hope they’re shocked and I hope they’re embarrassed.”

Natcher says Canada has the resources and capacity to improve food security in the North.

“The conditions in Nunavut in particular are in many ways dire. We have the resources. We have the capacity to address these issues and we can resolve food insecurity for Northern and Inuit communities.”

The World Health Organization defines food security as existing “when all people at all times have access to sufficient, safe, nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life.”

The Nunavut Inuit Child Health Survey, 2007-2009, found that 70 per cent of Inuit preschoolers don’t know when they’ll get their next meal. (Aboriginal Food Security in Northern Canada: An Assessment of the State of Knowledge) For more information go to the source.  Source

Read the Full Report HERE

inuit-food-security

Harper’s Government is not doing a very good job of taking care of Canada’s Inuit people.

Harper needs a wake up call.

Harper prefers to go from country to country, demonizing Russia and propping up the new Neo-Nazi Regime in the Ukraine.

You know, the one, that was taken over. by violent, thugs.

Harper has no problem lending, those thugs, $220 million however.

Harper had no problems spending tax dollars to destroy Libya.

Harper had no problem wasting about $800,000 on a celebration due to the fact they helped destroyed Libya either.

There is a very long list of things Harper has done.

Check the Archives.  Happy hunting.

 

Recent

What Happened to the US and no one noticed

Ukraine: Truth and Fiction

Crimeans in referendum voted to join Russia

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Published in: on March 27, 2014 at 6:02 pm  Comments (2)  
Tags: , , , , ,

What Happened to the US and no one noticed

This is a fabulous video and a must to watch.

It starts a bit slow but be patient you will find a lot of answers you never thought of before.

It is an older video but definite worth watching.

Do take the time. You may learn a thing or two.

Economist, author, Professor emeritus UMass, Amherst, Richard Wolff, speaks about the current economic crises, its’ roots and what we can do about it.
Filmed by Paul Hubbard at Brown University, Providence RI on 12-2-9
This problem is hitting countries, around the world also.

Dead Dollar Walking: The Truth About Government Debt

Added March 23, 2014.

Another couple of  must watch video.

No Central Bank should be privately owned.

 

Recent

Ukraine: Truth and Fiction

Crimeans in referendum voted to join Russia

Published in: on March 22, 2014 at 2:53 am  Comments Off  
Tags: , ,

Crimeans in referendum voted to join Russia

About 95% of Crimeans in referendum voted to join Russia

March 16, 2014

Around 95 percent of voters in the Crimean referendum have answered ‘yes’ to the autonomous republic joining Russia and less than 5 percent of the vote participants want the region to remain part of Ukraine, according to preliminary results.

With around 50 percent of the votes already counted, preliminary result show that 95.5 percent of voters said ‘yes’ to the reunion of the republic with Russia as a constituent unit of the Russian Federation. In Sevastopol, the number of those who voted ‘yes’ stands at 93 percent, according to the head of the Sevastopol commission, Valery Medvedev.

The preliminary results of the popular vote were announced during a meeting in the center of Sevastopol, the city that hosts Russia’s Black Sea fleet.

The overall voter turnout in the referendum on the status of Crimea is 81,37%, according to the head of the Crimean parliament’s commission on the referendum, Mikhail Malyshev.

Over a half of the Tatars living in the port city took part in the referendum, with the majority of them voting in favor of joining Russia, reports Itar-Tass citing a representative of the Tatar community Lenur Usmanov.

About 40% of Crimean Tatars went to polling stations on Sunday, the republic’s prime minister Sergey Aksyonov said.

In Simferopol, the capital of the republic, at least 15,000 have gathered to celebrate the referendum in central Lenin square and people reportedly keep arriving. Demonstrators, waving Russian and Crimean flags, were watching a live concert while waiting for the announcement of preliminary results of the voting.

International observers are planning to present their final declaration on the Crimean referendum on March 17, the head of the monitors’ commission, Polish MP Mateush Piskorski told journalists. He added that the voting was held in line with international norms and standards.

Next week, Crimea will officially introduce the ruble as a second official currency along with Ukrainian hryvna, Aksyonov told Interfax. In his words, the dual currency will be in place for about six months.

Overall, the republic’s integration into Russia will take up to a year, the Prime Minister said, adding that it could be done faster. However, they want to maintain relations with “economic entities, including Ukraine,” rather than burn bridges.

Moscow is closely monitoring the vote count in Crimea, said Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Georgy Karasin.

The results of the referendum will be considered once they are drawn up,” he told Itar-Tass.

The decision to hold a referendum was made after the bloody uprising in Kiev which ousted President Vladimir Yanukovich from power. Crimea – which is home to an ethnic Russian majority population – refused to recognize the coup-appointed government as legitimate. Crimeans feared that the new leadership would not represent their interests and respect rights. Crimeans were particularly unhappy over parliament’s decision to revoke the law allowing using minority languages – including Russian – as official along with the Ukrainian tongue. Crimeans staged mass anti-Maidan protests and asked Russia to protect them. Source

The people have spoken.

No will the US/EU/Israel Leave the people alone?

Under International Law the people have every right, to self determination. Everyone should respect and accept the outcome of the referendum.

If anything does happen in Crimea, we should all, be looking at outside interference.  Something that happens in a lot of countries.

Good luck to the people of Crimea. Now maybe some of the over 600,000 that went to Russia, may be able to return.

Seems there are others who wish to a referendum as well. Not only do they want out of the country, they want out of the EU and NATO.

I wonder what the US will have to say about it all.

They too have every legal right, under International Law to self determination as well.

‘Serene’ referendum: Italian region votes on restoration of Venetian Republic

March 16, 2014

As Crimeans make their way to the polls this Sunday, another region further in the heart of Europe is also deciding its fate in a referendum: the Italian region of Veneto, which is voting on whether to break with Rome.

The independence movement insists the industrial northern region’s wealth is being drained by Rome’s mismanagement of the financial crisis.

Following in the footsteps of Scotland and Catalonia, Venice – the capital of the Italian region of Veneto – will be holding a referendum to form an independent republic. About 3.8 million people in the region are eligible to vote in the referendum, which runs through Friday.

Leaders of the independence movement say they are not going to wait for Rome’s approval, and if the population votes in favor they will begin the separation process. The latest polls carried out by the independence movement show that over 60 percent of the population is in favor of becoming independent.

“If there is a majority yes vote, we have scholars drawing up a declaration of independence and there are businesses in the region who say they will begin paying taxes to local authorities instead of to Rome,” Lodovico Pizzati, the spokesman for the independence movement, told the Telegraph newspaper.

The president of Veneto, Luca Zaia, who supports the independence movement, said the region is tired of the lack of respect from Rome. With the onset of the financial crisis the movement has been gathering momentum, with many people in the area perceiving Rome’s treatment of the situation as irresponsible.

“Veneto pays its taxes and would like answers from Rome. Rome has not respected the Venetians,” Zaia told Italian publication Liberoquotidiano. “The push for independence comes from the people, it is a democratic request that has come about because of Rome’s indifference.”

He went on to say that Italy was currently experiencing “a kind of ailing democracy” and had become bogged down in bureaucracy.

Gianluca Busato, a prominent Venetian businessman an advocate for independence from Rome, told RT that the Venice region is one of the biggest payers of taxes into Rome’s coffers, but gets nothing like what it shells out in return and as such Rome opposes the vote.

“I think they [the Italian government] are not so happy because Veneto is a rich region. Italy steals 20 billion of taxes that are not returned to us, and so I think the Italian government is not so happy about our will of independence,” he said.

Furthermore, advocates for the independence of the region argue that Rome is draining the northern region of its wealth through taxes in order to support the poorer South of Italy. The independence movement website claims that the region pays €20 billion more in taxes to Rome than it receives in investment and services.

Venice may also sever ties with the European Union and NATO if it gains its independence.

“Venetians not only want out of Italy, but we also want out of the euro, the EU and NATO,” Raffaele Serafini, another pro-independence activist, told the Telegraph.

Members of the movement say they have been inspired by Scotland and Catalonia, who have also planned referendums for this year. Scotland will vote for its independence in September, despite statements from the British government that they will not be allowed the pound if they separate. Spain’s government has decried Catalonia’s planned referendum as illegal and in defiance of Spanish sovereignty.

Giovanni Dalla Valle, head of the Veneto independence movement, told RT that there is nothing Italy can do to stop the region from becoming independent.

“We have to fight for it [independence]. We will do it in a peaceful, diplomatic way. We do strongly believe that when the majority wants to be independent there is nothing they [the Italian government] can do,” he said to RT.

He went on to say that the established world order favors centralized governments and that is why many referendums are condemned as illegal.

Prior to joining Italy in 1866, the region of Veneto was known as “La Serenissima” – the Most Serene Republic of Venice. The Republic lost its independence when Napoleon conquered Venice in 1797. Source

Related

Ukraine: Truth and Fiction

March 12, 2014

Violence and bloodshed continues to rock Ukraine as factions compete in the power vacuum of last month’s coup in Kiev. As the country struggles to find its way forward, however, it finds itself in the crosshairs of a NATO war agenda that has been unfolding for years. This is the GRTV Feature Interview with our special guest, Professor Michel Chossudovsky.

The European and American public are being systematically lied to about the Ukraine crisis.

Mainstream US Media Is Lost in Ukraine

The U.S. mainstream news media is reaching a new professional low point as it covers the Ukraine crisis by brazenly touting Official Washington’s propaganda themes, blatantly ignoring contrary facts and leading the American public into another geopolitical blind alley

By Robert Parry

March 17, 2014

As the Ukraine crisis continues to deepen, the mainstream U.S. news media is sinking to new lows of propaganda and incompetence. Somehow, a violent neo-Nazi-spearheaded putsch overthrowing a democratically elected president was refashioned into a “legitimate” regime, then the “interim” government and now simply “Ukraine.”

The Washington Post’s screaming headline on Sunday is “Ukraine decries Russian ‘invasion,’” treating the coup regime in Kiev as if it speaks for the entire country when it clearly speaks for only a subset of the population, mostly from western Ukraine. The regime’s “legitimacy” comes not from a democratic election but from a coup that was quickly embraced by the U.S. government and the European Union.

Objective U.S. journalists would insist on a truthful narrative that conveys these nuances to the American people, not simply behave as clumsy propagandists determined to glue “white hats” on the side favored by the State Department and “black hats” on everyone that the U.S. government disdains. But virtually the entire mainstream press corps has opted for the propaganda role, much as it has in the past. Think Iraq 2002-03.

You also might remember the mainstream media’s rush to judgment over the Sarin attack in Syria on Aug. 21, 2013. The State Department rashly blamed the incident on the Syrian government despite serious doubts inside the U.S. intelligence community.

To conceal those dissents, the State Department and the White House issued a four-page “Government Assessment,” rather than a National Intelligence Estimate from the 16 U.S. intelligence agencies. That would have had to include footnotes revealing disagreements over the evidence among the analysts.

When the “Government Assessment” was posted online at the White House Web site on Aug. 30, it contained not a single piece of evidence that could be independently checked. That same day, Secretary of State John Kerry gave a nearly hysterical speech that sounded like a declaration of war. He insisted that the U.S. government had conclusive proof of the Syrian government’s guilt but he just couldn’t reveal any.

The U.S. press corps showed virtually no skepticism about the U.S. government’s case. Only a few Web sites, including Consortiumnews.com, noted the lack of verifiable proof and the absence of U.S. intelligence officials during the presentations, including none sitting behind Kerry when he made the rounds of congressional hearings.

The evidence regarding the Syrian government guilt apparently was so flimsy that no U.S. intelligence official wanted to play the role of CIA Director George Tenet who popped up behind Secretary of State Colin Powell during his deceptive speech on Feb. 5, 2003, asserting a definitive case that Iraq was hiding weapons of mass destruction.

But the dog-not-barking in the missing intelligence officials on Syria was ignored by the big media. Instead, the New York Times, the Washington Post and other major news outlets reprised their Iraq War roles.

The Vector Analysis

In September, the Times even fronted a story – by C.J. Chivers and Rick Gladstone – asserting that it had established Syrian government guilt for the Sarin attack, much as a 2002 Times story reported that Iraq’s purchase of aluminum tubes was proof of a secret nuclear program. That Times story became the basis for President George W. Bush and his top aides scaring the American people with warnings about “mushroom clouds.”

The Chivers-Gladstone story cited the azimuths (or the reverse flight paths) of two Sarin-laden rockets intersecting at a Syrian military base northwest of Damascus, the “slam-dunk” proof of Syrian guilt, making those of us who raised questions about lack of evidence look stupid.

But both Times stories – the one in 2002 and the one in 2013 – collapsed under scrutiny. The Iraqi aluminum tubes, it turned out, were unfit for nuclear centrifuges (and the U.S. invasion force later determined that Iraq had no active nuclear program), and the intersecting azimuths proved false because only one of the two rockets contained Sarin and its maximum range was around 2.5 kilometers, according to scientific analyses, not the necessary 9.5 kilometers for the two azimuths to cross.

So, in December 2013, three months after the Times ran its front-page “vector analysis,” Chivers got the assignment to write a grudging retraction, though the admission of his error was mumbled in the 18th paragraph of a story stuck deep inside the newspaper. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “NYT Backs Off Its Syria-Sarin Analysis.”]

Because the retraction was “buried,” however, much of Official Washington still thinks the earlier story, supposedly proving the Syrian government’s guilt, is operational. That’s why you see politicians, like Sen. John McCain, accusing President Barack Obama of cowardice for failing to bomb Syria after it crossed his “red line” against using chemical weapons.

You’ve had a similar rush to judgment in connection with the violence that broke out in Kiev last month. The U.S. government and news media blamed lethal sniper fire on the government of President Viktor Yanukovych and – after he was driven from office by a neo-Nazi-led putsch on Feb. 22 – the U.S. media made much of how the new rump regime in Kiev had accused Yanukovych of mass murder.

However, according to an intercepted phone conversation between Estonia’s Foreign Minister Urmas Paet and European Union foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton, Paet reported on a conversation that he had with a doctor in Kiev who said the sniper fire that killed protesters was the same that killed police officers.

As reported by the UK Guardian, “During the conversation, Paet quoted a woman named Olga – who the Russian media identified her as Olga Bogomolets, a doctor – blaming snipers from the opposition shooting the protesters.”

Paet said, “What was quite disturbing, this same Olga told that, well, all the evidence shows that people who were killed by snipers from both sides, among policemen and people from the streets, that they were the same snipers killing people from both sides.

“So she also showed me some photos, she said that as medical doctor, she can say it is the same handwriting, the same type of bullets, and it’s really disturbing that now the new coalition, that they don’t want to investigate what exactly happened. … So there is a stronger and stronger understanding that behind snipers it was not Yanukovych, it was somebody from the new coalition.”

Ashton replied: “I think we do want to investigate. I didn’t pick that up, that’s interesting. Gosh.”

This important evidence regarding who was responsible for the crucial sniper fire, which sparked the violent coup, has been virtually blacked out of the mainstream U.S. news media, along with the sudden disinterest on the part of the coup regime to investigate who committed those murders. Yet, instead of repairing the rotting foundation of Official Washington’s false narrative, the major news organizations just keep building upon it.

Whiting Out the Brown Shirts

The next step is to white-out the brown shirts of the neo-Nazi storm troopers who led the final violent overthrow of Yanukovych. Then, you clean up the unsavory coup regime by having its U.S.-chosen leader, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, receive a formal welcome at the White House. Next, you pretend that the concerns of the ethnic Russians in Ukraine’s east and south are simply the result of Moscow’s propaganda and intimidation.

That’s what we’re seeing now. The New York Times even dispatched correspondent C.J. Chivers, the same guy who falsely fingered the Syrian government with that “vector analysis” last September, to co-author a dispatch entitled “Pressure and Intimidation Grip Crimea,” with the subtitle, “Russia Moves Swiftly to Stifle Dissent Ahead of Secession Vote.”

Chivers and co-author Patrick Reevel wrote: “With a mix of targeted intimidation, an expansive military occupation by unmistakably elite Russian units and many of the trappings of the election-season carnivals that have long accompanied rigged ballots across the old Soviet world, Crimea has been swept almost instantaneously into the Kremlin’s fold.

“This has happened well ahead of the referendum set for Sunday, after which, barring an extraordinary surprise, the peninsula’s interim authorities, led by a previously unsuccessful politician nicknamed the Goblin, will announce that its citizens have voted to leave Ukraine and seek a place in President Vladimir V. Putin’s Russia.”

You get the picture? While the New York Times accepted the rump parliament’s actions in Kiev last month as “legitimate” – voting in lock step under the watchful of eye of neo-Nazi militias to depose Yanukovych and strip away rights of ethnic Russians – a different standard will apply to Crimea’s referendum on bailing out of the failed Ukrainian state.

That vote, if it favors secession, must be seen as rigged and resulting only from Russian coercion, all the better to continue the false narrative that now dominates the U.S. political/media process.

Yet, the danger of false narratives – as the American people saw in Iraq and almost revisited in Syria – is that policies, including warfare, can be driven by myth, not by fact. The real story of Ukraine is far more complex than the black-and-white caricature that the New York Times, the Washington Post and others are presenting. It is in the truthful grays that responsible policies are shaped and bloody miscalculations are avoided. Source

The Forgotten Coup – How the Godfather Rules from Canberra to Kiev

 By John Pilger

Washington’s role in the fascist putsch against an elected government in Ukraine will surprise only those who watch the news and ignore the historical record. Since 1945, dozens of governments, many of them democracies, have met a similar fate, usually with bloodshed.

Nicaragua is one of the poorest countries on earth with fewer people than Wales, yet under the reformist Sandinistas in the 1980s it was regarded in Washington as a “strategic threat”. The logic was simple; if the weakest slipped the leash, setting an example, who else would try their luck?

The great game of dominance offers no immunity for even the most loyal US “ally”. This is demonstrated by perhaps the least known of Washington’s coups – in Australia. The story of this forgotten coup is a salutary lesson for those governments that believe a “Ukraine” or a “Chile” could never happen to them.

Australia’s deference to the United States makes Britain, by comparison, seem a renegade. During the American invasion of Vietnam – which Australia had pleaded to join – an official in Canberra voiced a rare complaint to Washington that the British knew more about US objectives in that war than its antipodean comrade-in-arms. The response was swift: “We have to keep the Brits informed to keep them happy. You are with us come what may.”

This dictum was rudely set aside in 1972 with the election of the reformist Labor government of Gough Whitlam. Although not regarded as of the left, Whitlam – now in his 98th year – was a maverick social democrat of principle, pride, propriety and extraordinary political imagination. He believed that a foreign power should not control his country’s resources and dictate its economic and foreign policies. He proposed to “buy back the farm” and speak as a voice independent of London and Washington.

On the day after his election, Whitlam ordered that his staff should not be “vetted or harassed” by the Australian security organisation, ASIO – then, as now, beholden to Anglo-American intelligence. When his ministers publicly condemned the Nixon/Kissinger administration as “corrupt and barbaric”, Frank Snepp, a CIA officer stationed in Saigon at the time, said later: “We were told the Australians might as well be regarded as North Vietnamese collaborators.”

Whitlam demanded to know if and why the CIA was running a spy base at Pine Gap near Alice Springs, ostensibly a joint Australian/US “facility”. Pine Gap is a giant vacuum cleaner which, as the whistleblower Edward Snowden recently revealed, allows the US to spy on everyone. In the 1970s, most Australians had no idea that this secretive foreign enclave placed their country on the front line of a potential nuclear war with the Soviet Union.  Whitlam clearly knew the personal risk he was taking – as the minutes of a meeting with the US ambassador demonstrate. “Try to screw us or bounce us,” he warned, “[and Pine Gap] will become a matter of contention”.

Victor Marchetti, the CIA officer who had helped set up Pine Gap, later told me, “This threat to close Pine Gap caused apoplexy in the White House. Consequences were inevitable… a kind of Chile was set in motion.”

The CIA had just helped General Pinochet to crush the democratic government of another reformer, Salvador Allende, in Chile.

In 1974, the White House sent the Marshall Green to Canberra as ambassador. Green was an imperious, very senior and sinister figure in the State Department who worked in the shadows of America’s “deep state”. Known as the “coupmaster”, he had played a played a central role in the 1965 coup against President Sukarno in Indonesia – which cost up to a million lives. One of his first speeches in Australia was to the Australian Institute of Directors – described by an alarmed member of the audience as “an incitement to the country’s business leaders to  rise against the government”.

Pine Gap’s top-secret messages were de-coded in California by a CIA contractor, TRW. One of the de-coders was a young Christopher Boyce, an idealist who, troubled by the “deception and betrayal of an ally”, became a whistleblower. Boyce revealed that the CIA had infiltrated the Australian political and trade union elite and referred to the Governor-General of Australia, Sir John Kerr, as “our man Kerr”.

In his black top hat and medal-laden mourning suit, Kerr was the embodiment of imperium. He was the Queen of England’s Australian viceroy in a country that still recognised her as head of state. His duties were ceremonial; yet Whitlam – who appointed him – was unaware of or chose to ignore Kerr’s long-standing ties to Anglo-American intelligence.

The Governor-General was an enthusiastic member of the Australian Association for Cultural Freedom, described by the Jonathan Kwitny of the Wall Street Journal in his book, ‘The Crimes of Patriots’, as, “an elite, invitation-only group… exposed in Congress as being founded, funded and generally run by the CIA”. The CIA “paid for Kerr’s travel, built his prestige… Kerr continued to go to the CIA for money”.

In 1975, Whitlam discovered that Britain’s MI6 had long been operating against his government. “The Brits were actually de-coding secret messages coming into my foreign affairs office,” he said later. One of his ministers, Clyde Cameron, told me, “We knew MI6 was bugging Cabinet meetings for the Americans.” In interviews in the 1980s with the American investigative journalist Joseph Trento, executive officers of the CIA disclosed that the “Whitlam problem” had been discussed “with urgency” by the CIA’s director, William Colby, and the head of MI6, Sir Maurice Oldfield, and that “arrangements” were made. A deputy director of the CIA told Trento: “Kerr did what he was told to do.”

In 1975, Whitlam learned of a secret list of CIA personnel in Australia held by the Permanent Head of the Australian Defence Department, Sir Arthur Tange – a deeply conservative mandarin with unprecedented territorial power in Canberra. Whitlam demanded to see the list. On it was the name, Richard Stallings who, under cover, had set up Pine Gap as a provocative CIA installation. Whitlam now had the proof he was looking for.

On 10 November, 1975, he was shown a top secret telex message sent by ASIO in Washington. This was later sourced to Theodore Shackley, head of the CIA’s East Asia Division and one of the most notorious figures spawned by the Agency. Shackley had been head of the CIA’s Miami-based operation to assassinate Fidel Castro and Station Chief in Laos and Vietnam. He had recently worked on the “Allende problem”.

Shackley’s message was read to Whitlam. Incredibly, it said that the prime minister of Australia was a security risk in his own country.

The day before, Kerr had visited the headquarters of the Defence Signals Directorate, Australia’s NSA whose ties to Washington were, and reman binding. He was briefed on the “security crisis”. He had then asked for a secure line and spent 20 minutes in hushed conversation.

On 11 November – the day Whitlam was to inform Parliament about the secret CIA presence in Australia – he was summoned by Kerr. Invoking archaic vice-regal “reserve powers”, Kerr sacked the democratically elected prime minister. The problem was solved. Source

Published in: on March 16, 2014 at 10:09 pm  Comments (2)  
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Ukraine: Truth and Fiction

What are we suppose to believe?

Who is behind all the violence and the coup?

Where did some of the protesters come from?

When did this plan begin?

Why would anyone want to create a mess in the Ukraine?

Those are just a few of the questions, we need answers to.

For some of those answers I myself only have to look at the events now and those that lead up to the events in:

Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia, Etc Etc

The same people are behind the Protesters in Venezuela as well. Yet another country that “guess who hates”?

Fake protesters are not, a new thing.

Lies, are not a new thing.

The countries who do not want to be be apart of the Guess who’s agenda are always the targets of, guess who’s lies and propaganda?

They are always demonized etc etc etc.

That is the oldest ploy on the planet. Anyone with a single brain cell would figure it out in a heart beat.

The Ukraine crisis through the whimsy of international law

Money and hard power count, and that’s that

By Neil Macdonald, CBC News

Mar 05, 2014 5:00 AM ET  Updated: Mar 06, 2014 2:44 PM ET

 Guess Who

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks with reporters on the possibility of U.S. sanctions against Russia for intervening in Ukraine before meeting with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office on Monday. (Jonathan Ernst / Reuters)

Listening to U.S. President Barack Obama bang on this week about the importance of world opinion and obeying international law and respecting sovereignty and being on the right side of history, you had to wonder whether he didn’t have a little voice in his head whispering: “Really? Seriously? I’m actually saying this stuff?”

This is the commander-in-chief of a military that operates a prison camp on Cuban soil, against the explicit wishes of the Cuban government, and which regularly fires drone missiles into other countries, often killing innocent bystanders.

He is a president who ordered that CIA torturers would go unprosecuted, and leads a nation that has invaded other countries whenever it wished, regardless of what the rest of the world might think.

Disclaimer here: Vladimir Putin’s proclaimed justification for invading Ukraine — protecting Russian-speaking “compatriots” in that country from some imagined violence — stinks of tribalism.

His rationale is essentially ethnic nationalism, something responsible for so much of the evil done throughout human history.

Stated motivation aside, though, what Putin is doing is really no different from what other world powers do: protecting what they regard as national self-interest.

And so far, he’s done it without bloodletting.

Imagine, for a moment, what Washington would do if, say, Bahrain’s Shia population, covertly supported by Tehran, staged a successful uprising and began to push itself into Iran’s orbit.

The U.S. Fifth Fleet is headquartered in Bahrain, just as Russia’s Black Sea Fleet is parked at its huge naval bases in the Crimea.

To pose the scenario is to answer the question of how America would react.

The same goes for all the other countries in America’s political realm. The Philippines, South Korea, certain Persian Gulf nations. Imagine if Russia’s military tried to return to Cuba.

The order of things

There is an order of things; it is disturbed at the world’s peril.

And Ukraine, for better or worse — decidedly worse, those in the western portion of the country will tell you — has for centuries been in Russia’s sphere.

Crimea, the region of Ukraine now occupied by Russia, was part of the Soviet Union and was deeded to Ukraine in 1954 to celebrate the 300th anniversary of a treaty that bonded much of Ukraine to Tsarist Russia.

To suggest, as European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso did this week, that Ukrainians “have shown that they belong culturally, emotionally but also politically to Europe,” is just wishful thinking, even if some Ukrainians wish it were true.

Furthermore, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was right when he pointed out that many of the countries denouncing Putin’s intervention were actively involved in encouraging anti-Russia Ukrainians to overthrow an elected, if distasteful, president and government.

Victoria Nuland, a senior American diplomat, was caught in flagrante delicto a few weeks back, chatting with another American official about which Ukrainian opposition figures should and shouldn’t be installed.

Washington’s reply: It was unconscionable of Russia to intercept and leak that discussion.

More angry flailings

Incidentally, some of the Ukrainian opposition groups that have now ended up in power are thuggish, anti-Semitic, anti-Russian, extreme right-wingers.

Putin’s description of them — ultranationalists — was mild. You just wouldn’t know it listening to Western politicians.

In Obama’s case, sitting beside him on Monday as he gave his lecture on international law from the Oval Office was close ally Benjamin Netanyahu.

The Israeli prime minister, having just engaged in a protracted, robust handshake for the cameras, presides over a country that operates a military occupation in the West Bank, an occupation that includes Israeli settlements, which violate the international law Obama was demanding Putin obey.

The U.S. insists that Israel’s occupation can only be solved by respectful negotiation between the parties themselves, and it vehemently opposes punishing Israel with the sort of moves currently being contemplated against Russia.

It’s easy to go on and on in this vein — Britain’s prime minister, who leads a nation that helped invade Iraq on a false pretext, denouncing Putin’s pretext for going into Crimea. The NATO powers that helped bring about the independence of Albanian Kosovars complaining about the separatist aspirations of Russian-speaking Ukrainians, etc.

But that’s diplomacy. Hypocritical declarations and acts are woven into its essence.

What’s remarkable is the unspoken pact among the Western news media to report it all so uncritically.

When Obama spoke, the gaggle of reporters in attendance rushed to report his statements, mostly at face value.

Likewise, Western news reports seriously reported Russia’s ridiculous threat to end the role of the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency, as though Russia’s creditors will begin to accept rubles at whatever exchange rate Putin decrees.

On TV and in print, we hear serious talk about the possibility of economic sanctions against Russia — which would only trigger a devastating trade back-blast against European economies.

Other media analysts agree with the angry flailings of U.S. foreign policy hawks, who seem to think Obama should be much more aggressive with Putin, although they have few concrete suggestions. (A frustrated Senator John McCain demanded that rich Russians be barred from Las Vegas.)

The unspoken media-government arrangement is understandable, I suppose.

We must at least pretend there’s international law and fairness and basic rules, because it reassures us that we live in a world where raw power doesn’t ultimately rule.

But it’s all just gibberish; through the looking glass. We might as well be reporting that slithy toves gyre and gimble in the wabe.

Money and hard power count, and that’s that. The big players have it, and the smaller players play along. If we need the anaesthetic liquor of self-delusion to deal with it, well, drink up.

Clarifications An earlier version of this article did not specify that it is the Israeli settlements in the West Bank that are considered a violation of international law. Mar 06, 2014 2:43 PM ET   Source

Mercenaries took part in Maidan violence – Ex-Ukraine security chief

March 13 2014

There is no doubt there were mercenaries at Maidan, the former head of Ukraine’s security service, Aleksandr Yakimenko, says.

The violence on Maidan which caused almost 100 deaths was organized by some opposition leaders who poured Western money and resources into the coup, Yakimenko told the Russia-1 TV channel. Now Major General Alexander Yakimenko is in the top five of Maidan’s hit list. He made it to that list while he was still in his office in Kiev.

Q: How did you manage to escape?

Aleksandr Yakimenko: I am a Security Service officer.

Q: Where did those snipers come from?

AY: First shots were fired from the Philharmonic building. Maidan Commandant Parubiy was in charge of the building. On February 20, this building was used as a base by the snipers and people with automatic weapons. They basically covered those who were attacking the demoralized policemen running in panic, hunted down like animals. They were followed by armed people with different kinds of weapons. At that point, somebody opened fire at those who attacked the police, and some of them were killed. All this fire was coming from the Philharmonic building. After this first round of fire, about 20 people came out of this building – this was witnessed by many. These people wore special combat clothes and carried sniper rifle cases, as well as AKMs with scopes. There were witnesses, and not just our operatives, but also Maidan activists from Svoboda, Right Sector, Batkivshchyna, and UDAR.

The snipers split into two groups – 10 men each. The Security Service lost track of one of the groups. The other group took a position at the Ukraine hotel. Killings continued. In the beginning, when the shots were scattered, I was asked by Right Sector and Svoboda to mobilize a Special Forces unit and remove the snipers from the buildings.

Q: They asked you?

AY: Yes, Right Sector and Svoboda. I was ready to do that, but I needed Parubiy’s [he is now now the Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine in the Turchinov-Yatsenyuk government] permission to enter Maidan. Otherwise our officers would’ve been attacked by the self-defense forces in the back. Parubiy didn’t give such permission. No weapons could be brought to Maidan without Parubiy’s permission. Hand guns, rifles, scopes – he had to agree to all of that. We had some intel about discharged Ukrainian army special forces participating in those activities. Some reports claimed that these were fighters from former Yugoslavia, as well as mercenaries from other countries.

Q: So you think they were mercenaries?

AY: No doubt. Parubiy removed himself from the picture. This affected the events of the last week. He joined Poroshenko. Gvozd, Malamuzh, and Gritsenko. These forces did what they were told by their bosses – the US. They basically lived in the embassy. They were there every day.

Q: Is it true that Nalivaichenko allowed the CIA agents to work in the Security Service building?

AY: Yes, that’s true. He also handed personal files of his own employees over to the CIA agents to study. But their mission was interrupted by an armed coup. The Maidan do not appoint these people; rather, it’s the US that does it. It’s enough to look at the newly appointed officials: Parubiy, Gvozd, Nalyvaichenko are all people who followed somebody else’s orders, the orders of the US, not even Europe. They are directly linked to the American intelligence. They sought to delay the negotiations and prevent the incumbent president from striking a deal with Russia and Russia from helping to prop up the social and economic order in Ukraine. After that they were planning to depose the president and integrate Ukraine into Europe, using Russian money. Who was troubled by the victory of the EU and the pro-integration forces? Only the US. It was the only country concerned over a possible alliance of Europe, Russia and Ukraine. The Customs Union and the connection between Russia and Ukraine did not sit well with their plans, either.

They’d been doing it ever since Yushchenko was president, and we couldn’t get rid of them. Once we started to put pressure, they relocated to Poland, Latvia and Lithuania. The most interesting part is that many regional governments spent budget money to pay for the so-called vyshkoli, i.e. training camps for militants to fight with various types of weapons.

All the orders were given either by the US embassy or by Jan Tombinski, a Polish representative who worked in the EU mission in Kiev. Poland played an invaluable role in the coup. It has always dreamt of restoring its former power and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

Ever since the Maidan kicked off, our security service registered a dramatic increase in diplomatic correspondence coming in to various Western embassies in Kiev. There is one more mystery. Straight after this influx of correspondence we saw some foreign money at the Maidan and in Kiev exchange bureaus: the new, re-designed US dollar bank notes.

Q: So they were bringing in cash?

AY: Yes. Poroshenko, Firtash, Pinchuk – they all poured money into the Maidan. With all their assets in foreign banks, they found themselves trapped. So they had to follow orders from the West. All they were supposed to do was back the Maidan; otherwise they would have lost all their assets. They were thinking about their money rather than their own country. Unfortunately we couldn’t prevent the casualties, the people, mainly those who had come from the Western regions, were sent into the line of fire. The Maidan militants had left the barricades after the sniper fire started. But time will set the record straight.

The whole story has affected the Berkut guys, the Internal Troops, the Security Service, too. But ordinary Ukrainians have suffered as well. And I don’t think they should have sacrificed their lives for Yatsenyuk, Klitschko, Poroshenko and others to take their posts. Ukrainians have lots of patience. But one day they will run out of it and remove them from power. I hope that happens soon enough. Source

There were  Ex-IDF Soldiers from Israel, helping the protesters along their merry way.

Ukraine: Israeli Special Forces Unit under Neo-Nazi Command Involved in Maidan Riots

Under the title “In Kiev, an Israeli army vet led a street-fighting unit”, the Jewish News Agency JTA confirms that soldiers from the IDF were involved in the EuroMaidan protest movement under the direct command of the Neo-Nazi Svoboda Party.  The Svoboda Party follows in the footsteps of World War II Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera.

The leader of the “Blue Helmets of Maidan” is Delta “the nom de guerre of the commander of a Jewish-led militia force that participated in the Ukrainian revolution”. Delta is a Veteran of the notorious Givati infantry brigade, which was involved in numerous operations directed against Gaza including Operation Cast Lead in 2008-2009.

The Givati brigade was responsible for the massacres in the Tel el-Hawa neighborhood of Gaza. Delta, the leader of the EuroMaidan IDF unit acknowledges that he acquired his urban combat skills in the Shu’alei Shimshon reconnaissance battalion of the Givati brigade.

According to the JTA report, Delta was in command of a force of 40 men and women including several former IDF veterans. In the EuroMaidan, Delta was routinely applying his skills of urban warfare which he had used against the Palestinians in Gaza.

The Maidan “Street fighting unit” under Delta’s command was involved in confronting government forces. It is unclear from the reports whether the EuroMaidan combat unit was in liaison with IDF command headquarters in Israel:

The Blue Helmets comprise 35 men and women who are not Jewish, and who are led by five ex-IDF soldiers, says Delta, an Orthodox Jew in his late 30s

Delta, who immigrated to Israel in the 1990s, moved back to Ukraine several years ago … He says he joined the protest movement as a volunteer on Nov. 30, after witnessing violence by government forces against student protesters.

“I saw unarmed civilians with no military background being ground by a well-oiled military machine, and it made my blood boil,” Delta told JTA in Hebrew laced with military jargon. “I joined them then and there, and I started fighting back the way I learned how, through urban warfare maneuvers. People followed, and I found myself heading a platoon of young men. Kids, really.”

The other ex-IDF infantrymen joined the Blue Helmets later after hearing it was led by a fellow vet, Delta said.

In a bitter irony, Delta, the commander of the IDF militia unit was taking his orders directly from the Neo-Nazi Party Svoboda:

As platoon leader, Delta says he takes orders from activists connected to Svoboda, an ultra-nationalist [Neo-Nazi] party that has been frequently accused of anti-Semitism and whose members have been said to have had key positions in organizing the opposition protests.

“I don’t belong [to Svoboda], but I take orders from their team. They know I’m Israeli, Jewish and an ex-IDF soldier. They call me ‘brother,’” he said. “What they’re saying about Svoboda is exaggerated, I know this for a fact. I don’t like them because they’re inconsistent, not because of [any] anti-Semitism issue.”

Neither the Tel Aviv government nor the Israeli media have expressed concern regarding the fact that the EuroMaidan protests were led by Neo-Nazis.

With the formation of a new government composed of NeoNazis,  the Jewish community in Kiev is threatened.  This community is described as “one of the most vibrant Jewish communities in the world, with dozens of active Jewish organizations and institutions”. A significant part of this community is made up of family members of holocaust survivors. “Three million Ukrainians were murdered by the Nazis during their occupation of Ukraine, including 900,000 Jews.” (indybay.org, January 29, 2014).

“It’s bullshit. I never saw any expression of anti-Semitism during the protests”

In a bitter twist, the Blue Helmet IDF unit in the EuroMaidan has been the object of praise by the Israeli media. According to Ariel Cohen of the Washington based Heritage Foundation: “The commanding position of Svoboda in the revolution is no secret”. The participation of Israeli soldiers under Neo-Nazi Svoboda command does not seem to be an object of concern:

On Wednesday, Russian State Duma Chairman Sergey Naryshkin said Moscow was concerned about anti-Semitic declarations by radical groups in Ukraine.But Delta says the Kremlin is using the anti-Semitism card falsely to delegitimize the Ukrainian revolution, which is distancing Ukraine from Russia’s sphere of influence.

“It’s bullshit. I never saw any expression of anti-Semitism during the protests, and the claims to the contrary were part of the reason I joined the movement. We’re trying to show that Jews care,” he said.

See Svoboda and Right Sector militants honoring Stepan Bandera(image below)

Bandera was a Nazi collaborator involved in the Third Reich’s Einsatzgruppen (Task Groups or Deployment Groups) . These “task forces” were paramilitary death squads deployed throughout the Ukraine.

The JTA article can be consulted at www.jta.org/2014/02/28/news-opinion/world/in-kiev-an-israeli-militia-commander-fights-in-the-streets-and-saves-lives#ixzz2uvYcMBEl

For Photo’s go to the Source

This was also reported by Haaretz  If google it.

The ex-Israeli soldier who led a Kiev fighting unit – World Israel

Feb 28, 2014 – Delta, a Ukraine-born formerCrimea soldier in the Israel Defense Forces, spoke to JTA Thursday on condition of anonymity.

Now lets get back to the Russia side of the story.
They did not invade anyone.
The have a military base and have every right to be in Crimea.
They have an agreement with the Ukraine Government to have the base there and have for a long time.
Saying the Russian invaded Crimea is the most foolish thing, anyone could ever say. They have every right to be there.
Unlike the US who has massive amounts of Military bases all over the world. Russia did not invade the Ukraine to get one.
If you look back over history odds are the US invades a country like Afghanistan and leaves behind Military bases.
The one in Japan is still there as a classic example.
________________________________________________________________________________________________
More than 1000 US Bases and/or Military Installations around the world.

The main sources of information on these military installations (e.g. C. Johnson, the NATO Watch Committee, the International Network for the Abolition of Foreign Military Bases) reveal that the US operates and/or controls between 700 and 800 military bases Worldwide.

In this regard, Hugh d’Andrade and Bob Wing’s 2002  Map 1 entitled “U.S. Military Troops and Bases around the World, The Cost of ‘Permanent War’”, confirms the presence of US military personnel in 156 countries.

The US Military has bases in 63 countries. Brand new military bases have been built since September 11, 2001 in seven countries.

In total, there are 255,065 US military personnel deployed Worldwide.

These facilities include a total of 845,441 different buildings and equipments. The underlying land surface is of the order of 30 million acres. According to Gelman, who examined 2005 official Pentagon data, the US is thought to own a total of 737 bases in foreign lands. Adding to the bases inside U.S. territory, the total land area occupied by US military bases domestically within the US and internationally is of the order of 2,202,735 hectares, which makes the Pentagon one of the largest landowners worldwide (Gelman, J., 2007).

Go to the Source for the rest of the story. Source

____________________________________________________________________________

The US Has Invaded 70 Nations Since 1776
Go to Source for where and when.
So if you take the time to compare invasions to Military Bases, Naval Bases, etc, you will be rather well educated. You will discover many were left after the countries were invaded one way or the other.
Now back to Russia.
They did not invade to get their Military base in the Ukraine.
They can have up to 26,000 troops, at said Military Base, as per the agreement  with the Ukraine.
Country Type of presence Troop strength
Abkhazia Base on the site of the former Bombora airfield, near Gudauta (7th Military Base)[2] up to 3,500[2]
Armenia Air base in Yerevan, military base in Gyumri (102nd Military Base)[3] 3,214[3] or 5,000 according to another source.[4]
Azerbaijan Daryal radar station in Qabala.[3] Operational from 1985 to 2013 and part of Russia’s early warning system. Russia paid an annual rent of $7 million to Azerbaijan.[1][5] In 2013, the station was closed and Russia no longer rents it from Azerbaijan.[6] 900
Belarus Volga-type radar station near Hantsavichy and Baranovichi (operational since 2002).[1][5]Naval communication center near Vileyka.[3] 850
Kazakhstan Dnepr radar station in at Balkhash-9 near Lake Balkash.[1][3][7] Sary Shagan testing grounds.[8][9] Baikonur Cosmodrome.[10][11] Unknown
Kyrgyzstan Air base in Kant,[3] naval testing station at Lake Issyk Kul[12] ca 700
South Ossetia The Russian 4th Military Base has 2 main compounds in South Ossetia: one on the northwestern outskirts of Tskhinvali and another in Java. There is also a large number of troops stationed in the Leningor District.[2] up to 3,500[2]
Syria Logistical facilities of the navy in Tartus[3] 150[3]
Tajikistan Military bases in Dushanbe, Qurghonteppa and Kulab. Joint use of the Ayni Air Base.[3] Okno space facility near Nurak.[13] 5,500[3]
Transnistria Peacekeeping force and forces for protection of ammunition depots[3] 1,500[3]
Ukraine Base of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol[3] 26,000[3]
Vietnam Logistics base in the port of Cam Ranh Bay [14]. Although military presence had been diminishing for several years, in 2013 Russia and Vietnam signed a new military cooperation agreement [15]. unknown

//

 Source

Most of those Bases are because of the former USSR and after the break up of it, remain with Russia, as it stands today.

The list above may or may not be complete or totally accurate but when compared to the US ones it seems Russia it not trotting about the planet, invading and leaving Military bases behind in their wake like the US does.

If you take further notes it seems the US/Israel also tend to create problems in countries that Russia has military bases in as well.

A bit of History will tell you that. Syria and the Ukraine being the latest,

This is not rocket science or anything.

This is pure logic.

The media frenzy to attack Russia is typical of all US, creations of demonetization. Of course they are not telling the truth. They never do.

Like the “Weapons of Mass Destruction Iraq never had” lest you forget.

Libya well that was so fabricated one would have to be completely brain dead not to see what was going on.

In both the above cases for example neither wanted to use the US dollar to get paid for oil they sold. One wanted Gold and the other wanted to use the Euro.

Both killing offenses as far as the US is concerned how dare anyone, not use the US dollar. Threaten that the US will make certain you die and they of course did. Now that is what a real dictator does.

The real dictator around the world is who exactly. Who dictates to every country what they can or cannot do. Who wants to sanction everyone if they do not obey the mighty US.

So before you are coned into yet another needless war I suggest everyone get extremely well educated.

You are of course going to have to hunt long and hard to fine the truth amongst the garbage spewed by the main stream media. Of course they are spewing all the same stuff they do about every country they want to demonize so it is not all that difficult to see the similarities and send it ti the trash bin. Where of course all junk mail belongs.

There are some out there who are telling the truth of what is really happening.

Happy hunting.

Oh and watch out for the usual paid trolls who love to hate Russia, Iran etc.

They are out in droves these days spewing their typical lies as well.

Their job is to spread misinformation. I have seen them all over the place dropping their propaganda.

The IMF wants to help Ukraine.

Sure they do so everything can be privatized, by corporations and steal every penny, they can squeeze out the people.

That is what the IMF does.

They never help anyone. If you believe they do, then you need a better education. Their history says it all.

The rich get richer and the poor, get extremely poor. Many die and many committed suicide, due to the horrors imposed on them by the IMF. If you loose your health care due to the IMF even more die.

Look at Greece as one example. Look at the hunger, the homelessness, the unemployed, the malaria, etc etc. You don’t have to look to hard to see what Austerity means. Much of the EU suffers from Austerity.

Austerity = Death and Poverty.

If the IMF wants to help your country run as fast as you can for cover.

They will see to it you are starved and desperate for a very long time.

They will help Corporations, steal everything from you.

If the Ukraine thinks it has poverty problems now, the IMF will make it much worse.  They can kiss, what little they have goodbye.

Let a Corporation like Monsanto into your country and you can end up will thousands committing suicide, like the cotton farmers in India.

That is but one American Corporation. Imagine having a lot of them, taking over things, in your country.

In South America in one country, cancer has skyrocketed, due to Round Up use on Soya fields.

But I know nothing. So don’t listen to me, go find out for yourself.

It’s all out there for the world to see and find.

If I can find it all, you can too.

Don’t however get sucked into another needless war.

Don’t let your children fight for the American agenda.

Say no to more war. Tell the warmongers and those who profit from war, to take a long hike, off a short peer. If you want to kill something, kill the war machine.

Don’t let your governments who ever they may be, lead you into another war, where your children die for all the wrong reasons.

Lets never let another Iraq happen.

Don’t believe the lies.

A war with Russia will become another world war.

Millions, if not billions will die. You or your children, could be the ones who die.

Related

The World Bank and IMF in Africa

Crimea vs. Quebec: The Legal Right to a Referendum on Self-Determination
By Professor John Ryan
March 12, 2014

There has been a great hue and cry by the USA, Ukraine and other countries about the supposed illegality of the proposed referendum by Crimea on its future political status. They indignantly proclaim that this is a violation of international law.

Amazingly, have Obama and the leaders of these other countries never heard of the situation in Canada with regard to Quebec? Quebec, as a province of Canada, has held two referenda (1980 and 1995) on the matter of independence from Canada . . . and a third referendum may be in the works in the near future.

Quebec never had to get permission from Canada’s federal government to hold a referendum, and no one ever questioned the legality of Quebec’s referendum.

Crimea is an autonomous region within Ukraine and seems to have the same rights as a Canadian province. So if it is perfectly legal for a province such as Quebec to hold a referendum on independence, why would it not be legal for Crimea to do the same? At no time did the USA object to Quebec holding a referendum on independence, so why the big brouhaha over Crimea? Moreover, what business would it be for the USA to have such objections – for Quebec or Crimea?

The UN charter gives people the right to self-determination and by virtue of that right they are free to determine their political status. Quebec in Canada has exercised that right, and there should be no reason why Crimea could not do the same.

John Ryan,  Ph.D., Retired Professor of Geography and Senior Scholar, University of Winnipeg, Canada. Source

Let the People of  Crimea decide their own fate.

Added March 15, 2014

Criminal Regime In Washington

By Paul Craig Roberts

March 14, 2014

The Washington orchestrated coup in Ukraine has kept Venezuela out of the headlines.

A confrontation with nuclear armed Russia is more dangerous than with Venezuela. But the violence that Washington has unleashed on Venezuela almost simultaneously with Ukraine is testimony to Washington’s stark criminality.

South America has always consisted of a tiny Spanish elite with all the money and power ruling over large majority populations of indigenous peoples who have not had political representation. In Venezuela, Chavez broke this pattern. An indigenous president was elected who represented the people and worked in their behalf instead of looting the country. Chavez became a role model, and indigenous presidents were elected in Ecuador and Bolivia.

Chavez was hated by Washington and demonized by American presstitutes. When Chavez died of cancer, Washington celebrated.

Evo Morales, President of Bolivia, was inclined in favor of granting asylum to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. Consequently, Washington ordered its European puppet states to deny overflight permission to President Morales’ airplane on its return to Bolivia from Russia. Morales’ airplane, in violation of every diplomatic protocol, was forced down and searched. Morales has since suffered other indignities at the hands of the Washington criminals.

Rafael Correa, President of Ecuador, made himself a target of Washington by granting political asylum to Julian Assange. On Washington’s orders, Washington’s British puppet state has refused to grant free passage to Assange, and Assange is spending his life in the London Embassy of Ecuador, just as Cardinal Mindszenty spent his life in the US Embassy in Communist Hungary.

With Chavez’s death, indigenous Venezuelan Nicolas Maduro became president. Maduro does not have Chavez’s charisma, which makes him an easier target for the tiny Spanish elite that owns the media.

Washington began the attack on Maduro by attacking the Venezuelan currency and driving down its value in currency markets. Then university students, many of whom are the children of the rich Spanish elites, were sent out to protest. The falling Venezuelan currency raised prices and spread dissatisfaction among Maduro’s poor indigenous base. To put down the rioting, property damage, and unrest that Washington is using to launch a coup, Maduro had to turn to the police. Secretary of State John Kerry has labeled the government’s effort to reestablish public order and forestall a coup a “terror campaign against its own citizens.”

Having orchestrated the protests and plotted a coup, Kerry blamed Maduro for the violence that Kerry unleashed and called on Maduro “to respect human rights.”

For Washington, it is always the same script. Commit a crime and blame the victim.

If Washington can overthrow Maduro, the next target will be Correa. If Washington can get rid of Correa and re-empower a puppet government of rich Spanish elites, Washington can have the Ecuadoran government revoke the political asylum that Correa granted to Julian Assange. The Ecuadoran Embassy in London will be ordered to kick Assange out into the waiting arms of the British police who will send him to Sweden who will send him to Washington to be tortured until he confesses to whatever Washington demands.

The poor gullible dupes demonstrating in Venezuelan streets have no more idea of the damage they are doing to themselves and others than their counterparts in Ukraine had. Venezuelans have already forgot what life for them was like under the rule of the Spanish elites. It appears that Venezuelans are determined to help Washington to return them to their servitude.

If Washington reconquers Venezuela and Ecuador, Bolivia will be next. Then Brazil. Washington has its sights on Brazil, because the country is a member of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa), and Washington intends to destroy this organization before the countries can establish a trading bloc that does not use the US
dollar.

Not long ago a US official said that as soon as we (Washington) get Russia in a bind, we will deal with the upstarts in South America.

The program is on schedule.

See also – Venezuela’s foreign minister calls Kerry ‘murderer’: Venezuela’s foreign minister lambasted U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday as a “murderer” fomenting unrest that has killed 28 people in the South American OPEC member nation. Source

NATO bombings: Aftermath takes toll on Serbia, now left with DU Poisoning

Canada Post always made a profit What Changed?

Canada Post is not on life support, it is being murdered

By Mike Palecek December 17, 2013

Canada Post’s recent announcement that they intend to end door to door delivery has shocked many.  After all, Canada would be the first industrialized country to do so.  Every other G8 country seems to be able to deliver their mail from door to door, but Canada Post has other plans.

The Harper government and their lackeys at Canada Post would have you believe that mail delivery is no longer financially viable.  In fact, the company has only lost money once this century, and that was the year they decided to lock out their workers.

A quick look at the numbers shows that their arguments just don’t add up.

The Canada Post Group made a before tax profit of 127 million dollars in 2012; after 2011’s lock out and after being forced to settle a 200+ million dollar lawsuit they posted a loss of 327 million dollars; in 2010 they made a profit of 443 million dollars; in 2009 the corporation had a net profit of 281 million dollars.

Anyone can see these numbers for themselves in the financial reports on Canada Post’s website.  Year after year, Canada Post makes profit, and yet year after year they cry poor.   For postal workers, this is nothing new; it is the same old song and dance.

Having been challenged on the profitability of the corporation, Canada Post has scrambled to find a new excuse for eliminating door to door delivery.  The new line is that the Canada Post Pension Plan is running a 6.5 billion dollar solvency deficit, forcing them to make these changes.  This argument is patently absurd.

It is true that there is a solvency deficit with the Canada Post Pension Plan, but what does this mean exactly?  It means that if Canada Post were to suddenly disappear, the pension plan would be 6.5 billion dollars short of being able to pay everyone’s pension.

In short, this is only a hypothetical scenario designed to test the stability of the plan.  Other pension plans are not forced to meet this test and many would not pass it.  On a going concern basis, Canada Post’s pension plan has no problem meeting its obligations.

Federal regulations require that Canada Post make special payments over a period of five years in order to eliminate the solvency deficit.  But Canada Post has just been given a four year reprieve from these payments.  This means that this pension deficit will not cost them a dime for at least four years.  Again, their talking points do not hold water.

What’s more, the only reason for this solvency deficit is the federal government’s policy of keeping interest rates low to stimulate the economy.  The Canada Post Pension Plan had no problems before interest rates hit historic lows.  Rates will not stay this low forever and just a two per cent rise in interest rates would solve this problem.  It is likely that the solvency deficit in the pension plan will take care of itself.

Canada Post is creating a crisis to justify its agenda.  They talk of saving money with this plan, but they aren’t being forthcoming with the costs of implementing it.

How much will it cost to purchase, install and maintain community mailboxes for over 5,000,000 addresses?  How about the thousands of new vehicles they will need to purchase, insure and maintain?  Are they going to need a capital injection from the government, or do they plan to borrow more money as they did to finance their two billion dollar failure they call the Modern Post?

Canada Post’s main talking point is that they don’t want to become a burden on tax payers.  Notice that this in itself is an admission that they are presently not a burden on tax payers — quite the opposite!

Canada Post Corporation has actually returned one billion dollars to the federal government over the last decade in the form of dividends and corporate taxes.  But what neither the Conservatives nor the corporation seem to want to admit is that eliminating 8,000 letter carrier jobs will cost the federal government as much as 50 million dollars a year in personal income tax.  That isn’t counting the spinoff effects of good jobs being eliminated in communities across the country.

It is funny that the right wing defends trickle-down economic theories when they are justifying profits, but refuse to apply the same arguments to the economic impact of cuts.

The Conservative government has insisted that the only option for Canada Post is cuts.  They refuse to entertain the idea of expanding services to bring in additional revenue as post offices around the world have done.  This is because of an ideologically entrenched idea that a crown corporation shouldn’t do anything that the private sector is capable of doing.

This nonsense is the reason they refuse to consider postal banking as a viable alternative, despite a recent report from Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives explaining multiple options for how they could do just that.  This is the reason they refuse to sell a broader range of products in their stores, despite having the largest retail network in the country.  The Harper government is more concerned with protecting the profits of private companies than ensuring the viability of the public post office.

Why would Canada Post want to impose such measures on itself if they weren’t absolutely necessary?  It is no secret that Stephen Harper isn’t a big fan of the public sector.  So when he needed a new CEO for this crown corporation, he hired the head of the Canada and Latin America division of Pitney Bowes.

For those who are not familiar with Pitney Bowes, they are the largest private mail supply company in the world.  They are also a company that specializes in picking up the pieces of privatized postal services.  Earlier this year, Pitney Bowes published a study urging the privatization of the United States Postal Service, and have been lobbying heavily to do exactly that.

Now, one of their top bosses is running Canada Post. His predecessor, Moya Greene was also a privatization expert.  She oversaw the privatization of CN Rail before coming to Canada Post, but she moved on to the Royal Mail in the UK before she could finish the job here.  The Royal Mail has just been privatized.

Canada Post CEO Deepak Chopra was not hired to fix the post office; he was hired to destroy it.  The simple truth is that the public post office is one of the most valuable assets in the country.  It occupies prime real estate in every city in Canada.  Its retail network is the largest in the country, with over 6,000 locations.  Its distribution network is also the largest in Canada, with thousands of delivery vans and tractor-trailers.

The private sector is salivating at the prospect of getting their hands on this network precisely because of the money they could make with it.  But in order to do this, they first need to slash the service and push it over a financial cliff.  When they finally move to privatize Canada Post, they want to get it cheap. Source

A few Quotes from other stories

By Leslie MacKinnon

Deepak Chopra was answering questions put to him by MPs at a special emergency meeting of the transport committee Wednesday. Parliament has risen so most MPs are back in their ridings for a Christmas break and won’t return until the end of January.

Chopra’s suggestion that seniors would welcome the exercise offered by community mailboxes caused Liberal MP David McGuinty to make a quip about “mail Participaction,” in reference to a past government public fitness campaign.

The committee also heard from witnesses from the postal workers’ union, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, the Conference Board of Canada, the Council of Canadians with Disabilities,  the Canadian Federation of Independent Business and others.

Chopra said Canadians were widely consulted about changes and if they read newspapers and follow the media they shouldn’t have been taken by surprise when the corporation announced it was raising stamp prices and cancelling door-to-door delivery. Chopra said 46 communities were consulted about losing daily mail service. For entire story go HERE

Seniors or those in wheel chairs really do not want the so called  exercise in the winter months. The cost of broken bones, hips, legs etc. is not a price they want to pay. The statement that going to get their mail made by Chopra is bogus.

Imagine your 70 or 80 year old grandparents going out in the winter months to get their mail. In Canada it is extremely cols and sidewalks are very slippery. All it takes is one fall to leave a senior with a broken hip. That of course will also cost the Health Care system a lot of money as well as being devastating to anyone who fell and was injured. They would be totally house bound or could even die during surgery.

I also never saw anything in the news that there were consultations anywhere.  I read the news every day.

 

A few Canadians are not all that happy with Deepak Chopra

Check link below for some of their comments.

Canada Post CEO Deepak Chopra blasted by CBC readers

Canada Post always made a profit What Changed?

The CEO hired by Harper is what changed and it seems Harper wants to destroy it.  For the protection of all Canadians especially those with Disabilities and Seniors I would say all Canadians should make sure Canada Post is never privatized or destroyed by this Government.

Seem Canadians are not being told the truth.

The created the same crisis in the US.

 

Published in: on December 20, 2013 at 4:18 am  Comments Off  
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Ashley Smith Death has been ruled a Homicide

Angela Mulholland, CTVNews.ca Staff
December 19, 2013

The death of New Brunswick teen Ashley Smith at a federal prison in Kitchener, Ont., has been ruled a homicide by the jury at a coroner’s inquest.

The verdict came down Thursday after jury members at the inquest listened to nearly 11 months of testimony from prison guards, psychiatrists and Smith’s own family about the teen’s final year of life in prison before her death in October 2007.

Though homicide verdicts at coroner’s inquests are neutral findings not determining liability, it is an indication that Smith’s death was neither a simple suicide nor an accidental death, but rather other persons contributed to her death.

Along with their ruling of homicide, the five-member jury released several recommendations for preventing future similar incidents, including that Smith’s story be used a case study for front-line workers of the Correctional Service of Canada.

They also recommended that all female inmates be accessed by a psychologist within 72 hours of admission to any penitentiary or treatment facility, to assess any mental health issues

Smith, 19, choked herself to death in her cell at the Grand Valley Institution in Kitchener, Ont., six years ago using a cloth strip. Guards who videotaped her death testified that they did not intervene in time to save Smith’s life because they were under strict orders from prison management not to enter her cell.

For almost a full year, the jury listened to thousands of hours of testimony and reviewed hundreds of exhibits as they heard about the teen’s treatment while in federal custody.

They watched several shocking videos, including images of a hooded Smith being duct-taped to her airplane seat, guards in riot gear restraining and pepper-spraying her and injecting her with sedatives against her will, and finally, the video of Smith turning blue and dying on the concrete floor of her segregation cell after strangling herself.

The videos also helped reveal how ill-equipped prison staff were in coping with Smith, who had a long history or self-harm and appeared to suffer from severe borderline personality disorder

The videos became key to the inquest, although it took several years of in-fighting to get them released.

The Correctional Service of Canada, along with the Grand Valley Institution, fought for years to keep the videos out of public view, while the Smith family insisted the images were crucial to the inquiry.

Presiding coroner Dr. John Carlisle eventually ordered the videos be screened.

Smith was first incarcerated at age 15 after she was given a 90-day sentence for throwing crab apples at a postal carrier, but a number of escalating in-custody incidents kept her behind bars until her death. In the 11 months leading up to her death, Smith was transferred 17 times between nine different federal institutions.

The inquest heard several bits of stunning evidence, including that the Grand Valley warden and deputy demanded that reports into incidents involving Smith be falsified, in order to play down the amount of force that was used against her. Source

Teen choked to death in prison cell at Grand Valley Institution in 2007

CBC News Posted: Dec 19, 2013

Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) failed her.

  • Within 72 hours of admission to a federal institution, all female inmates be assessed by a psychologist to determine whether self-injurious behaviour exists.
  • Female inmates receive support from female psychologists and support workers.
  • The CSC ensure nursing services are available on site for inmates at all times.
  • There be adequate staffing of qualified mental health staff at every women’s institution.
  • The CSC expand the scope and terms of psychiatrists’ contracts to enable them to perform duties in a meaningful way.
  • A federally operated treatment facility for high-needs, high-risk women be created.

    An Ontario coroner’s jury in Toronto has ruled the self-inflicted choking death of Ashley Smith in her segregated prison cell was a homicide.

    ​Smith, 19, originally from Moncton, N.B., was imprisoned at the Grand Valley Institution in Kitchener, Ont., when she died in 2007.

    She had tied a piece of cloth around her neck while guards stood outside her cell door and watched. They had been ordered by senior staff not to enter her cell as long as she was breathing.

    Presiding coroner Dr. John Carlisle read the jury’s findings Thursday afternoon, concluding, “May she rest in peace, and may God bless her memory.”

    The five-woman jury made dozens of recommendations after hearing evidence from more than 80 witnesses in almost 11 months of testimony.

    Among the recommendations was that there be no requirement for staff to seek authorization prior to intervening in crisis situations.​

The recommendations include:

  • Smith’s death be used as a case study to demonstrate how health care and the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) failed her.
  • Within 72 hours of admission to a federal institution, all female inmates be assessed by a psychologist to determine whether self-injurious behaviour exists.
  • Female inmates receive support from female psychologists and support workers.
  • The CSC ensure nursing services are available on site for inmates at all times.
  • There be adequate staffing of qualified mental health staff at every women’s institution.
  • The CSC expand the scope and terms of psychiatrists’ contracts to enable them to perform duties in a meaningful way.
  • A federally operated treatment facility for high-needs, high-risk women be created.
  • Decisions about clinical management of inmates be made by doctors, not CSC staff.
  • Inmates must have access to an independent patient advocate system
  • Indefinite solitary confinement for prisoners be abolished.
  • Until indefinite solitary confinement is abolished with CSC, its use must be restricted to no more than 360 hours.
  • Meetings between prisoners and support staff should not happen through food slots (something that happened frequently with Smith.)
  • Prison staff be allowed to refuse orders without fear of reprisal.
  • Prison staff at all levels be personally responsible for everyone’s right to life.
  • Female inmates be accommodated in regions closest to family and supports.

Hoped for homicide verdict

Smith’s mother, Cora-Lee Smith, was not in Toronto for the reading of the verdict.

However, Julian Falconer, lawyer for the Smith family, said the verdict was “a clear statement that those in charge caused Ashley’s death.”

Falconer said they will call on authorities to reopen the criminal investigation into who issued the order not to go into Smith’s cell.

“They are a law unto themselves. The leadership is terribly tainted. You have to lop the head off correctional service and start over. And the auditor general has a job to do. We expect him to do it,” he said.

Kim Pate, executive director of the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies — a group that works with female inmates — had hoped the jury would return a verdict of homicide.

“Many staff members have reported that she did advise them that she knew what she was doing was dangerous, but she also knew it was their job to save her,” said Pate.

“So it is very clear that a combination of the order not to intervene that was sanctioned, seemingly right up to national headquarters of Correctional Services Canada, combined with the impact that had on staff, is really a major contributor to her death.”

Homicide is defined as the killing of a human being due to the act or omission of another.

Pate said a homicide verdict would not mean any criminal or civil responsibility, but would only categorize Smith’s death.

Meanwhile, Steven Blaney, federal minister of public safety and emergency preparedness, said in a statement, “My thoughts and prayers go out to Ms. Smith’s family. I’ve asked my officials to review carefully the jury’s recommendations.”

In the last year of Smith’s life, the mentally troubled teenager was shuffled 17 times between nine institutions in five provinces. Source

Related

This from 2012

Canada: Coroner’s Inquest of Ashley Smith’s death in Prison
Published in: on December 19, 2013 at 8:49 pm  Comments Off  
Tags: , , , , , ,

Warnning internet scam

RCMP warn of renewed internet scam

Lake Louise resident reports computer locked while downloading music

Related Stories

New fake-RCMP computer scam fools Canadians

RCMP are warning the public about an internet scam that has resurfaced in the Lake Louise area.

The “scareware” scam involves a virus that is picked up while victims are surfing the internet. The victim’s computer is then locked onto a screen telling the user that Canadian law has been violated.

Victims are told to pay a fine of $150 using an electronic payment system to unlock their computers.

Sgt. Jeff Campbell said a local resident came to the Lake Louise detachment early Saturday morning to report the problem. The victim had been downloading music when the malware locked the computer screen.

Campbell says file sharing web sites are often sources of malware.

The scammers use sophisticated graphics, including the RCMP logo, to make the site look official.

Police say if you have been locked out of your computer, it’s an indicator that your system may be infected with malware and you will need to take steps to address the problem. Sgt. Campbell says it may be possible to make the computer temporarily functional by restoring system settings.

Tips from the RCMP to protect yourself

  • Never click on a pop-up that claims your computer has a virus
  • Update your anti-virus software often and scan your computer for viruses regularly
  • Don’t click on links or attachments in e-mails sent to you by someone you don’t know or that seem suspicious
  • Turn on your browser’s pop-up blocking feature
  • Never download anti-virus software from a pop-up or link sent in an e-mail

If you have received a scareware message, please contact your local police office online and the Canadian Anti Fraud Centre (1-888-495-8501) to report it. Source  

This type of thing could be implemented world wide.  Be sure to share with your friends so they do not get scammed.

Recent

Saudi Arabian Prince defects

 

 

 

 

Published in: on August 25, 2013 at 5:56 pm  Comments Off  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Saudi Arabian Prince defects

Saudi prince defects: ‘Brutality, oppression as govt scared of Arab revolts’ 

 August 12, 2013

Saudi Arabia, a major supporter of opposition forces in Syria, has increased crackdown on its own dissenters, with 30,000 activists reportedly in jail. In an exclusive interview to RT a Saudi prince defector explained what the monarchy fears most.

Saudi Arabia has stepped up arrests and trials of peaceful dissidents, and responded with force to demonstrations by citizens,” Human Rights Watch begins the country’s profile on its website.

Political parties are banned in Saudi Arabia and human rights groups willing to function legally have to go no further than investigating things like corruption or inadequate services. Campaigning for political freedoms is outlawed.

One of such groups, which failed to get its license from the government, the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association (ACPRA), was cited by AFP as saying the kingdom was holding around 30,000 political prisoners.

Saudi Prince Khaled Bin Farhan Al-Saud, who spoke to RT from Dusseldorf, Germany, confirmed reports of increased prosecution of anti-government activists and said that it’s exactly what forced him to defect from his family. He accused the monarchy of corruption and silencing all voices of dissent and explained how the Saudi mechanism for suppression functioned.

There is no independent judiciary, as both police and the prosecutor’s office are accountable to the Interior Ministry. This ministry’s officials investigate ‘crimes’ (they call them crimes), related to freedom of speech. So they fabricate evidence, don’t allow people to have attorneys”, the prince told RT Arabic. “Even if a court rules to release such a ‘criminal’, the Ministry of Interior keeps him in prison, even though there is a court order to release him. There have even been killings! Killings! And as for the external opposition, Saudi intelligence forces find these people abroad! There is no safety inside or outside the country.”

The strong wave of oppression is in response to the anti-government forces having grown ever more active. A new opposition group called Saudi Million and claiming independence from any political party was founded in late July. The Saudi youths which mostly constitute the movement say they demand the release of political prisoners and vow to hold regular demonstrations, announcing their dates and locations via Facebook and electronic newspapers.

Human rights violations are driving people on to the streets despite the fear of arrest, according to activist Hala Al-Dosari, who spoke to RT from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

We have issues related to political and civil rights, freedom of expression and freedom of assembly. These are the main issues that cause a lot of people to be at risk for just voicing out their opinions or trying to form associations, demonstrate or protest, which is banned by the government.”

The loudest voice of the Saudi opposition at the moment is a person called ‘Saudi Assange’. His Twitter name is @Mujtahidd, he keeps his identity and whereabouts secret and is prolific in online criticism of the ruling family, which has gained him over a million followers.

The regime can destroy your credibility easily and deter people from dealing with you if your identity is public,” Mujtahid wrote to RT’s Lindsay France in an email.

Prince Khalid Bin Farhan Al-Saud announced his defection from the Saudi Arabian royal family on July 27.

They don’t think about anything but their personal benefits and do not care for the country’s and people’s interests, or even national security,” his statement reads as cited by the website of Tehran-based Al Alam International News Channel.

The prince criticized the royal family for silencing all voices calling for reforms and said he learned of the common Saudis’ sufferings having gone through “horrible personal experience,” without specifying exactly what it was.

The Twitter activist’s anonymity is understandable. The most recent example of what can happen to activists is the case of Raif Badawi, the founder of the Free Saudi Liberals website, who was found guilty of insulting Islam through his online forum and sentenced the activist to 600 lashes and seven years in prison.

In June, seven people were sentenced to up to 10 years in prison for ‘inciting protests’ via Facebook. The indicted denied charges and said they were tortured into confession.

The government is obviously scared of the Arab revolutions. And they’ve responded as they usually do: by resorting to oppression, violence, arbitrary law, and arrest,” Prince Khaled says, adding that so far the tougher the measures the government took to suppress the dissent, the louder that dissent’s voice was.

The opposition used to demand wider people’s representation in governing bodies, more rights and freedoms. But the authorities reacted with violence and persecution, instead of a dialogue. So the opposition raised the bar. It demanded constitutional monarchy, similar to what they have in the UK, for example. And the Saudi regime responded with more violence. So now the bar is even higher. Now the opposition wants this regime gone.”

There was a time, at the beginning of the Arab Spring movement in the region in 2011, when the government tried to appease opposition activists by a $60 billion handout program by King Abdullah, according to Pepe Escobar, a correspondent for the Asia Times. He calls that move an attempt to “bribe” the population. However there was also a stick with this carrot.

The stick is against the Shiite minority – roughly 10 percent of Saudi Arabia – who live in the Eastern province where most of the oil is, by the way. They don’t want to bring down the House of Saud essentially. They want more participation, judiciary not answering to religious powers and basically more democratic freedoms. This is not going to happen in Saudi Arabia. Period. Nor in the other Gulf Cooperation Council [GCC] petro-monarchies”.

Escobar points out the hypocrisy of the Saudi Arabian rulers, who feel free to advise other regional powers on how to move towards democracy, despite their poor human rights record.

They say to the Americans that they are intervening in Syria for a more democratic post-Assad Syria and inside Saudi Arabia it’s the Sunni-Shiite divide. They go against 10 percent of their own population.”

‘Buying favors from West’

Saudi Arabia’s crackdown on opposition has been strongly condemned by human rights organizations, but not by Western governments, which usually claim sensitivity to such issues.

The White House certainly does maintain a long-standing alliance with the leaders of Saudi Arabia, cemented by common political, economic and military interests in the Middle East,” said Prince Khaled.

Germany came under fierce criticism last week over its arms sales to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states, which have almost tripled in just two years, from 570 million euro in 2011 to almost one-and-a-half billion in 2012.

And Angela Merkel’s government has approved weapons exports of more than 800 million euro in the first half of this year – suggesting the level will continue to grow.

With arms they [Gulf States] are also buying favors from the West. They are insuring the maintenance of their legitimacy on spending massive amounts of money that are pouring into Western economies,” Dr. Ahmed Badawi, co-executive director of Transform, which studies conflicts and political developments, told RT.

In 2012, Amnesty International claimed that German-made small firearms, ammunition and military vehicles were commonly used by Middle Eastern and North African regimes to suppress peaceful demonstrations.

Small arms are becoming real weapons of mass destruction in the world now. There is absolutely no way to guarantee that the weapons that are being sold legally to countries like Saudi Arabia, even Egypt, do not fall into the hands of terrorists. The two important examples are German assault rifles found in the regions in Mexico and also in Libya. And there’s absolutely no way of knowing how these weapons ended up there,” Badawi said. Source  Videos at source.

Recent

Millions in farm subsidies given to dead US farmers

Canada: Railway Disaster in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec Part 2

Najaf: A toxic “health catastrophe” – US weapons blamed for Iraq’s birth defects

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Millions in farm subsidies given to dead US farmers

I really felt this needed to be shared

July 31 2013

Millions of dollars have gone to farmers years after their death as part of various farm safety net programs under the US Department of Agriculture, according to a recent government audit.

Federal auditors who poured through the USDA’s crop insurance, disaster assistance and conservation programs have found that $36.6 million were disbursed to deceased recipients, according to the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO).

The GAO report points to the biggest offender as the USDA’s Risk Management Agency, which disburses crop insurance, as having issued $22 million in subsidies one or two years after a recipient’s death.

The report has been released ahead of meetings in the House and Senate to hammer out a farm bill that may expand subsidies like crop insurance, and casts doubts on the Agriculture Department’s ability to weed out waste, fraud and abuse.

The GAO itself states that findings “may call into question whether these farm safety net programs are benefiting the agricultural sector as intended.”

Though the funds improperly doled out to the deceased farmers represent a fraction of the $20 billion in annual federal subsidies for farm incomes, as the Los Angeles Times reports, the report also comes at a critical juncture for Congress as both parties spar over the total cost of a pending $1 trillion farm bill. And if segments such as crop insurance do increase as expected, then the USDA’s inability to detect waste or fraud may only increase accordingly.

For its part, the department of agriculture is not disputing the GAO’s findings, though it has taken exception to claims that it did not have sufficient controls in place to detect improper payments, according to the New York Times.

Environmental activists, who oppose federal subsidies that, for example, encourage an artificially inflated production of corn – with implications into the popularity of GMO crops and the widespread use of high-fructose corn syrup – point to government waste as indicating a need for reforms.

“Not only are unlimited crop insurance subsidies flowing to the largest and most successful farm businesses, they are now going to deceased policyholders,” said Scott Faber, vice president of the Environmental Working Group in a statement issued Monday.

“At a time when some lawmakers want to cut off funding for the hungriest children, we find out today the federal government has spent $22 million over four years to lavish insurance subsidies to individuals who are no longer alive,” added Faber.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) opposes what it deems “bloated” farm subsidies that produce ultimately harmful incentives to plow up wetlands, grasslands and marginal lands, or place any emphasis on soil health. As RT recently reported, corn subsidies combined with a growing deficiency in GMO corn has resulted in greater use of pesticides.

According to a recent report published by the journal Food Policy cited by EWG US farm subsidies ultimately “have negligible impact on the prices paid by consumers for food. EWG cites other evidence that even the total elimination of US farm programs “would have a very modest effect on farm prices and production” of subsidized crops such as corn and wheat.

Though the debate over whether the currently gargantuan sum doled out by the federal government in the form of the farm bill is fair, is ongoing, this latest disclosure of funds making their way to deceased individuals only provides more ammunition to critics of government waste.

Both EWG and a slew of advocacy organizations that are concerned over everything from GMOs to pesticide use argue that crop insurance programs in particular have been transformed from their original intent, which was to compensate farmers from weather-caused crop losses, to a virtual guarantee of farm income.

GAO auditors are now suggesting that the USDA implement use of the Social Security Administration’s Death Master File to identify payments made to dead individuals. According to the GAO, agencies under the department of agriculture are currently utilizing an incomplete version of that data, and thus failing to identify deceased recipients.
Source

If there is one thing the US Government does really well it is waste money. Their accounting is just horrid.

I wonder if they ever found the trillions lost as reported the day before 9/11 and If I remember correctly they lost and\other trillion or so latter, as well as all the money lost on contractors during the Iraq war?

Recent

Canada: Railway Disaster in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec Part 2

 

Najaf: A toxic “health catastrophe” – US weapons blamed for Iraq’s birth defects

 

Canada: Aboriginal children were used in government experiments

Canada: Railway Disaster in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec Part 2

The link below is part 1 It cover much of what happened from the beginning of this disaster. I thought it best to start a new post as the other was so long.

Part 1  of  Canada: Railway Disaster in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec

There is a total of 47 missing. They are still looking for the  remains of 5 who died.

Lawsuit filed in U.S. court over Quebec rail disaster first of many, says lawyer

By Andy Blatchford, The Canadian Press
July 23, 2013 

MONTREAL — Victims of the Quebec railway disaster have launched further legal action against companies linked to the derailment that obliterated their town — and one lawyer insists the multimillion-dollar cascade has only begun.

The family of a Lac-Megantic man killed in the fiery crash filed a wrongful-death lawsuit Monday in a U.S. court against rail and petroleum firms connected to the oil-filled tankers that slammed into the town.

Their lawyer, Peter Flowers, told The Canadian Press he expects to present many additional, individual lawsuits like this one before the end of the week.

“We expect 15 to 20 at least over the next couple of days,” Flowers, of Chicago-based Meyers & Flowers, said in a phone interview Tuesday.

“We’ll be asking for millions of dollars for every one of these folks.”

Word of the looming lawsuits surfaced as Lac-Megantic’s mayor announced Tuesday that her municipality has threatened to sue the railway operator at the centre of the derailment — Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Inc. — for $4 million.

Colette Roy-Laroche alleges that MMA has failed to cover the costs of the post-disaster cleanup, forcing the town to write the cheques itself.

Companies connected to the derailment may also face another hurdle in the future: a motion presented last week in a Quebec court seeking permission to file a class-action lawsuit over the crash.

The derailment in the town of 6,000 set off several massive blasts, wiped out part of the downtown core and is presumed to have killed 47 people.

On Wednesday alone, Flowers expects to set in motion as many as five additional wrongful-death lawsuits at the Cook County courthouse in Illinois.

His first suit, launched Monday, was initiated by the family of Jean-Guy Veilleux, who was killed in the runaway-train disaster. The Quebec coroner’s office publicly identified Veilleux, 32, on Tuesday as one of the victims.

Plaintiff Annick Roy is seeking damages from 10 defendants, including MMA, its major stockholder Rail World Inc., top rail executive Edward Burkhardt and several American petroleum companies. Roy is identified as the administrator of Veilleux’s estate as well as the guardian of the estate belonging to their daughter, who is a minor.

“On July 6, 2013, plaintiff’s decedent Jean-Guy Veilleux was present in downtown Lac-Megantic near the site of the derailment and was consumed by the fire and explosion,” reads the court document, filed in the Cook County courthouse.

The suit pegs the overall damages sought at more than $200,000, but Flowers maintains this is just a base amount and insists the eventual target sum will be far higher.

“All I can say is it will be millions of dollars,” he said. “This is a horrible tragedy.”

Calls placed Tuesday to most of the defendants listed in the lawsuit were not immediately returned.

The suit, which calls for a trial by jury, alleges that the railway and petroleum companies named had a duty to operate their businesses in a “safe manner and to take reasonable measures to avoid exposing the public to the dangers associated with the transport of crude oil to refineries.”

Roy also alleges in the suit that the defendants were negligent for transporting crude oil in the flawed DOT-111 tanker cars, which have been known to rupture during derailments. The document highlights how there has been a considerable increase in oil-by-rail transport in recent years.

Flaws in the DOT-111 tanker have been noted as far back as a 1991 safety study.

“There’s been problems with these tankers and how they protect what’s inside of them — for years,” Flowers said.

“There’s been demands made for years that these companies redesign these tankers to make them safe and they haven’t done that and, as a result of that, I think they are absolutely involved in the responsibility for what happened here.”

Other defendants named in the lawsuit include firms in the U.S. petroleum industry: World Fuel Services Corp., Western Petroleum Company, Petroleum Transport Solutions, Dakota Plains Transloading, Dakota Petroleum Transport Solutions, Dakota Plains Marketing and DPSTS.

Burkhardt, president of Illinois-based Rail World and chairman of MMA, was the only individual listed in the suit.

The document notes Burkhardt’s work as president, CEO and chairman of Wisconsin Central Transportation Corporation. It alleges that the company reduced crew sizes under his leadership as a means to cut costs — a measure that also allegedly increased the accident rate.

The lawsuit mentions how Wisconsin Central was involved in a 1996 fuel-filled tanker derailment in Weyauwega, Wis., while Burkhardt was at the head of the company. The subsequent explosions from the crash forced more than 1,700 people from their homes.

The document also cites a 2009 derailment of tankers filled with highly flammable ethanol in Cherry Valley, Ill., a crash that involved a different company.

In 2011, the family affected by the Cherry Valley derailment received a $36.2-million settlement from Canadian National Railway. One member of the family was killed, another lost her baby and two others suffered burns in the incident.

Flowers said the Cherry Valley agreement, part of which was reached before trial, is “representative of what is considered fair and reasonable in the United States for things like this that happen.”

Back in Lac-Megantic, the mayor said MMA has not yet paid any of the workers it hired to clean up the crude oil that leaked from the dozens of tanker cars.

Roy-Laroche said the town has had to pay MMA’s suppliers $4 million after some workers threatened to walk off the job.

She urged the company to start assuming its responsibilities.

‘It strikes me it’s not asking a lot, given the circumstances,” she said.

“We’re asking MMA to behave like a proper corporate citizen.”

Source

Paul McCartney paid tribute to victims of the Lac-Megantic tragedy Tuesday night, offering free concert tickets and dedicating a song to survivors at a concert.

Luci Tremblay said 1,000 tickets had been set aside for Lac-Megantic residents, with about 900 taking up the offer. About 10 buses were also donated in the Lac-Megantic area to bring them to the show.

———-
The promoter also collected $65,000 in donations at a Bruno Mars concert on July 8, and set that to the town to help out. For the  rest of the story go HERE

Let is Be is the song Paul Dedicated

Update July 25 2013

Lac-Mégantic derailment investigators search railway’s offices

Lac-Mégantic calls on railway to reimburse millions of dollars

Update July 30 2013

Lac-Mégantic still waiting for rail company to pay up

MM&A owes $7.8 million to the town to date.

Update July 31 2013

Montreal, Maine & Atlantic responds to Lac-Mégantic lawyer

A rather sad response I must say.

oil in Lac-Mégantic

Source: Développement durable, Environnement, Faune et Parcs de Québec
(Jaela Bernstein, Jason Boychuk, CBC)

Related
August 15 2013 Update

CP Rail refuses to pay for Lac-Mégantic cleanup

Lac-Mégantic disaster railway can no longer operate in Canada

Lac-Mégantic rail disaster company MM&A files for bankruptcy

August 19 2013 Update

Railway may be sold. Also

The Canadian Transportation Agency announced late Friday that it would extend MM&A’s certificate of operation until Oct. 1. A decision earlier in the week to suspend its right to operate was reversed because the federal regulator determined that the railway had sufficient liability insurance to operate in the short-term.  For the entire story go HERE

Quebec coroner’s office updates [French only]

The below page is dedicated to all those who perished.

In Memory of those who perished in Lac-Mégantic

Information on how to donate to the victims of this horrific disaster. They will need all the help they can get.

Recent

Najaf: A toxic “health catastrophe” – US weapons blamed for Iraq’s birth defects

Canada: Aboriginal children were used in government experiments

Najaf: A toxic “health catastrophe” – US weapons blamed for Iraq’s birth defects

July 22, 2013

The Iraq war may be over, but it’s legacy continues to haunt residents in cities all across the country. In an exclusive report, Lucy Kafanov travelled to the city of Najaf where locals say that a health epidemic quietly rages beneath the surface. Birth defects and cancer rates are soaring in Najaf, but few outside of the city are aware of the scale of the catastrophe. American and British forces allegedly used depleted uranium rounds and other toxic weapons during the war, which some Iraqi scientists believe is to blame for the rising cancer and birth defect rates in Najaf. While no one knows exactly what’s making these Iraqi children ill, anecdotal evidence shows that a crisis does exist. High levels of congenital heart defects, malformed limbs and other defects have been documented in the city of Fallujah, but as Lucy Kafanov reports, the crisis could be far more widespread than previously thought.

This is an ongoing problem with DU as noted in the link below.

War “Pollution” Equals Millions of Deaths

Depleted Uranium Dust – Public Health Disaster For The People Of Iraq and Afghanistan

In 1979, depleted uranium (DU) particles escaped from the National Lead Industries factory near Albany, N.Y.,which was manufacturing DU weapons for the U.S military. The particles traveled 26 miles and were discovered in a laboratory filter by Dr. Leonard Dietz, a nuclear physicist. This discovery led to a shut down of the factory in 1980, for releasing morethan 0.85 pounds of DU dust into the atmosphere every month, and involved a cleanup of contaminated properties costing over 100 million dollars.

Imagine a far worse scenario. Terrorists acquire a million pounds of the deadly dust and scatter it in populated areas throughout the U.S. Hundreds of children report symptoms. Many acquire cancer and leukemia, suffering an early and painful death. Huge increases in severe birth defects are reported. Oncologists are overwhelmed. Soccer fields, sand lots and parks, traditional play areas for kids, are no longer safe. People lose their most basic freedom, the ability to go outside and safely breathe. Sounds worse than 9/11? Welcome to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Dr. Jawad Al-Ali (55), director of the Oncology Center at the largest hospital in Basra, Iraq stated, at a recent ( 2003) conference in Japan:

“Two strange phenomena have come about in Basra which I have never seen before. The first is double and triple cancers in one patient. For example, leukemia and cancer of the stomach. We had one patient with 2 cancers – one in his stomach and kidney. Months later, primary cancer was developing in his other kidney–he had three different cancer types. The second is the clustering of cancer in families. We have 58 families here with more than one person affected by cancer. Dr Yasin, a general Surgeon here has two uncles, a sister and cousin affected with cancer. Dr Mazen, another specialist, has six family members suffering from cancer. My wife has nine members of her family with cancer”.

“Children in particular are susceptible to DU poisoning. They have a much higher absorption rate as their blood is being used to build and nourish their bones and they have a lot of soft tissues. Bone cancer and leukemia used to be diseases affecting them the most, however, cancer of the lymph system which can develop anywhere on the body, and has rarely been seen before the age of 12 is now also common.”,

“We were accused of spreading propaganda for Saddam before the war. When I have gone to do talks I have had people accuse me of being pro-Saddam. Sometimes I feel afraid to even talk. Regime people have been stealing my data and calling it their own, and using it for their own agendas. The Kuwaitis banned me from entering Kuwait – we were accused of being Saddam supporters.”

John Hanchette, a journalism professor at St. Bonaventure University, and one of the founding editors of USA TODAY related the following to DU researcher Leuren Moret.  He stated  that he had prepared news breaking stories about the effects of DU on Gulf War soldiers and Iraqi citizens, but that each time he was ready to publish, he received a phone call from the Pentagon asking him not to print the story.  He has since been replaced as editor of USA TODAY.

Dr. Keith Baverstock, The World Health Organization’s chief expert on radiation and health for 11 years and author of an unpublished study has charged that his report ” on the cancer risk to civilians in Iraq from breathing uranium contaminated dust ” was  also deliberately suppressed.

The information released by the U.S. Dept. of Defense is not reliable, according to some sources even within the military.

In 1997, while citing experiments, by others, in which 84 percent of dogs exposed to inhaled uranium died of cancer of the lungs, Dr. Asaf Durakovic, then Professor of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine at Georgetown University in Washington was quoted as saying, 

“The [US government's] Veterans Administration asked me to lie about the risks of incorporating depleted uranium in the human body.”

At that time Dr. Durakovic was a colonel in the U.S. Army.  He has since left the military, to found the Uranium Medical Research Center, a privately funded organization with headquarters in Canada.

PFC Stuart Grainger of 23 Army Division, 34th Platoon. (Names and numbers have been changed) was diagnosed with cancer several after returning from Iraq.  Seven other men in the Platoon also have malignancies.

Doug Rokke, U.S. Army contractor who headed a clean-up of depleted uranium after the first Gulf War states:,

“Depleted uranium is a crime against God and humanity.”

Rokke’s own crew, a hundred employees, was devastated by exposure to the fine dust. He stated:

“When we went to the Gulf, we were all really healthy,”

After performing clean-up operations in the desert (mistakenly without protective gear), 30 members of his staff died, and most others”including Rokke himself”developed serious health problems. Rokke now has reactive airway disease, neurological damage, cataracts, and kidney problems.

 ”We warned the Department of Defense in 1991 after the Gulf War. Their arrogance is beyond comprehension.

Yet the D.O.D still insists such ingestion is “not sufficient to make troops seriously ill in most cases.”

Then why did it make the clean up crew seriously or terminally ill in nearly all cases?

Marion Falk, a retired chemical physicist who built nuclear bombs for more than 20 years at Lawrence Livermore Lab, was asked if he thought that DU weapons operate in a similar manner as a dirty bomb.

“That’s exactly what they are. They fit the description of a dirty bomb in every way.”

According to Falk, more than 30 percent of the DU fired from the cannons of U.S. tanks is reduced to particles one-tenth of a micron (one millionth of a meter) in size or smaller on impact.  “The larger the bang” the greater the amount of DU that is dispersed into the atmosphere, Falk said. With the larger missiles and bombs, nearly 100 percent of the DU is reduced to radioactive dust particles of the “micron size” or smaller, he said.

When asked if the main purpose for using it was for destroying things and killing people, Falk was more specific:

“I would say that it is the perfect weapon for killing lots of people.”

When a DU round or bomb strikes a hard target, most of its kinetic energy is converted to heat ” sufficient heat to ignite the DU.  From 40% to 70% of the DU is converted to extremely fine dust particles of ceramic uranium oxide (primarily dioxide, though other formulations also occur). Over 60% of these particles are smaller than 5 microns in diameter, about the same size as the cigarette ash particles in cigarette smoke and therefore respirable.

Because conditions are so chaotic in Iraq, the medical infrastructure has been greatly compromised.  In terms of both cancer and birth defects due to DU, only a small fraction of the cases are being reported.

Doctors in southern Iraq are making comparisons to the birth defects that followed the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in WWII. They have numerous photos of infants born without brains, with their internal organs outside their bodies, without sexual organs, without spines, and the list of deformities goes on an on.  Such birth defects were extremely rare in Iraq prior to the large scale use of DU. Weapons. Now they are commonplace.  In hospitals across Iraq, the mothers are no longer asking, “Doctor, is it a boy or girl?” but rather, “Doctor, is it normal?”  The photos are horrendous, they can be viewed on the following website

Ross B. Mirkarimi, a spokesman at The Arms Control Research Centre stated:

“Unborn children of the region are being asked to pay the highest price, the integrity of their DNA.”

Prior to her death from leukemia in Sept. 2004, Nuha Al Radi , an accomplished Iraqi artist and author  of the “Baghdad Diaries” wrote:

“Everyone seems to be dying of cancer. Every day one hears about another acquaintance or friend of a friend dying. How many more die in hospitals that one does not know? Apparently, over thirty percent of Iraqis have cancer, and there are lots of kids with leukemia.”

“The depleted uranium left by the U.S. bombing campaign has turned Iraq into a cancer-infested country. For hundreds of years to come, the effects of the uranium will continue to wreak havoc on Iraq and its surrounding areas.”

This excerpt in her diary was written in 1993, after Gulf War I (Approximately 300 tons of DU ordinance, mostly in desert areas)  but before Operation Iraqi Freedom, (Est. 1,700 tons with much more near major population centers).  So, it’s 5-6 times worse now than it was when she wrote than diary entry!!   Estimates of the percentage of D.U. which was ‘aerosolized’ into fine uranium oxide dust are approximately 30-40%. That works out to over one million pounds of dust scattered throughout Iraq.

As a special advisor to the World Health Organization, the United Nations, and the Iraqi Ministry of Health, Dr. Ahmad Hardan has documented the effects of DU in Iraq between 1991 and 2002.

“American forces admit to using over 300 tons of DU weapons in 1991.  The actual figure is closer to 800.  This has caused a health crisis that has affected almost a third of a million people.  As if that was not enough, America went on and used 200 tons more in Bagdad alone during the recent invasion.

I don”t know about other parts of Iraq, it will take me years to document that.

 ”In Basra, it took us two years to obtain conclusive proof of what DU does, but we now know what to look for and the results are terrifying.”

By far the most devastating effect is on unborn children.  Nothing can prepare anyone for the sight of hundreds of preserved fetuses ” scarcely human in appearance. Iraq is now seeing babies with terribly foreshortened limbs, with their intestines outside their bodies, with huge bulging tumors where their eyes should be, or with a single eye-like Cyclops, or without eyes, or without limbs, and even without heads. Significantly, some of the defects are almost unknown outside textbooks showing the babies born near A-bomb test sites in the Pacific.

Dr. Hardan also states:

“I arranged for a delegation from Japan’s Hiroshima Hospital to come and share their expertise in the radiological diseases we

Are likely to face over time. The delegation told me the Americans had objected and they decided not to come. Similarly, a world famous German cancer specialist agreed to come, only to be told later that he would not be given permission to enter Iraq.”

Not only are we poisoning the people of Iraq and Afghanistan, but we are making a concerted effort to keep out specialists from other countries who can help.  The U.S. Military doesn”t want the rest of the world to find out what we have done.

Such relatively swift development of cancers has been reported by doctors in hospitals treating civilians following NATO bombing with DU in Yugoslavia in 1998-1999 and the US military invasion of Iraq using DU for the first time in 1991. Medical experts report that this phenomenon of multiple malignancies from unrelated causes has been unknown until now and is a new syndrome associated with internal DU exposure.
Just 467 US personnel were wounded in the three-week Persian Gulf War in 1990-1991. Out of 580,400 soldiers who served in Gulf War I, 11,000 are dead, and by 2000 there were 325,000 on permanent medical disability. This astounding number of disabled vets means that a decade later, 56 percent of those soldiers who served in the first Gulf War now have medical problems.

Although not reported in the mainstream American press, a recent Tokyo tribunal, guided by the principles of International Criminal Law and International Humanitarian Law, found President George W. Bush guilty of war crimes. On March 14, 2004, Nao Shimoyachi, reported in The Japan Times that President Bush was found guilty “for attacking civilians with indiscriminate weapons and other arms,”and the “tribunal also issued recommendations for banning Depleted Uranium shells and other weapons that indiscriminately harm people.”  Although this was a “Citizen’s Court” having no legal authority, the participants were sincere in their determination that international laws have been violated and a war crimes conviction is warranted.

Troops involved in actual combat are not the only servicemen reporting symptoms. Four soldiers from a New York Army National Guard company serving in Iraq are among several members of the same company, the 442nd Military Police, who say they have been battling persistent physical ailments that began last summer in the Iraqi town of Samawah.

“I got sick instantly in June,” said Staff Sgt. Ray Ramos, a Brooklyn housing cop. “My health kept going downhill with daily headaches, constant numbness in my hands and rashes on my stomach.”

Dr. Asaf Durakovic, UMRC founder, and nuclear medicine expert examined and tested nine soldiers from the company says that four “almost certainly” inhaled radioactive dust from exploded American shells manufactured with depleted uranium. Laboratory tests revealed traces of two manmade forms of uranium in urine samples from four of the soldiers.

If so, the men – Sgt. Hector Vega, Sgt. Ray Ramos, Sgt. Agustin Matos and Cpl. Anthony Yonnone – are the first confirmed cases of inhaled depleted uranium exposure from the current Iraq conflict.

The 442nd, made up for the most part of New York cops, firefighters and correction officers, is based in Orangeburg, Rockland County. Dispatched to Iraq in Easter of 2003, the unit’s members had been providing guard duty for convoys, running jails and training Iraqi police. The entire company is due to return home later this month.

“These are amazing results, especially since these soldiers were military police not exposed to the heat of battle,” said Dr. Asaf Duracovic, who examined the G.I.s and performed the testing.

In a group of eight U.S. led Coalition servicemen whose babies were born without eyes, seven are known to have been directly exposed to DU dust. In a much group (250 soldiers) exposed during the first Gulf war, 67% of the children conceived after the war had birth defects.

Dr. Durakovic’s  UMRC research team also conducted a three-week field trip to Iraq in October of 2003. It collected about 100 samples of substances such as soil, civilian urine and the tissue from the corpses of Iraqi soldiers in 10 cities, including Baghdad, Basra and Najaf. Durakovic said preliminary tests show that the air, soil and water samples contained “hundreds to thousands of times” the normal levels of radiation.

“This high level of contamination is because much more depleted uranium was used this year than in (the Gulf War of) 1991,” Durakovic told The Japan Times.

“They are hampering efforts to prove the connection between Depleted Uranium and the illness,” Durakovic said

“They do not want to admit that they committed war crimes” by using weapons that kill indiscriminately, which are banned under international law.”

(NOTE ABOUT DR. DURAKOVIC;  First, he was warned to stop his work, then he was fired from his position, then his house was ransacked, and he has also reported receiving death threats.  Evidently the U.S. D.O.D is very keen on censoring DU whistle-blowers!)

Dr. Durakovic, UMRC  research associates Patricia Horan and Leonard Dietz, published a unique study in the August 2002 issue of Military Medicine Medical Journal. The study is believed to be the first to look at inhaled DU among Gulf War veterans, using the ultrasensitive technique of thermal ionization mass spectrometry, which enabled them to easily distinguish between natural uranium and DU.  The study, which examined British, Canadian and U.S. veterans, all suffering typical Gulf War Syndrome ailments, found that, nine years after the war, 14 of 27 veterans studied had DU in their urine. DU also was found in the lung and bone of a deceased Gulf War veteran. That no governmental study has been done on inhaled DU “amounts to a massive malpractice,” Dietz said in an interview.

The Japanese began studying DU effects in the southern Iraq in the summer of 2003. They had a Geiger counter which they watched go off the scale on many occasions. During their visit,a local hospital was treating upwards of 600 children per day, many of which suffered symptoms of internal poisoning by radiation.  600 children per day?  How many of these children will get cancer and suffer and early and painful death?

“Ingested DU particles can cause up to 1,000 times the damage of an X-ray”, said Mary Olson, a nuclear waste specialist and biologist at the Nuclear Information and Resource Service in Washington D.C.

It is this difference in particle size as well as the dust’s crystalline structure that make the presence of DU dust in the environment such an extreme hazard, and which differentiates its properties from that of the natural uranium dust that is ubiquitous and to which we all are exposed every day, which seldom reaches such a small size.  This point is being stressed, as comparing DU particles to much larger natural ones is misleading.

The U.S. Military and its supporters regularly quote a Rand Corp. Study which uses the natural uranium inhaled by miners.

Particles smaller than 10 microns can access the innermost recesses of lung tissue where they become permanently lodged. Furthermore, if the substance is relatively insoluble, such as the ceramic DU-oxide dust produced from burning DU, it will remain in place for decades, dissolving very slowly into the bloodstream and lymphatic fluids through the course of time. Studies have identified DU in the urine of Gulf War veterans nine years after that conflict, testifying to the permanence of ceramic DU-oxide in the lungs.  Thus the effects are far different from natural uranium dust, whose coarse particles are almost entirely excreted by the body within 24 hours. 

The military is aware of DU’s harmful effects on the human genetic code. A 2001 study of DU’s effect on DNA done by Dr. Alexandra C. Miller for the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute in Bethesda, Md., indicates that DU’s chemical instability causes 1 million times more genetic damage than would be expected from its radiation effect alone.

Studies have shown that inhaled nano-particles are far more toxic than micro-sized particles of the same basic chemical composition. British toxicopathologist Vyvyan Howard has reported that the increased toxicity of the nano-particle is due to its size.

For example, when mice were exposed to virus-size particles of Teflon (0.13 microns) in a University of Rochester study, there were no ill effects. But when mice were exposed to nano-particles of Teflon for 15 minutes, nearly all the mice died within 4 hours.

“Exposure pathways for depleted uranium can be through the skin, by inhalation, and ingestion,”  writes Lauren Moret, another DU researcher. “Nano-particles have high mobility and can easily enter the body. Inhalation of nano-particles of depleted uranium is the most hazardous exposure, because the particles pass through the lung-blood barrier directly into the blood.

“When inhaled through the nose, nano-particles can cross the olfactory bulb directly into the brain through the blood brain barrier, where they migrate all through the brain,” she wrote. “Many Gulf era soldiers exposed to depleted uranium have been diagnosed with brain tumors, brain damage and impaired thought processes. Uranium can interfere with the mitochondria, which provide energy for the nerve processes, and transmittal of the nerve signal across synapses in the brain.

Based on dissolution and excretion rate data, it is possible to approximate the amount of DU initially inhaled by these veterans. For the handful of veterans studied, this amount averaged 0.34 milligrams. Knowing the specific activity (radiation rate) for DU allows one to determine that the total radiation (alpha, beta and gamma) occurring from DU and its radioactive decay products within their bodies comes to about 26 radiation events every second, or 800 million events each year.  At .34 milligrams per dose, there are over 10 trillion doses floating around Iraq and Afghanistan.

How many additional deaths are we talking about? In the aftermath of the first Gulf War, the UK Atomic Energy Authority came up with estimates for the potential effects of the DU contamination left by the conflict. It calculated that “this could cause “500,000 potential deaths”. This was “a theoretical figure”, it stressed, that indicated “a significant problem”.

The AEA’s calculation was made in a confidential memo to the privatized munitions company, Royal Ordnance, dated 30 April 1991. The high number of potential deaths was dismissed as “very far from realistic” by a British defense minister, Lord Gilbert. “Since the rounds were fired in the desert, many miles from the nearest village, it is highly unlikely that the local population would have been exposed to any significant amount of respirable oxide,” he said.  These remarks were made prior to the more recent invasions of both Afghanistan and Iraq, where DU munitions were used on a larger scale in and near many of the most populated areas.  If the amount of DU ordinance used in the first Gulf War was sufficient to cause 500,000 potential deaths, (had it been used near the populated areas), then what of the nearly six times that amount used in operation Iraqi Freedom, which was used in and near the major towns and cities?  Extrapolating the U.K. AEA estimate with this amount gives a figure of potentially 3 million extra deaths from inhaling DU dust in Iraq alone, not including Afghanistan. This is about 11% of Iraq’s total population of 27 million. Dan Bishop, Ph.d chemist for IDUST feels that this estimate may be low, if the long life of DU dust is considered.  In Afghanistan, the concentration in some areas is greater than Iraq.

What can an otherwise healthy person expect when inhaling the deadly dust? Captain Terry Riordon was a member of the Canadian Armed Forces serving in Gulf War I. He passed away in April 1999 at age 45. Terry left Canada a very fit man who did cross-country skiing and ran in marathons. On his return only two months later he could barely walk.

He returned to Canada in February 1991 with documented loss of motor control, chronic fatigue, respiratory difficulties, chest pain, difficulty breathing, sleep problems, short-term memory loss, testicle pain, body pains, aching bones, diarrhea, and depression. After his death, depleted uranium contamination was discovered in his lungs and bones. For eight years he suffered his innumerable ailments and struggled with the military bureaucracy and the system to get proper diagnosis and treatment.  He had arranged, upon his death, to bequeath his body to the UMRC.  Through his gift, the UMRC was able to obtain conclusive evidence that inhaling fine particles of depleted uranium dust completely destroyed his heath.  How many Terry Riordans are out there among the troops being exposed, not to mention Iraqi and Afghan civilians?

Inhaling the dust will not kill large numbers of Iraqi and Afghan civilians right away, any more than it did Captain Riordan. Rather, what we will see is vast numbers of people who are chronically and severely ill, having their life spans drastically shortened, many with multiple cancers.

Melissa Sterry, another sick veteran, served for six months at a supply base in Kuwait during the winter of 1991-92. Part of her job with the National Guard’s Combat Equipment Company “A” was to clean out tanks and other armored vehicles that had been used during the war, preparing them for storage.

She said she swept out the armored vehicles, cleaning up dust, sand and debris, sometimes being ordered to help bury contaminated parts. In a telephone interview, she stated that after researching depleted uranium she chose not to take the military’s test because she could not trust the results.  It is alarming that Melissa was stationed in Kuwait, not Iraq.  Cleaning out tanks with DU dust was enough to make her ill.

In, 2003, the Christian Science Monitor sent reporters to Iraq to investigate long-term effects of depleted uranium. Staff writer Scott Peterson saw children playing on top of a burnt-out tank near a vegetable stand on the outskirts of Baghdad, a tank that had been destroyed by armor-piercing shells coated with depleted uranium. Wearing his mask and protective clothing, he pointed his Geiger counter toward the tank. It registered 1,000 times the normal background radiation. If the troops were on a mission of mercy to bring democracy to Iraq, wouldn”t keeping children away from such dangers be the top priority?

The laws of war prohibit the use of weapons that have deadly and inhumane effects beyond the field of battle. Nor can weapons be legally deployed in war when they are known to remain active, or cause harm after the war concludes.  It is no surprise that the Japanese Court found President Bush guilty of war crimes.

Dr. Alim Yacoub of Basra University conducted an epidemiological study into incidences of malignancies in children under fifteen years old, in the Basra area (an area bombed with DU during the first Gulf War). They found over the 1990 to 1999 period, there was a 242% rise.  That was before the recent invasion.

In Kosovo, similar spikes in cancer and birth defects were noticed by numerous international experts, although the quantity of DU weapons used was only a small fraction of what was used in Iraq.
FIELD STUDY RESULTS FROM AFGHANISTAN

Verifiable statistics for Iraq will remain elusive for some time, but widespread field studies in Afghanistan point to the existence of a large scale public health disaster. In May of 2002, the UMRC (Uranium Medical Research Center) sent a field team to interview and examine residents and internally displaced people in Afghanistan.  The UMRC field team began by first identifying several hundred people suffering from illnesses and medical conditions displaying clinical symptoms which are considered to be characteristic of radiation exposure.  To investigate the possibility that the symptoms were due to radiation sickness, the UMRC team collected urine specimens and soil samples, transporting them to an independent research lab in England.

UMRC’s Field Team found Afghan civilians with acute symptoms of radiation poisoning, along with chronic symptoms of internal uranium contamination, including congenital problems in newborns. Local civilians reported large, dense dust clouds and smoke plumes rising from the point of impact, an acrid smell, followed by burning of the nasal passages, throat and upper respiratory tract. Subjects in all locations presented identical symptom profiles and chronologies. The victims reported symptoms including pain in the cervical column, upper shoulders and basal area of the skull, lower back/kidney pain, joint and muscle weakness, sleeping difficulties, headaches, memory problems and disorientation.

Two additional scientific study teams were sent to Afghanistan. The first arrived in June 2002, concentrating on the Jalalabad region. The second arrived four months later, broadening the study to include the capital Kabul, which has a population of nearly 3.5 million people. The city itself contains the highest recorded number of fixed targets during Operation Enduring Freedom. For the study’s purposes, the vicinity of three major bomb sites were examined. It was predicted that signatures of depleted or enriched uranium would be found in the urine and soil samples taken during the research. The team was unprepared for the shock of its findings, which indicated in both Jalalabad and Kabul, DU was causing the high levels of illness. Tests taken from a number of Jalalabad subjects showed concentrations 400% to 2000% above that for normal populations, amounts which have not been recorded in civilian studies before.

Those in Kabul who were directly exposed to US-British precision bombing showed extreme signs of contamination, consistent with uranium exposure. These included pains in joints, back/kidney pain, muscle weakness, memory problems and confusion and disorientation. Those exposed to the bombing report symptoms of flu-type illnesses, bleeding, runny noses and blood-stained mucous.  How many of these people will suffer a painful and early death from cancer? Even the study team itself complained of similar symptoms during their stay. Most of these symptoms last for days or months.

In August of 2002, UMRC completed its preliminary analysis of the results from Nangarhar.  Without exception, every person donating urine specimens tested positive for uranium contamination. The specific results indicated an astoundingly high level of contamination; concentrations were 100 to 400 times greater than those of the Gulf War Veterans tested in 1999.   A researcher reported. “We took both soil and biological samples, and found considerable presence in urine samples of radioactivity; the heavy concentration astonished us.  They were beyond our wildest imagination.”

In the fall of 2002, the UMRC field team went back to Afghanistan for a broader survey, and revealed a potentially larger exposure than initially anticipated. Approximately 30% of those interviewed in the affected areas displayed symptoms of radiation sickness.  New born babies were among those displaying symptoms, with village elders reporting that over 25% of the infants were inexplicably ill.

How widespread and extensive is the exposure?  A quote from the UMRC field report reads:

“The UMRC field team was shocked by the breadth of public health impacts coincident with the bombing. Without exception, at every bombsite investigated, people are ill. A significant portion of the civilian population presents symptoms consistent with internal contamination by uranium.”

In Afghanistan, unlike Iraq, UMRC lab results indicated high concentrations of NON-DEPLETED URANIUM, with the concentrations being much higher than in DU victims from Iraq. Afghanistan was used as a testing ground for a new generation of “bunker buster” bombs containing high concentrations of other uranium alloys.

“A significant portion of the civilian population”? It appears that by going after a handful of terrorists in Afghanistan we have poisoned a huge number of innocent civilians, with a disproportionate number of them being children.

The military has found depleted uranium in the urine of some soldiers but contends it was not enough to make them seriously ill in most cases. Critics have asked for more sensitive, more expensive testing.

————————————

According to an October 2004  Dispatch from the Italian Military Health Observatory, a total of 109 Italian soldiers have died thus far due to exposure to depleted uranium.  A spokesman at the Military Health Observatory, Domenico Leggiero, states “The total of 109 casualties exceeds the total number of persons dying as a consequence of road accidents. Anyone denying the significance of such data is purely acting out of ill faith, and the truth is that our soldiers are dying out there due to a lack of adequate protection against depleted uranium”.     Members of the Observatory have petitioned for an urgent hearing “in order to study effective prevention and safeguard measures aimed at reducing the death-toll amongst our serving soldiers”.

There were only 3,000 Italian soldiers sent to Iraq, and they were there for a short time.  The number of 109 represents about 3.6% of the total.  If the same percentage of Iraqis get a similar exposure, that would amount to 936,000.  As Iraqis are permanently living in the same contaminated environment, their percentage will be higher.

The Pentagon/DoD have interfered with UMRC’s ability to have its studies published by managing, a progressive and persistent misinformation program in the press against UMRC, and through the use of its control of science research grants to refute UMRC’s scientific findings and destroy the reputation of UMRC’s scientific staff, physicians and laboratories. UMRC is the first independent research organization to find Depleted Uranium in the bodies of US, UK and Canadian Gulf War I veterans and has subsequently, following Operation Iraqi Freedom, found Depleted Uranium in the water, soils and atmosphere of Iraq as well as biological samples donated by Iraqi civilians. Yet the first thing that comes up on Internet searches are these supposed “studies repeatedly showing DU to be harmless.”  The technique is to approach the story as a debate between government and independent experts in which public interest is stimulated by polarizing the issues rather than telling the scientific and medical truth. The issues are systematically confused and misinformed by government, UN regulatory agencies (WHO, UNEP, IAEA, CDC, DOE, etc) and defense sector (military and the weapons developers and manufacturers).

Dr. Yuko Fujita, an assistant professor at Keio University, Japan who examined the effects of radioactivity in Iraq from May to June, 2003,  said : “I doubt that Iraq is fabricating data because in fact there are many children suffering from leukemia in hospitals,” Fujita said. “As a result of the Iraq war, the situation will be desperate in some five to 10 years.”

The  March 14, 2004  Tokyo Citizen’s Tribunal that “convicted” President Bush gave the following summation regarding DU weapons: (This court was a citizen’s court with no binding legal authority)

1.   Their use has indiscriminate effects;

2.   Their use is out of proportion with the pursuit of military objectives;

3.   Their use adversely affects the environment in a widespread, long term and severe manner;

4.   Their use causes superfluous injury and unnecessary suffering.

Two years ago, President Bush withdrew the United States as a signatory to the International Criminal Court’s statute, which has been ratified by all other Western democracies. The White House actually seeks to immunize U.S. leaders from war crimes prosecutions entirely. It has also demanded express immunity from ICC prosecution for American nationals.

CONCLUSIONS:

If terrorists succeeded in spreading something throughout the U.S. that ended up causing hundreds of thousands of cancer cases and birth defects over a period of many years, they would be guilty of a crime against humanity that far surpasses the Sept. 11th attacks in scope and severity. Although not deliberate, with our military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, we have done just that.  If the physical environment is so unsafe and unhealthy that one cannot safely breath, then the outer trappings of democracy have little meaning. At least under Saddam, the Iraqi people could stay healthy and conceive normal children. Few Americans are aware that in getting rid of Saddam, we left something much worse in his place.  Source

Related content:

Recent

Canada: Aboriginal children were used in government experiments

France: Passenger train derailed at Bretigny-sur-Orge station

In Memory of those who perished in Lac-Mégantic

Canada: Aboriginal children were used in government experiments

Hungry Canadian aboriginal children were used in government experiments during 1940s, researcher says

New historical research says hungry aboriginal children and adults were once used as unwitting subjects in nutritional experiments by the Canadian government.

By: Andrew Livingstone News reporter, Bob Weber The Canadian Press,

July 16 2013

Aboriginal children were deliberately starved in the 1940s and ’50s by government researchers in the name of science.

Milk rations were halved for years at residential schools across the country.

Essential vitamins were kept from people who needed them.

Dental services were withheld because gum health was a measuring tool for scientists and dental care would distort research.

For over a decade, aboriginal children and adults were unknowingly subjected to nutritional experiments by Canadian government bureaucrats.

This disturbing look into government policy toward aboriginals after World War II comes to light in recently published historical research.

When Canadian researchers went to a number of northern Manitoba reserves in 1942 they found rampant malnourishment. But instead of recommending increased federal support to improve the health of hundreds of aboriginals suffering from a collapsing fur trade and already limited government aid, they decided against it. Nutritionally deprived aboriginals would be the perfect test subjects, researchers thought.

The details come from Ian Mosby, a post-doctorate at the University of Guelph, whose research focused on one of the most horrific aspects of government policy toward aboriginals during a time when rules for research on humans were just being adopted by the scientific community.

Researching the development of health policy for a different research project, Mosby uncovered “vague references to studies conducted on ‘Indians’ ” and began to investigate.

Government documents eventually revealed a long-standing, government-run experiment that came to span the entire country and involved at least 1,300 aboriginals, most of them children.

These experiments aren’t surprising to Justice Murray Sinclair, chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The commission became aware of the experiments during their collection of documents relating to the treatment and abuse of native children at residential schools across Canada from the 1870s to the 1990s.

It’s a disturbing piece of research, he said, and the experiments are entrenched with the racism of the time.

“This discovery, it’s indicative of the attitude toward aboriginals,” Sinclair said. “They thought aboriginals shouldn’t be consulted and their consent shouldn’t be asked for. They looked at it as a right to do what they wanted then.”

In the research paper, published in May, Mosby wrote, “the experiment seems to have been driven, at least in part, by the nutrition experts’ desire to test their theories on a ready-made ‘laboratory’ populated with already malnourished human experimental subjects.”

Researchers visited The Pas and Norway House in northern Manitoba in 1942 and found a demoralized population marked by, in their words, “shiftlessness, indolence, improvidence and inertia.”

They decided that isolated, dependent, hungry people would be ideal subjects for tests on the effects of different diets.

“In the 1940s, there were a lot of questions about what are human requirements for vitamins,” Mosby said. “Malnourished aboriginal people became viewed as possible means of testing these theories.”

These experiments are “abhorrent and completely unacceptable,” said Andrea Richer, spokesperson for Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Minister Bernard Valcourt.

The first experiment began in 1942 on 300 Norway House Cree. Of that group, 125 were selected to receive vitamin supplements, which were withheld from the rest.

At the time, researchers calculated the local people were living on less than 1,500 calories a day. Normal, healthy adults generally require at least 2,000.

In 1947, plans were developed for research on about 1,000 hungry aboriginal children in six residential schools in Port Alberni, B.C., Kenora, Ont., Schubenacadie, N.S., and Lethbridge, Alta.

One school for two years deliberately held milk rations to less than half the recommended amount to get a ‘baseline’ reading for when the allowance was increased. At another school, children were divided into one group that received vitamin, iron and iodine supplements and one that didn’t.

One school depressed levels of vitamin B1 to create another baseline before levels were boosted.

And, so that all the results could be properly measured, one school was allowed none of those supplements.

The experiments, repugnant today, would probably have been considered ethically dubious even at the time, said Mosby.

“I think they really did think they were helping people. Whether they thought they were helping the people that were actually involved in the studies — that’s a different question. Source

More on this story

Hungry aboriginal people used in bureaucrats’ experiments

Update July 18 2013

First Nations leaders demand apology for nutritional experiments

Update July 19 2013

Canadian nutrition experiments ‘alarming’ but not surprising, says former aboriginal student

Update July 30 2013

Aboriginal nutritional experiments had Ottawa’s approval

Update July 31 2013

Aboriginal children used in medical tests, commissioner says

Aboriginal Canadians were not only subjected to nutritional experiments by the federal government in the 1940s and 1950s but were also used as medical test subjects, says the chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

In an interview with CBC Radio’s All Points West on Tuesday, Justice Murray Sinclair told host Jo-Ann Roberts that commission staff has “seen the documents that relate to the experiments that were conducted in residential schools.”

Other documents related to experimentation in aboriginal communities outside of residential schools have not yet been obtained, Sinclair said.

“We do know that there were research initiatives that were conducted with regard to medicines that were used ultimately to treat the Canadian population. Some of those medicines were tested in aboriginal communities and residential schools before they were utilized publicly.”

Sinclair said some of those medicines developed were then withheld from the same aboriginal children they were originally tested on.

“Some of those medicines which we know were able to work in the general population, we also have discovered were withheld from children in residential schools, and we’re trying to find the documents which explain that too,” Sinclair said.

CBC News has not seen the documents in the possession of the commission.

Recent revelations that the Canadian government used at least 1,300 aboriginal children attending residential schools in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Nova Scotia as test subjects have prompted further calls from aboriginal groups to pressure the federal government to turn over all archival documents related to residential schools.

“Our government recognizes that the relationship between Canada and First Nations has helped shape the country we know today,” Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt’s director of communications Jason MacDonald said Wednesday in a statement.

“While we cannot undo the past, we can learn from it and ensure that those dark chapters are not repeated.”

MacDonald said that is why the Conservative government apologized for the residential school policy and “that is why we continue to focus on the work of reconciliation, on improving living conditions for First Nations, and on creating economic opportunities for First Nation communities.”

The commission, according to Sinclair, is in possession of the documents used by historian Ian Mosby to show that the Canadian government conducted nutritional experiments on malnourished aboriginal children and adults attending residential schools during and after the Second World War.

However, the commission has not been able to obtain documents “related to experimentation that went on in aboriginal communities outside of the residential school setting.”

“We haven’t seen those documents,” the chair of the commission told CBC News.

Valcourt’s office has said they have turned over 900 documents related to this to the work by the commission.

Ottawa ordered to provide all documents

In January, an Ontario Court ordered the Canadian government to turn over all residential school archival documents to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and while the federal government has expressed a willingness to comply, Sinclair said “we haven’t seen the documents start to flow yet.”

The worry now, said Sinclair, is that even with the best of intentions Ottawa may not have the resources to provide all these archival documents in a timely manner.

“It’s a question of capacity and whether they have sufficient resources and time to be able to get them to us before our mandate as a commission expires on July 1, 2014.”

Sinclair said that if the federal government is unable to turn over all of the documents from Library and Archives Canada before the commission’s mandate expires next summer, the commission may have to turn to the courts once more.

Many of the documents are said to reside with departments outside of Aboriginal Affairs, such as the Health Department.

But a final report without all the documents would not be a “truthful” report, according to Sinclair.

“The report itself, in our view, only complies with the mandate if we are able to write a full and complete history of residential schools and in order to do that, we need those documents,” the chair of the commission told CBC News.

The residential schools system, which ran from the 1870s until the 1990s, removed about 150,000 aboriginal children from their families and sent them to church-run schools under a deliberate policy of “civilizing” First Nations.

Many students were physically, mentally and sexually abused. Some committed suicide. Mortality rates reached 50 per cent at some schools.

In the 1990s, thousands of victims sued the churches that ran the schools and the Canadian government.

The $1.9-billion settlement of that suit in 2007 prompted an apology from Prime Minister Stephen Harper followed by the creation of the commission in 2008. Source

August 19 2013 Update

80 per cent of Kenora residential school students had TB

Newly released archival documents show alarming rate of deadly disease

For the rest of the story go HERE

Recent

France: Passenger train derailed at Bretigny-sur-Orge station

In Memory of those who perished in Lac-Mégantic

Canada: Railway Disaster in  Lac-Mégantic, Quebec

B.C. Says Dismiss “Children of alleged Pickton victims lawsuit” against Crown prosecutors

Anti-NSA protest and Petition Letter to Members of Congress

Syria: A few Insights

France: Passenger train derailed at Bretigny-sur-Orge station

Update July 14 2013 at bottom of page.

 

At least 6 believed dead after passenger train derails outside Paris

France train de rail
A view of the Bretigny sur Orge train station, south of Paris, after a train derailed Friday July, 12, 2013. A packed passenger train skidded off its rails after leaving Paris on Friday, leaving seven people believed dead and dozens injured as train cars slammed into each other and overturned, authorities said. (AP)

France train de rail 2

Screen capture from Video at CTV
July 12, 2013 3:32 PM EDT

PARIS — A packed passenger train derailed and crashed into a station outside Paris on Friday on the eve of a major holiday weekend. At least seven people were believed killed and dozens were injured, authorities said.

The crash at Bretigny-sur-Orge station was the deadliest in France in years. Some cars slid toward the station itself, crushing part of the metallic roof over the platform. Images from the scene shown on French television showed gnarled metal and shards on the platform, and debris from the crash clogging the stairwell leading beneath the platform.

Officials didn’t comment on reports that some passengers may still be trapped on the train. It was unclear whether all the casualties were inside the train, or whether some had been on the platform, or how fast the train was travelling. The head of the SNCF rail authority, Guillaume Pepy, called it a “catastrophe.”

The cause of the crash was under investigation. Two train cars, Nos. 3 and 4, initially derailed, then knocked the other cars off the track, Pepy said.

“Some cars simply derailed, others are leaning, others fell over,” he said.

Interior Minister Manuel Valls said at least seven people are believed dead and several dozen injured, but added that the casualty toll is “in constant evolution.”

The SNCF said the train was carrying about 385 passengers when it derailed Friday evening at 5:15 p.m. and crashed into the station at Bretigny-sur-Orge, about 20 kilometres south of Paris. The train was headed from Paris to Limoges, a 400- kilometre journey and was about 20 minutes into what would have been a three-hour journey.

The accident came as France is preparing to celebrate its most important national holiday, Bastille Day, on Sunday, and as masses of vacationers are heading out of Paris and other big cities to see family or on summer vacation.

All trains from Paris’ Gare d’Austerlitz were suspended after the accident.

A passenger speaking on France’s BFM television said the train was going at a normal speed and wasn’t meant to stop at Bretigny-sur-Orge. He described children unattended in the chaotic aftermath. He said there are swarms of emergency workers at the scene.

Source
Video at the Source as well.Death toll has been lowed from 7 to 6.
9 are in critical condition so the death toll may rise.More information, photos and video HERE and HEREFrance train 4

UntiFrance train 3

More information and video HERE
July 14 2013 update

Death toll remains at 6.

Video at site below as well

France train crash clean-up operations begin, as investigations reveal potential track fault to blame

 

Recent

In Memory of those who perished in Lac-Mégantic

Canada: Railway Disaster in  Lac-Mégantic, Quebec

B.C. Says Dismiss “Children of alleged Pickton victims lawsuit” against Crown prosecutors

Anti-NSA protest and Petition Letter to Members of Congress

Syria: A few Insights

Published in: on July 12, 2013 at 8:19 pm  Comments Off  
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In Memory of those who perished in Lac-Mégantic

This page is dedicated to those who perished on that fateful  night in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec. 

93-year-old Elianne Parenteau 1st victim id

93-year-old Elianne Parenteau

She was the first victim to be identified. 


Kathy Clusiault
Kathy Clusiault, age 24

Elodie Turcotte
Elodie Turcotte, age 18


Karine Lafontaine
Karine Lafontaine, age 35

Maxime Dubois
Maxime Dubois,  age 27

Mélissa Roy
Melissa Roy, age 29

Gaétan Lafontaine

Gaétan Lafontaine, age 33

yves-boulet

Yves Boulet, age 51

Frédéric Boutin

Frédéric Boutin, 19

Karine Champagne
Karine Champagne, age 36

Yannick Bouchard
Yannick Bouchard, age 36

Joanie Turmel 

Joanie Turmel, age 29

Roger Paquet

Roger Paquet, age 61

Jo-Annie Lapointe

 Jo-Annie Lapointe, age 20

Andrée-Anne Sévigny

Andrée-Anne Sévigny, age 26

Diane Bizier

 Diane Bizier, age 46

Stéphane Bolduc

 Stéphane Bolduc, age 37

Guy Bolduc

Guy Bolduc, age 43

David Lacroix-Beaudoin

David Lacroix-Beaudoin, age 27

Marianne Poulin

Marianne Poulin, age 23

Geneviève Breton,

Geneviève Breton, age 28

Mathieu Pelletier

Mathieu Pelletier, age 29

Sylvie Charron

Sylvie Charron, age 50

Henriette Latulippe

Henriette Latulippe, age 61

David Martin

David Martin, age 36

Jean-Pierre Roy

Jean-Pierre Roy, age 56

Jean-Guy Veilleux

Jean-Guy Veilleux, age 32

Lucie Vadnais

Lucie Vadnais, age 49

Michel Guertin

Michel Guertin, age 33

Natachat Gaudreau

Natachat Gaudreau, age 41

Kevin Roy

Kevin Roy, age 29

Éric Pépin-Lajeunesse

Éric Pépin-Lajeunesse, age 28

Talitha Coumi Begnoche

Talitha Coumi Begnoche, age 30

Stéphane Lapierre

Stéphane Lapierre, age 45

To all the families and friends, who lost loved ones, may you some how, find peace and comfort in the days to come. You have so much to overcome.

For the rest of us, may we work to get all Governments, to improve safety standards, so this never happens again.

As each victims is identified, I will add their Photo if possible, so we never forget them.

Map of Lac-Mégantic

Other photos of those missing and presumed dead are HERE and HERE

Related

Canada: Railway Disaster in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec

New page for updates

Canada: Railway Disaster in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec Part 2

Published in: on July 12, 2013 at 11:47 am  Comments Off  
Tags: , , , , ,

Canada: Railway Disaster in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec

47 are missing and are presumed to have perished.

They still have to be very careful. Oil has spilled into the sewer systems etc. and could be ignited if they are not cautious. Recovery of some will take some time due to this problem. They also think that maybe some of the victims may never be found, as their bodies may been vaporized by the extreme fire that engulfed the area.

These reports are not in order of dates.

They are in order of what happened, sort of, time line wise.

So if things seem a bit mixed up do not be surprised.

There is a lot of information on this, so for many of the reports I will just give Quotes of what seems, to be most important parts.

Links to all the reports are provided so you can read more, if you wish and also check out all the other reports at the sites as well. There are many. Each site has numerous reports.

The Engineer/Conductor parked the train in Nantes and went to a hotel for the night.

It all began with the train engine catching fire in Nantes late Friday night, July 5 2013. At about 11:30 p.m. the fire department was called. Some one passing by, saw the fire and called it in.

The Train involved in the disaster:

Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway, which is owned by Rail World Inc

Fire chief angrily denies suggestion his crew played role in deadly Lac-Mégantic train disaster

July 8 2013

NANTES, Que. – The fire chief of this town just outside Lac-Mégantic has angrily denied the suggestion from the owners of the freight train that exploded Saturday that his firefighters played a part in the disaster.

In an interview Monday, Patrick Lambert told the National Post that his men extinguished an engine fire aboard the oil-laden train late Friday night and left the train in the care of two representatives of the Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway.
The train, hauling 72 tanker cars filled with crude oil, was parked on the tracks just outside Nantes awaiting a crew change when a passerby reported a fire at about 11:30 p.m. Friday.

Mr. Lambert said he had two fire engines and 12 firefighters at the scene within 17 minutes. They shut down the lead engine to battle the fire, as dictated by the fire department’s and the railway’s protocols, he said.

“That’s the only way we could put the fire out,” he said.

The department had advised MMA’s supervisor in Farnham, Que., of the fire, and two employees who had been in Lac-Mégantic arrived as the blaze was being battled.

Mr. Lambert said it was the fourth such fire on an MMA locomotive in the past eight years. In this case the cause was “a mechanical rupture, either a fuel line or an oil line ruptured,” he said.

It did not take long to extinguish the fire, and at 12:15 a.m. Saturday, the firefighters left.

The MMA employees “inspected the train with us,” he said. “MMA told the leading fire officer that everything was okay, the fire was out, everything was secure, you guys can leave.”

The locomotive’s power remained shut off, and the fire officer advised the railway employees that it could not be moved until the ruptured line was repaired.

“When we left, there was a police officer and two employees of MMA [at the scene],” he said.

Sometime within the next hour, the unmanned train started rolling down the tracks toward Lac-Mégantic, about 12 kilometres away. It is downhill all the way, with an average grade of 6% between Nantes and Lac-Mégantic.

Preliminary data recovered from the locomotive’s data recorder indicate the train was travelling at 101 kilometres per hour when it derailed in the heart of downtown at about 1:15 a.m., Transportation Safety Board investigator in charge, Donald Ross, said in an interview Monday.

Normally the speed limit for a train passing through the town is 16 kilometres-an-hour.

The train jumped the tracks at a curve, and the resulting explosions and inferno destroyed half the downtown. Five bodies have been recovered so far, and police say 40 people are missing.

On Sunday, MMA issued a statement saying the shutdown of the locomotive while it was parked in Nantes “may have resulted in the release of air brakes on the locomotive that was holding the train in place.”

Mr. Lambert said that makes no sense.

“They’re pointing a finger. They’re saying the train left because we shut the engine down, which released the brakes,” he said. “I don’t see how. There’s a train parked there right now and the engine is stopped. So do I have to go down to Mégantic and evacuate the whole city because that train is going to leave?”

He said he is familiar with trains from the factory where he works, and shutting down the locomotive should leave the air brakes engaged as a default.

“I don’t understand how they can say, ‘You guys shut the engine off. That’s what released the brakes.’ It doesn’t work that way. It should be the opposite. MMA did not reinvent the brake system.”

MMA officials were not immediately available for comment.

The train’s three locomotives and 72 cars would have also been equipped with hand brakes, which are engaged manually with a wheel on each car. Mr. Ross told reporters Sunday that investigators will focus on the train’s brakes to learn how the train broke free.

“Certainly the manner in which the train was secured, both air brakes and hand brakes, we’ll be looking very strongly at that,” he said.

Mr. Lambert said he thinks it is unlikely someone would have sabotaged the train between the time his men left and when it began rolling toward Lac-Mégantic.

“I can’t see anyone doing that,” he said, saying that the remote location is hardly on terrorists’ radar.

“When people ask where I come from, I say, ‘Do you know where the pavement stops? OK, well you keep going for another hour.’”
A more likely explanation is some sort of mechanical failure. Source

Also in this report”

Lambert also said his department has put out four locomotive fires, for the company,  over the past nine years. For entire story go HERE

This was not the first time an engine caught fire.
When the fire department left there were Two MMA employee’s and a Police officer still at the site of the train.  Firefighters from Nantes put out the flames and left the train in the care of  the MMA crew at 12:15 a.m.

Nantes is uphill and West of Lac-Mégantic. Approximately  7 k  to 13 k between the two. All the news reports vary on this fact.

Preliminary data recovered from the locomotive’s data recorder indicate the train was travelling at 101 kilometres per hour when it derailed in the heart of downtown at about 1:15 a.m., Transportation Safety Board investigator in charge, Donald Ross, said in an interview Monday.
Normally the speed limit for a train passing through the town is 16 kilometres-an-hour.

Map of Rail Line

Just after 1 a.m. approximately 1 hour after the fire department left the crew, the run away train hit.

This video has the beginning shortly after the train hit and some from latter

Shocking new Lac-Mégantic explosion video emerges

Lac-Mégantic after the fires were under control

Quebec train  3

The downtown core lays in ruins as fire fighters continue to water smoldering rubble Sunday, July 7, 2013 in Lac-Mégantic,, Quebec after a train derailed ignited tanker cars carrying crude oil.

For more Photos go HERE

There are two ways to shut down a train engine: There’s an emergency lever on the outside of the locomotive that anyone wandering by could access. Or, there are a number of levers and buttons inside the unlocked cabin. For entire story go HERE

Anyone walking about could turn off the engine or even worse steal the train to go for a joy ride. Now if you left your car outside a store, in downtown Toronto, with your doors unlocked, the engine running and it was stolen, what would the insurance company say I wonder? 

Normally, the train would be secured by hand and air brakes.

Joe McGonigle, Montreal, Maine & Atlantic’s vice-president of marketing, confirmed the fire department showed up after the first engineer tied up and went to a local hotel. Someone later reported a fire.

“We know that one of our employees from our engineering department showed up at the same time, to assist the fire department. Exactly what they did is being investigated, so the engineer wasn’t the last man to touch that train, we know that, but we’re not sure what happened,” McGonigle said. For the entire story go HERE

One has to ask was the train ever left alone, unsupervised?

There were apparently 5 engines and 72 tanker cars. All toll.

Some of the tanker cars also came uncoupled and were latter retrieved.

Quebec train 5

The train cars carrying crude oil that remained attached to the train engine sit in the train tracks about 10 kilometres north-west of Lac-Mégantic, which is 100 kilometres east of Sherbrooke on Sunday, July 7, 2013. A train carrying crude oil derailed and exploded in the heart of the small town on Saturday. Photograph by: Dario Ayala , The Gazette

MONTREAL — At a time when train shipments of crude oil are expected to skyrocket in Canada, the federal government is cutting funding for Transport Canada, the country’s transportation regulator, by almost 30 per cent, down to $1.5 billion, according to government spending estimates for 2012-13 and 2013-14.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Montreal, Maine & Atlantic, the company whose 72-car train derailed and exploded in Lac-Mégantic, has spilled hazardous materials seven times since 2000. For entire story go HERE

The train involved in the Lac-Mégantic accident was carrying 72 tankers filled with thousands of litres of fuel each.

Approximately 230,000 barrels of oil are transported by rail in North America every day, according to the Railway Association of Canada.

The RAC estimates that 99.99 per cent all “dangerous goods” rail shipments reach their destination without any spills caused by accidents or derailments.

There were 588 train derailments in Canada in 2011 alone, according to the Canada Safety Council. For entire story go HERE

Where the Oil came from

Some of the oil shipped by rail in Canada is not coming from the oil sands, but from the Bakken shale gas formation, a currently booming 520,000-square-kilometre oil and natural gas deposit in North Dakota and Montana, which produces more than 700,000 barrels of oil daily.

The light crude oil on board the Maine, Montreal and Atlantic Railway train that exploded in Lac-Mégantic was en-route from the Bakken reserves to an Irving Oil refinery in Saint John, N.B., the company said on Sunday. July 7 2013 For entire story go HERE

A derailed train carrying a shipment of crude oil that exploded in Lac-Mégantic, Que. killing at least five people was destined for a Saint John, N.B. refinery.

Irving Oil, the company that owns the Saint John refinery, issued a statement after confirming the shipment was bound for its facility.

In recent years, much of the oil that comes from the western provinces and is processed at the Saint John refinery is delivered by train. For entire story go HERE

Someone should ask the owners, what type of security, if any, is at the rail yard, where the train was parked. To date it seems there have been no reports on if anyone was there to watch over a train engine that was left running with 72 tanks of oil behind it.

Report from July 5 1013 Lac-Mégantic: Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway chairman certain train that exploded was tampered with

A passer by saw the fire and reported it to the fire department, not some one at the rail yard working there. Could it be no one, was there at all, when the fire in the engine started?

Edward A. Burkhardt is President of Rail World, Inc., of Chicago, Illinois, a railroad management and consulting company he formed in 1999.  He also serves as President of Rail World Holdings LLC, which holds railway investments worldwide.

Could one of them perhaps be in your country?

Rail World Organization Chart

Lac-Mégantic residents recall moment of explosion
 

Death toll hits 15 in Lac-Mégantic as criminal probe launched

Om June 11 2013

MMA also had another accident in Frontenac just east of Lac-Mégantic. A 13 000 litre diesel spill

As early as 1994, regulators at the Transportation Safety Board wrote that this type of tanker car had a flawed design and that they have a “high incidence of tank integrity failure” during accidents.
As noted HERE

The report below is from 2007

Deregulation a disaster for rail safety: report

 May 29, 2007 

The Canada Safety Council is calling Canada’s rail system a disaster waiting to happen, and it blames deregulation for the mess.

The council’s Emile Therien told CTV News that one possible result could be the “major evacuation of a major urban area … and all the attendant cost that goes along with that.”

To ward that off, “CSC strongly urges the government to reinstitute the authority of Transport Canada,” said the council’s report, obtained Monday by CTV News.

The CSC said the move to deregulation “allows rail companies to regulate themselves, removing the federal government’s ability to protect Canadians and their environment, and allowing the industry to hide critical safety information from the public.”

B.C. New Democrat MP Peter Julian added his voice to the criticism.

“Since self-managed safety was put into place, it has been a disaster for Canadians. Lives have been lost; we’ve seen environmental devastation,” he said.

Safety Management Systems (SMS) came into force in 1999 after the Liberal government of the day amended the Railway Safety Act.

The policy change ended the oversight role of Transport Canada.

“CSC believes that SMS allows rail companies to regulate themselves, removing the federal government’s ability to protect Canadians and their environment, and allowing the industry to hide critical safety information from the public,” the report said.

CTV’s W-FIVE has reported on serious problems within Canada’s rail system, including a large jump in derailments in 2005.

The CSC report noted W-FIVE’s finding that in 2005, there were 103 main-track derailments for one “major rail company” in 2005 — an average of one every 3.5 days. The report termed that “a truly dismal safety record.” W-FIVE named CN Rail as the company in its report.

One such incident was the derailment near Lake Wabamun, Alta., which led to the spill of oil and wood preservatives into the popular recreational lake.

Two days later, another CN train derailed over the Cheakamus River just outside Squamish, B.C., dumping more than 40,000 litres of caustic soda.

And in 2006, a derailment in B.C. left two train crew members dead.

Industry reaction

However, the industry argues that one year doesn’t tell the story.

Cliff MacKay of the Railway Association of Canada agrees there was a spate of incidents in 2005, but argue many were linked to extraordinary factors like weather events and labour disruptions.

“But if you look at the numbers overall, the numbers have been progressively improving,” he said.

CN Rail, which has seen some of the worst incidents, rejected the CSC report outright.

“They didn’t do their homework,” said spokesperson Mark Hallman, adding it was based on a “faulty, biased” report by W-FIVE.

The CSC report is one of many that will end up on the desk of Transport Minister Lawrence Cannon.

“If there was not a problem … we would not have the panel struck by the minister to really look into safety in the railroad industry,” Therien said on CTV’s Canada AM.

The government isn’t planning to look at any changes to rail safety until the end of 2008. The safety council said the problem is urgent and action is needed now.

Therien is calling on Transport Canada to get involved again as the railway regulator.

“They’ve got to become effective to get back into that particular game,” he said Tuesday.

“The railroads cannot be allowed to review or vet the safety standards, which are really established by Transport Canada,” he said.

With a report from CTV’s Graham Richardson Source

A few Question we all should think about.

Was this disaster in Quebec preventable?

Are there people/security watching over rail yards?

Is the equipment used safe and well maintained?

Are all employees well trained?

Are owners/operators putting profit before safety?

Do you think deregulation has made rail ways more dangerous?

Train car ammonia leak forces evacuation in small Ontario town on Monday July 8 2013 No one was hurt. This does also point to safety concerns however.

Information on how to donate to the victims of this horrific disaster. They will need all the help they can get.

Saskatchewan mayors worry about rail lines

Saskatoon mayor calls for rail lines to be moved

Rail emergencies raise concern over Sudbury tracks

Manitoba town wants to know what rail cars are carrying

July 10 2013 Update

The owner is attempting to blame the fire department for the disaster as they shut down the engine to put out the fire in Nantes. He said this during the video interview with CBC.

MMA, which is headquartered in Chicago, has a long history of accidents in Canada, according to Transportation Safety Board data, which shows 129 accidents, including 77 derailments — some of them minor — since 2003. For entire story and video of interview go HERE

To Edward A. Burkhardt I am sorry to say, but your people were left at the scene of the fire, to take care of things, after the fire department left. It was the companies responsibility to make sure the train was secure. It is the companies job to make sure all their trains are safe and secure at all times.

A new questions. What other cargo, was on the train other then oil?

How much diesel was present? I am thinking the train was being hauled by diesel engines. Diesel is more volatile then crude oil. Five engines would need a great deal to operate. Could be that is what sparked the explosions? What caused the fire in the lead engine?

Engines can have a fuel capacity of 2,900 gallons as noted HERE

2900 gallons

Or in this type of engine fuel capacity 1,800 gallons noted HERE

1800 gallons

Both of those engines are from Rail Wold Inc 

Rail World Inc, ownes MMA. Odds are they supply the engines for MMA.

Multiply either or by 5 and you have a whole lot of flammable fuel.

Add to that if the engines that went off the track hit a car, truck or whatever, it would make it even more problematic.

July 10 2013 Report

Burkhardt said Tuesday he hadn’t gone to the stricken community before because company representatives, including president Robert Grindrod, were already there.

Grindrod acknowledged the company likely shares some of the blame for the catastrophe.

“But we can’t say how much blame. Typically major events like this are a combination of factors and we don’t know what all the factors are yet.”

He said there was nothing unusual about having a train sitting unattended as it was when a small fire broke out requiring the intervention of the Nantes fire department. The derailment in Lac-Megantic happened shortly afterward. For entire story go HERE

Recent Photos of aftermath

Lac Megantic explosion: Ottawa approved having only one engineer on ill-fated train

From  July 09 2013

By Les Whittington Ottawa Bureau reporter, Liam Casey GTA, Jessica McDiarmid News reporter, Bruce Campion-Smith Parliament Hill,

OTTAWA—The rail company whose 73-car train devastated a Quebec town when it derailed convinced the federal government last year that it could safely operate trains with only one engineer on board, officials disclosed Tuesday.

Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway (MMA) got the green light from Transport Canada for the reduced staffing in 2012.

“They had to meet with Transport Canada and demonstrate to us that they could do it safely,” said Luc Bourdon, director general of rail safety in Transport Canada. For entire story go HERE

What happens if the engineer gets sick, hurt, dies or passes out for some reason? In those events, who drives the train? No one.

The more I find the less impressed I am.

There seems to be a lot of pencil pushers, making stupid decisions.

In the name of profit no less.

A select few in the US who care. I am actually shocked the press even covered this.

Activists rally at Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway Headquarters

This is a comparison with all US railways. Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway and Its Safety Record  MMA does not rate well.

Update July 12 2013

Lac-Mégantic marks Canada’s 7th runaway train since 2006

Lac-Mégantic prepares vigil to mark 1 week since derailment

A few interviews audio only. Valuable information  on brakes, safety procedures etc..

Unattended trains not against the rules: Transport Canada

Not against the rules. Well it should be against the rules.

Lac-Mégantic locals paint picture of a terrified train driver

Details of engineer moving tankers away from train inferno 

Point finger at MMA, not Harding: rail expert

Seven more Victims Identified

Vigils across Quebec tonight for Lac-Mégantic

Auction and concert to support Lac-Megantic

Update July 13 2013

Here is a video taken less, then two days after the tragedy.

Apparently this train was parked up on a hill just above Lac-Mégantic, It sat there for a couple of days, running, doors unlocked, unattended. Someone was angry it was left there like the one that that destroyed the town and caused the deaths of so many.

I do believe they complained to the authorities and had the train moved. The train left late on the July 8th.

They were not sure where it went. The video was posted July 7.

I took two captures that show the MMA on the side of the green lead engine and the brick red car just behind it.

MMA head Engine

Lead Engine

MMA parked

Brick Red Car behind Lead Engine

The first Video also shows  Lac-Mégantic, to the left of the tracks.

Lac-Mégantic

Lac-Mégantic at a distance, from the tracks, where train is parked

The Video will have all of the above photos in it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGg0tW8PgTc

Update July 12 2013

Another 5 Lac-Mégantic victims found, say police

Apparently this is an engine that made it threw

Engine made it threw

The Transportation Safety Board authorities examine the locomotive from which the derailed tanker cars detached. Source

Que Train Fire 20130709

Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers guard the main locomotive involved in a July 6 fatal train derailment and explosion in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, Tuesday, July 9, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jacques Boissinot) Source

I have not been able to find anything else out, about the 5 Engines.

Canada Transportation Safety Board

July 15 2013 Updates

Lac-Megantic residents seeking permission for class-action lawsuit

Lac Megantic: Railway’s history of cost-cutting A freight train derailment and explosion in Wisconsin in 1996 foreshadowed the Quebec inferno.

July 17 Update

Former MMA employee quit company over safety concerns

A former Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Rail employee quit the company in 2007. He says he warned to company and American politicians that a disaster like the Lac Megantic accident would happen if they switched to one-man only operations. To listen to the interview go HERE

Reporters get a close up view of the after math.

Go HERE and HERE

July 18 2013 Update

Lac Megantic explosion: Railroads prepare for Transport Canada rule changes

CN and CP tighten safety rules after Lac-Mégantic disaster

Railway involved in Lac-Mégantic disaster lays off 19

Size of Lac Megantic oil spill remains a company secret

Wed Jul 17 2013

The company cleaning the oil out of the Chaudière River in Lac-Mégantic will not say how much they have removed, citing a confidentiality agreement with the Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway

Update July 19 2013

Lac-Mégantic investigators seek urgent rail safety review

MMA train in minor derailment in Quebec Montreal, Maine & Atlantic, the company involved in the Lac-Mégantic disaster, experienced a minor derailment Thursday in Farnham, Que.

Quebec coroner’s office updates [French only]

The below page is dedicated to all those who perished.

In Memory of those who perished in Lac-Mégantic

All new Updates will be at the link below

Canada: Railway Disaster in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec Part 2

Recent

B.C. Says Dismiss “Children of alleged Pickton victims lawsuit” against Crown prosecutors

Anti-NSA protest and Petition Letter to Members of Congress

Syria: A few Insights

B.C. Says Dismiss “Children of alleged Pickton victims lawsuit” against Crown prosecutors

Dismiss Pickton lawsuit against Crown prosecutors, says B.C. Pickton victims’ families allege Crown failed to warn women

CBC Report Jul 5, 2013

missing-women-poster-8col

Serial killer Robert Pickton was convicted on six counts of second-degree murder, but is suspected of killing dozen of women who went missing from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. (Vancouver Police Department)

The B.C. government says it can’t be sued over the Crown prosecutor’s decision to stay attempted murder charges against Robert Pickton in 1998 — four years before the remains of dozens of women were found on the serial killer’s farm.

The families of four women whose remains or DNA were found on Pickton’s property filed a lawsuit in May targeting the provincial and federal governments, the City of Vancouver, Pickton’s siblings and Pickton himself.

The provincial government has filed an application in B.C.Supreme Court asking that the allegations targeting B.C.’s criminal justice branch be removed from the statements of claim.

The lawsuits allege, among other things, that prosecutors were negligent when they decided not to put Pickton on trial for attempted murder in early 1998. The lawsuits also claim the Crown should have warned sex workers in Vancouver about Pickton in light of the attempted murder charge.

But the B.C. government’s notices of application say Crown lawyers are immune from most claims of negligence, unless there is clear evidence of “deliberate and malicious” conduct.

“The notice of civil claim in this case includes no pleading of malice on the part of the Crown counsel involved,” says one of four notices filed with the court last week.

“This is clearly not a claim of malicious prosecution. It is therefore plain and obvious that it has no reasonable chance of success.”

The notices also argue Crown prosecutors don’t have a duty to warn the public.

Attempted murder charges stayed

In March 1997, Pickton and a sex worker became entangled in a violent confrontation at his property in Port Coquitlam, B.C., leaving the woman with injuries so severe she died on the operating table before she was revived.

The sex worker, whose name remains covered by a publication ban, had a set of handcuffs locked on one of her wrists — the key to which was later found in Pickton’s pocket.

Days before Pickton was set to stand trial, a Crown prosecutor decided not to go ahead. Crown counsel Randi Connor told a public inquiry last year that she believed the sex worker’s drug use meant she wasn’t in a condition to testify.

Between January 1998, when the charges against Pickton were stayed, and his arrest in February 2002, 19 women disappeared and were later connected to Pickton’s farm.

Also after Pickton’s arrest in 2002, forensic investigators found the DNA of three missing women on evidence they seized from the 1997 attack, including clothing and a condom package.

Families allege police botch up

The lawsuits involve the daughters and sons of Dianne Rock, Sarah de Vries, Cynthia Feliks and Yvonne Boen.
The statements of claim allege the Vancouver police and the RCMP botched their respective investigations into missing sex workers from the Downtown Eastside and failed to warn women in the neighbourhood that a serial killer was likely at work.

Boen’s and Feliks’ children also allege they were harmed by the insensitive manner in which they were informed of their mothers’ deaths.

Pickton was eventually convicted of six counts of second-degree murder.

When Pickton lost his appeals for those convictions, charges related to the murders of 20 other women, including Rock, de Vries and Feliks, were stayed by the Crown. Boen is among six women whose remains or DNA were found on the Pickton property, but for which no charges were ever laid.

The statements of claim contain allegations that haven’t been tested in court.

None of the defendants have filed statements of defence, and the province’s recent notice of application makes no mention of any of the other allegations in the families’ lawsuits. Source

Recent

Anti-NSA protest and Petition Letter to Members of Congress

Syria: A few Insights

Anti-NSA protest and Petition Letter to Members of Congress

Stop Watching Us.

The revelations about the National Security Agency’s surveillance apparatus, if true, represent a stunning abuse of our basic rights. We demand the U.S. Congress reveal the full extent of the NSA’s spying programs.
—————————————————————-

Dear Members of Congress,

We write to express our concern about recent reports published in the Guardian and the Washington Post, and acknowledged by the Obama Administration, which reveal secret spying by the National Security Agency (NSA) on phone records and Internet activity of people in the United States.

The Washington Post and the Guardian recently published reports based on information provided by an intelligence contractor showing how the NSA and the FBI are gaining broad access to data collected by nine of the leading U.S. Internet companies and sharing this information with foreign governments. As reported, the U.S. government is extracting audio, video, photographs, e-mails, documents, and connection logs that enable analysts to track a person’s movements and contacts over time. As a result, the contents of communications of people both abroad and in the U.S. can be swept in without any suspicion of crime or association with a terrorist organization.

Leaked reports also published by the Guardian and confirmed by the Administration reveal that the NSA is also abusing a controversial section of the PATRIOT Act to collect the call records of millions of Verizon customers. The data collected by the NSA includes every call made, the time of the call, the duration of the call, and other “identifying information” for millions of Verizon customers, including entirely domestic calls, regardless of whether those customers have ever been suspected of a crime. The Wall Street Journal has reported that other major carriers, including AT&T and Sprint, are subject to similar secret orders.

This type of blanket data collection by the government strikes at bedrock American values of freedom and privacy. This dragnet surveillance violates the First and Fourth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, which protect citizens’ right to speak and associate anonymously, guard against unreasonable searches and seizures, and protect their right to privacy.

We are calling on Congress to take immediate action to halt this surveillance and provide a full public accounting of the NSA’s and the FBI’s data collection programs. We call on Congress to immediately and publicly:

  1. Enact reform this Congress to Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act, the state secrets privilege, and the FISA Amendments Act to make clear that blanket surveillance of the Internet activity and phone records of any person residing in the U.S. is prohibited by law and that violations can be reviewed in adversarial proceedings before a public court;
  2. Create a special committee to investigate, report, and reveal to the public the extent of this domestic spying. This committee should create specific recommendations for legal and regulatory reform to end unconstitutional surveillance;
  3. Hold accountable those public officials who are found to be responsible for this unconstitutional surveillance.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

So far as I post this

Signatures so far
548,137 as of
11:52 am EST 4/7/13
Update

Signatures so far

552,250
9:19am EST 5/7/13

Go HERE to send your letter off to your Members of Congress.

Be sure to pass this on. The more who send off this letter the better.
There are also Protests across the US today, July 4 2013
There are a few others in other countries as well.

RESTORE THE FOURTH

For locations of Protests Go HERE

Be sure to pass this on to all Americans.

For Updates on the protests Go HERE

Haven’t found anything on the US main stream media yet, (not surprised) but did find these photos

Update July 5 2013

More photos and information on the Rally’s

Internet activists rally against NSA with ‘Restore the Fourth’ movement

“Activists Protest Government Surveillance, NSA on July 4, 2013: Restore the Fourth Amendment”>Activists Protest Government Surveillance, NSA on July 4, 2013

Related

Very few of the Main Stream media in the US have reported this Protest which took place in many places across the US.
Seems there was almost a total Black out of these protests.
ABC showed a small Segment.

Google Search
This is a sad day for the American people. A “Media Blackout”, does say a lot about, how the Citizens of the US are kept in the dark however.

A local news station reported on the protest in Minneapolis

Look for US media reports on this event. If you find very few, don’t be surprised. A Media Blackout is an indicator, of how the American public is manipulated and the truth is kept from them.Absolutely shameful.So what else is the US main stream media keeping from Americans?Then we have this loss of Freedom

Veterans on Trial for Peaceable Assembly at Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Update July 6 2013

More pictures and Video

‘1984 not instruction manual’: Thousands protest NSA spying across US

Once demonstrations wrapped up organizers posted a message on Reddit, saying “It’s isn’t over!” – calling for an as yet unspecified Step 2 of the protest. They said details will be made public on Monday.

Clapper lied to Congress

March 12, 2013- Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) asks questions in Senate Intelligence Committee on warrantless geolocation surveillance and National Security Agency tracking.

At the end of this video James Clapper states, they do not collect information/data on millions of Americans. That of course is blatant lie, as we now know. Making a statement as such, under oath is a crime.

If you lie to Congress, it is a felony and you can/should go to prison for it.

On March 12 when Sen Ron Wyden questioned Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who was testifying in the Senate under oath, the senator, like any good lawyer, knew exactly what he was asking and chose his words carefully.

“Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?” Wyden asked. He didn’t ask whether the NSA is reading our emails or listening to our phone calls. He used the all-inclusive “any type of data at all” and he was questioning the chief intelligence officer of the United States — and man who is perfectly aware of the breadth and nuance that attaches to the term “data.” Clapper doesn’t need a staff member to tutor him on the meaning of metadata — that is, to explain that this too is a form of data.

In a letter to Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, Clapper now claims that when he denied the NSA is collecting data on million of Americans, “my answer focused on the collection of the content of communications.”

He could have said: “I gave an answer to a question I hadn’t been asked.”

He now says: “My response was clearly erroneous — for which I apologize.”

To call it erroneous is to imply that he made a mistake rather than that he was intentionally deceptive. That admission would be a confession to breaking the law. At this point, Clapper seems to think he can brush aside accusations that he committed perjury.

Several senators are clearly unimpressed by Clapper’s explanation.

“It now appears clear that the director of national intelligence, James Clapper, lied under oath to Congress and the American people,” Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) tweeted.

“Perjury is a serious crime … [and] Clapper should resign immediately,” he said.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said that Clapper had broken the law, comparing him to NSA leaker Edward Snowden, who has been charged with espionage.

“Mr. Clapper lied in Congress in defiance of the law in the name of security,” Paul said on CNN last month. “Mr. Snowden told the truth in the name of privacy. So, I think there will be a judgment, because both of them broke the law, and history will have to determine.”

Wyden, who knew about the NSA programs when he pressed Clapper on them, said that Clapper was preventing Congress from conducting oversight.

“This job cannot be done responsibly if Senators aren’t getting straight answers to direct questions,” Wyden said in a statement last month.

Source

Clapper is still coming up with new lies/excuses for his lies.

He also attempted to come up with and excuse as to why no Weapons of Mass Destruction were found in Iraq.

In 2003, Clapper, was head of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.

THE STRUGGLE FOR IRAQ: WEAPONS SEARCH; Iraqis Removed Arms Material, U.S. Aide Says

By DOUGLAS JEHL
October 29, 2003

The director of a top American spy agency said Tuesday that he believed that material from Iraq’s illicit weapons program had been transported into Syria and perhaps other countries as part of an effort by the Iraqis to disperse and destroy evidence immediately before the recent war.

The official, James R. Clapper Jr., a retired lieutenant general, said satellite imagery showing a heavy flow of traffic from Iraq into Syria, just before the American invasion in March, led him to believe that illicit weapons material ”unquestionably” had been moved out of Iraq.

”I think people below the Saddam Hussein-and-his-sons level saw what was coming and decided the best thing to do was to destroy and disperse,” General Clapper, who leads the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, said at a breakfast with reporters.

He said he was providing a personal assessment. But he said ”the obvious conclusion one draws” was that there ”may have been people leaving the scene, fleeing Iraq, and unquestionably, I am sure, material.” A spokesman for General Clapper’s agency, David Burpee, said he could not provide further evidence to support the general’s statement.

But other American intelligence officials said General Clapper’s theory was among those being pursued in Iraq by David Kay, a former United Nations weapons inspector who is leading the American effort to uncover the weapons cited by the Bush administration as the major reason for going to war against Iraq.

General Clapper’s comments came as the Central Intelligence Agency prepared to defend its prewar assertions that Iraq had chemical and biological weapons and that it sought to reconstitute its nuclear program. The director of central intelligence, George J. Tenet, has written a letter to the chairman and vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence saying the agency will be ready to provide an assessment by late November.

In the letter, the contents of which were described by several intelligence officials on Tuesday, Mr. Tenet proposed that a team headed by John McLaughlin, the deputy director of central intelligence, provide a briefing for the committee after Nov. 20, when the agency’s internal review is expected to be completed.

General Clapper’s agency is responsible for interpreting satellite photographs and other imagery. He declined to answer a question about whether he believed that illicit Iraqi weapons material might have been smuggled into any other country. Source

One may now think, he was anything, but truthful, in his assessment.

Something to ponder on for a while.

As we all well know, the war in Iraq was based on lies.

US Postal Service photographing 160 billion letters annually

Navada

It’s been a few hundred years since the Third Amendment was written to keep King George from quartering British troops in American homes, but a lawsuit just filed in Nevada suggests it’s as relevant as ever.

The framers of the Constitution ratified the Third Amendment to ensure citizens would never again have to accommodate soldiers, but a few centuries later it’s become more-or-less an antiquated law that’s rarely referenced in federal court. That changed recently when a family from Henderson, Nevada accused the local police department of constitutional violations after officers of the law allegedly took residence in two neighborhood homes.

According to a legal filing first obtained by Courthouse News Service, a handful of Henderson Police Department officers and the city itself are being sued for an array of charges — including Third Amendment violations — over an incident that mirrors the making of the American Revolution.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs say police officers demanded they be allowed to occupy two homes owned by their clients on the city’s Eveningside Avenue in 2011 in order to conduct an investigation involving a neighbor’s residence. When the owners refused to comply with the request, they were reportedly arrested for obstruction and brought to jail.

Police were investigating an incident at 363 Eveningside Avenue that July when Officer Christopher Worley called up the occupant of a neighboring property, Anthony Mitchell, and said he’d need to use his house in order to gain a ‘tactical advantage’ over the neighbor’s residence. Mitchell reportedly made it clear that he did not want to get involved in the probe and told Worley he would not be able to offer assistance. According to the lawsuit, Officer David Cawthorn, Sgt. Michael Waller and Worley all then “conspired among themselves to force Anthony Mitchell out of his residence and to occupy his home for their own use.”

It was determined to move to 367 Eveningside and attempt to contact Mitchell. If Mitchell answered the door he would be asked to leave. If he refused to leave he would be arrested for Obstructing a Police Officer. If Mitchell refused to answer the door, force entry would be made and Mitchell would be arrested,” the report determined.

Moments later, the officers “arrayed themselves in front of plaintiff Anthony Mitchell’s house and prepared to execute their plan,” after which they “loudly commanded” they be let inside. Seconds later, Mitchell’s door was knocked down with a metal battering ram and the police entered his home.

As plaintiff Anthony Mitchell stood in shock, the officers aimed their weapons at Anthony Mitchell and shouted obscenities at him and ordered him to lie down on the floor,” the suit alleges.

As the police moved into the home, Mitchell was reportedly called an “asshole” by the cops, ordered to crawl on the floor and then shot several times with non-lethal ‘pepperball rounds’ from close range. He was then arrested for obstructing an officer while the cops combed through his house without permission, but not before they also opened fire at the plaintiff’s dog, prompting it to howl “in fear and pain.”

At the same time, officers approached Anthony’s parents down the block at 362 Eveningside and asked father Michael Mitchell if he’d accompany them back to a local ‘command center’ to assist with negotiating the surrender of the neighbor suspected of domestic violence. When he got there, though, he became concerned that the cops had tricked him into leaving so they could try to gain access to yet another home. Michael Mitchell then tried to head back home, but when he left the command center he was arrested, handcuffed and placed in the back of a cop car.

Attorney for the family say there was no reasonable grounds to detain Michael Mitchell, nor probable cause to suspect him of committing any crime. That didn’t keep officers from holding both him and his son Anthony for nine hours, however, before they were ultimately released after posting bond.

All criminal counts against the Mitchells were later dismissed with prejudiced, but the family has now lobbed charges of their own. Their attorney is asking for a trial by jury to hear the case and ideally award his clients punitive damages for violations of the Third, Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments, assault and battery, conspiracy, defamation, abuse of process, malicious prosecution, negligence and emotional distress. Source

Recent

Syria: A few Insights

Iraq War Veterans “Last Words”

California man faces 13 years in jail for scribbling anti-bank messages in chalk

Syria: A few Insights

Syrian rebels have issued a ban on women using make up or wearing “immodest dress” in a neighborhood in the city of Aleppo. Critics have blasted the move as another attempt by Islamists to impose Sharia in rebel-controlled territory.

The fatwa (an order based on Sharia law) was issued by the Islamic law council in Aleppo’s Fardous neighborhood.

Muslim women are banned from leaving the house in immodest dress, in tight clothing that shows off their bodies or wearing makeup on their face. It is incumbent on all our sisters to obey God and commit to Islamic etiquette,” the statement on the Fardous council’s Facebook page says as cited by Reuters, which reports that Aleppo residents have confirmed the news.

Some of the comments showed support for the ruling, arguing there was nothing wrong in requiring that people follow “certain etiquette in public“. Critics lashed out at the Islamist-led rebels for abusing their power.

The women’s clothing fatwa has been viewed as the latest example of Islamic radicalism growing within rebel-controlled Syrian areas.

A video released a few days ago features public beheadings of alleged Assad loyalists.

The executed men were Christians according to some media reports, with one of the dead being a priest. Various local sources have accused Jabhat al Nusra – the Al Qaeda-affiliated radical Islamist group opposed to Syrian President Bashar Assad– of carrying out the killings.

At the beginning of June a teenage boy in the northern city of Aleppo was allegedly executed for blasphemy in front of his family by an al-Qaeda-affiliated opposition group.

But European MP Nick Griffin, who was in Damascus with a fact-finding delegation in June, argues Syrians are not going to accept the implementation of harsh Sharia laws.

We’ve been able to talk with ordinary Syrians at all sorts of different levels. Something that comes out from all those people who we speak to is that Syria wasn’t perfect, but it was a secular and tolerant state where no one even cared if someone was Sunni or Shia or Christian or Jewish,” Griffin told RT after his visit.

Imposing Sharia could backfire against the anti-Assad forces as the most recent events in Egypt suggest. The 2011 revolt saw Islamists come to power in the North African state and attempt to push through a Sharia constitution. The move eventually sparked an even greater uprising, with millions now in the streets protesting the “islamization” of their country.

All [Morsi] has done is introduce or he tried to introduce that fundamental constitution that would turn Egypt into a Sharia state. Most Egyptians don’t want that. They want to have their religion in private, but not to have the state dictate to them exactly what it is going to look like,” political analyst and author William Engdahl told RT.

Source

The Vatican has confirmed the brutal beheading of a Catholic priest by Syrian rebels.

Under Assad Christians had religious freedom, but the Rebels persecute them.

Syrian Rebels Massacre Christian Village Report from May 20 2013 Many of the Rebels are not from Syria, but come from other countries

Syrian rebels execute teenage boy for ‘heresy’

From May 31 2013

Turkish security forces found a 2kg cylinder with sarin gas after searching the homes of Syrian militants from the Al-Qaeda linked Al-Nusra Front who were previously detained, Turkish media reports. The gas was reportedly going to be used in a bomb.

The sarin gas was found in the homes of suspected Syrian Islamists detained in the southern provinces of Adana and Mersia following a search by Turkish police on Wednesday, reports say. The gas was allegedly going to be used to carry out an attack in the southern Turkish city of Adana.

On Monday, Turkish special anti-terror forces arrested 12 suspected members of the Al-Nusra Front, the Al-Qaeda affiliated group which has been dubbed “the most aggressive and successful arm” of the Syrian rebels. The group was designated a terrorist organization by the United States in December. For the rest go HERE

Then of course we have a Rebel cutting out the heart of a Soldier and eating it. You can do a google search to get that one.

These are the things Death Squads do. So are there Death Squads in Syria?  Look for those masked Rebels and you will find the answer.

Well do a bit of research and then decide.  Start HERE for a bit of History on US interventions

“The Salvador Option For Syria”: US-NATO Sponsored Death Squads Integrate “Opposition Forces”

You’re not familiar with the ‘Salvador Option’? Well, remember in the 1980s, when all those fiery, irrationally passionate Latinos and their wacky hippy allies advanced the unsubstantiated conspiracy theory that the CIA was orchestrating bands of marauding assassins and torturers in El Salvador against the left-wing FMLN guerrillas, as well as Catholic clergy and innocent civilians? For the rest go HERE

During civil wars in which the US does not want to be seen getting its hands dirty in Latin America, the superpower loans Israel money at a very good rate, and then Israel uses these funds to do the “dirty work”. In this regard, in Latin America at least, Israel has become the hit-man for the US. For the rest go HERE

 HERE is a search of Death Squad uses by the US

Under the “Leahy Law,” named after Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy, the U.S. government is not allowed to fund foreign military units who have committed gross human rights violations with impunity.

That being said, how many countries, have the US helped finance/fund their military, that commit Human Rights violations with impunity?

What makes it even worse is the American people fund the US Gov, who in turn fund Human rights violates. The US itself violates Human Rights, on many levels.

How the US has affected those in Afghanistan and the World.  Addiction and death.  This helps people does it?

Afghanistan, Heroin, Addiction, Death

How the US and other help pollute, other countries with Radioactive DU.

War “Pollution” Equals Millions of Deaths

US, NATO and Rebel war crimes in Libya

Recent

Anti-War Activists Targeted as ‘Domestic Terrorists’

Iraq War Veterans “Last Words”

California man faces 13 years in jail for scribbling anti-bank messages in chalk

Secret tax-haven names released to public

Who protects you from TSA Abusers?

Published in: on July 2, 2013 at 4:10 pm  Comments Off  
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Anti-War Activists Targeted as ‘Domestic Terrorists’

Shocking new revelations come as activists prepare to sue the U.S. military for unlawful spying

By Sarah Lazare

Anti-war activists who were infiltrated and spied on by the military for years have now been placed on the domestic terrorist list, they announced Monday. The shocking revelation comes as the activists prepare to sue the U.S. military for unlawful spying.”The fact that a peaceful activist such as myself is on this domestic terrorist list should be cause for concern for other people in the US,” declared Brendan Maslauskas Dunn, plaintiff in the lawsuit. “We’ve seen an increase in the buildup of a mass surveillance state under the Obama and Bush Administrations.”The discovery is the latest development in a stunning saga that exposes vast post-9/11 spying networks in which military, police, and federal agencies appear to be in cahoots.Documents declassified in 2009 reveal that military informant John Towery, going by the name ‘John Jacob,’ spent over two years infiltrating and spying on Olympia, Washington anti-war and social justice groups, including Port Militarization Resistance, Students for a Democratic Society, the Industrial Workers of the World, and Iraq Veterans Against the War.

Towery admitted to the spying and revealed that he shared information with not only the military, but also the police and federal agencies. He claimed that he was not the only spy.

The activists, who blast the snooping as a violation of their First and Fourth Amendment rights, levied a lawsuit against the military in 2009.

“The spying resulted in plaintiffs and others being targeted for repeated harassment, preemptive and false arrest, excessive use of force, and malicious prosecution,” reads a statement by the plaintiffs.

The Obama Administration attempted to throw out the litigation, but in December 2012 the 9th Circuit Court ruled that the case could continue.

When the plaintiffs were preparing their deposition for the courts two weeks ago, they were shocked to discover that several Olympia anti-war activists were listed on the domestic terrorist list, including at least two plaintiffs in the case.

The revelations prompted them to amend their lawsuit to include charges that the nonviolent activists were unlawfully targeted as domestic terrorists.

“The breadth and intensity of the spying by U.S. Army officials and other law enforcement agents is staggering,” said Larry Hildes, National Lawyers Guild attorney who filed the lawsuit in 2009. “If nonviolent protest is now labeled and treated as terrorism, then democracy and the First Amendment are in critical danger.”

Plaintiffs say this case takes on a new revelevance as vast NSA dragnet spying sparks widespread outrage.

“I think that there is a huge potential for the case to set precedent,” declared plaintiff Julianne Panagacos. “This could have a big impact on how the U.S. military and police are able to work together.”

She added, “I am hopeful we will win.” Source

So if your anti-war your considered a terrorist.

Well they are not alone seems the EU is not pleased with US spying either.

June 30 2013

The president of the European parliament has demanded an explanation from US authorities over the latest revelation that EU diplomatic missions in Washington, New York and Brussels were under electronic surveillance from the NSA.

“I am deeply worried and shocked about the allegations of US authorities spying on EU offices,” said the President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz. “If the allegations prove to be true, it would be an extremely serious matter which will have a severe impact on EU-US relations.”

“On behalf of the European Parliament, I demand full clarification and require further information speedily from the US authorities with regard to these allegations,” he added.

EU commissioner for justice, Viviane Reding, said the Union has contacted the US authorities in Washington and Brussels about a report in Der Spiegel magazine.

“We have immediately been in contact with the US authorities in Washington DC and in Brussels and have confronted them with the press reports,” she said in a statement. “They have told us they are checking on the accuracy of the information released yesterday and will come back to us.”

“Partners do not spy on each other,” Reding, suggesting that talks for a free trade agreement between the EU and the US should be halted until Washington provides explanations.

“We cannot negotiate over a big transatlantic market if there is the slightest doubt that our partners are carrying out spying activities on the offices of our negotiators,” she said.

Reding’s stance was backed by the European Parliament’s foreign affairs committee head, Elmar Brok.

“The spying has taken on dimensions that I would never have thought possible from a democratic state,” he told Der Spiegel. “How should we still negotiate if we must fear that our negotiating position is being listened to beforehand?”

Germany and France want answers

Meanwhile, Germany’s justice minister also called for an immediate explanation from the United States saying the news that Washington bugged European Union offices was “reminiscent of the Cold War.”

“It must ultimately be immediately and extensively explained by the American side whether media reports about completely disproportionate tapping measures by the US in the EU are accurate or not,” Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger said in a statement.

It was also revealed on Sunday that the extent of NSA’s spying on Germany was bigger that previously thought as the US combed through half a billion German phone calls, emails and text messages every month.

France also wants Washington to clarify their intentions after the news that the NSA put EU offices under electronic surveillance.

“France has today asked the American authorities for an explanation,” Laurent Fabius, French foreign minister, said in a statement. “These acts, if confirmed, would be completely unacceptable.”

“We expect the American authorities to answer the legitimate concerns raised by these press revelations as quickly as possible,” he added.

A spokesman for the Office of the US Director of National Intelligence had no comment on the Der Spiegel story, Reuters reported.

Der Spiegel, quoting from a September 2010 “top secret” US National Security Agency (NSA) document leaked by former CIA employee Edward Snowden, reported on Saturday the NSA was eavesdropping on the EU’s internal computer networks in Washington, as well as at the 28-member bloc UN office in New York.

The German magazine also reported that five years ago, the NSA also targeted telecommunications at the Justus Lipsius building in Brussels, home to the European Council, where all EU member states have their offices.

Snowden, 30, fled the US for Hong Kong in May, just weeks before The Guardian and Washington Post published details he provided about a top-secret US government surveillance program that accumulated internet and telephone traffic both at home and abroad.

The whistleblower is presently in the transit zone of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport, where it is believed he is attempting to gain political asylum in Ecuador.

Lode Vanoost, former deputy speaker of the Belgian parliament, believes that the main purpose of the US surveillance program was “economic spying” on the EU.

“At the moment, the EU is negotiating a new free trade agreement with the United States,”
the former deputy speaker noted. “Well, [now the US can gather] what their opponent is already discussing internally of strategy. That is one of the possibilities.”

Vanoost also believes that part of the reason for the spying was due to the decline in US economic strength.

“On the economic level, [the US] is losing ground everywhere,” he said. “Look at what the BRIC countries are doing. The EU is having stronger ties with Russia, with Africa, with Latin America. And the US doesn’t seem to get its economic priorities imposed as it used to. So what I see is a big risk for economic spying.”

He added that there is “too much at stake” for there to be a total breakdown in US-EU bilateral relations, however, “behind closed doors there will be some very tough words” exchanged between EU and American officials. Source

Much of that information gathered, is also in the hands of privatized entities. To make it even more discussing. Some of those private companies are not even American, but are from other countries. So privately owned, foreign companies, have your information.

DID YOU KNOW?: Two Secretive Israeli Companies Reportedly Bugged The US Telecommunications Grid For The NSA

Two Israeli companies, Narus and Verint, working for NSA

The newest information regarding the NSA domestic spying scandal raises an important question: If America’s tech giants didn’t ‘participate knowingly’ in the dragnet of electronic communication, how does the NSA get all of their data?

One theory: the NSA hired two secretive Israeli companies to wiretap the U.S. telecommunications network.

In April 2012 Wired’s James Bamford — author of the book “The Shadow Factory: The NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America” — reported that two companies with extensive links to Israel’s intelligence service provided hardware and software to wiretap the U.S. telecommunications network for the National Security Agency (NSA).

By doing so, this would imply, companies like Facebook and Google don’t have to explicitly provide the NSA with access to their servers because major Internet Service Providers (ISPs) such as AT&T and Verizon already allows the U.S. signals intelligence agency to eavesdrop on all of their data anyway.

From Bamford (emphasis ours):

“According to a former Verizon employee briefed on the program, Verint, owned by Comverse Technology, taps the communication lines at Verizon

At AT&T the wiretapping rooms are powered by software and hardware from Narus, now owned by Boeing, a discovery made by AT&T whistleblower Mark Klein in 2004.”

Klein, an engineer, discovered the “secret room” at AT&T central office in San Francisco, through which the NSA actively “*vacuumed up Internet and phone-call data from ordinary Americans with the cooperation of AT&T” through the wiretapping rooms, emphasizing that “much of the data sent through AT&T to the NSA was purely domestic.”

NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake corroborated Klein’s assertions, testifying that while the NSA is using Israeli-made NARUS hardware to “seize and save all personal electronic communications.”

Both Verint and Narus were founded in Israel in the 1990s. Both provide monitoring and intercept capabilities to service providers and government organizations, promoting claims that their equipment can access and retain large amounts of information on a vast number of targets.

From Robert Poe of Wired:

Narus’ product, the Semantic Traffic Analyzer, is a software application that runs on standard IBM or Dell servers using the Linux operating system. It’s renowned within certain circles for its ability to inspect traffic in real time on high-bandwidth pipes, identifying packets of interest as they race by at up to 10 Gbps.

“*Anything that comes through (an internet protocol network), we can record,” Steve Bannerman, marketing vice president of Narus, a Mountain View, California company, said. “We can reconstruct all of their e-mails along with attachments, see what web pages they clicked on, we can reconstruct their (voice over internet protocol) calls.”

With a telecom wiretap the NSA only needs companies like Microsoft, Google, and Apple to passively participate while the agency to intercepts, stores, and analyzes their communication data. The indirect nature of the agreement would provide tech giants with plausible deniability.

And having a foreign contractor bug the telecom grid would mean that the NSA gained access to most of the domestic traffic flowing through the U.S. without technically doing it themselves.

This would provide the NSA, whose official mission is to spy on foreign communications, with plausible deniability regarding domestic snooping.

Meanwhile projects like the agency’s $2 billion data center in Bluffdale, Utah — which can collect and analyze “yottobytes” of information— to sift through domestic internet traffic.

In 2007 a former commander of the highly secret Unit 8200 (i.e. Israel’s NSA) told Forbes that the technology of Comverse (i.e. the company that owns Verint) is based on Unit 8200 technology.

One of the founders of Verint, Jacob “Kobi” Alexander, is a former Israeli intelligence officer.

A co-founder and former chairmen of Narus, Ori Cohen, told Fortune in 2001 that his partners have done technology work for Israeli intelligence.

In 2011 another former chief of Unit 8200 acknowledged to the Israeli paper Haartez that high-tech firms around the world employ both Unit 8200 equipment and its veteran personnel.

From Bamford Wired (emphasis ours):

“Cautious estimates indicate that in the past few years… Unit 8200 veterans have set up some 30 to 40 high-tech companies, including 5 to 10 that were floated on Wall Street.” Referred to only as “Brigadier General B,” he added, “This correlation between serving in the intelligence Unit 8200 and starting successful high-tech companies is not coincidental: Many of the technologies in use around the world and developed in Israel were originally military technologies and were developed and improved by Unit veterans.”

The NSA began eavesdropping on the international communications of Americans after President Bush secretly authorized the practice in 2002 — without the court-approved warrants ordinarily required for domestic spying — to search for evidence of terrorist activity.

The newest revelations confirm that the practices employed during the secret program, code-named Stellar Wind, hasn’t stopped under President Obama.

From the Pulitzer-Prize winning 2005 story by Eric Lichtblau and James Risen of the New York Times:

As part of the program approved by President Bush for domestic surveillance without warrants, the N.S.A. has gained the cooperation of American telecommunications companies to obtain backdoor access to streams of domestic and international communications, the officials said.

Last year the ACLU published this infographic, which is the best way to visualize what bugging the telecommunications grid provides the NSA:

Sping on AmericansSource

Adding to that: It gets even more interesting.

The Israeli Criminals Behind the NSA Spy Scandal

By Christopher Bollyn

http://www.bollyn.com/
June 13, 2013At the center of the NSA scandal is a gang of Israeli high-tech criminals which is connected to the false-flag terror attacks of 9-11. These connections underline the involvement of the same Israeli criminals to both 9-11 and the NSA’s secret program to collect and store our personal information and conversations, which came about mainly as a consequence of 9-11.Two Israeli companies, Narus and Verint, are involved in the National Security Agency (NSA) spy scandal in which copies of our phone calls and email data are sent to secret rooms at NSA buildings across the country. These Israeli companies are closely connected to Unit 8200, the electronic espionage unit of the Israeli military. (Narus was acquired by Boeing in 2010.)

Screen-Shot-2013-06-16-at-9.09.49-AM

Jacob “Kobi” Alexander

The founder and former chairman of Verint is wanted by the FBI for a long list of crimes. He is veteran Israeli intelligence officer.

Jacob “Kobi” Alexander, the former head of Comverse, the parent company of Verint, is a wanted criminal who has fled U.S. justice to Africa and probably subsequently to Israel. It is important to note that Kobi Alexander and Comverse were closely connected to Odigo, the Israeli messaging system that was used to warn Israelis to stay away from the World Trade Center on 9-11.

Furthermore, the NSA has used Israeli encryption software from RSA Security, Inc. since 2006, which means that Israelis hold the encryption keys to the entire NSA computer network. The Israelis obviously have easy access to everything at the NSA.

The following video clip is of James Bamford discussing the two Israeli companies, Narus and Verint, who are involved in the massive collection of our telephone and Internet data. Bamford was on “Democracy Now!” on October 14, 2008, discussing the role of these Israeli companies, who are closely tied to Israeli intelligence.

To have access to personal phone calls and emails allows Israeli intelligence to blackmail and control people, like General David Petraeus, who was forced to resign from his position as director of the C.I.A. after an extra-marital affair was revealed by unknown agents who had access to his personal email.

Bamford wrote an article entitled “Shady Companies With Ties to Israel Wiretap the U.S. for the NSA” for Wired.com in April 2012 in which he discussed the Israeli companies and the criminals who ran them:

In addition to constructing the Stellar Wind center, and then running the operation, secretive contractors with questionable histories and little oversight were also used to do the actual bugging of the entire U.S. telecommunications network.

According to a former Verizon employee briefed on the program, Verint, owned by Comverse Technology, taps the communication lines at Verizon, which I first reported in my book The Shadow Factory in 2008. Verint did not return a call seeking comment, while Verizon said it does not comment on such matters.

At AT&T the wiretapping rooms are powered by software and hardware from Narus, now owned by Boeing, a discovery made by AT&T whistleblower Mark Klein in 2004. Narus did not return a call seeking comment.

What is especially troubling is that both companies have had extensive ties to Israel, as well as links to that country’s intelligence service, a country with a long and aggressive history of spying on the U.S.

In fact, according to Binney, the advanced analytical and data mining software the NSA had developed for both its worldwide and international eavesdropping operations was secretly passed to Israel by a mid-level employee, apparently with close connections to the country. The employee, a technical director in the Operations Directorate, “who was a very strong supporter of Israel,” said Binney, “gave, unbeknownst to us, he gave the software that we had, doing these fast rates, to the Israelis.”

Several of the top people involved in these Israeli wiretapping companies are if fact criminals who are currently wanted for serious crimes committed in the United States, as Bamford explains in the 2012 article:

Like Narus, Verint was founded in Israel by Israelis, including Jacob “Kobi” Alexander, a former Israeli intelligence officer. Some 800 employees work for Verint, including 350 who are based in Israel, primarily working in research and development and operations, according to the Jerusalem Post. Among its products is STAR-GATE, which according to the company’s sales literature, lets “service providers … access communications on virtually any type of network, retain communication data for as long as required, and query and deliver content and data …” and was “[d]esigned to manage vast numbers of targets, concurrent sessions, call data records, and communications.”

In a rare and candid admission to Forbes, Retired Brig. Gen. Hanan Gefen, a former commander of the highly secret Unit 8200, Israel’s NSA, noted his former organization’s influence on Comverse, which owns Verint, as well as other Israeli companies that dominate the U.S. eavesdropping and surveillance market. “Take NICE, Comverse and Check Point for example, three of the largest high-tech companies, which were all directly influenced by 8200 technology,” said Gefen. “Check Point was founded by Unit alumni. Comverse’s main product, the Logger, is based on the Unit’s technology.”

According to a former chief of Unit 8200, both the veterans of the group and much of the high-tech intelligence equipment they developed are now employed in high-tech firms around the world. “Cautious estimates indicate that in the past few years,” he told a reporter for the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz in 2000, “Unit 8200 veterans have set up some 30 to 40 high-tech companies, including 5 to 10 that were floated on Wall Street.” Referred to only as “Brigadier General B,” he added, “This correlation between serving in the intelligence Unit 8200 and starting successful high-tech companies is not coincidental: Many of the technologies in use around the world and developed in Israel were originally military technologies and were developed and improved by Unit veterans.”

Equally troubling is the issue of corruption. Kobi Alexander, the founder and former chairman of Verint, is now a fugitive, wanted by the FBI on nearly three dozen charges of fraud, theft, lying, bribery, money laundering and other crimes. And two of his top associates at Comverse, Chief Financial Officer David Kreinberg and former General Counsel William F. Sorin, were also indicted in the scheme and later pleaded guilty, with both serving time in prison and paying millions of dollars in fines and penalties.

When asked about these contractors, the NSA declined to “verify the allegations made.”

Kobi Alexander is also closely connected to the 9-11 criminal atrocity. Alexander and Comverse are connected to the Israeli Odigo messaging company through which warnings were sent to the Israelis who were expected to be at work at the World Trade Center on 9-11. As I explained in an article entitled “Why was Kobi Alexander Allowed to Flee? The Israeli Fugitive, Odigo, and the Forewarning of 9/11“ in August 2006:

The case of the Israeli criminal Kobi Alexander is like the proverbial “tip of the iceberg.” While Alexander’s crimes, through which he became immensely wealthy, are now evident, they are but a very small piece of a much larger Zionist criminal network – connected to the 9/11 terror attacks – which remains hidden beneath the surface.

Alexander, former head of the Israel-based Comverse Technology, was, until his crimes were discovered, one of the highest paid executives in the United States.

In the year 2000, for example, he reportedly earned some $102.5 million, with $93 million coming from the “exercise of options.” We now know that most of Alexander’s money was made through the fraudulent “exercise of options.”

Comverse Technology, the U.S.-based “parent company” of an older and much bigger Israel-based company with the same name, is the owner of the Verint, Ulticom, Starhome, Mercom and Startel companies. The key positions in these companies are all held by Israeli nationals.

Alexander, was recently allowed to flee the United States after he and two other former Comverse executives were charged with securities, mail and wire fraud by U.S. prosecutors in Brooklyn, New York. A warrant has been issued for his arrest…

While Alexander is obviously connected with Israel’s military intelligence apparatus and George Soros through the mutually owned investment fund ComSor, what is not widely reported is his company’s close links with Odigo, the Israeli-run instant messaging company that received – and conveyed – urgent warning messages about the imminent terror attacks on the World Trade Center, several hours before the first plane hit…

Shortly after 9-11, Odigo was completely taken over by Comverse Technology, which had been part owner of Odigo since early 2000, if not earlier. Shortly after 9/11, five executives from Comverse were reported to have profited by more than $267 million from “insider trading.”
Avner Ronen, the “founder” of Odigo, was Vice President of Business Development of Comverse Technology in October 2005. This indicates that Ronen and Alexander, both Israeli military officers with computer backgrounds, have been close business partners since early 2000. Source

Is it a good thing that, Snowden and others have blown the whistle?

The main questions we should all ask:

Do we all have the right to know that. our privacy has been illegally invaded by our own country or any foreign country?

Do we want our personal phone calls, e-mails etc in the hand of anyone let alone a private for profit company.

Would we want our information used to blackmail us or it could be used for identity theft, among other things?

Do you think anyone, who is against war should be deemed a  is a terrorist?

Questions to ponder.

Added July 1 2013

US bugged dozens of foreign embassies

The US has been spying on dozens of foreign embassies and missions belonging to its rivals and allies in America to keep tabs on disagreements between them, new documents leaked by Edward Snowden revealed.

Elaborate means were used to install bugs and gather intelligence.

One document mentioned in the Guardian report on the leaks lists 38 foreign embassies and mission in US and describes them as “targets” under surveillance.

Targets in the September 2010 document included not only US rivals, but also American allies, such as EU mission in New York and its embassy in Washington, along with the French, Italian and Greek embassies, as well as Japan, Mexico, South Korea, India, Turkey and Middle Eastern countries. But the UK and Germany, along with some other European states were not mentioned.

US intelligence used a number of creative spying techniques, including bugging electronic communications equipment and tapping into cables to collect transmissions with specialized antennae.

One of the eavesdropping methods was codenamed “Dropmire” and involved putting a bug in an encrypted fax machine used at the EU embassy in Washington, DC, the Guardian quoted a 2007 document as saying. The fax machine was used to send cables to foreign affairs ministries in EU.

The US spied in order to gain insight into policy disagreements on global issues and other splits between member states, the leaked document revealed.

Codenames: ‘Perdido’, ‘Blackfoot’, ‘Wabash’ and ‘Powell’

US spy operations on dozens of foreign embassies and mission in US had a range of creative codenames.

An operation carried out in the EU mission at the UN and was called ‘Perdido’. It collected intelligence through implants or bugs that were placed inside electronic devices, along with targeted computers inside the mission copying everything saved on its hard drives.

The EU delegation on K Street in Washington was hit with three spy operations that targeted the embassy’s 90 staff. Two of them used electronic implants and the third used antennas to collect transmissions.

Codename ‘Blackfoot’ was used in an operation against the French mission to the UN and the name ‘Wabash’ referred to bugging the French embassy in Washington.

The Italian embassy in Washington was also targeted and codenamed as both ‘Bruneau’ and ‘Hemlock’.

Spying on the Greek UN mission was named ‘Powell’ and the operation against its embassy was known as ‘Klondyke’, documents revealed.

The operations are described as “close access domestic collection” and it remains unclear whether NSA solely carried its operations or in combination with FBI or CIA.

The new leak comes as European nations are already angry by what Snowden has revealed.

France and Germany have demanded the US account for leaked reports of massive-scale US spying on the EU. French President Francois Hollande called for an end to surveillance, while Germany said such “Cold War-style behavior” was “unacceptable.”

German publication Der Spiegel reported on Sunday that the US National Security Agency (NSA) had bugged EU offices in Brussels, New York and Washington.

Following the release of the report, the president of the EU parliament demanded an explanation from Washington, stressing that if the allegations were true there would be a significant backlash on US-EU relations.

Edward Snowden, a former CIA employee and ex-staff member of a private contractor working for the NSA, disclosed secret documents revealing US surveillance programs and British secret Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) sharing its intelligence with NSA, as part of the Tempora data collection project.

Snowden left the US for Hong Kong in May and currently remains in the transit area of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport while Ecuador reviews his asylum request.

The US has charged Snowden with espionage and is trying to extradite him. Source

Recent

Iraq War Veterans “Last Words”

California man faces 13 years in jail for scribbling anti-bank messages in chalk

Secret tax-haven names released to public

Who protects you from TSA Abusers?

Iraq War Veterans “Last Words”

“I Am Sorry That It Has Come to This”: A Soldier’s Last Words

Daniel   Somers was a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was part of Task Force   Lightning, an intelligence unit. In 2004-2005, he was mainly assigned to a   Tactical Human-Intelligence Team (THT) in Baghdad, Iraq, where he ran more   than 400 combat missions as a machine gunner in the turret of a Humvee,   interviewed countless Iraqis ranging from concerned citizens to community   leaders and and government officials, and interrogated dozens of insurgents   and terrorist suspects. In 2006-2007, Daniel worked with Joint Special   Operations Command (JSOC) through his former unit in Mosul   where he ran the Northern    Iraq Intelligence    Center. His official   role was as a senior analyst for the Levant (Lebanon,   Syria, Jordan, Israel,   and part of Turkey).   Daniel suffered greatly from PTSD and had been diagnosed with traumatic brain   injury and several other war-related conditions. On June 10, 2013, Daniel   wrote the following letter to his family before taking his life. Daniel was   30 years old. His wife and family have given permission to publish it.

By Daniel Somers

I am sorry that it has come to this.

The fact is, for as long as I can remember my motivation for getting up every day has been so that you would not have to bury me. As things have continued to get worse, it has become clear that this alone is not a sufficient reason to carry on. The fact is, I am not getting better, I am not going to get better, and I will most certainly deteriorate further as time goes on. From a logical standpoint, it is better to simply end things quickly and let any repercussions from that play out in the short term than to drag things out into the long term.

You will perhaps be sad for a time, but over time you will forget and begin to carry on. Far better that than to inflict my growing misery upon you for years and decades to come, dragging you down with me. It is because I love you that I can not do this to you. You will come to see that it is a far better thing as one day after another passes during which you do not have to worry about me or even give me a second thought. You will find that your world is better without me in it.

I really have been trying to hang on, for more than a decade now. Each day has been a testament to the extent to which I cared, suffering unspeakable horror as quietly as possible so that you could feel as though I was still here for you. In truth, I was nothing more than a prop, filling space so that my absence would not be noted. In truth, I have already been absent for a long, long time.

My body has become nothing but a cage, a source of pain and constant problems. The illness I have has caused me pain that not even the strongest medicines could dull, and there is no cure. All day, every day a screaming agony in every nerve ending in my body. It is nothing short of torture. My mind is a wasteland, filled with visions of incredible horror, unceasing depression, and crippling anxiety, even with all of the medications the doctors dare give. Simple things that everyone else takes for granted are nearly impossible for me. I can not laugh or cry. I can barely leave the house. I derive no pleasure from any activity. Everything simply comes down to passing time until I can sleep again. Now, to sleep forever seems to be the most merciful thing.

You must not blame yourself. The simple truth is this: During my first deployment, I was made to participate in things, the enormity of which is hard to describe. War crimes, crimes against humanity. Though I did not participate willingly, and made what I thought was my best effort to stop these events, there are some things that a person simply can not come back from. I take some pride in that, actually, as to move on in life after being part of such a thing would be the mark of a sociopath in my mind. These things go far beyond what most are even aware of.

To force me to do these things and then participate in the ensuing coverup is more than any government has the right to demand. Then, the same government has turned around and abandoned me. They offer no help, and actively block the pursuit of gaining outside help via their corrupt agents at the DEA. Any blame rests with them.

Beyond that, there are the host of physical illnesses that have struck me down again and again, for which they also offer no help. There might be some progress by now if they had not spent nearly twenty years denying the illness that I and so many others were exposed to. Further complicating matters is the repeated and severe brain injuries to which I was subjected, which they also seem to be expending no effort into understanding. What is known is that each of these should have been cause enough for immediate medical attention, which was not rendered.

Lastly, the DEA enters the picture again as they have now managed to create such a culture of fear in the medical community that doctors are too scared to even take the necessary steps to control the symptoms. All under the guise of a completely manufactured “overprescribing epidemic,” which stands in stark relief to all of the legitimate research, which shows the opposite to be true. Perhaps, with the right medication at the right doses, I could have bought a couple of decent years, but even that is too much to ask from a regime built upon the idea that suffering is noble and relief is just for the weak.

However, when the challenges facing a person are already so great that all but the weakest would give up, these extra factors are enough to push a person over the edge.

Is it any wonder then that the latest figures show 22 veterans killing themselves each day? That is more veterans than children killed at Sandy Hook, every single day. Where are the huge policy initiatives? Why isn’t the president standing with those families at the state of the union? Perhaps because we were not killed by a single lunatic, but rather by his own system of dehumanization, neglect, and indifference.

It leaves us to where all we have to look forward to is constant pain, misery, poverty, and dishonor. I assure you that, when the numbers do finally drop, it will merely be because those who were pushed the farthest are all already dead.

And for what? Bush’s religious lunacy? Cheney’s ever growing fortune and that of his corporate friends? Is this what we destroy lives for

Since then, I have tried everything to fill the void. I tried to move into a position of greater power and influence to try and right some of the wrongs. I deployed again, where I put a huge emphasis on saving lives. The fact of the matter, though, is that any new lives saved do not replace those who were murdered. It is an exercise in futility.

Then, I pursued replacing destruction with creation. For a time this provided a distraction, but it could not last. The fact is that any kind of ordinary life is an insult to those who died at my hand. How can I possibly go around like everyone else while the widows and orphans I created continue to struggle? If they could see me sitting here in suburbia, in my comfortable home working on some music project they would be outraged, and rightfully so.

I thought perhaps I could make some headway with this film project, maybe even directly appealing to those I had wronged and exposing a greater truth, but that is also now being taken away from me. I fear that, just as with everything else that requires the involvement of people who can not understand by virtue of never having been there, it is going to fall apart as careers get in the way.

The last thought that has occurred to me is one of some kind of final mission. It is true that I have found that I am capable of finding some kind of reprieve by doing things that are worthwhile on the scale of life and death. While it is a nice thought to consider doing some good with my skills, experience, and killer instinct, the truth is that it isn’t realistic. First, there are the logistics of financing and equipping my own operation, then there is the near certainty of a grisly death, international incidents, and being branded a terrorist in the media that would follow. What is really stopping me, though, is that I simply am too sick to be effective in the field anymore. That, too, has been taken from me.

Thus, I am left with basically nothing. Too trapped in a war to be at peace, too damaged to be at war. Abandoned by those who would take the easy route, and a liability to those who stick it out—and thus deserve better. So you see, not only am I better off dead, but the world is better without me in it

This is what brought me to my actual final mission. Not suicide, but a mercy killing. I know how to kill, and I know how to do it so that there is no pain whatsoever. It was quick, and I did not suffer. And above all, now I am free. I feel no more pain. I have no more nightmares or flashbacks or hallucinations. I am no longer constantly depressed or afraid or worried

I am free.

I ask that you be happy for me for that. It is perhaps the best break I could have hoped for. Please accept this and be glad for me.

Daniel Somers

The Death of Daniel Somers

By Ron Paul

I am reading the heartbreaking suicide note of Daniel Somers, aUS combat veteran who spent several years fighting inIraq. Mr. Somers was only 30 years old when he took his own life, after being tormented by the horrific memories of what he experienced inIraq.  He wrote: 

“The simple truth is this: During my first deployment, I was made to participate in things, the enormity of which is hard to describe. War crimes, crimes against humanity. Though I did not participate willingly, and made what I thought was my best effort to stop these events, there are some things that a person simply can not come back from.”

Many who shout the loudest that we must “support the troops” urge sending them off to unwinnable and undeclared wars in which there is no legitimate US interest. The US military has been abused by those who see military force as a first resort rather than the last resort and only in self-defense. This abuse has resulted in a generation of American veterans facing a life sentence in the prison of tortured and deeply damaged minds as well as broken bodies.

The numbers sadly tell the story: more military suicides than combat deaths in 2012, some 22 military veterans take their lives every day, nearly 30 percent of veterans treated by the VA have PTSD.

We should be saddened but not shocked when we see the broken men and women return from battles overseas. We should be angry with those who send them to suffer and die in unnecessary wars. We should be angry with those who send them to kill so many people overseas for no purpose whatsoever. We should be afraid of the consequences of such a foolish and dangerous foreign policy. We should demand an end to the abuse of military members and a return to a foreign policy that promotes peace and prosperity instead of war and poverty. Source

Over 8 thousand US war veterans, take their own lives a year.

To make matters even worse Victims of Sexual Assault also tend to take their own lives. Victims are scarred for life.

They too, are left with a nightmare to deal with.

Out of fear many Sexual Assaults, are never reported.

One must also remember, that those perpetrators, will and have, gone on to Sexually Assault victims from the countries they are stationed in.

That is not new and has been happening for years, as far back as I can remember. Apparently in Vietnam it was borderline considered Stand procedure. That was part of the un-written, code of conduct.

That information is from Vietnam war veterans, I have spoken to and the Winter Soldier testimony of that era.

Published on May 8, 2013

http://www.democracynow.org – A shocking new report by the Pentagon has found that 70 sexual assaults may be taking place within the U.S. military every day. The report estimates there were 26,000 sex crimes committed in 2012, a jump of 37 percent since 2010. Most of the incidents were never reported. The findings were released two days after the head of the Air Force’s sexual assault prevention unit, Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski, was arrested for sexual assault. We air highlights from Tuesday’s Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on military sexual assault and speak with Anu Bhagwati, executive director and co-founder of Service Women’s Action Network. “The numbers are outrageous and I think we’ve reached a tipping point,” Bhagwati says. “The American public is furious.”

Suicide Data Report, 2012

Related

Why: War in Iraq and Afghanistan

War Veteran Jesse Huff Commits suicide  outside VA Hospital

Afghanistan: Troops Guarding the Poppy Fields

What I Learned in Afghanistan – About the   United States

War “Pollution” Equals Millions of Deaths

California man faces 13 years in jail for scribbling anti-bank messages in chalk

Updated July 2 2013

Update is at bottom of page.

———————————-

June 26. 2013

Jeff Olson, the 40-year-old man who is being prosecuted for scrawling anti-megabank messages on sidewalks in water-soluble chalk last year now faces a 13-year jail sentence. A judge has barred his attorney from mentioning freedom of speech during trial.

According to the San Diego Reader, which reported on Tuesday that  a judge had opted to prevent Olson’s attorney from “mentioning the First Amendment, free  speech, free expression, public forum, expressive conduct, or  political speech during the trial,” Olson must now stand  trial for on 13 counts of vandalism.

In addition to possibly spending years in jail, Olson will also  be held liable for fines of up to $13,000 over the anti-big-bank  slogans that were left using washable children’s chalk on a  sidewalk outside of three San Diego, California branches of Bank  of America, the massive conglomerate that received $45 billion in  interest-free loans from the US government in 2008-2009 in a bid  to keep it solvent after bad bets went south.

The Reader reports that Olson’s hearing had gone as poorly as his  attorney might have expected, with Judge Howard Shore, who is  presiding over the case, granting Deputy City Attorney Paige  Hazard’s motion to prohibit attorney Tom Tosdal from mentioning  the United States’ fundamental First Amendment rights.

“The State’s Vandalism Statute  does not mention First Amendment rights,” ruled Judge  Shore on Tuesday.

Upon exiting the courtroom Olson seemed to be in disbelief.

“Oh my gosh,” he said.   “I can’t believe this is  happening.”

Tosdal, who exited the courtroom shortly after his client, seemed  equally bewildered.

“I’ve never heard that before,  that a court can prohibit an argument of First Amendment  rights,” said Tosdal.

Olson, who worked as a former staffer for a US Senator from  Washington state, was said to involve himself in political  activism in tandem with the growth of the Occupy Wall Street  movement.

On October 3, 2011, Olson first appeared outside of a Bank of  America branch in San Diego, along with a homemade sign. Eight  days later Olson and his partner, Stephen Daniels, during  preparations for National Bank Transfer Day, the two were  confronted by Darell Freeman, the Vice President of Bank of  America’s Global Corporate Security.

A former police officer, Freeman accused Olson and Daniels of   “running a business outside of the bank,” evidently in reference  to the National Bank Transfer Day activities, which was a  consumer activism initiative that sought to promote Americans to  switch from commercial banks, like Bank of America, to  not-for-profit credit unions.

At the time, Bank of America’s debit card fees were among one of  the triggers that led Occupy Wall Street members to promote the  transfer day.

“It was just an empty  threat,” says Olson of Freeman’s accusations. “He was trying to scare me away. To be  honest, it did at first. I even called my bank and they said he  couldn’t do anything like that.”

Olson continued to protest outside of Bank of America. In  February 2012, he came across a box of chalk at a local pharmacy  and decided to begin leaving his mark with written statements.

“I thought it was a perfect way  to get my message out there. Much better than handing out  leaflets or holding a sign,” says Olson.

Over the course of the next six months Olson visited the Bank of  America branch a few days per week, leaving behind scribbled  slogans such as “Stop big  banks” and “Stop Bank  Blight.com.”

According to Olson, who spoke with local broadcaster KGTV, one  Bank of America branch claimed it had cost $6,000 to clean up the  chalk writing.

Public records obtained by the Reader show that Freeman continued  to pressure members of San Diego’s Gang Unit on behalf of Bank of  America until the matter was forwarded to the City Attorney’s  office.

On April 15, Deputy City Attorney Paige Hazard contacted Freeman  with a response on his persistent queries.

“I wanted to let you know that  we will be filing 13 counts of vandalism as a result of the  incidents you reported,” said Hazard.

Arguments for Olson’s case are set to be heard Wednesday morning,  following jury selection.  Source

Just when you think,  the US cannot get any more ridiculous, then it already is, something like this comes along.  The chalk washes off with water. Think about it.

It is the same chalk millions of children use. So are Judges going to imprison little children for their chalk drawings as well?

Unbelievable.

Words cannot describe my thoughts on this. This is beyond imagination.

Chalk Bandits. The new American enemy.

Every American should send a Chalk message to this Judge.

Chalk it up to a good idea.

How much will it cost taxpayer to keep this Chalk Bandit in jail for 13 years?

What an absolute waste of court time and tax dollars.

That money should be used for anything, but this. Education comes to mind.

The Judge needs one.

No Freedom of Speech.

Another take on this story HERE

There Really are Chalk Police in America

Seems in the UK Cops may be just as bad.

A girl aged ten was told by police that she  could be arrested for causing criminal damage – over a game of  hopscotch.

Lilly-May Allen was playing with a friend on  a grid she had chalked on the pavement in front of her home when a marked police  van pulled up.

An officer warned the girls that using chalk  on the pavement was criminal damage and they could be arrested for it, before  driving off.

But the girls did not understand what they  had done wrong and Lilly-May is now reluctant to play outside, according to her  father. For the rest go HERE Got to love some of the comments at the bottom however.

Bank of America protester acquitted of vandalism

July 1 2013

A San Diego, California man has been acquitted of vandalism charges after being threatened with 13 years in prison for scrawling anti-bank slogans on a sidewalk with chalk.

 

A jury deliberated for less than five hours on Monday before deciding to acquit 40-year-old Jeff Olson on the 13 counts of vandalism he was charged with after protesting Bank of America using children’s chalk, Reuters reported.

Under California guidelines, Olson could have been sentenced to 13 years in prison and asked to pay $13,000 in fines if convicted. When he spoke out against the absurdity of the possibility last week, Judge Howard Shore issued a gag-order to ensure Olson and others wouldn’t discuss their case further.

Judge Shore has issued a gag order prohibiting all counsel and parties from commenting or expressing opinions on the case upon penalty of criminal contempt. All I am permitted to say is that I disagree,” Olson said over the weekend in an email to RT.

Olson previously told reporters, “My chalk drawings are clearly free speech and protected by the First Amendment,” and said after his victory on Monday that the dozen jurors apparently agreed.

The jury sent a strong message that freedom of speech is alive in San Diego,” he told reporters outside of the courthouse.

I’m really relieved,” Olson added to U-T San Diego. “It’s been an incredibly stressful situation. It feels really good to know that the people of San Diego as represented by the jury are on my side.”

Olson’s supposed crimes consisted of using washable chalk to write messages such as “No Thanks, Big Banks” and “Shame on Bank of America” on the sidewalks outside of branches in the San Diego area throughout 2012 after the Occupy Wall Street movement first began gaining momentum. He told San Diego 6 News last week that he was being prosecuted in part because City Attorney Jan Goldsmith has received campaign contributions from at least two big name financial institutions and, “If I had drawn a little girl’s hopscotch squares on the street, we wouldn’t be here today.”

His purpose was not malicious. His purpose was to inform,” defense attorney Tom Tosdal told CNS News of Olson.

Source

The gag order is way out of line. One has to wonder what the Judge was thinking. a gag order over chalk comments, is beyond imagination.

The jury stood up for all Americans Free Speech. The jury also protected children from the same type of foolishness.

Congratulations to all the jurors, who sat in on this trial, for making the right derision..

The Judge on the other hand? Well, you decide.

If you thought this was ridiculous then take a look at this one.

What is happening in the US, is so off the charts, there is no description for it.

Anti-War Activists Targeted as ‘Domestic Terrorists’

Related

The Prison Industry in the United States Costs Taxpayers Billions

Then we have Judges like this.

July 23 2010

Former Pennsylvania judge Michael Conahan has  pleaded guilty to a racketeering conspiracy charge for helping put  juvenile defendants behind bars in exchange for bribes. For the rest go HERE

Recent

The Two Samoyed’s Stella and Murphy have been returned to their owner as of June 24, 2013, Some good news for a change.

Two Missing Samoyed’s believed to be Stolen from Alberta Flood area

Secret tax-haven names released to public

Who protects you from TSA Abusers?

Canada: Father Dan Miller has pleaded guilty to five counts of indecent assault

Published in: on June 26, 2013 at 4:55 pm  Comments Off  
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Two Missing Samoyed’s believed to be Stolen from Alberta Flood area

Update on dogs.

They have been returned to the owner as of June 24 2013

Thank You to all who helped find Murphy and Stella.

Both are back home, where they belong.

Dogs found

 

Update Posted on June 23 2013

Two new stories about the flood are at the bottom of the page.

The flood has now entered two other provinces.

————————————————————————————–
Was posted on the twitter by Alana Baker

It was on the feed at CBC at the link below.

Calling the Police immediately, would also be a good call to make. If the two in question did steal the animals they should be charged with theft. Anytime you think your dog may have been stolen contact Police and report it. Even if you think your dog is just missing, it does not hurt to let Police know. They are always out and about and may see your pet.

Missing Dogs

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/story/2013/06/22/alberta-floods-evacuations.html

Some pictures of the devastation in Alberta

http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/pictures-and-videos-of-flooding-in-canmore-and-calgary-alberta-1.1334613

Donations to flood Victims can also be made through the Red Cross.

http://www.redcross.ca/donate/donate-online/donate-to-the-alberta-floods

June 24 2013

Severe flooding has forced around 1,000 Siksika people from their homes on the Alberta reserve, a large portion of which hugs a stretch of the Bow River about 100 kilometres east of Calgary. The disaster has been unfolding there since Friday, when the river poured over its banks and covered some areas with over a metre of floodwater.

“How are we going to recover from all of this is what went through my thoughts,” Chief Rabbit Carrier told CBC News on Sunday.

“There’s a sense of hopelessness… as a leader you have to overcome that and put emotions aside and start working toward the recovery.”

Chief Rabbit Carrier said the community is still in a state of emergency. The reserve’s recreation centre has been turned into a shelter where a list of items — baby formula, diapers, towels, blankets and non-perishable food — are in high demand. The phone in the centre’s main office rings constantly.

“We’ve been very fortunate that we have not lost anybody,” Chief Rabbit Carrier said.

In the lobby, a group of volunteers hoping to rescue animals trapped in the flood gets organized. They’ve already saved several animals, but plenty of barn animals and pets alike have perished. “If it has a pulse, we’ll save it,” one volunteer said.

For Pictures and the entire story Go HERE

Update on flood waters

Alberta water headed to Saskatchewan

The city warned residents, along with their pets, to stay away from the South Saskatchewan River as it prepared for an influx of water not seen in more than 100 years.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/story/2013/06/23/sk-saskatoon-prepares-flooding.html

A rancher in the Estuary area, close to the South Saskatchewan River, is surrounded by water from the swollen river.

Ian Ferguson has already moved his cattle to higher ground, but water has inundated his barn and corrals.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/story/2013/06/24/sk-ranch-flooding-estuary130624.html

It is also headed to Manitoba

States of emergency have been issued for some Manitoba communities as levels of local rivers rise as a result of heavy rain and floodwaters from Alberta.

The Pas along with the Opaskwayak Cree Nation and the Rural Municipality of Kelsey were under a state of emergency on Monday because the levels of the Saskatchewan and Carrot rivers continue to increase.

Meanwhile, at least three other Manitoba municipalities have declared states of emergency as they deal with flash flooding caused by heavy rainfall over the weekend.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/story/2013/06/24/mb-flood-emergency-winnipegosis-pipestone.html

Published in: on June 23, 2013 at 2:33 pm  Comments Off  
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