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

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Published in: on July 31, 2014 at 6:55 am  Comments Off on Man from Newfoundland wants Prime Minister Charged for Advocating Genocide against The Palestinians!  
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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 on Ashley Smith Death has been ruled a Homicide  
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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.

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Published in: on August 12, 2013 at 1:48 pm  Comments Off on Saudi Arabian Prince defects  
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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.

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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

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Published in: on June 26, 2013 at 4:55 pm  Comments Off on California man faces 13 years in jail for scribbling anti-bank messages in chalk  
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US going from Police State, To Military State

Every America needs to know this.

Make sure you give a copy to all your friends out there.

The NDAA and the Death of the Democratic State

February 11, 2013 

On Wednesday a few hundred activists crowded into the courtroom of the Second Circuit, the spillover room with its faulty audio feed and dearth of chairs, and Foley Square outside the Thurgood Marshall U.S. Courthouse in Manhattan where many huddled in the cold. The fate of the nation, we understood, could be decided by the three judges who will rule on our lawsuit against President Barack Obama for signing into law Section 1021(b)(2) of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

The section permits the military to detain anyone, including U.S. citizens, who “substantially support”—an undefined legal term—al-Qaida, the Taliban or “associated forces,” again a term that is legally undefined. Those detained can be imprisoned indefinitely by the military and denied due process until “the end of hostilities.” In an age of permanent war this is probably a lifetime. Anyone detained under the NDAA can be sent, according to Section (c)(4), to any “foreign country or entity.” This is, in essence, extraordinary rendition of U.S. citizens. It empowers the government to ship detainees to the jails of some of the most repressive regimes on earth.

Section 1021(b)(2) was declared invalid in September after our first trial, in the Southern District Court of New York. The Obama administration appealed the Southern District Court ruling. The appeal was heard Wednesday in the Second Circuit Court with Judges Raymond J. Lohier, Lewis A. Kaplan and Amalya L. Kearse presiding. The judges might not make a decision until the spring when the Supreme Court rules in Clapper v. Amnesty International USA, another case in which I am a plaintiff. The Supreme Court case challenges the government’s use of electronic surveillance. If we are successful in the Clapper case, it will strengthen all the plaintiffs’ standing in Hedges v. Obama. The Supreme Court, if it rules against the government, will affirm that we as plaintiffs have a reasonable fear of being detained.

If we lose in Hedges v. Obama—and it seems certain that no matter the outcome of the appeal this case will reach the Supreme Court—electoral politics and our rights as citizens will be as empty as those of Nero’s Rome. If we lose, the power of the military to detain citizens, strip them of due process and hold them indefinitely in military prisons will become a terrifying reality. Democrat or Republican. Occupy activist or libertarian. Socialist or tea party stalwart. It does not matter. This is not a partisan fight. Once the state seizes this unchecked power, it will inevitably create a secret, lawless world of indiscriminate violence, terror and gulags. I lived under several military dictatorships during the two decades I was a foreign correspondent. I know the beast.

“The stakes are very high,” said attorney Carl Mayer, who with attorney Bruce Afran brought our case to trial, in addressing a Culture Project audience in Manhattan on Wednesday after the hearing. “What our case comes down to is: Are we going to have a civil justice system in the United States or a military justice system? The civil justice system is something that is ingrained in the Constitution. It was always very important in combating tyranny and building a democratic society. What the NDAA is trying to impose is a system of military justice that allows the military to police the streets of America to detain U.S. citizens, to detain residents in the United States in military prisons. Probably the most frightening aspect of the NDAA is that it allows for detention until ‘the end of hostilities.’

Five thousand years of human civilization has left behind innumerable ruins to remind us that the grand structures and complex societies we build, and foolishly venerate as immortal, crumble into dust. It is the descent that matters now. If the corporate state is handed the tools, as under Section 1021(b)(2) of the NDAA, to use deadly force and military power to criminalize dissent, then our decline will be one of repression, blood and suffering. No one, not least our corporate overlords, believes that our material conditions will improve with the impending collapse of globalization, the steady deterioration of the global economy, the decline of natural resources and the looming catastrophes of climate change.

But the global corporatists—who have created a new species of totalitarianism—demand, during our decay, total power to extract the last vestiges of profit from a degraded ecosystem and disempowered citizenry. The looming dystopia is visible in the skies of blighted postindustrial cities such as Flint, Mich., where drones circle like mechanical vultures. And in an era where the executive branch can draw up secret kill lists that include U.S. citizens, it would be naive to believe these domestic drones will remain unarmed.

Robert M. Loeb, the lead attorney for the government in Wednesday’s proceedings, took a tack very different from that of the government in the Southern District Court of New York before Judge Katherine B. Forrest. Forrest repeatedly asked the government attorneys if they could guarantee that the other plaintiffs and I would not be subject to detention under Section 1021(b)(2). The government attorneys in the first trial granted no such immunity. The government also claimed in the first trial that under the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force Act (AUMF), it already had the power to detain U.S. citizens. Section 1021(b)(2), the attorneys said, did not constitute a significant change in government power. Judge Forrest in September rejected the government’s arguments and ruled Section 1021(b)(2) invalid.

The government, however, argued Wednesday that as “independent journalists” we were exempt from the law and had no cause for concern. Loeb stated that if journalists used journalism as a cover to aid the enemy, they would be seized and treated as enemy combatants. But he assured the court that I would be untouched by the new law as long as “Mr. Hedges did not start driving black vans for people we don’t like.”

Loeb did not explain to the court who defines an “independent journalist.” I have interviewed members of al-Qaida as well as 16 other individuals or members of groups on the State Department’s terrorism list. When I convey these viewpoints, deeply hostile to the United States, am I considered by the government to be “independent”? Could I be seen by the security and surveillance state, because I challenge the official narrative, as a collaborator with the enemy? And although I do not drive black vans for people Loeb does not like, I have spent days, part of the time in vehicles, with armed units that are hostile to the United States. These include Hamas in Gaza and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in southeastern Turkey.

I traveled frequently with armed members of the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front in El Salvador and the Sandinista army in Nicaragua during the five years I spent in Central America. Senior officials in the Reagan administration regularly denounced many of us in the press as fifth columnists and collaborators with terrorists. These officials did not view us as “independent.” They viewed us as propagandists for the enemy. Section 1021(b)(2) turns this linguistic condemnation into legal condemnation.

Alexa O’Brien, another plaintiff and a co-founder of the US Day of Rage, learned after WikiLeaks released 5 million emails from Stratfor, a private security firm that does work for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Marine Corps and the Defense Intelligence Agency, that Stratfor operatives were trying to link her and her organization to Islamic radicals, including al-Qaida, and sympathetic websites as well as jihadist ideology. If that link were made, she and those in her organization would not be immune from detention.

Afran said at the Culture Project discussion that he once gave a donation at a fundraising dinner to the Ancient Order of Hibernians, an Irish Catholic organization. A few months later, to his surprise, he received a note of thanks from Sinn Féin. “I didn’t expect to be giving money to a group that maintains a paramilitary terrorist organization, as some people say,” Afran said. “This is the danger. You can easily find yourself in a setting that the government deems worthy of incarceration. This is why people cease to speak out.”

The government attempted in court last week to smear Sami Al-Hajj, a journalist for the Al-Jazeera news network who was picked up by the U.S. military and imprisoned for nearly seven years in Guantanamo. This, for me, was one of the most chilling moments in the hearing.

“Just calling yourself a journalist doesn’t make you a journalist, like Al-Hajj,” Loeb told the court. “He used journalism as a cover. He was a member of al-Qaida and provided Stinger missiles to al-Qaida.”

Al-Hajj, despite Loeb’s assertions, was never charged with any crimes. And the slander by Loeb only highlighted the potential for misuse of this provision of the NDAA if it is not struck down.

The second central argument by the government was even more specious. Loeb claimed that Subsection 1021(e) of the NDAA exempts citizens from detention. Section 1021(e) states: “Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect existing law or authorities relating to the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States, or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States.”

Afran countered Loeb by saying that Subsection 1021(e) illustrated that the NDAA assumed that U.S. citizens would be detained by the military, overturning two centuries of domestic law that forbids the military to carry out domestic policing. And military detention of citizens, Afran noted, is not permitted under the Constitution.

Afran quoted the NDAA bill’s primary sponsor, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who said on the floor of the Senate: “In the case where somebody is worried about being picked up by a rogue executive branch because they went to the wrong political rally, they don’t have to worry very long, because our federal courts have the right and the obligation to make sure the government proves their case that you are a member of al-Qaida and didn’t [just] go to a political rally.”

Afran told the court that Graham’s statement implicitly acknowledged that U.S. citizens could be detained by the military under 1021(b)(2). “There is no reason for the sponsor to make that statement if he does not realize that the statute causes that chilling fear,” Afran told the judges.

After the hearing Afran explained: “If the senator who sponsored and managed the bill believed people would be afraid of the law, then the plaintiffs obviously have a reasonably objective basis to fear the statute.”

In speaking to the court Afran said of 1021(e): “It says it is applied to people in the United States. It presumes that they are going to be detained under some law. The only law we know of is this law. What other laws, before this one, allowed the military to detain people in this country?”

This was a question Judge Lohier, at Afran’s urging, asked Loeb during the argument. Loeb concurred that the NDAA was the only law he knew of that permitted the military to detain and hold U.S. citizens.

Via Truth-Dig Source

Chris Hedges: NDAA Lawsuit Update

Bad enough Americans already have people being Entrapped.

Inside the FBI’s ‘Terror factory’

You could be sent to anyone of these Countries.

CIA used 54 countries for detaining prisoners for toture

The 54 governments identified in this report span the continents of Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America, and include: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Libya, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malawi, Malaysia, Mauritania, Morocco, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Syria, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uzbekistan, Yemen,

and Zimbabwe. Must not forget Cuba. Cuba did not help, but did have the US prison there. Guantánamo Bay. Source

Now the Military can help with all of this.

You can bet many of those countries still help the CIA.

Like many who were sent to prison from Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and other countries of course.

The Counter-Terrorism Rewards Program, administered by the United States Department of State offers monetary compensation for individuals who volunteer information that leads to the location, capture, and trial of suspected terrorists. The program also seeks information relevant to finances, assets, and plans of terrorist organizations. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) work closely with the Department of State to investigate all information garnered through the Counter-Terrorism Rewards Program. In 1998, after the bombing of United States embassies in East Africa, the Department of State raised the maximum reward for information to $5 million.

The rewards program not only offers monetary rewards for information aiding anti-terrorism operations, but also promises confidentiality and anonymity for the informant. The United States government further promises to aid and relocate informants whose disclosure of information places themselves, and their family, in jeopardy.

The Counter-Terrorism Rewards Program is now a part of a larger anti-terrorism operation, the Rewards for Justice Program. The program pays for information relevant to the arrest and capture of wanted terrorists, both domestic and foreign. As part of the Patriot Act of 2001, the secretary of state can pay rewards greater than $5 million for information leading to the arrest of suspected terrorists. To date, the program has paid $9.75 million to 24 individuals who aided government antiterror investigations.

The Counter-Terrorism Rewards Program, as part of Rewards for Justice, has had several key successes. Information received through the program led to the arrest and eventual conviction of the 1993 World Trade Center bomber, Ramzi Yousef. The highest current priority of the rewards program is information leading to the capture of al-Qaeda front man, Usama bin Laden, and others with suspected involvement in the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Source

Have a beef with one of your neighbours.
Turn them in and get a reward. They will of course be tortured until they confess, not to worry.
By the way how do your neighbours feel about you?  You could be sent to a black hole never to return.
If the NDAA is accepted you will have  no rights at all.
This is what a witch hunt looks like.
Rather reminds me of what is done to Palestinians in Gaza and especially the West Bank. They live under the same rules as the NDAA.
Here is a must read Article.

Max Blumenthal: How Israeli Occupation Forces, Bahraini Monarchy Guards Trained U.S. Police For Coordinated Crackdown On “Occupy” Protests

New York – In October, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department turned parts of the campus of the University of California in Berkeley into an urban battlefield. The occasion was Urban Shield 2011, an annual SWAT team exposition organized to promote “mutual response,” collaboration and competition between heavily militarized police strike forces representing law enforcement departments across the United States and foreign nations.

At the time, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department was preparing for an imminent confrontation with the nascent “Occupy” movement that had set up camp in downtown Oakland, and would demonstrate the brunt of its repressive capacity against the demonstrators a month later when it attacked the encampment with teargas and rubber bullet rounds, leaving an Iraq war veteran in critical condition and dozens injured. According to Police Magazine, a law enforcement trade publication, “Law enforcement agencies responding to…Occupy protesters in northern California credit Urban Shield for their effective teamwork.”

Training alongside the American police departments at Urban Shield was the Yamam, an Israeli Border Police unit that claims to specialize in “counter-terror” operations but is better known for its extra-judicial assassinations of Palestinian militant leaders and long record of repression and abuses in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. Urban Shield also featured a unit from the military of Bahrain, which had just crushed a largely non-violent democratic uprising by opening fire on protest camps and arresting wounded demonstrators when they attempted to enter hospitals. While the involvement of Bahraini soldiers in the drills was a novel phenomenon, the presence of quasi-military Israeli police – whose participation in Urban Shield was not reported anywhere in US media – reflected a disturbing but all-too-common feature of the post-9/11 American security landscape.

The Israelification of America’s security apparatus, recently unleashed in full force against the Occupy Wall Street Movement, has taken place at every level of law enforcement, and in areas that have yet to be exposed. The phenomenon has been documented in bits and pieces, through occasional news reports that typically highlight Israel’s national security prowess without examining the problematic nature of working with a country accused of grave human rights abuses. But it has never been the subject of a national discussion. And collaboration between American and Israeli cops is just the tip of the iceberg.

Having been schooled in Israeli tactics perfected during a 63 year experience of controlling, dispossessing, and occupying an indigenous population, local police forces have adapted them to monitor Muslim and immigrant neighborhoods in US cities. Meanwhile, former Israeli military officers have been hired to spearhead security operations at American airports and suburban shopping malls, leading to a wave of disturbing incidents of racial profiling, intimidation, and FBI interrogations of innocent, unsuspecting people. The New York Police Department’s disclosure that it deployed “counter-terror” measures against Occupy protesters encamped in downtown Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park is just the latest example of the so-called War on Terror creeping into every day life. Revelations like these have raised serious questions about the extent to which Israeli-inspired tactics are being used to suppress the Occupy movement.

The process of Israelification began in the immediate wake of 9/11, when national panic led federal and municipal law enforcement officials to beseech Israeli security honchos for advice and training. America’s Israel lobby exploited the climate of hysteria, providing thousands of top cops with all-expenses paid trips to Israel and stateside training sessions with Israeli military and intelligence officials. By now, police chiefs of major American cities who have not been on junkets to Israel are the exception.

“Israel is the Harvard of antiterrorism,” said former US Capitol Police Chief Terrance W. Gainer, who now serves as the US Senate Sergeant-at-Arms. Cathy Lanier, the Chief of the Washington DC Metropolitan Police, remarked, “No experience in my life has had more of an impact on doing my job than going to Israel.” “One would say it is the front line,” Barnett Jones, the police chief of Ann Arbor, Michigan, said of Israel. “We’re in a global war.”

Karen Greenberg, the director of Fordham School of Law’s Center on National Security and a leading expert on terror and civil liberties, said the Israeli influence on American law enforcement is so extensive it has bled into street-level police conduct. “After 9/11 we reached out to the Israelis on many fronts and one of those fronts was torture,” Greenberg told me. “The training in Iraq and Afghanistan on torture was Israeli training. There’s been a huge downside to taking our cue from the Israelis and now we’re going to spread that into the fabric of everyday American life? It’s counter-terrorism creep. And it’s exactly what you could have predicted would have happened.”

Changing the way we do business

The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) is at the heart of American-Israeli law enforcement collaboration. JINSA is a Jerusalem and Washington DC-based think tank known for stridently neoconservative policy positions on Israel’s policy towards the Palestinians and its brinkmanship with Iran. The group’s board of directors boasts a Who’s Who of neocon ideologues. Two former JINSA advisors who have also consulted for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Douglas Feith and Richard Perle, went on to serve in the Department of Defense under President George W. Bush, playing influential roles in the push to invade and occupy Iraq.

Through its Law Enforcement Education Program (LEEP), JINSA claims to have arranged Israeli-led training sessions for over 9000 American law enforcement officials at the federal, state and municipal level. “The Israelis changed the way we do business regarding homeland security in New Jersey,” Richard Fuentes, the NJ State Police Superintendent, said after attending a 2004 JINSA-sponsored Israel trip and a subsequent JINSA conference alongside 435 other law enforcement officers.

During a 2004 LEEP trip, JINSA brought 14 senior American law enforcement officials to Israel to receive instruction from their counterparts. The Americans were trained in “how to secure large venues, such as shopping malls, sporting events and concerts,” JINSA’s website reported. Escorted by Brigadier General Simon Perry, an Israeli police attaché and former Mossad official, the group toured the Israeli separation wall, now a mandatory stop for American cops on junkets to Israel. “American officials learned about the mindset of a suicide bomber and how to spot trouble signs,” according to JINSA. And they were schooled in Israeli killing methods. “Although the police are typically told to aim for the chest when shooting because it is the largest target, the Israelis are teaching [American] officers to aim for a suspect’s head so as not to detonate any explosives that might be strapped to his torso,” the New York Times reported.

Cathy Lanier, now the Chief of Washington DC’s Metropolitan Police Department, was among the law enforcement officials junketed to Israel by JINSA. “I was with the bomb units and the SWAT team and all of those high profile specialized [Israeli] units and I learned a tremendous amount,” Lanier reflected. “I took 82 pages of notes while I was there which I later brought back and used to formulate a lot of what I later used to create and formulate the Homeland Security terrorism bureau in the DC Metropolitan Police department.”

Some of the police chiefs who have taken part in JINSA’s LEEP program have done so under the auspices of the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), a private non-governmental group with close ties to the Department of Homeland Security. Chuck Wexler, the executive director of PERF, was so enthusiastic about the program that by 2005 he had begun organizing trips to Israel sponsored by PERF, bringing numerous high-level American police officials to receive instruction from their Israeli counterparts.

PERF gained notoriety when Wexler confirmed that his group coordinated police raids in 16 cities across America against “Occupy” protest encampments. As many as 40 cities have sought PERF advice on suppressing the “Occupy” movement and other mass protest activities. Wexler did not respond to my requests for an interview.

Lessons from Israel to Auschwitz

Besides JINSA, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has positioned itself as an important liaison between American police forces and the Israeli security-intelligence apparatus. Though the ADL promotes itself as a Jewish civil rights group, it has provoked controversy by publishing a blacklist of organizations supporting Palestinian rights, and for condemning a proposal to construct an Islamic community center in downtown New York, several blocks from Ground Zero, on the basis that some opponents of the project were entitled to “positions that others would characterize as irrational or bigoted.”

Through the ADL’s Advanced Training School course on Extremist and Terrorist Threats, over 700 law enforcement personnel from 220 federal and local agencies including the FBI and CIA have been trained by Israeli police and intelligence commanders. This year, the ADL brought 15 high-level American police officials to Israel for instruction from the country’s security apparatus. According to the ADL, over 115 federal, state and local law enforcement executives have undergone ADL-organized training sessions in Israel since the program began in 2003. “I can honestly say that the training offered by ADL is by far the most useful and current training course I have ever attended,” Deputy Commissioner Thomas Wright of the Philadelphia Police Department commented after completing an ADL program this year. The ADL’s relationship with the Washington DC Police Department is so cozy its members are invited to accompany DC cops on “ride along” patrols.

The ADL claims to have trained over 45,000 American law enforcement officials through its Law Enforcement and Society program, which “draws on the history of the Holocaust to provide law enforcement professionals with an increased understanding of…their role as protectors of the Constitution,” the group’s website stated. All new FBI agents and intelligence analysts are required to attend the ADL program, which is incorporated into three FBI training programs. According to officialFBI recruitment material, “all new special agents must visit the US Holocaust Memorial Museum to see firsthand what can happen when law enforcement fails to protect individuals.”

Fighting “crimiterror”

Among the most prominent Israeli government figure to have influenced the practices of American law enforcement officials is Avi Dichter, a former head of Israel’s Shin Bet internal security service and current member of Knesset who recently introduced legislation widely criticized as anti-democratic. During the Second Intifada, Dichter ordered several bombings on densely populated Palestinian civilian areas, including one on the al-Daraj neighborhood of Gaza that resulted in the death of 15 innocent people, including 8 children, and 150 injuries. “After each success, the only thought is, ‘Okay, who’s next?’” Dichter said of the “targeted” assassinations he has ordered.

Despite his dubious human rights record and apparently dim view of democratic values, or perhaps because of them, Dichter has been a key figure in fostering cooperation between Israeli security forces and American law enforcement. In 2006, while Dichter was serving at the time as Israel’s Minister of Public Security, he spoke in Boston, Massachusetts before the annual convention of the International Association of Chiefs of Police. Seated beside FBI Director Robert Mueller and then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez, Dichter told the 10,000 police officers in the crowd that there was an “intimate connection between fighting criminals and fighting terrorists.” Dichter declared that American cops were actually “fighting crimiterrorists.” The Jerusalem Post reported that Dichter was “greeted by a hail of applause, as he was hugged by Mueller, who described Dichter as his mentor in anti-terror tactics.”

A year after Dichter’s speech, he and then-Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff signed a joint memorandum pledging security collaboration between America and Israel on issues ranging from airport security to emergency planning. In 2010, Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano authorized a new joint memorandum with Israeli Transport and Road Safety Minister Israel Katz shoring up cooperation between the US Transportation Security Agency – the agency in charge of day-to-day airport security – and Israel’s Security Department. The recent joint memorandum also consolidated the presence of US Homeland Security law enforcement personnel on Israeli soil. “The bond between the United States and Israel has never been stronger,” Napolitano remarked at a recent summit of AIPAC, the leading outfit of America’s Israel lobby, in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The Demographic Unit

For the New York Police Department, collaboration with Israel’s security and intelligence apparatus became a top priority after 9/11. Just months after the attacks on New York City, the NYPD assigned a permanent, taxpayer-funded liaison officerto Tel Aviv. Under the leadership of Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, ties between the NYPD and Israel have deepened by the day. Kelly embarked on his first trip to Israel in early 2009 to demonstrate his support for Israel’s ongoing assault on the Gaza Strip, a one-sided attack that left over 1400 Gaza residents dead in three weeks and led a United Nations fact-finding mission to conclude that Israeli military and government officials had committed war crimes.

Kelly returned to Israel the following year to speak at the Herziliya Conference, an annual gathering of neoconservative security and government officials who obsess over supposed “demographic threats.” After Kelly appeared on stage, the Herziliya crowd was addressed by the pro-Israel academic Martin Kramer, who claimed that Israel’s blockade of Gaza was helping to reduce the numbers of “superfluous young men of fighting age.” Kramer added, “If a state can’t control these young men, then someone else will.”

Back in New York, the NYPD set up a secret “Demographics Unit” designed to spy on and monitor Muslim communities around the city. The unit was developed with input and intensive involvement by the CIA, which still refuses to name the former Middle East station chief it has posted in the senior ranks of the NYPD’s intelligence division. Since 2002, the NYPD has dispatched undercover agents known as “rakers” and “mosque crawlers” into Pakistani-American bookstores and restaurants to gauge community anger over US drone strikes inside Pakistan, and into Palestinian hookah bars and mosques to search out signs of terror recruitment and clandestine funding. “If a raker noticed a customer looking at radical literature, he might chat up the store owner and see what he could learn,” the Associated Press reported. “The bookstore, or even the customer, might get further scrutiny.”

The Israeli imprimatur on the NYPD’s Demographics Unit is unmistakable. As a former police official told the Associated Press, the Demographics Unit has attempted to “map the city’s human terrain” through a program “modeled in part on how Israeli authorities operate in the West Bank.”

Shop ‘til you’re stopped

At Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport, security personnel target non-Jewish and non-white passengers, especially Arabs, as a matter of policy. The most routinely harassed passengers are Palestinian citizens of Israel, who must brace themselvesfor five-hour interrogation sessions and strip searches before flying. Those singled out for extra screening by Shin Bet officers are sent to what many Palestinians from Israel call the “Arab room,” where they are subjected to humiliating questioning sessions (former White House Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala encountered such mistreatment during a visit to Israel last year). Some Palestinians are forbidden from speaking to anyone until takeoff, and may be menaced by Israeli flight attendants during the flight. In one documented case, a six-month-old was awoken for a strip search by Israeli Shin Bet personnel. Instances of discrimination against Arabs at Ben Gurion International are too numerous to detail – several incidents occur each day – but a few of the more egregious instances were outlined in a 2007 petition the Association for Civil Rights in Israel filed with the country’s Supreme Court.

Though the Israeli system of airline security contains dubious benefits and clearly deleterious implications for civil liberties, it is quietly and rapidly migrating into major American airports. Security personnel at Boston’s Logan International Airport have undergone extensive training from Israeli intelligence personnel, learning to apply profiling and behavioral assessment techniques against American citizens that were initially tested on Palestinians. The new procedures began in August, when so-called Behavior Detection Officers were placed in security queues at Logan’s heavily trafficked Terminal A. Though the procedures have added to traveler stress while netting exactly zero terrorists, they are likely to spread to other cities. “I would like to see a lot more profiling” in American airports, said Yossi Sheffi, an Israeli-born risk analyst at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for Transportation and Logistics.

Israeli techniques now dictate security procedures at the Mall of America, a gargantuan shopping mall in Bloomington, Minnesota that has become a major tourist attraction. The new methods took hold in 2005 when the mall hired a former Israeli army sergeant named Mike Rozin to lead a special new security unit. Rozin, who once worked with a canine unit at Ben Gurion Airport in Israel, instructed his employees at the Mall of America to visually profile every shopper, examining their expressions for suspicious signs. His security team accosts and interrogates an average of 1200 shoppers a year, according to the Center for Investigative Reporting.

One of the thousands who fell into Rozin’s dragnet was Najam Qureshi, a Pakistani-American mall vendor whose father accidentally left his cell phone on a table in the mall food court. A day after the incident, FBI agents appeared at Qureshi’s doorstep to ask if he knew anyone seeking to harm the United States. An army veteran interrogated for two hours by Rozin’s men for taking video inside the mall sobbed openly about his experience to reporters. Meanwhile, another man, Emile Khalil, was visited by FBI agents after mall security stopped him for taking photographs of the dazzling consumer haven.

“I think that the threat of terrorism in the United States is going to become an unfortunate part of American life,” Rozin remarked to American Jewish World. And as long as the threat persists in the public’s mind, Israeli securitocrats like Rozin will never have to worry about the next paycheck.

“Occupy” meets the Occupation

When a riot squad from the New York Police Department destroyed and evicted the “Occupy Wall Street” protest encampment at Zuccotti Park in downtown Manhattan, department leadership drew on the anti-terror tactics they had refined since the 9/11 attacks. According to the New York Times, the NYPD deployed “counterterrorism measures” to mobilize large numbers of cops for the lightning raid on Zuccotti. The use of anti-terror techniques to suppress a civilian protest complemented harsh police measures demonstrated across the country against the nationwide “Occupy” movement, from firing tear gas canisters and rubber bullets into unarmed crowds to blasting demonstrators with the LRAD sound cannon.

Given the amount of training the NYPD and so many other police forces have received from Israel’s military-intelligence apparatus, and the profuse levels of gratitude American police chiefs have expressed to their Israeli mentors, it is worth asking how much Israeli instruction has influenced the way the police have attempted to suppress the Occupy movement, and how much it will inform police repression of future upsurges of street protest. But already, the Israelification of American law enforcement appears to have intensified police hostility towards the civilian population, blurring the lines between protesters, common criminals, and terrorists. As Dichter said, they are all just “crimiterrorists.”

“After 9/11 we had to react very quickly,” Greenberg remarked, “but now we’re in 2011 and we’re not talking about people who want to fly planes into buildings. We’re talking about young American citizens who feel that their birthright has been sold. If we’re using Israeli style tactics on them and this stuff bleeds into the way we do business at large, were in big trouble.”

This article is cross-posted from Al-Akhbar.com with permission from the author Max Blumenthal.

You can read more of Max Blumenthal at MaxBlumenthal.com. He is the author of Republican Gomorrah, published by Nation Books.

Source

 

Turkey: Jailing is the Agenda to silence critical Journalists

Stop the presses: Turkey tops list of jailed journalists

October 23, 2012

As the situation in Syria intensifies, its neighbor Turkey, which is at the frontline of the offensive against President Assad’s government, is being dubbed as the world’s leading jailer of journalists by a New York–based media watchdog.

­The latest investigation says that 76 journalists were detained in Turkey as of August 1, 80 per cent of which were imprisoned as a direct result of their work. The remaining 20 per cent of the cases are still being investigated by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) workers. The report also claims that three-quarters of jailed journalists have not yet been convicted of any crime but are held while they await “resolution of their cases.”

The findings claim that “the Turkish government is engaging in a broad offensive to silence critical journalists through imprisonment, legal prosecution and official intimidation,” as 70 per cent of those in jail were Kurdish and the rest being accused of participating in plots against the government, or membership of outlawed organizations.

Press freedom in Turkey according to the 53 page report has suffered as “as tensions between Turkey and Syria escalate a choke on information and climate of fear could deter important, probing news coverage.”

The watchdog believes that “according to the government’s theory, journalists were using news coverage to create the kind of societal chaos conducive to a coup.” In fact most have been charged with aiding terrorism by covering activities of the outlawed Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) and the Kurdish Communities Union (KCK).

CPJ’s report also criticized the 2007 Internet law which allows website filtering by the Turkish authorities against opposition.

Furthermore at least 5,000 criminal cases were pending against journalists by the end of 2011 the report says.

According to the CPJ, the number of journalists in Turkish jails surpasses figures in Iran, China, or Eritrea, making Turkey the world’s leading jailer of journalists.

“Turkey’s current prison tally far surpasses that of the next most repressive nations, including Iran, which was imprisoning 42 journalists when CPJ conducted its December 2011 prison census; Eritrea, which was holding 28; and China, which was jailing 27,” the report says. CPJ’s analysis of imprisonments in Turkey also found that the crackdown has accelerated in the last two years as two-thirds of imprisoned journalists were detained in 2011 or 2012.

JCP says that Ankara’s relationship with Washington makes Turkey “promote itself as a regional leader in freedom… Yet such claims are contradicted by the persecution of journalists at levels that place Turkey alongside global outliers.”

The watchdog recommends Prime Minister Erdogan and his government to “exert the political will to abandon the systemic suppression of critical views and dismantle the country’s vast system of media repression. Source

 

Judicial harassment of Turkey’s media – latest

October 22, 2012.

Reporters Without Borders has decided to start a news feed with regular updates in order to follow the many prosecutions of journalists and news media in Turkey. Despite Law 6352’s adoption in July, the media continue to be the target of constant judicial harassment, in which the KCK and Ergenekon trials are just the most visible cases.


22.10.2012 – Four journalists given jail terms in space of three days

Four Turkish journalists were given prison sentences in the space of three days this week while four others were given conditional releases pending the outcome of their trials.

Kurdish media still at centre of storm

A court in the southern city of Adana sentenced Seyithan Akyüz, a reporter for the Kurdish-language daily Azadiya Welat (Free Country), and Kenan Karavil, the former manager of local Radyo Dünya (Radio World), to twelve years and thirteen and a half years in prison respectively on 16 October.

Convicted of belonging to the outlawed Union of Communities in Kurdistan (KCK), regarded as the urban wing of the armed separatist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), they were among the 45 defendants in a mass trial who received a total of 419 years and two months in prison. Two other defendants were acquitted.

The next day, a court in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir sentenced Murat Ciftçi, a reporter for the Kurdish news agency Diha, to eight years and nine months in prison on a charge of collaborating with the KCK. After five months in pre-trial detention, he had been released in April 2012 pending the outcome of his trial.

Reporters Without Borders has learned that another Diha reporter, Gülsen Aslan, was given a conditional release in Diyarbakir on 17 October. Arrested on 4 February, she had been released and then re-arrested at the request of the local prosecutor’s office.

Diha said Safak Celen, who works for Azadiya Welat, was also released. Aslan and Celen were among 34 suspected KCK members who were arrested in Batman province. Aslan is facing up to 15 years in prison. Their trial is to resume on 26 December.

The trial of Diha journalist Özlem Agus will begin in Adana on 26 December. Held since 6 March, she is accused of having links with the KCK’s “Media Committee”, as are Diha editor Ali Bulus and Azadiya Welat reporter Ferit Köylüoglu.

Agus, Bulus and Köylüoglu will be among a total of 54 defendants in the next mass trial in Adana, of whom 20 are in preventive detention. The 300-page indictment accuses Agus of covering demonstrations in a way “that respects the ideology” of the PKK and of “sending information to Roj TV liable to serve as PKK propaganda.”

The work phone calls between Agus and Bulus, and those between Köylüoglu and Azadiya Welat’s distributors are regarded as prosecution evidence in the indictment, which also cites the fact that Köylüoglu himself distributed copies of the newspaper and asked about sales, as if this constituted criminal activity although Azadiya Welat is not banned.

Provisional outcome in Atilim case

The fourth journalist to get a jail sentence this week was Hatice Duman, the editor of the leftist newspaper Atilim, whose life sentence on a charge of being one of the leaders of the outlawed Marxist-Leninist Communist Party (MLKP) was upheld by the supreme court on 15 October, according to her lawyers.

The supreme court overturned the conviction of fellow Atilim journalist Necati Abay, the spokesman of the Solidarity Platform with Imprisoned Journalists, who had been sentenced to 18 years and nine months in prison by an Istanbul criminal court on the same charge.

However, although the supreme court ruled that he was not one of the MLKP’s leaders, it determined that he was still a member. So he is still facing up to 15 years in prison.

Zero tolerance for torture coverage

An Istanbul criminal court forced Taraf (Camps), a daily critical of the government and armed forces, to publish a retraction in its 13 October issue at the request of Sedat Selim Ay, the deputy head of the Istanbul police anti-terrorism section, who is accused of torturing suspects in the 1990s (see below).

Citing the presumption of innocence, the court overturned an earlier court ruling that the allegations Taraf had published about Ay were “in the general interest.” Eight members of the newspaper’s staff still face criminal charges in connection with the 12 articles it ran from 22 July to 2 August quoting victims identifying Ay as their torturer.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan reacted strongly at the time to media criticism of the protection his government has given to Ay, which contradicts its declared policy of “zero tolerance” for torture.

Ay’s promotion to his current position triggered an outcry this summer. A few years ago, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Turkey had failed in its obligation to “conduct an effective investigation and trial” in connection with the torture allegations.


12.10.2012 – No let-up in judicial harassment of journalists since July reform

Three months after Law 6352’s adoption, Reporters Without Borders has evaluated the impact so far of this reform, which is supposed to reduce the frequency with which Turkey’s media are the targets of lawsuits and prosecutions.

“We welcome the release of several journalists who were held without trial for months or years but the judicial climate for the media has not improved. Dozens of journalists continue to be detained and, regardless of Law 6352’s requirements, decisions are being taken to keep them in provisional detention with hardly any more justifying grounds being presented than in the past. As we had feared, ’terrorism’ charges are being used as a pretext for not applying the reform to many cases and new prosecutions are being brought against people for the opinions they express because Law 6352 is limited to ’offences’ committed before 31 December 2011,” Reporters Without Borders said.

“Law 6352 was a step forward but, as we said already, marginal reforms will not suffice, any more than another general amnesty like the ones Turkey has had in the past. Civil liberties will not be guaranteed in any sustainable manner until the Anti-Terrorism Law, the criminal code and the criminal procedure code are purged of the repressive attitudes that permeate them,” the organisation concluded.

Adopted on 5 July, Law 6352 provides for a three-year suspension of all prosecutions and convictions for “press and opinion crimes” with a maximum sentence of five years in prison that were committed before the end of 2011. If the person concerned refrains from committing an offence of the same kind during the three years, the case is dropped for good. Otherwise it resumes.

As Reporters Without Borders said at the time, this leaves journalists with a threat hanging over them for three years, during which they are forced to remain silent or to censor themselves.

It is this provision that has just been applied to Cüneyt Özdemir, the well-known columnist of the daily Radikal and host of a popular programme on CNN Türk, who was facing a sentence of three months to two years in prison for “insulting an official in the course of his duties” under article 125 of the criminal code.

On 16 October, an Istanbul magistrate court ordered a three-year suspension of the prosecution brought against him over Tweets criticizing the president of the 14th Chamber of the Court of Cassation, Fevzi Elmas. Özdemir denies being the author of the Tweets and says the authorities brought the case on the sole basis of an article on the conservative website Star Medya accusing him of sending them.

The Tweets criticized the Court of Cassation for upholding decisions taken in the alleged gang-rape of a 13-year-old minor by 26 men in the eastern city of Mardin in 2002. After lower courts ruled that the victim had consented and that other attenuating circumstances existed, the short jail sentences were not implemented on the grounds that the statute of limitations applied.

Released journalists still being harassed

Reporters Without Borders has learned that Mehmet Günes, the publisher of the periodical Türkiye Gerçegi (Turkey’s Reality), was released by an Istanbul court on 5 October because of “the length of the time spent in preventive detention” but his trial is to continue on 28 December.

He had been held since December 2011 for alleged membership of a small underground group called “Revolutionary Headquarters.”

Another journalist held on the same charge since October 2011, Hakan Soytemiz, the publisher of the periodical Red (No), was released on 9 July. Like the alleged Ergenekon network, Revolutionary Headquarters is accused of organizing armed attacks on government offices and the ruling AKP party with the aim of destabilising the government.

Sedat Senoglu, the editor of the leftist weekly Atilim (Momentum), was finally released on 6 September after being held for six years without trial on a charge of membership of the outlawed Marxist-Leninist Communist Party (MLKP). The Istanbul court that freed him said it took account of a “possible change in the charge” and the years he spent in prison.

Eleven of the 26 people who are charged in the same case are still held. The include Füsun Erdogan, the former editor of an Özgür Radio publication, and Atilim columnist Bayram Namaz. Both have also been held without trial since 2006.

A court in the eastern city of Van that is trying Murat Aydin, a reporter for the Kurdish news agency Diha (Tiger), decided at the end of a hearing on 18 September to grant him a conditional release. He had been held for 11 months. His trial on a charge of cooperating with the outlawed Union of Communities in Kurdistan (KCK), regarded as the urban wing of the armed separatist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), will continue on 27 November.

Cagdas Ulus, a reporter for the daily Vatan (Homeland) who is also accused of KCK links, and Cihat Ablay, an employee of the newspaper distribution company Firat, were granted conditional releases on 13 September by an Istanbul court, which said “the nature of the charges could change.”

They were arrested in December 2011 along with 42 other journalists and media workers, of whom 34 are still held. The next hearing in this mass trial is set for 12 November. Hasan Özgünes, a journalist held for the past year in a related anti-KCK investigation, is also to remain in prison. He is a columnist for the Kurdish-language daily Azadiya Welat and member of BDP, a legal Kurdish party.

New prosecutions

A court in the southern city of Adana jailed Diha reporter Ferhat Arslan on 5 October in response to an appeal by the prosecutor’s office against his release a week earlier after four days in police custody.

He is one of 25 individuals being investigated on suspicion of KCK membership. They include members of the (legal) BDP and the Human Rights Association (IHD) and an employee of Radyo Ses (Voice), a station based in the southeastern city of Mersin, Mahir Ögretmen.

Journalist accused of blasphemy

Representatives of the Islamist political party Saadet (Happiness), filed a complaint on 5 October accusing Sevan Nisanyan, a writer and journalist of Armenian origin, of blaspheming and insulting the Prophet Mohammed in comments on Twitter about the US-produced anti-Islamic video “Innocence of Muslims.”

The complaint demanded his trial on charges of criminal insult or “inciting hatred on the basis of religious differences.”

More disturbingly, the Islamist daily Milli Gazete (National Gazette) has been urging prosecutors to react, claiming in a barely veiled threat against Nisanyan that “judicial inertia is straining patience.” On its front page on 7 October, a photograph of Nisanyan was switched with the photograph of a cow that illustrated another article.

Workers Party complaint against journalist

The Workers Party (IP) has filed a suit against Robert Koptas, a journalist of Armenian origin who edits the Turkish-Armenian weekly Agos, over a 24 August column headlined “Shameful visit to IP.” It criticized a decision by the head of the Freedom and Solidarity Party (ÖDP) to visit the IP and its newspaper Ulusal Kanal after they were searched as part of the Ergenekon investigation.

Koptas, who regarded the visit as a misplaced show of solidarity, is being sued for 10,000 Turkish lira (4,350 euros) for comments that were allegedly “insulting” and “contrary to the truth.”

Judicial intimidation of the daily Taraf

Sedat Selim Ay, a senior official said to have tortured prisoners during the 1990s, has filed a complaint against eight journalists with the daily Taraf (Camps) who criticized his appointment as deputy director of the Istanbul anti-terrorist department.

Ay previously accused Taraf of exposing him to possible terrorist attacks by identifying him, and he is now accusing the newspaper of again exposing him and his subordinates by interviewing the victims of torture.

The Istanbul prosecutor’s office has reacted to the complaint by opening an investigation into Taraf editors Tuncer Köseoglu and Burhan Ekinci, columnists Mehmet Baransu and Melih Altinok, and reporters Sümeyra Tansel, Adnan Keskin, Tugba Tekerek and Hüseyin Özkaya.

Taraf’s two managing editors and three other Taraf journalists have meanwhile received summonses from the prosecutor’s office on libel and insult charges in connection with columns published in July on the same subject.

Journalists sued by armed forces chief of staff

Gen. Necdet Özel, the armed forces chief of staff, is suing Fatih Altayli, the editor of the daily HaberTürk, for 50,000 lira in damages for “insulting” him in a 9 September column about an accidental explosion at an arms depot in the western city of Afyonkarahisar that cost the lives of 25 conscripts.

Headlined “Schopenhauer was right,” Altayli’s column criticized Özel’s management of the armed forces and quoted German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer’s phrase, “The notion of honour does not exist in eastern societies.” The case is expected to be heard in the next few months.

Gen. Özel has also filed a complaint against the journalist Cüneyt Ülsever under article 95 of the military penal code concerning “the humiliation of a representative of the state in the exercise of his duty.”


07.08.2012 – Editor of Kurdish newspaper released after two years in custody

The Diyarbakir criminal court today approved the release on parole of the journalist Ozan Kilinç, imprisoned since 22 July 2010 on charges of criminal propaganda.

The court granted a request by his lawyer under Law 6352, introduced on 5 July, which is intended to limit pre-trial detention.

Kilinç, the forrmer owner and editor of the country’s only Kurdish-language daily, Azadiya Welat (Independence Homeland), was sentenced in April 2011 to six years and nine months in prison after being found guilty of publishing propaganda in support of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and of committing a crime on behalf of the organization,

He was originally sentenced to 21 years in prison in February 2010 but this was reduced on appeal.


31.07.2012 – Court refuses to release three journalists under reform package

An Istanbul court refused on 27 July to release three journalists who have been held for nearly three years as part of the investigation into the alleged clandestine ultranationalist network called Ergenekon.

They are Mustafa Balbay, a columnist for the secularist and nationalist newspaper Cumhurriyet (Republic), Tuncay Özkan, the owner of Biz TV (We TV) and Mehmet Haberal, owner of Ankara-based BTV.

They could have been released under the newly-introduced Law 6352, which is intended to limit pre-trial detention. More than 200 court hearings in their case have so far been held since their arrest.


27.07.2012 – Courts start to free journalists under reform package

Vedat Kursun, the former editor of the Kurdish-language daily Azadiya Welat (Free People), has finally been freed after three years and seven months in jail on a charge of propaganda on behalf of the outlawed Kurdistan People’s Party (PKK). His release was ordered by a court in the eastern city of Diyarbakir on 23 July.

“We take note of this release,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The rate at which journalists are being freed is still too slow and should be accelerated by the newly-adopted package of reforms,” Reporters Without Borders said. “We call for the conditional release of all journalists held in connection with their work or because of alleged cooperation with banned organizations.”

As a result of the Diyarbakir court’s ruling, Kursun was freed from the Type E prison in Giresum where he had been held since 30 January 2009 and where he was serving a sentence of 16 and a half years in jail for articles about Kurdish issues and human rights violations in Kurdistan that were deemed to constitute pro-PKK propaganda.

He was released under Law 6352, adopted on 5 July, under which prosecutions of journalists accused of propaganda on behalf of terrorist organizations may be suspended or abandoned. This law also provides for the release of media personnel accused of belonging to or “collaborating” with outlawed organizations.

Around 90 journalists working for Kurdish, secularist or left-wing opposition media remain in jail pending an upcoming series of hearings. Some of them have already been tried and convicted but most have not.

Ragip Zarakolu’s high profile trial

The trial of the famous journalist, publisher and human rights activist Ragip Zarakolu began on 13 July and continued until 21 July when, after two specially-invited Turkish TV presenters had finished reading the indictment (2,400 pages) in turn, the court adjourned until after the summer break.

Few journalists have so far been released since Law 6352 took effect. Bedri Adanir, the editor of the Kurdish-language periodical Hawar (Solution) and Ozan Kilinç, one of his journalists, are hoping that the possibility of their release will be examined in the coming days or weeks.

Local newspaper publisher convicted

A court in the southeastern city of Malatya sentenced local newspaper publisher Haci Bogatekin in absentia on 27 June to a year in prison on charges of relaying PKK propaganda and “praising a crime or a criminal” under article 215 of the criminal code over a January 2008 editorial in his newspaper, Gerger Firat, a weekly based in the nearby town of Gerger.

Headlined “Feto and Apo,” the editorial contrasted the government’s failure to combat the threat posed by Fethullah “Feto” Gülen’s influential religious community, the target of much criticism by Turkey’s secularists, with the government’s repeated police and military offensives against the PKK armed separatists led Abdullah “Apo” Öcalan.

In another article shortly after the “Feto and Apo” one, Bogatekin reported that Gerger prosecutor Sadullah Ovacikli has ordered him to apologize for insulting Gülen. This resulted in his being immediately detained for 109 days on charges of insult, libel and trying to pervert the course of justice.

Bogatekin told Reporters Without Borders he would appeal against his conviction to Turkey’s highest court.

Abandoned prosecution

Oda TV case

An Istanbul court ruled in mid-July that the prosecution of Baris Terkoglu, the editor of the Oda TV news website, should be abandoned. He had been held since 14 February 2011 for supposedly collaborating with Ergenekon, an alleged terrorist network made up secularists and ultranationalists.

Terkoglu was accused of endangering intelligence officers, judges and prosecutors in charge of the Ergenekon investigation by publishing photos of them under the headline “These photos will cause a stir.” They were shown fasting together during Ramadan. Prosecutors claimed that the photos could expose these senior officials to reprisals by terrorist groups. Terkoglu had been facing a possible three-year jail term under Article 6-1 of the Anti-Terrorism Law 3713.

The court did not wait for the Oda TV hearing scheduled for 19 July to release Terkoglu provisionally. However, three years will have to elapse before the case against him is closed for good, and then only if he has not been arrested in the meantime on similar charges.

The prosecution of Güray Öz, the editor of the republican daily Cumhuriyet, who had helped circulate the photos taken by Terkoglu, has also been suspended. Although not detained, he had been investigated and was being prosecuted.

The other detained Oda TV journalists – Soner Yalçin, Baris Pehlivan and Yalçin Küçük – have not been amnestied but the possibility of their release could be examined at the next hearing, scheduled for mid-September.

Journalists freed

Yürüyüs – another part of the reform package

Halit Güdenoglu, the editor of the far-left weekly Yürüyüs (March), and four of her journalists who like her had been held since 24 December 2010 – Cihan Gün, Naciye Yavuz, Kaan Ünsal and Musa Kurt – were released on 20 July under Law 6352, which instructs the police and judicial authorities to place suspects under judicial control rather than systematically detain them.

They were released at the behest of an Ankara court which said it had taken account of the “time spent in detention” and the “prosecution evidence.” The court also ordered prosecutors to prepare their indictment and to hand over recordings made during the investigation. The five newly-released journalists have been forbidden to leave the country.

Woman journalist freed after three months

Gülnaz Yildirim Yildiz, the former editor of the far-left periodical Yeni Evrede Mücadele Birligi (Combat in the New Period), was released from Istanbul’s Bakirköy prison on 23 July. She had been held since 27 April, when the Court of Cassation upheld her sentence of three years and nine months in prison for propaganda on behalf for the Turkish Communist Party of Labour/ Leninist (TKEP/L).

Journalist freed one month before completing sentence

A court in the southeastern city of Adana released Mehmet Karaaslan, a reporter for the pro-Kurdish news agency Diha, from Birecik prison in the nearby city of Şanlıurfa under Law 6352 on 13 July, a month before he would have completed his sentence of six years and three months for alleged membership of the PKK. He was arrested during a demonstration on 19 April 2007 for allegedly shouting slogans in support of jailed PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan.

In the same country » Turkey

Source

“There is no real Democracy or real Justice system in Turkey”.

If I said that in a news outlet in Turkey I would be throw in Jail, even though it is the truth.

Turkey also imprisoned many military people a while back on fabricated information. This targeting of Journalist seems to be following the same type of mass condemnation.

If they say you did it your guilty whether you are or not.

That is the way their justice system seems to work.You can not enter eve to prove your innocence. The only evidence that is entered is that provided by the Government or Justice system itself. Anything else can and is denied entry into the trials. So even if the defense has proof you are innocent it will not be used in the courts. The evidence will be denied entry by the Judge if they feel like it so to speak.

That is not real Justice that is a kangaroo court.

This report is a bit bias, but the finding of the defense investigators should have been  followed up by the Court if true Justice was to prevail. The evidence was ignored.

Dani Rodrik: Did Microsoft steal its fonts from the Turkish army?

The Turkish court that sentenced more than 300 officers on coup plotting charges in September apparently thinks so.

The Turkish military has long set the ground rules for Turkish politics, and this was hailed as a landmark trial. Many saw it as the centerpiece of a democratic, mildly Islamist government’s long overdue reckoning with the army’s misdeeds.

If the charges in the case are to be believed, misdeeds there were aplenty. Prosecutors had in hand CDs, apparently from 2003 that contained detailed military plans to destabilize the country and dislodge the newly-elected AKP government from power.  According to the documents in the CDs, General Cetin Dogan, then commander of the Istanbul-based 1st Army commander, and his collaborators had prepared horrific operations, including the downing of a Turkish military, the bombing of two mosques, and the targeting of Armenian intellectuals, in order to lay the groundwork for the coup. They had drawn up lists of journalists and politicians to be arrested, selected a new cabinet, and even prepared an economic program for the new government.

The trial was marred by irregularities from the very beginning.  The CDs were never properly authenticated beyond the date and author information in the metadata.  A report that found the documents could not be traced to military computers vanished.  Exonerating evidence uncovered by the prosecutors was placed under seal and hid from the defense.  The presiding judge, who had ruled previously in favor of some of the defendants’ requests, was replaced two days before the trial opened. The pleas of defendants who proved they were out of the country on the dates they supposedly authored the documents met no response. A growing list of anachronisms and other inconsistencies in the documents was passed over.  Meanwhile pro-government and Gulenist media had a field day, spreading rampant disinformation about the case and the defendants.

But the real shocker came when the court finally provided digital copies of the incriminating CDs to the defense, nearly two years after they had been delivered to the prosecutors.  American, German, and Turkish forensic experts hired by the defense were able to establish conclusively that the CDs had been forged.

And here is where Microsoft enters the picture.

The centerpiece of the prosecution’s case is a MS Word document, titled “Operation Sledgehammer.”  This document, which gives the case its name, describes the rationale for the military takeover and the broad contours of the plan.  It carries the date December 2002 and is has General Dogan’s name underneath. On the face of it, there is nothing in the digital file that would contradict this information.  The metadata shows a last-saved date of December 2002 and the putative author to be General Dogan’s chief of staff. (Dogan retired from the army in late 2003.) The CD on which it is found was apparently burned in a single session on March 2003. The document is written using the Arial font and was saved in MS Word 1997, both of which were widely in use in 2003.

Yet when forensic experts looked more closely at the document with a Hex editor, which shows all the binary information on the file, they made a discovery that revealed that the metadata had been tampered with.  In plain sight on the raw file was a reference to “Calibri,” a font that Microsoft introduced with Office 2007 as the new default font for Word, and was first released to the public in mid-2006.  The only explanation for this anachronistic reference was that the file had been worked on with Office 2007 before it was ultimately saved in an earlier version of Word.  It was clear that “Operation Sledgehammer” could not have been produced and burned onto a CD in 2003.

Sledgehammer Action Plan

Digital fingerprints of MS Office 2007 are in fact all over the documents on the incriminating CDs.  In addition to Calibri, there are references to the font Cambria and various XML schemas first introduced with Office 2007.  In one egregious instance, an Excel file was saved in Calibri so that the font is visible to the naked eye. The forgers apparently forgot to save the document in an earlier font.

All these documents carry last-saved dates from 2002-2003, appear to have been authored by officers on duty at the time, and were burned on CDs that were apparently finalized in March 2003.  But the references to Office 2007 leave room for only one conclusion: these documents were in fact prepared years later on backdated computers, with the intention of framing the officers on trial.

Not surprisingly, when these findings were presented to the court, they met the same stony silence that had met earlier indications of forgery.  Turkish law allows courts to disregard forensic evidence presented by the defense.  Only forensic reports obtained by the court itself carry weight.  And the court pointedly refused to assign its own experts on the matter.

By now, even hard-core supporters of the prosecution have had to accept that the evidence in this case is deeply flawed.  They no longer talk about the obviously fabricated mosque-bombing, jet-downing, or assassination plans. They have shifted their accusations instead to the contents of a contingency planning seminar held under General Dogan’s supervision in March 2003.

The anonymous informant who passed on the forged CDs bundled them with authentic material, including voice recordings from the seminar.  The seminar focused on the army’s response to what was called a “worst-case scenario:” rising tensions with Greece compounded by domestic disturbances in the forms of an Islamist uprising.  The proceedings reveal an open secret, namely that there was a strong undercurrent of antipathy among the military towards Tayyip Erdogan and his party.

Many now use snippets of those conversations to argue that they constitute ample evidence of a coup plot on their own — even if the digital Sledgehammer documents themselves are set aside. Never mind that there was no reference to Sledgehammer or any coup in the seminar; that the seminar was attended by observers from the high command in Ankara; that the prosecutors did not attribute any criminal activity to the seminar itself; that the bulk of those found guilty had nothing to do with the seminar; or that most seminar participants were not even indicted.

General Dogan’s two superiors at the time, the commander of the land forces and the chief of general staff, were two key witnesses who could have provided useful testimony.  The prosecutors claimed that the former had thwarted the Sledgehammer coup, without even bothering to question him. In public, both denied any knowledge of Sledgehammer, but said there had been irregularities in the way the seminar was carried out.  The defense repeatedly asked that they be called in as witnesses. The court refused. Did I say this was a kangaroo court?

My wife Pinar Dogan and I have been detailing the Sledgehammer fraud since the CDs first surfaced at the beginning of 2010. Cetin Dogan is my father-in-law, and we obviously have a personal stake in the matter. But our concern extends beyond this specific case and the 300-plus innocent individuals who have been found guilty in a sham trial. The evident framing and massive judicial misconduct on which the Sledgehammer case rests shines a bright light on the kind of country Turkey has become under Tayyip Erdogan and his Gulenist allies. Reminiscent of periods of military rule, the judiciary has turned into a tool for settling scores and remaking Turkish society and politics. The wave of entrapment has so far ensnared military officers, journalists, politicians, Kurdish activists – indeed opponents of all stripes. In a system that can put you behind bars because of a Word document with your name on it, no-one is safe.

The defendants in the Sledgehammer travesty have at least one thing to look forward to. Their guilty verdict means they must have developed Calibri, Microsoft Office 2007’s default font, years before Microsoft says it did. Sorry, Microsoft, you have been caught out. You owe these officers billions of dollars. Source

One has to wonder?

Recent

Canada: Coroner’s Inquest of Ashley Smith’s death in Prison

Japan: Radioactive cesium levels in most fish has not declined

US Election Fraud

US Drones that kill innocent Civilians is Murder – CIA chiefs face arrest

 

 

 

 

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Published in: on October 26, 2012 at 3:16 pm  Comments Off on Turkey: Jailing is the Agenda to silence critical Journalists  
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Canada: Coroner’s Inquest of Ashley Smith’s death in Prison

Updated November 3, 2012

Public opinion I do believe has motivated a few changes.

Government won’t interfere in Ashley Smith inquest, Harper says

Even though Prime Minister Stephen Harper concedes the treatment of Ashley Smith while in custody was “unacceptable,” he says his government is not in a position to interfere with the coroner’s inquest called to look into the New Brunswick teen’s death.

Corrections told to to ‘co-operate fully’ in Ashley Smith inquest at link below

Parliamentary secretary calls videos of ill teenager’s custody ‘completely unacceptable’

Corrections Canada to drop Ashley Smith inquest challenge

Lawyers for Corrections Canada have told Ashley Smith’s family they are dropping their challenge to the scope of an Ontario coroner’s inquest into the circumstances of her death.

What are Torture methods used on Ashley.

If you take the time to read the articles and watch all the videos

This is what you find. There may be a few missing bit most of it is there.

She was beaten by a guard. Head pounded into the floor.

After someone reported it they too were intimidated, threatened and had their tires slashed. Etc. So not only was Ashley intimidated and threatened, so were people who worked there who wee willing to come forward.

Ashley was-

Intimidated

Shamed, she was stripped naked and left that way for some time.

Shunned, Isolated/Solitary confinement with absolutely little human contact or the lack of anything to do.  No mental stimulation makes matters even worse for anyone.

Prisoners who are isolated for prolonged periods of time have been known to experience “depression, despair, anxiety, claustrophobia, hallucinations, problems with impulse control, and/or an impaired ability to think, concentrate, or remember, increased risk of suicide, PTSD, visual and auditory hallucinations ,hypersensitivity to noise and touch, insomnia and paranoia, uncontrollable feelings of rage and fear, distortions of time and perception”

She was in Solitary Confinement for the majority of her stay in all the Prisons.

In rooms with nothing. She was lucky to get a small blanket. She slept on the hard floor. Just a room with a toilet and sink, 4 walls and a video camera.

Pharmacological –She was given drugs against her will.

Ridiculed her- like “Are you dead Yet! Stand out.

Threatened her-“I will Duck tape your face!” as said to her on the Plane while being transferred.

Being pepper sprayed or threatening to do so. Both were done to her.

Being threatened with more drugs shoved into her.

Those are just a few.

Lights were left on 24 hours a day/Sleep deprivation

Being tied up for hours on end in a certain positions- often

Defecting or urinating herself, with no choice and left that way for hours. This happened when in the Wrap as they called it.

Also while being transferred by plane after being Duck taped up, with the 2 spit screens over here head.

There were probably many times she had this happen which have not come to light as of yet.

Being trapped in a room filled with pepper spray with no way out

These are all forms of torture.

Just imagine how you would feel if these thing happened to you..

Number of prisoners harming themselves triples in five years: reports from 2012 check the links Below.

There are more Ashley’s in the prison system it seems. The numbers are growing.

Suicide attempts, self-harm rising in Canada’s prisons-Aboriginal offenders account for 45% of all incidents, ombudsman’s report finds

From 2009

Risk of prison suicides ‘unacceptably high’: ombudsman

Mental health issues overlooked in Canada’s prisons: report

By Allison Cross, December 19, 2009

OTTAWA — The number of inmates who died in Canadian jails as a result of homicide, suicide, accident or drug overdose increased this year, as prisoners with mental-health issues continued to be denied the treatment they need, according to a report by Canada’s prison watchdog.

The Government cannot say they do not know, there is a growing problem.

But obviously they can.

Toews ignores facts, evidence

October 26, 2012

A couple of  paragraphs from the story
Days before Public Safety Minister Vic Toews told Winnipeg reporters in July that the federal government’s tough-on-crime agenda hadn’t brought on an “influx of new inmates,” he received a report from Canada’s correctional investigator saying the exact opposite.

Not only did the June 26 report by Howard Sapers clearly state “in recent years, corrections has seen significant growth,” but it said that the prison population shot up by 6.8 per cent between March 2010 and March 2012.

————————————————————

A criminal justice system that appears by design to target the mentally ill, racially marginalized and socially disadvantaged is a symptom of a sick society.

Since 36 per cent of those entering prison are identified at admission as requiring some form of psychiatric or psychological care, and 63 per cent are there because of substance abuse, it would seem wiser to expend efforts to deal with those issues before victims are created than to into overcrowded jails people who need help for their illnesses.   Read more

The affects of Solitary Confinement

Psychiatric Effects of Solitary Confinement

The Health Effects of Solitary confinement

Solitary would enhance her wanting to harm herself.

Many people cut themselves because it gives them a sense of relief. Some people use cutting as a means to cope with a problem. Some teens say that when they hurt themselves, they are trying to stop feeling lonely, angry, or hopeless. Some teens who hurt themselves have low self-esteem, they may feel unloved by their family and friends, and they may have an eating disorder, an alcohol or drug problem, or may have been victims of abuse.

 

Teens who hurt themselves often keep their feelings “bottled up” inside and have a hard time letting their feelings show. Some teens who hurt themselves say that feeling the pain provides a sense of relief from intense feelings. Cutting can relieve the tension from bottled up sadness or anxiety. Others hurt themselves in order to “feel.” Often people who hold back strong emotions can begin feeling numb, and cutting can be a way to cope with this because it causes them to feel something. Some teens also may hurt themselves because they want to fit in with others who do it. Source

Self Harm is also a cry for help.

A way to alleviate Psychological pain they feel.

It helps to calm themselves.

Among other things.

They are often victims of abuse.

Research has been done on Self Harming.

Here is one I found and there are probably many many more who have also done research into this problem.

This approach may have been much better, then what they did to Ashley.

Helping Those Who Hurt Themselves

By Tracy Alderman, Ph.D.
The Prevention Researcher,
The year 2000,

If you work with youth, it?s likely that at some point you will come in contact with someone who self-injures. This article is intended to provide some support, advice, and education to those who have students or clients who engage in activities of self-inflicted violence.

What You May Feel

Shock and Denial
Because self-inflicted violence (SIV) is a secretive behavior, it can be shocking to learn that someone you know is a self-injurer. You may not have noticed many of the signs of SIV, such as a refusal to wear shorts or short sleeved shirts, even on the warmest of days. You probably gave no thought to the frequent “accidents” or the numerous bruises and cuts on the arms and legs of a student which were always accounted for by a logical source. Self-inflicted violence lends itself to secrecy quite well ? it usually takes place in isolation and the results can be concealed with relative ease. Also, most people are often eager to ignore or deny many of the tell-tale signs of this behavior. Thus, when you find out about the self-injurious behavior, it is shocking.

Denial is related to the shock. At times, denial is appropriate, useful and necessary. However, with self-inflicted violence denial is detrimental. People who injure themselves are in a great deal of psychological distress. To deny this distress will communicate that you are not interested, not able to help, or do not understand their SIV behaviors. When you are confronted with the self-injurious behaviors it is important you do not deny the reality and implications of the situation. Although this may be difficult, responding to the SIV, rather than denying its existence, is necessary in order to aid those individuals who are injuring themselves.

Anger and Frustration
Anger is a common response when learning of an individual’s self-injurious behaviors. There are many reasons for this. First, anger may stem from the deception which often surrounds SIV. Many individuals who hurt themselves lie about the causes of their injuries. Deception is used as a way of reducing feelings of shame and warding off possible reactions of anger, disgust or rejection from others. However, when the deception is discovered it often produces those very same feared reactions.

Additionally, believing that the self-inflicted violence was not necessary may also anger you. Watching individuals do things to physically damage themselves is frustrating. You may be inclined to scold them or force them to stop hurting themselves. Frustration stems from our inability to control the behaviors of others.

Self-injury, as opposed to many other self-damaging behaviors, usually produces visible, physical evidence. This evidence forces us to realize the extent of our helplessness in changing the individual’s behaviors, causing us frustration and anger.

Empathy, Sympathy and Sadness
Empathy is often a mixed blessing. On the one hand, it allows you to be more helpful while also causing you to feel similar sadness and psychological pain as the individual with whom you are dealing. Individuals who engage in self-inflicted violence experience enormous psychological distress. It is essential to understand the immense nature of this distress providing support and assistance. However, by doing so, you run the risk of allowing that person’s inner world to penetrate you. The result of our inability to remain detached is that you may feel some of their sadness and pain.

We may also feel sad for the individual who is performing self inflicted violence. However, feeling sympathetic towards others, may cause you to see them as figures worthy of our pity. In many ways, this is condescending. While empathy is helpful, sympathy is not. Individuals who hurt themselves may view their SIV as a positive action, an action which helped them to survive. Being sympathetic, you may see their SIV as a negative and pitiful behavior, an act of desperation. Thus, sympathy is not a particularly useful.

Guilt
Self inflicted violence often provokes feelings of guilt for those who are close to the individuals performing these behaviors. You may feel as if you did something wrong which caused this person to self-injure. Perhaps you may think you weren’t the best teacher, parent, or friend. Guilt can be a useful emotion, but in the case of SIV, it is often not appropriate, necessary, or useful.

It is more helpful to surpass these feelings and focus your energy in a more positive and useful direction. Talk with the self injuring student and find out how you can be helpful at this point in time. Wallowing in your own guilt will keep you immobilized instead of becoming an active and helpful participant.

What You May Think

A variety of thoughts commonly accompany the knowledge that someone you know is performing SIV. Some of the more common are:
* It’s all my fault.
* I can fix this.
* You’re nuts!
* This changes our whole relationship.
* You’re not who I thought you were.
* You’re doing this to manipulate me.

Considered objectively, many or all of these thoughts are erroneous and could easily negatively influence your feelings. It is important to be aware of your thoughts so you can prevent them from influencing negative emotional responses which could damage your relationship with the self injurer.

What to Do and Not Do

We don’t like to see others in pain. It is almost instinctual that we try to end another’s misery. When we see students or clients injuring themselves, we begin to understand the enormity of their psychological pain and it is only natural that we want to help. However, without the proper education and training, helping could do more damage than good. This section will provide some ideas of what you should and should not do when trying to assist those individuals who are injuring themselves.

Talk About Self Inflicted Violence
As mentioned previously, SIV is surrounded by shame and secrecy. SIV exists whether you talk about it or not. Ignoring something does not make it disappear. The same is true with self inflicted violence: it will not go away by pretending it does not exist.

Avoiding SIV has several negative effects. First, it reinforces and strengthens the feelings of shame attached to this behavior. Individuals engaging in SIV may get the idea that the behavior is so shameful that even talking about it is taboo. Thus, the secrecy and feelings of shame surrounding self inflicted violence are strengthened.

When communication is decreased, feelings of isolation and alienation, the same feelings which often precede an act of self injury, are increased. Not talking about SIV, may actually increase the likelihood that the self-injurer will hurt themselves again. Silence makes a very powerful statement.

Talking about self inflicted violence is essential. Openly discussing SIV helps those who are hurting themselves. By addressing the issues of self injury you remove the secrecy which surrounds it and reduce the shame attached. You are encouraging a connection between you and the self injurer. The mere fact that you are willing to discuss SIV helps to create change.

You may not know what to say to the individual who is performing acts of SIV. Fortunately, you don’t have to know exactly what to say. By acknowledging that you want to talk, even though you’re not sure how to proceed, you are opening the channels of communication.

Here are some questions you might want to use to facilitate the discussion.
* How long have you been hurting yourself?
* Why do you hurt yourself?
* How do you hurt yourself?
* When and where do you usually injure yourself?
* How often do you injure yourself?
* How did you learn to hurt yourself?
* What is it like for you to talk with me about hurting yourself?
* Does it hurt when you injure yourself?
* How open are you about your self injurious behaviors?
* Do you want to change your SIV behaviors?
* How can I help you with your SIV?

It is necessary to talk about SIV so that the person who is engaging in these activities feels more supported, less isolated, and more connected. Simply talking about SIV will help to decrease the individual’s need for self injurious behaviors.

Be Supportive
Talking is one way to provide support, however, there are numerous other ways to show your support to another. One of the best ways to determine how you can best offer support is to directly ask the self-injurer how you might be helpful. In doing so, you might find that your idea of support is vastly different from how others view it. Knowing what kind, and when to offer support, is necessary.

A key component in being supportive is to keep your negative reactions to yourself. This is not to say that you should not, or will not, have judgments or negative reactions to SIV. However, you must conceal these beliefs and feelings while you are being supportive. Later, when you are not offering assistance, you may release and express these thoughts and emotions.

Be Available
Most individuals who injure themselves, will not do so in the presence of others. Therefore, the more you are with those individuals who hurt themselves, the less opportunity they will have to inflict self harm. By offering your company and your support, you are actively decreasing the likelihood of SIV.

Many people who hurt themselves have difficulty recognizing or stating their own needs. Therefore, it is helpful for you offer the ways in which you are willing to help. This will allow your students to know when and in what ways they are able to rely on you.

Don’t Discourage Self Injury
Typically, when we are told that we can’t or shouldn’t engage in a given behavior, it is for a good reason. However, these reasons take on much more meaning and relevance if they are self-determined. The consequences of our behaviors help us to determine what we should or should not do. Rules, should?s, shouldn’ts, dos and don’ts, limit us and restrict our freedom. When we maintain the right to choose, our choices are much more powerful and effective.

It is both aversive and condescending to tell an individual to not self-injure. As mentioned previously, SIV is a method of coping, and it is often used as a final attempt to relieve emotional distress. Most individuals would choose to not hurt themselves if they could. Although SIV produces feelings of shame, secrecy, guilt and isolation, it continues to be utilized as a method of coping. Because some individuals engage in self injurious behaviors despite the many negative effects is a clear indication of the necessity of this action to their survival.

When you tell someone to stop something, you are inserting a barrier to communication. This barrier will likely increase the secrecy around self inflicted violence. Even a casual comment indicating that your students should stop hurting themselves, runs the risk of damaging the communication and relationship which exists between you. Self-injurers will continue to injure themselves as long as they need to. Your directives will not change this. However, the amount of secrecy and shame experienced because of these actions might change significantly.

Additionally, some individuals who injure themselves may have an adverse reaction to your demand of cessation. By imposing your limits on others, you are creating an atmosphere for failure. Thus, in order to feel control, some who self injure will increase their SIV behaviors in order to feel as if they have choice and control over these actions.

Although it may be incredibly difficult to witness someone’s fresh wounds, it is important that you offer support, and not limits, to that individual.

Recognize the Severity of the Person’s Distress
Most people don’t self injure because they are curious about what it would be like to hurt themselves. Instead, most SIV is the result of high levels of emotional distress with few available means to cope. Although it may be difficult for you to recognize and tolerate, it is important to realize the extreme level of emotional pain individuals experience surrounding SIV activities.

Open wounds are a fairly direct expression of emotional pain. One of the reasons why individuals injure themselves is so that they transform internal pain into something more tangible, external and treatable. The wound becomes a symbol of both intense suffering and of survival. It is important to acknowledge the messages sent by these scars and injuries. An ability to understand the severity of the self-injurer?s distress and empathize appropriately will enhance your communication and connection. Do not be afraid to raise the subject of emotional pain. Allow the youth to speak about his/her inner turmoil rather than express it through self-damaging methods.

Get Help For Your Own Reactions
At some point in our lives, most of us have had the experience of feeling distressed by our reactions to someone else’s behavior. Al Anon and similar self help groups were created to help the friends and families of individuals dealing with problems of addiction and similar behaviors. At this point in time no such organizations exist for those coping with SIV behaviors. However, the basic premise upon which these groups were designed clearly applies to the issue of self inflicted violence. Sometimes the behavior of others affects us in such a profound manner that we need help in dealing with our reactions.

Entering psychotherapy to deal with your responses to SIV is one such way to handle the reactions which you may find to be overwhelming or disturbing. You may also ask friends or colleagues for support or speak with a religious counselor.

In conclusion, dealing with those who self injure can be tremendously difficult. Your own reactions and responses can make all the difference in helping those who are hurting themselves. Remember, you don’t need to be perfect ? you just need to be willing to learn, grow, and be honest with yourself and those who you’re helping. Source

There is a lot of information on how to deal with these types of behavior other then what was done to Ashley.

There are no excuses that are acceptable from Doctors, Guards or the Government.

The treatment of Ashely is unforgivable considering all the knowledge available to all concerned.

I have not found any reports about further trials, other then the one for throwing the crab apples. How did a 1 month sentence get turned into years in a prison and death of young woman?

Are those in the prison system Judge, Jury and Crown Attorney.

As I said I have not found any information on any further trials. What happened to innocent until proven guilty and the right to stand before a court to plead your case? It seems that is thrown out the window when you enter the Prison system.

Who decided that Ashley must stay in prison?

She should have been released after 1 month. Not kept there for years.

Have Canadian prison become like Guantanamo Bay in Cuba? There are a few similarities unfortunately. Well if it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, looks like a duck and acts like a duck. It’s probably a duck.

So many questions and so few answers.

Here is another Report from Fifth Estate on Ashely

Fifth Estate Out of Control

This one I moved up so they are together.

Behind the Wall: the fifth estate’s award-winning doc on the Ashley Smith case

Both are well done and extremely informative.

The other 3 videos are below in the October 31 Update

Updated October 31, 3012

Link to some videos released below. Both are must watch videos. They wore gas mask. Full body Armour etc.

In and out of youth jail since she was 14 for disturbing the peace in her Moncton neighbourhood — playing chicken in the streets with traffic, pulling fire alarms, making harassing telephone calls and breaching probation —She also threw crab apples at a postman and stole a CD.

There may be a couple of other things I missed, but she was not a hardened criminal, by any scene of the word.

She may have been a bit of a problem child, but she did not deserve to die the way she did. There is certainly a lot that needs to be brought to the forefront. She wasn’t even, what I would call a criminal, just a kid who needed direction. I have come across a few teens who have done many of the same things.  They were not really all that bad either.

At New Brunswick Youth Centre in Miramichi — where she served two-thirds of her sentence in solitary confinement and was sometimes restrained in shackles or a full-body “cocoon” topped off with a hockey helmet in case she toppled over or tried to bite someone — staff levelled more than 500 “institutional” charges against her.

She was transferred 17 times, to different prisons, in 4 different provinces. This 19-year-old woman’s entire time in federal custody; 11 months spent shuttled from one solitary confinement cell to another across the country.

Being in Solitary confinement in of itself, could drive a person insane.

Being out of the province away from her family could also cause a lot of torment to her. She must have been horridly lonely.

Videos show ‘dehumanizing’ treatment of teen Ashley Smith

Corrections Canada had tried to stop videos from being made public

CBC News

Oct 31, 2012

Related Stories

Ashley Smith inquest to see treatment videos
Feds take Ashley Smith ‘death video’ ruling to court
Ashley Smith family lawyer alleges ‘coverup’ of videos

Videos of teenager Ashley Smith taken in the months before she died in a prison cell show the teen was subjected to “degrading and dehumanizing” treatment, her family’s lawyer told a coroner’s hearing in Toronto Wednesday.

Julian Falconer led the hearing through the video clips shot prior to Oct. 19, 2007, the day the New Brunswick teen died from strangulation after tying ligatures to her neck in her cell at Grand Valley Institution for Women in Kitchener, Ont.

Corrections Canada had gone to court to try to block the videos from being made public, but lost the case. Falconer is now fighting to have the videos played in front of a coroner’s jury.

“To people who think this can’t happen in Canada to a mentally ill 19-year-old, you know a picture speaks a thousand words. I’m embarrassed to be Canadian when I look at that video,” the lawyer said outside the hearing.

In one of the videos, the 19-year-old is seen on an RCMP plane being transferred from a correctional service psychiatric facility in Saskatchewan to one in Quebec.

Smith is wearing two mesh hoods to stop her from spitting.

The RCMP co-pilot can be seen duct-taping her hands together and then to her seat. He then threatens to duct-tape Smith’s face if she does not behave.

“This is how the [correctional service] does business in transferring a victim,” Falconer said.

Another video shows Smith tied to a gurney at Joliette Prison in Quebec after she tried to cut herself in her cell. She is surrounded by corrections officers in full riot gear, including shields.

One of the officers places a shield on Smith’s torso while a nurse injects her with a tranquillizer, described by Falconer as a “chemical restraint.” She received five more injections over the next nine hours, the hearing was told.

Another video taken on July 26, 2007, shows half a dozen guards in riot gear entering Smith’s cell at 5:32 a.m. and telling her she had to have two injections in preparation for a transfer to another facility. Smith objects mildly but, surrounded by the guards, she presents her arm for the shots.

Falconer said a correctional service inquiry board had determined Smith agreed to the shots of her “own free will and without force being used.” Falconer pointed out that a psychiatrist had only recommended drugs be administered to Smith if required and said the “abuse” of the rules contributed to her death.

Smith was first incarcerated at the age of 15 for throwing crab apples at a postal worker.

She racked up six years worth of additional time behind bars for infractions while in youth custody — so many that she eventually ended up serving time in the federal adult prison system.

During the year she spent in federal custody, Smith was transferred 17 times between nine institutions in five provinces.

The correctional service is arguing that presiding coroner Dr. John Carlisle has no jurisdiction to investigate how Smith was treated in prisons in other provinces and that the videos should not be shown to the jury.

The agency is fighting to narrow the scope of the inquest into Smith’s death, claiming the coroner has no jurisdiction to delve into the federal prison system.

Falconer called the position absurd.

“Don’t let them get away with it,” he told Carlisle.

“If you mistreat someone often enough, surely that will affect how they behave.”

Focus of inquest questioned

Carlisle wants a broadly focused inquest that looks, among other things, into how the teenager was treated after repeated episodes of self-harm.

Lawyers for the correctional service and three Ontario doctors involved in Smith’s treatment argued Carlisle’s approach oversteps his legal and constitutional authority.

“This has become an investigation into how [Corrections Canada] treated Ms. Smith, and not an investigation into her death,” correctional service lawyer Nancy Noble said.

Carlisle wants to turn the inquest “into full-blown inquiry into operations and management of [Corrections Canada],” she said.

The agency wants the inquest limited to Smith’s time at Grand Valley Institution, said Lori Pothier, a spokeswoman for Corrections Canada.

The hearing was adjourned until Nov. 13.

The coroner’s inquest is set to officially start with a jury in January.

You must see them to believe it.

For the Videos go HERE and HERE

On April, 12, 2007, the Regional Psychiatric Centre in Saskatoon prepared to transfer Smith following an alleged assault by a staff supervisor. A staff member reported seeing the supervisor strike Smith’s head against the floor.

Falconer described the decision to transfer her out of the facility where she had been receiving mental health care a “breach of trust.”

“You’re beaten and the way to deal with it is to ship the victim out. . . . This is how Correctional Service Canada does business.”

At 6:27 p.m., Smith boarded the plane en route to Institut Philippe-Pinel, a psychiatric centre in Montreal.

Surveillance video shows guards putting two mesh-and-canvas “spit hoods” on her head — a penal garment used to deal with troublesome inmates.

Smith, though, appears relaxed.

“Make a knot,” a female guard said, instructing a colleague on how to fasten the two hoods around Smith’s neck.

“Does that work?” one guard asked?

“It’s going to work,” another replied.

“We’ll have to cut it after.”

She asks guards to use the washroom, promising to not remove the hood.

Her pleas are ignored.

“You stay calm for a little while and then maybe we’ll talk,” a female guard tells Smith.

“Trust me, I am calm,” Smith says.

She begs guards to stop pushing on her left hand, which looks red and bloated.

“I think she took a dump . . . it smells,” a male guard says.

“That’s great,” another replies.

At 6:33 p.m., the plane’s co-pilot emerges from the cockpit in dark sunglasses; a reel of duct tape in his hand.

“First, tape the two wrists together and then after strap (inaudible) legs,” he says.

“Owwww!” Smith screams, her entire body jerking as the co-pilot works the tape around her arms like a lasso.

“Don’t bite me,” he tells Smith.

Her mouth is concealed behind the black veil; there is not a tooth in sight.

“I’m not!” Smith says.

“It will get worse if you do,” he says.

“How can it get worse?” Smith asks.

“I’ll duct-tape your face,” he replies.

Smith snickers.

“He’s serious,” a female guard says.

On April, 12, 2007, the Regional Psychiatric Centre in Saskatoon prepared to transfer Smith following an alleged assault by a staff supervisor. A staff member reported seeing the supervisor strike Smith’s head against the floor.

Falconer described the decision to transfer her out of the facility where she had been receiving mental health care a “breach of trust.”

“You’re beaten and the way to deal with it is to ship the victim out. . . . This is how Correctional Service Canada does business.”

At 6:27 p.m., Smith boarded the plane en route to Institut Philippe-Pinel, a psychiatric centre in Montreal.

Surveillance video shows guards putting two mesh-and-canvas “spit hoods” on her head — a penal garment used to deal with troublesome inmates.

Smith, though, appears relaxed.

“Make a knot,” a female guard said, instructing a colleague on how to fasten the two hoods around Smith’s neck.

“Does that work?” one guard asked?

“It’s going to work,” another replied.

“We’ll have to cut it after.”

She asks guards to use the washroom, promising to not remove the hood.

Her pleas are ignored.

“You stay calm for a little while and then maybe we’ll talk,” a female guard tells Smith.

“Trust me, I am calm,” Smith says.

She begs guards to stop pushing on her left hand, which looks red and bloated.

“I think she took a dump . . . it smells,” a male guard says.

“That’s great,” another replies.

At 6:33 p.m., the plane’s co-pilot emerges from the cockpit in dark sunglasses; a reel of duct tape in his hand.

“First, tape the two wrists together and then after strap (inaudible) legs,” he says.

“Owwww!” Smith screams, her entire body jerking as the co-pilot works the tape around her arms like a lasso.

“Don’t bite me,” he tells Smith.

Her mouth is concealed behind the black veil; there is not a tooth in sight.

“I’m not!” Smith says.

“It will get worse if you do,” he says.

“How can it get worse?” Smith asks.

“I’ll duct-tape your face,” he replies.

Smith snickers.

“He’s serious,” a female guard says.

and HERE

Smith, who spent 23 hours a day in isolation wearing little more than an asbestos gown, tied a cloth ligature around her neck on Oct. 19, 2007 after telling a guard she had the urge to “tie up” again. Ordered by managers to not intervene so long as Smith appeared to be breathing, seven correctional officers watched as she strangled herself. Sapers issued a report last year, concluding her death was “preventable.”

Videos in Ashley Smith case will not be blocked

Published on Thursday October 25, 2012

THE CANADIAN PRESS An undated family handout photo of Ashley Smith. She died in an isolation cell at the Grand Valley Institution for Women in Kitchener, Ont., in October 2007.

Diana Zlomislic
Staff Reporter

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Teenaged prisoner drugged

Treatment ‘barbaric’

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Crime and Punishment series

Did other inmates die?

From generous girl to ‘caged animal’

PDF: Inmate complaint form

PDF: Inmate complaint form

PDF: Correctional services form

PDF: Inmate complaint form

PDF: Ashley Smith lawsuit

The federal government will not make a last, last-ditch attempt to block graphic prison videos depicting abuses against teen inmate Ashley Smith from being shown at the inquest into her death next week.

The Correctional Service of Canada said it accepts a Divisional Court judge’s ruling on Wednesday dismissing its bid for an emergency stay of the inquest.

A government spokesperson said the prison service is “not only committed to openness and transparency, but the integrity of these proceedings.”

That doesn’t mean the legal battles that have plagued the Smith inquest are over.

Next Wednesday, lawyers will reconvene at coroner’s court in Toronto to argue about the scope of the inquest and the witness list.

Presiding coroner Dr. John Carlisle wants the inquest to examine the 19-year-old woman’s entire time in federal custody; 11 months spent shuttled from one solitary confinement cell to another across the country. She was transferred 17 times before she choked herself to death on Oct. 19, 2007 while a group of guards at Grand Valley Institution in Kitchener, Ont., who were ordered not to intervene unless she stopped breathing, watched.

The coroner, the Smith family and almost every other party with standing at the inquest maintains that the conditions of Smith’s confinement had an impact on her mental state; that her self-harm attempts became more frequent with each transfer.

The inquest’s purpose, to prevent deaths in similar circumstances, cannot be fulfilled, they say, without looking at the entire sequence of events.

But the prison service and a group of doctors who treated Smith in institutions outside of Ontario disagree. They say the coroner’s authority to examine Smith’s life begins and ends in Ontario.

The videos to be played next week offer a glimpse of Smith’s incarcerated life outside of the province. A portion of the footage will show her being duct-taped to the seat of an airplane, forcibly tranquilized, and left lying in a wet gown on a metal gurney for hours without food or water.

This is the second inquest into Smith’s death. The first was derailed after the presiding coroner decided to retire after months of legal wrangling.

“If the Correctional Service wants to be a constructive partner, it would abandon the challenges to the inquest and work with the family to get to the truth,” said lawyer Julian Falconer, representing Smith’s parents who live in Moncton, N.B. Source

They just watched her die. Her death was preventable.

There are a lot of links below. This is a long story and it is far from over.

The first of it all is at the bottom of the page. So for the beginning, go to the bottom and work your way up.

This could happen to anyone. This could happen to your child. We should all be concerned.

Oct 24, 2012

Ashley Smith videos to be shown in court

The inquest into the teen’s death will resume next week with what is expected to be…

Oct 23, 2012

Ashley Smith: Prison videos to be shown in court

“Shocking and disturbing” prison surveillance videos of teenage inmate Ashley Smith…

Oct 16, 2012

Prison service wants Ashley Smith videos kept secret

Federal prison officials are fighting to prevent disturbing videos of teen inmate Ashley Smith duct…

Sep 27, 2012

Doctors fight scope of inquest into Ashley Smith’s death

Doctors who treated a deeply troubled teenager are fighting the scope of a coroner’s inquest into…

Sep 20, 2012

Coroner’s inquest into death of Ashley Smith starts fresh in Toronto

Lawyers submit clients’ applications for standing as inquiry begins anew.

May 09, 2012

Mentally ill female prisoners treated cruelly, inhumanly, report finds

Canada’s treatment of mentally ill female prisoners amounts to “cruel and inhuman..

Jul 19, 2011

Health board criticizes Ashley Smith’s prison treatment before death

A delay-plagued coroner’s inquest into Smith’s death has been put off until September, when it will…

Jun 29, 2011

Embattled Ashley Smith coroner replaced

The embattled coroner at the inquest into the prison death of teen inmate Ashley Smith has been…

Jun 21, 2011

Ashley Smith inquest delayed until September

The high-profile coroner’s inquest into Ashley Smith’s prison death has been delayed once again…

Jun 21, 2011

Star challenges secrecy around teen’s death in jail

The province’s youth ministry and attorney general have deployed an army of lawyers to keep records…

Jun 15, 2011

Ashley Smith inquest may be webcast

Ontario’s chief coroner may webcast an inquest into the death of teen inmate Ashley Smith so the…

Jun 14, 2011

Fifth Estate wins Michener Award for Ashley Smith story

CBC-TV’s investigative program The Fifth Estate has won the 2010 Michener Award for its…

May 30, 2011

Ashley Smith jurors might return June 13

Inquest into teen inmate’s death delayed two weeks, possibly longer, while coroner deliberates…

May 28, 2011

Coroner in Ashley Smith inquest faces barrage of criticism

A bumpy first two weeks at the coroner’s inquest into the death of teen Ashley Smith has some…

May 27, 2012

Ashley Smith inquest delayed

A vague public statement says coroner needs more time to decide contentious issues about release of…

May 25, 2011

Coroner’s decisions under fire at Ashley Smith inquest

A dozen lawyers challenge Dr. Bonita Porter on her order to restrict the public’s access to prison…

May 24, 2011

Ashley Smith inquest: Guards want faces on video blurred

Media lawyers at the Ashley Smith inquest argue that not showing guards’ faces amounts to censoring…

May 19, 2011

Graphic videos show Ashley Smith turning purple in cell

As Ashley Smith’s sentence grew, so did her self-destructive behaviour. The Smith family says her…

May 18, 2011

Ashley Smith guards told ‘If she’s still breathing, don’t enter cell’

The inquest into teen Ashley Smith’s jail death sees the first video of her, shot by guards as they…

May 17, 2011

Ashley Smith charged over 500 times for behaviour in jail, court hears

Guard’s charges, for self-harming, disruptive and violent behaviour in jail, greatly hiked…

May 16, 2011

Prison wants Ashley Smith documents kept secret

The Ashley Smith inquest jury will hear its first witness Tuesday as a detective describes the teen…

May 04, 2011

Exclusive: Ashley Smith’s family settles wrongful death lawsuit

Smith’s family sought $11 million, but the parties would not release details of the settlement…

Apr 27, 2011

Court will not see Ashley Smith tapes

Court ruling on ashley smith tape access.

Apr 18, 2011

Judge weighs release of Ashley Smith prison videos

Superior Court Justice will take week to decide whether prison service should produce controversial…

Apr 15, 2011

Prison chief fights release of Ashley Smith video

Correctional Service of Canada says Ashley Smith’s family is abusing the legal process by demanding…

Mar 31, 2011

Ashley Smith inquest delayed

Jury probing teen’s prison death to hear first witnesses on May 16

Mar 29, 2011

Ashley Smith’s family challenges coroner’s ruling

Ontario Divisional Court to hear arguments on disturbing video evidence in teen inmate’s death

Feb 28, 2011

Ashley Smith jurors barred from stark video

A prison video showing a teen inmate forcefully injected with tranquilizers while strapped to a…

Jan 11, 2011

Ashley Smith inquest delayed until April

More than 100 witnesses are expected to testify at expanded inquest into teen inmate’s death.

Nov 12, 2010

Ashley Smith coroner’s inquest scope expanded

Inquest will probe repeated use of solitary confinement in teen inmate’s death.

Nov 11, 2010

Ashley Smith’s requests for help ignored

Internal prison documents reveal the teen inmate was trying to turn her life around.

Nov 02, 2010

Family calls for RCMP to probe Ashley Smith prison death

Smith’s family wrote two letters in mid-October asking the RCMP to investigate the Correctional…

Sep 06, 2010

Did nine other inmates die like Ashley Smith?

Since Ashley Smith’s death, Canada’s prison watchdog told the Star he has discovered nine similar…

Aug 23, 2010

Ashley Smith’s prison files to be released

The federal prison service has dropped its bid to keep the personal files of a teen inmate who…

Jan 09, 2010

Family boycotts inquest into teen’s death

The family of a teenager who strangled herself in a Kitchener prison cell while seven guards…

Oct 17, 2009

Ashley Smith suicide prompts probe into other prison deaths

The federal prison watchdog is probing two more “troubling” inmate deaths, which he says question…

Not so long ago a women who was pregnant was put in Solitary when she went into labour and had the premature baby, a breach birth, in the cell.

On October 18, Julie Bilotta was reunited with her newborn, whose in an Ottawa jail cell three weeks earlier shocked and angered a city. As Ms. Bilotta laboured, she was ignored and ridiculed by guards. Eventually, she was relegated to solitary confinement where she would birth her baby.

That our justice system failed Ms. Bilotta is beyond debate. The guards at the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre (OCDC) were callous and cruel, robbing Ms. Bilotta of the basic dignity all women – innocent, accused or guilty – deserve. Those who ignored her pleas for help deserve whatever comeuppance they receive. That her ordeal will lead to better care for pregnant women at the OCDC is about the only positive aspect that can come out of this ordeal.

Location: Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre

But for all that Ms. Bilotta endured, there is a second victim: her son. Not only was he given inadequate care as he was being born, he was robbed of the basic essentials of life for his first three weeks out of his mother’s womb. Until October 18, her son was not given the benefit of his mother’s touch or his mother’s milk.

Contact, skin-to-skin contact, is vitally important in establishing the mother-child bond, facilitating breastfeeding and offering the much-needed emotional support every child deserves. For twenty long days, this child was robbed of what most of us were afforded during the beginning of our lives.

We do not know if Ms. Bilotta intended to breastfeed her son, but we do know that any such intent has likely been thwarted by our corrections system. A mother is an automated milk-producing system. The breastfeeding relationship must be cultivated in order to stimulate the supply of the mother’s milk and to ensure that the baby “learns” to suckle.

We also know that human milk is the ideal food for newborns. Both the World Health Organization and the Canadian Pediatric Society recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a child’s life. It is further recommended for that breastfeeding continue for at least the first two years of a child’s life. This child has likely been robbed of such a start to life.

The Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services needs to fix the problems in Ontario’s detention centres. (Ironically, had Ms. Bilotta been convicted of her alleged crimes and sentenced to prison, she and her baby would have received far better treatment.) The current neglect on display by our government not only unduly punishes people like Ms. Bilotta; it gravely punishes the most innocent among us, newborn babies. Source

The mother and child could have both died. Breach births are very dangerous. No matter what anyone thinks of the mother, she deserved better then what happened to her. Her child absolutely, deserved the best care possible. He committed, no crime whatsoever. o come into the world like that was just unthinkable and certainly not acceptable.

—–

Why Canada’s prisons can’t cope with flood of mentally ill inmates

Kirk Makin

Milton, Ont. — The Globe and Mail

 Jan. 26 2011

The “headbanger” arrived in a police van and wasted little time in earning his nickname. “He would just dive at walls and doors,” smashing into them head-first, Janet Gauthier recalls.

“It is a very traumatic experience,” she adds. “There are cases here that would confound any psychiatric facility.”

But the Maplehurst Correctional Complex, where Ms. Gauthier is deputy superintendent, is not a psychiatric facility: The young schizophrenic is one of the thousands of mentally ill people flooding Canada’s prisons.

“We try to learn from each one of them,” Ms. Gauthier says, but the central lesson is simply that jail is an abysmal place to stuff the sick and demented.

The ritual is never-ending. Offenders who are often disoriented and babbling are disgorged at prison gates, leaving harried staff to gauge how dangerous they are and place them where they are least likely to run afoul of tougher inmates or try to take their own lives.

The mind-bending isolation of a segregation cell brings no peace to a depressed or unhinged mind. Nor does an environment of slamming cell doors, fear and intimidation. Behind bars, effective treatment is rarely more than a promise while reality is a severe shortage of psychiatric professionals and a patient population so diverse it can explode if different kinds of inmate mix.

The cost to society is immense. After clogging cell blocks for months or years, untreated prisoners often are released only to get into trouble all over again.

Recent figures indicate that nearly 35 per cent of the 13,300 inmates in federal penitentiaries have a mental impairment requiring treatment – triple the estimated total as recently as 2004, and far higher than the incidence of mental illness in the general population.

“The numbers are staggering,” says Correctional Investigator Howard Sapers, whose office oversees the operations of Correctional Services Canada (CSC).

Yet, even as correctional officials appeal for saner strategies, the federal government’s much-publicized policies designed to get tough on crime are pouring thousands of new offenders into prisons that are already perilously overcrowded.

“It is a huge problem,” Mr. Sapers says. “The pressures are going to be even more extreme.”

In a report last fall, Mr. Sapers was unsparing in his criticism of CSC’s long-term strategy for treating the mentally impaired more humanely and effectively. A recent infusion of $50-million represented a once-in-a-generation opportunity to shore up facilities for the mentally ill, but the money was mismanaged and poorly targeted, he wrote.

“Funding is delayed to such an extent that, at this pace, it could easily take decades to fully implement.”

Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, the government’s law-and-order point man, declined to comment on the situation this week, but CSC spokesman Suzanne Leclerc says the new laws will bloat the system with 4,500 new inmates by 2014.

Thus far, the government has committed $600-million to create 2,552 beds to accommodate them, but Mr. Sapers says the new and renovated cells are “based on existing designs that are inadequate. We are not going to see more common space, more therapeutic space or more treatment capacity.”

Jails are hard-wired to mete out punishment, not therapy, so the mentally impaired often go untreated, sometimes languishing in isolatation 23 hours a day.

Some correctional officials concede that the best they can do is limit the damage. “As long as there is a valid court order, we are required to admit them and take care of them,” says Steve Small, assistant deputy minister of correctional and community services for Ontario. “We do our best, but there are certainly other locations that would be preferable for these types of inmates.”

Cells on suicide watch

Less than an hour’s drive west of Toronto, Maplehurst is a sprawling complex guarded by high fences and overhead mesh (designed to foil slingshot delivery of drugs to inmates in the exercise yard) that primarily houses offenders on trial or waiting out adjournments. About 200 of its 1,200 inmates have a serious mental impairment, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, brain injuries and the effects of fetal alcohol syndrome. Others suffer from dementia or low intelligence and a lack of coping skills. The most floridly psychotic inmates are kept under suicide watch in bunker-like cells.

Unlike staff at a psychiatric facility, guards have difficulty responding instantly to emergencies – such as a recent case in which a schizophrenic became hysteric in the belief that his cell was crawling with mice and snakes. “Staff knew how terrified he was,” Ms. Gauthier recalls. “The look in their eyes was compassion. But they had to force him back in his cell.”

On a 50-man range reserved for the most severe cases, offenders float quietly between their cells and a narrow corridor with tables bolted to the floor. Like a herd of deer, they appear docile, yet leery; most are heavily medicated.

“I used to say that I had never seen anyone as sick as I had seen in hospital forensic units, but I can’t say that any longer,” Ms. Gauthier remarks. “A psychiatric facility has different equipment, a different model. Correctional centres were never set up to be mental-health centres.”

Guards and nursing staff on the mental-health ranges appear genuinely caring, referring to inmates by name and keeping elaborate charts of any change in behaviour that may point toward a suicide attempt or sudden attack. However, they are not always trained in the finer points of mental illness.

“A schizophrenic may think that a guard is the devil and start calling him really foul names,” Ms. Gauthier says. “If he were a healthy person, he would be up for misconduct. One of the challenges is to understand that this is a symptom of an illness.”

Graham Glancy, a forensic psychiatrist who works three days a week at Maplehurst, sounds like a battlefield medic as he describes what it’s like to process patients in 20-minute intervals all day long: “Basically, it’s a matter of medication and management – and trying to drop one little pearl of wisdom on them.”

Some offenders are violent or hallucinate wildly, but exercise their right to refuse treatment. Staff can try to persuade local hospitals to medicate them involuntarily, Dr. Glancy explains, but getting them there requires diplomacy. “You have to be very careful about it. I can only send one or two at a time, or the hospital can get swamped.”

On another range, 50 inmates with brain damage or subnormal intelligence gaze warily at strangers. All they have in common is the fact that, in prison, they’re highly vulnerable. Some are chronic bedwetters. Others are old, scraggly and demented. Some are hulking men, but behave like school kids.

“The developmentally delayed are the forgotten population,” Ms. Gauthier says. “… It is like putting four-year-olds in custody. They cry all day for their mommies. Social workers give them colouring books and crayons.”

She recalls an inmate who arrived clinging desperately to a Beanie Baby, which prison rules didn’t allow in his cell. “He had never been separated from it. He finally let us take a picture of it so he could hold that.”

How did Canada’s prison system turn into a holding tank for mentally damaged individuals?

Many officials trace it to the deinstitutionalization of psychiatric patients over the past 30 years. Patients wound up on the street when neighbourhoods shunned them and social-service agencies failed to provide adequate housing or care. In many cases, their mental state deteriorated, and they turned to crime, everything from the mundane to murder.

“We see people who … felt there was no other way,” says Mr. Small, the assistant deputy minister. “We also see people with mental-health issues who couldn’t even form the intent to commit a crime.”

Treating mentally damaged offenders can be close to impossible in provincial jails, where inmates are on short court remands or serve sentences of less than two years. Longer federal sentences allow time for treatment, but it’s rarely available.

“There are waiting lists for almost every program at every institution,” says Mr. Sapers, the federal investigator. “Although a program may be advertised as being available at a particular institution, it very likely isn’t. This is where it all falls apart.”

If mentally impaired inmates do not get appropriate treatment, they’re unlikely to qualify for early parole, winding up warehoused until their sentences are almost over. Thus, parole officers have little time to help them return to the community. “This leaves them at a higher risk of reoffending,” Mr. Sapers says. “It is a great irony. The cycle is very counterproductive.”

Correctional officials scramble to link the mentally ill with agencies that can provide beds and medical care after they are released, Mr. Small says. But many offenders have wandered far from home or been abandoned by their families, making it an enormous challenge.

To complicate matters more, ex-convicts with mental problems tend to be shunned even by well-meaning agencies. “Once you have been in jail, you have a stigma,” Ms. Gauthier says. “Those beds are closed off, so we end up having to rely a lot on hostels and transition housing.”

Uncertainty on the horizon

Looking ahead to the spike in the penal population, the correction service says it has no idea how many new inmates will require mental-health care. Ms. Leclerc says her department works hard to meet its legislative mandate “to provide every inmate with essential … services” and “reasonable access” to services that aren’t essential, but “will contribute to the inmate’s rehabilitation and successful reintegration into the community.”

In the past five years, she adds, the $50-million has been spent largely on assessing new inmates and helping offenders after they are released. But Mr. Sapers says that money has done little to make treatment or more suitable accommodation available to most inmates.

He says it is urgent that the federal government work more closely with provincial correctional systems and psychiatric hospitals.

If not, Maplehurst’s Ms. Gauthier adds, people like the headbanger will remain caught in a revolving door between jail and the street. “The primary concern is getting medication and the right treatment,” she says. “There was a day when these offenders all would have been in psychiatric facilities. That day is gone. Now, we have incarceration.”

And what has become of the young schizophrenic?

To prevent further damage, he was placed in a special restraining cot and had to wait in his own private hell until the hospital could be persuaded to medicate him. Returned in a much more placid state, he was able to complete his two-month sentence and then released.

For how long is anyone’s guess. Source

Update December 19 2013

Ashley Smith Death has been ruled a Homicide

Other Canadian problems.

Privatization in Canada’s Health Care System is Killing People

Canada”Trouble in Toryland: their Dirty Tricks catalogue Part Three

“Canada”Trouble in Toryland: their Dirty Tricks catalogue Part Two

“Canada”Trouble in Toryland: their Dirty Tricks catalogue

Recent

Japan: Radioactive cesium levels in most fish has not declined

US Election Fraud

US Drones that kill innocent Civilians is Murder – CIA chiefs face arrest

Hay East donations disappoint Ontario farmers

U.S. meningitis cases rise to 64

//

Published in: on October 26, 2012 at 6:20 am  Comments Off on Canada: Coroner’s Inquest of Ashley Smith’s death in Prison  
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“Canada”Trouble in Toryland: their Dirty Tricks catalogue Part Two

The other page was getting to long. I did try to keep it all there, but there is just too much information.

So I decided to make a part two and at the rate things are going I my need a part three or” four”.

So if you haven’t read Part  1 You should go through it first.

Part 1 also has the information on how to lodge a complaint.

“Canada”Trouble in Toryland: their Dirty Tricks catalogue Part 1

This is a very long story. It is turning into a book and seems maybe even a set of  Encyclopedia’s.

To my Readers, Canada is headed down the same path as the US, UK etc They are being stripped of their, rights and freedoms. Canada is quickly being turned into a police state. So if you have friends who are Canadian please forward this information to them. The working class have little time to watch the news or get all the details. As is it seems the Government has strives to hoodwink them, full well knowing few may have noticed. Help keep them informed.

Many Canadians cannot afford to be on-line many can’t even afford Cable or satellite, they to need to be informed. To all Canadians let those people know, their rights are being removed and their is a  problem with their new Government.

The beacon of light Canada once was, is slowly falling into a dark place.

March 7 2012

The Coservatives Asked Elections Canada for the list of Voters.

This has never been done before. So why would they do that?

What did they do with the list?

I also have to say I am impressed with the Canadian Press.

It is a rare thing for the Press in the US to do anything of this magnitude. They just go after the guy the Rich corporations or Lobby’s, want to have discredited.  One can on fantasize, of having press like this in the US.

Now for the new information they have found.

Voter identification ‘massive job,’ central Conservative campaign gives voter lists to local candidates

March 7 2012

A couple of Quotes from the story.

Mr. Vellacott, however, said the Conservative Party, with its massive computer data banks in Ottawa, centrally creates election-period voter lists for every election, including telephone numbers, for each of the individual candidate campaigns

The party lists, also used for the election last year, are based on updated Elections Canada voter lists that are released to all candidates and registered political parties after the election campaign period begins. The final revised list is sent out three days before an election.

The list Elections Canada distributes to parties and candidates on computer discs contain only names and addresses of voters, not phone numbers.

Elections Canada confirmed to The Hill Times on Tuesday that for the first time in a federal election a representative of one of the recognized parties, the Conservative Party, had before the election requested that the initial voter list given to the parties at the beginning of the campaign include the location of polling sites. In response, Elections Canada provided the information to the Conservative Party and the other recognized parties. Source

Note:

The Conservatives last week denied a request by Elections Canada for the power to demand receipts for political parties’ election spending, raising questions about why?

March 7 2012

A couple of Quotes from the story.

An NDP motion that calls on the government to make campaign call centres register with Elections Canada is expected to pass, with the Conservatives planning to vote in favour.

The motion is non-binding but gives opposition MPs the chance to speak at length about the need for such legislation, dredge up the so-called in-and-out scandal and tie it to the current controversy over fraudulent and harassing phone calls during the last federal election.

The NDP motion, to be debated Thursday, calls for the government to make three changes to the Elections Canada Act in the next six months:

  • Give Elections Canada stronger investigative powers, including the ability to force political parties to provide supporting documents for their expenses.
  • Require all telecommunication companies that provide voter contact services during a general election to register with Elections Canada.
  • Make telecommunication companies identify and verify the identity of election clients.

Be sure to watch the Video Source

MP Dean Del Mastro Said the conservative made about 6 million calls. Now that Costs a fortune. Now MP Dean Del Mastro has a hard time telling the truth, He hasn’t really told the truth, as of yet. I have watched many Videos and he just keeps fouling up,.That is being kind on my part. So his word means very little.

The Conservatives may have made more calls then the 6 million as MP Dean Del Mastro claims  Time will tell.

As the reporter said even at $1 a call, that is a lot of money. Well lets hope their receipts reluctant that number. $6 million just on phone calls.

The Liberals and NDP both will turn over all records, but the Conservatives have not committed to doing so.

Harper could have given more power already. So this is a rather pathetic move on his part. Non Binding is even more useless.

At another News site

Tories said should instead rest in the hands of private-sector compliance auditors hired by the parties.
So would Revenue Canada let the rest of it’s citizens hire a private Auditor to Audit their own Income taxes. I don’t think so. That is just a really foolish statement. Why then should Elections Canada Allow something like that.

Voting irregularities marred Toronto-area vote: CBC

A couple of Quotes from the story.

CBC says there was a late influx of unregistered voters, who got to vote without providing an address in the riding as required by Elections Canada rules. CBC says it discovered at least 2,700 applications for late registration to vote that failed to provide addresses, or gave false or non-residential addresses.

Volpe’s lawyer Tony Pascale told CBC he wants Elections Canada to revisit the riding. “There were an inordinately high number of voters registering who were not on the voters list in order to cast ballots,” he said.

Meanwhile, another former Liberal MP is mulling a legal challenge of the results of one of the closest races of the 2011 election, the Globe and Mail is reporting.

Incumbent Liberal MP Anthony Rota lost in the northern Ontario riding of Nipissing-Timiskaming by 18 votes to Conservative Jay Aspin.

The newspaper reports that Elections Canada is interviewing people who say they received automated phone calls directing them to the wrong polling station, as well as live phone calls from persons purporting to be from the Liberal party, but apparently trying to alienate voters. Source

 Opposition delays passage of controversial crime bill

Bill C-10, the Safe Streets and Communities Act

The NDP employed procedural delays following question period that left no more time for further debate and the final vote.

But before moving on to a series of votes on private members bills, the Conservatives did manage to pass a time allocation motion to limit debate on the bill to one more day. Source

Canadians do not want this bill however.

Critics argue the cost of Bill C-10 will be enormous, that it favours incarceration over rehabilitation and reintegration and that it will lead to prison overcrowding.

End destructive war on pot, panel urges Harper

Video: Student protests turn ugly in Montreal

Watch Video

Mar. 07, 2012
Riot police clashed with students protesting planned tuition-fee hikes Wednesday. University student Frank Levesque-Nicole says he was roughed up by police. Looks very much like the kids were not being violent.  Canada and the US are backwards. Many Countries across the ocean, have free Education in College and University for their children. Those countries are quite prosperous.

Such a shame to see Canada and the US lagging behind. They always have enough money for war however.

The student group CLASSE says Francis Grenier, a student at CEGEP St. Jerome was hit in the face with a stun grenade and may lose vision in his right eye. March 7, 2012

March 8 2010

The link below tells about yesterday and today protests.

One arrested in peaceful student demonstrations

More voters-list issues found in Toronto riding Video included

March 12 2012

Harper’s Libya victory ceremony cost soared to over $800,000

The price tag for a ceremony on Parliament Hill to celebrate Canada’s military mission in Libya was more than double the original agreed cost, prompting questions among some in uniform about whether approval was obtained for the increased spending, according to Defence Department documents obtained by the Ottawa Citizen. Source

Harper and his Celebrating Mass Murder is just sick.

Still no word on the cost, to bomb Libya back to the stone age.

What an absolute waste of money on both counts.

Former U.S. vice-president Dick Cheney has cancelled a Canadian speaking appearance due to security concerns sparked by demonstrations during a visit he made to Vancouver last fall, the event promoter said Monday.

Good on you Canadians. Protesting keeps out the war criminals. Good job.

Some actual good news. Cheney should be in prison.

3 Canadians accuse U.S. border guards of ‘molestation’

March 16 2012

There have been 700 calls to date that Elections Canada have investigate that are problematic. I imagine there will be more to come.

More than 700 ‘specific’ robocall election complaints

The story below has more on the 700 calls.

Misleading calls followed ID as non-Tories, voters.

Pattern of calls points to party’s voter identification database Video included Source

At least 100 arrests in violent Montreal protest Video Included. People were protesting against Police Violence.

To date they have found:

Registration forms with just a name on them.

Registration forms with fake addresses.

Robo calls From Elections Canada that are fraudulent, as Elections Canada does not call people.

These calls were made across Canada. Not just in Guelph.

They certainly have a lot of things to check out.

Seems the Harper Government is still not willing to turn over their records.

We have the In and Out Scam again.

Harper Gov. Contracted CGI to do work for Elections Canada.

The Governor General is from CGI as noted on Part 1.

“Pierre Poutine”  apparently has been found but to date his/her name has not been released.

Part 1 of all this just in case you haven’t been there yet.
Time for new Page Again.

Canada”Trouble in Toryland: their Dirty Tricks catalogue Part Three

Mining in Other Countries:

Canada is a mining behemoth. Canadian companies in the sector account for almost half the mining activities in the world, in 100 countries, according to the government.

A range of Canadian mining companies are associated with accusations of murder, rape, corruption, forced displacement, and environmental destruction, worldwide. This abuse continues precisely because Canada lacks corporate social responsibility standards Sorce

There are a number of Stories on Canada and other Countries.

Alberta Oil Sands a Pollution Nightmare

“Canada”Trouble in Toryland: their Dirty Tricks catalogue

New information March 6 2012 added to the bottom of the list.

This list sure is getting long.

Why Canadians are furious with the Harper Government.

March 2 2010

Boy have they got a lot of them. So if you see and angry Canadian don’t be surprised.

Harper is taking away the Freedoms and Rights.

If there was an election tomorrow Harper and his lot would vanish.

I don’t think they would miss any one of them. One thing I will say about Canadians they are very well educated. Even the ones that did vote for Harper have turned on him. There is a very select few that still think he is a good guy. A very select few.

Harper of course thinks every thing is tickity boo.

If it were up to the majority of Canadians he and his lot would be in prison. That is after all where criminals go?

Feb 27, 2012,

by Lawrence Martin

The Conservatives have been caught up in many shady activities since coming to power. The revelation that they may have been behind a robocall operation to suppress voting for opposition parties would rank, if proven, among the more serious offences.

Stephen Harper has denied involvement in the scam in which operatives acted under the guise of Elections Canada officials. Coincidentally, another controversy, the in-and-out affair, involved Elections Canada. Some of Harper’s most senior officials took part in that operation.

In giving or not giving the benefit of the doubt on matters like these, the question of the track record figures prominently. To the misfortune of Team Harper, its record on duplicitous activities is hardly one to inspire confidence that its hand are clean.

There follows a list – is Harperland becoming Nixonland? — of dirty tricks, black ops and hardball tactics from the Conservatives’ years in power.

1. Cooking the Books
The duplicity began in the election that brought the Conservatives to power – the 2006 campaign in which they were promising a new era of transparency and accountability. Via some peculiar accounting practices, the Tories exceeded spending limits in the campaign, providing themselves with an advertising advantage in key ridings. They were later caught, had their offices raided by police and ultimately pled guilty last year to reduced charges of violating financing provisions of the Elections Act.

2. The Hidden Slush Fund
More than $40-million slated for border-infrastructure improvements instead went into enhancement projects in Tony Clement’s riding in preparation for the G-8 summit. To conceal the intent of the spending from legislators, John Baird used the border fund as a “delivery mechanism” for the money.

3. Falsifying Documents 
The document-altering scam involving Bev Oda’s office and the aid group Kairos is only one of several instances in which the Tories have been caught document-tampering. They went so far as to alter a report by Auditor General Sheila Fraser to make it look like she was crediting them with prudent financial management when, in fact, it was the Liberals to whom she was referring.

4. Shutting Down Detainees’ Probes
The Conservatives employed a number of authoritarian tactics to avoid culpability on the Afghan detainees’ file. They included an attack on the reputation of diplomat Richard Colvin, the shutting down of Parliament and the disabling of Peter Tinsley’s Military Police Complaints Commission. The Tories denied Tinsley’s commission documents for reasons of national security – even though commission members had national security clearance.

5. The Cotler Misinformation Campaign
In an act described by the Speaker of the Commons, himself a Tory, as reprehensible, Conservatives systematically spread rumours in Irwin Cotler’s Montreal riding that he was stepping down.

6. The Suppression of Damaging Reports
A report of the Commissioner of Firearms that showed the gun registry in a good light was kept hidden by Public Safety Minister Peter Van Loan beyond its statutory release deadline. As a consequence, the report escaped the eyes of opposition members before a vote on the registry was taken. It is one of many instances in which the government has suppressed research that runs counter to its ideology.

7. Attempt to Frame the Opposition Leader.
Late in the 2011 election camapign, a senior Conservative operative leaked bogus photos to Sun Media in an attempt to frame Michael Ignatieff as an Iraqi war planner.

8. Communications Lockdown.
The government went to unprecedented lengths to vet, censor and withhold information. After denying legislators information on costs of programs, Harper became the first prime minister in history to be found in contempt of Parliament. The public service has muzzled like never before. Last week, several groups wrote Harper urging him to stop gagging the science community on the question of climate change and other issues. The Tories denied an opposition member accreditation to attend the Durban summit on climate change then lambasted the member for not being there. Journalists have faced myriad restrictions. At one point in the in-and-out affair, PMO officials fled down a hotel fire-escape stairwell, Keystone-Kops style, to avoid the media. On another, the governing party had the police clear a Charlottetown hotel lobby of scribes wishing to cover a Tory caucus meeting.

9. Intimidation and Bullying of Adversaries
The list of smear campaigns against opponents is long. Some that come to mind are Harper’s trying to link Liberal Navdeep Bains to terrorism; Vic Toews’ labelling of distinguished jurist Louise Arbour a “disgrace to Canada” for her views on the Middle East; seeking reprisals against University of Ottawa academic Michael Behiels for being critical of the government; and the dismissal of Nuclear Safety Commission boss Linda Keen who the PM decried as having a Liberal background.

10. The “Citizenship” Dog and Pony Show
As well as being muzzled, civil servants have been put to use for the government’s political benefit. In one such case, the immigration department ordered bureaucrats to act as stand-ins at a fake citizenship reaffirmation ceremony broadcast by Sun TV.

11. Writing the Book on Disrupting Committees
The Tories quietly issued their committee chairpersons a 200-page handbook on how to obstruct the opposition. The handbook recommended barring witnesses who might have embarrassing information. It went so far as to instruct chairpersons to shut down the committees if the going got really tough. The Tories have also issued an order that frees cabinet staffers from ever having to testify before committees. They are resorting more frequently to in-camera committee sessions, away from the public and media eye.

12. Leaking Veterans’ Medical Files
Colonel Pat Stogran, who was dropped as Veterans’ ombudsman after making waves, says he became the target of anonymous defamatory emails and other dirty tricks after criticizing the government. Other veterans, Sean Bruyea and Dennis Manuge, say their medical files have been leaked, going all the way back to 2002, in an attempt to embarrass them.

13. Unfixing The Fixed-Date Election Law
The prime minister brought in a fixed date election law which, he said, would remove the governing party’s timing advantage in dropping the writ. He promptly turned around and, earning Jack Layton’s lasting disdain, ignored his own law and issued a surprise election call in 2008.

14. Declaring Brian Mulroney Persona Non Grata
In the wake of the Karlheinz Schreiber cash hand-out controversy, Harper’s team, in its zest to disassociate itself, went so far as to put out the false rumour that Mulroney, who won two majorities for the party, was no longer a card-carrying member.

15. Unreleasing Released Documents
The Conservatives have resorted to the use of shady tactics to de-access the Access to Information system. In one notable instance cabinet staffer Sebastien Togneri ordered officials to unrelease documents that were on their way to the media. Freedom of information specialist Stanley Tromp has catalogued some 46 examples of the government’s shielding and stonewalling.

16. Ejecting Citizens From Rallies
Operatives hauled voters out of Harper rallies in last year’s campaign for the simple reason that they had marginal ties to other parties. The PM was compelled to apologize.

17. Hit Squad On Journalists
Operating under phony email IDs, Conservative staffers have attacked journalists in thousands of online posts in an attempt to discredit them and their work.

18. Dirty Work on Dion
The Conservatives have set records for the use of personal attack ads. In the 2008 campaign they ran an on-line ad which depicted a bird defecating on Stephane Dion’s head. Protests compelled them to withdraw it.

19. Tory Logos on Taxpayer Cheques
The economic recovery program was paid for by taxpayer dollars but the Tories tried to make political gains by putting their party logo – until they were called on it – on billboard-sized cheques. Surveys by journalists showed the money was distributed disproportionately to Conservative ridings and partisans.

20. The Rob Anders Nomination Crackdown
The prime minister has been accused of turning his own party into an echo chamber. When someone tried to exercise her democratic right to challenge Harper loyalist Rob Anders for the nomination in his Calgary riding, Harper’s men descended like a black ops commando unit, seized control of the office, seized control of the riding executive and crushed the bid.

21. The Rights and Democracy Takeover
Groups like Rights and Democracy supposedly operate at arm’s length from the government. But the Harperites, in what journalists described as boardroom terror, removed or suspended board members and stacked the board with pro-Israeli hardliners. As part of the ethical anarchy, a break-in occurred at headquarters.

22. Vote Suppression Tactics
Along with the accusation of pre-recorded robocalls sending voters astray in last election, reports of several other Tory vote suppression tactics have surfaced. They include a systematic live-caller operation in which Liberal supporters were peppered with bogus information.

The list does not include such controversies asthe Cadman affair in which the Conservatives allegedly tried to bribe independent MP Chuck Cadman for his vote; the whitewashing by Integrity Commissioner Christiane Ouimet of 227 whistleblower complaints against the government; the allegation by eyewitness Elizabeth May that Harper cheated in the 2008 election’s televised debates by bringing in notes; and many others.

Click here to access other columns by Lawrence Martin.

http://www.ipolitics.ca/2012/02/27/lawrence-martintrouble-in-toryland-their-dirty-tricks-catalogue/

  1. Gave CGI contracts galore
  2. CGI David Johnston now Governor General
  3. Wants Open The Door To Privatizing Health Care
  4. Want to raise the retirement age from 65 to 67
  5. Wanting to still purchase F35’s that are lemons
  6. Not reporting use of Racknine to Elections Canada
  7. Wanting to close more postal services
  8. Giving Canadian Citizens private information to privately owned Companies or Corporations
  9. Wasting a fortune on consulting agency’s
  10. Bill  C51
  11. Bill C10
  12. Bill C30
  13. G8
  14. G20
  15. Tax cuts for the rich corporations making record profits
  16. Planning Free Trade with the EU
  17. Half a trillion dollar debt
  18. Refuses to tell Canadians how much war, has cost the taxpayers
  19. Damage-control bid over MacKay chopper ride ‘stupid’
  20. Complacency about privacy violations among Veteran advocates
  21. Election Violations there are also a few others.
  22. Keeping Secrets from the public
  23. Muzzling Scientists
  24. Sleazy ad’s during campaign
  25. Don’t read the bills presented
  26. Prorogue 1
  27. Prorogue 2
  28. Cadman bribe
  29. The Emerson affair
  30. 45 riding now affected by robo calls
  31. Attempting to block the investigation by Elections Canada
  32. RMG Thunder Bay Call Center employees called RCMP got no help
  33. Signed agreements with the US to integrate policing and information sharing
  34. Attempted to privatize CBC
  35. Harper Plans 80 000 Job Cuts Towards Public Servants
  36. Vic Toews insinuates Canadians support child pornographers if they disagree with bill C10
  37. Vic Toews did not know what was in Bill C10 So he said or did he lie to cover his butt
  38. Harper Government supports Torture
  39. Young Tory staffer resigns amid robocall scandal
  40. Dangerous Liaisons: Flaherty, Carney in Synch with Bank Lobbyists
  41. Amnesty accuses Libyan militias of unbridled torture
  42. Government privacy breaches alarming
  43. Lobbyists Behind Omnibus Crime Bill Aimed at Privatizing Prisons

Harper’s Safety Minister Vic Toews Lies

Global News: Online spying bill includes ‘gag order’

Canadian backlash

Tell Vic Toews Didn’t Read His Own Online Spying Bill

The word child was not mentioned in the of the Bill at all.

An they wondered why Canadians were angry.

Now they have a revised bill of about 150 pages.

Will have to read it and get back to you on that one.

They may have a majority government but The majority of the people  did not vote for them and even their own supporters who did vote for them have turned on them.

Now there is a trail of bread crumbs leading to the fact the voters were tampered with. It may turn out this government is illegitimate and cheated to get into power. The majority of Canadians want them gone. Including their own supporters.

They have not got a leg to stand on.

Robo Calls problem growing

Canada: Stop Harper’s cruel crime bill

Key documents in Guelph robocalls investigation

List of First 40 Riding affected

5 more ridings report suspicious election calls

Robocalls battle fires up Commons

Election call tapes being reviewed by Conservatives

Please pass this on to all your Canadians friends. Election Fraud is a serious crime.

Council of Canadians is asking people who received fraudulent calls to join a group lawsuit, as it seeks to have election results in some ridings thrown out by the courts

Canada: Attawapiskat Citizens In Desperate Need of Housing -Some are Living in Tents

Harper went to war in Libya Canadians are angry.

The Libya American’s never saw on Television

Israel’s Netanyahu to raise Iran during visit with Harper

Canadians don’t want Harper going to war against Iran either.

The Iran you will never see on American Television

Canada: Mohawk Elders looking for mass graves of Children that died in Residential Schools

New Added March 3 2012

Another “in and out” in Quebec?

Conservative candidates in Quebec have paid for calls made by the national party without knowing why

Hélène Buzzetti   March 1, 2012   Canada

Photo : Reuters

The Conservative Party of Stephen Harper pleaded guilty last November to charges of electoral fraud precisely because he had used his campaign fund and those of its candidates as communicating vessels in the election of 2005-2006, allowing in the facts to spend more than the legal limit.

To remember

RMG under investigation
, the radius of the investigation triggered by Elections Canada on misleading phone calls made outside of the ballot May 2, 2011 widens, CBC News revealed last night. The organization would interview employees of a call center based in Thunder Bay, Ontario, operated by Responsive Marketing Group. The company was hired by the Conservative Party to reach voters. It is not clear whether the talks held in Thunder Bay are directly related to the investigation by Elections Canada in Guelph. – The Gazette

Ottawa – Election expenses of some Conservative candidates in Quebec in the last general election raise questions. At least one direction of local campaign admits being asked by the national office of the Conservative Party to pay a firm calls without obtaining anything in return. Another wonders about the real value of the expenditure. campaign Bertin-Denis in Rimouski Neigette-Témiscouata-Les Basques paid $15 000.01 at 15 Toronto-based Responsive Marketing Group (RMG) during the last election. The catch? The local Conservative team do not know what this money was used. “It was kind of a trunk box to support it, says Le Devoir defeated the Conservative candidate, Denis Bertin. It had nothing to say about the operations of that. They did not call and no one was called. I was not part of the survey, I was not consulted. ” Mr. Denis says his riding has been targeted by the headquarters of the Conservative Party as “be beaten.” Suddenly, the PC agreed to pay more money to the district, or $ 55 000. “We did not pay [the contract with RMG], says Denis. Funding came from the National and we wrote a check. “Hence the term” mailbox “: the campaign fund of the district association has only served to channel money from the country, according to Denis Bertin . Ghislain Pelletier, official agent and as one who was responsible for approving the election expenses of Mr. Denis, confirmed the situation. “We were strongly advised to take it,” said he to Le Devoir. Who’s “they”? “The Conservative Party. The company sent us the invoice and I paid it on the recommendation of the party. “RMG or the Conservative Party he provided the local campaign results of these calls? “Absolutely, ma’am. If I were in a private company, I would have asked for a report. “Mr. Pelletier, an accountant by training, said they found this invoice salt. Another local association questioned the value of the contract calls strongly recommended by the Conservative Party: Chicoutimi-Le Fjord. Again, the contract cost $15 000.01. The candidate, former journalist Carol Nero, acknowledges that it does not really know what it was withdrawn. “I did my campaign on my side, I did not really dealt with that.” Did he see the results of this important contract phone calls? “We had reports on voting intentions, but not more than that. […] I can not really say if I got my money or not. ” In both cases, the sum of $15 000.01 is considerable: Bertin Denis spent a total $56 311 for Carol Nero and his campaign, almost $ 103 000. The contract with RMG represents 27% and 15% respectively of their total expenditures. In both cases it is the largest outflow of money. Of the 18 Quebec, 14 have paid the same amount Nobody claims that RMG did not work in this sum. The question is to know for whom the work was done: the Conservative Party or local candidates? The Electoral Law prohibits a political party to charge its candidates for election expenses he has himself made. Party and candidates are subject to separate spending limits. The Conservative Party has pleaded guilty last November to charges of electoral fraud precisely because he had used his campaign fund and those of its candidates as communicating vessels during the election of 2005-2006, in effect allowing it to spend more than the legal limit. This practice of “in and out” won the Conservative Party and the Conservative Fund four fines totaling $ 52 000. In 2011, the Conservative Party has not spent the national allowable limit of 21 million. A total of 97 Conservative candidates at the last federal election used the services of RMG to make phone calls, including 18 in Quebec. Quebecers of 18, 14 have paid the same $ 15 000.01. Two others paid $ 15 000, Larry Smith has spent $ 5,000.01 and Michel-Eric Castonguay, in Montmorency-Charlevoix-Haute-Côte-Nord, has paid $ 1,500.01. spokesman for the Conservative Party, Fred DeLory , said that “some local campaigns in Quebec have retained RMG. RMG has made calls to identify supporters and encourage them to vote in the election. ” He adds that “these contracts have been signed and paid by local campaigns.” Some campaigns have confirmed that Le Devoir that had been the case. Martin Lemire, the candidate’s official agent Peter Paul-Hus in Louis-Hébert, explains that the Conservative Party had sent documentation and had held that “it was more profitable than engaging volunteers.” He claims not to have really paid for this service. “We received money from the party and we paid the bill. It was the “in and out”. “He says the data collected by RMG were placed in a national program and the election day, volunteers for Louis-Hébert could use this program to identify supporters and encourage them to vote. Earlier this week, the Toronto Star published the testimony of three former employees of RMG who have made calls for the Conservative Party on May 2 warning voters that their polling station had been moved. The reaction of voters was so negative, because they were returned to the other side of town, one of the employees had told her supervisor, the RCMP and Elections Canada. Employees do not know if the Conservative Party had provided false information deliberately or by mistake. firm RGM was contacted yesterday to determine with whom they had signed contracts (the party or candidates), how the amount charged was established, what was the nature of services offered and if the results of the work had been communicated to local candidates. RMG did not answer, instead leaving the threat of a lawsuit. “We have not contravened the Election Act and have no knowledge that a customer could violate the Elections Act. Internet or print any article that includes any suggestion of our current involvement is defamatory or implied. We will respond to such statements slanderous with all the force of law, “reported the owner of RMG, Stewart Braddick. Mr Braddick is a life-long Conservative, who worked for Brian Mulroney, Mike Harris in Ontario as well as Tom Long and Belinda Stronach when they have tried their luck for the leadership of the Canadian Alliance and Conservative, respectively. Source

 IN and Out is illegal. This would be their 4th offense I believe.

The above was translated from French to English.

Tory pollster faces full-blown misconduct probe by industry watchdog

The market research industry’s watchdog is launching a full-blown investigation into a Conservative pollster involved in an alleged misinformation campaign against Liberal MP Irwin Cotler.

Brendan Wycks, executive director of The Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, said Tuesday the watchdog has received seven formal complaints of professional misconduct against Campaign Research Inc.

Campaign Research was behind a phone campaign last fall in Cotler’s Montreal riding, in which constitutents complained they were falsely told their MP was about to or had resigned and that a byelection was imminent. Source

Conservative call centre company has checkered legal history in U.S.

Elections Canada records show RMG worked on 97 individual Conservative candidate campaigns in the last election, billing $1.4 million Source

Former Liberal MP Wrzesnewskyj in court over Etobicoke Centre voting irregularities in 2011

Scaring Seniors at the polling station, stealing mail, Ballot boxes went unsealed, records of those who voted were kept inaccurately and ballots wound up in the wrong boxes,  Conservatives should be hanging their head in shame. Source

The Prime Minister tries to bluster it all away

This is from a bit earlier : Temper tantrums, Accusations, The conservatives sure were bellowing that day.

Of course today we now know what the opposition was saying is rather accurate.

Source

Nature journal criticizes Canadian ‘muzzling’

A little History Lesson

The Conservative Party of Canada

Well they really aren’t the Conservative party they just took it over .

They really have a fondness for changing their name.

Election call tapes being reviewed by Conservatives -Investigators planning to interview staff at call centre

Conservatives should not be anywhere near these tapes.  They could tamper with them. But if anything does go missing Canadians will know who is responsible.

Source

Conservative MPs used U.S.-based telemarketers

Calls masked to hide Ohio origins of calls.This after the Conservatives repeated over and over they didn’t use any US companies.What can I say. They were not being truthful.

MP Dean Del Mastro, claimed in the Commons that the Liberals were the only party that used American calling firms.

“We’ve done some checking,” the PM said, and “we’ve only found that it was the Liberal Party that did source its phone calls from the United States.”

But documents show 14 Conservative campaigns enlisted the telephone services of an Ohio company called Front Porch Strategies. Source

There are Money trails from the Conservative to both American Firms.

(RMG) Research Marketing Group works exclusively with right-of-centre campaigns out of Washington, DC and Toronto Canada

http://www.rmgsite.com/

Racknine  out of Alberta Canada

They do Automated Calls/ Robo calls

http://www.racknine.com/

Front Porch Strategiesis based out of Columbus, Ohio.  Their passion is helping Republican candidates, elected officials, and conservative causes win by personally connecting them with voters and constituents.

All the calls from Ohio to Del Mastro’s riding during the election were programmed to show the telephone number of his local campaign headquarters, masking the fact the phoning was being done from Ohio.

Automated calls can also be done from there as well.

http://frontporchstrategies.us/our-front-porch/

Harper takes cautious tone over Israeli stance on Iran

Israel’s Netanyahu may have been welcome by Harper but Canadians do not support war of any kind.

Mustering up reason to go to war and fabricating evidence has been very clear over the past few years.

So in Iraq they had weapons of Mass Destruction. = Lie No WMD’s were found but over a million and half people died.

Saddam threw babies out of incubators onto the floor =Lie  Turns out the video was shot in a studio somewhere.

Libya Human Right Violations = Lie Seems the Rebel of those who are now in charge of the country were  Terrorists and have committed massive Human rights violations, Mass murders, War Crimes and they were the protesters who doing the killing.They even fabricated a video of a babysitter who said she was abused. That to was a fabrication.

Syria same as Libya =Lie

Now off to Iran I think not.  They will fabricate any kind of evidence to convince people, but do not fall for the lies.

March 4th Additions

Vancouver demonstrators protest robocall scandal

Elections Canada is investigating more than 31,000 report

9 BC riding have been afffected

  • Burnaby-Douglas.
  • Burnaby-New Westminster.
  • New Westminster-Coquitlam.
  • North Vancouver.
  • Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge-Mission.
  • Prince George-Peace River.
  • Saanich-Gulf Islands.
  • Vancouver Quadra.
  • Vancouver South.

Protesters are also collected signatures for a petition calling for a public inquiry into the robocall scandal. As of Saturday morning, more than 37,000 signatures had been collected.

Source

RackNine sues Pat Martin and NDP for $5 million

Veterans consider suing MP accused of dozing off

March 5 2012

Calgary Conservative MP Rob Anders is accused of sleeping on the job.

Veterans attending a veterans affairs committee meeting last week said Rob Anders fell asleep at the meeting.

The Conservative MP has denied the reports and suggested those who accused him were NDP “hacks” who praised Russian strongman Vladimir Putin during the meeting.

Seems he was also texting insetad of paying attention as well.

Apparently he falls asleep a lot. This is not the first time.

The meeting was extremely important, as it was about homeless Veterans in Canada. There are approximately 1,000.

Be sure to watch the video. Source

Vets Canada

Veterans Emergency Transition Service

http://vetscanada.org/

Canada now like the US, is not taking care of their war veterans.

Tory MP says Elections Canada to blame for robocalls

Conservative MP Maurice Vellacott Is doing as well as the others blaming anyone and everyone.

What is the National Register of Electors and how is it updated?

The Register contains basic information about each person (name, sex, date of birth, address) Phone numbers are not collected by Elections Canada Source

The Tory’s are now grasping st straws.

Conservatives refuse to release phone records

Liberals will release election phone records

Que., Ont. say feds will balance budget on provinces’ backs

They should worry as that is exactly the Tactic the Federal Conservatives will use.
March 6 2012

Elections Canada targets PayPal records in robo-calls probe

Elections Canada launches online complaint form

Report a Fraudulent Call To Elections Canada

Be sure to keep a copy of what you send to them in your files.

Anything can be deleted you know.

Computers can have problems and things can be lost.

Or you could mail them your complaint. Again keep a copy for your files.

I would also have a witness to the fact you did send a copy of your report.

Mailing Address, Telephone, Fax, TTY

Elections Canada, the non-partisan agency responsible for the conduct of federal elections and referendums, works hard to keep the public informed about the electoral process. Please contact us for more information at:

Elections Canada
257 Slater Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0M6

Telephone

1-800-463-6868
toll-free in Canada and the United States

001-800-514-6868
toll-free in Mexico

613-993-2975
from anywhere in the world

For people who are deaf or hard of hearing:
TTY 1-800-361-8935
toll-free in Canada and the United States

Fax

613-954-8584
1-888-524-1444
toll-free in Canada and the United States

Source Elections Canada

Got to keep them honest to you know.
You even also hit Print Screen and (save a copy to your files with the use of Coreldraw, Paint, or other program you may have on your computer.) as you go through the motions and keep a pic of each step as well.
One way or the other keep a copy of your complaint in your files.
Remember
Last week “The Conservatives” denied a request by Elections Canada for the power to demand receipts for political parties’ election spending, raising the question  Why?
Minister of Public Safety Vic Toews seems to think Torture is acceptable
This page was getting to full. I deemed it necessary to start another page.
“Canada”Trouble in Toryland: their Dirty Tricks catalogue Part Two

Canada”Trouble in Toryland: their Dirty Tricks catalogue Part Three

Recent

Bush, Fed, Europe Banks in $15 Trillion Fraud, All Documented

Florida says NO to Private Prisons

Florida says NO to Private Prisons

Florida Lawmakers Defeat Prison Privatization amid National Push for For-Profit Jails

The Florida State Senate has defeated a measure to privatize at least 27 prisons, which would have created the largest corporate-run prison system in the country. Despite the vote, Republican Gov. Rick Scott could still privatize the prisons through executive authority. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the number of prisoners being added to privately run jails is outpacing the overall prison population by 17 percent compared to 4 percent. The nation’s largest operator of for-profit prisons, Corrections Corporation of America, recently sent letters to 48 states offering to buy up their prisons in exchange for a 20-year management contract, plus an assurance that the prison would remain at least at 90 percent capacity. We discuss prison privatization with two guests: Florida Republican State Senator Mike Fasano, who led the charge against the bill to handover South Florida’s state prisons to private companies, and ACLU of Ohio spokesperson Mike Brickner, co-author of the report, “Prisons for Profit: A Look at Prison Privatization.” [includes rush transcript]

Guests:

State Senator Mike Fasano, Florida Republican who led the charge against the bill to hand over South Florida’s state prisons to private companies.

Mike Brickner, communications and public policy director at ACLU of Ohio. He co-authored the report “Prisons for Profit: A Look at Prison Privatization.”

 

Rush Transcript


 

JUAN GONZALEZ: The Florida State Senate has defeated a measure to privatize at least 27 prisons, which would have created the largest corporate-run prison system in the country. Despite the vote, Republican Governor Rick Scott could still privatize the prisons through executive authority. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the number of prisoners being added to privately run jails is outpacing the overall prison population by 17 percent compared to 4 percent.

Meanwhile, the nation’s largest operator of for-profit prisons recently sent letters to 48 states offering to buy up their prisons. In exchange, Corrections Corporation of America is asking for 20-year management contracts, plus an assurance that the prisons would remain at least at 90 percent capacity. A CCA spokesperson touted prison privatization as a cost-saving initiative.

CCA SPOKESPERSON: This company, CCA, we are the leader and the largest in the world, as far as private prisons and jails. We’re highly rated in the stock market. It hones your ability to do it less expensively, because we have to earn a profit.

AMY GOODMAN: Corrections Corporation of America has been a swiftly growing business, with revenues expanding more than fivefold since the mid-’90s.

Well, for more, we’re joined now by two guests. On the phone, we’re joined by Florida Republican State Senator Mike Fasano. He led the charge against the bill to hand over South Florida’s state prisons to private companies. And in Cleveland, Ohio, we’re joined by the ACLU of Ohio’s spokesperson, Mike Brickner, co-authored a report called “Prisons for Profit: A Look at Prison Privatization.”

We welcome you both to Democracy Now! State Senator Mike Fasano, let’s begin with you. Why did you oppose this measure in Florida?

STATE SEN. MIKE FASANO: Well, first and foremost, I’m a true believer, as many of my colleagues are, that you don’t privatize public safety. You do not put, in my opinion, public safety in the hands of private corporations to make a profit.

Secondly, it is my belief that you do not put hardworking men and women, like our correctional officers and their families, out of work. We have a 10 percent-plus unemployment rate in the state of Florida, and the last thing we should be doing is moving prisons that were paid for by the taxpayers into the hands of corporations, that would probably put many of these families out of work, who have mortgages to pay, homeowner’s insurance to pay, food on the table. This would be devastating to—not only to their families, but also to the community they live in.

JUAN GONZALEZ: And Senator Fasano, you suffered repercussions from your own party as a result of your leading this fight, this successful fight. What happened?

STATE SEN. MIKE FASANO: Well, it wasn’t the party per se. It was the president of the Senate, Mike Haridopolos, that pushed this issue for the last year and a half since he’s been president of the Senate. I had made it clear last year, when he made me chairman, appointed me chairman of the committee that oversaw the Department of Corrections budget, that I could not support the expansion of privatization of our prison system in the state of Florida. He removed me from that position.

The good thing is that the vote that killed the bill that would expand the privatization in Florida was a bipartisan vote. We had 10 Republicans that joined 12 Democrats to defeat the bill 21 to 19 this past week.

AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to get your response, State Senator Fasano, to your governor, Rick Scott, who talked about his support of efforts to privatize the prisons of South Florida.

GOV. RICK SCOTT: What the bill says is that if we don’t save at least 7 percent, we don’t do prison privatization. But why wouldn’t we put ourselves in a position that, if we can save money, to put the money in the programs that we know we need to fund, whether that’s education or whether that’s Medicaid or any of our other programs—why wouldn’t we—why wouldn’t we take this opportunity to save the money? So, I’m hopeful that the House and Senate will approve it, because it’s the most logical way to save some money.

AMY GOODMAN: State Senator Fasano, could Republican Governor Rick Scott still privatize the prisons through executive authority? And your response to his saying this is how we could save money?

STATE SEN. MIKE FASANO: Well, it’s my understanding that he can, that he can and does have the ability, through statute, to privatize prisons. To the extent that this legislation would have allowed it, I’m not sure about that. But that’s why I asked for a study. The original amendment that I had on the bill, before we killed the bill, was to—would have required an in-depth study, economic study, to find out if there’s true savings there, but also to find out if—by privatizing, does it impact of our correctional officers, their community, and the economy of the state of Florida as a whole?

You know, they keep saying that—and the Governor refers to this 7 percent savings. I’ve not seen it. I used a perfect example on—during our debate, when we stopped the bill from moving forward. We talked about per diem. I used a public facility versus a private facility that was similar, comparable, and yet the public facility run by the state, the per diem per day was about $10 less than what the private company is charging the taxpayers. So I respectfully disagree with Governor Scott.

JUAN GONZALEZ: Well, Mike Brickner of the ACLU in Ohio, you’ve been studying the privatization of prisons. What about this issue that they’re cheaper, and what are some of the other problems that you’ve seen in your studies?

MIKE BRICKNER: Well, I think, first of all, it is the great myth that private prisons will provide any type of cost savings. Here in Ohio, we have—by statute, they’re required to save at least 5 percent. But there have been multiple studies that have shown that they did not save 5 percent. And in some years that we’ve had private prisons here in our state, they actually cost more than public prisons. And other states like Arizona have found that, as well. So, really, they don’t save much money at all.

We’re concerned on a number of different issues. Here in Ohio, we’ve had a very spotty past as far as safety with private prisons. Back in 1999, we had a private prison, a federal penitentiary in Youngstown, Ohio, and within 14 months of it being opened, there were 13 stabbings, two murders and six escapes. It got so bad that the city of Youngstown had to sue to close down the private prison and have them comply with their safety concerns. So, what we saw was, eventually, they had to comply with the safety concerns, and once they did that, it was no longer profitable for them to remain open.

The main way that they save money with the private prisons is that they cut staff benefits and pay. That means that they have less experience, less knowledgeable staff. That leads to higher turnover. And then they are not equipped to deal with the issues that occur when there is a riot or violence in a prison. And then we see an uptick in safety issues. Studies have shown, at similarly security-level prisons, private prisons have a 50 percent higher inmate-on-inmate and inmate-on-staff assault ratio than public prisons do.

AMY GOODMAN: State Senator Mike Fasano in Florida, who are the forces behind the push for privatization? How much money is involved here, and who’s getting it?

Ah, it looks like we just lost State Senator Mike Fasano. We’re going to go for a moment, if we can—we may have lost also Mike Brickner at the ACLU of Ohio, speaking to us from Cleveland.

The “Prisons for Profit: A Look at Prison Privatization,” your report—were you surprised by this letter that went out from the CCA? Talk about the significance of this and the push around the country in this election year.

Ah, I think he isn’t able to hear us, so we’re going to leave it there. We’re going to link to Mike Brickner’s report

with the ACLU of Ohio, called “Prisons for Profit.” And I want to thank Florida Republican State Senator Mike Fasano for being with us from Florida. Source

Some politicians get a lot of money from the private prison folks. They line their pockets and the people get shafted.

Also on this topic

The Prison Industry in the United States Costs Taxpayers Billions

 

Published in: on February 18, 2012 at 5:41 pm  Comments Off on Florida says NO to Private Prisons  
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US Lawmakers Corruption “Busted”

If any ordinary person did this they would go to Jail.

When Lawmakers make Laws that allow them to break the law that is a crime. No Lawmaker should be above the Law.

This is an absolute Breach of Trust. I would even say and act of Treason against the citizens of the US.

I knew about this years ago so what took everyone else so long to figure this out? If the US mainstream media had not been so corrupt this would have been brought to light years ago.

Koto’s to 60 minutes.

’60 Minutes’ Blows The Lid Off Congressional Insider Trading

’60 Minutes’ Blows The Lid Off Congressional Insider Trading
Zeke Miller | Nov. 14, 2011, 7:52 AM
Members of Congress can legally make trades on non-public information they obtain during their official duties, CBS News’ ’60 Minutes’ reported on Sunday night.

Legalized Corruption of Government Exposed by Abramoff

Former lobbyist Jack Abramoff (who spent time in prison after
pleading guilty to corrupting public officials) exposed how the
U.S. government is legally corrupted.

Government Corruption: U.S. Congress Exempts Itself From Insider Trading Laws

Washington conducts public business for private gain

By: Examiner Editorial

November 19 2011

It’s not been a good week for those whose livelihoods depend on either having access to the power brokers and decision makers of the Washington federal establishment or being one of them. Like the great and mighty Wizard of Oz who was exposed as all too human when Dorothy’s little dog Toto pulled back the curtain, the public’s business in Washington was shown to be conducted for private gain.

To begin with, among the multiple stunning revelations from Peter Schweizer’s book, “Throw Them All Out,” was that two past speakers of the House made millions of dollars as a result of information and opportunities afforded by their positions. Democrat Nancy Pelosi and her husband cashed in big time by getting special access to an initial public offering of Visa stock even as the House under her leadership refused to move important credit card industry reforms. Similarly, Republican Dennis Hastert bought a piece of land back home, then used an earmark to channel federal funds to build a highway nearby. Hastert more than doubled his money when he sold the land not long after.

Making a killing from public service is far from limited to Pelosi and Hastert, and often it’s perfectly legal because Congress exempts itself from many of the laws the rest of us have to observe, including those against insider trading. Lawmakers frequently say that they make a financial sacrifice to serve in Congress, but somehow they manage to leave Washington with a great deal more money than they had when they arrived. As former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin wrote Friday in the Wall Street Journal, “the corruption isn’t confined to one political party or just a few bad apples. It’s an endemic problem encompassing leadership on both sides of the aisle. It’s an entire system of public servants feathering their own nests.”

The same culture of corruption is found at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue, too. Just this week, President Obama – facing recession-levels of unemployment and a tough re-election campaign – had a choice between a decision that would create thousands of new jobs, or one that would insure millions of dollars in campaign contributions for his effort to secure a second term. At least 20,000 new jobs would have resulted if Obama had approved the Keystone XL pipeline, but that would have angered the environmentalists who oppose the project — and who have donated generously to Obama in the past.

You’d think that Obama would have locked up the environmentalist vote with the billions of tax dollars that he’s sent their way already. We learned additional details about that corrupt process this week when it was revealed that more than $16 billion of the $20 billion spent by Obama’s clean energy loan program went to companies linked to former members of his White House staff, prominent corporate campaign donors, and campaign contribution bundlers. The U.S. Constitution begins with the words “We, the people,” and goes on to frame a government that is supposed to be their servant. It’s time Washington was reminded of who serves who. Source

This another Documentary on Corruption but a bit different.

This explains how the US Government interferes with other countries. Corrupts their politicians and wages illegal wars. The US has also and still does drive other countries into financial ruin.The Weight of Chains explains a lot. These are the things still being done to many countries today.  Do take the time to watch it. Knowledge is power.

I bet a few US politicians made a bundle on some these events as well.

The Weight Of Chains 2010 Documentary

If the link above does not work go HERE It has numerous links to choose from;

A few politicians made money on Private Prisons in the US.

The Prison Industry in the United States Costs Taxpayers Billions

US wants to Censor the Internet

In the UK seems some of the Politicians are also corrupt.Well this is old news. They have been corrupted for years.

If the mainstream media in both countries ever did their job as they were suppose to all of this would have come out years ago and much of the corruption would have been prevented.

A select few have done their jobs but many other have not. What the world needs now is a media that actually does their jobs. Oddly enough what governments do affects their families friends and recitatives as well.  Of course if the owners of such media are preventing the truth from being told then those bosses should be reported. Publishing lies is illegal. The guy at the top is responsible.

Failing to tell the truth is a crime against the public at large.

The US main stream media promotes propaganda to promote their wars. The wars initiated by the US are all based on lies/fraud/misinformation.

When the press tells these to the public they are as guilty as the Government who wages the wars.

It is the job of the press to expose the lies/fraud/misinformation.

What is needed is for the journalists to do what the  OWS folks are attempting, which is to say we’re not going to take it anymore.  So to all the journalists take over the media and tell the truth. Start a new News site what ever but do take over and tell the truth. How many reporters are there in the US. If is were not for you those rich guys at the top would be broke. They need you more then you need them.

So to all the Journalists who want to tell the truth. Strike for truth. Join the OWS protesters. Imagine if every journalist in America walked off the job because they were forced to tell lies by the bad owners.

If it wasn’t for Bloggers and a few honest Journalist we would all be living in complete darkness.

For all the Testimony

http://www.youtube.com/ivaw

The Iraq war was based on lies. Many in Congress or those who worked for the Bush Administration profited from that war.

Now it is Libya. Yes many in the US Government and other Governments will profit from the Invasion of Libya.

Libyans money was stolen with the help of the UN. Now much of that money cannot be found.  This is theft. So who stole the money that not be fond. It didn’t just mysteriously vanish off the face of the earth.

Do we have a real reporter out there who can find out who stole the money or as usual will it be swept under the carpet?

Over 7,000 prisoners are held in Libya

November 15 2011

As of June 2011 NATO had exacted 26,000 sorties and nearly 10,000 airstrikes. The number of actual Airstrikes is much higher, as the bombing continued up until October 2011.  

At least 30,000 people were killed and 50,000 wounded in Libya’s six-month NATO war. The numbers may be higher.

As of today there are at least 7,000 prisoners held by the NTC/Rebels  at this point in time probably more.

Libya: detainees and the dead must be respected

October 27 2011

Following the recent fighting, particularly in Sirte, Georges Comninos, who heads the ICRC delegation in Libya, gives an update on the immediate humanitarian priorities and on problems that have recently been the subject of debate, in particular the public display of detainees and the dead.

What will the ICRC’s priorities be in the coming days?

Many people are still being arrested. Obtaining access to people newly detained, in particular those captured following the recent fighting in Sirte and Bani Walid, is a priority. In the framework of a constructive dialogue with the transitional authorities, we have visited 6,000 detainees in Tripoli, Misrata and other cities nearby over the past two months. So we have reason to be optimistic about obtaining access to people recently arrested. That being said, in order to be able to check on the treatment they are receiving and on the conditions in which they are being held, the visits will have to take place without delay.

International Committee of the Red Cross  (ICRC) delegates have returned to Sirte several times over the past few days. The fighting was extremely fierce, as can be seen by the large-scale destruction. The city is almost deserted; only a small number of families are starting to return.

At least 200 corpses have so far been found in Sirte. The staff of the National Commission for the Missing, a doctor from Ibn Sina Hospital and civilian volunteers are currently involved in the retrieval and temporary burial of unidentified bodies. The ICRC provided them with advice in order to facilitate the process of having the deceased identified by members of their families.

In the light of information obtained in Sirte, we are also going to intensify our dialogue with the authorities concerned on the conduct of recent hostilities and on compliance with other rules of international humanitarian law.

In cooperation with Libyan Red Crescent volunteers, we will be pressing ahead in the coming days with the delivery of aid to tens of thousands of people displaced from Sirte and Bani Walid. Unexploded munitions in those cities constitute a danger and a further obstacle to the return of the people who fled. It will therefore also be necessary to raise people’s awareness of the danger posed by these explosive remnants of war.

The public display of detainees and of mortal remains has triggered a great deal of reaction and debate in recent days. What is the ICRC’s view of these issues?

Over the past few days, people with their hands tied have been put on display on vehicles, interrogations of detainees have been filmed by local media, and mortal remains have been exposed to public curiosity…

Our view of these issues is based on the applicable rules of international humanitarian law, for which we endeavour to ensure respect.

In each individual case, the parties concerned must refrain from subjecting persons in their power to treatment incompatible with respect for their honour and dignity – in particular, to humiliating and degrading treatment. They must treat them humanely, without any adverse distinction. International humanitarian law also contains rules concerning respect for the dead, such as the obligation to search for, collect and evacuate the dead without adverse distinction, to prevent the dead from being despoiled or mutilated, and to bury the dead with respect.

These rules concerning respect for persons deprived of their freedom and for mortal remains also apply in connection with their display to the general public via the media.

There have recently been numerous allegations of summary executions in places where fighting has taken place, particularly in Sirte. What do you have to say on this topic?

We will not cease to point out that international humanitarian law prohibits at any time, and in any place whatsoever, violence to the life and person of anyone no longer taking an active part in hostilities. Violations of this prohibition by any party involved in the conflict are grave breaches of international humanitarian law which, once established, must be punished.

On issues like this, the ICRC gives priority to bilateral and confidential dialogue with the parties. Source

Unfortunately the Red Cross have not told us how the prisoners are being treated.

Red Cross Statement on Abuzaid Dorda

Nov 14, 2011

Abuzaid Dorda is a very famous Libyan, Once the Prime Minister, and the permanent representative to the UN. Since being arrested in good health, he now has broken bones and his health is in jeopardy, in the last days there are videos on this channel with his brother and his son.

Libya’s former UN ambassador fears for life in jail spoke to Dorda’s family who confirmed that prison guards threw Dorda from a second floor and beat him.

NTC officials deny the allegation and say Dorda incurred injuries including two broken legs whilst either attempting to escape or commit suicide.
Considering the barbaric behavior of the Rebels, I believe the man was brutalized by the Rebels.
Here are just a few reports from Detainees.

Because the detainees expressed fear of reprisals, including some who said they might face beatings for talking with a Human Rights Watch researcher, Human Rights Watch is withholding their real names.

A dark-skinned Libyan, Abdulatif, said that guards in one Tripoli detention facility used electric shock to force him to confess to crimes he said he had not committed:

The rebels were taking turns. There were too many to count. Every day, there was a new face. They zapped me with an electric stick on my legs and on my arms. They did that twice. They asked me questions when they did this…. They asked me again and hit me. I said “No, I swear I didn’t,” so they started electrocuting me. They wanted me to confess but in the wrong way. They hit me every day. They used falaga [beating on the bottom of the feet] and hit me on my back, all over my body, and slapped my face. They did this three times.

Another dark-skinned Libyan, Juma, showed Human Rights Watch his wounds and talked of his interrogation at a large Tripoli prison:

They used cables and engine belts [to beat me]…. They hit me every day. The first days, they beat me for six to seven hours. I fainted. They beat me until I lost consciousness. They were still beating me, but I couldn’t feel it. They poured a bucket of water on my head twice, so I woke up. When I woke up, they would leave me alone, but then they started beating me again.…They put the electric stick on my side, my thighs, my shoulder, my back. If you fall, they put it on your body, anywhere. They use it right away when you fall. I can’t tell you how many times they did this.

The pronounced scars he showed Human Rights Watch were consistent with his claims. ­

One sub-Saharan African, Mohammed, wept as he showed Human Rights Watch welts on his arms, back, and neck that he said were from beatings by guards at a small detention center. Another African migrant said that guards twice extinguished a cigarette on his arm. “Every day they frighten me,” he told Human Rights Watch. “They say they will slaughter me.”

One Libyan detainee, Ahmed, described daily beatings and mistreatment while he was held at a neighborhood detention center that Human Rights Watch did not visit:

They took an electric cable and started hitting me with it. They didn’t use electricity, but they said that if I didn’t talk, they would…They hit me with a butt of the Kalashnikov (a type of rifle). They kicked me in the face and in the chest. One scratched me with the knife [bayonet] of the Kalashnikov.”

Ahmed showed Human Rights Watch scars on various parts of his body, including from cigarette burns.

There are also children held in those prisons as well, but no one is reporting how many.

I guess the CIA taught them well.
Under Libyan law, which obviously doesn’t apply anymore now that the NTC/Rebels have taken over. the police must have a warrant to make an arrest. The police can hold a person for up to 48 hours, and the prosecution has up to six days to file charges, although a judge can extend this period for up to 30 days. Defendants have the right to be informed of the charges against them and to have access to a lawyer from the moment of arrest.

Obama’s War Incited by CNN, Al Jazeera & Co Leaves Thousands of Libyan Children Handicapped or Dead

This is what happened to many children in Libya Not for the faint of heart. Warning it is very graphic, but it is the truth. What did these children ever do to anyone? This is the true face of the US/NATO war against Libyans. If this does not make you angry then there is something wrong with you. What does it take to make you say NO MORE WAR? Imagine this is your children.

No one in Libya will thank you for this. This is American Freedom.

Despite the evidence of ‘mission creep’, NATO leaders seem determined to bet against a future Nuremberg-style war crime action against them, and continue to pound the city of Sirte by night, to ‘break the ground’ for their daytime sniper-fodder ‘relief team.’‬

‪During a two day so-called truce in early October the Red Cross tried to enter Sirte to provide humanitarian aid. On the first day they managed to visit a hospital on the southern outskirts, bringing in a few needed supplies, but the hospital came under NTC rebel attack, and they were not able to inspect the whole building let alone get into the city proper and visit other areas.‬

‪On the second day the Red Cross tried to take two large aid trucks into the city. But the rebels began firing and so the Red Cross backed up quickly and abandoned their attempt. Preventing access for aid, another war crime.‬

Forever announcing their ‘final’ assault on Sirte, the NTC rebels have not yet quite managed to achieve it. NATO is now firing missiles from helicopters onto the city. They continue their murderous siege of 100,000 people, maybe more people because many from other towns months ago sought harbor in Sirte, maybe fewer because many have died or fled. Whatever the number, the people of Sirte are defending themselves and their city against NATO’s military might.‬

‪The Human Rights groups and United Nations community are being tested. On whether the international member nations have the moral courage to stand up to the powerful NATO nations, point out the illegality of the war on Libya, and insist that their ambassadors take that message to the UN. Meanwhile Gaddafi is proven right yet again, when he observed years ago that the UN did not provide fair treatment for its smaller and less powerful member nations.

TORONTO CONFERENCE Sept 9, 2011, The Truth about Libya and NATO’s “Humanitarian” Military Road Map – Cynthia McKinney, Mahdi Nazemroaya and Michel Chossudovsky speak at Friends Place in  Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya – Independent journalist who just returned from Libya, and Research Associate of the Center for Research on Globalization – GLOBAL RESEARCH

The Truth about Libya TORONTO CONFERENCE – PART 1

The Truth about Libya TORONTO CONFERENCE – PART 2

The Truth about Libya TORONTO CONFERENCE – PART 3

The Truth about Libya TORONTO CONFERENCE – PART 4

Related

ICC to Probe NATO, NTC War Crimes in Libya War

US, NATO and Rebel war crimes in Libya

The Libya American’s never saw on Television

Cost of war to Libyans about $200 Billion

Over 800 Bodies Dumped in Libyan Cemetary by Rebels

Racist murders in Libya at the hands of rebel forces Also The US and NATO are backing two terrorist organizations in Libya        Al-Qaeda being one of them.  The Rebels are actually terrorist groups.

Libya war lies worse than Iraq

UN chief Ban alarmed over rising civilian toll in Libya

(Libya 1) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

NATO raids kill 85 civilians in Libya

UN Member States Must Demand Action Against NATO War Crimes

Criminal State – A Closer Look at Israel’s Role in Terrorism  Israel coned the US to attack Libya before.

Recent

New leaders in Greece, Italy are BANKERS

US is lobbying nations to bring Cluster Bombs back “NO” would be my Answer

Canada: Stop Harper’s cruel crime bill

The Prison Industry in the United States Costs Taxpayers Billions

The Iran you will never see on American Television

Published in: on November 15, 2011 at 10:52 pm  Comments Off on Over 7,000 prisoners are held in Libya  
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Canada: Stop Harper’s cruel crime bill

November 10 2011

The Harper Government wants to create more Criminals.
The total crime rate for serious offences fell by 19% between 2000 and 2010. The crime severity rate has fallen 6% since 1998, which means that Canadians commit fewer violent crimes like murders, attempted murders and serious assaults. There are also fewer brake-ins, car thefts, robberies and drunk driving charges — still Harper wants to spend massive amounts of our money locking up more Canadians.

Crime rates in Canada have been falling steadily for over a decade yet Harper insists on spending our money to lock up our most vulnerable citizens like youth and aboriginals. Spending billions on bad crime laws means that our taxes will rise or valuable social programs like Employment Insurance will be cut. Quebec and Ontario have already said they won’t pay.

Creating mandatory minimum sentences for marijuana smokers and putting kids who make mistakes behind bars is not the way to make Canada a better place. Join the call to show Harper that we’d rather invest in social programs that really help Canadians.

This week, experts are speaking out against the massive crime bill that our Conservative government is rushing through Parliament.1 Even conservative Texans are warning Canada not to follow American’s failed path of mandatory sentences and massive prison expansion.2 Now, we need a massive public outcry to stop the bill, and make Canada safer, not meaner.

Experts agree that the crime bill would make Canada a more dangerous place by filling new prisons with people who should not be there. Instead, experience shows that we should focus on proven strategies to prevent crime, rehabilitate people and reintegrate them into society.1,3 The stakes are huge: if this bill passes we will be spending billions to trap people and create a permanent underclass of Canadians with little hope for a better life.4

The good news is that more and more Canadians are speaking out and public opinion is close to a decisive shift. The Conservatives want to be “Canada’s natural governing party” and they care about public opinion. We need to show the Conservative government that they can either choose a better path, or they will pay a serious political cost for making Canada a meaner and more dangerous place.

Mandatory sentences and prison expansion backfired in the United States, a country with only 5% of the global population and 25% of all the world’s prisoners. Today, state after state is in crisis and is repealing those laws.2

One conservative Texan, Judge John Creuzot of the Dallas County Court, has warned us, saying: You will spend billions and billions and billions on locking people up. And there will come a point in time where the public says, ‘Enough!’ And you’ll wind up letting them out.” 2

We all want to make Canada safer. Yes, there is a role for punishment that is proportionate to the crime and wisely chosen for the circumstance. However, in the vast majority of cases, rehabilitation is better than long jail sentences. Canada âs focus on prevention and rehabilitation has already brought crime rates to historic lows.3,5

Every billion dollars our federal government forces our provinces to spend on new prisons is a billion dollars that could have been spent preventing crimes by supporting programs for at-risk youth, drug and alcohol treatment programs, and strategies for mental health.

The crime bill represents a creeping erosion of Canada’s social fabric. We know that millions of Canadians believe that prevention and restorative justice – approaches that make sure the victim’s needs are met and the community is healed – should be the heart of Canadian justice.

This crime bill would move us in the wrong direction. Who benefits from one-size-fits-all punishments? Who benefits from massive prison expansion? Who benefits from throwing more of Canada’s youth, poor, and mentally ill in prison?

It’s time we speak out together. This petition is an essential first step in a major campaign. Will you join us?

Click here to tell Justice Minister Rob Nicholson and your MP you want a new strategy for Canadian justice:

So far 22,413 strong.

As of Nov 13 2011 22,823 messages sent

http://www.leadnow.ca/keep-canada-safe

You can also sign this Petition over  80,765 strong

As of Nov 13 2011 96,960 have signed

http://www.avaaz.org/en/stop_harpers_cruel_crime_bill/?cl=1378432192&v=11036

Both only take a minute of your life to sign..

Please do pass this on.

Bill  S-10

Sources:

[1] Critics of omnibus bill advocate for criminals,Conservatives charge (Globe and Mail):
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/critics-of-omnibus-bill-advocate-for-criminals-conservatives-charge/article2205213/

[2] Texas conservatives reject Harper’s crime plan – ‘Been there; done that; didn’t work,’ say Texas crime-fighters (CBC):
http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2011/10/17/pol-vp-milewski-texas-crime.html

[3] Study: Prevention Fights Crime Better Than Jail (Seattle Times):
http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19960620&slug=2335526

[4] Tough on crime will likely lead to more crime, bigger deficit (Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives):
http://www.policyalternatives.ca/newsroom/news-releases/tough-crime-will-likely-lead-more-crime-bigger-deficit-report

[5] Crime rates fall to lowest level since 1973
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2011/07/21/crime-rates.html

[6] Open letter to the Government opposing mandatory sentences from over 550 Canadian experts and public health professionals (Urban Health Research Initiative):
http://uhri.cfenet.ubc.ca/content/view/90

[7] A Meaner Canada : Junk Politics and the Omnibus Crime Bill (Alex Himelfarb)
http://afhimelfarb.wordpress.com/2011/05/29/a-meaner-canada-junk-politics-and-the-omnibus-crime-bill/

[8] What is Wrong With Harper’s Omnibus Crime Bill (Behind the Numbers)
http://www.behindthenumbers.ca/2011/09/20/whats-wrong-with-harpers-omnibus-crime-bill/

[9] Rough Justice in America: Too many laws, too many prisoners – Never in the civilised world have so many been locked up for so little (The Economist):
http://www.economist.com/node/16636027

[10] Salvaging a faulty crime bill (Irvin Waller)
http://www.themarknews.com/articles/6942-salvaging-a-faulty-crime-bill

[11] Incarceration and Crime: A Complex Relationship, (The Sentencing Project)
http://www.sentencingproject.org/doc/publications/inc_iandc_complex.pdf

[12] The cartoon is by Malcolm Mayes, in the Edmonton Journal.

The Harper Government in Canada wants to create Legislation similar to the Drug offenses in the US. Lets hope Canadians do not get coerced into this. Marijuana is not that bad. It has many uses medically and fewer violent crimes if any are committed because of it. Alcohol is far worse as far as crimes.  Those who use Marijuana are non violent.

If a police officer had a choice of going into a room with 20 Marijuana users or 20 drunk people the room with the Marijuana uses would be a much safer room. Drunk people are much more violent and much more dangerous. Marijuana users would be listening to music and eating. They don’t even bother to argue they just enjoy themselves. Drunk people fight and argue and alcohol is addictive where as Marijuana is not.

So I have to say Harper’s bill is wrong on many counts. If anything Marijuana should be legalized and the Government could regulate it and make profits/taxes on it. Open stores to have it sold etc.

It would eliminate grow ops and many other problems now associated with Marijuana.

If individuals grew their own or buy it from a Government store there would be no need for dealers and all the other problems now faced by police at this time.

Then the police could spend their time looking for dangerous criminals.

It would save a lot of money and make a lot of money.

End of a lot of problems.

Check the link below and get some insight as to how Medical Marijuana helps people and it is safer then many Pharmaceuticals.

It will even get rid of a headache.

The lobby groups who want to prevent the legalization of Marijuana are the Pharmaceutical companies. Not because it is dangerous, but because it would cut into their profits.

Medical Marijuana


Legalizing Marijuana  would create a lot of jobs something we all can agree on is needed. Maybe the drinkers would take up smoking Marijuana and make the world a safer place especially for women who are beaten by their drunken spouses.

What’s wrong with Harper’s omnibus crime bill

By Paula Mallea

September 20, 2011

Prime Minister Harper will be launching his tough-on-crime agenda today. Our criminal justice system is by no means perfect, but the omnibus crime bill will send us back to a 19th century punishment model. Here are some reasons why Canadians need to speak out against this legislation.

The former U.S. drug czar (Asa Hutchinson) has encouraged Canada not to make the same mistakes the U.S. made. The two mistakes he cited were mandatory minimum sentences, and insufficient attention to rehabilitative programs.

1. The cost of the Harper crime agenda will be colossal, and a large part of it (some say most) will be borne by the provinces, who are responsible for implementing whatever the feds pass. So provinces and territories (many of them in elections as we speak) will be expected to pay for additional courts, clerks, prisons, Crown Attorneys, judges, sheriffs, court reporters and so on. And the numbers are high-$5 billion over 5 years for the one piece of legislation which was examined by the Parliamentary Budget Officer. The new drug sentences alone will increase numbers of offenders by a huge amount. The Corrections department is one of the few which is receiving huge increases in its budget as we speak.

2. Virtually all of the crime legislation is directed towards increasing punishment by way of more prison terms for more people and for longer. Virtually nothing in any of the legislation does anything to prevent crime (as the Conservatives claim), help victims (as they claim) or target guns, gangs, drugs and organized crime (as they claim). The Harper government’s stated objectives will not be met by the omnibus crime bill.

3. Other jurisdictions, notably the United States, have rejected the Harper approach. Newt Gingrich is fronting a group called Right on Crime which advocates for less incarceration. Ronald Reagan presided over a huge reduction in incarceration when he was governor of California. Maggie Thatcher refused to allow incarceration rates to rise in Britain. Many states are abolishing mandatory minimum sentences and reducing the proportion of sentences which must be served before release.

4. Canada is moving in the wrong direction, and the results will not be pretty. I predict there will be expanding deficits at all levels, an increase in misery for all parties, including offenders’ families and communities, and victims (who in fact advocate for improvements in preventive and rehabilitative programs). The picture becomes darker when you consider that up to 80 to 90 per cent of offenders in some institutions are addicts (mostly to alcohol), and up to 40 per cent have mental illnesses. A huge proportion are Aborignal people. Many offenders are homeless, illiterate, victims of sexual abuse, and so on. What is significant is that we have the means to deal with all of these conditions-we know how, and the resources required would be a fraction of the budget necessary to incarcerate so many new inmates. Dealing with these issues would not only reduce crime but would also make for a healthier community. Because the Conservatives are so concentrated on the punishment model, there will be no resources (and no inclination) to fund the programs necessary to deal with these fundamental problems.

5. Journalists continually state that the omnibus crime bill is considered necessary by the Harper government because the crime legislation was otherwise “unpassable” or because of “obstructive measures” taken by the opposition. This is demonstrably not true. The opposition never got a chance to oppose most of the crime legislation because it never came to a vote: most of the laws died on the order paper when Mr. Harper prorogued Parliament twice and when he called the 2008 election. Most of the rest of them were never brought forward in a timely manner.

The Conservatives have the majority they need to pass this legislation. The only thing that might give them pause would be a public groundswell against the law. If for no other reason than financial, we should be making our voices heard.

 

Paula Mallea, B.A., M.A., Ll.B, practised criminal law for 15 years in Toronto, Kingston, and Manitoba. She acted mainly as defence counsel, with a part-time stint as prosecutor, and spent hundreds of hours in penitentiaries representing inmates. She is a Research Associate with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. She is the author of The Fear Factor: Stephen Harper’s Tough On Crime Agenda and Lorimer Publishing will be releasing her book on the tough-on-crime agenda this fall.

This article first appeared on Behind the Numbers.

 

Ceasefire in the War on Drugs?

CIA Drug Trafficking over 50 years

Why do you think American troops are Guarding the Poppy Fields in Afghanistan? Afghanistan went from no Heroin to tons of Heroin.

Plus the US got their pipeline.

Afghanistan: Troops Guarding the Poppy Fields

Cost of the war on Drugs in US

Canadians do not want the American system. Check link below to see why.

The Prison Industry in the United States Costs Taxpayers Billions

You also might want to check this out as well.

US wants to Censor the Internet

US Lawmakers Corruption “Busted”

Recent

ICC to Probe NATO, NTC War Crimes in Libya War

The Libya American’s never saw on Television

US, NATO and Rebel war crimes in Libya

The Iran you will never see on American Television

Canada: Mohawk Elders looking for mass graves of Children that died in Residential Schools

Deaths in Afghanistan 5.6 million due to war


Published in: on November 10, 2011 at 5:15 pm  Comments Off on Canada: Stop Harper’s cruel crime bill  
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The Prison Industry in the United States Costs Taxpayers Billions

 

Just added February 18 2012

The actually cost more and are more of a danger to the public.

A couple of thing from report.

A 1992 study by the New

Mexico Corrections Department showed that guards at a private CCA-run women’s correctional facility were pressured to issue disciplinary infractions to inmates that resulted in prolonging their incarceration out of a desire on the part of CCA executives to maximize quarterly dividends.

Prison-for-profit inmates were more likely to report a lack of structure in their day. The difference stems from the fact that public prisons force its inmates to participate in rehabilitation activities while the prisonfor- profit does little to promote these programs. another benefit to the private prison industry, because rehabilitated offenders do not fill private prison beds and therefore do not generate profits.

There fore private prison promote prisons to re-offend costing tax payer more money in the end.

Sometimes private prison operators are so greedy for revenue-generating human beings to fill their cells that they bribe judges to sentence children to serious jail time for the most minor and trivial of offenses.

The IRS sued CCA in 2002 after its audit of the company suggested it was abusing tax loopholes to avoid paying its share of federal taxes.

Some do not even pay their taxes. So they have to be sued to get them to pay them which cost tax payer more money.

Privatizing prisons remove responsibility from the state’s elected representatives and makes it more difficult for the facilities to be held accountable by the public.

Less Guards  working for less money caused safety issues for the guards, who are also not well trained either.

Not mentioned in the report.

There is also a job lose issue which was not mentioned. There are fewer Guards per capita working in private prisons then in state run ones. Privatization caused job losses.

The less people working the less income tax that is paid. The smaller wages also mean those guards are paying less taxes as well.

There is much more to read ans everyone should understand what has been happening so read the report and be informed.

A report of the Privatization of Prisons in the US

 

So lets start with a report from 2008.

There were only 2 million prisoners then.

The prison industry in the United States: big business or a new form of slavery?

by Vicky Pelaez

March 10, 2008

El Diario-La Prensa, New York

Human rights organizations, as well as political and social ones, are condemning what they are calling a new form of inhumane exploitation in the United States, where they say a prison population of up to 2 million – mostly Black and Hispanic – are working for various industries for a pittance. For the tycoons who have invested in the prison industry, it has been like finding a pot of gold. They don’t have to worry about strikes or paying unemployment insurance, vacations or comp time. All of their workers are full-time, and never arrive late or are absent because of family problems; moreover, if they don’t like the pay of 25 cents an hour and refuse to work, they are locked up in isolation cells.

There are approximately 2 million inmates in state, federal and private prisons throughout the country. According to California Prison Focus, “no other society in human history has imprisoned so many of its own citizens.” The figures show that the United States has locked up more people than any other country: a half million more than China, which has a population five times greater than the U.S. Statistics reveal that the United States holds 25% of the world’s prison population, but only 5% of the world’s people. From less than 300,000 inmates in 1972, the jail population grew to 2 million by the year 2000. In 1990 it was one million. Ten years ago there were only five private prisons in the country, with a population of 2,000 inmates; now, there are 100, with 62,000 inmates. It is expected that by the coming decade, the number will hit 360,000, according to reports.

What has happened over the last 10 years? Why are there so many prisoners?

“The private contracting of prisoners for work fosters incentives to lock people up. Prisons depend on this income. Corporate stockholders who make money off prisoners’ work lobby for longer sentences, in order to expand their workforce. The system feeds itself,” says a study by the Progressive Labor Party, which accuses the prison industry of being “an imitation of Nazi Germany with respect to forced slave labor and concentration camps.”

The prison industry complex is one of the fastest-growing industries in the United States and its investors are on Wall Street. “This multimillion-dollar industry has its own trade exhibitions, conventions, websites, and mail-order/Internet catalogs. It also has direct advertising campaigns, architecture companies, construction companies, investment houses on Wall Street, plumbing supply companies, food supply companies, armed security, and padded cells in a large variety of colors.”

According to the Left Business Observer, the federal prison industry produces 100% of all military helmets, ammunition belts, bullet-proof vests, ID tags, shirts, pants, tents, bags, and canteens. Along with war supplies, prison workers supply 98% of the entire market for equipment assembly services; 93% of paints and paintbrushes; 92% of stove assembly; 46% of body armor; 36% of home appliances; 30% of headphones/microphones/speakers; and 21% of office furniture. Airplane parts, medical supplies, and much more: prisoners are even raising seeing-eye dogs for blind people.

CRIME GOES DOWN, JAIL POPULATION GOES UP

According to reports by human rights organizations, these are the factors that increase the profit potential for those who invest in the prison industry complex:

. Jailing persons convicted of non-violent crimes, and long prison sentences for possession of microscopic quantities of illegal drugs. Federal law stipulates five years’ imprisonment without possibility of parole for possession of 5 grams of crack or 3.5 ounces of heroin, and 10 years for possession of less than 2 ounces of rock-cocaine or crack. A sentence of 5 years for cocaine powder requires possession of 500 grams – 100 times more than the quantity of rock cocaine for the same sentence. Most of those who use cocaine powder are white, middle-class or rich people, while mostly Blacks and Latinos use rock cocaine. In Texas, a person may be sentenced for up to two years’ imprisonment for possessing 4 ounces of marijuana. Here in New York, the 1973 Nelson Rockefeller anti-drug law provides for a mandatory prison sentence of 15 years to life for possession of 4 ounces of any illegal drug.

. The passage in 13 states of the “three strikes” laws (life in prison after being convicted of three felonies), made it necessary to build 20 new federal prisons. One of the most disturbing cases resulting from this measure was that of a prisoner who for stealing a car and two bicycles received three 25-year sentences.

. Longer sentences.

. The passage of laws that require minimum sentencing, without regard for circumstances.

. A large expansion of work by prisoners creating profits that motivate the incarceration of more people for longer periods of time.

. More punishment of prisoners, so as to lengthen their sentences.

HISTORY OF PRISON LABOR IN THE UNITED STATES

Prison labor has its roots in slavery. After the 1861-1865 Civil War, a system of “hiring out prisoners” was introduced in order to continue the slavery tradition. Freed slaves were charged with not carrying out their sharecropping commitments (cultivating someone else’s land in exchange for part of the harvest) or petty thievery – which were almost never proven – and were then “hired out” for cotton picking, working in mines and building railroads. From 1870 until 1910 in the state of Georgia, 88% of hired-out convicts were Black. In Alabama, 93% of “hired-out” miners were Black. In Mississippi, a huge prison farm similar to the old slave plantations replaced the system of hiring out convicts. The notorious Parchman plantation existed until 1972.

During the post-Civil War period, Jim Crow racial segregation laws were imposed on every state, with legal segregation in schools, housing, marriages and many other aspects of daily life. “Today, a new set of markedly racist laws is imposing slave labor and sweatshops on the criminal justice system, now known as the prison industry complex,” comments the Left Business Observer.

Who is investing? At least 37 states have legalized the contracting of prison labor by private corporations that mount their operations inside state prisons. The list of such companies contains the cream of U.S. corporate society: IBM, Boeing, Motorola, Microsoft, AT&T, Wireless, Texas Instrument, Dell, Compaq, Honeywell, Hewlett-Packard, Nortel, Lucent Technologies, 3Com, Intel, Northern Telecom, TWA, Nordstrom’s, Revlon, Macy’s, Pierre Cardin, Target Stores, and many more. All of these businesses are excited about the economic boom generation by prison labor. Just between 1980 and 1994, profits went up from $392 million to $1.31 billion. Inmates in state penitentiaries generally receive the minimum wage for their work, but not all; in Colorado, they get about $2 per hour, well under the minimum. And in privately-run prisons, they receive as little as 17 cents per hour for a maximum of six hours a day, the equivalent of $20 per month. The highest-paying private prison is CCA in Tennessee, where prisoners receive 50 cents per hour for what they call “highly skilled positions.” At those rates, it is no surprise that inmates find the pay in federal prisons to be very generous. There, they can earn $1.25 an hour and work eight hours a day, and sometimes overtime. They can send home $200-$300 per month.

Thanks to prison labor, the United States is once again an attractive location for investment in work that was designed for Third World labor markets. A company that operated a maquiladora (assembly plant in Mexico near the border) closed down its operations there and relocated to San Quentin State Prison in California. In Texas, a factory fired its 150 workers and contracted the services of prisoner-workers from the private Lockhart Texas prison, where circuit boards are assembled for companies like IBM and Compaq.

[Former] Oregon State Representative Kevin Mannix recently urged Nike to cut its production in Indonesia and bring it to his state, telling the shoe manufacturer that “there won’t be any transportation costs; we’re offering you competitive prison labor (here).”

PRIVATE PRISONS

The prison privatization boom began in the 1980s, under the governments of Ronald Reagan and Bush Sr., but reached its height in 1990 under William Clinton, when Wall Street stocks were selling like hotcakes. Clinton’s program for cutting the federal workforce resulted in the Justice Departments contracting of private prison corporations for the incarceration of undocumented workers and high-security inmates.

Private prisons are the biggest business in the prison industry complex. About 18 corporations guard 10,000 prisoners in 27 states. The two largest are Correctional Corporation of America (CCA) and Wackenhut, which together control 75%. Private prisons receive a guaranteed amount of money for each prisoner, independent of what it costs to maintain each one. According to Russell Boraas, a private prison administrator in Virginia, “the secret to low operating costs is having a minimal number of guards for the maximum number of prisoners.” The CCA has an ultra-modern prison in Lawrenceville, Virginia, where five guards on dayshift and two at night watch over 750 prisoners. In these prisons, inmates may get their sentences reduced for “good behavior,” but for any infraction, they get 30 days added – which means more profits for CCA. According to a study of New Mexico prisons, it was found that CCA inmates lost “good behavior time” at a rate eight times higher than those in state prisons.

IMPORTING AND EXPORTING INMATES

Profits are so good that now there is a new business: importing inmates with long sentences, meaning the worst criminals. When a federal judge ruled that overcrowding in Texas prisons was cruel and unusual punishment, the CCA signed contracts with sheriffs in poor counties to build and run new jails and share the profits. According to a December 1998 Atlantic Monthly magazine article, this program was backed by investors from Merrill-Lynch, Shearson-Lehman, American Express and Allstate, and the operation was scattered all over rural Texas. That state’s governor, Ann Richards, followed the example of Mario Cuomo in New York and built so many state prisons that the market became flooded, cutting into private prison profits.

After a law signed by Clinton in 1996 – ending court supervision and decisions – caused overcrowding and violent, unsafe conditions in federal prisons, private prison corporations in Texas began to contact other states whose prisons were overcrowded, offering “rent-a-cell” services in the CCA prisons located in small towns in Texas. The commission for a rent-a-cell salesman is $2.50 to $5.50 per day per bed. The county gets $1.50 for each prisoner.

STATISTICS

Ninety-seven percent of 125,000 federal inmates have been convicted of non-violent crimes. It is believed that more than half of the 623,000 inmates in municipal or county jails are innocent of the crimes they are accused of. Of these, the majority are awaiting trial. Two-thirds of the one million state prisoners have committed non-violent offenses. Sixteen percent of the country’s 2 million prisoners suffer from mental illness. Source

Billions Behind Bars – Inside America’s Prison Industry Part 1-3

Billions Behind Bars – Inside America’s Prison Industry Part 2-3

Billions Behind Bars – Inside America’s Prison Industry Part 3-3

The links below may explain why there are many innocent people in Jail.

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We fabricated drug charges against innocent people to meet arrest quotas, former NYPD detective testifies

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Fourteen Examples of Systemic Racism in the U.S. Criminal Justice System -Prison Corruption

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Powell receives 18-month sentence in prison corruption case

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Judge: Guerra can’t re-indict

The Nov. 17 indictments that a grand jury returned charged Cheney and Gonzales with profiting from private prisons, neglecting conditions and stopping inquiries into assaults/

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From December 2006 7,000 a Year Die in U.S. Prisons

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In 2009:  People

  • On Probation 4,203,967
  • On Parole 819,308
  • In Jail  760,400
  • In Prison 1,524,513

Grand Total  7,225,800

In 2001

  • The average annual operating cost per state inmate in 2001 was $22,650, or $62.05 per day; among facilities operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, it was $22,632 per inmate, or $62.01 per day.
  • In 2001 the average annual cost for state prisons per U.S. resident was $204, up from $49 in 1986.

Executions during 2009   52

Executions during  2010 46

Number of prisoners under sentence of death   3,173

Source

  • One out of 100 American adults are behind bars
  • One out of 32 Americans are on probation, parole or in prison.

This reliance on mass incarceration has created a thriving prison economy. The states and the federal government spends about $74 billion a year on corrections.

I tried to find the cost of the average trial, but couldn’t find much information on it. I imagine it would be  a lot.


From 2002 I did find this on Death Penalty Trials

Counties Struggle With High Cost
Of Prosecuting Death-Penalty Cases

January 9, 2002

By RUSSELL GOLD

When a Utah police chief was shot to death in July after responding to a call about a domestic dispute, tiny Uintah County’s decision to seek the death penalty was easy. “It was a law-enforcement officer in the line of duty,” says county attorney JoAnn Stringham.

Now comes the hard part: paying for the trial. So far, the county hopes to avoid raising taxes on its 25,959 citizens by spreading the as-yet undetermined costs over three fiscal years.

Other counties haven’t been as lucky. Jasper County, Texas, ran up a huge bill seeking a capital-murder conviction of three men accused of killing James Byrd Jr., who was dragged to death in a 1998 case that attracted national attention. (Two were sentenced to death; the third got life in prison.) The cost — $1.02 million to date, with other expenses expected — has strained the county’s $10 million annual budget, forcing a 6.7% increase in property taxes over two years to pay for the trial. County auditor Jonetta Nash says only a massive flood that wiped out roads and bridges in the late 1970s came close to the fiscal impact of the trial.

As a growing number of local governments are discovering, there is often a new twist on an old saying: Nothing is certain except the death penalty and higher taxes.

Just prosecuting a capital crime can cost an average of $200,000 to $300,000, according to a conservative estimate by the Texas Office of Court Administration. Add indigent-defense lawyers, an almost-automatic appeal and a trial transcript, and death-penalty cases can easily cost many times that amount.

The cost, county officials say, can be an unexpected and severe budgetary shock — much like a natural disaster, but without any federal relief to ease the strain. To pay up, counties must raise taxes, cut services, or both.

In research published last summer, Dartmouth College economist Katherine Baicker found that counties that bring a death-penalty case had a tax rate 1.6% higher than those that didn’t. Her statistical examination of 14 years of budget data from all 3,043 U.S. counties showed those with a death penalty also spent 3.3% less on law enforcement and highways. Ms. Baicker’s analysis found that the same pattern of raised taxes and spending cuts hits all death-penalty counties regardless of size.

In Texas, Dallas County is struggling to pay for concurrent cases against six prison escapees accused of killing a suburban policeman last year. Gov. Rick Perry gave the county $250,000 from discretionary funds to help.

The fiscal fallout can linger for years. In Mississippi, Quitman County raised taxes three times in the 1990s and took out a $150,000 loan to pay for the 1990 capital-murder trials of two men that went on for years. Now, the county is having trouble attracting a new tenant to a vacant warehouse because it has higher property taxes than any nearby county. A death-penalty case “is almost like lightning striking,” says county administrator Butch Scipper. “It is catastrophic to a small rural county.”

The issue has become more pressing as death-penalty case costs have pushed higher, says Jay Kimbrough, criminal-justice director for Gov. Perry. Among the causes: DNA tests and appellate-court decisions that require longer jury selection and more expensive defense attorneys.

Now local officials are pressing state governments for relief. In Texas, Jasper County’s experience helped persuade lawmakers last year to expand a program to help counties pay for the “extraordinary costs” of prosecuting capital-murder cases. (The discretionary funds given Dallas County last April were not part of this program.) State Rep. Bob Turner, who sponsored the legislation, says he was worried that smaller counties were “downgrading cases” — pursuing lesser charges rather than the death penalty — “to preclude the tremendous drain on the county budget.” While Mr. Turner says he knows of no specific examples, he says he often heard about the cost pressures during meetings with officials from the 17 mostly rural counties he represents.

A Trial ‘s TallyJasper County,Texas,spent more than $1.02 million bringing death penalty cases against three men for the 1998 murder of James Byrd Jr. A breakdown of expenses:
Court-appointed defense attorneys 28.3%
Telephone, travel and misc 20.6
Salary for extra prosecutors 17.3
Jury, courthouse security, court reporter 15.5
Investigation 15.4
Psychiatric evaluation 2.9

Costs notwithstanding, county officials say they pursue the death penalty when the crime warrants it. “It is very expensive and it is very burdensome on communities, so that gives people pause,” says Arthur Eads, who was the district attorney in Killeen, Texas, for 24 years. But, he says, “I never felt the heat to do it or not to do it because of the money.”

Polk County, in east Texas, was the most recent county to receive state help. In June, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the sentence of Johnny Paul Penry, convicted of fatally stabbing a woman in 1979, and sent the case back to Polk County for a third trial. County officials toted up the likely costs: $250 to $350 per hour for the forensic psychiatrist to review and testify about Mr. Penry’s medical records; $700 to copy his 1,500-page prison record; $20,000 to pay for hotels, meals and mileage for prosecutors, investigators and support staff when the trial is moved to a different county, as expected.

Total estimated cost: at least $200,000. In December, Polk received $100,000 from the state to help pay the bill.

Other states have begun to set up what amount to death-penalty risk pools, allowing counties to pay in annually and receive funds in the event of a death-penalty case. Utah created one of the first such pools in 1997 after “the legislature got tired of bailing out counties,” says Mark Nash, director of the Utah Prosecution Council.

Uintah was one of six Utah counties that didn’t participate in that state’s risk pool. The county, in the northeast corner of the state, had never had a death-penalty case until Roosevelt City police chief Cecil Gurr was shot and killed in July, just a few feet inside the county line.

Now, as the county struggles to pay for prosecuting the case, local officials are convinced the insurance is a good idea. In August, Uintah paid $21,500 to join the state risk pool — for the next death-penalty case. Source

So how much did it cost for all the trials. Do the math.

Executions during 2009   52

Executions during  2010 46

Number of prisoners  sentence of death   3,173

More on the cost of Death Penalty Trials in Washington State and other Goodies.

Documenting the high costs of pursuing the ultimate punishment in Washington state

Prison Legal News

Crime Statistics > Prisoners > Per capita (most recent) by country

Population in China was 1,330,044,544  in 2008 – about 4 times more people live in China then in the United States.

Population in United States was  303,824,640 in 2008

Both populations are a bit higher now.

Think about that when you check the statistics in the link below.

Crime Statistics > Number  of Prisoners  (most recent) by country

Guantanamo detainees must also be included ad the price of keeping them is high as well.

Is it physically possible to hang yourself when bound, masked and gagged.

More on  Guantanamo Bay

Marijuana: Public Enemy #1

by Robert C. Koehler

November 10, 2011

“Play faster!” he cried, wildly, over and over. “Play faster!”

The dame who was tickling the ivories complied, out of control herself. The music revved to a dangerous velocity — oh, too fast for decent, sober, well-behaved Americans to bear — and . . . well, you just knew, violence, madness, laughter were just around the corner. The year was 1936 and, oh my God, they were high on marijuana, public enemy number one.

The scene is from Reefer Madness, arguably the dumbest movie ever made — but smugly at the emotional and ideological core of American drug policy for the last three-quarters of a century. The policy, which morphed in 1970 into an all-out “war” on drugs, has filled our prisons to bursting, created powerful criminal enterprises, launched a real war in Mexico and presided over the skyrocketing of recreational drug use in the United States. The war on drugs just may be a bigger disaster than the war on terror.

“The war on drugs, as it has been waged, has not only failed to curtail drug use; it has become a major public health liability in its own right,” writes Christopher Glenn Fichtner in his comprehensive new book on our disastrous war on a plant, Cannabanomics: The Marijuana Policy Tipping Point (Well Mind Books).

Fichtner, a psychiatrist — he served as Illinois Director of Mental Health for several years — takes a long, hard look at the politics of irrationality and lays out a compelling diagnosis: “essentially, social or mass psychosis.” You can also throw in racism. The war on drugs is simply a race war by another name, fueled by fear of Mexican and African American culture, with the weight of law brought down on African Americans with wildly disproportionate severity:

“. . . during a period when the number of prison sentences for drug-related convictions increased dramatically for all drug offenders,” Fichtner writes, citing Illinois statistics between 1983 and 2002, “it increased for African Americans at roughly eight times the rate of increase seen for Caucasians.”

But reading Cannabanomics kept leaving me with the sense that there was a deeper irrationality to our anti-marijuana crusade than even the racism. For instance, “Examples abound,” he writes, “in which the application of mandatory minimum sentences has led to harsher penalties for marijuana offenses than for violent crimes ranging from battery through sexual assault and even to murder.”

And the violent enforcement of zero tolerance hasn’t been limited to the pursuit of recreational potheads. Those using cannabis medicinally have also been harassed, arrested and sometimes treated with such shocking violence you have to wonder whether the official paranoia about marijuana use — that it leads to mental derangement and violent behavior — is sheer projection.

For instance, early in the book Fichtner relates the story of Garry, a California man who used marijuana to relieve arthritic pain. Despite the fact that this was legal under state law, his house was raided by federal agents: “As he opened his front door, he was greeted by a battering ram and a physical takedown maneuver that left him with a dislocated left shoulder, right hand fractures, blunt head trauma, and a back injury that aggravated the arthritis for which he grew cannabis in his garage in the first place.”

Much of Cannabanomics is devoted to the extraordinary medicinal uses of marijuana, which has been called one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to the human race. It has been used, usually with little if any side effect, to alleviate chronic pain and chemo-induced nausea and relieve the symptoms of a stunning array of illnesses and conditions, including epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, cerebral palsy, diabetes, hepatitis C, AIDS, cancer, Tourette’s syndrome, Alzheimer’s. The list goes on.

The herb has been “part of humanity’s medicine chest for almost as long as history has been recorded,” according to Dr. Gregory T. Carter, writing on the NORML website.

In light of this, our war against it — at extraordinary human and economic cost — illuminates a crying need for us to change the way we govern and look after ourselves. Another story Fichtner tells is about an Illinois man named Seth, who had suffered from epileptic seizures most of his life. He reluctantly tried using marijuana — one inhalation a day — because his prescribed medications weren’t helping much, and soon reduced the incidence of grand mal seizures from several per week to one or two per month.

The amazing part of this story, Fichtner notes, is that none of his doctors were willing even to discuss the therapeutic use of marijuana, though they were quick to recommend invasive procedures, including temporal lobe surgery. “. . .we Americans,” he writes, “live in a society in which it is acceptable practice for surgeons to destroy a piece of someone’s brain in order to prevent seizures but where use of marijuana for the same purpose . . . is a criminal offense.”

To my mind, it all smacks of the military-industrial metaphor that rules the American roost. We’re quick to seize on something as the enemy and organize ourselves blindly around its destruction, never stopping to notice that what we’re destroying is ourselves. In the case of the war on drugs, our “enemy” is our greatest ally. Source

Top 3 things YOU need to know about the private prison money scheme:

1) The victims: Private prisons don’t care about who they lock up. At $200 per immigrant a night, this is the “perfect” money scheme.

2) The players: CCA, Geo Group and MTC — combined currently profit more than $5 billion a year.

3)The money: These corporations spend $20 million a year lobbying legislators to get anti-immigrant laws approved and thus more inmates.

Join The Virtual Vigil and Occupation
Shut Down Stewart  http://mycuentame.org/immigrantsforsale/

Roberto Martinez-Medina died in CCA’s Stewart Detention Center in Georgia in 2009.

Medina had been arrested a month earlier for not having a driver’s license.

CCA profited off of Medina’s incarceration, and ensured a greater profit by denying him critical health care.

CCA has gone to great lengths to hush Medina’s death.

Sign the petition to demand an investigation into Medina’s death: http://immigrantsforsale.org
Pedro Guzman spent 19 months at CCA’s Stewart private detention because he missed an immigration order.

Authorities showed no mercy after Guzman explained the court order was sent to an old address.

CCA profited approximately $72,000 from Pedro’s detention.

Guzman’s wife Emily and only son Logan endured a painful and debilitating struggle to survive while they fought for Pedro’s release.

Doesn’t Pedro deserve to be reimbursed for his unjust detention? Tell CCA To Pay Pedro Back: http://tinyurl.com/paypedroback

Immigration detention: fastest growing incarceration system in the U.S.

The Harper Government in Canada wants to create Legislation similar to the Drug offenses in the US. Lets hope Canadians do not get coerced into this. Marijuana is not that bad. It has many uses medically and fewer violent crimes if any are committed because of it. Alcohol is far worse as far as crimes.  Those who use Marijuana are non violent.

If a police officer had a choice of going into a room with 20 Marijuana users or 20 drunk people the room with the Marijuana uses would be a much safer room. Drunk people are much more violent and much more dangerous. Marijuana users would be listening to music and eating. They don’t even bother to argue they just enjoy themselves. Drunk people fight and argue and alcohol is addictive where as Marijuana is not.

So I have to say Harper’s bill is wrong on many counts. If anything Marijuana should be legalized and the Government could regulate it and make profits/taxes on it. Open stores to have it sold etc.

It would eliminate grow ops and many other problems now associated with Marijuana.

If individuals grew their own or buy it from a Government store there would be no need for dealers and all the other problems now faced by police at this time.

Then the police could spend their time looking for dangerous criminals.

It would save a lot of money and make a lot of money.

End of a lot of problems.

Check the link below and get some insight as to how Medical Marijuana helps people and it is safer then many Pharmaceuticals.

It will even get rid of a headache.

The lobby groups who want to prevent the legalization of Marijuana are the Pharmaceutical companies. Not because it is dangerous, but because it would cut into their profits.

Medical Marijuana

The Harper Government in Canada wants to pass some of the similar laws  used in the US. Most pertaining to Drugs.  They are not affective in the US and will not be affective in Canada. The crimes committed in Canada have dropped. There are enough laws to cover all crimes in Canada as it is, so no new laws are necessary.  This will just put people a select group of people in prison longer, no stop crime.  Go to the link below and check it out. If you know any Canadians pass this on to them.  Seems Harper’s  Gov. passes many Bills and Canadians know nothing about them.

Canada: Stop Harper’s cruel crime bill

Legalizing Marijuana  would create a lot of jobs something we all can agree on is needed. Maybe the drinkers would take up smoking Marijuana and make the world a safer place especially for women who are beaten by their drunken spouses.

Hemp growing and use has created many jobs.

Hemp was kept illegal and it is not even a drug because of Oil companies.  If there is one thing oil companies did not want it is Hemp on the market. Finally Hemp is making a comeback.

Hemp is not legal to grow in the U.S. under Federal law all because of the Oil lobby. How foolish American are. Gas can be made from Hemp as can plastics and are better for the environment.

The US government would rather go to war for oil, kill millions while they do it, destroy everything in their path and pollute the land for years to come.

Hemp as fuel is safer to produce then it is to drill for oil.

Hemp does not need Pesticides or Herbicides either.

Ceasefire in the War on Drugs?

CIA Drug Trafficking over 50 years

Why do you think American troops are Guarding the Poppy Fields in Afghanistan? Afghanistan went from no Heroin to tons of Heroin.

Plus the US got their pipeline.

Afghanistan: Troops Guarding the Poppy Fields

Cost of the war on Drugs in US

There have been over 4,000  Occupy Wall Street protesters arrested.

Police Brutality is becoming a growing problem.

Did You Know In the Wealthy United States of America, there were 1.3 million homeless as of December 30 2010. Guess what there are more now. Each year the homeless numbers grow in the US.

Check the link below for more information.

Occupy Wall Street Updates

How the War on Terror Has Militarized the Police

By Arthur Rizer & Joseph Hartman

Nov 7 2011

Over the past 10 years, law enforcement officials have begun to look and act more and more like soldiers. Here’s why we should be alarmed. 

At around 9:00 a.m. on May 5, 2011, officers with the Pima County, Arizona, Sheriff’s Department’s Special Weapons and Tactics (S.W.A.T.) team surrounded the home of 26-year-old José Guerena, a former U.S. Marine and veteran of two tours of duty in Iraq, to serve a search warrant for narcotics. As the officers approached, Guerena lay sleeping in his bedroom after working the graveyard shift at a local mine. When his wife Vanessa woke him up, screaming that she had seen a man outside the window pointing a gun at her, Guerena grabbed his AR-15 rifle, instructed Vanessa to hide in the closet with their four-year old son, and left the bedroom to investigate.

Within moments, and without Guerena firing a shot–or even switching his rifle off of “safety”–he lay dying, his body riddled with 60 bullets. A subsequent investigation revealed that the initial shot that prompted the S.W.A.T. team barrage came from a S.W.A.T. team gun, not Guerena’s. Guerena, reports later revealed, had no criminal record, and no narcotics were found at his home.

Sadly, the Guerenas are not alone; in recent years we have witnessed a proliferation in incidents of excessive, military-style force by police S.W.A.T. teams, which often make national headlines due to their sheer brutality. Why has it become routine for police departments to deploy black-garbed, body-armored S.W.A.T. teams for routine domestic police work? The answer to this question requires a closer examination of post-9/11 U.S. foreign policy and the War on Terror.

Ever since September 14, 2001, when President Bush declared war on terrorism, there has been a crucial, yet often unrecognized, shift in United States policy. Before 9/11, law enforcement possessed the primary responsibility for combating terrorism in the United States. Today, the military is at the tip of the anti-terrorism spear. This shift appears to be permanent: in 2006, the White House’s National Strategy for Combating Terrorism confidently announced that the United States had “broken old orthodoxies that once confined our counterterrorism efforts primarily to the criminal justice domain.”

In an effort to remedy their relative inadequacy in dealing with terrorism on U.S. soil, police forces throughout the country have purchased military equipment, adopted military training, and sought to inculcate a “soldier’s mentality” among their ranks. Though the reasons for this increasing militarization of American police forces seem obvious, the dangerous side effects are somewhat less apparent.

Undoubtedly, American police departments have substantially increased their use of military-grade equipment and weaponry to perform their counterterrorism duties, adopting everything from body armor to, in some cases, attack helicopters.  The logic behind this is understandable. If superior, military-grade equipment helps the police catch more criminals and avert, or at least reduce, the threat of a domestic terror attack, then we ought deem it an instance of positive sharing of technology — right? Not necessarily. Indeed, experts in the legal community have raised serious concerns that allowing civilian law enforcement to use military technology runs the risk of blurring the distinction between soldiers and peace officers.

This is especially true in cases where, much to the chagrin of civil liberty advocates, police departments have employed their newly acquired military weaponry not only to combat terrorism but also for everyday patrolling. Before 9/11, the usual heavy weaponry available to a small-town police officer consisted of a standard pump-action shot gun, perhaps a high power rifle, and possibly a surplus M-16, which would usually have been kept in the trunk of the supervising officer’s vehicle. Now, police officers routinely walk the beat armed with assault rifles and garbed in black full-battle uniforms. When one of us, Arthur Rizer, returned from active duty in Iraq, he saw a police officer at the Minneapolis airport armed with a M4 carbine assault rifle — the very same rifle Arthur carried during his combat tour in Fallujah.

The extent of this weapon “inflation” does not stop with high-powered rifles, either. In recent years, police departments both large and small have acquired bazookas, machine guns, and even armored vehicles (mini-tanks) for use in domestic police work.

To assist them in deploying this new weaponry, police departments have also sought and received extensive military training and tactical instruction. Originally, only the largest of America’s big-city police departments maintained S.W.A.T. teams, and they were called upon only when no other peaceful option was available and a truly military-level response was necessary. Today, virtually every police department in the nation has one or more S.W.A.T. teams, the members of whom are often trained by and with United States special operations commandos. Furthermore, with the safety of their officers in mind, these departments now habitually deploy their S.W.A.T. teams for minor operations such as serving warrants. In short, “special” has quietly become “routine.”

The most serious consequence of the rapid militarization of American police forces, however, is the subtle evolution in the mentality of the “men in blue” from “peace officer” to soldier. This development is absolutely critical and represents a fundamental change in the nature of law enforcement. The primary mission of a police officer traditionally has been to “keep the peace.” Those whom an officer suspects to have committed a crime are treated as just that – suspects. Police officers are expected, under the rule of law, to protect the civil liberties of all citizens, even the “bad guys.” For domestic law enforcement, a suspect in custody remains innocent until proven guilty. Moreover, police officers operate among a largely friendly population and have traditionally been trained to solve problems using a complex legal system; the deployment of lethal violence is an absolute last resort.

Soldiers, by contrast, are trained to identify people they encounter as belonging to one of two groups — the enemy and the non-enemy — and they often reach this decision while surrounded by a population that considers the soldier an occupying force. Once this identification is made, a soldier’s mission is stark and simple: kill the enemy, “try” not to kill the non-enemy. Indeed, the Soldier’s Creed declares, “I stand ready to deploy, engage, and destroy the enemies of the United States of America in close combat.” This is a far cry from the peace officer’s creed that expects its adherents “to protect and serve.”

The point here is not to suggest that police officers in the field should not take advantage of every tactic or piece of equipment that makes them safer as they carry out their often challenging and strenuous duties. Nor do I mean to suggest that a police officer, once trained in military tactics, will now seek to kill civilians. It is far too easy for Monday-morning quarterbacks to unfairly second-guess the way police officers perform their jobs while they are out on the streets waging what must, at times, feel like a war.

Notwithstanding this concern, however, Americans should remain mindful bringing military-style training to domestic law enforcement has real consequences. When police officers are dressed like soldiers, armed like soldiers, and trained like soldiers, it’s not surprising that they are beginning to act like soldiers. And remember: a soldier’s main objective is to kill the enemy. Source

José Guerena was innocent of any crime and yet the police shot him 60 times.  That say’s a lot about the reality America’s live in now.

Wake up America.  You live in a Violent Police State.

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Canada: Mohawk Elders looking for mass graves of Children that died in Residential Schools

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Canada: Mohawk Elders looking for mass graves of Children that died in Residential Schools

A Weekly Update on the Mohawk Inquiry: The Search for the Dead Continues

 October 17, 2011
by itccs

A second indigenous Nation authorizes digs for their lost children and endorses the ITCCS – The Canadian government strikes back against the Mohawk residential school inquiry, and a long cover-up is revealed.

Brantford, Ontario:

At the start of a third week of an unprecedented aboriginal-led investigation into the burial sites of missing children at Canada’s oldest Indian residential school, more native nations are rallying to the cause of Mohawk elders hunting for mass graves – and the government of Canada is striking back.

A second indigenous group, the traditional Squamish nation on Canada’s west coast, has authorized ITCCS Secretary Kevin Annett to begin surveys and digs for graves of residential school children on their own territory. In a written declaration, traditional elder (siem) Kiapilano stated,

“As the Landlord to the Squamish Nation lands and natural resources, I appoint Kevin Annett Eagle Strong Voice to act with a Right of Entry to claim the said buildings of all the Anglican, Catholic and United churches located on Squamish Nation territory … Kevin is given full authority to access the burial sites for excavation, conduct (of) forensic research as to the cause of death, and provide a proper traditional burial pursuant to Squamish nation ancient ways, and surrender those responsible for this genocide to my people or a public inquiry …”

The Squamish territory comprises all of the present city of Vancouver and its surrounding region, including the location of three former Indian residential schools.

Groups among the Anishnabe (Ojibway) people in central Canada, and the Maliseet nation in the Maritimes, also announced this week plans to conduct their own inquiries into children who went missing in local Indian residential schools.

In response to how quickly the Mohawk example is spreading, the Canadian government has moved quickly to undermine and stop the survey and excavations in Brantford, and continue a history of concealing the remains of children who died there.

After initially supporting the Mohawk elders-led digs and survey at the Brantford residential school site, “chief” Bill Monture of the state-funded Six Nations Band Council announced on October 10 that he now opposed the project, and denied further use of the council’s Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) Unit, and the data it had gathered on the school grounds, to the elders’ group.

Monture’s sudden reversal occurred shortly after he was summoned to Canada’s capital for consultation with government officials.

Monture’s band council has a history of concealing the deaths of children at the Brantford school. In 1982, and again in 2008, skeletal remains of children were found on the grounds of the former residential school, but the results of forensic examinations were kept secret by the band council, and the remains vanished.

Meanwhile, the inquiry continues on the site of the Brantford residential school as Mohawk volunteers survey grave sites, take samples and uncover documents indicating that the death and burial of children at the Church of England school was reported as recently as 1969, a year before the school closed. These and other accounts of crimes at the school were deliberately buried by Anglican Church officials of the local Huron Diocese.

“We’re securing another GPR scanner and are going ahead with plans to excavate at the school once an archaeological and forensics team is gathered over the next few weeks. We need the help now of all good people” said Mohawk elder Bill Squire today.

To aid the Mohawk inquiry and its work with Kevin Annett and the ITCCS, contact Squire at 519-757-3624 or Kevin Annett through this website or at 250-591-4573.

Issued by the ITCCS head office, Brussels

Mohawk Inquiry Communiqué No. 3  Source

Mass genocide of Mohawk children by UK Queen and Vatican uncovered in Canada-Rev Kevin Annett

Oct 8, 2011

By Alfred Lambremont Webre, JD, MEd

BRANTFORD, ON, CANADA – Mass graves of Mohawk children have been uncovered by ground-penetrating radar at the Mohawk Institute, a residential school for Mohawk operated by the Church of England and the Vatican before its closure in 1970.

According to Rev. Kevin Annett, Secretary of the International Tribunal for Crimes of Church and States (www.itccs.org), the Mohawk Institute was “set up by the Anglican Church of England in 1832 to imprison and destroy generations of Mohawk children. This very first Indian [First Nations] residential school in Canada lasted until 1970, and, like in most residential schools, more than half of the children imprisoned there never returned. Many of them are buried all around the school.”

Preliminary scanning by ground penetrating radar adjacent to the now closed main building Mohawk Institute has revealed that “between 15-20 feet of soil” was brought in and put over the mass graves just before the Mohawk Institute closed in 1970 in order to camouflage the mass graves of Mohawk Children and avoid prosecution for genocide and crimes against humanity under the Geneva Conventions, the International Criminal Court, and cooperating national courts.

International Tribunal for Crimes of Church and States (ITCCS.org) is expected to commence judicial proceedings starting in late October 2011 in Brussels, Belgium and Dublin, Ireland for child genocide crimes against humanity against defendants Elizabeth Windsor, head of state of Canada and head of the Church of England and Pope Joseph Ratzinger, both of whom knowingly participated in the planning and coverup of the child genocide, according to forensic evidence.

The Tribunal sessions were originally to have been held in London, U.K. However, The U.K. government has denied entrance to the Secretary and major jurists and staff of the International Tribunal for Crimes of Church and States (ITCCS.org) without cause.

The discovery of the mass graves of Mohawk children, uncovered by ground-penetrating radar at the Mohawk Institute comes on the heels of videotaped evidence by eyewitness William Coombes, who in Oct. 1964 witnessed Elizabeth Windsor, as Head of State of Canada and Head of the Church of England, visit an aboriginal school in Kamloops, British Columbia, choose 10 young aboriginal children, made them kiss her feet, and allegedly took them from the school for a picnic at a lake.

The 10 aboriginal children were never seen again.  Mr. Coombes, who was to give evidence at the International Tribunal for Crimes of Church and States (ITCCS.org) of Elizabeth Windsor’s child genocide, was murdered in Feb. 2011.  Fortunately, Mr. Coombes’ testimony was videotaped before his death and is available for the Tribunal.

Rev. Kevin Annett states that instruments of torture such as a rack for torturing the Mohawk children in ritual torture have been found at the now closed Mohawk Institute.  Eyewitnesses from the Mohawk community have stated they witnessed priests in red robes torturing children in ritual torture.

Rev. Annett made these revelations in an exclusive Oct. 7, 2011 interview with Alfred Lambremont Webre. In the interview, Rev. Annett acknowledges the close parallels between the Oct. 1964 personal child genocide and possible ritual killings of 10 aboriginal children by Elizabeth Windsor, Head of State of Canada and Head of the Church of England, and the child genocides occurring during the same period at the Mohawk Institute.

These parallels suggest that Elizabeth Windsor, as Head of State and Head of the Church of England was personally aware of, ordered, and participated in this systematic program of genocide and ritual torture and killings at Church of England residential schools operated by the Church of England and the Vatican.

In his interview, Rev. Annett stated that the mainstream Canadian media, as well as the government of Canada, are maintaining a coverup and media blackout of the discoveries of Mohawk child genocide at the Mohawk Institute. Source

UNREPENTANT: KEVIN ANNETT AND CANADA’S GENOCIDE (documentary)

Hidden from History. The Canadian Holocaust

International Tribunal for Crimes of Church and State

This is  a must read book. Do take the time to download it and read it.

It has witness testimony documents and extensive information on the systematic abuse of Indian children. Including torture, imprisonment, experimentation and numerous other horrific abuses perpetrated by the churches, the Canadian government and the US government.  50% of children in the schools died at the hands of their captors. These were not really schools they were prison/death camps.

So download, save a copy and take the time to read it. You will be shocked at the appalling, abuse suffered by these children.  No child should ever have to suffer this type of maltreatment.

Download Hidden No Longer:
Genocide in Canada, Past and Present  pdf

Good luck with this investigation. Sending love and best wishes to all concerned. Maybe finally the truth will be reveled and there is a horrid truth. The Government of Canada, Britain and the Churches involved have done everything in their power to hide the truth.

May the Power of truth walk with you.

Pickton victim’s report sat idle for years: relative

Oct. 25, 2011

VANCOUVER — The sister-in-law of one of Robert Pickton’s victims says a missing-person’s report she filed with Vancouver police sat in a filing drawer for years without officers taking any action on the document.

Lori-Ann Ellis told the public inquiry into the Robert Pickton case Tuesday that she filed the report about Cara Ellis by phone from Calgary, Alta. in 1998, about one month after she returned home from Vancouver where she had spent part of a holiday looking for her missing sister-in-law.

Cara was among the 20 women Pickton was charged with killing before those charges were stayed.

However, Ellis said she never heard back from police and only learned what happened to the report in the mid-summer of 2004, when members of the Missing Women Task Force visited her in Calgary — one day before a family memorial to Cara Ellis.

Ellis said an RCMP member who was also a member of the task force told her he had found the report in a filing drawer and it had never been “actioned.”

“I almost dropped the coffee pot,” she said. “All this time that we’d been sitting here waiting to hear, it had sat in a damn drawer in the police station and no one had even taken the time to do it.”

“They’re getting their paycheque to do it but they’re not doing it, and that really pissed me off.”

Ellis said she thinks the incident is shameful, and she said the people of Vancouver should be making the police accountable for taking paycheques while not doing their jobs.

Over the coming weeks, the inquiry will try to determine why police failed to stop Pickton as he murdered sex workers from the Downtown Eastside starting in the late 1990s.

But Ellis said it wasn’t just police inaction that infuriated her. It was also the attitude displayed by some in the department.

She said in 1998, she called the Vancouver police to follow up on her first missing person’s report and spoke to a woman.

“She told me in a really snarky tone: ‘If Cara wants to be found, she’ll be found. Why don’t you leave us alone and let us do our job.”‘

Ellis said she began to lose faith that the police were even looking for Cara.

“She told me that she’s is probably on vacation.

“How the hell can somebody earning, like, $100 a month on welfare be able to go on vacation?”

Ellis, though, reserved her harshest criticism of police until the end of her testimony when she read a November 2010 entry to her diary.

“The police could have done more, a lot more, to stop this,” she said. “We all put our faith in them and they let us down over and over.

“When the truth is told the world will know that they dropped the ball. The world will know that they did not do their job.

“The world will know our pain. The world will know the girls’ story. The world will know the truth. The world will know we were lied to, mistreated, mislead and manipulated.”

During cross examination, Sean Hern, the lawyer for the Vancouver police and the city’s police board, asked Ellis if she told police that Cara had a boyfriend named Stan who was also a member of the Hells Angels.

He asked Ellis if she told police that Cara would stay at a farm with a man who lived like a pig and who would give her free drugs for cleaning his place.

Ellis said she didn’t tell police about the Hells Angels boyfriend or the man on the farm in 1998, and she didn’t recall if she told police about the man on the farm in a later 2002 interview.

Following Ellis’ testimony, Donalee Sebastian told the inquiry about her mother, Elsie Sebastian, who was last seen on the Downtown Eastside in 1992 and who has never been found.

Sebastian said she was shocked by the attitude of the Vancouver police when she talked to a native liaison worker.

“He told me that ‘You might as well prepare yourself, Donalee, because nobody wants to look for a 40-year-old native woman they’re not interested in looking for.’

“He also mentioned that looking for a drug-using woman on the Downtown Eastside is like looking for a needle in a haystack. And that was quite the shocker for me to hear, you know, being the daughter of the woman who brought me into this world.”

In fact, the inquiry heard that the department was reluctant to take a missing-person’s report on Elsie, something the family tried to do in 1992.

Sebastian said the last time she saw Elsie was in 1992 when she was 16 and visiting an uncle’s house at the University of British Columbia.

She said her mother made dinner for her, her 11-year-old brother and her sister.

But Sebastian said her mother needed a fix, made a call and was picked up by a man who looked rough, and not like a normal working person.

“We didn’t want her to go. We wanted her to stay.”

Sebastian said her brother began to cry and plead “Don’t go, Mommy, don’t go.”

“And I stood there and I just tried to hold my brother’s hand and she left with that person.”

Sebastian said she never saw or heard from her mother again.

Hern apologized to Sebastian for the force’s refusal to do more.

“Sorry for your loss and sorry that more wasn’t done when you and your family reached out for help to the department and the liason society.”

More family members of Pickton’s victims are expected to take the stand this week.

Lawyers for the federal government have told the inquiry they will not cross-examine the family members. Source

Sex workers will be allowed to testify at the public inquiry into the Robert Pickton murder case without having their names published, the former judge overseeing the hearings ruled Thursday.

November 3 2001

The witnesses also don’t have to appear in person to be cross-examined by police lawyers.

Commissioner Wally Oppal granted an application to give sex workers and sexual assault victims a series of protections designed to encourage them to come forward. He said the value of their testimony outweighs concerns that the process would be unfair.

“I think the overall objective here has to be to encourage those people who feel marginal and who may feel intimidated by the process — and we’ve heard ample evidence of that — to come forward,” said Oppal. Source

 

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UN Member States Must Demand Action Against NATO War Crimes

UN Member States Must Demand Action Against NATO War Crimes

By Shenali Waduge

October 13, 2011

Why & how is it that international laws & international bodies & international public figures paid to maintain peaceful co-existence keep silent while even endorsing repeated NATO bombings that have killed thousands of innocent men, women & children & destroyed public & private property in a show of supremacy & arrogance over the nations they have targeted? NATO war crimes extend from Yugoslavia, to Iraq, to Afghanistan & now Libya. Why are international laws being manipulated to pressurize nations politically less powerful yet bountiful in natural resources or placed in influential economic routes? This simply explains why nations are invaded in the present context & how NATO has become above the law.

Were there terrorists in power plants, electricity grids, water supply networks? Were there terrorists among shops, universities & schools, stores, hospitals, farms & markets? These have been key targets of NATO in its endless bombing campaigns which totally violate its own Charter & the UN Charter. So if Justice is quiet what is the use of the International Criminal Court at The Hague? If the ICC is a tool, a manipulative organism that twists legal principles it is time the rest of the world knew about these duplicities, ambiguities & double standards & demand that it either stops the double standards or these members vote for another alternative.

NATO in Yugoslavia

The International War Crimes Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia formed in 1993 was only a means to justify Western intervention in the Balkans. It has no links to the International Court of Justice based in The Hague. The Tribunal is made up of US influenced appointees so will NATO crimes in Kosovo be investigated? Was it a surprise when the Tribunal branded President Milosevic a war criminal & the US is against the establishment of any international court that can charge US military & political personnel with war crimes?

What NATO is accused of is violating the UN Charter– it is a violation to attack a sovereign nation that was innocent of any aggression. NATO’s Charter Article 1 & 7 has also been violated – NATO is supposed to function as a “DEFENSIVE organization, & only committed to force if ONE or MORE of its members are attacked! NATO Treaty in fact recognizes the UN Security Council to maintain international peace & security. NATO’s violation of the Hague Convention Article 22 & 23, Geneva Convention Article 19, Nuremberg Principle VI a,b,c & the US Constitution Article 1 Section 8, Clause II is for “killing & injuring a defenseless population through Yugoslavia”.

The usual excuse is given as “humanitarian” intervention & that was what the Clinton administration used, incidentally Mussolini used it to invade Ethiopia to save them from slavery & Hitler used it to occupy Sudetenland to save Germans.

If the US used the Nuremberg principles to charge Germany for “starting an unprovoked war” shouldn’t the US be charged on similar grounds?

On 22 September, 2000 in the District Court of Belgrade, the President of the Court handed down guilty verdicts against government leaders of NATO countries for “war crimes”. These defendants were Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, Jacques Chirac, Gerhard Schroeder, Robin Cook, George Robertson, William Cohen, Hubert Vedrine, Alain Richard, Gerhard Schroeder, Joschka Fischer, Rudolf Scharping, Javier Solana and Wesley Clark. The sentence was for 20 years in a Yugoslav prison & thus arrest warrants were issued upon all charging each for crimes against humanity & breaches of international law, inciting an aggressive war, war crimes against civilians, use of weapons banned under international law, violating Yugoslavia’s territorial sovereignty & attempting to murder Slobodan Milosevic, President of Yugoslavia between March 24 & June 10, 1999.

Former US President Bill Clinton was sent a verdict on April 18th, 2001 sentencing him in absentia to 20 years in prison for “crimes against civilians”.

The entire West is not as inhuman as we think. The Commission of Inquiry of the International Action Coalition charged in 1999 Bill Clinton, Madeleine Albright, William Cohen for violating the Geneva Convention, the UN Charter, the Nuremberg Principles, Helsinki Accords & the US Constitution. The 19 charges included starting a war, deliberate targeting of civilians infrastructure & violating & destroying peacemaking role of the UN. One of the main arguments was that despite the Yugoslav parliament agreeing to NATOs demand of autonomy & armed UN peacekeepers in Kosovo why it was bombed! Instead of the mass graves that was similar to the WMD in Iraq, there were perhaps just 200 dead persons – the 100,000 dead Albanians that NATO & US were promoting as grounds to attack was just a lie.

NATOs air strikes in Serbia killed over 2000 civilians & wounded more than 7500. NATO has owned up to only 460 civilian deaths. The dead included farmers, city dwellers, reporters, diplomats, people traveling in public transport, patients in hospitals, the elderly & even children. That is the human factor – what about the enormous damages to the environment as a result of these NATO bombings – poisoning water supplies, loss of electricity that affects hospitals & other emergency requirements? There is evidence that some Spanish pilots refused to drop bombs on non-military targets.

Another accusation against NATO was the bombing of all bridges across the international waterway through Eastern Europe – the River Danube. Some of these bridges were bombed while civilians were on them. All that NATO leaders said were that the incidents were “accidents”. This clearly violates the Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12th August 1949 & the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol 1) – 8th June 1977.

NATO strategy was to destroy the whole infrastructure of Yugoslavia – that was why it targeted public services, rail & road networks, waterways. The objective was always to detach Kosovo.

If one were to read the book (The White Book) published by the Yugoslav Ministry of Foreign Affairs, NATO crimes in Yugoslavia, the book will reveal the damage caused by NATO bombings & lists 400 civilian deaths & over 40 incidents involving civilian fatalities.

If NATOs actions were illegal under its own treaty, in particular since aggressive military action was taken without UN mandate the killings that ensued were war crimes.

What is clear is that the US & UK Governments deliberately waged war against Yugoslavia by building a propaganda campaign that would be internationally welcomed & accepted by their countrymen.

On 5th January 2000, Yugoslav Government stepped up pressure to indict NATO country leaders – US President Bill Clinton & UK Prime Minister Tony Blair for crimes against humanity in Yugoslavia in 1999. This followed a submission for instigating proceeds before the International Court of Justice in April 29, 1999 & ICC setting a deadline for legal action on 30th June 1999 & Yugoslavia meeting that deadline on 5th January 2000. “Yugoslavia demands that the Court declare these countries responsible for the violation of major international obligations, which ban the implementation of force against countries, interference into their internal affairs or the violation of their sovereignty, as well as other international obligations. The indictment also included the demand for confirming the responsibility of these countries for their failure to prevent the genocide against the Serb people and other non-Albanians in Kosovo and Metohija, in which way they violated the obligations stemming from U.N. Security Council Resolution 1244 and the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide Crimes . . . Yugoslavia is also demanding that the Court instruct all countries, which are being sued to pay compensation for all the damages inflicted”.

NATO war crimes in Iraq

The Geneva Conventions are clear “Civilians shall not be the object of attack.” According to the UN Security Council resolution, military forces were tasked with expelling Iraqi forces that invaded Kuwait. That task involved 88,000 tons of bombs that killed civilians & killed more civilians through the destruction of power grids, food, water treatment, sewage systems. US soldiers used napalm to incinerate entrenched Iraqi soldiers. US soldiers dropped fuel-air explosives, cluster bombs that use razor-sharp fragments to shred people. Depleted uranium were used to penetrate tanks causing long term health hazards, the economic embargoes have killed as many as 1million Iraqis.

Why did the US & its allies deliberately destroy Iraq’s water supply & not repair it? Why did these western nations repeatedly bomb infrastructures for flood control, municipal & industrial water storage, communication towers, irrigation & hydroelectric power? (8 multi purpose dams, 7 major pumping stations, 31 municipal water & sewage facilities were destroyed). These have nothing to do with Saddam or his supporters – these are services needed for the people of Iraq.

They were bombed to create – waterborne diseases which have killed thousands of Iraqi civilians & the bombs & weapons used have caused radiation poisoning as a result of depleted uranium shells.

Article 54 of the Geneva Convention states “it is prohibited to attack, destroy or render useless objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population” – including foodstuff, livestock & drinking water supplies & irrigation works”.

Why were these acts not treated as war crimes under the Geneva Convention & does this not constitute genocide by US & allies?

NATO war crimes in Afghanistan

If NATO has committed war crimes in Iraq & Yugoslavia, should we be surprised to read of NATO war crimes in Afghanistan? Indiscriminate bombings killing unarmed civilians have only been answered with an “apology” by NATO. The presence of US & NATO troops in Afghanistan was similar to that which took place in Yugoslavia – without any proof a country has been taken over. Indiscriminate bombings mean rebuilding projects being handed over to profit-driven private corporations. The irony is that the Afghan government are compromising the welfare of its own citizens for its own financial benefits. This has caused a rise in Pashtun nationalism & indirect support for the Taliban. Thus it has been easy to pass blame for NATO killings on the Taliban while civilian deaths keep piling, infrastructure continues to be bombed & anarchy prevails throughout Afghanistan.

NATO in Libya

NATO’s Libya operation followed the UNSC Resolution which NATO has violated seen through its presence on ground, bombing of civilian structures. Greatest violation is by NATO taking sides which is illegal, illegal too is the murder or attempt to murder government officials with no formal declaration of war. NATO is also using cluster bombs & depleted uranium which is also illegal. NATOs violations in Libya are many & what we would like to know is why is the ICC silent?

In the case of Libya, the ICC has no jurisdiction for Libya never ratified the Rome Treaty nor has the US. However, under international laws a Head of State has immunity. So if ICC does not question the US & its crimes against humanity why should ICC question Libya when the UN Security Council cannot refer to the ICC according to its Statute? ICC has been considering action against Georgia since 2008, against Guinea since 2009 & against Colombia since 2006 but the ICC took just 3 days to find Libya guilty.

The NATO countries participating in air strikes in Libya include France, UK, US, Canada, Denmark, Belgium, Netherlands & Italy. What excuse does NATO have for bombing a Downs Syndrome School, the University of Tripoli, the man-made waterway irrigation system which supplies most Libyans with drinking water, bombing a hospital killing over 50 many of whom were children, bombing villages killing civilian population – is this not genocide & can the ICC continue to watch doing nothing?

The sinister campaign to take over Libya was by first projecting to Gaddafi that the US “deeply valued the relationship between the United States & Libya” (2009) This was because British Petroleum, Exxon Mobil, Halliburton, Chevron, Conoco, Marathon Oil & industrial giants like Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, Dow Chemical & Fluor signed investments & sales deals with Libya. The US State Dept awarded a $1.5m grant to train Libyan civilian & government security forces in 2009. Many of these “trainees” are now leading the NATO-backed “rebel forces”.

Thus, the pretence of being a “friend” to Gaddafi by the US since 2009 was to get Gaddafi to agree to allow foreign presence in Libya.

For months now NATO has been pounding Libya. Over 30,000 air & missile assaults on mostly civilian infrastructure was expected so too was the “rebel uprising” for they had been already trained to rise against Gaddafi. NATO also bombed Libyan airports, ships, energy depots, ports & highways, warehouses, hospitals, waterplants & civilian homes. NATO was able to garner diplomatic support inclusive of the Arab League, NATO took services of hired mercenaries in Qatar. Libyan assets were frozen amounting billions of dollars. Economic sanctions were imposed by NATO cutting off Libya’s income from oil sales.

International media also controlled by western imperialists were relaying images that portrayed rebels waving rifles & shouting against Gaddafi. These rebels entered towns that had been devastated by NATO air attacks! What these rebels did was to rob homes, banks & destroy public institutions on the instructions of NATO. Going against Gaddafi does not equate to ruining infrastructure & destroying property that is used by one’s own people!

NATO wanted Libya to be destroyed. Like NATO destroyed Yugoslavia & Iraq. NATO wanted to ensure Libya had to be “reconstructed” because all these contracts would eventually go to profit-making western companies!

Incidentally, Libya is a country that had boasted the highest per capita income & standard of living in Africa.

What took place in Libya is a message from the imperialists for other nations in North Africa, Asia & Latin America. US-NATO are already engaged in colonial wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen & Somalia. What about the fall of Mubarak of Egypt & Ben Ali in Tunisia while uprisings in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Morocco, Algeria were all associated with movements demanding end to EU-US & Israeli domination of the region & would have caught their intelligence by surprise.

NATO provided the money to silence the “people’s march to democracy” & the situation in Egypt is far worse than during Mubaraks reign! In Bahrain the West called for “reform” while continuing to arm the Bahraini royal family as seen in the NATO backed Saudi invasion of Bahrain to support the royal dictatorship. In Yemen, the West continued to support the Ali Saleh regime. Nevertheless, NATO is apparently providing support to Islamic fundamentalists in a move to overthrow Bashar Al-Assad.

What did Libya do to anger the West? Did the West not like its pursuance of pro-African agenda which had funded an independent regional bank & communications system designed to bypass IMF & World Bank control?

What has ensued is that like in Iraq & Afghanistan there is likely to be a dominating US-NATO present that is looking towards a military offensive in Iran & Syria. Sub-Saharan Africa may like to remember Gaddafi’s generous aid, grants & loans that helped these nations from IMF, World Bank. Who will remember Gaddafi’s development programs, construction projects that offered many jobs to sub-Saharan African immigrant workers. Despite all these maneuvers, China is still bracing ahead over its western counterparts.

July 22, 2011 is the date when NATO hit the Libyan water supply pipeline. Days later NATO hit the pipeline factory producing pipes to repair it. Both incidents could not have been accidents. NATO went on to target civilian water supply network that supplied water to 70% of Libyan population. Nevertheless, the truth will emerge just like Libya is now revealing how it funded French President Sarkozy’s election campaign & the numerous secret meetings Tony Blair held with Gaddafi & there must surely be more in the Pandora’s box which is why the West is in a haste to bump of Gaddafi as they did to Osama & Saddam – all previous friends of the West.

It is certainly time that UN member states stood up against aggression by Western neo-imperialism. Member states must demand a probe into all the atrocities by NATO & demand that these nations steering NATO be charged with war crimes. Russia & China need to champion this cause.

With only 28 nations making up the NATO alliance, the UN has 53 African member nations & 48 Middle-East & Asian nations & 12 nations in South America. It is opportune for these non-NATO members to make a voice within the UN & demand that NATO be investigated for all of its war crimes & be charged for every war crime committed. Source

War “Pollution” Equals Millions of Deaths

Now they want to go to war with Iran based on fabricated evidence.

It is time for the world to say no to more War.

Don’t believe the spoon fed garbage being fed to you by the US media. It is all a lie, just like all the other lies they have told you.

The US government and NATO Leaders will lie. They have been lieing to you all a long.

So how gullible are you?

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Over 800 Bodies Dumped in Libyan Cemetary by Rebels

The International Hearings into the Events of September 11 2001

Over 800 Bodies Dumped in Libyan Cemetary by Rebels

by Jason Ditz
September 19 2011
The Libyan rebel movement’s primary embarrassment at the moment is that their claims of “50,000″ civilians slain by Moammar Gadhafi looks by early bodycounts to be about 49,000 too many. Bodies are turning up, however, and not the ones the rebels were hoping for.

Instead, reports have the rebel forces dumping hundreds of bodies in a “pro-Gadhafi” cemetary with no identification, slain by the rebels for some unexplained reason. Just one cemetery reported some 800 unidentified corpses.

It is unclear if these are slain members of the regime’s military, or simply dissidents. The rebels are also said to be converting a number of buildings into additional prison space, apparently out of concern that the prison-happy Gadhafi regime simply didn’t have enough room for the enormous numbers of people the new pro-NATO regime is detaining.

In Misrata, the rebels have filled a former school with detainees. None were charged with crimes but were said to have “committed crimes against Misrata” and that the local rebels would decide what to do with them. Reports have them looking for a bigger building, since the school is now packed with detainees.

The exact extent of the Libyan rebel crimes will likely remain unclear for some time, as the unexplained depopulation of entire towns and the Misrata militia’s penchant for attacking the refugee camps they ordered black people into has left massive numbers of people missing without a trace. Source

The last time Hussein Ibrahim Saleh saw his brother Jamal was more than a month ago. On Saturday, Saleh received confirmation that his brother was body number 531 in a cemetery for fighters loyal to Moammar Gadhafi in Misrata, 120 miles east.

By DAVID ENDERS
September 18 2011

“He left Tripoli on August 10 to visit our brother in Hisha,” Saleh said, referring to a town taken over by rebels two weeks ago on the road between Misrata and Sirte, one of the cities where fighting continues between fighters loyal to Gadhafi and the rebels that deposed him last month. “He was missing since then.”

The majority of the more than 800 bodies and sets of remains in the “pro-Gadhafi” cemetery are without names or identification other than digital photos of their faces taken by the volunteers who run the cemetery. Many of the bodies were left at the cemetery by the rebels, with no information about where they were killed or found.

In a revolution where rebel fighters have banded together in local groups answerable only to the communities they come from, much is unresolved. One emerging problem is the apparent persecution of black Libyans and non-Libyan Africans, which has resulted in at least one instance of racial cleansing, as rebels from Misrata pursued residents from the nearby predominantly black village of Tawergha, which many Libyans say supported Gadhafi. Residents also fled a predominantly black neighborhood in Misrata.

Prisoners from Tawergha captured in Tripoli after they fled fighting in and around the village before it was taken by rebels Aug. 15 were taken back to prisons in Misrata, with the help of rebel units in Tripoli. The Misrata cemetery became the burial place for bodies of those killed between Sirte and Tripoli.

Jamal Ibrahim Saleh was one of those that fled the fighting, his brother said.

Misrata rebel units have a reputation for being tough fighters, after they battled a months-long siege of their city by Gadhafi’s forces, in which more than 1,000 people died and which seriously damaged Misrata and the cities nearby, before they invaded Tripoli in August.

“Yesterday, the leader of the military council in Garabulli asked a unit from Misrata to come and arrest people,” said Hisham Embarika, a volunteer who runs the cemetery and one of the city’s two prisons, referring to a town on the road between Tripoli and Misrata.

None of the 420 prisoners held at a secondary school used as a prison in Misrata has been charged with any crime. There are no trials in sight. Embarika does not know the name of the justice minister appointed by the National Transitional Council, the rebel’s nominal government in Tripoli. Embarika said justice for those who had committed crimes against Misrata would be left to Misratans, not to a national government.

“Misrata will decide what to do,” Embarika said.

The rebel units against Gadhafi’s troops in Libya’s seven-month civil war have taken thousands of prisoners, some of whom have been held since the revolution began on Feb. 17. Source

Those Rebels certainly are  something else. Can’t say I am impressed.

I pity those who have to live in Libya under such a horrific regime. NATO is proud of these guys are they?

Just another puppet regime installed by all the so called superior beings of the planet….. They are no so Superior however many of the NATO countries are majorly messed up and should be taking care of all the problems at home instead of interfering in other countries.

Classic example the US is Trillions in Debt.  They are Dragging other countries down with them. Just like the sinking of the Titanic. So how many countries have their leg tied to the US Titanic which is sinking into the deep dark depths of the ocean of debt.

Libya didn’t have any debt. They will now. How much you want to bet the IMF and World bank will be just scrambling to lend the NEW Libyan leaders money just so they can be attached to the sinking Titanic as well?

NATO has destroyed so much of the infrastructure it is sickening. Nothing like bombing a country back to the stone age then make the people of said county use their money to pay for it using the US and NATO companies/corporations of course. Ah yes Good old companies like Haliburtin just waiting in the door step.

I also have to wonder how many of those Rebels were from American or British mercenary organizations like good old Blackwater? Maybe there were a few a few from Israel as well.

Maybe the majority of Rebels were not even from Libya, maybe they were just expensive imports.

Killing of so many Black Libyans could be a tell tale indicator.

So how many FAKE Rebels are there?

I wonder.  You should too.

Gadhafi may not have been perfect, but this lot is much worse.

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Criminal State – A Closer Look at Israel’s Role in Terrorism/NATO and US supporting the Rebels who are actually terrorist on the US/NATO Terrorist list. I thought the war was against terrorist not to help them. I guess they have been helping the Terrorists all along. Anything to keep the wars going for the profiteers.

Racist murders in Libya at the hands of rebel forces

Israel angers Egyptian Protesters

Libya war lies worse than Iraq

Published in: on September 20, 2011 at 4:15 am  Comments Off on Over 800 Bodies Dumped in Libyan Cemetary by Rebels  
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Families Cry Out for Palestinian Prisoners

By Eva Bartlett

“We could enter the Guinness book of records for the longest running weekly sit- ins in the world,” Nasser Farrah, from the Palestinian Prisoners’ Association, jokes dryly. Since 1995, Palestinian women from Beit Hanoun to Rafah have met every Monday outside the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) office in Gaza City, holding photos and posters of their imprisoned loved ones, calling on the ICRC to ensure the human rights of Palestinians imprisoned in Israel’s 24 prisons and detention centres.

Since 2007, the sit-ins have taken on greater significance: Gaza families want Israel to re-grant them the right – under international humanitarian law – to visit their imprisoned family members. This right was taken from Gaza’s families in 2007, after the Israeli tank gunner Gilad Shalit was taken by Palestinian resistance from alongside the Gaza border where he was on active duty.

The sit-ins have grown, with over 200 women and men showing up weekly. On July 11, ICRC and the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) helped facilitate a demonstration from the ICRC office to the unknown soldier park, Jundi, to protest the ban on Palestinians from Gaza visiting their imprisoned loved ones.

“We can’t send letters, we can’t see him, we can’t talk to him,” says Umm Ahmed of her 32-year-old son. Ahmed Abu Ghazi was imprisoned four years ago and sentenced to 16 years in Israeli prison.

“Because we have no connection with him, every Monday we go to the Red Cross. But nothing changes. Last week we slept outside the Red Cross, waiting for them to help us talk to our sons and daughters,” Umm Ahmed says.

“While our sons are in prison, their parents might die without seeing them again.”

For Palestinian prisoner Bilal Adyani, from Deir al-Balah, such was the case. On July 11, Adayni’s father died, after waiting for years to see his son again. The ICRC reports that over 30 relatives of Palestinian prisoners have died since the prison visits were cut.

Umm Bilal, an elderly woman in a simple white headscarf, walks among the demonstrators, holding a plastic-framed photo of her son when he was 16. The teen wears a black dress shirt, has combed and gelled hair, and smiles easily to the camera.

“Twenty years, ten months, he’s been in prison. I haven’t been allowed to visit him in eight years,” says Umm Bilal.

“The prison canteen should sell phone cards, clothes, or food, but Israel is making it difficult now. He wanted to study but in prison but he hasn’t been allowed.”

In December 2009, the Israeli Supreme Court ruled with the Israeli government to deny families from Gaza visitation rights to prisoners in Israeli prisons. Among the stated reasons for the Court’s decision were that “family visits are not a basic humanitarian need for Gaza residents” and that there was no need for family visits since prisoners could obtain basic supplies through the prison canteen.

In June, 2011, Israeli Prison Service is reported to have taken away various rights of prisoners, including that allowing prisoners to enroll in universities, and blocked cell phone use.

“The world is calling for Shalit to be released. But he is just one man, a soldier,” says Umm Bilal. “Many Palestinian prisoners were taken from their homes. Shalit was in his tank when he was taken. Those tanks shoot on Gaza, kill our people, destroy our land. Take Shalit, but release our prisoners.”

According to Nasser Farrah, “there are over 7,000 Palestinians in Israeli prisons, including nearly 40 women and over 300 children. Seven hundred prisoners are from the Gaza Strip.”

Other estimates range from 7,500 to 11,000 Palestinian prisoners. “The ‘over 7000’ does not include the thousands of Palestinians who are regularly taken by the Israelis in the occupied West Bank, and even from Gaza, as well as those held in administrative detention for varying periods,” Farrah notes.

Under administrative detention, Palestinians, including minors, are denied trial and imprisoned for renewable periods, with many imprisoned between six months to six years.

According to B’Tselem, as of February 2011, Israel is holding 214 Palestinians under administrative detention.

Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention prevents forcible transfers of people from occupied territory. But Israel has been doing just that since 1967, and has imprisoned over 700,000 Palestinian men, women and children according to the UN.

Aside from denial of family visits, higher education, and canteen supplies, roughly 1,500 Palestinian prisoners are believed to be seriously ill, and are denied adequate healthcare.

Majed Komeh’s mother has many years of Monday demonstrations ahead of her. Her son, 34 years old, was given a 19-year sentence, of which he has served six years.

“For the last four years I haven’t heard from him,” Umm Majed says. “He has developed stomach and back problems in prison, but he’s not getting the medicine he needs.”

Nasser Farrah says this is a serious problem. “Many have cancer and critical illnesses. Many need around-the-clock hospital care, not simply headache pills.”

A 2010-2011 report from the Palestinian Prisoners Society said that 20 prisoners have been diagnosed with cancer, 88 with diabetes and 25 have had kidney failures. “Over 200 prisoners have died from lack of proper medical care in prisons,” the report says.

One of the ways ill Palestinians end up in prison is by abduction when passing through the Erez crossing for medical treatment outside of Gaza.

“The Israelis give them permits to exit Gaza for treatment in Israel or the West bank, but after they cross through the border Israel imprisons many of them,” says Farrah.

“We are a people under occupation. We have no other options to secure our prisoners’ rights but to demonstrate in front of the ICRC. It’s their job to ensure prisoners are receiving their rights under international humanitarian law.”

Source

Israel Intensifies Suppression of Palestinian Prisoners

TEHRAN (FNA)- A prominent figure of the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), who was imprisoned by Israel for 6 years, disclosed that the Zionist regime of Israel has intensified tortures and suppression of the Palestinian prisoners.

August 6 2011

“The Zionist regime is misusing developments in the region and the regime’s office in charge of governing prisons has intensified punishments and suppression of the prisoners,” Hassan Youssef, who is also a member of the Palestinian parliament told FNA in Ramallah on Saturday.

Hassan Youssef, who was released from an Israeli prison on Thursday, added that the number of the Palestinian prisoners kept in solitary confinement is on the increase, cautioning that these prisoners are living in totally inhuman conditions.

He reminded that 19 Palestinian lawmakers, including 17 Hamas-affiliated MPs, are in Israeli prisons, and called on legal bodies and institutions to play a stronger role to set them free.

Palestinian prisoners have always voiced complaint about the torturing and mistreatment of prisoners by Israeli guards.

In July, more than 20 Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli Negev jail were poisoned after eating meals served in the prison’s canteen, prisoners reported.

They explained that after eating burger sandwiches from the canteen the prisoners suffered from diarrhea and vomiting after which they were carried to the prison’s clinic but the administration did not tell them about their condition.

They asked the Red Cross to intervene and demand their transfer to hospital for adequate checkup.

Also in July, thousands of Palestinian prisoners in Israel staged a mass hunger strike to defend prisoners’ rights and protest against Israeli guards’ inhumane behavior.

Over 7,000 Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails described the strike as the beginning of a fight to defend prisoners’ rights and dignity against the unprecedented measures adopted by the Tel Aviv regime against them. Source

 

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Published in: on August 11, 2011 at 6:37 pm  Comments Off on Families Cry Out for Palestinian Prisoners  
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“Tortured” veterans to sue Donald Rumsfeld

August 9 2011

Two American men can go ahead with civil lawsuit over allegations they were tortured in Iraq at the hands of US forces.
A lawyer representing Rumsfeld said the appeals court decision was a blow to the US military

Donald Rumsfeld, the former US secretary of defence, must face a lawsuit filed against him by two American men claiming they were wrongfully held and tortured by US forces in Iraq.

The US Court of Appeals in Chicago on Tuesday upheld a lower court ruling last year allowing the men, Donald Vance and Nathan Ertel, to pursue claims that Rumsfeld and unnamed others should be found personally liable for their treatment – despite efforts by the former Bush and current Obama administration to get the case dismissed.

The two men worked for a private security company in Iraq in 2006 and said they became concerned the firm was engaging in illegal bribery or other corruption activities. They notified US authorities and began co-operating with them.

Emotional abuse

In early 2006, they were taken into custody by US military forces and eventually taken to Camp Cropper near Baghdad’s airport. Vance and Ertel claimed they were subjected to harsh interrogations and physical and emotional abuse.

Months later they said they were unceremoniously dropped at the airport and never charged with a crime.

They sued, seeking unspecified damages and saying their constitutional rights had been violated and US officials knew they were innocent.

The appeals court ruled that while it may have been unusual for Rumsfeld to be personally responsible for the treatment of detainees, the two men had sufficiently argued that the decisions were made at the highest levels of government.

We agree with the district court that the plaintiffs have alleged sufficient facts to show that Secretary Rumsfeld personally established the relevant policies that caused the alleged violations of their constitutional rights during detention,” the court ruled in a split decision.

The three-judge panel voted 2-1 to affirm the lower court ruling. Judge Daniel Manion dissented, saying Congress has yet to decide whether courts should have a role in deciding whether such claims against the US military can be pursued.

A lawyer representing Rumsfeld said the appeals court decision was a blow to the US military.

“Having judges second guess the decisions made by the armed forces halfway around the world is no way to wage a war,” attorney David Rivkin said in a statement on Monday.

“It saps the effectiveness of the military, puts American soldiers at risk, and shackles federal officials who have a constitutional duty to protect America.”

A spokesman for the US Justice Department, which has been representing the former defense secretary, had no immediate comment. The Justice Department could appeal to the full appeals court or to the US Supreme Court.

There have been other lawsuits against Rumsfeld and the US government over allegations of abuse and torture overseas, but most involved foreigners, not US citizens, so federal courts have typically dismissed those cases.

A district judge in Washington last week allowed a similar case to proceed involving an American translator who worked in Iraq with the US military and who said he was later detained and subjected to harsh interrogation techniques and abuse.

Source

I hope Donald Vance and Nathan Ertel win their case.

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Published in: on August 10, 2011 at 6:03 am  Comments Off on “Tortured” veterans to sue Donald Rumsfeld  
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Abdullah Khadr released as extradition request denied

By Linda Nguyen

August 4, 2010

TORONTO — An Ontario court on Wednesday quashed a bid to extradite Abdullah Khadr to the U.S. on terrorism charges following a lengthy legal battle between the federal government and one of Canada’s most controversial families.

Khadr, 29, who has been held for the past five years at a Toronto detention centre, was immediately released following the decision by Superior Court Justice Christopher Speyer.

Khadr is the eldest son of Ahmed Said Khadr, an al-Qaida financier who was killed by Pakistan forces in a shootout near the Afghanistan border in 2003. His family had immigrated to Canada in 1977.

“(I want to) try and get on with my life. I feel very happy,” Abdullah Khadr told reporters outside the downtown Toronto courthouse. “I always believed that it would happen one day, and thank God it happened.”

His release comes days before his younger brother, Omar, begins his military trial in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Omar Khadr, 23, the only Canadian still held at the U.S. prison, has been detained there since 2002 following a firefight with U.S. forces in Afghanistan. He is charged with throwing a grenade that killed American medic Christopher Speer. He was 15 years old at the time.

From the start, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has refused to seek the repatriation of the terror suspect back to Canada but, notably, Canada’s legal system has sided many times with the Khadr family in its battles with the Canadian government.

In January, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that Omar Khadr’s charter rights had been violated by Canadian officials who had questioned him at Guantanamo Bay in 2003 and 2004. Khadr had been exposed to sleep deprivation and denied his right to legal counsel by American interrogators.

Last month, a Federal Court judge ruled that the Conservative government had a week to come up with a list of “all untried remedies” that could help eradicate the breach of Khadr’s rights as a Canadian citizen. That victory was short-lived — a few weeks later, a Federal Appeals judge stayed the decision, arguing that the previous judge overstepped his boundaries and was essentially dictating the government foreign policy.

Meanwhile, the U.S. case against Abdullah Khadr was based on a number of statements he made to the FBI and RCMP about procuring weapons for al-Qaida and allegedly being involved in an assassination plot against the prime minister of Pakistan. He said those confessions were made while he was detained and tortured in Pakistan in 2005.

During his extradition hearing last fall, Khadr told a Toronto court that authorities had also threatened violence against his family.

“If someone tells you, if you don’t tell us you are selling missiles to al-Qaida, we are going to rape your sister, what would you say?” Khadr had asked, breaking down.

He told the court that he attended a camp in Afghanistan when he was 13 years old and learned how to use guns, explosives and rocket and grenade launchers. Khadr said these were not terrorism camps run by al-Qaida but were part of “Muslim culture.” He denied that his father had any influence over his ideology.

Nathan Whitling, one of the Edmonton-based defence lawyers representing Khadr, said this victory may have been the best-case scenario possible for his client but the battle is far from finished.

“We don’t feel that it’s over,” he said. “We see it as one good step in the process. Obviously we’re pleased about it but we’ll keep fighting this thing.”

The Canadian government has been on the “wrong side” these past five years by “actively pursuing” the extradition of his client to the U.S., added Whitling.

He and his colleague Dennis Edney had argued that Canada would be supporting interrogation methods against international law if it granted the extradition request. They also argued that the information was given under extreme duress.

Ultimately, Justice Speyer’s ruling was based on how the U.S. detained and drew a confession out of Khadr, who to this day maintains his innocence.

Khadr was arrested in Pakistan in 2004 after the U.S. government issued a $500,000 U.S. bounty for his capture. He was denied access to a lawyer for three months and held a total of 14 months in Pakistan without charges. During this time he was interrogated by Pakistani, Canadian and American officials.

Whitling said Khadr, fearing arrest by U.S. authorities, plans to stay in Canada.

In the meantime, he will enjoy the small pleasures in life. For his first meal outside of detention in five years, he ate an Asian stir-fry and drank a Pepsi.

“He’s getting married. He’s engaged,” said Whitling. “He just wants to settle down and live a quiet life.”

The federal government has 30 days to appeal the Ontario Superior Court ruling.

Carole Faindon, a spokeswoman for the Department of Justice, said it was too soon to say whether an appeal will be launched.

“We are reviewing the decision,” she said. “A decision on an appeal will be determined in due time.” Source

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Fourteen Examples of Systemic Racism in the U.S. Criminal Justice System

By Bill Quigley

July 27, 2010

The biggest crime in the U.S. criminal justice system is that it is a race-based institution where African-Americans are directly targeted and punished in a much more aggressive way than white people.

Saying the US criminal system is racist may be politically controversial in some circles. But the facts are overwhelming. No real debate about that. Below I set out numerous examples of these facts.

The question is – are these facts the mistakes of an otherwise good system, or are they evidence that the racist criminal justice system is working exactly as intended? Is the US criminal justice system operated to marginalize and control millions of African Americans?

Information on race is available for each step of the criminal justice system – from the use of drugs, police stops, arrests, getting out on bail, legal representation, jury selection, trial, sentencing, prison, parole and freedom. Look what these facts show.

One. The US has seen a surge in arrests and putting people in jail over the last four decades. Most of the reason is the war on drugs. Yet whites and blacks engage in drug offenses, possession and sales, at roughly comparable rates – according to a report on race and drug enforcement published by Human Rights Watch in May 2008. While African Americans comprise 13% of the US population and 14% of monthly drug users they are 37% of the people arrested for drug offenses – according to 2009 Congressional testimony by Marc Mauer of The Sentencing Project.

Two. The police stop blacks and Latinos at rates that are much higher than whites. In New York City, where people of color make up about half of the population, 80% of the NYPD stops were of blacks and Latinos. When whites were stopped, only 8% were frisked. When blacks and Latinos are stopped 85% were frisked according to information provided by the NYPD. The same is true most other places as well. In a California study, the ACLU found blacks are three times more likely to be stopped than whites.

Three. Since 1970, drug arrests have skyrocketed rising from 320,000 to close to 1.6 million according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics of the U.S. Department of Justice.

African Americans are arrested for drug offenses at rates 2 to 11 times higher than the rate for whites – according to a May 2009 report on disparity in drug arrests by Human Rights Watch.

Four. Once arrested, blacks are more likely to remain in prison awaiting trial than whites. For example, the New York state division of criminal justice did a 1995 review of disparities in processing felony arrests and found that in some parts of New York blacks are 33% more likely to be detained awaiting felony trials than whites facing felony trials.

Five. Once arrested, 80% of the people in the criminal justice system get a public defender for their lawyer. Race plays a big role here as well. Stop in any urban courtroom and look a the color of the people who are waiting for public defenders. Despite often heroic efforts by public defenders the system gives them much more work and much less money than the prosecution. The American Bar Association, not a radical bunch, reviewed the US public defender system in 2004 and concluded “All too often, defendants plead guilty, even if they are innocent, without really understanding their legal rights or what is occurring…The fundamental right to a lawyer that America assumes applies to everyone accused of criminal conduct effectively does not exist in practice for countless people across the US.”

Six. African Americans are frequently illegally excluded from criminal jury service according to a June 2010 study released by the Equal Justice Initiative. For example in Houston County, Alabama, 8 out of 10 African Americans qualified for jury service have been struck by prosecutors from serving on death penalty cases.

Seven. Trials are rare. Only 3 to 5 percent of criminal cases go to trial – the rest are plea bargained. Most African Americans defendants never get a trial. Most plea bargains consist of promise of a longer sentence if a person exercises their constitutional right to trial. As a result, people caught up in the system, as the American Bar Association points out, plead guilty even when innocent. Why? As one young man told me recently, “Who wouldn’t rather do three years for a crime they didn’t commit than risk twenty-five years for a crime they didn’t do?”

Eight. The U.S. Sentencing Commission reported in March 2010 that in the federal system black offenders receive sentences that are 10% longer than white offenders for the same crimes. Marc Mauer of the Sentencing Project reports African Americans are 21% more likely to receive mandatory minimum sentences than white defendants and 20% more like to be sentenced to prison than white drug defendants.

Nine. The longer the sentence, the more likely it is that non-white people will be the ones getting it. A July 2009 report by the Sentencing Project found that two-thirds of the people in the US with life sentences are non-white. In New York, it is 83%.

Ten. As a result, African Americans, who are 13% of the population and 14% of drug users, are not only 37% of the people arrested for drugs but 56% of the people in state prisons for drug offenses. Marc Mauer May 2009 Congressional Testimony for The Sentencing Project.

Eleven. The US Bureau of Justice Statistics concludes that the chance of a black male born in 2001 of going to jail is 32% or 1 in three. Latino males have a 17% chance and white males have a 6% chance. Thus black boys are five times and Latino boys nearly three times as likely as white boys to go to jail.

Twelve. So, while African American juvenile youth is but 16% of the population, they are 28% of juvenile arrests, 37% of the youth in juvenile jails and 58% of the youth sent to adult prisons. 2009 Criminal Justice Primer, The Sentencing Project.

Thirteen. Remember that the US leads the world in putting our own people into jail and prison. The New York Times reported in 2008 that the US has five percent of the world’s population but a quarter of the world’s prisoners, over 2.3 million people behind bars, dwarfing other nations. The US rate of incarceration is five to eight times higher than other highly developed countries and black males are the largest percentage of inmates according to ABC News.

Fourteen. Even when released from prison, race continues to dominate. A study by Professor Devah Pager of the University of Wisconsin found that 17% of white job applicants with criminal records received call backs from employers while only 5% of black job applicants with criminal records received call backs. Race is so prominent in that study that whites with criminal records actually received better treatment than blacks without criminal records!

So, what conclusions do these facts lead to? The criminal justice system, from start to finish, is seriously racist.

Professor Michelle Alexander concludes that it is no coincidence that the criminal justice system ramped up its processing of African Americans just as the Jim Crow laws enforced since the age of slavery ended. Her book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness sees these facts as evidence of the new way the US has decided to control African Americans – a racialized system of social control. The stigma of criminality functions in much the same way as Jim Crow – creating legal boundaries between them and us, allowing legal discrimination against them, removing the right to vote from millions, and essentially warehousing a disposable population of unwanted people. She calls it a new caste system.

Poor whites and people of other ethnicity are also subjected to this system of social control. Because if poor whites or others get out of line, they will be given the worst possible treatment, they will be treated just like poor blacks.

Other critics like Professor Dylan Rodriguez see the criminal justice system as a key part of what he calls the domestic war on the marginalized. Because of globalization, he argues in his book Forced Passages, there is an excess of people in the US and elsewhere. “These people”, whether they are in Guantanamo or Abu Ghraib or US jails and prisons, are not productive, are not needed, are not wanted and are not really entitled to the same human rights as the productive ones. They must be controlled and dominated for the safety of the productive. They must be intimidated into accepting their inferiority or they must be removed from the society of the productive.

This domestic war relies on the same technology that the US uses internationally. More and more we see the militarization of this country’s police. Likewise, the goals of the US justice system are the same as the US war on terror – domination and control by capture, immobilization, punishment and liquidation.

What to do?

Martin Luther King Jr., said we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. A radical approach to the US criminal justice system means we must go to the root of the problem. Not reform. Not better beds in better prisons. We are not called to only trim the leaves or prune the branches, but rip up this unjust system by its roots.

We are all entitled to safety. That is a human right everyone has a right to expect. But do we really think that continuing with a deeply racist system leading the world in incarcerating our children is making us safer?

It is time for every person interested in justice and safety to join in and dismantle this racist system. Should the US decriminalize drugs like marijuana? Should prisons be abolished? Should we expand the use of restorative justice? Can we create fair educational, medical and employment systems? All these questions and many more have to be seriously explored. Join a group like INCITE, Critical Resistance, the Center for Community Alternatives, Thousand Kites, or the California Prison Moratorium and work on it. As Professor Alexander says “Nothing short of a major social movement can dismantle this new caste system.”

Bill Quigley is Legal Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights and a law professor at Loyola University New Orleans. Source

Racism and maybe a lot of greed. One has to wonder how many others are like these people. I bet there are many more they just haven’t been caught as of yet is all. There are a lot of for profit prisons in the US.

Ex-US judge pleads guilty to child prison scam

Conahan received bribes from a for-profit juvenile detention centre after closing a county-run facility

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.

He is accused along with former judge Mark Ciavarella of taking $2.8m (£1.8m) from a profit-making detention centres. Mr Ciavarella denies wrongdoing.

The two pleaded guilty last year but a federal judge tossed out part of the plea agreement for being too lenient.

Conahan faces up to 20 years in jail.

US District Judge Edwin Kosik rejected the 87-month jail term set out last year in Conahan’s agreement. Under that deal, the former judge would have been able to back out if he was dissatisfied with his sentence.

Judge Kosik has accepted Conahan’s current plea agreement with prosecutors, which has no such get-out clause.

Cash for kids

Prosecutors in a federal court in Scranton, Pennsylvania, said Conahan had closed a county-owned juvenile detention centre in 2002, just before signing an agreement to use a for-profit centre.

Prosecutors say Mr Ciavarella, a former juvenile court judge, then allegedly worked with Mr Conahan to ensure a constant flow of detainees.

The two men were originally charged in early 2009 with accepting money from the builder and owner of a for-profit detention centre that housed county juveniles in exchange for giving children longer, harsher sentences.

A spokeswoman for the non-profit Juvenile Law Center alleges that Mr Ciavarella gave excessively harsh sentences to 1,000-2,000 juveniles between 2003 and 2006.

Some of the children were shackled, denied lawyers, and pulled from their homes for offences which included stealing change from cars and failure to appear as witnesses.

The indictment was part of a larger probe into corruption in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, which has so far implicated more than 20 others. Source

Two US judges charged with taking more than $2m (£1.4m) in kickbacks from a privately-run detention centre have pleaded guilty to fraud.

February 13 2009

Prosecutors say Judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan took the money in return for giving young offenders long sentences to serve in the centre.

The deal allowed PA Child Care LLC and a sister company to receive extra government funds, they say.

The judges in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, have both been suspended.

They have pleaded guilty to honest services fraud and tax fraud.

The plea agreements provide for prison sentences of more than seven years.

Mr Conahan had shut down a county detention centre in 2002 and signed a deal with PA Child Care LLC to send offenders to its new centre, prosecutors say.

They said Mr Ciavarella sent youths to the detention centre while taking money in return, though the judge has specifically denied sending youths to jail for cash, the Associated Press news agency reports.

‘Disgraced’

Campaigners have complained that Mr Ciavarella gave out overly harsh sentences for minor offenses.

A spokeswoman for the non-profit Juvenile Law Center said 1,000-2,000 juveniles who came before the judge between 2003 and 2006 received excessively harsh sentences.

Many of the children were first-time offenders and had no lawyers to defend them.

The judge sent a quarter of his juvenile defendants to detention centres from 2003 to 2006, compared with a state average of one in 10, the AP reported.

“Your statement that I have disgraced my judgeship is true,” Mr Ciavarella wrote in a letter to the court, Reuters news agency reports.

“My actions have destroyed everything I worked to accomplish and I have only myself to blame.”

Mr Conahan made no comment. Source

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Interrogator says Khadr was told he’d likely be raped in U.S.

By CAROL ROSENBERG
May 6 2010

GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba — To get teen terror suspect Omar Khadr to cooperate, a former U.S. Army interrogator testified Thursday, he told the wounded Canadian a “fictitious” tale of an Afghan youth who was gang-raped in an American prison and died.

“We’d tell him about this Afghan gets sent to an American prison and there’s a bunch of big black guys and big Nazis,” said the former interrogator who was since convicted of detainee abuse and was identified in court only as Interrogator No. 1.

Under Pentagon ground rules, reporters covering the hearing are not allowed to include the interrogator’s real name in their dispatches from Guantanamo. Canadian newspapers have published the name, however, and his testimony in other cases is available at the McClatchyDC.com website and elsewhere.

Interrogator No. 1 also gave an on-the-record interview with The Toronto Star in 2008 and his name was widely published in accounts of his court martial in September 2005.

The interrogators told Khadr that the Afghan – “a poor little kid … away from home, kind of isolated” – had been sent to the U.S. prison away because the interrogators were disappointed with his truthfulness, Interrogator No. 1 said. When patriotic American prisoners discovered the Afghan was a Muslim, praying five times a day, they raped him in their rage over the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, Interrogator No. 1 said Khadr, who was 15 and badly wounded at the time, was told.

Khadr’s attorneys called Interrogator No. 1 to bolster Khadr’s claim that he was abused while in U.S. custody and their motion before a military judge that any confessions he made during his captivity should be considered coerced and not admissible.

Khadr, now 23, had specifically claimed in an affidavit outlining abuse that he was threatened with rape. On Tuesday, a medic identified as Mr. M testified that he once found Khadr chained by his arms to the door of his cage-like cell, hooded and in tears. That too tracked allegations included in Khadr’s affadavit.

According to court testimony, Interrogator No. 1 was attached to the 519 MP Battalion, which guarded prisoners at Bagram air base in Afghanistan in 2002. Three years later, Interrogator No. 1 pleaded guilty to three acts of detainee abuse on another captive at Bagram in December 2002.

Interrogator No. 1 said he questioned Khadr as many as 25 times over 100 hours before the teen was sent to Guantanamo for more interrogations.

According to earlier testimony, Interrogator 1 questioned Khadr the first time on a stretcher while he was still under sedation on July 29, 2002, hours after the 15-year-old was released from an U.S. Army combat hospital and life-saving surgery. He denied under questioning from defense counsel Barry Coburn that he ever threatened Khadr directly with rape.

Instead, he said, a group of U.S. interrogators dreamed up the “fictitious” Afghan rape story to utilize authorized “Love of Freedom” and “Fear Up” techniques designed to break particularly uncooperative prisoners. “It’s never about the detainee,” Interrogator No. 1 said, explaining how he used it. “It’s to make the individual … afraid of American prisons.”

U.S. troops captured Khadr two weeks before his first formal interrogation, near dead and shot twice through the back during a Special Forces raid on a suspected al Qaida stronghold near Khost, Afghanistan.

Another former interrogator, who was acquitted by a court martial of detainee abuse charges, testified Wednesday that Khadr was first questioned just two days after he was wounded at the field hospital at Bagram. That interrogator, Damien Corsetti, said Khadr was tethered to a heart monitor. Soldiers held a tin of chewing tobacco to his gaping chest wound and saw that it could fit inside.

Defense attorneys argue that the military mistreated Khadr and created a coercive environment that should disqualify the truthfulness and reliability of his later confessions that he threw a hand grenade that killed U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Speer, 28.

Prosecutors defend the youth’s treatment and say he subsequently boasted voluntarily, and truthfully, to FBI agents conducting a criminal terror trial investigation that he threw the grenade and also planted land mines in Afghanistan meant to kill American soldiers and earn him $1,500 a head.

Veteran prosecutor Jeff Groharing, now a Justice Department attorney who got the case as a Marine major, sought on follow-up questioning to make clear that Interrogator No 1 was gleaning information from the Canadian for “actionable intelligence” in the Afghanistan combat zone – not for a future criminal prosecution.

Interrogator No. 1 said he wanted to know about the location of weapons and mines to assist the U.S. war effort in Afghanistan. His intelligence reports at the time noted that Khadr had thrown a grenade that killed a fellow U.S. soldier but Interrogator 1 said he wasn’t seeking a confession.

He also said that he didn’t think the rape tale made Khadr any more cooperative or truthful and that he only started spilling al-Qaida secrets after U.S. troops went back to the scene of his capture in Khost, Afghanistan, and recovered a video of showing a young Khadr being taught how to assemble Soviet anti-tank mines.

Khadr, wearing the white uniform of a cooperative captive, watched the proceedings intently. Interrogator No. 1, in blue jeans and sporting a pony tail, testified by video hookup from Arizona. on a video monitor. Source

Khadr legal team turns down plea offer from U.S

Khadr Routinely Trussed Up In Cage, Hearing Told

Prosecuting A Tortured Child: Obama’s Guantánamo Legacy

Reporters banned from Trial

TORONTO

— Three Canadian journalists are being barred from Guantanamo Bay, where they have been covering pre-trial war-crimes hearings for Omar Khadr, the Pentagon said Thursday.

The reporters for the Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, and Canwest News Service breached a ban on identifying a witness, according to the Pentagon.

“Your reporters published the name of a witness whose identity was protected in court,” a letter handed to the journalists stated.

“As a result of these violations, these individual reporters are barred from returning to cover future military commissions proceedings.”

For the past eight days, Khadr’s defence lawyers have been trying to establish the Canadian was tortured into making incriminating statements.

Among the witnesses was a former interrogator at Bagram prison in Afghanistan, where Khadr was taken after his capture in July, 2002.

The man testified Thursday to scaring Khadr by telling the badly wounded 15-year-old a “fictitious” story of an Afghan boy in U.S. custody who was gang-raped and died.

The Pentagon wanted him identified only as Interrogator No. 1 and forbade reporting his name, which has been widely available through his previous prosecution and conviction for detainee abuse.

He has also previously given an interview to the Star.

Toronto Star reporter Michelle Shephard, who has written a book on Khadr and his family, called the decision “ridiculous.”

The paper’s editor, Michael Cooke, denounced the ban.

“This is grossly unfair,” Cooke said. “The Star will object to this decision.”

Also barred were the Globe and Mail’s Washington correspondent, Paul Koring, and Canwest’s Steven Edwards.

Canwest vice-president Scott Anderson said from Ottawa he had not yet had a chance to talk about the issue with Edwards.

“It’s critical that we find out what happened here,” Anderson said.

“Obviously there was some misunderstanding on one side or another.”

Globe foreign editor, Stephen Northfield, said the paper “would appeal this decision.”

The New York-based American Civil Liberties Union condemned the Pentagon’s ruling as “absurd” and “nonsensical,” saying it would discourage reporting on the internationally condemned military commissions.

“No legitimate government interest is served by suppressing information that is already well known,” said Jameel Jaffer, the union’s deputy legal director.

“We strongly urge the Defence Department to reconsider its rash, draconian and unconstitutional decision to bar these four reporters from future tribunals.”

Carol Rosenberg, a reporter from the American newspaper, the Miami Herald, who has extensive experience covering the commissions, was also told she may not return.

Rosenberg declined to discuss the situation, referring calls to the Herald’s managing editor, who did not immediately return a call for comment.

The ban does not extend to the media outlets, only to the reporters involved.

However, media organizations themselves could be barred should there be “future violations,” the letter warns.

The letter also states the reporters can appeal the decision to the deputy assistant secretary of defence for media operations.

The hearings have wrapped up — it was not immediately clear when they will resume — and the media on the U.S. naval base were all expected to leave Friday.

Khadr’s trial — he is accused of throwing a grenade that killed an American soldier and blinded another — had been due to start in July.

Source

UN official calls for release of former child combatant from Guantanamo

5 May 2010 – A United Nations envoy today reiterated her call for the immediate release of the last child soldier still being held in Guantanamo Bay, voicing concern that his case has been brought to trial under a United States military commission and that he has been charged with war crimes.

Omar Khadr, a Canadian citizen, was arrested in Afghanistan in 2002 when he was 15 years old. He has been in US custody for the last seven years, having spent much of his time in solitary confinement.

Radhika Coomaraswamy, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, called on the Governments of Canada and the US to respect the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and release Mr. Khadr into Canadian custody.

The Optional Protocol aims to increase the protection of children during armed conflicts. It requires that all States parties “take all feasible measures” to ensure that members of their armed forces under the age of 18 do not take a direct part in hostilities, and reminds nations that children under 18 are entitled to special protection and so any voluntary recruitment under the age of 18 must include sufficient safeguards.

Ms. Coomaraswamy today urged Canada and the US to treat Mr. Khadr as a child soldier and undertake efforts to rehabilitate him.

“Like other children abused by armed groups around the world who are repatriated to their home communities and undergo re-education for their reintegration, Omar should be given the same protections afforded these children,” she emphasized.

“Trying young people for war crimes with regard to acts committed when they are minors could create a dangerous international precedent,” the official warned. Source

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Judge dismisses scores of Guantanamo habeas cases

By Carol Rosenberg
May 5 2010

WASHINGTON — A federal judge has dismissed more than 100 habeas corpus lawsuits filed by former Guantanamo captives, ruling that because the Bush and Obama administrations had transferred them elsewhere, the courts need not decide whether the Pentagon imprisoned them illegally.

The ruling dismayed attorneys for some of the detainees who’d hoped any favorable U.S. court findings would help clear their clients of the stigma, travel restrictions and, in some instances, perhaps more jail time that resulted from their stay at Guantanamo.

U.S. District Judge Thomas F. Hogan wrote that he was “not unsympathetic” to the former detainees’ plight. “Detention for any length of time can be injurious. And certainly associations with Guantanamo tend to be negative,” he wrote.

But the detainees’ transfer from Guantanamo made their cases moot. “The court finds that petitioners no longer present a live case or controversy since a federal court cannot remedy the alleged collateral consequences of their prior detention at Guantanamo,” he wrote.

Hogan’s ruling, issued last Thursday, but not widely publicized, closed the files on 105 habeas corpus petitions, many of which had been pending for years as the Bush administration resisted the right of civilian judges to intervene in military detentions. The U.S. Supreme Court resolved that issue in 2008, ruling in Boumediene v. Bush that the detainees could challenge their captivity in civilian court. Since then, judges have ordered the release of 34 detainees while upholding the detention of 12.

Attorneys for the ex-detainees were deciding Monday whether to appeal the ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, said Shayana Kadidal, an attorney at New York’s Center for Constitutional Rights, which has taken the lead in championing Guantanamo habeas petitions.

The former prisoners who’d filed the dismissed suits ranged from “people who disappeared in Libyan prison to people who are home living with their family and can’t get a job,” Kadidal said.

The “vast, vast majority” of former Guantanamo prisoners are under some form of travel restriction, he said, as a result of either transfer agreements between the United States and where they now live or the stigma of having spent time in U.S. military custody.

“If you want to do haj at some point in your life,” he said, referring to a Muslim’s duty to make a pilgrimage to Mecca, a freed detainee would need to get those restrictions lifted.

Moreover, he added, CCR affiliated attorneys have tracked former captives to prison at Pol-i-charki, Afghanistan, that was once run by the U.S. military. He said “the U.S. may be pulling the puppet strings” of their continued captivity.

In the case of two men sent home to Sudan, according to an affidavit filed by an investigator with the Oregon Federal Public Defender’s office, which is representing them, the United States required as a condition for their release that Sudan seize their travel documents and prevent them from leaving the country.

Hogan said the attorneys for the former detainees hadn’t offered enough proof that other countries were operating essentially as U.S. proxies. “Petitioners are short on examples, except for the fact that former Guantanamo detainees from Afghanistan transferred back to Afghanistan have been detained at a detention facility built by the United States,” he wrote.

Of the 183 men currently held at Guantanamo, 22 have had their habeas cases resolved — 10 who were ordered released, but are still being held and the 12 whose detentions were upheld.

It was unclear, however, how many of the other 161 might have cases pending. Some detainees have refused American lawyers’ offers to sue on their behalf, apparently rejecting the authority of any U.S. court to sit in judgment on them. An Obama administration panel has determined that about 50 of those should be held indefinitely without charges.  Source

This of course is American Justice.  No Justice at all.

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Published in: on May 7, 2010 at 3:41 am  Comments Off on Judge dismisses scores of Guantanamo habeas cases  
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Hiba Al-Shamaree, Iraqi Female Blogger sentences to 3 years

March 20, 2010

Update 5 : Hiba Al-Shamaree, Iraqi Female Blogger

Following  update no.4 of 27th February on Hiba Al-Shamaree, aka Dr.Hanan Al-Mashdani, I mentioned that she was to be presented to the Iraqi courts on terrorism charges because of an anti-dual US/Iran occupation blog !

I just learned now that Hiba Al-Shamaree, this 33 year old Doctor has been sentenced to 3 years of imprisonment by the “democratic” government of Nouri Al-Maliki , because of a blog ! And God knows what they did to her to extract “information” because of a blog !

On the 7th year “anniversary”, this is one extra reason for you to “celebrate” the “new budding flower of Democracy” in the Middle East – Iraq.

___________________

This is a shame. I guess there is no real justice in Iraq. Nothing has changed.

Bad enough journalist were killed, but now they imprison blogger’s.

There is still no freedom in Iraq.

Again this is the Blog they made so much of. I have read it myself and found little to nothing to deserve a three year prison sentence.

http://albaath2003.blogspot.com/

For a translator get Google toolbar or Foxlingo toolbar both have very good  language translators.  For Safari users http://translate.google.com/#

It is a very small blog with few entries.

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Published in: on March 21, 2010 at 1:02 am  Comments Off on Hiba Al-Shamaree, Iraqi Female Blogger sentences to 3 years  
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China publishes report on U.S. human rights

The U.S. uses torture to “defend human rights” in Iraq and around the world.

March 14 2010

The following is from Xinhua. For the full report, go to Human Rights Record of the United States in 2009

China Friday retorted U.S. criticism by publishing its own report on the U.S. human rights record.

“As in previous years, the (U.S.) reports are full of accusations of the human rights situation in more than 190 countries and regions including China, but turn a blind eye to, or dodge and even cover up rampant human rights abuses on its own territory,” said the Information Office of the State Council in its report on the U.S. human rights record.

The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2009 was in retaliation to the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2009 issued by the U.S. Department of State on March 11.

The report is “prepared to help people around the world understand the real situation of human rights in the United States,” said the report.

The report reviewed the human rights record of the United States in 2009 from six perspectives: life, property and personal security; civil and political rights; economic, social and cultural rights; racial discrimination; rights of women and children; and the U.S.’ violation of human rights against other countries.

It criticized the United States for taking human rights as “a political instrument to interfere in other countries’ internal affairs, defame other nations’ image and seek its own strategic interests.”

China advised the U.S. government to draw lessons from the history, put itself in a correct position, strive to improve its own human rights conditions and rectify its acts in the human rights field.

This is the 11th consecutive year that the Information Office of China’s State Council has issued a human rights record of the United States to answer the U.S. State Department’s annual report.

“At a time when the world is suffering a serious human rights disaster caused by the U.S. subprime crisis-induced global financial crisis, the U.S. government still ignores its own serious human rights problems but revels in accusing other countries. It is really a pity,” the report said.

Spying on citizens

While advocating “freedom of speech,” “freedom of the press” and “Internet freedom,” the U.S. government unscrupulously monitors and restricts the citizens’ rights to freedom when it comes to its own interests and needs, the report said.

The U.S. citizens’ freedom to access and distribute information is under strict supervision, it said.

According to media reports, the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) started installing specialized eavesdropping equipment around the country to wiretap calls, faxes, and emails and collect domestic communications as early as 2001.

The wiretapping program was originally targeted at Arab-Americans, but soon grew to include other Americans.

After the September 11 attack, the U.S. government, in the name of anti-terrorism, authorized its intelligence authorities to hack into its citizens’ mail communications, and to monitor and erase any information that might threaten the U.S. national interests on the Internet through technical means, the report said.

Statistics showed that from 2002 to 2006, the FBI collected thousands of phones records of U.S. citizens through mails, notes and phone calls.

In September 2009, the country set up an Internet security supervision body, further worrying U.S. citizens that the U.S. government might use Internet security as an excuse to monitor and interfere with personal systems.

The so-called “freedom of the press” of the United States was in fact completely subordinate to its national interests, and was manipulated by the U.S. government, the report said.

At yearend 2009, the U.S. Congress passed a bill which imposed sanctions on several Arab satellite channels for broadcasting contents hostile to the U.S. and instigating violence.

Racial discrimination a chronic problem

Racial discrimination is still a chronic problem of the United States, the report said.

Black people and other minorities are the most impoverished groups in the United States.

According to a report issued by the U.S. Bureau of Census, the real median income for American households in 2008 was 50,303 U.S. dollars, but the median incomes of Hispanic and black households were roughly 68 percent and 61.6 percent of that of the non-Hispanic white households.

And the median income of minority groups was about 60 to 80 percent of that of majority groups under the same conditions of education and skill background, the report added.

Ethnic minorities have been subject to serious racial discrimination in employment and workplace, the report said.

Minority groups bear the brunt of the U.S. unemployment. According to news reports, the U.S. unemployment rate in October 2009 was 10.2 percent. The jobless rate of the U.S. African-Americans jumped to 15.7 percent, that of the Hispanic rose to 13.1 percent and that of the white was 9.5 percent, the USA Today reported.

The U.S. minority groups face discriminations in education. According to a report issued by the U.S. Bureau of Census, 33 percent of the non-Hispanic white has college degrees, proportion of the black was only 20 percent and Hispanic was 13 percent.

Racial discrimination in law enforcement and judicial system is very distinct. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, by the end of 2008, 3,161 men and 149 women per 100,000 persons in the U.S. black population were under imprisonment.

And a report released by New York City Police Department said that of the people involved in police shootings whose ethnicity could be determined in 2008, 75 percent were black, 22 percent were Hispanic; and 3 percent were white.

Ethnic hatred crimes are frequent. According to statistics released by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, a total of 7,783 hatred crimes occurred in 2008 in the United States, 51.3 percent of which were originated by racial discrimination and 19.5 percent were for religious bias and 11.5 percent were for national origins.

Widespread violent crimes

Widespread violent crimes in the United States posed threats to the lives, properties and personal security of its people, the report said.

In 2008, U.S. residents experienced 4.9 million violent crimes, 16.3 million property crimes and 137,000 personal thefts, and the violent crime rate was 19.3 victimizations per 1,000 persons aged 12 or over.

About 30,000 people die from gun-related incidents each year. According to an FBI report, there had been 14,180 murder victims in 2008, the report said.

Campuses became an area worst hit by violent crimes as shootings spread there and kept escalating. The U.S. Heritage Foundation reported that 11.3 percent of high school students in Washington D.C. reported being “threatened or injured” with a weapon while on school property during the 2007-2008 school year.

Abuse of power

The country’s police frequently impose violence on the people and abuse of power is common among U.S. law enforcers, the report said,

Over the past two years, the number of New York police officers under review for garnering too many complaints was up 50 percent.

In major U.S. cities, police stop, question and frisk more than a million people each year, a sharply higher number than just a few years ago.

Prisons in the United State are packed with inmates. About 2.3 million were held in custody of prisons and jails, the equivalent of about one in every 198 persons in the country, according to the report.

From 2000 to 2008, the U.S. prison population increased an average of 1.8 percent annually.

The basic rights of prisoners in the United States are not well-protected. Raping cases of inmates by prison staff members are widely reported, the report said.

According to the U.S. Justice Department, reports of sexual misconduct by prison staff members with inmates in the country’s 93 federal prison sites doubled over the past eight years.

According to a federal survey of more than 63,000 federal and state inmates, 4.5 percent reported being sexually abused at least once during the previous 12 months.

Poverty leads to rising number of suicides

The report said the population in poverty was the largest in 11 years.

The Washington Post reported that altogether 39.8 million Americans were living in poverty by the end of 2008, an increase of 2.6 million from that in 2007. The poverty rate in 2008 was 13.2 percent, the highest since 1998.

Poverty led to a sharp rise in the number of suicides in the United States. It is reported that there are roughly 32,000 suicides in the U.S. every year, double the cases of murder, said the report.

Workers’ rights not properly guaranteed

Workers’ rights were seriously violated in the United States, the report said.

The New York Times reported that about 68 percent of the 4,387 low-wage workers in a survey said they had experienced reduction of wages and 76 percent of those who had worked overtime were not paid accordingly.

The number of people without medical insurance has kept rising for eight consecutive years, the report said.

Data released by the U.S. Census Bureau showed 46.3 million people were without medical insurance in 2008, accounting for 15.4 percent of the total population, comparing with 45.7 million people who were without medical insurance in 2007, which was a rise for the eighth year in a row.

Women, children frequent victims of violence

Women are frequent victims of violence and sexual assault in the United States, while children are exposed to violence and living in fear, the report said.

It is reported that the United States has the highest rape rate among countries which report such statistics. It is 13 times higher than that of England and 20 times higher than that of Japan.

Reuters reported that based on in-depth interviews on 40 servicewomen, 10 said they had been raped, five said they were sexually assaulted including attempted rape, and 13 reported sexual harassment.

It is reported that 1,494 children younger than 18 nationwide were murdered in 2008, the USA Today reported.

A survey conducted by the U.S. Justice Department on 4,549 kids and adolescents aged 17 and younger between January and May of 2008 showed, more than 60 percent of children surveyed were exposed to violence within the past year, either directly or indirectly.

Trampling upon other countries ‘ sovereignty, human rights

The report said the United States with its strong military power has pursued hegemony in the world, trampling upon the sovereignty of other countries and trespassing their human rights.

As the world’s biggest arms seller, its deals have greatly fueled instability across the world. The United States also expanded its military spending, already the largest in the world, by 10 percent in 2008 to 607 billion U.S. dollars, accounting for 42 percent of the world total, the AP reported.

At the beginning of 2010, the U.S. government announced a 6.4-billion-U.S. dollar arms sales package to Taiwan despite strong protest from the Chinese government and people, which seriously damaged China’s national security interests and aroused strong indignation among the Chinese people, it said.

The wars of Iraq and Afghanistan have placed heavy burden on American people and brought tremendous casualties and property losses to the people of Iraq and Afghanistan, according to the report.

Prisoner abuse is one of the biggest human rights scandals of the United States, it said

An investigation by U.S. Justice Department showed 2,000 Taliban surrendered combatants were suffocated to death by the U.S. army-controlled Afghan armed forces, the report said.

The United States has been building its military bases around the world, and cases of violation of local people’s human rights are often seen, the report said.

The United States is now maintaining 900 bases worldwide, with more than 190,000 military personnel and 115,000 relevant staff stationed.

These bases are bringing serious damage and environmental contamination to the localities. Toxic substances caused by bomb explosions are taking their tolls on the local children, it said.

It has been reported that toward the end of the U.S. military bases’ presence in Subic and Clark Philippines, as many as 3,000 cases of raping local women had been filed against the U.S. servicemen, but all were dismissed, according to the report.

Source

Related

More Pictures from Abu Ghraib

U.S. on List of UNICEF’s Worst Countries for Kids

February 14, 2007

A new report from the U.N. Children’s Fund says the United States and Britain are the worst countries in the industrialized world in which to be a child. UNICEF says an examination of 40 factors, such as poverty, deprivation, happiness, relationships, and risky or bad behavior puts the United States and Britain at the bottom of a list of 21 economically developed nations.

The UNICEF report sought to assess children’s well-being in developed countries by measuring a number of factors, including health, education, poverty, family relationships, and bad or risky behavior. Children were also asked to say whether they were happy.

In the overall table of children’s well-being, the Netherlands comes out on top, followed closely by the Scandinavian countries, which also have highly developed welfare systems. At the bottom are the United States at No. 20, and Britain at No. 21.

It’s not that developed welfare states necessarily have happier children, says David Parker of UNICEF.

“I think what we know from history in the U.S.,” Parker says, “is that it’s not necessarily how the welfare is provided but the nature of the support. One of the key things is that the role of government is important, but the entire society must have at its heart the idea of improving child well-being.”

The United States fared worst of all 21 countries in health and safety, measured by rates of infant mortality and accidents and injuries.

The United States and Britain were lowest overall in the category of behavior and risks, meaning that American and British children are more likely to use drugs, drink alcohol and be sexually active than children elsewhere.

Professor Jonathan Bradshaw from the University of York in England led the research into the project. He was scathing about the failures of successive British governments.

“We’ve failed to invest in child health, in child education, in child care,” Bradshaw says. “It’s the result of neglect, which other countries have not done… they’ve just spent more on their children, despite the fact they’re not as rich as we are.”

In almost all the categories, poorer nations such as Poland and the Czech Republic fared better than the United States and Britain.

Source

There are a few stories on Human Rights Violations in the US at the links below as well.

Food industry probe reveals abuse of foreign workers

Japan Report: Private Agreements Allowed US to Bring Nukes

2.5 million Iraqi women were widowed by Iraq war

Doctors report “unprecedented” rise in deformities, cancers in Iraq

America’s Most Wanted The Top 50 US War Criminals

(Afghanistan 1) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

Iraq War Images

War “Pollution” Equals Millions of Deaths

Israel and US were behind the Georgian Attacks on South Ossetia and Abkhazia

Who profits from WAR?

This is a list of countries that have US Nuclear Weapons.

US Nuclear weapons in Europe

There is more Happy  Hunting

Indexed List of all Stories in Archives

Recent

Tough-on-crime policies don’t work, study finds

New York Times and the ACORN Hoax

Egypt : 42 electoral candidates and 145 protestors arrested in one day

Children of Gaza are Suffering, Scarred, Trapped

Report: U.S. vows to halt Israeli building in East Jerusalem

Trial Witness ‘I saw Israeli bulldozer kill Rachel Corrie’

Dr Aafia Siddiqui found guilty

February 6 2010

A press release issued by the department in Washington says that Dr Aafia, 37, faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison on each of the attempted murder and armed assault charges; life imprisonment on the firearm charge; and eight years in prison on each of the remaining assault charges. She also faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 years in prison on the firearm charge.

She is scheduled to be sentenced on May 6.

On Wednesday, a court in Manhattan, New York, found her guilty on charges related to the attempted murder and assault of US nationals and US officers and employees in Afghanistan.

She was found guilty of all charges against her following a 14-day jury trial before United States District Judge Richard M. Berman in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York.

In a case marked by controversy and courtroom disruptions, after three days of deliberation the jury rejected Dr Aafia’s claims that she did not attempt to shoot and kill American interrogators at an Afghan police compound on July 18, 2008.

“The family is trying to deal with this news, and they unfortunately have been subjected to a lot of bad news in the last six years,” Tina Foster, Dr Aafia’s family spokeswoman and a human rights lawyer for the New York-based International Justice Network, told reporters.

Her unknown whereabouts between 2003 and 2008 has been the subject of much debate among human rights organisations and US government officials. The government claims Dr Aafia was linked to Al Qaeda, while human rights organisations claim she was detained and tortured in US-backed secret prisons.

Prosecutors said she was taken into custody at an Afghan police station in the city of Ghazni on July 17, 2008, on suspicion of being a suicide bomber after Afghan officials caught her with paperwork mentioning ‘cells’ and a ‘mass casualty attack’. Source

February 5 2010

Dr Siddiqui was convicted for the attempted killing of US agents while in detention in Afghanistan in 2008.

Jamaat-e-Islami’s women activists took out a rally outside Mansoora, party’s headquarters, on Multan Road to register their protest. Participants carrying placards raised slogans against US and Pakistani governments.

“This is a test case for the Ummah and (Muslim) rulers whether they show any reaction or not,” Jamaat chief Syed Munawar Hasan said in a statement.

“No body expected a different decision from the US especially in the presence of ‘insensible’ (Pakistani) rulers and the verdict is an American slap on their face.”

He asked Interior Minister Rehman Malik to prove his words that the nation would soon hear good news about Dr Siddiqui.

PTI: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan demanded that the governments of Pakistan and the US clarify how Dr Siddiqui with her three minor children landed up in Bagram in Afghanistan. In a statement, he said what had been the fate of her children, since two of them were still missing.

He said the Pakistan government did not take proper action to ensure her return to Pakistan. He said the verdict would impact the military operation in the tribal belt.

LHCBA: A general house meeting of the Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA) passed a resolution condemning the decision and “indifferent attitude of the Pakistani government” towards the case.

Lawyers demanded immediate release of Dr Siddiqui and her two children as, they said, allegations against her were baseless and she was a victim of American injustice against the Muslims.

LHCBA President Justice Nasira Iqbal (retired) said the partiality of the American judicial system was evident from the fact that during the trial no Muslim journalist was allowed to enter the court. She also condemned the murder of former NWFP advocate general Sardar Khan.

Supreme Court Bar Association Secretary Raja Zulqarnain also condemned the verdict, saying America that claimed to be the champion of human rights had turned to be the violator of human rights in the world.

Judicial Activism Panel Chairman Muhammad Azhar Siddique in a statement dubbed the decision “black and draconian”.

He said as no evidence supported the decision it violated the provisions of the United Nations Charter, 1945, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966, World Conference on Human Rights, Vienna Declaration and Program of Action (1993).

He said the US jury had failed to notice the abduction of Dr Siddiqui from Karachi and her detention in Afghanistan and America, hence the decision was prejudice, biased, illegal and an attempt to save the American agencies involved in the abduction of the doctor.

Tehrik-e-Istiqlal President Rehmat Khan Wardag and Jamaatud Dawa amir Prof Muhammad Saeed also condemned the US jury.  Source

Not to sure about this, with the lack of evidence I have a hard time understanding how they found her guilty of anything. I certainly hope her lawyers goes for an appeal.

Related

Still no verdict in Dr Aafia Siddiqui trial

Case against Aafia Siddiqui begins to unravel

Recent

Petition: Demand the release of Iraqi Female Writer/Blogger Hiba Al-Shamaree

Gaza is in Desperate need of real help

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Supporting Palestinians in building their state is the only role Jordan plays

Haiti: The Miracle and the Nightmare

Published in: on February 6, 2010 at 1:58 am  Comments Off on Dr Aafia Siddiqui found guilty  
Tags: , ,

Still no verdict in Dr Aafia Siddiqui trial

February 3 2010

On Tuesday, jurors in New York deliberated for a full day without reaching a verdict in the trial of Pakistani citizen Aafia Siddiqui, who is charged with attempted murder of FBI agents and US military personnel.

The deliberations are scheduled to resume on Wednesday.

Siddiqui is accused of grabbing a US warrant officer’s M-4 rifle in a police station in Ghazni, Afghanistan in July 2008 and firing two shots at FBI agents and military personnel when being interrogated for her alleged possession of documents detailing a ‘terrorist’ plan.

The prosecution says she burst from behind a curtain and attempted the ‘murder’ and was shot in the abdomen.

Last week, Siddiqui said she was concerned about being transferred to a “secret” prison by the US forces and was trying to slip out of the room when she was shot. “I’m telling you what I know. I walked toward the curtain. I was shot and I was shot again. I fainted,” she said.

Siddiqui’s lawyer Linda Moreno said during closing arguments Monday that the “science” supported her testimony that she didn’t touch the weapon or fire it.

“Where are the bullet holes? …Did the Afghanis take the bullet holes? …There is no physical evidence that an M-4 rifle was touched by Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, let alone fired,”The Wall Street Journal quoted Moreno as saying.

Siddiqui vanished in Karachi, Pakistan with her three children on March 30, 2003. The next day it was reported in local newspapers that she had been taken into custody on terrorism charges.

US officials allege that she was seized on July 17, 2008 by Afghan security forces in Ghazni province and claim that documents, including formulas for explosives and chemical weapons, were found in her handbag.

She has been brought to the United States to face charges of attempted murder and assault. Siddiqui faces 20 years in prison on the attempted murder charges and life in prison on the firearms charge.

However, human rights organizations have cast doubt on the accuracy of the US account of the event.

Many political activists believe she was Prisoner 650 of the US detention facility in Bagram, Afghanistan, where they say she was tortured for five years until one day US authorities announced that they had found her in Afghanistan.

Source

Related

Case against Aafia Siddiqui begins to unravel

The newest victim of the US occupation in Iraq

Petition: Demand the release of Iraqi Female Writer/Blogger Hiba Al-Shamaree

Recent

Gaza is in Desperate need of real help

Qatar sends aid to Gaza flood victims

Published in: on February 3, 2010 at 6:10 am  Comments Off on Still no verdict in Dr Aafia Siddiqui trial  
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Gaza is in Desperate need of real help

Gaza power station to shut down this weekend

By Saed Bannoura

January 26 2010
Gaza’s only power station will close by the end of this week following a European Union decision to stop buying fuel for the plant. According to the power station’s director, Rafeeq Maliha, “Since last November the EU has stopped funding the purchase of diesel for us.” This means, he added, that without some external intervention between now and this weekend, the densely populated Gaza Strip will have no central power source to operate many basic services.

Engineer Imad Canaan, the vice president of the Palestinian Power Authority explained that the power authority is unable to continue providing adequate energy resources to the citizens of Gaza. “The Israeli blockade and the suspension of EU support have reduced the output of the station by 50%,” he said.

The Gaza Power Station has been bombarded repeatedly and deliberately by Israel, most notably during the assault and invasion a year ago when the Israelis targeted the civilian infrastructure. The Israeli blockade of Gaza has prevented vital repair materials being imported; these are essential if the power station is to return to full operational capacity. Source

Sewage Collapse threatens the health of Palestinians in Gaza

January 27 2010

Palestinians in Gaza have a lot to contend with, especially since the war launched by the Israeli Occupiers just over a year ago. With the loss of more than 1,400 Palestinian lives, most of whom were women and children, the near total destruction of whatever little infrastructure that remained and the general pillaging of the territory, Palestinians are once again faced with the prospect of rebuilding their lives in the besieged Gaza Strip.

However, because of the ongoing Israeli blockade on essential materials, the Palestinians have not been able to carry out any reconstruction of their houses, hospitals, schools and the local infrastructure, including the power station and sewage treatment plants. Sewage disposal has become a huge problem all over Gaza, with leaks onto farmland and into nearby water sources leading to pollution and less fertile soil, which in turn has led to poor harvests. Sewage and waste material from cities and refugee camps with limited access to sewage treatment plants is ending up in water sources which lead to the beaches of Gaza and the sea. This has resulted in severe water pollution and the contamination of fish,  as well as a variety of acute and chronic water-borne diseases.

For entire story and photos go HERE

Israelis impose “financial punishments” on Palestinians

January 26 2010

Israeli prison staff impose financial punishments on Palestinian prisoners.

A human rights organisation has claimed that Israeli prison staff are imposing financial punishments on Palestinian prisoners. In a statement, the Prisoners’ Centre for Studies said that guards and administrators in Israeli prisons force Palestinian detainees to pay for the water and electricity that they consume as a form of additional punishment.

According to the centre, prisoners are also “fined” for trivial reasons, such as reading the Qur’an or praying during the prison’s daily roll call (if officers enter when it is the time for prayer); if the imam, while giving the Friday sermon, utters a word that the guards don’t like; when a prisoner doesn’t manage to get out of the bathroom in the time specified by the guards; and for other similar reasons when the guards abuse their positions and use any excuse to penalise prisoners.

The centre’s director, Raafat Hamdouna, claims that prison administrators withdraw the “fines” from prisoners’ personal bank accounts without informing prisoners. If anyone doesn’t have a bank account, the administration imposes a future fine against his name, provoking the prisoner even further.

Mr. Hamdouna called upon human rights and humanitarian organizations to intervene to stop this unreasonable behaviour. “The Israelis treat prisoners like tenants and force them to pay for water, electricity, food and accommodation,” he added. Source

Members of Congress sign letter urging Obama to stop the siege of Gaza

Fifty-four members of Congress urging the president to pressure Israel to treat Gazans like human beings is a positive development, albeit a VERY small one.  Critics may content that the letter protects Israel’s image. I understand that. But I still think it’s encouraging.

Names of the 54 are at the above link. Just so we know who actually cares about the people of Gaza.

Considering 344 voted to condemn the Goldstone report I do not see this going to far.

Even the UN has tried to get the blockade removed.

Gaza is in desperate need of materials to repair rebuild. Soon they will have no hydro. So just imagine if you had no hydro. This will affect evrything from hospitals to  bussiniesses and storage of food and the list goes on an on.

Aid money was promised to help rebuild Gaza and little to none has been received by them. The blockade keeps everything out. This is also in the face of a recent flood in Gaza which has done even more damage. This of course was never in the main stream media.  How typical.

Of course much of what we should be told is never in the main stream media.

Shame on them. Shame on the world leaders who do nothing but talk about it.

That is all they do is talk. Of course that makes it into the media and fools the public at large that they are actually doing something, when in fact they are really doing nothing.  What has changed for those in Gaza or the West bank in the last year. NOTHING. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING HAS CHANGED.

Their lives go from bad to worse is all. Every day their lives are more difficult.  Thanks to the world leaders who pretend to do something. That is all they do is pretend. They are doing little to help ease the pain and suffering of the Palestinians.

Seems the EU and Western Countries have done little to nothing to help those in Gaza.

Due to the lack of real help people are suffering beyond imagination. Ignored by the Main stream media and World Leaders.  Tiger Woods got more air time then people who are suffering and dieing. Well that says it all doesn’t it.

How coincidental the Gaza flood took place during the Haiti Crisis.

Guaranteed it would be ignored by all the main stream media.

Gaza is in crisis and no one seems to notice. The 54 who signed the letter to Obama at least care enough to try.  Will Obama listen I hardly thing so he is helping Egypt built the wall of shame and it is a shame. He has done nothing to ease the desperation of those in Gaza and if any time he says he is doing something I know as many other do it is pure BS. His actions  and those of the US Government speaks volumes. They want to destroy the people of Gaza.

The blockade is killing Gaza, say NGOs and UN agencies

January 22 2010

One year after Israel’s military offensive on Gaza, United Nations agencies and the Association for International Development Agencies (AIDA), representing over 80 NGOs, are highlighting the impact of the blockade on Gaza on the health of its population and on health services – and are calling for an immediate opening of Gaza’s crossings.

Max Gaylard, the Resident Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territories, said on Wednesday 20 January 2010 that “the continuing closure of the Gaza Strip is undermining the functioning of the health care system and putting at risk the health of 1.4 million people in Gaza.”

He continued: “It is causing on-going deterioration in the social, economic and environmental determinants of health. It is hampering the provision of medical supplies and the training of health staff and it is preventing patients with serious medical conditions getting timely specialised treatment outside Gaza”

The economy of Gaza is in virtual collapse with rising unemployment and poverty which will have long term adverse effects on the physical and mental health of the population. The environment is also in decline, including water quality, sewage and waste disposal and other environmental hazards (including munitions and medical waste) which may lead to long term effects on health.

More than 750,000 children live in Gaza. The humanitarian community is gravely concerned about the future of this generation whose health needs are not being met. The decline in infant mortality, which has fallen steadily over recent decades, has stalled in the last few years.

The lack of building materials as a result of the blockade is affecting essential health facilities: the new surgical wing in Gaza’s main Shifa hospital has remained unfinished since 2006. Hospitals and primary care facilities, damaged during operation ‘Cast Lead’, have not been rebuilt because construction materials are not allowed into Gaza.

Operation ‘Cast Lead’ damaged 15 of Gaza’s 27 hospitals and 43 of its 110 primary health care facilities were either damaged or destroyed.

Supplies of drugs and disposables have generally been allowed into Gaza – though there are often shortages on the ground. However, certain types of medical equipment, such as x-ray equipment and electronic devices are very difficult to bring in. Clinical staff frequently lack the medical equipment they need. Medical devices are often broken, missing spare parts, or out of date.

Health professionals in Gaza have been cut off from the outside world. Since 2000, very few doctors, nurses or technicians have been able to leave the Strip for training necessary to update their clinical skills or to learn about new medical technology. This is severely undermining their ability to provide quality health care.

Many specialised treatments, for example, complex heart surgery and treatment for certain types of cancer, are not available and patients are therefore referred for treatment to hospitals outside Gaza. But many patients have had their applications for exit permits denied or delayed by the Israeli Authorities and have missed their appointments. Some have died while waiting for referral.

Tony Laurance, the Head of Office for the World Health Organisation (WHO) in the West Bank and Gaza, declared: “An effective health care system cannot be sustained in isolation from the international community. Open borders are needed to ensure the health of the 1.4 million people in Gaza”

The humanitarian community believes the health sector would face serious problems in dealing with another emergency on the scale of last year’s Operation Cast Lead, said AIDA yesterday. “The Government of Israel has a legal duty to guarantee the right to health for people in Gaza. The humanitarian community calls for the crossings into Gaza to be reopened.”

Source

Survey of Palestinian Refugees & IDPs 2008-2009

More than 61 years since the Palestinian Nakba (catastrophe) and 42 years after Israel’s belligerent occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the issue of forced displacement of Palestinians from their homeland remains an ongoing phenomenon that fails to receive the attention it deserves.

At the end of 2008, at least 7.1 million Palestinians, representing 67 percent of the entire Palestinian population (10.6 million) worldwide were displaced persons. Among them are 6.6 million refugees and 427,000 IDPs. This makes Palestinian refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) the largest and longest-standing case of displaced persons in the world today.

Recent

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Facebook: What you don’t know about it could get you in a whole lot of trouble

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Could the Earthquake in Haiti be man made, the answer is Yes

World aid agencies appeal to Israel to unlock Gaza

Published in: on January 28, 2010 at 11:16 pm  Comments Off on Gaza is in Desperate need of real help  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Haiti: The Miracle and the Nightmare

MIRACLE OF HAITI SURVIVOR

Unhu Wismond Exantus survived on biscuits and coca cola

January 25 2010

By Gareth Dorrian

A HAITIAN earthquake survivor cheated death for 11 days on a diet of biscuits and beer.

Unhu Wismond Exantus, 24, was buried in tons of rubble as he hid under a hotel desk.

Rescuers got the shop worker out of the remains of the Napoli Inn Hotel in Port-au-Prince, hours after the country’s Government had called a halt to rescue plans.

He said: “I ate anything I found. I survived by drinking beer and Coca-Cola and eating cookies.

“Every night I thought about the revelation that I would survive. It was God who was tucking me away in his arms. It gave me strength.”

Officials confirmed the death toll has passed 150,000, which only includes bodies dealt with by the government in and around Port-au-Prince.

Tens of thousands more victims have been buried in outlying areas, are trapped in rubble or their relatives have not registered the death.

Communications minister Marie-Laurence Jocelyn Lassegue said: “Nobody knows how many bodies are buried in the rubble. 200,000? 300,000? Who knows the overall death toll?”

The United Nations came under fire after it was revealed officers are living in relative luxury at the capital’s airport. Food, blankets and medicine have flooded in from around the world, but aid agencies admit it is not getting out fast enough.

Volunteers say efforts to help have been delayed by bureaucracy and red tape.

UN spokesman Alejandro Chicheri said: “Of course we would like to be doing more but the logistics are a nightmare.”

Save The Children has called for a ban on adopting Haitian children as gangs are kidnapping kids caught in the chaos and selling them for £5,000 a time.

X Factor champ Joe McElderry, 18, and Westlife star Mark Feehily, 29, have joined the line-up for Simon Cowell’s Haiti charity single.

The pair join Alexandra Burke, 21, and James Blunt, 36, recording a cover of REM’s Everybody Hurts in London today. Source

People world wide have united for Haiti. We must also keep watch to make sure, those who need help the most actually get it. We must be sure they are helped as they should be.

If we are to intervene in their lives may it be for the betterment of all the people of Haiti. Not just the rich. We must monitor our Governments and the UN.

Even through this devastation Haitians are being taken advantage of. How sad anyone would want to profit from their despair.

Profiteers are lining up at the door but that is yet another story for another day.

The History of  Haitian life is what we must bring to light so it never happens again.

It is up to all of use to assure they have a better future to look forward to.  Their past if horrid to say the least. The earthquake is absolute devastation. Aid workers are concerned on all fronts. Aid is still not reaching people. Children are being kidnapped.

In one of my updates US soldiers were told  to stop giving Haitians food. Why? Do they want to starve the Haitians or make them angry. That is an act of deliberate cruelty. Beyond cruel in my opinion. the US is now sending 20,000 troops to Haiti for what to see to it they starve.

Letting in Aid workers and supplies has not been a priority. Why?

Seems there is much amiss in all of this.

Finally we have numerous reporters in Haiti, lets hope they will tell us the truth.

From June 20, 2009

A funeral and a boycott: ‘The struggle continues’ in Haiti

by Kevin Pina


Mourners at the funeral of Haitian priest Father Gerard Jean-Juste march with his coffin in the area of Haiti’s national cathedral moments before gunfire erupted. – Photo: ©2009 Jean Ristil, Haiti Information Project

HIP – Fanmi Lavalas, Haiti’s largest political party and grassroots movement, laid Catholic liberation theology priest Father Gerard Jean-Juste to rest this past Thursday. A large banner waved overhead declaring “[Father] Jery you left us but the struggle continues” as thousands of mourners streamed out carrying Jean-Juste’s casket, sparking an impromptu pro-Lavalas demonstration. Chants of “The struggle continues, return Aristide” and “No elections without Lavalas” rang through the streets as a reminder that Lavalas is preparing to wage a second round of boycotts against the upcoming Senate elections scheduled for Sunday.

The procession and demonstration were suddenly interrupted by gunfire that could be heard from around the corner. Witnesses report that Brazilian soldiers with the U.N. military mission opened fire after attempting to arrest one of the mourners. The U.N. has since denied the shooting and claims that the victim had been killed by either a rock thrown by the crowd or a blunt instrument. Eyewitnesses on the scene have countered that the U.N. is trying to cover up the affair as it promises to heighten tensions before Sunday’s elections.

The U.N. and the Obama administration continue to endorse and finance a second round of controversial Senate elections in Haiti. The first round was held last April 19 and was marked by a low voter turnout following a successful boycott campaign waged by Fanmi Lavalas.

A large banner in front of Haiti’s national cathedral reads, “[Father] Jery, you left us but the struggle continues.” – Photo: ©2009 Jean Ristil, Haiti Information Project

The Fanmi Lavalas party was excluded from participation in the first round after President Rene Preval’s handpicked Conseil Electoral Provisoire (CEP) demanded original signatures on all of their documents. With former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, their party’s national leader, in exile, Lavalas was unable to comply with what some in their ranks have referred to as “a humiliating last minute request.”

The powerful community organizations that form the base of the Lavalas movement then announced “Operation Closed Door,” urging voters to stay away from the polls. Independent observers put participation at between 3-4 percent, while the CEP announced it had been as high as 11 percent. Lavalas recently announced a boycott of the second round, called “Operation Closed Door 2,” and leaflets were distributed throughout the capital on Thursday urging voters to “stay away from the polls, end the exclusion [of Haiti’s largest political party].”

A young man identified as “Junior” lies in a pool of blood after Brazilian soldiers with the U.N. military mission reportedly opened fire. The U.N. has denied their involvement, stating he was killed by a rock thrown from the crowd or hit with a blunt object. Eyewitnesses charge the U.N. with covering up the incident. – Photo: ©2009 Haiti Information Project

Members of the Lavalas Mobilization Commission, organizers of the boycott, are reportedly in hiding after CEP President Gerard Frantz Verret demanded last Thursday that the Ministry of Justice take “public action in motion against all those who undertake to invite the people to abstain from voting and against those who intend to endanger lives and property.” Public action in motion or “action publique” is a remnant of the Napoleonic Code in Haitian law and, like the term “associating with criminals,” is widely seen as a blanket charge to justify prolonged detention of political opposition in Haiti.

A second successful boycott of Sunday’s elections by Lavalas would serve to further damage the credibility of the Preval administration. The international community is reported to have invested over $12.9 million in an electoral process that many in Haiti say has provided little towards solving the country’s political insolvency and mounting desperation.

Haiti Information Project (HIP), winner of the Project Censored 2008 Real News Award for Outstanding Investigative Journalism, is a non-profit alternative news service providing coverage and analysis of breaking developments in Haiti. Email HIP at HIP@teledyol.net. To learn more, visit www.haitiaction.net.

Source

Video from the incident

The truth came out and the U.N. lie was exposed:

The young man  in UN clash was slain by bullet, autopsy results found.

From July 13 2005

This is not the first time the UN has murdered innocent Haitians in cold blood and tried to cover it up: the story with photos

From December 22, 2006

Another Massacre in Haiti by UN Troops

For background on UN mission and Brazil:

Haiti and America Latina: it is as it always was

Kevin Pina The Bush administration’s forced removal of democratically elected Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide, while a power-sharing deal with his political opposition was being brokered in 2004, resulted in the country’s expulsion from the Caribbean Community and was condemned by the African Union. The installation of the US-backed replacement government of Gerard Latortue has resulted in the rape, torture and false imprisonment of thousands of ordinary Haitians. The only Latin American country to condemn the US’s action in Haiti, however, has been Venezuela. Other countries and organisations like the Organization of American States (OAS) have been bought over with a massive programme of civilian and military funding by the US. Source

I would have to say the rest of the world was kept in the dark about what happens in Haiti.

It was never in the main stream media. More times the not every attempt was made to keep it out of the eyes of the world at large.

Now it the time to expose what has been happening in Haiti.

Of course you still will not hear these stories in the main stream media. What you are hearing now is all the heros going to rescue them.

The earthquake  is good PR for the US , Israel, Canada, France etc. and the UN, but the truth be told those in Haiti have been oppressed by all.

Now is the time to share the truth.

From December 25 2005

Heavily armed soldiers of the Brazilian military, which leads the UN
military mission to Haiti known as MINUSTAH, had earlier taken over a
building in Pele belonging to an accused drug dealer with alleged ties
to presidential candidate Guy Philippe. The troops were seen
reinforcing the facility with sand bags and equipment as a military
unit on the ground led a group of black-hooded residents through the
neighborhood on a mission to identify and target suspected “bandits”
for arrest. Twelve residents, ten men and two women, were reportedly
arrested based on the accusations of the hooded informants and were
taken away to an undisclosed UN facility. Several residents reacted
with shock and anger at the site of the black-hooded informants, a new
tactic apparently being used by the UN forces to pacify poor
neighborhoods in the capital. “This is really scary because we don’t
know who these hooded accusers are. We don’t even know if they are
really from our area. I just saw them arrest a man I have known for
years and who is not involved with anything violent. Where are they
taking him?” asked one angry woman who refused to give her name.

For the entire story go HERE

Black hoods well doesn’t that just remind one of Iraq or Afghanistan?

Those same black hooded people were there too. Amazing.

From February 20 2008

US Marines, Canadian Special Forces and troops of the French Foreign Legion were authorized by the UN Security Council to ‘stabilize’ Haiti following the ouster of president Jean-Bertrand Aristide on February 29, 2004. In June 2004, the United Nations sent the militaries of Brazil, Argentina and Chile to take control of Haiti with the objective of creating conditions for new elections. The Brazilian armed forces were given overall control of the military component of the UN operation.

On February 19, 2008, Brazilian military forces stormed the neighborhood of Village de Dieu on the outskirts of the capital of Port-au-Prince. Their troops entered with weapons drawn and began a massive sweep with UN police in tow that ended with the arrest of dozens of young men in the area. Residents claim this military incursion was executed without a single warrant being presented from Haiti’s courts or just cause. Residents of poor communities throughout Haiti say that terrifying raids led by Brazilian forces have been common occurrences since they arrived in 2004. For the families of those arrested and left traumatized by these incursions, it raises serious questions about the role Brazilian forces have played in Haiti.

For the entire story go HERE

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Published in: on January 25, 2010 at 7:51 pm  Comments Off on Haiti: The Miracle and the Nightmare  
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Case against Aafia Siddiqui begins to unravel

Case against Aafia Siddiqui begins to unravel
January 24 2010

The case against Pakistani citizen Aafia Siddiqui, who is charged with attempted murder of FBI agents and US military personnel, is beginning to unravel as witnesses have offered conflicting accounts in testimony delivered at her trial.

The long-awaited trial of Siddiqui began in a federal courtroom in New York on Tuesday.

On January 21, which was the second day of the trial, Assistant US Attorney Jenna Dabbs showed jurors numerous photographs of the room of the Afghan police station where the shooting allegedly took place, and a photo of the cell where Siddiqui was held when she was first brought to the station on July 17, 2008, the independent online news network Mathaba reported.

But Carlo Rosati, an FBI firearms expert who testified in the federal court on Friday, expressed doubts whether the M-4 rifle, which was allegedly grabbed by Aafia Siddiqui to attack US interrogators in Ghazni, Afghanistan, was ever fired at the crime scene, the Associated Press of Pakistan said.

In addition, on the third of the trial, an FBI agent testified that the FBI did not find Aafia Siddiqui’s fingerprints on the rifle.

No Pakistanis reporters were granted press credentials when opening statements began on Tuesday.

The MIT-educated neuroscientist is currently on trial, facing charges of trying to kill US soldiers and FBI agents in Afghanistan in 2008 and connections with Al-Qaeda operatives.

She insisted on the first day of the trial that she knew nothing about a plan to carry out terrorist attacks on targets in New York, The New York Daily News reported.

“Give me a little credit, this is not a list of targets of New York,” she said. “I was never planning to bomb it. You’re lying.”

Siddiqui told jurors at her trial on Tuesday that she was held in a secret prison in Afghanistan, her children were tortured, and the case against her is a sham.

She was ejected from the federal court on the first day of here trial after her shouting outburst.

Siddiqui vanished in Karachi, Pakistan with her three children on March 30, 2003. The next day it was reported in local newspapers that she had been taken into custody on terrorism charges.

US officials allege Aafia Siddiqui was seized on July 17, 2008 by Afghan security forces in Ghazni province and claim that documents, including formulas for explosives and chemical weapons, were found in her handbag.

They say that while she was being interrogated, she grabbed a US warrant officer’s M-4 rifle and fired two shots at FBI agents and military personnel but missed and that the warrant officer then fired back, hitting her in the torso.

She was then brought to the United States to face charges of attempted murder and assault. Siddiqui faces 20 years in prison if convicted.

However, human rights organizations have cast doubt on the accuracy of the US account of the event.

Many political activists believe she was Prisoner 650 of the US detention facility in Bagram, Afghanistan, where they say she was tortured for five years until one day US authorities announced that they had found her in Afghanistan.

Source
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Published in: on January 25, 2010 at 8:07 am  Comments Off on Case against Aafia Siddiqui begins to unravel  
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