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

 

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

CIA chiefs face arrest over horrific evidence of bloody ‘video-game’ sorties by drone pilots

By David Rose

October 21 2012

The Mail on Sunday today reveals shocking new evidence of the full horrific impact of US drone attacks in Pakistan.

A damning dossier assembled from exhaustive research into  the strikes’ targets sets out in heartbreaking detail the deaths of teachers, students and Pakistani policemen. It also describes how bereaved relatives are forced to gather their loved ones’ dismembered body parts in the aftermath of strikes.

The dossier has been assembled by human rights lawyer Shahzad Akbar, who works for Pakistan’s Foundation for Fundamental Rights and the British human rights charity Reprieve.

Filed in two separate court cases, it is set to trigger a formal murder investigation by police into the roles of two US officials said to have ordered the strikes. They are Jonathan Banks, former head of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Islamabad station, and John A. Rizzo, the CIA’s former chief lawyer. Mr Akbar and his staff have already gathered further testimony which has yet to be filed.

How the attacks unfolded…

‘We have statements from a further 82 victims’ families relating to more than 30 drone strikes,’ he said. ‘This is their only hope of justice.’

In the first case, which has already been heard by a court in Islamabad, judgment is expected imminently. If the judge grants Mr Akbar’s petition,  an international arrest warrant will be issued via Interpol against the  two Americans.

The second case is being heard in the city of Peshawar. In it, Mr Akbar and the families of drone victims who are civilians are seeking a ruling that further strikes in Pakistani airspace should be viewed as ‘acts of war’.

They argue that means the Pakistan Air Force should try to shoot down the drones and that the government should sever diplomatic relations with the US and launch murder inquiries against those responsible.

According to a report last month by academics at Stanford and New York universities, between 2,562 and 3,325 people have been killed since the strikes in Pakistan began in 2004.

The report said of those, up to  881 were civilians, including 176  children. Only 41 people who had  died had been confirmed as ‘high-value’ terrorist targets.

Getting at the truth is difficult because the tribal regions along the frontier are closed to journalists. US security officials continue to claim that almost all those killed are militants who use bases in Pakistan to launch attacks on Western forces across the border in Afghanistan.

In his only acknowledgement that the US has ever launched such attacks at all, President Barack Obama said in January: ‘This is a targeted, focused effort at people who are on a list of active terrorists, who are trying to go in and harm Americans.’

But behind the dry legal papers seen by The Mail on Sunday lies the most detailed investigation into  individual strikes that has yet been  carried out. It suggests that the US President was mistaken.

Missile attacks in in Pakistan have had devastating affects, the dossier revealed

The plaintiff in the Islamabad case is Karim Khan, 45, a journalist and translator with two masters’ degrees, whose family comes from the village of Machi Khel in the tribal region of North Waziristan.

His eldest son, Zahinullah, 18, and his brother, Asif Iqbal, 35, were killed by a Hellfire missile fired from a Predator drone that struck the  family’s guest dining room at about 9.30pm on New Year’s Eve, 2009.

Asif had changed his surname because he loved to recite Iqbal,  Pakistan’s national poet, and Mr Khan said: ‘We are an educated family.  My uncle is a hospital doctor in  Islamabad, and we all work in professions such as teaching.

‘We have never had anything to do with militants or terrorists, and for that reason I always assumed we would be safe.’

Mr Khan said: ‘Zahinullah, who had been studying in Islamabad, had returned to the village to work his way through college, taking a part-time job as a school caretaker.

‘He was a quiet boy and studious – always in the top group of his class.’ Zahinullah also liked football, cricket and hunting partridges.

Asif, he added, was an English teacher and had spent several years taking further courses to improve his qualifications while already in work.

Mr Khan said: ‘He was my kid brother. We used to have a laugh, tell jokes.’ His first child was less than a year old when Asif was killed.

Included in the legal dossier are documents that corroborate Asif and Zahinulla’s educational and employment records, as well as their death certificates. Killed alongside them was Khaliq Dad, a stonemason who was staying with the family while he worked on a local mosque.

Mr Khan, who had been working for a TV station in Islamabad, said he was given the news of their deaths in a 2am phone call from a cousin.

Drones have caused untold damage, and the dossier reveals just how devastating they have been for families

‘I called a friend who had a car and we started driving through the night to get back to the village,’ he said. ‘It was a terrible journey. I was shocked,  grieving, angry, like anyone who had lost their loved ones.’

He got home soon after dawn and describes his return ‘like entering a village of the dead – it was so quiet.  There was a crowd gathered outside the compound but nowhere for them to sit because the guest rooms had been destroyed’.

Zahinullah, Mr Khan discovered, had been killed instantly, but despite his horrific injuries, Asif had survived long enough to be taken to a nearby hospital. However, he died during the night.

‘We always bury people quickly in our culture. The funeral was at three o’clock that afternoon, and more than 1,000 people came,’ Mr Khan said. ‘Zahinullah had a wound on the side of his face and his body was crushed and charred. I am told the people who push the buttons to  fire the missiles call these strikes “bug-splats”.

‘It is beyond my imagination how they can lack all mercy and compassion, and carry on doing this for years. They are not human beings.’

Mr Khan found Mr Akbar through a friend who had attended lectures he gave at an Islamabad university. In 2010, he filed a criminal complaint – known as a first information report – to police naming  Mr Banks. However, they took no action, therefore triggering the  lawsuit – a judicial review of that failure to act.

If the judge finds in favour of  Mr Khan, his decision cannot be appealed, thus making the full criminal inquiry and Interpol warrants inevitable.

According to the legal claim, someone from the Pakistan CIA network led by Mr Banks – who left Pakistan in 2010 – targeted the Khan family and guided the Hellfire missile by throwing a GPS homing device into their compound.

A senior CIA officer said: ‘We do not discuss active operations or  allegations against specific individuals.’

Mr Rizzo is named because of  an interview he gave to a US reporter after he retired as CIA General Counsel last year. In it, he boasted that he had personally authorised every drone strike in which America’s enemies were ‘hunted down and blown to bits’.

He added: ‘It’s basically a hit-list .  .  . The Predator is the weapon of choice, but it could also be someone putting a bullet in your head.’

Last night a senior Pakistani  security official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that Pakistan’s own intelligence agency, the ISI, has always been excluded by the CIA from choosing drone  targets.

‘They insist on using their own networks, paying their own informants. Dollars can be very persuasive,’ said the official.

He claimed the intelligence behind drone strikes was often seriously flawed. As a result, ‘they are causing the loss of innocent lives’.

But even this, he added, was not  as objectionable as the so-called ‘signature strikes’ – when a drone operator, sitting at a computer screen thousands of miles away in Nevada, selects a target because he thinks the drone camera has spotted something suspicious.

He said: ‘It could be a vehicle  containing armed men heading towards the border, and the operator thinks, “Let’s get them before they get there,” without any idea of who they are.

‘It could also just be people sitting together. In the frontier region, every male is armed but it doesn’t mean they are militants.’

One such signature strike killed more than 40 people in Datta Khel in North Waziristan on March 17 last year. The victims, Mr Akbar’s dossier makes clear, had gathered for a jirga – a tribal meeting – in order to discuss a dispute between two clans over the division of royalties from a chromite mine.

Some of the most horrifying testimony comes from Khalil Khan, the son of Malik Haji Babat, a tribal leader and police officer. ‘My father was not a terrorist. He was not an enemy of the United States,’ Khalil’s legal statement says. ‘He was a hard-working and upstanding citizen, the type of person others looked up to and aspired to be like.’

Khalil, 32, last saw his father three hours before his death, when he left for a business meeting in a nearby town. Informed his father had been killed, Khalil hurried to the scene.

‘What I saw when I got off the bus at Datta Khel was horrible,’ he said. ‘I immediately saw flames and women and children were saying there had been a drone strike. The fires spread after the strike.

‘I went to the location where the jirga had been held. The situation was really very bad. There were still people lying around injured.

‘The tribal elders who had been killed could not be identified because there were body parts strewn about. The smell was awful. I just collected the pieces that I believed belonged to my father and placed them in a small coffin.’

Khalil said that as a police officer, his father had earned a good salary, on which he supported his family. Khalil has considered returning to the Gulf, where he worked for 14 years, but ‘because of the frequency of drones I am concerned to leave my family’.

He added that schools in the area were empty because ‘parents are afraid their children will be hit by  a missile’.

In another statement – one of 13 taken by Mr Akbar concerning the Datta Khel strike – driver Ahmed Jan, 52, describes the moment the missile hit: ‘We were in the middle of our discussion and I was thrown about 24ft from where I was sitting. I was knocked unconscious. When I awoke, I saw many individuals who were injured or dead.

‘I have lost the use of one of my feet and have a rod inserted because of the injuries. It is so painful for me to walk. There are scars on my face because I had to have an operation on my nose when it would not stop bleeding.’

Mr Jan says he has spent £3,600 on medical treatment but ‘I have never been offered compensation of any kind .  .  . I do not know why this jirga was targeted. I am a malik [elder] of my tribe and therefore a government servant. We were not doing anything wrong or illegal.’

Another survivor was Mohammed Noor, 27, a stonemason, who attended the jirga with his uncle and his cousin, both of whom were killed. ‘The parts of their bodies had to be collected first. These parts were all we had of them,’ he said.

Mr Akbar said that fighting back through the courts was the only way ‘to solve the larger problem’ of the ongoing terrorist conflict.

‘It is the only way to break the cycle of violence,’ he said. ‘If we want to change the people of Waziristan, we first have to show them that we respect the rule of law.’

A senior CIA officer said: ‘We do not discuss active operations or  allegations against specific individuals.’ A White House source last night declined to comment. Source

Most of the links in the story below lead to a story. You will have to mouse over them and if an ad doesn’t pop up it is a legitimate link.
Unfortunately those ad links, are all over the web and are rather annoying.

Predator Drone Strikes: 50 Civilians Are Killed For Every 1 Terrorist, and the CIA Only Wants to Up Drone Warfare

By Robert Taylor

While the 2012 presidential election racket focuses on gaffes, Romney’s binders, and Big Bird, the CIA and the Pentagon are currently busy finding ways to increase their military power and influence around the globe. According to the Washington Post, CIA Director David Petraeus wants an increased drone fleet to “bolster the agency’s ability to sustain its campaigns of lethal strikes in Pakistan and Yemen and enable it, if directed, to shift aircraft to emerging Al-Qaeda threats in North Africa or other trouble spots.”

And with the final presidential debate on Monday focusing on foreign policy, the issue of drone strikes could not be more prescient. President Obama and former Governor Romney both carefully tiptoed around discussing anything of real substance concerning domestic issues and the economy, and will both look to outhawk each other next week concerning the use of unmanned armed drones overseas — if it is even discussed at all.

It’s easy to see why they might want to avoid the subject. The use of drone strikes have increased exponentially under the Obama administration, becoming a signature aspect of his incredibly aggressive and reckless foreign policy. And while the president and his advisers defend both their supposed legality and precision while simultaneously bragging when convenient and denying when pressured that the drone program even exists, a closer look at the use of Predator drones tells a very different story.

Despite claims from the administration that drone strikes have killed very few civilians, multiple independent reports confirm that Obama is severely downplaying the wreckage that these drone strikes inflict. It is ultimately impossible to get exact numbers, but a new study from Columbia Law School’s Human Rights Institute finds that the number of Pakistani civilians killed in drone strikes are “significantly and consistently underestimated” by tracking organizations which are trying to take the place of government estimates on casualties.

There are estimates as high as 98% of drone strike casualties being civilians (50 for every one “suspected terrorist”). The Bureau of Investigative Journalism issued a report detailing how the CIA is deliberately targeting those who show up after the sight of an attack, rescuers, and mourners at funerals as a part of a “double-tap” strategy eerily reminiscient of methods used by terrorist groups like Hamas.

These numbers and reports alone should cast much doubt on the effectiveness at protecting the U.S. and combating terrorism that the Obama admnistration uses as justification for drone strikes. If a drone kills an actual terrorist but leaves multiple, sometimes dozens, of innocent civilians vaporized as well, this creates a brand new set of enemies and blowback. According to Jeremy Scahill’s reporting at The Nation, U.S. drone strikes in Yemen are the primary source for Al-Qaeda’s presence in the Arabian Peninsula. Obama’s “signature strikes” — where targets are hit for displaying “suspicious behavior” and which Petraeus also wants to expand — are backfiring and can only boomerang back to us.

While the CIA claims that the drone program operates “under a framework of legal and close government oversight,” multiple legal experts are challenging the legality of the drone program under both American and international law. But much like how the Obama administration is blocking any challenges to the provisions in the NDAA that essentially nullify habeus corpus and Posse Comitatus, any lawsuit or inquiry into the drone program has been met with staunch opposition — especially concerning the targeted assassinations by drones of Anwar Al-Awlaki and his 16-year old son, both U.S. citizens.

The Obama-CIA drone program is the perfect example of government secrecy, lawlessness, and the inevitable next step in the U.S. government’s long tradition of claiming the right to intervene military anywhere and everywhere it pleases. Government programs, whether they be welfare transfer payments or weapons contracts, like cancer, grow for growth’s sake.

Many Americans may display indifference to the use of drones and the CIA’s desire to expand the program. After all, these strikes are done thousands of miles away, and our noble public servants would never mislead us or fearmonger about a supposed foreign threat. Besides, it is far better to have CIA agents in Virginia or Nevada flying weaponized robots by remote control than to send in thousands of Marines, right?

The problem with this, of course, is twofold. First, the basic justification for the use of drones is the threat of terrorism. But terrorism is simply a predictable consequence of an interventionist foreign policy, the propping up of puppet dictators, and the embrace of empire that began after World War II (at least). The use of drones simply compounds this problem, creating more potential terrorists for every one that is killed.

Secondly, foreign and domestic policy are incredibly intertwined, and empires always eventually turn inward. During the occupation of the Philippines, the U.S. government experimented with drug prohibition and torture, programs that eventually became standard domestically. Police are now increasingly resembling, in both attire, attitude, and tactics, their overseas counterparts in Baghdad and Kandahar. Given that in just a few years, drones are set to police American skies, how long will they remained unarmed?

This is why the the drone program, and the CIA’s desire to expand it, are so troubling. More than anything, the issue of whether the President, in a supposedly free society and a constitutional republic, should have this type of power at his fingertips should be front and center.

But since the only critique of Obama’s foreign policy that Romney offers is that it isn’t aggressive enough, the American people will sadly once again be deprived of a debate on the most substantive issues facing the future of what’s left of our republic. Source

Drone attacks kill innocent people. If the US did this in Canada, France, Britain or any other NATO country do you think it would be condemned or condoned?
There is no excuse to do this in Pakistan. Pakistan is not at war with the US. Just like Canada, France or the UK are not at war against the US.
This type of arrogant behavior is not acceptable on any level.
Pakistan is not the only country, who have had many civilians killed by US drones.
Killing innocent people, is murder no matter what the circumstances.
Drone killings are illegal.
Remote-Control Killers

Five Reasons Drone Assassinations are Illegal

May 15, 2012
By BILL QUIGLEY
Bill Quigley is a human rights lawyer who teaches at Loyola University New Orleans and works with the Center for Constitutional Rights.

US civilian and military employees regularly target and fire lethal unmanned drone guided missiles at people across the world.  Thousands of people have been assassinated.   Hundreds of those killed were civilians. Some of those killed were rescuers and mourners.

These killings would be criminal acts if they occurred inside the US.  Does it make legal sense that these killings would be legal outside the US?

Some Facts About Drone Assassinations 

The US has used drones to kill thousands of people in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.   But the government routinely refuses to provide any official information on local reports of civilian deaths or the identities of most of those killed.

In Pakistan alone, the New America Foundation reports US forces have launched 297 drone strikes killing at least 1800 people, three to four hundred of whom were not even combatants.   Other investigative journalists report four to eight hundred civilians killed by US drone strikes in Pakistan.

Very few of these drone strikes kill high level leaders of terror groups.  A recent article in FOREIGN AFFAIRS estimated “only one out of every seven drone attacks in Pakistan kills a militant leader.  The majority of those killed in such strikes are not important insurgent commanders but rather low level fighters, together with a small number of civilians.”

An investigation by the Wall Street Journal in November 2011 revealed that most of the time the US did not even know the identities of the people being killed by drones in Pakistan.  The WSJ reported there are two types of drone strikes.  Personality strikes target known terrorist leaders.  Signature strikes target groups of men believed to be militants but are people whose identities are not known.  Most of the drone strikes are signature strikes.

In Yemen, there have been at least 34 drone assassination attacks so far in 2012 alone, according to the London based Bureau of Investigative Journalism.  Using drones against people in Yemen, who are thought to be militants but whose names are not even known, was authorized by the Obama administration in April 2012, according to the Washington Post.   Somalia has been the site of ten drone attacks with a growing number in recent months.

Civilian deaths in drone strikes are regularly reported but more chilling is the practice of firing a second set of drone strikes at the scene once people have come to find out what happened or to give aid.  Glen Greenwald of Salon, a leading critic of the increasing use of drones, recently pointed out that drones routinely kill civilians who are in the vicinity of people thought to be “militants” and are thus “incidental” killings.  But also the US also frequently fires drones again at people who show up at the scene of an attack, thus deliberately targeting rescuers and mourners.

Here are five reasons why these drone assassinations are illegal.

One.  Assassination by the US government has been illegal since 1976 

Drone killings are acts of premeditated murder.  Premeditated murder is a crime in all fifty states and under federal criminal law.  These murders are also the textbook definition of assassination, which is murder by sudden or secret attack for political reasons.

In 1976 U.S. President Gerald Ford issued Executive Order 11905, Section 5(g), which states “No employee of the United States Government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, political assassination.” President Reagan followed up to make the ban clearer in Executive Order 12333. Section 2.11 of that Order states “No person employed by or acting on behalf of the United States Government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, assassination.” Section 2.12 further says “Indirect participation.  No agency of the Intelligence Community shall participate in or request any person to undertake activities forbidden by this Order.”  This ban on assassination still stands.

The reason for the ban on assassinations was that the CIA was involved in attempts to assassinate national leaders opposed by the US. Among others, US forces sought to kill Fidel Castro of Cuba, Patrice Lumumba of the Congo, Rafael Trujillo of the Dominican Republic, and Ngo Dinh Diem of South Vietnam.

Two.  United Nations report directly questions the legality of US drone killings

The UN directly questioned the legality of US drone killings in a May 2010 report by NYU law professor Philip Alston.  Alston, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary executions, said drone killings may be lawful in the context of authorized armed conflict (eg Afghanistan where the US sought and received international approval to invade and wage war on another country).  However, the use of drones “far from the battle zone” is highly questionable legally.  “Outside the context of armed conflict, the use of drones for targeted killing is almost never likely to be legal.” Can drone killings be justified as anticipatory self-defense?  “Applying such a scenario to targeted killings threatens to eviscerate the human rights law prohibition against arbitrary deprivation of life.” Likewise, countries which engage in such killings must provide transparency and accountability, which no country has done.  “The refusal by States who conduct targeted killings to provide transparency about their policies violates the international law framework that limits the unlawful use of lethal force against individuals.”

Three.  International law experts condemn US drone killings 

Richard Falk, professor emeritus of international affairs and politics at Princeton University thinks the widespread killing of civilians in drone strikes may well constitute war crimes.  “There are two fundamental concerns. One is embarking on this sort of automated warfare in ways that further dehumanize the process of armed conflict in ways that I think have disturbing implications for the future,” Falk said. “Related to that are the concerns I’ve had recently with my preoccupation with the occupation of Gaza of a one-sided warfare where the high-tech side decides how to inflict pain and suffering on the other side that is, essentially, helpless.”

Human rights groups in Pakistan challenge the legality of US drone strikes there and assert that Pakistan can prosecute military and civilians involved for murder.

While stopping short of direct condemnation, international law expert Notre Dame Professor Mary Ellen O’Connell seriously questions the legality of drone attacks in Pakistan.  In powerful testimony before Congress and in an article in America magazine she points out that under the charter of the United Nations, international law authorizes nations to kill people in other countries only in self-defense to an armed attack, if authorized by the UN, or is assisting another country in their lawful use of force.  Outside of war, she writes, the full body of human rights applies, including the prohibition on killing without warning.  Because the US is not at war with Pakistan, using the justification of war to authorize the killings is “to violate fundamental human rights principles.”

Four.  Military law of war does not authorize widespread drone killing of civilians  

According to the current US Military Law of War Deskbook, the law of war allows killing only when consistent with four key principles: military necessity, distinction, proportionality, and humanity.   These principles preclude both direct targeting of civilians and medical personnel but also set out how much “incidental” loss of civilian life is allowed.  Some argue precision-guided weapons like drones can be used only when there is no probable cause of civilian deaths.  But the US military disputes that burden and instead directs “all practicable precautions” be taken to weigh the anticipated loss of civilian life against the advantages expected to be gained by the strike.

Even using the more lenient standard, there is little legal justification of deliberately allowing the killing of civilians who are “incidental” to the killings of people whose identities are unknown.

Five.  Retired high-ranking military and CIA veterans challenge the legality and efficacy of drone killings 

Retired US Army Colonel Ann Wright squarely denies the legality of drone warfare, telling Democracy Now:  “These drones, you might as well just call them assassination machines.  That is what these drones are used for: targeted assassination, extrajudicial ultimate death for people who have not been convicted of anything.”

Drone strikes are also counterproductive.  Robert Grenier, recently retired Director of the CIA Counter-Terrorism Center, wrote, “One wonders how many Yemenis may be moved in the future to violent extremism in reaction to carelessly targeted missile strikes, and how many Yemeni militants with strictly local agendas will become dedicated enemies of the West in response to US military actions against them.”

Recent polls of the Pakistan people show high levels of anger in Pakistan at US military attacks there.  This anger in turn leads to high support for suicide attacks against US military targets.

US Defense of Drone Assassinations 

US officials claim these drone killings are not assassinations because the US has the legal right to kill anyone considered a terrorist, anywhere, if they can argue it is in self-defense.  Attorney General Holder and White House counterterrorism advisor John Brennan recently defended the legality of drone strikes and argued they are not assassinations because the killings are in response to the 9/11 attacks and are carried out in self-defense even when not in Afghanistan or Iraq.  This argument is based on the highly criticized claim of anticipatory self-defense which justifies killings in a global war on terror when traditional self-defense would clearly not.  The government refuses to provide copies of the legal opinions relied upon by the government.

Growing Resistance to Drone Assassinations 

In signs of hope, people in the US are resisting the increasing use of drones.

CODEPINK, the Center for Constitutional Rights and the London-based human rights group Reprieve co-sponsored an International Drone Summit in Washington DC to challenge drone assassinations.   Investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill noted that Congress only managed to scrape up six votes to oppose the assassination of US citizens abroad.  “What is happening to this country? We have become a nation of assassins.   We have become a nation that is somehow silent in the face of the idea that assassination should be one of the centerpieces of US policy.”

The American Society of International Law issued a report “Targeting Operations with Drone Technology: Humanitarian Law Implications” in March 2011.   Concerned that drones may be the future of warfare, scholars examined three questions in the US use of drone technology: the scope of armed conflict (what is the battlefield upon which deadly force of drone killing is authorized); who may be targeted; and the legal implications of who conducts the targeting (since it is often not military but clandestine CIA agents who decide who dies).   Concluding that the US may soon find itself “on the other end of the drone” as this technology expands, they criticize official US silence on these key legal questions.

Others are taking direct action.  Select examples include: fourteen people arrested in April 2009 outside Creech Air Force base in Nevada in connection with a protest against drones by the Nevada Desert Experience; in January 2010 people protested drones outside the CIA headquarters in Langley Virginia; in April 2011, thirty-seven were arrested at Hancock Air Force base in upstate New York as part of a four hundred person protest against the use of drones;  in October 2011, as part of the International Week of Protest to Stop the Militarization of Space there were protests outside of Raytheon Missile Systems plant in Tucson;  in April 2012, twenty-eight people were pre-emptively arrested on their way to protest drones at Hancock Air Force Base.

There is a brilliant new book, DRONE WARFARE authored by global activist Medea Benjamin which documents the nuts and bolts of the drone industry and the money involved in their production and operation.  She collects many global media reports of innocent civilian deaths, investigations into these deaths, and gives voice to international opposition groups like her own CODEPINK, Voices for Creative Nonviolence, Fellowship of Reconciliation, War Resisters International, Human Rights Watch, the Catholic Worker movement, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, and others working against the drones.

As National Public Radio and The New Republic jointly editorialized, there is good reason to doubt the veracity of US claims that drone killings are even effective.  Drone use has escalated and expanded the US global war on terror and thus should be subject to higher levels of scrutiny than it is now.  As the use of drones escalates so too does the risk of killing innocents which produces “legitimate anti-American anger that terrorist recruiters can exploit….Such a steady escalation of the drone war, and the inevitable increase in civilian casualties that will accompany it, could easily tip the delicate balance that assures we kill more terrorists than we produce.”

There is incredible danger in allowing US military and civilians to murder people anywhere in the world with no public or Congressional or judicial oversight.  This authorizes the President and the executive branch, according to the ACLU and the Center for Constitutional Rights, to be prosecutor, judge, jury and executioner.

The use of drones to assassinate people violates US and international law in multiple ways.  US military and civilian employees, who plan, target and execute people in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia are violating the law and, ultimately, risk prosecution.  As the technology for drone attacks spreads, protests by the US that drone attacks by others are illegal will sound quite hollow.  Continuation of flagrantly illegal drone attacks by the US also risks justifying the exact same actions, taken by others, against us. Source
If the US did this in your country or you, how would you feel about it?

Imagine for a few moments, that it happened to your family or friends.

Imagine it happened to your next door neighbors or to you, yourself.

Well you could be next. Something to think about for a while.

Something else to think about. Those who tell the truth, can end up in prison.

President Obama Keeps a Yemeni Journalist in Jail

As the battle continues against NDAA the indefinite detention a journalist is being detained for exposing US lies about the murder of civilians in a drone strike.

Why would President Obama want a Yemeni journalist, known for his reports of human rights abuses, to remain in Yemeni prison?

That’s the question Abdul Ilah Haydar Shayi’ wants to know after two years in detention following his reports – later proven correct — that the United States was involved in a deadly attack on an alleged al-Qa’ida training camp which took place on Dec. 17, 2009. For the entire story go to the Source

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Published in: on October 23, 2012 at 1:55 pm  Comments Off on US Drones that kill innocent Civilians is Murder – CIA chiefs face arrest  
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Innocence of Muslims, Protesters are telling the US to get out of their country

September 17 2012

Innocence of Muslims – The big lie told about and shown to the world.

I have been attempting to keep a running record of all the protests.

To Date

Protests have happened  in Iran, Sudan, Egypt, Yemen, Tunisia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Kashmir, Pakistan, Iraq, Gaza, Morocco, Syria, Kuwait, Nigeria, Kenya, UK, India, Turkey, Lebanon, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Afghanistan, Jordan, Mauritanian, Israel,  Oman, Australia, Belgium, France, Philippines, Thailand, Copenhagen and of course Libya- 35 Countries so far.

‘It Makes Me Sick’: Actress in Muhammed Movie Says She Was Deceived, Had No Idea It Was About Islam

Adrian Chen

The story of the Muhammed movie which sparked deadly protests in Libya and Egypt gets weirder. The actors who appeared in it had no idea they were starring in anti-Islam propaganda which depicts Muhammed as a child molester and thug. They were deceived by the film’s director, believing they were appearing in a film about the life of a generic Egyptian 2,000 years ago.

Cindy Lee Garcia, an actress from Bakersfield, Calif., has a small role in the Muhammed movie as a woman whose young daughter is given to Muhammed to marry. But in a phone interview this afternoon, Garcia told us she had no idea she was participating in an offensive spoof on the life of Muhammed when she answered a casting call through an agency last summer and got the part.

The script she was given was titled simply Desert Warriors.

“It was going to be a film based on how things were 2,000 years ago,” Garcia said. “It wasn’t based on anything to do with religion, it was just on how things were run in Egypt. There wasn’t anything about Muhammed or Muslims or anything.”

In the script and during the shooting, nothing indicated the controversial nature of the final product, now called Muslim Innocence. Muhammed wasn’t even called Muhammed; he was “Master George,” Garcia said. The word “Muhammed” was dubbed over in post-production, as were essentially all other offensive references to Islam and Muhammed.

For example, at 9:03 in the trailer, Garcia berates her husband, who wants to send their daughter to Muhammed: “Is your Muhammed a child molester?” she says in the final product. But the words are dubbed over what she actually said. The line in the script—and the line Garcia gave during filming—was, “is your God a child molester,” Garcia told us today.

Garcia was horrified when she saw the end product, and when protesters in Libya killed four U.S. Embassy employees.

“I had nothing to do really with anything,” she said today. “Now we have people dead because of a movie I was in. It makes me sick.”

According to Garcia, her three days on set last July were unremarkable. The film’s mysterious pseudonymous writer and director, “Sam Bacile,” has claimed to be an Israeli real estate mogul. But Garcia said Bacile told her he was Egyptian on set. Bacile had white hair and spoke Arabic to a number of “dark-skinned” men who hung around the set, she said. (A Bacile associate also told The Atlantic he wasn’t Israeli or Jewish.)

“He was just really mellow. He was just sitting there and he wanted certain points to be made.”

Once, Garcia said, Bacile wanted a girl that “Master George” (aka Muhammed) was to sleep with to look seven years old, instead of 10, to heighten the outrage. But his Assistant Directors protested, saying that was too young.

After the protests erupted and Bacile appeared in the media, Garcia called him up today to express her outrage at his deception.

“I called Sam and said, ‘Why did you do this?’ and he said, ‘I’m tired of radical Islamists killing each other. Let other actors know it’s not their fault.'”

Garcia isn’t satisfied simply knowing it wasn’t her fault.

“I’m going to sue his butt off.”

Update: The entire 80-member cast and crew of the film have released a statement saying they were misled. Via CNN:

The entire cast and crew are extremely upset and feel taken advantage of by the producer. We are 100% not behind this film and were grossly misled about its intent and purpose. We are shocked by the drastic re-writes of the script and lies that were told to all involved. We are deeply saddened by the tragedies that have occurred.

Update II: Here’s what appears to be the posted in July 2011 on craigslist:

(Casting call cast audition MOONCASTING USA CA)

CASTING feature: Desert Warrior (Los Angeles)

Category audition: Mode & Fashion — 3:46 am
NOW CASTING SAG and NON SAG ACTORS for “DESERT WARRIOR.” Director Alan Roberts.
Historical desert drama set in Middle East. Indie Feature film shoots 18 days in L.A. in August. Studio and backlot locations.
Male Roles: DR. MATTHEW (Lead): Middle Eastern Pharmacist, 40-50, intelligent, family man; GEORGE (Lead); 40-50, Middle Eastern warrior leader, romantic, charismatic; YOUNG GEORGE (featured) 18-22; PRIEST (featured): 60-70, bearded; ABDO (featured), 60-70, Elder tribe leader; ISRAELI MEN 30-50 (featured); WARRIORS (featured) 18-50, Various Middle Eastern types, bearded.
Female Roles: CONDALISA (featured) 40, attractive, successful, strong willed; HILLARY (featured) 18 but must look younger, petite; innocent; YOUSTINA (featured) 16-18, Daughter of doctor; MIDDLE EASTERN WOMEN (Various Featured Roles) 18-40, attractive, exotic; OLDER WOMAN (featured) 60-70, feisty.
Please place Role desired in SUBJECT: line of email.
Indicate SAG or NON-SAG
Require phone contact for immediate interview in Beverly/LaCienega area.

  • Location: Los Angeles
  • it’s ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
  • Compensation: no pay
  • OK to contact me about appearing in CL documentary series

http://www.mooncasting.com/us/casting-feature-desert-warrior-los-angeles/

Source for above information

So all that was bogus. Then it turns out Sam old boy is not his real name. Now it seems he might be Egyptian maybe, but definitely from the US and definitely from California. He has a previous Criminal Record for Bank Fraud. He as a condition of his probation is not to use a bogus name, which he did, he is not to use the internet, which he did.

The filmmaker, who identified himself in a telephone interview with The Associated Press as Sam Bacile, said he is an Israeli-born, Jewish writer and director of Innocence of Muslims. Bacile was the name used to publish excerpts of the movie online as early as July 2 2012.

Filmmaker Sam Bacile in hiding after anti-Muslim film sparks violence in which American diplomat was killed so they tell the world.

(Sam Bacile/Nakoula Basseley) Nakoula, who was originally believed to have directed the controversial ‘Innocence of Muslims’ movie, has turned out to be producer, not the director.

The film’s original casting call lists softcore porn director Alan Roberts as the movie-maker.

The filmmaker allegedly responsible for the anti-Muslim film ‘Innocence of Muslims,’ which sparked anti-US protests around world, was called in by police for questioning in Los Angeles.

CBC Report on Libya killing of Ambassador

Yemen protesters attempt to storm US embassy, repelled by police

In Kuwait, the US embassy staff were evacuated.

Iranian students protest anti-Islam movie outside Swiss Embassy

US-made anti-Islam film insults all divine religions: Jewish lawmaker

Yemenis storm US embassy in Sana’a, 4 killed, 34 injured

US-made anti-Islam movie sparks protests in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia

US dispatches destroyers, marine unit to Libya

Egypt protests: Сars torched, police firebombed at US Embassy Lebanon protesters burn US, Israeli flags

Pakistan police clash with angry protesters outside US Embassy

86 anti-US protesters arrested in India

US sends troops to Yemen over film

Tunisian protesters storm US Embassy

Protesters expelled from US Embassy

3 Killed in Tunisia US Embassy attack

Nigerian troops attack protesters

Protesters storm US Embassy in London

One killed in Yemen anti-US protest

Police in Sydney, Australia, use tear gas on protesters

Istanbul sees peaceful protest over anti-Islam film – Hürriyet Daily

US to shut embassy in Bankok  Thailand during anti-Islam film protest

 I think everyone should read this Report.

This is about some of the people who promote hate against Muslims in the US. Not only do they promote Hate they also feed the public misinformation, in other wards they lie to the public about Muslims.
They lie about anything and everything. Millions and millions of dollars are spent to promote the hate and misinformation each year.

Read it and find out if they lied to you.

http://www.americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/issues/2011/08/pdf/islamophobia.pdf

A very interesting read.
Maybe they even have a connection to the movie makers.

Americans may be able to use this against those who incited the riots.

The makers of the film knew for a fact it would cause riots or protests for sure. Just like when pastor Jones, burned the Holy Quran.
http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/2101?quicktabs_8=1#quicktabs-8

Germany bans US pastor Jones

The Canadian Government and the decision of the closure of the Embassies-Tehran-Ottawa

If you are Canadian please do go and sign the petition at Link below.

  • Author:
    Iranian Canadian Community Council
  • Send To:
    Canadian Government

We, the undersigned, deplore and condemn the Canadian government’s abrupt and unjustified decision to unilaterally close all diplomatic channels with Iran, while effectively leaving the path of hostility and military confrontation as the only available option on the table. We deplore the fact that Canada, in spite of its long tradition in multilateralism and its unmatched expertise in peaceful conflict resolution, has opted to forgo all its potentials as a peace-broker, to espouse a hawkish policy that is only conducive to escalate international tension and pave the ground for war. We deplore the fact that the Canadian government has chosen to substitute a tradition of “rational and reasoned” diplomacy with an uncharacteristic foreign-policy that is predicated on soundbites, sensationalist rhetoric and intimidation. We regret that such outlook completely disregards the noble humanitarian considerations that Canada was once known to take to heart. We , the undersigned, caution the Government and all civil rights associations that the closure of the Iranian Embassy directly intervenes with Iranian-Canadians’ “freedom of movement” by unreservedly depriving them of all indispensable consular services required to travel to and visit their native land. The Canadian government has yet to convincingly demonstrate that such a drastic limit on a fundamental legal and moral right affecting thousands of its citizens and residents, is reasonably justified in a free and democratic society. We also call on the Canadian government to fully recognize the moral and financial prejudice suffered by an entire ethnic community that was abruptly and arbitrarily cut off from its roots without as much as a genuine consultation, notice or convincing explanation. We strongly condemn the Canadian government’s condescending and discourteous manners toward Iranian-Canadians and expect the Prime Minister to immediately take actions to reverse this worrying pattern that is founded upon discrimination, hostility and collective punishment.

http://www.petitiononline.com/petitions/CanEmb/signatures?page=1

Also for all Canadians if you are in Iran and need help go to the Italian Embassy.

Italy to represent Canada in Iran after pullout 

3 Reasons the US and Israel are Lying About Iran

Repeated Lies Call for Repeated Truth Regarding Iran.

By Tony Cartalucci

September 17, 2012

As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu callsfor the US to establish a firm “red line” that Iran’s nuclear program can’t cross without risking a military response,” and the West is marched ever closer to war with the Islamic Republic based on tired and repeated lies, three important points must be kept in mind.

 Israeli Prime Minister has been granted air-time to dictate US foreign policy to American viewers in the latest indication that interests other than those of the American people drive American destiny. Make no mistake however, Netanyahu is not in America to represent the Israeli people, but rather the same corporate-financier interests of Wall Street and London that created and sustain him politically.
….


1. The US and Israel admit in their own policy papers that Iran threatens Western hegemony, not Western security (let alone survival):

The very engineers of US-Israeli policy to subvert and destroy Iran, detailed in the 156 page Which Path to Persia? report out of the corporate-financier funded Brookings Institution, admit that Iran threatens not the security of Israel or the United States, but the hegemonic geopolitical order the West maintains over the Middle East.

In March 2012’s Israel & US: Partners in International Crime,” direct quotes from the “Which Path to Persia?” report, as well as excerpts from RAND Corporation documents and else where illustrate these admissions in their entirety.

2. The US and Israel already struck first: 

By using US State Department-listed foreign terror organization (#30) Mujahideen-e-Khalq (MEK) , the US and Israel have been waging years of covert war against the Iranian people.

In March 2012’s US State Department Hands Terror-Cult US Base in Iraq,” the history of MEK as well as advocacy for supporting its terrorist activities inside of Iran is exposed through a series of Western-media reports, government testimony, and US foreign policy papers.

In February 2012’s US Implausibly Denies Role in Israeli Terror Squads,” reports of both US officials admitting Israel’s backing of MEK terrorists to carry out assassinations inside of Iran, as well as evidence of US support for MEK are exposed.

It should be remembered that political and military subversion of Iran by the West stretches back to Operation Ajax” in 1953, where the United States and the British overthrew the democratically elected nationalist government of Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh.

This violent subversion played out long before the current political order in Iran came to power. Iran has been the subject of sovereignty-violating foreign intervention for over half a century – with the West long ago drawing first blood, and continuing to do so up to present day through admitted campaigns of political, economic, and military subversion.

3. Israel’s current leaders have Wall Street-London hegemony, not Israel’s self-preservation, at heart: 

Perhaps the greatest myth in regards to US-Israeli policy toward Iran is that it is driven by concerns for national security and the survival of the “Jewish State” of Israel. In reality, the overall foreign policy pursued by Israel’s government has demonstrably run contra to both the Israeli people’s survival and their own prosperity. The Israeli government’s posture toward Iran is perhaps the most dangerous and unhinged manifestation of this.

In August 2012’s Israel’s Netanyahu Attempts to Shame UN,” it was reported that, “the Israeli government is the greatest enemy of the Israeli people,” because:
Western corporate-financier oligarchs have done more to send both Americans and Israelis to their deaths than any combination of suicide belt-wearing, Kalashnikov-waving “terrorists.” The “War on Terror” is indeed a fraud, and Israel’s government has masterfully played a pivotal role – maintaining a strategy of tension to keep its own people in perpetual fear, while keeping their perceived enemies in perpetual and absolute rage.  When enemies are difficult to find, the government of Israel and its corporate-financier backers upon Wall Street and in the city of London create them, including the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas (and here), and Al Qaeda.

The result is a nation at constant war, with an inexhaustible supply of enemies in an unending conflict giving the interests of Wall Street and London – the very interests that created the modern state of Israel to begin with – an excuse to remain perpetually engaged in the Middle East with a military encampment the size of a nation at their constant disposal.

Augmenting this camp are the Israeli people themselves, just as lied to, manipulated, and kept in constant fear as their counterparts in the West to keep the rank and file of the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) as full as Wall Street’s American Armed Forces or Europe’s NATO foot soldiers.

The Israeli people are no less well-intentioned, talented, or full of potential as any other people on Earth, but they are likewise just as susceptible to being indoctrinated, misled, and terrorized into taking a course of action in no way beneficial to themselves or their nation. The Israeli government does not pursue a foreign or domestic policy conducive to its own self-preservation, let alone its prosperity as a nation.

Its constant warmongering, meddling geopolitically beyond its borders, and the creation and perpetuation of its alleged “enemies” have indeed killed more Israelis than any “terrorist.” The Israeli government and the corporate-financier interests they represent are the Israeli people’s worst enemy. It would be wise for both the Israeli people, and those who perceive themselves to be “enemies of Israel” to remember that and make a clear distinction when moving forward.

Israel should be enjoying standards of living and prosperity amongst the highest on Earth considering Israel’s extensive human resources, but is instead facing austerity and economic hardship as the collective talent and potential of the Israeli people are squandered in the pursuit of armed corporate-financier hegemony instead of peaceful progress. The same could be easily said of the United States, whose vast military supremacy and geographic location makes its narrative of “Iran, the imminent threat” all the more tenuous.
….
To depict Iran as an irrational enemy of Judaism, rather than simply a rational nation-state responding to and defending against the decades of provocations carried out by the West and its Israeli proxies, does not hold historical or social water. Iran hosts the largest Jewish population in the Middle East outside of Israel itself, with an ancient and proud Jewish community that has both refused to leave Iran, as well as condemn it for the benefit of Western propaganda campaigns.

Conclusion

PM Netanyahu’s latest propaganda tour of the US is nothing less than a blatant conspiracy against world peace – the premeditated fabrication of a war that puts at risk hundreds of millions of people and the survival of both Israel and Iran itself.  Netanyahu and his corporate-financier compatriots hope that fear, terror, and ignorance prevail long before all the myths, lies, and propaganda wear off and the populations of the respective nations involved, Iran, America, and Israel, come to their senses and identify their real enemy – the corporate-financier elite who have driven half a century of conflict with the Iranian people.

When these myths wear off, it will not be wars and the pursuit of hegemony that guide the hands of each nation’s respective people, but a drive to both free themselves from the monopolies of these corporate-financier interests, and the pursuit of progress on their own terms, for their own benefit rather than for a manipulative elite.

This article was originally published at landdestroyer.blogspot

Source

 Warships in the Persian Gulf

September 17 2012

The US has mustered three carrier battle fleets and the British have several supporting ships including minesweepers, a new  Type 45 destroyer, and they have a second fleet ready in the Eastern Mediterranean that can arrive to support the Gulf fleets within a matter of days. That second fleet contains the French aircraft carrier, the Charles de Gaulle and the British HMS Illustrious.

Each of the three Nimitz class carriers has more airplanes than the entire Iranian Airforce.

Ostensibly, the concentration of firepower is to conduct the largest wargames yet, as a show of force against a defiant Iranian Republic that western intelligence forces say is on the brink of developing a working nuclear weapon.

Thousands of marines and special forces troops are also on hand.

The wargames include cooperation and contributions from more than 25 nations including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and France. Source

They want us to believe the ships are there for war games. Why is it I don’t believe them?

What is their real purpose and of course no one would notice with all the protests going on.

Waiting for the false flag!

WW3: US Warships In The Persian Gulf! Jan 4, 2012

September 18 2012

Egypt seeks arrest of Koran-burning pastor Terry Jones

Egypt’s general prosecutor has issued arrest warrants for Florida-based Pastor Terry Jones and seven other Egyptian Coptic Christians on charges linked to the anti-Islamic film “Innocence of Muslims” which incited riots across the Middle East.

The prosecutor’s office says the Jones and the seven Egyptians – all of whom are believed to be residing outside of Egypt – are charged with harming national unity, publicly insulting and attacking Islam and spreading false information, AP reported Tuesday.

On the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, controversial pastor Terry Jones released a video promoting the film, which portrays the Prophet in what he described as a “satirical” manner. Source

Germany’s Foreign Ministry condemns plans by a far-right group to show a film mocking the Prophet Mohammad. “Those perpetrating the violence in Arab countries represent their people as little as these far-right activists represent Germany,” says Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle.

At the Arab Fall link below they update things as they happen to the best of their ability. It is rather hard to keep track of it all however.  They seem to be doing rather well however.

‘Arab Fall’: Anti-US rage LIVE timeline (PHOTOS)

If you know of any protests that have happened that I have missed do leave a comment and link to the protest article.

Thank You.

Will be adding more as I find it.

Deaths in Afghanistan 5.6 million due to war

The US killed 10 more civilians yesterday.
October 22 2011
A US rocket has struck a residential area in war-torn Afghanistan, claiming the lives of at least 10 Afghan civilians,

The fatal blast took place in a village in the northeastern Kunar Province.

The attack follows a surprise visit by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Kabul, to take part in a meeting aiming at finding a political solution to substitute the decade-long US-led war in Afghanistan.

The killing of civilians by foreign forces has dramatically intensified anti-American sentiments in Afghanistan.

Estimates put the number of the war-related deaths in Afghanistan at around 5.6 million. The fatalities have reportedly been caused, besides violence, by hunger, deprivation, and other instances of adversity generated by the US-led invasion and occupation of the country.

Just recently Afghan President Hamid Karzai demanded that the US-led NATO force provide an explanation for the killing of three members of a family in an operation in the pre-dawn hours of Sunday in the Chaki Wardak district of Wardak Province.

Insecurity continues to climb across Afghanistan despite the presence of nearly 150,000 US-led forces in the war-ravaged country. Source

‘Afghans will stand by Pakistan in war’

Afghan President Hamid Karzai says that Afghanistan is strictly opposed to any US attack on Pakistan and will stand by Islamabad if Washington takes such an extreme step.

“God forbid, if a war erupts between Pakistan and the United States, we (Afghanistan) will stand by Pakistan,” Karzai told Pakistan’s Geo television network in an interview broadcast on Saturday, Reuters reported.

Karzai also said that if Pakistan is ever attacked by another country and needs help, “Afghanistan will be there with you. Afghanistan is a brother.”

The Afghan president stated, “Afghanistan will never forget the welcome, the hospitality, the respect, and the brotherhood showed by the Pakistani people towards the Afghan people.”

Karzai added, “Anybody that attacks Pakistan, Afghanistan will stand with Pakistan. Afghanistan will be a brother of Pakistan. Afghanistan will never betray a brother.”

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani recently urged US officials to stop accusing Islamabad and threatening it with unilateral military action.

During a meeting with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Islamabad on Thursday, October 20, Gilani raised the objection and stated that the United States must use the bilateral forum to voice any complaints.

Meanwhile, Pakistani Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani has cautioned the United States against launching a unilateral ground operation in the North Waziristan tribal region of Pakistan.

In a closed door briefing on Tuesday, October 18, Kayani told Pakistani lawmakers, “Any such attack by US forces from across the Afghan border would prove 10 times harder than the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Reports that US troops are massing in Afghanistan along the border with Pakistan have raised concern in Pakistan that the US might be planning an attack on North Waziristan.

The US recently began pressing Pakistan to take military action in North Waziristan against the Taliban-linked Haqqani network.

The Haqqani group has been accused of attacking the US Embassy in Kabul and carrying out a truck bombing on a NATO outpost that injured over 70 US soldiers in September.

Some US officials have accused Pakistan’s intelligence agency, Inter Services Intelligence, of supporting the Haqqani group, but Pakistan vehemently denies the charges.

US-Pakistan relations are already strained over the civilian casualties caused by the non-UN-sanctioned US drone attacks, which Pakistan has repeatedly condemned as violations of its sovereignty.

The aerial attacks, initiated by former US President George W. Bush, have escalated under President Barack Obama’s administration.

Tension between Islamabad and Washington increased following a secret US attack in Pakistan that allegedly killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in May. Source
Have to say however that Bin Laden died in December of 2001.

‘Pakistan blocking attacks against Iran’  

October 22 2001

Iran’s deputy interior minister for security affairs says Islamabad has assured Tehran that it will not allow terrorist groups to use its soil to launch attacks against the country.

“Due to the long border between Iran and Pakistan, enemies have constantly tried to take advantage of regional issues, but [their efforts] have been foiled because of the vigilance of the two countries,” Ali Abdollahi was quoted by IRNA as saying on Saturday.

Speaking on the sidelines of the 7th Iran and Pakistan security session in Tehran, Abdollahi said the vigilance of both countries has prevented terrorist groups from attacking Iran from Pakistan in the past 11 months.

The seventh session of the special security committee of Iran and Pakistan was held in the Iranian Interior Ministry attended by the security and police officials of both countries on Saturday.

During the meeting, the two sides discussed expansion of security cooperation in fighting terrorism and organized crime, border security, drug trafficking, kidnapping, arms smuggling, human trafficking, illegal immigration, and police cooperation.

The Pakistani delegation, which arrived in Tehran on Friday, will meet with Iran’s Interior Minister Mohammad Mostafa Najjar Sunday.

The two sides are expected to sign a security agreement.  Source

Iran-Turkey trade volume increases.

The value of Iran-Turkey trade transactions hit $9.245bn during the first seven months of current Iranian year (started March 21).

The figure indicates a 70.19 percent increase compared to the same period the previous year.

The figure was $5.432bn in the first seven months of 2010 and the total value rose to $10.687bn in the same year.

Turkish Statistical Institute predicted the trade exchanges between the two countries would exceed $15bn this year. Source
Iran’s Relationship with Turkey and Pakistan are going  well.

The Problem for Pakistan and Iran is the US/Israeli  conflicts.

Pakistanis protest Clinton’s visit, They are protesting the Drone strikes.  They don’t want the US anywhere near them. They want like many of the US to mind their own business and stay home.

October 21 2011

They also protested the Drone strikes back in April 2011

They wee also out protesting in February 2011

The US is not wanted in Pakistan.

The US is not wanted in Afhghanistan

The US is not wanted in Iraq

Gee I guess when you kill millions of people no one wants you around. Genocide is what it is called. That is what the US/NATO did in Afghanistan and Iraq and now probably in Libya.

The DU left by all the bombs that were dropped will kill innocent people for many years to come.

The Legacy left by US/NATO is the death of millions.

The US and NATO are worse then Hitler.

Much worse the Gaddafi.

Definitely worse the Saddam.

When will the leaders be charged with war crimes, Genocide and crimes against humanity.

Where are the Nuremberg trials they all bragged about?

Are these crimes not large enough to prosecute.

They destroyed hospitals, schools, water, food, killed civilians by the millions.

Over a million and a half in Iraq and that doesn’t include those who died of hunger and those who are dieing from illness caused by DU etc.

Probably the total number who died would be about 5 or 6 million due to US/NATO intervention.

If these are not crimes, then the world has become a very sick place.

The gift of death that keeps on killing.

War “Pollution” Equals Millions of Deaths

Why: War in Iraq and Afghanistan

UN Member States Must Demand Action Against NATO War Crimes

Over 800 Bodies Dumped in Libyan Cemetary by Rebels

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.

The CIA: Beyond Redemption and Should be Terminated

Now the CIA also have all the Heroin they want as well.

The CIA loves drugs they war the world worst drug dealers.

Afghanistan: Troops Guarding the Poppy Fields

American Police State, The – David Wise
BoomerangMark Zepezauer
Blowback – Christopher Simpson
Blowback – Chalmers Johnson

Break-ins, Death Threats and the FBI
Challenging the Secret GovernmentPost-Watergate Investigation of CIA & FBI
CIA Diary – Philip Agee
CIA’s Greatest Hits – Mark Zepezauer
Cocaine Politics – Peter Dale Scott
Covert Action – the Roots of Terrorism – ed. E. Ray & W. Schaap

Deadly Deceits – Ralph McGehee
In Search of Enemies – John Stockwell
JFK – The CIA, Vietnam, and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy – L. Fletcher Prouty

Lawless State, The – Morton Halperin
Predatory States – Operation Condor in Latin America – J. Patrice McSherry

Safe For Democracy – the Secret Wars of the CIA – John Prados
Secret Government, The – Bill Moyers
Secrets – CIA’s war at home – Angus Mackenzie
Secret Team, The – the CIA and its Allies in Control of the United States and the World – L. Fletcher Prouty

War At Home – Brian Glick
Challenging the Secret Government – K Olmsted

Who Killed JFK ?

The Secret Wars of the CIA – John Stockwell

The National Endowment for Democracy page

History of CIA tyranny

Articles

The CIA’s Worst Kept Secret – Gehlen Org (5/01)
CIA clears itself of drug charge
Project X, drugs and death squads
The CIA and the crack cocaine epidemic in America
Time to abolish the CIA
The CIA out of control — the Guatemala lesson
Admissions and omissions – the CIA in Guatemala
Former CIA operative talks about CIA in Latin America
CIA death squads in Latin America
Reagan’s legacy — 8 years of CIA covert action
CIA and Indonesian massacre in 1965
Believe it or not… the CIA answers some questions
CIA’s operating procedure
CIA’s Drug Connection
Still Seeing Red – CIA fosters death squads in Colombia
The Corruption of Covert Actions
Establishment Newspapers Do Damage Control for the CIA
CIA’s Drug Confession
The Chile Coup — The U.S. Hand
Inside U.S. Counterinsurgency: A Soldier Speaks
CIA, Cocaine, and Death Squads
Pulling Back the Veil on Condor
Organized Crime, The CIA and the Savings and Loan Scandal
CIA outrages in Chile
CIA Admits Tolerating Contra-Cocaine Trafficking in 1980s
The ClO without the CIA:Inside the AFL-CIO’s Solidarity Center
Secrets R US
CIA gave $10 million to Peru’s spymaster Montesinos
Jim Garrison, KGB, & CIA – by Oliver Stone
Official Reveals Budget for U.S. Intelligence (11/05)
U.S. Leaders are Using Pinochet’s Playbook (12/05)
The CIA, Contras, Gangs, and Crack (11/06)

CIA-assisted plot to overthrow Laos foiled (6/07)
The CIA’s ‘Family Jewels’ – still evil after all these years (6/07)
The Life and Times of the CIA – review of the book – Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA by Tim Weiner by Chalmers Johnson, TomDispatch (7/07)
R.J. Hillhouse “Outsourced” – National Security Contracted to Private Firms – interviewed by Amy Goodman, Democracy Now, July 26, 2007
“Thousands” Illegally Rendered By Bush Administration for Interrogation, Torture (11/07)
Ex-Italian President: 9/11 inside job run by CIA & Mossad (12/07)
“Operation Condor” Was No Mystery to Washington (1/08)
Gladio – Death Plan For Democracy (2/08)
The CIA Is More Active Than Ever In Venezuela (5/08)
The Assassination Bureau – Killing Hope, Sowing Terror (7/09)
The CIA’s Ghosts of Tegucigalpa [Honduras] (7/09)
The CIA, licensed to kill (8/09)
Are (US) Presidents Afraid of the CIA? (12/09)

The End Of History

By Paul Craig Roberts

October 20, 2011

Now that the CIA’s proxy army has murdered Gadhafi, what next for Libya?

If Washington’s plans succeed, Libya will become another American puppet state. Most of the cities, towns, and infrastructure have been destroyed by air strikes by the air forces of the US and Washington’s NATO puppets. US and European firms will now get juicy contracts, financed by US taxpayers, to rebuild Libya. The new real estate will be carefully allocated to lubricate a new ruling class picked by Washington. This will put Libya firmly under Washington’s thumb.

With Libya conquered, AFRICOM will start on the other African countries where China has energy and mineral investments. Obama has already sent US troops to Central Africa under the guise of defeating the Lord’s Resistance Army, a small insurgency against the ruling dictator-for-life. The Republican Speaker of the House, John Boehner, welcomed the prospect of yet another war by declaring that sending US troops into Central Africa “furthers US national security interests and foreign policy.” Republican Senator James Inhofe added a gallon of moral verbiage about saving “Ugandan children,” a concern the senator did not have for Libya’s children or Palestine’s, Iraq’s, Afghanistan’s and Pakistan’s.

Washington has revived the Great Power Game and is vying with China. Whereas China brings Africa investment and gifts of infrastructure, Washington sends troops, bombs and military bases. Sooner or later Washington’s aggressiveness toward China and Russia is going to explode in our faces.

Where is the money going to come from to finance Washington’s African Empire? Not from Libya’s oil. Big chunks of that have been promised to the French and British for providing cover for Washington’s latest war of naked aggression. Not from tax revenues from a collapsing US economy where unemployment, if measured correctly, is 23 percent.

With Washington’s annual budget deficit as huge as it is, the money can only come from the printing press.

Washington has already run the printing press enough to raise the consumer price index for all urban consumers (CPI-U) to 3.9% for the year (as of the end of September), the consumer price index for urban wage earners and clerical workers (CPI-W) to 4.4% for the year, and the producer price index (PPI) to 6.9% for the year.

As statistician John Williams (shadowstats.com) has shown, the official inflation measures are rigged in order to hold down cost of living adjustments to Social Security recipients, thus saving money for Washington’s wars. When measured correctly, the current rate of inflation in the US is 11.5%.

What interest rate can savers get without taking massive risks on Greek bonds? US banks pay less than one-half of one percent on FDIC insured savings deposits. Short-term US government bond funds pay essentially zero.

Thus, according to official US government statistics American savers are losing between 3.9% and 4.4% of their capital yearly. According to John Williams’ estimate of the real rate of inflation, US savers are losing 11.5% of their accumulated savings.

As retired Americans receive no interest on their savings, they are having to spend down their capital. The ability of even the most prudent retirees to survive the negative rate of interest they are receiving and the erosion by inflation of any pensions that they receive will come to an end once their accumulated assets are exhausted.

Except for Washington’s favored mega-rich, the one percent that has captured all of the income gains of recent years, the rest of America has been assigned to the trash can. Nothing whatsoever has been done for them since the financial crisis hit in December 2007. Bush and Obama, Republican and Democrat, have focused on saving the 1 percent while giving the finger to the 99 percent.

Finally, some Americans, though not enough, have caught on to the flag-waving rah-rah “patriotism” that has consigned them to the trash bin of history. They are not going down without a fight and are in the streets. Occupy Wall Street has spread. What will be the fate of this movement?

Will the snow and ice of cold weather end the protests, or send them into public buildings? How long will the local authorities, subservient to Washington as they are, tolerate the obvious signal that the population lacks any confidence whatsoever in the government?

If the protests last, especially if they grow and don’t decline, the authorities will infiltrate the protestors with police provocateurs who will fire on the police. This will be the excuse to shoot down the protestors and to arrest the survivors as “terrorists” or “domestic extremists” and to send them to the $385 million dollar camps built under US government contract by Cheney’s Halliburton.

The Amerikan Police State will have taken its next step into the Amerikan Concentration Camp State.

Meanwhile, lost in their oblivion, conservatives will continue to bemoan the ruination of the country by homosexual marriage, abortion, and “the liberal media.” Liberal organizations committed to civil liberty, such as the ACLU, will continue to rank a woman’s right to an abortion with defense of the US Constitution. Amnesty International will assist Washington in demonizing its next target for military attack while turning a blind eye to the war crimes of President Obama.

When we consider what Israel has got away with, being as it is under Washington’s bought protection–the war crimes, the murders of children, the eviction in total disregard of international law of Palestinians from their ancestral homes, the bulldozing of their houses and uprooting of their olive groves in order to move in fanatical “settlers,” the murderous invasions of Lebanon and Gaza, the wholesale slaughter of civilians–we can only conclude that Washington, Israel’s enabler, can get away with far more.

In the few opening years of the 21st century, Washington has destroyed the US Constitution, the separation of powers, international law, the accountability of government, and has sacrificed every moral principle to achieving hegemony over the world. This ambitious agenda is being attempted while simultaneously Washington removed all regulation over Wall Street, the home of massive greed, permitting Wall Street’s short-term horizon to wreck the US economy, thus destroying the economic basis for Washington’s assault on the world.

Will the US collapse in economic chaos before it rules the world?

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was appointed by President Reagan Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury and confirmed by the US Senate. He was Associate Editor and columnist with the Wall Street Journal, and he served on the personal staffs of Representative Jack Kemp and Senator Orrin Hatch. He was staff associate of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, staff associate of the Joint Economic Committee of Congress, and Chief Economist, Republican Staff, House Budget Committee. He wrote the Kemp-Roth tax rate reduction bill, and was a leader in the supply-side revolution. He was professor of economics in six universities, and is the author of numerous books and scholarly contributions. He has testified before committees of Congress on 30 occasions. Source

The Son of Africa Claims a Continent’s Crown Jewels

By John Pilger

October 19, 2011

On 14 October, President Barack Obama announced he was sending United States special forces troops to Uganda to join the civil war there. In the next few months, US combat troops will be sent to South Sudan, Congo and Central African Republic. They will only “engage” for “self-defence”, says Obama, satirically. With Libya secured, an American invasion of the African continent is under way.

Obama’s decision is described in the press as “highly unusual” and “surprising”, even “weird”. It is none of these things. It is the logic of American foreign policy since 1945. Take Vietnam. The priority was to halt the influence of China, an imperial rival, and “protect” Indonesia, which President Nixon called “the region’s richest hoard of natural resources …the greatest prize”. Vietnam merely got in the way; and the slaughter of more than three million Vietnamese and the devastation and poisoning of their land was the price of America achieving its goal. Like all America’s subsequent invasions, a trail of blood from Latin America to Afghanistan and Iraq, the rationale was usually “self defence” or “humanitarian”, words long emptied of their dictionary meaning.
In Africa, says Obama, the “humanitarian mission” is to assist the government of Uganda defeat the Lord’s resistance Army (LRA), which “has murdered, raped and kidnapped tens of thousands of men, women and children in central Africa”. This is an accurate description of the LRA, evoking multiple atrocities administered by the United States, such as the bloodbath in the 1960s following the CIA-arranged murder of Patrice Lumumba, the Congolese independence leader and first legally elected prime minister, and the CIA coup that installed Mobutu Sese Seko, regarded as Africa’s most venal tyrant.

Obama’s other justification also invites satire. This is the “national security of the United States”. The LRA has been doing its nasty work for 24 years, of minimal interest to the United States. Today, it has few than 400 fighters and has never been weaker. However, US “national security” usually means buying a corrupt and thuggish regime that has something Washington wants. Uganda’s “president-for-life” Yoweri Museveni already receives the larger part of $45 million in US military “aid” – including Obama’s favourite drones. This is his bribe to fight a proxy war against America’s latest phantom Islamic enemy, the rag-tag al Shabaab group based in Somalia. The RTA will play a public relations role, distracting western journalists with its perennial horror stories.

However, the main reason the US is invading Africa is no different from that which ignited the Vietnam war. It is China. In the world of self-serving, institutionalised paranoia that justifies what General David Petraeus, the former US commander and now CIA director, implies is a state of perpetual war, China is replacing al-Qaeda as the official American “threat”. When I interviewed Bryan Whitman, an assistant secretary of defence at the Pentagon last year, I asked him to describe the current danger to America. Struggling visibly, he repeated, “Asymmetric threats … asymmetric threats”. These justify the money-laundering state-sponsored arms conglomerates and the biggest military and war budget in history. With Osama bin Laden airbrushed, China takes the mantle.

Africa is China’s success story. Where the Americans bring drones and destabilisation, the Chinese bring roads, bridges and dams. What they want is resources, especially fossil fuels. With Africa’s greatest oil reserves, Libya under Muammar Gaddafi was one of China’s most important sources of fuel. When the civil war broke out and Nato backed the “rebels” with a fabricated story about Gaddafi planning “genocide” in Benghazi, China evacuated its 30,000 workers in Libya. The subsequent UN security council resolution that allowed the west’s “humanitarian intervention” was explained succinctly in a proposal to the French government by the “rebel” National Transitional Council, disclosed last month in the newspaper Liberation, in which France was offered 35 per cent of Libya’s gross national oil production “in exchange” (the term used) for “total and permanent” French support for the NTC. Running up the Stars and Stripes in “liberated” Tripoli last month, US ambassador Gene Cretz blurted out: “We know that oil is the jewel in the crown of Libyan natural resources!”

The de facto conquest of Libya by the US and its imperial partners heralds a modern version of the “scramble for Africa” at the end of the 19th century.
Like the “victory” in Iraq, journalists have played a critical role in dividing Libyans into worthy and unworthy victims. A recent Guardian front page carried a photograph of a terrified “pro-Gaddafi” fighter and his wild-eyed captors who, says the caption, “celebrate”. According to General Petraeus, there is now a war “of perception … conducted continuously through the news media”.

For more than a decade the US has tried to establish a command on the continent of Africa, AFRICOM, but has been rebuffed by governments, fearful of the regional tensions this would cause. Libya, and now Uganda, South Sudan and Congo, provide the main chance. As WikiLeaks cables and the US National Strategy for Counter-terrorism reveal, American plans for Africa are part of a global design in which 60,000 special forces, including death squads, already operate in 75 countries, soon to be 120. As Dick Cheney pointed out in his 1990s “defence strategy” plan, America simply wishes to rule the world.

That this is now the gift of Barack Obama, the “Son of Africa”, is supremely ironic. Or is it? As Frantz Fanon explained in Black Skin, White Masks, what matters is not so much the colour of your skin as the power you serve and the millions you betray. Source

Transitional leader declares Libya ‘liberated’

Oct. 23, 2011

BENGHAZI, Libya — Libya’s transitional leader has declared liberation of the country, three days after the death of its leader of four decades, Moammar Gadhafi.

Mustafa Abdul-Jalil also told thousands of supporters at a ceremony on Sunday that Islamic Sharia law would be the “basic source” of legislation in the country and that existing laws that contradict the teachings of Islam would be nullified. In an address that set an Islamist tone for post-Gadhafi Libya, he said new banks would be set up to follow the Islamic banking system, which bans charging interest.

“This revolution was looked after by God to achieve victory,” he told the crowd. Source

Sharia law- There goes women rights

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Published in: on October 23, 2011 at 4:11 am  Comments Off on Deaths in Afghanistan 5.6 million due to war  
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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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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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Israel attacks Gaza Flotilla in International Waters

June 4, 2010 updates added at bottom. Updates of upcoming protests and a petition to the United Nations have been added. Will be adding more as I find them.

Israel is violating international law.  UN Security Council resolution 1860, passed in January 2009,  calls for an end to the Gaza blockade and to allow the unimpeded flow of aid into the region.

Reports on deaths of victims of the Israeli attack varies from 9 to 19 depending on which reports you read.

Israelis opened fire before boarding Gaza flotilla, say released activists:

First eyewitness accounts of raid contradict version put out by Israeli officials

By Dorian Jones in Istanbul and Helena Smith

June 01, 2010

Survivors of the Israeli assault on a flotilla carrying relief supplies to Gaza returned to Greece and Turkey today, giving the first eyewitness accounts of the raid in which at least 10 people died.

Arriving at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport with her one-year-old baby, Turkish activist Nilufer Cetin said Israeli troops opened fire before boarding the Turkish-flagged ferry Mavi Marmara, which was the scene of the worst clashes and all the fatalities. Israeli officials have said that the use of armed force began when its boarding party was attacked.

“It was extremely bad and very tough clashes took place. The Mavi Marmara is filled with blood,” said Cetin, whose husband is the Mavi Marmara’s chief engineer.

She told reporters that she and her child hid in the bathroom of their cabin during the confrontation. “The operation started immediately with firing. First it was warning shots, but when the Mavi Marmara wouldn’t stop these warnings turned into an attack,” she said.

“There were sound and smoke bombs and later they used gas bombs. Following the bombings they started to come on board from helicopters.”

Cetin is among a handful of Turkish activists to be released; more than 300 remain in Israeli custody. She said she agreed to extradition from Israel after she was warned that conditions in jail would be too harsh for her child.

“I am one of the first passengers to be sent home, just because I have baby. When we arrived at the Israeli port of Ashdod we were met by the Israeli interior and foreign ministry officials and police; there were no soldiers. They asked me only a few questions. But they took everything – cameras, laptops, cellphones, personal belongings including our clothes,” she said.

Kutlu Tiryaki was a captain of another vessel in the flotilla. “We continuously told them we did not have weapons, we came here to bring humanitarian help and not to fight,” he said.

“The attack on the Mavi Marmara came in an instant: they attacked it with 12 or 13 attack boats and also with commandos from helicopters. We heard the gunshots over our portable radio handsets, which we used to communicate with the Mavi Marmara, because our ship communication system was disrupted. There were three or four helicopters also used in the attack. We were told by Mavi Marmara their crew and civilians were being shot at and windows and doors were being broken by Israelis.”

Six Greek activists who returned to Athens accused Israeli commandos of using electric shocks during the raid.

Dimitris Gielalis, who had been aboard the Sfendoni, told reporters: “Suddenly from everywhere we saw inflatables coming at us, and within seconds fully equipped commandos came up on the boat. They came up and used plastic bullets, we had beatings, we had electric shocks, any method we can think of, they used.”

Michalis Grigoropoulos, who was at the wheel of the Free Mediterranean, said: “We were in international waters. The Israelis acted like pirates, completely out of the normal way that they conduct nautical exercises, and seized our ship. They took us hostage, pointing guns at our heads; they descended from helicopters and fired tear gas and bullets. There was absolutely nothing we could do … Those who tried to resist forming a human ring on the bridge were given electric shocks.”

Grigoropoulos, who insisted the ship was full of humanitarian aid bound for Gaza “and nothing more”, said that, once detained, the human rights activists were not allowed to contact a lawyer or the Greek embassy in Tel Aviv. “They didn’t let us go to the toilet, eat or drink water and throughout they videoed us. They confiscated everything, mobile phones, laptops, cameras and personal effects. They only allowed us to keep our papers.”

Turkey said it was sending three ambulance planes to Israel to pick up 20 more Turkish activists injured in the operation.

Three Turkish Airlines planes were on standby, waiting to fly back other activists, the prime minister’s office said. “Source

Israeli Murders, NATO and Afghanistan

By Craig Murray

June 02, 2010

I was in the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office for over 20 years and a member of its senior management structure for six years, I served in five countries and took part in 13 formal international negotiations, including the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea and a whole series of maritime boundary treaties. I headed the FCO section of a multidepartmental organisation monitoring the arms embargo on Iraq.

I am an instinctively friendly, open but unassuming person who always found it easy to get on with people, I think because I make fun of myself a lot. I have in consequence a great many friends among ex-colleagues in both British and foregin diplomatic services, security services and militaries.

I lost very few friends when I left the FCO over torture and rendition. In fact I seemed to gain several degrees of warmth with a great many acquantances still on the inside. And I have become known as a reliable outlet for grumbles, who as an ex-insider knows how to handle a discreet and unintercepted conversation.

What I was being told last night was very interesting indeed. NATO HQ in Brussels is today a very unhappy place. There is a strong understanding among the various national militaries that an attack by Israel on a NATO member flagged ship in international waters is an event to which NATO is obliged – legally obliged, as a matter of treaty – to react.

I must be plain – nobody wants or expects military action against Israel. But there is an uneasy recognition that in theory that ought to be on the table, and that NATO is obliged to do something robust to defend Turkey.

Mutual military support of each other is the entire raison d’etre of NATO. You must also remember that to the NATO military the freedom of the high seas guaranteed by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea is a vital alliance interest which officers have been conditioned to uphold their whole career.

That is why Turkey was extremely shrewd in reacting immediately to the Israeli attack by calling an emergency NATO meeting. It is why, after the appalling US reaction to the attack with its refusal to name Israel, President Obama has now made a point of phoning President Erdogan to condole.

But the unhappiness in NATO HQ runs much deeper than that, I spoke separately to two friends there, from two different nations. One of them said NATO HQ was “a very unhappy place”. The other described the situation as “Tense – much more strained than at the invasion of Iraq”.

Why? There is a tendency of outsiders to regard the senior workings of governments and international organisations as monolithic. In fact there are plenty of highly intelligent – and competitive – people and diverse interests involved.

There are already deep misgivings, especially amongst the military, over the Afghan mission. There is no sign of a diminution in Afghan resistance attacks and no evidence of a clear gameplan. The military are not stupid and they can see that the Karzai government is deeply corrupt and the Afghan “national” army comprised almost exclusively of tribal enemies of the Pashtuns.

You might be surprised by just how high in Nato scepticism runs at the line that in some way occupying Afghanistan helps protect the west, as opposed to stoking dangerous Islamic anger worldwide.

So this is what is causing frost and stress inside NATO. The organisation is tied up in a massive, expensive and ill-defined mission in Afghanistan that many whisper is counter-productive in terms of the alliance aim of mutual defence. Every European military is facing financial problems as a public deficit financing crisis sweeps the continent. The only glue holding the Afghan mission together is loyalty to and support for the United States.

But what kind of mutual support organisation is NATO when members must make decades long commitments, at huge expense and some loss of life, to support the Unted States, but cannot make even a gesture to support Turkey when Turkey is attacked by a non-member?

Even the Eastern Europeans have not been backing the US line on the Israeli attack. The atmosphere in NATO on the issue has been very much the US against the rest, with the US attitude inside NATO described to me by a senior NATO officer as “amazingly arrogant – they don’t seem to think it matters what anybody else thinks”.

Therefore what is troubling the hearts and souls of non-Americans in NATO HQ is this fundamental question. Is NATO genuinely a mutual defence organisation, or is it just an instrument to carry out US foreign policy? With its unthinking defence of Israel and military occupation of Afghanistan, is US foreign policy really defending Europe, or is it making the World less safe by causing Islamic militancy?

I leave the last word to one of the senior NATO officers – who incidentally is not British:
“Nobody but the Americans doubts the US position on the Gaza attack is wrong and insensitve. But everyone already quietly thought the same about wider American policy. This incident has allowed people to start saying that now privately to each other.”

Craig Murray is a human rights activist, writer, former British Ambassador, and an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Lancaster School of Law. Visit his blog http://www.craigmurray.org.uk

Source

Israel‘s Moral Superiority?
Netanyahu: World ‘Hypocritical’ for Condemning Gaza Flotilla Raid

In first address to nation, Netanyahu says had Turkish-flagged ship breached blockade, so could hundreds of vessels carrying weapons.

By Barak Ravid

June 02, 2010

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday defended the Israel Navy’s raid of a pro-Palestinian convoy en route to the Gaza Strip earlier this week, in his first address to the nation regarding the botched operation which left nine people dead and several more wounded.

Netanyahu accused international critics of “hypocrisy” and declared that Israel would continue to blockade the Hamas-run Palestinian enclave, saying that to lift the embargo would turn it into a base for Iranian missiles that would threaten both Israel and Europe.

“Iran is continuing to smuggle weapons into Gaza,” said Netanyahu in a televised address. “It is our obligation to prevent these weapons from being brought in by land and sea. The previous government understood this and imposed a closure.”

“The goal of the flotilla was to breach [the closure] and not to bring goods, as we would have allowed them to do,” said Netanyahu. “If the blockade had been broken, dozens and hundreds more ships carrying weapons could have come.”

Netanyahu, who canceled his trip to Washington and a meeting with President Barack Obama due to the raid, declared that Israel had no opposition to seeing humanitarian aid brought into the Gaza Strip.

But Hamas’ growing armament was a cause for concern and a crucial reason to leave the blockade in place, said the prime minister. Without a blockade and intense inspection of every ship nearing the area, said Netanyahu, “Gaza will turn into an Iranian port.”

Nanyahu told his political-security cabinet during a special session on Tuesday that international condemnation would not stop Israel’s naval blockade of the Gaza Strip.

The raid of the Turkish-flagged ship awakened a storm of criticism among Israel’s friends and foes alike, leading many members of the United Nations Security Council – including Britain – to call on Israel to lift its years-long siege of the Hamas-ruled coastal territory.

At a special meeting convened in the wake of the raid, Netanyahu told his ministers that the blockade was still necessary to prevent weapons from being smuggled into the Gaza Strip.

“We know from the experience of Operation Cast Lead that the weapons entering Gaza are being turned against our civilians,” Netanyahu said, referring to Israel’s three-week offensive on the Gaza Strip that ended in January 2009.

“Gaza is a terror state funded by the Iranians, and therefore we must try to prevent any weapons from being brought into Gaza by air, sea and land,” he said.

Netanyahu acknowledged that militants were still capable of smuggling weapons in via tunnels from Egypt, but emphasized that the large amounts of weapons that could be brought by sea made the threat a completely different affair.

“On the Francop ship alone we confiscated some 200 tons of weapons being smuggled to Hezbollah,” the prime minister said, in reference to the Antiguan-flagged ship Israel intercepted off the coast of Cyprus in November 2009.

“Opening a naval route to Gaza will present an enormous danger to the security of our citizens,” said Netanyahu. “Therefore, we will stand firm on our policy of a naval blockade and of inspecting incoming ships.”

“It’s true that there is international pressure and criticism of this policy, but [the world] must understand that it is crucial to preserving Israel’s security and the right of the State of Israel to defend itself.”

Source
The Flotilla was not a threat to anyone in Israel.
What a BS. If anyone believes the Flotilla was a threat quick go find a Psychiatrist. You need one obviously.
Self defense against defenseless people delivering Humanitarian Aid??? Who is Netanyahu trying to kid?
Does he think everyone on the planet has “Complete Idiot” written across their foreheads. He is really pushing the Gullibility factor.

I for one am completely and utterly insulted, if thinks I am that stupid.

Israel is the perpetrator of the crimes in this case.

Israel attacks Gaza aid fleet

Israeli forces have attacked a flotilla of aid-carrying ships aiming to break the country’s siege on Gaza.

At least 19 people were killed and dozens injured when troops intercepted the convoy of ships dubbed the Freedom Flotilla early on Monday, Israeli radio reported.

The flotilla was attacked in international waters, 65 km (or just over 35 Nautical miles) off the Gaza coast.

Avital Leibovich, an Israeli military spokeswoman, confirmed that the attack took place in international waters, saying: “This happened in waters outside of Israeli territory, but we have the right to defend ourselves.”

Footage from the flotilla’s lead vessel, the Mavi Marmara, showed armed Israeli soldiers boarding the ship and helicopters flying overhead.

Al Jazeera’s Jamal Elshayyal, on board the Mavi Marmara, said Israeli troops had used live ammunition during the operation.

The Israeli military said four soldiers had been wounded and claimed troops opened fire after “demonstrators onboard attacked the IDF Naval personnel with live fire and light weaponry including knives and clubs”.

Free Gaza Movement, the organisers of the flotilla, however, said the troops opened fire as soon as they stormed the convoy.

Our correspondent said that a white surrender flag was raised from the ship and there was no live fire coming from the passengers.

Before losing communication with our correspondent, a voice in Hebrew was clearly heard saying: “Everyone shut up”.

Israeli intervention

Earlier, the Israeli navy had contacted the captain of the Mavi Marmara, asking him to identify himself and say where the ship was headed.

Shortly after, two Israeli naval vessels had flanked the flotilla on either side, but at a distance.

Organisers of the flotilla carrying 10,000 tonnes of humanitarian aid then diverted their ships and slowed down to avoid a confrontation during the night.

They also issued all passengers life jackets and asked them to remain below deck.

Al Jazeera’s Ayman Mohyeldin, reporting from Jerusalem, said the Israeli action was surprising.

“All the images being shown from the activists on board those ships show clearly that they were civilians and peaceful in nature, with medical supplies on board. So it will surprise many in the international community to learn what could have possibly led to this type of confrontation,” he said.

Meanwhile, Israeli police have been put on a heightened state of alert across the country to prevent any civil disturbances.

Sheikh Raed Salah, a leading member of the Islamic Movement who was on board the ship, was reported to have been seriously injured. He was being treated in Israel’s Tal Hasharon hospital.

In Um Al Faham, the stronghold of the Islamic movement in Israel and the birth place of Salah, preparations for mass demonstrations were under way.

Protests

Condemnation has been quick to pour in after the Israeli action.

Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, officially declared a three-day state of mourning over Monday’s deaths.

Turkey, Spain, Greece, Denmark and Sweden have all summoned the Israeli ambassador’s in their respective countries to protest against the deadly assault.

Thousands of Turkish protesters tried to storm the Israeli consulate in Istanbul soon after the news of the operation broke. The protesters shouted “Damn Israel” as police blocked them.

“(The interception on the convoy) is unacceptable … Israel will have to endure the consequences of this behaviour,” the Turkish foreign ministry said in a statement.

Ismail Haniya, the Hamas leader in Gaza, has also dubbed the Israeli action as “barbaric”.

Hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists, including a Nobel laureate and several European legislators, were with the flotilla, aiming to reach Gaza in defiance of an Israeli embargo.

The convoy came from the UK, Ireland, Algeria, Kuwait, Greece and Turkey, and was comprised of about 700 people from 50 nationalities.

But Israel had said it would not allow the flotilla to reach the Gaza Strip and vowed to stop the six ships from reaching the coastal Palestinian territory.

The flotilla had set sail from a port in Cyprus on Sunday and aimed to reach Gaza by Monday morning.

Israel said the boats were embarking on “an act of provocation” against the Israeli military, rather than providing aid, and that it had issued warrants to prohibit their entrance to Gaza.

It asserted that the flotilla would be breaking international law by landing in Gaza, a claim the organisers rejected. Source

UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON THE LAW OF THE SEA

SECTION 2. LIMITS OF THE TERRITORIAL SEA

Article 3

Breadth of the territorial sea

Every State has the right to establish the breadth of its territorial sea up to a limit not exceeding 12 nautical miles, measured from baselines determined in accordance with this Convention.

http://www.un.org/Depts/los/convention_agreements/texts/unclos/closindx.htm

The flotilla was attacked in international waters, 65 km = over 35 nautical miles off the Gaza coast.

For all the Israeli’s knew the Flotilla could have been headed to Egypt to dock and have the goods transported to Gaza via the Egyptian boarder as well.

Either way what Israel did was a violation of International Law of the Sea. The Flotilla was under no obligation to stop for the Israelis as they were over the 12 Nautical miles out to sea at the time Israel attacked them..

Israel has no legal right to arrest anyone or hold any ships hostage. Israel committed an act of deliberate, premeditated, murder and piracy. Other crimes also include assault and battery, kidnapping and imprisonment of innocent civilians, and theft.

The people in the Flotilla  had committed absolutely no crime what so ever.

If I thought about it for a while I could come up with a few more charges that should be laid against the Israelis.

It could be a long list of violations. Murder, kidnapping, assault and battery,theft on land or sea are crimes and those responsible should be charged and imprisoned for their crimes, as any of us would be, if we committed these crimes.

If Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu allowed this and he did, he is as guilty of these crimes as those who committed them. He is responsible and should be tried for these crimes as well, as any other Government Representative or other Official who ordered or allowed  these crimes to be committed.

UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON THE LAW OF THE SEA

SECTION 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS

Article 86

Application of the provisions of this Part

The provisions of this Part apply to all parts of the sea that are not included in the exclusive economic zone, in the territorial sea or in the internal waters of a State, or in the archipelagic waters of an archipelagic State. This article does not entail any abridgement of the freedoms enjoyed by all States in the exclusive economic zone in accordance with article 58.

Article 87

Freedom of the high seas

1. The high seas are open to all States, whether coastal or land-locked. Freedom of the high seas is exercised under the conditions laid down by this Convention and by other rules of international law. It comprises, inter alia, both for coastal and land-locked States:

(a) freedom of navigation;

(b) freedom of overflight;

(c) freedom to lay submarine cables and pipelines, subject to Part VI;

(d) freedom to construct artificial islands and other installations permitted under international law, subject to Part VI;

(e) freedom of fishing, subject to the conditions laid down in section 2;

(f) freedom of scientific research, subject to Parts VI and XIII.

2. These freedoms shall be exercised by all States with due regard for the interests of other States in their exercise of the freedom of the high seas, and also with due regard for the rights under this Convention with respect to activities in the Area.

Article 88

Reservation of the high seas for peaceful purposes

The high seas shall be reserved for peaceful purposes.

Article 89

Invalidity of claims of sovereignty over the high seas

No State may validly purport to subject any part of the high seas to its sovereignty.

Article 90

Right of navigation

Every State, whether coastal or land-locked, has the right to sail ships flying its flag on the high seas.

http://www.un.org/Depts/los/convention_agreements/texts/unclos/closindx.htm

Article 101

Definition of piracy

Piracy consists of any of the following acts:

(a) any illegal acts of violence or detention, or any act of depredation, committed for private ends by the crew or the passengers of a private ship or a private aircraft, and directed:

(i) on the high seas, against another ship or aircraft, or against persons or property on board such ship or aircraft;

(ii) against a ship, aircraft, persons or property in a place outside the jurisdiction of any State;

(b) any act of voluntary participation in the operation of a ship or of an aircraft with knowledge of facts making it a pirate ship or aircraft;

(c) any act of inciting or of intentionally facilitating an act described in subparagraph (a) or (b).

Article 102

Piracy by a warship, government ship or government aircraft

whose crew has mutinied

The acts of piracy, as defined in article 101, committed by a warship, government ship or government aircraft whose crew has mutinied and taken control of the ship or aircraft are assimilated to acts committed by a private ship or aircraft.

Article 103

Definition of a pirate ship or aircraft

A ship or aircraft is considered a pirate ship or aircraft if it is intended by the persons in dominant control to be used for the purpose of committing one of the acts referred to in article 101. The same applies if the ship or aircraft has been used to commit any such act, so long as it remains under the control of the persons guilty of that act.

http://www.un.org/Depts/los/convention_agreements/texts/unclos/closindx.htm

Egypt opened its border with the Gaza Strip for an unlimited amount of time. Seems Egypt is not pleased with Israel over this attack.

Turkey is calling for Israel to be severely punished for it’s acts of violence against innocent civilians.

Protests have broken out in many countries over the incident.

Jordanians protest Israeli raid on Gaza-bound flotilla

Jordanians took to the streets in Amman on Monday, protesting the Israeli raid on a flotilla of aid ships bound for Gaza Strip.

During a march from the Jordanian professional associations’ headquarters to the Prime Ministry, the demonstrators chanted slogans against Israel, calling for closing the Israeli embassy in Amman.

The demonstrators urged the government to expel the Israeli ambassador in Amman and annul the Wadi Arabia peace treaty Jordan and Israel signed in 1994. Source

Thousands in Istanbul protest against Israeli attack on flotilla


East Bay Citizens Condemn Israel Attack on Gaza Aid Flotilla

Minneapolis Demonstration Against Israeli Attack on Gaza Freedom Flotilla

US citizen Emily Henochowicz was shot directly in the face with a tear gas canister as she non-violently demonstrated against the Flotilla massacre she lost her left eye. Source

Photos of Protests from: Turkey, Malaysia, Pakistan, Egypt, Greece, Netherlands, Belgium, Israel, Cyprus, Britain, West Bank,  France, Indonesia, US, Lebanon

America Complicit In Israel’s Crimes

As I write at 5pm on Monday, May 31, all day has passed since the early morning reports of the Israeli commando attack on the unarmed ships carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza, and there has been no response from President Obama except to say that he needed to learn “all the facts about this morning’s tragic events” and that Israeli prime minister Netanyahu had canceled his plans to meet with him at the White House.

Obama’s 12-hour silence in the face of extreme barbarity is his signal to the controlled corporate media to remain on the sidelines until Israeli propaganda sets the story. Source

Related

Gaza Flotilla Drives Israel Into a Sea of Stupidity

Remember  to add this when you protests or write to a Government officials.

Israel is violating international law.  UN Security Council resolution 1860, passed in January 2009,  calls for an end to the Gaza blockade and to allow the unimpeded flow of aid into the region. The flotilla was attacked in international waters, 65 km (or just over 35 Nautical miles) off the Gaza coast. Israel had no legal right to stop them.

Keep up the pressure – End the siege of Gaza
Call on Canadian politicians to condemn the murder of the Gaza flotilla activists.
Global Day of Action – Saturday, June 5

International pressure is growing to end the siege of Gaza. The murder of the flotilla activists has thrust the issue into the mainstream, forcing governments around the world to speak out against the blockade.

Not surprisingly, Stephen Harper has not condemned the attacks and supported the U.S. initiative to water down the UN security council resolution on an investigation into the crimes. Both the U.S. and Canada have said that, rather than have the UN hold an independent investigation, Israel should investigate itself. This self-examination will be a smokescreen designed to hide the truth.

We in Canada have to speak out and demand that Harper stop being silent on war crimes, whether in Afghanistan or Palestine.

What can you do?

  • Join the events this week. Events are posed on the CPA website.

Palestinian groups are urging people to organize a global day of protest this Saturday, June 5. Many CPA members groups are already organizing events on Saturday and we are calling on peace activists to either join events already organized or, where there is no event, to try and organize one in your city. If you are organizing an event send the details to cpa@web.ca so we can post the information. Please feel free to contact the CPA for materials and information about the day of action.
To read the global call for action check the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) website.

There are also events each day in Canada condemning the attacks. Please keep checking the CPA website for the most up-to-date events listings for Canada. For global event listings check out the Gaza Freedom March website.

  • Send a letter to your MP

Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East have put out a call for you to write letters to Canadian MP’s urging them to condemn the attacks. Click here to go to the website and send your letter.

Event Listings
Halifax
Israeli Attack on Humanitarian Aid Shipment
No to Israeli War Crimes! Support Gaza and the Palestinian People!
Join the Daily Mass Informational Pickets and Vigil

4 – 5 p.m. Wednesday (June 2), Thursday (June 3), Friday (June 4)

Maritime Mall (Aliant Bldg., where the passport office is)
Barrington Street and foot of Spring Garden Road

We call on everyone to join the people of the world in condemning the murderous attack on the Freedom Flotilla

Ad Hoc Committee to Defend Palestine
e-mail: shunpike@shunpiking.com
Hamilton
Bring this Message to Harper:
Lift the Siege of Gaza NOW!
Stop the killing of innocents!
Demand the release of Canadian prisoners!

Friday, June 4th
Federal Government Building in Hamilton – 55 Bay St. North
Across the Street from Copps Colosseum – 5:00 p.m.

Ample parking is available

NO TO PIRACY!!!
NO TO WAR CRIMES!!
Hamilton Coalition to Stop the War

Montreal
Samedi 5 Juin 13h30
coin Peel et St-Catherine
Place Dorchester
métro Peel

Apportez vos drapeaux, vos pancartes originales, vos instruments de musique!

http://www.tadamon.ca/post/6961

Appel pour une action de solidarité à Montréal avec les victimes du massacre de la flottille humanitaire “Gaza Freedom Flotilla” et le peuple palestinien. Manifestons au centre-ville de Montréal pour appeler à la fin du siège israélien sur Gaza et la fin de la complicité du Canada dans l’apartheid israélien. Cette manifestation sera coordonnée avec plusieurs d’autres à travers le monde ce samedi, en réponse à l’appel de la société civile palestinien pour des manifestations globales.

Ottawa:
Gaza Freedom Flotilla Global Day of Action in Ottawa – Rally and March
3:00pm.
Saturday, June 5, 2010
Human Rights Monument
Organized by the Ottawa Palestine Solidarity Network
http://notowarcrimes.blogspot.com | ottawa.palestine@gmail.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=122130111158157

Penticton, BC
Rally at Stockwell Day’s Office

The Penticton Peace Groups believes that the Israeli government has committed new war crimes in an act of piracy and murder against the flotilla of small ships delivering humanitarian aid to Gaza.

We are calling on the people of the south Okanagan to take this message to MP Stockwell Day’s office, this Saturday, June 5, 2010 at noon, meeting at Nanaimo Square.
For more information contact: Brigid Kemp at: bridiekemp@gmail.com

Toronto:
Gaza Freedom Flotilla
Global Day of Action: Saturday, June 5

Rally and March
Date: Saturday, June 5
Time: 1:00 p.m.
Location: Israeli Consulate, 180 Bloor Street West

June 5 also marks the 43rd anniversary of the Israeli occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Our action aims to draw the world’s attention to Israel’s continuing illegal occupation, its refusal to abide by international law, and its massacre of innocent humanitarian workers.

Organized by:
Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid, Palestine House Community Centre, Canadian Arab Federation, Toronto Coalition to Stop the War, Canadian Peace Alliance

Find us on Facebook: http://bit.ly/dBPiGY
To endorse, please email endapartheid@riseup.net.

Waterloo
Protest: Israel`s Flotilla Raid, Tuesday June 8

We would like to invite you to join us at 1pm on Tuesday, June 8th in the SLC courtyard for a march around campus to bring awareness to the humanitarian crisis involving Gaza and the Freedom Flotilla. We feel is is extremely important to bring as much awareness of this issue at this time and express our deepest disapproval of the actions committed by the Israeli Defense Forces. We hope to see you there! Should you have any questions, comments,or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.

For more information please see: Students for Palestinian Rights

Winnipeg
Peace Alliance Winnipeg, Independent Jewish Voices and CanPalNet, will be holding a demonstration to show our solidarity with the people of Gaza, to express our sorrow at the murder of peaceful activists, and to join hands with people around the world in expressing our outrage at Israel’s actions.

Please join us.

Friday, June 4, 2010
4:00 to 6:00 p.m. Broadway Avenue and Osborne Street in Winnipeg. For more information please see: Peace Alliance Winnipeg

From the Jewish Voice for Peace

When I got the news about Israel’s armed attack on the Gaza Flotilla at 2:30 am on the morning of May 31, I felt sick. I immediately called a dear friend in Jerusalem, one of the most committed activists I know.  Across the ocean, I could hear in her voice that she was in tears. “The worst part about it, ” she said, “is that nothing will change.”

“No,” I replied. “I can’t believe that can be true.  Things have to change.””Well,” she said, “then it is up to you, the internationals.”

She’s right. It is up to us, the internationals both here in the United States and abroad.

That is why I want you to send a message to US President Obama if you live outside of the United States, and to Obama and the US Congress if you are a U.S. resident, demanding the immediate release of the detained human rights activists, an end to the siege on Gaza, an impartial investigation of the attack on the flotilla, and a suspension of US aid until Israel abides by international law.We still don’t know a lot about what happened to the flotilla of boats carrying some 700 human rights activists from around the world and over 10 tons of humanitarian aid to Gaza– Israel has kept the activists under a near total media blackout while sharing only its implausible narrative of events. What we do know is that Israeli commandos boarded a ship in international waters and killed at least ten activists, injuring dozens of others.

Israel insists that highly trained commandos were forced to lethally fire on activists, creating a new definition of self-defense. In the first alternative accounts to appear, an Israeli Knesset member and an Al Jazeera cameraman who were on board the ship at the time each described something different, a scene of chaos with civilians waving white flags and commandos using stun guns, rubber bullets and tear gas. Regardless of what actually happened when armed soldiers landed, Israel’s wanton killing of civilians is unacceptable.

We still don’t know th
e names of those who were killed or injured, or where they are from. And we don’t know the whereabouts or well-being of more than 400 activists still being held by Israel.

These deaths, and the attacks on the boats, have hit all of us around the world particularly hard. There were people from 40 different countries on board the ships, including Israelis and Palestinians. Israel sent armed commandos onto a civilian ship in international waters, a brazenly illegal act to enforce Israel’s nearly 3-year illegal siege of Gaza – a siege that has left 1.5 million men, women and children living like prisoners on substandard diets, deprived of the simplest things like potato chips, musical instruments, and toys. The flotilla wasn’t just about this one delivery of aid. It was about the right of Palestinians to have sea, land and air routes to the rest of the world and for the need to end the blockade.

I know that there comes a point in one’s life when you simply have to take a stand. You cannot sit by silently and watch ongoing and wholly unjustified destruction of life, tacitly supported by governments around the world, and simply do nothing.

The flotilla was filled with people just like you and me who finally decided it was time to risk life and limb to take a stand, to break through those prison walls, and we thank them for it.

Now, as citizens of the world, we owe it to the people of Palestine, and the people of Israel who want to live in peace, and the brave people on that flotilla, to build the movement to make Israel accountable to international law and standards of simple human decency – especially because our governments have failed us.

he response of the U.S. government thus far has been wholly inadequate, with a mild statement “regretting the loss of life,” without assigning any blame for the fiasco, let alone applying any sanctions for Israel’s acts.  Please, join me in telling President Obama and Congress enough is enough

. US taxpayer dollars fund Israel’s occupation, and together with wall to wall uncritical diplomatic support have sent the message that any Israeli action, no matter how foolhardy, will be backed by the full might of the United States.

It’s time for that to stop.

We must also continue to build the already massive global people’s movement for justice, which has undeniably found its greatest impact in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. This is about all of the ways, big and small, people can bypass their often ineffective governments to use economic pressure to make the Israeli government accountable to international law. After launching our energetic support for campus efforts to divest from the occupation, Jewish Voice for Peace will let you know soon about our own divestment campaign to help bring pressure on Israel to reach a just solution.It is time for the United States, as Israel’s closest ally and most powerful nation in the world, to stop unconditional support for the Israeli government.Doing so will protect Israelis and Palestinians, American citizens, and internationals alike.

Click here to demand that President Obama and Congress call for an immediate lifting of the siege of Gaza,

An international and impartial investigation into the tragic killing of civilians in a humanitarian mission, and the suspension of military aid to Israel until he can assure the American public that our aid is not used to commit similar abuses.
Rebecca Vilkomerson,
Executive Director,
Jewish Voice for Peace

PS, We’ve prepared posters in PDF format that you can use at protests, in your car window or on bulletin boards. Download them here.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact

Also a Petition to the UN

Israel’s deadly raid on a flotilla of aid ships headed for Gaza has shocked the world.

Israel, like any other state, has the right to self-defence, but this was an outrageous use of lethal force to defend an outrageous and lethal policy — Israel’s blockade of Gaza, where two thirds of families don’t know where they’ll find their next meal.

The UN, EU, and nearly every other government and multilateral organization have called on Israel to lift the blockade and, now, launch a full investigation of the flotilla raid. But without massive pressure from their citizens, world leaders might limit their response to mere words — as they have so many times before.

Let’s make the world’s outcry too loud to ignore. Join the petition for an independent investigation into the raid, accountability for those responsible, and an immediate end to the blockade in Gaza — click to sign the petition, and then forward this message to everyone:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/gaza_flotilla_1/?vl

The petition will be delivered to the UN and world leaders, as soon as it reaches 200,000 names — and again at every opportunity as it grows and leaders choose their responses. A massive petition at a moment of crisis like this one can demonstrate to those in power that sound bites and press releases aren’t enough — that citizens are paying attention and demanding action.

As the EU decides whether to expand its special trade relationship with Israel, as Obama and the US Congress set next year’s budget for Israeli military aid, and as neighbours like Turkey and Egypt decide their next diplomatic steps — let’s make the world’s voice unignorable: it’s time for truth and accountability on the flotilla raid, and it’s time for Israel to comply with international law and end the siege of Gaza. Sign now and pass this message along:

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Drone Pilots Could Be Tried for ‘War Crimes’

Drone Pilots Could Be Tried for ‘War Crimes,’ Law Prof Says
By Nathan Hodge
April 29, 2010

The pilots waging America’s undeclared drone war in Pakistan could be liable to criminal prosecution for “war crimes,” a prominent law professor told a Congressional panel Wednesday.

Harold Koh, the State Department’s top legal adviser, outlined the administration’s legal case for the robotic attacks last month. Now, some legal experts are taking turns to punch holes in Koh’s argument.

It’s part of an ongoing legal debate about the CIA and U.S. military’s lethal drone operations, which have escalated in recent months — and which have received some technological upgrades. Critics of the program, including the American Civil Liberties Union, have argued that the campaign amounts to a program of targeted killing that may violate the laws of war.

In a hearing Wednesday before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform’s national security and foreign affairs panel, several professors of national security law seemed open to that argument. But there are still plenty of caveats, and the risks to U.S. drone operators are at this point theoretical: Unless a judge in, say, Pakistan, wanted to issue a warrant, it doesn’t seem likely. But that’s just one of the possible legal hazards of robotic warfare.

Loyola Law School professor David Glazier, a former Navy surface warfare officer, said the pilots operating the drones from afar could — in theory — be hauled into court in the countries where the attacks occur. That’s because the CIA’s drone pilots aren’t combatants in a legal sense. “It is my opinion, as well as that of most other law-of-war scholars I know, that those who participate in hostilities without the combatant’s privilege do not violate the law of war by doing so, they simply gain no immunity from domestic laws,” he said.

“Under this view CIA drone pilots are liable to prosecution under the law of any jurisdiction where attacks occur for any injuries, deaths or property damage they cause,” Glazier continued. “But under the legal theories adopted by our government in prosecuting Guantánamo detainees, these CIA officers as well as any higher-level government officials who have authorized or directed their attacks are committing war crimes.”

The drones themselves are a lawful tool of war; “In fact, the ability of the drones to engage in a higher level of precision and to discriminate more carefully between military and civilian targets than has existed in the past actually suggests that they’re preferable to many older weapons,” Glazier added. But employing CIA personnel to carry out those armed attacks, he concluded, “clearly fall outside the scope of permissible conduct and ought to be reconsidered, particularly as the United States seeks to prosecute members of its adversaries for generally similar conduct.”

Drone attacks haven’t just become the primary weapon in the American bid to wipe out Al Qaeda and affiliated terrorist networks. “Very frankly, it’s the only game in town in terms of confronting or trying to disrupt the al Qaeda leadership,” CIA director Leon Panetta said.

But that “embrace of the Predator program has occurred with remarkably little public discussion, given that it represents a radical new and geographically unbounded use of state-sanctioned lethal force,” The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer recently observed. Before 9/11, the American government regularly condemned Israel for taking out individual terrorists. “Seven years later, there is no longer any doubt that targeted killing has become official U.S. policy.”

The U.S. government has since defended the strikes as legitimate self-defense — without going into details about the operations. Kenneth Anderson, an American University law professor, said the government’s reluctance to talk about the missions — as well as its reliance on an intelligence agency to carry out military action — raises some serious questions.

In his prepared statement (.pdf), Anderson said Koh “nowhere mentions the CIA by name in his defense of drone operations. It is, of course, what is plainly intended when speaking of self-defense separate from armed conflict. One understands the hesitation of senior lawyers to name the CIA’s use of drones as lawful when the official position of the U.S. government, despite everything, is still not to confirm or deny the CIA’s operations.”

What’s more, Anderson argued, Congress has been reluctant to talk about the bigger policy issue: Why this is a CIA mission in the first place. “Why should the CIA, or any other civilian agency, ever use force (leaving aside conventional law enforcement)?” he said. “Even granting the existence of self-defense as a legal category, why ever have force used by anyone other than the uniformed military?”

Mary Ellen O’Connell, professor of law at the University of Notre Dame, was much more blunt in her statement. “Combat drones are battlefield weapons,” she told the panel. “They fire missiles or drop bombs capable of inflicting very serious damage. Drones are not lawful for use outside combat zones. Outside such zones, police are the proper law enforcement agents, and police are generally required to warn before using lethal force.”

“Restricting drones to the battlefield is the most important single rule governing their use, O’Connell continued. “Yet, the United States is failing to follow it more often than not.”

Not all of the law professors testifying today agreed. Syracuse University’s William Banks, for one, said that “the intelligence laws permit the president broad discretion to utilize the nation’s intelligence agencies to carry out national security operations, implicitly including targeted killing.” Current U.S. laws “supply adequate – albeit not well articulated or understood – legal authority for these drone strikes.”

But American laws may not be on the only ones applicable to drone strikes, critics contend. As Anderson argued, the United States may face legal challenges from what he called the “international-law community” – nongovernmental organizations, international bodies, U.N. agencies and others who view this as a program of targeted killing that falls outside the bounds of armed conflict.

Either way, this hearing will not end the controversy. As we’ve noted here before, the government has been less than forthcoming about who, exactly, authorizes drone strikes, how the targets are chosen and how many civilians may have been inadvertently killed.

– Nathan Hodge and Noah Shachtman Source

The US is not at war with Pakistan and therefore if they kill anyone in Pakistan, it is pre meditated murder..

Attacking Pakistan is equal to attacking Britain, Canada, Dubai  or France for example.

Whether the army were the pilots or not it makes no difference. It is still murder.

That is my opinion. That is the way everyone should view it.

Pakistan can take care of it’s own. The US has murdered innocent civilians in Pakistan more times then I care to remember.

Pakistan has told the US numerous times to stop the bombings. This is one of those times.

Obama has been told and so had the Bush administration Pakistan doesn’t want them bombing in their country. So what part of NO doesn’t the US get the N or the O.

They do not have Pakistan permission to drop  bombs in their country. Any bombing done by any US citizen,  military or not, are illegal.

Pakistan

Civilian Deaths -1256

Civilians Injured -427

Al-Qaeeda deaths -30

Success Rate of Drone Attacks against Al-Qaeeda ~ 2.5%

http://www.pakistanbodycount.org/

US drone strike kills 6 in Pakistan

May 3 2010

A US drone attack has killed at least six people and wounded several others in the troubled tribal areas of northwestern Pakistan, officials say.

According to Pakistani officials, the drone fired three missiles in the Mir Ali area in Waziristan tribal area near the Afghan border on Monday, DPA reported.

The death toll is expected to rise as some of the injured are reported to be in critical condition, sources said.

According to the sources, those killed were “militants.”

So far this year, 300 people have lost their lives in 42 drone attacks in Pakistan’s tribal belt. Washington claims the raids target militants in Pakistan, but hundreds of civilians have fallen victim to the US drone attacks since 2008.

Islamabad has repeatedly condemned the strikes, saying they threaten the country’s sovereignty and fuel public anger. Source

CNN made a big deal out of Iran flying over a ship in the Arabian sea. Seems to me the US shouldn’t be there either.

Who do they think they are? They do not own the world.

Iran may have flown over and may not have.

For all we know it could have been Israel who flew over the US ship.

Of course they didn’t fly over the ship anyway, who ever was in the planes, were flying over half a mile away.

‘Iranian fighters may fly over US forces’

The Title should have been

Iranian fighters may have flow near US forces

April 29 2010
A senior Iranian Air Force officer does not rule out reports that an Iranian fighter jet might have flown over a US aircraft carrier last week in the Arabian Sea.

The incident was first reported by CNN on Tuesday. According to the report, a plane belonging to the Iranian Navy was flying as low as 300 feet near the USS Eisenhower on April 21.

The Eisenhower was in the northern Arabian Sea when the Iranian maritime patrol aircraft flew within 1,000 yards of the vessel, US military officials claimed.
Mohammad Alavi, deputy commander of the Iranian Air Force said that the fighter jet may have come close to the US aircraft carrier during a routine patrol.

“Iran has scheduled flights in the air corridor in the altitude of up to 20,000 feet, and its plane might have come close to the US aircraft carrier while flying in this corridor,” Fars news agency quoted Alavi as saying on Thursday.

He added, “Nobody can criticize such flights because they are being conducted within the framework of international law. We conduct routine reconnaissance flights with different aircrafts, including drones, and they may have come across the US forces.”   Source

(1000 yards = 3,000 feet, 1 mile = 5280 feet so they were over half a mile away from the ship. ( 0.56818 miles or almost 1 kilometer -0.91439 kilometers)  That isn’t exactly over the ship now is it?

They were also 91,439.99986 Centimeters or 35,999.99990 Inches away from the ship as well. But I digress. Now I am just being stupid.

So what the American ship doing there anyway? There is the question that should be asked. Were they spying on others? Probably.

Iran wasn’t breaking any Laws, if in fact it even was their fighters.

Could the US have been breaking the Law, is the other question that should be asked?

A US-Sponsored Terror Network-Death Squads in Afghanistan

By Francis Shor

April 27 2010

It should no longer be a matter of dispute that US Special Forces in Afghanistan are responsible for an increasing number of murders, whether part of targeted extra-judicial killings or the result of bad intelligence.  From the attack on a bridal shower in Gardez on February 12, 2010 that killed numerous civilians, including two pregnant women, to the growing list of executions of insurgents in the Kandahar area, Special Forces have become the US military version of death squads. For Entire Story Go HERE

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Published in: on May 6, 2010 at 11:25 pm  Comments Off on Drone Pilots Could Be Tried for ‘War Crimes’  
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Iran complains to U.N. over U.S. nuclear “threat”

Iran complains to U.N. over U.S. nuclear “threat”

(Reuters) – Iran complained to the United Nations on Tuesday over what it called a U.S. threat to attack it with atomic weapons, accusing Washington of nuclear blackmail in violation of the U.N. charter.

President Barack Obama made clear last week that Iran and North Korea, both involved in nuclear disputes with the West, were excluded from new limits on the use of U.S. atomic weapons.

A letter from Iranian Ambassador Mohammad Khazaee to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Security Council and General Assembly presidents called on the United Nations to “strongly oppose the threat of use of nuclear weapons and to reject it.”

Statements by Obama and other U.S. officials were “tantamount to nuclear blackmail against a non-nuclear-weapon state” and breached U.S. obligations under the U.N. charter to refrain from the threat or use of force, Khazaee said.

“Such remarks by the U.S. officials display once again the reliance of the U.S. government on (a) militarized approach to various issues, to which the threats of use of nuclear weapons are not a solution at all,” he added.

They also posed “a real threat to international peace and security and undermine the credibility” of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the envoy said.

Obama is urging other global powers to agree to a fourth round of U.N. sanctions against Iran over its refusal to halt nuclear work that the West suspects is aimed at making bombs, a charge Iran denies.

He pressed the case for sanctions at a 47-nation nuclear summit in Washington on Tuesday, at which he won pledges from world leaders to take joint action to prevent terrorist groups from getting nuclear weapons.

But Khazaee said that Iran, as a victim of weapons of mass destruction — a reference to Iraq’s use of poison gas against it in a 1980-88 war — was firmly committed to a world free from such weapons.

The United States, the only country to have used nuclear weapons — against Japan in World War Two — “continues to illegitimately designate a non-nuclear weapon state as target of its nuclear weapons and contemplates military plans accordingly,” he said.

U.N. members “should not condone or tolerate such nuclear blackmail in (the) 21st century,” the Iranian envoy said.

(Editing by Vicki Allen) Source

Well since the brought up the subject of the Summit. Here is some information.

Factbox: China’s civilian and military nuclear activities

April  2010

(Reuters) – Chinese President Hu Jintao is among the prominent leaders attending a two-day nuclear security summit opening on Monday in Washington D.C.

The meeting hosted by President Barack Obama will focus on making atomic facilities and materials safer from theft and terrorist attack, not broader questions about arms controls and cuts.

Here are some facts about China’s civilian and military nuclear activities:

GROWING NUCLEAR POWER SECTOR

China has 11 working nuclear reactors producing 9.1 gigawatts of power, but wants to raise capacity to 60 GW by 2020, over 5 percent of the total installed power generating capacity.

To reach that goal, China has 17 reactors under construction, and 124 more on the drawing boards, according to the World Nuclear Association (WNA) industry group.

The expansion will cause Chinese demand for uranium to rise ten fold by 2030, making it the world’s second biggest consumer after the United States, according the WNA forecasts.

MODEST BUT MODERNISING NUCLEAR ARSENAL

China staged its first nuclear test explosion in October 1964. It joined the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1992, and is one of the five powers under that treaty with the right to have nuclear weapons.

Like all the nuclear weapons states, China is secretive about its arsenal. Foreign intelligence and expert estimates of its total stockpile of nuclear warheads vary from about 200 to 240 warheads.

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute has estimated that by 2009 China had 186 deployed strategic nuclear warheads, compared to 2,202 for the United States and 2,787 for Russia.

The other Reuters story

Factbox: Who are the world’s nuclear powers? April 13 2010

says.

CHINA: China is estimated to have about 250 strategic and tactical nuclear weapons and sufficient stocks of fissile material to produce a much larger arsenal. It acceded to the NPT in 1992 as a nuclear weapon state. China has pledged not to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapons states.

According to the START counting rules, as of January 2009 the United States had an estimated 5,200 nuclear warheads and 2,700 operationally deployed warheads (2,200 strategic and 500 nonstrategic).

The 2002 Treaty of Moscow (the Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty, or SORT) between the United States and Russia, states that each country must reduce their deployed strategic nuclear forces to 1,700-2,200 warheads by 2012.

RUSSIA: Russia is estimated to have around 14,000 nuclear weapons, although the total is uncertain because there is no accurate count of tactical weapons. Under provisions of START I, the Russian nuclear arsenal has been reduced to around 3,909 strategic nuclear warheads as of January 2009. Source

Both stories are from Reuters but the numbers changed. So which is the truth your guess is as good as mine. It’s no wonder readers get confused. One doesn’t have to be a genius to figure out the press isn’t always truthful.

There are 9 Nuclear powers in the world. US, Russia, China, Britain, Israel, France, India, Pakistan, and recently North Korea.

The United States has also provided nuclear weapons for Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey to deploy and store, that I know of, there may be more.

Japan just discovered recently.

Japan Report: Private Agreements Allowed US to Bring Nukes


“There are no indications that China is designing, testing, or producing new nuclear weapons designs,” according to Jeffrey Lewis of the New America Foundation, a thinktank in Washington D.C., in an overview of Chinese nuclear arms policy.

But China is modernizing the means to deliver its nuclear warheads. It is gradually replacing its older, liquid-fueled ballistic nuclear-capable missiles with solid-fuel missiles, which will make launching them faster and less cumbersome.

China is also building new “Jin-class” ballistic missile submarines, capable of launching nuclear warheads while at sea.

These will replace China’s one “Xia-class” ballistic missile submarine, which experts say is in mothballs.

(Sources: Reuters; Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI); Jeffrey Lewis, “Chinese Nuclear Posture and Force Modernization”; Robert Norris and Hans Kristensen, “Chinese nuclear forces, 2008,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientist)

(Reporting by Chris Buckley; Editing by David Fox) Source

Obama hails progress at nuclear safety summit

April 13 2010

The steps taken at the nuclear safety summit in Washington D.C. will make the world a safer place, U.S. President Barack Obama said Tuesday.

“Today’s progress was possible because these leaders came not simply to talk but to take action, not simply to make pledges of future action but to commit to meaningful steps that they are prepared to implement right now,” Obama said as he wrapped up the two-day conference.

Obama said the participants all agreed to the seriousness of the threat of nuclear attacks, a change from the beginning of the summit when there was a range of views on the issue.

“Today we are declaring that nuclear terrorism is one of the most challenging threats to international security,” Obama said.

He said all nations also endorsed the goal to secure all vulnerable nuclear materials around the world in four years time.

Obama said some important achievements were reached during the summit. Canada said it would return its stockpile of enriched uranium to the United States, while Ukraine announced it will give up its entire stockpile of weapons-grade uranium by 2012 — most of it this year.

He said Chile and Mexico also announced they would give up their entire stockpile of enriched uranium, and that nations such as Argentina and Pakistan had announced steps to strengthen port security and prevent nuclear smuggling.

Co-operation questioned

Obama was asked by a reporter how countries that have been at odds over different issues will co-operate since everything to be done is on a voluntary basis without any binding commitment.

“The point is that we’ve got world leaders who have just announced that, in fact, this is a commitment that they’re making. I believe they take their commitments very seriously,” Obama said. “If what you’re asking is, do we have a international one-world law-enforcement mechanism, we don’t. We never have.”

Shortly after the opening of the conference, Canada, the United States and Mexico announced a plan to convert Mexico’s research reactor to low-enriched uranium from highly enriched uranium. About 11 kilograms of highly enriched uranium will be shipped from the Mexican reactor to the U.S.

Canada will contribute about $5 million to the conversion project.

Obama also announced that the U.S. is joining with Canada in calling on nations to commit $10 billion to extend a global partnership that would strengthen nuclear security around the world.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who was among 47 world leaders gathered at the meeting said that Canada has not made that request, but there have been discussions among G8 partners about the initiative.

“Canada is not the originator of the request but obviously we’re going to be looking at this request very seriously and I know all our G8 partners will do the same,” Harper said.

China may join Iran sanctions

The G8 signed on to the program at its 2002 summit in Kananaskis, Alta. Since then, the group has spent more than $600 million helping other countries decommission and secure their nuclear material.

Obama also said he is confident China will join other nations in pressing for tough new sanctions on Iran for continuing to seek nuclear weapons in defiance of the international community.

“Words have to mean something,” Obama said. “There have to be some consequences.”

Hu and Obama met for 90 minutes on Monday after which U.S. officials said the two agreed to tell their aides to work on a tough new sanctions program. However, a Chinese spokesman did not mention sanctions in his description of the meeting. Source

So who is going to disarm the US, and why should they be in control of all Uranium? Seems they are the ones making more bombs then any one.

They above all cannot be trusted with it. They are threatening a Nuclear strike and also have in the past plus all the DU they have left in every country they have invaded in recent years. They leave a trail of cancer and other illness behind everywhere they go. To trust them is like letting the fox guard the hen house. Just a really stupid thing to do.

I for one do not trust the US as far as I could throw them. Even their own citizens do not trust them.

Obama said the participants all agreed to the seriousness of the threat of nuclear attacks, a change from the beginning of the summit when there was a range of views on the issue.

He is the one doing the threatening. DUHHHHHHHHHH

This summit was nothing more then a sham, to get more on side to go after Iran. It is also a way to suck money and Uranium out of other countries.

So what is this blackmail, give me all your Uranium or I will start Nuking countries?

The fall out from any Nuclear attack not only affects the country bombed, but all the neighboring countries.  It also affects the entire world. The wind blows it goes. So when the US threatens a Nuclear attack on any country in the world it is everyone’s business.

It would also affect those living in Israel. But I guess that is OK with the Israelis they have a death wish right?  Their government is all for Nuking Iran. All intelligent citizens should however be concerned. Will they do anything?  Probably not. They will sit idly by and get radiated instead.

It would also affect China who of course does not have a death wish and would be very displeased at the thought.

The rest of the Middle East will not be impressed either. It would also affect them as well.

Obama should stop threatening,  it is illegal under International Law, no exceptions.  The US has more weapons of mass destruction then any other country in the world. They really should be monitored. Sanctioned even.

Seems the US thinks it is OK to be above the Law, the rest of us must live by.

Will the UN do anything probably not, it is run by the US watch and see?

Point of Interest

Iran needs the 20 percent-enriched uranium to fuel the Tehran Research Reactor, which produces radio medicine for cancer patients.

The country has been promised nuclear fuel for over 30 years now. Despite being a 10-percent shareholder and hence entitled to the European Gaseous Diffusion Uranium Enrichment Consortium (Eurodif)’s output, Iran has never received enriched uranium from France.

Tehran and Paris have also signed a deal, under which France is obliged to deliver 50 tons of uranium hexafluoride to Iran — another obligation France has failed to meet. Source

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Aafia Siddiqui: Victimized by American Depravity

By Stephen Lendman

April 1 2010

On February 3, 2010, after a sham trial, the Department of Justice announced Siddiqui’s conviction for “attempting to murder US nationals in Afghanistan and six additional charges.” When sentenced on May 6, she faces up to 20 years for each attempted murder charge, possible life in prison on the firearms charge, and eight years on each assault charge.

In March 2003, after visiting her family in Karachi, Pakistan, government Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agents, in collaboration with Washington, abducted Siddiqui and her three children en route to the airport for a flight to Rawalpindi, handed them over to US authorities who took them secretly to Bagram prison, Afghanistan for more than five years of brutal torture and unspeakable abuse, including vicious beatings and repeated raping.

Bogusly charged and convicted, Siddiqui was guilty only of being Muslim in America at the wrong time. A Pakistani national, she was deeply religious, very small, thoughtful, studious, quiet, polite, shy, soft-spoken, barely noticeable in a gathering, not extremist or fundamentalist, and, of course, no terrorist.

She attended MIT and Brandeis University where she earned a doctorate in neurocognitive science. She did volunteer charity work, taught Muslim children on Sundays, distributed Korans to area prison inmates, dedicated herself to helping oppressed Muslims worldwide, yet lived a quiet, unassuming nonviolent life.

Nonetheless, she was accused of being a “high security risk” for alleged Al-Qaeda connections linked to planned terrorist attacks against New York landmarks, including the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge and Empire State Building, accusations so preposterous they never appeared in her indictment.

The DOJ’s more likely interest was her supposed connection, through marriage, to a nephew of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM), the bogusly charged 9/11 mastermind who confessed after years of horrific torture. US authorities tried to use them both – to coerce KSM to link Siddiqui to Al-Qaeda, and she to admit his responsibility for 9/11 — something she knew nothing about or anything about her alleged relative.

Her trial was a travesty of justice based on the preposterous charge that in the presence of two FBI agents, two Army interpreters, and three US Army officers, she (110 pounds and frail) assaulted three of them, seized one of their rifles, opened fire at close range, hit no one, yet she was severely wounded.

No credible evidence was presented. Some was kept secret. The proceedings were carefully orchestrated. Witnesses were either enlisted, pressured, coerced, and/or bought off to cooperate, then jurors were intimidated to convict, her attorney, Elaine Whitfield Sharp, saying their verdict was “based on fear, not fact.”

Awaiting her May 6 sentencing, Siddiqui is incarcerated in harsh maximum security solitary confinement at New York’s Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC), denied all contact with friends and family, no mail or reading materials, or access to her previously allowed once a month 15 minute phone call to relatives.

Justice for Aafia Coalition (JFAC)

In February 2010, Muslim women in America, Britain, Canada, and Australia united in outrage over Siddiqui’s treatment and bogus conviction, demanding her release and exoneration.

March 28 was the seventh anniversary of her abduction, commemorated by a global day of protest, JFAC saying it was “to have events, demonstrations, letter-writing campaigns, khutbahs (sermons or public preaching), etc. in towns and cities all over the world in solidarity with Aafia” – for justice, against sadism and barbarity against an innocent woman, guilty of being a target of opportunity, not crimes she didn’t commit.

JFAC published a transcript of the March 26 Kamram Shahid-conducted Pakistan Front Line TV interview with Siddiqui family members, including her mother, Ismat, sister, Fowzia, and young son, Ahmed, who asked “why have they imprisoned her and why did they imprison me?” In response to whether he’d like to give his mother a message, he said:

“I love you and I am waiting for you (to) come back soon, if Allah permits.”

Ismat confirmed some of Aafia’s torture in shocking detail, saying:

She endured a lot, some of the worst of it including “six men… strip(ping) her naked. All her clothes would be removed. She told this to the Pakistani senators too, that they would strip her naked, then tie her hands behind her back, and then they would take her, dragging her by the hair. You cannot imagine the cruelty they have done to her. They would take her like this to the corridor and film her there.”

“After that, they observed that she would read the Qu’ran, from memory and from the book. They again would send six, seven men, who would strip her naked and misbehave etc. They took the Qu’ran and threw it at her feet and told her that only if you walk on the Qu’ran will we return (it) to you. She would cry and shout that she would not do it. Then they would beat her with their rifle butts so much that she would be bloodied. All her face and body would be injured. Then they used to pull out her hair one by one, just like this…. They threatened (to) take her to the court like this, naked.”

After “beat(ing) her so much that she bled… they made her lie on a bed. Then they tied her hands and feet – hands and feet both tied so that she (could) not even… scratch her wounds. Then they applied torture to the soles of her feet and head. They put her in some machines to make her lose her mental stability. They gave her such injections on the pretext of medical treatment.” When she pleaded not to do it, “they would make her unconscious and then give them to her. Such is (their) cruelty.”

“This epic cruelty – and look at (the) Islamic world…. They are all silent and making their palaces in Hell…. She was not even a criminal in their law. And she has done no crime. They did not accuse her of terrorism. She is not a terrorist.”

Her sister Fowzia said “It is all on tape. I am not making this up. They are sadists or whatever. All the strip searching was video-taped. (She called Aafia) a poster child for this torture and rendition,” one of many others brutalized in American prisons. Court testimony revealed that her children were also tortured, Ahmed later released on condition he say nothing, two still missing and presumed murdered. “I think even Genghis Khan did not do this,” said Fowzia.

In an August 2008 address to Pakistan’s Senate, Fowzia explained that “Aafia (can’t) get justice in the US…. They are sure to make her out to be a major terror figure to mask the five years of torture, rape and child molestation as reported by human rights groups.”

Her case is much more important than “my sister or one woman. Her torture is a crime beyond anything she was ever accused of (which was basically nothing) and this is a slap on the honor of our nation and the whole of humanity. The perpetrators of those crimes are the ones who need to be brought to account. That is the real crime of terror here.”

Fowzia appealed for Aafia’s extradition to Pakistan, despite little hope of expecting a government complicit in crime to cooperate beyond rhetoric. At first, it denied knowledge, then, after meeting with family, interior minister Faisal Saleh Hayat and other officials promised to work for her release, still denying complicity for what happened.

Because her ordeal sparked nationwide protests, Pakistan’s government is in damage control, apparently wants to shift blame to Washington, investigating officer Shahid Qureshi, in a report to the judicial magistrate, saying “FBI intelligence agents without any warrants or notice” committed the abduction — knowing full well about ISI’s complicity.

During confinement, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said Siddiqui had a kidney and her teeth removed. Her nose was broken and not properly set. Her gun shot wound was improperly treated. Reuters reported that she lost part of her intestines and still bleeds internally from poor treatment. Those around her notice she’s deathly pale because of extreme trauma and pain.

After years of horrific torture and abuse, a federal Bureau of Prisons psychological evaluation diagnosed her condition to be “depressive type psychosis” besides the destructive physical toll on her body.

World Outrage and Support

The Muslim Justice Initiative (MJI) said Siddiqui’s “recent guilty verdict… shocked and outraged masses across the globe” in announcing an April 2 online webinar discussion on her behalf, featuring her brother Mohammed, sister Fawzia, noted UK journalist and Siddiqui advocate, Yvonne Ridley, and Tina Foster, Executive Director of the International Justice Network (IJN). Information on the event can be found at muslimsforjustice.org.

On February 3, Siddiqui’s conviction date, IJN said the following:

It “represents the family of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui in the United States,” its attorneys “monitoring her trial, which began on January 19 and ended with a guilty verdict today in US Federal Court in the Southern District of New York.”

Today marks the close of another sad chapter in the life of our sister, Dr. Aafia Siddiqui. Today she was unjustly found guilty. Though she was not charged with any terrorism-related offense, Judge Berman permitted the prosecution’s witnesses to characterize our sister as a terrorist – which, based on copious (exculpatory) evidence, she clearly is not. Today’s verdict is one of the many legal errors that allowed the prosecution to build a case against our sister based on hate, rather than fact. We believe that as a result, she was denied a fair trial, and today’s verdict must be overturned on appeal.

Himself victimized by US torture, including at Bagram, author of “Enemy Combatant: A British Muslim’s Journey to Guantanamo and Back,” Moassam Begg (like others), called Aafia “the Grey Lady of Bagram because she (was) almost a ghost, a spectre whose cries and screams continue to haunt those who heard her.” So much so that for six days in 2005, male prisoners staged a hunger strike in protest.

After sentencing, her next journey may be to isolated life confinement in federal Supermax hell — according to the US Department of Justice National Institute of Corrections, intended for the most dangerous criminals, guilty of “repetitive assaultive or violent institutional behavior,” the worst of the worst who threaten society or national security.

Hardly the place for a woman called shy, soft-spoken, deeply religious, polite, studious, thoughtful, and considerate of others, especially persecuted Muslims being brutalized in America’s global gulag, courtesy of an administration that pays lip service to ending torture but practices it as sadistically as George Bush and the worst of history’s tyrants.

Source

Related

Dr Aafia Siddiqui found guilty

Kidnapped tortured for years and now in an American prison.

Even her children were in prison and tortured.

This is a travesty.  This is the American way.

Bush is Scott free in spite of the fact he is responsible for the torture of hundreds or maybe even thousands and the deaths  of over a million  or two million  people.

There sure is something wrong with this picture.

Why haven’t the people who Tortured and Raped Aafia Siddiqui not been charged and thrown in jail?????????

Why is that. Why are they free?????

If they are allowed to go free we definitely live in a sick, demented, sadistic  world. It says a lot about American justice doesn’t it?

Recent

Two-Thirds of Boys in Afghan Jails Are Brutalised, Study Finds

Israel bombards Gaza – and threatens worse

Israel Gags News on Extra-Judicial Killings

Update April 2 2010: Disease Threatens Haitian Children

Foreign control of large swathes of the Sinai Peninsula obtained through fraud and Israeli involvement

Canada and the European Union: Advancing the Transatlantic Agenda

Covering up American War Crimes, From Baghdad to New York

By Charles Glass

March 25, 2010

BBC correspondent John Simpson reported on March 4 that the number of defects in newborn babies in the Iraqi town of Fallujah had risen dramatically since the American assault there at the end of 2004. Some people in the town blame the abnormalities in their children on whatever chemicals the US Marines may have used in their conquest of the Sunni Muslim redoubt. Dr. Samira al-Ani, a paediatrician at Fallujah’s General Hospital, told Simpson that two or three children were born each day with serious cardiac problems. Before the first American attack on Fallujah in two years earlier, she noticed similar ailments in one baby every two months. “I have nothing documented,” she admitted, “but I can tell you that year by year the number [is] increasing.”

The Iraqi government, which supported the American attack with troops of its own, denies there has been any increase. “The US military authorities,” Simpson said, “are absolutely correct when they say they are not aware of any official reports indicating an increase in birth defects in Fallujah—no official reports exist.” Nor are any likely to. By any standard, though, this was a big story. John Simpson is a serious journalist and a friend, and I listened carefully to his report that morning on the BBC World Service. I waited in vain for the New York Times, Washington Post, and other serious American journals to take up the story. All I read was a brief item on the CBS News website quoting Simpson.
“The US government does not want it known that it was using chemicals on human beings in a country whose leader it overthrew ostensibly because he retained the capacity to do the same thing.”

The US denied it anyway, perhaps out of habit. Military spokesman Michael Fitzpatrick responded predictably, “No studies to date have indicated environmental issues resulting in specific health issues.” But, as Simpson said, there have not been any studies. American spokesmen were reluctantly forced to admit the use of White Phosphorous—or Willie Pete, as the troops call it—in Fallujah when someone noticed that Field Artillery Magazine, a U. S. Army publication, had already documented its deployment in its March/April 2005 edition. The magazine wrote, “We fired ‘shake and bake’ missions at the insurgents, using WP [White Phosphorous] to flush them out and HE [High Explosives] to take them out.” After Dahr Jamail, a brilliant freelance journalist, reported during the battle in 2004 that American forces were using WP on Iraqis, Project Censored gave him an award for the second most under-reported story of the year. It is still under-reported, but it is not difficult to understand why. The US government does not want it known that it was using chemicals on human beings in a country whose leader it overthrew ostensibly because he retained the capacity to do the same thing. And the US Treasury does not want to compensate foreigners for any harm its troops might have done. Let us turn now to New York and what has become the secular-sacred site of the former World Trade Center.

The government this month finally settled claims by 10,000 workers on the Ground Zero clean-up by agreeing to pay $657.5 million for the debilitating effects of the asbestos and other poisons they were exposed to. That’s an average of $65,750 a head, less the lawyers’ share. It doesn’t sound like much, but they’re doing better than anyone in Fallujah. There are precedents for government resistance to admitting responsibility. American Vietnam veterans crippled by the dioxin they dropped all over Vietnam waited many years for the government to acknowledge their plight. At first, the government resisted the connection between dioxin and the veterans’ cancer, Parkinson’s, and other fatal illnesses. By the time the government paid anything, the vets were observing that their children were being born with severe birth defects from dioxin in Agent Orange and other herbicides unleashed on the South Vietnamese countryside. Their children’s congenital deformities included spina bifida and other horrors that may go for generations to come. The Department of Veterans Affairs didn’t send them any money until 2003—thirty years after the last barrel of poison was dropped on Vietnam. Even that was restricted to 7,520 of the 99,226 veterans who claimed to have been affected.

While dioxin disabled thousands of American service personnel who merely handled it, as many as 4.8 million Vietnamese endured twenty-eight million gallons of toxic rain that drenched their skins, soaked their soil, and polluted their rivers and groundwater for ten years. As with the American war vets, then-unborn children were also affected. Vietnam has one of the world’s highest levels of birth defects, concentrated in the south where the American forced deployed most of the chemicals. Five children out of one hundred are born with serious abnormalities, including missing limbs, spina bifida, twisted or missing internal organs and grotesque malformations that have made their survival impossible. While reluctantly accepting a link between dioxin and birth defects in American service personnel’s children, the US denies any connection when it comes to Vietnamese. I guess it’s just one of those strange anomalies that nature throws up every so often, like Los Angeles police chief Daryl Gates’ observation that the disproportion in African-American deaths from the police choking was due to the fact that “blacks might be more likely to die from chokeholds because their arteries do not open as fast as they do on ‘normal people’.” Perhaps Vietnamese born after 1961, when Operation Ranch Hand to defoliate South Vietnam began, were just not normal anyway.

The abnormal people of Iraq remember that the US denied Saddam Hussein’s use of chemical weapons on its Kurdish citizens. In those days, Saddam was an American ally. When freelance journalist Gwynne Roberts brought back the soil samples from Hallabja that proved Saddam has gassed the Kurds, the US blamed the Iranians. That assessment became inoperative when condemning Saddam was politically useful. Now that the US has been caught using chemicals in the same country that the monster Saddam did, it admits using them on “insurgents” but not on civilians. It is hard in a city to blast chemicals at the people with guns and miss those who don’t have any. No matter. The US and Iraqi governments are blocking an investigation that would prove one way or another that White Phosphorous did any harm to Iraqi mothers and their children. It’s unlikely they’ll receive a cent for the next fifty years, if ever. But why the hell isn’t this a big story?

Source

There are a number of links to stories about the US and toxic poisoning of countries they have been in including Iraq.  One link has pictures of victims of White Phosphorous.  Not very pretty.

War “Pollution” Equals Millions of Deaths

A few more War Crimes. Many teachers were murdered as well.

Destroying Educational Institutions or Using Them For Military Purposes Is A War Crime

Have a Nice World War, Folks

March 25 2010

The United States has invaded Africa. US troops have entered Somalia, extending their war front from Afghanistan and Pakistan to Yemen and now the Horn of Africa. In preparation for an attack on Iran, American missiles have been placed in four Persian Gulf states, and “bunker-buster” bombs are said to be arriving at the US base on the British island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean.

In Gaza, the sick and abandoned population, mostly children, is being entombed behind underground American-supplied walls in order to reinforce a criminal siege. In Latin America, the Obama administration has secured seven bases in Colombia, from which to wage a war of attrition against the popular democracies in Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and Paraguay. Meanwhile, the secretary of “defence” Robert Gates complains that “the general [European] public and the political class” are so opposed to war they are an “impediment” to peace.

I guess they really like war,  torturing and murdering innocent people.

They just recently had people in 150 cities across the US protesting against War. Maybe they should listen to the people instead of the war machine.

The US Government must stop creating more needless wars and end the ones they are in.

http://www.workers.org/2010/us/antiwar_0401/

http://www.thecorsaironline.com/opinion/anit-war-protestors-urge-soldiers-to-resist-deployment-1.1277316

Not only do they cover up their own war crimes they attempt to  cover up
Israels war crimes as well. They help
Israel commit war crimes and crimes against humanity, with money and weapons of mass destruction.

Birds of a feather.

More than 250 Congress Members Declare Commitment to ‘Unbreakable’ U.S.-Israel Bond
By Natasha Mozgavaya,
More than 250 members of Congress have signed on to a declaration reaffirming their commitment to “the unbreakable bond that exists between [U.S.] and the State of Israel”, in a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Source
Obama Squeezed Between Israel and Iran
By Pepe Escobar
The AIPAC 2010 show predictably was yet one more “bomb Iran” special; but it was also a call to arms against the Barack Obama administration, as far as the turbo-charging of the illegal colonization of East Jerusalem is concerned.
Source
Judea Declares War On Obama
By Gilad Atzmon
Jewish lobbies certainly do not hold back when it comes to pressuring states, world leaders and even super powers. AIPAC’s behavior last week reminded me of the Jewish declaration of war against Nazi Germany in 1933.
Source
Israeli Intelligence, Our Constant Companion
By Jeff Stein
Acting on a complaint that the document was circulating on Capitol Hill, the FBI discovered that an Israeli diplomat had acquired the paper and given it to officials at AIPAC, the lobbying group whose annual convention drew both Netanyahu and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton this week.
Source

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Warning Facebook Strikes again, this time a Virus

Obama blocks delivery of bunker-busters to Israel

Full Israeli  El Al flight took off on 9/11 from JFK to Tel Aviv

Dubai police chief to seek Netanyahu arrest

Israel “blackmails Gaza’s patients to turn them into collaborators”

American Civil Rights Org Fights Against Israeli Desecration of Ancient Cemetery

Britain expelled Israeli diplomat over fake passports used in Dubai

Netanyahu Takes His Siege Against Human Rights NGOs to the US

Canada: Stephen Harper’s Assault on Democracy

Attempted Citizen’s Arrest of Alleged War Criminal George W. Bush in a Canadian Court

Erroneous Reports Deny our Veterans Benefits

Disapproval and Lawsuit against Egyptian “Wall of shame”

Egyptian move to ‘barricade’ Palestinians slammed
January 12, 2010
By Asim Hussain

LAHORE

NOTED Pakistani Islamic scholars have joined their counterparts elsewhere in the Muslim world to condemn Cairo for constructing a huge metal and concrete wall along its border with Gaza which will literally starve Palestinians to death.

Religious clerics from a wide spectrum of Muslim schools of thought have criticised Cairo which, they said, had been acting as a stooge in the hands of Washington and Tel Aviv. They called upon Muslim Ummah to rise to the occasion, calling for their urgent help in the name of Muslim brotherhood and Islamic principles of helping out the oppressed.

They also criticized Al Azhar University, Egypt’s largest Islamic institution, for issuing an edict justifying the construction of wall in the name of national security. Pakistani scholars praised those few Muslim scholars of the world who dared to raise voice against Cairo and Al-Azhar such as Qatar’s cleric Allama Yusuf Qardhawi, Yemen’s Sheikh Abdul Majid Zandani, Cairo University’s Dr Abdul Saboor Shaheen, Kuwait’s Sheikh Hamid bin Abdullah Al-Ali and Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan’s Syed Munawwar Hasan. They have condemned rest of the Muslim world, particularly the states who are keeping a criminal silence over the issue.

Many Pakistani clerics and religious groups will be holding protest meetings in coming days to condemn Cairo’s move, while some of the big institutions such as Jamia Ashrafia – the largest university affiliated with Deobandy school of thought in Lahore – has already held meetings, condemning Cairo for such a blatant violation of Islam and demanding immediate reversal of the decision.

Cairo has already completed initial phase of 10-kilometre long wall which will also go down 50 to 60 feet into the ground to cut off the tunnels which Tel Aviv accuses Palestinians of using to smuggle arms along with food supplies into Gaza. Cairo has also practically shut its border crossings with Gaza under Tel Aviv’s demands. This porous border was the only available link of Gaza with the outside world since Israel constructed a similar wall on Gaza boundary with the occupied lands, turning the area into a literal prison camp.

Renowned scholar and chairman Central Royat Hilal Committee, Mufti Munibur Rehman said Cairo’s move could provide Israel a fresh license for a renewed spate of Palestinians’ genocide which, God forbid, could result into complete wiping out of Palestinian Muslims from the face of the world besides turning entire Palestine into Israel.

Talking to The News, the head of Pakistan’s official moon sighting committee, said the Egyptian wall could prove more disastrous than those of Israel and Germany since it could change the geography of the world on a large scale. Terming the wall against Islamic principles of Muslim brotherhood and helping the oppressed, he said: “Why has Cairo cited a flimsy argument like national security for clamping prison like restrictions on 1.5 million Palestinian Muslims languishing under extreme Israeli-Egyptian blockade for the last many years that caused deaths to thousands of patients, infants and other Palestinians”.

Mufti Munib, who is also the head of the board governing seminaries belonging to Barelvi school of thought, noted that Cairo had always been acting as US-protÈgÈ since the signing of Camp David accord, carrying out Washington’s agenda in the region. He said besieged Gaza people never threatened Egyptian security though they managed to smuggle small amounts of food, milk and medicines etc. through Egyptian borders in their attempts to ward off serious scarcity of vital supplies.

“Cairo’s move to construct Israel-like wall against Palestinians is heart rending for entire Muslim Ummah, and we in Pakistan are so deeply grieved that we don’t have words to condemn Mobarak administration,” said Hafiz Fazl-e-Rahim, head of Jamia Ashrafia, Lahore, while talking to The News. He said Cairo not only turned against fellow Muslims but also betrayed Allah Almighty for giving away the first Qibla (House of worship) of Muslims to the enemies literally in a platter, instead of waging jihad for its recovery.

Maulana Abdul Maalik, noted scholar and president Jamiat Ittehad-ul-Ulema, termed Cairo’s wall as anti-Islamic, anti-humanity, and in serious violation of rights given by Islam, besides the ‘much talked-about’ fundamental human rights. He said such a move that allowed enemies of Islam to commit mass murders of Muslims was highly condemnable and entire Ummah should raise voice against it.

Maulana Abdul Maalik equated Cairo’s move with Islamabad’s U-turn on Afghan policy providing vital support to US forces to overthrow Taliban’s Islamic regime in Afghanistan in the wake of 9-11. “Hosni Mobarak’s action is similar to the strategic and logistic support given by General Pervez Musharraf to the US forces invading Afghanistan resulting into massacre of over a million fellow Muslims,” he said.

Maulana Abdul Maalik also slammed the religious edict issued to Cairo by Egypt’s largest Islamic university justifying the construction of wall on the plea of national security. He said any edict allowing committing blatant violations of Quran, Sunnah and Islamic principles of brotherhood, besides the ‘world known’ human rights, had no value in the eyes of Muslim scholars, since anything like that is believed to have been issued under government pressure.

Noted Shia scholar, Allama Abdul Jalil Naqvi, said Cairo’s vital help in likely massacre of millions of Palestinian Muslims was a matter of great shame for the entire nation. Talking to The News, the leader of the largest religious party of Shia sect in Pakistan, said Egypt had always been a partner in Israeli and US genocide of Palestinians despite serious protests by Muslim ummah. Cairo’s latest move to construct an iron wall on the remaining boundaries of Gaza is nothing but pure enmity of Islam, he said.

Naqvi wondered under what Shariah Al-Azhar justified and aided Israeli plans of wiping out entire Palestinian population of Gaza. He said Al-Azhar appeared to be working under the slavery of Cairo rulers instead of Allah Almighty.

Source

Egyptian Activists File Suit To Stop Gaza Wall

By Mohamed Abdel Salam

January 7 2010

Cairo: A former Egyptian ambassador, Ibrahim Yousry, in addition to 250 Egyptian and foreign political activists, jurists and parliamentarians filed a lawsuit before an administrative court on Monday against both President Mubarak, Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif, and Ministers of the Interior and Foreign Affairs, Ahmed Aboul Gheit and Habib Al- Adli. The suit urged them, first, to suspend the decision to build a steel separating wall along Egypt’s border with the Gaza Strip and, second, to stop the Egyptian government’s decision to close the Rafah crossing.

Political forces said in their lawsuit that the Egyptian Government is violating tenets of international law and human rights charters, particularly the 1907 Hague Rules, the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 and customary rules of international law which are supported and reinforced by the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

The lawsuit was signed by representatives of both conservative and liberal political forces, led by Ambassador Ibrahim Yousry, who initiated a lawsuit to stop exporting Egyptian gas to Israel, as well as a number of other activists, including Dr. Abdel Halim Kandil, Dr. Abdel Jalil Mostafa, Dr. Karima El-Hefnawy, MP Mohamed Al Omda. The group also includes journalists, a activists from the 6th of April Movement, along with a number of French, American and European activists.

For his part, Ibrahim Yousry told local newspapers that all political movements have confirmed their opposition to the wall and the closure of the Rafah crossing and the participation of the Egyptian Government in support of the Israeli siege of a million Palestinians.

The activists, after finishing the proceedings before the administrative court of the State Council in Giza, went to the Egyptian Attorney General and organized a protest in front of his office, chanting slogans like “stop the wall… break the siege”, ” tunnels are legal as long as the convoys are banned” and “wall of shame… humiliation of the siege”.

Source

Jordon Activists protest Gaza wall at Egyptian embassy Jan 12 2010

Come the iron wall-Gaza Tunnels only used for Necessities

Israel breaking the Law yet again : Night raid in Ramallah to arrest International Solidarity Movement media coordinator

Viva Palestina Update George Galloway and Ron McKay Deported from Cairo

55 activists injured in clashes in Egypt/Egyptian authorities called in over 2,000 riot police to block Viva Palestina convoy in port of Al-Arish

Egyptian authorities have temporarily opened the Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip GFM

Published in: on January 12, 2010 at 1:12 am  Comments Off on Disapproval and Lawsuit against Egyptian “Wall of shame”  
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US court extends Dr. Aafia Siddiqui’s sanity probe

December 19, 2008

NEW YORK
A US court has extended a probe into whether a Pakistani neuroscientist is mentally fit to stand trial on charges that she tried to murder US officers in Afghanistan.

Judge Richard Berman said the federal court in New York would meet again February 23 after psychiatrists for the prosecution and the defence have had time to evaluate Aafia Siddiqui’s state of mind.

Berman said that psychiatric evaluations should first decide  “the issue of competence” and also make a “recommendation to the  future cause of action.”

Siddiqui, a US-educated scientist whose family lives in Karachi, was deported in August from Afghanistan to New York and is currently being treated at a government psychiatric hospital in Texas.

Berman said that he believed Siddiqui, who was shot in the stomach during her allegedly failed murder attempt in Afghanistan, was in good hands. “She’s in a supportive environment.”

According to defence attorney Elizabeth Fink, Siddiqui, 36, is suffering hallucinations that feature her dead or missing children.

But Fink also said that “from what I see… she is in the best situation she can be.”

Prosecutors allege Siddiqui was first detained in July by Afghan police and that shortly after, while in custody, she grabbed a rifle and fired on visiting US officers.

Fink says that Siddiqui is not only innocent of those charges, but the victim of five years in secret US or Afghan custody — an experience responsible for her current mental illness.

Source

There are still no reports as to where her children are.

They could be in prison for all we know.

Maybe they are being  tortured or dead.

Where are her children?

The Abduction, Secret Detention, Torture, and Repeated Raping of Aafia Siddiqui

SHC adjourns petition seeking return of Dr Aafia Siddiqui

The Persecution of Syed Fahad Hashmi and Aafia Siddiqui

Sindh High Court issues notice to respondents in Aafia Siddiqui case

Last Guantanamo trial of Bush era is delayed

Published in: on December 19, 2008 at 8:35 am  Comments Off on US court extends Dr. Aafia Siddiqui’s sanity probe  
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The Persecution of Syed Fahad Hashmi

By Stephen Lendman
December 10, 2008

It’s a familiar story. A Muslim American is accused of terrorism for supporting Al Queda and conspiracy to provide support for a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO). The prosecution asks for the maximum sentence. Once again, an innocent man is arrested, charged, indicted and convicted with no substantiating evidence except for what prosecutors say they have. All of it is bogus and much classified and withheld from the defense. Witnesses are enlisted to cooperate and proceedings orchestrated to intimidate juries to convict. Justice again is denied. Those accused bear the mark of cain for being Muslim in America at the wrong time – especially if they’re devout, activist, and for some prominent and engaged in charitable work.

The mainstream portrays Hashmi as a “jihadist” and believer in “radical Islamic ideas” because of his association with the now defunct (since 2004) London-based Al Muhajiroun (The Immigrants) and a related still active New York-based Islamic Thinkers Society.

Its web site describes it as “less than a handful of Muslims….who give public da’wah (inviting others to Islam through words and deeds).” They “command the good, forbid the evil and expose falsehood from every angle. (Their) struggle is always (through) intellectual & political non-violent means.” Their activities play out peacefully on New York streets. In Times Square and Jackson Heights where they give out leaflets and display posters and banners related to spiritual, social, economic, and political issues. It’s their constitutional First Amendment right – our most fundamental one without which all others are at risk.

Compare their ideology to America’s dominant Christian Right:

— militarism; war; and apocalyptic violence;

— an abhorrence of democracy;

— ending constitutional government;

— Christian tyranny based on “free market” fundamentalism;

— racial hatred;

— white Christian supremacy; their divine right to rule;

— a Christian utopia under Christian dogma with no legal or social protections;

— male gender dominance;

— anti-choice;

— anti-gay;

— subservience to the movement’s leadership with no free and independent thought; all non-believers are called heretics;

— mysticism and magic over proved scientific fact; a utopian world of prophets;

— the rejection of secular humanism; reason; ethics, social equity and justice; and a free and open society; and

— a final apocalyptic victory of their ideology over “evil” non-believers.

Syed Fahad Hashmi’s Background

His friends strongly support him and say charges and media accusations against him are false and misleading. They call him humble, devout, attentive to studies, and accommodative to others and their needs – Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

He’s victimized and innocent of all charges but has yet to be tried. Born in Karachi, Pakistan, he became known as Fahad. At age 3, his family emigrated to America and settled in Flushing, New York. He attended public schools and the State University of New York (SUNY), Stony Brook. He then transferred to Brooklyn College and in 2003 earned a BA in political science.

Devout in his faith, he became active in the Muslim community as an advocate for Islamic issues. After college, he enrolled in London Metropolitan University and received a master’s degree in 2006. On June 6, his ordeal began when UK police arrested him at Heathrow airport as he awaited his flight home to Pakistan. Subsequently he was held as a Category A prisoner – defined as those considered highly dangerous to the public and/or national security. He was kept under draconian conditions in Southeast London’s Belmarsh prison where he experienced extreme deprivation as follows:

— solitary confinement for 23 hours a day;

— 24-hour electronic monitoringl

— no access to fresh air; and

— only occasionally given one hour of “recreation” inside a cage.

He was also placed under special administrative measures (the UK version of American-style SAMs) under which:

— he was denied communication with other prisoners, lawyers, family, the media or anyone else outside prison;

— for the most part, given no reading material or any news from outside;

— prevented from regular praying;

— refused medications and medical treatment;

— threatened and abused by guards;

— treated like a menace to society; a wild beast; a pariah for his faith and activism.

He was effectively buried alive in a virtual tomb as a consequence, making him and others like him no match against society’s jihad against Islam.

“United States of America v. Syed Hashmi, a/k/a Fahad”

On May 25, 2007, Fahad was extradited to America on terrorism charges. On May 26, the Department of Justice charged him as follows:

Count One – “Conspiracy to Provide Material Support Or Resources To A Foreign Terrorist Organization;”

Count Two – “Providing and Attempting To Provide Material Support Or Resources To A Foreign Terrorist Organization;”

Count Three – “Conspiracy To Make Or Receive A Contribution Of Funds, Goods, Or Services To, And For The Benefit Of, Al Qaeda;” and

Count Four – “Making Or Receiving A Contribution Of Funds, Goods, Or Services To, And For The Benefit Of, Al Qaeda.”

An accompanying press release read:

“From January 2004 through May 2006, HASHMI, 27, a United States citizen, provided support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization, namely al Qaeda. In connection with these charges, HASHMI assisted al Qaeda by providing military gear to others who then transported the gear to al Qaeda associates in South Waziristan, Pakistan. HASHMI also agreed with others to provide military gear to al Qaeda to be used by al Qaeda to fight against United States forces in Afghanistan….The total maximum sentence for the charges against HASHMI is 50 years imprisonment.”

On May 26, 2007, Fahad was presented in US Magistrate’s Court and on May 30 arraigned before Manhattan US District Court Judge Loretta Preska (appointed by GHW Bush and a close family friend). Supporters offered to put up $500,000 in bail. Fahad’s lawyer presented prosecution witness statements that supported his innocence. Michael Garcia, US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, didn’t refute them, yet claimed “we cannot give him bail because he doesn’t respect American law….he believes Allah’s law is superior.” This said about a non-violent student with no prior arrests or record of wrongdoing.

Fahad was denied bail for his faith and activism, for being a devout Muslim, for believing God’s law is sacrosanct. For feeling and behaving no differently than devout Christians, Jews or members of other faiths. Nonetheless, Judge Preska said she had to take his beliefs into account and deny him bail even though preceding Fahad’s hearing, she agreed to a pre-arranged plea bargain for a convicted drug dealer – because (as she stated) he turned to the Bible during detention and bettered himself.

Fahad is a student, not a terrorist or supporter of violence. All charges against him are bogus. He wasn’t charged with providing money or resources for terrorism or being an Al Queda member. Instead he was targeted for his beliefs and for letting an old acquaintance – Junaid Babar – stay in his London apartment for about two weeks in 2005.

Babar was alleged to have kept some raincoats, ponchos, and waterproof socks in luggage he stored  there. DOJ claimed he gave them to a high-ranking Al Queda member. No evidence connects Fahad in any way if he did. He has no association with individuals or groups engaged in “terrorism.” Nonetheless, he was so charged.

Junaid Babar

As it turned out, he’s a dubious character indeed – a  government cooperator paid to testify against targeted Muslims and nicknamed “Supergrass” by the UK media. He was used in Britain against Omar Khyam and other Muslim men in the so-called Fertilizer Case – the supposed plot to bomb a London nightclub and shopping center with a half-ton of ammonium nitrate. Charges were largely bogus but led to the arrest and conviction of targeted “bombers.” Some, that is, not others let loose throwing into question the validity of any plot at all.

At trial, it was learned that Babar met with FBI agents in 2004 and agreed to be a government cooperator – because in June that year he was indicted and pled guilty to four counts of conspiring to and providing and attempting to provide material support or resources to terrorists. A fifth count as well for providing funds, goods, or services for the benefit of Al Queda. In return for a reduced sentence, he agreed to a plea bargain. It requires him to provide “substantial assistance,” including testifying against other Muslims like Fahad. He’s an innocent man whose only recent association with Babar was the two week period in his apartment during which time nothing nefarious happened or was discussed. Nor is Fahad connected with Babar’s charged offenses.

Fahad’s Confinement and Upcoming Trial

Fahad is incarcerated at Manhattan’s Metropolitan Correction Center in solitary confinement in its Special Housing Unit. In October 2007, SAMs were imposed as in Britain to punish and isolate him from family, friends and nearly all human contact. They’re the same draconian conditions he experienced at Belmarsh.

Less than 50 inmates in the Federal Bureau of Prisons population are under these constraints. The practice was established in 1996. They can be imposed for a year, then renewed for additional one-year periods. Before 9/11, 120 days was the maximum.

Visitations were denied him for many months. They’re now severely limited to pre-cleared lawyers and immediate family only for short periods. His reading is also restricted to designated newspaper sections 30 days after publishing. No radio or TV news is permitted or participation in group prayer. Overall he’s subjected to extreme deprivation under outrageous conditions for anyone and outlandish ones for a non-violent innocent man, guilty only of being Muslim at the wrong time in America.

On November 19, Fahad’s attorney, Sean Maher, petitioned Judge Preska to reverse or lessen his harsh conditions. Whatever the ruling, it will test what Harold Reynolds wrote in the October 29 New York Law Journal – whether Barack Obama will bring justice to “thousands of….men and women (like Fahad) cut off from access to their families, tortured, humiliated….and kept off stage to this day by Bush’s resistant administration.”

Fahad’s next court date is on December 17th – at US District Court, 500 Pearl Street, New York. The freefahad.com web site urges supporters for him and his co-defendant, Dr. Aafia Siddiqui (known also as “Prisoner 650” at Afghanistan’s infamous Bagram prison where those held were brutally tortured), to attend and “stand up against oppression.”

Dr. Aafia Siddiqui – “Prisoner 650”

A brief word about Aafia. She’s a highly educated researcher with a doctorate in genetics from MIT. She mysteriously disappeared from Karachi in March 2003 with her three children, after which Pakistani officials denied any knowledge of her whereabouts. It was later learned she was at Bagram under draconian conditions with her children (aged one month to seven years). She’s incarcerated now in New York, but it’s not known if her children are still alive and if so where they’re held.

Human rights organizations, British journalist Yvonne Ridley, and MP Lord Nazir raised questions about her detention, and, according to Nazir “she (was) physically tortured and continuously raped by the officers at the prison” – for over four years. Chalk it up to “Western values” that (in a post-9/11 climate) view Muslims as sub-humans to be subjected to unlimited degradations.

Ridley called Aafia a “grey lady” “because she (was) almost a ghost, a spectre whose cries and screams continue to haunt those who heard her. This would never happen to a Western Woman.” It did to Aafia, and her ordeal continues under US detention.

The Constitutionality of SAMs

On June 24, 1974, the US Supreme Court ruled 5-1-3 in Pell v. Procunier that appellants’ (four prison inmates and three journalists) First Amendment face-to-face interview rights weren’t violated by a California Department of Corrections regulation (415.071) stating: “(p)ress and other media interviews with specific individual inmates will not be permitted.” However, the Court held that inmates have alternative ways of communicating with the media and others on the outside, thus implying that prison authorities may not prohibit them.

On April 29, 1974, the High Court ruled 9-0 in Procunier v. Martinez for appellees (prison inmates). They challenged California Department of Corrections mail censorship regulations and its ban against use of law students and paralegals to conduct attorney-client interviews with inmates. These prohibitions violate First and Fourteenth Amendment rights – the First with regard to free expression and right of prison inmates to communicate with persons outside the penal system. The latter guaranteeing everyone (citizens and non-citizens) due process rights and “equal protection of the laws.”

Sixth Amendment rights are also at issue. They guarantee a speedy trial before an impartial jury in all criminal cases and right as well, not just to counsel but to “effective assistance of counsel.” They also assure the opportunity between defendant and counsel to prepare an adequate defense and have one at trial. Despite ruling against petitioner in Avery v. Alabama (1939), the Supreme Court held that:

“denial of opportunity for appointed counsel to confer, to consult with the accused, and to prepare (a proper) defense could convert the appointment of counsel into a sham, and nothing more than a formal compliance with the Constitution’s requirement that an accused be given the assistance of counsel.”

In Powell v. Alabama (1932), the Supreme Court (for the first time) addressed the “effective assistance of counsel” issue. It ruled that a defendant has the right to “the guiding hand of counsel at every step in the proceedings against him” under the Fourteenth Amendment’s due process clause. It noted that this right “is not discharged by an assignment (of counsel) at such time or under such circumstances as to preclude the giving of effective aid in the preparation and trial of the case.” It reversed the convictions and sentences of the so-called “Scotsboro Boys,” nine black youths falsely accused of raping two white women.

In two succeeding rulings, the High Court set two “effective assistance” standards. In Strickland v. Washington (1984), it established a dual approach:

— whether or not counsel’s performance was adequate or deficient; and

— if the latter deprived a defendant of a fair trial, including if counsel’s assistance was minimal or if the state interfered with adequate client – attorney preparations.

In United States v. Cronic (1984), the Court further noted that “(t)here are….circumstances….so likely to prejudice the accused that the cost of litigating their effect in a particular case is unjustified.” They include:

— “the complete denial of counsel;”

— where “counsel entirely fails to subject the prosecution’s case to meaningful adversarial testing;”

— “when counsel was either totally absent, or prevented from assisting the accused during a critical state of the proceeding (including proper trial preparation);” and

— “when counsel labors under an actual conflict of interest.”

By severely restricting Fahad’s adequate time to confer with counsel; withholding state evidence to be used against him; its questionable validity as well; and how and from whom it was obtained, prosecutors are in violation of the letter and spirit of the Constitution:

— Fahad’s Fourteenth Amendment due process right as well; and

— assurance he’ll receive judicial fairness in a US federal court. In addition,

— his Eight Amendment protection against cruel and unusual punishment by his isolation;

— his First Amendment free expression rights; and

— his Sixth Amendment ones for a speedy trial with “effective assistance of counsel.”

Upcoming Trial

Trial dates were set and postponed. It’s now scheduled for sometime in spring 2009. Under SAMs, his lawyers can’t discuss his case publicly, including supposed “evidence” they were finally able to see – some, that is, but not all. What’s withheld is still classified and is described by the prosecution as “voluminous.” Most of it is from recorded phone calls, conversations and the like plus testimony from Junaid Babar and other witnesses DOJ intends to call. It’s the usual strategy to intimidate juries to convict and what awaits Fahad at his trial.

In the meantime, he and Aafia are isolated under draconian conditions in a nation priding itself as a model democracy – except for Muslim victims of the “War on Terrorism.” Justice for them assures justice denied.

Source

Last Guantanamo trial of Bush era is delayed

141 states support Depleted Uranium Ban

Campaign Against Depleted Uranium

Sign Petition to Ban DU

What is DU?

  • Depleted Uranium is a waste product of the nuclear enrichment process.
  • After natural uranium has been ‘enriched’ to concentrate the isotope U235 for use in nuclear fuel or nuclear weapons, what remains is DU.
  • The process produces about 7 times more DU than enriched uranium.

Despite claims that DU is much less radioactive than natural uranium, it actually emits about 75% as much radioactivity. It is very dense and when it strikes armour it burns (it is ‘pyrophoric’). As a waste product, it is stockpiled by nuclear states, which then have an interest in finding uses for it.

DU is used as the ‘penetrator’ – a long dart at the core of the weapon – in armour piercing tank rounds and bullets. It is usually alloyed with another metal. When DU munitions strike a hard target the penetrator sheds around 20% of its mass, creating a fine dust of DU, burning at extremely high temperatures.

This dust can spread 400 metres from the site immediately after an impact. It can be resuspended by human activity, or by the wind, and has been reported to have travelled twenty-five miles on air currents. The heat of the DU impact and secondary fires means that much of the dust produced is ceramic, and can remain in the lungs for years if inhaled.

Who uses it?
At least 18 countries are known to have DU in their arsenals:

  • UK
  • US
  • France
  • Russia
  • China
  • Greece
  • Turkey
  • Thailand
  • Taiwan
  • Israel
  • Bahrain
  • Egypt
  • Kuwait
  • Saudi Arabia
  • India
  • Belarus
  • Pakistan
  • Oman

Most of these countries were sold DU by the US, although the UK, France and Pakistan developed it independently.

Only the US and the UK are known to have fired it in warfare. It was used in the 1991 Gulf War, in the 2003 Iraq War, and also in Bosnia-Herzegovina in the 1990s and during the NATO war with Serbia in 1999. While its use has been claimed in a number of other conflicts, this has not been confirmed.

Health Problems

  • DU is both chemically toxic and radioactive. In laboratory tests it damages human cells, causing DNA mutations and other carcinogenic effects.
  • Reports of increased rates of cancer and birth defects have consistently followed DU usage.
  • Representatives from both the Serbian and Iraqi governments have linked its use with health problems amongst civilians.
  • Many veterans remain convinced DU is responsible for health problems they have experienced since combat

Information from animal studies suggests DU may cause several different kinds of cancer. In rats, DU in the blood-stream builds up in the kidneys, bone, muscles, liver, spleen, and brain. In other studies it has been shown to cross both the blood-brain barrier and the placenta, with obvious implications for the health of the foetus. In general, the effects of DU will be more severe for women and children than for healthy men.

In 2008 a study by the Institute of Medicine in the US listed medical conditions that were a high priority to study for possible links with DU exposure: cancers of the lung, testes and kidney; lung disease; nervous system disorders; and reproductive and developmental problems.


Epidemiology

What is missing from the picture is large-scale epidemiological studies on the effects of DU – where negative health effects match individuals with exposure to DU. None of the studies done on the effects on soldiers have been large enough to make meaningful conclusions. No large scale studies have been done on civilian populations.

In the case of Iraq, where the largest volume of DU has been fired, the UK and US governments are largely responsible for the conditions which have made studies of the type required impossible. Despite this, these same governments use the scientific uncertainties to maintain that it is safe, and that concerns about it are misplaced.

However, in cases where human health is in jeopardy, a precautionary approach should prevail. Scientific scepticism should prevent a hazardous course of action from being taken until safety is assured. To allow it to continue until the danger has been proved beyond dispute is an abuse of the principle of scientific caution.

Environmental Impacts
The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has studied some of the sites contaminated by DU in the Balkans, but it has only been able to produce a desk study on Iraq. Bullets and penetrators made of DU that do not hit armour become embedded in the ground and corrode away, releasing material into the environment.

It is not known what will happen to DU in the long term in such circumstances. The UNEP mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina found DU in drinking water, and could still detect it in the air after seven years – the longest period of time a study has been done after the end of a conflict.

Uranium has a half life of 4.5 billion years, so DU released into the environment will be a hazard for unimaginable timescales.

Decontaminating sites where DU has been used requires detailed scrutiny and monitoring, followed by the removal and reburial of large amounts of soil and other materials. Monitoring of groundwater for contamination is also advised by UNEP. CADU calls for the cost of cleaning up and decontaminating DU affected sites to be met by the countries responsible for the contamination.

The Campaign
CADU is a founder member of the International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons (ICBUW) – now comprising over 102 member organisations in 27 countries.

CADU and ICBUW campaign for a precautionary approach: there is significant evidence that DU is dangerous, and faced with scientific uncertainty the responsible course of action is for it not to be used. To this end CADU and ICBUW are working towards an international treaty that bans the use of uranium in weapons akin to those banning cluster bombs and landmines.

Through the efforts of campaigners worldwide the use of DU has been condemned by four resolutions in the European Parliament, been the subject of an outright ban in Belgium, and brought onto the agenda of the United Nations General Assembly.

Source

Sign Petition to Ban DU

International Campaign to Ban Uranium Weapons

141 states support second uranium weapons resolution in UN General Assembly vote

The United Nations General Assembly has passed, by a huge majority, a resolution requesting its agencies to update their positions on the health and environmental effects of uranium weapons.
December 2 2008

The resolution, which had passed the First Committee stage on October 31st by 127 states to four, calls on three UN agencies – the World Health Organisation (WHO), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to update their positions on uranium weapons. The overwhelming support for the text reflects increasing international concern over the long-term impact of uranium contamination in post-conflict environments and military ranges.

In the 17 years since uranium weapons were first used on a large scale in the 1991 Gulf War, a huge volume of peer-reviewed research has highlighted previously unknown pathways through which exposure to uranium’s heavy metal toxicity and radioactivity may damage human health.
Throughout the world, parliamentarians have responded by supporting calls for a moratorium and ban, urging governments and the military to take a precautionary approach. However the WHO and IAEA have been slow to react to this wealth of new evidence and it is hoped that this resolution will go some way to resolving this situation.

In a welcome move, the text requests that all three agencies work closely with countries affected by the use of uranium weapons in compiling their research. Until now, most research by UN member states has focused on exposure in veterans and not on the civilian populations living in contaminated areas. Furthermore, recent investigations into US veteran studies have found them to be wholly incapable of producing useful data.

The text also repeats the request for states to submit reports and opinions on uranium weapons to the UN Secretary General in the process that was started by last year’s resolution. Thus far, 19 states have submitted reports to the Secretary General; many of them call for action on uranium weapons and back a precautionary approach. It also places the issue on the agenda of the General Assembly’s 65th Session; this will begin in September 2010.

The First Committee vote saw significant voting changes in comparison to the previous year’s resolution, with key EU and NATO members such as the Netherlands, Finland, Norway and Iceland changing position to support calls for further action on the issue. These changes were echoed at the General Assembly vote. Once again Japan, which has been under considerable pressure from campaigners, supported the resolution.

Of the permanent five Security Council members, the US, UK and France voted against. They were joined by Israel. Russia abstained and China refused to vote.

The list of states abstaining from the vote, while shorter than in 2007, still contains Belgium, the only state to have implemented a domestic ban on uranium weapons, a fact that continues to anger Belgian campaigners. It is suspected that the Belgian government is wary of becoming isolated on the issue internationally. Two Nordic states, Denmark and Sweden continue to blow cold, elsewhere in Europe Poland, the Czech Republic, Portugal and Spain are also dragging their feet, in spite of a call for a moratorium and ban by 94% of MEPs earlier this year. Many of the abstainers are recent EU/NATO accession states or ex-Soviet republics such as Kazakhstan.

Australia and Canada, both of whom have extensive uranium mining interests and close ties to US foreign policy also abstained.

The resolution was submitted by Cuba and Indonesia on behalf of the League of Non-Aligned States.

Voting results in full

In favour:

Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Cyprus, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Finland, Germany, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against:

France, Israel, United Kingdom, United States.

Abstain:

Albania, Andorra, Australia, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Micronesia (Federated States of), Palau, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Ukraine.

Absent: Central African Republic, Chad, China, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Kiribati, Monaco, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia.

Source

Honor Vets by Learning About Depleted Uranium

November 11, 2008

by Barbara Bellows

As Europe mourns in Verdun today for those lost in “The War to End All Wars”, World War I, we could look to another moment in European history to shed light on the most aggressively silenced story of the Bush administration.

In late 2000 and January 2001, reports were exploding across Europe about the rise in cancer amongst NATO soldiers who had served in the “peacekeeping missions” in Bosnia and Kosovo. The effects of the depleted uranium in the U.S. and U.K. weapons could not be ignored.

But history shows that the United Nations and the World Health Organization could be intimidated. The report from the WHO – that detailed how the DU vaporized upon impact into tiny particles that were breathed in, or consumed through the mouth or entered through open wounds, where the irradiating bits attacked cells all the way through the body, causing mutations along the way – was shelved under pressure from the U.S.

Even now, the major U.S. news organizations do not touch the subject, though the international press cannot ignore it. Even last month, a Middle Eastern Reuters reporter discussed the health damages because of the contaminated environment with Iraqi En Iraqi Environment Minister Nermeen Othman,

“When we talk about it, people may think we are overreacting. But in fact the environmental catastrophe that we inherited in Iraq is even worse than it sounds.”

And The Tehran Times further endangers their country by continuing to report on the problem, calling it a war crime.

And across the internet, retired Air Force Lt. Col. Roger Helbig seeks to intimidate anyone who dares to bring up the subject.

But we evolve, and the United Nations First Committee has overwhelmingly passed a resolution, on October 31st, calling for “relevant UN agencies, in this case the International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA), World Health Organisation (WHO) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to update and complete their research into the possible health and environmental impact of the use of uranium weapons by 2010.” The only countries that voted against it were the United States, the United Kingdom, Israel and France.

Meanwhile, to help the reader get to the point, I’ve put together the following.  Although the facts, for the most part, do not contain links, there is a list of the references at the end.

Ten Essential Facts:

1. Depleted uranium, the nuclear waste of uranium enrichment, is not actually “depleted” of radiation; 99.3% of it is Uranium238, which still emits radioactive alpha particles at the rate 12,400/second, with an estimated half life of 4.5 billion years.

2. Depleted uranium is plentiful – there are 7 pounds remaining for every pound of enriched uranium – and requires expensive and often politically-contentious hazardous waste storage.

3. Depleted uranium is less of a problem for the nuclear industry when it is cheaply passed on to U.S. weapons manufacturers for warheads, penetrators, bunker-busters, missiles, armor and other ammunition used by the U.S. military in the Middle East and elsewhere, and sold to other countries and political factions.

4. Depleted uranium is “pyrophoric”, which makes it uniquely effective at piercing hard targets, because upon impact, it immediately burns, vaporizing the majority of its bulk and leaving a hard, thin, sharpened tip – and large amounts of radioactive particles suspended in the atmosphere.

5. Depleted uranium weaponry was first used in the U.S. bombing of Iraq in 1991, under President George H. W. Bush and Defense Secretary Dick Cheney.

6. Depleted uranium weaponry was later used by President Bill Clinton in the NATO “peace-keeping” bombing missions in Bosnia, Kosovo and Serbia. By January 2001, as the 2nd President Bush and Dick Cheney were moving in to the White House, there was a furor in Europe over the news of an alarming increase in leukemia and other cancers amongst the NATO troops who’d served in the Balkans.

7. The World Health Organization suppressed a November 2001 report on the health hazards of depleted uranium by Dr. Keith Baverstock, Head of the WHO’s Radiation Protection Division and his team, commissioned by the United Nations. Baverstock’s report, “Radiological Toxicity of Depleted Uranium”, detailed the significant danger of airborne vaporized depleted uranium particles, already considerably more prevalent in Iraq than the Balkans due to the difference in military tactics, because they are taken into the body by inhaling and ingesting, and then their size and solubility determines how quickly they move through the respiratory, circulatory and gastrointestinal systems, attacking and poisoning from within as they travel, and where the damages occur. In addition, the report warns that the particles tend to settle in the soft tissue of the testes, and may cause mutations in sperm. In 2004 Dr. Baverstock, no longer at the WHO, released the report through Rob Edwards at Scotland’s Sunday Herald.

8. The George W. Bush/Dick Cheney administration twisted the meaning of the failure of the World Health Organization to produce evidence of depleted uranium’s health hazards, turning it into evidence that there was no link between exposure to depleted uranium and the increases in cancer in Europe and Iraq; instead, as presented in the January 20, 2003 report by the new Office of Global Communications, ironically titled Apparatus of Lies: Saddam’s Disinformation and Propaganda 1990 – 2003, the depleted uranium uproar was only an exploitation of fear and suffering. Two months later, Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz-Rice began to “Shock and Awe” Baghdad by again dropping tons of depleted uranium bombs on densely populated areas.

9. On March 27, 2003, significant increases in depleted uranium particles in the atmosphere were detected by the air sampler filter systems of the Atomic Weapons Establishment at 8 different sites near Aldermaston Berkshire, Great Britain, and continued at 4-5 times the previous norm until the end of April 2003, after the Coalition forces declared the war over. This information only came to light in a report on January 6, 2006 by Dr. Chris Busby, due to his diligent fight for access to the data through Britain’s Freedom of Information law.

10. We have a new, intelligent President, who is willing to listen.  It is up to us to bring this to his attention.  THIS IS HOW WE CAN HONOR VETERANS.

VALUABLE REFERENCES:

Department of Defense description of self-sharpening depleted uranium: click here

Dr. Keith Baverstock’s November 2001 report, suppressed by the World Health Organization:
Rob Edwards article on Baverstock:

Karen Parker, a Human Rights and Humanitarian Law Lawyer:  Scroll down on the page and you’ll find her documents on DU.

January 2003 White House Report – Apparatus of Lies:

January 2006 Chris Busby report: click here

Source

Depleated Uranium Information

Or Google it there is tons of information out there.

Be sure to encourage those who are still not supporting the ban,  that it  is something that needs to be banned.

This is an extremely dangerous form of Pollution.

We, the people, need to let governments and the United Nations know that these weapons can have no part in a humane and caring world. Every signature counts!

  1. An immediate end to the use of uranium weapons.
  2. Disclosure of all locations where uranium weapons have been used and immediate removal of the remnants and contaminated materials from the sites under strict control.
  3. Health surveys of the ‘depleted’ uranium victims and environmental investigations at the affected sites.
  4. Medical treatment and compensation for the ‘depleted’ uranium victims.
  5. An end to the development, production, stockpiling, testing, trade of uranium weapons.
  6. A Convention for a Total Ban on Uranium Weapons.

The life you save may be your own.

Sign Petition to Ban DU

Published in: on December 4, 2008 at 1:10 pm  Comments Off on 141 states support Depleted Uranium Ban  
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Pakistan Promises IMF to Raise Rates If Reserves Drop and Eliminate Electricity subsidies

By Michael Dwyer and Khalid Qayum

December 3 2008

Pakistan’s central bank promised the International Monetary Fund as part of a $7.6 billion bailout that it will increase interest rates further if the nation’s foreign reserves drop too low.

The State Bank of Pakistan said its benchmark rate “will be raised earlier” than the monetary policy statement due at the end of January 2009 if reserves fall below an agreed monthly floor, according to the loan arrangement between the IMF and Pakistan. The Washington-based lender posted the agreement on its Web site.

Pakistan, denying blame for last week’s terrorist attacks in Mumbai, was forced to turn to the IMF for a bailout after its foreign reserves shrunk 75 percent in a year to $3.45 billion. The IMF fell short of saying when it would allow restrictions on share trading to be removed, upsetting some investors who are awaiting the implementation of a 20 billion rupee ($255 million) government fund to help lift stocks.

“The stock market should be opened to allow free movement of capital,” said Farid Khan, director of equities at Credit Suisse Pakistan Ltd. in Karachi. “Focusing on the foreign- reserve position, while important, can damage the capital market and foreign investment.”

The Karachi Stock Exchange has prohibited investors from selling shares below their Aug. 27 closing prices, after the benchmark index fell 35 percent earlier this year. Ending the ban and “the use of public funds to support the stock market will be decided after reaching understandings with Fund staff,” the IMF said.

‘Tightening’ Policies

Pakistan’s economy may expand as little as 3 percent this fiscal year in response to a “tightening” of macroeconomic policies and a deceleration of growth in the nation’s trading partners, the IMF said. That would be the slowest pace since 2000, when South Asia’s second-largest economy grew 2 percent.

In order to secure the IMF loan, Pakistan’s government and central bank have also agreed to eliminate electricity subsidies by the end of June 2009 and to continue to adjust fuel prices to reflect international prices. That should reduce the budget deficit as a proportion of gross domestic product to 3.3 percent by 2009-10 from 4.2 percent in 2008-09 and 7.4 percent this year, the IMF said.

“Many of the major targets set by the IMF, including reducing the fiscal deficit and maintaining foreign reserves will bring discipline to the government,” said Samiullah Tariq, head of research at InvestCapital & Securities Ltd. in Karachi. “The IMF conditions aim at lifting the control of the government and the central bank over the fiscal targets.”

Interest Rates

The central bank’s net foreign-asset floor for the end of December, a breach of which would trigger the commitment to increase interest rates, has been set by the IMF at $1.165 billion. The level for March 2009 has been set at $671 million.

“Interest rate policy will be sufficiently flexible to protect the reserves position and bring down inflation,” the IMF said. “The program envisages a significant tightening of monetary policy.”

Governor Shamshad Akhtar on Nov. 12 raised the central bank’s key rate by 2 percentage points to 15 percent, describing the move as “the toughest decision of my life.” Inflation accelerated to near a 30-year high in October, with consumer prices soaring 25 percent from a year earlier.

The IMF has approved more than $40 billion of loans in recent weeks to prevent the global financial crisis and recession from undermining the stability of developing nations. Ukraine, Serbia and Iceland have already got funds from the IMF. Belarus has requested $2 billion and Turkey may also agree to emergency funding.

Pakistan completed its last IMF program in 2004 with a credit rating from Standard & Poor’s of B+, four levels below investment grade. S&P cut the nation’s rating to CCC on Nov. 14, one day before the latest IMF loan was announced, citing a risk of default on external debt payments.

Source

Pakistan Obtains $7.6 Billion Bailout Loan From IMF

By Khalid Qayum

November 25 2008

Pakistan obtained a $7.6 billion bailout from the International Monetary Fund to help prevent the country defaulting on its debt.

The State Bank of Pakistan, which this month raised its benchmark interest rate to 15 percent from 13 percent, has committed as part of the aid to “further tighten monetary policy as needed,” the IMF said in a statement in Washington yesterday. South Asia’s second-largest economy will be able to immediately draw upon $3.1 billion of the loan, it said.

President Asif Ali Zardari, facing pressure from the U.S. to step up the fight against Taliban and al-Qaeda insurgents along the border with Afghanistan, needs IMF financing to prop up Pakistan’s ailing economy. The nation’s foreign-exchange reserves have shrunk 75 percent in 12 months to $3.45 billion and economic growth is forecast to slump to a seven-year low.

Pakistan’s rupee gained 0.44 percent against the dollar to a seven-week high of 78.70, as of 11:15 a.m. in Karachi. The currency has declined as much as 26 percent this year as foreign investors spooked by the global credit crunch withdraw funds from emerging markets. The yield on the benchmark 9.6 percent bond due August 2017 held at 15 percent.

The loan from the IMF “will ease constraints on foreign currencies and it will boost the confidence of overseas and domestic investors,” said Samiullah Tariq, an economist at InvestCapital & Securities Ltd. in Karachi. “Now investors know that there will be a lot more fiscal discipline.” He said he expects rupee to strengthen to 75 against the dollar in a month.

Global Recession

The IMF has approved more than $40 billion of loans in recent weeks to prevent the global financial crisis and recession from undermining the stability of developing nations. Ukraine, Serbia and Iceland have already got funds from the IMF. Belarus has requested $2 billion and Turkey may also agree to emergency funding.

“The Pakistani economy was buffeted by large shocks during fiscal year 2007 and 2008, including adverse security developments, higher oil and food import prices and the global financial turmoil,” said IMF Deputy Managing Director Takatoshi Kato. “By providing large financial support for Pakistan, the IMF is sending a strong signal to the donor community about the country’s improved macroeconomic prospects.”

Pakistan expects the IMF loan will help it win additional aid from a group of other lenders and donor nations, including the U.S., U.K., China and Saudi Arabia. The group’s Nov. 17 meeting in Abu Dhabi adopted a “work plan” for financial help to Pakistan, the Foreign Ministry has said.

‘Significant Tightening’

To secure the IMF loan, Pakistan agreed to a “significant tightening of fiscal policy” and an end to central bank financing of the government. Pakistan plans to reduce its budget deficit to 4.2 percent of gross domestic product in 2009 from 7.4 percent in the past financial year, according to the Washington-based lender.

The cost of insuring a $10 million Pakistani government bond against the risk of default has more than doubled since the end of September to $2.28 million a year from $987,000 per annum, according to CMA Datavision.

Last week Pakistan’s government said the country’s $150 billion economy was expected to expand 4.3 percent in the fiscal year ending June 2009.

Growth is easing after central bank Governor Shamshad Akhtar on Nov. 12 increased interest rates by the most in more than a decade to curb inflation, which jumped to a 30-year high of 25.33 percent in August.

Pakistan completed its last IMF program in 2004 with a credit rating from Standard & Poor’s of B+, four levels below investment grade. S&P cut the nation’s rating to CCC on Nov. 14, one day before the latest IMF loan was announced, citing a risk of default on external debt payments.

Source

Published in: on December 3, 2008 at 8:07 am  Comments Off on Pakistan Promises IMF to Raise Rates If Reserves Drop and Eliminate Electricity subsidies  
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Afghan president wants date for pullout of foreign troops

November 25, 2008

Afghan President Hamid Karzai is calling for the international community to set a timeline for the withdrawal of troops from the war-torn country.

Speaking to a United Nations Security Council delegation on Tuesday, Karzai said that if no deadline is set, Afghanistan has the right to negotiate an end date for the presence of coalition forces.

“If there is no deadline, we have the right to find another solution for peace and security, which is negotiations,” Karzai was quoted as saying in a statement from his office.

He told the delegation that aerial bombings by international military forces and searches of Afghan homes must come to an end.

Karzai has repeatedly asked for Western troops to cutback on civilian deaths, which erode support for the foreign military presence.

Canada is part of a multi-national NATO-led force, a coalition that has about 50,000 troops in Afghanistan. About 2,500 Canadian soldiers are stationed in Afghanistan, primarily in the southern province of Kandahar.

The Afghan president also said not enough attention has been paid to militant bases outside Afghanistan, a likely reference to the volatile tribal areas in neighbouring Pakistan.

In the past, Afghan officials have accused Pakistan of harbouring Taliban and al-Qaeda militants. The U.S. has launched a number of missile attacks in the border region of the two countries in recent weeks.

But Karzai said the Afghan-Pakistan relationship has improved since new leaders were installed there over the last year.

Militants often operate from Pakistani tribal areas along the Afghan border in areas largely outside of the government’s reach.

The UN delegation is in Afghanistan to push for regional co-operation as it takes stock of the situation in Afghanistan.

Source

Published in: on November 26, 2008 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Afghan president wants date for pullout of foreign troops  
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Pakistan gets $7.6 billion loan package from IMF

Supporters of Pakistan's opposition party Tehreek-e-Insaf, or Moment for Justice, take part in a rally against the U.S. missile strikes in the Pakistani tribal areas, Monday, Nov. 24, 2008 in Islamabad, Pakistan. Protesters urged Islamabad to sever ties with the United States over the strike _ highlighting the risks for Washington as it seeks to eliminate extremists along the Afghan border yet also support Pakistan's democratically elected government.
Supporters of Pakistan’s opposition party Tehreek-e-Insaf, or Moment for Justice, take part in a rally against the U.S. missile strikes in the Pakistani tribal areas, Monday, Nov. 24, 2008 in Islamabad, Pakistan. Protesters urged Islamabad to sever ties with the United States over the strike _ highlighting the risks for Washington as it seeks to eliminate extremists along the Afghan border yet also support Pakistan’s democratically elected government. (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed)
By Chris Brummitt
November 25, 2008

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan—Pakistan, the front-line state in the battle against Islamist terrorism, has won final approval for a $7.6 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund to help stave off a possible economic meltdown.

The IMF said a first installment of $3.1 billion will be transferred immediately to the nuclear-armed country, which is battling surging violence by Taliban and al-Qaida-linked militants and is increasingly seen in the West as key to stabilizing neighboring Afghanistan.

The IMF said the Pakistani economy had been badly hit by the worsening security situation, higher oil and food import prices and the global financial and credit crisis.

“By providing large financial support to Pakistan, the IMF is sending a strong signal to the donor community about the country’s improved macroeconomic prospects,” said IMF acting Chairman Takatoshi Kato in a statement released after the decision Monday in Washington, where the fund is based.

Pakistan’s young government had been reluctant to go to the IMF but had little choice after close allies — the “United States, China and Saudi Arabia” — turned down pleas for significant bilateral aid.

In mid-November, the IMF announced it had reached a preliminary agreement on the deal.

Opposition and nationalist lawmakers have criticized the government for turning to the fund, saying the IMF will impose “austerity measures” that will hurt ordinary Pakistanis, two-thirds of whom live on $2 dollar a day or less.

“This IMF loan the government is getting is in fact poison, and the nation has been forced to drink it,” said Javed Hashmi, a senior figure in the main opposition party, told reporters.

The loan removes the most pressing risk facing the country — that it would not be able to repay dollar-denominated government bonds due to mature early next year, said Muzammil Aslam, an economist at the Pakistani securities firm KASB.

Aslam and other economists said Pakistan’s government had already made some tough decisions, such as hiking the prices of fuel and electricity.

Many Pakistani economists and commentators argued that the country had no choice but to turn to the IMF. They say it is now critical that the money is well spent — always a worry in corruption-prone and chaotic Pakistan.

The IMF said in return for the money Pakistan had agreed to phase out energy subsidies, boost taxes and implement other money saving reforms. It said the World Bank would put in place a “comprehensive” social security net to shield the poor from any cuts.

In an interview with The Associated Press earlier this month, President Asif Ali Zardari said the loan was “a difficult pill, but one has to take medicine to get better,”

The loan will immediately boost Pakistan’s foreign currency reserves, which have seen a rapid decline that has seen the value of the rupee fall some 20 percent since March, and enable it to pay off foreign-denominated debt due to mature soon.

The currency has clawed back some ground in recent weeks as it became clear that the IMF would step in.

The country is also wracked by power cuts, the costs of essential goods are soaring and the stock market has plummeted amid waning investor confidence.

Pakistan is one of a number of countries including Hungary and Ukraine that has sought IMF assistance in the wake of the global credit crunch. However, its strategic importance in the U.S.-led war against terrorism makes its financial and political stability particularly critical for the international community.

U.S. officials say that militants sheltering in its lawless northwest are behind much of the violence in Afghanistan, where a resurgent Taliban threaten the success of the U.S.-led mission there seven years after the invasion.

They also say that al-Qaida’s leadership — including Osama bin Laden — has managed to regroup in the region, and is possibly plotting attacks on the West.

Pakistan’s army is batting militants in several parts of the northwest but some Western analysts and officials suspect elements within the security forces of sympathizing with the extremists.

Officials in Peshawar said Tuesday that gunmen kidnapped a Pakistani working on a U.S.-funded aid project in the region.

Police said the attackers seized the man from a convoy of relief vehicles in the Dir region on Monday. Other aid workers escaped after villagers fired on the attackers.

The U.N.’s World Food Program said the victim was distributing wheat and cooking oil on its behalf. WFP spokesman Amjad Jamal said the food was paid for by the U.S. government.

Jamal said it was unclear if Taliban militants were behind the kidnapping and that WFP had received no demands.

Source

If it were not for the war next door to them and the fact the US continues to attack them, they probably wouldn’t need  help. War after all does cost a lot.

Stopping the Attacks on Pakistani soil by the US, would be in everyone’s best interest.

“If America doesn’t stop attacks in tribal areas, we will prepare a lashkar [army] to attack US forces in Afghanistan,” tribal chief Malik Nasrullah announced in Miran Shah, north Waziristan’s largest city. “We will also seek support from the tribal elders in Afghanistan to fight jointly against America.”

Published in: on November 25, 2008 at 9:33 pm  Comments Off on Pakistan gets $7.6 billion loan package from IMF  
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They Can’t win the war in Afghanistan

The War in Afghanistan Is A No-Win Situation
By Stephen C. Rose

The situation in Afghanistan weighs more and more heavily on us. I took it up in a Huffington Post piece a while back titled Could Barack Obama Suffer The Fate of LBJ?

Many wish the war on terror to be translated from a military trap into a POLICE ACTION, something sane observers believe it should have been from the very start.

Today, comes a sad vindication of the reality and a stark warning that there can be no winning in Afghanistan. It will be Barack Obama’s task to cut a deal and be honest about why
Violence in Afghanistan has reached its highest levels since the U.S.-led invasion ousted the Taliban regime in 2001 Source

A Pakistani decision to temporarily bar some trucks from a key passageway to Afghanistan threatened a critical supply route for U.S. and NATO troops on Sunday and raised more fears about deteriorating security in the militant-plagued border region.
The suspension of oil tankers and trucks carrying sealed containers came as U.S.-led coalition troops in eastern Afghanistan reported killing five al-Qaida-linked fighters and detaining eight others, including a militant leader.

Al-Qaida and Taliban fighters are behind much of the escalating violence along the lengthy, porous Afghan-Pakistan border, and both nations have traded accusations that the other was not doing enough to keep militants out from its side.

The tensions come as violence in Afghanistan has reached its highest levels since the U.S.-led invasion ousted the Taliban regime in 2001 and as a surge in U.S. missile strikes on the Pakistani side of the border has prompted protests from Pakistan government leaders.

And this piece from UK notes that the answer lies in cutting a deal with the Taliban, period. Source

There is no question that British troops win almost every battle and firefight, but the Taliban refuse to go away.
For every 10 men they lose, there are 10 more waiting to take their place.

The insurgents have a saying: “You have the clocks, we have the time.”

The British and American strategy seems to be to fight on with increased numbers of troops and try to train the Afghan forces to take over.

Building a country virtually from scratch, containing the Taliban and developing a national army in a land that’s riven by ethnic rivalries and feuding warlords is probably a challenge too far.

Cutting and running is not an option – so cutting a deal may have to be.

Repeat: The War in Afghanistan is a no-win situation. The answer lies in talking to the Taliban, something Barack has already advocated. A protracted military engagement should be avoided like a plague.

Source

Afghanistan: Why NATO cannot win

A comparison with the 1980s is in order. The 100,000-strong Soviet army operated alongside a full-fledged Afghan army of equal strength with an officer corps trained in the elite Soviet military academies, and backed by aviation, armored vehicles and artillery, with all the advantages of a functioning, politically motivated government in Kabul. And yet it proved no match for the Afghan resistance.

In comparison, there are about 20,000 US troops in Afghanistan, plus roughly the same number of troops belonging to NATO contingents, which includes 5,400 troops from Britain, 2,500 from Canada and 2,300 from the Netherlands. Nominally, there is a 42,000-strong Afghan National Army, but it suffers from a high rate of defection.

Source


War on Taliban cannot be won, says army chief

Britain’s most senior military commander in Afghanistan has warned that the war against the Taliban cannot be won. Brigadier Mark Carleton-Smith said the British public should not expect a “decisive military victory” but should be prepared for a possible deal with the Taliban.

Source

US Kills Dozens of Wedding Guests in Afganistan

Who profits from WAR?

Tactics versus strategy in Afghanistan

The Terrible Plight of Afghan Children

The U.S. bombing upon Afghanistan has been a low bombing intensity, high civilian casualty campaign [in both absolute terms and relative to other U.S. air campaigns]. Secondly, this has happened notwithstanding the far greater accuracy of the weapons because of U.S. military planners decisions to employ powerful weapons in populated regions and to bomb what are dubious military targets. Thirdly, the U.S. mainstream corporate media has been derelict in its non-reporting of civilian casualties when ample evidence existed from foreign places that the U.S. air war upon Afghanistan was creating such casualties in large numbers. Fourthly, the decision by U.S. military planners to execute such a bombing campaign reveals and reflects the differential values they place upon Afghan and American lives. Fifth, this report counters the dangerous notion that the United States can henceforth wage a war and only kill enemy combatants. Sixth, the U.S. bombing campaign has targeted numerous civilian facilities and the heavy use of cluster bombs, will have a lasting legacy born by one of the poorest, most desperate peoples of our world. In sum, though not intended to be, the U.S. bombing campaign which began on the evening of October 7th, has been a war upon the people, the homes, the farms and the villages of Afghanistan, as well as upon the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

Source

Injuries and Deaths From Landmines and Unexploded Ordnance in Afghanistan, 2002-2006

At least 706,899 people have been killed, and
1,354,224 seriously injured in Afghanistan and Iraq
since the U.S. and coalition attacks, based on lowest credible estimates.

Source

The estimate that over a million Iraqis have died received independent confirmation from a prestigious British polling agency in September 2007. Opinion Research Business estimated that 1.2 million Iraqis have been killed violently since the US invasion.

We must not forget these people who died at the hand of the US.

Autopsy reports reveal homicides of detainees in U.S. custody up to October 2005

Many of the prisoners that died of “Natural Causes” may have died because they didn’t receive Medical treatment or Medication, which is still Murder. Others died because they were tortured.  There are many ways to kill a person.  Cause and Affect.

There have been more deaths since then. How many,  well that is yet to be determined.

The death toll in both wars is staggering to say the least. The number of civilian deaths alone is enough to infuriate anyone.

There no winners in War.

Published in: on November 16, 2008 at 10:10 pm  Comments Off on They Can’t win the war in Afghanistan  
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Obama’s Afghan War Plans May Run Into Weary Public, Deficits

November 11 2008

Staff Sergeant Brendan Kearns went through urban combat training six months ago with the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division, preparing for a planned return to Iraq. In January, his brigade is heading to Afghanistan instead.

While Iraq has long dominated headlines, Afghanistan will demand more immediate attention, as President-elect Barack Obama becomes the first commander-in-chief since Richard M. Nixon in 1969 to take charge during wartime.

Intensifying violence is ramping up U.S. involvement, costing money and lives when America faces a record budget deficit and the public is weary of war. Backing off may allow al-Qaeda and the Taliban to return to power.

“The most pressing problem for the next president will be the Afghan-Pakistan conundrum,” says retired Lieutenant Colonel John Nagl, lead author of the U.S. Army/Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual.

“A resurgent Taliban threatens stability and perhaps survival of the governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan. It’s a nightmare scenario, and we may have reached a tipping point where the Taliban is winning.”

The Bush administration is reviewing its military and humanitarian strategy in Afghanistan and will offer recommendations to Obama’s transition team before he takes office Jan. 20.

Refocus Attention

On the campaign trail, the Illinois senator vowed to refocus attention there while pulling out most of the 152,000 troops in Iraq within 16 months. That’s becoming increasingly possible as deadly attacks have dropped dramatically since 2007, when President George W. Bush sent 30,000 additional U.S. troops.

The surge — along with the so-called Sunni awakening, in which tribes turned against al-Qaeda and formed U.S.-funded, government-allied militias — is credited with stabilizing the country. The Iraqi and U.S. governments have tentatively agreed on a phased withdrawal of American combat forces by 2011, subject to conditions.

Obama, 47, has said a “responsible drawdown” from Iraq would allow the U.S. to upgrade military equipment, pay for veterans’ care and redirect expenditures — which currently top $10 billion a month — to Afghanistan, where Osama bin Laden and top al-Qaeda leaders are believed to be operating along the porous border with Pakistan.

Funding Decisions

Deciding what the U.S. can afford to spend is complicated by the $700 billion the Treasury is using to rescue the financial system, which may push the federal budget deficit next year to more than $1 trillion, following a record $455 billion this year.

“I know there’s a lot of economic problems in the U.S.,” says Kearns, 40, who’s based at Fort Drum, New York, and has served in both wars. “But the military at this point doesn’t need its budgets cut. With seven years of war, there’s a lot of wear and tear on equipment and personnel.”

Meanwhile, the situation in Afghanistan has deteriorated, with a reconstituted and emboldened Taliban mounting more attacks on American forces. Neighboring, nuclear-armed Pakistan — threatened by domestic extremists, assassination attempts and a financial crisis — hasn’t been able to control border security in its autonomous tribal areas where militants take shelter.

General David McKiernan, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, has asked for 20,000 more American troops next year; the 3,500-person 3rd Brigade Combat Team deploying in January from Fort Drum will be the tip of that spear.

Opium Production

The view of U.S., European and United Nations officials is that more foreign soldiers won’t be enough to save Afghanistan. The country needs a sustained international effort to shrink opium production, build roads and establish basic utilities including running water and electricity. The Afghan government, widely criticized as weak, corrupt and inefficient, needs to better deliver services and secure its territory.

Obama will face a balancing act with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which commands a force in Afghanistan that uses 13,000 of the 31,000 American troops now in the country. European leaders have made clear they aren’t keen on sending more soldiers into a widening war.

Still, there’s no doubt Afghanistan needs better security. In Iraq, there are 800,000 local, U.S. and international forces. In Afghanistan, there are at most 210,000 combined troops, and many of the Afghans lack training and equipment.

Clear, Hold, Build

“Classic counterinsurgency strategy is `Clear, Hold and Build’: You clear enemy forces, you hold the area, generally with the host nation’s security forces, and then you build a better society,” Nagl says. “In Afghanistan we have not had enough forces to hold and have not put proper emphasis on build. We’ve cleared the same towns over and over and over.”

Every time U.S. forces leave a village they have cleared without Afghan soldiers to take their place, “the Taliban comes back and they shoot people who worked with us in the head,” he says. “After the second or third time that happens, there aren’t enough people left to work with us.”

Analysts say the best solution would be to greatly expand the Afghan army, supported by U.S. military advisers, and enlist militias into something like the “Sons of Iraq,” which turned enemy forces into associates.

What worked in Iraq may not work in Afghanistan, however, where the terrain is rougher, the country poorer, corruption more visible and the insurgency more complicated because of hundreds of tribes — many living in autonomous territories along the Pakistan border.

Military Strikes

Obama has consistently said that if Pakistan fails to act against militants on its soil, he would support unilateral military strikes — something the Bush administration has already begun. In the past two months, Pakistan has accused the U.S. of launching 15 missile strikes in the Waziristan tribal area along its Afghan border, and late last month Islamabad lodged a formal protest.

Soldiers at Fort Drum say if they had the ear of the president-elect, they would tell him that while military involvement in Afghanistan is necessary, it isn’t sufficient.

“We need to focus on the basics: infrastructure, food, building roads and security,” says Captain Matthew Burnette, 29, who commands a Howitzer unit headed back to Afghanistan as Obama takes office. “If the three villages you’re working in are happy, they talk to each other, they talk to us, and the Taliban can’t take hold again.”

Source

JALALABAD, Afghanistan

February 15, 2001

U.N. drug control officers said the Taliban religious militia has nearly wiped out opium production in Afghanistan — once the world’s largest producer — since banning poppy cultivation last summer.

A 12-member team from the U.N. Drug Control Program spent two weeks searching most of the nation’s largest opium-producing areas and found so few poppies that they do not expect any opium to come out of Afghanistan this year.

“We are not just guessing. We have seen the proof in the fields,” said Bernard Frahi, regional director for the U.N. program in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He laid out photographs of vast tracts of land cultivated with wheat alongside pictures of the same fields taken a year earlier — a sea of blood-red poppies.

A State Department official said Thursday all the information the United States has received so far indicates the poppy crop had decreased, but he did not believe it was eliminated.

Last year, Afghanistan produced nearly 4,000 tons of opium, about 75 percent of the world’s supply, U.N. officials said. Opium — the milky substance drained from the poppy plant — is converted into heroin and sold in Europe and North America. The 1999 output was a world record for opium production, the United Nations said — more than all other countries combined, including the “Golden Triangle,” where the borders of Thailand, Laos and Myanmar meet.

Mullah Mohammed Omar, the Taliban’s supreme leader, banned poppy growing before the November planting season and augmented it with a religious edict making it contrary to the tenets of Islam.

The Taliban, which has imposed a strict brand of Islam in the 95 percent of Afghanistan it controls, has set fire to heroin laboratories and jailed farmers until they agreed to destroy their poppy crops.

The U.N. surveyors, who completed their search this week, crisscrossed Helmand, Kandahar, Urzgan and Nangarhar provinces and parts of two others — areas responsible for 86 percent of the opium produced in Afghanistan last year, Frahi said in an interview Wednesday. They covered 80 percent of the land in those provinces that last year had been awash in poppies.

This year they found poppies growing on barely an acre here and there, Frahi said. The rest — about 175,000 acres — was clean.

“We have to look at the situation with careful optimism,” said Sandro Tucci of the U.N. Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention in Vienna, Austria.

He said indications are that no poppies were planted this season and that, as a result, there hasn’t been any production of opium — but that officials would keep checking.

The State Department counternarcotics official said the department would make its own estimate of the poppy crop. Information received so far suggests there will be a decrease, but how much is not yet clear, he said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“We do not think by any stretch of the imagination that poppy cultivation in Afghanistan has been eliminated. But we, like the rest of the world, welcome positive news.”

The Drug Enforcement Administration declined to comment.

No U.S. government official can enter Afghanistan because of security concerns stemming from the presence of suspected terrorist Osama bin Laden.

Poppies are harvested in March and April, which is why the survey was done now. Tucci said it would have been impossible for the poppies to have been harvested already.

The areas searched by the U.N. surveyors are the most fertile lands under Taliban control. Other areas, though they are somewhat fertile, have not traditionally been poppy growing areas and farmers are struggling to raise any crops at all because of severe drought. The rest of the land held by the Taliban is mountainous or desert, where poppies could not grow.

Karim Rahimi, the U.N. drug control liaison in Jalalabad, capital of Nangarhar province, said farmers were growing wheat or onions in fields where they once grew poppies.

“It is amazing, really, when you see the fields that last year were filled with poppies and this year there is wheat,” he said.

The Taliban enforced the ban by threatening to arrest village elders and mullahs who allowed poppies to be grown. Taliban soldiers patrolled in trucks armed with rocket-propelled grenade launchers. About 1,000 people in Nangarhar who tried to defy the ban were arrested and jailed until they agreed to destroy their crops.

Signs throughout Nangarhar warn against drug production and use, some calling it an “illicit phenomenon.” Another reads: “Be drug free, be happy.”

Last year, poppies grew on 12,600 acres of land in Nangarhar province. According to the U.N. survey, poppies were planted on only 17 acres there this season and all were destroyed by the Taliban.

“The Taliban have done their work very seriously,” Frahi said.

But the ban has badly hurt farmers in one of the world’s poorest countries, shattered by two decades of war and devastated by drought.

Ahmed Rehman, who shares less than three acres in Nangarhar with his three brothers, said the opium he produced last year on part of the land brought him $1,100.

This year, he says, he will be lucky to get $300 for the onions and cattle feed he planted on the entire parcel.

“Life is very bad for me this year,” he said. “Last year I was able to buy meat and wheat and now this year there is nothing.”

But Rehman said he never considered defying the ban.

“The Taliban were patrolling all the time. Of course I was afraid. I did not want to go to jail and lose my freedom and my dignity,” he said, gesturing with dirt-caked hands.

Shams-ul-Haq Sayed, an officer of the Taliban drug control office in Jalalabad, said farmers need international aid.

“This year was the most important for us because growing poppies was part of their culture, and the first years are always the most difficult,” he said.

Tucci said discussions are under way on how to help the farmers.

Western diplomats in Pakistan have suggested the Taliban is simply trying to drive up the price of opium they have stockpiled. The State Department official also said Afghanistan could do more by destroying drug stockpiles and heroin labs and arresting producers and traffickers.

Frahi dismissed that as “nonsense” and said it is drug traffickers and shopkeepers who have stockpiles. Two pounds of opium worth $35 last year are now worth as much as $360, he said.

Mullah Amir Mohammed Haqqani, the Taliban’s top drug official in Nangarhar, said the ban would remain regardless of whether the Taliban received aid or international recognition.

“It is our decree that there will be no poppy cultivation. It is banned forever in this country,” he said. “Whether we get assistance or not, poppy growing will never be allowed again in our country.

Source

Caspian Region 1993 The Pipeline Debate

The Caspian Sea shelf is considered one of the largest sources of petroleum outside the Persian Gulf and Russia.


September 18, 2001

US ‘planned attack on Taleban’  In July 2001 well before 9/11

The wider objective was to oust the Taleban

By George Arney A former Pakistani diplomat has told the BBC that the US was planning military action against Osama Bin Laden and the Taleban even before last week’s attacks.

Niaz Naik, a former Pakistani Foreign Secretary, was told by senior American officials in mid-July that military action against Afghanistan would go ahead by the middle of October. Mr Naik said US officials told him of the plan at a UN-sponsored international contact group on Afghanistan which took place in Berlin.

Mr Naik told the BBC that at the meeting the US representatives told him that unless Bin Laden was handed over swiftly America would take military action to kill or capture both Bin Laden and the Taleban leader, Mullah Omar.

The wider objective, according to Mr Naik, would be to topple the Taleban regime and install a transitional government of moderate Afghans in its place – possibly under the leadership of the former Afghan King Zahir Shah.

Mr Naik was told that Washington would launch its operation from bases in Tajikistan, where American advisers were already in place. He was told that Uzbekistan would also participate in the operation and that 17,000 Russian troops were on standby.

Mr Naik was told that if the military action went ahead it would take place before the snows started falling in Afghanistan, by the middle of October at the latest.

He said that he was in no doubt that after the World Trade Center bombings this pre-existing US plan had been built upon and would be implemented within two or three weeks.

And he said it was doubtful that Washington would drop its plan even if Bin Laden were to be surrendered immediately by the Taleban.


May 13, 2002,

Afghanistan plans gas pipeline

The pipeline is Afghanistan’s biggest foreign investment project

Afghanistan hopes to strike a deal later this month to build a $2bn pipeline through the country to take gas from energy-rich Turkmenistan to Pakistan and India.

Afghan interim ruler Hamid Karzai is to hold talks with his Pakistani and Turkmenistan counterparts later this month on Afghanistan’s biggest foreign investment project, said Mohammad Alim Razim, minister for Mines and Industries told Reuters.

“The work on the project will start after an agreement is expected to be struck at the coming summit,” Mr Razim said.

The construction of the 850-kilometre pipeline had been previously discussed between Afghanistan’s former Taliban regime, US oil company Unocal and Bridas of Argentina.

The project was abandoned after the US launched missile attacks on Afghanistan in 1999.

US company preferred

Mr Razim said US energy company Unocal was the “lead company” among those that would build the pipeline, which would bring 30bn cubic meters of Turkmen gas to market annually.

Unocal – which led a consortium of companies from Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Japan and South Korea – has maintained the project is both economically and technically feasible once Afghan stability was secured.

“Unocal is not involved in any projects (including pipelines) in Afghanistan, nor do we have any plans to become involved, nor are we discussing any such projects,” a spokesman told BBC News Online.

The US company formally withdrew from the consortium in 1998.

“The Afghan side assures all sides about the security of the pipeline and will take all responsibilities for it,” Mr Razim said.

Reconstructing

Afghanistan plans to build a road linking Turkmenistan with Pakistan parallel to the pipeline, to supply nearby villages with gas, and also to pump Afghan gas for export, Mr Razim said.

The government would also earn transit fees from the export of gas and oil and hoped to take over ownership of the pipeline after 30 years, he said.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has been surveying routes for transferring local gas from northern Afghan areas to Kabul, and to iron ore mines at the Haji Gak pass further west.

“ADB will announce its conclusion soon,” Mr Razim said.

The pipeline is expected to be built with funds from donor countries for the reconstruction of Afghanistan as well as ADB loans, he said.


May 30 2002,

Afghan pipeline given go-ahead

The leaders hope for future oil profits

The leaders of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkmenistan have agreed to construct a $2bn pipeline to bring gas from Central Asia to the sub-continent.

The project was abandoned in 1998 when a consortium led by US energy company Unocal withdrew from the project over fears of being seen to support Afghanistan’s then Taliban government. The President of Turkmenistan, Saparmurat Nayazov, the chairman of Afghanistan’s interim administration Hamid Karzai and Pakistan’s President General Pervez Musharraf signed a memorandum of understanding in Islamabad on Thursday.

President Musharraf said the 1,500km pipeline would run from Turkmenistan’s Daulatabad gas fields to the Pakistani port city of Gwadar.

The Pakistani leader said once the project is completed, Central Asia’s hydrocarbon resources would be available to the international market, including East Asian and other far eastern countries.

Pakistan has plans to build a liquid-gas plant at the Gwadar port for export purposes.

Call for interest

The three countries have agreed to invite international tenders and guarantee funding before launching the project.

Unocal has repeatedly denied it is interested in returning to Afghanistan despite having conducted the original feasibility study to build the pipeline.

There is also a question mark over stability in Afghanistan, but interim Afghan leader Hamid Karzai said peace was prevailing all over the country.

Afghan officials believe the pipeline could yield significant revenues for the impoverished country in the form of transit fees.

The pipeline could eventually supply gas to India.

President Musharraf also said he was committed to a proposed gas pipeline from Iran through Pakistan to India as it was in his country’s economic interest.

Source

Timeline on Afghanistan

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In Pakistan -Sherpao seeks parliamentary debate on IMF loan issue

November 10 2008

PESHAWAR: Pakistan People’s Party-Sherpao (PPP-S) Chairman Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao said on Sunday that International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan issue should be debated at length in Parliament before taking loan from the IMF.

Addressing a press conference at his Peshawar residence after a party meeting, Sherpao said that economic crisis had further worsened due to deteriorating law and order situation in the country, necessitating an in-depth discussion in Parliament on the IMF loan before the government took a final decision on taking loan from the IMF.

The PPP-S leader said Pakistan should give a befitting replying to those attacking sovereignty, integrity and solidarity of the country. Sherpao demanded that 14-point resolution passed by Parliament after a joint in-camera session should be implemented.

Though the whole world is facing financial crisis, Pakistan is suffering from the worst one than other countries, Sherpao said.

He said that he was not invited to Pak-Afghan Jirga held recently in Islamabad. However, he added, such jirgas were useful for both the countries. He said more jirgas should be held to restore peace in the region.

Earlier, the PPP-S meeting condemned US missile attacks on the Pakistani territory, including Waziristan. staff report

Source

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No US assurance to halt missile strikes in Pakistan

November 4 2008

Attacks difficult to explain, says Zardari

* Petraeus meets Gen Kayani and Gen Majid
* Pakistan seeks help for Bajaur displaced
* US team informed about security needs

ISLAMABAD: United States Central Command chief General David Petraeus did not guarantee an end to US drone attacks in Pakistani in a meeting with Pakistan’s top leaders on Monday.

Pakistan’s most high profile protest yet came as Gen Petraeus met with top civil and military leaders in his first visit here since he took over his new position last week, amid claims that it could signal a shift in strategy in Afghanistan.

“Pakistani leaders told General Petraeus it is not possible to ask our people to support the war on terror when our sovereignty is violated every day,” sources familiar with the interaction told Daily Times. US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher accompanied Petraeus.

According to an official statement, Zardari warned the US general the missile strikes were ‘counterproductive’ and “difficult to explain by a democratically-elected government”. “It is creating a credibility gap,” he said.

“The president said that US leadership has affirmed respect for Pakistan’s territorial integrity,” the statement said.

Boucher and Petraeus also met Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani. Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Kayani and National Security Adviser Mehmood Ali and senior US and Pakistani officials were also present.

An Inter-Services Public Relations statement said Petraeus separately met with Gen Kayani and Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Chairman General Tariq Majid.

Gen Majid told the US delegation the two countries needed a “consensus strategy to deal with violent extremism” that “keeps in view the local perspective”, the statement said.

Earlier, Defence Minister Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar and Petraeus “stressed the need for enhanced co-operation to eliminate the scourge of terrorism”.

Bajaur displaced: Sources said Mukhtar also sought international help for the people displaced because of the military operation in Bajaur Agency.

Security needs: The American delegation was also briefed on Pakistan’s security needs to enhance its operational capability to fight terrorism.

Gen Patraeus said that they would consider the requests. sajjad malik/agencies

Source

NATO must stop violation of airspace

November 1 2008

Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani said in Istanbul that NATO forces in Afghanistan must stop violation of Pakistan’s airspace, terming it counter-productive that negatively impacts Pakistan’s efforts in the war on terror.The Prime Minister was talking to Foreign Minister of Belgium, Karel De Guelt who called on him on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum.

They discussed matters of mutual interest, including means for enhancing bilateral cooperation. Karel De Guelt, on behalf of the government and people of Belgium, extended heartfelt condolences and sympathies to the prime minister over the loss of precious human lives and damage to property caused by the devastating earthquake in Balochistan.

He said his government and people share the grief and sorrow of Pakistani people in this hour of tragedy.

The Prime Minister expressed his gratitude to the Belgium Foreign Minister for these sentiments and said that the government of Pakistan is mobilizing all available resources to provide speedy relief to the affected people.

During the meeting, they exchanged views on further promoting the existing bilateral relations.

They also discussed regional and global issues particularly the problem of terrorism and extremism being faced by Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The prime minister said that Pakistan was paying a heavy price for being a frontline state in the war on terror.

He pointed out that because of the two million Afghan refugees in the country, Pakistan was facing a severe socio-economic and law and order situation.

He called upon the world community to fully cooperate with Pakistan in its efforts in the war on terror.

Source

No more US attacks to be tolerated

November 1 2008

MIRANSHAH: A tribal elder of Pakistan People’s Party in North Waziristan has asked the United States to stop incursions in the agency, saying no more US drone missile attacks in the agency will be tolerated.

The party’s agency vice president Malik Ghulam Khan Madakhel said this on Friday while addressing a press conference here.

The PPP tribal leader also urged the federal government to implement parliament’s in-camera session declaration and start dialogue process in the tribal areas for ending the ongoing unrest.

He said during the USSR-Afghan war, Russian army had carried out several missile attacks in the tribal areas but did not succeed in fulfillment of its nefarious designs. Like Russian army, the US forces had also started missile attacks in the tribal region bordering Afghanistan but it, too, would never succeed in its wicked designs, he said.

He called the US drone attacks in tribal areas as challenge to the government of Pakistan and its sovereignty. He called upon the government to take practical steps for stopping US attacks in tribal areas and end military operation there. to pave way for resolution of the ongoing unrest in the tribal region through dialogues.

Source

UK Opposes US incursions inside Pakistan

ISLAMABAD,
October 31 2008

Once again strongly opposing persistent US incursions inside Pak territory the United Kingdom’s Secretary of State for Justice Jack Straw Friday urged the United States to respect the sovereignty and integrity of vital allies.

Talking to ARY One World, he said United Kingdom believes that the consent of Pakistan is must before initiating any action inside its territory.

Strongly favouring the continuation of Indo‑Pak dialogue process, he added that his country fully supports the negotiated settlement of disputes.

“United Kingdom applauds Indo‑Pak endeavours to extract an acceptable resolution of disputes especially the resolution of Kashmir issue through peaceful means,” he said.

He expressed heartfelt sympathies with the victims of earthquake on behalf of UK’s Queen, government,people and vowed to provide all possible help to affectees of natural disaster.

Responding to a question he said his country favours establishment of independent judiciary in Pakistan.

Source

Iraq condemns US raid on Syrian village

Amateur video footage of the US raid shows a man standing over a covered body in Sukkariyeh, Syria. The raid was carried out by the CIA

The raid was carried out by the CIA

October 29 2008

By Patrick Cockburn

The Iraqi government has unexpectedly denounced a CIA raid on a compound in a Syrian border village that killed an al-Qa’ida commander who dispatched fighters into Iraq.

“The Iraqi government rejects US aircraft bombarding posts inside Syria,” said an Iraqi government spokesman, Ali al-Dabbagh, in a surprise rebuke to Washington. “The constitution does not allow Iraq to be used as a staging ground to attack neighbouring countries.”

The raid, the first on Syrian territory by the US since the invasion of Iraq five years ago, highlights the way the US carries out military operations without consulting the Iraqi government. This is humiliating for the Iraqi government and reinforces Iraqi doubts about signing a security pact with the US by the end of the year. The operation on Sunday, in which US helicopters landed 24 special forces troops in Sukkariyeh, five miles inside Syria near the border town of Abu Kamal, was carried out by the CIA according to US officials in Washington. The US soldiers reportedly killed Abu Ghadiyah, the nom de guerre of Badran Turki Hishan al-Mazidih, who had been denounced by the US for facilitating the “flow of terrorists, weapons and money from Syria to al-Qa’ida in Iraq”. His body was flown back to Iraq, officials said.

Syria denied the presence of al-Qa’ida in Sukkariyeh and claimed the dead were local farmers. The Syrian government yesterday ordered the closure of an American school and a US cultural centre in Damascus in retaliation.

Abu Ghadiyah, aided by close family members, had his assets frozen by the US Treasury in February in a directive claiming he was the head of logistics in Syria for al-Qa’ida. The most surprising aspect of the US attack was its timing. Syria has been a conduit for anti-US insurgents since the Sunni Arab uprising against the US occupation started after the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003.

But the Sunni rebellion has largely subsided since 2007 and Syria has become more co-operative in stopping the movement of fighters across the border. The US and Iraqi governments also claim to have succeeded in largely eliminating al-Qa’ida in Iraq in Anbar province, which has a long common border with Syria. Abu Ghadiyah’s smuggling activities would have been less significant than in the past. The CIA-led raid into Syrian territory will deepen suspicions in Syria and Jordan that, so long as the US has a military presence in Iraq, it will be used as a launching pad for operations against them. Iran has already made clear that it is against the Status of Forces Agreement (Sofa), negotiated by Iraq and the US over the past eight months. The decision on signing the agreement has divided the Iraqi government, and the cabinet is looking for amendments. In theory Sofa would increase Iraqi control but its critics claim it would formalise the occupation.

US officials are trying to get the pact signed before the UN mandate for the US occupation runs out at the end of the year. The decision on whether or not to sign Sofa has split the Iraqi politicians. The ministers of defence, interior, foreign affairs and finance are in favour; so too are the Kurdish parties. But the Shia religious parties are dubious or against it. The US raid into Syria is likely only to increase those doubts.

Source

US shows it is ready to take the war across boundaries

October 27 2008

The US commando attack inside Syrian territory appears to amplify an emerging message to countries giving safe passage to terrorists: Take action, or America will.

A Washington military official said special forces conducted the raid in Syria to target the network of al Qaida-linked foreign fighters moving through Syria to help fight in the war in Iraq.

Syria said troops in four helicopters attacked a building and killed eight people, including four children.

“We are taking matters into our own hands,” the official said.

Although the flow of foreign fighters from Syria to Iraq has been declining, Americans have been unable to shut down the network in the area struck because Syria was out of the military’s reach.

The move appears to echo one taken recently in America’s other current war. President Bush in July secretly approved military raids inside anti-terror ally Pakistan, which has been unwilling or unable to stem the flow of militants hiding in Pakistan and waging cross-border raids into Afghanistan.

Helicopter-borne US special forces conducted a raid in September inside Pakistan – the only one known so far following Mr Bush’s order. Islamabad has complained bitterly about the move, which it says killed two dozen people, including civilians.

The US has become frustrated with the use of Pakistan’s north-western tribal areas as a haven for militants nearly seven years since the Taliban was rousted from Afghanistan for harbouring Osama bin Laden.

The weekend’s raid came just days after the commander of US forces in western Iraq said American troops were redoubling efforts to secure the Syrian border, which he called an “uncontrolled” gateway for fighters entering Iraq.

Syria called the raid a “serious aggression,” and its foreign ministry summoned the charges d’affaires of the United States and Iraq in protest.

Government newspapers also published scathing criticisms of the raid today. Tishrin splashed its front pages with a headline denouncing it as a “US war crime,” while Al-Baath newspaper described the attack in an editorial as a “stunning, shocking and unprecedented adventure.”

Source

Syrian minister warns US after raid
October 27 2008

A US military raid inside Syria was an act of “criminal and terrorist aggression”, Syria’s foreign minister said today

Speaking at a news conference in London, Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem warned of retaliation if Syria’s borders were violated again.

He said Syria “would defend our territories” if there were a repeat of the weekend raid.

The US military said it was targeting the network of al-Qaida-linked foreign fighters moving through Syria to help fight in Iraq. Syria said troops in four helicopters attacked a building and killed eight people, including four children.

“They know full well that we stand against al-Qa’ida,” Mr al-Moallem said. “They know full well we are trying to tighten our border with Iraq.”

He was in London today for talks with the British Foreign Secretary David Miliband. The two were supposed to hold a joint press conference but this was cancelled at the last minute.

The Foreign Office said that it had been agreed with the Syrians that it would “not be appropriate” to hold a formal press conference following their talks in London. A spokeswoman said the press conference had been abandoned because both sides had been concerned that it would be dominated by questions about the US raid.

The Foreign Office confirmed that the meeting between Mr Miliband and Walid al-Muallem, the Syrian foreign minister, was still going ahead as planned.

Mr al-Moallem called for a new US administration to “learn from the mistakes of this administration.”

“I hope the American people would elect a president who can bring a good reputation in the world, not like this reputation we are witnessing in this administration,” he said.

Source

Seems George Bush thinks he can do anything he wants to anyone he wants.

This will also backfire on the US as did the attacks on Pakistan. The US does not have the legal right to attack anyone they please. This is yet another illegal act of aggression ,  of the US Government.

Bush is in fact causing more war. He is also Trying to get him and his cohorts immunity from crimes against humanity and those under the Geneva Convention.

Bush Trying to Avoid War Crimes Charges

Violations under the Geneva Convention are a Felony.  So they want to pass a bit of legislation so they can’t be prosecuted. So in essence Bush thinks he can murder, maim, torture, commit acts of Genocide and get away with it.  I firmly believe Bush and those responsible should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and they should not be given any immunity for his crimes. Why should they be above the law when the rest of the people around the world are not?

Bush secret order to send special forces into Pakistan

Pakistani tribal chiefs threaten to join Taliban


Published in: on November 1, 2008 at 5:15 pm  Comments Off on Iraq condemns US raid on Syrian village  
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Prime Minister’s plea on oil prices as he tours the Middle East to secure IMF funding

By Nigel Morris

November 1 2008

Gordon Brown flies out to the Gulf today on a mission to persuade the region’s oil-rich states to help combat the global economic meltdown.

He is expected to meet the leaders of Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates and ask them to pump billions of pounds into the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which is struggling to cope with pleas for help from countries facing collapse in their financial system.

The Prime Minister will also urge them not to cut production in an effort to reverse the slide in oil prices over the past month. The size of the challenge facing the British economy was underlined on the eve of the tour, as Mr Brown was warned that levels of debt and borrowing will climb higher than during the last recession in the early 1990s.

A report by the independent Institute for Fiscal Studies concluded that the Government was going into the recession with a “significantly higher” level of debt than in 1990. Even excluding the cost of nationalising Northern Rock, public sector net debt is due to reach 39.7 per cent of gross domestic product this year and is “very likely” to rise above 46.2 per cent within the next couple of years.

The Prime Minister has sought to emphasise the “global” nature of the economic downturn. Ahead of his latest trip abroad he signalled fears that the $250bn (£155bn) fund available to the IMF to help fragile economies might not be enough to cope with the extent of global downturn. Hungary, Iceland and Ukraine have already agreed emergency loans, while other countries queuing up for help include Belarus, Turkey and – critically for regional security – Pakistan.

Mr Brown believes the IMF’s coffers should be topped up by the rapidly-growing economies of the Gulf region, whose revenues have soared as fuel prices leapt this year. He is also targeting China, which is sitting on large reserves of capital.

The extra cash required by the IMF to counter the international turbulence could amount to hundreds of billions of dollars. But Mr Brown will probably run into opposition in the region, whose leaders have already expressed dismay that they are being asked to tackle a problem that has its roots in the turmoil in the American sub-prime mortgage market.

The Prime Minister will also express his opposition to the decision of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to cut output from today by 1.5 million barrels a day.

The Gulf nations, which produce more than half of the world’s oil, have seen the price of a barrel fall from a high of $147 (£91) in July to below $65 yesterday. The Prime Minister’s spokesman said yesterday: “We recognise over that over the long-term global demand for oil is increasing, so over the long-term price is likely to increase. But what we want to avoid is the sharp increases we have seen in recent months.” Mr Brown is also planning to renew his call on the Gulf states to invest in renewable energy technology.

He is being accompanied by Peter Mandelson, the Business Secretary, and Ed Miliband, the Energy and Climate Change Secretary, and more than 20 business leaders.

During a visit to Edinburgh yesterday, Mr Brown said low interest rates and falling inflation, along with lower national debt than other countries, would help Britain survive the turbulence. “It is the first global crisis that we are having to deal with in this new industrial age where so much is global. I am confident that the opportunities for our economy are great in the years to come.”

The shadow Chancellor, George Osborne, yesterday accused the Prime Minister of trying to “spend his way out of recession” at the risk of exacerbating the downturn and saddling future generations with huge tax increases to combat rising national debt.

In a speech drawing dividing lines between Conservative and Labour approaches to the economic crisis, he denounced Mr Brown as irresponsible for suggesting that the Government can “borrow without limit” to stave off recession.

He said the policy of borrowing more to pay for a state “spending splurge” was “a cruise missile aimed at the heart of the economy”, which could require tax rises equivalent to 4p on income tax. But he was attacked by Labour and Liberal Democrat opponents for being “confused” and “out of his depth” in his analysis.

The credit crisis: Latest developments

*PM to urge Gulf states not to cut oil production as Opec reduces output by 1.5 million barrels a day

*Osborne accuses Brown of trying to ‘spend his way out of a recession’

*Barclays to take £7.3bn from investors in Abu Dhabi and Qatar in bid to maintain bonus packages

*Investors in the Middle East could end up owning as much as one-third of banking giant’s shares

Source

Published in: on November 1, 2008 at 4:03 pm  Comments Off on Prime Minister’s plea on oil prices as he tours the Middle East to secure IMF funding  
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CIA officers could face trial in Britain over torture allegations

Attorney General to investigate abuse claims

By Robert Verkaik

October 31 2008

Senior CIA officers could be put on trial in Britain after it emerged last night that the Attorney General is to investigate allegations that a British resident held in Guantanamo Bay was brutally tortured, after being arrested and questioned by American forces following the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington in 2001.

The Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has asked Baroness Scotland to consider bringing criminal proceedings against Americans allegedly responsible for the rendition and abuse of Binyam Mohamed, when he was held in prisons in Morocco and Afghanistan.

The development follows criticism of US prosecutors by British judges who have seen secret evidence of torture committed against Mr Mohamed, including allegations his torturers used a razor blade to repeatedly cut his penis. The Attorney’s investigation is expected to include allegations that MI5 colluded in Mr Mohamed’s rendition. Mr Mohamed, 30, an Ethiopian national and British resident, was arrested in Pakistan in 2002, when he was questioned by an MI5 officer.

On Tuesday, Government lawyers wrote to the judges hearing Mr Mohamed’s case against the UK government in the High Court. In the letter they said “the question of possible criminal wrongdoing to which these proceedings has given rise has been referred by the Home Secretary to the Attorney general for consideration as an independent minister of justice”. Baroness Scotland has been sent secret witness statements given to the court and public interest immunity certificates for the proceedings.

Mr Mohamed, 30, accuses MI5 agents of lying about what they knew of CIA plans to transfer him to a prison in north Africa, where he claims he was subjected to horrendous torture. Mr Mohamed, who won asylum in the UK in 1994, has been charged with terrorism-related offences. He awaits a decision on whether he is to face trial at the US naval base. He is officially the last Briton at Guantanamo. Last night his lawyer, Clive Stafford Smith, said: “This is a welcome recognition that the CIA cannot just go rendering British residents to secret torture chambers without consequences, and British agents cannot take part in US crimes without facing the music. Reprieve will be making submissions to the Attorney General to ensure those involved, from the US, Pakistan, Morocco, Britain, are held responsible.”

Richard Stein, of Leigh Day, representing Mr Mohamed in the High Court proceedings, said: “Ultimately the British Government had little choice once they conceded that a case had been made that Binyam Mohamed was tortured. The Convention Against Torture imposes an obligation on signatory states to investigate torture.”

In August two judges ruled allegations of torture were at least arguable and that MI5 had information relating to Mr Mohamed that was “not only necessary but essential for his defence”.

The judges have read statements and interviews with Mr Mohamed between 28 and 31 July, 2004 when he says he was forced to confess to terrorism. The judges said: “This was after a period of over two-and-a-half years of incommunicado detention during which Binyam Mohamed alleges he was tortured.”

He was first held in Pakistan in 2002, where a British agent interrogated him; he was then sent to Morocco by the CIA and allegedly tortured for 18 months. He was rendered to the secret “Dark Prison” in Afghanistan, where his torture is alleged to have continued. Since September 2004, he has been in Guantanamo Bay.

Source

Published in: on October 31, 2008 at 9:10 am  Comments Off on CIA officers could face trial in Britain over torture allegations  
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US Deliberately causing Hostility in Pakistan

Pakistan claims dozens of militants killed

Oct. 12 2008

PESHAWAR, Pakistan — Pakistani security forces clashed with militants in two tribal areas in northwest Pakistan, killing more than 50 alleged insurgents, a paramilitary statement and a government official said Sunday.

Meanwhile, intelligence officials said a suspected U.S. missile strike in another tribal area Saturday had killed five people, but none was believed to be a foreign al Qaeda fighters.

Pakistan’s Frontier Corps, in a vague, two-sentence news release, said its paramilitary troops killed 27 alleged insurgents, including two “important commanders,” in the Orakzai tribal region. The clashes followed Friday’s suicide bombing in Orakzai that killed dozens of anti-Taliban tribesmen.

The statement claimed a dozen suicide bombers were among those killed Sunday by the security forces. Frontier Corps officials could not immediately be reached for more details.

Also Sunday, security forces waging an offensive in the Bajur tribal region killed at least 25 more suspected militants, government official Jamil Khan said.

Khan told The Associated Press that helicopter gunships shelled militants’ bunkers overnight in the Charmang area of Bajur, killing at least 10 people. During the day Sunday, 15 more suspected militants were killed in the clashes, he said.

Insurgents in the area were fighting a local tribal militia formed to rid the area of militants. Two local tribesmen also were killed, Khan said.

Al Qaeda, a largely Arab network, and the Taliban, which has both Afghan and Pakistani components, have established bases in Pakistan’s northwest tribal regions, where they are said to plan attacks on U.S. and NATO forces across the border in Afghanistan.

Under U.S. pressure, Pakistan has carried out military offensives against insurgents while also trying to woo various tribes to turn against the militants. The military has said its two-month-old offensive in Bajur has killed more than 1,000 insurgents.

But the U.S. has recently signaled its impatience with Pakistani efforts by apparently staging several cross-border assaults from Afghanistan.

On Saturday, two unmanned drones were seen above the town of Miran Shah in the North Waziristan tribal region minutes before missiles hit a house near a matchbox factory, two intelligence officials said.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media. They said reports from local informants indicated there were no foreigners among the dead.

The latest strike brings to at least 12 the number of cross-border missile attacks believed carried out by the U.S. since mid-August. More than 100 people, most of them alleged militants, have been killed, according to figures provided to The AP by Pakistani intelligence officials.

The United States rarely confirms or denies the attacks. Pakistani leaders routinely criticize the strikes as violations of their sovereignty, but those protests have had little tangible effect on the alliance between the two countries.

Source

The US is causing more problems then solving,  with their missile attacks. Of course this is also an act of war against Pakistan. They have absolutely no right to send missiles or to even cross their boarder in any act of aggression.

Well the result of this however very disturbing. Seems they want to cause more war instead of ending it. That is very obvious to me and should also be quit obvious to anyone else.

In case anyone missed this:

September 15 2008

A controversial new US tactic to mount counter-terrorist operations inside Pakistan has met with fresh hostility, it emerged yesterday, as Pakistani tribesmen representing half a million people vowed to switch sides and join the Taliban if Washington does not stop cross-border attacks by its forces from Afghanistan.

Reacting to American missile attacks in north Waziristan last week, which followed an unprecedented cross-border ground assault earlier this month, tribal chiefs from the area called an emergency meeting on Saturday.

Source

Well isn’t that just peachy? And the US attacks are helping HOW? Maybe if anything, the US should back off before they start,  yet another full scale war.  The more they irritate others the more problems They Cause.

Cause and affect. One doesn’t have to think to hard, to see where the US aggression is leading.

Seems to me it is a deliberate act of aggression just start another war. I guess those investors in war companies in the White House haven’t made enough money on the wars they have going already. How much profit do they want?

How many more people do they want to kill another million or two?

Seems the US just want to take over the entire planet.

They are stirring up a lot of anger around the world.

China is angry with them.  Russia is angry with them.

Well the world as a whole is not to impressed with the financial crisis they caused.

Do we want more war?

Enough is Enough.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I am sick of their illegal actions, their wars, their mismanagment, their lies,  their propeganda and their killing.