Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Freedom Of The Press Foundation Releases Audio of Whistleblower Bradley Manning's Court Statement & Daniel Ellsberg's Salute To Bradley Manning

Reaction to Obama's War on Whistleblowers leads to creation of Freedom of the Press Foundation which is intended to help groups such as Wikileaks which are doing essentially investigative journalism to publish leaked documents to call those in power to account for their accounts.

New Funding Group Calls for 100 More WikiLeaks to Offset Unprecedented Gov't Secrecy

Published on 5 Mar 2013

http://www.democracynow.org - WikiLeaks is set to receive major new financial support this week from a new group that funds independent journalism organizations dedicated to transparency and accountability in government. This comes as Mastercard, Visa, and PayPal continue to refuse to process payments for WikiLeaks, making it difficult to send donations. "We don't just need one WikiLeaks, we need 10 or 100. We have a situation in this country where government secrecy is at an all-time high," says Freedom of the Press Foundation Co-founder and Executive Director Trevor Timm. We are also joined by Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald, who is a member of the foundation's board.

Bradley Manning audio of his statement to the court explaining why he leaked the government documents including videos to Wikileaks.
A short film by Laura Poitras

Bradley Manning's Full Statement c/o Freedom of the Press Foundation , March 11, 2013

A Salute to Bradley Manning, Whistleblower, As We Hear His Words for the First Time Daniel Ellsberg,Huffington Post, March 12, 2013

Today, the Freedom of the Press Foundation, an organization that I co-founded and of which I'm on the board, has published an audio recording of Bradley Manning's speech to a military court from two weeks ago, in which he gives his reasons and motivations behind leaking over 700,000 government documents to WikiLeaks.

Whoever made this recording, and I don't know who the person is, has done the American public a great service. This marks the first time the American public can hear Bradley Manning, in his own voice explain what he did and how he did it.

After listening to this recording and reading his testimony, I believe Bradley Manning is the personification of the word whistleblower.

Secrecy surrounding trial

Manning faces some of exact same charges I faced forty two years ago when I leaked the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times and eighteen other papers. The only difference is I was a civilian, so I could stay out of jail on bond while the trial was going on, and was able to talk to the media throughout. I took responsibility for what I had done on the day of my arrest, and I was able to explain why I did it.

But thanks to the judge's rulings in Manning's case, the public has barely heard anything from Manning at all. No official transcripts of the proceeding are released to the public, and when documents like the judge's court orders are released, it is weeks after the fact -- and only in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.

Now I hope the American people can see Manning in a different light. In 1971, I was able to give the media my side of the story, and it is long overdue Manning is able to do the same. As Manning has now done, I stipulated as to all the facts for which I was accused. And I did that for several reasons, and I suspect that Manning had the same motives.

First, it was to exonerate a number of people who were suspected of helping me, like former Defense Department colleagues Mort Halperin, Leslie Gelb and others. I was able to state flatly they did not know about the release in the midst of President Nixon's anxious desire to indict several of them.

And Manning, in saying he took responsibility for the leaks and describing in great detail how he did it, was able to say Julian Assange and Wikileaks had nothing to do with his decision to leak. WikiLeaks had not giving him any special means beyond what a normal newspaper would do.

Now, there's really now excuse for the grand jury chasing Julian Assange for conspiracy to commit espionage to continue. If they're not going to indict the New York Times--and there is no constitutional basis for them to do so--there's no reason for them to investigate or indict Assange or WikiLeaks.

As the former general counsel of the New York Times James Goodale once said, "Charging Julian Assange with 'conspiracy to commit espionage' would effectively be setting a precedent with a charge that more accurately could be characterized as 'conspiracy to commit journalism.'"

The second thing Manning did with his statement -- which you can finally hear today -- was to explain his motives (he could not do that while he was still putting the responsibility on the government -- by pleading not guilty -- to prove what he had done beyond a reasonable doubt).

They were the same motives I felt 42 years ago. We both felt the horror of reading about deceptive, and even criminal, activity. We both felt the public needed this information and should have had it years ago. So we both released classified documents about a bloody, hopeless war.

Such criminal, dangerous, and deceptive behavior by the government can only be changed if Congress and the public are informed of them. And when official secrecy allows the government to cover these facts up, the only way to bring them to the public is to break secrecy regulations.

Fox News making sense???
Fox News Shep Smith and Judge Napolitano take on Obama's Drone attacks and targeted assassinations for which Obama refuses any oversight and refuses to release information or the details of the process for who is on the kill list. Obama assassinated several American citizens allegedly connected to terrorists.

Shep Smith And Judge Napolitano Eviscerate Obama’s ‘Reprehensible’ Drone Strike Policy Liberty Crier.com ,March 9, 2013

Monday, March 11, 2013

MSNBC , Maddow? et al Part of Cowardly Liberal Progressive Media Ignore or Defend President Obama 's Persecution Of Whistleblower and People's Hero Bradley Manning

Glenn Greenwald one of the few investigative journalists who has been following the Bradley Manning case which he believes Obama is deliberately using to stop Whistleblowers and to stop all Journalists from reporting on leaks.
Journalism ethics if there is such a thing outside a few brave reporters is boiled down to securing one's job and position and of course a decent salary -the cost truth , integrity, Free Press replaced by quiescence and showering one's favorite leader ie Obama or Bush with idolization and idealization.

Glenn Green Wald at Democracy Now with Amy Goodman March 6, 2013.
Whistleblowers Warned at Bradley Manning Hearing: You Give Classified Docs to Me

Is this the death of real journalism in the USA as even self-proclaimed Liberals and Progressives are afraid to take on their beloved Obama.
Are they involved in self-censorship ?
Are the CEOs at the media outlets threatening them?
What's the deal?

We see it these days with other issues of Obama's policies in which these so called champions of democracy , freedom of speech and Human Rights defend Obama's "Kill List" and "Targeted Assassinations and the war crimes he commits every day as he drops bombs from drones on innocent civilians.

The liberal and progressive line is that fewer US troops are being killed and this is their standard for upholding human rights, the rule of law, international law, ethics, morality  and common decency .
Over and over again we have seen the so-called liberals and progressives accept as facts the propaganda that Obama or the Pentagon or CIA feed them .

So if the powers that be say only 100,000 Iraqis died in the Iraq war they take it as fact.
While many journalists and human rights groups outside the overarching influence of the squeamish US media put the figures of Iraqi dead at 650,000 to 1.5 million .

Journalist not towing thew party line also are reporting on the US military's use of "Death Squads" in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Pakistan , in Yemen , Somalia . At their height in Iraq they were abducting, torturing and murdering civilians at a rate of 3,000 per month.
When the Death Squads were working in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras etc. the US media then often as not ignored or defended the use of Death Squads. And now since the Obama/Clinton Coup d'etat in Honduras in 2009 the Death Squads are at it again and they are trained, armed and supervised by the USA per usual-but Americans don't give a shit -cause all that matters is America's interests as it is in Afghanistan as it was in Iran 's CIA staged coup in 1953, CIAs staged Coup in Gautemala and the infamous Coup orchestrated by the CIA and Henry Kissinger aka the Butcher of Latin America in Chile putting Dictator Pinochet in power replacing as in the other countries mentioned democratically and popularly supported leaders.

America has the arrogance and hubris to believe that they will decide the fate of nations based upon America's interests especially its corporate and Wall Street interests.
What good for United Fruit INC. is good for the world? as an old saying goes .
MSNBC , Maddow? et al Part of Cowardly Liberal Progressive Media Ignore or Defend President Obama 's Persecution Of Whistleblower and People's Hero Bradley Manning

It is astonishing ,appalling and disturbing that Obama's persecution of Whistleblower and Hero Bradley Manning is either ignored, buries or defended . Why because the liberals and progressives those self-described are too enthralled and adoring and idolizing of Obama to criticize his policies even if they are as bad as or in this case worse than George W. Bush.

The Bushites also idolize Bush and defended all his policies no matter how immoral, unethical or illegal, Now Obama makes up the laws as he goes along and all the liberals and progressives act as his official cheerleaders .

The Case of the US vs Bradley Manning | Common Dreams
Report from Al Jazeera

The Case of the US vs Bradley Manning

Al Jazeera's 'Listening Post' asks why have the US media shied away from covering the source of the WikiLeaks material yet gouged on his information?

During his hour-long plea, Manning told the court that he first turned to the national press. Before approaching WikiLeaks, Manning says he contacted the New York Times, the Washington Post and Politico - neither of which returned his calls. His testimony raises the question of whether the mainstream press was prepared to host the debate on US interventions and foreign policy that Manning had in mind. Media outlets went on to draw on WikiLeaks for some of the biggest news stories of the decade. Manning’s leak meant millions of papers sold and pages viewed yet the story of the man himself has been pushed to the margins. Is this just ingratitude or something more sinister? Are important parts of the fourth estate signing up for a system of government-media relations that sees whistleblowers as enemies of the state?

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Humanitarian Crisis in Syria Ignored By Obama and The West & ACLU Investigates Militarization Of US Police Forces & Irony Abounds As Far Right Anti-Muslim Dutch Leader Converts To Islam

Humanitarian Crisis as Refugees from Syria increase dramatically to over 1 million this week while President Obama and his Western lackey offer little substantial aid and are more interested in sending hundreds of millions in weaponry and funds to aid the Jihadist extremists who now control the Rebels in Syria.

Americans especially are very reluctant to give any sort of humanitarian aid to their fellow citizens whether in the form of disaster relief or welfare or medical care or housing or food stamps and so forth believing each individual is in essence entirely alone and on their own and must provide for themselves or slowly die from hunger , exposure or disease . Such a truly Christian nation they trumpet believing all the lies they tell themselves.

According to America's Real Hero who is not MLK or FDR but rather is Ayn Rand (typified by the Soulless Greedy CEOs and Wall Street Thugs ) who argued that charity and altruism and caring about your neighbors or even strangers is a sign of moral and mental weakness. Whereas war for Americans is a cleansing the natural hygiene and the only real thing that matters that is proving America can kick ass and as Obama tells us kill anyone anywhere no matter how powerless or powerful.

Or to put it simply America's real Idol is not Jesus but the All Mighty Dollar and doing onto others before they do unto you.

Once again this time in Syria as the Western Nations led by the US declared war on a nation or at least its leaders the resulting humanitarian crisis is ignored. Now millions of Syrians are refugees who are in need of Humanitarian aid but the West is more concerned with funding, training and arming the rebel forces in Syria without any concern for the Syrian people. Though the West claims it is interfering in Syria on behalf of the people as they also said when they attacked Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan etc. but each time the words ring hollow as the displaced people and refugees who have fled to neighboring countries are virtually ignored. The US and the West are willing to commit Billions to fund the Rebels but are unwilling to ensure the health and safety of internal displaced persons or the refugees in neighboring countries.

ACLU on the Militarization of Police Forces Across The USA. Police forces treat average citizens as all being potential terrorists so it is no wonder that police are so eager to try out their new shiny toys to teach civilians who has rights and who does not.  During the Occupy Movement we saw how America now treats wide-spread protests with draconian militarized police actions to send a chilling message to any who are thinking about taking part in such activities.

The right to assembly, to freedom of expression, the freedom to protest and air one's grievances in a peaceful manner are no longer absolute rights because it depends on one's message .

 Being anti-Wall Street and Bank bail outs and insisting on the rule of law applying to the rich and powerful President Obama  by not interferring in the brutal crackdown  on the Occupy Wall Street Movement showed where his sympathies and loyalties lie that is with the rich and powerful and he appears to regard these protesters as being unAmerican and treasonous .

As we have said before if Obama had been around during the Civil Rights movement he would have been one those conservative African Americans warning his fellow Blacks to calm down and just wait and to of course stop breaking the law even the Jim Crow laws. We keep waiting for Obama to take one brave action to prove us wrong.

Irony abounds as former extreme right winger and former Islamophobe converts to Islam.
Arnoud Van Doorn of the Netherlands "Freedom Party" Former far right Islamophobe and friend and confidante of anti-Islam bigot and Crusader notorious Geert Wilders surprises many as he Converts to Islam.

This refugee crisis in Syria  is nothing new since the US has done all this before claiming to be on the side of the people of a nation even though they are against the Regime itself until it comes to coughing up some real money not just a few million that might only last a couple of weeks  as in the first Gulf War against Saddam by George Bush Sr. and the second Gulf War by George Bush Jr. in which millions of Iraqi Displaced Persons within Iraq and the 3 million Iraqis who left their homes and crossed the borders received little or no help .

In the first Gulf War thousands if not tens of thousands died waiting for military help to prevent Saddam from committing  mass murder which he in fact carried out or waiting for aid which never arrived and left them as sitting ducks to be murdered or transferred to various parts of Iraq in some cases left to die in concentration camps while the leaders of the so called Free World and superior civilization were too busy playing politics as if it were all a game without serious consequences for the ordinary people caught once again in the cross fire .

In the first Gulf War it was the Kurds and Shia of Iraq who were encouraged to rise up against Saddam and that the US would give them military and financial support but for political reasons they were abandoned to the brutality of Saddam so Kurds and Shia Iraqis were butchered by the tens of thousands as they were abandoned by the US and the West and even the Western Media.

So it is as usual mere rhetoric and an attempt to justify a regime change in Syria by military force when President Obama and the West claim they are intervening in Syria because of their concern for the people of Syria . Instead this is just all part of the US and the Western Powers geopolitical agenda as part of The New Great Game. Bashar Assad is a brutal dictator who has no hesitation or qualms about killing his own people in order to maintain power.

Humanitarian Catastrophe in Syria

Published on 9 Mar 2013

Omar Dahi: Western Powers and GCC countries fail to provide aid at levels needed, in spite of professed interest in the Syrian people

Irony abounds as anti-Islam politician and top level leader of Geert Wilders far right Dutch party after years of condemning Islam and all Muslims converts to Islam.

We can wish him well now that he has seen the error of his ways that Islam is not a religion which primarily teaches the necessity of violence to spread Islam . Jihad is meant to be primarily applied to one's personal struggle as a believer to become a better Muslim. The other side of Jihad is meant to be an armed struggle when Islam and the Muslim community are under physical attack .

If one looks at and studies the history of Christianity it is readily apparent how the religion and theology have been misappropriated or hijacked to justify various unChristian agendas from murdering Jews over the last thousand years or so to mass murdering Muslims or aboriginal or indigenous peoples in the Americas or in Africa or elsewhere to Christians killing other Christians over doctrinal theological differences. If we look at the history of Judaism and the Israelites as depicted in the Old Testament the Israelites on entering the Promised Land committed genocide in order to remove the so called unbelievers, pagans and so forth from the land. But this sort of violence was not part of the Jewish Diaspora for almost 2,000 years the Jewish people were in fact persecuted mercilessly by the European Christians more so than they were in Pagan or Islamic lands at least until the modern era.

According to the Prophet Muhammad Muslims were instructed to treat the peoples of the Book which includes Christians and Jews with respect unfortunately there have been supposed followers of Islam of the Prophet Muhammad who ignored such instructions and would comb the Holy Qur'an for a justification (proof texting)for persecuting Christians and Jews.

Far-right Dutch Politician Finds Islam OnIslam.net, March 5, 2013

AMSTERDAM – A leading member in far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders’ party has reverted to Islam after an extensive study about the Islamic religion and Muslims.

“I can understand people are skeptic, especially that it is unexpected for many of them,” Arnoud Van Doorn told Al-Jazeera English satellite channel.

“This is a very big decision, which I have not taken lightly.”

The news about Doorn’s reversion first came to the surface last month when he tweeted “new beginning”.

He later posted a tweet in Arabic pronouncing the Shahadah (proclamation of faith).

The politician later announced that he reverted to Islam, giving no more information about the reasons behind the decision.

“In my own close circle people have known that I have been actively researching the Qur’an, Hadith, Sunnah and other writings for almost a year now,” he said.

“In addition, I have had numerous conversations with Muslims about the religion.”

Driven by his party’s anti-Islam discourse, Doorn decided to dig in for the truth about the religion himself.

“I have heard so many negative stories about Islam, but I am not a person who follows opinions of others without doing my own research,” he said.

“Therefore, I have actually started to deepen my knowledge of the Islam out of curiosity.

“My colleague Aboe Khoulani from the City Council in The Hague has brought me further into contact with the as-Soennah mosque, which has guided me even further.”

A member of the Dutch parliament and The Hague city council, Doorn’s name has long been associated with Wilders’ anti-Islam, far-right PVV party.

Wilders himself is known for his rants against Islam, Muslims and the Noble Qur’an.

New Beginning

Doorn’s decision to embrace Islam has won mixed reactions in the Netherlands.

“According to some people I am a traitor, but according to most others I have actually made a very good decision,” he told Aljazeera.

“The reactions are generally positive and I also received quite some support via twitter.

“It feels good that people who do not know me personally have understanding of my situation and support me in my choice.”

For the Dutch politician, finding Islam was finally guiding him to the true path in his life.

“I have made mistakes in life as many others. From these mistakes I have learned a lot,” Doorn said.

“And by my conversion to Islam I have the feeling that I finally found my path.

“I realize that this is a new start and that I still have much to learn as well.”

Departing from his earlier life as a PVV member, Doorn expects much resistance in his political life.

“The expectation is that I will continue to face much resistance, also from certain government institutions,” he said.
“I have all faith in Allah to support me and to guide me through these moments.”

During the brutal crackdown in the US of the Occupy Movement in various cities across the country we saw how militarized local police forces have become and how their tactics were more suitable for an armed insurrection by citizens using terrorist tactics than would be more suitable to mostly peaceful protests. Just because protests spread across the nation and in some cases as many as 250,000 protesters took part in a single day's event does not give the police the right to gas and use brute force without any constraints short of killing protesters. This is the only difference one can see between how the US police treat peaceful protests and how other nations such as Bahrain, Egypt, Syria, Libya , Saudi Arabia etc. treat peaceful protesters.

In those cases where there was some push back by Occupy protesters including violence and vandalism these acts were committed by a small minority including mostly the violent prone Anarchist organization known as Black Bloc . In dealing with the Black Bloc the police in such cases are supposed to separate this groups from the majority and then round them up rather than attacking everyone who was taking a part in the protests.

So the ACLU intends to launch a nation wide investigation of these military style tactics combined with military style weaponry to put pressure on the local police , the American public and the federal and state governments to re-evaluate this militarization of police forces.

ACLU Launches Nationwide Investigation into Police Use of Military Technology & Tactics
Militarization of Local Law Enforcement Erodes Civil Liberties, Encourages Overly Aggressive Policing , ACLU Press release,March 6, 20133

NEW YORK - March 6 - American Civil Liberties Union affiliates in 23 states today simultaneously filed more than 255 public records requests to determine the extent to which local police departments are using federally subsidized military technology and tactics that are traditionally used overseas.

"Equipping state and local law enforcement with military weapons and vehicles, military tactical training, and actual military assistance to conduct traditional law enforcement erodes civil liberties and encourages increasingly aggressive policing, particularly in poor neighborhoods and communities of color," said Kara Dansky, senior counsel for the ACLU's Center for Justice. "We've seen examples of this in several localities, but we don't know the dimensions of the problem."

The affiliates filed public records requests with local law enforcement agencies seeking information on the use of:

Special Weapons and Tactics teams, including:

- Number and purpose of deployments
- Types of weapons used during deployments
- Injuries sustained by civilians during deployments
- Training materials
- Funding sources.

Cutting edge weapons and technologies, including:

- GPS tracking devices
- Unmanned aerial vehicles, or "drones"
- Augmented detainee restraint, or "shock-cuffs"
- Military weaponry, equipment, and vehicles obtained from or funded by federal agencies such as the Departments of Defense and/or Homeland Security.

Affiliates filed a second request with state National Guards seeking information regarding:

- Cooperative agreements between local police departments and the National Guard counter-drug program
- Incidents of National Guard contact with civilians.

"The American people deserve to know how much our local police are using military weapons and tactics for everyday policing," said Allie Bohm, ACLU advocacy and policy strategist. "The militarization of local police is a threat to Americans' right to live without fear of military-style intervention in their daily lives, and we need to make sure these resources and tactics are deployed only with rigorous oversight and strong legal protections."

The affiliates which filed public records requests are: Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Once the information has been collected and analyzed, if needed, the ACLU will use the results to recommend changes in law and policy governing the use of military tactics and technology in local law enforcement.

More information can be found here:

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Update Bahrain Protester Stands His Ground Eric Holder Defends Wall Street Friends And Justifies Persecution Of Aaron Swartz

Update Bahrain:
Protester standing against police stuns Bahrain

Published on 20 Feb 2013

The second anniversary of Bahrain's popular uprising was marked by renewed violence, resulting in the death of a 16-year old boy. In the video, filmed right after the teenager's death, a desperate protester can be seen risking his life to stand up to the police.

The victim's name was Hussein al-Jaziri. According to opposition websites, the teenager was killed by fragmentary bullets.

Overwhelmed by this death, which he had just witnessed, a protester walked up to police and screamed at them. The policemen tried to intimidate him, but seemed thrown off balance by the protester's daring.

"You criminals! You murderers! You hope to escape God's wrath? God will avenge us! Go on, shoot me! Shoot me if you dare, I won't leave!" the man in the video says.

Bahrain's Police fire on citizens playing a friendly game of soccer- All Attacks Obama /Kerry Approved

This is what President Obama means by "The Rule of Law" if an act is codified as legal then it is legitimate and moral. Playing soccer is against the law so those who dare to play a pick up game of soccer are ipso facto criminals who deserve to be tear-gassed, shot, imprisoned, tortured whatever as long as it is all done to the letter of the law .

Government and financial industry too entangled to pursue criminal charges indictments and cancelling of charters or licenses of financial institutions even after they commit numerous criminal offenses.

So Eric Holder and other officials in the Obama administration prefer to go after undocumented immigrants, medical marijuana dispensaries and growers and anyone who smokes pot or anyone supposedly illegally downloading files , films or songs from the internet .

So Obama pursues charges of treason against Whistleblower Bradley Manning rather than go after the alleged War Criminals of the Bush administration or even attempt to insist on substantive changes within the US military and the CIA to stop abuses of POWs or the murdering and torturing of thousands of Iraqi and Afghan citizens .

So Obama like most Americans believes that torturing and murdering civilians in foreign countries is no big deal because War Is Hell and those people shouldn't have I guess been born in those countries if they didn't want to be bombed by the Americans and its quisling NATO allies.

According to Obama the US military and other American institutions such as the CIA and America's prisons and police forces across the board are sacred and no one has a right to criticize these institutions .

Elizabeth Warren Wants HSBC Bankers Jailed, Regulators Have Ties To Bank By: DSWright FDL, March 8, 2013

In a nation that has imprisoned millions (mostly poor, mostly minorities) of people for minor drug offenses a bank that laundered billions of dollars in drug money, HSBC, has walked away with a small fine. No jail time, no charter removal, just a few weeks profit and on the game goes.

Senator Elizabeth Warren is irritated by this clear double standard for the rich and decided to let the regulators know of her displeasure in a Senate hearing.

On Thursday, the Senate held a hearing to ask federal regulators why they are not stopping banks from allowing money laundering. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) was the highlight of the show, slamming a Treasury official who refused to weigh in on whether the banks should face more severe penalties…

In December, the giant international bank HSBC was fined $1.9 billion for illegally allowing millions in Mexican drug trafficking money to be laundered through its accounts. But it’s not just HSBC—this is a systemic problem. Ten banks have been penalized in recent years for failure to comply with anti-money laundering rules.

US Attorney General Eric Holder defends the prosecution and persecution of Aaron Swartz for downloading academic files from the net while Holder claims that the Banks and Wall Street were too big to prosecute for robbing the public of billions and illegally foreclosures on homes . And he didn't mention that he has a major conflict of interests in cases dealing with Wall Street and the banks since many of these bankers and CEOs on Wall Street are friends of his and are friends with others in the top echelon of the Obama administration . So once again we see that the US government and Wall Street and the Banks and the investment industry are too entangled for us to expect objectivity or justice from the US government.

Attorney General Holder Claims Aaron Swartz Prosecution Was ‘Good Use of Prosecutorial Discretion’ By: DSWright at Fire Dog Lake, March 7, 2013

The whole process bore a striking resemblance to what the mafia does when they extort money from small businesspeople. They arrive at the person’s shop for the first time and say the owner forgot to pay them protection money. “Hey we could break your leg but instead we’ll simply take 10% of the gross.” The government charges Swartz under an absurd interpretation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act then says “Hey we could send you to prison for 35 years but instead we’ll simply take a 6 month sentence.”

Department of Justice officials even told Congress that by the end the only reason the odious charges against Swartz would not be dropped was because it would be embarrassing.

Some congressional staffers left the briefing with the impression that prosecutors believed they needed to convict Swartz of a felony that would put him in jail for a short sentence in order to justify bringing the charges in the first place, according to two aides with knowledge of the briefing.

Combine that with the case being brought in the first place because of political prejudices and Eric Holder’s assertion about good prosecutorial discretion falls apart. So we have a flimsy case from the beginning that devolved into a witch hunt and only continued on due to the stubbornness and vanity of the prosecutors. The worst tactics of the so-called justice system used on the most promising of citizens.

These people are eating our society alive.

 Meanwhile Eric Holder defends Wall St. and the Banks and in effect argues that the Department of Justice is only meant to go after the powerless and with limited economic means and that it would be foolish to go after those who are rich and powerful and well connected especially if they happen to be friends of his or other top officials in Washington.

If Holder indicted some of these bankers and CEOs he might have to indict himself as a felon ???.

And once again we see the talk of the Rule Of Law by Eric Holder and President Obama is just empty rhetoric except when it comes to the poor and powerless and the not so rich and not so well connected.

Attorney General Holder Says Banks Are Too Big To Prosecute By: DSWright at Firedoglake.com, March 8,2013
In the same hearing where he publicly endorsed the Aaron Swartz prosecution, Attorney General Eric Holder admitted that the reason he has not done his job the last five or so years is because he can’t.
Here’s an unexpected addition to the long list of people who say large banks may be too large to prosecute: Attorney General Eric Holder…
Mr. Holder defended his agency’s track record in testimony Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee. But he conceded that the economic impact of a conviction could be so significant that cases are difficult to pursue.
“I am concerned that the size of some of these institutions becomes so large that it does become difficult for us to prosecute them,” Mr. Holder told lawmakers. Prosecutors, he said, must confront the problem that “if you do prosecute, if you do bring a criminal charge, it will have a negative impact on the national economy, perhaps even the world economy. And I think that is a function of the fact that some of these institutions have become too large.”
There you are. It was not just Lanny Breuer refusing to uphold the law, his boss also believed Wall Street should be above the law. Too Big To Jail is real.
But we should not factor out the other truth in all this, Eric Holder has a massive conflict of interest. While Holder and Breuer were partners at Covington, the firm’s clients included the four largest U.S. banks – Bank of America, Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo & Co – as well as at least one other bank that is among the 10 largest mortgage servicers… 
A particular concern by those pressing for an investigation is Covington’s involvement with Virginia-based MERS Corp, which runs a vast computerized registry of mortgages. Little known before the mortgage crisis hit, MERS, which stands for Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, has been at the center of complaints about false or erroneous mortgage documents.
Court records show that Covington, in the late 1990s, provided legal opinion letters needed to create MERS on behalf of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase and several other large banks. It was meant to speed up registration and transfers of mortgages. By 2010, MERS claimed to own about half of all mortgages in the U.S. — roughly 60 million loans.
Holder and Breuer were at ground zero of the fraud that brought on the mortgage crisis. Is anyone surprised they have not done anything to hurt their old and likely future clients?

Friday, March 08, 2013

Death Squads A Traditional American Institution Over The Last Forty Years From Honduras, El Salvador to Iraq , Libya And Syria etc.

"Christians in Aleppo are victims of death and destruction due to the fighting which for months, has been affecting the city. The Christian neighborhoods, in recent times, have been hit by rebel forces fighting against the regular army and this has caused an exodus of civilians.

Some groups in the rugged opposition, where there are also jihadist groups, “fire on Christian houses and buildings, to force occupants to escape and then take possession [ethnic cleansing] (Agenzia Fides. Vatican News, October 19, 2012)

“The Sunni Salafist militants – says the Bishop – continue to commit crimes against civilians, or to recruit fighters with force. The fanatical Sunni extremists are fighting a holy war proudly, especially against the Alawites.(Agenzia Fides 04/06/2012)"
Above quote From : Terrorism with a “Human Face”: The History of America’s Death Squads Death Squads in Iraq and Syria. The Historical Roots of US-NATO's Covert War on Syria By Prof Michel Chossudovsky Global Research, January 04, 2013

Collateral Damage: A Haunting Anti-Drone Animation By Kyle Gordy Opednews,March 6, 2013
Published on 2 Mar 2013

When a child confronts Obama about his drone license to kill, he unleashes his unlimited war on terror powers against him. COLLATERAL DAMAGE is a haunting, animated adaptation of the President's stand-up drone routine at the White House Correspondents' Dinner. The correspondents laughed.

And the band played on.

Mainstream Media and Obama's "True Believers " ignore the trial of Heroic Whistle-blower Bradley Manning in order possibly to avoid embarrassing the Obama administration. Or have they deluded themselves by Obama's rhetoric which rarely reflects his rhetoric and speeches filled with platitudes and wishful thinking.

Glenn Greenwald calls the trial of Bradley Manning a mockery of justice.
The trial is a means for President Obama to send a message to all would be Whistle-blowers.
If they dare leak government documents to Wikileaks or the media they will also face 20 years in jail
But didn't Obama say in 2008 he would pass legislation to defend Whistleblowers and the internet and stop eaves dropping on innocent citizens and of course stop the insane ill-defined perpetual war on terror and stop indefinite detention or extrajudicial killings and torture???

Glenn Greenwald on Bradley Manning: Prosecutor Overreach Could Turn All Whistle Blowing into treason

Published on 5 Mar 2013

http://www.democracynow.org - As we broadcast from the Freedom to Connect conference, we look at one whistleblower who used the Internet to reveal the horrors of war: U.S. Army Private Bradley Manning. Military prosecutors have decided to bring the maximum charges against Manning after he admitted during a pre-trial hearing last week to the largest leak of state secrets in U.S. history. In a bid to secure a reduced sentence, Manning acknowledged on the stand that he gave classified documents to WikiLeaks in order to show the American public the "true costs of war" and "spark a debate about foreign policy." Manning pleaded guilty to reduced charges on 10 counts, which carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. But instead of accepting that plea, military prosecutors announced Friday they will seek to imprison Manning for life without parole on charges that include aiding the enemy. Manning's court-martial is scheduled to begin in June. We speak with Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald, who has long covered the case, about what this means for Manning, and its broader implications for whistleblowers and the journalists they often approach.

And now back to the eighties when the US revved up its oppression of Latin American countries setting loose the dogs of war in the form of "Death Squads" to murder priests, nuns, Archbishop Romero, social workers, teachers, academics, writers, singers, poets , community organizers, journalists and anyone preaching about freedom democracy and human rights.

Deja Vu now the US backed , financed, armed , trained  "Death Squads"  have expanded setting up franchises in Iraq, Syria, Libya all in the name of freedom and Democracy???

From Honduras to El Salvador to Iraq and Libya and Syria the US has used Death Squads to terrorize the opposition and to foment civil strife and sectarianism in order to create a failed state which can either be a puppet for the US and NATO or at least be no longer a threat.

Terrorism with a “Human Face”: The History of America’s Death Squads Death Squads in Iraq and Syria. The Historical Roots of US-NATO's Covert War on Syria By Prof Michel Chossudovsky Global Research, January 04, 2013
The recruitment of death squads is part of a well established US military-intelligence agenda. There is a long and gruesome US history of covert funding and support of terror brigades and targeted assassinations going back to the Vietnam war.

As government forces continue to confront the self-proclaimed “Free Syrian Army” (FSA), the historical roots of the West’s covert war on Syria –which has resulted in countless atrocities– must be fully revealed.

From the outset in March 2011, the US and its allies have supported the formation of death squads and the incursion of terrorist brigades in a carefully planned undertaking.

The recruitment and training of terror brigades in both Iraq and Syria was modeled on the “Salvador Option”, a “terrorist model” of mass killings by US sponsored death squads in Central America. It was first applied in El Salvador, in the heyday of resistance against the military dictatorship, resulting in an estimated 75,000 deaths.

...US sponsored death squads were recruited in Iraq starting in 2004-2005 in an initiative launched under the helm of the US Ambassador John Negroponte, [ who was dispatched to Baghdad by the US State Department in June 2004.

Negroponte was the “man for the job”. As US Ambassador to Honduras from 1981 to 1985. Negroponte played a key role in supporting and supervising the Nicaraguan Contras based in Honduras as well as overseeing the activities of the Honduran military death squads.

“Under the rule of General Gustavo Alvarez Martinez, Honduras’s military government was both a close ally of the Reagan administration and was “disappearing” dozens of political opponents in classic death squad fashion.”

In January 2005, the Pentagon, confirmed that it was considering:

” forming hit squads of Kurdish and Shia fighters to target leaders of the Iraqi insurgency [Resistance] in a strategic shift borrowed from the American struggle against left-wing guerrillas in Central America 20 years ago”.

Under the so-called “El Salvador option”, Iraqi and American forces would be sent to kill or kidnap insurgency leaders, even in Syria, where some are thought to shelter. …

...In the early 1980s President Reagan’s Administration funded and helped to train Nicaraguan contras based in Honduras with the aim of ousting Nicaragua’s Sandinista regime. The Contras were equipped using money from illegal American arms sales to Iran, a scandal that could have toppled Mr Reagan.

...Under Negroponte’s helm at the US Embassy in Baghdad, a wave of covert civilian killings and targeted assassinations had been unleashed. Engineers, medical doctors, scientists and intellectuals were also targeted.

Author and geopolitical analyst Max Fuller has documented in detail the atrocities committed under the US sponsored counterinsurgency program.

The appearance of death squads was first highlighted in May this year [2005], …dozens of bodies were found casually disposed … in vacant areas around Baghdad. All of the victims had been handcuffed, blindfolded and shot in the head and many of them also showed signs of having been brutally tortured. …

The evidence was sufficiently compelling for the Association of Muslim Scholars (AMS), a leading Sunni organisation, to issue public statements in which they accused the security forces attached to the Ministry of the Interior as well as the Badr Brigade, the former armed wing of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), of being behind the killings. They also accused the Ministry of the Interior of conducting state terrorism (Financial Times).

...As in Iraq, factional violence and ethnic cleansing were actively promoted. In Syria, the Alawite, Shiite and Christian communities have been the target of the US-NATO sponsored death squads. The Alawite and the Christian community are the main targets of the assassination program. Confirmed by the Vatican News Service:
"Christians in Aleppo are victims of death and destruction due to the fighting which for months, has been affecting the city. The Christian neighborhoods, in recent times, have been hit by rebel forces fighting against the regular army and this has caused an exodus of civilians.

Some groups in the rugged opposition, where there are also jihadist groups, “fire on Christian houses and buildings, to force occupants to escape and then take possession [ethnic cleansing] (Agenzia Fides. Vatican News, October 19, 2012)

“The Sunni Salafist militants – says the Bishop – continue to commit crimes against civilians, or to recruit fighters with force. The fanatical Sunni extremists are fighting a holy war proudly, especially against the Alawites... (Agenzia Fides 04/06/2012)"

...Reports confirm the influx of Salafist and Al Qaeda affiliated death squads as well as brigades under the auspices of the Muslim Brotherhood into Syria from the inception of the insurgency in March 2011... .

It is argued by some that Mercenaries are being hired as part of Death Squads are being trained and sent into Syria with the aid of the US in league in this case with NATO forces . As we have seen again and again atrocities committed in Syria are blamed on the Syrian government when many if not all are the result of the Western backed anti-government forces.

In Libya and Syria the Rebel Forces also use snipers during peaceful protest to shoot and kill protesters at random and then blame the deaths on the government forces to stir things up and to try to persuade the peaceful protesters that they need to change tactics in the face of a (fabricated)brutal government crackdown .

As the Guardian/BBC documentary shows the Death Squads program in Iraq was under direct control and authorized by Donald Rumsfeld and so can be traced to the White House and possibly the Oval office.

It is difficult to gauge how aware NATO forces are of these brutal tactics. In any case the NATO countries are being used to give a veneer of validity,legality and a need for foreign involvement based upon ostensibly Humanitarian needs .

Syrian rebels accused of war crimes :Human Rights Watch says it has documented more than a dozen summary executions of prisoners Ian Black, Middle East editor guardian.co.uk, September 17,2012

Opposition groups in Syria have been accused of committing war crimes including torture and the summary execution of prisoners, and the UN has been warned of a growing number of human rights violations and the presence of foreign Islamist fighters ranged against the regime of Bashar al-Assad.

Human Rights Watch said it had documented more than a dozen executions by rebels in the northern provinces of Idlib and Aleppo and the coastal region of Latakia. Three opposition leaders who were confronted with evidence of extrajudicial killings said the victims had deserved to die, HRW reported.

The Free Syrian Army, the main armed opposition group, came under pressure from foreign supporters to end abuses after the public execution of 14 members of a clan of pro-regime militiamen in Aleppo in August. It then issued a code of conduct and pledged to respect human rights and humanitarian law.

"Declarations by opposition groups that they want to respect human rights are important, but the real test is how opposition forces behave," said Nadim Houry, deputy Middle East director at HRW. "Time and again Syria's opposition has told us it is fighting against the government because of its abhorrent human rights violations. Now is the time for the opposition to show that they really mean what they say."

Assad's government has been repeatedly condemned by human rights organisations and foreign governments for systematic abuses that are said to amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.

In Geneva, meanwhile, the UN human rights council heard a report describing the "increasing and alarming presence" of "foreign Islamist elements" in Syria. That presence tended to radicalise homegrown rebels who had also committed crimes, said the investigator Paulo Pinheiro. "Gross violations of human rights have grown in number, in pace and in scale," Pinheiro told diplomats.

and so it goes,

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Guardian Documentary: Don Rumsfeld and General Petraeus Created "Death Squads" In Iraq Which Kidnapped, Tortured and Murdered Tens of Thousands Of Iraqi Citizens -Will Obama Be Allowed To Ignore These War Crimes ???

Shocking documentary details the Bush White House's creation of "Death Squads" under the authority of Donald Rumsfeld and General Petraeus.

US special forces veteran links General Petraeus to torture in Iraq - video trailer Guardian.co,March 06, 2013

A 15-month investigation by the Guardian and BBC Arabic reveals how US colonel James Steele, a veteran of American proxy wars in El Salvador and Nicaragua, played a key role in training and overseeing US-funded special police commandos who ran a network of torture centres in Iraq. Another special forces veteran, retired Colonel James Coffman, worked with Steele and reported directly to General David Petraeus, who had been sent into Iraq to organise the Iraqi security services

• This is an edited version of a longer film. Watch our full-length film investigation about James Steele

• Revealed: Pentagon's link to Iraqi torture centres

What these brutal heartless and soulless criminal psychopaths or sociopaths such as Bush, Cheney & Rumsfeld put into practice is sickening and if there were justice they would be brought to trial and imprisoned .

Will Obama now be willing to himself follow "The Rule Of Law" or will he shirk his duty in favor of upholding the American Mythos that as a nation it never does anything wrong or without just cause and whatever it does is sanctioned by their Americanized vengeful AK47 totting Jesus.

If he won't hopefully the International Criminal Court and the United Nations or if there were the political will a number of nations would band together to seek justice.

But no that won't happen President Obama is more likely to go after the investigative reporters at The Guardian and anyone who leaked information to them than go after America's Heroes .
Maybe he'll target them add them to his "Kill List" have blown up or meet with an unfortunate series of accidents .
Or like Aaron Swartz they will conveniently all commit suicide-
Maybe if the Media goes with this story the journalist involved will be forced to join Wikileaks' Julian Assange in the Embassy of Ecuador in London.

Most Americans and the Mainstream Media will either refuse to cover this story or will offer up justifications for these actions since given that Americans in general are in favor of torture as is President Obama whenever they can just fall back on their old stand by "National Security".

Finally proof that the USA created death squads to terrorize the people of Iraq.

The American created "Death Squads" were kidnapping and detaining Iraqis and then torturing them. At their height some 3,000 tortured and murdered civilians' mutilated corpses were being dumped in the streets in Iraq every month all with The help of US military brass, the CIA, Special Forces and the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld White House.

So we can safely conclude that the numbers of Iraqis given this special treatment numbered over ten thousand and even tens of thousands.

Donald Rumsfeld was in control of the operation run by James Steele and General Petraeus .

So what did Obama know about this operation was he briefed on the details after first taking office .
Is this what he has been so afraid might be leaked to the media .

Is it this type of brutality and lawlessness and depravity that Obama wanted to keep secret at all cost.

If the United Nations and The International Criminal Court were to do their duty they would insist that President Obama re-open investigations into the War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity allegedly committed by the President George W Bush and his White House staff including Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney and whoever else had any knowledge about their sickening barbaric criminal activities and those who put these policies into action .

Given this we are once again faced with the disturbing horrific reality that torture and murder were commonplace during the Presidency of George W. Bush .

And this leads to questions about given the enormity and sickening and disgusting nature of these crimes we can wonder how these actions may have trickled down affecting a large portion of the commanders in the field and their troops and would they have concluded that anything goes.

So the abuse and torture and depravity which took place in Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib , Bagram and a hundred CIA "Black Sites" are in fact just the tip of the iceberg .

And we can now truly believe that Rumsfeld was in fact as he said "working on the darkside" and that this was no macho bluff .
In the end The Bush White House threw out all constraints of the Rule Of Law and Common Decency and any sense of morality.
Of course the bureaucrats and lawyers and jaded Media will defend even these actions since they believe that morality and notions of common decency are just made up concepts to hinder those in positions of power.

If Bush and Rumsfeld are capable of such horrors is it really outside the realm of possibility that President Obama had knowledge that these crimes had occurred . If Obama knew and has been covering up then he too is in violation of International Law at the least for the crime of "obstruction of Justice".

And what if during Obama's presidency other such despicable crimes were or still are being committed with Obama's knowledge or because he has made certain that he was left out of the loop in such matters so he could defend himself with "plausible Deni-ability".

International Criminal Court-About

The International Criminal Court (ICC), governed by the Rome Statute, is the first permanent, treaty based, international criminal court established to help end impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community.

The ICC is an independent international organisation, and is not part of the United Nations system. Its seat is at The Hague in the Netherlands. Although the Court’s expenses are funded primarily by States Parties, it also receives voluntary contributions from governments, international organisations, individuals, corporations and other entities.

The international community has long aspired to the creation of a permanent international court, and, in the 20th century, it reached consensus on definitions of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. The Nuremberg and Tokyo trials addressed war crimes, crimes against peace, and crimes against humanity committed during the Second World War.

In the 1990s after the end of the Cold War, tribunals like the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda were the result of consensus that impunity is unacceptable. However, because they were established to try crimes committed only within a specific time-frame and during a specific conflict, there was general agreement that an independent, permanent criminal court was needed.

On 17 July 1998, the international community reached an historic milestone when 120 States adopted the Rome Statute, the legal basis for establishing the permanent International Criminal Court.

The Rome Statute entered into force on 1 July 2002 after ratification by 60 countries.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Drone Attacks Wrong Period! UN Obama Should Prosecute Bush Era War Criminals And MSM Ignores Guantanamo Prisoners Hunger Strike And Obama and Kerry Ignore Saudi Arabia's Poor Human Rights Record

MSNBC Host Defends Liberals Who Trust Obama With Drones: Would You Trust Bush With Nuclear Codes?

No I would not trust George W. Bush with nuclear codes nor would I trust Obama or anyone else in power with these codes. America should dismantled most of its nuclear defense system and move towards a nuclear weapons free world .

The MSNBC host presents a false choice as if we are supposed to be in favor of Drones if we could just learn to idealize and trust saintly Obama compared to Bush.

Maybe drones and targeted assassinations and other policies of Pres. Obama are just plain wrong or wrong or immoral.

Israel has some 150 to 300 nukes as do Pakistan, India, Britain, France Russia and now North Korea is building its own stock pile. There is no way to predict that one day in the future some leader of any of these nations might think it appropriate to use nukes which could all too easily lead to a Global Nuclear War destroying most of the population and most of the planet.

In a similar fashion Pres. Obama can no more be trusted using drones combined with his hit list for targeted assassinations. Already over 2000 civilians have been murdered by drone attacks which are not as surgical as many believe.

The main reason Obama uses drones and that they are approved by many Americans is because it means fewer deaths of US troops but the advocates of drones do not give a shit about the so-called collateral damage meaning dead civilians, dead infants, dead children, dead women, dead old people, dead teenagers, dead men who had nothing to do with the so-called terrorists. An infant killed by a US drone is just collateral damage but an infant killed by those citizens who rise up against the American aggressors and invaders is labelled as a barbaric terrorist tactic.

And it is disturbing that so many self-proclaimed liberals and progressives are unable to understand the immorality let alone the danger of blow back from the use of drones.

Every village, every wedding , every funeral or religious gathering or clan gathering hit by a drone pushes more people in those targeted areas to hate the USA and to join the insurgency or even terrorists in order to defend their homes and families and ultimately their country against these as far as they are concerned self-righteous, heartless, power mad, foreign terrorists from the USA . In using such tactics along with prisoner abuse and torture and propping up anti-democratic corrupt governments the USA and the West become the terrorists.

And why trust Obama when he has insisted that massive unwarranted wiretapping and surveillance on the internet and indefinite detention , targeted assassinations , the use of some torture techniques are justifiable along with militarizing US police forces and then unleashing them on peaceful protesters all in the name of National Security.

Obama like George W. Bush has also decided that international laws no longer apply to the USA but only to other nations.

It seems hypocritical and disturbing that President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry give unconditional support to the Wahabbi Islamic Kingdom Of Saudi Arabia which uses the legal system based in Sharia Law and are guilty of numerous human rights violations.

The Saudi government refuses to grant equal rights and freedoms to Saudi women though this is ignored as the USA attacks Iran and the Afghan Taliban for not granting women equal rights.
Saudi Arabia does not have freedom of speech, or freedom of the press, or freedom of assembly or freedom to protest.

Saudi Arabia is also intolerant and even persecutes members of religions other than Islam.

Saudis persecute Christians and those of other religious beliefs .

Saudi Arabia justice system is not merely flawed but rather to a great extent a mere sham as we see in the video regarding foreign Domestic workers and other foreign workers and in the case of the hapless Iranian fishermen who because of a storm were pushed into Saudi Arabia's waters and were charged with drug trafficking and some beheaded and the rest waiting to be executed.

Saudi Arabia despite its wealth only the elite get to own that wealth while many Saudi are poor or near to a subsistence level.

 Here's a little video on Saudi Arabia's claims to be on track with reforms is nonsense and just Propaganda to appease the Americans and other more naive or blind nations in the West.

They have made into a talking point that Saudi Arabia is a friend and ally which supports Democratic Reforms and is by standards of human rights and civil rights and equality of the sexes is superior to Iran.

This is just more propaganda being fed to the American citizens and citizens throughout the West in perpetration of the coming war with Iran.

 Kerry while in Saudi Arabia gave another ominous warning to Iran . And no matter what the facts on the ground are Obama and Kerry don't care they want Regime change and more than likely to turn Iran into what Libya and Syria have become that is ravaged by war  with the USA and NATO and proxy Islamic extremists and mercenaries.

The destruction of Iran is just another item to check off in the Neo-liberal and Neocon playbook to ensure Israel's security supposedly and to maintain or increase America's control over the entire region.
The last thing Obama wants is a strong stable and more democratic Iran because it flies in the face of their ultimate agenda.
This is of course also why Obama gave the Saudis to send their military into Bahrain to put a stop to the pro-reform pro-parliamentary democracy on going massive protests in Bahrain.
Instead they blame Iran for the protests in Bahrain .

Obama  And Kerry Support Autocratic Brutal Anti-Democratic Saudi Arabia

Another example of Pres. Obama's flaunting and dismissive attitude of International Law has been his refusal to prosecute alleged War Criminals who were part of the Bush administration .

There were other nations which had begun proceedings to prosecute these war criminals but the US bullied them and intimidated these sovereign nations to the degree that they stopped all such legal proceedings.

This behavior is just typical of America going back decades at least in forcing its will on other nations by bullying and intimidation and threats. America has become a rogue state using terrorists tactics to get what it wants and to do as it pleases ignoring the sovereignty of other nations.

UN Demands Prosecution of Bush-era CIA Crimes By RT March 04, 2013 via"Information Clearing House"

-- A United Nations investigator has demanded that the US publish classified documents regarding the CIA’s human rights violations under former President George W. Bush, with hopes that the documents will lead to the prosecution of public officials.

Documents about the CIA’s program of rendition and secret detention of suspected terrorists have remained classified, even though President Obama’s administration has publicly condemned the use of these “enhanced interrogation techniques”. The US has not prosecuted any of its agents for human rights violations.

UN investigator Ben Emmerson, the UN special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights while countering terrorism, said that the classified documents protect the names of individuals who are responsible for serious human rights violations.

“Despite this clear repudiation of the unlawful actions carried out by the Bush-era CIA, many of the facts remain classified, and no public official has so far been brought to justice in the United States,” Emmerson said in a report to the UN Human Rights Council, according to Reuters.

Kept in secret prisons around the world, the CIA’s detainees were subjected to torture including waterboarding, sleep deprivation and various other interrogation techniques that violate human rights. The detainees were often subjected to clandestine transfers to secret prisons known as CIA ‘black sites’.

“There is now credible evidence to show that CIA ‘black sites’ were located on the territory of Lithuania, Morocco, Poland, Romania and Thailand, and that the officials of at least 49 other states allowed their airspace or airports to be used for rendition flights,” Emmerson said, describing how suspected terrorists were often detained without being charged for any crimes, receiving extradition procedures or having access to lawyers.

Emmerson has urged the US to prosecute any public official who was involved in setting up the CIA "black sites" at which human rights or legal violations occurred. Even though the Obama administration has condemned those who promoted the use of such facilities for inhumane procedures, the administration has taken no steps to punish any of its public officials. Attorney General Eric Holder has said that the Justice Department would not take legal actions against those who "acted in good faith" and followed the guidelines provided by the Office of Legal Counsel during the Bush era.

But without names and details about the involvement of US officials at CIA black sites, the government is maintaining a level of secrecy and “perpetuating impunity for the public officials implicated in these crimes,” Emmerson said. A Senate committee led by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) previously investigated the CIA’s interrogation program and may have had complete access to classified information about it.

Emmerson has called for this information to be published “without delay, and to the fullest extent possible.”

While the UN special rapporteur lacks the power to force the Obama administration to release this information, his report puts further pressure on the US government to expose a practice it publicly condemns, but continues to keep secret.

US hiding hunger strike in Guantanamo / US News National Turk.com, March 3, 2013

USA’s infamous Guantanamo prison in Cuba has reportedly become the scene of a widespread hunger strike now in its third week.

The lawyers for the prisoners said in a letter to the prison commander, that “all but a few men” are on hunger strike and that their condition “appears to be rapidly deteriorating and reaching a potentially critical level.”

The protest can best be summed up with a statement that the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) has sent to military officials. They wrote that “since approximately February 6, 2013, camp authorities have been confiscating detainees’ personal items, including blankets, sheets, towels, mats, razors, toothbrushes, books, family photos, religious CDs, and letters, including legal mail; and restricting their exercise, seemingly without provocation or cause.” Moreover, “Arabic interpreters employed by the prison have been searching the men’s Qur’ans in ways that constitute desecration according to their religious beliefs, and that guards have been disrespectful during prayer times.”

As days turned into weeks, there have been reports of men coughing up blood, losing consciousness and having to be moved to other wings of the facility for observation. However, the actual facts and figures remain shrouded in mystery, while more controversy surfaced after Guantanamo officials gave their response to the accusations.

A prison spokesman has said that the Department of Justice will address the lawyers’ letter of complaint, he also claimed that there had only been six people on strike for a year now. Other detainees simply didn’t skip enough meals to be considered on strike at all, according to military rules. The spokesman, Navy Capt. Robert Durand, said that “some detainees have attempted to coordinate a hunger strike and have refused meal deliveries. Most detainees are not participating.” He tried to describe the reasons the inmates had for going on strike as blown out of proportion, claiming that they “have chosen one routine search in early February as the rallying point for their grievances.”

Meanwhile, the prisoners have outlined a few simple conditions for the authorities to consider if they want the strike to end instantly: firstly, the right to willingly surrender the Qurans, so as not to incur the book’s forceful desecration at the hands of a prison guard. And secondly – to provide the Quran on an electronic reader; that way, no notes can be passed in a book and no further religious violations need to take place.

Guantanamo Bay holds around 170 inmates. There had been a few strikes since 2002, but while some served to change the prison dynamic and gave the prisoners the sense that they could stand their ground on certain matters, the strike of 2005 effectively ended this. It involved a large portion of that population, but didn’t achieve success, as the military began tying people down and force-feeding them liquid nutrients through tubes to prevent starvation.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

"Child Soldier" Omar Khadr Canada's Shame In Enabling if Not Taking Part In War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity

Road to Guantanamo -film trailer

These are part of what America and the West and Christendom now stand for . These are our crimes which many in our society even boast about . From denial of due process, habeas corpus, to indefinite detention to wide spread eavesdropping on millions of our own citizens to abuse and torture of POWs now referred by the media as 'Detainees" and the wanton killing of civilians we are told is merely "collateral Damage".

Obama takes part in these brutal immoral acts such as so called targeted assassinations which have killed over the years since Obama took office thousands of innocent civilians. Obama has not bothered to consider the damage these drone attacks on weddings, funerals, family/clan gatherings in which a hundred innocent people are murdered without any due process . Does Obama just simply hate all of these people or is he now just addicted to the Adrenalin rush of having so much power as we saw with Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld ,Karl Rove, John Bolton,and others including the lawyers John Yoo , Bybee, doctors, psychologists, interrogators, guards who all played their parts or are still taking some pleasure and satisfaction in abusing and torturing fellow human beings. Well at least Ayn Rand queen of the "libertarian fascists" and Himmler and Hitler would approve .

And it became extremely disturbing to hear someone as intelligent and well educated as Condoleeza Rice who described the Geneva Conventions and laws against torture as quaint and to watch the media go all gaga over doing whatever it takes to save America even if it would mean abusing, torturing and killing millions as long only a few are Americans. This is the true legacy of the American Empire which as the neocons observed years before 9/11 that America as an Empire could create its own reality or in this case a nightmare for most of the world's population.

Given the horror of what the West has become it is no wonder that we cling to empty promises of Hope and Change and moving forward and not looking back. Because to look back is to see who we have as a society become.

Unwilling to examine our collective past we are unable to learn from our past experiences and to see where we went wrong . Instead with the help of an enabler such as President Obama we can avoid anything that is unpleasant in our society's views on the rest of the world or even on our fellow citizens who dare to speak out .

For instance President Obama defends John Yoo for his giving a legal veneer for allowing torture. Obama does not want to go after Yoo or anyone else involved in these crimes since he appears to believe it might do damage to the presidency or more ominously put further restrictions on what the President can or can not do or what America ought to be permitted to do in the name of " National Security".

Is it because Obama was already involved with the newer re-labeled Torture Lite program and so he himself may be made to face charges at some point. Obama is surely aware that the USA cannot simply write new laws in order to contravene International Criminal Laws on an ad hoc basis.

Keith Olbermann and Jonathan Turley: "Obama Defends Bush Torture Architect John Yoo"

And Obama starts down the slippery slope of questioning efficacy of torture and that it is a technique but not necessarily a crime. So in his first 100 days of his first term Obama was preparing the way to avoid any real prosecutions for torure or other crimes committed by the Bush/Cheney Regime . But he also prepared the for continuing many of the Bush policies from renditions, to torture and indefinite detention, violating the Geneva Conventions and other inconvenient international laws or agreements such as "Child Soldiers" or protections for first responders ion the battle field or journalists or non-combatants-all are targets or just a nuisance to be gotten rid of and their deaths ignored.

Rachel Maddow's & Professor Jonathan Turley's Reaction To Obama's Press Conference Torture Remarks

Uploaded on 29 Apr 2009

On The Rachel Maddow Show, Jonathan Turley and Rachel discuss Obama's troubling remarks in his 100-days-in-office press conference about the Bush Administration's torture program. Plus Jay Bybee speaks! 4/29/09

Canada's Shame By Ignoring "The Rule Of Law" Regarding "Child Soldiers" and abuse and torture of POWs In The case of Canadian citizen Omar Khadr and others

Harper govt.'s complicity in torture of Guantanamo prisoners condemned

Published on 2 Mar 2013

Unscrupulous Canadian journalists and politicians refer to him as a self-confessed "war criminal" but his lawyer, Dennis Edney, argues that he is a victim of war, who, at the hands of genuine war criminals in Western governments, has been unlawfully incarcerated, tortured, and denied basic civil liberties.

Omar Khadr, who is a Canadian citizen, was kidnapped at gunpoint from Afghanistan when he was only 15 years old by US forces. He was then taken to the controversial Guantanamo Bay prison camp where he spent a decade of his life without due process and now the Harper government is making the child soldier spend more time behind bars in Canada.

Note the CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligence Service)interrogator in the video below of Khadr at Guantanamo is unhelpful and even combative and lies about not having any say in getting Khadr returned to Canada. The CSIS personnel has the power to inform the Canadian government about the terrible mental and physical and emotional state Omar Khadr is in. Whatever complaints he makes the CSIS interrogator ignores and dismisses out of hand. The interrogator should have been disciplined if not fired over his inept performance as a representative of the Crown.
Omar is crying and rocking and at times incoherent all signs of stress if not Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and signs of abuse and possibly torture.

And yet many Canadians as he says and we suggest it is true that Canadians do not give a shit about him. While And Americans in general and their fawning media seem to enjoy and take sadistic delight in the very idea of the suffering of POWs in Guantanamo or Abu Ghraib or Bagram and a hundred other facilities. They cheered when Bin Laden was murdered and when Saddam was forced to take part in a Kangaroo court which then had him lynched and they cheered when Gaddafi was murdered in a vile and brutal manner ( butchered with a knife like an animal)by NATO backed mercenaries and thugs. Gaddafi's death which was video taped was an Iconic moment representing all that is wrong with the West as we descend into barbarism.

Guantanamo Bay child soldier CSIS interrogation - Omar Khadr

Uploaded on 15 Jul 2008


A teenage Omar Khadr sobs uncontrollably as Canadian spy agents question him at the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in a brief video excerpt released via the internet early Tuesday morning.

The 10-minute video posted just after 5 a.m. ET is of poor quality and the voices are often inaudible, as it was never intended to be viewed by the public. But it shows Khadr, 16 at the time, being interviewed by Canadian officials in late February 2003.

The excerpt is from five formerly classified DVDs consisting of 7.5 hours of questioning, six months after Khadr was captured following a 2002 firefight in Afghanistan.

What is truly troubling about the prevalent use of torture and abuse of prisoners by the USA and some its allies is that there are many otherwise sensible people in our society even those on the left who now act as if torture is at least sometimes defensible. Torture is never defensible.

And torture is no more defensible just by calling it something else ie enhanced interrogation techniques or by obscuring the fact that torture is still being used by saying only acts allowable by Army interrogation manual are permissible-any technique used which conforms to torture , abuse, intimidation, sensory deprivation, sensory over load , stress positions, nudity, sexual assault or threats of sexual assault, faked executions, excessive use of various drugs, with-holding food or water, not permitting an inmate to practice according to their religious beliefs ie prayers, not allowing them access to holy books ie Bible, Qur'an , Gospels, long term isolation and so forth.

Not each and every technique which is considered to be torture or abuse needs to be defined and described in detail -But many people these days are too slow witted or too enthralled by their own sense of righteousness that we need to catalog and categorize all forms of abuse and torture.

The main reason to resort to torture they say is to gather intelligence to stop a future act of "Terrorism" or to uncover who took part in an already committed act of terrorism. But according to experts and a bit of common sense we see torture is completely unreliable for producing actionable intelligence. People especially those who are innocent have no knowledge about what they are being asked but will say whatever will stop the torture. The hardened guilty prisoner has usually been trained as American soldiers are in how to resist torture and not give out any actionable intel so again they make stuff up or confess to something they have done about which nothing can be done or the facts are already know to the interrogators or their handlers and of course they may implicate individuals who are in fact innocent and maybe someone for whom they hold a grudge.

Large numbers of alleged terrorists have been named or even brought to the American troops and others just so the individual can claim a financial reward and/or to get on the good side of the US troops or to get back at someone they dislike or even in some cases turning in someone who was considered an a collaborator with the US and allied forces.

The real reasons for using torture include frustration on the part of officials or prison guards in attempting to acquire actionable intel and so it that is torture is almost always self-defeating unless the actual motivation is something else.

For instance we now know that the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/Karl Rove Torture Inc. CEOs if you like wanted to get intel to prove that their erroneous claims about Iraq and Saddam including WMDs, connections to Al Qaeda, connections to 9/11 and so forth.

So the purpose at times was to get detainees to spill the beans though if the allegations against Saddam had no validity then the forced confessions would all be false. But the Bush Regime needed to cover their asses because if they knew that all the claims they made about Saddam were fabrications they needed these false confessions to produce after the fact bogus evidence and they then could claim Saddam managed to cover his own tracks.

Another reason to use torture is just a matter of getting revenge "pay back" so all so called detainees were seen as guilty because they were Arabs or Muslims for the 9/11 attacks and other terrorist attacks and the killing of US troops in Iraq and elsewhere. So the Iraqi and Afghan people were all seen as collectively being responsible for these acts of terror and for the so called insurgency and therefore deserved to be punished in the most vile manner one could imagine.

Deterrence is another possible justification for engaging in torture while knowing it would not result in actionable intel would be to send a message to all would be terrorists that if caught this would be their fate and no one could save them from humiliation, abuse , torture and even death . This does not work as we have seen a rise in terrorism and insurgencies in large part as a response to Western hypocrisy in claiming to be on the side of justice, morality and a belief in the dignity of all human beings and that certain lines are never to be crossed and that all human beings have certain basic human rights and that there must be a consensus on what it means to act within the Rule Of Law. The Rule of Law as I have argued previously is not merely following the letter of a specific law but rather the intent and spirit of the law which is founded upon basic moral values.

America's Torture Policy
Heavy Metal, Strobe Lights & Shackles: Inside a Guantánamo Interrogation Room
Published on 22 Feb 2013

To watch the full interview on Democracy Now!, visit http://owl.li/hXDjR. Former Guantánamo Bay military prosecutor Lt. Col. Stuart Couch provides an inside look at the U.S. prison where 166 men remain imprisoned. Couch reveals shocking details about detainees being subjected to blaring music, blinding lights and other conditions he says amounted to torture.

Mock Executions, Sensory Deprivation: How Torture Derailed a Guantánamo Pro

Published on 22 Feb 2013

To watch the full interview on Democracy Now!, visit http://owl.li/hXDjR. Marine Lt. Col. Stuart Couch's friend died co-piloting the second plane to hit the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Soon after, Couch became one of the first military prosecutors assigned to the U.S. military base at Guantánamo Bay to prosecute men alleged to have carried out the terrorist plot. But Couch would ultimately refuse to prosecute one detainee: Mohamedou Ould Slahi. Why? Couch says he concluded Slahi's treatment amounted to illegal torture. The case would change Couch's life and put him at the center of a national debate around torture, interrogations and ethics. His story is featured in the new book, "Terror Courts: Rough Justice at Guantánamo Bay," by Wall Street Journal reporter Jess Bravin.

Gitmo Video - Guantanamo Bay

Uploaded on 8 Oct 2007


the destruction of basic natural rights - u.s. torture

Omar Khadr when arrested in Afghanistan and sent to Guantanamo when he was 15. Under International Law Khadr at that age was a child soldier.
He did not have the ability to make a decision on his own. His father took Khadr from Canada to join Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. So the choice was that of his parent not his.

A Child Soldier is supposed to be treated differently and with more sympathy and empathy than an adult soldier. The aim of those who arrest a child soldier is to rehabilitate him and to let him know that whatever he did was the fault and responsibility of the adults who merely used him to fight their battles

Interesting that many people in Canada and the USA are always saying how children should behave their parents but in this case Omar did as he was told and is now made to suffer.

Another issue is the conditions under which he was imprisoned he was treated as if he were an adult offender and was abused and tortured.
When he told a representative of the Canadian consulate in the USA who visited Khadr at Guantanamo the Canadian official showed no sympathy whatsoever and called Khadr a liar and treated Khadr a Canadian citizen with disrespect and a dismissive attitude.

After years of abuse and torture knowing he would never get a fair trial he made a deal with the US military and the US government so he could shorten his time in prison. In the American judicial system confessing to a crime which one did not comit is in the long run results in less prison time than actually fighting the case in court.

The problem that faced Khadr and most of the prisoners in Guantaamo and other US prisons holding alleged terrorists is that the officials in the military and the US government all the way up to the White House in public describes all such POWs or detainees as being guilty either wise they wouldn't be in these prisons.

The American justice system and the American media and public have the same attitude towards anyone who is arrested in their country that if they are arrested by the local police, the FBI or DHS then they must be guilty of something . This guilty as charged before a court date is set is a prevalent view in Canada as well as the USA. We are supposed to consider someone innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Part of the reason many of those who were being kept in Guantanamo and not released as soon as it was discovered that the person was not guilty as charged or committed a crime under duress. Khadr whatever acts he committed if they were criminal he did believing that he was doing what his parents wanted him to do.

Often when we hear about Child Soldiers groups such as Kony's Army of God comes to mind in which children are often abducted and trained to be soldiers but we do not consider Child Soldiers as being accountable for their actions.

Another issue is that even if his entire family were proved to be supporters of Al Qaeda or The Taliban this does not mean that their children must pay for their parents mistakes and criminal actions.

The problem for the Canadian government is that they were aware that prisoners in US custody in Guantanamo and Abu Ghriab were being denied their basic rights and were abused and tortured . Many of these prisoners in order to stop abuse and torture were willing to admit to whatever their guards asked them to .

Again according to international Law and I would suggest common sense and common decency that if it is at all possible that a prisoner would be abused and tortured by officials of one nation that another nation having captured an individual is not to then turn them over to a country which abuses and tortures prisoners . Torture as such is to be defined as it is by International Law and not the whims of a particular nation 's government or its delegating representatives ie the military , the secret police CIA, MI6, Mossad , CSIS and so forth.

In the case of Khadr once he informed the Canadian Consulate that he was being abused and tortured this should have been taken as a serious complaint which would require due dilligence in an investigation and not merely taking the word of the prison guards or the US military or White House. The Canadian representative was not visiting Khadr on behalf of the USA but he was to act as representative of the Canadian government and the Canadian people and was supposed to represent Khadr as a Canadian citizens alleged to have committed a crime.

Instead the Canadian representative treated Khadr as if he were guilty and was just making up stories about abuse and torture.

These most Canadians unfortunately now seem to believe everything the USA says and acts as if we as a once sovereign nation must tow the American line that all those detained by the USA are in deed without any question guilty and therefore have no rights and can be abused , tortured or even killed with complete and utter impunity.

So one thing Canadians should learn from the last dozen years since 9/11 is that if we accept America's policies dealing with the so-called war on terror and such notions as taking the gloves off and that anything goes in this fight then our own troops in Afghanistan and elsewhere will be regarded by the members of the Al Qaeda franchise and the Taliban and so forth as being part of the American Empire's ruthless and brutal unnecessary Wars of Aggression and the daily War Crimes And Crimes Against humanity committed by the American troops and those who guide the Drones to blow up entire villages without any concern for the deaths and wounding of innocent civilians.

President Obama may act upset that the Canadian government under PM Stephen Harper has been slow in dealing with the Omar Khadr case but Obam is also to blame by doubling down and claiming that anyone held by the US is guilty by definition . Obama could have reviewed a number of the cases in question and then given out pardons etc. Instead Obama doubled down on the Bush claim that International Law , The Geneva Conventions , the International laws regarding the treatment orf POWs , the International Laws regarding Child Soldiers do not apply to the USA.

President Obama knowing that abuse and torture of prisoners had taken place Obama gave out a blanket pardon to all those who were involved in the Torture regime from the President to Department of Justice on down including the Commanders in the Pentagon and the CIA and Special forces contrary to Obama's responsibility under Internatrional Law to prosecute such offenders .

According to International Law if a government refuses to act on such allegations and offenses it is up to other countries or International Criminal Court to pursue such cases.

Unfortunately the Bush administration and the Obama administration put pressure on various countries and the United Nations by way of intimidation and threats if they even dared to pursue justice in these cases.

So once again President Obama has proven that he like his predecessor has no respect for the Rule of Law but of course will use such laws when it fits with his own agenda as he has done in Libya and Syria and his unconditional support of various brutal and corrupt regimes from Saudi Arabia, to Bahrain to Israel and so forth.