AP/James A. Finley

 Cancer, Parkinson’s and infertility—these are just some of the diseases and health problems that a new study says may be linked to the heavy use of Roundup weed killer, the world’s most popular herbicide that is sprayed on millions of acres of crops.

According to the report, residue of the chemical glyphosate, the chief ingredient in Roundup, has been discovered in our food supply. That’s problematic because, according to the report, that residue may lead to diseases and other health issues.

The study’s findings directly contradict what Monsanto, the biotech corporation that developed Roundup, has been saying for years about glyphosate.

Reuters:

Those residues enhance the damaging effects of other food-borne chemical residues and toxins in the environment to disrupt normal body functions and induce disease, according to the report, authored by Stephanie Seneff, a research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Anthony Samsel, a retired science consultant from Arthur D. Little, Inc. Samsel is a former private environmental government contractor as well as a member of the Union of Concerned Scientists.

“Negative impact on the body is insidious and manifests slowly over time as inflammation damages cellular systems throughout the body,” the study says.

We “have hit upon something very important that needs to be taken seriously and further investigated,” Seneff said.

Environmentalists, consumer groups and plant scientists from several countries have warned that heavy use of glyphosate is causing problems for plants, people and animals.

Read more

Statistics Show You Are NOT Going to Be Killed by Terrorism

We’ve previously noted – based upon older figures – that:

– You are 17,600 times more likely to die from heart disease than from a terrorist attack

– You are 12,571 times more likely to die from cancer than from a terrorist attack

— You are 11,000 times more likely to die in an airplane accident than from a terrorist plot involving an airplane

— You are 1048 times more likely to die from a car accident than from a terrorist attack

–You are 404 times more likely to die in a fall than from a terrorist attack

— You are 87 times more likely to drown than die in a terrorist attack

– You are 13 times more likely to die in a railway accident than from a terrorist attack

–You are 12 times more likely to die from accidental suffocation in bed than from a terrorist attack

–You are 9 times more likely to choke to death on your own vomit than die in a terrorist attack

–You are 8 times more likely to be killed by a police officer than by a terrorist

–You are 8 times more likely to die from accidental electrocution than from a terrorist attack

– You are 6 times more likely to die from hot weather than from a terrorist attack

But we wanted to look at more recent statistics.

The U.S.  Department of State reports that only 17 U.S. citizens were killed worldwide as a result of terrorism. That figure includes deaths in Afghanistan, Iraq and all other theaters of war.

In contrast, the American agency which tracks health-related issues – the U.S. Centers for Disease Control – rounds up the most prevalent causes of death in the United States:

 

 

Comparing the CDC numbers to terrorism deaths means:

– You are 35,079 times more likely to die from heart disease than from a terrorist attack

– You are 33,842 times more likely to die from cancer than from a terrorist attack

(Keep in mind when reading this entire piece that we are consistently and substantially understating the risk of other causes of death as compared to terrorism, because we are comparing deaths from various causes within the United States against deaths from terrorism worldwide.)

Wikipedia notes that there were 32,367 automobile accidents in 2011, which means that you are 1,904 times more likely to die from a car accident than from a terrorist attack.

According to the CDC, your prescription medications are even more likely to kill you than a car crash.  Indeed, in the majority of states, your prescription meds are more likely to kill you than any other source of injury.

But not so fast. The CDC says that some 80,000 deaths each year are attributable to excessive alcohol use, making alcoholism 4,706 times more likely to kill you than a terrorist.

The annual number of deaths in the U.S. due to avoidable medical errors is as high as 100,000. Indeed, one of the world’s leading medical journals – Lancet – reported in 2011:

A November, 2010, document from the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services reported that, when in hospital, one in seven beneficiaries of Medicare (the government-sponsored health-care programme for those aged 65 years and older) have complications from medical errors, which contribute to about 180 000 deaths of patients per year.

That’s just Medicare beneficiaries, not the entire American public. Scientific American noted in 2009:

Preventable medical mistakes and infections are responsible for about 200,000 deaths in the U.S. each year, according to an investigation by the Hearst media corporation.

But let’s use the lower – 100,000 – figure.  That still means that you are 5,882 times more likely to die from medical error than terrorism.

Similarly – as Wikipedia notes – obesity is a a contributing factor in  100,000–400,000 deaths in the United States per year.  That makes obesity much more likely to kill you than a terrorist.

There were at least 155 Americans killed by police officers in the United States in 2011. That means that you were more than 9 times more likely to be killed by a law enforcement officer than by a terrorist.

The agency in charge of workplace safety – the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration – reports that 4,609 workers were killed on the job in 2011 within the U.S. homeland.  In other words, you are 271 times more likely to die from a workplace accident than terrorism.

Let’s switch to 2008, to take advantage of another treasure trove of data.

According to the Council on Foreign Relations, 33 U.S. citizens were killed worldwide in 2008 from terrorism.  There were 301,579,895 Americans living on U.S. soil in 2008, so the risk of dying from terrorist attacks in 2008 was 1 in 9,138,785.

This graphic from the National Safety Council – based upon 2008 data – shows the relative risks of dying from various causes:

 

 

If the risk of being killed by a terrorist were added to the list, the dot would be so small that it would be hard to see. Specifically, the risk of being killed by terrorism in 2008 was 14 times smaller than being killed by fireworks.

Reason provides some more examples:

[The risk of being killed by terrorism] compares annual risk of dying in a car accident of 1 in 19,000; drowning in a bathtub at 1 in 800,000; dying in a building fire at 1 in 99,000; or being struck by lightning at 1 in 5,500,000. In other words, in the last five years you were four times more likely to be struck by lightning than killed by a terrorist.

The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) has just published, Background Report: 9/11, Ten Years Later [PDF]. The report notes, excluding the 9/11 atrocities, that fewer than 500 people died in the U.S. from terrorist attacks between 1970 and 2010.

Terrorism pushes our emotional buttons.  And politicians and the media tend to blow the risk of terrorism out of proportion.  But as the figures above show,  terrorism is a very unlikely cause of death.

How is President Obama NOT a terrorist, like President Bush and other presidents before him?

What does it mean to be a terrorist?  Isn’t someone who commits or colludes in a terrorist act quite simply a terrorist?

What is a terrorist act? 

Isn’t a terrorist act an act of violence designed to murder, main, and terrorize civilians?

 Is there a difference between a terrorist act and an act of war?  Not necessarily.  The bombing of London 1941 and Hiroshima 1945 were acts of war, and they were both terrorist acts.  The former failed, the latter succeeded, and the ripples of nuclear terror continue spreading almost 70 years later.

American drones, Reapers and Predators especially, are weapons of terror.  Sometimes they are aimed at specific targets, sometimes they hit those targets, and sometimes they kill indiscriminately.  People on the ground can hear or see the drones, but can’t know what the drones will do, and that uncertainty gives drones their power to terrorize.

Even unarmed surveillance drones terrorize populations below, who have no way of knowing if unarmed drones are armed or not.

What Terrorist Wouldn’t Love to Have a Drone Fleet? 

The drone is the American government’s terrorist weapon of choice in recent years.  Government officials have said they like it because they can target particular individuals who pose some real or imagined threat to the U.S.  They don’t say, although it appears to be true, that they also like killer drones because even when they miss their target and only achieve wanton killing, that “protects” Americans, too.

American government terrorists have used lethal drones to kill people abroad for a decade or more.  The government still keeps much of the drone program secret, especially the actual results of drone strikes.  It seems actual carnage, actual dead women and actual dead babies, might undercut widespread popular support for drone killings that are believed to be highly selective and accurate in taking out our legitimate enemies, and only our legitimate enemies.

Most of Congress has apparently felt that way and still does.  Until recently, no Senate or House committee had held a single public hearing to find out just what the program of presidential assassination-by-drone was, much less why it was right or even legal for the executive branch to execute people, based on secret “evidence,” without due process that included a trial or verdict.

Finally, on April 23, 2013, the Senate Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights, chaired by Democratic Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, held a hearing entitled “Drone Wars: The Constitutional and Counterterrorism Implications of Targeted Killing.”  The hearing began at 4 p.m.

The Executive Branch Chose Not To Talk About its Acts of Terror 

Even though this was the first ever public Congressional hearing on “Drone Wars,” the Obama administration chose not to participate.  And the Senate chose not to issue any subpoenas to compel executive branch testimony.

The Senate did postpone the hearing once, to give the administration more time to prepare a witness.  In the end, all the White House contributed was an email from a National Security Council spokes woman that said in part that the White House would work:

“to ensure not only that our targeting, detention and prosecution of terrorists remains consistent with our laws and system of checks and balances, but that our efforts are even more transparent to the American people and the world.”

The hearing’s six witnesses included three retired military officers, two lawyers, one think tank director, and a Yemeni journalist who testified to how wonderfully his life was changed by a U.S. State Dept. exchange program that brought him from a remote mountain village to spend his senior year in high school in southern California.

How Does a Yemeni Feel When His Home Village is Bombed? 

The journalist is Farea al-Muslimi, who lives and works now in Sana’a, the Yemeni capitol, located about a nine hour drive north of his home village of Wessab.   In his testimony, he said,

“Just six days ago, my village was struck by an American drone in an attack that terrified the region’s poor farmers….

“I could never have imagined that the same hand that changed my life and took it from miserable to promising one would also drone my village. My understanding is that a man named Hammed al-Radmi was the target of a drone strike. Many people in Wessab know al-Radmi, and the Yemeni government could easily have found and arrested him. Al-Radmi was well known to government officials, and even to local government—and even local government could have captured him if the U.S. had told them to do so. 

“In the past, what Wessab’s villagers knew of the U.S. was based on my stories about my wonderful experiences here. The friendships and values I experienced and described to the villagers helped them understand the America that I know and that I love. Now, however, when they think of America, they think of the terror they feel from the drones that hover over their heads, ready to fire missiles at any time. What the violent militants had previously failed to achieve, one drone strike accomplished in an instant. There is now an intense anger against America in Wessab.”

Farea al-Muslimi first wrote about the attack on Wasseb, that killed five alleged militants, the following day in the new media website Al Monitor that centers on Middle East news. The video of al-Muslimi’s five and a half minutes of Senate testimony has gone viral on YouTube.

It’s Not That We Shouldn’t Dismember People, It’s That We Do It Properly 

Georgetown Law Professor Rosa Brooks, who served as the Pentagon’s special coordinator for rule of law and humanitarian policy during Obama’s first administration, testified somewhat gingerly at the same hearing that:

“…  right now we have the executive branch making a claim that it has the right to kill anyone anywhere on earth at any time for secret reasons based on secret evidence in a secret process undertaken by unidentified officials. That frightens me. 

 “I don’t doubt their good faith, but that’s not the rule of law as we know it.” 

Why a former Obama administration official was talking about her own fear was not explored.  But something else al-Muslimi said helped put the lawyer’s fears in fuller perspective:

“The drone strikes are the face of America to many Yemenis. I have spoken to many victims of U.S. drone strikes, like a mother in Jaar who had to identify her innocent 18-year-old son’s body through a video in a stranger’s cellphone, or the father in Shaqra who held his four- and six-year-old children as they died in his arms.

“Recently in Aden, I spoke with one of the tribal leaders present in 2009 at the place where the U.S. cruise missiles targeted the village of al-Majalah in Lawdar, Abyan. More than 40 civilians were killed, including four pregnant women.

“The tribal leader and others tried to rescue the victims, but the bodies were so decimated that it was impossible to differentiate between those of children, women and their animals. Some of these innocent people were buried in the same grave as their animals.” 

Who Cares What Blows You Up, Once You’re Blown Up? 

But wait, some might say, cruise missiles are different from missiles from drones, and technically that’s correct.  It’s also morally meaningless.  The remote killing of civilians remains an act of terror, and a war crime, and it really doesn’t matter if drone missiles have less explosive power and therefore kill innocent people at a slower rate.

These days, in America, drone wars are not part of a moral debate.  Discussion of anonymous killing from the air has raised a debate about technicalities, sometimes important technicalities of ordnance, tactics, law, and constitutionality.

If the debate were about morality, we’d admit that our country commits terrorist acts with relative impunity – and then we’d consider whether that’s the country we want to go on being.

Terrorism is generally thought to be a weapon of the weak, but there’s no inherent reason it can’t work even more effectively for the strong, at least in the short term.    Especially when the strong have the media ability to redefine their terrorist acts as “targeted killings” or, better, “signature strikes.”

What’s good about the “war on terrorism” (for America) is that it’s a war we can’t lose.  Those foreign terrorists, no matter how you add them up, cannot become an existential threat to the United States.  They don’t have the numbers or the resources.

So why does the U.S. pursue fundamentally impotent enemies with such implacable ferocity?  Especially, why does the U.S. pursue terrorists in ways that create more terrorists than we kill?

Or is that the point?

What if the Point of the War on Terror is to Sustain the War on Terror? 

Since 9/11 our government, with the consent of all too many of the governed, has taken us down the road of permanent war against an abstraction – terrorism – rooted in a racist premise, that the terrorists are mostly Arabs or Muslims or some sort of poor, brown people.

They envy us our freedoms, as some like to say, with apparently unintended irony, since the course of permanent war abroad has been accompanied by a permanent state of security at home that looks more and more like the latest incarnation of a police state.

That enlarged authoritarian presence in our lives likely contributes to concern about the constitution and the rule of law – even when those concerned ignore the rule of lawlessness in places like Yemen.  Taking this situation as a whole, the constitution looks more and more like collateral damage.

On its face, American anti-terrorism terrorism is insanely stupid in its ineffectual circularity.   Or is it fiendishly clever, however planned or unplanned, in its seemingly infinite self-perpetuation?

When our President and our government commit terrorist acts, they do so partly in our name.  When our Congressmen and our Senators seek to justify the government’s terrorist acts, or to cover them over with a transparent film of legality, they do so partly in our name.  When our judges allow the terrorist acts of the American government to go unchallenged and unaccountable, they do so partly in our name.

These are the fundamental elements of our three-branch government conspiring to commit terrorist acts around the world, thereby making us all terrorists, except those who resist.

Human Rights: Canada in the dock

April 28th, 2013 by Global Research News

The world is taking note of the ruling Conservatives’ shameful betrayal of Canada’s once admirable reputation as a fair country, sincerely working on the world stage to improve the lot of the disadvantaged and suffering. In the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review, Canada was criticized to such an extent that the Council decided to send the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and representatives of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, to investigate.

Minister of Foreign Affairs spokesman Joseph Lavoie dismissed complaints by

  • China of “widespread racial discrimination”,
  • Iran of “child sexual exploitation and trafficking, the right to food, discriminatory law and regulation against indigenous people and minority groups including Muslim, Arab and African communities”,
  • Pakistan of “increased poverty and unemployment rate among immigrant communities”,
    Egypt of “racial profiling in law-enforcement action”, and
  • Cuba of “racism and xenophobia” in Canada,

insisting that “Canada has a track record of being a human rights leader, at home and around the world.”

The visits come at an awkward moment for the Conservatives, as it makes a public display of victimizing Muslims as part of a campaign to ram through the “Combating Terrorism Act” (Bill S-7), which gives the state extraordinary powers to detain suspects without any charges and without any legal protections for up to a year.

This sorry state of Canadian political life is the fruit of the Conservatives’ slavish obedience to every US whim, and of its decision to abandon any pretense of an independent foreign policy, making all decisions in consultation with Israeli advisers under the public security cooperation “partnership” signed in 2008 by Canada and Israel to “protect their respective countries’ population, assets and interests from common threats”. Israel security agents now officially assist Canada’s security services, the RCMP and CSIS, in profiling Canadians citizens who are Muslims and monitoring individuals and/or organizations in Canada involved in supporting the rights of Palestinians and other such nefarious activities. Even the usually timid UN is appalled.

The past two weeks of public spectacle could be lifted from a perverse Alice-in-Wonderland scenario. The latest claim to have uncovered a dastardly scheme by Muslim furriners plotting to explode weapons of mass destruction came just a week after the now legendary Boston bombing. Both incidents were dramatically unfolded to a gullible public as classic ‘good vs evil’, though neither holds water.

Canadian authorities boasted Monday afternoon that, working in concert with the FBI and other US national security agencies, they had broken up a terrorist conspiracy involving an “Iranian-based al-Qaeda cell”. The announcement, made at an RCMP press conference, came out of the blue, just days after the Boston bombing, and a few days after the House of Commons agenda was changed to debate final reading of the draconian anti-terrorism legislation.

On cue, US ambassador to Canada David Jacobson hailed the action as “the result of extensive cross-border cooperation” showing “that we face serious and real threats.” The men were arrested in a Hollywoodesque fashion–Chiheb Esseghaier while eating at McDonald’s in Montreal’s main train station; Raed Jaser, by scores of police armed with rifles and accompanied by search-dogs at his workplace in the Toronto borough of North York. They were charged with conspiracy to bomb a New York-bound Via passenger train, though the RCMP conceded that there had never been an imminent threat of an attack or even a definite plan, that Esseghaier and Jaser have been under police radar since last August (based on a year-old tip from an imam), and that their alleged crimes date back to last year.

The reason for their delayed and then sudden arrest is beyond a doubt the notorious Bill S-7, a bill that was forced on Canada by Big Brother in post-911 2001, and which was not renewed in 2007 thanks to Liberal opposition (they originally passed it and then had enough sense to oppose it). The Conservative government suddenly changed the House of Commons agenda as US authorities placed Boston under martial law. The Canadian copycat arrests clearly are intended to add a Canadian pretext for proceeding with Bill S-7, while showing that “We are all Americans now.”

This episode calls to mind the terrorist scare in 2006, when the RCMP staged the dramatic arrest of 18 young Muslims, whom they accused of preparing extensive terrorist attacks, including blowing up the parliament buildings. During the trial, it emerged that the “Toronto 18” was riddled with police agents, one providing the arms instruction at a “terrorist training camp” while another providing harmless bomb-making ingredients. Nevertheless, eleven were convicted and most given lengthy prison terms.

When Esseghaier, a Tunisian-born Montreal PhD student in nanotechnology, told the judge, “These conclusions are being reached based on facts that are nothing but words and appearances,” he was told to shut up, and the hearing was shut down. Jaser’s lawyer John Norris said his client was “in a state of shock and disbelief” and “intends to defend himself vigorously”. Norris took exception to the police’s attempt to present his client as a non-Canadian, noting that the Palestinian refugee has lived with his family in Canada for the past twenty years.

Is it just possible that UN Human Rights Council members read the ‘news’, are appalled, and are genuinely concerned about what’s happening to human rights in Canada?

Canadians’ plight is bad enough, but this recent orchestration of Isamophobia has another angle, just as appalling. The RCMP assertion that these damn furriners acted under the “direction and guidance” of “al-Qaeda elements located in Iran” is a blatant falsehood, as Iran (like Iraq before the US invasion) is probably the most anti-al-Qaeda country in the world. The fundamentalist Sunni al-Qaeda delights in killing Shia, was (and is?) supported by the US and financed by Canada’s enlightened Saudi oil-millionaire allies. So it’s not just a question of stripping Canadians of their rights, but of adding toxic fuel to the US-Israeli fires intended to launch war against peaceful (pro-Palestinian) Iran.

The RCMP admitted that they had no evidence of Iranian government involvement, but still … (nudge, nudge, wink, wink). When Canada broke off diplomatic relations with Teheran last autumn, Foreign Minister John Baird labeled Iran “the most significant threat to global peace and security in the world today”. All Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast had to do was to point to the hypocrisy and cynicism of Canada’s government backing the campaign to overthrow the Syrian government—a campaign in which some of insurgents are openly aligned with al-Qaeda: “The same [al-Qaeda] current is killing people in Syria while enjoying Canada’s support.”

And what about the latest hit on the American 911 funny bone? Tamerlan Tsarnaev was under surveillance for four years by the FBI, who were asked by the Russian government to arrest him in 2010 (which they did not do). They do admit to interviewing him in 2011 and sifting through his computer files, but, remarkably for someone allegedly radicalized by the internet, they found nothing of concern. It’s not clear why Russia let him go to visit his parents in the center of terrorism (Dagestan) in Russia in 2012, where purportedly he received some form of terror training or further Islamist indoctrination. Nor how he managed to attend a workshop next door in hostile Georgia organized by the “Fund of the Caucasus” (which works with the US rightwing thinktank the Jamestown Foundation) focused on destablizing the Caucasus region.

Were both the FBI and the Russian FSB asleep? Was Tamerlan an FBI operative? Was he set up to do the bombing, or did he go AWOL on the FBI? Is this Chechen connection intended to frighten Russia into acquiescing to US-Israeli plans for Syria? “This [official] scenario is simply impossible in the real world,” writes former UK ambassador Craig Murray. In an interview with Russian Today, Tamerlan’s mother said, “‘They were set up, the FBI followed them for years.” Is this international intrigue—intended to scare both Russia and Iran into abandoning the beleaguered Syrian government—really what Canadian domestic human rights and foreign policy should be based on? Why should we trust Ambassador Jacobson’s blah-blah about “serious threats”?

Canadians are left with security forces eager to show they are doing something, a craven government intent on passing a draconian bill to take away freedoms, and a foreign policy based on a US-Israel obsession with finding some spark to ignite the latest war craze—attack Iran. The supposed pretext—Iran’s nuclear energy program—is after all wearing a tad thin. Peter Osborne in the Telegraph explained how the West has turned down one serious offer after another by Iran (two in 2005 alone), and argues that it is western rather than Iranian intransigence that prevents a deal being struck today. So if no one believes the cry of “Wolf!” on that boondoggle, then the next best thing is “al-Qaeda”. Hell, Bush got away with it against Iraq in 2003; maybe it will work again.

Iran poses only an ideological threat—telling the truth to the US-Israeli tyrant and inspiring Arab Springs. Concludes Osborne, “The US and its European clients are driven by a different compulsion: the humiliation and eventual destruction of Iran’s Islamic regime.”

As for being killing by a bona fide terrorist, the odds are 1 in 20 million, while every year, 4,600 Americans are killed in workplace-related accidents, and more than 30,000 are killed by gun violence. Every 28 hours a black person is killed by police, security guards or vigilantes. On Boston Marathon Day, six Pakistanis died in a drone strike, while scores were killed in car bombs in Iraq. I won’t even begin to recount the daily horrors inflicted by the US in Afghanistan.

Not that these latter crimes against humanity–committed by us–justify retributive violence in any religion, especially Islam. “You shall not be treacherous, you shall not deceive, you shall not mutilate, you shall not kill children.” But the fact that we in the West are unconcerned with preventing senseless deaths at home, and are unaware or don’t care about the murders committed daily in our name abroad, does not bode well for the future. Only when we stop perpetrating violence will violence against us end.

 

radiation4

Fukushima’s Catastrophic Aftermath: The Dangers of Worldwide Nuclear Radiation, Stephen Lendman, April 28, 2013

In her book titled “No Immediate Danger: Prognosis for a Radioactive Earth,” nuclear power/environmental health expert Rosalie Bertell (1929 – 2012) said: “Should the public discover the true health cost(s) of nuclear pollution, a cry would rise from all parts…


 

drone

UK MoD confirms British Reaper drones in Afghanistan being controlled from RAF Waddington, Chris Cole, April 27, 2013

The UK MoD has today confirmed that British drones over Afghanistan are now being controlled from the UK. For the first time UK forces can remotely control armed drones over Afghanistan while sitting in air conditioned trailers at RAF Waddington in…


 

natoflagbuttons

NATO’s Worldwide Expansion in the Post-Cold World Era, Rick Rozoff, April 27, 2013

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization which no longer borders the Atlantic Ocean, is well advanced in its U.S.-crafted mission to expand into history’s largest and first international military bloc and an unprecedented threat to world peace.


 

POWELL2

Building a Pretext to Wage War on Syria, Replicating the Iraq WMD 2003 Scenario, Stephen Lendman, April 27, 2013

What’s ongoing now bears eerie resemblance to events preceding Bush’s Iraq war. Obama’s replicating a familiar scenario. Waging war requires a pretext to do so. When none exists, it’s invented. It’s easy. Lies substitute for truth. Claims about Syria using…


 

bostonmanhunt3

Did the Military and Police Go Too Far in Locking Down Boston and Conducting Door-to-Door Searches?, Washington’s Blog, April 27, 2013

Senator Rand Paul and other congressmen said they would have approved of armed drones going in as well to help take out the suspect. We have no idea yet whether or not the suspect is in fact guilty of terrorism…


 

Tsarneev

Boston Suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, Alive and Uninjured When Taken Into Custody. Now He is Dead, Global Research News, April 27, 2013

by Thehonestintelligence.blogspot.ca (Photo – WARNING – GRAPHIC)

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Suffered a gunshot wound to the throat when he was arrested; how convenient that he can now, no longer speak. His brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was arrested after being ordered to remove…


 

127685

Cut Through the Spin: It’s Time for Truth in Media, Global Research, April 27, 2013

Terrorism… Military invasions… Resources wars… We can call it what we want, but the bottom line is that there is no end to greed until we stand up and say “enough is enough”. In fact, it’s too much. The drums…


 

iranmap

New Sanctions Begin: South Korea’s Samsung announces its “Online Store” will not Operate in Iran, Timothy Alexander Guzman, April 26, 2013

Samsung, the South Korean multinational company headquartered in Seoul just announced that its online store will not operate in Iran as of May 22, 2013.  The Associated Press report titled ‘Samsung to block access to app store in Iran’ that…


 

palestine

Israel’s “Begin Highway” Serves the Expansion of Illegal Settlements in Occupied Palestine, Global Research News, April 26, 2013

The Israeli Municipality of Jerusalem and the Ministry of Transport are currently undertaking large-scale construction work in Beit Safafa, occupied East Jerusalem, in order to complete a highway (“Begin Highway”) that will serve the expansion of Israel’s the illegal settlements…


 

bostonmanhunt1

Boston and Venezuela: Terrorism There and Here, Prof. James Petras, April 26, 2013

Introduction Two major terrorists’ attacks took place almost simultaneously:  in Boston, two alleged Chechen terrorists set off bombs during the annual Boston Marathon killing three people and injuring 170; in Venezuela, terrorist-supporters of defeated presidential candidate, Henrique Capriles, assassinated 8…


 

Israel_army_flag

The Fueling of Unrest in Syria, Israel’s Territorial Ambitions, Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich, April 26, 2013

For some time now, the predominant narrative about Syria has been that the unrest has been fueled in order to weaken Iran.  This prevalent account is common to neoconservatives and liberals alike.  While The New York Times trumpeted Israeli-firsters Senators…


 

chechen cia

The Ties That Bind Washington to Chechen Terrorists, Wayne Madsen, April 26, 2013

To scan the list of major American supporters of the Chechen secessionist movement, which at some points can hardly be distinguished from Chechen terrorists financed by U.S. allies Saudi Arabia and Qatar, is to be reminded of some of the…


 

censure gros plan

Buying Up Newspapers: It’s the Media, Stupid!, Robert Parry, April 26, 2013

Rich right-wingers, including the Koch Brothers and Rupert Murdoch, are eying the purchase of the Los Angeles Times and other major regional newspapers to create an even bigger platform for their propaganda, a media strategy that dates back several decades.…

natoflagbuttons

Global Warfare: NATO Has Become a Worldwide Military Expeditionary Force, Rick Rozoff, April 26, 2013

NATO buys the loyalty of sovereign states and in return demands fighting forces that have been engaged on three continents in the last decade, Rick Rozoff, from STOP NATO has told RT. Video at URL below: http://rt.com/ op-edge/nato- global-expeditio nary-force-…


 

fbi

Boston Bombing: FBI Responsibility for US Terror Plots?, Stephen Lendman, April 26, 2013

Boston’s marathon bombings leave disturbing questions unanswered. Official accounts lack credibility. Mounting evidence suggests FBI responsibility. Project Censored’s fourth top 2013 censored story headlined “FBI Agents Responsible for Majority of Terrorist Plots in the United States.” More on that below.…


 

Tsarneev

Boston Bombers’ Links to US Intelligence: Tamerlan was Well Known to Both the CIA and the FBI, Joseph Kishore, April 26, 2013

Information coming to light about the background of the Boston Marathon bombings raises many questions about the relationship of US intelligence agencies to the alleged bombers, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. It is now clear that the older brother, Tamerlan, who…


 

EUflag

Europe’s Economic Crisis: Unemployment hits Record Highs in Spain, France, Alex Lantier, April 26, 2013

According to figures published yesterday, the number of unemployed workers in Spain and France has reached all-time highs, as Europe’s economic collapse accelerates under the impact of the global economic crisis and austerity measures imposed throughout the continent. In Spain,…


 

disinformation

The Boston Bombing Web of Lies, Julie Lévesque, April 26, 2013

The Boston Globe confirmed that suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev was in custody, contradicting reports that he had been killed in crossfire. If he was in custody and is now dead, does that not suggest that he might have been the object of an extrajudicial assassination?


 

gold

Central Banking with “Other People’s Gold”: A Multi-billion Treasure Trove in Lower Manhattan, Prof Michel Chossudovsky, April 26, 2013

Germany is repatriating its gold reserves from the New York Federal Reserve. This decision has created a frenzy in the gold market. But that is just the tip of the iceberg. According to the NY Fed, there are (2012) approximately…


 

Tsarneev

Boston Truth: Both FBI & CIA Watched Boston Bombing Suspects for Years, Tony Cartalucci, April 26, 2013

FBI & CIA now admit to putting Boston bombing suspect on 2 “watch lists,” directly contradicting previous public statements. CIA most likely sponsored suspect’s trips to meet US-backed terrorists in Chechnya, Russia. April 25, 2013 (LD) – It is now…


 

Margaret-Thatcher

Dance on Thatcher’s Grave, But Remember There Has Been a Coup in BritainJohn Pilger, April 25, 2013

In the wake of Thatcher’s departure, I remember her victims. Patrick Warby’s daughter, Marie, was one of them. Marie, aged five, suffered from a bowel deformity and needed a special diet. Without it, the pain was excruciating. Her father was…


 

obamadoublespeak (2)

Fabricated Intelligence and the WMD Pretext: Obama Heads Closer Closer to War on Syria, Stephen Lendman, April 25, 2013

A previous article discussed spurious allegations of Syrian chemical weapons use. Obama calls using them a “game changer.” He also said their use crosses a “red line.” Syrian officials categorically deny using them. According to Information Minister Omran al-Zoabi: “Even…


 

wealthy

Dramatic Growth in Social Inequality in America. Poverty Increases During an “Economic Recovery”, Ed Hightower, April 25, 2013

A study by the Pew Research Center reveals an enormous growth in social inequality in the United States between 2009 and 2011. The figures give expression to the impact of the Obama administration’s policy of bailing out the banks while…


 

osama

Everyone’s Talking about “False Flags … Isn’t that Another Bogus Historical Conspiracy Theory?, Washington’s Blog, April 25, 2013

Forget Boston, 9/11 and Oklahoma City … Is False Flag Terror Even a REAL Historical Concept? Forget Boston, 9/11 and Oklahoma City … Is False Flag Terrorism Even a REAL Concept? More people are using the term “false flag” than…


 

syriafree army

Building a Pretext to Wage War on Syria: As NATO Terror Front Collapses, US Drums Up Familiar WMD Lies, Tony Cartalucci, April 25, 2013

The last two weeks have seen a series of victories for the Syrian Army across Syria. It appears that 2 full companies of so-called “Free Syrian Army” fighters have been annihilated near Damascus, while government forces have restored order in…


 

bushosama

Is Kissing a “State Sponsor of Terrorism” a “Terrorist Act”?, Prof Michel Chossudovsky, April 25, 2013

There are now “‘good guy terrorists” and “bad guy terrorists”. John Kerry concurs: financial aid to Syria’s Al Nusra, an affiliate of Al Qaeda is part of NATO’s “Responsibility to Protect” mandate.


 

UK Media Lies:  'Shades Of Grey'. Rethinking The Houla Massacre

Boston Lockdown: The New York Times Endorses U.S. Police State, David Brown and Barry Grey, April 25, 2013

The New York Times published an editorial Monday that not only endorses last week’s police-military lockdown of Boston, but suggests that it was entirely consistent with democratic procedures. In “How to Handle a Terrorism Case,” the Times makes the absurd…


 

osamaobama1

Boston Truth: The Suspects – Who Is Behind Al Qaeda?, Bonnie Faulkner and Prof Michel Chossudovsky, April 25, 2013

The Boston Marathon bombings; the Chechen connection; media disinformation; US support of al Qaeda and the Chechen jihad; the consolidation of the American police state; the geopolitical implications of the bombings; home grown terrorism; two brothers accused of being the…


 

canadaUSflag

Canadian Government unveils “Terror Plot” as it Adopts Draconian New Law, Keith Jones, April 24, 2013

Canadian authorities boasted Monday afternoon that, working in concert with the FBI and other US national security agencies, they had broken up a terrorist conspiracy involving an Iranian-based al-Qaeda cell. The announcement, made at a Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)…


 

nato us

US Ramps up Plans for Military Intervention in Syria, Joseph Kishore, April 24, 2013

The United States and the major European powers are escalating plans for a direct military intervention in Syria.The aim of US maneuvers, including a flurry of diplomatic visits this week, is to secure the downfall of Syrian President Bashar…


 

bp2

BP Spills Coffee, Global Research News, April 24, 2013

by UCB Comedy This is humor, but at the same time it tells us something important about corporate decision making and environmental degradation… A small spill on a very large table… Its encroaching on my map of Louisiana It will…


 

russia2

Was Boston Bomber “Radicalized” at a U.S. Sponsored Counterterrorism Workshop, Washington’s Blog, April 24, 2013

Who Radicalized the Boston Bomber? Just as the U.S. supported Bin Laden and the precursor of Al Qaeda in order to fight the Soviets, the U.S. has supported Chechen terrorists in order to fight Russia. Today, Russian newspaper Izvestia alleges… 


 

iranisrael

“Heading Towards a Collision Course”: Will Israel Attack Iran with America’s Blessing by the End of this Year?, Timothy Alexander Guzman, April 24, 2013

Hagel’s statement allows Israel to make the decision to attack Iran, if it feels threatened. New sanctions through draft Senate legislation is expected to pass both houses of congress by the end of this month.


 

ISRAELFenceMap

“Walls of Shame”: The World of Walls, Security Zones and Electrified Fences, Global Research News, April 24, 2013

Global Research Editor’s Note There are many walls and Apartheid security fences in different regions of the World.  This collection by Arthur Kalmeyer  which includes selected maps and photos  was originally published in Russian. Edited by Global Research    …


 

stealing_money_safe_lg_nwm

No Bank Deposits Will Be Spared from Confiscation, Matthias Chang, April 24, 2013

By law, in the insolvency of a bank, you as an unsecured creditor stand last in the queue of creditors to be paid out of any funds and or assets which the bank has to pay its creditors.


 

osama

Time to Renounce the “War on Terror”, Norman Solomon, April 24, 2013

As a perpetual emotion machine — producing and guzzling its own political fuel — the “war on terror” continues to normalize itself as a thoroughly American way of life and death. Ongoing warfare has become a matter of default routine,…


 

Élections Venezuela Maduro

Nicolas Maduro did not Steal the Venezuelan Elections, Greg Palast, April 24, 2013

The guy in the cheap brown windbreaker walking up the dirty tenement steps to my New York office looked like a bus driver. Nicolas Maduro, elected President of Venezuela last Sunday, did indeed drive a bus, then led the drivers’…


 

Nelson Jobim

Israeli Weapons Exports to Brazil, Soraya Misleh, April 24, 2013

Image: Brazilian soldier at the 2009 Latin American Aerospace and Defense (LAAD) fair “PASSPORT!” demanded the Israeli security guard in English as he approached demonstrators at the Latin American Aerospace and Defense (LAAD) fair, which took place April 9-12 at…


 

lendman

Building a Pretext for an All Out War against Syria? Allegations of Chemical Weapons Use, Stephen Lendman, April 24, 2013

New allegations claim Syrian chemical weapons use. We’ve heard similar ones before. Obama calls using them a “game changer.” He also said their use crosses a “red line.” Syrian officials are unequivocal. Weeks earlier, Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Miqdad spoke…


 

somalia

Oil Geopolitics in the Horn of Africa: Somaliland DNO Oil Deal Adds Fuel to the Conflict in North Somalia, Mahdi Ali, April 24, 2013

The secessionist state of Somaliland has signed a production sharing agreement with DNO, a Norwegian oil and gas company.

The president of the secessionist state of Somaliland Ahmed M. Mohamoud Silanyo and Executive Chairman, Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani attended the signing ceremony…


 

mccain

Political Opportunism. The Boston Marathon Tragedy Used as a Pretext To Extend the “Global War on Terrorism”, Colin Todhunter, April 24, 2013

In a 2011 interview for an Australian TV channel, US Republican Senator John McCain talked about Islamic extremism ‘spreading’ if left unchecked by military intervention in Afghanistan and elsewhere (1). In the same interview, he spoke of the US having…


 

Spying on Americans: The FBI's "Quantico Circuit" -- Still Spying, Still Lying

The Roots of Terror: FBI’s Fingerprints All Over the Boston Bombings, Bill Van Auken, April 24, 2013

Within days of the bombings in Boston, massive contradictions have opened up in the official accounts given by the Obama administration, the FBI and other state agencies as to how this terrorist attack transpired. As in so many previous cases,…


 

tax

High Tech Surveillance: U.S. Internal Revenue Snooping Social Media and Emails Without Warrant, Clarence Walker, April 24, 2013

Americans have a big problem with the IRS (Internal Revenue Service). If anyone discuss the filing of tax return in their emails the IRS may be monitoring what you say to see if you may be trying to cheat on…


 

justiceblind

The “Criminalisation” of International Criminal Justice, Alexander Mezyaev, April 23, 2013

On April 10 the United Nations General Assembly held its first ever and rather unique debate on the role of the international criminal justice system in fostering reconciliation. It summed up and assessed the twenty year experience of international criminal…


 

canada-haiti

Canadian “Aid” Designed to Maintain Western Capitalist Dominance of the Global South, Yves Engler, April 23, 2013

The Canadian International Development Agency is no longer. In its recent budget the Conservative government collapsed CIDA into Foreign Affairs, creating the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development. While there was plenty of commentary on the Tories’ move, no…


 

VIDEO: Splitting the Sky vs Bush: Civil Resistance in the 21st Century (2009)

“Splitting the Sky” and Aboriginal Rights in Canada, Michael Welch and Anthony Hall, April 23, 2013

Hall explains that there has been a shift in conservative politics in Canada away from what he calls the indigenous conservatism of Canada toward a more US Republican-style neo-conservatism typified by an emphasis on low taxes, less government, increased military…


 

africom

Militarization of Africa: AFRICOM to Deploy “Rapid Reaction” Strike Force in Spain directed against West Africa, Timothy Alexander Guzman, April 23, 2013

In early April,  The United States and the Spanish government agreed to station AFRICOM’s “Rapid Reaction” strike force to Moron de la Frontera air base for one year.  It involves 500 marines and 8 aircraft that will be used to…


 

usacitiesmap

A Tale of Two Cities: Tragic Aftermath of the Explosion at Fertilizer Company in West, Texas, Barry Grey, April 23, 2013

The April 15 bombings in Boston continue to dominate the American media. The twin blasts near the finish line of the city’s annual marathon killed three people and wounded over 170 more, many seriously. But a more deadly and destructive…


 

Tsarneev

Boston Bombing: 19 Year Student Suspect Gets Death Penalty Charge, Bill Van Auken, April 23, 2013

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the 19-year-old surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings, was formally charged Monday with use of and conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction resulting in death, a federal offense that carries the death penalty. The twin…


 

iraqichildren

“Boston on the Tigris”: Iraq’s Unreported Terror Event. Twenty-six Car Bombs…, Dirk Adriaensens, April 23, 2013

Iraq’s Black Monday While on 15 April the whole world was focused on the Boston marathon blasts, at least 79 people were killed, and over three hundred others injured – mostly civilians – in a series of bombings and armed…


 

lynnestewart

Campaign to Save the Life of Lynne Stewart, Global Research News, April 23, 2013

As the campaign builds, Lynne Stewart’s condition has taken a concerning turn for the worse. Her white blood cell count has dropped sharply. Lynne is in isolation currently and will be sent to a Fort Worth hospital for tests. This…


 

candusflag

The Anti-Counterfeit Trade Agreement (ACTA): U.S. Dictating Canada’s Intellectual Property Laws, Dana Gabriel, April 23, 2013

In March, the Canadian government introduced a bill that would bring about sweeping changes to its copyright and trademark laws. This includes giving more power to customs and border protection agents without any judicial oversight. The move is intended to…


 

osamaobama

Terrorists “R” Us, Stephen Lendman, April 23, 2013

State-sponsored terrorism defines US policy. Doublespeak duplicity conceals it. Doublethink manipulates public opinion to ignore inconvenient truths. Howard Zinn once asked: “How can you make war on terrorism if war is terrorism?” Waging war on terrorism “gives government a perpetual…


 

drone

Mounting Opposition to Drone Warfare, Chris Cole, April 23, 2013

  US drones struck in Yemen and Pakistan this past week after something of a pause.  On Weds (17 April) US drones hit a house in North Waziristan killing five people including an alleged commander of the Pakistan Taliban,  On…


 

kissinger

Why Does America Media Continue to Honour Henry Kissinger?, Patrick Henningsen, April 23, 2013

It’s no surprise in 2013 to see the government media complex try it’s very best to preserve the delicate legacies of lauded members of the political establishment. Look how much effort was poured into the media eulogies for Margaret Thatcher…


 

OsamaTVSpeech

Who is Behind “Al Qaeda in Iran”?, Tony Cartalucci, April 23, 2013

As the FBI reels from what now appears to be revelations it was directly involved in the Boston Marathon bombings, a deluge of FBI “success” stories have been “serendipitously” splashed across Western headlines. Among them was an allegedly “foiled” terror…


 

AMERICA

Martial Law in Boston: American Democracy in Shambles, Barry Grey, April 23, 2013

With the imposition of a state of siege in Boston, a historical threshold has been crossed. For the first time ever, a major American city has been placed under the equivalent of martial law. The already frayed veneer of a…


 

bostonmanhunt3

Boston Terror Narrative Starts Falling Apart, Washington’s Blog, April 23, 2013

Chechen Brothers Did NOT Rob 7-11

We have no idea whether or not the Chechen brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were the Boston terrorists. But several parts of the official narrative are already falling apart. Initially, the claim that they…


 

EUflag

The European Homeland Security State. EU Anti-Terror Drills and Fear Campaigns, R. Teichmann, April 23, 2013

The events of 9/11 in the US not only led to the attack on several sovereign nations but the government under George W. Bush established the so called “Homeland Security” and proceeded to implement plans to curtail civil rights. First…


 

osama

The Global War on Terrorism? America’s Wars “in Support” of Al Qaeda, Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, April 23, 2013

The United States government has been at war for eleven years. The US military destroyed Iraq, leaving the country and millions of lives in ruins and releasing sectarian blood-letting that had been kept in check by the secular Saddam Hussein…


 

law

Guatemala: Historic Genocide Trial against Former Dictator. Court Procedures Disrupted, J. B. Gerald, April 23, 2013

Current Guatemalan president, Otto Pérez Molina, was formerly “Major Tito,” a field commander allegedly responsible for acts of genocide against Ixil Indians in 1982. Currently under “Presidential immunity”, a status not permitted by the Convention on Genocide, the Guatemalan President…


 

robot_19

The Robot Revolution, Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin, April 23, 2013

Just as we are seeing climate chaos change to climate catastrophe, we may also see job chaos change to job catastrophe. We are entering an era of technological change which has the potential to create havoc in an already seriously…


 

Tsarneev

The Boston Bombings and the FBI: “Official Tsarnaev Story Makes No Sense”, Craig Murray, April 22, 2013

According to Craig Murray (photo: below),  former US Ambassador, human rights activist  and whistle blower the FBI’s inflated profile of their prime suspect in the Boston Bombing ‘does not make sense”. Will Eric Holder and the US Department of Justice…


 

VIDEO: Bosnia to Libya: 20 Years of NATO 'Peacemaking'

The War on Libya: A Grand Display of NATO’s Lynch Mob Mentality, Dan Glazebrook, April 22, 2013

Review of Maximilian Forte’s powerful new book, “Slouching Toward Sirte: NATO’s War on Libya and Africa” (now available to order from Global Research). This book presents a withering indictment of liberal humanitarianism and its collusion in imperialist designs on Africa,…


 

bosotnmanhunt2

Unanswered Questions in Boston Bombings, Bill Van Auken, April 22, 2013

The Boston Marathon bombings last week, which killed three and wounded over 170, were seized on to implement a far-reaching attack on democratic rights, including a police lockdown of an entire city. As with previous incidents, much remains unknown, including…


 

imf

Global Financial Crisis: Tensions at G-20, IMF Meetings. No Economic Recovery in Sight, Nick Beams, April 22, 2013

  Last weekend’s meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the G-20 saw further calls for policies to stimulate global economic growth. There were no concrete measures advanced to implement such a program, however, amid deepening divisions among the major…


 

iraq

Iraq’s Black Monday, “Boston on the Tigris”: Unreported Mass Casualty Terror Event, More than 79 Killed, Dirk Adriaensens, April 22, 2013

While on 15 April the whole world was focused on the Boston marathon blasts, at least 79 people were killed, and over three hundred others injured – mostly civilians – in a series of bombings and armed attacks across Iraq.…


 

Tsarneev

Boston Bombing Suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev Reported Killed, Was Alive When Detained: Tamerlan’s Aunt, Tony Cartalucci, April 22, 2013

Independent investigative journalist Dan Dicks of Press For Truth produced a video detailing his interview with the Boston bombing suspects’ aunt where she identifies a naked, cuffed, clearly alive and well detainee seen in video aired by CNN, as her…


 

india

The Bastar Land Grab: The Expropriation of Farmers in India, Justin Podur, April 22, 2013

Sudha Bharadwaj is a lawyer and a member of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) and the Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha (Mazdoor Karkyakarta Committee). CMM was founded in 1982 by legendary union leader Shankar Guha Niyogi (assassinated in 1991), to…


 

islam

In the Wake of the Boston Bombings: America’s War on Islam 2.0, Stephen Lendman, April 22, 2013

Waging war at home or abroad requires enemies. America creates them when none exist. Post-9/11, Muslims were targeted for political advantage. Post-Boston bombings, America’s war on Islam continues. Muslims are “war on terror” scapegoats. Washington’s Middle East, North Africa and…


 

bostonmanhunt4

Media Narrative: Witnessing Boston’s Mass Casualty Event, James F. Tracy, April 22, 2013

What exactly took place on April 15 at the Boston Marathon is unclear, yet what is now evident is a divergence between the description of excessive carnage meted out as a result of the explosive devices and at least a portion of the video and photographic documentation of the bombing.


 

chechnyarussiamap

Chechen Terrorists and the Neocons, Coleen Rowley, April 22, 2013

The revelation that the family of the two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings was from Chechnya prompted new speculation about the attack as Islamic terrorism. Less discussed was the history of U.S. neocons supporting Chechen terrorists as a strategy…


 

chechnyarussiamap

Boston Bombers: Role of CIA in Chechen Terror, Kurt Nimmo, April 22, 2013

The narrative now emerging in the Boston Marathon bombing is that the perpetrators are from Chechnya or a nearby region and the attacks are a product of Islamic terrorism. “The Chechen jihadi network is very extensive,” the neocon Walid Phares…


 

Independent Media Delivers Truth and Accountability

BOSTON TRUTH: The “Chechen Connection”, Al Qaeda and the Boston Marathon Bombings, Prof Michel Chossudovsky, April 22, 2013

A new legend is unfolding: “The Chechen Connection” is threatening America. Islamism homegrown in the Russian Federation is being “exported to America”. The Boston Marathon bombings are being compared to 9/11.


 

Nigella_sativa_main

Nestlé is Trying to Patent the Fennel Flower, Global Research News, April 21, 2013

Nigella sativa — more commonly known as fennel flower — has been used as a cure-all remedy for over a thousand years. It treats everything from vomiting to fevers to skin diseases, and has been widely available in impoverished communities…


 

Tsarneev

19 Year Old Student in Custody: President Obama has already delivered a Guilty Verdict to Suspected Boston Bomber, Patrick Henningsen, April 21, 2013

President delivers ‘executive verdict’ as Feds draft in Gitmo interrogators to handle 19 year old student held in custody Rule number one for any serious crime scene or investigation is to gather all the evidence and all the testimonies first,…


 

Tsarneev

Boston Bombings Suspect Dzhokar Tsarnaev “Has No Rights” and Should be Categorized as an “Enemy Combatant”, Patrick Henningsen, April 21, 2013

The old wounds of 911 and the cryptic calls for legalised torture have once again taken center stage in the American political discourse this week… Seen by some as the poster children for new Senate ‘term limits’, Sens. Lindsey Graham…


 

boston marathon soldier

Boston Black Ops: Manufacturing Terror?, Stephen Lendman, April 21, 2013

What’s ongoing resembles post-9/11 events. Fear-mongering, lies and misinformation replace truth and full disclosure. Muslims became public enemy number one. Who’ll suffer most with them this time?

Vital information is suppressed. Fingers point the wrong way. Innocent victims are blamed…


In her book titled “No Immediate Danger: Prognosis for a Radioactive Earth,” nuclear power/environmental health expert Rosalie Bertell (1929 – 2012) said:

“Should the public discover the true health cost(s) of nuclear pollution, a cry would rise from all parts of the world and people would refuse to cooperate passively with their own death.”

In her article titled “Radioactivity: No Immediate Danger,” she coined a new word. “Omnicide” describes the ultimate human rejection of life. It’s “difficult to comprehend,” but it’s happening, she said.

She called industrial radioactive pollution “cumulatively greater than Chernobyl. We are now in a no-win situation with radioactive materials, where (it’s) acceptable to have cancer deaths, deformed children and miscarriages.”

Industry propaganda falsely claims nuclear power is clean and green. The nuclear fuel cycle discharges significant amounts of greenhouse gases.

It’s also responsible for hundreds of thousands of curies of deadly radioactive gases and elements in the environment annually.

“Claiming nuclear production of energy is ‘clean,’ ” said Bertell, “is like dieting but stuffing yourself with food between meals.”

Separately, she said:

“There is no such thing as a radiation exposure that will not do damage. There is a hundred per cent possibility that there will be damage to cells. The next question is: which damage do you care about?”

All toxic hazards are serious, she explained. Nuclear radiation is worst of all. It threatens all human life. “Our present path is headed toward species death – whether fast with nuclear war or technological disaster, or slow, by poison.”

Global suicide is certain. Continued nuclear proliferation and Fukushima accelerated it.

March 11 marked its second anniversary. It’s perhaps the worst ever environmental disaster. Reliable experts call large parts of Japan unsafe. They’re too hazardous to live in.

According to Professor Hiroaki Koide, Tokyo’s as contaminated as Fukushima. Thousands of city residents protested. They oppose nuclear power. They want safe energy sources replacing it.

Radiation contamination is widespread. East Asia, North America, Europe and other areas are affected.

Hazardous air, water and land readings across many areas globally are many multiples too high. Future epidemic cancer levels are certain. It occurs when body cells divide and spread uncontrollably. If untreated, it metastasizes and kills.

Michel Chossudovsky calls Fukushima “a nuclear war without a war.” It’s an “unspoken crisis of worldwide nuclear contamination.”

Tens of thousands of children have confirmed thyroid abnormalities. They reflect the tip of the iceberg. Children are especially vulnerable. No radiation dose is safe.

Karl Grossman wants planet earth made a “nuclear free zone.” We barely made it through the last century without a “major nuclear weapons exchange,” he said.

Nuclear energy in all forms is unsafe. Safe, clean, renewable solar, wind, geothermal, and other energy sources are readily available.

Admiral Hyman Rickover (1900 – 1986) was the father of America’s nuclear navy. In January 1982, he told a congressional committee that until a few billion years ago, “it was impossible to have any life on earth.”

“There was so much radiation on earth you couldn’t have any life, fish or anything.” Gradually the amount subsided. “Now, we are creating something which nature tried to destroy to make life possible.”

“Every time you produce radiation, (a) horrible force” is unleashed. “In some cases (it’s) for billions of years, and I think the human race is going to wreck itself.”

“I am talking about humanity. The most important thing we could do is start having an international meeting where we first outlaw nuclear weapons to start off with. Then we outlaw nuclear reactors, too.”

“The lesson for history is when a war starts, every nation will ultimately use whatever weapons are available. That is the lesson learned time and again.” ”

“Therefore, we must expect, if another war, a serious war breaks out, we will use nuclear energy in some form. We will probably destroy ourselves.” Widespread contamination acts in slow motion.

Disturbing reports explain. In early April, around 120 tons of contaminated water leaked from Fukushima’s No. 1′s underground storage tank. It contained an estimated 710 billion becquerels of radioactivity.

Water around the affected tank is highly radioactive. It’s about 800 meters from the Pacific. Government and Tokyo Electric (Tepco) claimed it won’t likely reach it. Numerous previous reports suggest otherwise.

Tepco general manager Masayuki Ono said “(w)e cannot deny the fact that our faith in the underwater tanks is being lost.”

In November 2012, Nature.com headlined “Ocean still suffering from Fukushima fallout,” saying:

“Radioactivity is persisting in the ocean waters close to Japan’s ruined nuclear power plant at Fukushima Daiichi.”

New data show high contamination levels. “The Fukushima disaster caused by far the largest discharge of radioactivity into the ocean ever seen.”

Radiation levels aren’t dropping. “The implications are serious for the fishing industry.”

On December 26, CleanEnergy.org headlined “Japan Continues Struggle with Aftermath from the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster,” saying:

“….an estimated 160,000 (Japanese) citizens still have not returned home. Reports of illness in humans and livestock continue to underscore the far reaching and difficult to predict impacts that a nuclear accident can cause.”

In July 2012, 36% of Japanese children screened had abnormal thyroid growths. Months later an illness called the “Fukushima syndrome” was killing cattle throughout Fukushima Prefecture.

Mutations were found in butterflies and other insects. Their shorter life cycles allow genetic disruptions to show up sooner than in humans or other mammals.

On April 11, Bloomberg.com headlined “Tepco Faces Decision to Dump Radioactive Water in Pacific,” saying:

“Leaks were found in three of seven pits in the past week….” Options for moving contaminated water are limited.

“With Japan’s rainy season approaching, contaminated water levels are likely to increase…”

“Yesterday, Tepco reported another leak of radiated water, this time from a pipe.”

“Pacific bluefin tuna caught off San Diego in August 2011 was found to contain radioactive cesium 10 times higher than fish seized in previous years….” Perhaps its much higher now.

On April 15, Science Daily headlined “The Fukushima Dai-Ichi Power Plant Accident: Two Years On, the Fallout Continues,” saying:

“….(S)cientists are still trying to quantify the extent of the damage.” Most important is “determining just how much hazardous material escaped into the atmosphere….”

Japan Atomic Energy Agency researchers now say previously estimated “137C and 131l” release rates were too low.

On March 11, 2013, nuclear expert Arnie Gundersen said “(t)here’s definitely a large crack, perhaps five inches in diameter, in Fukushima reactor 2.”

Containment is sorely lacking. Pacific Ocean leakage continues.

On April 24, Natural News headlined “Massive, uncontained leak at Fukushima is pouring over 710 billion becquerels of radioactive materials into atmosphere,” saying:

It’s the largest ever plant leakage. Fukushima’s disaster never ends. It “keeps on giving.”

“(N)ew reports indicate that a wealth of new radioactive materials have been spewed into the atmosphere.”

It’s spreading globally. Nuclear radiation is forever. It doesn’t dissipate or disappear. No safe level exists. Every dose is an overdose. Bertell was right. “Omnicide” threatens everyone.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected].

His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

http://www.dailycensored.com/fukushimas-catastrophic-aftermath-continues/

The UK MoD has today confirmed that British drones over Afghanistan are now being controlled from the UK.For the first time UK forces can remotely control armed drones over Afghanistan while sitting in air conditioned trailers at RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire.   The growing use of unmanned drones to simply and easily launch lethal attacks at great distances – over 3,000 miles in the case of Waddington and Afghanistan – with no risk or political consequences should be a cause of extreme concern.Many counter terrorism experts are clear that drone strikes far from the solution, as Kurt Volker, the former US Permanent Representative to NATO said recently:

“Drone strikes allows our opponents to cast our country as a distant, high-tech, amoral purveyor of death. It builds resentment, facilitates terrorist recruitment and alienates those we should seek to inspire. Drone strikes may decapitate terrorist organizations, but they do not solve our terrorist problem. In fact, drone use may prolong it. Even though there is no immediate retaliation, in the long run the contributions to radicalization through drone use may put more lives at risk.”

Volker is not alone. Many other  experts such as Professor Michael Boyle, former counter terrorism adviser to President Obama has recently outlined in the Chatham House journal how use of armed drones is directly conflicting with other long term counter-terrorism initiatives and doing real damage to global security.

This weekend join CND, Stop the War, War on Want and Drone Campaign Network to call for an end to the drone wars.

One of the most significant developments of the post-Cold War era, and certainly the most ominous, is the transformation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), a military bloc created by the United States during the genesis of the Cold War in 1949, into one that has grown to encompass the entirety of Europe, has expanded military partnerships throughout the world and has waged war on three continents.

In 2006 Kurt Volker, at the time with the State Department and two years afterwards U.S. ambassador to NATO, boasted that the year before NATO had been “engaged in eight simultaneous operations on four continents.”

Two years later the State Department’s Daniel Fried told the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs’ Subcommittee on Europe:

“When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, NATO was an Alliance of 16 members and no partners. Today, NATO has 26 members – with 2 new invitees, prospective membership for others, and over 20 partners in Europe and Eurasia, seven in the Mediterranean, four in the Persian Gulf, and others from around the world.”

Although then-Secretary of State James Baker had assured Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev at the time of German reunification in 1990 that NATO would not be moved one inch eastward, the very act of merger occurring as it did led to the German Democratic Republic being absorbed not only into the Federal Republic but NATO and hence the latter immediately moving east to the borders of Poland and Czechoslovakia and closer to that of the Soviet Union.

The two invited nations Fried mentioned above are Albania and Croatia, which became full members of the military bloc in 2009, completing a decade of expansion that saw NATO membership grow by 75 percent from 16 to 28. NATO expansion to the east has provided the Pentagon and its Western allies with air bases and other military facilities in Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland and Romania for wars to the east and south.

Macedonia, which would also have been absorbed in 2009 except for the name dispute with NATO member Greece, is now in a new category of nations being groomed for full NATO membership the alliance refers to as aspirant countries. The others currently are Bosnia, Georgia and Montenegro.

With the Partnership for Peace program that was used to promote twelve new Eastern European into NATO between 1999 and 2009 – every non-Soviet member of the Warsaw Pact and three former Soviet republics (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) – the Mediterranean Dialogue, the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative and, as of last year, the newly formed Partners Across the Globe (whose initial members are Afghanistan, Australia, Iraq, Japan, Mongolia, New Zealand, Pakistan and South Korea), NATO members and partners number at least 70 nations, well over a third of those in the world.

In January of 2012 a meeting of NATO’s Military Committee Chiefs of Defense Staff was conducted with top military representatives of 67 nations.

The Partners Across the Globe and longer-standing military partnerships are slated to grow in all parts of the world. Among the more than 50 nations that have provided NATO with troop contingents for the war in South Asia are additional Asia-Pacific states not covered by other international NATO partnership formats like the Partnership for Peace (22 nations in Europe, the South Caucasus and Central Asia), the Mediterranean Dialogue (seven nations in North Africa and the Middle East, with Libya to be the eighth) and the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative, which targets the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates).

Those Asian states – Malaysia, Singapore and Tonga – are likely the next candidates for the new global partnership, as are Latin American troop providers like El Salvador and Colombia. The inclusion of the last-named marks the expansion of NATO, through memberships and partnerships, to all six inhabited continents.

Iraq and Yemen are likely prospects for inclusion in the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative. Mediterranean Dialogue members Jordan and Morocco applied for membership in the Gulf Cooperation Council (which is composed of the Arab world’s other six monarchies) during NATO’s war against Libya in 2011, for which Gulf Cooperation Council and Istanbul Cooperation Initiative members Qatar and the United Arab Emirates supplied dozens of warplanes.

If the West succeeds in effecting the overthrow of the Syrian government, Syria and Lebanon will be targeted for membership in NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue. (As will Palestine if and when it is recognized by the United Nations.) With the new administration in Cyprus confirming its intention to immediately join the Partnership for Peace, every nation in the Mediterranean Sea Basin will be a NATO member and partner. The integration of Cyprus will also complete the process of recruiting every European nation (excluding mini-states Andorra, Lichtenstein, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican) into the NATO orbit.

In the past three years there also has been discussion about NATO establishing a collective partnership arrangement, which could include individual partnerships as well, with the ten members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which are, in addition to Malaysia and Singapore, mentioned above, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand.

Similar efforts have been made by NATO to forge a collective partnership with the 54-member African Union. All African nations are members of the African Union except for Morocco and the fledgling state of South Sudan. All African countries except Egypt are in the area of responsibility of U.S. Africa Command, which before achieving full operational capacity in 2008 was created and developed by U.S. European Command, whose top military commander is simultaneously that of NATO.

The current NATO secretary general has bruited the intention to cultivate formal relations with India and China, likely to be based on the bilateral NATO-Russia Council model.

There has been discussion in recent years, including an explicit call by a Portuguese foreign minister for precisely such an initiative, for NATO to expand into the South Atlantic as well by building military partnerships with countries like Brazil and South Africa. (Six warships with the Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 held exercises with the South African navy in 2007 in the course of circumnavigating the African continent. Also in that year the same NATO naval force conducted operations in the Caribbean, the first time alliance warships entered that sea.)

In conjunction with the U.S., NATO is striving to assemble the remnants of defunct or dormant Cold War-era military blocs in the Asia-Pacific region, all modeled after NATO itself – the Central Treaty Organization (CENTO), the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) and the Security Treaty between Australia, New Zealand and the United States of America (ANZUS) – to replicate in the east against China what NATO expansion has accomplished in Europe over the past 14 years in relation to Russia: its exclusion, isolation and encirclement by military bases, naval forces and interceptor missile installations.

As the Pentagon and NATO are implementing plans to deploy land-based interceptor missiles in Romania and Poland and sea-based equivalents on guided missile warships in, first, the Mediterranean and plausibly afterward in the Black, Baltic and Norwegian Seas, so the U.S. has recruited Japan, South Korea and Australia into its global sea- and land-based missile shield grid, with a recent report indicating the Pentagon plans to add the Philippines to the list with the deployment there of an Army Navy/Transportable Radar Surveillance interceptor missile mobile system of the sort already stationed in Japan, Israel and Turkey.

Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and other NATO leaders routinely assert that the European Phased Adaptive Approach missile system is aimed not only against Iran but North Korea – and Syria. In April of this year Rasmussen became the first NATO secretary general to visit South Korea. Days earlier his second-in-command, Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow, spoke of the possibility of invoking NATO’s Article 5 mutual military assistance clause against North Korea.

Since 1999 the North Atlantic bloc has waged air and ground wars in Europe (Yugoslavia) , Asia (Afghanistan and across the border in Pakistan) and Africa (Libya), as well as running comprehensive naval surveillance, interdiction, boarding and assault operations in the Mediterranean Sea (Active Endeavor) and in the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean (Ocean Shield) and airlift operations for African troops into the Darfur region of western Sudan and into war-torn Somalia.

Post-Cold War NATO has repeatedly and without disguise identified its purview and its area of operations to be international in scope, and over the past 22 years its efforts to achieve that objective have steadily accelerated to the point where the military alliance is well poised to supplant the United Nations as the main, indeed the exclusive, arbiter of conflicts not only between but within nations throughout the world. A U.S.-dominated armed bloc which includes three nuclear powers and accounts for an estimated 70 percent of global military spending has expanded deployments, operations and partnerships around the planet.

Four years ago Hans von Sponeck, former UN Assistant Secretary General and UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, wrote a scathing denunciation called The United Nations and NATO: Which security and for whom? for a Swiss journal in which, in a section called “21st century NATO incompatible with UN Charter,” he stated:

“In 1999, NATO acknowledged that it was seeking to orient itself according to a new fundamental strategic concept. From a narrow military defense alliance it was to become a broad-based alliance for the protection of the vital resources needs of its members. Besides the defense of member states’ borders, it set itself new purposes such as assured access to energy sources and the right to intervene in ‘movements of large numbers of persons’ and in conflicts far from the boarders of NATO countries. The readiness of the new alliance to include other countries, particularly those that had previously been part of the Soviet Union, shows how the character of this military alliance has altered.”

 “[T]he United Nations monopoly of the use of force, especially as specified in Article 51 of the Charter, was no longer accepted according to the 1999 NATO doctrine.

“NATO’s territorial scope, until then limited to the Euro-Atlantic region, was expanded by its member to encompass the whole world in keeping with a strategic context that was global in its sweep.”

For the past 18 years NATO has been attempting to supersede and ultimately replace the United Nations, as von Sponeck warned, initially by promoting itself as the military wing of the UN by leading multinational military forces under post-conflict mandates in Bosnia, Kosovo and Macedonia – 60,000 troops in the first and 50,000 in the second case at peak strength. (The first two missions followed, respectively, a NATO bombing campaign against the Bosnian Serb Republic and 78-day air war against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, to be sure.) A comparable situation existed in Iraq, with NATO supporting the foreign occupation of the nation from 2004-2011. In fact all the post-Cold War NATO inductees – Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia – were compelled to supply troops for Iraq as proof of their loyalty to NATO before and shortly after their accession.

And for Afghanistan. But unlike the NATO missions in the above former Yugoslav territories, that in Afghanistan was to an active war zone, constituting NATO’s first ground war and first war outside Europe.

After the military alliance took over the International Security Assistance Force, it came to command almost all of the 152,000 foreign troops in the nation and soldiers from over 50 Troop Contributing Nations (the official designation) . Armed forces from that many nations had never before fought in one war, much less under a single command and in one nation.

Those nations are:

All 28 current NATO members: The U.S., Albania, Belgium, Britain, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Turkey.

Partnership for Peace adjuncts: Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bosnia, Finland, Georgia, Ireland, Macedonia, Montenegro, Sweden, Switzerland and Ukraine.

 Others: Australia (Partners Across the Globe), Bahrain (Istanbul Cooperation Initiative), El Salvador, Jordan (Mediterranean Dialogue), Malaysia, Mongolia (Partners Across the Globe), New Zealand (Partners Across the Globe), Singapore, South Korea (Partners Across the Globe), Tonga and the United Arab Emirates (Istanbul Cooperation Initiative).

Several additional nations supplied military and security personnel to serve under NATO command in Afghanistan without being formal Troop Contributing Nations such as Colombia, Egypt (Mediterranean Dialogue), Japan (Partners Across the Globe), Moldova (Partnership for Peace) and no doubt others. Efforts were made by the U.S. and NATO to secure troop contributions from such nations as Bangladesh and Kazakhstan.

The governments and militaries of Afghanistan itself and neighboring Pakistan are linked to NATO under the Afghanistan- Pakistan- International Security Assistance Force Tripartite Commission.

NATO has air and other military bases in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Those three nations have also been used by NATO as part of the Northern Distribution Network and other transit routes that include as well Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Iraq, Latvia, Lithuania, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Oman, Romania, Russia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates, etc.

The war in Afghanistan, the longest in the nation’s history as well as in that of the U.S., has supplied NATO with an almost 12-year opportunity to consolidate an international military network and to develop the operational and command integration of the armed forces of almost 60 nations. This is the global NATO that among others the Obama administration’s first ambassador to the alliance, Ivo Daalder, has openly touted under that exact name since the beginning of this century.

Many NATO members and partners, particularly former Soviet federal republics in the Baltic Sea region and in the South Caucasus, have used the Afghan war to gain combat experience for their armed forces to be used in conflicts in their own neighborhoods: Georgia, for example, in preparing for any resumption of armed conflict with South Ossetia and Russia such as occurred in August 2008.

Just as NATO has followed the U.S. into the Balkans and Afghanistan, into the global interceptor missile system and so-called energy security (in fact energy war) initiatives, so it has joined Washington in the new scramble in the Arctic Ocean, cyber warfare operations and the attempt to command the world’s strategic shipping lanes and choke points.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, its name now archaic as most of its members and all of its dozens of partners do not border the Atlantic Ocean, north or south, is well advanced in its U.S.-crafted mission to expand into history’s largest and first international military bloc and an unprecedented threat to world peace.

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What’s ongoing now bears eerie resemblance to events preceding Bush’s Iraq war. Obama’s replicating a familiar scenario.

Waging war requires a pretext to do so. When none exists, it’s invented. It’s easy. Lies substitute for truth. Claims about Syria using chemical weapons don’t wash. Repetition gets people to believe them. We’ve seen it all before.

Colin Power’s infamous February 5, 2003 Security Council speech led to war. It was shameless deception. Later he admitted WMD claims were false. It was too late to matter.

Plans were set. The die was cast. Weeks later, America bombed, invaded and occupied Iraq. The cradle of civilization was destroyed. No WMDs existed. It was well-known but ignored. More on that below.

Powell lied claiming them. US media scoundrels repeated what demanded renunciation. A New York Times editorial headlined “The Case Against Iraq,” saying:

“Secretary of State Colin Powell presented the United Nations and a global television audience yesterday with the most powerful case to date that Saddam Hussein stands in defiance of Security Council resolutions and has no intention of revealing or surrendering whatever unconventional weapons he may have.”

A (no longer available online) Washington Post editorial headlined “Irrefutable,” saying:

“….it is hard to imagine how anyone could doubt that Iraq possesses weapons of mass destruction.”

Months later, a Carnegie Endowment for International Peace report titled “WMD in Iraq: Evidence and Implications” said the Bush administration “systematically misrepresented the threat from Iraq’s WMD and ballistic missile programs.”

Asked about the report, Powell stood by his Security Council testimony, saying:

“I am confident of what I presented last year. The intelligence community is confident of the material they gave me. I was representing them.”

“It was information they presented to the Congress. It was information they had presented publicly and they stand behind it, and this game is still unfolding.”

Powell’s speech was bald-faced deception. He willfully lied, saying:

“The material I will present to you comes from a variety of sources. Some are US sources. And some are those of other countries.”

“Some of the sources are technical, such as intercepted telephone conversations and photos taken by satellites. Other sources are people who have risked their lives to let the world know what Saddam Hussein is really up to.”

“….Iraq’s behavior show(s) that Saddam Hussein and his regime are concealing their efforts to produce more weapons of mass destruction.”

“We also have satellite photos that indicate that banned materials have recently been moved from a number of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction facilities.”

“The Iraqis have never accounted for all of the biological weapons they admitted they had and we know they had. They have never accounted for all the organic material used to make them.”

“And they have not accounted for many of the weapons filled with these agents such as there are 400 bombs. This is evidence, not conjecture. This is true. This is all well-documented.”

He claimed Saddam stockpiled “between 100 and 500 tons of chemical weapons agents.” He added that “(t)here can be no doubt that (he) has biological weapons and the capability to rapidly produce more, many more.”

In August 1995, Saddam’s son-in-law, Hussein Kamel, defected to the West. He headed Iraq’s weapons programs. US intelligence officials debriefed him. He said “All weapons – biological, chemical, missile and nuclear were destroyed….Nothing remained.”

The New York Times and other US media sources reported his comments.

CNN’s Brent Sadler asked him: “Can you state here and now – does Iraq still to this day hold weapons of mass destruction?”

He responded: “No. Iraq does not possess any weapons of mass destruction. I am being completely honest about this.”

In the run-up to March 2003, media misinformation replaced earlier headlines. It’s standard practice. It repeating again now. Obama appears heading for full-scale war on Syria.

Big lies launch wars. In “The Art of War,” Sun Tzu said “All war is based on deception.” Fear, misinformation and duplicity enlist public support. Naked aggression is called humanitarian intervention.

Libya 2.0 looms. Fabricating chemical weapons use looks like pretext for full-scale war. Secretary of State John Kerry claims Syria launched two chemical weapons attacks.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said using them “violates every convention of warfare.”

On April 25, the Los Angeles Times headlined “US lawmakers call for action on Syria’s chemical weapons,” saying:

They want quick action.

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D. CA) warned that without decisive action, “President Assad may calculate he has nothing more to lose.” He might “further escalate this conflict.”

“It is clear that ‘red lines’ have been crossed and action must be taken to prevent larger scale use,” she added. “Syria has the ability to kill tens of thousands with its chemical weapons.”

Senator John McCain (R. AZ) said “(i)t’s pretty obvious the red line has been crossed.”

Rep. Adam Schiff (D. CA) believes Assad’s testing the international community. “The administration has said (chemical weapons use is) a game changer, but it’s not clear what that new game will look like.”

“I think it is incumbent on the international community to take strong action.”

A same day LA Times editorial headlined “A ‘red line’ on Syria,” saying:

“If the Assad regime has indeed used chemical weapons, the US must honor its commitment to act.”

“(U)se of chemical weapons would represent a reckless escalation of Assad’s war on his own people.”

“Yes, the president must be sure before he acts; but if it is proved that Assad has crossed the ‘red line,’ Obama must respond.”

Chicago Tribune editors headlined “The pink line,” asking: “If Assad used chemical weapons, what will Obama do?”

He “drew a clear red line last August….(He) ‘put together a range of contingency plans,’ but he didn’t spell them out.”

“Now there’s mounting, though not yet conclusive, evidence that if Assad hasn’t stormed across that red line, he may be tiptoeing on it.”

Tribune editors want more decisive action. “We’ve long argued that the US should directly arm the rebels.”

Operating covertly from southern Turkey, CIA operatives have been doing it all along. It’s handled through a network of intermediaries. Weapons are also entering from Lebanon, Jordan and Israel.

Tribune editors urge more. Impose a no-fly zone “to ground Assad’s air force.” Doing so is an act of war.

“(B)omb access roads where chemical weapons are transported, to make moving (them) difficult if not impossible.”

Bombing anywhere assures doing it everywhere considered strategically important. Tribune editors urge war. They’re not alone.

On April 25, Wall Street Journal editors headlined “Chemical Weapons and Consequences: Syria calls President Obama’s bluff on WMD,” saying:

“As President of the United States, I don’t bluff,” said Obama.

He “famously said (it) in March 2012, warning Iranian leaders that he would not allow them to acquire nuclear weapons.”

Last month he said:

“I’ve made it clear to Bashar al-Assad and all who follow his orders: We will not tolerate the use of chemical weapons against the Syrian people, or the transfer of those weapons to terrorists.”

“The world is watching; we will hold you accountable.”

“Or not,” said Journal editors. “Israel will have to consider its own military options to secure the stockpiles if the US won’t act….”

“Presidents who are exposed as bluffers tend to have their bluff called again and again, with ever more dangerous consequences.”

Official accusations are familiar. So is heated rhetoric that follows. Obama heads closer to full-scale intervention. Reports say around 20,000 US troops will be deployed in Jordan.

On April 26, Obama hosted Jordan’s King Abdullah II in Washington. Perhaps they discussed invasion plans.

A Final Comment

While meeting with King Abdullah, Obama stopped short of saying Assad crossed a “red line.” Earlier he warned doing so would unleash “unspecified consequences.” Likely he meant direct US intervention.

“Horrific as it is when mortars are being fired on civilians and people are being indiscriminately killed, to use potential weapons of mass destruction on civilian populations crosses another line with respect to international norms and international law,” he told reporters.

“That is going to be a game changer. We have to act prudently.”

“We have to make these assessments deliberately. But I think all of us….recognize how we cannot stand by and permit the systematic use of weapons like chemical weapons on civilian populations.”

Sorting things out requires “increased urgency,” he stressed.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said “(h)e retains all options to respond.” Further reports will explain more.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected].

His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

http://static.infowars.com/2013/04/i/general/bostonmil5.jpgmartial law in boston 2

.http://files.abovetopsecret.com/files/img/rb517a12ff.jpgThe above are real pictures of military and police locking down Boston and searching door-to-door for the Boston bomber in Watertown, Massachusetts.

And here’s a video of the involuntary searches and evacuations:

Senator Rand Paul and other congressmen subsequently said they would have approved of armed drones going in as well to help take out the suspect.

We have no idea yet whether or not the suspect is in fact guilty of terrorism in Boston. But it is important to remember – as Glenn Greenwald points out – the FBI has been “positive” about the guilt of numerous people who were totally innocent:

As so many cases have proven – from accused (but exonerated) anthrax attacker Stephen Hatfill to accused (but exonerated) Atlanta Olympic bomber Richard Jewell to dozens if not hundreds of Guantanamo detainees accused of being the “worst of the worst” but who were guilty of nothing – people who appear to be guilty based on government accusations and trials-by-media are often completely innocent. Media-presented evidence is no substitute for due process and an adversarial trial.

The FBI also said it was positive that Bruce Ivins was the anthrax killer (after falsely accusing 2 other people of being the culprits). However, the National Academy of Science found that the FBI failed to prove its case.

Of course, it turns out that the bombing suspect didn’t have a single weapon when all of the troops were sent in and police shot hundreds of rounds at him. He also never robbed a 7-11, as was claimed at first.

Indeed, the high-tech manhunt for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has reminded a lot of people of Running Man … the distopian Arnold Schwarzenegger movie where – after Schwarzenegger is framed – high-tech assassins are sent out to get him.

Again, we are not saying that Tsarnaev is innocent.  We have no idea of his innocence or guilt.

But sending in overwhelming military and police force to get one 19-year old under ever-shifting explanations makes me a little nervous.

Many Americans assume that this was just a one-time emergency.  After all, a terrorist who had allegedly killed and wounded many innocents was on the run … and had supposedly thrown more pressure cooker bombs at police.

Many other Americans are saying that this was a very overt foreshadowing of martial law … of which many top government officials have warned.

But there are many other negative consequences which stem from over-reactions to terror.  For example – after 9/11 – many Americans were so scared that they supported a war in Iraq that will actually backfire and increase terrorism.  Indeed, if the Boston suspect did it, it was likely because we invaded Iraq and have launched wars throughout the Middle East.

And the Iraq war was so expensive (as much as $5 to 6 trillion dollars) that it helped make us broke … which further weakens national security.

As Andrew Napolitano writes in the conservative publication Reason … which was heartily supported by liberal site Reddit:

The American people made a pact with the devil in the weeks and months following 9/11 when they bought the Bush-era argument that by surrendering liberty they could buy safety. But that type of pact has never enhanced either liberty or safety, and its fruits are always bitter.

***

The pact with the devil occurred in the fall of 2001, when then President George W. Bush and Congress decided that they would use the machinery of the federal government to secure safety, rather than liberty. So, the Bush-inspired Patriot Act permits federal agents to write their own search warrants, and the Bush-inspired new FISA statutes permit search warrants of some Americans’ phone calls without a showing of probable cause as the Constitution requires, and the Bush-era intimidation of telephone service providers permitted our overseas spies to snoop on our domestic phone calls. None of this has enhanced safety, and all of it has diminished liberty.

***

In the Obama administration, the devil has demanded more. In the past five years, we have seen federal spies capturing the keystrokes on our computers, local police using federal dollars to install cameras and microphones on nearly every street corner, and, the latest lamentable phenomenon, the use of false emergencies to undermine freedom.

***

Think about this: The governor of Massachusetts, the superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police, the mayor of Boston, the Boston police commissioner, and the head of the Boston FBI office all proclaimed on Saturday morning that the danger had passed and Boston and its suburbs could return to normal. Yet the attorney general in Washington told his FBI agents in Boston to disregard those officials and instead pretend that the public safety was still jeopardized and then expand a 10-second window to 72 hours.

And see this.

In addition, disproportionate fear can be a corrosive force in our lives. Fear makes us unable to think straight.   As we noted in 2008, in a piece called Get a Grip, America:

Former deputy national intelligence officer for transnational threats, a 23-year senior CIA analyst, who “drafted or was involved in many of the government’s most senior assessments of the threats facing our country [and who] devoted years to understanding and combating the jihadist threat”, writes today in the Washington Post that the neocons have whipped us into an irrational fear of the terrorism. In reality, “Osama bin Laden and his disciples are small men and secondary threats whose shadows are made large by our fears” and our leaders.

This is no surprise to anyone who has been paying attention. The BBC produced a documentary called The Power of Nightmares in 2005 that showed that politicians were greatly exaggerating the terrorist threat for political ends.

***

Because so many Americans got their panties in a wad about the boogeyman, we have allowed our basic rights and liberties to be taken away, allowed the executive branch to seize dictatorial powers and ignore Congress and the courts, allowed an illegal war be launched which has destroyed our economy …  and has actually crippled our real national security (torture and imperial wars create real terrorists and push away our allies).

Of course, Obama – like Bush – claims that tyrannical measures are necessary to fight the war on terror.  But FBI agents and CIA intelligence officials, constitutional law expert professor Jonathan Turley, Time Magazine, Keith Olbermann and the Washington Post have all said that U.S. government officials “were trying to create an atmosphere of fear in which the American people would give them more power”, and even former Secretary of Homeland Security – Tom Ridge – admits that he was pressured to raise terror alerts for political purposes … to help Bush win reelection.

In fact, fear of terror makes people stupid … people are actually much more likely to be killed by much more boring and mundane causes than terrorism.

Ryan Sager points out:

The war is in our minds, between being scared of our shadows and keeping the true threat in perspective.

***

Fear is a powerful weapon — and there’s no reason the American president should act as a force multiplier for Al Qaeda.

And as professor Scott Atran notes:

To terrorize and destabilize, terrorists need publicity and our complicity. With publicity, even failed terrorist acts succeed in terrorizing; without publicity, terrorism would fade away … By amplifying and connecting relatively sporadic terrorist acts into a generalized “war,” the somewhat marginal phenomenon of terrorism has become a primary preoccupation of our government and people.

Our founding fathers advised us not to panic:

Those who would trade safety for freedom deserve neither.
– Thomas Jefferson

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.
- Benjamin Franklin

And Christians and Jews should remember that the Bible teaches us to be brave … and not to panic.

by Thehonestintelligence.blogspot.ca

(Photo – WARNING – GRAPHIC)

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Suffered a gunshot wound to the throat when he was arrested; how convenient that he can now, no longer speak.

His brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was arrested after being ordered to remove all his clothes, and He Was ALIVE, and NOT INJURED when he was taken into custody…

Now he is dead, and seriously mutilated; SINCE he went into full custody…Video of his arrest here:

So tell me, how did he die, WHILE in custody, and how did he become so badly injured during his death; again, WHILE in Custody! His death photo below: (WARNING – VERY GRAPHIC) You can click on the image to see it larger.

No Miranda Rights for either brother, No right to an attorney, No rights to even try to prove their innocence. This is a sham of our Judicial system, and becoming more and more of a blatant cover-up, right in front of us. Our government uses “Patsies,” like Oswald, and then they are suddenly dead, so the investigation is closed, and the government can get away with yet another crime against the citizens.

Below: Surgeon being silenced, or another crisis actor?

Samsung, the South Korean multinational company headquartered in Seoul just announced that its online store will not operate in Iran as of May 22, 2013.  The Associated Press report titled ‘Samsung to block access to app store in Iran’ that Iranian users of Samsung mobile applications said Thursday that the company had notified them that they will no longer have access to the company’s online store as of May 22.” 

Iranian citizens were informed earlier in the week about Samsung’ decision to block access to the app store. 

At a Tehran shopping mall, owners of mobile phones and tablets said Thursday that they had received the message via email from the company late the night before. Retailers said they had no power over the decision” the report said.  “The move is seen as part of international sanctions on the country over its disputed nuclear program.”

South Korea has numerous US bases in its territory since the Korean Peninsula had been divided since 1945.  South Korea became a republic in 1948 under Syngman Rhee, an anti-Communist/US ally.  It is one of Iran’s first sanctions imposed by the company since the talks in Kazakhstan failed earlier this month.  More sanctions are expected against Iran in the near future concerning its nuclear program.

The Israeli Municipality of Jerusalem and the Ministry of Transport are currently undertaking large-scale construction work in Beit Safafa, occupied East Jerusalem, in order to complete a highway (“Begin Highway”) that will serve the expansion of Israel’s the illegal settlements in and around the southern part of occupied East Jerusalem and expedite the annexation de facto of the Gush Etzion settlement bloc. The occupied Palestinian population of Beit Safafa does not benefit from this highway. They have not been consulted, and their livelihoods and community are being destroyed.  Together with the people of Beit Safafa, the Civic Coalition for Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem, a coalition of 25 Palestinian human rights and development organizations, calls upon all States, the United Nations and the EU to intervene as a matter of urgency in order to ensure that:

  • Israel and the responsible executive entities, in particular the Israeli Ministry of Transport,  the Jerusalem Municipality and its Moriah Jerusalem Development Company, immediately cease construction of the new illegal settlement highway in Beit Safafa and make full reparation for losses and damages already caused to the occupied Palestinian population;
  • No international recognition is granted to the unlawful situation resulting from the illegal Israeli settlement enterprise of which this highway is part, and no public or private funds or business activities contribute to the construction of the illegal highway.

In light of the persistence of Israeli settlement expansion, we urge the international community, including local authorities and business companies, to suspend cooperation and business with the Israeli authorities and companies responsible for the construction of the illegal highway in occupied Beit Safafa.

Stop Israeli construction of a new illegal settlement highway in occupied Palestinian territory

Halt Israeli destruction and forcible displacement of the Palestinian community of Beit Safafa in occupied East Jerusalem

A public appeal by the Civic Coalition for Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem submitted to the special attention of:

Heads of diplomatic missions in the OPT

UNESCO Special Coordinator, Robert Serry

UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the OPT, Richard Falk

UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing, Raquel Rolnik

 Civic Coalition for Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem, Dahiet al Barid, Abu Khalaf Bldg., www.civiccoalition-jerusalem.org


 Practical and effective measures for the above must be implemented immediately in order to prevent further entrenchment and expansion of the illegal Israeli settlement enterprise, and more damage to the human rights and livelihoods of the occupied Palestinian people, in particular the inhabitants of Beit Safafa.

In light of the strong international concern and condemnation of the illegal Israeli  settlement activity,[1] and based on the legal obligations of third parties affirmed by the ICJ Advisory Opinion of 2004 and the recent report of the UN Fact Finding Mission on the Israeli settlements, we urge and expect all States, the UN and the EU “to assume their responsibilities vis-à-vis Israel as a State breaching peremptory norms of international law”, [2] and to adopt the necessary measures, including sanctions, in order to halt the construction of the illegal settlement highway in Beit Safafa. We also urge and expect private companies to respect international law and the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and to take “all necessary steps – including by terminating their business interests in the settlements – to ensure that they do not have an adverse impact on the human rights of the Palestinian people.”[3]

Facts and background

Location and specifications of the Israeli road project

The construction site extends from the Israeli (Teddy Kolleg) football stadium and (Malha) Mall in the area of the 1948 depopulated Palestinian village of al Malha, West Jerusalem, to the Israeli Gilo settlement in the south of 1967 occupied East Jerusalem. The projected road is approximately 1.5 km long and almost entirely located in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, specifically in Beit Safafa, a Palestinian community with approximately 9,300 in habitants. In Beit Safafa, the road is being constructed as a 6-lane highway, with as many as 10-11 lanes in some parts. Construction started in September 2012 and is scheduled to be completed in October 2015.

Purpose and function of the Israeli highway through occupied Beit Safafa

The highway currently under construction in Beit Safafa is an extension of the already existing “Begin Highway” and has been designated alternatingly as Road No. 4 or Road No. 50 by the Israeli Jerusalem Municipality. The Begin Highway is the western Jerusalem ring road that expedites travel between the south and the north of the city . It constitutes a core component of the road network that serves Israel’s “greater Jerusalem” settlement metropolis in the occupied West Bank and ties it into Israeli territory.  Partially constructed in occupied Palestinian territory, the Begin Highway links in the north into Road 443 to the settlement bloc of Givat Ze’ev in the occupied West Bank and onward to Tel Aviv. In the south, the Begin Highway currently ends in the Malha neighborhood, West Jerusalem; it does not yet have a direct connection with Road 60 (the “Tunnel Road”) which serves Israeli movement to and from the settlements in the southern West Bank.

The short section of highway currently under construction in Beit Safafa will close the gap between the Begin Highway and Road 60 (Tunnel Road). Construction of the highway section coincides with increased Israeli settlement activity in the area, including the expansion of the existing settlements of Gilo and Har Homa and the establishment of the new settlement of Givat Hamatos in occupied East Jerusalem,[4] and the ongoing construction of the settlement of Har Gilo in the adjacent occupied West Bank.  Although propagated as an “internal” Jerusalem road by the Israeli authorities, the highway through Beit Safafa will substantially upgrade the network of Israeli settlement roads. It will accommodate the increased Israeli traffic from these settlements, and it will create one continuous piece of highway for Israeli traffic from the Gush Etzion settlement bloc in the southern West Bank (Road 60), through West and East Jerusalem (Begin Highway), to the Ma’ale Adumim settlement bloc and the E1 area in the east (Road 1), and to the Givat Ze’ev settlement bloc near Ramallah and onward to Tel Aviv (Road 443).

Alone and in combination with similar Israeli transport infrastructure projects in various stages of planning or construction, such as the Jerusalem Light Rail,[5] the Eastern Ring Road[6] and the A1 Train,[7] the section of the Begin Highway through Beit Safafa will boost Israel’s “greater Jerusalem” settlement enterprise, consolidate Israeli domination, and expedite the annexation de facto of the central area of the occupied Palestinian West Bank.

http://www.poica.org/editor/case_studies/sfafa50e.jpg

 Courtesy of ARIJ.

Who is involved in the construction of the settlement highway in Beit Safafa?

Responsible for the implementation of the road project are the Israeli Jerusalem Municipality and the Ministry of Transport. Construction is led by the Moriah Jerusalem Development Company, the executive arm of the Municipality for infrastructure projects. The implementing contractor is D.Y. Barazani Ltd., an Israeli construction company regularly performing development and infrastructure maintenance work for the Jerusalem Municipality, including in occupied East Jerusalem. (See billboard below.) Earth moving equipment of Volvo (Sweden), CAT (USA), Hyundai (South Korea) and JCB (U.K.) is being used for the construction.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Impacts and consequences for the occupied Palestinian population of Beit Safafa

The occupied Palestinian population of Beit Safafa does not benefit from this highway which is being imposed on them against their express will.  Although the highway is being built on land confiscated in the past from members of the community and passes through its center, no access road onto the highway will be available for the local Palestinian residents. Moreover, the highway is causing grave losses and damages to individuals and the community of Beit Safafa.

For Palestinian owners of land and homes along the route of the highway through Beit Safafa, construction of the highway is resulting in serious infringements against their property and housing rights::

·         Loss of the right to use and develop property: under Israeli planning law, no construction is permitted within 150m from both sides of highways of the type under construction in Beit Safafa. Moreover, as the local population was unaware of the Israeli road plan and able to obtain permits to build homes in the past, many homes are today located within this 300m periphery, including some in extreme vicinity to the new highway. These homes are now effectively rendered illegal under Israeli planning law, and no permits will be available in the future for their repair or extension.

·         Loss of value of property: due to the above, as well as the extreme exposure to noise, pollution and related hazards resulting from the ongoing construction work and future traffic, Palestinian homes in vicinity of the highway have lost approximately 37% of their market value.[8]

In addition, all inhabitants of Beit Safafa are affected by:

·         Risks to health and adequate standard of living due to the degradation of the environment;

·         Loss of freedom of movement and access to essential services: since the establishment of the Gilo settlement in the 1970s, Beit Safafa has been bifurcated north-south by the 4-6 lane road (Dov Yosef Road) connecting the settlement with West Jerusalem. The extension of the Begin Highway currently under construction will cut through the community from west to east; it will cross the Gilo settlement road underneath a bridge and result in the division of Beit Safafa into four disconnected parts. The new highway will cut off local internal roads and obstruct access to kindergartens, schools, the health clinic and places of work and worship. For many residents, these will no longer be accessible by foot but require travel by car on two new internal roads across bridges planned for local use.

·         Serious infringement against the collective right to maintain and develop the community: as a result of the fragmentation of the village and the losses and damages caused to the Palestinian inhabitants.

In the longer term, the Begin Highway alone and in combination with the additional Israeli settlement activities planned in the area will result in the destruction of Beit Safafa as a community and in the forced displacement of (part of) its members.

 

  A snap shot from a promotional video clip disseminated on youtube by the Moriah Jerusalem Development Company showing a model of the Begin Highway in Beit Safafa when completed. The picture shows the highway crossing the Gilo settlement road (Dov Yosef Road) underneath a bridge and leading into West Jerusalem (on the top). It also shows how Beit Safafa is sliced into four parts, and the two bridges across the highway planned for local use.

The full promotion clip can be viewed at:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=042woKRZ0Iw&feature=youtube_gdata_player

  Previous history of forced dispossession and forced displacement – a context of systematic Israeli violation of IHL and international human rights law

 Israel’s construction of the Begin Highway and the consequences for the occupied Palestinian population should be assessed in the context of previous Israeli policies and practices applied to Beit Safafa (and neighboring Palestinian communities). Until 1967, Beit Safafa was divided by the armistice line between Israel and Jordan that had resulted from the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. Although the village has since been reunited as a result of the Israeli occupation and annexation of East Jerusalem, a substantial portion of its population continues to be forcibly displaced. This includes (descendants of) Palestinian refugees who had found shelter in the Jordanian-controlled part of Beit Safafa after their expulsion by Israel in 1948, as well as (descendants of) original villagers displaced during the two Arab-Israeli wars and in the ongoing Israeli occupation. Israel has prevented the return of the displaced and confiscated their land, as well as land  of the remaining inhabitants of Beit Safafa, by means of laws that discriminate against the indigenous Palestinian population, such as the Absentees’ Property Law (1950) and the Land Ordinance (Acquisition for Public Purposes) of 1943. Israel has used this land for the development of Jewish neighborhoods and infrastructure in West Jerusalem, and Jewish settlements, roads and military installations in occupied East Jerusalem.

 Israel’s illegal annexation of Beit Safafa and the subsequent systematic and discriminatory Israeli policy land confiscation and urban planning have resulted in a situation where Beit Safafans have already lost approximately one-third of their land, and the area available for the development of the community has shrunk from 3,057 dunams under the British Mandate in 1947 to 2,354 dunams under Israeli control today.[10] Together with neighboring Palestinian communities in the OPT, Beit Safafa is affected, for example, by two large-scale Israeli land confiscations undertaken for alleged “public purpose” in 1970[11] and 1991[12]. Israel has used the expropriated Palestinian land for the development of the Jewish settlements of Gilo (1971) and Givat Hamatos (about to be constructed). Also confiscated from Beit Safafans in the past were the 234 dunams of land for the construction of the Begin Highway extension.[13]

 Wider impact of the Begin Highway in Beit Safafa on Palestinians

 Since the Begin Highway through Beit Safafa will, once completed, contribute to the consolidation and annexation of Israeli “greater Jerusalem” in the central area of the occupied Palestinian West Bank, this highway will, ipso facto, undermine the ability of the Palestinian people to exercise their right to self-determination and independence in the OPT, including East Jerusalem. Moreover, the local Palestinian population will not benefit from this highway because, a) use of the Israeli settlement-highway network is restricted for most Palestinians from the occupied West Bank, who do not have Israeli permission for travel in Israeli territory and occupied East Jerusalem, and b) these highways by-pass local Palestinian communities and are not easily accessible for Palestinians.

The exclusion of the Palestinian population from the Israeli planning process

Despite the severe impacts of the Begin Highway currently under construction, the local Palestinian population, including the residents of Beit Safafa, has never been consulted by the responsible Israeli authorities. Based on information provided by the residents’ lawyer and the NGO Ir Amim, the Jerusalem Municipality has never submitted a detailed plan of the highway for public review and objections, although this is required by Israeli law and was done for other segments of Begin Highway.[14]

The people of Beit Safafa became aware of the highway project only when construction started in September 2012. Public concern and protest was initially directed to the local liaison office of the Jerusalem Municipality in Beit Safafa. The latter confirmed that construction work had been started without the required permit and requested that Beit Safafans be patient and wait until the problem is solved. When construction had not ceased by December, a group of 20 residents challenged the road project in the Jerusalem District Court. The petitioners requested the Court to issue an order for the Jerusalem Municipality to stop construction, and to present a detailed plan for public review and objection.

In court, the Jerusalem Municipality argued that it had presented the required plan, and that Beit Safafans have forfeited their right to compensation because they did not object to the highway in time. The Municipality based its argument on a plan (local outline plan no. 2371) for Beit Safafa which was submitted for public review and approved in 1991. This plan does, in fact, feature a road in the site where the highway is being constructed. However, it does not provide specifications regarding the type and size of the road, it does not show the connections with the Begin Highway and Road No. 60 (which did not yet exist in 1991 in their current form), and it doesn’t include a number of homes which have since been built, with official authorization, in the area adjacent to the route of the road. The people of Beit Safafa argued on this basis that the old plan was outdated and not a valid planning document for the construction of the extension of the Begin Highway. The Jerusalem District Court, however, ruled that the plan from 1990 was valid and that construction could proceed.

C:\Users\user\Downloads\_____.PNGThe residents of Beit Safafa have filed an appeal against the decision of the District Court with the Israeli High Court. With the appeal, the residents also submitted a request for an immediate stop-of-work order until their appeal would be heard. This request was rejected on 20 March 2013. The High Court accepted the position of the Jerusalem Municipality that the request came “too late”, and that the damage caused for the State of Israel by a halt of construction would amount to approximately NIS 20 million per month and would, thus, be larger than the damage caused to the people of Beit Safafa by the construction of the highway in their community.[15]

In the meantime, therefore, construction of the Begin Highway – and destruction of Beit Safafa – continues unabated. The hearing of the appeal in the Israeli High Court has been tentatively scheduled for 26 June, and the Israeli NGO Bimkom has joined the appeal with new information about losses and damages caused to the community and inhabitants of Beit Safafa. Deeply concerned about the rapid pace of construction/destruction, the people of Beit Safafa maintain permanent public protest activities in their village and are calling for effective international solidarity and intervention.

The status of the Begin Highway in Beit Safafa under international law

Under international law, the Begin Highway currently under construction in Beit Safafa is illegal. Among others, Israel violates its obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention by constructing a highway in the OPT which serves the permanent settlement of Israeli citizens in the OPT, and which does not benefit the occupied Palestinian population but rather the interests of its own citizens, including those in the illegal settlements. Moreover, since the section of the highway under construction in occupied Beit Safafa is part and parcel of Israel’s illegal settlement activity in the OPT, Israel, with the construction of this highway, is responsible for the serious breaches of international humanitarian and human rights law already analyzed in the ICJ Advisory Opinion of 2004 on the Israeli Wall in occupied Palestinian territory, including the permanent acquisition of territory by force, violation of the Palestinian right to self-determination, forced population transfer, unlawful expropriation and destruction of Palestinian property and gross and systematic infringements against the human rights of the occupied Palestinian population.[16] Based on the  ICJ Advisory Opinion and the recent UN Fact Finding Mission on the Israeli settlements, therefore, Israel with its Begin Highway extension in Beit Safafa is responsible for serious breaches of peremptory norms of international law which trigger the responsibility of all States, and for war crimes which give rise to individual responsibility.[17]

6 April 2013

 For  further information, please contact:

 Zakaria Odeh, executive director

 Civic Coalition for Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem

 [email protected]

 

Notes

[1] See, for example, UN Security Council Resolutions 252 (1968(, 298 (1971), 446 (1979) and 465 (1980). See also , EU Council of Foreign Affairs. Conclusions of 14 May 2012: http://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/israel/documents/press_corner/20120514_01_en.pdf

[2] See, para 116 of the Report of the Independent International Fact-finding Mission to investigate the implications of the Israeli settlements on the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the Palestinian people throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem (A/HRC/22/63) adopted by the Human Rights Council on 19 March 2013 (A/HRC/22/L.45).

[3] Ibid, para 117.

[4] Israeli settlement plans in the area were fast-tracked and approved in December 2012 and include 1,000 additional housing units in Gilo and 2,610 units in Givat Hamatos (stage A of a total of 4,000 projected). http://peacenow.org/entries/972_settlement_round-up_thousands_new_homes_planned_for_east_jerusalem_west_bank#more

[8] Based on the preliminary assessment of damages presented by the residents of Beit Safafa in their petition to the Jerusalem District Court in December 2012. Source: Atty Kais Nasser, representing the residents in this case.

[9] Minutes of Jerusalem Municipal Council meeting, 27 December 1987, Report 64, p. 18. in B’tselem, A Policy of Discrimination: Land Expropriation, Planning and Building in East Jerusalem, May 1995.

[10] Source: Arab Studies Society/Map and GIS Department, based on British Mandate survey (1947) and the Israeli outline plan for Beit Safafa (2317) of 1991.

[11] 2,700 dunams confiscated for Gilo on 30 August 1970; Official Gazette (in Hebrew) 1656 (1970), p. 2808.

[12] 600 dunams confiscated for Givat Hamatos on 16 May 1991; Official Gazette (in Hebrew) 3877 (1991), p. 2479.

[14] See also, Ir Amim, Fact Sheet “Tearing a neighbourhood into two. The Begin Highway in Beit Safafa”:

www.ir-amim.org.il/sites/default/files/english%20for%20web.pdf

[15] Zafrir Rinat, “Israel’s High Court rejects Arab village’s bid to stop construction of highway. Justices say there is more proof that the state would suffer if construction were delayed”, in Ha’aretz, 20 March 2013:

http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/israel-s-high-court-rejects-arab-village-s-bid-to-stop-construction-of-highway.premium-1.510878

[16] See, ICJ Advisory Opinion on the Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in Occupied Palestinian Territory of 9 July 2004: http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/index.php?p1=3&p2=4&k=5a&case=131&code=mwp&p3=4

[17] See footnote 1. See also, Al Haq, Legal Memorandum on State Responsibility relating to Israel’s Illegal Settlement Enterprise:

http://www.alhaq.org/advocacy/topics/settlements-and-settler-violence/603-legal-memorandum-on-state-responsibility-in-relation-to-israels-illegal-settlement-enterprise

 

Boston and Venezuela: Terrorism There and Here

April 26th, 2013 by Prof. James Petras

Introduction

Two major terrorists’ attacks took place almost simultaneously:  in Boston, two alleged Chechen terrorists set off bombs during the annual Boston Marathon killing three people and injuring 170; in Venezuela, terrorist-supporters of defeated presidential candidate, Henrique Capriles, assassinated 8 and injured 70 supporters of victorious Socialist Party candidate Nicolas Maduro, in the course of firebombing 8 health clinics and several Party offices and homes.  In the case of Boston, the terrorist spree resulted in one further fatality – one of the perpetrators; in Venezuela, some of the terrorists are under arrest but their political mentors are still free and active – in fact they are now presented as ‘victims of repression’  by the US media.

By examining the context, politics, government responses and mass media treatment of these terrorist acts we can gain insight into the larger meaning of terrorism and how it reflects, not merely the hypocrisy of the US government and mass media, but the underlying politics that encourages terrorism.

Context of Terrorism:  From Chechnya to Boston :  A Dangerous Game

Chechnya has been an armed battleground for over two decades pitting the secular Russian State against local Muslim fundamentalist separatists.  Washington , fresh from arming and financing Muslim jihadis in a successful war against the secular Soviet-backed Afghan regime in the 1980’s, expanded its aid program into Central Asian and Caucasian Muslim regions of the former Soviet Union .

Russian military might ultimately defeated the Chechen warlords but many of their armed followers fled to other countries, joining armed, extremist, Islamist groups in Iraq , Pakistan , Afghanistan and later Egypt , Libya and now Syria .  While accepting Western, especially US arms, to fight secular adversaries of the US Empire, the jihadis’ ultimate goal has been a clerical (Islamic) regime.  Washington and the Europeans have played a dangerous game:  using Muslim fundamentalists as shock troops to defeat secular nationalists, while planning to dump them in favor of neo-liberal ‘moderate’ Muslim or secular client regimes afterwards.

This cynical policy has backfired everywhere – including in the US .  Fundamentalists in Afghanistan took state power after the Soviets pulled out.  They opposed the US , which invaded Afghanistan after the attacks of September 11, 2001, and have successfully engaged in a 12 year war of attrition with Washington and NATO, spawning powerful allies in Pakistan and elsewhere.  Taliban-controlled areas of Afghanistan serve as training bases and a ‘beacon’ for terrorists the world over.

The US invasion of Iraq and overthrow of President Saddam Hussein led to ten years of Al Qaeda and related-clerical terrorism in Iraq , wiping out the entire secular society.  In the case of Libya and Syria , NATO and Gulf State arms have greatly expanded the arsenals of terrorist fundamentalists in North and Sub-Sahara Africa and the Middle East .  Western-sponsored fundamentalist terrorists were directly related to the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington and there is little doubt that the recent actions of the Chechen bombers in Boston are products of this latest upsurge of NATO-backed fundamentalist advances in North Africa and the Middle East.

But against all the evidence to the contrary, Chechen terrorists are viewed by the White House as “freedom fighters” engaged in liberating their country from the secular Russians … Perhaps after the Boston terror attack, that appraisal will change.

Venezuela : Presenting Terrorism as “Peaceful Dissent”

The candidate of the US backed and financed opposition, Henrique Capriles, has lived up to his reputation for violent politics.  In the run-up to his failed candidacy in the Venezuelan presidential election on April 15, his followers sabotaged power lines causing frequent national blackouts.  His supporters among the elite hoarded basic consumer items, causing shortages, and repeatedly threatened violence if the election went against them.

With over 100 international observers from the United Nations, European Commission and the Jimmy Carter Center there to certify the Venezuelan elections, Capriles and his inner circle unleashed their street gangs, who proceeded to target Socialist voters, campaign workers, health clinics, newly-built low-income housing projects and Cuban doctors and nurses.

The “white terror” resulted in 8 deaths and 70 injuries.  Over 135 right-wing street thugs were arrested and 90 were charged with felonies, conspiracy to commit murder and destroy public property.  Capriles, violent political credentials go back at least a decade earlier when he played a major role in the bloody coup which briefly overthrew  President Hugo Chavez in 2002.  Capriles led a gang of armed thugs and assaulted the Cuban embassy, ‘arresting’ legitimate Cabinet ministers who had taken refuge.  After a combined military and popular mass movement restored President Chavez, Capriles was placed under arrest for violence and treason.  The courageous Venezuelan Attorney General, Danilo Anderson, was in the process of prosecuting Capriles and several hundred of his terrorist supporters when he was assassinated by a car bomb – planted by supporters of the failed coup.

Though Capriles electoral propaganda was given a face-lift – he even called himself a candidate of the “center-left” and a supporter of several of President Chavez’s “social missions”, his close ties with terrorist operatives were revealed by his call for violent action as soon as his electoral defeat was announced.  His thinly veiled threat to organize a “mass march” and seize the headquarters of the electoral offices was only called off when the government ordered the National Guard and the Armed Forces on high alert.  Clearly Capriles’ terror tactics were only pulled back in the face of greater force.  When the legal order decided to defend democracy and not yield to terrorist blackmail, Capriles temporarily suspended violent activity and regrouped his forces, allowing the legal-electoral face of his movement to come to the fore.

Responses to Terror:  Boston and Venezuela

In response to the terrorist incident in Boston, the local, state and federal police were mobilized and literally shut down the entire city and its transport networks and went on a comprehensive and massive ‘manhunt’:  the mass media and the entire population were transformed into tools of a police state investigation.  Entire blocks and neighborhoods were scoured as thousands of heavily armed police and security forces went house to house, room to room, dumpster to dumpster looking for a wounded 19 year old college freshman.  A terror alert was raised for the entire country ad overseas police networks and intelligence agencies were involved in the search for the terrorist assassins.  The media and the government constantly showed photos of the victims, emphasizing their horrific injuries and the gross criminality of the act:  it was unthinkable to discuss any political dimensions to the act – it was presented, pure and simple, as an act of political terror directed at ‘cowering the American people and their elected government’.  Every government official demanded that anyone, even remotely linked, to the crime or criminals face the full force of the law.

On the other hand and coinciding with the attack in Boston, when the Venezuelan oppositionist terrorists launched their violent assault on the citizens and public institutions they were given unconditional support by the Obama regime, which claimed the killers were really ‘democrats seeking to uphold free elections’.  Secretary of State Kerry refused to recognize the electoral victory of President Maduro. Despite the carnage, the Venezuelan government did not declare martial law: at most the National Guard and loyalist police upheld the law and arrested several dozen protestors and terrorists; many of the former – not directly linked to violence – were quickly released.  Moreover, despite the internationally certified elections by over 100 observers, the Maduro government conceded the chief demand for an electoral recount – in the hope of averting further right-wing bloodshed.

US Media Response

All the major Western news agencies, including the principle ‘respectable’ print media (Financial Times, New York Times and Washington Post) converted the Venezuelan political assassins into ‘peaceful protestors’ who were victimized for attempting to register their dissent.  In other words, Washington and the entire media came out in full force in favor of political terror perpetrated against an adversarial democratic government, while invoking a near-martial law state for a brutal, but limited, act of terror in the US .  Washington apparently does not make the connection between its support of terrorism abroad and its spread to the US .

The US media has blocked out discussion of the ties between Chechen terrorist front groups, based in the US and UK, and leading US neoconservatives and Zionists, including Rudolph Giuliani, Richard Perle, Kenneth Adleman, Elliott Abrams, Midge Dector, Frank Gaffney and R. James Woolsey – all leading members of the self-styled ‘American Committee for Peace in Chechnya’ (re-named Committee for Peace in the Caucasus after the horrific Beslan school massacre).  These Washington luminaries are all full-throated supporters of the ‘war on terror’ or should we say supporters of ‘terror and war’ (“Chechen Terrorists and the Neocons” by former FBI official Coleen Rowley 4/19/13).  The headquarters and nerve center for many ‘exile’ Chechen leaders, long sought by Russian authorities for mass terrorist activities, is Boston, Massachusetts – the site of the bombing – another ‘fact’ thus far ignored by the FBI and the Justice Department, perhaps because of long-standing and on-going working relations in organizing terrorist incidents aimed at destabilizing Russia.

Former Presidential candidate and New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, after the bombing, stated that Chechens ‘were only focused (sic) on Russia ’ and not on the US (his Chechens perhaps).  Interpol and US intelligence Agencies are well aware that Chechen militants have been involved in several Al Qaeda terrorist groups throughout South and Central Asia as well as the Middle East .  The Russian government’s specific inquiries regarding any number of suspected Chechen terrorists or fronts have been given short shrift – apparently including the activities of one Tamerlan Tsarnaev, recently deceased.

(As a historical aside (and perhaps not unrelated), the Boston-based FBI was notorious from the 1970’s through the 1990’s for protecting a brutal gangster hit man, James ‘Whitey’ Bulger, as a privileged informant, while he murdered dozens of individuals in the New England area.)

The Deeper Meaning of the War on Terrorism

US support for Venezuelan terrorists and their political leader, Henrique Capriles, is part of a complex multi-track policy combining the exploitation of electoral processes and the clandestine funding of NGO’s for “grass roots” agitation of local grievances, together with support for ‘direct action’ including ‘trial runs’ of political violence against the symbols and institutions of social democracy.   The versatile Capriles is the perfect candidate to run in elections while orchestrating terror.  Past US experience with political terror in Latin America has had a boomerang effect – as evident in the Miami-based Cuban terrorist engagement with numerous bombings, gun-running and drug trafficking within the USA, especially the 1976 car bombing assassination of the exile Chilean Minister Orlando Letelier and an American associate on Embassy Row in the heart of Washington, DC – an action never characterized as ‘terrorism’ because of official US ties to the perpetrators.

Despite financial, political and military links between Washington and terrorists, especially fundamentalists, the latter retain their organizational autonomy and follow their own political-cultural agenda, which in most cases is hostile to the US .  As far as the Chechens, the Afghans and the Al Qaeda Syrians today are concerned, the US is a tactical ally to be discarded on the road to establishing independent fundamentalist states.  We should add the scores of Boston victims to the thousands of US citizens killed in New York , Washington , Libya , Afghanistan and elsewhere by former fundamentalist allies of the US .

By siding with terrorists and their political spokespeople and refusing to recognize the validity of the elections in Venezuela , the Obama regime has totally alienated itself from all of South America and the Caribbean .  By supporting  violent assaults against democratic institutions in Venezuela,  the White House is signaling to its clients in opposition to the governments of Argentina, Bolivia and Ecuador – that violent assaults against independent democratic governments is an acceptable road to restoring the neo-liberal order and US centered ‘regional integration’.

Conclusion

Washington has demonstrated no consistent opposition to terrorism – it depends on the political goals of the terrorists and on the target adversaries.  In one of the two recent cases – the US government declared virtual “martial law” on Boston to kill or capture two terrorists who had attacked US citizens in a single locale; whereas in the case of Venezuela , the Obama regime has given political and material support to terrorists in order to subvert the entire constitutional order and electoral regime.

Because of the long-standing and deep ties between the US State Department, prominent neo-con leaders and Zionist notables with Chechen terrorists, we cannot expect a thorough investigation which would surely embarrass or threaten the careers of the major US officials who have long-term working relations with such criminals.

The White House will escalate and widen its support for the same Venezuelan terrorists who have sabotaged the electrical power system, the food supply and the constitutional electoral process of that country.  Terror, in that context, serves as its launch pad for a full scale assault against the past decade’s social advances under the late President Hugo Chavez.

Meanwhile, in order to cover-up the Chechen-Washington working alliance, the Boston Marathon bombing will be reduced to an isolated act by two misguided youths, lead astray by an anonymous fundamentalist website – their actions reduced to ‘religious fundamentalism’.  And despite an economy in crisis, tens of billions of more dollars will be allocated to expand the police state at home, citing its effectiveness and efficiency in the aftermath of the bombings while secretly sending more millions to foment ‘democratic’ terror…in Venezuela .

The Fueling of Unrest in Syria, Israel’s Territorial Ambitions

April 26th, 2013 by Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich

For some time now, the predominant narrative about Syria has been that the unrest has been fueled in order to weaken Iran.  This prevalent account is common to neoconservatives and liberals alike.  While The New York Times trumpeted Israeli-firsters Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham message that “rebel fighters deserved to be armed and that helping them take on the Syrian government would aid Washington’s effort to weaken Iran”, moderate and independent outlets such as Truthout, Counterpunch, and numerous others echoed this same objective – but whilst decrying the plan.   Even Iran ’s state-run media shares this account.

This is sheer misdirection — deliberate or otherwise.  Undisputed, Syria and Iran have been staunch allies since the Iranian Revolution in their joint cause to protect Palestinian rights and to stand up Israel and America, and any change in Syria would adversely affect Iran (as it would Russia).   But this is a secondary consideration.  The generally accepted  narrative takes the focus away from the primary reason for the current assault on Syria – Israel .

Since the 1948 war, Syria and Israel have been in a state of war (with brief periods of unsuccessful negotiations).   The conflict has been primarily over land and water (see  a previous essay The Syria Imperative).   Since the 1950’s, conflict over water (and land) has been at the root of hostilities between the two.  In the 1950’s, Eisenhower commissioned Eric Johnston to generate a regional water allocation agreement.  The failure of the Johnston plan exacerbated the conflict. The published diaries of Israeli Foreign Minister Sharett helps understand why the Johnston negotiations were unsuccessful.  Sharett maintained: “[P]olitical decisions concerning the occupation of the rest of Eretz Israel were taken as early as 1954, although implemented in 1967.[i]

The 1967 occupation of Syria Golan (Golan Heights) and the Upper Mount Hermon by Israel enabled Israel to seize the entire Upper Jordan River  giving Israel the advantage of placing its riparian position to fully upstream.   Consequently, not only was Syria denied access to Upper Jordan waters, but its territorial and national integrity were assaulted.

Some years later, Haaretz would reveal the existence of a study (Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies, Tel-Aviv university) under General Aaron Yariv, former intelligence services chief, which outlined a “zone of hydraulic security”, which called for placing water resources in Syria and Lebanon under full Israeli control[ii].  Disputes continued unabated and the status quo maintained until 1982 when the military prowess of both sides were tested.

A 1987 book by Col. Emmanuel Wald of the Israeli General Staff entitled “The Ruse of the Broken Vessels: The Twilight of Israeli Military Might (1967-1982) reveals the aims of the 1982 invasion of Lebanon and the month of pre-planning that had gone into it.  Wald writes that Ariel Sharon’s master plan codenamed “Oranim” was to defeat the Syrian troops deployed in the Bekaa Valley all the way to the district of Baalbek in North of Lebanon.  According to Wald, “during the fist days, it was quietly approved by the U.S. ”.

With this aim, on June 6, 1982, Israeli advanced into Lebanon.   However, the Syrian army halted the Israeli army advance in the battle of Sultan Yakub and the battle of Ain Zahalta.  Sharon ’s plan to conquer all of Lebanon and destroy Syria as a military power was thwarted.  In reviewing the book and the battles, the famous scholar and activist, Israel Shahak, opined that “the principal purpose of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon was destruction of the Syrian Army”[iii].

Shahak posits that Israel needs to win its wars quickly or not at all.  In spite of technological and nuclear superiority, another assault on Syria would not predictably bring an easy win to Israel and defenses could ‘drag out a war endlessly’.   He further argues that during the entire history of   Israel , Israeli Jews have shown themselves to be  highly sensitive to their losses, and high losses make Israelis “susceptible to political arguments against modes of domination and oppression which they otherwise would accept”.

Shahak’s analysis shed a light on events which pursued the failure of “Oranim” as outlined in The Syria Imperative.   Israel continues to pursue its grand strategy, using a different tactic given its awareness of, and its familiarity with the strengths of the Syrian army –  an army which must be disrupted from within given Israel ’s 1982 failure to do so.  And this is the primary reason for arming terrorists posing as “opposition”.

It is not without irony that Netanyahu has recently admitted that he does not rule out arming Syrian rebels, given Israel’s age-old tactic of arming minorities or rebels and cultivating dissent and chaos (such as the Anya Nya in Sudan , later the Sudanese People Liberation Army (SPLA), and the leader of the Sudanese rebels, John Garang armed by Israel  from neighboring countries).  This is a scenario being repeated in Syria .

Paradoxically,  the [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) who are today on a mission to secure Israel’s vision (with a nod from Washington)  by arming rebels and undermining Syria, were all in favor of securing Syria in 2003 when they told Washington: “We think the threat to Syria should stop. We don’t think Syria wants a war or to escalate any situation. We reject any infringement of Syria ‘s security.”[iv]   There is no end to their duplicity.

Amos Yadlin, the outgoing military intelligence chief warnedthe Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee in November 2010 that Israel ‘s next war  would take longer and be fought on more fronts.   Yaldin warned that Syria in particular,  posed a greater military obstacle to Israel than at any time in the past three decades.  It would appear that  the Syria unrest has allayed his concerns.   The Syrian forces which put up such a resistance in 1982, are now engaged fighting terrorists, while the world is being told that they are the violators.  Perhaps Netanyahu’s plan will succeed where Sharon ’s Oranim failed.

Regardless, it is important to change the accepted narrative about Syrian uprisings.   Given the decades lone demonization of Iran, it may be more palatable to associate the fueling of unrest in Syria point to a ‘weaker’ Iran, but let there be no mistake –  Syria today is in turmoil in order to promote Israel’s grand strategy – even as the perpetrator – Israel,  plays the victim and  warns of chemical weapons use by Assad’s regime, demanding intervention.    “Evil requires the sanction of the victim.”  Ayn Rand.

Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich is a Public Diplomacy Scholar, independent researcher and writer with a focus on U.S. foreign policy and the role of lobby groups

Notes

[i] Livia Rokach, ” Israeli State Terrorism: An Analysis of the Sharett Diaries,” Journal of Palestine Studies 9, no. 3 (Spring, 1980), 3-28.

[ii] Zeev Shiff, “The Censored Report Revealed,” Ha’aretz, 8 October 1993

[iii] Sahak , Israel .  Israel Considers War With Syria as It Ponders 1982 Invasion of Lebanon ,The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs (September 30, 1992).

[iv] Janardhan, N, Iraq: Gulf Council Urges U.S. to Stop Threats to Syria , Global Information Network [ New York ] 17 Apr 2003

The Ties That Bind Washington to Chechen Terrorists

April 26th, 2013 by Wayne Madsen

To scan the list of major American supporters of the Chechen secessionist movement, which at some points can hardly be distinguished from Chechen terrorists financed by U.S. allies Saudi Arabia and Qatar, is to be reminded of some of the most notorious U.S. Cold War players.

Evidence is mounting that the accused dead Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev, allegedly killed during an April 19 shootout with police in Watertown, Massachusetts, became a «radicalized» Muslim while participating in a covert CIA program, run through the Republic of Georgia, to destabilize Russia’s North Caucasus region… The ultimate goal of the CIA’s campaign was for the Muslim inhabitants of the region to declare independence from Moscow and tilt toward the U.S. Wahhabi Muslim-run governments of Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

The Western corporate media largely ignored an important story reported from Izvestia in Moscow: that Tamerlan Tsarnaev attended seminars run by the Caucasus Fund of Georgia, a group affiliated with the neo-conservative think tank, the Jamestown Foundation, between January and July 2012. The U.S. media reported that during this six month time frame, Tsarnaev was being radicalized by Dagestan radical imam «Abu Dudzhan», killed in a fight with Russian security forces in 2012. Tsarnaev also visited Dagestan in 2011.

However, in documents leaked from the Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs’ Counterintelligence Department, Tsarnaev is pinpointed as being in Tbilisi taking part in «seminars» organized by the Caucasus Fund, founded during the Georgian-South Ossetian war of 2008, a war started when Georgian troops invaded the pro-Russian Republic of South Ossetia during the Beijing Olympics. Georgia was supported militarily and with intelligence support by the United States and Israel, and the American support included U.S. Special Forces advisers on the ground in Georgia. The Georgian intelligence documents indicate Tsarnaev attended the Jamestown Foundation seminars in Tbilisi.

The Jamestown Foundation is part of a neo-conservative network that re-branded itself after the Cold War from being anti-Soviet and anti-Communist to one that is anti-Russian and “pro-democracy.” The network not only consists of Jamestown and the Caucasus Fund but also other groups funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Open Society Institute (OSI).

Georgia has become a nexus for the U.S. aid to the Russian opposition trying to oust President Vladimir Putin and his supporters from power. In March [2010], Georgia sponsored, with CIA, OSI, and British MI-6 funds, a conference titled ‘Hidden Nations, Enduring Crimes: The Circassians and the People of the North Caucasus Between Past and Future.’ Georgia and its CIA, OSI, and British intelligence allies are funneling cash and other support for secessionism by ethnic minorities in Russia, including Circassians, Chechens, Ingushetians, Balkars, Kabardins, Abaza, Tatars, Talysh, and Kumyks».

The March 21, 2010 conference in Tbilisi was organized by the Jamestown Foundation and the International School of Caucasus Studies at Ilia State University in Georgia. If Georgian counter-intelligence documents have Tamerlan Tsarnaev attending Jamestown conferences in Tbilisi in 2011, could the Russian FSB have tracked him to the Jamestown Hidden Nations seminar in March 2010? In any event, a year later the FSB decided to contact the FBI about Tsarnaev’s ties to terrorists.

The first Russian request to the FBI came via the FBI’s Legal Attache’s office at the U.S. embassy in Moscow in March 2011. It took the FBI until June of 2011 to conclude that Tamerlan posed no terrorist threat but it did add his name to the Treasury Enforcement Communications System, or TECS, which monitors financial information such as bank accounts held abroad and wire transfers. In September 2011, Russian authorities, once again, alerted the U.S. of their suspicions about Tamerlan. The second alert went to the CIA. By September 2011, Russian security agencies were well aware that the Hidden Nations seminar held a year earlier was a CIA-sponsored event that was supported by the Mikheil Saakashvili government in Georgia and that other similar meetings had been held and were planned, including the one that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was to attend in Tbilisi in January 2012.

At some point in time after the first Russian alert and either before or after the second, the CIA entered Tamerlan’s name into the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment list (TIDE), a database with more than 750,000 entries that is maintained by the National Counterterrorism Center in McLean, Virginia.

The Jamestown Foundation is a long-standing front operation for the CIA, it being founded, in part, by CIA director William Casey in 1984. The organization was used as an employer for high-ranking Soviet bloc defectors, including the Soviet Undersecretary General of the UN Arkady Shevchenko and Romanian intelligence official Ion Pacepa. The Russian domestic Federal Security Bureau and the SVR foreign intelligence agency have long suspected Jamestown of helping to foment rebellions in Chechnya, Ingushetia, and other north Caucasus republics. The March 21 Tbilisi conference on the north Caucasus a few days before the Moscow train bombings has obviously added to the suspicions of the FSB and SVR.

Jamestown’s board includes such Cold War era individuals as Marcia Carlucci; wife of Frank Carlucci, the former CIA officer, Secretary of Defense, and Chairman of The Carlyle Group [Frank Carlucci was also one of those who requested the U.S. government to allow former Chechen Republic 'Foreign Minister' Ilyas Akhmadov, accused by the Russians of terrorist ties, to be granted political asylum in the U.S. after a veto from the Homeland Security and Justice Departments], anti-Communist book and magazine publisher Alfred Regnery; and Caspar Weinberger’s Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Kathleen Troia «KT» McFarland. Also on the board is former Oklahoma GOP Governor Frank Keating, the governor at the time of the 1995 Murrah Federal Building bombing.

Cooperating with Jamestown in not only its north and south Caucasus information operations, but also in Moldovan, Belarusian, Uighur, and Uzbekistan affairs, is the ubiquitous Open Society Institute (OSI), another cipher for U.S. intelligence and global banking interests. OSI’s Central Eurasia Project has sponsored a number of panels and seminars with Jamestown.

Russian security indicated in their first communication with the FBI that Tamerlan Tsarnaev had changed drastically since 2010. That change came after the Hidden Nations conference in Tbilisi. U.S. support for Chechen and North Caucasus secession came as a result of a public statement on August 2008 by GOP presidential candidate John McCain that «after Russia illegally recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, Western countries ought to think about the independence of the North Caucasus and Chechnya».

Upon becoming President in 2009, Barack Obama adopted McCain’s proposal and authorized CIA support for North Caucasus secessionists and terrorists with money laundered through the USAID, the National Endowment for Democracy, the Open Society Institute, Freedom House, and the Jamestown Foundation. In January 2012, Obama appointed an OSI activist and neocon, Michael McFaul of the right-wing Hoover Institution at Stanford University, as U.S. ambassador to Moscow. McFaul immediately threw open the doors of the U.S. embassy to a variety of Russian dissidents, including secessionists from the North Caucasus, some of whom were suspected by the Russian FSB of ties to Islamist terrorists.

Whether Tamerlan Tsarnaev was always a CIA asset and participated in a “false flag” operation in Boston and became an unwitting “patsy” in a CIA plot, much like “U.S. Marine “defector” to the Soviet Union Lee Harvey Oswald became a “patsy” in President Kennedy’s assassination, or he was indeed radicalized in an attempt to infiltrate him into the ranks of the Caucasus Emirate and decided to defect and carry out a terrorist attack against the United States may never be known. If the latter is the case, Tsarnaev is much like Osama Bin Laden, once a CIA fighter in the field in Afghanistan who allegedly decided to launch a jihad against the United States. If Tsarnaev was a “patsy” like Oswald, that might explain the setting off of an incendiary device at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston ten minutes after the twin bombings at the Boston Marathon. After Boston Police stated the fire was caused by an explosion, the Boston Fire Department went into cover-up mode and tried to claim the fire could have been caused by someone tossing a cigarette on to flammable material.

Buying Up Newspapers: It’s the Media, Stupid!

April 26th, 2013 by Robert Parry

Rich right-wingers, including the Koch Brothers and Rupert Murdoch, are eying the purchase of the Los Angeles Times and other major regional newspapers to create an even bigger platform for their propaganda, a media strategy that dates back several decades.

The U.S. news media was never “liberal.” At most, you could say there were periods in the not-too-distant past when the major newspapers did a better job of getting the facts straight. There also was an “underground” press which published some scoops that the mainstream media avoided.

So, reporters revealed the evils of racial segregation in the 1950s and 1960s; war correspondents exposed some of the cruel violence of the Vietnam War in the late 1960s; major newspapers defied the U.S. government in printing the leaked history of that war in 1971; the Washington Post uncovered some (though clearly not all) of Richard Nixon’s political crimes in 1972-74; and the New York Times led the way in publicizing some of the CIA’s dirty history in the mid-1970s.

While such work surely offended the Right and many parts of the Establishment, the stories had a common element: they were true. They were not, in that sense, “liberal” or “conservative” or “centrist.” They were simply accurate – and they helped spur America’s other democratic institutions to life, from protests in the streets to pressures on the courts to citizens lobbying government officials.

It was that resurgence of participatory democracy that was the real fear for those who held entrenched power, whether in the segregationist South or inside the wood-paneled rooms of Wall Street banks and big corporations. Thus, there developed a powerful pushback that sought to both hold the line on additional (and possibly even more damaging) disclosures of wrongdoing and to reassert control of the channels of information that influenced how the American people saw the world.

In that context, one of the most effective propaganda strategies was to brand honest journalism as “liberal” and to smear honest journalists as “anti-American.” That way many Americans would doubt the accurate information that they were hearing and discard many real facts as bias.

As a journalist for the Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s, I encountered these hardball tactics while covering the Reagan administration as it sought to manage the perceptions of the American people mostly by hyping external threats (from Managua to Moscow) and demonizing some internal groups (from “welfare queens” to labor unions).

Reagan’s men described one of their central goals as “kicking the Vietnam Syndrome,” that is, the resistance among the American people to be drawn into another overseas conflict based on deceptions.

The Air Waves War

But the key to their success was to gain control of as much of the U.S. news media as possible – through direct ownership by like-minded right-wingers or by appeals to senior news executives to adopt a more “patriotic” posture or by intimidation of those who wouldn’t toe the line.

The tactics worked like a charm – and were aided by a simultaneously shift on the Left toward selling  off or shutting down much of the Vietnam-era “underground” press and instead concentrating on local organizing around local issues, “think globally, act locally,” as the slogan went.

This combination of factors essentially gave the Right and conservative elements of the Establishment dominance of the news. Like an army that controlled the skies, it could fly out and carpet-bomb pretty much anyone who got in the way, whether a politician, a journalist or a citizen. No truth-teller was safe from sudden obliteration.

The Right’s success could be measured at different mileposts in the process, such as the Republican containment of the Iran-Contra scandal in 1987 and President George H.W. Bush’s pronouncement after crushing the out-matched Iraqi army in 1991 that “we’ve kicked the Vietnam Syndrome once and for all.”

This new media reality – as it expanded through the 1990s and into the new century – meant that the Right could put nearly any propaganda theme into play and count on millions of Americans buying it. Thus, President George W. Bush could make up excuses to invade Iraq in 2003 and face shockingly little media resistance.

Eventually a few voices emerged on the Internet and at some lower-rung news outlets to challenge Bush’s case for war but they could be easily discredited or ignored. It took Bush’s disastrous handling of the Iraq War and other domestic and foreign crises to finally put a wrench in this right-wing propaganda machine.

However, the overall dynamic hasn’t changed. Yes, MSNBC – after failing in its attempt to be as right-wing as Fox News – veered leftward and found some ratings success in offering “liberal” assessments on domestic politics (though still avoiding any serious challenge to the Establishment’s views on foreign policy).

There also are some feisty Internet sites that do challenge the conventional wisdom in support of U.S. interventionism abroad, but nearly all are severely underfunded and have limited reach into the broad American population.

Buying Up Newspapers

And, the likelihood now is that the Right will consolidate its dominance of the U.S. news media in the years ahead. In the very near future, some of the country’s most prominent regional newspapers may fall under the control of right-wing ideologues like Rupert Murdoch or the Koch Brothers.

Image: David and Charles Koch.

Koch Industries, a privately owned oil and gas giant which has provided the means for Charles and David Koch to lavishly fund libertarian think tanks and Tea Party organizations, is now exploring a bid to buy the Tribune Company’s eight regional newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times, the Baltimore Sun, the Orlando Sentinel, the Hartford Courant and the Chicago Tribune, according to a report in the New York Times last Sunday.

By buying the Tribune newspapers, the Koch Brothers would give themselves another strong platform for delivering volleys of right-wing propaganda and wreaking havoc on political adversaries. I remember in my days covering Capitol Hill being told that what a congressman fears most is the determined opposition of the hometown newspaper.

Another expected bidder, at least for the Los Angeles Times, is media mogul Rupert Murdoch, who already owns Fox News and powerful newspapers in the United Kingdom and the United States, including the Wall Street Journal.

On the other side of the bidding are some liberal-oriented businessmen eying the Los Angeles Times, but it is not clear if they can compete with the fat wallets of the Koch Brothers and Murdoch. The New York Times reported that Koch Industries might have an edge in the competition because it would take over all eight newspapers at once.

Some on the Left mock the idea of investing in the “dinosaur” industry of newspaper publishing and question the value of owning even some of these prestigious names in American journalism. It is certainly true that those newspapers have declined in recent years due to poor management and shifts in advertising dollars.

But they still influence how people in those metropolitan areas learn about the world. The newspapers also help set the news agenda for local TV stations and bloggers. The Baltimore Sun, for instance, produced some of the most important reporting on the Reagan administration’s human rights crimes in Central America, as well as publishing groundbreaking stories about domestic spying under George W. Bush.

Yes, some of these newspapers have disgraced themselves in recent decades, such as the Los Angeles Times’ shameful attacks on journalist Gary Webb after he revived the Reagan administration’s Contra-cocaine scandal in the late 1990s. [See Robert Parry’s Lost History.]

But Internet sites – even ones like Consortiumnews.com with a strong interest in doing investigative journalism – lack the financial resources and the editorial support to carry out those kinds of costly investigative projects, at least with any regularity.

Without major investments by honest Americans in honest journalism – whether the Old Media of print or the New Media of electronics – the United States will continue to drift into a made-up world of right-wing paranoia and pretend facts. And that is a danger for the entire planet.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his new book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com).

NATO buys the loyalty of sovereign states and in return demands fighting forces that have been engaged on three continents in the last decade, Rick Rozoff, from STOP NATO has told RT.

Video at URL below:

http://rt.com/ op-edge/nato- global-expeditio nary-force- 362/

RT: The terror threat around the world seems to only be growing. Is this the time countries should be relying on NATO?

Rick Rozoff: I don’t think countries have ever relied on NATO for their own security. I think we have to draw a distinction between armed forces as we have traditionally known them, whose main purpose is for territorial defense of their respected homelands, and what has now been fashioned, at least over the last 14 years since the war against Yugoslavia, where NATO has become a global expeditionary military force.

NATO has now waged war on three continents, in Europe in Yugoslavia, in Asia in Afghanistan and in Libya in Africa. So what we’re talking about its not a local, regional North Atlantic military organization that is meant to defend collectively or individually the homelands of the constituent members of NATO. This is now a US-crafted attempt to build history’s first, first of all largest, military bloc of 28 members, with three nuclear powers – nothing like this has ever existed before. When you add the partnership programs with NATO and countries on almost every continent you have something in the neighborhood of 70 nations that are either NATO members or partners; that is well over a third of nations in the world.

The secretary general of NATO Anders Fogh Rasmussen recently made a trip to South Korea. That is the first time ever the head of NATO has visited South Korea and he also went to Japan to consolidate military partnerships with those two countries. Roughly a week ago, Rasmussen’s second-in-command, Deputy Secretary General of NATO Alexander Vershbow openly discussed the possibility of invoking article 5, the mutual military assistance clause, against North Korea in the event of conflict between the two countries, North Korea and the U.S.

RT: Washington is paying some 75 per cent into the Alliance’ s coffers. But isn’t that fair, considering the US is usually calling the shots?

RR: If you’re stating that the US can purchase the political loyalties of countries in conditions of economic destitution, particularly those in Eastern Europe particularly after the collapse of the socialist bloc; let’s recall all the 12 new members of NATO in the post-Cold War period, all incorporated into NATO within one decade, from 1999-2009, are in Eastern Europe. And these are countries have been forced to send troops not only to Afghanistan, to an active war zone where their sons and daughters have killed and died, but were also forced to send troops to Iraq as an indication of their loyalty to NATO.

The fact the US is paying 75 percent of the expenses of NATO is not so surprising considering what the US gets out of it. Other countries have a very dubious claim to be protected by the US, against whom one may ask, except as we notice the rash of military war games occurring in the Baltic Sea, I don’t think we have to ask against whom. It is clear that the build-up in Eastern Europe is aimed particularly at Russia.

Boston Bombing: FBI Responsibility for US Terror Plots?

April 26th, 2013 by Stephen Lendman

Boston’s marathon bombings leave disturbing questions unanswered. Official accounts lack credibility. Mounting evidence suggests FBI responsibility.

Project Censored’s fourth top 2013 censored story headlined “FBI Agents Responsible for Majority of Terrorist Plots in the United States.” More on that below.

Post-9/11, George Bush declared war on terrorism. It continues under Obama. America needs enemies. When none exist, they’re invented.

Muslims are America’s target of choice. Numerous innocent victims are entrapped. It occurs when law enforcement officials or agents induce, influence, or provoke crimes that otherwise wouldn’t be committed.

Project Censored discussed Russia Today’s report. It headlined “FBI organizes almost all terror plots in the US.”

Mother Jones covered the same issue. Its article titled “The Informant” said “(T)he FBI has built a massive network of spies (allegedly) to prevent another domestic attack. But are they busting terrorist plots – or leading them?”

The FBI employs around 15,000 undercover agents. In 1975 they numbered 1,500. In 1980 it was 2,800. By 1986 it was 6,000.

They’re involved in sting operations designed to entrap. They’re well paid. They earn around $100,000 per assignment or more.

Law-abiding people are targeted. According to Mother Jones, “in case after case, the government provides the plot, the means, and the opportunity.”

FBI informants target Muslim communities. They seek members unhappy with America’s imperial war agenda. Mother Jones said their names are “cross-referenced with existing intelligence data, such as immigration and criminal records.”

“FBI agents may then assign an undercover operative to approach the target by posing as a radical. Sometimes” a plot is proposed. Explosives and/or other weapons are provided.

Once “enough incriminating information” is gotten, an arrest follows. A press conference announces another “foiled plot.”

The process repeats ad nauseam. From Fall 2010 – Fall 2011 alone, Mother Jones and the Investigative Reporting Program at UC-Berkeley examined 508 alleged terrorism prosecutions. They found:

  • nearly half involved paid informants;
  • sting operations targeted 158 defendants;
  • agent provocateurs were involved in 49 plots;
  • “with three exceptions, (all) high-profile domestic terror plots of the last decade were actually FBI stings;”
  • most often, “key encounters” between informants and targets aren’t recorded;
  • proving entrapment is hard to impossible; and
  • even when evidence is suspect or lacking, beating terrorism-related charges in court rarely happens.

According to defense attorney Martin Stolar:

“The problem with the cases we’re talking about is that defendants would not have done anything if not kicked in the ass by government agents.”

The FBI “create(s) crimes to solve crimes so they can claim a victory in the war on terror.”

Attorney General Eric Holder defends entrapment. He’s done so publicly. He’s done it by calling provocative targeting terrorism stings. He’s unapologetic.

In March 2012, he spoke at Northwestern University School of Law. “We are a nation at war,” he said.  ”And, in this war, we face a nimble and determined enemy that cannot be underestimated.”

Justice Department lawyers and agents aim to “detect and disrupt terrorist plots, to prosecute suspected terrorists, and to identify and implement the (so-called) legal tools necessary to keep the American people safe.”

He defended disturbing practices involved, as well as military commissions and targeted assassinations of individuals alleged to be “imminent threat(s).”

He justified lawless practices on grounds of national security.

Earlier in December 2010, he addressed a San Francisco area Muslim audience. He called tactics used an “essential law enforcement tool in uncovering and preventing terror attacks.” He did so despite evidence many times they’re used to entrap.

Attendees weren’t pleased. Muslim Advocates president, Farhana Khera said entrapment operations “may be getting people involved in (alleged) terrorism who otherwise would not have done anything.”

“These operations also divert investigators from actual threats and provoke widespread anti-Muslim sentiment,” she added.

According to Council on American-Islam Relations spokesman Ibrahim Hooper:

“We maintain concerns about FBI policies regarding informants in mosques and provocateurs in our community.”

“There’s a sense of being under siege in many Muslim communities. People just assume there are agents or informants in their mosque now. It’s a fact of life.”

Law Professor David Cole says beating terrorism-related charges is near impossible. He told Mother Jones:

“The plots people are accused of being apart of – attacking subway systems or trying to bomb a building – are so frightening that they can overwhelm a jury.”

It dares not convict. Members are intimidated to do so. Disturbing unconstitutional issues aren’t addressed. Prosecutorial and FBI claims about keeping Americans safe don’t wash. Many cases explain why.

In December 2010, the Washington Post headlined “Tension grows between Calif. Muslims, FBI after informant infiltrates mosque,” saying:

Craig Monteilh, aka Farouk al-Aziz, code name Oracle, spied on dozens of Irvine Islamic Center Muslims. He did so “in a quest for potential terrorists….But the FBI’s approach has come under fire from some Muslims.”

“In the Irvine case, Monteilh’s mission….backfired. Muslims were so alarmed by his talk of violent jihad that they obtained a restraining order against him.”

They reported him to the same FBI office that recruited him. He helped build terrorism charges against a mosque member. It collapsed.

The Justice Department “took the extraordinary step of dropping charges against the worshipper, who Monteilh had caught on tape (allegedly) agreeing to blow up buildings, law enforcement officials said.”

“Prosecutors (falsely) portrayed the man as a dire threat.”

Monteilh went public. He revealed FBI tactics. He said his “handlers” trained him to entrap Muslims in mosques, at home and at work.

He was a well-paid informant. Court records and other documents showed he got $177,000 tax free in 15 months.

Southern California Muslims cited a pattern of pervasive surveillance and entrapment. According to Islamic Shura Council of Southern California Executive Director Shakeel Syed:

“The community feels betrayed. They got a guy, a bona fide criminal (just out of prison for grand theft), and obviously trained him and sent him to infiltrate mosques.”

“And when things went sour, they ditched him and he got mad. It’s like a soap opera, for God’s sake.”

Most FBI informants are either charged suspects, convicted felons, or undocumented immigrants facing deportation. In return for cooperation, leniency is offered.

Monteilh was a convicted felon. He was involved in ripping off cocaine dealers. He became a Drug Enforcement Administration asset. He later agreed to be an FBI informant.

According to Mother Jones, informants’ “first assignment is often a fishing expedition.” They’ve testified in court that “FBI handlers tasked them with infiltrating mosques without a specific target….”

They’re “directed to surveil law-abiding Americans with no indication of criminal intent.”

They’re told to infiltrate mosques without probable cause. They look for likely targets to entrap. Muslims are America’s target of choice. Innocence is no defense.

Guilt by accusation works. Prosecutors claim another war on terror victory. Innocent people suffer.

Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaeve is Washington’s latest victim. Media scoundrels convicted him in the court of public opinion. Authorities claim he confessed. His last Facebook message said:

“This will be the last message before the police get me. I never ‘done’ it. They set me up. Father please forgive me. I am sorry it has come to this.”

It bears repeating. Innocence is no defense. Lies substitute for truth. Imperial priorities matter most.

America’s war on terror shows no mercy. It’s institutionalized. Everyone’s harmed. Freedom is fast disappearing.

America’s war on humanity continues. Full-blown tyranny looms.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected].

His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

http://www.dailycensored.com/fbi-responsibility-for-us-terror-plots/

Information coming to light about the background of the Boston Marathon bombings raises many questions about the relationship of US intelligence agencies to the alleged bombers, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

It is now clear that the older brother, Tamerlan, who was killed in a police shootout in the early morning hours of April 19, was well known to both the FBI and the CIA.

The following account can be pieced together from what has emerged so far:

After first denying any knowledge of Tsarnaev, the FBI has now admitted that it received a request in March 2011 from Russia to investigate him, due to Russia’s concerns that he might be connected with terrorist organizations active in Chechnya and the Caucasus region. He was added to the Treasury Enforcement and Communication System database to monitor past and future flight travel. The FBI claims that it found no relevant information on Tamerlan and reported this to Russia.

This was not the end of the matter, however. Six months later, in late September 2011, the Russian government contacted the CIA with a similar request, evidently unsatisfied with the FBI’s response.

The CIA requested that Tamerlan’s name be put on the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment (TIDE) database, maintained by the National Counterterrorism Center. TIDE is the US government’s central database on alleged “international terrorists,” from which other US intelligence databases are compiled, including the FBI’s “no-fly” list.

According to a US government official cited by ABC News, the CIA also “shared the information with the appropriate federal departments and agencies specifying that Tsarnaev may be of interest to them.”

Chechnya and the Caucasus

In January 2012, less than four months later, Tsarnaev was able to get on a plane to southern Russia. According to US Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, this meant that the TIDE database was “pinged,” alerting the US Joint Terrorism Task Force, which includes the FBI, the Secret Service and other agencies, of his movement.

Yet Tsarnaev was able to return to the United States in July 2012 without incident.

Little has been said so far about what Tsarnaev did on his trip. However, according to a report on NBC News, “A police official source in Makhachkala, Dagestan… [said] that the Russian internal security service reached out to the FBI last November [2012] with some questions about Tamerlan, and handed over a copy of case file on him.

“During routine surveillance of an individual known to be involved in the militant Islamic underground movement, the police witnessed Tamerlan meet the latter at a Salafi mosque in Makhachkala, the police official said. It was one of six times in total that surveillance officials witnessed Tsarnaev meeting this militant at the same mosque, according to the police official.

“The militant contact later disappeared, the police official said, but so did Tsarnaev before investigators had a chance to speak with him. The FBI never responded, according to the Dagestani police official.”

In other words, the FBI was warned about Tsarnaev both before and after his trip to Russia in the first half of 2012. The most recent warning was received only six months before the Boston bombings.

This account is supported by statements of Senator Richard Burr, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee. After secret hearings held Tuesday, Burr told reporters that there were “multiple contacts” between the US and Russia over Tsarnaev, including “at least once since October 2011”—i.e., after the request submitted to the CIA in September 2011.

The government and media are scrambling to contain exposure of the significance of these revelations. The hearings conducted by Congress are being held behind closed doors, outside of the sight of the American people.

The new narrative that is being developed to explain the extraordinary facts that have emerged is simply not credible. According to government officials, “balls were dropped” and there was a failure to “connect the dots.” If dots were not connected, who failed to connect them?

As in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, there is an effort to ensure that absolutely no one is held accountable. There is a reason for this. If anyone was held responsible, they would seek to defend themselves, and that would lead to further questions that officials are eager to avoid.

 

The government seems particularly anxious to conclude that the two Tsarnaev brothers acted entirely on they own, a claim that is belied by the facts that have come out about Tamerlan so far. The convenience of this claim is that it directs attention away from examining the connections of these two individuals, including their relations with US intelligence agencies.

There are a number of possible explanations for the actions of the Tsarnaev brothers. One is that they were driven by hostility to US foreign policy. Indeed there are some reports that the younger brother, Dzhokhar, has told interrogators that he is deeply opposed to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Another, and not mutually exclusive, possibility is that the brothers, and particularly Tamerlan, were being developed as assets or potential assets of US imperialism’s machinations in Chechnya and neighboring Dagestan. The region is critical to Russian geo-strategic interests because it is central to Russia’s access to the energy-rich Caspian Sea.

US intelligence agencies have a long and sordid relationship with Islamic fundamentalist groups operating in Chechnya. The US also has close ties to neighboring Georgia and in 2008 supported Georgia in a war with Russia over the breakaway province of South Ossetia.

According to the Russian newspaper Izvestia, during his time in the Caucasus, Tsarnaev attended seminars organized by the Fund of the Caucasus, which is tied to the US-backed Jamestown Foundation.

The Jamestown Foundation, which supports Chechen separatism, was established with the assistance of former CIA Director William Casey and includes on its board of directors a bipartisan group of top figures in the intelligence, military and political establishment.

Directors include General Michael Hayden, former CIA director and former head of the National Security Agency; Bruce Riedel, senior fellow at the Brookings Institute; Michelle Van Cleave, former National Counterintelligence Executive under George W. Bush; and Matthew Bryza, former US Ambassador to Azerbaijan under Obama and advisor on Eurasian energy matters, including the Caspian Sea, under Bush.

The Jamestown Foundation has close ties to the American Committee for Peace in the Caucasus, chaired by President Jimmy Carter’s former National Security Adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski. Brzezinski played a critical role in initiating the US alliance with Islamic fundamentalists in Afghanistan beginning in the late 1970s, as part of the US proxy war against the Soviet-backed regime in Afghanistan. It was from this war that Al Qaeda emerged.

If Tsarnaev was seen as a potential asset in its geopolitical conflict with Russia, it would also explain the accounts given by the brothers’ parents, who have said that the FBI had regular contact with Tamerlan, visiting the family multiple times. According to his mother, Zubeidat Tsarnaev, Tamerlan was “controlled by the FBI for three to five years.”

The portrait that is beginning to emerge of Tsarnaev and his relationship with the US bears some resemblance to that of Zacarias Moussoui, who was arrested prior to the September 11, 2001 attacks and was subsequently charged by the US government with conspiring in the plot.

In the late 1990s, Moussaoui fought in Chechnya with Islamic fundamentalist groups and helped recruit others to go to Chechnya. Before his arrest in August 2001, Moussaoui had attended flight training courses at the same school as Mohamed Atta and Marwan al-Shehhi, who flew the planes that hit the World Trade Center.

After his arrest and prior to the September 11 attacks, both British and French agencies passed on intelligence to the US about Moussaoui’s connections to Chechen militants linked to Osama bin Laden. However, the FBI repeatedly rejected requests from local officials to search Moussaoui’s computer and personal rooms.

Behind the so-called “war on terror,” the US government continues to maintain ties to Islamic fundamentalist groups throughout the Middle East and Central Asia, insofar as these organizations are seen as useful tools to advance American geopolitical interests. The United States has recently utilized the services of such organizations in Libya, as part of the campaign to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi, and currently in the US-backed civil war in Syria.

Once again, the actions of American imperialism abroad appear to have had tragic consequences for the American people at home.

According to figures published yesterday, the number of unemployed workers in Spain and France has reached all-time highs, as Europe’s economic collapse accelerates under the impact of the global economic crisis and austerity measures imposed throughout the continent.

In Spain, the National Statistics Institute (INE) reported that the country had 6,202,700 unemployed workers, the first time in history that over 6 million Spanish workers were jobless. Spain’s unemployment rate rose 1.14 percentage points, to 27.16 percent, as 237,400 jobs were lost. Spanish youth unemployment has reached 57.22 percent.

Fully 3.5 million of Spain’s unemployed workers have been out of work at least one year, and 2 million have been out of work two years or more. The unemployment rate would be even higher if some 280,000 young Spaniards had not left the country to look for jobs in 2012.

Nearly 2 million Spanish households have no job-related income at all, because all family members are out of work.

Since 2008, Spain has lost 4 million jobs, and the unemployment rate has increased by 20 percentage points. Spain’s unemployment rate now stands second among the euro zone countries, just behind that of Greece—whose unemployment rate has risen from 7.7 percent in 2008 to 27.2 percent earlier this year, amid a wave of destructive EU bank bailouts starting in 2009.

In France the number of “Category A” job seekers—those who had not worked at all in the last month—rose to a historic high of 3,224,600. The total number of job seekers registered at the Jobs Pole in France and its overseas departments hit 5 million last month. France’s unemployment rate stands at 10.6 percent, with the youth unemployment rate hitting 25.4 percent at the end of 2012.

The record figures in Spain and France are part of a broad rise in unemployment throughout the EU, centered on countries that have undergone EU bank bailouts since the outbreak of the global economic crisis in 2008.

The EU economy has lost roughly 1.8 million jobs over the last year—leaving a total of 26 million EU citizens, or 12 percent of the work force, without a job. Among other countries hit by EU bailouts, Portugal’s unemployment rate has risen from 14.8 to 17.5 percent, and that of Cyprus from 10 to 14 percent.

The Markit euro zone Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) figures published on Tuesday show Europe’s economic decline continuing. The PMI Composite Output Index and Manufacturing figures both came in at 46.5, below the reading of 50 marking the borderline between contraction and growth. For the first time in recent months, PMI figures for Germany, the EU’s leading economic power, also indicated contraction.

Compared to the same period last year, German and Italian new car registrations in the first quarter of 2013 were down 13 percent, while registrations in France fell 14.5 percent.

Mass unemployment is reaching levels seen only during the Great Depression, affecting a majority of youth in Greece and Spain. This is primarily a result of devastating austerity policies and budget cuts imposed by the EU after the initial economic collapse of 2008. Since then, the Greek economy has contracted over 20 percent and Spain’s economy by 5 percent.

The hemorrhaging of jobs is an irrefutable indication that the hundreds of billions of euros spent on bank bailouts and social cuts in Greece, Spain, France, and other European countries have not gone to fix the economy. Rather, they have helped the European financial aristocracy preserve their wealth by looting the economy, and slashing wages and social services for the working class.

In one recent report, France’s INSEE national statistics institute found that while French living standards fell 0.5 percent from 2009 to 2010 overall, the top 5 percent of the population saw their revenues rise. For the top 1 percent of the population, the increase was a whopping €89,400.

The counterpart to the accumulation of wealth on the summits of bourgeois society was the collapse of masses of working people into misery and forms of deep poverty previously unheard of in Europe. Soup kitchens and charity medical services are now critical to the survival of large sections of the Greek and Spanish populations. (See, “Reports reveal rapid pauperisation of the Spanish working class”)

In a recent speech, International Monetary Fund Deputy Managing Director David Lipton pointed to the risk that constant social cuts will draw all of Europe into an economic downward spiral, like what happened in Greece. He said, “The euro area could find itself facing the specter of policy quicksand—in which relentless balance sheet deterioration drags the economy in deeper and blunts the impact of even bold policy adjustment. We saw that scenario play out in Japan over the last 20 years.”

The class interests underlying this policy were bluntly spelled out in a recent interview by EU Commissioner Maria Damanaki. She told Greece’s To Vima radio: “The strategy of the European Commission over the past year and a half or two has been to reduce the labor costs in all European countries, in order to improve the competitiveness of European companies over rivals in Eastern Europe and Asia.”

These interests underlie the defeats inflicted on every attempt by the working class in Europe to shift EU policy since 2009. Protest strikes have been ignored, and industrial action isolated by the union bureaucracy and—where it was found necessary, as in the 2010 strikes of Greek truckers, French oil workers, and Spanish air traffic controllers—smashed by the security forces. The European ruling elites see the impoverishment of the working class as a necessary measure to boost their profits and competitive position on the world stage.

The main fear driving the ruling class is that of rising anger and opposition in the working class. On Monday, European Commission President José Barroso warned that austerity policies had reached “the limit of political and social acceptance.”

Nonetheless, European heads of state are not deviating from the basic framework of austerity. French President François Hollande indicated that no new measures would be taken to deal with the ongoing economic collapse in France: “We will not have growth in 2013. The only way forward is to fully use the measures we have introduced.”

All signs point towards an eruption of class struggles between the workers and the reactionary financial aristocracy throughout Europe.

The EU’s Eurobarometer polling organization recently released a poll that found deep hostility to the EU in six European countries. Some 42 percent of Poles, 53 percent of Italians, 56 percent of Frenchmen, 59 percent of Germans, 69 percent of Britons, and 72 percent of Spaniards said they did not trust the EU as an institution. Together, these countries total over two-thirds of the EU population of 500 million.

Hollande’s poll ratings have collapsed to 26 percent, the lowest ever for a French president in the Fifth Republic, while Spanish premier Mariano Rajoy’s ratings dropped to 19 percent in February.

Germany is repatriating its gold reserves from the New York Federal Reserve. This decision has created a frenzy in the gold market. But that is just the tip of the iceberg.

According to the NY Fed, there are (2012) approximately 530,000 gold bars, with a combined weight of circa 6,700 metric tonnes stashed away in the Fed’s Lower Manhattan vaults.

These are official figures which are impossible to verify.

The gold is stored in the fifth sub-floor of the New York Fed building on Liberty Street. The vaults on the bedrock of Manhattan Island are located 80 feet below street level.

Each of the 530,000 gold bars weighs 400 troy ounces, or about 12.44kg.

At today’s market value of approximately US$1700 dollars a troy ounce, the New York Fed has within its vaults a multi-billion dollar treasure trove.

The 400-ounce gold bar is quoted at $677,640.

A 1kg gold bar is quoted at about $55,000. (purchase price)

Each metric tonne of gold is worth approximately $55 million.

The total value of the New York Federal Reserve’s gold bullion trove of 6700 tonnes is a staggering $368.5 billion.

But according to the New York Federal Reserve: “We do not own the gold. We are mere custodians.”

A wall of gold bricks in the globally owned collection at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. (Photo courtesy of the New York Fed’s press center)

The gold is in “safe-keeping” on behalf of more than 60 sovereign countries and a few organizations. Close to 98 per cent of the gold bullion stored in the NY Fed’s lower Manhattan vaults, according to the Fed, belongs to central banks of foreign countries.

The remaining 2 per cent “is owned by the United States and international organizations such as the IMF.”

Germany’s central bank owns a total of 3400 tonnes of gold. According to recent reports, a staggering 69 per cent of its gold bullion bars (namely 2346 tonnes) are held in custody at the New York Federal Reserve, the Bank of England and the Banque de France.

The NY Federal Reserve Bank holds in custody 1536 metric tonnes of gold owned by the Bundesbank of the Federal Republic of Germany, 22.9 per cent of its total gold holdings in custody (6700 tonnes).

The Bundesbank has announced that it will repatriate “all of its 374 metric tonnes stored at the Banque de France (11 per cent of its total reserves), and 300 metric tonnes held in the vault of the New York Fed, reducing its share in the US from 45 per cent to 37 per cent.” .

Two other European countries, namely Italy and the Netherlands, have significant yet undisclosed gold bullion reserves held in custody in the vaults of the NY Federal Reserve Bank. There are no immediate plans to repatriate this bullion.

While the NY Federal Reserve Bank does not actually own the gold, it is guardian of a multibillion-dollar gold treasure, which indelibly provides ‘collateral’ (at virtually no cost) as well as ‘leverage’ in its multibillion-dollar central banking operations, often at the expense of its European partners.

The New York Fed’s gold vault on the basement floor of its main office building in Manhattan provides account holders with a secure location to store their monetary gold reserves.

None of the gold stored in the vault belongs to the New York Fed or the Federal Reserve System. The New York Fed acts as the guardian and custodian of the gold riches on behalf of account holders, which include the US government, foreign governments, other central banks and official international organizations.

In other words, the Fed runs its operation ‘with other people’s gold’, using this huge treasure as ‘collateral’ to back its various financial undertakings.

Foreign countries around the world were pressured after World War II into depositing their gold reserves, not within the vaults of their own central banks, but in that of the world’s foremost imperial power.


A view of the strongroom of the Swiss National Bank SNB in Berne. (Reuters)

According to the NY Federal Reserve:

“Much of the gold in the vault arrived during and after World War II as many countries wanted to store their gold reserves in a safe location. Holdings in the gold vault continued to increase and peaked in 1973, shortly after the United States suspended convertibility of dollars into gold for foreign governments.” (emphasis added)

For many countries, part of the US dollar proceeds of commodities sold to the US, were converted into gold at 32 dollars an ounce (1946-71) and then ‘returned’ – so to speak – to the US for deposit in the vaults of the NY Federal Reserve.

Germany’s decision to repatriate part of its gold has sent a cold shiver into the gold and forex markets.

The German Federal Court of Auditors has recently called for an official inspection of German gold reserves stored at the New York Federal Reserve, “because they have never been fully checked.”

Are these German bullion reserves held in the vaults of Lower Manhattan ‘separate’ or are they part of the Federal Reserve’s fungible ‘big pot’ of gold assets.

According to the Fed, “the gold is not commingled between account holders.”

Does the New York Federal Reserve Bank have “Fungible Gold Assets to the Degree Claimed”?

Could the Fed reasonably handle a process of homeland repatriation of gold assets initiated by several countries simultaneously?

According to the Fed, there are 122 separate gold accounts mainly held by the central banks of foreign countries, as well as a few organizations including the International Monetary Fund.

Following the verification process, the gold is moved to one of the vault’s 122 compartments, where each compartment contains gold held by a single account holder. In rare cases, small deposits are placed on separately numbered spaces on shelves in a ‘library’ compartment shared by several account holders. Each compartment is secured by a padlock, two combination locks and an auditor’s seal. Compartments are numbered rather than named to maintain confidentiality of the account holders.

The New York Fed does not indicate in any of its reports, including its annual financial statements, the names of the countries and account holders.

Most of the 122 accounts are held by the central banks of sovereign countries, which in addition to their gold accounts have statutory agreements with the NY Federal Reserve.

An employee of Deutsche Bundesbank uses a metal analysis device on a gold bar. (Reuters / Lisi Niesner)

Money and National sovereignty

America’s Unipolar World hinges on sustaining the US dollar as a global reserve currency. US hegemony in monetary matters is supported by the custody in the USA of gold bullion reserves on behalf of more than 60 countries.

Instead of gold bullion, national central banks (with the exception of the US) hold US dollar paper instruments as ‘reserves’. Gold reserves under national jurisdiction are central to establishing sovereignty in monetary policy, without depending on the Federal Reserve which holds a nation’s gold bullion in safe-keeping in its Lower Manhattan vault.

National sovereignty requires the repatriation of the gold bullion deposited in custody with the NY Fed. The leverage and collateral in all monetary transactions largely accrues to the NY Federal Reserve Bank rather than to the owners of the bullion deposited in custody.

Follow the example of Germany. Repatriate your gold.

In a related development, both China and Russia are dumping their US dollars and building up their gold reserves.

In turn, both China and Russia have boosted domestic production of gold, a large share of which is being purchased by their central banks.

Michel Chossudovsky for RT

FBI & CIA now admit to putting Boston bombing suspect on 2 “watch lists,” directly contradicting previous public statements. CIA most likely sponsored suspect’s trips to meet US-backed terrorists in Chechnya, Russia.

April 25, 2013 (LD) – It is now confirmed that Russian investigators contacted the FBI at least as early as 2011 in regards to Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, and again just 6 months before the Boston attacks. Additionally, it is now revealed that both the FBI and CIA had Tsarnaev on at least 2 terrorist watch lists, contradicting previous FBI statements that the case was “closed” after not finding “any terrorism activity, domestic or foreign.”

FBI Caught in Staggering Series of Lies

The suspects, Tamerlan Tsarnaev and brother Dzhokar Tsarnaev, would be revealed to the public by the FBI a day after a bizarre press conference cancellation and a security scare at the federal courthouse where a suspect was allegedly being brought.

The FBI would feign ignorance over the suspects’ identity, appealing to the witless public for help identifying and apprehending them. It would be claimed by the suspects’ family members that the FBI had long been in contact with Tamerlan Tsarnaev, and that the bombing was a set-up.

The FBI’s bizarre behavior grew more suspicious when CBS reported that initially the FBI denied it had any prior contact with the Tsarnaev’s. In their report, “CBS News: FBI Interviewed Tamerlan Tsarnaev 2 Years Ago,” CBS claimed:

CBS News reports although the FBI initially denied contacting Tsarnaev, the brothers’ mother said they had in an interview with Russia Today.

That interview with Russia Today, in an article titled, “‘They were set up, FBI followed them for years’- Tsarnaevs’ mother to RT,” stated of the suspects’ mother:

But her biggest suspicion surrounding the case was the constant FBI surveillance she said her family was subjected to over the years. She is surprised that having been so stringent with the entire family, the FBI had no idea the sons were supposedly planning a terrorist act.

She would say of the FBI to Russia Today:

“They used to come [to our] home, they used to talk to me…they were telling me that he [the older, 26-y/o Tamerlan] was really an extremist leader and that they were afraid of him. They told me whatever information he is getting, he gets from these extremist sites… they were controlling him, they were controlling his every step…and now they say that this is a terrorist act! Never ever is this true, my sons are innocent!”

The FBI would finally recant its earlier denial, and disclose on April 19, 2013 in an official statement on FBI.gov that indeed, they had been in contact with Tamerlan Tsarnaev as early as 2011:

The two individuals believed to be responsible for the Boston Marathon bombings on Monday have been positively identified as Tamerlan Tsarnaev, now deceased, and Dzhokar Tsarnaev, now in custody. These individuals are brothers and residents of Massachusetts. Tamerlan Tsarnaev was a legal permanent resident and Dzhokar Tsarnaev is a naturalized U.S. citizen. Charges have not yet been filed against Dzhokar Tsarnaev and he is presumed innocent.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, age 26, was previously designated as Suspect 1, wearing a black hat. Dzhokar A. Tsarnaev, age 19, was designated as Suspect 2, wearing a white hat. Both were born in Kyrgyzstan.

Once the FBI learned the identities of the two brothers today, the FBI reviewed its records and determined that in early 2011, a foreign government asked the FBI for information about Tamerlan Tsarnaev. The request stated that it was based on information that he was a follower of radical Islam and a strong believer, and that he had changed drastically since 2010 as he prepared to leave the United States for travel to the country’s region to join unspecified underground groups.

In response to this 2011 request, the FBI checked U.S. government databases and other information to look for such things as derogatory telephone communications, possible use of online sites associated with the promotion of radical activity, associations with other persons of interest, travel history and plans, and education history. The FBI also interviewed Tamerlan Tsarnaev and family members. The FBI did not find any terrorism activity, domestic or foreign, and those results were provided to the foreign government in the summer of 2011. The FBI requested but did not receive more specific or additional information from the foreign government.

However, the case was not “closed.” Additional evidence would reveal that the FBI had been warned again, just 6 months before the Boston bombings by Russian investigators. The FBI was told Tamerlan Tsarnaev had visited Russia and was in contact with known-terrorists operating in and around Chechnya. Somehow, this additional information “escaped” the FBI’s April 19, 2013 public statement.

The British Daily Mail in their article titled, “Russia asked FBI to investigate bomber just 6 MONTHS ago after being spotted with ‘a militant’ on trip to Dagestan: Was it this known terrorist who Boston killer liked on YouTube?,” would state:

Speculation is growing that one of the Boston bombers met a known Jihadist terrorist in 2011 – as it emerged the FBI failed to follow up on a Russian tip that he was seen with an Islamic militant six times.

The Daily Mail would also report that:

The FBI has confirmed that Russia alerted the agency in 2011 that Tsarnaev had ties to ‘radical Islam’ groups in his homeland. Homeland Security sources have also revealed the agency received tips in 2012 about his ties to extremists connected to a Boston mosque.

In the wake of the FBI’s serial lies, yet more evidence is coming to light of now not only the FBI’s increasingly entangled relationship with the suspects prior to the bombing, but the CIA’s role as well. In the New York Times article, “2 U.S. Agencies Added Boston Bomb Suspect to Watch Lists,” it was reported that:

Despite being told in 2011 that an F.B.I. review had found that a man who went on to become one of the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings had no ties to extremists, the Russian government asked the Central Intelligence Agency six months later for whatever information it had on him, American officials said Wednesday.
After its review, the C.I.A. also told the Russian intelligence service that it had no suspicious information on the man, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was killed in a shootout with the police early last Friday. It is not clear what prompted the Russians to make the request of the C.I.A.
The upshot of the American inquiries into Mr. Tsarnaev’s background was that even though he was found to have no connections to extremist groups, his name was entered into two different United States government watch lists in late 2011 that were designed to alert the authorities if he traveled overseas.

Therefore, in addition to first denying, then confirming having interviewed Tamerlan Tsarnaev in 2011 and never mentioning the now confirmed warning by Russia just 6 months ago, the FBI and CIA also put Tsarnaev on at least 2 terrorist watch lists. Inexplicably, the FBI would have the public believe they found no evidence of terrorist activity, but then put Tsarnaev’s name on 2 separate terrorist watch lists anyway – and still somehow failed to prevent the Boston bombings. Clearly, that doesn’t add up.

Evidence Points to Tsarnaev as CIA Asset 

While the establishment media predictably attempts to make the serial lies told by the FBI, and both FBI and CIA’s involvement and foreknowledge of the suspects years before the Boston attacks, appear to be just an innocent bureaucratic foul-up, former-FBI translator Sibel Edmonds reported in incredible detail what most likely transpired, even before revelations of the CIA’s involvement became public.

In a 45 minute interview on the Corbett Report, Edmonds explained that multiple warnings by Russian investigators to the FBI were likely ignored because the CIA was in all probability using Tamerlan Tsarnaev as an asset to travel to Russia’s Caucasus region and make contact with US-backed terrorists.

<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/2RCN1w5J80E” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

It is a long-documented fact that the United States has extensively backed terrorists operating in Russia’s Caucasus region.

It is clear that at the very least, the FBI, CIA, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and other federal agencies knew well ahead of time of Boston Marathon bombing suspect, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, and did nothing to prevent him from allegedly carrying out an attack. Understanding the insidious behavior of both the FBI and CIA, opens up a second and more troubling possibility – that the FBI and/or the CIA were directly involved in the Boston bombings themselves, using the Tsarnaev brothers as patsies.

Regardless of which is true – there is more than enough evidence currently to remove the FBI from the Boston bombing investigation and open an immediate and urgent inquiry into both the FBI and CIA’s involvement and criminal improprieties in the lead up to the attacks.

There is also enough evidence for the American people to realize they have exchanged for the past decade, their liberty and dignity for safety and clearly have been left none of the above. It is also now clear that the American people possess the moral imperative to seize back their liberties and to throw off this expansive, ineffectual, stifling, incompetent and/or criminal federal security apparatus – from the DHS and TSA, to the FBI and CIA – who despite receiving billions annually and nearly limitless authority failed utterly to prevent the Boston Marathon bombings, and in fact appear to have played a central role in facilitating them.

In the wake of Thatcher’s departure, I remember her victims. Patrick Warby’s daughter, Marie, was one of them. Marie, aged five, suffered from a bowel deformity and needed a special diet. Without it, the pain was excruciating. Her father was a Durham miner and had used all his savings. It was winter 1985, the Great Strike was almost a year old and the family was destitute. Although her eligibility was not disputed, Marie was denied help by the Department of Social Security. Later, I obtained records of the case that showed Marie had been turned down because her father was “affected by a Trade dispute”. 

The corruption and inhumanity under Thatcher knew no borders. When she came to power in 1979, Thatcher demanded a total ban on exports of milk to Vietnam. The American invasion had left a third of Vietnamese children malnourished.

I witnessed many distressing sights, including infants going blind from a lack of vitamins. “I cannot tolerate this,” said an anguished doctor in a Saigon paediatric hospital, as we looked at a dying boy. Oxfam and Save the Children had made clear to the British government the gravity of the emergency. An embargo led by the US had forced up the local price of a kilo of milk up to ten times that of a kilo of meat. Many children could have been restored with milk. Thatcher’s ban held.

In neighbouring Cambodia, Thatcher left a trail of blood, secretly. In 1980, she demanded that the defunct Pol Pot regime – the killers of 1.7 million people – retain its “right” to represent their victims at the UN.  Her policy was vengeance on Cambodia’s liberator, Vietnam. The British representative was instructed to vote with Pol Pot at the World Health Organisation, thereby preventing it from providing help to where it was needed more than anywhere on earth.

To conceal this outrage, the US, Britain and China, Pol Pot’s main backer, invented a “resistance coalition” dominated by Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge forces and supplied by the CIA at bases along the Thai border. There was a hitch. In the wake of the Irangate arms-for-hostages debacle, the US Congress had banned clandestine foreign adventures. “In one of those deals the two of them liked to make,” a senior Whitehall official told the Sunday Telegraph, “President Reagan put it to Thatcher that the SAS should take over the Cambodia show. She readily agreed.”

In 1983, Thatcher sent the SAS to train the “coalition” in its own distinctive brand of terrorism.  Seven-man SAS teams arrived from Hong Kong, and British soldiers set about training “resistance fighters” in laying minefields in a country devastated by genocide and the world’s highest rate of death and injury as a result of landmines.

I reported this at the time, and more than 16,000 people wrote to Thatcher in protest. “I confirm,” she replied to opposition leader Neil Kinnock, “that there is no British government involvement of any kind in training, equipping or co-operating with the Khmer Rouge or those allied to them.” The lie was breathtaking.  In 1991, the government of John Major admitted to parliament that the SAS had indeed trained the “coalition”.  “We liked the British,” a Khmer Rouge fighter later told me. “They were very good at teaching us to set booby traps. Unsuspecting people, like children in paddy fields, were the main victims.”

When the journalists and producers of ITV’s landmark documentary, Death on the Rock, exposed how the SAS had run Thatcher’s other death squads in Ireland and Gibraltar, they were hounded by Rupert Murdoch’s “journalists”, then cowering behind the razor wire at Wapping. Although exonerated, Thames TV lost its ITV franchise.

In 1982, the Argentine cruiser, General Belgrano, was steaming outside the Falklands exclusion zone. The ship offered no threat, yet Thatcher gave orders for it to be sunk. Her victims were 323 sailors, including conscripted teenagers. The crime had a certain logic. Among Thatcher’s closest allies were mass murderers – Pinochet in Chile, Suharto in Indonesia, responsible for “many more than one million deaths” (Amnesty International). Although the British state had long armed the world’s leading tyrannies, it was Thatcher who brought a crusading zeal to the deals, talking up the finer points of fighter aircraft engines, hard-bargaining with bribe-demanding Saudi princes. I filmed her at an arms fair, stroking a gleaming missile. “I’ll have one of those!” she said.

In his arms-to-Iraq enquiry, Lord Richard Scott heard evidence that an entire tier of the Thatcher government, from senior civil servants to ministers, had lied and broken the law in selling weapons to Saddam Hussein. These were her “boys”.  Thumb through old copies of the Baghdad Observer, and there are pictures of her boys, mostly cabinet ministers, on the front page sitting with Saddam on his famous white couch. There is Douglas Hurd and there is a grinning David Mellor, also of the Foreign Office, around the time his host was ordering the gassing of 5,000 Kurds. Following this atrocity, the Thatcher government doubled trade credits to Saddam.

Perhaps it is too easy to dance on her grave. Her funeral was a propaganda stunt, fit for a dictator: an absurd show of militarism, as if a coup had taken place. And it has. “Her real triumph”, said another of her boys, Geoffrey Howe, a Thatcher minister, “was to have transformed not just one party but two, so that when Labour did eventually return, the great bulk of Thatcherism was accepted as irreversible.”

In 1997, Thatcher was the first former prime minister to visit Tony Blair after he entered Downing Street. There is a photo of them, joined in rictus: the budding war criminal with his mentor.  When Ed Milliband, in his unctuous “tribute”, caricatured Thatcher as a “brave” feminist hero whose achievements he personally “honoured”, you knew the old killer had not died at all.

For more information on John Pilger, please visit his website at www.johnpilger.com


 

A previous article discussed spurious allegations of Syrian chemical weapons use. Obama calls using them a “game changer.” He also said their use crosses a “red line.”

Syrian officials categorically deny using them. According to Information Minister Omran al-Zoabi:

“Even if Syria does have chemical weapons, our leadership and our military will not use them either against Syrians or against Israelis, above all for moral reasons and secondarily on legal and political grounds.”

On April 24, The New York Times headlined “US Says It Suspects Assad Used Chemical Weapons,” saying:

“….American intelligence agencies now assess, with ‘varying degrees of confidence,’ that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons, but it said it needed conclusive proof before President Obama would take action.”

On April 25, the White House Office of Legislative Affairs director Miguel Rodriguez addressed Syria. His letter to Senators John McCain (R. AZ) ad Carl Levin (D. MI) said:

“At the president’s direction, the United States government has been closely monitoring the potential use of chemical weapons within Syria.”

“We have kept the relevant committees of Congress fully informed of our assessments on this issue, consistent with our statutory obligations.”

“Our intelligence community does assess with varying degrees of confidence that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons on a small scale in Syria, specifically the chemical agent sarin. This assessment is based in part on physiological samples.”

“Our standard of evidence must build on these intelligence assessments as we seek to establish credible and corroborated facts.”

“For example, the chain of custody is not clear, so we cannot confirm how the exposure occurred and under what conditions.”

“We do believe that any use of chemical weapons in Syria would very likely have originated with the Assad regime. Thus far, we believe that the Assad regime maintains custody of these weapons and has demonstrated a willingness to escalate its horrific use of violence against the Syrian people.”

“Because of our concern about the deteriorating situation in Syria, the president has made it clear that the use of chemical weapons – or transfer of chemical weapons to terrorist groups – is a red line for the United States of America.”

“Given the stakes involved, and what we have learned from our own recent experience, intelligence assessments alone are not sufficient – only credible and corroborated facts that provide us with some degree of certainty will guide our decision-making….”

“In the interim, the administration is prepared for all contingencies so that we can respond appropriately to any confirmed use of chemical weapons, consistent with our national interests.”

“The United States and the international community have a number of potential responses available, and no option is off the table.”

Britain’s Foreign Office claims “limited but persuasive information from various sources showing chemical weapons use in Syria, including Sarin.”

Days earlier, Israeli General Itai Brun claimed Syria used chemical weapons “on a number of occasions.” He cited unspecified photo evidence. He called the weapon used sarin-based.

Former US ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk said Obama’s “red line appears to have been crossed. The administration has to take some time to decide what to do about it.”

“But if they end up leaving the impression that the president is not willing to enforce his red line, that will have consequences in the region, particularly when it comes to Iran’s nuclear program, as well as for our ability to deter Assad’s use of chemical weapons in Syria.”

An unnamed Israeli official told the New York Times:

“Every intelligence branch can submit its own assessment. The issue of chemical weapons is being examined by Israel and the United States at the most senior levels, and is still being discussed.”

The Times added:

“Administration officials said that the Pentagon had prepared a menu of military options for Mr. Obama if he concluded that there was incontrovertible evidence that chemical weapons had been used.”

“Those options, one official said, could include missile strikes on Syrian aircraft from American ships in the Mediterranean or commando raids.”

Days earlier in Brussels, Secretary of State John Kerry said NATO should plan for a possible Syrian chemical weapons attack. He stopped short of calling for NATO’s intervention.

Separately, Mossad-connected DEBKAfile (DF) said Israeli warplanes downed a Hezbollah drone eight kilometers “out at sea” from Haifa. It flew south from Lebanon.

An IDF spokesman said:

“An attempt by an unmanned aerial vehicle to enter Israel’s air space was thwarted. The UAV was identified flying from the north past the coast of southern Lebanon and continuing south.”

“It was tracked continuously until it was downed by Israeli fighter planes and attack helicopters.”

“They went into action after the drone was identified as not coming from a friendly source. The Air Force gave the order to shoot it down.”

Netanyahu said:

“We take an extremely grave view of this attempt to violate our borders and will continue to guard them and keep our citizens safe.”

“We are watching events in Syria and Lebanon with extreme concern. Syria is breaking up and Lebanon is unstable.”

“Both places pose not inconsiderable perils to Israel – two emanating directly from Syria.”

“The first is the possible transfer of sophisticated weaponry to terrorist organizations and the second, attempts by terrorists to break through our borders and attack our towns and villages.”

“Israel stands ready to counteract any threats from Syria or Lebanon by sea, air and land.”

DF claims “there are plans afoot to spread (Syria’s) violence into Israel.” It cites Hezbollah’s UAV incident and violent incidents on the Israeli/Israel border.

On April 23 (updated on April 25), Washington Post editors headlined “Honoring a ‘red line in Syria over chemical weapons,” saying:

“THREE MAJOR US allies – Britain, France and Israel – have now concluded that the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad has very likely used chemical weapons, not once but on multiple occasions.”

“This would cross a ‘red line’ drawn by President Obama.” He’s been very clear saying America “will not tolerate the use of chemical weapons against the Syrian people.”

So far he stopped short of intervening. “If there is no response, Damascus may decide that it is free to use its chemicals on a larger scale.”

At the same time, “Obama has been inching toward more decisive action.”

“If (he) waffles or retreats on the one clear red line he drew, US credibility across the region will be severely damaged.”

These type reports bear watching. Their significance remains to be seen. They may be prelude to direct US intervention. Stay tuned. More reports will follow.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected].

His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

A study by the Pew Research Center reveals an enormous growth in social inequality in the United States between 2009 and 2011. The figures give expression to the impact of the Obama administration’s policy of bailing out the banks while spearheading the assault on workers’ wages and social programs throughout the country.

Basing itself on US Census data, the Pew report found that the poorest 93 percent of US households saw, on average, a four percent decline in their net worth during these two years of stock market boom, while the wealthiest seven percent saw their net worth increase by an average of 28 percent.

The data give the lie to the administration’s claim that the rise in stock prices since the 2007 financial meltdown is part of an economic recovery. In fact, it merely gives expression to a vast transfer of wealth from the working class to the financial elite.

Household wealth is measured by adding all assets—such as homes, cars, real estate, retirement accounts, stocks and other financial holdings—and subtracting from this all debts—such as home mortgages, car loans, medical debt, credit card debt and student loans.

The upper 7 percent of households saw their aggregate share of overall national wealth increase to 63 percent in 2011, up from 56 percent in 2009. Put in another way, the mean wealth of households in this more affluent group was almost 24 times that of other households in 2011, whereas in 2009 it was only 18 times more.

Breaking down the figures for those in the bottom 93 percent, the poll finds that:

• A shocking 18 percent of the population has a net worth of zero or less (with debts meeting or exceeding all assets). The mean wealth of this group declined from −$34,777 in 2009 to −35,472 in 2011.

• The biggest percentage decline was in the 9 percent of households who have a net worth of between $1 and $4,999. They saw their mean net worth decline from $2,016 to $1,899, a fall of 6 percent.

• There was a generally constant average decline of between four and five percent for all households with net worths between $5,000 and $499,999.

Even among high-net-worth households there was a stratification, with more of the increase in net worth during the so-called recovery accruing to the wealthier half of this group. This is revealed in the fact that the median net worth of the top bracket actually fell—to $836,033 in 2011 from $889,275 in 2009, even though the mean increased.

The Pew report comments: “The median refers to the midpoint of a group—in this case, households at the 93.25 percentile of wealth (halfway between the 86.5th percentile and the 100th percentile). A simultaneous rise in the mean and decline in the median implies that aggregate net worth increased only among households above the median—that is, the 8 million households with net worth of $836,033 or more in 2011.”

The Pew report argues that the main factor in the polarization of wealth in this period is the divergence of stocks and other financial instruments—buoyed with the full force of the Federal Reserve and government bailouts—and the values of homes. For most US households, the most valuable asset is the home itself. Millions of families saw the value of this asset collapse during the housing crisis, with little if any recovery since.

Wealthier households own far more financial assets, including stocks, bonds and mutual funds. In households with a net worth over $500,000, 65 percent of their wealth comes from financial holdings and 17 percent comes from their home. In contrast, in households with net worth of less than $500,000, just 33 percent of their wealth comes from financial assets and 50 percent comes from their home.

The 2008 crash led to an even further concentration of financial assets in the hands of the wealthy. Only 13 percent of households with net worth below $500,000 owned stocks and mutual fund shares in 2011, down from 16 percent in 2009.

The report examined data from the Census Bureau, which was last compiled in 2011. Since that time, the same processes that give rise to the social polarization have only grown. Housing prices remain stagnant, while the S&P 500 has gained another 26 percent in value since 2011. Furthermore, the slashing of social spending has no doubt worsened the net worth of most households, especially those in the lowest categories. Mass unemployment and cuts in unemployment benefits have also taken a toll.

These factors are not forces of nature. Rather, they represent the class war policies of a parasitic financial elite, with the Obama administration standing at the helm.

The mobilization of immense and continuous sums of public funds to transfer to Wall Street, along with the coordinated attack on the vast majority of the population, has definite political consequences. It indicates a society on the verge of a social explosion.

Forget Boston, 9/11 and Oklahoma City … Is False Flag Terror Even a REAL Historical Concept?

Forget Boston, 9/11 and Oklahoma City … Is False Flag Terrorism Even a REAL Concept?

More people are using the term “false flag” than ever before.

Some claim that the Boston marathon bombing, 9/11 and the Oklahoma City bombing were false flag attacks.

Others claim that anyone who uses the phrase “false flag” is a nut conspiracy theorist.

This post does not discuss Boston, 9/11 or Oklahoma City.  It simply looks at whether there is any real historical concept regarding false flags.

What Is False Flag Terror?

“False flag terrorism” is defined as a government attacking its own people, then blaming others in order to justify going to war against the people it blames. Or as Wikipedia defines it:

False flag operations are covert operations conducted by governments, corporations, or other organizations, which are designed to appear as if they are being carried out by other entities. The name is derived from the military concept of flying false colors; that is, flying the flag of a country other than one’s own. False flag operations are not limited to war and counter-insurgency operations, and have been used in peace-time; for example, during Italy’s strategy of tension.

The term comes from the old days of wooden ships, when one ship would hang the flag of its enemy before attacking another ship in its own navy. Because the enemy’s flag, instead of the flag of the real country of the attacking ship, was hung, it was called a “false flag” attack.

Indeed, this concept is so well-accepted that rules of engagement for naval, air and land warfare all prohibit false flag attacks.

Leaders Throughout History Have Acknowledged False Flags

Leaders throughout history have acknowledged the danger of false flags:

“This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears he is a protector.”
- Plato

“If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.”
- U.S. President James Madison

“Terrorism is the best political weapon for nothing drives people harder than a fear of sudden death”.
- Adolph Hitler

“Why of course the people don’t want war … But after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship … Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”
- Hermann Goering, Nazi leader.

“The easiest way to gain control of a population is to carry out acts of terror. [The public] will clamor for such laws if their personal security is threatened”.
- Josef Stalin

Governments from Around the World ADMIT that they Carry Out False Flag Terror

But don’t take our word for it.

Governments from around the world admit they carry out false flag terror:

  • A major with the Nazi SS admitted at the Nuremberg trials that – under orders from the chief of the Gestapo – he and some other Nazi operatives faked attacks on their own people and resources which they blamed on the Poles, to justify the invasion of Poland. Nazi general Franz Halder also testified at the Nuremberg trials that Nazi leader Hermann Goering admitted to setting fire to the German parliament building, and then falsely blaming the communists for the arson
  • The CIA admits that it hired Iranians in the 1950′s to pose as Communists and stage bombings in Iran in order to turn the country against its democratically-elected prime minister
  • Israel admits that an Israeli terrorist cell operating in Egypt planted bombs in several buildings, including U.S. diplomatic facilities, then left behind “evidence” implicating the Arabs as the culprits (one of the bombs detonated prematurely, allowing the Egyptians to identify the bombers, and several of the Israelis later confessed) (and see this and this)
  • As admitted by the U.S. government, recently declassified documents show that in the 1960′s, the American Joint Chiefs of Staff signed off on a plan to blow up AMERICAN airplanes (using an elaborate plan involving the switching of airplanes), and also to commit terrorist acts on American soil, and then to blame it on the Cubans in order to justify an invasion of Cuba. See the following ABC news report; the official documents; and watch this interview with the former Washington Investigative Producer for ABC’s World News Tonight with Peter Jennings.
  • 2 years before, American Senator George Smathers had suggested that the U.S. make “a false attack made on Guantanamo Bay which would give us the excuse of actually fomenting a fight which would then give us the excuse to go in and [overthrow Castro]“.
  • And Official State Department documents show that – only nine months before the Joint Chiefs of Staff plan was proposed – the head of the Joint Chiefs and other high-level officials discussed blowing up a consulate in the Dominican Republic in order to justify an invasion of that country. The 3 plans were not carried out, but they were all discussed as serious proposals
  • The South African Truth and Reconciliation Council found that, in 1989, the Civil Cooperation Bureau (a covert branch of the South African Defense Force) approached an explosives expert and asked him “to participate in an operation aimed at discrediting the ANC [the African National Congress] by bombing the police vehicle of the investigating officer into the murder incident”, thus framing the ANC for the bombing
  • An Algerian diplomat and several officers in the Algerian army admit that, in the 1990s, the Algerian army frequently massacred Algerian civilians and then blamed Islamic militants for the killings (and see this video; and Agence France-Presse, 9/27/2002, French Court Dismisses Algerian Defamation Suit Against Author)
  • Senior Russian Senior military and intelligence officers admit that the KGB blew up Russian apartment buildings and falsely blamed it on Chechens, in order to justify an invasion of Chechnya (and see this report and this discussion)
  • According to the Washington Post, Indonesian police admit that the Indonesian military killed American teachers in Papua in 2002 and blamed the murders on a Papuan separatist group in order to get that group listed as a terrorist organization.
  • The well-respected former Indonesian president also admits that the government probably had a role in the Bali bombings
  • As reported by BBC, the New York Times, and Associated Press, Macedonian officials admit that the government murdered 7 innocent immigrants in cold blood and pretended that they were Al Qaeda soldiers attempting to assassinate Macedonian police, in order to join the “war on terror”.
  • Former Department of Justice lawyer John Yoo suggested in 2005 that the US should go on the offensive against al-Qaeda, having “our intelligence agencies create a false terrorist organization. It could have its own websites, recruitment centers, training camps, and fundraising operations. It could launch fake terrorist operations and claim credit for real terrorist strikes, helping to sow confusion within al-Qaeda’s ranks, causing operatives to doubt others’ identities and to question the validity of communications.”
  • United Press International reported in June 2005:

    U.S. intelligence officers are reporting that some of the insurgents in Iraq are using recent-model Beretta 92 pistols, but the pistols seem to have had their serial numbers erased. The numbers do not appear to have been physically removed; the pistols seem to have come off a production line without any serial numbers. Analysts suggest the lack of serial numbers indicates that the weapons were intended for intelligence operations or terrorist cells with substantial government backing. Analysts speculate that these guns are probably from either Mossad or the CIA. Analysts speculate that agent provocateurs may be using the untraceable weapons even as U.S. authorities use insurgent attacks against civilians as evidence of the illegitimacy of the resistance.

  • Quebec police admitted that, in 2007, thugs carrying rocks to a peaceful protest were actually undercover Quebec police officers
  • At the G20 protests in London in 2009, a British member of parliament saw plain clothes police officers attempting to incite the crowd to violence
  • A Colombian army colonel has admitted that his unit murdered 57 civilians, then dressed them in uniforms and claimed they were rebels killed in combat
  • U.S. soldiers have admitted that if they kill innocent Iraqis and Afghanis, they then “drop” automatic weapons near their body so they can pretend they were militants

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that governments from around the world have – according to their own admissions – carried out false flags.

Any discussion about a specific terrorist attack cannot start with the assumption that it couldn’t be a false flag attack, or that it must be a false flag attack.

The facts of each attack must be examined on their own merits before reaching any conclusion

The last two weeks have seen a series of victories for the Syrian Army across Syria. It appears that 2 full companies of so-called “Free Syrian Army” fighters have been annihilated near Damascus, while government forces have restored order in parts of Homs and along the previously porous Lebanese-Syrian border.

Time has run out for the West, and it appears that they are desperately seeking any excuse to rescue their failing proxy war. When urgent, but otherwise unjustified military intervention is needed, a “humanitarian” pretext is usually invented – as it was in Libya.

Failing that, as the West has already clearly done in Syria, an even more tenuous narrative has been resurrected from its well-earned grave. CNN has reported in their article, “Hagel: Evidence of chemical weapons use in Syria,” that:

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced Thursday that the United States has evidence that chemical weapons have been used in Syria.

This comes a couple of days after an Israeli intelligence official said Damascus was using weapons banned under international law against its own people in the country’s civil war. Syria has said rebels have used chemical weapons.

 U.S. President Barack Obama has said the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons against its own people in the country would be a “game changer.”

Image: From Independent’s “Man whose WMD lies led to 100,000 deaths confesses all: Defector tells how US officials ‘sexed up’ his fictions to make the case for 2003 invasion.” In retrospect, the corporate-media has no problem admitting the insidious lies that were told to justify the invasion and occupation of Iraq – the lead up to the war was another story. A verbatim repeat of these admitted lies are being directed at Syria amidst the West’s failure to overthrow the government with terrorist proxies.

Astonishingly, the West is attempting to repeat tales of “WMD’s” in Syria, just as it infamously did in Iraq. In the Washington Post’s “U.S. intelligence agencies: Assad used chemical weapons ‘on a small scale’,” the nature of this “evidence” is elaborated on (emphasis added):

Hagel said the intelligence agencies’ assessment was reached with “varying degrees of confidence,” meaning that they lacked proof or overwhelming evidence. He said the conclusion was “reached within the last 24 hours” and that the White House delivered a letter outlining the findings to Congress Thursday morning.

A letter from the White House via the Washington Post exposed further just how tenuous the evidence actually is (emphasis added):

Our intelligence community does assess with varying degrees of confidence that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons on a small scale in Syria, specifically the chemical agent sarin. This assessment is based in part on physiological samples. Our standard of evidence must build on these intelligence assessments as we seek to establish credible and corroborated facts. For example, the chain of custody is not clear, so we cannot confirm how the exposure occurred and under what conditions. We do believe that any use of chemical weapons in Syria would very likely have originated with the Assad regime.

Physiological samples indicating sarin – in other words – samples taken from people exposed to sarin, could have been produced in a number of ways. It is confirmed that Libya’s chemical weapon stockpiles included sarin and mustard gas. In the Washington Post’s 2011 “Libya’s poison gas unaffected by turmoil, official says,” it was stated:

Experts believe that Libya destroyed about 3,300 bombshells designed to carry mustard and sarin gas chemicals years ago, as part of its deal to end decades of economic and diplomatic isolation with the West.

But some 10 metric tons of mustard sulfate and sarin gas precursor remain stockpiled in barrels at three locations in the Libyan desert south of Tripoli, where Moammar Gaddafi has holed up in a last-ditch fight to keep from being overthrown.

Many experts worry that the barrels are ripe for picking by terrorists linked to al-Qaeda.

Of course, since 2011, it is now confirmed that the so-called “Libyan rebels” were actually Al Qaeda terrorists operating under the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) which has been confirmed to have subsequently traveled  to Syria to join Al Qaeda’s al-Nusra franchise in NATO’s proxy war there.

It is just as likely that NATO’s proxy forces brought along with them not only small arms and cash from Libya, but also heavier weapons, including possibly chemical weapons – and specifically – sarin and mustard gas.

Image: (via the Guardian) “Chemical containers in the Libyan desert. There are concerns unguarded weapons could fall into the hands of Islamist militants. Photograph: David Sperry/AP” As increasing evidence reveals Libyan fighters and weapons are pouring into Syria, it seems the West is preparing to preempt or leverage the inevitability that Libya’s chemical arsenal has also found its way into the besieged nation.

….
Considering that the Syrian government knows the use of chemical weapons would basically hand the moral, strategic, and geopolitical initiative over to the West, and in light of its recent gains made using conventional weapons and tactics, it makes it all the more likely any real sarin to be found and used in Syria was the work of NATO proxies attempting to produce a plausible casus belli. Terrorists operating in Syria have already been caught using other chemical weapons.

And yet still, despite all of this doubt, the Western political establishment has hailed the so-called “findings” as the “game changer” required to green-light US military intervention.

Remember “Curveball” 

It is absolutely imperative to recall the propaganda campaign conducted prior to invading Iraq in 2003. Chemical weapons were also used as a pretext for an otherwise unjustified war. The “intelligence” used by Hagel’s predecessors was admittedly fabricated on-demand.

In the British Independent’s article, “Man whose WMD lies led to 100,000 deaths confesses all: Defector tells how US officials ‘sexed up’ his fictions to make the case for 2003 invasion,” it stated:

A man whose lies helped to make the case for invading Iraq – starting a nine-year war costing more than 100,000 lives and hundreds of billions of pounds – will come clean in his first British television interview tomorrow.

 

“Curveball”, the Iraqi defector who fabricated claims about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, smiles as he confirms how he made the whole thing up. It was a confidence trick that changed the course of history, with Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi’s lies used to justify the Iraq war.

He tries to defend his actions: “My main purpose was to topple the tyrant in Iraq because the longer this dictator remains in power, the more the Iraqi people will suffer from this regime’s oppression.”

We can already envision the establishment defending in hindsight its next “noble lie” to unseat “the tyrant in Syria.”

The Independent continues:

But Mr Janabi, speaking in a two-part series, Modern Spies, starting tomorrow on BBC2, says none of it was true. When it is put to him “we went to war in Iraq on a lie. And that lie was your lie”, he simply replies: “Yes.”

US officials “sexed up” Mr Janabi’s drawings of mobile biological weapons labs to make them more presentable, admits Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, General Powell’s former chief of staff. “I brought the White House team in to do the graphics,” he says, adding how “intelligence was being worked to fit around the policy”.

“How “intelligence was being worked to fit around the policy,” indeed is the most important aspect of the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq, and is without doubt what is being done in Washington, Doha, Riyadh, and Tel Aviv in regards to Syria now.

The “Curveball-style” lies told about Iraq are now being repeated about Syria by an increasingly unhinged West who has tried every trick in the book, and is flipping back to the beginning to start over again. The question is, can the world afford to be led down this path again, knowing exactly where it ends? Nations and people outside the Wall Street-London international order are tasked with foiling this criminal war of aggression – unable this time to plead ignorance to the West’s true intentions.

 

 

 


Is Kissing a “State Sponsor of Terrorism” a “Terrorist Act”?

April 25th, 2013 by Prof Michel Chossudovsky

In the immediate wake of the 9/11 attacks, George W. Bush stated in no uncertain terms that  “State sponsors of terrorism” would be considered as “terrorists”. 

“We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them”.

But there is always an “Exception that the Proves the Rule”  and that is George W. Bush himself.

When George W. Bush respectfully kisses King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, does this mean that Dubya could –by some stretch of the imagination– be considered a “suspected terrorist”, who should never have been elected president of the United States of America?

The answer is negative: Kissing  “State sponsors of terrorism” on the mouth is not defined by the FBI as “suspicious behavior”.

The Global War on Terrorism’s  “New Normal“: “Good Guy” Terrorists

Establishing political ties with “State sponsors of terrorism”  is now considered to be part of a “New Normal”, a humanitarian endeavor intent upon spreading  American democracy Worldwide.

NATO  calls it  “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P).

John Kerry concurs:  financial aid to Syria’s Al Nusra, an affiliate of Al Qaeda is part of an R2P mandate.

There are now “‘good guy terrorists” and “bad guy terrorists”.

Financial aid is channeled to Al Qaeda “good guy terrorists” to protect Syrians against the terrorists  (New York Times,  April 20, 2013)

 Al Nusra  “Good Guy Terrorists” supported by John Kerry

The Bush and bin Laden Families

Now let us turn our attention to the Bin Laden Family.

The Bushes and bin Ladens are long-time friends.

We know that the late Osama bin Laden was a “bad guy”:  “Enemy Number One”.

He is a disgrace to members of the bin Laden family, who reluctantly provided him with “pocket money”, which was used to develop Al Qaeda (The Base).  He is referred to as a “Black Sheep”.

There is nothing wrong, therefore, in socializing and doing business with family members of terror mastermind Osama bin Laden, including the late Salem bin Laden and Shafiq bin Laden of the Carlyle Group.

Its all part of a “good guys project” of going after Osama,  the “Black Sheep”,  and waging the “Global War on Terrorism”.

Confirmed by the Washington Post, “fellow investors” of the Carlyle Group Osama’s brother Shafiq bin Laden and former President H.G.W. Bush met at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel one day before 9/11 (see image below):

It didn’t help that as the World Trade Center burned on Sept. 11, 2001, the news interrupted a Carlyle business conference at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel here attended by a brother of Osama bin Laden [Shafiq bin Laden]. Former president Bush [senior, seem image above], a fellow investor, had been with him at the conference the previous day. (Greg Schneider, Pairing the Powerful With the Rich, Washington Post, March 16, 2003)

 

Shafiq bin Laden, Osama’s  brother and member of the Carlyle Group meets George H. W. Bush

at Ritz Carlton on September 10, 2001  (Source: Michael Moore, Fahrenheit 911)

Launched on September 11, 2001, President George W. Bush is the political architect of the “Global War on Terrorism” commonly referred to as GWOT. 

On the evening of September 11, 2001, president George W. Bush pronounced a historic speech in which he defined the relationship between “terrorists’ and “state sponsors of terrorism”:

The search is underway for those who are behind these evil acts. I’ve directed the full resources of our intelligence and law enforcement communities to find those responsible and to bring them to justice. We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them. 

In a subsequent address to the joint session of the House of Representatives and the Senate on September 20, 2001:

“We will starve terrorists of funding, turn them one against another, drive them from place to place, until there is no refuge or no rest. And we will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. (Applause.) From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime [state sponsor of terrorism].

Every nation in every region now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.” - President George W. Bush, 20 September 2001

Now let us pause and reflect

Bush seems to be caught up in the contradictions of his own political rhetoric, the  “either you are with us or you are with the terrorists” conundrum:

“I am with myself and I am also with the terrorists”

The House of Saud provides financial aid to the terrorists. And so does the bin Laden family. Worst Case scenario:  There may be a “conflict of interest”.

According to The Washington based CATO Institute (November 2001) Saudi Arabia is a “prime sponsor of terrorism”

The U.S. government has warned that it will treat regimes that harbor or assist terrorist organizations the same way that it treats the organizations themselves. Yet if Washington is serious about that policy, it ought to regard Saudi Arabia as a prime sponsor of international terrorism. Indeed, that country should have been included for years on the U.S. State Department’s annual list of governments guilty of sponsoring terrorism.

The One Trillion Dollar Foreign Policy Question

What is  ultimately involved is that the US government is the ultimate “state sponsor” of those who sponsor terrorism.

The US government supports the House of Saud. In turn, the Saudi monarchy supports Al Qaeda.

It follows pari passu:  the US government is a “State sponsor of Terrorism”.  QED.

“Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.”

Bear in mind Dubya is asking the question.

And now we are asking you, our readers, the question:

Is Dubya  “with us”, or “with the terrorists.” either/or, both or neither?

        

The New York Times published an editorial Monday that not only endorses last week’s police-military lockdown of Boston, but suggests that it was entirely consistent with democratic procedures. In “How to Handle a Terrorism Case,” the Times makes the absurd argument that the operation that led to the arrest of alleged Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was a vindication of “the fundamental rights that distinguish this country from authoritarian regimes.”

In the editorial, the leading organ of the “liberal” establishment shamelessly falsifies what actually occurred, omitting any mention of the use of National Guard troops, SWAT teams, machine-gun mounted armored vehicles and Black Hawk helicopters. It makes no mention of the order for some 1 million residents to remain in their homes or the warrantless house-to-house searches carried out by heavily armed police.

The piece begins by setting up Republican Senator Lindsey Graham as a right-wing foil, criticizing his call for Tsarnaev to be declared an enemy combatant and turned over to the military. The Times seeks to use the decision of the Obama administration to try Tsarnaev in a civilian court to whitewash the state of siege that was imposed during the manhunt for the terror suspect.

The newspaper writes: “Mr. Graham’s reckless statement makes a mockery of the superb civilian police work that led to the suspect’s capture, starting with askillful analysis of video recordings of the marathon. The law enforcement system solved the case swiftly and efficiently, led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the local police…” [Emphasis added].

Leaving aside the rapturous praise for the police and intelligence agencies, this account is utterly dishonest. Anyone reading it who was not familiar with the events of last Friday would have no idea what actually happened.

In passing, the Times bestows its blessings on the pervasive use of surveillance cameras in public places, something that has become a regular feature of American life although it violates constitutionally guaranteed privacy rights.

“Mr. Tsarnaev is a naturalized American citizen,” the editorial continues, “an inconvenient fact for the pressure-him-at-Gitmo crowd. He cannot be tried in a military commission, a legal system reserved for aliens. Even to be held by the military without trial would require a showing that he is associated with a declared enemy of the United States, such as Al Qaeda or the Taliban. So far there isn’t any visible connection between the Tsarnaev brothers and anyone more malevolent.”

This paragraph makes clear that the Times ’ disagreement with Graham is not based on a principled defense of democratic rights. The newspaper does not question the legitimacy per se of military commissions or indefinite military detention without trial. It simply argues that Tsarnaev is not a candidate for such treatment because he is a citizen and has not been shown to be “associated with a declared enemy of the United States.”

What if the government were to claim that the suspect was “associated” with a “declared enemy” of the US? Then, according to the argument put forward by the Times, the state would have a right to haul Tsarnaev off to a military brig.

The terminology the Times employs, entirely uncritically, is itself significant. The word “associated” is sufficiently vague to potentially include individuals, groups or publications that simply express support for or mere sympathy with organizations declared by the government to be “enemies,” or even lawyers who seek to represent alleged terrorists captured and held at Guantanamo or other US prison camps. Moreover, there has been no congressional declaration of war against either Al Qaeda or the Taliban.

The Times goes on to laud Obama for deciding to try Tsarnaev in the federal court system. It mildly rebukes the administration, however, for invoking the so-called “public safety exception” so as to permit the FBI and police to question Tsarnaev without reading him his Miranda right to remain silent and have legal counsel present during any interrogation. “Unfortunately,” the newspaper writes, “the administration improperly told agents that they could expand [the public safety] exception for terror suspects even when threats were not imminent.”

In other words, the Obama administration has rendered the Miranda warning in terror cases virtually meaningless.

In “How to Handle a Terrorism Case,” the New York Times makes clear that it is prepared to accept without protest the imposition of dictatorial forms of rule, so long as a few outer trappings of democratic procedure are maintained.

Boston Truth: The Suspects – Who Is Behind Al Qaeda?

April 25th, 2013 by Bonnie Faulkner

The Boston Marathon bombings; the Chechen connection; media disinformation;

US support of al Qaeda and the Chechen jihad; the consolidation of the American police state; the geopolitical implications of the bombings; home grown terrorism; two brothers accused of being the perpetrators.

Guns and Butter KPFA website, for April 24, 2013 – 1:00pm

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America’s “War on Terrorism”

Michel Chossudovsky

In this new and expanded edition of Michel Chossudovsky’s 2002 best seller, the author blows away the smokescreen put up by the mainstream media, that 9/11 was an attack on America by “Islamic terrorists”.  Through meticulous research, the author uncovers a military-intelligence ploy behind the September 11 attacks, and the cover-up and complicity of key members of the Bush Administration.

The expanded edition, which includes twelve new chapters focuses on the use of 9/11 as a pretext for the invasion and illegal occupation of Iraq, the militarisation of justice and law enforcement and the repeal of democracy.

According to Chossudovsky, the  “war on terrorism” is a complete fabrication based on the illusion that one man, Osama bin Laden, outwitted the $40 billion-a-year American intelligence apparatus. The “war on terrorism” is a war of conquest. Globalisation is the final march to the “New World Order”, dominated by Wall Street and the U.S. military-industrial complex.

September 11, 2001 provides a justification for waging a war without borders. Washington’s agenda consists in extending the frontiers of the American Empire to facilitate complete U.S. corporate control, while installing within America the institutions of the Homeland Security State.  

Also available other formats

 For PDF format, click here

For Kindle edition, click to visit Amazon.com

Special: America’s “War on Terrorism” + Globalization of Poverty (Buy 2 books for 1 price!)

Canadian authorities boasted Monday afternoon that, working in concert with the FBI and other US national security agencies, they had broken up a terrorist conspiracy involving an Iranian-based al-Qaeda cell. The announcement, made at a Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) press conference, came just as the House of Commons was set to debate new anti-terrorism legislation that would give the state draconian new powers.

Two men, 30 year-old Chiheb Esseghaier, and 35 year-old, Raed Jaser, have since been charged with grave terrorist offences—charges that they vehemently deny. Yet the RCMP and Stephen Harper’s Conservative government have provided virtually no information about the alleged plot, beyond saying that the men carried out surveillance of Toronto’s railway network with a view to bombing or derailing a New York-bound passenger train.

The little that has been revealed leaves no doubt that the timing of the arrests was a calculated political decision, made in close consultation with the highest levels of the US government, and with the aim of stampeding the public on both sides of the border into accepting police-state measures.

At Monday’s press conference, the RCMP conceded that there had never been an imminent threat of a terrorist attack or even a definite plan for an attack, and that Esseghaier and Jaser have long been in the police’s sights.

It was subsequently revealed that the two alleged terrorist plotters have been under heavy state surveillance since last August—that is, for the past eight months—and that their alleged crimes date back to last year.

The charges presented by the Crown in court on Tuesday state that all but one of the offenses the two men allegedly committed—including conspiracy to commit murder—occurred in 2012 and most of them between April and September of last year. The lone exception is a charge against Esseghaier of participating in a terrorist group.

Neither the police nor government have given any reason as to why, after allowing the accused to remain at large for months, they were suddenly arrested Monday afternoon and in a very high-profile manner. Esseghaier was apprehended while eating at a McDonald’s outlet in Montreal’s main train station; scores of police armed with rifles and accompanied by search-dogs descended on Jaser’s workplace in the Toronto borough of North York.

Speaking Tuesday after Jaser’s arraignment in a Toronto court, his lawyer, John Norris, drew attention to the timing of the police-government announcement that they had uncovered Canada’s first “al-Qaeda-sponsored” terror plot. Said Norris, “The timing of the arrest is a bit of a mystery and certainly I would like to hear the RCMP’s explanation for that. They have been very clear that there is no risk of public safety and it is surprising to say the least that this arrest would be made now, close on the heels of what happened in Boston and timed perfectly with what was happening in the House of Commons yesterday.”

On Friday, the Conservative government announced that it was changing the House of Commons’ agenda, scheduling third and final reading of its “Combating Terrorism Act” (Bill S-7) to begin Monday and conclude this week. Bill S-7 gives the state vast new powers. These include: the right to hold terrorism suspects for 72 hours without charge, to convene “investigative hearings” at which those believed to have information about an imminent terrorist attack are stripped of their right to remain silent, and the power to place restrictions for up to a year on the movements and rights of persons deemed by the state to be terrorist suspects but against whom they have insufficient evidence to lay charges.

The Conservative government’s decision to change the House of Commons agenda and rush through passage of its anti-terrorism legislation came the same day that US authorities had placed Boston under “lock down,” that is effective martial law, under the pretext of a manhunt for one 19-year-old suspect.

US authorities have been quick to trumpet the Canadian claims of a thwarted terrorist attack—claims that boost their own efforts to portray North America as under siege from terrorists and justify a vast expansion of the national-security apparatus and coercive powers of the state. The US ambassador to Canada, David Jacobson, issued a statement Monday saying the arrests of Esseghaier and Jaser “were the result of extensive cross-border cooperation” and had underscored “that we face serious and real threats.”

As for the Canadian authorities’ claims about the substance of the alleged Toronto railway terror plot, they should be treated with the utmost caution and skepticism.

In Canada, as in the US, the “war on terror’ has been used by Liberal and Conservative governments alike as a pretext to justify imperialist intervention and erect the scaffolding of a police state.

In 2006, the RCMP staged the dramatic arrest of 18 people, almost all of them young people and some not even 18, whom they accused of preparing extensive terrorist attacks, including blowing up the parliament buildings. It subsequently emerged that the two most incriminating actions of the “Toronto 18” had been facilitated by police provocateurs. One police agent had provided the arms instruction at a “terrorist training camp,” while another had provided phony bomb-making ingredients. Nevertheless, eleven of the eighteen were convicted and most of these given lengthy prison terms.

Both Esseghaier and Jaser have protested their innocence.

At a court appearance in Montreal Tuesday, Esseghaier, a Tunisian-born Ph.D. student with expertise in nanotechnology, said in response to the charges, “These conclusions are being reached based on facts that are nothing but words and appearances.” Judge Pierre Labelle promptly ordered him to say no more, then shut down the hearing.

According to Jaser’s lawyer, Norris, “My client is in a state of shock and disbelief that this happening to him. He intends to defend himself vigorously.”

Norris added that, “the public should wait for the evidence, not [base its judgments on] a press conference.” He also took exception to the police’s attempt to present his client as a non-Canadian, noting that the Palestinian refugee has lived with his family in Canada for the past twenty years.

At Monday’s press conference, the RCMP asserted that Esseghaier and Jaser had acted under the “direction and guidance” of “al-Qaeda elements located in Iran.”

The RCMP said that they had no evidence of Iranian government involvement. However, in the past Washington has accused the Iranian government—notwithstanding its long history of bitter enmity with the Sunni fundamentalist al-Qaeda—of allowing al-Qaeda to use Iran as a conduit for money and operatives. Ottawa and Washington may now attempt to revive these dubious allegations and use them as part of their longstanding campaign to bully Iran and to whip up popular support for military aggression against the Iranian people.

The Harper Conservative government, which has declared itself Israel’s strongest ally and has expanded Canada’s decades’ old military-strategic alliance with Washington, broke off diplomatic relations with Teheran last summer. In justifying this action, Conservative Foreign Minister John Baird labeled Iran “the most significant threat to global peace and security in the world today.”

Iran, for its part, has angrily rejected the claims of an Iranian connection to the reputed terrorist plot in Canada. Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said Iran opposes “terrorist and violent action that would jeopardize lives of innocent people” and emphasized that al-Qaeda has “no compatibility with Iran in political and ideological fields.”

Mehmanparast also pointed to the hypocrisy and cynicism of Canada’s government which routinely attacks Iran as supporter of terrorism, while backing the US-orchestrated campaign to overthrow the Syrian government—a campaign in which Islamacist forces, some of them openly aligned with al-Qaeda, are serving as shock troops. “The same current,” said Mehmanparast, “is killing people in Syria while enjoying Canada’s support.”

Workers and young people should oppose all attempts on the part of Canada’s elite to use the purported Toronto terror plot to attack democratic rights—beginning with Bill S-7—or to justify imperialist aggression.

US Ramps up Plans for Military Intervention in Syria

April 24th, 2013 by Joseph Kishore

The United States and the major European powers are escalating plans for a direct military intervention in Syria.

The aim of US maneuvers, including a flurry of diplomatic visits this week, is to secure the downfall of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a key ally of Iran, while putting in place a government that will operate under the control of Washington.

Last week, top US military officials announced that they would be deploying 200 troops to Syria’s neighbor to the south, Jordan. Officials made clear that this was an initial deployment of forces to set up headquarters near the border with Syria, preparing the way for sending 20,000 or more troops in the coming months.

This act of military aggression has been followed this week by a series of threats and pledges for expanded aid to Syrian opposition forces.

Responding to unsubstantiated allegations by Israel that Syria has used chemical weapons, US Secretary of State John Kerry declared at a NATO council meeting in Brussels on Tuesday that it was necessary to “carefully and collectively consider how NATO is prepared to respond to protect its members from a Syrian threat, including any potential chemical weapons threat.”

The Obama administration has previously declared chemical weapons use to be a “red line” that would spark an aggressive response.

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Ramussen added that the members of the alliance, which includes Syria’s northern neighbor Turkey, “have all plans ready to ensure effective defense and protection of Turkey.”

The chemical weapons claims from Israel are based on photographs supplied by opposition forces relating to a battle that took place near Aleppo on March 19. The Assad regime has claimed that it was the rebels, not government forces, who used the weapons.

Last week, Britain and France made their own charges of chemical weapons use in a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, based on soil samples provided by Western-backed forces.

Russian Foreign Secretary Sergei Lavrov noted that the US and European powers had blocked an investigation into claims of chemical weapons use. “Instead of sending a group of experts to a concrete location near Aleppo, as it was promised,” Lavrov said, “they started demanding the Syrian authority give access to all facilities on Syrian territory. They started to require allowing them to interrogate all citizens on the territory of Syria.”

He added, “It is an attempt to politicize the issue and attempt to give the same requirements to Syria as were given to Iraq long ago, where nuclear weapons were looked for.”

The Obama administration has not yet officially adopted the position that Syria used chemical weapons, seeking more time to prepare its military escalation and put in place and supply a suitable coalition to take power from Assad.

Over the weekend, at a meeting in Istanbul of the 11 “core” members of the Friends of Syria group, Kerry announced the US would double its “non-lethal” assistance to the so-called “rebels” to $250 million.

According to Reuters, a US official said Friday that this aid “could include for the first time battlefield support equipment such as body armor and night-vision goggles.” The news agency continued, “US officials have said in the past that the equipment could include armored vehicles and advanced communications equipment, but Kerry gave no specifics.”

With unbridled cynicism, Kerry—the head of a state that has been stoking up a sectarian civil war in Syria, having inflicted a catastrophe on Iraq—declared that expanded intervention was necessary to prevent Syria from “being torn apart and perhaps breaking up into enclaves [with the] potential of sectarian violence which this region knows there is too much of.”

On Monday, the European Union announced that it too was expanding its aid to the Syrian opposition, while also allowing European importers to purchase oil from pro-Western Syrian groups.

Since the beginning of its efforts to instigate civil war in Syria, the United States has relied heavily on Islamic fundamentalist forces, particularly the Al Nusra front, which recently officially declared its allegiance to Al Qaeda. Saudi Arabia and Qatar have supplied weapons to these forces, while the US has been engaged in covert operations to send Islamist forces from Libya and other countries to assist in the campaign against Assad.

However, as Washington prepares more direct efforts to bring down Assad, there is concern that these forces could come to power, gaining control of chemical weapons stockpiles and posing a threat to US interests and allies, including Israel.

At the weekend meeting where Kerry announced plans to double US aid, he secured an agreement that all funds from the Friends of Syria group would go through the opposition Military Council command, headed by Salim Idriss, a former general in Assad’s military who is now close to the US. The Obama administration is hoping that Idriss can cobble together a government, including sections of the Syrian military, that will serve as a suitable proxy for American interests.

The decision to funnel money through Idriss was, according to Kerry “one of the most important single things that was agreed on” at the meeting.

Obama himself met on Tuesday with Qatar’s Emir Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, a key supplier of weapons to the Syrian opposition, discussing, among other things, the future of arms shipments. Tensions have grown between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, on the one hand, and Washington, on the other, because the two Gulf states have funneled the bulk of their military aid to jihadist militias, including those linked to Al Qaeda.

Obama said that the two countries need to “pursue common strategies” in order to be “a force for good for the entire region.” Speaking alongside the head of the reactionary Gulf fiefdom, he added that the “huge tragedy” in Syria could be resolved if the current government “finds an exit, and new people who believe in democracy take its place.”

US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is in the midst of a trip throughout the Middle East that includes Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). He is finalizing details of a $10 billion US arms deal with Israel, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, directed against Iran. According to the New York Times, the package includes “tilt-rotor Osprey aircraft, which can be used for transporting troops and patrolling borders and nearby seas,” two dozen F-16 warplanes to the UAE, and air-to-ground precision guided missiles to both the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

“Two systems to be sold to Israel—a new generation of aerial refueling tankers and advanced missiles that home in on radar signals to destroy air-defense sites—would be important in any attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities,” the Times noted.

In Israel, Hagel said on Sunday that the weapons sale was “another very clear signal to Iran.” He added, referring to the US and Israel, “This is a difficult and dangerous time, this is a time when friends and allies must remain close, closer than ever.”

Following his meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Hagel stopped in Amman, Jordan for discussions with the monarchy’s top military commander, General Meshal al-Zaben. According to the Washington Post, the two “discussed instability along Jordan’s northern border with Syria and reviewed various contingency plans, including options for dealing with Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile”—i.e., military intervention in Syria.

The massive escalation of military violence in the Middle East, led by the United States, threatens to engulf the entire area in a regional war that could lead to the deaths of millions of people. A regional war could also quickly involve Russia and China, traditional allies of both Syria and Iran.

Only a few months into its second term, the Obama administration is setting a course with catastrophic consequences for the people of the Middle East, the United States and the entire world.

BP Spills Coffee

April 24th, 2013 by Global Research News

by UCB Comedy

This is humor, but at the same time it tells us something important about corporate decision making and environmental degradation…

A small spill on a very large table…

Its encroaching on my map of Louisiana

It will destroy the fish…

I have a brilliant idea…

More coffee spilled

Garbage in the coffee

Wait for three hours

How big is the spill? Pretty Major

Oh my God. …

What Happened?

***

 

Who Radicalized the Boston Bomber?

Just as the U.S. supported Bin Laden and the precursor of Al Qaeda in order to fight the Soviets, the U.S. has supported Chechen terrorists in order to fight Russia.

Today, Russian newspaper Izvestia alleges that the older Boston Tamarlan bombing brother attended a workshop – sponsored by an American organization – on destabilizing the Russian satellite states:

At the disposal of “Izvestia” has documents Counterintelligence Department Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia, confirming that the Georgian organization “Fund of Caucasus” [here's their website], which cooperates with the U.S. non-profit organization “Jamestown” (the board of directors of NGOs previously entered one of the ideologists of U.S. foreign policy, Zbigniew Brzezinski), was engaged in recruiting residents North Caucasus to work in the interests of the United States and Georgia.

According to the reports of Colonel Chief Directorate Counterintelligence Department Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia Gregory Chanturia to the Minister of Internal Affairs Irakli Garibashvili, “Caucasian fund” in cooperation with the Foundation “Jamestown” in the summer of 2012 conducted workshops and seminars for young people of the Caucasus, including its Russian part. Some of them attended Tsarnaev Tamerlane, who was in Russia from January to July 2012.

“Caucasian fund” writes Tchanturia was established November 7, 2008, just after the Georgian-Ossetian conflict, “to control the processes taking place in the North Caucasus region.” Accordingly, the Department of the Interior Ministry counterintelligence case was brought intelligence operations called “DTV”. Main purpose is to recruit young people and intellectuals of the North Caucasus to enhance instability and extremism in the southern regions of Russia.

***

In addition, Colonel counterintelligence Tbilisi reports that security forces in Chechnya through Georgia “Caucasian fund” and fund “Jamestown” are sympathetic to the Georgian people, who are invited to various events in the republic under the innocent pretexts. In these seminars, the Russians are recruiting and preparing acts of terrorism.

***

Director General of the National Strategy Council Valery Hamsters argues that exaggerated the force of external enemy in Georgia may be beneficial to the management of the North Caucasian republics. [In other words, they are creating a strategy of tension.]

- I think the danger is exaggerated Georgian factor – the expert believes. – Personally, I have no doubt that Georgia only deals with the introduction of its spies and recruit Russian citizens.

***

Jamestown Foundation has repeatedly demonstrated its interest in Georgia and the state of affairs in Russia’s North Caucasus. In 2007, the Foundation held a seminar “The Future of Ingushetia,” which was attended by former fighters of Aslan Maskhadov.

***

The Russian Foreign Ministry has repeatedly responded to the ongoing policy of the fund, handing over a protest note to U.S. in Moscow.

Izvestia – being a Russian state-run newspaper – obviously has an axe to grind, and is biased against Georgian interests. However, the Russian government contracted the U.S. multiple times to warn them about Tamerlan Tsarnaev … who was on a U.S. watch list for terrorism.

The sponsor of the seminar – the Jamestown Foundation – was founded with help from CIA director William Casey, has extensive links to U.S. intelligence and defense agencies, and is closely connected with key Neocons.

The United States agreed to sell Israel $10 Billion worth of American military equipment for a future war with Iran. 

Israel’s newspaper ‘Haaretz’ reported that Maj. Gen. (ret.) Amos Yadlin, the former director of Military Intelligence said “We are headed toward a collision course by the end of this year” in reference to Iran’s alleged nuclear program.

Yadlin is head of Israel’s influential Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) located at Tel Aviv University.  In the report titled ‘Israel’s former MI chief: Iran will cross nuclear ‘red line’ by summer’, Yadlin referred to Prime Minister Benjamin Natanyahu’s “red line” he drew at the United Nations demonstrating how close Iran is to a nuclear bomb.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Natanyahu at the United NationsYadlin was quoted as saying: “Israel will, in fact, be the first to have to reach a decision. It is not party to the negotiations [between Iran and the world powers]. At the Iranians’ current rate of production, even to those who today are saying they won’t cross the red line – there is no doubt that by the summer they will cross it” according to the report.

BBC also reported that Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said “The bottom line is that Iran is a threat, a real threat” during his first visit to Israel this past Sunday.  Hagel is following President Obama’s commitment to Israel’s defense capabilities with the sale of KC-135 aerial refueling tankers, anti-air defense missiles and tilt-rotor V-22 Osprey troop transport planes.

Last month during his first visit to Israel, Obama said

“I see this visit as an opportunity to reaffirm the unbreakable bond between our nations, to restate America’s unwavering commitment to Israel’s security and to speak directly to the people of Israel and to your neighbors.”  The deal also includes 25 F-16 Fighting Falcon jets to the United Arab Emirates, another US “Client” state.  Hagel said “Iran presents a threat in its nuclear programme and Israel will make the decisions that Israel must make to protect itself and defend itself.” 

Hagel’s statement allows Israel to make the decision to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities if it feels threatened.  New economic sanctions through a draft Senate legislation is expected to pass both houses of congress with President Obama’s signature by the end of this month.  The Guardian also reported last Sunday that Hagel believes that sanctions on Iran can still work:

But Hagel added the United States and other countries believe there is still time for diplomacy and tough international sanctions to have an impact.

“The military option is one option that remains on the table, must remain on the table,” he said. “But military options, I think most of us feel, should be the last option.”

A new set of economic sanctions will be imposed in the near future although new talks between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) are scheduled for May 21st which will be held in Vienna, Austria.

Nota del redattore di Global Research

Global Research pubblicherà una serie di articoli e relazioni, al fine di promuovere la “Verità su Boston”. L’obiettivo è affrontare e sfidare la versione ufficiale degli eventi riguardanti gli attentati di Boston, nonché le interpretazioni contorte dei media mainstream. Invitiamo i nostri lettori a sottoscrivere la “Verità su Boston” e a diffonderla sui social media, i media indipendenti e i blog.

Novemila poliziotti armati, tra cui squadre SWAT, sono stati impiegati in una caccia all’uomo per catturare un studente di 19 anni dell’Università del Massaschussettes, dopo che suo fratello Tamerlan Tsarnaev, il presunto ideatore della strage della maratona di Boston, è stato ucciso dalla polizia, presumibilmente dopo un inseguimento in auto e una sparatoria con la polizia. Ancora prima delle indagini della polizia, lo studente 19enne è già stato giudicato “colpevole”.

Il principio giuridico fondamentale dell’”innocenza fino a prova contraria” è stato smantellato. Secondo il presidente Obama (un laureato alla Harvard Law School), lo studente di Boston è “colpevole” di crimini efferati (senza prove e prima di essere accusato da un tribunale):

Qualunque agenda odiosa abbia spinto questi uomini [sospetti] a tali atti efferati, non potranno prevalere. Qualunque cosa pensavano di poter raggiungere, hanno già fallito… Perché dei giovani che sono cresciuti e hanno studiato qui, nella nostra comunità e con la nostra ospitalità, sono così violenti?

Assieme alle presunte lettere con antrace e ricina, a Washington DC, misteriosamente emerse sulla scia immediata della tragedia di Boston, Washington e i media hanno sottolineato i tenui legami dei fratelli Tsarnaev con l’insurrezione jihadista in Cecenia. Secondo il Wall Street Journal, citando l’opinione di esperti:

…lo sfondo della [famiglia] cecena è forse in parte ciò che ha spinto [i due sospetti] a fare quello che hanno fatto“, ha detto Lorenzo Vidino, esperto di militanti ceceni presso il Centro per gli studi sulla sicurezza di Zurigo “… Un profilo sul social network russo Vkontakte, che sembra appartenere a Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, include una clip della propaganda jihadista che invita a recarsi in Siria per combattere a fianco dei ribelli, citando le parole del profeta Maometto.” [E' ampiamente documentato, si da il caso, che i combattenti stranieri jihadisti in Siria siano reclutati dagli Stati Uniti e dai loro alleati]. (Wall Street Journal, op cit.)

Ciò che è implicito è che, anche se i sospetti non sono legati ad una rete estremista musulmana, il loro patrimonio culturale personale e lo “sfondo” musulmano li inciterebbe, naturalmente, a commettere atti di violenza. In che modo questo concetto, che abitualmente associa i musulmani al terrorismo, ripetuto ad nauseam dai notiziari occidentali, influenza la mentalità umana? Mentre l’identità e le motivazioni dei sospetti sono all’esame degli investigatori della polizia, i fratelli Tsarnaev sono già stati classificati, senza prove a sostegno, “musulmani radicali”. In tutto il Paese i musulmani vengono demonizzati e insultati. Una nuova ondata di islamofobia si è avviata.

La creazione di una nuova leggenda: “la connection cecena”

Una nuova leggenda si disvela: “La connection cecena” che minaccia gli USA. L’islamismo creatosi nella Federazione Russa viene ora “esportato in America”. Propagato dai tabloid in tutti gli Stati Uniti, l’attentato della maratona di Boston del 15 aprile, il Giorno dei Patrioti, viene inesorabilmente comparato all’11 settembre 2001. Secondo il Council of Foreign Relations:

Le forze dell’ordine, a tutti i livelli, hanno fatto progressi nella sorveglianza e nel controllo dagli attentati dell’11 settembre 2001, ma persistono rischi per la sicurezza. Molti esperti dell’antiterrorismo sollecitano una nuova attenzione sulla capacità degli Stati Uniti di resistere e riprendersi da tali incidenti…

La tragedia di Boston viene utilizzata da Washington per inaugurare una nuova ondata di provvedimenti da Stato di polizia nei confronti di diverse categorie di “terroristi interni”? Questo evento catastrofico viene strumentalizzato per favorire la reazione del pubblico contro i musulmani? Viene utilizzato per ricostruire l’accettazione della santa crociata americana avviata durante l’amministrazione Bush, diretta contro un certo numero di Paesi musulmani, i quali avrebbero “dato rifugio a terroristi islamici“?

Secondo il potente Council of Foreign Relations (che esercita un’influenza pervasiva sia alla Casa Bianca che al dipartimento di Stato), gli attentati di Boston, ancora una volta, “sollevano lo spettro del terrorismo sul suolo statunitense, mettendo in evidenza le vulnerabilità di una società libera e aperta“. (Ibid) Contro il terrorismo, la legge marziale, che implica la sospensione delle libertà civili piuttosto che l’applicazione della legge civile, viene proposta quale soluzione. Secondo il segretario di Stato John Kerry, “penso che sia giusto dire che questa intera settimana abbiamo, piuttosto, affrontato direttamente il male”.

Si dispiega massiccio il consenso dei media (tra cui Hollywood) secondo cui gli USA sono ancora una volta sotto attacco. Questa volta, però, i presunti colpevoli sono “terroristi musulmani” non dell’Afghanistan o dell’Arabia Saudita, ma della Federazione Russa:

Se è stata stabilita una connessione tra i sospettati dell’attentato alla maratona e i separatisti ceceni, ciò indicherebbe per la prima volta che i militanti della ex-repubblica sovietica hanno lanciato un attacco mortale al di fuori della Russia. I ribelli ceceni negano qualsiasi legame con gli attentati alla maratona”. (US News)

“La connessione cecena” è ormai parte integrante del nuovo consenso mediatico. La patria americana viene potenzialmente minacciata da terroristi musulmani provenienti dalla Federazione russa, che hanno legami con al-Qaida. C’è anche un programma di politica estera dietro gli attentati. La Casa Bianca ha lasciato intendere che se i “fratelli ceceni” hanno collegamenti con l’Islam radicale, l’amministrazione “potrebbe ampliare gli sforzi dell’intelligence all’estero, nonché ampliare le misure di sorveglianza e di screening negli Stati Uniti.” Inoltre, la nuova narrazione terroristica coinvolge i jihadisti provenienti dalla Federazione russa, piuttosto che dal Medio Oriente. Vi sono implicazioni geopolitiche. Il collegamento ceceno sarà utilizzato dall’amministrazione come un rinnovato pretesto per fare pressioni su Mosca? Che tipo di propaganda mediatica rischia di emergere?

Al-Qaida e la CIA

Il pubblico statunitense viene ingannato. I media occultano attentamente le origini storiche del movimento jihadista in Cecenia e i suoi legami pervasivi con l’intelligence statunitense. Il nocciolo della questione è che il movimento jihadista è una creazione dell’intelligence degli Stati Uniti, che ha anche portato allo sviluppo dell’”Islam politico”. Mentre il ruolo della CIA a sostegno della jihad islamica (tra cui la maggior parte delle organizzazioni affiliate ad al-Qaida), è ampiamente documentato, vi è anche la prova che l’FBI ha segretamente equipaggiato e incitato i terroristi negli Stati Uniti. (Cfr. James Corbett, The Boston Bombings in Context: How the FBI Fosters, Funds and Equips American Terrorists, Global Research, 17 aprile 2013.)

L’agenda della CIA, a partire dalla fine degli anni ’70, era reclutare e addestrare “combattenti per la libertà” (mujahidin) jihadisti per condurre “una guerra di liberazione” contro il governo laico filo-sovietico dell’Afghanistan. La “Jihad islamica” (o guerra santa contro i sovietici), divenne parte integrante delle manovra d’intelligence della CIA. Ciò fu sostenuto dagli Stati Uniti e dall’Arabia Saudita, con un ruolo significativo del finanziamento generato dal narcotraffico della Mezzaluna dorata:

Nel marzo 1985, il presidente Reagan firmava la National Security Decision Directive 166… [che] autorizzava l’intensificazione degli aiuti militari segreti ai mujahidin, e chiariva che la guerra segreta afghana aveva un nuovo obiettivo: sconfiggere le truppe sovietiche in Afghanistan attraverso le azioni segrete e incoraggiare il ritiro sovietico. La nuova assistenza segreta degli USA ebbe inizio con un drammatico aumento delle forniture di armi, un aumento continuo da 65.000 tonnellate all’anno fino al 1987… così come un “incessante flusso” di specialisti della CIA e del Pentagono che si recavano nella sede dei servizi segreti dell’ISI pakistana, sulla strada principale per Rawalpindi, in Pakistan. Lì, gli specialisti della CIA incontravano gli ufficiali dei servizi segreti pakistani per pianificare le operazioni dei ribelli afghani.” (Steve Coll, The Washington Post, 19 luglio 1992.)

Mujahidin di numerosi paesi musulmani furono reclutati dalla CIA. Jihadisti provenienti dalle repubbliche musulmane (e dalle regioni autonome) dell’Unione Sovietica furono reclutati. (Per un’analisi più approfondita vedasi Michel Chossudovsky, Al-Qaida e la “guerra al terrorismo”, Global Research, 20 gennaio 2008)

Al-Qaida e la Jihad in Cecenia

La Cecenia è una regione autonoma della Federazione Russa. Tra le reclute per l’addestramento specializzato nei primi anni ’90, vi era il capo della ribellione cecena Shamil Basaev che immediatamente dopo la guerra fredda, guidò la prima guerra secessionista della Cecenia contro la Russia.

Nel corso del suo addestramento in Afghanistan, Shamil Basaev si collegò con il veterano comandante dei mujahidin, il saudita “al-Qattab”, che aveva combattuto come volontario in Afghanistan. Appena pochi mesi dopo il ritorno di Basaev a Groznij, al-Qattab fu invitato (all’inizio del 1995) ad istituire una base militare in Cecenia per l’addestramento dei mujahidin. Secondo la BBC, l’invio di al-Qattab in Cecenia era stato “organizzato attraverso l’Organizzazione [Internazionale] saudita Islamic Relief, un’organizzazione religiosa militante finanziata da moschee e ricchi individui che inviano fondi in Cecenia”. (BBC, 29 settembre 1999).

L’evidenza suggerisce che Shamil Basaev avesse legami con l’intelligence USA a partire dalla fine degli anni ’80. Fu coinvolto nel colpo di Stato del 1991 che portò alla disgregazione dell’Unione Sovietica. Successivamente fu coinvolto nella dichiarazione unilaterale d’indipendenza della Cecenia dalla Federazione Russa, nel novembre 1991. Nel 1992 ha guidato una rivolta contro i combattenti armeni nell’enclave del Nagorno-Karabakh. Fu anche presente in Abkhazia, la regione separatista in gran parte musulmana, della Georgia.

La prima guerra cecena (1994-1996) esplose immediatamente dopo il crollo dell’Unione Sovietica. Faceva parte di una operazione segreta degli Stati Uniti per destabilizzare la Federazione Russa. La seconda guerra cecena venne combattuta nel 1999-2000. In linea di massima, le stesse tattiche terroristiche applicate dai guerriglieri in Afghanistan vennero attuate anche in Cecenia. Secondo Yossef Bodansky, direttore della Task Force sul terrorismo e la guerra non convenzionale del Congresso degli Stati Uniti, l’insurrezione in Cecenia era stata pianificata durante un summit segreto di Hizb Allah Internazionale tenutosi nel 1996 a Mogadiscio, in Somalia. (Levon Sevunts, “Who’s Calling The Shots? Chechen conflict finds Islamic roots in Afghanistan and Pakistan“, The Gazzette, Montreal, 26 ottobre 1999.) E’ ovvio che il coinvolgimento dell’ISI pakistana in Cecenia “va ben oltre la fornitura ai ceceni di armi e capacità:L’ISI e i suoi rappresentanti fondamentalisti islamici in effetti guidano questa guerra.” (Ibid.)

L’ISI è permanentemente collegata alla CIA. Ciò significa che l’intelligence degli Stati Uniti, usando l’Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) del Pakistan come tramite, dirigeva il tiro nella guerra in Cecenia. Il principale oleodotto della Russia transita attraverso la Cecenia e il Daghestan. Nonostante la condanna di Washington del “terrorismo islamico”, i beneficiari delle guerre in Cecenia furono i conglomerati petroliferi anglo-statunitensi che si contendevano il controllo completo sulle risorse petrolifere e gli oleodotti provenienti dal bacino del Mar Caspio.

I due principali eserciti ribelli ceceni (che all’epoca erano guidati dai comandanti Shamil Basaev e emiro al-Qattab), stimati in 35.000 uomini, furono sostenuti dalla CIA e dal suo omologo pakistano, l’ISI, svolgendo un ruolo chiave nell’organizzare e addestrare l’esercito ribelle ceceno: “

[Nel 1994] l’ISI pakistana [in collegamento con la CIA] organizzò Basaev e i suoi fidati luogotenenti, sottoponendoli ad un intensivo indottrinamento islamico e all’addestramento alla guerriglia nella provincia di Khost, nell’Afghanistan, presso il campo Amir Muawia, istituito nei primi anni ’80 dalla CIA e dall’ISI e gestito dal famoso signore della guerra afghano Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. Nel luglio 1994, dopo la promozione ad Amir Muawia, Basaev venne trasferito nella base di Markaz-i-Dawar in Pakistan per essere addestrato in tecniche avanzate di guerriglia. In Pakistan, Basaev incontrò i vertici militari e dei servizi segreti pakistani: il ministro della Difesa generale Aftab Shahban Mirani, il ministro degli Interni generale Naserullah Babar e il capo del settore dell’ISI incaricato di sostenere le cause islamiche, generale Javed Ashraf (ora tutti in pensione). Tali legami ad alto livello si dimostrarono molto utili per Basaev.” (Ibid.)

Dopo il suo addestramento e indottrinamento, Basaev venne assegnato alla guida dell’assalto contro le truppe federali russe nella prima guerra cecena, nel 1995. La sua organizzazione aveva anche sviluppato forti legami con gruppi criminali a Mosca, nonché con il crimine organizzato albanese e l’UCK. (Vitalij Romanov e Viktor Jadukha, “Chechen Front Moves To Kosovo“, Segodnia, Mosca, 23 febbraio 2000) L’insurrezione cecena sul modello della jihad in Afghanistan sponsorizzata dalla CIA, servì anche come modello per diversi interventi militari sponsorizzati da USA-NATO, tra cui Bosnia (1992-1995), Kosovo (1999), Libia (2011) Siria (2011).

I ribelli ceceni: un’operazione segreta degli Stati Uniti per destabilizzare la Federazione Russa

Nel 1994-1996 la guerra cecena, istigata dai principali movimenti ribelli contro Mosca, servì a minare le istituzioni statali laiche. L’adozione della legge islamica nelle società musulmane, in gran parte secolarizzate, dell’ex Unione Sovietica, favoriva gli interessi strategici degli Stati Uniti nella regione. Un sistema parallelo di governi locali, controllati dalla milizia islamica, era stato impiantato in molte località in Cecenia. In alcune piccole città e villaggi, dei campi per la Sharia islamica furono istituiti nell’ambito di un regime di terrorismo politico. Gli aiuti finanziari dall’Arabia Saudita e dagli Stati del Golfo agli eserciti ribelli erano subordinati all’installazione dei tribunali della sharia, nonostante la forte opposizione della popolazione. Il Giudice Principale ed emiro dei tribunali della sharia in Cecenia era lo sceicco Abu Omar, che “giunse in Cecenia nel 1995 e si unì ai ranghi dei mujahidin guidati da Ibn-al-Qattab… Si mise a insegnare l’Islam con l’Aqidah corretta ai mujahidin ceceni, molti dei quali avevano credenze errate e distorte sull’Islam.” (Global Muslim News, dicembre 1997).

Il movimento wahabita dell’Arabia Saudita non solo tentava di abbattere le istituzioni statali civili in Daghestan e in Cecenia, ma anche cercava di eliminare i tradizionali leader musulmani sufi. Infatti, la resistenza ai ribelli islamici e ai combattenti stranieri in Daghestan si basava sull’alleanza dei governi locali (laici) con gli sceicchi sufi:

Questi gruppi [wahabiti] costituivano una piccolissima ma ben finanziata e ben armata minoranza. Proponevano questi attentai per terrorizzare il cuore delle masse… Creando anarchia ed illegalità, questi gruppi possono far valere la proprio dura ed intollerante versione dell’Islam… Questi gruppi non rappresentano il punto di vista comune dell’Islam, adottato dalla stragrande maggioranza dei musulmani e degli studiosi islamici, per i quali l’Islam esemplifica l’esempio perfezionato di civiltà e moralità. Rappresentano ciò che non è altro che un movimento anarchico con un’etichetta islamica… Il loro intento non è tanto creare uno Stato islamico, ma creare uno stato di confusione in cui possano prosperare.” (Mateen Siddiqui, “Differentiating Islam from Militant ‘Islamists’”, San Francisco Chronicle, 21 settembre 1999)

La seconda guerra cecena venne avviata da Vladimir Putin nel 1999, con l’obiettivo di consolidare il ruolo del governo centrale e di sconfiggere i terroristi ceceni sponsorizzati dagli USA contro la Russia.

False Flags

Il 19enne sospettato viene utilizzato come capro espiatorio. Non è neanche nato in Cecenia. Mentre lui e suo fratello non avevano alcun collegamento con il movimento jihadista, i media statunitensi creano attentamente una “connection cecena”, puntando a un modello di comportamento intrinseco associato ai musulmani:

“I fratelli hanno vissuto per 10 anni negli Stati Uniti, nel periodo formativo della loro vita, presentando un comportamento normale per degli immigrati di prima generazione, ha detto Mitchell Silber, un ex agente del dipartimento di Polizia di New York. “La domanda è, che cosa ha catalizzato il cambiamento? Il nazionalismo ceceno? Hanno iniziato con il nazionalismo ceceno e in qualche modo sono passati alla causa della Jihad panislamista” (“Renewed Fears About Homegrown Terror Threat”, WSJ, 20 aprile 2013)

Ci sono prove, tuttavia, dalle testimonianze dei familiari che i fratelli Tsarnaev erano seguiti dall’FBI da diversi anni, prima degli attentati di Boston, e sono stati oggetto di ricorrenti minacce e molestie. Confermato dal Wall Street Journal, l’FBI avrebbe “intervistato” Tamerlan Tsarnaev nel 2011. (Ibid.) Ciò che è evidente è che il governo degli Stati Uniti non sia impegnato a combattere i terroristi. Tutto il contrario. L’intelligence statunitense ha reclutato e guidato i terroristi per più di 30 anni, mentre allo stesso tempo sosteneva l’idea assurda che questi terroristi, che sono in buona fede una “risorsa dell’intelligence” della CIA, costituiscono una minaccia al territorio statunitense. Queste presunte minacce da parte di “un nemico esterno”, fanno parte di una manovra propagandistica dietro la “guerra globale al terrorismo” (GWOT).

Qual è la verità?

Lo sviluppo di una milizia terrorista islamista in diversi Paesi del mondo, è parte di un complesso piano dell’intelligence degli Stati Uniti. Mentre i fratelli Tsarnaev vengono casualmente accusati, senza prove, di avere legami con i terroristi ceceni, la domanda importante è chi c’è dietro i terroristi ceceni? Con una logica completamente contorta, i protagonisti della ‘guerra globale al terrorismo’ contro i musulmani sono gli architetti de facto del “terrorismo islamico”.

La mentalità da “guerra globale al terrorismo”

La mentalità da “guerra al terrorismo” costruisce il consenso: milioni di statunitensi vengono portati a credere che un apparato di polizia militarizzata sia necessario per proteggere la democrazia. Non si rendono conto che il governo degli Stati Uniti è la principale fonte del terrorismo sia nazionale che internazionale. I media aziendali sono il braccio propagandistico di Washington, che ritraggono i musulmani come una minaccia alla sicurezza nazionale. A questo punto della nostra storia, al crocevia della crisi economica e sociale mondiale, gli attentati di Boston hanno un ruolo centrale. Giustificano lo Stato di Sicurezza Nazionale. L’evoluzione degli Stati Uniti a Stato di Polizia viene quindi accolta come mezzo per proteggere le libertà civili. Con la scusa della lotta al terrorismo, le uccisioni extragiudiziali, la sospensione dell’habeas corpus e la tortura vengono giustamente considerati come mezzi per difendere la Costituzione degli Stati Uniti. Allo stesso tempo, i terroristi, creati e supportati dalla CIA, vengono utilizzati per partecipare ad azioni  terroristiche “false flag” al fine di giustificare l’avvio di una crociata militare globale contro i Paesi musulmani, a cui capita di essere delle economie petrolifere.

Tommy-Franks-Reuters-960x715

“La produzione di stragi”

L’ex comandante del CENTCOM, il generale Tommy Franks che guidò l’invasione dell’Iraq nel 2003, aveva delineato uno scenario di ciò che descrisse come “un grave evento che causa vittime” sul suolo statunitense, (un secondo 11 settembre). Implicita nella dichiarazione del generale Franks era l’idea e la convinzione che la morte di civili sia necessaria per sensibilizzare e avere il sostegno dell’opinione pubblica alla “guerra globale al terrorismo”.

[Un] grave evento terroristico che causi numerose vittime [avverrà] in qualche parte del mondo occidentale; potrebbe accadere negli Stati Uniti d’America, spingendo la nostra popolazione a mettere in discussione la nostra Costituzione e a iniziare a militarizzare il nostro Paese al fine di evitare il ripetersi di un altro grande evento che causi numerose vittime”. (Intervista al generale Tommy Franks, Cigar Aficionado, dicembre 2003)

Mentre l’attentato di Boston è di natura completamente diversa dall’”evento catastrofico” alluso dal generale Tommy Franks, l’amministrazione, comunque, appare impregnata dalla logica della “militarizzare del nostro Paese”, come mezzo per “proteggere la democrazia.” Gli eventi di Boston vengono già utilizzati per galvanizzare il sostegno pubblico a un ampio apparato dell’antiterrorismo interno. Quest’ultimo verrebbe usato assieme agli omicidi extragiudiziali contro i cosiddetti “terroristi radicalizzati interni”:

Dal 2001 la politica dell’antiterrorismo degli Stati Uniti si è concentrata in gran parte nell’uccidere i terroristi all’estero o impedendogli di entrare negli Stati Uniti, ma gli attentati di Boston dimostrano come la diffusione delle tattiche terroristiche trascenda facilmente le frontiere. Contrastare piccoli gruppi di individui negli Stati Uniti può essere un compito tormentato”.

Bruce Riedel, direttore del Progetto Intelligence presso la Brookings Institution, un think tank apartitico di Washington, ha detto che l’attentato di Boston è probabilmente un presagio. “Siamo propensi a vederlo come il futuro fronte delle minacce terroristiche negli Stati Uniti“, ha detto, aggiungendo che il caso di un piccolo numero di radicali che vivono e complottano negli Stati Uniti, è “il peggiore incubo della comunità dell’antiterrorismo: il terrorismo interno di estremisti che acquisiscono le proprie capacità tramite Internet.” (WSJ, 20 aprile, op. cit.)

Il “grave evento terroristico che causa numerose vittime” è stato confermato dal generale Franks quale cruciale punto di svolta politico. Gli attentati di Boston costituiscono un punto di transizione, uno spartiacque che contribuisce in definitiva alla graduale sospensione del governo costituzionale?

Independent Media Delivers Truth and AccountabilityBOSTON TRUTH: The “Chechen Connection”, Al Qaeda and the Boston Marathon BombingsGlobal Research, 22 aprile 2013

Traduzione di Alessandro Lattanzio – SitoAurora

Global Research Editor’s Note

There are many walls and Apartheid security fences in different regions of the World. 

This collection by Arthur Kalmeyer  which includes selected maps and photos  was originally published in Russian.

Edited by Global Research

 

 

 

 

WALLS AND SECURITY FENCES: WORLD  OVERVIEW

(See Map below)

MOROCCO

The Great Wall of Moroccan known as the “security zone”. This wall, 2,720 kilometers in length, protects from hostile actions Morocco Polisario guerrillas.

 NORTH AND SOUTH KOREA. THE DEMILITARIZED ZONE

INDIA AND PAKISTAN

India has built a wall of 3,300 km between Indian held Kashmir (Jammu Kasmir) and Pakistan.

BOTSWANA- ZIMBABWE

Botswana has built an electrified metal fence on the border with Zimbabwe. According to official sources, it was built for the sole purpose to prevent “the spread of an infectious disease of cattle (hoof and mouth desease) from farms located in Zimbabwe.” In fact, the electrified fence was built to protect the border of Botswana from people fleeing from neighboring Zimbabwe.

SAUDI ARABIA AND YEMEN

Saudi Arabia has built a reinforced concrete wall on the border with Yemen, equipped with the most modern electronic surveillance devices.

The wall “protects” Saudi Arabia against migrants from Yemen. The Yemeni tribes claim that the Saudis have established the wall 7 km within the territory of Yemen.

SAUDI ARABIA AND IRAQ

Saudi Arabia also built a 900-km wall along the border with Iraq.

Uzbekistan separated by a wall from Tajikistan. The United Arab Emirates are building a fence on the border with Oman, and Kuwait is busy strengthening of 215 km-long wall along the border with Iraq.

CYPRUS


THAILAND AND MALAYSIA

Since 2007, Thailand is building a fence on its borders with Malaysia, Already built 75 kilometers. Thai troops patrolled the fence.


THE UNITED STATES AND MEXICO

The Fence separating the United States from Mexico.

 

SPAIN AND MOROCCO

The high voltage electrified walls in the Spanish territories of Ceuta and Melilla,

NORTHERN IRELAND

The famous “Rolling Ireland,” separating Catholic and Protestant areas of Northern Ireland.

ISRAEL AND PALESTINE

The Wall of Shame built by the State of Israel.

 

No Bank Deposits Will Be Spared from Confiscation

April 24th, 2013 by Matthias Chang

I challenge anyone to prove me wrong that confiscation of bank deposits is legalized daylight robbery

Bank depositors in the UK and USA may think that their bank deposits would not be confiscated as they are insured and no government would dare embark on such a drastic action to bail out insolvent banks.

Before I explain why confiscation of bank deposits in the UK and US is a certainty and absolutely legal, I need all readers of this article to do the following:

Ask your local police, sheriffs, lawyers, judges the following questions:

1) If I place my money with a lawyer as a stake-holder and he uses the money without my consent, has the lawyer committed a crime?

2) If I store a bushel of wheat or cotton in a warehouse and the owner of the warehouse sold my wheat/cotton without my consent or authority, has the warehouse owner committed a crime?

3) If I place monies with my broker (stock or commodity) and the broker uses my monies for other purposes and or contrary to my instructions, has the broker committed a crime?

I am confident that the answer to the above questions is a Yes!

However, for the purposes of this article, I would like to first highlight the situation of the deposit / storage of wheat with a warehouse owner in relation to the deposit of money / storage with a banker.

First, you will notice that all wheat is the same i.e. the wheat in one bushel is no different from the wheat in another bushel. Likewise with cotton, it is indistinguishable. The deposit of a bushel of wheat with the warehouse owner in law constitutes a bailment. Ownership of the bushel of wheat remains with you and there is no transfer of ownership at all to the warehouse owner.

And as stated above, if the owner sells the bushel of wheat without your consent or authority, he has committed a crime as well as having committed a civil wrong (a tort) of conversion – converting your property to his own use and he can be sued.

Let me use another analogy. If a cashier in a supermarket removes $100 from the till on Friday to have a frolic on Saturday, he has committed theft, even though he may replace the $100 on Monday without the knowledge of the owner / manager of the supermarket. The $100 the cashier stole on Friday is also indistinguishable from the $100 he put back in the till on Monday. In both situations – the wheat in the warehouse and the $100 dollar bill in the till, which have been unlawfully misappropriated would constitute a crime.

Keep this principle and issue at the back of your mind.

Now we shall proceed with the money that you have deposited with your banker.

I am sure that most of you have little or no knowledge about banking, specifically fractional reserve banking.

Since you were a little kid, your parents have encouraged you to save some money to instil in you the good habit of money management.

And when you grew up and got married, you in turn instilled the same discipline in your children. Your faith in the integrity of the bank is almost absolute. Your money in the bank would earn an interest income.

And when you want your money back, all you needed to do is to withdraw the money together with the accumulated interest. Never for a moment did you think that you had transferred ownership of your money to the bank. Your belief was grounded in like manner as the owner of the bushel of wheat stored in the warehouse.

However, this belief is and has always been a lie. You were led to believe this lie because of savvy advertisements by the banks and government assurances that your money is safe and is protected by deposit insurance.

But, the insurance does not cover all the monies that you have deposited in the bank, but to a limited amount e.g. $250,000 in the US by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Germany €100,000, UK £85,000 etc.

But, unlike the owner of the bushel of wheat who has deposited the wheat with the warehouse owner, your ownership of the monies that you have deposited with the bank is transferred to the bank and all you have is the right to demand its repayment. And, if the bank fails to repay your monies (e.g. $100), your only remedy is to sue the bank and if the bank is insolvent you get nothing.

You may recover some of your money if your deposit is covered by an insurance scheme as referred to earlier but in a fixed amount. But, there is a catch here. Most insurance schemes whether backed by the government or not do not have sufficient monies to cover all the deposits in the banking system.

So, in the worst case scenario – a systemic collapse, there is no way for you to get your money back.

In fact, and as illustrated in the Cyprus banking fiasco, the authorities went to the extent of confiscating your deposits to pay the banks’ creditors. When that happened, ordinary citizens and financial analysts cried out that such confiscation was daylight robbery. But, is it?

Surprise, surprise!

It will come as a shock to all of you to know that such daylight robbery is perfectly legal and this has been so for hundreds of years.

Let me explain.

The reason is that unlike the owner of the bushel of wheat whose ownership of the wheat WAS NEVER TRANSFERRED to the warehouse owner when the same was deposited, the moment you deposited your money with the bank, the ownership is transferred to the bank.

Your status is that of A CREDITOR TO THE BANK and the BANK IS IN LAW A DEBTOR to you. You are deemed to have “lent” your money to the bank for the bank to apply to its banking business (even to gamble in the biggest casino in the world – the global derivatives casino).

You have become a creditor, AN UNSECURED CREDITOR. Therefore, by law, in the insolvency of a bank, you as an unsecured creditor stand last in the queue of creditors to be paid out of any funds and or assets which the bank has to pay its creditors. The secured creditors are always first in line to be paid. It is only after secured creditors have been paid and there are still some funds left (usually, not much, more often zilch!) that unsecured creditors are paid and the sums pro-rated among all the unsecured creditors.

This is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

The law has been in existence for hundreds of years and was established in England by the House of Lords in the case Foley v Hill in 1848.

When a customer deposits money with his banker, the relationship that arises is one of creditor and debtor, with the banker liable to repay the money deposited when demanded by the customer. Once money has been paid to the banker, it belongs to the banker and he is free to use the money for his own purpose.

I will now quote the relevant portion of the judgment of the House of Lords handed down by Lord Cottenham, the Lord Chancellor. He stated thus:

Money when paid into a bank, ceases altogether to be the money of the principal… it is then the money of the banker, who is bound to return an equivalent by paying a similar sum to that deposited with him when he is asked for it.

The money paid into the banker’s, is money known by the principal to be placed there for the purpose of being under the control of the banker; it is then the banker’s money; he is known to deal with it as his own; he makes what profit of it he can, which profit he retains himself,…

The money placed in the custody of the banker is, to all intent and purposes, the money of the banker, to do with it as he pleases; he is guilty of no breach of trust in employing it; he is not answerable TO THE PRINCIPAL IF HE PUTS IT INTO JEOPARDY, IF HE ENGAGES IN A HAZARDOUS SPECULATION; he is not bound to keep it or deal with it as the property of the principal, but he is of course answerable for the amount, because he has contracted, having received that money, to repay to the principal, when demanded, a sum equivalent to that paid into his hands.” (quoted in UK Law Essays,  Relationship Between A Banker And Customer,That Of A Creditor/Debtor, emphasis added,)

Holding that the relationship between a banker and his customer was one of debtor and creditor and not one of trusteeship, Lord Brougham said: 

“This trade of a banker is to receive money, and use it as if it were his own, he becoming debtor to the person who has lent or deposited with him the money to use as his own, and for which money he is accountable as a debtor. I cannot at all confound the situation of a banker with that of a trustee, and conclude that the banker is a debtor with a fiduciary character.”

In plain simple English – bankers cannot be prosecuted for breach of trust, because it owes no fiduciary duty to the depositor / customer, as he is deemed to be using his own money to speculate etc. There is absolutely no criminal liability.

The trillion dollar question is, Why has no one in the Justice Department or other government agencies mentioned this legal principle?

The reason why no one dare speak this legal truth is because there would be a run on the banks when all the Joe Six-Packs wise up to the fact that their deposits with the bankers CONSTITUTE IN LAW A LOAN TO THE BANK and the bank can do whatever it likes even to indulge in hazardous speculation such as gambling in the global derivative casino.

The Joe Six-Packs always consider the bank the creditor even when he deposits money in the bank. No depositor ever considers himself as the creditor!

Yes, Eric Holder, the US Attorney-General is right when he said that bankers cannot be prosecuted for the losses suffered by the bank. This is because a banker cannot be prosecuted for losing his “own money” as stated by the House of Lords. This is because when money is deposited with the bank, that money belongs to the banker.

The reason that if a banker is prosecuted it would collapse the entire banking system is a big lie.

The US Attorney-General could not and would not state the legal principle because it would cause a run on the banks when people discover that their monies are not safe with bankers as they can in law use the monies deposited as their own even to speculate.

What is worrisome is that your right to be repaid arises only when you demand payment.

Obviously, when you demand payment, the bank must pay you. But, if you demand payment after the bank has collapsed and is insolvent, it is too late. Your entitlement to be repaid is that of a lonely unsecured creditor and only if there are funds left after liquidation to be paid out to all the unsecured creditors and the remaining funds to be pro-rated. You would be lucky to get ten cents on the dollar.

So, when the Bank of England, the FED and the BIS issued the guidelines which became the template for the Cyprus “bail-in” (which was endorsed by the G-20 Cannes Summit in 2011), it was merely a circuitous way of stating the legal position without arousing the wrath of the people, as they well knew that if the truth was out, there would be a revolution and blood on the streets. It is therefore not surprising that the global central bankers came out with this nonsensical advisory:

“The objective of an effective resolution regime is to make feasible the resolution of financial institutions without severe systemic disruption and without exposing taxpayers to losses, while protecting vital economic functions through mechanisms which make it possible for shareholders and unsecured and uninsured creditors to absorb losses in a manner that respects the hierarchy of claims in liquidation.”(quoted in  FSB Consultative Document: Effective Resolution of Systemically …)

This is the kind of complex technical jargon used by bankers to confuse the people, especially depositors and to cover up what I have stated in plain and simple English in the foregoing paragraphs.

The key words of the BIS guideline are:

“without severe systemic disruptions” (i.e. bank runs),

“while protecting vital economic functions” (i.e. protecting vested interests – bankers),

“unsecured creditors” (i.e. your monies, you are the dummy),

“respects the hierarchy of claims in liquidation” (i.e. you are last in the queue to be paid, after all secured creditors have been paid).

This means all depositors are losers!

Please read this article carefully and spread it far and wide.

You will be doing a favour to all your fellow country men and women and more importantly, your family and relatives.

 

Time to Renounce the “War on Terror”

April 24th, 2013 by Norman Solomon

As a perpetual emotion machine — producing and guzzling its own political fuel — the “war on terror” continues to normalize itself as a thoroughly American way of life and death. Ongoing warfare has become a matter of default routine, pushed along by mainline media and the leadership of both parties in Washington. Without a clear and effective upsurge of opposition from the grassroots, Americans can expect to remain citizens of a war-driven country for the rest of their lives.

Across the United States, many thousands of peeling bumper stickers on the road say: “End this Endless War.” They got mass distribution from MoveOn.org back in 2007, when a Republican was in the White House. Now, a thorough search of the MoveOn website might leave the impression that endless war ended with the end of the George W. Bush presidency.

MoveOn is very big as online groups go, but it is symptomatic of a widespread problem among an array of left-leaning organizations that have made their peace with the warfare state. Such silence assists the Obama administration as it makes the “war on terror” even more resolutely bipartisan and further embedded in the nation’s political structures — while doing immense damage to our economy, siphoning off resources that should go to meet human needs, further militarizing society and undermining civil liberties.

Now, on Capitol Hill, the most overt attempt to call a halt to the “war on terror” is coming from Rep. Barbara Lee, whose bill H.R. 198 would revoke the Authorization for Use of Military Force that Congress approved three days after 9/11. Several months since it was introduced, H.R. 198 only has a dozen co-sponsors. (To send your representative and senators a message of support for Lee’s bill, click here.)

Evidently, in Congress, there is sparse support for repealing the September 2001 blanket authorization for war. Instead, there are growing calls for a larger blanket. Bipartisan Washington is warming to the idea that a new congressional resolution may be needed to give War on Terror 2.0 an expansive framework. Even for the law benders and breakers who manage the executive branch’s war machinery, the language of the September 2001 resolution doesn’t seem stretchable enough to cover the U.S. warfare of impunity that’s underway across the globe . . . with more on the drawing boards.

On Tuesday afternoon, when a Senate Judiciary subcommittee held a hearing on “targeted killing,” the proceedings underscored the great extent of bipartisan overlap for common killing ground. Republican super-hawk Sen. Lindsey Graham lauded President Obama for “targeting people in a very commander-in-chief-like way.” And what passed for senatorial criticism took as a given the need for continuing drone strikes. In the words of the subcommittee’s chairman, Sen. Dick Durbin, “More transparency is needed to maintain the support of the American people and the international community” for those attacks.

This is classic tinkering with war machinery. During the first several years of the Vietnam War, very few senators went beyond mild kibitzing about how the war could be better waged. In recent years, during President Obama’s escalation of the war in Afghanistan that tripled the U.S. troop levels in that country, senators like John Kerry (now secretary of state) kept offering their helpful hints for how to fine tune the war effort.

The “war on terror” is now engaged in various forms of military intervention in an estimated two-dozen countries, killing and maiming uncounted civilians while creating new enemies. It infuses foreign policy with unhinged messages hidden in plain sight, like a purloined letter proclaiming “What goes around won’t come around” and telling the world “Do as we say, not as we do.”

Political ripple effects from the Boston Marathon bombings have only begun. While public opinion hasn’t gotten carried away with fear, much of the news media — television in particular — is stoking the fires of fear but scarcely raising a single question that might challenge the basic assumptions of a forever “war on terror.”

After a city has been traumatized and a country has empathized, a constructive takeaway would be that it’s terribly wrong to set off bombs that kill and maim. But that outlook is a nonstarter the moment it might be applied to victims of U.S. drones and cruise missiles in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere. The message seems to be that Americans should never be bombed but must keep bombing.

The death of Richie Havens days ago is a loss and reminder. Each of us has only so many days ahead. We may as well live them with deeper meaning, for peace and social justice. To hear Havens performing the song “Lives in the Balance” written by another great musician, Jackson Browne, is to be awakened anew:

I want to know who the men in the shadows are
I want to hear somebody asking them why
They can be counted on to tell us who our enemies are
But they’re never the ones to fight or to die

And there are lives in the balance
There are people under fire
There are children at the cannons
And there is blood on the wire

Norman Solomon is co-founder of RootsAction.org and founding director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. His books include “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.” He writes the Political Culture 2013 column.

The guy in the cheap brown windbreaker walking up the dirty tenement steps to my New York office looked like a bus driver.

Nicolas Maduro, elected President of Venezuela last Sunday, did indeed drive a bus, then led the drivers’ union, then drove Chávez’s laws through the National Assembly as Venezuela’s National Assembly chief.

And this week, the US State Department is refusing to accept the result, suggesting Maduro hijacked the vote count. But did he?

Maduro came to me that day in 2004 on a quiet mission, sent by President Hugo Chávez to give me information I needed for my investigation for Rolling Stone – and to get information from me that might save Chávez’s life.

The central topic was the “Invisible Ring”. Venezuelan intelligence had secretly taped US Embassy contractors in Caracas talking in spook-speak: “That which took shape here is a disguised kind of intelligence… which is annexed to the third security ring, which is the invisible ring.”

(“Invisible Ring”? Someone at the State Department has read too many Alan Furst novels.)

On the grainy film, they worried that “Mr Corey” (a code name we easily cracked) would blow his cover and begin barking, “I am from the CIA! I am from the CIA!”


Maduro at Greg Palast’s office.

“Mr Corey” was certainly not from the CIA, an agency holding on to one last fig-leaf of discretion. This crew was far more dangerous, from a spy-for-hire corporation, Wackenhut Inc. I’d been tracking Wackenhut for years, ever since their spies – more Austin Powers than James Bond – were arrested while on a black-bag job for British Petroleum. They’d attempted to illegally tape a US Congressman by running a toy truck with a microphone through the ceiling vents over the lawmaker’s head.

But even clowns, when heavily armed, can be deadly. In 2002, Chávez was kidnapped with the blessing of the US Ambassador right out of the presidential palace and flown by helicopter over the Caribbean where, Chávez later told me, the President assumed he’d be invited for a swim from 2,000 feet. Instead, just 48 hours later, Chávez was back at his desk.

But Washington wouldn’t quit the coup business. New documents revealed several interlocked methods (“rings”) for overthrowing Venezuela’s elected government.

First, US operatives would monkey with voter registrations – and if that didn’t steal the election from Chávez’s party, the next step was to provoke riots against Chávez’s elections “theft”. The riots would lead to deaths – the deaths would be the excuse for the US to back another coup d’etat to “restore order” and “democracy” in Venezuela – and restore Venezuela’s oil to Exxon. (Chávez had seized majority control of the oil fields and Exxon was furious.)

Maduro had already figured the US operatives wanted to use, “The collection of [voters’] signatures… to [occur] amidst a climate of violence and uncertainty, national and international uncertainty…To cause deaths the day of the collection of signatures.”


Hugo Chávez in 2003, the year after his kidnapping. (Image via.)

Would this be to justify another coup?

“Yes: The justification to tell the world Chávez is a murderer, Chávez is a dictator, Chávez is a terrorist and the OAS [Organisation of American States] should intervene and Chávez should be ousted.”

This week, the warlords of the rings are back in Caracas as, per the original script, the US State Department is backing opposition claims (no details provided) that Maduro’s win is in question. And per the old playbook, the losers are taking to the streets, seven voters are dead (mostly Chávistas, but not all) and Caracas waits for the coup’s next boot to drop.

Is a manoeuvre to remove Maduro far-fetched? George W Bush promoted the botched kidnapping of 2002. But it was the progressive Barack Obama who, newly elected President, blessed the overthrow of the elected president of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya.

Still, it’s fair to ask if Maduro and the Chávistas stole last week’s presidential election?

Answer: They didn’t have to. Even the Wall Street Journal accepts that, “for a majority of Venezuelans, Mr Chávez was a messiah,” and Maduro, the successor Chávez chose from his deathbed, had too big a lead to lose.

Still, the election was nearly stolen – by the US-backed anti-Chávistas.

How? That’s what Chávez wanted Maduro to find out from me: how could US operatives jerk with Venezuela’s voter rolls? It wasn’t a mere policy question: they knew Chávez wouldn’t be allowed to survive through another coup.

My answer: They could steal the vote the same way Bush did it in Florida – in fact, using the very same contractor. Take a look at these documents… from the pile I reviewed with Maduro:


The FBI memo detailing the shoplifting of Venezuela’s voter rolls. (Click to enlarge.)

According to this once-secret FBI memo, ChoicePoint Corp – under a no-bid contract – had shoplifted Venezuela’s voter rolls, as well as the voter rolls of Argentina, Brazil, Nicaragua, Mexico and Honduras, all of whom were on the verge of electing presidents from the political left.

I did ask myself how our national security apparatchiks could say that filching these voter rolls made our nation more secure? What were they for?

I had little doubt. In November 2000, working for the Observer and BBC Newsnight, I discovered that a subsidiary of ChoicePoint had, for Governor Jeb Bush of Florida, obtained his state’s voter rolls and “purged” more than 56,000 voters, the vast majority black and poor, illegally denying them their vote. And that was how Jeb’s brother, George W, won the US presidency by just 537 ballots.

And now ChoicePoint had the data to allow Homeland Security to do a Florida on Venezuela – and Honduras and the others. (In 2006, the candidate of the left, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, won the election but lost the presidency through gross ballot-box finagling.)

Chávez himself read my findings on potential elections theft – to his nation on his TV show – and then he moved swiftly, establishing an election system that Jimmy Carter, who has headed vote observer teams in 92 nations, called, “an election process that is the best in the world”.

Here’s how it works: every Venezuelan voter gets TWO ballots. One is electronic, the second is a paper print-out of the touch-screen ballot, which the voter reviews, authorises, then places in a locked ballot-box. An astounding 54 percent of the boxes are chosen at random to open and check against the computer tally. It’s as close to a bulletproof count as you can get.

Still, the loser bitched and – his bluff called – was allowed to pick all the precincts he wanted – 12,000 – to add to the audit.

And that’s why the US State Department then has to turn to the threat of bullets and “Third Ring” mayhem in the streets – to undermine the legitimacy of the new Maduro government and signal the US willingness to support a new coup.


Nicolas Maduro in 2010. (Image via.)

It won’t succeed this time, either. The populist socialist governments that the US couldn’t remove have now replaced the juntas and stooges that once gave the US control of the Organisation of American States. And Venezuelans themselves won’t let it happen.

What impressed me about Maduro and his boss Chávez was their reaction to the Third Ring and the attempted Florida-tion of their election. Instead of ordering mass arrests, their response was to strengthen democracy with a no-tricks voting system.

I should note that ChoicePoint, once exposed, apologised to Mexico’s government, agreed to destroy its ill-gotten voter rolls and, soon thereafter, sold itself to a credit-rating company. Wackenhut fired its goof-ball spooks and sold itself off in pieces. Both deny knowingly breaking laws of any nation. And in Bush’s US State Department, all hell broke loose, as UN Ambassador John Negroponte, sources verified, fumed over what he deemed a renegade neo-con escapade endangering remaining US oil interests. (In fact, Chevron ended up paying what I call a “coup tax”.)

The vote was still close, mainly because Maduro – a sincere, competent administrator – is no singing-dancing-camera-perfect Sinatra of politics like Chávez was.

Secretary of State Kerry’s challenge to Maduro’s 270,000-vote victory margin struck me as particularly poignant. Because in 2004, besides Chávez, I gave another presidential candidate evidence of the Bush gang’s ballot banditry: Senator John Kerry. Kerry lost to Bush by a slim 119,000 in Ohio, blatantly stolen, but Kerry refused to call for a recount. It took him two years to publicly acknowledge our findings – when he introduced, with Senator Ted Kennedy, legislation to fix America’s corrupted voting system, then let the proposed law die of neglect.

Chávez knew, and Kerry will never learn, that democracy requires more than a complete count – it requires complete courage.

Greg Palast is a New York Times bestselling author and fearless investigative journalist whose reports appear on BBC Newsnight and in The Guardian. Palast eats the rich and spits them out. Catch his reports and films at www.GregPalast.com, where you can also securely send him your documents marked, “confidential”.

For one more week, readers of VICE can download Palast’s short documentary, The Assassination of Hugo Chávez, originally filmed in Venezuela for BBC, without charge.

Israeli Weapons Exports to Brazil

April 24th, 2013 by Soraya Misleh

Image: Brazilian soldier at the 2009 Latin American Aerospace and Defense (LAAD) fair

“PASSPORT!” demanded the Israeli security guard in English as he approached demonstrators at the Latin American Aerospace and Defense (LAAD) fair, which took place April 9-12 at the RioCentro Convention Center in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

This surreal scene unfolded as a tiny group of activists entered the fair’s exhibition space, which contained a number of Israeli arms industry exporters. Armed with nothing but “Boycott Israeli apartheid” t-shirts and keffiyas, they first held a picket outside the entrance, during which a large Palestinian flag was held up along with signs that read, “Israeli arms embargo now!” and “President Dilma, stop buying Israeli weapons!” Dilma Vana Rousseff, the first female president of Brazil and a member of the Workers’ Party, is the successor to President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

This first demand–to embargo Israeli arms–is the central aim of the Brazilian boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign led by the Frente em Defesa do Povo Palestino-SP (Front in Defense of the Palestinian People–São Paulo), which is composed of dozens of Brazil’s civil society organizations.

The second–calling on President Dilma to halt the purchase of Israeli weaponry–is a condemnation of the rapid increase in military contracts between Israel and Brazil, which has solidified Brazil’s shameful standing as one of the five largest importers of arms from the apartheid regime. Both the São José dos Campos Steelworkers Union and the Brazilian labor federation, CSP-Conlutas, are endorsers of this demand.

These two organizations joined the demonstration in front of RioCentro, which also included representatives from Anel (National Free Students Assembly), Mopat (Palestinian Movement for All), Ciranda Internacional da Communicação Independente (Ciranda International for Independent/Shared Information) and PSTU (Unified Socialist Workers Party).

This year’s LAAD fair demonstrated the urgent need to end the military agreements linking Brazil and Israel. The more than 30 Israeli companies present at RioCentro were granted special privileges to dialogue at the event’s opening ceremony with Brazilian Vice President Michel Temer and Secretary of Defense Celso Amorim as official representatives of President Dilma Rousseff. Exhibitors’ sights were set on acquisition of security contracts for the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics, both of which are set to occur in Brazil.

Following the initial demand for passports, Israeli security guards surrounded the activists, serving as an alarming example of Israel’s ability to place itself above international law. The exercise of such impunity also offers a tiny glimpse of what life must be like for Palestinians living under occupation and apartheid.

In addition to demanding passports from Brazilian citizens exercising their rights on their own soil, the security agents then proceeded to follow the activists as they moved throughout the fair. There were dozens of Israeli personnel. The activists verbally protested this discriminatory act while simultaneously denouncing the occupation of Palestinian land.

For those who have been to Palestine, it was as though the Israeli guards had reproduced, inside of Brazil, their system of segregating and expelling the “unwanted.” The demand for passports seemed an attempt to recreate a West Bank checkpoint with which the Israeli security personnel were no doubt familiar. It was as though, with the blessing of the Brazilian state and federal governments, they had staged an occupation of the LAAD event area and were completely ignoring Brazilian citizens’ democratic right to free expression and assembly.

- – - – - – - – - – - – - – - -

DESPITE ATTEMPTS to embarrass and intimidate the “unwanted” visitors at the fair, the activists were still able to get a sense of the merchandise on display–such as the Israeli-made drones recently used during the Operation Pillar of Cloud attacks on Gaza last year. Israel’s Secretary of Defense even had his own booth. For some reason, activists were not permitted to enter it.

One particularly striking exhibit by Israeli Aerospace Industries (IAI) featured a futuristic presentation of its technologies on a giant screen. IAI, according to reports from Palestinian organizations, produces equipment used by Israeli occupation forces in their policing of the apartheid wall and illegal Jewish-only settlements.

IAI’s Brazilian subsidiary, Bedek, together with the Brazilian conglomerate Grupo Synergy have formed a joint venture called EAE Soluções Aeroespacias (EAE Aerospace Solutions). This conglomerate produces materiel for the Brazilian Armed Forces that utilizes TAP M&E Brazil’s production and maintenance centers in Rio de Janeiro and Porto Alegre.

Another exhibitor was Rafael Defence, which boasts on its website of a “special” relationship with the Israel Defense Force (IDF). This firm–in collaboration with Netcom Malam Team International, Israel’s largest information technology group–has developed specially designed products for Israel’s occupying forces.

Israel Military Industries (IMI)–which counts Brazil’s army among its clients and enjoys a commercial partnership with Taurus, which is headquartered in Porto Alegre–was also an exhibitor. IMI manufactures the Israeli Tavor rifle.

The LAAD Fair was sponsored by Brazilian aviation manufacturer Embraer, a company closely linked to the Israeli arms industry. It maintains contracts with the Israeli company Elbit Systems, which was also a fair exhibitor. Elbit, a high-tech military firm, manufactures the aforementioned Israeli drones recently deployed in Gaza. Elbit is also one of 12 companies involved in the construction of the Israel’s apartheid wall.

In October 2012, UN Special Rapporteur on Palestinian Human Rights Richard Falk called for the boycotting of Elbit Systems during a UN General Assembly. Throughout the last 15 years, Elbit has maintained a presence in Brazil operates through its subsidiaries AEL, Periscope Optronic Equipment S/A and Ares Aerospace. Through Ares Aerospace, Elbit recently acquired two million-dollar contracts with the Brazilian army.

Furthermore, the government of Rio Grande do Sul–the state that is home to Porto Alegre–plans to expand Elbit’s presence in Brazil by means of privatization. If Brazil’s supporters of neoliberalism have their way, Brazil’s Porto Alegre could become Israel’s most important foreign military research outpost because it is home to AEL, which is a subsidiary of Elbit. This project, financed by public money, also provides benefits in the form of business transactions intrinsically linked to Israel’s crimes and violations of human rights.

The BDS Brazil campaign has sent a letter to federal and state governments in Brazil expressing its alarm at Israel’s presence at the LAAD Fair. Signed by more than 30 civil society organizations, the document highlights the importation of these military technologies by local governments to use in their repression of Brazil’s poor black youth.

The case of Rio de Janeiro is exemplary. The Israeli company, Global Shield, won a million-dollar contract to provide military police with eight new armored vehicles (known as caveirões in Portuguese) used in police occupations of the favelas (slums).

Translated from Portuguese by Ryan Green.

New allegations claim Syrian chemical weapons use. We’ve heard similar ones before. Obama calls using them a “game changer.” He also said their use crosses a “red line.”

Syrian officials are unequivocal. Weeks earlier, Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Miqdad spoke for others saying:

“Syria stresses again, for the 10th, the 100th time, that if we had such weapons, they would not be used against our people. We would not commit suicide.”

Alleging Syrian chemical weapons use resembles bogus claims about Saddam’s nonexistent WMDs. It’s similar to false charges against all US enemies.

Big Lies launch wars. They facilitate them. They perpetuate them. Gore Vidal once said:

“Our rulers for more than half a century have made sure that we are never to be told the truth about anything that our government has done to other people, not to mention our own.”

Syria is Washington’s war. It was planned years ago. It’s objective is regime change. America’s been involved from inception. Independent governments aren’t tolerated.

So-called “non-lethal” aid represents America’s tip of the iceberg. The CIA’s involved in facilitating weapons shipments. Huge amounts flow in. US-backed death squads are well supplied.

At issue is whether Obama plans direct intervention. About 200 US forces were deployed in Jordan. They’re positioned along Syria’s border. John Kerry announced doubling US aid to insurgents.

On the one hand, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen says no intervention is planned. On the other, he’s hinted about possibly doing so. NATO commander Admiral James Stavridis said he’s ready to act if asked.

Perhaps the North Atlantic Treaty’s article five will be invoked. It considers an attack (real or otherwise) against one or more members an attack against all. It calls for collective action.

Is a staged incident planned? Are chemical weapons charges crossing Obama’s “red line.” Will NATO invoke article five? Will imperial aggression follow? Perhaps Obama has that in mind. He prioritizes war. He deplores peace. He preconditions negotiations on regime change.

In early April, unnamed US intelligence officials claimed Syria used chemical weapons. Two alleged Damascus incidents were cited.

In a March address, Obama said “We will not tolerate the use of chemical weapons against the Syrian people. The world is watching, and we will hold you accountable.”

In late March, credible evidence of insurgent chemical weapons use surfaced. Syria’s military said a home-made locally-manufactured rocket was fired.

It contained CL17. It’s a form of chlorine. It induces vomiting, fainting, suffocation and seizures. Those in the immediate area are affected.

Khan al-Asal was attacked. It’s southwest of Aleppo. Government forces control it. Jihadists struck a Syrian army-controlled checkpoint.

A local hospital source said he personally witnessed Syrian army personnel helping those harmed. Over two dozen deaths were reported. They included Syrian soldiers.

European diplomats acknowledged what happened. They lied claiming “friendly fire.”

Britain and France said Syria used chemical weapons more than once since last December. Unnamed senior diplomats claim soil samples, witness interviews, and opposition sources say nerve agents were used in and around Aleppo, Homs and possibly Damascus.

According to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, allegations are being evaluated. Some US intelligence officials are skeptical. Without US censors in Syria, determining chemical weapons use is hard enough. Harder still is deciding who’s responsible if credible evidence is found.

According to an unnamed US defense official, anyone could plant evidence of chemical weapons use. “Catching them when we don’t own the ground is very difficult, especially when we are talking about non-persistent agents.”

“We can’t be sure the samples aren’t tainted by people who have an interest in trying to get the international community involved.”

He added that tests Britain conducted weren’t definitive. Details weren’t provided on where samples were taken and who provided them. Significant use of chemical agents wasn’t found.

So-called eyewitness accounts blamed Assad. Later they proved false. Israel made new ones. On April 23, Haaretz headlined “Israel confirms Syria regime used chemical weapons against rebels.”

According to Military Intelligence Research Division head General Itai Brun:

“To the best of our professional understanding, the regime has used lethal chemical weapons on a number of occasions, including the incident on March 19.”

He cited photo evidence. Whose he didn’t say. They’re easy to fabricate. Allegedly they show victims foaming at the mouth with pupils contracted. He claims the weapon used was sarin-based.

“The regime has increasingly used chemical weapons,” he alleges. “The very fact that they have used chemical weapons without any appropriate reaction – this is a very worrying development, because it might signal that this is legitimate.”

He claims Syria has a “large arsenal of chemical weapons, more than 1,000 tons of chemicals, thousands of aerial bombs and quite a lot of warheads and surface-to-surface missiles that can be armed with chemical weapons.”

“How this develops is a good question. We need to be very concerned with the fact chemical weapons might reach less responsible hands that don’t consider the consequences of their actions.”

They “don’t undertake normal cost-benefit calculations.” He calls that “worrying.”

At the same time, he’s uncertain whether regional conflict will include widespread chemical weapons use. He stressed the “need to see how the situation develops in the short term.”

Days earlier, Netanyahu addressed the issue, saying:

“We are prepared to defend ourselves if the need arises and I think people know that what I say is both measured and serious.”

“We have to be very bothered by the possibility that chemical weapons are going to get into the hands of less responsible actors.”

“It is certainly possible that there will be other incidents of attack against Israel by other organizations that obtain different types of weapons.”

At a Brussels NATO foreign ministers meeting, John Kerry urged members to respond if it’s determined that Syria used chemical weapons.

“We should carefully and collectively consider how NATO is prepared to respond to protect its members from a Syrian threat, including any potential chemical weapons threat,” he said.

At the same time, he spoke to Netanyahu by phone. “He was not in a position to confirm (chemical weapons use) in the conversation that I had.”

“I don’t know yet what the facts are. I don’t think anybody knows what they are.”

Separately, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said intelligence regarding chemical weapons use remains inconclusive. His press secretary George Little added:

“We reiterate in the strongest possible terms the obligations of the Syrian regime to safeguard its chemical weapons stockpiles, and not to use or transfer such weapons to terrorist groups like Hezbollah.”

Events going forward demand close scrutiny. Obama may be planning more war. Make no mistake. He’ll take full advantage of Boston’s marathon bombings. He’ll do so at home and abroad. Rogue states operate that way.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected].

His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

http://www.dailycensored.com/target-syria-allegations-of-chemical-weapons-use/

The secessionist state of Somaliland has signed a production sharing agreement with DNO, a Norwegian oil and gas company.

The president of the secessionist state of Somaliland Ahmed M. Mohamoud Silanyo and Executive Chairman, Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani attended the signing ceremony in Washington DC, on the 22 of April.

 The oil deal covers block SL18, located in Sool province of North Somalia.

During the signing ceremony Mossavar-Rahmani added: “This 12,000 square kilometer block adds substantial exploration acreage to DNO International’s portfolio and in an area that is both prospective and undrilled”.

Block SL18 is situated on the Nugaal Valley Basin, a stretch of land that encompasses the provinces of Sool, Sanaag and Ayn, in short the SSC regions, where heavy clashes occurred in Hudun district of Sool province last month between Somaliland forces and Khaatumo State forces.

Somaliland forces have attempted several times to capture Hudun town from Khaatumo State forces based in the town.

Hudun town is situated in the western parts of Sool province, exactly in the center of Block SL18, and remains under the control of  Khaatumo State of Somalia.

The DNO deal supports the notion that the war waged by Somaliland against Khaatumo State and the local population is Oil. As long as Block SL18 is under the control of Khaatumo State, and there is opposition from the local population, the war in the SSC region will continue and accelerate, while Somaliland is trying to secure these regions for seismic surveys on the ground and eventually drilling.

The Nugaal Valley Basin has also been sold by Puntland to Horn Petroleum, additionally ConnocoPhilips and Shell possess old oil exploration rights granted by the former Somali government of Major General Mohamed Siad Barre.

Although DNO is a small oil company that is familiar with operating in high risk areas, Block SL18 is not only a high risk area but also lies in a conflict zone.

Has DNO not overstepped this time with the SL18 oil deal, an area contested by several Oil companies, and by the signing with Somaliland, a state without any international recognition?

Mahdi Ali, Email: [email protected]

 

In a 2011 interview for an Australian TV channel, US Republican Senator John McCain talked about Islamic extremism ‘spreading’ if left unchecked by military intervention in Afghanistan and elsewhere (1). In the same interview, he spoke of the US having held fast in Iraq and having ‘succeeded’ there. He stated that ‘we’ must do the same in Afghanistan because ‘we’ are succeeding there too. In the warped world of neo-con mouthpieces like McCain, the ongoing carnage and turmoil that US-led criminality has caused  in the two countries in question equates with ‘success’ (2)(3)(4)(5).

Given the problems at home, it comes as little surprise that US public support for militarism abroad has been waning for some time (6). McCain is fully aware of this. His comments were little more than an attempt to hoodwink the public into continuing to support the US’s war of global terror because he knows that people have other things on their minds, such as housing foreclosures, the outsourcing of jobs and livelihoods, increasing impoverishment, the crackdown on civil liberties and the slaughter of young (often poor) men who fight wars that have no end in sight. The public is also becoming increasingly aware that over half of government spending goes on the military when it could be better spent in other areas (7).

In 2006, former US military commander and CIA boss General Petraeus said the US strategy is to conduct a war of perceptions continuously through the news media. People like McCain are the foot soldiers in such a war and hope that the public mindset can be manipulated with propaganda about US national security interests, perceived military successes and fear about Islamic extremism.  

No doubt both Petraeus and McCain have taken their cue from US commentator Walter Lippmann who in the 1920s said that ‘responsible men’ make decisions and had to be protected from the ‘bewildered herd’ — the public. Lippman believed that the public should be subdued, obedient and distracted from what is really happening and should be admiring with awe the leaders who save them from destruction and provide peace. The words of Lippman might have been ringing loud and clear in the minds of many observers as people came onto the streets of Boston to celebrate and chant “USA!USA!” after the authorities had suspended civil liberties and effectively implemented Martial Law in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon explosions. Saved from destruction and admiring their leaders with awe!

After a decade of creeping ‘war fatigue’ among the public, the recent bomb blasts in Boston comes as a timely and convenient reminder to US citizens that the ‘war on terror’ must be maintained. What better than a terrible short, sharp shock in Boston to sleep-walk them back towards this version of ‘reality’?

Much has been written about the two men who are allegedly responsible for the attack in Boston. The US media has gone out of its way to speculate on links with Chechnya and even Iran. Despite no proof of Iranian involvement, it’s always a good thing to throw the latest US designated bogeyman into the mix in order to demonise it and keep the public’s mind focused and supportive of continued action against it.

With all the talk of extremist Islamic terror and enemies of the US who may have been behind the attack, the mainstream media has ignored the role of the US government itself when it comes to terror attacks within the US. Such a task has been left to analysts such as Michael German and James Corbett, who have written on how FBI sting operations make jihadists out of gullible Muslims and hapless malcontents (8)(9). They document many examples of how the FBI has infiltrated, nurtured and encouraged rag tag groups to devise terror plots on US soil. It is therefore of interest that the FBI had also been monitoring the two Boston bomb suspects for a number of years (10)(11).

Without the FBI, many half baked ‘terror plots’ against the US on its own soil might never have existed at all. In true Lippman-esque style, however, the publicity surrounding such schemes and the media celebration of ‘heroic’ government agencies foiling them serve to create or strengthen public perceptions about an ongoing threat in order to keep the public on side. Indeed, in the wake of the Boston bombings the influential Council of Foreign Relations has voiced the opinion that the event once again raises the specter of terrorism on US soil, thereby highlighting the vulnerabilities of a free and open society.

Such statements and the mainstream media, with all its wild speculations and accusations concerning events in Boston, act to condition the public to continue to support the ‘war on terror’. And that involves the notion that the US is under constant threat at home and abroad therefore civil liberties must be curtailed (in the name of a ‘free and open society’!) in order to prevent terror. It also involves the notion that imperialist wars thinly disguised as a global war on terror must be continued.

Regardless of who is ultimately responsible for the attack in Boston, whether it was individuals acting alone or whether they were being guided by other players, the attack has served to propagate the myth about the need for ongoing US militarism and has probably conveniently served to counter waning public support for it.

Notes

1)   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5QiZSZmcV4

2) http://:www.globalresearch.ca/iraq-crimes-against-humanity-the-babies-will-haunt-us/5316119

3) http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/mar/19/iraq-make-it-impossible-to-unleash-barbarism

4) http://www.countercurrents.org/polya051209.htm

5) http://stopwar.org.uk/index.php/afghanistan-and-pakistan/1878-a-weekend-of-carnage-in-afghanistan-but-the-pointless-and-lost-war-goes-on

6) http://www.ipsnews.net/2006/09/us-9-11-poll-finds-waning-faith-in-military-interventions/

7) http://www.globalresearch.ca/more-than-50-of-us-government-spending-goes-to-the-military/18852

8) http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article34322.htm

9) http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-boston-bombings-in-context-how-the-fbi-fosters-funds-and-equips-american-terrorists/5331872

10) http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ARE9rclZCqw#!

11) http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324763404578433113880189762.html

 

 

Within days of the bombings in Boston, massive contradictions have opened up in the official accounts given by the Obama administration, the FBI and other state agencies as to how this terrorist attack transpired.

As in so many previous cases, once again in the Boston bombings the individual said to be the principal organizer of an act of terrorism was well known to the FBI. In 2011, the agency had been tipped off by Russian intelligence that Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who died last week following a shootout with police, was suspected of being a radical Islamist seeking to link up with armed groups in the Northern Caucasus.

The FBI now claims that it investigated Tsarnaev, a resident alien and Russian citizen, but found no incriminating evidence, learning nothing more about him until after the April 15 bombings.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano testified on Capitol Hill Tuesday that when Tsarnaev left the US for a six-month trip to the Caucasus in January 2012, his trip “pinged” the Department of Homeland Security system, but that when he returned no one took notice because the investigation into his activities had lapsed.

There are many possible explanations for how someone placed under an FBI investigation as a suspected Islamist militant could carry out a bombing in the heart of a US city, killing three people and wounding over 170 more. The one that is least plausible, and can be rejected as a lie and cover-up, is the FBI’s claim that the suspect simply fell under its radar.

The mother of the two brothers has directly contradicted the FBI’s story, reporting that Tamerlan was in continuous contact with the agency for between three to five years and that they were “controlling his every step.”

Russian police sources have contradicted the FBI claim that it received no information from Moscow, reporting that they provided the US agency with a dossier on Tamerlan.

Amid the self-congratulatory praise for the police agencies that placed Boston under a state of siege last Friday before capturing Tsarnaev’s 19-year-old brother, Dzhokhar, there has been a growing drumbeat of criticism of an “intelligence failure” by the FBI. The US Senate and House intelligence committees held closed-door hearings Tuesday on the FBI’s handling of its 2011 investigation into the activities of Tsarnaev.

There is no reason to expect anything but a cover-up from these hearings. One only need consider the fact that the FBI’s director is Robert Mueller, who held the same post on September 11, 2001. Ostensibly the greatest intelligence failure in the history of the United States, neither 9/11 nor the hearings that followed it resulted in Mueller or any other senior US intelligence, military or other government official losing his post for “failing to connect the dots.”

A number of those involved in the 9/11 attacks had been under surveillance either by the FBI or the CIA. The CIA was well aware that two of the hijackers had entered the US, but deliberately concealed the information from other agencies. Elements within the FBI had demanded an investigation into suspicious activities of Saudi and other Arab nationals training at flight schools in the US, but to no avail.

None of those who carried out the official investigations of 9/11 had any interest in probing too deeply into these connections for fear of what they would reveal.

Virtually every terror case in the US since 9/11 has had the FBI’s fingerprints all over it, and the Boston bombings are no exception. The federal police agency has engaged in unending sting operations, using highly paid informants to troll through mosques and immigrant communities, ensnaring hapless people in plots that would never have existed without the FBI providing the inspiration as well as the means.

In the case of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, they were handed an ideal candidate for such a sting—it is now reported that he had been thrown out of his mosque for making militant statements. Yet they supposedly dropped the case for lack of evidence. This claim lacks any credibility.

After the bombings, the FBI’s release of the photographs of the Tsarnaev brothers, appealing to the public for “tips,” amounted to a calculated cover-up. The FBI is not the Keystone Cops. If they didn’t have prior knowledge of the Tsarnaevs’ plans, they knew precisely who these individuals were the moment they saw them on the videos.

Now there is a palpable air of nervousness in government circles. Before a real investigation has even begun, the story is being put out that the two brothers acted alone without any outside assistance. Within the Obama administration, there appears to be a concerted effort to contain any damage from new revelations.

There are any number of explanations for what happened after the FBI received the request from Moscow. One is that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was given a pass because he was seen as an asset in gathering intelligence on Islamist groups or furthering the murky US operations in support of separatism in southern Russia. Some sources have suggested that he may have turned on his American handlers, as has happened not infrequently—the killing of five top CIA operatives in Afghanistan by a Jordanian doctor sent to infiltrate Al Qaeda comes to mind.

One thing is certain; terrorism is invariably bound up with the criminal foreign policy conducted by Washington, which takes the form of an endless succession of reckless, predatory and violent interventions all over the world.

The September 11 attacks themselves had their roots in the decision of the Carter administration at the end of the 1970s to foment an Islamist insurgency in Afghanistan to overthrow a Soviet-backed government, and Washington’s subsequent discarding of the mujahideen, whom it had previously hailed as “freedom fighters.”

History is repeating itself in the intricate and long-standing relationship between US imperialism and Al Qaeda. In both Libya and Syria, Washington has utilized Al Qaeda-linked forces as proxies in wars for regime-change against secular Arab governments.

In Libya, once Gaddafi was overthrown and murdered, the US sought to suppress these forces, resulting in the bloody assault on the US consulate in Benghazi that claimed the life of the US ambassador and three other Americans last September 11. In Syria, it is preparing to do the same thing, working to cobble together a coalition of “moderates” to marginalize the al Nusra Islamists, who until now have borne the brunt of the fighting. All of this is sowing the seeds for more terrorism.

Innocent bystanders, whether in Damascus, Kabul, Baghdad or Boston, end up paying the terrible price for these US operations, which leave a trail of blood and disaster everywhere.

Americans have a big problem with the IRS (Internal Revenue Service). If anyone discuss the filing of tax return in their emails the IRS may be monitoring what you say to see if you may be trying to cheat on taxes, committing money laundering or sending non-reported funds to tax havens. 

Americans are under siege by questionable U.S. government surveillance tactics, tactics that  pry into people’s daily life even when no crime may have occurred. In the past FBI and DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) have used warrantless GPS tracking devices to track vehicles and the latest “Stingray” tracker have been used to listen in on cell phone communication to

pinpoint a person’s location, including the extraction of cell data like text messages, which numbers were called–all done without a warrant in violation of the Fourth Amendment Constitution prohibiting “Unreasonable Search and Seizure.”

In U.S. v Antoine Jones the Supreme Court in Washington ruled in January 2012 that federal government illegally tracked Jones, a suspected drug trafficker, for 28 days, without a warrant. This  Fourth Amendment violation resulted in Jones life without parole conviction reversed for retrial. In a new trial held this year, Jones represented himself  and won a 6-6 hung jury. No date been set for another trial.

Now the IRS is the latest to jump on the government bandwagon of spying on the emails of American citizens who file tax returns, without a warrant!  According to a lawsuit filed by ACLU( American Constitution League Union)–the IRS released documents explaining why their agents didn’t need a warrant to read other people’s emails to detect whether or not if someone liable to violate U.S. tax laws by under reporting their earnings. Suspected drug drug dealers and money launderers who use the internet to transact illegal business online are  prime targets as well.

Example of IRS monitoring drug organizations who use the internet and other forms of wireless communication to launder proceeds, IRS Special Agent Andre Guilot said the Quality Express Convenience Store in Baton Rouge Louisiana owned by Thang Minh “Tommy” Tran laundered over $170 million dollars of drug money into Hancock Bank between July 2006

and December 2011. Other members of the conspiracy were identified as Son “Tatto” Nguyen  of  Baton Rouge and Thahn “Money” Nguyen of New Orleans. Wire transfers and emails showed the men transferred $275,000 in narcotic proceeds into a Houston Texas location.

IRS deny reading emails without a warrant by issuing a recent public statement:

 ”The IRS does not use emails to target taxpayers; any suggestions to the contrary is wrong.”

 Documents obtained by ACLU prove otherwise. In one leaked memo, IRS lawyers told their agents that

“Non consensual monitoring or electronic communications….can be used to investigate a federal felony.”    “Further, the Chief Counsel, said, “Emails and other transmissions lose their reasonable expectation of privacy and Fourth Amendment protection once emails been sent from an individual’s computer.”

The Wall Street Journal reports “the IRS can also monitor Facebook and Twitter accounts outside of an investigation like targeting people suspected of lying on their tax returns- or targeting private emails of suspected narcotic dealers which as a rule the IRS realize most criminals don’t usually pay taxes on illicit funds, but in essence, most suspected lawbreakers use cell phones, emails and emails to carry out crimes. IRS direct order to their agents to snoop on citizens emails are in the crossfire of judges, legislators, privacy groups and attorneys across the nation.

IRS is able to execute this scheme due to the outdated ECPA law( Electronic Communication Privacy Act) which allows government agencies to obtain emails more than 180 days old although the leeway to do so can easily run afoul of the Fourth Amendment protection because whose to say the government will follow strict legal guidelines.

As the firestorm brew over email and social media privacy, and even if the IRS accessed warrantless emails the tactic may soon end in glorious defeat.  U.S. Senate are currently working overtime on rewriting the law to update the ECPA that will require government agencies to have a warrant to open and read emails in any form.

Critics insists that Americans’ email messages should be protected from warrantless search and seizures. The prevailing theory is this: emails and social media messages should  have the same Fourth Amendment privacy standards as that of a “hard drive”  located on someone’s computer inside a locked residence including paperwork stashed in a vault or filing cabinet.

“What the IRS is doing to emails is a massive invasion of privacy”, says Houston Texas-based Tax lawyer expert Michael Minns. Minns is the author of the best-selling book: “The Underground Lawyer.”  Minns is a lifelong advocate of the Fourth Amendment, a fearless legal crusader, who represent people charged with IRS tax crimes. “Since IRS have been monitoring emails without a warrant this is very troubling and it violates the Fourth Amendment.”  Minns recall previous court trials of people charged with IRS crimes, and the lawyers and their clients often wondered how IRS knew about certian conversations regarding sensitive information discussed privately online.

“So how long this really been going on?”  Minns questioned.

Meanwhile U.S. Congress members are demanding answers from the IRS. In a letter sent to the IRS on April 11th, Republican Louisiana Representative Charles Boustany, the Chairman of the House Committe on Ways and Means on Oversight; Boustany demanded answers from IRS about its policy on searching emails and other electronic communications; how many emails have been searched without a warrant within the last several years; and  specifically  what the agency was looking for. “They made some statement about targeted searches, but they have not specifically addressed what was asked in our letter,” Congress Press Secretary Sarah Swinehart told the Washington Whisper.

IRS spokesman Dean Patterson told the Whisper that  he believes the agency “will say more on the issue”. Patterson declined to say what or when.

Writing in the U.S. News and Reports, Rick Newman defends the IRS. Newman says the American people should appreciate the benefits of a stable tax system and tough enforcement of tax rules. “The U.S. Treasury borrow money at interest rates of less than 2 percent for a 10 year loan that benefit Americans in many ways: “It keeps government spending higher than it would–which funnels money to many businesses and help the economy grow. Low rates on government securities, Newman points out, also keeps rates low on consumer loans making homes, cars and other things more affordable.”

“What happens to nations with lax tax systems. Greece, for one, suffers from an epidemic of tax cheating that helped send the nation to the brink of bankruptcy while causing a full blown depression,”  Newman wrote in the News Report article published on April 12th 2013.

Privacy Rights Upheld in U.S. VS Steven Warshak

One case involving the IRS obtaining warrantless emails involves the case of Steven Warshak. On December 14th 2010, Federal Court Sixth Circuit held that “government agents violated Warshak’s Fourth Amendment rights by compelling his ISP(Internet Service Provider) to hand over Warshak’s emails without first obtaining a search warrant based on probable cause.” A Federal Judge allowed prosecutors to introduce the emails as evidence during trial because the IRS agents testified they acted in good faith under the ECPA Stored Communications Act.

Sixth Circuit further ruled: “Given the fundamental similarities between email and traditional forms of communication, it would defy common sense to afford emails lesser Fourth Amendment protection.”

Seeking taxes on approximately $250 million dollars that Warshak made with his business called Berkeley Premium Nutraceuticals the IRS seized Over 27,000 emails belonging to the prominent businessman. Warshak decision is important because the Sixth Circuit is the first court from the U.S. Court of Appeals to explicitly rule there is a “reasonable of expectation of

privacy in the content of emails stored on a third-party server and that the emails wee subject to Fourth Amendment protection. Privacy activists hailed this decision as a standard bearer for the Fourth Amendment protection of electronic communications. Yet the IRS ignored the decision by upping the ante relying on an updated edition of its Search Warrant Handbook that ordered their agents to continue on as they were in “obtaining everything in an account except for unopened email or voice mail stored with a provider for 180 days or less without a warrant.”

This defiant order was  supported by a memo sent out in October 2011 by IRS Senior Counsel William Spatz. Spatz argued in the document that the IRS should comply by the ruling of the Ninth Circuit and that “The Ninth Circuit and other courts have recognized that a warrant is not required for government entity to require an electronic provider to produce a customer’s electronic communication.”

 High Tech Tracking Tools: How Much IRS Really Know About American Citizens

Under fire by DOJ(Department of Justice) to help dig the government out of a budget crisis the IRS has geared up to track down approximately over $300 billion dollars in revenue lost to evasions, illegal money laundering and tax cheats. Faced with evolving technology used by millions of computer users the IRS recently announced the agency will start using “robo audits” of tax forms and third-party data to bridge a “tax gap.”  Former IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman said in a public statement “that the technology will employ billions of pieces of data to target enforcement of noncompliance.”

“It’s not clear what they are using and how,” says Bill Smith, a manager director at the accounting firm CBIZ MHM.  “But don’t brag on Facebook about how you are cheating. The IRS can see that.”   “It’s well known in the tax community, but not many people outside of it, are aware of this big expansion of data and computer use,”  says Edward Zelinsky, a tax law expert and professor at Benjamin Cardozo School of Law. “I am sure people will be concerned about the use of personal information ion databases in government.”   “Taypayers should know, Zelinsky adds, that whatever people do and say electronically can and will be used against them in IRS enforcement.”

Most Americans are familiar with “internet cookies” that silently track human interaction online which provides direct leeway for targeted  “ads” to pop up when a user switch from one website to another. But IRS has hired private industry experts to employ similar digital tracking with a major advantage to easily access social security numbers, health records, credit card transactions, ebay and Amazon purchases including other private information that marketers and different elite businesses don’t generally see.

“Private industry would be envious if they knew what our models are,” boasted Dean Silverman, as reported in trade publications. Silverman is the high-tech specialists who heads a group of recruited private sectors to update IRS technology to snoop on citizens using the internet. As expected the IRS declined to comment to national mainstream journalists on how they will use the new technology to sniff out online tax cheats. According to U.S. News and Report–IRS officials has already outline their plan in partnership with IBM and EMC to use their new technology for the following:

(1) Charting and analyzing emails and Social Media like Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin.

 (2) Targeting audits by matching tax filings to Social Media or electronic payments.

 (3) Tracking individual internet addresses and emailing patterns.

 (4) Sorting data in 32,000 categories of metadata and 1 million unique “attributes.”

 (5) Maching learning across “neutral” networks.

 Can Americans Avoid IRS Internet Trap?

 Tax law experts provides the following tips to aid citizens to avoid the IRS “big trap” on the internet. These tips may not be foolproof but they are considerable safeguards:

 (1) Double check your online postings and emails against your tax filings to insure the information is accurate.

 (2) Don’t brag to friends online about extra financial benefits that you received, then forget to list it on your tax returns. IRS can detect this.

 (3) Be aware that professional tax preparers store information online is subject to IRS surveillance. So make sure the numbers are correct.

 Another danger signal is when people use anonymous online “cloud drop boxes” or anonymous email addresses. Experts say these techniques are not safe-proof, particularly for drug dealers who launder money to tax havens and other shady laundering operations. Former CIA Director David Petraeus can attest to this unequivocal fact when he attempted to conceal a steamy romance. FBI zeroed in on Petraeus’s dropbox that stil contained his emails with his mistress. and the affair were exposed when investigators accessed the emails from Petraeus’s online storage space–although he mistakenly thought the information had been deleted.

“Anonymous postings depends on what sort of investigation is done,” said Bruce Schneir, Chief Security Technology Officer at BT, a British telecommunications company. “The FBI and by extension of the IRS, could obtain the data on a specific person.”

Overall, most important, perhaps we should not vilify the IRS for the convoluted, often confusing tax code. Congress creates the tax laws and the IRS enforces them. But the tax code

doesn’t allow intentional violation of the Fourth Amendment against unreasonable search and seizures. The IRS should promptly reply to lawmakers questions abut their warrantless snooping of emails and social media conversations. Even more important the IRS should formally  modify their policies to require agents to obtain warrants to access emails irrespective of how old or how new the emails may be.

Final analysis: It will take Congress to rewrite the ECPA laws to prevent IRS exploitation of the Stored Communication Act to swipe emails at their disposal. The American Constitution should never be compromised or taken for granted, but when the government wants to deprive its citizens of liberty and freedom it’s like they are saying: “Federal government giveth and the federal government taketh it away.”

The “Criminalisation” of International Criminal Justice

April 23rd, 2013 by Alexander Mezyaev

On April 10 the United Nations General Assembly held its first ever and rather unique debate on the role of the international criminal justice system in fostering reconciliation. It summed up and assessed the twenty year experience of international criminal courts and tribunals activities. (1) The hearings were boycotted by some states, like, for instance, the United States of America, Canada and Jordan. Jordanian UN envoy said that the fact of holding the debates was, allegedly, an example of power abuse on the part of President of General Assembly.

This time the President of the Assembly session was Vuk Jeremić from Serbia, former Serbian Minister of Foreign Affairs…

So, why has the issue of reconciliation hit a snag in the form of boycott?

The answer is evident. The so-called international justice has totally failed. Today, there is no doubt left, the international justice system has no, whatsoever, relation neither to peace restoration, nor reconciliation after armed conflicts.

Even mentioning the interrelation evokes anxiety, or even anger of the key participants in the process of making the system of «justice» function. For instance, Prince Zeid, the Jordan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations. He has served with UN peacekeeping contingent in Bosnia and has been the first President of the Assembly of State Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. He is the one to know really well what the interrelationship between international courts and reconciliation is like.

David Tolbert from the United States, who has served as Deputy Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), was more candid than his Jordanian counterpart. He put it straight that, as to him, the international courts cannot and should not make a contribution into reconciliation process; it’s not what they are destined for. (2)

The statement totally distorts the mission set by the United Nations before the former Yugoslavia tribunal, which was the restoration of peace and assistance in reconciliation process. David Tolbert put forward another false thesis stating that the international criminal courts have achieved outstanding successes in the recent years and thanks to them «nobody is above law» now. Talking about the criminal courts achievements and successes, the American meant the usurpation of the rights to arrest and bring to justice the heads of states and governments.

In reality the appearance of criminal courts created a new caste of people standing beyond and above any rights. They are the international prosecutors and judges. These people face no responsibility for what they do, neither according to interstate nor international law. No statutes of international tribunals or any other legislative acts envisage a procedure of making a judge or a prosecutor responsible for violating legal norms or power abuse. It is very uncommon. The laws of many states include such provisions.

The article 31 of the Russian Federation’s Criminal Code is almost fully devoted to the crimes committed by officers of the law. The judges may be made face responsibility by the Supreme Qualifying Collegium of the Russian Federation. (3) The other states have similar laws. At the same time, no responsibility is envisaged for international judges and prosecutors for crimes committed. And they are numerous enough: conscientious handing down illegal verdicts, rigging evidence, violation of defendant’s rights, non-use of existing norms of international law or their remaking, ignoring defendant’s evidence, unsubstantiated rulings etc. Sometimes the violations are so massive, that the independence of judges is questioned, because their actions actually destroy the international legal system.

The immunity of heads of states and governments rejected, the caste of «untouchable» international judges and prosecutors created – all these things match the purpose set before the international criminal courts by global power. The goal is to get rid of the state leaders fallen out of favor in the name of the so-called «international community». The absence of any legal basis to make international judges and prosecutors face responsibility is not an oversight, it’s the purposeful establishment of a striking potential to destroy the existing progressive legal system and create a new repressive and regressive international law.

No matter the boycott demarche, the United Nations hearings were of great significance. The representatives of a number of states lambasted the existing «system of justice» leaving no stone unturned. The address by Tomislav Nikolić stood out as bright and pithy.

Actually it was the report of an expert, offering a legal assessment going far beyond general lines and offering all the details of the problem. (4) The issues elucidated in the report included: the concept of instituting legal proceedings (the principle of division of powers and independent judiciary is violated); the assessment of the way the equality of the parties was observed, the control by Tribunal over financial activities persecution and defense, the issue of conscientious curtailing of the Tribunal’s temporary jurisdiction, the violation of the principle of equality while handing down sentences to those, who represent different ethnic groups etc. (5)

The President’s United Nations address convincingly demonstrated that the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia has never brought reconciliation to the Balkans; to the contrary, its activities have aggravated the schism in the society.

The other speeches are worth to mention too. Nebojša Radmanović, President of Bosnia and Herzegovina, noted that not a single ethnic group, populating his country, holds an opinion that the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia has made any contribution into the national reconciliation process. The Justice Minister of Rwanda said the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda was to blame for no peace in his country.

The Tribunal came under harsh criticism in other speeches too. Actually, the criticism was not aimed at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia only, but rather the whole system of international justice. The Justice Minister of Namibia said that this kind of ‘justice’ is selective and pointed the finger at the real culprit – the United Nations Security Council. John Laughland, Director of Studies at the Institute of Democracy and Cooperation in Paris, has hit the nail right on the head while summing up the results of the international courts activities. According to him, the very idea of international justice has failed.

Vitaly Churkin, the Permanent Representative (Ambassador) of the Russian Federation to the United Nations, commenting on how some considered justice critical for victims and an important element in efforts to prevent threats to peace and security, said that he could not accept the principle of retribution «at any cost».

Prosecutions could only be successfully achieved if the process was impartial and depoliticized. Although there were both positive and negative examples in that regard, he pointed out that the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia was a negative one, with a legacy that could not be seen as a success story, and whose existence had been unjustly extended «for an absurd length of time». Such extensions had resulted in a number of key officials dying before they could be prosecuted. The question was whether such a judicial body — whose very existence seemed to cultivate the notion of guilt on one side of the conflict — could really bring about peace and justice. The Security Council must take decisive steps to help that body extricate itself from the «systemic dead end» in which it was entrenched.

* * *

Serbia has made a breakthrough in fair assessment of what is called «international justice». It has attracted the attention of many countries to the problem. For the first time the international criminal courts were not just criticized, but rather lambasted at the session of the United Nations General Assembly. Russia has supported the «Serbian step forward». There is ground to believe the common legal position taken in the United Nations by Russia and Serbia would yield results…

Notes

(1) Letter of the President of the General Assembly to all Permanent Representatives and Permanent Observers to the United Nations, 11 February 2013.
(2) Tolbert D., Can international justice foster reconciliation? Reconciliation should focus on what it takes to restore the trust of citizens in each other – and in the state itself, // http://www.aljazeera.com /indepth/opinion /2013 /04 /20134107435444190. html
(3) Article 21 (the disciplinary responsibility of judges), the law of Russian Federation, June 26, 1992 N 3132// the Federal Law on the Status of Judges in the Russian Federation.
(4) Normally it’s speechwriters who prepare the addresses. This time I’d take a risk to conjecture Tomislav Nikolić did it himself. He has headed the team of professor Vojislav Šešelj defendants for a long time. Sheshel was one of core figures among those accused by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Nikolić knows all the ins and outs related to the Tribunal’s functioning. I met him in 2007 as the head of the team to discuss further details related to the line of defense. Though Nikolić is not a professional lawyer, he is the one who is dry behind the ears when it comes to the way the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia functions.
(5) The official website of the President of Serbia: http://www.predsednik.rs/node/653 (in Serbian language). The English version is posted on the website of Serbian Permanent Representative to the United Nations: [Statement by H.E. Mr. Tomislav Nikolić, President of the Republic of Serbia] http://www.un.int/serbia/Statements/155.pdf.

The Canadian International Development Agency is no longer. In its recent budget the Conservative government collapsed CIDA into Foreign Affairs, creating the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development.

While there was plenty of commentary on the Tories’ move, no one — from the mainstream right to the development NGO left — pointed out that Canadian aid has primarily been about maintaining and/or extending the grip the world’s richest one percent holds over the entire globe.

Canada began its first significant (non-European) allocation of foreign aid through the Colombo Plan. With Mao’s triumph in China in 1949, the 1950 Colombo Plan’s primary aim was to keep the former British Asian colonies, especially India, within the Western capitalist fold.

To justify an initial $25 million ($250 million in today’s dollars) in Colombo Plan aid External Affairs Minister Lester Pearson told the House of Commons: “Communist expansionism may now spill over into South East Asia as well as into the Middle East … it seemed to all of us at the [Colombo] conference that if the tide of totalitarian expansionism should flow over this general area, … the Free World will have been driven off all but a relatively small bit of the great Eurasian landmass. … We agreed at Colombo that the forces of totalitarian expansionism could not be stopped in South Asia and South East Asia by military force alone.”

Two years later Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent was even more explicit about the carrot and stick approach to defeating left wing nationalism (“communism”). In September 1952 St. Laurent explained “in South East Asia through the establishment of the Colombo plan not only are we trying to provide wider commercial relations but we are also fighting another Asiatic war against Communism in the interests of peace, this time with economic rather than military weapons. We Canadians know that in the struggle against Communism there are two useful weapons, the economic and the military. While we much prefer to use the economic weapons as we are in the Colombo plan, we know that we may have no choice but to use the military weapons as we have been forced to do in Korea [27 000 Canadian troops participated in this war that left 3 million dead].”

In other words, if some of India’s post-colonial population had not set their sights on a socialistic solution to their troubles — with the possibility of Soviet or Chinese assistance — Canada probably would not have provided aid. Five years into the Colombo Plan, Pearson admitted “Canada would not have started giving aid if not for the perceived communist threat.”

The broad rationale for extending foreign aid was laid out at a 1968 seminar for the newly established Canadian International Development Agency. This day-long event was devoted to discussing a paper titled “Canada’s Purpose in Extending Foreign Assistance” written by Professor Steven Triantas of the University of Toronto. Foreign aid, Triantas argued, “may be used to induce the underdeveloped countries to accept the international status quo or change it in our favour.” Aid provided an opportunity “to lead them to rational political and economic developments and a better understanding of our interests and problems of mutual concern.” Triantis discussed the appeal of a “‘Sunday School mentality’ which ‘appears’ noble and unselfish and can serve in pushing into the background other motives … [that] might be difficult to discuss publicly.”

A 1969 CIDA background paper, expanding on Triantas views, summarized the rationale for Canadian aid: “To establish within recipient countries those political attitudes or commitments, military alliances or military bases that would assist Canada or Canada’s western allies to maintain a reasonably stable and secure international political system. Through this objective, Canada’s aid programs would serve not only to help increase Canada’s influence within the developing world, but also within the western alliance.”

This type of thinking continues to drive aid policy. Largely ignored in recent commentary, there are innumerable documented instances of Canadian aid advancing highly politicized geopolitical objectives over the past 25 years.

As an early advocate of International Monetary Fund/World Bank structural adjustment programs, since the early 1980s Canada has channeled hundreds of millions in “aid” dollars to supporting privatization and economic liberalization efforts in the Global South. At the start of the 2000s Ottawa plowed millions of dollars into supporting the Western-backed “coloured revolutions” in Eastern Europe and opposition to Jean Bertrand Aristide’s elected government in Haiti. More recently, the Conservatives have ramped up aid spending in Latin America to combat independent-minded, socialist-oriented governments. Barely discussed in the media, the Harper government’s shift of aid from Africa to Latin America was largely designed to stunt Latin America’s recent rejection of neoliberalism and U.S. dependence by supporting the region’s right-wing governments and movements.

An entirely unacknowledged, though increasingly obvious, principle of Canadian aid is that where the USA wields its big stick, Canada carries its police baton and offers a carrot. Or to put it more bluntly, where U.S. and Canadian troops kill Ottawa provides aid.

During the 1950-53 Korean War the south of that country became a major recipient of Canadian aid and so was Vietnam during the U.S. war there. The leading recipient of Canadian aid in 1999/2000 was the war-ravaged former Yugoslavia and Iraq and Afghanistan were top two recipients in 2003/2004. Since that time Afghanistan and Haiti (where Canadian and U.S. troops helped overthrow the elected government in February 2004) have been the leading recipients. Tens of millions in Canadian “aid” dollars have been spent to reestablish foreign and elite control over Haiti’s security forces.

There are a number of reasons for the lack of discussion about aid being used as a tool to maintain/extend Western capitalist dominance. NGO critics of aid policy are generally unwilling to point out the geopolitical underpinnings of Canadian aid because their jobs depend on keeping quiet. They stick to criticizing the ways in which foreign assistance is used to benefit specific corporate interests. This stakeholder criticism generally amounts to no more than NGOs saying: “Give the aid money to us not the corporations, because we’ll do a better job of whatever it is you want to accomplish.”

If you tell truth to power by saying Canadian aid is largely designed to maintain Western capitalist dominance of the Global South you’re not likely to have your grant renewed.

The funny thing is, with the Conservatives in power, if you’re doing anything remotely useful to ordinary people, you’re not likely to anyway.

Hall explains that there has been a shift in conservative politics in Canada away from what he calls the indigenous conservatism of Canada toward a more US Republican-style neo-conservatism typified by an emphasis on low taxes, less government, increased military spending and championing the oil sector at the expense of the environment.

Hall also believes, like the Idle No More movement, that recently introduced legislation jeopardizes Aboriginal Title and Treaty in Canada and Canada’s traditional relationship with the First Nations.

He sees these two realities going hand in hand. He also believes that recently disgraced and controversial University of Calgary Political Science Professor and back-room conservative strategist Tom Flanagan, had a major role to play in influencing Canada’s political landscape and ushering in this conservative revolution in Canada. He will explain this relationship early in the interview.

The majority of the show however is devoted to the life and legacy of recently deceased Mohawk warrior Splitting The Sky, or Dacajaweiah (‘Dac’ for short.).

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Dac led the Attica State Prison riot in 1972, he helped organize the Gustafsen Lake stand-off in 1995, and has come to popular attention more recently as a 9/11 Truth campaigner and as the one man who ever attempted to place former President George W. Bush under (citizens’) arrest for Iraq War Crimes.

Hall first met Splitting The Sky following the stand-off at Gustafsen Lake. As Hall himself points out, it was Dac who first acquainted him with 9/11 Truth. The Lethbridge Professor recalls his working relationship with his old friend, talks of the challenges Splitting The Sky had to confront throughout his life, and speculates on the circumstances of his mysterious death, which he won’t quite rule out as a homicide.

The show also includes part of a recording of Splitting The Sky’s March 2010 talk along with Cynthia McKinney in Calgary, Alberta.  This was just around the time of Splitting The Sky’s Court Sentencing.

 Professor Anthony Hall is Professor of Globalization Studies at the University of Lethbridge. He is the author of The American Empire and the Fourth World as well as Earth into Property: Colonization, Decolonization, and Capitalism

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The Global Research News Hour, hosted by Michael Welch, airs on CKUW 95.9FM in Winnipeg Thursdays at 10am CDT. The programme is now broadcast weekly (Monday, 5-6pm ET) by the Progressive Radio Network in the US, and is available for download on the Global Research website.

In early April,  The United States and the Spanish government agreed to station AFRICOM’s “Rapid Reaction” strike force to Moron de la Frontera air base for one year.  It involves 500 marines and 8 aircraft that will be used to respond to countries located in Northwest Africa.  According to the Associated Press on April 19th, The U.S. Embassy in Madrid said Friday that “following the tragedy in the Libyan city of Benghazi,” where four U.S. citizens were killed, the U.S. recognized the need for a force able to respond quickly to crises in northwest Africa.” The area of focus is in the Maghreb region in Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya and Mauritania.

All located in close proximity to Northern Mali.  AFRICOM is also planning to respond to the current situation in Mali where a civil war between secular Tuareg rebels and Arab militants erupted as reported by the Associated Press on April 21st, that “An official in northern Mali says clashes have broken out near Timbuktu between secular Tuareg rebels and Arab militants.” After the announcement of Spain’s decision to host US troops, violence resumed in this volatile area. “The violence underscores the tensions that remain in northern Mali three months after a French-led military operation largely ousted radical Islamic fighters from the area. 

The sidelining of the al-Qaida-linked fighters has allowed for the Tuareg rebels from the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad to regain a presence in the area” the report said.  This comes as Mali’s interim president President Dioncounda Traore also announced to his supporters this past Friday that Mali “will be ready to hold democratic elections by July as promised” according to an Associated Press report titled ‘President: Mali will be ready for July vote’ it also stated the following:Security also remains a key concern ahead of elections, especially in the northern cities of Gao, Kidal and Timbuktu, where remnants of the terror groups have staged suicide bombings in the months since they were ousted from power by the French-led military operation that began in January.

The meeting in Mali’s capital also is aimed at how to best secure these cities ahead of July. France has said it intends to have only about 1,000 soldiers in the country by yearend from a deployment peak of about 4,000. About 6,000 troops from African countries are presently in Mali serving as part of a force known as MISMA, though Chad says it is pulling its 2,000 soldiers.

It is most likely that AFRICOM will want to fill the vacuum if Chadian forces were to pull its troops. The US will then send its “Rapid Reaction” forces if Islamic fighters were to disrupt elections with new attacks.  AFRICOM can use the developing situation in Northern Mali to stage an invasion just in time for July’s elections.

Spanish citizens will protest their government’s actions.  The Spaniards are already suffering through a dire economic situation through new austerity measures imposed by the European Union.  There are some Spaniards in favor of the US base claiming it brings jobs and it increases economic activity to small businesses in the area.  Under Spanish Dictator Francisco Franco, Spain and the United States signed several agreements to house US military forces in Rota and Moron de la Frontera to help local economies.

More importantly, it was also to support Franco’s regime.  Franco, along with Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini was supported by American corporations, owned and operated by Charles Lindbergh, John Rockefeller, Andrew Mellon who was a banker and Secretary of Treasury, Allen Dulles (later head of the CIA) and Prescott Bush (father of  George H. Bush, grandfather of and George W. Bush Jr).  Major corporations such DuPont, General Motors, Standard Oil, Ford, ITT, National City Bank, and General Electric operated throughout most of Europe.  The Spanish Civil War was the start of World War II. Franco was also militarily and financial supported by Hitler and Mussolini while General Motors, Ford, DuPont, and Standard Oil were supplying materials to all of the fascist powers (Germany, Italy and Spain) of Europe.

Spaniards have protested against US bases in Madrid throughout the years.  For instance, back in mid-1980, more than 50,000 Spaniards marched to Madrid to demand the government to shut down all US bases in its territory and to pull out of NATO.  Spaniards have also protested against the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan in recent years.  Will Spaniards protest against US intervention in Northwest Africa?  Along with protests against austerity measures and many other issues they face in both the short and long term, it is most likely.

The April 15 bombings in Boston continue to dominate the American media. The twin blasts near the finish line of the city’s annual marathon killed three people and wounded over 170 more, many seriously.

But a more deadly and destructive explosion, the April 17 eruption of the West Fertilizer Company plant in the rural town of West, Texas, has virtually dropped out of the news. That event, to all appearances an industrial accident waiting to happen, killed 14 people and wounded 200, some critically. It virtually leveled a five-block residential area abutting the plant, flattening over 50 homes, gutting an apartment building and seriously damaging a middle school and nursing home.

The pretext for the de facto state of siege imposed on the Boston metropolitan area—an unprecedented military-police lockdown of a US city—was the supposed need to protect the population. But rather than question the mobilization of thousands of troops and police and deployment of armored cars and Blackhawk helicopters—all to hunt down one 19-year-old youth—the media did, and continues to do, all it could to whip up fear and glorify an exercise in police state rule, including cheering on the warrantless and illegal house-to-house searches.

The Boston Marathon bombing was a criminal act and those responsible should be prosecuted and brought to justice. But there is no such concern within the political and media establishment for bringing to justice those responsible for the explosion that ripped through West, Texas. That tragedy is already being treated as just another industrial accident in a country where nearly 4 million workers are injured on the job each year and over 4,600 died from work-related injuries in 2011.

The White House announced Tuesday that Obama will speak at a memorial service for the victims of the fertilizer plant explosion to be held Thursday at Baylor University in nearby Waco, Texas. The timing is convenient, since the president was already scheduled to hold a fundraiser in Dallas Wednesday evening and attend the dedication ceremony for George W. Bush’s library in Dallas on Thursday.

The indifference of the media and politicians toward the killing and maiming of workers by companies that ignore safety and health regulations, and government agencies that lack both the resources and the desire to enforce them, highlights the fraud of their supposed concern for the safety of the people of Boston.

The same day Obama makes his appearance at Baylor to shed crocodile tears for the victims of the West, Texas factory explosion, he will honor a man, his predecessor in the White House, who gutted federal safety and health agencies and instituted a policy of “voluntary self-compliance,” i.e., an open invitation for owners to ignore regulations, whatever the cost in the lives and limbs of their employees.

Obama himself has continued the decades-long bipartisan policy of undermining occupational health and safety enforcement in the interests of corporate profit making. His new budget calls for a cut in compliance assistance programs carried out by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Even more crippling, the agency’s budget is being slashed by 8 percent as a result of the sequester cuts signed into law by Obama in March.

OSHA and other federal agencies, such as the Chemical Safety Board, are hopelessly undermanned. Between OSHA and state agencies, there are only 2,200 inspectors responsible for enforcing the safety of 130 million US workers. In 1977, OSHA had 37 inspectors for every million workers. Today it has only 22, a reduction of more than 40 percent. As a result, OSHA has all but abandoned regular inspections of work sites.

Potential time bombs such as the West Fertilizer plant routinely breech safety rules and are either not inspected or occasionally cited and given token fines. The sprawling fertilizer storage and retail facility holds 540,000 pounds of explosive ammonium nitrate, the material used by Timothy McVeigh to bomb the federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995. That is 1,350 times the amount that is supposed to trigger oversight by the Department of Homeland Security. The plant also stores 110,000 pounds of volatile anhydrous ammonia.

Over the past decade, it has been fined for safety violations and operating without a permit. It has no automatic shutoff system, no firewalls and no emergency management plans. The last time OSHA inspected the plant was in 1985, when the agency found “serious violations” and fined the owners $30.

There are some 6,000 such fertilizer retail centers nationwide, according to the Fertilizer Institute, a trade association.

There are both economic and political reasons for the vast difference between the attitude of the state and the media to the events in Boston and the events in West, Texas. Economically, the state is dedicated to protecting private ownership and control of industry and opposing any measures that infringe on the “right” of owners to dictate working conditions and maximize profits.

Politically, the ruling class is pursuing an agenda in Boston of sowing fear and anxiety so as to disorient the public, divert attention from its attack on working class living standards, and justify its policy of militarism and war, carried out under cover of the “war on terror.”

It is haunted by fear of growing social discontent and the precarious state of global financial markets, which could trigger another financial crash and the eruption of mass social struggles. It is in preparation for such events that it is planning dictatorial forms of rule, such as those tested out last week in Boston.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the 19-year-old surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings, was formally charged Monday with use of and conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction resulting in death, a federal offense that carries the death penalty.

The twin bombings of April 15 killed three people and wounded over 170 more. The other suspect in the bombings, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s older brother Tamerlan, died after a shootout with police.

A federal judge was brought to Tsarnaev’s hospital bed along with an assistant US attorney and a public defender for the formal presentation of the charges. Tsarnaev, who suffered multiple wounds before his capture last Friday, remains in serious condition, on a ventilator and under sedation. He is reportedly unable to verbally communicate because of a gunshot wound to the throat.

With one brother dead and the other wounded so he cannot speak, there is no one to contradict the official story that the two operated alone and without any knowledge of US intelligence agencies.

The hospital hearing marked the first time since his capture that Tsarnaev, a US citizen, has seen a lawyer. The Obama administration announced its intention not to read him his Miranda rights to remain silent and be represented by an attorney on the pretext of a “public safety” exemption, even though law enforcement officials in Boston assured the public that they were in no further danger. This gave an FBI-CIA interrogation team unfettered access to Tsarnaev, who was reportedly able to respond only by moving his head or writing down answers.

In his formal statement announcing the charges, Attorney General Eric Holder paid tribute “to the valor of state and local police, the dedication of federal law enforcement and intelligence officials, and the vigilance of members of the public.” John Carlin, the acting assistant attorney general for national security, added, “The events of the past week underscore in stark terms the need for continued vigilance against terrorist threats both at home and abroad.”

But even as the Justice Department and the FBI were patting each other on the back, a group of lawmakers raised pointed questions as to how and why the FBI failed to prevent the bombing after the older brother, Tamerlan, had been identified to the agency by the Russian government as a terrorist suspect.

In a letter to FBI Director Robert Mueller and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, the Republican chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Michael McCaul of Texas, and its former chairman, Republican Congressman Peter King of New York, demanded all material related to Tsarnaev’s case, including classified reports. The two wrote:

“The FBI interviewed Tamerlan Tsarnaev at the request of a foreign liaison service, on the basis of suspicions that Tsarnaev was involved in terrorist activities. Tsarnaev subsequently traveled to and from Russia and posted jihadist materials on his social media. Yet Tsarnaev remained at liberty in this country to conduct the Boston attack, and it took days to publicly identify him as a suspect.”

In a television interview Sunday, McCaul asked, “If he [Tamerlan] was on the radar and they let him go, if he was on the Russians’ radar, why wasn’t a flag put on him, some sort of customs flag?”

The FBI has publicly claimed that it interviewed Tamerlan only once, in 2011, but found no evidence that he was of any concern. It also claimed that the Russian government failed to provide any further information substantiating its warning.

Every aspect of this official story has been called into question in the wake of the Boston bombings.

The mother of the two brothers has stated in interviews that the FBI maintained continuous contact with her elder son over the course of three to five years. “They were controlling his every step,” she said. She also recounted that FBI agents had told her that “Tamerlan was an extremist leader and they were afraid of him.”

The Moscow-based correspondent of Newsweek and the Daily Beast, Anna Nemtsova, interviewed a “well-placed security source” in Russia, who said that when Tamerlan visited Dagestan for six months in 2012, Russian security services and police in Dagestan were “watching him closely for five months and three weeks” and had compiled an extensive dossier on him.

The Tsarnaev family had its roots in neighboring Chechnya, the scene of two bitter separatist wars in the 1990s that gave rise to an armed Islamist movement. Neither the parents nor the two brothers, who grew up largely in the US, had ever lived there.

NBC News, meanwhile, reported that Tamerlan had been monitored by Russian police agencies as he visited a “known Islamic militant” in a mosque in Dagestan during his six-month visit. It further quoted a local police official as saying that an extensive case file on the 26-year-old had been sent to the FBI, together with a request for information. The FBI reportedly never replied.

Britain’s Channel 4 News reported on Sunday, quoting the father of the two brothers, that days after the bombings, Tamerlan received a phone call from the FBI accusing him of being responsible for the attack.

The multiple reports indicating far more extensive contact with Tamerlan Tsarnaev and knowledge of his activities than the FBI has admitted raise a number of questions.

Why did the FBI effectively ignore the Russian warning, as well as, apparently, a dossier detailing contacts with Islamist elements? Why did it conceal its sustained contact with the 26 year old?

An attempt to cover up gross incompetence is certainly not excluded. However, a more plausible explanation is that US intelligence agencies had developed plans for using their knowledge about Tamelan’s activities to their own advantage.

Given its covert support for separatist movements in the Caucasus, it is entirely possible that Washington decided not to interfere with someone who could be viewed as an asset in furthering these movements. The Chechen Islamists have also supplied substantial numbers of fighters for the war for regime-change in Syria, which Washington is backing.

It is also possible that the FBI could utilize such intelligence to blackmail Tsarnaev into working as its confidential informant in the US itself.

One side of the Boston Marathon bombings that the corporate media has virtually blacked out is the extraordinary security measures that were in place before any bombing took place. A number of participants have noted that bomb-sniffing dogs were present both at the starting and finish line, as well as police spotters on rooftops, something they had never seen at previous marathons. Indeed, announcements were made at the beginning of the race telling participants not to be concerned and that the extraordinary security was part of “a training exercise.”

Also blacked out from media coverage is the participation in this “exercise” of a shadowy Blackwater-style security/mercenary outfit by the name of Craft International. Photographs of operatives of this firm, dressed in identical black jackets, combat fatigue pants and desert combat boots, and wearing shirts and caps bearing its logo—a bleeding skull with a target site in its eye socket—have been widely posted on the Internet.

Photographs of these mercenaries show them wearing large black backpacks that are similar to those that were said to have carried the pressure-cooker explosive devices that blew up at the marathon’s finish line.

The question arises as to whether the Tsarnaev brothers were the witting or unwitting participants in an exercise that went wrong, or one that was organized by the American state with the aim of producing precisely the results that it did.

What were those results? The US military and intelligence apparatus was able to utilize an isolated terrorist incident to carry out the most massive deployment of militarized police in the country’s history, subjecting an entire metropolitan area of over one million people to what amounted to martial law.

Under conditions of mounting social tensions driven by the protracted economic crisis and ever deepening social inequality, such a deployment provides training and experience for use in confronting the future eruption of class struggle.

Iraq’s Black Monday

While on 15 April the whole world was focused on the Boston marathon blasts, at least 79 people were killed, and over three hundred others injured – mostly civilians – in a series of bombings and armed attacks across Iraq. Twenty-six car bombs were involved, as well as sixteen IED’s and four other armed attacks, all in separate incidents. Eight car bombs exploded in different areas across Baghdad. Another car bomb targeted the Baghdad International Airport before it was shelled by mortars.

Three more car bombs exploded in Kirkuk. Armed clashes broke out in downtown Samarra, along with a car bomb and mortar shelling. A car bomb and two IED’s struck Baquba. An IED exploded in Fallujah. The district of TuzKhormatu (northeast of Tikrit) experienced some of the worst violence, with the detonation of five car bombs and three IED’s.

Government forces launched a series of searches and raids in Karbala, Maysan, and Ninawa, detaining twenty-six people from Karbala, twenty-one from Maysan, and twelve from Ninawa. The arrests were arbitrary, with flimsy charges against the suspects.

Arsonists in the Fire Department?

The two men, accused of the Boston Marathon bombings are TamerlanTsarnaev, who was killed,and his younger brother Dzhokhar, who is being treated with shot wounds.

End of story? Not really.There are a number of questions that need to be answered. A police official source in Makhachkala, Dagestan, told NBC News on Sunday that the Russian internal security service reached out to the FBI last November with some questions about Tamerlan, and handed over a copy of case file on him.The FBI never responded.

In his Global Research article: “Contractors” at Boston Marathon Stood Near Bomb, Left Before Detonation, Tony Cartalucci wrote on 19 April:

“What appear to be private contractors, wearing unmarked, matching uniforms and operating an unmarked SUV affixed with communication equipment near the finish line of the Boston Marathon shortly after the bomb blasts – can be seen beforehand, standing and waiting just meters away from where the first bomb was detonated.

The contractor-types had moved away from the bomb’s location before it detonated, and could be seen just across the street using communication equipment and waiting for similar dressed and equipped individuals to show up after the blasts.”

On Thursday night 18 Aprila bomb exploded in a popular coffee shop in the Al AmiriyaDistrict in Western Baghdad, killing at least 27 people and wounding 51 others.The bomb washidden in a plastic bag and then put in the coffee house, where it detonated around 10 p.m. The device contained about two kilograms of highly explosive material.The explosion ripped through the three-story building, which also includes an ice cream parlor on the first floor and medical offices on the second floor. The coffee shop was on the third floor.Most of those killed and hurt were young men, though four children were among the dead.

The BRussells Tribunal received a series of photos of the victims, accompanied by the following message:

Urgent! Urgent! Urgent!

We’ve just received revealing information from an eyewitness who was inside the same café a few minutes before the explosion.He said that armed forces entered the café’ and searched it and then went outa few minutes before it exploded. The eyewitness explained that the same forces prevented the ambulances to enter the explosion area. One of those soldiers told the ambulance driver: ”don’t help them, they are Sunni”.

There’s more to these so-called terrorist attacks than meets the eye, from Boston to Baghdad.

Tony Cartalucci:

“The checkered, frightening history (see: FBI’s History of Handing “Terror Suspects” Live Explosives) of the FBI’s involvement in fomenting false terror attacks, and even presiding over attacks that succeeded in maiming and killing innocent people, should call into question their presence or involvement at any public event, especially when seen associating with unidentified, semi-clandestine organizations that appear to be private contractors.

Private contractors as well do not answer or work for the public, but rather the highest bidder. Private contractors, most notably Blackwater and its various incarnations have operated both domestically and abroad, committing obscene crimes and atrocities with seemingly absolute impunity. The term “defense contractor” is in fact a euphemism for mercenary, and has no place in a civilized, democratic world, no matter what their alleged mission statement may claim.

That both of these nefarious entities were present and cooperating in the direct vicinity of the Boston bombings, with at least two contractors standing just meters away from where the bomb actually went off, raises a number of possibilities and concerns.”

“The CIA is expected to maintain a large clandestine presence in Iraq and Afghanistan long after the departure of conventional U.S. troops as part of a plan by the Obama administration to rely on a combination of spies and Special Operations forces to protect U.S. interests in the two longtime war zones”, The Washington Post reported on 8 February 2012.So it is normal to expect this kind of “incidents” in Iraq as part of a continuing clandestine counterinsurgency war.

False flag operations                                                                                                   

At least 15 candidates, all members of the minority Sunni community, have been assassinated, according to Iraqi security officials and the United Nations. Many others have been wounded or kidnapped or have received menacing text messages or phone calls demanding that they withdraw.

Who is responsible for all the bombs, the killings and harassment?

Nouri Al Maliki and the international press guild accuse Al Qaeda for the recent attacks.

A majority of the Iraqi people is convinced that the current government is behind these strings of attacks and bombings. A former Iraqi diplomat told me: “Whenever there is a political crisis in Iraq, there is an increase of bomb attacks. After that, Maliki can close the ranks again… until the next crisis”.

This is how the New York Times reports it:

“By going after members of their own sect, radical Sunnis aligned with Al Qaeda are effectively seeking to destabilize the Shiite-led government, making a community already angry and alienated, fearful to participate in national governance. At the same time, it appears intra-Sunni rivalries are inadvertently aiding the radical cause, as Sunni’s kill political adversaries in their quest for power.”

Oh well, there it is again: Al Qaeda ! When asked about these allegations, a well-known Iraqi participant of the Doha conference in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, told me: “Which Qaeda? American Qaeda? Iranian Qaeda? Saudi Qaeda? All the militias, Security Forces and ISOF (Iraqi Special Operation Forces) are involved in the chaos in Iraq today. Believe me: these are all false flag operations, concocted by Maliki, in cooperation with Iran and the United States. Ask yourself the question: who benefits from all this? Maliki is forcing the Iraqi people into a daily struggle for survival. He is keeping them busy finding food, kerosene and other basic needs, and he’s keeping the people scared by planting bombs everywhere, to prevent them from protesting. Why do you think there’s still no electricity?”

“Killing candidates means instilling fear,” said Hameed Fadhil, a political-science professor at Baghdad University. “And that is why I think it will affect voter participation, because I don’t think that people will want to risk their lives again.”

Maliki’s threats against opponents

Al Monitor reported on 18 April: For the fifth time in less than a year, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has threatened his political opponents with “dangerous revelations against them.” In an interview with the government-funded Al-Iraqiya Channel, he explained his refusal to respond to demands for a parliamentary hearing regarding recent security violations 

He said, “If I attend the hearing, I will turn things upside down. I will reveal the files and names of the members of Parliament who were implicated in terrorist acts. I will point fingers at each and every one of them for this bombing and that.”

These statements have stirred a large wave of reactions in the past few days, asking Maliki to unveil his files or keep silent about them. The most significant criticism came from the Sadrist leader Muqtada al-Sadr and the leaders of the Iraqi National  List, in addition to the Kurdish leaders.

The problem with such statements is that they are issued by the head of the executive authority in Iraq, who is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces and the official in charge of defense, internal affairs, national security and intelligence, in the absence of real ministers. With such absolute privileges, he cannot possibly hint at the implication of Iraqi politicians in acts of violence without providing evidence and proof.

When asked about the reason behind his reluctance to presenting these files to the judiciary, he answered, “I am concerned about the collapse of the political process if I do that.”

In light of this, a question arises: If the prime minister confirms his possession of legal files and refuses to submit them to the judiciary, what, then, will be left of respect for the law?

Maliki lies like a conjurer. He accuses his opponents and rewards his gangs of killers.Nineveh governor, Atheel al-Nujaifideclaredon 1 April that Nouri al-Maliki, commander in chief of the armed forces, has honored an officer accused of killing his nephew in Mosul a few weeks ago.

Atheel al-Nujaifisaid that Colonel HadiSaheed al-Kanani, the regional commander of the regiment accused of murdering a child named Abdul Rahman Khalid al-Nujaifi, was honored by al-Maliki as a commander in chief of the armed forces” despite the issuing of a warrant against him”.

Iraq’s impunity rate is the worst in the world.

What is Maliki’s answer to all this violence: well, instead of seriously investigating the targeted assassinations, random killings, bomb attacks and other “incidents”, his security forces arrest some Sunni men or Shiites opposed to Maliki’s rule, they lock them up in one of the regime’s many secret prisons, extract false confessions after severe torture and then they are sentenced to death.

All this is well documented.

“Iraq’s impunity rate – or the degree to which perpetrators have escaped prosecution for murdering the journalists – is the worst in the world. It is 100 percent. Even today, as Iraq has moved beyond conflict, authorities have shown no interest in investigating these murders,” The Committee to Protect Journalists said.

The same observation can be made about other Iraqi professionals: academics, lawyers, judges, doctors, engineers, Inspectors of the Commission of Integrity etc…

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights NaviPillay on Friday 19 April condemned the execution of 21 individuals in Iraq earlier in the week, which brought the total to 33 in the past month, and said she was appalled by reports that the Ministry of Justice has announced that a further 150 people may be executed in the coming days.

She stressed that the justice system in the country was “too seriously flawed to warrant even a limited application of the death penalty, let alone dozens of executions at a time.”

“Executing people in batches like this is obscene,” Pillay said. “It is like processing animals in a slaughterhouse. The criminal justice system in Iraq is still not functioning adequately, with numerous convictions based on confessions obtained under torture and ill-treatment, a weak judiciary and trial proceedings that fall short of international standards. The application of the death penalty in these circumstances is unconscionable, as any miscarriage of justice as a result of capital punishment cannot be undone.”

A total of 1,400 people are believed to be currently on death row in Iraq, and 129 people were executed in 2012 alone.

Fair elections?

Iraqis voted on Saturday in the country’s first polls since US troops departed, but the credibility of the provincial elections has come into question, with attacks oncandidates leaving 15 dead and a third of Iraq’s provinces – all of them mainly Sunni Arab or Kurdish – not even voting. Political gatherings have been targeted and two schools in Hilla, that were to serve as polling sites were blown up by homemade bombe on “black Monday”.

The election is seen as a gauge of the popularity of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s Shiite-led government ahead of a general election next year, but major issues affecting voters such as poor public services and rampant corruption have largely been ignored during the campaign.

How can fair and transparent elections be held in these circumstances?

More than 250 returning displaced people from their home in Diyala areas protested on Saturday morning for not including them in the public vote, holding with the Independent Higher Electoral Commission of not adding their names in the voters’ registrations papers.

Many people fear the return of violence back to the days of sectarian strife once peaked in 2006-2007 and claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, especially in Diyala and other provinces.

And here is part of an email received from a University Professor in Iraq last week:

“The situation in Iraq is very very bad. Demonstrations against the government and the parliament are everywhere: Baghdad, Mosul, Anbar, Kirkuk, Salah al Din, Basrah, Najaf, Diala,…. People are demanding the government and the parliament to go, to free thousands of innocent prisoners locked up for many years without trials, to provide electricity and other basic services, raise the salary roof for the retired people which are now living under the poverty line, stopping violence and violations of human rights which are very worrying, especially for the minority and majority, approving the budget of 2013, stopping the denominations which is shredding the Iraqi people into warlike pieces, militias are everywhere assassinating people, car bombs, no safety and kidnapping. It is worse than during the period 2003-2007. We are staying at home, just going to work and return back. People are afraid that this, if not resolved, could lead to divide Iraq into regions and territories and ending with a civil war. May God save this country”.

Iraqi protests continue

The massive and peaceful demonstrations against the government continued across Iraq’s provinces without diminishing…they have been going on for over a hundred days now, and the numbers have reached the millions.

In crackdown against the demonstrations, government security forces launched a series of searches and raids in many provinces, arresting and detaining thousands of people without any charges against them.The arrests are arbitrary, and carried out against innocent people on a sectarian basis.Many are taken to undisclosed locations.

In an assassination attempt contracted by the government, one of the lead activists of the demonstrations in Ramadi, Mahmoud UbeidJamilFaraji, was injured by a bomb attached to his car.

The Human Rights Department of the Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq (HEYET) published its January monthly statistical report on continued unjust campaigns targeting Iraqi civilians by the sectarian government security forces where 378 campaigns were carried out in all 14  Iraqi Provinces resulting in arrest of 1788 innocent Iraqis.

In December, 220 campaigns resulting in arrest of 1726 innocent civilians including dozens of women. According to the HEYET department, attacks were carried out in 14 provinces.

These statistics of attacks and arrests solely depend on official announcement of the defense and interior ministries. Arrests and violations perpetrated by the so-called national security ministry, Anti-terror Units, Awakening Council, Kurdish Peshmerga forces and other militias are not included, because no reliable figures are available. However,these militias are also committing mass human rights abuses and violations.

Hawija protesters under attack

Maliki’s forces intensify the repression against the peaceful demonstrations. Today we received an urgent appeal:

SAVE THE 4000 PEACEFUL PROTESTORS IN HAWIJA NOW!

URGENT ………. URGENT

4,000 Peaceful Protestors in Hawija are now surrounded by government army troops and are about to be attacked.

They have been surrounded by these troops for the past 3 days without water, food and medical aid. 

FRIDAY Protestors were attacked, one killed and 4 injured. Medical treatment was with-held.

SATURDAY, government troops stormed the field of protest and destroyed all the kitchen facilities as well as medical facilities.

Roads leading to field were cut off. 

SAVE THE PEACEFUL IRAQI REVOLUTION – SAVE THE 4,000 MEN AND CHILDREN IN HAWIJA. 

PLEASE PUT AN END TO THE MASSACRE.

Yes, please, put an end to this and other massacres, committed under the auspices of the US government. Support the Iraqi peaceful demonstrators, break the media silence that surrounds the Iraqi non-sectarian protest movement, which is the only genuine expression of the will of the Iraqi people, the only hope for real independence and sovereignty.

Maliki has to go, and with him the remnants of the American occupation.

Dirk Adriaensens is coordinator of SOS Iraq and member of the executive committee of the BRussells Tribunal. Between 1992 and 2003 he led several delegations to Iraq to observe the devastating effects of UN imposed sanctions. He was a member of the International Organizing Committee of the World Tribunal on Iraq (2003-2005). He is also co-coordinator of the Global Campaign Against the Assassination of Iraqi Academics. He is co-author of Rendez-Vous in Baghdad, EPO (1994), Cultural Cleansing in Iraq, Pluto Press, London (2010), Beyond Educide, Academia Press, Ghent (2012), and is a frequent contributor to Global Research, Truthout, The International Journal of Contemporary Iraqi Studies and other media.

Campaign to Save the Life of Lynne Stewart

April 23rd, 2013 by Global Research News

As the campaign builds, Lynne Stewart’s condition has taken a concerning turn for the worse. Her white blood cell count has dropped sharply. Lynne is in isolation currently and will be sent to a Fort Worth hospital for tests.

This news has lent a dramatic urgency to The International Petition Campaign to Save the Life of Lynne Stewart, even as it has crossed a new threshold: Over 10,000 people have signed the petition as signatories pour in daily from across the world.

Noted associate of President Kwame Nkrumah, Ambassador Kojo Amoo-Gottfried, Ghana’s former ambassador to China, Vietnam, Cuba and Nicaragua, has called upon all who fought for self-determination and freedom to raise their voices now for “our dear sister in struggle, Lynne Stewart, even as she has fought for us over a lifetime.”

The Socialist Forum of Ghana has launched a national campaign to save the life of Lynne Stewart.

We must intensify our efforts in this battle for her freedom and her life.

Ed Asner, Richard Falk, Daniel Ellsberg, Cornel West, David Ray Griffin, Richard Gage, Ward Churchill, Natsu Saito,  Cindy Sheehan, Bonnie Kerness, Zachary Sklar, Alice Walker, Katha Pollitt, Michael Ratner, Sara Kuntsler, Heidi Boghosian, Wallace Shawn, San Francisco Supervisor John Avelos, Peter Kinoy, Peter Dale Scott, Wilhemina Levy, Cynthia McKinney, Pam Africa, and Louis Wolf are among current signers.

We urge all to contact five people and ask each of them to contact five more, allowing each of us, thereby, in five stages to reach five thousand people.

Pulitzer Prize Winning Journalist and Occupy Wall Street leader Chris Hedges has published today an evocative and compelling article entitled “The Persecution of Lynne Stewart” that captures Lynne’s stirring eloquence, abiding humanity and quiet courage. (See below)

The petition is at:
http://www.change.org/petitions/petition-to-free-lynne-stewart-save-her-life-release-her-now-2

In March, the Canadian government introduced a bill that would bring about sweeping changes to its copyright and trademark laws. This includes giving more power to customs and border protection agents without any judicial oversight. The move is intended to prevent counterfeit goods from entering the country, but has been criticized for being less about protecting Canadians and more about caving to American demands. With the U.S. dictating global intellectual property standards, the new legislation represents the return of ACTA and would pave the way for Canada to ratify the controversial international treaty.

Over the years, the U.S. has been critical of Canada’s efforts in addressing trade in counterfeit goods and has been pressing for intellectual property reform. In the 2009 United States Trade Representative (USTR) Special 301 Report, Canada was placed on a priority watch list of countries that do not provide adequate intellectual property enforcement. As part of its 2013 Trade Policy Agenda, the USTR is now pushing Canada to comply with the Anti-Counterfeit Trade Agreement (ACTA). The multinational treaty is designed to standardize intellectual property laws around the world. Although it has been signed by a number of countries, including Canada, so far only Japan has ratified ACTA. It was the result of public pressure associated with risks internet privacy and online freedom of speech which lead to ACTA being rejected by the European Parliament in July of 2012. At the time, many assumed that ACTA was dead, but it still remains a top priority for the U.S. and they are attempting to revive the discredited agreement by trying to get the six necessary ratifications for it to come into force. In an effort to satisfy U.S concerns, Canada recently announced legislation which is aimed at bringing them in line with ACTA.

Last month, the Conservative government introduced Bill C-56, also known as the Combating Counterfeit Products Act. Academic researcher and law professor Michael Geist explained how the proposed legislation would, “ensure that Canada is positioned to ratify ACTA by addressing border measures provisions. The core elements of the bill include the increased criminalization of copyright and trademark law as well as the introduction of new powers for Canadian border guards to detain shipments and work actively with rights holders to seize and destroy goods without court oversight or involvement.” He emphasized that, “Customs officials are not copyright and trademark experts, yet they may now be forced to assess infringement cases including determining whether any copyright exceptions apply.” Mike Masnick of techdirt acknowledged that, “For many years, Canada has strongly resisted U.S.-style copyright laws, despite tremendous pressure to do so. Watching them cave on ACTA is certainly a disappointment.” He went on to say, “It shows a Canadian government who doesn’t seem to care about what the public wants, but rather feels the need to kowtow to U.S. entertainment and pharmaceutical lobbying interests.”

The Council of Canadians have questioned whether the anti-counterfeiting bill, “is one of the conditions the U.S. government put on Canada joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade negotiations.” The group is urging that intellectual property rights be taken out of the TPP and the Canada-European Union (EU) Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) talks. There have already been attempts to use CETA negotiations to sneak in parts of ACTA. Stuart Trew, trade campaigner with the Council of Canadians wondered since, “The Harper government seems to have just collapsed in front of U.S. demands for border enforcement of Hollywood’s intellectual property rights despite the global controversy with ACTA. Can we expect Harper to bend this easily to European demands in CETA and U.S. demands in the TPP that will increase the price of drugs and undermine access to affordable medicines?” ACTA also favours Big Pharma with patent protections that would limit generic competition and would lead to higher drug costs.

On March 20, the USTR officially notified Congress of its intention to enter into negotiations with the EU on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement. In the letter, they also outlined specific goals in different areas such as intellectual property rights. As part of the transatlantic talks, the USTR, “Seek to obtain, consistent with U.S. priorities and objectives, appropriate commitments that reflect the shared U.S.-EU objective of high-level IPR protection and enforcement, and to sustain and enhance joint leadership on IPR issues.” A Civil Society Declaration signed by European and U.S. groups is insisting that the upcoming negotiations, “exclude any provisions related to patents, copyright, trademarks, data protection, geographical indications, or other forms of so-called intellectual property. Such provisions could impede our rights to health, culture, and free expression and otherwise affect our daily lives.” Some have warned that the TTIP could be used as a way to implement ACTA through the backdoor.

ACTA is part of the international agenda of patent, trademark and copyright lobbies. The agreement favours big businesses over individual innovators and creators. It was designed to protect the interests of multinational corporations at the expense of fundamental civil rights. ACTA is being used by the U.S. to pressure other countries into adopting a new global standard for intellectual property enforcement. The supranational treaty would impose draconian laws which threaten the sovereignty of member nations.

Dana Gabriel is an activist and independent researcher. He writes about trade, globalization, sovereignty, security, as well as other issues. Contact: [email protected]. Visit his blog at Be Your Own Leader

Terrorists “R” Us

April 23rd, 2013 by Stephen Lendman

State-sponsored terrorism defines US policy. Doublespeak duplicity conceals it. Doublethink manipulates public opinion to ignore inconvenient truths.

Howard Zinn once asked: “How can you make war on terrorism if war is terrorism?” Waging war on terrorism “gives government a perpetual war and a perpetual atmosphere of repression.”

“And it generates perpetual profits for corporations. But it’s going to make the world a far more unstable and dangerous place.”

“Terrorism replaced communism as the rationale for the militarization of the country, for military adventures abroad, and for the suppression of civil liberties at home.”

Since WW II, “there has not been a more warlike nation in the world than the United States.”

Zinn added that “(g)overnments are terrorists on an enormously large scale.” None in world history match America. Waging war on humanity is official policy.

US law calls “international terrorism” activities involving:

(A) “violent acts or acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State, or that would be a criminal violation if committed within the jurisdiction of the United States or of any State;”

(B) are intended to -

(i) “intimidate or coerce a civilian population;

(ii) influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or

(iii) affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and

(C) occur primarily outside the territorial jurisdiction of the United States….”

The US Army Operational Concept for Terrorism (TRADOC Pamphlet No. 525-37, 1984) called it “the calculated use of violence or threat of violence to attain goals that are political, religious, or ideological in nature….through intimidation, coercion, or instilling fear.”

Merriam-Webster calls it “the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion.”

The Oxford Dictionary calls it “the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.”

In his book “Terrorism, Theirs and Ours,” Eqbal Ahmad called state-sponsored terrorism most important of all. It includes “torture, burning of villages, destruction of entire peoples, (and) genocide” on a massive scale.

It’s called “self-defense,” protecting “national security,” and/or “promoting democracy.” Doing so conceals America’s dark side. War on humanity follows.

“Who will define the parameters of terrorism, or decide where terrorists lurk,” asked Ahmad? “Why none other than the United States, which can from the rooftops of the world set out its claim to be sheriff, judge and hangman, all at one and the same time.”

In his book “The Real Terror Network: Terrorism in Fact and Propaganda,” Edward Herman discussed US-backed authoritarian states advancing a free-market “development model.” It’s done for corporate gain through state-sponsored terror on homegrown resistance.

Earlier it was about protecting the “free world” from communism. Always it involves manufactured threats, fear-mongering, and creating enemies when none exist. Terrorists are them, not us.

Martin Luther King called America “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today.” He did so for good reason. Today it’s more menacing than ever. Humanity’s survival is at stake.

In his book “The Culture of Terrorism,” Noam Chomsky cited the “Fifth Freedom.” He called it “the freedom to rob, to exploit and to dominate society, to undertake any course of action to insure that existing privilege is protected and advanced.”

Doing so entails manufacturing consent. Fear-mongering replaces truth. Patriotism and democratic values are highlighted. People are manipulated to support what harms their own self-interest.

Imperial aggression is called humanitarian intervention. Civil liberties are suppressed for our own good. Patriotism means going along with state-sponsored lawlessness.

Myths substitute for truth. So do big lies. They’re weapons of mass deception. They’re key in advancing America’s imperium. Post-9/11 policies headed the nation toward full-blown tyranny. Last week’s Boston bombings perhaps advanced it closer.

People are manipulated to go along. Gore Vidal once said:

“As societies grow decadent, the language grows decadent, too. Words are used to disguise, not to illuminate, action.”

“You liberate a city by destroying it. Words are used to confuse, so that at election time people will solemnly vote against their own interests.”

Orwell envisioned a dark future. He called it “a boot stamping on a human face – forever.” America’s war on terror reflects it. The fullness of time will explain what’s next.

Michel Chossudovsky asked:

“Do the Boston Bombings constitute a point of transition, a watershed which ultimately contributes to the gradual suspension of constitutional government?”

This type threat is real. In 1933, Nazism replaced Weimer republican democracy. In 1973, Augusto Pinochet’s reign of terror followed Salvador Allende’s social democracy.

In his book “Friendly Fascism,” Bertram Gross described a slow, powerful “drift toward greater concentration of power and wealth in a repressive Big Business-Big Government,” Big Brother alliance.

Its friendly face conceals raw power heading America “toward a new and subtly manipulative form of corporatist serfdom.”

In his 1935 novel titled,”It Can’t Happen Here,” Sinclair Lewis discussed a self-styled reformer/populist/demagogue exploiting human misery during hard times.

Candidate Merzelium “Buzz” Windrip promised prosperity. Doing so hid his dark side. In office he established militarism and unconstitutional governance.

He convened military tribunals for civilians. He called dissenters traitors. He institutionalized tyranny. He put political enemies in concentration camps. He created Minute Men paramilitaries. They terrorized public opposition.

He destroyed democracy, declared martial law, usurped dictatorial powers, and circumvented Congress. He made himself supreme ruler. Indeed it can happen here. Perhaps it’s closer than most people realize.

Events post-Boston Bombings demand close scrutiny. Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were convicted in the court of public opinion.

Obama pronounced guilt asking “why did young men who grew up and studied here….resort to such violence? How did they plan and carry out these attacks, and did they receive any help?”

Mossad-connected DEBKAfile called both brothers “double agents.” They were “hired by US and Saudi intelligence to penetrate the Wahhabi jidadist networks which….spread across the restive Russian Caucasian.”

“Instead, the two former Chechens betrayed their mission and went secretly over to the radical Islamist networks. (They became) the first terrorist operatives to import al Qaeda terror to the United States through a winding route outside the Middle East – the Caucasus.”

The so-called Chechen connection and claims about both brothers having links to radical Islam don’t wash. They reflect media manipulated deception. No evidence suggests it.

They were born in Kyrgyzstan. They moved to Dagestan. Over 10 years ago, they came to America with their family. They were too young to have ties back home.

A previous article said Senators Lindsey Graham (R. SC), John McCain (R. AZ) and Kelly Ayotte (R. NH), as well as Rep. Peter King (R. NY) want Dzhokhar held as an “enemy combatant.” They want him denied fundamental rights.

In Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, the Supreme Court ruling said:

“There is no bar to this Nation’s holding one of its own citizens as an enemy combatant.”

Earlier, Francis Boyle said the four Geneva Conventions superseded the “long-defunct World War II” designation. Bush administration officials targeted “unlawful enemy combatants.” Obama calls them “unprivileged enemy belligerents.” Language changed but not intent or lawlessness.

King also wants more surveillance. He claims “It keeps us ahead of the terrorists who are constantly trying to kill us.” Big lies repeated enough are believed.

Monday headlines claimed both brothers planned other attacks. No credible evidence suggests they planned any. None except for what’s fabricated. Doing so links them to Boston. Without cold, hard, verifiable facts, it doesn’t wash.

It doesn’t matter. They’re both pronounced guilty. Dzhokhar hasn’t a chance in court if he gets there. Jurors will be intimidated to convict.

On April 21, The New York Times headlined “Suspects Seemed Set for Attacks Beyond Boston,” saying:

Both brothers “were armed with a small arsenal of guns, ammunition and explosives when they first confronted the police early Friday, and were most likely planning more attacks, the authorities said Sunday.”

Planting incriminating evidence reflects longstanding police policy. Doing so conceals their own crimes. Anzoro Tsarnaev said both his sons had nothing to do with terrorism.

They had no training or knowledge of explosives or firearms, he said. They were set up. US “special services went after them because my sons are Muslims and don’t have anyone in America to protect them.”

Zubeidat Tsarnaev called her sons innocent. She said FBI operatives hounded Tamerlan for perhaps five years. They monitored his actions. They knew what Internet sites he accessed. Without justification, they called him an extremist leader. He was being set up for what followed.

What happened begs the question. How could both brothers plan a terrorist act without FBI operatives knowing?

Numerous times they entrapped Muslims. They did so illegally. Charges alleged they were planning what they never intended. Always the FBI and/or local authorities intervened in time to stop them. Why not Boston? Evidence suggests neither brother was involved. Previous articles explained.

If Dzhokhar survives, he’ll likely face life in prison or the death penalty. It won’t be the first time injustice substituted for judicial fairness. It’s longstanding US policy.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected].

His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

http://www.dailycensored.com/terrorists-r-us/

Mounting Opposition to Drone Warfare

April 23rd, 2013 by Chris Cole

 

original-ReaperUS drones struck in Yemen and Pakistan this past week after something of a pause.  On Weds (17 April) US drones hit a house in North Waziristan killing five people including an alleged commander of the Pakistan Taliban,  On the same day according to Associated Press US drones undertook two strikes 100 miles south of the capital Sana’a.  Five people were killed in the strikes, one on  vehicle and one on a house. Local journalist Farea Al-Muslimi live tweeted the attack, and reported in an article for  Al Monitor that the apparent target of the strike,  Hammed al-Radmi  regularly took part in meetings at the local government headquarters and thus could have been captured.  A further drone strike took place yesterday (21 April ) in Yemen killing two suspected militants.

 

While we continue to get no details of US and UK drone strikes in Afghanistan beyond bald figures, this week Congress was notified of a $95 million sale of 500 Hellfire missiles to the UK of the ‘P’ and ‘N’ variant.  The ‘P’ variant is specifically designed for use by drones while the ‘N’ variant has a thermobaric warhead and it may be, as we have previously reported that this variant too may be being use on British drones.

 

While the drone wars plod on, opposition continues to grow.  Ten days ago a coalition of US human rights groups including ACLU, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch wrote to President Obama questioning the legal basis for targeted killing and calling for an end to the secrecy surrounding the use of drones.  (full letter here)   A coalition of US faith group also wrote to the President challenging the growing use of targeted killing and highlighting the danger of remote warfare. On this the letter states:

 

“Military trainers know that human nature itself serves as a check on lethal violence. Coming face to face with someone  described as an enemy requires a deliberate choice to override a deep human instinct against killing. Remote, technical warfare removes that very human check.  As a society we have not adequately considered where this development leads us as a species. The remote nature of this type of deadly violence has the potential to encourage overuse and extension of the policy to more countries and more perceived threats.”

 

On top of these civil society groups, the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Peter Maurer also met with President Obama this week and urged restraint on the use of drones.  The Bureau of Investigative Journalism reported that at a press conference following the visit, Maurer said ’The US is very aware… of where we disagree with the use of drones.’

 

Drone protesters at Hancock

 

Protest groups continue to demonstrate against the use of drones.  In the US five people were convicted of trespass this week after blockading the entrance to Hancock Air Force base from where drones are controlled over Afghanistan.  The five, who face jail time and fines, will be sentences on April 24.   Brian Terrell who was jailed for six months following an anti-drone protest at Whiteman Air Force base in Missouri, remains in prison and will be releases at the end of May. Many local US peace groups are currently taking part in a month-long  anti-drone campaign, with dozens of actions taking place across the US.

 

Here in the UK, campaigners are gearing up for a large protest planned for next week at RAF Waddington, the UK’s new centre of drone activity.  Hundreds will march on the base to call for an end to drone warfare.  Meanwhile a number of MPs are beginning to express opposition to the use of drones, (see for example the MPs quoted in this Daily Mail article reveling that UK company Cobham are supplying components for US Predator drones) while the the All Party Parliamentary Group on Drones goes from strength to strength.

 

While the continuing use of armed drones seems inevitable to the drone lobby,  the breath of opposition on legal, ethical and humanitarian grounds means that the future is far from certain.

Why Does America Media Continue to Honour Henry Kissinger?

April 23rd, 2013 by Patrick Henningsen

It’s no surprise in 2013 to see the government media complex try it’s very best to preserve the delicate legacies of lauded members of the political establishment.

Look how much effort was poured into the media eulogies for Margaret Thatcher recently, only to see the whole facade come crashing down against the real weight of public opinion and negative feelings towards the iconic Iron Lady. In the end, even the all-powerful media could not hide her affinity with international friends like General Pinochet and Pol Pot.

In the American political theater, media treatment of men or women who are  considered ‘political institutions’ tends to be much more vain and sycophantic, where junior anchors and talk show hosts will generally fall over backwards to secure 15 minutes with any such veteran, even a war criminal like Henry Kissinger.


PHOTO: Kindred spirits, always on the same page when it came to feeding the global war machine.

Kissinger is widely regarded by most well-read people worldwide as the mascot for carpet bombing in Southeast Asia, regime change and last but not least – US domestic policy manipulation. You could say was the forerunner to the GW Bush era of making the illegal seem legal, and making the immoral seem moral. Although he regards himself as an American, it is rather disturbing to know that a US Administration – Nikon’s in this case, would allow someone with dual nationalist loyalties and who was not born in the US, to sit in one of the most important seats in Washington DC. There was a reason why he was inserted into that role at that specific time in history. America is still living with the repercussions of that oversight today.

Whether it’s the Bilderberg Group, Bohemian Grove, the Trilateral Commission, or the Council on Foreign Relations, Henry Kissinger has always been placed in the key steering positions in order to exact certain outcomes for those whom he really works for. Still, hopeless career media pundits will continue to paint him as an foreign policy guru, but the reality is that he was simply better at manipulating and politically blackmailing those around him than the next man.

VIDEO: Here, BBC career talking head Jeremy Paxman’s idea of a tough interview

Again, and like with his good friend Lady Thatcher, Henry Kissinger’s legacy will not be easy to contain within a few clever memes like, ‘foreign policy genius’ or ‘skilled diplomat’, and no matter what agit prop the media try to erect, there will be celebrations after the fact…

Henry Kissinger’s quote recently released by Wikileaks,”the illegal we do immediately; the unconstitutional takes a little longer”, likely brought a smile to his legions of elite media, government, corporate and high society admirers. Oh that Henry! That rapier wit! That trademark insouciance! That naughtiness! It is unlikely, however, that the descendants of his more than 6 million victims in Indochina, and Americans of conscience appalled by his murder of non-Americans, will share in the amusement. For his illegal and unconstitutional actions had real-world consequences: the ruined lives of millions of Indochinese innocents in a new form of secret, automated, amoral U.S. Executive warfare which haunts the world until today.

And his conduct raises even more fundamental questions: to what extent can leaders who act secretly ,illegally and unconstitutionally, lying to their citizenry and legislature as a matter of course, legitimately claim to represent their people? How much allegiance do citizens owe such leaders? And what does it say about America’s elites that they have honored a man with so much innocent blood on his hands for the past 40 years?

Mr. Kissinger’s most significant historical act was executing Richard Nixon’s orders to conduct the most massive bombing campaign, largely of civilian targets, in world history. He dropped 3.7 million tons of bombs** between January 1969 and January 1973 – nearly twice the two million dropped on all of Europe and the Pacific in World War II. He secretly and illegally devastated villages throughout areas of Cambodia inhabited by a U.S. Embassy-estimated two million people; quadrupled the bombing of Laos and laid waste to the 700-year old civilization on the Plain of Jars; and struck civilian targets throughout North Vietnam – Haiphong harbor, dikes, cities, Bach Mai Hospital – which even Lyndon Johnson had avoided. His aerial slaughter helped kill, wound or make homeless an officially-estimated six million human beings**, mostly civilians who posed no threat whatsoever to U.S. national security and had committed no offense against it.

There is a word for the aerial mass murder that Henry Kissinger committed  in Indochina, and that word is “evil”. The figure most identified with this word today is Adolph Hitler, and his evil was so unspeakable that the term is by now identified with him. But that is precisely why it is important to understand the new face of evil and moral depravity that Henry Kissinger represents. For evil not only comes in the form of madmen dreaming of 1000 year Reichs. In fact, in our day, it is more likely to be committed by sane, genial and ordinary careerists waging invisible automated war in far-off lands against people whose screams we never hear, whose faces we never see, and whose deaths go unrecorded and unnoticed. It is critical to understand this new face of evil, for it threatens not only countless foreigners but Americans in coming years. And no one has embodied it more than Henry Kissinger.

The planes he dispatched came by day. They came by night. Remorseless. Pitiless. Relentless. Day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year. Most of the people below had no idea where the bombers came from, why their lives had been turned into a living hell. The movie “War of the Worlds”, in which Americans are incomprehensibly slaughtered by machines is the closest depiction of what the innocent rice-farmers of Indochina experienced. 

Hundreds of thousands of innocent human beings in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam were forced to live in holes and caves, like animals. Many tens of thousands were burned alive by the bombs, slowly dying in agony. Others were buried alive, as they gradually suffocated to death when a 500 pound bomb exploded nearby. Most were victims of antipersonnel bombs designed primarily to maim not kill, many of the survivors carrying the metal, jagged or plastic pellets in their bodies for the rest of their lives.

Fathers like 38-year old Thao Vong were suddenly blinded or crippled for life as they lost an arm or leg, made helpless, unable to support their families, becoming  dependent on others just to stay alive. Children were struck, lying out in the open, screaming, villagers unable to come to their aid for fear of being killed themselves. No one was spared – neither sweet, loving grandmothers nor lovely young women, neither laughing, innocent children nor nursing or pregnant mothers, not water buffalo needed to farm not the shrines where people had for centuries honored their ancestors and hoped one day to be honored themselves.

A farmer on the Plain of Jars in northern Laos wrote of being bombed by the U.S. in 1969 that “every day and every night the planes came to drop bombs on us. We lived in holes to protect our lives. I saw my cousin die in the field of death. My heart was most disturbed and my voice called out loudly as I ran to the houses. Thus, I saw life and death for the people on account of the war of many airplanes in the region of the Plain of Jars. Until there were no houses at all. And the cows and buffalo were dead. Until everything was leveled and you could see only the red, red ground.” 

A 30-year old mother  wrote that “at that time, our lives became like those of animals desperately trying to escape their hunters. Our lives were confided to the Lord Buddha. No matter when, all we did was to pray to the Lord to save our lives.”

A 39 year old rice-farmer wrote of the aftermath of a bombing raid: “The other villagers and I got together to consider this thing. We hadn’t done anything, nor harmed anyone. We had raised our crops, celebrated the festivals and maintained our homes for many years. Why did the planes drop bombs on us, impoverishing us this way?”

Mr. Kissinger exulted to President Nixon over this bombing, telling him that “it’s wave after wave of planes. You see, they can’t see the B-52 and they dropped a million pounds of bombs … I bet you we will have had more planes over there in one day than Johnson had in a month … each plane can carry about 10 times the load of World War II plane could carry.”

Although Mr. Kissinger claimed he was only bombing enemy troops, guerrilla soldiers were largely undetectable from the air. Investigating the bombing of northern Laos, the U.S. Senate Refugee Subcommittee concluded that “the United States has undertaken a large-scale air war over Laos to destroy the physical and social infrastructure in Pathet Lao (i.e., guerrilla) areas. Throughout all this there has been a policy of secrecy. The bombing has taken and is taking a heavy toll among civilians.” These words apply to Mr. Kissinger’s bombing throughout Indochina. The villagers of Indochina were not “collateral damage”. They were the target.

Those who praise Mr. Kissinger for the opening to China but ignore his mass murder in Indochina shame human decency itself. By honoring Mr. Kissinger they dishonor themselves. And they are also blind to the careerist “Executive Branch mentality” he embodied, which poses a clear and present a danger to foreigners and Americans alike today. Adolph Hitler dreamed of conquering and Stalin of communizing the world. Mr. Kissinger destroyed millions of lives primarily to further his career by preventing a communist takeover while he held office. And it is this kind of institutional, bureaucratic mentality, combined with new machines of secret war,  which threatens the humanity today far more than the crazed ideologies of the past.

In the end Mr. Kissinger failed, as the communists took over Indochina in the spring of 1975…

Who is Behind “Al Qaeda in Iran”?

April 23rd, 2013 by Tony Cartalucci

As the FBI reels from what now appears to be revelations it was directly involved in the Boston Marathon bombings, a deluge of FBI “success” stories have been “serendipitously” splashed across Western headlines. Among them was an allegedly “foiled” terror attack in Canada, reported to be the work of terrorists supported by “Al-Qaeda operatives in Iran.” The Globe and Mail, in its report, “Canada joins U.S. in alleging al-Qaeda has operatives based in Iran,” states:

“To many, it came as a surprise that the RCMP is alleging that two terror suspects arrested in Canada on Monday were supported by al-Qaeda operatives in Iran.

The Sunni-based al-Qaeda and Shia Iran belong to different branches of Islam that have been at odds historically. But in recent years U.S. officials have formally alleged that Iran has allowed al-Qaeda members to operate out of its territory.”

Both at face value and upon deeper examination, this assertion is utterly absurd, divorced from reality, and indicative of the absolute contempt within which the Western establishment holds the global public. In reality, the West, the US, Saudi Arabia, and Israel in particular, have propped up and perpetuated Al Qaeda for the very purpose of either undermining or overthrowing the governments of Iran, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Algeria, Libya,  Russia, Malaysia, Indonesia, and beyond.

Regarding Iran in particular, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh in his 2007 New Yorker piece titled, “The Redirection: Is the Administration’s new policy benefiting our enemies in the war on terrorism?” would state:

To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has cooperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.

In a follow up, Hersh in his 2008 New Yorker piece titled, “Preparing the Battlefield: The Bush Administration steps up its secret moves against Iran,” spelled out a damning indictment of US involvement in bolstering, arming, and funding terror organizations, not linked to, but described as actually being Al Qaeda.

Of American support for Al Qaeda the report states (emphasis added):

The Administration may have been willing to rely on dissident organizations in Iran even when there was reason to believe that the groups had operated against American interests in the past. The use of Baluchi elements, for example, is problematic, Robert Baer, a former C.I.A. clandestine officer who worked for nearly two decades in South Asia and the Middle East, told me. “The Baluchis are Sunni fundamentalists who hate the regime in Tehran, but you can also describe them as Al Qaeda,” Baer told me. “These are guys who cut off the heads of nonbelievers—in this case, it’s Shiite Iranians. The irony is that we’re once again working with Sunni fundamentalists, just as we did in Afghanistan in the nineteen-eighties.” Ramzi Yousef, who was convicted for his role in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who is considered one of the leading planners of the September 11th attacks, are Baluchi Sunni fundamentalists.

The report would continue by stating (emphasis added):

One of the most active and violent anti-regime groups in Iran today is the Jundallah, also known as the Iranian People’s Resistance Movement, which describes itself as a resistance force fighting for the rights of Sunnis in Iran. “This is a vicious Salafi organization whose followers attended the same madrassas as the Taliban and Pakistani extremists,” Nasr told me. “They are suspected of having links to Al Qaeda and they are also thought to be tied to the drug culture.” The Jundallah took responsibility for the bombing of a busload of Revolutionary Guard soldiers in February, 2007. At least eleven Guard members were killed. According to Baer and to press reports, the Jundallah is among the groups in Iran that are benefitting from U.S. support.

The manifestation of this insidious conspiracy can be seen playing out across Syria in which US-backed terrorists openly operating under the flag of Al Qaeda are locked in a catastrophic sectarian bloodbath with the Syrian people and the Syrian state’s closest ally, Iran. The conflict in Syria exposes that the machinations revealed back in 2007-2008 by Hersh, are still being carried out in earnest today.

Clearly, US-Canadian claims that Iran is somehow involved in harboring Al Qaeda within its borders, when it has been the West for years propping them up specifically to overthrow the Iranian government, are utterly absurd. In reality, while the West uses Al Qaeda’s presence both within Iran and along it peripheries to undermine and ultimately overthrow the Iranian government, it in turn uses these very terror organizations to induce paralyzing fear across Western populations in order to consolidate and expand power at home.

Additional Reading: For more information on just how much support the US has provided Al Qaeda terrorists in Baluchistan versus both Pakistan and Iran, please see, “US Attempting to Trigger Color Revolution in Pakistan.” For more information on the US’ delisting, arming and training of the terror organization, Mujahedeen e-Khalq (MEK or MKO) versus Iran, please see, “US to Delist & Arm American-Killing Terror Cult.”