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Who’s Who at Wikileaks?

By Julie Lévesque | Global Research | December 20, 2010

In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way.” –Franklin D. Roosevelt

After the publication of a series of confirmations rather than revelations, there are some crucial unanswered questions regarding the nature and organizational structure of Wikileaks.

Shrouded in secrecy, the now famous whistleblowing site and its director Julian Assange are demanding “transparency” from governments and corporations around the world while failing to provide some basic information pertaining to Wikileaks as an organization.

Who is Julian Assange?

In the introduction to the book Underground: Hacking, Madness and Obsession on the Electronic Frontier (1997), by Julian Assange and Suelette Dreyfus, Assange begins with the following quotes:

“Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.” — Oscar Wilde

“What is essential is invisible to the eye.” — Antoine De Saint-Exupery

From the start, Assange states that he undertook the research for the book; however, he fails to mention that he was actually one of the hackers analyzed in the book, going by the name of Mendax, a Latin word for “lying, false…”.

Although we cannot confirm that the above quotes referred to him, they nonetheless suggest that Assange, at the time, was hiding his true identity.

We know very little about the cryptographer Julian Assange. He is indeed very cryptic when it comes to revealing who he is and where he worked prior to the Wikileaks project. On the list of board members published previously by Wikileaks, we can read that Julian Assange:

has “attended 37 schools and 6 universities”, none of which are mentioned by name;

“Australia’s most famous ethical computer hacker”. A court case from 1996 cited abundantly in the mainstream press is available on the Australasian Legal Information Institute. Contrary to all the other cases listed on the afore mentioned link, the full text of Assange’s case is not available;

in the first prosecution of its type… [he] defended a case in the supreme court for his role as the editor of an activist electronic magazine”. The name of the magazine, the year of the prosecution, the country where it took place are not mentioned;

allegedly founded “’Pickup’ civil rights group for children”. No information about this group seems to be available, other than in reports related to Wikileaks. We don’t know if it still exists, where it is located and what are its activities.

“studied mathematics, philosophy and neuroscience”. We don’t know where he studied or what his credentials are;

has been a subject of several books and documentaries”. If so, why not mention at least one of them?

One could indeed argue that Assange wishes to remain anonymous in order to protect himself, the whistleblowers and/or the members of his organization. On the other hand, he cannot realistically expect people to trust him blindly if they do not know who he really is. […]

Who’s Who at Wikileaks? The Members of the Advisory Board

Here are some interesting facts about several members listed in 2008 on the Wikileaks advisory board, including  organizations to which they belong or have links to.

Philip Adams:

Philip Adams, among other things, “held key posts in Australian governmental media administration” (Wikileaks’ Advisory Board,, 27 March 2008), chaired the Australia Council and contributed to The Times, The Financial Times in London and The New York Times. Confirmed by several reports,  he is the representative of the International Committee of Index on Censorship. It is worth mentioning that Wikileaks was awarded the 2008 Economist Index on Censorship Freedom of Expression award. (Philip Adams,

Adams worked as a presenter for ABC (Australia) Radio’s Late Night Live and as columnist for The Australian since the 1960s. The Australian is owned by News Corporation, a property of Rupert Murdoch, member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).

Adams also “chairs the Advisory Board of the Centre for the Mind at Sydney University and the Australian National University”. CFR member Michael Spence also serves on this board and Rupert Murdoch’s son, Lachlan Murdoch, has served as well until 2001. The 2008 Distinguished Fellow of the Center for the Mind was former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who has faced a slew of accusations for war crimes. Does Adams have conflicting allegiances: serving on the advisory board of the Wikileaks organization whose mandate is to expose war crimes, yet at the same time sitting on another board which honors an accused war criminal.

According to an article in The Australian:

Adams, who has never met Assange, says he quit the board due to ill-health shortly after WikiLeaks was launched and never attended a meeting. “I don’t think the advisory board has done any advisoring,” he quips.

CJ Hinke:

CJ Hinke, “writer, academic, activist, has lived in Thailand since 1989 where he founded Freedom Against Censorship Thailand (FACT) in 2006 to campaign against pervasive censorship in Thai society.” (Wikileaks’ Advisory Board,, 27 March 2008) FACT is part of Privacy International, which includes among others on its Steering Committee or advisory board, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Index on Censorship.

In 2009, FACT received funding from the following organizations: the European Parliament, the European Commission framework funding programmes, the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust, the Open Society Institute, the Open Society Justice Initiative, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, The Fund for Constitutional Government, the Stern Foundation, the Privacy Foundation, the German Marshall Fund, and the University of New South Wales (Sydney).

In the US, Privacy International is “administered through the Fund for Constitutional Government in Washington DC.”(About Privacy International, 16 December 2009).

One of the board members of this fund is Steven Aftergood, who wrote one of the first articles on Wikileaks before the website was even functional. In a report from Technology Daily dated January 4, 2007, it is stated that “Wikileaks recently invited Steven Aftergood, a government secrecy researcher at the Federation of American Scientists [FAS], to serve on its advisory board.”

Ben Laurie:

“’WikiLeaks allegedly has an advisory board, and allegedly I’m a member of it… I don’t know who runs it…’ Laurie says his only substantive interaction with the group was when Assange approached him to help design a system that would protect leakers’ anonymity.” (David Kushner, Inside Wikileaks’ Leak Factory, Mother Jones, 6 April, 2010)

This article appeared in Mother Jones in April 2010. An article of the New York Daily News dated December 2010  quotes Ben Laurie as follows: “‘Julian’s a smart guy and this is an interesting tactic,’ said Ben Laurie, a London-based computer security expert who has advised WikiLeaks.”

Despite his denial of being an advisor to Wikileaks, his name still appears on the list of advisory board members, according to reports. It is also worth noting that Ben Laurie is a “Director of Security for The Bunker Secure Hosting, where he has worked since 1984 and is responsible for security, cryptography and network design.”He is also a Director of Open Rights Group, funded by the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust Ltd and the Open Society Foundation.

Chinese and Tibetan Dissidents on the Advisory Board

Tashi Namgyal Khamsitsang:

Tashi Namgyal Khamsitsang, a “Tibetan exile & activist” is a former President of the Washington Tibet Association, and was a member of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile. In July of this year he was appointed by the Governor of Washington State to the State Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs. (A Tibetan Appointed to the Washington State Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs, Tibetan Association of Washington, 17 July 2010)

Wang Youcai:

Wang Youcai co-founded the Chinese Democracy Party and is another leader of the Tienanmen Square protests. Imprisoned for “conspiring to overthrow the Government of China… he was exiled in 2004 under international political pressure, especially from the United States. He is also a “member of Chinese Constitutional Democratic Transition Research and a member of the Coordinative Service Platform of the China Democracy Party” (Wikileaks’ Advisory Board,, 27 March 2008)

Xiao Qiang:

Xiao Qiang, is one of the Chinese dissidents listed on the Wikileaks board. He “ is the Director of the Berkeley China Internet Project…[He] became a full time human rights activist after the Tienanmen Massacre in 1989… and is currently vice-chair of the Steering Committee of the World Movement for Democracy”, according to Wikileaks’ description. He received the MacArthur Fellowship from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in 2001 and is a commentator for Radio Free Asia. (Wikilieaks’ Avisory Board,, 27 March 2008)

Xiao Qiang is also the “founder and publisher of China Digital Times” (Biographies, National Endowment for Democracy), which is a grantee of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) (Directives from China’s Ministry of Truth on Liu Xiaobo winning Nobel, Democracy Digest, October 8, 2010).

The Steering Committee of the World Movement for Democracy is an initiative of the Washington, DC-based NED. (World Movement for Democracy). In 2008, Xiao Qiang was part of a discussion panel titled “Law Rights and Democracy in China: Perspectives and Leading Advocates”, held by NED before the Democracy Award Ceremony. (2008 NED Democracy Award Honors Heroes of Human Rights and Democracy in China, National Endowment for Democracy, June 17, 2008).

Radio Free Asia is funded by the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) which describes itself as a body that “encompasses all U.S. civilian international broadcasting, including the Voice of America (VOA), Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), Radio Free Asia (RFA), Radio and TV Martí, and the Middle East Broadcasting Networks (MBN)—Radio Sawa and Alhurra Television.” Eight of its nine members are appointed by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate; the ninth is the Secretary of State, who serves ex officio”. (Broadcasting Board of Governors)

RFE/RL no longer hides its covert origins: “Initially, both RFE and RL were funded principally by the U.S. Congress through the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)… In 1971, all CIA involvement ended and thereafter RFE and RL were funded by Congressional appropriation through the Board for International Broadcasting (BIB) and after 1995 the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG). (A Brief History of RFE/RL)

Interestingly, in a report from 2002, the CFR suggested “creating a Public Diplomacy Coordinating Structure (PDCS) to help define communications strategies and streamline public diplomacy structures. ‘In many ways, the PDCS would be similar to the National Security Council’… PDCS members would include the secretaries of State, Defense, Treasury and Commerce, as well as the director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and BBG chairman”, a suggestion officially objected by the BBG “to preserve the journalistic integrity.” (BBG Expresses Concern With Report Recommendations on U.S. International Braodcasting, 31 July 2002)

Wang Dan:

Among the Chinese dissidents once listed on the board is Wang Dan. He was a leader of the Tienanmen Square democracy movement, which “earned him the top spot on China’s list of ‘21 Most Wanted Beijing Student Leaders’.” He was imprisoned for his subversive activities and “exiled in 1998 under international political pressure to the United States.” (Wikilieaks’ Avisory Board,, 27 March 2008)

He is chairman of the Chinese Constitutional Reform Association, and sits on the editorial board of Beijing Spring, a magazine funded by NED, the “chief democracy-promoting foundation” according to an article by Judith Miller in The New York Times. One of the founders of NED was quoted as saying “A lot of what we [NED] do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA.” (quoted in William Blum, Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower, 2000, p. 180).

In 1998, Wang Dan was granted the NED’s Democracy Award “for representing a peaceful alternative to achieve democracy and for [his] courage and steadfastness in the cause of democracy”. (1998 Democracy Award honors Heroes of Human Rights and Democracy in China, National Endowment for Democracy)

The Battle for “Transparency”

In 2007, Wikileaks described itself as an “uncensorable Wikipedia for untraceable mass document leaking and analysis.” Its priority? “[E]xposing oppressive regimes in Asia, the former Soviet bloc, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East.” Like the advisory board member list, this description no longer appears on Wikileaks’ website. The organization also claimed to be “founded by Chinese dissidents, journalists, mathematicians and startup company technologists, from the US, Taiwan, Europe, Australia and South Africa.” (, 17 December 2007)

In the currently available description, the reference to the Chinese dissidents and the origins of the other members has been removed. Wikileaks rather puts the emphasis on not being a covert operation.

Assange encourages blind faith in Wikileaks as he puts a lot of emphasis on the trustworthiness of his opaque organization. In the words of Assange:

“Once something starts going around and being considered trustworthy in a particular arena, and you meet someone and they say ‘I heard this is trustworthy,’ then all of a sudden it reconfirms your suspicion that the thing is trustworthy. So that’s why brand is so important, just as it is with anything you have to trust.”(Andy Greenberg, An Interview with Wikileaks’ Julian Assange, Forbes, 29 October, 2010, emphasis added)

“People should understand that WikiLeaks has proven to be arguably the most trustworthy new source that exists, because we publish primary source material and analysis based on that primary source material,” Assange told CNN. “Other organizations, with some exceptions, simply are not trustworthy.”(The secret life of Julian Assange, CNN, 2 December 2010, emphasis added)

While Wikileaks no longer discloses the names of the members of its advisory board, nor does it reveal its sources of funding, we have to trust it because according to its founder Julian Assange, it “has proven to be the most trustworthy news source that exists”.

Moreover, if we follow Assange’s assertion that there are only a few media organizations which can be considered trustworthy, we must assume that those are the ones which were selected by Wikileaks to act as “partners” in the release and editing of the leaks, including The New York Times, Der Spiegel, The Guardian, El Paìs, Le Monde.

Yet The New York Times, which employs members of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) including Wikileaks’ collaborator David E. Sanger, has proven more than once to be a propaganda tool for the US government, the most infamous example being the Iraqi WMD narrative promoted by Pulitzer Prize winner Judith Miller.

In an interview, Assange indicates that Wikileaks chose a variety of media to avoid the use of leaks for propaganda purposes.  It is important to note that although these media might be owned by different groups and have different editorial policies, they are without exception news entities controlled by major Western media corporations.

A much better way to avoid the use of leaks for disinformation purposes would have been to work with media from different regions of the world (e.g. Asia, Latin America, Middle East) as well as establish partnership agreements with the alternative media. By working primarily with media organizations from NATO countries, Wikileaks has chosen to submit its leaks to one single “worldview”, that of the West.

As a few critics of Wikileaks have noted, the Wikileaks project brings to mind the “recommendations” of Cass Sunstein, heads the Obama White House’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. Sunstein is the author of an authoritative Harvard Law School essay entitled “Conspiracy Theories: Causes and Cures”. As outlined by Daniel Tencer in Obama Staffer Calls for “Cognitive Infiltration” of ” 9/11 Conspiracy Groups”:

Sunstein “argued that the government should stealthily infiltrate groups that pose alternative theories on historical events via ‘chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups and attempt to undermine’ those groups”.

Sunstein means that people who believe in conspiracy theories have a limited number of sources of information that they trust. Therefore, Sunstein argued in the article, it would not work to simply refute the conspiracy theories in public — the very sources that conspiracy theorists believe would have to be infiltrated.

Sunstein, whose article focuses largely on the 9/11 conspiracy theories, suggests that the government “enlist nongovernmental officials in the effort to rebut the theories. It might ensure that credible independent experts offer the rebuttal, rather than government officials themselves. There is a tradeoff between credibility and control, however. The price of credibility is that government cannot be seen to control the independent experts.” (emphasis added)

Links to The Intelligence Community

Wikleaks feels the need to reassure public opinion that it has no contacts with the intelligence community. Ironically, it also sees the need to define the activities of the intelligence agencies and compare them to those of Wikileaks:

“1.5 The people behind WikiLeaks

WikiLeaks is a project of the Sunshine Press. It’s probably pretty clear by now that WikiLeaks is not a front for any intelligence agency or government despite a rumour to that effect. This rumour was started early in WikiLeaks’ existence, possibly by the intelligence agencies themselves. WikiLeaks is an independent global group of people with a long standing dedication to the idea of a free press and the improved transparency in society that comes from this. The group includes accredited journalists, software programmers, network engineers, mathematicians and others.

To determine the truth of our statements on this, simply look at the evidence. By definition, intelligence agencies want to hoard information. By contrast, WikiLeaks has shown that it wants to do just the opposite. Our track record shows we go to great lengths to bring the truth to the world without fear or favour.” (, emphasis added)

“Is Wikileaks a CIA front?

Wikileaks is not a front for the CIA, MI6, FSB or any other agency. Quite the opposite actually. […] By definition spy agencies want to hide information. We want to get it out to the public.” (, 17, December 2007, emphasis added)

Quite true. But by definition, a covert operation always pretends to be something it is not, and never claims to be what it is.

Wikileaks’ Entourage. Who Supports Wikileaks?

The people gravitating around Wikileaks have connections and/or are affiliated to a number of establishment organizations, major corporate foundations and charities. In the Wikileaks’ leak published by John Young, a correspondence dated January 4, 2007, points to Wikileaks’ exchange with Freedom House:

“We are looking for one or two initial advisory board member from FH who may advise on the following:

1. the needs of FH as consumer of leaks exposing business andpolitical corruption

2. the needs for sources of leaks as experienced by FH

3. FH recommendations for other advisory board members

4. general advice on funding, coallition building and decentralised operations and political framing

These positions will initially be unpaid, but we feel the role may be of significant interest to FH.”

The request for funding from various organizations triggered some doubt among Wikileaks collaborators.

John Young became  very sceptical concerning the Wikileaks project specifically with regard to the initial fund-raising goal of 5 million dollars, the contacts with elite organizations including Freedom House and the National Endowment for Democracy and the alleged millions of documents:

“Announcing a $5 million fund-raising goal by July will kill this effort. It makes WL appear to be a Wall Street scam.

This amount could not be needed so soon except for suspect purposes.

I’d say the same about the alleged 1.1 million documents ready for leaking. Way too many to be believable without evidence. I don’t believe the number. So far, one document, of highly suspect provenance.”

Young finally quit the organization on January 7, 2007. His final words: “Wikileaks is a fraud… working for the enemy”.

Four years after its creation, we still don’t know who funds the whistleblower site.

Wikileaks, Hackers, and “The First Cyberwar”

The shady circumstances around Julian Assange’s arrest for “sex crimes” have triggered what some mainstream media have called the “first cyberwar”. The Guardian for instance, another Wikileaks partner, warns us with this shocking title: “WikiLeaks backlash: The first global cyber war has begun, claim hackers”.

Some people suspect that this is a false flag operation intended to control the Internet.

It is no secret that hackers are often recruited by governmental authorities for cyber security purposes. Peiter Zatko a.k.a. “Mudge” is one of them. Here is an excerpt of a Forbes interview with Assange regarding his connection to Peiter Zatko:

Assange:Yeah, I know Mudge. He’s a very sharp guy.

Greenberg: Mudge is now leading a project at the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to find a technology that can stop leaks, which seems pretty relative [sic] to your organization. Can you tell me about your past relationship with Mudge?

Assange: Well, I… no comment.

Greenberg: Were you part of the same scene of hackers? When you were a computer hacker, you must have known him well.

Assange: We were in the same milieu. I spoke with everyone in that milieu.

Greenberg: What do you think of his current work to prevent digital leaks inside of organizations, a project called Cyber Insider Threat or Cinder?

Assange: I know nothing about it.

Peiter Zatko is an expert  in cyber warfare. He worked for BBN Technolgies (a subsidiary of Raytheon) with engineers “who perform leading edge research and development to protect Department of Defense data… Mr. Zatko is focused on anticipating and protecting against the next generation of information and network security threats to government and commercial networks.” (Peiter “Mudge” Zatko, Information Security Expert Who Warned that Hackers “Could Take Down the Internet in 30 Minutes” Returns to BBN Technologies, Business Wire, 1 February 2005, emphasis added)

In another Forbes interview, we learn that Mr. Zatko is “a lead cybersecurity researcher at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency [DARPA], the mad-scientist wing of the Pentagon.” His project “aims to rid the world of digital leaks”. (Forbes, emphasis added)

There also seems to be a connection between Zatko and former hacker Jacob Appelbaum, a Wikileaks spokesperson. Zatko and Appelbaum were purportedly part of a hacker group called Cult of the Dead Cow.

Appelbaum currently works for the Tor Project, a United States Naval Research Laboratory initiative. The sponsors of that project listed on its website are:

NLnet Foundation (2008-2009), Naval Research Laboratory (2006-2010), an anonymous North American ISP (2009-2010), provided up to $100k. Google (2008-2009), Google Summer of Code (2007-2009), Human Rights Watch, Torfox (2009) and Shinjiru Technology (2009-2010) gave in turn up to $50k.

Past sponsors includes: Electronic Frontier Foundation (2004-2005), DARPA and ONR via Naval Research Laboratory (2001-2006), Cyber-TA project (2006-2008), Bell Security Solutions Inc (2006), Omidyar Network Enzyme Grant (2006), NSF via Rice University (2006-2007).

Zatko and Assange know each other. Jacob Appelbaum also played a role at Wikileaks.

The various connections tell us something regarding Assange’s entourage. They do not, however, provide us with evidence that people within these various organizations were supportive of the Wikileaks project.

Recent Developments: The Role of the Frontline Club

Over the last seven months, the London based Frontline Club has served as de facto U.K “headquarters” for Wikileaks. The Frontline Club is an initiative of Henry Vaughan Lockhart Smith, a former British Grenadier Guards captain. According to NATO, Vaughan Smith became an “independent video journalist […] who always hated war, but remained […] soldier-friendly”. (Across the Wire, New media: Weapons of mass communication, NATO Review, February 2008)

Upon his release from bail, Julian Assange was provided refuge at Vaughan Smith’s Ellingham Manor in Norfolk.

The Frontline Club is an establishment media outfit. Vaughan Smith writes for the NATO Review. (See NATO Web TV Channel and NATO Nations: Accurate, Reliable and Convenient). His relationship to NATO goes back to 1998 when he worked as a video journalist in Kosovo. In 2010, he was “embedded with a platoon from the British Grenadier Guards” during Operation Moshtarak in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province. (PBS NewsHour, February 19, 2010). According to the New York Times, The Frontline Club “has received financing for its events from the Open Society Institute”. (In London, a Haven and a Forum for War Reporters – New York Times, 28 August 2006)

Concluding Remarks: The Cyber Warfare Narrative

Wikileaks is now being used by the authorities, particularly in the US, to promote the cyber warfare narrative, which could dramatically change the Internet and suppress the freedom of expression Wikileaks claims to defend.

Peter Kornbluh, analyst at The National Security Archive, argues that “there’s going to be a lot of screaming about Wikileaks and the new federal law to penalize, sanction, and put the boot down on organizations like Wikileaks, so that their reactions can be deemed illegal.”
Ultimately, Wikileaks could spark off, intentionally or not, entirely new rules and regulations.

December 19, 2010 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | 3 Comments

Fake Terror And The War For Your Mind

TheSOTTReport | December 19, 2010

The Miami 7, the Fort Dix 6,the Newburgh 4, the Underwear Bomber, the Portland Car Bomber… The FBI has set up then knocked down dozens of terrorist straw men in an effort to convince you that the ‘war on terror’ is real. This is a very real war for your mind and we may all pay a high price for ignoring it.

December 19, 2010 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Timeless or most popular, Video | 3 Comments

Israel/West Bank: Separate and Unequal

Under Discriminatory Policies, Settlers Flourish, Palestinians Suffer

Human Rights Watch | December 19, 2010

Jerusalem – Israeli policies in the West Bank harshly discriminate against Palestinian residents, depriving them of basic necessities while providing lavish amenities for Jewish settlements, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The report identifies discriminatory practices that have no legitimate security or other justification and calls on Israel, in addition to abiding by its international legal obligation to withdraw the settlements, to end these violations of Palestinians’ rights.

The 166-page report, “Separate and Unequal: Israel’s Discriminatory Treatment of Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories,” shows that Israel operates a two-tier system for the two populations of the West Bank in the large areas where it exercises exclusive control. The report is based on case studies comparing Israel’s starkly different treatment of settlements and next-door Palestinian communities in these areas. It calls on the US and EU member states and on businesses with operations in settlement areas to avoid supporting Israeli settlement policies that are inherently discriminatory and that violate international law.

“Palestinians face systematic discrimination merely because of their race, ethnicity, and national origin, depriving them of electricity, water, schools, and access to roads, while nearby Jewish settlers enjoy all of these state-provided benefits,” said Carroll Bogert, deputy executive director for external relations at Human Rights Watch. “While Israeli settlements flourish, Palestinians under Israeli control live in a time warp – not just separate, not just unequal, but sometimes even pushed off their lands and out of their homes.”

By making their communities virtually uninhabitable, Israel’s discriminatory policies have frequently had the effect of forcing residents to leave their communities, Human Rights Watch said. According to a June 2009 survey of households in “Area C,” the area covering 60 percent of the West Bank that is under exclusive Israeli control, and East Jerusalem, which Israel unilaterally annexed, some 31 percent of Palestinian residents had been displaced since 2000.

Human Rights Watch looked at both Area C and East Jerusalem and found that the two-tier system in effect in both areas provides generous financial benefits and infrastructure support to promote life in Jewish settlements, while deliberately withholding basic services, punishing growth, and imposing harsh conditions on Palestinian communities. Such different treatment on the basis of race, ethnicity, and national origin that is not narrowly tailored to legitimate goals violates the fundamental prohibition against discrimination under human rights law.

Israeli policies control many aspects of the day-to-day life of Palestinians who live in Area C and East Jerusalem. Among the discriminatory burdens imposed on Palestinians that Human Rights Watch found are Israeli practices of expropriating land from Palestinians for settlements and their supporting infrastructure; blocking Palestinians from using roads and reaching agricultural lands; denying access to electricity and water; denying building permits for houses, schools, clinics, and infrastructure; and demolishing homes and even entire communities. Such measures have limited the expansion of Palestinian villages and imposed severe hardships on residents, including leaving them with limited access to medical care.

By contrast, Israeli policies promote and encourage Jewish settlements to expand in Area C and East Jerusalem, often using land and other resources that are effectively unavailable to Palestinians. The Israeli government grants numerous incentives to settlers, including funding for housing, education, and infrastructure, such as special roads. Those benefits have led to the consistent and rapid expansion of settlements, the population of which grew from approximately 241,500 inhabitants in 1992 to roughly 490,000 in 2010, including East Jerusalem.

“While Israeli policy makers are fighting for the ‘natural growth’ of their illegal settlements, they’re strangling historic Palestinian communities, forbidding families from expanding their homes, and making life unlivable,” Bogert said. “The policies surrounding Israel’s settlements are an affront to equality and a major obstacle to ordinary Palestinian life.”

One of the Palestinian communities that Human Rights Watch examines in the report is Jubbet al-Dhib, a village with 160 residents southeast of Bethlehem that dates from 1929. The village is often accessible only by foot because its only connection to a paved road is a rough, 1.5 kilometer-long dirt track. Children from Jubbet al-Dhib must walk to schools in other villages several kilometers away because their own village has no school.

Jubbet al-Dhib lacks electricity despite numerous requests to be connected to the Israeli electric grid, which Israeli authorities have rejected. Israeli authorities also rejected an international donor-funded project that would have provided the village with solar-powered street lights. Any meat or milk in the village must be eaten the same day due to lack of refrigeration; residents often resort to eating preserved foods instead. Villagers depend for light on candles, kerosene lanterns, and, when they can afford to fill it with gasoline, a small generator.

Approximately 350 meters away is the Jewish community of Sde Bar, founded in 1997. It has a paved access road for its population of around 50 people and is connected to Jerusalem by a new, multi-million-dollar highway – the “Lieberman Road” – which bypasses Palestinian cities, towns, and villages, like Jubbet al-Dhib. Sde Bar operates a high school, but Jubbet al-Dhib students may not attend. Settlements are designated closed military areas that may be entered only with special military permits. Residents of Sde Bar have the amenities common to any Israeli town, such as refrigerators and electric lights, which Jubbet al-Dhib villagers can see from their homes at night.

“Palestinian children in areas under Israeli control are studying by candlelight while watching the electric lights in settlers’ windows,” Bogert said. “Pretending that depriving Palestinian kids of access to schools or water or electricity has something to do with security is absurd.”

In most cases where Israel has acknowledged differential treatment of Palestinians – such as when it bars them from “settler-only” roads – it has asserted that the measures are necessary to protect Jewish settlers and other Israelis who are subject to periodic attacks by Palestinian armed groups. But no security or other legitimate rationale can explain the vast scale of differential treatment of Palestinians, such as permit denials that effectively prohibit Palestinians from building or repairing homes, schools, roads, and water tanks, Human Rights Watch said.

Moreover, in addressing security concerns, Israel often acts as if all Palestinians pose a security threat by virtue of their race, ethnicity, and national origin, rather than narrowly tailoring restrictions to specific individuals who are shown to pose a threat. The legal prohibition of discrimination prohibits such broad-brush restrictions.

“The world long ago discarded spurious arguments to justify treating one group of people differently from another merely because of their race, ethnicity, or national origin,” Bogert said. “It’s time for Israel to end its policies of discrimination and stop treating Palestinians under its control markedly worse than Jews in the same area.”

Israel’s highest court has ruled that certain measures against Palestinian citizens of Israel were illegal because they were discriminatory. However, Human Rights Watch is not aware that the courts have adjudicated whether any Israeli practice in the West Bank discriminated against Palestinians, although petitioners have raised such claims in a number of cases.

Human Rights Watch said that the blatantly discriminatory practices make it an urgent matter for donor countries to avoid contributing to or being complicit in the violations of international law caused by the settlements. These countries should take meaningful steps encourage the Israeli government to abide by its obligations, Human Rights Watch said.

Human Rights Watch reiterated its recommendation that the United States, which provides US$2.75 billion in aid to Israel annually, should suspend financing to Israel in an amount equivalent to the costs of Israel’s spending in support of settlements, which a 2003 study estimated at $1.4 billion. Similarly, based on numerous reports that US tax-exempt organizations provide substantial contributions to support settlements, the report urges the US to verify that such tax-exemptions are consistent with US obligations to ensure respect for international law, including prohibitions against discrimination.

Human Rights Watch called on the EU, a primary export market for settlement products, to ensure that it does not provide incentives for settlement exports through preferential tariff treatment, and to identify cases where discrimination against Palestinians has contributed to the production of goods. For example, the report documents how crops exported from settlements using water from Israeli-drilled wells have dried up nearby Palestinian wells, limiting Palestinians’ ability to cultivate their own lands and even their access to drinking water.

The report also describes cases in which businesses have contributed to or benefited directly from discrimination against Palestinians, for example through commercial activities on lands that were unlawfully confiscated from Palestinians without compensation for the benefit of settlers. These businesses also benefit from Israeli governmental subsidies, tax abatements, and discriminatory access to infrastructure, permits, and export channels. Human Rights Watch called on businesses to investigate, prevent and mitigate such violations, including ending any operations that cannot be separated from discriminatory Israeli practices.

“Discrimination of the kind practiced daily in the West Bank should be beyond the pale for anyone,” Bogert said. “Foreign governments and businesses at risk of being tainted by Israel’s unlawful practices should identify and end policies and actions that support them.”

Also available in:

AlJazeeraEnglish | December 19, 2010

December 19, 2010 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Video | Comments Off on Israel/West Bank: Separate and Unequal

South Korea to hold drills amid tensions

Press TV – December 19, 2010

South Korea is resisting pressure from Russia and China to cancel live-fire exercises amid warnings from North Korea over the upcoming war games in the Korean Peninsula.

“We have no plan to cancel our exercises,” a South Korean defense ministry spokesman said on Sunday, adding that the one-day drills may take place on Monday or Tuesday.

The North has warned the South that Seoul will face disaster if it goes ahead with the live-fire exercises on Yeonpyeong Island near the disputed Yellow Sea border.

The upcoming exercise “would make it impossible to prevent the situation on the Korean Peninsula from exploding and escape its ensuing disaster,” Pyongyang said in a statement.

It said its military has already threatened “decisive and merciless punishment” for such an action and “does not make an empty talk.”

The foreign ministers of China and Russia on Saturday called for restraint on the Korean Peninsula as the UN Security Council (UNSC) prepares for an emergency meeting over the tensions between the two Koreas.

“China firmly opposes any actions to cause tension and worsen the situation, and demands both sides on the peninsula show calmness and restraint,” said Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi.

The Koreas must “carry out dialogue and contact, and completely avoid any actions that would fuel the tension,” Yang said.

The UNSC called a meeting for Sunday at Russia’s request, following Seoul’s Thursday announcement to launch the live-fire artillery exercises.

Meanwhile, the US urged top North Korean leaders in Pyongyang to show “maximum restraint” over the South’s planned live-fire drills.

US President Barack Obama has already vowed to offer what he described as ‘unshakeable support’ for Seoul.

In recent months, the US and South Korea have conducted several massive joint sea and air drills in waters east of the Korean Peninsula.

The North has called the drills provocative and an effort to trigger a war, warning the South against holding more joint military exercises with Washington.

Tensions have erupted between the two Koreas after last month’s deadly clash between South and North Korean forces along their disputed sea borders.

The fighting left four South Koreans, including two civilians, dead. Each side blames the other for initiating the fighting.

December 19, 2010 Posted by | Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite | Comments Off on South Korea to hold drills amid tensions

How the Israel Lobby dominates both parties and sets US policies

Argonium79 | December 18, 2010

US envoy Dennis Ross more focused on Israeli interests than US needs, views inter-marriage with non-Jews as an “insidious” challenge.

Associated article:

Obama’s Israel Policy: Speak softly and carry a very big carrot

December 3, 2010 by Maidhc Ó Cathail

Even those familiar with the long and shameful history of America’s appeasement of Israel were taken aback by the Obama administration’s extraordinary offer to Netanyahu… continue

December 19, 2010 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite, Timeless or most popular, Video, Wars for Israel | 3 Comments



By Jeff Gates | Intifada Palestine | December 19, 2010

Those tracking the agenda now advancing behind the WikiLeaks façade should check for the undisclosed bias among editors at the four newspapers chosen to select what was leaked. And when it was leaked.

The pro-Israeli bias of The New York Times needs no citations. In London, WikiLeaks releases are overseen by Deputy Editor Ian Katz at The Guardian. What about Le Monde in Paris and Der Spiegel in Berlin?

The tipping point for German media dates to 2003 when Haim Saban purchased ProSiebenSat1, Germany’s second largest media conglomerate. Why this particular acquisition? Because “Germany is critical to Israel” conceded Steve Rattner, Saban’s investment banker—now under indictment in New York for fraud.

Saban’s support was key to putting Angela Merkel in office in 2005. Thus Netanyahu’s comment on November 29th about Germany becoming Israel’s new ‘partner for peace’ in the Middle East—while Tel Aviv collapsed U.S.-sponsored peace talks.

On December 10th, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton chose the Saban Center at the Brookings Institution in Washington to announce the end of this latest charade of talks.

Saban has long been close to the Clintons. Ex-President Bill Clinton helped him sell advertising. Though Saban paid for the building now housing the Democratic National Committee, he is doubtless thrilled that Republican Congressman Eric Cantor, a Jewish-Zionist, will take the reins in January as House Majority Leader.

Both political parties are critical to Israel.

Entropy — Again

The collapse of peace talks marked the success of yet another Israeli entropy strategy. When negotiating with Zionists, the relevant question is always: What’s Next From Israel: Entropy or Outrage? Take your pick: perpetual delay or another well-timed provocation. Or both.

In 2007, Saban, a self-described Zionist, acquired control of Univision, the most popular U.S. media outlet for Latinos. As America’s fastest-growing voting bloc, their support is also critical to Israel. This latest acquisition confirms the systematic imbedding of pro-Israeli influence in opinion-shaping domains, including media, think tanks and politics.

Israel is waging war on the U.S. by way of deception. That strategy can only succeed if this war is waged in plain sight by its adept game theory war planners.

Tel Aviv’s agenda requires a critical mass of control over key “in between” domains — between “the mark” (that’s us) and the facts that We The People require for a system of governance reliant on our informed consent.

The modus operandi on display at every turn: displacement of facts with false beliefs.

Thus the role of media, think tanks and pro-Israeli policy-makers in selling Americans on consensus beliefs around Iraqi WMD, Iraqi ties to Al Qaeda, Iraqi meetings with Al Qaeda in Prague, Iraqi mobile biological weapons laboratories and Iraqi uranium from Niger. All were false yet all were widely believed.

The entirety of the phony intelligence that induced the U.S. to invade Iraq is traceable to Israeli or pro-Israeli sources. The invasion was marketed to a trusting American public by a mainstream media dominated by those sharing the same undisclosed bias.

In the Information Age, if that’s not treason, what is?

With Friends Like This….

When in human history were fabricated beliefs first deployed to deceive? At the heart of this ancient craft one finds proponents of the oldest of the three “religions of the book” promoting a “Clash” between its two derivatives: Christianity and Islam.

Displacement is the key to this mental and emotional manipulation. Within hours of WikiLeak’s November release of diplomatic cables, peace talks were displaced by renewed talk of war with Iran. WikiLeaks concedes it had those cables since May.

Barack Obama has no better grasp of this long-running treachery than George Bush, Bill Clinton, G.H.W. Bush, Reagan, Carter, Ford, Nixon, Johnson, Kennedy, Eisenhower, Truman, FDR, Coolidge, Harding or Wilson.

Only with clarity on the common source of this duplicity can a long-deceived global public ensure accountability for the many conflicts engineered by those  skilled at pitting two sides against the middle while profiting off the misery of both.

By wielding their influence in key in-between domains, those complicit prey on the good faith of others. We Americans will remain unwitting players in a fabricated drama (The Clash of Civilizations) so long as we believe a narrative sustained in plain sight by those skilled at deception.

To betray, one must first befriend; to deceive, one must first create a relationship of trust. No one can persuade Americans to forfeit their freedom. We must be induced to freely embrace the forces that, step-by-step, displace our freedom. That’s called Zionism.

To restore the true self to self-governance requires that Americans recover enough self-confidence to follow facts wherever they may lead. And trust in themselves enough to act consistent with those facts — despite what those complicit would deceive them to believe.

Our freedom now depends on it.

Jeff Gates is author of Guilt By Association—How Deception and Self-Deceit Took America to War. See

December 19, 2010 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Wars for Israel | 1 Comment