Aletho News


Israeli forces arrest Palestinian writer

KUNA – 4/23/2011

RAMALLAH — Palestinian writer Ahmad Qatamish was arrested by Israeli forces after raiding his home in Ramallah early Saturday.

Suha Al-Barguthee, Qatamish’s wife, told KUNA that the Israeli forces raided their empty home at the wee hours of dawn.

“When the Israeli troops found no one home, they called Qatamish’s brother’s house, where we were at that time, and threatened to destroy the house if he did not come to his house for arrest,” Qatamish’s wife added.

She noted that one of her husband’s lawyers was able to visit him in Oufer Jail, where he is currently held, and he was informed by the lawyer that he will be moved soon to administrative detention, a form of detention without charge or trial that is authorized by administrative order rather than a judicial decree and can be indefinitely renewed.

Qatamish was arrested by the Israeli authorities in 1992 then released in 1998, which is considered the longest administrative detention that ever took place.

The latest arrests of Palestinian figures come after Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatened to eliminate the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFPL) whom he accuses of being responsible for the Itamar incident in which five Jewish settlers were killed. Qatamish’s wife said that her husband has nothing to do with the PFPL.

April 23, 2011 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture | Comments Off on Israeli forces arrest Palestinian writer

Broadcasting Israel-friendly “democratic values” to the Middle East (with American taxpayers’ money)

By Maidhc Ó Cathail | The Passionate Attachment | April 23, 2011

Norman J. Pattiz, American radio mogul and chairman of the U.S. government’s Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) Middle East Committee, founded Radio Sawa, which successfully “used music as a tool to attract a younger audience” — it’s listened to by over 42% of youth in a number of Arab countries, including Egypt. But how many of the 75% of Radio Sawa listeners who consider its news “reliable and credible” know this about its “founding father”?

Pattiz is also on the national board of the Israel Policy Forum, which is “committed to a strong and enduring U.S.-Israel relationship and to advancing the shared interests of the United States and the State of Israel.” Its Israeli Advisory Council is comprised of prominent figures from Israel’s military and intelligence establishment, mostly notably David Kimche, who was once described as “Israel’s leading spy and would-be Mossad chief.” According to a Washington Report profile, “The ‘man with the suitcase,’ as Kimche became known by colleagues in Israel, would appear in an African country a day or two before a major coup, and leave a week later after the new regime was firmly in control, often with the aid of Israeli security teams.”

While Pattiz’s efforts helped foster a more positive attitude toward the the United States among the region’s youth, former BBG Chairman Jim Glassman, later appointed Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy, was responsible for the “subtle work” of promoting “democratic change” through the use of social media networking.

Walter Issacson, Glassman’s successor as BBG chairman, commends its efforts to promote “a more hopeful, democratic world.” In a Feb 8, 2011 piece in Foreign Policy entitled “From Samizdat to Twitter,” Issacson writes:

Alhurra TV, the U.S.-funded international broadcaster, has also come of age during the crisis. Daily visits to increased 540 percent between Jan. 23 and Jan. 30. Over the past few days, leaders of Egyptian opposition parties –Wafd, Ghad, and the Movement for Change (Kefaya) — have sought out the station to bring their messages to its viewers.

The United States finances Alhurra and other international broadcasters to support exactly the long-term goals of democracy and respect for civil society that are at the heart of protesters’ demands across the Middle East. It’s what the United States has been doing for 70 years, and what it needs to keep doing.

Issacson is also president and CEO of the Aspen Institute, whose board of trustees not only includes a close-knit network of advocates of democracy promotion in the Middle East such as Madeleine Albright, Condoleeza Rice and Vin Weber, but also staunch supporters of Israel, including major Obama backers James Crown and Margot Pritzker.

April 23, 2011 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance, Timeless or most popular, Video | Comments Off on Broadcasting Israel-friendly “democratic values” to the Middle East (with American taxpayers’ money)

New America Foundation facilitating Iran’s Green Movement

March 16, 2010

New America Foundation’s American Strategy Program Director Steve Clemons and Former Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs James K. Glassman

April 23, 2011 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance, Timeless or most popular, Video | 3 Comments

Freedom of Information Act Reveals Files Suggesting FDR’s Role in Pearl Harbor

Alexis Bonari | Activist Post | April 22, 2011

September 11th is hardly the first “day of infamy” to undergo public scrutiny and accusations of government conspiracy.  President Franklin D. Roosevelt coined the phrase on December 7th after the Japanese “surprise” attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.  The attack, according to author and WWII Navy veteran, Robert B. Stinnett, however, had been no surprise at all for Roosevelt.

It was only at the author’s insistent calls on the Freedom of Information Act that the U.S. Navy at last released formerly hidden evidence that led Stinnett to conclude: FDR knew and had the power to avert disaster on December 7th.

Interview with Stinnett

The government’s claims that Japan’s codes had yet to be broken in the months leading up to Pearl Harbor have been met with questions and skepticism since 1945’s September issue of Life magazine.  Stinnett himself, in an interview featured on The Independent Institute’s website, says that he believed the article to be an anti-Roosevelt tract at the time.  After reading At Dawn We Slept by Professor Prange in 1982, however, and learning about the US Navy monitoring station at Pearl Harbor, he changed his mind.  This was the beginning of Day of Deceit.

Day of Deceit

The likes of Gore Vidal and John Toland, Pulitzer Prize-winner and author of Infamy, have praised Stinnett’s heavily researched book, Day of Deceit.  In it, he writes at length about the Roosevelt administration’s plan to provoke Japan in an “overt act of war,” a plan that he adopted in October 7, 1940.

Because the American public still ached from the appalling death toll of the First World War (and because FDR had already promised his people, “Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars”), FDR focused most of his energy on coming up with a reason for the nation to change its mind.  In November 1941, all US military commanders received the order: “The United States desires that Japan commit the first overt act.”  That would explain why, according to Lynne Olson’s research published in Citizens of London, Churchill and Governor John G. Winant practically danced at the news in December that America would be joining the European campaign, forgetting that over 2,000 Americans were already dead.

Cracking the Code

According to Stinnett’s research, the US Navy had in fact cracked Japanese naval codes and even intercepted eighty-three messages from Admiral Yamamoto to his warships.  A message from November 25 read:

…the task force, keeping its movements strictly secret and maintaining close guard against submarines and aircraft, shall advance into Hawaiian waters, and upon the very opening of hostilities shall attack the main force of the United States fleet in Hawaii and deal it a mortal blow.

Even Thomas Dewey, Roosevelt’s competitor in the 1944 presidential elections, had heard whispers of FDR’s role in arranging the massacre.  Although Dewey planned speeches to charge FDR with foreknowledge of the attack, General George Marshall (Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff) convinced Dewey that he would risk American security in doing so, since Japan’s navy had yet to realize their codes had been cracked.  Dewey kept his silence, and nearly everyone else has since, too—until Stinnett.

Day of Deceit has received much criticism (predictably) from conventional historians and readers as well as notable acclaim from revisionists.  Still others disapprove of Stinnett’s ubiquitous tone that suggests throughout the book that FDR had no choice but to arrange for the deaths of over 2,000 Americans at Pearl Harbor.  Stinnet most notably fails to mention FDR’s refusal to meet Prime Minister Konoye for peace talks in late 1941.

Stinnett seems to have broken ground, but it is still only the surface.

April 23, 2011 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | 2 Comments

In service of Israel’s interests Neocons promote regime change in Syria

Tony Cartlucci | Activist Post | April 23, 2011

It is no secret that Syria has been marked for regime change for at least two decades. In a 2007 speech given by General Wesley Clark regarding what he called a US “policy coup,” he relayed a 1991 conversation between himself and then Under Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz. Wolfowitz indicated that America had 5-10 years to clean up old Soviet “client regimes,” namely Syria, Iran, and Iraq, before the next super power rose up to challenge western hegemony.

Following the September 11, 2001 attacks, Clark was again passed plans drawn to implement regime change throughout the Middle East, specifically to attack and destroy the governments of 7 countries; Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Iran, Lebanon and Libya. In 2002, then US Under Secretary of State John Bolton, would add Syria to the growing “Axis of Evil.”

In a recent CNN article, acting State Department spokesman Mark Toner stated, “We’re not working to undermine that [Syrian] government. What we are trying to do in Syria, through our civil society support, is to build the kind of democratic institutions, frankly, that we’re trying to do in countries around the globe. What’s different, I think, in this situation is that the Syrian government perceives this kind of assistance as a threat to its control over the Syrian people.”

Toner’s remarks come after the Washington Post released cables indicating the US has been funding Syrian opposition groups since at least 2005 under the Bush administration and was continued under Obama. To suggest America is promoting any conceivable form of democracy in Syria, when it itself is ruled by a monopolistic corporate oligarchy within which special interest driven agendas transcend presidential administrations is tenuous if not scandalous. It is quite clear that Wolfowitz’ agenda back in 1991 had long ago leaped from the drawing board and into practice, undermining the Syrian government through sanctions and seditious, foreign funded “civil society” networks.

What has ensued in Syria during the also admittedly US-funded “Arab Spring” is a puppet show of sorts, where Obama feigns surprise and confusion over what to do about Syria’s unrest. As the violence escalates, the propagandists predictably argue that Obama is doing “nothing” as Syrians yearn for “true democracy and freedom.” Undeniably, however, the US has fueled the unrest from the very beginning and most certainly is far from doing “nothing.”

In a recent AFP report, Michael Posner, the assistant US Secretary of State for Human Rights and Labor, stated that the “US government has budgeted $50 million in the last two years to develop new technologies to help activists protect themselves from arrest and prosecution by authoritarian governments.” The report went on to explain that the US “organized training sessions for 5,000 activists in different parts of the world. A session held in the Middle East about six weeks ago gathered activists from Tunisia, Egypt, Syria and Lebanon who returned to their countries with the aim of training their colleagues there.” Posner would add, “They went back and there’s a ripple effect.”

The ripple effect of course are the uprisings themselves, facilitated by yet more aid, equipment, and the complicity of the corporate owned media, disingenuously portraying the events as “spontaneous,” “genuine,” and “indigenous.” […]

With the preplanned operation to effect regime change in Syria already well underway, propagandists and co-conspirators like Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) member Elliot Abrams disingenuously berates Obama for standing idly by. In a recent article published on the CFR’s website, Abrams argues that “the Obama Administration should be in no “bind” or “quandary” about Syria,” citing “200 peaceful protesters now dead in the streets of Syria’s cities.”

Abrams also brings up Iran, and that collapsing Syria’s Assad regime would be a step toward isolating and collapsing Iran as well. (Syria under Asad is “Iran’s only Arab ally, able and willing to trans-ship arms to Hezbollah and through Hezbollah control Lebanon and give Iran a border with Israel.”) Also of interest, Abrams reconfirms reports that Libya indeed was amongst one of many nations that supplied fighters to Iraq, funneled through Syria he emphasizes, in an oafish attempt to bolster his argument for removing Assad from power. These fighters were drawn from eastern Libya, where many of them now are part of the US-backed rebellion against Qaddafi.

Abrams’ propaganda and similar pieces are meant to create a strategy of tension to herd the people into their political camps, create the illusion of debate, and justify an already foregone conclusion – regime change in Syria. Abrams concludes his piece by stating that the US “should side clearly with the people of Syria, who want an end to the Asad nightmare.” Quite obviously, the US already has. Just as one sitting through a bad play they already know the ending of, we too are made to endure a poorly performed act put on by puppet politicians as the corporate-financiers coax us through another leg of their agenda.

April 23, 2011 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | Comments Off on In service of Israel’s interests Neocons promote regime change in Syria

Michigan State Police Copying Data from Cell Phones?

Mark Fancher, attorney at the ACLU Michigan, joins us to talk about police extracting personal information from cell phones during traffic stops, the Michigan State Police stonewalling the ACLU’s investigation, and more.

April 23, 2011 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | Comments Off on Michigan State Police Copying Data from Cell Phones?

Israeli troops attack 4 separate anti-Wall protests, injuring 16 demonstrators

By IMEMC & PNN | April 23, 2011

On Friday, 16 civilians were injured and four abducted as Israeli troops attacked the weekly anti-wall protests in the villages of Bil’in, Nil’in and al-Nabi Saleh, in central West Bank as well as the village of al-Ma’sara, in the south.

In Bil’in, 15 protesters were injured when troops attacked the weekly march. This week’s protest in Bil’in ended a three day conference on nonviolent resistance in Palestine. The Conference began on Wednesday in Bil’in, and attracted hundreds of supporters from around the world, including Italian parliamentarian Luisa Morgantini and the parents of Rachel Corrie, who was killed by the Israeli military in 2003.

Dubbed the Sixth International Conference on the Palestinian Popular Struggle, the annual conference was dedicated this year to Italian activist Vittorio Arrigoni, who was killed last Friday allegedly by a Salafist (right-wing political Islamist) group in Gaza.

The conference was aimed at building and strengthening ties between Palestinian, Israeli and international activists working against the Israeli military occupation in Palestine. The conference was attended by a number of Palestinian officials in addition to members of the European Parliament, and hundreds of international and local peace and human rights activists.

On Friday midday, international and Israeli activists joined the villagers and marched toward the wall built on farmers’ lands by the Israeli army. Israeli soldiers stopped protesters before they reached the wall and fired tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets at them to force them back. 15 protesters were injured including a journalist and three international supporters. The marchers continued forward and reached the gate of the wall, as they have done on every Friday since early 2005.

Soldiers then forced the non-violent demonstrators back into the village, then stormed the village, firing tear gas at houses. Many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.

In 2009 the Israeli High Court of Justice ruled in favor of Bil’in residents and ordered the military to reroute the wall giving back to the village half of the land originally expropriated to build the wall. The military has still not adhered to the court order.

In the nearby village of Nil’in, many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation also on Friday during the anti wall protest. Troops attack the villagers using tear gas as soon as they reached the gate of the wall which separates the farmers from their agricultural lands.

Also Friday, two locals and two internationals were abducted when troops attacked the weekly protest against the wall and settlements in the village of an-Nabi Saleh. Palestinians, together with international and Israeli supporters, marched to their lands, where Israel is presently trying to build a new settlement. Troops fired tear gas at them to force them back into the village.

In the southern West Bank, the villagers of al-Ma’ssara, along with their international and Israeli supporters, protested the Israeli wall being built on local farmers’ lands. Israeli soldiers attacked the protesters using tear gas, preventing the march from reaching the construction site of the Wall; many participants in the non-violent demonstration were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.

April 23, 2011 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Illegal Occupation, Solidarity and Activism | Comments Off on Israeli troops attack 4 separate anti-Wall protests, injuring 16 demonstrators