Aletho News


Was it a Political Conspiracy? Prosecutors Back Off From Their ‘Iron-Clad’ Case Against Strauss-Kahn

By Paul Craig Roberts | Global Research | July 1, 2011

The New York prosecutor has had to tell the judge that the police and prosecutors have lost confidence in their sexual assault case against former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn. The judge has released DSK from house arrest and returned his bail and bond money.

The prosecutors say that the immigrant hotel maid lied to the police about the incident and about other things, and the police have revealed that the “victim” discussed with an imprisoned man the possibility of turning the case into extortion. According to the New York Times, the maid’s jailed confidant was among a number of people who had made multiple cash deposits totaling $100,000 to the maid’s bank account. The police now suspect that the maid has connections to illegal drugs and money laundering.

The prosecutor says that he will continue to investigate the case. What that means is that the prosecutor, a politically ambitious Cy Vance, is going for a misdemeanor plea from DSK to save the prosecutor’s face from injudiciously being drawn into an extortion/reputation-destroying plot against the man who French polls indicated was the public’s favorite in the upcoming French presidential election in which President Sarkozy, Washington’s puppet, is seeking reelection. The prosecutor is sending DSK’s legal team the message that the case is being kept open and could be reinstated unless DSK’s attorneys secure DSK’s permission to negotiate a deal on a minor charge, which essentially has no punishment, but saves the faces of the NY prosecutor and police.

We will probably never know whether the maid thought the scheme up on her own or whether it came from Sarkozy’s operatives and their US allies. One indication that DSK’s political enemies are implicated is the fact, made public by the French press, that Sarkozy’s political team in France knew about DSK’s arrest before the NY police announced it. This fact did not stop the NY prosecutor and police from painting DSK as guilty in numerous public statements and in unethical if not illegal leaks to reporters.

When police and prosecutors convict a suspect in the media before he is even charged, it typically means that there is no evidence against him and that demonization is serving as the substitute. Conviction is what is important to the system, not a determination of innocence or guilt.

On numerous Internet sites, I pointed out the problems with the case against DSK. For informing people of the obvious, I was denounced by the right-wing and the left-wing.

The right-wing gave me the finger for doubting the word and integrity of police and prosecutor. Didn’t I know that these are the honorable guardians who protect the public from crime? How dare I question anything the police and prosecutor did or do. What was I, some kind of pinko-liberal-commie?

The left-wing also gave me the finger and said that I had revealed my real self as nothing but an apologist for the rich and powerful and for men who seduce women. How much was I paid for my service to the rich and powerful and seducers of innocent women?

The feminist left denounced me as a misogynist. Only a woman-hater could take the side of a rapist against his victim.

It is all so tiresome to endure the stupidity of people. Little wonder they are losing their liberty, their jobs and incomes, and their country and self-respect.

With DSK’s reputation in tatters and DSK knocked out of the French presidential election and removed from the IMF, where he was beginning to raise questions about the establishment’s use of the IMF to bail out rich bankers on the backs of poor peasants, the “justice system” has done its work. It is now safer for the authorities to release him than to risk a trial. The shrill bleating of the maid’s legal team signifies their agony at having lost their share of the hoped-to-be extorted millions now that a monetary settlement would clearly indicate obstruction of justice and prison for them all.

Those few who actually care about justice, not only for DSK and everyman, but also for the Greek, Spanish, Irish, and Portuguese people, can find comfort in the fact that apparently DSK had come to New York in order to speak with Nobel economist Joe Stiglitz about a more humane and democratic way to resolve the sovereign debt crisis in Europe than the one imposed by the private creditor banks.

Obviously, anyone who would consult with Stiglitz is perceived by the rich and powerful as a threat to their interest.

However, this obvious fact has made no impression on the left-wing, which has issued its shrill cries that, once again, the money of the rich and powerful has prevailed over law and justice.

July 1, 2011 Posted by | Deception | 1 Comment

Acts of Entrapment Ruled OK in The War on Terror

Activist Post | July 1, 2011

In a chilling sign of what is sure to become more widespread, three of the Newburgh 4 — a group of Muslim ex-convicts and American citizens — were sentenced to 25 years in prison even after it was exposed that the government manufactured the threat, and entrapped the men into their participation in a false terror plot.

Welcome to counterterrorism operations inside the United States.

The case against the Newburgh 4 actually began to fall apart back in the middle of 2010 after White Plains, NY federal judge Colleen McMahon excoriated prosecutors for covering up evidence that the plot to bomb a Bronx synagogue and a Jewish community center, as well as to shoot down military planes at Stewart International airport was a “plot” by an FBI agent to entrap the four men.  She asked a rhetorical question:

Did the government locate some disaffected individuals, manufacture a phony terrorist plot that the individuals would (and could) never have dreamed up or carried out on their own, and then wrongfully induce them to participate in it? (Source)

No matter, in a supreme act of cowardice, she gave the most “lenient” sentence available to her without having the case overturned.  The ruling is a clear indication that the failure of any one of these patsy-driven cases threatens to bring down the new system of using entrapment to further counterterrorism efforts in the United States.

This certainly wasn’t the first time government agents have used patsies in order to assure a terrified public that disaster was averted yet again.

The very same agent involved in the Newburgh 4 incident, Robert Fuller, was also present in that of the Fort Dix 5 case, which was an egregious example of using paid informants, a de facto citizen spy, and the Patriot Act to issue trumped-up charges and finally gain a life + 30 years conviction for the five men.

Other high-profile cases of the FBI thwarting its own bombs include the Portland Patsy, Mohamed Osman Mahmoud, who was arrested in 2005 after trying to detonate an inert bomb supplied to him by the FBI, on the corner of Southwest Yamhill Street and Sixth Avenue in front of a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland — engineered for full effect to show the divide between peaceful Christians and war-like Muslims, no doubt.

Then there was the drugged-out patsy without a passport, Farouk Abdulmutallab, who was led onto a plane by a U.S. government agent for the Christmas 2009 underwear bomb attempt.  It has since been proven beyond the shadow of a doubt that this was a staged event which, again, just happened to include the Christmas subplot for maximum terror and conditioning.  Now we have TSA tyranny and body scanners.

However, the whitewash here is that this is some type of war on Muslims.  This is merely the window dressing that has been presented to America in order to set a “reasonable” precedent amid the global war on terror currently centered on the Middle East and Africa.

When Obama advisor, John Brennan, recently announced that the shadowy world of overseas black ops, psych warfare, and renewed domestic COINTELPRO tactics would be landing on America’s doorstep, he was basically announcing a no-holds-barred policy that is permitted to work outside of the rule of law.   The real mission is to use the threat of terror as a strategy to empower the police state apparatus.

There are countless examples of government-manufactured terror having been used to sway the public into believing that real terror exists, so that even more freedom-smashing measures will be permitted . . . all to protect freedom.  For every justified case of entrapment, we find ourselves similarly entrapped into signing on to a war with only one end:  the means by which the strongest document ever written to protect a nation from tyrants can be burned beyond recognition.

July 1, 2011 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Progressive Hypocrite | 1 Comment

Israel army uses fabrications to assert flotilla financial links to Hamas

By Ali Abunimah – Electronic Intifada – 06/30/2011

The Israeli military claimed today that it had “uncovered financial links” between the Gaza-bound flotilla and the Palestinian movement Hamas. But their claims are based on unsubstantiated assertions and outright fabrications.

In a press release, the Israeli military made the following sensational claim:

According to Israeli military intelligence, the terrorist organization Hamas and several organizations behind the 2011 Gaza flotilla have similar funding sources. Three Islamic charity funds from the Hamas-affiliated Charity Coalition directly fund Hamas and some of the organizations connected to the 2011 Gaza flotilla.

The press release focuses on the European Campaign to End the Siege of Gaza (ECESG) and asserts:

ECESG, one of the flotilla’s leading organizers, is a UK-based umbrella organization of more than thirty Europe-based organizations; it openly supports Hamas. Most of its organizations – founded as Muslim Brotherhood branches in Europe – are participating in the 2011 Gaza flotilla. Israeli military sources found that some of these umbrella organizations are sponsors of Hamas terror activity in the Gaza Strip.

Arafat Madi Mahmoud Shukri

Israel’s military presented absolutely no evidence to back its laundry list of familiar accusations, except for supposedly one damning connection:

ECESG Chairman Dr. Arafat Madi Mahmoud Shukri also serves as chairman of the Palestinian Return Centre (PRC). Due to PRC’s flagrant links to Hamas, it was declared illegal in Israel.

However, this information is false. PRC’s General Director Majed al-Zeer told The Electronic Intifada that Shukri is not and has never been chairman of PRC. Moreover, the connection – even if it were true – does not amount to evidence of anything.

Yesterday’s fabrications are today’s “evidence”

In January, The Electronic Intifada reported on Israel’s efforts to slander, sabotage and attack PRC:

The Palestinian Return Centre (PRC), a London-based advocacy organization, has become the latest target of defamation and attempted sabotage in Israel’s ongoing campaign against groups and individuals active in promoting the issue of Palestine and Palestinian human rights.

According to a 27 December 2010 statement by the Israeli Ministry of Defense, PRC “is involved in initiating and organizing radical and violent activity against Israel in Europe, while delegitimizing Israel’s status as a nation among the European community” (“European Hamas Affiliate Deemed Illegal by Minister of Defense,” 27 December 2010).

Israeli security agencies accused the PRC of being a “Hamas affiliate,” which was followed by a decree signed by Defense Minister Ehud Barak stating that the organization is “illegal” in Israel.

The attack on the PRC appears to be the latest installment in a campaign by supposed nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in Israel, coordinated with the Israeli government, to accuse groups advocating for Palestinian rights in Europe, the US and elsewhere of “delegitimizing” Israel. Last month, two such organizations released reports accusing London, and the UK as a whole, of being hubs of “delegitimization.”

Israel never presented any evidence to support its lurid accusations against PRC either, and it continues to function as a legal organization doing normal educational and advocacy work as we reported.

Israel’s “evidence” of financial links between Hamas and the flotilla amounts to the alleged involvement of one person in an organization Israel baselessly defamed in the past, with another Palestine solidarity grouping that it is slandering now. In other words, Israel cites its own fabrications as “evidence.”

The Israeli military press release also claims – without presenting a shred of evidence – that two other European organizations “are openly and intimately involved in Hamas charity efforts as well as efforts to illegally break the lawfully enforced naval blockade on Gaza.”

If Israel had any actual evidence it would present it. Because it doesn’t it has to resort to this sort of laughable smear tactic backed only by its own fabrications.

July 1, 2011 Posted by | Deception, Solidarity and Activism | Comments Off on Israel army uses fabrications to assert flotilla financial links to Hamas

Israel Plans To Double Settlement Area In Jordan Valley

By Kevin Murphy | IMEMC and Agencies | July 01, 2011

Israel has announced a plan to double the size of its settlements in the strategic Jordan Valley area in the West Bank. The move was announced in Haaretz’ daily financial paper The Marker. The plan foresees a doubling in agriculture areas given to settlers in the region.

The settler department of the Zionist Federation proposed new plan for the Jordan Valley, which is expected to be approved by the Agriculture Ministry, will raise to 80 Durnams the amount of land given individually to settler farmers, an increase of 130%. The plan also raises from 30 cubic metres to 51 cubic metres of water per settler farmer per year in an area already plagued by water shortages for Palestinian farmers.

The plan is designed to accommodate the growth of current settlements as well as attract new settler families to the resource rich Valley, according to the Zionist Federation.

Human rights organization BT Selem has strongly criticized Israeli settlement and natural resource exploitation policies in the mineral and resource rich region. The organization reported extensive exploitation of water and mineral resources such as rock and dead sea minerals as well as the financial exploitation of religious and other tourist sites in the area by the Israeli state.

The head of the settlement department, Yaron ben Ezra, claimed the value of agricultural goods in the region reached NIS 458m in 2010 not including Palestinian farmers output.

The Jordan Vally is the most resource and mineral rich area of Israel and the Palestinian Occupied Territories. Israel has extensively targeted the region for Israeli settlement allowing it to divert the local resources from Palestinian use as well as creating a defensive “buffer zone” between Israel and Jordan.

A recent opinion poll by the Israeli Association for Civil Rights showed that most Israeli’s are unaware that the Jordan Valley is occupied under international law and that Palestinians constitute the the majority of residents in the area.

July 1, 2011 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | Comments Off on Israel Plans To Double Settlement Area In Jordan Valley

Mugged then Shot

By Linh Dinh | June 28, 2011

If absolute power corrupts absolutely, why shouldn’t the United States be the most corrupt (and corrupting) country on earth? We’re number one! In America, each politician can be bought and absurd sums of money are routinely misallocated or missing altogether, with nary a peep from the complicit media. On the foreign front, America’s modus operandi is to bribe every dictator, and the ones she can’t bribe, she’ll undermine, overthrow or bomb back to Jesus. In exchange for this bribe, which can be disguised as loans or “foreign assistance,” said dictator will allow America to loot his country in perpetuity. If you don’t believe me, just strip any tinpot dictator and you’ll surely find “CIA” tattooed on one ass cheek, with a (pretty good) portrait of a recent U.S. president embossed on the other. Lovers always leave a mark, they often say. Sometimes it’s not a dictator, per se, but a dominant party that’s America’s hushed puppy. In any case, rapacious trade deals and unpayable loans are the bane of countless client states orbiting Washington.

Domestically, American corruption has been institutionalized as campaign contributions and lobbying, but that’s only the open, legal part. Perhaps these practices are allowed to trick us into thinking that American corruption only goes so far, but who really knows what goes on in the labyrinthine backrooms, basements and dungeons of Washington? In any case, us lumpen Americans are “represented” by millionaire politicians who are lint deep in the pockets of the fattest banks and corporations. The American politician is thoroughly corrupt, often from grassroots level, but the degree of venality and sanctimonious hypocrisy increase as he approaches Washington DC, that beautiful cesspool of martial madness.

No candidate who’s not heavily pro big business, overtly or covertly, can have any chance of being elected to national office. He won’t be funded, nor will he be seen on television. It’s not a democracy when all candidates are vetted beforehand, and only millionaires can be chosen by other millionaires and billionaires. In this setup, the average citizen doesn’t matter, as his vote or canvassing for a favorite are only charades designed to make him feel good and involved, as if his opinions and advocacy matter, but whatever he does, it won’t prevent the election of yet another tool who’s corrupt, pro war and pro big business, at the expense of all else. But don’t despair, all you earnest partisans, for even when your candidate does lose, you’ll still get the same deal, more or less. Those who voted for McCain, for example, got pretty much all of his policies through Obama, so it’s a win, win, lose, lose situation, see? Emblematic of this farce is the fact that American tax payers are even asked to contribute three bucks a year to the Presidential Election Campaign Fund. Though stuffed with cash from Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and Raytheon, etc., our candidates still panhandle from poor schmucks whom they will soon rip off anyway.

American politicians may differ on personal and ethical matters such as school prayer, gay marriage and abortion, but on all the major, lucrative issues affecting the military industrial complex or big business, they are remarkably uniform. Our senators and congressmen also behave like trained seals when it comes to Israel. Witness the 29 standing ovations a packed House gave Netanyahu recently. Whether Democrat or Republican, each was terrified to be caught sitting as his colleagues jumped up and barked.

Your rep sure knows who his daddy is, and it ain’t you, sucker! The primary job of the American politician, from Obama on down, is to spin and disguise an endless series of corporate and military crimes he’s enabling. Which brings us to the Pentagon. No other governmental organ is more gluttonously corrupt. The Pentagon’s main function is not defending America but to bleed this country dry to enrich Halliburton, Lockheed/Martin, Boeing, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman and the rest. Over and over again, the Pentagon has put hundreds of thousands of Americans in harm’s way, just so its masters can make a handsome profit. To feed these insatiable ogres, the Pentagon is willing to destroy American itself, and it is doing so, right now.

Beside bloody business as usual, billions of dollars often go missing from the Pentagon cash register without any explanation whatsoever, and in 2001, Donald Rumsfeld even admitted that $2.3 trillion had disappeared, which he blamed on sloppy accounting. So it’s not thievery or corruption, but merely inept arithmetic. Tamping down this scandal, the mainstream media seemed to agree.

But perhaps we do have a math problem. We are a people who clip 25 cent coupons, drive (an SUV) a mile to save a buck, register with subtle satisfaction the missing penny from a $19.99 price tag, yet these stolen trillions leave us unfazed. One reason for this, I think, is that American corruption is not experienced directly, face to face, as it is in many other countries. Most Americans have never been browbeaten and shaken down by a corrupt cop, clerk or judge, so we can pretend that corruption doesn’t hurt us. Washington has also been waging wars without raising taxes, so it’s no skin off my back, many Americans are thinking, but our bellicose policy overseas is certainly bankrupting the homeland, even as it increases our insecurity in future blowbacks. The constant hike in our money supply, devaluing our dollars, is also a form of hidden taxation.

Another reason for our passivity in the face of widespread corruption is the state of our media, which routinely hype trivial stories while suppressing much greater outrages. Thus, the money John Edwards spent on his mistress, a million dollars provided by two private donors, was discussed for a week by television and newspaper “pundits,” but no one is concerned about the $1.5 million of tax money wasted each time Washington fires a Tomahawk missile at Libya. How many thousands have been launched so far in this three-month war? No one knows, and no one seems to care about the real flesh and bones on the receiving end of those weapons. “Bad guys” deserve to die, and so do “collateral damages.” Even as they mug us, our masters speak to us as if we’re morons. As they gobble up the entire world and everyone’s future, we get to nibble on catch phrases and slogans

Like Pavlov’s dogs, Americans have been conditioned to salivate at the sound of a home run, a Lady Gaga’s burp and the promise of hope and change comes election time, but when that fat, familiar hand reaches into our wallet, yet again, we feel nothing. We’re cool and blasé until it’s our turn to receive the pink slip, be evicted, then having to curl up in our car or on cardboard.

Interviewed by Stud Terkels, retired congressman C. Wright Patman said in 1970, “A dictatorship could spring up here over night, if this country got so bad. If another Depression came, we’d have a revolution. People wouldn’t take it any more. They have more knowledge. The big ones, they’d be looking for somebody that’d have the power to just kill people, if they didn’t agree. When John Doe begins to get up, they’d just go down and shoot him.”

I’m not sure that we have more knowledge, but with a presidency that can wage wars without congress or popular approval, and that can imprison or kill any American citizen without due process, a dictatorship is certainly here. Ditto, that Depression.

In a productive economy, corruption is less glaring because there are so many legitimate ways to enrich oneself, but in an increasingly non-productive one, such as what we have now, corruption becomes the primary means to riches. As we starve and kill each other, the mega corporations and their servants, our politicians, will continue to fatten themselves through their access to power.

In a ghetto with no stores, only drug corners, any bling-bling dude steering a loud Hummer is viewed suspiciously (or with admiration), so in this nation of fewer and fewer factories, save those that make bombs, tanks and high-grade weapons, who are our biggest death pushers and pimps, and what should we do about them?

July 1, 2011 Posted by | Corruption, Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite | Comments Off on Mugged then Shot

Israeli Soldiers raid Ashkelon prison, assault captives

Ma’an – 01/07/2011

HEBRON — Israeli forces raided Ashkelon prison on Thursday and attacked Palestinian detainees, a rights group said.

Palestinian detainees had protested the prison administration’s decision to close a section of the jail to bring criminal prisoners, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society said.

The Nahshon and Metzada units of the Israeli Prison Service raided the jail, firing tear-gas canisters and beating detainees with batons and hoses, the society said in a statement.

The group described the attack as “barbaric and vicious.”

Head of the society Amjad An-Najjar said silence over the plight of prisoners was “encouraging the Israeli authorities to commit more violations of international law.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on June 23 that he had instructed the Israeli Prison Service to toughen conditions for Palestinian detainees to pressure Hamas to release captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

“I’m not going to detail the measures, but I can tell you the party’s over,” Netanyahu said.

July 1, 2011 Posted by | Subjugation - Torture | 1 Comment