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US ship fired without warning, surviving Indian fishermen say

Muthu Muniraj (C), one of the Indian fishermen who survived a deadly attack by a US Navy ship in the Persian Gulf, lies in a hospital bed in Dubai on July 17, 2012.
Muthu Muniraj, one of the Indian fishermen who survived a deadly attack by a US Navy ship in the Persian Gulf, lies in a hospital bed in Dubai on July 17, 2012.
Press TV – July 17, 2012

The Indian fishermen who survived a deadly attack by a US Navy ship in the Persian Gulf say they received no warnings before a .50-caliber gun opened fire on their boat.

The incident occurred on Monday off the coast of the United Arab Emirates.

“We had no warning at all from the ship, we were speeding up to try and go around them and then suddenly we got fired at,” 28-year-old Muthu Muniraj told Reuters from a hospital in Dubai on Tuesday.

The Bahrain-based US Navy Fifth Fleet issued a statement on Monday saying that the USNS Rappahannock only attacked a small motor boat near the Dubai port of Jebel Ali, killing one and injuring three Indian fishermen, after they “ignored the warnings and came too close.”

The statement added that the US ship used a series of non-lethal, preplanned responses to warn the vessel’s operators to turn away from their “deliberate” approach before resorting to lethal force.

A spokesman of the US Navy Fifth Fleet, Lt. Greg Raelson, stated that an internal inquiry into the incident had not been completed and added that the fishing craft did not respond to the non-lethal measures taken by the US vessel. “That was when the security team fired rounds from the .50-caliber… Our ships have an inherent right to self-defense against lethal threats.”

“We know warning signs and sounds and there were none; it was very sudden. My friend was killed, he’s gone. I don’t understand what happened,” said Muniraj, whose legs were punctured by the rounds of the US ship’s .50-caliber gun.

Muthu Kannan, 35, said, “We were fishing and then on the way back they started shooting at us, so many shots, like a storm.” Kannan had a gunshot wound to the abdomen and a lower leg wired into place with metal rods.

“This is not the first time for us to go out in the boat and we all know what a warning is… All I can remember is a lot of shooting,” said 26-year-old Pandu Sanadhan.

Meanwhile, India has called for a full investigation.

On Tuesday, Indian Foreign Ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin said, “India’s ambassador in Abu Dhabi has requested UAE authorities to probe the circumstances of the tragic incident.”

Jebel Ali port, one of the largest ports in the Middle East, is the most frequently visited port by ships of the US Navy outside the United States.

Washington recently expanded its military presence in the Persian Gulf, sending an unspecified number of F-22 stealth fighters and warships to the region.

July 17, 2012 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | Comments Off on US ship fired without warning, surviving Indian fishermen say

Mitt Romney Really, Really Loves Israel

NewsyVoice | July 8, 2012

Mitt Romney heads for Israel late July, just a month before the national convention.


Fox News debate:

Al Jazeera:




July 17, 2012 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Video, Wars for Israel | , | 7 Comments

Knesset Exempts Shin Bet from Recording Interrogations

By Richard Silverstein | Tikun Olam | July 17, 2012

Israel has a law that requires police and security officials to record their interrogations of suspects who are charged with crimes carrying a sentence of ten years or more.  That sounds great, right?  Just the way a democracy should work.  But hold on.  There’s a hole in the law big enough to drive a Mack truck through.  Both the police and Shin Bet are exempt from this law as far as security detainees are concerned.  In other words, in order to allow security personnel to use whatever means they wish, the Knesset permits them to have no recordings that might offer evidence of widely reported abuse and torture used against such prisoners.

The exemption was due to expire recently after it had initially been extended first for five years, then another four.  But never fear, we won’t abandon our boys doing the dirty work on our behalf in the cells of Shabak.  So the Knesset will extend the exemption for another three years, doing its duty on behalf of the secret police.

Here’s the reasoning (Hebrew) behind the exemption in all its fetid glory:

In the special circumstances of security investigations, which involve the fight against extremist, well-organized terror groups, documenting interrogations is liable to damage in a very real way the quality of security investigations, and thus the ability to deter terror threats.

Not a word about damaging the quality of Israeli democracy since it’s taken a back seat to security from almost day one of the existence of the State.

The Shin Bet chief of investigations, who was present at the Knesset deliberation, wove this nice fairy tale for the assembled solons:

Shin Bet investigations are overseen and documented from the beginning to the end [note he doesn’t say how they’re documented, in what form, etc.].  We’re not talking about damaging anyone’s human rights, but rather protecting our methods.  The exemption is necessary so that our enemies don’t learn our investigative methods.

So get this, Shin Bet interrogations are the equivalent of work product and mustn’t be revealed because to do so would allow Israel’s enemies to learn how it ‘persuades’ prisoners to give it the information it demands.  Presumably, that would enable terror groups to prepare their cadre for such interrogations in order to withstand them.  Not a word about the possibility that such recordings would reveal the nasty quasi-criminal enterprise that the security agencies conduct on behalf of the State.  Lest you think the previous sentence was hyperbolic, go back and read this post about a provoked prison riot which the prison security service put down with brutal force, ending with the murder of a prisoner who wasn’t even engaging in protest.  Now, recall that the commander who oversaw this exercise wasn’t disciplined or even investigated.  In fact, he was promoted for doing his job so well.

Israeli human rights NGOs dutifully raised their voices (Hebrew) in opposition.  But they were drowned out by the swelling chorus of support for any and all methods used to beat confessions and information out of detainees.  Here are some of their wise, but unheeded words:

The need for recording security interrogations is greater because of the need for certainty that a confession is valid and because of the critical importance of ensuring that the investigation was conducted properly, preventing the use of improper methods.  Prisoner populations are the most likely to be exposed to the danger of degrading or inhumane conditions, including the use of physical or emotional violence up to and including outright torture.  Recording interrogations can aid greatly in determining the credibility of complaints of improper acts.  It can supply objective specific documentation regarding the conduct of an investigation, either supporting or refuting the charges of the detainees.

Like voices crying out in the wilderness.  They speak but there is no one to hear.  In fact, the existence of the NGOs, though an inconvenience for the authorities, allows them to tell the world: we are a democracy; look at how our NGOs freely criticize us; what more can you ask of us?

There are those who’ve questioned my contention here that security prisoners like Dirar Abusisi, Ameer Makhoul, Mustafa Dirani, and others have been tortured during their interrogations.  They’ve done this despite the fact that defense lawyers have described in detail the sleep deprivation, loud noises, being tied to a chair for long periods, anal penetration, and worse.  Now, I’ll throw it back in their face: if you’re confident there is no such abuse, protest the lack of documentation of the interrogations.  If you don’t then you’re little more than a hypocrite because the video or audio tape would prove your claim.  Without it, you have nothing, not a leg to stand on.

Any of you American’s out there reading this, don’t get any big ideas about how superior our legal system is to Israel’s (though given the horrid record of the Obama administration it’s hard to see how anyone would believe this).  Remember the videotapes of brutal waterboarding by CIA inquisitors that were destroyed when word began to leak out that they existed?  Remember Jose Rodriguez, the CIA officer who destroyed them, who wasn’t even investigated, let alone punished for obstruction of justice?

We are no better than Israel in this, which is what makes it all the more tragic.

July 17, 2012 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , | Comments Off on Knesset Exempts Shin Bet from Recording Interrogations

Our Perverse War on Drugs

By FIRMIN DeBRABANDER | CounterPunch | July 17, 2012

Perhaps the most humiliating legacy of our nation-building venture in Afghanistan is the stubborn narco-state flourishing under our noses. The opium crop in Afghanistan has doubled since US forces deposed the Taliban, and the drug trade threatens to dominate the country as never before when our forces leave in 2014. How did this happen?

By and large, it seems US forces followed a policy of turning a blind eye to the opium crop, on the premise that poor farmers are not our main enemies in Afghanistan, and attacking their livelihood would turn them to the Taliban. To combat opium production, our principal initiatives included helping farmers cultivate alternate crops, and setting up an independent court system to try traffickers. While these have shown some promise, progress has been slow, and funding for these programs is drying up. Crop eradication was on our minds, too, but we charged the Afghan forces with that task. Their efforts, however, have been undermined by political corruption on the ground.

Underscoring the futility of our drug war in Afghanistan is the impact of the current blight on opium poppies in the country. At first glance, this might sound like a God-send: crop eradication at its best. However, something happened that we American capitalists should have anticipated. With opium supply suddenly scarce, the price of the crop soared. This has in turn enriched –and entrenched—the big dealers, inspired farmers to double down on next year’s crop to make up for current losses, and likely attracted more people to the drug trade in a very poor country. The result of this blight illuminates the main problem of crop eradication: it drives up prices, providing more incentives surrounding the drug trade.

In Latin America, our anti-narcotic efforts have largely featured interdiction, eradication, and assaulting the drug gangs. Our tactics on this front were recently highlighted by reports of a bloody incident in Honduras where local forces, with US financing and support, have been intercepting drug traffickers from South America in the remote Honduran jungle. The Honduran forces mistakenly killed unarmed civilians while intercepting a drug shipment. Notable in our efforts in Honduras is the extensive involvement of the US military. The Honduran forces who conducted this raid flew out of one of the three bases the US military operates in that country. The forces were tipped off by our military’s Southern Command in Miami, carried to the location by State Department helicopters, and accompanied by DEA agents. For all intents and purposes, the US seems to be waging war in Latin America.

So far it seems the most obvious result of our aggressive approach in Latin America is increasingly grotesque violence. Since Mexico started its crack down on the drug cartels, thanks to US prodding and support, the country has suffered 50,000 deaths. Mexican cartels have exploded, resorting to mass killings, beheadings, mutilation—body parts found in bags in public squares—assassinations of government officials. Savage violence surrounding the drug trade is spreading through the countries of Central America as we ramp up interdiction efforts there. The brazen and pervasive violence is testimony to what’s at stake, namely, the incredibly lucrative US drug market. The sum total of our efforts in Latin America compounds the problem.

As the New York Times Magazine explained in a recent expose on the Mexican drug cartels (“The Snow Kings of Mexico”, 6/17/12), the cost of drugs on the street is largely determined by the amount of risk assumed in getting the product to market. So: make the risk greater and the prices rise; more dealers get involved, and jockey (or kill) for a piece of the action.

This is why, our former ambassador to Colombia has argued, we must pair our negative policies with economic development in Latin America. If we build schools and hospitals, and help develop businesses in the region, we can reduce incentives to enter the drug trade. And yet, as long as the drug trade remains so lucrative, it’s reasonable to suppose, incentives to enter it will always be powerful.

What strikes me in the many prongs of our current war on drugs is how we seem to focus on everything but ourselves—and go to great efforts in so doing. We monitor the nations our drugs come from, and toil to frustrate traffickers thousands of miles from our borders. We work to change the economic conditions on the ground in very poor nations—no small task—while poor neighborhoods at home beg for attention. We enlist our military, the largest in the world, to stem the flow of drugs northward. And none of it works. These efforts have the opposite effect of what we intend, for they drive up prices and stoke the drug trade. The traffickers will do anything to get the product to market as a result: Colombian gangs have built submarines for this purpose; the Mexican cartels use catapults to launch drugs over our multi-million dollar border fences.

We’d rather do anything but zero in on demand here, but it’s so clear this would be the cheapest, most direct, most effective, most humane solution. It makes you wonder if we want to win the war on drugs at all.

Firmin DeBrabander is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the Maryland Institute College of Art.

July 17, 2012 Posted by | Corruption, Economics, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | Comments Off on Our Perverse War on Drugs

Poll: 76% of Americans favor cutting military spending

Press TV – July 17, 2012

The results of a new survey indicate that most Americans, from both Democratic and Republican congressional districts, support the reduction of the country’s military spending.

The result of the poll, published on July 16, indicated that 76 percent of Americans favored slashing of the defense budget, while only 20 percent approved of increasing the military spending.

The poll was conducted by the Program for Public Consultation (PPC), a newly-established joint program at the University of Maryland, US-based nonprofit investigative journalism organization, the Center for Public Integrity, and the Stimson Center, a nonprofit global security think tank.

According to Steven Kull, the director of the PPC, those respondents, who lived in Republican districts advised a 15-percent reduction in defense spending, while those from Democratic districts proposed an average 28-percent cut.

The poll further showed that the main reason behind the American citizens’ support for the cuts is their strong belief that a large amount of the military budget goes to waste.

The view is held by 80 percent of the participants in Republican districts and 86 percent of the respondents in Democratic districts, the study showed.

The soaring military spending comes despite the Obama administration’s cuts in public spending to compensate for the budget deficit.

The US has reportedly spent over USD one trillion in taxpayer money on its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001.

July 17, 2012 Posted by | Economics, Militarism | , , , , | 1 Comment

Operation on Syria Successful, but the Patient Died

By Philip Giraldi • The American Conservative • July 16, 2012

Reuel Marc Gerecht, the Wall Street Journal’s always available advocate of “let us reason together before we bomb Iran,” is now urging an immediate US surrogate attack on Syria by “unleashing the CIA.”  Gerecht, a former CIA officer who served in Istanbul and Paris, once described the Agency disparagingly as a mixture of Monty Python and Big Brother, so it is particularly ironic that now he wants to go about unleashing it.  He apparently hopes that the Big Brother component will prevail because Monty Python would no doubt prefer to execute a silly walk.

Gerecht, who currently perches at the neocon Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, argues that unless there is a “muscular CIA operation” to arm the rebels with “paralyzing weaponry” and other support that would provide them with a military advantage there will be between 200,000 and 4.5 million deaths in Syria.  The numbers appear to be plucked out of the ethosphere and it should also be noted that Gerecht’s knowledge of paralyzing weapons and their deployment is limited as he never served in the US military.

The call for a humanitarian intervention in Syria comes oddly from Gerecht, who has never hesitated to call for the killing of any Iranian civilians who might get in the way of a US/Israeli assault, using inter alia the argument that Iranians have “terrorism in their DNA.”  It also ignores the dismal record of various US interventions over the past fifty years and conveniently avoids the subject of blowback.  The operation would be eerily reminiscent of the support for insurgents in Afghanistan during the Soviet occupation, an initiative that drove the Russians out to be sure, but also produced chaos in Afghanistan and created al-Qaeda.  The situation in Syria is somewhat similar, at least in terms of potential downside, as Assad’s departure would create a power vacuum and no one really knows who the rebels are and what they represent.

But perhaps Gerecht is not really thinking about what is good for Syria and the Syrian people at all.  He is a former employee of Doug Feith’s Pentagon Office of Special Plans that produced the disastrous war against Iraq and is also a close friend and associate of Richard Perle, who, together with Feith, drafted the 1996 proposal “A Clean Break”, which recommended specific policies to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.  “A Clean Break” endorsed encouraging Arab states hostile to Israel to splinter along tribal and ethnic lines, similar to what has been happening in Iraq.  What could be better than replacing a unified and hostile Syria with a chaotic civil war in which Alawites, Sunnis, and Shia are at each others’ throats while the Christian minority frantically looks for a way out?  The Washington based Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), which was founded by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), apparently agrees, noting that the disruption caused by the Arab Spring has actually been good for Israel in strategic terms.

July 17, 2012 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Operation on Syria Successful, but the Patient Died

JINSA: ‘Israel is winner of Arab Spring’

Rehmat’s World | July 17, 2012

In April 2011 – Turkish President Abdullah Gul in a New York Times Op-Ed, warned both Benjamin Netanyahu and Barack Obama that the “Arab Revolution is aimed at Israel”. However, later events in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and Syria proved that Abdullah Gul was totally wrong.

Last week, Gabriel M. Scheinmann, a visiting Fellow at the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), admitted that the Zionist entity is in fact the winner of the so-called “Arab Spring”.

“The so-called “Arab Spring” has, paradoxically, made Israel stronger as Israel’s enemies have turned on each other. While Arab capitals burn, Jerusalem has calmly and carefully steeled itself against the possible immediate deleterious effects, building fences along its Egyptian and Jordanian borders and accelerating the deployment of its Iron Dome anti-missile system,” wrote Scheinmann. He then added: “Even as it rightly plans for the changes wrought by the “Arab Spring”, Israel should also recognize that as the Middle East convulses, it is more likely to be left alone. As Alawites battle Arab Sunnis and Kurds in Syria, as Kurds target Turks in Turkey, as the Imazighen fight Arabs in Libya, as the Army contends with Islamists in Egypt, and as Sunnis and Christians confront Shiites in Lebanon, people don’t have the time, energy, or resources to fight the Jews in Israel. The more the region tears itself apart, the more Israel floats to the top, unscathed economically, militarily, or diplomatically. While an Islamist ascent is undesirable, the intervening disorder only makes Israel stronger.”

Karen DeYoung, in Gen. Colin Powell’s biography, ‘SOLDIER: The life of Colin Powell’, has quoted Powell twice saying that “the Iraq war was the product of Donald Rumsfeld’s absorption in the “JINSA crowd.” By the way, Dick Cheney was on JINSA’s Board of Advisors before becoming vice president, where he was joined by Ledeen, Feith, Perle, James Woolsey, and John Bolton.

Both AIPAC and JINSA are behind Washington’s regime change in Tehran.” So far the Israel lobby has failed to make its dream come true, as Vali Nasr, author of The Shia Revival, wrote: “The wars of 2001 and 2003 have fundamentally changed the Middle East to Iran’s advantage.”

Lebanon’s interior minister, retired Maj. Gen. Marwan Charbel in a recent interview with RT has claimed that the Zionist entity is the only country which has benefited from the so-called “Arab Spring”.

The so-called “Arab Spring” is the defacto working of Zionist elements in the United States. The brainchild is within the Israel-Firsters, and by extension the Zionist entity.

July 17, 2012 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Israeli Occupation refuses to allow village to have electricity generator repaired

Palestine Information Center – 17/07/2012

JENIN — The village of Dhahr al Maleh, to the south of Jenin located behind the Apartheid Wall, has been living for ten days in total darkness after the disruption of the electrical generator, which supplies the energy to the village and which the occupation authorities refuse to allow to be repaired.

Hussein al Abd, a member in the Village of Dhahr al Maleh Council, confirmed in a press statement that the electric generator of the village had been disrupted and that due to the location of the village (behind the wall apartheid), the council was unable repair it because of the Zionist obstacles.

He noted that the village, which has a population of 300 people, has been using the electrical generator since 1995 and that it had received a new generator six months ago, that has stopped working ten days ago. He also pointed out the increase of power consumption during the summer especially as the month of Ramadan is approaching.

The Village Council’s member called for pressuring the occupation authorities to speed up the repair of the generator; noting that the occupation authorities have been refusing to approve a solution that lies in linking the power grid to a point located at a distance of only 100 meters from the village.

July 17, 2012 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Subjugation - Torture | , | Comments Off on Israeli Occupation refuses to allow village to have electricity generator repaired

Israeli troops steal 1000 goats from southern Lebanon

Press TV – July 17, 2012
A file photo of Israeli soldiers near the Lebanese border
A file photo of Israeli soldiers near the Lebanese border

Israeli military forces have stolen 1000 goats from Shebaa farms in southern Lebanon following their failure to abduct two shepherds.

The incident occurred when at least 20 Israeli soldiers crossed the Lebanese border at Mount Hermon region and infiltrated 500 to 800 meters into the Labanese Shebaa farms in southern Lebanon in order to abduct shepherds Mohammed Qassem Hashem and Ahmed Haidar.

After failing to kidnap the shepherds, the Israeli forces then stole 900 goats in the area and took them to the Israeli-occupied sections of the Shebaa farms.

The Israeli military frequently violates Lebanon’s airspace, territorial waters and border.

The violations contravene United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701, which ended the Israeli war on Lebanon in 2006.

UN Security Council Resolution 1701 calls on Israel to respect Lebanon’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

July 17, 2012 Posted by | Illegal Occupation | , , , , | 3 Comments