Aletho News


Hours before death, Hastings claimed the FBI was on his tail

RT | June 24, 2013

The death of journalist Michael Hastings is raising new questions after an email he sent hours before last week’s fatal car crash has surfaced showing a possible FBI probe into the reporter.

KTLA News in Los Angeles received an email on Friday that was forwarded to them by a friend of the 33-year-old reporter.

Hastings, who wrote for Rolling Stone and the website BuzzFeed, perished after an auto wreck in L.A. early Tuesday last week.

According to an email Hastings sent Monday afternoon to a handful of friends, he believed his colleagues could be visited by Federal Bureau of Investigation officers due to an article he was working on.

“Hey [redacted}, the Feds are interviewing my ‘close friends and associates,’” Hastings wrote, before recommending to his colleagues that they seek legal advice if approached by investigators.

“Also: I’m onto a big story, and need to go off the rada[r] for a bit,” he added. “All the best, and hope to see you all soon.”

Hastings was reportedly working on an article about Florida socialite Jill Kelley at the time of his death. Kelley made headlines last year after she became entangled in a high-profile scandal involving then-CIA Director David Petraeus and Gen. George Allen, who then commanded US troops in Afghanistan. A federal probe of suspicious emails sent to Kelley later unearthed an extramarital affair between Gen. Petraeus and his biographer, Paula Broadwell, which led to the CIA director’s resignation.

Before taking the helm as CIA director, Petraeus commanded US troops in Afghanistan — the same role that later went to Gen. Allen. Petraeus had inherited that role from Gen. Stanley McChrystal. On his part, McChystal resigned from that position after a 2010 Hastings-penned article from Afghanistan raised questions about the commander’s remarks about the Obama administration. He was forced to apologize for comments he made in the article that led to his resignation, and Hastings was presented with a Polk journalism award for his report.

Staff Sgt. Joseph Biggs, who met Hastings when the journalist was embedded in Afghanistan in 2008, said he received the email less than a day before the auto accident and told KTLA it sounded “very panicked.”

“It alarmed me very much,” Biggs said. “I just said it doesn’t seem like him. I don’t know, I just had this gut feeling and it just really bothered me,” he said.

“He was a good friend of mine,” Biggs wrote in a tweet sent after Hastings’ death.

According to the soldier, Biggs was blind-copied on the email sent mid-day Monday, which was addressed to a handful of Hastings’ colleagues. He died around 15 hours after the email was sent.

One week after his death, speculations continue to surround Hastings’ death. The other recipients of the email obtained by Higgs have yet to address the correspondence, but the soldier said it’s unlikely because others are worried of what will happen next.

“The reason I released the email is because those people were too scared. I’m not,” Higgs tweeted over the weekend.

“I won’t let a man die in vein [sic] because I’m too scared of what will happen to me. If I sent that email to Mike he wouldn’t rest,” Higgs wrote, “He would fight.”

On the eve of Hastings’ funeral this Monday in Vermont, Higgs said the deceased journalist’s wife thanked him for releasing the email.

“She’s vowing to take down whoever did this. She’s a fighter,” he wrote.

The Los Angeles Police Department says they do not suspect foul play in Hastings’ death, and the FBI said he was not the target of an investigation.

Appearing on Fox News on Monday, Ali Gharib, a journalist and friend of Hastings, said “I don’t think he was a reckless a person.”

“That doesn’t mean he might not have been driving excessively fast,” added Gharib, who said it wouldn’t be “a wild situation” to imagine Hastings driving quickly through Los Angeles late last week.

Speaking to Yahoo News last week, eyewitness Michael Carter wrote that he was nearby at the time of impact and “saw a giant fireball at the base of one of the palms that line the medians” on the road Hastings’ Mercedes was traveling down. “It was surreal. Even from as far away as I was, I could see how violent an impact it had been.”

June 24, 2013 Posted by | Aletho News | , | Comments Off on Hours before death, Hastings claimed the FBI was on his tail

After losing disarmament debate, Likud hawk concedes Iranian position on nuclear weapons is better for the world

Israeli and Turkish parliamentarians learn about nuclear famine

International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War | June 24, 2013

On June 18, 2013, IPPNW Co-President Ira Helfand participated in an unprecedented debate about nuclear weapons in Israel’s parliament, the Knesset. At an event organized by ICAN-Israel and the Israeli Disarmament Movement, Dr. Helfand presented the scientific findings about the global climate effects of a limited nuclear war, and made a compelling case for the abolition of nuclear weapons. The next day, he traveled to Ankara, where he gave a similar talk about nuclear famine and the medical consequences of nuclear war to the Turkish parliament. The following is Dr. Helfand’s report.

by Ira Helfand

Sharon Dolev, the ICAN campaigner in Israel, and the Director of the Israeli Disarmament Movement (RPM), ICAN’s partner organization in Israel, organized an enormously successful series of events to publicize the nuclear famine report, build support for the upcoming Mexico conference on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons, and promote a WMD-Free Zone in the Middle East.

The centerpiece of the event was a discussion of these issues, including open discussion of Israel’s nuclear arsenal, in the Israeli Parliament, the Knesset.  This session was the first ever discussion of nuclear weapons in the Knesset and broke a long-standing taboo against raising this subject in any official forum. The session was held in the conference room of the Knesset’s Science and Technology Committee and was hosted by two members of the Knesset, MK Tamar Zangberg of the Meretz Party and MK Dov Khenin of the Hadash Party. Equally important, MK  Moshe Feiglin of the ruling Likud Party—one of the pre-eminent hawks in the Knesset—also came and debated nuclear policy for nearly 20 minutes after my presentation on the medical effects of nuclear war.  He put forth the argument, common in Israel and other nuclear weapons states, that it is OK for “the good guys” to have nuclear weapons because they need them to protect themselves from “the bad guys.” Nevertheless, he seemed genuinely disturbed by the data showing that even a limited use of nuclear weapons, even by the “good guys,” would cause catastrophic consequences around the world that would affect the “good guys” themselves.  He ultimately conceded that the world would be better off without any nuclear weapons and said that there needed to be further reductions in the current nuclear arsenals.

The Knesset session was attended by 20 antinuclear activists, including IPPNW’s Dr. Ra’anan Friedman, as well as by members of the press. It was videotaped and the two host members of the Knesset posted to their large Facebook followings throughout the presentation and debate.

MKs Zangberg and Khenin indicated a desire to continue working on this issue with RPM and are talking now about forming a lobby in the Knesset. MK Feiglin agreed to meet for further discussion about the issue. The meeting was viewed as an historic breakthrough by former MK and RPM Chair Mossi Raz.

RPM also organized a meeting with a senior government official who, previously unaware of the nuclear famine study, seemed deeply disturbed by the data, asked many detailed questions, and requested copies of the report in both English and Hebrew (prepared in advance by RPM) so that he could study it more closely. Most significantly, he said Israel might consider participating in the Mexico conference as long as it did not anticipate being singled out for attack, as it has been at many other international meetings. We urged Israeli participation at the side events that ICAN will organize at the UN this fall and he agreed to continue meeting with RPM over the coming months.

In addition to the government meetings, Sharon and her colleagues in RPM organized interviews with the English-language Jerusalem Post, Ha’Aretz, and the religious paper Hamevaser. They also arranged for me to appear on Sharon’s weekly radio show, All for Peace, and arranged extended press briefings with Or Heller, the well known defense correspondent for Channel 10, one of the major Israeli TV stations; with Ami  Rokheks, who writes for Israel Defense a publication and web site devoted to security issues; and with Aviv Lavi, a leading environmental correspondent with a column in the business daily Globes and a weekly national radio program.

Arife Kose, the ICAN campaigner in Turkey, organized an extremely successful meeting at the Turkish Parliament on June 19, hosted and sponsored by Professor Aytug Atici, Member of Parliament, a pediatrician, and a member of IPPNW.  The hour-long event attracted 18 members of parliament and consisted of a one-hour presentation and discussion of nuclear famine and the medical consequences of nuclear war. The event was also attended by IPPNW-Turkey General Secretary Derman Boztok, IPPNW-Turkey President Ozen Asut, five other members of the affiliate, and representatives of the Platform Against Nuclear, an umbrella group uniting dozens of NGOs opposed, originally to nuclear power, but now working on nuclear weapons as well. At the conclusion, Prof. Atici expressed interest in organizing a Turkish parliamentary delegation to attend the Mexico conference next year. Parliamentarians will be asked to sign a statement endorsing the Mexico conference.

Later in the day, Arife, Derman, and I met with Volkan Oskiper, the Head of Department for Arms Control and Disarmament. Turkey had attended the Oslo conference in March but did not sign on to the joint appeal of 80 NPT member states in May. He indicated, however, that Turkey plans to attend the Mexico conference and is encouraging other states to attend as well.  He expressed some skepticism about the value of the ban treaty but was sympathetic to the argument that the nuclear-weapon states need to be pushed from the outside and agreed that their strong aversion to a ban treaty suggests that they are feeling pressured simply by the prospect of its being negotiated.

Oskiper was very familiar with the nuclear famine study from the Oslo presentation, and quoted several of the findings back to us. He is meeting with counterparts in Islamabad next week and agreed to bring a copy of the report to them for us. He will meet further with Arife and Derman in the lead up to Mexico.

Finally, Derman hosted a reception for IPPNW colleagues at the Turkish Medical Association office. The TMA issued a press release on June 19 about the situation in Turkey, specifically addressing the victims of police violence, but also referencing the presentation on humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons at the Parliament. A press conference held at the Medical Association dealt with both issues.

June 24, 2013 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on After losing disarmament debate, Likud hawk concedes Iranian position on nuclear weapons is better for the world

Man Claims Cops Sodomized Him With a Gun

By JACK BOUBOUSHIAN | Courthouse News | June 24, 2013

CHICAGO – Chicago police officers sodomized a man with a gun, “laugh(ing) hysterically,” until he agreed to buy drugs for the cops in a sting, the man claims in court.

Angel Perez sued Chicago and its police Officer Jorge L. Lopez in Federal Court.

Perez was working as a delivery driver on Oct. 20, 2012, when cops in an unmarked car pulled him over, handcuffed him and took him to the Harrison Street Police Station, he says in the complaint.

There, “Two officers began assaulting the plaintiff with questions regarding robberies and drug dealers in the Taylor Street area,” the complaint states. “Plaintiff responded that he did not know anything about robberies or drug dealings in the Taylor Street area and again and repeatedly requested that the officers call his lawyer. Plaintiff’s lawyer was never contacted and the questioning continued. The officers were particularly interested in why the plaintiff had the telephone number of an individual by the name of ‘Dwayne’ in his telephone.”

Perez claims the police released him after two hours of questioning, but Officer Lopez called him the next day, “told the plaintiff that what took place the night before was a mistake and that he needed the plaintiff to sign some papers so that his car would not be towed. Defendant Lopez instructed the plaintiff to meet him at Al’s Beef on Taylor Street at 3:00 p.m. that day,” the complaint states.

But when Perez arrived at Al’s Beef, an officer with Lopez, known to Perez only as the Sergeant, “grabbed the plaintiff and slammed his head on to the trunk of his car, searched plaintiff, handcuffed plaintiff with his hands behind his back and placed him in the squad car.”

The complaint continues: “Plaintiff was then taken back to the Harrison Street Police station to a second floor room with chairs and a table. Again, plaintiff was handcuffed to a bar, and this time he was also placed in ankle shackles.

“Plaintiff was held against his will in the room for several hours handcuffed and shackled, and not free to leave the custody of the defendants. While in the room, several other officers (approximately six officers) entered the room during the next several hours joining defendant Lopez and the Sergeant threatening the plaintiff with sending him to the Cook County jail to be raped by gang members. Further, that the[y] (the officers) could do whatever they wanted and that they would plant evidence on him and his family members if he continued to refuse to cooperate with them. Still, further that if he did not cooperate they would charge him [with] a conspiracy to obstruct justice. One of the officers in the room identified himself as the ‘Commander.’

“Plaintiff repeatedly requested his lawyer; that request was not acknowledged by the officers.

“The officers wanted the plaintiff to call or text ‘Dwayne’ and set up a drug purchase, but he refused to call or text Dwayne.

“After a period of time refusing to call or text Dwayne, the officers began to pull and contort the plaintiff’s body while he was handcuffed to the wall and shackled at his ankles, causing the plaintiff severe pain. At one point, the Sergeant sat on the plaintiff’s chest and placed his palms on the plaintiff’s eye sockets and pushed hard against them, causing plaintiff severe pain. The Sergeant also drove his elbows into plaintiff’s back and head causing severe pain. Defendant Lopez was in the room at the time and did not intervene.

“In an attempt to contact the outside world, plaintiff agreed to make the call and he attempted to call a friend of his to inform him what was transpiring, at which time an officer took plaintiff’s telephone and hung up the call.

“After several hours of verbal and physical torture, defendant Lopez and the Sergeant were alone in the room with the plaintiff. The officers told plaintiff that if he refused to cooperate with them that they were going to give him a ‘little taste’ of what he would be getting at the Cook County jail. They put plaintiff over a chair and pulled down his pants, and defendant Lopez said, ‘I hear that a big black nigger dick feels like a gun up your ass.’

“Then defendant Lopez and/or the Sergeant, knowing their actions created a strong likelihood of great bodily harm and mental anguish, inserted a cold metal object, believed to be one of officer’s service revolvers, into the plaintiff’s rectum, causing the plaintiff severe pain and humiliation. The two officers laughed hysterically while inserting the object into the plaintiff’s rectum.

“The Sergeant then said ‘I almost blew your brains out.’ The officers told the plaintiff that they would continue to insert the gun into his rectum until he cooperated with them.

“Plaintiff began to cry and agreed to cooperate with the officers.”

Perez called Dwayne and arranged to buy one gram of heroin, according to the complaint.

“The police then brought plaintiff to his car, provided the plaintiff with money to purchase the heroin, a box believed to be a GPS device and an audio recording device to record the transaction.

“Plaintiff completed the purchase from Dwayne for the Chicago Police and returned the drugs and equipment to the police. The officers then wanted plaintiff to sell drugs to Dwayne. Plaintiff told the officers that he would not be involved again with them,” according to the complaint.

Perez claims that Lopez continued to call his cell phone, asking to meet with him again, until Perez contacted the Independent Police Review Authority.

“At no time on either October 20, 2012 or October 21, 2012, prior to plaintiff’s seizure and torture, did the plaintiff commit a crime,” Perez says in the complaint.

Perez seeks punitive damages for excessive force, failure to intervene and emotional distress. He is represented by Dennis DeCaro with Kupets & DeCaro.

June 24, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture | , | Comments Off on Man Claims Cops Sodomized Him With a Gun

After Bragging about Using Surveillance Law to Catch Terrorists, Government Balks at Proving it in Court

By Matt Bewig | AllGov | June 24, 2013

Even as the Obama administration continues its aggressive defense of the PRISM domestic spying program, with defense and intelligence officials claiming that it foiled as many as 50 terror plots, the Justice Department continues to play coy, as though PRISM did not exist.

This disconnect likely arises from the fact that government surveillance often turns out to be a two-edged sword when prosecutors bring criminal charges against alleged wrongdoers. Implementing the constitutional right of “due process under law,” state and federal laws require prosecutors to share all relevant information with defendants, which their attorneys use to identify exculpatory facts and witnesses and develop legal defenses.

In the case of teenage terror defendant Adel Daoud, attorneys alleged in papers filed last week in federal court that the government has not lived up to its obligations. Daoud, an American citizen, was arrested and charged in September 2012 with plotting to blow up a downtown Chicago bar.

Three months later, during a debate on the FISA Amendments Act (FAA), which the Obama administration claims as the legal basis of its PRISM domestic spying program, a key Senator claimed that the FAA had helped investigators catch Daoud. Specifically, on December 27, 2012, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D.-California), chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, stated that the FAA had helped thwart “a plot to bomb a downtown Chicago bar” that fall.

If that is true, the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure would require the government to share the results of the surveillance that led investigators to Daoud, yet prosecutors refuse even to confirm or deny the substance of Feinstein’s comments. Daoud’s attorney, former federal prosecutor Thomas A. Durkin, argues that the government manipulates “a Global War on Terror playbook” to its advantage and then refuses to disclose it.

“Whenever it is good for the government to brag about its success, it speaks loudly and publicly. When a criminal defendant’s constitutional rights are at stake, however, it quickly and unequivocally clams up under the guise of State Secrets,” wrote Durkin in a court filing demanding the government confirm or deny the use of the surveillance.

“Whether the government relied on FAA surveillance when it obtained its FISA order is a crucial element of giving adequate notice to criminal defendants. The government should be compelled to provide a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer to the question of whether its evidence was obtained or derived from electronic surveillance conducted under the FAA,” the motion explains.

To Learn More:

Chicago Federal Court Case Raises Questions about NSA Surveillance (by Ellen Nakashima, Washington Post)

Teen Terror Suspect Says Feds must Admit Spying on Him, Americans (by Chuck Goudie, abc7 Chicago)

June 24, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception | , , , , | 1 Comment

Crush Your Citizens By Spying on Them

Democracy : Citizens Watch Government. Tyranny : Government Watches Citizens.

By BRIAN CLOUGHLEY | CounterPunch | June 24, 2013

In some of Shakespeare’s plays there was ambivalence about spying on people, but in one instance there has been an obvious follow-on to modern times, when in Hamlet he has Polonius  demand of his servant Reynaldo that he should act as a spy and

Inquire me first what Danes are in Paris;

And how, and who, what means, and where they keep

What company, at what expense.

Which was a bit like the Brits’ comically amateur efforts at spying on foreign missions before and during the G20 International Summit in London in 2009, after which the intercept spooks boasted in a bizarre Power Point Presentation about

What are our Recent Successes?

Blackberry at G20

Delivered messages to analysts at the G20 in near real-time

Provided timely information to UK ministers

Enabled discovery of 20 new e-mail selectors

Gee Golly Gosh.  Oh what fun, you must have had, you pointy-headed tummy-rubbing finger-lickin’ techno-dweebs, listening to all the foreign delegates’ Blackberry transmissions, and, as your Power Point had it, “reading people’s email before/as they do.” What were your orders? No doubt something like

Inquire me first, what Foreigners are in London;

And how, and who, what means, and where they keep,

What company, at what expense.

The orders, barely believably, came from the British government, and it’s sad to realize that it ordered spying on its allies, because Turkey — a main target of British G20 spookery — is, after all, a longtime fellow member of Nato, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. But that sort of association is meaningless when the Brits want, as the orders went : “to establish Turkey’s position on agreements from the April London summit” by spying on this faithful military partner which has a thousand troops in Afghanistan.

Britain, and all the other G20 members boast that their Group is “the premier forum for our international economic development that promotes open and constructive discussion between industrial and emerging-market countries on key issues related to global economic stability.” But how on earth can you have “open discussion” when you can’t trust the host country of the gathering? How could you be “constructive” with Britain when you know its spooks are bugging your BlackBerry?  And what else are they finding out from your conversations that will be most useful to other spooks?

There is no loyalty and no allegiance among allies in the Brave New World of BlackBerry buggers. The old-fashioned ideas of having honorable union to join in defending freedom is ditched in the interests of knowing what an ally might think or plan — in order that these thoughts and plans can be destroyed by the friend who spies on an ally.

Britain and Turkey signed the Nato Treaty which says, with optimistic ingenuousness, that

The Parties to this Treaty reaffirm their faith in the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations . . .
 They are determined to safeguard the freedom, common heritage and civilization of their peoples, founded on the principles of democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law.

But the principles of democracy, rule of law, and all that sort of starry-eyed stuff are thrown out of the window when it’s considered necessary by the Brits to find out what is being done by Turkey. And by who else, one wonders? If you can spy on one Nato ally, you are probably spying on others. Or all of them?

And you wonder about the people who do all this stuff. What can they be like, deep down, these operatives who have cast aside all moral scruples?  What do they look like, these programmed robots who consider themselves above the laws of nations and immune to the ideals of humanity and decency? Do they ever think, as Shakespeare had Polonius say to his son, that

This above all: to thine own self be true,

And it must follow, as the night the day,

Thou canst not then be false to any man.

And speaking of being false, it seems to have been forgotten that a British Cabinet Minister stated on February 26, 2004, that her country was spying on the UN Secretary General. This barely believable admission of criminality was only a five-minute wonder, of course, but it’s no less serious for that. The Minister, Clare Short, was being questioned by a BBC interviewer about the squalid deception leading up to the war on Iraq by America and Britain. In the course of discussion she was asked if US and UK pressure was being brought to bear on nations and individuals to fall in with their war plans, and part of her reply was that “The UK in this time was also getting spies on Kofi Annan’s office and getting reports from him about what was going on . . .  These things are done and in the case of Kofi’s office, it was being done for some time . . .  Well, I know — I’ve seen transcripts of Kofi Annan’s conversations.”

Then she was asked “So in other words British spies — let’s be very clear about this in case I’m misunderstanding you — British spies have been instructed to carry out operations inside the United Nations on people like Kofi Annan?” She answered “Yes, absolutely.”

So Britain, which signed the United Nations Charter almost 70 years ago “to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person,” chose to show its concern for fundamental human rights by planting listening devices in the office of the UN Secretary General. And Washington was in all this, right up to its earphones.

The interview with Clare Short came after dismissal of a criminal charge against a British government employee who informed the public in 2003 that a US National Security Agency official had asked British Intelligence to tap the telephones of UN Security Council delegates during the lead-up to the war on Iraq.

The person whose conscience would not permit her to accept a national policy of criminality was Katherine Gun, and she was charged with disclosing information contrary to national security. To be sure, she wasn’t treated as brutally and despicably as the pitiable Bradley Manning, against whom the mighty United States has brought all its power to crush. She wasn’t menaced by gigantic intimidating prison guards, or kept in solitary confinement, or subjected to a regime of endless menace that would have excited the admiration of any Nazi interrogator seeking to destroy the mind and body of a Jew or a Gypsy. No : she couldn’t be thrown in jail while awaiting trial, because Britain still has some citizens, thank God, who have a robust sense of decency and fair play — as well as a few most energetic newspapers. The slavering hyenas who rip at the body and mind of the vulnerable and wretched Manning wouldn’t get away with such persecution in Britain — not yet, anyway.

So after many months of waiting, Katherine Gun was brought to trial — and the case against her was dropped and she walked free. The charges were not publicly heard, examined and judged upon, as they should be in a democracy. Of course not — because that would have drawn the government and its pathetic little techno-dupes from the murky shadows into the light of truth and decency and open justice.   And the really funny thing — the only funny thing, in fact, about the whole farcical shambles — was the statement by the prosecution (in Britain called ‘The Crown’), about its reason for refusing to go any further. The little puppet prosecutor told the judge that “You will understand that consideration had been given to what is appropriate for the Crown to say. It is not appropriate to give further reasons. I am reluctant to go further than that unless the court requires I do.” And the judge caved in. The Regime of secrecy and deception had won yet again, and justice suffered another blow.

After Clare Short’s disclosure that Britain spies on the UN Secretary General the then prime minister of Britain, the devious liar Tony Blair,  pronounced that “I really do regard what Clare Short has said this morning as totally irresponsible.” And he justified his stance by declaring “she must know, and I think everyone knows, you can’t have a situation where people start making allegations like this about our security services.”

His message was clear, and remains clear from the recent statements by James, the Happy Clapper, the director of US national intelligence who lied to the Senate about spying on American citizens and then told the world that he gave the “least untruthful” answer to Senate questions because, of course, the end justifies the means. He knows that the intelligence industry will never be held accountable for breaking the law and spying on allies and fellow citizens — because the intelligence industry gets its orders from government.

As an anti-Obama placard had it in Berlin the other day : “Democracy: Citizens watch government. Tyranny: Government watches citizens.” We now realize that tyranny is approaching, in Britain and America. So be afraid; Be very afraid — because many of the people in power in our very own democracries intend that their fellow citizens should believe, in the words of Orwell, that  “War is Peace,  Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength.” And they’re getting there.

Brian Cloughley’s website is

June 24, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Corruption, Deception, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , | Comments Off on Crush Your Citizens By Spying on Them

The Gates Foundation and its unethical investments in G4S

By Ramona Wadi | MEMO | June 20, 2013

While three Dutch charities have announced that they will no longer accept donations by G4S due to the company’s support for the Israeli occupation, the Gates Foundation has deemed it ethical to invest in G4S, effectively exposing the often ignored link between philanthropy and human rights violations.

The Gates Foundation, renowned for its philanthropy, is allegedly ‘inspired by passion and compassion for the well-being of people’. Focusing on issues such as health, education, poverty, the Foundation now seems to be seeking a share in security affairs, effectively aligning itself with the conspiracy behind the fable of safeguarding human rights. Philanthropy should be viewed within a wider image – a surplus of funds derived from a capitalist enterprise channelled into appropriate projects which bestow a continuous temporary relief in order to avoid challenging the exploitation which has rendered communities around the world dependent upon charity. With the Gates Foundation aligning its interests with a service provider of oppression, profits will continue to fund approved projects at the expense of violating international human rights law, which is acceptable within the cycle of capitalist dependency.

G4S has been targeted by the BDS movement for its role in providing security and surveillance equipment, rendering the company complicit in war crimes with Israel’s security service, Shin Bet. Torture during interrogations is routine treatment in Israeli jails, often resulting in severe physical and metal degeneration or, as in the case of Arafat Jaradat, death. G4S endorses identical security concern rhetoric as that used by Israel, manipulating the foundations of human rights and security into a territory which encompasses nothing but the alleged rights of the oppressor.

In their 2012 Corporate Social Responsibility Report, G4S states that the company recognises it can ‘play a positive and negative role in respecting human rights around the world’. The company declares that its policy is based upon the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1947), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966), the International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966) and the international Labour Organisation Declaration on Fundamental Rights at Work (1998). ‘Mapping the human rights landscape’, as stated in the report, and becoming a signatory to the UN Global Compact, are portrayed as a pledge to safeguard human rights, disregarding the UN’s significant faults and unapologetic stances when it comes to selectively bestowing human rights in order to promote and consolidate the impunity of powerful states and allies. In other words, G4S are emulating their provision of security services and basing their legitimacy upon an international organisation which thrives upon illegality.

Dependency has created a spectator society. While activist campaigns have created a far reaching resonance, leaders within the international community are too comfortably ensconced in their glorified positions to challenge a partnership which fuels the Israeli occupation’s crimes against Palestinians. As long as the interpretation of the social world is shaped by dominant allies, it is difficult to fragment the bond between society and economic power, effectively allowing an amalgamation of a ruling power to distort the power of intellectuals into a subservient role abetting international complicity in human rights violations.

June 24, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Bulgarian scholars call for end to plutocracy

Press TV – June 24, 2013

Sixty prominent Bulgarian intellectuals have issued a special declaration against ‘plutocracy’ in the country, calling for an end to rule by the wealthy and a return to democracy.

The so-called charter for disbanding the plutocratic model of the Bulgarian state was issued on Sunday amid the ongoing protests by Bulgarians to oust the three-week-old government.

“The protests of tens of thousands of people across the country were motivated by the desperate concern about the state system in Bulgaria. Beyond doubt, we are in a deep crisis of the social contract and a total discreditation of the state institutions,” the declaration read.

The protests began on June 14 after the appointment of controversial and inexperienced media mogul Delyan Peevski as chief of Bulgaria’s National Security Agency (DANS).

The declaration called Peevski’s career and public image “a synthesis of all pathological processes that led to the current degrading and seemingly dead-end situation.”

“The Peevski case laid bare the growing seizure of the political system, media, justice, security and banking sectors by a network of hidden dependencies that does not respect the rule of law and separation of powers, empties the institutions from democratic legitimacy and substitutes public interest [with] corruption and moral degradation,” the declaration stated.

The new Socialist-backed Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski withdrew Peevski’s nomination immediately after the protests erupted.

However, the move failed to appease both the protesters and President Rosen Plevneliev, who said he had lost confidence in the government and demanded an immediate review of the controversial appointment.

In addition, the declaration addressed a number of other instances over the past years that proved “the adhesion of oligarchy and power,” urging the public to launch a process to clearly define the problems in the functioning of Bulgaria’s democracy and to draft reforms to abolish them.

It also listed some of the most striking problems, including alienated institutions, easily swayed by corruption, nepotism and weakened judiciary, police and media.

The sixty scholars behind the declaration include lawyers, journalists, political analysts, sociologists and human rights activists.

June 24, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Corruption, Full Spectrum Dominance, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , , , | Comments Off on Bulgarian scholars call for end to plutocracy