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Canadian Government Withholding Documents Concerning the Torture of Native Children

By Dave Dean | Vice | July 20, 2013


A class picture from St. Paul’s Indian Industrial School in Middlechurch, Manitoba. via WikiCommons.

In the early 1990s an affiliation of Cochrane, Kapuskasing and James Bay’s OPP detectives were assigned to investigate one of the largest claims of sexual and physical abuse against children in Canadian history. The testimony they amassed by talking to hundreds of survivors of St. Anne’s Residential School in Fort Albany Ontario was horrifying.  Residential Schools were a form of genocide—and the OPP’s special investigation into St. Anne’s provided 7,000 pages of stories that wouldn’t be out of place in memoirs of concentration camp survivors, or of individuals trapped in a country where ethnic cleansing is a government policy.

The accounts of physical and sexual abuse are brutal and numerous—hetero and homosexual child rape, children being stropped and beaten with rudimentary whips, forced ingestion of noxious substances (rotten porridge that children would throw up, then subsequently be forced to eat), sexual fondling, and forced masturbation… the list goes on and on. But one of the most appalling and debasing examples of the indignity and the abuse suffered by children at St. Anne’s is that of being strapped down and tortured in a homemade electric chair—sometimes as a form of punishment—but other times just as a form the amusement for the missionaries, who, while committing these acts, were supposedly the ones “civilizing” the “Indians”.

Edmund Metatawabin was the chief of the Fort Albany First Nation in the 1990s, and the man who first brought these allegations to the attention of the OPP. Both he and his peers had been strapped down in the electric chair and he recalled the experiences as such: “Small boys used to have their legs flying in front of them… the sight of a child being electrocuted and their legs flying out in front was a funny sight for the missionaries and they’d all be laughing… the cranking of the machine would be longer and harder. Now you’re inflicted with real pain. Some of them passed out.”

In 1997, the OPP concluded its investigation, and seven former employees of St. Anne’s were charged and convicted of a variety of assaults. The victims were never compensated, and the 7,000 pages of investigative evidence collected by the OPP was locked away somewhere in Orillia. Now, the victims are seeking compensation, and the federal government—which has subsequently become the defendant in a case involving the sexual abuse and torture of children by an electric chair—is attempting to keep those 7,000 documents from ever seeing the light of day, thus preventing the possibility of any recompense. The government is citing “privacy reasons” for their lack of transparency.

I corresponded with Fay Brunning, an Ottawa-based lawyer who is representing the victims of St. Anne’s in their compensation claims.

“In refugee claims in Canada,” says Fay, “the Federal Government accepts that electric shock is a form of torture. It was torture, according to many of my clients, to be strapped into that chair and electrocuted.”

Fay has been in contact with Detective Constable Greg Delguidice, an OPP officer who worked tirelessly on this case throughout the 90s, and who, in a ‘Will Say’ document (meaning it describes what Delguidice will say in court) Fay provided to me, Delguidice’s testimony corroborates the disturbing claims of the St. Anne’s survivors. But it also indicates that the federal government is not disclosing the most crucial evidence of abuse at the school: “None of this evidence is disclosed in the Federal Government disclosure package about St. Anne’s, which is supposed to reveal all the documents about sexual or physical abuse at the school while it operated.”

I called up Delguidice directly, at his office in Kapuskasing to see if he’d be willing to provide a comment or perspective on the case, but he respectfully declined, saying it’s “in the middle of a civil process right now” and that their “corporate communications is dealing with the matter.”

These documents—that the government is withholding—are vitally important to the process, because without some form of official record, the claims of abuse by these victims are easily dismissed as being based solely on abstract words and memories. As Fay Brunning told me, “I take the position that the Federal Government should admit liability to those former students who were electrocuted… Former students should not have to go in, on their own, and each of them convince the adjudicator there was an electric chair. Furthermore, there should be no doubt that compensation should be granted to those people who were electrocuted.”

Seeing as the government is the defendant in this claims case, it seems totally bogus that they should have any legal say on what evidence may or may not be presented. “The fact is,” says Charlie Angus, Member of Parliament for Timmins-James Bay, “that the federal government is the defendant in the case. So, do we allow perps in any kind of sexual rape case decide what kind of evidence comes forth? No.”

I called up Charlie to get some civil and political perspective on just why the government feels that it’s worth still trying to hide these thousands of documents of abuse evidence that are, at this point, essentially common knowledge in northern Ontario. Although not surprisingly—for an outspoken NDP critic of Aboriginal Affairs and Justice (who also hates Twitter)—he was candid on the matter, which was a refreshing departure from our often precious and handle-with-kid-gloves members of Parliament. In his words:

“They’re doing a lot of weaseling, legal weasel stuff that they always do with First Nations… To have the federal government not bother to tell these survivors when they’re coming in and having to prove their case, that, ‘yeah, we know where the evidence is, we’re just not going to provide it’”

“This is a government that talks about standing up for the victim all the time and they’re going to be tough on criminals. Well, are they telling us that there’s two classes of victims in this country? Native and non-Native? And that Native victims are just going to have to make do with less, and have their rights interfered with—have evidence of sexual torture and abuse of children suppressed. What, to save some dollars? I find that absolutely appalling. That they knew this, that they knew these documents were there and they made no evidence to supply them is mind-boggling.”

From there, I asked Charlie if he thought the government could redeem themselves—if they could turn this around and make good to the victims of St. Anne’s, on their Residential School apology, and on the commitment they made to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

“They can. The timing is important. They have to supply these documents soon. I know that at the provincial level we have people who are willing to help, we know the OPP are willing to help. People want justice done. Who would side with covering up or denying child victims of sexual and physical torture? It takes a special level of hardened depravity to want that. So, I expect this Justice Minister is going to do the right thing and they will turn those documents over. I’m sorry, They’ve been outed. The light’s shining on them. It’s time to do right, whether they want to or not. We’ve got to drag them into the daylight kicking and screaming, but we want justice.“

To not immediately release these documents shows that the current government was dishonest in their apology that First Nations groups say yielded no significant change for their way of life in Canada. Obviously it was a hollow gesture. And now, to deny the claims and withhold evidence of what amounts to torture from child survivors is, well, fucked up. Stephen Harper relished the moment to deliver an historical apology. Now it’s time to actually do something, and make things better for Canada’s Native victims.

 

Follow Dave on Twitter: @ddner

July 23, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

At least 1 in 5 drone strike victims a confirmed civilian – leaked Pakistani records

RT | July 22, 2013

Leaked internal data produced by Pakistani officials documenting drone strikes on the ground reveal a high civilian death toll, countering US claims that the targeted assassination campaign results in “exceedingly rare” fatalities.

A 12-page report, titled ‘Details of Attacks by NATO Forces/Predators in FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Areas)’ describes 75 CIA drone attacks between 2006 and 2009, with death tolls compiled by officials in the turbulent border regions for internal use by the government. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism – a UK news website – says it obtained three identical copies of the classified document from various sources in Pakistan.

The numbers show a death toll of 746 people, 147 of whom were confirmed as civilians. Of those civilian deaths, 94 are children. Statistically, it means at least one in five victims of US precision strikes was a civilian, and more than 12 per cent were minors.

“There was no benefit in officials ‘cooking the books’ here, since this document was clearly never intended to be seen outside the civilian administration,” said Rauf Khan Khattak, who recently served as Pakistan’s interim finance minister.

The US President and the CIA do not have to disclose details of what is officially considered a classified program to Senate or to the public, so official American estimates have never been released. CIA Director John Brennan, considered to be the architect of the drone program, has said that “we only authorize a strike if we have a high degree of confidence that innocent civilians will not be injured or killed, except in the rarest of circumstances,” and that collateral deaths themselves are “exceedingly rare.” And an internal incomplete official report leaked earlier this year – covering a later period – showed that the CIA thought that only one out of every 482 people it killed was a civilian.

But the Pakistani numbers tally much closer with those provided by outside sources. The bipartisan New American Foundation estimates that at least 12 per cent of drone strike victims are definitely civilians, and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism itself claims the number could be as high as 25 per cent.

Rauf Khan Khattak, a long-time opponent of foreign drone strikes, believes the newest figures could be the most reliable obtained so far.

“What you end up with in these reports is reasonably accurate, because it comes from on-the-ground sources cultivated over many years. And the political agent is only interested in properly understanding what actually happened,” he told the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

But others have urged for these documents to be taken into consideration only when measured against other sources. For example, following Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2009, only three civilian death incidents are recorded through the year up until late October, when the data ends – even though media reports from the same time indicate that civilians and children had died in attacks included in the FATA document.

“Tribal documents might present a broad picture. But any accuracy is dependent on what data the military chooses to release to or withhold from the political agents. In the last eight years, for example, no precise casualty figures have ever been submitted to Pakistan’s parliament,” said former FATA official and minister Rustan Shah Mohmand.

Independent sources estimate that around 2,500 and perhaps more than 3,500 people have been killed in UAV strikes on Pakistan since 2004. Obama has ramped up the program significantly since coming into office.

The difficulty in establishing the precise number of civilians among those is also compounded by the identity of the supposed militants and the CIA’s own targeting protocols , known as ‘signature strikes’.

Militants may simply be a villager engaged in an insurgency, and will have little to separate himself from a civilian, and vice versa. There is also little incentive for relatives to inform the authorities that any UAV strike victim is a militant, and much of the data is compiled on hearsay and local knowledge.

In turn, the US has tacitly admitted that it picks the majority of its targets based on a pattern of behavior – suspicious movements, contact with established targets, attendance of training centers, and other indirect indicators. Drones sometimes target follow-up events that occur as a result of its previous strikes, such as funerals of past drone targets. The earlier leaked documents showed that out of the 482 people killed, only six were known al-Qaeda commanders.

But even when taking all these variables into consideration and interpreting them in the most favorable light possible to the US, it is hard to agree with Obama’s recent assertion that the CIA has a “near-certainty that no civilians will be killed or injured” before each drone attack.

July 23, 2013 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

American Weapons Linked To Outbreak Of Birth Defects And Cancer In Iraq

By DSWright | FDL | July 23, 2013

America’s war of aggression in Iraq produced many immediate casualties, but recent reports from Iraq are citing another, longer term, cost of war. America’s use of depleted uranium shells is causing record numbers of birth defects and cancer in previous combat areas. Doctors are struggling to cope with the outbreak.

The US military’s use of depleted uranium in Iraq has led to a sharp increase in Leukemia and birth defects in the city of Najaf – and panicked residents are fearing for their health. Cancer is now more common than the flu, a local doctor tells RT.

The city of Najaf saw one of the most severe military actions during the 2003 invasion. RT traveled to the area, quickly learning that every residential street in several neighborhoods has seen multiple cases of families whose children are ill, as well as families who have lost children, and families who have many relatives suffering from cancer.

Uranium is radioactive and a known carcinogen, but whether or not the amount present in the American ammunition used during the war is enough to cause the kind of disease present in Iraq today has yet to be proven conclusively. But if reports are correct, it would be quite a coincidence that the areas presenting the increases in birth defects and cancer are also the ones where heavy use of depleted uranium shells took place.

Dr. Sundus Nsaif says the city has seen a “dramatic rise” in cancer and birth defects since the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq. Nsaif said the alternative location was chosen because there is an active push by the government not to talk about the issue, perhaps in an effort not to embarrass coalition forces… Depleted uranium weapons are known for the ability to penetrate through walls and tanks. One of its most dangerous “side effects” is that when the substance vaporizes, it generates dust inhaled by individuals.

The Pentagon and the UN estimate that US and British forces used 1,100 to 2,200 tons of armor-piercing shells made of depleted uranium during attacks in Iraq in March and April, far more than the [officially] estimated 375 tons used in the 1991 Gulf War, according to a report published in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer in 2003.

It would seem the Iraqi people are not quite finished suffering for America’s historic blunder. Those who survived America’s invasion and resulting sectarian war have lived long enough to get cancer or watch their newborn children be crippled from the weaponry used in the war.

The U.S. meanwhile has moved on to thinking of ways to “liberate” other countries.

July 23, 2013 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular, Video, War Crimes | , , , , , | 3 Comments

CIA Murder Claims Are Credible, but Too Late

By RYAN ABBOTT | Courthouse News | July 23, 2013

WASHINGTON – A federal judge dismissed claims that the CIA dosed a bioweapons scientist with LSD in 1953, killed him and made it look like a suicide.

Eric and Nils Olson say their father, Frank Olson, died shortly after expressing his disillusionment with his work as a CIA bioweapons expert during the early years of the Cold War. Olson had allegedly been involved in the highly classified MKUltra program, which sought to develop chemical and biological materials for clandestine operations. The program included testing LSD as a truth serum and a mind-control agent on human subjects.

Numerous works of investigative journalism and requests under the Freedom of Information Act ultimately brought the MKUltra project to light, and U.S. District Judge James Boasberg acknowledged that “the public record supports many of the allegations that follow, farfetched as they may sound.”

“Although mention of LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) conjures in the popular imagination the 1960s escapades of Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters … government study of its effects predates this by a decade,” Boasberg wrote.

The Olsons said their father “witnessed extreme interrogations in which the CIA committed murder using biological agents that Dr. Olson had developed.”

CIA officials allegedly believed that any misgivings Dr. Olson had about the work might drive him to commit security violations.

The Olsons said the CIA then spiked a bottle of Cointreau with LSD at an agency meeting, dosing their father without his knowledge and making him a “guinea pig for this ‘experiment’ into the effects of LSD on humans.”

The agency then shipped Olson to New York City, telling his family that he required psychiatric treatment and could be dangerous, his sons claimed.

A doctor allegedly met Olson at the New York hotel room he shared with another CIA colleague, Robert Lashbrook, and gave him bourbon and several sedatives.

“The men had two martinis each before bed that evening,” the sons said. “At approximately 2:30 in the morning on Saturday, November 28, Dr. Olson fell thirteen stories to his death from the window of room 1018A – the hotel room he was sharing with Dr. Lashbrook.”

They added: “The circumstances surrounding Dr. Olson’s wrongful death are substantially similar to a ‘secret assassination’ technique described in a manual that, upon information and belief, the CIA published the year of Dr. Olson’s death. The manual suggested ‘[f]or secret assassination … the contrived accident is the most effective technique’ because ‘[w]hen successfully executed, it causes little excitement and is only casually investigated.”

Judge Boasberg again refused to cast doubt on the allegation.

“Indeed, this would be the precise modus operandi the CIA is alleged to have employed here,” he wrote.

Though the Olsons settled with the government in 1976, accepting $187,500 each for waiving their claims, CIA Director William Colby piqued their interest 18 years later, shortly before his own death under suspicious circumstances.

Colby apparently sent Eric Olson a message in 1993 that indicated there was more to tell about his father’s death.

The family exhumed Olson’s body and discovered a bruise on his skull that a forensic scientist attributed to a blow to the head prior to the fall.

After prosecutors reclassified Olson’s cause of death from suicide to “unknown,” the family has pressured the CIA to reveal more and ultimately filed suit in November 2012.

Boasberg concluded Wednesday, however, that the 1976 settlement wipes out the negligent supervision claim against the agency. The rest of the claims then fail under the statute of limitation.

The sons say the CIA cover-up of their father’s death also caused their mother’s descent into alcoholism, and that their “replacement father figure” sexually molested them for years.

“Concluding that most of the allegations are both untimely and waived by a prior settlement agreement, and that any timely or preserved claims fall outside of the United States’ waiver of sovereign immunity, the court will grant the Government’s motion,” Boasberg ruled. 

July 23, 2013 Posted by | Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | Leave a comment

Hezbollah gets “terrorist” label for fighting al-Qaeda

By Dr. Kevin Barrett | Press TV | July 23, 2013

On Monday, the European Union formally labeled Hezbollah a “terrorist” group.

Why?

Because Hezbollah has gone to war with al-Qaeda.

But wait a minute – wasn’t al-Qaeda supposed to be the worst terrorist group in the world? Isn’t the West leading a “global war on terror” whose main target is al-Qaeda? Shouldn’t the West be thanking Hezbollah, and showering it with rewards, for turning against global terrorist enemy number one?

Apparently not.

Al-Qaeda is now the West’s darling in Syria. So anybody who resists al-Qaeda – as Hezbollah recently decided to do – is a “terrorist.”

The irony doesn’t get any thicker than that.

US Secretary of State John Kerry hailed the EU’s move. Kerry argued that Hezbollah is indeed a terrorist organization because it “has deepened its support” for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. What Kerry didn’t say is that Assad is fighting an insurgency led by al-Qaeda.

Translation: John Kerry supports al-Qaeda. He even says that anyone who opposes al-Qaeda is a terrorist.

This comes after Republican leader John McCain sneaked across the Syrian border to join al-Qaeda a little over a month ago.

In today’s USA, al-Qaeda apparently enjoys bipartisan support.

As an American Muslim, I am confused about what my government wants me to believe and say.

I have always opposed al-Qaeda. Does that mean I am a terrorist? Will Homeland Security agents arrest me and send me to Guantanamo because I don’t like al-Qaeda? Will Guantanamo’s cells soon be filling up with anti-al-Qaeda Muslims like me? Will they experiment on us with torture and brainwashing techniques designed to “reform” us by turning us into al-Qaeda supporters?

I supposed I had better say something nice about al-Qaeda quickly, before DHS agents show up on my doorstep.

So listen to me, NSA wiretappers: I am not THAT opposed to al-Qaeda! I think Bin Laden gave some wonderful speeches in his day! (I’m talking about the real Bin Laden, who died in December 2001 – not the fat imposter of the December 2001 “confession video,” or the short, skinny imposter with the jet-black beard who helped re-elect Bush in 2004.)

I even agree with al-Qaeda’s expressed desire to throw the Zionists and Crusaders out of the Islamic world. If you don’t believe me, I can show you my bumper-sticker. It reads: “End the Crusades – give Palestine back!”

So if you are listening to me, NSA wiretappers (if?!) please note that I am not an anti-al-Qaeda fanatic or an anti-al-Qaeda radical or an anti-al-Qaeda extremist.

I am an anti-al-Qaeda moderate.

I am one of the “good Muslims” – the kind you don’t need to cage, torture, or extra-judicially execute.

Really!

But I must be honest with you. I do have a few little problems with al-Qaeda.

One problem is al-Qaeda’s 1998 fatwa telling Muslims that “killing the Americans and their allies-civilians and military-is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it.”

I am a Muslim. I am also an American civilian. Does that mean I have an “individual duty” to kill myself?

From my point of view, that was an amazingly stupid fatwa.

Al-Qaeda’s claim that killing civilians is okay seems stupid and un-Islamic. Yes, I know the Americans and Israelis kill vast numbers of civilians. But we Muslims have higher standards.

Will the American and European governments label me a terrorist because I oppose killing civilians?

I would not put it past them. Orwell could take lessons from these people.

In any event, the EU’s blacklisting Hezbollah is not the first pro-al-Qaeda move by the West.

Al-Qaeda, which means “the (CIA) database,” was created by the CIA with help from its Saudi and Pakistani stooges. Its original purpose was to fight the Russians in Afghanistan on behalf of the US. Since then, it has continued to harass the Russians while smuggling drugs for the CIA.

In 2001, it generously offered its services as a bogeyman for the Zionists and the military-industrial complex, by failing to clearly and unambiguously state that 9/11 was obviously an inside job. Subsequently, al-Qaeda has turned increasingly toward attacking Muslims in an effort to incite sectarian strife and weaken the Islamic world.

Every one of those activities has furthered Western – and especially Zionist – policy goals.

No wonder the West loves al-Qaeda. No wonder they think that anyone who opposes al-Qaeda is a terrorist.

It is hard to imagine how Western hypocrisy on the subject of terrorism could sink any lower.

Will the West start hiring al-Qaeda fighters to staff airport security checkpoints? Will Obama appoint Ayman al-Zawahiri as his next Homeland Security chief? Will the US military bring Syrian al-Qaeda chief Abu Mohammad al-Julani to tour US military bases and load him with stinger missiles, as they did with Tim Osman (a.k.a. Osama Bin Laden) in the 1980s?

Will they decide to provide al-Julani with nuclear weapons?

I wish all of this were just satire. But it is impossible to satirize the West’s “war on terrorism.” The reality is always more absurd than any conceivable product of the imagination.

July 23, 2013 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Russian official slams US for turning down Moscow’s extradition requests

RT | July 22, 2013

The US is pressuring Russia to hand over NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden to face espionage charges. However, it routinely denies Russian requests to hand over suspected criminals living in America.

“Law agencies asked the US on many occasions to extradite wanted criminals through Interpol channels, but those requests were neither met nor even responded to,” spokesman for the Russian Interior Ministry Andrey Pilipchuk said on Monday.

He named Ilyas Akhmadov and Tamaz Nalbandov as examples of people living in the US, who Russia unsuccessfully tried to get for prosecution.

Akhmadov, a former officer in the Soviet Union’s Red Army, joined the militant movement in the Russian Republic of Chechnya in the early 1990s, fighting for some time along with the notorious terrorist Shamil Basayev. He is wanted in Russia over his connection to crimes committed by the insurgents.

He served as an official of the short-lived ‘government of Ichkeria’, an entity which wanted to form a sovereign Islamist state on Chechen territory. In 1999, Akhmadov was appointed ‘Foreign Minister of Ichkeria’, and toured Western countries to rally support for his cause.

After Moscow re-established control over Chechnya, he settled in the US in 2003 and sought political asylum there. He received it a year later, despite objections from the US Department of Homeland Security.

Nalbandov, an ethnic Ossetian, is suspected of abduction and extortion in Russia. In 2001, he was placed on domestic and international wanted lists.

In 2000, he moved to the US seeking political asylum and successfully obtained it. He was granted a residence permit in 2002.

Russia sought extradition of both men on several occasions in vain.

The criticism comes as the US pressures Russia to hand over Edward Snowden, a former NSA contractor, who exposed the agency’s secret surveillance programs and the role that other countries played in them.

Snowden is stranded at a Moscow airport after arriving there from Hong Kong last month. The US cancelled his passport as part of its effort to apprehend him and prosecute him on espionage charges. His limbo status means Snowden is unable to leave the airport’s transit zone in any direction.

The whistleblower is seeking political asylum in several countries, including Russia. Moscow tried to distance itself from Snowden’s case, although several Russian officials voiced their support for him and called on the government to help him.

Snowden won sympathies from activists worldwide, as many people see him as a hero, who sacrificed his career and possibly freedom to expose questionable secretive government policies. Russian human rights activists supporting the American said they regularly receive offers of money, jobs and even marriage to Snowden, the latter to facilitate his entrance to the country.

 

July 23, 2013 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Washing U.S. Hands of the Dirty Wars: News Coverage Erases Washington’s Role in State Terror

By Kevin Young | NACLA | July 22, 2013

Recently the Latin American “dirty wars” of the 1960s through 1980s have resurfaced in mainstream media discussion. One reason is the trials in Argentina, Chile, Guatemala, Haiti, Peru, and Uruguay against some of the late twentieth century’s most vicious criminals, who are collectively responsible for the murders of hundreds of thousands of political dissidents and their suspected sympathizers. Some of the highest-profile defendants are Guatemalan dictator General Efraín Ríos Montt (1982-83), Haitian dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier (1971-86), and various officials from Argentina’s military dictatorship (1976-83). Dozens of former Argentine military officials have been convicted since 2008, while prosecutions against Ríos Montt and other Guatemalan officials and Haiti’s Duvalier have been attempted since 2011.

Despite dedicating substantial coverage to these events, U.S. news outlets have usually ignored the role of the U.S. government in supporting these murderous right-wing regimes through military aid and diplomatic support. This pattern also applies to press coverage of current U.S.-backed “dirty wars,” in Honduras and elsewhere.

The documentary record leaves no doubt about U.S. support for state terror in Latin America’s dirty wars.1 Although historians debate whether U.S. support was decisive in particular cases, all serious scholars agree that Washington played at least an important enabling role. Argentina, Guatemala, and Haiti are good examples.

Argentina’s military regime murdered, tortured, and raped tens of thousands of people, mainly leftists, who criticized government policy. During the height of the repression, the U.S. government gave the junta over $35 million in military aid and sold it another $43 million in military supplies. It was well aware of the state terror it was supporting. Three months after the 1976 coup, U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger privately told Argentine Foreign Minister César Guzzetti that, “we have followed events in Argentina closely” and “wish the new government well. We wish it will succeed . . . If there are things that have to be done, you should do them quickly.”2

In Guatemala, around 200,000 people were slaughtered by the U.S.-backed military regimes that followed the 1954 CIA-sponsored coup against elected President Jacobo Arbenz. The height of state violence was the genocidal “scorched earth” campaign of the early 1980s, carried out—largely with U.S. weapons—by General Ríos Montt and his predecessor Romeo Lucas García. The campaign specifically targeted indigenous Mayans, who were deemed likely to sympathize with the country’s leftist guerrillas. In December 1982, despite his administration’s private recognition of the military’s “large-scale killing of Indian men, women, and children,” Reagan visited Guatemala and publicly declared that Ríos Montt was getting “a bum rap” and was “totally dedicated to democracy.” The next day the Guatemalan army launched its worst single massacre of the decade, killing nearly 200 men, women, and children in the village of Las Dos Erres. U.S. military aid continued thereafter, though often secretly.3 Ríos Montt himself later noted the importance of U.S. military and diplomatic support, telling a journalist that, “he should be tried only if Americans,” including Ronald Reagan, “were tried too.” (On May 10 Ríos Montt was convicted of genocide and crimes against humanity, but the conviction was annulled by the country’s Constitutional Court after intense lobbying by business and military elites. In April, former army officer and current Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina had tried to shut the trial down for fear that witnesses would implicate him in civilian massacres; one had already done so.)4

Turning to the Caribbean, Haiti’s Jean-Claude Duvalier is no less notorious for his brutality. He and his father, François, murdered and tortured tens of thousands of Haitians. Yet for three decades the Duvalier dynasty enjoyed strong U.S. support, including military training and the sale of millions of dollars in weapons and military aircraft. The dictatorship was “a dependable, good friend of the U.S.” according to a U.S. Embassy official in 1973.5 U.S. support was only withdrawn when a popular uprising was on the verge of ousting Jean-Claude in 1986.

Argentina, Guatemala, and Haiti are just three examples of U.S. support for repression. Political scientist Lars Schoultz has quantified the relationship between U.S. aid and repression by Latin American governments for the years 1975-77, finding a clear pattern: “The correlations between the absolute level of U.S. assistance to Latin America and human rights violations by recipient governments” were “uniformly positive, indicating that aid has tended to flow disproportionately to Latin American governments which torture their citizens.”6 The logic is not a mystery: Washington has always preferred U.S.-friendly oligarchs and murderers when faced with the threats of substantive democracy, economic redistribution, and independent nationalism.

Yet the documentary record and scholarly consensus are not reflected in U.S. press coverage. As the table below shows, even the nation’s leading liberal media almost never acknowledge U.S. support for the dictatorships in Argentina, Guatemala, and Haiti. Only 13 times over the past five years did any allusion to that support appear in coverage by The New York Times, Washington Post, and National Public Radio (NPR), despite 222 total news and opinion pieces that mentioned former dictatorship officials in those countries. In other words, these media outlets only acknowledged U.S. support 6% of the time.

Recently the U.S. press has strongly condemned the Argentine, Guatemalan, and Haitian dictatorships, decrying, for instance, Duvalier’s “squalid legacy of disappearance, torture and murder” and interviewing Argentine torture victims and children stolen from their parents at birth by the military.8 The problem is that the perpetrators appear simply as brutal criminals in far-off lands, with no connection whatsoever to the United States. … Full article

July 23, 2013 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Honduras: Army Kills Indigenous Leader at Dam Protest

Weekly News Update on the Americas | July 23, 2013

Tomás García Domínguez, an indigenous leader, was shot dead on July 15 in Intibucá department in western Honduras during a demonstration at the headquarters for the Agua Zarca hydroelectric project. Four other protesters were wounded, including García’s son, 17-year-old Allan García Domínguez, who was hospitalized in serious condition with a bullet in his lung. According to Civic Council of Grassroots and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH) leader Berta Cáceres, the demonstration was peaceful, but “without saying one word the army opened fire against our companions, sending bullets into the bodies of Tomás García and his son, in the presence of police that remained paralyzed and did nothing to prevent it.” A press release from the two companies constructing the dam—the Honduran company Desarrollos Energéticos S.A. (DESA) and the Chinese state enterprise SINOHYDRO—blamed the protesters and claimed the demonstration “included the destruction of installations, vehicles and personal property and direct aggression against the physical integrity of personnel.”

The protesters were from the Lenca group, the country’s largest indigenous ethnicity; Tomás García was a member of the Indigenous Lenca Council and of the COPINH. The Lenca communities near the Agua Zarca dam had been protesting the project for 106 days as of July 15 and had been subjected to harassment on previous occasions. Soldiers from the First Battalion of Engineers, the same unit that allegedly killed García, arrested Berta Cáceres and another COPINH member on May 24 after the two activists had visited Lenca communities resisting the dam [see Update #1181]. According to the COPINH, cars belonging to DESA were seen on July 12 going to the community of Unión, where there were reportedly meetings with murderers well known in the area, possibly with the intention of pressuring and intimidating dam opponents. (Adital (Brazil) 7/16/13; Indian Country Today 7/20/13)

July 23, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Israel bans teacher from Al-Aqsa Mosque

Ma’an – July 22, 2013

JERUSALEM – Israeli police on Monday banned a Palestinian woman from the Al-Aqsa Mosque, where she teaches, for three months.

Um Radwan told Ma’an that Israeli police telephoned her on Sunday, summoning her to the Russian Compound interrogation center.

She told police she was visiting a relative in hospital, and police went to the hospital and handed her a summons, which she refused to accept. More police arrived and detained Um Radwan.

Um Radwan was interrogated for two hours on and released with a summons to appear for further interrogation.

On Monday, Um Radwan was interrogated again at the Russian Compound for another two hours, and released with an order banning her from the Al-Aqsa Mosque for three months.

Um Radwan teaches the history of Jerusalem at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and leads guided tours for students around the holy site.

The tours are part of a program sponsored by the Al-Aqsa Foundation.

Um Radwan said Israel had banned nine other women involved in the program from the mosque.

Earlier in July, 25-year-old Hussam Sidir, an employee of the foundation, was banned from the mosque for three months.

Um Radwan said Israel was trying to keep activists away from the mosque so Israeli settlers could enter more easily.

July 23, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Nakba Continues: Israel’s Bedouin Face Mass Displacement

By Nadia Ben-Youssef | New Left Project | July 15, 2013

I met Aziz Al-Touri nearly three years ago in a well-constructed tent of 2x4s and brightly-coloured tarp, erected next to the concrete remains of his family home and the exposed roots of hundreds of his olive trees.  With the sound of crushing bulldozers and the sight of thousands of Israeli security forces still haunting the dreams of his five children, he spoke of his life in terms of before and after. Before and after 27 July 2010.  Before and after the demolition of his entire village, Al-Araqib, one of 35 so-called “unrecognized villages” in the Negev desert in southern Israel. Today, when Aziz tells the story of his village, in an English that was completely foreign to his tongue three years ago, he corrects me when I say Al-Araqib has been demolished 52 times since July 2010. “That wasn’t the first demolition,” he says. “The first demolition was in 1948.”

Prior to the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 (known as the Nakba or catastrophe in Arabic) some 92,000 Palestinian Bedouin lived in distinct and fixed villages and controlled 99% of the land in the Negev (Naqab).  Land ownership and transactions were regulated within a sophisticated traditional system, and recognized by both the Ottoman Government and the British Mandate.  Following the Nakba, and the mass expulsion of Palestinians from their homeland, the majority of the Bedouin community was forced to flee to neighbouring States; only 11,000 Bedouin remained, including a few families in the village of Al-Araqib. The remaining community was concentrated into a restricted military zone called the Siyag (Arabic for “fence”) by the Israeli Military Authority, with the internally displaced communities being told that they would be able to return to their own land within 6 months.

65 years later, none of the internally displaced Bedouin have been allowed to return, nor have they been given any proprietary rights to the land onto which they were moved. Similarly, the State did not recognize the land rights of the Bedouin communities that lived within the Siyag prior to the concentration.  According to Israeli law, none of the Bedouin have any legal right to their ancestral land; the 1953 Land Acquisition Law (Actions and Compensation) declared all of the land of the Negev to be “state land.”  With the passage of the law, the Bedouin were deemed “trespassers” and all of the Bedouin villages (both historic, and those created by the military government) were declared “illegal” and to this day have been denied recognition.

Successive Israeli governments have been faced with what the state regards as the “Bedouin problem.”  This classification is all the more troubling when one considers that the Bedouin, like all Palestinians who remained in Israeli territory after the Nakba, were granted Israeli citizenship by 1954.  The “problem” for the Jewish state is primarily one of demography.  The Bedouin, who now number some 200,000 people, comprise around 32% of the population in the Negev; next to the Galilee, the Negev is the region in Israel with the highest percentage of non-Jewish citizens. Israel’s solutions, which are developed without community consultation, are often disguised as general regional development or described in patronising terms as benevolent attempts to “modernise” the Bedouin.  However, all reflect the state’s acute anxiety about the “demographic threat” as well as the normalised discrimination against its Palestinian citizens.

Beginning in the late 1960s, the Israeli state’s first imposed solution was to urbanise its rural, pastoral citizens, creating seven urban townships over the next two decades.  These urban townships are annually featured in the lowest socioeconomic bracket in Israel, and suffer from the highest rate of poverty, crime and unemployment.  The forced urbanisation of traditional farmers and shepherds looks exactly as one would expect: bails of hay line the major roads, and herds of sheep, goats and camels are kept in pens attached to homes.  Half of the Bedouin community, or roughly 100,000 people, live in these seven townships, though 85% of the residents are those who were internally displaced into the Siyag by the Israeli military government after the Nakba.  Most of the Bedouin who were never moved from their ancestral land have remained in their historic villages, despite the fact that these villages are “unrecognized” by the State of Israel.

Unrecognized villages do not appear on any official maps, and their residents are denied access to all basic services including water, electricity, roads, sewage, schools and health clinics, in order to “encourage” them to abandon their homes.  All of the structures in the villages are “illegal”, in that they were built without permits from the State, and are thus subject to frequent demolition (around 1,000 Bedouin homes were demolished in 2011).  Beginning in 2003, after intensive efforts by an elected group of Bedouin leaders who formed the Regional Council of the Unrecognized Villages, 11 unrecognized villages were recognized.  Though these villages do not face a future of mass demolition and displacement, ten years later they remain disconnected from all state infrastructure, and as there is no elected authority from which to request building permits, new or renovated buildings are also regularly demolished.

However, it is the remaining 35 unrecognized villages, home to some 70,000 Bedouin citizens of Israel, that are the target of the Prawer Plan, the government’s most recent “solution” for the Bedouin community.  Named after the architect of the plan and former deputy chair of the National Security Council, Ehud Prawer, the Prawer Plan aims within three years to destroy the remaining villages, displace up to 70,000 Bedouin into the existing townships and recently-recognized villages, and resolve all outstanding Bedouin land claims (of which there are over 3,200, amounting to 5% of the land of the Negev) in favour of the State of Israel.  If fully implemented, the Prawer Plan would result in the largest confiscation of Palestinian-owned land since the 1950s, and confine the Bedouin population to less than 1% of the Negev.  Not only does the Prawer Plan officially deny Bedouin the rights to their land and their agency as citizens to determine where and how to live, it proposes a new discriminatory legal reality that applies only to the Bedouin community.  According to the implementing legislation of the plan, the Prawer-Begin Bill, the process of judicial review is explicitly and severely restricted for Bedouin citizens of Israel by eliminating court-ordered and supervised demolitions and evictions in favour of speedy administrative orders.  The Prawer-Begin Bill does not apply to Jewish citizens of Israel, for whom all constitutional protections remain intact.

The devastating plan was developed, as usual, without consultation with the Bedouin community and approved by the government in September 2011.  Following considerable local and international pressure, the government conceded to holding a post-facto “public listening” process whereby Minister Benny Begin (a minister without portfolio in the Netanyahu administration) heard 1,000 Bedouin citizens and representatives.  When Minister Begin finally presented his recommendations to the government a year later, it was clear that neither the grievances, nor the comprehensive planning alternatives proposed by the community in partnership with professional planners (in the form of an Alternative Master Plan to recognize the villages) had been incorporated into the Prawer Plan.  Further, in the year that Minister Begin was writing his recommendations, the government silently approved the Regional Master Plan for the Be’er Sheva Metropolitan Area, which sets out the state’s “development” plans and outlines in concrete terms the state’s confiscation of Bedouin land and the eviction and destruction of most of the unrecognized villages.

The Regional Master Plan in some instances merely confirms already existing facts on the ground.  In Al-Araqib for instance, the Master Plan grants legitimacy to two Jewish National Fund forests that are zoned for the area of the village, and today are almost entirely planted.  In many other cases, however, the planting of new forests or park reserves, establishment of new Jewish settlements, and construction of new industrial parks, roads and military zones laid out in the Master Plan is hindered by the presence of the unrecognized villages.  The Prawer Plan and the Prawer-Begin Bill enables the state to swiftly remove the villages and villagers to proceed with “development” projects that privilege state interests at the expense of its Bedouin citizens.

The Bedouin community and the Arab political leadership in Israel, together with civil society, have spent the last two years opposing and challenging the Prawer Plan and the Prawer-Begin bill.  The community has organized mass protests in the Negev, and human rights organizations in Israel and around the world have mobilised thousands of people to speak out against the mass displacement.  Meanwhile, the international community has condemned the discriminatory plan and the legislation, including the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing and the European Parliament in 2012.  Yet, on 24 June 2013, the Prawer-Begin bill passed its first reading in the Israeli Knesset.

The Prawer-Begin bill joins a wave of discriminatory legislation directly targeting Palestinians living under Israeli control, both citizens of Israel and Palestinians living in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT).  31 bills were proposed or passed during the 18th Knesset, and already in the first four months of the new 19th Knesset, 29 new discriminatory bills have been proposed that attack the rights of Palestinians.  Normalised discrimination against Palestinians in Israel, fueled by widespread ignorance and misinformation, lends popular support to these legislative initiatives.  In the case of the Prawer-Begin bill, it is likely that it will pass its second and third readings and be enacted into law before the closing of the Knesset session at the end of this month.

The approval of the Prawer-Begin bill only makes sense within this larger context, just as the 52 most recent demolitions of the village of Al-Araqib only make sense when one considers, as Aziz rightfully pointed out, the first demolition in 1948.  Beneath the Prawer-Begin bill, and the discriminatory legislation that marks this era in the history of the Jewish state, lies a national project that has always sought to control for the Jewish people as much land with as few Palestinians as possible.  The international community must intervene at the highest level to stop the Prawer-Begin bill. But the mass displacement of Israel’s Bedouin community is not just a problem; it is a symptom of the inherent contradiction between a state that defines itself in ethno-religious terms while also claiming to be a democracy. Where 1 in 5 Israeli citizens is excluded from full civic protection and participation simply for being Palestinian, and where a Palestinian Bedouin citizen of Israel and a Jewish citizen of Israel living in the Negev are treated according to different laws and policies, no democracy exists.

Nadia Ben-Youssef is a human rights lawyer living in the Naqab and serving as an international advocacy consultant for Adalah The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel.

July 23, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hezbollah Slams Aggressive EU Decision: Written by US Hands with Zionist Ink

Al-Manar | July 23, 2013

Hezbollah expressed in a statement issued Monday evening firm rejection of the European Union’s decision to put its military wing on the list of terrorism, and considered it as “aggressive, unjust decision written with Zionist ink.”

Hezbollah sees, in the EU bowing to pressures of the US administration and the Zionist entity, a serious return to compliance with White House dictates. “It looks as if the decision was written by American hands with Zionist ink and the EU had only to put its seal for approval,” Hezbollah’s statement said.

Hezbollah considers that this unjust decision does not reflect the interests of the peoples of the European Union “and comes in contrast with its values and aspirations that support the principles of freedom and independence, which it had always advocated.”

Reactions over the European Union’s decision to put Hezbollah’s military wing on terror list varied between welcomes and condemnations.

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi denounced the decision, stressing it serves the interests of the Zionist entity.

Iran “strongly denounces the (EU) decision… and believes (it) is in line with the illegitimate interests of the Zionist regime,” the Iranian FM was quoted as saying by official media.

“The European Union, due to lack of correct judgment about the regional crisis, took this wrong decision,” Salehi said.

The action, he added, is “against the Lebanese people since Hezbollah has put up a legitimate defense against the Zionists’ aggressions,” he added.

For his part, Lebanese caretaker Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour has called for an emergency cabinet session to take a stance from the decision.

In remarks to several newspapers published on Tuesday, Mansour said: “The cabinet should hold an extraordinary session because this issue is linked to (Lebanon’s) political life in general and would have repercussions” on the country.

“We should take the appropriate decision,” he added.

He warned that Israel would now find an EU-backed excuse to hit Hezbollah bases in Lebanon.

Meanwhile, chairman of the Higher Shiite Council Abdul Amir Qabalan condemned the European Union’s decision.

“We consider the EU decision an act of terrorism, and we call on the European Union to abolish this decision because it reflects injustice and avoidance,” Qabalan said.

US, Israel Welcome Move

On the other hand, US Secretary of State John Kerry praised the EU decision, saying the move was a “strong message” to the party.

“We applaud the European Union for the important step it has taken today,” Kerry said in a statement.

“With today’s action, the EU is sending a strong message to Hezbollah that it cannot operate with impunity, and that there are consequences for its actions, including last year’s deadly attack in Burgas, Bulgaria, and for plotting a similar attack in Cyprus,” he added.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said the decision sends a strong message that Hezbollah “cannot operate with impunity.”
He added that it should have an impact on Hezbollah’s fundraising, logistical activities and “terrorist plotting on foreign soil.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also praised the decision, saying it reflects efforts made by the Zionist entity on many fronts to blacklist Hezbollah.

July 23, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , | Leave a comment