Aletho News


Forget Comparing Renisha to Trayvon. How Do the Stories of Renisha McBride and Miriam Carey Stack Up?

By Scott Creighton | American Everyman |

What is the stunning similarity between the Renisha McBride story and that of Miriam Carey? What justifies prosecution in the former and complete silence in the latter? You might be surprised just how obvious this hypocrisy is. And no, it’s not about race.

I would like to start this article by making this point perfectly clear: I believe Theodore Wafer, the man who shot Renisha McBride on his front porch at 4:30am,  should be charged with a crime.

Manslaughter? Involuntary manslaughter? Any of those would do if in fact the gun he was holding went off by accident. Murder in the 2nd degree is also a possibility in that it is not premeditated and there is nothing to suggest he was planning on having Renisha show up at his home so he could kill her.

The fact is, Wafer shot her through a closed and locked screen door according to his own statement. Unlike the Trayvon Martin case, Renisha wasn’t assaulting him and there is nothing at this point to indicate she posed a threat to his life.

As far as the reports go to this point, Wafer only attempted to call the police after the shooting. That fact in itself is reason enough to suggest Mr. Wafer handled the situation badly and must therefore answer for the actions that took place afterward resulting in the death of Renisha McBride.

You don’t have a right to take a life simply because someone is drunk and beating on your door at 4 in the morning. You might want to, but you don’t get to. We have laws in this country which we “little people” have to abide by.

Had Wafer simply called the cops and waited for them to show up, Renisha would have been arrested for being intoxicated and leaving the scene of an accident as well as a DUI … but she would be alive to pick up the pieces of her life and move on. As it turns out, because of the actions of Theodore Wafer, her parents are now faced with that task while Renisha lies covered in a premature grave.

Renisha was only 18 years old.

That said, I don’t really have to wonder for too long why it is that the Renisha McBride story is now plastered all over CNN, the New York Times, Fox News, the Huffington Post (Black Voices section), ABC news and pretty much everywhere else while the story of what happened to Miriam Carey has disappeared down the memory hole.

Miriam Carey was the 35 year-old mother of one who was shot and killed by Capitol Police and the Secret Service after she made a wrong turn into an access road at the White House and immediately turned around to leave. That’s the official story.

She was chased by Secret Service from the scene in broad daylight down Pennsylvania Ave. and she ended up being surrounded and subsequently executed… while unarmed… with her 14 month-old child watching a few feet away.

Miriam was shot multiple times.

The police as well as the Secret Service violated their SOP by firing at her car on a busy city street while she was simply trying to flee the area.

Whenever the MSM have to report on this case (and it is extremely rare at this point) they always make the claim that she tried to “ram the gates” at the White House in order to gain entry.

That simply didn’t happen.

It didn’t happen according to the one eyewitness at that location and it didn’t happen according to the police report and the official story. But that doesn’t stop the press from using that lie to justify the shooting.

According to both the eyewitness and the police report, Miriam was attempting to leave the grounds of the White House when a Secret Service agent placed a barricade, a portable bike-rack, in front of her car. That is an important distinction.

She pushed through that bike-rack with her vehicle and the Secret Service agent jumped up on her hood to stop her. She sped off once clear of the others causing the agent to fall off her vehicle.

The point is, she was only viewed trying to leave the grounds and the “ramming” she did, was an effort to accomplish that goal, not as the the press would have you believe, to gain access to the grounds.

Now let’s go back to the Renisha McBride story.

What if Renisha had knocked on Wafer’s door, realized she was at the wrong house (her house was on a corner as well) and as she tried to leave, Wafer came out, grabbed her, pointed weapons at her and told her she couldn’t?

What if Renisha had “rammed through” his barricade (porch chairs) and made it out onto the street running away as fast as she could and Wafer had opened fire on her multiple times giving chase?

What if Wafer had caught up with Renisha 10 blocks away and gunned her down while she begged for mercy?

Would there be any question as to his guilt? Would there even be a need for a trial? Of course not. That’s murder in the first, by the way.

But essentially, as ridiculous as my hypothetical “what if” story is, that is EXACTLY what happened to Miriam Carey.

Carey wasn’t trying to gain access to the White House, where-as it can be argued that Renisha was doing just that at Theodore Wafer’s residence.

Carey was no longer on the president’s property, where-as Renisha was still on Wafer’s front porch when she was tragically killed.

And though it only pertains to the story by way of estimating their state of mind, Carey was sober as a judge when she died, where-as Renisha had more than double the legal limit of intoxicants in her system (alcohol and pot)

In the case of the Secret Service, they fired at Miriam at multiple locations with the intention to kill her and in the case of Renisha, one shot was fired and it may turn out it was by accident (still doesn’t absolve Wafer from responsibility or prosecution in my opinion)

In Washington, at the White House, the Secret Service reserves the right to use deadly force in order to prevent unwarranted access to the president’s home.

Ultimately that’s the justification given for the execution of Miriam Carey. That she attempted to “ram the gates” at the White House and gain entry to the building. And she died for it, according to the official story.

But of course, none of that is true.

Not a word from the like of Al Sharpton or Jessie Jackson on behalf of Miriam Carey is to be found.

Al has already jumped on the Renisha bandwagon though.

When viewed in these terms, the stories are remarkably similar and yet the end results in terms of moral outrage from the press and the community are vastly different.

Why is it that Renisha has posters and Twitter feeds and marches while Miriam lays unavenged in her premature grave as well?

You have to be the judge of that.

Should Theodore Wafer be prosecuted? Yes, he should.

Should the Secret Service be investigated for the extra-judicial murder of Miriam Carey? Should there be a real, independent investigation into what really happened that afternoon at the White House?

Renisha wasn’t armed and neither was Miriam. There is no indication that either had malice on their minds when they made their respective geographical mistakes.

So why scream outrage over the one while ignoring the other?

November 16, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

UN envoy ‘shocked’ by UK’s ‘unacceptable’ persecution of The Guardian over Snowden leaks

RT | November 16, 2013

A senior United Nations official responsible for freedom of expression has warned that the UK government’s response to revelations of mass surveillance by Edward Snowden is damaging Britain’s reputation for press freedom and investigative journalism.

The UN special rapporteur, Frank La Rue, has said he is alarmed at the reaction from some British politicians following the Guardian’s revelations about the extent of the secret surveillance programs run by the UK’s eavesdropping center GCHQ and its US counterpart the NSA (National Security Agency), it was reported in the Guardian.

“I have been absolutely shocked about the way the Guardian has been treated, from the idea of prosecution to the fact that some members of parliament even called it treason. I think that is unacceptable in a democratic society,” said La Rue.

Speaking to the Guardian La Rue said that national security cannot be used as an argument against newspapers for publishing information that is in the public interest even if doing so is embarrassing for those who are in office.

The Guardian as well as other major world media organizations including the New York Times, the Washington Post and Der Spiegel began disclosing details about the US and UK’s mass surveillance programs in June, after receiving leaked documents from former NSA contractor, Edward Snowden.

The publications have sparked a huge global debate on whether such surveillance powers are justified, but in Britain there have been calls for the Guardian to be prosecuted and the editor, Alan Rusbridger, has been called to give evidence to the home affairs select committee.

The Prime Minister David Cameron has even warned that unless the newspaper begins to demonstrate some social responsibility, then he would take “tougher measures” including the issuing of D notices, which ban a newspaper or broadcaster from touching certain material.

While on Friday the New York Times wrote an editorial entitled “British press freedom under threat”. It said, “Britain has a long tradition of a free inquisitive press. That freedom, so essential to democratic accountability, is being challenged by the Conservative-Liberal coalition government of Prime Minster David Cameron.”

The op-ed added that Britain, unlike the US has no constitutional guarantee of press freedom.

“Parliamentary committees and the police are now exploiting that lack of protection to harass, intimidate and possibly prosecute the Guardian newspaper,” the leader read.

Frank La Rue’s intervention comes just days after a delegation of some of the world’s leading editors and publishers announced they were coming to Britain on a “press freedom mission”.

The trip is being organized by the Paris based, World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA), and will arrive on UK soil in January. WAN-IFRA says it will include key newspaper figures from up to five continents and that this is the first mission of this kind to the UK ever.

The delegation is expected to meet government leaders and the opposition, as well as press industry figures and civil society and freedom of speech organizations. Their discussions are expected to focus on the political pressure brought to bear on the Guardian.

“We are concerned that these actions not only seriously damage the United Kingdom’s historic international reputation as a staunch defender of press freedom, but provide encouragement to non-democratic regimes to justify their own repressive actions,” Vincent Peyregne, the Chief of the WAN-IFRA, told the Guardian.

newspaper posed a threat to the UK national security.

Also in October, British Prime Minister David Cameron called on The Guardian and other newspapers to show “social responsibility” in the reporting of the leaked NSA files to avoid high court injunctions or the use of D-notices to prevent the publication of information that could damage national security.

La Rue’s remarks come as an international delegation is set to visit Britain over growing concerns about press freedom in the country and a government crackdown on media reporting leaks and scandals.

Organized by the World Association of Newspaper and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA), the delegation, which includes publishers and editors from five continents, will arrive in January.

The team will reportedly meet with government, opposition figures and media representatives.

November 16, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on UN envoy ‘shocked’ by UK’s ‘unacceptable’ persecution of The Guardian over Snowden leaks

NSA Still Not Sure What Snowden Took, But May Try To Pre-empt Future Leaks

By Mike Masnick | Techdirt | November 15, 2013

We’ve been among those who have suggested that the best way for the NSA to deal with the upcoming NSA leaks is to just stop lying and come clean about what they’re doing. It’s such a crazy suggestion that even former NSA boss Bobby Ray Inman has suggested it as well. It looks like the NSA is considering revealing something, but it’s likely to be pretty limited:

With respect to other information held by Snowden and his allies but not yet publicized, the NSA is now considering a proactive release of some of the less sensitive material, to better manage the debate over its surveillance program.

“We’re working on how do we do that,” says Richard Ledgett, the NSA official in charge of the agency’s response to the Snowden disclosures.

This came following a story about Keith Alexander claiming that Snowden may have taken “up to 200,000” documents with him — a number that has generated some headlines. Of course, when you read the details, you realize that while Alexander quoted a range that had 200,000 as the ceiling, it also notes that officials at the NSA “remain unsure which documents he downloaded for leaking to the media.” Yes, nearly six months in, they still don’t know what he took. And this is the agency saying that they have such great audits that no one can abuse their systems? Really?

Glenn Greenwald has already mocked the claim of 200,000 documents (and, I was pretty sure in the past he had put the number in the tens of thousands — closer to 60,000). But, once again, we’re left wondering how the NSA can claim it has controls in place when it still has no idea what happened. Either way, open on up, NSA. Let’s see what you’ve got. I’m sure that each attempt to spin things will be quickly debunked by actual documents from Snowden.

November 16, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , | Comments Off on NSA Still Not Sure What Snowden Took, But May Try To Pre-empt Future Leaks

UN adopts new resolutions on Palestine

MEMO | November 15, 2013

The Special Political and Decolonisation Committee (Fourth Committee) of the General Assembly of the United Nations has adopted eight new resolutions concerning the plight of the Palestinians. The drafts were taken on board with large majorities voting in favour.

The resolutions covered the work of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and an intention for the committee to investigate “Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people and other Arabs of the Occupied Territory”.

Predictably, Israel voted against all of the resolutions, being joined variously by Cameroon, the United States, Canada, Australia and Panama. Equally predictable abstentions included Micronesia, Palau, Vanuatu and South Sudan.

The resolutions relating to UNRWA were backed consistently by more than 160 UN members states, whereas those committing the UN to look at the human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territory saw fewer in favour, just under 90 countries, with far more abstentions (70 or more).

The resolutions reflected the extremely difficult living, economic, social and humanitarian conditions faced by Palestinian refugees in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, particularly in the Gaza Strip, as a result of the continued Israeli military aggression and siege. They emphasised the vital and important role of UNRWA and the tireless efforts of its staff in implementing its mandate until a just solution to the Palestinian refugee issue is achieved.

After the votes, Ambassador Riyad Mansour, the Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations, expressed the appreciation and gratitude of the state to all the countries that voted in favour of the new resolutions. He thanked them in particular for their support for UNRWA, which should ensure that it can continue with its mandate to help Palestinian refugees. He noted that the General Assembly was reaffirming the Palestinians’ right to self-determination and the refugees’ right to return to their land.

The nations of the world called on Israel to comply with its obligations under international law, the 2004 advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice concerning the apartheid wall and all UN resolutions. The application of the Fourth Geneva Convention to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, was also reaffirmed.

Ambassador Mansour said that the international community must make a serious collective effort to put an end to the violations committed by Israel and ensure that it complies fully with all legal obligations in order that a just settlement is reached for the Palestinian issue.

November 16, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Palestinian farmer injured by Israeli gunfire in the Gaza Strip

By Rosa Schiano | International Solidarity Movement | November 16, 2013

Mneifi Abu Abdullah. (Photo by Rosa Schiano)

Mneifi Abu Abdullah. (Photo by Rosa Schiano)

Gaza, Occupied Palestine – On Wednesday, 13th November, gunfire by Israeli occupation forces injured a Palestinian farmer near al-Maghazi refugee camp, in the center of Gaza strip.

Mneifi Abu Abdullah, age 25, was working with three other farmers about 600 meters from the separation barrier.

Abu Abdullah is a worker who ears 30 shekels per day in the fields.

Farmworkers near al-Maghazi are used to hearing gunshots. The Israeli military presence is constant in areas along the barrier.

On Thursday, some of Abu Abdullah’s uncles, as well as another farmer present during the shooting, visited his room in al-Shifa hospital.

The witness said he suddenly heard three shots, injuring Abu Abdullah in at his right shoulder, around 2:50 pm. Another bullet struck near his feet.

The farmers transported Abu Abdullah roughly one kilometer before reaching an ambulance that brought him to al-Aqsa Martyrs hospital in Deir el-Balah.

The witness added that he had not seen Israeli soldiers, but military vehicles had been moving along the barrier.

On the same day in Deir el-Balah, another farmer, from Abu Daher family, was wounded in his leg by Israeli gunfire and rushed to al-Aqsa Martyrs hospital.

Abu Abdullah is married and has two children. His work in the fields is his family’s only source of livelihood.

He was transferred from al-Aqsa Martyrs hospital to al-Shifa hospital. The bullet entered and exited his shoulder. He needs surgery, as the bullet severed a nerve.

The ceasefire of 21st November 2012 established that Israeli occupation forces should “refrain from hitting residents in areas along the border” and “cease hostilities in the Gaza Strip by land, by sea and by air, including raids and targeted killings.”

However, Israeli military attacks by land and sea followed from the day after the ceasefire, and Israeli warplanes fly constantly over the Gaza Strip. Seven civilians have been killed by Israeli occupation forces since the end of their last major offensive, “Operation Pillar of Defense,” and more than 130 have been wounded.

These attacks on the Gaza Strip continue amid international silence.

November 16, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | Comments Off on Palestinian farmer injured by Israeli gunfire in the Gaza Strip

NPT useless in Middle East: Israel PM

Press TV – November 16, 2013

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) has no use in the Middle East.

Problematic countries are not the ones which have refused to sign the NPT, Netanyahu said in an interview with French-language daily Le Figaro on Friday.

The Israeli premier accused Iran of seeking nuclear weapons despite being a signatory to the NPT.

He said Iran should not possess heavy water reactors or centrifuges, stressing Israel and Arab countries in the Persian Gulf are united in their stance against the Iranian nuclear issue.

Netanyahu labeled Tehran as an aggressive and violent state which poses a threat to the US and European countries such as France and Britain.

He called on France to stand firm on its stance against Iran in the upcoming nuclear talks between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council -Russia, China, US, UK, and France- plus Germany.

Israel is widely believed to be the only possessor of nuclear weapons in the Middle East with an estimated 200 to 400 nuclear warheads.

The Israeli regime, which rejects all regulatory international nuclear agreements, particularly the NPT, maintains a policy of deliberate ambiguity over its nuclear activities and refuses to allow its nuclear facilities to come under international regulatory inspections.

November 16, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , | Comments Off on NPT useless in Middle East: Israel PM

The pots and kettles of the Human Rights debate

The BRICS Post | November 15, 2013

The US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power is leading from the front in criticizing the recent election of China and Russia to the Geneva-based Human Rights Council, the United Nations’ top rights body.

Concerns about human rights records in China and Russia are highlighted on a regular basis in western media. One cannot argue much with the fact that they have both struggled in this area.

The US, however, is not well placed to criticize or sermonize. Severe human rights violations are rampant in the US prison system. According to Pew Research, imprisonment rate (per capita) in the US is almost 50 percent higher than Russia’s and 320 percent higher than China’s.

The racist and arbitrary application of the death penalty is on historic record. African Americans are six times more likely to be incarcerated than a white person and non-white Latinos are almost three times more likely to be incarcerated, says the Pew Center.

America’s privatized health care system exclusively for the wealthy is an equal disgrace.

While critiquing China and Russia, the US has supported and is supporting some of the worst human rights violators in the world: Saudi-Arabia and Uzbekistan to name but a few. It has and is supporting the overthrow of democratically elected leaders all over the world. And, then there is Guantanamo and the drone attacks.

What’s noteworthy is that the US has not objected to other notorious human rights violators becoming members of the UN Human Rights Commission in the past.

Among the rights bodies, the US-based HRW (Human Rights Watch) has called the election “troubling” calling the new entrants ‘negative players”. I think, HRW has done outstanding work in some countries and written pro-US, biased reports in others.

Incidentally, Ms. Power, the US delegate to the UN HR Commission, had also written a eulogy for Richard Holbrooke, the man who made a career out of covering up US supported massacres in East-Timor and elsewhere and highlighting massacres by official US enemies.

She works in the same vein, much ado about human rights abuses by official enemies, apologetic about US and US-sponsored atrocities.

Being selective about human rights violations does not make the world a better place; it makes matters worse, since it sends out a clear message to the tyrants of the world. “Be on our side and do whatever you please, as long you take care of our interests, otherwise you are toast … “.

However, it would be unfair to point fingers to the US exclusively. The US is indeed not alone with its “selective indignation”.

France, UK, any EU-member state, China, Russia, Israel, they are all faithful followers of the same doctrine that divides human rights atrocities in three technical categories:

1) Human rights abuses (real ones and invented ones) committed by our official enemies: they are ‘human rights abuses’.

2) Human rights abuses committed by ourselves, our allies, our friends: they are retaliation, surgical strikes, slightly excessive responses, tactical mistakes based on incomplete information, lack of democratic culture (ours), our enemies placing their children at military target sites, etc etc … the list of excuses is endless. After all, we are ‘the good guys’.

3) Human rights abuses committed somewhere by someone where we have no interests, where we do not care, they are relegated to small print on the back pages, ‘violent clashes’, ‘a culture of internecine violence‘, … or ignored completely.

I am not inventing anything here. Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky analyzed the political instrumentalisation of human rights already in 1979 in their seminal books ‘The Political Economy of Human Rights, Volume I. The Washington Connection and Third World Fascism and Volume II. Postwar Indochina & The Reconstruction of Imperial Ideology. Their case studies may be somewhat outdated, but their analysis still applies today.

It comes down to this. Our terrorism is not ‘terrorism’. Their terrorism is ‘terrorism’. We may from time to time make mistakes, judgment errors, exaggerate, but our intentions are always good, by imperial definition.

The reaction of the US to the Russian and Chinese accession to the UN HR Commission fits perfectly into that mold.

Is there a way out? Mass media not perpetuating this mythology but exposing it for the sham it is would be a start. Unfortunately and as much as it pains me to admit, today that is hardly the case.

Does this mean one should refrain from exposing human rights abuses? Certainly not. When doing so, just apply the same standards of judgment to all human rights abuses everywhere. That’s how you get credibility and real impact.

November 16, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The pots and kettles of the Human Rights debate

Israel agrees to return stolen organs of dead Palestinians

Al Arabiya | November 14, 2013

Israel has agreed to return organs of dead Palestinians harvested by its forensic pathologists during autopsies, Palestinian Civil Affairs Minister Hussein al-Sheikh told Ma’an news agency on Wednesday.

Head of Israel’s Abu Kabir forensic institute, Jehuda Hiss, had admitted harvesting organs from dead bodies without the permission of their families.

“We started to harvest corneas … Whatever was done was highly informal. No permission was asked from the family,” Hiss said in an interview with an American academic in 2000. The interview was released in 2010 and part of it was aired by Israel’s Channel 2 TV.

The Channel 2 report said forensic experts harvested bones, corneas, heart valves and skin from dead Israeli soldiers, citizens, Palestinians and even foreign workers.

The Israeli army admitted to organ harvesting but said the practice was no longer performed. “This activity ended a decade ago and does not happen any longer,” the military told Channel 2.

In the interview, Hiss described how his doctors would mask the removal of corneas from bodies. “We’d glue the eyelid shut,” he said. “We wouldn’t take corneas from families we knew would open the eyelids,” Associated Press reported.

The Palestinian official said Israel will “soon be returning some of the organs,” Ma’an reported.

November 16, 2013 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , | Comments Off on Israel agrees to return stolen organs of dead Palestinians

Kerry: US ‘100 percent’ with Israel

Press TV – November 16, 2013

US Secretary of State John Kerry has said that the United States is “100 percent” allied with Israel, especially when it comes to negotiations over Iran’s nuclear energy program.

In an interview with MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe’ on Thursday, Kerry said, “What’s important here is we stand with Israel firmly – 100 percent.”

He made the comments one day after Republican members of the Senate Banking Committee stormed out of a classified meeting with Kerry, saying the briefing session was “anti-Israeli.”

Kerry held a closed-door briefing with the Senate Banking Committee on Wednesday to convince Congress that any new sanctions against Iran would be viewed as “bad faith” and can “destroy the ability to” reach an agreement over Tehran’s nuclear energy program.

Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Illinois) described the briefing as “anti-Israeli,” saying “I was supposed to disbelieve everything the Israelis had just told me.”

Meanwhile, Israel continued its lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill as Israel’s Economy and Trade Minister, Naftali Bennett, pushed for new anti-Iran sanctions on Thursday and described a possible deal between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany as “catastrophic.”

This comes as White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said on Tuesday that imposing new sanctions on Iran would be a “march to war” and that “the American people do not want a march to war.”

Speaking with reporters during a White House briefing on Thursday, US President Barack Obama also called on Congress not to impose any new sanctions on Iran.

On Friday, an unnamed top US official told Reuters that a nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 is “quite possible” during the next round of talks between the two sides, which is to be held in Geneva on November 20.

November 16, 2013 Posted by | Wars for Israel | , , , , , , | Comments Off on Kerry: US ‘100 percent’ with Israel