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Canada’s intelligence service asked foreign agencies to spy on Canadians

RT | December 22, 2013

Canada’s intelligence agency deliberately kept the country’s Federal Court “in the dark” to bypass the law in order to outsource its spying on Canadian citizens abroad to foreign security agencies, a federal judge said.

Federal Court Judge, Richard Mosley, has slammed the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) for knowingly misleading him on numerous occasions.

Since 2009, Mosley has issued a large number of warrants to the CSIS, authorizing interception of electronic communications of unidentified Canadians abroad, who were investigated as threats to domestic security.

The spy agency assured the judge that the surveillance was to be carried out from inside Canada and controlled by and the Communication Security Establishment of Canada (CSEC), the country’s foreign signals intelligence service.

But, after the warrants were obtained, Canada’s foreign partners from the Five Eyes intelligence-gathering alliance (US, UK, Australia and New Zealand) were asked to perform the interceptions.

Canada’s Federal Court wasn’t notified of the foreign involvement and never approved it, Mosley wrote in a redacted version of a classified court decision which was made public on Friday.

“It is clear that the exercise of the court’s warrant issuing has been used as protective cover for activities that it has not authorized,” the document stressed. “The failure to disclose that information was the result of a deliberate decision to keep the court in the dark about the scope and extent of the foreign collection efforts that would flow from the court’s issuance of a warrant.”

Under Canada’s current legislation, the Federal Court has no authority to issue warrants that involve surveillance of Canadians by foreign intelligence agencies, he added.

The actions of CSIS and CSEC put the Canadian citizens abroad at risk as they “may be detained or otherwise harmed as a result of the use of the intercepted communications by the foreign agencies,” Mosley wrote.

“Given the unfortunate history of information sharing with foreign agencies over the past decade and the reviews conducted by several royal commissions, there can be no question that the Canadian agencies are aware of those hazards,” the document said. “It appears to me that they are using the warrants as authorization to assume those risks.”

Mosley demanded explanations from the security agencies after an annual report by CSEC commissioner, Robert Decary, this August.

The judge became suspicious after Decary suggested that CSIS should provide the Federal Court with “certain additional evidence about the nature and extent” of the help, it received from his agency.

The results of the Federal Court’s inquiry into the matter were made public on Friday.

By misleading him, the CSIS and CSEC have been in “breach of the duty of candor,” which resulted in misstatements on the public record about the scope of the authority granted to the service,” Mosley wrote.

Mosley, who used to be a former assistant deputy minister in the Justice Department, was intimately involved in the creation of the 2001 Anti-terrorism Act, which the CSIS and CSEC violated.

December 22, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Corruption, Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , | Leave a comment

CIA secret program helped Colombia kill FARC leaders: Report

Press TV – December 22, 2013

US intelligence agencies have secretly helped the Colombian government kill at least two dozen leaders of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), a report says.

On Saturday, the Washington Post published the report revealing that both the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the National Security Agency (NSA) provided the Colombian government with technology to terminate the rebel leaders.

The report was based on interviews with more than 30 former and current American and Colombian officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity since the program is classified and ongoing, the newspaper said.

According to the report, Washington provided Colombia with Global Positioning System (GPS) equipment that can be used to transform regular munitions into so-called smart bombs.

These explosives can accurately pinpoint specific targets, even if the objects are located in dense jungles.

In addition, the NSA provided “substantial eavesdropping help” to the Colombian government, the report stated.

In one of its operations, Colombian forces killed top FARC commander, Raul Reyes, in March 2008, while he was in a FARC-operated jungle camp in neighboring Ecuador. The newspaper reported that a US-made smart bomb was used in the killing.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos commented on the report, telling the newspaper that the CIA has been “of help, providing Colombian forces with “better training and knowledge.” The CIA, however, did not want to give any comments regarding the revelations.

The report also revealed that the multibillion-dollar program was secretly funded on top of the nine billion dollars in aid that the US has openly provided to Colombia, mostly in military assistance. The covert program was authorized by President George W. Bush and has continued under President Barack Obama.

The Colombian government and FARC have been holding peace negotiations since November last year in Cuba.

The two sides have agreed upon the matter of land reform and rural development, while four others issues still remain unsolved, including FARC’s participation in politics.

FARC is Latin America’s oldest insurgent group and has been fighting the government since 1964.

Bogota estimates that 600,000 people have been killed and more than 4.5 million others have been displaced due to the fighting.

December 22, 2013 Posted by | Deception, Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is holocaust orthodoxy paving the way to genocide in Palestine?

What Does Holocaust Denial Really Mean?

By Daniel McGowan | February 18, 2009

In April 2007 the European Union agreed to set jail sentences up to three years for those who deny or trivialize the Holocaust.1 More recently, in response to the remarks of Bishop Richard Williamson, the Pope has proclaimed that Holocaust denial is “intolerable and altogether unacceptable.”

But what does Holocaust denial really mean? Begin with the word Holocaust. The Holocaust2 (spelled with a capital H) refers to the killing of six million Jews by the Nazis during World War II. It is supposed to be the German’s “Final Solution” to the Jewish problem. Much of the systematic extermination was to have taken place in concentration camps by shooting, gassing, and burning alive innocent Jewish victims of the Third Reich.

People like Germar Rudolf, Ernst Zundel, and Bishop Williamson who do not believe this account and who dare to say so in public are reviled as bigots, anti-Semites, racists, and worse. Their alternate historical scenarios are not termed simply revisionist, but are demeaned as Holocaust denial. Rudolf and Zundel were shipped to Germany where they were tried, convicted, and sentenced to three and five years, respectively. Williamson may not be far behind.

Politicians deride Holocaust revisionist papers and conferences as “beyond the pale of international discourse and acceptable behavior.”3 Non-Zionist Jews who participate in such revisionism, like Rabbi Dovid Weiss of the Neturei Karta, are denounced as “self-haters” and are shunned and spat upon. Even Professor Norman Finkelstein, whose parents were both Holocaust survivors and who wrote the book, The Holocaust Industry, has been branded a Holocaust denier.

But putting aside the virile hate directed against those who question the veracity of the typical Holocaust narrative, what is it that these people believe and say at the risk of imprisonment and bodily harm? For most Holocaust revisionists or deniers if you prefer, their arguments boil down to three simple contentions:

1. Hitler’s “Final Solution” was intended to be ethnic cleansing, not extermination.
2. There were no homicidal gas chambers used by the Third Reich.
3. There were fewer than 6 million Jews killed of the 55 million who died in WWII.

Are these revisionist contentions so odious as to cause those who believe them to be reviled, beaten, and imprisoned? More importantly, is it possible that revisionist contentions are true, or even partially true, and that they are despised because they contradict the story of the Holocaust, a story which has been elevated to the level of a religion in hundreds of films, memorials, museums, and docu-dramas?

Is it sacrilegious to ask, “If Hitler was intent on extermination, how did Elie Wiesel, his father, and two of his sisters survive the worst period of incarceration at Auschwitz?” Wiesel claims that people were thrown alive into burning pits, yet even the Israeli-trained guides at Auschwitz refute this claim.

Is it really “beyond international discourse” to question the efficacy and the forensic evidence of homicidal gas chambers? If other myths, like making soap from human fat, have been dismissed as Allied war propaganda, why is it “unacceptable behavior” to ask if the gas chamber at Dachau was not reconstructed by the Americans because no other homicidal gas chamber could be found and used as evidence at the Nuremburg trials?

For more than fifty years Jewish scholars have spent hundreds of millions of dollars to document each Jewish victim of the Nazi Holocaust. The Nazis were German, obsessed with paperwork and recordkeeping. Yet only 3 million names have been collected and many of them died of natural causes. So why is it heresy to doubt that fewer than 6 million Jews were murdered in the Second World War?

“Holocaust Denial” might be no more eccentric or no more criminal than claiming the earth is flat, except that the Holocaust itself has been used as the sword and shield in the quest to build a Jewish state between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, where even today over half the population is not Jewish.

The Holocaust narrative allows Yad Vashem, the finest Holocaust museum in the world, to repeat the mantra of “Never Forget” while it sits on Arab lands stolen from Ein Karem and overlooking the unmarked graves of Palestinians massacred by Jewish terrorists at Deir Yassin. It allows Elie Wiesel to boast of having worked for these same terrorists (as a journalist, not a fighter) while refusing to acknowledge, let alone apologize for, the war crimes his employer committed. It makes Jews the ultimate victim no matter how they dispossess or dehumanize or ethnically cleanse indigenous Palestinian people.

The Holocaust story eliminates any comparison of Ketziot or Gaza to the concentration camps they indeed are. It memorializes the resistance of Jews in the ghettos of Europe while steadfastly denying any comparison with the resistance of Palestinians in Hebron and throughout the West Bank. It allows claims that this year’s Hanukah Massacre in Gaza, with a kill ratio of 100 to one, was a “proportionate response” to Palestinian resistance to unending occupation.

The Holocaust is used to silence critics of Israel in what the Jewish scholar, Marc Ellis, has called the ecumenical deal: you Christians look the other way while we bludgeon the Palestinians and build our Jewish state and we won’t remind you that Hitler was a good Catholic, a confirmed “soldier of Christ,” long before he was a bad Nazi.

The Holocaust narrative of systematic, industrialized extermination was an important neo-conservative tool to drive the United States into Iraq. The same neo-con ideologues, like Norman Podoretz, routinely compare Ahmadinejad to Hitler and Nazism with Islamofascism with the intent of driving us into Iran. The title of the recent Israeli conference at Yad Vashem made this crystal clear: “Holocaust Denial: Paving the Way to Genocide.”

“Remember the Holocaust” will be the battle cry of the next great clash of good (Judeo/Christian values) and evil (radical Islamic aggression) and those who question it must be demonized if not burned at the stake.

1) Associated Press, “EU approves criminal measures against Holocaust denial,” Haaretz, 19 April 2007.

2) Holocaust. Dictionary.com. The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2005.

3) Statements of Senator Hillary Clinton.

Daniel McGowan is a Professor Emeritus at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Because of admonishment by the administration, it is hereby stated that the above remarks are solely those of the author. Hobart and William Smith Colleges neither condone nor condemn these opinions. Furthermore, the author has been instructed to use his personal email address of mcgowandaniel@yahoo.com and not his college email at mcgowan@hws.edu for those wishing to contact him with comments or criticisms. Read other articles by Daniel.

Source

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Article 19.
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

December 22, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

The state of American pro-justice activism

By Dr. Sarah Marusek | MEMO | December 22, 2013 

As the New Year approaches and we step back to reflect upon 2013, it becomes increasingly obvious that cracks are emerging in Israel’s most special relationship.

While the occupation of Washington continues uncontested, more and more Americans are carving out other spaces of resistance that challenge the hegemony of the Zionist narrative and confront Israeli occupation and apartheid. These efforts are starting to rupture the deeply entrenched political and ideological frameworks that enable the US government to spend vast public resources to help Israel oppress the Palestinian people, without any public backlash.

There is still an extremely long way to go, but there is no doubt that Zionists in the US and Israel are beginning to see that the writing is indeed on the wall.

Last week, members of the American Studies Association (ASA) voted to endorse the boycott of Israeli academic institutions by a margin of two to one. While largely a symbolic move, the decision generated widespread media coverage debating the issue from both sides, with mainstream newspapers like the New York Times calling it a “milestone achievement” for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement launched by Palestinian civil society in 2005.

The newspaper quoted a leading Israeli scholar who said: “It’s almost like a family betrayal… It’s very grave and very saddening that this [has happened], particularly so in the US.”

In response, Brandeis University and Penn State University at Harrisburg have withdrawn their membership of the ASA. Last month Brandeis also suspended its relationship with Al-Quds University after the Palestinian university’s condemnation of a student rally deemed offensive to Israelis was, well, not quite condemnatory enough. Subsequently, a group of Brandeis faculty involved in the partnership issued a report in favour of Al-Quds President Sari Nusseibeh’s handling of the matter and the university’s ethics board has recommended that it should resume the academic partnership.

Only days after the ASA endorsement, the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association announced that it was following suit. Last April, the Asian American Association was the first to respond positively to the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel.

But it is not only American professors who are mobilising increasingly in solidarity with Palestinians struggling for equal rights and justice. The number of American students who are taking an active stand against occupation and apartheid is also on the rise.

Although students continue to face harsh punishments for standing up for Palestinian rights, as I have previously reported for MEMO here and here, Al Jazeera English noted earlier this month: “A sort of backlash to the backlash is gaining momentum. Over the past couple years there has been an upsurge in pro-Palestinian human rights activism on college campuses across the US.”

For example, despite being targeted by the California State Assembly, which passed a resolution in August 2012 equating criticism of Israel with “hate speech”, students in California have continued to organise events critical of Israeli rights abuses and campaigns in support of BDS.

In November 2012, the student council at the University of California at Irvine voted unanimously in favour of the college pulling its investments from Israeli companies. This year, student councils at the Universities of California at Berkeley, Riverside and San Diego also voted to divest.

Challenging the hegemony of Christian Zionism, US churches are also proving to be spaces of resistance against occupation and apartheid. In May 2012, the General Conference of the United Methodist Church decided to call for an explicit boycott of all Israeli companies operating in the occupied Palestinian territories. The following July, the Presbyterian Church (USA) voted to boycott all products from Israeli settlements and in May of this year, the United Church of Canada launched a campaign to support a boycott of all products produced in the settlements.

A small space of resistance even emerged in Hollywood this year, when the 86th Academy Awards nominated Five Broken Cameras for an Oscar. The celebrated film offers a first-hand account of Palestinians’ nonviolent protests against the separation wall in Bil’in, in the West Bank.

At the same time, more and more American Jews are becoming disenchanted with an apartheid state that refuses to end its occupation of Palestine and continues to build illegal settlements, all the while claiming that it is acting on behalf of Jewish people around the world. Two recent developments, in particular, stand out.

Earlier this month, the Hillel chapter at Philadelphia’s Swarthmore College sent shockwaves throughout the Zionist community when it declared in an open letter that it would not comply with its parent organisation’s policy of censoring speech critical of Israel. Hillel, the Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, is the largest Jewish student organisation in the world and a staunch supporter of the State of Israel. With an annual budget of tens of millions of dollars, every year Hillel organises travel to Israel for thousands of students and participation in various training programmes in the US; it also coordinates national tours for pro-Zionist speakers to speak on college campuses.

The Swarthmore letter is worth quoting at length: “Across the country, Hillels’ suppression of the freedom to speak and believe things that are not narrowly pro-Zionist are the direct result of Hillel International’s Israel Guidelines. Right after stating in their ‘Political Pluralism’ section that they object to excluding ‘students for their beliefs and expressions’, they declare that they ‘will not partner with, house, or host’ – in other words, they will exclude – groups and speakers that espouse certain beliefs about Israel. These contraband beliefs include denying the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish and democratic state and supporting boycotting, divesting, or sanctions against Israel. They also ban those who ‘delegitimize, demonize, or apply a double standard to Israel.’ No further explanation is provided to clarify these guidelines, but their ambiguity has done nothing to ease the stifling effect they have on individual Hillels’ freedoms of speech, belief, and association.”

The letter continues: “Therefore, we choose to depart from the Israel guidelines of Hillel International. We believe these guidelines, and the actions that have stemmed from them, are antithetical to the Jewish values that the name ‘Hillel’ should invoke. We seek to reclaim this name. We seek to turn Hillel – at Swarthmore, in the Greater Philadelphia region, nationally, and internationally – into a place that has a reputation for constructive discourse and free speech.”

The letter concludes that Swarthmore Hillel declares itself to be an Open Hillel. “All are welcome to walk through our doors and speak with our name and under our roof, be they Zionist, anti-Zionist, post-Zionist, or non-Zionist. We are an institution that seeks to foster spirited debate, constructive dialogue, and a safe space for all, in keeping with the Jewish tradition.”

The Open Hillel movement was launched in November of last year after the Hillel chapter at Harvard University refused to host an organisation supportive of the BDS movement. However, Swarthmore Hillel is the first chapter to actually declare itself to be an Open Hillel.

Responding to this declaration, Hillel International President Eric D. Fingerhut insisted that no organisation that welcomes “anti-Zionists” would be permitted to use the Hillel name.

The second development worth noting is the audience response to a “community discussion” last week that was organised by the 92nd Street Y in New York City on the question of “What it means to be pro-Israel in America”. Founded in 1874, the 92nd Street Y is a well-known cultural and religious institution in Manhattan that served initially as a Jewish association for men. Today the organisation is guided by Jewish principles, but serves people of all races and faiths.

As Haaretz blogged, “based on the course of the debate, ‘being pro-Israel in America’ means ideological chasms, professional rivalries, frayed nerves, inflamed tempers, one of the participants storming out in a huff and then exchanging barbs and insults on the internet with the moderator.”

The participant who stormed out was John Podhoretz, editor of the right-wing Commentary magazine and a former presidential speechwriter. He left after being booed by the audience when he attacked Jeremy Ben Ami from J Street, the liberal Zionist lobby in Washington, for contextualising the ASA decision to boycott Israeli academic institutions by pointing out critically, “Israel’s own policy of continuing occupation” and its ill treatment of Palestinians. Shortly after Podhoretz left the event, he blogged that the audience was “hostile”.

A tiny but vocal group of far right supporters of Israel has also been holding monthly rallies outside the 92nd Street Y to protest against its hosting of “Israel-haters working to destroy the Jewish State”.

In fact, Israel’s problem with Americans Jews may be even worse than we know. In October, a report commissioned by the Jewish Council for Public Affairs found that 30 per cent of American rabbis who were surveyed said that they are afraid to reveal their true opinions about Israel, with the majority of these rabbis supporting more progressive views than they feel they are able to express. The survey also found that these progressive-leaning rabbis are experiencing a much greater fear of reprisal and censure than those rabbis who hold more hawkish views.

In what may be regarded as a sad irony, there are so many American Jews who oppose Israel these days, that some in the US solidarity movement have started rightfully to critique the over privileging of Jewish voices in the struggle for equal rights for Palestinians. After all, our inspiration has always been the resilience and courage of Palestinians themselves.

In any case, the growing resilience of Palestine solidarity activists, not only in the US but also around the world, coupled with the rising disenchantment among American and international Jewry, is definitely creating fear and desperation in Israel.

The Associated Press reported earlier this week that more than 100 Israeli leaders gathered with Jewish-American counterparts in Jerusalem last month “with a daunting mission: to save Jewish life in North America.” AP pointed out that Israeli leaders are increasingly aware that they “cannot ignore the alienation that many Americans feel over perceived religious intolerance, Israel’s construction of West Bank settlements and the continued control over millions of Palestinians.”

The wire service described how participants at the meeting, which was organised by the Israeli prime minister’s office, spent two days brainstorming ways to bring young “unaffiliated Jews back to their roots”. Adding that the gathering was part of a campaign “to strengthen Jewish identity among young Jews and solidify their connection to Israel”, AP noted that some 120 representatives from Jewish organisations around the world, mostly from North America, and a number of Israeli government ministries pledged to formulate a plan by next year “to address assimilation”.

In addition to spending $125 million on bringing Jews around the world to Israel, the government has also formed a task force to reverse the disenchantment trend.

Other efforts that illustrate the growing sense of desperation in Tel Aviv include a related initiative of the prime minister’s office to establish covert units at Israeli universities to engage in online public diplomacy, or hasbara. As Haaretz reported in August, “A diplomacy group will be set up at each university and structured in a semi-military fashion.” Those students who head each group are to receive full government scholarships while other students are paid stipends.

When a government has to pay its own youth secretly to counter the increasingly negative image of its country abroad, pro-justice activists can take courage in the struggle in the year to come. Despite it being a long road ahead, it really does look like the beginning of the end.

December 22, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment