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Wobbles in US-EU axis against Russia

By FINIAN CUNNINGHAM | Press TV | January 6, 2015

French President Francois Hollande this week called for an end to Western sanctions on Russia. He is the latest senior European political figure to express misgivings about the hostile policy that Washington and Brussels have embarked on against Russia over the year-old Ukrainian crisis.

Hollande was speaking during a traditional New Year interview with French media covering a range of issues, both domestic and international. Referring to upcoming political negotiations in Kazakhstan aimed at finding an end to the Ukraine conflict, Hollande said that he was in favor of lifting sanctions imposed on Russia “if progress was made” at the talks.

Senior French, German and Russian officials are to meet in the Kazakh capital Astana on January 15, along with representatives from Ukraine. The aim is to find a lasting solution to the violence that has been raging in eastern Ukraine since last April. That conflict has taken nearly 5,000 lives and threatens to escalate, despite a shaky ceasefire put in place last month.

As a preliminary to the Astana summit, officials from the above countries were meeting in Berlin this week to sketch out a possible agreement. Significantly, American officials are not involved, even though Washington is closely aligned with the regime in Kiev that seized power illegally last February, and which has launched a military offensive on the eastern Donbas Russian-speaking population, who refuse to recognize the legitimacy of the coup.

Washington and Brussels have sought to blame Russia for the crisis, claiming that Moscow is fueling separatist fighters in Donbas to undermine the Western-backed Kiev regime. Russia has repeatedly denied any such involvement. Moscow has pointed to the dearth of evidence for Western claims. It says the crisis stems from the illegal intervention in the internal affairs of Ukraine by the Western states, and that the ethnic Russian populations of Crimea and the eastern regions have simply responded, out of their own volition, with dissent towards the neo-Nazi anti-Russian regime that seized power in Kiev.

The Washington-Brussels axis has slapped economic and diplomatic sanctions on Russia, which have been met by counter-sanctions from Moscow. The deterioration in relations is not only having economic impacts on Russia, it is rebounding to cast a pall over Europe’s own faltering economy. Trade and commerce between Russia and the European Union are tenfold that between Russia and the US, so in the unfolding economic war the EU has much more to lose than Washington.

This partly explains why EU leaders are increasingly showing trepidation over the widening impasse.

“France seeks end to Russia sanctions over Ukraine,” reported the BBC this week on Hollande’s public call for restraint. The French leader is the latest high-profile EU figure expressing serious doubts about the Washington-Brussels aggressive policy towards Russia.

As the BBC report added: “Politicians in Italy, Hungary and Slovakia are among those who want the sanctions eased.”

To that list we could append Germany, Austria, Spain, Greece, Czech Republic and Bulgaria, among others.

Last weekend, Czech President Milos Zeman deplored the warmongering attitude of the Kiev regime, denouncing the CIA-installed Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk as “the prime minister of war.”

The day before Hollande made his comments, Germany’s Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel warned against sanctions bringing Russia “to its knees” and risking “a conflagration.”

Germany’s second highest politician, and deputy to Chancellor Angela Merkel, is thus giving notice of significant opposition to the Washington-Brussels axis and its anti-Russian policy, which his boss, Merkel, has been up to now an ardent supporter of.

Gabriel told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper that the Washington-led policy is ruinous. “The goal was never to push Russia politically and economically into chaos,” said Gabriel, a member of the Social Democrat party, which historically prefers cordial relations with Russia.

In a hint at malign external forces thriving on conflict between Europe and Russia, Gabriel noted: “Whoever wants that [Russia’s political and economic chaos] will provoke a much more dangerous situation for all of us in Europe.”

At the end of last month, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, a fellow Social Democrat member, also voiced disquiet over the Washington-Brussels axis that Merkel has dutifully followed.

“It cannot be in our interests that this runs out of control. We need to keep this in mind in our sanctions policy,” said Germany’s top diplomat, as reported in Deutsche Welle on December 19.

Hollande’s latest high-profile call for a reversal in policy towards Russia is not based on vague altruism. France, like Germany, is feeling the brunt of the sanctions war.

French unemployment hit a record high at the end of the year, reaching near 3.5 million or 10.5 per cent of the workforce. Bad news on the parlous state of the French economy keeps on piling up, and Hollande’s personal rating among increasingly angry French voters keeps on plumbing new depths.

European citizens know that the crisis over Ukraine and between Europe and Russia is wholly unnecessary. They know that the tensions have been whipped up by Washington for its own selfish strategic interests of driving a wedge into the continent. Up to now, EU leaders have stupidly gone along with this reckless policy even though it is rebounding in further economic hardship for EU citizens and risking an all-out war.

The latest wobble in the Washington-Brussels axis against Russia, as expressed this week by Francois Hollande, has to be seen as good news. In that, at last, finally, official Europe is coming to its senses about the dangerous course the US is driving.

A political theme that has gained momentum over the past year is the “democratic deficit” across the EU that is alienating millions of its citizens. What more disturbing democratic deficit can you get than Brussels slavishly following Washington’s warmongering policy against Russia – in total detriment to the interests of EU citizens over crucial matters of their livelihoods and ultimately over the risk of an all-out war in Europe.

British mis-leader David Cameron is too much of an American puppet to ever come to his senses. But with France’s Hollande now beginning to show some long overdue common sense towards Russia, there may be grounds to believe that European governments are waking up to the recklessness of the Washington-Brussels axis against Russia – and ditching it.

January 6, 2015 Posted by | Economics | , , , , | 1 Comment

McCain & other top officials accused of illegally visiting Syria

RT | January 6, 2015

Several senior US and French officials, including US Senator John McCain, entered Syria illegally – without proper visas – on separate occasions, thus violating the country’s sovereignty, Syria said in a complaint submitted to the United Nations.

The list of officials also included former French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and former US diplomat Peter Galbraith, according to a letter dated December 30 cited by Reuters and AFP.

In the letter, Syria’s UN ambassador Bashar Ja’afari urged UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Security Council to put additional pressure on governments to implement “the necessary measures against their nationals who enter Syrian territory illegally.”

“Such actions are a blatant violation of Syria’s sovereignty and of the resolutions of the Security Council concerning Syria,” Ja’afari said.

The letter included complaints from “certain journalists and prominent figures” entering Syria illegally, pointing out McCain’s visit to the country in June 2013, as well as Kouchner’s visit in November 2014 and Galbraith’s in December 2014, along with other US political and military leaders.

Former Kuwaiti politician Walid Tabtabai is also mentioned as making an illegal visit in September 2013.
At the time, McCain’s spokesperson only confirmed that the former Republican presidential candidate visited Syria in May 2013 to meet with Syrian rebels.

McCain responded to the complaint by downplaying the accusations, and in turn accusing Syrian President Bashar Assad of the “massacre” of his own people.

“It is a sad but unsurprising truth that the Assad regime is less concerned with its massacre of more than 200,000 men, women and children than it is my visit with those brave Syrians fighting for their freedom and dignity,” McCain’s statement said. “The fact that the international community has done virtually nothing to bring down this terrible regime despite its atrocities is a stain on our collective moral conscience.”

According to earlier media reports, McCain crossed into Syria in May 2013 from Turkey with General Salem Idris, who was in charge of the Supreme Military Council of the Free Syrian Army, and stayed there for several hours before returning.

During the visit, the senator met with leaders of Free Syrian Army units in Turkey and Syria.

McCain’s visit created a media storm, especially after a picture surfaced of him posing with allegedly IslamicState-linked jihadists (formerly ISIS/ISIL).

The original claim came from Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul, who accused McCain of unknowingly meeting with Islamic State fighters.

Among the Senator’s other controversial visits was a trip to Ukraine in December 2013 amid mass anti-government protests. During the visit, McCain met with Ukrainian opposition leaders in the country’s capital of Kiev, voicing his support for the protests, adding that he saw Ukraine’s future with Europe.

Also, back in 2011, McCain visited Benghazi to meet the Libyan rebels, calling them “my heroes.” McCain boldly stated that the fall of the ousted Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi would inspire people all over world – including in Russia – which raised eyebrows globally.

“We believe very strongly that the people of Libya today are inspiring the people in Tehran, in Damascus, and even in Beijing and Moscow,” said McCain.

McCain’s travel tendencies landed him on Russia’s black list in March, part of Russia’s retaliation against US-led sanctions. The list bans the Senator along with other individuals from traveling to Russia as well as freezes any of his assets there.

READ MORE: McCain’s Moscow broadside earns Russian riposte

January 6, 2015 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

THIS IS WHAT WAR DOES

By John Chuckman | Aletho News | January 6, 2015

A Canadian photographer named Bryan Adams (yes, the rock singer) has done something extraordinary in publishing a book of photographs of what war does to soldiers. The wounds of his subjects are not covered with gore as they would be on the battlefield. His pictures are clean studio shots. The subjects sometimes even are smiling. Their wounds are healed, at least as much as such wounds can ever be called healed, but the surrealistic sense of the pictures says something profound about our society. We’ve done these savage things to our own young, and then left them to spend the rest of their lives struggling with the results.

For an institution which quite literally dominates human history, it is remarkable that the real face of war is never seen by most people. The press goes so far in avoiding it that it creates a fantasy picture, in many respects resembling those beautifully done dioramas of lead soldiers in famous battles. It’s the same psychology at work when caskets containing the blasted remains of soldiers are draped with bright, cheery flags. And when war is over, there’s the home town parade with flags and drums and high-stepping baton twirlers in cute little sequined outfights, with no sign of death or gore to be seen.

A few times in my life a bit of the truth has leaked out. During Vietnam, the first major war in the mature television age, the public was exposed to some of it. Not a great deal, mind you, but it was enough to provide governments a harsh warning on the effects such images have upon the public’s support for war.

Fairly early, television showed us Marines dutifully torching the thatched homes of peasants, I’m sure never giving a thought to someone doing the same to Mom and Dad’s farmhouse back in Indiana. But still we never saw a hint of the wholesale slaughters of a war which extinguished three million lives. We saw the distant flashes and puffs of smoke of bombings, including the instantaneous infernos of that hellish stuff, napalm, ripping across a landscape, but never a single frame of the resulting incinerated bodies. No newsreel ever showed close-ups of a village or city after American carpet-bombing by B-52s. We did see the odd distant shot of a prisoner falling from a high-flying helicopter but never the preceding close-up scene of his being hurled out by American Special Forces or intelligence operatives unhappy with his answers to questions.

I recall an American deserter speaking at a public meeting in Toronto of his raping a young Vietnamese woman and then emptying his rifle into her, an atrocity which is reported to have been repeated many times over the years. After all, what do you think happens when young men, often from the most marginal backgrounds, are dumped in a foreign place they cannot understand and often hate, armed with powerful weapons and under no normal restraints? Young men, especially under stress, are capable of almost any savagery, and you do have a responsibility to consider that reality before sending them off to terrorize others.

Early during Vietnam I recall another young man briefly interviewed on television whose face had been turned into a molten-looking mass, perhaps from napalm, his mouth consisting of a hole into which a straw could be inserted. What purpose could possibly be worth that sacrifice? I’m not sure, but I know it wasn’t a dirty colonial war in Vietnam started by cheating and lying to the people who had to fight it.

When Britain went to war in the Falklands, the warning of Vietnam was heeded. All the British people saw were selected, cleaned-up images of another dirty colonial war, images like a stalwart Maggie Thatcher waving off the Falklands fleet, and who on this planet could better play the role of a stern and impressive god of war than Mrs. Thatcher? She gave Winston Churchill himself a run for his money.

I did read of one instance of a dead or dying invading British soldier having been photographed on the beach with bowels torn open and spilled out, but the image was suppressed.

Some very heroic cameramen from the Middle East did obtain shocking images of the savagery of America’s war in Iraq, a war in which cluster bombs were heavily used but also white phosphorus and depleted uranium shells. I recall images of horribly mangled children, burnt smudgy corpses, a woman virtually smashed into the ground, and others, but they were only a small sample of America’s destruction of a million or so souls.

The images were found on not-widely-known sites on the Internet, even Al-Jazeera itself being then not familiar to most Americans. The images never made their way onto the pages of The New York Times or the evening news on NBC where they would have been seen by the millions of ordinary Americans in whose name the atrocities were committed. The American military does appear to have made an effort to target foreign journalists trying to capture some truth, killing the messengers, as it were, in the spirit of vicious boys ripping the wings off butterflies.

There were still other images from Iraq on the Internet, and these came straight from America’s own dear “boys in harm’s way.” There was an Internet site, briefly, which provided young American soldiers with free access to raw pornographic sexual images in return for their submitting raw pornographic war images, as from cell phones and the like. There were reportedly large numbers of takers on the offer, sending in their snaps of things like bloody boots with bits of leg sticking out or of a human head half turned into beef tartar before Pentagon matrons dedicated to decency in war closed the operation down.

America’s horrors at Abu Ghraib were heavily censored. According to America’s best investigative journalist, Seymour Hersh, we saw only the most innocuous images of degrading treatment, the frat-boy pranks with naked humans, dog leashes, and shit. We did not see the hard-core stuff of torture, rape, including of children, and death, pictures which did in fact exist but were suppressed. The stuff from Guantanamo was along the same lines, images of degrading treatment, men in jump suits and chains kneeling in tiny cells – just enough for the folks back home to say “Good, it’s what they deserve,” but not enough to shock or terrify Americans about what was being done in their name.

I recall an image from Israel’s first savage assault on Gaza, one killing several hundred children and more than a thousand others, an image of a narrow street running with a small river of blood and desperate people trying to pass without stepping into it. Such images are rare because Israel allows no one access to document its filthy work. Even after the savagery is over, various organizations and officials generally are refused entry even on humanitarian missions, as is the case today after a second mass murder in Gaza killing even more children than the first.

War is such a time of fearful darkness and chaos that great horrors can be hidden easily under its cover. In Afghanistan, three thousand American prisoners were “disappeared” by one of America’s war lord allies by being taken out in sealed trucks into the desert to suffocate, their bodies then dumped into mass graves. This occurred shortly after American Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld made a shameful Nazi-like public statement that the large numbers of Al Qaeda prisoners being held in Afghanistan should either be killed or walled away for the rest of their lives. This war crime was committed right under the noses of occupying American soldiers and clearly with Mr. Rumsfeld’s secret blessing, and it has never been featured or investigated except by a British documentary film maker.

It is invariably human nature to show others our work, of any kind, when we are proud of what it is that we have done. The great irony of war is that we invariably are ashamed of what we have done, and yet we repeat, some of us, the work again and again.

Another great irony of war is that it is almost never about defending ourselves, although the propaganda never stops telling us that that is what it is about. That is why America uses the term Department of Defense, and Israel calls its army the Israeli Defense Force.

What was America defending in Vietnam, in Cambodia, in Serbia, in Afghanistan, or in Iraq? Only its right to tell others what to do, a right based solely on the concept of might makes right, the slogan of the bully. So too for its many violent and destructive interventions using hired thugs into the affairs of others, whether in Cuba, Chile, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Iran, Syria, Ukraine, or other places.

What does Israel defend in its endless assaults upon its neighbors, none of them remotely capable of seriously threatening Israel much less destroying it, and its ceaseless hectoring for even more war in the region? Again, nothing more than the right to tell others what to do, a right based only on might makes right. And what of its countless assassinations in half a dozen countries, of its interference into the affairs of Egypt, Iran, Syria, Iraq, and other countries?

I notice something in what I’ve written. While I started with war’s effect upon soldiers, almost all my words deal with civilians, and that brings us to the greatest irony of modern war: soldiers are just a tiny part of those killed and brutally injured. It cannot be otherwise with missiles, heavy bombing, and other indiscriminate weapons. Modern war is mass killing of civilians, always and everywhere, a practice which evolved in World War II and has done nothing but progress in that direction since. Even when they aren’t the actual targets, as in America’s nightmarish assassination-by-drone project, large numbers of dead or mangled civilians are the unavoidable consequence. Well, if you’re in for killing mere suspects as in the drone project, I guess extra civilians don’t mean much, do they? “In for penny, in for pound,” as they say.

We’ve even developed special language for the realities of indiscriminate killing. Israel, at the very least, always is said to be killing “militants.” I don’t know about you, but I’ve never met a “militant,” and I doubt I’d be able to recognize one walking down the street. But our clever press instantly recognizes them when they are shot full holes by Israeli soldiers. You see, Israel simply can never be wrong in our press, so if it hasn’t killed terrorists, it has to have killed “militants,” and that’s surely almost as good.

As for the tens of thousands maimed and slaughtered by America’s hideous bombings in many lands, well, they are called, right on the evening news by announcers in pancake makeup with blow-dried hair in momentarily subdued tones just before moving on to the sports scores, “collateral damage.”

January 6, 2015 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Puerto Rico: After Ten Years, More Cleanup Needed for Vieques

Weekly News Update on the Americas | January 5, 2015

As of Dec. 11 authorities had closed the Playa Grande beach area in the western region of a national wildlife refuge on the Puerto Rican island of Vieques following the discovery of pieces of inactive munitions there. The US Environmental Protection Agency said the US Navy had removed a projectile, a mortar tail and other objects, although officials insisted that the materials didn’t pose any danger to visitors. The munitions are left over from the Navy’s use of Vieques for testing weapons from the 1940s until May 2003, when mass civil disobedience by Vieques residents and their supporters forced the Navy to withdraw. A total of 1,640 arrests were made from 1999 to 2003 as activists carried out militant protests, including a yearlong occupation of the bombing range. Federal judges handed down jail sentences to protesters totaling 26 years, along with fines totaling $50,980 [see Update #692].

Most of the territory used by the Navy was turned over to the US Department of the Interior in 2003, although the Vieques municipal government received a portion. Cleanup operations began in 2004. Over the past 10 years the US has spent about $220 million removing 28,000 objects, including munitions, bombs, other artifacts and residue from explosives. According to Pedro Pierluisi, the US Congress’s resident commissioner in Puerto Rico, Congress members are seeking an additional $17 million for cleanup efforts next year. Puerto Rican governance secretary Víctor Suárez said a delegation of US experts would be visiting to examine the possibility that new technology could be used to accelerate the cleanup effort. (Associated Press 12/11/14; Primera Hora (Guaynabo) 1/2/15)

January 6, 2015 Posted by | Militarism | , , | Leave a comment

Israeli group files war crimes complaints against Palestinian leaders at ICC

MEMO | January 6, 2015

An Israel based rights organisation yesterday filed war crimes complaints against three Palestinian leaders before the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Israel’s Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper revealed.

The Shurat HaDin Law Centre filed the complaints against Deputy Secretary of the Fatah Central Committee Jibril Rajoub, Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, and intelligence chief Majid Faraj.

Similar complaints were made earlier against President Mahmoud Abbas and the head of Hamas’ political bureau,Khaled Meshaal over their alleged role “in committing war crimes and harm to human rights”.

According to the paper, the Israeli organisation accuses the Palestinian officials of committing “acts of terror, torture and harm to human rights”.

January 6, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | Leave a comment

Good Cop Blew Whistle on Corrupt Superior, She Was Fired for It. He got Worse, Was Just Arrested

Former cop says she wasn’t surprised when she found out that her prior superior was just arrested for sexual assault, while on duty.

By Cassandra Rules | The Free Thought Project | January 6, 2015

good cop bad cop

Dallas, TX– Officer David Kattner, a 26 year veteran of the Dallas Police Department was arrested in late December for sexually assaulting a woman on three separate occasions while in uniform and in his police vehicle.

The evening of his arrest, the officer had called the woman and told her where to meet him. The affidavit states that he had her perform a sex act on him while one of his hands was on his weapon and the other hand was down her pants, after showing her outstanding warrants and telling her he knew where her daughter lives.  The woman believed this to be a threat to her and her daughter’s safety and complied.

The detectives were already on the scene and were aware the assault was taking place as it happened.  Instead of stopping the attack, they waited until it was over and questioned the woman, who they describe as “a known prostitute,” as she went to leave the scene.

The 44 year old officer is currently on paid leave and out on bond as the investigation into his second degree felony continues.  Oddly, the department refused to release any photo of the officer or his mugshot, stating they will not release it during the “on-going investigation” despite it already having been published in D Magazine in 2007.

The department is asking for any additional victims to come forward, and unfortunately it is likely there are many, due to the department’s own negligence.

Back in 2006, a then rookie officer named Shanna Lopez was terminated after she came forward and told one of her trainers that Kattner and three other Central police officers had systematically mistreated prostitutes, WFAA reports.

http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1&isUI=1

“Those are real people,” Lopez said. “Each and every one of those people were not only degraded and humiliated and targeted and hunted on a nightly basis for years.”

Rookie officers go through several months of field training, and Lopez’ first trainer was Kattner.  She alleges that she witnessed him filling out blank citations on prostitutes for minor violations like jaywalking before even leaving the station each evening.

Lopez explains that he was “seeding the field” with class C citations that would later become warrants.  Kattner kept a notepad in his shirt pocket with the names of prostitutes and street-level criminals he regularly saw, as he needed to keep information such as their addresses and date of birth handy to complete the illegal citations.

From February 2006 through July 2006 over a quarter of the citations written by Kattner and three of his buddies were issued “at large” or “refused to sign.”

She describes Kattner and the two others as being obsessed with prostitutes, who were easy targets for them.

She explained to D Magazine in June of 2007 an evening where she was out with Kattner and an officer Nelson who had just taken a prostitute into the back of his police vehicle for a game he called “64 questions,” meant to demean the women.

“Give me the four reasons why you hate to f— niggers.” “Give me the four reasons you hate to f— spics.” “What are the three things you like to do every day?” he would ask.

After releasing the woman, Nelson told Lopez, “They know the routine. They do what we tell them. You break them down like that, and they’ll do anything you want. They’ll come when you snap your fingers.”

Eventually she brought what was happening up to a subsequent trainer, who explained that they cannot do that, and that it is illegal to write citations for people you never stopped or detained.

“He was like, why would he use that to write tickets, because usually you have someone in your custody and you write a ticket and there they go. I was like, ‘I don’t know; he’d write four or five tickets a night before we’d ever leave the station and then write a few more when we would be at Lew Sterrett while I’d be typing up my jail report, turn them in at the end of the night .’ He said he was the number one ticket writer at Central.”

The trainer told a sergeant what Lopez told him, and that’s when she claims everything changed and she began to be treated as though she was incompetent. She was called into a meeting with her current trainer and Sergeant Deborah Ann Branton where she was intensely scolded and told she has done nothing right.  It was boggling, as she had received praise previously.

“I’ve heard you’ve been going around talking about illegal arrests and other activities by other officers,” Lopez recalls Sergeant Deborah Ann Branton saying.

Branton then proceeded to ask her if  she ever tape-recorded any of the conversations.  Unfortunately, Lopez had not.  After she left the meeting she overheard Branton saying “This should be easy. Gayle did a good job of documenting it.”

Shortly before being terminated, Lopez was confronted by Kattner outside of Central Patrol.

“He said he had heard that I was going around saying he was writing tickets to people that don’t exist,” Lopez told WFAA. “He was like, ‘I will hunt you down and hurt you.’”

Lopez was terminated without proper explanation in October of 2006, despite having a glowing record and even receiving a commendation two days before her demotion in August.

After Lopez came forward another whistleblower came forward and two of Kattner’s buddies were fired, a third suspended, over their ticket writing scheme.  Kattner faced zero repercussions.

According to WFAA, Lopez also was allowed to reapply to the department after signing a 10-page settlement agreeing not to sue the department over her earlier termination. She was rejected for rehire after background investigators wrote a detailing memo claiming — among other things — that she associated with gang members and street criminals and had dated a neighbor who was a gang member.

The December 17, 2007 memo stated that gang unit officers had obtained sworn affidavits attesting to those facts. But those affidavits were dated January 9, 2008 — more than three weeks after the date of that memo. Police officials told News 8 that they are looking into the date discrepancy.

Lopez denies the allegations detailed in the memo. She believes the department never had any intention of rehiring her.

It is truly unfortunate that honesty and being a decent human within the ranks is such dangerous business.  The thin blue line makes calling out corruption something that can be done by only the truly brave and heroic, which many departments seem to be lacking.  It is also unfortunate that the officers who are protected by their peers face no consequences and thus have no reason to modify their behavior.

Last month we reported on a heroic officer in Buffalo, NY who was punched in the face and fired after she stopped a fellow cop from choking a handcuffed man. The officer who assaulted her and the handcuffed man kept his job.  He went on to later assault two other officers and was indicted for civil rights violations against four black teenagers.

Its time to start placing the discipline where it is deserved.

January 6, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture | , | 1 Comment

Fraternal Order of Police lobbies for new federal hate crime law

Police State USA | January 5, 2015

The 300,000-member Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) is demanding that the U.S. Congress and President Barack Obama “act now” to expand the federal hate crimes statute and add police officers as a protected class.

In a recent press release, the police union boasts that it has spent years lobbying for more federalization of crime and punishment. The presser cites a handful of recent incidents, nationally, in which police officers were attacked while on the job.

“Enough is enough! It’s time for Congress to do something to protect the men and women who protect us,” said union president Chuck Canterbury.

The federal government’s 1969 hate crime law has been expanded several times and already criminalizes [attempted] bodily injury against anyone based on race, religion, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability. Penalties for committing a “hate crime” extend to up to 10 years in federal prison.

The FOP proposal would add the basis of “uniform” to the current list.

Lady-Justice-278x300There are two main principled reasons to oppose all federal hate crime legislation. First, is the basic legal tenet that all people should be treated equally in the eyes of the law. The judicial process should not be dependent upon the demographics of the victim or defendant. This is the reason that “Lady Justice” wears a blindfold while holding the Scales of Justice. Violence against anyone — regardless of the identities or beliefs of those involved — should be prohibited equally and impartially in a fair and just system.

Secondly, the federal government has no legitimate authority to create such laws. The U.S. Constitution — specifically Article 1, Section 8 — offers no mention of the federal government having the ability to prohibit crimes of violence between citizens for any reason. Crimes such as assault and murder are properly prohibited at the state-level and are enforced by state or local agencies — not the FBI. To broaden the scope of federal law enforcers is a mistake and a move toward more centralized authoritarianism.

Readers are advised to oppose the Fraternal Order of Police’s agenda to nationalize crime statutes and create legally protected classes of citizens.

January 6, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , | Leave a comment