Aletho News


‘Warmest year’, ‘pause’, and all that

By Judith Curry | Climate Etc. | January 16, 2015

So, was 2014 the ‘warmest year’?  Drum roll . . .

NASA has just issued its press release NASA, NOAA find 2014 hottest year in record.   Nothing in the way of technical details, such as warmest by ‘how much’ and ‘is it statistically significant?’

NYTimes ‘breaking news’: 2014 was hottest year on record surpassing 2010 interviews Gavin Schmidt:

With the continued heating of the atmosphere and the surface of the ocean, 1998 is now being surpassed every four or five years, with 2014 being the first time that has happened in a year featuring no real El Niño pattern. Gavin A. Schmidt, head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in Manhattan, said the next time a strong El Niño occurs, it is likely to blow away all temperature records.

No word yet from HadCRUT4, I heard we can expect their report next week.  Somewhere I read that Cowtan and Way did NOT expect 2014 to be warmest in their data set?

Berkeley Earth has published a nice analysis of their 2014 data [link].  Summary of their main findings:

1. The global surface temperature average for 2014 was nominally the warmest since the global instrumental record began in 1850; however, within the margin of’error, it’s tied with 2005 and 2010 and so we can’t be certain it set a new record.

2. For the land, 2014 was nominally the 4th warmest year since 1753

3. For the sea, 2014 was the warmest year on record since 1850

4. For the contiguous United States, 2014 ranked nominally as the 38th warmest year on record since 1850.

Some other statements of interest:

Several European countries  set all time records for high annual average temperature, as did the continent of Europe as a whole

The margin of uncertainty we achieved was remarkably small (0.05C with 95% confidence).This was achieved, in part, by the inclusion of data from over 30,000 temperature stations, and by the use of optimized statistical methods. Even so, the highest year could not be distinguished. That is, of course, an indication that the Earth’s average temperature for the last decade has changed very little. 

Meanwhile, the ‘warmest year’ is noticeably missing in the satellite data sets of lower atmospheric temperatures.  Roy Spencer reports that 2014 was third warmest year since 1979, but just barely.

Roz Pidcock has penned an article Explainer: How do scientists measure global temperature, that discusses differences among the analyses.

Capitol Weather Gang has reactions from 20 scientists [link], including a few sensible ones (such as moi).

El Nino?

One of the key aspects of the hype about the ‘warmest year in 2014′ was that 2014 was not even an El Nino year.  Well, there has been a great deal of discussion about this issue on the Tropical ListServ.  Here is what I have taken away from that discussion:

A global circulation response pattern to Pacific convection with many similarities to El Niño has in fact been present since at least June.   Convection to the east of New Guinea is influencing zonal winds in the upper troposphere across the Pacific and Atlantic, looking similar to an El Nino circulation response.

So, is it El Niño? Not quite, according to some conventional indices, but a broader physical definition might be needed to capture the different flavors of El Nino.  A number of scientists are calling for modernizing the ENSO identification system. So I’m not sure how this event might eventually be identified, but for many practical purposes (i.e. weather forecasting), this event is behaving in many ways like an El Nino.

What does this mean for interpreting the ‘almost warmest year’?  Well not much; I think it is erroneous to infer that ‘it must be AGW since 2014 wasn’t even an El Nino year’ is useful reasoning here.

That said, there is definitely some unusual events on the North Pacific, including extreme warm anomalies in the mid-high latitudes, and positive value of the PDO.

Bottom line

Berkeley Earth sums it up well with this statement:

That is, of course, an indication that the Earth’s average temperature for the last decade has changed very little.

The key issue remains the growing discrepancy between the climate model projections and the observations:  2014 just made the discrepancy larger.

Speculation about ‘warmest year’ and end of ‘pause’ implies a near term prediction of surface temperatures – that they will be warmer.  I’ve made my projection – global surface temperatures will remain mostly flat for at least another decade.  However, I’m not willing to place much $$ on that bet, since I suspect that Mother Nature will manage to surprise us. (I will be particularly surprised if the rate of warming in the next decade is at the levels expected by the IPCC.)

Senator Ted Cruz

Senator Ted Cruz is  (R-Texas) was just named to be the chairman of the Subcommittee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness.  The folks at Slate are not happy: Yup, a Climate Change Denier Will Oversee NASA.  What Could Possibly Go Wrong?  They are particularly up in arms over this statement from Ted Cruz:

The last 15 years, there has been no recorded warming. Contrary to all the theories that—that they are expounding, there should have been warming over the last 15 years. It hasn’t happened.

Here is what  Slate has to say:

This is, to put it mildly, what comes out of the south end of a north-facing bull. Yes, the Earth has warmed over the past 15 years, and the science is incredibly, unequivocally clear about that. Anyone making this claim either doesn’t know what they’re talking about, or is trying to sell you something (or, to be more accurate, has been bought).

So, what is wrong with Cruz’s statement?  Well, assuming that by ‘recorded warming’, he means the satellite-derived lower atmospheric surface temperatures his statement is absolutely correct.  If he is referring to globally averaged surface temperatures since 2000, there is only a very small amount of warming; this small amount of warming is indeed contrary to the theory of AGW.

Without going into details here, I refer you to my previous post and my invited presentation given at the American Physical Society:  Causes and Implications of the Pause.

Bottom line:  There is nothing irrational or particularly incorrect about Senator Cruz’s statement.  Phil Plait (Bad Astronomer) who wrote the Slate piece made more incorrect statements than did Cruz.

I just spotted this article from Science2.0 re Cruz and NASA, worth reading [link]

January 16, 2015 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science | 3 Comments

Monsanto gets approval for new GMO corn, soybeans designed for potent new biocide

RT | January 16, 2015

Monsanto has won final approval from the US for its new genetically-modified soybeans and cotton, designed to withstand a dominant biocide that fights weed resistance built up as a result of the company’s glyphosate-based Roundup herbicide already in use.

The US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced Thursday that the powerful biotechnology corporation’s GMO cotton and soybean plants have been given “non-regulated” status.

Monsanto now awaits approval from the US Environmental Protection Agency for the new herbicide – a mix of the formidable chemical dicamba and glyphosate, which the company has developed for use on the newly-approved GMO crops.

The new GMO crops – coupled with the dicamba/glyphosate cocktail – make up what Monsanto has dubbed the ‘Roundup Ready Xtend crop system,’ designed to trump super weeds that have evolved along with the company’s glyphosate-based Roundup biocide.

Dicamba was first approved in 1967 and has been linked to high rates of cancer and birth defects in the families of food growers, according to government and other scientific studies.

Consumer, health, environmental, and farmer advocates have fiercely opposed the new Xtend system, as it portends an overall “10-fold increase in dicamba use in American agriculture, from under 4 million lbs. at present to more than 40 million lbs. per year,” according to Center for Food Safety.

“Monsanto’s genetically-engineered dicamba-resistant crops are yet another example of how pesticide firms are taking agriculture back to the dark days of heavy, indiscriminate use of hazardous pesticides, seriously endangering human health and the environment,” said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of Center for Food Safety, in a statement.

“If EPA also reneges on its responsibility to protect human and environmental health, Center for Food Safety will pursue all available legal options to halt the introduction of these dangerous crops.”

The USDA and Monsanto have said that Xtend will increase dicamba use in cotton by 14 times current levels, according to Reuters, and, in soybeans, 500 times current levels, the Pesticide Action Network said in a statement.

“I am convinced that in all of my years serving the agriculture industry, the widespread use of dicamba herbicide [poses] the single most serious threat to the future of the specialty crop industry in the Midwest,” said Steve Smith, Director of Agriculture for Red Gold, a tomato-processing company.

Opposition — and even the USDA — says more dicamba will only mean additional weed resistance in the future, translating to more profits for the likes of Monsanto and Dow Chemical, which received US approval for its genetically-engineered 2,4-D-resistant corn and soybeans in September 2014.

“The pesticide treadmill spins on, and that’s great news for Monsanto,” said Gary Ruskin, executive director of U.S. Right to Know, a consumer advocacy group, Reuters reported. “This is just the latest in a endless string of favors from our federal government to Monsanto.”

Crops most at risk from increased dicamba exposure include fruits, nuts, and vegetables, growers of which say they fear the chemical will drift onto and damage their fields.

Monsanto, according to Reuters, said it will educate food growers over the proper way to avoid dicamba drift. But biocide opponents are skeptical of these promises and say the burden will rest with the growers — not Monsanto.

“Monsanto’s response to farmers’ concerns about crop damage has been to develop exceedingly complex and demanding protocols for applying and disposing of the herbicide cocktail, including a ten-step triple rinse of sprayers that is likely to take more than an hour and then entails proper disposal of the contaminated rinse water,” said the Pesticide Action Network. “This ‘solution’ puts all responsibility on farmers, and sets up the company to escape liability for crop damage.”

Biocide drift will also adversely impact flowering plants and their pollinators and other species, which depend on them for nectar and habitat.

Meanwhile, Monsanto is awaiting approval from China to allow imports of its new soybeans. China has been reticent about approving more GMO crops, as exemplified in farmer lawsuits aimed at American agribusiness companies following the nation’s rejection of US genetically-engineered-corn imports.

Monsanto Chief Technology Officer Robb Fraley said last week that Chinese approval is expected in time for Xtend’s commercial launch in 2016.


EU to pick which GMO it grows after new bill passed overwhelmingly

Oregon GMO-labeling initiative defeated by Monsanto-sponsored groups

Monarch butterfly may be listed as endangered species after 90% population drop

January 16, 2015 Posted by | Corruption, Economics, Environmentalism | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

ICC Opens Preliminary Inquiry into Gaza War Crimes

Al-Akhbar | January 16, 2015

Prosecutors at the International Criminal Court said on Friday they had opened a preliminary inquiry into possible war crimes in Gaza and the West Bank, the first formal step that could lead to charges against Israelis or Palestinians.

On January 1, a day before requesting ICC membership, the Palestinian Authority asked the prosecutors to investigate alleged crimes committed on territories under Palestinian control since June 13, 2014, the date on which Israel began its latest offensive in the Gaza Strip.

The 51-day Israeli assault on Gaza left at least 2,300 Palestinians dead, at least 70 percent of them civilians, and 96,000 houses destroyed. Reconstruction hasn’t started in the besieged enclave, leaving thousands vulnerable to elecricity cuts, water shortages and harsh winter weather.

“The office will conduct its analysis in full independence and impartiality,” the prosecution office said in a statement, adding that it was a matter of “policy and practice” to open a preliminary examination after receiving such a referral.

“The case is now in the hands of the court,” said Nabil Abuznaid, head of the Palestinian delegation in The Hague. “It is a legal matter now and we have faith in the court system.”

Israel denounced the ICC’s “scandalous” decision.

The sole purpose of the preliminary examination is to “try to harm Israel’s right to defend itself from terror,” Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said in a statement.

He said the decision was “solely motivated by political anti-Israel considerations,” adding that he would recommend against cooperating with the probe.

On January 3, Israel froze the transfer of $127 million in tax funds it collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority in retaliation for its application to join the ICC.

Israel has repeatedly delayed payments to the Palestinians to signal its displeasure with measures to achieve statehood and get accountability for Israeli war crimes.

It did so in 2012, after they won a UN vote recognizing Palestine as a non-member state. And it employed the tactic twice in 2011 – after PA President Mahmoud Abbas announced reconciliation with Hamas and after the Palestinians won admission to UNESCO.

A preliminary examination, which could take many years, involves prosecutors assessing the strength of evidence of alleged crimes, whether the court has jurisdiction and how the “interests of justice” would best be served.

Only if that led to a full investigation could charges be brought against officials on either the Israeli or Palestinian side of the conflict.

An initial inquiry could lead to war crimes charges against Israel, whether relating to last conflict in Gaza or Israel’s 47-year-long occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

It also exposes the Palestinians to prosecution, possibly for rocket attacks by resistance groups operating out of Gaza.

(Reuters, Al-Akhbar)

January 16, 2015 Posted by | War Crimes | , , , | 2 Comments

Live ammunition used at Nabi Saleh demonstration

International Solidarity Movement | January 16, 2015 

Nabi Saleh, Occupied Palestine – For five years now, residents of Nabi Saleh have been denied access to their spring. A source of irrigation for their crops, as well as a place for recreation: al-Qaws spring was the heart of this farming community.

The illegal settlement of Halamish was established on the land of Nabi Saleh, and the neighbouring village of Deir Nidham in 1977; since then, and particularly in recent years, the settlement has been growing, stealing more land, and finally denying the villagers access to their spring.

The illegal settlement (photo by ISM).

For five years, every Friday, residents of Nabi Saleh gather with local supporters, Israeli and international activists, to protest against the theft of their land and the denial of access to the spring. Sometimes, with bravery and determination alone, these villagers have managed to reach the spring, stealing a few precious moments before the arrests and reprisals reach their climax.  Most of the time, the repression from the Israeli Occupation Forces is too great to get anywhere close.

Today in Nabi Saleh the villagers gathered at the petrol station on the edge of the village; undeterred by the rain, they were ready for the weekly demonstration. The weekly show of strength and determination to fight for what is rightfully theirs.

We walked down the road, men, women, and children chanting in Arabic and English, voicing our common determination to end this occupation. The Israeli military were waiting at the bottom of the road, blockading the access to the village. As soon as we were in range the tear gas started. A peaceful march met with poisonous tear gas from the very beginning. Many attempted to throw and kick the smoking toxic canisters away, but the sheer quantity meant we had to retreat quickly.

As the smoke cleared, we tried to walk forwards once more. But then the unmistakable crack of live ammunition. We ran back. Without provocation, live ammunition was aimed at a group of peaceful protestors. Fortunately this time the bullet didn’t find a body, but the Israeli Occupation Forces lack of respect for human life is truly frightening.

Two months ago four protestors were injured at this peaceful demonstration, adding to a long list of villagers who have been hurt or killed by Israeli military bullets whilst trying to fight for their rights. The army have been using live ammunition at this group of families and demonstrators more and more frequently during the last year. So the villagers’ weekly demonstration to struggle for their most basic rights – land and water – has been reduced to a short walk to become the target of bullets. Each week villagers risk their lives because they will never accept the theft of their land. Each week they are shot at because they want access to the spring which has been the source of life for their community for generations.

January 16, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | Leave a comment

Republic of Torture, Republic of Terror

By K.J. Noh | CounterPunch | January 16, 2015

In the beautiful, gilded, Staatstheater in Nuremberg, not far from the Palace of Justice where the historic Nuremberg trials were held, the last searing, soaring notes of the opera “Die Witwe des Schmetterlings (The Butterfly Widow)” ring out, seemingly suspended for an eternity. The audience rises to its feet and explodes in applause, giving a seemingly unending number of curtain calls. There are 31 curtain calls this opening night of February 23rd, 1968. The conductor comes out and bows repeatedly, but the composer does not join him.

He is shivering alone in a frigid cell in a prison in South Korea, where he has been imprisoned for over a year. He has been tortured—hung from a pole, beaten with sticks, electrocuted, waterboarded—within desperate inches of his life.

In 1967, a Korean student in Berlin “confesses” to having had contact with the North Korean government to the South Korean authorities. South Korea, was, at that time, one of the poorest countries in the world—its economy cobbled together from military prostitution, remittances from soldiers fighting for the US in Vietnam, and the export of human hair for wigs. The few South Koreans lucky enough to be studying abroad, for the most part, were heartbreakingly impoverished. North Korea, before the dissolution of the Eastern Bloc and crippling sanctions, was richer, more prosperous, more robust than its counterpart, and its economic production and consumption was multiples that of the south. As an act of political largesse–a mix of propaganda, insular camaraderie, avuncular goodwill—the North Korean embassy, had treated these students well. They were allowed to crash parties at the embassy, as starving students will, for the food; they sometimes received color brochures (an inconceivable luxury in South Korea) touting the development of North Korea. Some were given small stipends or bursaries to help them study, and a few eventually travelled to the North to meet family or long lost friends. 
This contact with North Koreans and the embassy—an act of political infidelity with a wealthier, sexier, more attractive partner– were considered seditious by the South Korean government, and action was rapidly taken. A hit list was made of suspects, and in the tightly knit community, these quickly denounced and implicated others under torture, and soon a full-blown web of two hundred brainwashed “spies” was “uncovered” both in Europe and in Korea.

Never mind that the suspects were an unlikely mix of students, scholars, scientists, poets, artists, and musicians.  Never mind that the composer, Isang Yun, was a musical prodigy who had invented a brilliant technique of musical composition, the “hauptton”, that organically combined East Asian idioms with twelve tone serialism, and Taoist and Buddhist spirituality. Never mind that Yun’s visit to study frescoes in North Korea was legitimate research for one of his musical compositions. Never mind that the allegations of brainwashing were absurd on their face.  None of this seemed to matter to the Korean government, that these were unlikely backgrounds and qualifications for a brood of active spies in the pay of the North Korean government.

Isang Yun was kidnapped in Berlin, along with three dozen others, from under the nose of the German government, rendered back to Seoul, and tortured until he admitted to being a spy and subversive for North Korea. He was found guilty of planning to undermine and violently overthrow the government. He was sentenced to death.

This sentence was later commuted to life imprisonment; his wife was sentenced to two years as an accomplice.  He recanted first before the judge, claiming he had been tortured into confessing, to no avail; then in his own cell, proclaiming his innocence in blood onto the prison walls. At the end of his rope by then, he would attempt to take his own life.

Four decades later, in 2006, the entire East Berlin Spy incident was finally declared by the Korean Government a fabrication of the intelligence services.

Here is the dirty secret of torture, ticking time bomb fantasies notwithstanding: the only truth that it is capable of revealing is that human beings are fragile and frail creatures, that they suffer on the rack, and under that pain, they will bend truth to say whatever is demanded, will confess to absurdities, will denounce kith and kin, to arrest the horror, stop the torment, end the nightmare.

Here is the other secret of torture: it does not simply damn the tortured, but it damns the torturer and the system that produces it. A country that tortures loses not only its soul, but loses touch with reality, for the simple reason that torture bears the same relationship to truth that rape bears to intimacy. It assumes what it demands, and cynically, violently, as the Neocons so triumphally proclaimed, it creates its own reality—a tautological, hermetically sealed reality of stupidity, brutality, and paranoid terror.

Republic of Terror

That paranoid reality echoed and presaged other “seditious” events, each conforming to its own brutal internal logic.

The “discovery” of the East Berlin Incident in June 1967 by the South Korean Intelligence Services (the KCIA), coincided with the massive eruption of demonstrations against the Park Chung Hee government regarding allegations of vote-rigging in the national assembly elections on June 8th. The Park government, threadbare in accomplishment and naked in legitimacy, had been fighting for its political survival and for the continuation of its regime. The recent presidential and general elections had largely been considered fraudulent. The sudden eruption of the East Berlin incident, in which subversives were seen everywhere, shifted the political landscape, put progressives on the back foot, shut down dissent, and solidified the tenuous Park presidency.

In 1964, massive opposition erupted to the Japan-Korea Normalization Treaty, whereby President Park, a former Japanese military officer and colonial collaborator, sold out the country’s reparation rights–35 years of colonization, 1 Million conscripted into slave labor, hundreds of thousands of sex slaves– for a pottage: a few grants and loan guarantees.  Individual reparations for those exploited, maimed, killed, during this period would be appropriated by the regime for “development”, scraps would be tossed to the legitimate claimants. Later that year, as protest reached critical mass, 41 students and reporters would be arrested, tortured, and admit to being members of the “People’s Revolutionary Party”, “an organization attempting to overthrow the Republic of Korea according to North Korean Programs”. Criticism of the treaty vanished.

In 1972, the Yushin Constitutional Reforms were enacted that transformed an authoritarian South Korea into a totalitarian dictatorship, and which rendered Park Chung Hee effectively dictator for life.   Massive opposition started to mobilize, and as protest started to crescendo, on April 3rd, 1974,  another “People’s Revolutionary Party”: “an anti-government communist group…. steeped in communist ideology”  was uncovered. Over a thousand students were arrested and tortured, and their “leaders” were sentenced to death, after confessing to being members of a second People’s Revolutionary Party, under the direct control of North Korea, and plotting to overthrow the government. Their executions took place 18 hrs after their conviction.

In 1980, as General Chun, Park’s designated successor, took power in a coup, massive protest erupted across the country. In 1980, in the City of Kwangju, hundreds, if not thousands of citizens were raped, bludgeoned, bayoneted, burned, and shot to death for protesting the Chun Regime and demanding democratic reforms. They were tarred as a “colossal rebellion instigated by the North Korean Government”. The presidential candidate, Kim Dae Jung, later to win the Nobel Peace Prize, would be charged as the mastermind of “impure elements and fixed spies” that had instigated the uprising. Concurrently, some 37,000 citizens would also be rounded up and kidnapped off the streets all over the country, placed in “re-education” camps, where they were routinely starved, tortured, beaten, and worked to death. At least 5,000 were known to have died in these camps.

Even such small fry as book clubs were targeted: a year later, a group of 22 students and workers in a social science reading club were arrested for reading, among other books, E.H. Carr’s “What is History?”,  a collection of lectures on historiography by a middle-of-the-road Cambridge Don. All of them were tortured for months—beaten, waterboarded, hung from poles, electrocuted; they confessed to being members of an anti-state organization. Drunken meetings in bars, New Year’s Eve parties, a business launching, all of these were classified as subversive gatherings plotting to overthrow the government.

Decades later, lives and livelihoods destroyed, various official investigatory committees and courts determined that the defendants were innocent of all charges in the above incidents. Evidentiary review shows that these cases were fabricated out of whole cloth by the South Korean intelligence agencies. In particular, in 2007 a court found the 1974 People’s Revolutionary Party defendants innocent, and ordered $63M of reparations to the aggrieved parties. 

Here is the pattern, as predictable as it is brutal: when dissent rises, “discover” an anti-state North Korean conspiracy. Apply torture, character assassination, and trial by state media until punishment ensues. Rinse off blood, and Repeat. These and countless other incidents, contrived by the Intelligence Services, using the draconian National Security Laws, were a dramatic, politically expedient theater of terror that was effective in tamping down rising tides of dissent. The proverb, “Kill a few chickens to scare the monkeys”, is applicable here; to this end, the country was turned into a noisy, busy, steaming slaughterhouse.

This is the ultimate utility of torture: it is the imprinting, broadcasting and branding of state terror into the sinew and marrow of human bodies and human relationships.  In the nightfall of torture, as whispers seep out of the closed chambers, the miasma of fear suffuses the streets: voices grow hushed, eyes avert or grow dull, dissent vanishes. Fascists prowl, parade, preen, bombast, consume with aplomb. Only the ghosts of the dead keep speaking.

Confederation of Falsehoods

This pattern of history is important to keep in mind as we view the recent disbanding of the United Progressive Party (UPP) and the arrest of its lawmakers. It’s been established that the South Korean National Intelligence Service (NIS), interfered in the 2012 Presidential elections, using its psychological/cyber warfare division to propagandize for the current incumbent, and to denounce the opposition. Documentation shows that thousands of carefully crafted messages were spread over key electronic message boards by teams of agents, then reproduced millions of times using automated software. When all was said and done, the electronic landscape had shifted to the right, and the daughter of the dictator Park Chung Hee was firmly ensconced in power, in what critics charged amounted to South Korea’s first electronic coup.

When the UPP, a progressive coalition of opposition parties, took up the mantle of challenging the legitimacy of the election and the cyber interference, organizing mass demonstrations and calling for the appointment of a special prosecutor, retribution was not long in coming.

The UPP law maker, Lee Seok-Ki, a former student radical and vocal critic, was suddenly arrested on charges of sedition. A transcript appeared suddenly from a paid informant who had been illegally surveilling the party for the NIS, alleging that Lee and others had plotted a rebellion to violently overthrow the government, through a clandestine group manipulated by North Korea, called the “Revolutionary Organization (RO)”.

Never mind that the UPP were for the most part ex-student radicals and democracy activists, with strong views beholden to no one, least of all North Korea.

Never mind that the rebellion was seemingly concocted single handedly from the testimony of the bribed informant–mostly unsupported supposition and confabulations; and that the evidentiary transcript was significantly doctored—words never spoken or heard were attributed and leaked to the media.

Never mind that the RO, allegedly a quisling organization of North Korea, seems to have been a figment of the imagination of the NIS, a lazy, hazy re-branding of the fabricated “People’s Revolutionary party” from 1964 & 1974.

Lee Seok Ki was tried and found guilty of sedition—first for “organizing” to overthrow the government; then later for “incitement” to revolution. The others were also found guilty.

With fresh blood in the water, the authorities then went after the party, arguing that the UPP presented a threat to society, was attempting to impose a North Korean socialist regime on South Korea, through stealth and organized violence.

The UPP’s platform for “peace and reunification”,  “a people-centered world… for the working class”,  where people can  “live together with human dignity”, its resistance against austerity, neoliberal policies, and for labor rights were twisted into the charge that the UPP was “against the basic order of democracy”, “secretly trying to achieve North Korean style socialism”, and that the “progressive democracy they pursue is the same or very similar to the North’s revolutionary strategy”.

Following rapidly on the heels of Lee Seok-Ki’s arrest, the South Korean constitutional court ordered the disbanding of the UPP. Its assets have been seized, its members have been stripped of seats in the National assembly and local councils. Its 100,000 members are also at risk of prosecution for association with the UPP for violating national security laws. The ministry of justice has also stated its intention of also going after other “anti-state groups”: labor movements, anti-base movements, peace movements, environmental activists, and to prevent the creation of any political party with a progressive platform similar to the UPP.

The UPP defense lawyer stated, “Today is the day democracy is murdered. History will rule on this verdict”. UPP chairwoman, Lee Jung-Hee stated, “The door to totalitarianism has been opened. Independence, democracy, unification and peace, representation for the people has been banned. Dark times… lie ahead.”

* * *

The composer Isang Yun finally returned to Berlin, after 2 years of global mobilization. World-wide denunciation, boycotts, mass demonstrations, diplomatic expulsions and embargoes, and a celebrity letter-writing campaign, finally secured his release. He dove back into his work, but remained at heart, wounded, broken, shattered. Despite subsequent artistic success— awards, medals, professorships, acclaimed compositions, including the majestic “Exemplum in Memoriam Gwangju”–the libel of traitor stuck, and he lived out the rest of his life in pain, exile, and isolation: unable to travel to South Korea for fear of further arrest and torture; unable to connect with fellow Koreans for risk of “contaminating” them. “Success.. is.. a shadow, which passes by”, he said, towards the end of his life, “One day I’d like to go back to my Korea … [and] listen to the music in my mind, without writing it down, and find myself in the great silence. And there I would also want to be buried, in the warmth of my native earth.” In 1994, a quarter century after his exile, he petitioned the South Korean government for a short visit to his hometown, but was told he would have to submit a written confession of “repentance”. He refused and was buried in Berlin, a year later, with a handful of earth from his hometown his only consolation.

In the great forgetting that is known as corporate media, Isang Yun’s story has vanished to the margins of history, his kidnapping and torture footnotes for musicologists and historians. What endures of Yun Isang is a technical method of composition known as hauptton (“maintone”). It is a singular style of composition. It bases itself, not on a musical cell, motif, or theme, with melodic, rhythmic, or harmonic elaboration, but on a single note—a single assertion, if you will—that is ornamented until it returns and recovers the original tone and timbre. Scholars have compared it to calligraphy or brush painting, where the integrity of the single line and the energies of its motion—the dance of ink molecules on paper–give the image its visual appeal. It has also been compared—from Taoist and Buddhist influences– to the myriad worldly energies obscuring, then revealing, an original cosmic vibration; the dialectic of freedom and constancy in creation; or the unperturbed Buddha-nature that remains unsullied as it returns, ostinado, into its original clear being. And of course, in certain compositions, it’s clear that it bears a striking analogy to Yun’s own story—strings stressed, pulled, interrogated, tortured, like sinews of a human body, almost to the breaking point, before re-intoning a full-throated assertion of innocence. 

But we could also argue that it represents, as Yun’s life itself attests to, to the deepest, profoundest yearnings of the soul—the desire for solace, justice, peace; compassion and love for the downtrodden; the heart’s deepest desire for reconnection, reconciliation, reunification.  Tormented, stressed, vexed, challenged through friction, slippage, distortion, distraction, the hauptton always returns to its original keening, its original, single-minded  desire,  its original yearning undefiled, unblemished, undiminished by suffering, pain, time, or distance. 

Even as the curtain falls for South Korean democracy, as it returns seemingly to the dark ages of paranoia, conspiracy, terror; it is this single, trembling, whimpering, searingly, pure note that will not be silenced or denied.

K.J. Noh is a long time activist, writer and teacher.  He can be reached at


January 16, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Solidarity and Activism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment

Lawsuit says Caltech Provost and others ignored Israeli spying and then retaliated against whistleblower

CalTech Campus

Dr. Troian’s allegations describe subversion of one of America’s most important scientific institutions and provide a potential case study of how U.S. taxpayer funded scientific technology is stolen by Israel.

By Alison Weir | If Americans Knew | January 14, 2015

Following is a deeply disturbing excerpt from a civil lawsuit filed by a Caltech professor against Caltech, often named the world’s top research university. Caltech’s official name is the California Institute of Technology.

According to the lawsuit, a small coterie of Caltech professors and administrators ignored Israeli spying and theft of taxpayer-funded U.S. technology and then retaliated against the professor for reporting it.

Caltech Provost Edward Stolper, who has ties to Israel and received an honorary degree from one of its universities, seems to have been one of those leading the charge.

The lawsuit is by a distinguished physicist named Dr. Sandra Troian, who was recruited from Princeton, has won numerous scientific awards, and serves on national and international scientific boards. In her suit Dr. Troian says that an Israeli post-doctoral student blatantly violated US laws and transmitted information on potential space technology to Israel.

According to Troian, when she reported these violations, some Caltech administrators and professors ignored the Israeli’s extensive violations, and then, enabled by diverse cronies and subordinates, launched an escalating retaliatory campaign against her for trying to stop the Israeli’s illegal activities. Some of the actions described below were remarkably petty, others of considerable significance.

The complaint, filed November 13th, 2014, describes the course of events in illuminating and excruciating detail. The statement also says that Stolper and others worked to impede information from reaching the FBI, which was investigating possible Israeli spying and infiltration at Caltech.

The alleged espionage and theft largely took place at Caltech’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a top NASA research and development center.

According to Troian’s statement, Stolper repeatedly attempted to intimidate Troian, saying that people at Caltech “feared” him and that she would be “miserable” if she did not cooperate with him. Stolper also seems to have used his power to deny Troian more than a million dollars worth of grant funds, threatened to cut off her access to post-doctoral researchers, and attempted to tar her with (unfounded) accusations of scientific misconduct.

If Troian’s statements below are accurate, they reveal significant subversion of one of America’s most important scientific institutions. They also provide a case study of how U.S. taxpayer funded scientific technology is stolen by Israel. U.S. agencies periodically name Israel as a top espionage threat against the United States.

In a statement announcing the lawsuit, Troian said: “I have committed my heart and soul to Caltech. But I will not violate the law. And, I will not allow Caltech to ruin my career for alerting them to violations of laws intended to protect our greater society.”

The Pasadena Star-News reports that a Troian attorney, Dan Stormer, “said national security concerns are at stake.” The newspaper reports that Stormer seeks punitive damages because Caltech should “be held publicly accountable for their conduct.” Stormer said, “Plaintiffs in similar cases have been awarded multibillion-dollar verdicts.” The Caltech administration has denied culpability.

Two hearings are currently scheduled in Los Angeles Superior Court:

A trial setting conference will be held is on February 24, 2015 at 9:30 am in department 82 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012.

A hearing to consider a motion by Caltech for bifurcation is scheduled for the same location on May 14, 2015. Caltech claims that some of Troian’s claims are not appropriate for legal action because she has not yet exhausted internal remedies.

Below is an excerpt from Troian’s legal complaint, with photos added of the cast of characters. Troian is demanding a jury trial.


Dr. Troian is a Prominent Physicist and Academic at Caltech.

Dr. Sandra Troian, professor who filed lawsuit.

Dr. Sandra Troian, professor who filed lawsuit.

11. Dr. Troian has been a physicist and accomplished academic scholar for over twenty-five years.

12. Dr. Troian holds a B.A. in Physics from Harvard University and a M.S. and Ph.D. in Physics from Cornell University. Prior to joining Caltech, she was a faculty member at Princeton University, where she was promoted to tenured Associate Professor in 1999 and Full Professor in 2002.

13. Caltech recruited Dr. Troian to join its faculty as a Professor of Applied Physics, of Aeronautics, and of Mechanical Engineering in the Division of Engineering and Applied Science (“EAS”).

14. Dr. Troian began her employment at Caltech in September 2006. Her employment is governed by a contract between her and Caltech, executed on May 3, 2006, and by Caltech’s Faculty Handbook.

15. Dr. Troian is the only female faculty member in Applied Physics at Caltech, and one of only four female physicist faculty members on campus.

16. Dr. Troian has earned numerous awards for her research and teaching from the National Science Foundation, the American Physical Society, the Caltech Moore Distinguished Scholar program, and Princeton and Caltech. She has served on numerous editorial, executive, and advisory boards including the Defense Sciences Research Council, the Annual Reviews of Fluid Mechanics, the Physics of Fluids, the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, the Microdevices Laboratory of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Max-Planck-Institut für Dynamik und Selbstorganisation, the Society of Engineering Science, Inc., and the Institute for Defense Analysis. She has also worked in industry, and consults for government and private sector organizations.

17. Dr. Troian is also a contractor and holds research privileges at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (“JPL”), which is a federally-funded research and development facility managed by Caltech on behalf of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (“NASA”).

18. Federal export control laws govern the conditions under which certain information, technologies, and commodities at JPL can be transmitted to other countries, or to unauthorized persons in the U.S. Several federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of State through its International Traffic in Arms Regulations (“ITAR”), administer federal export control laws.

Dr. Troian Reported Apparent Illegal Activity by Her Postdoctoral Scholar, Dr. Amir Gat, to Caltech, but Caltech Refused to Take Action.

Amir Gat, postdoctoral researcher who allegedly illegally transmitted information to Israel. He now works at Technion - Israel Institute of Technology.

Amir Gat, postdoctoral researcher who allegedly illegally transmitted information to Israel. He now works at Technion – Israel Institute of Technology.

19. In March 2010, Dr. Troian became Principal Investigator (“PI”) on an export controlled project at JPL known as the Electrospray Thruster Array Technology Feasibility Study Project (“Electrospray Project”). The goal of the Electrospray Project was to design a new type of space micropropulsion system.

20. The Electrospray Project was ITAR-restricted, which meant that Dr. Troian and all other project researchers could not divulge or export any project-related technical data to foreign end users or foreign destinations without U.S. government authorization.

21. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (“DARPA”) funded the Electrospray Project.

22. Dr. Troian hired Dr. Amir Gat to work with her on the Electrospray Project as a postdoctoral research scholar in March of 2010.

23. Dr. Gat is an Israeli foreign national, who, at the time, had recently earned his Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology (“ITT”).

24. Caltech approved Dr. Gat’s hiring as a Caltech employee.

25. As Dr. Gat’s research supervisor, Dr. Troian had a duty to ensure Dr. Gat’s compliance with ITAR.

26. Both Dr. Troian and Dr. Gat signed a Technology Control Plan (“TCP”) and addendum governing the Electrospray Project. In so doing, they certified their understanding of their obligations not to disclose ITAR-restricted technical data to foreign persons or foreign countries without prior approval from the U.S. Department of State and that failure to comply with this obligation could subject them to criminal fines and penalties.

27. A violation of the TCP constitutes a violation of ITAR.

28. Soon after Dr. Gat began working for Dr. Troian on the Electrospray Project, Dr. Troian began to suspect him of violating the TCP and ITAR provisions.

29. Dr. Gat refused to properly record and safeguard his calculations, numerical simulations, and technical details of the JPL device, as required by DARPA, the TCP, and ITAR.

30. Dr. Gat also stored project-related files and technical information on his personal laptop, rather than on his safeguarded office computer, in violation of the TCP and ITAR.

31. Dr. Gat also repeatedly entered erroneous numbers into the design software code when running project simulations, despite clear instructions from Dr. Troian and JPL researchers on which numbers to use.

32. On May 25, 2010, a virus attacked Dr. Troian’s computer network at Caltech, causing hundreds of project files to be uploaded in rapid succession to an unknown IP address outside of Caltech and causing Caltech to disable Dr. Troian’s network for several days.

33. Dr. Troian traced the virus that caused the network problems to Dr. Gat’s computer, and notified Caltech officials of this fact.

Daniel Weihs

Daniel Weihs, professor at Israel’s Technion and a member of Israel’s National Steering Committee for Space Infrastructure of the Ministry of Science, Chair of Israel’s National Committee for Space Research, and Chief Scientist at the Ministry of Science and Technology.

34. When Dr. Troian questioned Dr. Gat about the virus attack, he refused to disclose the websites he had visited prior to the attack on the network.

35. On May 28, 2010, Dr. Gat admitted to Dr. Troian that he had been sharing details of the Electrospray Project with Dr. Daniel Weihs, his Ph.D. advisor at ITT in Israel, without proper U.S. government approval. Dr. Gat refused to disclose to Dr. Troian the substance or extent of his transfer of information.

36. Dr. Weihs was a member of Israel’s National Steering Committee for Space Infrastructure of the Ministry of Science, Chair of Israel’s National Committee for Space Research, and Chief Scientist at the Ministry of Science and Technology.

37. On June 3, 2010, Dr. Troian found Dr. Gat wandering alone, unauthorized, in one of her access-restricted experimental laboratories. Dr. Gat explained that Dr. Weihs had recommended that he “look around” to see what other aerospace projects were ongoing at Caltech in collaboration with JPL. Dr. Gat said that he was hoping that the Israel Institute of Technology would hire him in the future, after he left the United States and returned to Israel.

Marionne Epallé

Marionne Epallé, Caltech administrator who removed Gat’s papers after Troian reported him, despite the fact that this allegedly violated ITAR regulations. Epallé said she had been ordered to do so.

38. Throughout the summer of 2010, Dr. Troian reported to Caltech, her growing concerns that Dr. Gat was transferring export controlled information without proper U.S. government approval to various Caltech and JPL officials.

39. On June 4, 2010, Dr. Troian met with EAS Division Administrator Marionne Epallé and specifically requested that Ms. Epallé document Dr. Gat’s apparent TCP and ITAR violations. On June 14, 2010, Dr. Troian contacted Ms. Epallé and Dr. Rosakis again reiterating her concerns about Dr. Gat and requesting that they be documented for the record.

40. At least two JPL supervisors also reported Dr. Gat’s apparent illegal activity to the JPL Special Programs Security Manager, who handles espionage concerns.

41. To Dr. Troian’s knowledge, Caltech did not investigate Dr. Gat or otherwise take action in response to Dr. Troian’s or other JPL supervisors’ complaints of Dr. Gat’s TCP and ITAR violations.

42. Upon information and belief, during this period in 2010, Caltech was seeking to renew its contract with NASA to manage JPL, and, as part of the reapplication process, needed to certify that its employees and contractors were not violating U.S. government security regulations, including ITAR.

Ares Rosakis

Ares Rosakis, division chair, was one of the first people informed about Gat’s behavior. Troian says that after the FBI questioned her about the situation, Rosakis warned Troian that her behavior was becoming “dangerous” for the Division and for Caltech.

43. On August 3, 2010, Dr. Troian dismissed Dr. Gat from the Electrospray Project because of her security concerns about him. She instructed Dr. Gat to return all material belonging to the Project, but he refused to do so and threatened to continue working on the project.

44. Dr. Troian did not have the power to terminate Dr. Gat’s employment with Caltech entirely, only to dismiss him from her own research group.

45. On August 4, 2010, Dr. Gat emailed a JPL supervisor and asked for permission to continue working on Dr. Troian’s project or other aerospace projects at JPL. The supervisor denied Dr. Gat’s request and instructed Dr. Troian to secure all material in his possession.

46. On August 8, 2010, a week after Dr. Troian terminated Dr. Gat from the Electrospray Project, she discovered that he had been posting literature pertaining to the Project on a public web site since March 22, 2010, and that users worldwide were linking to the site. Dr. Gat’s more than 65 online postings were unauthorized and revealed the key operating principle of the JPL micropropulsion device, which violated ITAR and the TCP.

April White Castaneda

Troian says she informed April White Castaneda, Caltech’s Executive Director of Human Resources, that Gat had posted information to a public site that revealed the key operating principle of the JPL micropropulsion device. This violated federal regulations.

47. Dr. Troian immediately reported Dr. Gat’s unauthorized online postings to Ms. Epallé, to a JPL supervisor, to April White, Caltech’s Executive Director of Human Resources, and to Adam Cochran, Caltech’s Associate General Counsel.

48. Throughout August and September 2010, Dr. Troian submitted a series of requests to Caltech to secure and lock down Dr. Gat’s work-related materials and electronic files, and to confiscate his office and building keys and campus ID. Dr. Troian contacted Dr. Ares Rosakis, Caltech’s EAS Division Chair; Susan Connor, a Caltech Senior Human Resources (“HR”) Consultant; Julia McCallin, Caltech’s Associate Vice President of HR; and Dr. Morteza Gharib, Caltech’s Vice Provost of Research, among others.

49. On August 16, 2010, Dr. Troian met with Dr. Gharib. As Caltech’s Vice Provost of Research, Dr. Gharib was responsible for investigating Dr. Gat’s possible ITAR violations and for securing his work-related materials.

Adam Cochran

Troian says she informed Adam Cochran, Caltech’s Associate General Counsel, that Gat had posted information to a public site that revealed the key operating principle of the JPL micropropulsion device. This violated federal regulations.

50. During the meeting, Dr. Troian explained Dr. Gat’s erratic behavior and his admission that he had improperly transferred ITAR-controlled technical data to Dr. Weihs. She explained that she did not know the full extent of the transfer because Dr. Gat failed to document it, and refused to give her access to his laptop on which the project files were stored. Dr. Troian insisted that Caltech immediately terminate Dr. Gat’s employment and secure all of his material pertaining to the Electrospray Project.

51. Dr. Gharib told Dr. Troian “It’s not my business.” He further told Dr. Troian that he (Gharib) was “best friends” with Dr. Weihs, Dr. Gat’s Ph.D. advisor in Israel with whom Dr. Gat had admitted sharing ITAR-restricted information, and that, as a favor to Dr. Weihs, he (Gharib) had already offered Dr. Gat a postdoctoral research scholar position in his own research group since she had terminated him. [Editor’s note: Gharib had been made vice provost in July.]

Julia McCallin

Dr. Troian says she submitted a series of requests to Caltech to secure and lock down Dr. Gat’s work-related materials and electronic files. Among those she contacted was Julia McCallin, Caltech’s Associate Vice President of HR.

52. On August 19, 2010, Ms. Epallé went to Dr. Gat’s former office and hurriedly put all of his work materials into a cardboard box. Dr. Troian tried to stop Ms. Epallé, telling her that her actions violated ITAR and Caltech protocol for securing such materials. Ms. Epallé responded that she was under direct orders to remove the material and to give it to Dr. Gat. Dr. Troian tried to physically stop Ms. Epallé, but she rushed out of the room with Dr. Gat’s work materials.

53. No one at Caltech ever made Dr. Gat return his work files, or ever reviewed his laptop for ITAR information. It waited several weeks to request that Dr. Gat return his office keys, and that he remove the project-related information that he had posted online improperly, and likely illegally, after Dr. Troian terminated him from the Electrospray Project.

54. Dr. Gat worked in Dr. Gharib’s research group at Caltech from August 2010 until July 2012.

55. Dr. Gat has since returned to Israel, where he is Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at ITT, an Israeli government institution, and he continues to actively publish with Dr. Gharib.

FBI Agents Approached Dr. Troian about Dr. Gat, and She Truthfully Disclosed His Apparent Unlawful Activities.

56. On June 28, 2012, Kelly M. Sullivan and David Tsang, FBI agents with the Los Angeles County Counterintelligence Division, approached Dr. Troian and told her that there had been several security breaches at JPL.

Morteza Gharib, Caltech vice provost

Morteza Gharib, Caltech vice provost, said he was “best friends” with Dr. Weihs, the Israeli with whom restricted information had been shared.

57. They told her that Dr. Gat was a focus of a larger investigation involving ITAR violations and possibly espionage, and asked her for information pertaining to his activities at JPL and Caltech.

58. Dr. Troian responded to all of the FBI agents’ questions truthfully. She responded that she believed Dr. Gat had, in fact, violated federal export control laws while at Caltech. The agents asked Dr. Troian if she had ever reported Dr. Gat and to whom, and she replied that she had repeatedly voiced her concerns to Caltech officials, including Drs. Gharib and Rosakis, and to JPL supervisors, but Caltech had failed to investigate Dr. Gat. They asked Dr. Troian about Dr. Gat’s whereabouts, and she replied that he was still on campus, because Dr. Gharib had taken Dr. Gat into his own research group immediately after she dismissed Dr. Gat from her own. The agents asked why Dr. Gharib had hired Dr. Gat, and she told the agents about Dr. Weihs’s relationship with Dr. Gharib.

59. The agents urged Dr. Troian to execute an affidavit containing this information about Drs. Gat, Rosakis, and Gharib. Dr. Troian voiced her fear of retaliation by Caltech if she were to execute an affidavit, and declined to do so.

60. On July 3, 2012, Agent Sullivan returned to ask Dr. Troian more questions about illegal activity at Caltech and JPL. Although Dr. Troian answered Agent Sullivan’s questions, because of fear of retaliation from Caltech, she again declined to execute an affidavit.

Caltech Officials Accused Dr. Troian of Calling the FBI, and Launched a Campaign of Retaliation and Intimidation Against Her.

61. On July 18, 2012, two weeks after Dr. Troian’s second conversation with the FBI, Dr. Rosakis, Ms. Epallé, and Dr. Gharib met with Dr. Troian under the pretext of discussing matters related to Dr. Troian’s postdoctoral research scholars.

62. During the meeting, Drs. Gharib and Rosakis accused Dr. Troian of calling the FBI to Caltech and pressured her to divulge the content of her conversations with the FBI. Dr. Troian explained that the FBI had approached her and asked about Dr. Gat. Drs. Gharib and Rosakis insisted that they knew that Dr. Troian had called the FBI. They demanded: “How did they find out? How did they know? And why him [Dr. Gat]?”

63. Dr. Troian reiterated that Dr. Gat had likely violated federal export control laws and that Caltech should have fired him immediately, rather than keeping him engaged for more than two years.

64. Dr. Gharib admitted that he knew Dr. Gat had spoken to Dr. Weihs about the Electrospray Project. He insisted that Dr. Gat had “made a mistake” in violating any laws. He stated that he had asked Dr. Gat about the violations and “he [Dr. Gat] said ‘no’ and we accepted that.”

65. In this meeting, Drs. Rosakis and Gharib also falsely accused Dr. Troian of mistreating former postdoctoral research scholars who had worked with her, including Dr. Gat and Dr. Anoosheh Niavaranikheiri, a postdoc who worked under Dr. Troian from June 2011 to June 2012.

66. Drs. Rosakis and Gharib threatened to bar Dr. Troian from hiring future postdoctoral research scholars, which would seriously impede her ability to perform her research.

67. This was the first time anyone had accused Dr. Troian of mistreating postdoctoral research scholars.

68. When Dr. Troian pushed Drs. Gharib and Rosakis to reveal the basis for any postdoctoral research scholar complaints against her, they admitted that no formal complaints existed.

69. The meeting lasted two hours and ended with Drs. Gharib and Rosakis warning Dr. Troian that her behavior was becoming “dangerous” for the Division and for Caltech.

Edward M. Stolper, Caltech provost

Edward M. Stolper, Caltech provost who told Troian she would be “miserable” if she didn’t cooperate.

70. On July 22, 2012, Dr. Troian wrote a letter to Dr. Stolper, Caltech’s Provost, asking him to address Drs. Gharib’s and Rosakis’s harassment and baseless allegations. Drs. Troian and Stolper met on July 30, 2012. At the outset of the meeting, Dr. Stolper also accused Dr. Troian of calling the FBI. He stated that Ms.Stratman and “many people” had personally informed him that she had called the FBI.

71. At the meeting, Dr. Stolper told Dr. Troian that Caltech did not like its employees calling the authorities. He said repeatedly, “You’re difficult. That’s what you are and you are going to have to live with that.” He told Dr. Troian that he was “feared” on campus.

72. At the same meeting, Dr. Stolper also accused Dr. Troian of mistreating her postdoctoral research scholars. He told Dr. Troian that Dr. Niavaranikheiri had lodged a complaint against her and that lawyers were involved, but he refused to elaborate or to show Dr. Troian a copy of the supposed complaint. Before Dr. Troian left his office, Dr. Stolper again told her “everybody is afraid of me” and said he wondered why that was so.

73. That same day, Drs. Gharib and Rosakis placed a false disciplinary warning in Dr. Troian’s personnel file without her knowledge. The warning stated that three of her former postdoctoral research scholars — Drs. Gat, Niavaranikheiri, and Dietzel — “had serious complaints about working with [her],” and that they would bar her from hiring postdoctoral research scholars if one more complaint were filed.

74. Caltech has never shown or explained to Dr. Troian any of these supposed complaints, despite her repeated requests. In fact, on a least two occasions, Drs. Gharib and Rosakis have admitted that no such complaints existed, and that Dr. Niavaranikheiri had left Caltech due to personal issues.

75. Caltech has refused to remove the disciplinary letter from her file, despite the fact that it is based on information that Drs. Gharib and Rosakis have admitted is false.

Caltech Falsely Accused Dr. Troian of Research Misconduct.

76. Dr. Troian has investigated the physics of temperature discontinuities at gas-solid and liquid-solid interfaces in nanoscale systems (“thermal slip”) since 2010, and published a paper on the topic in February of 2011. She has been investigating velocity discontinuities at liquid-solid interfaces (“velocity slip”), since 1997, and is well known for a discovery reported in the journal, Nature, in 1997.

77. In June 2011, Dr. Troian hired Dr. Anoosheh Niavaranikheiri as a postdoctoral research scholar to assist her with computer simulations on thermal slip. Because Dr. Niavaranikheiri had no background in thermal slip, Dr. Troian first tasked her with reproducing results that had already been documented in the scientific literature to prepare and train her to work on novel problems with Dr. Troian.

78. Dr. Niavaranikheiri’s simulations produced erroneous results. Dr. Troian notified Dr. Niavaranikheiri of this on several occasions, beginning in November of 2011, but by May 2012, Dr. Niavaranikheiri had not been able to reproduce successfully the results documented in scientific literature. As a result, Dr. Troian began conducting her own computer simulations on the project, using different computing algorithms, techniques, and hardware than Dr. Niavaranikheiri.

79. Dr. Niavaranikheiri abruptly left Caltech in early June 2012. Dr. Niavaranikheiri never gave Dr. Troian notice or an explanation for why she never returned to work, though she later told Dr. Gharib that she was having personal problems and did not like the environment at Caltech. She never progressed enough in her thermal slip simulations to work on the novel problems for which Dr. Troian had hired her.

80. After Dr. Niavaranikheiri’s sudden departure, Dr. Troian began to look for a new assistant on the project.

81. On August 2 , 2012, while still seeking a new assistant, Dr. Troian submitted several online abstracts (approximately 200 words each) to present at the 2012 American Physical Society Meeting of the Division of Fluid Dynamics (“APS DFD”) scheduled for November 2012.

82. APS talks are informal ten-minute reports by members of the scientific community regarding their current research.

83. APS abstracts are 200-word summaries that researchers submit in advance of their talks. The abstracts are not scientific publications; rather, they are informal, not refereed, and they are subject to change at any time. They are also not required to correspond to the eventual talk that the researcher gives at the APS meeting, as research is often developed between the submission date and the presentation date.

84. One of Dr. Troian’s abstracts focused on the simulations she had been conducting on thermal slip (“2012 APS abstract”). The abstract did not include Dr. Niavaranikheiri’s name, because Dr. Niavaranikheiri’s results had not contributed to Dr. Troian’s work on the topic.

85. APS abstracts can list multiple authors, and the APS typically accepts one abstract per first author. Knowing this, and with hopes of finding a new assistant before the conference, Dr. Troian listed herself as second author on the 2012 APS abstract because she was first author on another abstract that year. Dr. Troian used the placeholder name of M. Pucci for the first author, which is her cat’s name.

86. There are many examples in the Physics and Mathematics literature in which names of pets or other humorous objects appear as co-authors on archival, peer reviewed and highly cited journals. Prof. Andre Greim, recipient of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics, co-authored a scientific paper in 2001 with his pet hamster, H.A.M.S. ter Tisha. In 1975, Prof. Jack Hetherington co-authored a well-cited paper in Physical Review Letters, a leading physics journal, with his cat F.D.C. Willard. Prof. Doron Zeilberger, recipient of the 2004 Euler Medal in Mathematics, has co-authored over 30 technical papers with Shalosh B. Ekhad, the name of his computer.

87. By November 18, 2012, the date of the APS meeting, Dr. Troian had been unable to find a new assistant and had finished her simulations just shy of the meeting. She informed the APS meeting officials of this change and delivered the ten-minute talk herself.

88. Upon Dr. Troian’s request, APS later deleted the placeholder name from the online scientific program.

89. Dr. Gharib attended Dr. Troian’s presentation.

90. Dr. Gat was also at the APS meeting, and spoke with Dr. Gharib there several times.

91. On December 14, 2012, Drs. Gharib and Rosakis summoned Dr. Troian to the EAS Division Office. Fearing threats and retaliation similar to what she had experienced earlier that year, Dr. Troian requested the presence of a neutral third party in advance of the meeting, but Drs. Gharib and Rosakis refused.

92. At the meeting, Drs. Gharib and Rosakis claimed that Dr. Niavaranikheiri had filed a formal complaint against Dr. Troian two weeks before the 2012 APS meeting alleging that Dr. Troian failed to list her (Dr. Niavaranikheiri) as a co-author on the 2012 APS abstract. Drs. Gharib and Rosakis refused to show the alleged complaint to Dr. Troian, despite her requests, and offered no explanation as to why they failed to notify Dr. Troian of this supposed complaint until after Dr. Troian had presented her talk.

93. Drs. Gharib and Rosakis also questioned Dr. Troian’s use of a placeholder name on the abstract.

94. Dr. Troian explained that Dr. Niavaranikheiri did not contribute to the 2012 APS abstract or to any of the results Dr. Troian presented at the meeting, and that Dr. Niavaranikheiri’s results in fact contradicted those that Dr. Troian presented at the meeting.

95. Dr. Troian also explained that she had used the placeholder name while she was seeking a new assistant on the project, but that she had been unable to find one in time for the conference.

96. Dr. Gharib admitted his familiarity with the informality of APS abstracts, and that it was common practice for presenters to give more than one talk at APS meetings, as Dr. Troian had, but he was not interested in Dr. Troian’s response to his and Dr. Rosakis’ accusations. Instead, Dr. Gharib stated that FBI agents had returned to Caltech two weeks earlier to look for Dr. Gat.

97. Drs. Gharib and Rosakis reiterated that they were upset about the FBI’s visits to Caltech and about having “a faculty member that attracts these situations.” Dr. Rosakis claimed that it was Dr. Gharib’s responsibility as Vice Provost of Research to ensure that the FBI did not come to campus. Both officials accused Dr. Troian of harming Caltech’s reputation.

Dr. Kaushik Bhattacharya, Executive Chair of the Caltech Dept. of Mechanical Engineering

Dr. Kaushik Bhattacharya, Executive Chair of the Caltech Dept. of Mechanical Engineering and close friend of Dr. Rosakis, emailed Dr. Troian saying he was considering terminating her affiliation within the department.

98. On December 17, 2012, Dr. Kaushik Bhattacharya, Executive Chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, of which Dr. Troian is a faculty member, emailed Dr. Troian to tell her that he was considering terminating her affiliation within the department.

99. Dr. Bhattacharya is a close friend and colleague of Dr. Rosakis.

100. Dr. Bhattacharya claimed that Dr. Troian was not sufficiently participating in department activities, even though Dr. Troian has been actively involved in recruiting and advising students in the department since 2007.
101. Dr. Troian responded to Dr. Bhattacharya’s email with a lengthy rebuttal on January 4, 2013, and contacted him again on February 27, 2013, but he never responded.

102. On December 18, 2012, the day after Dr. Bhattacharya’s email, Dr. Stolper notified Dr. Troian that he and the two other selection committee members had denied her proposal for $592,000 in funding from the FY 2013 JPL/Caltech President’s and Director’s Fund for her collaborative research at JPL. Dr. Troian was shocked at the denial because JPL officials had strongly supported her proposal.

103. On December 21, 2012, Dr. Stolper telephoned Dr. Troian to reiterate the “seriousness” of Drs. Gharib’s and Rosakis’s allegations that she had misappropriated Dr. Niavaranikheiri’s work and had used a placeholder name in the 2012 APS abstract. He told Dr. Troian that her actions constituted “research misconduct,” and had “irreparably harmed” the reputation of the Institute.

104. Charges of research and academic misconduct are among the most serious and damaging against a faculty member. Such charges, even if later withdrawn, have far reaching, long-lasting repercussions that can damage an academic and consulting career permanently.

105. Dr. Stolper asked Dr. Troian to send him the slides from her APS presentation, and she immediately did so via intra-campus mail.

Edward Stolper honored by Israel's Hebrew University in 2012.

Edward Stolper honored by Israel’s Hebrew University in 2012. “Prof. Stolper is a longtime friend of the Hebrew University who also headed the first international academic review committee at the Faculty of Science”

106. On Christmas Eve 2012, Dr. Stolper emailed Dr. Troian that he had not received the APS slides, and insinuated that she was delaying sending them in order to change them. Dr. Troian therefore spent part of Christmas Eve in her office at Caltech, re-transmitting the presentation files to Dr. Stolper.

107. On December 29, 2012, Dr. Stolper wrote to Dr. Troian: “there can be no mitigation [of the alleged misconduct] based on any circumstances I can envision,” which effectively declared Dr. Troian guilty before any investigation.

108. On January 4, 2013, Dr. Troian sent Dr. Stolper a detailed letter explaining that Drs. Gharib and Rosakis’s allegations were in retaliation for her speaking to the FBI, and that she had never engaged in any misconduct.

109. Caltech’s Whistleblower Policy, which is part of Dr. Troian’s contract with Caltech, prohibits “retaliation against an individual who makes a good faith disclosure of suspected wrongful conduct” and provides that if “an employee believes s/he has been the subject of retaliation for making a good-faith disclosure, s/he is encouraged to contact her/his supervisor.” Dr. Troian’s January 4, 2013 letter was the second time she had complained to Dr. Stolper, her supervisor, about Drs. Rosakis and Gharib’s retaliation against her for her disclosures about Dr. Gat to the FBI. Instead of investigating Dr. Troian’s retaliation complaints in accordance with Caltech’s Whistleblower Policy, Dr. Stolper further conspired with Drs. Gharib and Rosakis to silence Dr. Troian and to push her out of her job at Caltech.

109. Caltech’s Whistleblower Policy, which is part of Dr. Troian’s contract with Caltech, prohibits “retaliation against an individual who makes a good faith disclosure of suspected wrongful conduct” and provides that if “an employee believes s/he has been the subject of retaliation for making a good-faith disclosure, s/he is encouraged to contact her/his supervisor.” Dr. Troian’s January 4, 2013 letter was the second time she had complained to Dr. Stolper, her supervisor, about Drs. Rosakis and Gharib’s retaliation against her for her disclosures about Dr. Gat to the FBI. Instead of investigating Dr. Troian’s retaliation complaints in accordance with Caltech’s Whistleblower Policy, Dr. Stolper further conspired with Drs. Gharib and Rosakis to silence Dr. Troian and to push her out of her job at Caltech.

110. On February 26, 2014, Dr. Stolper told Dr. Troian that he intended to move forward with an investigation. He claimed that he had received written documentation related to Dr. Troian’s alleged misconduct from Drs. Gharib and Rosakis, but refused to share it with her.

Caltech Conducted a Sham Investigation into the Charges Against Dr. Troian and Issued False Findings Against Her.

Grace C. Fisher-Adams, Director, Office of Research Compliance

Grace C. Fisher-Adams, Director, Office of Research Compliance. “Caltech denied Dr. Troian the use of counsel throughout the investigation, despite her requests, but it used Dr. Fisher-Adams, a licensed and active attorney in the State of California, to advocate on behalf of Dr. Gharib and Dr. Stolper. Dr. Troian challenged Dr. Fisher-Adams’ role in the investigation from the start because Dr. Fisher-Adams reported directly to Dr. Gharib, and therefore, had a conflict of interest in violation of Caltech policy.”

111. On March 1, 2013, Dr. Grace Fisher-Adams, Caltech’s Director of Research Compliance, emailed Dr. Troian a letter from Dr. Stolper stating that he had instituted an investigation against her to address: (1) your admitted listing of your cat as first author on the submitted and published abstract; and (2) an allegation by Dr. Anoosheh Niavaranikheiri, your postdoctoral fellow from 2011 to 2012, that the work presented in the abstract is, in part, her work for which she should have received credit as a coauthor.

112. Caltech’s charges against Dr. Troian amounted to charges of plagiarism and falsification of the research record, which constitute “research misconduct” under the Misconduct Policy set forth in the Caltech Faculty Handbook. Faculty Handbook at 7/1. Dr. Stolper had in fact already told Dr. Troian that the charges against her constituted “research misconduct.” Dr. Troian was therefore entitled to the protections set forth in the Handbook’s Misconduct Policy.

113. Rather than follow the Handbook’s Misconduct Policy, however, Dr. Stolper’s March 1, 2013 letter said that Caltech was using the Misconduct Policy only as “guidance,” which, in effect, allowed Caltech to bend the rules and find Dr. Troian guilty regardless of the evidence uncovered in the investigation. Throughout Caltech’s investigation, Dr. Fisher-Adams and members of the Investigation Committee repeatedly denied that Dr. Troian had been charged with research misconduct and reiterated that they were merely using the Misconduct Policy as a “framework” for the investigation.

114. Pursuant to the Misconduct Policy, Dr. Stolper assembled an Investigation Committee to investigate the allegations against Dr. Troian. Dr. Stolper hand-picked the committee.

115. Between March 1, 2013 and May 8, 2013, Dr. Stolper’s hand-picked Investigation Committee interviewed witnesses and collected evidence related to the charges against Dr. Troian. On April 19, 2013, Dr. Troian submitted 198 pages of supporting documentation in her defense, though Caltech refused to show her Dr. Niavaranikheiri’s purported complaint or to identify which text, slides, plots, equations, data, or results were in dispute.

Dr. Konstantinos Giapis

“Dr. Stolper hand-picked the individuals on the Investigation Committee. Not a single member of the committee possessed technical competence in Dr. Troian’s field of theoretical physics and molecular simulation techniques… Dr. Konstantinos Giapis is a chemical engineer…”

116. On May 8, 2013, Dr. Troian attended a hearing before the Investigation Committee to address the two charges against her. Dr. Fisher-Adams also attended. Caltech denied Dr. Troian’s request that a neutral third party document the proceedings. The hearing lasted nearly three hours. Towards the end of the hearing, the Committee asked Dr. Troian to immediately turn over the slides for another ten minute talk on thermal slip that she presented at the 2013 APS meeting.

117. Following the hearing, Dr. Troian submitted an additional 200 pages of emails between herself and Dr. Niavaranikheiri to the Committee, all of which definitively proved that Dr. Niavaranikheiri and Dr. Troian had a friendly working relationship, contrary to what Drs. Stolper, Gharib, and Rosakis, and later the Committee, alleged.

118. On July 1, 2013, the same day that Dr. Stolper became Interim President, the Investigation Committee released a Draft Report dated June 25, 2013. The Report ignored Dr. Troian’s exculpatory evidence, and presented new and unfounded allegations that Caltech had never given her an opportunity to address. [Caltech has since named a new president: Thomas Felix Rosenbaum.]

119. The Draft Report also revealed that Dr. Niavaranikheiri had never, in fact, filed a formal complaint against Dr. Troian. She had emailed Caltech’s Human Resources Department six weeks prior to Dr. Troian’s 2012 APS presentation to inquire as to the identity of M. Pucci, the name that Dr. Troian had used as a placeholder while seeking a new assistant. She subsequently responded to an email from Dr. Gharib pertaining to her research with Dr. Troian. Upon information and belief, Dr. Niavaranikheiri thereafter refused to cooperate with the Investigation Committee, refused to be interviewed by the Investigation Committee, and refused to provide the Investigation Committee with actual evidence of plagiarism or misappropriation.

120. On August 19, 2013, Dr. Troian responded to the Draft Report with a 125 page point-by-point rebuttal in her defense.

Melany Hunt, Vice Provost of Academic Affairs

“Melany Hunt, Vice Provost of Academic Affairs, acting at the direction of Provost and then-Interim President Stolper, ratified the Committee’s findings and issued a decision recommending three sanctions against Dr. Troian…”

121. On September 1, 2013, the Investigation Committee issued a Final Report finding Dr. Troian guilty of wrongdoing, despite clear evidence to the contrary. The Report omitted seventy pages of Dr. Troian’s exculpatory evidence. Dr. Fisher-Adams claimed this omission was an error.

122. The Final Report also included Dr. Troian’s confidential January 4, 2013 letter to Dr. Stolper, which revealed that she had spoken to the FBI about apparent illegal activity at Caltech.

123. On October 17, 2013, Melany Hunt, Vice Provost of Academic Affairs, acting at the direction of Provost and then-Interim President Stolper, ratified the Committee’s findings and issued a decision recommending three sanctions against Dr. Troian: 1) Dr. Troian was to draft a letter notifying APS that she had violated their policies with her November 2012 and March 2013 presentations; and if she refused to do so, Dr. Hunt would notify APS herself; 2) Dr. Troian was to acknowledge Dr. Niavaranikheiri in all future publications related to any of her “work on molecular dynamics simulations at liquid/solid interfaces;” and 3) Dr. Troian was to send “copies of preprints of future papers on this topic to the Office of the Provost and EAS Division Office,” namely Drs. Gharib and Rosakis.

The second and third penalties, i.e. the monitoring of Dr. Troian’s future work, were taken directly from the Handbook’s Misconduct Policy. Dr. Hunt further directed that a copy of her decision be retained in the Office of the Provost and in the EAS Division Office, and it is now in Dr. Troian’s personnel file.

124. Pursuant to the Misconduct Policy, Dr. Troian appealed Dr. Hunt’s decision on November 1, 2013.

125. Dr. Stolper, in his capacity as then-Interim President, was tasked with deciding Dr. Troian’s appeal.

126. On March 18, 2014, Dr. Troian met with Dr. Stolper at his request.

127. At the meeting, Dr. Stolper refused to discuss the facts of her case or the underlying charges, as the Handbook requires at the appeal stage. He instead told Dr. Troian, “I don’t know what the facts are and I don’t care.” He stated that he could “make things go away” if she admitted that she had exercised “poor judgment” and mistreated students, postdocs, and colleagues at Caltech. He told Dr. Troian the exact words he wanted to hear her use to confess to the false allegations of misconduct, and stated it “avoids having to find the truth.” He emphasized there was no point in discussing what happened when or who said what.

128. Dr. Stolper acknowledged that he did not believe that Dr. Troian misappropriated Dr. Niavaranikheiri’s work, but nonetheless asked Dr. Troian to falsely confess to doing so and he would dismiss the report. When Dr. Troian refused, and told Dr. Stolper that crediting Dr. Niavaranikheiri on the abstract would be fraud, he said, “You say it’s fraud – I don’t think it’s fraud. I think it’s just how you make the world go round on something like this.” He quoted lines from the movie Harvey, in which the character stated, “My mother would say ‘Elwood, in this world you can be oh so very smart or oh so very nice.’ For years I tried smart – I recommend nice.”

129. Dr. Troian indicated to Dr. Stolper that the investigation was part of Caltech’s retaliatory campaign against her for her reports to the FBI. Dr. Stolper threatened, “God, if you think you’ve had a bad two years, wait for the next two years of being confrontational with Caltech. It just won’t be fun.” He told Dr. Troian to call him with her decision and repeatedly directed her not to put anything in writing. Dr. Stolper told Dr. Troian that if she did not cooperate with him, he would affirm the findings against her and she would be “miserable.” On April 11, 2014, Dr. Troian wrote Dr. Stolper a letter that memorialized the appeal meeting and indicated that she would not admit to the false charges against her.

130. On April 14, 2014, three days after Dr. Troian’s letter, Dr. Stolper issued a decision on Dr. Troian’s appeal that affirmed the Investigation Committee’s findings against her. Pursuant to the Faculty Handbook’s Misconduct Policy, Dr. Stolper’s decision was final.

131. Several days later, on April 22, 2014, Dr. Stolper notified Dr. Troian that he had also denied her proposal for $520,952 in funding from the FY 2014 JPL/Caltech President’s and Director’s Fund for her research at JPL, though her proposal had, again, received wide support from top officials at JPL.

Caltech’s Investigation of Dr. Troian Violated Its Misconduct Policy.

132. The Misconduct Policy provides that faculty members accused of research misconduct are entitled to an investigation and hearing, and that, upon recommendation of the appropriate academic division chair (“DC”) and Provost, the President renders a final decision. Faculty Handbook at 7/1.

A. Caltech Denied Dr. Troian an Inquiry into the Charges it Levied Against Her.

133. Charges of research misconduct must proceed through three stages: Inquiry, Investigation, and Resolution. During the Inquiry stage, the Misconduct Policy requires: [T]he DC [Division Chair] [to] notify the respondent in writing of the charges and process to follow. . . . The nature of the inquiry . . . should be worked out by the DC in consultation with the complainant and respondent. . . . A written report shall be prepared that states what evidence was reviewed, summarizes relevant interviews, and includes the conclusions of the inquiry. The individual(s) against whom the allegation was made shall be given a copy of the report of the inquiry. If they comment on that report, their comments may be made part of the record. Faculty Handbook at 7/2 (emphasis added).

134. Caltech failed to provide Dr. Troian with an Inquiry stage.

135. Dr. Troian received written documentation of the charges against her for the first time on March 1, 2013, when Dr. Stolper sent her a letter stating that he had decided to initiate a formal investigation.

136. Dr. Troian protested the lack of Inquiry and Inquiry Report for the first time on March 5, 2013, and again on May 8 and June 11, 2013. In response, Caltech claimed that Dr. Troian’s December 14, 2012 meeting with Drs. Gharib and Rosakis constituted the “Inquiry.” However, Dr. Troian was not presented with any written charges or evidence of misconduct before or during that meeting, during which Drs. Gharib and Rosakis repeatedly accused Dr. Troian of bringing the FBI to campus.

137. The Institute failed to afford Dr. Troian any participation in an inquiry “process.” It further failed to collect any evidence from her, provide her with a written “report of the inquiry,” or give her an opportunity to comment on any such report, even though Dr. Stolper acknowledged on February 26, 2014 that he received the report from Drs. Gharib and Rosakis.

B. Caltech Appointed an Investigation Committee Lacking Technical Competence in Dr. Troian’s Field.

Jed Buchwald, professor of history. His wife, also a caltech history professor, is Israeli. She attended Technion.

“Dr. Stolper hand-picked the individuals on the Investigation Committee. Not a single member of the committee possessed technical competence in Dr. Troian’s field of theoretical physics and molecular simulation techniques… Dr. Buchwald, the Chair, is a historian of science…” His wife, also a Caltech history professor, is an Israeli who graduated from Technion.

138. The Misconduct Policy states that “[t]he principal criteria for [investigation committee] membership shall be fairness and wisdom, technical competence in the field in question, and avoidance of conflict of interest. ” Faculty Handbook at 7/3 (emphasis added). “Membership of the committee need not be restricted to the faculty of the Institute.” Id.

139. Dr. Stolper hand-picked the individuals on the Investigation Committee. Not a single member of the committee possessed technical competence in Dr. Troian’s field of theoretical physics and molecular simulation techniques. Dr. Buchwald, the Chair, is a historian of science, Dr. Paul Dimotakis is an aeronautical engineer, Dr. Konstantinos Giapis is a chemical engineer, and Dr. Ellen Rothenberg is a biologist. The Policy explicitly permitted Caltech to seek experts outside the Institute to sit on the Committee, but Caltech rejected this option. Dr. Stolper ignored Dr. Troian’s request that at least one of the individuals she identified with experience in her field be added to the Committee.

C. Caltech Permitted Biased Individuals to Serve on the Investigation Committee.

140. The Misconduct Policy states that any “semblance of conflict of interest must rigorously be avoided at all stages,” Faculty Handbook at 7/1, and “[t]he principal criteria for [investigation committee] membership shall be . . . avoidance of conflict of interest,” Faculty Handbook at 7/3 (emphasis added).

Dr. Ellen Rothenberg

“Dr. Stolper hand-picked the individuals on the Investigation Committee. Not a single member of the committee possessed technical competence in Dr. Troian’s field of theoretical physics and molecular simulation techniques… Dr. Ellen Rothenberg is a biologist.”

141. Caltech ignored Dr. Troian’s concerns of bias of the Committee members. One half of the Committee had clear allegiances to Drs. Gharib and Rosakis, the individuals who initiated the complaint and campaign of retaliation against Dr. Troian.

142. Dr. Dimotakis has been close friends with Dr. Rosakis for over thirty years. The two have published together, and they shared a research grant shortly before the investigation commenced. Dr. Dimotakis was also Chief Technologist of JPL during 2010 when Dr. Troian reported Dr. Gat’s possible ITAR violations; he was aware that Dr. Troian had spoken to the FBI.

143. Dr. Giapis is a friend and colleague of Dr. Dietzel’s Ph.D. thesis supervisor. Drs. Rosakis and Gharib had previously accused Dr. Troian of mistreating Dr. Dietzel while he was a postdoc. Dr. Dimotakis recommended to Dr. Stolper that Dr. Giapis serve on the Committee.

144. Dr. Troian complained of the conflicts of interest on the part of Dr. Dimotakis and Dr. Giapis to Committee Chair Buchwald, but he dismissed them.

D. Caltech’s Investigation Exceeded the Scope of the Charges Against Dr. Troian.

Paul E. Dimotakis, Professor of Aeronautics

“Caltech ignored Dr. Troian’s concerns of bias of the Committee members. One half of the Committee had clear allegiances to Drs. Gharib and Rosakis, the individuals who initiated the complaint and campaign of retaliation against Dr. Troian…” Dr. Paul E. Dimotakis, Professor of Aeronautics Paul E. Dimotakis, “has been close friends with Dr. Rosakis for over thirty years…”

145. The Misconduct Policy requires that the accused faculty member be informed of “all allegations” against her “so that a response may be prepared.” Faculty Handbook at 7/3. In violation of this provision, the Committee investigated additional allegations of misconduct without notifying Dr. Troian of the new charges.

146. Shortly after initiating the investigation, Caltech demanded that Dr. Troian turn over “all materials in connection with the allegations against her.” When Dr. Troian asked the Committee to define the charges with greater specificity so that she could collect the materials for the investigation, Caltech refused to provide further clarification, and instead claimed that it was not constrained by the charges in Dr. Stolper’s letter but rather that, “the committee’s investigation may lead it in other directions depending on their ongoing findings . . . .”

147. In the process of the investigation, Caltech insisted that Dr. Troian’s entire laptop computer be imaged even though it contained personal medical records, Department of Defense materials that federal law prohibited from further distribution, and materials pertaining to Dr. Troian’s conversations with the FBI.

148. Dr. Troian was forced to hire an attorney to protect her privacy and prevent unauthorized access to federally restricted material.

149. When the Investigation Committee issued its Draft Report dated June 25, 2013, Dr. Troian learned for the first time that the Committee had investigated conduct related to an abstract she submitted for an APS meeting held in March 2013. Caltech failed to give Dr. Troian notice that it had charged her with misconduct related to the 2013 APS meeting, and she had no opportunity to rebut this false and unsupported charge at her hearing. The Committee’s Draft Report nevertheless concluded that she had “adopted authorship manipulation a second time for rule-evasion purposes during submission of the 2013 APS March meeting abstract . . . including backdating the abstract submission date to the original submission date, compromising the scientific record.”

E. Caltech Failed to Apply the Appropriate Evidentiary and Mens Rea Standards to Its Findings.

150. The Misconduct Policy provides: [A] finding of research misconduct requires that: There be a significant departure from accepted practices of the scientific community for maintaining the integrity of the research record; The misconduct be committed intentionally, or knowingly, or in reckless disregard of accepted practices; and The allegation be proven by a preponderance of the evidence.Faculty Handbook at 7/1 (emphasis added).

151. With respect to Charge 1, the Investigation Committee made no finding that Dr. Troian’s use of a placeholder name on the 2012 APS abstract constituted a significant departure from accepted practices at APS conferences, or that Dr. Troian engaged in this conduct intentionally, knowingly, or in reckless disregard of accepted practices. In fact, Dr. Troian presented authoritative evidence that APS routinely accommodates its conference participants by permitting alterations to abstracts after submission and multiple talks by a single author. Dr. Gharib even conceded this fact during the alleged “Inquiry” meeting on December 14, 2012.

152. With respect to Charge 2, Dr. Troian produced 333 pages of evidence to the Committee that her ten-minute presentations at the APS conferences did not plagiarize Dr. Niavaranikheiri’s work, but the Investigation Committee found her guilty of this charge without applying a preponderance of the evidence standard to the evidence before it. In fact, there is no evidence that Dr. Troian used or referenced any of Dr. Niavaranikheiri’s work in her abstract or her ten minute presentations. The Committee also failed to find that Dr. Troian’s conduct related to Charge 2 represented a significant departure from accepted practices in her field or that she acted intentionally, knowingly, or in reckless disregard for accepted practices.

153. Dr. Troian submitted a 17-page appeal to Dr. Hunt challenging the Committee’s findings after it issued its Final Report. Neither Dr. Hunt nor Dr. Stolper referred to any of Dr. Troian’s evidence or the appropriate evidentiary standards in affirming the Committee’s findings.

F. Caltech Denied Dr. Troian a Proper Appeal.

154. The Misconduct Policy provides that a charged party may appeal an adverse decision “to the President on grounds of improper procedure or capricious or arbitrary decision based on the evidence in the record,” but any appeals process must be “separated organizationally from the inquiry and investigation.” Faculty Handbook at 7/4.

155. Dr. Stolper drew up the charges against Dr. Troian and hand-picked the Investigation Committee. The Policy therefore prohibited him from acting as the individual to whom Dr. Troian appealed, even though he was Interim President at the time. Further, Dr. Stolper could not render a fair decision in Dr. Troian’s appeal since he admitted that he had pre-determined her guilt before she was charged. His bias was evident in his conduct during her appeal on March 18, 2014, including his prohibition against making a record of her appeal, which violated the Misconduct Policy’s admonition that “all stages of the procedure should be fully documented,” Id. at 7/1, his statements that he did not “care about the facts,” and his refusal to review the Committee’s and Dr. Hunt’s findings.

G. Caltech Violated Dr. Troian’s Right to be Treated with Justice and Fairness.

156. The Misconduct Policy requires that “[a]ll parties must be treated with justice and fairness.” Id. Caltech deprived Dr. Troian of just and fair treatment by denying her the benefit of enumerated rights in the Misconduct Policy and by subjecting her to an inherently unfair process pre-determined to find her guilty.

157. From the initiation of the investigation in February 2013 through the date of her hearing on May 8, 2013, those investigating Dr. Troian, including Dr. Stolper, repeatedly told her that the charges against her arose from a complaint Caltech received from Dr. Niavaranikheiri, Dr. Troian’s former postdoc. In July 2013, when Dr. Troian received the Investigation Committee’s Draft Report, she learned for the first time that the Committee had never interviewed Dr. Niavaranikheiri, and that Dr. Niavaranikheiri had never presented any evidence of plagiarism or misappropriation to the Committee. She also learned for the first time that Drs. Gharib and Rosakis, not Dr. Niavaranikheiri, had pressured Dr. Stolper to initiate the investigation.

158. The Draft Report revealed that six weeks before the APS DFD conference, Dr. Niavaranikheiri had emailed Caltech to inquire about the identity of the first author on Dr. Troian’s 2012 APS abstract. The email contained no accusation that Dr. Troian had engaged in plagiarism or that she had misappropriated Dr. Niavaranikheiri’s work. Dr. Gharib received the inquiry on or about October 3, 2012. Rather than speak to Dr. Troian about the identity of M. Pucci upon receipt of Dr. Niavaranikheiri’s inquiry, Dr. Gharib concealed its existence from Dr. Troian, and requested that Dr. Niavaranikheiri provide additional information on the work that she had performed with Dr. Troian. Dr. Gharib then waited until after Dr. Troian delivered her ten-minute presentation at the November APS DFD conference to bring false charges of misconduct against her.

159. Drs. Gharib, Rosakis, and Stolper used Dr. Niavaranikheiri as the straw-man complainant so they could institute proceedings against Dr. Troian in an effort to push her out of Caltech for cooperating with the FBI. Dr. Niavaranikheiri was never interviewed and did not serve as a witness in the Committee’s investigation.

160. Caltech denied Dr. Troian fairness and justice by willfully misrepresenting or ignoring more than 500 pages of exculpatory evidence she presented to the Investigation Committee.

161. In April 2013, before the Committee issued its Draft Report, Dr. Troian submitted evidence that she had begun her own independent thermal slip simulations in June 2012 and was collecting her own data by July 2012, nearly one month before
she submitted the 2012 APS abstract. The Committee nevertheless falsely stated in its Draft Report that Dr. Troian did not begin her own simulations until after she had submitted the abstract in August 2012. The Committee cited this false factual allegation to support its erroneous conclusion that Dr. Troian had relied on Dr. Niavaranikheiri’s work for the 2012 APS abstract. Dr. Troian highlighted the Committee’s factual misrepresentation in her August 19, 2013 rebuttal to the Draft Report, but the Committee failed to correct it. Instead, in the Final Report, the Committee falsely stated that Dr. Troian had no independent results available to her by the time she submitted the 2012 APS abstract and used this knowing misrepresentation to support its conclusion that Dr. Troian had based her abstract on Dr. Niavaranikheiri’s work.

162. Dr. Troian submitted 198 pages of evidence in advance of the hearing on May 8, 2013. The Committee refused Dr. Troian’s efforts to review this evidence during the hearing, even though it provided answers to numerous questions the Committee posed to her. The Committee also omitted 70 pages of exhibits that Dr. Troian submitted to rebut the Draft Report from the record accompanying the Final Report, and upon information and belief, did not review those documents. Dr. Troian’s evidence definitively demonstrated that her results were consistent with over 30 years of results from the scientific literature. Conversely, Dr. Niavaranikheiri’s results were inconsistent with fundamental laws of physics, which explained why Dr. Niavaranikheiri did not warrant acknowledgement in Dr. Troian’s APS abstracts or presentations. Dr. Troian’s evidence was uncontroverted, but the Committee nevertheless concluded that Dr. Niavaranikheiri warranted acknowledgement, which demonstrated that the Committee willfully disregarded Dr. Troian’s evidence.

163. Dr. Troian also provided to the Committee 70 examples of changes listed in the 2012 APS DFD Program Corrigenda, including changes to abstract authors before and after the conference. Two of these changes resulted in the same researcher presenting twice at the conference, which is precisely what occurred in Dr. Troian’s case. This evidence definitively proved that APS approved such changes, but the Committee failed to acknowledge this evidence in finding that Dr. Troian used a placeholder name to circumvent APS rules.

164. Dr. Stolper explicitly stated that he did not “care about the facts” during Dr. Troian’s appeal.

165. Caltech further denied Dr. Troian a just and fair investigation by crediting the testimony of witnesses it knew were biased against her, including Dr. Manoochehr Koochesfahani, who is a longtime friend and collaborator of Dr. Gharib and who obtained his Ph.D. in Aeronautics from Caltech in 1983, where Dr. Dimotakis was his thesis supervisor.

166. Dr. Fisher-Adams’s role in the investigation also violated Dr. Troian’s right to just and fair treatment. The Misconduct Policy’s provision on Inquiries states that “every effort should be made to make personal legal counsel unnecessary for either complainant or respondent at this and all other stages.” Faculty Handbook at 7/2.

167. Caltech denied Dr. Troian the use of counsel throughout the investigation, despite her requests, but it used Dr. Fisher-Adams, a licensed and active attorney in the State of California, to advocate on behalf of Dr. Gharib and Dr. Stolper.

168. Dr. Troian challenged Dr. Fisher-Adams’ role in the investigation from the start because Dr. Fisher-Adams reported directly to Dr. Gharib, and therefore, had a conflict of interest in violation of Caltech policy. Caltech nevertheless insisted on Dr. Fisher-Adams’s participation and falsely claimed she was merely providing “administrative support” to the Investigation Committee.

169. In fact, Dr. Fisher-Adams advocated on behalf of the Caltech administrators who brought the charges against Dr. Troian throughout the investigation. When Dr. Troian met with Dr. Fisher-Adams for the first time on March 1, 2013, Dr. Fisher-Adams asked Dr. Troian hostile questions about the charges against her under the pretext that her answers would help Dr. Fisher-Adams organize documents for the Committee. When Dr. Troian explained to Dr. Fisher-Adams that it would take her some time to collect the evidence the Committee sought, Dr. Fisher-Adams accused Dr. Troian of stonewalling in an effort to manipulate evidence. During Dr. Troian’s hearing before the Investigation Committee on May 8, 2013, Dr. Fisher-Adams twice interrupted the proceedings, once to defend Caltech’s actions in denying Dr. Troian an Inquiry, and a second time to curtail discussion about the nature of Dr. Niavaranikheiri’s alleged complaint against Dr. Troian, which she and Caltech purposefully obfuscated throughout the investigation. Dr. Fisher-Adams was also responsible for transcribing the hearing proceedings, which upon and information and belief were audio recorded. Dr. Troian was never given a copy or transcript of the audio recording. The “transcript” Dr. Fisher-Adams made of the three hour hearing was an abbreviated and inaccurate 11-page summary that deliberately obscured Dr. Troian’s statements and deleted or omitted facts helpful to Dr. Troian and damaging to Caltech.

170. Dr. Stolper’s stated bias against Dr. Troian before the investigation began renders Caltech’s proceedings inherently unfair. In December 2012, before issuing the charging document, Dr. Stolper wrote the following to Dr. Troian:
[I]n my opinion, there can be no mitigation based on any circumstances I can currently envision (including those that you have offered related to your postdoctoral scholar) for having listed your cat as the first author on a submission for publication. There can be no interpretation other than this was a purposeful misrepresentation of the people involved in the work that you presented. As academics and scientists such behavior cannot be sanctioned; there is no middle ground when it comes to honest and accurate representation of our work and who is credited with having participated in it.

171. Despite Dr. Stolper’s apparent and disqualifying bias against Dr. Troian, he was the official who drafted the charges against her, hand-picked the Investigation Committee, heard Dr. Troian’s appeal, and adopted the Committee’s findings against her as Caltech’s final decision.

Caltech’s Additional, Ongoing Retaliation against Dr. Troian

172. Caltech administrators continue to obstruct Dr. Troian’s work and to impede her career, and have done so since she first reported Dr. Gat’s illegal activity in 2010.

173. On September 18, 2013, seventeen days after the Investigation Committee issued its Final Report, Caltech Property Services sent a notice to eleven administrators and staff implying that Dr. Troian was responsible for a $378,239 missing piece of laboratory equipment. Caltech officials later acknowledged that the equipment had never belonged to Dr. Troian, but did not retract the memos containing the false statements.

174. In January 2014, Dr. Hunt ordered a doctoral student who had been working with Dr. Troian for over two years to exclude all research with Dr. Troian from his doctoral thesis. Dr. Hunt’s actions were highly unusual, because Dr. Troian was the student’s doctoral co-advisor.

175. Caltech deliberately excluded Dr. Troian from all meetings with the Engineering and Applied Sciences (EAS) Visiting Committee during their March 2014 visit to Caltech, even though Caltech invited her to meet with that Committee during their last visit in 2007. The Committee consists of prominent Caltech trustees, business leaders, and faculty from leading universities who visit Caltech every five years and advise the President, Provost, and EAS Division Chair. Dr. Rosakis invited many of Troian’s faculty colleagues to meet with Committee members during their 2014 visit, which allowed them to shape the division’s agenda, but Dr. Rosakis deliberately excluded Dr. Troian.

176. Caltech also deliberately excluded Dr. Troian from a keynote Fall 2014 departmental fundraising event, “Applied Physics and Materials Science in the 21st century,” even though Dr. Troian’s research encompasses the topical areas discussed and she requested to participate. Nearly every senior faculty member in Dr. Troian’s field except her presented. Dr. Troian’s exclusion denied her the opportunity to advertise her work to prospective donors, alumnae, business leaders, heads of funding agencies, and the Director of DARPA.

177. Caltech has systematically prevented Dr. Troian from serving on administrative, advisory, and honorific committees on campus since the summer of 2010, when she first reported Dr. Gat’s illegal activity. Service on such committees is vital to faculty members’ visibility on campus, enhances opportunities for scientific collaboration and funding requests, and is a factor that Drs. Rosakis and Stolper consider in awarding EAS faculty members annual pay raises. As a senior tenured faculty member with extensive experience in both industry and academia, and as a frequent advisor and consultant to universities, government, and industry, Dr. Troian qualifies to serve on Caltech committees, and she has consistently requested to do so. Drs. Rosakis and Stolper refuse to appoint her or to promote her to any administrative posts.

178. On information and belief, Dr. Troian’s annual salary increases have been less than those of her peers since she reported Dr. Gat’s illegal activity to the FBI.

179. On information and belief, Caltech denied Dr. Troian a courtesy appointment in the Physics Department in 2011, though she clearly qualified for the appointment, and it is a routine matter for Caltech faculty to receive courtesy appointments.

180. As a result of the inordinate amount of time and energy Dr. Troian has spent defending herself against Caltech’s baseless charges and retaliation, she has not been able to finalize research she would have otherwise finalized; has had to decline numerous outside consulting opportunities which she would have otherwise assumed; and has had to decline numerous invitations to attend workshops, lectures, and roundtables, which she would have otherwise accepted, including an invitation to spend three-and-a-half months at the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences in Cambridge, England, an invitation by the Editors in Chief of the Annual Review of Condensed Matter Physics to write a review article, and an invitation by the Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of World Scientific Publishing Company to write a volume of lecture notes.
Caltech Recently Padded Dr. Troian’s Personnel File with Falsified Documents in Preparation for this Lawsuit.

181. On April 9, 2013, Caltech issued Dr. Troian’s former counsel a copy of her personnel file, at his request.

182. At that time, Dr. Troian discovered that Drs. Gharib and Rosakis had placed in the file a signed disciplinary letter dated July 30, 2012, which falsely stated that three postdocs had “serious complaints” against her and that these alleged complaints were the topic of their July 18, 2012 meeting. The letter omitted the fact that Drs. Gharib and Rosakis had used that meeting to question and rebuke Dr. Troian for speaking with the FBI and for reporting Dr. Gat’s ITAR violations.

183. On September 20, 2014, Caltech again issued Dr. Troian a copy of her personnel file, upon her request.

184. The September 2014 file contains various additional falsified documents that predate April 2013, when Caltech last released her file.

185. Caltech has padded Dr. Troian’s personnel file with false, negative information about her in preparation for this lawsuit.

186. The September 2014 file contains a false summary by Drs. Gharib and Rosakis of their December 14, 2012 meeting with Dr. Troian, which falsely attributes statements to her, and claims: “this latest episode is indicative of ongoing concerns about Prof. Troian’s professional behavior . . . This is not an isolated event . . . we recommend that the Provost assemble a committee to look into her actions in light of potential faculty misconduct.” This document definitively demonstrates that it was Drs. Gharib and Rosakis who initiated the false charges of misconduct against Dr. Troian.

187. The newly-released file also includes a document, dated 2007, that contains wholly false allegations of Dr. Troian’s “abuse” of Caltech staff. Neither of these false documents were in Dr. Troian’s personnel file as of April 2013.

Dr. Troian Has Suffered Emotional and Physical Harm as a Result of Caltech’s Retaliation Against Her.

188. Due to Caltech’s escalating harassment against her, in July 2012, Dr. Troian began experiencing severe chest pains and underwent several cardiac tests in September 2012.

189. Her cardiologist concluded the pain was caused by severe anxiety and sleep loss. The pain became progressively more severe and in November 2013 she underwent an endoscopy and was diagnosed with severe esophageal and stomach ulcers.

190. Dr. Troian now requires daily multiple prescription medications, but the condition has not abated. Her doctor recently indicated that she will likely need surgery to alleviate the pain and progression of this disease.

191. Caltech’s four years of retaliation and harassment have also caused Dr. Troian severe anxiety, stress, sadness and depression, sleep disturbances and other physical ailments.


192. Plaintiff incorporates and alleges paragraphs 1 through 191 above as if restated herein.

193. Cal. Labor Code § 1102.5 prohibits an employer from retaliating against an employee for disclosing to a government or law enforcement agency, or to a person with authority over the employee or another employee who has the authority to investigate, discover, or correct the violation or noncompliance, information the employee reasonably believes discloses a violation or noncompliance with a local, state or federal statute, rule, or regulation.

194. Caltech violated Labor Code § 1102.5 by retaliating against Dr. Troian for disclosing what she reasonably believed to be violations of federal export control laws, including ITAR violations, by Dr. Amir Gat to the FBI and to Caltech and JPL officials.

195. Dr. Troian reasonably believed that she was disclosing Dr. Gat’s violations of noncompliance with state or federal statutes, rules, or regulations, when she told Caltech and JPL officials and the FBI about Dr. Gat’s apparent ITAR violations.

196. Caltech had knowledge of Dr. Troian’s internal disclosures regarding Dr. Gat because she made them to Caltech officials. Caltech clearly also had knowledge of Dr. Troian’s disclosures to the FBI about Dr. Gat. Drs. Gharib, Rosakis, and Stolper repeatedly questioned, threatened, and rebuked Dr. Troian about her communications with the FBI regarding Dr. Gat, beginning two weeks after her second conversation with the FBI.

197. Based on Dr. Troian’s disclosures of Dr. Gat’s apparent illegal activity, Caltech engaged in a campaign of retaliation against Dr. Troian in an effort to drive her out of Caltech and ruin her career. The retaliation included, inter alia, placing multiple false letters of discipline in her file; threatening to bar her from hiring future postdoctorate students; falsely accusing her of research misconduct; refusing to follow the Handbook’s procedure for investigating research misconduct and instituting sham proceedings that violated her rights as a faculty member; issuing false findings of wrongdoing against her and imposing discipline against her; falsely accusing her of misappropriating lab equipment; thwarting her participation in campus committees, events, and lectures; denying her over a million dollars in grant funds; causing her to waste significant time and money to fight Caltech’s baseless allegations against her; and generally intimidating her and threatening her employment at Caltech.

198. At all times relevant to this Complaint, Caltech was Dr. Troian’s employer for the purposes of Cal. Labor Code § 1102.5(b).

199. At all times relevant to this Complaint, Caltech employed each person who retaliated against Dr. Troian, including but not limited to Dr. Stolper, Dr. Gharib, Dr. Rosakis, Dr. Fisher-Adams, Dr. Hunt, Ms. Stratman, and Ms. Epallé.

200. As a direct and proximate result of Caltech’s conduct, Dr. Troian has suffered special damages in the form of lost earnings, benefits and/or out-of-pocket expenses in an amount according to proof at the time of trial. As a further direct and proximate result of Caltech’s conduct, Dr. Troian will suffer additional special damages in the form of lost future earnings, benefits, and/or other prospective damages in the amount according to proof at the time of trial.

201. As a further direct and proximate result of Caltech’s conduct, Dr. Troian has suffered mental and emotional pain, distress and discomfort, all to her detriment and damage in amounts not fully ascertained but within the jurisdiction of this court and subject to proof at the time of trial.

202. Caltech’s actions were intentional and were taken in willful and wanton disregard of Dr. Troian’s legal rights, and were taken specifically to injure her for her protected disclosure of apparent illegal activity at Caltech, thereby warranting punitive damages against Caltech.

See full text of complaint

January 16, 2015 Posted by | Corruption | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Why Is Charlie Hebdo OK, But Not Dieudonne? FRENCH HYPOCRISY

January 16, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , | 2 Comments

A Rogue’s Gallery in Paris

We Aren’t Charlie

By Robert Fantina | CounterPunch | January 16, 2015

Much has already been said about the hypocrisy of world leaders, all of whom oppose free speech and freedom of the press to one degree or another, jumping on the ‘I am Charlie’ bandwagon and marching in Paris. Reminiscent of the massive demonstrations in support of the U.S. after 9/11, this rally was just another ‘feel good’ moment, full of photo opportunities for politicians masquerading as statesmen to use in future campaigns.

Let’s look for a minute at just some members of the Rogues Gallery that were on display in Paris.

French President Francois Hollande: As president of the country that, to hear the media and world leaders describe it, is now the front line of some war at which civilization is at stake, Mr. Hollande, of course, had to be there. So what if France banned pro-Palestine demonstrations last summer, when Israel was slaughtering thousands of defenseless men, women and children? Who cares if France assisted in the training of Muslim radicals to fight in Syria? They should have known that their victims were only to be other Muslims, not good, respectable non-Muslims who make a career out of mocking Islam. France taught them how to kill, but perhaps didn’t specify that it was only to be in Syria. But what is any of that? When Muslims, trained and armed by France, shoot up a magazine office in Paris, killing several people, and then go to a market to do the same, somehow we all become Charlie.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu:  According to a recent report, Turkey has the distinction of currently imprisoning forty journalists, more than any other country in the world. But, what are facts, when a good photo op beckons?

Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov: Siberian journalist and blogger Dmitry Shipilov was jailed in Russia for three months in 2014, for the crime of “insulting a government servant in the course of his work.” Free speech isn’t quite as free in some places as it might be.

Tunisian Prime Minister Medhi Jomaa:  Mr. Yasine Ayan is currently imprisoned for ‘defaming the army’. Mr Ayan, a civilian, was convicted by a military court and sentenced to three years imprisonment, due to Facebook posts he created in August and September of 2014.

Israeli Prime Murderer Benjamin Netanyahu: Perhaps this writer saved the best for last. The word ‘hypocrite’ simply isn’t strong enough here, but unfortunately, a better one doesn’t exist. Israel, under Mr. Netanyahu’s leadership, arrests and jails people for Facebook posts critical of Israel. During last summer’s genocidal bombing of the Gaza Strip, press vehicles were not ‘collateral damage’; they were successfully targeted, killing the journalists riding in them. Israel pays university students to write blogs and other articles favorable to Israel. It prevents United Nations personnel from visiting the Gaza Strip to see firsthand the damage wreaked there by Israel.

Absent from this Paris love fest was a top representative from the United States. Is it possible that U.S. President Barack Obama knew that for the U.S. to go to France to show support for free speech would simply be too ludicrous? Perhaps he thinks of recent police assaults on reporters in Ferguson, Missouri. Or possibly Edward Snowden, living in asylum in Russia after having revealed the extent to which the U.S. monitors the actions of its own citizens, citizens around the world, and world leaders, comes to mind. Or could he have thought of Chelsea Manning, serving a thirty-five-year sentence for releasing the largest set of government-classified documents ever released to the public, information that was more than a little embarrassing to the government? Or maybe his thoughts were not quite so specific. Knowing that profit-making corporations control most of the ‘mainstream’ press in the U.S., Mr. Obama must surely be aware that, while many people may have the right to speak freely, there is no opportunity for them to do so. The airwaves only broadcast what their corporate masters demand. For example, Occupy Wall Street demonstrators in the thousands were occurring for weeks before any major news stations deemed them worthy of reporting.

Well, what is any of that, if people have a brand new hashtag (#jesuisCharlie), and get to feel a sense of shared outrage? And, to add icing to the rather stale and poorly-made cake, those perpetrating the crime were Muslims, a foreign-looking, foreign-sounding people who wear such things a hijabs and kufiyahs. ‘Different’, of course, must be bad. Just because nearly 25% of the world’s population is Muslim is no reason for people to learn anything about them or, heaven forbid, accept them as fellow human beings. If the media says they are terrorists, hating western society for its freedoms, then it must be so. One wonders why the nearly constant bombing of mainly Muslim nations hasn’t proven to them yet the benefits of western society.

Following the 9/11 attacks, flag lapel pins, and flag decals on car windows were all the rage. They enabled people far removed from the reality of suffering to feel that they were ‘doing their part’ and ‘supporting the troops’. It was never necessary to look at any motivations that might have been behind those attacks; after all, when politicians like New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani were telling the public that ‘they hate us for our freedoms’, well, what else is there to say? Just because the U.S. supports the most repressive Middle Eastern regimes, bombs citizens of the nations it doesn’t support, kidnaps and tortures suspected ‘terrorists’ and generally causes untold suffering, is no reason, a true, flag-waving patriot would say, for them to hate us. No, it is our cherished freedoms (similar to those enjoyed by Canada, Australia, most of Europe, much of South America, etc.), that motivates their hatred.

And now we are all supposed to be Charlie, whatever that means. But a clever phrase, an attractive sign, and the mistaken belief that by waving it one is doing ‘something’, is sufficient for many people. Tomorrow we all go back to our own little worlds, while the same heads of state that piously marched in Paris throw bread and water into the cells of imprisoned journalists, control through wealthy corporations which events become public knowledge and which don’t, and continue to repress their own citizens and press. And then come together again, in a pseudo show of solidarity the next time some event occurs that the governments and media choose to exploit. That it will most likely be at the expense of Muslims is an additional tragedy.

Robert Fantina’s latest book is Empire, Racism and Genocide: a History of US Foreign Policy (Red Pill Press).

January 16, 2015 Posted by | Islamophobia | , , | Leave a comment

US to Deploy 400 Troops to Train Syria Militants

Al-Akhbar | January 16, 2015

Defense officials of the United States said on Thursday the US will deploy about 400 troops in countries neighboring Syria to train “moderate” opposition fighters.

The US military has not yet identified where it will draw its forces from for the training mission, expected to begin in the spring. Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia have offered to host the training.

The training program is a part of the US’ plan to field local forces in Syria. The Pentagon has estimated that it can train more than 5,000 recruits in the first year and that up to 15,000 will be needed to retake areas of eastern Syria controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Since the start of the Syrian civil war, Western powers, and some regional countries have supported rebels by arming, financing and politically empowering militant groups in the country.

On January 5, a senior Turkish foreign ministry official said that Turkey and the US aim to finalize an agreement on equipping and training “moderate” Syrian rebels until the end of January. However, this support has backfired as many of the weapons provided have ended in the hands of ISIS fighters, who have been targeted by a US-led coalition in an air raid campaign since August.

“Around 1,500 to 2,000 people are expected to be trained in Turkey (in the first year),” the official said, adding that a “limited number” of US soldiers would come to Turkey to help carry out the training jointly with Turkish colleagues.

The US decision to train and equip rebel groups in Syria was criticized by several renowned officials who warned of dire consequences.

Former US Congressman Ron Paul denounced in an interview with Russia Today the plans, noting that these Western-backed forces have been helpful to ISIS, which since August has captured swathes of lands in Iraq and Syria.

“The Free Syrian Army (FSA) turned over the weapons, that we (the US) sent them, to ISIS,” Paul said. “It is pretty well recorded that for $50,000 the FSA turned over one of the two American journalists to ISIS.”‬‪

Meanwhile, Gulf state Qatar, with the help of the US, has already been covertly training “moderate” Syrian rebels to fight the Syrian army and ISIS, as well as other extremist groups for over a year, sources claimed in November.

The camp, south of Doha between Saudi Arabia’s border and Udeid area, the largest US air base in the Middle East, is being used to train the FSA militants and other rebels, the sources said.

In September a report by the London-based small-arms research organization Conflict Armament Research revealed that ISIS jihadists in Syria as well appear to be using US military-issued arms and weapons supplied to rebels by Saudi Arabia.

The report said the jihadists disposed of “significant quantities” of US-made small arms including M-16 assault rifles and included photos showing the markings “Property of US Govt.”

It also found that anti-tank rockets used by ISIS in Syria were “identical to M79 rockets transferred by Saudi Arabia to forces operating under the Free Syrian Army umbrella in 2013.”

(Reuters, Al-Akhbar)

January 16, 2015 Posted by | Militarism, War Crimes | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Civil Rights Leaders, Progressives, Family, Will Again Betray Martin Luther King on His Birthday

By Jay Janson | Dissident Voice | January 13, 2015

January 18 is Martin Luther King’s birthday and will occasion another three day official national holiday with TV specials of criminal deception limiting King to having been merely a hero of the civil rights movement period. Another year’s deceitfully erasing from history King’s condemnation of his country’s government as the “greatest purveyor of violence in the world,” and his having held himself and his fellow Americans responsible for “atrocity wars and covert violence on three continents since 1945 in order to maintain unjust predatory investments.”

For a near half-century, King’s outrage, King’s hellish description of America’s wars on innocent people in the third world, have been meticulously whisked out of existence. But not without the help of the silence of Kings own family, comrades, fellow civil rights leaders, peaceniks, and progressives, who have mounted no serious effort to expose wars-supporting corporate media’s iron tight blackout of what King said during his last year before receiving that ‘shut him up’ bullet to his brain.

To no avail, did America’s beloved peoples historian, Howard Zinn, for years, end every one of his daily radio programs with a plea to journalists and antiwar organization leaders to quote King continually in order to break the blackout of King’s powerful words and defeat the supporters of US wars.

If the prediction in the title of this article turns out to be wrong, the co-founders of the Martin Luther King Condemned US Wars International Awareness Campaign (former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark and yours truly) will of course be thankful beyond words, but astounded as well. For it is nearly forty-eight years since King shook the world, made large type bold headlines in newspapers across the planet with his blistering New York sermon, ‘Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence,’ was vilified in US media, and criticized by his fellow leaders of the civil rights movement. With enthusiastic support from Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, Ramsey Clark had for some years envisioned a ‘Break the Blackout of MLKjr Condemnations’ event with speeches by luminaries like Harry Belafonte, Jessie Jackson, Andrew Young — now long Representative of Georgia, John Lewis, Cornel West, Joan Baez and others, who had been close to King, but was unable to find any interest in it. I feel it will, however, happen one day.

Since King’s assassination (within a year of King’s ‘Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence’ sermon), the silence of his closest comrades and even his own family, a silence that King had called “betrayal,” (King had even agonized over his own previous silence), has been, in effect, a noticeable collaboration with the utter and absolute blackout and erasing of King’s scathing words from popular history by criminal US media, monolithic media that has hyped and justified the US committed holocaust in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia and the dozens of subsequent US murderous invasions of dozens of equally innocent nations.

At the 2012 unveiling and dedication ceremony of the King Monument in Washington, the wealthy white elite emoted over how they had been moved by King’s words about equality and freedom, as they pretended to have been deaf to King’s bitter denouncing of the immoral business of inhumane materialism and genocidal violence in desperate accumulation of capital and its twin evil racism. With sour stomach did one listen to the dissimulating, vibrant with emotion, eulogies of King’s daughter, sister, son, African American celebrities, and even the two men who had held the dying King in their arms (and who had gone on to successful political careers in the US war establishment). In these speeches by King’s beloved people, there was not a single world regarding King’s condemnation of Americans putting atrocity wars and covert violence on three continents since 1945. Their embarrassing calculated omission of King’s condemnation of US wars on innocent nations was an obvious collaboration with an insane wars-managing elite’s intentions in staging this despicable and farcical event. It was a collaboration, not only by the King family, civil rights leader friends and African American celebrities, who spoke at the monument, but by progressive journalists the next day, who did not rise up with a unanimous commentary of condemnation of their own for the calculated omission of King’s scathing words, poignantly stern warnings and moral demands, which King bravely intended to lead the stopping of the slaughter of the Vietnamese, just as King had led the stopping of legalized death and discrimination of African Americans at home.

It simply does not seem to be important to American dissidents, progressives, African American celebrities and even America’s best anti-imperialist journalists of the left, that citizens in militarized America, and the world audience victims of US media psyop mind control, have been tightly blocked and prevented from hearing or seeing videos of King sounding off with the truth,

The Vietnamese people proclaimed their independence in 1945, after a combined French and Japanese occupation … we decided to support France in its reconquest of her former colony.… For nine years we vigorously supported the French in their abortive effort to recolonize Vietnam…. After the French were defeated, … we supported one of the most vicious modern dictators, our chosen man.… Now they languish under our bombs and consider us, not their fellow Vietnamese, the real enemy. They move sadly and apathetically as we herd them off the land of their fathers into concentration camps where minimal social needs are rarely met. They know they must move on or be destroyed by our bombs.

So they go, primarily women and children and the aged. They watch as we poison their water, as we kill a million acres of their crops, as the bulldozers roar through their areas preparing to destroy the precious trees. They wander into the towns and see thousands of the children, homeless, without clothes, running in packs on the streets like animals, children degraded by our soldiers as they beg for food. They see the children selling their sisters to our soldiers, soliciting for their mothers. … we ally ourselves with the landlords … we test out our latest weapons on them, just as the Germans tested out new medicine and new tortures in the concentration camps of Europe? We have destroyed their two most cherished institutions: the family and the village. We have destroyed their land, their crops. We have corrupted their women and children and killed their men. So far we may have killed a million of them, mostly children.

Americans shall never hear these words of King, if the desperate managers of present society have anything to do with it. Knowledge of national hero King having preached to extend the justice he was determined to get of for his African Americans to the infinitely more deadly injustice the Vietnamese had been suffering from his fellow Americans, including forcibly drafted African America soldiers, would be dangerously confusing for tens of millions of young men and women presently participating in, supporting, or indifferent to the dozen ongoing US bombings and invasions and unnerving for older Americans who had participated in, supported, or were indifferent during to all the wars since King was taken out forty-seven years ago. Confusing and unnerving because, after all, Martin Luther King is America’s number one hero, in whose name everyone gets a day or two off work every year.

Perhaps, even more important for the war establishment is that school children now being indoctrinated to look forward to patriotically manning the high tech killing machine that insures future American world domination, be protected from the horrible truth that Martin Luther King spoke of so eloquently and convincingly.

No, not on your sweet life, are speculative investors, who own omnipresent mass media and create mega profitable genocidal wars, going to allow the American public that watches fellow Americans in uniform dispatch thousands of designated ‘bad guy’ men, women, and ‘accidentally their children, in their own beloved countries of Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Yemen while America funds goons to do it in Venezuela, Ukraine and Lebanon, Syria, Libya as well, hear King preaching a heart-rending history of the US holocaust in Vietnam and surrounding countries.

Instead this year, as for over forty years, corporate commercial TV channels will be televising King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, the ‘March on Washington’ demanding justice in America, and videos of King leading the civil rights struggle over many years. King will be made to look like someone who today would have been a close friend and supporter of Obama, a documented serial killer, and as outspoken Cornel West, Prof. Cornel West of New York’s Union Theological Seminar and
Princeton University’s Center for African American Studies has often called the President, “a black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs and a black puppet of corporate plutocrats, now head of the American killing machine and proud of it.”

Our long-shot hope is that during this year’s Martin Luther King high profiled birthday celebrations, one of the various presidents or foreign ministers of nations presently threatened with US overt or covert attack, will think to praise on international media, Martin Luther Kings intensely devastating condemnations of America’s mad and genocidal foreign policy, and thereby throw a self-protecting monkey-wrench into America’s world deceiving criminal media, which projects an image of King as a loyal patriot of an America constantly at war with the world.

Prohibiting us from hearing King’s condemnations, so inconvenient to private investors, who rule society by scam and sword, will backfire in the long run. Words of wisdom have a life of their own, and King’s truthful words will one day be hear in countries on all five continents once bombed by US planes, and his words will promote prosecution of colonial and neocolonial imperialist crimes against humanity.

When that day of reckoning arrives King’s statue will be gazed upon as one of the whole meaningful Martin Luther King Jr., adorned with quotes mentioned in this article that are not there today.

For what it worth, those that know what King cried out against, and are still comfortably silent, might remember, Martin Luther King’s quoting from Inferno by the famous Italian poet Dante, “The hottest place in hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict.”

Jay Janson can be reached at:

January 16, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance, Militarism | , | Leave a comment

New evidence shows CIA held prisoners in Lithuania

Reprieve | January 16, 2015

New analysis and previously unpublished documents released by legal charity Reprieve show that the CIA held prisoners in Lithuania in 2005 and 2006, contrary to official denials.

In a dossier and briefing submitted to the Lithuanian Prosecutor today, Reprieve reveals how the newly declassified US Senate Report on CIA detention correlates with flight data and contracting documents; and demonstrates that prisoners were moved into Lithuania in February and October 2005, and out of Lithuania to Afghanistan in March 2006.

A previous investigation by Lithuanian prosecutors, shelved in 2011, concluded that the CIA built a facility in a converted stable outside Vilnius, but argued there was no evidence that prisoners were ever held in it.

Reprieve’s analysis, combined with material in the declassified report, now shows that several prisoners were held in the site – called “Violet” in the Senate report – before it was closed down on 25 March 2006.

Flights through Lithuania were organised by Computer Sciences Corporation working alongside several operating companies under the auspices of a series of contracts first set up in 2002. The companies used multiple techniques to disguise their routes, and border guards were prevented from checking their cargo. Partial and incorrect routes for the planes were recorded by a Lithuanian inquiry. Reprieve determined the correct routes of the aircraft by cross-referencing a broader range of data sources and matched their dates to disclosures in the Senate report.

Reprieve investigator Crofton Black said: “The Lithuanian authorities have long hidden behind a smokescreen of increasingly implausible deniability. This new dossier shows beyond reasonable doubt that CIA prisoners were held incommunicado in Lithuania, contrary to European and domestic law. Reprieve looks forward to assisting the Lithuanian prosecutor in his further investigations.”

January 16, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | Leave a comment