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Russia ‘completely ending’ activities under Conventional Armed Forces in Europe treaty

RT | March 10, 2015

Moscow has announced it is “completely” ending activities under the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE). Russia’s participation in the treaty was first halted in 2007.

“The Russian Federation has taken the decision to halt its participation in meetings of the [consulting group] from March 11, 2015. Therefore, Russia is ending its actions in the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, announced in 2007, completely,” a statement from the Foreign Ministry said.

Moscow has asked Belarus to represent Russia’s interests in the group starting from Wednesday, the statement said.

According to the Ministry, the move does not mean that Moscow refuses to continue further dialogue on control of conventional armed forces in Europe – “if and when our partners are ready for it,” the Ministry official said in the statement, adding that future work on the project should serve the interests of both Russia and other European states.

The original CFE Treaty, signed in 1990 by 16 NATO and six Warsaw Pact, set equal ceilings for each bloc on key categories of conventional armaments, with tanks, combat armored vehicles, artillery, assault helicopters and combat aircraft among them. For instance, under the treaty, each side is supposed to have no more than 16,500 tanks or 27,300 armored combat vehicles in active units.

1999 saw an “adapted” version of the treaty signed. However NATO members refused to ratify it until Russia withdrew troops from Georgia and the breakaway Moldovan region of Transdnestria. Russia slammed the condition as an “artificial linkage.”

In December 2007 this led to Moscow imposing a moratorium on the CFE treaty. Moscow also said the treaty was “irrelevant” since NATO planned to increase its military presence in Eastern Europe.

Four years later, the North Atlantic bloc stated exchange of information on conventional weapons and troops with Russia would be stopped. In November 2014, Moscow suspended the implementation of the CFE Treaty. Two months later, the US House of Representatives issued a resolution condemning Russia and, among other points, urging president Obama to review US and NATO armed forces readiness under the CFE.

“For many years the Russian Federation has been doing everything possible to maintain… the treaty, initiated talks on its adaptation and ratified the adaptation agreement,” Moscow said Tuesday, adding that all such efforts have been dismissed by NATO in favor of the alliance’s expansion.

March 10, 2015 Posted by | Militarism | , | 1 Comment

Obama Regime Brands Venezuela a “Security Threat,” Implements New Sanctions

By Lucas Koerner | Venezuelanalysis | March 9, 2015

Caracas – U.S. President Barack Obama issued an executive order this Monday slapping Venezuela with new sanctions and declaring the Bolivarian nation an “unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security”.

The sanctions target seven individuals accused by the White House of alleged human rights violations and “public corruption”, freezing their assets and barring entry into the U.S.

The figures include Justo Jose Noguera Pietri, President of the state entity, the Venezuelan Corporation of Guayana (CVG) and Katherine Nayarith Haringhton Padron, a national level prosecutor currently taking the lead in the trials of several Venezuelan political opposition leaders, including Leopoldo Lopez.

The executive order is the latest in a series of U.S. sanctions imposed on Venezuela over the past few months. On February 3, the Obama administration expanded the list of Venezuelan officials barred from entering the U.S., which now includes the Chief Prosecutor Luis Ortega Diaz.

“Venezuelan officials past and present who violate the human rights of Venezuelan citizens and engage in acts of public corruption will not be welcome here, and we now have the tools to block their assets and their use of U.S. financial systems,” announced White House spokesman Josh Earnest.

The U.S. has failed thus far to disclose evidence that might bolster its claims of human rights violations, leading Venezuelan and other regional leaders to condemn what they regard as the arbitrary and political character of U.S. sanctions.

While regional bodies such as the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) have called for dialogue, Washington has so far refused to support negotiations or to recognise the organisation’s stance.

“We will continue to work closely with others in the region to support greater political expression in Venezuela, and to encourage the Venezuelan government to live up to its shared commitment, as articulated in the OAS Charter, the Inter American Democratic Charter, and other relevant instruments related to democracy and human rights,” reads the latest White House statement.

The order goes on to call for the release of all “political prisoners” allegedly held by the Venezuelan government, including “dozens of students”.

The Venezuelan government, for its part, maintains that all of those arrested are in the process of facing trial for criminal offences linked to violent destabilization efforts spearheaded by the opposition.

Former Caracas Metropolitan Mayor Antonio Ledezma was arrested last month on charges of conspiracy and sedition related to the February 12 thwarted “Blue Coup” attempt. A Venezuelan judge found sufficient evidence linking the opposition figure to air force officials involved in the coup as well as to rightwing terrorist leaders such as Lorent Saleh, who was extradited by Colombian authorities to face charges last year.

The other high profile Venezuelan opposition leader currently facing trial is Leopoldo López, who was indicted for his role in leading several months of violent opposition protests last year with the aim of effecting the “exit”, or ouster, of the constitutional government. Known as the “guarimbas”, these violent protests and street barricades caused the death of 43 people, the majority of whom were security personnel or Chavistas.

Ledezma and López,  together with far right leader Maria Corina Machado, were active in the 2002 coup against then president Hugo Chávez, which succeeded in temporarily ousting the Venezuelan leader until he was restored by a popular uprising.

All three opposition leaders also signed a “National Transition Agreement” released on the day prior to February’s “Blue Coup” attempt, describing the government of Nicolas Maduro as in its “terminal phase” and declaring the need to “name new authorities” without mentioning elections or other constitutional mechanisms. Many political commentators interpreted the document as an open call for a coup against the president.

The Venezuelan government has charged the U.S. government with hypocrisy on the issue of human rights, and in particular the mass repression and incarceration of Afrodescendent communities in the U.S.

On February 28, President Maduro announced new measures imposing a reciprocal travel visa requirements on U.S. citizens seeking to enter Venezuela as well as mandating a reduction in U.S. embassy staff to levels that match the number of Venezuelan personnel in Washington.

Maduro also announced the creation of an “anti-terrorist list” of individuals barred from entering Venezuela, which will include former U.S. officials such as George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, who have reportedly “committed human rights violations.”

Venezuelan Foreign Minister, Delcy Rodriguez, has confirmed that the Bolivarian government will soon issue an official response to the order.

March 10, 2015 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Naked, unarmed black man shot dead by white metro Atlanta cop

RT | March 10, 2015

An African American man running and “crawling” naked through his apartment complex in suburban Atlanta was fatally shot Monday by a DeKalb County police officer. The unarmed man may have had mental health issues, authorities said.

The unidentified white DeKalb police officer responded to a call regarding a man, identified as Anthony Hill, 27, according to social media and confirmed by the Atlanta Journal Constitution, who was allegedly “acting deranged, knocking on doors and crawling around naked,” at The Heights apartment complex in Chamblee, Georgia, said Cedric Alexander, director of the county public safety department.

Despite being equipped with a stun gun and pepper spray, the officer fired two shots when Hill allegedly ran in his direction, ignoring calls to stop.

“The officer called him to stop while stepping backward, drew his weapon and fired two shots,” he said.

Hill, a resident of The Heights, died of the body wounds. Alexander said the investigation is in the hands of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) as “a result of what’s going on currently across this country as it relates to police shootings.”

“No weapon was found,” Alexander said. “The GBI is going to take the point on this investigation.”

Alexander did not say the distance between Hill and the officer, a 7-year veteran of the police force, when the latter shot.

“I think in all fairness we need to wait and see what the outcome of the investigation is because I can’t tell you, beyond what I have told you so far, what kind of measures that officer may have taken,” he said.

The officer has been placed on administrative leave.

As for Hill, Alexander suggested the man may have had some mental health issues.

“I can only reasonably assume that if he was running around the apartment complex naked, I believe we can make the assumption there may have been some mental health experience that he might have been having,” Alexander said.

Alexander added that DeKalb County police officers do undergo some training to deal with the mentally ill, but he said there will be an examination to determine if additional instruction is warranted.

“That’s becoming more and more apparent,” Alexander said. “We have already, as many departments have begun to do, look at how to expand our mental health training when we find it certainly necessary to do so. Because it appears that we’re seeing more and more of these cases across the country in which police are engaging with those who appear to be in distress.”

Hill’s murder comes about a week after the suspicious DeKalb County police shooting of a 44-year-old Kevin Davis in Decatur.

READ MORE: Wisconsin officer who shot unarmed man was exonerated in previous fatal shooting

March 10, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | 2 Comments

Part II: Iran Responds to GOP Letter

Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to UN – March 9, 2015

On March 9, Iran’s U.N. mission circulated the following press release detailing Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif’s reaction to the GOP letter on a nuclear deal.

Asked about the open letter of 47 US Senators to Iranian leaders, the Iranian Foreign Minister, Dr. Javad Zarif, responded that “in our view, this letter has no legal value and is mostly a propaganda ploy. It is very interesting that while negotiations are still in progress and while no agreement has been reached, some political pressure groups are so afraid even of the prospect of an agreement that they resort to unconventional methods, unprecedented in diplomatic history. This indicates that like Netanyahu, who considers peace as an existential threat, some are opposed to any agreement, regardless of its content.”

Zarif expressed astonishment that some members of US Congress find it appropriate to write to leaders of another country against their own President and administration. He pointed out that from reading the open letter, it seems that the authors not only do not understand international law, but are not fully cognizant of the nuances of their own Constitution when it comes to presidential powers in the conduct of foreign policy.

Foreign Minister Zarif added that “I should bring one important point to the attention of the authors and that is, the world is not the United States, and the conduct of inter-state relations is governed by international law, and not by US domestic law. The authors may not fully understand that in international law, governments represent the entirety of their respective states, are responsible for the conduct of foreign affairs, are required to fulfill the obligations they undertake with other states and may not invoke their internal law as justification for failure to perform their international obligations.”

The Iranian Foreign Minister added that “change of administration does not in any way relieve the next administration from international obligations undertaken by its predecessor in a possible agreement about Iran’s peaceful nuclear program.” He continued “I wish to enlighten the authors that if the next administration revokes any agreement with ‘the stroke of a pen,’ as they boast, it will have simply committed a blatant violation of international law.” He emphasized that if the current negotiation with P5+1 [Britain, China, France, Germany Russia and the United States] results in a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, it will not be a bilateral agreement between Iran and the US, but rather one that will be concluded with the participation of five other countries, including all permanent members of the Security Council, and will also be endorsed by a Security Council resolution.

Zarif expressed the hope that his comments “may enrich the knowledge of the authors to recognize that according to international law, Congress may not ‘modify the terms of the agreement at any time’ as they claim, and if Congress adopts any measure to impede its implementation, it will have committed a material breach of US obligations.”

The Foreign Minister also informed the authors that the majority of US international agreements in recent decades are in fact what the signatories describe as “mere executive agreements” and not treaties ratified by the Senate.  He reminded them that “their letter in fact undermines the credibility of thousands of such ‘mere executive agreements’ that have been or will be entered into by the US with various other governments.”

Zarif concluded by stating that “the Islamic Republic of Iran has entered these negotiations in good faith and with the political will to reach an agreement, and it is imperative for our counterparts to prove similar good faith and political will in order to make an agreement possible.”

Photo credit: Robin Wright

March 10, 2015 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | 1 Comment

Israeli forces level land east of Jerusalem

Ma’an – 10/03/2015

318273_345x230JERUSALEM – Israeli forces leveled vast areas of land in the East Jerusalem town of al-Issawiya on Tuesday morning, a local committee member told Ma’an.

According to Muhammad Abu al-Hummus, member of a local follow-up committee, large numbers of Israeli troops and municipality inspectors escorted bulldozers and excavators into the southeastern outskirts of the town, where they demolished stone walls and steel structures used by local farmers as store houses and livestock barns.

Abu al-Hummus said the bulldozers “deliberately” ruined the dirt roads used by farmers to access their fields.

The land is located in an area Israeli authorities have earmarked for a national park, in a controversial plan known as “11092”, which aims to turn 700 dunums of land in the Palestinian towns of al-Issawiya and al-Tur into Israeli parkland.

A statement from the Palestinian Center for Human Rights in 2013 previously stated that “the plan is part of the Israeli government’s plans to create a Jewish demographic majority in the occupied city.”

In September 2014, an Israeli planning council suspended the plan until the needs of the Arab towns could be assessed. However, the council, which previously approved the annexation of the 700 dunums, said that approval of the plan could be justified and was not fundamentally illegal.

According to Abu al-Hummus, the local Israeli municipality has ignored the plan’s suspension.

“Israeli forces brush aside court decisions and decisions made by different committees when it comes to implementing settlement expansion plans,” he said.

The land leveled on Tuesday is owned by the Abu Asab, Ubeid, Dari, Abu al-Hummus and Ulayyan among others.

East Jerusalem was seized by Israel along with the West Bank in 1967 during the Six-Day War, and since then, the Israeli government has undertaken a policy of “Judaization” across the city, constructing Jewish settlements and demolishing Palestinian homes.

There are now believed to be more than 300,000 Jewish settlers in East Jerusalem.

The international community views East Jerusalem as part of the Palestinian territories and recognizes the annexation and settlement programs as illegal under international law.

(MaanImages/Muhammad Sayyad)

March 10, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , | 2 Comments

Israeli troops raid newly-established Palestinian media center

soldiers_qmediaIsraeli troops at the Q-Press media office (image by Ma’an )
By Celine Hagbard | IMEMC & Agencies | March 10, 2015

In the village of Umm al-Fahm, in the northern part of what is now Israel, a group of Israeli soldiers on Monday invaded a media center that had recently been established in the town, seizing equipment and abducting journalists.

The center is called the Q-Press Media Center, and it was established fairly recently with a focus on the Israeli attacks on Palestinians in Jerusalem, and violations carried out against the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third-holiest site in Islam, which is located in Jerusalem.

According to several Palestinian media sources, the Israeli military abducted four of the staff members of the news agency. They were identified by the Ma’an News Agency as Hikmat Naamnah, Sahir Ghazzawi, Anas Ghanayim, Badir Mahajnah, and Budar Ighbariyya.

In addition to abducting the staff of the center, the Israeli troops also confiscated a number of computers that were used by the journalists to carry out their work.

Israeli troops frequently attack and raid Palestinian media agencies, and have killed dozens of journalists over the past fifteen years. In 2012, Human Rights Watch issued a report condemning the Israeli military’s targeting of journalists, and this past year, Reporters Without Borders condemned the ongoing targeting of Palestinian journalists by Israeli troops.

The Q-Press Media Center is a newly-established center, so there is not much information about the content of their work. The journalists who were abducted by the military have not yet been charged, but are being held in military detention centers where they face interrogation from Israeli intelligence operatives.

March 10, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , | 2 Comments

Shutting Down AIPAC

Removing Israel from American politics

By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • March 10, 2015

aipac

[The following is a lightly edited version of a speech I gave on March 1 st in Washington during the anti-AIPAC and Netanyahu visit demonstrations. Two days later Israeli Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan, whom I cite below, was sitting in the House VIP visitors’ gallery beaming as he listened to Netanyahu’s love fest with Congress. It might have been the first time a clandestine agent for a foreign country who spied on the United States was so honored but I would observe that the event was doubly significant in that the speaker Prime Minister Netanyahu was also involved in the same theft of American nuclear technology.]

I would like to concentrate on two issues. First is the nature of the special relationship between Israel and the United States and second is the role of the Israel Lobby and most particularly AIPAC in shaping that relationship. I was a foreign policy adviser for Ron Paul in 2008 and consider myself politically conservative. I respect the fact that nations must be responsive to their interests, but because of my personal experience of living and working overseas for many years I have come to recognize that the United States is an anomaly in that it persists in going around the world doing things that just do not make any sense. This has been particularly true during the past fourteen years, with invasions, interventions and targeted assassinations having become the preferred form of international discourse for Washington.

Many would agree with what I have just observed, but few recognize the role of the special relationship with Israel in shaping what the United States has become. Quite frankly, the relationship is both lopsided in terms of favoring perceived Israeli interests as well as being terrible for the long suffering Palestinians, very bad for the United States as it damages the American brand worldwide and even bad for Israel as it enables its governments to act in ways that are ill advised and ultimately self-defeating.

I would first like to address the often repeated mantra that Israel is America’s best friend or closest ally as it is a bedrock issue that is frequently trotted out to excuse behavior that would otherwise be incomprehensible. Apart from being a recipient of more than $3 billion per year from the US taxpayer, Israel is no ally and never has been. There is no alliance of any kind with Israel, in part because Israel has a border that has been moving eastward for the past fifty years as it continues to absorb Palestinian land. Without an internationally recognized border it is impossible to define a relationship between two nations. Israel also has no strategic value to the United States, so to speak of an alliance, which posits reciprocity is ridiculous.

But that is not to say that Israel does not interact with Washington. Indeed, some might say that it possesses a disproportionate voice relating to some foreign and domestic policies. The penchant to use force as a first option in international interactions is perhaps itself due to Washington imitating Tel Aviv or vice versa as neither the United States nor Israel seems any longer interested in diplomacy.

American protection of Israel in international bodies like the United Nations is a disgrace, making the United States de facto complicit in Israeli violations of international law, to include its settlement expansion, as well as its war crimes. Under Bill Clinton the United States more or less adopted the Israeli model in dealing with terrorism, which consists of overwhelming armed response and no negotiations ever. Washington’s uncritical support for Israel politically and militarily was a major factor in motivating the perpetrators of the 9/11 terror attack.

Deferring to Israel often results in U.S. policies that are absurd and highly damaging to other interests. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice described Israel’s devastation of Lebanon in 2006 in which nearly 1,000 civilians were killed and more than $2 billion in infrastructure was destroyed as the “birth pangs of a new Middle East”. Rice, who also spoke of fear of a nuclear mushroom cloud rising above Washington to justify invading Iraq, far from being discredited due to her lack of discernment, is currently a professor at Stanford University and is now being spoken of as a possible Senator from California or, alternatively, as the next Commissioner of the National Football League. So much for accountability in the United States.

One might well conclude that Israel is not only not an ally but also not much of a friend. It has run massive spying operations inside the United States to include hundreds of Art Students and celebrations by the employees of an Israeli moving firm located in New Jersey when the twin towers were going down. Israel is regularly named by the FBI as the most active friendly country in terms of running espionage operations against the U.S. but nothing ever happens. Israeli spies are sent home quietly and Americans who spy for Israel are rarely prosecuted. Last year we witnessed Hollywood producer and Israeli citizen Arnon Milchan receiving an Oscar even as stories were circulating about his criminal collusion to obtain restricted American technology to enable Israel to build nuclear weapons. The Justice Department has not seen fit to do anything about him.

Israel also has a hand in what is going on domestically in the United States. Many states now have their own departments of homeland security and many of the companies that obtain contracts to provide security services are Israeli. Airport security is a virtual Israeli monopoly. Increasingly militarized American police officers now use federal government grants to travel to Israel for training based on the Israeli experience with the Palestinians. Israelis have advised CIA and Pentagon torturers and Israeli advisers were also present at Abu Ghraib.

Israel’s influence over Washington policies frequently means war. American officials extremely close to the Israeli government were behind the rush to war with Iraq. If Washington goes to war with Iran in the near future it will not be because Tehran actually threatens America, it will be because Israel and its powerful lobby in the U.S. have succeeded in creating an essentially false case to mandate such action. Congress is obligingly advancing legislation that would commit the United States to intervene militarily in support of a unilateral Israeli attack, meaning that Israel could easily be empowered to make the decision on whether or not the U.S. goes to war.

Israel interferes in American elections, in 2012 on behalf of Mitt Romney, and also this week by aligning itself with the Republicans against the President of the United States to harden existing policy against Iran. Looking ahead to elections in 2016, two Jewish billionaires have already stated clearly that they will spend whatever they have to to elect the candidate that is best for Israel. As Sheldon Adelson is a Republican and Haim Saban is a Democrat both major parties are covered and I would warn “Watch out for Hillary,” Saban’s candidate of choice.

Israel has corrupted our congress which we will witness again on Tuesday. Benjamin Netanyahu publicly rebukes and belittles our own head of state, its government ministers insult and ridicule John Kerry, and its intelligence officers have free access to Capitol Hill where they provide alarmist and inaccurate private briefings for American legislators. In short, Israel has no reluctance to use its enormous political and media clout in the US to pressure successive administrations to conform to its own foreign and security policy views.

Beyond the corruption of our political process, I believe many in this room would agree that the depiction and treatment of the Palestinians has been disgraceful. Israel has engaged in land and water theft and is doing its best to make Palestinian life so miserable that they will all decide to leave. Some would describe that as ethnic cleansing. Just last week there were reports of how Israeli authorities cut off water and electricity to parts of the West bank and also won a bogus court case in New York City that will bankrupt the Palestinian authority.

Netanyahu’s policy is to punish the Palestinians incessantly no matter what they do. The United States has certainly embraced a lot of unpleasant policies over the past fourteen years, but I honestly think that most Americans would be appalled if they knew how Palestinians really have been treated. Unfortunately the Israel propaganda machine has been able to maintain a tight grip on the narrative promoted in the mainstream media. Arabs are depicted as terrorists while Israelis are seen as folks just like us.

How does all this happen? Because of money which enables the Israel firsters to control the media and buy the politicians, but unfortunately no one is allowed to say that lest Abe Foxman of the Anti Defamation League accuse one of propagating a stereotype that is an “anti-Semitic myth.” American media corporations and national politics are in fact totally corrupted by money and the control that it buys and not just on behalf of Israel. One would have to be blind not to recognize that fact.

This is where groups like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee better known as AIPAC come in. AIPAC is only one part of the octopus like Israel Lobby but it might well be regarded as the most effective component. AIPAC has an annual budget of $70 million and 200 full time employees. It has thousands of volunteers and tens of thousands of contributors and supporters, many of whom are in Washington right now. On Tuesday they will descend on Congressional offices to pressure congressmen to agree to conform to AIPAC talking points.

AIPAC, which is an IRS 501(c)4 lobbying organization, is able to keep its donor list secret. It characteristically operates in the shadows. It prepares position papers that are then distributed in congress and many congressmen, largely ignorant of the issues, parrot what AIPAC gives them. AIPAC operative Steve Rosen once boasted that he could have the signatures of seventy Senators on a napkin in twenty-four hours.

Congressmen know that crossing the Israeli Lobby is career damaging. Senators William Fulbright and Chuck Percy were among the first to feel its wrath when they were confronted by well-funded challengers backed by effective media campaigns who defeated them in spite of their own outstanding records as legislators. The founder of my own organization the Council for the National Interest Congressman Paul Findley also suffered the same fate when he fell afoul of the Lobby. Within the government the purge has also been widespread with the traditional Arabists at State Department forced out to be replaced by friends of Israel, many of whom have been political appointees rather than career diplomats.

There is no easy solution to what I have been telling you. Certainly a more honest media would produce American voters who are better informed, but even though AIPAC has long been defending the indefensible the corruption in Congress runs deep and it is difficult to find a constituency anywhere in the United States where it is possible to vote for a candidate who is not openly and enthusiastically supportive of the Israel relationship. In Virginia last year there were several important congressional elections. All the candidates were vetted for their views on Israel well before the voting took place.

But to return to AIPAC there should be demands that it and other similar Israel-advocacy organizations register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938. That would require them to have complete transparency in terms of their funding and it would also tell the American people that the organizations themselves are not necessarily benign and acting on behalf of U.S. interests, which is the subterfuge that they currently engage in. It is certainly past time to push back against an organization that is brazenly promoting the interests of a foreign government at the expense of the American people. Thank you.

March 10, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Militarism, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gagged And Censored: Justice Not Served For Drone Protester

By Steven Wishnia | Dissent News Wire | March 9, 2015

Bonnie Block, currently on trial in Mauston, Wisconsin for trespassing at an Air Force base where she was handing out anti-drone flyers, has been denied the right to present a political defense for her actions.

She and Jim Murphy, both part of the Wisconsin Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars, have been protesting monthly for more than three years at Volk Field, a Wisconsin Air National Guard base “where they train operators to pilot Shadow drones with cameras to do surveillance and ‘target acquisition’ so that the Predator and Reaper drones (remotely piloted from other US military bases) can drop Hellfire missiles on presumed militants in multiple countries.”

The two were arrested last May, when they “went on a bus tour of Volk Field as part of an open house to which the public was invited.” As Block and Joy First described it on PopularResistance:

When the bus stopped at a museum on the base, they got off and tried to hand out flyers to others who were on the tour.  They were told to stop handing out their “propaganda” and leave the base.  Since they had come by the tour bus they had no way leaving on their own and yet they were arrested for trespassing and taken to the Juneau County Jail.

Murphy was found guilty in a bench trial last September and ordered to pay a fine. Block asked for a jury trial. In response, the Juneau County District Attorney filed a Motion in Limine, a request to prohibit the defense from using certain arguments, a common procedure when a jury will be hearing a case against protesters. It asked:

…that Bonnie be prohibited from making “any argument that is known to be false or irrelevant to the issues before the Court” including among other things the policies of the US Government, International laws, the Charter or certain Resolutions of the United Nations, or moral or ethical strictures believed in by the defendant.  She was also prohibited from commenting in any way “that her prosecution was a violation of any Constitutional or International Right or privilege.”

Of course, the important matters of the motion revolved around whether Bonnie could raise Constitutional free speech issues or provide any of the reasons she has for opposing drone warfare and handing out a leaflet raising four questions about drones.

The judge granted those key parts of the motion. He also forbade Block from making any reference to jury nullification, the idea that jurors can find a defendant not guilty even if they broke the law on the grounds that they don’t believe what the defendant did was really a crime.

In arguing for her right to speak about drones, the US Constitution, or why she was handing out leaflets, Bonnie said that she needs to be able to tell the whole truth for there to be a fair trial.  Otherwise the jury could presume she was on the base for no good reason.  Prohibiting this in a pretrial order prevents her from presenting a defense for her action.  She argued that the prosecutor can object during the trial if something is improper and the judge can make a ruling at that point.  Bonnie said that these pretrial motions are overbroad and will have a chilling effect because she will have to wonder if something inadvertent will result in her being found in contempt.

The judge responded saying that the case was about trespassing and that was the only issue that could be mentioned.

If Bonnie talked about drones or international law or the US Constitution, it could mislead the jury.  He went on to say that there is no way they will get through the trial without referencing the leaflet that Bonnie and Jim were attempting to distribute, but neither side, nor any witness, can say anything about the actual content of that leaflet.  If these rules are not followed the judge will grant a mistrial and impose sanctions.

March 10, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Solidarity and Activism, War Crimes | , | Leave a comment

The Guardian’s Homan Square story was huge on the internet—but not in Chicago media

By Jackie Spinner | Columbia Journalism Review | March 4, 2015

CHICAGO, IL — On Election Day just over a week ago, as this city’s reporters and editors focused on whether the incumbent mayor with ties to the White House would win big or be forced into a historic run-off, an out-of-town newspaper produced a startling account of alleged abuse at a police facility called Homan Square.

The blockbuster story, published in The Guardian and written by Brooklyn-based journalist Spencer Ackerman, described the warehouse as the “domestic equivalent of a CIA black site,” where secretive police units operate and detainees are “disappeared,” with no access to lawyers or relatives and no immediate record of their whereabouts.

With its comparisons to war-on-terror practices and allegations of police brutality, the story landed big on the internet, with well more than 100,000 social shares and write-ups across the Web. The one place it didn’t get much traction: Chicago media.

The city’s two main dailies, the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times, quickly reported that city police denied any wrongdoing in pieces that offered little original reporting. The CBS affiliate in Chicago also reported the police denial. The local papers and TV stations have since covered protests from groups demanding that the facility be shuttered.

But more than a week after the initial story, local enterprise reporting remains scant. The most notable examples are a few oddly framed stories, from the Tribune and public radio station WBEZ, suggesting that the focus on Homan Square is misplaced and that, according to local defense attorneys, abusive detentions and interrogations may actually be routine and widespread. If true, that would seem to be worth digging into—but the local coverage, especially in the Tribune, put as much emphasis on possible overreach by The Guardian as it did on police abuse. … Full article

March 10, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | Leave a comment

Once upon a TIME

By Margarita Simonyan, RT Editor-in-Chief | March 9, 2015

Once upon a time – last October, to be precise – I gave an interview to a TIME magazine correspondent for the publication’s in-depth profile on RT. Late last week that piece finally appeared on America’s newsstands.

The opus is an object lesson in writing about RT, which over the last year or so has blossomed into its own cottage industry: full of half-truths, half-quotes and full-on commitment to fitting your subject into an existing narrative box, rather than an attempt to understand or discover anything new.

In an effort to give the article a sense of timeliness, the author uses the backdrop of Boris Nemtsov’s murder to frame the RT story. How did RT treat this tragic, headline-grabbing event that reverberated around the world, and the tens of thousands-strong Moscow march that followed it? According to TIME : “On March 1, when a massive march began in Moscow to protest Nemtsov’s murderwith many carrying signs that read propaganda killsRT was showing a documentary about American racism and xenophobia.”

Would you like to know what TIME was writing about on March 1? It was comparing the merits of two new models of the Samsung smartphone. A poignant story indeed!

If this example seems like an attempt to purposefully mislead the audience about the quality of TIME’s journalism, it’s because it is. But it’s the same as TIME’s deliberate avoidance of the fact that the Nemtsov mourning rally was the lead story on RT’s March 1 hourly news bulletins from 8am till midnight, with live updates published across our websites and social media platforms throughout the day.

If the introductory presentation of RT is based on brazen omissions, then the next part is a classic example of misdirection, and concerns every mainstream media hound’s favorite bone – RT’s financing. Now, I can empathize with the challenge of trying to write an honest-to-goodness sad-sack story about the outspent (and new favorite epithet, ‘outgunned’) Western media at a time when RT is broadcasting multiple 24/7 TV channels around the world for the mind-blowing sum of $225 million, while the UK’s BBC World Service and the US’ Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG, which includes Voice of America and Radio Free Europe) – both running predominantly online and radio services with small and sporadic television presences in a handful of regions – receive $375 million and $721 million respectively.

But TIME certainly gets an A for effort. First, this stateside magazine with a largely US audience pretends that American government-funded BBG doesn’t exist. Then, it compares the financing of RT to the BBC World Service (with the BBC correctly coming out as more generously subsidized, even though TIME uses RT’s obsolete budget figure to narrow the gap), but pivots to a qualifier: “The BBC’s International Service is the biggest broadcast newsgathering operation in the world.”

To achieve this kind of status on such a relatively conservative budget would be remarkable indeed – if only it were true. The problem is that BBC’s “International Service” isn’t a thing in and of itself. It is the newsgathering department of BBC News (budget – $530 million), which is part of the British Broadcasting Corporation (budget – over $7 billion), funded through the license fee that is charged to every UK household with a TV.

This department feeds a substantial part of the content of BBC World News, the UK’s global news channel and RT’s closest counterpart. Formally, BBC World News is set up as a private entity (it is owned by BBC Global News Ltd, the commercial arm of the BBC) and its budget is unknown. BBC News also lends its resources (from newsgathering to the newsroom space) to the BBC World Service (that’s the mostly radio and online service with a $375-million budget that TIME talks about – also funded through the UK TV license). If by now all those structural and budgetary cross-overs seem a little murky, it’s because they are. TIME is obviously counting on its readers to gloss over the details.

So TIME laments: “What is the West to do in the face of a form of richly endowed propaganda?” Yes, what IS the West – with its BBG, BBC News/World News/World Service, CNN International (that has never contradicted a State Department position), Deutsche Welle, France 24, Euronews, and countless newspapers and magazines (including TIME ) read around the world – to do in the face of RT and its $225 million? Poor dears!

But the pièce de résistance of the article is my actual interview. Back in October, the TIME correspondent and I spoke in my offices for an hour-and-a-half. This discussion is reduced to some 60 words (in an essay of 2,800) spread across five quotes, plus there is one more quote from our London correspondent. So much for the “inside” look at RT, touted in the headline.

One of the quotes is from our discussion of what makes up the Russian point of view, the presentation of which is one of RT’s stated goals. I said that this worldview is “defined by certain principles expressed by the state: by representatives of the Russian state, if you talk to people on the street, if you look at different polls with Russian people as a whole – you will see that one of the important things that we do not like in the existing world order is the desire of Western countries to make unilateral judgments about what is good, what is bad in the countries far removed from them, about which they know very little, and take military actions based on those unilateral judgments.”

This is what is left of this quote in print: the worldview is “defined by certain principles expressed by the state, by representatives of the Russian state.” Notice a difference? Of the constituencies that are part of the Russian state and define its views, goals and grievances only state representatives make the cut. The opinion of the Russian people is irrelevant. A decade ago I might have been surprised.

By the way, sometimes those representatives call me on my “old yellow telephone” – in plain sight in my office where I give most of the interviews – “to discuss secret things.” What kinds of secret things? Mostly budgets (seeing as RT is publicly funded) and the president’s travel details to coordinate the work of our pool reporters. I said as much to the TIME reporter. Of course, only the conspiratorial-sounding “secret things” comment made the cut. Again, in the good old days I expected higher standards from the Western press…

There are also smaller, funnier fact- and bias-fails that have crept into the piece, like the detail that I gave my interview in the office just across the river from the Kremlin (did we move and I hadn’t noticed? At least someone remembered to pack the phone).

Or that in 2002 I “got a job as a reporter for state TV in Moscow, assigned to the Kremlin pool” – never mind that I’ve already been with the same employer for years, heading up the channel’s regional bureau and continuing my work as a war reporter, which started in 1999 in Chechnya, then took me to Abkhazia in 2001 and Beslan, North Ossetia in 2004.

(Side note: does TIME have a quota for how often Kremlin must be mentioned in an article about RT?)

Or that the “propaganda war” that the West is ostensibly losing is desperately “one-sided” (except for the headlines screaming about Russia’s “Uncontrolled Violence,” “Putin’s Missile”, “The Fascist in the Kremlin,” or how “Russia Wants to Restore Soviet Union”).

But if I had to nit-pick every piece of nonsense said or written about RT, I’d have no time left to run “Putin’s on-air machine.”

~

 Margarita Simonyan is RT’s Editor-in-Chief.

March 10, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | 2 Comments

US Intel Vets Oppose Brennan’s CIA Plan

Consortium News | March 9, 2015

The original idea of the CIA was to have independent-minded experts assessing both short- and longer-term threats to U.S. national security. Mixing with operations and politics was always a danger, which is now highlighted by CIA Director Brennan’s reorganization, opposed by a group of U.S. intelligence veterans.

MEMORANDUM FOR: The President

FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity

SUBJECT: John Brennan’s Restructuring Plan for CIA

Mr. President, the CIA reorganization plan announced by Director John Brennan on Friday is a potentially deadly blow to the objective, fact-based intelligence needed to support fully informed decisions on foreign policy.  We suggest turning this danger into an opportunity to create an independent entity for CIA intelligence analysis immune from the operational demands of the “war on terror.”

On Feb. 5, 2003, immediately after Colin Powell’s address to the UN, members of VIPS sent our first VIPS memorandum, urging President George W. Bush to widen the policy debate “beyond the circle of those advisers clearly bent on a war for which we see no compelling reason and from which we believe the unintended consequences are likely to be catastrophic.”

The “former senior officers” whom Brennan asked for input on the restructuring plan are a similar closed, blinkered circle, as is the “outstanding group of officers from across the Agency” picked by Brennan to look at the Agency’s mission and future. He did not include any of the intelligence community dissidents and alumni who fought against the disastrous politicization of intelligence before the attack on Iraq. Nor does Brennan’s plan reflect the lessons learned from that debacle.

You have continued to express confidence in Brennan despite the CIA’s mediocre record under his leadership. We urge you to weigh Brennan’s plan against the backdrop of Harry Truman’s prophetic vision for the CIA. We need to stop wasting time and energy trying to prevent the baby Truman never wanted from being thrown out with the bathwater. Let the bathwater run off, with the baby high and dry.

An independent group for intelligence analysis would be free to produce for you and your National Security Council the medium- and long-term strategic intelligence analysis that can help our country steer clear of future strategic disasters. And we offer ourselves as advisers as to how this might be accomplished.

Our concern over what we see as the likely consequences stemming from what Brennan intends, together with our many years of experience in intelligence work, have prompted this memo, which we believe can profit from some historical perspective.

President Harry Truman wanted an agency structure able to meet a president’s need for “the most accurate … information on what’s going on everywhere in the world, and particularly of the trends and developments in all the danger spots.” In an op-ed appearing in the Washington Post exactly one month after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Truman added, “I have been disturbed by …  the way CIA has been diverted from its original assignment … and has become an operational and at times policy-making arm of the Government.”

Truman added that the “most important thing” was to guard against the chance of intelligence being used to influence or lead the President into unwise decisions. His warning is equally relevant now – 52 years later.

Bay of Pigs

Truman was referring to how CIA Director Allen Dulles tried to mousetrap President Kennedy into committing U.S. armed forces to finish what a rag-tag band of CIA-trained invaders of Cuba began by landing at the Bay of Pigs in April 1961, a few months before you were born. Kennedy had repeatedly warned the CIA brass and covert action planners that under no circumstances would he commit U.S. forces. But they were old hands; they knew better; they thought the young President could be had.

Allen Dulles’s handwritten notes discovered after his death show how he drew Kennedy into a plan that was virtually certain to require the support of U.S. forces. Dulles wrote that Kennedy would be compelled by “the realities of the situation” to give whatever military support was necessary “rather than permit the enterprise to fail.”

Kennedy fired Dulles, a quintessential Washington Establishment figure – something one does only at one’s own peril. As young CIA officers at the time, some of us experienced first-hand the deep reservoir of hate in which many a CIA covert action operator swam. Many could not resist venting their spleen, calling Kennedy a “coward” and even “traitor.”

Analysis Also Corrupted

You are fully aware, we trust, that our analysts’ vaunted ethos of speaking unvarnished truth to power was corrupted by Director George Tenet and Deputy Director John McLaughlin, who outdid themselves in carrying out the instructions of President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. The new ethos boiled down to this: If the President wants to paint Iraq as a strategic threat, it is our job to come up with the “evidence” – even if it needs to be manufactured out of whole cloth (or forged, as in “yellowcake uranium from Africa” caper).

Honest analysts were admonished not to rock the boat. A concrete example might help to show this in all its ugliness. When the only U.S. intelligence officer to interview “Curve Ball” before the war saw a draft of Powell’s Feb. 5, 2003 speech citing “first-hand descriptions” by an Iraqi defector of a fleet of mobile bioweapons laboratories, he strongly questioned the “validity of the information.” The interviewer had, from the outset, expressed deep reservations about Curveball’s reliability.

Here’s what the interviewer’s supervisor, the Deputy Chief of the CIA’s Iraqi Task Force, wrote in an email responding to his misgivings:

“Let’s keep in mind the fact that this war’s going to happen regardless of what Curve Ball said or didn’t say, and that the Powers That Be probably aren’t terribly interested in whether Curve Ball knows what he’s talking about. However, in the interest of Truth, we owe somebody a sentence or two of warning, if you honestly have reservations.”

This was not an isolated occurrence. Commenting on the results of a bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee five-year study of pre-Iraq-war intelligence, Chairman Jay Rockefeller described it as “unsubstantiated, contradicted, or even nonexistent.” He was alluding to information (in)famously described as a “slam dunk” by then-CIA Director George Tenet who was singularly responsible for advancing the career of John Brennan.

In a departure from customary diplomatic parlance, then-Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence Carl Ford, speaking to the authors of Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War, had harsh words for Tenet and his deputy John McLaughlin. Ford said that the evidence and analysis they gave policy makers was “not just wrong, they lied … they should have been shot.”

It is unfortunately true that – short of quitting and blowing the whistle – there is little one can do to prevent the skewing of “intelligence” when it is directed from the top – whether by the Bush-Tenet-McLaughlin consequential deceit on the threat from Iraq, or the ideological/careerist conceit of William Casey-Robert Gates in insisting up until the very end of the Soviet regime that the Soviet Communist Party would never relinquish power and that Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev was merely cleverer than his predecessors.

Thankfully, Not All Gave Up

There is hope to be drawn from those occasions where senior intelligence officials with integrity can step in, show courageous example, and – despite multiple indignities and pitfalls in the system – can force the truth to the surface. We hope that you have been made aware that, after the no-WMD-anywhere debacle on Iraq, Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence Thomas Fingar did precisely that during 2007, supervising a watershed National Intelligence Estimate on Iran that concluded unanimously, “with high confidence,” that Iran had stopped working on a nuclear weapon in 2003.

President Bush concedes in his memoir that this put the kibosh on his and Dick Cheney’s earlier plan to attack Iran during their last year in office. So, character (as in Fingar) counts, and people of integrity can make a difference – and even help thwart plans for war – even in the most politicized of circumstances.

Restructuring

Accordingly, the primary objective in any restructuring should be to make it easier for people of integrity, like Thomas Fingar, to create an atmosphere in which analysts feel free to tell it like it is without worry about possible harm to their careers, should they come up with a politically “incorrect” conclusion – as the one on Iran clearly was.

The problem is that the Brennan restructuring effort does just the opposite. It puts the politicization on steroids. Placing intelligence analysts and operations officers together fosters a quite different kind of atmosphere – the kind that increases the likelihood of what Truman called the “most important thing” to guard against – leading “the President into unwise decisions.”

Truman saw the general problem and went even further, saying he “would like to see the CIA restored to its original assignment as the intelligence arm of the President … and its operational duties terminated or properly used elsewhere.” We think Truman was right then; and he is right now.

Decades of experience show that Truman’s fears were well founded. Indeed, from the outset, putting analysis and covert action operations together in the same agency was the first structural fault, so to speak, when it was created in 1947.

It was occasioned primarily by insistence that WWII OSS operatives who could match the KGB in what is now called “regime change” remain in government, and then a myopic choice to place them with the analysts in the newly created CIA. As Melvin Goodman points out in his The Failure of Intelligence: the Decline and Fall of the CIA, the early “CIA leadership itself was opposed to having responsibility for covert action, believing that the clandestine function would ultimately taint the intelligence product, a prescient observation.”

During the 1980s, President Reagan’s Secretary of State, George Shultz, correctly accused CIA Director William Casey and his deputy, Robert Gates, of slanting intelligence, charging that their operational involvement “colored” the Agency’s analysis. Shultz openly charged William Casey with giving President Reagan “faulty intelligence” to bolster Casey’s own policy preferences, including the ill-conceived arms-for-hostages-swap with Iran.

Shultz added that, because he had a sense of this analysis-operations toxic mix, he harbored “grave doubts about the objectivity and reliability of some of the intelligence I was getting.” Shultz was a strong advocate of separating the analysis from operations, likening the need to that of separating investment from commercial banking.

“War on Terrorism” as Business Model

The business model chosen by Brennan is fashioned to the “War on Terrorism,” and he holds up the Counterterrorism Center (CTC) as a model to emulate. There the analysts and operations officers sit side by side charged primarily with hunting, targeting, and killing in that war.

But truth, it has been pointed out, is the first casualty of war. This can be seen right off the bat in the exaggerated way the supposed “successes” of the Center are advertised. Some of us have worked in or closely with these CIA Centers, after which ten new “Mission Centers” are patterned. And we are taken aback by the hyperbolic plaudits being given them – and especially to the CTC.

That a quintessential politicizer, and big Curve Ball promoter, like former CIA Deputy Director John McLaughlin is reported to have advised Brennan on the restructuring, and lauds the benefits of “putting analysts and operators together” adds to our concern.

Very much in step, former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell, for instance, claims that existing Centers have “proven to be a very powerful combination” and that the Counterterrorism Center is “the most successful agency component over the last decade.”

Morell remains focused on the business model of war. Just days ago he conceded that he did not think he would live to see the end of al-Qaeda: “My children’s generation and my grandchildren’s generation will still be fighting this fight,” said Morell.

Does it occur to Morell or others who have played senior intelligence roles that there ought to be a different kind of center, like what used to exist in parts of the Directorate of Intelligence, where analyst talent might be used not simply for targeting terrorists, but for figuring out what their grievances are, and whether there may be more promising ways to address them?

Do we really believe that terrorists slip out of the womb screaming “I hate America”?  And is there a cost to drone-killing them as the preferred method of eliminating terrorists (together with others who may be in the wrong place at the wrong time)?

Brennan has announced that the new Centers will “bring the full range of operational, analytic, support, technical, and digital personnel and capabilities to bear on the nation’s most pressing security issues and interests.”

We need to learn more of the specifics, but the integrated Mission Centers sound very much like fertile field for politicization and centralized control under which subordinates will feel pressure to fall in line with prosecuting the war de jour and to sign on to politically correct solutions dictated from the 7th floor under guidance from your staff in the White House.

Is this the kind of CIA we need — everyone marching in step, as major parts of the Agency are transformed into a private army at your disposal, with virtually no Congressional oversight? We don’t think so.

A Watershed

With the present restructuring plan we see little promise for the kind of agenda-free, substantive intelligence that you and other senior policy makers need. But the train seems to have left the station headed toward Brennan’s restructuring plan. The sweeping reorganization scheme is of such importance that it should be the subject of hearings in the intelligence committees of House and Senate, but there is no indication that either committee intends to do so.

Let the analysts inclined toward targeting terrorists and providing other direct operational support to war sign up for these war-on-terror and like Centers. You and your successors will still need an agency devoted to unfettered intelligence analysis able to critique honestly the likely medium- and long-term consequences of the methods used to wage the “war on terror” and other wars.

We can assure you it is far better for those analysts doing this demanding substantive work NOT to be simultaneously “part of the team” implementing that policy.

It is time to revert to what Truman envisaged for the CIA. We are ready to make ourselves available to assist you and your staff in thinking through how this might be done. That it needs to be done is clear to us, and this would seem an opportune time.

In our view, we need to stop wasting time and energy trying to prevent the baby from being thrown out with the bathwater. Let the bathwater run off. Save the baby, even if that means a separate institution in which analysts of the kind that completed that NIE on Iran in 2007 can flourish. This just might help stop a new unnecessary war, as the combat support officers try to bring an end to old ones.

In sum, we are convinced that a separate entity for intelligence analysis – the kind of agency Truman envisaged for his CIA – would be an invaluable asset to you and your successors as president.

For the Steering Group, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

Fulton Armstrong, National Intelligence Officer for Latin America (ret.)

Larry Johnson, CIA analyst & State Department/counterterrorism, (ret.)

John Kiriakou, Former CIA Counterterrorism Officer

David MacMichael, USMC & National Intelligence Council (ret.)

Ray McGovern, Army Infantry/Intelligence officer & CIA presidential briefer (ret.)

Elizabeth Murray, Deputy National Intelligence Officer for the Near East, National Intelligence Council (ret.)

Torin Nelson, former HUMINT Officer, Department of the Army

Coleen Rowley, retired FBI Agent and former Minneapolis Division Legal Counsel

Peter Van Buren, former diplomat, Department of State (associate VIPS)

Kirk Wiebe, Senior Analyst, SIGINT Automation Research Center, NSA (ret.)

Lawrence Wilkerson, Colonel (USA, ret.), Distinguished Visiting Professor, College of William and Mary

Ann Wright, retired U.S. Army reserve colonel and former US diplomat (resigned in March 2003 in opposition to the Iraq War)

March 10, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Progressive Hypocrite | , , | Leave a comment

The CIA Against Latin America, the Special Case of Ecuador

teleSUR | March 6, 2015

Imprisoned on various occasions and subjected to numerous interrogations, Dr. Jaime Galarza Zavala is one of the estimated 120 direct victims of the CIA’s record in Ecuador.

Persecuted by the CIA for his political organizing, Galarza described to teleSUR English that “they told me that I was working as a guerrilla in the Dominican Republic. I, to this day, have never visited the Dominican Republic. But they accused me of being a guerrilla leader in the Dominican Republic. And this was a common theme with various interrogations.”

He added that, “while they interrogated me, there was somebody that called every now and then from another room. Afterward, they told me that this person they were talking with was a gringo, a North American, who never presented himself to me. But he gave them instructions as to how to continue the interrogation,” said Galarza.

A fierce critic of U.S foreign policy in the region, Galarza recently published a book titled, “The CIA Against Latin America, the Special Case of Ecuador,” co-authored by Francisco Herrera Arauz.

In an interview with teleSUR English on CIA actions in Ecuador, Herrera said,“First, they destroyed our democracy. Second, they worked with undivided attention against our citizens. They persecuted our citizens for thinking differently. People were killed, injured, there are victims of this violence, there are families that were harmed, there are exiles, the honor of some people has been ruined, there are destroyed families, and all of this was caused by the CIA’s actions.”

Both authors have previously interviewed Philip Agee, the ex-CIA operations officer whose name became internationally known when he wrote the book “Inside the Company: CIA Diary” in 1975, detailing his time working in Ecuador, Uruguay, and Mexico from 1960 to 1968 and denouncing actions undertaken by the CIA during this period.

In his testimonies of that period, Agee said that when he operated in Ecuador from 1960 to 1963, the CIA oversaw: the overthrow of two presidents; the infiltration of various political parties and organizations; and the planting of bombs in front of churches and other emblematic sites to frame leftist groups; among other actions.

At an event celebrating the new book, Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño said, “These secret policies continue in Latin America today. Nothing that Philip Agee denounced as CIA actions in the past have been discarded by the espionage seen in the present.”

To raise public awareness of the atrocities committed within Ecuador and the long-term damage caused by CIA interventions throughout Latin America, Ecuador’s Foreign Ministry has printed and widely distributed copies of the book in Spanish and English.

March 10, 2015 Posted by | Book Review, Deception, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , , | Leave a comment