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Mubarak-era Interior Minister Habib al-Adly acquitted of corruption charges in last case against him

Mada Masr | March 19, 2015

Giza Criminal Court acquitted former Interior Minister Habib al-Adly of corruption and squandering public funds worth LE181 million, the state-owned EgyNews website reported on Thursday.

The court also annulled a decision to freeze his personal assets and those of his family.

The Illicit Gains Authority referred Adly to court in 2011, after investigations showed that he had accumulated wealth that was over and above his income. The authority alleged Adly had acquired state-owned lands in 6 October City, despite legal restrictions on the possession of such land by public officials. He used his position to accumulate illicit gains worth over LE6.5 million, the authority claimed.

Investigations also showed that Adly bought four properties for his sons and daughters in violation of the law.

He was previously cleared of similar corruption charges in the “license plates” case, in which Adly and former prime minister Ahmed Nazif were accused of squandering public funds worth LE97 million.

He was also accused of killing January 25 revolution protesters, along with former President Hosni Mubarak and other security aides, but these charges were also dropped. The verdict drew widespread condemnation both locally and internationally, and was hailed as a strong return of Mubarak-era regime officials to public life.

Adly was convicted and sentenced to three years for using central security officers as forced labor on land he owned in 6 October City.

Security sources told Al-Masry Al-Youm that Adly would probably be released from prison, as the period he has already served pending investigations in various cases is equal to the sentence he was given in the “forced labor” case.

If this happens, Adly will be the last Mubarak-era official to be released from prison for corruption charges.

March 19, 2015 Posted by | Corruption | | Leave a comment

UK sends military trainers to Ukraine to help in fight against militias

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Press TV | March 19, 2015

Britain has sent military personnel to Ukraine to help its army fight against pro-Russian militias in the country’s volatile east.

British media reports say the 35 military trainers are based in Mykolaiv, in the south of the country and they are expected to be there for the next two months.

Last month, Defense Secretary Michael Fallon announced plans to send up to 75 troops and military staff to the war-torn country. That’s under a deal Prime Minister David Cameron signed with the Ukrainian leadership.

“The UK is committed to supporting Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity in the face of Russia’s aggression”, an MoD spokeswoman said.

It is the first time a Western nation has conducted a long-term military training program in Ukraine since its war against pro-Russian militias that began last year. A London-based analyst says the UK’s policy will aggravate the situation further.

“I think the situation is very fragile and certainly the civilians will suffer the most. Everything has got to be done in order to support them, but the solution is not going to be and is not a military solution and I think there’s got to be a diplomatic solution”, Andrew Smith of Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT), told Press TV.

The UK has already supplied Kiev with non-lethal aid including first aid kits, sleeping bags and night-vision goggles. However, the latest move has angered Russia.

“The deployment would not relax tensions in the conflict zone”, Dmitry Pveskov, press secretary to the Russian president has been quoted as saying.

Pveskov said that the presence of foreign instructors in Ukraine cannot facilitate the settlement of the conflict there.

The United States has already said it is also planning to send a battalion to train three Ukrainian battalions.

“I think it (arming and training Ukrainian troops) probably gives them an excuse and every chance to be used”, Smith concluded.

‘Ceasefire continues’

The fighting that broke out in eastern Ukraine claimed over 6,000 lives but clashes have reduced since a ceasefire was declared.

The deal that was orchestrated by Germany, France and Russia and signed by pro-Russian militias and Kiev in Minsk, Belarus, came into effect on February 15.

Under the deal, warring sides have already pulled back their heavy weapons from the frontline. However, sporadic shelling continues with two sides blaming each other for incidents.

‘Power game’

The West has, for long, accused Russia of having a hand in the crisis in eastern Ukraine that followed after the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovich.

Moscow calls Yanukovich’s ouster an “armed plot by the West with Americans as the true puppeteers”.

“The US helped armed groups in western Ukraine, in Poland and to some extent in Lithuania”, President Vladimir Putin labeled the accusation in a recent interview.

Russia’s reunification of the Black Sea peninsular region of Crimea on March 17, last year was a turning point in its relations with the West.

The move sparked angry reactions from the US and the European Union, with both imposing “punitive measures,” against Russian and Crimean officials.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO also expanded its military presence in Eastern Europe. In 2014, the western military alliance held some 200 war games. NATO also formed command and control units in a number of east European countries.

In a tit-for-tat move, Russia has also conducted a number military drills in the regions. Earlier this week, the Defense Ministry reported a maneuver ranging from the Arctic to the Pacific Ocean and involving tens of thousands of troops.

Reports say Russia is also planning to station state-of-the art missiles in its westernmost Baltic enclave amid bitter tensions with the West over Ukraine. The Kremlin has also said that it will not hesitate to deploy nuclear-capable missiles in Crimea.

March 19, 2015 Posted by | Militarism | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Mysterious Death of UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold

In reopening the investigation into the mysterious plane crash that killed UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold in 1961, the United Nations is appealing to member states to release long-secret files related to this cold case from a tense moment in the Cold War in Africa, which Lisa Pease examined in 2013.

By Lisa Pease | Consortium News | September 16, 2013

More than a half century ago, just after midnight on Sept. 18, 1961, the plane carrying UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld and 15 others went down in a plane crash over Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia). All 16 died, but the facts of the crash were provocatively mysterious.

There have been three investigations into the crash: an initial civil aviation Board of Inquiry, a Rhodesian Commission of Inquiry, and a UN Commission in 1962. Not one of them could definitively answer why the plane crashed or whether a deliberate act had been responsible.

While a few authors have looked into and written about the strange facts of the crash in the years since the last official inquiry in 1962, none did a more thorough reinvestigation than Dr. Susan Williams, a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies at the University of London, whose book Who Killed Hammarskjöld? was released in 2011, 50 years after the crash.

Her presentation of the evidence was so powerful it launched a new UN commission to determine whether the UN should reopen its initial investigation. “It is a fact,” the current Commission wrote in its report, “that none of these inquiries was conducted to the standard to which a modern inquiry into a fatal event would be conducted….”

The Commission was formed by Lord Lea of Crondall, who assembled a group of volunteer jurists, solicitors and others from the Netherlands, South Africa, Sweden and elsewhere to tabulate and review the evidence the Commission collected from past investigations, Williams’s book, and independent witnesses, such as myself.

I was one of the 28 witnesses (and one of only three Americans) who provided testimony to the Commission, based on information gathered in the course of my research into the assassinations of the Sixties.

“It is legitimate to ask whether an inquiry such as this, a full half-century after the events with which it is concerned, can achieve anything except possibly to feed speculation and conspiracy theories surrounding the crash,” the most recent Commission wrote in its report.

“Our answer, and the reason why we have been willing to give our time and effort to the task, is first that knowledge is always better than ignorance, and secondly that the passage of time, far from obscuring facts, can sometimes bring them to light.”

The Congo Crisis

The report summarized the historical situation Hammarskjöld was faced with in 1961. In June of 1960, under pressure from forces in the Congo as well as from the United Nations, Belgium had relinquished its claim to the Congo, a move which brought Patrice Lumumba to power.

Lumumba faced a near civil war in his country immediately. The military mutinied, the Belgians stepped back in to protect Belgian settlers, and local leader Moise Tshombe declared Katanga, a mineral-rich province, an independent state.

As the Commission’s report noted, “Katanga contained the majority of the Congo’s known mineral resources. These included the world’s richest uranium and four fifths of the West’s cobalt supply. Katanga’s minerals were mined principally by a Belgian company, the Union Minière du Haut Katanga, which immediately recognised and began paying royalties to the secessionist government in Elisabethville. One result of this was that Moise Tshombe’s regime was well funded. Another was that, so long as Katanga remained independent of the Congo, there was no risk that the assets of Union Minière would be expropriated.”

The U.S. government feared that Katanga’s rich uranium reserves would fall under Soviet control if the nationalist movement that brought Lumumba to power succeeded in unifying the country. Indeed, rebuffed by Western interests, Lumumba did reach out to the Soviets for help, a move that caused CIA Director Allen Dulles to initiate CIA plans for Lumumba’s assassination. Lumumba was ultimately captured and killed by forces of Joseph Mobutu, whom Andrew Tully called “the CIA’s man” in the Congo just days before President Kennedy’s inauguration.

On the southern border of Katanga lay Northern Rhodesia, where Hammarskjöld’s plane would eventually go down, Sir Roy Welensky, a British politician, ruled as prime minister. Welensky, too, pushed for an independent Katanga. Along with the resources, there was also the fear that an integrated Congo and Katanga could lead to the end of apartheid in Rhodesia which might spread to its larger and more prosperous neighbor South Africa.

The British situation was divided, with the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Lord Landsdowne, backing the UN’s efforts at preserving a unified Congo, while the British High Commissioner to the Rhodesian Foundation, Lord Alport, was upset with the UN’s meddling, saying African issues were “better left to Europeans with experience in that part of the world.”

Similarly, U.S. policy appeared split in 1961. Allen Dulles and possibly President Dwight D. Eisenhower had worked to kill Lumumba just before President John F. Kennedy took office. But President Kennedy had been a supporter of Lumumba and fully backed the UN’s efforts in the Congo.

As the report notes, “There is evidence … of a cleft in policy between the US Administration and the US Central Intelligence Agency. While the policy of the Administration was to support the UN, the CIA may have been providing materiel to Katanga.”

So British, Belgian and American interests that weren’t always representative of their official heads of state had designs on Katanga, its politics and its resources. What stood in their way? The UN, under the firm leadership of Dag Hammarskjöld.

The UN forces had been unsuccessful in unifying the Congo, so Hammarskjöld and his team flew to Leopoldville on Sept. 13, 1961. Hammarskjöld planned to meet Tshombe to discuss aid, contingent on a ceasefire, and the two decided to meet on Sept. 18 in Ndola in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia).

On Sept. 17, the last day of Hammarskjöld’s life, Neil Ritchie, an MI6 officer, went to pick up Tshombe and the British consul in Katanga, Denzil Dunnett. He found them in the company of a high-level Union Minière employee.

That night, Hammarskjöld embarked on the Albertina, a DC6 plane, and flew from Leopoldville to Ndola, where he was to arrive shortly after midnight. Lord Landsdowne, the British leader opposing a unified Congo, flew separately, although the report goes out of its way to say there was nothing sinister in them flying in separate planes and that this was “diplomatically and politically appropriate.”

A large group of diplomats, Africans, journalists and at least three mercenaries waited for Hammarskjöld’s plane at the Ndola airport. The Commission found the presence of mercenaries there strange as a police inspector was on duty specifically “to ensure nobody was at the airport who had no good reason to be there.”

The Crash

Hammarskjöld’s plane deliberately circumvented Katanga, fearing interception. The pilot radioed Ndola 25 minutes before midnight with an estimate that they plane was about 45 minutes from landing. At 12:10 a.m., the pilot notified the Ndola airport “Your lights in sight” and requested confirmation of the air pressure reading (QNH). “Roger QNH 1021mb, report reaching 6000 feet,” the airport replied. “Roger 1021,” the Albertina responded. That was the last communication received from Hammarskjöld’s plane. It crashed within minutes.

The Commission found the airport gave the plane correct information, that there was no indication the plane’s altimeter had been tampered with, that the landing gear had been lowered into the proper position and locked, and that the wing flaps had been correctly set. In other words, pilot error — the verdict of the initial Rhodesian inquiry into Dag Hammarskjöld’s death in 1962 — did not seem to be the likely cause.

At the crash site, several of the crash victims had bullets in their bodies. In addition, the Commission found “evidence from more than one source…that holes resembling bullet-holes were observed in the burnt-out fuselage.”

The Commission’s two aviation experts concluded the most likely cause of the crash seemed to be a “controlled flight into terrain,” meaning, no in-air explosion. This suggests someone deliberately or mistakenly drove the plane right into the ground. However, the report notes, this does not rule out some form of sabotage that could have distracted or injured the pilots, preventing a successful landing.

And the Commission noted contradictory evidence from a few eyewitnesses who claimed they saw the plane explode in mid-air. Another eyewitness, a member of the flight crew, found alive but badly burned, told a police inspector that the plane “blew up” and that “There was a lot of small explosions all around.”

The Commission interviewed African eyewitnesses who had feared coming forward years ago. One of them described seeing the plane on fire before it hit the ground. Another described seeing a “ball of fire coming on top of the plane.” Still another described a “flame … on top of the plane … like a ball of fire.”

Several witnesses saw a second plane near the one that crashed. One witness saw a second, smaller plane following a larger one, and told the Commission, “I saw that the fire came from the small plane…” And another witness also recalled seeing two planes in the sky with the larger one on fire. A third witness noted that he saw a flash of flame from one plane strike another. Several witnesses reported two smaller planes following a larger one just before the larger one caught fire.

A Swedish flight instructor described in 1994 how he had heard dialog via a short-wave radio the night of the crash. He recalled hearing the following from an airport control tower at the time of the crash: “He’s approaching the airport. He’s turning. He’s leveling. Another plane is approaching from behind — what is that?”

In one of the more bizarre elements of the case, Hammarskjöld’s body was not burnt, yet the other victims of the crash were severely burnt. The Commission concluded the most likely explanation, though not the sole one, was that Hammarskjöld’s body had been thrown from the plane before it caught fire.

And even more strangely, the commission found the evidence “strongly suggests” that someone moved Hammarskjöld’s body after the crash and stuck a playing card in his collar before the photographs of his body were taken. (The card “or something like it” was plainly visible “in the photographs taken of the body on a stretcher at the site.”)

Given the proximity of the plane to the airport, the Commission had a hard time explaining the nine-hour delay between the time of the crash and the Rhodesian authorities’ acknowledgement of its discovery of the wreckage.

While the Commission found a “substantial amount of evidence” that Hammarskjöld’s body had been “found and tampered with well before the afternoon of 18 September and possibly very shortly after the crash,” they also stated the evidence was “no more consistent with hostile persons assuring themselves that he was dead than with bystanders, or possibly looters, examining his body.” But the Commission also noted that “The failure to summon or send help, however, remains an issue.”

The Commission tried very hard to find the autopsy X-rays, as there were reports that a bullet hole had been found in Hammarskjöld’s head. But the X-rays appear lost forever.

Was Hammarskjöld deliberately assassinated?

Former President Harry S. Truman was convinced Hammarskjöld had been murdered. A Sept. 20, 1961 New York Times article quoted Truman as having told reporters, “Dag Hammarskjöld was on the point of getting something done when they killed him. Notice that I said ‘When they killed him.’”

Years later, when the CIA was revealed to have been engaged in assassination plots, reporter Daniel Schorr speculated that the CIA may have been involved in Hammarskjöld’s death.

The report references the report of David Doyle, the chief of the CIA’s  Elizabethville base in Katanga who wrote in a memoir how three armed Fouga planes were being delivered to Katanga “in direct violation” of U.S. policy. Doyle doubted this was an official CIA operation, since he had not been notified of the delivery.

Bronson Tweedy, the head of the CIA’s Africa division, questioned Doyle about the possibility of a CIA operation to interfere with Hammarskjöld’s plane. The report notes that this could indicate a lack of CIA involvement in Hammarskjöld’s death, “unless, conceivably, Tweedy was simply trying to find out how much Doyle knew.”

It is the essence of CIA operations that they are highly compartmentalized and often kept secret between people even within the Agency itself. Meaning, Allen Dulles or someone high up the chain could easily have ordered a single operator to take out Hammarskjöld’s plane without using any official CIA channels. Indeed, that is what one would expect were so sensitive an operation as the assassination of a UN head contemplated.

After Lumumba’s death, in early 1961, the UN passed resolution 161, which urged the immediate removal of Belgian forces and “other foreign military and paramilitary personnel and political advisors not under the United Nations Command, and mercenaries” from the Congo.

Confession from a CIA operative

When I heard such a commission was forming, I reached out to Lord Lea of Crondall to offer some evidence of my own. John Armstrong, a fellow researcher into the JFK assassination, had forwarded me a series of Church Committee files and correspondence to and from a CIA operative named Roland “Bud” Culligan.

Culligan claimed the CIA had set him up on a phony bank fraud charge, and his way out of jail appears to have been to offer the Church Committee information on CIA assassinations (which he called “executive actions” or “E.A.’s”). Culligan was asked to list some “E.A.’s” that he had been involved in. Culligan mentioned, among high-profile others, Dag Hammarskjöld.

“Damn it, I did not want the job,” Culligan wrote to his legal adviser at Yale Law School. Culligan described the plane and the route, he named his CIA handler and his contact on the ground in Libya, and he described how he shot Hammarskjöld’s plane, which subsequently crashed.

As I testified, and as the Commission quoted in its report: “You will see from the correspondence that Culligan’s material was referred to an Attorney General, a Senator, and ultimately, the Senate investigation of the CIA’s activities at home and abroad that became known as the Church Committee after its leader, Senator Frank Church. Clearly, others in high places had reasons to believe Culligan’s assertions were worthy of further investigation.”

Culligan’s claims fit neatly with a broadcast allegedly heard by Navy Cmdr. Charles Southall, another Commission witness. The morning before the crash, Charles Southall, a naval pilot and intelligence officer, was stationed at the NSA’s facility in Cyprus.

At about 9 p.m. that night, Southall reported he was called at home by the communications watch officer and told to get down to the listening post because “something interesting” was going to happen that night. Southall described hearing a recording shortly after midnight in which a cool pilot’s voice said, “I see a transport plane coming low. All the lights are on. I’m going to make a run on it. Yes, it’s the Transair DC6. It’s the plane.”

Southall heard what sounded like cannon fire, then: “I’ve hit it. There are flames. It’s going down. It’s crashing.” Given that Cyprus was in the same time zone as Ndola, the Commission concluded it was possible that Southall had indeed heard a recording from Ndola. Southall was certain that what he heard indicated a deliberate act.

Bullets

Several witnesses described seeing bullet holes in the plane before it burnt. The report described one witness’s account that the fuselage was “’riddled with bullet-holes’ which appeared to have been made by a machine-gun.”

This account was disputed by AP journalist Errol Friedmann, however, who claimed no bullet holes were present. However, bullets were definitely found embedded in the bodies of several of the plane crash victims, which tends to give the former claim more credence.

The same journalist Friedmann also noted to a fellow journalist that the day after the crash, in a hotel, he had heard a couple of Belgian pilots who had perhaps had too much to drink discussing the crash. One of the pilots claimed he had been in contact with Hammarskjöld’s plane and had “buzzed” it, forcing the pilot of the Albertina to take evasive action. When the pilot buzzed the plane a second time, he forced it towards the ground.

A third-party account allegedly from a Belgian pilot named Beukels was investigated with some skepticism by the Commission. Beukels allegedly gave an account to a French Diplomat named Claude de Kemoularia, who evidently first relayed Beukels’s account to UN diplomat George Ivan Smith in 1980 (not long after Culligan’s 1975 account, I would note).

Smith’s source, however, appeared to be a transcript, about which the Commission noted “the literary quality of the narrative suggests an editorial hand, probably that of one or both of the two intermediaries.” Allegedly, Beukels fired what he meant to be warning shots which then hit the tail of the plane.

While Beukels’s alleged narrative matched several known facts, the Commission wisely noted, “there was little in Beukels’s narrative, as reported, that could not have been ascertained from press coverage and the three inquiries, elaborated by his experience as a pilot.” The Commission wrote of other elements which invited skepticism of this account, but did concede it’s possible this account was self-serving, designed to excuse a deliberate shooting down by Beukels.

The Commission’s recommendation

While the Commission had no desire to place blame for the crash, the report states: “There is persuasive evidence that the aircraft was subjected to some form of attack or threat as it circled to land at Ndola, which was by then widely known to be its destination,” adding “we … consider that the possibility that the plane was in fact forced into its descent by some form of hostile action is supported by sufficient evidence to merit further inquiry.”

The key evidence that the Commission thinks could prove or disprove a deliberate act would be the Ndola airport’s radio traffic that night. The Commission reported “it is highly likely that the entirety of the local and regional Ndola radio traffic on the night of 17-18 September 1961 was tracked and recorded by the NSA, and possibly also by the CIA.”

The Commission filed a Freedom of Information request for any such evidence with the National Archives but did not appear hopeful that such records would be released unless pressure was brought to bear.

In its discussion of Culligan, the Commission felt there were no leads there that could be pursued. But if any of Culligan’s many conversations with his legal adviser was captured on tape, and if tapes of the radio traffic cited above could be obtained, a voice match could be sought.

Based on its year-long investigation, the Commission stated that the UN “would be justified” in reopening its initial 1962 inquiry in light of the new evidence “about an event of global significance with deserves the attention both of history and of justice.”

[Regarding President Eisenhower’s possible role in ordering the assassination of Lumumba, Robert Johnson, a National Security Council staff member, told the Church Committee he heard Eisenhower give an order that Lumumba be killed. He remembered being shocked to hear this. Under questioning, however, Johnson allowed that may have been a mistaken impression, that perhaps Eisenhower was referring to Lumumba’s political, not physical, removal.]

March 19, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , | 4 Comments

France moves to legalize warrantless data surveillance

RT | March 19, 2015

In effort to boost its intelligence gathering, France is pushing for a law to allow authorities to spy on the digital and mobile communications of anyone linked to a “terrorist” enquiry without any judicial authorization.

The government presented the draft law to parliament on Thursday.

“Facing an increasing jihadist threat, we have to further enhance the effectiveness of the surveillance against terrorists,” Prime Minister Manuel Valls said at a news conference two months after 17 people died in a series of terrorist attacks in Paris.

“Today, one of the two people who arrived in Syria has been detected before his departure, so we have to … tighten the net of surveillance of radicalized and dangerous individuals.”

Valls said the text of the draft provided the intelligence services the means enough to fight terrorism, yet respecting individual freedoms – a view, not supported by many human rights organizations and lawyers.

The draft law would give the intelligence services the right to perform “security interceptions” of e-mails and phone conversations, to install radio beacons in a suspect’s cars, as well as microphones and cameras in their home. It could also be able to track what a suspect types on a computer keyboard with the use of special software, and also force internet service providers to hand over data to the security services.

However the prime minister underlined that the draft “is not a French-style Patriot Act,” referring to the anti-terrorism laws introduced in the US after the 9/11 tragedy in 2001 that strengthened security controls. The future law only legitimizes the actions, already common among the intelligence services, so Valls added that “There will be no more grey zone,” as cited by Reuters.

Human rights watchdogs and lawyers have slammed the project as “devastating” for individual freedom. The Paris Bar Association also expressed their disapproval over the “text made without any prior coordination with the judiciary.”

Nils Muiznieks, human rights commissioner of the Council of Europe, said on Thursday, “I am concerned about the strict security approach that characterizes the discussions and the text of the legislation aimed at intensifying the fight against terrorism.”

Amnesty International stated that it “is concerned that several of these measures may pave the way for violations of international and regional human rights standards that are binding on France, in particular those regarding the rights to freedom of expression and to private life.”

In January, following the attacks in Paris where 17 people were killed, Manuel Valls revealed plans to boost anti-terrorism strategies. The prime minister announced that France will employ 2,680 extra anti-terror operatives with a €425 million increase in funding.

March 19, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , | 1 Comment

UK-Iraq abuse inquiry refuses to consider CIA torture report

Reprieve | March 19, 2015

The body tasked with investigating British abuses in Iraq has said it will not request as evidence the US Senate’s report on CIA torture, in the case of two Pakistani men tortured and rendered by the UK and the US.

Yunus Rahmatullah and Amanatullah Ali were captured and tortured by British operatives in Iraq in 2004, before being rendered to the US-run Bagram prison in Afghanistan. They were held incommunicado for a further decade before their release to Pakistan in 2014.

The Iraq Historic Allegations Team (IHAT), which is investigating the men’s allegations, has refused a request from human rights organization Reprieve that it obtain a full copy of the US Senate’s report on CIA torture. Mr Rahmatullah and Mr Ali were rendered on a CIA flight, and it is believed that the full report would contain evidence of the two men’s physical condition after UK troops handed them over to US forces, as well as the timing of their rendition; information that could corroborate the men’s claims.

IHAT has claimed that its decision not to request a copy of the CIA report is a private ‘operational’ matter. Reprieve, which is assisting the two men, has initiated a challenge to that decision, amid concerns that the body is failing properly to investigate the men’s ordeal.

The controversial executive summary of the CIA torture report, published late last year, revealed wide-ranging torture and rendition activities by the US and its allies in the initial years of the ‘War on Terror’.

Kat Craig, legal director at Reprieve, which is assisting the two men, said: “Yunus Rahmatullah and Amanatullah Ali suffered a horrific, 10-year ordeal of torture and detention at the hands of the UK and US. These men deserve answers and justice – and the CIA torture report is a crucial piece of evidence in that effort. IHAT’s refusal to request a copy of that report is therefore inexplicable. Who should the victims of torture and rendition look to for accountability, if they are let down like this at every turn?”

March 19, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | 2 Comments

French comedian sentenced for ‘defending terrorism’ in Facebook remark

By Brandon Martinez | Non-Aligned Media | March 18, 2015

dieudonne

The popular French comedian Dieudonne has been found guilty by a French court of ‘defending terrorism,’ making the comic one of dozens convicted of the Orwellian speech offence since the Charlie Hebdo shooting.

The charges stem from a Facebook comment Dieudonne made in the aftermath of the shooting, saying “I feel like I am Charlie Coulibaly,” a play on the ludicrous catch phrase “I am Charlie.”

Haaretz reports that the Paris court sentenced Dieudonne to a suspended sentence of two months in jail.

The French state has been criticized for its blatant double standards as it relates to free speech. Government ministers voiced support for Charlie Hebdo’s right to publish anti-Muslim cartoons, but concurrently issue orders for the arrest of people critical of Jews and Israel.

France’s President Manuel Valls is said to be under Jewish influence. Valls says he is “eternally linked” with Israel because his wife is Jewish.

Copyright 2015 Non-Aligned Media

March 19, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , | 1 Comment