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Criminalizing Criticism: A Zionist Project

By Lawrence Davidson – To The Point Analyses June 10, 2015

Part I – Some Historical Background

From the 1920s on into the 1990s, the Zionists controlled the storyline in the West on the Israel-Palestine conflict. This meant that their version of history was the only version as far as most of the people in the West were concerned. Consequentially, they had an uncontested media field to label the Palestinians and their supporters as “terrorists” – the charge of anti-Semitism was not yet widely used. Also, as a consequence of their monopoly, the Zionists did not bother to engage in public debate.

Then, over the last twenty years the Zionists slowly lost their monopoly. In part this was due to the fact that in 1993 the PLO recognized Israel’s right to exist and renounced terrorism, and in the following years many of the Arab states made or offered peace. However, the Israelis did not respond in kind. In particular they failed to respond in a fair and just way to U.S.-sponsored peace efforts. Why so?

The answer to why the Israelis did not, in good faith, take up multiple historic opportunities to make peace with the Palestinians lies in the very nature of the Zionist movement. From its beginning, and certainly from the establishment of the State of Israel, Zionism has been driven by dreams of colonial expansion and religious exclusiveness. Each of these goals is seen as part of Zionism’s God-given mission, and they still prevail. Professor David Schulman of Hebrew University, writing in the New York Review of Books (23 April 2015), describes the consequences of this situation, “the Israeli electorate is still dominated by hyper-nationalist, in some cases proto-fascist, figures. It is no way inclined to make peace. It has given a clear mandate for policies … that will further deepen Israel’s colonial venture.” As a consequence, Israel’s credibility with an increasing number of people in the West has eroded.

This erosion led to a relatively short period of time in the early 2000s when the Zionists attempted to counter the situation by engaging with their critics in public debate. However, the majority of time they lost. Israel’s barbarous behavior on the ground, combined with the fact that their historical version of events was shown to be full of holes, condemned them to an increasingly weak defensive position. This proved to be intolerable to the Zionists, so they withdrew from the debating field. And, as they did, they began to level charges of anti-Semitism against their critics, even those who are Jewish. These accusations of the worst sort of racism have been with us ever since – which is really ironic because much of what Israel is being criticized for is its own racist, apartheid nature.

This was an important change in tactics for Israel because it opened the way to misusing Western laws to Israel’s advantage. Just as the charge of terrorism has often been misused in a broad and sweeping manner (for instance, leveled against non-violent supporters of Palestinian charitable organizations), so the charge of anti-Semitism can potentially be used in an almost unlimited fashion by over-aggressive, pro-Zionist Western prosecutors against any critic of Israeli behavior.

Part II – The Boycott Movement

In the West, much of the organized criticism of Israel now comes from campaigns aimed at promoting Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) of the Zionist state. So robust has the BDS movement grown that Gilad Erdan, Israel’s newly appointed Minister of Public Security, Strategic Affairs, and Public Diplomacy, has described it as one of the most “urgent issues” facing Israel. Israel’s president, Reuven Rivlin, has described the developing academic boycott, just one part of BDS, as a “strategic threat of the first order.”

Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has taken it upon himself to set the tone of Israel’s counter-attack on BDS. He has declared that there is an “international campaign to blacken Israel’s name” and he alleges that it is not motivated by Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians but rather seeks to “delegitimize Israel … and deny our very right to live here.” In other words, he is claiming that present criticism of Israel is really an attack on its existence, and not on its behavior. For Netanyahu this has to be a form of anti-Semitism. As Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the PLO executive committee, describes Netanyahu’s argument, “If you criticize me you are anti-Semitic … . If you accept any kind of punitive measure or sanctions against Israel, you want to destroy Israel.” That is how the prime minister avoids confronting the facts.

As bad as this is, it gets even worse. Declaring the goal of BDS to be the elimination of Israel allows the Zionists to use their influence with Western legislators to make cooperation with the boycott subject to penalties. In the United States, AIPAC, the most powerful of the Zionist lobbies, is working on legislation similar to that used against Iran and also the Arab boycott of Israel in the 1970s. This legislation would penalize businesses, both at home and abroad, that favorably respond to calls for boycott. If this works we can expect the Zionists to go further and try to subvert the U.S. Constitution’s free speech provisions and then go after individuals as well as businesses. In this regard, efforts are also under way in Canada and France.

Part III – Money Magic

Finally, there is the assumption that money can destroy Israel’s critics. This is a special belief of Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire casino magnate and enthusiastic backer of Netanyahu. Adelson has taken aim at activity critical of Israel on U.S. college campuses. In the first week of June 2015, he and his supporters convened a “Campus Maccabees Summit,” the purpose of which was “to develop the conceptual framework for the anti-BDS action plan [on college campuses], assign roles and responsibilities to pro-Israel organizations, and create the appropriate command-and-control system to implement it.” Fifty activist Zionist organizations attended the conference, as did twenty donors, each of whom pledged one million dollars to the cause over the next two years.

Part IV – Conclusion

Prime Minister Netanyahu personifies the problem with Zionist thinking. He is wholly self-centered and seemingly incapable of recognizing, much less taking responsibility for, Israel’s racist behavior. Thus, with the Zionists having spent the last 100 years planning and then actually doing what was needed to deny as many non-Jews as possible the “very right to live in” Palestine, Netanyahu now accuses others of doing the same thing to him and his kin – and labels it a criminal act.

The truth is that most Western critics, including supporters of BDS, are not trying to kick the Jews out of Israel. They are trying to bring maximum pressure on the Israeli government to stop kicking non-Jews out, to stop territorial expansion in violation of international law, and to start acting like the democratic state it so questionably claims to be.

Speaking strictly for myself, I don’t believe any of these goals are possible unless Zionism is in fact kicked out of what is now Israel. That is, the ideology that drives Israeli racism and colonial expansion must be done away with, in the same way that apartheid was brought down in South Africa. That did not result in South Africa being destroyed or all white South Africans being deported. But it did result in a democracy being imported. The same scenario is necessary for Israel.

No doubt many Israelis and their supporters would equate this goal of extirpating Zionism with promoting another Holocaust. This is not so, but they are scared enough to label the effort of bringing a real democracy to Israel as anti-Semitic, and to try to get it declared illegal in the West.

Finally, besides the public outcry over anti-Semitism, the Zionists are working behind closed doors – the closed doors of American state and federal legislatures and university board rooms – where they do not have to face serious debate. This might prove the most dangerous of their maneuvers. For behind closed doors the Zionist monopoly resurfaces and truth is all the easier to suppress.

June 9, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , | 3 Comments

43 years in solitary: Federal court blocks release of last imprisoned Angola 3 inmate

RT | June 9, 2015

Screenshot from RT video

Screenshot from RT video

A federal court blocked the release of the last imprisoned member of the Angola 3, after a Louisiana judge ruled the state must release Albert Woodfox. The 68-year-old has spent 43 years in solitary, arguably the longest term of such confinement.

The ‘Angola 3’ ‒ Albert Woodfox, Robert King and Herman Wallace ‒ were inmates accused of murdering a guard at Louisiana State Penitentiary, also known as Angola Prison, during a prison riot in 1972. Though they maintained their innocence, the three men were convicted of murder and spent decades in solitary confinement. Woodfox and Wallace insisted that they were implicated solely for their involvement in a prison chapter of the Black Panthers.

On Tuesday, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an emergency stay of Woodfox’s release, temporarily halting the ruling of US District Judge James Brady. The appeals court will hear arguments from Louisiana on whether or not to overturn Brady’s decision after he issued an unconditional writ of habeas corpus on Monday, citing five main reasons in his ruling to release Woodfox from prison.

“The five factors include: Mr. Woodfox’s age and poor health, his limited ability to present a defense at a third trial in light of the unavailability of witnesses, this Court’s lack of confidence in the State to provide a fair third trial, the prejudice done onto Mr. Woodfox by spending over forty-years in solitary confinement, and finally the very fact that Mr. Woodfox has already been tried twice and would otherwise face his third trial for a crime that occurred over forty years ago,” he wrote.

Woodfox suffers from Hepatitis C, diabetes, renal failure and a history hypertension, his lawyer told the (New Orleans) Times-Picayune.

“He a host of issues that elderly people commonly face, but his are in [the] context of [solitary confinement],” attonrey George Kendall said.

Woodfox has remained in solitary confinement for 43 years, which makes him the longest-serving solitary confinement prisoner in the US, Kendall told the Guardian in September.

Teenie Rogers, the widow of slain prison guard Brent Miller, has said she believes the two men were not involved in her husband’s death, and previously called for the release from prison, the Times-Picayune reported.

“If I were on that jury, I don’t think I would have convicted them,” she wrote in the Los Angeles Times in 2008.

King was exonerated and he was released in 2001, while Wallace’s was overturned in October 2013. Wallace died of liver cancer three days after he was released, even though a Louisiana grand jury re-indicted him on his death bed. He was never retried.

Woodfox was first convicted of second-degree murder in 1973, a verdict that was overturned in 1992 by a state court due to “systematic discrimination.” He was re-indicted by a different grand jury in 1993, then reconvicted in 1998.

Brady overturned Woodfox’s second guilty verdict in 2008, citing ineffective counsel. The state appealed, and the case wound its way up to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. That federal court reversed Brady’s ruling, saying that Woodfox couldn’t prove he would not have been convicted if he’d had a different defense team.

In 2012, Brady again overturned Woodfox’s conviction, and the state appealed to the Fifth Circuit, which then agreed with the case judge. In February, Louisiana state’s attorneys announced that a grand jury had indicted Woodfox for a third time in the Angola 3 case.

In his release order, Brady barred the state from conducting a third trial, ruling that further prosecution “would be unjust,” he wrote.

The state condemned the unconditional writ, having argued before Brady that releasing Woodfox is against the public interest and that the inmate “is a danger to the public and is a flight risk.”

“With today’s order, the Court would see fit to set free a twice-convicted murderer who is awaiting trial again for the brutal slaying of Corrections Officer Brent Miller,” Aaron Sadler, communications director for the Louisiana Department of Justice, told TheTimes-Picayune.

Woodfox’s attorneys, however, applauded the judge’s decision, saying that a third trial would have been unfair to their client.

“Now, because the State’s key witnesses are deceased, and Mr. Woodfox’s alibi witnesses are also deceased, there is no practical way for there to be a third trial which comports with the standards of a fair, American trial,” Kendall and Carine Williams said in a statement.

The state has long denied that Woodfox and Wallace were held in solitary confinement, but rather in a lockdown called “closed cell restricted,” which is designed to protect prisoners and guards.

“Contrary to popular lore, Woodfox and Wallace have never been held in solitary confinement while in the Louisiana penal system,” Louisiana Attorney General James Caldwell wrote in a 2013 statement. “They have always been able to communicate freely with other inmates and prison staff as frequently as they want. They have televisions on the tiers which they watch through their cell doors.”

King and watchdog groups define “closed cell restricted” lockdown as solitary, however. Since his 2001 release, King has advocated against the use of solitary confinement. He also fought for the freedom of his fellow Angola 3 defendants.

Amnesty International ‒ which has been part of a long-running, international campaign to free the Angola 3 ‒ praised the judge’s ruling as a “momentous step toward justice.”

“Woodfox has spent 43 years trapped in a legal process riddled with flaws,” Jasmine Heiss, a senior campaigner for Amnesty, said in a statement. “The only humane action that the Louisiana authorities can take now is to ensure his immediate release.”

June 9, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture | , , | Leave a comment

Kiev hopes to sell state-run companies to US investors – PM

RT | June 9, 2015

Ukraine’s Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk hopes to sell the country’s state-owned companies to the US. American investors will get the assets “on the most transparent conditions” if they decide to invest, he said.

The statement comes ahead of a Ukrainian-American investment conference in Washington on July 13.

“We want to start the privatization process… We want to see American owners on the territory of Ukraine, they will bring not only investment, but also new standards, new ways of managing the companies, and a new investment culture,” Yatsenyuk was cited as saying during his meeting with the representatives of Ukraine’s diaspora in Washington, UNIAN reported on Tuesday. Yatsenyuk and Ukraine’s Finance Minister Natalia Jaresko are in the US capital on a working visit which will last until June 10.

The massive privatization process of Ukraine’s state-run assets is planned for the second quarter of 2015. In April, the Ukrainian government decided to hold a number of investment conferences in Berlin, Paris and Washington to attract investors and to spread the privatization idea. The Prime Minister then said they expect to see American and European entrepreneurs in agriculture, energy, especially in the modernization of the Ukrainian gas transportation system and the mining industry, as well as in other vital sectors of the economy.

Ukraine is facing a deep economic crisis with the country on the verge of a default. Earlier this month, the IMF’s mission in Ukraine said the country’s GDP is expected to shrink 9 percent in 2015, with annual inflation to hit 46 percent. Ukraine’s total debt is estimated around $50 billion, $30 billion of which is external debt and $17 billion internal debt. Public sector debt rose to 71 percent of Ukraine’s gross domestic product, and is due to rise to 94 percent of GDP in 2015, according to the National Bank of Ukraine.

Last year, Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko invited foreign citizens to become key ministers in the new government of Ukraine, claiming that he views the foreigners as some kind of “anti-crisis management needed due to the difficult situation in economy”. The natives of the US, Georgia and Lithuania – Natalie Jaresko, Aleksandr Kvitashvili, and Aivaras Abromavicius were approved by the parliament to head up the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Economic Development, respectively. All of them have been granted Ukraine citizenship after a decree amending the law to allow foreigners into the government.

June 9, 2015 Posted by | Corruption, Economics | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Venezuela Recognized by FAO for Halving Malnutrition

By Lucas Koerner | Venezuelanalysis | June 8, 2015

Caracas – Venezuela was recognized today by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) for meeting the UN millennium goal of halving malnutrition.

The recognition was awarded during the 39th FAO conference in Rome which will last until June 13. It counts among its attendees representatives of 190 countries, including 130 ministers and 12 heads of state.

Attending on behalf of Venezuela, Bolivarian Vice-President Jorge Arreaza highlighted his nation’s achievements in eradicating hunger under the socialist governments of Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro.

“Under the Revolution, children are now served breakfast, lunch, and snacks in schools […] We’ve seen a miracle in school nutrition, whereas in the past [children were served] only one glass of milk a day,” stated the socialist vice-president in reference his country’s School Food Program.

According to Arreaza, Venezuela has over the last decade invested $142 billion in food programs that have distributed over 25 million tons of food items to 65% of the population. Today, 95.4% of Venezuelans eat three meals a day.

Venezuela was also recognized for its role in providing technical assistance to other nations striving to similarly meet millennium targets for eradicating hunger.

“Venezuela can be considered one of the countries, like Brazil and China, that has contributed to South-South cooperation in the world,” noted Laurent Thomas, FAO Director for Technical Cooperation.

The South American nation was recognized by the FAO first in 2012 for slashing extreme hunger and poverty by 50% and subsequently in 2013 for reducing hunger from almost 14% in 1992 to 5% in 2012.

Arreaza accepted the UN body’s recognition on behalf of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who was compelled to cancel both his appearance at the conference as well as his much-anticipated meeting with the Pope for health reasons.

June 9, 2015 Posted by | Economics | | Leave a comment

A court of non-convictions for Israeli felons


By Yossi Gurvitz | Yesh Din | June 8, 2015

Does everyone get his or her day in court? Not if they are Palestinian.

Every year Yesh Din publishes data about police investigative failures regarding offenses carried out by Israelis towards Palestinians in the West Bank. They are usually quite similar: the police fail to investigate approximately 85 percent of complaints of Palestinians who report being harmed by Israelis. The rate becomes much higher when it comes to the destruction of Palestinian trees by Israeli civilians: then the police failure rate grows to 97.4 percent.

The average Israeli may not be surprised that the police failure rates are so high, but he or she still has some expectations of the courts. After all, we are told time and again that Israel is governed by the rule of law.

Okay, says the average citizen to himself, yes, we seem to have a problem when it comes to investigations, and naturally if the investigation is a mess we are not likely to get to court. But once we step into the halls of justice, everything should be fine.

Or not.

Our latest data sheet, which was released in tandem with an exhaustive report on the failure of law enforcement in the West Bank, examines for the first time what happens to the cases we follow once they leave the limbo of the prosecution and make it to court. The situation, to put it mildly, is not “okay.”

To begin with, the chance that a complaint by a Palestinian victim will bloom into a an indictment against an Israeli felon stands at a mere 7.4 percent. This means that the chances an Israeli felon will appear in court for a crime he is suspected of committing is about 1:14. Most often, cases are closed due to police investigative failures; in a majority of the cases, the specific reason is the inability of the police to find a suspect – what is known as the the unknown perpetrator clause.

The fact that a case makes it to court does not, of course, mean it will end in a conviction. The defendants have the right to representation and have access to attorneys — as a human rights organization we entirely support this. The problem lies elsewhere.

In 10.5 percent of the cases, the defendants are convicted of all charges; in 22.8 percent of the cases, only some of the defendants are convicted, or they are convicted of some of the charges – sometimes reduced charges as part of a plea bargain. The rate of acquittals is high relative to other cases in Israeli courts (8.8 percent). But what is truly high is the rate of “non-conviction” (24.6 percent) and the rate of indictment withdrawal (22.8 percent).

What is a non-conviction? It is a relatively rare practice, in which the court believes there is reason to avoid tarring him/her with a criminal conviction for one reason or another — despite the fact that the felon has been found guilt of the charges. This almost never happens in the Israeli courts: the percentage of defendants in the magistrates courts found guilty without conviction is 5.3 percent; in district courts the number stands at only 1.2% percent. This is true unless the victim is a Palestinian; then the rare of non-conviction jumps to 24.6 percent. That’s four times that of magistrates courts, and almost 20 times that of the district courts. What a coincidence.

In many of the cases in which indictments against Israelis charged with harming Palestinians were withdrawn, the reason was, once again, investigative failure. The prosecution re-examined the evidence, apparently after the response of the defendants’ attorneys, and reached the conclusion that it did not have enough evidence for a conviction. And that, we note, is a perfectly legitimate decision.

But in many of the indictment withdrawal cases, one of the reasons given was that the defendants did not even bother to show up for the hearings. In most of the cases the government took the required steps – a fine, issuing warrants for arrest and subpoenas – but the indictments were frozen until the defendant was found. In one of the cases, the prolonged freezing caused the police prosecution to say that the evidence has been degraded, to the point of cancelling the indictment.

At the end of the day, the chance that a Palestinian who lodged a complaint about being harmed by an Israeli civilian will see a conviction is only 1.9 percent. Again, most of the blame for this lies with the police – but the courts have their share, as seen by the unusual rate of non-conviction.

Rule of law? Rule of the violent.

June 9, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | Leave a comment

CIA chief pays secret visit to Israel over Iran N-talks: Report

Press TV – June 9, 2015

Director of the US spy agency CIA John Brennan has reportedly made a secret visit to Israel to brief the regime’s officials over the ongoing nuclear negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 states.

Brennan traveled to Israel on June 4 and met with high-ranking Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and one of his advisers Yossi Cohen, to discuss the developments in the talks between Iran and the six world powers, Haaretz quoted two senior Israeli officials as saying on Tuesday.

The officials, who asked not to be named, said the CIA chief also held meetings with the head of Israel’s spy agency Mossad Tamir Pardo and the regime’s military intelligence chief Major General Herzl Halevi.

It is unclear whether Brennan conveyed a message from US President Barack Obama to Netanyahu about a possible comprehensive agreement over Tehran’s nuclear program.

The CIA has not yet commented on the report of Brennan’s trip.

Diplomatic efforts aimed at reaching a final agreement over Iran’s nuclear program have drawn angry reactions from Israel. The Tel Aviv regime has been lobbying intensely to thwart such a deal.

Brennan’s visit to Israel came at a sensitive juncture, less than a month ahead of the June 30 deadline set by Tehran and its negotiating sides to finalize a deal, which seeks to end the Western dispute over Tehran’s nuclear case.

A few days before his visit to Israel, Brennan told the US-based CBS network that Washington and Tel Aviv are closely cooperating on the issue of Iran’s nuclear negotiations.

“The CIA, NSA (the US National Security Agency) and other intelligence community entities are working very close with their Israeli … counterparts” regarding the talks, Brennan said.

Iran and the P5+1 states– Russia, China, France, Britain, the US and Germany — have been working on the text of the final deal since they reached mutual understanding on key parameters of such an accord in the Swiss city of Lausanne on April 2.

June 9, 2015 Posted by | Wars for Israel | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The purpose state secrecy serves, from SEAL Team 6 down to Boston Police


PrivacySOS | June 7, 2015

The New York Times has published a long, detailed history of the Navy’s special operators in SEAL Team 6, also known as the Special Warfare Development Group, or by its insider name, DEVGRU. This paragraph caught my attention.

The unit’s advocates express no doubts about the value of such invisible warriors. “If you want these forces to do things that occasionally bend the rules of international law,” said James G. Stavridis, a retired admiral and former Supreme Allied Commander at NATO, referring to going into undeclared war zones, “you certainly don’t want that out in public.” Team 6, he added, “should continue to operate in the shadows.”

That perfectly sums up the mentality in the US National Security State, from the most elite Navy SEALs all the way down through the FBI, and increasingly, to our local police.

Just last week, the Boston Police Department and FBI killed a man in a confrontation in Roslindale, Massachusetts. The cops have said that Usaama Rahim was plotting to kill police officers, although they never prepared an arrest warrant for him. Instead of preparing to arrest him by obtaining a warrant and sending a tactical team to do it safely, a few plainclothes JTTF officers shot him dead after approaching him to have what they describe as a 7am chat in a CVS parking lot. The Feds say the FBI and BPD were following him 24 hours a day during the week preceding his killing. But asked how Rahim initially came to the attention of investigators, Boston police commissioner William Evans said he cannot say. That information, he says, is “classified.”

When we hear claims like this, it’s crucial to recall what purpose secrecy usually serves in the security context. The truth of the matter was spelled out in unusually frank terms by the former NATO commander quoted in the NYT story about special operators cited above. “If you want these forces to do things that occassionally bend the rules of…law, you certainly don’t want that out in the public.”

That’s an unacceptable approach to foreign war fighting. It borders on the authoritarian here at home. And we cannot lose sight of the connection between the two.

Assuming general tolerance for official secrecy regarding forever wars abroad won’t trickle down to the domestic policing space is a fool’s errand. We now see clearly what that trickle down means in Boston. Police and FBI killed a man, and now they’re saying National Security prevents them from talking about why. That should send a chill down your spine.

June 9, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , | Leave a comment

Massachusetts State Police win Golden Padlock Award

IRE News | 06.06.2015

Investigative Reporters and Editors has named the Massachusetts State Police as the winner of its third-annual Golden Padlock Award recognizing the most secretive U.S. agency or individual.

The Massachusetts State Police habitually go to extraordinary lengths to thwart public records requests, protect law enforcement officers and public officials who violate the law and block efforts to scrutinize how the department performs its duties. It normally takes months or longer to respond to news media FOI requests. Requests for basic documents routinely produce refusals, large portions of blacked out documents or demands for tens of thousands of dollars in unjustified fees. Among them, a $42,750 fee for the log of its public records requests and a $62,220 fee for records of crashes involving police cruisers sought by the Boston Globe. A Bay State Examiner reporter was told to pay a $710.50 “non-refundable research fee” to get an estimate of the fee he would have to pay to obtain copies of internal affairs reports. The Worcester Telegram & Gazette concluded: “The Massachusetts State Police is a habitual offender – verging on a career criminal – when it comes to breaking a state law intended to ensure government is accountable to the people it serves.”

“True commitment, no matter how offensive to the public interest, must be begrudgingly recognized,” said Robert Cribb, chair of IRE’s Golden Padlock committee. “The Massachusetts State Police has distinguished itself as a agency unwavering in its willingness to ensure citizens are protected from the truth.”

IRE invited a representative from the winning agency to attend and receive the honor. No response was received.

To learn about the 2015 finalists, click here.

June 9, 2015 Posted by | Deception | | 1 Comment

Instead of Training to Solve Crimes, Cops Team Up with the Military to Prep for War

By Gary Franchi | The Free Thought Project | June 9, 2015

NORTH VERNON, IN – While the media was focused on Bruce Jenner’s transformation into Caitlyn Jenner last week they missed the further transformation of the Indiana State Police into a militarized police Force.

Together with the Indiana National Guard they weren’t practicing solving crimes, they were practicing Fast Rope techniques from a Blackhawk helicopter.

The above video contains actual footage which the Free Thought Project secured from the department of Defense, of the exercises.

Unlike in the recent special forces exercise that just occurred in Michigan, using live ordinance at an abandoned public school, this exercise took place at the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center.

Discarding their traditional police uniforms they adorned military fatigues and we’re fully equipped to kill.

This clearly contradicts Obama’s declaration of last month to crack down on the militarization of local police.

Even while Obama claims a crackdown is occurring, the local police can still use military equipment because through a loophole that equipment doesn’t belong to them. It belongs to the military.

All around us we are witnessing a military buildup enslave a free people while the media fixates on issues of no consequence to liberty.

The only way around it is to bypass them altogether. Use the power in your hands right now to inform others. Without an informed and activated citizenry can we ever be free.

So join Next News in the New Media Coalition with the Free Thought Project and share this to your social networks.

If you’d like to see what military equipment your local department has acquired through the Fed’s 1033 program, you can do so at this link.

June 9, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite, Video | , , | 1 Comment

Report: Increase in torture in detention under Sisi

MEMO | June 8, 2015

There has been an increase in the death rates in detention centres since the military coup in Egypt, a new report has revealed.

In a report entitled “The Official Cemeteries: Extrajudicial Killings in Egyptian detention centres from June 30, 2013 to June 1, 2015“, the monitoring and documentation department of the Egyptian Observatory for Rights and Freedoms stated that the last two years witnessed a major shift in the death rates in the various detention centres in terms of the number of deaths and the cases of death by torture since President Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi came to power.

The report noted that the Egyptian security authorities adopted a systematic policy of arbitrarily arresting those opposed to the military government in Egypt. Since 30 June 2013, Egypt has adopted this policy in an unprecedented manner. This systematic policy of arrests has led to the detention of large numbers of people in various detention centres, which can no longer accommodate them due to their large numbers. It has also led the government to use arrests as an important means of oppressing the opposition to the military government in Egypt.

With the increasing number of detainees and the lack of any health care or medical attention, the prisons, detention centres, and questioning centres have become a place for the spiritual and psychological murder of the detainees.

The department also explained that the results of the monitoring and documentation of extrajudicial killings committed inside the various places of detention over the past two years, from 30 June 2013 to early June 2015 are as follows:

  • Total number of individuals killed in detention centres: 269
    • Number of politicians killed in detention centres: 92
    • Number of criminals killed in detention centres: 177
  • Where these 269 individuals died:
    • Number of individuals killed in prisons: 102
    • Number of individuals killed in police stations: 150
    • Number of individuals killed in courts and prosecutors’ offices: 6
    • Number of individuals killed in military prisons: 2
    • Number of individuals killed in care homes: 2
    • Number of individuals killed in undisclosed places of detention: 7
  • Where these 269 individuals died:
    • Number of individuals killed in detention centres during Adly Mansour’s term: 130
    • Number of individuals killed in detention centres since the beginning of Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi’s term: 139
    • Number of individuals killed in detention centres since during Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim’s term after June 30, 2013 until his retirement: 231
    • Number of individuals killed in detention centres since the beginning of Magdy Abdel Ghaffar’s term: 38

The monitoring and documentation department also added that the number of killings and deaths during the first year of Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi’s presidency has undoubtedly demonstrated his continued political support of slowly killing prisoners and detainees inside detention centres, as the first year of his term resulted in the following:

  • Number of deaths inside detention centres during Sisi’ term: 139
    • Number of politician who died in detention centres: 31
    • Number of criminal deaths inside detention centres: 108
  • Where these 139 individuals died:
    • Number of deaths inside prisons: 39
    • Number of deaths in police stations: 96
    • Number of deaths in courts and prosecutors’ offices: 2
    • Number of deaths in military prisons: 0
    • Number of deaths in care homes: 1
    • Number of deaths in undisclosed places of detention: 1

The department also confirmed that the prisons and detention centres have turned into centres of gradually draining and exhausting individuals both physically and psychologically. The military government in Egypt wants to turn the detainees opposed to the military government in Egypt into remains of creatures that no longer represent humans; creatures depleted of all signs of humanity that become a burden on themselves and society, the report said.

The prisons and detention centres in Egypt have been used by the military government to provide the appropriate conditions conducive to achieving the goal of dehumanising the opposition.

The Egyptian Observatory’s monitoring and documentation department stressed that it prepared this report and collected the data in order to expose this heinous crime and the abnormal death of prisoners and detainees inside the various detention centres.

June 9, 2015 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance, Subjugation - Torture | , | Leave a comment

163 Egyptians ‘forcibly disappeared’ in past 2 months, claims report

By Mostafa Mohie | Mada Masr | June 8, 2015

At least 163 people have been forcibly disappeared and illegally detained by security forces in the past two months alone, according to a document published by the Freedom for the Brave campaign on its official Facebook page.

According to the group’s breakdown of these cases, 66 activists have gone missing in this time period, and their whereabouts are still unknown. Another 64 people were only located after they had been detained without charges or interrogation for more than 24 hours in an undisclosed location, in violation of the Constitution. Another 31 cases cited in the document have not yet been verified by the group.

At least two of the people included in the list were allegedly killed by security forces, including Ain Shams University student Ismail Atito and Sinai resident Sabry al-Ghoul.

The majority of these incidents occurred in Cairo, where 60 cases of forced disappearances have been reported, followed by Kafr al-Sheikh with 31, 16 in Giza and 13 in Daqahlia. Suez, Matrouh, the Red Sea, the New Valley and South Sinai were the only governorates that did not report any such cases in the past two months.

Freedom for the Brave said that the majority of the information compiled to create this database was gathered from the group’s own research on certain cases it has been directly following, as well as from documentation compiled by other rights organizations and complaints circulated on social media by the families of the disappeared. The campaign also published the tracking numbers of the official complaints that families have submitted to the prosecution.

“Activists have been forcibly disappeared since July 2013, but this number is now increasing at an unprecedented rate,” Freedom for the Brave member Tarek Mohamed told Mada Masr.

He believes that the current crackdown is a general “continuation of the regime’s policies against any movement associated with the January 25 revolution,” but also a specific reaction against the April 6 Youth Movement’s call for a general strike on June 11.

But the crackdown is baseless, Mohamed argued. The call to strike does not violate any law, as it is a “call for the people to stay home in protest against deteriorating economic conditions and ongoing arrests,” he claimed.

Several of the people who have been illegally detained and held in undisclosed locations were later charged with belonging to the April 6 Youth Movement, which the courts ruled an illegal organization last year, Mohamed pointed out. They also faced accusations of coordinating with the banned Muslim Brotherhood group and calling for the June 11 strike.

“Those accusations were leveled against activist Dalia Radwan, the only one released on bail, and a member of the Helwan University Student Union, Ahmed Khattab, who appeared in front of the prosecution bearing signs of torture,” Mohamed said. “Nagwa Ezz and Ahmed al-Zayyat faced similar charges”.

However, Mohamed added that the prosecution has since reversed its decision to release Radwan and remanded her into custody for 15 days pending investigations.

Mohamed also spoke of photojournalist Israa al-Taweel, Sohaib Mohamed and Amr Mohamed, who were illegally detained on June 1. Their families and lawyers have still not been able to obtain any information on their whereabouts.

“We fear that those who disappeared face the same fate of Atito,” Mohamed said, referring to the Ain Shams University student who disappeared on May 19 after he was allegedly summoned out of an exam room by a security officer and another unidentified man. He was found dead the following day. The Interior Ministry released a statement claiming the student was involved in the assassination of a police officer, and had been killed in an exchange of fire with police forces when he tried to evade arrest.

The ministry has denied all reports of forced disappearances. One source from the ministry told the privately owned newspaper Al-Shorouk that “we are in a state of law and we cannot detain citizens in the streets unlawfully. Whoever is arrested faces accusations according to judicial orders.”

Translated by Mai Shams El-Din

June 9, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Subjugation - Torture | | Leave a comment

Cold War II to McCarthyism II

By Robert Parry | Consortium News | June 8, 2015

Perhaps it’s no surprise that the U.S. government’s plunge into Cold War II would bring back the one-sided propaganda themes that dominated Cold War I, but it’s still unsettling to see how quickly the major U.S. news media has returned to the old ways, especially the New York Times, which has emerged as Official Washington’s propaganda vehicle of choice.

What has been most striking in the behavior of the Times and most other U.S. mainstream media outlets is their utter lack of self-awareness, for instance, accusing Russia of engaging in propaganda and alliance-building that are a pale shadow of what the U.S. government routinely does. Yet, the Times and the rest of the MSM act as if these actions are unique to Moscow.

A case in point is Monday’s front-page story in the Times entitled “Russia Wields Aid and Ideology Against West to Fight Sanctions,” which warns: “Moscow has brought to bear different kinds of weapons, according to American and European officials: money, ideology and disinformation.”

The article by Peter Baker and Steven Erlanger portrays the U.S. government as largely defenseless in the face of this unprincipled Russian onslaught: “Even as the Obama administration and its European allies try to counter Russia’s military intervention across its border, they have found themselves struggling at home against what they see as a concerted drive by Moscow to leverage its economic power, finance European political parties and movements, and spread alternative accounts of the conflict.”

Like many of the Times’ recent articles, this one relies on one-sided accusations from U.S. and European officials and is short on both hard evidence of actual Russian payments – and a response from the Russian government to the charges. At the end of the long story, the writers do include one comment from Brookings Institution scholar, Fiona Hill, a former U.S. national intelligence officer on Russia, noting the shortage of proof.

“The question is how much hard evidence does anyone have?” she asked. But that’s about all a Times’ reader will get if he or she is looking for some balanced reporting.

Missing the Obvious

Still, the more remarkable aspect of the article is how it ignores the much more substantial evidence of the U.S. government and its allies themselves financing propaganda operations and supporting “non-governmental organizations” that promote the favored U.S. policies in countries around the world.

Plus, there’s the failure to recognize that many of Official Washington’s own accounts of global problems have been riddled with propaganda and outright disinformation.

For instance, much of the State Department’s account of the Aug. 21, 2013 sarin attack in Syria turned out to be false or misleading. United Nations inspectors discovered only one rocket carrying sarin – not the barrage that U.S. officials had originally alleged – and the rocket had a much shorter range than the U.S. government (and the New York Times ) claimed. [See’sNYT Backs Off Its Syria-Sarin Analysis.”]

Then, after the Feb. 22, 2014 U.S.-backed coup in Ukraine, the U.S. government and the Times became veritable founts of propaganda and disinformation. Beyond refusing to acknowledge the key role played by neo-Nazi and other right-wing militias in the coup and subsequent violence, the State Department disseminated information to the Times that later was acknowledged to be false.

In April 2014, the Times published a lead story based on photographs of purported Russian soldiers in Ukraine but had to retract it two days later because it turned out that the State Department had misrepresented where a key photo was  taken, destroying the premise of the article. [See’sNYT Retracts Ukraine Photo Scoop.”]

And sometimes the propaganda came directly from senior U.S. government officials. For instance, on April 29, 2014, Richard Stengel, under secretary of state for public diplomacy, issued a “Dipnote” that leveled accusations that the Russian network RT was painting “a dangerous and false picture of Ukraine’s legitimate government,” i.e., the post-coup regime that took power after elected President Viktor Yanukovych was driven from office. In this context, Stengel denounced RT as “a distortion machine, not a news organization.”

Though he offered no specific dates and times for the offending RT programs, Stengel did complain about “the unquestioning repetition of the ludicrous assertion … that the United States has invested $5 billion in regime change in Ukraine. These are not facts, and they are not opinions. They are false claims, and when propaganda poses as news it creates real dangers and gives a green light to violence.”

However, RT’s “ludicrous assertion” about the U.S. investing $5 billion was a clear reference to a public speech by Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland to U.S. and Ukrainian business leaders on Dec. 13, 2013, in which she told them that “we have invested more than $5 billion” in what was needed for Ukraine to achieve its “European aspirations.” [See’sWho’s the Propagandist: US or RT?”]

One could go on and on about the U.S. government making false or misleading claims about these and other international crises. But it should be clear that Official Washington doesn’t have clean hands when it comes to propaganda mud-slinging, though you wouldn’t know that from the Times’ article on Monday.

Funding Cut-outs

And, beyond the U.S. government’s direct dissemination of disinformation, the U.S. government also has spread around hundreds of millions of dollars to finance “journalism” organizations, political activists and “non-governmental organizations” that promote U.S. policy goals inside targeted countries. Before the Feb. 22, 2014 coup in Ukraine, there were scores of such operations in the country financed by the National Endowment for Democracy. NED’s budget from Congress exceeds $100 million a year.

But NED, which has been run by neocon Carl Gershman since its founding in 1983, is only part of the picture. You have many other propaganda fronts operating under the umbrella of the U.S. State Department and its U.S. Agency for International Development. Last May 1, USAID issued a fact sheet summarizing its work financing friendly journalists around the world, including “journalism education, media business development, capacity building for supportive institutions, and strengthening legal-regulatory environments for free media.”

USAID estimated its budget for “media strengthening programs in over 30 countries” at $40 million annually, including aiding “independent media organizations and bloggers in over a dozen countries,” In Ukraine before the coup, USAID offered training in “mobile phone and website security.”

USAID, working with billionaire George Soros’s Open Society, also funds the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, which engages in “investigative journalism” that usually goes after governments that have fallen into disfavor with the United States and then are singled out for accusations of corruption. The USAID-funded OCCRP also collaborates with Bellingcat, an online investigative website founded by blogger Eliot Higgins.

Higgins has spread misinformation on the Internet, including discredited claims implicating the Syrian government in the sarin attack in 2013 and directing an Australian TV news crew to what appeared to be the wrong location for a video of a BUK anti-aircraft battery as it supposedly made its getaway to Russia after the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in 2014.

Despite his dubious record of accuracy, Higgins has gained mainstream acclaim, in part, because his “findings” always match up with the propaganda theme that the U.S. government and its Western allies are peddling. Though most genuinely independent bloggers are ignored by the mainstream media, Higgins has found his work touted.

In other words, whatever Russia is doing to promote its side of the story in Europe and elsewhere is more than matched by the U.S. government through its direct and indirect agents of influence. Indeed, during the original Cold War, the CIA and the old U.S. Information Agency refined the art of “information warfare,” including pioneering some of its current features like having ostensibly “independent” entities and cut-outs present the propaganda to a cynical public that rejects much of what it hears from government but may trust “citizen journalists” and “bloggers.”

To top off this modern propaganda structure, we now have the paper-of-record New York Times coming along to suggest that anyone who isn’t disseminating U.S. propaganda must be in Moscow’s pocket. The implication is that now that we have Cold War II, we can expect to have McCarthyism II as well.


Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and

June 9, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment