Aletho News


The Buried Canadian State Connection to ISIS

Brandon Martinez of Non-Aligned Media revisits a March 2015 scandal which exposed the direct connection between the pro-Zionist Harper regime in Ottawa and ISIS, and how the mainstream media refused to follow up on it.

August 15, 2015 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, Video | , | Leave a comment

Can You Trust a Country That Has Violated 20 International Agreements?

By Michael S. Rozeff • Lew Rockwell • August 14, 2015

AIPAC formed a group called “Citizens for a Nuclear Free Iran”. The assumption is that Iran is “BAD” and should be treated as a pariah nation. AIPAC presumes that Iran should be held inferior to such heroes of human rights as Israel. It presumes that Iran shouldn’t be allowed to sign and support the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty as it has. For AIPAC, it is kosher to assassinate Iran’s physicists and wreck its computers. As far as AIPAC is concerned, it is within Israel’s rights to launch a unilateral attack on anything nuclear within Iran if it so chooses. For AIPAC, Iran must be bad. After all, it resists Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. It calls for political change in Palestine, change that Israel resists, so it must be “BAD”. Iran has no nuclear weapons, but it still must be “BAD” according to AIPAC. It hasn’t slaughtered Palestinians, but it still must be “BAD” according to AIPAC.

On the other hand, it is AIPAC’s view that any killing that Israel does has been “GOOD” and must be “GOOD”. To say otherwise and accuse Israel is not simply to be supportive of human rights, or possibly anti-Zionist, but also possibly to be branded as that old enemy that went out of fashion in the 20th century with the Third Reich or at least has been thoroughly discredited and meets with not a fiber of serious intellectual support: anti-Semitic. If one is not to risk being accused of hating Jews or even hating oneself if one is Jewish, one must by this perforation and shredding of logic, by this muddling of distinct ideas, support Israel and all of its genocidal and expansionist policies in all important respects. One must regard nuclear weapons in Israel’s hands as inherently “GOOD” too.

APIAC has launched ads using this new group. One of these popped up on a web site I went to this morning. It asked whether a country (Iran) that has violated 20 international agreements can be trusted. The “documentation” is here. The so-called violations are accusations, not proven facts and not self-evident. The charges are way overdone, much exaggerated, and trumped up. It’s a phony indictment.

What meaning does it have to charge Iran with not having top-notch governance or not having eliminated human trafficking? Is Iran really out for genocide because its former president made some sort of quote that has been widely and wildly misinterpreted, mistranslated and repeated endlessly? What meaning does it have to accuse Iran of chemical weapons hanky-panky when Israel is not a signatory to the Chemical Weapons Convention and Iran is?

Even if they were not baloney, or not all baloney, or half-truths, or fractional-truths, or not mainly unproven accusations and exaggerations, one has to ask how long a list of similar charges one could bring against many other countries in similar social, political and economic situations.

What would an indictment against the U.S. look like? It would easily be as long, indeed much longer, and the charges would be far more tangible, serious and actually have happened. Shall we lead off with the unprovoked attack on Iraq? Shall we include the 14-year war that began by bringing down Afghanistan’s existing government? Dare we mention the U.S. support for attacking Libya under false pretexts and reducing the country to warring factions, sources of weapons and bases for terrorists; and that has destabilized neighboring countries to boot? Shall we mention genocidal sanctions against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq?

Who trusts the U.S. when an ally one day becomes an enemy the next day as Gaddafi found out?

In a one-on-one comparison, which state would look more trustworthy, the U.S. or Iran?

Email Michael S. Rozeff

August 15, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , | 1 Comment

Key Venezuelan Indigenous Leader’s Killer Sentenced to 30 Years


Indigenous leader Sabino Romero of the Yukpa was murdered in 2013
teleSUR – August 15 2015

One of the accused murderers of the prominent Venezuelan indigenous leader Sabino Romero was sentenced to 30 years in prison for homicide on Friday in a landmark move to prosecute the killer of an indigenous person for the first time.

Angel Romero Bracho, known as “El Manguera,” was given the maximum sentence for his role in Sabino’s murder, according to a statement from the attorney General’s office. Another five suspects had already been sentenced to seven years in prison for their involvement in the crime.

Sabino, a leader of the Yukpa indigenous group in western Venezuela and famed national symbol of indigenous resistance, was killed in March 2013 after a heated land conflict between indigenous groups with legal title to the land and large ranchers who wanted to stake their claim to the farmland.

Although the trial in the case of Sabino’s death was lengthy, justice has finally been served in a historic ruling to punish the murderer of an indigenous leader. Violence against indigenous people has long been treated with impunity in Venezuela and elsewhere in Latin America. While the national government has taken many steps to support indigenous rights, ranchers are usually able to bribe judicial officials. In the trial of Romero Bracho, the public prosector received death threats.

Family members and supporters hope that the conviction against Romero Bracho will pave the way to further investigations to punish the other masterminds behind the murder.

“Sabino Romero has denouced threats and violence in the Sierra de Perija of the latifundistas against the Yukpa people.”

Sabino was the target of an assassination plot in the western Venezuelan state of Zulia for his role in the indigenous struggle against large ranchers who sought to monopolize landholdings, even though indigenous campesinos held legal title to the land under an agrarian reform law implemented by former President Hugo Chavez in 2001.

Sabino’s wife and fellow movement activist Lucia Martinez was also injured in the attack.

Sabino was a well-known and important leader among the Yukpa people, but also stood as a national icon of the broader indigenous movement and struggle for indigenous rights.

August 15, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , | Leave a comment

Tribes struggle with toxic spill as EPA is accused of deliberate disaster

RT | August 15, 2015

As Native American tribes are struggling to cope with a toxic spill caused by an Environmental Protection Agency contractor that turned a river in Colorado orange, a letter from a retired geologist has emerged, that warned of the risk a week beforehand.

A contractor for the EPA released some three million gallons of toxic mining sludge on August 5 while attempting to clean up an abandoned mine near Silverton, Colorado. The waste flowed into Cement Creek, and has since contaminated the Animas River, San Juan River, and the Colorado River in Utah.

The Southern Ute Indian Tribe in southern Colorado has declared a state of local emergency. Their 1,059-square-mile reservation was the first to be hit by the spill, a 100-mile-long stream of mining waste containing lead, copper, and arsenic. Classifying the spill as a disaster enables the release of aid and recovery funds.

“The cost and magnitude of responding to and recovery from the impact of the water contamination from the Gold King Mine Animas River Spill, caused by the EPA on August 5, 2015 is far in excess of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe’s available resources,” the tribe said in its declaration, quoted by Indian Country Today.

Further downstream, the Navajo Nation is fighting the EPA over the agency’s damage claims form. The tribe’s attorney general says Standard Form 95 contains “offending language,” waiving all claims to future compensation.

“Once the claim is made it will only be for the claims suffered to date and precludes future claims,” Navajo Nation president Russel Begaye said, ordering all tribal agencies to stop advising residents to use the form.

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy visited Durango, Colorado earlier this week, but declined to travel to the disaster site, according to the Denver Post. Agency officials said the mine was “too far” to visit, involving a 55-mile trip, partly over unpaved roads.

“As you know, it is a significant distance away, but I did visit the river. I took a look at it myself to get a sense of the river,” McCarthy said. “And I think the good news is it seems to be restoring itself, but we have continued work to do and EPA is here.”

Originally estimated at 1 million gallons (3.785 million liters), the spill was later confirmed to have involved at least three times that amount of toxic waste. Among the metals detected in the sludge were arsenic, cadmium, copper, beryllium, iron, lead, mercury, and zinc. The recorded lead levels alone were 12,000 times higher than normal.

Five water supply systems have been affected by the spill. While the river system mostly serves farming communities, the disaster also poses a risk to the drinking water of 17,000 people living in Durango, Colorado and 45,000 residents of Farmington, New Mexico.

While the agency has maintained that the release of toxic sludge from the Gold King mine was an accident, one retired geologist speculated the EPA might have been setting the area up for a disaster in order to get more federal funding.

“Based on my 47 years of experience as a professional geologist, it appears to me that the EPA is setting your town and the area up for a possible Superfund blitzkrieg,” Dave Taylor of Farmington wrote in a letter to the editors of the Silverton Standard, published July 30. The paper confirmed the letter’s authenticity in a blog post on August 12.

The EPA’s grand experiment to plug the Red & Bonita mine might seem to work at first, Taylor wrote, but he predicted the water would find a way out and “exfiltrate uncontrollably through connected abandoned shafts, drifts, raises, fractures, and possibly from talus on the hillsides.”

Taylor further anticipated that all of the water flow would return to Cement Creek within anywhere from a week to 120 days and could even increase the contamination.
“Reading between the lines, I believe that has been EPA’s plan all along. The proposed Red & Bonita plugging plan has been their way of getting a foot in the door to justify their hidden agenda for construction of a treatment plant,” he wrote.

The EPA has been lobbying to designate the area as a recipient of federal Superfund financing, but met opposition from local residents, Breitbart confirmed. The Wall Street Journal identified the contractor hired to plug the Red and Bonita mines as Environmental Restoration, LLC of Fenton, Missouri, a recipient of over $380 million in EPA contracts over the past decade.

Colorado governor John Hickenlooper visited Durango on Wednesday and took a sip of water from the Animas River in a publicity stunt. An iodine tablet which he used to purify the water would have killed any bacteria and parasites, but had no effect on the heavy metal pollutants. Residents were advised not to follow the governor’s lead, though, as the water was considered unsafe for drinking even before the spill, the Durango Herald reported.

PHOTOS: Toxic spill turns river in Colorado yellow

August 15, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Environmentalism | , , , | 2 Comments

Palestinian photographer’s visa problem exposes British government’s double standards

MEMO | August 15, 2015

Palestinian Hamdi Abu Rahma is a gifted photographer whose work in Gaza has been highly acclaimed around the world. He is also now at the centre of a political storm after he was told that he could not travel to Britain in order to take part in the renowned Edinburgh International Festival. Scottish politicians and supporters have accused the British government of trying to damage the reputation of the festival by its “overly bureaucratic and insensitive decision” to refuse Abu Rahma a visa.

The row has erupted as Prime Minister David Cameron prepares to roll out the red carpet for Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu. The timing is particularly sensitive, as an online petition calling for Netanyahu to be arrested for war crimes when he arrives in London next month has already attracted more than half of the 100,000 needed to trigger a parliamentary debate.

Now that the decision to reject the young Palestinian’s visa application has been challenged by members of the Scottish Government, as well as festival organisers and pro-Palestinian activists, there are hopes that the UK Visa and Immigration agency will think again.

Already widely travelled to show his work at exhibitions around the globe, this is the first time that Abu Rahma has had a visa application rejected without warning. Some observers are particularly surprised since the focus of his photography is about the power of non-violent resistance in Palestine, which he has captured through his camera lens.

“The UK government refused to give me a visa today and the reason for refusal was that I didn’t show any bank statements or documentation to demonstrate my ability to support myself during my visit,” he said in a prepared statement. “Despite sending complete evidence of the sponsorship provided to fund my trip and all contact details of my sponsors, proving that all my travel and accommodation costs have been met, they still refused my application.”

Abu Rahma pointed out that he has travelled extensively in order to tell the Palestinian story through his photographs but Britain is the first country that has refused him entry. “We all know the real reason for this refusal,” he said. “Britain knows very well what my trip is about. I am not going there to claim asylum or beg in the streets. I am going there to educate the British people and pose some questions.” Such questions as: “Have you ever asked Israel why they kill and murder innocent men, women and children in Palestine? Do you know why Israel occupies Palestinian land illegally and destroys our homes, and why it allows colonial settlers to move into our homes illegally against international law?”

Expressing his “deep disappointment” at being unable to travel to Britain on this occasion, the young photographer thanked his friends across the country for their support and for being willing to host him in their homes.

Phil Chetwynd, one of the festival organisers who invited Abu Rahma said: “The Network of Photographers for Palestine raised the money through crowdfunding to finance Hamdi’s visit earlier this year.” All of his travel and subsistence expenses are covered by this, he explained. “I pledged to provide accommodation throughout the visit. Last month I tried to contact the visa office in Amman to back-up Hamdi’s application, but the process is so obscure that they didn’t seem to have a mechanism to add information to that already submitted by the applicant. It seems that the FCO has tendered out the whole process to another organisation.”

Despite the visa ban organisers have said that they will still exhibit Hamdi’s photographs and will ask a performer from another show to read out the speech that he has prepared. As news spread of the visa ban, an additional exhibition of his work may now also be shown at “Welcome to the Fringe: Palestine day at Out Of The Blue (OOTB)”. Other events organised for Hamdi to speak in Inverness, Dundee and Glasgow may still go ahead via a live link-up to his home in Gaza.

According to Sofiah MacLeod, the chair of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, the visa rejection came as “no surprise”. She pointed out that the Cameron government is preparing to welcome the “war criminal” Benjamin Netanyahu to London in September. “As the petition calling on Netanyahu to be arrested for war crimes nears 55,000 signatories, the government’s visa denial to Abu Rahma will only strengthen our resolve to oppose its complicity in Israel’s ethnic cleansing project against the Palestinians.” MacLeod is adamant that Palestinian voices, including Abu Rahma’s, will be heard at this year’s Edinburgh Festival in “unprecedented” numbers. “We already know that the Israeli government has received our message loud and clear that it is not welcome during the festival, or at any other time.”

Scottish Parliamentarian Joan McAlpine of the SNP raised the issue with Sarah Rapson, the Director General of UK Visas and Immigration within hours of hearing about Abu Rahma’s visa being rejected. In a letter seen by MEMO, she told Rapson: “While I understand that immigration is a reserved matter, culture is not. I am the co-convenor of the Scottish Parliament’s Cross Party Group on Culture. I certainly feel that this decision is damaging to culture and the world’s greatest art festival in Edinburgh.”

McAlpine called for a rethink on what appeared to be “an overly bureaucratic and insensitive decision” adding: “I am particularly concerned that the decision means festival goers will miss the opportunity to hear this artist discuss his award-winning work, which of course has implications for freedom of expression.”

This is not the first time that Palestinian artistes have encountered difficulties at the hands of the UK Border Agency. Ali Abukhattab and Samah Al-Sheikh, a married couple also based in Gaza, were due to appear at the Institute for Contemporary Art in June 2013 as part of the Shubbak festival. They were to read from their own works and discuss how Palestinian writers in Gaza have responded to the ongoing Israeli siege and internal political situation.

Al-Sheikh, a short story writer and novelist, and Abukhattab, a poet and critic, are both established writers whose works have appeared in collections and anthologies. Both are also active in promoting the arts in Gaza, but that was not enough for the British government. In an increasingly familiar scenario for artists and writers seeking to visit this country, their visa applications were also rejected.

In April 2012, a tour by Palestinian Oud player Ahmad Al-Khatib and other musicians was delayed because of visa issues raised by the UK Border Agency. Discrimination by immigration officials has also hampered other Arab artists visiting the UK, including Iraqi poet Sabreen Kadhim, and even those only in transit through Britain’s airports, such as Syrian painter Tammam Azzam.

In an age when racial and religious discrimination is increasingly — and thankfully — more unacceptable, the fact that Arab artistes can still face what looks like systematic institutionalised discrimination is a huge concern. Instead of welcoming an alleged war criminal to London, perhaps David Cameron could look into this situation and start to treat all would-be visitors to Britain with fairness and justice.

August 15, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, War Crimes | , , , , | 2 Comments

Thomas Friedman’s Bizarre Moral Universe: Defending Israel in The NY Times

By Barbara Erickson | Times Warp | August 14, 2015

Thomas Friedman in The New York Times argues for approval of the Iran nuclear deal, and on the way to this conclusion he hauls readers through a morass of false narratives and murky ethics, all of them invoked on behalf of Israel.

The column, however, does more than reveal the contortions of Israeli propaganda. It also points up a defect in the Times op-ed pages: The section allows writers to assert almost any claim without having to supply evidence to the readers, and although the newspaper says that it fact-checks even its editors, plenty of misinformation appears in the op-ed pages.

Thus we have Friedman’s latest, “If I Were an Israeli Looking at the Iran Deal,” which lays out a series of bald statements about Iran, Mideast history and the Israeli military that point to one overriding premise: Israel is a lonely moral force in the midst of lunatic regimes.

Friedman asserts, among other things, that Iran “regularly cheated” in order to expand its nuclear capability and aided Lebanon in “an unprovoked war” against Israel in 2006. Israel, however, “tries to avoid hitting civilian targets,” follows “Western mores” and pursues “war without mercy” only “when it has to.”

We are told, in other words, that Iran is an existential threat to Israel, bent on its destruction. Oddly, just as Friedman’s column was appearing in the Times, the newspaper also published a rebuttal to his claim in a story titled “Reporting From Iran Jewish Paper Sees No Plot to Destroy Israel.”

Here we learn that many Iranians support a two-state solution in Palestine-Israel and that Jewish Iranians are “basically well-protected second-class citizens—a broadly prosperous, largely middle-class community whose members have no hesitation about walking down the streets of Tehran wearing yarmulkes.”

If readers took the time to check out some of Friedman’s specific claims, they would find that the “unprovoked war” of 2006 was something else again. Israel was actually planning to attack Lebanon and seized on one incident (among many skirmishes on both sides) to unleash its arsenal on the country.

They would discover that Iran has not “regularly cheated its way” in its nuclear program. Instead, as investigative journalist Gareth Porter notes, “The evidence adduced to prove that Iran secretly worked on nuclear weapons represents an even more serious falsification of intelligence than we saw in the run-up to the war in Iraq.”

As for Friedman’s claim that the “Israeli army tries to avoid hitting civilian targets,” many readers already know that rights groups have cast grave doubts on this particular bit of propaganda. Most recently, we have heard from Breaking the Silence and Amnesty International, as both groups have exposed the criminal policies and actions that left so many civilians dead last summer in Gaza.

This sloppy approach to the facts is appalling, but even worse in this particular piece is the moral quagmire he creates in justifying Israel’s war crimes. Israel is forced to kill civilians, he says, because it faces enemies that stop at nothing. Therefore, Israel will “play by local rules” because “for all its Western mores it will not be out-crazied.”

Friedman would have it both ways: Israel is a moral society and Israel is the toughest, meanest guy on the block. If Hezbollah or Hamas fire rockets, he writes, Israel “will not be deterred by the threat of civilian Arab casualties.” The threat that concerns him here is the damage to Israel’s reputation, not the deaths of innocent Arabs.

He finds Iran’s alleged nuclear cheating particularly egregious because the country had signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. This observation, however, does not prevent him from threatening Iran with Israel’s nukes: “[Israel] not only possesses 100 to 200 nuclear weapons,” he writes, “it can deliver them to Iran by plane, submarine and long-range rocket.”

Israel, on the other hand, has never signed the NPT and has never allowed inspectors into its nuclear plant, but this is no matter to Friedman. Iran, which has signed the treaty and allows inspections of its facilities, finds this state of affairs used against it in his bizarre moral universe.

Friedman presents Iran as one of the “crazies” that force Israel to break from its “Western mores,” but he can maintain this stance only by ignoring a little-discussed fact: Iran has forbidden the production and use of weapons of mass destruction, including chemical warfare and nuclear arms.

Even when Iraq attacked Iranians with poison gas during the eight-year war, Iran refused to retaliate in kind. Two supreme leaders have pronounced a fatwa against such weapons, including nuclear arms, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and Ayatollah Ali Khameini. Iran’s nuclear program, they declared, can only be pursued for peaceful purposes, and under the Iranian system, their word is the law of the land.

No wonder we hear not a word of this from Friedman (or the Times): Iran’s fatwa contrasts starkly with the Israeli stance on its own nuclear program.

In Friedman’s piece, facts that would expose his fraudulent narratives are excluded, in spite of the newspaper’s claim to fact-check even opinion pieces and editorials. Readers are denied even the minimal links that appear in most news stories.

Friedman’s columns appear twice a week in the Times. He has won awards for reporting and commentary, and he is a member of the Pulitzer Prize board. Such is the state of mainstream American journalism today.

August 15, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

US Sends Old Attack Planes to Europe to Deter ‘Russian Aggression’ – Media

Sputnik – 15.08.2015

The Pentagon will send 12 attack planes and crews to Central and Eastern Europe in a bid to bolster NATO’s “Operation Atlantic Resolve,” an ongoing show of military might meant to deter Russia’s imaginary “aggression” in the region, US media reported on Friday.

1017686332The Air Force announced this week it would deploy more A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft, also known as “Warthogs,” to Europe after lawmakers rejected the argument that the antiquated attack jet should be retired.

A dozen A-10s from Moody Air Force Base in Georgia will be deployed to Central and Eastern Europe in addition to the ten A-10s sent to Romania and the Czech Republic in March.

The Air Force has waged a years-long campaign to scrap its A-10 fleet in a bid to save roughly $4 billion, arguing that the plane’s close air support mission can be performed by other platforms, such as the B-1 bomber and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, The Fiscal Times reported on Friday.

Lawmakers have so far ignored those pleas, insisting that there is no viable substitute out there today for the jet that has recently flown numerous missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Photo © Wikipedia

August 15, 2015 Posted by | Militarism | , | 1 Comment

One civilian killed in shelling in DPR’s Gorlovka

NOVOROSSIA Today – August 14, 2015

gorloveh1A civilian was killed during the night shelling of Gorlovka by Kiev’s military, the city’s administration told the Donetsk News Agency on Friday.

“A man, born in 1938, died as a shell struck his house,” the city administration said, adding the shelling had been delivered from heavy weapons. “Grad (launch vehicle) and an SPG (self-propelled gun).”

Lately, Gorlovka has become the hottest point at the front line in Donbass. From January 2015, the city administration says, 164 civilians have been killed, including 16 children. Another 501 people have been injured. About 2,000 houses have been ruined. Local authorities say the city has been shelled daily, mostly at night.

August 15, 2015 Posted by | War Crimes | | Leave a comment

10,000 objects of infrastructure have been destroyed by Kyiv’s war in Donbas

RT | August 14, 2015

According to the Donetsk People’s Republic Commissioner for Human Rights, since the beginning of the conflict in Donbas, Ukrainian armed forces have destroyed more than 10,000 infrastructure objects.

“As of August 14, 2015, as a result of hostilities in the region, more than 10 099 infrastructure objects have been damaged or destroyed”, RIA Novosti quoted the Donetsk press service.

Since the beginning of the special operation by the Ukrainian security forces in Donbas last year, many infrastructure objects in the region have been targeted. As a result, residents of some settlements are left without electricity and water. A number of towns have been without electricity and water for over a month.

August 15, 2015 Posted by | War Crimes | | Leave a comment

Drunken Ukrainian Troops Shoot Donbass Beachgoers… Just for Fun

Sputnik – 15.08.2015

The residents of Novgorodskoe in Donbass planned on spending a warm August day on the beach, but unfortunately fell target to Ukrainian troops, who were shooting locals for pleasure, local wire agency Novosti Donbassa reported.

“Troops attacked the security guard of the pond and broke his ribs. They were shooting the people from the opposite side of the pond with submachine guns! Beachgoers with children were running in all directions!” information agency Regnum quoted local residents as writing about the accident on the social networks.

The military command has detained three shooters, Regnum reported. They all appeared to be drunk while shooting and the main reason for opening fire was allegedly for their own pleasure.

No injuries or casualties were reported.

The authorities of Dzerzhinsk, the nearest city to Novgorodskoe settlement, along with local military command have held an urgent meeting over shooting incident. The members of the OSCE monitoring group also attended the meeting, Novosti Donbassa reported.

According to social media reports, the local residents are concerned over possible reopening of military operations in the area on the upcoming weekend. Officials recommended the citizens from Dzerzhinsk outskirts to leave their homes for the next couple of days.

This is not the first incident in Donbass, involving the Ukrainian troops. On the August, 9, a soldier, driving a truck struck and killed the boy from the village of Georgiyevka in the former Donetsk Region.

August 15, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , | Leave a comment

US refuses to free ‘near death’ Gitmo hunger striker weighing 33 kg

RT | August 15, 2015

A prisoner of US military detention facility in Guantanamo Bay may soon starve to death, as after more than eight years of force-feeding his body is said to be unable to take the nutrients he is pumped with. The DoD opposed the ailing man’s release.

Tariq Ba Odah, a Saudi resident of Yemeni descent, was captured in Pakistan and held in Guantanamo facility since 2002. In 2009 he was cleared for release by the Obama administration, but remains in US custody. In 2007 he went on a hunger strike to protest his indefinite detention without charges. After more than eight years without taking food voluntarily, he weighs less than 34 kilograms and may soon die, his lawyer says.

“Common sense dictates that Mr. Ba Odah is starving because his body is failing to properly absorb and process the liquid calories and nutrients he is being force fed. No other conclusion is viable unless one presumes the government intends to maintain him at just 56 percent of his ideal body weight while he is on hunger strike,” Omar Farah, his lawyer provided by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), wrote in a legal memorandum.

The CCR sought to secure Ba Odah’s transfer on humanitarian grounds through a US federal court. But the habeas corpus petition has been opposed by the Department of Justice, which late on Friday submitted a filing opposing it. The filing was kept under seal, which is “rare and unnecessary,” as CCR’s Wells Dixon told the Guardian newspaper

Ba Odah’s lawyer Farah said the rights group was “deeply disappointed by this secret filing.”

“It is a transparent attempt to hide the fact that the Obama administration’s interagency process for closing Guantánamo is an incoherent mess, and it is plainly intended to conceal the inconsistency between the administration’s stated intention to close Guantánamo and the steps taken to transfer cleared men. The administration simply wants to avoid public criticism and accountability,” he said.

An anonymous US official confirmed the assessment to the British newspaper, saying the government wants to avoid embarrassment rather than protect classified information by sealing the motion. The source added that hardliners in the Pentagon, who consider hunger striking a form of warfare, would not allow Ba Odah’s struggle for release to be unchallenged. Otherwise it would encourage other hunger strikers and make the DoD appear suffering a substantive defeat, the reasoning goes.

The US mishandles the hunger strike issue at Guantanamo bay, a problem that is far from being unique to that facility, RT was told by Scott Allen, professor of medicine at the University of California, who was part of a task force that examined force feeding procedures that are carried out at detention centers.

“The key mistake that the Department of Defense has made in its approach to hunger strikes is that it thinks of them too often collectively,” he said. “If they are concerned about the life of this individual, which is what they had stated the goal was all along, they need to focus on his case and his case alone and develop a plan that would preserve his life and his dignity.”

President Barack Obama made shutting down Guantanamo Bay prison a campaign issue during his first campaign, but failed to deliver on the promise. The latest move by his administration is to speed up transfer of roughly half of the prison’s 116 inmate population to other countries and have the rest relocated into high security prisons on US soil.

The plan was criticized by rights groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union, which said it fails to address the wider issue with keeping people detained for decades without charges in a denial of core western values.

August 15, 2015 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite, Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment

We Learned a Lot From the Senate Torture Report. Including What We Still Don’t Know.

By Eliza Relman | ACLU |August 14, 2015

The executive summary of the Senate torture report, released last December, exposed a system of abuse that was far more brutal than the CIA ever admitted to the White House, Congress, the courts, or the American public. But for all its revelatory, gruesome details, it also revealed more about what we don’t know.

The 525-page summary released by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence references documents detailing secret legal defenses for torture, attempts at covering up illegality, indications of dissent from within the CIA, and more. To fill in the blanks, we filed a Freedom of Information Act request today for 77 documents, most of which are referenced in the report.

The ACLU has previously acquired and made public redacted versions of some of those documents (see, for example, the OLC memos that were released to us in April 2009). Others have been totally hidden from Americans and deserve to see the light. We’re submitting this new request because we think the public is entitled to a full account of what happened in the CIA’s black sites, and why.

Some details about the still-withheld documents are provided in the Senate’s report and give us a partial understanding as to what the documents contain. In one email referenced by the Senate report, Director of the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center Jose Rodriguez instructed CIA personnel to suppress their doubts about the legality of the so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques” used on detainee Abu Zubaydah. Personnel involved in Abu Zubaydah’s torture wrote headquarters that they believed his interrogations were “approach[ing] the legal limit.”

Rodriguez responded:

[I] strongly urge that any speculative language as to the legality of given activities or, more precisely, judgment calls as to their legality vis-à-vis operational guidelines for this activity agreed upon and vetted at the most senior levels of the agency, be refrained from in written traffic. Such language is not helpful.

Another classified email, written by CIA torture contractor James Mitchell, provides a glimpse of President Bush’s “discomfort” with an “image of a detainee, chained to the ceiling, clothed in a diaper, and forced to go to the bathroom on himself.”

According to the Senate report, the still-withheld documents also tell another story: one about those within the government who objected to torture even when it tarnished their reputations or derailed their careers. One email referenced in the Senate report was written by the CIA’s chief of interrogations after he received the interrogation plan for Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, a former CIA detainee currently being held at Guantánamo Bay. The CIA chief wrote that he would “no longer be associated in any way with the interrogation program due to serious reservation[s]” and that he would be “retiring shortly.” Among other things, the report quotes him as writing, “[t]his is a train wreck [sic] waiting to happen and I intend to get the hell off the train before it happens.”

The ACLU has worked to expose the details of the torture program for more than a decade. As a result of our previous FOIA requests and ensuing litigation, the government has released more than 100,000 pages of torture-related documents. But while the ACLU has received a great deal of information on the Department of Defense’s torture of detainees, some of the critical documents relating to the CIA’s torture program have remained partially or fully hidden. Our fight for transparency continues with this request, along with our ongoing battles for the release of the SSCI’s full 6,900-page report and photographic evidence of torture in two separate cases pending before federal appeals courts.

The release of the executive summary should be a turning point — not the endpoint — for transparency.

August 15, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Subjugation - Torture | , , | Leave a comment