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Guardian makes “error” reading MH17 report, accuses rebels of cover up

off-guardian | October 14, 2015

In a report compiled by Luke Harding, Shaun Walker and Julian Borger, entitled “MH17 report suggests efforts were made to cover up causes of disaster”, and published October 13, the Guardian claimed the Dutch report on the downing of MH17 alleged there was evidence of a “bungled autopsy” and attempt to “remove foreign objects” from the body of the first officer. The implication was that this had been done in order to conceal the cause of the crash, and the further implication was of course that Russia and the rebels had been involved.

The report by the Dutch safety board said that more than 120 objects, “mostly metal fragments”, were found in the body of the first officer, who had sustained “multiple fractures”.. When Dutch experts identified the captain’s body they found it had already “undergone an external and internal examination to remove foreign objects”.

Despite apparent attempts to remove shrapnel, “hundreds of metal objects were found”, the report said, as well as bone fractures and other injuries.

After this appeared a rebuttal was posted BTL, by the CiFer known as Pigswiggle, who showed conclusively the report made no such claim, or anything remotely like such a claim.

This is a really bizarre inference from the report.


The report is merely explaining that the Captain from Team A was not chosen by the public prosecutor as one of the bodies for further “detailed examination.” The Dutch authorities “found” that the Captain’s body “had already ‘undergone an external and internal examination to remove foreign objects,’” because it was part of the investigation procedure that all the bodies were subjected to (as described in the preceding paragraphs of the report). The Guardian is attempting to accuse Russia of a “cover up” based on the investigative actions of the Netherlands Forensic Institute. Indeed, according to the report, the persons responsible for having removed foreign objects from the Captain was a team of “120 forensic specialists from the National Forensic Investigations Team (LTFO) from the Netherlands and 80 forensic specialists from Australia, Belgium, Germany, the United Kingdom, Indonesia, Malaysia, and New Zealand.”

The Guardian needs to correct this story. It is highly embarrassing to it and its journalists.

[read full text of this comment here]

Following this, and other complaints, October 14 the Guardian issued what amounted to a retraction:

Screen Shot 2015-10-14 at 18.15.03

and reworded the offending part of the article to read:

The report by the Dutch safety board said that more than 120 objects, “mostly metal fragments”, were found in the body of the first officer, who had sustained “multiple fractures”. Dutch experts performed an “external and internal examination on the the captain’s body” and removed “hundreds of metal fragments”. They also observed bone fractures and other injuries.

Shaun Walker even tweeted the retraction:

We made a change to this story. There’s enough confusion/disinfo already so apologies for inadvertently adding to it

Some cynical commenters have pointed out this “error” has had the result of spreading a false and baseless rumour of Russian evidence-tampering around the web. A rumour that the foot-noted retraction will do little to quell – especially since they did not see fit to also change their grossly misleading headline, which as of 20:00 BST October 14 still reads thus:

Screen Shot 2015-10-14 at 19.40.31

Which means to all intents and purposes the lie is left to stand, “retraction” or no.

Is this ethical journalism?

Anyone who wants to register their opinion on this and/or ask for further correction can write to the Guardian here:

October 14, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media | , , | 1 Comment

Erdogan and the Ankara Bombing

By Graham E. Fuller | Consortium News | October 14, 2015

“Hüngür Hüngür Ağlıyorum” is a refrain from a old Turkish folksong — “Bitterly I weep.” It commemorates a bloody turning point at Sakarya against Greek invaders back in 1921. But the words couldn’t more readily apply now to the unprecedented and outrageous bombing attacks in Ankara last week against marchers in a demonstration for peace that has cost the lives of some 100 people. Will that tragedy bring the country to its senses?

That event is the most horrific outcome yet of the escalating violence and mayhem that is emerging from the current Turkish electoral campaign —one capriciously demanded by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. He was dissatisfied with the electoral setbacks of last June’s elections that thwarted his amassing greater powers; hence he mandated new elections so voters could “right their mistake.”

He is operating under the increasingly unrealistic supposition that the new elections on Nov. 1 will somehow reverse his decline and grant him new authority in his arrogant push to create a new super-presidency. The frightening thing is that his electoral gambits have grown increasingly reckless; it now appears as if the president acknowledges almost no limits to the means used to manipulate the electorate into voting for him.

Elections in Turkey are generally a rough contact sport — even though they are open and democratic; vote-rigging is rare. This time however Erdoğan is pulling out all the stops in an ever-rising campaign of the intimidation and silencing of political rivals, including detention of large numbers of journalists and attacks on media that dare to criticize the president.

Worse, Erdoğan is particularly hostile towards the HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party), a relatively new Kurdish-oriented party which has actually gained a considerable following among non-Kurds in Turkey — particularly liberals and youth — who value its broad outreach as a secular socialist party. It was this strong showing by the HDP in the June elections that robbed Erdoğan of his expected majority.

He has had blood in his eye ever since and has chosen to exploit ugly nationalist impulses in the country to discredit — perhaps even find grounds to ban — this party that has been gaining some popularity in Turkey as a fresh new political force. Pro-Erdoğan mobs have visited violence upon the party’s headquarters and members in recent months.

It was HDP elements and other liberal forces who dominated the march for peace last week and were the chief victims of the savage bombings. The HDP party leader has directly accused the president of complicity in the bombing of the marchers. There is, of course, no direct evidence of this as such. Indeed it might be too far a stretch to blame Erdoğan as directly responsible for engineering the events — such an act would of course be criminal in the highest degree.

So far Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has suggested that the “Islamic State” or ISIS is behind the slaughter. No reliable facts have been made public so far, and we may never get a clear answer. What is clearer, however, is that — although proving nothing — Erdoğan probably stood to benefit from this event more than other actors.

After inaugurating a bold, admirable and unprecedented initiative in earlier years to open dialog with the main Kurdish rebel group, he now seems to find greater political benefit in discrediting the HDP, perhaps even hoping to unleash unrest among Turkey’s Kurds with the aim of even banning the HDP — thereby removing a major obstacle to a clear-cut victory in the November elections. But to move to mass bombing would be quite another thing.

Erdoğan may also be banking on the hope that much of the Turkish electorate may now be so unnerved by the increased violence and recent attacks from the rebel PKK group that they just might decide to vote for the president’s party as a bulwark against the forces of Kurdish nationalism and chaos. But such a calculation represents a huge gamble that could produce a severe backlash: the electorate may well — and justifiably — fear that the president himself has become such a deeply polarizing, arrogant, erratic and destabilizing figure that he is even willing to put at risk the future stability of the country — and therefore will call for  his defeat.

There are other forces that could also be theoretical beneficiaries of the bombing. Extremists within the right-wing nationalist party MHP are one possibility. And ISIS itself, of course, could well be behind the act, as the government claims. ISIS seeks to drive a wedge between Kurds and Turks and also to “punish” Erdoğan for backing away from his earlier, more tolerant view of ISIS in the struggle against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. And to attack his new willingness to support U.S. attacks against ISIS. Yet ISIS usually claims credit for its terrorist actions; in this case it has not so far done so — for what that’s worth.

Other theories run more heavily to the conspiratorial — that the PKK Kurdish rebels sought to thwart its moderate Kurdish rivals; but the PKK has in fact declared an overall cease-fire, at least until the elections are over. Extreme leftists too (not a serious political force in the country) might seek to sow mayhem to weaken Erdoğan.

But even if Erdoğan’s intimate circle had nothing directly to do with this bombing, there is little doubt that the president has worked to create an atmosphere of xenophobia, fear, instability and anti-Kurdish sentiment that has created an ugly and violent political atmosphere not seen in decades. I worry that he might now even be tempted to create armed confrontation with Russia over Syria as a further distraction — an exceptionally dangerous move.

The major question now is how the Turkish electorate will react to events that seem to be dragging Turkey towards the brink. Will it reject Erdoğan and vote against the AKP in enough numbers to severely curtail his powers and vaulting ambitions in the next parliament? Or will it buy into Erdoğan’s increasingly hollow claims to be the “indispensable leader” who can keep the country on an even keel?

Turkey has before marched up the to political brink in previous years, only to find the electorate ultimately voting wisely to ensure the stability and progress of the country. Here’s hoping their common sense will prevail this time as well. Stakes are high for everybody involved in the region.

Graham E. Fuller is a former senior CIA official, author of numerous books on the Muslim World; his latest book is Breaking Faith: A novel of espionage and an American’s crisis of conscience in Pakistan.

October 14, 2015 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism | | Leave a comment

US refuses to receive PM Medvedev’s delegation to coordinate anti-terrorist actions in Syria

RT | October 14, 2015

Washington has refused to receive a Russian military delegation, headed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, to discuss coordinated action on the fight against terrorism in Syria, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said.

“We have proposed to Americans what President Vladimir Putin informed the public about yesterday, namely, to send a delegation of military experts to Moscow to agree on a whole number of joint steps, afterwards we would be ready to send a high delegation led by Prime Minister Medvedev to Washington,” Lavrov told the Russian Parliament on Thursday.

“Today we were told that they will not be able to send a delegation to Moscow. At the same time, they are unable to receive our delegation in Washington,” he added.

The top Russian diplomat also said that when Moscow invited partners to join Baghdad-based anti-terrorism center it got unconstructive response

“We invited our other partners to take part in activities of the information center so that everyone could see the full picture, so that everyone is on the same page to avoid any misunderstanding. The response was unconstructive. They said why in Iraq? It is not safe there. We explained that according to our estimates, this center can operate in quite favorable conditions. But if there is a wish to coordinate actions in some other place, we are ready for this,” Lavrov said.

“The agreement on the military-technical measures to prevent incidents in the air, which has been practically achieved, will start working from day to day, I hope. Today the finishing touches will be given to coordinate all of its points,” Lavrov told the State Duma.

“And then we are ready to sit down and discuss things, with all the cards in our hands: where THEY think terrorists are, where WE think they could be… I’m sure that if we work honestly, those evaluations will coincide.”

“We should all start with showing our cards, both in direct and indirect sense,” the minister stressed. Then our actions would speak louder than words, calling on the fight against terrorism. I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t sit down and discuss [these] things.

“Perhaps, the West thinks that Islamic State [IS, formerly ISIS] and Assad should just deplete each other,” he said. But I wouldn’t like to think that our Western colleagues are being guided by such ‘simplified’ logic.”

October 14, 2015 Posted by | Deception | , , , | Leave a comment

Columbus Statue Replaced in Venezuela

teleSUR | October 13, 2015

Venezuela’s government erected a statue, in central Caracas, in honor to Guaicaipuro, the Indigenous chief who led the resistance against the Spanish colonialism 500 years ago.

The sculpture replaced a Christopher Columbus statue that stood there for over a century, until it was torn down in 2004 by a popular movement led by supporters of then President Hugo Chavez.

The statue was unveiled in a ceremony headed by President Nicolas Maduro and attended by top officials of the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela and dozens of Indigenous leaders.

Indigenous people represent about 1.5 percent of the total population of Venezuela, there are at least 26 nationalities, including the Ya̧nomamo, Pemon, Warao people, Baniwa people, Kali’na people, Motilone Bari, Ye’kuana, and Yaruro. In 2002, the South American nation began to celebrate October 12 as the Day of Indigenous Resistance.

Guaicaipuro is seen by Venezuelans as a symbol of the Indigenous resistance against the Spanish conquest, he is also well known because he formed a powerful coalition of different tribes which he led during part of the 16th Century against the Spanish troops in the central region of the country, specially in the Caracas valley.

October 14, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment

Fukushima Radiation in Pacific Reaches US West Coast

By John Laforge | CounterPunch | October 14, 2015

“[W]e should be carefully monitoring the oceans after what is certainly the largest accidental release of radioactive contaminants to the oceans in history,” marine chemist Ken Buesseler said last spring.

Instead, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency halted its emergency radiation monitoring of Fukushima’s radioactive plume in May 2011, three months after the disaster began. Japan isn’t even monitoring seawater near Fukushima, according to a Sept. 28 story in The Ecologist.

The amount of cesium in seawater that Buesseler’s researchers found off Vancouver Island is nearly six times the concentration recorded since cesium was first introduced into the oceans by nuclear bomb tests (halted in 1963). This stunning increase in Pacific cesium shows an ongoing increase. The International Business Times (IBT) reported last Nov. 12 that Dr. Buesseler found the amount of cesium-134 in the same waters was then about twice the concentration left in long-standing bomb test remains.

Dr. Buesseler, at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, announced his assessment after his team found that cesium drift from Fukushima’s three reactor meltdowns had reached North America. Attempting to reassure the public, Buesseler said, “[E]ven if they were twice as high and I was to swim there every day for an entire year, the dose I would be exposed to is a thousand times less than a single dental X-ray.”

This comparison conflates the important difference between external radiation exposure (from X-rays or swimming in radioactively contaminated seawater), and internal contamination from ingesting radioactive isotopes, say with seafood.

Dr. Chris Busby of the Low Level Radiation Campaign in the UK explains the distinction this way: Think of the difference between merely sitting before a warm wood fire on one hand, and popping a burning hot coal into your mouth on the other. Internal contamination can be 1,000 times more likely to cause cancer than the same exposure if it were external, especially for women and children. And, because cesium-137 stays in the ecosphere for 300 years, long-term bio-accumulation and bio-concentration of cesium isotopes in the food chain – in this case the ocean food chain – is the perpetually worsening consequence of what has spilled and is still pouring from Fukushima.

The nuclear weapons production complex is the only other industry that has a record of deliberate whole-Earth poisoning. Hundreds of tons of radioactive fallout were aerosolized and spread to the world’s watery commons and landmasses by nuclear bomb testing. The same people then brought us commercial nuclear power reactors. Dirty war spawns dirty business, where lying comes easy. Just as the weapons makers lied about bomb test fallout dangers, nuclear power proponents claimed the cesium spewed from Fukushima would be diluted to infinity after the plume dispersed across 4,000 miles of Pacific Ocean.

Today, globalized radioactive contamination of the commons by private corporations has become the financial, political and health care cost of operating nuclear power reactors. The Nov. 2014 IBT article noted that “The planet’s oceans already contain vast amounts of radiation, as the world’s 435 nuclear power plants routinely pump radioactive water into Earth’s oceans, albeit less dangerous isotopes than cesium.”

Fifty million Becquerels of cesium per-cubic-meter were measured off Fukushima soon after the March 2011 start of the three meltdowns. Cesium-contaminated Albacore and Bluefin tuna were caught off the West Coast a mere four months later; 300 tons of cesium-laced effluent has been pouring into the Pacific every day for the 4 1/2 years since; the Japanese government on Sept. 14 openly dumped 850 tons of partially-filtered but tritium-contaminated water into the Pacific. This latest dumping portends what it will try to do with thousands of tons more now held in shabby storage tanks at the devastated reactor complex.

Officials from Fukushima’s owners, the Tokyo Electric Power Co., have said leaks from Fukushima disaster with “at least” two trillion Becquerels of radioactivity entered the Pacific between August 2013 and May 2014 — and this 9-month period isn’t even the half of it.

The fact that Fukushima has contaminated the entirety of the Pacific Ocean must be viewed as cataclysmic. The ongoing introduction of Fukushima’s radioactive runoff may be slow-paced, and the inevitable damage to sea life and human health may take decades to register, but the “canary in the mineshaft,” is the Pacific tuna population, which should now also be perpetually monitored for cesium.

Last November Buesseler warned, “Radioactive cesium from the Fukushima disaster is likely to keep arriving at the North American coast.” Fish eaters may want to stick with the Atlantic catch for 12 generations or so.

October 14, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Environmentalism, Nuclear Power, Timeless or most popular | , , | Leave a comment

31 martyrs in 14 days: 14 year old murdered today in Jerusalem

International Solidarity Movement | October 14, 2015

The oldest was 30, the youngest just 2 years old.

31 Palestinians have been murdered by Israeli forces since an escalation in violence, triggered by restrictions on al Aqsa Mosque, spread like wild fire across the occupied Palestinian territories and the besieged Gaza strip.  A 14 year old Palestinian boy, just shot to death by ten bullets close range near Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate joins 30 others martyred by their occupiers in just two weeks.  As of now, the boy’s name is unknown though he is believed to be from al-Khalil (Hebron).

Body bag of 14 year old Palestinian boy murdered by Israeli forces is removed from the scene by Israeli police.

Body bag of 14 year old Palestinian boy murdered by Israeli forces is removed from the scene by Israeli police

The latest death comes amidst disturbing news that the Israeli government has passed a decision, as part of new restrictions being deployed in occupied East Jerusalem, that the bodies of Palestinian’s murdered by Israeli forces will not be released to their families.  This adds agonizing and acute new cruelties to an already tragic, ongoing situation.  The reason for the decision was stated to be a deterrent for post funeral demonstrations by Palestinians.  Thus the refusal of Palestinian’s remains to their families is the refusal of the right to resistance of an illegally occupied people.

The decision is linked to measures currently being enacted in East Jerusalem where Israeli forces have set up checkpoints at the entrances to Palestinian neighborhoods beginning early Wednesday.  As well, occupation forces were issuing citations to Palestinian drivers at random as well as inspecting several Palestinian youths and students in humiliating ways, forcing them to take off their clothes.

An international human rights monitor on the scene where the youth was killed noted that the he was shot to death after running from Israeli forces.  Immediately after the shooting, Palestinians were threatened by Israeli forces with being beaten if they didn’t leave the area immediately, thus they were doubly frightened.  Run and get shot, or don’t run and get beaten and possibly arrested.  “People were too scared to put their phones in their trouser-pockets in fear they might be shot when taking them out.”  Although Palestinians were threatened and chased from the scene, settlers were allowed to get close to the boy’s body to take photos.

Rather than taking measures to de-escalate the violence, Israeli officials and military have seemingly done the opposite.  Israeli rights group B’Tselem has called the Israeli government’s response to recent escalation in the area as “the very inverse of what ought to be done” in realistic efforts to stop current violence. “The events of recent weeks cannot be viewed in a vacuum, isolated from the reality of the ongoing, daily oppression of 4 million people, with no hope of change in sight,” the group said in a statement on Tuesday.

Every death means a lifetime of suffering for the families left behind.

They are:

1. Mohannad Halabi, 19, al-Biereh – Ramallah.
2. Fadi Alloun, 19, Jerusalem.
3. Amjad Hatem al-Jundi, 17, Hebron.
4. Thaer Abu Ghazala, 19, Jerusalem.
5. Abdul-Rahma Obeidallah, 11, Bethlehem.
6. Hotheifa Suleiman, 18, Tulkarem.
7. Wisam Jamal, 20, Jerusalem.
8. Mohammad al-Ja’bari, 19, Hebron.
9. Ahmad Jamal Salah, 20, Jerusalem.
10. Ishaq Badran, 19, Jerusalem.
11. Mohammad Said Ali, 19, Jerusalem.
12. Ibrahim Ahmad Mustafa Awad, 28, Hebron.
13. Ahmad Abedullah Sharakka, 13, Al Jalazoun Refugee camp-Ramallah.
14. Mostafa Al Khateeb, 18, Sur-Baher – Jerusalem.
15. Hassan Khalid Manassra, 15, Jerusalem.
16. Mohamed Nathmie Shamassnah, 22, Kutneh-Jerusalem.
17. Baha’ Elian,22, Jabal Al Mokaber-Jerusalem.
18. Mutaz Ibrahim Zawahreh, 27, Bethlehem.
19. Unknown man from Jerusalem in his thirties. (no name was available until the time of his report )

Gaza Strip:

20. Shadi Hussam Doula, 20.
21. Ahmad Abdul-Rahman al-Harbawi, 20.
22. Abed al-Wahidi, 20.
23. Mohammad Hisham al-Roqab, 15.
24. Adnan Mousa Abu ‘Oleyyan, 22.
25. Ziad Nabil Sharaf, 20.
26. Jihad al-‘Obeid, 22.
27. Marwan Hisham Barbakh, 13.
28. Khalil Omar Othman, 15.
29. Nour Rasmie Hassan, 30.
30. Rahaf Yihiya Hassan, two years old.

The fourteen year old boy whose life was violently ended today in East Jerusalem brings the list to 31.

October 14, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | Leave a comment

Global Warming – the padding of an agenda

Watch as former Senator Timothy Wirth, (D-CO) speaking on a PBS interview about the June 1988 Senate hearing on global warming, gleefully describes his loss of integrity and respect for his office.

October 14, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular, Video | | Leave a comment

The Kunduz Hospital Bombing

By Marjorie Cohn – teleSUR – October 13, 2015

In one of the most despicable incidents of the United States’ 14-year war in Afghanistan, U.S. troops bombed a hospital in Kunduz, killing 22 people, including patients, three children, and medical personnel from Doctors Without Borders, or MSF. Thirty-seven people were injured, including 19 staff members in the Oct. 3, 2015, attack.

U.S. forces knew they were targeting a hospital because MSF, as it does in all conflict contexts, had provided its exact GPS coordinates on multiple occasions over the past months, including most recently on Sept. 29. There was a nine-foot flag on the roof that identified the building as a hospital. After the first strike, MSF contacted U.S. officials and reported the hospital was being bombed and begged them to halt the attack. Nevertheless, the U.S. AC-130 gunship continued to pummel the hospital repeatedly for more than one hour.

“Our patients burned in their beds,” said MSF International President Joanne Liu. “Doctors, nurses and other staff were killed as they worked.” She added, “Our colleagues had to work on each other. One of our doctors died on an improvised operating table – an office desk – while his colleagues tried to save his life.”

In attempting to explain why they had bombed a hospital, U.S. military leaders changed their story four times. On Saturday, the day of the bombing, U.S. spokesman Col. Brian Tribus said the strike occurred “against individuals threatening the force. The strike may have resulted in collateral damage to a nearby medical facility.” On Sunday, Gen. John Campbell, U.S.-NATO commander in Afghanistan, claimed the strike occurred “against insurgents who were directly firing upon U.S. service members … in the vicinity of a Doctors Without Borders medical facility.” On Monday, Campbell announced, “Afghan forces advised that they were taking fire from enemy positions and asked for air support” and “several civilians were accidentally struck.” By Tuesday, Campbell said, “the decision to provide aerial fire was a U.S. decision, made within the U.S. chain of command. A hospital was mistakenly struck. We would never intentionally target a medical facility.”

Since the Pentagon has access to video and audio recordings taken from the gunship, they must know what actually occurred. Daily Beast reported that the recordings contain conversations among the crew as they were firing on the hospital, including communications between the crew and U.S. soldiers on the ground. Moreover, AC-130 gunships fly low to the ground so the crew can assess what they are hitting.

But members of Congress who oversee the Pentagon have been denied access to the classified recordings.

Article 18 of the Fourth Geneva Convention states, “Civilian hospitals organized to give care to the wounded and sick, the infirm and maternity cases, may in no circumstances be the object of attack, but shall at all times be respected and protected by the parties to the conflict.”

International law expert Mary Ellen O’Connell, a professor at Notre Dame Law School, said, “The critical question for determining if US forces committed a war crime was whether they had notified the hospital ahead of the strike if they understood the Taliban to be firing from the hospital.”

MSF has said they were never notified that the hospital would be bombed. “Not a single member of our staff reported any fighting inside the MSF hospital compound prior to the U.S. airstrike on Saturday morning,” according to MSF General Director Christopher Stokes.

Parties to a military conflict have a duty to distinguish between civilians and combatants, and civilians and their facilities cannot be targeted. If the hospital were being used for military purposes, the strike must be proportionate to the military advantage sought, and the U.S. forces had a duty to warn the people inside the hospital that it would be struck. No one in the hospital said it was being used for military purposes, and even if it was, the U.S. forces never warned those in the hospital before striking it.

The U.S. strike was a precise attack on the hospital, because no other buildings in the MSF compound were hit. MSF executive director Jason Cone said, “I want to reiterate that the main hospital building where medical personnel were caring for patients was repeatedly and very precisely hit during each aerial raid while the rest of the compound was left mostly untouched. So we see this as a targeted event.”

MSF is demanding an independent investigation by the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission (IHFFC), established under Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions. But the United States must consent to the investigation. The U.S. government says there are enough investigations – one by the Pentagon, one by a joint US-Afghan group, and one by NATO. But none of these is independent and impartial.

Historian and investigative journalist Gareth Porter has written three articles about three different internal investigations the U.S. military used to cover-up operations that should have led to criminal prosecutions against U.S. officers. Why should we believe that this will be any different?

The Rome Statute for the International Criminal Court provides several bases for war crimes prosecution. They include willful killing; willfully causing great suffering or serious bodily injury; intentional attacks against civilian or civilian objects; intentional attacks with knowledge they will cause death or injury to civilians when clearly excessive in relation to the anticipated military advantage; and intentionally attacking medical facilities which are not military objectives. Although the United States is not a party to the Statute, there could be jurisdiction over U.S. leaders if the Security Council referred the matter to the Court. That will not happen because the United States would veto such a referral. If US leaders are found on the territory of a country that is a party to the Statute, that country could send them to The Hague, Netherlands for prosecution. But the Bush administration blackmailed 100 countries into signing “bilateral immunity agreements,” promising they would not send US nationals to The Hague on penalty of losing U.S. foreign aid.

Other countries can prosecute foreign nationals under the well-established doctrine of “universal jurisdiction.” But since Bush initiated his war on Iraq, no nation has been willing to incur the wrath of the United States by maintaining such an action against a U.S. leader.

Nick Turse and Bob Dreyfuss documented the killing of as many as 6,481 Afghan civilians by U.S. forces from October 2001 through 2012. The U.S. government has killed large numbers of civilians in its drone attacks in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Syria, Somalia, and Yemen. But Obama rarely apologizes to or compensates the victims. It is only because a Western-based organization was hit and the attendant media coverage has been so overwhelming that led Obama to apologize to MSF.

MSF’s advance provision of the hospital’s coordinates to U.S. forces, its notifications during the bombing, its denial that any fire was coming from the hospital, and the Pentagon’s shifting rationales for the bombing constitute probable cause that a war crime was committed.

Obama should consent to a full, independent, impartial investigation of the hospital bombing by IHFFC. If that investigation shows that war crimes probably occurred, appropriate prosecutions of the U.S. chain of command should ensue.

October 14, 2015 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , | 3 Comments

Israeli settlers shoot live fire at Palestinian homes

Ma’an – October 14, 2015

women-jewish-settlement-007HEBRON – Israeli settlers on Tuesday attacked Palestinian homes in the Jabal Jalis area east of Hebron in the occupied West Bank, locals said.

Local sources told Ma’an that settlers from the illegal Givat Gal outpost opened live fire on homes in the village. No injuries were reported.

Attacks carried out by settlers on Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory are near-daily, and have increased in recent weeks after two settlers were killed near Nablus by suspected Palestinian gunmen on Oct 1.

The Palestinian government has no jurisdiction over Israelis living illegally in the occupied West Bank, and settlers often carry out attacks in the presence of armed Israeli forces.

Settlers clashed with Palestinians in Hebron on Sunday and Israeli forces reportedly intervened in the confrontation, shooting off tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets at Palestinians. Several were injured with the rubber bullets, while others suffered from tear gas inhalation.

The day before, locals said that settlers attacked Palestinian homes in the Hebron-area village of Wad al-Hisn, spraying waste water and firing tear gas canisters while Israeli soldiers reportedly protected them.

According to the Palestinian Negotiation Affairs department, over 130 attacks were carried out by Israeli settlers in the first week of October.

October 14, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Egyptian Report: 215 cases of forced disappearances in August, September

Mada Masr | October 13, 2015

There have been 215 cases of forced disappearances across Egypt in August and September, according to a report issued by a campaign working to combat the phenomenon.

The report, which was issued on Tuesday, stated that only 63 individuals have been located, with the whereabouts of the other 152 cases remaining unknown.

The 63 cases, the report said, have appeared in various police stations and Central Security Forces camps. The individuals located include defendants in cases related to protesting or belonging to a terrorist organization. Others were identified by their families in Interior Ministry videos.

The report was prepared by the Stop Forced Disappearances campaign, under the auspices of the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms. The campaign was launched on August 30, to coincide with the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances, amid a wave of forced disappearances in the country.

The campaign had posted a form on its Facebook page, through which it collected information and reached out to the families of the disappeared.

Stop Forced Disappearances managed to trace eight cases that disappeared from their holding cells after the prosecution ordered their release, an occurrence similar to “a pattern used by former Interior Minister Habib al-Adly under [former President Hosni] Mubarak.”

The report also listed the names of the 215 people who disappeared, including details of those located, such as where and when they were located and the charges leveled against them.

Those listed in the report are from different backgrounds, and were arrested on suspicion of belonging to a terrorist group or being involved in acts of violence.

“Perhaps the reason behind their arrest and torture is security forces’ belief that they have information on certain people or organizations or claimed terrorist activity,” the report said.

In its report, the campaign listed its demands, including the disclosure of the whereabouts of those listed in the report and referring them to prosecution and holding those responsible for their disappearances accountable. It also demanded that Egypt sign and ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.

According to the report, there is no definition for forced disappearances in the Constitution or Penal Code, and there are no articles that criminalize it.

However, certain forms of arrest are criminalized and temporary detention is regulated by certain laws that partly protect from forced disappearances.

The report added that President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has issued a number of decrees in the absence of parliament, pertaining to rights and freedoms, which “strengthen the tools of repression” and violate human rights.

It cited the anti-terrorism law, which includes articles that legalize “practices that lead to forced disappearances,” and gives police and military forces powers that violate the Constitution and give them impunity.

The report concludes, “It is therefore no surprise that security forces is systematically involved in forced disappearances in Egypt, making it one of the most committed violations practiced on a daily basis against innocent citizens.”

October 14, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Subjugation - Torture | , | Leave a comment