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Political author Gearoid O Colmain discusses the Paris attacks with RT International

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November 15, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Militarism, Video, War Crimes | , , , | 2 Comments

Pentagon report predicted West’s support for Islamist rebels would create ISIS

Anti-ISIS coalition knowingly sponsored violent extremists to ‘isolate’ Assad, rollback ‘Shia expansion’

By Dr Nafeez Ahmed | Insurge Intelligence | May 22, 2015

A declassified secret US government document obtained by the conservative public interest law firm, Judicial Watch, shows that Western governments deliberately allied with al-Qaeda and other Islamist extremist groups to topple Syrian dictator Bashir al-Assad.

The document reveals that in coordination with the Gulf states and Turkey, the West intentionally sponsored violent Islamist groups to destabilize Assad, and that these “supporting powers” desired the emergence of a “Salafist Principality” in Syria to “isolate the Syrian regime.”

According to the newly declassified US document, the Pentagon foresaw the likely rise of the ‘Islamic State’ as a direct consequence of this strategy, and warned that it could destabilize Iraq. Despite anticipating that Western, Gulf state and Turkish support for the “Syrian opposition” — which included al-Qaeda in Iraq — could lead to the emergence of an ‘Islamic State’ in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the document provides no indication of any decision to reverse the policy of support to the Syrian rebels. On the contrary, the emergence of an al-Qaeda affiliated “Salafist Principality” as a result is described as a strategic opportunity to isolate Assad.


Hypocrisy

The revelations contradict the official line of Western governments on their policies in Syria, and raise disturbing questions about secret Western support for violent extremists abroad, while using the burgeoning threat of terror to justify excessive mass surveillance and crackdowns on civil liberties at home.

Among the batch of documents obtained by Judicial Watch through a federal lawsuit, released earlier this week, is a US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) document then classified as “secret,” dated 12th August 2012.

The DIA provides military intelligence in support of planners, policymakers and operations for the US Department of Defense and intelligence community.

So far, media reporting has focused on the evidence that the Obama administration knew of arms supplies from a Libyan terrorist stronghold to rebels in Syria.

Some outlets have reported the US intelligence community’s internal prediction of the rise of ISIS. Yet none have accurately acknowledged the disturbing details exposing how the West knowingly fostered a sectarian, al-Qaeda-driven rebellion in Syria.

Charles Shoebridge, a former British Army and Metropolitan Police counter-terrorism intelligence officer, said:

“Given the political leanings of the organisation that obtained these documents, it’s unsurprising that the main emphasis given to them thus far has been an attempt to embarrass Hilary Clinton regarding what was known about the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi in 2012. However, the documents also contain far less publicized revelations that raise vitally important questions of the West’s governments and media in their support of Syria’s rebellion.”

The West’s Islamists

The newly declassified DIA document from 2012 confirms that the main component of the anti-Assad rebel forces by this time comprised Islamist insurgents affiliated to groups that would lead to the emergence of ISIS. Despite this, these groups were to continue receiving support from Western militaries and their regional allies.

Noting that “the Salafist [sic], the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI [al-Qaeda in Iraq] are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria,” the document states that “the West, Gulf countries, and Turkey support the opposition,” while Russia, China and Iran “support the [Assad] regime.”

The 7-page DIA document states that al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), the precursor to the ‘Islamic State in Iraq,’ (ISI) which became the ‘Islamic State in Iraq and Syria,’ “supported the Syrian opposition from the beginning, both ideologically and through the media.”

The formerly secret Pentagon report notes that the “rise of the insurgency in Syria” has increasingly taken a “sectarian direction,” attracting diverse support from Sunni “religious and tribal powers” across the region.

In a section titled ‘The Future Assumptions of the Crisis,’ the DIA report predicts that while Assad’s regime will survive, retaining control over Syrian territory, the crisis will continue to escalate “into proxy war.”

The document also recommends the creation of “safe havens under international sheltering, similar to what transpired in Libya when Benghazi was chosen as the command centre for the temporary government.”

In Libya, anti-Gaddafi rebels, most of whom were al-Qaeda affiliated militias, were protected by NATO ‘safe havens’ (aka ‘no fly zones’).

‘Supporting powers want’ ISIS entity

In a strikingly prescient prediction, the Pentagon document explicitly forecasts the probable declaration of “an Islamic State through its union with other terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria.”

Nevertheless, “Western countries, the Gulf states and Turkey are supporting these efforts” by Syrian “opposition forces” fighting to “control the eastern areas (Hasaka and Der Zor), adjacent to Western Iraqi provinces (Mosul and Anbar)”:

“… there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist Principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran).”

The secret Pentagon document thus provides extraordinary confirmation that the US-led coalition currently fighting ISIS, had three years ago welcomed the emergence of an extremist “Salafist Principality” in the region as a way to undermine Assad, and block off the strategic expansion of Iran. Crucially, Iraq is labeled as an integral part of this “Shia expansion.”

The establishment of such a “Salafist Principality” in eastern Syria, the DIA document asserts, is “exactly” what the “supporting powers to the [Syrian] opposition want.” Earlier on, the document repeatedly describes those “supporting powers” as “the West, Gulf countries, and Turkey.”

Further on, the document reveals that Pentagon analysts were acutely aware of the dire risks of this strategy, yet ploughed ahead anyway.

The establishment of such a “Salafist Principality” in eastern Syria, it says, would create “the ideal atmosphere for AQI to return to its old pockets in Mosul and Ramadi.” Last summer, ISIS conquered Mosul in Iraq, and just this month has also taken control of Ramadi.

Such a quasi-state entity will provide:

“… a renewed momentum under the presumption of unifying the jihad among Sunni Iraq and Syria, and the rest of the Sunnis in the Arab world against what it considers one enemy. ISI could also declare an Islamic State through its union with other terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria, which will create grave danger in regards to unifying Iraq and the protection of territory.”

The 2012 DIA document is an Intelligence Information Report (IIR), not a “finally evaluated intelligence” assessment, but its contents are vetted before distribution. The report was circulated throughout the US intelligence community, including to the State Department, Central Command, the Department of Homeland Security, the CIA, FBI, among other agencies.

In response to my questions about the strategy, the British government simply denied the Pentagon report’s startling revelations of deliberate Western sponsorship of violent extremists in Syria. A British Foreign Office spokesperson said:

“AQ and ISIL are proscribed terrorist organisations. The UK opposes all forms of terrorism. AQ, ISIL, and their affiliates pose a direct threat to the UK’s national security. We are part of a military and political coalition to defeat ISIL in Iraq and Syria, and are working with international partners to counter the threat from AQ and other terrorist groups in that region. In Syria we have always supported those moderate opposition groups who oppose the tyranny of Assad and the brutality of the extremists.”

The DIA did not respond to request for comment.

Strategic asset for regime-change

Security analyst Shoebridge, however, who has tracked Western support for Islamist terrorists in Syria since the beginning of the war, pointed out that the secret Pentagon intelligence report exposes fatal contradictions at the heart of official pronunciations:

“Throughout the early years of the Syria crisis, the US and UK governments, and almost universally the West’s mainstream media, promoted Syria’s rebels as moderate, liberal, secular, democratic, and therefore deserving of the West’s support. Given that these documents wholly undermine this assessment, it’s significant that the West’s media has now, despite their immense significance, almost entirely ignored them.”

According to Brad Hoff, a former US Marine who served during the early years of the Iraq War and as a 9/11 first responder at the Marine Corps Headquarters Battalion in Quantico from 2000 to 2004, the just released Pentagon report for the first time provides stunning affirmation that:

“US intelligence predicted the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS), but instead of clearly delineating the group as an enemy, the report envisions the terror group as a US strategic asset.”

Hoff, who broke the story via Levant Report—  an online publication run by Texas-based educators who have direct experience of the Middle East — points out that the DIA document “matter-of-factly” states that the rise of such an extremist Salafist political entity in the region offers a “tool for regime change in Syria.”

The DIA intelligence report shows, he wrote, that the rise of ISIS only became possible in the context of the Syrian insurgency — “there is no mention of US troop withdrawal from Iraq as a catalyst for Islamic State’s rise, which is the contention of innumerable politicians and pundits.” The report demonstrates that:

“The establishment of a ‘Salafist Principality’ in Eastern Syria is ‘exactly’ what the external powers supporting the opposition want (identified as ‘the West, Gulf Countries, and Turkey’) in order to weaken the Assad government.”

The rise of a Salafist quasi-state entity that might expand into Iraq, and fracture that country, was therefore clearly foreseen by US intelligence as likely — but nevertheless strategically useful — blowback from the West’s commitment to “isolating Syria.”

Complicity

Critics of the US-led strategy in the region have repeatedly raised questions about the role of coalition allies in intentionally providing extensive support to Islamist terrorist groups in the drive to destabilize the Assad regime in Syria.

The conventional wisdom is that the US government did not retain sufficient oversight on the funding to anti-Assad rebel groups, which was supposed to be monitored and vetted to ensure that only ‘moderate’ groups were supported.

However, the newly declassified Pentagon report proves unambiguously that years before ISIS launched its concerted offensive against Iraq, the US intelligence community was fully aware that Islamist militants constituted the core of Syria’s sectarian insurgency.

Despite that, the Pentagon continued to support the Islamist insurgency, even while anticipating the probability that doing so would establish an extremist Salafi stronghold in Syria and Iraq.

As Shoebridge told me, “The documents show that not only did the US government at the latest by August 2012 know the true extremist nature and likely outcome of Syria’s rebellion” — namely, the emergence of ISIS — “but that this was considered an advantage for US foreign policy. This also suggests a decision to spend years in an effort to deliberately mislead the West’s public, via a compliant media, into believing that Syria’s rebellion was overwhelmingly ‘moderate.’”

Annie Machon, a former MI5 intelligence officer who blew the whistle in the 1990s on MI6 funding of al-Qaeda to assassinate Libya’s former leader Colonel Gaddafi, similarly said of the revelations:

“This is no surprise to me. Within individual countries there are always multiple intelligence agencies with competing agendas.”

She explained that MI6’s Libya operation in 1996, which resulted in the deaths of innocent people, “happened at precisely the time when MI5 was setting up a new section to investigate al-Qaeda.”

This strategy was repeated on a grand scale in the 2011 NATO intervention in Libya, said Machon, where the CIA and MI6 were:

“… supporting the very same Libyan groups, resulting in a failed state, mass murder, displacement and anarchy. So the idea that elements of the American military-security complex have enabled the development of ISIS after their failed attempt to get NATO to once again ‘intervene’ is part of an established pattern. And they remain indifferent to the sheer scale of human suffering that is unleashed as a result of such game-playing.”

Divide and rule

Several US government officials have conceded that their closest allies in the anti-ISIS coalition were funding violent extremist Islamist groups that became integral to ISIS.

US Vice President Joe Biden, for instance, admitted last year that Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar and Turkey had funneled hundreds of millions of dollars to Islamist rebels in Syria that metamorphosed into ISIS.

But he did not admit what this internal Pentagon document demonstrates — that the entire covert strategy was sanctioned and supervised by the US, Britain, France, Israel and other Western powers.

The strategy appears to fit a policy scenario identified by a recent US Army-commissioned RAND Corp report.

The report, published four years before the DIA document, called for the US “to capitalise on the Shia-Sunni conflict by taking the side of the conservative Sunni regimes in a decisive fashion and working with them against all Shiite empowerment movements in the Muslim world.”

The US would need to contain “Iranian power and influence” in the Gulf by “shoring up the traditional Sunni regimes in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Pakistan.” Simultaneously, the US must maintain “a strong strategic relationship with the Iraqi Shiite government” despite its Iran alliance.

The RAND report confirmed that the “divide and rule” strategy was already being deployed “to create divisions in the jihadist camp. Today in Iraq such a strategy is being used at the tactical level.”

The report observed that the US was forming “temporary alliances” with al-Qaeda affiliated “nationalist insurgent groups” that have fought the US for four years in the form of “weapons and cash.” Although these nationalists “have cooperated with al-Qaeda against US forces,” they are now being supported to exploit “the common threat that al-Qaeda now poses to both parties.”

The 2012 DIA document, however, further shows that while sponsoring purportedly former al-Qaeda insurgents in Iraq to counter al-Qaeda, Western governments were simultaneously arming al-Qaeda insurgents in Syria.

The revelation from an internal US intelligence document that the very US-led coalition supposedly fighting ‘Islamic State’ today, knowingly created ISIS in the first place, raises troubling questions about recent government efforts to justify the expansion of state anti-terror powers.

In the wake of the rise of ISIS, intrusive new measures to combat extremism including mass surveillance, the Orwellian ‘prevent duty’ and even plans to enable government censorship of broadcasters, are being pursued on both sides of the Atlantic, much of which disproportionately targets activists, journalists and ethnic minorities, especially Muslims.

Yet the new Pentagon report reveals that, contrary to Western government claims, the primary cause of the threat comes from their own deeply misguided policies of secretly sponsoring Islamist terrorism for dubious geopolitical purposes.


Dr Nafeez Ahmed is an investigative journalist, bestselling author and international security scholar.

November 15, 2015 Posted by | Deception, War Crimes | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Turkey kills missile system deal with China manufacturer

Press TV – November 15, 2015

Turkey has rescinded a contract with a state-owned Chinese manufacturer that would have seen the company build Ankara its first long-range missile defense system.

“The deal was cancelled,” an official from Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu’s office told AFP.

The USD-3.4-billion (EUR-3-billion) contract was clinched with China Precision Machinery Import and Export Corporation (CPMIEC) following talks with the firm in 2013.

The deal originally raised eyebrows among other NATO members, which complained that the defense apparatus would lack the qualities enabling it to work in tandem with other such systems in the Western military alliance.

Turkey has US-manufactured Patriot missiles stationed along its border with Syria.

The Chinese company has been placed under sanctions by Washington allegedly for selling items that are banned under US law to curb the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

The Turkish official, whose name was not mentioned in the report, said, “One of the main reasons is that we will launch our own national missile project.”

Prior to the cancellation of the deal, however, Turkish Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz had emphasized that Ankara’s decision to opt for a Chinese-built system and avoid integration with the existing NATO defense infrastructure was in line with the country’s national defense interests.

Experts had also argued that choosing a Chinese partner would ultimately enable Turkey to own both the system and the technology.

French-Italian consortium Eurosam and US-listed Raytheon Co have also submitted offers to help build the Turkey Long Range Air and Missile Defense System (T-LORAMIDS).

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

Veteran Meteorologist Says John Kerry’s Claim Climate-Change Drought Is Causing Refugees Is Completely False

By P Gosselin | November 15, 2015

Veteran meteorologist Joe Bastardi at his latest Weatherbell Analytics Saturday Summary explains why US Secretary of State John Kerry’s claim that the refugee crisis is caused by climate-change-driven drought is total nonsense and is easily disproved.

Secretary Kerry would like to have the public believe that the refugee crisis from Syria and Africa is due to man-made climate drought in the region – and not his abject foreign policy debacle.

Nigeria rainfall

Chart shows Nigeria has been too wet. Source Weatherbell.

At the 2:34 mark Joe shows a precipitation chart for western Africa which clearly depicts how rainfall has in fact been above average over the past 15 years, and thus drought cannot be cited as a reason for the Boko Haram terror group. Bastardi says:

There’s no drought here. And so you cannot blame drought in Nigeria for the rise of Boko Haram.”

The above chart’s blue shows that it’s been too wet in Nigeria, and not too dry. Indeed there are number of scientific papers showing that the Sahara region has been getting greener over the past 30 years.

In the Middle East Bastardi shows that the drought has hit part of Turkey, but that most of Syria has had normal precipitation, and explains that “drought” is the normal climate condition there. At the 4:20 mark the Weatherbell meteorologist puts up a precipitation chart for the Middle East for the last five years:

Syria last 5 years

The chart above shows more wet (blue) than dry (yellow/green) with Syria being completely normal. Joe shakes his head at how anyone could even make the claim that Kerry does:

What’s really interesting about all this is, this is just so easy to disprove. […] So I don’t understand why that was said.”

Most readers here do understand why. The falsehood was said because US foreign policy has been a total catastrophe in that region, and now Kerry is desperate for any excuse. And he couldn’t have picked a lamer one. In real life any company or employee blaming poor performance on climate change would be immediately shown the door. This is a blatant unwillingness to accept any responsibility.

The nonsense of climate change leading to terrorism excuse is so clear on so many fronts that it’s a wonder than anyone with even a few points of IQ would take it seriously.

November 15, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , , | Leave a comment

Riyadh to support militants if Assad remains in power: Saudi FM

Press TV – November 15, 2015

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir says his country will continue supporting the Takfiri militant groups operating to topple the Damascus government as long as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is in power.

Speaking on the sidelines of the international peace talks on the Syria crisis in Vienna, Austria, on Saturday, Jubeir said the Riyadh regime only backs a political process that envisages President Assad’s removal from power.

“We will support the political process that will result in him (Assad) leaving or we will continue to support” Syria’s foreign-backed opposition in order to topple the Syrian leader “by force,” said the top Saudi diplomat.

The fresh round of talks on the Syria crisis opened in Vienna on Friday and ended on Saturday. Senior representatives from 17 countries, the United Nations, European Union as well as the Arab League were in attendance.

According to an official statement issued at the end of the meeting, the world diplomats seeking to find a solution to the Syria crisis would meet again in “approximately one month” to review progress towards a ceasefire and the start of a political process in the crisis-hit country.

The participants also agreed on a set calendar for a transition government in Syria within six months and elections in 18 months.

The parties to the international peace talks in Syria remain at loggerheads over the role that Assad would play in Syria’s political process.

While some countries, including the US and its allies, press for the removal of Assad as part of a solution to the Syrian crisis, others, notably Iran and Russia, say only the Syrian nation can decide over the matter.

Saudi Arabia has long been among the major supporters of the terror groups operating against the Syrian government since March 2011. The violence fueled by the foreign-backed Takfiris has so far claimed over 250,000 lives.

The previous round of talks on the crisis in Syria was held in the Austrian capital on October 30. At the end of the day-long talks, the participants agreed on respecting Syria’s national unity and sovereignty as well as uprooting terrorism in the violence-plagued Arab country.

Jubeir had repeated the same comments ahead of the October 30 round of Vienna talks, saying Riyadh sees no role for Assad in Syria’s political future.

However, Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi lashed out at the Saudi official for his statements, saying Riyadh is not qualified to participate in efforts to resolve the crisis in Syria as the kingdom is shedding the blood of people elsewhere.

Jubeir “who has no clue how diplomacy and politics work, should keep his mouth closed and keep his country out of a matter that is none of its business,” Zoubi added.

Europe sees Vienna talks positive

European Union foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, has described as “very good” the latest round of international talks on the Syrian conflict in Vienna.

“The process can definitively start” toward reaching a settlement for the nearly five-year conflict in Syria, Mogherini told journalists at the end of the day-long talks held in the Austrian capital on Saturday.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier also said the Vienna meeting had resulted in an agreement to convene meetings between the opposition and the incumbent Damascus government, and enforce a ceasefire by January 1.

November 15, 2015 Posted by | Militarism, War Crimes | , , | 1 Comment

Paris was tragic, yet global terrorism from the USA mass-murder machine is ignored

Truth News Media | November 14, 2015

The recent events in Paris were undoubtedly horrific, and our thoughts are with those affected by these atrocious acts. The victims and their families, innocent people who did not volunteer to fight in any war, these defenseless civilians were attacked in the most heinous way possible.

And while the world’s media turns its gaze to Paris, there is another act of terrorism happening every day that the corporate media chooses to ignore.

It seems the main export of the USA and UK is terrorism, but sugar coated and wrapped in the PR-friendly guise of ‘promoting democracy’ and ‘protecting our freedoms’, making the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians easier to swallow, or more frequently, completely ignore.

Perhaps ironically then, is the fact that these acts are of course illegal and a violation of international law, and the sad truth is that these rouge nations, the USA and UK themselves are the biggest threats to freedom and democracy. We are witnessing doublespeak in action.

To date, the USA has been responsible for the deaths of at least 20 million people since the end of World War II, in 37 nations. A report by James A. Lucas of Counter Currents explains:

This study reveals that U.S. military forces were directly responsible for about 10 to 15 million deaths during the Korean and Vietnam Wars and the two Iraq Wars. The Korean War also includes Chinese deaths while the Vietnam War also includes fatalities in Cambodia and Laos.

The American public probably is not aware of these numbers and knows even less about the proxy wars for which the United States is also responsible. In the latter wars there were between nine and 14 million deaths in Afghanistan, Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, East Timor, Guatemala, Indonesia, Pakistan and Sudan.

These figures do not include the full figures of more recent violations, such as drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and Afghanistan.

Statistics obtained by the Bureau Investigates reveal that approximately 2,464 – 7,177 people have been murdered in these nations. It is also estimated that 90% of those killed in these attacks are innocent civilians.

Make no mistake, each one of these 500-plus drone strikes is nothing less than a tax-payer funded terrorist attack.

At the time of publication, there are also a high number of deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan as a result of the illegal invasions, which has cost in excess of a staggering $1,500,000,000,000.

1,455,590 Iraqis have been murdered to date, and at least 91,000 Afghans.

This means nothing to the corporations who profit from global terrorism.

While the little amount of corporate media coverage that is devoted to exposing profiteering remains largely focused on oil firms, there are trillions of dollars being made in the supply of arms.

Companies such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing and BAE Systems as well as many others – often with government connections, are raking in billions of dollars from government contracts.

For example, Lockheed Martin received $36 billion in contracts in a single year.

So while my heart goes out to the victims and families of those affected by the despicable acts carried out in Paris, should we not also turn our outrage and contempt for these cowardly acts towards our own governments – who not only obliterate innocent lives on a daily basis, but actually allow profiteering from mass-murder, resulting in a never-ending cycle of destruction that we’re funding with our taxes.

The ending of terrorism begins with us.

November 15, 2015 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Netanyahu faces arrest in Spain over 2010 flotilla raid

Press TV | November 15, 2015

A judge in Spain has issued arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and seven other former and current Israeli officials over a 2010 fatal raid by the Tel Aviv regime forces on a Gaza-bound aid ship.

According to reports by Spanish media, the group could be arrested if they set foot on Spanish soil, the Jerusalem Post reported on Saturday.

On May 31, 2010, Israeli commandos attacked the Turkish-flagged MV Mavi Marmara that was part of the Freedom Flotilla in the high seas in the Mediterranean Sea, killing nine Turkish citizens and injuring about 50 other people who were part of the team on the six-ship convoy. A 10th died after four years in a coma.

A UN panel that reviewed the case later denounced the Israeli attack on the vessel as “excessive and unreasonable.”

Former Israeli foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, Minister of Military Affairs Moshe Ya’alon and Ehud Barak, the former minister of military affairs, former interior minister, Eli Yishai, and former minister of intelligence, Dan Meridor, are among those implicated in the case.

Together with Netanyahu, the officials form the so-called Forum of Seven, which is an ad-hoc committee of ministers that made important decisions on security issues.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry, meanwhile, has denounced the judge’s order, with its spokesman Emmanuel Nachshon saying, “We consider it to be a provocation. We are working with the Spanish authorities to get it canceled. We hope it will be over soon.”

Last month, the family of one of the victims of the raid, who is an American-Turkish citizen, filed a lawsuit against Barak for the raid.

The flotilla was attempting to break the Israeli naval blockade of the Gaza Strip, carrying aid to the Palestinians in the impoverished enclave.

Gaza has been blockaded since June 2007, which has caused a decline in the standards of living, unprecedented levels of unemployment and unrelenting poverty.

The attack sparked international outcry and plunged relations between Tel Aviv and Ankara into an all-time low at the time.

November 15, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Extraordinary Trial of Arthur Topham: Part 2

By Eve Mykytyn | Dissident Voice | November 14, 2015

Read Part 1.

On November 12th the jury found Mr. Topham guilty of ‘inciting hate.’ This leads to a few questions.

First, the jury found Mr. Topham guilty on Count 1 but not guilty on Count 2. Ordinarily, this is a result we are comfortable with since the state (the Crown) may have proved ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ that a defendant committed an assault but not have shown sufficient evidence of battery. Mr. Topham’s case is different. He was charged with two virtually identical counts, both relating to his website but covering different periods of time, that is, count 1 was for the period from April 28, 2011 to May 4, 2012, and count 2 was for January 29, 2013 to December 11, 2013.

If Mr. Topham intended to incite hate, would he really have changed his mind in the brief period between counts 1 and 2? We will never know what the jury relied upon; in yet another abrogation of free speech, the jury was threatened that if they spoke to anyone about their deliberations, they would be committing a criminal offense. How is the public supposed to understand the mysterious machinations of the term ‘hate’ without knowing what caused a jury to convict a fellow citizen of such a crime?

Hate is a crime the essential elements of which have been left undefined. As a writer, one must not only discern from the miasma what constitutes ‘hate’ but also guess what elements a jury will find persuasive. If one of the main goals of the criminal law is to prevent certain behavior then clarity of what such behavior is, is essential. What can Canadians say? May they say they disagree strongly with a particular group? What evidence can one print in support of their disagreement? Surely, it is not the defendant’s responsibility that a particular political group is also associated with an ethnic identity and a religion. The Crown, by controlling website content through its ‘hate’ law, is controlling not only what Canadians may say but also what Canadians may read. Mr. Topham’s is not the only blog to criticize Israel and Zionism. Should Canadians then read political criticism only from other countries? Very troubling.

Second, the crown had almost 2 years to prepare its case. Its evidence was contained in 4 binders. Many of the pages were illegible and the Crown itself seemed to have extraordinary difficulties in citing to its own arguments. The defense quite properly objected. The Crown wanted to provide clear copies of the illegible pages in yet another binder cross referenced to the originals. The trial could have been an exercise in maze solving. Judge Butler ruled that the Crown had to provide legible copies. This seemed to present a large obstacle and endless court time was wasted in discussions of printing costs, etc. As a foreign observer it seemed ironic that the crown spent $190 an hour on its expert witness, who as an earlier independent complainant against Mr. Topham might have been willing to accept less, and I don’t know how much money on ‘security’ but had so much trouble producing legible copies.

I belabor this point because it is very odd for the prosecution to allow its evidence to be blurry. I would expect in proving an elusive crime like ‘hate’ they would want their evidence to be as clear and convincing as possible. Was the intent to confuse the jury? Was the Crown merely incompetent? This is not impossible. The judge spent much time instructing the crown’s representative, Ms. Johnston, on procedural issues. This gave me the impression (and perhaps the jurors as well?) that the judge was helping and thus favoring the prosecution. Surely this was unintentional on Judge Butler’s part.

Third, and this relates to point two, the jury was given 62 pages of ‘charges’ (or what Americans call jury instructions). Even if all twelve jurors, ordinary men and women, are speed readers, how are they to read and evaluate 62 pages of instructions and then apply them to four binders? The plethora of material leads me to suspect that the jury was not intended to read the material at all. This would tend the jury toward a guilty verdict.

There is not a sinister act by the jury. They were asked to sit through weeks of testimony about Jewish politics, history, religion, and identity. Jury selection would have excluded anyone who was actually interested in such topics. They were handed stacks of paper. Faced with these circumstances, they presumably decided that the Crown and the judge worked for their province and had British Columbia’s best interests at heart. It is actually a testimony to the weakness of the Crown’s case that Mr. Topham was found not guilty at all.

The battle is not over. Following the verdict, both sides indicated that they intended to appeal. (Here Canada differs from the United States where prosecutors can appeal only under very limited circumstances). The Crown asked that Mr. Topham’s bail restrictions be changed and that his website be taken down. Judge Butler did not decide these issues because first, as the defense pointed out, these requests were improperly made. Mr. Topham intends to present a Charter (constitutional) argument that the judge had stayed at the beginning of the trial so that the ‘facts’ of the case could be more fully developed at trial.

Eve Mykytyn graduated from Boston University School of Law and was admitted to bar of the state of New York.

November 15, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , | Leave a comment