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Venezuela: An Open Letter to the UN Secretary General

Alfred de Zayas, human rights lawyer & UN independent expert on international order. His report on Venezuela has been buried by the MSM.

OPEN LETTER TO THE UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY GENERAL ANTONIO GUTERRES

AND TO THE HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS MICHELLE BACHELET

from Alfred de Zayas, 23 February 2019

Dear Michelle Bachelet,

Dear Antonio Guterres

As former UN Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order (2012-2018) I would like to urge you to once again make your voices heard and make concrete proposals for mediation and peace in the context of the Venezuelan crisis.

The most noble task of the United Nations is to create the conditions conducive to local, regional and international peace, to work preventively and tirelessly to avoid armed conflicts, to mediate and negotiate to reach peaceful solutions, so that all human beings can live in human dignity and in the enjoyment of the human right to peace and all other civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights. I am particularly worried by the Orwellian corruption of language, the instrumentalization and weaponization of human rights and now even of humanitarian assistance.

I look back at my UN mission to Venezuela in November/December 2017 as a modest contribution to facilitate the cooperation between the United Nations and the Venezuelan government and to open the door to the visits of other rapporteurs. See my report to the UN Human Rights Council and the relevant recommendations.

I believe that it would be timely and necessary for both of you to issue a statement reaffirming General Assembly Resolutions 2625 and 3314 and the 23 Principles of International Order that I formulated in my 2018 report to the Human Rights Council. See para 14 of [the report].

It would be appropriate to recognize the fact that the government of Venezuela has put into effect some of the recommendations contained in my report — and in the six page confidential memo that I personally gave to Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza upon my departure.

Indeed, first the Venezuelan government released 80 detainees — including Roberto Picón and 23 others whose release I had specifically requested — that was on 23 December 2017, followed by other releases in the course of 2018. Alas, there has been practically no information about this in the mainstream media, although it is easily accessible in the internet. See also the comments of Venezuela on my report.

In particular paragraph 46(xvi):

As a result of this on 23 December 2017, 80 people arrested for acts of violence during the protests in the country were released; and on 1 June 2018, 39 more people were released.

And paragraph 46(xviii):

In this regard, the Venezuelan Government values the willingness and disposition of the Independent Expert, who was pleased to inform the competent authorities of the requests he received from some relatives of the persons deprived of their liberty. His recommendations were accepted.

Shortly after my visit Venezuelan authorities met with the UN agencies and made additional cooperation accords, thanks to the valuable efforts Peter Grohmann, the UNDP representative in Caracas.

Now the government of Venezuela has formally asked the United Nations for humanitarian assistance in connection with the current crisis. We must not let them down.

I think that the US should turn over all the humanitarian assistance and medical supplies it has flown into Colombia and have them distributed as soon as possible with the help of the United Nations and other neutral organizations, including the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Another item of information that is sorely missing from the mainstream media is the delivery last week of 933 tons of food and medicines at port La Guaira — coming from China, Cuba, India, Turkey etc.

Moreover an additional 300 tons of medicines and medical supplies provided by Russia arrived by air.

As I know from my conversations with Venezuelan ministers during my visit in 2017 and the recent conversations I have had with Venezuelan Ambassador to the UN in Geneva Jorge Valero – Venezuela has always welcomed and repeatedly asked for assistance from neutral and friendly governments so as to overcome the adverse human rights impacts of the financial blockade and the sanctions. Such help should be offered in good faith, without strings attached.

I believe that this is the moment for Michelle Bachelet to accept the invitation of the government of Venezuela, extended to her in December 2018, to visit Venezuela personally. Her presence in Venezuela should ban the growing danger of a military intervention by foreign entities. She should endorse the efforts at mediation launched by Mexico and Uruguay at the Montevideo mechanism.

There are ominous parallels with the run-up to the Iraq invasion in 2003 — an illegal war, as Kofi Annan said on repeated occasions.

It is obvious to any first year law student that the constant threats against Venezuela are contrary to article 2(4) of the UN Charter. What many do not realize is that the threats, the economic war, the financial blockade and the sanctions violate the principles contained in Article 3 of the OAS Charter

e. Every State has the right to choose, without external interference, its political, economic, and social system and to organize itself in the way best suited to it, and has the duty to abstain from intervening in the affairs of another State. Subject to the foregoing, the American States shall cooperate fully among themselves, independently of the nature of their political, economic, and social systems; f. The American States condemn war of aggression: victory does not give rights; g. An act of aggression against one American State is an act of aggression against all the other American States; h. Controversies of an international character arising between two or more American States shall be settled by peaceful procedures; I. Social justice and social security are bases of lasting peace…

Moreover, they violate numerous articles of Chapter 4 of the OAS Charter,

Article 17

Each State has the right to develop its cultural, political, and economic life freely and naturally. In this free development, the State shall respect the rights of the individual and the principles of universal morality.

Article 18

Respect for and the faithful observance of treaties constitute standards for the development of peaceful relations among States. International treaties and agreements should be public.

Article 19

No State or group of States has the right to intervene, directly or indirectly, for any reason whatever, in the internal or external affairs of any other State. The foregoing principle prohibits not only armed force but also any other form of interference or attempted threat against the personality of the State or against its political, economic, and cultural elements.

Article 20

No State may use or encourage the use of coercive measures of an economic or political character in order to force the sovereign will of another State and obtain from it advantages of any kind.

Dear Michelle Bachelet, dear Antonio Guterres: The world looks up to you in the hope that you can avert even greater suffering to the peoples of Venezuela. They need international solidarity as expressed in the report of Virginia Dandan, the then independent expert on human rights and international solidarity.

I remain respectfully yours

Professor Dr. Alfred de Zayas, Geneva School of Diplomacy

February 23, 2019 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | Leave a comment

Red Cross denounces unsanctioned use of its emblems to smuggle US aid to Venezuela

Security forces block the Francisco de Paula Santander bridge between Colombia and Venezuela © Reuters / Marco Bello
RT | February 23, 2019

The largest international aid organization has demanded that activists at the Venezuela-Colombia border not use the insignia of the Red Cross, which isn’t participating in what Caracas has dismissed as a US “propaganda show.”

The Red Cross learned that some “people not affiliated” with the agency are trying to disguise themselves as aid workers to smuggle cargo for Venezuela’s opposition across the closed frontiers.

“They might mean well but they risk jeopardizing our neutrality, impartiality & independence,” the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said.

Earlier, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza stressed that the UN and the International Red Cross are not participating in the “propaganda show” staged by the United States. “It is clearly an action with political objectives, it could never be described as a humanitarian action,” he said on Twitter, accusing the governments involved in the US plot of violating the principles of the UN charter.

The government of Nicolas Maduro has sealed off the borders with neighboring Colombia, Brazil and the Dutch island of Curacao, trying to prevent US shipments from entering the Latin American State. Caracas denounced the ‘aid’ as a highly-publicized attempt to foster division and chaos, and possibly to use it as a cover to smuggle arms to the country’s opposition.

February 23, 2019 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | 2 Comments

Israel opens first ever embassy in Rwanda

MEMO | February 22, 2019

Israel’s government on Friday opened its first ever embassy in Rwanda, a step seen as promoting its presence on the continent of Africa, Israel’s Broadcasting Authority reported.

The new Israeli Ambassador to Kigali, Ronny Adam, presented his credentials to the Rwandan foreign ministry, Anadolu Agency reports.

Following a meeting with Rwandan President Paul Kagame, Adam signalled the intention of Kigali and Tel Aviv to boost cooperation in different fields, Israel’s Broadcasting Authority reported.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Chad on Jan, 20, where he announced the official resumption of ties with N’Djamena following a meeting with Chadian President Idriss Deby.

In recent years, Israel has sought to improve relations with African states.

Israel currently maintains embassies in 10 of 54 African countries, namely, Senegal, Egypt, Angola, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya and Cameroon.

February 23, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , | 4 Comments

The International Criminal Complicity

On Intimidation, Cowardice & Corruption (at the International Criminal Court)

“Drill and uniforms impose an architecture on the crowd. An army’s beautiful. But that’s not all; it panders to lower instincts than the aesthetic. The spectacle of human beings reduced to automatism satisfies the lust for power. Looking at mechanized slaves, one fancies oneself a master” -Aldous Huxley

By Ronald Thomas West | February 22, 2019

The United Nations is an experiment in democracy founded on the Western principles of international law. Angela Merkel’s conflating globalism with multilateralism (these are NOT the same thing) notwithstanding, the United Nations is a global body established by multilateral treaties. This does not establish ‘globalism’ but serves as a platform for facilitating relationships between sovereign nations. The International Criminal Court is an example of this, where the ‘Rome Statute’ (the multilateral treaty establishing the court) had been ‘midwifed’ from within the UN but created a court (the ICC) that is ostensibly independent. However the UN Security Council may refer cases to the ICC, the UN has no authority over the court and no power to extend or curtail the courts jurisdiction, which is solely over those nations which had opted to enter into the treaty (Rome Statute) creating the court.

However, if the institutions of the United Nations are notoriously politicized and corrupt, and they most certainly are [1] it follows the UN’s closely aligned institutions might be expected to show similar symptoms.

We have recently seen these symptoms (read on) but it should be noted the ICC had been undermined from its inception, particularly by the USA in what appears on its face to have been a geo-strategic policy of fraudulent engagement of the Rome Statute process. In short, the USA participated in the setting up of the court but used its considerable influence to prevent the court adopting a principle of universal jurisdiction. With the court at its formation limited to jurisdiction over nations entering into the Rome Statute treaty, the USA would appear to have disingenuously joined the court (signed on) but never seriously pursued ratification (the legal necessity of a democratic nation’s parliamentary body affirming the state executive signature) and therefor never came under the court’s jurisdiction.

What had been created is a social oxymoron in actuality; a core body of nations (Europe, EU & NATO nations, particularly) determined never to self-prosecute but to use the prosecutorial vehicle provided by the Rome Statute as post-colonial geopolitical device aimed at African states in ongoing state of neocolonialism. Consequently the court has seen to the prosecutions of politicians from Congo, Kenya, Sudan and Ivory Coast but not the French role in Rwanda’s genocide or Paul Kagame, a USA darling:

“He’s [Kagame] actually gotten a free ride from the ICC despite all the evidence of his army creating, sponsoring militias in Congo since 2002. Militias sponsored by Kagame’s troops have plundered, killed civilians and recruited child soldiers in the Congo yet Kagame and his commanders have not been indicted by the ICC” [2], [3], [4]

Relevant to the French immunity (impunity), this raises a question concerning whether European states signatory to the Rome Statute, that is a “coalition of the willing” should have been liable for what amounts to a ‘crime against humanity’, or an estimated 500,000 to 1,000,000 dead civilians having resulted due to infrastructure destruction (e.g. disease via water contamination), when Iraq had been invaded despite the invading states’ leaders (notably Tony Blair) knowing that invasion’s premise was false. Are the EU & NATO states’ accountability waived by the ICC?

It hardly seems a ‘crime of aggression’ need be adopted to hold states responsible for their acts where existing statutory law should be adequate.

This brings us to a recent case filed by this reporter which points to corruption. For the purpose of defining corruption in the case at hand, identified by the court’s filing reference ICC OTP-CR-295/18 [5] it is asserted (by this reporter) any case of acquiesce in the face of intimidation is a form of corruption, where cases are shelved as opposed to pursued in good faith. A recent example of this is demonstrated in the resignation of an ICC judge citing two instances where the ICC had been subject to threats or subverted. [6]

In the first instance, Turkey arrested an ICC judge with Turk nationality under the pretext of ties to Gulen, an excuse often used by the current Salafi leadership of Turkey to rid itself of principled Sufi members of Turkey’s civil service. [7] The UN Secretary General, rather than confront Turkey with a principled stance no UN member state will unilaterally set precedent with the removal of ICC judges, allowed the precedent to stand.

The other instance causing his resignation (mentioned by Judge Flugge) is the well publicized (policy) threats against the ICC by USA National Security Advisor, John Bolton, in his speech to the Federalist Society. [8]

According to Christopher Black, a longtime barrister working the several international tribunals, including the ICC, the USA plays strongly:

“First of all through key personnel they have placed in the ICC, for example the prosecutors, some judges who are willing to do what they want…

“A judge in my case was threatened by Americans working there that if certain passages in the judgement acquitting the general I was defending were not removed he would face physical problems. This is the type of gangsterism they use to get their way in these tribunals”

Also specific to the USA, at a separate tribunal, according to Black:

“Not only was a judge in my case at the Rwanda tribunal pressured but I myself was threatened by the CIA while I was there to stop raising questions and presenting evidence they [the US side] did not like” [9]

The preceding suggests Turkey may have arrested the judge with Turkish nationality as a quid pro quo on behalf of a 3rd party to dispense with a judge perceived as a threat. In any case it’s clear the ICC is compromised.

Bearing the preceding in mind, in the case filed by this reporter, to begin it should be noted it was the ICC itself that invited my filing, when the Office of the Prosecutor had responded, on 3 July 2018, to a letter I’d emailed to a German international law attorney on, 30 June 2018, copied to the ICC.

In both the letter and the complaint a clear line of evidence had been provided pointing to Turkey had (false-flag attack, in league with al Qaida) arranged the indiscriminate murder of well over 1,000 civilians at Ghouta, Syria in August of 2013. According to a Turkish parliamentarian, Eren Erdem, citing Turkish state produced investigative files in his possession, the chemicals used to produce the Sarin gas in this attack had been sourced in Europe. Turkish MP Erdem is on record stating:

“All basic materials are purchased from Europe. Western institutions should question themselves about these relations. Western sources know very well who carried out the sarin gas attack in Syria. They know these people, they know who these people are working with, they know that these people are working for Al-Qaeda. [What] I think is Westerns are hypocrites about the situation”

In this regard it is noted the court’s Office of the Prosecutor takes on the responsibility of assembling evidence:

“At the ICC, most evidence is collected and secured by the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP)” [10]

In the present case (ICC OTP-CR-295/18) the filing party (Ronald Thomas West) had assembled ample evidence to justify initiating a preliminary investigation that should have triggered the court looking into whether there had been the associated crime of ‘aiding and abetting’ committed within ICC jurisdiction. To bolster this, the case had been made an additional, associated crime of aiding and abetting had been demonstrated where German intelligence had misinformed German politicians of the facts actually surrounding the Ghouta sarin attack, so far as to blame Assad.

This last (immediate preceding) would not necessarily constitute a prosecutable crime (depending on what the judges might be inclined to believe on a given day) but there is more. This reporter had provided the necessary evidence to the concerned politicians correcting the record; indisputable evidence Turkey’s intelligence agency was providing sarin to al-Qaida militants within a timeline consistent with the Ghouta attack. [11]

This evidence submitted to the German executive (office of the Federal Prosecutor) and oversight (parliamentary leadership of all parties represented in the federal parliament) was never acted on; the German political establishment closed ranks across the political spectrum to deny the government of Syria honest assessment of the Ghouta attack. The false-flag crime accordingly sustained as a successful political ploy in regime change endeavors by EU and NATO states where those very states have become complicit in aiding and abetting a war crime with the act of material concealment of the actual perpetrators identity (a NATO state.) [12]

The German politicians (and related institutions) had been provided with the evidence on 2 December 2015. By the time this (very same) evidence had been provided to the ICC in a formalized complaint on 4 July 2018, thirty one months had passed without action by the Germans, satisfying the requirement Germany should have had opportunity to redress the wrong.

On 6 February 2019, one week after the resignation of Judge Christoph Flugge, the ICC Office of the Prosecutor replied to this reporter with:

“The Office of the Prosecutor has examined your communication and has determined that more detailed information would be required in order to proceed with an analysis of whether the allegations could fall within the jurisdiction of the Court. The Prosecutor has determined that, in the absence of such information, there is not a basis at this time to proceed with further analysis”

Essentially what the ICC has done is, to shelve the case with a demand this reporter who’d made the filing (at their invitation) provide information beyond simple and clear evidence aiding and abetting of a war crime is ongoing by a state within the jurisdiction of the court. This general, non-specific language, in the common vernacular, are called ‘weasel words.’

Why? Clearly the ramifications of adopting the practice of prosecuting the politicians empowering false flag geopolitical engineering by intelligence agencies is frightening and no doubt opposed by politician & spy alike.

Were the ICC to proceed in this case (whether it were a successful prosecution or acquittal), not only would it likely topple Angela Merkel, but it likely brings into reach Davis Cameron and his spy chief Alex Younger, also Francois Hollande and his spy chief Bernard Bajolet… and so on.

In the case of Germany, there is a safe assumption: There will be no prosecution of these crimes due to a German constitutional loophole larger than the Brandenberg Gate … “for the good of the state.” Because at the end of the day, it is (a commonly used German expression) “just not possible” to rock the boat with Turkey or cross the USA.

Why the International Criminal Court matters (in the present moment) has little to do with justice and much to do with exposing the corruption of foundational principles across the spectrum of international institutions.

*

The ICC had been provided a nearly identical draft of this (preceding) with opportunity to comment. [13] Prior to releasing this for initial publication at the Ft Russ news website, two weeks have passed and no reply has been forthcoming. The ICC also declined to clarify the nature of “more detailed information [that] would be required” and has remained silent on my asking whether the German authorities had been contacted with request for information and if so, the nature of any reply.

Noteworthy is the ICC does not deny the “allegations” (the evidence is too strong) nor does the ICC altogether dismiss the possibility of jurisdiction (they have jurisdiction over complicit parties within the EU, only are either intimidated and afraid or too corrupted to exercise it, probably a combination) rather finds a ‘weasel words’ excuse to shelve a case that would call out the hypocrisy of the European signatories to the Rome Statute based on the criminality of the EU/NATO intelligence agencies.

The net result is, as of this moment the false-flag sarin attack at Ghouta, Syria (and murder of well over 1,000 innocents) during the month of August 2013 remains a successful sleight-of-hand attack blamed on the wrong party and the crime of aiding and abetting the perpetrators, it could be argued, extends to the International Criminal Court itself, in case where refusal to correct the public record protects the guilty parties. I would describe this as ‘international criminal complicity’ when a UN associated judicial body becomes aware of an easily rectified element of a major war crime, as simple as recognizing an evidence based false-flag, and instead chooses to sit on its hands.

The pity of it all is, if there were courage to pursue jurisdiction over those complicit parties within the Rome Statute’s signatory states, a precedent would be established perhaps leading (over time) to further precedent where anyone complicit in war crimes and crimes against humanity could be arrested when stepping on any Rome Statute nation’s soil and progress made in realizing accountability.

Ronald’s Maxim

In any democracy, ethics, self restraint, tolerance and honesty will always take a second seat to narcissism, avarice, bigotry & persecution, if only because people who play by the rules in any democracy are at a disadvantage to those who easily subvert the rules to their own advantage

References:

[1] http://www.innercitypress.com/index.html

[2] http://www.therwandan.com/the-icc-has-given-africas-most-prolific-genocidaire-a-free-ride/

[3] https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-41283362

[4] https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/02/rwanda-paul-kagame-americas-darling-tyrant-103963

[5] https://ronaldthomaswest.com/2018/07/03/western-intelligence-agencies-the-international-criminal-court/

[6] https://www.theguardian.com/law/2019/jan/28/international-criminal-court-icc-judge-christoph-flugge-quits-citing-political-interference-trump-administration-turkey

[7] https://www.dw.com/en/from-ally-to-scapegoat-fethullah-gulen-the-man-behind-the-myth/a-37055485

[8] https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/09/full-text-john-bolton-speech-federalist-society-180910172828633.html

[9] https://www.rt.com/news/450611-us-icc-manipulation-experts/

[10] https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2F978-3-642-35076-4_4.pdf

[11] https://ronaldthomaswest.com/2018/04/15/what-can-be-known-vs-what-will-be-known/

[12] https://ronaldthomaswest.com/2018/10/12/a-breaking-point-in-geopolitical-torsion/

[13] copy of this post & relevant questions requesting information were sent to the ICC on 9 February 2019

February 23, 2019 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , | Leave a comment

NPR reporter defends one-sided report on Ilhan Omar

By Alison Weir | If Americans Knew | February 22, 2019

In response to an email I sent complaining that NPR had aired a one-sided, slanted report on the Ilhan Omar controversy, reporter Susan Davis replied that their coverage was “fair.” She emailed that the controversy was Omar’s fault, calling it “a self-inflicted PR mess by a sitting member of Congress.”

The report had been aired on NPR’s All Things Considered program, reportedly “the most listened-to, afternoon drive-time, news radio program in the country.”

Let’s look at what constituted Omar’s alleged “self-inflicted PR mess”: she mentioned the influence of a special interest lobby on politicians’ stances.

This is a widely understood reality. Politicians and others frequently discuss the influence of the NRA, the pharmaceutical lobby, and other special interest groups. Democrats periodically call out conservative lobbies; Republicans do the same for liberal ones. This is considered politics as usual.

That’s what Omar did.

Sequence of events

Let’s look at the sequence of events that led to the controversy over Omar:

1. Journalist Glenn Greenwald (who is Jewish but has also been accused of being “antisemitic”) tweeted: “GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy threatens punishment for @IlhanMN and @RashidaTlaib over their criticisms of Israel. It’s stunning how much time US political leaders spend defending a foreign nation even if it means attacking free speech rights of Americans.”

(The phrase “attacking free speech rights of Americans” refers to legislation to impede the right to boycott Israel; 75 percent of Americans oppose such legislation.”)

2. Omar retweeted Greenwald’s post with the comment: “It’s All About the Benjamins.” (Benjamins is a colloquial term for money – Benjamin Franklin is on the $100 bill.)

3. Pro-Israel journalist Batya Ungar-Sargon posted a sarcastic tweet saying she’d “like to know” who Omar “thinks is paying [sic] American politicians to be pro-Israel….”

4. Omar responded “AIPAC.”

AIPAC is the American Israel Public Affairs Committee – a lobbying organization that claims to be, and is widely regarded as, extremely influential in Congress.

In other words, the controversy began over Omar’s two tweets, a total of six words.

For this exchange, Israel partisans, and those who desire their campaign donations, called Omar “antisemitic.” (This epithet is frequently deployed against proponents of Palestinian rights. An Israeli Knesset member has explained that this is a frequently used “trick.”)

But Omar had not said anything about “Jews” or “Jewish.”

AIPAC and the Israel lobby

Omar had simply referred to a special interest lobbying group – an organization with an income of $230 million that refers openly to the “key role” it plays in advancing legislation.

Fortune magazine once ranked AIPAC “the second most powerful interest group in Washington.”

In 2016 Fortune described AIPAC as “the biggest, most powerful group in the Israel Lobby.”

Former AIPAC official, M.J. Rosenberg wrote of Omar’s tweet: “AIPAC’s political operation is used precisely as Representative Omar suggested.” Rosenberg pointed out: “The power of AIPAC over members of Congress is literally awesome, although not in a good way.”

Pro-Israel New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman wrote in 2011 that Congress’s many standing ovations for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had been “bought and paid for by the Israel lobby.”

In November’s mid-term elections, pro-Israel campaign donors gave millions of dollars to both parties. Israel advocate Sheldon Adelson, alone, who says he wishes he had served in the Israeli army rather than the U.S. military, gave $123 million.

Although ambitious politicians from both parties attacked Omar for publicly stating the obvious, numerous people defended her; there were articles in The Nation, the UK Guardian, The Intercept, and many other places. An Israeli journalist based in the U.S. tweeted Omar was “exactly right.”

One-sided report

In her email to me, reporter Susan Davis claimed that the All Things Considered report was “fair.” But a fair report would have reported both the criticisms of her and the defenses.

Instead, NPR only told listeners about the accusations against Omar. There was no mention of the many people who supported her, said her point was valid, and provided evidence for their statements.

In her report, Davis had told listeners: “She’s facing scrutiny for comments that both her allies and her critics consider anti-Semitic.” This suggested that the condemnation was universal, when in reality many allies and others disagree.

A full, fair, accurate report would have followed the sentence about the claims against her with another: ‘But many people disagree and say her remarks are valid.’

That’s not what NPR did.

Davis’s inaccurate assertions

Following are the other assertions in Davis’s email. These indicate a profoundly skewed perspective on the controversy, albeit one that conforms to a pervasive blindspot within much of the media. This is unfortunate in an otherwise thorough and professional journalist like Davis, who can and hopefully will do better.

She was universally condemned by her own party, Democratic leaders, and every major chairman in the Congress.

Davis’s claim that Omar “was universally condemned by her own party” is untrue.

There are thousands of people in the Democratic party; most didn’t say anything. In fact, a 2018 Pew poll showed that “nearly twice as many liberal Democrats say they sympathize more with the Palestinians than with Israel.”

Bernie Sanders, perhaps the most popular leader in Congress, met with Omar and offered his support.

A former member of the Democratic National Committee’s executive committee said the attacks were “outrageous.” He wrote that Omar was being condemned because “she dared to point out, as a leading New York Times columnist and so many others have in the past, the intimidating role that AIPAC plays in shaping US policy toward Israel. The response was nearly hysterical.”

He wrote that Israel supporters “have weaponized anti-Semitism, turning it into a blunt instrument in a crude effort to pummel opponents and silence legitimate debate on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

While Davis notes that major Congressional chairmen are against Omar, she fails to mention that Nancy Pelosi intentionally stacked the deck. Speaking a while ago before a pro-Israel convention backed by Sheldon Adelson, Pelosi announced:  “We have people very well paced to share our values.”

She apologized for using what she acknowledged were anti-Semitic tropes, if inadvertently.

This statement is also untrue.

Nowhere did Omar “acknowledge” that she had used “anti-Semitic tropes.”

In reality, Omar had apologized for “any actual hurt” her words may have caused, but said she would not change her views of the “problematic role of lobbyists in our politics.”  She said: “It’s gone on too long and we must be willing to address it.”

Many people felt there was no need for Omar to apologize for making a factual statement; if anyone was allegedly “hurt” by her statement about a special interest group, this was their problem, not hers.

Our coverage was fair and accurately reflected those facts.

The coverage was not fair.

It reported one-side of a controversy that has two sides. It reported some facts and left out other facts.

All Things Considered is a highly influential program. It is important that it air unbiased, accurate reports, not one-sided, prejudicial dispatches.

Anyone who wishes All Things Considered to do better in future reports, can contact them here.


Alison Weir is executive director of If Americans Knew, president of the Council for the National Interest, and author of “Against Our Better Judgment: The Hidden History of How the U.S. Was Used to Create Israel.”  

February 23, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , | 4 Comments

Zionist Media Cites Bin Salman’s Failure to Provoke Pakistan, India & China against Iran

Al-Manar | February 23, 2019

The Pakistani State-run TV Channel muted the broadcast of the speech delivered by the Saudi state minister for the foreign affairs Adel Al-Jubeir while he was tackling the Iranian cause, one Zionist political analyst said.

The Israeli media channels cited the Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Salman’s failure to provoke Pakistan, India and China against Iran, adding that India rejected his offer to sell it the same amount of oil it purchases from Tehran for a lower price.

The Zionist analysts considered that Bin Salman tried to build more political partnerships and alliances in order to improve his conditions in his relation with the United States.

February 23, 2019 Posted by | Economics, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Microsoft workers demand company cancel $480 million US military contract

Press TV – February 23, 2019

Nearly 100 employees at Microsoft have demanded that the US technology company cancel a $480 million hardware contract to supply the US military, the latest example in the last year of tech employees protesting cooperation with the Pentagon on emerging technologies.

Some 94 workers signed a petition on Friday calling on the company to stop developing “any and all weapons technologies” for the US Defense Department.

Microsoft won a contract in November to supply the US Army with at least 2,500 prototypes of augmented reality headsets, which digitally display contextual information in front of a user’s eyes.

The US Defense Department has said the devices would be used on the battlefield and in training to improve soldiers “lethality, mobility and situational awareness.”

In the petition to Microsoft executives, posted on Twitter, the workers said they “did not sign up to develop weapons, and we demand a say in how our work is used.” They called on the company to develop “a public-facing acceptable use policy” for its technology and an external review board to publicly enforce it.

Microsoft president Brad Smith said in an October blog post that the company remained committed to assisting the military and would advocate for laws to ensure responsible use of new technologies.

Though many US government agencies want to draw upon the expertise of the biggest American tech companies, employee resistance has added a new challenge to already complicated relationships.

Worker opposition led Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc last year to announce it would cancel a Pentagon contract in which its artificial intelligence technology is used to analyze drone imagery.

In other cases, employee criticism has invited greater public scrutiny to deals, such as $10 billion cloud computing contract yet to be awarded and various contracts with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

February 23, 2019 Posted by | Militarism, Solidarity and Activism | , | Leave a comment

Japanese PM Abe set to ignore local referendum on US Okinawa military base relocation

RT | February 23, 2019

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said his government will press ahead with the controversial relocation of a US military base on the island of Okinawa, despite local objection.

Okinawa is home to two-thirds of the US’ Japanese bases. Tokyo wants to relocate one of these – US Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, located in a densely populated area – to the more remote coastal area of Henoko. While residents near the base have been angered by a series of aircraft accidents, they also oppose the relocation to Henoko, claiming that planned land-reclamation works there will devastate the coral-rich coastal environment.

Okinawans will vote on the relocation on Sunday in a non-binding referendum, with nearly 70 percent expected to vote ‘No,’ according to a poll by Kyodo News. Okinawa’s Governor Denny Tamaki, who campaigned on an anti-base platform last year, has also traveled to Washington DC to lobby against the move.

The Japanese government intends to go ahead with the relocation “without being swayed by referendum results,” Abe told parliament on Wednesday.

Many Okinawans are unhappy with the base’s current location, as well as the planned relocation. They hope a ‘No’ vote will force the government to move the base off the island altogether.

The behavior of US troops stationed on Okinawa has also incensed locals, with the 1995 kidnap and gang-rape of a 12-year-old girl by three US soldiers triggering mass protests on the island. Two cases of rape and murder by US troops again caused protests in 2016. One year later, Okinawa was back in the news after a drunk Marine plowed his truck into another vehicle while running a red light, killing an elderly Japanese man.

February 23, 2019 Posted by | Environmentalism, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Militarism | , , | 1 Comment

British Intel Tried to Make N Irish Gang ‘Shoot Up’ School, Documentary Claims

Sputnik – 23.02.2019

A new documentary, based on an interview with a self-confessed member of the Glennane Gang, gives some insights into allegations that British military intelligence was behind a shocking murder plot to cause the situation in Northern Ireland to “spiral out of control”.

In a documentary, Unquiet Graves: The Story of the Glennane Gang, John Weir, a former officer from the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), alleges that British intelligence tried to persuade paramilitary group Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) to attack a Catholic primary school at Belleeks in County Armagh.

Weir claimed that the UVF was urged to kill children and teachers in retaliation for the 1976 Kingsmill massacre, in which gunmen stopped a minibus carrying twelve workmen and shot them; only one person survived despite having been shot 18 times.

“The plan that was decided on was to shoot up a school in Belleeks”, he said, adding that the British intelligence plot was to make the situation in Northern Ireland “spiral out of control”.

The film, directed by Sean Murray and narrated by Oscar-nominated actor Stephen Rea, tells the story of the Glenanne Gang, a secret informal alliance of Ulster loyalists who conducted bombing attacks against Irish nationalists and Catholics in the 1970s frequently working in collusion with RUC officers and Ulster Defence Regiment soldiers.

Murray said that conversations with Weir, a self-confessed member of the Glennane Gang, suggest that the intelligence plan was to foment a “civil war”:

“From their vision such a war would be quite short; they thought they could have a quick, short and sharp process of cleansing out the IRA”.

The UVF refused to carry out the attack, Weir said.

“A lot of this local people will be well aware of but internationally I think it is going to be dumbfound audiences. Collusion has left a dark and terrible stain on the North of Ireland, the pain that’s been caused to thousands of people here is incredible. If there is ever going to be a healing process on this island, if we’re ever going to move forward in reconciliation, people need to be able to tell their stories, but more importantly we need truth from the state about their role in the conflict”, Murray said.

Unquiet Graves will be shown in independent cinemas in Ireland and will be broadcast by RTÉ in May; it will also be shown in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Australia. The documentary will also be available on iTunes, Google Play and Amazon Prime, Murray said.

February 23, 2019 Posted by | Film Review, War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment

What Strange Corruption

The Racist Venezuelan Bourgeoisie’s Accusations Against Chavistas Are Pure Projection

By Sassy Sourstein | Cien Flamingos | February 21, 2019

Social media truly is the great democratizer. Where else can Twitter trolls and bot armies create a web of baseless rumors that make their way into the empire’s leading publications? For example:

“Maduro is a murdering criminal starving Venezuelan children while he loots the country like Chavez did. When supposed socialist Chavez died the richest Venezuelan in the world was his daughter w billions. Same w Maduro. Looting Venezuelan wealth. Giving it to himself & Cuba!” (source)

So much to unpack, but this is a template used throughout social media in various forms. Make unsourced allegations of mass murder, purposeful starvation (especially of The Children), corruption, and looting. This is a more sophisticated version (really!) in which Chávez is separated from socialism with the word “supposed,” meant to give the accuser some leverage on the left. You see, corruption is what ails Venezuela, not socialism necessarily. Much of the rest has been thoroughly debunked — there is a crime problem but no death squads, there have been a few dozen deaths in years of violent right-wing riots but no campaign of official slaughter of “protesters,” and frankly Cuba has paid for its oil many times over with solidarity and other material support to poor Venezuelans. What persists — in right-wing AND left narratives — is the corruption boogeyman. The tweet above is truly tapping into a rich vein of existing ultraleftism, in which the Bolivarian revolution isn’t socialist at all, but merely an emerging, competing bourgeoisie. I hope here to discuss and counter just some of this bullshit.

First, the claims about the Chávez family are based on the thinnest, most laughable evidence. For Hugo himself, the British tabloid Daily Mail cites a “respected analyst” from a fake “criminal justice” outfit run by a guy with 300 followers. Twitter user Bernardo Canto did the research on this lie and traced it back to a Scribd post devoid of citation or source material. Apart from that, there is absolutely zero evidence that Chávez “died rich,” as they say — which is a pretty idiotic way to do massive corruption.

As for María Gabriela Chávez, why, there must be reams of evidence against her. Well. Get a load of this.

Canto delved into these accusations uncritically published all over corporate media, including Forbes. The claim in Forbes is credited to known CIA front Diario Las Americas, based in Miami, which, “as it happens,” is now owned since 2013 by the Venezuelan backers of opposition presidential candidate Henrique Capriles, himself accused of corruption by the Maduro administration.

It all literally boils down to a receipt shown on a tabloidy TV news show whose host is a Cuban-American Republican who ran for Congress to represent Miami. That receipt? Look for yourself:

If you think that, within the United States, ATM receipts say at the bottom “United States,” well, charitably, you’ve never used an ATM here. And the address is that of the Venezuelan consulate, not any bank. Another mistake made on this truly pathetic fabrication, is that in the US we use commas, not periods, to denote whole numbers. Of course there is no way to verify if this is Amb. Chávez’s card number, and the scammer who made this knows at least that. Aporrea already debunked this — there is no “Frabz Federal Bank,” as any US resident or a quick Google search will tell you. Frabz is literally a fake ATM receipt generator. Nevertheless, Diario Las Americas claims that the reporting of supermarket-tabloid caliber blog Maduradas.com is “precise and trustworthy,” which of course makes any claim of journalistic rigor in that entire operation a preposterous notion.

Endless insinuations of impropriety against Venezuelan officials litter the internet from troll comments on up to The New York Times. The Atlantic published a particularly nasty set of libels against María Gabriela Chávez, all caged in careful transitions and caveats so as not to actually be required to provide proof. Everything from how much public money she spends (even though she’s a billionaire!) to alleged import corruption (again with no evidence provided) to comments on her musical ability. It even gives credence to a conspiracy theory that her ambassadorship was given so that Cuba would have a trojan-horse advocate at the UN. This is pure smear, a series of fevered speculations, and yet there it is in a leading light of the liberal media.

The rest of the Chávez and Maduro clans’ children are targets as well. Check out this nutty Daily Mail post published presumably to contribute wind to the sails of the ongoing coup attempt. All the María Gabriela claims are breezily restated with no attempt to corroborate, but the “accusations” against her youngest sister Rosinés are uh… well she held up “a fistful of dollar bills” — yes, ONE-dollar bills — and well, goes to school in Paris where, we are assured, she is “care free.” And then of course there’s the time Maduro stopped in Turkey to eat a steak, which is outrageous for the president of a country on his way home from trade talks in China. Diosdado Cabello, a leading PSUV member and one of Chavismo’s most efficacious orators, is mentioned for being accused by the US government of drug running but even this is admitted to be unproven. (More on narco allegations in a future post.) Cabello’s daughter Daniela is mentioned because she is pretty. Yes really. The first lady Celia Flores’s children are said to have spent $45,000 at a hotel in Paris, though the claim seems to originate with a Spanish tabloid that did some paper napkin math and has absolutely no sources whatsoever to confirm any of it — assuming the stay itself even happened.

If Maduro has a billion dollars, if Chávez had two to four — depending on whom you ask — billion fucking dollars, why would they stick around Venezuela suffering endless ridicule, threats and even attempts on their lives, and the general stresses of being responsible for the running of an entire country? Is it just megalomania against all odds? Do you think Maduro feels powerful against all that he has to deal with right now? The prospect is risible, they could buy an entire country with that amount of money and yet there they stay, ready to go down with the ship if the empire torpedoes it. What strange corruption! Something isn’t adding up, probably because it’s all lies. We should apply a high level of skepticism to any claim we see about the empire’s targets, especially if they’re at the top of the news cycle.

There’s also the matter of the so-called Bolibourgeoisie, nouveau-riche types who are said to have leveraged the revolution for personal gain. It’s no secret that — especially after the 2002 coup — the Bolivarian project created a tactical alliance with certain business interests in the country. But reports detailing the purported gluttony and profligacy rarely name anyone and make it clear that this “plugged in” wealthy set is just a consequence of 70% of the Venezuelan economy remaining in private hands. Companies that contract with the state are, of course, compensated, as they are anywhere in the world. These private companies are for profit and these profits are, of course and unfortunately, distributed to the owners and as in any capitalist society, they are free to use this wealth for any idiotic frivolous thing they please.

From personal experience living in Miami, an old-guard Venezuelan typically makes a judgement on the “legitimacy” of the wealth of say, someone exiting an expensive car based on their complexion and features. Darker and more native-featured people are assumed to be Bolibourgeois. They’ve done nothing different from a typical businessman — the white expats are just mad that black and indigenous people may have muscled their way into what should be a purely European- or Arab-descended endeavor.

There’s no evidence that these “plugged-ins” are responsible for the economic problems in Venezuela. After all, some of the most famous episodes of Latin American corruption and economic upheaval happened during the IMF-obedient regimes of the 1990s in which populist polices were rolled back, privatization ran rampant, and austerity reigned.

Real corruption is when you warehouse food to create artificial scarcities and deliberately provoke hunger. The parties who are purposely starving the Venezuelan people are the same types as in Chile who stoked privation and misery in the campaign to overthrow Allende. In Chile we know they were kept solvent by CIA money, and we can assume the same sorts of economic support exists in the case of Venezuela. In addition to smaller importers and producers being able, through whatever means, to create very telegenic scarcities of certain products, there are conglomerates whose resources are deeper, and in whose interests an overthrow is even more intensely represented, than what is available from US intel schemes.

Empresas Polar, makers of the ubiquitous harina PAN used in every single household to make arepas, has had it out for the Revolution from day one. Despite state and communal efforts to break their stranglehold on the corn flour market, their generations-deep imprint on the Venezuelan household rich and poor has persisted. If anyone “retains the ability to keep its products off the shelves just as readily as its ability to keep them on,” it’s La Polar. This is due to their still-gigantic home market share and, ironically, their being a major beneficiary of Venezuelan state subsidies for food importation. In addition, Polar’s various corporate vehicles in the US benefit from United States subsidies on corn for their many products which are sold in a growing market of quite affluent Venezuelans in the US. With all these resources at its disposal, creating artificial scarcities in a comparatively low-revenue market would be a minor line-item on Polar’s books.

There’s also the phenomenon of the “raspao,” or scrape. I don’t pretend to understand all the ways that currency can be manipulated, but merely printing too much money isn’t responsible for a one-million-percent unofficial inflation rate. For many years the Venezuelan state offered USD at an official exchange rate, for imports and travel, etc. People could buy dollars at this official rate with credit cards and then immediately convert these dollars back into bolivares in the black market — instant profit. On a trip to Mexico City last year I had a Mexican tell me with great excitement about how local Venezuelan friends of his who were involved in the scam used the profits to live well in the most exclusive neighborhoods. While the practice seems to have been curbed in recent years, the damage to the currency rate is done and the tightening sanctions compound it. I can only speculate, but with probably more certainty than a Eurotrash tabloid, that some of my Venezuelan neighbors themselves started their own nest eggs by ripping off their country. This truly is corruption, and though official currency policy is what facilitates it, it’s private criminals who take advantage, destroying their country’s economy while they live it up in exile.

The ultimate corruption is when you make millions through inheritance and other people’s labor. The accusations of the elites of Venezuela are a form of projection: they are the corrupt parasites who for generations have fed off the productive people of Venezuela, as in all nations. The same author as the Atlantic Chávez smear list — proud putchist! — has an entire post about the watches worn by some Venezuelan politicians, potentially the most news-unworthy subject of all time. The charge, of course, is “hypocrisy”: lol look at the socialists having quality timepieces! Yet when the idle scions of the Venezuelan elite themselves own safes full of jewels, several luxury cars, houses across the world, this is fine because there’s no hypocrisy involved — they never pretended to care about another soul on this planet but their own. There has never been a cynicism so toxic, so deep.

When “opposition” supporters, in between #SOS posts on Instagram, post stories of themselves on their yachts in Aruba, or their family farm in the mountains, or their beach house in Isla Margarita, or flaneuring around Barcelona and Madrid, are we meant to consider this a life of suffering? If they’re doing this, who is “earning” the money they draw to pay for these extravagances most people on earth — let alone Venezuela — can’t afford? This is corruption in every sense of the word: an indolent, lazy, entitled, racist caste of princes and princesses living off interest in foreign banks made from exploiting generations of poor workers going back into the times of chattel slavery and primitive accumulation. What is “nepotism” if not passing immense ill-gotten fortunes and estates to your children? What makes a country-club brat particularly adept at guiding such large agglomerations of the national wealth?

And even if it’s not strictly corruption, there is a certain moral emptiness to receiving a free education in Venezuela and then immediately going abroad to use your degree for personal gain, as many have done. These people are true leeches, not those demanding a fairer share of the national produce they helped create.

We also know that they consider “corruption” — or at least the even more vague “waste” — to include the building of 2.5 million homes, universities, collective farms, markets, food programs, medical facilities. To the bruised egos of the waning nobles, it’s unconscionable to give literal peasants a boost up from the dirt floor.

Listen when they talk:

“From 1999 through 2013, Venezuela collected $1.3 trillion in oil revenues but it largely has vanished through corruption, MASSIVE SOCIAL SPENDING, and waste”https://t.co/Wf6pK2jOt4

— Petro Populist (@RancidSassy) February 1, 2019

All this is why we hear so much about “corruption” in Venezuela: an utterly worthless class of human beings is angry that some small share of the wealth they used to skim exclusively for themselves is now being distributed with just a bit more equity across social lines.

Local issues of corruption, whatever they consist of, are for Venezuelans to solve. It is a completely internal matter. Imagine making the case for the bombing and invasion of a country based on the fact that it has economic problems. Now imagine those problems are mostly caused by the party who is meant to “liberate” this country. That is literally what the argument boils down to. It’s bonkers on the surface, without even so much investigation. As Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza quipped, on the subject of the farcical “humanitarian aid”: “I’m choking you, I’m killing you — and then I’m giving you a cookie.” The US is not now and has never been in the business of securing liberty for anyone other than the financial interests of its wealthy owners. If you believe otherwise, it’s your brain that’s corrupted.

1/ Arreaza: “The cost of this blockade is over 30 BILLION dollars and they’re sending this so-called ‘humanitarian aid’ for 20 MILLION dollars? So what is this? I’m choking you, I’m killing you, and then I’m giving you a cookie?” pic.twitter.com/uUdtbGPK92

— Camila (@camilateleSUR) February 15, 2019

February 23, 2019 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Economics, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | Leave a comment

Canadian military in Haiti. Why?

By Yves Engler · February 22, 2019

Canadian troops may have recently been deployed to Haiti, even though the government has not asked Parliament or consulted the public for approval to send soldiers to that country.

Last week the Haiti Information Project photographed heavily-armed Canadian troops patrolling the Port-au-Prince airport. According to a knowledgeable source I emailed the photos to, they were probably special forces. The individual in “uniform is (most likely) a member of the Canadian Special Operations Regiment (CSOR) from Petawawa”, wrote the person who asked not to be named. “The plainclothes individuals are most likely members of JTF2. The uniformed individual could also be JTF2 but at times both JTF2 and CSOR work together.” (CSOR is a sort of farm team for the ultra-elite Joint Task Force 2.)

What was the purpose of their mission? The Haiti Information Project reported that they may have helped family members of President Jovenel Moïse’s unpopular government flee the country. HIP tweeted, “troops & plainclothes from Canada providing security at Toussaint Louverture airport in Port-au-Prince today as cars from Haiti’s National Palace also drop off PHTK govt official’s family to leave the country today.”

Many Haitians would no doubt want to be informed if their government authorized this breach of sovereignty. And Canadians should be interested to know if Ottawa deployed the troops without parliamentary or official Haitian government okay. As well any form of Canadian military support for a highly unpopular foreign government should be controversial.

Two days after Canadian troops were spotted at the airport five heavily armed former US soldiers were arrested. The next day the five Americans and two Serbian colleagues flew to the US  where they will not face charges. One of them, former Navy SEAL Chris Osman, posted on Instagram that he provided security “for people who are directly connected to the current President” of Haiti. Presumably, the mercenaries were hired to squelch the protests that have paralyzed urban life in the country. Dozens of anti-government protesters and individuals living in neighborhoods viewed as hostile to the government have been killed as calls for the president to step down have grown in recent months.

Was the Canadian deployment in any way connected to the US mercenaries? While it may seem far-fetched, it’s not impossible considering the politically charged nature of recent deployments to Haiti.

After a deadly earthquake rocked Haiti in 2010 two thousand Canadian troops were deployed while several Heavy Urban Search Rescue Teams were readied but never sent. According to an internal file uncovered through an access to information request, Canadian officials worried that “political fragility has increased the risks of a popular uprising, and has fed the rumour that ex-president Jean-Bertrand Aristide, currently in exile in South Africa, wants to organize a return to power.” The government documents also explain the importance of strengthening the Haitian authorities’ ability “to contain the risks of a popular uprising.”

The night president Aristide says he was “kidnapped” by US Marines JTF2 soldiers “secured” the airport. According to Agence France Presse, “about 30 Canadian special forces soldiers secured the airport on Sunday [Feb. 29, 2004] and two sharpshooters positioned themselves on the top of the control tower.” Reportedly, the elite fighting force entered Port-au-Prince five days earlier ostensibly to protect the embassy.

Over the past 25 years Liberal and Conservative governments have expanded the secretive Canadian special forces. In 2006 the military launched the Canadian Special Operations Forces Command (CANSOFCOM) to oversee JTF2, the Special Operations Regiment, Special Operations Aviation Squadron and Canadian Joint Incident Response Unit.

CANSOFCOM’s exact size and budget aren’t public information. It also bypasses standard procurement rules and their purchases are officially secret.While the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), Communications Security Establishment and other government agencies face at least nominal oversight, CANSOFCOM does not.

During a 2006 Senate Defence Committee meeting CANSOFCOM Commander Colonel David E. Barr responded by saying, “I do not believe there is a requirement for independent evaluation. I believe there is sufficient oversight within the Canadian Forces and to the people of Canada through the Government of Canada — the minister, the cabinet and the Prime Minister.”

The commander of CANSOFCOM simply reports to the defence minister and PM.

Even the U.S. President does not possess such arbitrary power,” notes Michael Skinner in a CCPA Monitor story titled “Canada’s Ongoing Involvement in Dirty Wars.”

This secrecy is an important part of their perceived utility by governments. “Deniability” is central to the appeal of special forces, noted Major B. J. Brister. The government is not required to divulge information about their operations so Ottawa can deploy them on controversial missions and the public is none the wiser. A 2006 Senate Committee on National Security and Defence complained their operations are “shrouded in secrecy”. The Senate Committee report explained, “extraordinary units are called upon to do extraordinary things … But they must not mandate themselves or be mandated to any role that Canadian citizens would find reprehensible. While the Committee has no evidence that JTF2 personnel have behaved in such a manner, the secrecy that surrounds the unit is so pervasive that the Committee cannot help but wonder whether JTF2’s activities are properly scrutinized.” Employing stronger language, right wing Toronto Sun columnist Peter Worthington pointed out that, “a secret army within the army is anathema to democracy.”

If Canadian special forces were secretly sent to Port-au-Prince to support an unpopular Haitian government Justin Trudeau’s government should be criticized not only for its hostility to the democratic will in that country but also for its indifference to Canadian democracy.

February 23, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Militarism | , | Leave a comment