Aletho News


The Leahy Laws: why Biden’s promise to Israel is illegal

By Zarefah Baroud | MEMO | September 30, 2020

While co-hosting an interview for the Palestine Chronicle, I asked Professor Richard Falk, a former UN Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights, about his thoughts on Kamala Harris’ promise to maintain unconditional aid to Israel. Harris is the Democratic Party vice presidential candidate in November’s election.

“I am disappointed of course by the Harris-Biden positions on Israel,” replied Falk. “I would have hoped for something closer to what Bernie Sanders was saying as a way of shifting the policies closer to what I think a majority of American people would support and want. Again, it illustrates this disparity between the will of the people and the will of the governing elites… I don’t think we can be very hopeful. Possibly on the annexation issue… but I am not very optimistic that there will be any changes.”

Once more, the only option that this presidential election cycle gives American voters is to choose between the lesser of two evils. It is particularly difficult to find any differences between the two candidates, sitting President Donald Trump and Joe Biden, especially their attitudes towards the Israeli occupation and American responsibility for this as the Israel Defence Forces’ largest sponsor.

Notably, the “progressive” Biden does not have a discourse which is more developed than his conservative opponent. In July, he ordered the removal of any reference to the “Israeli occupation” from his campaign platform, which contradicts international recognition of Israel’s presence in the Palestinians territories as a belligerent occupation.

Progressive Americans have organised against Trump for his frequent violations of constitutional law and lack of human rights standards, domestically and internationally. Many, though, have missed that Biden has already committed himself to campaign promises which guarantee not only a lack of regard for international law, but also that he is ready to violate US law.

According to Tony Blinken, Joe Biden’s senior advisor, “He [Biden] would not tie military assistance to Israel to any political decisions that it makes. Period. Full stop. He said it; he’s committed to it.”

Of course, Biden’s running mate Harris has reaffirmed the sentiments communicated by Blinken. She said during an online event on 26 August that, “Joe [Biden] has made it clear he will not tie security assistance to any political decisions that Israel makes, and I couldn’t agree more.”

These various statements should have struck many as more problematic than they did. After all, Biden and Harris are pledging to break US law for Israel. In 1998, the first of what are known as the Leahy Laws were established by Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy. The first institution of this resides in the Foreign Assistance Act (FAA) of 1961 in Section 620M, and the second in the Department of Defence appropriations bill/the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014. Essentially, the law states that foreign military assistance must be suspended or discontinued if there exists credible information that the recipient foreign security force unit has committed a gross human rights violation. A “gross human rights violation” is defined by the FAA as: “Cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment or punishment; prolonged detention without charges and trial; causing the disappearance of persons by the abduction and clandestine detention of those persons; and other flagrant denials of the right to life, liberty, or the security of person.”

Since 1946, the American government has provided billions in military aid to Israel, as well billions in loan guarantees to help Israel develop its qualitative military edge which it uses almost exclusively to torment and slaughter Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Specific infractions include Israeli prisons holding around 700 Palestinian children, over 75 per cent of whom report being tortured and physically abused; the use of white phosphorus on civilian targets in Gaza; and the bullets that have murdered and disabled thousands of peaceful Palestinian demonstrators.

In theory, a single violation is enough to have military aid revoked from the violating unit — in this case Israel — as per the Leahy Laws. The most reputable human rights organisations have reported on and recorded details of Israel’s violations extensively. However, aid packages to Israel have been increased annually, with the help of Joe Biden. Only a single publically known investigation has ever taken place against Israel, in 2006, even though the author of the law, Senator Leahy, requested that the State Department investigate Israeli human rights violations in 2016.

In 2017, and again in 2019, Minnesota Representative Betty McCollum drafted a bill, now classified under H.R. 2407: Promoting Human Rights for Palestinian Children Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act. The bill employs the Leahy Laws to argue for an inclusion into US legislation of the issue of Palestinian youth forced to stand before Israel military courts, and therefore revoke aid from Israeli military and police units which carry out such practices.

In August of this year, Representative McCollum similarly released H.R. 8050: Israeli Annexation Non-Recognition Act, which vows to revoke aid from Israel that could be used to directly or indirectly assist the annexation of Palestinian land in the West Bank.

This legislation has garnered more and more support from representatives around the country, including Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (NY-14), Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), and Ilhan Omar (MN-05), reserving a space for Palestine in American politics. Unfortunately, though, the conversation amongst election candidates remains uninformed, trivial, and dangerous.

Regardless of who prevails in November, both presidential candidates undoubtedly have an “unshakeable” commitment to the apartheid regime that is Israel and must be held to account according to US law at the very least. This is not about electability, but complicity in crimes against humanity (and possibly war crimes), and American voters have every right to insist that they raise their standards.

September 30, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , | 2 Comments

YouTube Regrets – #PropagandaWatch

Corbett • 09/30/2020

Watch on Archive / BitChute / LBRY / Minds / YouTube

Are you concerned that watching YouTube-recommended CNN propaganda has turned you into a raging imperial warmonger? Or that that MSNBC video in the sidebar harmed you with its medical misinformation? Well, the Mozilla Foundation wants to hear all about your #YouTubeRegrets.

8Gc58 links to Mozilla campaign

YouTube Regrets Introduction

About YouTube Regrets

How to save the library – Questions For Corbett #069

Episode 342 – Pricking the Filter Bubble

History of Mozilla

Pledge for a Healthy Internet

Firefox browser maker Mozilla is taking on fake news

[Don’t] Download RegretsReporter today

CNN: #Gaddafi arming troops with Viagra, again!


Is There A Flu Shot / COVID Link? – Questions For Corbett #068

7-year-old girl’s heartbreaking cry for help

September 30, 2020 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance, Timeless or most popular, Video | , | Leave a comment

NATO boss Stoltenberg tells Georgia to ‘prepare for membership’ – influential Russian senator says it’s a ‘signal’ to Moscow

By Jonny Tickle | RT | September 30, 2020

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has urged Georgia to prepare to become a member of the US-led military bloc. On Tuesday, the premier of the former Soviet state Giorgi Gakharia was in Brussels to discuss closer cooperation.

Georgia’s effort to join NATO began in 2005, just six years after it left the Russian-dominated CSTO. The integration of the Caucasus nation is seen by NATO leaders as having substantial strategic benefits, including extra Black Sea ports close to Russia. Earlier this year, an agreement between Tblisi and the bloc included joint exercises in the Black Sea and the sharing of more traffic radar data.

“I urge [Georgia] to continue making full use of all the opportunities for coming closer to NATO and to prepare for membership,” Stoltenberg said, in a press conference. “This is important for Georgia, and for NATO.”

The secretary-general also noted that the bloc “supports Georgia’s territorial integrity,” calling on northern neighbor Russia to “end its recognition of the regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.” Abkhazia and South Ossetia are two de-facto states, recognized by most of the world as part of Georgia. According to Tbilisi, the two regions are actually occupied by Moscow.

Speaking to RT, veteran Russian senator Aleksey Pushkov said that the potential induction of Georgia as a member means that NATO sees Russia as its main opponent. Pushkov, a member of the pro-Putin United Russia party, is the former chairman of the Duma’s Foreign Affairs Committee and is widely considered to be close to the Kremlin.

“In 2008, Paris and Berlin were against Georgia’s accession. But the situation has since changed, and it might be that the advocates for Georgia inside NATO now have the upper hand,” he explained. “It is also a signal to Russia: the alliance sees it as the main and actually the sole adversary.”

In 2008, then-US President George W. Bush pushed for Georgia to join the Membership Action Plan, a mechanism that allows for a continuous review of aspiring members, providing feedback and advice. However, Bush was defeated by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who was concerned that admitting Georgia would increase tensions with Russia.

September 30, 2020 Posted by | Militarism | | 1 Comment

Russia Warns Against Use of Mercenaries in Karabakh Conflict, Calls for Their Immediate Withdrawal

By Lilia Dergacheva – Sputnik – 30.09.2020

Moscow is concerned about reports of the transfer of illegal armed militants to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement, asserting that Russia is against the move and calls for their withdrawal from the area without delay.

“We are deeply concerned about these processes, which lead not only to an even greater escalation of tensions in the conflict zone, but also create long-term threats to the security of all countries in the region”, the statement says, adding that the ministry is calling on the leadership of both states “to take effective measures to prevent the use of foreign terrorists and mercenaries in the conflict”.

The ministry brought up media reports about militants from Syria and Libya allegedly being transferred to the contested zone in order to participate in the local hostilities.

The clashes between Baku and Yerevan over the Nagorno-Karabakh region – a self-proclaimed republic in Transcaucasia that proclaimed independence from what was then Soviet Azerbaijan – have severely escalated since Sunday, with the sides blaming the aggression on each other and sharing countless videos of destroyed military vehicles.

The conflict dates back to 1991, which saw the Soviet Union collapse. The major military standoff in the region was halted in 1994, as Yerevan and Baku moved to start peace negotiations mediated by the OSCE Minsk Group.

September 30, 2020 Posted by | Aletho News | 1 Comment

US: Democrats, Rubio Ask EU to Not Observe Venezuela Elections

teleSUR | September 30, 2020

The U.S.-based peace organization CODEPINK, on Tuesday, condemned a bipartisan letter sent to the EU’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, requesting that the European body neither recognize nor send an electoral observation mission to Venezuela’s legislative elections this December 6.

The organization is currently circulating a petition to tell Senator Cardin to stop undermining Venezuela’s democratic process and continue engaging the Venezuelan government in civic dialogue rather than through threats and sabotage.

Similar to what happened previous to the 2018 Venezuelan presidential elections, the United States has already claimed it will not recognize the upcoming December 6 elections and is trying to get the EU—which has established a dialogue with the democratically elected government of Nicolas Maduro—to follow suit.

Venezuela, suffering from brutal sanctions, repeated and violent coup attempts, and a deeply polarized electorate, has been preparing the conditions for these mid-pandemic elections for months now, with confirmed participation from opposition parties and leaders representing millions of Venezuelan voters.

In response to their confirmed participation—legitimizing the electoral path—the United States last week sanctioned four of these leaders for engaging the democratic process, with only the political factions dependent on U.S. funding and political backing boycotting the elections, their existence contingent upon it.

Noting that the U.S. denounces outside interference in its own elections, CODEPINK urges U.S. voters to hold their country to the same standard and lobby both Democrats and Republicans to respect Venezuela’s sovereignty by recognizing its democratic process.

September 30, 2020 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | 1 Comment

Vaccines Are Complicated

By Donna Laframboise | Big Picture News | September 30, 2020

Eager as we are for a COVID vaccine, we need to be realistic about possible harms – and about a plausible timeline.

There’s a phrase being tossed around with abandon these days. Everywhere we turn, there’s talk of a “safe and effective” COVID-19 vaccine.

USA Today quotes infectious disease chief Anthony Fauci: “We feel cautiously optimistic that we will be able to have a safe and effective vaccine.”

Two days ago, former US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioners, Scott Gottlieb and Mark McClellan, used the phrase safe and effective three times in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece about vaccine development.

Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, similarly declared recently: “Canadians must have access to a safe and effective vaccine against COVID-19…”

Let us now turn to Vaccines: Truth, Lies and Controversy, a book written by Peter Gotzsche, a Danish physician who has spent decades evaluating the quality of published medical research. 27 years ago, he was among those who founded the Cochrane Collaboration, an organization that systematically assesses healthcare interventions.

In the context of discussing Japanese encephalitis, Gotzsche writes:

according to the WHO “safe and effective vaccines are available.” You should never believe such reassuring statements, which is [drug] industry jargon. Nothing is both safe and effective; effectiveness always comes with a price.

He continues:

In healthcare, people rarely use the term harms. They talk about side effects, which is a euphemism for the inevitable – some people will be harmed and in rare cases even die after having received a vaccine.

Generally speaking, Gotzsche considers vaccines “the most valuable interventions and the best buy for money we can offer.” But the overriding message of his book is that every vaccine must be judged on its own merits. In his view, some vaccines promoted by health authorities are “marginal at best.”

He’s skeptical, for example, of annual flu vaccines, to the point of accusing the website of the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) of promulgating a “massive amount of misinformation” on this topic. When discussing whether medical personnel and others should be forced to get an annual flu shot, he says:

No vaccine is entirely harmless, and in the worst case, the healthcare worker might die, e.g. because of an anaphylactic shock caused by the vaccine, or fainting with head trauma after the injection, or development of the Guillain-Barre syndrome…

… A common argument for mandatory flu shots is that they prevent transmission of the virus to other people. However, there is no evidence that the vaccine does this…

… Many people will think that their chance of benefitting from the vaccination exceeds 50%, but it is less than 2%…Furthermore, the vaccine does not reduce admission to hospital or days off work…

… It has never been shown in reliable research that flu shots reduce deaths.

Which brings us to COVID-19. The fact that 160 different teams are currently working on a vaccine is immensely encouraging. Surely one of them will hit the target. On the other hand, we must be sensible.

In a July interview, Kenneth Frazier, the CEO of Merck pharmaceutical company, had some words of caution:

What worries me the most is that the public is so hungry, so desperate to go back to normalcy, that they are pushing us to move things faster and faster. But ultimately, if you’re going to use a vaccine in billions of people, you better know what that vaccine does.

… There are a lot of examples of vaccines in the past that have stimulated the immune system, but ultimately didn’t confer protection. And unfortunately, there are some cases where it stimulated the immune system and…actually helped the virus invade the cell…

… I think when people tell the public that there’s going to be a vaccine by the end of 2020, for example, I think they do a grave disservice to the public. I think at the end of the day, we don’t want to rush the vaccine before we’ve done rigorous science. We’ve seen in the past, for example, with the swine flu, that that vaccine did more harm than good. We don’t have a great history of introducing vaccines quickly in the middle of a pandemic. 

September 30, 2020 Posted by | Book Review, Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science | | Leave a comment

Where Did Covid-19 Come From?

By Paul Craig Roberts | Institute For Political Economy | September 30, 2020

Evidence indicates that it came from NIH funding of EcoHealth Alliance, an entity doing “gain-of-function” research in collaboration with the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Many experts believe that the virus was created by that research and escaped from the Wuhan lab.

Gain-of-function research involves enhancing the pathogenicity and transmissibility of pathogens. Many scientists are opposed to this research as it amounts in effect to bioweapons research. The rationale for the research is that it enhances with pre-knowledge the ability to respond to some emerging pandemic. In the case of the research at Wuhan, it might have caused one.

There are other explanations of the Covid pandemic, as it is called. Ron Unz based on circumstantial evidence makes a rational case that the US unleashed the virus on China from where it blew back on the US and the rest of the world. Having watched Washington destroy in whole or part seven countries in the past 20 years, it is not difficult to believe that Washington would unleash Covid on China. However, the fact that the NIH itself was financing the research in China is inconsistent with the US having created and unleashed the virus.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Alergy and Infectious Diseases, which is part of NIH, supports gain-of-function research. Last April 28 Newsweek reported:

“Just last year [2019], the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases [NIAID], the organization led by Dr. Fauci, funded scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and other institutions for work on gain-of-function research on bat coronaviruses.

“In 2019, with the backing of NIAID, the National Institutes of Health committed $3.7 million over six years for research that included some gain-of-function work. The program followed another $3.7 million, 5-year project for collecting and studying bat coronaviruses, which ended in 2019, bringing the total to $7.4 million.

“Many scientists have criticized gain of function research, which involves manipulating viruses in the lab to explore their potential for infecting humans, because it creates a risk of starting a pandemic from accidental release.”

Dr. Joseph Mercola presents views of experts who are critical of the ongoing gain-of-function research in this article: Bioweapon Labs Get More NIH Funding for Deadly ‘Research’

Although it is difficult for those of us who are not experts to have a confident opinion, we should be aware that many experts are convinced that research funded by NIH gave us the Covid pandemic.

The question whether in effect gain-of-function research amounts to banned bioweapons research needs to be taken up by Congress, the UN, and governments around the world. Covid, largely from its mishandling by public authorities, has done a great deal of economic and other damage to many countries that is larger than the cost of the virus itself.

Scientists love to monkey around with things that probably should be left alone. For example, humanity certainly does not need nuclear weapons. Neither does it need weaponized coronaviruses.

September 30, 2020 Posted by | Militarism | | Leave a comment