Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

France sends military police to Martinique amid vaccine mandate protests

RT | December 1, 2021

France has sent police reinforcements to overseas territory Martinique, after riots broke out in response to a mandatory Covid-19 vaccine policy for healthcare workers.

Around 70 armed French police officers, known in France as gendarmes, arrived in Martinique on Tuesday to tackle the violent protests, which were marred by arson, looting, and vandalism.

French Minister of Overseas Territories Sebastien Lecornu said in a press conference that “social dialogue is not possible without a sound basis and that sound basis is the re-establishment of freedoms… and our capacity to re-establish order.”

Civil unrest broke out after France imposed a vaccine mandate for healthcare workers in Martinique, which has reported low vaccination rates amid high levels of mistrust in the government and faith in natural medicine

As a result of the riots – which included an attack on the residence of France’s most senior official on the island – France revealed on Friday that it would be postponing its vaccine mandate.

Lecornu has blamed Martinique’s vaccine hesitancy on the island’s culture, saying, “I don’t want to stigmatise but the mistrust over vaccines is cultural.”

Protesters, however, say they are unable to trust officials with their health after previous cases of misconduct – 95% of adults in Martinique have traces of a pesticide with links to cancer in their blood after it was consistently sprayed on the island for several decades.

Martinique was colonized by France in 1635 and has remained under French control despite independence efforts.

December 1, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Science and Pseudo-Science, Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes | , , | Leave a comment

Palestinians’ life under Israeli occupation: Israeli soldiers describe their actions in Hebron

If Americans Knew

Israeli soldiers describe their actions in the Palestinian city of Hebron in the West Bank, and of Israeli settlers living there – from the film by Israeli director Rona Segal, “‘Everyone’s a Suspect.’ Six Former Israeli Soldiers Speak on Their Time in Hebron.” See the full film at https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/16/op…

Segal says: “I joined the army when I was 18 years old. Military service is mandatory in Israel (with few exemptions) and we’re instructed to never doubt its necessity. But I wanted to make films, so I maneuvered my way into the Israel Defense Forces’ film unit. “The army is where I learned the craft of filmmaking, and making the short documentary above allowed me to go back to those years. But now, as an independent filmmaker, I have a different perspective, a perspective that most 18-year-olds simply don’t have. “Here, ex-soldiers share their accounts of day-to-day operations on the ground in Hebron, the largest Palestinian city in the West Bank. They offer a view that has rarely been seen by the public.”

———————————————————————————————————————————————–  

U.S. politicians from both parties vote to give Israel over $10 million per day of Americans’ tax money. For more information on this issue see https://ifamericansknew.org/

An Israeli rubber-coated metal bullet cost Izzuddin, 14, his right eye

Defence for Children Palestine

On April 9, 2021, Israeli forces shot 14-year-old Izzuddin al-Batsh in the right eye with a rubber-coated metal bullet while he was working at his uncle’s vegetable market in the old city of Hebron in the southern occupied West Bank. Several months later, Izzuddin recounts the difficulties he faced to receive treatment and what his life is like now with an artificial eye.

November 22, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, Video, War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment

PATRIOT PURGE, PART 1

TUCKER CARLSON | November 2nd, 2021

November 19, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Fake News, False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, Video | | 4 Comments

Secret Israeli dossier contained no proof to declare Palestinian NGOs ‘terrorists’

RT | November 4, 2021

A classified dossier which Israel used to brand six Palestinian NGOs as terrorist outfits reportedly contains no concrete evidence to prove their involvement in violent activities or to otherwise justify the designation.

The document, which bears the logo of Israel’s Shin Bet internal security service, is the result of its inquiry into six West Bank civil society groups accused of securing foreign funding for a Palestinian militant group.

Despite the severity of the charges, however, Israel has yet to publicly release any evidence backing up its decision to brand the NGOs as terror organizations. Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz prompted international backlash last month after he officially placed a terror designation on the six groups on the basis of the Shin Bet investigation.

Accessing the dossier, The Intercept and Israeli outlets +972 and Local Call found that the information used was based chiefly on interrogations of two accountants from another Palestinian NGO, the Health Work Committees, which was also labelled a terrorist organization last year.

The accountants’ lawyers told the outlets that Israeli authorities had “distorted” their testimonies, which were allegedly gathered under threats to family members and harsh interrogation methods that might be considered “torture.”

Shin Bet reportedly used a single statement from one accountant, about forging fake receipts for Health Work Committees, to accuse the other organizations of being involved in a similar scheme to fund the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) militant group. The men apparently described a number of educational and humanitarian initiatives which could be affiliated with the organization as “PFLP activities,” but they did not describe any financing of violent activities.

The outlets said that none of the testimonies cited in the 74-page dossier were backed up by any documents or receipts. The dossier was apparently delivered in May to a number of EU countries that have funded the organizations, prompting independent audits and public criticism from Dutch and Belgian ministers, who stated that the allegations did not contain “even a single concrete piece of evidence.”

“Since the Europeans didn’t buy the allegations, [Israel] used unconventional warfare: declaring the organizations terrorist groups,” Michael Sfard, an Israeli human rights lawyer representing Al-Haq, one of the accused Palestinian NGOs, told The Intercept. He added that the charges were a “political [attack] under the guise of security.”

Meanwhile, senior officials from two unspecified European countries told the outlet that since Gantz’s announcement, Israel has ignored all requests for more information. While the Israeli Ministry of Defense did not comment, two US sources told the outlets that an Israeli delegation had presented similar dossiers on Capitol Hill.

The six NGOs accused by Israel are Al-Haq, Addameer, Bisan Center, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, Defense For Children International-Palestine and the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees.

November 5, 2021 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | 1 Comment

Here’s what’s wrong with Israel branding human-rights groups ‘terrorists’

By Eva Bartlett | RT | November 3, 2021

The Israeli government has designated several human-rights groups ‘terrorist organisations’ in a blatant attempt to further cover up the crimes they commit against the Palestinian people.

On October 22, Israel branded six respected Palestinian human-rights groups “terrorist organisations,” outraging the UN and the wider global community. This, coming from a state that imprisons and kills Palestinian children, and murders uniformed medics.

On the Israeli Defense Ministry’s list were Addameer, Al-Haq, Defense for Children International Palestine (DCIP), the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC), the Bisan Center for Research and Development, and the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees.

The groups either document Israel’s crimes against Palestinians, which, in my opinion, routinely amount to terrorism themselves, provide legal support to targeted or imprisoned Palestinians, or work to empower Palestinian civilians. In what bizarre world can they be deemed “terrorist groups”?

A joint statement by leading Israeli rights group B’Tselem and numerous other Israeli and Palestinian rights organisations described the ministry’s action as “a draconian measure that criminalises critical human-rights work,” and noted the importance of documentation, advocacy, and legal aid for the protection of rights worldwide. “Criminalising such work is an act of cowardice, characteristic of repressive authoritarian regimes,” it said.

A number of UN special rapporteurs have condemned the decision as “a frontal attack on the Palestinian human-rights movement and on human rights everywhere.”

Meanwhile, Israel continues to attack unarmed protesters with rubber bullets, live ammunition and tear gas; approve new buildings in illegal Jewish colonies on Palestinian land; and bulldoze centuries-old Palestinian graves in Old Jerusalem; and Israeli colonists continue to brutalise Palestinian civilians, as they have long done. And, of course, Gaza remains under a cruel blockade – the longest lockdown in the world. The roughly two million Gazans barely living in the territory are deprived of the most basic essentials, including urgently needed medical supplies, and Israel guns down and abducts their fishermen, often destroying their boats.

But, no, according to the state responsible for these and countless other acts of terrorism, the “terrorists” are the human-rights groups. This is the state that not only abuses and murders Palestinian civilians, and flattens entire neighbourhoods of Gaza, deliberately destroying vital infrastructure, but also occupies Lebanese and Syrian land, violates Lebanese airspace, and routinely illegally bombs Syria.

This is not the first time Israel has harassed Palestinian (and Israeli) rights organizations.

The children’s agency, DCIP, is “an independent, local Palestinian child-rights organisation dedicated to defending and promoting the rights of children living in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.” In July 2021, prior to its “terrorist” designation, its main office was raided by Israeli forces.

At the time, DCIP described the raid as “the latest act by Israeli authorities to increasingly push forward a campaign to delegitimise and criminalise Palestinian civil society and human rights organisations.” They also noted this was a campaign that has been on the rise in recent years, “advanced by a network of rising nationalist Israeli civil society organisations and associated organisations elsewhere, with the support of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.”

With the minister of defence designating such groups as “terrorists” and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs supporting the delegitimization campaign, it is not credible to argue the persecution is not coming from the Israeli government itself.

For one of the other listed groups, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC), Israel’s targeted harassment caused the Dutch government to cease funding. Israel’s 972 magazine reported on this, saying “for years, a global network of Israel advocacy groups had been lobbying European governments to cut off funding to UAWC, a group that assists Palestinian farmers to cultivate and remain on their land, market their produce, and develop water infrastructure.”

Some of the work UAWC had done in recent years, the article noted, included establishing “52 cooperatives in the West Bank and Gaza, [and] rehabilitating almost 10,000 dunums of Palestinian land that were under threat of confiscation by Israeli authorities in Area C.”

It also planted nearly two million trees, and developed connecting routes amounting to almost 700km in distance. “UAWC also worked to provide better water access to Palestinians in Area C, where water and sanitation services are regularly interrupted by Israeli settlement expansion,” the article also said.

My experiences in Gaza, volunteering for years with impoverished Palestinian farmers and farm labourers coming under Israeli live fire on a near-daily basis, demonstrated to me that the work of groups like UWAC is essential to help farmers rehabilitate destroyed farmland. These are people simply trying to eke out an existence, being maimed and murdered by Israeli fire while doing so, their farmland and wells bulldozed and destroyed, their crops burned.

I also have some experience with the work of DCIP, which documents Palestinian child detainees in Israeli prisons, including children in solitary confinement, as well as children killed by Israeli soldiers or colonists. Without groups like this documenting these crimes, advocating for the children becomes all the more impossible. Clearly, this is one of the reasons Israel has made the outrageous terrorist designation.

But DCIP also helps sick and injured Palestinian children get medical care. The group helped rehabilitate a terribly injured, bedridden, 16-year-old Palestinian teen I met in a Cairo hospital in July 2008, months after an Israeli soldier shot him in the spine.

In March 2008, Abdul Rahman Abu Oida went to the roof of his home, checking the water tank to see why the family suddenly had no water, and was shot in the spine by an Israeli sniper hiding on another rooftop.

As I later wrote, “The bullet destroyed three vertebrae; the shot left Abed paralysed in a puddle of his own blood until his 13-year-old brother, 15 minutes later, found him and dragged him downstairs. Ambulances were prevented from accessing the area. Abed lay untreated for three hours before he reached a hospital in Gaza City.”

In the Cairo hospital where I met him, he was emaciated, with appallingly large bedsores on his backside and feet. These festering bedsores would be the cause of other ailments which plagued him and eventually caused his death. Through a contact at DCIP, Abed began to get proper treatment for his original wound and the consequences of the bedsores.

Although he survived the 2008/9 Israeli massacre, including Israel’s attack on the rehabilitation hospital in which he and 60 other patients were, in 2014 he finally passed away. But without DCIP’s intervention, Abed would surely have died not long after I met him in 2008.

I have written many times about the crimes Israel has perpetrated against Palestinians in Gaza, including sniping at medics and killing and maiming still other medics, including with dart bombs – both war crimes – as well as assassinating children and infants, and firing white phosphorus on civilian areas. These are all just from my personal documentation in the span of a few years.

Without people to document these crimes, Israel’s actions could be even more monstrous than they already are.

Last May, in an attempt to prevent journalists from reporting its war crimes, Israel precision-bombed key media buildings in Gaza (which it had previously done in 2009, 2012, and 2014).

Throughout occupied Palestine, the work of human rights groups in documenting Israel’s crimes remains imperative, and the country’s continued harassment of these groups – including their “terrorist” designation – indicates the effectiveness of their advocacy and the determination of Israel to whitewash its crimes.

Eva Bartlett is a Canadian independent journalist and activist. She has spent years on the ground covering conflict zones in the Middle East, especially in Syria and Palestine (where she lived for nearly four years).

November 5, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | 3 Comments

Taxi driver freed from Guantanamo Bay after 17 years of brutal torture with no charges

FILE PHOTO. © Reuters / Lucas Jackson; (inset) An official Guantanamo Bay photograph of Ahmed Rabbani. © US Department of Defense
RT | October 24, 2021

A Pakistani taxi driver will leave US detention at Guantanamo Bay after 17 years behind bars. Mistaken for a wanted terrorist, the man suffered horrific torture in American custody, despite never being charged with any crime.

Ahmed Rabbani’s release was announced on Friday by Reprieve, a human rights NGO. Rabbani had been unanimously cleared for release by the prison’s Periodic Review Board, made up of senior officials from six US agencies, including the State Department and Department of Homeland Security.

Rabbani’s journey through the underbelly of the US’ post-9/11 security infrastructure began in Karachi, Pakistan, in 2002. Mistaken for wanted terrorist Hassan Ghul, the taxi driver was arrested by Pakistani authorities outside Ghul’s apartment complex and sold to American personnel in the country.

Information gleaned from an associate of Rabbani arrested on the same day was used to arrest several suspected Al-Qaeda operatives, including a supposed member of Osama Bin Laden’s security detail. However, Rabbani was never charged with any crime, and is not believed to be involved in terrorism.

Nevertheless, he spent more than 545 days after his arrest being tortured in a CIA ‘black site’ in Afghanistan. The torture inflicted there on Rabbani was detailed in the US Senate’s 2014 torture report, and included long periods of being shackled with his hands outstretched over his head, an agonizing position that led Rabbani to try to cut off his own hand to end the pain.

Testimony from multiple detainees held in the same CIA prison describes permanent darkness, cells flooded with excrement and infested with vermin, beatings, sleep deprivation, being buried in simulated graves, being stripped naked and doused with cold water, and being denied bathing facilities for months on end.

According to Reprieve, Rabbani’s interrogators knew that “they had the wrong man,” but tortured him anyway. After more than a year in the CIA facility, Rabbani was transferred to the Guantanamo Bay detention camp on US territory in Cuba. He would spend the next 17 years there, without a charge or trial date.

His case attracted international attention, and in 2018, Rabbani wrote an op-ed published in the Los Angeles Times describing physical and sexual abuse by guards, force-feeding, and repeated hunger strikes to protest the conditions of his imprisonment. At the time of the op-ed, Rabbani said that he was suffering from “stomach problems so acute that I cannot consume hard food without vomiting blood,” and was being denied digestible food.

Conditions in Guantanamo chipped away at Rabbani’s mental health. “There is no morning and no evening,” he wrote. “There is only despair.”

“Ahmed’s clearance is long overdue,” said Reprieve attorney Mark Maher. “For those of us who have supported him, the feeling is one of relief, tempered with sadness for all he has lost… but we won’t celebrate until he is back with his family in Pakistan and able to hug his 19-year-old son for the first time.”

Of the 780 people detained in Guantanamo Bay since the facility opened in 2002, 732 have been transferred elsewhere or released, 38 remain there, and nine have died in custody. President Joe Biden has promised to close the notorious prison before he leaves office, a promise that was made, but not kept, by his former boss Barack Obama.

October 24, 2021 Posted by | Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , | 2 Comments

Israel outlaws 6 Palestinian human rights groups

MEMO | October 22, 2021

Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz today declared six prominent Palestinian human rights groups terrorist organisations which funnel donor money to outlawed groups.

Under the ruling, the work of Addameer, al-Haq, Defense for Children Palestine, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, Busan Center for Research and Development, and the Union of Palestinian Women Committees has been banned. Gantz said the groups have ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a group banned by the Israeli occupation.

The groups, which document alleged human rights violations by Israeli occupation forces and authorities and the Palestinian Authority (PA) against Palestinians, include Addameer, which represents Palestinian security prisoners in Israeli military courts, and Defense for Children-International, a group that advocates for Palestinian children.

“[The] declared organisations received large sums of money from European countries and international organisations, using a variety of forgery and deceit,” Gantz said, alleging the money had supported PFLP’s activities.

Addameer and another of the groups, Defense for Children International – Palestine, rejected the accusations as an “attempt to eliminate Palestinian civil society.”

“They may be able to close us down. They can seize our funding. They can arrest us. But they cannot stop our firm and unshakeable belief that this occupation must be held accountable for its crimes,” Al-Haq Director Shawan Jabarin told the Times of Israel.

The designations authorise Israeli authorities to close the groups’ offices, seize their assets, arrest their staff in the occupied West Bank and ban supporting their activities.

The United Nations Human Rights Office in the Palestinian territories said it was “alarmed” at the announcement.

“Counter-terrorism legislation must not be used to constrain legitimate human rights and humanitarian work,” it said, adding that some of the reasons given appeared vague or irrelevant.

“These designations are the latest development in a long stigmatising campaign against these and other organisations, damaging their ability to deliver on their crucial work,” it said.

An official with the PFLP said they maintain relations with civil society organisations across the West Bank and Gaza, without specific mention of the six bodies in this ruling, Reuters reports.

“It is part of the rough battle Israel is launching against the Palestinian people and against civil society groups, in order to exhaust them,” PFLP official Kayed Al-Ghoul said.

In a joint statement, Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Amnesty International said the “decision is an alarming escalation that threatens to shut down the work of Palestine’s most prominent civil society organisations.”

“Silencing, intimidating & criminalizing #Palestinian civil society org’s & human rights defenders are #Israel‘s way of covering up its abuses while maintaining its impunity. It’s the occupation that must be held to account,” wrote Palestinian diplomat Hanan Ashrawi on Twitter.

The decision comes just four days after Israel revoked the residency of Palestinian lawyer Salah Hamouri from his hometown of Jerusalem on the basis of “breach of allegiance” to the state, paving the way for his forced deportation from his homeland. Hamouri, the son of a Palestinian father and French mother, is a prominent lawyer and human rights advocate for Addameer.

October 22, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | 1 Comment

After 19 years of beatings & losing an eye, America’s innocent ‘forever prisoner’ may be about to spill secrets of CIA torture

By Kit Klarenberg | RT | October 18, 2021

At long last, thanks to the testimony of a Palestinian held at Guantanamo Bay, someone might finally be held accountable for the gross human rights violations the agency inflicted on so many with such impunity for years.

In a landmark move, the Biden administration has advised the US Supreme Court that Abu Zubaydah, a Palestinian man who has been in US custody for nearly 20 years, can provide limited testimony for use in a Polish criminal investigation into his torture at a CIA “black site” in that country.

Acting Solicitor General Brian Fletcher has stated that Zubaydah’s testimony will be subject to US national security review, and while he would be permitted to describe his treatment while in CIA custody, “information that could prejudice the security interests” of Washington could be redacted.

Nonetheless, even such truncated scope for disclosure is a seismic development, for Zubaydah has been held incommunicado since his March 2002 capture in Pakistan. Indeed, his CIA torturers specifically sought “reasonable assurances that [Zubaydah] will remain in isolation and incommunicado for the remainder of his life,” in order that their criminal maltreatment remained secret, and they were insulated from prosecution. Such assurances were eagerly granted by Washington.

“There is a fairly unanimous sentiment within [headquarters] that [Zubaydah] will never be placed in a situation where [he] has any significant contact with others and/or has the opportunity to be released,” a classified memo declared. “While it is difficult to discuss specifics at this point, all major players are in concurrence that [Zubaydah] should remain incommunicado for the remainder of his life.”

So it was that Zubaydah was moved around an assortment of CIA black sites for four years, and was viciously tortured every step of the way. Among other gruesome acts, he was repeatedly waterboarded, locked in a tiny coffin-like box for hundreds of hours, hung from hooks, denied sleep, and forced to remain in ‘stress positions’ for extended periods – resulting in permanent brain damage and the loss of his left eye – in an attempt to extract information that he didn’t actually possess.

Zubaydah’s arrest was hailed as a major coup at the time, with US officials branding him a major Al-Qaeda financier, a key link between the group’s leader Osama bin Laden and its overseas operational cells, the manager of the camp in Afghanistan where the 9/11 hijackers were purportedly trained, a central figure in every major Al-Qaeda terrorist operation, and “engaged in ongoing terrorism planning against US interests.”

None of this was true. The basis for these lurid, false claims was a CIA psychological assessment of Zubaydah, which was primarily concerned with justifying his vicious abuse – it falsely stated, for example, that he had written Al-Qaeda’s manual on resisting interrogation, arguing that, due to his “incredibly strong resolve, expertise in civilian warfare [and] resistance to interrogation techniques,” torture was the only means by which information could be extracted from him.

Before this abuse commenced, Zubaydah was interviewed by FBI operative Ali Soufan. While he was recovering from life-threatening injuries incurred during his capture by Pakistani intelligence – he had been shot in the thigh, testicles, and stomach with an assault rifle – Soufan treated him well, building rapport and trust. This light-handed approach prompted Zubaydah to open up – he named Khalid Sheikh Mohammed as the “mastermind” of the 9/11 attacks, and described rumors of a “dirty bomb” plot being planned by a US citizen.

This information may not even have been accurate, however. The FBI’s top Al-Qaeda analyst, Dan Coleman, describes Zubaydah as a mere “safehouse keeper” with severe mental problems, who “claimed to know more about Al-Qaeda and its inner workings than he really did.” The torture he suffered no doubt played a pivotal role in prompting him to make such claims.Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was subsequently waterboarded 183 times, and admitted to all manner of grave crimes – including planning to blow up a building that didn’t even exist at the time of his capture.

In any event, Soufan was confident Zubaydah had no more secrets to tell, but the CIA claimed to be unconvinced – after all, Langley paid its Pakistani counterparts $10 million for him, and needed a greater return on that investment. When the torture finally stopped, with no further intelligence gathered, the agency was forced to conclude Soufan had been right all along.

As the Senate Select Committee report later found, the CIA still considered its tactics a success, to be “used as a template for future interrogation of high-value captives,” on the basis that such hideous treatment had “confirmed Zubaydah did not possess the intelligence” it erroneously assessed him to have.

That report is classified today, although Zabuydah’s name appears a total of 1,343 times in a publicly released executive summary and accompanying documents. It notes that the CIA frequently had trouble distinguishing “detainees who had information but were successfully resisting interrogation from those who did not actually have the information,” and at least 26 individuals had been wrongfully held by the agency.

This included an “intellectually challenged” man whose detention was used as leverage to force a family member to provide information, two former CIA sources, and two individuals whom the CIA had assessed to be connected to Al-Qaeda based solely on information fabricated by another detainee who’d been subjected to ‘enhanced interrogation’ techniques. Detainees often remained in custody at black sites for months after the agency determined there was no reason to keep them.

Other shocking excerpts reveal that a number of CIA personnel attached to the detention and interrogation program had on their personal files “notable derogatory information” that called into question “their eligibility for employment, their access to classified information, and their participation in CIA interrogation activities.” Among them were officers who, “among other issues, had engaged in inappropriate detainee interrogations, had workplace anger management issues, and had reportedly admitted to sexual assault.”

The agency seemed assured of its immunity from prosecution for its crimes, with several detainees having been informed they would never get out of CIA custody alive. One was told they’d be leaving only “in a coffin-shaped box,” while another was warned “we can never let the world know what I have done to you.” CIA officers also threatened several detainees with harm to their families should any details of their maltreatment be made public – this included telling one that their children’s lives would be at risk, a second that his mother would be sexually abused, and a third that his mother’s throat would be cut.

Since September 2006, Zubaydah has been held at Guantanamo Bay, despite the CIA having acknowledged that he wasn’t even a member of Al-Qaeda, let alone a significant figure within the group. The scars from his time in “black site” detention remain writ large today, with virtually perpetual headaches, an “excruciating sensitivity to sounds,” frequent seizures, and an inability to recall his own father’s name.

Still, the Supreme Court permitting him to make limited disclosures about his experiences is an encouraging sign that the invocation of “state secrecy privilege” to block disclosure of key evidence related to the CIA’s global post-9/11 torture program may no longer be a viable get-out for officials. This, in turn, raises the prospect that, at long last, someone might finally be held accountable for the gross human rights violations the agency and its assorted contractors inflicted on so many with such impunity for so long.

Kit Klarenberg is an investigative journalist exploring the role of intelligence services in shaping politics and perceptions. 

October 18, 2021 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Subjugation - Torture | , , | 2 Comments

The US Has Placed Itself In Charge Over Which Nations Get To Eat

By Caitlin Johnstone | October 17, 2021

The globally influential propaganda multiplier news agencies AP and AFP have both informed their readers that a “fugitive” has been extradited to the United States.

“Fugitive businessman close to Venezuela’s Maduro extradited to US,” reads the AFP headline.

“Alex Saab, a top fugitive close to Venezuela’s socialist government, has been put on a plane to the U.S. to face money laundering charges,” AP announced on Twitter.

You’d be forgiven for wondering what specifically makes this man a “fugitive”, and what that status has to do with his extradition to a foreign government whose laws should have no bearing on his life. The Colombian-born Venezuelan citizen Alex Saab, as it happens, is a “fugitive” from the US government’s self-appointed authority to decide which populations on our planet are permitted to have ready access to food. His crime is working to circumvent the crushing US sanctions which have been starving Venezuelan civilians to death by the tens of thousands.

Saab is being extradited from the African nation of Cabo Verde where he has been imprisoned since last year under pressure from the US government. In an article published this past May titled “Alex Saab v. The Empire: How the US Is Using Lawfare To Punish a Venezuelan Diplomat“, Roger D Harris explains how the US uses its domination of the international financial system to crush nations which disobey it and outlines the real reasons for Saab’s imprisonment, which has included torture and draconian living conditions. Harris writes:

Special Envoy and Ambassador to the African Union for Venezuela Alex Saab was on a humanitarian mission flying from Caracas to Iran to procure food and gasoline for the Venezuelan CLAP food assistance program. Saab was detained on a refueling stop in the African nation of Cabo Verde and has been held in custody ever since June 12, 2020.

Saab’s “crime” — according to the U.S. government, which ordered the imprisonment — was money laundering. That is, Saab conducted perfectly legal international trade. Still, his circumventing of the U.S. sanctions – which are designed to prevent relief to the Venezuelans – is considered by Washington to be money laundering.

After a two-year investigation into Saab’s transactions with Swiss banks, the Swiss government concluded on March 25 that there was no money laundering. Saab is being prosecuted because he is serving his country’s interest rather than that of the U.S.

News agencies like AP and AFP are well aware that Saab is being extradited not for breaking any actual law but for daring to transgress Washington’s unilateral sanctions. As FAIR’s Joe Emersberger wrote back in July:

Reuters (3/15/213/18/21) has casually reported that Saab “faces extradition to the United States, which accuses him of violating US sanctions,” and that he has been “repeatedly named by the US State Department as an operator who helps Maduro arrange trade deals that Washington is seeking to block through sanctions.” A Reuters article (8/28/20) about Saab’s case in 2020 mentioned in passing that “the United States this month seized four cargoes of Iranian fuel bound for Venezuela, where fuel shortages are once again worsening.”

Critics of the US empire have had harsh words for the extradition.

“Biden, picking up Trump’s baton, has kidnapped Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab for the crime of trying to feed Venezuelans in defiance of US sanctions designed to prevent that,” tweeted journalist Aaron Maté. “Venezuelans aren’t allowed to eat so long as the D.C. Mafia has marked their government for regime change.”

Yes indeed. The US government has appointed itself the authority to unilaterally decide which of the world’s populations get to eat and which do not, and to imprison anyone who tries to facilitate unauthorized eating in a US-sanctioned nation.

“The extradition of Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab is a clear signal the Biden Administration has made no break with Trump’s all out assault on international law,” tweeted journalist Anya Parampil. “Also a worrying sign for the case of Julian Assange— another foreign citizen the US has essentially kidnapped and held hostage.”

This is true. It would seem that the primary difference between Assange’s case and Saab’s is that the US empire is working to extradite Assange because he transgressed its self-appointed authority over the world’s access to information, whereas Saab transgressed its self-appointed authority over the world’s access to food.

“The US rogue state just ripped up every international law, after imprisoning and now extraditing Venezuelan DIPLOMAT Alex Saab. Diplomatic immunity is dead; the US empire killed it. Now all foreign diplomats are fair game to be kidnapped and imprisoned, if Washington wants to,” tweeted journalist Ben Norton, adding, “The US accusations of ‘money laundering’ are absurd and politically motivated. The US claims anyone who violates its ILLEGAL sanctions is a ‘criminal’.”

Indeed, “money laundering” is a vague charge which basically just means trying to conceal the source or destination of money that is deemed to have been obtained illegally, and since the US government considers itself the arbiter of what financial transactions are lawful in nations it is sanctioning, it can apply that claim to anyone who tries to get around US sanctions financially.

The US government does not deny that its sanctions hurt Venezuelans by attacking the economy they rely on to feed themselves, in fact it has openly admitted that “sanctions, particularly on the state oil company in 2019, likely contributed to the steeper decline of the Venezuelan economy.”

The US government also does not deny that the starvation sanctions it has inflicted upon Iran are directed at its civilian population, with then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo openly admitting in 2019 that Washington’s economic warfare against that nation is designed to pressure Iranian civilians to “change the government,” i.e. make them so miserable that they wage a domestic uprising to topple Tehran.

The US government also does not deny that the starvation sanctions it has inflicted upon Syria are designed to hurt its civilian population, with current Secretary of State Tony Blinken reaffirming just this past Wednesday that it is the Biden administration’s policy to “oppose the reconstruction of Syria” as long as Assad remains in power. In other words the US will not allow Syria the funds to help rebuild itself from the devastating regime change proxy war the US and its allies waged against it, even as the UN reports that 60 percent of the nation’s population is close to starvation.

And of course there’s the US power alliance’s horrific blockade on Yemen which is murdering people by the hundreds of thousands via starvation and disease, with the UN reporting that a further 16 million people are “marching towards starvation.”

Starvation is the only kind of warfare where, because of the continual reframing of mass media propaganda, it is considered perfectly normal and acceptable to deliberately target a civilian population with deadly force.

The US empire is entirely open about the fact that it sees itself as the gatekeeper of the world’s food supply. If a population disobeys the empire its people will starve, and anyone who tries to obtain food for them will be arrested by US proxies and extradited to a US jail cell.

This is the imperialist’s vision of heaven on earth. A world where America’s stranglehold over global financial systems allows it to choke off entire populations if their governments disobey imperial decrees, without even firing a shot. A world where the PR nightmares of bombed civilians and destroyed nations are a thing of the past, where disobedient nations can simply be squeezed to death by modern siege warfare tactics while imperial propaganda firms like AP and AFP blame their starvation on their nation’s leaders.

That’s ultimate power right there. That’s total control. Having the world so bent to the will of the almighty dollar and the massive military force with which it is inextricably intertwined to such an extent that disobedience becomes impossible. That’s what’s being fought for in the slow motion third world war that the empire is waging against unabsorbed governments like Venezuela, Syria, Iran, Russia and China. And that’s why those unabsorbed governments are fast at work moving away from the dollar in response.

It should really go without saying, but a power structure that would openly starve civilians to death to ensure global domination is not the sort of power structure that humanity should want dominating the globe. The willingness to do such monstrous things exposes a depravity and a lack of wisdom which has no business determining what direction our world should take into the future.

October 17, 2021 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes | , | 1 Comment

Men ‘cleared’ for release from GITMO is a cruel, twisted joke

It likely means years of languishing until some client state takes them on board under Washington’s strict conditions

By Kelley Beaucar Vlahos | Responsible Statecraft | October 15, 2021

The announcement that the Biden Administration has cleared two more Guantanamo Bay detainees for transfer is a hopeful sign in as much that two men have surpassed one hurdle on the way to freedom. But don’t be fooled, they may not see the light of day outside the barbed wire and concrete of the Cuban island for years. And if they do, it will most likely be in a foreign country not of their own choosing, with government monitors awaiting them. And if they are sent to the United Arab Emirates, it could be the next stop to an even greater hell.

Simple question: What kind of constitutional republic are we that supports federal measures that detain other human beings without charge for 20 years and then, when they are “cleared” to go, insist they must be released to a foreign government that agrees to treat them as criminals furthermore?

According to the New York TimesSanad Yislam al-Kazimi and Assadullah Haroon Gul, of Yemen and Afghanistan respectively, cannot go back to their native countries because of obvious security concerns. Al-Kazimi is likely to go to neighboring Oman, which has taken some 30 repatriations over the years, and Gul’s fate is up in the air.

The Biden Administration has released but one Guantanamo Bay prisoner since he took office. But even then, the process for Abdul Latif Nasser’s release began during the Obama administration. Nasser, 56, who was never charged with a crime, actually got to return to his home country of Morocco, though he was subsequently put under investigation there, too.

So who is left? According to the Timesthere are 39 detainees at the prison (which Obama had pledged to close during his time) today. Al-Kazimi and Assadullah now join 10 others of that number who are cleared to go but awaiting repatriation. Another 15 are not charged but are considered “law of war” prisoners and not cleared (news flash: supposedly we are not “at war” anymore — or are we? Apparently it is fungible). That includes Abu Zubaydah, who was waterboarded 83 times upon his capture nearly 20 years ago and still hasn’t been charged (and is still awaiting a ruling as to whether his detention is lawful). There are 10 who are awaiting trial (including the so-called 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four cohorts), and two already convicted. No one has any confidence that those trials will go anywhere soon, given the issues over torture evidence and the convoluted nature of the system. Meanwhile, as of 2019, each prisoner at GTMO has cost the U.S. taxpayers $13 million a year.

The military tribunal system is broken and many argue that it should have never been stood up after 9/11. It was illegal from the beginning, and efforts to “legalize” it only managed to keep it open. As we know, access to due process means one thing in America and another at Guantanamo Bay.

But yes, let’s talk about the “rules based order” some more. Biden may say his hands are tied by Congress, which won’t let him release prisoners anywhere near U.S. territory, or be tried in U.S. courts. But the fact is the interagency Periodic Review Board that clears the prisoners is under Executive Branch purview and the president should have some authority to expedite the processes and or/loosen the restrictions and conditions placed on potential host countries. Unfortunately, aside from the dense legal and administrative thicket, the stigma built up around these men has rendered them radioactive — who knows who will take them if given the right opportunity. They have been stripped of their humanity and their native lands, and to the American government they are nothing but a cost and legal burden. How long will it be before we forget why they are even there?

October 17, 2021 Posted by | Deception, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , | 1 Comment

Elderly Australian woman knocked down & Pepper-Sprayed by police during protest against lockdowns

RT | September 19, 2021

An elderly woman believed to be in her 70s was attacked by Melbourne police and pepper-sprayed while she was on the ground during a protest against Covid-19 lockdowns on Saturday.

As she held an Australian flag and stood on the road facing toward a group of approaching police, one officer shoved the woman, sending her tumbling to the ground. Another officer then pepper-sprayed the woman as she laid motionless and unable to protect herself.

Seconds after the attack – with the offending officers having already moved on – another group of police officers came to the woman’s aid and attempted to help her up.

Videos of the attack from multiple angles went viral on social media this weekend, with many Australians accusing the Melbourne officers of police brutality.

Australian MP Craig Kelly called the attack “despicable,” “disgusting,” and “ILLEGAL,” and tweeted, “This is not my Australia… We cannot accept Police in Australia pushing to the ground an unarmed 70 yr old woman (or anyone) who presents no threat & then have 2 officers pepper spray the unarmed, defenceless person in the face while on the ground.”

Former New South Wales Senator David Leyonhjelm also condemned the attack, calling the officers “gutless,” while journalist Ky Chow wrote, “I’ve watched several videos of this, and it’s hard to see how the Vic cops defend this.”

Several other incidents of violence between police and protesters broke out during the protest in Melbourne on Saturday and 235 people were reportedly arrested.

Melbourne police were also caught on camera pepper-spraying dozens of other Australians who were involved with the “unauthorized protest.”

Both Melbourne and Sydney have experienced repeated protests over the past few months in response to Covid-19 lockdown restrictions in the two cities. In August, a man from the state of Victoria was sentenced to a maximum of eight months in prison for helping to organize a protest in Sydney, New South Wales.

September 19, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , | 3 Comments

Israel soldiers break Palestinian physician’s arm

Israeli soldiers broke Nidal Arda’s arm following his detention. (Photo: via Social Media)
MEMO | September 17, 2021

Israeli soldiers assaulted a 46-year-old Palestinian physician from the town of Arraba southwest of Jenin following his detention last week and broke his arm.

According to the Wafa news agency, Nidal Arda found Israeli occupation forces in army jeeps surrounding his home after he returned from the mosque following dawn prayers.

“They were waiting at my house and apparently wanted to ambush me. The jeeps turned their lights on in my direction and then ordered me to come out of the car,” he said.

There were around 40 soldiers accompanied with dogs, he said, who had broken into and raided his house before he got there.

“The soldiers destroyed my house,” he explained. “They broke the doors and windows and ransacked the entire house. They terrorised my family and children, who were separated from their mother and put in another room.”

Nidal was interrogated about the Palestinian escapees from Israel’s Gilboa Prison as two members were from Arraba.

“They threatened me with my son and said they would not allow him to travel to finish his higher education abroad if I do not cooperate with them,” he said.

He was blindfolded and forced into a jeep with other members of the family and neighbourhood and taken away to a military base.

“We were blindfolded and handcuffed,” he said. “One soldier pushed me and I fell to the ground. My right arm hit something and I felt great pain. I knew it was broken since I am a doctor,” he added.

The soldiers then removed his handcuffs and only left him with sedatives to ease the pain, before taking him to a detention centre.

Due to the noticeable pain, he was taken to a nearby hospital where doctors confirmed he had a broken bone and placed it in a cast. He was then forced back to the detention centre and interrogated about the Palestinian escapees.

A military court ordered his release a week later, reported Wafa. The two Palestinians from Arraba who escaped from prison were caught by the Israeli army before his release.

Israel launched its largest-ever manhunt in the bid to recapture the six men, whose escape was a huge embarrassment for the occupation state.

September 17, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | 3 Comments