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AIPAC threat to free speech

By Ron Forthofer | Dissident Voice | July 26, 2017

There is a Senate bill, along with a companion bill in the House, working its way through Congress with strong bipartisan support, that poses a significant danger to free speech. One would think this bill would be a big deal but, surprisingly, the bill has not received much coverage in the mainstream media.

Fortunately the American Civil Liberties Union is alert to efforts undermining free speech. Thus, in a July 20th article on the ACLU website about S. 720/H.R. 1697, the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, Bryan Hauss, Staff Attorney, wrote:

The bill would amend existing law to prohibit people in the United States from supporting boycotts targeting Israel — making it a felony to choose not to engage in commerce with companies doing business in Israel and its settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. Violations would be punishable by a civil penalty that could reach $250,000 and a maximum criminal penalty of $1 million and 20 years in prison.

Hauss continues:

The bill is aimed at advocates of boycotts targeting Israel, most notably the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement — a global campaign that seeks to apply economic and political pressure on Israel to comply with international law. Specifically, the bill sponsors intend the act as a response to the U.N. Human Rights Council’s 2016 resolution calling on companies to respect human rights, including in occupied Palestinian territories. No matter what you think about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, one thing is clear: The First Amendment protects the right to engage in political boycotts.

Amazingly, supporters of this bill seem to have a problem with calling on companies to respect human rights! Who would draft such a problematic bill that stifles free speech and nonviolent political action?

The Intercept website carried a July 19th article by Glenn Greenwald and Ryan Grim that said:

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports that the bill “was drafted with the assistance of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.” Indeed, AIPAC, in its 2017 lobbying agenda, identified passage of this bill as one of its top lobbying priorities for the year.

This AIPAC-influenced bill is consistent with AIPAC’s long-term pattern of advocating for the interests of a foreign nation, Israel. AIPAC is one of the most powerful lobbies in Washington, D.C. and many members of Congress seem to automatically toe its line. Thus it is not surprising that 46 senators and 245 representatives have already signed on to the bill originally introduced on March 23rd.

Greenwald and Grim added that cosponsors include liberal Senators Ron Wyden, Richard Blumenthal, Maria Cantwell as well as conservative Senators Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Ben Sasse. In the House, cosponsors include conservatives such as Jason Chaffetz, Liz Cheney, and Peter King as well as liberals Ted Lieu, Adam Schiff, and Eric Swalwell. Greenwald and Grim noted that these latter three members, who have built a wide public following by posturing as opponents of authoritarianism, are cosponsoring one of the most oppressive and authoritarian bills that has pended before Congress in quite some time.

Many of the cosponsors claim they were unaware of the penalties that could be applied in the bill whereas a few others state that they have a different reading of the bill, particularly related to the criminal penalties.

In addition to using AIPAC and other groups to lobby Congress, Israel previously directly inserted itself into our legislative process. For example, in 2015 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blatantly campaigned to derail the nuclear agreement with Iran. Also of concern, many U.S. and Israeli political experts thought Netanyahu clearly tried to sway the outcome in the 2012 U.S. Presidential election in favor of the Republican candidate Mitt Romney.

We must protect our free speech by opposing this highly questionable bill designed to benefit a foreign nation. In Colorado this means questioning Senator Bennet and Representatives Lamborn, Coffman and Buck, about their support for this appalling bill. We can also thank the other members of the Colorado delegation for not cosponsoring this terrible affront to free speech and the Constitution.

Ron Forthofer is a retired professor of biostatistics from the University of Texas School of Public Health in Houston and was a Green Party candidate for Congress and also for governor of Colorado.

July 27, 2017 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

US Democrats portraying Russia’s alleged interference as act of war

Press TV – March 27, 2017

Democratic lawmakers are stepping up the United States’ anti-Russia rhetoric over Moscow’s alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election, which yielded President Donald Trump.

In a declassified report released in January, the US intelligence community concluded that Russian President Vladimir Putin helped the New York billionaire win the White House, an allegation dismissed both by Moscow and Trump.

The lawmakers, whose candidate, Hillary Clinton, lost the battle in the November 8, 2016 vote, are boosting the narrative in the wake of a statement by FBI Director James Comey in regard to an ongoing investigation into Trump-Russia ties.

Comey’s appearance before the House Intelligence Committee for a hearing on Monday yielded the first public confirmation that a probe was underway to detect possible collusion between Trump and Russia.

“I think this attack that we’ve experienced is a form of war, a form of war on our fundamental democratic principles,” Democratic House Representative Bonnie Watson Coleman (pictured above) said during a hearing this week at the House Homeland Security Committee.

She further censured Trump for his “borderline dismissive attitude” in the wake of Russia’s alleged cyberattacks.

During Comey’s hearing, two other Democrats also contributed to the hawkish narrative.

California Democrat, Representative Jackie Speier, called Russia’s alleged interference an act of war, calling for action.

“I actually think that their engagement was an act of war, an act of hybrid warfare, and I think that’s why the American people should be concerned about it,” Speier said.

Democratic Representative Eric Swalwell (pictured above) also called for bipartisan opposition against what he described as “a foreign adversary.”

“This past election, our country was attacked. We were attacked by Russia,” Swalwell said. “I see this as an opportunity for everyone on this committee, Republicans and Democrats, to not look in the rear view window but to look forward and do everything we can to make sure that our country never again allows a foreign adversary to attack us.”

Senator Ben Cardin, a Democrat from Maryland, has also described Russia’s alleged electoral interference as the United States’ “political Pearl Harbor.”

According to a Sunday report by The Hill, the Democratic Party is attempting to portray President Trump as “weak on Russia” while exaggerating the “damage done by Moscow.”

March 27, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | Leave a comment