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The Disturbing Truth Behind U.S. Drone Assassinations That the Government Tried to Keep Secret

From his first days as commander in chief, the drone has been President Barack Obama’s weapon of choice, used by the military and the...

Activists in Central America Fear for Their Lives in Wake of Assassinations

Indigenous activist Berta Cáceres, who won a prestigious international environmental prize for fighting a dam project despite continued threats, was assassinated on...

CIA Assassinations in Vietnam

The Phoenix Program in Vietnam in many ways provides a blue print for our own times. Assassinations and torture are the essence of the...

Ron Paul on Assassinations: Is This ‘American Exceptionalism’?

A new US government whistleblower has come forward to share highly disturbing information about the US worldwide assassination program, deceptively called “targeted killing.” Most...

Cameron government justifies targeted assassinations of UK citizens

By Robert Stevens and Julie Hyland UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s announcement in parliament Monday that he had authorised the extra-judicial killings of British citizens in...

Britain’s Extra Judicial Assassinations Bring Democracy Into Question

Propaganda takes many forms along with twists and turns depending on a narrative of convenience. This is none more demonstrated than by David Cameron...

Drone Assassinations Not Limited to U.S. Citizens “Living Abroad”

Reprinted with permission  U.S. Relies On Law of Non-Constitutional Countries The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says: No person shall … be deprived of life, liberty,...

Interview 908 — James Corbett on the Fed, Global Conspiracy and Assassinations

James Corbett joins Alfred Adask and Melody Cedarstrom on Financial Survival to discuss economics, geopolitics and conspiracy. This week we discuss the German movement to End the Fed, the shifting relations in global geopolitics, and how political assassinations are used as a tool to silence political dissent from the globalist agenda.

Israeli Extrajudicial Assassinations

Israeli Extrajudicial Assassinations

by Stephen Lendman

They're willful, premeditated cold-blooded murder. They're official Israeli policy.

Killers get impunity. Investigations rarely happen. Occasional ones are whitewashed. In May 2007, former Israeli Infrastructure Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer said:

"We decided to carry out more physical liquidation operations against (Palestinian) 'terrorists' "

"I think this will eliminate the damage caused to Israeli territory due to the launching of Palestinian rockets."

Just cause for murder doesn't exist. Claiming otherwise rings hollow. International law is clear and unequivocal.

Article 23b of the 1907 Hague Regulations prohibits "assassination, proscription, or outlawry of an enemy, or putting a price upon an enemy's head, as well as offering a reward for any enemy 'dead or alive.' " 

Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) states "Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person." 

UDHR recognizes the "inherent dignity (and) equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family."

The 1980 Sixth United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders condemned "the practice of killing and executing political opponents or suspected offenders carried out by armed forces, law enforcement or other governmental agencies or by paramilitary or political groups."

On December 15, 1980, the General Assembly adopted resolution 35/172.

It urged member states abide by the provisions of Articles 6, 14 and 15 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political rights.

They cover the right to life and various safeguards. They mandate fair and impartial judicial proceedings. 

The 1989 UN Principles on the Effective Prevention and Investigation of Extra-legal, Arbitrary and Summary Executions states: 

"Governments shall prohibit by law all extra-legal, arbitrary and summary executions and shall ensure that any such executions are recognized as offences under their criminal laws, and are punishable by appropriate penalties which take into account the seriousness of such offenses." 

"Exceptional circumstances, including a state of war or threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency may not be invoked as a justification of such executions." 

"(They) shall not be carried out under any circumstances including, but not limited to, situations of internal armed conflict, excessive or illegal use of force by a public official or other person acting in an official capacity or by a person acting at the instigation, or with the consent or acquiescence of such person, and situations in which deaths occur in custody." 

"This prohibition shall prevail over decrees issued by governmental authority."

These international law principles apply to occupied populations. So does Fourth Geneva.

Its Article 3 affords them special protections. They cover all actions related to "(v)iolence to life and person, murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture."

"The passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court, affording all the judicial guarantees (is) recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples."

Article 32 states:

"(T)he High Contracting Parties specifically agree that each of them is prohibited from taking any measure of such a character as to cause the physical suffering or extermination of protected persons in their hands." 

"This prohibition applies not only to murder, torture, corporal punishment, mutilation and medical or scientific experiments not necessitated by the medical treatment of a protected person, but also to any other measures of brutality whether applied by civilian or military agents."

"Article 85 refers to "Grave Breaches." They're defined as "(a)cts committed willfully and causing death or serious injury to body or health…"

They subject civilian populations or individuals to "indiscriminate attack(s) affecting (them) or civilian objects…"

The International Criminal Court's Rome Statute calls these violations war crimes. Under Article 8, they include:

  • "Grave" Geneva Convention breaches;

  • "Willing killing..."

  • "Intentionally launching an attack" knowing it will "cause incidental loss of life..."

  • "Killing or wounding" combatants who've laid down their arms;

  • extrajudicial killings; and

  • "Killing or wounding treacherously a combatant adversary..."

On May 31, Haaretz headlined "Israeli military hiding targeted killing investigative panel," saying:

"The Defense Ministry and Israel Defense Forces recently formed a committee to investigate allegations of war crimes raised after recent targeted aerial strikes against Palestinian militants." 

"The names of panel members, however, were not disclosed." Officials called doing so too sensitive.

A retired judge heads the panel Other members include a "veteran general, retired Shin Bet commander and an expert (on) international law."

An IDF spokesman didn't surprise. No incident reviewed so far was illegal, he said. According to Haaretz:

"Military Advocate General Brig. Gen. Danny Efroni publicly commended the establishment of an external body to probe into the legality of targeted killings…"

He "avoided commenting on" member names. He was silent on whether they were to examine claims "about civilian harm."

Potentially they could constitute crimes of war or against humanity.

The current panel follows two earlier ones. The initial one followed Sheikh Salah Mustafa Shehade's 2002 assassination. 

Fourteen Gazans were killed. In February 2013, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz ordered an "independent military investigative body."

According to Efroni, "(t)oday we open an investigation for every incident in which a civilian, unaffiliated with insurgent activities, is killed in Judea and Samaria during a (military) operation that is not an official campaign."

Gaza and neighboring Arab countries policy differs from West Bank practices. Judea and Samaria are largely under Israeli control. Aerial killings aren't used.

Gaza, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria "operate under the shelter of civilian populations and from within them," Israel claims.

Doing so justifies the unjustifiable, it says. Aerial killings are standard practice. 

Haaretz discussed Israel's targeted killings code. It listed 10 "partially vacuous" 10 commandments.

(1) Israel claims it's permissible to attack combatants and anyone called belligerent civilians.

(2) It calls aerial attacks constrained. Civilians killed are called combatants.

(3) Arrests must be considered before ordering targeted killings. Israel says one thing. It does another.

(4) Israel claims it exceeds the proportionality principle. Sometimes aborting attacks. Minimizing collateral damage.

Longstanding Israeli practices are polar opposite duplicitous claims.

(5) "Operational processes" control aerial attacks. "Procedures and standing" orders decide things.

Mumbo jumbo jargon conceals Israeli ruthlessness. Commanders kill without constraint. 

So do pilots and rank-and-file soldiers. They're taught Arabs are violent gun-toting terrorists. 

Killing them violates no law. Truth is turned on its head.

(6) Operational planning for preplanned air strikes isn't practicable "in real time" when threats exist. Israel invents them out of whole cloth.

(7) According to Israel, its military and government officials needing to know are trained in international laws.

Anyone able to read can understand them. Israel spurns them repeatedly. It does what it wants with impunity.

It calls legitimate self-defense terrorism. It claims crimes or war, against humanity and genocide are justified. It turns truth on its head saying so.

(8) According to Israel, military commanders "properly implement the principle of discrimination, the principle of proportionality, and the imperative to take necessary safety precautions, both in relation to the decision to carry out the attack and in the way the attack is to be carried out (e.g. at what time, the kind of weapon used, etc.)."

Military commanders, pilots and rank-and-file soldiers operate without restraint. They do so with impunity. They get away with murder repeatedly.

(9) Israel claims investigations follow war crimes accusations. Virtually always they're whitewashed. Victims are blamed for Israeli crimes.

(10) According to Haaretz, (t)he 10th commandment deals without detail, with the committee of assassinations."

Israel calls it "a special test process…(It) was established in accordance with the ruling of the High Court on targeted killings and is an extra-military committee, which looks into the legality of targeted killings."

The committee's existence and charter "are beyond" what international law requires, claims Israel.

It's makeup is kept secret. Doing so reflects its independence as well as legal and operational professionalism, Israel says.

It bears repeating. Israel does what it wants. International law, its own and High Court decisions don't matter.

Rogue states operate this way. Israel and America are by far the world's worst. 

State terror is standard practice. Anything goes is policy. So is cold-blooded murder.''

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."


Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 


http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour 

Judge dismisses lawsuit challenging drone assassinations of US citizens

Tom Carter RINF Alternative News On Friday, federal Judge Rosemary M. Collyer entered an order dismissing a civil rights case that challenged the Obama administration’s...

Amazon, the CIA and Assassinations

Norman Solomon  RINF Alternative News President Barack Obama is now considering whether to order the Central Intelligence Agency to kill a U.S. citizen in Pakistan. That’s...

To Murder Peace with Drones. Assassinations Executed from Remote Computer Keyboards

On November 1, 2013, the CIA murdered Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsudand his entourage in a drone attack. A barrage of missiles left the...

The NSA Provides Tech Support for Assassinations? Shocking!

Glenn Greenwald has announced that he is going to revolutionize the news business. Ta Da! Greenwald's self-described “momentous” media venture will be financed...

Global Drone Warfare, Targeted Assassinations Supported by NSA Surveillance

The Post’s report, “Documents reveal NSA’s extensive involvement in targeted killing program,” testifies to the integration of the surveillance apparatus exposed in recent months into US imperialism’s global military operations. Officials cited by the Post said that the NSA has deployed analysts to work along side Central Intelligence Agency personnel at the CIA Counterterrorism Center and at “every major US embassy or military base overseas.”

The report further documents the NSA’s systematic attempts to overcome encryption, including the extraction of PGP encryption keys from targets. The agency reportedly was able to capture 16 keys from a single electronic raid on a suspected Al Qaeda computer.

According to the report, the NSA’s “Tailored Access Operations,” a cyber-warfare and intelligence gathering program, conducts surveillance of targets in Pakistan, Yemen, Syria, Turkey, Egypt, Libya, Iran, and throughout Africa. TAO runs programs such as UNITEDRAKE and VALIDATOR, which launch cyber attacks using “software implants” to grab sensitive data such as keystroke logs and audio files.

ArsTechnica reported in August that advanced software used by TAO enables operatives to tap directly into hardware such as “routers, switches and firewalls,” and that TAO’s activities are integrated into data systems such as XKeyscore.

Information gathered by the NSA has been used in particular in the course of the CIA’s drone war in the Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (FATA) in Pakistan. As summarized by the Post, the NSA has “draped a surveillance blanket over dozens of square miles of northwest Pakistan.” One US intelligence official told the Post, “NSA threw the kitchen sink at the FATA.” To date, at least 3,000 people have been killed as a result of US drone operations in Pakistan, including hundreds of civilians.

Both the NSA surveillance and the policy of drone war that it facilitates are criminal operations, carried out in violation of international law. The Obama administration asserts the right to kill anyone in the world without due process, including US citizens, in violation of the Bill of Rights. Among those killed have been US citizens including Anwar al-Awlaki and his teenage son, Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, in Yemen.

A full accounting of the Pakistanis murdered by US drones may never be completed. However, a study published by Stanford University and New York University earlier this year showed that large sections of the population living in the FATA suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of the buzzing of drones overhead and the never-ending barrage of ordnance raining down on the area.

UN Special Rapporteur on Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights Ben Emmerson wrote in March of this year, “As a matter of international law, the US drone campaign is therefore being conducted without the consent of the elected representatives of the people, or the legitimate government of the state. It involves the use of force on the territory of another state without its consent, and is therefore a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty.”

The Post described the leaked NSA documents as “self-congratulatory in tone” and “drafted to tout the NSA’s counterterrorism capabilities.” According to Fox News, the Post withheld substantial information about the drone strikes “at the request of US intelligence officials.”

The Post report highlights the case of Hassan Ghul, who was killed as a direct result of intelligence acquired through electronic surveillance operations run by the NSA. After his capture in 2004, Ghul was held at a secret CIA prison in Eastern Europe until 2006, where he was subject to “enhanced interrogation techniques” (i.e., torture), including slapping, sleep deprivation, and stress positions.

In 2006, Ghul was transferred to Pakistan, where he was released and rejoined Al Qaeda militants in Waziristan. Ghul worked to set up logistical networks for Al Qaeda after being freed, according to a Treasury Department document from 2011. No explanation has been offered by US or Pakistani authorities for Ghul’s release.

Ghul was then killed in 2012 by a drone strike in Mir Ali, after having been monitored for a year prior to his death by a secret NSA unit called the Counter-Terrorism Mission Aligned Cell (CT MAC), which specializes in finding high priority targets in the tribal areas of Pakistan. Ghul’s location was discovered through analysis of an email sent to him by his wife. His death was never officially acknowledged by the US government, despite the fact that his interrogation supposedly provided intelligence about an Al Qaeda courier named al-Kuwaiti, which supposedly led to the killing of Osama bin Laden.

The scope of the integration of the NSA, CIA, military and police agencies extends far beyond what is taking place in Pakistan. The entire world is the subject both of the intelligence-gathering operations of the NSA and the drone strikes of the CIA.

Under the Obama administration, the NSA’s surveillance operations gather the communications of every telephone and Internet user on the planet, US citizens and non-citizens alike. This week has already seen new evidence emerge that the NSA is stealing address books—which often contain large amounts of personal information—from various web platforms and storing them in its archives. (See “ NSA ‘harvesting’ electronic address books and contact lists”)

The possibility of strikes being launched against American targets has been raised by top officials, and drones are already deployed on non-strike missions over the US. In a letter of March 4, 2013, Attorney General Eric Holder wrote that the president “has the power to authorize lethal force, such as a drone strike, against a US citizen on US soil, and without trial,” saying that in certain cases such action would be “necessary and appropriate.”

If and when such operations are initiated, the state will have no shortage of data with which to target Americans, whose communications are subject to constant scrutiny by the surveillance apparatus.

The Unnatural Death of Dr. David Kelly: Template for “Legalised Cover-up” of Political Assassinations

At the time of writing it is September 2013. What would happen if Dr Kelly’s body were to be found today? Or, what if...

CIA Targeted Assassinations by Induced Heart Attack and Cancer

In 1975, during the Church Committee hearings, the existence of a secret assassination weapon came to light. The CIA had developed a poison that...

The Extrajudicial Assassinations of American Citizens: Its Official and its “Legal”

United States Attorney General Eric Holder has informed Congress that four American citizens have been killed in Yemen and Pakistan by US drones since...

Drones = Assassinations = War Crimes

Journalist Scott Shane, with an assist from Mark Mazzetti, reports in the New York Times (May 22) on the decline in armed drone strikes....

Jeremy Scahill: Assassinations of US Citizens Largely Ignored at Brennan CIA Hearing

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: During his confirmation hearing Thursday, President Obama’s nominee to run the CIA, John Brennan, forcefully defended the president’s counterterrorism policies, including the increased use of armed drones and the targeted killings of American citizens. He also refused to say that waterboarding was a form of torture, and he admitted that he did not try to stop waterboarding while he was a top CIA official under President George W. Bush.

Four years ago, Brennan was a rumored pick for the CIA job when Obama was first elected, but he was forced to withdraw from consideration amid protests over his public support for the CIA’s policies of so-called "enhanced interrogation techniques" and extraordinary rendition program.

AMY GOODMAN: The start of Brennan’s confirmation hearing had to be temporarily halted following repeated interruptions by protesters. Members of the group CODEPINK began standing up one by one to condemn Brennan’s role in the drone war, much to the chagrin of Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein.

JOHN BRENNAN: Chairman Feinstein, Vice Chairman Chambliss, members of the committee, I am honored to appear—

ANN WRIGHT: [inaudible]

JOHN BRENNAN: —before you today as the—

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN: All right.

JOHN BRENNAN: —president’s nominee to—

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN: Would you halt please? We’ll ask the police to please remove this woman.

ANN WRIGHT: ...no children, no women. We cannot—

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN: Thank you very much.

ANN WRIGHT: [inaudible] the sort of thing going on [inaudible]. But we cannot [inaudible]—

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN: Please remove—

ANN WRIGHT: —torture. It’s jeopardizing U.S. soldiers. It’s not defending them.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: That CODEPINK protester interrupting John Brennan was retired Army colonel and former diplomat Ann Wright, who oversaw the reopening of the U.S. embassy in Afghanistan in 2001 as deputy chief of mission. When she interrupted Brennan, she was wearing a sign around her neck with the name of Tariq Aziz, a 16-year-old Pakistani boy who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in 2011. The sign she held up read, "Brennan equals drone killing." Ann Wright and seven others were arrested. John Brennan later addressed the protesters as he defended the drone program.

JOHN BRENNAN: I think there is a misimpression on the part of some American people, who believe that we take strikes to punish terrorists for past transgressions. Nothing could be further from the truth. We only take such actions as a last resort to save lives when there’s no other alternative to taking an action that’s going to mitigate that threat. So, we need to make sure that there is understanding, and the people that were standing up here today, I think they really have a misunderstanding of what we do as a government and the care that we take and the agony that we go through to make sure that we do not have any collateral injuries or deaths. And as the chairman said earlier, the need to be able to go out and say that publicly and openly, I think, is critically important, because people are reacting to a lot of falsehoods that are out there.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, for more, we’re joined via Democracy Now! videostream by Jeremy Scahill, producer and writer of the documentary, Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield, which premiered last month at the Sundance Film Festival. His book, Dirty Wars, goes on sale in April. He’s national security correspondent for The Nation, author of Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army and Democracy Now! correspondent.

Jeremy, welcome to Democracy Now! Your assessment of what it is that John Brennan said yesterday and the questions he was asked?

JEREMY SCAHILL: Well, you know, if you—if you look at what happened yesterday at the Senate Intelligence Committee, I mean, this is kabuki oversight. This was basically a show that was produced by the White House in conjunction with Senator Feinstein’s office. I mean, the reality was—is that none of the central questions that should have been asked of John Brennan were asked in an effective way. In the cases where people like Senator Angus King or Senator Ron Wyden would ask a real question, for instance, about whether or not the CIA asserts the right to kill U.S. citizens on U.S. soil, the questions were very good. Brennan would then offer up a non-answer.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, let’s—

JEREMY SCAHILL: And then there’d be almost no follow-up.

AMY GOODMAN: Jeremy, let’s go to Democratic Senator Ron Wyden’s questioning of John Brennan Thursday. He has led the push for the White House to explain its rationale—Senator Wyden has—for targeting U.S. citizens.

SEN. RON WYDEN: Let me ask you several other questions with respect to the president’s authority to kill Americans. I’ve asked you how much evidence the president needs to decide that a particular American can be lawfully killed and whether the administration believes that the president can use this authority inside the United States. In my judgment, both the Congress and the public need to understand the answers to these kind of fundamental questions. What do you think needs to be done to ensure that members of the public understand more about when the government thinks it’s allowed to kill them, particularly with respect to those two issues, the question of evidence and the authority to use this power within the United States?

JOHN BRENNAN: I have been a strong proponent of trying to be as open as possible with these programs, as far as our explaining what we’re doing. What we need to do is optimize transparency on these issues, but at the same time optimize secrecy and the protection of our national security. I don’t think that it’s one or the other. It’s trying to optimize both of them. And so, what we need to do is make sure we explain to the American people what are the thresholds for action, what are the procedures, the practices, the processes, the approvals, the reviews. The Office of Legal Counsel advice establishes the legal boundaries within which we can operate. It doesn’t mean that we operate at those out of boundaries. And, in fact, I think the American people will be quite pleased to know that we’ve been very disciplined, very judicious, and we only use these authorities and these capabilities as a last resort.

AMY GOODMAN: That was John Brennan answering Senator Wyden’s question. He’s been the chief critic. President Obama, two days ago, called Senator Wyden, because a group of them had said they would stop the hearing if information wasn’t provided about the legal basis for drone strikes. When Wyden yesterday attempted to get that information, he raised in the hearing that he wasn’t able to. Jeremy Scahill?

JEREMY SCAHILL: Well, you know, if you listen to John Brennan, I mean, it’s like he’s talking about buying a used car and what, you know, sort of little gadgets and whistles it has on it. He used "optimize"? Ron Wyden was asking him about whether—about the extent of the CIA’s lethal authority against U.S. citizens, on U.S. soil and abroad. And, see, the problem is that while some questions were asked that are central questions, there was almost no follow-up. People wouldn’t push—senators wouldn’t push Brennan back when he would float things that were nonsensical or just gibberish, you know, or using terms like "we need to optimize this, we need to optimize that." There was no sense that—I mean, remember, this is a guy who is, for all practical purposes, President Obama’s hit man or assassination czar. This guy has been at the center of a secret process where the White House is deciding who lives and who dies around the world every day, and yet the conversation that took place was as though they were, you know, sort of talking about whether or not they’re going to add a wing onto a school in Idaho or something, when they were talking about life-and-death issues for people, not only U.S. citizens, but around the world.

There was no discussion at all of the so-called signature strikes—the idea that the U.S. is targeting people whose identities it doesn’t know, whose actual involvement in terror plots is actually unknown. There was no discussion of the fact that the Obama administration authorized operations that killed three U.S. citizens in a two-week period in 2011, one of whom was a 16-year-old boy who was sitting and having dinner with his cousins in Yemen. No discussion of the case of Samir Khan, a Pakistani American who was killed alongside Anwar Awlaki. His family had met with the FBI prior to his death. The FBI told his family that Samir Khan was not indicted, that Samir Khan was not accused of a crime, and yet you have three U.S. citizens being killed.

When Anwar Awlaki’s name was raised during the course of the hearing, it was one of the most disgusting displays of a show trial or a faux trial that I’ve ever seen. Dianne Feinstein and John Brennan set out to put Anwar Awlaki on trial, posthumously, without presenting any evidence and to issue a guilty verdict. The whole thing was a show. And I believe that—

AMY GOODMAN: Jeremy, let’s go to Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein asking Brennan to talk about Anwar Awlaki, what you’re describing, the American citizen who was assassinated in Yemen in a drone strike in 2011.

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN: Could I ask you some questions about him?

JOHN BRENNAN: You’re the chairman.

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN: You don’t have to answer. Did he have a connection to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who would attempt to explode a device on one of our planes over Detroit?

JOHN BRENNAN: Yes, he did.

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN: Can you tell us what that connection was?

JOHN BRENNAN: I would prefer not to at this time, Senator. I’m not prepared to.

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN: OK. Did he have a connection to the Fort Hood attack?

JOHN BRENNAN: That is a—al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has a variety of means of communicating and inciting individuals, whether that be websites or emails or other types of things. And so, there are a number of occasions where individuals, including Mr. Awlaki, has been in touch with individuals. And so, Senator, again, I’m not prepared to address the specifics of these, but suffice it to say—

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN: Well, I’ll just ask you a couple of questions. You don’t—did Faisal Shahzad, who pled guilty to the 2010 Times Square car bombing attempt, tell interrogators in 2010 that he was inspired by al-Awlaki?

JOHN BRENNAN: I believe that’s correct, yes.

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN: Last October, Awlaki, did he have a direct role in supervising and directing AQAP’s failed attempt, well, to bring down two United States cargo aircraft by detonating explosives concealed inside two packages, as a matter of fact, inside a computer printer cartridge?

JOHN BRENNAN: Mm-hmm. Mr. Awlaki—

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN: Dubai?

JOHN BRENNAN: —was involved in overseeing a number of these activities, yes.

AMY GOODMAN: That’s John Brennan answering Senator Feinstein’s questions. Jeremy Scahill, continue.

JEREMY SCAHILL: All right. I mean, see, what you’re seeing there—first of all, let’s remember, the Obama administration never sought an indictment against Anwar Awlaki, that we know of. He was never charged with a crime, that we know of. And he was executed on orders from the president of the United States in September of 2011. The issue here is not who Anwar Awlaki was or what we think of Anwar Awlaki. The issue here is the Constitution. The issue here is due process.

And what we saw, I believe—I believe that Senator Feinstein’s office coordinated this moment with the White House to put on this show trial because of the deadly serious questions surrounding the killing of a U.S. citizen without due process. And what we saw play out there was absolute theater, where you had Anwar Awlaki being posthumously tried, with no evidence. And what came after the clip you just played is Feinstein and Brennan agreeing, quite happily, that Anwar Awlaki was a bad man and that it was justified to take him out and kill him. There was no question about the fact that two weeks later they killed Anwar Awlaki’s 16-year-old son, who no one has ever alleged had any ties whatsoever to terrorism or any militant organization. His only connection was his lineage, who his father was. So, you know, there was something really insidious that happened there, and I think it really is patronizing of the sensibility of the American people to engage in something like that, with one of the most powerful lawmakers on Capitol Hill essentially conspiring with the White House and its nominee to be the CIA to retroactively justify the killing of a U.S. citizen who was never charged with a crime.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Jeremy—

JEREMY SCAHILL: I’m not—go ahead.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Jeremy, I’d like to move to another aspect of the hearing, because in a few cases, some of the Republican members asked somewhat tougher questions of Brennan, and especially Saxby Chambliss, questioned him about the whole—the whole issue of high-value targets and how effective this program had been. Here’s a clip from that exchange.

SEN. SAXBY CHAMBLISS: How many high-value targets have been captured during your service with the administration?

JOHN BRENNAN: There have been a number of individuals who have been captured, arrested, detained, interrogated, debriefed and put away by our partners overseas, which is, we have given them the capacity now, we have provided them the intelligence. And unlike in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, when a lot of these countries were both unwilling and unable to do it, we have given them that opportunity. And so, that’s where we’re working with our partners.

SEN. SAXBY CHAMBLISS: How many high-value targets have been arrested and detained, interrogated by the United States during your four years with the administration?

JOHN BRENNAN: I’ll be happy to get that information to you, Senator, in terms of those high-value targets that have been captured with U.S. intelligence support.

SEN. SAXBY CHAMBLISS: I submit to you the answer to that is one. And it’s Warsame, who was put on a ship for 60 days and interrogated.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: That was Saxby Chambliss. However, Dianne Feinstein had a little different take in terms of what had happened in terms of the high-value targets. This is what she said at a certain point in the hearing.

SEN. ANGUS KING: Having the executive being the prosecutor, the judge, the jury and the executioner, all in one, is very contrary to the traditions and the laws of this country, and particularly in a situation where there is time. If—a soldier on a battlefield doesn’t have time to go to court. But if you’re planning a strike over a matter of days, weeks or months, there is an opportunity to at least go to some outside-of-the-executive-branch body, like the FISA court, in a confidential and top-secret way, make the case that this American citizen is an enemy combatant.

JOHN BRENNAN: Senator, I think it’s certainly worthy of discussion. Our tradition, our judicial tradition, is that a court of law is used to determine one’s guilt or innocence for past actions, which is very different from the decisions that are made on the battlefield as well as actions that are taken against terrorists, because none of those actions are to determine past guilt for those actions that they took. The decisions that are made are to take action so that we prevent a future action, so we protect American lives. That is an inherently executive branch function.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: That was Angus King, Senator Angus King, questioning Brennan, not Dianne Feinstein. But, Jeremy, your response to those two clips?

JEREMY SCAHILL: Yeah, I mean, first of all, Senator Angus King did a very good job of raising some of these issues. I mean, he’s new to the Senate and didn’t get the memo that you don’t talk to—to White House officials that way, so it was actually kind of a relief within the hearing when King started to ask these questions.

You know, Juan, though, you brought up the issue of the Republicans asking tougher questions. I mean, in general, what we saw the Republicans doing was engaging in a partisan theater of their own, where, you know, they made the whole issue about White House leaks, for the most part. They were talking about, you know, Benghazi, which is sort of the second coming of 9/11 to the—to a lot of the Republicans on Capitol Hill and this sort of Watergate-type scandal. But I think there’s something—while the Republicans did ask some good questions, there’s something that’s just fundamentally dishonest and full of hypocrisy with the GOP line on this. You know, they’ve been hammering, since the Department Justice white paper came out a couple of days ago, that sort of outlines some of the legal basis for—or, purported to outline the legal basis for targeting U.S. citizens—they’ve been hammering away on the Obama administration and saying, you know, "How is it that Obama is able to essentially conduct these killing operations around the world with very little protest?" The reality is that, you know, when George Bush was president, he was doing these very same actions and engaged in a widespread targeted killing operation, and he was running secret prisons around the world, and they were torturing people, and they were using waterboarding and other techniques, and the Republicans are sort of portraying it as though: "Well, in the good old days of the Bush administration, we would actually arrest people, and we would ask them questions, and now Obama is just running around the world bumping them off." Well, there’s some nugget of truth to the idea that the Obama administration seems to prefer to just kill people rather than take them into custody. But the idea that the Republicans have a moral ground to stand on with this is absolutely laughable. I mean, these guys were Murder Inc. for two straight administrations, where members of Congress just participated in rubber stamping these operations, particularly the Republican members of Congress. So, you know, I take what they say with a grain of salt.

But at the end of the day, I mean, I can’t say I was surprised at what happened on Capitol Hill, but it really was more or less a love fest between the most powerful senators, when it comes to intelligence operations in the U.S., and John Brennan, a man who could not get confirmed last time Obama tried to make him CIA director, because of very serious questions about his views on and role in the torture program under the Bush administration—has served for more than four years as the assassination czar, and it basically looked like they were discussing purchasing a used car on Capitol Hill. I mean, it was total kabuki oversight. And that’s a devastating commentary on where things stand right now.

AMY GOODMAN: Finally, Jeremy, Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein, in her opening statement, asserting few civilians have died in U.S. drone strikes.

JEREMY SCAHILL: I would invite all—

AMY GOODMAN: We’re going to—we’re going to play a clip.

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN: [I’ve ... been attempting to speak publicly] about the very low number of civilian casualties that result from such strikes; I have been limited in my ability to do so. But for the past several years, this committee has done significant oversight of the government’s conduct of targeted strikes, and the figures we have obtained from the executive branch, which we have done our utmost to verify, confirm that the number of civilian casualties that have resulted from such strikes each year has typically been in the single digits.

AMY GOODMAN: Jeremy Scahill, your final comment?

JEREMY SCAHILL: Yeah. I would invite Senator Feinstein and other members of the Intelligence Committee to travel to Abyan province in Yemen, where I was a few months ago, and meet with the Bedouin villagers of al-Majalah, where more than 40 people were killed, several dozen of them women and children, their bodies shredded into meat with U.S. cluster bombs, and then come back and go on national television and talk about single digits. There were over 40 people killed in one strike alone. And you know what? That wasn’t even a drone strike. That was a cruise missile strike. Everyone is talking about drones these days and obsessed with drones. The U.S. uses AC-130 gunships, night raids, Tomahawk cruise missile strikes. Some of the most devastating strikes were not even drone attacks.

So, you know, this Congress is totally asleep at the wheel when it comes to actually having any effective oversight. You know, they allowed John Brennan to say repeatedly, "Well, I’m not a lawyer," while simultaneously saying, "Everything we’ve done is perfectly legal." And then they say, "Well, what about torture?" And he goes, "Well, I’m not a lawyer, and that has legal implications." I mean, what kind of a show is this? I mean, what does this say about our society when this is the extent of the debate we can have when an administration in power has asserted the right to kill U.S. citizens and foreigners alike around the world without trial? I mean, it’s devastating. It should be a very sobering moment for all of us.

AMY GOODMAN: Jeremy, the last bit of news that we read in headlines today about the U.S. news outlets—you complained about the Democratic senators working with the White House. What about U.S. news outlets facing criticism for revealing they complied with an Obama administration request to hide the location of a U.S. drone base in Saudi Arabia that had already been publicly reported?

JEREMY SCAHILL: Yeah, what’s new? What’s new? I mean, this has been going on—this has been going on forever in this country. I mean, look at how many times we had major powerful media outlets colluding with the Bush administration to either—you know, either facilitating administration propaganda, or as you’ve called it, sort of this conveyor belt of lies, or, on the other hand, concealing potentially illegal programs or actions that were being conducted by the Bush administration. I mean, this happened throughout the Bush era. And so, to have it right now with the Obama administration is just par for the course. I mean, this is how things are done in Washington.

AMY GOODMAN: Jeremy, we want to thank you for being with us. Jeremy Scahill, national security correspondent for The Nation magazine, he is also the narrator and subject of the new film, Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield, and is author of a forthcoming book by the same title.

This is Democracy Now! When we come back, the woman who has just returned from Pakistan who went to John Brennan’s house, knocked on the door, and he answered, invited her in, and they had a conversation. She’s the founder of CODEPINK, Medea Benjamin. Stay with us.

Hagel Nomination Defies Neo-Cons and AIPAC; Brennon at CIA will Expand Drone Assassinations

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Bio

Ray McGovern is a retired CIA officer. McGovern was employed under seven US presidents for over 27 years, presenting the morning intelligence briefings at the White House under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. McGovern was born and raised in the Bronx, graduated summa cum laude from Fordham University, received an M.A. in Russian Studies from Fordham, a certificate in Theological Studies from Georgetown University, and graduated from Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program. McGovern now works for “Tell the Word," a ministry of the inner-city/Washington Church of the Saviour, which sent him forth four weeks ago to join other Justice people on "The Audacity of Hope," the U.S. Boat to Gaza.

Transcript

PAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Paul Jay in Baltimore.

President Obama announced his nominations for the new secretary of defense and director of the CIA, Chuck Hagel at defense and John Brennan for the CIA. Now joining us to discuss these appointments is Ray McGovern. Ray is a former CIA analyst for several decades. He's a prolific writer, does many things, including he's an often-contributor to The Real News. Thanks for joining us, Ray. So let's start with Chuck Hagel at Defense. You wrote a piece for The Baltimore Sun where you thought it would be a good idea for President Obama to select Hagel, and he did. But why did you think that would be a good idea?RAY MCGOVERN, CIA AGENT (RET.): Well, in short, Paul, Hagel is no chickenhawk. He volunteered to go to Vietnam at the worst of the fighting, wounded twice. He'd been there, done that. Okay? And he's been very, very upfront about his reluctance or anyone's reluctance should be to send U.S. troops into battle for no good reason.JAY: And chickenhawk, for those that don't know, although I suppose everybody does, is somebody who sits in Washington ordering other people to go fight.MCGOVERN: That's exactly right. Or you could go back to George W. Bush, who, you know, his daddy got him a job with the Texas National Guard because expressly, explicitly George Bush said he didn't want to go to Vietnam. Or you look at Dick Cheney, with five deferments. How many deferments do you think Joe Biden had? Five. Okay? So you've got a bunch of people that have no direct experience in war. That is really important. Chuck Hagel would be the first person with combat experience to be secretary of defense in 30 years. Mel Laird was the first one. He was a naval—he was a midshipman.JAY: Okay. You would think with this kind of a record it would be a rather popular choice. He's a Republican. You would think Republicans would embrace him. But as we know, far from embracing him, there's a campaign to block this nomination. In fact, there's already a lobby group been formed with lots of money to take out ads against Hagel. Apparently there's been some website created specifically just to attack Hagel. So what's getting them all riled up?MCGOVERN: Well, Paul, Hagel has not been sufficiently passionately attached to Israel. He said some things that have really rubbed some noses out of joint. For example, he had the temerity to say that I am the American senator, not an Israeli senator. Oh. Now, on the face of that, you know, who could object to that? Well, there's an awful lot of people, like the felon Elliot Abrams, who I heard at NPR yesterday saying that Hagel was anti-Semitic. He's anti-Semitic because he's the senator from the U.S. [crosstalk]JAY: Well, no, they say he's anti-Semitic 'cause he talked about the Jewish lobby and not the Israel lobby. He used the—he didn't say Zionist or Israel; he said Jewish.MCGOVERN: Yeah. Well, okay. So he said that. The problem really is that these folks—they're called the neocons—these folks who have real difficulty distinguishing between the objective aims or the strategic aims of Israel on the one hand and the strategic needs of the United States on the other, those are the people that think that Hagel might decide that contrary to even what the president has said in terms of marching in lockstep with Israel, that Hagel might say, wait a second, wait a second, does this really make sense. I mean, Mr. President, I know you said before the Super Bowl last year that your primary objective is the defense of the United States, and also Israel; I think we should give the United States a separate sentence this year and say, your primary objective is to secure the United States, and then if you want to add as a second sentence, "And we're also interested in defending Israel," that'll be alright. But people need to know that you're interested first and foremost in U.S. policy toward the Middle East bereft of any passionate attachment, the kind of attachment that George Washington himself warned against in his—.JAY: It's a very interesting appointment by Obama, because he had to know the pressure that was going to be brought to bear against him on this. He knew that the Likud, the right-wing party in power in Israel, and their allies in AIPAC and the lobby group in the United States and all the senators and members of the House, he knew this was going to be not very well liked, and he did it anyway.MCGOVERN: Yeah, and that's a very good sign, Paul. It shows that there's a little bit of maybe a spine implant that Obama has gotten over Christmas. This is big. Last year was really a rollercoaster with respect to U.S.-Israeli relations. In February, as I already said, Obama's saying, we're going to march in lockstep with Israel. Israel is equal foot in terms of our determination to defend it. Come around September, come around late August, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is saying, I don't want to be complicit if the Israelis attack Iran. Hillary Clinton is saying, you know, these red lines about Netanyahu, that's BS; we're not interested in that. And the president is saying, sorry, I have to be on The View on TV. I can't meet with you, Netanyahu, when you come to the United States. There was a sea change there. Obama faced them down. Now, this appointment, which I dearly feared would be in jeopardy because of all this opposition, Obama stood by it. And that speaks volumes. It means that the second part of 2012 is the continuity here and not the blind, the blind support of whatever Netanyahu does, including the settlements that keep going on with just verbal opposition from the United States. But that's the thing of the past, that this is a new era, and Hagel's going to make some changes.JAY: Well, we don't know yet whether there's any change in terms of Obama and pressure on Israel vis-à-vis settlements and resolution with the Palestinians and two-state issues and those kinds of questions. What we do know from Obama's history—and if you look at what he said about the Iraq War, he opposed the Iraq War not because he's against projecting U.S. power all over the world; he just thought it was a stupid war, the Iraq War. And I think what this is telling us is he thinks an attack on Iran would be stupid and doesn't want to do it. It doesn't mean he's against projecting U.S. power. And you can see this from his second appointment of John Brennan—the guy he's been sitting with choosing who to kill with drones is now head of the CIA.MCGOVERN: Well, you're right about that. But, you know, he also realizes now, four years later, that Afghanistan is a fool's errand and he needs support in the Senate to contend with the backsniping that is already occurring about losing Afghanistan. So the Iran thing is crucial. And Hagel is one of the last people that would think that we could send U.S. service people into war with Iran simply because Israel started it or simply because Israel wanted us to do it. So that is big. Okay?Now, with respect to projecting power, you know, there's only a limited amount of power you can project. And what we're seeing now is a retrenchment. You know the problems here in this country. I think Obama will be helped by Hagel in sort of delimiting the defense budget, which is going out of all proportion to the threats that Americans face.JAY: I guess my point is I think it's a rational, it's a good thing that Hagel's there, because—I don't know if people on The Real News have heard me say this; I've been saying it informally right from the first day Obama was president, that the one thing I was actually hopeful for is he might be more rational on Iran than the Republicans would be. I didn't have a lot of expectations otherwise. And I think this Hagel appointment is that. But when you look at Brennan going to the CIA, does it not mean sort of an expansion of this drone assassination program?MCGOVERN: Sure. Now, Paul, just one little footnote about Hagel. Hagel has served on the president's foreign intelligence advisory board. That is key. He knows intelligence back and forth. And he knows very well that in November 2007, the entire intelligence community pronounced itself unanimously and with great confidence that Iran had stopped building a nuclear weapon at the end of 2003. And that judgment has been revalidated every year since by the director of national intelligence. I think Hagel will be able to use that cudgel against the neocons, say, why do we have to attack a country that's not building nuclear weapons. So that's a key thing. You're right to focus on Iran. I'm more hopeful now than I would have been if the president had sort of caved again and [crosstalk]JAY: Alright. So what do you make of the John Brennan appointment as director of the CIA?MCGOVERN: Well, I wish I could be more optimistic, Paul. I know Brennan. I know him as a young sort of failed analyst. The way you promote yourself these days at Washington is you find a job in the White House and catch the attention of people like George Tenet, who was at the White House. And Tenet brought him back when Tenet became deputy CIA director, brought him back to CIA and made him into what he is today. He even sent him to Saudi Arabia to be a chief of station. Now, Brennan pretends to know Arabic. He can say Abdulmutallab just really good—I'll practice that: Abdulmutallab. Okay? So when he goes before the press and he says "Abdulmutallab," that's very impressive. But when Helen Thomas asks him, why do they hate us, why did they do these things, why did Abdulmutallab try to knock down that plane over Deroit, he says, they're hardwired to hate us. It's their religion. Helen says, oh, so it's the—. Well, it's not the religion; it's the way—I—they just hate us, they hate us, and they're a danger to our homeland.Now, either Brennan is dumb (and that's possible, you know) or he's really sold out to the people who are profiteering on these unending wars. Right? Why would you continue to press these things? Pakistan has 175 million people. What are we doing? We're alienating hundreds of them every day with these drone strikes. They also have nuclear weapons. So, you know, it doesn't make any sense, unless—.JAY: Well, just to refresh everybody's memory here, Brennan sits in the White House with President Obama deciding who they're going to kill with drones. He helps draw up the kill list. Is that correct?MCGOVERN: That's right. Yeah. That's pretty confirmed now. You know, picture it. Now, I've been in the White House. I used to brief there. But, you know, my picture is Brennan comes in on Tuesday, 'cause that's the day they do the kill list, and he says, Mr. President, we have 13 here, here are the names, can you sign off on this. And Obama looks at him, and he says, well, number three—didn't you tell me last week number three has three small kids? Well, yes, Mr. President, but we know, we know he's a suspected militant, we know. So, well, look, take three, put him in—let's do three next week, and let's just do 12 this week. Sign off. And then he goes—Barack Obama goes to have a nice lunch with his wife.Give me a break. That's what goes on in the White House now. You know, that's almost as bad as Condoleeza Rice presiding over demonstrations of enhanced interrogation techniques, which were also done at the White House.JAY: And this was more or less leaked to The New York Times, right? It's not like you're speculating. The New York Times kind of described these meetings.MCGOVERN: Well, yeah. This was when the White House saw some incentive in showing the president to be a tough guy like Brennan, you know. I know Brennan. He's from northern New Jersey. He's a tough guy. When he says, yeah, we do this without due process, well, don't be stupid here. We do due process right here in the White House. That's how we do due process now. Eric Holder says so. Give me a break. That's the kind of mentality you have there. And what really, really is missing here: where's the legal profession in this country? You know? Due process means the judiciary, it means the courts. And here they're letting these people get away with saying no, no, we do due process here in the White House. It's unconscionable.JAY: So what does it mean for the CIA? Any changes from the way it's acting?MCGOVERN: Well, Paul, as you know, there are two CIAs, one the analysis CIA that Truman envisaged and set up. That's the one I worked in, and that's the one that prevented a war with Iran—that's no exaggeration, with that estimate saying they had stopped working on a nuclear weapon in 2003. That one still has some people of integrity in it. The other one that Truman never envisaged, this operational, you know, covert actions sort of thing, well, they're riding high. They're flying drones all over the place. And Brennan can be expected to enhance the military capabilities that really should not belong in the CIA. And Truman said so before he died.JAY: And now President Obama has his guy controlling those drones. So in a sense it's an extension of the drone program and what they've been doing together.MCGOVERN: I think Obama, you know, has a certain confidence in Brennan that he has in nobody else. I hope it's not a misplaced confidence. Brennan's a pretty treacherous guy, and I think the way Obama looks at the CIA is, if he has his own man controlling the CIA, Brennan, that there's less danger that the CIA will play games, less prospect that the CIA will get involved in the kinds of things against John F. Kennedy that happened then.JAY: Thanks for joining us, Ray.MCGOVERN: Most welcome.JAY: And thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.

End

DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.


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Hagel and Brennan Nominations: The Empire’s Agenda is Covert Warfare, Targeted Assassinations and “Counterterrorism”

Senate confirmation on both is required. Expect little opposition to Brennan. More on him below.

Republicans will challenge Hagel. At issue is political opportunism more than who serves. Questions about Obama’s nominee are exaggerated. More on that below.

Rarely ever are presidential nominations rejected. Expect nothing different this time. Candidates are carefully vetted. Selection depends on full support for US policies.

Hagel is a reliable imperial supporter. His Senatorial voting record offers proof. The Peace Majority Report rated him highly. The lower the score, the higher the rating. He scored 5%. John McCain got 4%, Joe Lieberman 26%, and Bill Clinton 74%.

The American Conservative Union called him solidly Republican. It gave him a lifetime 84% rating.

In 1996, Hagel suspiciously defeated Nebraska’s popular Democrat governor Ben Nelson.

At stake was a US Senate seat. Polls suggested a close race. Hagel won by 15 points. Few Nebraskans knew about Hagel’s ties.

He was part owner, chairman and CEO of Election Systems & Software (ES&S). It’s an electronic voting machine company.

At the time, it was called American Information Systems. AIS’ parent company founder, Michael McCarthy, was Hagel’s campaign treasurer. His easy victory made winning suspect.

He never disclosed his business ties. A Senate Ethics Committee investigation was requested. It was rejected. Nothing followed. Expect little or nothing said now.

Hagel serves as chairman of the Atlantic Council (ACUS). In 1961, former Secretaries of State Dean Acheson and Christian Herter established it. It was done to support NATO.

It’s headquartered in Washington. It supports Washington’s global agenda. Past and current members include a rogue’s gallery of reliable American imperial supporters.

Among others, they include Henry Kissinger, George Schultz, James Schlesinger, James Baker, Zbigniew Brzezinski, James Jones, Condoleezza Rice, Richard Holbrooke, Susan Rice, and an array of current and former top military officials.

Frederick Kempe is president and CEO. He’s a former Wall Street Journal correspondent, editor and associate publisher. He’s a regular major media commentator.

Damon Wilson is executive vice president. Formerly he served on George W. Bush’s National Security Council. He’s committed to strengthening NATO. Like all past and current ACUS members, he supports America’s imperial project.

The Washington Post listed other Hagel credentials. Past and current ones include:

  • US senator (Nebraska-R.) from 1997 – 2009;
  • chairman of the US Vietnam War Commemoration Advisory Committee;
  • co-chairman of the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board and Defense Policy Board member;
  • Private Sector Council president and CEO;
  • Vanguard Cellular Systems co-founder, director and executive vice president;
  • Communications Corporation International LTD chairman;
  • Hagel & Clarke co-founder, director and president;
  • president McCarthy & Co,;
  • Veterans Administration deputy administrator;
  • Firestone Tire & Rubber government affairs director; and

He’s no dove. He’s solidly right-wing. He supported Bush’s war on terror. He backs it now. He voted for every National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). He endorsed NATO’s 1999 Yugoslavia war.

At the time he said: “When you’re in a war, you’re in a war to win.” He called Slobodan Milosevic “a butcher loose in the backyard of NATO.” He viewed Kosovo as a “goal-line stand.”

He said if America doesn’t respond, “we will be tested every day for the next who knows how many years.” He favored sending US forces to Kosovo. He said “never….take any military option off the table.”

He voted for the Patriot and Homeland Security Acts. He endorsed an “urgent need” for missile defense. He called the 1972 US/Soviet Russia Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM) “obsolete.”

He said “We can’t hold America’s national security interests hostage to any threats from some other nation.”

After Bush withdrew from ABM in December 2001, he said “What the president did was responsible. I support it. I think it was the right thing to do.”

He accused North Korea of being “on the verge of fielding a ballistic missile capable not only of striking my home state of Nebraska, but anywhere in the United States.”

He supported the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) for “the use of United States Armed Forces against those responsible for the recent attacks launched against the United States.”

The Afghanistan war followed. It rages. It shows no signs of ending. It’s America’s longest war. It was lost years ago.

Hagel supported the 2003 Iraq war. When it was too late to matter, his tone got more dovish.

He favors lawless warrantless surveillance. He opposes habeas and due process rights for Guantanamo detainees.

On January 7, the Washington Post headlined “On Israel, Iran, and spending, Chuck Hagel looks a lot like Robert Gates,” saying:

His opponents claim he’ll dramatically change defense spending and America’s position on Israel and Iran. Reality suggests otherwise.

“The bottom line is that” Hagel and Gates “are remarkably similar and appear to share a number of policy preferences.” They include drawing down in Iraq and arguing against Libyan intervention.

Both men differ somewhat on Iran. Gates is more hardline. Hagel tried having it both ways. On the one hand, he claimed sanctions are counterproductive. At the same time, he said they’re “working.”

In his first post-nomination interview, he said critics “completely distorted” his record.

“I have said many times that Iran is a state sponsor of terrorism,” he stressed. “I have also questioned some very cavalier attitudes taken about very complicated issues in the Middle East.”

Nonetheless, he favors “direct, unconditional, and comprehensive talks with the Government of Iran.”

He called for direct Hamas/Hezbollah engagement. In 2008, he endorsed direct talks with Syria and North Korea.

There’s “not one shred of evidence” that he’s anti-Israeli, he said. “Israel is in a very, very difficult position. No border that touches Israel is always secure. We need to work to help protect Israel so it doesn’t get isolated.”

He calls “distortions about (his) record….astonishing.” During Senate confirmation hearings, he welcomes “an opportunity to respond” to critics.

At the same time, Politico quoted him saying “I’m not an Israeli senator. I’m a United States senator. I support Israel, but my first interest is I take an oath of office to the Constitution of the United States, not to a president, not to a party, not to Israel. If I go run for the Senate in Israel, I’ll do that.”

Politico added that:

“In 2006, (he) used the term ‘Jewish Lobby,’ ” saying:

“The political reality is….that the Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people up here. I have always argued against some of the dumb things they do because I don’t think it’s in the interest of Israel. I just don’t think it’s smart for Israel.”

Anti-Defamation League (ADL) head Abe Foxman responded, saying:

“What I find more troubling is, he had sufficient time to distance himself from the ‘Jewish lobby’ quote, to explain, and he hasn’t.”

“He let it stand. I find that more troubling than the original statement. He sees it out there. He sees it being seen as this truly conspiratorial view, that the Jewish lobby controls foreign policy, and there’s no comment.”

AIPAC withheld comment. The National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) said:

“While we have expressed concerns in the past, we trust that when confirmed, (Hagel) will follow the president’s lead of providing unrivaled support for Israel – on strategic cooperation, missile defense programs, and leading the world against Iran’s nuclear program.”

On January 8, the right-wing Jerusalem Post headlined “Ayalon: Hagel sees Israel as ‘true and natural’ ally,” saying:

Ayalon is Deputy Israeli Foreign Minister. He’s positive on Hagel’s nomination. “I have met him many times,” he said, “and he certainly regards Israel as a true and natural US ally.”

Netanyahu withheld comment. Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin expressed concerns. “Because of his statements in the past, and his stance toward Israel, we are worried,” he said.

He added that Washington’s ties to Israel don’t depend on “one person.”

The New York Times commented on Hagel and Brennan. Obama chose “two trusted advisers,” it said.

Expect Senate hearings for Hagel to be “bruising,” it added. Confirming both will likely follow.

John Brennan is Deputy National Security Advisor for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism. He’s Obama’s chief counterterrorism advisor.

He heads the administration’s Murder, Inc. agenda. He chairs a panel of National Security Council officials. CIA, FBI, Pentagon, State Department, and others are involved.

America’s war on terror is wide-ranging. It includes direct and proxy wars. Special Forces death squads operate in 120 or more countries. CIA agents are virtually everywhere. They’re licensed to kill.

US citizens are fair game. They’re vulnerable at home and abroad. Obama’s kill list picks targets. Brennan advises on who next to assassinate. Victims are a closely held secret.

Anyone can be targeted anywhere in the world. Ordinary people, distinguished ones, or officials are fair game. Their crime is opposing US imperialism.

Drone wars are prioritized. Human lives don’t matter. Rule of law principles are spurned. Summary judgment overrides them.

Obama usurped diktat authority. He appointed himself judge, jury and executioner. He and Brennan meet regularly. Eliminating America’s enemies matter most.

Washington calls innocent victims “terrorists.” Names go on kill lists. It’s called America’s “disposition matrix.” Brennan’s in charge of global assassinations. Prioritizing them made him top CIA director choice.

Expect drone wars to expand. So will targeted assassinations. Summary executions will be prioritized. Rule of law principles, standards, and protocols won’t matter. Counterterrorism takes no prisoners.

Obama Signs NDAA Bill Allowing Indefinite Detention; Obama Orders Assassinations with No Oversight

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Bio

Michael Ratner is President Emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) in New York and Chair of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights in Berlin. He is currently a legal adviser to Wikileaks and Julian Assange. He and CCR brought the first case challenging the Guantanamo detentions and continue in their efforts to close Guantanamo. He taught at Yale Law School, and Columbia Law School, and was President of the National Lawyers Guild. His current books include "Hell No: Your Right to Dissent in the Twenty-First Century America," and “ Who Killed Che? How the CIA Got Away With Murder.” NOTE: Mr. Ratner speaks on his own behalf and not for any organization with which he is affiliated.

Transcript

PAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Paul Jay in Baltimore. And welcome to this week's edition of The Ratner Report with Michael Ratner, who now joins us from New York City.

Michael is the president emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York. He's chair of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights in Berlin. And he's a board member of The Real News.Thanks for joining us again, Michael.MICHAEL RATNER, PRESIDENT EMERITUS, CENTER FOR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS: It's always good to be with you. And happy new year to you and all your viewers.JAY: Thank you. And what are you following now?RATNER: You know, it's—unfortunately, it's more of the same, which is the war-on-terror excesses, first of the Bush administration, and now the Obama administration. We're going into, really, the middle of the 11th year of what I consider to be a lawless way of carrying out the so-called war on terror. The model that has been used is essentially presidential fiat, congressional fiat, no due process, no trials, indefinite detention. And just this week the president signed—and it's into law—the National Defense Authorization Act, which comes up every year. It's a 620-page bill. It funds all our military adventures all over the world. But for my purposes, on the so-called war on terror what it does is continue what I call the Bush–Obama policies.The first of those policies is indefinite detention, that you can pick up people anywhere in the world—and what's interesting: including American citizens—and hold them indefinitely without trial, and even hold them offshore. We expected this last Congress to try and put in legislation that would at least prohibit the holding of U.S. citizens. They didn't, so it's still authorized by the law. And, of course, that's the lawsuit that Chris Hedges and Daniel Ellsberg had gone to court to try and declare that section of the old law, now of the new law, unconstitutional. So you have an NDAA that first allows indefinite detention of anyone in the world, including U.S. citizens. Secondly, it really destroys any chance of closing Guantanamo.JAY: Before you get into that, Michael, wasn't there some amendment that came out of the Senate that ensures or at least is supposed to ensure habeas rights for U.S. citizens?RATNER: Well, they have a habeas right, but they can still be held indefinitely in detention.JAY: So explain what that means, a habeas right.RATNER: Okay. Everyone can now, because of the cases we won at the Center over the last ten years, has a right to go to court and say to the court, which will say to the jailor, the United States, are you holding me legally. The problem with it is is legally is now defined by the NDAA as holding someone in indefinite detention for their, quote, associational interests, or association with al-Qaeda or related forces. And so all that the government has to come into court and prove is that somehow this person has some relationship to al-Qaeda or whatever related forces means, which could be almost anything. And that's the way it's been used. So the U.S. picks up people, whether it's in Afghanistan or Pakistan, or Yemen,—JAY: Or Pittsburgh.RATNER: —Pittsburgh, or Somalia, or anywhere, or England, or anywhere, and says, well, that person's associated with al-Qaeda or associated forces. And then you have a right, yes, to go to court and challenge that.But the court has been completely unwilling to hear those challenges. The lowest court has heard them, and in some cases even said, well, the government's not holding with a good reason; it goes to the court of appeals, and they have never actually let anyone out of Guantanamo or any other type of this indefinite detention. My problem, of course, is not that they give habeas rights. Sure, that's good. But the problem is they use a indefinite detention model and not a law enforcement model. My view is no one should be held in indefinite detention. Every human being who's picked up anywhere in the world should be charged with a crime if they're going to be kept, and tried for the crime. Instead, you have these masses of people being held without being charged. And if we look at Guantanamo, it's the perfect example. And that gets to the second part of the NDAA legislation. There's 166 people left in Guantanamo. Eighty-six of those people have been cleared for release. That means they shouldn't be there at all. The rest of them—whatever, 80 or so—have not been charged, with exceptions of a few, such as the so-called, you know, people who were allegedly involved in the conspiracy of the World Trade Center, which is a half a dozen people or so. So most of those people have never been charged. And, in fact, more than half have been cleared for release. So what does the NDAA do to those people? It says two things, which it said consistently year after year, that the president can't transfer anybody to the United States, even those cleared for release. So that means: how do you get those people out of Guantanamo? And secondly, it puts very heavy restrictions on transferring any of those people to foreign countries. They have to notify the Senate, they have to approve it in certain ways. And, in fact, because of those restrictions, no one's been transferred to a foreign country, or to the United States, obviously, in the last two years.Now, so that's what you have. You have heavy restrictions. So that means you're going to have trouble closing Guantanamo altogether. Now, Obama made all kinds of noises last year, and he made all kinds of noises this year, that he was going to veto the NDAA because of what he considers these restrictions on his presidential power to, one, transfer people out of Guantanamo to the United States, or transfer them to foreign countries. But last year he didn't veto it, and this year he didn't veto it. So what he does is he does a bunch of saber-rattling. But what he did was do a signing statement. Now, signing statements, I want to explain, have no legal efficacy. In the United States, you either have to approve legislation as the president or veto it. Obama, by approving it, basically says this is the law. He then signs something that says, well, I don't like this law, I don't think it's constitutional, I don't think this, I don't think that, but that it has no legal efficacy. The law is the law, and he's not about to necessarily disobey the law—he didn't last year, and he didn't this year.Now, what's interesting about Obama's signing statements is two things. One, he criticized them when Bush used them, saying, Bush shouldn't be doing these signing statements; he should either veto the law or approve the law, but not say, I approve it, but—you can't do that. And secondly, last year when he made a signing statement on the NDAA, he said, I will challenge this law as unconstitutional in these respects, etc., etc. This time, because it's past the election, he didn't even say that. And so we now have an NDAA that ostensibly allows the indefinite detention of American citizens, makes it impossible to close Guantanamo, and a president who is unwilling to challenge Congress about the law.JAY: And what's the status of that lawsuit that Chris Hedges and his colleagues launched?RATNER: Well, Judge Forrest, who is a very good judge in the District of Columbia, actually ruled in favor of Hedges and Ellsberg that the law was unconstitutional because Ellsberg, Hedges, and others who challenge the law could actually be held in indefinite detention for the words that they spoke or what they wrote. And the government refused to say initially that they couldn't be held like that. And so Judge Forrest, who is the judge, said, well, I'm ruling it's unconstitutional. The government then, in the most aggressive way they could, Obama appealed that to the circuit court. The circuit court stayed the decision, which means they said, we're not going to hold this unconstitutional; we're going to stay it until we hear the entire argument again. So right now the NDAA is still good law, because the circuit court went against the district court, the lower court, and basically said, we're going to allow the law to continue. So it's still being heavily, heavily litigated. Now, it seems to me that two things are apparent to me. One is, of course, I don't think it's good to hold anyone in indefinite detention, citizens or not. Of course, Hedges attacked the most pernicious aspect and the most constitutionally protected aspect, which is holding an American citizen. And secondly, we're still left with Guantanamo. Now, it brings me to—so we have an NDAA out there. Now, it brings me to a second issue that I want to get to in this short piece, which is Obama's drone policy. Again, it comes up in the context of the murder of, killing of American citizens Anwar al-Aulaqi, his son, Rahman al-Aulaqi, and another American citizen, all in Yemen. The Center for Constitutional Rights challenged those killings initially. We lost. They were killed by drones after our lawsuit.We now have another challenge, challenging them in terms of trying to get damages for them. But an extraordinary decision was written this week by a judge about targeted assassinations by Obama and his administration. It was a case in which the ACLU and The New York Times went to court to try and get the legal basis under which Obama said he could designate people for death, American citizens and otherwise. And the judge said that they weren't entitled, in the end, to the document that was written by the Department of Justice laying out the legal reasoning about why you could kill American citizens or others utterly outside a war zone, whether in Yemen or in Somalia or in the United Kingdom or here in the United States. The judge said—because it was classified, while the judge didn't like giving the decision she did, she'd said, I can't do anything about it, my hands are tied, I'm in a catch-22. And what she said about it was extraordinary. She said, look it, when we had torture in the United States, it was critical to get out the memos regarding the legal reasoning about why the U.S. could torture people, so that it could be fully, fully debated. Here my hands are tied. And what we should have is, like torture, we should get out the legal memos about why the president should be able to assassinate people outside a war zone so we can have a serious debate about it.JAY: Well, does the president have to show these memos to anybody?RATNER: Not really, no.JAY: There's no congressional oversight? Not given the history of whatever oversight there's been would mean that much, but is there? I mean, I don't understand. The—then I don't understand. The president could create any memo he wants and—?RATNER: Well, the Justice Department creates the memo, they give it to the president. He could technically withhold it from Congress. I don't know whether Congress has asked him for it or whether he has withheld it, or whether Congress is entitled to find out much about the policy, because while the Congress is entitled to find out about, particularly, CIA covert operations, whether this falls within that is hard to say. And secondly, this isn't only done by the CIA, but targeted assassination is done by Joint Special Operation Command, or JSOC, the military. Congress has no ability to really—or no law that requires the president to report to Congress on the murders or assassinations by JSOC. So you have this policy of the president on his own deciding who can be murdered or assassinated, even if they're American citizens. And what was incredible about the judges' decision, the judge said or implied that the president could actually be criminally prosecuted for killing of a U.S. citizen overseas and said the president is not exempt from the law that prohibits people or citizens in the United States or people anywhere in the world from killing U.S. citizens overseas. So she made an implication that it may be that the president could actually be prosecuted for these targeted assassinations around the world. So while she denied, ultimately, the memo, it's just this opinion, which is some 75 pages long, just drips with anger and really, I think, what you would have to say is deep unease at the president saying on his own, without providing the American people with a legal basis, for assassinating American citizens anywhere in the world.Taken together, what you have here, you have the NDAA law which allows the indefinite detention of American citizens, you have the al-Aluaqi decisions, and this recent one which allows the targeted assassination of American citizens, both detention and killing, at the behest of one man. And what the judge says: this is supposed to be—supposed to be a democracy, a constitutional democracy based on the rule of law and not on the rule of men. And I guess she's questioning whether that's what we have any longer.JAY: Thanks for joining us, Michael.RATNER: Thanks for having me, Paul.JAY: And thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.

End

DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.


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The U.S-Israel Alliance: War, Chaos and Netanyahu’s Big Lie

Timothy Alexander Guzman, Silent Crow News – The relationship between the U.S. and Israel in the last 6 years under the Obama administration has never been stronger.  In 2012, The National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) declared that President Obama’s aid package for Israel was the largest in U.S. history, a fact that is hard to ignore: 

President Barack Obama requested a record $3.1 billion in military assistance to Israel for the 2013 fiscal year. The requested amount is not just the largest assistance request for Israel ever; it is the largest foreign assistance request ever in U.S. history

President Barack H. Obama and Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s alleged tenuous relationship is not what it seems.  Sure they probably annoy each other, but Obama has provided U.S. foreign aid just as every U.S. President before him.  The invitation granted by the speaker of the house John Boehner to Netanyahu so that he can present his case against Iran to the U.S. congress to prove that Obama’s negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program was a “bad deal.”    According to Netanyahu, Iran threatens Israel’s existence and the world.  Netanyahu’s speech was political theater.  Several democrats did not attend Netanyahu’s show.  Those that did criticized Netanyahu for trying to undermine the Obama administration is once again, all political theater.  The democrats who skipped Israeli Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent speech to show solidarity with President Obama’s policy towards Iran were going to attend the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) event featuring an appearance by Netanyahu the following week as the Washington Examiner reported earlier this month:   

All of the members skipping Netanyahu’s congressional speech the Examiner interviewed were quick to say their anger toward the prime minister and his attempt to scuttle the Obama administration’s negotiations with Iran on its nuclear program did not extend to pro-Israel committee.

“Why would I not want to meet with my friends? They’re coming to see me next week and why wouldn’t I see them?” asked Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., referring to two American Israel Public Affairs Committee lobbyists he’s known and worked with for 25 years

Since 1948, U.S and Israeli actions taken in the Middle East has proven to be a tragic period for all people of the Middle East whether Arab, Christian, Jew, Kurdish, Sunni or Shiite.  Nothing but wars and Sectarian conflicts, poverty and Western-funded extremists has destroyed Arab countries and killed millions of Muslim men, women and children that are physically and emotionally scarred for the rest of their young and innocent lives. 

Can anyone think of the U.S. and its Democratic ideals as a success?  The U.S. has done everything it can to create “order out of chaos.”  In 1947 following the “creation of Israel” by Great Britain when the Foreign secretary Arthur James Balfour confirmed a “national home of the Jewish People” when he sent the Balfour Declaration to Walter Rothschild, head of the Rothschild banking dynasty, the Palestinian people have been living in hell.  Palestine became a prison enforced by Israel’s security apparatus that resembles what George Orwell described as a total police state in his classic book “1984.”  Palestine has been divided; 1.7 million Palestinians live in an open air prison in the Gaza strip while others live in the West Bank under a police state controlled by heavily armed Israeli soldiers and police.  The Palestinians have been losing lands in an unprecedented fashion and in recent decades only to be accelerated under Netanyahu’s watch with a 40% increase in 2014 alone, outpacing the prior year. 

Israel’s ambitions for nuclear weapons capability began after Israel became a Western sponsored state with the U.S, U.K. and France as its main allies.  Many conflicts in the Middle East soon followed.  The Israeli war of Independence against the Arab countries included Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria which led to the 1949 Armistice which outlined the borders of Israel.    The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soon began military operations against Egypt, Lebanon and Jordon to prevent terrorist attacks against its Jewish citizens.  In 1956, Great Britain and France joined Israel in attacking Egypt after its government decided to nationalize the Suez Canal after the U.S. and Great Britain declined to fund the Aswan Dam.  Israel was forced to retreat from the attack by the U.S. and the USSR.  Soon after, the Six-Day War in 1967 began when Israel fought againstEgypt, Syria and Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and others contributed weapons and troops to the Arab forces.  Israel defeated the Arab armies and expanded its territory in the West Bank which included East Jerusalem to Jordan, the Golan Heights in Syria, the Sinai and the Gaza strip.  Then the War of Attrition (1967-1970), the Yom Kippur War (1973) and the War in Lebanon (1982) which the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) invaded Southern Lebanon to eliminate Palestinian guerrilla fighters (the resistance) from the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) which led to the Israeli Security Zone in South Lebanon.  Then the South Lebanon conflict with Hezbollah that lasted for at least 20 years.  It still continues today.   The first and Second Intifadas began with the Palestinian uprising against a brutal Israeli occupation and the disappearance of their lands.  Several wars soon followed.  The last war called ‘Operation Protective Edge’ which Israel launched against the Gaza Strip.  According to the State of Palestine Ministry of Health who reported on August 17, 2014 that there were 2,300 deaths and over 19,000 injured in Gaza which was a devastating conflict that traumatized the Palestinian people especially the children.  It is a tragic consequence that will last a lifetime for many.    

During all of the conflicts, Israel was seeking weapons to defend their new “Jewish” nation.  Israel was eventually exposed as an undeclared nuclear power thanks to an Israeli man named Mordechai Vanunu who spent 18 years in the Shikma Prison in Ashkelon, with 10 of those years in solitary confinement.  Mordechai exposed Israel’s secrets nuclear program to the British press in 1986.

Israel is the aggressor.  It’s an illegal occupation which began under the British government and it is supported by other Western-powers, mainly the U.S. and France.  Israel’s history is filled with conflicts and terrorism against the Arab world.  Israel has committed political assassinations, supported extremists to topple governments including its current support to “moderate rebels” to oust Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.  It has control over the natural resources including vital water supplies that Palestinians solely depend on to survive.  So my question is why everyone is surprised by Netanyahu’s speech he recently gave in the U.S. House of congress?  Several members of congress were “appalled” or “upset” because he disrespected U.S. lawmakers, but the reality is that the majority of elected officials in congress and every administration even before Obama have approved military aid for Israel’s security since Israel was created in 1948.  Who are they fooling?  Netanyahu sounded like he was the U.S. president with constant standing ovations and thunderous applauds by the AIPAC controlled congress.  Those on both sides of the aisle whether democrat or republican always look forward to Jewish (Zionist) support for campaign funds.  There are several members of congress who have dual citizenships that seek to protect Israel at all costs (although the actual “costs” come at the expense of U.S. taxpayers). The U.S. has been involved in the Middle East for a long time.  Do not expect peace or stability.  War and conquest is the true nature of both the Americans and Israeli’s regarding Middle East policies.  ISIS is a perfect example of how the U.S. operates by bringing democracy to an already volatile region with its support of the Syrian rebels, al-Nusra and the decade old “al-Qaeda” with weapons to topple governments not in line with Washington only proves that war is on the agenda.  Not only does the U.S. and its allies support ISIS and other terrorist organizations to topple Arab governments they protect them according to an article by Michel Chossudovsky titled Obama’s “Fake War” against the Islamic State (ISIS). The Islamic State is protected by the US and its Alliesand made an important point when he said:

What would have been required from a military standpoint to wipe out an ISIS convoy with no effective anti-aircraft capabilities?  Without an understanding of military issues, common sense prevails.  If they had wanted to eliminate the Islamic State brigades, they could have “carpet” bombed their convoys of Toyota pickup trucks when they crossed the desert from Syria into Iraq in June

The U.S. and Israel clearly want chaos in the Middle East.  It is obvious.  However, Netanyahu did say that:

The remarkable alliance between Israel and the United States has always been above politics. It must always remain above politics.  Because America and Israel, we share a common destiny, the destiny of promised lands that cherish freedom and offer hope. Israel is grateful for the support of American — of America’s people and of America’s presidents, from Harry Truman to Barack Obama

Yes, the alliance between the U.S. and Israel is “above politics” and I agree it’s supposed to achieve “Full Spectrum Dominance” with the West and Israel controlling every aspect of Arab life including its lands, economy, and its natural resources in the Middle East.  This is the “destiny” which Netanyahu speaks of.  There is a vast amount of resources including the obvious oil, water and natural gas in the Middle East for which both the U.S. and Israel is solely interested in.  It also provides a market for the Military-Industrial Complex and corporate interests.  Netanyahu’s speech in Washington resembles what a genuine hypocrite that will claim it is he who is a victim of hatred, while committing heinous crimes against those he hates.  Netanyahu thanked President Obama for his support over the years which are no surprise:                  

We appreciate all that President Obama has done for Israel.

Now, some of that is widely known.  Some of that is widely known, like strengthening security cooperation and intelligence sharing, opposing anti-Israel resolutions at the U.N.  Some of what the president has done for Israel is less well- known.

I called him in 2010 when we had the Carmel forest fire, and he immediately agreed to respond to my request for urgent aid.  In 2011, we had our embassy in Cairo under siege, and again, he provided vital assistance at the crucial moment.  Or his support for more missile interceptors during our operation last summer when we took on Hamas terrorists

‘Operation Protective Edge’ was supported by the Obama administration.  They have collaborated on various programs including Israel security forces that provided training to U.S. Police forces.  I was not surprised by the recent revelations in Chicago, Illinois concerning its secret black sites used by the Chicago police department to detain and even torture suspects.  This happened under former White House Chief of Staff and also an IDF civilian volunteer and Israel supporter Rahm Emanuel whose father Benjamin M. Emanuel was once a member of the Irgun, a terrorist organization that operated in Mandate Palestine.  As Netanyahu continued:

But Iran’s regime is not merely a Jewish problem, any more than the Nazi regime was merely a Jewish problem. The 6 million Jews murdered by the Nazis were but a fraction of the 60 million people killed in World War II. So, too, Iran’s regime poses a grave threat, not only to Israel, but also the peace of the entire world. To understand just how dangerous Iran would be with nuclear weapons, we must fully understand the nature of the regime. 

The people of Iran are very talented people. They’re heirs to one of the world’s great civilizations. But in 1979, they were hijacked by religious zealots — religious zealots who imposed on them immediately a dark and brutal dictatorship

Netanyahu said that “religious Zealots” imposed a dark brutal dictatorship?  Well I guess the Western-backed Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi or the “Shah of Iran” and his secret police force the Savak who terrorized the Iranian people was their preference to keep Iran under their control.  Savak was trained and supported by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Israeli Mossad.  The most brutal dictatorship in the Gulf States such as Saudi Arabia is an ideal model for the U.S. and Israel.  If you look at the dictatorships the U.S. has supported to spread “American-Style Democracy” in the last 100 years.  The results of “American-style democracy” were disastrous causing human rights violations, countless deaths and disease.  Those same nations the U.S. either invaded or helped overthrow their respective governments (many of them democracies) still suffer from Washington’s “medicine.”  From Pinochet in Chile, to the Somoza dynasty in Nicaragua, Papa and Baby Doc Duvalier regime in Haiti to the Gulf Monarchies in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates and the list goes on, U.S. policy is about dominating nations for geopolitical interests including for the control of their natural resources.  The U.S. and Israel have an interest in the Middle East and that is to dominate it under their so-called “World Order.”   If they remove Syria and then Iran, the Middle East would become a region that would look like Iraq or Libya.  It would be a cash bonanza for the Military-Industrial Complex if they keep the civil wars among different sects and tribes going, creating a market for weapons exports.  Netanyahu said Iran is a “grave threat” to World peace.  Can someone say “Samson Option”?  Seymour M. Hersh’s ‘The Samson Option’ noted a commentary by Norman Podhoretz that summarizes how Israel would respond if they were on the verge of defeat at the hands of Arab nations in the Middle East:    

For Israel’s nuclear advocates, the Samson Option became another way of saying “Never again.”  [In a 1976 essay in Commentary, Norman Podhoretz accurately summarized the pronuclear argument in describing what Israel would do if abandoned by the United States and overrun by Arabs: "The Israelis would fight . . . with conventional weapons for as long as they could, and if the tide were turning decisively against them, and if help in the form of resupply from the United States or any other guarantors were not forthcoming, it is safe to predict that they would fight with nuclear weapons in the end. ... It used to be said that the Israelis had a Masada complex . . .but if the Israelis are to be understood in terms of a 'complex' involving suicide rather than surrender and rooted in a relevant precedent of Jewish history, the example of Sarnson, whose suicide brought about the destruction of his enemies, would be more appropriate than Masada, where in committing suicide the Zealots killed only themselves and took no Romans with them." 

Podhoretz, asked years later about his essay, said that his conclusions about the Samson Option were just that—his conclusions, and not based on any specific information from Israelis or anyone else about Israel's nuclear capability 

What Mr. Podhoretz was describing was a “if we go down, everyone else is going down with us” scenario which is a dangerous policy for the world peace.  Netanyahu also says that Assad who is backed by Iran is slaughtering Syrians.  This serves the Obama Administration’s long-term goal to remove Assad from power: 

Iran's goons in Gaza, its lackeys in Lebanon, its revolutionary guards on the Golan Heights are clutching Israel with three tentacles of terror. Backed by Iran, Assad is slaughtering Syrians. Back by Iran, Shiite militias are rampaging through Iraq. Back by Iran, Houthis are seizing control of Yemen, threatening the strategic straits at the mouth of the Red Sea. Along with the Straits of Hormuz, that would give Iran a second choke-point on the world's oil supply

Netanyahu claim that the Jewish people can defend themselves which I agree especially when you have nuclear weapons that can destroy the entire Middle East:

We are no longer scattered among the nations, powerless to defend ourselves. We restored our sovereignty in our ancient home. And the soldiers who defend our home have boundless courage. For the first time in 100 generations, we, the Jewish people, can defend ourselves

Iran, Syria, Lebanon (Hezbollah) and Palestine (the West Bank and Gaza) are targets for the U.S. and Israel.  They want to destabilize Syria and Iran and turn it into an Iraq and Libya with tribal and sectarian infighting among the populations.  The U.S. destroyed Iraq with the intention of dividing the people.  They create the conflict, develop hatred along Sunni and Shiite sects, and enforce a government subservient to Western interests.  How does this benefits Israel?  They keep the wars going by destabilizing regimes through ISIS and other Western-funded terrorist groups while Israel expands its territories beyond its borders.  Once Syria and Iran are destroyed, the U.S. and Israel will have no use for ISIS.  No more weapons will be shipped to ISIS and other groups and the U.S. and Israel with its military capabilities can easily defeat ISIS as Chossudovsky mentioned in his article.  It sounds cynical but it’s the truth.  It is what I call “Mafia-Style” politics, something the U.S. and Israel are very good at.  The world is not fooled by the bickering between the democrats and republicans because as we all know, they are one, united with an “unbreakable bond “with Israel as Obama declared in 2013.  We all know that without U.S. support, Israeli occupation of Palestine would end tomorrow.  But that will not happen unless the U.S. Empire falls from power and only then, a lasting peace will ensue.     

Netanyahu concluded with “May God bless the state of Israel and may God bless the United States of America” And no one else, right Mr. Netanyahu?  What kind of God would bless two nations that have committed genocide against its indigenous populations?  Why would God bless a nation that lies to its people and declares war on nations that want their sovereignty respected?  If this is the God we as humans supposed to honor, then God is not who we think he is. 

In conclusion, Netanyahu should listen to an interview conducted by Press TV based in Tehran, Iran in 2014 with Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss, associate director of ‘Neturei Karta International: Jews United against Zionism’ (www.nkusa.org) and was asked about U.N. monitor Richard Falk who accused Israel of ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians.  His response was as follows:

With the help of the almighty, I pray to the almighty to bestow upon me his truth, his wisdom. We are always confounded by this seeming ignorance of the issues and the ignoring of what is happening. The issues are clear from day one.  Well over one hundred years ago when this Zionist ideology came about of Jewish people creating their own sovereignty and then eventually deciding to make their sovereignty in the Holy Land, the biblical authorities in the Holy Land, the chief rabbi of Palestine, Rabbi Dushinsky..., of that time, and later in 1947 prior to the ratification of... Israel by the United Nations, the chief rabbi was Rabbi Dushinsky; he went to a meeting in Jerusalem [al-Quds] with the members of the United Nations and he pleaded with them in the name of Judaism and the religious community that we do not want, in any form, a state …, that it is illegal, it is illegitimate. Judaism does not permit us to have to have a Jewish sovereignty, Judaism does not permit us to oppress other people, steal the land, or in any manner being uncompassionate to the people.

On the contrary we were living together with the Muslim community, with the Arabs and Muslims for hundreds and hundreds of years in Palestine and every Muslim state in total harmony without any human rights group to protect us and since this creation of Zionism and then eventually … Israel, there is an endless river of bloodshed. It is impossible to subjugate people and expect that there will be peace. Now, we are condoning what is emanating from this fact that there is a state but the fact is that it defies logic; it flies in the face of …,  righteousness and everything that the humanity calls for, by occupying Palestine and so our rabbis universally opposed the existence of … Israel and that the world should totally confuse this issue.

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Human Rights Group Accuses Israel of Deliberately Murdering Gazan Children

Human Rights Group Accuses Israel of Deliberately Murdering Gazan Children

by Stephen Lendman

A new Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCIP) report accuses Israel of willfully killing Palestinian children during last summer's Gaza war.

Around 550 children were murdered in cold blood - two-thirds under age 12.

Israel considers all civilians legitimate targets. International law calls killing them a war crime.

Another 3,400 children were injured - over 1,000 maimed for life. They need vital medical care unavailable because of Israel's lawless siege - ongoing aggression by any standard with full US-led Western support.

America and Israel partner in each other's high crimes. They're the world's leading aggressor states - the most egregious human and civil rights abusers. 

They're mindless of core international laws, norms and standards.

Imagine willfully murdering defenseless/nonthreatening young children at home asleep, at play, going to or from school, or running errands for parents.

Imagine considering them enemies of the state. Imagine using illegal terror weapons against them. 

Imagine traumatizing young survivors for life. Imagine Israel outrageously trying to justify the unjustifiable.

Imagine a grieving Palestinian mother explaining her nine-year-old son's "arms and legs were cut off" by an Israeli shell. 

"The upper part of his body was separated from his lower body, which was turned into small pieces. I screamed," she said. 

She and her son were returning to a UN shelter when disaster struck. Israel murdered dozens of entire families in cold blood.

Accountability for its highest of high crimes remains nowhere in sight.

Cold-blooded murder is longstanding Israeli policy. Viciously persecuting Palestinians continues daily.

Israel is a ruthless terror state. It's just a matter of time before it ravages Gaza again.

DCIP's report said "2014 was a year that brought violence, fear and loss (to Gaza)."

"The Israeli military offensive" lasting 51 days from early July to late August killed nearly 550 Palestinian children.

Nearly 3,400 other children were wounded - many from illegal terror weapons.

Over 2,200 Palestinians died - mostly defenseless civilians.

"Investigations undertaken by (DCIP) into Palestinian child fatalities during Operation Protective Edge found overwhelming and repeated evidence of international humanitarian law violations committed by Israeli forces."

"These included direct attacks on children, and indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks on civilian homes, schools, and residential neighborhoods."

Witness testimonies and other documented evidence DCIP collected "showed places that should have been provided children with shelter and safety were not immune from attacks from Israeli forces."

"Missiles fired from Israeli drones and warplanes, artillery shelling, and shrapnel scattered by explosions killed children in their homes, on the street as they fled from attacks with their families, and as they sought shelter from the bombardment in schools."

Israel killed scores of children in drone attacks alone. Clear evidence shows "Israeli forces directly targeted children."

One of many examples affected Rawya Joudeh and four of her five children. An Israeli drone attack murdered them in cold blood - "as they played together" in the family's Jabalia refugee camp yard.

Around half the number of children Israel killed came from attacks on residential buildings.

Sunday, July 20, characterized Israeli viciousness most clearly - the deadliest day for children throughout its lawless aggression.

A nighttime and ground assault on the residential Gaza City Shuja’iyya neighborhood killed 27 children. It injured at least 29 others.

Israeli armed forces are "regularly implicated in serious, systematic and institutionalized human rights violations against Palestinian children living in the Occupied Palestinian Territory," said DCIP.

"Children affected by armed conflict are entitled to special respect and protections under international law…"

Israel breaches it repeatedly. It indiscriminately and disproportionately murders and injures defenseless Palestinian civilians in cold blood - including young children and infants, helpless against its onslaught.

Evidence of Israel high crimes is overwhelming. It bears repeating. Accountability is nowhere in sight - nor justice for long-suffering Palestinians.

DCIP stressed "(w)ithout an end to the current regime of collective punishment, targeted assassinations, and regular military offensives, the situation for Gaza's children (and all illegally occupied Palestinians is) guaranteed to further deteriorate."

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Reign of Terror in Ukraine

Reign of Terror in Ukraine

by Stephen Lendman

Obama's fascist Ukrainian friends are ruthless. They're dangerous/unscrupulous gangster thugs systematically abolishing personal freedoms.

Try finding a single major Western media report explaining Kiev regime lawlessness - and the ominous threat it poses. None exist. What demands denunciation gets scoundrel media support.

On the one hand, Ukrainian officials are actively readying for renewed full-scale aggression on Donbass - with full US support and encouragement, including heavy weapons and munitions supplied.

On the other, they're reigning terror on anyone opposing their ruthless rule - courageous individuals demanding democratic rights.

Obama and Kiev officials partner in high crimes. One rogue state supports another. Both countries are fascist police states - with laws abolishing personal freedoms.

Last May, Right Sector thugs massacred hundreds of Odessans in cold blood unaccountably. They're at it again.

Residents rallying against dire economic conditions, force-fed austerity, unaffordable gas prices, and lost freedoms were harassed, threatened, kidnapped, and taken to an unknown location.

One protester spoke for others saying "(w)e came here to a peaceful rally in support of initiatives to strengthen local self-government, including initiating 'Porto-Franco' " free trade zone status.

Odessan taxes go to Kiev. Local socio-economic needs are largely ignored.

"We wanted to tell (Ukranian) officials that we will not allow lawlessness and require them to fulfill their duty before the people," another protester said.

Fascist thugs challenged peaceful demonstrators - kidnapping over 50. Their whereabouts remains unknown.

Based on notorious Kiev practices, they're likely being brutalized in confinement. Perhaps some were killed.

The Ukrainian web site Khvylya controlled by state authorities openly calls for imprisoning or deporting pro-Russian supporters.

It separately urged killing Russian journalists in Donbass. Nazi-infested fascist regimes operate this way. 

Illegitimate Ukrainian governance is a cancer in Europe's heartland - fully supported by Washington, rogue EU partners, and go-along media scoundrels ignoring Kiev's worst crimes.

They include assassinating political opponents. In recent weeks, seven high-profile "suicides" were reported - state-sponsored murder by any standard.

Zaporozhzhye regional governor/former ruling Party of Regions member Alexander Peklushenko was the most recent victim last month.

The Nazi-infested internal affairs ministry reported his death as follows:

"Alexander Peklushenko committed suicide at his home in the village of Solnechnoye. At the moment the investigative team is working on the scene."

Fact: Cold-blooded state-sponsored murder in Ukraine is called "suicide" to conceal criminality.

Another former ruling Party of Regions/State Property Fund head, Mikhail Chechetov, was reported dead after mysteriously falling from his apartment window - on the same day as Boris Nemtsov's murder.

Other eliminated former Ukrainian officials included:

  • Nicholai Sergienko: former deputy "Ukrzaliznytsia" head;

  • Nikolai Kolesnik: former Kharkov (Ukraine's second largest city) regional council head;

  • Sergey Valter: former Melitopol mayor;

  • Sergey Bordyuga: Melitopol deputy chief of police; and

  • Stanislav Melnik: former MP.

Political assassinations reflect official Kiev policy. Thousands of others are lawlessly imprisoned under horrific gulag conditions. 

Unknown numbers perish during confinement. Some just disappear.

On Thursday, prominent anti-regime journalist Oles Buzina was murdered in Kiev - the latest political assassination.

He supported legitimate/ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych. He was shot to death near his apartment building in central Kiev.

Witnesses said two men wearing masks fled the scene in a Ford Focus car with either Latvian or Belarusian license plates.

Buzina was a journalist/writer/TV host/known Poroshenko regime critic.

On April 13, journalist Sergei Sukhobok was murdered. He co-founded the online sites Obkom and ProUA - critical of fascist rule.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova explained ongoing political purges in Ukraine, saying:

"It is scary because none of the leaders in the EU will take notice that, day after day politicians are being killed in Ukraine." 

"Let’s try and find at least 20 tweets of foreign ministers of Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Sweden, the UK, Canada, USA, and Australia, representatives of the OSCE, EU and NATO expressing concern over the killing of Ukrainian politician and condemning the situation in Ukraine."

On Wednesday, former MP/regime critic Oleh kalashnikov was murdered in Kiev. He was found shot to death near his residence.

Konstantin Kosachev heads the Commonwealth of Independent States Federal Agency.

He urged Western leaders to "pay attention to the political killings in Ukraine instead of the rhetoric of sanctions against Russia."

Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov blamed Kiev for political murders.

He denounced Western leaders, saying "because of your support in Ukraine there are political murders, terror taking place against political opponents, and all the people." 

"What else should these Nazis do, for you to finally understand and be aware of your responsibility for what is happening now in Ukraine."

It bears repeating. US-installed/Nazi-infested Kiev thugs threaten their own people and European peace. 

It's more fragile today than at any time since events preceding WW II.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

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Countercurrents, Global Research, RINF, Counterpunch

NATO countries are to all intents and purposes at war with Russia. The US knows it and Russia knows it too. Unfortunately, most of those living in NATO countries remain blissfully ignorant of this fact.


The US initiated economic sanctions against Russia, has attacked its currency and has manipulated oil prices to devastate the Russian economy. It was behind the coup in Ukraine and is now escalating tensions by placing troops in Europe and supporting a bunch of neo-fascists that it brought to power. Yet the bought and paid for corporate media in the West keeps the majority of the Western public in ignorance by depicting Russia as the aggressor.


If the current situation continues, the outcome could be a devastating nuclear conflict. Washington poured five billion dollars into Ukraine with the aim of eventually instigating a coup on Russia’s doorstep. Washington and NATO are supporting proxy forces on the ground to kill and drive out those who are demanding autonomy from the US puppet regime in Kiev. Hundreds of thousands have fled across the border into Russia.

Yet it is Washington that accuses Moscow of invading Ukraine, of having had a hand in the downing of a commercial airliner and of ‘invading’ Ukraine based on no evidence at all – trial by media courtesy of Washington’s PR machine. As a result of this Russian ‘aggression’, Washington slapped sanctions on Moscow. 


The ultimate aim is to de-link Europe’s economy from Russia and weaken Russia's energy dependent economy by denying it export markets. The ultimate aim is to also ensure Europe remains integrated with/dependent on Washington, not least via the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and in the long term via US gas and Middle East oil (sold in dollars, thereby boosting the strength of the currency upon which US global hegemony rests).

The mainstream corporate media in the West parrots the accusations against Moscow as fact, despite Washington having cooked up evidence or invented baseless pretexts. As with Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan and other ‘interventions’ that have left a trail of death and devastation in their wake, the Western corporate media’s role is to act as cheerleader for official policies and US-led wars of terror.

The reality is that the US has around 800 military bases in over 100 countries and military personnel in almost 150 countries. US spending on its military dwarfs what the rest of the world spends together. It outspends China by a ratio of 6:1.

What does the corporate media say about this? That the US is a ‘force for good’ and constitutes the ‘world’s policeman’ - not a calculating empire underpinned by militarism.

By the 1980s, Washington’s wars, death squads and covert operations were responsible for six million deaths in the ‘developing’ world. An updated figure suggests that figure is closer to ten million.

Breaking previous agreements made with Russia/the USSR, over the past two decades the US and NATO has moved into Eastern Europe and continues to encircle Russia and install missile systems aimed at it. It has also surrounded Iran with military bases. It is destabilising Pakistan and ‘intervening’ in countries across Africa to weaken Chinese trade and investment links and influence. It intends to eventually militarily ‘pivot’ towards Asia to encircle China.

William Blum has presented a long list of Washington’s crimes across the planet since 1945 in terms of its numerous bombings of countries, assassinations of elected leaders and destabilisations. No other country comes close to matching the scale of such criminality. Under the smokescreen of exporting ‘freedom and democracy’, the US has deemed it necessary to ignore international laws and carry out atrocities to further its geo-political interests across the globe.


Writing on AlterNet.org, Nicolas JS Davies says of William Blum’s book Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions since World War II: if you're looking for historical context for what you are reading or watching on TV about the coup in Ukraine, ‘Killing Hope’ will provide it.

Davies argues that the title has never been more apt as we watch the hopes of people from all regions of Ukraine being sacrificed on the same altar as those of people in Iran (1953); Guatemala(1954); Thailand (1957); Laos (1958-60); the Congo (1960); Turkey (1960, 1971 & 1980); Ecuador (1961 & 1963); South Vietnam (1963); Brazil (1964); the Dominican Republic (1963); Argentina (1963); Honduras (1963 & 2009); Iraq (1963 & 2003); Bolivia (1964, 1971 & 1980); Indonesia (1965); Ghana (1966); Greece (1967); Panama (1968 & 1989); Cambodia (1970); Chile (1973); Bangladesh (1975); Pakistan (1977); Grenada (1983); Mauritania (1984); Guinea (1984); Burkina Faso (1987); Paraguay (1989); Haiti (1991 & 2004); Russia (1993); Uganda (1996);and Libya (2011).


Davies goes on to say that the list above does not include a roughly equal number of failed coups, nor coups in Africa and elsewhere in which a US role is suspected but unproven.

The Project for a New American Century (PNAC) is a recipe for more of the same. The ultimate goal, based on the ‘Wolfowitz Doctrine, is to prevent any rival emerging to challenge Washington’s global hegemony and to secure dominance over the entire planet. Washington’s game plan for Russia is to destroy is as a functioning state or to permanently weaken it so it submits to US hegemony. While the mainstream media in the West set out to revive the Cold War mentality and demonise Russia, Washington believes it can actually win a nuclear conflict with Russia. It no longer regards nuclear weapons as a last resort but part of a conventional theatre of war and is willing to use them for pre-emptive strikes.

Washington is accusing Russia of violating Ukraine’s territorial sovereignty, while the US has its military, mercenary and intelligence personnel inside Ukraine. It is moreover putting troops in Poland, engaging in ‘war games’ close to Russia and has pushed through a ‘Russian anti-aggression’ act that portrays Russia as an aggressor in order to give Ukraine de facto membership of NATO and thus full military support, advice and assistance.

Washington presses ahead regardless as Russia begins to undermine dollar hegemony by trading oil and gas and goods in rubles and other currencies. And history shows that whenever a country threatens the dollar, the US does not idly stand by.

Unfortunately, most members of the Western public believe the lies being fed to them. This results from the corporate media amounting to little more than an extension of Washington’s propaganda arm. The PNAC, under the pretext of some bogus ‘war on terror’, is partly built on gullible, easily led public opinion, which is fanned by emotive outbursts from politicians and the media. We have a Pavlov’s dog public and media, which respond on cue to the moralistic bleating of politicians who rely on the public’s ignorance to facilitate war and conflict.

Former US Ambassador to Ukraine John Herbst has spoken about the merits of the Kiev coup and the installation of an illegitimate government in Ukraine. Last year, he called the violent removal of Ukraine’s democratically elected government as enhancing democracy. Herbst displayed all of the arrogance associated with the ideology of US ‘exceptionalism’. He also displayed complete contempt for the public by spouting falsehoods and misleading claims about events taking place in Ukraine.


And now in Britain, the public is being subjected to the same kind of propaganda by the likes of Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond with his made-for-media sound bites about Russia being a threat to world peace:


"We are now faced with a Russian leader bent not on joining the international rules-based system which keeps the peace between nations, but on subverting it… We are in familiar territory for anyone over the age of about 50, with Russia's aggressive behaviour a stark reminder it has the potential to pose the single greatest threat to our security... Russia's aggressive behaviour a stark reminder it has the potential to pose the single greatest threat to our security." 

In a speech that could have come straight from the pen of some war mongering US neocon, the US’s toy monkey Hammond beats on cue the drum that signals Britain’s willingness to fall in line and verbally attack Putin for not acquiescing to US global hegemonic aims.


The anti-Russia propaganda in Britain is gathering pace. Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has said that Putin could repeat the tactics used to destabilise Ukraine in the Baltic states. He said that NATO must be ready for Russian aggression in “whatever form it takes.” He added that Russia is a “real and present danger.” Prior to this, PM David Cameron called on Europe to make clear to Russia that it faces economic and financial consequences for “many years to come” if it does not stop destabilising Ukraine. 


Members of the current administration are clearly on board with US policy and are towing the line, as did Blair before. And we know that his policy on Iraq was based on a pack of lies too.


If Putin is reacting in a certain way, it is worth wondering what the US response would be if Russia had put its missiles in Canada near the US border, had destabilised Mexico and was talking of putting missiles there too. To top it off, imagine if Russia were applying sanctions on the US for all of this ‘aggression’. 


What Russia is really guilty of is calling for a multi-polar world, not one dominated by the US. It’s a goal that most of humanity is guilty of. It is a world the US will not tolerate.


Herbst and his ilk would do well to contemplate their country’s record of wars and destabilisations, its global surveillance network that illegally spies on individuals and governments alike and its ongoing plundering of resources and countries supported by militarism, ‘free trade’ or the outright manipulation of every major market. Hammond, Fallon and Cameron would do well to remember this too. But like their US masters, their role is to feign amnesia and twist reality.


The media is dutifully playing its part well by keeping the public ignorant and misinformed.  A public that is encouraged to regard what is happening in Syria, Iraq, Ukraine, Afghanistan and Libya, etc, as a confusing, disconnected array of events in need of Western intervention based on bogus notions of ‘humanitarianism’ or a ‘war on terror’, rather than the planned machinations of empire which includes a global energy war and the associated preservation and strengthening of the petro-dollar system.


Eric Zuesse has been writing extensively on events in Ukraine for the last year. His articles have been published on various sites like Countercurrents, Global Research and RINF, but despite his attempts to get his numerous informative and well-researched pieces published in the mainstream media, he has by and large hit a brick wall (he describes this here). 


This is because the corporate media have a narrative and the truth does not fit into it. If this tells us anything it is that sites like the one you are reading this particular article on are essential for informing the public about the reality of the aggression that could be sleepwalking the world towards humanity’s final war. And while the mainstream media might still be 'main', in as much as that is where most people still turn to for information, there is nothing to keep the alternative web-based media from becoming 'mainstream'. 


Whether it involves Eric's virtually daily pieces or articles by other writers, the strategy must be to tweet, share and repost! Or as Binu Mathew from the India-based Countercurrents website says:


"It is for those who want to nurture these alternative communication channels to spread the word to tell the world about these avenues. 'Each one reach one, each one teach one' can be a good way to sum up."



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Flying the LCAP Way and Killing JFK, Part II

The Warren Commission’s investigation of the Kennedy assassination, shoddy at best and a blatant, cynical cover-up at worst, neglected to dig deeply into many malignant and menacing areas. Especially, and probably intentionally, overlooked were Lee Harvey Oswald’s ties to the CIA. More than any other deficiency, this “oversight” led the Commission to the wrong conclusion about what really happened in Dallas. De facto head of the Commission Allen Dulles, CIA chief fired by Kennedy after the Bay of Pigs, carefully steered his colleagues away from the evidence which would have indicted the Agency. So it is left to us to do the dirty work. And a good place to start is Oswald’s membership in the Louisiana Civil Air Patrol (LCAP), a pack of social misfits, loners, thugs, thieves, and merciless CIA killers.

Rummaging through Lee Harvey Oswald’s past can be a murky and sometimes frightening enterprise, but it is quite necessary if one wants to understand the residue of the tangled plot that took JFK’s life. Even casual perusal leaves no doubt that Oswald and his associates had deep-rooted intelligence ties. Some of Lee’s best friends were CIA operatives, from David Ferrie to the Dallas White Russian community, which included people like Oswald’s best friend in Dallas George DeMohrenschildt and his erstwhile Irving, Texas, landlady Ruth Paine. Obvious patterns of sheepdipping and shepherding emerge as one follows Oswald’s journey from Louisiana to Texas, and to Russia and back. He was a low-level agent on deep-background assignments for the Company. Just the kind of dupe who can be set up as the fall when the Agency needs a patsy. But how did Oswald get to that point? Who picked him out of the hordes of nickel-and-dime operatives the CIA was running in the 1950s and’60s? And why?

It began when Lee was just a teenager and he joined LCAP. On the surface this was a harmless group of post-pubescent wannabe fliers who signed up for air rescue techniques, campouts, and long speeches about duty and country. But in reality LCAP was much more. It was established by David Harold Byrd, a wealthy Dallas businessman and defense industry insider who fancied himself an Air Force Colonel. Indeed he was bestowed this title by none other than his great pal, General Curtis (Bombs Away) LeMay, virulent Kennedy hater and Air Force Chief of Staff under same. Byrd and LeMay made LCAP look like a unit of weekend flyboys to outsiders, just an excuse to make Byrd a colonel and to have an auxiliary pilot training presence in the South. This was merely the cover story, however. US military intelligence and the CIA wanted to train and recruit pilots to make surreptitious flights, into the Caribbean and elsewhere, involving weapons trading, support for paramilitary operations, and drug running (later Air America). Louisiana was a logical location for this (easy access to Cuba, Latin America and South America). Later, of course, Byrd, one of LBJ's most ardent political and financial benefactors, owned the Texas School Book Depository. I have always been confounded by researchers who overlook this one incredible fact (which, in and of itself, screams conspiracy): Byrd, a Texas oil millionaire with nefarious connections to potential suspects, provided the first and last places of employment for Oswald. This is either the most incredible coincidence in history, or Byrd's businesses were being used as fronts for intelligence operations. Think of it, JFK's supposed assassin fires from a building owned by the same man to whose air patrol unit he was attached a decade earlier. And Byrd neither admits to nor is questioned about this suspicious happenstance. Of course, he had plausible deniability because he merely provided the facilities for intelligence assets to perform their operations while keeping a safe distance from the action.

Anyway, back to LCAP. The ideal candidates for CIA recruitment were young, impressionable, adventuresome cadets seeking daring and stealth and lacking morals or a social conscience; or, in the alternative, they were outcasts and misfits, willing to commit abnormal or questionable acts without resistance. Consequently, an unusually high number of Louisiana Civil Air Patrol cadets became psychopathic killers, CIA pilots, or gullible, low-level fall guys. Among them were John Liggett, Charles Rogers, Lee Harvey Oswald, Barry Seal, and James Bath, all of whom were either tangentially or directly connected to the JFK hit.

In order to facilitate its recruitment of LCAP cadets, the CIA needed mesmeric leaders who had sway over young men. It found one such leader in David Ferrie, a defrocked priest, a skilled pilot, a hypnotist, and a pedophile. Oswald was probably directed to Ferrie and LCAP by Dutz Murret, Oswald’s bookmaking uncle who worked for New Orleans crime boss Carlos Marcello. Rogers likewise had a bookmaker in the family, his father Fred, who also paid tribute to Marcello. Ferrie worked for Marcello as a pilot. When Marcello was deported by Bobby Kennedy’s Justice Department in 1961, Ferrie flew a private plane to Guatemala, picked up the gangland boss and flew him back home. Ferrie fancied himself an expert pilot, and loved flying secret missions for the Mafia and the CIA. In LCAP he insisted on being called “Captain Ferrie,” and despite his weird appearance (he wore an orange wig and painted-on eyebrows), his trainees were apparently defenseless against his hypnotic powers. One of “Captain” Ferrie’s most unusual recruits was a future mortician/body reconstructionist/assassin named John Liggett. More on him later.

Ferrie taught his prized pupils the tricks of spycraft. And while most LCAP alums tried to maintain their covers after joining the CIA, Barry Seal was flamboyantly and unabashedly open about his occupation. His remarkable life is well-chronicled in Daniel Hopsicker’s stunning book, Barry and the Boys. Seal was entrusted by the CIA to fly drugs out of Southeast Asia, Central America, and South America; guns in and out of troubled nations across the globe; and operatives to secret CIA missions whenever it needed a democratic or socialist leader overthrown. Hopsicker writes, ‘[Seal] was a high-rolling mercenary, a rogue pilot, an infamous gun-runner, the chief Mena narcotics trafficker, a fast-talking, self-assured, 300-pound pilot and Special Forces veteran, a notorious drug smuggler, a mystery man, and the most valuable informant in DEA history.”

Seal’s abilities as a CIA pilot were so valued that he was protected by powerful interests. He had George H.W. Bush’s private phone number; it was found on Seal’s body after he was mysteriously gunned down in the mid-1980s. Hopsicker writes of a witness overhearing one of Seal’s conversations with Vice President Bush. Seal reportedly threatened to expose the Iran-Contra scheme if the IRS did not stop hounding him. One week after the phone conversation, Seal was dead. The witness goes on to say that the murderers were acting under orders from Oliver North. Seal, according to Hopsicker, was also involved in another monstrous operation—he was one of the getaway pilots flying out of Dallas after JFK was killed.

Facts uncovered by this author indicate that JFK’s body was surreptitiously flown out of Dallas via Red Bird Airport and not Love Field. Here’s where another LCAP grad enters the drama. John Liggett, a Dallas funeral home employee, was present at Parkland Hospital just minutes after the mortally wounded Kennedy arrived there. On November 22, 1963, Liggett was officiating the funeral of his wife’s aunt at Restland Funeral Home, when he was suddenly called away from the graveside. He returned after a few minutes to tell his wife that Kennedy had been shot and he had to go to Parkland Hospital. When his wife asked him if Restland was going to get the job, John replied that he did not know but that she should not try to contact him. This was quite unusual. Normally when Liggett was on a job or on call, his wife and kids visited him at the funeral home. Never before had he instructed them to stay away. His funeral home did not get the JFK job; no matter, Liggett had other intentions. Circumstantial evidence indicates that Liggett, with the assistance of treasonous Secret Service agents, switched JFK’s body for a fake wrapped in sheets in Emergency Room 1. The substitute body was placed in the expensive coffin which publicly left Parkland Hospital on November 22, 1963. The genuine corpse was placed in a cheap shipping coffin and spirited away by John Liggett in a Restland Funeral Home hearst. It was then rushed to Red Bird where Seal or possibly some other CIA pilot flew the body to Washington, DC, for body alteration prior to the autopsy. And, according to Liggett’s peers, there was no one better in the business at altering dead bodies than John Liggett. He even referred to himself as a “reconstruction artist.”

As incredible as this scenario sounds, several people close to Liggett have come forward to verify this story. It dovetails with the official record in many regards. The Dallas doctors saw wounds on the dead President which were radically different from the ones the Bethesda autopsy doctors saw. The only reasonable explanation for this is that someone, somewhere between Dallas and Washington, got access to Kennedy’s corpse and altered it. This ploy, this diabolical deception was the plotters’ ace in the hole. It is how they intended to forever cover up the truth of the manner of JFK’s death. For in any murder investigation where the victim dies by gunshot wounds, examination of the corpse reveals the direction and number of shots. The Dallas doctors saw evidence of frontal entry and rear exit, indicating Kennedy was shot from the grassy knoll area of Dealey Plaza, a place where Oswald definitely was not positioned. The Bethesda doctors saw evidence of rear entry and frontal exit, indicating Kennedy was shot from the TSBD, a place where Oswald definitely was positioned. At Bethesda Hospital several witnesses saw Kennedy’s body arrive in the cheap shipping casket and the not the expensive public coffin that flew back to Washington aboard Air Force One. One LCAP grad (Liggett) framed another LCAP grad (Oswald).

Liggett did not return home from Washington until the next day. When he arrived he seemed worn and disheveled, quite unlike his customarily cool comportment and dapper dress. He quickly ordered Lois and the kids to pack up; they were going to hit the road. The family traveled south, and along the way Liggett stopped for furtive meetings with unknown parties out of the earshot of his wife and kids. They finally settled on a motel for the evening, and on the morning of November 24, after witnessing Ruby shoot Oswald to death on TV, Liggett breathed a deep sigh of relief and told his family it was okay to return home now. At no time did he let on what he knew about the historic events which had taken place that weekend or that he even knew Oswald, Ferrie, or any other LCAP members.

After the assassination Liggett came into a good deal of money which he used to purchase a home for his family in an upscale Dallas neighborhood. There he was visited on several occasions by Ferrie, whose appearance was so bizarre and amusing that they could not forget him. It is likely that Ferrie was conveying “liquidation” assignments to Liggett, as he was connected to many of the mysterious deaths of assassination witnesses after the fact.

Certainly Liggett did not learn his morturarial talents in the LCAP; instead he joined the Air Force where he served as an attaché, a common euphemism for military intelligence work. At some point after his discharge he was encouraged by his benefactors (possibly Curtis LeMay, possibly D.H. Byrd himself) to enroll in a school for undertakers. Upon graduation, he went to work embalming and burying innocent people by day and underworld/intelligence victims by night. If the CIA or the local Mafia wanted a body disposed of, Liggett was called upon. He interred the poor saps in the “Field of Honor,” a Dallas joke for burial plots of the nefarious. If the unlucky stiff needed a transformation to disguise the manner of death, Liggett was equal to the task.

But Liggett was more than just a mortician; he was a killer, and, like Charles Rogers, he had a preference for bludgeoning his victims with a hammer. The Dallas police caught up to Liggett in 1974, when he was arrested for the attempted murder of Dorothy Peck, wife of Jay Bert Peck. Jay Bert Peck was Lyndon Johnson’s cousin, and he bore a stunning resemblance to LBJ. Liggett never divulged his reasons for viciously beating Peck and burning her home. But according to some researchers, Dorothy was about to talk about how her own husband had been murdered by Liggett. Jay Bert Peck had reportedly stood in for his cousin at the Fort Worth Hotel where the presidential party had stayed the night before the JFK assassination. This allowed LBJ to slip out the back door and attend a “Kill Kennedy” planning session at the home of local oil millionaire Clint Murchison. LBJ’s long-time mistress Madeleine Brown reported seeing many powerful JFK enemies at Murchison’s that night, including H.L. Hunt, J. Edgar Hoover, John McCloy (later a member of the Warren Commission), and George Brown (of Brown & Root, nee Halliburton). If this account is true it would explain the importance of silencing the Pecks. Lyndon Johnson, named by many as the prime mover behind the assassination, certainly had no qualms about killing those close to him if it suited his political purposes. He was once accused by his long-time associate and criminal co-conspirator, Billy Sol Estes, of ordering the executions of many LBJ political enemies. Estes’ lawyer wrote a letter to the U.S. Justice Department in 1984 which named these victims, one of whom was President Kennedy. But I digress.

The Dallas Police eventually caught up to Liggett when they arrested him in 1974. After his arrest, Liggett’s first wife Lois was warned by Liggett’s brother Malcolm to stay away from John and to avoid all contact with him. Malcolm was later appointed to a high-level presidential economic advisory commission by Gerald Ford. (As a side note, Ford was one of four future presidents closely tied to the events in Dallas. He served on the Warren Commission. Three future presidents—Johnson, Nixon and George H.W. Bush--were in Dallas the day of Kennedy’s murder. This was no coincidence. All played a role in the events of November 22, 1963. But that’s another story.)

Liggett’s death is just as fraught with subterfuge and deviousness as his life. In February 1975 the Dallas Times-Herald reported that “John Melvin Liggett died on a Parkland Hospital table about 30 minutes after he was shot by Dallas Police while trying to escape custody.” But Liggett left behind two widows who adamantly contradicted the official version of Liggett’s death. One saw a stranger with facial hair in Liggett’s coffin (Liggett was unable to grow facial hair); the other insisted she saw Liggett in a Las Vegas casino years later. It would be a relatively simple matter for the Agency which killed a sitting U.S. President to fake the death of a mortician, so the reports of Liggett’s death may well be exaggerated.

Another LCAP alumnus who became notorious was Texas native Charles Rogers, CIA pilot and murdering psychopath. Rogers was as brilliant as he was disturbed. A graduate of the University of Houston, Rogers worked as a seismologist for Shell Oil in the 1950s before joining the CIA. It is a seismologist’s job to determine if the underlying rock or substrata of any particular area is fertile ground to drill for oil or natural gas. This was and is vital information to oil companies; thus, seismologists and geologists are in great demand. But that kind of life was apparently not adventurous enough for Charles. So in 1956, he applied with the CIA and was interviewed in the offices of Shell Oil’s law firm, Fulbright-Jaworski (yes, the Leon Jaworski of Watergate fame).

Like other LCAP alums, Rogers graduated to the big-time when he was identified as having direct ties to the JFK murder. Many are convinced he is one of the three tramps who were photographed being escorted by Dallas cops away from the crime scene in Dealey Plaza on November 22, 1963. The tramp photos have become part of assassination lore and have been the subject of much speculation and guesswork. What we know is the tramps bear a remarkable resemblance to killers Charles Rogers, Charles Harrelson, and the CIA’s E. Howard Hunt. Others claim they are real hobos whom the cops rousted from boxcars behind the grassy knoll. The matter ostensibly could be cleared up with some scientific analysis—comparison of height and weight, facial features, hairlines, arm length, and the like. Lois Gibson, a Houston Police Department forensics expert, performed such an analysis in 1991. Her meticulous study convinced her that Charles Rogers is the short tramp in the infamous photos. This begs the question, what was he doing there? Not likely he just happened to be boxcar-hopping just yards from the site of the murder of the century, at the exact time and day of its occurrence. There is no doubt that Rogers was a psychopath. He murdered his parents in June 1965, chopped them into pieces and stored them in a freezer before disappearing into the murky sub-world of CIA skullduggery.

It was most likely George DeMohrenschildt who recommended Rogers be hired by the CIA. A long-time CIA asset, and Lee Harvey Oswald’s handler in Dallas, DeMohrenschildt was also an expert in knowing where to drill for oil. He had an advanced degree in petroleum engineering, and he was associated with many Texas oil millionaires, including H.L. Hunt. LCAP founder D. H. Byrd once employed DeMohrenschildt at Three States Oil and Gas Company; DeMohrenschildt also was connected to Byrd through Byrd’s wife, whom DeMohrenschildt appointed to the board of his charitable organization in 1962. This would have provided cover for Byrd and DeMohrenschildt to have interaction during the time that Oswald was being shepherded to his tragic fate. DeMohrenschildt also had deep ties to the Bush family. George H.W. actually roomed with DeMohrenschildt’s uncle at Andover in the early 1940s. Later, when Bush was head of the CIA, DeMohrenschildt wrote a desperate letter to his old friend begging for help. DeMohrenschildt feared for his life because he was writing a factual book about his relationship with his old pal Lee Harvey Oswald. A few months later DeMohrenschildt was found shot to death in his home. The address and phone number of George H.W. Bush was on his person. Like Barry Seal, when DeMohrenschildt posed a threat of exposure of Bush secrets he met an untimely end.

Another Bush family intimate, one James R. Bath, turned out to be another “illustrious” grad of Byrd’s Civil Air Patrol. He served in his CAP unit in the mid-1950s, about the time Oswald, Ferrie, Seal and the other CIA recruits were active members. But it’s what he accomplished after his LCAP training that makes him notorious. Bath began a lucrative CIA career sometime in the late 1960s or early 1970s, after leaving active duty with the Air Force. He joined the Texas Air National Guard in 1965 where he met his great pal, George W. Bush, just as the Vietnam War was escalating. The Air National Guard was a great hideout for those pilots who wanted to avoid combat. Bath was George W. Bush's good buddy in the Texas Air National Guard. Like W, Bath refused a medical exam and went AWOL when he pleased. Bath eventually became the Bin Ladens' money man in Texas; this included investments in W's failed oil business--Arbusto. According to author Pete Brewton, Bush claimed that he and Bath never went into business together; however, “…records filed in a Houston lawsuit involving Bath contradict the [Bush’s] son: they show Bath was an investor in a Bush oil and gas enterprise.”

Brewton also claims that Bath became intertwined with some of the wealthiest and most powerful international players in global politics and finance. Among other things Bath became a trustee at a Saudi bank which provided financing for Adnan Khashoggi around the time that Khashoggi was involved in the arms-for-hostages transactions with the Iranians. The Khashoggis and the bin Ladens were intimately acquainted. Bath also went into business with Lan Bentsen, son of Texas politician Lloyd Bentsen. (Bath served in the 147th Fighter Group “Champagne Unit” Air National Guard with Lan Bentsen, George W. Bush, John Connally III—son of Texas governor John Connally, wounded in JFK’s death limo, Al Hill—grandson of H.L. Hunt, and several members of the Dallas Cowboys football team.) Bath formed a Cayman Islands company which moved money around for Oliver North in the Iran/Contra operation. And he worked for the du Pont family’s Atlantic Aviation corporation. Quite a success story for a guy who started out as a lowly cadet in David Ferrie’s LCAP.

Of all the sordid characters mentioned above, Byrd and Bath prospered the most. Byrd, rich beyond reason already, garnered million-dollar defense contracts for his Ling-Temco-Vought weapons company during Vietnam. His good friend LBJ apparently rewarded him for services rendered. Bath bilked American taxpayers for $12 million in Defense Department overcharges for one of his companies in 1990. Neither Byrd nor Bath was ever brought to account for anything. No investigative body—not the Dallas Police, not the Warren Commission, not the House Select Committee on Assassinations—interviewed Byrd. He answered no questions about the nature of his business, his associations, nor his weird connection to Oswald. Not a hint of suspicion was raised about who hired Oswald, nor who had access to the Texas School Book Depository building before, during and after the assassination. In his autobiography Byrd did not even mention the fact that he owned the TSBD, a tidbit he wanted to keep hidden for good reason. He does refer to his citation from General LeMay for starting up the Civil Air Patrol, but he excludes the names of all criminals therein bred. To remove himself as far from suspicion as possible, at the time of Kennedy’s assassination Byrd was on safari in Africa, his first-ever safari on foreign soil. He did not return to Dallas until the smoke had cleared.

Undeniable killers Charles Rogers and John Liggett were never convicted of any crime. Oswald, Ferrie, and Seal, all set up for murder by the covert forces which set their fates in motion, were the unluckiest of the lot.

In retrospect the Louisiana Civil Air Patrol was some sort of nexus of evil CIA recruitment and secrecy. Its founder and members went on to attain almost unfathomable notoriety. The truth of who LCAP members really were, the associations they made, and what they went on to do with their lives is quite provocative, and very dangerous information to the plotters of JFK’s murder. Their actions and connections speak to some sort of subterranean, for-profit enterprise that was dedicated to subverting democracy and creating what Jack Ruby called a “whole new form of government in the United States.” No wonder when the House Select Committee on Assassinations went to investigate the Louisiana Civil Air Patrol it found that all LCAP records prior to 1960 were missing.

http://neverlandpublishing.com/tpm.html

Predator Rising: Obama To Use Drone Strikes On Americans In US





Barack Hussein Obama has given himself, and those he designates, the power to order the deaths of American citizens without ever having charged them with a crime in a court of law. Obama exercised this power when he ordered the drone strikes on Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan. Two weeks later al-Awlaki’s 16-year-old son Abdulrahman was also killed in a drone strike in Yemen. When the boy went out looking for his father, not knowing that he had already been killed, he and several friends were blown apart by a Hellfire missile as they sat next to a campfire eating their dinner. The Obama administration says Abdulrahman’s death was a mistake.

The title of this video is 100% accurate. Now that Obama has successfully murdered three American citizens with barely a peep from Congress - and has successfully installed the author of his legal justification for the extra-judicial killings of American citizens onto the federal appeal's bench - it is not a stretch to believe that he will eventually use this power domestically. One reason is because Attorney General Eric Holder and CIA director John Brennan have both refused to assure the American people that drones will not be used to kill American citizens without charges inside the United States.

Over the next few minutes I’m going to prove how this is the most frightening concept in modern politics, an issue that affects every American citizen equally, regardless of their political beliefs. If you don’t watch another video today you must watch this one, and share it with your friends, because this is the most important issue affecting American citizens today. This is an issue that has been brought together critically thinking individuals from both sides of the aisle, uniting Tea Party favorite Rand Paul and the ACLU among others in an effort to save the Fifth Amendment and preserve the rule of law.

Out of all of the scandals currently confronting the Obama administration one might think ordering the death of an American citizen who has not been charged or convicted in a court of law, with no congressional oversight or judicial review whatsoever, might be at the top of the list of impeachable offenses committed by Barack Obama. When the merciless savages of Ansar al-Sharia attacked the CIA outpost in Benghazi four American citizens lost their lives due to enemy action, the government’s response - or lack thereof - became a cause célèbre for congressional investigators; but when the president actually orders the extrajudicial deaths of American citizens who have never even been charged with a crime nobody cares. Why is this?

It is because the Republicans want to preserve that power for themselves. They don’t want to charge Obama with a crime for killing the al-Awlaki’s and Kahn because when he is out of office they hope to be able to do the same thing. Who needs pesky little things like the Fifth Amendment, trials, and representation by a lawyer before the government can just snuff out your life?

The Fifth Amendment states: “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

One does not have to be a lawyer to understand the meaning of the words “No person.” That is very unambiguous language and it was written that way by the Founders because they had just fought a bloody conflict to free themselves from the yoke of a tyrant king who, just like Barack Hussein Obama, thought that it is within his purview to hold the power over life and death with nobody but himself for counsel.

Writing as "Publius" in Federalist Paper #47, James Madison observed that "The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny."

On September 30th 2011, Barack Obama became a Tyrant when he ordered the deaths of American citizens Anwar al-Alawki, Abdulrahman al-Alawki, and Samir Kahn. On September 30, 2011 the Republic of the United States fell and was replaced with what Madison correctly defined as a tyranny – and the ACLU agrees.

After al-Awlaki was killed ACLU lawyer Nate Wessler, who at the time was working for the ACLU’s National Security Project which handles the question of targeted assassinations by the United States government, appeared on The Truth Is Viral and said that the Obama administration was lawless. He said that Obama and his minions were acting as “judge, jury, and executioner” by denying these American citizens the right to a trial - any kind of trial – and taking their lives without any apparent due process whatsoever.

Rand Paul and the ACLU don’t normally have much in common, but in this interview with CNN’s Erin Andrews the senator said that the very idea of using a drone to strike an American citizen without first going through the courts is “appalling.”

On Wednesday, May 21st, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul gave an impassioned plea decrying the use of drones to murder American citizens without any sort of due process whatsoever in advance of a Senate vote to confirm David J. Barron to a federal appeals court judgeship. Barron is the chief architect of Obama's drone policy as it applies to the extra-judicial killings of American citizens. His policy (a secret policy) was used to justify the killings of Samir Khan, and the al-Alawkis
Paul says that he is "appalled" and "horrified" that we now live in a country where a mere accusation is enough for Obama or those he designates to "legally" order the death of an American citizen - at home or abroad - without ever having charged that person with a crime in a court of law as was done in the case of Kahn and the al-Alawki's.

Last week, the United States Senate voted to confirm Barron to a lifetime appointment to the Federal court. What good is having a Constitution if it can be ripped to shreds by activist judges and Presidential Executive Orders?

The most frightening thing about this entire issue is the complete lack of transparency. Even the process for determining the “guilt” of a targeted individual is, and will continue to be, classified. The entire idea of accusing a person of a crime and trying them in a court of law before a jury of their peers has been thrown out the window by the Federal government. And in case you haven’t noticed, the Department of Homeland Security has issued guidelines that determine who they consider to be a terrorist threat that can be broadly interpreted to include just about anybody.

If you are on one of those lists – and if you aren’t on one by now you should be ashamed of yourself - the President and those he designates can declare you to be a terrorist threat and take your life without any Congressional oversight or judicial review whatsoever. Attorney General Eric Holder and CIA director John Brennan have both refused to say that drones will not be used to target Americans domestically, again without charges or a trial, and that thought is frightening - or should be - to Americans on both sides of the aisle.

In a letter from Eric Holder to the Senate,  the Attorney General said “It is possible I suppose to imagine an extraordinary circumstance in which it would be necessary and appropriate under the Constitution and applicable laws of the United States for the President to authorize the military to use lethal force within the territory of the United States. “


Today, a Democratic American President named Barack Obama has the power to kill anyone he wants using only his pen and his phone. In 2016, that power could be transferred to a Republican President named Sarah Palin, Chris Christy, or Jeb Bush. And now they have backup to take the lives of any American citizen they choose on the Federal appeals bench.

Are you concerned now? 

You can watch the entire, explosive, 30-minute interview with ACLU attorney Nate Wessler by clicking this link: http://bobpowell.blogspot.com/2013/02/aclu-lawyer-calls-obama-judge-jury.html

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Why Risk Prison to Protest Drone Murders? An Activist Explains.

Judging from my email box in recent years -- which often differs on this question with such sources of knowledge as my television or the New York Times -- the conscience of our country lies somewhere near Syracuse, New York.  Here's an email from an activist named Judy Bello, for example:
"Breaking news: 
"MaryAnne Grady-Flores was convicted in DeWitt Town Court last night on 2nd Degree Contempt of an Order Of Protection.  Grady-Flores, who did not intend to violate the Order despite its immorality and invalidity, was taking pictures of others at the base - the Ash Wednesday Witnesses -  who engaged in nonviolent civil resistance blocking the front Gate to Hancock base for which they were subsequently acquitted.

"In a heinous abuse of an instrument meant to protect the innocent from violence, Orders of Protection are being used to protect violent transgressions of international and moral law from citizen oversight. While trying to publicize and support a movement to ground the drones and end the wars which take countless innocent lives, Grady-Flores was arrested for noncompliance with an order that does not specify particulars outside of how you might attack another human, something she would never do. She understood the Order to mean that she was forbidden to join the protest.

"The Guilty verdict was proffered by a jury 5 minutes after they had asked the judge for a legal definition of 'keep away', and he had replied that they 'are the sole triers of fact'.

"The two-day trial included testimony from Colonel Earl A. Evans who is the party protected by the OOP, Catholic Priests Father Bill Pickard and Tim Taugher, Catholic Workers Bill Frankel-Streit and Ellen Grady, sister. Grady-Flores also testified on her own behalf."
So, a woman dedicated to nonviolence was convicted of going near a military base, where a Colonel, not feeling safe enough with, you know, the military base, had a legal order of protection against her.  Of course this is a legalistic gimmick aimed at denying people their rights to speech and assembly, as at least one court has already ruled.  But it isn't working.  These people are continuing to speak and assemble.  And they're refusing to take plea bargains that would keep them out of prison.
 
 
I emailed another activist, Jack Gilroy, to ask what's going on. Here's what he sent back in response to my questions:
 
What is your background as an activist?
 
My activism began in 1964 with the Tonkin Bay lies. Later in that decade I took on the job as UpState NY Director of Committee of Responsibility, a group organized by Quaker MD’s who were treating Vietnamese war injured children. After Nixon blocked our confirmed hospital beds and plastic surgeons in upstate NY, my family and I emigrated to Australia. While there teaching high school I had my students help wake up Aussies to French Nuclear testing off the coast of Australia. Other groups (Greenpeace etc) were involved by the sight of fourth form (10th grade) Aussie kids on top of the ABC (Australian Broadcasting System) at the French Consulate in Sydney led to other actions around the country to press the French.

Back in the USA I had my senior high students watch as I climbed a fence into the largest store house of nuclear weapons in the USA. I was in a Santa Clause suit and a bag with candy and hand bills urging federal workers to find a real job….a life giving job.

Environment was major with my students and they commandeered the four corners of the original IBM setting in Endicott NY demanding that IBM pay per pound of hydroflorocarbons emitted each year…IBM the greatest polluter of the Ozone according to the EPA. Locals, with IBM the backbone of the job force, had no idea that their wonder company was doing wrong -- until students contacted media and the story was blasted. Kids can make a difference.  (Two years later, President Bush met with IBM officials in the Rose Garden to award them for their winning reduction of ozone pollutants. Students by then were in college or elsewhere and of course, not mentioned.)  My main claim to fame is my thousands of students who understood I didn’t buy the lies fed to them by the text books and media bullshit. I hope they are questioning and acting. But being a sheep has its advantages even for the committed.

So, my activism has been education. Our play, The Bench, a story about apartheid, made it to many schools around the Southern Tier of NY while Mandela was still incarcerated at Robins Island. Today, my play, The Predator, (you helped clean up a few items in it) has been done around the nation in small group settings such as the Pittsburgh Foreign Affairs Council etc. I believe education is the key -- slow, but it works if persistence is one’s forte.

I told you a bit about my activism to close the US Army School of the Americas and my southern jail, federal diesel therapy and various federal prisons for a six month ‘holiday’. It did close but opened up weeks later with a new name. C’est la vie. C’est la guerre.
 

Why do you believe protesting is a strategic tool?

It has worked historically. Need I repeat what most people of historical awareness know as fact….in the past 100 years….Gandhi, King, Chavez, Walesa, Mandela, Romero, Berrigans, etc.

Silence is the enemy of justice and we have great silence today. Silence is based in fear but is comfortable and safe. Sheepherders are our guides today rather than national leadership. Hiding in the middle of the flock is safe. Few speak out about our murderous ways. 

 

What has been accomplished?
 
It has been noted that drone action has been cut back in Afghanistan over the past year (as well as in Pakistan, but Hancock targets are in Afghanistan). Have we made a difference? Don’t know, but we’re trying.
 
So many eloquent statements have been made in so many trials at DeWitt, the Hancock Killer Drone court room. We hope that at least some local people and base personnel have to have had their consciences pricked. Since our actions, media has perked up info on drones --- we may be part of that nationwide drone talk, especially killer drones, not cutesy drone ideas like delivering packages to one’s door. Most people were ignorant several years ago and most people are still ignorant. But there is a swell of information and we think our actions have contributed to that.
 
My good friend, Ed Kinane, a long time justice activist from Syracuse, has much more experience in dealing with the media on the drone issue. Ed says that he takes from activist Dorothy Day who said: "Being faithful is more important than being effective." My own take is that Ed and the many that have put themselves on the line have been effective…even if only to their own conscience.
 

How have the approaches of the police and the courts changed?

Police are doing their job. I once witnessed Federal Marshalls at the Pentagon (back in pre 2001 days) hosing down old ladies who were doing a ‘die in’ to protest Pentagon support for a school of assassination at Ft Benning. Elizabeth McAllister (widow of Phil Berrigan) was standing next to me and she asked one of the Marshalls if he would do the same thing if it was gasoline. The Marshall turned to Liz and said: "I'd follow my orders, Lady".

So cops are doing what they are paid to do. They are not told to stop the killing going on inside of the base so they do what they are told and arrest those who say our government should not be breaking the law of country and God and natural law. But like the pilots who do the killing and the surrounding support people, it's the system that thrives on doing what they are told to do by the criminals at the top. We need to educate the police to have a conscience and see the real enemy . . .  the killers, not those who protest.

Courts are not much different. There is a sense of affinity between the Air Force personnel, smartly dressed, ramrod straight who stand or sit before judge and/or jury and make a fine presentation of patriotism . . . doing the job of heroes. It's a tough act to question. Judges and jurors have been taught to respect those who kill to keep us safe. The decisions made by the judges have been almost all in favor of the base and the killing Q9 drones and their crews. The one jury trial so far, just last week (May 17th.) rendered a decision in favor of the base. The case was a charge of a violation of an Order of Protection. An OPP is usually used to allow a spouse to keep away an abuser. Now, it is being creatively used at Hancock Air Base as an instrument to prevent First Amendment Rights to be practiced. Mary Anne Grady, a long time nonviolent peace activist, mother of four, every day hard working business woman was at a demo on Ash Wednesday at Hancock to do the media work of photos and video. She did not engage in the demonstration for she was ordered to not go on the base. She is shown in videos on the road in front of the base (cars and joggers going by right next to her) but Hancock Air Base now claims to have a lease on half of the public road that Mary Anne stood on and filmed. She faces a possible severe sentence on July 10th being found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt by a Syracuse jury of six. (Mary Anne was told months ago that juries may not be any better than judges -- tens of thousands stand and cheer at Syracuse Basketball games for the military and staff of the 174th Attach Wing at Hancock.)

 

What is your current legal situation?

My legal status is a jury trial at DeWitt Court starting at 8:30 a.m. on July 14th. First day mostly picking of jurors and opening statements and second day direct and cross examination, judge advise to jury and decision of guilt or innocence. I could be sentenced to one year in the Jamesville Penitentiary for my nonviolent die to remember those we have killed in Afghanistan (and God and the NSA only know where else). I think there is a chance of winning this one. If so, it could set a precedent. There are many jury trials to follow mine. Schedules go into late 2015….all for the same action. One judge said: "This has got to stop". Former President of Veterans For Peace, Elliott Adams, agreed with the judge. Elliott said, "Yes, your honor, it has to stop, we need to stop the killing and you need to be part of that stop effort."

I’ve been to most trials and have to say that there is little concern of judges to do anything to stop the assassinations. They are doing their job and following the "law". Now, we need to prove the so called law is illegal.

 

What would you recommend that people do who share your concern?
   
Here is what Ed Kinane had to say about recommending what to do. Ed walks the walk. Ed has lived in federal confinement for his peace and justice activism. Ed says:

That depends on whether they are far or near and where they are in life (in terms of dependents and responsibilities). Our campaign has a whole range of tactics they can join in or support: educate themselves; read some of the key drone books and reports; write letters to the editor...to elected officials...to base commanders; take part in our twice-monthly demos across the road from Hancock; attend the De Witt court when we defendants appear there; take part in annual conferences (usually in April); invite us to speak to their classes, community groups or congregations; contribute $$$ to our bail fund or to such anti-drone groups as codepink; work to pass local resolutions and ordinances restricting surveillance and weaponized drones over local or regional airspace; take part in fact-finding delegations to drone-plagued areas (Pakistan); risk arrest at Hancock, at other drone bases, or other relevant venues (federal buildings, drone research or production facilities, etc.); become a federal tax resister -- i.e.stop paying federal income taxes (much of which goes to the Pentagon war machine).

 

*****

I'll add a few more:

Visit Upstate Drone Action Reports at http://upstatedroneaction.org/wordpress

Spring Days of Drone Action.

Sign the petition to ban weaponized drones.

Get your city or state to oppose drones.

Get anti-drone shirts, stickers, hats, etc.

Every Tuesday: Stop the Killing.

Read about drones.

Plan for a Global Day of Action Against Drones on October 4, 2014.

Join the movement to end all war, with all weapons, at http://WorldBeyondWar.org

read more

Israeli State Terror

Israeli State Terror

by Stephen Lendman

Every day is Kristallnacht in Palestine. Israeli security forces attack, brutalize, murder or injure nonviolent Palestinians with impunity.

They're ruthless. They're lawless. It's standard practice. Crimes too grave to ignore occur multiple times daily. 

Soldiers, border guards and police harass, intimidate and terrorize Palestinians ruthlessly.

They hold an entire population hostage.

Fear is constant. It's pervasive. Collective punishment is official Israeli policy. Peaceful public demonstrations are prohibited.

So are free expression and movement. Population centers are isolated. Borders are closed. Occupation harshness denies Palestinians control over their own land.

Normal daily life is nonexistent. Economic strangulation is imposed. Institutionalized racism reflects official Israeli policy. 

Curfews, roadblocks, checkpoints, separation walls, electric fences, and other barriers are standard practice. 

Neighborhood incursions, land, sea and air attacks, bulldozed homes, land theft, ethnic cleansing, slow-motion genocide, targeted killings, political assassinations, mass arrests, torture, and gulag imprisonment reflect daily life.

Fundamental human and civil rights are verboten. Crimes of war and against humanity repeat without redress. 

Wanting to live free in sovereign Palestine is called terrorism. So is legitimate self-defense.

Punitive taxes are imposed. Few services are provided. Vital ones are lacking or inadequate. Palestinian lawmakers are imprisoned for belonging to the wrong party. 

Fishermen are attacked at sea. Soldiers shoot Palestinian children for target practice. Farmers in their fields are vulnerable. 

Working at the wrong time risks arrest, injury or death. Crops and orchards are destroyed. Settlers commit regular attacks. Courts provide no help. 

Slow-motion genocide reflects official Israeli policy. Gazans suffer horrendously under siege. They're being suffocated.

Media scoundrels blame victims. Vital truths are buried. Israeli crimes are suppressed. The myth of the region's only democratic state persists.

Democracy is fantasy. Hardliners run things. They do so ruthlessly. They do it lawlessly. 

Palestinians have no rights whatever. Israeli Arab citizens have too few to matter.

Amira Hass once lived in Gaza. She knows firsthand what goes on. She writes about Occupied Palestine harshness. She does so regularly. 

On May 21, she headlined "IDF uses live-fire zones to expel Palestinians from areas of West Bank, officer admits."

It's done to "reduc(e) the number of Palestinians living nearby," she said. It's to prevent what Israel calls illegal construction.

Building on their own land without permission is considered criminal. Israel controls so-called Area C. 

It comprises over 60% of West Bank land. It includes vital Palestinian water resources Israel stole. 

It designated about 18% of West Bank land closed military zones. It's one among other ways it steals land.

Thousands of Palestinians in dozens of communities are affected. They lived on their land for generations. It doesn't matter.

Occupation changed things. They're terrorized. They're  dispossessed. They're mostly in Jordan Valley and Dead Sea communities.

They're vulnerable. They're victimized for not being Jews. Living in Occupied Palestine risks life and limb.

On May 15, Israeli forces murdered two Palestinian children. They shot them in cold blood. 

They wounded eight civilians. One child was injured. He's in serious condition. He may not survive.

Two gunned down children threatened no one. They were commemorating the 66th Palestinian Nakba anniversary. They did so near Ofer Prison.

Dozens of Palestinian men, women, students and children participated. They headed toward Ofer's gate.

Israeli forces closed it. They stood guard. They threatened demonstrators. Palestinians responded.

They set tires ablaze. They threw stones. Soldiers used rubber-coated metal bullets, tear gas, sound bombs and live fire.

Two deaths and eight injuries followed. Israel disdains Palestinian lives. Jewish ones alone matter. 

These type incidents are commonplace. So are similar ones.

On May 19, 12-year old Ahmad Qasim was arrested. Israeli soldiers broke into his home. He's wanted for interrogation.

He's detained. He awaits military kangaroo court trial. For what isn't clear. Guilt by accusation is official Israeli policy.

He likely faces imprisonment. Imagine treating a 12-year old this way. Israel makes no distinction between children and adults. 

Doing so violates Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) provisions. Palestinian children are violently arrested. They're beaten. They're blindfolded.

They're painfully shackled. They're isolated. They're sleep-deprived. They're brutalized in other ways.

They're physically and verbally abused. They're given limited access to water, food, toilet facilities and medical care.

They're isolated from family members and lawyers. They aren't told their rights. 

Confessions are extracted under duress. They're forced to sign them in Hebrew they can't read. 

They're threatened with physical violence, death, and sexual assault against themselves (and/or) family members.

They're treated like subhumans. High crimes to grave to ignore are commonplace. Generations of Palestinian children suffered.

Nadim Ahmed Nowarah and Mohammed Mahmoud Odah Abu Thaher Israel's latest victims. Video evidence showed Israeli soldiers murdering them in cold blood.

Rigat Kissis heads DCI-Palestine. "These acts by Israeli soldiers may amount to war crimes, and the Israeli authorities must conduct serious, impartial, and thorough investigations to hold the perpetrators accountable for their crimes," he said.

Oscar Fernandez-Taranco is Assistant UN Secretary-General for Political Affairs. At a Security Council briefing he said:

"It is of serious concern that initial information appears to indicate that the two Palestinians killed were both unarmed and appeared to pose no direct threat."

"The UN calls for an independent and transparent investigation by the Israeli authorities into the two deaths, and urges Israel to ensure that its security forces strictly adhere to the basic principles on the use of force and firearms by law enforcement officials."

Palestinian officials accused Israel of "excessive and indiscriminate violence." At the same time, illegitimate president Abbas does nothing to help.

He actively collaborates with Israel. He's done so for many years. He betrays his own people. He's Israel's enforcer. 

He governs extrajudicially. He has no legitimacy whatever. He represents Quisling rule. He's more stooge than leader.

He subverts Palestine's liberating struggle. Collaborating with the enemy is treason. He's guilty multiple times over.

Israel lied about killing Nadim and Mohammed. It turned truth on its head claiming:

"A preliminary investigation determined that live fire was not used by security forces." 

"The video clip which was released today has been edited, and doesn't document the full extent of the event, nor does it reflect the violent nature of the riot."

Clear video evidence showed otherwise. It was independently made. Eyewitnesses confirmed what happened. Israeli soldiers committed cold blooded murder.

DCI-Palestine's Bratt Parker said:

"What we do know is that at the time (both boys) were shot it was relatively calm." 

"There was no stone throwing. There was a very low level of violence, if any, based on the video we have."

Some stone throwing occurred earlier. None ever warrants live fire responses. Police states operate this way.

Israel is by far the region's worst. State terror is official policy. According to Parker:

"The Israeli army has an obligation to not use lethal force, unless they are threatened with lethal force." 

"So when the teens were shot there was no immediate threat to any soldiers' lives and therefore these killings are not justified under international humanitarian law, under international human rights law, and also the use of live fire isn't justified in this circumstance under the Israel's military own guidelines."

Israel denied using live fire. Autopsies proved otherwise. Dozens of Palestinians are murdered annually.

Palestinian lives don't matter. Brute force is official Israeli policy. Nonviolent unarmed Palestinians are murdered in cold blood. Young children are treated like adults. 

On May 20, B'Tselem said "initial findings on Nakba Day incident at Bitunya indicates grave suspicion that forces willfully killed two Palestinians, injur(ing)…others."

"Findings refute the military's claim that no live ammunition was fired in the incident."

On May 20, B'Tselem obtained full video footage. Four security cameras provided it. They're installed on the building opposite the incident. 

It's "available to the media at B'Tselem's offices," it said.

"We have made available two sequences, containing footage from two opposing cameras, depicting the moments of the killing," it added.

B'Tselem analysis refutes Israeli lies. Soldiers used live ammunition. Circumstances revealed no justification whatever.

Evidence shows killings were "willful." Israel stands guilty as charged.

B'Tselem obtained expert medical opinions. Autopsies concluded deaths by live fire. Bullets were found in wounded victims.

They weren't rubber-coated ones. Eyewitnesses described live gunfire sounds. It's different from firing rubber-coated bullets.

Israeli open-fire regulations are clear. They leave no ambiguity. They prohibit live fire at all times.

Except when soldiers' lives are threatened. Clear video evidence showed no danger whatever.

Nadim was shot while walking peacefully. He threatened no one. Mohammed was shot in the back. Both youths were murdered in cold blood.

B'Tselem demands a full investigation. They want one "into the military's incorrect version of the incident conveyed to the media," it said.

Whitewash for sure will follow. It's longstanding Israeli practice. 

Cold blooded murder is swept under the rug. It's done so routinely. Unjustifiable killings are called self-defense. 

Dead Palestinian children don't lie. They deserved better. Their corpses prove crimes too grave to ignore. 

It bears repeating. Israel stands guilty as charged. It's not the first time. For sure not the last.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."


Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 


http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour 

Kindle Edition of "The President’s Mortician" on Sale for $4.99 on Amazon; Here’s an...

You can now read what one reviewer has called "...a compelling and convincingly upredictable narrative." Garrick Alder, a British journalist, wrote this about my historical novel The President's Mortician--"...it tantalised me so much that I want to pick up the phone and hammer the Internet until I have tracked down his primary sources. Researchers will find this book a thought-provoking and stimulating read...it deserves to be read by anyone interested in this aspect of the assassination controversy."

The Kindle version of The President's Mortician is available for under five bucks. Here's an excerpt from the book:

"In the time that has passed since the 35th president of the United States, John F. Kennedy, was murdered, the topic has been addressed by hundreds of books, countless documentaries, numerous investigations—both public and private, and even a courtroom battle. The evidence in the case has been hashed and re-hashed many times over, yet the years (nearly 20 now) and the analysis overkill have not dulled the world’s fascination with the subject. Nor has time diminished America’s conviction that a conspiracy was afoot to take Kennedy’s life on November 22, 1963. Since the early 1970s the numbers have remained consistent—three in every four citizens believe that either accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald did not act alone, or he did not act at all…rather, he was likely just the “fall guy” or the patsy. Moreover, among people 27-39 years of age as of 1980, upwards of 85% were pro-conspiracy (1). In other words, all reasonable people with even a passing knowledge of the events and aftermath of JFK’s assassination suspect that an organized, far-reaching plot took the president’s life that day in Dallas.

"Who killed JFK? The easy answer is that rogue CIA operatives planned, orchestrated and covered up the murder. But this solution is too pat, too simplistic. For it does not take into account the other elements that played their parts in the drama—Texas oilmen, Mafia associates, future presidents and corrupt politicians, ambitious lawyers, Secret Service traitors, the military hierarchy, and wealthy defense contractors. Taken together, these elements form a Secret American Empire.

"Born of the anti-communist fervor which inflamed the nation in the 1940s and ‘50s; fed by the enormous wealth of oil and weapons makers; protected by ambitious, greedy public servants; and enforced by violent, pathological criminals, this Secret American Empire possesses what amounts to its own foreign policy, its own air force, its own militia, its own economy, and its own rules. It is not subject to the laws of the land. It is rich and powerful enough to operate outside the laws that restrict all the rest of us. As Haroldson Lafayette Hunt, one of its high ministers, once said, “I am the richest man in the world. I can do any damn thing I want to do” (2). This empire existed before JFK’s murder, but it had never before pulled off anything so outrageous and brazen as the crime it committed on November 22, 1963. In fact, some of the participants feared for their own apprehension and left the country before and after the execution. Their fears were unfounded, however, because the fix was in. The new president, Lyndon Johnson, was the Empire’s boy, and soon he cut off all legitimate investigations and appointed his own fraudulent commission made up of the Empire’s most ardent protectors. Once the perpetrators knew they were safe, America became their playground. They were free to romp through the public trust, trample the Constitution, start an unnecessary and catastrophic war, have free reign over domestic and foreign policy, and invoke immunity from crimes committed. The JFK assassination taught the Empire that it could get away with anything, and in the years subsequent to 1963 it has coalesced its power and consolidated its reign over democracy. Its candidates have been elected, by hook or crook; its power base has expanded; its wealth has grown unchecked. It has smugly, almost defiantly, moved on to evermore audacious, outlandish covert operations—the removal of Richard Nixon from office, the subversion of the House Select Committee on Assassinations, the narcotic trafficking necessary to fund covert operations, and the overthrow of foreign governments. In short, the Secret American Empire, while waving the flag in our faces and clamoring to high heaven about the land of the free and the home of democracy, has done everything it can to undo the processes and the restraints that would impede it under a true democratic system. We are living in, and have been since 1963, a neo-fascist oligarchic state, where only wealth and power matter, where the ways and means of a free press are stifled, where the people are propagandized by disinformation and half-truths, where our elected officials represent their own greedy interests and the interests of the Secret Empire, rather than the interests of those who elected them.

"Would it have been different if JFK had lived? Emphatically, yes! Kennedy, a conventional cold warrior when he took the oath of office, had transformed into a startling advocate of world peace by 1963. His landmark address at American University, in June 1963, laid out a revolutionary vision of America and its place in the world, one that made him a lot of deadly enemies. A world without endless war? An America free of what Eisenhower called “…the unwanted influence of the military-industrial complex”? A pullback on the power of the intelligence community? JFK became a marked man. He wanted to pull us completely out of Vietnam. He wanted to negotiate a settlement to the Cold War and live in peaceful co-existence with the communist world (3). The Secret Empire was not going to tolerate such a radical paradigm shift in domestic and foreign affairs. That was the entire point of the assassination."

http://www.amazon.com/Presidents-Mortician-Tim-Fleming/dp/098882907X


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Israeli Independence Produced Palestinian Suffering

Israeli Independence Produced Nakba Suffering

by Stephen Lendman

Yom Ha'atzmaut (Independence Day) commemorates Israel's May 1948 Declaration of Independence.

It's celebrated annually on 5th of Iyar. It's according to the Hebrew calendar. It's preceded by Yom Hazikaron. It remembers fallen Israeli soldiers. It's Israel's Memorial Day.

Palestinians have reason to mourn. Edward Said explained Palestine's "holocaust," saying:

"Every human calamity is different, but there is value in seeing analogies and perhaps hidden similarities."

He called Nazi extermination "the lowest point of (Jewish) collective existence."

Palestinians today "are as powerless as Jews were" under Hitler,, he explained. They're devastated by "power used for evil purposes."

Ilan Pappe discussed Palestine's ethnic cleansing. He explained war without mercy.

He did so in exhaustive detail. He obtained previously suppressed documents. He explained what everyone needs to know. More on what he said below.

On May 6, Haaretz headlined "Israel celebrates 66 years of independence," saying:

"Israelis across the country flocked to public parks and hiking trails on Tuesday to celebrate Independence Day with barbaques and other leisure activities."

"Earlier Tuesday, (unindicted war criminal) President Shimon Peres kicked off the day with the annual sing-along at (his) President's Residence in Jerusalem."

Palestinians didn't join in. They're not singing-along. They've got no reason to celebrate. Awards Peres gave IDF recipients came at their expense.

Festivities began Monday night. Things did so with pomp, flair and bombast. They kicked off the official Independence Day ceremony.

They included a torch-lighting ceremony. For the first time, all torch-lighters were women.

Peres called on Israelis to "be proud, but never satisfied." He stopped short of explaining how much more Palestinian land he covets.

He stole plenty earlier as prime minister. He did through other ministerial posts.

"I remember (Israel's) first days and the dream we had," he said. "I have to admit that the dream was too small when I see the reality that was born out of it."

Other festivities included displaying Israeli military might. The IDF opened some of its bases to visitors. Menacing warplanes overflew.

Israeli recounting of events preceding and following its independence twists truth. It reinvents history doing so.

Its war was well-planned. Palestinians never had a chance. In early March 1948, future Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion met with leading Zionists and military officers.

They finalized war plans. It was called Plan D (Dalet in Hebrew). It followed Plans A, B and C.

It bears repeating. It was war without mercy. It reflected Ben-Gurion's earlier plan. "I am for compulsory transfer," he said.

"I do not see anything immoral about it," he claimed. Hundreds of thousands of displaced or murdered Palestinians were considered a small price to pay.

Things unfolded as planned. Independence took six months to achieve.

Arab armies were no match for Israeli strength. False narratives claimed otherwise. Invaders were outmanned and outgunned.

According to Pappe, systematic terror followed. About 800,000 Palestinians were expelled. Doing so reflected genocidal ethnic cleansing.

Hundreds of Arab villages were depopulated. So were 11 urban cities. They included large parts of Jerusalem, Tel-Aviv and Haifa.

Many thousands of innocent victims were massacred. Mass rapes and other atrocities were committed.

Palestinian homes, property and belongings were bulldozed, demolished, and/or burned.

Palestinians wanting to return couldn't. They were systematically prevented from doing so.

Horrific Israeli crimes were committed. They matched what convicted Nazis were hanged for at Nuremberg.

They included cold-blooded mass murder. Survivors remember Deir Yassin. Other Palestinian villages were targeted the same way. Wholesale slaughter followed. So did mass displacement.

On April 9, 1948, things began. Israeli soldiers entered Deir Yassin. They did so violently. They machine-gunned houses randomly. Many inside were slaughtered.

Remaining villagers were assembled. They were murdered in cold blood. Children and infants weren't spared. They were treated like adults.

Elderly and infirm victims got no mercy. Women were raped before being killed. Estimates place the death toll at around 120.

An eyewitness said:

"I was (there) when the Jews attacked. (They) closed on the village amid exchanges of fire with us."

"Once they entered the village, fighting became very heavy in the eastern side and later it spread to other parts, to the quarry, to the village center until it reached the western edge."

"The Jews used all sorts of automatic weapons, tanks, missiles, cannons. They enter(ed) houses and kill(ed) women and children indiscriminately. The (village) youths...fought bravely."

Ensuing fighting killed dozens more. Many other villages were attacked the same way. Ethnic cleansing involved mass slaughter and displacement.

It's longstanding Israeli practice. Official policy aims for maximum land with minimum Arabs. "Every attack has to end with occupation, destruction and expulsion," said Ben-Gurion.

He meant displace, depopulate, slaughter. Do it without mercy. Erase Palestinian culture and history.

Replace it with Jewish tradition. Twist truth doing it. Justify genocidal slaughter any way it takes. Current Israeli policy hasn't changed.

Slow-motion genocide replaced decades earlier flank speed. It continues unabated. Forty-seven years of occupation reflect institutionalized persecution.

State terror defines official Israel policy. Palestinians have no power over their daily lives. They're terrorized. They live in fear for good reason. They face:

  • economic strangulation;

  • collective punishment for being Muslims, not Jews;

  • loss of basic freedoms;

  • Gaza under siege;

  • enclosures by separation walls, electric fences and border closings;

  • regular curfews, roadblocks, and checkpoints;

  • bulldozed homes, crops and orchards; as well as

  • arrest, imprisonment, and torture without cause.

They endure assaults, extra-judicial assassinations and punitive taxation.

They're denied basic services. They're essential to life and well-being. They include healthcare, education, and living-wage employment.

It's enough nourishing food and water. International tribunals don't help. Occupation harshness persists.

Zionism's roots began things. It became international in scope. Its founder Theodor Herzl said:

"We must expropriate gently the private property on the state assigned to us."

"We shall try to spirit the penniless population across the border…(We must do it by) denying it employment in our country."

The Al-Nakba Awareness Project (ANAP) involves volunteers with limited resources. They partner with likeminded local, regional and national organizations.

They're committed for truth and justice. They support universally recognized human and civil rights. They want rule of law principles enforced.

They want Palestinians recognized as victims. They want longtime denied justice reversed. Without it, regional peace is impossible.

Separate isn't equal. Years ago, two states were possible. No longer, they believe. Israel controls over 60% of West Bank land. More is added daily.

It vows to seize all of Jerusalem. It wants it as Israel's exclusive capital. One state for all its people equitablely is the only just solution.

Separating people by religion and/or ethnicity unfairly reflects institutionalized apartheid.

A so-called "Jewish and democratic state" is Orwellian. It's oxymoronic. It faux democracy. It's solely for Jews.

ANAP endorses "an integrated, egalitarian state with freedom and equal rights for all its citizens."

Arabs must be treated no less fairly than Jews. Zionism is enemy to Jews and non-Jews alike.
It's ideologically over-the-top. It surpasses the worst of South Africa's deplorable past. It's white, Jewish supremacist.

It's incompatible with fairness. It denies justice. It's heading Israel for self-destruction.

Systems short of viability can't survive. "A house divided against itself can't stand," said Lincoln. Forty-seven years is a historical blink-of-the-eye heartbeat.

Israel must repudiate Zionism, ANAP believes. It must "transform itself into a normal, multi-ethnic, constitutional democracy…" It must treat all its people equitably and fairly.

It must move beyond daily struggles. It must renounce war and other forms of violence.

It must embrace peace, equity and justice. It must govern without prejudice to survive.

Israel falls short and then some. It has a choice. Change or eventually perish. There's no in between.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

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PLO/Hamas Detente?

PLO/Hamas Detente?

by Stephen Lendman

Reports announced it. Previous efforts failed. We've been here, done that several several times before. Is this time different? 

It remains to be seen. On April 23, Haaretz headlined "Palestinian factions prepare to implement reconciliation deal." 

Mounib Al-Masri headed Abbas' negotiating team. "There has been great progress, and we are near ready to sign a deal at 11AM" local time, he said.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zahawiri issued a similar statement. A formal announcement followed. Maan News headlined "PLO/Hamas announce agreement to end political division," saying:

"PLO and Hamas representatives announced an historic unity deal on Wednesday to bring to an end more than seven years of political division between the main Palestinian political parties."

Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh announced "the end of years of Palestinian political division in a press conference in Gaza City…"

He said both sides worked as "one team." They did so "to form one government, one political system and one national program." 

We're "happy to declare the end of the period of inter-Palestinian division," he added. All sides stressed the need to achieve results after repeated failures.

Palestinian People's Party (PPP) secretary general Bassam al-Salili said agreement was reached on a "road map plan." 

It begins with establishing national unity. In six months or less, presidential and parliamentary elections will follow.

In April 2011, both sides met earlier. They did so in Cairo. They announced a draft reconciliation agreement.

Egypt's MENA news agency confirmed "a complete understanding after talks on all the points, including the formation of a transitional government with a specific mandate and setting a date for elections." 

Hamas official Izzat Ar-Rishiq said differing issues between both sides were resolved.

Fatah's delegation head, Azzam Al-Ahmad, confirmed it. Both sides agreed to a "government of independents," he said. 

They'll be "tasked with preparing for presidential and legislative elections within a year."

Palestinian groups welcomed the announcement. PLC deputy head Ahmad Bahar called it "historic." Hamas said it broke new ground. 

Reconciliation didn't follow. Agreed on terms were ignored. A similar Doha 2012 agreement followed. Announced national unity governance wasn't consummated. 

Netanyahu reacted as expected. He demanded Abbas "choose between peace with Israel or peace with Hamas." 

"There cannot be peace with both because Hamas strives to destroy the state of Israel and says so openly," he said.

"I think that the very idea of reconciliation shows the weakness of the Palestinian Authority and creates the prospect that Hamas could retake control of Judea and Samaria just like it took control of the Gaza Strip."

More below on his reaction this time.

It bears repeating. Is this time different? There's good reason for doubt based on past failures. Agreed on terms largely reflect what Cairo and Doha negotiators resolved.

Both sides agreed to reactivate the Palestinian Legislative Council. Some issues remain to be discussed. They include who'll control Hamas' security forces.

Ahead of general elections, Hamas agreed to temporary PLO leadership. It'll represent all Palestinian groups. They include Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

Talks will continue. Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmad said neither side accepts resuming so-called peace talks without clear guidelines. More on this below.

On April 23, Netanyahu cancelled Wednesday's scheduled peace talks, saying:

"This evening, when talks are still underway to extend negotiations, (Abbas) has chosen Hamas over peace. Whoever chooses Hamas does not want peace."

Netanyahu told John Kerry: "We view this move as a return to the familiar pattern of the Palestinians who run away every time they need to make decisions."

Economy Minister Naftali Bennett rejected what he called a "unity government of terror," adding:

"Hamas will continue to murder Jews and (Abbas) will continue to demand their release. Whoever thinks (he's) a partner should think again."

Defrocked/reinstated Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman echoed Netanyahu and Bennett, saying:

"The signing of an agreement for a Fatah-Hamas unity government means the end of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority."

Chief Israeli negotiator Tzipi Livni lied saying reconciliation harms "the opportunity (for peace) that has just opened up." 

"In light of the new situation, Israeli must examine what this development means and reconsider its steps."

Since talks began last July, nothing substantive was resolved. Both sides are as far apart as ever. Chances for peaceful conflict resolution are virtually NIL.

An unnamed senior US official said:

"We have been clear about the principles that must guide a Palestinian government in order for it to play a constructive role in achieving peace and building an independent Palestinian state." 

"Any Palestinian government must unambiguously and explicitly commit to nonviolence, recognition of the State of Israel, and acceptance of previous agreements and obligations between the parties, including the Roadmap. President Abbas has been committed to these principles."

"If a new Palestinian government is formed, we will assess it based on its adherence to the stipulations above, its policies and actions, and will determine any implications for our assistance based on US law."

US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki called the announcement "troubling."

"It is hard to see how Israel will negotiate with a government that does not recognize its right to exist." 

"The Palestinian reconciliation deal raises concerns and could complicate the efforts to extend peace talks."

"The ball is in the Palestinian court to answer questions about how government announcement affects peace talks."

Abbas said unity with Hamas doesn't affect peace talks. He stipulated terms for continuing them. He said for nine more months if negotiations include:

  • borders discussed immediately for three months;

  • a complete settlement construction freeze throughout the West Bank and East Jerusalem; and 

  • release of 30 more agreed on pre-Oslo Palestinian prisoners; 14 are Israeli citizens.

An unnamed senior Israeli official categorically refused. Settlement construction will continue, he said. Borders are separate from other core issues, he claimed.

They include diaspora Palestinians right to return, Jerusalem's status, security and mutual recognition, he said.

"It is impossible to define borders before an agreement" on these and other issues, he added.

"At the same time, (Abbas) makes unfounded declarations of peace, (he's) holding talks with Hamas - which is known to the whole world as a terror organization that calls for the destruction of the State of Israel and the murder of Jews."

False! Earlier, Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin pledged to end its struggle in return for Palestinian self-determination inside pre-1967 borders. 

It represents 22% of historic Palestine. Israel flatly refuses. It wants all valued Judea and Samaria land annexed. It wants Jerusalem as its exclusive capital. It offers Palestinians virtually nothing in return.

Likud hardliner Ofir Akunis called Abbas "Arafat in disguise. Palestinian leadership…changed only in tone, not in content," he said.

"Underneath the diplomatic sweet talk hides an extremist leadership whose face is not turned toward peace or an agreement, but toward endlessly extorting the release of murderers, concessions and retreats by Israel - as conditions just for the holding of negotiations."

Deputy Foreign Minister Ze'ev Elkin said the PA "once again has exposed the true unity of purpose between Hamas terrorists and the Fatah leaders - the annihilation of the Jewish state."

"One should not be surprised that those who refuse to even discuss recognition of the Jewish state in any borders whatsoever, and pays huge salaries to Palestinian terrorists who murdered Israelis and are doing time in Israeli jails, finally found his natural place in the warm embrace of the Hamas murderers."

In July 2000, so-called "permanent status" talks were held. Clinton hosted Arafat and then Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak.

Media scoundrels lied. They called an offer designed to be refused a "generous (and) unprecedented" one.

Barak was hardline. He insisted Arafat agree, declare an "end of conflict," and end any legal claim to land rightfully belonging to Palestinians.

No Israeli offer in writing was presented. No documents. No maps. Arafat had no choice. He rejected Barak's duplicitous offer.

He became persona non grata. He was a marked man. He was targeted for elimination. 

Israel lay siege to his compound. Most of it was destroyed. On November 4, 2004, he died in a Paris hospital.

Suspicions of foul play surfaced. Evidence showed he was poisoned. Polonium was used to kill him. 

It's around 109 times more toxic than hydrogen cyanide. Its main hazard is radioactivity. It's most lethal when ingested or inhaled. It's hard to detect. 

Israel bore full responsibility. Will Abbas be targeted the same way? Will Hamas leaders?

Rogue states operate this way. Targeted assassinations are longstanding Israeli policy. Rule of law principles are systematically violated.

Peace is a convenient illusion. Israel deplores it. So does Washington. Unconditional Palestinian surrender is demanded.

Will PLO/Hamas reconciliation matter if it's consummated? Will Israeli tactics change? 

It takes a giant leap of faith to think so. Palestinians remain on their own for justice.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] 

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 


http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

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Sham Peace Talks Continue

Sham Peace Talks Continue

by Stephen Lendman

They mock legitimate ones. Palestinians agreed to continue them despite zero chance for success. Former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir once said:

"I would have conducted the autonomy negotiations for 10 years, and in the meantime we would have reached half a million souls in Judea and Samaria."

"I didn't believe there was a majority in favor of a greater land of Israel. But it could have been attained over time." 

"Without such a basis, there would be nothing to stop the establishment of a Palestinian state."

Shamir went all-out to prevent it. So did other Israeli prime ministers before and after him. Netanyahu deplores the notion.

He demands unconditional Palestinian surrender. He wants occupation harshness continued. He wants all valued Judea and Samaria land stolen.

He wants Palestinians denied all rights. Talks with his negotiators reflect the futility of hoping for what won't happen.

UN Special Rapporteur for Palestinian human rights Richard Falk condemns Israeli colonialism, apartheid and ethnic cleansing. In late March, he said:

"Every increment of enlarging the settlements, or every incident of house demolition is a way of worsening the situation confronting the Palestinian people and reducing what prospects they might have as the outcome of supposed peace negotiations."

"To sustain indefinitely an oppressive occupation containing many punitive elements also seems designed to encourage residents to leave Palestine, which is consistent with the apparent annexationist, colonialist and ethnic-cleansing goals of Israel, especially in relation to the West Bank, including East Jerusalem."

Falk noted "a strong internal Israeli opposition" to Palestinian self-determination. Netanyahu and other right wing extremists mock it. They deplore it. They won't permit it.

Ongoing talks are a charade. They mock legitimacy. They continue. Why Palestinians participate futilely they must explain.

Every stolen dunum of Palestinian land makes viable statehood less likely. Every settlement expansion.

Every demolished Palestinian home. Every ethnically cleansed resident. Every Palestinian blame game victim of Israeli intransigency. 

Every Palestinian murdered. Everyone arrested. Every day without conflict resolution. Every Israeli effort to subvert talks. Every opportunity lost.

Israeli/Palestinian/US negotiators met Monday. Again on Tuesday. Zero progress was made. An unnamed Israeli official said talks will continue. No date for more was set.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki lied saying: "Gaps remain but both sides are committed to narrow the gaps."

Chasms remain. Nothing whatever was resolved. Nothing will be. Israel won't permit it. Nor Washington. They want unconditional Palestinian surrender.

Israeli rights alone matter. Palestinians are on their own like always. They're blamed for what Israel denies them. Netanyahu and likeminded extremists call wanting to live free on their own land "terrorism."

New York Times editors one-sidedly support Israel. It's longstanding policy. It goes back decades. Jodi Rudoren serves as Jerusalem bureau chief. Her agenda is obscuring reality.

She avoids discussing Israeli torture, targeted assassinations, cold-blooded murder, demolished Palestinian homes, dispossessions, and other lawless practices, as well as unaccountable settler violence and vandalism.

She equates BDS activism with anti-Semitism. It reminds her of Nazi era practices.

At best, she calls Israeli settlements "controversial." International law calls them illegal. No ambiguity exists.

She believes sham peace talks are legitimate. Palestinians share blame for no progress, she claims. On April 7, she discussed political prisoner Marwan Barghouti.

She linked him to peace talks. She lied calling him a convicted "murderer." He faced spurious charges. He's no terrorist. 

He calls himself "a political leader, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, elected by my people." Israel had no right to try him, he said.

He's a political prisoner. Israel lawlessly gave him multiple life sentences plus 40 years. He's Palestine's most popular political figure. 

Why Israel wants him imprisoned and forgotten. In a free, fair, open presidential election, he'd win in a landslide. Palestinians want him freed to participate.

Rudoren ludicrously calls him Palestine's Jonathan Pollard. He's a convicted spy. Barghouti is a framed Palestinian hero.

He challenges Israel responsibly. His political statements circulate. Rudoren ignores Palestinian suffering. She ducks controversial issues.

She ignores key Palestinian voices. She substitutes one-sided Israeli support for full and accurate reporting. 

She blames Palestinians for peace talks failure. She called legitimately applying to 15 UN bodies and treaties "contentious."

Her featured Netanyahu comments suggest she believes he negotiates in good faith. Truth is polar opposite.

The Elders is an independent group. Its members include global leaders. They support peace and human rights. Archbishop Desmond Tutu formerly served as chairman.

In May 2013, he stepped down. He remains an Honorary Elder. Members have shared interests. They call human rights universal.

They support Palestinian self-determination. They endorse fair and equitable peace talks.

They issued a supportive Palestinian statement. They're "deeply worried by the impasse in peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians," they said.

They "welcome(d) Mahmoud Abbas' decision" to join 15 UN bodies and treaties.

Gro Harlem Brundtland is a former Norwegian prime minister. He's current deputy Elders chair. He issued a statement, saying:

"As a UN non-member observer state, Palestine is entitled to join international bodies. We welcome President Abbas’ decision to sign the Geneva Conventions and other important international human rights treaties."

"This move opens the way to more inclusive and accountable government in the West Bank and Gaza." 

"It has the potential to strengthen respect for human rights and provide ordinary Palestinians with essential legal protections against discrimination or abuses by their own government." 

"In global terms, it will also increase their ability to enjoy, in practice, the protection of their basic rights granted to them by international law."

Jimmy Carter is an Elders member. He supports Palestinians joining 15 UN bodies and treaties. 

"The decision by the Palestinians to exercise their right to join international organizations should not be seen as a blow to the peace talks," he said.

"I hope that, on the contrary, it will help to redress the power imbalance between Israelis and Palestinians…"

"More than ever, both parties urgently need to make the necessary compromises to reach a lasting peace with two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security."

In 2012, Carter criticized Netanyahu. He rejects a two-state solution, said Carter. Conditions reached "crisis stage," he added. Decades-long conflict shows no signs of resolution.

Carter's book titled "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid" called Israel's version "worse…than what we witnessed in South Africa."

He hoped his book would stimulate debate. "There's never been (any) on this issue of any significance," he said. 

He holds Netanyahu and other Israeli hardliners responsible. They're "moving forward towards a 'greater Israel," he stressed. 

Doing so makes peace impossible. Achieving it is more distant now than then.

"Israel will never have peace until they agree to" end occupation and grant Palestinians self-determination, Carter said. 

They show no signs of doing so. They negotiate one-way. They're hardline. They're unbending. They're all take. They're no give. Militarized occupation is illegal. It's unforgiving. 

So is the worst of Israeli apartheid. It's institutionalized. It's illegitimate.

International law is clear and unequivocal. Article 7(1)(j) of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court calls apartheid a crime, stating:

"For the purpose of this Statute, (a) 'crime against humanity' means any of the following acts when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack:

The crime of apartheid" includes murder, extermination, enslavement, torture, arbitrary arrest, illegal imprisonment, denial of the right to life and liberty, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, and other abusive acts imposed by one group on another.

Racist Zionist exclusivity is key to understanding Israeli policy. It's extremist, undemocratic and hateful. 

It denies non-Jews equal rights. It claims Jewish supremacy, specialness and uniqueness.

It eschews peace and reconciliation. It chooses confrontation over diplomacy.

It believes in strength through belligerence and intimidation. Doing so threatens Jews and non-Jews alike.

Apartheid extremism is longstanding Israeli policy. Palestinians suffer horrifically.

They're denied their cultural heritage. They're driven from their own land. Israeli settlers occupy it. More come daily. 

Doing so violates international law. Fourth Geneva's Article 49 states:

"Individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportation of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any other country, occupied or not, are prohibited, regardless of the motive." 

Neither shall "The Occupying Power...deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies."

Apartheid is the worst form of racism. Israeli militarized occupation is the worst form of apartheid. 

It incorporates state terrorism, belligerence, land theft, home demolitions, dispossessions, targeted assassinations, mass arrests, torture, destruction of property and agricultural lands, isolation and genocide.

Besieged Gazans suffer most of all. Slow-motion suffocation explains their condition. West Bank Palestinians face multiple daily community incursions. Arrests and detentions follow.

Sham peace talks continue. They do so despite daily Israeli violence. On April 8, Israeli soldiers invaded Tal and Osarin villages.

They kidnapped five Palestinian civilians, including one child. Two more were lawlessly abducted in Hebron. 

Army elements bulldozed two Bethlehem homes. Israeli naval vessels attacked Gazan fishermen. They used live ammunition.

They do it often. Deaths, injuries and heavy property damage follow. Bulldozers escorted by Israeli troops destroyed agricultural structures northwest of Hebron.

At the same time, they uprooted fields. PA security forces collaborate. Doing so shows which side Abbas supports.

He uses riot police and undercover security service forces against his own people. They attack anti-sham peace talks protesters.

They do so violently. Dozens are arrested. They're accused of protesting without permit permission. Abbas serves as Israel's enforcer. 

Conflict resolution is impossible with him in charge. Expect applying for membership in 15 UN bodies and treaties to be all show and no dough.

Membership is worthless without taking full advantage. Full UN membership is important. Abbas could have gotten it straightaway as president.

Most UN members support it. An overwhelming number. Enough to assure de facto and de jure membership. 

Petitioning the General Assembly through the 1950 Uniting for Peace Resolution 377 assures it.

It's veto proof. Washington can't override it. Membership gives Palestinians the same rights as all other member states.

Observer status lets them join the World Court and International Criminal Court. Doing so lets them challenge Israel as well as current and past government and military officials.

Perhaps holding them accountable is possible. Not if attempts aren't made to do so. Abbas never tried. 

Nor will he. He's close to retirement. He won't spoil a good thing now. He's on the wrong side of history. Betrayal is one of the worst crimes. Abbas stands guilty as charged.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] 

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 


http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

Why is the US Honoring a Racist Rabbi?

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Reviewing James Petras’ The Politics of Empire: The US, Israel and the Middle East...

Reviewing James Petras' The Politics of Empire: The US, Israel and the Middle East (Part II)

Presidential Rule by Deception: Obama, the Master Con-Man

Petras pulled no punches saying "(i)n an electoral system, run by and for a corporate oligarchy, deception and demagoguery are essential elements - entertaining the people while working for the wealthy."

Every US president does it. All congressional leaders. It's "de rigueur" to pretend to be "everyman." It persists while committing "war crimes worthy of prosecution."

It's play-acting. It's duplicity. Obama is the "master of deceit." He lacks an honest bone in his body.

He condemns torture while practicing it. He denounces Wall Street excess while supporting it. He wages one war after another while promising peace.

He backs Palestinian rights while trashing them. He supports the worst of Zionist militancy. He ignores institutionalized Israeli racism.

His word isn't his bond. He broke every major promise made. He's "hands down" the "greatest con-man president in American history," Petras explains.

His predecessors pale by comparison. "(T)he enormous gap between style and substance, promise and performance, peace and war, capital and labor, has never been greater," he added.

He continually promises one thing and does another. He's a scoundrel in the worst sense of the term.

He betrayed loyal constituents who supported him. He did so without a second thought. He's more racist than most white Americans.

He reflects the worst of demagogic duplicity. He defends the indefensible. He's a weapon of mass destruction. It bears repeating. He made America unfit to live in.

The Two Faces of a Police State: Sheltering Tax Evaders, Financial Swindlers and Money Launderers While Policing the Citizens

Petras cuts to the chase saying "(n)ever in the history of the United States have we witnessed crimes committed on the scale and scope of the present day by both private and state elites."

Never has so much harm been done to so many to benefit an elite few.

Never was extreme wealth been accumulated more easily at the expense of countless millions harmed.

Never have so-called civilized societies so egregiously trashed longstanding cherished values.

Never was grand theft more institutionalized. Never were amounts involved as great as now.

Never did pillage more greatly become the national pastime. Never did so-called democratic governance more swindle its own people.

Never before did so many mega-crooks go unpunished. Never was high-crime more common practice.

Never was government in bed with business for stakes this great. Never were more people harmed in the process.

Guiding US doctrine endorses "too rich for jail, too big to fail," said Petras. Ordinary people alone suffer.

Steal a billion, two or three and stay free. Steal a loaf of bread for hungry children and face prison time. Doing it three times perhaps means for life.

Law and order don't exist. Judicial unfairness is official policy. Ordinary people haven't a chance. Monied interests control things.

The Power of Israel in the United States

Israel Buys the US Congress: Sabotaging the US-Iran Peace Negotiations.

War or peace hangs in the balance. Thirty-five years of anti-Iranian hostility persists. Zionist power wants the Islamic Republic destroyed.

It wants all Israeli regional powers removed. It wants unchallenged military dominance.

It wants Israel given the right to steal Palestinian land freely. It wants it permitted to wage aggressive wars with impunity.

Attacking Iran risks regional or global war. Since WW II, "Israel has bombed, invaded and occupied more countries in the Middle East and Africa than any previous colonial power, except the US," says Petras.

Its victims include "Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Sudan and Yemen." Its terror attacks and targeted assassinations include numerous other countries.

Israel operates lawlessly with impunity. America partners in its crimes. It provides billion of dollars in annual support.

Red lines, timelines, deadlines, sanctions, sabotage, subversion, cyber attacks, assassinations, saber rattling, warmongering, spurious accusations, manipulated to fail P5+1 talks, and inflammatory headlines up the stakes for war.

Pretexts are easy to invent. False flags precipitate them. Zionist power in America buys political support. It owns Congress. It gets most everything it wants.

Media scoundrels march in lockstep. Truth is systematically buried. Unflinching Israeli backing substitutes. Fifty-two major US Zionist organizations exert enormous influence. Political Washington bows to their will.

Obama with Israel Against the World

America is a dictatorship, says Petras. Constitutional law is null and void. It's "presidential toilet paper!" 

"Legal hacks and whores scratch their backsides and regurgitate the previous illegal executive orders in order to 'legitimize' new arbitrary powers to declare war" and destroy fundamental freedoms.

Abuse of power demands impeachment. It's a national imperative. America's Declaration of Independence states:

"(W)hen a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, (it's the right of the people, it's) their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."

Straightaway as president, Obama violated his sacred trust. He betrayed his constituents. He trashed rule of law principles.

He's guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors. He spurns fundamental civil and human rights. He mocks democratic values. 

He threatens humanity. He's heading America for WW III. Removing him is top priority. The alternative is potentially grim.

Fifteen Minutes An American President

Obama's 2009 inaugural address promised "a new approach with a new emphasis on respect and a new willingness to talk."

Ravaging one country after another followed. So did overthrowing democratically elected leaders. Numerous other high crimes define his tenure.

He's a wolf in wolf's clothing. Neocons infest his administration. Peace is a four-letter word. Rule of law principles don't matter.

Diktat power runs things. Humanity is more than ever threatened. It may not survive on his watch. America is the real evil empire. No nation ever matched its ruthlessness. Perhaps none ever will.

Israel's Willing Executioners: AIPAC Invades Washington

"When a country, like the United States, is in decline, it is not because of external competition: declining competitiveness is only a symptom," says Petras. 

"It is because of internal rot. Decline results when a nation is betrayed by craven leaders, who crawl and humiliate themselves before a minority of thuggish mediocrities pledged to a foreign state without scruples or moral integrity."

AIPAC is the most prominent face of US Zionist power. It fronts for Israel. It's an unregistered foreign agent. It calls itself "America's Pro-Israel Lobby."

Virtually no one in Congress confronts it. Doing so is a career-ender. 

It has virtual veto power over war and peace, trade and investment, multi-billion dollar arms sales, enormous handouts to Israel, and all Middle East policies affecting the Jewish state under Democrat and Republican administrations alike.

It's a weapon of mass destruction. It supports Israel's worst crimes. Its annual meetings are "the most outrageous public display of Zionist-Jewish power as it shapes US foreign policy," says Petras. 

"The sole purpose of AIPAC is to ensure Israel's unchallenged military and political power over a huge region from North Africa to the Persian Gulf."

Presidents, top administration officials, and congressional leaders pay homage to its power. 

They march to the same drummer. They collaborate in high crimes. They support what demands condemnation. 

They disgrace themselves in the process. They betray their constituents at the same time.

Fifty-two Major American Zionist Organizations control them. They serve a foreign government. 

They do so against the interests of ordinary Americans. They do it "without scruples or moral integrity," says Petras.

The Great Transformation of Jewish American Charities

Charity no longer defines them. Over time, they shifted disgracefully. They did so, Petras said, from: 

  • "social aid for working Jews, poor immigrants and elderly Holocaust victims to political influence peddling at the service of the highly militarized state of Israel; 

  • from engaging in social welfare for American Jews to political lobbying for military transfers to Israel; 

  • from grassroots leaders sharing life styles and struggles with their rank and file donors to millionaire CEOs entertaining Zionist billionaires and banging tables for Israel at the White House while paying off the Congressional influential; and 

  • from reaching out and aligning with Americans working for peace with justice in the Middle East to embracing every tin horn monarch and dictator who signs off on Israeli annexation of Palestinian land."

In the process, they lost their popular mass base. Members resigned in protest. Others were forced out. 

They're no longer Jewish community representatives. They front for lawless Israeli power. They do so without ethics or integrity.

Imperial and Zionist Wars and Terror in the Middle East: Palestine, Iran, Syria and Yemen

Israeli Terror: The "Final Solution" to the Palestine Question (page 130/31)

Longstanding ethnic cleansing reflects official Israeli policy. Palestinians are systematically dispossessed. 

For decades, Israel "confiscat(ed) their lands, destroy(ed) (their) homes, bulldoz(ed) (their) orchards and (established) 'Jews-only' colonial settlements serviced by highways, electrical systems and water works for the exclusive use of the settlers and occupying soldiers," said Petras.

Israel is the only nation without declared borders. Its Greater Israel objective explains why. It wants them expanded.

In 1982, Oded Yinon prepared "The Zionist Plan for the Middle East." The Association of Arab-American University Graduates called it "the most explicit, detailed and unambiguous statement to date of the Zionist strategy in the Middle East."

"Its importance...lies not in its historical value but in the nightmare which it represents."

It states for Israel to survive, it must dominate the region. It must become a world power.

Doing so requires balkanizing Arab nations along ethnic and sectarian lines. It involves making them Israeli satellites.

Israel wants all historical Palestinian land, said Petras. It wants non-Jews "expel(led)." It wants Jews alone granted rights. It denies Palestinians entirely.

It commits high crimes too grave to ignore. It does so daily. It literally gets away with murder with impunity. So-called peace talks mock legitimate ones.

Palestinians are largely on their own to survive. Besieged Gazans suffer most of all. Israel keeps them isolated illegally.

Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas is a longtime Israeli collaborator. So are other PA officials. They're Israeli enforcers. 

They betray their own people for generous benefits derived. They're complicit in causing enormous human suffering.

Obama at the General Assembly: Sacrificing Palestine for Zionist Campaign Funds

Petras discussed his September 21, 2011 address. He "overt(ly) pander(ed) to Israel," he said. He's done it at AIPAC conferences.

He supports lawless Israeli policy. He spurns fundamental Palestinian rights. He's indifferent to their vital needs.

"From the angle of satisfying the US Zionist power configuration (ZPC) and securing a massive flow of re-election financing, Obama's (2011) UN speech was a smashing success," Petras explained.

He grovels before Zionist interests. He supports hugely destructive ones. He turns a blind eye to Israel's settlement project. 

He finances its wars of aggression. He vetoes all justifiable anti-Israeli Security Council resolutions

He supports wrong over right. He's a war criminal multiple times over. He disgraces the office he holds.

Israeli Bombers: Al Qaeda's Air Force

Israeli history reflects multiple crimes of war, against humanity and slow-motion genocide.

Generations of leaders deplored peace. They thrive on war. "Its foreign policy depends on perpetual regional wars and political instability," said Petras.

Fifty-two Major American Zionist Organizations endorse its lawlessness. Israel is partnered with Obama's war on Syria. 

It wants another regional rival removed. Iran's turn awaits. In 2014, Israel budgeted nearly $3 billion dollars for war on the Islamic Republic.

Waging it would be madness. It remains to be seen what follows. It doesn't matter what Israel does most often.

"The entire Zionist power configuration in Washington has lined up to support the Jewish state," said Petras. 

"When Israel commits an act of war against its neighbor, no matter how unjust and brutal the act, Zionists from the most religious to the most secular, the 'peacenik' and neo-cons, all form a united chorus in praise of the righteous and moral 'Jewish Bombs' even as they fall on the besieged people of Syria today and Iran tomorrow."

Peace remains elusive. It's nowhere in sight so far nor benefits accrued if it arrives.

The Bloody Road to Damascus: The Triple Alliance's War on a Sovereign State

Syria is Obama's war. Proxy death squad invaders are used. So far they lack an air force. Obama likely plans Libya 2.0.

Plans to initiate it last summer were postponed. They weren't cancelled. Full-scale war on Assad may be one major false flag incident away.

It remains to be seen what Obama plans. He wants another imperial trophy. Plans to oust Assad are firm.

The road to Tehran runs through Damascus. It's "paved with lies," Petras explains. It bears repeating. Iran's turn awaits. Perhaps regional war will follow.

Saudi Arabia: A Retrograde Rentier Dictatorship and Global Terrorism

Saudi Arabian governance mocks legitimacy. It "has all the vices and none of the virtues of an oil rich state like Venezuela," said Petras. 

It's "governed by a family dictatorship which tolerates no opposition and severely punishes human rights advocates and political dissidents."

It "finances the most fanatical, retrograde, misogynist version of Islam, the 'Wahhabi' sect of Sunni Islam."

It's a valued US ally. America supports some of the world's most ruthless despots. It targets independent governments for regime change.

It want subservient pro-Western puppet leadership replacing them. It spurns democracy at home and abroad.

It's waging terror wars on humanity. It's spending trillions of dollars doing so. It lets vital homeland needs go begging. It wants unchallenged global dominance.

Iran-US Interim Agreement: Historic Breakthrough of Historic Sellout?

American agreements aren't worth the paper they're written on. US history reflects it. Native Americans suffered through centuries of heroic lost struggles. From 1492 to today, they experienced promises made and broken.

Winning the West involved betraying them. One US treaty after another was violated. Imperialism works this way. Things haven't changed. Today they're worse than ever.

Earlier US policy makers sought sea to shinning sea dominance. Today they want it globally. They want it unchallenged. They'll stop at nothing to get it.

Obama is America's latest rogue leader. He's a moral coward. He's a serial liar. His word isn't his bond. Petras asked if the so-called "historic (Geneva) breakthrough" was real or a mirage.

Does it end 34 years of Iran bashing? Or is it the latest US betrayal dressed up in diplomatic mumbo jumbo?

The Big Lie about an Iranian nuclear threat persists. It's fake. It's a red herring. US intelligence reports say so. 

It's common knowledge in Washington. It doesn't matter. Congressional Iran bashing continues. So do punitive administration actions. 

Petras said Geneva ostensibly "is directed toward undermining Iran's potential 'capacity' to have a nuclear program: there are no weapons to destroy, no weapons plans exist, no war plans exist and there are no strategic offensive military operations on the Iranian 'drawing board.' "

"We know this because repeated US intelligence reports" say so.

"So the entire current negotiations are over weakening Iran's ongoing peaceful, legal nuclear program..."

They aim to "undermin(e) any future advance in nuclear technology that might protect Iran from an Israeli or US attack..."

Longstanding US/Israeli policy prioritizes destroying Iranian independence. It's replacing it with pro-Western puppet governance. 

It's advancing US/Israeli imperialism. It's eliminating all rival states. It's establishing unchallenged control. It's going all out by whatever means necessary.

Iran sought normalized relations with Washington and other Western countries for decades. It offered major concessions.

Its sincere efforts were spurned. Is this time different? Has Washington turned a page? Obama has all the proving to do. If past is prologue, don't expect it.

The Assassination of Anwar Al-Awlaki by Fiat

Obama ordered death by drone missile. He murdered a US citizen abroad. He did so without justification. 

He committed cold-blooded murder. For sure not for the first time. Or the last. He governs by diktat authority. He ignores fundamental rule of law principles.

Bill of Rights protections are gone. International law doesn't matter. Washington rules alone apply. Hegemons operate that way. 

So do rogue leaders like Obama. It bears repeating. He exceeds the worst of his predecessors.

Oligarchs, Demagogues and Mass Revolts…Against Democracy

US democracy exists in name only. Most other European ones operate the same way. Monied interests alone matter. Ordinary people have no say.

So-called "color-coded 'mass revolts' in Eastern Europe (including former Soviet republics) featured (duplicitous) popular leaders who exhorted the masses in the name of 'independence and democracy…," said Petras.

They were "pro-NATO, pro(Western) (imperial stooges) liked to neoliberal elites."

Modern-day "oligarchs privatized and sold off the most lucrative sectors of the economy, throwing millions out of work." 

"They dismantled the welfare state and handed over their military bases to NATO for the stationing of foreign troops and the placement of missiles aimed at Russia."

They betrayed their own people in the process. Things are worse now than ever.

Washington's history reflects backing governments spurning the needs of their own people. Western monied interests alone matter.

Hard times inflict enormous punishment. Wars compound the worst of conditions. Things continue going from bad to worse. A race to the bottom harms countless millions.

Petras concludes saying "understanding imperial politics requires: 

  • analyzing its changing structure and operational code; 

  • identifying its ideology and technological innovations;

  • analyzing the domestic foundations of empire and the interplay between overseas expansion and internal decay; and 

  • locating idiosyncratic domestic political configurations which influence and direct the particular policies and strategies of empire builders."

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] 

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 


http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

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Containing Russia

Containing Russia

by Stephen Lendman

It's longstanding US policy. In his March 18 address on Crimea, Putin was right saying:

"(W)e have every reason to assume that the infamous policy of containment, led in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, continues today."  

Western nations are "constantly trying to sweep us into a corner because we have an independent position, because we maintain it, and because we call things like they are and do not engage in hypocrisy."

"Everything has its limits," he added. "(I)n Ukraine, our Western partners crossed the red line." They "act(ed) irresponsibly and unprofessionally."

Putin had the courage to say what needs to be heard publicly. Containing Russia is longstanding US policy. It reflects US hegemonic ambitions. It risks a potential belligerent East/West confrontation.

As early as 1917, Washington and Britain wanted the new Soviet state destroyed. Three months before WW I ended, Britain led a multi-nation force. 

At the time, Lloyd George was Prime Minister. Churchill was UK Minister of War and Air. Woodrow Wilson was US president.

Thousands of US marines were involved. They invaded Russia. They intervened against Bolshevik forces. They remained until April 1920.

So-called "preventive war" failed. At the same time, "Red Scare" propaganda was intense. 

Political scientist Murray Levin called it "a nation-wide anti-radical hysteria provoked by a mounting fear and anxiety that a Bolshevik revolution in America was imminent - a revolution that would change church, home, marriage, civility, and the American way of Life."

Newspapers hyped fear. Xenophobia raged. Industrial Workers of the World (IWW Wobblies) were demonized. 

Latter-day media scoundrels called them "radical threats to American society" inspired by "left-wing, foreign agent provocateurs."

Labor strikes they led were called "crimes against society," conspiracies against the government," and "plots to establish communism."

Dozens of Wobbly members were arrested. They were convicted. They got long prison terms. The IWW was never the same again.

The infamous 1917 Espionage Act and 1918 anti-anarchist Sedition Act were enacted. Law Professor David Cole said Wilson "targeted alien radicals." 

"(He) deported them for their speech or associations. (He) ma(de) little effort to distinguish true threats from ideological dissidents."

In 1918, the abusive Palmer raids followed. They continued into 1921. Wilson's Attorney General Mitchell Palmer ordered them. He targeted Wobbly members and other left-wing groups.

He launched J. Edgar Hoover's FBI career. It began in the Department of Justice Bureau of Investigation's newly created General Intelligence Division. In 1935, it became the FBI.

A year earlier, the Special Committee on Un-American Activities was established. The House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) succeeded it.

From the mid-1950s through the early 1970s, Hoover's infamous COINTELPRO (counterintelligence) program targeted political dissidents, alleged communists, anti-war, human and civil rights activists, American Indian Movement members, and Black Panther Party ones, among others.

In their book, "Agents of Repression," Ward Churchill and Jim Vander Wall said:

"(T)he term came to signify the whole context of clandestine (usually illegal) political repression activities…" 

They included "a massive surveillance (program via) wiretaps, surreptitious entries and burglaries, electronic devices, live 'tails' and bogus mail." 

It was done to induce paranoia and "foster 'splits' within or between organizations."

Other tactics included:

  • "black propaganda" through leaflets or other publications; it was "designed to discredit organizations and foster internal tensions;"

  • "disinformation or 'gray propaganda' " for the same purpose; 

  • "bad-jacketing" to "creat(e) suspicion - through the spread of rumors, manufacture of evidence, etc." to turn some members against others violently;

  • "harassment arrests (on bogus) charges;" and

  • "assassinations (of) selected political leaders."

This writer vividly remembers December 4, 1969. Chicago police murdered Black Panther leaders Fred Hampton and Mark Clark while they slept. They did so in cold blood.

In November 1968, J. Edgar Hoover ordered FBI agents "to exploit all avenues of creating....dissension within the ranks of the BPP (using) imaginative hard-hitting counterintelligence measures aimed at crippling" the organization.

He targeted independent voices challenging America's imperial agenda. Soviet Russia supporters were prime targets.

Post-WW II, containing Russia became official US policy. US diplomat/ambassador to Soviet Russia/presidential advisor George Kennan (1904 - 2005) was "the father of containment."

He was a core member of so-called foreign policy "Wise Men." His advice inspired the Truman Doctrine. More on it below.

His 1946 "Long Telegram" from Moscow and 1947 "Sources of Soviet Conduct" claimed its government was inherently expansionist. 

Containing its influence in strategic areas vitally important to America had to be prioritized, he argued. Cold War policies followed. Kennan was instrumentally involved.

In February 1948, his "Memo PPS23" said:

"(W)e have 50% of the world's wealth but only 6.3% of its population. (It makes us) the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships (to let us) maintain this position of disparity without positive detriment to our national society." 

"To do so we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and daydreaming; and our attention will have to be concentrated everywhere on our immediate national objectives." 

"We need not deceive ourselves that we can afford today the luxury of altruism and world benefaction...."

"We should dispense with the aspiration to 'be liked' or to be regarded as the repository of a high-minded international altruism."

"We should (stop talking about) unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of the living standards, and democratization." 

"The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are hampered by idealistic slogans (ideas and practices), the better."

In July 1947, his so-called "X" article headlined "The Sources of Soviet Conduct."

He urged "counter(ing) it "effectively." He stressed "containment, saying:

"The main element of any United States policy toward the Soviet Union must be that of a long-term, patient but firm and vigilant containment of Russian expansive tendencies."

He quoted Lenin saying:

"Unevenness of economic and political development is the inflexible law of capitalism. It follows from this that the victory of Socialism may come originally in a few capitalist countries or even in a single capitalist country." 

"The victorious proletariat of that country, having expropriated the capitalists and having organized Socialist production at home, would rise against the remaining capitalist world, drawing to itself in the process the oppressed classes of other countries."

He said Soviet power reflects "innate antagonism between capitalism and socialism."

"We have seen how deeply that concept has become imbedded in foundations of Soviet power. It has profound implications for Russia's conduct as a member of international society." 

"It means that there can never be on Moscow's side a sincere assumption of a community of aims between the Soviet Union and powers which are regarded as capitalist." 

"It must inevitably be assumed in Moscow that the aims of the capitalist world are antagonistic to the Soviet regime, and therefore to the interests of the peoples it controls."

Antagonism remains, said Kennan. "And from it flow many of the phenomena which we find disturbing in the Kremlin's conduct of foreign policy: the secretiveness, the lack of frankness, the duplicity, the wary suspiciousness, and the basic unfriendliness of purpose."

Russians will be "difficult to deal with" for a long time, he stressed. In November 1948, NSC 4 outlined "US Objectives with Respect to the USSR to Counter Soviet Threats to US Security."

NSC 7 followed. It covered "The Position of the United States With Respect to Soviet Dominated World Communism." It said:

"(A) defensive policy cannot be considered an effective means of checking the momentum of Soviet expansion."  

"Defeat(ing)" communism was considered "vital to the security of the United States." It argued Washington should organize and lead a "counter-offensive" aimed at undermining Soviet strength.

It should "develop, and at the appropriate time carry out, a coordinated program to support underground resistance movements in countries behind the iron curtain, including the USSR."

Kennan's 1948 "Inauguration of Political Warfare" explained his ideas on how to conduct it. He discussed covert and overt strategies.

He included political alliances, economic policies, and encouraging underground resistance initiatives. He encouraged establishing "Liberation Committees" across Europe. He supported policies short of war.

"In the long run," he said, "there can be only three possibilities for the future of western and central Europe. One is German domination. Another is Russian domination." 

"The third is a federated Europe, into which the parts of Germany are absorbed but in which the influence of the other countries is sufficient to hold Germany in her place."

"If there is no real European federation and if Germany is restored as a strong and independent country, we must expect another attempt at German domination." 

"If there is no real European federation and if Germany is not restored as a strong and independent country, we invite Russian domination, for an unorganized Western Europe cannot indefinitely oppose an organized Eastern Europe." 

"The only reasonably hopeful possibility for avoiding one of these two evils is some form of federation in western and central Europe."

In March 1946, Churchill spoke at Fulton, MO-based Westminster College. He delivered his famous "Iron Curtain" speech. He titled it "The Sinews of Peace." 

He helped change the way Western nations viewed communist Eastern ones. In pointed language, he said:

"Nobody knows what Soviet Russia and its communist international organization intends to do in the immediate future, or what are its limits, if any, to their expansive and proselytizing tendencies."

"From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent."

"Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe."

"Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and Sofia, all these famous cities and the populations around them lie in what I must call the Soviet sphere, and all are subject in one form or another, not only to Soviet influence but to a very high and, in many cases, increasing measure of control from Moscow."

Many analysts consider his speech the beginning of the Cold War.

In March 1947, Truman's Doctrine pledged "support (for) free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures."

He aimed to keep Greece and Turkey from going communist. His policy applied globally. He initiated America's National Security State strategy.

Establishing NATO followed. So did policy papers like Kennan wrote. Peace didn't last long. Truman attacked North Korea. More on this below.

In April 1950, a Paul Nitze-supervised Joint State-Defense Department Committee National Security Memorandum No. 68 (NSC-68) was about containing Soviet Russia.

Inflammatory language called it an enemy "unlike previous aspirants to hegemony...animated by a new fanatic faith, antithetical to our own (wishing to) impose its absolute authority over the rest of the world." 

It claimed it at a time America was the only global superpower. Soviet Russia was devastated by WW II. Many more years were needed to regain normality. It threatened no one.

IF Stone's "Hidden History of the Korean War" explains a much different account than popularly believed.

In 1952, Monthly Review co-founders Leo Huberman and Paul Sweezy wrote in the preface:

"This book...paints a very different picture of the Korean War - one, in fact, which is at variance with the official version at almost every point." 

Stone's investigation into official discrepancies led him "to a full-scale reassessment of the whole" war.

Publisher Claude Bourdet wrote his own article titled "The Korean Mystery: Fight Against a Phantom,"? saying:

"If Stone's thesis corresponds to reality, we are in the presence of the greatest swindle in the whole of military history."

It's "not a question of a harmless fraud but of a terrible maneuver in which deception is being consciously utilized to block peace at a time when it is possible."

Stone called it international aggression. Huberman and Sweezy agreed. In August 1951, they said:

"(W)e have come to the conclusion that (South Korean president) Syngman Rhee deliberately provoked the North Koreans in the hope that they would retaliate by crossing the parallel in force."

He did so at Truman's behest. Multiple South Korean provocations gave him the war he wanted. Millions perished. Northern areas were turned to rubble. More wars followed. 

"The northerners," said Huberman and Sweezy, wanted Korea unified, not war. They "fell neatly into the trap." Truman took full advantage. He instigated conflict. 

Stone believed it saying:

"(W)e said we were going to Korea to go back to the status quo before the war, but when the American armies reached the 38th parallel they didn't stop."

"They kept going, so there must be something else. We must have another agenda here, and what might that agenda be?"

The same one he later learned initiated Washington's Southeast Asian war and others. Permanent war is official US policy. Containing Russia continues today. More on this below.

Post-WW II, the Marshall Plan (European Recovery Program) had little to do with so-called "huge gestures of (US) benevolence."

Economist Walt Rostow helped implement the plan. He called it one part of an "offensive to strengthen the area still outside Stalin's grasp."

In December 1947, then Undersecretary of State for Economic Affairs William Clayton said if aid wasn't provided, "the Iron Curtain would then move westward at least to the English Channel."

While implementation was being discussed, he said America "hold(s) in (its) hands the powerful weapon of discontinuance of aid if contrary to our expectations any country fails to live up to our expectations."

Economic Stabilization Bureau head Chester Bowles was candid, saying:

"The real argument for the Marshall Plan is a bolstering of the American system for future years."

The plan was named for popular General George Marshall. Post-war, Truman's popularity fell sharply. 

Putting his name on it risked public anger enough perhaps to get congressional rejection.

Marshall played the game. He pitched the plan. He delivered canned speeches. 

He disingenuously claimed it was to relieve "hunger, poverty, desperation, and chaos." It was about saving capitalism from communism and Stalinist influence.

Containing Russia remains official US policy. It's back to the future. The Cold War never ended. It morphed into new form.

Putin is public enemy number one. He's vilified more intensively than Soviet era leaders. In 2007, during his first term as president, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov discussed containing Russia, saying:

"The very (notion) appeals to instincts of the past. It not so much attests to the lack of imagination, but rather that for some individuals almost nothing has changed since the end of the Cold War." 

"These people propose imposing the structure of international relations which took shape long ago in the Western alliance, to the present moment." 

"The motives that dictated this policy of containment are making themselves felt at this new historical stage, as well."

"What kind of Russia should be contained," he asked? "What can be the goal of 'containing Russia' today?" 

"A Russia that has renounced an ideology of imperial and other 'great plans' in favor of pragmatism and common sense." 

"How can a nation, which has placed emphasis on its domestic development and is now progressing remarkably well, be contained?" 

"Russia's consolidation through creative work has naturally been translated into the strengthening of its international positions. Russia's foreign policy is nothing more than the continuation of its domestic policy." 

"We have realistic and understandable aspirations, namely: the maintenance of international stability as a major condition for our further development together with the natural evolution of international relations with the goal of achieving freedom and democracy."

Washington and Moscow are geopolitical opposites, he added. Therein lies what's at issue. Russia's peace and respect for national sovereignty priorities are at odds with America's imperial agenda.

Heightened tensions risk an East/West confrontation. Irresponsible US policy risks possible global war. If initiated there's no turning back. Humanity's fate hangs in the balance.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] 

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 


http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

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Article Indicts Jack Ruby As Accessory After The Fact

Political reporter Patrick Howley, writing in The Daily Caller, gives seven ironclad reasons Jack Ruby was part of the JFK assassination plot. His article entitled "Why Jack Ruby Was Probably Part Of The Kennedy Conspiracy" is reprinted here in its entirety.

"Jack Ruby was convicted 50 years ago Friday for the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald. Ruby, born Jacob Leon Rubenstein in Chicago in 1911, shot Oswald out of some kind of deep-seated love for the president Oswald had just allegedly killed, according to the official version of events. But the real facts of Ruby’s mid-day November 24, 1963 shooting of Oswald on live national television do little to validate the Warren Commission Report.

Here are seven reasons Ruby likely killed Oswald as part of the conspiracy to assassinate John F. Kennedy:

1. He said so

'Everything pertaining to what’s happening has never come to the surface. The world will never know the true facts, of what occurred, my motives. The people had, that had so much to gain and had such an ulterior motive for putting me in the position I’m in, will never let the true facts come above board to the world,' Ruby said on film after he shot Oswald.

Asked if these men were in very high positions, Ruby replied, 'Yes.'

2. He even suggested Lyndon Johnson ordered him to do it

'When I mentioned about Adlai Stevenson, if he was vice president there would never have been an assassination of our beloved President Kennedy…Well the answer is the man in office now,' Ruby said in 1963.

3. He was a known gangster

Jack Ruby ate at mafia-world restaurateur Joe Campisi’s Dallas restaurant the night before Kennedy was assassinated.

The House Select Committee on Assassinations found in a 1979 report that Ruby knew Chicago mob boss Sam Giancana, a close Kennedy crony and Fidel Castro assassination plot insider who helped Kennedy win Illinois in the 1960 presidential election. Kennedy and Giancana shared the same mistress, Judith Exner. After Kennedy took office, his brother and attorney general Robert Kennedy used the Justice Department to go after organized crime, even saying, 'I want that dago Sam Giancana put away for good.'

4. Why was Oswald being led through the basement of Dallas Police Headquarters in plain sight, accessible to the crowd?

Ruby had easy access to Oswald and nobody tried to stop him before he ran up to the alleged Soviet sympathizer, who was walking while being held on both sides by Dallas police detectives Jim Leavelle and L.C. Graves.

'Ruby’s shooting of Oswald was not a spontaneous act, in that it involved at least some premeditation. Similarly, the committee believed it was less likely that Ruby entered the police basement without assistance, even though the assistance may have been provided with no knowledge of Ruby’s intentions,' the House Select Committee on Assassinations found in 1979.

'The committee was troubled by the apparently unlocked doors along the stairway route and the removal of security guards from the area of the garage nearest the stairway shortly before the shooting… There is also evidence that the Dallas Police Department withheld relevant information from the Warren Commission concerning Ruby’s entry to the scene of the Oswald transfer,' according to the committee.

5. Oswald was asking to be silenced

'I’m just a patsy' Oswald shouted to reporters while in custody before being briskly taken away.

6. Richard Nixon recognized Ruby, having hired him at Lyndon Johnson’s request years before

'Nixon said, "The damn thing is, I knew this Jack Ruby. Murray [Chotiner] brought him to me in 1947, said he was one of ‘Johnson’s boys’ and that LBJ wanted us to hire him as an informant to the Committee. We did,"' former Nixon operative Roger Stone told The Daily Caller.

'I think Nixon immediately recognized that LBJ was using one his operatives to do ‘clean up’ work on the murder of John Kennedy,' Stone said.

7. The Warren Commission wouldn’t let him talk

'I want to tell the truth, and I can’t tell it here,' Ruby told Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren in June 1964, after Warren and other commission members including Gerald Ford visited Ruby in Dallas. Warren, whose commission was hastily assembled at the behest of President Johnson to quell conspiracy theories, declined to transport Ruby to Washington, D.C. to testify about what really happened."


http://www.amazon.com/Presidents-Mortician-Tim-Fleming/dp/098882907X

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Heightened US/Russian Tensions

Heightened US/Russian Tensions

by Stephen Lendman

US-style diplomacy features bullying, bluster and coercion. Cowing other nations to comply with its diktats is longstanding Washington policy. Outliers face stiff reprisals.

Post-9/11, former Bush Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage notorious warned Pakistan, saying: "You will either accept our carpet of gold or we will carpet-bomb you back to the Stone Age."

John Perkins was an "economic hit man." His job was plundering countries for profit. It's controlling their resources. 

It's impoverishing them. It's bankrupting them. It's entrapping them in debt bondage. It's exploiting their people.

Nations refusing face major reprisals. Washington stops at nothing to achieve goals. Tactics include bullying, intimidation, punishing sanctions, assassinations, coups and lawless aggression.

Washington rules apply. It's a game as old as empire. Go along or else. Nothing too outlandish is out of bounds.

Rule of law principles are ignored. Human lives and welfare aren't important. Advancing America's imperium matters most. 

Hegemons operate this way. Washington is totally out-of-control.
Neocons make policy. How many regime changes are too many? 

When does overreach risk global war? Perhaps bullying Russia too much risks it.

The damn fool in the White House lost his senses. So did his damn fool Secretary of State. On March 8, The New York Times headlined "Kerry Warns Russia Against Annexation of Crimea."

According to an unnamed State Department official, doing so would "close any available space for diplomacy." 

He warned against "continued military escalation and provocation in Crimea or elsewhere in Ukraine..." He "urged utmost restraint."

He responded to Russia's upper house Federation Council and lower house State Duma saying they support Crimean parliamentarians wanting to join Russia.

It's their choice. It's entirely legal. On February 17, 2008, Kosovo declared independence. A World Court July 2010 advisory opinion affirmed its right to do so," saying:

Its "declaration of independence of the 17 February 2008 did not violate general international law because (it) contains no 'prohibition on declarations of independence.' "

On September 18, 2014, Scottish citizens vote up or down on independence. It's their choice.

Crimeans can opt out of Ukraine the same way. They can declare independence or join Russia. It's their legal right. Claims otherwise are false.

Moscow has every right to welcome them. Odds favor it happening. US threats won't stop it.

Kerry is a world class bully. His counterpart Sergei Lavrov is a consummate diplomat. On Saturday, he said:

"We are ready to continue the dialogue on the understanding that the dialogue must be honest, partnership-like, without attempts to show us almost as a party to the conflict."

Moscow rejects Kiev putschist governance. It does so responsibly. It has no legitimacy whatever. Power-grabbers lack it entirely.

"The so-called interim government is not independent," said Lavrov. "To our huge regret, it is dependent on the radical nationalists who (lawlessly) seized power in an armed attack."

"It seems to me our Western partners are well aware of what they are because they visit there regularly, and share very alarming impressions in private candid conversations, but for the reasons of seemingly political expediency are trying to hush up these facts."

"Effectively, there is no state control whatsoever over public order, and the music is ordered by the so-called Right Sector which operates with the methods of terror and intimidation." 

"Already, threats are sounded not only against officials in Kiev and other Ukrainian regions, but against heads of the Russian regions neighboring with Ukraine as well." 

Lavrov wants Kiev sniper shootings independently investigated. Russia's State Duma intends to do so. 

What happened "can no longer be swept under the rug," said Lavrov. Ousted President Viktor Yanukovych had nothing to do with them.

He was wrongfully accused. Evidence showed putschists were responsible. They murdered scores of civilians and police. They did so in cold blood. 

They shot them from roof tops. He fired from windows of nearby buildings. Washington's dirty hands were involved. Nothing too underhanded is too dirty to topple sitting governments it opposes.

Rogue states operate this way. None match US ruthlessness.

In talks with John Kerry, Lavrov "warned against hasty and reckless steps capable of causing harm to Russian-American relations, particularly...sanctions which would inevitably hit the United States like a boomerang."

He urged common sense. It's not a US attribute. Lavrov knows what he's up against. Dealing with an out-of-control hegemon isn't easy. 

Restraint is entirely lacking. Barrel-of-a-gun diplomacy is featured. One country after another is ravaged. Millions of corpses attests to US depravity.

Lavrov shows remarkable resilience. The patience of Job describes him. His bests efforts may fall short.

His Foreign Ministry issued a blistering statement, saying:

"A number of the member states and executive bodies of the OSCE have behaved in the worst traditions of double standards with respect to the situation in Ukraine." 

"Despite their mandate, they said nothing about the rise of nationalist and neo-Nazi sentiments, and, of course, 'did not notice' the forceful activities of extremist forces."  

"Ill-disguised attempts to turn a blind eye to crimes committed in Kiev and Western Ukraine are accompanied by a desire to strictly track the activities of the legitimate Crimean authorities aimed at independent determination of their future, and all this is being done in contravention of the OSCE’s basic principle of consensus, without taking into account the opinions and recommendations of the Russian side, without waiting for official invitations from the authorities of Crimea."

"Russia will not accept the language of sanctions and threats, but in the event of their implementation...they will not be left without a response."

Instead of resolving things responsibly, Washington and complicit EU states escalate them dangerously. 

Media scoundrels hype Big Lies. Scurrilous reporting and commentaries proliferate.

The Los Angeles Times relied on illegitimate Kiev defense spokesman Alexei Mazepa. He lied claiming hundreds of Russian marines invaded Crimea.

"Russia is expanding its military presence on the peninsula," he said. "There are thousands of Russian troops now in Crimea in addition to the official contingent of the Black Sea fleet," he claimed

"There is no other word to describe the process but as an all-out invasion."

No responsible editor would publish this trash. Don't expect LA Times editors to explain.

AP was no better, headlining "Russia Reinforces Military Presence in Crimea," saying:

"Dozens of military trucks transporting heavily armed soldiers rumbled over Crimea's rutted roads Saturday as Russia reinforced its armed presence on the disputed peninsula in the Black Sea."

Crimean-based Kiev source Vladislav Seleznyov claimed Russian amphibious ships unloaded around 200 military vehicles on Friday.

"Neither the equipment nor the 'paratroopers' have insignia that identify them as Russian, but we have no doubt as to their allegiance," he said.

AP outrageously accused Russia of "seiz(ing) control of Crimea." So did most other media scoundrels. Their reports and commentaries say so.

Haaretz hyped the Big Lie. On March 9, it headlined "Russian forces tighten grip on Crimea despite US warning."

It cited Kiev spokesman Oleh Slobodyan claiming Russian forces took over a western Crimea border post. It controls 10 others across the Autonomous Republic, it said.

Fox News lied claiming "Russian troops hold Ukrainian border guards hostage."

No evidence whatever suggests Russian forces operating on Crimean territory except those related to its Black Sea Fleet. 

Don't expect media scoundrels to explain. Big Lies proliferate like crab grass.

Putin said Russia has no intention of annexing Crimea unilaterally. At the same time, its residents are entitled to decide their status on their own, he maintained.

On Sunday, March 9, alone, scurrilous reports continued. The New York Times headlined "Suspicion Falls on Russia as 'Snake' Cyberattacks Target Ukraine's Government."

A second one headlined "Kerry Warns Russia Against Annexation of Crimea."

Days earlier, Times imperial apologist Roger Cohen headlined "Ukraine Fights for Its Truth."

The Washington Post headlined "Russian forces tighten grip on Crimea, surrounding border guard stations."

WaPo editors featured Bush Secretary of State/unindicted war criminal Condoleezza Rice headlining "The US must lead again."

The Wall Street Journal features one or more daily scurrilous reports and/or commentaries. A Saturday one headlined "Why Putin Fears Ukraine: It's an Alternative Russia."

The Chicago Tribune headlined "Putin, West butt heads over Crimean secession."

An accompanying editorial headlined "Be firm, be patient on Ukraine."

A days earlier commentary hyped "The Invasion of Ukraine."

A Los Angeles Times editorial headlined "Putin plays with fire in Ukraine."

Numerous other reports, commentaries and editorials proliferate Big Lies. They do it daily.

Lawless neo-Nazi Kiev putschists are considered Ukraine's legitimate government. Yanukovych was maliciously accused of mass murder they committed.

Clear evidence showing otherwise is suppressed. US imperial lawlessness gets no attention. Russia/Putin bashing exceeds the worst of Cold War geopolitics.

Big Lies drown out truth. Readers and viewers are systematically deceived. Headlining screaming misinformation substitutes for legitimate journalism.

It's available only in alternative spaces. It's a commodity perhaps more than ever needed. It bears repeating what other articles stressed.

Today is the most perilous time in world history. Peace may hang by a thread. Some savvy observers think war is inevitable. 

Potential East/West confrontation looms. Humanity's fate hangs in the balance. What's more important than peace?

Mindless US policy risks global war. There's no turning back if it erupts. Perhaps they'll be no way of avoiding the worst of all outcomes. Imagine risking that possible outcome.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] 

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.


http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

Obama’s Dirty Hands Manipulating Venezuelan Violence

Obama's Dirty Hands Manipulating Venezuelan Violenceby Stephen LendmanHe wants Venezuela looking like Ukraine. He wants fascists replacing democrats. He wants Washington dictating Venezuelan policy.He's mindless of what most Venezuelans cherish. Boliva...

Obama Drones On: The Slaughter of Pakistani Civilians

William Boardman  RINF Alternative News In 2009, my home was attacked by a drone. My brother and son were martyred. My son’s name was Hafiz Zahinullah. My...

Standing Up to Militarism

Gary G. Kohls  RINF Alternative News On Feb. 18, 1943, three idealist anti-fascist whistleblowing students at the University of Munich were arrested and imprisoned by the...

Israel Bombs Syrian/Lebanese Border

Israel Bombs Syrian/Lebanese Borderby Stephen LendmanWashington and Israel are longstanding imperial partners. Netanyahu supports Obama's war on Syria.He bombed Syria at least six times last year. Obama defended his lawlessness. Syria poses no threat. ...

New War Budget & Strategy Announced by Obama Team

Bruce K. Gagnon RINF Alternative News Secretary of War Chuck Hagel yesterday announced the Obama administration's Pentagon budget proposal for the coming year. Despite mandates...

What The Dulles Brothers Did To America; Or How We Learned To Live In...

I don't often recommend others' books, seeing as how I am trying to sell my own right now. But I have to make an exception for Stephen Kinzer's excellent work, "The Brothers: John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, And Their Secret World War." It is a must-read for all who are interested in genuine American history, not the crap we are taught in American classrooms. Kinzer has laid out in great detail how America, post- WWII, transitioned from a democracy (the one that elected FDR, rose out the Depression and squashed fascism) to a country ruled by a select few (the Dulles brothers and their corporate cronies) in secret. It is shameful that only now is the full truth being exposed, but if you were able to interpret the last 50 years through a discerning lens you probably already suspected that life in America was being controlled by a cabal comprised of its wealthiest and most powerful. Wars, assassinations, attacks, coups, economic calamity, and election fraud have all been arranged for their benefit. This cabal consolidated its power under Dwight Eisenhower in the early '50s when Allen Dulles took over as CIA Director and John Foster Dulles as Secretary of State. Almost immediately leftist foreign governments met their demise and capitalist enterprises reaped windfall profits.

Having seen firsthand the devastation of a global war, Ike was happy to fight another kind of war in the 1950s. A virtually bloodless war staged by spies manipulating events in covert ways. In essence he turned the country over to the Dulles brothers; in return all they had to do was promise that there would be no six million dead in concentration camps, no American GIs committed to foreign soil, no atom bombs dropped here or overseas. Allen and Foster obliged, and they ascended to the throne. With their power they staged coups in Iran, Guatemala, the Congo, and anywhere their clients’ interests were at stake. Who were their clients? The 1% who owned everything–-Dow, the Rockefellers, United Fruit, the duPonts–-and who relied on their legal advisors (Sullivan & Cromwell) and their bankers (Brown Brothers Harriman) to handle their money here and abroad. As shareholders, the Dulles brothers got their cut, of course, and the rest is the history no one knows. For the Dulles brothers were interested only in that part of America that benefitted them, not the rest of us. The rest of us wanted democracy; the Dulleses were invested in oligarchy. The system survives today; their legacy lives on. One percent of Americans feast at the table and the rest of us fight for the crumbs they spill. They’ve owned presidents, politicians, defense contractors, and judges. They’ve rigged the game to their own ends. They’ve starved us, lied to us, and killed us. And used the power of the CIA (Corporations Invisible Army) to do it. All for profit. That’s the Dulles brothers’ America. One president, and only one, challenged them. And see what happened to him in Dallas.

http://www.amazon.com/Presidents-Mortician-Tim-Fleming/dp/098882907X

Another Dead Banker!! Number 6! It’s Happening Now (Video)

By Susan Duclos



An inside source warned me over the weekend to be on the lookout for another banker "suicide," and sure enough I awoke this morning to the news that another JP Morgan banker jumped to his death.


Via South China Morning Post:


An investment banker on Tuesday jumped to his death from the roof of Chater House in Central, where Wall Street bank JP Morgan has its Asia headquarters, several witnesses told the South China Morning Post. 
Witnesses said the man initially went to the roof of Chater House, a 30-floor building in the heart of Hong Kong’s central business district – and later jumped. The incident happened between 2pm to 3pm, one witness said. 
Several policemen were seen on the roof but apparently failed to convince the man not to jump, one of the witnesses said. Police later confirmed to the Post that a 33-year-old man – surnamed Li – was found in a dangerous position on the roof of Chater House on Connaught Road Central at 2.08pm local time. Li threw himself off the building before the city’s emergency crew arrived.

This brings the total to 6 top levels bankers and approximately 20 when low level bankers are included, in a very short span of time.


We were warned by "V" The Guerrilla Economist, via Steve Quayle, in multiple alerts, that the "house is being swept," and financial footprints are being purged.


January 29, 2014 Alert here.


February 5, 2014 Alert here.


The other five are, Richard Talley who shot himself with a nailgun.


Mike Dueker was found dead close to the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Washington State.


William Broeksmit, was found dead on January 26 in his home after an apparent suicide in South Kensington in central London.


Karl Slym, 51, was found dead on the fourth floor of the Shangri-La hotel in Bangkok.


39-year-old Gabriel Magee, a JP Morgan employee, died after falling from the roof of its European headquarters in London.


 Silver Doctors.


The house is being swept folks and this rash of suicides seems to be just the tip of the iceberg.


What do those behind this have on these men that would make them kill themselves? Some type of mind control? Threats against their families? 


The statistical chances of this many, in the same field, in this short amount of time, all committing suicide randomly, is remote at best and when the mysterious deaths of the approximate other 20 are added in, downright impossible.


Something huge is here and it is happening now.

[Update] Is this why the "fat cats" are running scared?



[Update] DAHBOO7, video below and in his video details he states "This is it folks ...without a doubt , something huge is brewing!"





 Cross posted at Before It's News

Obama Ordered The Murders Of At Least Three US Citizens In Cold Blood; ACLU...

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Top Six Reasons to Stop Fighting Wars

arabwomenresistance300

1. War is immoral.

Murder is the one crime that we're taught to excuse if it's done on a large enough scale. Morality demands that we not so excuse it. War is nothing other than murder on a large scale.

Over the centuries and decades, death counts in wars have grown dramatically, shifted heavily onto civilians rather than combatants, and been overtaken by injury counts as even greater numbers have been injured but medicine has allowed them to survive.

Deaths are now due primarily to violence rather than to disease, formerly the biggest killer in wars.

Death and injury counts have also shifted very heavily toward one side in each war, rather than being evenly divided between two parties. Those traumatized, rendered homeless, and otherwise damaged far outnumber the injured and the dead.

The idea of a "good war" or a "just war" sounds obscene when one looks honestly at independent reporting on wars.

When we say that war goes back 10,000 years it’s not clear that we’re talking about a single thing, as opposed to two or more different things going by the same name. Picture a family in Yemen or Pakistan living under a constant buzz produced by a drone overhead. One day their home and everyone in it is shattered by a missile. Were they at war? Where was the battlefield? Where were their weapons? Who declared the war? What was contested in the war? How would it end?

Is it not perhaps the case that we have already ended war and now must end something else as well (a name for it might be: the hunting of humans)?

If we can change our manner of killing foreigners to render it almost unrecognizable, who’s to say we can’t eliminate the practice altogether?

Read more.

 

2. War endangers us.

There are more effective tools than war for protection.

tankWar planning leads to wars.

In arming, many factors must be considered: weapon-related accidents, malicious testing on human beings, theft, sales to allies who become enemies, and the distraction from efforts to reduce the causes of terrorism and war must all be taken into account. So, of course, must the tendency to use weapons once you have them.  And a nation’s stockpiling of weapons for war puts pressure on other nations to do the same. Even a nation that intends to fight only in defense, may understand “defense” to be the ability to retaliate against other nations. This makes it necessary to create the weaponry and strategies for aggressive war. When you put a lot of people to work planning something, when that project is in fact your largest public investment and proudest cause, it can be difficult to keep those people from finding opportunities to execute their plans. Read more.

War making provokes danger.

While the best defense in many sports may be a good offense, an offense in war is not defensive, not when it generates hatred, resentment, and blowback, not when the alternative is no war at all. Through the course of the so-called global war on terrorism, terrorism has been on the rise. This was predictable and predicted. The wars on Iraq and Afghanistan, and the abuses of prisoners during them, became major recruiting tools for anti-U.S. terrorism. In 2006, U.S. intelligence agencies produced a National Intelligence Estimate that reached just that conclusion.  Read More.

War's weapons risk intentional or accidental apocalypse.

We can either eliminate all nuclear weapons or we can watch them proliferate. There's no middle way. We can either have no nuclear weapons states, or we can have many. As long as some states have nuclear weapons others will desire them, and the more that have them the more easily they will spread to others still. If nuclear weapons continue to exist, there will very likely be a nuclear catastrophe, and the more the weapons have proliferated, the sooner it will come. Hundreds of incidents have nearly destroyed our world through accident, confusion, misunderstanding, and extremely irrational machismo. And possessing nuclear weapons does absolutely nothing to keep us safe, so that there is really no trade-off involved in eliminating them. They do not deter terrorist attacks by non-state actors in any way. Nor do they add an iota to a military's ability to deter nations from attacking, given the United States' ability to destroy anything anywhere at any time with non-nuclear weapons. The United States, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, France, and China have all lost wars against non-nuclear powers while possessing nukes.

Read more.


3. War threatens our environment.

oiljetsA major motivation behind some wars is the desire to control resources that poison the earth, especially oil and gas.

Oil can be leaked or burned off, as in the Gulf War, but primarily it is put to use in all kinds of machines polluting the earth’s atmosphere, placing us all at risk. Some associate the consumption of oil with the supposed glory and heroism of war, so that renewable energies that do not risk global catastrophe are viewed as cowardly and unpatriotic ways to fuel our machines.

The interplay of war with oil goes beyond that, however. The wars themselves, whether or not fought for oil, consume huge quantities of it. The world’s top consumer of oil, in fact, is the U.S. military. Not only do we fight wars in areas of the globe that happen to be rich in oil; we also burn more oil fighting those wars than we do in any other activity. Author Ted Rall writes:

“The U.S. Department of [War] is the world’s worst polluter, belching, dumping, and spilling more pesticides, defoliants, solvents, petroleum, lead, mercury, and depleted uranium than the five biggest American chemical corporations combined. According to Steve Kretzmann, director of Oil Change International, 60 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions between 2003 and 2007 originated in U.S.-occupied Iraq, due to the enormous amount of oil and gas required to maintain hundreds of thousands of American military forces and private contractors, not to mention the toxins released by fighter jets, drone planes, and the missiles and other ordnance they fire at Iraqis.”

The U.S. military burns through about 340,000 barrels of oil each day. If the Pentagon were a country, it would rank 38th out of 196 in oil consumption.

The environment as we know it will not survive nuclear war. It also may not survive “conventional” war, understood to mean the sorts of wars now waged. Intense damage has already been done by wars and by the research, testing, and production done in preparation for wars.

Wars in recent years have rendered large areas uninhabitable and generated tens of millions of refugees. War “rivals infectious disease as a global cause of morbidity and mortality,” according to Jennifer Leaning of Harvard Medical School.

Perhaps the most deadly weapons left behind by wars are land mines and cluster bombs. Tens of millions of them are estimated to be lying around on the earth, oblivious to any announcements that peace has been declared. Most of their victims are civilians, a large percentage of them children.

The Soviet and U.S. occupations of Afghanistan have destroyed or damaged thousands of villages and sources of water. The Taliban has illegally traded timber to Pakistan, resulting in significant deforestation. U.S. bombs and refugees in need of firewood have added to the damage. Afghanistan’s forests are almost gone. Most of the migratory birds that used to pass through Afghanistan no longer do so. Its air and water have been poisoned with explosives and rocket propellants.

If militaries were made green in terms of their operations, they would lose one of their main reasons for war.  (Nobody can own the sun or the wind.)  And we would still have a long list of ... More reasons to end war.

Read more.

 

4. War erodes our liberties.

policeWe're often told that wars are fought for "freedom." But when a wealthy nation fights a war against a poor (if often resource-rich) nation halfway around the globe, among the goals is not actually to prevent that poor nation from taking over the wealthy one, after which it might restrict people's rights and liberties. The fears used to build support for the wars don't involve such an incredible scenario at all; rather the threat is depicted as one to safety, not liberty.

In close proportion to levels of military spending, liberties are restricted in the name of war -- even while wars may simultaneously be waged in the name of liberty.  We try to resist the erosion of liberties, the warrantless surveillance, the drones in the skies, the lawless imprisonment, the torture, the assassinations, the denial of a lawyer, the denial of access to information on the government, etc.  But these are symptoms.  The disease is war and the preparation for war.

It is the idea of the enemy that allows government secrecy.

The nature of war, as fought between valued and devalued people, facilitates the erosion of liberties in another way, in addition to the fear for safety.  That is, it allows liberties to first be taken away from devalued people.  But the programs developed to accomplish that are later predictably expanded to include valued people as well.

Militarism erodes not just particular rights but the very basis of self-governance. It privatizes public goods, it corrupts public servants, it creates momentum for war by making people's careers dependent on it.

One way in which war erodes public trust and morals is by its predictable generation of public lies.

Also eroded, of course, is the very idea of the rule of law -- replaced with the practice of might-makes-right.

Read more.

 

5. War impoverishes us.

sadDirect Expenses:

War has a huge direct financial cost, the vast majority of which is in funds spent on the preparation for war — or what's thought of as ordinary, non-war military spending. Very roughly, the world spends $2 trillion every year on militarism, of which the United States spends about half, or $1 trillion. This U.S. spending also accounts for roughly half of the U.S. government's discretionary budget each year and is distributed through several departments and agencies. Much of the rest of world spending is by members of NATO and other allies of the United States, although China ranks second in the world.

Indirect Expenses:

Wars can cost even an aggressor nation that fights wars far from its shores twise as much in indirect expenses as in direct expenditures.

The costs to the aggressor, enormous as they are, can be small in comparison to those of the nation attacked.

War Spending Drains an Economy:

It is common to think that, because many people have jobs in the war industry, spending on war and preparations for war benefits an economy. In reality, spending those same dollars on peaceful industries, on education, on infrastructure, or even on tax cuts for working people would produce more jobs and in most cases better paying jobs -- with enough savings to help everyone make the transition from war work to peace work.

War Spending Increases Inequality:

Military spending diverts public funds into increasingly privatized industries through the least accountable public enterprise and one that is hugely profitable for the owners and directors of the corporations involved.

War Spending Is Unsustainable, As Is Exploitation it Facilitates:

While war impoverishes the war making nation, can it nonetheless enrich that nation more substantially by facilitating the exploitation of other nations? Not in a manner that can be sustained.

Green energy and infrastructure would surpass their advocates' wildest fantasies if the funds now invested in war were transferred there.

Read more.

 

6. We need $2 trillion/year for other things.

aidIt would cost about $30 billion per year to end starvation and hunger around the world.  That sounds like a lot of money to you or me.  But if we had $2 trillion it wouldn't.  And we do.

It would cost about $11 billion per year to provide the world with clean water.  Again, that sounds like a lot. Let's round up to $50 billion per year to provide the world with both food and water. Who has that kind of money? We do.

Of course, we in the wealthier parts of the world don't share the money, even among ourselves. Those in need of aid are right here as well as far away.

But imagine if one of the wealthy nations, the United States for example, were to put $500 billion into its own education (meaning "college debt" can begin the process of coming to sound as backward as "human sacrifice"), housing (meaning no more people without homes), infrastructure, and sustainable green energy and agricultural practices.  What if, instead of leading the destruction of the natural environment, this country were catching up and helping to lead in the other direction?

The potential of green energy would suddenly skyrocket with that sort of unimaginable investment, and the same investment again, year after year. But where would the money come from? $500 billion? Well, if $1 trillion fell from the sky on an annual basis, half of it would still be left. After $50 billion to provide the world with food and water, what if another $450 billion went into providing the world with green energy and infrastructure, topsoil preservation, environmental protection, schools, medicine, programs of cultural exchange, and the study of peace and of nonviolent action?

U.S. foreign aid right now is about $23 billion a year.  Taking it up to $100 billion -- never mind $523 billion! -- would have a number of interesting impacts, including the saving of a great many lives and the prevention of a tremendous amount of suffering.  It would also, if one other factor were added, make the nation that did it the most beloved nation on earth.  A recent poll of 65 nations found that the United States is far and away the most feared country, the country considered the largest threat to peace in the world.  Were the United States responsible for providing schools and medicine and solar panels, the idea of anti-American terrorist groups would be as laughable as anti-Switzerland or anti-Canada terrorist groups, but only if one other factor were added -- only if the $1 trillion came from where it really ought to come from.

Some U.S. states are setting up commissions to work on the transition from war to peace insustries.

Read more.

read more

Meet the American Empire’s Favorite NGO: Human Rights Watch

Keane Bhatt  RINF Alternative News The world's most respected human rights group has deep ties to U.S. corporate and state sectors. Over more than a decade, the...

Israeli Ethnic Cleansing

Israeli Ethnic Cleansing

by Stephen Lendman

It's longstanding state policy. It's what former Israeli politician Yigal Allon called maximum land with minimum Arabs. 

It's dispossessing them for Jewish exclusivity. It's doing it extrajudicially. It's doing it without compromise.

It's claiming all land Israel wants belongs exclusively to Jews. Palestinian rights don't matter. They're persecuted for their faith, ethnicity and presence. 

They're ethnically cleansed to make way for Jews. It's happening one bulldozed Palestinian home at a time. Destroying entire communities reflect it.

Last September, Jordan Valley Khiret Khallet Makhul community homes were demolished. Sixty Bedouin Arab Israeli citizens were affected.

They've lived there for many years. They grazed their livestock. They had to sleep outside with no shelter.

Last August, Israel's Supreme Court rejected their petition. It sought to legitimize their legally built structures. 

Since demolition, Israeli soldiers prevented community members and international aid agencies from erecting tents for shelter.

Their fundamental rights were denied. What Israel wants it gets. Ethnic cleansing is longstanding Israeli policy. The Jordan Valley is being systematically Judaized. Most of it is already.

Civil Administration policy denies Arab communities access to their own land. It does so various ways.

Closed military zones are declared. So are nature reserves. Palestinian land is declared state owned. They're excluded from nearly 90% of the Jordan Valley.

In areas where they live, they're prohibited from building homes and other structures. They can't do it without state authorized permits. They're practically impossible to get.

When Palestinians build on their own land, demolition orders follow. From 2006 through April 2013 alone, hundreds of Palestinian homes were targeted. 

Around 1,600 family members were affected. Many were one or more times earlier. Israeli policy reflects its Judaization strategy.

It includes annexing Palestinian land. It's exploiting its water and other resources. It's denying homeless Palestinians humanitarian aid.

It's violating fundamental international laws. It's doing it repeatedly. It's ongoing during sham peace talks. 

It prevents equitable conflict resolution. It punishes Arabs for not being Jews. Jordan Valley Khirbet 'Ein Karzaliyah residents are affected. 

On January 8, their homes and other structures were demolished. Their only water pipe was destroyed.

Three families were affected. They include 10 adults and 15 children. They're farmers. They raise livestock. 

Their possessions include three tents, six pens, five livestock sheds, two chicken coops and three flocks. They consist of about 750 sheep and goats.

In 1972, IDF commanders lawlessly declared their area a closed military zone. They claimed it was needed as a firing zone.

Residents explained otherwise. Until two years ago, no military activity was present.

In 2003, Israeli Civil Administration officials began ordering residents to evacuate their own land. Some of their homes and facilities were destroyed.

In January 2010, residents were ordered to leave the area within 72 hours. Closed military zone authority was again cited.

Palestinians petitioned Israel's High Court. At the same time, it issued an interim injunction. It halted evacuations. It did so pending their intention to rule on the issue.

On January 31, 2011, a hearing followed. Residents were denied their legitimate rights. State officials lied saying their land was needed for military training.

They claimed residents had no right to live on their own land. They were offered other sites. They were unacceptable. Palestinians refused justifiably.

It's their land. It's their right to live there. Resolution was months in coming. Justice was systematically denied.

On December 3, 2013, High Court justices ruled for Israel. They said Palestinians failed to prove their permanent residency status.

They were given three days to remove their belongings. They were told to resolve their differences with state authorities.

No understanding was reached. It didn't surprise. Israel is all take and no give. It demands. It does so extrajudicially. It offers practically nothing in return.

'Ein Karzaliyah families faced imminent dispossession. International law doesn't matter. Israel does whatever it wants. It does it repeatedly. It does it with impunity.

Palestinians have no rights. They're systematically denied. On January 8, 'Ein Karzaliiyah residents were left homeless. B'Tselem director Jessica Montell commented, saying:

"Israel has once again forgotten that control entails responsibility. The Jordan Valley cannot be addressed as a merely theoretical issue, discussing its future while completely disregarding the fate of its residents." 

"At the moment, the authorities must set aside their political ambitions and consider the fate of 25 individuals, who do not know how they’ll get through the night and how their flocks, their only source of income and livelihood, will fare."

A previous article discussed Israeli plans to perhaps annex the entire Jordan Valley. It's 30% of the West Bank. 

Israel controls nearly 90% of it already. It wants the rest. It wants Palestinians entirely excluded. They're systematically being removed.

Israel wants the entire area Judaized. It wants Arabs excluded. Nearly all Jordan Valley land lies in Area C. 

It's under exclusive Israeli control. De facto annexation exists. Israel wants it made official. 

Many communities were ordered to leave. They have no choice. They're forced out if don't leave voluntarily. 

Thousands of Bedouin Arab Israeli citizens are affected. Israel wants them all out. Legally the Jordan Valley is occupied territory.

Israel is responsible for the well-being of its residents. It includes respecting their fundamental rights. 

They include the right to live, build, and earn a living on their own land. Dispossessing legitimate residents violates fundamental international law.

Israel is obligated to respect it. Other nations are obliged to assure it. Professor William Cook comments about the longstanding plight of Palestinians.

His newest book is titled "Decade of Deceit 2002-2012." It's a major contribution toward understanding decades of Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

Fifty-five essays explain longstanding Palestinian suffering. They cover indignities imposed by a racist/rogue occupier.

Palestine's Nakba never ended. State terror is official policy. Israel calls it self-defense. Lawful resistance to live free is called terrorism. 

Daily life includes persecution, home demolitions, dispossessions, land theft, targeted assassinations, mass arrests, incarceration, torture, denial of virtually all rights, and living in fear of what's next.

Palestinians are largely on their own. World leaders able to help turn a blind eye. They support Israel's worst crimes.

In early January, Fars News interviewed Cook. He called longstanding Israeli persecution unjustifiable, indefensible and discriminatory.

"America’s poor suffer the consequences," he said. "(S)chools have no money to care for the deprived Americans, and that is but an example of what happens when we dedicate the taxpayers' money to slaughter and mayhem in a land we claim must defend itself when we can't even identify the boundaries of that state because it refuses to identify its borders as they are continually growing as they inflict further genocide on the people of Palestine." 

Israel was established "in a pit of intentional deception," he explained. It was done "to create a false send of legitimacy to justify before the world community its right to exist."

Its creation came by stealing Palestine. It did so by ethnic slaughter and dispossession. It reflect Zionism's dark side. It includes high crimes against peace, equity and justice.

Where is the moral outrage? Cook asks: "How can the world communities allow such a state of affairs to exist?" 

Why aren't Israeli leaders held accountable? Why is Palestinian suffering allowed to continue? Why aren't their legitimate rights respected? Why isn't international law enforced?

Terrorism's infrastructure lies in Israel's occupation, says Cook. Decades of Israeli leaders bear full responsibility. Palestinians are wrongfully blamed for their crimes.

Israel is guilty of slow-motion genocide. World leaders ignore what's longstanding. According to Jeff Halper:

"The problem in the Middle East is not the Palestinian people, not Hamas, not the Arabs, not Hezbollah or the Iranians or the entire Muslim world." 

The problem is Israel, he stresses. Its leaders bear full responsibility for decades of regional "instability, extremism and violence…"

World leaders able to change things do nothing. They let Israel  continue occupation harshness. 

They permit high crimes against peace. They let Palestinian suffering persist unjustly. They do it for their own self-interest.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] 

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.


http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

Obama’s Kill List

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Washington’s Dirty Game

Washington's Dirty Game

by Stephen Lendman

Washington can't hide its dark side. It's too ugly to conceal. Its been exposed numerous times. 

Here we go again. Assistant Secretary of State for European and European Affairs Victoria Nuland was caught red-handed. More on this below.

She's hardcore neocon. She's a career foreign service officer. She's worked with Democrat and Republican administrations. 

Early in her career, she covered Russian internal politics at Washington's Moscow embassy.

She served on the Soviet Desk in Washington. She worked in the State Department's Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs. She served in Guangzhou, China. 

She was Deputy to the Ambassador-at-Large for the Newly Independent States of the former Soviet Union. She directed a task force on Russia, its neighbors and an expanding NATO.

She was Clinton's Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott's chief of staff. She was Deputy Permanent Representative to NATO. 

She was Dick Cheney's Principal Deputy National Security Advisor. She was Permanent US Representative to NATO.

She was a National War College faculty member. She was Obama's Special Envoy for Conventional Armed Forces in Europe.

On September 18, 2013, she was appointed Assistant Secretary of State for European and European Affairs.

Her husband is Project for the New American Century (PNAC) co-founder Robert Kagan. He's a neocon foreign policy theorist/hardliner.

He advised John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign. He served on Hillary Clinton's Foreign Affairs Policy Board.

The Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI) is PNAC's current incarnation. He's a board of directors member. He represents the worst of America's dark side. So does Nuland.

She supports regime change. She backs neo-fascist governance replacing Ukrainian democracy. 

She's involved in manipulating street thug violence. She's part of a US-instigated insurrection. 

She wants legitimate Ukrainian governance toppled. She wants pro-Western stooge governance replacing it. She lied saying: "We stand with the people of Ukraine..."

She demands Ukrainian President Viktor Yanokovych engage "with Europe and the IMF."

She was caught red-handed urging regime change on tape. Her conversation with US Ukraine ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt was recorded. 

It's circulating on You Tube. It's more evidence of America's dark side. It bears repeating. It's too ugly to hide.

The leaked video is damning. It's four minutes long. It's titled "Maidan puppets." It refers to Kiev's Independence Square.

The Kiev Post (KP) broke the story. On February 6, it headlined " 'F..k the EU,' frustrated Nuland says to Pyatt, in alleged leaked phone call."

On February 4, the Nuland/Pyatt conversation was posted on You Tube. It's unclear by whom.

Both US officials expressed frustration over EU "inaction and indecision," said KP. Nuland was heard saying "f..k the EU." 

Pyatt called opposition figure Vitali Klitschko the "top dog." He heads the Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform party (UDAR). Pyatt and Nuland agreed he's "too inexperienced to hold a top government post."

A US Kiev embassy spokeswoman had no comment. State Department spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki downplayed what happened.

"I'm not going to confirm or outline details," she said. "I understand there are a lot of reports out there and there's a recording out there, but I'm not going to confirm private diplomatic conversations."

When pressed about the You Tube's authenticity, she said she "didn't say it was inauthentic. I think we can leave it at that."

She was pressed again about the conversation revealing US intentions opposite of public comments about Ukrainians deciding their own future.

She lied saying they aren't "inconsistent in the least bit." Her convoluted explanation doesn't wash. 

She claimed Washington is working with Ukraine's government, opposition elements, as well as "business and civil society leaders to support their efforts..."

Obama wants regime change. He wants Ukraine's democratically elected government toppled. Not according to Psaki.

She lied claiming it's "up to the Ukrainian people themselves to decide their future. (It's) up to them to determine their path forward, and that's a consistent message that we're conveying publicly and privately."

Psaki was hard-pressed explaining why Nuland felt the need to apologize. Doing so shows You Tube dialogue was authentic.

White House and State Department officials barely stopped short of accusing Russia of surreptitiously recording Nuland's conversation.

Psaki called the incident a "new low in Russian tradecraft in terms of publicizing and posting this."

"I don't have any other independent details about the origin of the You Tube video," she added. 

Snowden exposed NSA's systematic global spying. Foreign leaders are targeted. Their phone calls are monitored. Their emails are read. Psaki left that issue unaddressed.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said "since the video was first noted and tweeted out by the Russian government, I think it says something about Russia's role."

He wouldn't comment on what Nuland and Pyatt said. 

Hours before the You Tube surfaced, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin's aide, Dmitry Loskutov, was among the first to tweet information about it, saying: 

"Sort of controversial judgment from Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland speaking about the EU."

According to the Kiev Post, "(t)he leaked phone call appears to have been made following (Ukrainian) President Viktor Yanukovych's Jan. 25 offer to opposition leader Arseniy Yatseniuk to be prime minister and Klitschko to be deputy prime minister..."

In 2005 and 2006, Yatseniuk was Ukraine's economy minister. In 2007, he was foreign minister. 

In 2007 and 2008, he chaired Ukraine's parliament (the Verkhovna Rada). It's a unicameral body.

The All-Ukrainian Union "Fatherland" is Ukraine's second largest party. Yatsenyuk heads its parliamentary faction.

He and Klitschko refused Yanukovych's offer to join his government. On January 28, former Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov resigned. Yanukovych accepted his resignation. He signed a decree. He dismissed other cabinet officials.

He promised more concessions. He appointed a committee to propose constitutional revisions.

It didn't help. At the time, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov condemned street violence by "fascistic youths."

He warned against external interference. Russia "stands for a political settlement within the framework of Ukrainian law," he said.

Washington's dirty hands bear full responsibility for street violence. Regime change politics is longstanding US policy. It involves every dirty trick imaginable.

Syria is in the eye of the storm. So is Ukraine. Conditions remain volatile. Nuland/Pyatt intentions reveal what Ukrainians have to fear.

In December 1994, Washington, Russia, Britain and Northern Ireland welcomed Ukraine's accession to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, saying:

They "reaffirm(ed) their commitment to Ukraine, in accordance with the principles of the CSCE (Helsinki) Final Act, to respect the Independence and Sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine."

They "reaffirm(ed) their obligation to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine...in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations."

They "reaffirm(ed) their commitment…to refrain from economic coercion designed to subordinate to their own interest the exercise by Ukraine of the rights inherent in its sovereignty..."

Washington is duplicitous. It can't be trusted. It's word isn't its bond. It's history is treacherous. 

It systematically ignores international law. It violates treaty obligations repeatedly. It wants all independent governments toppled. It goes all out to remove them.

It targets Ukraine for regime change. Nuland told Pyatt a UN official she spoke to said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon agreed to send someone to Ukraine to "help glue this thing and have the UN glue it."

She was told Ban will appoint former Dutch Ukrainian ambassador, Robert Serry, as his representative.

"That would be great I think to help glue this thing and have the UN glue it," said Nuland. At that point, she said "And you know, f..k the EU."

"Exactly," Pyatt replied. "And I think we got to do something to make it stick together because you can be sure that if it does start to gain altitude the Russians will be working behind the scenes to torpedo it."

"Let me work on Klitschko," he added. "I think we should get a Western personality to come out here and midwife this thing."

Klitschko "is obviously the complicated electron here," said Pyatt.

"And you've seen some of my notes on the troubles in the marriage (among opposition leaders) right now." 

"So we're trying to get a read really fast on where he is with this stuff." 

"But I think your argument to him, which I think you’ll need to make...is exactly the one you made to Yats (Yatseniuk), and I'm glad you kind of put him on the spot in where he fits in in this scenario." 

Nuland favors Yatseniuk for a leadership role. He's "the guy who's got the economic experience, the governing experience," she said.

"What he needs is Klitsch (Klitschko) and (Svoboda party fascist leader) Tiahnybok on the outside. He needs to be talking to them four times a week, you know."

"I think Klitsch going in, he's going to be at that level, working for Yatseniuk. It's just not going to work," she added.

"Yeah, I think that's right," said Pyatt. He urged Nuland to reach out directly to him and "help with the personality management among the three," he added.

The conversation ended with Nuland saying she can get Vice President Joe Biden to call Yanukovych "for an attaboy and to get the deeds to stick."

In December, Nuland spent days in Ukraine. She met publicly with opposition leaders. She joined their street protests. She handed out cookies.

Imagine if Russian, Chinese or other foreign officials acted the same way in Washington. Imagine the public rage. Imagine the threatening response.

On Monday, EU foreign ministers will meet in Brussels. They'll discuss imposing sanctions on Ukraine. Washington threatens its own.

On Thursday evening, Nuland met with opposition leaders Yatseniuk, Klitschko and Tiahnybok. They plotted strategy.

Hours earlier the European Parliament approved an anti-Ukrainian resolution. It called for imposing sanctions. Ukraine's Foreign Ministry responded saying:

"We're disappointed at prejudice with which the European Parliament assessed the Ukrainian government's actions and at the fact that it ignored the vast majority of constructive efforts made by the Ukrainian leadership in relation to the implementation of plans for building trust and engaging into a peaceful and inclusive dialogue with both the opposition and the civilian population." 

"An unbalanced nature of the resolution and calls for introducing EU restrictions don't contribute to nationwide reconciliation and trust in Ukraine and undermine the process of settling the conflict."

Washington manipulated Ukraine's 2004 Orange Revolution. Yanukovych's earlier government was ousted.

In 2010, he was reelected president. He's targeted again. Orange Revolution 2.0 continues. At stake is Ukrainian sovereign independence.

What's ongoing involves weakening and isolating Russia. Washington's dirty game is transparent. Imperial ruthlessness is longstanding US policy.

All independent states are targeted. So are major rivals. America wants unchallenged global dominance. It wants world resources plundered for profit. 

It wants ordinary people made serfs. It wants them impoverished. It wants vassal states beholden to US interests. It wants them trapped in debt bondage.

It wants ruthless control replacing democracy. It wants subservient stooges replacing legitimately elected officials.

Empire building is dirty. Tactics include bullying, intimidation, sanctions, assassinations, coups and lawless aggression. 

Ukraine's future is at stake. Whether Yanukovych can save its democracy remains to be seen. The fate of 46 million Ukrainians hangs in the balance.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] 

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.


http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

Free Expression on Trial in Israel

Free Expression on Trial in Israel

by Stephen Lendman

Israel mocks democratic values. It has no borders. It's to steal Palestinian land.

It has no constitution. Basic laws substitute. They fall woefully short. Ones in place are ignored.

Universally recognized rights are compromised. They include life, liberty and security. They assure privacy. They prohibit cruel and unusual punishments.

They assure everyone equal protection under the law. No distinction can be made based on race, nationality, ethnicity, gender or religious preference.

They guarantee free expression, free assembly, free movement, and free thought. They assure adequate food, shelter, clothing, healthcare, education and other vital services. 

They guarantee government of, by and for everyone equitably and fairly.

Israel is no democracy. It never was. For sure it's not now. It wants critics silenced. Legislation, policies and judicial rulings violate free speech, a free press, freedom of assembly and freedom of religion.

Military censors have final say on published content. They can prohibit material called harmful to national security. True or false doesn't matter.

Israel's Supreme Court limits content suppression to "tangible (or) near certain" instances of public endangerment. Interpretations are crucial.

Israeli authorities are hardline. Rulings are twisted advantageously. Others are ignored. Fundamental rights are systematically violated. Police state justice prevails.

Anat Kamm is Israel's Bradley (Chelsea) Manning. In October 2011, she was prosecuted for whistleblowing. 

She exposed Israeli crimes against humanity. They involved targeted Palestinian assassinations. Ordering them violates international law. Nothing justifies murder.

Kamm was initially charged with espionage. Plea bargaining reduced charges. Prior to conviction, she spent two years under house arrest. 

Tel Aviv's District Court gave her 54 months imprisonment. It added another 18 months suspended sentence.

It did so on charges of collecting, holding and passing on classified material without authorization. She justifiably exposed wrongdoing. It didn't matter. 

She was imprisoned. On December 31, 2012, Israel's High Court shortened her sentence to three and a half years. Her 18 month suspended sentence remained.

On January 15, Israel's Prison Service parole board approved her early release. It did so for good behavior.

On January 26, she was freed. It's after serving two years. Her conviction violated press freedoms. 

Journalists are supposed to report government wrongdoing. It's their job to hold culpable officials responsible.

Not in America. Not in Israel. Potential prison time awaits those who try. Others are vulnerable for demonstrating publicly.

Daphni Leef is a video artist, editor and social activist. Neoliberal harshness is official Israeli policy. Social inequality is extreme. 

Recent data show nearly 40% of Israeli families can't cover monthly expenses. Poverty affects growing numbers. Children and seniors are most vulnerable. Activist Israelis want change.

In summer 2011 and 2012, they rallied across Israel. Leef was a Tel Aviv tent camp organizer.

Israelis want long denied social justice. America, Britain and Israel are the most unjust developed societies. Neoliberal harshness writ large is policy.

Wealth, power and privilege matter more than human need. For two consecutive summers, Israelis said no more. 

Grievances they demanded addressing still fester. Things are worse now than then. Issues include:

  • unaffordable housing;

  • high food and energy prices;

  • low wages and eroding social benefits;

  • onerous taxes;

  • education and healthcare increasingly dependent on the ability to pay;

  • weak labor rights;

  • construction funding disproportionately allocated for settlement development; and 

  • the high cost of raising children.

Instead of addressing vital issues responsibly, Israeli officials ignore them. Privilege alone matters. Most Israelis increasingly are on their own, sink or swim.

Israeli police violence resembles America's. Peaceful protesters are viciously targeted. They're brutalized. They're arrested. They're treated like criminals.

Daphni Leef is Exhibit A. On June 22, 2012, Israeli police targeted her. They beat her. They acted on government orders to do so.

They dragged her out of a group of peaceful demonstrators. They did it violently. They threw her to the ground. 

She tried protecting herself from repeated blows. She sustained multiple injuries doing so. They included a broken arm.

Police claimed peacefully protesting was illegal. They said authorization was needed to do so. 

They lied claiming Leef and other demonstrators "disturbed the peace in a way that could intimidate" public order.

They wrongfully accused her of leading "angry demonstrators and encourag(ing) their acts against inspectors and policemen."

She and 11 others were arrested. They joined hundreds of other protestors. They rallied under the banner "Emergency protest! Returning power to the people."

They headed for Rothschild Blvd. In summer 2011, rallies, marches and tent cities were prominent there for weeks.

Leef and others planned more tent city activism. They were brutally targeted to prevent it. Police states operate this way. Israel is one of the worst.

Arab citizens are treated like fifth column threats. Dissenting Jews are treated like criminals.

Leef was forcefully dragged to a police van. She was thrown inside. Witnesses won't forget what happened. Police violence leaves lasting memories. 

Last June, Leef refused plea bargain terms. They required false self-incrimination. In return, she'd perform 60 hours of community service. She declined to settle for anything less than all charges dropped.

They wrongfully accuse her of participating in a riot, using force and threats, resisting arrest, and obstructing police.

In January 2013, she was formally charged. Days passed before she knew. Summoning to a Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court hearing alerted her.

She requested a postponement. She needed time to study charges. The court acquiesced. She rejects all charges.

"I've been fighting to make (Israel) a better place for a year and a half now," she said. "There's something crazy about receiving an indictment that has no basis in reality."

She protested peacefully. She acted responsibly. Cops responded like thugs. They belong in the dock, not her.

Attorney Gabi Lasky represents her.  Days after the incident, police admitted "arrest(ing) (her) was a mistake," she said.

"We'll prove that this indictment is an even greater mistake," she added.

On February 3, Haaretz editors headlined "Leave Daphni Leef alone," saying:

Police conduct "should be seen as a scare tactic aimed at deterring future demonstrators." 

The evidentiary phase of Leef's trial began days earlier. They reflect Kafkaesque proceedings. They mock legitimacy.

"…Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein and Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino (began) to comprehend the injustice and the damage entailed in (Leef's) show trial," said Haaretz editors.

They'll reexamine criminal proceedings, they said. Evidence so far is woefully lacking. 

It shows "video footage in which Leef does not even appear and testimony from a police special forces officer who said he saw Leef shove another officer, the identity of whom he could not remember."

Magistrate Court Judge Shamai Becker wasn't pleased. He criticized poor quality evidence presented. Other video clips showed police using brutal force against Leef.

It proves their culpability. Leef was brutally victimized. "It raises questions about the officers’ credibility and the motivation of the police in this affair," said Haaretz editors.

TheMarker is an Israeli publication. It interviewed Leef. "On the one hand I sit in court and know what a gap there is between what really happened and what the witnesses said, and on the other hand I understand how much this is a matter of the system," she said. 

Weinstein and Danino "must put an end to the Leef affair," said Haaretz editors. They must "compel the police to retreat from the criminal proceedings against her."

They violate "fundamental democratic principles." Doing so is longstanding Israeli policy. Haaretz editors didn't explain.

Leef is one of many victims. Many face false charges. Some react their own way.

In July 2012, Moshe Silman died for justice. He self-immolated. 

He left a letter saying:

"The state of Israel stole from me and robbed me. It left me helpless."

"Two Housing and Construction Ministry committees rejected me, even though I had a stroke."

Disabled and disheartened, he couldn't survive on his monthly $582 allowance. "I can't even live month to month," he said. "I won't be homeless, and so I am protesting."

He blamed "the state of Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz for the humiliation that the weakened citizens go through every day, taking from the poor and giving to the rich."

During a 2012 July 14 street protest, he poured gasoline on his body, self-immolated and died days later. He was too far gone to save.

Israel betrayed him like many others. Rights are systematically denied. Imagine dying for social justice. Rallies supported Silman after his death.

They did so under the slogan: "We're all Moshe Silman - The Blood is on the Government's Hands."

Targeting Leef represents Inquisition justice. She deserves widespread support. Doing the right thing demands it. 

Israel is one of the most socially unjust developed countries. Conditions go from bad to worse. Leef and likeminded activists demand change. It's more than ever needed.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] 

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.


http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

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Eulogizing a Mass Murderer

Eulogizing a Mass Murderer

by Stephen Lendman

On January 11, Ariel Sharon died. He's not missed. A previous article discussed his blood-drenched military and political career.

It did so in depth. It explained his decades of high crimes against peace. They began before Israel's creation. They continued until his debilitating stroke induced coma. It occurred in January 2006.

Sharon was pure evil. He was satanic. He was no saint. A special place in hell awaited him. It now claims him. 

His criminal legacy remains. It's indisputable. It's well documented. Eulogizers largely ignored it. They did so shamelessly.

Obama and other world leaders praised him. A previous article quoted them. They ignored his high crimes. They have plenty of their own to answer for. The same place in hell awaits them.

Bill Clinton is one of many US unindicted war criminals. He was complicit in Sharon's crimes. One war criminal honored another. He issued a statement saying:

"Ariel Sharon gave his life to Israel to bring it into being, to sustain and preserve it, and at the end of his long service, to create a new political party committed to both a just peace and lasting security." 

"It was an honor to work with him, argue with him and watch him always trying to find the right path for his beloved country.''

Congressional members mourned Sharon. House Speaker John Boehner (R. OH) called him "one of the greatest warrior-statesmen in modern history."

His "contribution to establishing and defending Israel's independence is incalculable, and his devotion to peace undisputed."

George W. Bush called him a "man of peace." Vice President Joe Biden said he'll lead a US delegation to his memorial service.

He'll do so "to pay tribute to the unshakeable partnership between the United States and Israel."

John Kerry said his "journey was Israel's journey. The dream of Israel was the cause of his life, and he risked it all to live that dream."

He did so over the corpses of many thousands of Palestinian civilians he slaughtered in cold blood. 

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R. KY) said "Israel lost one of its greatest sons and America a friend."

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D. CA) called him "a powerful voice for his beliefs and values." He "always maintained the courage of his convictions."

Other congressional members offered praise. They did so when condemnation is demanded. Sharon's criminality went unpunished.

His high crimes were legendary. Racist hate, mass murder, destruction, and the worst of occupation harshness best describe them.

He avoided accountability. He never paid for his high crimes. Eulogizers have much to answer for. More on this below.

Tanya Reinhart (July 1943 - March 17, 2007) was a highly respected Israeli academic, linguist, author and political activist.

"How did it happen that Sharon, the most brutal, cynical, racist and manipulative leader Israel has ever had, ended his political career as a legendary peace hero," she asked?

He never changed, she said. "(T)he myth built around him reflects the present omnipotence of the propaganda system."

It makes saints out of sinners. It turns truth on its head. Sharon waged war on peace. He deplored it. He hated Arabs. He savaged them viciously.

"He proved that Israel can imprison (them), bombard them from the air, steal their land, stall any chance for peace, and still be hailed by the Western world as" a man of peace, said Reinhart.

UN Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights Richard Falk said earlier:

"Nothing has illustrated the pro-Israeli spin in the United States more clearly than the ability of Sharon while holding high office to avoid being tarnished as a civilian leader by his extensive military record of brutality and abuse, which includes well-documented terrorist attacks against Palestinian civilians."

His high crimes were legendary. He remained unaccountable to his death. Falk said Washington forged his international legitimization. So did "deferential media." They're on the wrong side of history. They ignore its dark side.

Haaretz editors shamelessly headlined "For all his flaws, Israel is poorer without leaders like Ariel Sharon."

On the one hand, Haaretz editors discussed his "aggressiveness and bullying." He "repeatedly led his troops into controversial and blood-soaked operations."

"Aggressiveness, hatred of Arabs and contempt for politicians also characterized" his political career. "He was the patron (saint) of settlers...He opposed all the peace accords signed by Israel with its neighbors."

"But the moment he fulfilled his dream and was elected prime minister, his approach changed. With supreme responsibility thrust on his shoulders, he remained within the bounds of power."

False! He was ruthless to the end. He committed the worst of high crimes. He bore full responsibility for Second Intifada mass murder. Sharonian evil bests describes it. A previous article said:

Nearly 4,200 Palestinians died. Included were 866 children and 271 women.

Many more were wounded. Over 3,500 were permanently disabled. Over 550 assassinations were committed. Around 8,600 Palestinians were imprisoned.

Over 2.3 million dunums of land were stolen. Another 73,600 were razed. Hundreds of thousands of trees were uprooted.

Over 7,700 homes were demolished. Another 94,000 were damaged.

His Gaza disengagement had nothing to do with peace. He deplored it throughout his life. He waged war to avoid it.

He murdered Yasser Arafat. He poisoned him to death. Haaretz editors didn't explain. 

Since his departure, they said, "Israel has lacked leadership that acknowledges the limits of power, maintains its alliance with the United States, displays political courage in the territories and won't be deterred by the settlers."

Nothing in Sharon's criminal career warrants praise. Haaretz editors reinvented history trying. They failed.

Jerusalem Post editors headlined "Salute to Sharon," saying:

Israel "lost one of the most charismatic, colorful and influential figures in its annals." He was a "pugnacious in (military and) political life."

"(O)ne way or another (he) elicited a curious indulgence of the sort that was eventually denied other (Israeli) mythic heroes..."

"No matter how wayward his conduct, and no matter how much he may have willfully broken the rules, he retained the allure of the nation's favorite firebrand."

JP editors ignored his high crimes. They called him "an authentic native son, a generic Sabra and a popular hero."

American Jewish groups and leaders praised him. AIPAC called him "a legendary statesman and solider, who embodied the indomitable spirit and passion of the Jewish state." 

"Because he knew the price of war, (he) was willing to courageously take risks for peace." 

"He was a heroic warrior and leader whose life was dedicated to the peace and security of America's democratic ally."

Anti-Defamation League national chair Barry Curtiss-Lusher and national director Abe Foxman said:

His "legacy is a more secure State of Israel, safe on its borders and resolved to put an end to the campaign of Palestinian terrorism once and for all."

"We are deeply saddened at the loss of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. While he has just passed away, it has truly been eight years since we lost this great statesman and friend."

Jewish Federation of North America chairman Michael Siegal and president Jerry Silverman said:

He "was a highly regarded military leader, but he was also a peacemaker. One of the country's most daring and celebrated generals, he was also a man who was able to take bold steps in the hopes of achieving peace."

He "was not just the prime minister of the Jewish state, but a determined and inspirational leader of the entire Jewish world." 

"Our heartfelt condolences go out to his sons Omri and Gilad, to the entire Sharon family, and to all the people of Israel."

The Israeli Policy Forum praised his lifetime commitment and "many sacrifices...to ensure the survival and success of the State of Israel."

Robert Sugarman chairs the Conference of Presidents of (52) Major American Jewish Organizations. Malcolm Hoenlein is executive vice president.

The issued a joint statement mourning Sharon's passing. The Conference maintained a decades-long relationship with him, they said.

"(I)n all his positions, (he) never missed an opportunity to meet with the Conference and address us, and often took us on tours to understand better the defense and security needs and the strategic issues confronting Israel." 

"There were few in Israel's history who contributed so much to the State, who demonstrated courage and bravery as well as keen insight and incisive thinking."

B'nai B'rith International president Allan Jacobs said Israel lost a leader who "demonstrated the ability to change his way of thinking and seeking out new paths."

"He was a brave and fearless soldier, a wise and brilliant leader, who left a lasting impact on Israel."

American Jewish Committee head David Harris said his death ended "a defining chapter in Israel's history..."

Union of Reform Judaism president Rabbi Rick Jacobs called him "an iconic leader whose love for Israel and the Jewish people infused his entire illustrious career."

Rabbinical Assembly of Conservative Rabbis said:

"There was no single Israeli general who inspired his troops and led them as effectively as he did, and he was a towering figure of Israel’s political scene for many years."

New York Times correspondent Ethan Bronner is a longtime Israeli apologist. He's deputy Times national editor. Earlier he was Jerusalem bureau chief.

He's ethically challenged and then some. He blames Palestinians for Israeli crimes. He largely ignores settler violence. 

On January 11, he headlined "Ariel Sharon, Israeli Hawk Who Sought Peace on His Terms, Dies at 85."

He quoted Netanyahu calling Sharon "first and foremost a brave soldier and an outstanding military commander...(He) had a central role in the battle for Israel's security from the very beginning."

According to Bronner, he "hope(d) (to) fulfill the central goal of his life: ensuring a viable and strong state for the Jewish people in their historic homeland."

Palestine belongs to Palestinians. Long before Jews existed, nomadic indigenous peoples inhabited today's Israel. 

Sharon wanted it for Jews alone. He mass murdered Arabs to achieve it. He thrived on war. He deplored peace. He shunned diplomacy. Don't expect Bronner to explain.

He lied saying Sharon led Israel's 1982 Lebanon invasion after "Palestinian guerrillas tried to assassinate the Israeli ambassador in London."

They had nothing to with it. Arafat was wrongfully blamed. Abu Nidal militants bore full responsibility.

Then Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir later explained why Israel invaded Lebanon. A "terrible danger" existed, he said. It was "not so much a military one as a political one."

Israel got the pretext it wanted. No threat whatever existed. Mass slaughter and destruction followed. Sharon bore full responsibility.

South Lebanon remained occupied until May 2000. Israel still holds Shebba Farms illegally. It's a 25 square km territory on the Syrian/Lebanese border.

Air-brushing inconvenient facts from history is longstanding Times policy. Bronner does so like other Times correspondents, contributors and editors. Failing to detail Sharon's high crimes against peace is one of many examples.

The Washington Post headlined "Israelis, world leaders mourn Sharon." A retired Israeli municipal workers was quoted calling him "bigger than life."

WaPo noted his "forceful will. (He's) celebrated in death by his country and world leaders." John Kerry was quoted saying:

"I will never forget meeting with this big bear of a man when he became prime minister as he sought to bend the course of history toward peace, even as it meant testing the patience of his own longtime supporters and the limits of his own lifelong convictions."

The last thing Sharon wanted was peace. He opposed it throughout his entire military and political career. He rejected it. He deplored it. He went to his grave an unrepentant warrior.

Human Right Watch Middle East director Sarah Leah Whitson called his passing "another grim reminder that years of virtual impunity for rights abuses have done nothing to bring Israeli-Palestinian peace any closer."

Francis Boyle said:

"The United Nations General Assembly condemned the 1982 Massacre at Sabra and Shatilla as 'genocide.' "  

"So what the world is witnessing now are innumerable government leaders, politicians, pundits, professors, intellectuals, media figures and the State of Israel paying formal tribute to a genocidaire - one who has committed genocide."  

"Obviously, in their opinion, the slogan 'Never again!' does not apply to protect the Palestinians."

They're fair game for continued mass slaughter and destruction. Israel's killing machine assures it. So does US complicity. World leaders turn a blind eye.

Edward Said called Sharon a "homicidal prime minister." His entire military and political career reflected "systematic barbarity," he said.

"Isn't is clear that (he was) bent not only on breaking the Palestinians but on trying to eliminate them as a people" altogether, he stressed.

Sharonian evil best describes him. His entire career reflected racist hate and lawlessness. It demands condemnation, not praise.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] 

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.


http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

Pure Evil: Blood-drenched Ariel Sharon – Eulogizing a Mass Murderer

On January 11, Ariel Sharon died. He's not missed. A previous article discussed his blood-drenched military and political career. It did so in depth. It...

Ariel Sharon’s Criminal Legacy

Ariel Sharon's Criminal Legacy

by Stephen Lendman

Gilad Sharon chronicled his father's life. He wrote his biography. It's titled "Sharon: The Life of a Leader." It discusses his history from soldier to general to political leader.

According to Gilad, his father "was a much better prime minister" than Netanyahu. He was Sharon's finance minister. He claimed he "gave and gave and gave."

"Palestinians got and got and got, and my question is, what did we get? Nothing and nothing and nothing."

"What the public wants to know is when will it get a prime minister who stops putting wind in the sails of terrorists and begins to demand things in return for concessions."

Gilad calls Netanyahu "subversive." He's "coward(ly)," he added. He left unexplained his father's blood-drenched career. Evil best describes it.

He committed multiple high crimes against peace. A special place in hell awaits him.

Some call him Israel's most Nietzschean leader. Others consider him the devil incarnate.

He was 85 years old. He was in stroke-induced coma. He clung to vegetative life for eight years. He faded. He's gone.

Eulogies were ready to be published. Israel calls them havatzelets. They're prepared in advance obits.

They're written ahead of notable figures' deaths. Sharon's are now being published.

His vital signs were weak. His kidneys failed. He clung to life for eight years. He's gone.

He was a rogue figure writ large for decades. He's responsible for numerous crimes of war and against humanity. He was Machievellian. He was a terrorist turned statesman.

He never changed his ways. He was responsible for regional violence and instability for decades. More on this below.

Why Israelis admire him they'll have to explain. Haaretz contributor Rogel Alpher said they don't "judge him like other prime ministers..."

"(H)e made them feel good about themselves." His status "was reserved for him alone." He was considered "beyond good and evil."

He was "outside the realm of moral judgment." Criminality and corruption accusations didn't stick. They "enhanced his popularity." He was "above criticism."

Reagan was called America's teflon president. Sharon was above reproach. He belongs in prison, not high office. He got carte blanche to do what he wanted.

His highest of high crimes went unpunished. His rap sheet is one of the region's worst. According to Alpher, he had no concept of justice. He did what he wanted with impunity.

He was cold-blooded. He was ruthless. He deplored peace. Accolades he got were undeserving. His military and political agenda reflects mass slaughter and destruction.

He committed high crimes too grave to ignore. He waged war on Islam. He terrorized Palestinians and neighboring countries.

He represents the worst of Zionist extremism. He devoted his military and political career to working for a Greater Israel. He believed mass slaughter and destruction further it.

His family members were Jewish nationalists. His autobiography "Warrior" said so. His father Samuil and grandfather were "Jewish nationalist(s), pure and simple," he said.

They had "no political allegiances whatsoever, not to socialism or communism or anything else."

Samuil always wanted to emigrate to Palestine. In 1921, he did so. In 1928, Ariel was born.

When he was 13, his father gave him a dagger. It "was symbolic, to protect ourselves from our enemies," he said. It was a "lesson" he "never" forgot.

Prior to joining the Haganah (the IDF's forerunner), he became a Jewish Settlement Police member. He fought in Israel's so-called War of Independence.

He got firsthand combat experience. He later used it in other campaigns. He prioritized "strik(ing) first and hardest."

"(A)lways escalate," he said. He remained a soldier. He rose to the rank of general. He never became IDF chief of staff.

Arrogance, insubordination, recklessness, and going his own way denied him. His military and political superiors deplored his attitude.

He lied for self-serving reasons. He disobeyed orders freely. He did  often. Israel's Golani Brigade is one of its most ruthless.

In February 1948, David Ben-Gurion established it. He did so to ethnically cleanse Palestinians. Sharon was one of its first commanders.

Earlier he headed the notorious Alexandroni Brigade. Death squad killers filled its ranks.

Golanis operate the same way. They're responsible for numerous massacres. They committed them from inception to today.

In 1953, Sharon established Unit 101. It reigned terror on defenseless Palestinian civilians. It did so indiscriminately. It targeted young, old and helpless victims.

In August 1953, it attacked El-Bureig refugee camp in southern Gaza. Dozens of Palestinians were slaughtered.

In October 1953, Jordan's Qibya village was attacked. Then Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett said the "stain would stick to us and not be washed away for many years."

Israeli historian Avi Shlaim described what happened as follows:

"Sharon’s order was to penetrate Qibya, blow up houses and inflict heavy casualties on its inhabitants."

"His success in carrying out the order surpassed all expectations. The full and macabre story of what happened at Qibya was revealed only during the morning after the attack."

"The village had been reduced to rubble: forty-five houses had been blown up, and sixty-nine civilians, two thirds of them women and children, had been killed."

"Sharon and his men claimed that they believed that all the inhabitants had run away and that they had no idea that anyone was hiding inside the houses."

A UN observer at the time explained otherwise, saying:

"One story was repeated time after time: the bullet splintered door, the body sprawled across the threshhold, indicating that the inhabitants had been forced by heavy fire to stay inside until their homes were blown up over them."

Sharon's forces went house to house. They systematically murdered their occupants. They did so in cold blood.

Sharon atrocities repeated for decades. In August 1971, his forces destroyed 2,000 Gaza homes. Doing so displaced 16,000 Palestinians.

Hundreds of Palestinian men were arrested. They were brutally treated. They were deported to Jordan and Lebanon.

Hundreds of relatives of suspected Palestinian freedom fighters were exiled to Sinai. Dozens of militants were murdered in cold blood.

In 1982, Sharon was Menachem Begin's defense minister. On June 6, Israel invaded Lebanon. Fighting lasted nearly a year.

An Israeli false flag was pretext. Arafat was falsely blamed for Abu Nidal militants' attempted assassination of Israeli UK ambassador Shlomo Argov.

Israel got the war it wanted. Sharon was called the "Butcher of Beirut." Up to 20,000 Palestinians were massacred. Southern Lebanon remained occupied until May 2000. Israel still illegally holds Sheba Farms.

It's a 14-square mile water-rich area. It's near Syria's Golan. It's been lawlessly occupied since 1967.

Sabra and Shatila remain symbols of Sharonian ruthlessness. Around 18,000 Palestinians were slaughtered.

It turned out the way he planned. He let Phalangist fascists do his dirty work. Palestinian civilians were massacred in cold blood. Women were raped multiple times before being killed. Children were murdered like adults.

Whole families were shot, stabbed, bludgeoned to death, or buried dead or alive under homes. Some were tortured before dying. Bodies were decapitated.

Corpses were charred and violated. Eyes were gouged out. Faces were unrecognizable.

Sharon maliciously planned it. He led it. He called it "ridding the world of the center of international terrorism." No one to this day was punished.

Yitzhak Kahan headed an Israeli commission of inquiry. Its findings damaged Sharon. It didn't go far enough. On September 16, 1982, Sharon-directed Philangist death squads entered the camps.

Killings began "almost immediately." Militiamen entered homes. They began "slitting throats, axing, shooting, and raping, often taking groups outside and lining them up for execution."

"There was virtually no resistance. Only a very few camp residents" had small arms for protection. Slaughter continued until around sunset September 18.

Kahan Commission findings fell short of damning. Sharon's reputation was damaged. He wasn't held accountable. His actions were called "blunders."

He "failed to take appropriate measures" to prevent what happened, commission members said.

Sharon ordered mass murder. He directed it. He led it. He unleashed its full ferocity. He's fully responsible. Accountability didn't follow.

He refused to resign. On February 14, 1983, he lost his defense minister portfolio. He remained an unpunished cabinet minister without one.

He was fanatically anti-peace. He opposed 1991 Madrid conference talks. He was against the 1993 Oslo Accords.

He abstained on peace with Jordan. He opposed other peace initiatives. He rejected the so-called Quartet's road map.

It was doomed straightaway. Israeli violence, land theft, and targeted assassinations accompanied it. Sharon had no intention to seek peace.

He deplored it from soldier to general to defense minister to prime minister to his grave. "There cannot be a situation where there are two states for one people," he said. Let's make the issue clear."

He repeatedly blamed Palestinians for Israeli crimes. "My paramount responsibility is the security of the people of Israel and the state of Israel," he stressed.

Peace won't happen "without the abandonment and elimination of terrorism, violence and incitement." Israel alone commits it. Palestinians are repeatedly victimized.

Sharon's autobiography explained, saying:

Attacking Arabs aims "to create (in their minds) a psychology of defeat, to beat them every time, and to beat them so decisively that they would develop the conviction that they could never win."

Sharon deplored surgical strikes. He "believe(d) that whenever we were forced to strike, we should do so with the aim of inflicting heavy losses on the enemy troops."

He urged Israeli's premeditated/preemptive 1967 Six Day War. It was planned long in advance.

In 1948, Israel stole 78% of historic Palestine. In June 1967, it got what remained.

Settlement construction began straightaway. From 1967 - 1977, around 30 were established.

They were mainly in Jordan Valley locations. Settlers numbered about 5,000.

Under Prime Minister Menachem Begin (1977 - 1983), things changed dramatically. A new pattern emerged.

Heartland/central ridge West Bank settlements were established. Construction tempo increased.

Dozens of new settlements were added. Increasing amounts of Palestinian land were stolen. Construction continues unabated.

Israel controls over 60% of West Bank land. It claims Jerusalem as its exclusive capital. It's settler population exceeds 600,000. Numbers increase daily. Sharon endorsed unlimited expansion.

In 1969, he learned his military contract wouldn't be renewed. He fell out of favor with then IDF chief Bar Lev. It was over defending Sinai.

He turned to politics instead. He allied with Menachem Begin's Herut party. It was militantly hardline. It was ideologically Revisionist. It was hardcore Zionist. In 1988, it merged into Likud.

During the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Sharon was called back to reserve duty. In elections that followed, he won a Knesset seat.

A year later he resigned. From June 1975 to March 1976, he was Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin's aide.

In 1977, he founded the Shlomtzion party. Months later, it merged into Likud. Sharon became Begin's agriculture minister.

He supported Gush Emunim (Block of the Faithful) extremists. It was militantly hardline. It was committed to unlimited settlement expansions. Israel's Yesha Council replaced it.

It's ideologically over-the-top. It's like Sharon. It wants Greater Israel exclusively Jewish. It wants Arabs ethnically cleansed.

Sharon expressed his settlement policy as follows:

"Everybody has to move, run and grab as many (Judean) hilltops as they can to enlarge the (Jewish) settlements because everything we take now will stay ours."

"Everything we don't grab will go to them." In 1981, Begin appointed Sharon defense minister. He took full advantage.

He held other ministerial portfolios. As Construction and Housing Minister, he was called "the Bulldozer."

It was for good reason. He ruthlessly destroyed Palestinian homes. Throughout his military and political career, Sharon's message was submit.

Abandon independence notions. Accept Palestine as Israel. You don't belong here. Leave or we'll uproot you.

Sharon's way was no-holds-barred ruthlessness. On September 28, 2000, he initiated Second Intifada violence.

He did so by provocatively visiting the Haram al-Sharif (the Nobel Sanctuary). Around 1,000 security forces accompanied him.

Resistance followed. He responded violently. He did so until February 2005. Nearly 4,200 Palestinians died. Included were 866 children and 271 women.

Many more were wounded. Over 3,500 were permanently disabled. Over 550 assassinations were committed. Around 8,600 Palestinians were imprisoned.

Over 2.3 million dunums of land were stolen. Another 73,600 were razed. Hundreds of thousands of trees were uprooted.

Over 7,700 homes were demolished. Another 94,000 were damaged. Sabra and Shatila slaughter reflected the worst of Sharonian evil.

So did Second Intifada viciousness. His Gaza disengagement plan had nothing to do with peace.

It was getting Israeli settlers out of harm's way. It was relocating them to stolen West Bank/East Jerusalem land. It was gaining US support for doing so.

He was prime minister from March 7, 2001 to April 14, 2006. He murdered Yasser Arafat. He poisoned him to death. Stroke-induced incapacitation ended his political career.

On December 18, 2005, minor ischemic stroke symptoms appeared. Doctors discovered heart trouble. It required surgery, they said.

Bed rest ahead of cardiac catheterization was prescribed. Sharon ignored medical advice. He returned to work immediately.

On January 4, 2006, hemorrhagic stroke followed. Two surgeries stopped bleeding in his brain. They didn't prevent stroke-induced coma.

Since November 6, 2006, he's been in longterm care. His cognitive abilities were destroyed.

In late 2013, his condition deteriorated. On January 1, he suffered renal failure. He's fading. He could anytime.

His legacy reflects horrendous high crimes. It bears repeating. A special place in hell awaits him. Perhaps he already arrived.

A Final Comment

Sharon believed the only good Arabs were dead ones. He spent  his entire military and political career slaughtering them. State terror was official policy on his watch.

World leaders paid him tribute on his death. They did so disgracefully. One war criminal remembered another. Obama issued a statement, saying:

"On behalf of the American people, Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to the family of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and to the people of Israel on the loss of a leader who dedicated his life to the State of Israel." 

"We reaffirm our unshakable commitment to Israel's security and our appreciation for the enduring friendship between our two countries and our two peoples." 

"We continue to strive for lasting peace and security for the people of Israel, including through our commitment to the goal of two states living side-by-side in peace and security."

"As Israel says goodbye to Prime Minister Sharon, we join with the Israeli people in honoring his commitment to his country."

Sharon was an unapologetic war criminal. His legacy reflects
decades of mass slaughter, destruction and human misery. 

Britain's David Cameron disgracefully said he made "brave and controversial decisions in pursuit of peace. Israel has today lost an important leader."

France's Francois Hollande called him "a major player in the history of his country. After a long military and political career, he choose to move toward dialogue with Palestine."

He did no such thing. He murdered Yasser Arafat. He deplored peace and reconciliation. He hated Arabs. His policies proved it.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon reacted as expected. He's a reliable imperial tool. He's complicit in Western war crimes. He said:

Sharon "will be remembered for his political courage and determination to carry through with the painful and historic decision to withdraw Israeli settlers and troops from the Gaza Strip."

He got them out of harm's way. Future aggression was planned. He relocated them on stolen West Bank Palestinian land. 

Gaza remains occupied. Suffocating siege continues. Ban ignores Palestinian suffering. He supports Israel's worst crimes.

Fatah official Jubril Rajoub said:

"Sharon was a criminal, responsible for the assassination of (Yasser) Arafat, and we would have hoped to see him appear before the International Criminal Court as a war criminal."

Hamas spokesman Salah el-Bardaweel added:

"We pray to Allah that Sharon and all the Zionist leaders who committed massacres against our people go to hell."

"When the Palestinian people remember Sharon, they only remember pain, blood, torture, displacement and crimes. We will never feel sorry for his death." 

Nor should anyone!

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.


http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

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