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CIA & MI6 may offer Skripals new IDs, relocation to Five Eyes country –...

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Obama Encourages Spying on World Leaders

Obama Encourages Spying on World Leaders

by Stephen Lendman

He lied claiming otherwise. He's a serial liar. He's a moral coward. He's a war criminal multiple times over. He did what supporters thought impossible. 

He exceeds the worst of George Bush. He plans lots more ways to prove it through 2016. Humanity may not survive the ordeal. 

On October 27, Deutche Welle (DW) headlined "Media reports suggest Obama knew NSA spied on Merkel."

Der Spiegel said NSA's Special Collection Service (SCS) monitored her cell phone conversations since 2002. Obama lied telling Merkel he knew nothing about it.

He encourages global spying. He wants world leaders monitored. He wants stepped up surveillance doing it. 

According to DW, "a report in Bild am Sonntag published Sunday cites an unnamed NSA official who said (Obama) ordered the program be escalated."

NSA chief Keith Alexander told Obama about monitoring Merkel's phone calls. It hacked into her "supposedly secure phone…"

"Only a special, secure landline phone in her office was reportedly not accessible to electronic tapping."

Hacked information was reported directly to the White House. Evidence suggests monitoring Merkel continued at least through the "immediate past." 

Despite official disclaimers, most likely it continues. A previous article discussing spying on 35 world leaders. They weren't named. It's not hard imagining likely targets. 

Perhaps lots more than 35 are monitored. NSA may add others to its list. Global spying is official US policy. No one's safe from intrusion.

According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), "it's very, very difficult to defend yourself." At most, you can make it tougher, more time consuming and expensive to do it. More on that below.

On October 27, Der Spiegel headlined "Embassy Espionage: The NSA's Secret Spy Hub in Berlin," saying:

Its research shows "United States intelligence agencies have not only targeted Chancellor Angela Merkel's cellphone, but they have also used the American Embassy in Berlin as a listening station." 

"The revelations now pose a serious threat to German-American relations."

"It's a prime site, a diplomat's dream. Is there any better location for an embassy than Berlin's Pariser Platz?" 

It's close to the Reichstag. "When the American ambassador steps out the door, he looks directly onto the Brandenburg Gate."

It's in Germany's "political heart." It's an "ideal location for diplomats - and for spies."

It's an espionage nest. From its roof, NSA and CIA monitor official German government communications.

Doing so threatens "the trans-Atlantic partnership. Hardly anything is as sensitive (to) Merkel as the surveillance of her cellphone."

She's on it constantly. It's "her instrument of power." She relies on it for much government business.

She, Brazil's Dilma Rousseff as well as other European and Latin American leaders want UN resolution action.

They want privacy intrusions stopped. They want spy-proof space. The world body can't provide it. Technological innovation alone has a chance.

Der Postillion is a satirical web sit. It calls itself "honest news, independent, fast, since 1845." 

It inspired America's The Onion. It combines entertainment with satirical international, national and local news articles.

Steffen Seibert is Merkel's spokesman. Last week, Der Postillon posted a satirical version of his comment, saying:

"The chancellor considers it a slap in the face that she has most likely been monitored over the years just like some mangy resident of Germany."

It's her choice on how much she's willing to tolerate. Maybe she spies on Obama in return. 

Why not? Allies routinely spy on friends and foes. It's longstanding practice. It's not about to end now. It's much more sophisticated and widespread then earlier.

Merkel and likeminded world leaders apparently want a red line drawn not to be crossed. They want their private space kept that way.

UN resolutions won't help. NSA is easily able to circumvent them. Its Special Collection Service operations (SCS) are highly classified.

They're involved in spying in hard to reach places. They include foreign embassies, communication centers, and other government facilities.

SCS was established in the late 1970s. It's been called America's "mission impossible force."

It's responsible for "close surveillance, burglary, wiretapping, breaking and entering." It's jointly staffed by NSA and CIA operatives.

They work out of US embassies and consulates. Their mission is all embracing. Get it all describes it.

SCS combines NSA's electronic spying expertise with CIA's covert action capabilities. 

Together they target foreign government officials. They're not likely to stop. They use all sorts of sophisticated listening devices.

They bug foreign embassies, communications centers, computer facilities, fiber-optic networks, and other government facilities. Virtually any space is penetrable.

Nothing ongoing is officially acknowledged.  Operations are top secret. According to Der Spiegel, SCS maintains two German bases - one in Berlin (Germany's seat of government), the other in Frankfort (its business hub).

They're "equipped at the highest level and staffed with active personnel."

Teams work undercover. They're in "shielded areas." They're "officially accredited as diplomats." They enjoy "special privileges."

They can "look and listen unhindered. They just can't get caught." Their operations are illegal. They're ongoing.

Sophisticated listening devices monitor virtually all forms of communications. They include online ones, cell signals, wireless networks and satellites.

Equipment is installed on upper floors or rooftops. It's protected from prying eyes.

Window-like indentations atop Washington's US German embassy aren't glazed. They're veneered with "dielectric" material.

They blend into surrounding masonry. Equipment is installed behind radio-transparent screens.

NSA expert James Bamford visited Der Spiegel's Berlin bureau. It's located diagonally opposite Washington's embassy.

"To me, it looks like NSA eavesdropping equipment is hidden behind there," he said. 

"The covering seems to be made of the same material that the agency uses to shield larger systems."

SCS apparently uses the same technology worldwide. It goes to great pains to conceal it.

According to top secret internal guidelines, if it's discovered, it "would cause serious harm to relations between the United States and a foreign government."

NSA targeted Merkel for over a decade. It began when she was Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party head. 

It continued when she became chancellor. Despite Washington's disclaimer, it likely remains ongoing. Der Spiegel asked:

"Were all of her conversations recorded or just connection data? Were her movements also being recorded?"

It bears repeating. NSA's mission is get it all. The White House and US spy agencies jointly pick high-profile targets. 

A matrix of global surveillance is developed.  It's called the "National Intelligence Priorities Framework." It's "presidentially approved."

One category is called "Leadership Intentions." It targets foreign leaders' goals and objectives.

According to former NSA official Thomas Drake:

Post-9/11, "Germany became intelligence target number one in Europe." At issue is a level of mistrust.

"It has always been the NSA's (mission) to conduct as much surveillance as possible," Drake added.

Der Spiegel told German security about NSA monitoring Merkel's cell phone communications. Perhaps it already knew. Its own due diligence confirmed it.

If knowledge about America monitoring Merkel was revealed, "it would be a political bomb," said Der Spiegel.

Obama visited Germany last summer. He lied saying Washington wasn't spying on its ally.

Merkel called Obama last week. He lied again claiming he knew nothing about monitoring her cell phone communications.

According to Der Spiegel, "(a)re the German security agencies too trusting of the Americans?"

Counterintelligence mostly focuses on China and Russia. Consideration earlier was given to looking harder at "what American agents were up to in the country."

It was considered too politically sensitive. The idea was dropped. At issue mainly was to what extent allies should be monitored. Are heads of state off limits? Is anything goes OK?

It sure is for Washington. European capitals no doubt are reevaluating their own policies.

German agencies want their capabilities enhanced, said Der Spiegel. Scrambling across Europe and elsewhere seems likely.

Merkel considers Obama "overrated." He "talks a lot but does little…" He's "unreliable to boot."

He says one thing. He does another. He's an inveterate liar. He's not about to change.

Merkel is a creature of habit. She relies heavily on cell phone communications. She uses it to send text messages. 

"Only for the very delicate conversations (does) she switch to a secure line," said Der Spiegel. 

Maybe close associates will make her take greater precautions. At the same time, maybe nothing is safe from NSA's prying eye.

Arranging a "no-spying" deal with Washington isn't worth the paper it's written on.

An earlier "Five Eyes" deal allegedly excludes spying on English speaking countries. They include Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. 

NSA spies globally. Agreements are made to be broken. Doing so is kept secret. Israel operates the same way. Perhaps Germany, France and other European states do.

Spying is an ugly business. The expression about no honor among thieves holds manyfold for intelligence agencies. 

They operate unaccountably. They do whatever they want. They're unapologetic. They're not about to change longstanding tactics. They're upgraded as technology advances.

A Final Comment

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) listed 10 protections against online surveillance:

(1) "Use end-to-end encryption." It's "your friend," says computer security expert Bruce Schneier.

(2) Encrypt as many communications as possible. The more the better.

(3) "Encrypt your hard drive." Without doing so, anyone can access your computer, tablet or smartphone. Contents can be copied with no password.

(4) Long strong passwords are best.

(5) "Use Tor. Free software permits online anonymity. Tor makes it hard to track Internet activity.

(6) Use two-factor or two-step authentication. Google, Twitter and Dropbox have it. 

Google calls two-step protection for "your account with both your password and your phone." It helps "keep bad guys out, even if they have your password."

(7) "Don't click on attachments." Request information sent in text form.

(8) Update software. Use anti-virus software.

(9) "Keep extra secret information extra secret." Encrypt and conceal what's most private. TrueCrypt can encrypt a USB flash drive.

(10) "Be an ally." To challenge today's surveillance state, teach others what you learned. Explain why it's important. Get involved in anti-mass-spying campaigns.

"They need to stop watching us; and we need to start making it much harder for them to get away with it," said EFF.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

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

Visit his blog site at 

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.

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Map shows NSA huge malware ops

A yellow dot on the map signifies a CNE infection. A new map details how many companies across the world have been infected by malware...

Despite US Opposition, UN Pushes Forward Surveillance Bill of Rights

That is the message being sent by the majority of nations to the world's most powerful and aggressive surveillance states. An effort to move forward...

Indonesian protests over Australia spying revelations

By Peter Symonds22 November 2013 Angry protests erupted yesterday in the Indonesian cities of Jakarta and Yogyakarta over revelations this week that the Australian...

Documents show Blair government let US spy on Britons

Paul Mason Channel 4 News November 21, 2013 In 1946, peace was less than a year old. Labour was in power and the wartime signals intelligence service...

Indonesia suspends military cooperation with Australia over US-Australian spying

By Mike Head21 November 2013 Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono yesterday suspended intelligence exchanges, military exercises and naval cooperation with Australia, including coordination on...

US spying on Britons under secret deal

NSA headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland. The US National Security Agency has been spying on British citizens not suspected of any wrongdoing under a secret...

Indonesian president threatens “strategic partnership” with US-Australia over spying affair

By Patrick O'Connor20 November 2013 Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono yesterday issued a series of statements via Twitter, denouncing both Washington and Canberra over...

New Zealand-US military exercise rehearses for Pacific war

By Tom Peters19 November 2013 The New Zealand province of South Canterbury is currently hosting the country's largest ever international military exercise. Operation Southern...

Wayne Madsen: British Intelligence Operation to Kidnap Snowden? Number One MI-6 Officer Working Undercover...

Britain's spy-infested embassy in Moscow has taken the lead among the "FIVE EYES» signals intelligence allies to locate the whereabouts of National Security Agency...

Snowden revelations lead to decline in support for US in Germany

By Johannes Stern12 November 2013 A new poll by the research institute Infratest shows that Edward Snowden's revelations exposing the worldwide spying apparatus of...

Snowden revelations lead to decline in support for US in Germany

By Johannes Stern12 November 2013 A new poll by the research institute Infratest shows that Edward Snowden's revelations exposing the worldwide spying apparatus of...

The US Military Presence in Australia. The “Asia-Pacific Pivot” and “Global NATO”

Through the ANZUS alliance, Australia, like Japan and South Korea, has been a key part of the United States “hub-and-spokes” Asia-Pacific alliance structure for...

Britain ‘snooped’ on Icelandic officials’ emails to recover cash from broken banks

RT November 10, 2013 An Icelandic MP says Britain spied on Iceland while wrestling to rescue its citizens' cash from collapsed Icelandic banks after the financial...

Australian spy agencies central to NSA’s “pivot to Asia”

5 November 2013 Revelations last week that Australian diplomatic missions throughout Asia function as electronic listening posts for the US National Security Agency (NSA)...

German media, political parties debate granting Snowden asylum

By Peter Schwarz5 November 2013 The issue of how to deal with former American intelligence contractor Edward Snowden has dominated media and political debate...

Benjamin Franklin was right about spying

It seems data on US citizens hoovered up by NSA is also routinely passed to Israel's intelligence services. In 1975, I was invited to join...

Fresh revelations of Canada’s role in NSA’s global spying network

By Dylan Lubao and Keith Jones2 November 2013 In partnership with the US National Security Agency (NSA), the Canadian state's eavesdropping agency conducts covert...

Ex-US official tells Press TV of US spying

A former White House advisor who is also a victim of US spying activities has spoken out against Washington's surveillance programs. In an interview with...

US, Australia face backlash over spy operations in Asia

By Peter Symonds1 November 2013 Already mired in a diplomatic crisis in Europe over National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance operations, Washington—as well as Canberra—is...

‘US spying outcome of capitalism’

The situation which has been created by the US government's spying activities “is an inevitable outcome of capitalism,” says Kim Petersen, co-editor of Dissident...

US using Australian embassies to spy

A Stop Watching US Rally in Washington D.C. The US is secretly using Australian embassies throughout Asia to intercept phone calls and collect data across...


USA Topics 9/11 Agenda 21 Assassinations Banks Bush, George Jr Boston Bombings Bohemian Grove CIA Cointelpro Corruption DARPA Democrats Disinformation Congress Drones Eugenics FBI Federal Reserve Guantanamo HAARP ...

Obama Encourages Spying on World Leaders

He lied claiming otherwise. He's a serial liar. He's a moral coward. He's a war criminal multiple times over. He did what supporters thought...

UN Will Censure Illegal Spying, But Not US or NSA

The electronic surveillance of German Chancellor Angela Merkel (left, pictured with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon) reportedly goes back to 2002, even before she was...

Scandal grows over NSA wiretapping of German Chancellor Merkel

By Alex Lantier28 October 2013 The scandal over the wiretapping of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's cell phone by the US National Security Agency (NSA)...

Scandal grows over NSA wiretapping of German Chancellor Merkel

By Alex Lantier28 October 2013 The scandal over the wiretapping of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's cell phone by the US National Security Agency (NSA)...

The Elites’ Strange Plot to Take Over the World

The idea of a country seems pretty simple. I live in America, and I'm an American. She lives in France, and she is French....

Australian agency integrated into NSA spying operations

By Peter Symonds21 October 2013 New documents leaked by former US National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden and published in the Washington Post...

Australian agency integrated into NSA spying operations

By Peter Symonds21 October 2013 New documents leaked by former US National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden and published in the Washington Post...

Canadian Spy Agency ‘Dissected’ Brazilian Energy Ministry

Canada, as well as the US, infiltrated and spied on the Brazilian Energy Ministry, a new leak by Edward Snowden has revealed. The leaked...

Canada: Cover-Up on CSEC’s Spying and the Police-State Apparatus

Even as documents leaked by whistle-blower Edward Snowden continue to surface, further revealing the massive scope and scale of the US National Security Agency's...

US Requested Tens of Thousands of Facebook Users’ Data in Just 6 Months

The U.S. requested data on between 20,000 and 21,000 Facebook users during the first six months of 2013, the social networking site announced on...

New Zealand law prompts criticism

A New Zealand civil liberties group has criticized Wellington for passing a new law allowing wider surveillance of the countryâ„¢s citizens, saying authorities were...

UK, US close intel. partners: analyst

The operations of the United Statesâ„¢ National Security Agency (NSA) and the British spy agencies are intertwined and bilateral intelligence exchanges are nothing new,...

Canada uses info obtained thru torture

Canada has given the countryâ„¢s spy agency permission to use information extracted from suspects through torture, despite claims that it would never use such...

Documents Show Undersea Cable Firms Provide Surveillance Access to US Secret State

Documents published last week by the Australian web site Crikey revealed that the US government “compelled Telstra and Hong Kong-based PCCW to give it access to...

Surveillance Blowback Posted on Jul 16, 2013 By Alfred W. McCoy, TomDispatch...

ECHELON Today: The Evolution of an NSA Black Program

People are shocked by the scope of secret state spying on their private communications, especially in light of documentary evidence leaked to media outlets...

Stasi's New Incarnation

Stasi's New Incarnation by Stephen Lendman Stasi was East Germany's secret police. It suppressed opposition to Stalinist power. It was one of the most repressive state...

Circumventing Invasive Internet Surveillance with “Carrier Pigeons”

Introduction Recent disclosures have revealed the extreme level of surveillance of telephone and internet communications, as discussed separately with respect to the US National...

Infrastructure of a Police State: The NSA’s Cyber-surveillance Technology

Edward Snowden’s documentary exposure of secret NSA surveillance activities has brought to light details of the mass illegal collection of phone metadata and online...

NSA Spying and Intelligence Collection: A Giant Blackmail Machine and “Warrantless Wiretapping” Program

Despite a stream of mendacious twaddle from President Obama, congressional grifters and spook agency mouthpieces like Office of the Director of National Intelligence head...

GCHQ, Int'l spying, scandal: a look

Recent revelations about the Government Communications Headquarters show Britain, just like the United States, keeps its citizensâ„¢ presence in the virtual world under the...

Police States, Theirs and Ours

Anyone who’s shocked by NSA contractor Edward Snowden’s revelations that the US state is spying on its citizens shouldn’t be. Liberal democracies have routinely...

Police State Canada: Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC) Runs Massive Domestic Spying Program

On the basis of secret government directives, Canada’s national security apparatus is conducting mass surveillance of Canadians parallel to, if not directly patterned after,...

The National Security Agency: A Global Superpower

Recent revelations that the U.S. National Security Agency is conducting massive meta-data vacuuming of the phone calls and Internet transactions of tens of millions...

Assange charged with helping Manning crack password to leak classified US docs – DOJ...

The US indictment against Julian Assange alleges that the whistleblower engaged in “conspiracy” with US Army...

Mother accused of abusing 7 adopted children to force them into making YouTube videos...

Arizona police have arrested an adoptive mother of seven children who allegedly starved and beat them...

Israel is Playing a Big Role in India’s Escalating Conflict with Pakistan

Photograph Source International Borders When I heard the first news report, I assumed it was an Israeli air raid on Gaza. Or Syria. Airstrikes on a “terrorist...

‘The Afghan Government Is as Corrupt as Governments Come’ – CounterSpin interview with Phyllis...

Janine Jackson interviewed Phyllis Bennis about the possibility of ending the Afghan War for the February 15, 2019, episode of CounterSpin. This is a...

Gollum actor returns to take down PM May over Brexit — RT UK News

Lord of the Rings actor Andy Serkis has returned as Gollum to mercilessly mock UK...

Star agent made millions off drug traffickers — RT USA News

A top Drug Enforcement Agency agent laundered millions in drug money and hosted wild parties with...

‘Land of censorship & home of the fake’ Facebook is getting into the local...

Facebook is investing $300 million in local newsrooms and training initiatives for regional journalists over the...

May braces for crucial Brexit vote amid tough debates & calls for new election...

The UK Parliament will vote on the Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit plan on Tuesday....

‘The Idea Is to Have a Conversation About What Happened to Us’ – The...

The Best of CounterSpin for 2018 aired as our December 28, 2018, episode. This is a lightly edited transcript. ...

Emptying the Cages

U.S. factory farms, where an estimated 99 percent of farmed animals are kept, are almost as inaccessible to the public as they are inescapable...

Weather Channel reporter mocked for gender-neutral ‘snowperson’ — RT US News

Weather Channel reporter Mike Seidel was mocked on Twitter for bringing woke politics to his weather...

The Meaning of a Multi-Polar World

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at The Saker Right now, we live in a mono-polar world. Here is how U.S. President Barack Obama proudly, even imperially,...

End the Need for Nursing “Short Cuts”

My former student, Sony Georges, has been a nurse in Massachusetts for a decade. He’s become a close friend. (I’m calling him “Sony” here,...

Pope to Declare Slain Salvadoran Archbishop Óscar Romero a Saint

On Sunday, the Catholic Church will have half a dozen new saints as Pope Francis I canonizes five people including Óscar Romero, the former...

MSNBC pundit Joy Reid sued for defamation after siccing her followers on Trump supporter...

MSNBC host Joy Reid has been sued by a woman who received a torrent of verbal...

‘Using Media to Create This Idea There’s a Gang on Every Street Corner’

Janine Jackson re-aired an interview with Josmar Trujillo about gang hyperbole for the August 17, 2018, episode of CounterSpin; it was originally broadcast May...

Let Us Now Praise Infamous Animals

In the spring of 1457, a gruesome murder took place in the French village of Savigny-sur-Etang. A five-year-old boy had been killed and his...

George Soros says Obama was his ‘greatest disappointment’, continues to slam Trump — RT...

Controversial billionaire George Soros said Barack Obama was his “greatest disappointment,” who “closed the door” on...

Elon Musk’s Latest Brainstorm Takes Aim at Meddlesome Media

Elon Musk gazes into the future. (cc photo: Michelle Andonian/OnInnovation) Elon Musk, the eccentric South African billionaire head of electric vehicle/battery maker Tesla and rocket...

Elon Musk’s Latest Brainstorm Takes Aim at Meddlesome Media

Elon Musk gazes into the future. (cc photo: Michelle Andonian/OnInnovation) Elon Musk, the eccentric South African billionaire head of electric vehicle/battery maker Tesla and rocket...

Elon Musk’s Latest Brainstorm Takes Aim at Meddlesome Media

Elon Musk gazes into the future. (cc photo: Michelle Andonian/OnInnovation) Elon Musk, the eccentric South African billionaire head of electric vehicle/battery maker Tesla and rocket...

Elon Musk’s Latest Brainstorm Takes Aim at Meddlesome Media

Elon Musk gazes into the future. (cc photo: Michelle Andonian/OnInnovation) Elon Musk, the eccentric South African billionaire head of electric vehicle/battery maker Tesla and rocket...

The Great Return March and the Women of Gaza

“I am here because I heard my town call me, and ask me to maintain my honor.” Fifty-seven-year-old Um Khalid Abu Mosa spoke in...

Media Treat Trump Administration’s Partisan Fear-Mongering as Objective ‘Government’ Report

AP (6/5/18) On Tuesday, dozens of media outlets broke what at first seemed to be a major story about “the government” announcing that Social Security...

Interpol put British man on most wanted list after over two years on the...

A British man wanted for the unprovoked murder of a man in London in 2015...

Dozens of Indigenous and Frontline Community Representatives Call for an End to Bank Financing...

PLANO, TEXAS - The quickly growing international campaign pressuring JPMorgan Chase to end its massive funding of extreme fossil fuels continued to escalate today...

Life Cut Short at 104

John Bolton? — RT US News

Is President Donald Trump’s new national security adviser John Bolton a secret Russian stooge? NBC news...

4/20 & the roots of international cannabis day — RT US News

The term ‘420’ has become a recognized code for ‘cannabis-friendly’ people and places, in addition to...

Lab behind Skripal poison probe has dark history of human testing — RT UK...

The Porton Down lab at the center of the Skripal poisoning case has a dark...

‘I’ve Been to the Mountaintop’: The Final Speech

 The following is the transcribed text of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s final speech, delivered on April 3, 1968 at the Mason Temple in...

Lab behind Skripal poison probe has dark history of human testing — RT UK...

The Porton Down lab at the center of the Skripal poisoning case has a dark...

Atlanta mom crashes car ‘to prove God is real’ — RT US News

An Atlanta mother deliberately crashed her car with her two young children inside on a busy...

‘Iraqi Public Opinion Is Crystallizing Into Anger and Resistance’

Steve Rendall interviewed Rahul Mahajan about Fallujah on an April 30, 2004, episode of CounterSpin that was rebroadcast on March 23, 2018. This is a lightly...

Be Proactive About Spring Allergies

Insect Decimation Upstages Global Warming

Photo by Jaime González | CC BY 2.0 Everybody’s heard about global warming. It is one of the most advertised existential events of all time....

Cure for blindness? Stem cell trial restores sight in two patients — RT UK...

Treatment for one of the leading causes of blindness could be available within five years....

President enters new battle with MSM, calls NBC anchor ‘sleeping son of a b**ch’...

Donald Trump is back campaigning and throwing jabs at MSM. He called the host of NBC's...

When ‘God Wills It!’: An American Reckoning

America may be sinking ever deeper into the moral morass of the Trump era, but if you think the malevolence of this period began...

Julian Assange and His Doppelgänger

Walking along Hans Crescent every morning on my way to work, I stop briefly to look up at the balcony fronting the room which...

Sickening Relations: The Royal Society and the GMO-Agrochemical Sector

The Royal Society in the UK is a self-governing fellowship of distinguished scientists. Its purpose is reflected in its founding charters of the 1660s: to...

First modern Brits were black, groundbreaking DNA test on 10,000-year-old fossil reveals — RT...

A pioneering genetic analysis of the UK’s oldest complete skeleton, which is around 10,000 years...

U.S. Foreign Policies Remain Unchanged Since 1948

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at Ever since 1948, the U.S. Government’s foreign policies have been consistently focused upon breaking up the Soviet Union and...

Voodoo ritual leaves 5yo girl with 3d degree face burns in Massachusetts — RT...

Two women have been charged with assault and battery of a child after a “cleansing” ritual...

Accompaniment in Honduras | By Ken Jones

As the bus was taking our accompaniment delegation to Honduras to the airport for our return home, it stopped by the offices of Radio...

DOJ warns release of House Intel memo on FBI, Clinton campaign could ‘harm national...

The Justice Department has called on the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee to let the...

‘Holocaust revisionist’ sings along with anti-Semitic song from the dock during trial — RT...

A self-proclaimed ‘Holocaust revisionist’ sang along with one of her anti-Semitic songs as she appeared...

Rex Tillerson is ‘proud’ of US diplomacy, but should he? — RT US News

In an op-ed published in the New York Times, the US Secretary of State writes he...

In Alabama, Senate Race Raises Disclosure Concerns

For months, eyes have been focused on the upcoming special election in Alabama to fill the Senate seat left vacant by Attorney General Jeff...

Amazon workers treated like ‘animals’ in exhausting working conditions, reporter reveals — RT UK...

Amazon workers are being treated like “animals,” forced to work to the point of physical...

How Iran Came to Be Called ‘The Top State Sponsor of Terrorism’

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at While I happened to be researching another subject, a central question in the investigation came to be how Iran...

Why Robert Mueller Was Selected to Be the Special Prosecutor

Eric Zuesse It all began with the 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers apartment complex in the Saudi city of Khobar, which killed 19 U.S....

There Is a New Urgency to the Threat of Nuclear Annihilation

A Hyunmoo II ballistic missile is fired during an exercise in South Korea on September 4, 2017. South Korea's military says it conducted a...

Seven Southern Elections to Watch in November

Off-year elections -- those held in odd-numbered years when neither a presidential election nor a midterm election takes place -- don't tend to get...

Does Russia Produce ‘Fake News’? Or Does America? Or Both?

Eric Zuesse The biggest difference between American and Russian news-reporting has been a simple factual issue between the two sides, on what incident started the...

Moon photobombs Sun during NASA observations — RT America

Published time: 22 Oct, 2017 00:37 Not one to be outdone by its “hotter” counterpart, the...

How $40 Can Land You in Prison for Seven Years and on the Sex...

(Image: Lauren Walker / Truthout; Adapted: Bark) In December, after more than seven years behind bars, 32-year-old LeeAnn walked out of federal prison. But she's...

CCTV captures another London acid attack, perpetrator seen calmly walking away (VIDEO)

Published time: 26 Sep, 2017 11:39 Police have released CCTV footage of a horrifying acid...

Climate Breakdown

Telephone Road in Houston, August 27, 2017, during Hurricane Harvey floods (Credit: Thomas B. Shea for AFP-Getty) Climate breakdown, as George Monbiot calls it, is happening...

Communities Need to Reduce Violence Against Women of Color Without Police

Activists display a sign in honor of Sandra Bland, Rekia Boyd, Alesia Thomas and Shantel Davis, four Black women who were murdered by police....

My Antiwar Awakening From a Boozing Baltimore Vet

Photo by David Owen | CC BY 2.0 In the summer of 1975, I took off hitchhiking from the mountains of southwest Virginia to visit...

Equality, Justice and the First Amendment

For all people of good will—regardless of party affiliation, race, creed, or color—the events that took place this weekend in Charlottesville were sickening and...

As Part of Trump Assault on Immigrant Communities, Sessions Dangles Carrot to Cops in...

Then-Senator Jeff Sessions speaks at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, DC, October 11, 2017. (Photo: Gage Skidmore) Attorney General Jeff Sessions is turning up...

Toyota to build $1.6bn US plant, shift some production from Mexico

Published time: 4 Aug, 2017 17:31 Edited time: 4 Aug, 2017 17:40 A new Toyota assembly...

A Manual for a New Era of Direct Action

Movement manuals can be useful. Marty Oppenheimer and I found that out in 1964 when civil rights leaders were too busy to write a...

The Russia Investigation is Distracting Us from These Two Key Issues

by Sandra O'Hare The current administration is…newsworthy. New information about collusion with Russia during the campaign seems to come forward daily, and everyone is (understandably...

The Syrian Test of Trump-Putin Accord

The immediate prospect for significant improvement in U.S.-Russia relations now depends on something tangible: Will the forces that sabotaged previous ceasefire agreements in Syria...

The Wolf at Trout Creek

Timber Wolf. Photo: Gary Kramer, USFWS. The bison are in rut at Alum Creek. Two or three hundred of the shaggy beasts are crowded in the...

‘Shame! Shame!’ Trump raises $10mn at 1st re-election fundraiser amid protests

Donald Trump has only been in office for five months, but he already has his eyes...

A ‘Revolution’ Grows in Chicago

“I want to tell you something, sisters and brothers,” former Ohio state senator Nina Turner belted from the stage on the first day of...

Journalist indicted on felony rioting at Trump inauguration faces 75 years in prison

A journalist has been indicted by a grand jury on felony charges that he participated in...

Red Alert: The First Amendment Is in Danger

President Trump at a news conference, at the White House in Washington, April 20, 2017. Memos kept by James Comey indicated that Trump asked...

Want to Get “Back to the Land?” You’re Not Alone

Over the past century, generations of young people have turned their backs on city life to embrace small-scale farming and back-to-the-land ideals. The exact...

Three Strategies to Defend GOP Health Bill: Euphemisms, False Statements, and Deleted Comments

This story was co-published with Stat and Kaiser Health News. Earlier this month, a day after the House of Representatives passed a bill to repeal...

‘Buy Rosetta Stone & learn Russian’: John Kerry bashes Trump at Harvard commencement

Former Secretary of State John Kerry took some light-hearted and more serious jabs at President Donald...

Lockheed Martin-Funded Experts Agree: South Korea Needs More Lockheed Martin Missiles

The THAAD anti-missile system sure is great, say analysts whose salaries are partly paid for by THAAD’s manufacturer. (photo: DoD/Lockheed Martin) As tensions between the...

Charges dropped in Md. high school rape case; immigration & child porn issues remain

Rape charges have been dropped against two high school freshmen in Rockville, Maryland after prosecutors said...

Exclusive: US journalist may seek asylum overseas after being re-imprisoned for talking to press

Barrett Brown’s first stint in federal prison outraged free speech advocates, but he says his new...

How to Lose the Next War in the Middle East (Short Answer: Fight it!)

Make no mistake: after 15 years of losing wars, spreading terror movements, and multiplying failed states across the Greater Middle East, America will fight...

War in the Gulf (No, Not That Gulf!)

It’s war in the Gulf and the U.S. Navy is on hand to protect us. No, not that Gulf! I’m talking about the Gulf...

Kathy Kelly on the Angry, Desperate, Rejected

Fifty years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King gave his boldest and perhaps most defining speech. It alienated liberal allies in the North and the...

What He Could Do

What we are witnessing now is the birth of a new political order, and the more frantic a handful of media elites become, the...

The Political Economy of ‘Moral Authority’

In her acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention last year (7/28/16), Hillary Clinton forcefully rebutted President Donald J. Trump’s call to “make America...

The Dead Don’t Rest

South Korean author Han Kang has written two short novels translated into English in the past five years. In a time of global social...

Fear and Loathing on the Border

As Donald Trump's sordid vision of a "big, beautiful wall" on the United States-Mexico border begins to take shape, The Guardian has revealed that...

'Ghost calls’ haunt Dallas police with missed 911 calls, killing 2, including infant

An ongoing issue with cell phone carrier T-Mobile may be connected to the death of two...

Media Find Room for ‘Trumpcare Too Progressive,’ but Not for Single-Payer – Right-wing critics...

In May 2009, at the infancy of the healthcare reform battle that led to the Affordable Care Act, a group of nurses and single-payer...

Ex-Tory leader Hague wants early election to make Theresa May more attractive to EU...

Former Conservative leader William Hague has called for snap elections to give Prime Minister Theresa...

‘Deport El Chapo’: Will immigration crackdown trump criminal cases?

President Donald Trump’s immigration crackdown was designed to get “bad hombres” out of the US, but...

How Corporate Media Paved the Way for Trump’s Muslim Ban

  NBC News (1/25/17) covers Donald Trump signing the immigration ban. President Donald Trump’s executive order banning travel from seven predominantly Muslim nations justifiably led to...

Sexual Assault in the Time of Trump

"Affirmative consent, for those who don't know, is the idea that if you don't consent at every stage of a sexual encounter, it's rape....

The Trouble with Trump’s ‘Alternative Facts’

About an hour after Donald Trump was sworn in, I was having lunch with my wife and our five-month-old. As we picked at our...

The Reality of Life in Occupied Palestine

(RINF) - “My interests (as an old man) are directed towards keeping truth, based on facts (of course) from disappearing beneath the dust that...

Earth Bombarded by High Energy Waves

The role of a journalist is to report “the truth” based on available verifiable evidence of unfolding events and developments in this world. Because...

Unstuck in Time With Billy Pilgrim

Awakened by his presence, I was startled but not frightened. Somehow he seemed familiar and non-threatening.  He stood there in the dim light of a...

Assange releases full testimony to Swedish prosecutors 6yrs after first arrest

WikiLeaks chief Julian Assange has released his full testimony to Swedish prosecutors for the first...

Miles to Go Before We Sleep

(Photo: William Rivers Pitt) I took my daughter for a long walk under the low November sun, and it turned into an adventure. We are...

George Galloway attacked with glitter at Scottish university talk (VIDEO)

Police were called after former MP George Galloway was “attacked” with glitter by student protesters...

Paradoxical Truths of an Isolationist Empire

In the photograph, I’m wearing a gas mask and 3D glasses that I knew, if it came down to it, would not protect my...

‘It’s About Embracing a Different Way of Life’ – CounterSpin interview with Rose Aguilar...

Janine Jackson interviewed Rose Aguilar about reporting from Standing Rock for the November 4, 2016, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript. Rose...

Love Him or Hate Him

The U.S. Elections: The Latest Crack in the System The 2016 U.S. presidential elections are unprecedented: I don’t believe we have ever witnessed before a...

America’s Doomed

More fun in the Indispensable Nation: As we have all heard by now, according to Hillary, ardent of becoming National Basilisk, half of Trump’s supporters...

Bought and Paid For: The Corporate Media Riggs Elections

(RINF) - The 2016 Republican presidential primary was rigged. It wasn't rigged by the Republicans, the Democrats, Russians, space aliens, or voters. It was...

Motives for ‘intentional’ Connecticut plane crash investigated by FBI

Investigators concluded that a small passenger plane that crashed in Connecticut on Tuesday was "an intentional...

‘Grab them by the p***y’: Leaked audio of Trump causes GOP backlash

Courting rituals change over time, but it was probably never OK to do what Donald Trump...

Made In China: An Alternative To American Mayhem and Maelstrom

by John R. Hall / October 3rd, 2016 By the turn of the 21st century, the United States military had already appropriated the entire earth,...

More Media B.S. – OMG, Trump Company Legally Rented Office Space to Iranian Bank!

Once again a story that Trump did nothing illegal is somehow front page news. His crime this time? Continuing to...

CIA Whistleblower Kiriakou Honored for Integrity

Former CIA official John Kiriakou, who spent two years in prison for revealing the truth about White House-sanctioned torture, became the 15th recipient of...

Everything the US Has Done Since 9/11

Philip Weiss of Mondoweiss was curious how Todd Pierce, a military man from Minnesota, became a critic of what looks increasingly like America’s permanent...

Every Journalist Mourns a Dead Journalist

Noé Zavaleta holds up photographs of his murdered colleague, photojournalist Rubén Espinosa, in Xalapa, on July 31, 2016. (Photo by Patrick Timmons) Noé Zavaleta is...

158 songs banned by Clear Channel after 9/11, plus all by Rage Against the...

While the dust of the September 11 attacks still settled, the controversial media company Clear Channel...

Attica: How the Suppression of an Uprising Fed the Prison Industry

Officials and prisoners negotiate at Attica State Correctional Facility in upstate New York, in September of 1971. (William E. Sauro /...

Darwin Unhinged

This is atrociously long, criminally even, by internet standards but I post it anyway because I get occasional requests.  Few will read it, which...

Red hot chili challenge: US teens hospitalized after consuming world’s hottest peppers

The hot pepper challenge craze appears to be spreading in the US after scores of students...

U.S. Gov’t. Says It’s No Longer Against Al Qaeda

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at "We're not focused on the former al-Nusra Front . We're focused on Daesh . And that's what we're fighting...

Police take step toward creating ‘wanted’ posters from DNA, thanks to new study

It’s no secret that there is a genetic aspect to our looks ‒ how many times...

Suspect dons ‘old man’ disguise in brazen attempt to fool police (PHOTOS)

A suspected drug dealer who had managed to evade US police for more than five months...

Today’s gossip, tomorrow’s memories: 10 things we will (and won’t) miss about Gawker

Gawker will be no more. The blog network under the name revolutionized digital journalism and engaged...

Don’t let propaganda for the ‘looming cashless society’ deceive you

Since its invention in Babylon around 4,000 years ago, money has changed from gold coins, to coins of lesser value; to paper notes/cheques, plastic cards,...

The Unreported Economic Decline: 1 In 5 Young Adults Drowning in Debt

Michael Snyder (RINF) - In America today, more than 60 million people live in multi-generational households.  That number is so large that it may seem...

Remember Blue-Blockers?

By Dr. Mercola You may remember the blue-blocking sunglasses that were popular in the U.S. in the 1980s. The glasses, with their amber-colored lenses, had...

Public Roads as Tesla’s Private Test Track

Logic – let alone reasonableness – is not one of the government’s stronger suits. There are many examples of this, but here’s a newsie...

British special forces poised to rescue UK citizens if Turkey suffers 2nd coup attempt

British special forces are ready to rescue UK citizens in Turkey in the event of...

US Navy’s costliest-ever carrier USS Gerald Ford ‘unlikely to succeed in combat’ – leaked...

Some of the USS Gerald Ford’s critical combat systems are “poorly reliable,” making the Navy’s most expensive warship ever built unlikely to be ready...

‘You Cannot Use Military Force to Wipe Out Terrorism’ – CounterSpin interview with Phyllis...

Janine Jackson interviewed Phyllis Bennis about ISIS attacks for the July 8, 2016, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript. Phyllis Bennis: “You can’t...

Vigils held nationwide for 5 Dallas officers fatally shot

A vigil at Thanksgiving Square in Dallas attracted thousands of mourners for the five police officers...

From Brexit in the UK to Austerity in Spain, Europe is on the Edge

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Iraq’s not a perfect place. It has many challenges ahead. But we’re leaving behind a sovereign, stable and self reliant Iraq with a representative government that was elected by its people. We’re building a new partnership between our nations and we are ending a war not with a final battle but with a final march toward home. This is an extraordinary achievement

US President Barack H. Obama

Timothy Alexander Guzman, Silent Crow News – The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), an extreme fascist Islamic terrorist organization has taken control of Mosul and Tikrit and now they’re on their way to Bagdad. The Washington Post reported what had occurred in Iraq’s northern city of Mosul:

Death was everywhere in the sacked the city of Mosul, a strategically vital oil hub and Iraq’s largest northern city. One reporter said an Iraqi woman in Mosul claimed to have seen a “row of decapitated soldiers and policemen” on the street. Other reports spoke of “mass beheadings,” though The Washington Post was not able to confirm the tales. But the United Nations Human Rights chief, Navi Pillay, said the summary executions “may run into the hundreds” and that she was “extremely alarmed

Iraq is a monumental failure for US foreign policy. The US-led war to “spread democracy” and freedom to the people of Iraq under Operation Iraqi Freedom was a farce. The United States invaded Iraq in 2003 for two main reasons according to the Bush administration and Congress. First, they claimed that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and delivery systems capable of striking the United States. Second, they publically lied to the world that Iraq had been involved in the 9/11 terror attacks with Al-Qaeda through its “credible” intelligence services. Both claims were completely fabricated. The Pentagon and CIA (although there were some members that did not agree with the assessment) knew that the case was being made for war and eventually went along with the Bush administration’s plan to invade Iraq. The US government wanted absolute control over the production and transport of oil for US markets and for the military-industrial complex war machine. The result is catastrophic. More than 1.4 million Iraqis, 4,800 US soldiers and 3,400 International occupation forces were killed. The total cost of the war exceeds $1.5 trillion.

The US exploited differences between Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds since Iraqi society was already deeply divided. These divisions were manipulated by coalition forces to subdue the population. Between 2006 and 2008, a sectarian conflict erupted which resulted in over 60,000 deaths most of them civilians. Now there is the threat of Iraq becoming even more divisive, one of them becoming an Islamic state based on Sharia law under the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Since the US invasion, Iraqi population has constantly witnessed terrorist attacks resulting in numerous deaths including women and children. Divisions between Sunni and Shite are even greater today than under Saddam Hussein.

US Vice-President Joe Biden wanted to systematically divide Iraq along ethnic-lines into three states. He wrote a New York Times opinion editorial in 2006 with Council of Foreign Relations member Leslie H. Gelb how the plan would work:

The idea, as in Bosnia, is to maintain a united Iraq by decentralizing it, giving each ethno-religious group — Kurd, Sunni Arab and Shiite Arab — room to run its own affairs, while leaving the central government in charge of common interests. We could drive this in place with irresistible sweeteners for the Sunnis to join in, a plan designed by the military for withdrawing and redeploying American forces, and a regional nonaggression pact

Well Biden’s wish is might be coming true. Iraq is becoming increasingly more divided and even more dangerous since the US withdrew its forces in 2011. Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish groups remain divided. Now with a situation involving al-Qaeda and its splinter groups such as ISIS forming their own organization whether Western-funded or not, the Iraqi government is losing control. According to the Agence France-Presse (AFP) the Syrian government is blaming the West and Saudi Arabia for its ties to ISIS:

Syrian state media on Thursday accused Saudi Arabia and the West of complicity with the jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) that has captured swathes of Iraqi territory. Echoing claims often made by the regime and its supporters, state media said Saudi and other allies of the Syrian opposition were funding and arming jihadist groups like ISIS. “Terrorism is spreading in front of the eyes of the western world… and alongside it are the fingers of Saudi Arabia, providing money and arms,” the Al-Thawra daily wrote

Iraqi President Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki also believes that Saudi Arabia and Qatar has funded terrorist groups in Iraq according to a report by Patrick Cockburn of The Independent:

Iraq has long suspected the hidden hand of Wahhabism, the variant of Islam espoused by Saudi Arabia, as being behind many of its troubles. But it was only this month that Mr Maliki, in an interview with France 24 television, put the blame squarely on Saudi Arabia and Qatar, saying that “these two countries are primarily responsible for the sectarian, terrorist and security crisis in Iraq

The United States and the Gulf states of Saudi Arabia and Qatar support of ISIS seems accurate since Iraq has been divided along ethnic lines and the attempt to further destabilize Syria has been part of the US foreign policy. Cockburn says:

How much truth is there in Mr Maliki’s accusations? A proportion of aid from the Gulf destined for the armed opposition in Syria undoubtedly goes to Iraq. Turkey allows weapons and jihadist volunteers, many of them potential suicide bombers, to cross its 500 mile-long border into Syria and inevitably some of the guns, fighters and bombers will go to Iraq. This is hardly surprising given that Isis operates in both countries as if they were one

The Guardian reported on what Wikileaks cables had revealed Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s memo on Saudi Arabia’s involvement in financing terrorist organizations “Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest source of funds for Islamist militant groups such as the Afghan Taliban and Lashkar-e-Taiba – but the Saudi government is reluctant to stem the flow of money, according to Hillary Clinton”.

The BBC reported in 2013 that Al-Nusra and ISIS are the majority of foreign fighters in Syria:

According to a recent estimate by Aaron Zelin of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, there could be up to 11,000 of these fighters. It raises the questions of which groups they join, and what the relations between these groups are. By far the two most popular banners for these foreign fighters are al-Qaeda’s official Syrian affiliate, the al-Nusra Front, and the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS).

ISIS is the result of a unilateral attempt by the leader of Iraq’s al-Qaeda affiliate, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, to merge his group with al-Nusra. The move was rejected al-Nusra’s leader, Abu Mohammed al-Julani, and by al-Qaeda overall leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, but Baghdadi refused to disband ISIS

Who is Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Leader of ISIS?

The leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, also known as Abu Dua. ISIS was created in Iraq after the Bush Administration’s orchestrated a US-led invasion. Who is al-Baghdadi? According to Patrick Cockburn, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS was a former prisoner in an American run facility called the Bocca Camp in Southern Iraq:

There are disputes over his career depending on whether the source is ISIS itself, US or Iraqi intelligence but the overall picture appears fairly clear. He was born in Samarra, a largely Sunni city north of Baghdad, in 1971 and is well educated. With black hair and brown eyes, a picture of al-Baghdadi taken when he was a prisoner of the Americans in Bocca Camp in southern Iraq between 2005 and 2009, makes him look like any Iraqi man in his thirties.

His real name is believed to be Awwad Ibrahim Ali al-Badri al-Samarrai, who has degrees in Islamic Studies, including poetry, history and genealogy, from the Islamic University of Baghdad. He may have been an Islamic militant under Saddam as a preacher in Diyala province, to the north east of Baghdad, where, after the US invasion of 2003, he had his own armed group. Insurgent movements have a strong motive for giving out misleading information about their command structure and leadership, but it appears al-Baghdadi spent five years as prisoner of the Americans

The US has offered a $10 million reward for leads that can either capture or kill Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in 2011. That offer still stands. The US has destabilized Iraq, and now terrorist organizations threaten all nations across the Middle East, including Turkey, Israel, Lebanon, Iran and Syria. It is no coincidence that the Obama administration is taking advantage of Iraq’s situation. Last month, Obama gave a speech in a commencement ceremony at the United States Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. It signified how Washington is planning to topple the Syrian government. He said:

A critical focus of this effort will be the ongoing crisis in Syria. As frustrating as it is, there are no easy answers there, no military solution that can eliminate the terrible suffering anytime soon. As president, I made a decision that we should not put American troops into the middle of this increasingly sectarian civil war, and I believe that is the right decision. But that does not mean we shouldn’t help the Syrian people stand up against a dictator who bombs and starves his own people. And in helping those who fight for the right of all Syrians to choose their own future, we are also pushing back against the growing number of extremists who find safe haven in the chaos.

So with the additional resources I’m announcing today, we will step up our efforts to support Syria’s neighbors — Jordan and Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq — as they contend with refugees and confront terrorists working across Syria’s borders. I will work with Congress to ramp up support for those in the Syrian opposition who offer the best alternative to terrorists and brutal dictators. And we will continue to coordinate with our friends and allies in Europe and the Arab World to push for a political resolution of this crisis and to make sure that those countries and not just the United States are contributing their fair share of support to the Syrian people

Syria is part of the US Imperial agenda. Now with ISIS expanding its base and launching attacks across Iraq creating an uncertain future for the war torn country, Syria will experience the same fate if President Bashar al-Assad is removed from power. The Syrian government and the people will prevent ISIS and Washington’s so called “moderate rebels” from destabilizing their country. ISIS, Al-Qaeda and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) are all Western backed terrorist groups seeking to gain power across the region. The consequence of the US invasion has destabilized Iraq with no hope of re-establishing itself as a united country as it once was under Saddam Hussein. The US, Turkey, Israel and the Gulf states are attempting to do the same to Syria by funding terrorist organizations in hopes of installing a puppet regime that will remain loyal to Western interests. Iraq is a failed state because of Western intervention, so why would they attempt the same policy towards Syria knowing what happened to Iraq? Do they believe this time would be successful? I certainly doubt it. But then again do they really want success? Or do they want to divide the region in order to control all sides?


Four Cops Forcibly Strip And Pepper Spray Woman (Video)

By Susan Duclos

 In the very disturbing video below we see a case that has been highlighted and is going national.  A woman, Tabitha Gentry, arrested on a misdemeanor is forcibly stripped naked by four cops in Indiana, left in a holding cell, then pepper sprayed when she started banging on the door pleading for her clothes back. 

 The original video was released by the woman's attorney and the actions of the police department are being defended as normal procedure, by an Indiana sheriff.

 Via Raw Story:

The video shows Gentry in a jail cell with four officers, and two of them are male. After Gentry tries to stand up, the officers take her to what the jail called a “padded room.”

“Almost immediately upon entering the jail, she’s assaulted by four officers. They grab her around the neck, they grab her body,” Landenwich explained. “They hold her down… There are two male officers and two female officers and they forceably remove her pants, her shoes, her underwear and her shirt and bra.”

“Terrified and humiliated, she’s banging on the door asking someone to give her her clothing and someone comes to the door and says, ‘If you don’t shut up, I’m going to pepper spray you,’ and sure enough, they open the door, spray pepper spray into the room and they leave — and they leave her in there for 40 minutes, naked, in a cell filled with pepper spray.”

Officials at the Floyd County Jail, where this incident occurred, then gave her just a blanket before taking her out through the booking area, where anyone there could see her, to wash her eyes out, before returning her to the cell and leaving her naked, with just the blanket, for another five hours.

This case is discussed by The Young Turks in the video below.

Cross posted at Before It's News

Sugar-Coated Subjugation:Lie Back And Swallow

Deccan Herald 8/6/2014

David Beckham, with his killer smile and genteel southern English accent. If he is promoting a product then it can’t be bad - can it? And then there is also Sachin, Amitab, Kareena and all those other modern day cultural icons. To try to scrape by, they are compelled to endorse the ‘must-have’ products of the age. With some of these stars having contracts to endorse over a dozen items at a time, it’s a wonder they have any time left to do those bothersome activities - like act or hit a small ball.  
Edward Bernays is regarded as the father of modern day public relations and advertising. As the nephew of Sigmund Freud, Bernays knew how to manipulate the pain and pleasure centres of the brain. Thanks to him, governments and the ad industry soon learnt how to manage public perception. Many decades on from Bernays, officialdom the world over and the global ad industry have got things down to a fine art. Ad agencies, marketers and corporations know that by associating the reassuring faces of the famous with a particular product, the product and the message being conveyed will stick in the minds of the public. Especially so, if they keep on repeating the same ads over and over again – as they do.
Anyone would think they are trying to brainwash us. Sorry, it’s called perception management, or some other fancy industry term. Do it correctly, and you can sell almost anything to almost anyone. Bernays knew that almost a century ago.
Brand recall is what it’s all about. Tying the consumer to the product is what is required and identifying the reliability and apparent trustworthiness of certain famous faces with a particular brand is the order of the day.
For better or worse, large sections of the population actually look up to celebrities and what they say, do or endorse really matters. When we see their faces plastered on a billboard swigging back a fizzy drink, the implicit message is that these folks have ‘made it’ in life. Therefore, what they say or endorse has credibility. ‘Making it’ implies that they have usually been paid a shed load of cash for some activity of dubious worth like pretending to be who they are not (acting), swinging a wooden bat, or merely possessing the talent of mediocrity but having a damned good PR company behind them in order to convince us all that they are unique, wonderful people.
But where to draw the line? Where do ethics come into endorsing products of questionable worth that the celebrity would in reality perhaps not be seen dead wearing, using or eating? Did you really think their bathroom cabinets, fridges or food cupboards are bursting at the seams with all the products they promote?
Where to draw the line if a cosmetic has been tested on animals, or if a product involves sweated labour in the production process or its manufacture seriously damages the environment? Where to draw the line if consumerism is based on planned product obsolescence, conflict and war to grab the finite resources required to make the very commodities that are being endorsed? For some of the product endorsing cultural icons, the line might become buried so far beneath the flow of cash to obscure its very existence.
The celebrity endorsement market
Over three million television commercials are made each year in India. However, some 80 percent of people forget new information within just 24 hours. Marketers therefore bring a celebrity in an attempt to get the public to remember their product ahead of the competition. By associating an apparently trustworthy, famous face with your product, it is hoped that the consumer will develop instant recall.

From the late 1980s onwards, corporations have been increasingly turning to the likes of Amitab Bachan to help sell their stuff. Mister reliability himself Sachin Tendulkar has over the years been a more or less permanent fixture on urban billboards batting for various products. But even in this cricket-mad nation, Bollywood still manages to trump cricket in terms of popularity and selling power.

These days, many faces of the big screen can be more often seen on the small screen simply because they can and do earn more from appearing in TV commercials than in movies. The public are no fools, but the manufacturers know that branding matters and the bigger the star, the better the potential market capture of sales. And the list of so-called ‘role model’ movie stars or sports persons that have provided credibility to products intended for mass consumption is a long one.
Figures for 2013 indicate that Shah Rukh Kahn has 15 endorsement deals and charges Rs 8-10 crore for each one. MS Dhoni has 17 and rakes in Rs 10-12 crore a go. Salman Khan has 15 deals worth Rs 7 crore a shot. Hrithik has 6 at Rs 6-7 crore each. Sachin has 17 at Rs 5-6 crores a deal. Katrina Kaif has 12 at Rs 3.5-4 crore each. Bachchan has 10 deals at Rs 6-7 crore each. And Aishwarya Rai has a few deals at Rs 3.4-4 crore a time.
Film star Kareena Kapoor has been endorsing Coca Cola's Limca soft drink for about 400,000 US dollars a year. In 2011, Sachin Tendulkar signed a three-year deal with Coca Cola worth 3.3 million US dollars.
To put these astronomical figures into perspective, in 2011 the annual per capita income of India was 1,552 US dollars.

Adex India Analysis listed Kareena Kapoor as the leading female endorser for the first half of 2010. Mahendra Singh Dhoni was listed as the leading male endorser. Bollywood stars accounted for 80 percent of all celebrity endorsers in TV adverts in 2009.

But does it work?

IPAN-IMRB Research in 2008 indicated that 86 percent of viewers remember celebrity ads, but only three percent feel celebrities affect buying decision. Product quality and price is the main reason for purchasing an item, according to 84 percent of those questioned. Surprisingly, just five percent believe stars only endorse a brand for money, and 22 percent believe celebrities use the products they endorse.

These figures might be a little disappointing for corporations who shell out a good deal of cash for celebrities to push their products, but such endorsements give them an important edge in what is an increasingly cluttered and competitive market place. And perhaps the figures mentioned above underestimate the importance of celebrity endorsement. Why else would hard-nosed corporations spend all that money just to have minimal impact?  

Some market analysts say that consumers are becoming more sophisticated and are less willing to believe anyone but themselves. But, it can’t be denied that a celebrity does boost credibility, trust and realism. Moreover, celebrities are used to bring in a certain degree of glamour and noticeability and may indeed sway the sometimes indecisive consumer to opt for one brand over another.

But marketers have to be careful. While endorsing products is highly financially lucrative for celebrities and can increase sales of a product, the public can see often through glib PR and are aware that certain stars may be prone to endorse any old tat as long as the wad of cash dangled in front of them is large enough. Many people are aware that the famous faces endorsing certain tacky products would never actually use these items themselves. If they see a particular celebrity endorsing multiple products here, there and everywhere, they will soon begin to question celebrity’s credibility.

Multi product endorsement may hint of short-term opportunism by both the celebrity and the marketer, but some celebrities seem to pull it off. Amitab Bachchan endorses products with widely varying target consumers, from baby massage oil to cement and diamonds. Bachchan has mass appeal and can ‘get away with it’. Similarly, Tendulkar has endorsed dozens of products over the years, from soft fizzy drinks to cameras and from pens to cars.

But like the products themselves, the shelf life of a celebrity is limited. In this particular world, celebrities are ‘products’ themselves. Tendulker’s cricket career is nearing its end, but others will take his place. His star might be fading, but Ranbir Kapoor and Virat Kohli are on the up in the product endorsement field. In 2013, both had around ten endorsement deals each. Kapoor charges Rs 7.5 to Rs 8 crore per deal, Kohli about Rs 3 crore.

Not all stars have great mass appeal, however, and as marketing assets are more limited when it comes to product endorsing. Tendulkar apart, a sportsperson may be limited to endorsing sports products. Certain celebrities might also have to be content with fitting into a specific niche. For example, ageing beauty queens of the big screen might be used to promote an anti-ageing cream.

But, of course, the celebrity must remain a good boy or girl. It might be best for the product manufacturer not to take on a big star who is suddenly in the media for all the wrong reasons, say for allegedly being in a vehicle that mowed over people sleeping at the side of the road. But some people can do no wrong it seems. Even that doesn’t appear to put much of a dent in a celebrity’s earning power, as corporations still line up to plaster the face in question on billboards to endorse to his bank balance’s delight.

But that’s India for you. To the never ending joy of marketers, movie stars, no matter what they may or may not have done, no matter what terrible crimes or misdeeds they might or might not have indulged in, are gods. They are worshiped. The likes of Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie or Jennifer Lopez have nothing on their Indian counterparts.

The cultural impact

If commercials do one thing, apart from sell products that is, they tend to trivialize important issues and reduce them to some marketable slogan. Simplicity works and high-impact celebrities and sound-bites add to the simplicity. Think of all those TV commercials on English language channels that reduce everything to a lowest common denominator selling point: ‘white is in dark is out’ (skin colouring to ‘look white’ and boost status); ‘because you’re worth it’ (self esteem reduced to wearing nail varnish or lipstick); and ‘its very, very sexy’ (the nature of sexuality reduced to the effects of a deodorant). Complex issues are turned into sound-bite commodity forms and reduced to brand identities to push sales in the market place.

Apart from cynically turning important issues into banal slogans to sell stuff, commercials and celebrity product endorsement can have other far-reaching consequences. Co-opting famous faces to sell products has the obvious effect of validating the products in the eyes of the public. But once celebrity product endorsement becomes commonplace, the vast sums celebrities receive for endorsements become ‘normalized’ and implicit notions of not only acquisitive materialism, but the ‘free’ market itself become rubber stamped. The message is - gross inequality and conspicuous consumption is ‘natural’, the way life is, the way life has to be and there is not much wrong with it.  

The celebrity is giving a stamp of approval for the prevailing system. Little wonder then that celebrities have become associated with huge money-spinning sports events as a result of their sponsorship deals. Little wonder that they are associated too with wealthy corporations that are colonizing many areas of life by funding charity foundations and influential, strategically well-placed research institutes. With the product endorsing celebrity in tow, life is becoming cast according to a certain predefined image laid down out by these corporations. 

Corporate consumerism’s world view is becoming the norm. This ‘way of the world’ is becoming self-perpetuating and deeply culturally ingrained within the public psyche. Validated by the celebrity, it is slowly becoming immune from criticism because fewer and fewer people might never question its legitimacy or even recognize it for being the controlling culture that it is.

Regardless of what people may think about the ethics concerning the promotion of certain products of dubious worth or being the public face of particular corporations with often dodgy practices with regard to human rights or the environment, the underlying aim of celebrity product endorsement is to bind the public to a product and by implication to the company behind it and ultimately the ideology of the system, so-called economic neo-liberalism. Positive notions about ‘individual freedom’ (via consuming) and the market constituting the best method for supplying human needs are being constantly and implicitly reinforced. Today, this is what the celebrity is ultimately endorsing. This is what they are selling their souls for. 
Some might argue: what’s the big deal if a celebrity endorses a cola, a facial cream or a food product? It’s not like they are promoting an oil-thirsty, conflict-ridden system of consumer capitalism, is it? The raw materials come from somewhere, they are acquired somehow. What is happening to our forests, our rivers, our farmers and our environment is very often connected to the many conflicts in the world and to what eventually ends up on the billboards, on the store shelf, on our plates and in our homes.  
As long as the sugar coating on the pill, the celebrity, has people lining up to adore them, no matter what they do, no matter what they endorse, who is to be aware, who is to care? Just lie back and swallow.

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Activist Professor Denis Rancourt’s Judicial Lynching

Activist Professor Denis Rancourt's Judicial Lynching

by Stephen Lendman

Rancourt reflects academia's best, most competent, most responsible and bravest. He has two blog sites. Visit them for updated information.

Activist Teacher and U of O Watch provide updates. They explain what most people can't imagine. 

What happened to Rancourt can happen to anyone responsibly challenging what's too deplorable to accept.

Injustice defines Western societies. Canada marches in lockstep with Washington. 

Rogue state ruthlessness defines both countries. Imperial priorities matter most. Inviolable laws don't matter. Nor judicial fairness. 

Rancourt is a distinguished University of Ottawa (U of O) professor. He's tenured. He's a recognized physics and environmental science expert.

Students loved him. He's a "phenomenal teacher," they said. He didn't teach to the test like in America.

He prioritized learning. He inspired academic achievement. He supports fundamental human and civil rights.

Political activism caused his dismissal. University of Ottawa's campus isn't safe. President Allan Rock is a former Canadian politician. 

He runs U of O like his private fiefdom. Like a police state. He's unprincipledly hard right. He ignores fundamental Canadian law doing so.

Academic freedom doesn't matter. Or free thought, opinion or expression. U of O is a hotbed of fascist extremism. It's inhospitable to learning.

U of O Law Professor Joanne St. Lewis colluded with Rock. She did so against Rancourt. 

She sued him unjustifiably. She wants $1 million. She irresponsibly charged racism.

It related to his legitimate blog site comments. He called St. Lewis a "house negro." He cited Malcolm X. He first used the term.

A 2011 Statement of Claim (SOC) against Rancourt said:

"The Defendant's conduct and actions are reprehensible insulting, high-handed, spiteful, and outrageous." 

"Such conduct warrants condemnation by this Court by means of an award of punitive damages." 

It spuriously claimed "(t)he Defendant defamed Professor St. Lewis in furtherance of his personal animosity towards President Allan Rock and the University of Ottawa which terminated him as a Professor."

U of O pays all St. Lewis legal fees. Doing so smacks of collusion. It violates Rancourt's Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

For over three years, he's battled for justice so far denied. One-on-one against St. Lewis is one thing.

Against U of O maliciousness another. Against courts piling on something else entirely. Against systemic injustice matters most.

Cynthia McKinney is special. She's extraordinary. She's an exception that proves the rule. She's a true profile in courage. 

She supports right over wrong. She does it courageously. She's a committed human/civil rights champion.

She was Georgia's House of Representatives first African American member.

She represented Georgia's 11th district. She did so from January 1993 - January 2003. 

She was 2008 Green Party presidential candidate. She's close to receiving her doctorate.

She supports judicial fairness. She wants Rancourt given no less. She's involved helping him get what he's so far denied.

He was fired for doing the right thing. Over three years of battling judicially followed. It's not east challenging systemic injustice.

McKinney circulated a petition. It protests Ontario Superior Court Judge Michel Z. Charbonneau's judicial lynching.

Rancourt is his own legal defense. He taught himself law to do so. During his opening jury statement, Charbonneau silenced him. 

He did so reprehensibly. He acted extrajudicially. He took the law into his own hands. He twisted it irresponsibly.

He prohibited Rancourt's fundamental right to speak. He violated Section 2(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It's a constitutional bill of rights. It states:

"Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:

(a) freedom of conscience and religion;

(b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;

(c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and

(d) freedom of association."

Article 7 assures "Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person and the right not to be deprived thereof in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice."

Academic and speech freedoms are inviolable. So is the right to a fair and just legal defense. America denies them. So does Canada.

Doing so reflects police state injustice. Charbonneau is more hanging than real judge. He shames the office he holds.

He has no legitimacy whatever. Rancourt walked out of court in disgust. He explained why, saying:

"On May 16, 2014, at 10:00 AM, in courtroom #36 of the Ottawa Courthouse of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, I walked out from the trial in which I am being sued, and in which I was representing myself without a lawyer." 

"The trial is continuing in my absence, before a Jury of my peers." He continued, adding:

"Your Honour, the law foresees that I must be free to advance the very serious charge of “reasonable apprehension of bias."

"It is very difficult for me to make this intervention. Give me five minutes because I must present the new evidence."

"During my motion of May 7, 2014, asking that Your Honour recuse himself, Your Honour's decision was silent on the central point that I had made that Your Honour's decisions in this action could affect the reputation of the University of Ottawa and affect the monetary value of its scholarships, to which Your Honour donates money regularly and annually." 

"Then, on the first day of trial, Monday May 12 of this week, we did a motion in the afternoon, a so-called 'Voir Dire,' with detailed facta." 

"Mr. Dearden (plaintiff's lawyer) brought the motion with a factum of 32 pages served on May 9 and accompanied by a book of authorities of 347 pages." 

"His motion was to eliminate my defence called 'Litigation by proxy contrary to the Charter.' "

"I answered with a factum of May 9 containing 14 pages and accompanied by a book of authorities of 342 pages." 

"I argued in detail that, in fact, my defense was a defence of abuse of process having three branches, with one branch being the 'Jameel' defence based on a 2005 decision of the England and Wales Court of Appeal: Dow Jones Inc. v. Jameel, and I pointed to paragraphs 68 to 71 of my 'Statement of Defence' as pleading this Jameel defence." 

"The decision of this Court (of Your Honour) was pronounced on May 14 regarding the said motion or Voir Dire: The paragraphs 61 to 67 of the Statement of Defence were struck." 

"Paragraphs 68 to 71 remained intact, as did my Jameel defence."

"Then, on May 15, yesterday, during my Opening Statement, the Court allowed Mr. Dearden to interrupt me when I was explaining my Jameel defence to the Jury." 

"And Your Honour, off the cuff, struck and forbade my Jameel defence despite my protest, and despite the fact of not having done so when Your Honour should have done so if you had had that intension."

"It has been more than three years that I have been fighting for procedural justice in this action - and my 'Statement of Claim' is struck, cut into pieces, before my eyes during my Opening Statement, in contradiction with the considered decision of May 14 of Your Honour."

"This would give nightmares to Kafka himself."

"To my eyes, we are no longer in Canada - and we can no longer claim to have a system of justice in this action before you Your Honour."

"I am outraged by this gag order imposed in a manner that is apparently arbitrary, which does not allow me to be heard and to 'have my day in court.' "

"I have pleaded 'abuse of process' at every step and now, at trial itself, I don't even have the right to say that the University of Ottawa is entirely financing the plaintiff or the right to use the Jameel defense that applies to situations where the defendant advances a lack of actual damage to reputation, that’s 'actual' damage, and to 'reputation,' not some other kind of damage."

"I was very disturbed by these incomprehensible events, and I have been deeply perturbed all day yesterday; confused also, as a self-represented litigant." 

"This morning I inform the Court that I can no longer participate in such a process." 

"Therefore, I'm leaving this unjust process. You will take the decisions in my absence. It's over for me: I’m leaving."

McKinney represents Rancourt's fight for justice. He deserves universal support. He's battling Canadian injustice singlehandedly. 

He's doing it on a shoestring. He performed courageously. He accomplished what few others would dare.

He's a true justice champion. He's a modern-day Don Quixote. He's battling an entire judicial system. He's entitled to fair proceedings. 

A "judge cannot be or appear to be biased," said McKinney. Each side deserves due process. Fairness requires defendants knowing charges against them.

Defenses available must be be permitted. "(A)fter more than three years of legal procedures," said McKinney, "Charbonneau summarily denied Rancourt's opening jury statement."

His main defense. Without justification. Without legal basis. With unconscionable bias. One-sidedly supporting his opponent.

Perhaps unprecedented or close to it. Doing so was outrageously egregious. It reflected hanging court injustice. It has no legal standing.

Under Canadian law, Rancourt's trial continues without him.

Prior to trial, he asked formerly involved Regional Senior Judge Charles Hackland to appoint a case judge with no U of O connection.

Charbonneau is an alumnus. He's an endowment fund contributor. His university connection disqualifies him. 

He's unfit to serve. He's judge, jury and executioner.

Rancourt formally petitioned him to recuse himself. He refused to do so. He acted irresponsibly.

"Help defend justice," Mckinney urged. Sign the attached petition. It tells national, provincial and regional Canadian chief justices to halt trial proceedings.

Start over. Under a new judge. With no U of O ties. Under scrupulously free, fair and open proceedings. 

With both sides treated justly. With due process respected. With jurors given all relevant information. 

With them able to decide responsibly. With justice prevailing. With assuring it above all else.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

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

Visit his blog site at 

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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Double standards for citizens of Israel

Middle East Eye – 5 May 2014

The arrest of a journalist and several political activists in Israel over the past few weeks has provoked a troubling debate: are laws applied differently depending on whether a citizen is Jewish or not?

It is a question more often raised in connection with the occupied territories, where Israel operates two legal systems for much of the population – a civilian one for Jewish settlers, and a much harsher, military one for Palestinians.

But recent, well-publicised arrests in Israel suggest that Palestinian Arab citizens, who comprise a fifth of Israel’s population, also face what Amal Jamal, a politics professor at Tel Aviv University, calls a form of “legal apartheid”, despite their citizenship and the fact that they are living under the same set of laws.

Particularly controversial was the arrest last month of Majd Kayyal, a journalist from Israel’s Palestinian minority who was seized at a border crossing on his return from a visit to Lebanon. He had travelled using special travel documents from the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah.

He was held incomunicado for five days, accused of a serious security offence and denied access even to lawyers. He was eventually released to house arrest when it became clear that Israeli authorities had no evidence he had breached security.

Several senior Israeli Jewish journalists came to his defence, pointing out that they too had visited “enemy states”, using an alternate, non-Israeli passport, but had never been interviewed, let alone arrested and threatened with prosecution.

‘Suspected in advance’

Zvi Barel, a Middle East analyst for Israel’s Haaretz newapaper, said Israel had two standards, one for Israeli Jews and another for the Palestinian Arab population: “Arab journalists are suspected in advance of having one purpose for visiting an enemy state – espionage, giving information or ‘contact with a foreign agent’. An Israeli Arab journalist is seen first, and last, as an Arab.”

According to lawyers, journalists and human rights groups, the spate of arrests gives the lie to a comment made by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week as he unveiled plans to introduce legislation defining Israel as the “nation-state of the Jewish people”.

He vowed discrimination would receive no legal sanction. “Israel will always preserve full equal rights, both personal and civil, of all citizens of the state of Israel, Jews and non-Jews as one.”

In fact, more than 55 laws in Israel explicitly discriminate between Jews and non-Jews, according to a database established by Adalah, a legal organisation for Israel’s Palestinian minority.

But the latest cases show that, even when the law is neutral, it is being applied in a discriminatory fashion by Israeli authorities too, including the police and state prosecutors.

Netanyahu’s promise came as Ghassan Munair, a 44-year-old political activist from the city of Lod in central Israel, was arrested after posting on Facebook photos of a group of Israeli-Palestinian Christians meeting a government minister to discuss the introduction of an army draft for Christians.

An announcement last month by the army that it would be sending notices for the first time to all Christian school-leavers to encourage them to volunteer has shocked many in the Palestinian minority. The move is widely seen as an attempt to divide Palestinians in Israel, turning Christians and Muslims against each other.

Munair told Haaretz that his arrest was designed to intimidate critics of the draft into silence.

Heavy-handed arrests

A similar interpretation was read into the Israeli police’s heavy-handed arrest last week of three Israeli-Palestinian students who held a silent protest against the draft on Hebrew University’s campus in Jerusalem.

Lawyers for Munair, who was forced to hand over his computer and phone to police before being released to house arrest, said he had not broken any laws.

“What he did was to name and shame those present at the meeting by publishing an official photo. There were no words that could be interpreted as a threat in his post,” said Sawsan Zaher, a lawyer from Adalah.

She added that social media sites in Israel were crammed with “hate-filled incitement against Arabs” from Israeli Jews, but no arrests were made. “His case and others like it are entirely about the state using the law as a political tool. They want to send a message: don’t even consider criticising those who support government policy, or you’ll be in trouble.”

Kayyal’s arrest has been widely seen as politically motivated too. Israel’s domestic intelligence service, the Shin Bet, used a draconian gag order to try to conceal their investigations on suspicion he had “contact with a foreign agent”, which carries a sentence of up to 15 years.

The 23-year-old journalist had attended a conference in Beirut to celebrate the 40th anniversary of As-Safir newspaper, for which he is a correspondent. He told Middle east Eye that he had not concealed his visit, posting updates to his Facebook page while there and writing about the event for an Arabic website.

Aggressive interrogation

Aspects of his case, in addition to the arrest, have disturbed observers:

  • The denial of access to lawyers is a feature of the legal system chiefly used against Palestinians, most often in the occupied territories but also in Israel too. As journalist Dimi Reider observed, it almost never applies to Jewish citizens.
  • Between aggressive interrogations, Kayyal was confined to a underground cell with a bright light on 24 hours day, a method considered by some to be torture. The technique is intended to disorientate and confuse suspects, making them feel isolated, lose a sense of time and grow hopeless.
  • Sweeping gag orders, barring the media from reporting an arrest, are normally reserved for the gravest national security cases. In Kayyal’s case, it was revoked only after blogs overseas publicised his arrest, leading to uncomfortable questions from reporters at a US state department press briefing.

After Kayyal passed a polygraph test, the charge of contact with a foreign agent was dropped. He was released to house arrest, and barred from leaving the country or speaking to anyone outside Israel. Prosecutors are still considering whether to charge him with “visiting an enemy state”, which could land him with a four-year jail sentence.

Following his arrest, a Shin Bet spokesman was reported saying: “A suspicion arose that he was recruited by a hostile organization.”

‘Desperate questions’

But Kayyal said it was clear early on from their “desperate questions” that the Shin Bet had no evidence he had met a Hizbullah agent. “They even started saying they knew I had thrown stones and written graffiti during the October 2000 protests [in support of the second intifada]. I pointed out I was nine at the time.”

Nonetheless, the Shin Bet persevered.

“What they hoped for was a confession. They wanted to break me,” he said. “I reached the point where I just wanted them to open a window in the interrogation room so I would know whether it was day or night. And then you start to fear you will never get out or what you might say just so that the nightmare ends.”

Although he said he appreciated the support of his Jewish colleagues, he noted that they waited until it was certain he had had no connection to Hizbullah. “There was still an assumption from them that, as an Arab, I had likely committed a security offence.”

Amal Jamal, who heads Ilam, a Nazareth-based centre advocating greater fairness and pluralism in the Israeli media, said: “It is clear in the way the law is applied that officials regard Israeli citizens who are Palestinian as guilty until they can prove they are innocent.”

Emergency regulations

The prohibition on visiting an enemy state derives from the 1948 emergency regulations, many of them inherited by Israel from the British.

Kayyal said the law was “illegitimate” in his eyes, as it prevented Palestinian citizens from fulfilling a natural need to connect to the Arab world. “Israel wants me like a bird in a cage. But I don’t just live to eat. I need a cultural life, I need to have a relationship with my Arab cousins, to find a place where I belong.”

The Association for Civil Rights in Israel said Israeli Jewish journalists who broke the law “receive much acclaim for what is considered brave and professional journalism”. It added that, in applying the law only to Palestinian citizens, Israel was using “an improper method for monitoring and controlling [their] movements.”

Wadea Awawdy, editor of the Hadith al-Nass newspaper who joined the petition against the gag order in Kayyal’s case, said such connections were critically important for Palestinian journalists and politicians in Israel.

“Our role must be to understand our region, to provide real information about the conflicts we report on, to represent our readers and help provide them with meaningful insights. To do that we need to be engaged with the Arab world.”

He particularly lamented Israel’s refusal for the past seven years to let any Israeli journalists – including those from the Palestinian minority – enter Gaza. “The siege of Gaza is also about denying us mutual contacts and information, using security as a pretext. As journalists we have to wage a war against these rules, and be ready to pay a price.”

Guilty until proven otherwise

Zaher, the Adalah lawyer, criticised Israel’s use of the “contact with a foreign agent” provision in the Penal Law. Used almost exclusively in security cases involving Palestinian citizens, it is unique in that it requires defendants to prove their innocence.

It is unclear who counts as an “agent” – a friend or relative of a Hizbullah member, for example? And in practice, the simple act of meeting such an “agent” is usually considered proof enough for a conviction in an Israeli court, even if no security-related damage was caused.

Several prominent Palestinian citizens have fallen foul of this law, including most recently Said Naffaa, a former member of the Israeli parliament, who led a delegation of Druze religious leaders on a tour of holy places in Syria in 2007.

Others have included Amir Makhoul, a Palestinian civil society leader who headed the boycott movement in Israel, and Mohammed Kanaaneh, leader of Abnaa el-Balad, a political movement that rejects participation in Israeli elections.

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Israel Targets Palestinian Children

Israel Targets Palestinian Children

by Stephen Lendman

Imagine waging war on kids. Imagine doing it no-holds-bared. A joint Four Corners/The Australian broadsheet investigation discusses ruthless Israeli treatment.  

Palestinian boys are targeted. Beatings, arrests, detentions and torture follow. More on it below.

In November 2011, the weekend Australian magazine headlined "Stone cold justice," saying:

"You hear them before you see them." You hear "a shuffle of shoes and a clinking of handcuffs and shackles."

Four boys look bewildered in an Israeli military courtroom. Palestinians are denied civil justice.

"They wear brown prison overalls..." They're treated like hardened criminals. Military injustice awaits them. Guilt by accusation follows.

A new "Stone Cold Justice" report updated the earlier one. Australian lawyer Gerard Horton is involved. 

He's trying to help arrested Palestinian boys. Three are discussed. More on them below.

Hundreds of Palestinians are mistreated annually. They're lawlessly arrested and detained. Children young as five are terrorized. They're too young to know why.

Imagine facing prison for stone-throwing. Imagine it awaiting hundreds whether or not they're guilty as charged.

Imagine being systematically abused. Imagine violating their fundamental rights. Imagine Israel doing it contemptuously. Imagine no way to stop it.

Israeli military court prosecutions produce nearly 100% convictions. Virtually no Palestinian is found innocent. Children are abusively treated. Some end up in adult prisons.

Trials are short as 60 seconds of less. Guilt pronouncements and sentencings complete them. Independent observers say they never saw anything like it anywhere.

Israel wants what goes on suppressed. Most Palestinians are lawlessly charged. They're coerced to confess. They're terrorized. 

They're severely tortured. They're forced to sign Hebrew confessions they don't understand. They're brutalized until they agree.

Israel's criminal injustice system is like Guantanamo for kids. Many don't understand what's happening. Families can't intervene to help. Nor legal counsel except to plea bargain.

It bears repeating. Once charged, guilt by accusation follows. There's no escape. Generations of Palestinians have been abused this way. It's been ongoing for nearly half a century.

Gross mistreatment leaves lasting scars. Traumas don't go away. Emotional harm lasts. For many it's for a lifetime.

Imagine treating young children like hardened criminals. Imagine denying them due process. Imagine no judicial fairness. Imagine Nazism writ large.

Israel is a lawless police state. It's one of the world's most ruthless. Palestinians are targeted for being non-Jews. Praying to the wrong God is considered terrorism. So is self-defense.

Stone Cold Justice focuses on three Palestinian boys. Two were arrested in the middle of the night. They were taken to unknown locations. According to one boy's mother:

"Every soldier stood at the door of a room. I (addressed one of them saying) "What do you want with him? 

He said 'Shut up woman.' And then they started hitting him and pulling him out of bed."

Her son said "(t)hey started kicking (him) with their boots in (his) stomach, slaps on (his) face. They pulled (him) up by (his) t-shirt and took (him) out of bed."

Israel calls this maintaining security. Palestinians call it institutionalized persecution. Enforced ruthlessness makes life intolerable.

"(T)hey want to kick us out out of here and drive us away because they don't want Arabs in this area."

Israel's Foreign Ministry lies claiming otherwise. Ethnic cleansing is longstanding Israeli policy. So is maximum land theft with minimum Arabs.

UNICEF released a scathing report. It said "children (are) threatened with death, physical violence, solitary confinement and sexual assault."

Other reports say the same things and more. Four Corners said "Palestinian children have more to fear than the Israeli army." 

Reporter John Lyons (presented) clear evidence that "Israeli settlers in the West Bank regularly attack Palestinian school children, knowing authorities will not intervene."

On February 10, Stone Cold Justice aired. Presenter Kerry O'Brien discussed "a new generation of hatred in the making."

Imagine heavily armed soldiers making middle-of-the-night raids. Imagine it in Australia or any civilized society. Imagine arresting young children in their beds.

Imagine beating and kicking them. Imagine cuffing and blindfolding them. Imagine ordering parents not to intervene.

Imagine military prisons with young kids in shackles. Imagine isolating them from society outside. Imagine brutal interrogations.

Imagine no-holds-barred torture. Imagine forcing innocent kids to confess. Imagine brutalizing them until they do. Imagine the worst crimes against humanity.

Imagine hundreds of Palestinian children mistreated this way annually. Lyons said imagine a "peaceful evening in a small Palestinian village. A 14-year-old boy and his family sleep."

Vehicles arrive in the middle of the night. Soldiers are making a raid. Asai Zamara is targeted. He's a young teenager. 

Soldiers claim he threw stones. He insists he did nothing wrong. It doesn't help. An "18 day nightmare" begins.

Qsai Zamara: "There was this big machine with all the electric wires in it, connected to the electricity. He wanted to give me electric shock with it." 

"He would throw me on the ground and hit me, things like that. He also had a whip with a hose which he hit me with."

John Lyons: "Fathi Mahfouz would spend the next 82 days in prison - beginning with an interrogation."

He's 15 years old. He's innocent. Accusations were baseless. It didn't matter. He was brutalized to confess.

Faithi Mahfouz: "They were holding electric batons and they hit me with them. One of the officers lifted up his mask." 

"They all had charcoal on their faces and their eyes were black. He would talk to me and frown at me to scare me and he hit me. He gave me electric shocks."

Horton said interrogators "started yelling at him and then (he) was placed on some sort of wooden device on the wall, similar in shape to a cross, although if had two legs."

His hands and legs were shackled to it. He was left there that way for hours. Faithi said "(b)ecause of all the shaking, a piece of wood snapped."

An interrogator kept hitting him. He asked "(d)on't you want to confess?" Faithi said he wouldn't "confess to something (he) didn't do."

Beatings continued to force him. After five hours, he was released from the structure.

He was in pain, he said. "Then white foam started coming out of my mouth. Two men came and took me to first aid." 

"Then my chest was cramped. I couldn't breathe. They took me to the same area I was in, to the same building, there was this small clinic." 

"He took me in and asked me 'Where's the pain?' Then he'd press on it and hit it, and make fun of me."

John Lyons: "As a 14-year old, Islam Dar Ayyoub (faced) Israel's security services."

Islam Dar Ayyoub: "He told me 'Here, sign this paper.' I told him 'It's in Hebrew and I can't read Hebrew. Can you read it to me?' " 

"He said 'It's for your release. You need to sign it.' After I signed it at the court, I was surprised to find out it was a confession paper."

Hundreds of Palestinian boys face this type injustice annually. Attorney Gerard Horton is leading a campaign against systemic Israeli injustice.

Horton: Middle-of-the-night arrests have "a paralyzing effect on whole communities..." 

State-sponsored "fear…makes this system work so effectively well with relatively few soldiers on the ground..."

It makes occupation harshness "cost-effective." It's ruthless state terror on the cheap. It's standard Israeli practice.

Israeli officials and spokespersons consistently lie. They claim no such policies exist. Irrefutable evidence proves otherwise. Denials ring hollow.

Maintaining security is a ruse. No violence exists except what Israel inflicts. Rogue states operate this way. Israel is one of the world's worst.

It's hard imaging policies more extreme. Police state ruthlessness describes it.

Horton: "So take a situation involving two children in the West Bank throwing stones, one a Palestinian child, one an Israeli child living in the settlements." 

"The Palestinian child will be prosecuted in a military jurisdiction with far fewer rights and protections, whereas his Israeli counterpart, living sometimes 500 metres away, will be prosecuted in a juvenile justice system which meets international standards and complies, is a sort of system you would expected in any western-style democracy."

Prosecuting settler children or adults is almost unheard of. Rare exceptions prove the rule. Slap-on-the-wrist punishments at most follow.

Palestinians are fair game. To understand their mistreatment, "come to Hebron," said Lyons.

It's the largest West Bank Palestinian city. Around 800 settlers live in its center. They're surrounded by 180,000 Palestinians.

"The effect of Israel's occupation is obvious. (Hebron's center) is a ghost town. Israeli soldiers (prevent) Palestinians (from) walk(ing) along these streets."

They've been forced out of buildings. They've been ethnically cleansed. They're denied all rights. They have no recourse.

A Palestinian man wanted to visit his father's grave. Soldiers prevented him.

Lyons witnessed Israeli soldiers attacking Palestinian children heading to school. They tear-gassed them. 

Allegedly in response to stone-throwing. "We could see no provocation from the children who were trying to avoid the gas," said Lyons.

Teachers said soldiers fire tear gas daily. They do it to protect settlers. They do it maliciously. They do what they can get away with. They do whatever they want with impunity.

Teachers want children in school learning. One teacher said three kids were hospitalized from gassing in the last week.

They're young children. They're not criminals. They're targeted for being Palestinians.

Lyons approached Israeli police. "Why do you fire tear gas (at) children going to school," he asked?

"We can't talk to you," police responded. Lyons persisted. He repeated his question. He was stonewalled.

Hebron is typical of West Bank injustice. Israelis have "one law," said Lyons. Palestinians another. Systemic injustice is longstanding Israeli policy.

Last July, Israeli soldiers targeted five-year old Wadi'a Mawadeh. An Israeli settler accused him of stone throwing.

Six soldiers terrorized him. They threatened him and his parents. They handcuffed and blindfolded his father. 

They handed the boy over to police. They wrongfully accused him of stone-throwing.

Arrests are lawless. They're violent. Homes are broken into. Property is damaged or stolen. 

Children are blindfolded and shackled. They're terrorized. They're beaten. Family members are threatened not to intervene.

Even five-year-olds aren't safe. Imagine detaining them for hours. Imagine traumatizing them.

Lyons asked Wadi'a what he thinks when he sees an Israeli soldier. "I'm scared of them," he said.

Gaby Lasky is an Israeli lawyer. "I want people to think what they would do if their five-year old child was being taken by an occupier's army, even by your local police."

"If a five-year-old was being held by an authority that is not you, you would do anything in order to try to get your child back." 

"Military courts are the long arm of the occupation. We're not talking about courts of justice; we are talking about courts of occupation."

Former Israeli commander Yehuda Shaul said he "grew up believing that our actions as a military in the occupied territories (were) to protect Israel from terrorism."

"What I've learned from my three years of service and nine years of activism and Breaking the that the main story here is about maintaining our absolute military control over (defenseless) Palestinians."

"When we see settlers attacking a Palestinian, our orders are not to intervene."

Israeli settlers harmed three-year-old Adele Biton for life. She has brain damage. Her mother Adva said:

"Eight months ago I was driving back from my parents' home, back to my home in Yakir, when Palestinian terrorists threw large building stones on my car." 

"The stones, the building stones, hit Adele's head and also caused me to bump into a truck."

"We're fighting together to get her back to life." She's hospitalized. 

"I don't think it's fair for her to sleep here in the bed and don't do things like children her age. It's not fair."

Israeli Lt. Col. Maurice Hirsh said it's unlikely she'll recover. "That is terrorism," he added.

It's state terrorism. Middle -of-the-night arrests, detentions and brutal interrogations reflect it.

According to Horton, "(y)ou'll be subjected to violence if you don't confess. You will be detained for an extended period of time..."

"(T)he intelligence is usually very good, so the interrogator will know if that child's father has a work permit, for example, to work inside Israel." 

"If that's the case, the threats sometimes are of the nature of we will revoke your father's work permit unless you confess."

Horton said one interrogator stood out. He specialized in terrorizing children. He threatens rape.

He mentions someone outside the interrogation room. He says someone will come in and rape the child.

He threatened one boy by putting food on his head. A dog was brought in to eat it. The boy was terrified. The dog drooled all over him.

He feared being bitten any moment. Someone put food on his genitals. The dog was positioned to eat it. Imagine anyone enduring this. 

Imagine a young boy terrorized this way. Imagine Israel calling itself civilized. Imagine rogue state terror writ large.

Most Palestinian boys convicted of stone-throwing face about three months in prison. They shouldn't face three minutes.

According to Lyons, Israeli security services devise ghastly new tactics. Young children are brutalized to extract information on their villages. Residents in them. On their parents, family members and neighbors.

Gaby Lasky added: "I can see a pattern that Israel's hasn't been able to put down the non-violent movement in the occupied territories through violent means." 

"So the best way to do that is by incriminating those leaders, and the easiest way to do that, to achieve, to get those incriminations, is by arresting children which are the weakest link."

Israel uses Palestinian children for intelligence gathering. It does so by terrorizing them to collaborate.

Stiff punishment follows failure to cooperate. It includes torture and longer prison terms. 

Daniella Weiss is an Israeli activist. She's a former Kedumim settlement mayor. She rejects settler lawlessness.

In the 1970s, she met regularly with Ariel Sharon. She did so when he was agriculture minister.

He was adamant then, earlier and later. "There would be no option for a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria," he said.

God promised Israel to Jews, he believed. All of it. He opposed Palestinian statehood. So do current Israeli hardliners.

Their notion of sovereignty is isolated bantustans on worthless scrubland. Palestinians can expect nothing more.

Not as long as Washington lets Israel have its way. Kerry's so-called framework agreement is structured this way.

It's entirely one-sided. It offers Palestinians virtually nothing. It continues occupation harshness.

It assures legions of traumatized Palestinian children. Perhaps another generation will be destroyed. Militarized occupation assures it.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

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

Visit his blog site at 

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.

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Wolfgang Halbig’s Quest for Truth

Requests for public records under the Connecticut Freedom of Information Act can result in threats of arrest under felony harassment charges. This is what former Florida State Trooper and school safety expert Wolfgang Halbig discovered after repeatedly telephoning and sending the series of emails, a portion of which appear below, to Newtown, Connecticut state and U.S. federal officials demanding more information on the Sandy Hook School massacre of December 14, 2012.

All of the requests below, spanning from records on Sandy Hook’s routine asbestos inspections to the key FBI crime report on the incident, have been met with almost complete silence. The non-responses from Connecticut and federal agencies were punctuated by two residential visits from local Lake County Sheriff’s deputies threatening to lock Halbig up if he persists in his pursuit of the truth. The most recent visit from law enforcement took place on Tuesday, February 18, when deputies questioned Halbig on his recent remarks to American Free Press’ David Gahary that he intended to travel to Newtown on a fact-finding mission in March.-JFT

From: Wolfgang Halbig
Fri, 27 Sep 2013 09:00:43 -0500
Subject: Mike Kehoe your Police Chief should be immediately fired for Negligence

Mrs Llordra:

I find this e-mail very difficult to write but as a Former Florida State Trooper and old now find the actions of your Police Chief very disturbing.

I have dedicated my life in public service and to read about your police chief giving Lt. George Sinko only a letter of reprimand for failing to respond to the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting on Dec 14, 2012

You should ask yourself as to how a Lt. working an off-duty detail at a construction site and making overtime money can ignore 911 calls and a Newtown police dispatcher requesting help from police officers for shots fired at The Sandy Hook Elementary School.

I cannot imagine any police officer ignoring emergency help requests when children and school staff lives are being threatened.  To sit in your car and listen to all those emergency calls go over the airwaves and do nothing is negligence.

For over two hours he sits and does absolutely nothing while children and school staff are being shot and killed.

Your Police Chief states in the newspaper that he is not a first responder.  He also states that he was off duty.

I can tell you and so can any other certified law enforcement officer when working an off-duty detail that you are never off-duty especially when lives of children and school staff are at stake.

We in law enforcement are on duty 24/7 always on call.

This Lt is  24 year veteran and if he does not know his responsibilities then he should also be immediately be fired along with the Police Chief.

This is a national embarrassment that clearly demonstrates negligence by both the Police Chief for not calling him to duty that morning and for the Lt not responding to this crisis.

We are all first responders even if you are a Lt.

How embarrassing for the City of Newtown Ct having a Lt. sit for over two hours and not respond and only be given a letter of reprimand.

I know that there is more to the story and I only hope that you use common sense in handling this huge embarrassment for your City.

Wolfgang W Halbig

From: Wolfgang Halbig
Date: Thu, 17 Oct 2013 14:11:53 -0500
To: Kathy June <>
Cc: “”  “”
Subject: Last try for Freedom of Information Act from your Interim Superintendent


Please tell your Interim School Superintendent that his response is total Horsepoop.

Hiding behind the safety of children and school staff in not releasing my information request is unprofessional if he is an educator.

I am simply asking for the Vendors name who you the school district or school hired to install the security system at Sandy Hook Elementary School with address and contact numbers

Just like Stanley Security Solutions has installed all of the security tools at the Sandy Hook replacement school.

They have donated over $100,000 thousand dollars in front door access control with CCTV CAMERA AND ACCESS BUTTON WITH CMAERA BEING A COLOR CAMERA.



What is wrong with your school district and your superintendents?  What are they afraid off?

I need the total cost of the project.

I need the date of completion.

I need the breakdown of the total cost as to what did the cameras cost? Are they color or just black and white?

I do not want to know the locations as I do know the placement of the cameras at the Sandy Hook replacement school and I promise not to ever hurt any child or staff in your school district.

Please comply with my FOIA as soon a possible since I have been waiting forever.

Wolfgang W Halbig

From: Wolfgang Halbig
Date: Tue, 29 Oct 2013 09:12:28 -0500
To: <>
Cc: Kathy June <>, “Katersky, Aaron” <>, “”, “”
Subject: Freedom of Information Act for the State of Ct.

Captain Rios:

Please provide me with copies of the contracts  and costs for the Crime Scene Cleanup in Decontaminating and Sanitizing the Sandy Hook Elementary School after Dec 14, 2012 .

The School Districts was considering allowing children and school staff to return to the school and now they have decided just to tear it down.

Who was the company that you the police allowed in the school providing me with the start date and end date of removing all of the Bio-Hazard materials.

Copy of the licenses that the company provided to you for transporting Medical Waste.

They would have to remove all the blood, bodily fluids, brain matter, skull fragments and around 45-60 gallons of blood based on the number of children and school staff shot and killed that day.

I am the Chief Investigator for the Children’s Safety Institute and a School safety Expert which now requires this information to be made available since it has been 11 month and you have not even provided a simple police or incident report.

If you do not have that information then please direct me to the agency that would have been responsible for decontaminating the crime scene and Sanitizing it since you allowed them into the school to remove furniture.

My address is [address]

Wolfgang W halbig

From: Wolfgang Halbig
Date: Wed, 13 Nov 2013 11:00:41 -0500
To: Boston <>
Subject: Re: Do I need to get arrested to show the FBI’s negligence in Sandy Hook?

Boston FBI Offices;You get things done.Boston Marathon Bombing and spectators killed and seriously  injured and you the Boston FBI in three days solve this heinous crime.Millions of people watching and with a President stating in a National Press Conference that he will use every resource in his office in solving this horrendous crime just as he stated during the Sandy Hook Press Conference.You are good and now I am being told that the FBI has NO jurisdiction in the Sandy Hook Elemenatry School Shooting. That only the CT State Troopers and the Dansbury State Attorney control this event yet I am told that you the FBI in New Haven are being told to retract your official report and that is why it is taking so long.I call this Bullshit.  Sorry for the profanity.I know the FBI since I worked with you guys in Miami, Florida as a Florida State Trooper and will never for get April 11, 1986 when two of your Agents were killed and five others were serioulsy injured.>We are law enforcment partners for life and after having to seen that crime scene my request for information and help should not be that difficult.I understand crime scenes and how we collect evidence but after 11 months and the failure of disclosing the truth has caused National Panic and Fear in all schools across this country and I can take you guys on a field trip and show it.Panic and fear should not drive school safety especially when we have not heard the truth.You act accordingly when knowing all the facts.Please help and I know it is New haven but they refuse to respond.Wolfgang W halbig

From: Wolfgang Halbig
Date: Wed, 13 Nov 2013 17:17:45 -0500
To: <>
Subject: Do I need to get arrested to make my point?

Newhaven FBI Field Offices:

In major crimes such at Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting multiple agencies work closely together is trying to solve a crime as quickly as possible so rummors don’t fly around and create panic and fear as it now has now at sandy Hook.

You are part of this huge problem because I know that President has the report on the Sandy Hook supposed incident.

I know that the Attorney General Eric Holder has the report of the supposed incident at Sandy Hook.  Why not the National Media and put this ever occurring Sandy Hook terms to bed.

Boston; FBI replied and this was my response back to them.

>You make things happen.

You get things done.

Boston Marathon Bombing in which spectators were killed and seriously  injured and you the Boston FBI in three days solve this heinous crime.

Millions of people watching and with a President stating in a National Press Conference that he will use every resource in his office in solving this horrendous crime just as he stated during the Sandy Hook Press Conference.

You are good and now I am being told that the FBI has NO jurisdiction in the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting. That only the CT State Troopers and the Dansbury State Attorney control this event yet I am told that you the FBI in New Haven are being told to retract your official report and that is why it is taking so long.

I call this Bullshit.  Sorry for the profanity.

I know the FBI since I worked with you guys in Miami, Florida as a Florida State Trooper and will never for get April 11, 1986 when two of your Agents were killed and five others were serioulsy injured.

We are law enforcment partners for life and after having to seen that crime scene my request for information and help should not be that difficult.

I understand crime scenes and how we collect evidence but after 11 months and the failure of disclosing the truth has caused National Panic and Fear in all schools across this country and I can take you guys on a field trip and show it.

Panic and fear should not drive school safety especially when we have not heard the truth.

You act accordingly when knowing all the facts.

Please help and I know it is New haven but they refuse to respond.

Wolfgang W Halbig

From: Wolfgang Halbig
Date: Thu, 14 Nov 2013 08:18:58 -0500
To: Kathy June <>
Subject: CT Freedom of Information Request again


You don’t return my phone calls and now I am requesting again the following which has nothing to do with the criminal investigation or places children and school staff at risk.

Please provide quickly.

Please provide me with copies of the contracts  and costs for the Crime Scene Cleanup in Decontaminating and Sanitizing the Sandy Hook Elementary School after Dec 14, 2012 .

The School Districts was considering allowing children and school staff to return to the school and now they have decided just to tear it down.

Who was the company that you the police allowed in the school providing me with the start date and end date of removing all of the Bio-Hazard materials.

Copy of the licenses that the company provided to you for transporting Medical Waste.

They would have to remove all the blood, bodily fluids, brain matter, skull fragments and around 45-60 gallons of blood based on the number of children and school staff shot and killed that day.

I am the Chief Investigator for the Children’s Safety Institute and a School safety Expert which now requires this information to be made available since it has been 11 month and you have not even provided a simple police or incident report.

If you do not have that information then please direct me to the agency that would have been responsible for decontaminating the crime scene and Sanitizing it since you allowed them into the school to remove furniture.

My address is [address]


Wolfgang W halbig

From: Wolfgang Halbig
Date: Fri, 22 Nov 2013 08:38:07 -0500
To: “Rubio, Casework (Rubio)” <>
Subject: Re: Request a investigative copy if the Sandy Hook School shooting from President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder now.

Whoever the case worker is:

You just don;t get it do you?  This is as urgent as it can get.  I am a Florida constituent who needs the Senator to get off his ass and get the report on Sandy Hook from the President or Attorney General Eric Holder.

You have NO clue as to what is happening out here with panic and fear running wild in all of our schools and you just don’t get it.

If you wait until Dec 14, 2012 when it becomes the first year anniversary of the Sandy Hook Shooting we will only escalate this panic and fear.

Do your research you don’t wait 11 month and have no solutions to the shooting especially when the FBI was directed by the President to investigate.

I need to hear from you and that Senator quickly on this issue and don’t tell me that this not an urgent issue pleae.

Wolfgang W halbig

From: “Rubio, Casework (Rubio)” <>
Date: Thu, 21 Nov 2013 16:08:57 +0000
To: Wolfgang Halbig
Subject: RE: Request a investigative copy if the Sandy Hook School shooting from President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder now.

Dear Mr. Halbig,

Thank you for your comments. I will be sure to share them with the Senator. Please direct any future legislative comments via our website; to ensure that a member of our legislative staff has an opportunity to respond to your concerns. This email account is reserved for Florida constituents who require immediate and direct assistance with a federal agency. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.



From: Wolfgang Halbig
Date: Wed, 27 Nov 2013 20:22:37 -0500
To: <>
Subject: Re: Criminal Investigation is now closed so please provide my FOIA request now.

You need to be fired and actually if it turns out to be a conspiracy you need to go to jail and loose your pension like so many others in this heinous crime.

You guys should be ashamed of what you have done.

Your Lt stay on an off-duty construction site detail for over two hours and you justify it by saying he is not a first responder. I hope when you do your speaking engagements you share that will all our other law enforcement police chiefs and officers so they can have a great laugh.

You and vance are at the head of the line and you know it.  The truth will get out sooner or later.

Hope you sleep well you coward.


From: “Kehoe, Michael”
Date: Wed, 27 Nov 2013 12:39:28 -0500
To: Wolfgang Halbig
Subject: Fwd: Criminal Investigation is now closed so please provide my FOIA request now.

The items you seek under FOIA are exempt from disclosure under the same law.

Thank you!!

Chief Michael Kehoe
Newtown Police Department
3 Main Street
Newtown, CT 06470

From: Wolfgang Halbig
Date: Tue, Nov 26, 2013 at 3:28 PM
Subject: Criminal Investigation is now closed so please provide my FOIA request now.

I need you and your school superintendent to honor my CT State FOIA request that have been requested three months ago.

I requesting again under the CT State FOIA request protocols the following;

Contractors name and business address and contact numbers who was hired by the Sandy Hook Elementary School or the Newtown School District in installing the security system at the old Sandy Hook Elementary School.

The cost of the total project
The cost broken down by line item such as door locks at the front door, camera system to monitor people at the door and the recording system costs.

The cost of CCTV cameras for the school and the recording device purchased.

I do not want to know the locations of those cameras for school safety reason,

You were provided a complete and free security system by Stanley Security K-12 which included card readers for school staff, front door access controal with video monitoring and color CCTV cameras throughout the school.

I even know were they are located but I do not care about that just provide the information for the old Sandy Hook School.

Second Request under the Ct State FOIA request procedures;

1.The company that you the Newtown School Board and the Director of Facilities contracted to decontaminate and Santize the Sandy Hook Elementary School of all Bio-Hazards rsulting from the Dec 14, 2012 school killings.

2. The start date of the project in removing all Bio-Hazards such as Blood, Bodily Fluids, brain matter, skull  fragments, blood stained carpets in room 8 and room 10, blood splatter on desks and walls and windows etc.

3. The ending date of the project and total cost for decontaminationg the Sandy Hook Elementary School since you were considering opening the school again.

4. A copy of the contractors certification that he is approved in conducting crime scene decontamination of all Bio-Hazards in the State of Ct.

Your secretary took my other request of the FOIA dealing with the Life Insurance that the school board had to pay to six school satff members beneficiaries when they were killed in the line of duty.

Also the workers Compensation death benefits paid by the school board to the school  staff members beneficiaries who were killed in the line of duty by the school district.

This is my research project for my Doctorate so please provide this information.


Wolfgang W halbig

From: Wolfgang Halbig
Date: Mon, 02 Dec 2013 09:06:02 -0500
To: Kathy June <>
Subject: Ct Freedom of Information Act Request


This FOIA request is for the the name and all contact numbers of the Newtown School Districts licensed School Asbestos Inspector.

This request is also for all copies of all reinspections required every three years starting in 1997 through the demolition of the Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2013.


Please provide copies of written notification for each of the years listed to parents, school staff and employees organizations on an annual basis regarding the availability of the Sandy Hook Asbestos Management Plan.

Please provide training verification for your custodial Staff at Sandy Hook of the 14 hours of training and the two hours of training within the first 60 days of hire.

I hope that is not exempt as you always respond exempt.

Also do not make the Police Chief respond to my Newtown School District FOIA requests it is your responsibility.

I have forwarded my complaints to the Freedom of Information Commission for a response of your stone walling my requests.

Please mail all information requested to [address]

Wolfgang w halbig

From: Wolfgang Halbig
Date: Mon, 02 Dec 2013 08:43:53 -0500
To: Sally Cox <>
Subject: SHS Parent Contact

I am a trainer for the US Justice Department COPS IN SCHOOL PROGRAM.

Are you a registered Nurse?

Why in the closet for four hours?

Why close your eyes when you have seen blood before you are a nurse?

Wolfgang W halbig

From: Wolfgang Halbig
Date: Mon, 23 Dec 2013 10:51:52 -0500
To: “Vance, Paul” <>
Cc: “Kehoe, Michael” <>, “Ross, Brian E.” “” “Tom Winter (Personal)”
Subject: CT Freedom of Information Act request again

Lt. Vance;

You are great at ignoring CT Freedom of Information requests which being a law enforcement officer makes you intentionally reposnible since you threatened others for posting false information.

You threatened people with arrest and yet you fail to comply with the laws of CT.

I am requesting againg the Flight log of Ct Trooper One Helicopter for Dec 13, 2012 and Dec 14, 2012 starting each day at 6:00 am and ending each of those days at 6:00 pm.

I am requesting the helicopter manifest as to who was on board and all copies of video that was shot and recorded for both days that are dated and time stamped for accuracy.

I am also requesting the company that was contracted to clean up all Bio-Hazards such as all the blood, brain matters, bone fragments, stained carpet with blood.  Bookbags and furniture that was contaminated and had to be sanitized.

These are simple questions that even you should understand and have this request processed urgently

The case is closed and I believe the information is not exempt form public records.

Please act accordingly as someone who is a PIO for the CT State Police.


Wolfgang W halbig

From: Wolfgang Halbig
Date: Tue, 28 Jan 2014 09:25:05 -0500
To: Kathy June <>
Cc: “Ross, Brian E.” <>, “”
Subject: Asbestos in the Sandy Hook School


I am requesting under the CT Freedom of Information Act the Tri-annual Asbestos Inspection reports from a private individual certified in conducting this required inspections.

I want the name of the company ans contact numbers.

I need copies of the reports starting in 2002 through 2011.

I need copies of letetrs sent to parents and teachers informaing them of all of the Asbestos inside the Sandy Hook Elemenatry School.

There is NO doubt that Asbestos was present since I am providing you a picture of a company demolishing the scvhool and not using the proerr Asbestos removal protocol which is a serious federal violation.

Please provide this quickly since I have tried over and over again with NO return phone calls or repsonses to my Ct of Information Act requests.

Thanks again
Wolfgang W Halbig

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The Well-Read Anarchist #002 — An Introduction to Pierre-Joseph Proudhon

In this inaugural edition of The Well-Read Anarchist podcast, we explore the life and work of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon. From his humble origins to his bold proclamation of anarchism to his brief political career, his imprisonment and exile, and his posthumous banishment to the fringes of the canon, we take a look at the thoughts and ideas of the first self-proclaimed anarchist. Joining us to do this are Shawn Wilbur, an independent scholar and Proudhon translator, and Dr. Alex Prichard, a lecturer in international relations at Exeter University and author of Justice, Order and Anarchy: The International Political Theory of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon.

Spotlight Shines on Palestinian Collaborators

Jonathan Cook RINF Alternative News Fadi al-Qatshan is one of the latest casualties of a war taking place in Gaza’s shadows, as Israel seeks ever...

Spotlight shines on Palestinian collaborators

Al-Jazeera - 17 February 2014

Fadi al-Qatshan is one of the latest casualties of a war taking place in Gaza’s shadows, as Israel seeks ever more desperate ways to recruit collaborators while Hamas, the Islamic movement ruling Gaza, enforces tough counter-measures.

The 26-year-old graduate died in November. He was killed not by a bullet or in a missile strike, but when a simple piece of medical hardware – an implant in his heart – failed. His repeated requests to the Israeli authorities over more than a year to be allowed out of Gaza for medical treatment had gone unheeded.

According to his family, Israeli security services knew his life was in danger but denied him a permit to attend a medical appointment at a hospital in East Jerusalem. Gaza’s own hospitals, in crisis after years of Israel’s blockade, warned him they could no longer help.

Following a request for a travel permit, his family says al-Qatshan received a call from someone identifying himself as from the Shin Bet, Israel’s intelligence service. Speaking in Arabic, the man said he knew the device in his heart “might explode any minute”. He was urged to “cooperate” in return for a permit.

Al-Qatshan was told he could call the mobile phone number on his screen and arrange an appointment at Erez, the Israeli-controlled crossing that is the only way for ordinary Palestinians to exit Gaza. The agent reportedly rang off with the words, “See you in Tel Aviv”, Israel’s large coastal city. Al-Qatshan sealed his fate by deleting the number.

‘Terrible choices’

Issam Yunis, director of Al-Mezan human rights organisation in Gaza City, says his group regularly records cases of Palestinians in desperate need of medical treatment being approached to collaborate. “The choice for these patients is really a terrible one. It is to cooperate with Israel or die in Gaza.”

Although Israel is suspected of recruiting tens of thousands of Palestinians as collaborators since its creation in 1948, the practice has rarely attracted more than superficial attention. Palestinians are ashamed that cooperation with the Israeli security services is widespread, while Israel is loath to draw attention to the systematic violations of international law at the root of its system of rule in the occupied territories.

But the issue of collaboration is finally emerging from the shadows, assisted in recent months by a spate of films addressing the subject.

In the running for an Oscar at the Academy Awards ceremony next month is Omar, a Palestinian film that places the awful dilemmas faced by collaborators at the heart of its love story.

Omar nudged out of the competition Israel’s own entry, Bethlehem, which features a similar story about the fraught relationship between a Shin Bet agent and a young Palestinian informant.

And last month the audience award at the Sundance Festival went to the Green Prince, an Israeli documentary based on the memoirs of Mosab Hassan Yousef, son of a Hamas leader in Gaza who channeled information to the Shin Bet for 10 years before fleeing to the United States. His father, Sheikh Hassan Yousef, was recently released from an Israeli prison.

With Palestinian collaborators a hot topic in Hollywood, they are also in the spotlight in the occupied territories.

A missile strike that killed Hamas military leader Ahmed Jabari in November 2012 – the opening salvo in Israel’s eight-day attack on Gaza known as Operation Pillar of Defence – has been widely ascribed to intelligence provided by a collaborator.

In response, Hamas carried out public executions of several suspected informants in the streets of Gaza City, including dragging the body of one behind a motorbike.

‘Tightly classified’

According to Hillel Cohen, who has researched Israel’s recruitment of collaborators since the state’s earliest years, the extent of the problem is difficult to assess. Israel keeps most of the archives on its intelligence operations in the occupied territories “tightly classified”.

The use of collaborators, he says, was probably most extensive in the 1970s and ’80s, before Israel handed over areas of the occupied territories to the Palestinian Authority under the Oslo Accords and before the advent of today’s more sophisticated surveillance technology.

Nonetheless, the practice has far from ended.

“Israel still needs people on the ground,” says Cohen. “If they want to place a bomb in a car or supply a phone with a hidden tracking device, someone has to do it. The technology can only help so much.”

According to Saleh Abdel Jawwad, a politics professor at Bir Zeit University in the West Bank, there are many different types of collaborators.

In East Jerusalem, for example, where Israel hopes to prevent any future Palestinian control of the city, a feature of life are the “land dealers”, Palestinians who buy land in strategic areas, secretly on behalf of settler organisations.

Israel also uses economic collaborators, who, for example, act as contractors for Israel in selling its products in the occupied territories. Israel has also tried to recruit political collaborators, in an effort to place them in charge of Palestinian communities or weaken candidates Israel opposed.

But Israel prizes most highly the recruitment of active members of Palestinian national organisations, who can provide reliable information on resistance operations or the movements of Palestinian leaders.

Typically, these collaborators are “turned” after their arrest. They may agree to cooperate under torture or as a way to receive a reduced prison sentence, said Morad Jadalah, a researcher with Addameer, a prisoners’ rights organisation in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Children recruited

But the most common type of collaborator is the informant, who provides general information about the activities of political groups or the movement of individual activists, as well as the names of those taking part in demonstrations.

Jadalah says when Palestinians are arrested, as they try to cross a checkpoint or during a raid on their village, the weakest and most vulnerable – often children – are targeted during interrogation with a mix of threats, violence and inducements.

Long jail terms and the use of administrative detention – imprisonment on secret charges – are the most obvious threats, but there are other ways to pressure Palestinians in detention, says Jadalah.

“The interrogators may beat them, or threaten to beat or rape their mother or sister, or arrest a close relative. They usually already know something about the family, so they can threaten, for example, to revoke the father’s work permit. They may even threaten to spread rumours that the family are already acting as informants.”

In other cases, the Israeli security services may offer inducements. “Israel controls most people’s lives, including their ability to work and move around. Between 30 and 40 per cent of adults are unemployed. That gives Israel the leverage it needs to recruit collaborators.”

According to Jadalah, the Israeli security services usually want general information about the neighbourhood where the collaborator lives, or details about a specific person.

Reports suggest in recent years the Shin Bet has been using arrested children to gain information about the leaders of non-violent resistance movements in the West Bank. They have shown special interest in villages such as Bilin, Nabi Saleh and Budrus where well-publicised protests are trying to stop Israel’s efforts to build the separation barrier on Palestinian land.

Cohen says the benefit to Israel of controlling an extensive network of collaborators is not limited to the information they pass on.

“It encourages the atomisation of Palestinian society. It fosters mistrust within the society and between members of the political movements. When everyone becomes a potential suspect, political passivity is encouraged. That is, in fact, the main goal.”

‘Infiltrated society’

Yunis, of Al-Mezan, agrees: “We are an infiltrated society. When there is so much suspicion, organised and effective resistance to the occupation becomes extremely hard.”

In addition, Jadalah blames the Palestinian Authority for setting a bad example. “When it is clear that our leaders are working with Israel on ‘security cooperation’ and that they look to Israel for protection, a very powerful message is sent to Palestinian society that only Israel can offer such guarantees.”

Hamas, apparently fearful of its inability to organise in the face of extensive collaboration, has officially waged war on Gaza’s informants.

Early last year it offered a brief amnesty to existing collaborators, many of them recruited before Israel’s 2005 disengagement, allowing them to turn themselves in in return for lenient sentences and financial help for their families. However, it has vowed a policy of zero tolerance since.

Faced with a shrinking pool of collaborators in Gaza, says Yunis, Israel has increased its use of electronic surveillance, especially drones. But it has sought new ways to recruit collaborators too.

That includes exploiting increased opportunities to reach Palestinians in Gaza indirectly, through social media. In particular, youngsters, often those without jobs or whose families are in dire need, are approached via Facebook or receive a call to their mobile phone.

“The caller might introduce himself as a businessman and says he can help them to get a permit out of Gaza. Once they attend the meeting, they are ensnared,” says Yunis.

Fishermen are also reported to have been targeted since Israel tightly limited the extent of the waters they are allowed to fish. When they cross out of that zone, they can be picked up by a naval patrol and taken for interrogation in Israel. There they can be pressured to turn informant.

‘Desperate’ situation

But the most wrenching cases, says Hamdi Shaqura, director of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights in Gaza, occur with patients such as al-Qatshan who need urgent medical treatment.

Because they are among the few cases that Israel still treats as humanitarian, they and the relative that accompanies them present the Shin Bet with a rare opportunity to try to recruit a collaborator directly.

“These permits from Israel become a tool for blackmail. It is a serious violation of international law. Because Israel still occupies Gaza, the welfare of these patients is fully its responsibility. Israel is obligated to facilitate their movement and access to proper healthcare.”

According to the World Health Organisation, about 150 patients from Gaza were called for a security interrogation by the Shin Bet last year, including a 16-year-old girl in November. In most cases they were denied a permit afterwards.

Israel also arrested five patients at Erez and six of their companions over the course of last year. They included Mohammed Saber Abu-Amsha, a 33-year-old patient with damage to his eyes, who has been held in prison in Israel since his arrest on December 4.

Amal Ziada, a researcher for Physicians for Human Rights in Israel, said her organisation was hoping to launch a new campaign to raise awareness among the Israeli public of the pressures being used against medical patients.

That included lobbying members of the Israeli parliament and taking high-profile cases to the Israeli supreme court.

“What these patients go through is a kind of torture,” she said. “The danger is that some of them avoid seeking medical treatment because they are afraid. They are worried about being arrested, or the suspicion among other Palestinians that they may have collaborated if they receive a permit.”

Guy Inbar, spokesman for COGAT, the Israeli military unit that coordinates civilian matters in the occupied territories, said he awarded permits to Palestinians for medical treatment based only on medical need and the applicant’s security record.

A senior Israeli security official said the accusation that Israel used the permit system to recruit collaborators was “baseless”. “There have been many recent instances where terror organisations have manipulated people needing humanitarian help so that they assist in carrying out terror operations.”

No welcome

According to an Israeli human rights lawyer, Yadin Elam, most of the collaborators whose cover is blown and manage to flee the occupied territories do not receive the warm welcome in Israel they may have expected.

Israeli authorities divide collaborators into two groups, he says. Important collaborators, categorised as sayanim, or helpers, fall under the responsibility of the defence ministry and receive a salary and status inside Israel.

But most collaborators who reach Israel – numbering a few hundred, according to Elam – are classified simply as “threatened people”, referring to the fact that they might be killed if they return to Palestinian areas.

Elam says Palestinians in this latter category are usually left in a desperate situation, sometimes given a temporary permit to stay for a few months, but denied permits for their immediate family or the right to work. Typically they live underground in Israel with their families and drift into crime.

Elam says these collaborators’ insecurity, and their frequent arrests, provide an ideal opportunity for Israel to keep up the pressure.

“When things are so desperate, it is easier to persuade the family, including the children, to continue working for the intelligence services.”

Tagged as: , , ,

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Sham Syrian Peace Talks

Sham Syrian Peace Talks

by Stephen Lendman

It bears repeating what previous articles explained. Talks aren't for  peace. They're for US demanded unconditional surrender. They for bowing to Washington's will.

They're about destroying Syrian sovereignty. They're for replacing it with pro-Western stooge governance. They're about denying Syrians the right to determine their future.

They're for turning Syria into replicas of Iraq and Libya. They're about continued violence, instability and insecurity.

They're for regional exploitation. They're about controlling its resources. They're for turning ordinary people into serfs. They're about isolating Iran.

Day one in Montreux was an exercise in Syria bashing. Forty counties participated. Washington had final say on choosing attendees. 

Iran is a major regional player. Obama vetoed its participation. He did so unilaterally. He represents the worst of imperial lawlessness. He bears full responsibility for ravaging and destroying Syria.

Most participants have no interest in equitable conflict resolution. Their comments showed it. They took their cue from John Kerry.

Assad must go, he demands. He "will not be part of" transitional governance. "There is no way, no way possible, that a man who has led a brutal response to his own people can gain legitimacy to govern."

Fact check

Previous articles explained. Syria is Obama's war. He launched it. He bears full responsibility for mass killing, destruction and brutal atrocities.

He's a crime boss. He's a war criminal multiple times over. Kerry is his front man. He shares guilt.

Blaming Assad for US crimes doesn't wash. Demanding transitional governance excluding him has no legitimacy. 

Syrians alone will decide. They want no outside interference in determining their future. International law supports them.

On January 22, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon opened the conference. He's a US-installed stooge. He's a convenient imperial tool.

He lied calling Geneva II a "historic" chance for peaceful conflict resolution. No chance whatever exists. Not from Geneva. 

Not as long as Washington demands regime change. Not as long as Ban regurgitates US diktats. Not as long as most other conference attendees do the same thing.

Bashar Jaafari is Syrian UN ambassador. Most conference participants are "anti-Syrian delegations," he said.

Their speeches were "provocative and repetitive statements based on hatred toward the Syrian government."

They were entirely one-sided. They mocked fairness. They bowed to Washington's will. They showed talks will achieve nothing.

China and Russia were exceptions. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi urged mutually acceptable conflict resolution.

"It is crucial to recognize that there is no military solution, and the Syrian people want to see a return of stability and order," he said.

"It is also crucial to appreciate the importance of a stable Syria to peace and security in the Middle East, including preventing the further spread of terrorism and extremism."

Minister Yi presented five principles for resolving Syria's conflict:

(1) Do it politically. Military solutions won't work. Dialogue and negotiations must replace it.

(2) Syrians alone must decide their future. No other way will work. Nothing else is legitimate. UN Charter provisions, principals and norms must be upheld. Nothing less is acceptable.

(3) An inclusive political transition must be agreed on. Syrians alone must choose it. Key is stopping violence.

(4) National reconciliation and unity must be achieved internally. Imposing it externally is unacceptable.

(5) Providing humanitarian aid is essential. Doing so for internally and externally displaced Syrians is vital.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said resolving Syrian's conflict must be "inclusive and peaceful." All parties must work together politically, he stressed.

"We hope that all external players will encourage the Syrians to reach an accord, to refrain - and to prevent the sides - from attempts to predetermine final agreements, from other steps capable of disrupting the negotiating process."

Moscow remains concerned. Western interests want Assad removed. They're mindless of how Syrians feel.

They want their will imposed. Greater regional conflict and instability are threatened.

"(T)he entire Middle Eastern region is going through the most difficult period of its history," Lavrov stressed.

"While Russia supports the Arab peoples' aspiration for a better life, sustained development and prosperity, the overdue reforms can be only efficient if implemented peacefully, non-violently, through a national dialogue."

Washington, other Western allies and regional ones want force-fed regime change. They want it through violence and instability.

They want another country entirely ravaged and destroyed.

Kerry's Montreux address included one lie after another. Wrongfully accusing Assad of US crimes doesn't wash.

Nor does demanding regime change. Kerry's notion of "a negotiated transition government formed by mutual consent" is one America imposes.

Reality is polar opposite what he said. Syrians reject his way forward. They want no part of US diktats.

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem expressed their views. He delivered a powerful indictment of imperial lawlessness.

He did it forthrightly, eloquently and persuasively. He delivered it mostly to deaf ears and blind eyes.

He spoke to America, EU countries and despotic regional ones. They're responsible for mass slaughter, destruction, horrific atrocities and unspeakable human misery.

"Never have I been in a more difficult position," al-Moallem said.

"My delegation and I carry the weight of three years of hardship endured by my fellow countrymen - the blood of our martyrs, the tears of our bereaved, the anguish of families waiting for news of a loved one - kidnapped or missing, the cries of our children whose tender fingers were the targets of mortar shelling into their classrooms, the hopes of an entire generation destroyed before their very eyes, the courage of mothers and fathers who have sent all their sons to defend our country, the heartbreak of families whose homes have been destroyed and are now displaced or refugees."

"My delegation and I also carry the hope of a nation for the years to come - the right of every child to safely go to school again, the right of women to leave their homes without fear of being kidnapped, killed or raped; the dream of our youth to fulfill their vast potential; the return of security so that every man can leave his family safe in the knowledge that he will return."

Al-Moallem called it "regrettable" that Montreux participants include "representatives of countries that have the blood of Syrians on their hands."

They "exported terrorism." They deny Syrians the right to live in peace. They want their own will imposed.

They "shamelessly lecture us in democracy." They tolerate none at home. They prioritize destroying Syrian sovereignty. Their weapon of choice is state terrorism.

Syria remains wracked by violence. How can Saudi, Turkish and Western terrorist states "deliver on the aspirations of the Syrian people?"

Their proxies commit horrific atrocities. "(T)he wombs of pregnant women are butchered and their fetuses killed."

"Women are raped dead or alive...Men are slaughtered in front of their children in the name of the revolution."

"Worse still, this is done whilst the children of these foreign perpetrators sing and dance."

"(H)ow can so-called revolutionaries cannibalize a man's heart and claim to promote freedom, democracy and a better life?"

How can the worst of Wahhabi extremism be called good for Syria? How can what the vast majority of Syrians oppose?

"Under the pretext of the 'Great Syrian Revolution,' civilians, clergymen, women and children are killed, victims are indiscriminately blown up in streets and buildings regardless of their political views or ideologies." 

"Books and libraries are burned. Graves are dug up and artifacts stolen. Children are killed in their schools and students in their universities." 

"Women are extorted in the name of jihad al-nikah and other forms. Mosques are shelled whilst worshipers kneel at prayer." 

"Heads are severed and hung in the streets. People are burned alive…" It's happening across Syria. One death squad atrocity follows another.

Assad is wrongfully blamed. Willful deception about what's happening can't be tolerated. "(W)eb of deceit" must be stopped.

Foreign terrorists invaded Syria. They're US proxies. They doing Washington's bidding. They came to mass murder.

They're "human monsters fully soaked in abhorrent Wahhabi ideology." They're responsible for Syrian bloodshed. They brought "misery and destruction."

It threatens the entire region. Terrorism respects no borders. It's "loyal only unto itself."

Killers from "83" nations were imported. They're murdering Syrian civilians. Syria's so-called "Great Revolution" is a Western sponsored foreign invasion.

Al-Moallem affirmed that "Syria, the sovereign and independent state, will continue to do whatever it takes to defend herself with whatever means it deems necessary, without paying the least bit of attention to any uproar, denunciations, statements or positions expressed by others."  

"These have been and always will be Syria’s sovereign decisions." Syrians remain "steadfast," he stressed. 

They endure against long odds. They've done it despite endless violence and destruction. They've withstood punishing sanctions.

They "starve the population." They cause "sickness and death."

"At the same time, factories were looted and burned." Food and pharmaceutical industries were "crippl(ed)."

"Hospitals and healthcare centers were destroyed. Our railroads and electricity lines were sabotaged, and even our places of worship - Christian and Muslim."

"When all this failed, America threatened to strike Syria." Big Lies tried justifying doing so.

Syria was falsely accused of using chemical weapons. Irrefutable evidence shows terrorists bear full responsibility.

Saudi Arabia supplied toxic agents. US operatives trained proxy killers in their use. At the same time, they preach democracy, human rights and freedom.

They do so while slaughtering Syrians. They do it while ravaging and destroying the country. 

They do it while committing horrific atrocities. They do it while denying their own people what they demand for Syrians.

Their concerns ring hollow. They represent the worst of unconscionable ruthlessness. Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya mass murder and destruction represent what they stand for.

So-called "Friends of Syria" are their worst enemies. They deplore what they claim to stand for. They have Syrian blood on their hands.

They "liv(e) in five star hotels" while committing mass murder. They sold their souls to the highest bidder.

They're self-serving. They're traitors. They're criminals. They're responsible for three years of terrorism.

Al-Moallem thanked Russia and China. He did so for "respecting Syrian sovereignty and independence."

"Russia has been a true champion on the international stage strongly defending, not only with words but also with deeds, the founding principles of the United Nations..."

China, BRICS countries, Iran and Iraq have done so, he said. So have Latin American countries and others worldwide.

Western nations and rogue regional allies wage terrorism while claiming to fight it. They bear full responsibility for Syrian suffering.

Al-Moallem asked conference participants if this is the Syria they want. Do they support the loss of "thousands of martyrs and our once cherished safety and national security...?"

Do they endorse the worst of imported terrorism? Did they come to Montreux for this purpose? Have they no sense of decency? Are rule of law principles unimportant?

Is conflict without end OK? Is Syrian misery? Do self-serving interests trump all others?

Is greater regional conflict OK? What about risking its global spread? What about threats too grave to ignore?

Syria remains in the eye of the storm. It bears repeating. Obama bears full responsibility. Western and regional allies share it.

Geneva is an exercise in futility. Chances of success are zero. What follows remains to be seen.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

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

Visit his blog site at 

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.

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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

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

Visit his blog site at

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

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Top Ten Reasons: Sandy Hook Was an Elaborate Hoax

By Vivian Lee, Sofia Smallstorm, James Tracy, Jim Fetzer and the Sandy Hook Research Group

“[T]he names and ‘contextually identifying information of involved children’ were withheld, including descriptions of the children, their clothing and their belongings”–Reuben F. Bradford, Commissioner, Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection

Everyone must check inThe New York Times, our nation’s newspaper of record (which records the “official history” of the United States), has reported that, with its “final report,” the criminal investigation of Sandy Hook by the State of Connecticut is over. 

Remarkably, the report does not even include the names, the ages or the sex of the alleged victims of the shooting. There is no actual identification of any of the dead. Even the Danbury, CT, Newstimes found it unsatisfying.

Even the 52 “autopsy photos” that accompany the report are redacted. The Times itself appears to be responsible for a stunning display of journalistic incompetence on a matter of enormous public concern. 

Anyone with the inclination can comb through hundreds of years of American crime reports and will not find an instance in the which the names, the ages or the sex of the victims is not given–with the exception of victims of sex crimes.  Withholding this information is part of a pattern of deception and deceit that extends to the Clerk of Newtown making secret arrangements with the state legislature to avoid releasing death certificates to the public, attempts to withhold the 911 calls and gag orders imposed upon those responsible for tearing down the building itself:

In a letter accompanying the report, Reuben F. Bradford, the commissioner of the state’s Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, said the names and “contextually identifying information of involved children” were withheld, including descriptions of the children, their clothing and their belongings. “All visual images depicting the deceased have been withheld,” he added, “as well as written descriptions whose disclosure would be highly offensive to a reasonable person and would violate the constitutional rights of the families.”

The commissioner said that balancing the “often competing interests of government transparency and individual privacy has been difficult,” but the situation is completely absurd.  This appears to be only the latest in a series of obscene measures being adopted to conceal from the public that the Sandy Hook “massacre” was in fact an elaborately staged hoax, which no one who takes a serious look at the evidence can reasonably deny because, in view of what we have now proven about the event, no alternative explanation is reasonable.

The basic principle that applies here is inference to the best explanation. Consider the totality of the evidence in this case.  Is the evidence more probable on the hypothesis that Sandy Hook was a real event or that it was instead an exercise (or a “drill”) , which was presented as though it had been a real event?  The hypothesis that confers the highest probability on the evidence is the preferable, which, when the evidence has “settled down,” is acceptable as true in the tentative and fallible fashion of science. Here are the “top ten” reasons that support the conclusion that Sandy Hook was staged and not real, where no children or adults appear to have died there.

1. Proof of death has been suppressed

UntitledTwenty-eight people allegedly died: 27 children and adults, including Adam Lanza,  at the school, and his mother, Nancy Lanza, in her home at 36 Yogananda Street, Newtown. However, there is no direct proof of their death: no photographic evidence or video footage was released to confirm the official story that these 28 persons actually died. In fact, no video surveillance footage shows anything—not even Adam shooting out the front plate-glass window or walking through the halls like Rambo, even though this is a school that had updated its security system at the start of the 2012-13 academic year.

The best the authorities could come up with was a heavily redacted report that includes numerous photos of the inside of the school, with a few dings that look like bullet holes, several bullets on the floor, and many black images with white numbers, which we are supposed to associate with dead people. One photo (left) shows the blown-out glass window through which Adam Lanza presumably entered the premises. But how did he get past the furniture, with all his weaponry, without moving anything out of position?

Compounding the situation, the parents were not even allowed to view their children’s bodies to identify them. Instead, they were reportedly shown photographs of the deceased. This was done, according to the Medical Examiner, Wayne Carver, in order to “control the situation.” But what was there about the situation that required “control”? No parent of our acquaintance would have agreed to accept the death of a child without viewing the body. James Tracy has published a discussion of the medical examiner’s performance.  According to Carver:

Uh, we did not bring the bodies and the families into contact. We took pictures of them, uhm, of their facial features. We have, uh, uh—it’s easier on the families when you do that. Un, there is, uh, a time and place for the up close and personal in the grieving process, but to accomplish this we thought it would be best to do it this way and, uh, you can sort of, uh … You can control a situation depending on the photographer, and I have very good photographers. Uh, but uh—

Remarkably, the state has done its best to avoid releasing the death certificates and even recordings of the 911 calls. Death certificates were eventually “released” but not to the public or those who might want to investigate the case further, where only a short, general summary was available. According to The New York Times, in relation to the 911 calls, “no children are identified by name, no callers indicate that they can see a child being shot, and the only injury described is that of an educator’s being shot in the foot.”

Moreover, the funerals were all “closed casket,” with one exception—that of Noah Pozner. As recounted in interviews with the families, the circumstances of their last encounters with their children (or with their caskets) are strange to say the least. The “love fest” at the white coffin of Grace McDonnell was detailed on CNN for Anderson Cooper:

YouTube Video

Veronique Pozner gave her account of her last look at her son Noah to the Jewish Daily Forward on 26 December 2013.

Veronique asked the medical examiners not to autopsy her son; she felt that his body had suffered too many indignities. At his funeral, Noah was dressed in a suit and tie. A Jewish friend of Veronique’s at work enjoined Rabbi Praver to allow him to be wrapped in a blue tallis, even though he had not yet had a bar mitzvah.The family placed stuffed animals, a blanket and letters to Noah into the casket. Lastly, Veronique put a clear plastic rock with a white angel inside — an “angel stone” — in his right hand. She asked the funeral director to place an identical one in his left, which was badly mangled.

Just before the ceremony, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy came to the funeral home to pay his respects. Veronique took him by the arm and brought him to the casket. Noah’s famously long eyelashes — which she spoke about in her eulogy — rested lightly on his cheeks and a cloth covered the place where the lower half of his face had been. “I just needed it to be real for [the governor],” she says. “This was a live, warm, energetic little boy whose life was snuffed out in a fraction of a second because our schools are so defenseless.”

2. Emergency protocols were not followed

There is no evidence of any frantic effort to save lives or to remove bodies to hospitals; instead the scene outside the school looked calm and largely bloodless—with police and other personnel milling around casually and a severe shortage of dead or injured victims. One Sandy Hook researcher decided to call Lt. Paul Vance to ask who cleaned up the blood, which would have been considered to be a bio-hazard, and got the reply, “What blood?” Here is Jim Fetzer’s interview with Kelley from Tulsa on “The Real Deal” where she discusses this, which also includes several of the 911 calls.

Kelley was onto a real issue. Under the CT Medical Waste Tracking Act of 1988, a paper trail must kept by all parties involved in the clean up and must be tracked all the way to the incinerator with names and dates.

In a Mass Casualty Incident (MCI) like Sandy Hook, the proper protocol is START triage (Simple Triage and Rapid Treatment) using tarps of different colors with the aim being to save lives and get the injured to the hospital for treatment.  Not even the black tarps for the dead were used, much less the red ones for those who needed immediate treatment.  As Sofia Smallstorm has documented, nothing at all like this occurred at Sandy Hook: the appropriate protocols were not followed:

YouTube Video

Sandy Hook Fire Chief Bill Halstead was ready to help the victims but could recall only two wounded people. A few survivors were reportedly taken to the hospital, but, oddly, these people were never interviewed. There were no first-hand accounts that proved anyone was killed or injured. Nonetheless, according to Lt. Vance, 18 children were pronounced dead at the scene, two children were removed to “an area hospital” and were pronounced dead at the hospital, and seven adults were pronounced dead at the scene, including the shooter (NBC).

No emergency vehicles were present at the school or even lined up in the fire lane for a rescue attempt—the parking lot was filled with parked cars, police cars and possibly media vehicles. Such rescue activity as occurred was centered, not on the school premises, but at the nearby Firehouse. Emergency vehicles at the Firehouse were jammed together impeding access to the school, in case anyone might have thought about attempting a rescue. The scene at the Firehouse was quite peculiar, with people milling around and circling through the building, walking out one door and into another, to give the impression of lots of people and lots of action:

YouTube Video

3. Drill protocols were followed instead

We are now living in a security state, and the school system is among its beneficiaries. While we used to have “fire drills” from time to time, we now have “lockdown drills” implemented by school districts, with some states requiring a set number of drills by law. Private security firms, which operate for profit, now conduct “crisis preparedness assessments” at the tax-payer’s expense.

Larger scenarios are also developed as active-shooter drills, in which local law enforcement can take part in storming a school in pursuit of an active-actor-shooter. One such plan available on the web is “Operation Closed Campus” developed in Iowa following guidance set forth by the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) of the US Department of Homeland Security.

According to protocol, everyone at the drill must check in, identification badges are issued to personnel and observers, and drinking water and restrooms are available. Personnel include the director, staff, controllers, evaluators, actors, media personnel and “players” (agency employees) both in uniforms and civilian clothes. This protocol appears to have been followed at Sandy Hook, where many participants wore ID/identification badges on lanyards, a huge check-in sign is visible and even Porta Potties are at the ready.

YouTube Video

An emergency preparedness drill took place on 14 December 2012, 9 AM to 4 PM/ET, in Bridgeport, CT, which is a 20 minute drive from Sandy Hook. The course was run by the Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection/Emergency Management and Homeland Security, entitled “Planning for the Needs of Children in Disasters.”

The Sandy Hook “shooting” appears to have been an Integrated Capstone Event (ICE), an exercise run by FEMA to coordinate federal, state and local emergency response teams in the case of a mass-casualty event. As such, it would have utilized actors and media partners to simulate a tragedy in order to train participants, and also in order to observe the reaction of the citizenry.

4. There was foreknowledge of the event

The Connecticut state emergency system was taken over long before the “massacre” occurred, with a frequency change implemented five hours in advance of the “shooting.” Normal police and EMS dispatch protocol, using the Alpha Phonetic System for communications between officers and dispatchers, was replaced with staged transmissions by non-trained personnel. 

In addition, tweets about the shooting began before it occurred, a tribute was apparently uploaded one month before the event, and web pages honoring the victims, including a Facebook page R.I.P. Victoria Soto, were established before they had “officially” died. 

YouTube Video

A Sandy Hook timeline has been reconstructed at, detailing major developments and highlighting the numerous inconsistencies in reports by the media.

5. There were contradictory reports about the weapons

According to initial reports in the media, weapons used in the shooting included four handguns recovered at the scene, the only guns taken into the school (NBC). Then an AR-15 was said to have been found in the trunk of Lanza’s car (NBC). Then it was reported that Lanza may have carried only two handguns and that a rifle was also found in the school (NBC).

Dr. Carver's bizarre presss conference

Wayne Carver, the Medical Examiner, said that all the victims were shot with the “long weapon.” Lt. Paul Vance then said that a Bushmaster AR-15 assault weapon with high capacity magazines was used “most of the time” and that Lanza was carrying “many high-capacity clips” for the weapon (Huffington Post).

In January 2013, Connecticut state police released a statement indicating that they had found four guns inside the school: a Bushmaster .223 caliber XM 15-E2S semi-automatic rifle with high capacity 30 round clips, a Glock 10-mm handgun and a Sig-Sauer P226 9mm handgun. They said they also found an Izhmash Canta-12 12-gauge shotgun in Lanza’s car (NBC).

This shotgun is also shown in a video aired on the night of 14 December 2013  by NBC. An evidence collection team and a policeman find the gun in the trunk of Lanza’s Honda Civic—the policeman handles the gun without gloves and ejects the ammunition on the spot. Some have seen two long guns in the trunk in the NBC video: the 12-gauge shotgun and the Bushmaster rifle.

YouTube Video

Lt. Vance then asserted that Lanza had killed all his victims with the .223-caliber semi-automatic rifle ( Regarding the confusion, Vance told reporters, “It’s all these conspiracy theorists that are trying to mucky up the waters.” Perhaps “The Top Prize for Fantastical Reporting” goes to Fox News, however, which announced that a 12-gauge shotgun along with two magazines containing 70 rounds of Winchester 12-gauge shotgun rounds had been found in the glove compartment of Adam Lanza’s Honda Civicthat’s right, in the glove compartment.

6. Adam Lanza cannot have done the shooting

Adam Lanza, reportedly a frail young man weighing 120 pounds with Asperger’s Syndrome, is said to have carried massive weaponry on his person when he shot his way into the Sandy Hook school and proceeded to kill 26 people and then himself. This after he supposedly killed his mother before driving to the school.

Adam Lanza

According to State’s Attorney Stephen Sedensky, Lanza killed his 26 victims with the Bushmaster .223-caliber rifle and then killed himself with his Glock 10-mm handgun. Lanza was also supposedly carrying three 30-round magazines for the Bushmaster as well as a Sig-Sauer 9 mm handgun (see above). The victims were shot multiple times each in a fusillade of bullets from these military-style weapons. In order to wreak this havoc, he fired more than 150 rounds, and he must have carried more rounds in addition. Lanza was reportedly found dead wearing a bulletproof vest and military-style clothing (AP).

As Mike Powers, a professional military investigator and ballistics expert, has observed, this young man of slight build could not have carried all these heavy, bulky weapons and ammunition on his person. Furthermore, since first responders were supposedly inside the school within seven minutes, there was not enough time for Lanza to have carried out the shooting as reported. In an interview with Joyce Riley, Powers states that Lanza could not have fired so many times continuously without destabilizing himself from the intense noise from the Bushmaster. As a novice, he could not have shot an AR-15 with such speed and accuracy, supposedly changing magazines 8-10 times without a stoppage.

According to Lt. Vance on the night of the shooting, one victim survived. So in less than seven minutes—or less than five minutes according to the media—Lanza killed 26 people and then himself, producing only one injured victim. This is a 96% kill ratio, which is unheard-of accuracy among the most experienced marksmen. Powers thinks the whole scenario is a physical impossibility. He is not even convinced that Adam Lanza was a real person. The story of the shooting should not be taken seriously.

YouTube Video

The final travesty involves the weapons and other paraphernalia that were allegedly found in the Lanza house. The “arsenal” supposedly included guns, Samurai swords, knives, a bayonet and more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition, according to search warrants released. Other items of interest were ear and eye protection, binoculars, holsters, manuals, paper targets, a military-style uniform and Lanza’s NRA certificate (Fox). Lanza had reportedly compiled a spreadsheet 7 feet long and 4 feet wide in 9-point type detailing 500 victims of other mass murders (CBS). We are supposed to believe this, and, at the same time, that Adam Lanza was a shy, quiet kid who didn’t l