By Ann Wright
I'm in Northern Ireland and yesterday on May 20, 2013, I spoke with several members of the Northern Ireland Parliament. With over 100 prisoners in Guantanamo on a 100 day hunger strike, the Obama administration would be wise to talk to some of them too--about the importance and legacy of hungerstrikes.
In 1981, Pat Sheehan was one of the Maze Prison hunger strikers-a hunger strike that brought huge international attention to the Northern Ireland "Troubles," with the goal of forcing the British government to treat those imprisoned as political prisoners, not criminals. Hunger strikers demanded the right to wear civilian clothes, the right to education and recreational opportunities, freedom from work obligations, and a set of other benefits not afforded to other inmates.Pat was on the hunger strike for 55 days and still alive when the hunger strike was called off by the prisoners.
Bobby Sands became the most famous of the 10 who died during the hunger strikes when he was elected to Parliament while on the hunger strike-Francis Hughes, Raymond McLeish, Patsy O'Hara, Joe McDonnell, Martin Hurson, Kevin Lynch, Kieran Doherty, Thomas McElwee, Michael Devine also died.
After one prisoner died from his lung punctured from a feeding tube through the throat, the British ended force feeding those on hunger strikes. The British government eventually granted most of the hunger strikers’ demands. Public opinion changed dramatically in favor of those imprisoned and on the hunger strike.
Now Pat Sheehan is a member of the Northern Ireland Parliament. The Good Friday Peace Accord brokered by the Clinton administration brought to a close, a violent chapter in British and Northern Ireland relationships. The Peace Accord allowed former political prisoners to become part of the political process.
One never knows the future of those who have been imprisoned for political crimes--after peace talks, many may become political leaders, like Gerry Adams and Pat Sheehan. No one can predict the future paths of those in Guantanamo, but one can be assured that the continued imprisonment of those cleared for release from Guantanamo is disastrous for the individual and for the United States.
President Obama would be wise to call former hunger striker and now Northern Ireland Parliamentarian Pat Sheehan!
About the Author: Ann Wright served 29 years in the US Army/Army Reserves and retired as a Colonel. She also worked as a US diplomat for 16 years and served in US Embassies in Nicaragua, Grenada, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Micronesia, Afghanistan and Mongolia. She resigned from the US government in 2003 in opposition to President Bush’s war on Iraq. In 2006, she was on a delegation to Guantanamo, Cuba to challenge the US prison at Guantanamo.
By Kathy Kelly
Kabul--Since 2009, Voices for Creative Nonviolence has maintained a grim record we call the “The Afghan AtrocitiesUpdate” which gives the dates, locations, numbers and names of Afghan civilians killed by NATO forces. Even with details culled from news reports, these data can't help but merge into one large statistic, something about terrible pain that's worth caring about but that is happening very far away.
It’s one thing to chronicle sparse details about these U.S. led NATO attacks. It’s quite another to sit across from Afghan men as they try, having broken down in tears, to regain sufficient composure to finish telling us their stories. Last night, at a restaurant in Kabul, I and two friends from the Afghan Peace Volunteers met with five Pashtun men from Afghanistan’s northern and eastern provinces. The men had agreed to tell us about their experiences living in areas affected by regular drone attacks, aerial bombings and night raids. Each of them noted that they also fear Taliban threats and attacks. “What can we do,” they asked, “when both sides are targeting us?”
THE FIRST RESPONDER’S TALE
Jamaludeen, an emergency medical responder from Jalalabad, is a large man, with a serious yet kindly demeanor. He began our conversation by saying that he simply doesn’t understand how one human being can inflict so much harm on another. Last winter, NATO forces fired on his cousin, Rafiqullah, age 30, who was studying to be a pediatrics specialist.
"A suicide bomber had apparently blown himself up near the airport. My cousin and two other men were riding in a car on a road leading to the airport. It was 6:15 AM. When they'd realized that NATO helicopters and tanks were firing missiles, they had left their car and huddled on the roadside, but they were easily seen. A missile exploded near them, seriously wounding Rafiqullah and another passenger, while killing their driver, Hayatullah."
Hayatullah, our friend told us, was an older man, about 45 years old, who left behind a wife, two boys and one daughter.
Although badly wounded, Rafiqullah and his fellow passenger could still speak. A U.S. tank arrived and they began pleading with the NATO soldiers to take them to the hospital. “I am a doctor,” said Rafiqullah's fellow passenger, a medical student named Siraj Ahmad. “Please save me!” But the soldiers handcuffed the two wounded young men and awaited a decision about what to do next. Rafiqullah died there, by the side of the road. Still handcuffed, Siraj Ahmad was taken, not to a hospital, but to the airport, perhaps to await evacuation. That was where he died. He was aged 35 and had four daughters. Rafiqullah, aged 30, leaves three small girls behind.
And Jamaludeen knows that those girls, in one sense are lucky. Four years ago, he tried to bring first aid as an early responder to a wedding party attacked by NATO forces. Only he couldn’t, because there were no survivors. 54 people were killed, all of them (except for the bridegroom) women and children. “It was like hell,” said Dr. Jamaludeen. “I saw little shoes, covered with blood, along with pieces of clothing and musical instruments. It was very, very terrible to me. The NATO soldiers knew these people were not a threat.”
THE MANUAL LABORER'S TALE
Kocji, who makes a living doing manual laborer, is from a village of 400 families. His story took place three weeks ago. It started with a telephoned warning that Taliban forces had entered the Surkh Rod district of Jalalabad, which is where his village is located. That day, at about 10:00 p.m., NATO forces entered his village en masse. Some soldiers landed on rooftops and slid expertly to the ground on rope ladders. When they entered homes, they would lock women and children in one room while they beat the men, shouting questions as the women and children screamed to be released. On this raid, no one was killed, and no one was taken away. It turned out that NATO troops had acted on a false report and discovered their error quickly. False reports are a constant risk. - In any village some families will feud with each other, and NATO troops can be brought into those feuds, unwittingly and very easily, and sometimes with deadly consequences. Kocji objects to NATO forces ordering attacks without first asking more questions and trying to find out whether or not the report is valid. He’d been warned of a threat from one direction, but the threats actually come from all sides.
THE STUDENT’S TALE
Rizwad, a student from the Pech district of the Kunar province, spoke next.
Twenty-five days ago, between 3 and 4 a.m., twelve children were collecting firewood in the mountains not far from his village. The children were between 7 and 8 years old. Rizwad actually saw the fighter plane flying overhead towards the mountains. When it reached them, it fired on the twelve children, leaving no survivors. Rizwad’s 8 year old cousin, Nasrullah, a schoolboy in the third grade, was among the dead that morning.
The twelve children belonged to eight families from the same village. When the villagers found the bloodied and dismembered bodies of their children, they gathered together to demand from the provincial government some reason as to why NATO forces had killed them. “It was a mistake,” they were told.
"It is impossible for the people to talk with the U.S. military,” says Rizwad. “Our own government tries to calm us down by saying they will look into the matter."
THE FARMER’S TALE
Riazullah from Chapria Marnu spoke next. Fifteen days previously, three famers in Riazullah's area had been working to irrigate their wheat field. It was early afternoon, about 3:30 p.m. One of the men was only eighteen - he had been married for five months. The other two farmers were in their mid-forties. Their names were Shams Ulrahman, Khadeem and Miragah, and Miragah’s two little daughters were with them.
Eleven NATO tanks arrived. One tank fired missiles which killed the three men and the two little girls. “What can we do?” asked Riazullah. “We are caught between the Taliban and the internationals. Our local government does not help us.”
THE STORY OF U.S./NATO OCCUPATION
The world doesn't seem to ask many questions about Afghan civilians whose lives are cut short by NATO or Taliban forces. Genuinely concerned U.S. friends say they can't really make sense of our list - news stories merge into one large abstraction, into statistics, into "collateral damage," in a way that comparable (if much smaller and less frequent) attacks on U.S. civilians do not. People here in Afghanistan naturally don’t see themselves as a statistic; they wonder why the NATO soldiers treat civilians as battlefield foes at the slightest hint of opposition or danger; why the U.S. soldiers and drones kill unarmed suspects on anonymous tips when people around the world know suspects deserve safety and a trial, innocent until proven guilty.
“All of us keep asking why the internationals kill us,” said Jamaludeen. “One reason seems to be that they don’t differentiate between people. The soldiers fear any bearded Afghan who wears a turban and traditional clothes. But why would they kill children? It seems they have a mission. They are told to go and get the Taliban. When they go out in their planes and their tanks and their helicopters, they need to be killing, and then they can report that they have completed their mission.”
These are the stories being told here. NATO and its constituent nations may have other accounts to give of themselves, but they aren’t telling them very convincingly, or well. The stories told by bomb blasts or by shouting home-invading soldiers drown out other competing sentiments and seem to represent all that the U.S./NATO occupiers ever came here to say. We who live in countries that support NATO, that tolerate this occupation, bear responsibility to hear the tales told by Afghans who are trapped by our war of choice. These tales are part of our history now, and this history isn’t popular in Afghanistan. It doesn’t play well when the U.S. and NATO forces state that we came here because of terrorism, because of a toll in lost civilian lives already exceeded in Afghanistan during just the first three months of a decade-long war – that we came in pious concern over precious stories that should not be cut short.
Kathy Kelly, (firstname.lastname@example.org), co-coordinates Voices for Creative Nonviolence www.vcnv.org She is living in Kabul for the month of May as a guest of the Afghan Peace Volunteers (http://ourjourneytosmile.com/blog/)
Photo caption: Twelve children killed in the Kunar province, April 2013
Photo credit: Namatullah Karyab for The New York Times
Reinventing Guatemalan History
by Stephen Lendman
History reinventors support despots. Social democrats are vilified. Crimes of war, against humanity and genocide are sanitized. They're whitewashed. They disappear in plain sight.
Wall Street Journal columnist Mary O'Grady tried reinventing Guatemalan history. She failed. More on that below.
Supreme Court Colludes with Monsanto
by Stephen Lendman
It's no surprise. Michael Parenti calls America's High Court its "autocratic branch."
It's notoriously pro-business. It's longstanding. In Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railway (1886), it granted corporations legal personhood.
Iran War Weekly
May 20, 2013
Hello All – It’s official. After almost a year of no progress in negotiations between “the West” and Iran about Iran’s nuclear program, last week’s meetings in Istanbul confirmed that there would be, indeed, no progress until at least after Iran’s presidential election, which will take place on June 14th. Whatever the outcome of the election, it is likely that the post-election resumption of talks (if any) will take place in an international landscape greatly altered by the fighting in Syria.
To contact Bartolo email email@example.com
By Dave Lindorff
(This article was originally written forWhoWhatWhy News)
There's a contradiction built into every campaign promise about transparent government beyond the failure to keep the promises. Our government is, in significant portion, made up of secret operations, operations that include warmaking, kidnapping, torture, assassination, and infiltrating and overthrowing governments. A growing movement is ready to see that end.
The Central Intelligence Agency is central to our foreign policy, but there is nothing intelligent about it, and there is no good news to be found regarding it. Its drone wars are humanitarian and strategic disasters. The piles of cash it keeps delivering to Hamid Karzai fuel corruption, not democracy. Whose idea was it that secret piles of cash could create democracy? (Nobody's, of course, democracy being the furthest thing from U.S. goals.) Lavishing money on potential Russian spies and getting caught helps no one, and not getting caught would have helped no one. Even scandals that avoid mentioning the CIA, like Benghazigate, are CIA blowback and worse than we're being told.
We've moved from the war on Iraq, about which the CIA lied, and its accompanying atrocities serving as the primary recruiting tool for anti-U.S. terrorists, to the drone wars filling that role. We've moved from kidnapping and torture to kidnapping and torture under a president who, we like to fantasize, doesn't really mean it. But the slave-owners who founded this country knew very well what virtually anyone would do if you gave them power, and framed the Constitution so as not to give presidents powers like these.
There are shelves full in your local bookstore of books pointing out the CIA's outrageous incompetence. The brilliant idea to give Iran plans for a nuclear bomb in order to prevent Iran from ever developing a nuclear bomb is one of my favorites.
But books that examine the illegality, immorality, and anti-democratic nature of even what the CIA so ham-handedly intends to do are rarer. A new book called Dirty Wars, also coming out as a film in June, does a superb job. I wrote a review a while back. Another book, decades old now, might be re-titled "Dirty Wars The Prequel." I'm thinking of Douglas Valentine's The Phoenix Program.
It you read The Phoenix Program about our (the CIA's and "special" forces') secret crimes in Eastern Asia and Dirty Wars about our secret crimes in Western Asia, and remember that similar efforts were focused on making life hell for millions of people in Latin America in between these twin catastrophes, and that some of those running Phoenix were brought away from similar sadistic pursuits in the Philippines, it becomes hard to play along with the continual pretense that each uncovered outrage is an aberration, that the ongoing focus of our government's foreign policy "isn't who we are."
Targeted murders with knives in Vietnam were justified with the same rhetoric that now justifies drone murders. The similarities include the failure of primary goals, the counterproductive blowback results, the breeding of corruption abroad and at home, the moral and political degradation, the erosion of democratic ways of thinking, and -- of course -- the racist arrogance and cultural ignorance that shape the programs and blind their participants to what they are engaged in. The primary difference between Phoenix and drone kills is that the drones don't suffer PTSD. The same, however, cannot be said for the drone pilots.
"The problem," wrote Valentine, "was one of using means which were antithetical to the desired end, of denying due process in order to create a democracy, of using terror and repression to foster freedom. When put into practice by soldiers taught to think in conventional military and moral terms, Contre Coup engendered transgressions on a massive scale. However, for those pressing the attack on VCI, the bloodbath was constructive, for indiscriminate air raids and artillery barrages obscured the shadow war being fought in urban back alleys and anonymous rural hamlets. The military shield allowed a CIA officer to sit behind a steel door in a room in the U.S. Embassy, insulated from human concern, skimming the Phoenix blacklist, selecting targets for assassination, distilling power from tragedy."
At some point, enough of us will recognize that government conducted behind a steel door can lead only to ever greater tragedy.
In an email that Valentine wrote for RootsAction.org on Monday, he wrote: "Through its bottomless black bag of unaccounted-for money, much of it generated by off-the-books proprietary companies and illegal activities like drug smuggling, the CIA spreads corruption around the world. This corruption undermines our own government and public officials. And the drone killings of innocent men, women, and children generate fierce resentment.. . .Tell your representative and senators right now that the CIA is the antithesis of democracy and needs to be abolished."
America: A Modern-Day Sparta
by Stephen Lendman
Permanent war is longstanding policy. America deplores peace. Throughout its history, it's waged war annually at home and/or abroad. Today it does so globally.
Giving peace a chance is loathed. Direct or proxy wars rage in multiple countries.
Guantanamo Force-Feeding Constitutes Torture
by Stephen Lendman
Guantanamo detention constitutes torture, abuse and ill-treatment. Long-term detention compounds it.
Force-feeding increases unconscionable pain and suffering. Doing so violates core rule of law principles.
To contact Bartolo email firstname.lastname@example.org
Disconnect: Soaring Markets/Troubled Economies
by Stephen Lendman
Forget everything you learned about markets, economics and finance. Perhaps Newton, Galileo, Copernicus, Darwin, Freud, Einstein, and other noted figures were wrong.
Central banks run today's world. Major ones matter most. Money printing madness controls everything. Love doesn't make the world go round. Liquidity-driven markets reflect the power of bankers to do it.
America Honors Its Worst
by Stephen Lendman
Presidential Medals of Freedom are awarded annually. They mock what they claim to represent. Many go to deplorable recipients.
Previous dishonorees include GHW Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Robert Gates, Henry Kissinger, Tony Blair, Shimon Peres, Margaret Thatcher, Alvaro Uribe, Colin Powell, Madeleine Albright, and Alan Greenspan among others.
To contact Bartolo email email@example.com
IRS Scandal Headlines: More Than Meets the Eye
by Stephen Lendman
More than targeting political enemies is involved. More on than below. The practice is longstanding. Republican and Democrat administrations use the IRS abusively.
During the Coolidge administration, Republican Senator James Couzens investigated the IRS' predecessor - the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).
Putin v. Obama et al
by Stephen Lendman
On May 16, the Wall Street Journal headlined "Russia Raises Stakes in Syria," saying:
[DOWNLOAD PDF] Toolkit for Jobs Not Wars June Actions
- Connecting with Partners in Your Area
- Ideas for Organizing Actions
- Researching Federal Cuts to Social Programs
- Researching Military Contractors and CEOs in Your Area
- Focusing on Economic Conversion
- Sample Press Release
The Jobs Not Wars campaign proposes actions throughout the country from Friday, June 21st to Wednesday, July 3rd. We are asking endorsing organizations to organize local actions or events that highlight the disparities between military contracts and social spending in the federal budget, as these play out in our communities. The aims of the actions are:
- to make visible the sites and corporations where military contracts enrich a few, or serve immoral and useless wars, and the places and people hurt by federal budget cuts to social programs;
- to put forward the vision and prospect of converting military spending to projects that both generate jobs and serve desperately needed and socially constructive ends;
- to help create coalitions of local people, especially those who have not worked together before; and
- to reach people that previous actions have not reached.
Our goal is to help create more awareness about the causes and effects of war, Pentagon spending, and budget cuts. We are compelled to peacefully stand up, articulate a vision, and demand change.
I. Connecting with partners in your area
Most organizations will want to work with other groups to organize an action or event. To identify local partners, feel free to contact members of the Jobs Not Wars campaign team: Michael Eisenscher (firstname.lastname@example.org); Mary Hladky (email@example.com); Sally Weiss and Carl Moos (sallyweissJNW@crocker.com), 413-320-2283; Michael McPhearson (firstname.lastname@example.org); and John Lindsay-Poland (email@example.com), 510-282-8983. We can also connect you with individuals in your area who signed the Jobs Not Wars statement.
Find Jobs Not Wars endorsing groups on this map. If you see other groups in your area whom you don’t know, check links to the groups on the Jobs Not Wars site, or contact us.
Find groups that organized actions to re-orient federal spending on Tax Day at this map.
II. Ideas for Organizing Actions
Actions will place a spotlight on the priorities and needs of the majority of people.
The LEPOCO Peace Center in Pennsylvania organized a tax day walk in 2011 that witnessed outside the places that suffer under budget cuts proposed at both the state and federal levels – see photos here.
Groups may wish to focus on some specific issues of federal spending that you work on, or that are especially relevant in your area. These might include:
- Protecting Social Security and Medicare benefits
- Cuts to Head Start and public education
- Excessive CEO compensation for military corporations and income inequality
- F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and waste
- Nuclear weapons development
- US military aid to Israel
- Use of weaponized drones
- US military in Latin America
Some groups have expressed interest in conversations between anti-war activists, social service proponents, and labor unionists.
What’s important is that you take organizing on federal budget priorities to a new place, use your imagination, and connect people who have been part of anti-war activism and advocacy for social services, as well as those impacted by federal budget cuts.
III. Researching the issues in your area
Researching Federal Cuts to Social Programs
Locating the Social Security office in your area. Social Security and Medicare benefits would be reduced in Republican and White House budget proposals by what is known as ‘Chained CPI.’ Locate the Social Security office nearest you at this site.
Food Stamps in Your Community. Use this interactive tool to find the number of people in your county receiving Food Stamps, how it’s changed since 2000, and the percentage of the population receiving them.
The National Priorities Project has created interactive tools to calculate how much the federal government spends in your state and county (and proposes to in 2014) by sector.
The Coalition on Human Needs produces Sequester Impact: Weekly Summaries that you can download or receive from CHN. You can also see a map of sequester impacts produced by the Center for American Progress, which may show some in your area, with links to news sources.
Download this Sequestration Toolkit (sample press release, letter to the editor, tweets, how to tell your story, helpful graphics) from the Half in Ten Campaign, a project of the Coalition for Human Needs, Center for American Progress and the Leadership Conference.
The National Education Association has an Ed Flight campaign (take a picture of yourself holding a paper airplane and post it to Congress)
MoveOn Petition: Fix the Sequester Cuts for the Poor, Not Just Congressional Travel
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: Congress Addresses Flight Delays But Leaves Other Sequestration Problems Unsolved by Sharon Parrott, Vice President for Budget Policy and Economic Opportunity, April 26, 2013.
Coalition on Human Needs: Fear of Flying: Congress Fixes Waits in Airports but Lets the Poor Wait One More Year for Housing Vouchers, in Human Needs Report, April 30, 2013.
Center for American Progress, Sequestration Nation: Congress Acts to Ease Sequestration’s Pain on Air Travelers by Kwami Boadi, April 29, 2013.
Researching Military Contractors and CEOs in Your Area
1. Draw on knowledge that you and allies have already developed. Many groups and activists have researched and acted around military contractors. While information often changes, this experience and knowledge can be important for understanding what the contractor does and how it contributes to war, logistics of protesting, company labor, economics of conversion, local government relations, etc.
2. Contact Jobs Not Wars organizers to talk. We can help you talk through your action, learn about military contractor sites and social spending cuts, and connect with other organizers.
3. Identify Pentagon contractors in your zip code or Congressional district.
A. Use the web site usaspending.gov/advanced-search to search for Pentagon contracts in your area. In the field for “Department/Agency” select Dept of Defense (at bottom of list); select a fiscal year or years; in “Place of Performance Location” select a zip code, state or Congressional district, and click on “Search” button at top of screen.
B. Here is a list of the top 100 Pentagon contractors and the amount they received in 2012. Many of these contractors have multiple sites around the country in addition to their corporate headquarters, which can be a focus for Jobs Not Wars actions or events.
C. An initial map of military contractors is here.
D. The collaborative watchdog project Crocodyl produced critical informative profiles of 27 military contractors in 2010, posted here.
4. Locate military contractor CEOs made wealthy by Pentagon pork.
A. Find the addresses of homes of CEOs of larger corporations here.
C. Learn about the revolving door between corporate contractors and Pentagon generals, Strategic Maneuvers: The Revolving Door from the Pentagon to the Private Sector, a report by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
5. Find out how much the corporation spent on lobbying and campaign contributions.
Pentagon contractors employ hundreds of lobbyists to influence federal government decisions, and contribute many millions to candidates’ campaigns, creating an unfair playing field and distorting policy. In the first three months of this year, while Congress and the White House made budget proposals, Pentagon contractors spent more than $33 million on lobbying. Use the Open Secrets database on lobbying and database on corporate campaign contributions.
6. Learn about fraud, corruption of military contractors.
The Project on Government Oversight (POGO) maintains a Contractor Misconduct Database that compiles information, reports, and sources on federal contractor fraud, kickbacks, discrimination, environmental pollution, etc., by corporation.
7. Skills for researching military contractors.
Watch the webinar led by POGO researcher Nick Schwellenbach on researching military contracts. (62-minute video here)
Use the tools at Strategic Corporate Research: Looking Inside the Corporate World.
Focusing on Economic Conversion from Military to Non-Military Activity
1. An important study by University of Massachusetts economists (pdf here) shows that “investments in clean energy, health care and education create a much larger number of jobs across all pay ranges,” including high-paying jobs (over $64,000 a year), than military spending does. Education spending generates more than twice as many jobs as Pentagon spending. Bruce Gagnon urges us to “to internalize those study results so [we] can write and speak about them clearly.”
2. Miriam Pemberton of the Institute for Policy Studies has been researching and promoting economic conversion of Pentagon spending for many years. She’s produced this fact sheet on replacing defense industry jobs and an offer to collaborate with local activists for such transitions. She recently posted the top 10 myths of the jobs argument against military cuts as well as a short analysis of sequestration about why the Pentagon is due for downsizing.
By Ann Wright
The city of Oak Ridge, Tennessee and its neighbor Knoxville, are government towns. Oak Ridge has been called “the closed city,” reminiscent of government cities in the old Soviet Union that were closed to the public because of sensitive weapons production and other activities Soviets wanted to keep from prying eyes. In the case of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, the U.S. government wants to keep the production of nuclear bombs and their components away from public scrutiny.
Oak Ridge is a tough place to challenge the biggest employer in the area, a southern town where dissent is abnormal and prejudices of all sorts run deep in the culture and heritage.
Moscow ‘Hopeful’ on Syria Chemical Weapons Inspections, "the Syrian government has expressed readiness - after that place near Aleppo is inspected - to consider requests for inspections in other parts of the country” - RIA Novosti
To contact Bartolo email firstname.lastname@example.org
It has been some time since the language of U.S. politics has been twisted so far as to render words nearly meaningless. In an effort to clarify what is actually being said in Washington, D.C., this writer offers this glossary of terms, with historical context, current usage and, at times, synonyms and antonyms.
Some of these words and terms have been around for a while; others are brand new.
by Debra Sweet Yesterday, Pentagon officials claimed the president has authorization to pursue war without limits of time or space, saying the Authorization of Use of Military Force passed in 2001 means war could go on, as Dick Cheney said, "for generations."
Boston Suspect’s Writing on the Wall
Editor Note: Hiding and near death, Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev reportedly scrawled on the inside of a boat that he did what he did to avenge innocent Muslims killed by U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a rare look at the why behind “terrorism."
By Ray McGovern
Quick, somebody tell CIA Director John Brennan about the handwriting on the inside wall of the boat in which Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was hiding before Boston-area police riddled it and him with bullets. Tell Brennan that Tsarnaev’s note is in plain English and that it needs neither translation nor interpretation in solving the mystery: “why do they hate us?”
Serious escalation of state-terrorism has been reported in the last few days following the debacle of Bahrain’s dictator at the Ascot race course in London on Saturday 11th May . Many people have been arrested; most of them subjected to severe torture on the spots where they were detained. Harsh prison sentences have been passed against scores of Bahrainis. At least five people have been imprisoned for anti-regime tweets. Use of chemical gases has also been intensified, and many casualties reported in various parts of the country.
By Linn Washington, Jr.
Federal authorities publicly plot encouraging bounty hunters to kidnap a fugitive black radical from a foreign country for return to prison in the U.S. to achieve long-delayed justice.
This sounds like the FBI action on May 2, 2013 in placing former Black Panther and Black Liberation Army member Assata Shakur on its “Most Wanted Terrorists” list – the first female to have that dubious distinction.
Stop and Frisk: NYPD Racial Profiling
by Stephen Lendman
The Fourth Amendment states:
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
Israel Threatens More Syrian Attacks
by Stephen Lendman
May 15 is Nakba Day. It follows Israel's May 14 Independence Day. This year was no exception.
Clashes erupted across the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Israel confronts peaceful demonstrations violently. Fundamental human rights are spurned. Rogue governments operate that way.
by Debra Sweet If you haven't signed and donated to publish the Close Guantanamo ad in The New York Times, please do so now & make it count DOUBLE: we get matching funds from a generous donor up to $5,000 by noon Friday, May 17.