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|A message to RootsAction members from Douglas Valentine, author of
The Phoenix Program: Lies about Iraq. Cash to corrupt Afghanistan. Drone wars
waged in secret. Blowback endangering us all. The CIA does not exist to defend our
freedoms. Wrapped in government secrecy, it exists to assure the political security of
rich political elites. CIA operations -- engaging in secret, legally protected wars, sabotage,
subversion, murders and tortures -- create enemies that Americans fear. And the agency
is an instrument of psychological warfare aimed at you and me.
It's time we stop funding this out-of-control agency.
Woolrich London Killing: Terrorism or False Flag?
by Stephen Lendman
Reports said two assailants hacked a British soldier to death. He's been identified as Lee Rigby. He was killed in broad daylight. It was several hundred meters from southeast London's Woolwich Royal Artillery barracks.
Weapons included a machete type knife. Alleged attackers remained on the scene. They did so until police arrived 20 minutes later.
Wall Street Journal Urges War on Syria
by Stephen Lendman
Perhaps publishing it was strategically timed. It comes with John Kerry in the Middle East. He'll be there through Sunday.
He met with foreign ministers of 11 so-called Friends of Syria countries and opposition group representatives. In Jerusalem, he discussed Syria with Netanyahu.
It could have been any kind of gathering between friends as I sat with six others in Malachy Kilbride’s living room in Arlington, VA on the morning of May 21, 2013, drinking coffee and munching on pastries. Besides Malachy and me, we were joined by David Barrows, Max Obuszewski, Manijeh Saba, Ray McGovern, and Ted Majdosz. But there was a sense of excitement and anticipation in the air that morning. We have risked arrest together many times before acting in resistance to the illegal and immoral actions of our government, but today we were going to try something different.
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Israeli Pillar of Cloud War Crimes
by Stephen Lendman
On May 8, B'Tselem published a report titled "Human Rights Violations During Operation Pillar of Defense: 14 - 21 November 2012."
Israel's Operation Pillar of Cloud (aka Cloud Column/Pillar of Defense) was naked, premeditated aggression. Previous articles discussed it.
With U.S. approval of Congress holding steady at a whopping 15%, one wonders just who it is the elected representatives are representing. Perhaps we can answer that question, by looking at some of their recent activities, and considering some of the things currently left undone.
Protesting War Criminal Rice's (Hypocritical) Speech "Why Democracy Matters" to Minnesota "Law Day" Participants
Women Against Military Madness’ “Tackling Torture at the Top” Committee will lead a demonstration outside the Minneapolis Hilton, 1001 Marquette Avenue South, beginning at 4:00 p.m. (Thursday, May 23).
A number of peace activists will be wearing orange jumpsuits, to keep reminding the world of the innocent Gitmo detainees who are on hunger strike because they are so hopeless at being held indefinitely without the right to even know of the charges against them.
It should be recalled that Guantanamo was initially created by the Bush Administration (also under the tutelage of Condi Rice) by deliberate design, to illegally serve as a location where international and US Constitutional rule of law would not interfere with the indefinite holding and abuse of US prisoners. Our efforts will hopefully bolster Obama to announce this afternoon in his scheduled “national security speech” (being reported by NY Times “Obama, in a Shift, to Limit Targets of Drone Strikes”) that he will reduce drone assassinations and apparently finally start releasing some of the Gitmo detainees.
Why would the Minnesota legal community choose to invite, of all people, Condi Rice to speak here when she has repeatedly demonstrated little or no regard for U.S. law? It should be recalled that Condi is the former official who made up “mushroom cloud” stories to help George Bush lie the U.S. into war on Iraq, killing over a million people, and who also gave the order to the CIA to torture. Conspiracy to torture is a felony under U.S. Code in both Title 18, Section 2340 and 2441. The Convention Against Torture requires the criminal prosecution of complicity in torture. So, not only is the hypocrisy breathtaking but it’s doubtful the Minnesota legal audience will get an honest answer out of her ostensibly hypocritical speech entitled: “Why Democracy Matters.” If theMinnesota “Law Day” participants actually cared about upholding the law, they would have their keynote speaker arrested for war crimes.
|Source: Afghan Women's Writing Project "A Mother Expecting Still"|
Iraq Today: America's Imperial Legacy
by Stephen Lendman
US imperial wars reflect mass slaughter, widespread destruction, ecocide, resource theft, exploitation, unspeakable human pain, suffering and misery, as well as permanent occupation.
Washington came to Iraq to stay. US military and other security elements infest the region. It's the oil and unchallenged Middle East dominance, stupid.
Mission Creep Toward Full-Scale War on Syria
by Stephen Lendman
On May 20, Secretary of State John Kerry headed back to the Middle East. It's his fourth regional visit since January.
On May 21, he met Oman's Sultan Qaboos. An air defense system/weapons sale, Syria, and related issues were discussed.
You know how the government is owned by the lobbyists? Well, on Friday, we're marching on the lobbyists.
A group of unemployed workers and their families have spent the last week marching all the way from Philadelphia to DC, with the intent of marching on the US Chamber of Commerce's headquarters this Friday, May 24th. Their march is called "Operation Green Jobs," and they'll be holding the US Chamber accountable for buying off congress and using their millions to stop action on jobs, climate change, and a more equitable tax code.
WHO: Operation Green Jobs
WHAT: March on the US Chamber of Commerce
WHEN: Friday, May 24 at 10 AM
WHERE: 1615 H St NW, Washington DC 20062
If you can't make it in person, you can still join the virtual march at http://shutthechamber.org/virtualmarch. All you need to do is click the link, tell your story of how corporate greed has affected you, and your story will be seen by the world with your permission.
Whether it's any of the imperial wars for resources, catastrophic climate change, crippling poverty and unemployment or austerity, all roads lead to the US Chamber of Commerce and their lobbying efforts. Join the march in DC on Friday, or join the virtual march at http://shutthechamber.org/virtualmarch.
Lead Organizer, Shut The Chamber
President Obama is expected to announce that the eternal war on the world will have an end.
He won't say.
I too have an announcement. I promise my drinking problem will end some day.
I'm not saying. But the celebrations of the armistice in 1918 began when plans for it were announced, and the partying continued until it actually happened. Perhaps that is the best approach here. As an aid to your festivities, let me present the . . .
Afternoon Obama Murder Rap Drinking Game
(which I promise to stop playing soon)
1. The President is going to admit that he has a murder problem and propose to correct it by murdering less in certain countries. If examples occur to you of crimes you might commit that you could not continue committing by promising to limit your criminal activities in some countries but not in others, DRINK!
2. The President is going to claim to have targeted, or to have allowed an unnamed John Brennan to have targeted, only one U.S. citizen for murder but to have killed three by mistake, on top of three killed by President Bush by mistake. If you can think of outrages you might commit that you could not go on committing by claiming that 86% of them were accidental side effects, DRINK!
3. The President is going to claim that the one U.S. citizen he or his subordinate chose to murder was an imminent (meaning eventual theoretical) threat to violently attack the United States, that capture was infeasible (meaning the target was hiding following lots of death threats, but his location was known anyway), and that said citizen was a senior operational leader of al Qaeda (or an associated group or was an adherent or a backstage groupie who had once met a guy whose cousin knew where an al Qaeda meeting was held one time). If you understand what that means, DRINK!
4. The President is going to hope that nobody notices that laws against war and murder don't include exceptions for people who invent lists of arcane criteria that they require themselves to meet before murdering. If you think you could invent and meet at least three qualifications before engaging in some immoral behavior, DRINK!
5. The President is going to hope nobody notices that he did not actually meet his own criteria before murdering Awlaki. Attorney General Eric Holder now says Awlaki was killed for actions, not words. Prior to the deed, Holder said it was the "hatred spewed" on Awlaki's blog that put him "on the same list with bin Laden." Asked if he wanted Awlaki captured or killed, Holder did not say "captured if feasible," but evaded the question. Awlaki, as far as we know, was never a member of al Qaeda. Obama's and Holder's claims about Awlaki's role in terrorist attacks are undocumented claims. No evidence has been presented and no charges were ever brought in court. If you think shouting "Whoever he is, and whatever he's charged with, he did it!" would be a nifty way to get out of jury duty, DRINK!
6. The President is going to speed past the fact that over 99% of the people he's murdered have not been U.S. citizens, and that the pretense of justification so lazily applied to U.S. citizens has not been bothered with at all in these cases. He's not going to discuss "signature strikes" targeting unknown people and whoever's near them, or the targeting of the rescuers of victims. He's not going to discuss children, women, seniors. He's not going to discuss the posthumous identification of males as "enemy combatants" -- a non-legal term that adds insult to murder. He's not going to discuss the many known cases in which the victims could quite feasibly have been captured, were clearly not involved with al Qaeda in any way, and lacked any capacity whatsoever to threaten the United States. He's going to propose applying the fraudulent, meaningless, and illegal standards he applies to murdering U.S. citizens to murdering non-U.S. citizens in the future ... in some countries. If you can think of some people who might not be satisfied with this reform, DRINK!
7. The President is going to claim to be moving some but not all drone kill operations from a secret agency technically lacking in Congressional oversight to a department Congress simply chooses not to oversee. If this falls short of what you can imagine when you hear "most transparent administration ever," DRINK!
8. The President will not be speaking about how some 75 other nations with drones should begin applying his standards to their own behavior. If you think such matters are worth discussing, DRINK!
9. The President is going to brush over the question of where and how he will be ordering the murder of people by means other than missiles. If you can think of ways this might become seen as a problem down the road, DRINK!
10. The President is going to speed past the existence of a massive ongoing U.S. war on Afghanistan, larger now than when Obama moved into the White House, and expected to continue for many years after it "ends" in another year and a half. If his ability to get away with this strikes you as perhaps what he must love most about drones and how they change the conversation, DRINK!
11. If you have concerns that go unanswered about the global expansion of U.S. bases, threats to Syria, weapons provided to Israel, threats to Iran, or the gargantuan military budget, DRINK!
12. The President will leak a great deal of information about his kill list program in this speech, as he has done on some previous "I killed bin Laden!" occasions, and yet will fail to prosecute himself for espionage at the end of the speech. If you believe laws should be applied equally to all, DRINK!
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Should the U.S. government be building a list of people whom a stranger has concluded based on as little as a moment's interaction are "anti-government"? Look at this photo of a U.S. Census laptop. There's a box to check if a respondent is reluctant to participate in the census.
The next screen wants the census interviewer to explain the potential interviewee's reluctance:
Notice that there is a box for hostile or threatening. That seems important. There are boxes for just not interested or too busy. There is a box for those who object that too many personal questions are asked. The basics all seem to be covered. But the Census employee is to check multiple boxes, "all that apply," and one is "Anti-government concerns." What does that mean? What do Census workers think it means? It clearly means something other than reluctant to give the government this information. To be "anti-" the government sounds like someone is in favor of overthrowing the government. And a government that thinks purely in terms of violence would inevitably interpret such a desire as one in favor of violently overthrowing the government. But surely nobody tells a representative of the government that they favor its violent overthrow unless they don't really take themselves seriously and are not actually a threat. So maybe this "Anti-government concerns" box is equivalent to "Seems nuts," but what sort of training does the survey taker have in mental health? The serious question is what lists your name goes on if somebody marks you down as Anti-government.
Carl Gibson is currently engaged in a Green Jobs March from Philadelphia to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C., as part of a campaign called ShutTheChamber.org. You can join the march virtually by uploading a photo on their website, or you can join in reality at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce across from the White House at 10 a.m. Friday, May 24th. Gibson is lead organizer of ShutTheChamber and cofounder of USUncut. He discusses the damage the U.S. Chamber does to our political system pushing environmental destruction, wars, and the plutocratic concentration of wealth. Gibson says that small businesses paying dues to local chambers that themselves have little in common with the U.S. Chamber end up funding assaults on small businesses, as the local chambers fund the state chambers which fund the U.S. Chamber -- an institution that also serves to funnel vast quantities of unaccountable corporate money into politics.
Total run time: 29:00
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Producer: David Swanson.
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By John Grant
CITIZEN ACTIVISTS CONFER WITH US ATTORNEY URGING AN INDICTMENT AGAINST U.S. PRESIDENT, CIA DIRECTOR, AND OTHERS FOR WAR CRIMES
(VIENNA) - Austria has warned its 26 European Union partners in a letter against providing weapons for rebel movements in the Syrian conflict, said a press report to be published Tuesday.
The foreign ministry in Vienna confirmed late Monday that a document had been handed over to the European Union in Brussels, but did not give details.
Die Presse newspaper said that Austria believes arms shipments to the rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would be "a violation of international law, the basic laws of the European Union" and "of the principles of the United Nations charter concerning non-intervention and the use of force".
They would also violate UN Security Council resolutions concerning Al-Qaeda, it said.
In the letter Austria warned that groups like the Al-Nusra Front, which is "close to the terror network", were acting among the rebels, Die Presse said.
Following a move by France and Britain, the Islamist group, which has become one of the most feared fighting forces in Syria's two-year-old conflict, will be subject to a global asset freeze from Tuesday.
European Union sanctions against Syria are up for renewal at the end of the month, with France and Britain pushing for a lifting of the arms embargo so the rebels can receive weapons.
Die Presse said the letter warned that a lifting of the arms embargo would also lead to an end of all sanctions which can only be extended unanimously by all 27 EU members.
Those who lift the embargo would then also be responsible for unfreezing Assad's foreign bank accounts, it said.
Finland, Sweden and Baltic nations Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are also opposed to lifting the embargo, while most other EU nations, including Germany and Spain, have so far failed to clarify their positions.
The Connecticut legislature has sent to the governor to sign a bill that would create a commission to develop a plan for, among other things:
"the diversification or conversion of defense-related industries with an emphasis on encouraging environmentally-sustainable and civilian product manufacturing. On or before December 1, 2014, the commission shall submit such report to the Governor and, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a, to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to commerce."
The commission "shall Advise the General Assembly and the Department of Economic and Community Development on issues relating to the diversification or conversion of defense-related industries" among other things.
Obama's War on Free Expression
by Stephen Lendman
It's the most fundamental right. Without it all others are endangered. Obama's waging war to destroy it. He's done so throughout his tenure.
He targeted AP. He did so unjustifiably. A previous article discussed it.
Israel Heads Closer to War on Syria
by Stephen Lendman
Syria is Washington's war. It was planned years ago. It began in early 2011. No end of conflict looks near. Escalating it appears likely.
Israel's very much involved. It abhors peace and stability. Its history reflects belligerence. It’s a direct threat. It borders Syria.
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by Debra Sweet The timing could not be better for our message to appear in The New York Times. We are making a major push today for $9,703 to place the ad immediately for publication on stand-by this week. President Obama will give a major speech Thursday at the National Defense University in Washington, reportedly about drones and Guantanamo.
With the revelation that the Department of Justice secretly obtained two months of The Associated Press’ telephone records and used security badge access records to track James Rosen’s visits to the State Department, along with a warrant to search Rosen’s personal emails, there has been a rush in the mainstream media to declare the DOJ’s actions to be part of what they claim to be President Obama’s aggressive pursuit of those who would leak secret information to the press.
For example, The Washington Post describes the DOJ’s investigation of AP as “part of a pattern in which the Obama administration has pursued current and former government officials suspected of releasing secret material. Six officials have been prosecuted, more than under all previous administrations combined.”
Meanwhile, The New York Times states that the investigation “comes against a backdrop of an aggressive policy by the Obama administration to rein in leaks. Under President Obama, six current and former government officials have been indicted in leak-related cases so far, twice the number brought under all previous administrations combined.”
The New York Times and The Washington Post are propagating a false narrative, one that depicts Obama as some sort of crusader hell bent on plugging all leaks. The reality is the Obama administration has either authorized or acquiesced to the leak of information that is deemed politically beneficial, while relentlessly investigating and prosecuting those who reveal information that reflects poorly on his administration and the U.S. government.
It is ironic that The Washington Post and The New York Times claim that the Obama administration has aggressively pursued leakers seeing that both media sources have happily provided Obama administration officials with anonymity so they can leak classified information favorable to the President without consequence.
Somehow, The Washington Posts’ June 1, 2012, report on the Obama administration’s use of cyber warfare must have slipped through the cracks at the White House and the DOJ. The Washington Post reported that the U.S. and Israel were behind Stuxnet, the cyberattack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Prior to this report, there had been speculation that the U.S. and Israel were behind the attack, but no official confirmation. Confirmation was provided to The Washington Post by an official “speaking on the condition of anonymity to describe the classified effort code-named Olympic Games.”
These cracks must be enormous to have let the three dozen current and former Obama administration officials who contributed to The New York Time’s expose on drones slip through them. On May 29, 2012, The New York Times revealed that Obama maintains a ‘Kill List’ and that he counts all military-age males killed in drone strikes as combatants unless proven innocent posthumously. Regarding the president’s indiscriminate counting method, one official “requested anonymity to speak about what is still a classified program.”
Meanwhile, the Obama administration has charged six whistle-blowers, a term apparently not in The New York Times’s or The Washington Post’s editorial vocabulary, under the Espionage Act. These six individuals have revealed government waste, fraud, and abuse, acts of aggression, torture and war crimes. Yet, it is those who have revealed the criminal activity that have suffered prosecution by the Obama administration while those who actually committed the crimes have gone unpunished.
On Feb. 22, 2012, in response to Obama’s deserved glowing praise of journalists in Syria, Jake Tapper asked White House press secretary Jay Carney, “How does that square with the fact that this administration has been so aggressively trying to stop aggressive journalism in the United States by using the Espionage Act to take whistle-blowers to court?”
The Obama administration has sent a clear message. Government officials and journalists who wish to work together to create news stories through the leak of classified information that portray the president and his administration in a positive light should have no fear. And to the journalists and whistle-blowers thinking about publishing that other kind of classified information, be prepared to have your emails read, your phones tapped without your knowledge and your life and career turned upside down.
Bachman is a professorial lecturer in Human Rights at the School of International Service at American University.
Antiwar.com is taking the FBI to court.
The website’s founder and managing editor Eric Garris, along with longtime editorial director Justin Raimondo, filed a lawsuit in federal court today, demanding the release of records they believe the FBI is keeping on them and the 17-year-old online magazine.
Antiwar.com says this is one more example of post-9/11 government overreach, and a stark reminder that the First Amendment has been treated as little more than a speed bump on the road to a government surveillance state. The lawsuit is particularly timely, considering recent scandals in which the Department of Justice secretly seized months of journalists’ phone records at the Associated Press, and did the same and more to a FOX News reporter, while the IRS is acknowledging it singled out conservative groups that criticize the government for extra scrutiny.
Suddenly, the press is more aware than ever that the state has the ability to secretly monitor its activities, heretofore thought of as constitutionally protected from government interference and intimidation.
“Freedom of the press is a cornerstone of our democracy, whether it’s AP or Antiwar.com,” said Julia Harumi Mass, staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, which is representing Antiwar.com in the case. “FBI surveillance of news organizations interferes with journalists’ ability to do their jobs as watchdogs that hold the government accountable.”
The suit was filed on Tuesday at the United States District Court, Northern District of California, San Francisco Division. Both Garris and Raimondo live and work in the San Francisco Bay area.
Are Japanese Bonds Signaling Trouble?
by Stephen Lendman
A previous article discussed the disconnect between soaring markets and troubled economies. Liquidity driven markets only skyrocket so long.
What can't go on forever, won't. No one's sure when. Eventually the music stops. When that happens, watch out. Signals provide clues.