Tomgram: Alfred McCoy. Washington's Great Game and Why It's Failing

 It might have been the most influential single sentence of that era: “In these circumstances it is clear that the main element of any United States policy toward the Soviet Union must be that of long-term, patient but firm and vigilant containment of Russian expansive tendencies.” And it originated in an 8,000 word telegram — yes, in those days, unbelievably enough, there was no email, no Internet, no Snapchat, no Facebook — sent back to Washington in February 1946 by 

Drone victim sues US government over family deaths in Yemen

A Yemeni man, whose innocent nephew and brother-in-law were killed in an August 2012 U.S. drone strike, has today filed a lawsuit in his ongoing quest for an official apology over his relatives’ deaths.  

Faisal bin Ali Jaber, who filed suit today in Washington D.C., lost his brother-in-law Salem and his nephew Waleed in the strike. Salem was an anti-al Qaeda imam who is survived by a widow and seven young children. Waleed was a 26 year old police officer with a wife and infant child of his own. Salem had given a sermon preaching against extremism just days before he and Waleed were killed. 
The lawsuit requests that the D.C. District Court issue a declaration that the strike that killed Salem and Waleed was unlawful, but does not ask for monetary compensation. Faisal is jointly represented by Reprieve and pro bono counsel at law firm McKool Smith.

Leaked intelligence - reported in The Intercept - indicates that U.S. officials knew they had killed civilians shortly after the strike. In July 2014 Faisal’s family were offered a bag containing $100,000 in sequentially-marked US dollar bills at a meeting with the Yemeni National Security Bureau (NSB). The NSB official who had requested the meeting told a family representative that the money came from the US and that he had been asked to pass it along.

Obituary: Tariq Aziz, Former Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq

Tariq Aziz, former Prime Minister of Iraq has passed away. Twelve years of suffering in Iraqi jails have ended and he can finally rest in peace. Unwell, deprived of adequate medical help and abandoned by the outside world, he was held hostage by Iraqi governments following the illegal invasion of Iraq by the US and the UK governments in 2003. Tariq Aziz was needed by a struggling authority as a symbol of victory after having inherited a destroyed nation following years of sanctions and a failed occupation.

It does not matter to us that our words of sadness and respect for Tariq Aziz – a leader during many dark days of his country – will be used by some to discredit us for alleged support of a dictatorial regime.

Tariq Aziz impressed us again and again by his commitment with which he cooperated with the United Nations when we served at different times as UN humanitarian coordinators in Baghdad. His relentless efforts to prevent the 2003 war will not be forgotten. He was a hard but highly principled task master without whom the inadequate UN Security Council response to human suffering in Iraq would have had an even worse impact.  

We have a good idea how the scales of justice would react were it possible to quantify the weight of wrong-doing against the people of Iraq contributed from within Iraq and from the outside.

During the past years, we had hoped that influential leaders would see it as their moral responsibility to see that Tariq Aziz, a sick and elderly statesman, would be allowed to live his last days in the comfort of his family. We were wrong. We had appealed to former US Secretary of State, James Baker, who co-chaired with Tariq Aziz the 1991 Geneva negotiations on Iraq, to support calls for humane treatment of his former counterpart. Baker refused to act as a statesman. We also had hoped to hear the Pope’s voice for fellow Christian Tariq Aziz following our contact with the Holy See’s foreign minister. The Vatican remained mute. Other leaders in Europe  and elsewhere  preferred  silence to compassion.

Not even our own organization, the United Nations, could muster the courage to demand fair treatment for the man whom the organization had known over decades as a convincing and credible defender of Iraq’s rights.  

As time passes, we are certain that Tariq Aziz will increasingly be remembered as a strong leader who tried his best to protect the integrity of Iraq against all odds within his country and against outside interference by self-serving political forces.

Hans-C. von Sponeck and Denis J. Halliday,

UN Assistant Secretaries-General & UN Humanitarian Coordinators for Iraq (ret.)  (1997-2000) Müllheim (Germany) and Dublin (Ireland)

Focus: Trans-Pacific Partnership -June 8, 2015

Rand Paul Demands White House Release Trade Deal Text Immediately, ‘We Should Read Legislation Before We Vote on It’ - TheHill

Carly Fiorina To Obama: ‘Devil Is In The Details,’ Release Obamatrade Text Now - Breitbart

Senator Jeff Sessions's Letter to Obama: Why Are You Keeping Obamatrade’s New Global Governance Secret? - Breitbart

AFL-CIO Protesters Demand To See The Text Of The Trans-Pacific Partnership, Rebuffed By Obama Administration, Police - IBTimes

VIDEO: Working Families Ask to Read Text of TPP; Trade Rep. Locks the Door - AFL-CIO

Huckabee: Most Members Of Congress Who Support Obamatrade Haven’t Read It - Breitbart

Two Members of Boehner's Leadership Team Openly Refuse to Admit if They've Read Obamatrade - Breitbart

Rubio, Graham Refuse to Answer Whether They Read Obamatrade Before Voting on It - Breitbart

Dem: Tech knows more about trade deal than Congress does - TheHill

Food, Water, Health, Life: UN Experts Warn of Threats Posed by Secret Trade Deals -

MoveOn Petitions: Stop the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), urge Congress to vote no on fast track legislation. TPP should be negotiated in the full light of day - MoveOn

WikiLeaks offers $100,000 bounty for the secret chapters of Obama's landmark Pacific trade deal - Business Insider

Statement: WikiLeaks issues call for $100,000 bounty on monster trade treaty (VIDEO) -

VIDEO (and transcript): Interview with Julian Assange on the Trans-Pacific Partnership: Secretive Deal Isn’t About Trade, But Corporate Control -

Wikileaks Drops Another Damning Trove Of Secret Trade Deal Documents, 17 Documents From Negotiations on TISA (Trade In Services Agreement) -

A review of the the e-commerce annex of TISA (Trade In Services Agreement) - The Register



Uncertainty Persists on Trade Vote in US House of Representatives - VOA

Left raises pressure on Pelosi to oppose Obama's fast-track - TheHill

Pelosi: 'Not my responsibility' to find votes for Obama trade bill - TheHill

Connecticut liberal battles Obama on trade, In the House Rosa DeLauro has become the de facto leader of Democratic opposition - POLITICO

POLL: Majority of Americans oppose Obama fast-track to negotiate trade deals that Congress can approve or reject but not amend - Breitbart

We The People: 2 Million Petitions Delivered To Congress to Stop TPP - Breitbart

Groups Hold National Day of Action to Oppose "Fast Tracking" of TPP - Feminist Wire Daily

Group with Boehner Ties Launches $900K Campaign for ObamaTrade - Breitbart

The Terms of Trade: Questions and Answers on the President's Trade Deal - The White House

Obama: China 'Put Out Feelers' on Joining TPP - VOA

Elizabeth Warren's report details Obama's broken promises: "The United States does not enforce the labor protections in its trade agreements" -

REPORT (Full): Broken Promises: Decades of Failure to Enforce Labor Standards in Free Trade Agreements -

Malaysian graves in people-smuggling camps add to Obama's trade pact headache in Congress - The Star Online

Unraveling the Export Argument for Pacific Trade Deal - WSJ

How Could the Trans-Pacific Partnership Impact Manufacturing? -

This Small Town Shows Why The Trans-Pacific Partnership Could Be A Disaster For American Workers - Working In These Times

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Ocean - Peter Neill

Leader Pelosi Should Stand for Internet Users and Come Out Against the TPP Fast Track Bill - Electronic Frontier Foundation


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Harrowing Account of Attempting to Get Into Gaza from Egypt

Crossing Rafah


The Rafah Crossing from Egypt to Gaza was opened on May 26th for 2 days after being closed for the past 75 days. The opening allowed Palestinian residents of Gaza who were stranded in Egypt or third countries to return home to Gaza. The crossing remained closed for those trying to leave Gaza. The waiting list for people trying to leave has reached 15,000 people. The waiting list includes thousands of medical patients, students, and people traveling to their work or their families abroad. Many of these people have been trapped in Gaza since the Israeli attack last July.

The last time the crossing was opened was in March when just 2,443 people in total were permitted to travel in both directions. While Morsi was in power in Egypt, nearly 41,000 people were traveling through the crossing each month.

My friend Hanaa* had spent 2 years in the U.S. earning a masters degree.

Will Americans Vote for a Democratic Socialist?

The recent announcement by U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, an avowed “democratic socialist,” that he is running for the Democratic nomination for President raises the question of whether Americans will vote for a candidate with that political orientation.

2nd bombing of Saudi Shia Muslims; Alkhalifa continue policies of revenge

By Bahrain Freedom Movement

Another terrorist attack was launched on the Shia Muslim Friday worshippers at Dammam in the Eastern Province of Arabia. On Friday 29th May, a suicide bomber in women’s clothing approached Imam Hussain Mosque with intention to bomb the women worshippers. Luckily the mosque management had already taken decision to stop women praying at mosques to pre-empt would be suicide bombers. The terrorist was stopped by one of the volunteering guards but the terrorist triggered his explosive vest killing himself and four of the volunteering guards. It was the second attack in a week; the previous one had been carried out on worshippers at Imam Ali’s mosque at Al Qadeeh, killing 22 worshippers. The volunteering guards shouted at the an official policeman who was posted to “guard” the mosque but he refused to stop the terrorist. Locals have now vowed to defend themselves against attacks by the Wahhabi-salafist groups, groomed and financed by the AlSaud regime.

Why do Afghan children have to polish boots and sell ‘bolonis’?

By Dr Hakim

Inam polishes leather shoes and Adilah sells flour pancakes.

They make a living on the dangerous streets of fortified Kabul, two of an estimated 60,000 working street kids in the capital.

10 years old, that’s how small they are.

Imagine ourselves at the same eye-level as Inam and Adilah, in the dusty alleys, swarmed by smelly drains, threatened by desperate crimes.

Like them, you often hear helicopters hovering so close overhead that the windows in your rented mud rooms rattle. You see the polished, bullet-proof cars of the corrupt Afghan ‘elite’, mostly men, dressed in suits and ties.

Adilah with her leek pancakes ( ‘bolonis’ ), waiting for customers

Some American friends smile when they hear that the pancakes, filled with delicious mashed potatoes or salted leek, are called ‘bolonis’ in Dari.

“Nowadays, I don’t often let Adilah sell ‘bolonis’ in the streets. What if she’s near a suicide bomb attack?” Adilah’s aunt said about the worsening security, despite 14 years of U.S. / NATO’s ambitions.

Adilah’s aunt frying the leek ‘bolonis’ in their rented single room

Adilah leaves her rented room to go out into the streets, carrying the ‘bolonis’ in a tray

Adilah walking past a gas canister shop

Adilah squats in front of a provision shop, hoping for her first customers for the day.

She makes about 5 Afghanis ( less than one U.S. cent ) for each ‘boloni’ she sells.

Adilah’s thoughts are ‘all over the place’ when she works in the streets of Kabul


A young passerby asks, “How much is it for a ‘boloni’?”

Adilah’s voice can hardly be heard.

She appears lost in her world of uncertainties.

Earlier, her aunt had served Zarghuna and I two sizzling ‘bolonis’.

We had eaten one of them, so Adilah had gestured to the other,

“Put that on the tray too. I can sell it.”

She whispered to the customer, “Ten Afghanis.”

That’s how the world economy works today.

Even war-weary, impoverished Afghans sympathize with her,

as the young man took out a typically crumpled 20-Afghani note,

handed it to Adilah,

and waved deferringly, as if in protest,

no, please, keep the ‘bolonis’….

The young Afghan man must have been contemplating

what he could do in the face of 60% unemployment.

He must have been thinking,

“Why is a small girl doing what we adults ought to be doing?”

Inam, standing in a newly-constructed shop space, with his blue plastic jerry-can  

of boot-polishing tools and a pair of sandals for his customers to wear while he polishes their boots

“I don’t enjoy polishing boots but I have no choice,” replied Inam, describing his breadwinning role in a family of six persons. His father can’t support the family as he is one of Afghanistan’s 1.6 million drug addicts, and lives in another province. “We haven’t heard from our father for about 5 years.”

Inam, describing how some students in school are punished if they don’t do their homework,

“They stand like this for half an hour!”

Inam, along the street where he usually polishes boots. A few days ago, he had left his boot-polishing tools at a bakery while he played street soccer. “Someone stole my tools!” Inam understands why he has to work, but is determined to study hard too, so he can fulfil his dream of becoming a doctor.

What does Inam wake up to every day?

His mannerisms are beyond his 10 war-years,

with a spirit of acceptance

akin to ‘innocence’,

though he is far from naïve to be able to

evade the drug dealers,


huge speeding cars with snarling armed guards

and angry, hungry Afghans looking for cash.

And hope.

“The drug business is violent,

as the addicts can’t do anything

except smoke under the bridges,” Inam tells the class,

which is a story about his own estranged father.

The least the American elite could do for Inam, their fellow human being,

is not to lie that their military strategy has been a ‘success’.

The elite need to know

that Inam, like billions of the awakening 99%,

understand what’s going on.

We understand the realities in our flesh and blood.

Inam was hoping to hear his name being called out in the enrollment of street kids into the Borderfree Street Kids School,

where he learns Dari and Math, and nonviolence, and gets a monthly assistance of rice and oil.

The mission of the Borderfree Afghan Street Kids School for 2015 is to ‘share learning skills with 100 Afghan street kids ( including Adilah and Inam ) on understanding language, nature, humanity, and life, and to be students and practitioners of nonviolence. ‘

About 92% of the required budget for the school is spent on providing the street kids and their families with a needed monthly gift of a sack of rice and a bottle of oil.

It costs $534 to put one street kid through the street kids school for one year.

Those interested to support the project can browse for more info and write to Donations will be directed to Voices for Creative Nonviolence U.S. and UK, who are partners in this project.

NB : New video clips will be on this post soon, showing Adilah and Inam on the streets of Kabul

Will Allies Fold Again on Ukraine

Will “Junior Partners” Act Like Adults at G-7?

By Ray McGovern


President Barack Obama arrives in Germany Sunday to meet with the leaders of Germany, France, Italy, the UK, Japan, and Canada for the “G-7 summit” at a resort in Bavaria.


This particular genre of summit was formerly known as the “G-8.”  But that was before the U.S. succeeded in blaming Russia for the violent aftermath of the U.S./EU sponsored coup d’état in Kiev on Feb. 22, 2014, and managed to get Russia disinvited last year.


Stakes Higher Than Usual


We shall have to wait until the two-day gathering in Bavaria is over to gauge the results.  But the stakes are high and – for once – it is conceivable that the U.S. will suffer a significant setback in its continuing, if increasingly quixotic, effort to exploit recent violence in Ukraine to isolate Russia.


It approves the spy program and makes it permanent: USA Freedom Act is Anything But

By Alfredo Lopez

To get to the point: there is nothing -- nothing at all -- in any recent law or legislative action that will in any way weaken the police state structure our government has put into place for rapid deployment. You are not any more free than you were last week and, no matter what the Congress has done with the expired provisions of the Patriot Act or the newly developed and Orwellian-named "USA Freedom Act", you are not going to be any more free next week.

Turkey/Syria News - June 6, 2015

Parliamentary elections high stakes for Turkey...and Erdogan - Yahoo News

POLL: AKP expected to win 41% of the votes, CHP 27.8%, MHP 14.8% and HDP 12.6% -

Pro-Kurdish HDP party may tip balance in Turkey polls - Yahoo News

Two dead, over 100 injured after explosions at milestone rally of Turkey's Kurdish party -

VIDEO: Two dead, over 100 injured after explosions at milestone rally of Turkey's Kurdish party -

Gay, Christian, minority election candidates show Turkey's changing face, the most diverse list comes from the Kurdish party - Yahoo News

VIDEO: Kurds, women, gays put faith in upstart Turkish party - BBC News

Meet The Transgender Woman Who Wants To Represent Turkey's LGBT Community This Election -

Turkish elections: Turkey's Kurd-hating Grey Wolves spreading neo-nazi poison across Europe —

Turkey′s election system the ′most unfair′ in the world - DW.DE

Analysis: Is Turkey’s election campaigning fair and balanced? -

Erdogan: "There is a trash called The New York Times in the US" - The Counter Jihad Report

VIDEO (Turkish): Erdogan slams New York Times -- again -

New York Times responds to Erdoğan with Twitter riddle: "Which leader has a 1,150-room palace more than 30x the size of the White House?" -

Turkey lavish presidential palace nicknamed ‘illegal’ because built on a recreational farming area, Worker tells of lengthy security checks -

Nervous Turkish markets await knife-edge election outcome - Yahoo Maktoob News

Why Investors Are Calling This the Most Important Turkish Election in Forever - Bloomberg Business

Erdogan Setback Seen Benefiting Turkish Companies Like Koza Gold - Bloomberg Business



Report: Turkey’s MIT spy agency transported ISIL fighters to Syria, facilitating the jihadist group's defeat of the FSA -

Violent confrontation between gendarmes and MIT intel operatives who were transporting illegal arms to Syria jihadists -

VIDEO: Violent confrontation between gendarmes and MIT intel operatives who were transporting illegal arms to Syria jihadists -

VIDEO: Video showing weapons carried by MIT intel operatives to Syria jihadists - YouTube

CHP Hatay official: Transfer of arms to Syrian jihadists continues, weapons loaded here and sent to the other side of the border -

Syrian Turkmens challenge claims that MIT weapons were destined for their community, say received no aid from Ankara -

HSYK allows prosecution of prosecutors, military commanders who stopped MIT trucks carrying weapons to Syria -

Erdoğan seeks aggravated life sentence for Cumhuriyet editor-in-chief for publishing video of MIT arms transferred to Syria -

VIDEO (English Subs): Erdoğan vows to punish journalist behind Syria trucks video: He will pay a heavy price -

Cumhuriyet journalists challenge Erdoğan's threats - Cihan News

400 intellectuals show support for daily Cumhuriyet, journalist -

Journalist Baransu faces 52 years in jail for coverage of MGK report -

Journalist Mumcu faces 5 years in jail for insulting Erdoğan -

US spokesperson expresses ‘concern’ on press freedom in Turkey, Along with journalists, Armenians and gays Erdoğan has also singled out the New York Times, CNN and the BBC -

VIDEO: US spokesperson Marie Harf expresses ‘concern’ on press freedom in Turkey - YouTube

Committee to Protect Journalists: “We call on [Erdogan] to stop bullying journalists and news outlets just because he doesn't like what they report" - Committee to Protect Journalists

Amnesty International official: Human rights situation in Turkey could not be worse -

Human rights Watch and International Press Institute react against the series of attacks by Erdoğan and his supporters against media critical of the government -

Ankara denies 'Saudi-backed Turkish spies in Yemen' allegations - Anadolu Agency

The Turkey-Qatar Military Cooperation Agreement, What are Turkish troops going to do in Qatar? - Al-Monitor

Towards-a-Turkish-Saudi-alliance - Al-Ahram Weekly


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Congressman McGovern Acts to Force House Debate on U.S. Troop Withdrawal from Iraq and Syria

McGovern Leads Bipartisan Resolution Setting Stage for AUMF Vote; Condemns House Republican Leadership for Failure to Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA), second-highest ranking Democrat on the House Rules Committee, was joined by Reps. Walter Jones (R-NC) and Barbara Lee (D-CA) in introducing a bipartisan concurrent resolution under the provisions of the War Powers Resolution, to force the House to debate on whether U.S. troops should withdraw from Iraq and Syria. This resolution can be brought up for a vote the week of June 22.

Daniel Ellsberg on national TV in Norway

-- in Oslo on Stand Up For Truth tour
June 3, 2015

Rep. McGovern Forces House to Vote Yes or No on War

Congressman Jim McGovern has introduced this privileged resolution: PDF with the remarks that follow. This will force the U.S. House of Representatives to vote yes or no on the U.S. war in Iraq/Syria that is underway and which the White House has made clear will remain underway regardless of what Congress does, and which resolution Congress will of course vote down. The gain, I suppose, lies in the number of House members who will vote yes and from then on, hopefully, find it difficult to run for any higher office.

James P. McGovern (MA)
Special Order
Thursday, June 4, 2015


Mr. Speaker, today, along with my colleagues Walter Jones (R-NC) and Barbara Lee (D-CA), I introduced H. Con. Res. 55 in order to force this House and this Congress to debate on whether U.S. troops should withdraw from Iraq and Syria.  We introduced this resolution under the provisions of section 5(c) of the War Powers Resolution.

Tomgram: Nick Turse, My Very Own Veteran's Day

 [For TomDispatch Readers: As you read Nick Turse’s latest striking report from the front lines of chaos in Africa, don’t forget that, in return for a $100 contribution to this site, you can ge

Former US Attorney General Files Brief in Federal Lawsuit Challenging Legality of Iraq War

By Inder Comar

San Francisco, Calif. (June 4, 2015) -- An Iraqi single mother has assembled an international team of lawyers who are now asking the United States Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit to hear her claim that the Iraq War was illegal under laws set down at the Nuremberg Trials, which govern when and how a country can go to war.

Sundus Shaker Saleh, through her pro bono counsel Comar Law, filed papers last Wednesday, May 27, 2015 urging the Ninth Circuit to review facts and statements made by high-ranking Bush Administration officials—including former President George W. Bush, former Vice President Richard Cheney, and former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld—in the run-up to the Iraq War.

Film: Costa Rica Abolished its Military, Never Regretted it

The forthcoming film, A Bold Peace: Costa Rica's Path of Demilitarization, should be given every possible means of support and promotion. After all, it documents the blatant violation of laws of physics, human nature, and economics, as understood in the United States -- and the violators seem positively gleeful about it.

In 1948 Costa Rica abolished its military, something widely deemed impossible in the United States. This film documents how that was done and what the results have been. I don't want to give away the ending but let me just say this: there has not been a hostile Muslim takeover of Costa Rica, the Costa Rican economy has not collapsed, and Costa Rican women still seem to find a certain attraction in Costa Rican men.

How is this possible? Wait, it gets stranger.

Focus: Hillary Clinton - June 4, 2015

Clinton foundation's Sweden fundraising arm cashed in as Stockholm lobbied Hillary on Iran sanctions - Washington Times

VIDEO: Hillary Clinton Involved in 'Quid Quo Pro' Deal with Swedish Telecom - YouTube

Revealed: Clintons Bagged $3.4 Million for 18 Speeches Funded by Keystone Pipeline Banks - Breitbart

Banks Behind Hillary Clinton's Canadian Speeches Really Want The Keystone Pipeline -

CHART: Timeline Shows How Clintons Took $1.8 Million from Keystone Pipeline Investors - GAI

VIDEO ARCHIVE: Bill Clinton: 'We should embrace' Keystone pipeline - YouTube

As FIFA allegations swirled, Clintons gave Qatar a stage — and legitimacy - The Washington Post

VIDEO ARCHIVE: Clinton Global Initiative hosts Qatar officials in 2013 - Washington Post

FBI Investigates Russia And Qatar World Cups - Sky News

The FIFA-Clinton method, both organizations serve as portals through which shadowy people find their way, for a given price, into the light - WSJ

Hillary Clinton's State Department Increased Chemical Arms Sales To Middle East Countries That Gave To Clinton Foundation -

The Clinton Foundation Took Money from Saudi Propagandists - National Review Online

Bill Clinton’s Wall Street cash puts wife in an ethical spot - The Sun Herald

Bill Clinton Is the keynote speaker for the health insurance lobby bash, AHIP played the primary role in killing the public health insurance option and trying to sink the Affordable Care Act - Alternet

How Bill Clinton duped State Dept. ethics cops, he set up Teneo as an intermediary that would get him corporate and foreign clients - WND

Clinton Foundation Has Not Yet Released Names of 1,076 Secret Foreign Donors - Breitbart

The inside story of how the Clintons built a $2 billion global empire - The Washington Post

How the Clinton Foundation is organized - Washington Post



Federal officials voiced growing alarm over Clinton’s compliance with records laws, documents show - Fox News

At a hearing on government transparency Democratic lawmakers defend former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton -

Acting IGs at State Dept., National Archives ignored looming Clinton email scandal -

House GOP moves to punish State Dept. over Benghazi delays, plans to cut $700m from the agency - The Boston Globe

POLL: In two new polls Hillary’s numbers dip with an harsh voter assessment of her personality – particularly her trustworthiness, Benghazi rises as an issue - The Fiscal Times

House Committee Told Of Hillary Email Whistleblower - The Daily Caller

Hillary’s top aide with terror ties saw all emails, Abedin’s alleged personal and family ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic supremacists - WND

Hillary Clinton Jokes on White House Computer Hacking: Wouldn't Have Happened on 'My Server' -



‘Impartial’ DNC finance chief helps Hillary Clinton, fundrasing assistance flouts presidential primary neutrality rules - POLITICO

Hillary Clinton 2016: Secret effort to sell her to rich liberals, Campaign targets unenthusiastic donors on the party’s left - POLITICO

Text of the Secret Memo Showing Clinton Campaign Worried About Donor Unease - POLITICO

Campaign Reporters Told There Will Be ‘NO Opportunities To Interview Hillary Clinton’ - The Daily Caller

Fresh Off Clinton Foundation Africa Trip, Jay Jacobs Holds Hillary Clinton Fundraiser - Washington Free Beacon

Hillary Clinton's "Grassroots Campaign" Sets $1,000 Minimum for a "Conversation" - The Intercept

Hillary Clinton's rally in N.Y. forces out children's event, jeopardizes blood drive - Washington Times

Hillary allows men at 'women-only' event amid weak turnout - New York Post


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The anti-war report from Left Forum 2015 in New York

By Carrie Giunta, Stop The War Coalition

A strong contingent of anti-war groups gathered in New York at the annual Left Forum conference.

Left Forum 2015

Hundreds of participants turned out to converge on John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan last weekend for the annual Left Forum 2015 conference.

Each spring in New York City, activists and intellectuals from around the world and from a broad range of social movements come together for three days of discussion and events.

This year, 1,600 participants at the conference gathered around one theme: No Justice, No Peace: The question of confronting a crisis of capitalism and democracy. Of 420 panels, workshops and events, there was a strong contingent of organisers from anti-war groups like World Can’t Wait, World Beyond War, Roots Action and more.

No peace, no earth

In a morning session organised by World Beyond War, entitled War Normalized or War Abolished, speakers discussed drones, nuclear weapons and the abolition of war.

Drones activist Nick Mottern from Know Drones explained the US is building an international network of drone bases. He called for an international ban to stop all weaponised drones.

As we approach the seventieth anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki this August, we must face the fact that will not just go away. They are “thoroughgoing and advancing like nuclear weapons.”

The panel also highlighted the attempts by the legal profession to put a human rights face on drone strikes. New York University law student Amanda Bass discussed recent student action at NYU School of Law.

Students issued a statement of no confidence condemning the law school’s decision to hire former State Department legal advisor Harold Koh as professor of human rights law.

The statement documents Koh’s role in shaping and defending the legality of US targeted killings. He was a key legal architect of the Obama administration’s targeted killing program between 2009 and 2013.

Koh facilitated the extrajudicial and unconstitutional assassination of Anwar al-Aulaqui, an American citizen killed by a drone strike in Yemen in 2011. Students are demanding the school get rid of Koh and hire a professor who cares about constitutional rights, human rights and about human life.

In Jack Gilroy’s play about drones, a young woman from a military family opts for a peace studies course in Syracuse, New York near Hancock Air Force base. Joined by her drone pilot mother, a fictional senator and an activist, the women debate about drones and civilian deaths. Actors remained in character for audience questions.

In the afternoon, activists, scholars and journalists gathered to discuss how the anti-war movement should respond to US wars of aggression, imperialism, and counter-revolution and conflict in the Middle East, when any US intervention is no solution and not in the interest of the people of the Middle East.

While discussions leaned toward US policy and militarism, David Swanson from World Beyond War offered a different spin: To imagine a world beyond war is to imagine a planet without climate crisis. The largest percentage of fossil fuels is consumed by the war industry and there is a US agenda to control fossil fuel resources.

When we are living in a world where whoever is in control of the source of oil, thereby controls the planet, our social and political movements should be linking the war on terror, climate justice and environment. Although some Latin American countries have long held stake in this necessary cohesion between climate justice and anti-war movements, a global campaign is taking longer to form.

Mottern even suggested a new conference theme: “no peace, no earth” rather than ‘no justice, no peace’.

Videos: Andreas Schüller and Kat Craig on Drone Victim's German Lawsuit

Originally published at

This open letter, addressed to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and signed by 21 leading US peace activists and 21 US peace organizations, was prompted by an important court case that was brought against the German government by the Yemeni survivors of a US drone strike.

The case brought by the Yemeni plaintiffs could have far-reaching consequences. The Yemeni survivors request that the German government intervene by shutting down the Satellite Relay Station at the US Ramstein Air Base in Germany, so as to protect Yemenis from further US drone strikes. As was recently reported by The Intercept and by the German news magazine Spiegel, the Satellite Relay Station at Ramstein is essential for all US drone strikes in the Middle East, Africa and Southwest Asia. Under German law, extrajudicial killings are deemed to be murders.

The NGOs Reprieve, based in the United Kingdom, and the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), based in Germany, provided legal representation for the plaintiffs. The case was heard on May 27 in an administrative court in Cologne, Germany.

Activists in the US and in Germany held vigils and other protest event days in solidarity with the Yemeni survivors who brought the case. On May 26, the open letter was presented by delegations of US citizens to the German Embassy in Washington DC, and to the German Consulate in New York. On May 27, a delegation of German citizens presented the open letter to a representative of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s office in Berlin. The US and German activists will also forward the letter to members of the German Parliament (Bundestag).

The open letter was authored by Elsa Rassbach, Judith Bello, Ray McGovern and Nick Mottern.


May 26, 2015
Her Excellency Dr. Angela Merkel
Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany
Willy-Brandt-Straße 1
10557 Berlin, Germany

Dear Chancellor Merkel:

On May 27th a German court in Cologne will hear evidence from Faisal bin Ali Jaber, an environmental engineer from Yemen who lost two relatives to a 2012 U.S. drone strike. This is the first time that a court in a country providing significant military/technical support for the U.S. drone program has permitted such a case to be heard.

U.S. drone strikes have killed or maimed tens of thousands in many countries with which the U.S. is not officially at war. The vast majority of drone-strike victims have been innocent bystanders, including large numbers of children. One respected study found that for every target or known combatant killed, 28 “unknown persons” were also killed. Because the victims were/are not U.S. citizens, their families do not have standing to initiate legal action in U.S. courts. Shamefully, the families of these victims have had no legal recourse whatsoever.

Thus the case of Mr. bin Ali Jaber, representing his family in a German court, is of great interest to many who have long been dismayed at the U.S. government’s violations of human rights and international law in the so-called "war on terror." Reportedly, Mr. bin Ali Jaber will argue that the German Government has violated the German Constitution by allowing the U.S. to use Ramstein Air Base in Germany for extrajudicial “targeted” killings in Yemen. He is expected to request that the German government “take legal and political responsibility for the U.S. drone war in Yemen” and “forbid use of the Satellite Relay Station in Ramstein.”

Credible evidence has already been widely published indicating that the U.S. Satellite Relay Station in Ramstein plays an essential role in ALL U.S. drone strikes in the Middle East, Africa, and Southwest Asia. The killings and maiming resulting from missiles fired from U.S. drones would not be possible without the cooperation of the German government in enabling the U.S. to use Ramstein Air Base for the illegal drone wars -- a military base which, we respectfully suggest, is an anachronism a full seventy years after the liberation of Germany and Europe from the Nazis.

Irrespective of the ultimate outcome in court of Mr. bin Ali Jaber’s case, which possibly could continue for years, now is the time for Germany to take effective measures to stop the U.S. from using Ramstein Air Base for combat drone missions.

The reality is this: The military base in Ramstein is under the legal jurisdiction of the Federal The reality The reality is this: The military base in Ramstein is under the legal jurisdiction of the Federal Government of Germany, even though the U.S. Air Force has been allowed to use the base. If illegal activities such as extrajudicial killings are conducted from Ramstein or other U.S. bases in Germany -- and if U.S. authorities do not desist from these legal offenses then we respectfully suggest that you and your government have a duty under international law to act. This is clearly expressed in the Nuremberg Trials Federal Rules Decisions of 1946-47 (6 F.R.D.60), which were adopted into US law. Accordingly, every individual participating in the enactment of a war crime is responsible for that crime, including businessmen, politicians and others who enable the criminal act.

In 1991 the reunited Federal Republic of Germany was granted “complete sovereignty at home and abroad” via the Two-plus-Four-Treaty. The Treaty emphasizes that “there shall be only peaceful activities from German territory” as does Article 26 of the Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany, which states that the acts undertaken to prepare for a war of aggression are deemed "unconstitutional" and "a criminal offense." Many in the U.S. and around the world hope that the German people and their government will provide much-needed leadership in the world on behalf of peace and of human rights.

The German Government often states that it has no knowledge of the activities being conducted at Ramstein Air Base or other U.S. bases in Germany. We respectfully submit that if this is the case, you and the German Government may have a duty to require the needed transparency and accountability from the U.S. military and intelligence agencies in Germany. If the present Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) between the U.S. and Germany precludes the transparency and accountability that the German Government needs in order to enforce German and international law, then the German Government must request that the U.S. make appropriate modifications in the SOFA. As you know, Germany and the U.S. each have the right to unilaterally terminate the SOFA upon giving two years' notice. Many in the U.S. would not oppose but would indeed welcome a renegotiation of the SOFA between the U.S. and Germany if this should be required to restore the rule of law.

The end of hostilities in 1945 seventy years ago saw the world faced with the task of restoring and advancing the international rule of law. This led to efforts to define and punish war crimes -- major efforts like the Nuremberg Tribunal and the formation of the United Nations, which in 1948 proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. While Germany has sought to adhere to the principles of the Declaration, the U.S. increasingly in recent years ignored these principles. In addition, the U.S. seeks to draw NATO and other allies into complicity in violating these principles.

The U.S. began the drone program in secrecy in 2001 and did not reveal it to the American people or to most of their representatives in Congress; the drone program was first discovered and revealed by U.S. peace activists in 2008. The British people were also not informed when the United Kingdom in 2007 obtained killer drones from the U.S. And only recently have the German people been informed, through courageous reporting by independent journalists and whistleblowers, of the key role of Ramstein in the illegal U.S. drone program.

Now aware of the role Ramstein in undermining human rights and international law, many German citizens are calling upon you and the German government to enforce the rule of law in Germany, including on the U.S. bases. And because of the indispensable role of Ramstein for all the U.S. drones strikes, the government of Germany now holds in its hands the power to actually stop the illegal U.S. drone killings altogether.

If the German Government were to take decisive action in this matter, Germany would surely find support among nations of the world, including the nations of Europe. The European Parliament in its Resolution on the Use of Armed Drones, which was adopted by a landslide vote of 534 to 49 on February 27, 2014, urged its Member States to “oppose and ban the practice of extrajudicial killings” and “not perpetrate unlawful targeted killings or facilitate such killings by other states.” The European Parliament Resolution further declares that Member States must “commit to ensuring that, where there are reasonable grounds for believing that an individual or entity within their jurisdiction may be connected to an unlawful targeted killing abroad, measures are taken in accordance with their domestic and legal obligations.”

Extrajudicial killing - the killing of 'suspects' - is in fact also a grievous violation of the U.S. Constitution. And the U.S. initiation and prosecution of killings and wars in sovereign countries that do not threaten the U.S. mainland violate international treaties the U.S. has signed and Congress has ratified, including the United Nations Charter.

Tens of thousands of Americans have struggled in vain for years to expose and end the U.S. drone program and other U.S. war crimes that have quite predictably led to increasing hatred for the U.S. and its allies among the targeted and terrorized populations. Like the incarceration without due process at Guantanamo, drone warfare has clearly undermined the post-WWII international law upon which we all rely.

We hope that major U.S. allies - and particularly Germany, because of the indispensable role it plays - will take firm action to end extrajudicial drone killings. We implore you to take all steps necessary to put a stop to all activities in Germany that support drone warfare and killings by the U.S. government.


Carol Baum, Co-Founder of Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars, Syracuse Peace Council

Judy Bello, Co-Founder of Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars, United National Antiwar Coalition

Medea Benjamin, Co-Founder of CodePink

Jacqueline Cabasso, National Co-convener, United for Peace and Justice

Leah Bolger, Former President of National Veterans for Peace

David Hartsough, PeaceWorkers, Fellowship of Reconciliation

Robin Hensel, Little Falls OCCU-PIE

Kathy Kelly, Voices for Creative Nonviolence

Malachy Kilbride, National Coalition for Nonviolent Resistance

Marilyn Levin, Co-Founder of United National Antiwar Coalition, United for Justice with Peace

Mickie Lynn, Women Against War

Ray McGovern, Retired CIA Analyst, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity

Nick Mottern, KnowDrones

Gael Murphy, CodePink

Elsa Rassbach, CodePink, United National Antiwar Coalition

Alyssa Rohricht, Graduate Student in International Relations

Coleen Rowley, Retired FBI Agent, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity

David Swanson, World Beyond War, War is a Crime

Debra Sweet, Director of World Can’t Wait

Brian Terrell, Voices for Creative Nonviolence, Missouri Catholic Worker

Colonel Ann Wright, Retired Military Officer and Diplomatic Attaché, Veterans for Peace, Code Pink


Endorsed by:

Brandywine Peace Community, Philadelphia, PA

CodePink Women for Peace

Ithaca Catholic Worker, Ithaca, NY

Know Drones

Little Falls OCC-U-PIE, WI

National Coalition for Nonviolent Resistance (NCNR)

Peace Action and Education, Rochester, NY

Syracuse Peace Council, Syracuse, NY

United For Justice with Peace, Boston, MA

United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC)

U.S. Foreign Policy Activist Cooperative, Washington DC

Upstate (NY) Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars

Veterans For Peace, Chapter 27

Voices for Creative Nonviolence

War Is A Crime

Watertown Citizens for Peace Justice and the Environment, Watertown, MA

Wisconsin Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars

Women Against Military Madness, Minneapolis, MN

Women Against War, Albany, NY

World Beyond War

World Can’t Wait


The Yemeni plaintiffs did not prevail on May 27, nor was it anticipated that they would prevail in such an important matter in a lower court in Germany. Nevertheless, the Court's decision in the case set some important legal precedents:

a) The Court ruled that the Yemeni survivors, who are not German citizens, have standing to sue the German government in the German courts. This is the first known time that a NATO country that has granted drone survivors or victims who are not citizens of their country such standing in court.

b) The Court stated in its decision that the media reports regarding the essential role of Ramstein in the US drone killings are "plausible," the first time that this has been officially acknowledged by authorities Germany.

But the Court held that it is in the discretion of the German government to decide what steps must be taken to protect the people of Yemen from the danger of being killed by drones with essential assistance from Ramstein Air Base. In addition, the Court mentioned that the present Status of Forces Agreement (SOSA) between the US and Germany may at this time prohibit the German government from closing the Satellite Relay Station in the Ramstein base. The plaintiffs argued that the SOSA could be renegotiated or even cancelled by the German government.

In an unusual step, the Court immediately granted the plaintiffs the right to appeal. ECCHR and Reprieve will appeal on behalf of the Yemeni plaintiffs as soon as the full written decision of the court in Cologne is available.

WATCH: Attorneys with the human rights organizations representing the bin Ali Jaber family of Yemen in their lawsuit against the German government discuss the court hearing on May 27 in Cologne, Germany.

Elsa Rassbach interviews Kat Craig, the Legal Director of Reprieve:

Elsa Rassbach interviews Andreas Schüller of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights:

This article was first published on Truthout and any reprint or reproduction on any other website must acknowledge Truthout as the original site of publication.

Elsa Rassbach, Judith Bello, Ray McGovern and Nick Mottern

Elsa Rassbach is US citizen, filmmaker and journalist, who often lives and works in Berlin, Germany. She heads the "GIs & US Bases" working group in DFG-VK (the German affiliate of War Resisters International, WRI) and is active in Code Pink, No to NATO, and the anti-drone campaign in Germany. Her film short We Were Soldiers in the 'War on Terror' has just been released in the U.S., and The Killing Floor, her award-winning film set in the Chicago Stockyards, will be re-released next year.

Judith Bello serves on the Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars, Rochester, NY.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publication arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He served at CIA from the administrations of John F. Kennedy to that of George H. W. Bush, and was one of five CIA “alumni” who created Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) in January 2003.

Nick Mottern is a reporter and director of Consumers for, who has been active in anti-war organizing and has worked for Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, Bread for the World, the former US Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs and The Providence (RI) Journal - Bulletin.

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