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Political Prisoners in America: A Shocking Example of Mistreatment - by Stephen Lendman
A personal note. Writing about America's political prisoners is essential to defend freedom, justice, and other democratic values, especially wrongfully persecuted Muslims for political advantage. I communicate directly with five notable victims, all of whom I greatly respect, including:
-- attorneys Lynne Stewart and Paul Bergrin;
-- Yassin Aref;
-- Dr. Rafil Dhafir; and
-- Shukri Abu-Baker.
I've also written about them all, discussed them on the Progressive Radio News Hour, and am committed to help achieve justice so far denied them.
This article concerns Abu-Baker, after Rafil Dhafir emailed me the following from Terre Haute, IN federal prison Communications Management Unit's (CMU) segregation section where Muslims receive excessively punitive treatment:
Japan's Leaking Water Radiation 100,000 Times Above Normal - by Stephen Lendman
Initial March 27 Tokyo Electric (TEPCO) reports detected Fukushima Daiichi Unit 2 radioactive water readings at ten million times normal levels, including:
-- 2.9 billion becquerels of iodine-134;
-- 13 million becquerels of iodine-131; and
-- 2.3 million becquerels (each) of cesium-134 and 137 per cubic centimeter of water in the turbine building's basement.
This measure was 1,000 times above water readings in Units 1 and 3. Emissions happen during nuclear fission. Tokyo University Professor Naoto Sekimura said the leak came from Unit 2's damaged suppression chamber, designed to contain radioactive substance overflows. French Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety's Olivier Isnard believes high readings are "proof that the reactor core (at least) partially melted." Others suggest a likely full meltdown, covered up and downplayed.
BBC: Imperial US and UK Tool - by Stephen Lendman
One blogger put it this way:
"Let me get this straight. The US is broke, borrowing money from China, and we will be funding the BBC to broadcast in China?"
On March 20, the London Guardian's Ben Dowell broke the news, headlining, "BBC World Service to sign funding deal with US State Department," saying:
Britain's government funded BBC will "receive a 'significant" sum of money from the US government to help (circumvent) the blocking of TV and internet services in countries including Iran and China," as well as develop early warning software to more easily detect jamming.
According to Jim Egan, BBC's controller of strategy and business:
Effective software will help "monitor dips in traffic which act as an early warning of jamming, and can be more effective than relying on people contacting us and telling us they cannot access the services."
Planned Regime Change in Libya - by Stephen Lendman
A March 25 White House press release announced Obama's planned March 28 national TV speech:
"to update the American people on the situation in Libya, including the actions we've taken with allies and partners to protect the Libyan people from the brutality of Moammar Qaddafi, the transition to NATO command and control, and our policy going forward."
Imagine the hypocrisy. US-style "humanitarian intervention" reigns death and destruction "to protect the Libyan people." Recall how "shock and awe" protected Iraqis, how war on Afghanistan helps Afghans and neighboring Pakistanis from predatory drone and ground attacks. Libyans are now tasting imperial viciousness firsthand.
Updating Japan's Nuclear Disaster - by Stephen Lendman
Japan's March 11 earthquake/tsunami-caused nuclear disaster affects millions of people regionally and throughout the Northern Hemisphere. But you'd never know it from most major media reports, downplaying an unfolding catastrophe.
In fact, distinguished experts like Helen Caldicott long ago warned of inevitable nuclear disasters, especially in seismically active areas. On May 23, 2004, The Japan Times contributor Leuren Moret headlined, "Japan's deadly game of nuclear roulette," saying:
"Of all the places in all the world no one in their right mind would build scores of nuclear power plants, Japan would be pretty near the top of the list."
"Japan sits on top of four tectonic plates....and is one of the most tectonically active regions of the world. (There) is almost no geologic setting in the world more dangerous for nuclear power than Japan."
US-Led Libyan Ground Assault Planned - by Stephen Lendman
In his weekly March 26 address, Obama said:
"As I pledged at the outset, the role of American forces has been limited. We are not putting any ground forces into Libya....And as agreed this week, responsibility for this operation is being transferred from the United States to our NATO allies and partners."
Earlier he said:
"United States forces are conducting a limited and well-defined mission in support of international efforts to protect civilians and prevent a humanitarian disaster."
NATO: America's Imperial Tool - by Stephen Lendman
In 1999, Nobel laureate Harold Pinter called America's bombing and dismemberment of Yugoslavia "barbaric (and despicable), another blatant and brutal assertion of US power using NATO as its missile (to consolidate) American domination of Europe."
Against Iraq and Afghanistan it's to dominate Eurasia, and against Libya for greater regional hegemony, including resource control, privatization of state industries, new Pentagon bases for future imperial wars, and deterring any democratic spark from emerging.
Obama lied saying:
"United States forces are conducting a limited and well-defined mission in support of international efforts to protect civilians and prevent a humanitarian disaster."
In fact, he caused a humanitarian crisis by killing civilians, the situation worsening daily as deaths and destruction increase.
Venezuela's New Social Responsibility Law - by Stephen Lendman
On December 20, Venezuela's National Assembly (AN) passed a new Law of Social Responsibility in Radio, Television and Digital Media. Contrary to harsh criticism, it doesn't impose censorship. It expands on existing legislation to promote responsible programming, including online. More on it below.
Whatever socially responsible laws the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) led government passes, unfair criticism follows.
On December 20, Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow in Residence Joel D. Hirst called it an "attack on freedom of speech," saying:
It "place(s) severe restrictions on the Internet, centralizing access under the control of a government server. They require the airwaves as a 'public good' and set in place harsh penalties for arcane and obtuse violations of the law."
False, like more examples below.
Target Israel, not Libya - by Stephen Lendman
On April 9, 1986, Ronald Reagan called Muammar el Gaddafi the "mad dog of the Middle East." Today, after an imposed no-fly zone, war rages to remove him. For decades, he ruled despotically, punishing enemies, rewarding friends. His days may now be numbered. Washington won't quit until he's gone, no matter how many corpses it takes to achieve it.
In fact, however, a far greater Middle East menace threatens the entire region, the Israeli war machine based in Jerusalem. Besides illegally occupying Palestine, brutalizing Palestinians daily, persecuting Israeli Arabs, threatening and attacking its neighbors, its longstanding plan calls for dividing and dominating the region.
Cheerleading for War - by Stephen Lendman
When America goes to war, managed news goes with it spreading rumors, half-truths, misinformation, and willful deception about targeted nations, regimes and leaders, whether despots or democrats. Whoever first said it, the first casualty of war is truth, and then some as John Pilger once observed saying:
"Journalism is the first casualty. Not only that: it has become a weapon of war, a virulent censorship (and willful misreporting) that goes unrecognised in the United States, Britain and other democracies; censorship by omission, whose power is such that, in war, it can mean the difference between life and death for people in faraway countries...."
Western Aggression on Libya - by Stephen Lendman
Make no mistake. Another Washington-led resource war targets Libya's riches, besides wanting new US base locations for greater regional dominance.
America doesn't covet regional sun, sand and sea. "Humanitarian intervention" is a lie. So are notions about peace, not war, liberation, equity, justice, and other democratic values. Washington tolerates none of them abroad or at home, plundering the world roguishly.
All US presidents are war criminals. Obama is one of the worst, doubling Bush's lawlessness, adding Pakistan and Libya aggression to Iraq and Afghanistan, spending $1.5 trillion annually for militarism plus multi-trillion dollar handouts to Wall Street crooks, while pleading poverty to cut essential homeland social benefits.
Lies, Damn Lies, and Humanitarian Intervention - by Stephen Lendman
Masquerading as "humanitarian intervention," Washington launched full-force barbarism on six million Libyans, all endangered by America's latest intervention. More on how below.
Beginning March 19, it was visible. However, months of planning preceded it, including US and UK special forces and intelligence operatives on the ground enlisting, inciting, funding, arming and supporting violent insurrection to oust Gaddafi and replace him with a Washington-controlled puppet like in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.
The scrip is familiar, playing out now in Libya - full-scale "imperial barbarism," a term James Petras used in a September 2010 article titled, "Imperialism and Imperial Barbarism," saying:
"The organizing principle of imperial barbarism is the idea of total war," including:
-- use of mass destruction weapons, unleashed on Libya as explained below;
Imperial War on Libya - by Stephen Lendman
On March 19, ironically on the eighth anniversary of "Operation Iraqi Freedom," a White House Office of the Press Secretary quoted Obama saying:
"Today I authorized the Armed Forces of the United States to (attack) Libya in support of an international effort to protect Libyan civilians," he, in fact, doesn't give a damn about. "That action has now begun," he added, claiming military action was a last resort.
In fact, it was long-planned. All military interventions require months of preparation, including target selections, strategy, enlisting political and public support, troop deployments, and post-conflict plans.
Weeks, maybe months in advance, Special Forces, CIA agents, and UK SAS operatives were in Libya, enlisting, inciting, funding, and arming so-called anti-Gaddafi opposition forces, ahead of Western aggression for imperial control. More on it below.
Bad to Worse in Japan - by Stephen Lendman
It bears repeating. Government, industry, and major media reports downplay and deny Japan's unprecedented nuclear disaster, potentially able to kill millions now living and in future generations painfully.
Nuclear power is a real life Andromeda Strain. If uncontrollably unleashed, it's potentially able to destroy life worldwide under a worse case scenario.
In his latest article, nuclear expert Harvey Wasserman said "the most devastating thing about (Fukushima) is not what's happening there now. It's that until all the world's reactors are shut, even worse is virtually certain to happen again. All too soon." Fukushima, in fact, may be the nuclear nightmare he suggests.
Globally, 450 reactors operate, including 104 aging American ones, many with bad safety records caused by cost-cutting and shoddy maintenance. Poorly regulated, they're ticking time bombs, accidents waiting to happen, many plagued by near-meltdown misses.
Washington's UN War Resolution on Libya - by Stephen Lendman
On March 18, Washington bullied Security Council members to approve Resolution 1973, a measure authorizing war on Libya. The 10 - 0 vote included five abstentions from China, Russia, Germany, Brazil and India, objecting to sweeping terms, including wide latitude for belligerence on bogus "humanitarian" grounds.
In fact, it's to replace one despot with another, perhaps assassinate Gaddafi, colonize Libya, control its oil, gas and other resources, exploit its people, privatize its state industries under Western control, establish new US bases, use them for greater regional control, and perhaps balkanize the country like Yugoslavia and Iraq.
A same day White House press release headlined, "Readout of President Obama's Calls with (UK) Prime Minister Cameron and (French) President Sarkozy," saying:
Multiples Worse than Chernobyl - by Stephen Lendman
In Japan, coverup and denial persist. In a March 18 press conference, Tokyo Electric's (TEPCO) spokesman claimed water-dousing lowered radiation levels from 312 microsieverts per hour to 289. However, 48 hours earlier, chief cabinet secretary Yukido Edano said radioactivity levels were misreported in microsieverts instead of millisieverts - 1,000 times stronger.
Contrary to other reports, TEPCO's spokesman also said water remains in Unit 4's cooling pool. In fact, there's none. Nothing the company says is credible.
Aristide Heading Home - by Stephen Lendman
On March 18, Reuters headlined, "Haiti's Aristide heads home before runoff vote," saying:
He "headed back to his country on Friday after ignoring US opposition to a homecoming some fear could disrupt Haiti's presidential election runoff on Sunday."
For months, State Department officials obstructed him, wanting him permanently excluded, especially during Sunday's illegitimate elections, featuring two unpopular presidential candidates most Haitians spurn. Most, in fact, won't participate, knowing either winner represents Washington, not them.
First round November 28 elections and Sunday's runoff were rigged to defraud. Haitians want democracy, what's absent in Sunday's vote.
Full Core Meltdown in Japan? - by Stephen Lendman
Possibly it's ongoing and concealed. All along, Japanese and Tokyo Electric (TEPCO) officials downplayed or lied about the severity of the crisis. Virtually nothing they say can be believed.
Nor from the Obama administration, budgeting loan guarantees for new reactor construction instead of decommissioning all 104 nuclear plants because operating them risks full core meltdowns.
Partial or full ones gravely harm earth, air, water and food. Three hazardous Fukushima radioactive isotopes are especially problematic. University of Rochester Professor Jacqueline Williams, a radiation expert, says ingesting radioactive iodine-131 causes thyroid and other cancers. So does hazardous beta and gamma radiation from Cesium-137. Released Strontium 90 also causes leukemia and other cancers. Large amounts of all three are spewing daily.
Torturing Bradley Manning - by Stephen Lendman
A previous article discussed him in detail, accessed through the following link:
Another discussed torture as official US policy, institutionalized under Bush II, continued under Obama, practiced despite official denials, accessed below:
Manning, of course, is the courageous Army intelligence analyst turned whistleblower, who admitted leaking thousands of diplomatic cables, many others from Iraq and Afghan war databases, as well as two or more explosive videos, showing US air strikes murdering civilians. As a result, he felt obligated to reveal them. They're criminal acts, demanding prosecution of everyone up the chain of command ordering them.
Armageddon Scenario in Japan - by Stephen Lendman
Japan's deepening disaster affects everyone. Atmospheric radiation will spread globally, mostly affecting the northern hemisphere. Everyone to some extent will be affected, those in Japan and nearby the most.
An unprecedented catastrophe is unfolding. You'd hardly know it from most major media reports, including US broadcast and cable channels, National Public Radio, Public Broadcasting, BBC, and Al Jazeera, failing to explain a deepening catastrophe placing millions of lives at risk.
On March 16, however, Russia Today said Japan "may be losing control" at Fukushima after a rise in radiation suggests efforts to contain the disaster aren't working. Nuclear engineer Arnie Gunderson told the Washington Post that evacuating most workers "is a sign to me that they have given up trying to prevent a disaster and gone into the mode of trying to clean up afterward."
Abusing Asylum Seekers in the Sinai - by Stephen Lendman
A new Physicians for Human Rights - Israel (PHR-I) report discusses atrocities committed against sub-Saharan Africans seeking refugee status in Israel. Titled "Hostages, Torture, and Rape," it explains the ordeal experienced by 284 victims.
PHR-I said its Open Clinic treats about 700 status-less people monthly. About a year ago, many women asked for abortions. Conversations determined they were raped in the Sinai en route to Israel.
On December 14, PHR-I published a report describing their ordeal, based on interviews with first-time patients. After publishing it, dozens more interviews were conducted. This report follows up, based on 284 interviewed victims, as well as more information gotten by human rights activists and groups globally.
Red Alert in Japan: An Unfolding Nuclear Catastrophe - by Stephen Lendman
Since March 12, a potentially unprecedented catastrophe has been unfolding in Japan, despite official denials and corroborating media reports - managed, not real news. Believe none of them. Nonetheless, on March 15, Reuters suggested what's ongoing, headlining: "Japan braces for potential radiation catastrophe," saying:
"Japan faced potential catastrophe on Tuesday" after a fourth Fukushima reactor explosion, fire, and high-level radiation release, posing grave human health risks to an expanding area, including Toyko's 20 million population 170 miles south.
France's Nuclear Safety Authority rated the disaster a six on the international seven-point nuclear accident scale. Clearly, it's the worst ever. Europe's energy commissioner, Guenther Oettinger called it an "apocalypse," telling the European Parliament that Toyko lost control of events.
Coverup and Denial in Japan - by Stephen Lendman
Discount all official government statements and major media reports repeating them instead of demanding expert, unbiased views.
Officially, Japan's nuclear emergency is under control and contained. In fact, lies substitute for truths, denial for reality, and managed news for honest reporting.
Point of fact: Besides its catastrophic quake, tsunami, destructive aftershocks, and resulting humanitarian crisis, Japan is experiencing a developing nuclear catastrophe, the full extent not known until independent sources reveal it.
On March 12, a huge explosion rocked Fukushima's Unit 1 reactor. Reports said its containment chamber was intact. Independent experts are skeptical, believing at least some damage occurred, perhaps a major breach now covered up. Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) blamed a core meltdown for the explosion, releasing hazardous atmospheric radioactive cesium-137 and iodine-131.
Our Man in Havana - by Stephen Lendman
Against the backdrop of US - Cuban relations, the Havana Times broke the news, headlining on March 12, "Cuba Finds Alan Gross Guilty, Gets 15-Years," saying:
A US citizen, he was arrested on December 3, 2009, attempting to return home after his fifth Cuban visit in nine months, traveling on a tourist visa in spite of coming for other purposes.
On March 12, he was convicted for "Actions against the Independence and Territorial Integrity of the State....while working for a (USAID) funded program seeking regime change in Cuba." In other words, for spying and involvement in destabilizing, subversive activities.
Before the verdict, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton audaciously demanded his immediate release. Earlier, her spokesman, PJ Crowley. said:
Nuclear Meltdown in Japan - by Stephen Lendman
For years, Helen Caldicott warned it's coming. In her 1978 book, "Nuclear Madness," she said:
"As a physician, I contend that nuclear technology threatens life on our planet with extinction. If present trends continue, the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the water we drink will soon be contaminated with enough radioactive pollutants to pose a potential health hazard far greater than any plague humanity has ever experienced."
More below on the inevitable dangers from commercial nuclear power proliferation, besides added military ones.
On March 11, New York Times writer Martin Fackler headlined, "Powerful Quake and Tsunami Devastate Northern Japan," saying:
"The 8.9-magnitude earthquake (Japan's strongest ever) set off a devastating tsunami that sent walls of water (six meters high) washing over coastal cities in the north." According to Japan's Meteorological Survey, it was 9.0.
Battleground Wisconsin: Corporate Power v. Worker Rights - by Stephen Lendman
The issue in Wisconsin and across America is simple and straightforward - a corporate-financed offensive to crush unions, returning workers to 19th century harshness with no rights whatever.
As a result, well-funded union busting organizations want collective bargaining rights abolished, social benefits ended, wages kept low as possible, and corporations allowed to exploit workers freely, unimpeded by legal protections and rights.
A previous article discussed right-wing think tanks infesting America's landscape, accessed through the following link:
Corporate Coup d'Etat in Wisconsin - by Stephen Lendman
Ralph Nader calls Washington corporate-occupied territory - "every department agency controlled by the overwhelming presence of corporate lobbyists, corporate executives in high government positions, turning the government against its own people."
Nader also said corporations don't just control government, they are the government. "The corporation IS the government!" They bought and own it at the federal, state and local levels, running it like their private fiefdom at the expense of working Americans, systematically stripping them of hard-won rights.
They have 10,000 Political Action Committees and 35,000 full-time lobbyists. "Just imagine," says Nader, "even the Labor Department is not controlled by trade unions - it's (owned and) controlled by corporations."
In 1938, Franklin Roosevelt defined the problem, saying:
Pack Journalism Promotes War on Libya - by Stephen Lendman
America's major media never met an imperial war it didn't love and promote, never mind how lawless, mindless, destructive and counterproductive.
Despite Washington already bogged down in two losing ones, Obama's heading for another on Libya, the media pack in the lead clamoring for it, perhaps by "shock and awe," supplemented by special forces death squads on the ground recruiting, inciting, and arming opposition elements.
Notably favoring intervention, a New York Times February 24 editorial headlined, "Stopping Qaffafi," saying:
Unless he's stopped, he'll "slaughter hundreds or even thousands of his own people in his desperation to hang on to power."
Obama's Lawless Authorization of Military Commissions Injustice - by Stephen Lendman
On March 7, New York Times writers Scott Shane and Mark Landler headlined, "Obama Clears Way for Guantanamo Trials," saying:
By Executive Order (EO), Obama authorized their use "with revamped procedures but implicitly admitt(ed) the failure of his pledge to close the prison camp."
Since taking office, Obama broke every important pledge he made with regard to:
-- war and peace;
-- fixing the economy;
-- helping beleaguered homeowners;
-- supporting organized labor;
-- helping working Americans, especially those most vulnerable, disadvantaged, and harmed by economic crisis;
-- governing lawfully;
-- ending illegal domestic spying;
-- environmental protection;
-- a public option included in health care reform;
-- ending Wall Street shenanigans, corruption, and market manipulation;
Wisconsin Democrats Plan Capitulation - by Stephen Lendman
Three weeks and counting since Wisconsin public workers began heroically protesting for rights too important to lose, including collective bargaining without which all others are threatened.
Daily, many thousands braved cold and snow - marching, demonstrating, and sleeping over, sacrificing personal comforts to keep struggling for justice. Teachers, police, firefighters, nurses, maintenance workers, and other public employees were joined by union and nonunion private sector ones, along with doctors, lawyers, other professionals, and thousands of college and high school students from across Wisconsin and other states.
Behind the scenes, however, union bosses and Senate Democrats plan capitulation. Negotiations accomplished nothing, Senator Bob Jauch saying, "In order to kill this bill we could never go home. That's not practical and most people realize it."