You are hereBlogs / Stephen Lendman's blog
Stephen Lendman's blog
NATO's Secret Armies - by Stephen Lendman
In his book, "NATO's Secret Armies: Operation GLADIO and Terrorism in Western Europe," Daniele Ganser described their clandestine Cold War operations, run by European secret services, collaborating with NATO, the CIA and Britain's MI6 and Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) against a possible Soviet invasion, internal communist takeovers, or others on the political left gaining power.
The network included France, Germany, Belgium, Norway, Denmark, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Greece, Luxemburg, as well as politically neutral European countries - Austria, Finland, Sweden and Switzerland.
Named "Gladio" (Latin for double-edged sword), NATO's armies remained secret until August 1990, when then Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti confirmed Italy's participation in testimony before a Senate subcommittee investigating terrorism, General Vito Miceli, former Italian military secret service director, saying in protest:
Obama Declares Another National Emergency When None Exists - by Stephen Lendman
Well, not exactly. In fact, he renewed, for the second, time, the Bush administration's 9/11 one, a White House press release saying:
"Letter from the President on the Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to Certain Terrorist Attack"
"Section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act, 50 USC 1622(d), provides for the automatic termination of a national emergency unless, prior to the anniversary date of its declaration, the President publishes in the Federal Register and transmits to the Congress a notice stating that the emergency is to continue in effect beyond the anniversary date. Consistent with this provision, I have sent to the Federal Register the enclosed notice, stating that the emergency declared with respect to the terrorist attacks on the United States of September 11, 2001, is to continue in effect for an additional year."
Israeli Soldiers Sexually Abuse Palestinian Children - by Stephen Lendman
On September 10, Israel's YnetNews.com headlined, "IDF sexually abused Palestinian children," headlining:
"Damning (September 9) CNN report cites uncorroborated sexual abuse charges of Palestinian children detained by IDF." Military officials refused to "respond to abuse charges as no details (were) provided," a spokesman saying "We cannot address general claims on the subject in the absence of a specific complaint."
CNN's report "featured an unidentified Palestinian boy claiming that IDF forces attempted to insert an object into his rectum," and that dozens of officers present stood around laughing while it happened.
The network cited Defence of Children International (DCI) as its source, an independent NGO involved in promoting and protecting children's rights globally for over 30 years, founded on the date the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) passed 10 years later.
East Jerusalem Palestinians Denied Basic Rights - by Stephen Lendman
The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) is the country's leading human and civil rights organization through litigation, legal advocacy, education and public outreach. Its new report is titled, "Unsafe Space: The Israeli Authorities' Failure to Protect Human Rights amid Settlements in East Jerusalem," explaining how Judaization harms basic Palestinian freedoms. In fact, the Israeli military, police, and hostile settlers deny them, ACRI saying:
Palestinians "complain of physical and verbal abuse (by police), settlers and their security guards; the intimidation of their children; various forms of harassment (including videotaping them in their homes); the barricading and closing off of streets and public areas; and more."
Fatah: Collaborationist Israeli Ally - by Stephen Lendman
At least since the Oslo Accords, Fatah has served Israel more than its own people. On August 25, Haaretz highlighted the latest example, headling "PA arrests dozens of Hamas, Islamic Jihad militants in West Bank," saying, a PA source confirmed dozens made, including "high ranking officials in (both) organizations."
On September 6, PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said hundreds were made in response to the killings of four West Bank settlers, adding, "The decision to carry out the attack was politically motivated and intended to embarrass the Palestinian Authority."
True or not, those affected included teachers, traders, workers, students, professionals, and imams, unrelated to the incident, Fatah's Preventive Security Services and General Intelligence Services doing Israel's dirty work, while President Mahmoud Abbas collaborates during the latest sham peace talks.
Eric McDavid: Victimized by Green Scare State Terrorism - by Stephen Lendman
The October 2001 USA Patriot Act's Section 802 created the crime of "domestic terrorism" (applicable to US citizens) for the first time, applying it to persons engaged in acts "dangerous to human life" in violation of federal or state criminal laws, if such actions:
-- intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
-- influence government policy by intimidation or coercion; or
-- affect government conduct by mass destruction, assassination or kidnapping.
The Patriot Act gave Washington expansive powers to investigate and prosecute "terrorism," including environmental and animal rights activists demonstrating peacefully or engaging in nonviolent civil disobedience, America's longstanding tradition, now harshly criminalized, those convicted subject to long-term incarceration.
Growing Thought Control in Israel - by Stephen Lendman
Since its 1948 establishment, IDF military censor authority banned or sanitized material potentially damaging to Israel's security. Thereafter, voluntary media/government agreements prevailed, all domestic and foreign news organizations abiding by censorship rulings.
Some are sensible like banning reports beneficial to adversaries. Others aren't by suppressing information the public has a right to know. For example, whatever affects their welfare and when officials commit crimes. In addition, various Supreme Court decisions limit content suppression to "tangible (or) near certain" instances of public endangerment. Of course, interpretations are crucial, authorities increasingly hardline to get their way.
Economic Recovery? What Recovery? - by Stephen Lendman
There is none, and it's getting worse under a president and his predecessor's policies - engineering and sustaining economic decline, not recovery, Obama's latest announced job creation program as bogus as his April 2009 $787 billion stimulus. At the time, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said, besides bailing out Wall Street, it would create millions of jobs and get credit flowing again.
Wrong and he knew it. Credit contraction persists. Job creation is moribund. The true unemployment rate, by 1980 calculations, is 22%, not the bogus 9.6%, and recovery focused on Wall Street, not small business and job creation. The Treasury was looted. Trillions of dollars went to banks, shadow banks (like hedge funds) and insurers, not industrial America, a shadow of its former self by design. More on that below.
America's Grand Strategy: Militarizing Space - by Stephen Lendman
On January 3, 2001, the UN General Assembly's Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space Resolution A/55/32 said:
"The exploration and use of outer space....shall be for peaceful purposes and be carried out for the benefit and in the interest of all countries, irrespective of their degree of economic or scientific development. (The) prevention of an arms race in outer space would avert a grave danger for international peace and security."
Over 140 nations agreed. Only two declined support, both abstaining - America and Israel.
On August 9, 1996, in Aviation Week and Space Technology magazine, then Commander-in-Chief US Space Command, Joseph W. Ashy asserted:
Israel/Palestine: More on the Sham Peace Talks - by Stephen Lendman
On and off for the past 35 years, so-called "peace" talks repeatedly have been stillborn from inception, a grand illusion masking an Israeli/Washington partnership intolerant of peace, demanding unconditional surrender, nothing less, the de facto Oslo result, one-sided for Israel, Palestinians given nothing to this day, enduring worse conditions now than then.
What chance then now for peace with no legitimate partner, its democratically government excluded, a coup d'etat president 20 months past his term's expiration representing them, and an Arab hating Israeli Prime Minister once calling it "a waste of time."
Global BDS Against Israel Is Working - by Stephen Lendman
In July 2005, a coalition of 171 Palestinian Civil Society organizations created the Global BDS movement for "Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel Until it Complies with International Law and Universal Principles of Human Rights" for Occupied Palestinians, Israeli Arabs, and Palestinian diaspora refugees.
The Tel Aviv-based Reut Institute (RI) provides "real-time strategic decision-making" support in areas of national security and socioeconomic policy. Its new report titled "The Gaza Flotilla: The Collapse of Israel's Political Firewall" suggests it's working. It followed an earlier one on "creating a political firewall" against Israel's "delegitimization challenge," recommending sabotage and subterfuge against growing global forces it fears, not an equitable solution it rejects.
Honduran Repression Continues Unabated - by Stephen Lendman
Earlier articles explained the June 28, 2009 coup and aftermath, the latest accessed through the following link:
For Hondurans, the event marked a new beginning, not an end to their dark history. Widespread killings and human rights abuses followed and a sham November election, installing Porfirio (Pepe) Lobo Sosa president, a US-friendly stooge heading a fascist regime. The nation's military is firmly in control against popular resistance, street violence and death squad terror its repressive tools. The Obama administrative stands firmly supportive. It blessed the coup, the new government and provides aid, all for hardline rule, none for popular needs.
Ripping Off Dead War Vets' Beneficiaries - by Stephen Lendman
Wall Street and other financial scammers do it from the living, Prudential and many insurers from the dead, ripping off families of killed war vets. On July 28, Bloomberg.com's David Evans discussed how it works in an article titled, "Fallen Soldiers' Families Denied Cash as Insurers Profit," a polite way of explaining grand theft. From the living, it's bad enough, from the dead, it gives chutzpah new meaning, affecting countless thousands of bereaved families.
Evans wrote about one, Cindy Lohman. Two weeks after her son Ryan was killed, she received a Prudential Financial, Inc. "9-inch-by-12-inch envelope," the company managing life insurance for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
Here We Go Again: Another Rig Explosion - by Stephen Lendman
Drilling means spilling, hundreds of annual incidents, most small, unreported, yet their cumulative effect is devastating, what the industry and nightly news won't mention or explain.
On February 25, 2009, Environmental Research web.org writer Kate Ravilious did, headlining "Small unreported oil spills add up to major damage," saying:
Big spills make headlines while small ones "often go unnoticed and unreported. But these little slicks could be just as damaging to the environment as large spills, according to new research findings."
Barcelona, Spain Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya Professors Jose Redondo and Alexei Platonov developed a way to spot spills from satellite images. They show that "small oil spills are very common, and when added together they become comparable to large" ones. Their frequency makes them damaging, yet little about them is reported.
Reflections on Jack Kennedy - by Stephen Lendman
Though much about his background and public service warrants criticism, he also deserves praise rarely given properly, this article offering some and the writer's personal reflections on his commencement address to my June 14, 1956 graduating class, a message not heard now by US leaders - erudite, incisive and timely. More on it below.
Had an assassin not taken his life, his health surely would have, some around him saying "from a medical standpoint, (he) was a mess." Indeed so, having been hospitalized more than three dozen times in his life and given last rites on three occasions.
Katrina's Destructive Aftermath - by Stephen Lendman
August 29, 2005, a day of infamy remembered less for the storm, catastrophic floods and destruction, and more as a metaphor for disaster capitalism, exploiting security threats, "terror" attacks, economic meltdowns, and "natural" disasters like Katrina.
It turned this aging senior into a writer and radio host, furious over federal, state and local authorities using it to reward business at the expense of New Orleans' poor Blacks. Five years later, their lives remain in disarray through no fault of their own.
Levies protecting their neighborhoods were left weak, vulnerable to fail as they did, then Congressman Richard Baker (R. LA) saying, "We finally cleaned up public housing in New Orleans. We couldn't do it but God did," with considerable willful negligence help.
Malik Rahim, (New Orleans) Common Ground Relief (CGR) co-founder said:
Continuity of Government: Coup d'Etat Authority in America - by Stephen Lendman
This article reviews the historical roots and America's current Continuity of Government authority, initially planned and developed by Ronald Reagan. More on that below.
On March 1, 2002, Washington Post writers Barton Gellman and Susan Schmidt headlined, "Shadow Government Is at Work in Secret," saying:
"President Bush has dispatched a shadow government of about 100 senior civilian managers to live and work secretly outside Washington, activating for the first time longstanding plans to ensure survival of federal rule after a catastrophic attack on the nation's capital."
Shortly after 9/11, a classified "Continuity of Operations Plan" (aka "continuity of government") was implemented. Legal documents were then drafted, creating a shadow government in case of a catastrophe, George Bush saying:
Legislation for Greater Agribusiness Empowerment - by Stephen Lendman
On July 29, 2009, the House passed HR 2749: Food Safety Enhancement Act of 2009 "To amend the (1938 as amended) Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to improve the safety of food in the global market, and for other purposes."
An earlier July 2009 article discussed it, accessed through the following link:
On March 3, 2009, S. 510: FDA Food Safety Modernization Act was introduced as the Senate's version of the House bill. On December 18, 2009, it cleared committee and was placed on the Senate's Legislative Calendar for consideration. Thus far not addressed, it likely will be and passed in the wake of the egg salmonella scare though, like its companion bill, it's for agribusiness empowerment, not food safety, used as cover to enhance greater industry consolidation at the expense of small farmers and consumers.
Lawsuit Challenges Obama Administration's Targeted Assassination Policy - by Stephen Lendman
An earlier article addressed the issue, accessed through the following link:
In February, then Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair acknowledged it saying CIA operatives and Special Forces death squads have been authorized to kill US citizens abroad, suspected of terrorist involvement.
Disapproval came from an unlikely source, Hollywood tough guy Chuck Norris in an article titled, "Obama's US Assassination Program? 'A Shortlist of US Citizens Specfically Targeted for Killing?" saying:
Yale University's Pro-Israeli, Anti-Islamic Conference - by Stephen Lendman
On August 25, Yale University ended a three day global anti-Semitism "crisis" conference promoting the notion that Israeli criticism is "anti-Semitic," no matter how justified.
Boola boola, for shame, mighty Yale displaying the same type anti-Islamic hatred virulent throughout America, raging daily in headlines over the proposed New York City Islamic cultural center, falsely called a mosque, but does it matter?
What matters is racism, hate-mongering, and persecuting Muslims for political advantage - on display at Yale for a three day propaganda hate fest. Imagine what's taught in its classrooms.
The Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism (YIISA)
Ramsey Muniz - Guilty of Being Latino and Activist in America - by Stephen Lendman
An earlier article explained America's longstanding political repression agenda, accessed through the following link:
Ramiro (Ramsey) Muniz is one of the victims, imprisoned for life without parole on a bogus drug charge. Now age 67, he's been incarcerated nearly 17 years, earlier at Leavenworth, KS federal prison, the country's largest maximum security one, more recently at the US Medical Center, Springfield, MO recovering from life threatening complications from surgery.
In September 2009, he was transferred to the Beaumont Federal Correctional Institution, Beaumont, TX.
Friends and supporters can write him there as follows:
Ramiro "Ramsey" Muniz
Prison No. 40288-115
FCI Medium Beaumont
PO Box 26040
Beaumont, TX 77705
America Facing Depression and Bankruptcy - by Stephen Lendman
Long-time economic, political and market analyst Bob Chapman publishes the International Forecaster, offering incisive analysis absent through mainstream sources, especially important now given America's deepening economic crisis getting harder to conceal as evidence mounts.
His August 25 issue says the following:
"Twenty countries (including America) are headed into bankruptcy and more will follow. That brings up the subject of state debt in the US. America has been in an inflationary depression for 18 months. States have been cutting back for two years," but still face huge budget gaps required to be closed....2011 will be a terrible year (with) 80% of states expect(ing) deficits of more than $200 billion. 2012 looks even worse." Most worrisome, "there is no recovery and there never has been....the US economy and financial system is comatose." The worst is yet to come and will hit hard on arrival.
The Israeli Lobby: Declassified Documents Expose Its Influence - by Stephen Lendman
James Petras' powerful 2006 book titled, "The Power of Israel in the United States" explained the enormous Jewish Lobby influence on US Middle East policies. Often harming American interests, they're pursued anyway because of its grassroots and high-level control over government, the business community, academia, the clergy and mass media since at least the 1960s.
Intolerant of opposing views, they're suppressed for its own agenda, funded by PR propaganda domestically and overseas, America's top publications paid off to go along, now revealed by a secret document subpoenaed by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (FRC) investigation into the American Zionist Council (AZC), AIPAC's parent lobbying arm.
America's Gulf: Updating the Greatest Ever Environmental Crime - by Stephen Lendman
For months, US media reports distorted and lied about its severity, running cover for BP and the Obama administration, now practically avoiding the crisis altogether as it worsens. An August 20 Inter Press Service report is revealing, quoting Biloxi, MS fisherman Danny Ross saying hypoxia (depleted oxygen) is driving horseshoe crabs, stingrays, flounder, dolphins, and other sea life "out of the water" to escape. Another area fisherman, David Wallis said he's "seen crabs crawling out of the water in the middle of the day."
Notes from Besieged Gaza - by Stephen Lendman
On June 17, Israel's Cabinet issued a six point plan, agreeing to ease access for civilian goods entering Gaza without loosening inflexible security measures to restrict them. So what's changed? Not much. Increased truck traffic has been modest at best. The consumer ban was partially lifted, permitting previously prohibited items like ketchup, chocolate and children's toys.
Iraq Pullout: Mission Accomplished or Strategic Retreat? - by Stephen Lendman
In an August 2 speech to disabled veterans, Obama touted his planned withdrawal, saying:
"As a candidate for president, I pledged to bring the war in Iraq to a responsible end....Shortly after taking office, I announced our new strategy....for a transition to full Iraqi responsibility. And I made it clear that by August 31, 2010, America's combat mission in Iraq would end. And that is exactly what we are doing - as promised, on schedule."
At two or more recent fundraisers, he repeated the "pledge:"
"We are keeping the promise I made when I began my campaign for the presidency: by the end of this month, we will have removed 100,000 troops from Iraq, and our combat mission will be over."
Washington Orders Shahbaz Airbase Saved, not Pakistan's Flood Victims - by Stephen Lendman
With 20 million or more people affected, about 12% of the population, the equivalent of 37 million Americans, Pakistan's devastating floods are truly of biblical proportions, described by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as worse than anything he'd ever seen, saying:
"Thousands of towns and villages have simply been washed away. Roads, buildings, bridges, crops - millions of livelihoods have been lost. People are marooned on tiny islands with the floodwaters all around them (without food, sanitation, medical help, or shelter). They are drinking dirty water. They are living in the mud and ruins of their lives. Many have lost family and friends. Many more are afraid their children and loved ones will not survive in these condition."
Political Killings in Colombia - by Stephen Lendman
Colombia, America's closest South American ally, is a corrupted narco-state, a repressive death squad faux democracy, threatening regional neighbors, and reigning terror against trade unionists, human rights workers, campesinos, pro-democracy organizations, independent journalists, and legitimate resistance groups like the FARC-EP. Established in 1964, James Petras calls it the "longest standing, largest peasant-based guerrilla movement in the world," persisting valiantly for decades.
Thanks to Plan Colombia and other support, the state is heavily militarized, more than ever now serving as Washington's land-based aircraft carrier against regional targets, including neighboring Venezuela.
The Charade Announced: Latest Israeli No-Peace/Peace Talks for September - by Stephen Lendman
On August 21, Haaretz writer Natasha Mozgovaya headlined, "Israel, Palestinians accept US invitation to direct peace talks," saying:
They'll "restart direct talks on Sept. 2 in a modest step toward forging a peace deal within 12 months to create a Palestinian state and peacefully end one of the world's most intractable conflicts."
Another grand illusion is assured, fudged to look real. Henry Kissinger coined the phrase "constructive ambiguity," meaning to give negotiations an appearance of progress. For others, it's putting lipstick on a pig or how Edward Said described the Oslo Accords and Declaration of Principles, saying:
Israeli Academic Freedom at Risk - by Stephen Lendman
Born in Haifa, the son of German-Jewish immigrants who fled during the Nazi period, noted historian Ilan Pappe left Israel in summer 2007, telling London Guardian writer Chris Arnot he began "feeling for a while like public enemy No. 1" for his anti-Zionist views and supporting a boycott against Israeli universities, saying:
"I supported (it) because I believe that without pressure, Israel will not end the occupation....I believe that things would change only if Israel receives a strong message that as long as the occupation continues it would not be a legitimate member of the international community, and that until then its academics, doctors and authors would not be welcome. A similar boycott was imposed on South Africa. It took 21 years, but it eventually led to the end of Apartheid."