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Syria News - Dec 1, 2014

 

ISIS Launches Attack On Syria's Kobani From Turkey: Activists - AP


VIDEO: An Islamic State sniper is seen shooting from a grain depot on the Turkish side of the border with Syria - Daily Mail Online


Witnesses: ISIS vehicle and members came from Turkish side - ANF


Kurdish forces call for Turkish investigation into ISIS Kobani attack - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT


YPG statement on attack staged from Turkey by ISIS, and cross-border defensive actions taken - twitter.com


Geolocation of IS Attack on Kobane from Turkey: Open Source Analysis - Turkey Wonk


VIDEO (Arabic): FSA fighters fighting in Kobane border blame Turkey - LiveLeak.com


Rally in Turkish town of Suruc denounces ISIL attack on Kobani from Turkey (VIDEO) - PressTV


“Under the pretense of stopping an ISIS attack on Turkey the Turkish army bombarded the center of Kobane with tanks and artillery”: co-chair of the Kobane canton - Rudaw

 

Female Canadian-Israeli fighter said abducted by Islamic State near Kobane - The Times of Israel

 

VIDEO: Female Canadian-Israeli Fighter Allegedly Captured in Syria by ISIS - LiveLeak.com

 

VIDEO: Footage of clashes in Mürşitpınar area of Kobane - ANF

 

Belgian fighter admits that Islamic State is lacking manpower - emmejihad

 

Peshmerga Commander: ‘ISIS severely debilitated in Kobane’ - Kurdish Question

 

Iraqi Kurds to send Peshmerga replacement troops to Kobani - Worldbulletin News

 

Turkey's Erdogan calls for ground operation against Islamic State - Vestnik Kavkaza

 

Pope Francis fails to find common ground with Erdogan (VIDEO) - CSMonitor.com

 

Pope Francis in Istanbul condemns ‘barbaric violence’ of Islamic State, says fighting hunger and poverty, rather than military intervention alone, are key to stopping it - Reuters

 

Pope calls on Muslim leaders worldwide to condemn terrorism - Yahoo News UK

 

30 coalition airstrikes pound IS stronghold Raqqa in Syria - The Seattle Times

 

Inside Raqqa, the Islamic State’s capital: Red Bull-drinking jihadists, hungry civilians, crucifixions and air strikes - The Guardian

 

US flies roughly 85 percent of airstrikes against Islamic State, in complex mix of tactics, politics - Fox News

 

Islamic State has a 'dirty bomb' says British jihadi - Daily Mail Online

 

Islamists come out on top in new effort to unify Syrian rebel groups - McClatchy DC

 

Al Qaeda group Jabhat Al Nusra losing influence in southern Syria - The National

 

Al- Nusra Front kills 13 fighters from al- Ansar brigades in Idlib - Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

 

VIDEO: Jabhat al-Nusra Move Into Southern Idlib Village After Reported Clash with Free Syrian Army Unit - YouTube

 

Flesh-eating maggot disease surfaces in Syria - Al Arabiya News

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Coming next -- Year-round worker protests at Walmart: Walmart Black Friday Strikes Become a Thanksgiving Holiday Tradition

By Jess Guh


Yesterday marked the third annual Black Friday protests and strikes at Walmart, the largest private employer in this country.  The Walton family, controlling owners of the company, is America’s richest family, with holdings valued at almost $150 billion dollars.  For decades, Walmart has remained an employer powerhouse based upon a business model of low wages, poor benefits and union busting.


Lawless Law Enforcer: Robert P. McColloch Personifies Misconduct by Prosecutors

By Linn Washington Jr.

 

When discredited Missouri prosecutor Robert P. McColloch recently defended his calculated manipulation of a grand jury which led jurors to free the policeman who fatally shot Michael Brown last summer, McColloch declared piously that eyewitness accounts must “always match physical evidence.”

McColloch, however, did not apply that ‘always match’ standard in the case of Antonio Beaver, a St. Louis man wrongfully convicted by in 1997 of a violent carjacking case tried by McColloch.

Campaign to Save Shaker Aamer from Guantanamo

by Debra Sweet     We Stand With Shaker is a new campaign calling for the release from Guantánamo of Shaker Aamer, a legal British resident, with a British wife and 4 British children, who is still held at Guantánamo, even though he has twice been approved for release by the US authorities under President Bush in 2007 & 

Obama Expands U.S. Military Plans in Afghanistan

by Debra Sweet      Today Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was sacked. News analysts on MSNBC explained that the Obama administration feels they need a more “war-prepared” secretary to lead the mission, which has changed from a draw-down in Iraq & Afghanistan to a new expansion of bombing and increased troop deployments.  What has been secret and operational at least since summer 2014, is no longer secret.

Stand with the Ferguson Protesters

OUTRAGEOUS — the Grand Jury announces: no indictment on any of the possible charges against the cop who shot Michael Brown to death this summer. Protesters, we are with you! We need standards in our movement; no turning in or on protesters. We WILL defend your right to protest; and your just demands. We'll give you a platform to speak, and support your right to be on the scene of the state's crimes. 

Iraq/Syria News - Nov 27, 2014

 

Iraqi forces battle IS jihadists in Ramadi, Kirkuk - AP


Local Officials Say Iraqi Forces In Ramadi Repel 'Fiercest, Most Violent Attack Yet' From IS - rferl.org


Iraq says airstrikes are critical in the shifting battle for Ramadi  - CNN


ISIS “emir” of the western Anbar province killed in Iraq’s Hit - Al Arabiya News


ISIS Militants Kills 25 Members Iraqi Tribesmen Near Ramadi - Daily Times


U.S. plans to arm Iraq’s Anbar tribesmen - Al Arabiya News


Iraq: Head of Anbar tribe calls on government to fulfil promises of providing weapons in fight against ISIS - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT

 

Controversy Over Supporting Iraq’s Tribes In Anbar - MUSINGS ON IRAQ

 

Islamic State releases images from recent fighting in Ramadi (PHOTOS) - Threat Matrix

 

VIDEO: Iraqi MOD Releases Video of Counter Offensive Against Islamic State in Anbar - Yahoo

 

Iraqi officials say 2 bombings kill 10 people in Baghdad - Fox News

 

Islamic State attacks Iraqi border crossing with Jordan - Threat Matrix

 

TSG IntelBrief: War Against All: The Islamic State in Anbar - The Soufan Group

 

ISIS in the Southwest Baghdad Belts - Institute for the Study of War

 

The Islamic State’s Stalled Offensive in Anbar Province - warontherocks.com

 

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ISIS attack fails to take Iraq’s oil-rich Kirkuk, "they want to control the oil sites” says peshmerga general - Al Arabiya News


Australian Airstrikes Pound ISIS Underground Caves And Bunkers, Kill 100 ISIS Members Near Kirkuk - International Business Times


VIDEO: IS Attacks Close to Iraq's Oil City of Kirkuk - YouTube


IS poses threat to Iraq oil investment - FT.com


At least 43 ISIS jihadists killed in a failed bid to regain control of the Mosul dam - Latin American Herald Tribune


ISIS Militants Execute Two Female Parliamentary Candidates in Mosul - ibtimes.co.uk


IS Moves Prisoners from Iraq to Syria Fearing Attack on Mosul - Latin American Herald Tribune

 

Reports: ISIS militants causing massive damage of the convent in Mosul - CatholicHerald.co.uk

 

VIDEO: ISIS Blows Up Nun Monastery Jesus Heart in Mosul - LiveLeak.com

 

VIDEO: Islamic State releases footage showing fighters destroying a number of Shia Muslim shrines in Iraq,The video is titled Demolishing Idols - Yahoo UK

 

Islamic State imposes a reign of fear in Iraqi hospitals - The Washington Post

 

Iraqi generals Who Abandoned Mosul may be Executed - Bas

 

U.S. Central Command News Release: Airstrikes Target ISIL in Syria, Iraq - Defense.gov

 

Hezbollah arrives in Iraq - Al-Monitor

 

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Islamic State beheads Ismaili man for 'apostasy' - THE DAILY STAR


PHOTOS: Onlookers in Homs, including children, watch as ISIS beheads an old man it says he was Ismaili “apostate” - Hassan Hassan on Twitter


Nusra Front executes Syrian for 'insulting prophet' - THE DAILY STAR


ISIS Video 'Blood Of Jihad 2' Trains Child Soldiers On How To Kill Infidels (VIDEO) - breitbart.com 


More jihadist training camps identified in Syria and Iraq - The Long War Journal


In New ISIS Video British Hostage John Cantlie Says He Will Likely Be Executed (VIDEO) - huffingtonpost.com


ISIS selling villages in Kobanê - ANF

 

Thousands of women gathered at border for Kobanê in solidarity with Kurdish fighters - ANF

 

Control of Syrian Oil Fuels War Between Kurds and Islamic State - WSJ

 

VIDEO: Christian militia fights Islamic State in northern Syria - DW.DE

 

UN: Islamic State group got up to $45M in ransoms - Stripes

 

Activists Say Syrian Airstrikes on Raqqa Kill 95 - VOA

 

As Syrian army closes in, Douma residents turn against rebels - Al-Monitor

 

Syria 'no-fly zone' not being considered: NATO general - THE DAILY STAR

 

Putin meets with Syria foreign minister for the first time - THE DAILY STAR

 

Syrian FM: Russia to Boost Relations With Assad - ABC News

 

Russia dispatched 30 planeloads of humanitarian aid to Syria over 18 months: Lavrov - TASS

 

Erdogan slams US 'impertinence' over Kobane - Al Jazeera English

 

CIA operation in eastern Libya was tracking the movement of weapons to Syria: Benghazi report - Fox News

 

Qatar runs covert desert training camp for Syrian rebels - Reuters

 

Pope Francis: Don't shut door to dialogue with Islamic State - theage.com

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

In combat, the killing of Michael Brown by Officer Wilson would have been called a war crime

By Dave Lindorff

 

What’s wrong Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson’s killing of the unarmed 18-year-old black teenager, Michael Brown, and with a Grand Jury decision not to indict him for that outrageous slaying, is what is wrong with American law enforcement and American “justice” in general. 

 

Both actions were permeated not only with racism, which clearly played a huge rule in both the verdict rendered by a Grand Jury composed of nine whites and only three blacks, and in this tragic police killing by a white cop of a black child, but also by a mentality on the part of police -- and apparently by at least a majority of the citizen jurors on a panel evaluating Wilson’s actions -- that cops are authorities who must be obeyed without question, on pain of death.

 

There Goes Virginia's Climate

A snowstorm is the ideal time to write about climate disruption, as it allows us to immediately set-aside the cartoonish claim that if any spot on earth isn't warmer than it was yesterday then all is well. The following things we know:

There are giant snowflakes falling outside my window.

Five-year averages of temperature in Virginia began a significant and steady increase in the early 1970s, rising from 54.6 degrees Fahrenheit then to 56.2 degrees F in 2012.

The Piedmont area, where I live, has seen the temperature rise at a rate of 0.53 degrees F per decade.

At this rate, Virginia will be as hot as South Carolina by 2050 and as northern Florida by 2100, and continuing at a steady or increasing pace from there.

Sixty percent of Virginia is forest, and forests cannot evolve or switch over to warmer-weather species at anything like that fast a pace. The most likely future is not pines or palm trees but wasteland.

From 1979 to 2003, excessive heat exposure contributed to over 8,000 premature deaths in the United States, more than all deaths from hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, floods, and earthquakes combined, and dramatically more than all deaths from terrorism.

Between 1948 and 2006 "extreme precipitation events" have increased 25% in Virginia. Precipitation in Virginia is likely to increase or decrease dramatically overall, and is extremely likely to continue the trend of arriving in ever more intense bursts of storms interrupting droughts. This will be devastating to agriculture.

Acidity in the ocean has already increased by 30 percent and if current trends continue will hit a 100 to 150 percent increase by 2100 and continue to spiral upward from there. Oysters' shells in the Chesapeake Bay have grown thinner as a result. The oyster population is 98 percent gone. Shell fish are becoming and will entirely become extinct, if current trends remain unaltered. By 2100 we can expect 60 to 100 percent of the world's coral reefs to be gone.

Fish off the Virginia coast are moving north and east to survive, some species having already vanished from Virginia waters either by migrating or dying out. In Virginia 46 percent of fish species, 25 percent of birds, 46 percent of reptiles, 43 percent of amphibians, and 28 percent of mammals are listed as threatened or endangered.

Seventy-eight percent of Virginians live within 20 miles of the Chesapeake, the Atlantic, or tidal rivers. On the Eastern Shore and in the Hampton Roads-Norfolk area, flooding has already become routine. The sea level will rise, if current trends continue, between 3 and 18 feet by 2100. Already it has risen an inch every 7 or 8 years -- 12 inches in the last century. Some 628,000 Virginians live within 6.5 feet of sea level. Paul Fraim, Mayor of Norfolk since 1994, says the city may need to soon establish "retreat zones" and abandon sections of the city as too costly to protect. Real estate agents are discussing the need to require disclosure of sea level as well as lead paint and other defects when selling property.

The famous ponies of Chincoteague live among trees killed and grasses weakened by risen saltwater, and will not live there much longer.

The U.S. military, headquartered largely in Virginia, the world's largest Navy base in Norfolk, and the swamp-built Capital of the United States in Washington, D.C., face potential devastation directly contributed to by the endless wars for oil, and the consumption of that oil, despite the widespread belief that the results of the wars are distant. Just as ice melting in Greenland lifts water onto the streets of Norfolk, investment of trillions of dollars in pointless death and destruction not only diverts resources from addressing climate damage but heavily contributes to that damage. The U.S. military would rank 38th in oil consumption if it were a nation.

If any image can wallop someone with the need to adjust our priorities it is one of Wallops Island just south of Chincoteague but protected for the moment by a $34 million rock wall.  Wallops Island hosts tests for the $4 billion crash-prone Osprey helicopter, and all sorts of war training, plus a space port from which multi-billionaires can blow themselves up or launch themselves into space to starve in tin cans literally as well as subjectively above the rest of us.

There is no Planet B. Nobody has found anywhere for humans to live apart from earth, at least not remotely in the time frame of the current crisis.

Virginia has taken in thousands of refugees from Hurricane Katrina and can expect to take in many more and to create many refugees itself. The only thinking that says every future Hurricane Sandy will miss Virginia is wishful thinking.

The warming will bring the mosquito varieties (already arriving) and diseases. Serious risks include malaria, Chagas disease, chikungunya virus, and dengue virus. Look them up. The television won't explain them until they're here.

Virginians, like others in the United States, consume vastly more energy and produce vastly more warming per capita than do people in other countries, including countries in Europe that they don't look down on. Proposals to actually halt the climate catastrophe generally call for Americans to start living like Europeans (the horror!).

Virginia's Constitution requires the state to "protect its atmosphere, lands, and waters from pollution, impairment, or destruction, for the benefit, enjoyment and general welfare of the people." In a decent court system, any member of the public could have that enforced through a massive emergency Marshall-Plan effort to preserve our climate.

Virginia's Department of Environmental Quality does not concern itself with climate change.

Virginia lags significantly behind Maryland and North Carolina in addressing climate change.

Numerous reasonable steps can be quite easily taken if the political will is found, but they get harder with each passing year.

The financial corruption of state governments is not nearly as advanced as at the federal level, although some states lag behind the national average in intellectual awareness and enlightenment. The possibility certainly exists for Virginia to compete with Germany and Scandinavia in renewable energy, recycling, and reduced consumption.

If the day after being thankful for things, Virginians rush out to stores and buy crap, rather than rushing out to organize actions to save the climate, we will need to all be thankful we are not our kids or our grandkids. "Here's a plastic toy. Glad I'm not you!"

Apart from the snow outside my window and a few odd remarks like "stop shopping!" everything stated above is well documented in a new book called Virginia Climate Fever by Stephen Nash, for which I am thankful and which I hope every Virginian reads before New Year's resolution time.

"I Hate That Oil's Dropping": Why Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant Wants High Oil Prices for Fracking

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

Outgoing Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC) chairman Phil Bryant — Mississippi's Republican Governor — started his farewell address with a college football joke at IOGCC's recent annual conference in Columbus, Ohio.

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant; Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

"As you know, I love SEC football. Number one in the nation Mississippi State, number three in the nation Ole Miss, got a lot of energy behind those two teams," Bryant said in opening his October 21 speech. "I try to go to a lot of ball games. It's a tough job, but somebody's gotta do it and somebody's gotta be there."

Seconds later, things got more serious, as Bryant spoke to an audience of oil and gas industry executives and lobbyists, as well as state-level regulators. 

At the industry-sponsored convening, which I attended on behalf of DeSmogBlog, it was hard to tell the difference between industry lobbyists and regulators. The more money pledged by corporations, the more lobbyists invited into IOGCC's meeting.

Perhaps this is why Bryant framed his presentation around "where we are headed as an industry," even though officially a statesman and not an industrialist, before turning to his more stern remarks.

"I know it's a mixed blessing, but if you look at some of the pumps in Mississippi, gasoline is about $2.68 and people are amazed that it's below $3 per gallon," he said.

"And it's a good thing for industry, it's a good thing for truckers, it's a good thing for those who move goods and services and products across the waters and across the lands and we're excited about where that's headed."

Bryant then discussed the flip side of the "mixed blessing" coin.

"Of course the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale has a little problem with that, so as with most things in life, it's a give and take," Bryant stated. "It's very good at one point and it's helping a lot of people, but on the other side there's a part of me that goes, 'Darn! I hate that oil's dropping, I hate that it's going down.' I don't say that out-loud, but just to those in this room."

Tuscaloosa Marine Shale's "little problem" reflects a big problem the oil and gas industry faces — particularly smaller operators involved with hydraulic fracturing ("fracking")  going forward.

That is, fracking is expensive and relies on a high global price of oil. A plummeting price of oil could portend the plummeting of many smaller oil and gas companies, particularly those of the sort operating in the Tuscaloosa Marine.

Oh no! The American jihadis are coming!: Stoking Fear as the US Prepares for the Nest War in the Middle East

By Dave Lindorff


You read it in USA Today: The latest “threat to America” is “thousands of jihadis” with Western passports,” returning from battle in Syria and Iraq to wreak havoc and destruction in the “US homeland.”


It’s a nightmare profoundly hoped for by the US Department of Homeland Security, that massive security-state bureaucracy looking for a raison d’être

Talk Nation Radio: Mike Gravel Advises Mark Udall on How to Make Torture Report Public

https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-mike-gravel-advises-mark-udall-on-how-to-make-torture-report-public

Former U.S. Senator Mike Gravel explains how he put the Pentagon Papers into the Congressional Record and gave them to the media in 1971, and how outgoing Senator Mark Udall could answer the growing public demand and do the same with the long-censored torture report. A petition urging Udall to act is here.

Total run time: 29:00

Host: David Swanson.
Producer: David Swanson.
Music by Duke Ellington.

Download from Archive or LetsTryDemocracy.

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Syndicated by Pacifica Network.

Please encourage your local radio stations to carry this program every week!

Please embed the SoundCloud audio on your own website!

Past Talk Nation Radio shows are all available free and complete at
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and at
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It’s not about justice, it’s winning convictions: Prosecutors Falsely Push Prison Term for Innocent Teen

By Linn Washington Jr.

 

Nasheeba Adams was both ecstatic and sad as she stood outside of Philadelphia’s Criminal Justice Center courthouse recently hugging her son Tomayo McDuffy.

Ukraine News - Nov 24, 2014

 

Putin: We’re stronger because we’re right, actions in Crimea and afterwards are a strategic decision - Business Insider


TRANSCRIPT: Interview with Vladimir Putin - TASS


Putin Tells New U.S. Envoy Ties Must Be Based On Equality - rferl.org


Western sanctions are aimed at regime change in Russia: Lavrov - RT News


VIDEO: Lavrov Press Conference on Ukraine (Part 1) - CNN


VIDEO: Lavrov Press Conference on Ukraine (Part 2) - RT News


Russia Warns U.S. Against Arming Ukraine - The Moscow Times


Russian Weapons Separatists Using In Ukraine - Business Insider

 

Merkel's spokesman raps Russia after report on aid to Ukraine rebels, helping to finance public services and state pay and pensions - The Moscow Times

 

Russia's New Tactical Nuclear Weapons Program Growing Confident  - International Business Times

 

The Russia-France Warship Deal Is Turning Into a Total Mess - VICE News

 

Moscow to Replace Western Companies if They Quit Energy Projects in Russia - Sputnik International

 

British anti-Putin campaigner claims Russians plan to kidnap him - The Guardian

 

Russia says to tighten ties with Georgian breakaway region of Abkhazia - Reuters

 

Comment by Spokesman of the Russian Foreign Ministry Alexander Lukashevich on the provocative remarks by the President of Lithuania - MFA of Russia

 

Moldova, eyeing Ukraine, divided on Europe integration as election nears - Reuters

 

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Despite Biden's Visit, US Will Not Provide Lethal Aid To Ukraine - Interpreter_Mag


US delivers anti-mortar radars to Ukraine: Pentagon - Yahoo News


Statement of the US Defense Department: U.S. Delivers Radar Systems to Ukraine - Defense.gov


US to Keep Sending Military Advisors to Ukraine: State Department - Sputnik International


US troops to remain in Baltics, Poland next year amid Moscow tensions - Reuters


US Congress pro-Ukraine lobby may press through for weapons to Ukraine soon - TASS


McCain slams Obama for not providing weapons to Ukraine - UNIAN news

 

Statement of Senator John McCain and Lindsey Graham on Ukraine - mccain.senate.senate.gov

 

VIDEO: McCain: Russia 'a Gas Station Masquerading as a Country' - YouTube

 

VIDEO: Ukrainian Volunteer Battalions Leaders in Washington: Newly elected MPs ask US lawmakers for weapons -LiveLeak.com

 

U.S. should look at giving weapons to Ukraine: top Obama adviser - Reuters

 

VIDEO: State Department: Ukraine Lethal Aid On Table - YouTube

 

New Ukraine Coalition Agreed, Sets NATO As Priority - rferl.org

 

Washington does not object to Ukraine’s bid for NATO membership: U.S. State Department - rickrozoff

 

German foreign minister speaks out against Ukraine joining NATO, "it is possible for NATO to have a partnership with Ukraine, but not membership” - RT News

 

NATO Parliamentary Assembly’s Annual Session Focuses on Ukraine - NATO PA

 

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The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine reports heavier fighting over the last 24 hours - Interpreter_Mag


Four Ukrainian Soldiers Killed As Violence Continues Near Russian Border - ibtimes.co.uk


Separatists to Lay Claims Over Whole Donetsk Region's Territory: Deputy PM - Sputnik International


Donetsk separatists ask Russia to recognise republican independence - TASS


Ukraine's field army digs in for separatist offensive - Telegraph


With Borscht and Rifle Scopes, Volunteers Power Ukraine Forces - NYTimes.com

 

VIDEO (Eng subs): Debaltsevo resident speaks to Euromaidan, reveals that people are afraid of Ukrainian Army that shelled their town with “Grads” - LiveLeak.com

 

VIDEO: (Eng subs):  "Poroshenko will choke with blood”: Interview with residents of houses ruined by Ukrainian Army - LiveLeak.com

 

Donetsk Airport drone footage shows how it has been destroyed by conflict (VIDEO) - Daily Mail Online

 

Main Points of the Coalition Agreement in Ukrainian Parliament - Interpreter_Mag

 

Poroshenko Heckled At Maidan Memorial, Biden Forced To Avoid Protests - Interpreter_Mag

 

VIDEO: 'Shame!' Protesters heckle Poroshenko at Maidan memorial - YouTube

 

Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine, Poroshenko Compares It With Separatist War In East (VIDEO) - VOA

 

Germany alarmed over government appointments in Ukraine - Ukraina.ru

 

ARCHIVE: Kiev regional police head accused of neo-Nazi ties - jpost.com

 

Ukraine slashed gold holdings in October, the hryvnia has lost 83 percent of its value against the dollar this year - Reuters

 

Shadow currency trade points to new Ukraine financial crisis - FT.com

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Split the CIA in Two

 

 


CIA’s Torturous Maneuvers on Torture

 

 

Editor Note: The CIA is fighting congressional demands to release a report on its covert program for torturing “war on terror” suspects, even as the spy agency contemplates a reorganization that could give the covert-action side more ways to bend the truth.  Is this a great country, or what?

By Ray McGovern

Ransom Payment for Beau Bergdahl

A few thoughts on this.

Bergdahl had a legal responsibility to walk away from an illegal war. It's not completely confirmed that he did so, but he's blamed for it, when he should be praised for it.

His father read my book War Is A Lie and had it on his desk for interviews earlier this year. Bergdahl wrote a last note to his father before disappearing, which he began: "The future is too good to waste on lies." He went on to describe the murderous assault of an arrogant, ignorant occupation in which soldiers chatted about running over children and openly insluted Afghans to their faces and treated them as dirt.

Did attempts to rescue Bergdahl result in U.S. deaths? Probably Afghan deaths to. The whole war has resulted and will continue to result in many thousands of innocent deaths and deaths of occupying troops. Amont the latter, the top killer is suicide. How do you pick a low-ranking scapegoat to blame for the suicides? You have to blame the war chiefly on those in Washington and other capitals waging it, and secondarily on those taking part, not on someone who chose to cease being part of something criminal and evil.

Payments to kidnappers -- and to drone victims' and other war victims' families -- are often hushed up. Are they made incompetently in a nation the occupiers do not know? Undoubtedly. But the CIA paid an American con-man in recenty years who claimed to see secret messages in Al Jazeera. The root of the incompetence may be arrogant unacountability. 

But should such payments be made? Yes. And I would radically enlarge them by paying 10% of war costs to transform regions of the globe for the better, cancel the wars, and use the other 90 percent for something useful.

Audio of Katherine Gun on What People Can Do About War

Here is audio (mp3) of Katherine Gun answering a question at a forum in London. She was asked what people should do. Of course, we love her answer. We also recommend listening to the entire forum which included some great friends and heroes:

  • Matthew Hoh, a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy and former US embassy representative in Afghanistan who became the highest-ranking U.S. official to publicly renounce policy in Afghanistan in 2009.
  • Coleen Rowley, an attorney and former FBI special agent who was among the first to expose some of the agency’s pre-9/11 failures, and was one of three whistleblowers named as Time Magazine’s persons of the year in 2002.
  • Norman Solomon is the coordinator of ExposeFacts.org and the author of a dozen books on media and public policy including *War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death*.
  • J. Kirk Wiebe is a retired National Security Agency whistleblower who worked at the agency for 36 years until October 2001. Since then, he has made several key public disclosures regarding the NSA’s massive surveillance programmes.
  • Katharine Gun is a former translator for the GCHQ who leaked a top secret memo in 2003 revealing NSA spying operations at the UN. Gun was subsequently charged under the Official Secrets Act but the case was dropped after the prosecution offered no evidence. Given the backdrop of impending war with Iraq at the time, Daniel Ellsberg called Gun’s leak “the most important and courageous” he had ever seen.

Listen to the whole thing here.

Mark Udall and the Unspeakable

President Obama, who is just now un-ending again the ending of the endless war on Afghanistan, has never made a secret of taking direction from the military, CIA, and NSA. He's escalated wars that generals had publicly insisted he escalate. He's committed to not prosecuting torturers after seven former heads of the CIA publicly told him not to. He's gone after whistleblowers with a vengeance and is struggling to keep this Bush-era torture report, or parts of it, secret in a manner that should confuse his partisan supporters.

But the depth of elected officials' obedience to a permanent war machine is usually a topic avoided in polite company -- usually, not always. Back in 2011, the dean of the law school at UC Berkeley, a member of Obama's transition team in 2009, said publicly that Obama had decided in 2009 to block prosecutions of Bush-era criminals in part because the CIA, NSA, and military would revolt. Ray McGovern says he has a trustworthy witness to Obama saying he would leave the crimes unpunished because, in Obama's words, "Don't you remember what happened to Martin Luther King?" Neither of those incidents has interested major media outlets in the slightest.

As we pass the 51st anniversary of the murder of President John F. Kennedy, many of us are urging Senator Mark Udall to make the torture report public by placing it into the Congressional Record, as Senator Mike Gravel did with the Pentagon Papers in 1971. Gravel is alive and well, and there's every reason to believe that Udall would go on to live many years deeply appreciated for his action. But there is -- let us be honest for a moment -- a reason Udall might hesitate that we don't want to speak about.

The general thinking is that because Udall's term ends this month, he doesn't have to please those who fund his election campaigns through the U.S. system of legalized bribery, and he doesn't have to please his fellow corrupt senators because he won't be working with them any longer. Both of those points may be false. Udall may intend to run for the Senate again, or -- like most senators, I suspect -- he may secretly plan on running for president some day. And the big payoffs for elected officials who work to please plutocracy always come after they leave office. But there is another consideration. The need to please the permanent war machine ends only when one is willing to die for something -- what Dr. King said one must be willing to do to have a life worth living -- not when one leaves office.

Presidents and Congress members send large numbers of people to risk their lives murdering much larger numbers of people in wars all the time. They have taken on jobs -- particularly the presidency -- in which they know they will be in danger no matter what they do.  And yet everyone in Washington knows (and no one says) that making an enemy of the CIA is just not done and has not been done since the last man to do it died in a convertible in Dallas. We've seen progressive members of Congress like Dennis Kucinich leave without putting crucial documents that they thought should be public into the Congressional Record. Any member of Congress, newly reelected or not, could give the public the torture report. A group of 10 of them could do it collectively for the good of humanity. But nobody thinks they will. Challenging a president who does not challenge the CIA is just not something that's done.

To understand why, I recommend reading Jim Douglass' book JFK and the Unspeakable. Douglass is currently writing about three other murders, those of Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., and Robert Kennedy. Distant history? Something that doesn't happen anymore? Perhaps, but is that because we've run out of lone nuts with guns? Clearly not. Is it because the permanent war machine has stopped killing its enemies? Or is it, rather, because no one has presented the same challenge to the permanent war machine that those people did? Peace voices are no longer allowed in the U.S. media. Both political parties favor widespread war. War has become a matter of routine. Enforcement has become unnecessary, because the threat, or other influences that align with it, has been so successful.

I recommend checking out ProjectUnspeakable.com, the website of a play by Court Dorsey that recounts the killing of JFK, Malcolm, Martin, and RFK. (Or check out a performance in Harlem planned for February 21.)

The play consists almost entirely of actual quotes by public figures. While no attempt is made, of course, at including a comprehensive collection of information, enough evidence is included in the play to completely erase belief in the official stories of how those four men died. And evidence is included showing who actually killed them, how, and why.

As if that weren't enough to persuade the viewer that our society is mentally blocking out something uncomfortable, the glaring obviousness of what happened in those years of assassinations is highlighted. President Kennedy was publicly asked if he might be murdered exactly as he was, and he publicly replied that it could certainly happen. His brother discussed the likelihood of it with Khrushchev for godsake. The killing of Malcolm X was not the war machine's first attempt on his life. He and King both saw what was coming quite clearly and said so. Bobby Kennedy knew too, did not believe the official account of his brother's murder. King's family rejects the claim that James Earl Ray killed MLK, pointing instead to the CIA killer shown in the photographs of the assassination but never questioned as a witness. A jury has unanimously agreed with King's family against the government and the history books.

The attention to President Kennedy has always been so intense that fear and suppression have been required. The doctors said he was shot from the front. Everyone agreed there were more bullets shot than left the gun of the official suspect, who was positioned behind the target. But investigators and witnesses have died in very suspect circumstances. The other deaths have not been in exactly the same glaring spotlight. New evidence in the killing of Robert Kennedy emerges every few years and is chatted about as a curiosity for a moment before simply being ignored. After all, the man is dead.

Let's try an analogy. I live in Charlottesville, Va., where the University of Virginia is. This week, Rolling Stone published an article about violent gang rapes of female students in a fraternity house. I had known that rape victims are often reluctant to come forward. I had known that rape can be a hard charge to prove. But I had also known that young women sometimes regret sex and falsely accuse nonviolent well-meaning young men of rape, and that UVA held rallies against date rape, and that opposition to sexual assault and harassment was all over the news and widely accepted as the proper progressive position. With California passing a law to clarify what consent is, I had assumed everyone knew violent assault had nothing to do with consent. I had assumed brutal gang attacks by students who are expelled if they cheat on a test or write a bad check could not go unknown. And now it seems there's something of a widely known unspoken epidemic. In the analysis of the Rolling Stone article, women deny rape goes on to shield themselves from the fear, while men deny it in order to shield themselves from any discomfort about their party-going fun-loving carelessness. And yet some significant number of students knew and stayed silent until one brave victim spoke, just as every whistleblower in Washington exists alongside thousands of people who keep their mouths shut.

What if someone in Washington were to speak? What if the unspeakable were made speakable?

 

David Swanson to Speak in Michigan


PCM_logo
 Coming Events!
Announcing our 2015 Annual State Conference
WAR NO MORE,
 
WAR NEVER AGAIN!:

PEACE AS POLICY
featuring

DAVID SWANSON

 Author and activist

 

David Swanson has written several books, including War Is a Lie (2010), When the World Outlawed War (2011) and War No More: The Case for Abolition (2013).  He serves as the director of WorldBeyondWar.org and campaign coordinator for RootsAction.org

 

                                      

Saturday April 11, 2015 

St. John Fisher in Auburn Hills

 
Don't Miss It!!!

SAVE THE DATE!
 
 

US news organizations dispense propaganda, not news: Forget ‘Fair and Balanced,’ US Corporate Media Give Only the Government’s

By Dave Lindorff


One searches almost in vain for honest reporting on the Ukraine conflict in the US corporate media, which is simply parroting the US government position, which is that the rebels in eastern Ukraine are simply tools of Russian aggression against Ukraine.


Saving The Internet: How the Impossible Shifted to the Inevitable

Originally posted a AcronymTV

When President Barack Obama appointed venture capitalist and former Verizon and ATT lobbyist Tom Wheeler as chair of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), it sent shudders down the spines of anyone concerned with the concept of net neutrality.

Last spring, it may have seemed an impossible task for activists and the Internet itself to defend net neutrality, but to date, they have.

Gloriously so.

Dear White People: Our State of Emergency

Originally posted at AcronymTV

As you know, a pre-emptive State of Emergency has been called in Ferguson, Missouri as the country waits to hear if officer Darren Wilson will be charged with the murder of Michael Brown.

Let’s focus on another State of Emergency for a moment.

Humor, Humanity from Guantanamo Prisoners

by Debra Sweet         Vice, the youth-oriented news/culture site, has broken new ground this week in featuring a series on Guantanamo. Extradordinary, because it gives voice to prisoners and disaffected former guards.  See "What Happens When I Try to Give My Guantánamo Guards Presents" by prisoner Enad Hassan, and My Time as a Guantanamo Bay Guard by Terry Holdbrooks.

Would you think it was the job of psychologists or journalists to expose criminal activity?

by Debra Sweet           After many years of protest from within the organization, the American Psychological Association says it will review the organization's role in facilitating “enhanced interrogation” by the CIA and the U.S. military.Or as the world knows it — torture.

Justice for Michael Brown

On Monday, Missouri Governor Nixon declared a “State of Emergency” — mobilizing the National Guard, and authorizing violent suppression of protest — even before there is an announcement from the Grand Jury on whether they will indict Ferguson cop Darren Wilson for the murder of Michael Brown more than 100 days ago.
 
People seeking justice for Michael Brown, and hundreds of others killed by police every year, widely expect no indictment of Wils

Israel News - Nov 21, 2014

 

Hamas calls for 'day of rage' in the West Bank on Friday - Maan News Agency


Violence in East Jerusalem; 'Intifada starts today,' Palestinian kids say - Ynetnews


Hamas said activating Jerusalem cells as Israel rocked by synagogue massacre - World Tribune


Hamas Praises Recent Terror Attacks In Israel, Calls Launch Of New Intifada, Threatens: 'The Palestinian Volcano Will Erupt’ - memri.org


Police on heightened alert as Hamas calls for ‘day of rage’ - jpost.com


Police set up checkpoints at East Jerusalem neighborhoods - The Times of Israel


Police bust massive shipment of firecrackers, knives and swords bound for capital - The Times of Israel


Hamas resumes trials of homemade rockets, IDF says - Ynetnews

 

Hamas affiliated social media abuzz with cartoons glorifying Jerusalem terror attack (CARTOONS) - jpost.com

 

VIDEO: Palestinians in the Middle-East celebrate the synagogue massacre - LiveLeak.com

 

VIDEO: Palestinians brandish AXES to celebrate synagogue attack - LiveLeak.com

 

VIDEO: Hamas’s new hit song in Hebrew: 'Zionist, you are about to be killed by a car’ - jpost.com

 

VIDEO: Attempted hit and run in Israel - LiveLeak.com

 

Hamas member admits to running over soldiers in Nov. 5 attack - The Times of Israel

 

Hamas planned to assassinate FM Lieberman - Ynetnews

 

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine on Thursday officially mourned two of its members who were killed after carrying out the attack on an Israeli synagogue - Maan News Agency

 

PFLP statement on the Synagogue attack in Jerusalem - Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine

 

Contradictory messages from PA in response to Synagogue massacre, While Abbas condemned the attack one of his senior advisors and the official Facebook page of Fatah praised it - The Tower

 

Israel spy chief says Abbas is not inciting to terror, while Netanyahu points accusing finger at Palestinian president - Ynetnews

 

Abbas powerless to stop Palestinian violence, experts say - AFP

 

-------------------------------------------------------

Terrorist's home destroyed by Israel, marking return to controversial policy - The Times of Israel


Palestinians: Order to demolish homes of Palestinians who perpetrated attacks unlawful and immoral - pnn.ps


VIDEO: Israel forces demolish a Palestinian home of an Hamas member in wake of attack on synagogue - AP


Committee Approves 78 Apartments In Eastern Jerusalem - The Jewish Week


US slams Israeli construction in E. Jerusalem, renewed home demolitions - The Times of Israel


Five major EU states to Israel: Demolishing terrorists' homes will escalate tensions - Haaretz

 

Israeli soldiers protect settlers attacking Palestinian villagers (VIDEO) - RT News

 

Israeli settlers stab a Palestinian in Jerusalem, attack school in West Bank - Al Akhbar English

 

VIDEO: Palestinians attend funeral ceremony for hanged bus driver - YouTube

 

Did Palestinian pathologist recant findings in death of Jerusalem bus driver? Israel urges Palestinian Authority to admit that death was suicide, pathologist appears to cast doubt - i24news

 

Egypt takes aim at Hamas' terror tunnels, closes the key Rafah crossing into Gaza and announces that it would establish a 500-meter buffer zone - Fox News

 

Closing of Egypt's Rafah crossing leaves thousands of Gazans stranded - Reuters

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Introducing “Natural Gas Exports: Washington’s Revolving Door Fuels Climate Threat”

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

DeSmogBlog's Steve Horn and Republic Report's Lee Fang have co-written an in-depth report on the influence the government-industry revolving door has had on Big Oil's ability to obtain four liquefied natural gas (LNG) export permits since 2012 from the Obama Administration.

 Photo Credit: DeSmogBlog

Titled "Natural Gas Exports: Washington's Revolving Door Fuels Climate Threat," the report published here on DeSmogBlog and on Republic Report serves as the launching pad of an ongoing investigation. It will act as the prelude of an extensive series of articles by both websites uncovering the LNG exports influence peddling machine. 

The report not only exposes the lobbying apparatus that has successfully opened the door for LNG exports, but also the PR professionals paid to sell them to the U.S. public. It also exposes those who have gone through the "reverse revolving door," moving from industry back to government and sometimes back again.

It reveals that many former Obama Administration officials now work as lobbyists or PR professionals on behalf of the LNG exports industry, as do many former Bush Administration officials. So too do those with ties to potential 2016 Democratic Party presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton. 

They include:

Torturer on the Ballot

Michigan's First Congressional District is cold enough to freeze spit. Half of it is disconnected from the rest of Michigan and tacked onto the top of Wisconsin. A bit of it is further north than that, but rumored to be inhabited nonetheless.

In the recent Congressional elections, incumbent Republican Congressman Dan Benishek was reelected to his third term with 52 percent of the votes. Benishek is a climate-change denier and committed to limiting himself to three terms, a pair of positions that may end up working well together.

Benishek's predecessor in Congress was a Democrat, and a Democrat took 45 percent of the vote this year. Will that Democrat run again in 2016? Some would argue that if he does it should be from prison. Before he ran for office, Jerry Cannon ran the U.S. death camp at Guantanamo and, according to a witness, was personally responsible for ordering torture.

Green Party candidate Ellis Boal took 1 percent of the vote in Michigan's First, after apparently failing to interest corporate media outlets in his campaign, and by his own account failing utterly to interest them in what he managed to learn about Cannon, who also "served" in the war in Iraq.

Now, Congress is jam-packed with members of both major parties who have effectively condoned and covered up torture for years. Both parties have elected numerous veterans of recent wars who have participated in killing in wars that they themselves, in some cases, denounce as misguided. And we've read about the Bush White House overseeing torture in real time from afar. But it still breaks new ground for the party of the President who has claimed to be trying to close Guantanamo for six years to put up as a candidate a man who ran the place, and a man whose role in torture was not entirely from his air-conditioned office.

I would also venture to say that it breaks new media ground for the news outlets covering the recent election nationally and locally in Michigan's First District to not only miss this story but actively refuse to cover it when Boal held it in their faces and screamed. "Despite many attempts," Boal says, "I have been unable to interest any media in it, save for a small newspaper in Traverse City (near me) which gave it cursory attention."

Boal sent out an offer to any reporter willing to take an interest: "I located a witness, a former detainee now cleared and back home in Bosnia, who can testify of an instance of torture visited on him in early 2004, ordered and supervised by Cannon. I can put you in touch with him through his attorney. The details of the incident are here. . . . Without success I tried to make it a campaign issue."

Jerry Cannon, according to both Wikipedia and his own website, first "served" in the war that killed three to four million Vietnamese. He was commander of the Joint Detention Operations Group Joint Task Force Guantanamo from 2003 to 2004. He was Deputy Commanding General responsible for developing Iraqi police forces in Iraq from 2008 to 2009, and U.S. Forces-Iraq Provost Marshal General and Deputy Commanding General for Detention Operations in Iraq from 2010 to 2011. Boy, everything this guy touches turns out golden!

Boal has collected evidence of torture during Cannon's time at Guantanamo, from the Red Cross, the Center for Constitutional Rights, the U.S. Senate, and public reports including in the New York Times, here.

Boal focuses on Mustafa Ait Idir, a former prisoner of Guantanamo who, like most, has been widely written about, and who, like most, has been found innocent of any wrong-doing and been released (in November 2008 after years of wrongful imprisonment).

Mustafa Ait Idir says that soldiers at Guantanamo threw him down on rocks and jumped on him, causing injuries including a broken finger, dislocated knuckles, and half his face paralyzed; they sprayed chemicals in his face, squeezed his testicles, and slammed his head on the floor and jumped on him. They bent his fingers back to cause pain, and broke one of them in the process. They stuck his head in a toilet and flushed it. They stuck a hose in his mouth and forced water down his throat. They refused him medical attention.

Boal communicated with Idir through Idir's lawyer, and Idir identified Cannon from photos and a video as the man who had threatened him with punishment if he did not hand over his pants. (Prisoners who believed they needed pants in order to pray were being stripped of their pants as a means of humiliation and abuse.) Idir refused to give up his pants unless he could have them back to wear for praying. Consequently, he was "enhanced interrogated."

Torture and complicity in torture are felonies under U.S. law, a fact that the entire U.S. political establishment has gone to great lengths to obscure.

I shared the information above with Rebecca Gordon, author of Mainstreaming Torture, and she replied:

"Torture is a 'non-partisan' practice in this country. It's beyond disgraceful that the Democratic Party would run Jerry Cannon for Congress. Sadly, while most (but clearly not all!) Dems have repudiated torture in words, their deeds have been more ambiguous. Five years after President Obama took office, the prison at Guantánamo remains open, and torture continues there. The Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture has yet to be released. (Perhaps lame duck senator Mark Udall will be persuaded to read the whole thing into the Congressional Record, as some of us are hoping.) We have yet to get a full accounting, not only of the CIA's activities, but of all U.S. torture in the 'war on terror.' Equally important, President Obama made it clear at the beginning of his first term that no one would be held accountable for torture. 'Nothing will be gained,' he said 'by spending our time and energy laying blame for the past.' But we know this is not true. When high government officials know that they can torture with impunity, torture will continue."

Noting Cannon's resume post-Guantanamo, Gordon said, "Under the al-Maliki government, the Iraqi police force, and in particular the detention centers operated by the Iraqi Special Police Commandos, routinely abused members of Iraq's Sunni communities, thereby further inflaming the political and social enmity between Sunnis and Shias in Iraq. When the so-called Islamic State began operating in Iraq, they found willing collaborators in Sunni communities whose members had been tortured by the al-Maliki government's police. When Jerry Cannon went to Guantánamo, he went as an Army reservist. In civilian life he was Sheriff of Kalkaska County in Michigan. Cannon's abusive practices and contemptuous attitudes towards detainees did not originate in Guantánamo. He brought them with him from the United States. Similarly, in civilian life, the members of the reservist unit responsible for the famous outrages at Abu Ghraib were prison guards from West Virginia. Their ringleader, Specialist Charles Graner, famously wrote home to friends about his activities at Abu Ghraib, 'The Christian in me says it's wrong, but the corrections officer in me says, "I love to make a grown man piss himself."' In fact, if you want to find torture hidden in plain sight, look no farther than the jails and prisons of this country."

The mystery of where torture came from turns out to be no mystery at all. It came from the prison industrial complex. And it's now been so mainstreamed that it's no bar to running for public office. But here's another mystery: Why is President Obama going to such lengths to cover up his predecessor's torture, including insisting on redactions in the Senate report on CIA torture that even Senator Dianne Feinstein claims not to want censored? Surely it's not because of all the gratitude Obama's receiving from former President Bush or his supporters! Actually, it's no mystery at all. As Gordon points out: the torture is ongoing.

President Elect Obama made very clear in January 2009 that he would not allow torturers to be prosecuted and would be "looking forward" instead of (what all law enforcement outside of science fiction requires) backward. By February 2009, reports were coming in that torture at Guantanamo was worsening rather than ceasing, and included: "beatings, the dislocation of limbs, spraying of pepper spray into closed cells, applying pepper spray to toilet paper and over-force-feeding detainees who are on hunger strike." In April 2009 a Guantanamo prisoner phoned a media outlet to report being tortured. As time went by the reports kept coming, as the military's written policy would lead one to expect.

In May 2009, former vice president Dick Cheney forced into the news the fact that, even though Obama had "banned torture" by executive order (torture being a felony and a treaty violation before and after the "banning") Obama maintained the power to use torture as needed. Cheney said that Obama's continued claim of the power to torture vindicated his own (Cheney's) authorization of torture. David Axelrod, White House Senior Advisor, refused repeatedly, to dispute Cheney's assertion -- also supported by Leon Panetta's confirmation hearing for CIA director, at which he said the president had the power to torture and noted that rendition would continue. In fact, it did. The New York Times quickly reported that the U.S. was now outsourcing more torture to other countries. The Obama administration announced a new policy on renditions that kept them in place, and a new policy on lawless permanent imprisonment that kept it in place but formalized it, mainstreamed it. Before long Obama-era rendition victims were alleging torture.

As the Obama White House continued and sought to extend the occupation of Iraq, torture continued to be an Iraqi policy, as it has post-occupation and during occupation 3.0. It has also remained a U.S. and Afghan policy in Afghanistan, with no end in sight. The U.S. military has continued to use the same personnel as part of its torture infrastructure. And secret CIA torture prisons have continued to pop into the news even though the CIA was falsely said to have abandoned that practice. While the Obama administration has claimed unprecedented powers to block civil suits against torturers, it has also used, in court, testimony produced by torture, something that used to be illegal (and still is if you go by written laws).

"Look at the current situation," Obama said in 2013, "where we are force-feeding detainees who are being held on a hunger strike . . . Is this who we are?" Well, it is certainly who some of us have become, including Obama, the senior authority in charge of the soldiers doing the force-feeding, and a human chameleon able to express outrage at his own policies, a trick that is perhaps more central to the mainstreaming of vicious and sadistic practices than we always care to acknowledge.

Those retaining some sense of decency are currently urging the Obama administration to go easy in its punishment of a nurse who refused to participate in the force-feeding, who in fact insisted on being "who we are."

Gulf-Bound Tar Sands for Export? Follow the Oiltanking Trail

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

The U.S. Senate failed to get the necessary 60 votes to approve the northern leg of TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline, but incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) already promised it will get another vote when the GOP-dominated Senate begins its new session in 2015.

Though the bill failed, one of the key narratives that arose during the congressional debate was the topic of whether or not the tar sands product that may flow through it will ultimately be exported to the global market. President Barack Obama, when queried by the press about the latest Keystone congressional action, suggested tar sands exports are the KXL line's raison d'etre.

Houston Ship Channel; Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Obama's comments struck a nerve. Bill sponsor U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and supporter U.S. Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND) both stood on the Senate floor and said Keystone XL is not an export pipeline in the minutes leading up to the bill's failure.

"Contrary to the ranting of some people that this is for export...Keystone is not for export," said Landrieu, with Hoeven making similar remarks.

But a DeSmog probe into a recent merger of two major oil and gas industry logistics and marketing companies, Oiltanking Partners and Enterprise Products Partners, has demonstrated key pieces of the puzzle are already being put together by Big Oil to make tar sands exports a reality. 

And both Keystone XL and Enbridge's "Keystone XL Clone" serve as key thoroughfares for making it happen.

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