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How Many Civilian Deaths Are Acceptable?

How Many Civilian Deaths Are Acceptable?
By Tom Hayden | Boston.com

In contrast, epidemiologists at Johns Hopkins employed active surveillance techniques, based on randomized household surveys typically used in war zones. By these measures, civilian casualties were at least three times higher than the numbers from the Iraq Body Count. The real numbers disappeared in a fog of war generated in part by the Pentagon and White House....To move forward, Kerry’s committee should release the Pentagon’s classified answer and, if necessary, press for further clarification.

It was a cryptic Pentagon answer to Senator John Kerry’s straightforward question, in notes from the Senate hearing on May 21:

Question. According to The New York Times July 20, 2003, Secretary Rumsfeld personally approved over 50 US airstrikes in Iraq which were expected to kill up to 50 innocent Iraqi civilians each. According to Pentagon policy at the time, any strikes expected to result in 50 or more civilian deaths as unavoidable collateral damage were to be approved personally by the Secretary. The media was informed of this policy in July 2003 when the chief US commander disclosed the sign-off policy. Does that policy continue today in Afghanistan, and, if so, in what form? Do White House or Pentagon officials sign off on bombing runs where civilian casualties are expected to be higher than 50? Which officials?

Answer. (DELETED)

Does the Obama administration, specifically the secretary of defense, know in advance how many innocent civilians are expected to die before bombing raids are approved in Afghanistan and Pakistan? This was the case with Donald Rumsfeld during the bombing of Iraq.

Now the administration insists on keeping the answers secret.

If the previous policy has been discontinued, that means the White House is delegating the projected body counts to lower field commanders, an unlikely abdication of sensitive decisions.

If the policy continues, does Secretary of Defense Robert Gates personally approve? Is the president in the loop? Do they believe there is an acceptable level of unavoidable civilian casualties, and, if so, what is that level and who sets it? Read more.

How to Cut Your Doctor's Bills

How to Cut Your Doctor's Bills
Patients Haggle with Doctors and Hospitals to Bring Down Medical Costs
By David Whelan | Forbes.com via ABCNews.com

Eric Remjeske, 38, was skiing in Vail, Colo., this February when he missed a jump. The result: broken bones in both feet and the prospect of big medical bills. Remjeske needed a night in the hospital plus an orthopedic surgeon to put two screws in each heel. His health insurance required him to meet a $6,000 deductible and pay a 20% share of any expense after that.

So Remjeske, a financial planner, returned home to Minneapolis for surgery and set out to trim his costs. He got quotes from three different surgeons at three hospitals and tried to anticipate related expenses, like anesthesia and physical therapy. The estimates ranged from $14,000 to $18,000. He picked the University of Minnesota's hospital, which had the lowest estimate.

After the successful surgery, the bills arrived, totaling $16,000--more than what he'd expected. Remjeske fought back, objecting to specific hospital charges. The hospital agreed to strike a $500 charge for time in the recovery room, $200 for a leg-lifting device that Remjeske claims wasn't used and $800 in other charges, including the cost of physical therapy sessions that never happened. Remjeske says he missed out on the opportunity to get a deal on his sedation medicine because the anesthesiologist wasn't able to tell him the price ahead of time.

The rise in health care costs, and especially in the share paid by the patient, is giving people a lot more incentive to gather their courage to try to bargain down prices. Last year, an average insured family spent $3,350 on copays, coinsurance (the percentage that is the patient's responsibility), premiums and deductibles. That's twice the average of a decade ago.

"If you go in unknowing and come out unknowing, you could end up with an unbelievable bill," Remjeske says. As for the hospital, "We think we give the best care," says spokeswoman Jennifer Amundson, "so it's nice to know that we're also competitive."

Haggle with your doctor and hospital? These days you'd be crazy not to. Read more.

Closing Argument at Guantanamo: The Torture of Mohammed Jawad

Closing Argument at Guantanamo: The Torture of Mohammed Jawad
By Major David J.R. Frakt | Harvard Human Rights Journal

Excerpts: Jawad was the first military commission case to squarely present the issue of the provable torture of a detainee at Guantanamo Bay, and Mohammed Jawad was the first Guantanamo detainee to take the witness stand in a military commission and describe his mistreatment under oath.

I had two meetings with Mr. Jawad at the detention camp where he was held prior to the hearing on May 7. I tried to persuade him to allow me to represent him, but he was understandably wary about accepting the assistance of a U.S. military attorney. In a meeting in the courthouse holding cell just before the hearing, Mr. Jawad and I reached a compromise—he would allow me to represent him for the limited purposes of challenging the legitimacy of the military commissions and the conditions of his confinement. The military judge, recognizing this compromise as progress, accepted the arrangement and gave me three weeks to file “law motions” challenging the jurisdiction of the commissions and the conditions of Mr. Jawad’s confinement.18

Two weeks later, the prosecutor, honoring his duty to provide exculpatory evidence to the defense, turned over prison logs revealing that my client had been subjected to a sleep deprivation program known as the “frequent flyer program.” Specifically, Mr. Jawad had been moved back and forth between two prison cells approximately every three hours for fourteen straight days, a total of 112 moves. These cell moves, which were clearly intended to disrupt the detainee’s sleep, were made time-consuming by the fact that both his hands and feet were shackled. My hastily conducted research convinced me that this program constituted torture.19 Along with the frequent flyer program, the prison logs also revealed that Mr. Jawad had attempted to commit suicide on December 25, 2003.

The only remedy indicated in the Manual for Military Commissions in cases of torture was suppression of evidence obtained by torture.20
###
The entire file is attached here at ADS, and can also be read at the link above for the Harvard Human Rights Journal. Click "Read more" to continue reading the Excerpt.

UN and International Agencies Fear Gaza Educational System Unprepared For New School Year

UN and International Agencies Fear Gaza Educational System Unprepared for new school year | Press Statement
Call for immediate opening of Gaza’s borders | 28 July 2009

Together with the communities we serve, the United Nations and non-governmental humanitarian organizations working in oPt collectively call for immediate steps to end the blockade, as is required by international humanitarian and human rights law. We call on the Government of Israel to urgently facilitate entry of construction materials and supplies for schools in the coming weeks, and to ensure that students, teachers and trainers can freely exit and enter Gaza to continue learning.

The UN Humanitarian Coordinator, representing UN aid agencies in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), and the Association of International Development Agencies (AIDA), represented by at least 25 NGOs, today demand full and unfettered access into and out of Gaza in particular to restore the Gazan educational system.

During the 23 days of Israel’s operation “Cast Lead” in Gaza, 18 schools were completely destroyed and at least 280 were damaged. Today, one month before the start of the new school year, more than six months after the ceasefires, none of these schools have been properly rebuilt or rehabilitated due to lack of construction materials. Since the imposition of the blockade, students have faced chronic shortages of educational supplies including textbooks, paper and uniforms, though we acknowledge the recent moves to allow textbooks, uniforms, and stationary into Gaza. These are welcome first steps. However, the quantities, kinds and predictability of goods being permitted into Gaza are still far below what is required for normal life. Even prior to “Cast Lead” the education system was already under severe duress due to the two year blockade that has caused a crisis of “human dignity” in Gaza.

The right to learn and be educated is a fundamental child right that is uniquely central to every child’s ability to realize his or her potential - and by extension, that of their communities and countries.

Afghanistan: Child Rapist Police Return Behind U.S., UK Troops

AFGHANISTAN: Child Rapist Police Return Behind U.S., UK Troops
By Gareth Porter* | IPSNews

WASHINGTON, Jul 29 (IPS) - The strategy of the major U.S. and British military offensive in Afghanistan's Helmand province aimed at wresting it from the Taliban is based on bringing back Afghan army and police to maintain permanent control of the population, so the foreign forces can move on to another insurgent stronghold.

But that strategy poses an acute problem: The police in the province, who are linked to the local warlord, have committed systematic abuses against the population, including the abduction and rape of pre-teen boys, according to village elders who met with British officers.

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) 2008 Annual Report

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) 2008 Annual Report
By Stephen Lendman

Established in 1995, PCHR functions independently in Gaza and enjoys "Consultative Status" with the UN's Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). It's also an affiliate of the International Commission of Jurists-Geneva, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) in Paris, the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network in Copenhagen, the Arab Organization for Human Rights in Cairo, and the International Legal Assistance Consortium (ILAC) in Stockholm.

Palestinian lawyers and human rights activists established it to:

  • "protect human rights and promote the rule of law;"
  • create, develop and promote a democratic culture in Palestinian society; and
  • work for Palestinian self-determination and independence "in accordance with international law and UN resolutions."

Guantánamo Bay: The Inside Story

Guantánamo Bay: the inside story
By Naomi Wolf | Times Online
There’s a McDonald’s on the high street, suburban houses, rats the size of dogs, and 229 of the world’s most high-profile prisoners. Six months after President Obama declared that he would close it down, Naomi Wolf heads to Guantánamo Bay to see whether anything has changed

Six months ago this week President Obama, on his second day in office, promised to close the Guantánamo detention camp within a year, and to undo the secretive and coercive detention and interrogation policies of George W. Bush. But has Obama been as good as his word?

I went to Guantánamo last month to see for myself what difference, if any, Obama’s election had made. My trip was surreal from start to end. I was in line for the rotating junket to the island, and had been given a date by a nervous-sounding and very young Lieutenant Cody Starken. I signed papers that committed me to not reporting classified information — on pain of prosecution. Then I got on a tiny aircraft — unmarked on any announcement board — out of Fort Lauderdale airport.

On the aircraft were bland-looking contractors, male and female, who deflected my small talk, and two young staffers from the Centre for Constitutional Rights, the organisation representing the detainees when no one else would touch the work, and which now co-ordinates hundreds of lawyers from across the country doing so: Pardis Kebriaei, a staff lawyer, and Jess Baen, a legal worker, tried to answer all my questions until my military handler determinedly parted us on our arrival. Lawyers are kept in a compound on one side of the military base at Guantánamo, journalists housed on the other side; they may never communicate with or run into one another. As a journalist, a handler sticks within 18in of you at all times, standing outside when you go to the bathroom and near by when you buy personal items at the commissary; your phone calls and e-mail are monitored. Read more.

The People's Rally, in DC, at Malcolm X Park, for Single Payer

The People's Rally, in DC, at Malcolm X Park, for Single Payer - Part 1

On Sunday, July 26, 2009, in Malcolm X Park, in Washington, DC, “The People’s Rally” for a Single Payer Healthcare system was held. It featured a “Speak Out” by the uninsured and the underinsured; and by patients, doctors, nurses, political and community leaders. The lively event was sponsored and supported by the Labor Campaign for Single-Payer, Metropolitan Washington Council AFL-CIO, Healthcare Now, and the Spirit of Truth Foundation.

Rep. Grijalva Urges U.S. Pressure on Coup Regime in Honduras

It's been a month since Honduran President Manuel Zelaya was deposed in a military coup. Negotiations on restoring democracy supported by the United States broke down when the coup regime refused to accept a compromise that would allow President Zelaya to return.

The Obama Administration still says it is working for President Zelaya's return, but so far it has not responded to the call from Hondurans for increased U.S. pressure on the coup regime.

Indeed, when President Zelaya tried to increase pressure on the coup regime by threatening to return to Honduras without an agreement, Secretary of State Clinton attacked President Zelaya as "reckless," instead of expressing any concern about repression by the coup regime against President Zelaya's supporters.

Racist Web Posts Traced to Homeland Security

Racist Web Posts Traced to Homeland Security
By Kirk Semple | NYTimes

After federal border agents detained several Mexican immigrants in western New York in June, an article about the incident in a local newspaper drew an onslaught of vitriolic postings on its Web site. Some were racist. Others attacked farmers in the region, an apple-growing area east of Rochester, accusing them of harboring illegal workers. Still others made personal attacks about the reporter who wrote the article.

Most of the posts were made anonymously. But in reviewing the logs of its Internet server, the paper, The Wayne County Star in Wolcott, traced three of them to Internet protocol addresses at the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees border protection.

Homeland Security started an investigation into the posts this month, according to the reporter, Louise Hoffman-Broach, and Richard M. Healy, the Wayne County district attorney. A spokeswoman for the federal agency’s inspector general said she could neither confirm nor deny an investigation; department rules prohibit the use of office equipment for the personal transmission of material that could offend fellow employees or the public. Read more.

I AM APPALLED! Admiral Mullen After Viewing Classified Detainee Photos

Joint Chiefs Chairman 'Appalled' By Detainee Abuse Photos | Fox News

Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, expressed outrage to his combatant commanders after seeing some of the detainee abuse photos now under wraps by the Obama administration...

My Mom Is A Torture Loving, Italian/Catholic, Fascist and Fox News Viewer

My Mom Is A Torture Loving, Italian/Catholic, Fascist and Fox News Viewer
By Robert Corsini | The Public Record

It’s truly stupefying that today, in the midst of the Obama era, that legions of Americans continue to find it so easy to rationalize and doggedly defend the Bush administration’s torture program.

As more details are revealed it’s clear that never before in human history has such a complex system of abduction, international rendition, and judicial and legislative manipulations been employed to advance and empower an extremely narrow yet far reaching political agenda.

Bush and Co. have turned American democracy on its head and redefined political criminality and neo-fascistic hubris while injecting their poison into the minds of untold millions of Americans via a compliant and self-serving media system. They have rendered Orwell’s horrific vision for the future of humanity in ‘1984’, quaint. But above all, what is most astonishing to me is how they have made my 86 year old Italian-Catholic, Jesus loving mother, embrace torturers and denounce Peace Makers.

My two brothers and I used to have a good laugh when my parents would talk about the ‘good’ Mussolini brought to Italy. For my entire adult life, spirited political hyperbole and great food have always been a part of my family’s dinner table experience. ‘Pass the ravioli – the Japs deserved two nuclear bombs!’ ‘How could you say such a thing I thought you believed in Jesus?’

A study released in April by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press indicates the more often people attend church, the more likely they are to support torture. Sadly, the sobering data supports my own personal struggle growing up in an extremely conservative, Italian Catholic family. I will always remember my parents’ deep-seated belief that the biggest mistake ‘Il Duce’ ever made was aligning himself with Hitler (I think Hitler saw it the other way around) and how amazing my mother’s gnocchi were.

Whiteous Indignation

"How cute!" my adults would say when they passed a black baby or a small black child. They'd grin approvingly at the baby and smile their acceptance at the baby's mom. Sometimes they'd extend a hand to brush the baby's cheek to prove their gentility. And then they'd walk a bit further, lean into each other and snark the zinger that angered me then and now, "yeah, they're cute now but wait till they get older." There it was. There it is. The not so subtle prejudice I witnessed in my family that millions of impressionable children witnessed in theirs.

As far back as I can remember I was offended by this language. But others in my family, in my generation, were not. Many assumed the attitudes and language of our adults and continued these prejudices into their adulthoods. Some more strongly than others. Some used the "N word." Some used "ditsoon," the Italian pejorative for blacks. In my large extended family, that includes several police, racial insensitivity was the norm.

Secret Bush-era Prisons Continue

Secret Bush-era Prisons Continue
By John C. Trang | New America Media

There is growing evidence CMUs were created to extract information from inmates for the war on terrorism. Since privacy rights are reduced for the incarcerated, increasing attention to prisoners as a source of information was a logical step for proponents of sustaining a war on terrorism. And by stretching what constitutes a terrorism related charge, the government could consolidate prisoners believed to possess desired knowledge and ignore even basic civil liberties afforded other incarcerated people by invoking “war on terrorism.” To be sure, similar to the tenuous links to terrorism, the extent of any inmate’s knowledge about terrorism is questionable at best.

Ultimately, due to the secretive nature of CMUs, the real explanation continues to be a mystery. What is not a mystery is that the war on terrorism continues to be wrongfully conflated with Islam. This likely explains the disproportionate level of Muslim inmates. Although there are non-Muslim inmates at CMUs, at least one Muslim inmate claims that security guards have called non-Muslim inmates “racial balancers.” Whether or not non-Muslim inmates are mere decoys is unclear. But such a claim should heighten our concern that the government is targeting inmates based on a racial perception of who is a terrorist.

Despite President Barack Obama’s declaration that the United States is not and never will be at war with Islam, government practices suggest otherwise.

In June, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed complaints against the U.S. Bureau of Prisons (BOP) for illegally establishing secret prisons called Communications Management Units, or CMUs. The ACLU also alleged unconstitutional restrictions on Muslim inmates’ right to religious freedom. As a law student investigating the CMUs, the existence of these secret prisons trouble me.

The first CMU was clandestinely established in late 2006 at the federal prison facility in Terre Haute, IN. In 2008, another CMU was established in Marion, IL. According to the government, CMUs were created to “house inmates who, due to their current offense of conviction, offense conduct or other verified information, require increased monitoring of communication between inmates and persons in the community in order to protect the safety, security, and orderly operations of Bureau facilities and protect the public.”

Sounds mundane, right? But the fact is CMUs are a palpable and disconcerting product of xenophobia and the war on terrorism. Concocted during the Bush administration, CMUs are alarmingly reminiscent of McCarthy-era practices and the Japanese American internment camps. Read more.

Agent Orange Causes Media Blindness

By Dave Lindorff

Agent Orange, the herbicide used as a weapon by US military forces in Vietnam for nearly a decade to defoliate vast stretches of inhabited forest and jungle in an effort to deprive the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese forces of both cover and a supportive populace, has long been known to have caused a large number of serious and debilitating diseases, many of them passed on to children of those exposed. But now it also appears to cause a peculiar blindness among American journalists.

Microwave Weapon Will Rain Pain From The Sky

Microwave weapon will rain pain from the sky
By David Hambling | New Scientist

THE Pentagon's enthusiasm for non-lethal crowd-control weapons appears to have stepped up a gear with its decision to develop a microwave pain-infliction system that can be fired from an aircraft.

The device is an extension of its controversial Active Denial System, which uses microwaves to heat the surface of the skin, creating a painful sensation without burning that strongly motivates the target to flee. The ADS was unveiled in 2001, but it has not been deployed owing to legal issues and safety fears.

Nevertheless, the Pentagon's Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate (JNLWD) in Quantico, Virginia, has now called for it to be upgraded. The US air force, whose radar technology the ADS is based on, is increasing its annual funding of the system from $2 million to $10 million. Read more.

Some Gitmo Detainees May Come to US Jails

Some Gitmo Detainees May Come to US Jails
Pentagon official: Some Guantanamo detainees may be sent to US jails despite congressional ban
By Pamela Hess, Associated Press Writer | ABCNews.com

The Pentagon's top lawyer said Friday that the Obama administration has not abandoned the possibility of transferring some prisoners from the Guantanamo Bay detention center to a prison in the United States despite strong congressional concerns.

Defense Department general counsel Jeh Charles Johnson told the House Armed Services Committee that some suspected terrorists might be transferred to the U.S. for prosecution and others sent to a facility inside the U.S. for long-term incarceration.

Johnson also said no prisoners would be released from custody inside the country. Read more.

Cops Gone Wild

By Dave Lindorff

Cambridge Police Sgt. James Crowley has gone whining to his professional organization, the Cambridge Police Superior Officers Assn., asking for support in calling for President Obama to apologize for saying he acted "stupidly" in arresting Harvard Prof. Henry Gates after first suspecting the prominent African-American scholar of being a burglar caught breaking into Gates' own home.

Sgt. Crowley claims he was totally justified in making the arrest on a charge of "disorderly conduct" (later dropped by the police), because Gates, who actually had been forced to break into his own home during a return from a speaking tour in China when the front door was stuck, had allegedly become "enraged" when the officer confronted him and asked for identification. Crowley claims that Gates called him names, called him a racist, and threatened to file a complaint against him, and that as a result he arrested him.

You're Appointing Who? Please Obama, Say It's Not So!

You're Appointing Who? Please Obama, Say It's Not So!
By Jeffrey Smith | Huffington Post

The person who may be responsible for more food-related illness and death than anyone in history has just been made the US food safety czar. This is no joke.

Here's the back story.

When FDA scientists were asked to weigh in on what was to become the most radical and potentially dangerous change in our food supply -- the introduction of genetically modified (GM) foods -- secret documents now reveal that the experts were very concerned. Memo after memo described toxins, new diseases, nutritional deficiencies, and hard-to-detect allergens. They were adamant that the technology carried "serious health hazards," and required careful, long-term research, including human studies, before any genetically modified organisms (GMOs) could be safely released into the food supply.

But the biotech industry had rigged the game so that neither science nor scientists would stand in their way. They had placed their own man in charge of FDA policy and he wasn't going to be swayed by feeble arguments related to food safety. No, he was going to do what corporations had done for decades to get past these types of pesky concerns. He was going to lie. Read more.

Gaza Delegations Offer Updated Resources Documenting Inhumanity and International Criminality

Articles, Blogs, Interviews and Talks from the January, March, May and June 2009 Delegations to Gaza and Occupied Territories of Palestine Updated for July 12 - 23, 2009

New entries to List since July 12 until July 23:

January 1 Long March in GAZA to break the Siege
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=99488432247&
“Activists plan march to break Gaza siege,” July 1, 2009, Daily Star
http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=2&article_...
Also at:
http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/onward-to-victory/

Alice Walker, “Overcoming Speechlessness: A Poet Encounters the “horror” in Rwanda, Eastern Congo and Palestine/Israel”
http://www.alicewalkersblog.com/2009/07/overcoming-speechlessness-poet.html
http://voiceseducation.org/node/744

Rich Moniak, KTOO radio, Juneau, Alaska, July 13, 2009 http://www.ktoo.org/audiofile.cfm?clip=4012

The "Dallas Delegation" Protests Bush's Crimes In New Neighborhood

VIPS Member Ray McGovern and Dallas Peace Center member Hadi Jawad organized and participated in the “Dallas Delegation,” a march in George W. Bush’s Dallas neighborhood. Marchers reminded Bush neighbors that they had living among them a criminal who repeatedly and notoriously broke federal and international laws.

Ray McGovern wrote:

In front of Bush house; we stopped long enough to refresh, in a very serious way, memories—by reading the Declaration of Independence regarding the usurpation of our foremothers' and forefathers' rights by another George.

Then we began to read the sections of our beloved Constitution that were trampled by George W. Bush. There are, though, so many such sections that we were not able to finish reading them all in the hot sun.

We did the sensible thing and began to march slowly and solemnly out of the neighborhood...at which point the Dallas police arrived and gave us an armed escort! Our bannering over the nearby Interstate was cut short by the same police, who told us, in effect, this is not Minnesota. In Texas, they said, It is illegal to banner because a distraction could cause a car wreck. We had no Coleen Rowley with us to give us good legal advice, so we drove off (again with police escort) to that major intersection and witnessed for a good while more. Great use was made of those wonderful banners and orange suits. The banners included "WHAT NOBLE CAUSE?" -- Cindy Sheehan's gutsy question of W four long years ago, as she left Dallas accompanied by some of the women of Code Pink and some Veterans for Peace to set up Camp Casey, in honor of her son Casey, killed on April 4, 2004. A year later, Bush made the glib comment that such deaths were "worth it," for folks like Casey died for what noble cause! Cindy, to her great credit, was not going to sit still for that.

NONE OF US SHOULD. And none of us can keep silent when abuses like torture take place in our name. Otherwise, we are all guilty—like those well mannered, obedient Germans of the Thirties.

It was an invigorating experience. I recommend it, or something like it, to all!

The march was facilitated with the help of the Dallas Peace Center. Pictures of the event are below the fold. Click “Read more” to see them.

Z Street: The New Zionist Extremist Group

Z Street: The New Zionist Extremist Group
By Stephen Lendman

On July 6, co-founders Lori Lowenthal Marcus and Allyson Rowen Taylor announced: "Z Street is launched, Will end J Street Treason." More on that below.

Continuing they said:

"Welcome to Z street! No more appeasement, no more negotiating with terrorists, no more enabling cowards who fear offending more than they fear another Holocaust. Z STREET is for those who are willing not only to support - but to defend - Israel, the Jewish State."

Never mind that no nation threatens Israel nor has for decades. It's a regional superpower - nuclearized and defended by the world's fourth most powerful military, armed with the latest state-of-the-art weapons and technology, and not reluctant to use them.

Its only adversaries are self-made and are needed to justify oppression, a culture of violence, an ethnocracy, exclusivity, privilege, and Jewish exceptionalism over others deemed inferior, legitimate enemies, and terrorists.

Zionism is corrosive, destructive, racist, extremist, undemocratic and hateful.

Serb Cousins Guilty Of Burning Muslims Alive

Serb cousins guilty of burning Muslims alive | CNN

A U.N. tribunal convicted two Serb cousins Monday of having burned alive more than 100 Muslims in what the presiding judge called a part of the "wretched history of man's inhumanity to man."

Milan Lukic and Sredoje Lukic were convicted of crimes dating back to the early 1990s, during the bitter ethnic conflict that ravaged the former Yugoslavia.

Milan Lukic organized a group of local paramilitaries with ties to police and the military, sometimes referred to as the "White Eagles" or "Avengers," according to an indictment. Before and during the war, his cousin Sredoje Lukic worked as a policeman before joining the group.

The crimes include two incidents in which Muslim men, women and children were forced into homes that were then set on fire -- and some who tried to escape were shot.

Milan Lukic was found "guilty of persecutions, murder, extermination, cruel treatment and inhumane acts, as crimes against humanity and war crimes, in relation to six discrete incidents," the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) at the Hague said. He was sentenced to life in prison.

Sredoje Lukic was found guilty of "aiding and abetting the commission of the crime of persecutions inhumane acts, murder and cruel treatment." He was sentenced to 30 years in prison. Read more.

Saving Private Bergdahl

By Dave Lindorff

Let me say from the outset that I have the greatest sympathy for 23-year-old Bowe R. Bergdahl, the US soldier in Afghanistan who was captured and is being held by Taliban forces, and for his family, who must be going through a living hell worrying about what is going to happen to him.

But I’m willing to bet you that all of them are wishing, right now, that the US had not decided back in 2001 to begin a campaign of torture and murder against the Taliban fighters that it was capturing in Afghanistan, and against others that it has rounded up in the so-called War on Terror.

Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity Send President Memo on Torture

Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity Send President Memo on Torture

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